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5 Business Mishaps That Could Cost You Dearly

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There’s nothing quite like the excitement of opening a business. Especially when the primary ideas are destined for success. Nonetheless, those winning innovations will count for very little if you allow the fundamentals of running a company to hold you back.

The harsh reality is that there are plenty of pitfalls waiting to knock you off the path to success. Being aware of them will give you a far better shot at avoiding them. Here are five to avoid at all costs.

1. Wasted Money

Before making money, you’ll need to spend some. Sadly, overspending can cause your venture to fail before it even gains take off. So, you should go the extra mile to reduce costs by using the best staffing methods, energy providers, and production methods. Automated price comparisons can secure savings on various purchases. The power of negotiation is strong too. When your capital is made to work harder, you will find that there’s far less pressure to gain huge sales volumes right away. Buying some extra time can make all the difference.

2. Wasted Time

Time is your greatest resource, which is why you must use it well. Productivity can be significantly harmed by inadequate tools. It’s not all about manufacturing either. The conveyor belt and other commonly overlooked features of the production line are equally crucial. Investing in staff communication to ensure max efficiency from all staff members will transform the whole firm. This can range from utilising modern tech features to using shorter team meetings. Either way, each improvement can ultimately boost your bottom line.

3. Not Knowing Your Niche

You want to reach the biggest possible audience. Sadly, that doesn’t mean you can sell products and services to everyone. Conducting the right research to find your demographic allows you to make data-driven decisions. Those moves relating to packaging, marketing, and client interactions lead to greater conversions. In turn, this takes profitability to a whole new level. Respect your audience.

4. Cyber Security Threats

Building a successful business is one thing, but sustaining that success is another altogether. Sadly, your business is under threat from several sources. Given that around 40% of all cyberattacks hit small companies, it’s vital that you get cybersecurity under control. Aside from the major financial damages that are caused by unauthorised access, you will see your rep take a hit. Once a client has lost their trust in your company, it’s often impossible to win it back. Worse still, they will spread negative views to their friends, costing you further conversions.

5. Lacking Ambition

Not every business needs to take over the world. However, even if you merely want to gain a strong presence in your hometown, it’s necessary to show some ambition. Most companies need to take some risks in order to reach their goals. This could mean trying new marketing ideas or bringing unique attributes to their products and services. If you fall into the trap of merely emulating the other brands in your sector, it’ll be very difficult to win new clients. Besides, when you work with passion, it will shine through to influence consumer decisions.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Preparing To Start A New Business: Things To Think About

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There aren’t many people who don’t daydream about becoming their own boss. However, the percentage of those who do daydream about and those who actually do it is a lot lower. What is it about becoming our own boss that stops us from following our dreams and turning a dream into a reality?

For many people, it is the fear of the unknown. Not knowing if you are making the right decision can be the tipping point for many people. Another hurdle is money and, dare we say it; self-belief can be a huge factor in starting your own business. If you don’t believe in what you are selling, then it goes without saying that no one else will either.

Removing all the obstacles you place in front of yourself is the first step to starting your journey to becoming your own boss.

Business plan

Every new start-up and trading business needs a business plan. Why? Well, for starters to steer you in the right direction to making a success for your new venture. Knowing what you want from your company, where it is going and where it could potentially go will give you something to aim for and make sure you deliver what is required to make your company successful.

What exactly does a business plan comprise of?

Essentially it is a detailed list of the projected journey of the company to help you steer it in the right direction. What the plan involves can be different depending on your trajectory and what you are offering, but the following will help you to form a plan and know where to start. 

  • What are you selling?
  • Who is your customer base?
  • What percentage profit can you expect to make in the first year? 
  • What is your initial outlay cost to get up and running?
  • Is there scope to expand in your sector?
  • Do you have a USP? (Unique Selling Point)
  • How do you plan to find and attract customers?
  • Why will your customers stay with your company?
  • How do you plan to evolve the company and expand?
  • Are there ways you can adapt what you do and offer more services/different products?
  • Where do you see the company in 5 years?
  • How do you plan to get your company to that point in 5 years?

A thorough and detailed plan will help you for many years to come, not just for their initial starting period.

