January 26, 2021

What You Need to Consider Before Moving Ahead With Your Business


Have you had an incredible business idea? One that you think will take you far and leave you feeling fulfilled? Maybe you’ve started having doubts asked whether you have everything you need to move forward with your business. It’s true—there is so much to consider when deciding if your business is feasible and profitable, but there are many resources out there to help you decide. Start with these basic questions to get you started.

What Problem Are You Solving?

Ask this question before you move forward with your business. To have a business, you need customers. To have customers, you need people who need your product. They will not need your product unless you are solving a problem that they need help with. Approaching your business idea with this perspective will help you know whether your business will be successful.

 It is of the utmost importance to consider whether you are meeting the needs of your potential customers. According to the Montreal Chamber of Commerce, it’s a good idea to get to know these potential customers and find whether your business idea solves a problem that they have.

How Will You Fund It?

Starting up a business can be very expensive, so it is important to consider all the costs that you might encounter and plan for how you will fund your business. Besides considering the costs of getting the supplies or space to start your business, think about your employees’ pay and benefits, unexpected loss, insurance, legal fees, permits, utilities, supplies for your employees, software, and hardware.

Even with all these costs, you have many options for how you will fund your business. You can take out a loan or search for a grant from the government. You also take things into your own hands by raising money yourself. Consider crowdfunding, asking for help from friends and family, and searching for investors as well. According to Franchise Gator, retirement accounts can be another source of funding for your business. However you decide to fund your business, consider if you will have enough funding for your particular business idea.

How Will You Market?

You already know that you can’t have a business without customers, but how are you planning to find and draw in those customers? According to Vendasta, much of the money that goes into starting up a business should also go into marketing. Think carefully about your target audience, their needs (like you read about above), and how to best reach them. Is the product that you have developed marketable to this audience, and do you have a good way to reach them?

Starting a business isn’t for everyone or every idea, but these questions should help you know whether it is for you. If you have a plan and a way to move forward, go for it. There are few things more fulfilling than building a successful business that meets your customers’ needs. But it’s okay if this isn’t the right path for your idea. Maybe modify your idea and plan slightly, and you, too, will be able to start a successful business.

Need help figuring out how to market your business? Sign up for some coaching!


How to Boost Your Brand’s PR Early On


You might think that PR is just for businesses who have messed up and have to fix their reputation with the public. That isn’t the case though. Public relations can do really good things for all businesses, especially early on. You don’t have to wait for PR opportunities. You can take action now to create them yourself.

Build Media Attention

Media attention can be a great way to get your business in front of a huge audience very efficiently. It probably won’t come to you at the beginning. You’ll need to be proactive in seeking out opportunities to get media attention. Consider reaching out to your local news outlet. They may be willing to run an informational on your business. Local newspapers and radio stations are also worth reaching out to. You can also include social media into pr strategies to further build your brand’s image.

Hold an Event

Holding an event as a business gives you an avenue to introduce your business and what it’s all about to everyone. You’ll have a chance to simultaneously market your business and build relationships with attendees. 84 percent of business leaders believe their brand’s success is due to event marketing. Take advantage of this opportunity to showcase the value of what your business offers. Remember to frame it in terms of the problem it solves, rather than just the product or service, in order to resonate with your audience better.

Volunteer In Your Community

Few things build goodwill and positive relationships like giving back. Volunteering in your community as a business puts you in a position to showcase your business in a positive light. Those you help will be more kindly disposed towards your business and feel good about referring others to you. Find volunteer opportunities that line up well with your company values and your brand. Volunteering helps you build a good reputation and increases your visibility within the community. If you really want to capitalize on the visibility aspect, have those volunteering wear shirts and gear with your logo visibly displayed on it.

Making PR work for you is a really good way to boost your business, especially at the beginning. Building media attention, holding an event, and volunteering in your community all get your business in front of potential customers. They can also help you foster positive relationships with the public. Take action now to take advantage of the boost PR can provide to your business.

For more business tips, sign up for some coaching sessions!


What Your Business Needs for Long-Term Success


Business owners have a lot of things they need to consider for long-term success. Every owner want’s their business to succeed and they need to remember what will ensure that success. Things like a solid foundation, a plan for the future, and a strong online presence will help business leaders to plan for long-term success.

A Solid Foundation

A solid foundation for your business will make sure that you can last a long time. A weak foundation obviously won’t do much for your long-term success. Your strong foundation can consist of a well-thought out product or an emergency fund and can help ensure profitability in the long run. Your foundation is one of the most important things to consider when you start a business and can give you peace of mind if things start to slow down.

