Category Development

We may have got the T shirt but it’s still to be earned.

We don’t know what we don’t know I always chuckle to myself when big companies that sponsor awards to start up and existing small business give, as part of the prize, mentoring or advice from a senior executive in their company. Perhaps it is no laughing matter. Firstly, it’s arrogant to assume that starting and…

Small Business Sales Performance – Q1/2011

The Open University just published their Quarterly Survey of Small Business in Britain and I want to share one graph with you here. As you can see micro and small business are suffering in this economic climate more than the mid-size and large businesses – why do you think that is? This graph has been…

Design. Redesign. Scale.

Design your product or service and get it out to customers. Don’t be coy about it, tell people you just designed it and then let them critique it. They are not insulting you, if they are critical – they are helping you – you should be thankful. Redesign your offer according to the critique, you…

Does Your Small Business Have A Growth Strategy?

Whether you are currently running a small business that you are looking to expand or you are running a ‘lifestyle’ business to suit you and your family growth and reputation are imperative. Even if you are not looking to grow your business in the traditional sense, growth of your brand is still necessary to ensure…

What’s Your Business Personality?

When you’re in business you often hear the phrase “people buy from people”, but just how important are people, and personality, in running a successful business? On Monday, Gordon Brown the British Prime Minister announced that he is to step down as leader of the Labour party. What was his main problem? Policies, recessions and…

Q & A: How much time should I spend on product development vs. sales/marketing in my small business?

Before you start in business, and the clock is ticking, sort of speak you should have a two things: at least one order or your product, to see if someone will actually buy it, preferably more order if possible andthe product to sell, which you will have produced in your spare time, while still having an income.But from the time you launch your small business or start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer- or Personal business, like professional, contractors, freelancer, self-employed, sole-trader and virtual assistants, you need to spend most of your time on selling and marketing, because that is what brings the money into your business.Many thousands of businesses go bust every year with a "perfect product", but no sales.... By now you will have had some feedback from your clients and they will guide you as to what they would like to buy from your next.That is the bootstrapper way of doing it, in my mind the only way to do it with the least amount of risk and on a shoe string.

Small Firms shouldn’t be forced to employ woman of childbearing age

If one of the six staff in my public-speaking agency found she was pregnant and needed to have a year off, I would have to keep her job open – and to cover the job while she was on maternity leave, it would be very hard to find somebody else as committed, as that person would know that at the end of the maternity-leave period they were going to be booted out.... Here the state should provide a reasonable solution for the mother to be, it is unreasonable for any business - small or big - to be penalized for employing woman of childbearing age and it is unreasonable to turn on woman for wanting to plan a family.Reading these articles just reminds me always how stupid and wrong some of our policies are, and that our political correctness often achieves the opposite of what it aims to protect, our humanity.We should not seek to create new victims (woman), just to get away from being a victim ourself (small business) - we should seek to change the system to protect our human needs.

Planning Your Small Business And Start-up

For me small business planning centers around some very basic questions and I always aim to answer those first: How much is my business going to cost to set-up?What are the monthly running costs of my start-up?Is anyone willing to buy what I have to sell?What other problems or challenges does my business face?What are my best selling points or strength?You may thing that these are all very basic questions and you would be right - but can you really answer them for your small business?... Even if you have no staff to begin with, it will help you to make the right decisions and stay focused.Strength and Weaknesses are "internal" factors where you need to be honest with yourself and write down what you do well and what you do badly - writing it down is almost therapeutic - enabling you base future decisions on these facts, building on your strength, while avoiding your weak spots.Opportunities and Threats are all about "external" factors and deal with issues like your unique differentiators for your products and services in the market place, as well as your competitors, red-tape, funding issues, etc. Again just writing them down will move you forward.Last but not least I find it helpful to have a "Mission Statement" for my business, what do I want to achieve, so my customers, partners and others understand what my business is all about.The "Goals Statement" is more personal, I write down why I run my small business or why I want to start a business.

Stop Worrying – Start Thinking Through Your Small Business Problems.

People have different strategies for dealing with this problem and clearing their head:going for a walkjust taking a break and read about something elsewatching a filmgoing to do some exerciseWhen you run a small business or start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer-, Professional-, Personal business, you can also talk to people associated with you or your business - people you trust: your staffyour accountantyour bookkeeperyour virtual assistantyour friendsyour business advisor or mentorWe all need advice from time to time - worrying about a problem has never solved anything. But be selective who you ask and remember what Blaise Pascal once said:"What a difficult thing it is to ask someone's advice on a matter without colouring his judgement by the way in which we present our problem."So make sure, when you ask people for advice not to waste your and their time by "colouring" your problem - you will quickly learn there is solution to almost any problem.

SaaS Benefits for Business Start-Up and Small Business

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