There are people who are called serial entrepreneurs. The reason for this is they know how to start a business and make it successful within a very short time. The good news is that you can also start a business and take it to great heights. To achieve that, you need to work with the following five killer tips for starting a business.
Offer What People Want
Too often, people embrace products or services that they think will be successful in the market. Although this may work at times, the best thing is to focus on what people want instead of what you feel like selling.
A typical example of this is selling new sports shoes with a trendy design and materials when it is evident from the market that there is already a type of sports shoe that people love. To make it as a start-up, it is better to have a small slice of a large category than a large slice with no market. It maybe that you are looking at the emerging markets like drone technology or aerial photography. It doesn’t matter what it is, you just have to make sure that you have done the research.
Keep Costs Low
For a startup to be successful, you need positive cash flow. How do you achieve that? Bring in more cash than you can pay out. Some of the best ways of limiting expenditure are buying gently used office furniture instead of new and paying vendors upfront. When you pay upfront, you can get better prices, and you also have a lot of room for negotiations. The key thing here is to try and save as much money as you can as you set up the business.
Create a Solid Business Plan
The business plan that you work with greatly determines how well your business will do. A business plan serves as a roadmap to guide you and also help you get funding from your bank. For it to be this effective, it needs to have a mission statement, executive summary, competitive analysis, products or services that you will offer, target customers, sales methodologies, financials and anything else that you deem critical for the operations of the business. The good thing with this plan is that you can do it or have professionals help you develop one.
Focus on Sales
In a business, no money comes in until a sale is made. This means that you will need a good way to generate leads and convert them. Once you have converted them, you also need to ensure that you keep them. Create a marketing and sales system that your business can utilize to get customers. Avoid focusing on getting the brand right at this stage and instead spend that money on bringing in new clients.
The first few months of running a business are daunting, but they also define how it will progress. During this stage, you need to measure everything. Measuring will help you identify strategies that are working and those that are not and thus save you a lot of money.
Running a successful business is dependent on how well you started it. These five tips will help you stabilize the startup and transform it into an empire in no time. Check out the below video for some more killer tips!
A business plan is an important document that anyone who wants to start a business must take time to write up. Apart from just outlining the strategy of the business, it helps when it comes to growth and management of the business. The process of writing a business plan is usually never straightforward, and many new business owners run into problems because they did not prepare the right plan. So how can you write a killer business plan?
Make it Brief
Your plan needs to be short and to the point. Writing an overly detailed plan is cumbersome to use meaning that you will probably not get the most out of it. Focus on the important information that the reader needs and leave the finer details to operations. Furthermore, you can attach any technical information in the appendix.
Make it Professional
Even if it is just meant for your eyes, the plan needs to be professional. Write and present it as if you are doing it for someone else. Put a cover on it and include a contents page with detailed page numbering and sectioning. In terms of the content, have an executive summary, and purpose of the plan. You also need to include charts if possible. Once it is done, proofread and even give someone else to go through it for you.
Once you have considered this, it is then time to focus on its contents. A good business plan needs to cover the following items:
Define your intended market then go ahead and segment it. As you do that, try to establish the size of each segment and your intended market share. You also need to focus on important market trends, growth and reasons behind the trends.
The Target Customers
You need to define and describe the nature of your customers. What is the profile of your typical customers? Are you targeting other businesses or
home users? If they are businesses, what size? By identifying your customers, you will be able to know how to reach and keep them.
Who are your typical competitors? Many a times businesses fail to reach their potential because they did not take time to look at what the competition is offering. What are the advantages and disadvantages of their products? Look at issues such as price, distribution network and quality. You also need to include reasons why people will buy your products in the plan. The important thing here is to never criticize or underestimate your competitors.
Outline Your Marketing and Sales Plan
You also need to have your proposed marketing plan. Within this, focus on how you will position your products and services. What unique features do your products have and which ones will you concentrate on?
Next, have something on your pricing policy and how price sensitive the products are. Identify some of those products that you expect to make more profits on and state a standard way of setting your prices.
Promotions, distribution channels and sales methods are also important parts of your marketing plan. Indicate ways of promoting your products, the channels that you will use to get them across and sales methodologies that you will implement.
Your financial forecasts translate your strategy into numbers. Highlight the major capital expenditures and projected sales for a period of time. When dealing with financial projections, may people make the mistake of forecasting many years ahead. As you start the business, a one-year financial plan is ideal.
Your business plan also needs to highlight the capacity and efficiency of your operations with planned improvements. Will you run the business from a leased building or yours? Will the premise meet future business growth and expansion? What kind of equipment will you use and how modern is it? Answering these questions will help you with the operations bit.
Your business plan needs to cover all the critical issues that affect the business. Therefore, you have to stipulate the critical ingredients of future success and how to consolidate your market position. You also need to state objectives that will have a significant difference in your business in the future. Think in terms of income, customers, products and human resources.
