Understanding Your Business – A Feasibility Analysis

Every business is unique. There is no single set of rules that apply to all. The challenge to survive and grow that business is a function of its market, its customer base, its competitors and its resources. Only by understanding where opportunities may lie for supporting, growing and expanding opportunities will the business be able to meet and overcome the enormous challenges that exist today.

(While understanding the competition is of extreme importance, it is beyond the purview of this article.)

Understanding the overall picture is vital. You need to understand your consumer and his relation to your product or service. What is the ‘value proposition’ that your product or service offers your customer?

Regardless of the type of product or service you offer, a major determinant of the success of your business will be the price you set. Price must cover the costs of production including overhead. To lower prices, you must lower your costs, so you must know the real costs of running your business.

The first step is to gain a thorough understanding of the internal workings of your business–you need to understand your critical business processes–all of the activities that are essential to providing quality products and services.

Work to understand your culture, processes, and technology. Start by analyzing your business using a process map to identify your bottlenecks and delays. Identify the activity owner of each business function. This is generally a manager or supervisor with overall responsibility for a particular business unit.

Rank the importance of each process as it impacts the performance of the business. The aim is to identify where the flow slows within your business. By documenting and analysing every interface between departments you will ensure that all business problems are addressed and reduce the risk of eliminating the benefits of existing processes.

Determine how effective the accounting procedures are in monitoring all your financial activities. Out of date or poorly prepared records can actually hinder the growth of your business. Evaluate how computers and software can improve efficiency.

Understanding your business inside and out will give you much better operational control. It will enable you to determine what processes and procedures need to be eliminated or added to ensure your survival and prosperity.

Understanding your business, and understanding what the risks are and what changes you have to make will be the key to whether the business succeeds or fails.

Four Tips to Funding a Business Start-Up on a Shoestring

Are you unsure about whether or not to start your business because of lack of start-up funds? Many small and home business owners face this very issue in the beginning. Do not get discouraged — there are lots of ways you can fund your start-up business on a shoestring.

The first thing to remember is that there are endless numbers of success stories of shoestring businesses making it big.

One of my clients, back when I was running a web hosting business, started a baby sling company from her kitchen table. She simply purchased fabric and thread and used a sewing machine she already had to create a sling that was comfortable for her, and her baby. She really did not even plan to start a business.

But after getting rave reviews from friends and strangers at the grocery store, she started selling her slings online.

Today, she is a well-known sling maker whose products have been in big box stores and who sells thousands of dollars a day from her website.

Be encouraged and know that you can build a successful business from scratch, but you have to be focused and never willing to quit.

The second suggestion that many who have been in your shoes suggest, is not to quit your job until your business begins showing a profit. All too often, new business owners are enamored with the idea of owning and running a business and quit their day jobs, only to discover that funds run short fast. Then they are forced to take extreme measures, or look for another job.

Next, you have to truly know your business inside and out. How much money will it cost to run your business? You should complete a business plan, which will tell you if your business idea will be a feasible one or not. Research similar businesses and find out what kinds of profits and losses they are seeing.

Finally, if you find that you still need some financial backing but you do not want to borrow money from a financial institution, find a few investors. Present your business idea, along with your prepared business plan and research to trusted friends and colleagues and request their financial backing for your start-up business. Many times you will be able to obtain this kind of monetary help from those who believe in your business and want to see you succeed.

SaleHoo Tips For a Successful Online Business

Online business or eCommerce has slowly becoming a trend in the business scene. Many are now putting up virtual stores which they can run with just a small amount of money. With the use of the internet, one can be able to market and sell their products to many possible clients. This is actually the easiest way to let others know about your business since majority of people today are using the internet everyday.

One proof of success for these online sellers is the eBay. Now, there are millions of online sellers in this auction site. This just goes to show that there are also millions of online shoppers around today. You can actually buy everything you need over these online stores. However, there are also some guidelines that you must follow to make sure that your online business will succeed and grow.

First tip that SaleHoo gives to you is that you should give the right attention to your business. Do not just let it run and profit the same amount over and over again. Aim high. If you want to earn more, then do more. You can add more items to your store or research on products that are truly best sellers.

Another tip is to know the business inside and out. Know how to properly run an online business. Know the things that can make it prosper and fail. And through these, you would know what proper actions to do in running your business.

And choose the best products to sell. Do not just sell anything; be sure that it is a necessity and something that people use often. This will make sure that you will have repeat customers.

SaleHoo can help you in marketing your products. You can also talk to other members through the members’ forum to get views and opinions on a certain matter. SaleHoo will help you in all aspects of your business.

How to Grow Your Business Using Trade Shows

Anybody that has ever been to a trade show can tell you the same thing; it can do wonders for your business.  It is a great way to reach new customers, unload some existing merchandise, not to mention a place to meet great contacts  But if you want your business to succeed at the next trade show, the first thing you will need is a strategy.  You will have to develop a plan on how to set up your area, what promotional items you’ll pass out, and consider the overall presentation and image that you’ll be promoting.  If you follow these basic concepts, not only will you make more money promoting your brand at a trade show, but you will rapidly increase your business in the process.

The first thing you’ll want to do is to figure out your presentation.  How will you be promoting your business visually?  If you don’t have the right look, and some cool promotional items to pass out, your trade show experience could be a massive failure.  But with the right set up, your business could have a solid presence.  You’ll first want to secure a few nice tables, and put them together, and find a nice cloth or covering to put over them.  You’ll want to have some signs of your business, or even a nicely embroidered logo will do the trick.  You’ll want something that catches the eye, but is not too gaudy; you want your business to look classy, but approachable.

It is also important to have a trained staff there, representing your business and ready to sell.  When you are flooded with new customers, new clients, and new contacts, it can be pretty overwhelming, that is why you will need a trained staff there to help you manage the booth.  You’ll want to move quickly, but be thorough with your conservations and dealings.  Also, have a note taker or a secretary nearby writing down different people’s numbers and names to keep track of all the information.  Train your employees accordingly so that they can deal quickly with customers, yet be able to explain your business inside and out. 

At a trade show, whether you are there promoting your business, or looking to sell off some merchandise, make sure you don’t underestimate the importance of free handouts.  If you have the right promotional item or gift, it can do wonders for your trade show presence.  There are so many different products to grab people’s attention that something free, but interesting, might just be what it takes to put your booth over the top, and give your business great success at the next trade show to come.