9 Tips for Running a Successful Business from Scratch

A proper understanding of business management technique will prevent premature failure of start-ups. Usually companies with poor managers always perform below expectation because they are unable to implement proper business strategies. Goal setting strategies and other fundamental business management skills can help in decision making. Although, not all business management skills can be acquired in the classroom, most are learnt on the way. For an entrepreneur to build a successful sustainable business, there are some inevitable business management techniques they can adopt.

1. Learn to manage your business finance well
Some new entrepreneurs do not know when to draw the line between their personal finance and their business finance, as a result, all personal expenditure are made from business revenue which eventually land them in huge debts. This makes it difficult for them to analysis the value of their business and profits. Mix-up in finance happens when the funds used in establishing business was sourced from personal savings. Personal savings should also be strictly managed to prevent incurring debts because personal debts may eventually affects business finances. When you are debts-free it will allow you to plough your revenue back into your business, grow and expand it. Owing suppliers and customers huge amount of money is bad for business.

2. Avoid selling on credit
Offering services or selling products on credit should be avoided at all cost. Once the goal for purchasing the products has been achieved, the need to pay back may be irrelevant to the end users especially for a transaction between a business and the end users. For customers who use the products as raw materials, you can extent some form of credit to them because they are likely to pay back after they have made their sales. This should not be made a culture as some customers may take advantage of that.

3. Get the marketing right
Engaging in publicity campaign to reach prospective customers may involve a simple advertisement in local publication as well as online and radio advertisements. Benefit of advertisement includes high quality products which help to ensure customers return for more purchases in the future. You should think of reasonable price for the product and also consider the environment where you operated your business. By providing quality products at affordable prices, you have high chances of attracting more quine customers who will patronise your business.

4. Effective Communication
Communication is the key to any business. Proper communication is necessary in order to deliver the best results; therefore, it should be made sure that the message conveyed to the last person is exactly the same as it was sent by the sender and has not been tampered with. Direct communication is the most effective way, which makes the message clear and creates a sense of trust, responsibility, and belonging in the employee, thus making him deliver better results.

Communication is a two-way process. While discussing the plan and delegating responsibilities, everybody is on the same page, which means everyone should have the exact same perception about the plan and its implementation, and nothing is tampered with.

5. Identify your competitive advantage
After you have done with a market research and you have good understanding how the market works, your profitability lies in your understanding of the rules your competition within your industry. One way in which you can stay above your competitors is through continuous advertisement and building a strong brand while create awareness for your business. As a business owner you need to be conscious of the competition because they are always ready to run you down anytime.

6. Take time to plan
A market should determine how a business plan will be structured. You need to be determined in and do some thorough research and decision on how to reach your target audience. First identify the big gaps in the market that must be filled then make plans to fill that gap within a stipulated time. Determine how you going structure your price, what promotional tactics are you going to adopt? What brand positioning do you desire for each products? How will you get the needed funds to run the business? Those are questions that will help decide your big next step.

Planning is an art which is futuristic and goal-oriented. It becomes very important for a businessman to have at least two to three best plans (Plan A/B/C) so that any plan proves to be incapable or a businessman needs to change a course of action in between he has an alternative plan ready, producing optimum maximum results.

The best way to manage a business effectively is through effective planning. You can easily do this by planning a defined strategy for business. You first need to etch out a great strategy that should focus on both the positive and negative outcomes of a potential business plan. The best way is to prepare for failure rather than success, as most first ventures have limited chances of success.

