Five Essentials You Need To Run Your Business

No start up launches with the goal of being shut down, but unfortunately every year, thousands of small businesses are forced to close their doors after finding themselves unable to survive in their industry. However, it is possible to drastically increase your chances of commercial success by investing in a few essentials. You need to have a good strategy that will guarantee you continued success, and these five key points can aide in laying a strong foundation for that long-term success.

1. Digitalization and social media plan
With the modern prevalence of the digital, if you are not online, you simply do not exist. Having a social media plan, from building a user-friendly website to crafting a digital advertising campaign, in place will help you reach your target audience, build lasting customer relationships, and share business information quickly and effectively.

2. Hire seasoned professionals
It can be tempting to hire friends to design a logo or help out with documentation, but nothing can compare with the benefits of hiring a seasoned professional. Not only will a seasoned professional guarantee that a great job gets done in a timely manner, but, with a good relationship, it can also turn into great advertising. For example, your logo in a graphic designer’s portfolio can lead to unexpected marketing.

3. Work with a call center outsourcing service
The most obvious and compelling advantage of working with a call center outsourcing service center is their cost cutting abilities. The hassle and burden of hiring, monitoring, and training representatives is transferred from business owner to call center operative, allowing the small business to focus on managing the more important aspects of his or her business. A call center outsourcing service handles a business’s customer service, builds customer care and retention, acts as the contact center, and can be set up to collect receivables and assets owed to your business.

4. Make a budget and stick with it.
Too often, start up business owners will justify every expense as good for the long term success. And while certain aspects are necessary, getting control of your spending and keeping tabs on your bills is essential. Assign a maximum amount you are willing to spend on every item your business needs. Additionally, plan for a worst case scenario and add a buffer amount to prevent you from accidently falling back into a financial cesspool.

5. Distinct brand identity
As much as a business needs to provide a desirable product and service, it equally needs a desirable, well-thought out brand identity. Brand identity is essential in reaching your target audience, outlining why your business’s product or service is different and what makes it their must-have. Your brand identity should be integrated with all of your promotional materials, logo, business cards, website, and other social media applications.

Starting and running your own business can be very rewarding if you take control of your business’s success from the start. Follow these five essential tips in order to help your company have a successful opening and long-term running success.

Randy is an entrepreneur who like to share advice of his successes and failures to those who will be starting a business, which include aspiring entrepreneurs.

Advertisements

Simple Tips To Level Up Your Small Business

Did you know more small businesses close down each year than those that start out in the market? Numbers further dwindle as time passes. Many do not even make it through the first five years, which is a critical phase in establishing recognition with the buyers. In order to distinguish yourself from the rest of the competition, your small business needs to step up. In a crowded market, the only way to make profit is to stand out. Below are a few tips you should consider when taking your small business to the next level.

Sell a Unique Product or Uniquely Sell a Product

Having a product that is distinct from those offered on the market is definitely an advantage. Nevertheless, ask yourself, what makes this product different and in turn, better than competitors? Even with a life-changing product, you are not assured of success. Without the proper recognition from potential customers, your product will stagnate. This is where promotions and advertisements play a huge role.

Even when selling a common good, standing out efficiently has the potential of drawing away clients from competitors. By taking advantage of social media, which is practically free advertising, and the rest of the internet, you can make your brand or product known. Make use of a blog to expound on what you are selling and gain some loyal followers in the process. Keep your blog interesting, eye grabbing and well maintained to catch the attention of internet users.

Invest in Promoting What You Have

If you have a background in graphic design or in SEO, then it will be good for you. Since humans process images thousands of times faster than words, you will need an eye-catching material –a well-designed blog or site should be in order. However, if you simply do not have the time, effort or skills to translate your business proposals into a living, breathing work of art, consider employing someone who can. A well-developed site usually gains positive reviews from potential clients, thus more exposure.

Apart from a great website that customers would be eager to visit, creating a logo shows that you are a serious competitor in the market. Have one that is distinct and easy to remember so that you are the first that comes to mind. Navigate the internet traffic towards your site with the use of keywords. Articles that are uniquely written with transparency could be enough to catch attention.

Secure Your Assets

Security for small businesses should include insurance where certain aspects other than general liabilities should be covered. Consider hiring a tandem: an accountant and a business attorney to keep taxes paid, trace funds, trace expenses, and generally keep you out of trouble. Do so as a small investment to protect your business. While improving visibility and sales is always a top priority, take the necessary steps of caution. This will cost you less than when you are neck high in deep waters.

