So you want to build your own business. You have your initial ideas, and you know what you want to achieve—what’s next?
Here is a seven-step guideline to keep you on track with your business plans, and to help you make a successful entrepreneur out of yourself.
Determine what you can offer, and the market demand for it.
Instead of thinking about how to innovate certain products, think of what you actually WANT to create. Choose something you really are interested in investing in. If you love what you do, you will ALWAYS find ways to monetize it.
Think about your pricing.
At the starting point of your business, it is totally fine to price items a bit lower—this will catch clients’ eyes. Do not compromise the quality of the products, though. Once you have a solid group of clients (and steady cash flow), slowly work your way up and price higher.
Try to determine how long it will take for you to get your first sale.
Budget wisely. If you think your first sale will be six months from your first day, set a budget amount that will last for a year. Be prepared.
Know what makes your business different.
Find out about possible competitors and learn what makes your items unique. Do not try bringing them down—instead, raise your products beyond the competition’s standard.
Learn how to market your product.
Focus on what your target buyers want and need, instead of thinking of new ways to outdo competition. Create realistic expectations, and do not make the mistake of saying “yes” to all of your clients’ questions—you might end up setting yourself and your business up for a fall.
Make a business plan and do your best to stick to it.
Being spontaneous is great, but having a plan makes you aware of goals you can and cannot achieve at the moment. Be organized and do not make any short cuts. Organizing your work process can help you accomplish tasks and keep track of sales.
Independent business and entrepreneurship may be risky, but with determination, creativity, and a well-thought-out plan, you can be your own boss, and reach success.
It’s that time of the year again. January only means one thing, the dreaded “New Year’s Resolution”! Let’s admit it; most of us make long lists yet end up fulfilling very little towards the final months. In fact, based on statistics, only 8% of the people who’ve made lists are successful in achieving their resolutions while the rest have had infrequent victories or have never succeeded at all.
So, let’s change it up a bit. Instead of writing impossible resolutions which might even make their way to 2015’s list; start with ATTAINABLE goals.
1. Embrace Technology
It’s the 21st
century; each day new technology discovered while the old processes are constantly restructured. Do some research and check for tools and software you can integrate into your business system. In terms of marketing for example, try mixing traditional advertising with online marketing. Update your website, register with online directories and establish a name on the top social media sites.
2. Connect with your Past, Current and Future Customers
Your customers are the lifeblood of business so even after the transactions are over, it’s best to keep them updated. Engagement is not a problem if you’ve gone through point number one and did research.
Aside from sending out e-mails regarding events or company updates, several social media platforms are available for use. If you’re not a big fan of Facebook or Twitter, I’d suggest you explore other platforms. LinkedIn has built a strong business community in the past years and based on our experience it’s been a very effective with communicating with prospects.
Of course, you shouldn’t forget about face to face interaction. Nothing beats being able to speak and interact with people on a physical level.
3. Think of your employees
Come to think of it, without your employees, running a business would be close to impossible right? Perhaps now is the year that you should share some of the spotlight with the people who work for you. Start simple, think of little everyday things you can do to show appreciation for their hard work and dedication.
In the long run you can work with your Human Resources Team or someone within the executive department to develop programs and activities that will help grow a positive culture and mindset for your workforce.
4. Remember one of the most important people in your life? YOURSELF.
While you’re busy growing your empire, we hope you don’t forget about your well being. We know you’ve got a lot of things to do but stress doesn’t work very well with success. Every business owner deserves to relax a little bit, enjoy other hobbies and explore new places. Spend time to nourish other aspects of your life. Try an afternoon walk weekly, reading a book or enrolling for yoga class at the nearest gym.
Sometimes getting away from all things “business” related can actually do you some good. It will give you more time to think freely and possibly find better ways to improve as a person and furthermore, an entrepreneur.
5. Learn to Delegate
This final number has a lot to do with the fourth point. The most common argument every business owner has to “me time” is the lack of time. This is a valid case however, have you ever heard of delegating? We know, it’s a bit difficult sharing tasks with other people especially if you’ve always been hands on. But trust is, you’re going to thank yourself in the future especially if you manage to partner up with the perfect in house or virtual assistant.
Every business owner aims to grow their business at least 5% annually, but with current economic downturn,is it still possible to expand on budget? The answer—definitely a yes. Cutting costs should never be a reason to delay extending that new office wing or increasing man power. Tight financial arrangements only imply that businessmen must make wiser financial decisions.
So, how do you grow a business on a budget? Let me walk you through the 3 simple steps that will make you realize that growth doesn’t always equal to a million dollar check.
First stop, financial planning
. Of course, spending money is easy but putting it in the right place is always a challenge. Its vital to create a strategic plan that shows your priorities and budget for each point. This plan will then be the foundation for your business’ expansion. It will always be temptimg to spend more on things you think are “important”, but would you risk lowering funds for other areas just to give way to one? I bet; no. Remember, this is created for a reason so its important to stick to it through and through. To support this, you’ll also have to create financial tracker for monitoring the inflow and outflow of cash.
Second step, cut costs
. Budgeting is a critical part of the business. In most companies, this helps establish the profit margin owners hope to reach. What defines ideal budgeting? Of course, following the plan is one. Another is to find ways on how to minimize the costs without jeopardizing the quality factor. This tactic can be applied not only on raw materials, goods and other material objects but also your workforce.
Ever since the rise of modern business, hiring in house personnel has been a practice. It’s effective and it gives business owners and company managers the power to lead over their staff on a direct physical level. However, we can’t deny the fact that despite its efficiency, it is expensive. Aside from salary, you’d have to deal with taxes, health benefits, allowances and other overhead costs.
To minimize workforce expenditures, why not try virtual assistant services
? It’s a process of contracting an external staff, usually off shore, to do company assignments. Because of the low costs of living in their areas, outsourced virtual assistants demand for minimum rates; making it at least 50% cheaper than hiring in house. The only possible issue is in terms of communication. Being a thousand miles away certainly proves to be a challenge since you are unable to monitor your VA’s activities first hand. However, there are tools
which make this less of a problem. Skype for example uses chat, voice and videocall. E-mail exchange is also a normal routine for outsourcing. In addition, some business owners opt to make use of remote access software to control and see through a VA’s desktop.
Once you’ve managed to lessen business expenses, its time to review your financial trackers
. Why? Businesses are volatile and even small erratic expenses might cause future problem for the growth of your business. Monitor which points reflect positive and negative outcomes to your finances. Make sure to continue doing what you’ve found beneficial and adjust any unconstrutive areas. This will ensure that you are able to expand your business effectively without exceeding suggested budgets.
See? It really isn’t as difficult as it seems. Growth in business is possible as long as you maximize whatever budget you have while keeping to the company’s goals.