Tag Archives: business

Top 3 Challenges that SMEs Should Overcome

a small time business womanSmall enterprises are generally well-off, but a significant section of them is undergoing unending hardships. Some are even on the brink of being phased out. Others are already out of the market. This is because of a few challenges here and there. In this article, you will unravel not just the kind of challenges SMEs face but also the solutions.

1. Lack of expertise and market research

Most people have money but lack investment skills. As such, they invest their money in SMEs but end up finding it hard to stand market competition. Therefore, it is imperative to first acquire skills in whatever field you want to invest in. Alternatively, you can hire someone with relevant skills to help you run your venture. Also, for you to effectively research on market demands and customer preferences, you need to be skilled.

2. Inadequate business planning and strategy

For you to achieve both short-term and strategic goals, you need to have a defined business model, plan, strategy, and vision in place. Think of how and where you want to operate your business. Specify if you are going to specialise in a product or service. Talk about how you want to market your brand. Evaluate the kind of stakeholders you want to partner with. Also, look at the formulas of attracting and keeping customers to your business.

3. Inadequate financial skills and discipline

Another sensitive aspect of running a small enterprise is financial management. SME owners often carry out transactions without proper planning and financial discipline. Here, it can be a prudent idea to partner with financially literate firms such as SME corporations in Malaysia for advice. This can draft you a thorough budget, forecast your finances, sort out bad debts, and most probably help you avoid overtrading and impulsive buying.

Investing your money in an SME is a great business idea. However, your dreams will only come true if you consider working on many common problems that SMEs face.

3 Important Questions You Need to Ask When Selling Your Business

woman handing cash to a man

woman handing cash to a manEvery entrepreneur has a vision when starting a business. However, sometimes things do not turn out as planned and many find themselves looking at a venture that is going down the drain or something that someone else can save.

Perhaps the business has gotten bigger than they have planned and they are now more interested in pursuing other projects and feel that a new owner would be able to continue running it. Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself before selling your business:

1. Why are you selling?

This is the first and most important question that you need to answer, and this is the question prospective buyers will ask. The next owner should be able to see that the business is still profitable or is worth their investment.

Many entrepreneurs seek the assistance of business experts such as Utah Business Consultants to know more about how to sell a business in salt lake city.

2. How much can you sell it for?

Most business owners would consider the cost involved in putting up the business to come up with their price point. But what some may fail to consider are the liabilities that come with the business. Are there any existing loans and payables that the new owner will need to know of?

How profitable is the business at the time you are selling it? These are some of the things you need to know when thinking about how much you can sell a business. You might need to hire an accountant, broker, or even a lawyer for this matter.

3. How about your employees?

Most buyers keep the employees once they take over a business. However, this isn’t always the case. Make sure to talk to the prospective new owner about this and be firm should you decide for them to retain the employees.

If not, you will need to check with a lawyer about separation pay and other benefits that your employees are entitled to.

Selling your business is a huge decision, so it’s essential to plan and list your priorities. There will be non-negotiable things and those that you can negotiate. As the business owner, you are the best person to decide on these.

3 Tips To Step Up Your Business’s Profits

Woman working on laptop and calculatorEveryone knows that having a profitable business does not come easily. The goal for most companies to increase their profits to be able to grow. Thankfully, it can be done with good planning methods and action. By changing up and adding a few things, you will be able to improve your business’s profits.

Here are three methods that you should try to raise your business’s revenue.

Advertising

Marketing is essential for any business, whether you want to have more income or credibility. How will people be able to purchase your products without knowing about it?

Going to an ad agency makes all the difference in the world. These agencies are professionals who will know what advertising platform is best for your business. If you are wondering about what kind of advertisements are available, Red Rider Creative is willing to offer their expert advice.

Removing the Unnecessary

The first step to owning a productive business is to remove anything negative. For example, if you notice that there is underperforming staff in your business, you can either retrain or remove them from your business. This can also include suppliers and partners that have been giving more trouble than benefits to the company.

