Most owners want their business to grow. In fact many defend their desire by quoting the “grow or die” myth; the belief that a business has to grow in order to stay relevant. It’s not true. In fact, the opposite might be the case as the truth is, there are risks to business growth.
If you have a successful company – one that is consistently profitable – an aggressive growth strategy can kill it. By stating this, I’m not denying the benefits of smart business growth including increased profits, greater stability, improved value and more opportunities for employees. I’m saying that without careful planning the pursuit of growth can hurt a business in four key areas.
Customers: Can you still serve them as well as before?
A growing company makes mistakes. In fact during periods of growth the overall quality of service and products goes down before it improves. And in the day of 99.9% internet reliability, your customers will notice. Recently I was engaged as the Interim-CEO of a large service business. In eighteen months we increased sales by 50% while maintaining our better-than-industry-average net profit margins. During this period we also stretched our production and customer service personnel.
More customers meant more touches, more experiences, more opportunities to “shine or s _ _ _,” as I told our managers. Since today the customer is no longer “king” (able to set the rules) but “tyrant” (able to swiftly punish those who fail to meet their expectations) we reviewed our service standards, created reporting systems and determined how to quickly follow-up when we “missed” our high standards before we committed to grow. As a result, the advances we experienced in the first year carried over to the second.
Culture: Will you enjoy what your business will become?
A large company is different than a small one. Not better. Not worse. Just different. And when a company grows, its culture can change.
Several years ago I was engaged as the Chief Operating Officer (Interim) for a large independent financial firm. Despite its success, the practice had stopped growing, due largely to its structure and operations. During this period we re-assigned employees, developed new job descriptions, created new levels of accountability, improved performance standards; all the things you would expect. Because of our comprehensive approach we worked closely with the human resource director and found her to be both capable and caring.
It was that latter quality that kept getting in her way. In her mind, the relaxed “family feel” was being sacrificed at the altar of performance. She was right. Sort of. Although we set higher standards we continued to support employees, have fun and give personal touches. Still, the culture changed and she soon found another job. At a smaller company.
That’s a price – a risk – of growth. Fortunately, in this case, the cultural changes helped support a long, sustained period of growth.
Cash: Can you afford to grow?
It costs money to grow. In fact, before deciding whether or not your company is ready to grow you should first determine whether or not it can handle the financial strain growth can produce.
At times, I will bring in an outside accounting manager (CFO) to take control of the finances during the growth engagement. Working together we can manage cash, project revenues and expenses, improve the balance sheet and create forecasting tools that support the initiative. The right person and systems can help create the discipline needed to improve equipment, property, wages; everything needed to initiate and continue a strategy for growth.
With the right person in place as the CFO, we were able to move ahead with growth,
Competition: Are you ready for more?
When I was in high school (just after the one-room school houses) I played football. Since I lived in a small town, we played in a small town conference which meant that my small body was large enough to play offensive and defensive tackle. Back then I was skinny; enough so that in my uniform I looked a bit like Barney Fife (look him up… he was skinny) in pads. Had I been in college, I would have been a statistic.
Competing at the next level required more skill, more speed, more desire, more talent and more weight. It’s the same in business. As you grow the competition changes. Larger companies have more resources and if they see you as a threat they will use those resources against you. If you aren’t ready, you’ll get crushed.
Should I go ahead and decide to grow? That’s the question every owner should ask before committing to growing their company. It’s possible that by staying the size you are now you will continue to enjoy the lifestyle you’ve created and the profits you’ve come to expect. But if you choose to move ahead, to expand your business or practice, then be mindful of the risks to business growth.
Doing so can keep you from failing.
The shaky economy has obviously created a great impact on the employment rate. Due to this, many companies have decided to let go of some of their employees regardless of their length of time of service or worse, close down their companies before they go bankrupt. In effect, several people are now looking for serious options on how to augment their income. They are after the legitimate perfect
Now who said that you can’t be your own boss or you have to dwell on the negativities of hiring freezes, layoffs, or shortage of work employment opportunities? With a careful analysis and choice of a
You will definitely ask how you will be able to determine the right
Although owning a business and running it by yourself may all seem to be a huge task and responsibility on your shoulders, it must not stop you from venturing into it. There are actually too many opportunities available and definitely, there is one that you will like best.
Become a yoga trainer. If you have been doing yoga for a long time already and you are confident to teach others, then, you can set up a makeshift studio in your own home. You can get paying students and cover for your daily provisions.
Become a tutor. Depending on your capacity, you can decide on the students’ educational level to teach.
