How to Form The Culture Of Your Business Startup

culture

Right from the very beginning of your business startup’s formation, you have already begun to create its corporate culture. Whether you have taken an active role in shaping it or allowed it to organically develop, your corporate culture becomes a part of your business based on your behaviors, vision, and values of your brand. Creating a positive organizational culture can allow your business startup to thrive both internally with your employees and externally as they interface with your customer base.

Being proactive at the beginning of your business startups foundation can work to develop a culture that employees take pride in being a part of and also help to express your vision into the long term. Waiting until you are a more established business with a team of employees to worry about your corporate culture can have a negative impact on your business as you forget about the very ideals that make your business startup who it is. With a little bit of management and foresight now, you can craft a corporate culture that follows your business startup’s vision, values, mission, and expected behaviors.

Find Your Purpose

Start by thinking about what the vision for your business really is. You need to think about where you where you are headed and where you want to go. Having some direction early on with your business startup will give you, as well as your employees, something to work towards and aim for. The decisions and choices you make should directly support your vision and allow you to drive your company well into the future.

Along with your vision, you need to create the values that your business startup stands for. This is an important step as this will carve out the ideals of your brand and expectations of your employees. Your employees are just as much a reflection of your business as you are and having values that they can live up to can bring a strong reputation and recognition to your company.

Spread the Message

Once you have developed a vision strategy for your business startup, you need to be vocal about it. You can’t expect your team to catch on if they are unaware of its evolution. Spread the message and allow yourself to be transparent about its meaning to you. Allowing yourself to be open and communicative about how your vision and values align with the success of your business startup can create the buzz your company needs to take it to the next level.

Hire According to Your Values

As you add to your team, you need to find the right fit when it comes to your company culture. You want to hire employees that display your brand values as it will be an easier transition into your corporate culture to respect and stand behind what your business stands for.

As you work to select employees to work at your business startup find out what your values mean to them. Look for ways that they already integrate these values into their daily life. A prospective employee that possess experience, as well as your core values, can be a valuable addition to your business startup as they can bring that positivity your corporate culture needs. You can count on them to spread your vision message to others as well as be contagious to other employees that may have not fully onboard with your company purpose.

Reward and Appreciate

It’s always nice to offer your employees perks, but as a businessstartup, the funding may not be there to give a lot. Recognition of your team goes a long way especially for those that display your company values in the work that they do. Develop a reward system to appreciate those that are incorporating the vision of your business startup with customers or in their work responsibilities and choices they make on a day-to-day basis. This small act can boost your corporate culture and make your business startup a company that employee value and cherish.

Think About The Past

With a focus on the future it can be easy to forget about your past, but how your started and where you came from is the very foundation that shaped your business today. Think about your history and the hard work that took to get where your business startup is today. Allow your employees to also understand the story behind your company and what it took to get it to its beginning stages.

Your past is a significant part of the strength of your business and most likely is what you drew your values from. Your employees need to understand the motivation and drive that propelled your business startup forward. Be upfront about your history and embrace it with a furry as it is the sole reason you are in the position you are today. When your employees see your roots, this will impact how they feel about the company and the vision that you have created to take it into the future.

Focus Daily On Your Culture

It is not enough to create your vision and values and be done with your corporate culture. It needs constant cultivation to prevent it from going to the wayside and becoming negative in a blink of an eye. You have an amazing opportunity as a business startup to start your corporate culture from the ground up as it is much easier to manage then change.

Make it a part of your routine to enforce the vision and lead by your company values. With you focus on maintaining a corporate culture that employees enjoy being a part of, you will reap the benefits from their improved productivity and performance.

When you focus on your corporate culture from the beginning stages of your business startup, you can easily create an environment that is positive for all that work there. You will see behaviors that are in line with your core values and strength in your corporate vision. The work starts now but will be well worth your efforts.

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Expansion Pitfalls All Small Businesses Must Avoid

expansionA great number of small business owners have a constant urge to expand. Of course, the mere idea of expansion and becoming a “big” business known to thousands and millions of people is fascinating. However, expansion is not all about finding a new office space and hiring new employees to fill the vacant seats.

There is much more to expansion than most small business owners realize. It is unfortunate that a larger population of these business owners is only focused on the benefits of expanding while completely omitting the challenges that entail business expansion. Let’s take a look at some of the most common challenges, concerns and considerations before you expand your small business.

