Connect with us

Tips for Startups

Achieving small-to-medium businesses Long Term Growth – Essential Checklist

Published

on

small business ideas

Achieving SMB(small-to-medium businesses) Long Term Growth – Essentials Checklist

Almost all ideas, plans and efforts when leading a young business are unified in one single goal – achieving growth. Every business, no matter how big, strives to get bigger, but small-to-medium businesses are hungrier for “proving what they are made of”. All SMBs have growth potential. This potential is larger with small companies, but it has to be managed properly and carefully, in order to avoid many traps on the road towards success.

Still, many small and medium companies fail to grow (in terms of revenue and profitability), mostly because they do not manage to create a good growth strategy which has to be backed up with a strong execution infrastructure (which is also missing). These are the two major reasons why SMBs fail to grow.

However, the chances for success can certainly be improved (if not, then this article would be non-existent, and you would not be here, right?). Managers can clear the way for their business’ to grow by building a strong execution framework and devising, testing, and implementing clear growth strategies.

  1. Create realistic plans

Your long-term plans need to be clear and attainable. If you present your plans that are unrealistic to potential investors, you will probably be turned down for receiving funds for your business. This is actually where many young entrepreneurs make a mistake, by making too ambitious plans whose realization seems too difficult or even impossible. Do not create plans only for collecting funds.

What does being “realistic” means when writing a business plan? It means avoiding to be too aggressive or blindly optimistic. A well-written business plan is specific (with all the strategies and methods that should be used being included in it), easy to read (without any unnecessary elaborations and source that are hard to understand), and realistic (all the plans included in it should be achievable). Pay attention to realizing certain short-term plans that can give your business strong boost. How can this be good for long term growth? Think of your business as a plane that is about to take off. You need a lot of energy in getting airborne, but after that you just have to glide.

  1. Create a proper management network

This is also where you have to play your cards smart, due to the fact that the budget of small and medium businesses is limited. Hiring people to run separate business units might be impossible in that case. Try hiring less experienced managers and provide them proper training instead. Hiring top industry experts would be much more expensive than outsourcing these services or hiring a trainee for a managerial position. Also, after about a year or two when trainees develop into expert managers, they will be more loyal to you and your company.

  1. Having more than one cash source is invaluable to your business

No matter what the size of a company, having more cash sources on which one can rely on at any time is an invaluable asset. One way to start a business is crowdfunding, which is usually free. It is also based on customer recognition, so you would probably not have problems with selling your products. Raise money from your friends and family, attract investors, pledge some of your future earnings, or take small business loans.

  1. The importance of debt recovery

As we said earlier, SMBs have a limited budget, thus having the necessary liquidity is of great importance. If you are having troubles collecting money owed to you from debtors, consider using all means available before carrying it to the court of law. Remind the debtor of his late payment by emails, phone calls, and sending reminder bills. Try understanding the difficulty of the situation, offer discounts, and negotiate (this may result in prolonged deadlines). Terminate the business relationship until the debt is collected, or hire a good debt collection agency that knows its way around debt collecting issues.

Conclusion
During your company’s growth process, you and your employees will face many challenges. Provide them proper training and education, make realistic plans, and be prepared to adapt to the business environment and to change your marketing strategies on the go.

 

John Stone is a business consultant and regular contributor to Bizzmarkblog. He believes in the notion that form should always follow function and that thinking outside of the box is a prerequisite of being a successful entrepreneur.

Tips for Startups

Easy Hacks To Overcome Startup Lead Generation Pitfalls

Published

on

Startup Lead Generation Pitfalls

Startup entrepreneurs encounter several common challenges during the early stages of business. From cash constraints to operational bottlenecks and recruitment issues, everything seems to go against them. But the sheer dream of launching a startup keeps them going. Lead generation is another concern you may face when new in the business landscape. After all, convincing buyers to choose you over established brands can take a lot of work. But it is one thing startups cannot survive and grow without. Fortunately, you can embrace an actionable plan to build a robust sales pipeline for your business. Let us share a few easy hacks to overcome startup lead generation pitfalls.

Gather audience data

Relying on guesswork is the worst way to generate leads for your startup because it may never pay. Moreover, not getting them in the initial stages can topple your growth plans and hit your motivation levels. Gathering audience data is the key to your customer’s heart as it enables you to target the right audience at the right time. Besides following the correct data, you must keep up with the timelines. Failing to reconnect with leads within a reasonable amount of time is a surefire way to drive them away for good.

Think beyond referrals

When you just land in the market, you tend to rely on referrals. It seems the most sensible thing as people hardly know your brand, and you have a minimal marketing budget. Undoubtedly, the word-of-mouth marketing tactic plays a significant role for startups, but it is not enough. You cannot rely on it to get authentic leads, and it may cost more than you imagine, as people expect incentives to spread the word. A small but strategic lead generation campaign puts your business in a better place. The best part is that you can scale it over time.

