Four Tips to Avoid Failure for a New Business Venture
Only 29% of new businesses survive more than 10 years. New businesses fail for many reasons including inadequate funding, incompetence, neglect, lack of interest in the marketplace, inexperience, natural disaster, legal problems, patent trolls and management issues. Surprisingly religious organizations maintain the highest success rate after the fifth year. Medical doctors and child daycares rank among the top five successful business ventures. At the other end of the spectrum, grocery stores, restaurants and trucking companies have the highest failure rate. New business ventures may avoid failure with these four tips.
Develop a Marketing Strategy:
Entrepreneurs should test the product or service for marketability. Do people want or need the product or service? Can the product or service turn a profit? Strategize ways to grow the business. Design a marketing plan to bring prospective clients or customers to the business. A new business should invest six percent or more of gross sales in marketing.
Design a Business Plan:
A business plan is required to approach investors. The business plan should include product or service contributions, financial projections, costs, information concerning the target market, a summary and a mission statement.
Lack of funding is a major reason cited for new business failure. An entrepreneur should consider all financing options. Acquire adequate funds from investors with a passion to see the business succeed. Listen to the advice of the investors. Investors and banks in the same region have gained valuable knowledge specifically dealing with new business ventures locally.
Acquire Tax Planning Assistance:
A small business must manage taxes to survive. New businesses are wise to invest in a good accountant. Penalties and interest on back taxes may result in business failure. If a small business cannot afford an accountant, proper tax planning software is a feasible alternative.
4 Tips For Hiring New Virtual Team Members
Any virtual team should include employees who are trustworthy, self-motivated and possess the skills necessary to hit the ground running. These characteristics are valuable for any employee, but they’re even more crucial for an individual who is going to be working from a distance.
Interviewing virtual applicants in person is not always possible. Therefore, you have to find a way to be sure you’re choosing the best fit for the job. Here are the tips to consider when hiring remote workers.
Arrange Face-To-Face Contact
If meeting applicants in person is not possible, plan a video interview through some web-based video conference tool. You will have an opportunity to check whether an applicant is outgoing and has great customer service skills. In addition, if an applicant is not making eye contact or is not smiling, it is an indicator that you should think twice before making an offer.
Ask the Right Questions
Remote employment requires working independently and not everyone can adapt to this kind of working environment. An applicant may appear perfect for the job on paper but in order to check if he will be struggling in the environment of a virtual team, you need to ask behavioral questions. These questions will show behavioral traits like time management and self-direction. Here are some of behavioral questions you should include in an interview.
- How do you stay organized?
- How do you manage your time?
- What keeps you motivated?
- Are you well-suited to juggle multiple deadlines at once? Can you give an example?
- Working on a project with little or no supervision can be a challenge. How would you keep yourself on such a task?
Evaluate Their Skills
Test your applicants by assigning them to complete a project. This should show their skills and abilities so you know what you can expect if an applicant started work tomorrow. You want to make sure that an applicant has stellar project management skills or other abilities and see that they can perform just as well under pressure.
Introduce Them to the Team
When you narrow down the applicant pool, it is helpful to get input from individuals with whom the applicant will have close working relationships.
You can ask applicants to prepare a short presentation on a topic of their choice and demonstrate it to other team members. This can be the final step of candidate selection. Team members have the opportunity to know applicants better by asking questions and engaging in a conversation with them. Another relevant factor to consider when hiring remote workers is seeing how a new candidate would fit into the company culture, and this is an ideal way to see that.
Hiring remote workers is not the same as a standard process for hiring candidates in person. The candidate you hire needs to be self-motivated to be practical in a virtual environment. He or she will need to have all the same qualities and abilities you would expect of someone who works alongside you in the office each day.
Four Tips for Putting Your Product on the Market
So your product is finally ready to be placed on the market! You know exactly what your target customers need and want. But do your customers know that, too? They are probably not aware of your product’s existence and its your goal to change that. It is easier said than done, but it is possible to successfully market your amazing product. Following these 4 steps will help you achieve your goal.
1. Offer a free trial/sample.
Because your brand is not established yet, it will be harder for you to market your brand new product. But there is an effective way to show your target customers that your product is just what they need. A free trial is the answer. You can also ask experts in the field for a testimonial, which will increase your chances for convincing your customers to purchase it later.
2. Check out your competition.
Before you offer a final version of your product, it is essential that you do a lot of research to find out what your competitors are offering. Know which products are on the market and learn about their disadvantages. This way you will find out what your customers consider important when looking for a product like yours. Use this information to improve your product and you are one step closer to successfully marketing your product.
3. What’s in it for me?
The majority of customers are interested in what your product can do for them, not the intricacies of your invention. They want to know what makes your product different from and better than the competition. Only a few of them want to more about the invention itself. Most are not particularly interested in the latest technology and every single feature of the product. It is important that you focus on showing them what the product can do for them and how they can use it.