Major Pitfalls to Avoid before Expanding a Small Business

 

  • Outdated Information of Market Conditions

Too often, the decision to expand taken by most small business owners is based on information that is many months old. The important thing to consider here is continuous market research. An idea that seemed like it will lead the market a few months ago might be an average offering today.

For example, you might have landed in the market with a unique product, and its sudden popularity might make you think you should expand as soon as possible. What you don’t realize is that the acceptance and popularity rate of your product can diminish with time. The big reason behind that is the competitors who can imitate anything that you have created.

It does not matter if you have patented the technology, method or the product itself before launching it. Your competitors will always find some way to imitate and emulate your products. A great example of this is Apple, the tech giant that patented the touchscreen technology. You can see there are more non-Apple touchscreen smartphones in the world today than Apple’s own iPhone.

  • Regional Limitations

When you are expanding your business into new territories, you must know them well. You cannot expect people to react to your offerings, marketing methods, advertising tactics in the same way everywhere. In fact, cultural considerations are an extremely important consideration when businesses are expanding.

You don’t have to be expanding to a completely new country to consider culture. There are many things that people in one state might love and people in another state completely hate.

These considerations have to be made based on the type of business you have. If your business has some cultural dependencies, you have to be very careful with where you are thinking of expanding your business operations.

  • Cash Flow Challenges

You need to be on top of your cash flow before you expand. Cash flow is important for any business, but it is essential when it comes time for expansion. It does not matter how much money you are expecting to come into the business after making the expansion move; it is going to require a lot of money upfront too.

This is the time when you have to stop thinking about the revenue and start focusing on your income. Your revenue does not tell you how feasible it is for you to expand your business. It is the money that you can use without affecting your current operations that matter in the expansion.

Look at your profits and see how big they are. If your profits are small, don’t just assume that things will be fine and you should just make a move. You don’t want to create a situation where not only you fail with expansion but affect your existing operations as well.

  • Technological Issues

The way modern businesses operate, technology goes wherever your business goes. Many small business owners think of expansion only regarding new office space, furniture, and new employees, but that’s not the case. Today’s businesses rely heavily on technologies, both hardware, and software. When your business expands, you have to support it with better hardware but what’s more important is the software side.

Unless you are using a cloud solution for your database and other internal tasks and activities, you will have to spend a lot of time in arranging the right system. Syncing information across multiple locations and managing bigger databases with more accounts and information can be a challenge in the beginning.

  • Overestimating Business Popularity

Some businesses that start with a unique idea and get attention from media fast are able to reap great benefits from sudden demand spikes. This situation often makes business owners feel that they should expand as soon as possible. What they don’t realize is that this is only the “trial” period for customers in their minds.

Even if they like your product, in the beginning, it does not mean they have put full trust in your offerings. A onetime purchase does not translate to loyal customers and repetitive purchases. You might have received a great response from customers when you started the business but wait for some time to know if your customers have started to repeat.

It is only the number of repeat customers that can tell you if your product/service has been a success. It could be a nightmare for you if you start getting negative reviews from your first customers as soon as you expand into new markets and locations. You could end up creating too much inventory that no one is willing to buy.

  • Underestimating Growth of Employees

While a lot of things get overestimated by new business owners before expansion, there are some things that they underestimate. Sometimes, business owners are not able to fully foresee their growth regarding employees.

They arrange new space to continue business operations in a new location without realizing that the growing number of employees will force them to expand their office space again. Not only is it inefficient but it could lead to a lot of hassle for the working employees if the expansion of office space takes place while they are working there.

Final Words

The most important thing to keep in mind when you have your own business, and you are considering expansion regarding business operations or product/service offerings, is patience. Always take your time before making a move because when you are a small business, you don’t have a lot of support to recover from huge financial losses like large enterprises do.

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Cutting Costs without Reducing Your Team Is Indeed Possible

Costs

One of the things that many businesses around the world are notorious for is layoffs of their workers when they have to cut costs. It appears as though the least required asset for these companies is their workers. As brutal as it may sound, many businesses reduce their team sizes to reduce their costs every day. It is quite surprising because there are in fact dozens of different ways for businesses, especially small ones, to cut their costs without sending their employees home. Not to mention, small businesses aren’t in the best position to terminate their employees when they are already struggling with growth and expansion.

Let us first look at the circumstances and reasons why small businesses resort to firing their employees and terminating their contracts.

