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5 Growth Strategies For Rapid Results In Your Small Business

Whether you are looking to propel you  business  quickly through the start-up phase, or are focused on taking your stabilized  business  through the next  growth  phase, these 5 strategies will assist most  business  in discovering the next sweet spot.

1. Cross-over into new markets.

As a savvy business owner you may have already identified your ideal client and have built a following within your chose market. Once you have established yourself in your niche it is critical to continued success to find other prospects in cross-over markets. This doesn’t mean “sell to the masses.” Instead you must look for other sub-markets in larger markets that mirror your chosen niche.

As an example, say you currently offer specialized scheduling software to warehousing clients for managing incoming over the road shipments. What other markets would benefit from your product or service? How about cattle ranchers selling and buying cattle in large quantities and from many different organizations? What about an auctioneer looking to manage inventories from estate and bank sales? You get the idea, brainstorm other markets that would benefit from the core value your product or service delivers. You may have to tweak for some minor nuances but there should still be consistency within your core product or service offering.

2. Introduce an upgraded “new and improved” version of a previously successful offering.

Don’t reinvent yourself completely when often a simple make-over will do. As your product or service finds a home with a growing number of clients, look for ways to make it better and deliver continued value. Often times the investment in the product innovations won’t be nearly as costly as the original R&D associated with the first product offering. This will offer you the ability to market new features, enhancements, and benefits to existing clients while offering them an upgrade at a reduced price. Given you have less of an investment in the newer version it becomes a win – win for both. You are able to offer continued value at a reduced price to existing clients.

3. Seek out joint-venture marketing opportunities.

Look for strategic alliances among businesses that offer products or services to your target market. For instance, if you own the market for high-end salon services in your geographic region, look for other partners who service the same niche. An example may include the upscale florist down the road. Joint venture with them and share marketing efforts between the organizations as you are sure to service clients exclusive to each other yet interested in similar services.

4. Partner with your competition.

Though this sounds counter-productive, partnering with your largest competitor can often be a win-win proposition for both. In spite of your similarities there are often key differences that set you apart from your key competitor. Look for off-setting and complementing competencies and work out a solid agreement benefiting both parties in a cross marketing strategy. Obviously there has to be an equal benefit to both parties, but if researched and handled correctly the benefits can be huge for both parties involved.

5. Invest in productivity.

As your business builds momentum look to capitalize on improving on your current production and operations. It is easy to get complacent with current processes when things are going smoothly, but often times investments in capital improvements will yield higher margins and increased profits. Don’t lose out on internal profit opportunities just because things are going well. Many business will wait until the markets begin to recede before looking for ways to improve efficiency and cut costs. Be proactive and manage your business during boom times as if it were a bust and your profitability and momentum will drastically improve.

 Growth  strategies can be as unique as the individual  businesses  in the marketplace, but common characteristics abound throughout. Implement these 5 proven  growth  strategies in your next planning session and I know you will find continued  growth  in the coming quarters.

Best Home Based Business Ideas – Opportunities

At this moment there are groups of people all over the world making money on the Internet, either small work from  home  based  businesses  to big corporations making Millions a year.

New technologies and tools have opened up worlds of opportunity that make it easier and cheaper than ever before to start a  home  based online  business . Most people think that making money online is a big scam, and that it is not possible to really make money online, however they are very wrong – think of eBay and online shopping, every-time you buy something online, another person has just made money.

Now days there are so many different ways to make money online, a few of best  home  based  business   ideas  are;

  • Taking paid surveys.
  • Getting paid to watch movie trailers.
  • Selling products as an affiliate.
  • Selling products on eBay.

In fact now days you are not restricted to only one form of making money online, the more income streams a person has, the more successful you will be.

What Tools are required

Any lap- top or home computer, it does not even have to be a top of the range model either.

An Internet connection, preferable with broadband, but dial up will work as well.

You can start Making Money Online with as little $50 a month.