Become a management professional. People need professional advice. You can turn yourself into a business coach and then make money by training entrepreneurs.
Become a medical transcriptionist. Doctors and other medical advocates will need your service. This is one thing you can basically do at home.
Become a ghost writer. Writing is both a skill and a talent. You can provide contents for website owners and be paid.
Branding is the ability of people to associate a business with a word or a few musical notes. The end result is to get customers to take action and choose your business. Corporations spend millions of dollars on building brands, but
1. Logo – The logo is a graphical representation of your company. A logo can contain a picture or words or a combination of both. The logo must also use color effectively. This could mean using colors to create an emotional response or use the lack of color (using only black and white for stark contrast) with one splotch of color for emphasis.
Suggestion: Keep logos simple. Use color effectively. Use words sparingly. Choose a simple, clean font. Use a contrast of regular fonts mixed with bold fonts for emphasis. Do not make your tagline part of your logo, because you may want to change the tagline in the future.
Recommendation: Start with a “words only” logo that is your company name.
2. Tagline – A tagline is a short phrase, not a sentence, that conveys what your company does. Include a action verb and clarify what product or service your company provides.
For example: my original company name was Instructional Design Consortium. My idea was that training is a team effort. The downside to my company name was that it was confusing, hard to pronounce and a logistical nightmare for website domain. I decided to create a shorter name and create a “doing business as” or DBA so it would still be my company’s legal name. I chose Design2Train, an overall choice. So, now the new name gave me an opportunity to create a tagline that told people what my company does, we create training. People are looking for quicker ways to create training using online training options. So my tagline: creating training at the speed of business became my new tagline.
Recommendation: Brainstorm with friends to come up with several options to choose from instead of working in a vacuum. Take their input and suggestions to help you decide which tagline best suits your company.
3. Capability Statement – A company resume that states your business in a one page summary. Include NAICS codes, contact information, and a summary of previous work. The goal of the capability statement is to offer a quick read to potential contracting agents to introduce your company. Create the capability statement in Word, then save and distribute as a PDF.
Suggestion: Name the capability statement file with a date, so you can keep track of your latest version. For example: capability_011710 Store the capability statement, both the Word and PDF versions online, so it is easy to locate the most recent version, for future updating.
4. Coordinated Marketing Literature – Pattern the same colors from your logo into corresponding marketing literature including: business cards, rack cards, flyers, brochures and downloadable website documents.
Suggestion: Use a printing service that does not print large quantities, so you can easily change marketing literature to meet current needs.
5. Coordinated Website – Use the same colors as on print literature. Prominently display your logo with tagline to build company brand recognition. Make your website simple, easy to navigate and provide the information that potential clients will want to see. Test the links to make sure your download links work.
The product is the single most important thing you will choose. Unless you are one of those people who can sell ice to an Eskimo, you are going to need all the help you can get.
Having a product that people actually want, and are willing to spend money on, is half of the battle. This is why we recommend information products. You can customize them any way you want to fit a particular need.
They are easy to set up on the Internet, and you can price them so they are easy to sell. If you do not know how to create a product of your own you can find them in affiliate marketing programs.
The reason for that is virtually every industry in the world has merchants offering affiliate programs to people who are willing to work. Commission Junction is an example of a quality merchant website where there are hundreds of merchants wanting you to sell their products.
If you can find one that interests you there is an excellent chance of you being successful if you master some basic Internet marketing skills.
These products are mostly developed, and by putting your own touch to them gives you an excellent chance to quickly make money selling them.
There are many people want to own a business. It might be a
Some people need some operating capital and you need to have a loan in order for your business to succeed or grow but that is not easy. Since if you have a business loan funding from the bank, then you need to meet the requirements and the documents needed by the bank such as business and personal financial statements, reviews of the financial records and credit reports of the business to determine eligibility for funding and others.
There are banks or financing institutions who offer their clients extremely effective tools to assist owners and managers with great
The plan you have includes information on what your business does and the target market where you can reach the customer. You must indicate why people need your products as well as your services. You also include the marketing plan and analyses to help convince your lender s that you will able to repay them. Show also your return profit and your budget for the business you want to have.
Knowing that the main source of
Especially for the new businesses, it’s hard for them finding business start up funding since you need to put together an attractive business funding proposal, meet the lenders expectations and increase the chances of securing the business financing need.
So the credit personal history is one of the most important things you need to take care since most financial institutions or banks will carefully scrutinized your personal financial history and as well as the asset you have as for collateral if they will asked. Take note, Banks and other financial institutions or other credible lending sources want a guarantee for the money you lend and most likely the guarantee is usually at least the value of the loan or might be greater the amount of the loan you applied.
