7 Ways to Transform Your Business

Business trends are changing so fast and a lot of business owners are unable to follow. But do not despair if you fall into the category of businesses that are struggling, you can transform your business with 7 easy to follow steps. The first secret of successful businesses is seeking knowledge and action taking, If you are reading this you are on the right path to success.

1. Personal and Business Branding

The present generation business men know that to be found is to have a face, a personal and business face. The client wants to build relationship with you first as a person then with your business. The easiest way to transform your business and to have client attraction is to promote yourself. You do this by creating valuable content that reflects who you are, you want your clients to identify you from a mile. To create a presence around your business, you will need to craft the way you walk, talk, the colors you wear and use on your logo, marketing materials, they should all speak of who and what you represent. Personal branding is as important as business branding, one take you to the other, they go hand in hand. Be bold about presenting you to the public, choose your style make yourself known, this will provide a space for your immediate to potential clients to fill.

2. Marketing strategy that works

A business without a marketing strategy has already planned to fail; this is as true as it is stated. The first step is to have a plan, which is reviewed regularly to keep you on track. Then you must know what you desire from your business, your focus, vision, mission, this will help you structure a good marketing strategy. When you know all that you need and expect, it is time to create sales plan to help guide you in producing effective results.
To create this sales plan you must be ready to open your mind and follow the principles of advertising, sales promotion, public relations and press releases, lead generation, copy-writing, internet and website marketing. Don’t go copying someone else because every business will have a different marketing strategy to attract the right clients and meet its financial goal.

A good marketing strategy is produced by (1) defining the marketing problem, (2) gathering the facts relevant to the problem (3) analyzing the facts (4) determining different solutions to solve the problem; and (5) selecting the solution that worked best and incorporating it.

3. Implementing the use of Social media

Any business not implementing the use of social media is soon to disappear, this statement is not made to scare you but to make you realize that there is a change in the way businesses and clients speak, it is called the social media revolution. Everyone who want to make an impact, keep exiting clients, attract new clients is on the major social media platforms. The first step here will be to identify the right platform for your business and join them. To be on these platforms /networks is one thing to know how to use them effectively for business growth is another. They are important to attracting new clients and so taking time out to explore them and getting trained in how to use them will do you a world of good as a business owner. There a lot of free resources to help you learn your first baby steps.

4. Effective Website Marketing

Early this year 2010 Google, BT and Enterprise launched and initiative called getting British business online. It was discovered that 1.5million businesses in the United Kingdom did not have a website. Now this is the UK alone imagine the number worldwide. Getting a website is good, but is does not stop there. A lot of businesses are missing out on client attraction through their website; the reason is having a website is not enough. There are things you need to do, to drive traffic to your site and this is what website marketing is all about. It is the ranking of your site in the major search engines, Google being the first placed, YouTube second and you have got yahoo and loads more.

Some of the things you need to do market your site and rank it high are email marketing, directory submissions, article writing, forum postings and blogging. All these forms provide a solid platform to meet your online business web promotion goals. Website marketing is a concept that few people completely understand. The simple truth is that most people don’t fully understand all of the aspects of this marketing, most people do not have the time to do this for themselves and so have a struggling business but there are ways you can get your website marketing at little or no cost.

5. Be a part of a Mastermind group

Napoleon hill brought the concept of mastermind group to light and many have embraced it. It is a group of like minds working together for a common good or for support in their individual endeavors. The benefits of a good master mind group cannot be over emphasized, mastermind groups help you keep (1) focus, (2) break thinking blocks and challenge your thinking, (3) take action faster (4)break fears (5)achieve more than you would if you were working alone.(5) build strategic alliances. A good mastermind group will help you make fast progress because you are accountable to your team. Depending on the kind of group you belong, some of the things you get for a master mind, success principles, business strategy, and personal productivity.

6. Get Coaching/Mentoring

Coaching and mentoring cannot be over emphasized for the business owner, why go in circles trying out new things, when you can get someone who has been there and done it to help you avoid mistakes and succeed faster. You will always find someone who has done what you are doing or can stand as a role model to your success. Do you need more than one mentor? Well the good news is, you are not restricted to one mentor, actually having a mentor for the different aspect of your life and business will make you beat your competitors and balance out your life.

7. Investing in self

A book, a new training, a seminar, a new gadget for business, holiday, this are the different ways you could invest in yourself. When you increase and apply new knowledge you stand out of the crowd.

