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Category: Business Strategy

3 Ways to Fund Business Growth

Whether you’re a newly formed startup or a thriving small business, growing your venture should always be a top priority. From expanding your product range to launching in new markets,…

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Whether you’re a newly formed startup or a thriving small business, growing your venture should always be a top priority. From expanding your product range to launching in new markets, there are numerous different ways you can increase your revenue and your profitability. 

However, business growth typically requires funding, and, in some cases, a significant level of financing may be required. To find out how you can realize your growth plans, take a look at these three funding options:

1. Sell Shares in Your Business

If you want to access funding, selling shares in your business could be a viable way to go about it. Although it will mean giving up partial ownership, you will be able to access the cash injection you need to fuel your company growth. Prior to selling shares, you’ll need to have your business valued and establish what the shares are worth. While selling to family members or friends may mean you can deviate from the market price, if you’re selling to an investor, having an accurate valuation is critical. 

2. Secure a Business Loan

Getting a business loan is perhaps the most common way to fund business growth. When you have a good track record and a profitable business, you’ll find it’s much easier to secure a loan from top providers. In addition to this, there are different types of loans available for businesses, which can enable you to access the help you need. Take a look at the linked post to find out how you could benefit from getting an LLC business loan, for example. With dedicated loans for equipment financings, cash advances and lines of credit, there are many ways you can access funding for your business. Furthermore, short and long-term loans give you the flexibility to repay the loan in a timeframe that suits you. 

Although you’ll inevitably pay interest on a business loan, this method of financing means you won’t need to relinquish partial ownership of your business. Instead, you remain in control and simply make pre-agreed repayments as you grow your business. 

3. P2P Lending

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is a relatively new form of financing, but it is growing in popularity. Essentially, the borrower accesses funds from a single lender or multiple lenders. However, these lenders aren’t typically commercial entities, like banks or building societies. Instead, they’re often individuals who are looking for ways to make a return on their capital. You’ll agree interest rates and repayment terms in advance, so you’ll know exactly what the contract entails before you borrow the funds. While P2P lending can be a viable form of alternative funding, you’ll want to ensure that you’re using a reliable platform before moving forwards. 

Growing Your Business

Taking your business to the next level can transform your success and substantially increase your revenue, but there are pitfalls to be aware of. By thoroughly researching your options and the available markets, you can determine which growth strategies are best suited to your business and maximize your long-term success.

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Investing in Your Company Means a Lot of Knowledge

One of the best ways to go about having a successful business for many years to come is when you invest in your company. That said are you confident you’ve…

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One of the best ways to go about having a successful business for many years to come is when you invest in your company.

That said are you confident you’ve been doing everything possible to invest in your brand?

From sound finances to the employees you hire to tech and more, make smart investments each time out.

What More Must You Know About Your Company?

In reviewing your company, what more should you know about it?

Among the areas to hone in on would include:

  1. Finances – The hope is you have a very good idea of what your financial books look like. The failure to do so could open the door to serious money issues if you are not careful. So, review not only your sales and revenue on a consistent basis, but also things such as expenses and debts. If you are overspending all too often on your business, you need to see where all that money is going. Make sure you are getting deals when it comes to any vendors you work with, paying for office space rent and so on. Also know what you have when it comes to debt such as credit cards, small business loans and the like. Are you a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) biz? If so, using a SaaS business valuation calculator is wise. The tech (see more below) allows you to see how things are financially with revenue, expenses and more. Be smart with company money so that you are not running in the red for prolonged periods of time.
  2. Employees – Are you confident more times than not that you are hiring the best workers out there? Your employees go a long way in determining how successful you will be. As a result, do your best to make good hires each time out. Also make it a point to invest in your employees. For example, providing them with financial help to further their educations is key. Also providing them with affordable healthcare insurance is a good investment to make. Having goal-oriented and healthy employees is something to strive for. Finally, let your workers know you appreciate them. A little thank you every now and then for doing a good job can go a long way.
  3. Technology – Last, are you doing a good job when it comes to investing in tech now and for down the road? Many consumers use some or many forms of tech in their lives. As such, more times than not they expect the same from the companies they do business with. Being behind the eight ball on technology can thwart your ability to grow the company. Is tech your strong suit? If you said no, make sure you have someone in the company to handle it. That is be they a full-time employee or consultant.