Outsource expertise

Since launching a campaign is essential, you can consider outsourcing expertise instead of hiring an in-house team for the job. The good thing is that you can find custom lead generation services at a fraction of the cost of recruiting and managing an in-house team. Since these are seasoned experts, they can get your pipeline flowing sooner than later. You are in a better place to give your business a great start with specialists handling your lead generation process from the outset.

Prioritize quality over quantity

Startups should focus on prospects that are more likely to convert instead of chasing a broader audience. Spreading your net too wide can deplete time and resources, so it is always better to take a targeted approach. Fortunately, lead generation experts can help you prioritize quality over quantity. Your sales team can take on from there and achieve more with less with a list of prospects with high conversion potential. At this stage, it is easy to personalize campaigns according to the pain points and expectations of the target audience.

Nurture new leads

Generating new leads for your startup is only half the work. You also have to nurture them to make the most of the list from your outsourcing partner. Everything boils down to engaging consistently with your customers. It convinces them that you have the best option to resolve their pain points, so they definitely reach out for solutions to their future concerns. Besides boosting sales, nurturing your customers also strengthens your startup brand enough to compete with the top players. Creating valuable and interactive content is the key to lead nurturing, so ensure having it ready.

Track ROI for your campaigns

Tracking the ROI of campaigns is crucial for all businesses, even more for startups running on tight budgets. You must absolutely do it to learn about the gaps in your campaign and ideate ways to correct them for a better conversion rate in the long run. You can measure the campaign ROI by defining key metrics and using tracking tools from the start. Analyzing these metrics enables you to find pitfalls along the conversion funnel and address them with relevant strategies. A little effort is often enough to fine-tune the campaign for better outcomes.

Startups often struggle to get new leads and convert them into customers because they fail to take a strategic approach from the outset. But it is easy to define a strategy and get the best results if you follow these simple steps. Most importantly, let experts do the heavy lifting so that your sales team can focus on driving real results by chasing only the deals that are most likely to close.

Continue Reading

Tips for Startups

5 Modern Auto Shipping Hacks For The Budding Entrepreneur

Published

on

Auto Shipping Hacks For The Budding Entrepreneur

As a business person, one of the choices you may need to make is picking a car shipping service. If you’re a rookie in the business, you may need some hacks to help you make the right choice. Running your company will always present you with decisions that you must make. Business people often need to make fast choices. But that law doesn’t always apply. When shipping your company vehicles, ensure you’ve picked the best service. Otherwise, you may end up regretting it once you’ve lost money. Here are tips to assist you when you need auto transport services.

Research Your Options

Before committing to the first shipping service you hear about, it’s wise to do your research. Learning what your alternatives are, helps you filter the different options. You can only make the best decision when you have many service providers that you can hire. The best place to start your search would be on the Google search engine.

It’s easy to find what you are looking for when searching by including your location in the query. Using Google for Business will also aid in finding nearby services. Come up with a list of various auto services. That way, you can start filtering your options until you find the company that will serve you best. Being patient with the process will help you save time and money in the long run when picking a car shipping service you can count on.

Look Into The Company History

Next, you need to work hard to ensure that you’ve done adequate homework on the company. You can’t make proper choices without a clear picture of their auto-shipping background. You can only make the best choice after you’ve looked at whether the provider is someone reliable. Indeed, business is always a risk. But it’s about calculated risks. And that means having adequate information before setting on anything. That way, you won’t be spending money based on guesswork.

To learn more about the service, start by looking at their website. Browse the site and learn as much as you can from the platform. Any serious shipping company will have a digital presence. Their website should tell you how long they’ve been in business. Such information is critical as it helps you know whether the company has past clients.

While going through their site, look for any accolades or signs of positive work they’ve done. The idea is to get a well-recognized shipping company for what they can do for you. If you want to be sure you’ll get quality service try finding out if they’re BBB accredited. That way, you can be at peace knowing the service will handle your cars with care.

Before booking any calls, you must also look for testimonials on their website. Doing this helps you know what you can expect from the service provider. A testimonial is an excellent way to learn how well a company handles its clients. Customers will always share the details of how happy they are. And this is the perfect place to know how the service may deal with your vehicles.

Reading online reviews is also an excellent way to gather details about the company. Unlike testimonials, reviews allow you to see the strength and shortcomings of the company. Such a perspective is critical because you only pick a service knowing what to expect. With reviews, you learn from other people’s previous experiences with the service. Having this information helps you avoid making your own mistakes. Also, an online review makes it easy to see how clients rate various shipping services. The higher the company rating, the more likely the quality of service they provide. If the company’s online reputation checks out, you should be in safe hands.