This will create a healthy working environment for your efficient employees to work in to promote a growing business. That way, you will not be wasting any money on anything that is fruitless.

Customer Service

The quality of your customer service can significantly affect how people see your business. Studies have shown that 78% of customers won’t purchase from a company that has poor customer service.

If you have kind, friendly customer service available, your clients will be more pleased with your business. It also shows that you genuinely care about your customers and only want to offer them the best with expert client service.

You will be able to have an advantage over your competitors and raise your profits once you have done these three steps to ensure your company’s growth.

2 Steps to Break into Online Marketing in Canada

Online marketing planUnlike the rest of the world, Canadians still prefer to visit physical stores. In October 2017, e-commerce made up only 2.6 per cent of the country’s total retail sales.

But it does not mean businesses can put online branding on the back burner. The same report also suggested that e-commerce grew year on year to almost 20 percent. That’s not all; online sales increased across all provinces.

For a business, getting into the online market is now a necessity. The following steps will point you to the right direction:

1. Combine paid and organic search marketing

One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is focusing on either organic search or paid advertising only. It is ideal – and possible – to use both simultaneously.

WebWaves.ca suggests that working with a trusted PPC management company in Ottawa allows the business to promote their brand quickly. But a more organic approach, such as search engine optimization (SEO) or social media marketing (SMM) provides the rest of the brand’s backbone. It cements its place online since it’s more stable and friendlier to search engines and their users.

2. Determine your target market

Google, the biggest and most popular search engine, processes no less than 3 billion searches a day. That means thousands of people are looking for something at any given time. But marketing to all of them is impractical.

The goal of online branding remains the same: bring in customers who will pay for the products or services you offer. Focus on people that meet this criterion. In fact, you should design a persona. Who is this person? What is the individual’s level of education or earnings? What is the person’s lifestyle?

Once you have a clear idea of the market, the information will help you know the right keywords, online promotion channels, and analytics to perform.

Now is the ideal time to bring the company’s brand to cyberspace. It’s still rising, and the market is becoming more saturated. A business requires a good positioning strategy. These two steps should provide the right ideas you need to get to the top and stay there.

Global Spending on Marketing Automation to Reach $32B in 2018

System automation presentationGlobal spending on marketing automation services and software will reach $32 billion in 2018, which indicates that many companies still consider it as an important part of promotional strategies.

The higher amount stems from different developments in the technology, including machine learning, chatbots and analytics. Your business should not only focus on marketing automation, but also figure out how to integrate it with an efficient customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Trending Topics

Marketers will continue to rely on social media to connect with potential clients. If you have not yet delved into automated marketing for networking sites, a MarketingSherpa study may give you another reason to do so.

The research showed that almost 60% of people on social media rely on a brand’s updates via websites such as Facebook or Twitter. This means that interacting with potential clients, such as replying to private messages, may be handled via automated marketing. If you plan to focus more on email automation this year, consider the use of integrated workflows with social advertisements. These are just some of the trends that would be helpful in engaging new customers.

CRM Strategies

Marketing automation allows you to attract new clients, but it should not come at the expense of losing regular customers. Most companies use CRM for this reason, but many of them remain unaware that integrating it with automated marketing has several advantages.

Some of these benefits include nurturing leads, aside from just focusing on lead generation. Hence, a CRM strategy integrated with marketing automation will allow you to send relevant content instantly, depending on your leads’ preferred actions. Another advantage involves a shorter sales cycle, since you know that your business loses money when it takes too long for undecided leads to become repeat clients.

Conclusion

This year marks another time to develop your marketing campaign. How do you plan to use automated marketing to your business strategy?

The Services Digital Marketing Agencies Offer

People discussing in front of laptopDigital marketing is the online version of traditional marketing. It peruses digital channels, such as search engines, social media, email, and websites, to connect with current and potential customers.

In Massachusetts, a digital marketing agency is as robust as any other tech company. A great number of digital marketing agencies serve small and medium-sized businesses, either via a B2B and B2C approach. When planning for marketing services, expect a plethora of services to suit your business needs.