In investing in your company now and for the long-term, there is much to do.

So, are you up to the challenge given how much time and effort you’ve already invested in your business?

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How Important Are Your Employees to You?

Taking care of your employees is one of the most critical things you can do as a small business owner. With that thought in mind, does it seem as if…

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Taking care of your employees is one of the most critical things you can do as a small business owner.

With that thought in mind, does it seem as if you are doing all you can for those you employ?

Not doing so can open up the door to trouble for you if you are not careful.

So, could you be doing more for your employees moving ahead?

Why Employees Matter So Much

When you stop to think about it, where would your small business be without your workers?

Unless you are the small business owner who is the only employee, you rely on those who you pay to work for you.

From handling customers to helping promote your brand to the public; your workers are key.

One of the keys to taking care of your workers is making sure they have all the resources to be successful on the job.

For example, if you have a sales team in place, be sure they are properly equipped with the tools to succeed.

This means not only to reach out to the buying public and sell to them, but also track and record their efforts.

From a deal tracking spreadsheet to other ways in recording the efforts of your team, have it all covered.

Speaking of things covered be sure you give your folks the chance to grow within the company.

Yes, some companies are so small that room for growth is all but impossible. In some instances, this can deter some individuals from wanting to come work for someone.

That said the hope is you have some room for workers to grow. Having that growth available can mean a chance to earn more money, take on added responsibility and so on.

Last, how much flexibility do you offer those who work for you?

In today’s digital age, it is not uncommon for more companies to be offering such flexibility.

This can mean letting an employee choose hours they work, the option to work from home at times, providing childcare onsite to those needing it and more.

By being flexible with such things, you can have a better workplace environment. It can also help you recruit more talent to the company. That is talent who’d otherwise look elsewhere for employment options.

When it comes right down to it, being a good employer benefits you and your employees.

Get with Employees During the Year

It is also important during the year to get with your employees and review how thing are moving along.

You not only want to assess their performance and improvements to be made but also the brand in general. Getting feedback from employees is always a good means of improving your company as time goes by.

While you end up calling the shots and having to make the big decisions as an owner, never forget those under you.

Without your employees, where would you be as a small business owner?

Odds are you would have your hands full and then some without those you employ. 

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Could Your Small Business Use a Helping Hand?

Do you ever stop and wonder if there are things your small business could use to better position it for success? That said you always want to be assessing your…

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Do you ever stop and wonder if there are things your small business could use to better position it for success?

That said you always want to be assessing your operation to see where you can make improvements.

One such improvement you may need to make would be with your financial outlook.

If money has been an issue for your small business, where will you turn for help?

Don’t Wait Too Long to Get Assistance

In determining if your small business could in fact use a financial helping hand, here are some ways to go about it:

1. Use the Internet to find providers – Getting the help you need can make a big difference with finances. That said it may well be the time to go online and review small business lending options. From a traditional business loan to a revolving line of credit and more, see what would likely work best for you. If approved for financial help, you could have those funds in no time at all. When applying for such help, be sure you have properly filled out all the necessary paperwork. You do not want any delays in such paperwork hindering your ability to get the help you can use.

2. Think on family and friends – You might also decide now is the time to have some family or friends invest in your biz. While such investing is often done before a business gets off the ground, it can also occur once up and running. If you think such help is doable with one or more people you know, do take the time to approach them and discuss. Dealing with people you know can be easier and you may have more confidence you will get the funds from them. That said make sure any such agreements are of course in writing. The last thing you want is that a family relationship or friendship goes south over a money dispute.

3. Cut down on expenses and debt – How good of a job have you been doing when it comes to cutting down on both expenses and debt? As it relates to expenses, there are likely some measures you can take to reduce expenses. See what you are spending money on to run your operation. Chances are good there are better deals you can get from vendors or some things you can lower or cut altogether. When it comes to your company debt, where can you make some improvements on that end? For instance, have you been putting too much on an office credit card? If so, look to change this moving ahead. While some items you need will more times than not mean a credit card, you can often use cash for smaller things. Unless you are going to pay that monthly credit card balance off, you can end up being hit with interest fees.

