Category: General

Have Small Business Success


The second thing you need to be aware of in order to have business success is that you have to market your business no matter what kind of business it is. Advertising, though it can sometimes be a little expensive, is necessary. You have to have customers in order to have business success, and the only way to get them is to advertise. You can find the most affordable means of advertising when you look for it, and this will save you quite a bit of money.

In order to have success with your business, you have to of course know what exactly success means. Success isn’t the same with a small business as a large business in most cases. Of course, a very successful business will make you able to be comfortable in life, but you won’t be a millionaire by any means, unless you expand your business form a small one into a large one. This perspective is important because it will help you to have more realistic expectations of what your business success will bring you.

In some cases, though, your business success will require that you expand your business from a single small business to a large business or a chain. This is not an easy move, and it is very risky, but you could possibly gain quite a bit of money and profit from a move such as this. Once again, though, this will require quite a bit of work in order to successfully make this move. And the rewards with such a risk are of course much greater.

The advantages of being an owner of a successful small business are great, but if you want to have small business success, you have to work at it. Spend your time working and advertising in order to make your business successful. And remember, if you want to be a millionaire, in most cases you will have to expand your business in some way, and this is even more work and possibly more reward. If you are willing to put in the work, you can easily have small business success like you want.

Process of Selling Your Business


The first and most important step in the process of selling your business is to obtain a professional business valuation on your company. A business valuation offers a crystal clear picture of where your business stands today as well as understanding of the current market worth. While a business valuation is not required to sell your business, completing a business valuation offers a realistic picture of your company worth and fair selling price.

Many factors are involved when it comes to selling a company; if this is your first time selling a business have an expert financial professional offer advise so you have the upper hand in the deal. A business valuation will provide a comprehensive overview of your business through neutral perspective to assist in determining the fair market value of your business is. By scrutinizing the business’ financial records, company assets, past and future current market trends, as well as tax data, you will have a very clear picture of expectations when selling your business.

Prior to selling your business, ensure your books are accurate and in order. Having a well-organized set of financials will help to speed up the sale of the business. Make sure your data is error-free and provide the most accurate information possible.

Ensure that you have a succession plan in place. Your senior management helps run the business on a day-to-day basis and they are key players in the success of your business. Determine what will happen to them when you leave. Will they stay and continue to run the day-to-day operations? Even having a temporary plan in place will offer greater chances in selling the business. Include everything in writing to help protect your staff that is staying. A succession plan is critical when selling a business.

Lastly, keep the sale as quiet as possible. By letting the cat of the bag so to speak can cause a series of negative events. From your competition finding out, to your employee’s learning of a potential sale to your customers, this information leak can wreak havoc on the potential to sell your business. Keep information tied to the sale of your business as confidential as possible. Start with the first step of the process and obtain a business valuation for your business today.

Write a Business Plan That Works


This is where forward planning can help you.

A colleague once told me that ‘even a bad plan is better than no plan at all’. A bad plan at least shows that you have given some thought to the direction you want to go in.

A good plan takes time and effort, especially the first time you do one and many business owners or operators think they don’t have the time, or don’t see the value in it. But believe me… it is worth the time and effort!

It is an opportunity for you to build solid foundations for your business, based on known facts and these allow you to:

be very accurate in your plans and future projections.
avoid unforeseen pitfalls and crisis situations
spend your money and/or other resources in the most effective way
stay ahead of the market
make the most of every opportunity
be pro active and choose your own course rather than be reactive and follow everyone else
stop wasting time, effort and resources on inefficient processes and more

Good business planning involves:

looking at what you’ve done in the past few years
looking at where you are now
drawing conclusions from the above two points
based on that information determining your objective for the coming year/s
setting key strategies to help achieve the objective

Analysis of Past Performance

In this section of a business plan you look at the past year (or two) to take a good look at what worked and what didn’t. Where you came from is every bit as important as where you are going. You need to look at:

What promotional activities did you run- for example did you have any discount deals, special offers etc?
What worked? What didn’t?
Why did the activities work so well, not so well – find the reasons
Advertising campaigns
(again) What worked? What didn’t?
Why did the campaigns work so well, not so well – find the reasons
What mediums did you use? (ie Newspapers, magazines, radio. List the actual companies you used as you may have used a number of different ones.)
How much did you spend on them?
Which ones generated enquiries and which ones didn’t?
Did you keep track of the enquiries, if so, what were the results?

Keeping statistics on where enquiries come from can help you to use your advertising budget in the most effective way. There’s no point in spending a lot of money on advertising on television, for example, if most of your enquiries come from newspaper ads or word of mouth. Asking customers where they heard about you and keeping a record is the best way of determining advertising effectiveness.

Businesses Don’t Join Networking Groups


Organized networking is not part of a serious sales plan.

There are lots of networking organizations that promise an endless stream of prospects for business but, in fact, organized networking groups such as BNI or 4 Networking are filled with micro businesses and self-employed that cannot deliver significant opportunity for any growing business. These groups can play a role for the very small self-employed business. The problem is that ninety-nine percent of the membership of these organizations only employ the owner – there is no business opportunity! The result is a breakfast meeting filled with struggling businesses desperately looking for a prospect where few or none exist.

Why do real businesses not attend organized networking groups?

Established businesses develop relationships directly with a target business and do not depend on matchmakers or chance meetings at breakfasts or cocktail parties to develop a ‘friendship’ that will later develop into business. Doubt this? You will rarely, if ever, find an established business with more than a half a dozen employees at any organized networking event. An established business has a well-developed sales and marketing plan which provides the plans, resources and tools to sell effectively in the marketplace.

Established businesses do use networking but only with a focused and determined strategy connecting with similar businesses at industry events and business clubs. Even at business clubs such as the London Chamber or the IOD small and large businesses do not mix in the same circles. You can go to every networking event sponsored by the London Chamber and you will never meet the Patron members. The big fish and the small fish are swimming in different tanks!

How do you connect and do business with larger organizations that have the kind of budgets that will allow you to transform your business?

You need to prepare yourself and your business and professionally target larger companies. This means you need to develop the selling skills and strategy to effectively locate, connect and present. Then you need to sell and close the business. If you don’t have these skills then invest and build the knowledge to play in the real game of business!