Tag Archive: Small Businesses

5 Challenges Facing Established Small Businesses

Here is news for all you start-up entrepreneurs: you may think that after you get things rolling for your small business that everything is a bed of roses. Beware! You can never give up your vigilance or your competition will slip in and grab your customers when you least expect it. There are five big challenges an established company faces every day, and in the end it will pay to include them in your daily tactical planning.

First Challenge

The first big hurdle you will face it trying to do everything yourself. Small business owners can get very possessive about their products and manufacturing methods. You can’t expect to grow if you don’t learn to duplicate yourself well and leverage your efforts by hiring employees. Remember that as you bring new people into the team, you gain the benefit of their skills and talents.

Second Challenge

You’ll become so busy going after new customers you’ll forget about maintaining your current clients. Never ever forget the people that have helped you build your business to this point. Nurture them by maintaining lines of communication. They will give you repeat sales and refer other buyers to you. They are the foundation of your company.

Third Challenge

Gaining a false sense that everyone knows you exist so you relax your marketing and promotional campaigns. The golden rule of being in business is you always must “promote, promote, promote!” Exchanging your products and services for cash is the life blood of the company. Without sales you’ll spiral down very quickly. So, keep up with the promotional campaigns that have been successful.

Fourth Challenge

You decide to modify your product or service because you have been itching to make improvements. Progress is a good thing, but you may be forgetting your consuming public that is accustomed to the way your product is now. Before you make any changes that shock them so badly they stop buying it, ask their opinion. Never make a move like this without surveying your market first.

Fifth Challenge

You’ve got a little cash flow going on, so now you think it’s okay to blow it by investing in some type of expansion. Don’t be so foolish as to use up your cash cushion – you’re putting your business in danger. If you want to expand, set aside a percentage of sales or find an investor that wants to work with you. Don’t allow your cash flow to dry up.

More from this contributor:

How to Stop Wasting Money This Year

10 Low Cost Ways to Advertise Your Business Locally

How Networking Changed My Local Economy

Free Online Resources for Small Businesses

Free Online Resources for Small Businesses

Operating a small business is not easy, but you don’t have to do it all alone. There are excellent resources available through the internet that won’t cost anything but time. Take advantage of the knowledge and experience of others who have put together guidance for small business success.

Business.gov from the Small Business Administration

This site offers a wide range of business information for businesses of all types to help them understand legal requirements and locate government services. Find out how to organize or form a corporation. Find out what business licenses are necessary for different industries. Get statistics and market research data. Learn to how to bid on government contracts. See what grants or loans may be available for your business. This website has links to many different government departments and agencies. Visit the website at Business.gov.

 Small Business Training Network

Another initiative from the Small Business Administration, this resource offers a variety of online courses on topics such as how to write a business plan, technology, marketing, and dealing with a slow economy. Courses require a simple online registration and take about 30 minutes to complete. The site also offers publications, podcasts, business forms, and newsletters. Visit the website at sba.gov.

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)

The more than 12,000 experienced and well-informed members of this volunteer organization are current and former business owners and managers with a wealth of knowledge to share. They donate their time to help small business owners overcome the obstacles to growth and profitability. Contact them online or make an appointment for a personal meeting. Attend a workshop or webinar. Sign up for a business newsletter. With more than 300 offices across the United States, SCORE is likely to have a branch near you. Visit the website at SCORE.org.

The Small Business Page at OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers guidance to small businesses about safety and health training and programs, guides for OSHA standards, and OSHA “eTools,” interactive Web-based training tools on safety and health topics. OSHA provides many publications that can be ordered online and compliance assistance to help business owners understand which OSHA standards apply to their businesses. Visit the website at osha.gov.

Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center

The Internal Revenue Service provides information for businesses to comply with tax laws. View a virtual workshop to understand federal tax obligations. Download forms and publications for employers and employees. Register for a federal tax identification number. Find an A-Z index of tax topics to answer questions on just about any aspect of federal taxation. Visit the website at irs.gov.

According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses employ just over half the nation’s private workers and include almost 30 million individual businesses. The government wants small businesses to succeed, so it has created a variety of resources to help. Take advantage of these free resources to support and grow your small business.

Small Businesses Must be Tougher with Mobile Phone Suppliers

Small Businesses Must be Tougher with Mobile Phone Suppliers

A survey of 1,000 small business leaders reveals that many walk away from negotiations with mobile phone or cell phone suppliers without trying to haggle, despite ongoing needs to control costs. The new research suggests that SMEs and other smaller companies can do more to get a better deal from mobile phone companies if they are prepared to negotiate hard.

The survey, conducted by T-Mobile, and released on Wednesday May 5th 2016, shows that 63 per cent have walked away from a supplier who has quoted an unreasonable price and a third of small business leaders do not see themselves as natural negotiators. Added to this, 71 per cent of small business leaders believe suppliers often offer better deals to large enterprises

Opinium Research carried out the survey of 1,069 UK SME Business Owners/ Senior Managers from Thursday 18th to Wednesday 24th March 2016 on behalf of T-Mobile.

Businesses Need to Negotiate on Mobile Phone Contracts

Nearly a third of small business owners or managers do not see themselves as naturally strong negotiators while 38 per cent of small business leaders expect suppliers to quote an unreasonably high first price and 63 per cent of small business owners or managers have walked away from a supplier who has quoted an unreasonable first price.

Alexander Ehmann, Head of Enterprise Policy, Institute of Directors, in a press release issued with the findings: “UK commercial growth remains fragile and small businesses continue to face serious pressures. In order to survive and grow their companies, business leaders need to keep control of their costs, which often involves negotiating with suppliers. If this is not an option, then it is up to suppliers to offer the best deals possible to support small businesses, which form the backbone of the UK economy.”

T-Mobile’s Head of Business Marketing, Max Taylor, commented in an interview: “It is understandable that business leaders find negotiations a drain on their time. However, it must be frustrating for them to miss out on the best deals available. If we can sidestep the negotiations process, it relieves managers of this additional pressure. This is why it is important for suppliers to offer good value, upfront deals to the UK’s small businesses. At T-Mobile, we offer a mix of straightforward business plans that do not restrict people from doing business in the way that best suits them.”

Good Mobile Phone Packages are Available

Where they have been prepared to haggle, SME have got some good deals from mobile phone contractors. The most impressive business deals include: £1,500 worth of free photography, a saving of £5,000 on annual office rent, a conference room within a hotel negotiated from £200 for three hours down to £40, rent brought down by £7,000 a year, free printing of marketing materials worth approximately £400 and full hospitality at British Grand Prix.

With the effect of the recession still being felt by many small and large businesses and profit margins still narrow, it is clearly essential that companies get the best deal they can. This research clearly indicates that SMEs can get a better deal on their mobile phone or cell phone contracts if they work a little harder.