Whether in the early stages of running a business or twenty years in, most business owners are looking to expand their business in some shape, form, or fashion. If you find yourself in this situation, you may be looking for a creative way to grow. Unfortunately, there are many “gurus” who will be happy to consult with you, only to take a large check for services and never, ultimately, offer any real value. So before you waste your hard earned earnings on consultants, or take on a high-risk venture to attempt to grow, consider these three tried-and-true expansion methods.
Acquisition – This comes in two forms: competitor or client. If you own a business that does HVAC, for instance, and there is a competitor who is looking to sell, buying that business can expand your market penetration in your target area. You could also target a business in a new location, which would help to grow your footprint. Finally, you could look to acquire a complimentary business. So if you own that HVAC business, expanding …
Every business has some kind of seasonal impact. But for some, this impact is extreme, forcing companies to do the majority of their business in a short period of time. This can pose significant problems for business owners, as most expenses will remain year-round. And even if you can generate the requisite sales in the abbreviated year, managing cash-flow and payments during down-time can be extremely difficult. But for those business owners who can effectively manage that down-time and keep cash available, seasonal businesses can be extremely lucrative. Here are some tips to help you run a seasonal business.
Cut costs during the off-season – This one seems like a no-brainer, but is one of the most common reasons seasonal businesses fail. Cutting costs can be as drastic as closing down a retail location for six months or as mild as closing early and letting go of a staff member during the off-season. Every business is unique, and some will need to maintain a presence during non-peak time but staff, utilities, advertising, and anything else
Customer service is, for most companies, a core competency required of all employees. Customer service skills permeate to all positions within a company, whether directly customer-facing or not. This is because every aspect of a business is, ultimately, about serving the clients and finding ways to generate or capture additional profits. Unfortunately, “customer service skills” can mean something very different from one person to the next.
To fix this wide discrepancy in what “customer service” is, it is important to first define it for your company. Once defined, it is easy to create a plan which coaches, trains, and holds employees accountable to your expectations. This plan should include every employee in every line of business and should have actionable steps to help facilitate the transition implementation. It should also have specific guidelines on what happens when these requirements are not met to ensure accountability.
Once this plan is put in place and customer service is defined at your company, you need to run training courses to ensure this information is disseminated to every employee …
Once you’ve come up with a concept for an E-Commerce site, built out the site, and launched it, you need to start bringing customers to your site. There was a time for E-Commerce sites where the old adage “if you build it, they will come” was enough. But in the competitive landscape which this industry has become, a website with no marketing might as well not exist. Search engine analytics have become increasingly complex, looking for specific, unique content. Premier Safety has taken it to the next level by bringing on a highly talented SEO expert. His expertise is optimization and has been very successful with local businesses.
So when starting a new E-Commerce site, there are two primary marketing avenues to focus on: paid advertising and improving organic listings. Paid advertising can focus in a multitude of different of arenas. You can advertise through search engines directly, you can look into pay-per-click models on other popular websites, or you can pay for advertising on social media. Depending upon what you are selling, you …
Hiring for a job is usually a fairly easy task. There is countless un- and under-employed people in today’s economy. In addition, there are also countless more who are unhappy in their current jobs for many different reasons. So hiring a skilled employee who will be a great fit on your team is not usually a difficult task.
Similarly, it is not usually too difficult to get high production from new employees. They are fully engaged, happy about their new situation, excited about the new career move, and eager to impress. Unfortunately, this job satisfaction can quickly leave if the employee becomes disengaged. And a disengaged employee can be more dangerous than a vacant position. Disengaged employees can act like a cancer running through a department, spreading discontent and complaints. They can also be unproductive to a point of causing issues with clients or with other departments. And ultimately, a disengaged employee will leave the company, likely in a negative manner leaving an employee blindsided and unprepared for the move.
When running a business, there is a lot to consider. The larger the business, the more complex these considerations become. And without a focused approach to managing the business, these issues can become overwhelming or can run a business off-track. But by remembering the fundamentals of every business, it is possible to focus on what is important and properly resolve any issues.
Cash Flow Matters – There are many different ways to do your business accounting. Some allow a business to show profits while they are hemorrhaging money. Others will make you look unprofitable while sitting on mounds of cash. And while there are merits to all the different accounting methods, what ultimately matters is whether or not you have more money from one day to the next. If you don’t track your cash flow, and instead track profits through accounting tricks, you will quickly find yourself out of business.
Proper Pricing is Essential – No matter what your product or service, your pricing will ultimately determine your profitability. If you charge too much, you