Starting a new business can be tough. You have to find office space, hire employees and keep current customers happy while constantly searching for new ones. However, by avoiding a few key mistakes, you can turn your startup into a thriving venture.
Failure to Anticipate Problems Ahead of Time
At some point, something is going to go wrong. Whether you have a client back out after placing a large order, an important person leaves or something disrupts your supply chain, an issue will occur. Failing to anticipate these issues ahead of time causes you to be reactive as opposed to proactive.
Your Company Has an Inadequate Safety Program
Worker safety should be the most important priority for any company. When your workers don’t feel safe, they don’t do their beat work. If a worker does get hurt, you lose a valuable member of your team for days, weeks or even months at a time. According to corporate safety experts with online safety degrees, this can result in legal trouble for your company. It also tarnishes the brand of the company and makes it look like there is a lack of competent leadership.
You’re Not Focusing on Your Core Competency
A startup business should focus on solving the problem it has identified in the marketplace. This is not the time for a gardening company to offer computer help or for a software company to start building lawn furniture. By keeping it simple, you tell customers who you are, what you do, and build a brand they recognize and trust. Keeping things focused and simple in the beginning stops you from using excess resources that may be needed later as the company scales.
You Don’t Know Where to Turn for Financing
One of the hardest things to do as a new business is get the capital necessary to effectively run the company. However, it is your responsibility to make sure that you know where to go for funding. Whether this is a personal line of credit, a loan from a friend or a loan from a bank, it is your responsibility to stay liquid as you start and grow your business.
If you are thinking about starting a company, it is critical that you understand fully what you are getting into. This means having a business plan, having lines of credit available and making sure that you treat your people with respect and make them a priority. Otherwise, your new business may flounder within months of beginning operations.
Many people dream of starting a successful business. It isn’t easy and it is a lot of work. Many start at the level of a “mom and pop” kind of business. It isn’t until after years of hard work do they break out of that mold and become a state or national chain business. That is no small feat to accomplish. However, those that are truly ambitious never stay content and they never settle. Being a national business isn’t enough. They have to break into the international market. To do so is high risk, but it is also high reward. If you have weighed the risks of entering the international market, you probably want to make sure that you enter the market successfully. Building a competitive international business that performs well requires an awareness of global protocols and parameters. You also need to know who your competitors are. Here is how to build a competitive international business. (more…)
Small business owners usually wear a multitude of hats and have to deal with a variety of different issues every day. However, some problems are harder to control than others. This is especially true when a public relations crisis occurs. It can badly damage your reputation and your sales. With that in mind, it’s best to avoid PR nightmares before they materialize. Here are a few common PR blunders and how to avoid them.
Your Social Media Manager Is Incompetent
Today, social media is the primary method many people use to communicate with companies. This is even the case for small businesses. However, some owners seem to be detached from the world of social media to the point they just designate the task of posting Facebook updates, tweeting, etc. to any random millennial off the street. This is a mistake. Social media managers who say foolish things online, are rude to customers or just ignore their concerns can quickly erode the public’s trust in a company. Instead, get someone with experience and monitor your social media to make sure it’s in line with how you want your company to be perceived by the public.
Even experienced Social Media Managers can make mistakes. During the playoffs in 2015 against the Dallas Mavericks the Social Media Manager for the Houston Rockets posted this Tweet:
The post went viral (which you would think was a good thing) but resulted in an uproar that ultimately culminated in the firing of the Social Media Manager.
Not Properly Training Your Staff
Staff must be trained on how to act appropriately when interacting with customers and how to act ethically while on the job. If you don’t provide such training, (more…)
The world we live in is more connected than ever before. Today, you can contact someone on the other side of the world instantly and even receive video feed. In the world of business, this technology can help you stay connected and become more efficient and productive, and there are four tools you should consider implementing.