The following steps are what is required if you are willing to start your own best  home  based  business   ideas  venture , to get you up and running in a matter of days, with the least amount of capital required.

  • Choose a suitable domain name.
  • Set up a hosting account.
  • Design your web site or get a ready made Web Site.
  • Put it all online.
  • Optimise and test your web site.

What happens if you cannot afford $50

Well that is not a problem either, because this must be the only business in the world where its possible to start your own  home  based  business , with out you spending a single cent – that’s right not single cent or penny. With the start of Web2.0 and the social craze on the Internet at the moment, it is even easier than ever before to make money online.

Some of the more popular ways to get your  home  base  business  started online today is.

  • Start selling on eBay
  • Start a Blog.
  • Have a Squidoo Lens
  • Have a HubPage

You can take advantage of any of these tools to make your first online profits in your  home  based  business  today.

What happens if you don’t have anything to sell.

Well that is not a problem either, in-fact even if you don’t have a product, don’t have a website or domain name, you can still make money online with your best  home  based  business   ideas  and opportunities company.

This is achieved with Affiliate marketing, there is hundred of products to sell in thousands of different markets, just have a look at the following vendors;

  • Clickbank
  • Paydotcom
  • Commission Junction

Conclusion

As you can see, making money online with a  home  based  business  is not hard and in-fact all you have to do is try it, not only will you be teaching yourself a new skill, you will also be able to make money.

More Creative Ideas for a Home Business

You can start up a  home   business  with skills which other people don’t want to learn, but would prefer to pay you to do for them. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the unpleasant tasks, although if you enjoy the things most people hate to do, you could be in great demand.

People all over the world are getting busier and with the pressure to hold down a job in the face of a recession, commuting through heavy traffic and the constant need to update work-related skills, many people just don’t have time for things like housework, shopping and cooking. So, if you like these jobs, you could be in business fast.

Of course, tasks like this will mean you have to run a local business, rather than an internet business. but you can still set up a website to advertise and perhaps you can provide tips to help people get better organized.

There are plenty of more enjoyable things which people will pay you to do for them. So don’t despair if you hate housework.

If you like kids, there are plenty of ways in which you can earn money. Many parents are extremely concerned about standards in schools and will gladly pay for someone to tutor their child in a subject in which they are falling behind.

And working parents need to know their kids are happy and safe after school and during holidays. So if you can organize an after school club or vacation activities you could do very well.

Unusual activities which keep children occupied and add enrichment to their lives will be particularly popular.

If you like animals, you could look after them when their owners are on holiday or walk dogs when owners are at work. If a pet is ill, the owner may need someone to keep an eye on it or take it to the vet.

And you could combine pet sitting with house sitting. Many security conscious individuals feel a lot happier if someone is living in their home when they are away and if they have pets, this is a good solution for them too.

With all jobs involving other people’s property and especially their children, you will need to check the local regulations before setting up a business. These will vary from place to place and different rules will apply when you look after children in your own home.

If none of these suggestions appeal to you, just take a look around your environment and spend some time in cyberspace and you’ll come up with plenty more creative  business   ideas .

Work at Home Business Ideas

A new year means new money, especially for those who are seeking to earn an income online. This year promises to be very lucrative because the internet is expanding and offers us many avenues to make money. Here are just some work at  home   business   ideas  that will get you started.

Work at  home   business   idea  #1: Create an informative ebook! If you have vast knowledge about a subject (any subject) that people may be interested in, it is very possible that you can take that knowledge and write a short but informative ebook. It will take some brain storming but what doesn’t. Heres what you do. Find a common problem in a certain niche. Resolve the problem by writing an informative ebook and market the book towards that certain niche…cha ching!

