Everything You Need To Know About Business
Why start any business without finding Everything You Need To Know About Business. Starting a business brings out many different emotions, including passion, excitement and impatience. We have what we think is a great business idea, so we want to get started, hit the ground running, and see progress immediately. It's often difficult to stop speeding ahead and take the process step-by-step, especially when some of the steps are tedious. But it's very important to take time to identify your motivation before starting a business.
Without an idea, you don't have a business. But having an idea does not mean you are on to a winner either. You have to realise the idea. That requires hard work, determination, and pushing yourself both physically and mentally. After all, what's the point of a great concept if you do not have the patience and hunger to make it work?
Do not start a business unless you have enough money to invest in the business yourself and enough money to live on for a year. You're not going to be profitable for at least that long. How are you going to pay your rent in the meantime? And when you do take money from other people, be selective. So many entrepreneurs say, "It's no longer the business that I started." That's because they lost control. Control doesn't come with the title of CEO; control comes with cash.
You don't need to have a million dollars in the bank. Be creative, and understand how to get money.
- Make your idea your idea -- legally. Get the paperwork done for patents and trademarks.
- Know your market. And don't just focus on traditional demographics, such as white males, ages 35 to 45. Dig deeper: What are the buying habits of your customers? What are their families like? Getting that kind of information takes time and money. So partner with universities to do market research.
- Develop an exit strategy from the get-go. Go beyond strictly financial considerations. What is your personal exit strategy? You're not going to want to run the company forever. Step aside when the mission has to change, or when the market need shifts to involve something that you know nothing about. Otherwise, you're going to run your company into the ground.
Everything You Need To Know About Business Success
Your business success must be built upon a systematic, turn-key process - just follow these simple actions:
1. Identify customer needs.
- Make existing customer relationships the priority.
- Understand what your customer is looking to buy.
- Create a solution by asking questions.
2. Know your true business.
- What business are you really in?
- Answer all customer questions truthfully.
3. Focus ONLY on the target market.
- Top customers need daily care and attention.
- Qualified prospects require continued follow up.
- Identify your firm’s top three benefits.
- Sell with innovation.
4. Plan. Planned communications are key.
- Restructure your customer and prospect questions to leave out: “May I help
- Practice every communication.
- Have your website mirror your in-person dialogue.
- Be conscious of having 12 words or eight seconds to make an impression.
- Tell great stories that focus on results your firm has created for its customers.
5. Maximize referrals; use a loyalty program.
- Planning works: plan and then work your plan.
- Methodical follow up produces results.
- Loyalty programs can be implemented with simple tickler files.
6. Mine competitor and product intelligence.
- Map your competition’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Know your product; it creates credibility and dissolves objections.
7. Make sales communication priority one.
Everything You Need To Know About Business - Planning
There are a number of reasons why you might have to draw up a business plan.
Your bank manager may ask to see one; it is the primary sales document for potential investors and senior management recruits will want to see a strategy before they commit themselves to your future.
This doesn't mean, however, that business plans are only useful at critical moments in business time. They have a role to play every day.
This can be hard to believe when you're faced with customer demands, tax deadlines, man management and a dozen other business-as-usual problems. Struggling with all of that, it can be hard to justify devoting any time at all to drawing up a business plan no one's actually screaming for.
It's like preparing for your exams You spend all your study time drawing up a revision timetable, only to do have to redo it because it took you so long to map it out, you're already off schedule. Surely you'd be better off just getting stuck in?
The problem with that approach is that it's easy to get immersed in one subject - usually your favorite - and ignore the ones you struggle with or find simply too dull. You don't develop in a balanced way and, come the exams themselves, you aren't capable of getting the results you want.
The workplace equivalent of this is a business which doesn't have a clear idea of what it is trying to do. Its plans for growth are haphazard; its financial structure is unsound: and its long-term prospects are (at best) stagnant or (at worst) decline and bankruptcy.
If you plan to be successful where is your business plan?
How can a business plan help my business?
A business plan is a strategy document which defines where your business is going and how it intends to get there. It is usually a long-term vision and normally spans either 1, 3 or 5 years.
Although the document itself acts as a useful benchmark, allowing you to check your progress every three months or so, the process involved in producing it is as valuable as the booklet it creates.
When you draw up a business plan, you are forced to distill your ideas, rank your priorities and clarify your objectives.
You have to analyse the resources you have available - finance, people, facilities and premises - to see whether you have enough to help you reach your end goal. And if you don't, you have to work out how you will make up the shortfall. And you have to research the markets you compete in today and tomorrow to ensure there is a growing number of customers who will continue to want what you sell.
In short, it makes you focus on the future - and plan for it - rather than just worry about coping with today.
So why bother writing it all down?
Even if you are the only person who will ever see your business plan, you should still put together a formal presentation.
For a start, it stops you cheating. If something's down in black and white you can't pretend, three months down the line, that it didn't exist. If your plan didn't work out then it is important to acknowledge it, assess what wrong and see what changes you can make in the future or adjustments you need to make to your strategy.
Secondly, by writing about your business as if you were describing it to an outsider you are forced to ask questions you could otherwise fudge your way through.
Would an outsider, for example, be convinced by your gut feelings? If not, then you will need to back up any product development plans or market predictions with real research. Over-inflated forecasts would damage your credibility, so you don't let yourself get away with it.
Thirdly, it stops you getting distracted. It's easy to be mesmerized by new opportunities that business life throws up. Having a blueprint allows you to compare these ideas against your original objectives. Will they really help you achieve your goals? If not, you may want to adapt your strategy, focus on them later or dump them altogether. What you mustn't do is try and do everything at once.
Finally, if you ever do need to produce a business plan for someone else, having the bones of it there already will not only make it easier for you to produce what he or she wants but the fact that such documentation exists will instantly make you look more credible.