Especially if you have multiple locations, Skype is a beneficial tool that allows you to speak with coworkers on the go. All you need is a webcam, and you can engage in conversation while being able to see the other person. This can be especially (more…)
In today’s corporate world, it’s important for businesses to have reliable technology. Not only is this vital for the employees of a business, but it is also essential for customers and clients. However, as technology continues to make great strides each year, many businesses find it harder and harder to have the most up-to-date technology 100% of the time. To ensure your business uses only the best of the best, here are five ways your business is sure to have reliable technology.
Develop a Long-Range Technology Plan
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is not planning ahead when it comes to technology. To avoid this, sit down with employees and vendors to discuss how technology is changing, and what will be needed over the next 10-20 years to stay ahead of the competition. By knowing when it’s time to replace obsolete hardware or software, technology problems can often be avoided. It is always a good idea to seek professional help first when it comes to things like this.
Streamline Customer Communication
Since customer satisfaction is the key to business success, making sure that customers can communicate with your business in a quick and efficient manner is important. To accomplish this, utilizing the latest customer relationship management (CRM) software can provide easier and clearer communication between you and your customers, which usually leads to great results.
As anyone involved in MBA technology knows, mobility is the present and future of business. Thus, the smartest businesses realize this and make mobile technology as big a part of the workplace as possible. Whether it’s smartphones or tablets, providing these tools to employees can allow them to conduct business on the go, making your business much more efficient.
Use a Managed Service Provider
When it comes to network administration, hiring the services of a managed service provider can free up an IT staff tremendously. By letting the IT staff use its time more efficiently, it’s a virtual guarantee technology will be kept at a level that is extremely reliable for both employees and customers.
Merge Voice, Video, and Data
As business technology continues to change, it has become necessary to make communication and information management as easy as possible. To do this effectively, many businesses now know they need to merge their voice, video, and data systems into one. By doing so, they can take advantage of such applications as video conferencing, which eliminates large amounts of wasted time.
By taking these steps, a business can ensure it will have technology that is more reliable than ever, resulting in greater efficiency as well as customer and employee satisfaction.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.
The sluggish economy and high costs of education mean that job seekers should focus on steady industries and high paying jobs. Here are six high-paying jobs currently available to recent college graduates.
Software developers create and maintain a variety of software types for different platforms. This includes mobile, PC, Mac and web-based programs. Some software developers analyze and document the client’s needs and preferences, while others design and prototypes to meet specific needs. Senior software developers create software code models and workflow diagrams for computer programmers.
Client Account Manager
Client account managers collaborate with sales, marketing, accounting and customer service employees to oversee high-profile client accounts. Since they often act as the primary point of contact for their customers, they must be familiar with various business operations. Client account managers use their analytical and interpersonal skills to problem solve and maintain important client relationships.
Sales directors are business professionals with expertise in sales, marketing and operations. They are often part of strategic planning sessions and executive activities. Sales directors are tasked with identifying sales targets, analyzing markets, monitoring market changes and training lower-level sales supervisors. Sales managers should have a strong finance and technology skills.
IT Program Manager
IT program managers have the freedom to work in almost any industry where their services are needed. IT managers oversee daily operations, supervise employees and oversee short-time technology projects. Thus, they must have excellent project management skills to ensure that tasks are completed accurately and on time. They must also be dedicated lifelong learners who stay current with advances in technology.
The oil and gas industry pay extremely well because their employees oversee billions of dollars’ worth of equipment, resources and facilities. Petroleum engineers enjoy high salaries because both the engineering and oil and gas world pay very well. Petroleum engineers design methods and develop systems for the safe extraction of oil and gas from subterranean deposits.
Civil engineering revolves around public projects and systems that are essential for daily life. This includes roads, bridges, tunnels, ports and airports. Civil engineers analyze survey reports, review government regulations and evaluate potential safety and environmental hazards. They also perform on-site tests, provide cost estimates and test building materials. A master’s degree in civil engineering is required for some of the most rewarding jobs in the field.
