Posts Tagged business startup

  • Survival of the Fittest – Best Business Practices for Startup Companies

    A large majority of small businesses fail within their first few years. With such intimidating failure rates, just how can you breathe life back into an under performing small business?

    According to statistics compiled by the US Small Business Administration, 70 per cent of small businesses will survive at least two years, yet only half of those will still be operating after five. While not as calamitous as some sources would have you believe, the numbers remain confronting, especially for those planning on starting a new business or struggling to keep theirs afloat.

    Common downfalls of new businesses

    When tackling the topic of businesses that fail, perhaps a good place to start is to understand why most businesses fail in the first place. Here are three of the most commonly cited reasons:

    1.    Lack of start-up capital

    Ensuring you have the funds necessary to stay viable past the first few months, when business will be at its toughest, is extremely important. Secure the funding you think you’ll need and then double it. The basic idea here is that you will likely need more money than your initial calculations advised.

    2.    Lack of research

    Too often businesses are founded on a seemingly great idea, but only in theory. No amount of hard work or business acumen can save you if there is no market for your product or service. The fundamental question you need to ask is whether there’s a place for you and your product – in terms of customers and competitors.

    Founding a business on solid knowledge is therefore advisable. Business studies have found that business owners with previous work experience in the same industry as their new business will have higher success rates. It’s simple logic.

    3.    Lack of planning

    Every business, no matter the size, will benefit from a proper business plan. A business plan will act as a compass and guide, something you can always refer back to. It should detail your business goals and needs. It should also lay out a thoughtful financial budget. From there you can plan out financial controls. A marketing strategy should also be considered.

    How to save your business from going under

    While prevention is always better than the cure, what happens if your business is slowly sinking as we speak? Here are a few tips to stop the rot:

    •  Stop and review – When you’ve come to this realization it’s time to fix the problem, not ignore it. A good place to start is to review your business plan. Essentially, you want to get back to basics and remember why you started the business to begin with. From here you can tinker with your offering to make it more appealing, or even look into other potential revenue streams.
    • Secure funding – If the only problem you have is a momentary lack of funds, and you have a decent credit rating, speak to your bank about a business loan. This is where your business plan comes in handy, as they will certainly require a solid one. But before borrowing any money, make sure you’re not just prolonging what is the inevitable demise of your business. You may also consider finding a business partner to share the costs and secure more funds.
    • Cut expenses, reduce debt – This may seem obvious, but there are always ways to cut costs – you just have to make sure you’ve checked every possibility. Consider moving to smaller premises, renting out equipment or canceling the cleaning services. There is also the option to lay off staff whose roles have become redundant.
    • Know when to call it quits – Most successful businesses are formed off the back of a number of previous failures. If you find your business on its last legs, sometimes walking away is the best move. According to a Harvard Business School Working Paper titled Performance Persistence in Entrepreneurship, first-time entrepreneurs have an 18% chance of succeeding, while entrepreneurs who previously failed have a 20% chance. The numbers aren’t earth-shattering, but it does give hope to those who have failed.
    • Seek help – The best move for an underperforming company is to seek professional business advice. If you can’t afford a financial consultant there are always other options. For example, your local chamber of commerce should offer advice or even mentorships.

    Starting a new business can be a difficult process for the first few years. However, by familiarizing yourself with the common mistakes small businesses make, and tips on how to prevent your company from going under in its formative years, you could be well on your way to entrepreneurial success.

  • Can I Work From Home and Still Look Professional?

    More and more people are stepping out on their own by starting their own businesses which they run from their homes. This obviously saves a lot of money, as there is no need to rent office space or pay extra overhead expenses. Sometimes home businesses can appear less professional than traditionally run businesses and it takes more effort for them to build up customer relationships and gain their clients’ trust.

    Want to impress your clients and work from home? Look no further!! Join ABC Virtual Offices today for your one stop office solution!

    With our virtual office and virtual phone services you can have a professional address, messaging service and even a physical location where you can meet with clients. Virtual offices can help you make your mark in your field without paying high office leasing rates.

    If you are trying to run your business from home, there is nothing worse than receiving an important clients’ phone call, only to have your children interrupt by making lots of noise in the background. Having a virtual office to answer your business calls will ensure that every call is dealt with professionally. You will never have to worry about missing an important phone call, or giving customers a bad first impression. Working with a virtual office will mean that you do not have to give your home phone number out to clients. Instead you can have a virtual business number which can be directed to any phone.

    Another advantage of having a virtual office for your home-business is that you can use a prestigious address in a big city like Los Angeles/Beverly Hills. This means that you will no longer have to give out your home address on your business cards. It will also make your business look more professional, and again give it a national presence. Your virtual office will provide an efficient mail forwarding service so you will receive all of your letters and packages on time.

    Although we know that bigger is not always better when it comes to business, many customers often prefer to purchase goods and services from larger companies, as they see them as being more experienced and stable. Create the impression that you have a number of employees working for you by using a virtual office. It will look like you have hired a full time receptionist, whilst things like call forwarding menus will make it look like you have a number of departments.

    Want to impress your clients and work from home? Look no further!! Join ABC Virtual Offices today for your one stop office solution! http://www.abcvirtualoffices.com/