What are your business strategies? They differ with ever entrepreneur. Here we look at some tips about what it takes to build and run a business, but we’d like to hear from the community as well. Think there’s something we missed? Leave it in the comment section below.
When cost cuts fail….drastic measures. How do you survive when you have cut costs as much as you can and your small business is still not viable? You just can’t wait any longer for the business climate to improve. Some small businesses are altering their core business plans or strategies. These changes include changing their products and services, what market strategies they use, and what markets they target. Some are making riskier moves by introducing new products and services. Before making changes, the small business owner should consider the flexibility of the employees and of the business structure. Can they accommodate the necessary changes? The small business owner must remember that the margin for error is far less at this lower level of economic activity. WSJ
Bad is good: why a negative brand name could turn out to be the biggest positive. Why would a small business intentionally choose a brand name with negative connotations? True, it is a risky move, but while there are some pitfalls like that the name could turn people off or even worse offend them, or that it might just have a short term effect. Lastly, people buy a product or service because they need it. Your product or service has to be very good before you try this approach. These possible negative outcomes must be weighed against perks including standing out in brand name clutter, creating an exciting daredevil image, and arousing curiosity. The controversial name also will get you marketing coverage and works great for building a challenger brand. Proceed at your own risk. The One of a KindPreneur
Tips & Trends
9 things you can do to win customers and keep them coming back. To a large extent brand loyalty is a thing of the past. However, there are some steps that the small business can take to win customers and to keep them coming back. The first is to get to know who your customer is. Customer profiling is a necessity. Next, you must be friendly and warm, and you need to be flexible in working around customer needs and specifications. Find ways to add value to your business by offering extraordinary service including brand with wheels if applicable. Offering options on payments can mean a lot in these difficult economic times. Use social media to interact with your customers as to their needs and concerns as well as letting them know what is new in your product line. To be successful today, small businesses must be innovative and people centric. The One of a KindPreneur
How to decide if entrepreneurship is right for you. Are you not satisfied working for someone else and not being able to do what you strongly feel is necessary for the business? If you feel that you’re not, it doesn’t necessarily mean your ready to tackle entrepreneurship. There are five questions this article wants you to answer to yourself honestly before you make the decision to start your own business. Do you have a burning desire to have your own business knowing the effort and sacrifice needed to succeed and do you feel passionate about the product or service you have to offer? How good am I at making decisions and taking on many different responsibilities? Finally, do I have the stamina and the desire to put in all the hours needed and not suffer from burnout? These questions must be answered to yourself before you make a decision to commit. WSJ
Funding & Start-up
Notice to credit card companies. You’ve been pre-approved to shove your card. The author of this article questions whether causing small businesses to fail due the difficulty in obtaining financial backing for their business increase the risk that we as a nation will not soon recover from this financial crisis in which we are mired. The result of this inability to get the necessary financial backing to start and maintain their small business is that almost half of these startups are bootstrapped. Much of the startup capital comes from the owner’s personal or business credit cards which holds them personally liable. Dr. Lahm has drawn some solemn conclusions from the limited available research. He would hope that the credit card companies find some ethical leadership and that banks would begin to work with entrepreneurs and not against them. ChangeinTerms.com
Tips for starting a business in retirement. Regardless of what some government agencies will tell you, over half of the jobs created in this country are created by small businesses. Today more and more retired individuals are looking to create their own jobs, because they are experiencing longer lifespans and they have seen their pensions and the value of their financial holdings shrink in these hard economic times. These retired individuals differ from other potential entrepreneurs in that their financial positions make funding of their small business far less difficult. In addition, they have gained so much in life that they are now far more concerned with the satisfaction they get from their achievement than they are with the fear of failure. Considerations to be thought about before you begin are presented. US News Money
Tax-free lunch plan would kick-start economy and incentivize restaurant customers. In 2009 we had the “Cash for Clunkers” program which is given credit for saving 42,000 auto industry jobs. Why not have a tax-free lunch plan? The restaurant owners claim that every dollar spent by customers results in $2.05 spent in the overall economy. The proposal would allow taxpayers to deduct up to $1000.00 in restaurant receipts. The Smart Blogs Network
When “decision fatigue” frazzles your small business brain. Decision fatigue is a depletion of the brain’s mental stamina as a result of making too many decisions. This results in our making too many bad decisions or not making decisions at all. This condition is believed to exist among small business owners since they are responsible for making almost all important decisions. This article delves into some of the guidance and suggestions needed to manage the decision-making process. Huff Post Small Business
Ten things top entrepreneurs do differently. The top entrepreneurs just don’t happen and they’re not just lucky. However, they do share some common traits, beliefs, and approaches. They have honed the skills needed to capitalize on these traits and to use them to drive innovation around the world. If anyone desires to be really successful, reading, studying and believing in the ten principles in this article. The Globe and Mail
Managing online customer feedback: 5 things you need to know. The customer is always right. That’s is the motto that good business managers or owners have always lived by. Today, however, with the arrival with the internet, customer dissatisfaction has become a lot more difficult to handle. You need to become more assertive when dealing with negative or even angry customers. You must remember that even negative reviews, if resolved properly can build customer loyalty. It is important to identify the real problem and solve it to the customer’s satisfaction. You must know when and how to respond. Finally, you must not forget to encourage your good customers. The Huffington Post/AOL Small Business
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