As you see where a helping hand might come from with your small business, are you confident you will get it?

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Employee Stress: How You, as the Employer, Can Help

It’s an all too common problem: you have some employees that just don’t seem to care. Sure, you have your star employees that are there every day and do their…

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It’s an all too common problem: you have some employees that just don’t seem to care. Sure, you have your star employees that are there every day and do their jobs with a smile, too, but when they become irritable, starting missing days or being late for work, and their usual awesome performance starts feeling rushed or phoned-in, you have a problem. It’s possible that this person is feeling overwhelmed, under-appreciated, or sick of their job. Luckily, there are ways that you can relieve the stress of the workplace for all of your employees, and make some stars out of the rest of your staff, by following these simple tips.

employee stress

Identify the Cause of the Burnout

The first thing you need to do before you can do something about it is to identify the cause of the employee’s burnout. There are quite a few causes that you should be watching for. From not getting enough support from their manager to an unmanageable workload, from working too many hours to feeling that no one appreciates them or their work, these are very real reasons for burnout and need to be addressed and taken care of right away.

Implement Stress Relief Options

Whether it’s listening to music while they work, having a casual dress day on Fridays, or finding a few massage tables for sale and setting up your own massage room in the office, finding ways for your employees to relieve stress at work is key. Make sure you encourage them to use stress relief options outside of work as well.

Provide Motivation

Providing motivation is an important part of being an employer. Whether reward or recognition is what your employees desire, giving your employees incentives that will make them want to work harder and be more productive for your business is what it’s all about. Everything from monetary incentives to planning vacations for your top employees is a great way to relieve stress and show them that you know how hard they are working and that you appreciate it.

Encourage Healthy Interactions Among Employees

No employee wants to come into work in an environment where tensions are running high and one half of the staff doesn’t like the other half. While you can’t do much about how people feel about one another, you can encourage healthy interaction among the staff that works for you. You can encourage this interaction with holiday parties, picnics, and even outings where they can bring their entire families. You would be surprised how much of a difference a simple office outing can make in the long run by motivating your employees and bringing their animosity toward each other to an end.

Healthy and happy workplaces are key to ensuring that your business runs smoothly and professionally. You depend on your staff for everything to do with running your business the right way, so where would you be without them? Take care of your employees and they will, in turn, take care of you.

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Does Your Brand’s Marketing Make Its Case?

The success of any business can oftentimes hinge on how well it does spreading the word about what it has to offer. With this in mind, does your brand’s marketing…

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The success of any business can oftentimes hinge on how well it does spreading the word about what it has to offer.

With this in mind, does your brand’s marketing make its case? 

If you are failing to let consumers know about your brand, it can lead to less sales and of course lower revenue.

This being the case, is it time to jump-start your marketing efforts?

You Might Need the Pros

In getting your marketing ramped up to drive traffic your way, you may be at a point where you need the help of pros.

That said where best to find them?

Depending on the profession you are in, you may or may not know digital marketers. If you do not have a lot of access to them, going online would be a good start.

Given many digital marketers are online and have solid websites; this would be a good place to go.

In looking for the right digital marketer, the kind of business you have is where you want to begin.

For example, if you run a law firm, having digital marketers with expertise in the legal world makes sense. You are busy running your firm and tending to clients. The right marketing pros can be orchestrating a top-notch marketing program for you.

So, whether marketing agency Utah or those closer to where you are, the goal is finding marketing help.

What to Look for in Marketing Pros

In your quest to find the right marketing professionals, do some research.

You want a digital marketing company that has:

· Years of experience helping companies like yours

· Track record of proven success

· Top-notch customer service

· Thinking outside the box

When you have the right digital marketing provider in your corner, they can do a myriad of things for your brand.

Among the focuses will be:

· Website

· Content

· Social media

· Sales

· Organic search

· Paid search

In having all these needs and more covered, your marketing has the opportunity to take off.

