3 Ways to Get Your Small Business Growing

Do you feel like your small business may be stuck in a rut? When the answer is yes, you’ve got some serious work ahead of you. Being in charge of a small business can wear on some people over time, but the hope is you are not one of them.

That said it is important to do all you can to keep your small business headed in the right direction.

Be cognizant of your financial happenings. Also look at the morale of your team (for those with employees). Yes, it can be much to juggle at times, but would you have it any other way?

Keep Shooting for More Business Growth

So your small business can grow as much as possible, remember the following tips:

  1. Goals

First, always set realistic goals for your business moving forward. To use an analogy, some business owners have eyes that are bigger than their appetites. When this happens, they are not able to grow their companies.

At the start of each month, set a few goals that you want to see accomplished by month’s end. Now, don’t get too disappointed if one or even some of them are not completed. The only time to worry is if you are missing out on most or all them.

Also do a review of where your business was a year ago now. By seeing if you’ve grown, stayed about the same, and even taken a step or two back, it is important to compare periods.

The goals you set for your growth must always be within reach, not those that you are all but assured of not reaching.

  1. Funds

Yes, it would be pretty hard for your company to grow without there being a financial lifeline along the way.

That said if you are in need of direct funds for your small business, where will you turn?This can be a tricky question to answer, especially if your options are rather limited.

Do your best to get whatever funds you need without mortgaging your future.

Before accepting a cash funding arrangement, be sure to research each potential provider.
Look at things such as:

  • How long have they been in business?
  • Do they have a solid reputation within the business community?
  • Is their customer service as good as it gets?
  • What kind of record do they have with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?

While it makes perfect sense to get financial help to grow your business, do it wisely.

  1. Outreach

Assuming you’ve been doing various forms of brand outreach up to now, is it working?Even though you might think you are doing enough, are you? One of the best ways to grow your business is making sure as many consumers as possible know about it.

This means marketing, advertising, blogging, social media, the list goes on and on.

If you do not have the time or manpower to get all these needs accomplished, reach out for more help. Sure, while you have to spend money to make money may seem like an old cliché, it is quite realistic.

Never take an axe to your outreach efforts, especially as you look to grow your brand moving forward.

As a small business owner, what practices have worked for you in growing your company?

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers small business topics on the web.

 

 

Is It Time To Grow Your Small Business?

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It takes a lot of work to get to the point where you can seriously consider trying to expand your business. First, you had to take the steps of entrepreneurs before and go out into the world with an idea and the determination to make it work. Many people don’t get that far. Secondly, you have to maintain the success that you have found. Your business should be a foundation for further growth. Before thinking about expansion, you need to be confident that what you have at the moment is not going to fall out from under you. Expanding an existing business is actually a greater risk than starting one: if you fail to establish a business, you are left where you were to begin with, which is with nothing. If you fail to expand your business and it folds in the process, you are similarly left with nothing but that is a lot less than what you once had. If you feel that it is the right time to grow your business, you should immediately stop and carefully plan what it is that you want to do. It stands to reason that you would not have reached this point if you allowed your judgement to be clouded by reckless ambition. Here is a checklist of things to think about before making a life-changing decision:

Growing your business, at least at first, can be an expensive endeavour. You may need to move into bigger premises or take on more staff or substantially enhance your technological capital. All of these things require money and if your business is not making the requisite profit, you may be in trouble. If your business is successful enough to brook these costs, you have to make sure that the money is available to you now. You do not want to start your new business with too much debt. If you want to free up some money, consider taking advantage of invoice finance options. They allow you to get 80% of future invoice payments within a few days of issuing them. At a time when you are looking towards the future in any case, this can make the difference between success and failure.

Besides the need for more money, you will also find that you are facing greater responsibilities. If you are doing more business with more customers, there will be more paperwork and a greater need to ensure that everything is exactly right. While it may be necessary to take on more staff to do the extra work, you should also consider bringing in someone to whom you can delegate some of your newer responsibilities. It can be difficult letting go of the thing that you have had complete control over since its inception, but success can sometimes be difficult and this is one such instance.

The most important thing, however, is to know what you are getting into. It is one thing to ensure that your business is ready to grow, but if you don’t know what it will be growing into, you should find out. Market research is more crucial in this instance than in any other.