Banks or other financial institution always wants to be sure that their money you borrowed will be return and with interest since the interest is where they gain their profit; although there are also financial institutions who risk lending you money for your additional capital or starting up due to your good credit history and personal financial capability.
If you are like one of the millions of people out there who are struggling to make ends meet in a difficult economy, chances are, you are looking for work at home business ideas. The good news is that while there are plenty of scams out there, there are some work at home business ideas that really do work.
Here are a list of just some of the opportunities that are out there online, that you can start doing today to make more money:
* Become an affiliate marketer. Start advertising and selling other people’s products and services, and make commission off each sale.
* Market CPA offers on your website or blog. Every time someone clicks through and completes the required action, you will make money.
* Create and market a digital product, like an e-book or piece of software, or market someone else’s, through sites like Clickbank.
* If you have a skill, like web design, programming, or something else, you can become a freelancer, either on your own, finding jobs on classified sites or elsewhere, or on freelancing sites.
* If you are a keen amateur photographer, you can earn money for your snaps by listing them on stock photo sites, and earning a royalty from each sale.
* Your existing site or blog could start making you money, if you ad an advertising program, like adsense, to it. You will need to have a high amount of traffic to make a lot of money, but it is a great way to earn money without doing much.
* Online surveys are another great way to make money online. Many companies offer you cash for completing surveys that large corporations have commissioned as market research. You will need to do a lot of surveys to earn a living, but if you are only looking for pocket money, this is a great way to make it – you can do it on your lunch break, at home, or whenever you have a spare moment.
Most of these work at home business ideas will require you to know a little bit about online marketing when you first get started, but with the exception of freelancing and selling stock photos, no special skills are required.
Since most programs also offer easy payment via PayPal and other means it is possible to start earning virtually from the very first day. The better you get at online marketing and other strategies, the more you will start making, and it is perfectly possible to turn a work at home business idea into your full time job.
The great news is, that if you choose to market products as your work at home business idea, while there is an initial intense phase of marketing involved in getting started, you will eventually reach the point where your ads and other marketing methods start to work for you, and you’re earning without having to put in too much effort. Therefore, do a little research, find an opportunity that suits you in terms of time, money, and effort, and get started making money.
There is a work at home business idea out there for everyone, it is just a matter of finding one that is a great fit for you.
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Increasing business revenues consistently is a crucial strategy in any successful business plan. As markets evolve and economies change small business owners and managers must review their current growth strategies and consider implementing new techniques. Fortunately in today’s informational age revenue boosting techniques can be easy on the bank account and simple to implement. The three business growth strategies listed in this article have been proven to increase revenue when applied consistently in a well-developed business plan.
1. Internet Marketing
By now most business owner’s have been introduced to internet marketing, and many have attempted to implement some sort of online marketing campaign. Unfortunately many of the campaigns weren’t well put together, seemed overly complicated, or if implemented by a marketing firm may have proved too costly to continue.
Fortunately for all savvy business owners there is a simple and cost-effective way to implement an internet marketing campaign. The three key ingredients to an effective internet marketing campaign include search engine optimization, blogging, and social networking. Speaking from personal experience you don’t need to understand any of the technical aspects of the internet or how the programming actually works – you simply need to be open to learning a few new things and applying some simple practices consistently.
(To see how simple it can be, check out my blog page at http://kevinaubreytoday.com. This website requires only a few hours a month to maintain at a very low cost and yet delivers valuable information to all who visit.)
2. Joint Venture
Seek out businesses who serve similar client niches to your own and partner with them in marketing each others products and services. Though simple to implement and widely known, the joint venture is often overlooked by most small business owners. Seek out a partner in your market with similar business models, services, or products, and look for ways to package and bundle services in a manner that provides more value to your prospective clients as well as benefits both partners in the joint venture. The resulting win-win-win often produces immediate revenue boosts for both companies and can be a great way to build better market awareness quickly with reduced costs.
3. Bundle products and services.
“Would you like fries and a Coke with that?” has revolutionized the restaurant industry, and yet most small business owners have failed to capitalize on this truly genius and simple approach to bundling products and services. Look for ways to bundle your products and services in a manner which increases the perceived and experienced value of your clients while raising the average price of each transaction you make with them. Yes – you will most likely experience a reduction in the total revenue received if each of the products were selected individually, but the increase in value you are delivering to the market will in turn bring more clients and transactions to your business. The resulting increases will offset the lost revenues as long as you still maintain a reasonable profit margin for the entire transaction.