Reasons Why Businesses Terminate Their Employees

  •  Your Employee’s Performance is below Requirements

The biggest and probably the most valid reason for firing an employee is when they are not able to perform according to the set targets. Despite this being a valid reason, you should always follow the complete procedure and let go of your employee most ethically and professionally possible. Tell them that they also have the right to quit a company when a company does not pay them as promised and vice versa.

  •  Your Employee Isn’t Honest

You have noticed that your employee is not honest. They try to spend time doing nothing behind your back and are interested in things that they should not be concerned with. It is a risk to have such a worker working at the company.

  •  Your Employee Is Having a Hard Time Assimilating

One of the reasons why many employees are not able to give their best is because they can’t fit in the culture of your workplace. It’s either their religious, personal or moral beliefs that don’t let them feel being a part of the team.

  •  Your Employee Doesn’t Care

Believe it or not, some employees don’t care about the rules and regulations of your workplace and being at a professional place. They bully people around them, try to act pretentious, are not punctual and do not pay any attention to the dress code policy.

  •  Your Employees Cost You Too Much

This is quite an oxymoronic situation where the people who bring you business are the ones costing you money. Sometimes, companies become financially weak, and the only way they have to reduce their costs is firing employees. This helps them save money on employee compensation, bonuses, and incentives.

Is Employee Termination the Only Way to Cut Costs?

Not at all! There are many other ways for companies to reduce their costs without letting go of their employees. Here are some.

  •  Negotiations with Vendors and Suppliers

You can look into your current list of suppliers and vendors and look for opportunities to reduce costs. You have to realize that there are group purchasing organizations developed specifically for this purpose. Furthermore, there are online search engines designed specifically for businesses where you can find other businesses that can help you reduce your costs.

  •  Buy in Bulk

One simple way to reduce your costs is to purchase in bulk. Whether you are buying products or subscribing to software or online platform services, bulk purchases will always help you reduce your costs. As a business, you are subscribed to dozens of different online services and buy various items on a monthly or weekly basis. Buy them for several months or a complete year to save your costs.

  •  Reduce Lavish Expenses for Now

It is amazing that businesses offer their employees with refreshments, coffee, and teas for free, but there is a time when you can do this with ease. Until and unless you have reached a point where affording such luxuries do not bother you at all, do not introduce them.

  •  Invest in the Right Technology

Whether you are buying an electric generator for your office, bulbs and lights, ceiling fans, air conditioning units or machinery, you must invest in latest and energy-efficient technology.

  •  Market Wisely

Marketing can suck a lot of your capital out of business depending on the type of marketing you are doing. However, it will be rewarding for you if you use analytical data to narrow down only the marketing campaigns that are lucrative for your business. Spend on them and keep away from spending on marketing efforts that have not yielded any good results.

Similarly, you can find many other ways to reduce your costs without sending your employees home.

Risks Associated with Firing Your Employees

While firing your employees should be the last thing on your list of methods to cut costs, you must also know the many risks that come with employee termination. Here are a few.

  •  Sharing of Company Secrets with Competitors

When employees are not happy with your decision of firing them, they may not care about what action you can take against them. They may go for interviews with your competitors and share your trade secrets. This can be a big set-back for you if your competitor decides to take advantage of the situation.

  •  Lawsuits

When employees believe they have been fired based on unreasonable grounds, they may try to take you to court. If any wrongful termination is proved, it can be expensive for your company. Always be sure to complete the procedure of termination or make sure the termination is justified.

  •  Attack on Brand Image through Social Media

Today, people have a voice, and some people are ready to listen to their voice. Social networking platforms are great places for employees to discredit your brand and slander your image if they believe they were terminated by you wrongfully.

  •  Bad Performance of Existing Employees

It does not matter how much you care about your employees. They may have a stronger connection among themselves than they have with you. Therefore, when you terminate an employee and cause some dissention among the ranks.

So, it is highly recommended that you consider the many other ways of cutting costs for your small business before choosing to terminate your employees.

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10 Tips For Business Startup Owners

Owners

Every business owners can use some advice when it comes to making sure their business startup gets off on the right foot. From the best way to run your business to following your dreams, these tips offer sound recommendations that can help your business startup maintain its operations and find success at every turn.

Sure, your business may run into challenges, and you may make some mistakes along the way, but it is how you recover that matters. Use these tips to your advantage when it comes to ensuring you avoid the pitfalls that others have fallen into as a first-time entrepreneur.