Work at  home   business   idea  #2: Get your own domain name and start your very own website! Timing can be crucial for success and if done right, you can really cash in off of current events. For example, a fellow saw a chance and made his own website offering cut out Jessica Simpson masks. This was right after Tony Romo, the current Dallas Cowboys quarterback, had a horrible game reportedly because Jessica was in attendance. The fellow who created the website marketed the site with the masks to the next team the Cowboys played and a good percentage of fans were wearing his masks. Brilliant…cha ching!

Work at  home   business   idea  #3: There are many companies, programs, and individuals who are offering commissions to those who can help bring in sales or referrals. Affiliate programs offer these types of commissions. They normally provide all the training and tools you’ll ever need to succeed because the more money you make, the more they make also. What works best is to enroll your self in multiple affiliates and promote them on a free blog or your own website. These programs can be very nice because you can make residual income that could last for years and years…cha ching!

Other work at  home   business   ideas  include power malls, paid surveys, and web design. Whatever and whichever route you decide is ultimately up to you and the results you get are all determined upon how hard you work. A lot of people fail with a  home  based  business  because they really believe that it should be a free ride and they won’t have to work hard. They couldn’t be more wrong. To earn income from the internet and make a living from home you must treat this like a real business. People do make money online, you can too!

Home Business Ideas For 2010

In our recent downturn of the economy, people today are more open than ever to starting their own  home   business . Scarcity of jobs have divided people into two categories; the leaders and the followers. The followers will continue to wait out the storm in hopes that they can land a job. The leaders will look for creative ways to make a living anyway they can. (Legally of course.)

Today there are more opportunities to create fortunes from home than ever before. If you are the type of person that watches mainstream news, then these news will shock you! Here are the top 3 best  home   business   ideas  that you can start for little if any capital at all.

Here Are 3  Home   Business   Ideas  For 2010

#1. Telemarketing

Oh no he didn’t! Yes I did! Although telemarketers have a bad rep there are companies who are growing even stronger in this economy selling coaching programs. And we are talking $5K to $10k packages! I have a local friend who owns THE largest telemarketing floor in town. He currently employs over 200 people and some of them are making six figures a year. He even allows people to work from home if they are self motivators. The only thing you need is a phone with unlimited long distance, a script, a batch of leads and you’re in business! Do some research in your town, you may find a company who will do the same for you.

#2. Wheel And Deal On Craigslist.org

I know of many people who are making some real good money from home finding treasures on Craigslist. What they do is go to the “free” section and sort through things that are still in good shape. Then after they pick up the free stuff they clean it real good, then SELL it on Craiglist! I know to some it might be unethical, but hey it’s the American way right?

#3. Affiliate Marketing

Yes, we all have heard of affiliate marketing. We all have tried and failed. But you know what, affiliate marketing is hands down THE best way to make REAL money from home. You find products that interest you. You partner up with the company (most cases for free). You promote their products through different mediums, and collect a nice check for it! Yes you need to advertise. Yes it may take an investment to advertise. But there are numerous ways to advertise for FREE as well. Affiliate marketing has been, and will remain the best way to make a fortune. You don’t need products, you don’t need capital to start, and you don’t need any skill. All you need is motivation, and daily action. Most affiliate programs provide you with banners, sample ads, tools, and pretty much everything you need to start. Only thing they don’t provide you with is a computer, and anti-couch potato serum!

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed it please comment and rate my article. Thanks in advanced!

Gerardo Flores

A Customer’s Perception – Your Brand

What’s the “Breakfast of Champions”? Which cereal comes in a bright yellow box? Which company is associated with “Just Do It”? Cocoa Puffs cereal is aimed at what type of customer? Which car claims to be “the ultimate driving machine”? Which company is associated with golden arches?

As a customer or prospective customer, you have a certain perception or impression of all of these companies based upon their slogans or tagline, their unique selling proposition, their colors, their logo, their niche client, their benefit, their values, and their company name. All of these things make up a company’s brand.

As a   small   business  owner, your company name should ideally reflect what you do.

