Posts tagged: capital

The Inspiring Solutions That Can Turn Your Business Around

to run businessIt’s safe to say that no business is going to get a smooth ride. Because the business world just isn’t like that. You don’t just get started, see instant success, and keep on riding on your success cloud until you decide to get out of the game. Although that would be nice, it’s just not realistic. Instead, what is realistic, is that you’re going to struggle. You may not struggle all day, every day, but you will struggle at some point. Business having a business is like being on a rollercoaster. It’s natural for you to experience ups and downs. Of course, when you’re enjoying the ups, you’re more than welcome to take it all in and feel proud of yourself. But this isn’t about how you take the ups, it’s how you handle the downs.

In short, tough times will make or break your business. So as much as you might like the enjoy the good times, you also have to know how to bounce back during the bad times. At the same time, you need to be able to take action and actually work hard to be able to turn things around. Because that’s what matters. You have to be able to actually turn things around and see a difference in business. And yes, that means that you’re able to go from down to up and continue to do that whenever you’re faced with a challenging situation. So let’s take a look at some really inspiring ways you can do that.

Hone In On Your Targeting

First of all, you have to be thinking about your customers at all times. Because if you want to make sure that you can make money and improve your financial situation, you need to attract the right customers. Maybe the reason for your struggles is that you’re not targeting the right customers? When this is the case, you’ll find that if you can change that, are hone in on your targeting a bit more, you’ll have a better chance of turning things around.

Rebrand

Another really strong idea is going to be to look into rebranding. Again, to be able to attract your customers, you should be thinking of ways that you can stand out from your competition, and branding can really help with that. So think about the kind of rebranding process that you may need to take. When you do, you should find that you get a strong return on your investment.

Try A New Marketing Technique

How’s your marketing looking lately? If you tend to use the same techniques over and over again, you can’t expect to get different results. Instead, you’re going to want to think about using a new tactic. But the tactic in question will need to be something that’s entirely personal to your business, and what will work for you – and testing things out is the only way to do that.

Refine Your Product Or Service

Sometimes, the reason why you’re struggling and not bringing in money, is because your product or service just isn’t as strong as it could be. And that can be hard to admit. But if you do want to improve going forwards, you have to be objective. You need to be able to identify your weaknesses in order to become stronger. So really work on your product or service line to improve the areas that are letting you down.

Improve Your Website

Another big improvement that could really increase your sales, revenue, and general custom, is your website. Because if your web design is letting you down, you could be losing customers, and subsequently sales, because of it. By improving your web design, testing new features, and seeing what generally keeps your customers on site is going to help you to not only hold on to those customers, but encourage them to buy from you too.

Reduce Your Costs

And then there are your costs. Because if you’re not making an awful lot right now, but your overheads are huge, you have a problem. When you’re struggling, you have to react. You can’t just leave everything as it is and expect things to just pick up. You have to take action. Reducing your costs or cutting things out completely will help you to stay above board during times when you need to the most.

Hire Better Staff

You should also be sure to get the right staff in place. Because people make a business. So use the right services, like payroll recruitment agency, Portfolio Payroll, to help you do that. When you bring in the right people, your business will be able to head in the right direction. It can take time, but the when you find the best staff, your situation can improve.

Bring In Experts

As a step on from that, you should also look to hire experts. Why? Because you can’t do it all – and you can’t be an expert in everything from marketing to customer service. But when you hire a marketing agency or outsource your customer service, you will be able to get experts working on each area for you, and you’ll have more chance at getting the results you want.

Host An Exciting Event

Sometimes, you just need a bit of excitement to shake up your business. Events can help with that. A successful event not only brings the customers to you and gets them excited about your business, but it’s also a great PR opportunity and will generate sales too. So get planning and see what this can do for your business.

Launch A New Product

Finally, you may also want to think about launching a new product. You may think that this is a risky move when you’re struggling, but sometimes you have to take risks to make a difference. When what you’re currently doing isn’t working, you need to change things. Sometimes, you’ll find that a new product, even if it’s aimed at a new market, is exactly what your business needs to change, grow, and generate the revenue you want.

Why Is You Business Going Downhill After Years Of Success?

business statusIf you drew a graph of everyone’s life, you’d find that it’s never just a straight line. No one has a straight line constantly moving upwards showing them get more and more successful from the day they’re born. Likewise, no one has a line going downwards all the time or staying level. Instead, we all have moments where things are steady, then they get worse, but then they might get better.

The same can be said of any business venture ever. If you’re reading this, then I bet you’ve been a business owner for some time. In the beginning, things were how they are in most businesses; it was steady, and you were just treading water. Then, you found your feet, and things took off. You saw a lot of success, with lots of customers every day. Now, for some reason, everything has gradually come to a halt. Your business is going downhill, and you have no idea why. You’re looking for answers, and you’ve come to the right place.