Planning processes can lead to better productivity, higher accuracy, and faster turnaround for essential business tasks. The goal of planning as a process is to improve and streamline the business methods of a company. This would have results like:
  • Lower costs due to fewer staff needed to complete the same process.
  • Increased efficiency by eliminating problematic process steps like loops and bottlenecks.
  • Higher accuracy by including checkpoints and success measures to make sure process steps are completed accurately.
  • Greater understanding by all staff of what they need to do to meet their department objectives.
7. Form strategic partnership
The best way to keep suppliers and customers loyal to your brand is to form strategic alliance with them, most business managers want to build a relationship with their prospective and turn them into loyal customers. This can be achieved by being clear on the value you can bring to the table and be honest about what you expect from your partners too. Your goal in building alliance with other businesses is to improve on your existing business and make more profit from it. Research whether the person you are partners with deals honestly with other associates and customers, the skills you both exchanged should be evident and the outcomes should be a win-win situation for both of you. It is important to know this first before partnering with them to avoid story that touch.

8. Reward Effort
No one likes their work to go unrecognized. Recognition of effort and achievement – thanks for a job well done – makes employees feel valued. It seems like an obvious point, but often business management training overlooks the positive impact of appreciation. Some managers might even feel that being too "touchy-feely" undermines their authority. On the contrary, reward motivates people to achieve more and helps to build company loyalty.

9. Hold Regular Meetings
In an overview of his book, The Advantage, Lencioni has this to say about the importance of meetings to a company's success: "No action, activity or process is more central to creating a healthy organization than the meeting." He suggests that, in order to be fully successful, management should do the following:
  • Create separate meetings for tactical and strategic business planning.
  • Assess a tactical agenda only after the team has reviewed its progress against goals.
  • Make sure there is enough time allocated for the clarification, debate, and resolution of major issues.
  • Meet quarterly outside the office to review what is happening in the industry, the company, and the team.
Meetings provide the organization with a regular forum on core values, allowing members to realign principles and give perspective on business practices.

In order to succeed in a competitive field like business management, you need to stay true to yourself before you can hope to have a meaningful impact on the organization you represent. Ultimately, the best practices are ones that focus on your developing authentic connections among yourself, the junior employees, and the company as a whole.

How to Retain Customers and Drive More Sales Small Business
Customers are the integral part of any organisation or business and without genius customers your business won’t stand the test of time. As important as it is like this phrase we all know ‘’Customer Are Always Right’’ this is because they are the key upon which the success or failure of a business depends. Businesses are built dependent upon their customers; if they do not develop customer loyalty and satisfaction, they can lose their customers and without customers the business would not exist. It is the customers who make it possible for you to achieve your business aims. Increasing customer retention rates by 5 per cent in turn increase your profit. This is why it is important for every business man and entrepreneur to do all they can to ensure customer satisfaction as this is at the heart of the selling process. It cost five times as much to attract new loyal customers as it does to keep an existing one. The relationship between the customer and the business owner is therefore an important one which should never be taken for granted. Below I have some important steps needed to for business owner to adopt to keep his or her customers coming back.

Communication is key
It is hard to create loyal customers if they are not paying much attention to you. A study show that about 7,000 consumers who said that they had a strong relationship with a brand, 64 per cent of them shared values as the primary reason if you want loyal customers you need to develop communication skills and care empathy about your customers. It is important for every business owner to focus on attracting his target customers to increase sales. One thing to keep in mind when communicating with your customers is this ‘’ most of them like things that resemble them in some ways.’’ In order for you to attract this sort of customers you will need to identify your target customers down to the last detail and then craft a brand message that perfectly matches their pains, goals and aspirations. It is easier to fill this existing demand than to create new one from scratch.

Develop a unique selling point
If customers do not enjoy your selling process they may never want to do business with you again. Selling to customers the correct way is an important part of creating customer loyalty. This could be achieved through the use of words they love to hear. Some certain persuasive words do encourage customers to buy even more than others, in particular; free, new and instantly. When customers hear these words and the promises they imply are back up.

Reciprocity is the best social construct that keeps your ideal customers coming back. The promise is simple; go above and beyond for your customers and get rewarded with repeat business. Below is a research on how to improve reciprocity with your customers. First, you have to realise that budget is negligible. Giving back to customers can appear incredibly costly but it doesn’t have to be. Instead, understand that reciprocity is built even with small gesture. Also it is important to utilised surprise reciprocity. Although reciprocity works incredibly well on its own, it is even more powerful when stared by surprise. It is the personalised service received that made them to enjoy their experience so much more.

