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Your Restaurant Is Popular. Now What?

You went through it all: the planning, the fretting, the soft opening, the grand opening, the honeymoon phase, the hype, the bad reviews and the good reviews. Now, after the… Read more » The post Your Restaurant Is Popular. Now What? appeared first on

How to Develop a Business Strategy – Part III

Developing a business strategy is all about looking at where you want your company to be in the next 3-to-5 years and figuring out what you need to do now to get there. If you spend your days constantly putting out fires in your business, it’s doubtful that you have much time for developing a new business strategy. But if you ever want to stop living like that, you need to make time. Strategic planning can reignite your passion for what you’re doing. By reconnecting with your “Why” story, you can reclaim your original business dream. The daily stress of a business is tough. It’s easy to flip into survival mode and lose sight of that dream that you set out to accomplish in the beginning when you started your business. But you can always hit the reset button. By clearly identifying your niche target customer, validating your value proposition and setting sales goals, you’re no longer winging it. In my series on developing a business strategy in Part I, we discussed how to create a strategy and in Part II, we focused on why strategy fails for small businesses and the criteria for good business strategy. In Part III, we will focus on the benefits of a business strategy. Just consider this, developing a long-term business strategy will increase your chances of business success by forcing you to develop strategies and tactics to address any identified problems. Here are the 7 Main Benefits of Developing a Business Strategy. 1)    Minimizing Risk: One of the main benefits of developing a business strategy is that it reduces risk. Once you’ve envisioned your company’s future over the next 3 to 5 years and done a thoughtful analysis of current state, resources, strengths and weaknesses, competitors and the business environment, you will be better equipped to make decisions and therefore to minimize risk to achieve your company’s potential. 2)    Cost Savings: Once you’ve defined your long-term goals, you will have significant cost saving because you will not waste any marketing resources or time on business appointments or opportunities that are not a fit for your core expertise, focused on your…

How to Develop a Business Strategy – Part II

Your business strategy is your roadmap to business success, but it needs to be adjusted annually. You and your team should take a look at your business strategy every fall to plot out your sales objectives and goals for the new year. 2019 is just around the corner, and you should start your planning process now. When evaluating any business strategy your top concern should be what will help you accomplish your financial goals the fastest. In part II of the series on how to develop a business strategy, we’re going to discuss why strategy fails for small businesses and criteria for good business strategy. Any growth strategy must be measured based profitability, customer satisfaction, conversion rates and retention rates. Why does strategy fail for many small business owners? Chasing too many types of opportunities. Lack of specific targets and time frames means you don’t have an organized sales process. If everyone can use your product or service, no one will. Focus on specific targets and set goals to hold yourself and your team accountable. Make emotional decisions about business opportunities If you shoot from the gut, and make business decision based on how you feel instead of using data to drive business decisions, you’ll make the wrong decision. Instead use careful research, analysis, an experience to make business decisions. Lack of market intelligence We are in the information age. there is an abundance of information about anything online. As small business owners we need to take advantage of market intelligence. Consistently focus on the problems in the business If you are always stressing over your problems instead of doing your daily business development activities. If you turn yourself into a horse with blinders on, you won’t see opportunities right in front of you that might be readily available to you. The criteria for a good business strategy is gathered below: Consider multiple scenarios to evaluate alternative strategies. No small business owner should be wedded to just one strategy. Instead, take multiple approaches into consideration. Factors to consider include cost to pursue a new market, risk, and aligning any strategy…

Big Mistakes Made by Failed Startups

I’m not going to bore you with the 8 or 9 out of 10 startups fail in the first year kinda dogma that’s been spouted forever. This is a reality… Read more » The post Big Mistakes Made by Failed Startups appeared first on