 

 

The Little Things That Make A Big Difference

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Every small business we have ever spoken to has wanted to grow into something bigger. But the common denominator in all of this has been money. Small business owners believe they need money to grow because growing can only spout from big movements, like opening up in a new location or licensing a product or offering their business as a franchise; all of which requires a lot of funds.

However, there are ways you can grow your small business into something bigger without spending a ton of cash you maybe don’t have. What’s more, we have gone and done the legwork for you and come up with a few ideas for you to really sink your teeth into.

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Make Your Business More Simple

A lot of small business owners try and spread their risk by offering a wide range of products or service. The thinking behind this is logical; the more you offer the better chance you have of hooking a customer. But the reality is somewhat different. As such, it may be time you scrutinized your business and stopped selling anything that is turning over a profit and anything that is proving hard to sell.

Organize Yourself Better

This can mean a variety of things, but the more you do to be organized, the more efficient you will be and, well, time is money. Perhaps you could rearrange your shop so that it is less cluttered and more helpful to shoppers. Maybe it is time you learned how to create an organizational chart instead of sticking post-it notes all over your office walls. It could simply be a matter of tidying up your desk and buying a filing cabinet. The easier you make your operations the better your chances of growing.

Try Delegation For A Change

All small business leaders believe they need to do everything. It is as if they don’t trust the people they employed to do a certain task to do that task as well as them. Perhaps you are right. But there will be certain things that you do that increases revenue and other things that have no impact at all. As such, concentrate your efforts on the tasks that help your revenue and delegate everything else.

Give Your Employees Freedom

One of the most successful methods of improving your success is to allow your employees to take responsibility for their work. That means letting them set their own goals and the strategies to reach these goals. You will find that they are determined to achieve the desired the results as a way of rewarding your trust and allowing them some independence.

Value Your Employees

All too many employers believe that their employees are motivated by money. However, studies show that this is only eighth on the list. The feeling of being appreciated, working in a friendly environment and the chance to enjoy a good work/life balance are the top three things that will see their productivity increase, and thus your growth. So tailor your motivational methods to meet your employees needs.

 

 

 

 

Finding the Best Deals for Your Company

As you pour over the ways to make your small business as successful as possible, what are you doing when it comes to locating deals for your company?

By saving money whenever and wherever possible, you will have more green to spend on other things that are relevant to your business.

That said don’t automatically look for the cheapest products and services out there, figuring you will always win with a deal. Although it is perfectly fine to save money (and it is encouraged), make sure you are getting quality products and services in return.

With that in mind, the Internet offers an array of information for you, information that can lead to locating some great opportunities for your small business.

From office products to finding the best mobile app for your brand, use the worldwide web as often as possible to track down savings.

So, are you ready to find the best deals for your company?

Delivering Quality and Savings for Your Brand

So that you are able to deliver quality and savings for your brand, remember these pointers:

Promoting awareness

As a small business owner, one of your greatest needs is making customers (present and potential) more aware of your brand.

That being the case, you have a myriad of means in order to do this, with some typically working better than others.

One such way is by having a mobile app aboard for the ride.

As countless small business owners have discovered in recent years, a mobile app is a great means by which one can tout their brands to customers.

In your search of the top app development companies, take note that you do not necessarily have to pay through the nose for the right app.

By properly researching the different app developers out there, you can narrow down your list of which ones could build you the best app possible. From there, you might even see some savings come about by not necessarily getting all the best and whistles many apps offer.

The bottom line is finding the best mobile app at the best price, so start shopping today if you do not already have an app.

Office supplies

Be honest, do you have way too many office supplies sitting around your workplace?

If so, there’s a good chance you’re solely responsible for that.

Sure, you may have your office manager or another individual in charge of ordering such supplies, but did you really need all of what you ended up with?

In many cases, you are literally throwing money out the door by ordering extras of this and that.

To cut down on such waste expenditures, have the person in charge (it may even be you) of ordering supplies keep a detailed list of what is needed each month.

From recycling paper to using money-saving light bulbs and much more, you can end up cutting your office supply expenses down month after month.

Hiring talent

Lastly, while you should never skimp on hiring the best talent possible for your small business, you once again can take a cue from your promotional efforts and ordering office supplies.

By hiring good talent with fair compensation packages, you actually end up saving money in the long run.

Keep in mind that a revolving employee door in your workplace ultimately costs you money over time.