Client Marketing

As important as a digital marketer is to your brand’s needs, what about your clients?

Have you approached any of them to do client testimonials for you?

When you stop to think about it, the only people that know your brand better than you are those you serve. As such, having some of them tout all your brand has to offer is never a bad thing.

You may opt to draw more legal clients or clients no matter what field you are in by having them do testimonials.

An example here would be having some of them do short radio or TV commercials for your practice. Having them speak to the positives of using your law firm could land you new business with others in need.

It is also wise to ask clients to use more word-of-mouth referrals to help you get more business. If one they know needs legal services that you are capable of delivering, ask them if they’d put in a good word for you.

If your brand’s marketing has not been making its case as of late, you run the risk of missing out on more business.

At the end of the day, is that a verdict you can afford?

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Tips on How to Promote Your Products on Social Media

Almost every business is aware of the importance of their participations on social media platforms. They all have hopes of having an established presence and getting a lot of referrals…

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Almost every business is aware of the importance of their participations on social media platforms. They all have hopes of having an established presence and getting a lot of referrals on the social media network. However, it is not an easy task to achieve considering that the people who visit these places are smart and you also face a lot of competitions. If you are a newbie, you may be at a lost on how to utilize the social media platform to promote your products. The key is to come up with strategic ideas to put forward your products on the social media.

Integrate Social Media Icons on Your Homepage

You can put the social media icons in a place where everyone can see on the homepage of your website. In this way, people who frequently visit your site can easily follow you. If you want, you can take a step further by customizing the social media icons so that people can instantly recognize your website.

Embed Social Media Handles in Your Newsletters

If you send out newsletters, you can embed the social media icons at the bottom. This will make it convenient for people to click through to visit your social media page to learn more about your product. Usually, the newsletter service has an option for embedding social icons. If not, you can just upload a photo and and link the photo to your social media account.

Give Away Freebies on Social Media

You can offer free stuff on the social media. Free stuff not only refer to free product samples but it can also be digital stuff like ebooks, infographics, and a DIY hack in one to two pages PDF. People on social media are usually hesitant to click on any link so it is best to convert the PDF to an image like jpeg. If you are wondering how to convert pdf to jpg, the task is actually easily done through a basic PDF editor like Movavi PDF Editor. After the program is launched, click the Add Files button to load the PDF. In Pages View, select all the pages and click on the Convert to JPG, PNG, BMP button on the right. In the Save as field, select Slides. By default, the image format field will be PNG. You will have to change it to JPG by clicking on the up down arrow.

Use Shoppable Tags in Your Instagram Photos

On Instagram, you can add shoppable tag to the photos you post. For example, if you post an interior design photo, you can add shoppable tags to the furniture. If someone wants to know where they can get the furniture, they simply need to click on the shoppable tag to visit the online store. It can lead to big sales considering more than half of smartphone users have a habit of doing shopping through their mobile devices.

Offers Social Only Discount

Every now and then, you can run a promotion by offering social only discounts. The easiest way to do this is to post a promo code along with instructions on how to redeem the discount. Social only discount has a start and end promotion period. If you have limited giveaways, you can launch a flash deal that last for 24 hours.

Organize a Contest

You can set up a contest and ask people to submit photo entries of how they enjoy your product. You should set a prize for everyone including those that did not win. In this way, your fans will be eager to enter the cost. If it is the first time you organize the contest, you can make it easy for the participants to enroll and win a prize. You can create a user generated contest and use a hashtag tracking tool to monitor the contest campaign.

Write Unique Posts for Each Social Network

On every social network, you should write unique posts based on the audience there. For example, the audience at LinkedIn is different than the audience on Instagram. Same product photos can be used but the content of the social media posts should be completely unique. Before start posting on a social media, you should do research on its audience. You should check if the visitors use a specific slang in their posts, the age group of the audience and etc. For example, you can focus on using memes and gifs to promote your products on Snapchat where the majority of the customers are young.