On top of this, you can also seek recommendations from others in your line of business. Recommendations are often the fastest way to learn which company you can pick. Anyone who enjoys quality service will have no problem sharing their experience. If you’re in a hurry, you can glean a lot about a service with only one trusted recommendation. After all, if someone is willing to vouch for a company, it means the company has a good service history. Once you know what option to pick, you don’t have to worry about doing more research.

A shipping company with a positive history should also give you their references. It helps to know which businesses they’ve served before. Find out whether they’ve got any previous customers you may know. Sometimes they’ll display it on their website. But other times, you may need to inquire about it during the interview process.

Ask Proper Questions

Don’t settle for any shipping service without getting all your questions answered. Shying away from asking tough questions will only cost you money. Besides, when you notice the company dodging your queries, it may be a sign that you can trust them.

Always ask about the drivers working with the company. It helps to know whether they have the skill and experience needed to handle the task. Also, glean whether the company does any background checks on its drivers. Knowing this gives you peace that your cars won’t end up missing. If the company lets you know they have a tracking system while shipping the cars, the better. With such a service, you’ll be able to track where your vehicles are at any moment.

Look Into The Legal Requirements

Always look for a registered company with valid documents and licenses. Moreover, all shipping services must have insurance and bonds. Make sure you get to know what happens in case of an accident. You don’t want to be the one paying for any damages or losses. Also, do your best to learn about the prices by asking for quotations. That way, you can compare offers from different services and pick what suits your budget.

Always Read The Agreement

Finally, don’t make payments before reading the contract. A business will always try to protect itself first with such a document. Most business people lose money because they failed to go through the terms. If you don’t understand or like anything you see in the conditions, be sure to make it known.

Choosing the perfect auto-shipping service should be a walk in the park if you use these shipping hacks. The pros of using a quality shipping service include

  • Peace of mind.
  • Reliable service.
  • Discounts from your service carrier.
  • Adequate insurance policies ensure the safe transportation of your cargo.

If yours is a company that is transporting a lot of vehicles, teaming with a reputable company can be a key element to ensuring that your investors and other clients are kept happy. With a reliable shipping service, you’ll save money and time. Many shipping companies will help guide you through tricky situations such as transporting multiple vehicles out of the country. Whatever your car shipping needs, make sure you choose a quality solution that can benefit your company for years to come.

Continue Reading

Tips for Startups

Best Survival Advice For Manufacturing Startup Owners

Published

on

Survival Advice For Manufacturing Startup

Running a Startup is a struggle for survival because it requires staying afloat amid tight budgets and competitive challenges. Some domains are inherently more daunting, and manufacturing is among them. It is a capital-and labor-intensive industry, which makes money the most critical concern. Moreover, industrial safety, quality standards, and efficiency expectations always keep you on your toes. As an entrepreneur, you may face more than you can handle. But it is possible to address the startup challenges and emerge as a winner, provided you take the right approach. Let us share some valuable survival advice for manufacturing startup owners.

Stick to your plan

Most startup owners dwindle after the initial enthusiasm only because they lose focus sooner than later. The worst part of losing focus is that you may try to move in too many directions at once instead of staying true to the basics. Commit to sticking to your original plan and mastering your product and process. You may find tempting alternatives along the way, but your only focus should be to develop your core business. Single-minded dedication to your goal can help you survive even in the most challenging phases.

Reinvent your products

Startup manufacturers who are quick to reinvent their products fare the best. Although you must stick to your plan, it is crucial to keep an eye on the market and the customer’s pulse. If your product does not seem to align, tweak it a bit to match the demand and expectations. A little creativity is often enough to transform a mediocre product into a winning one. 

Maximize your productivity

Survival in the manufacturing domain as a beginner is mainly about achieving more with your limited resources. The best way to do it is by maximizing your productivity, even if it means spending more on qualified team members and upgrading your equipment. Although switching to modern equipment at the startup stage sounds like a drastic measure, it can give you a winning advantage. The good thing is that selling used machinery fast is easier than you imagine. You can offer it on an online marketplace to sell quickly and maximize productivity effortlessly.

Invest in lean manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is another wise decision to stay afloat amid startup struggles. It cuts production costs and timelines and ensures quality and efficiency. Going lean is about ensuring that your manufacturing and product design teams are on the same page from the outset. It enables you to cut through the early-stage challenges and ramp up production down the line without sending labor costs skyward.

Prioritize preventive maintenance

Manufacturing success is as much about high-performing machinery as productive employees and well-organized processes. But new manufacturers tend to cut corners in this context. Not investing in preventive maintenance is the worst mistake you can make. It can lead to unexpected breakdowns and downtime, expensive repairs, and safety risks. Conversely, staying ahead of it can lower production costs and downtime risks for your business.

Surviving the challenges of the manufacturing industry as a startup owner is easier than you imagine. Following these simple measures can help you stay afloat and make it to the next stage.

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe to our Free Newsletter

Get Business and Marketing Insights from Experts, only onTimes of Startups!

Your Information will never be shared with any third party