It is through creativity and ingenuity that your small business will stand out from a sea of competitors. Even with a one-of-a-kind product, when it lacks the push to be recognized in the market and sold to buyers, it will plateau in sales early on. In a “been there, done that” market, it truly is a challenge to stick out. However, with the right know-how and dedication, you will be able to grow your own business in no time.

Paul Smith is a retired lawyer and business man. He now spends his freetime writing and reading for fun.

Heavy Equipment Moving Options

When you’re managing a construction company you have a lot of responsibilities you need to take care of.  Along with managing your employees, you need to make sure that your equipment gets to where it needs to be.  Transporting heavy equipment can be difficult regardless of how far the equipment needs to travel. If something goes wrong during the move your next project is going to be seriously delayed.  There are a variety of ways you can transport equipment from site to site, each way should be considered before the start of each project.

Special Trailers

Some construction managers may try to save on costs by trying to ship their construction equipment on regular sized trailers but if you want to ship your equipment safely and efficiently, you should rent special trailers to ship your equipment.  Before you start looking into which special trailers you’d like to use, make sure that you have the right clearance to do so.  Most states require some kind of special permit or license to use special trailers, so be sure to check what the rules are in the state you need to have your equipment transported to.  After you make sure you have the right permits you can consider what kind of special equipment you need.  Some step deck and double drop trailers can make transporting tall or very heavy equipment easy.

Towing

If you’re shipping equipment to a site that isn’t too far, you may be able to tow some pieces of heavy equipment.  With the right equipment, you may even be able to handle the towing yourself.  Before you attempt to tow your equipment, make sure that you know if anything specific needs to be done to your heavy equipment to transport it safely.  Some heavy equipment may need to have adjustments made to their gearbox or to the tires.   If you don’t think you have the right equipment, you should consider contacting a heavy equipment shipping company to help you with the moving.  By hiring a heavy equipment shipping company you will ensure that no costly damage is done to the equipment during transport.

Qualities to Look for In a Shipping Company

There are going to be quite a few companies that claim they can ship your heavy equipment, so you want to make sure that you can get the best one for the job.  Visit the site of the company you’re interested in using and check to see if they have equipment like cranes, special ramps, and sturdy flat beds and trailers to ensure that they have the right tools to move your heavy equipment.  Also make sure that they have some sort of insurance policy in place to ensure that you’ll be reimbursed if any damage takes place to your heavy equipment during the move.  Also be sure to review all of the options they offer to ensure that you’re getting the exact services you need for the job; you don’t want to sign a contract that doesn’t have the exact services that best fit your needs.

Blogger and entrepreneur who loves to help others cultivate their small businesses and enjoys biking, rollerblading, and golf

Is Your PR Agency Performing As Well As They Should Be?

Public relations is an important part of any business and so if your current agency are not performing to the standard that you expect then it could be holding you back from reaching your business goals. The relationships that you build with your clients and the public are so important to the functionality of your company and so if they are not as smooth as they ought to be then it could be time for more than just an oiling of the machine.

PR agencies are paid to increase your exposure whilst managing your reputation in the public eye so you need to regularly review this process to see if things are progressing in the way that you want them to. Consider these things about your current PR agency.

Senior Involvement –

In order for things to be done in the way which you have outlined then you will need to have regular contact with the chief decision makers within the PR company. Ask yourself how often you deal with senior account holders. If you are constantly having to talk with more junior members of staff then there could be an issue with the availability of the account manager or they could be avoiding you to buy more time. These junior members may indeed be great at their job but they won’t be able to make any big decisions and your account will not be managed effectively.

Understanding –

How much do you feel that the PR agency you work with understands the market in which you operate and the products or services that you sell? This is essential if they are to convey the appropriate message to the right people and if this information is not fully comprehended then it could drastically affect your campaigns. This is especially true if you work in a specialist industry such as technology. In this case you need to ensure you find a professional technology PR agency that fully understands how the tech market works.

Responsive Or Proactive? –

Are you always having to chase up the tasks that you set for your PR agency or are they always on top of things? Is it you that provides all the ideas for your campaigns or do they chip in with some of their own as well? A great PR company will not just convey your message in the ways that you set out but also suggested some of their own ideas to. If they are regularly contacting you with innovative plans then it shows they are giving a lot of time and thought to your campaigns behind the scenes.

