For some small business owners, their major challenge might not be access to capital, or lack of skilled workers but who to target with their products or services. One minute it feels like you should go premium after all the profit margins are higher there; and the next minute mass- market seems more appealing as your products will be more affordable.
In an ideal world, we would serve our customers and they will be so happy they will never complain. In the real world though, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark and leave unhappy customers. How we react to their feedback will determine if we keep or lose them.
As a business owner, negative feedback gives you an opportunity to improve your products and services. So here are some tips to help you change your lemons to lemonade.
Getting customers for your business is a constant battle for every business owner. It can be particularly challenging when it looks like you and your competitors are struggling for the same customers and same market.
As a small business there is a limit to what you can achieve on your own. Competing with bigger and more established companies can be extremely tough as they have more resources and skills. Forming strategic partnerships with other small businesses can help you gain competitive advantage and realize your growth potential faster. It can also give you easier access to your target market and equip you with capabilities you would not have had on your own.
Everyone loves to be treated specially and shown love and that includes your customers and clients. Just returning from the Christmas holidays, you probably sent out gifts to your customers, however you can never say I love you enough. So here are some fun and affordable ways to show you care this Valentine’s period.
When I first started my business, one area I struggled with was how to set a fair and accurate price for my services. On the one hand, I didn’t want my services to be too expensive and on the other hand I didn’t want to price myself too low and run into a loss.
For most small businesses, the beginning of the year is often marked by new initiatives, grand schemes and lofty projects to be embarked on. However, it is not long before distractions come and plans fall by the way side. By the time is mid- year, you find yourself far from where you had planned to be.
One easy way to avoid this deviation and bring your plans to bear is by setting goals. This will help you focus your energy, time and resources in the direction of your dreams. Once you have created the big picture, the next step will be to break down your goals to more manageable pieces called objectives and create action plans.
Whenever the word ‘entrepreneur’ is mentioned, the picture that comes to mind is that of a person with genius IQ, high technical skills and super powers to see what others can’t see. On some level this might be true especially as when it comes to risk taking. However, entrepreneurship is not about special skills or talents. It is about solving problems. If you are able to identify a problem and find a profitable solution that will benefit you and others, you are on to something.
Last weekend was my first experience with startup weekend. I was invited to serve as one of the coaches to teams of entrepreneurs who had been given 56 hours to launch a startup. A very herculean task if you ask me, but achievable nonetheless.
While the teams were knee deep into their work, the coaches spent time networking and sharing experiences. Here are some of the key lessons from these interactions and tidbits from the judges.
Question: I have a fashion design and fabric retail business. I travel four times a year to source my fabrics. My business has been growing but I am having difficulty with my cash flow. Some customers pick fabrics and order clothes but never come back or come very late to pick them up. This ties up money and sometimes the money is lost. I charge them 50% deposit as a way of commitment but it does not help much. The direct impact is that I restock less often than I want to and paying my tailors is also becoming a struggle. What can I do?