Example: Spotlight Home Staging

Your company tagline or slogan should be a catchy phrase that shows some benefit and forms an emotional connection with your buyer.

Example: Giving Your Home a Selling Role

Your company logo is the face of your brand. It is a sign, symbol, or stylized writing that identifies your company.

Example: Using Spotlight Home Staging with a spotlight shining on it.

Your unique selling proposition differentiates you from your competition.

Example: Spotlight Home Staging specializes in selling homes for customers who also need downsizing and move-in services.

Many  small   business  owners don’t communicate to their clients what’s unique about their products or services. The customer needs to know what you offer that your competitor does not so they buy from you.

Your niche client is the customer who needs your services and will pay for them.

Example: Spotlight Home Staging caters to active adults 55+ who are empty-nesters and downsizing.

There are  small   business  owners who don’t select a niche client. Their marketing efforts don’t focus on the customer who needs and will pay for their services. They are afraid that they will miss out on a client if they don’t reach out to everyone. Consequently, they don’t become the expert in their field.

Your benefit is why your customers should hire you. What’s in it for them?

Example: Spotlight Home Staging can take away all of those sleepless nights worrying about selling your home. Our staged homes sell quickly and for top dollar.

Probably the biggest mistake  small   businesses  make is stressing the features of their services and products instead of the benefits. What keeps your customer awake at 3am in the morning? What problems are they having? To be successful, you need to have the solution to their problem and communicate it well in your marketing materials.

Your values are the characteristics that make working with you a great experience. What do you want your customers to think of you?

Example: Spotlight Home Staging is dependable, professional, honest, knowledgeable, and dedicated to getting my home sold quickly and profitably.

Your brand is the core of your marketing. You can’t start networking, or sending out marketing materials, or developing a website until you have your brand in place.

Home Based Business Ideas

Truthfully, there are so many  home  based  business   ideas  out there that it would take all day to write about them all, so I’ve decided to just focus on what I consider to be the best. My personal favorite  home  based  business   idea  that I think is the most relevant when it comes to building your  home  based  business  in this day and age…

Using the Internet.

The internet has been around for well over 15 years but it is still a reasonably untapped resource when it comes to marketing your business.

And the truth is, out of all the people who are marketing on the internet, 90% of them have no  idea  what they are doing. Which leaves a 10% margin for serious entrepreneurs to really excel.

But hold on a minute!

If your thinking you can’t be one of the 10% of  home  based  business  owners that are doing amazing things with their businesses on the internet…You’re wrong. With the right training and a little hard work and willingness to learn some basic skills, it really isn’t as hard as you’d think.

The internet seriously is the place to be marketing your  home  based  business  opportunity because you’re marketing it to the the people who are already thinking about owning their own business.

I mean think about it, nowadays when people want to do research and find out information about something or more importantly, an mlm business opportunity, they don’t wait for a flyer to land in their letter box or check all the pull-tabs on their local notice board or wait for a family member to join with a company and hope that they get asked to join. No. They head straight to the internet and do their due diligence.

And that is where they will find you, happily waiting to sign them up.

It really can be that simple once you know what you’re doing. Especially with all the different ways that you can use free websites to your advantage…

Sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube and other video sites, Ezine and other article sites, forum sites and that’s just to name a few.

I know of one lady that gets 25-50 leads a day, strictly through Facebook. Imagine that. Most  home  based  business  owners using traditional methods don’t even generate 50 leads in an entire year.

Like I said before, all it takes to start growing your  home  based  business  online is learning a few new skills and putting them into action.

Establishing a Successful Business Through Different Methods

For Individuals who are fully motivated and business minded, establishing their own business or venture is one of the main options that they can make use of in order to become prosperous in life. There are several types of business upon which one can establish. There are those which offer services such as home cleaning services, car rentals, and many more while there are also those who prefer to sell products and other types of goods. Well, whatever type of  business  you choose, the important things is that you need to have a consistent  business   growth . This means that the development of your business should be in a steady state so that you can be assured that all your investments and hard work would not end up being wasted.