1.      Be Passionate About What You Do

When it comes to business, the owners doing what you love makes it that much easier to do well. Find a business that you can excel at and throw yourself into. You should have an underlying passion for the market, product, service, or brand that you are selling. In order for it to succeed in the market place, you need to believe in it, and then your customers will follow suit.

2.      Believe In Yourself

Every business owners doubt themselves at one time or another, but you need to fully believe in your capabilities. Mistakes are inevitable, but understanding that you will fail at times can help you rebound and move forward with great resilience. Recognize that you have what it takes to make it and send that doubt packing as only when you truly believe in yourself and what you are doing will success come knocking at your door.

3.      Listen To Advice From Others

Many others have come before you with their own business startups. Learn from their challenges and heed their advice. They can allow you to steer clear of potential issues and make it easier for you to operate as a business startup. From finding funding to working with an angel investor, other entrepreneurs have experience that you can gain from and use to your advantage if you are willing to listen.

4.      Watch Your Overhead

Business owners need to realize that you are business startup out of the gate. This means watching the cash flow and setting up shop in that swank office building on 5th Avenue may not be a possibility at this time. Keep things simple and observe the cost structure. It may need cash down the road and being on the hook for high rents or loan commitments can make it difficult to spread the wings. Have patience and watch for the right opportunity to grow.

5.      Know Your Competition

Ignoring your competition as a business startup will get you nowhere. Be sure to thoroughly investigate everything there is to know about your competition and make your products and services better. Find out where your competitors are lacking and seize this opportunity to secure market share. Knowing your competition can give you that leg up your need to get ahead in the market and appeal to consumers in a new way. Do your homework and keep an eye on your competitors at all times.

6.      Practice Your Pitch

You are the greatest salesperson for your business startup. Whether you are looking to secure funding from an angel investor or looking to gain more customer loyalty, you need to have a pitch on the ready to tell anyone and everyone you come in contact with. Be concise in your approach and be sure to mention your goals, values, and vision. You never know who you’ll meet, and you need to be ready with a pitch that impresses.

7.      Get Out And Network

Networking is a key part of any entrepreneur’s success. Connecting with others in the industry can help you develop relationships that may come in handy for your business startup down the road. Plus, you will continue to learn from these individuals and a new opportunity with one of them may be just around the corner.

8.      Ask For Help

As much as you want to do it all, there comes a time when we all need to ask for help. There is no shame in getting someone involved in your business startup to help take it to the next level. You are going to need help as time goes on to evolve your company and reaching out to someone you trust may be the best thing that you can do for your business startup. You’ll be able to offload some of the burdens and free yourself up to focus on new projects that have been sitting on the back burner.

9.      Continue Learning

With the most successful CEOs reading four to five books a month, taking a page from their playbook can help extend owners business startup and move it forward in new ways. Keep the door open and continue to educate their selves by learning from others. Reading books that focus on self-help, business, motivation, leadership, and communication can continue to motivate them and their company. If keep their learning continuous, they’ll find plenty of new ideas just waiting to be realized.

10. Don’t Give Up

Above all don’t give up on yourself. Even when times get tough, and you feel like throwing in the towel. Take a step back and appreciate how far you have come. If you have the drive and motivation to succeed the potential to make it in the market is there. You need to believe that you can do it and push yourself harder than you have ever done before. With hard work comes success and you are most likely just on the cusp of winning.

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4 Ways to Impress an Angel Investor with Your Business Startup?

angel

Gaining the attention of an angel investor takes plenty of wit and charisma, but getting them to sign the dotted line to fund your business takes a little more effort and preparedness. Knowing what will garner their focus and impress them to the fullest can make securing the funding you need to start your business easier and, of course, less stressful. Start with the following to get the nod of that angle investor you are looking to partner with.

Impressive Revenue Stats

Knowing the numbers is imperative to swaying an angel investor your way. You need to come to the table prepared to win them over not only with your knowledge but also with your impressive financials. You should have a revenue stream ready to go and know your overhead costs as well as your product costs and markup.

Industry Knowledge and Experience

Being a newbie to a market can be a challenge in itself, but if you have a strong background that shows you know what you are doing in this arena, you may have a leg up. Angel investors will take notice of your potential and see that your expertise is valuable to the market you are looking to serve and be more willing to fund your business startup as a result.

