Small businesses are under a hammer

Some of you are probably wondering what I mean when I say small businesses are under the hammer but when it comes to online marketing and business growth, the challenge to compete can be extremely hard.

After a few searches online for my test, I begin by searching varied phrases to sniff out the little guys and see what they are challenged with when it comes to rankings there website for key terms such as:

Painter and Decorator in London and Bouncy Castle hire in Manchester.

With both searches I realised that there was an unfair advantage to the bigger sites for business terms.

What is Gumtree? with Gumtree you can post ads, sell items and so on. When a customer makes an add offering his services, the likely hood of it ranking on first page is pretty high!

Then you look at some individual small businesses for the same terms:

https://www.bounceandbopnw.party

http://www.thepaintingspecialist.co.uk/

Dont get me wrong, for Gumtree to become such a large company and so popular, someone must of worked hard but for searching local terms for local services surely the priority should be pointing towards sole traders but thats just my opinion.

If you want to find out more about Gumtree then visit the website or watch the video below:

Leverage you existing network

Reaching can be tricky but if you reach out to your existing network then this may be the best place to start. Their are some good reasons for this but the main one is word of mouth and this will help grow your customer base substantially.

Creating a core group of customers that can recommend your business will dramatically help increase your client network. Referrals are strong leads. I would encourage that you network as much as possible with your target market. For example, we hire out scaffolding so we have joined a number of scaffolding related groups on Facebook and online forums.

Tapping in to your immediate network and try to figure out who would be a good fit for our product is an easy step forward. Find the time to get connected with anyone in your niche even if they are not customers. This is how word of mouth will help you leverage your business and improve on customers/clients and outreach.

Thanks to TD Scaffolding for this helpful insight to how they leverage their existing network to increase results across the web.

Key elements of a business plan

Key elements that should be included in any business plan:

Business concept. Describes the business, its product and the market it will serve. It should point out just exactly what will be sold, to whom and why the business will hold a competitive advantage.

Financial features. Highlights the important financial points of the business including sales, profits, cash flows and return on investment.

Financial requirements. Clearly states the capital needed to start the business and to expand. It should detail how the capital will be used, and the equity, if any, that will be provided for funding. If the loan for initial capital will be based on security instead of equity, you should also specify the source of collateral.

Current business position. Furnishes relevant information about the company, its legal form of operation, when it was formed, the principal owners and key personnel.

Major achievements. Details any developments within the company that are essential to the success of the business. Major achievements include items like patents, prototypes, location of a facility, any crucial contracts that need to be in place for product development, or results from any test marketing that has been conducted.

Mistakes people make when growing their business

Massive Mistakes Small Business Owner Makes

I am going to talk about genuine mistakes people actually make when trying to grow their business. Some of them have the capability of shutting down your business.

Concentrate on core tasks within your business. People spend too much time going over topics that have already been discussed again and again. You need think about retaining customers rather than going over the same agenda again and again.

Relying too much on a single client.

If more than 40% of your business income is coming in from a single source then you are asking for serious trouble. It is really easy to take advantage and enjoy the easy pickings when it comes down to clients / existing customers but if they come knocking about how they want to shut down or re-brand or anything else with significance where they can just drop you then you can be left in big trouble.

Ignoring collections.

It is a common fact that many business owners fail to keep record of the money because they dont send there bills. You need to keep them in order and risk everything in the end.

Understand that you’re not simply delaying payment when you neglect to bill in a timely manner and when you don’t aggressively and quickly go after non-payers. You’re actually jeopardizing your income, because the longer the time goes before someone is asked to pay for a service or product they received, the less likely you are to get that money at all. According to the American Collectors Association, once four months have gone by, you’re only about 80 percent likely to get paid. After six months, only 67 percent of collections ever get cleared. Send those bills out on time!