August 22, 2019

4 Foundations of a Scalable Business Model

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If you have decided that you want to build a scalable business, you’ll need to quickly learn how to lay down the proper foundations to support it. Not all profitable businesses are able to climb up the business ladder quickly. To build up a business, you need a business model that can quickly multiply revenue at a minimal incremental cost. For example, a piece of software takes a lot of labor to develop, but once developed, it can be copied repeatedly with the same minimum cost. However, a family restaurant is vastly different. Labor and fresh ingredients are costly, and while a family business can grow well and be profitable, it would be a poor business model. Here are some ideas on how to lay the proper foundation for a rising enterprise.

Set Your Business Plan

One of the most crucial mistakes when building a scalable business model is not starting with a business plan. Eventually, businesses will need to begin searching for investors and having meetings with bankers. Your business plan should be ready to go. However, a business plan is more than just a description of your product. Your business plan should contain information about the problem you’re solving for your target market, your solution, how your solution will benefit your target market, and the financials and forecasts to back it up.

Automate Wherever Possible

One of the key requirements of a scalable business model is that there is a set system for accomplishing tasks, and everybody follows the same system. Automating as much of your mundane tasks, such as data entry, is one of the first things you should set up so that you can save on hiring additional employees. You can also automate email responses and appointment reminders. At instances where automating is not possible, consider hiring a virtual assistant instead of a full-time employee to manage routine tasks. This will save you time and resources so that you and your key team members can focus your attention on the clients, product development, and potential investors.

Intelligent Sales Software

Many software solutions such as CRM and POS can help generate more sales, improve customer experience, and scale your business. When searching for software solutions, try to search for those that have integration functions so that you can integrate as many applications as you need into an application suite. Not only are application bundles usually less expensive, but software from the same family are also usually more powerful when synced together. In addition, adequate training and education on existing software can help your retail stores save time and money at the point of sale.

The Corporate Shield

Setting up your business as the right business entity can save you a lot of hassle and headache. While there are many business entities types available to register as LLCs and LLPs are the main business types that can help protect your business assets in the event of legal proceedings.

Building a scalable business model is a hefty enterprise that requires a lot of preparation beforehand. If you are thinking of building a business or is interested in making your current business profitable, make sure you follow these tips to build with a solid starting foundation.

If you need help setting up your business, I can help! Contact me to learn more about my coaching services!

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3 Marketing Strategies That Are Easily Trackable

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Establishing a good marketing strategy is essential to running a successful business. A good marketing strategy will provide you with the right data to help you better understand your overall revenue as well as the type of clientele that is actually responding to your marketing strategy. To obtain this information, you will need trackable marketing strategies. But how do you achieve this? Take a look at our top three recommendations to find out.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the few proven strategies used by both small and large businesses. A well-crafted email marketing strategy can provide you with valuable data that can result in repeat customers. However, common mistakes such as buying an email list or simply making it very generic and forgetful can cost your company valuable time and money. One of the best ways to utilize email marketing is to test various sales pitches and visuals with your customers. You’ll also want to make sure you personalize your emails. You can do this by adding the person’s name as well as delivering your email within their time zone to increase the chance of it being opened.

Direct Mail Marketing

Who says physical mail marketing is dead? Direct mail marketing can be a very effective way to obtain new customers; you just need the right tools to take advantage of it. This means sending out a few hundred flyers to test out the effectiveness of your approach. Another thing to keep in mind is the length of your message, people are not looking through their junk mail, and when they do they read them, you want your message to be quick and effective. Outline any deals or discounts in a simple to understand format. Don’t forget to proofread before sending out hundreds or thousands of letters. Not only will this look unprofessional, but they will most likely never take a second look at your advertising again. In addition, don’t mail to everyone and anyone. You know who your potential customers are, so begin with them first. Roughly 5% of mail is undeliverable, so it might be helpful to utilize address verification to ensure that your mail is arriving where you want it to.

Direct Response Marketing

When people hear about direct response marketing, they often think of an email. Although that has been the traditional way to do it, technology has allowed us to do it in more modern ways For example, one method of direct response marketing you might see today is an e-commerce ad on Facebook or Instagram. With direct response marketing you can not only target your preferred audience, but once people start interacting with your ad, you can accumulate data. This data can then be utilized to track which of your customers are most likely to interact with your company.

Tracking the effectiveness of your marketing strategy is one of the most crucial things you can do to ensure the survival of your company. Therefore, it is vital that you understand not only the various mediums available to you but also how they can be utilized to provide you with the most effective results.

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How Managers Can Build a Team By Taking a Walk

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In recent decades, technology has provided us with the necessary tools to do practically all of our work from our desk. Gone are the days of having to track down your co-workers or boss to get their input. We have become much more sedentary as a society. This has caused a decrease in the average worker’s health, which can also affect productivity. As a leader, your role in the workplace is not only to supervise but encourage the most healthy, hard-working and effective team possible.

Clear Your Head

If you look at an average American workplace, it may seem relaxed. However, looks can be deceiving, as those who have worked in an office can attest. The constant back and forth emails, deadlines and the ever-glowing light of our computers can be stressful. For a different kind of break, managers can gather their teams once or twice a day and take a walk with them. This will allow them to build face-to-face relationships with managers and co-workers. In addition, walking will provide them the opportunity to clear their minds from the everyday stresses of the workplace. 