Implementing these three effective revenue growth strategies into your business marketing plan will yield results in the next 180 days if applied consistently. Fortunately the effectiveness of the strategies doesn’t rely on a big budget or a complex process. Most of the required information can be located easily on the internet at low or no cost and a few focused hours per week applied consistently to the process will yield positive results.
The real satisfaction from working at home is in the flexibility that it offers especially for those with a family. You no longer have a clock to punch but can work around your home schedule. The right pick can also make you a great living, say 6 figures plus.
The biggest challenge is picking something that we will like doing since most of us are trying to escape from a job we don’t like. It’s no point jumping into something that is just as unpleasant. From my experience there are no get rich quick schemes and working from home is a real job and like any job you will have to work at it. After-all they call it work for a reason. The other issue is avoiding all the scams that promise to make us all millionaires but never seem to deliver on that promise. There is no shortage of scams out there that are all too eager to take our money and never care whether we make money or not.
So where do we start trying to find a program that will help weed out the duds. Start searching for “work at
We are constantly bombarded with advertising rich with promises of quick-fixes to all that ails us. Consider the sheer volume of television ads and infomercials that promise us the body of an anorexic supermodel if we just buy their magic diet drink or super-amazing turbo thigh-cruncher. No need to exercise or diet- just take a magic pill or use this miraculous fat melting machine “just 5 minutes a day!” and we’ll be thin and our lives will be perfect!
I think we all know, deep down, there is no magic pill or piece of equipment that is going to whip us into shape – at least not for the long term. We didn’t gain that extra 5, 10 or 50 pounds overnight and it certainly isn’t going to come off overnight, despite what the crafty weight-loss industry tries to tell us.
There is No Magic for Growing a Small Business
I’m sorry to tell you – the same goes for growing your small business. There is no magic growth pill that will bring you hordes of new customers. No “undiscovered secret” newspaper, magazine, or website advertising package that that is going to make your phones ring off the hook. No creative and clever ad design or layout that will bring you millions of dollars worth of business. No amount of money thrown at the symptom is going to make you an overnight success. The fact is, as with weight loss, we are not going to achieve success until we stop throwing money at the symptom and start addressing the underlying problem. The lack of customers and leads is a symptom of a bigger problem, just like those extra 50 pounds is a symptom of eating too much and not exercising enough.
Address the Problem
What’s the bigger problem? If you know me or have been reading my blogs you probably already know the answer to this. The problem is the absence of a strategic, systematic approach to your marketing. Like weight loss, growing a successful business is a long-term undertaking that requires a commitment to practicing healthier behaviors and habits.
Small business owners come to me every day – like bulging brides who, two days before their wedding discover they don’t fit into their wedding dress – out of money and with expenses that far exceed revenue. Like the bride desperate to shed those 10 pounds in 2 days these small business owners are desperate for revenue (and lots of it) NOW – or they will go out of business. “Can you help me???” Translation – do you have a magic pill to make hordes of people call me or come into my store NOW? Sorry, I don’t.
Stop the Madness!
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t keep throwing money at the symptoms hoping that this new tagline, flyer layout, magazine ad, or offer will be the one to break the bank. It’s not going to happen until you lay the foundation of your marketing strategy. Don’t wait until you only have a couple of month’s worth of expenses in the bank to get help. Do it now while you still have the resources to invest in effective marketing that is going to deliver long-term success. Make a commitment to yourself and your small business for 2010. Commit to throwing away those diet pills that don’t work, killing those yellow page ads that don’t deliver the return you need, and commit to addressing the underlying problems that are blocking your small business growth.
For your small business – do a little work; learn about your business, your industry and your competitors. What are they doing that is working or not working. Find out who your target market is (remember, if it starts with “Anyone Who” you have work to do!). Ask your customers what makes you different from your competitors. Define a core marketing message. Commit to a strategy and a plan! I will leave you with one of my favorite and most inspiring quotes: “Just Do It!”
What are you going to change in 2010 to make your small business a success?
Are you thinking of starting a new
•Catering services are hot
•Cleaning is always a challenging job for working women and most of them avoid cleaning their homes themselves and hire professionals for it. You will only need to hire some staff members and manage them properly.
•Most of the people hire wedding consultants to make their weddings perfect. Becoming a wedding consultant can be a great
•Everybody wants to look younger and beautiful and don’t have enough time to visit beauty salons. Providing in home beauty services can be perfect home venture.