Writing a business plan is not as hard as many entrepreneurs take it to be. By considering these steps, you can be assured of a business that will run successfully. You can get more information from the UK government website which had example templates and guidance.
We’ve reached a technological stage where a website is not longer an option, it’s now requirement for small businesses. And to take it a step further, customers use websites to sift out who they see as credible and worthy of their business. This article shares four key elements that every small business website should include to ensure that prospective customers turn into paying customers.
With the emergence of website platforms such as WordPress, businesses can get their hands on websites without the need of a professional. While this is great, it poses an issue. Everyone has access to the exact same Themes (design templates) that can make your website look exactly the same as your competitors.
The best way to keep your site free from being an exact replica of another site is to hire a professional web design professional. If that isn’t within your budget, at minimum businesses should pay for premium Themes that allows for simple customization.
Properly Represent Your Products
If your company is selling Point-of-Sale devices for restaurants, a restaurant interested in purchasing that product will likely need to know some specs about each individual product so they can determine if they should look elsewhere for something fitting their needs. If its a service you sell, explain exactly what the service aims to do, how it will benefit them, pricing (in ranges if necessary), and how the product or service will go from your hands to the customers’.
Design With Purpose
Designers and non-designers all have things they like to see in a website. Regardless of their leanings, they should never incorporate useless design elements. Every single visual element should have a purpose and should not be there if there isn’t one. An example would be a company website that was built from a free cms template. Because the template designer was trying to maximize its usefulness to an eclectic bunch website types, it will usually have elements that are unnecessary to your website like lists of things in sidebars, more menus than are necessary, graphical elements that would benefit a blog more than a company website, etc.
Also, make sure that when creating a layout for your website, you’ve already determined the information the website will contain. Once that is sorted out, you’ll easily be able to determine whether or not you needed that “Facebook friends” block in your sidebar, an images block, a portfolio viewer, or any other site gadget you may be thinking of including.
No one wants to buy from a robot. If a reader of your website gets board with your content, then they’ll simply leave your site. Including personality in to your site gives prospective customers something to relate to and identify with.
Incorporating personality into a website is as easy as sharing bios of the employees. When prospects can relate to a person and not just a brand, it brings them closer to your products and services. Another way to invoke personality is to write the website copy in a personal and conservative tone.
Check out the below video which shows how to build a responsive website
Some great resources for websites.
If you work in sales, it is important that you are the best in your field. Not only do your sales skills have an effect on your reputation as a salesperson and knowing how to sell, they also have an effect on the amount of money that you make. When it comes to becoming a good salesperson, there are a few tips that you should follow.
Use a Good Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
A CRM system can serve as the nerve center to manage all the connections in the business. If you work in a small business, the system can help you put your data in the cloud, making it easily accessible. As the business grows, the CRM can expand and include more sophisticated features that will help the sales team communicate with each other as well as with colleagues. The better your CRM is, the better salesperson you will be.
Use 2 Ears and 1 Mouth, In That Order
When you are trying to sell your product to your clients, you need to listen first to everything that they have to say. If you have something to add, wait until the client is finished. If they feel that they are being listened to, they will feel important. If they feel important, chances are they will become regular customers. The biggest mistake that you can make is to do all the talking and no listening.
Sell an Excellent Product or Service
In order to be a good salesperson, you need to believe in the product or service that you are selling. If you don’t believe in it, your customers will see it. If you have no faith in the product or service, your customers won’t either.
It is also a good idea to sell a product or service that performs as advertised and that it delivers true benefits to the customers. If you work for a company who sells an excellent product or service, it will sell itself.
Work for the Customer Not the Company
When you are trying to sell a customer a product or service, it is important to always keep in mind that you are working for them, not for your company. If your clients feel that you are working for them and only them, they will be a satisfied customer, and a satisfied customer is a repeat customer.
Nobody wants to buy something from a negative Nancy. In order to sell, you need to have a positive, upbeat attitude in front of your customers. It may not be easy to be in a great mood all the time, but if you want to make a sale, you will fake it.
Build a Personal Rapport
In order be a more effective salesperson, you should try to build a personal rapport with your customers. Try to find common interests between you and them, such as hobbies, favorite restaurants, sports, travel, or family. If your customers see that they have something in common with you, they will be more likely to trust you, and continue to do business with you.
Ask for the Sale
People who are new to sales are often too shy or feel too awkward to ask the customer if they are ready to buy. A good salesperson knows that they need to be closing the sale. Most people will not hand over any money unless they are prompted to do so. You should never be afraid to ask someone if they are ready to buy. It is your job and the sooner you do it, the sooner you will make the sale.
Your relationship with your customers should not end as soon as the sale is made. It is a good idea to follow up with your customers shortly after the sale. Ask them if they are satisfied with the product or service that they purchased. Ask them if they have any questions. If you follow up, it will show your customers that you care even after you got the sale. This will likely keep them coming back.
Being a good salesperson is about attitude, perseverance, and subtle pushiness. If you possess these qualities, and follow the tips listed above, you have the tools necessary to be an excellent salesperson.