4. Create a sales plan.
Your next step is creating a good sales plan that includes effective business development strategies and techniques that will make your potential customers aware of your product. Your plan should include realistic goals, sales activities, the number of products you want to market, the timeline that will work for you and more. Building a business network that will get awareness of your product out there is necessary. This includes social presence, blogging, referrals, industry meetings/conferences, and more.
There are many more things to consider when marketing your brand new product. Make sure you do your homework to acquire the essential knowledge and information in order to succeed in your attempts to offer your target audience a product they will simply adore.
4 Tips to Design Effective Infographics
“Good design is obvious, great design is transparent” – Joe Sparano. Many of us must be familiar with the term ‘infographics’. Basically infographics are designs which are portrayed visually in a simple manner to explain complicated data. Infographics are used for marketing about products and services, or sharing a message. We all know that one can communicate better and faster when it comes to a visual aid rather than written data. But to create an infographic is a difficult job. One needs to consider various points while designing an infographic.
SUBJECT AND RESEARCH:
When designing an infographic the subject should be clear. Some clients will come and give the brief clearly, but some may not. So it becomes difficult to design. Then it becomes the duty of the designer to understand the subject. The key thing is to understand and do proper research on the subject which will be helpful. Also be aware of the current issues related to your subject. This plays an important role when designing an infographic. Find out the sources from where you can get your research done, by using important reference links.
Infographics are mainly created to make the complicated data simple to understand. So the first thing which should be kept in mind while designing infographics is simplicity. Try to keep the design simple so it is easy to communicate. By using extra images or information, the only thing which will be created is confusion. Many designers put a lot of images and data, but one must understand that when this happens the viewer is going to get confused. Try to avoid unnecessary clutter. Keep it simple and unique.
There is no standard dimension for an infographic. And the size entirely depends on the designer. Once the research is completed then you will have an idea as to which information is important and what should be added to the infographic. And then the size and the proportions can be decided.
Ideas are everywhere. We just need to find an inspiration and start working. Whatever the concept or the idea for your infographic make sure that it is original and simple. The important step is the design process. Get into the process creatively and create some concepts which can connect your design to the viewer. This is the process where each and every problem related to your design can be solved. In this process all the steps can be covered, from making use of the research till the last step of finalizing your design.
Infographics are a very useful medium to communicate with people visually. An effective and successful infographic requires will power and confidence.
Four Tips to Efficient Office Space Rental
Due to the financial crisis and recession that the world has recently been hit with, a lot of the landlords with office space to rent out are turning their attention to smaller businesses. This is because they are in a vulnerable position after losing some big clients, which makes this a great time for small business owners to rent some new offices.
The general norm when it comes to renting office space is ‘bigger is better’, but the fact that large businesses have started downsizing their staff is making landlords hasty to divide their larger rental spaces into smaller parts and then to strike good deals with smaller enterprises. If you are looking for such a rental space, here are 4 tips to help you make an efficient decision before you move your office.
Keep the Size in Mind:
It’s very important not to lease more space than you need. The business industry keeps expanding, and what you have today might just increase so much in size tomorrow that even the extra space you had leased doesn’t prove to be enough. It is better to take the help of an architect in the matter and decide how much space you require, so that when your business is ready to expand you can easily move into a bigger space.
Negotiate for a Longer Lease:
How long you need a space depends on the kind of business you have. Shorter leases are suitable for you if you are running a new business and aren’t sure how it will mature with time. If, however, you are running a stable enterprise then it would be wise to negotiate with your landlord for a longer lease. This is one of the most important tips to remember when finding a rental office space.
Compare Different Possibilities:
As with any other purchase, you should always consider different possibilities and look into different markets. Comparing the office rents in an area will give you a better understanding of how much you should pay. You should also ask the landlord for concessions based on the market value of the area you are leasing an office space in.
Build a Flexible Contract:
Try your best to incorporate as much flexibility into the contract as possible. Flexibility in the sense of expansion options and space reduction will ensure that you have enough space for your business even after some years when your business grows or you downsize it.
Finding the perfect office space is not an easy job. It requires market research and a clear set of requirements on your part. You need to be sure of what you want and how much you can pay for it. In this time of economic crisis, it could be wise to find an efficient and small rental space that you can then turn into a very engaging and attractive office. Following the 4 tips mentioned here is sure to help you find the right space for your business while keeping your budget in check as well.
4 Tips to Increase Call Center Productivity
Many businesses utilize call centers to promote customer service, marketing promotions, sales, surveys and technical support. Call center employees, sometimes known as inbound customer care agents, interface with customers and clients via telecommunications. The call center employee is often the first impression a customer or client has of a business. Businesses may apply the following four tips to increase call center productivity.