Know yourself

And know what you want to do and how you plan to get there. Building a new company for the wrong reasons will never work out well and may end up leaving you in a worse place than you were before you started. With as many as 50% of businesses failing in the first five years, knowing how to succeed and being willing to do what it takes will help you stand the test of time if you are genuinely doing it for the right reasons. 

Combine your goals with your personal drive and perseverance and make sure that you are fully committed to making it a success. Simply starting a new business because you dislike working for other people or you think it is a get rich quick scheme will no doubt be your undoing if this is why you are starting a new business.

Financial outlay

Do you need money to get the company up and running? If so, you need to know precisely what you need and how much money you will need before you start looking for loans or financial backers. Some companies will be able to start up on a very small or even no budget at all. Other companies will need to look at purchasing stock, finding premises, and making sure they have everything they need to run their company successfully.

Warehouses, industrial sheds, offices, and tech for employees don’t come cheap, so factoring them into your budget is essential before you start looking for finance options.

Is there a market for what you are selling?

Who is your ideal customer? How are you going to sell them? If there is no market for your service or product, chances are you may struggle to find suitable buyers or to get people’s attention.

Being able to identify a gap in the market and fill it will help you to attract the right customer for your company. You need to demonstrate a willingness to be able to adapt to meet the demands of a changing market and satisfy the consumer needs as and when they change. Diversifying is something that will help your company stay heads and shoulders above the rest and keep you relevant and able to fulfil your client’s needs as they change.

Having a unique selling point will mean you are offering people something they aren’t getting elsewhere or may not even realize they need. Identify a gap in the market and strive to fill it before someone else does. A great way to do this is by asking current or potential clients what they are looking for and what would make their lives easier. Then, you can adapt what you do to meet this demand.

Keep an eye on the competition

Always know what they are doing and make sure you are competing on the same playing field. Copying them may seem dishonest but staying ahead of the market is essential for your company to survive, so make it your business to know new and emerging trends within your sector. Keep on top of client demands and know exactly who your competitors are and what they are offering.

Make sure to stick to your company’s values and integrate any new ideas, ways of working, or new products/services as and when demand calls for it and emulate the success of your competition for yourself.

Starting off on the right foot with a solid plan in place will give you a better head start when it comes to starting up your business.

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The Smartest Ways to Develop Your Business

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Many business owners who are new to the game sometimes play things a little too safe. They’re just hoping not to fail; but in reality, this mindset sometimes keeps them from fulfilling their full potential. If you’ve already had a semblance of success, then don’t stop there: keep on going! In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the smartest and most effective ways to develop your business. Incorporate these tips into your operations, and you might find that you don’t only bring in more customers, but that you begin to feel more confident and robust as a company.

Streamline Your Services 

It’s tempting to think that ‘more is more’; that is, that the more products or services that you offer, the more business you’ll get. But this isn’t really true. In many cases, it’s better to go with a ‘less is more’ approach. You’ll probably have one or two core services that you excel in; don’t complicate things by adding more services just in the name of expansion. Instead, focus on what you know you already do well. The deeper you go into those things, the better you’ll be able to serve your customers. 

Hiring Employees

You may have begun your business as a one-person operation, but there’ll come a point when you need to bring other people on board. You simply can’t do everything yourself! And in any case, it can often be more fun and satisfying to work with others anyway. If you’re going to push your company as far forward as possible, then you’ll need to ensure that you’re hiring talented, motivated individuals. A subpar employee will only hold you back. So before hiring, take a read up on the best tips to hire the right employee. Or, if you really don’t trust yourself to get it right, you can hand the job over to a recruitment agency.

Outsourcing Tasks

Of course, it’s not as if you’ll be able to hire an employee for every single task at your business. But that doesn’t mean that you should do them yourself. You’ll serve your business better if you’re able to focus on the tasks that you know you do well for your business, rather than the time-consuming or complicated tasks. For those jobs, look at outsourcing. There are plenty of tasks that can be completed by external companies, such as your IT needs, accounting, customer service, and so on. This won’t just make your business look and feel more professional, but will give you the time you need to focus on pushing your business forward in other ways. 