Design

Typically, a digital marketing agency will have a design unit, one that services the main engine that holds all the content and capabilities of your website. This includes web design and development, mobile application development, and user experience or user interface design.

PPC and SEO

Pay-per-click marketing (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO) are two of the most used marketing tactics online. PPC pays a publisher for every click made on your ad. SEO optimizes a website’s rank by putting the website higher on search engine results pages.

Management

Content marketing and social media marketing are a staple in digital marketing firms. They are reliable tactics to generate brand awareness, improve traffic, and generate leads. Other services include email management and reputation management.

Consulting

Marketing consulting services such as public relations, brand development, marketing strategy, CRM consulting, and digital performance marketing are also flourishing among Massachusetts digital marketing firms.

Analytics

A rather new type of service is analytics. Coupled with decision science metrics, analytics aims to produce insights from large data sets gathered from web traffic, social media data. Analytics is an important approach to understand the behavior of consumers.

Other Services

Other services that one will expect from a digital marketing firm are marketing automation services, video production, and lead and demand generation.

Massachusetts is teeming with digital marketing companies. Each of which provides innovative online strategies to market your company’s products and services effectively.

Marketing Your Hotel Through Social Media

Taking photo of breakfastSocial media marketing is an effective way for businesses to reach their audience and promote product offerings efficiently. No matter what you are promoting and who your target customers are, having an active social media presence can help you grow your brand and maximize your earning potential. By increasing brand awareness through social media, you are also building a reputation for your business.

Hotel owners who are prepared to reach the next level can use social media and other marketing channels to their advantage. One efficient way to do it is to engage with guests through regular postings on social media. Posts about your accommodations and amenities can easily attract potential guests and make them excited to stay in your hotel.

Peak 14 Media presents some of the different ways you can use social media platforms for your hotel website marketing.

Instagram Marketing

Instagram can help your hotel focus on sharing engaging photographs of your accommodations to millions of users worldwide. Make sure to post pictures regularly to increase visibility to your audience.

Facebook Marketing

Facebook is a platform for people who like sharing updates on their everyday life: where they spent the holidays, the events they took part in, and the recent trips they made. If one Facebook user posted pictures of your hotel, then your brand reaches a network of people. Facebook marketing can take advantage of this opportunity to add to the discussion and detail how your hotel provides guests with the experience of relaxation and enjoyment.

To succeed in your Facebook marketing efforts, you will need to take note of a few things:

1. Choose Your Cover Photo Wisely

Your business’s Facebook marketing page is your window to a myriad of opportunities to engage with potential customers. Make sure to choose a cover photo that illustrates your brand in a positive way.

2. Post a Variety Of Pictures, Images, and Updates

Explain to people why they should spend their next vacation at your hotel in your updates and posts. Make guests curious and interested in staying at your hotel and how much fun they can have when they stay with you. You can also post pictures sent by guests – whichever captures your hotel in the best light.

Don’t let your next social media post go to waste. Use it to promote your hotel business and show your clients what makes your accommodations special.

What Your Startup Needs to Succeed

The office of a startup businessChamath Palihapitiya, founder, and CEO of Social Capita said that it is in starting businesses that people create many interesting things. It is with starting businesses that innovations arise — things we did not know of before now exist.

The idea behind his latest venture is to provide funding for startups without knowing their age, race, gender, or other social biases. You’ll never run out of options when looking for funding for your startup. All you have to do is come up with the following:

A Business Plan

What’s a business idea without a plan for action? This is the proof you show lenders when applying for online startup business loans to convince them that you know where you want your startup to go. It’s not just about dreaming; it’s about making things happen. Just ask TAB Bank.

A Unique Approach

Starting a business can be scary, but the one thing you shouldn’t do is be a copy-cat of another business. Come up with a unique approach to selling your products or marketing them. Be a little more creative, but remember to address pain points of your consumers.