- Audit Calls for Quality Control Purposes: Agents may be evaluated on an individual basis to determine if a call was delayed, mishandled or processed incorrectly. Management may also determine if the problem was a result of a lack of knowledge by the call center agent. An audit may assist management to determine if during peak traffic periods, such as the Christmas season, require outsourcing some of the call center load.
- Call Routing and Website Based Options: Businesses may assure calls are properly routed by streamlining the automated inbound routing process. The website address should be included in the automated answering system so customers or clients may engage self service options such as scheduling appointments, ordering and other duties. Self service options may reduce the call center load and increase customer satisfaction.
- Proper Training: Call center agents should receive proper training to effectively handle inbound telecommunications. Management should evaluate call center agents periodically to determine if the agent has a thorough understanding of job functions and a grasp of the basic technical aspects of the job. Training will help to reduce errors and improve production.
- Up-to-Date Equipment: Equipment failure decreases the productivity of call centers. The latest call center equipment has automatic call distributors to route inbound calls to agents based on predetermined criteria. A predictive dialer may be utilized to place outbound calls on behalf of agents. Interactive voice response, productivity monitoring solutions, screen pop, recording solutions and real time reports are all available on the newest equipment to increase call center productivity.
4 Tips to Train Your Sales Team
Every business has a sales team that attempts to sell products and services to different sets of customers. As these sales employees are the ones who will be in direct contact with your customers, it is important to properly train them. They must understand your target audience’s mindset and needs. There are certain things to keep in mind before you train your sales team. Here are a few useful tips that can help your business achieve its sales target.
1. Believe in the product or service:
It is very important for your sales team to believe in the product or service. If they aren’t convinced, it will be very difficult to convince any customer. As a leader or employee you should take the time to introduce the product to your employees. If possible, allow them to use the product and experience the usefulness themselves. This way they may manage to come up with a better sales pitch too!
2. Use simple but powerful words:
Avoid using complicated words that might make a potential customer lose interest in your product. Ensure that a salesperson is trained to explain the product or service in a fun and simplified manner. Don’t make the sales pitch boring, try using powerful and profound words. This will make the customer take some interest in what your sales employee is trying to say.
3. It’s all about presentation:
Remember to give this piece of advice to your sales team- Don’t just memorize your sales pitch, understand it. This will give you the confidence to explain it with enthusiasm to the customers.
4. Be humorous:
Tell your sales employees to keep the conversation light and funny. Conversations between potential clients are an important chance for your company to make a positive first impression. If the sales employee can impress your client, make him or her smile and create a good rapport; it can have a positive result on the customer’s mindset.
4 Tips to keep your Smart Phone Battery alive for Work
Smartphones are notorious for their short battery life. It doesn’t matter which type of smartphone you have, there are chances that every day or so you have to put it on charge. You need to take care of your phone and protect your battery’s health as much as possible. It could be that you are causing the fast drainage through your charger use. Here are four tips for a healthier battery life.
Don’t Charge Right Away
Your battery is flashing with just 30% left. Now is not the time to put it on charge, unless you know that you need it for the next hour or so of directions. You want to avoid charging it until the last minute; really once it has run all the way down.
If you put it on charge now, your battery starts to remember that this is when you charge it. The next time it gets to 30% it will lose power from there extremely quickly, expecting you to put it on charge then.
Use the Right Type of Charger
Your phone will come with a specific charger. Yes, there may be other chargers that fit the connection, but it is very important to use the company’s own charging unit. It is not the company’s way of getting more money out of you. It will protect your battery much more in the future.
The chargers are made with your phone model in mind. The companies know the amount of power that their batteries can take, and will make sure that the charging equipment is designed with all that in mind. Using someone else’s model could lead to completely damaging the system. The battery will not be able to hold as much power as it used to.
Take It Off Charge
As soon as you see the sign that says your battery is charged 100%, it’s important to take it off charge right away. Leaving it on will just lead to it overcharging. This destroys the battery’s health, and will mean that it is more likely to drain power much sooner than it otherwise would. Leaving it charging will not prolong the time it takes until the next charge.
Because of this, you should avoid charging overnight. Do it during the day, when you are near your phone. That way you can take it off charge as soon as the battery is full.
Apps that Save the Battery
There are smartphone apps that can help with saving the battery power. These could be worth considering, but make sure you research each one available. You need to know exactly how it helps conserve battery power, and whether other customers have had positive experiences with them.
Look after your smartphone battery. Like all batteries, they do eventually need replacing. However, that should not happen for two years after getting the phone. You can preserve your battery’s health by not overcharging it and avoiding the use of the wrong type of chargers. You should also remove it from charge as soon as possible.