Dec 162011
 

Think carefully about your small business ideas before taking action

I’m a real advocate of the phrase ‘time spent in reconnaissance is never wasted’ – in other words, the more preparation you do before taking action the better (that’s not to say you never take action, just that you make sure you’re prepared before you do).  This advice is particularly important before you start your business because if you don’t then all you’re doing is wasting your own time and money. Continue reading »

Dec 162011
 

How suited are you to running a small business?

This article is one of a series about the wide and varied things that need to be thought through when starting up a new business.  There are a huge number of things to think about but we’re going to focus in on one of the most important here today.

For someone starting up a new small business it can be a real roller-coaster of excitement and worry and the aim of this article is to try and help the individual prepare themselves for all that is to come so that they don’t make some of the same mistakes that others (including me!) made when starting out.  Ok, so what do we need to think about? Continue reading »

Dec 152011
 

It’s cheaper to keep present customers than to find new ones

Someone has done studies to look at how/why customers stop using a business and the results are startling.  A few percent move, another few percent move because they get a better offer, some die (literally) but by far the biggest percentage – around 69% – move on because of indifference from the business they were using.  That sounds like bad news but in fact for you, if you’re going to run your business properly, it’s going to be good news.  If 69% of companies don’t have a good customer service program the it’s not going to take much from you to become one of the 31% who do.  Let’s look at a few ways to keep those customers. Continue reading »

Dec 152011
 

When you first start out there’s often the worry that no-one will take you seriously because of your size.  Although that’s not always the case there is some truth in it and it usually doesn’t harm your likelihood of success to make yourself look bigger than you are (that’s one of the advantages of buying a franchise – you may just be starting out but you have the franchise name behind you so people consider you to be something bigger).  I’ve put together here a few things that me and some of my past clients have done to give the impression of being a bigger business. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Is it better that your small business has a loan or has shareholders?

Starting a small business can be expensive.  There may be a requirement for office space, stock will usually be required and there are ‘hidden’ costs such as fuel for the car to go out marketing the business.  Many business owners will use savings to cover some of the early costs but most businesses will need quite a large lump of cash to keep them going for the first 6-12 months while they become established.  The two main ways of getting this cash is through debt or equity.  Let’s look at the good and bad points of each. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Top tips to increase your average sale value

Do you know what the average sale value is for each customer who buys from you? It’s a simple calculation to make – just make a note of what every customer buys, add up the total and then divide by the number of customers. Then, once once you know what the figure is, you can work on increasing it. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Sales is a game – make sure you know the rules

Regardless of the type of business you’re in or the product or service you provide, everyone has to sell. Some people are born to sell but the majority of people have to work at it a little before success comes their way. From my experience as a salesman and also from watching people as a business coach here are a few things that I see all successful sales people doing when making a sale. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Is now really the right time for you to start a small business?

When you’re thinking of starting a business there is a huge amount of information available on the net to explain the technical aspects of setting up a business. But there’s one crucial area of starting up that isn’t covered in quite so much detail and that is the timing of the start up when should you go live with your small business? Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Question: how should you run a small business?

Answer: like a big one.

Most small business that are started don’t get beyond the 3-5 year point.  Many of those that do are still struggling along with only one or two employees and not making much profit.  Why does this happen?  Because the business owner hasn’t started and run the business with the right mentality and goal. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

The alternatives to starting a small business from scratch

Ok, so you’re planning on leaving the world of working for someone else and you’re going to set up on your own. The next question is what are you going to do and how?

There are two main alternatives to starting a business from scratch and here they are. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Thinking of starting a business?  Here are some questions to ask yourself before you do.

Am I running away from something or towards something?

Very often people start their own business as a result of something negative that happened to them in the employed world. They may have been made redundant, fallen out with their boss, their career has stalled or they’re just not be enjoying their job and more. This is what I term running away. Continue reading »

Dec 132011
 

Here’s the reason why most small businesses fail

One of the main reasons people start a small business is because they’re tired of working for someone else and think that they can do better.  And herein lies a problem with many small businesses… Continue reading »

Dec 132011
 

Running a business can be easy – if you do it right

Running a business is like anything else in life – there is the right way and the wrong way. Run the business the right way and life will be a lot easier and you will be able to achieve more. Here are three simple tips that will help you make the business run the way you want it to and not the other way around! Continue reading »

Dec 132011
 

When it comes to advertising it’s amazing how much you can do with little or no money

Sometimes in a business you need to ramp up your advertising but lack the funds to do something ‘proper’, like take out ads in a newspaper or buy a slot in the listings directories. But don’t worry, there are other – cheaper – ways of advertising businesses that can be just as effective; all it takes is a little bit of imagination and a little more personal time and effort. Continue reading »

Dec 132011
 

How to make your business advertising work

There’s a famous saying in advertising of a business owner saying “50% of my advertising works – I just don’t know which 50% it is”. If you want to avoid this sort of problem for your small business then read on. Continue reading »