A Plan for the Future

If you want to succeed in anything, a detailed plan will help you understand what steps are needed. A business needs a plan just like anything else. A business plan details the future expectations of your company in three to five years. Creating steps or goals for your company will ensure that your business doesn’t start to fail or fall behind your expectations. Your plan can help you stay on top of everything that you need to do as a business owner. A plan will help you feel more organized and you’ll start to see success.

An Online Presence

These days, it’s important to have a strong online presence. That can be done through a well-crafted website, social media, blog, or positive reviews. Potential customers will always do a little research into your company and if they can’t find you online anywhere, they may start to think that you’re a scam. Having a strong online presence will show customers all the great things you have to offer, and that other people have enjoyed using your company. You don’t necessarily need to be on every online platform, but it can only help your business grow.

Every business is different so there aren’t any set rules for creating a new business and how to succeed in the long run. However, a solid foundation, a plan for the future, and an online presence are great places to start. These will ultimately help your business to succeed and you’ll start to reap the rewards of your hard work.

To help your business succeed even more, sign up for some coaching!


How Your Business Can Develop a Stronger Connection With Customers


Every smart business knows that it is reliant on its customers to stay in business and be successful. Customer loyalty is a huge factor in this. If you want to build customer loyalty to your business, you need to develop strong connections with your customers. How should a business go about doing this?

Dedicate Time to the Customer

Customers want to feel like businesses care about them. One of the best ways to do this is to dedicate time to them. There are multiple ways you can dedicate time to your customers. You can take steps to improve your response time. During the initial interaction, take the time to ensure that they are satisfied with the service they’ve received. Add personal touches to the interactions where appropriate. Avoid doing things to make customers feel rushed. Customers can tell if you’re rushing them through a process, and it doesn’t leave them feeling positive about the experience.

Give Your Business a Human Face

Businesses have a tendency to feel faceless to consumers. This can make them difficult to connect to. If you want to build a stronger connection with your customers, you need to give them something to want to connect to. Give a human touch to your business with quality photos of your employees on your website. Of course, you want to present the best image of your business. You want to remain professional and avoid certain distractions that detract from the purpose of the shoot. That’s why these photos are best left to professionals. They know how to make the most of a setting and the lighting.

Reward Them for Their Loyalty

Virtually all businesses want to expand their customer base. It’s an essential part of growth. That said, repeat customers provide more profits to businesses than new ones. They are more cost effective to retain than new ones are to attract as well. As such, it pays to reward them for their loyalty. Develop a quality customer rewards program to encourage repeat business. Consider what perks your customers will value the most and incorporate them into your program. Your customers will better feel your appreciation for their loyalty when you take steps to reward them for it.

Building strong customer connections is essential for businesses who want to thrive. You can do this by dedicating time to your customers, giving your business a human face, and rewarding your customers for their loyalty. This will help them feel positively towards you and want to continue to give you their business.

For more great business tips, sign up for some coaching!


How to Design Your Checkout Process for Maximize User-Friendliness


Maximizing user-friendliness in your checkout process can be difficult, but here are three things to get you started. Providing a customer service chat, minimizing steps, and providing easy modification will ensure a smooth checkout process for all your customers.

Provide a Customer Service Chat

Creating a good relationship with your customers is important. One of the ways you can reach out to them and make sure they are getting answers to their questions is to provide a customer service chat that can be accessed in real time. This gives them an opportunity to talk with people in your business and get immediate answers to all their questions. This can lead to greater customer retention. This great customer service experience will make them want to tell all their friends about your business and then they’ll want to come back.

Minimize Steps

As technology is growing, customers are growing less patient with things that are slow. They want things to be fast, easy, and accessible. Minimizing steps required to checkout an item on your site is a great way to minimize the difficulty of online shopping. Making a one-page checkout ensures that people won’t have to spend a ton of time checking out and will be able to get back to their lives quicker. Also, allowing shoppers to checkout as a guest helps capture more sales. Many first-time customers don’t want to have to create an account if they don’t know much about your company. Letting them check-out as a guest will let them get to know your company and then they’ll want their own account.

Easy Modification

Once again, there are many customers that want their online shopping experience to be super easy. Otherwise, they won’t do it. It’s common for customers to put the wrong thing in their shopping cart. Many put the wrong quantity or color and want to easily remove it from their cart. Providing a delete button or a quantity modifier will help them to change things in their cart quickly and easily without having to go back to a different page. Customers are happier if they can make quick changes to their order.

Online shopping is rapidly growing and creating a page that is user-friendly is something that every business needs to consider. Providing a customer service chat, minimizing steps, and easy modification will help make your site easy to manage and make customers want to return.

For more business tips, sign up for some coaching sessions!