Value For Money –

The biggest question that you should ask yourself about your current PR agency is whether you feel like they have given you a value for money service in the time you have been working together. If you don’t feel like this is the case then perhaps it’s time for a change. You may feel like they haven’t lived up to the promises they laid down at the beginning or maybe you have heard of another company that have achieved better results on the same kind of budget.

It may even seem like your PR company doesn’t regard you as being that important. This may be because they have bigger clients with bigger budget that they are focusing more of their attention on, but whatever the reason this should signify that it’s time to move on.

If you don’t feel confident that your current PR agency are performing to your high standards then Chris Mayhew would recommend that you see what Eclat Marketing, a specialist tech pr agency in Surrey, can do for you.

7 Ways To Get More Exposure For Your New Product Startup

If you come up with an amazing new product, you might think that it’s going to sell itself. After all, people will surely flock to it because it’s so useful and revolutionary and other impressive-sounding descriptive words.

Sure, that could happen. But here’s what’s more likely. You design this awesome gizmo, launch a website to promote it, and… crickets. And not even the literal kind. No one at all comes to your site and you’re bleeding money because you had to max out credit cards to create and manufacture your genius idea. Why is this happening?

Because this isn’t Field of Dreams, and no one is going to come just because you built it. They won’t even know that it is there! And how do you get them to know? Marketing.

Here are seven things you need to do to get your new product out there so the world will see it:

Seek out reviewers.Big magazines and sites won’t feature your product? Forget them. Contact some bloggers with decent followings in your field and offer them a free sample for a featured review. As long as they’re trusted professionals, more people will find their way to your site.

Blog your heart out. These days, startup sites need a blog or some kind of ongoing content so they can stay relatively near the top of Google’s search rankings. They’re also useful because they encourage people to keep coming back to your site and (if the posts are good) see you as an expert in your field. You should also consider guest blogging on other people’s sites, because you’ll drag some of their traffic back with you.

Lights, camera, action! There are a lot of people out there who would far prefer to watch a video than read a blog or review, so if you can demonstrate your product in a visually interesting way, grab a camera and get going. This also helps with Google rankings.

Get social. Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest are pretty much required at this point, because they give you more ways to reach more people. You should also look into what niche social networks might be out there that fit your field, such as Dogster or GoodReads.

Make them an offer they can’t refuse. Sales have always been a great way to get more people to buy your product, and it’s no different in the online world. Of course, advertising 20% off on your site does you no good if no one is actually coming to that site. That’s why some very smart people created things like Facebook Offers, Groupon, and other more public “sales” sites that serve as great ways to promote your product.

Join groups and network. One of the great things about the internet is that no matter what your interests are, there’s bound to be other people out there just like you who have already found each other and formed a community. Seek out communities that seem like they would be interested in your product and join. But don’t just start trying to sell them. You have to really make an effort to becoming part of the group and proving that you’re one of them first. The good news is, once you’ve done this, you’ll often find a loyal group of like-minded people who are right in the demo you’re targeting.

Tit for tat. Find other startups like you that are in similar (but not the same!) areas and promote each other through your site and social media accounts. By working together, you’ll all see better results.

About the Author: When Lucy Wright isn’t writing about Icon ID sign solutions, she’s consulting small business owners. She has worked in marketing and advertising in Chicago for the last 5 years. Lucy has 2 daughters and loves to teaching them about the great big world around them.

What Is A Memorandum Of Incorporation And Why Do You Need One?

When it comes to running a company, there are a lot of little details that you will need to take care of, from licenses to associations to certifications and much more. It is a lot of annoying paperwork sometimes, but it is an essential part of managing your business. Once you have all of the right boxes ticked and the details in place, you will be able to ensure that everything is done correctly and above board.

One of the important documents that you need to have covered when running a company is the Memorandum of Association or the MOI. This document is meant to govern the relationship between your company and all outside parties and it is essential when incorporating your company within South Africa as well as Ireland, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. Essentially, this important document sets out all of the rights and the responsibilities of the shareholders, directors and others within the company.

Why Does My Company Need an MOI?

Why is this document so important? The MOI sets out the specified matters by which the company is incorporated. This includes all of the duties, rights and responsibilities of the shareholders, directors and others who are related to the company. In a sense, it is essentially the founding document of the company.