Sound Business Plan

It goes without saying that you should have a business plan for your startup ready to go. Angel investors want to know how you plan to operate once you open your doors and a business plan can help provide the details to many of their questions. Give your business plan some time and effort as it can be the defining factor for an angel investor saying ‘yes’ to funding your business start-up.

Niche Products and Services

If your product serves a niche in the market that is not currently being serviced, the interest of your angel investor will certainly be peaked by what you have to offer. Finding where your business fits into the marketplace can help separate you from the pack and make your product stand out from other “me too” offerings. Angel investors want in on these opportunities, and you are sure to impress them with you savvy and entrepreneurial spirit.

Finding the right angel investor doesn’t have to be a challenge as Funded.com provides a bevy of resources and helpful advice right at your fingertips. Visit Funded.com to access our network of angel investors or for assistance with the development of your business plan.

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All the Reasons Why Mixing Small Business with Personal Banking Isn’t a Great Idea

Banking

When starting a new business, you face hundreds of new challenges – many of which you have already assessed and many that you couldn’t have imagined. Once you have made up your mind to start your business, you need to set some rules. While there are many, today’s topic is mixing personal banking with business finances. A great number of new and small business owners make the mistake of mixing their finances with business finances. Here are the reasons why you should not do this when you start your business.

Reasons Why You Should Not Mix Personal Banking and Business

 

  •       To Make Loans Easier

If you want to make it easier for you to obtain loans, you would want to keep your bank account separate from your business account. The first rule one has to learn as a business owner is “business has its own identity.” Keeping that in mind, you have to open a separate account for your business. With time, your business will create its credit history making it much easier for you to obtain loans in future.

  •     To Know Business Expenses

When you have your personal banking and business account all mixed up, you don’t know which expenses are which. If you need to buy a new wristwatch for yourself, the money comes out of that account. If you have to buy new furniture for your business, the money still comes out of the same account. As the time passes, it will become nearly impossible for you to sift and sort through your expenses and business expenses. To know your business’ profit, you need to know its expenses.

  •       To Make Tax Filing Easy

Tax filing can become a nightmare for you with your personal and business income and expenses are intertwined. By mixing the two accounts, you are making the job difficult for yourself. As for the sole owners of a small business, it is best to put some percentage of your income in a separate account, so you don’t have to pay the taxes from your pocket at the end of the year.

  •      To Keep It Professional

So, you want your business to turn into a brand. You have had your visiting cards, letterheads, brochures, etc. printed. You want people to know the name of your business. Having done that, how does it feel when your customers and clients have to write a check in your name and your business’? People might think that you are not serious about your business and that you might change your mind at any time, which is a lost opportunity for long-term B2B relations.

  •       To Keep It Transparent

When the money from your earnings and business go on the same account, you will not distinguish between both when it comes to spending. At times, you might be making up for business losses from your pocket, and at other times, you will be buying your stuff from business money.

Bottom Line

For the reasons above and many others, it is in your best interest that you open a separate account for your business and keep your savings personal. You could also close doors for future incoming investments due to this basic non-professional move.

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5 Details Angel Investors Look For In A Business Plan

plan

As a business startup, you have no doubt developed a business plan that outlines your need for funding to get your company off the ground. While you may have a clear purpose and objective, angel investors are looking for specific details that let them know that your business start-up has what it takes to make it in the marketplace.

With a seed investor seeing hundreds of business plan proposals each year, you need to make sure yours hits the high notes and resonates with them. This means that you have to hone in on what is important to them and help them see why they need to put their funding dollars into your business. Use these tips to enhance your business plan and garner the attention of an angel investor for your business start-up.

Industry Experience

Angel investors are savvy when it comes to industry experience, and they want to see that you have what it takes to make it in the marketplace. They want entrepreneurs that have intimate knowledge of the industry they are looking to break into and have even worked in a similar business for a time or two. This can help your business plan sing as you are able to relate your experience to what your business should and shouldn’t do to succeed.

Market Need

Using your business plan to show that there is a definite market need for your product or service can help your angel investor see the potential of your business start-up. They will easily understand the consumer problem you are looking to solve and see how your offerings fit the bill. Be detailed in your references and be sure to show how the market will respond to the availability of your product or service.

Competitor Knowledge

Knowing your competitors is key to understanding where you will stand out and separate yourself from the pack. Remember that your private investor may not be as fluent in your competitors as you are and you need to break it down in your business plan for them to grasp as fully as you. This can prove to be beneficial in gaining the funding your need to grow your business.