Provide helpful support
This one is a no-barrier; you cannot create a tribe of loyal customers without an exceptional customer service experience that keeps them coming back. It is important to note that spend is secondary to quality. You should learn to increase the time rate of your reply to your customers when it comes to customer service that keep people coming back. Quality matters more than speed and also customers enjoy business who know them as well. Now, telling your employees to spend more time with customers might seem like folly, but smart entrepreneurs know that is not the case. Everybody views their service experience as more positive when they do not feel rushed or ignored.

Choosing the right platform
The best way to improve your online customer service efforts is to utilise the channel your customers most prefer. Majority of people still prefer and use email more than other services including social networking, you need to pick the channel that makes the most sense for your customers since they are the one you want to communicate with. PAY ATTENTION: 5 Barriers to Small Business Growth in 2022

Create loyalty programmes
The key to creating loyalty programmes that can actually work for your business is to know why customers use them and what gets customers to keep using them. You can as well do this by getting ideal customers to be your VIPs. This will not only increase sales but drive more revenue for your business.

Ways You Can Build Customer Trust & Loyalty
Many people start business with different reasons apart from make money. There is nothing wrong with that as most business are profit-oriented except you own priority is different. For a business to be successful an entrepreneur must have the right mind set of building its business foundation on credibility and credibility come before profitability. Credibility is the ability to make your customers to vouch for your business as a result of their satisfaction. Customers understand that the reason for starting a business is to make money; as a result of this they want proofs that they are not throwing their hard earned money away by doing business with you. They want you to show them why it is you and no other business that should have their money. No matter what you think about what you are selling, all business need to show honesty and credibility in order to gain customers trust. Brand trust is important to make sales. Business that is not known for its good reputation will be hardly patronised.

Credibility is like respect that has to be earned, building credibility cannot be earned overnight, you will need to engage some strategies that can help build that credibility your business need. There are ways of ensuring integrity in business that entrepreneurs need to know which include:

Improved your communication with your clients
Communication is the basic to establish credibility in business. This is because business owners need to make sure they are effectively communicating the vision of their business and ensure that their audience understand what make their businesses unique from their competitors. Carry out your personal brand message and the business brand through each of your marketing activity is crucial. Credibility is built through effective communication with customers and it is accomplished by being an excellent listener and keeping the lines of communication open with your team.

Stay true to your word
Your customers should be able to count on your words. They should be rest assured to receive their job base on your word when they give you job to do. Run your business in a way to make people know that you are credible. For you to build credibility as a small business owners you must be honest with your words. Keep all of your communication with customers with genuine and honesty will help you establish your trustworthiness as a business owner. PAY ATTENTION: 6 Things to Consider Before Forming a Business Partnership

Be objective
Many times, what you see as the value their products or services offer is not actually what your target customers value the most. Reaching out to your advisers on a regular basis will help you stay objective and honest with yourself about what your business bring to the table. This will help you remain objective about the strength of your expertise, as an expert you still have room for growth. It is important to admit that there are things you don’t know, express willingness to work towards finding the answer with the aim of increasing credibility as someone dedicated to growth and development. This will help achieve your business objective goals.

Learn to involves your customers
Don’t run your business without any outside interaction; you cannot build credibility entirely on your own. Asking your customers for feedback, collecting and sharing of testimonials coupled with the used of feedback to improve your business. You can also involve your audience to boost credibility by sharing your knowledge with others. One of the easiest way to do is by social media, sharing contents, answering customers questions and engaging with people on social media site like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook can portray people as credible experts, because people think of how much they want to make not knowing that building credibility comes before profitability. Business that has to stay must first build credibility as a profile for itself because it needs to satisfy customers and make happy to patronise you. Your first priority should on building credibility if you want your business stand the taste of time and remain relevant in the market or business world.
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