Understand them through surveys to know what they’re looking for. Be accessible to them and show them you have their best interests at heart. These days, tackling a social problem while selling a product seems to do wonders.

An Alternative

Your original business plan is not showing the results you expected? Don’t give up just yet. There should be a plan B — something that steers your startup in a different direction and uses the resources you already have to start something new. For instance, that product can be used to address a different need than what you originally intended it for.

There’s no guarantee that your startup will succeed on the first try. But if you work hard and use your funds wisely, you’ll go far.

5 Money Matters to Consider When Buying a Franchise

Man stacking coins in increments as a concept of investment growingIf you are planning to invest in your own franchise, one of the vital steps you need to take is a thorough due diligence exam to make sure that you’re on the right path prior to signing an agreement. You’re probably confused and inundated with millions of questions, but the following are vital money matters you need answers to before taking the leap.

1. The Initial Investment

In general, initial franchise fees differ from several thousand dollars to a couple of million dollars. You will need to get a clear understanding of fees and how much you’ll need to get the franchise off the ground and earning.

2. The Liquid Capital

Apart from the startup costs, you’ll need sufficient operating capital for a couple of months until you break even. Knowing this magic number will help you prepare financially and determine when you’ll start reaping profits.

3. The Franchise Company’s Financial Capability

Knowing how financially strong the franchise company is could lend you an idea of how successful your franchise could be. Consider asking how they experienced consistent growth and their plans expansion plans if any. You will likewise want to find out if where they get the significant portion of their income, whether from selling franchises or royalties, or perhaps because they assign a sufficient amount of funding to their operations.

4. Your Potential Profit

While the franchisor can’t possibly forecast how successful your franchise will be, they must have an accurate idea of how much their franchisees make. Make certain to ask beyond the gross sales since this doesn’t operate expenses such as rent, labor, etc.

5. The Ongoing Fees, Marketing Fees and Royalties

You need to take a step back and understand how much you’re expected to pay the franchisor with regards to miscellaneous fees like royalties, marketing, etc. You need to determine how much this would cost, so you could set the right budget and accounting for royalties.

Before you invest in a franchise and sign on the dotted line, get clear answers to these crucial money matters. Once you do and you’re satisfied with the franchisor’s answers, you’ll feel more confident about investing in and running your very own franchise.

Best Practices to Run a Successful Warehouse Business

Business partners of a warehouse storeRegardless of how utterly messy your lives might be, you can never let that define your business as well. Every business requires a high degree of commitment and organisation to succeed. Especially when running a warehouse business, you’re required to pay attention when it comes to arrangement and maintenance.

Utilize these tips to run your warehouse successfully.

Employ the 5S (methodology)

The 16th-century Japanese workplace organisation method is still as convenient and up-to date. It includes five practices.

• Sort
Clearing unnecessary inventory in your warehouse is the first way to do away with the stumbling blocks in your business.

• Set in order
Once that is done, organise your new stock strategically in a manner easy to access.

• Shine
You don’t want your products ruined by dust and contaminations by failing to clean your warehouse. A dirty warehouse will deteriorate the value of your products.

• Standardize
Set high standards from employees to organisation and maintenance.

• Sustain
Finally, make sure all your efforts will always be worthwhile by maintaining these rules.

Mind your employees

Your employees play a significant role in the success of your business. For this reason, their safety and health are a top priority. Machines and business owners can only do so much. Educate them on the warehouse safety precautions such as dressing appropriately, ventilations, and equipment usage just to mention a few.

You do not have to witness your business go on a downward spiral due to hospital expenses, employees’ strikes and boycotts.

Get efficient racking systems

Most importantly, a warehouse business needs storage systems. There are various ways to store products in a warehouse. Choosing the best storage option largely depends on your type of products, amount of inventory and space available. To maximise your storage space and cut future maintenance costs, pallet racking systems make a durable storage option.

These ideas integrated with work ethics and a right attitude is the first step to a great and fruitful warehouse business.