While every business is different, and your failures could be caused by things specific to you, there are plenty of common reasons that businesses start going south when they used to have a northern trajectory. Take a look at these reasons below, and see if they apply to your company.

You’re No Longer The Best

Often, small businesses see initial success because they’re the best at what they do. When you started up, you were the only company offering certain services or products in that area. You mopped up the market, and everyone came to you. Naturally, other entrepreneurs see your success and want a piece of it. So, established businesses alter their approach and try to rival what you offer. New businesses pop up trying to compete – and succeeding. In the end, you’ve now got way more competition, and you’re no longer the top dog. Here, you need to alter your approach and start being proactive. Assess your new rivals, figure out their weak points, and use them to your advantage. Don’t just do the same thing and expect things to change. People have outsmarted you, it’s time to be twice as smart as them.

You’re Outdated And Old

A lot of small businesses start failing because they’re seen as outdated and old. Online companies may have websites that just don’t fit with the times, or don’t offer the high level of security that others now do. Retail stores may not have an updated POS system that accepts card or contactless payments. Every business has elements to it that can become outdated and replaced with modern things. Sure, plenty of companies want to try and stay as traditional as possible. I get it, that might be your thing, your USP that makes you different from everyone else. Well, as we already discussed, that USP isn’t working anymore. So, you should start thinking about bringing your business into modern times, and also prepare for the future. A tech-savvy business tends to do a lot better than one that’s still using outdated methods, machines, and everything else.

You’re Offering Things That Are No Longer Desirable

This last point merges in with the second point about being outdated. There, I was talking more from the perspective of technology in that your business isn’t modern, it’s old. Here, I’m talking more about the products/services you offer. The first point spoke about other businesses offering what you offer, but better. This point is about instances where your product/service just simply isn’t desirable to the consumer anymore. The best example of this is a shop that sells a particular type of clothing. Let’s take things to the extremes and say you opened a store that sold fur coats. There was a time where this was highly desirable to consumers. Now, real fur is looked down upon and seen as unethical so no one will buy your stuff anymore. The same applies to service-based businesses; a service that was desirable five years ago might not be desirable anymore. I have a potential future example of this with web design companies. Who knows, in a few years there could be software out there that fully builds sites better than any designer can, meaning this service is no longer needed. You get the picture, and the only way you can improve things is to completely change what you’re selling. Think of something new and exciting that fits current market trends. Don’t force yourself into a small box where you’re restricted in what you can do.

The bad news is; your business is going downhill because of one of these reasons (or all of them). The good news is; you can fix things and start that upward curve on your success graph once more!

Advice For A First-Time Business Owner

time for businessIf you have entrepreneurial determination then that’s a good starting place for a business. Of course, it’s only one component of many. You need to think about your own experience or expertise regarding the management of a business, how you’re going to fund such a venture, how many other people you might need to hire to help you with this company, and, most importantly, what type of business you’re going to start. Money is probably the biggest worry on your mind but if you focus on making sure all other components of your business are running smoothly then the profits will look after themselves. Here’s some more detailed advice for any first-time business owners out there.

Become a real boss.

You might have an innovative idea and qualifications in a certain line of business but that isn’t going to be enough to transform you into a successful business owner. When you’re the boss of a company, you need to be an all-rounder. For example, if you’re running a legal business then it isn’t enough to simply have a qualification in law. You need to know how to manage finances, marketing, and, most importantly of all, people. If you want your business to get off the ground then you need to learn how to manage your team and fill them with the same passion for the company that you feel. Making that step will transform you from somebody with a great idea into somebody with a great business.

Research the market.

It’s your job to drive the direction of the company. You might have a good business plan at the moment but the market is always changing. You need to update your approach in order to adapt to a changing industry. You need an enticing and widespread online presence in this digitally-driven era of business, as we’ll discuss in the next point, so you might want to look into online companies such as Youi Pty Limited, who deal specifically with buying and selling goods online, for a little insight into their credit ratings and financial situation.

It’s important that you take note from other companies, whether they’re in your industry or not, so as to not only get an idea of what they’ve been doing well but what they haven’t been doing well. The great thing about being the second or third business to dive into a certain industry is that you don’t have to make the same mistakes as the companies that took the plunge first. You can save yourself a lot of money and time by figuring out how to cut straight to “Successville”.

Get your online marketing campaign right.

As touched upon in the point above, you need a strong online marketing approach in order for your business to succeed. You might not be a marketing expert but you should certainly get marketing professionals to help you if that’s the case. The “build it and they will come” mentality doesn’t always work because there’s a lot of competition offering the same products and services as your business. You need to stand out from the crowd if you want consumers to come to you. Figure out how to optimize the content on your website and social media pages so as to climb the rankings on Google and other search engines. That’ll get you in front of your target market.