Business Traction

Showing what your business startup has done so far to generate revenues is a boon for potential angel investors to see. This lets them know you are on the right track and that your company has traction. Be sure to detail all your revenue streams as well as any upcoming deals you have secured to ensure they see the big picture of your business’ potential.

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Developing A Business Startup Success Strategies That Works

Success

It can be easy to lose sight of the very reasons why you wanted to open your business startup. You can get wrapped up in the day-to-day operations, leaving little time to focus on what makes your business startup standout in the market. Having a strategies in place that allows you to keep you motivated can ensure your business stays on a path of success.

Fall In Love With Your Business

Any business that you invest your heart in soul in should be the great love of your life. You need to nurture it and watch it grow. Having a real passion for what you are doing and the products and services you sell can make your business startup a real labor of love. You should have a real hunger that drives you to do well. Making your business startup idea one that you can stand behind and love to eternity is the first step in achieving success.

If it seems that you are losing that connection with your company and not really feeling the love, take a step back and allow yourself to remember how it all started. This can spark your emotions for your business and allow you to fall back in love with what you are doing. Your passion for your business is often times enough to get you through the challenging times.

Surround Yourself With Good People

From your employees to your professional network, the people that you surround yourself with can have a strong influence on your business startup. These very people can give you new ideas and help educate you on your business’ operations.

Having positive people to lift you up can be a strong motivator and allow you to have someone to bounce thoughts off of when you feel uncertain about a decision. Use your network to gain valuable information and learn from your peers on what mistakes to avoid. They can prove to be a big part of helping you run your business and ensuring it is successful in its endeavors.

Don’t forget your employees; they can be a big part of keeping your focused on your business startup on a daily basis. Good employees will drive your customer service and in turn your revenue. When your employees believe in your business and the vision you have set for it, it makes it that much more important that you deliver now and into the future.

Create A Marketing Strategy

Having a marketing strategy in place to promote your business is necessary to help achieve strong revenues. You should have prepped and planned a strategy that you want to adhere to market your business startup to your customers. It doesn’t have to be a large portion of your budget, but it should include some effort on your part.

Think about where your customers go for their information. Be visible to them and make sure you use every opportunity that is available to you to market your business with both new and existing customers. Try social media, check into local advertising, hold and an event, and use what is available to you to reach your customers and introduce your business’ products and services to the masses.

If you stay aggressive with your marketing plan, you are sure to garner the attention of your current customer base as well as a new group of potential clients. This can bring in more revenue and keep your business startup on a path of success.

Get To Know Your Customers

It is your responsibility as a business startup owner to know everything there is to know about your customers. You should have a strong idea of who they are, what their likes are, and where they are located. When you truly understand your customers, the more effectively you can serve them with your products and services.

While your attention may be turned toward gaining new customers, don’t lose sight of your current clients. They are the bread and butter of your business, and you want to make sure you are not replacing existing customers with new customers at a losing pace. Show your loyal customers how much you appreciate their business. Without them, your business will only see marginal success, and you want to make sure to grow your business startup rather than be stagnate in its approach.

Take Time For You

It may be difficult to imagine, but you need time away from your business startup. You may think that you can’t take time away or that your momentum will crumple without you, but taking a vacation every now and then is one of the best things you can do for your company. When you step away for a moment, you allow yourself the opportunity to recharge and refresh. You’ll be able to see your business in a new light and be surging with motivation when you return.

You’ll be surprised at how much a vacation from your business startup can do for you. You’ll be filled with new ideas and solutions to problems that you previously thought unsolvable. Being able to see your business from a new angle can be just what you need to take it in a new direction, move it forward, or reach to new heights. Your business startup will appreciate the time you took, and you will be ready to take on new challenges with a fury as your drive will be restored and you will feel anew.

Plus, you have good people surrounding you that you can trust to steer the ship when you are away. Rely on your employees and allow them to do what you hired them to do. You’ll be pleasantly pleased with how quick they are to pick up the slack when you are away and the positive results you’ll see upon your return.

Having a strategy in place can ensure your business stays on track and experiences great success now and into the future. It is important to stay focused, think about your customers, and take a break when you need it. By embracing your business startup and trusting in yourself, your business will reach the success that you deserve and have always envisioned.

