If you’re starting a new business, probably one of the biggest fears you’ll have is: “…what if I fail…?” Keep these ideas in mind when launching your new or existing business; of course there’s more, but this is the most consistent answers I’ve heard from entrepreneurs, blogs, surveys, and other articles…
Reason #1: Not Investigating the Market
So you’ve always wanted to open a real estate agency, and you finally have the means to do so, but your desire to open the agency blinds you to the fact that we’re in a down housing market and the area where you want to work is alre
ady saturated with agencies, making it very difficult to break in. This is a mistake that will cause you to fail from the beginning. You have to find an opening or unmet need within a market and then fill it rather than try and force your product or service in. It’s a lot easier to satisfy a need rather than create one and convince people that they want to spend money on it
Reason #2: Business Plan Problems
A solid and realistic business plan is the basis of a successful business. In the plan, you will outline realistic goals for your business, how your business can meet those goals and possible problems and solutions. The plan will figure out if there’s a need for the business through research and surveys; it will figure out the costs and inputs needed for the business; and it will outline strategies and time lines that should be implemented and met.
Reason #3: Too Little Financing
If you have started a company and things aren’t working out, you’ve got little capital and a struggling business; you’re really not in a good position to ask for another loan. Be realistic at the beginning, and start with enough money that will last you to the point where you’re business is up and running, and cash is actually flowing in. Trying to stretch your finances at the beginning may mean that your business never gets off the ground, and you’ll still have a lot of cash to repay.
Reason #4: Bad Location, Internet Presence and Marketing
A bad location is self-explanatory if your business relies on location for foot traffic. Just as dangerous, however, is internet presence. These days, your location on the internet and your social media presence can be just as important as your company’s physical presence in a shopping district. Online presence will let people know that they can give you their business, so if the need is already there, the availability and visibility of your business is the next important step.
Reason #5: Rigidity
Once you’ve done the planning, established your business and gained a customer base, don’t get complacent. The need that you’re fulfilling may not always be there, monitor the market and know when you may need to alter your business plan. Being on top of key trends will allow you lots of time to adjust your strategy so that you can remain successful. One must only look at the music industry or Blockbuster video to know that successful industries can undergo huge changes.
Reason #6: Expanding Too Fast
Now that your business is established and successful, it’s time to expand, but you must treat the expansion like you’re starting all over again. If you’re expanding the reach of your business, make sure that you understand the areas and markets into which you’ll now be reaching. If you’re expanding the scope and focus of your business, make sure you understand your new products, service and intended consumer as much as you do with your current successful business. When a business expands too fast and doesn’t take the same care with research, strategy and planning, the financial drain of the failing business(es) can sink the whole enterprise.
I’m sure all of you have some great tips for small businesses on how to use TWITTER, it’s so important to get to know how to use TWITTER effectively; this way you’re allowed to build a brand and relationships with potential clients!!!! This post was with the help of Kyle Lacy (www.kylelacy.com), and with the help of others. If you should have some TWITTER tips that weren’t mentioned, post them, and I’ll be updating them periodically!!
1. Use your personal picture in your Twitter profile. There is only one situation where you can use your logo… if you have two profiles. Your personal profile and your company profile.
2. Don’t setup an Auto-DMto send when users follow you. Why you ask?
3. Use Twitter Search to find subject matters that interest you. This can cater to your business interests, as well as your personal interests. This will help you find people that share
4. Personal life reigns… but not too much. Add in some of your personal life while you are using TWITTER. What is important to remember is that you are using Twitter for your business generation as well. The people following you want to know that you are REAL… but not to the point where they are hearing about what you are eating or where you are driving.
5. It is important to use Twitter as much as you can but not to the point where you are wasting valuable time when at work. Tweet about what you are reading online.. Maybe a new insight you found while reading the night before. Try to use Twitter a couple of times a day.
6. Reply. Reply. Reply. Whenever you get a response (@yourname) make sure that you respond to the reply. This is extremely important because your most valuable followers are the people that respond and communicate with you.
7. Use strawpoll to create a survey to feed into your Twitter stream. This will be an awesome way to get information regarding service offerings and products.
9. Use a business Twitter account (example: @entrepreneurfyi) to create a great place for customer relationship management. Teach your clients to use Twitter to keep with the happenings of your company. Also, it can help you share the news and information regarding the success of your clients.
10. Use Twitter as a discussion forum. Ask your clients and prospective clients what they would like to see, hear, taste, and experience.
11. Twitter is not a place for you to hard sell individuals on services. We are here for discussions and not sales.
12. I started out with a personal profile that allowed me to create relationships before starting my company profile.I was able to cleaning transition between two accounts because people trusted me. If you start two accounts at the same time you will be overwhelmed and underwhelm your followers.
13. Use TweetLater for productivity. I don’t recommend using this tool much. You need to be involved in the conversation as you start sending tweets. If you are not there to interact with your followers there really is not a point for using the tool. Though.. it does help for those random tweets to stay connected.
14. Take pictures and share on TWitter. Add pictures on Twitter using Twitpic using your iPhone or mobile phone.
15. Use Google Analytics to measure the traffic directed from Twitter to your blog or website. If you can measure the traffic related to sales or aquisitions it help you understand an ROI from the tool.
16. Fill out your profile. Make sure you put information regarding your personal life as well as your business life. This is important because…everyone reads it.
17. We add our Twitter URLs to our business cards. I also like to add my LinkedIN account and blog URL. This will encourage more of your networking friends to follow you and communicate more effectively.
18. Download TweetDeck. Tweetdeck is a powerful tool to help you be productive while using Twitter.
19. Are you using a Blackberry or iPhone? You should definitly be looking at downloading an application to help you manage your twitter account while you are out of the office.
20. Thank you. When someone shares your post or tweet make sure you send a DM or Tweet thanking them for their support. Just as you should be emailing people to thank them for comments… same goes with Twitter.
EVERY entrepreneur has a budget, and the basis of most entrepreneur’s budget is the marketing; we’re all strapped for cash these days, so this is a way to market your company on a budget and to work with what you already have…
Offer a Lower Cost Version of Your Services.
Offer a lower cost version of your services. If someone can’t afford using your services, then you might as well try to make at least some money from them. An example of this would be to offer template designed leaflets instead of custom designed leaflets.
Say Something Funny and Set Yourself Apart as The Funny Designer.
Sounds silly, but if the potential customer likes you, he is more likely to hire you.
Incorporate Video on Your Site and Go Viral with a Video.
Video is one of the hottest things on the web today so you should be incorporating it into your site. Of course you have heard of YouTube. If you create a video that evokes strong emotions, people will share it and share it faaaaaaaaaaaaaast. That’s the essence of viral success. You will know quickly if your video clip is a success.
Post Free Ads – BackPage.com
Post free ads on BackPage.com to see if this gets you any work.
Improve Your Content
Don’t have content for content’s sake. There’s been a big push recently to get as much content as possible on websites so that search engines see keywords in that content. But as users get savvier about the web, they are getting increasingly interested in the quality of content. No one is going to spread the word about content that is bad.
Placing ‘Invite Friends’ or ‘Send Article to Friends’ Buttons on Your Web Site.
At the minimum, you should place an ‘Invite Friends’ button to your web site’s front page. However, it would work really well if you placed a ‘Send article to friends’ button on all of your article pages as well.
Get Articles Published in Online Magazines / e-zines.
Try to get your articles published in online trade magazines and e-zines.