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A Better Way to Improve B2B Sales

Not long ago, B2B sales was easy: A business identified a problem and reached out to a potential vendor to inquire about a solution. However, since the internet has grown,…

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Not long ago, B2B sales was easy: A business identified a problem and reached out to a potential vendor to inquire about a solution.

However, since the internet has grown, businesses no longer immediately reach out to vendors for solutions. Instead, businesses will research their problem online, uncover a bevy of potential solutions, check with business partners, professional networks and friends for recommendations, read online reviews and complete a number of other preliminary steps before contacting a knowledgeable B2B. What this means is that B2B sales efforts have become unpredictable, with a mishmash of traditional sales and innovative marketing techniques driving leads down the funnel.

If your B2B is struggling to boost sales, you might be suffering from this new chaotic structure within the B2B market. Thus, it will benefit you to learn about the new B2B buyer and what they want from the sales experience.

Who Are B2B Buyers?

You might be tempted to answer this question with “businesses,” but you likely already know that isn’t true. An entire organization rarely does any single action; rather, there are specific employees within the organization who make buying decisions. It’s important to market to these individuals specifically to generate sales.

However, B2B buyers change frequently. The same individuals you might have contacted before have likely moved up and out of those positions, leaving room for a new generation of B2B buyers. Indeed, research shows that younger professionals between the ages of 18 and 35 make up the majority of B2B buyers, so if you don’t know how to sell to this demographic, you need to learn, fast.

What Do They Know and What Do They Want?

In general, younger professionals rely heavily on digital technologies, especially in the buying process. An astounding 94 percent of B2B buyers conduct research online before making a decision, even when the purchase is intended for organizational as opposed to personal use. Unsurprisingly, as a result, modern B2B buyers are likely to take roughly 22 percent longer to reach a decision regarding their business purchase.

This behavior is largely because modern B2B buyers are exceedingly skeptical of the sales and marketing messages they encounter. Because sales reps will always push their sales agenda rather than honestly help solve a problem for as little money, time and energy as possible, most buyers look elsewhere before they have to encounter your sales team. Even then, they much prefer sales reps who don’t apply pressure during the sale or hassle them when following up with leads.

Additionally, there are often more people involved in the business purchase process these days. While younger professionals are tasked with performing research and pulling the trigger, they must receive approval from a series of higher-ups. Thus, attracting and convincing the contact is important, but you must do the same for superiors in the company, too.

How Do You Sell to These Buyers?

In truth, there is no single procedure that will guarantee you a greater volume of B2B sales. Instead, you should be practicing account-based marketing and selling, which allows you to target members within an account and produce dedicated marketing and sales plants to win their business. Account-based strategies look different for each business and each buyer, so it helps to have experts and specialized tools to manage your efforts.

In addition, you should strive to enable your buying audience with information. They are already seeking info about potential solutions, so by offering that info — without the pressure to contact your sales team — you can pull B2B buyers to your online assets, like your website’s blog or social pages. Just by taking advantage of this information, buyers are more likely to remember your business when they prepare to contact potential vendors.

To perform account-based strategies well, you will need to align your marketing and sales teams toward the same goals: increasing brand awareness and increasing deal size, as opposed to getting as many leads as possible to convert. You might have your marketing team educate your sales team on available content, so sales reps can point buyers to these resources for additional information. In turn, your sales force can feed your marketing department data on specific pain points felt by buyers, so the marketing content can be laser-targeted.

B2B sales aren’t the walk in the park they used to be, but that doesn’t mean your business is doomed. By shifting your efforts to accommodate the preferences of the modern buyer, you can win even more accounts than ever before.

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The Benefits of Getting a Professional Business Valuation in New York

Most business owners assume that a business valuation in New York is only important when selling. However, a good busines valuation gives the owner much more than the current value….

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Most business owners assume that a business valuation in New York is only important when selling. However, a good busines valuation gives the owner much more than the current value. It can also show the value of the company against factors such as market competition, income values, amongst other factors.

Pre-Sale Planning

A professional business valuation in Manhattan is a must when deciding on selling a. It allows the business owner to identify key drivers that contribute to the value of the business and those that need to be improved. Having a company perform a business valuation before you sell can give you the time to adjust so that you can get a better price for your business.