Can I cheat?
You should never fiddle your figures - no matter who is or isn't seeing your business plan.
Adjusting your accounts is obviously fraudulent. And while it might be tempting to inflate your less tangible market forecasts by the odd decimal point or two, don't bother.
Not only are professional investors and bankers skilled at seeing through such bluff: even if they accept it at face value you will then have to deliver against those targets. Unrealistic projections only store problems up for the future.
A business plan will only help your business if it's grounded in reality. Once it becomes a work of fiction it's worse than useless - it's delusional and will only result in bad decisions.
Everything You Need To Know About Business Failure
Why do most businesses fail? - Because they run out of cash.
It might seem straightforward but to many businesses miss this simple point. The main source of finance for every business is the same, it is not your bank, and it is not by grant or other method of finance, it must not be your own savings – it is your sales.
If your customers do not pay you on time, or will not pay you on time, find some new customers.
Credit is not obligatory, it is not a right, it is a privilege you give your customers.
If you cannot sell without giving credit then try and find a way that you can. Failing that ensure cash collection is handled by someone who understands that cash is king or by you, yourself. Do not allow your sales people to protect bad payers or try and ensure that bad payers are treated differently if they are “good” customers.
If your customers will not pay you on time, then find some others that will.
And understand one simple point, until the cash is in your pocket, you have not sold anything – you have given it away in the hope that your customer will pay.
Do not over-borrow
If you are going to borrow make sure you are borrowing finance you need to go forward. Every penny you borrow to make up for your customers not paying, for paying staff that are not performing, for assets you may not use, for covering a short-term, or long-term, shortfall, is extremely hard to pay back.
If you have to use someone else’s money to achieve your goals ask yourself one question first
Is there another way?
If your idea is so great why not make some money first? If the money you borrow is to enable you to succeed, why can’t you succeed first and use the money from your own success.
Money you borrow from yourself is the money that is easiest to pay back!
If you must borrow set some rules
Never borrow more money than you need. Never, just have a bit more, if you do not need it, do not take it – EVER
- Pay it back as quickly as possible. If there is a choice between going on holiday to get away from it all or treating yourself to a new car, stop – pay it back, first.
- Do not take finance just because it is available. If you are being offered money or easy finance do not take it unless you need it
- Do not, ever; borrow to get out of failure. If your business is failing what good will borrowing do? Lack of cash is not the real problem; it is symptomatic of something else. Do not borrow until you know what the problem is. Shortage of cash is not the problem.
Do not over-invest
New equipment is expensive and by the time it is fitted, you are all trained to their exacting standards and the cost of bedding-in is counted it is even more expensive.
Why sacrifice success for the latest technology, a new un-costed idea or a great salesman, office manager or other ideas you have for changing the business, if the business is already providing what you want.
Sometimes the equipment you have, the people you have and, most importantly, the business you have is the best that you can have.
Do not over-invest yourself into closure
Do not do nothing
The biggest decision that most business owners make is to do nothing, and keep doing nothing.
Doing nothing is an option and so is changing everything and making a huge mistake.
Get yourself in a state of mind where you are constantly evaluating and therefore consciously doing nothing.
Do not do nothing because you do not want to do something. Make conscious decisions, not unconscious ones.
What would you do if your major supplier shut down tomorrow?
If your business burnt down?
If your major product was inexplicably banned?
Time after time things happen to businesses that they could not believe were going to happen. What do you believe cannot happen?
Here is a list of immediate things you might want to consider how you would react;
- A fire or flood or other natural disaster
- A major theft
- A major delivery being damaged during transit
- Your key members of staff leave
- Your key staff leaving to work for your major competitor
- Your rival receives sensitive information about your business
- Your computer system fails
- Your computer system gets a virus
- All your computer data gets corrupted
- Your biggest customer cancels all of their orders
- Your key supplier shuts down – note, your key supplier, not necessarily your biggest
- Your key product gets banned
- Environmental legislation stops you supplying certain products
- Environmental legislation doubles your costs
Try and add others to this list
Now assess them against these four responses.
- Can you stop them happening in the first place, or at least make it extremely unlikely
- Set up systems that ensure the effects are minimal. For example, ensure that your administrative people are not irreplaceable; make the system run the business.
- Insure against the things that could really affect your business, not what the insurer tells you must be insured
- Do nothing
Try and make sure that option 4 is not used to often!
Businesses get into crisis every day.
Get a plan to solve those crises before they occur.
First of all ensure that you have a contact list kept up to date and kept off-site by all key employees. It is one of the most important documents you could have and it should contain
- The contact details for all of your staff
- The contact details of anyone who can help you set up new premises quickly. People you know and those that you may not
- The contact details of a back-up computer company. You, of course, back-up your system regularly and keep that information off-site
- The contact details of a service which can offer telecommunication help
- A list of your advisers
- A list of your suppliers
- A list of your customers
But you know all of these names and numbers don’t you? Of course you do.
But what if it is you that is the crisis, or are you indestructible?
Ensure you, and at least one other trusted person, has this list and ensure that you, and at least one other trusted person, knows what to do when one of the crisis actually happens.
Everything You Need To Know About Managing Your Business Forever
Write A Business Plan now and change your business forever.
- Establish the Strategic Direction of the Company.
- Build Loyal Employees .
- Hold Employees Accountable .
- Continue Upgrading Management .
- Build Strong Relationships ... vendors, customers, and advisors.
- Keep Margins and Markups as Low as Possible.
- Always Produce and Provide Quality.
- Strive to be the "Low Cost" Producer.
- Grow ... but do so prudently and profitably.
- Create Excellence in Operations and Execution .
- Install a Management Process to Guide and Control the Company.
Good luck with your business!
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