 

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The Challenges You Must Overcome to Turn Your Small Business into a Big Business

Challenges

You might have a small business today, but you don’t want that label for the life of your business. When entrepreneurs make endeavors, they are looking to create a business that will rule the world one day. However, every business has to face some struggles in the beginning that it must overcome to become a big business. The way you handle these challenges decides the fate of your small business. Today, you will read about these challenges and the solutions to them, so if you are a small business, you can set the foundation for its success.

Knowing the Target Market

One of the biggest issues with most small businesses is that they don’t know their exact target market. Sometimes, they don’t know how to narrow down to the target market. This is a huge issue because you could have a perfect product, but you might pitch it to the people who don’t need it. Keep in mind that people who don’t need your product won’t buy it even if you try to give it to them for free. On the other hand, people who need your product will be willing to buy it even if it is priced high. For your business to survive, it needs to start selling as quickly as possible, and that’s why it is important to find your target market before launching your product.

Solution

The first step of identifying your target market is to know your product well enough. You have to ask yourself some important questions about the product and write the answers down. For example, you have to ask yourself “what existing problem does my product solve?” You also have to know if there are any other solutions available in the market for the same problem. If yes then you have to see how your product is better than them or how you can make it better. Conduct surveys on the street and social media to know the personas of the best buyers of your product.

The Right Type of Marketing

Businesses, small and big, have huge parts of their budgets allocated only for marketing purposes. However, the modern technological advancements have proven that a big marketing budget does not translate to successful marketing. So, you might have done a great job in identifying your target market, but if you approach them in the wrong way or through the wrong channel, you will not be able to reap any benefits from even the most potential market for your product or service.

Solution

Identifying your target market should help you identify your marketing methods and channels too. For example, if your product is for people aged over 50, you would not want to make Instagram the prioritized marketing channel because only 18% of the users on Instagram are aged above 50. Similarly, any product that targets executives, marketing officers and professional people should be promoted on LinkedIn before any other platform. After knowing the buyer personas, you should also select the type of marketing that best suits your potential audience. If you are creating a hip-hop music video for marketing to retired individuals or an opera video for 18-year olds, you are doing it wrong. Use website analytical tools to know what appeals or does not appeal to your website, visitors. Base your digital marketing campaigns on data—this is the era of data-driven marketing.

The Funding Problem

If there were no funding problem, every person who thinks of a unique idea would have a business. In the real world, funding is always a problem, and it is exactly the point where the journey ends for many aspiring people in business. However, it is not always the lack of funds that kill many small businesses before they even start. In fact, the important part is how much dedication you show in arranging those funds. Sometimes, people have the options available, but they do not knock on all the doors.

Solution

First, you have to know all the options you have available for arranging the funds. If you are not okay with arranging funds through the bank or in the form of a loan, take a look around at your family and relatives. You will be surprised to know how many of the people in your circle will be ready not only to give you the investment you need but become a part of the endeavor. The crowdfunding options are also there. You don’t even have to go to the investors personally today as you can visit a platform like funded.com and arrange funds online.

The Right Leadership

You can’t make a business successful unless you have the right leader in place. It is not completely untrue that the attitude of the leader sets the attitude of the rest of the employees at a company. If you lack confidence in your leadership, you will end up hiring people who lack confidence in themselves. One of the biggest problems with most small business owners is that they can’t convince themselves to delegate responsibilities. They believe in their skill so much that their mind never accepts that someone else can handle the responsibilities too. They end up taking the responsibility of everything on their shoulders and mismanaging things at the end of the day.

Solution

The first thing that needs to be fixed here is how you think. If you find it hard to delegate responsibilities, get rid of this habit as soon as possible. You can’t handle everything as the business grows and so you have to create a team right from day one. Do not hire people just because they can do the job—hire people who share the same vision as you. Do not settle for good employees because finding the best ones is taking time. Do not try to take matters into your hands all the times. Listen to everyone that’s part of the team and the decision making process. Have a great relationship with your employees.

Setting the Price

One of the most difficult decisions for a small business owner is to set the price of its service or product. When you are a small business, you can’t afford to have a full-fledged marketing department. Of course, when you have a marketing department, they can set the price of your products, but when there is no marketing department, you are the one to take this decision. Price your solutions too low, and you might not make any profit at all. Price your solution too high, and customers might never buy your product.