The Future Is Now: AI to Boost Your Small Business

business setupYou can’t have missed the rumblings in the air. From water-cooler chat to major media focus, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the phrase on every business owner’s lips. A lot of the noise concerns what the shape of society will look like with robots in our midst and whether our skills will become redundant under the slow creep of automation. With estimates from the PEW research centre showing that two-thirds of us in the US expect robots in the workplace to be a common sight within the next 50 years, it’s easy to take a dim view of society’s desire for a walking, talking embodiment of our knowledge. But robots are not exclusively a force of the future – since Victorian times humans have created and refined machines to take on drudge work and liberate them to dream bigger and achieve more. So could the future be brighter for small business owners who embrace AI? And how can you use it now? We take a look…

Customer Care Made Easy

One of the most significant challenges facing a young start-up is manpower. You need staffing to grow, but you need more revenue to employ those people. It’s a chicken and egg situation that’s stifled the development of many promising start-ups. And that’s why AI technology is so promising for entrepreneurs struggling to do it all. The advent of a more transparent, internet-connected customer base means that reputation is a more important sink-or-swim factor than ever in business, and whole sectors are now driven by customer review platforms. This means that excellent customer care is simply a hygiene factor, and customers expect an instant response when something goes wrong. For small businesses without an army of staff, this can be all but impossible – so investing in chatbot technology can be a real breakthrough moment. Thinking through the customer journey and created some scripts is simple and doesn’t require any real programming skill. You will find that a lot of basic enquiries are the usual suspects, so this can be an extremely efficient way of filtering those out to allow you to deal with more complex cases. Chatbots are good at instantly retrieving customer information, which can cut call queuing, and it’s a scalable solution that will grow with your company while helping to reduce barriers to sale with potential customers.

Get Your Accounts on Track

Smart software can make your financial management a smooth process, from solutions that allow you to access business loans and receivables all in one seamless system such as www.octet.com to machine learning that can use big data to predict spending patterns. If the day-to-day functions of finance become fully-automated, the resource can be diverted into strategic, long-term planning rather than the bandwidth-drain of servicing routine processes – returning you to being more of a specialist rather than a jack of all trades.

Your Personal Assistant in the Clouds

Keeping on top of the day-to-day onslaught of a small business involves being on the ball about hundreds of micro-decisions that need attention, but not many entrepreneurs can afford a PA from the get-go. Using a remote virtual assistant to schedule and monitor tasks such as travel arrangements, diary planning and admin support makes perfect sense. Using a virtual assistant can free up time and headspace for more demanding tasks, even if we’re not quite in the era of being followed around by a Jetsons-style sassy robot yet (although those will be on shelves in the very near future).

AI doesn’t have to be scary – in fact, it’s working with us right now, and its influence could future-proof your business.

Small Business Owners Need To Be All-Rounders, Not Specialists

business ideasThere’s a misconception about entrepreneurs that need to be eradicated. It’s the one of the genius leader, the one who can come up with a genius idea, usually thanks to their one track mind. In reality, small business owners don’t need to be specialists in anything; indeed, it’s probably better if they’re not. What they do need to be are all-rounders, able to do a lot of things well, rather than just one thing like an expert. Below, we take a look at a few of the areas that every small business owner needs to have at least a passing familiarity with, and a willingness to learn about.

Dealing with the Public

Your business depends on the public. Without people buying your products and using your services, there is no business. As such, you need to learn how to handle the complex nature of “the public”; a public that is often demanding, and full complaints; though of course, also filled with happy, pleasant people. If you’ve never had to deal with the public, you’d be well advised to put yourself in front of house – that is, if you’re normally behind the scenes – to see what they can be like first hand.

Being the Boss

If you’ve hired a team of staff, then you’re no longer an entrepreneur: you’re a leader. And as a leader, you need to know how to handle underperforming employees, office complaints and arguments, as well as all the logistical issues that go into staffing, such as rota planning, covering sick days, and managing staff holidays. For the personal skills needed to be the boss of a productive staff, learn from the experts. For the logistical side, you can use rota and holiday management software to make your job easier. If your staff are well-prepared and productive, then your company will have the best chance of being a success.

Marketing and Advertising

Once upon a time, it’s possible that your business may have been able to be successful without much marketing or advertising. Alas, those days have long gone; now, you need to commit considerable resources to your marketing campaign and be advertising in a variety of mediums (print, online, etc). No-one’s expecting you to come up with the world’s greatest advertising campaign, but you should understand what works and what doesn’t.

Inspiring, Productive

The company, especially in the early days, isn’t anything overly abstract: it’s you. The quality and success of your business will rest on your ability to be an inspirational and productive worker. While there are a lot of tasks to take care of, it’s important that you’re always well rested and able to deliver your best work.

What To Outsource

Finally, remember that you don’t need to do everything on your own, and you don’t need always to give your staff tasks. Outsourcing will be an invaluable tool for your business, especially when it comes to repetitive and specialist tasks. Use it wisely, and you’ll be bringing the best on board to your company.