In today’s world, making your way through the business era is not that easy. The business world is a big area for competition therefore before you even think of opening a venture; you have to make sure that you are fully loaded with all the different types of strategies and other essential issues with regards to business. Start with a  small   business  first. By doing that, you can be able to learn more things and if your small company works out, you can then add more branches little by little. It would be a helpful thing to attend seminars about  small   business  program and other similar things because these meetings can help you upon widening your horizons and giving you a better understanding of the business era.

Another thing that you can do especially if you lack the experience upon managing a business is hire a business development team. By employing professionals, you can avail of such benefits for your business such as business mentoring, business coaching, and many more. You can find a lot of these companies through the internet.

To sum everything up, owning and managing a business can be really tough for you especially if you are new to the competition. However, with great practice, skills, knowledge, and observation, you can be assured that bit-by-bit; your business would slowly grow and become successful. Also, you should never go in a hurry. Patience is very important because it is a natural fact that your first try would not end up the way you expect it to be. Just keep on trying new ways upon how to market your business.

Business Growth – Grow Sustainably Or Go Bankrupt

Growth and the management of growth present special problems in financial planning. Growth is not always a blessing. Many companies are in a financial predicament, have cash flow problems or even go bankrupt while they have full order books. There can be several causes for this phenomenon. One of the major causes, however, is the fact that companies grow too fast for their strategic financial resources to support them.

A higher turnover implicates higher assets in the form of stock, debtors and fixed assets. To achieve a sustainable growth rate these assets need to be financed through financial resources that is generated by a company or that can be accessed by a company. The biggest constraint, therefore, of sustainable growth, is the ability to generate sufficient capital to finance the increase in assets (working-capital needs increase). Non-financial resources that also need to grow sustainably include a company’s systems as well as the skills and experience of its employees.

Importance of Growth

Growth is essential for the survival of a company. Strategically a company needs to grow to increase its market share and to achieve a competitive edge against its competitors. Other important benefits of growth are a company’s assets that can be used more optimally, economies of scale that occur and profitability that can increase. In the final analysis growth is extremely important to optimally position a company for harvesting purposes.

Determinants of Sustainable Growth

Sustainable growth is dependent on the rate that a company can generate funds and utilise these funds effectively. The maximum rate at which a company can increase its sales without depleting its financial resources is called the sustainable growth rate. The major determinants of sustainable growth are rate of return, financial leverage, dividend policy and external equity.

  • Rate of Return – The rate of return that a company achieves forms the basis of how fast the company can grow. The profit margin of a company (after tax) multiplied by the asset turnover (sales divided by total assets) gives the rate of return or return on assets (ROA) of the company.
  • Financial Leverage – A company often uses debt to leverage a constant rate of return (ROA) to achieve a much higher return on equity (ROE).
  • Dividend Policy – The dividend policy of a company is a critical variable in manipulating the sustainable growth rate. A dividend payout of 50% allows a company to only grow half as fast as a similar company with no dividends being paid out.
  • External Equity – External equity is the most expensive form of growth financing and dilute the shareholders return. External equity should only be used as a last resource to finance a company.

An Example of Sustainable Growth.

Various sustainable growth rate formulas exist. Some of them analyse much detail and take inflation, interest rates, external equity and various components of a business into account. A basic formula (formulated by Hewlett-Packard) that is very helpful, is:

SGR = ROE*r

where:

SGR = sustainable growth rate

r = retention ratio (1 – dividend payout ratio)

ROE = net profit margin * asset turnover * equity multiplier

The above formula takes the rate of return, financial leverage and dividend policy of a company into consideration. It is based on the following premises:

  • It is not practical (or possible) to issue more shares (dilute equity).
  • The company is effectively managed and the profit margin and asset turnover is at optimum levels.
  • The dividend payout is at the minimum level to keep the shareholders at ease.If we take a company with the following performance indicators:
  • The debt/equity level is at an optimum level considering the risk profile of the company.