Corporate Trends That Are Making a Comeback


Workplace trends come and go. What is trending in the workplace has a tendency to reflect a blend of employee and employer values. Some trends make repeat appearances throughout the years. Here are some corporate trends that you could see making a comeback soon.

The Cubicle

Open office floor plans have been popular recently. They have the ability to improve morale, among other benefits. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the cubicle may be in a position to make a comeback. Many offices are putting up such barriers to try and reduce the spread of illness. This could become more common as more people come back to work.

Quality Circles

Quality circles could also be making a comeback. These groups consist of anywhere from three to twelve employees within a company. Ideally, those in the group have the same jobs, or at least ones that are similar or related. They meet regularly to discuss work-related problems and identify solutions to them. Those solutions are then presented to leadership within the business. There are many examples of quality circles from the 1970s among corporate giants. These businesses found that quality circles benefited their business. An effective quality circle can reduce costs. It can also improve productivity, efficiency, and morale.

The Traditional Office Setting

One recent trend is the desire for an improved work-life balance. Employees don’t want to live to work; they want to work to live. The current pandemic climate may be changing this perspective. 4.7 million people are currently working remotely. While the overall perspective on it is positive, not everyone is having an easy time of it. Some employees will embrace a return to an office setting. When they do, they’ll be trying to create a clear separation between their home life and their office life. This means there will likely be a return to the more traditional office setting. The home-like couches and communal spaces will give way to a more office-like setting .

There’s no denying that the workplace is undergoing a period of transition. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many people do business. Businesses may soon see a return to cubicle workspaces. Quality circles may become more prevalent as companies recognize their value. There may even be a return to a more traditional office setting. These trends are coming back, so it’s time we embrace them.

For more tips on how to run your business, schedule some coaching sessions with us!


3 Strategies for Setting Better Business Goals


Creating a successful business takes a lot of work. However, if you don’t make a plan for how to succeed then your business won’t go anywhere. It’s important to make goals for your business so you have something to work towards. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Focus on Continuous Improvement

Developing a successful business isn’t really about having an end goal. In a constantly changing world, it’s important for you to keep up and constantly be improving your business. Take stock of your business and see what does and doesn’t work. Address the areas of concern and reinforce what’s already working. Look at the market and see what strategies others are using. Adapt to new technology. Continuous improvement can help you stay up to date with the business world and help you streamline your business.

One great way to start is by making a continuous improvement strategy. Establish a schedule for when and how often you’re going to evaluate your business. Make sure it’s regular enough for it to be effective. Decide ahead of time what you intend to evaluate.

Make S.M.A.R.T. Goals

In general, making goals is always a good start. However, many people don’t follow through with their goals because they don’t make a solid plan. Making S.M.A.R.T. goals, on the other hand, helps you to clearly think through your goal and make a plan. S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. There are many different ways you can apply this process. For example, you might want to get more clients or increase profits. On their own, those aren’t smart goals. You need to be more specific. Determine how you will increase profits or clients. Quantify your goal and set a time limit. Using the S.M.A.R.T. method helps you to make a plan while establishing what your goal is. As you use them, you can stay on track and actually see progress when you stick to your goals.

Hold Yourself Accountable

When making and keeping goals, it can be easy to fall off the wagon. Reinforce your commitment by holding yourself accountable to others. You can tell your employees about your goals or even just a business partner. Depending on your goal, you could even advertise it to your clientele. Ask whoever you tell to check in on your progress regularly. By letting other people know about your goals, you’re more likely to stick to them.

As you move forward with your business, make some detailed goals. Establish a solid plan for your goals and get other people involved as work towards them. Having a good plan is the first step to improving your business.

Need help setting goals for your business? Schedule some coaching sessions with us to get started!


Why You Should Hire a Business Consultant to Save Money


If you’re feeling stuck in your business, it may be time to hire a business consultant. A business consultant is a trained professional who can help you analyze your business and see how to best succeed and save money. They can offer new perspectives and insights while also keeping you on track to succeed.

Eliminate Waste

One major benefit of hiring a business consultant is that they offer an outside perspective. Oftentimes it becomes difficult to find where money is being lost because you are too close to the situation. A consultant can help point out areas of waste that may not have been obvious. They can help you see what is unnecessary and how to eliminate the waste. Your consultant can go over your budget with you to make sure you are not allocating more money to operations than you can afford. They will also make sure you aren’t wasting money on services you don’t need. Your consultant can make you more aware of good financial practices so you aren’t wasting your money.

Manage Risk

A business consultant can help you identify and manage risk. In any business, there are risks. An advisor can help you keep track of economic trends so you can have a plan in place in case there is an economic downturn. You can also be made aware of any laws that may impact your business. Your consultant can help to make sure you are following all the necessary regulations. They can also help you avoid lawsuits. You can reduce your risk by hiring an employee with a certification.