As such, while you thought you were saving some green by paying workers low salaries, there’s a good chance they will leave sooner rather than later. That then leads to having to train more new hires.

Without overpaying for talent, try and give your employees what each is worth, finding ways to come out with the best deals for your company when all is said and done.

As a small business owner, how are you going about locating deals for your company?

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.

4 Keys to a More Productive Small Business

Feel at times as if your small business is stuck in neutral? If that’s the case, there are some things you can deploy to try and get things moving once again in the right direction.

In running that small business of yours, you likely know all too well that budgets are usually tight, leaving you with little wiggle room unlike larger companies.

That said even a tight budget does not mean you are destined for long days now and in the future.

By getting the most out of your employees, resources, advertising and marketing etc. you can build quite a productive small business over time.

So, are you ready to see a more productive small business come your way?

It All Starts with a Plan

So that your small company doesn’t have to put a closed for business sign out sooner rather than later, remember the following four keys to more production:

  1. Employee production

Unless you’re running the show by yourself, you rely heavily on your workers to deliver results. As such, make sure you’re not only hiring the best people available, but also making sure they live up to your expectations.

Sure, you will make some bad hires along the way, but those hires should be minimal at best. By taking the time to thoroughly review each and every prospective employee, you stand a much better chance of getting the talent you require to run a first-rate small business.

Lastly, make sure you provide a working atmosphere that not only motivates employees to do well, but fosters teamwork.

Unfortunately, too many small business owners end up with offices that are fraught with disagreements, people looking out only for themselves and their paychecks etc. By creating a positive workplace, you’re much more likely to see positive results in the end.

  1. Your resources

What type of resources are you deploying in your quest to have a winning small business For example, have you decided to move forward with a mobile app for your small business?

As many other business owners can attest to, having an app in play has changed how they do business in a positive way.

One of the advantages of having that app is getting your brand out in front of current and potential customers 24/7. Another is being able to offer specials and loyalty rewards programs to the best of your clients. Still another benefit is the ability to display blog content and much more, information that consumers can access at their convenience.

Whether you decide to use an app builder to make your small business app or end up reselling and constructing apps for others, you really need an app in today’s digital age to be as successful as possible.

Never Sleep on Customer Needs

  1. Customer service

What type of score would you give your company when it comes to providing stellar customer service?

Much to their chagrin, too many small business owners have to admit that they’re not doing as good a job as possible in the customer service arena. As a result, they lose potential long-time customers in the process.

To make sure you and your team don’t drop the ball in this important aspect of being in business, make sure you do the following:

  • Treat your customers with respect and dignity
  • Give them incentives to keep coming back to you (specials and discounts, announcements of sales before they go out to the general public etc.)
  • Respond to their feedback, including feedback that ultimately is not always positive about your brand
  1. Monitor the competition

Although you undoubtedly are busy with your own small business, it never hurts to see what direct competitors are up to.

As an example, keep your eye on how those companies you compete with go about hiring talent, responding to customer issues, using social media to reach consumers, and utilizing technology to stay a step ahead.

While some things you observe won’t be all that informative, others could very well turn a light on in your head, a light that leads you to do what others are doing even better.

So that your small business can be even more productive this year and down the road, are you ready to do whatever it takes to bring in more customers?

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers small business topics on the web.

 

 

 

Charge Ahead with a Winning Business Plan

In running your business, what do you do that sets your company apart from the competition?

If you’re on top of your game when it comes to making smart financial decisions, then there is a very good chance that your company is doing just fine. On the other hand, sloppy financial decision making can be a major red flag over time when it comes to your company’s health.

With that being the case, your financial decisions oftentimes will involve things such as how much to spend on advertising and marketing needs, whether or not to bring on more staff, and how best to guarantee payments from customers.

Yes, you will make some bad calls over time, but the key is to learn from any such mistakes and not make them again moving forward.

With that in mind, are you charging ahead with a winning business plan or do you find yourself stuck in neutral?