If we take a company with the following performance indicators:

  • Turnover (sales) – $100 million
  • Net Profit (after tax) – $8 million
  • Equity – $20 million
  • Total assets – $50 million
  • Dividend Payout – 0.4 (40%).

Therefore:

  • Net Profit Margin = 8/100 = 8%
  • Asset Turnover = 100/50 = 2
  • Financial Leverage = 50/20 = 2.5
  • Retention Ratio = 1 – 0.4 = 0.6

The sustainable growth rate is:

SGR = ROE*r

= (8%*2*2.5*0.6)

= 24%

It means that if this company uses all its internal financial resources effectively that it can grow it sales at a maximum of 24%. The company’s turnover can thus increase from $100 million to $124 million. If the company grow faster than 24% with its current parameters it is actually creating cash flow problems and this can finally lead to bankruptcy.

How can a company grow faster?

If a company wants to grow faster than what their sustainable growth rate indicates and they don’t want to dilute their equity they need to generate more finances through one or more of the following:

  • Higher profitability – this can be achieved by several factors such as higher gross margins and lower expenditures.
  • Better asset management – this can be achieved by creating more sales and profits in relation to assets and to decrease stock levels and debtor days.
  • A higher retention ratio – the majority of profits are ploughed back into the business.
  • A higher debt ratio – asset expansion is financed mostly by debt.

Summary

Growth is extremely important for any company to survive, gain market share, get a competitive edge and to position itself for harvesting. Uncontrollable growth is, however, just as damaging as very low growth and can put a serious strain on a company’s cash flow and can even lead to bankruptcy.

The management of a company can, however, scientifically analyse the optimum sustainable growth rate of the company with the use of financial ratios and models. The sustainable growth rate of a company can be increased if its determinants can be managed more effectively.

Sustainable growth should form an integral part of the strategy of any company and should be managed professionally.

Copyright© 2008 by Wim Venter. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Four Home Business Ideas For Moms

Working from home has never been so popular and as easy to do as it is now, and it is not hard to see why. A  home-based   business  gives you the opportunity to set your own working hours and be your own boss. Moms in particular are finding that working from home helps them to earn money while still being there for family. If you are a mom who is thinking about working from  home , this article provides four (4)  home   business   ideas  that might be perfect for you.

1. Set up a day care center. If your home is big enough and you are willing to get the proper licensing and certification, then a day care business could be for you. Not only do you get to work from the comfort of home, you also get to help other moms who go to work and need someone to care for their children.

2. Think about joining an existing business as a home agent. Good examples of this include selling gifts and products from home. To do this you will usually have to deliver brochures and collect orders. Then when the orders arrive, you will have to deliver them to the homes and receive a commission. This is one  home   business  that is very popular with moms all over the world.

3. Consider setting up a virtual secretary service. Anyone who has had prior office experience could do very well in this type of  home   business . You will need a computer, Internet access, a telephone and experience doing secretarial work. Moms who do this act perform the functions of a regular secretary, only they do not have to go to the office – they work from home.

4. Pet sitting is also a great  home   business  that many moms are now setting up. As a pet sitter, you look after other people’s pets and get paid for it. It’s much like what you might do as a baby sitter, except you are taking care of pet animals, such as dog, cats, hamsters, parakeets, etc. What could be easier?

In conclusion, we have seen how opening a day care center, working as a  home  agent, setting up a virtual secretary service and pet sitting are just a few of many great  ideas   home   business   ideas  for moms. Now that you have some  ideas , it is up to you to take action on one of them or find some other area of opportunity for  home-based  work. There is nothing to stop you from setting up your own business if you have the desire to do it. Take the initiative, set up your own  home   business  and enjoy the benefits that come from working for yourself.