New Insights

A business consultant is typically well versed in current trends and practices. They are well aware of the market environment. Their expertise can help you give your business a boost with some new ideas. Perhaps there are some new practices that other businesses have tried and found success with. Your consultant can inform you of these practices and teach you how to best utilize them. It could also be possible that your business isn’t aware of the technology or practices that most businesses are already following and your consultant can help keep you up to date. No matter what’s going on in the market around you, your consultant has the necessary skills to keep you up to date and even ahead of the curve. Their insights can help you to reinvigorate your business.

If you’re trying to save money, it might seem counterintuitive to spend money on a consultant. However, it is well worth it! A consultant can help you spot problems, manage your risk, and even discover new ways to improve your business.

Looking for a business consultant to help you with your business? Contact us to schedule some coaching sessions!


How to Start a Business Without Going It Alone


Starting a business can be a very exhaustive process. You may have to learn skills you’ve never learned before—you may make mistakes, sometimes even big ones. And it can be very lonely, eating at your time for family and friends. Going alone is possible—and many have done it, but there are many benefits to working with someone else. Here’s how you can start a business without going it alone.

Find a Partner

According to Grasshopper, finding a business partner is a great way to have someone else help you in creating your own business. With the two of you, you can feed off of each other’s enthusiasm and you can divide the tasks. If one of you likes marketing better while the other likes sales, you can divide and conquer. A partner will have your back, and he/she will help you focus on your goals. Finding a partner to help you with your business has many benefits, but one of the biggest is that you won’t be on this adventure alone.

Start a Franchise

You can also start a franchise. By being part of a franchise, you are given the materials directly from the company. While you do have to worry about the hiring details and other local details, you know that you’re part of a brand name and that they are already established. Being a part of a franchise eases the burden of marketing your business by yourself. You have to follow corporate decisions, but you’re not left on your own to flounder. Now may be the perfect time to start a franchise, because according to Franchise Gator, many franchises are offering financial incentives to investors during COVID-19.

Find a Mentor

According to EU-Startups, you can also find a mentor to help you start your business. You can learn under someone who’s already established their own business, and work with them to gain the skills and knowhow, so that when you do branch off on your own, you feel more confident. You can always ask your mentor questions about what they did in their business if you get stuck. A mentor is a wonderful resource to help you when you’re starting your own business.

Starting a business can be a lonely road, but it doesn’t have to be. By finding a partner, starting a franchise or working with a mentor, you can find your own footing as you start your journey to your own business.

Need help figuring out how to best run your business? Schedule some coaching sessions with us today!


Why Leaders Need to Lead by Example When Returning to Work


As businesses reopen storefronts under what’s being termed a “new normal” and employees return to the workplace, it’s becoming increasingly evident that there have been changes. Many are requiring social distancing, masks, and taking employee temperatures daily. What hasn’t changed is the need for leaders to lead by example as everyone returns to work.

Stabilizing Morale

During times of high stress and uncertainty, it’s easy for employee morale to take a pretty serious hit. This can cause more problems for businesses who may already be struggling due to the economic impact the pandemic has had on a global scale. Fortunately, one of the things that can be done to help stabilize, or even improve, company morale is for leaders to lead by example. Employees will see leading by example as a step that brings you closer to them and their level. This builds greater feelings of connection and loyalty within a company, which can only serve to strengthen it at a time when low morale may have a crippling impact.

Employees Look to You

Employees look to their leaders for cues on how to behave. This means that as you lead by example you will help them understand what behaviors are acceptable and encouraged, and, by omission, what behaviors are unacceptable and should be avoided. For example, if you’re using floor markings to help with social distancing they should be six feet apart at a minimum. And you should be respecting those markings so that your employees know that they should be doing the same. It’s a lot of responsibility, but that’s why you’re the leader. Hopefully you’ve been prepared to take that responsibility for a while, because while the context may have altered, the responsibility has always been there.

Creating Consistency

Because employees look to you as their leader for guidance, you can create consistency in your business by leading by example as everyone returns to work. The new rules, policies, and procedures need to apply to business leaders just as much as they do to entry level employees. If your company has decided that everyone needs to wear masks to work, take their temperature daily, and stay home when ill, so do you. This consistency is what makes policies effective, as they will only really work as long as everyone abides by them.

Leaders are chosen for a reason, and hopefully part of the reasoning is because they are good at leading employees. One of the best ways to do this is by leading by example. Leading by example can help stabilize employee morale, making employees feel better about being led by you, and creating consistency within the company.

For more tips, schedule some coaching sessions with me so I can help your business succeed!

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