How to Develop a Business Strategy – Part 1

September is the perfect time to start looking ahead to first quarter 2019. The fall is right time to start thinking about your business goals and then engage your team in developing a new business strategy. Winging it is NOT a strategy, yet too often business owners venture into new markets without a specific target or value proposition, hoping to come across someone in need of services. If you’re looking to identify new business targets, outline a growth plan, determine your product roadmap or plan your funding needs, you’ll need a clear business strategy. It’s one thing to know your business needs, actually developing a strategy is not so easy. This is the first article in a three-part series on building a business strategy. This article is about how to develop a business strategy. Part II and Part III will focus on why strategy fails for small businesses and the benefits of a having a current business strategy. Here’s the six-steps to develop a new business strategy. 1. Examine Your Current State Before you start looking to the future, you should review your past business performance, or the current state. Look at your annual revenues, customer lists, average revenue per transaction and review your most popular services or products. Then look at how your business operates. Look at your market position, employees, sales processes, profit margins and customer satisfaction. Use a SWOT analysis to conduct your review. You must determine what worked well, what could have been better, outline your weaknesses and consider what new opportunities are in the marketplace. When you look at your business, bring your team together to make sure you are collecting all the relevant information that you need. 2. Look at External Factors There are things that affect your business that are not under your control such as industry trends, government regulations, legal compliance, political policies such as international tariffs. Technological advances as well as environmental concerns such as a neighborhood community protesting your restaurant getting a liquor license, can also affect your business results or expansion plans. External factors can either be threats or…

Staying Ahead of the Competition: 5 Steps to Developing a Digital Transformation Strategy for Enterprises

In today’s increasingly competitive business scene, most, if not all modern-day enterprises acknowledge the importance of adopting new technologies strategies. However, only a handful of those operations know how to… Read more » The post Staying Ahead of the Competition: 5 Steps to Developing a Digital Transformation Strategy for Enterprises appeared first on

How to Innovate and Grow Your Business

Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET.  This is excerpted from my recent interview with Michael Haynes who is a B2B Strategist that helps small businesses grow using customer-driven strategies.  He is also the author of Listen Innovate Grow to help small businesses drive growth through B2B.  For more info: SmallBizlady:  Why should Small business owners pursue business-to-business (B2B) markets? Michael Haynes:  B2B markets have fewer competitors which can make it easier to exploit their weaknesses and gaps in their offerings. Also, usually once business customers find a product or service provider that meets their needs they usually become very loyal. This is because the product or service often serves important purposes such as helping to meet strategic objectives or being a key production input. And finally, large companies are recognizing the benefits of working with small business owners such as getting products and services that are better tailored to their specific needs as well as their willingness “to go the extra mile” for their clients and customers. SmallBizlady:  WHAT IS THE STARTING POINT FOR A SMALL BUSINESS IN DETERMINING HOW TO INNOVATE? Michael Haynes:  The first thing small business owner must do is to obtain an in-depth understanding of the industries, markets and business customers that they are focusing on. In terms of the markets and industries, you want to gain an understanding of the market trends such as new technologies, customer trends, legal and regulatory changes both within your current industries and markets as well as adjacent ones. Small businesses owners also want to understand their business customers and prospects in terms of their objectives, priorities and strategic intent. However, you must understand the key characteristics and dynamics of B2B markets. By doing so, you will be able to identify opportunities to innovate which will help small businesses grow their business. SmallBizlady:  HOW SHOULD SMALL BUSINESSES VIEW THE CONCEPT OF INNOVATION? Michael Haynes:  Small businesses must regard innovation as being more than simply creating new products or…

Why Your Business Needs a Well-Rounded Mobile Payment Strategy

A mobile payment strategy encompasses more than just a plan to make your online checkout process mobile-friendly. Your mobile payment strategy needs to include a plan for allowing customers to… Read more » The post Why Your Business Needs a Well-Rounded Mobile Payment Strategy appeared first on

15 Effective Approaches for Entrepreneurs to Cultivate Greater Business Success

What is the No. 1 trait that is key to succeeding as an entrepreneur, and how have you cultivated it? These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an… Read more » The post 15 Effective Approaches for Entrepreneurs to Cultivate Greater Business Success appeared first on

Startup Year One: 3 Tips to Maximize Startup Cash Flow

Profits are the difference between a successful business and a failed one. Just think about it. There’s a lot of advice out there on how NOT to fail inside the… Read more » The post Startup Year One: 3 Tips to Maximize Startup Cash Flow appeared first on

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