Does your brand lack direction or need a fresh start? Whether you’re a start-up or established business that needs to hit reset, this week’s blog will help you pack more punch into your brand.
Find the right Business Concept
When it comes to thinking of a killer business concept, many people will tell you to ‘do what you love’ or ‘follow your passion’. These are definitely formulas for success, but in reality, a business involves so much more – from strategy, finance, research, sourcing, paying your suppliers, ticking off routine tasks like paying bills down to sheer stamina. So, don’t just consider what you love doing, but also your personality type, how you work, what skills and abilities you already have, whether you buckle under pressure, what makes you tick and whether you can handle the many hurdles and setbacks that are part of any business. It’s also vital to consider whether your business idea is marketable and will convert to sales.
Research the market
Research is critical to test the feasibility of your business idea and see where similar concepts thrived or fell over. Standing out takes a point of difference, so thoroughly research your competitors to see where you can set yourself apart.
Three tips for getting market research right
- Define your market – who are your customers, what do they like, what strategies should you utilise for getting new customers, what challenges do they face and what solutions can you offer?
- Research the competition – investigate who your competitors are, what they do, what their strengths and weaknesses are and how they price. What’s your point of difference?
- Map it out – pinpoint gaps in the market and do a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Determine your ‘why’ (the reason you’re in business) and fine-tune your market position or unique selling point (UPS). You should be clear of why you’re there, how you stand out and what you do differently.
Stick to your core values and beliefs
Running a business and increasing profit is a challenge at any given moment – it’s not all glitz and glamour! To be sustainable you should stay authentic and true to your core values. Consistency and congruence across every aspect of your business is critical, or the stress, pressure and work will outpace you.
Write a business plan
A business plan is like a blueprint for your business, detailing your vision, strategy, budget, finances, marketing, competitors, and contingency. Some people will tell you that a business plan isn’t essential – but apart from a tool to attract investors and talent, it makes you plan, review, breakdown and map out the way your business is put together which is crucial to success. Having something written down makes you much more accountable to ensure things get done!
A typical business plan should include:
- A cover page with contact details
- An executive summary – describing what your business does and what it solves;
- A company overview
- An industry analysis
- A customer analysis
- A competitive analysis
- A marketing plan
- An operations plan
- A management section, outlining the key company personnel (and who you need to hire)
- A financial plan and;
- An appendix including income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements.
Seek finances resourcefully
Even low-cost start-ups require financing to get started. Finance options include business loans, overdrafts, lines of credit, fully-drawn cash advances and many start-ups take the route of crowdfunding or private investors like venture capitalists.
Source easy finance through Bartercard
Sourcing finance isn’t always easy; however, Bartercard members have access to an advance on trade dollar sales when they join. This can cover start-up, renovations, expansion, or other business costs.
Business Tips from the experts
Speak to, follow, and read about the successes and failures of entrepreneurs. Learning from their mistakes can save you from slipping up, while leveraging off their lessons and successes.
For more information on how Bartercard can help your business grow and increase profits, contact us today.