Even though there is some level of subjectivity expected in every valuation, the data presented is very useful in negotiating a higher price. Without this data, a business owner may appear to be fumbling with facts during the negotiation process. Presenting this data in black and white can inspire confidence in the buyer and the seller alike as they work towards a deal.

Understand Value of Assets

In many formal business processes estimates are not considered since they are taken as intelligent guesswork at best. Simple data such as asset value, market value, and income and profit statements are not always enough.

You need a clear evaluation of your assets for certain business processes such as when getting an insurance. Insurance companies require a document that shows the true value of the business. Many of these companies may also require that the document is up to date.

Third Parties will still Evaluate Your Business

It is important to realize that third parties will inevitably perform a business valuation on your business whether or not you acquire a professional business valuation in NY. Since third parties do not have access to all the data, they’ll simply use what they can evaluate the business implicitly or explicitly.

Without solid data from a professional business valuation, the third parties will assume their data is representative of what your business is worth. This is not only a disadvantage when selling your business, but it can impact you negatively in other ways, for example when approaching a lender for a loan.

Preparing for the Unexpected

Businesses need to navigate difficult situations quickly to avoid stagnation that can negatively affect the business’ future prospects. Often in the business world, certain situations may occur that the owner had not anticipated. For example, they may be disputes between the shareholders of the company. Having an up to date valuation of your company can in many cases allow the owner of the business to quickly navigate this issues.

Its Good Business Practice

A professional business valuation in New York aims to assess the risk and determine the real value of the business. This way the managers can have the data to pinpoint where the weaknesses are and areas with great potential. In case the owner needs to sell the business or get a loan, there will be adequate time to prepare and address the issues before approaching lenders or buyers. Valuation allows the company to make realistic expectations and be more proactive in tackling the issues it faces.

 

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Online Marketing for Small Business That Works

Online marketing is no longer an area of marketing that small businesses can ignore. The results are saying that it is one of the most effective forms of marketing and…

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Online marketing is no longer an area of marketing that small businesses can ignore. The results are saying that it is one of the most effective forms of marketing and small businesses must master its use or be left behind by competitors who do.

Here are two important types of online marketing that small businesses should focus on today.

Enterprise SEO

Search engine optimization or SEO is the highly regarded Approach of using specific tools and strategies to assist a company in getting its website and web pages listed high on internet search engines. Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other top search engines all use specific Algorithms for how they order the list of web pages that come up in a web search. Algorithms are constantly changing and take into account many different factors including keywords, popularity of a website, quality of the content on a website, another relevant factors.

The most sophisticated types of SEO is usually carried out by online marketing firms who specialize in the discipline. SEO can be International or localized depending upon the focus of the business. In terms of local SEO one very important area of importance is to Getting names and mentions of the website on other websites no. These are called citations and assist in the rankings of a website.

Some companies specialize in helping to build the citations in an above the board way. This is called White Label citation building. Navads is a company that specializes and white label citation building and Companies can utilize Navads citation building option to help increase search engine ranking. Navads can also ensure that information about a company is correct so that when it appears on other websites like mapping software including Google Maps, Apple Maps and Waze for example, it appears accurately and provides the correct information and always leads back to the company’s website.

Social Media Marketing

If traditional Market is it looking where everyone is gone, they need to look no further than social networks. Today’s social networks track more than two billion members visit websites like Facebook, weather, and YouTube, for entertainment, news and to socialize with each other. Smart companies of all sizes need to furiously create engaging marketing campaigns on social media websites. Marketing to members of social networks is very different than traditional marketing. Instead of putting the product out front, companies must develop a relationship with the social network member, utilizing their brand.

This often means developing video content that can engage members and get them interested in the company before its products or services. Once the member feels comfortable with the brand, he or she is open to discussing products and services in creating a customer relationship with the company. This type of customer building takes more time and attention, yet with a larger market available, the energy and effort can often be worth it.

SEO and social media marketing are two of the hottest and most effective styles of marketing today. Take the time to invest in learning how to utilize each effectively and it will increase your company’s bottom line.

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