See Things from an Employee’s Perspective

Many times, solutions can only be discovered when different perspectives come together. A manager who constantly sits behind a desk attempting to solve all the company’s issues will probably not get too far. Gemba can help managers to solve any issues on hand and also boost morale around the office. Gemba walks are designed to take a manager around the workplace for the purpose of observing employees and their work, learning more about how things work at their level, and developing respect for them and what they do.

Create Healthy Competition

Friendly competition between employees can be a good thing. Competition boosts productivity and gives people something to work towards in an otherwise mundane workplace. Creating a challenge that encourages employees to see who can get the most steps per day is a great place to start. This will not only create a morale boost, but employees will also begin to become healthier throughout the weeks.

There is no doubt that focusing on team building can increase the morale of your employees. However, if you choose to implement this into your workplace, always make sure to think about how everyone can be included in the program. This will allow for greater discussions and a more inclusive, friendly workplace.

Get consulting from Shannon that will help you increase revenues, develop a high performance team, and avoid costly mistakes. Book a strategy session today!

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3 Updates to Keep You Competitive in eCommerce

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It’s exciting to have your ecommerce site beautifully designed and ready for business. But that’s not the end of it, however. It’s very important to stay on the cutting-edge of technology if you want to stay competitive in this sphere. Could your site use any of the following updates?

Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly

In this electronic age, the use of the standard desktop computer is declining. Patrons can now access their tablets and smartphones at an easier pace than sitting down and turning on their desktop computers. Professional tablets are now replacing desktop computers. Tablets are lighter, and the computer chip processors are in some cases faster than the desktop computers.

Every time you design your webpage for e-commerce, you want to make sure that you have a mobile-ready website for your business. People will normally recommend your business more to their associates with a mobile website. The mobile website should be easy to read, easy to navigate, and lovely to view.

Point of Sale System

It is prudent to understand all the tax implications of the dynamic and ever-changing economic nexus laws. States are collecting revenue from online sources because of the declining brick and mortar sales in their respective counties. The South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. case provided incentives for States to continue their aggressive collection efforts. The judge decided in favor of South Dakota in June 2018.

There are currently 16 states that have adopted economic nexus laws. A further eight states are considering revising their legislation to collect online sales tax. Businesses that sell to clientele in states that have adopted economic nexus laws need to update POS systems so they can collect sales tax from anywhere.

Once you understand which states have adopted economic nexus laws, you will want to determine if you will need to charge your customer sales tax from each specific state. This process should be easy and automated as possible. Some online ecommerce POS systems automatically collect sales taxes for you and send them to their desired destination. If this platform is unavailable for your business, you can purchase automation sales tax software to be embedded into your website for convenience.

Sales Tax Forms

Most POS software companies will give you a detailed analysis that demonstrates the amount of sales tax that were collected for each state. You can then use this information to file your monthly sales tax return. As always, you want to check for any sales tax discounts. The sales tax return can be submitted automatically online.

It is important to stay current with advanced technology for ecommerce websites. Utilized technology leads to a better experience for your clientele.

Get consulting from Shannon that will help you increase revenues, develop a high performance team, and avoid costly mistakes! Book a complimentary 30 minute Business Strategy Session here.

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3 Tips for Getting Your Product Listed on Amazon

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You can easily start a business on Amazon with little to no investment. Whether you sell your own products or act as a reseller, the e-commerce site offers a simple way to help you get started. Its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) system functions as a drop shipper, so they can take care of packing and shipping for you.

Amazon lets you expand your reach easily. It already has more than 310 million active customer accounts, and since 2016, it has accounted for 43% of online retail sales, says market research firm Slice Intelligence. The e-commerce giant provides you with a ready customer base of online shoppers. Here are three tips to help you get started more quickly on Amazon.

Prepping Your Product

Pick your product. Make sure you choose something Amazon allows. You can speed along the process by choosing something that does not require Amazon’s permission to sell. Items that don’t need permission include beauty products, cameras and their accessories, home and garden equipment, home improvement items and sporting goods. Other categories, like clothes, fine art, automotive and grocery require approval to sell on Amazon. Banned items include weapons, illegal drugs, pornography, tobacco products and e-cigarettes. Once you find the right product for Amazon, the next step is to set up a shipping plan.

Go Pro

You can sign up for a pro account for $39.99 per month. This lets you sell an unlimited number of items on the site. Without a professional Amazon account, you’ll only be able to sell 40 items per month. You will also need to pay a $.99 cent fee each time you sell something as well as a referral fee, which is about 15% of the selling price of most products.

Brand Yourself

Establish your brand and keep it cohesive across all of your listings. Use your logo and store name on each product listing. Complete each product listing with a clear, relevant title and detailed, well-written product description. Include high-quality images that accurately show the product. Amazon provides space for nine photos per listing.

Sharing as many quality photos of your product as you can will boost your chances of success on Amazon. Your main product image should show the product against a white background. The other images can show other angles or sides of the image.

Following these simple tips can help you get started more quickly on Amazon. While nothing can vault you to top-seller status immediately, with a little hard work and perseverance, you can turn your Amazon business into a dependable stream of income.

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