Solution

It will be tremendously helpful in this scenario to take a look at your competitors and how they have priced their products. Secondly, you have to know a simple rule to set the prices of your products and services. You first set the price to cover your costs. Once you have started covering your costs, you set the price to cover the costs and make a profit. Once you have done that successfully, you start adding your “value” to the price. You should also know the buying power of your target market so you can keep the price within their comfort zone.

These points cover pretty much every big challenge that a small business comes across. Keep in mind that some of the challenges might be exclusive to your business and industry too, but if you can overcome these common challenges, you can cover the industry-specific difficulties as well.

 

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Creating a Brand for Your Business Startup

BrandWhile you have been busy creating and planning your business startup, you need to take some time to consider what and who you are. This is your business’ brand identity and planning it early on can go a long way in developing the message that your customers will remember about your company and its products and services.

Creating a brand takes into account all the aspects of your business to craft a message that is memorable as well as indicative of what you do. It signifies who you are, what you stand for, and can make a difference in the decisions you make now and into the future.

Appeal to Your Key Customer

When starting off brainstorming about your brand, you need to think about who your ideal customer is. Your brand should identify directly with this target market and be something that they can relate to. Think about your target market and what helps them recognize your business as one they prefer and would buy from. Use wording that appeals to them and will help them relate in a way that entices yet explains your brand in a concise and interesting way.

Using jargon or unfamiliar words that just don’t hit a note with your customer base can be a turn-off. Keep it simple and use words that compel your audience while also educating them on what you do. You want to make sure your brand resonates with your ideal customer so they can remember your business and be persuaded to buy from you because your business startup shares the same values as they do.

Examine Your Competition

It is also a good idea to have a grasp on what your competition is doing right with their branding. Investigate and dig deep into the ideas that your competitors have integrated into their brand. How are these brands identifying with customers? What is working? What is not? This little bit of investigation work can be beneficial to helping you develop your own brand as you can take key features that are advantageous and incorporate them into your own brand.

This can also help you avoid the branding concepts that your competition uses that are not as strong as they could be. Consider where your competition is missing the mark and note these areas for improvement with your own branding strategy.

Celebrate Your Individuality

You will also want to highlight the elements of your business startup that stand out. What makes you unique? Why are you different than the competition? These cornerstone separators are what you need to focus on with your brand. They can help you tell your story to your customers and set you apart from the pack in your niche.

This is where you celebrate what makes your business startup so special and make it a part of your branding message. Letting your customers know that particular aspect they can find with your business and not another can be a powerful part of your branding identification. Not only can this give you a leg up but it can be the sole deciding factor as to why a customer chooses your products and services over another.

Allow yourself to celebrate these standout features and make sure your customer base knows about them easily by seeing them in your logo, advertising, promotions, and marketing strategy. It should be your brand identifier and the reason that you are in business, to begin with.

Give Yourself Some Personality

Your brand should be the single thing that customers say about your business. They should be able to recognize your logo and the keywords that you have chosen to align with your brand. This should spell out the vision of your business startup and help your customers understand what you are all about. Try to infuse some personality into who your business is so your customer base can relate with you on an emotional level.

Appealing to the senses of your customer base can be beneficial and allow you to show your personal side too. The more you can show your customers that you are a business they need to buy from and follow, the more success your startup will have going forward. Your brand will set the stage for your business startup now and into the future. It will give you direction and be the sole factor in determining the role your business takes in the market.

Be Concise and Consistent

When you have determined the exact branding for your business startup, now is the time to utilize it to your advantage. Align your marketing strategy around your branding message and be sure to incorporate it into all your promotions. The stronger you can make the reach and visibility of your company branding, the more impact it will have on your customer base.

Many a company goes astray from their corporate branding, leaving customers confused as to what the business is all about. Set yourself on a path early on to use your branding in all media platforms and promotions to ensure that you send the right message that is clear and concise in its actions.

Be consistent in your branding and ensure your entire team is onboard with what the brand stands for and means. Instruct your staff on how to utilize the brand in every interaction so they can drive home the message with your customers.

Having a brand that signifies what your business startup stands for at the very beginning can eliminate cross signals about your business and the products and services you sell. It can create a clear definition of who you are as a business and make sure you develop a following with your customers right out the gate.

Taking the time to develop a brand strategy gives your business startup life and will define your company without question among your customers. You will have created the vision of your business startup and be able to build upon your brand moving forward, making it stronger and more powerful as time goes on.

Access our network of Investors, get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com