As a business owner you can find a lot of training, to support you and your business growth, before you stop yourself from investing, stop and ask what the short and long term benefit is for you and your business. Now that you know what to do, begin to take little steps daily towards transforming your business and creating that change that you desire.

Business Loans Or Business Lines of Credit

When applying for business funding, one question that many business owners have is; ‘what is better: business loans or business lines of credit?’

The best answer, although not the simplest, is that it depends on the use of those funds.

Business lines of credit are essentially short-term financing based on relatively known payback events like the conversion of assets.

Business loans are more for long-term financing needs such as the purchase of durable assets where payback would results from either the deployment of such assets over a period of time (usually matched to the useful life of the asset) or from efficiencies established from the long-term use of the loan proceeds like increased revenue from expanding markets or the hiring of additional employees to satisfy customer demand.

Think about it this way. You would never go to your bank and inquire about a credit card product when you are in the market to purchase a home.

Credit cards are essentially short-term financing vehicles that should be paid backed almost as soon as they are used – like when you receive your next pay check (essentially leveraging your next income event to get the capital you need or want today).

Most credit card purchases are short-term in nature (like tickets to a show or a night out with the family – items that are consumed immediately without the ability to generate additional income) and thus should be matched to a corresponding loan product – like a short term credit card.

The same is true for business credit. Most business loans or business lines of credit should be matched to the need of the business. Example, a retail home and garden business needs to purchase trees and shrubs now for the up coming spring season where it will sell the bulk of this inventory. There is no sense in applying for a long-term, say a 5 year business loan, as the business will have to again make new purchases next spring.

A short-term seasonal business line of credit would be much better for this business. As the business begins to sell its inventory during the spring and summer seasons, the business will generate the cash flow to repay the advance against the business line of credit – thus matching the sale of those assets to the cash flow or advance from the credit line. Not only will this be cheaper in fees and interest for the business, but, the business will essentially use the assets purchased from the advance to pay for themselves. All that is left over from the sale is profit for the business.

Also, as stated, matching the loan product to a business need can save your business money in the long-run. Think about this. A short-term $100,000 business line of credit for 12 months at 8% interest will cost the borrower about $4,400 in interest. The same amount at the same rate for a 5 year business loan will cost the business some $21,700 in interest.

Why Do So Many Small Businesses Fail? Some Things to Know Before You Quit Your Day Job

The toughest area to cover when talking about how many, and why small businesses fail, is what constitutes failure? Now for the purposes of affixing a number to the amount small businesses that do not make it, the Small Business Administration (SBA) says that only 50% of businesses succeed in the first five years of operation, with 75% of them failing for financial reasons.

Of course there are a lot of businesses that get started by entrepreneurs, people that are already, or have previously operated their own business. These entrepreneurs should have the necessary skills and experience to know what it takes to start up a new business, but it is not always the case because some people let their hearts and emotions overtake common sense.

Let’s focus on the segment of people who have not operated or started their own business before, but are currently working in a job they are not happy with, and just want to get out of the 9-5 rat race.

The reality of the situation is that many people aspire to be business owners with the view that it is a fast track to getting rich, and is going to give them the freedom to work on their own schedule. This can be true, but don’t misconstrue what it takes to own and operate a small business. If you think your boss is working you too hard, and you are putting in too many hours at work, you may be right, but get used to it if you want to start your own business.

If making a lot of money is your sole focus, it is probably not a good idea to start a business. If passion and drive are your motivating factors, they will go a long way in making you become a successful business owner. The making money aspect of owning a business will come to those that display passion, dedication, and the ability to learn quickly and adjust to changing circumstances.

Your current job might be boring, and you may be performing similar, if not the same tasks day in and day out. The good news for those looking to start your own business is that no day will be like the next, and things are constantly changing that will require you being able to adapt to the changing circumstances. Remember, when you own your own business, there is no-one above you, the buck stops with you, and when things go wrong, and they will, your employees will be looking to you for advice and guidance.

There are a plethora of reasons why a small business might fail, including but not limited to the following:

Insufficient funds to keep the business afloat
Lack of experience
The business grows too quickly
Poor location (if you are in the retail/restaurant business)
Lack of Sales
Too much competition

The most critical aspect in the pre-planning process of starting your own business is to make sure you create 5 year financial projections including a profit and loss and cash flow forecast. This will enable you to accurately determine how much money you will need to get your business off the ground. Whatever number you come up with for start up capital, multiply it by 1.5 times to give yourself some breathing room.