The main purpose of an MOI for a company is to protect the interest of those who hold shares in the company. It sets out the rules that the company has to accept, change or supplement in order to suit the particular needs of the company. When a new company is incorporated, the Memorandum of Incorporation has to be completed and filed with a notice of incorporation. It must include all of the names of the shareholders and the shares held by these members, as well as the location of the company’s registered office.

If your company already exists, the question is whether or not you need to amend your Articles and Memorandum of Association in order to be compliant.
The Memorandum of Incorporation is a public document and it is open to inspection by anyone. It is usually available at the public office that it was lodged at, so that anyone is able to access it when they need to.

How to Get an MOI for Your Company

When you are setting up a company, getting an MOI is an essential part of the process. It is important that this is done correctly, so that you can make sure your company is following the requirements of the law.

How can you get an MOI for your company? It’s not as difficult as you might think. The memorandum of incorporation needs to be filed when you are incorporating a new company and there are many organisations out there that will help you become MOI compliant as easily as possible.

These websites will offer an assessment questionnaire that will ask you for the details on your company and its financial status. The questionnaire will ask you a number of questions about your public interest score, as well as general information about the directors of the company, whether they are shareholders and the assets that the company holds. If you fill out the form on the website, you will receive an assessment report to your email address.

You can also request a free quotation to have an MOI drafted and submitted for you on your behalf. This is an efficient and reliable way to sort out your MOI, just make sure that you do your research and choose the right company to help you out with this endeavour to ensure that you will be happy with the results.

Wendy Derbyshire is a company owner who has recently gone through the process of submitting her MOI to ensure that her business is compliant. 

Why Small Businesses Need A Little Business Analysis Love, Too

Business analysis – the science of researching business needs and solving business problems – has been a key process improvement tool for large enterprises for many years now. Having an external pair of eyes come in, examine existing business conditions and suggest improvements can make large, complex organisations far more efficient and profitable and help them to meet their goals.

Small and independent businesses, on the other hand, have been slow to get in on the act when it comes to business analysis. It’s easy for small business owners to see business analysis as unnecessary, complex and even a little intimidating.

However, business analysis can benefit businesses of all sizes, as these key arguments for business analysis in smaller organisations show. Ultimately, no matter how small or simple the organisation, there are always missed opportunities to be taken and efficiencies to be improved and sorting these issues out is a key goal of business analysts everywhere.

It Offers New Sources of Income

One of the main aim of the business analysis process is to work out where your organisation is missing a trick in terms of income generation. There’s no guarantee that an analyst will be able to find a metaphorical goldmine just waiting to be exploited by your business, but there’s almost always some opportunity out there that you haven’t yet spotted.

Of course, attempting to identify new sources of revenue is something that most businesses do from time to time anyway. However, a professional business analyst is likely to have experience in spotting subtler opportunities and contracting one will mean that your staff won’t have to be pulled away from their regular duties while the process is taking place.
Helps to Point Out Shortcomings in Business Processes

It’s easy for business owners to get too close to their work. Sometimes you need someone external to come in and give you an objective viewpoint on what is working and what isn’t, and who better to do so than a trained business analyst?

Business process improvement and remodelling is a key part of the business analyst’s toolkit, and can go a long way toward helping a business make better use of its existing resources. Whether it’s reworking your IT systems, helping you to target your advertising, or just looking at your existing office workflow, business analysis helps small businesses to make the most of what they have.

Help With Implementation

A good business analyst won’t just recommend and run. The business analysis process only ends when the analyst’s recommendations are fully implemented, with most analysts offering help and support to clients long after they’ve left site.

This is particularly relevant in a small business context, as most organisations of this size simply won’t have the experience or resource to spend a long time grappling with new IT systems and workflows. By helping a business to implement as well as innovate, a business analyst becomes even more of an asset to SMBs.

Upskill Your Existing Staff

There are many organisations out there that specialise in business analysis training as well as consultancy work. This provides an ideal opportunity for small businesses to upskill existing employees as well as improving their own internal processes.

Training employees in business analysis techniques helps you to create a team of people with analysis knowledge, letting you run a policy of more or less continuous business improvement and helping to prevent the organisation from getting stuck in a rut in the future. In addition, business communication and graphical representation course can help the staff in question pass on their experiences, creating a culture of business knowledge within your organisation.

Stuart Edge is a business owner and expert. He would recommend checking out http://www.viewpoint.co.za for further information on business analysis and training.