A bachelor’s degree is required for all of these entry-level jobs, but senior positions will require a master’s degree and a few years of experience. These are just a few high-paying jobs and personally rewarding careers to consider.
High quality products and untarnished brand integrity are overriding factors for consumer sales. But what if you can boost sales without having to ramp up production expenses or splurge in premium marketing campaigns? Here’s five ways to attract customers using the power of psychology.
Based on professional research, adding a minimum to your product or service can increase customer participation. Attract customers by reminding them how easy it is to get started, such as a zero-down payment for the first month. This helps them see value in a purchase and give them motivation to act now.
Label Your Customer Base
Making them feel like an all-star cast or elite group will increase the odds of them referring you to their circle of friends. This ultimately leads to more customers for your business. Offer VIP passes and loyalty membership programs to spark a sense of rarity and value that customers can get behind.
Learn Consumer Behavior to Attract Customers
There is perhaps nothing more powerful than an entrepreneur’s ability to read a customer’s body language. What makes them buy something? What activates them to rally your brand to their family, friends, and coworkers? Pursue a master’s of applied psychology online to learn the skills needed to solve practical problems concerning human behavior and experience.
Be Honest About Your Shortcomings
Another professional study suggests that customers become more trusting towards brands that admit their strategic shortcomings as opposed to brands that blame external sources for their past failures. Buyers are people, and people know that other people make mistakes. If you are honest to your customers, they will embrace your brand more willingly.
Practice Urgency and Scarcity Effectively
Both events are known to boost sales. If you get a $20 discount on a product that was originally $50, wouldn’t you be rushing to your credit cards or cold cash? However, people tend to ignore and block email messages or phone calls that do not give information regarding how they can capitalize on these deals.
Attracting more customers is what businesses of all sorts and sizes work to achieve on a daily basis. While clever marketing schemes do provide needed boosts in sales and profits, it tends to be a temporary relief. Learning and mastering consumer psychology techniques, on the other hand, provides the correct marketing principles needed not only to attract new customers but to retain your existing customer base.
Untapped markets throughout the world are waiting for a product or service like yours. The problem is, you either don’t know they need what you have to offer and or you have no idea how to get it to the appropriate markets. While these are common barriers for entrepreneurs, they can be navigated with the right approach. Here is how to use international commerce to get your business booming.
Why Consider International Commerce To Get Your Business Growing
You don’t have to rely solely on a US customer base to get your business growing, which means (more…)
Businesses must understand what they can do to provide more value to customers than other firms can deliver. Valuable, unique and inimitable qualities, products, or services give companies a sustainable competitive advantage that lays a foundation for long-term success. Strategic marketing campaigns seek to maximize the benefits firms receive from such advantages. The following tips will help you use marketing to hone your competitive edge. (more…)
In many ways it’s never been a better time to set up in business; the internet has made life as a fledgling company faster, cheaper and more accessible than ever before. But if you need a financial boost, times can be very lean indeed (especially if you’re hoping for finance from the banks). With much of the UK’s funding for lending scheme going towards making mortgages more manageable for first time buyers, often it is difficult to get a loan from a traditional lender.
But there are all sorts of other options out there just waiting for a gutsy entrepreneur to take the initiative. There are online business funding options from short term providers like everline.com, but if you need money longer-term you will need to look elsewhere. Today we’ll be taking a look at another option: Crowdfunding.
What is crowdfunding exactly?
The concept is pretty simple. Instead of trying to source business funding from just one, big source (a bank or an individual investor), entrepreneurs pitch to a whole internet of potential small-scale investors. This spreads the risk for investors, making finding people willing to take a chance on your big ideas easier. Some crowdfunding sites even allow you to convert these “investors” into prepaid customers solving two problems at once.
Is it right for my business?
Every hopeful business owner believes their offering is the best thing since sliced bread – but when you’re using crowdfunding you have to be very sure. If your start-up doesn’t (more…)