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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Supporting Your Small Business

Many times setting up small businesses are easy but running them successfully is very difficult. Statistics shows that more than 50 percent of newly formed small businesses do not run into second year – they collapse. Although the major causes for this collapse are poor money management and poor resource management there is one another cause – poor support.

A successfully running small business need plenty of support; support as money, as systems, as workforce, as time and as plans. Money is perhaps the most difficult support to arrange, but once it is arranged you can feel that you are in a better position to arrange all other support. One of the most favorite ways to arrange support is in partnerships or in mutual understandings; you help them and they help you.

With respect to your need of support, they can be of plenty of types – those you need continuously and constantly, those you need frequently and those you need rarely. For supports that you need continuously you should look for buying/arranging permanent and cost-efficient systems which are scalable to your needs. For supports you need frequently, you should look for options like partnerships, pay-as-you-use, and mutual understandings. And for systems that you are going to use rarely, you can afford to plan those with respect to the time of need.

We are taking a one month break from posting blogs. Be sure to re-join us after one month. We don’t want to lose our valuable readers like you.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Choosing Right Technology for Business

We all know that advancements in technology had changed our life considerably. That change is clearer in business and we today terribly depend on our computers and supporting systems to do our business processes and to plan our business strategies in a faster, more accurate and systematic way. But like every thing else in this universe, this eagerness to adopt to new technologies have both pros and cons.

We all also know the fact that every successful business run on successful utilization of resources; this resource can be workforce, technology, systems, money, local, or any thing. What ever technology we adopt should enhance (or at least go in line with) our resource utilization strategy. In simple words, we should adopt technologies which only help our business and which do not add too much pressure at our resources. We should not look for technologies that eat up too much of our money, time and brain power to do a process. We should not look for technologies that negatively affect our basic business strategies – like quality product, value-for-money and good customer service.

When we look for technologies to improve our businesses we should always look for choices. Today we can find too much technological solutions for our needs with different pricing, capability and scalability. We should adopt the one that best suit our mode of business.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Business Partners – Advantages and Disadvantages

There are many benefits and pitfalls of having business partners. In short words, if you have a right and good business partner there will be more advantages and if you have wrong partners there will be more disadvantages. So choose the right one.

Advantages of having business partners
  • Division of labor, and better exploitation of resources.
  • Less responsibility because of division of responsibilities.
  • Financial benefits and more sound financial background.
  • Better changes with time and resources, abilities and experiences of partners help in this.
  • Easiness in business administration and sharing of stress.
  • Sharing of loss and easiness to arrange quick money.
Disadvantages of having business partners
  • Troubles in accounting, investing, profit sharing and resource management.
  • Inability to make quick decisions, and difficulty in getting unanimous decisions.
  • Reduction in authority and lesser control over employees; and also better chance of workplace conflicts.
  • Possible conflicts over business management and money management, many times because of poorly defined rules and responsibilities.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Basics of Business Survival

We, and also many others, have talked about these many times. Here is once again – as tips. The basics to be keep right for business survival. Before we start one note - ‘the most basic way to ensure survival is to keep the basics right’.
  • Effective utilization of resources. Make sure that no penny is wasted.
  • Diversifying products. So that fall of one product does not make any significant impact on your business.
  • Reaching to vast number of customers, so that no single customer/customer group can decide your business future.
  • Keeping the strategies right and up-to-date. Strategies involving production, marketing, selling, customer service, office management, events, and more.
  • Keep the backups open. Make sure that you are prepared for overcome at least one day of stagnancy in money flow, web-site crash, intruder attack, database problem.
  • Keep your nerves cool. Over reacting to impulses are bad, especially when there is not much planning behind them. Analysis all things and market he right move, for survival you don’t have to defeat all.
  • Respect everyone and every force. Neglecting persons, events, issues and factors.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Slowing Down Your Business

Many times slowing down of business processes become necessary for business survival. Situations like economic crisis, inadequate money flow, over-competition, seasonal changes, and customer preference changes, all necessitate businesses to slow down. The slowing down strategy really work for small and medium sized companies.

It is also a good business tactics to slow down businesses when one of your competitions is going extremes with their advertising and marketing strategies. Let them burnout of their resources and then you can easily defeat them with the resource you preserved. In danger many businesses speeds up their processes to overcome the danger, but often it is the slow and steady strategy that wins the race; because this strategy give you enough time and resources to acclimatize to the situation and to adjust your business strategies.

There are many things which are to be considered when slowing down your business.
  • You have to keep the basics right – good product, good marketing, good sales and good customer service.
  • Make sure the slowness produces a positive effect on your resources.
  • Keep a lower limit for speed according to your financial status, money flow, resources and competition. Never slow down too much.
  • Frequently evaluate your strategies, practices and resources. Speed up at right time.
  • Keep a definite time limit. And think positively.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rewarding Your Loyal Customers

Rewarding the customers who are loyal to you and have experienced your service/product for a reasonable period is good customer retention and marketing strategy. But this rewarding process should be well planned so that it will benefit both your company and customers. Here are some tips for rewarding your loyal customers.

  • One very good practice is to make plans and offers. When ever you find a new customer teach them about the rewards/benefits they can get by being your customer for a period.
  • When you take time as your rewarding basis, make sure that you are treating all your customers equally who fall in a specific category. Similar strategy should be adopted if you are rewarding on the basis of purchased costs or subscription fee.
  • One other way is to make surprise rewards, especially at festival occasions or achieving some milestones.
  • Customer incentives are also a good option, especially when you have excellent customer service history.
  • Two things to remember when rewarding loyal customers include 1) to include most of your loyal customers to the beneficiary list and 2) to get the message reach to your existing customers and prospects.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Interview Questions and Topics

As an employer you have to conduct interviews often in your life to recruit/hire the best persons for a job. But finding the best from a crowd is not always an easy task; and any one with best academic qualifications and experience need not to be the best guy you want. You know that, you need some specific questions to find out the best.
  • Starting with personal questions is always better option, but you have to limit the number of personal questions. One or two questions about family and academic details will be enough.
  • Now ask some thing about his general knowledge and opinions. The questions should be simple and only require a short answer.
  • The aim is to figure out the mentality of the person. Is he positive with his thoughts, is he like challenges and willing to take risks, is he true to his words.
  • Now something about his technical knowledge and problem solving ability to make sure that he fit to the position. Remember to carefully analyze his willingness to learn new things. Any one who learns fast but lack experience is also a good option.
  • One as an employer you should be vigilant is to keep your expectations reasonable. You can’t get a professional at cheapest rates.