You’ve done your market research, you’ve got a solid business plan, you’ve registered your company and pulled together funding, suppliers and everything else you need to start your new business. You’re ready to trade – you just need some customers.
However, not all customers are created equal; some are a delight to deal with, while others seem to have crept from the depths just to torment you. When you’re building up your customer base, you obviously want more of the former and fewer of the latter, especially if you’re in a service-provision industry where customer relationships are key; but how can you achieve this? (more…)
Your ability to be your most effective and successful is fueled by how inclusive you are as a leader in all aspects of your business – your supply chain, your workforce and how you take your products and services to market.
It’s likely that you have based your success to date on your intuitive grasp of key business issues, but if you rely on intuition alone, you could reach a plateau that will stunt your progress, and may well limit the level of creative and innovative thinking around you.
This isn’t a great recipe for sustainable business success, so here’s how you can avoid this stagnation and drive your business forward. (more…)
Any business owner is familiar with the challenge of attracting new clients and protecting relationships with existing ones.
Fierce competition within many industries gives clients a wide choice of suppliers to choose from, and to make things even more difficult, some clients feel the need to change vendors periodically to avoid the common phenomenon of supplier complacency.
If your ambition is to do long-term business with a new or existing client you will need ensure that you engage as a serious partner: Well prepared, well informed, and far from complacent.
If you’ve got a business headache right now, there’s a pretty good chance it’s to do with clients owing you money.
It’s almost as if the economic downturn has become a prime opportunity for anyone who fancies improving their own cash flow to help themselves to better credit terms from their suppliers… but without asking permission.
That has a knock on effect right down the line. And it’s no wonder that small, cash poor companies at the bottom of the chain are the ones that suffer the most.
So you’ve decided to go freelance. You’ve picked a smart balance between being a wage slave employee, and the full stresses and strains that go with building a stand alone business.
Once your marketing efforts have generated you a list of prospects, it’s time to see them and get them to buy. The first thing to remember is that you’re not selling a product or service – you’re selling the benefits it brings to the buyer.
Alongside freedom, the potential financial benefit associated with contracting or freelancing is a prime motivator for many people thinking of working for clients as an independent worker.
One of the first things people ask is: “what hourly / daily rate should I charge as a contractor?”
With the economic dowturn still with us, despite encouraging signs that the worst may now be over, many small businesses will have experienced ‘shrinkage’ in their customer base.
And that leaves you fighting your competitors for a smaller and smaller share of the market (until your competitors go under, anyway).
Actually, there is a bountiful supply of business for you, and the good news is you already have it.