Bringing in More Business as You Deal with Some Headaches

In order to do your best to steer clear of financial headaches, remember the following tips:

  • Customer transactions – For starters, make sure your customer transactions run as smoothly as possible. Yes, you will have some customers who will try and pull a fast one on you, but the majority of your transactions should be legit. In the event you do run into some customers not playing by the rules, have a Plan B in place. Those customers would be individuals who make a purchase, and then decide to dispute the charges for one reason or another. If you end up with countless chargebacks, your business can suffer the financial consequences, something that can really harm a company that is teetering on financial health to begin with. At the end of the day, what do chargebacks really cost your business? Much to your surprise, you may discover that they end up costing the business world countless dollars, not to mention time wasted having to deal with each and every customer dispute over a purchase made. Your best bet is to find and utilize a post billing chargeback notification platform, one that will allow you to sort through an endless amount of charge disputes. Lastly, be aware of the potential for customer fraud especially through Ecommerce transactions and during the busy holiday times of the year. Those busy periods, the Christmas rush and summer sales, are times when you may be so caught up in your work that you have less time to catch such financial issues;
  • Getting Your Money’s Worth – When it comes to marketing and advertising your business, you are going to spend money. That said there are numerous free options on the table for you, options that you should certainly not be overlooking. Along with relying on customer word-of-mouth to help push sales, make sure you are taking advantage of social media. Using social networking platforms is a great way for you to spread the word about your business, yet avoid forking over thousands of dollars each month. Finally, if you have a team of employees under you, encourage them to use social media while on the job (also off the job if they so choose to) to help promote your brand. The more you make customers aware on social media of what you have to offer, the better chances you have of increasing sales numbers.

Is It Time to Bring on More Help?

  • The Right Time to Hire Help – Lastly, when is the best time for your business (or any business for that matter) to bring on more help? The answer to that question of course depends on several factors, notably financial budgets and if one’s current team seems to be overworked. Keep in mind that overworked employees can present several issues, most notably in terms of morale. One way to work around this problem is hiring new help at the part-time level, therefore not having to worry about health benefits. You could also increase salaries for your current staff, letting them know that the extra money comes with more responsibility. Finally, there is always the option of standing pat for now, waiting to see which way the business winds blow over the coming months. No matter what you decide, do it with what is in the best interests financially of your business.

As you look to charge ahead with a winning business plan, a plan that allows you to do even more business, make sure you’re watching your financial heartbeat each and every step of the way.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.

How Not to Let Your Pop-Up Shop Dream Burst

A pop-up shop is a short-term venture that makes temporary use of a physical space in order to create a long term, lasting impression with potential customers, but if you’re already thinking about running a pop-up, then you probably already knew that.

If you haven’t already considered it, then are a number of reasons why you should. A pop-up shop allows your business to communicate with a larger audience and make them aware of your brand’s promise and everything that offer. It is a highly engaging and immersive way of marketing and selling a business, and it beats sitting in the office all day marketing online (although that is crucial in this day and age) or sitting on the telephone. If it is your plan to set up a pop-up venture, or if you haven’t considered it all, make sure to check the hints and tips below to make that when, or if, you do it, the idea doesn’t burst.

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Pop-up shop

Use flags and banners

An interesting way of grabbing the attention of the passing public is by utilising flags and banners, those if which found at selbys.net. This is a marketing and advertising option that differs from the run-of-the-mill use of billboards for promotion as it’s something a bit different, and people like different. Different is more likely to catch the eye of the general public.

Hand out your information personally

Going old school by handing out flyers and posters is a way to personally ensure that the general public are getting your information. Of course, they may just scrunch up your flyer and throw it in the bin as soon as your back is turned, but at least you know the information got to them in the first place. This strategy is most effective for businesses that are heavily involved with the local area and are oriented around it.

But don’t become intrusive

Before setting up a pop-up, however, you must be aware of everything that you will be taking on. Firstly, you have to keep on the right side of the law. When being in such an immersive and communal environment, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and become a bit too intrusive. Retaining a distance from prospective customers, knowing who should and should not approach and always knowing when you’re beat are just some of the way that you can remain as far away from the boundaries as possible.

Important points to remember

Remember, it is still a business, and should be treated as such. This means no slacking off in the nearby coffee shop (or pub), and no finishing early; you wouldn’t do that in an office, so why do it here. Also, do not even attempt a pop-up venture if you have difficulty speaking to people. If you haven’t got the courage to approach somebody and try to sell them your product, then unfortunately, this idea just isn’t for you.

Pop-ups are a great and fun idea when it comes to business. Make sure to click here for more information on setting up a pop-up.