Survey Your Customers

You could significantly improve your business operations if you could simply give your customers what they want. Wouldn’t it be great to implement new operations into your business and know that they’ll be accepted by your customers? Well, it turns out there is a secret weapon that’ll provide this level of insight: talking to them! Surveying your customers is one of the most effective ways to nudge your business in the right direction. While you won’t always get the feedback you want, and getting your customers thoughts can sometimes be challenging, it should be considered a highly important part of your development. 

Monitor the Competition

You’re going to have plenty of good ideas for your business, but it’s not as if you’re going to be the only company doing what you do well. You will, of course, have competition, and it’s important that you’re keeping up with what they’re doing. This can help to guide your own decisions; if you don’t, then you could find that you’re left behind the times. One good way to ensure that you’re at the forefront of your industry is to be aware of what’s going on! A good place to start is by attending trade shows relating to your industry. There you’ll get an insight into what your competition is doing, and where things will be moving in the future. 

Step Up Your Marketing

The more people you can reach, the more you’ll be able to grow your business. One issue that many companies have is that, while they may feel like they’re marketing their business well, it’s not as effective as it could be. So take another look at your marketing operations, and see where you can make improvements. There are plenty of tactics you can use, but they’re not all of equal-effectiveness. Banner marketing is increasingly ineffective. Ringless voicemail and SMS marketing tactics like those offered by Drop Cowboy have been shown to be more effective. Rethink your approach to your marketing, and you might just find that you can significantly boost your business success.

Collaborations and Opportunities

The bulk of what you’ll be doing will be all about your company. But it’s not as if that’s the only option available to you. One great way to develop your business is to look at collaborations with other companies and to explore new opportunities. How this will look will depend on the type of business that you have — but a good place to begin your thinking is to think about working with other companies in your industry who are not direct competitors. This can provide your business with an injection of energy and also expose your business to a whole new audience.

Updating Your Branding

You might have developed your branding pretty quickly in the early days. But now that you’ve gotten some success, could it be time to give it an update? Solid branding can provide a great platform for your business, so it’s not something that you should take any chances with!

Looking Further Down the Line

Finally, one of the best ways to develop your business is to think about further on down the line, and think about the things you’ll do then. Everything might be going well now, but the future is coming whether you like it or not. If you make plans now, you’ll be able to take advantage when the future finally arrives.

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Things Worth Knowing When Starting A Fashion Business

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Starting a fashion business can be very exciting, and it’s something that you definitely want to give a go if you have the talent and skills to create clothing and run a business. You’ll only know if you’ve got both of them if you give it a go. Here are some things worth knowing when starting a fashion business.

Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is important and essential for any business that you have, regardless. By knowing who your audience is, you are able to get an understanding of what it is they want from your brand, and hopefully, they’ll end up purchasing what you create. You can understand your target audience more by looking at what type of products you’d like to create and creating your ideal audience of who you think might like your fashion clothing. You might want to consider conducting market research and focus groups to make sure that you are creating for the right audience, and if not, conducting focus groups and trailing it can help you get a better understanding of who your market really is. It’s going to help you sell more further down the line. 

Remember To Protect Your Designs

Your designs are yours, and it can be heartbreaking and frustrating when other brands or individuals try and mimic your design or styles. It’s important, therefore, to clue yourself up on all the information when it comes to branding and fashion brand protection. There’s a lot out there that you can do from a legal standpoint to protect your designs and branding so that if someone were to copy it, you can deal with it swiftly and accordingly. It’s that extra step that might take a little effort to set up, but it will be well worth it.

Start With One Product

Try not to overwhelm yourself when you’re starting off your fashion line. Think about the key products that you’d want to feature on your fashion line and pick one to focus on first. This can be your debut item that launches your brand, and it should be something that stands out and will sell well. So whether you’re selling trainers or dresses, pick your first product wisely as it’s going to set a precedent for the rest of the designs and styles you create going forward. You want to start yourself off in the right way.

Create A Great Website Or Selling Platform

Creating a great website or selling platform is crucial nowadays, especially when it comes to your fashion business. The online world can offer a lot in terms of audience growth and success in general. Try to create a good website and design it in a way that looks appealing. Take time in this design, and be sure your branding is consistent across every platform you’re on. It’s all critical and contributes to the success of your company.

Starting a fashion business is certainly exciting, so use these tips to help bring your fashion business to life.

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