A successful business person is often headstrong, brave and diligent. Conversely in business, however, we must also recognize that no one has all the answers and learning from others’ experiences is vital to our own development.
The Harvard Business Review published a report outlining the 5 stages of small business growth. In the report, Churchill and Lewis claim that understanding the current progression of a business facilitates logical and effective strategizing. Although it’s now over 30 years old, this definitive article is often referenced today as a useful framework for defining and managing Small Medium Enterprise (SME) growth. Every business is unique and will therefore face different challenges; however there are many typical stages which largely relate to the vast majority of SME’s. The comprehension of this structure can prove to be beneficial to business owners, allowing them to calculate both risk and sensible investment.
The vast majority of the work for a start-up is carried out by its owner, although there may be one or two employees on a small staff helping out. It is imperative at this stage to gain and maintain a customer base, as many companies fail before they even have a tangible revenue stream. It is likely that there will be some start-up capital in place, but this can quickly run out. Many businesses also invest in the foundations of a long term strategy, before they have taken their first steps, which can be ultimately fatal. For example, I have seen a few small freight/shipping start-ups who invest in IT systems, resources and staff before they even have a client base to justify their outlay.
Whether you are starting a new business or simply relocating an existing one, choosing a location to operate should be a planned decision. This should be executed carefully and many aspects need to be looked over. It’s never an easy process to undertake but one thing is certain, the right location can make or break a business.
Know your clientele.
Many businesses don’t need to be located in a prime area. Some are based online. Others may be catering to a local community and relocation may have core customers diverted. Knowing the habits of your customers should factor heavily into consideration for choosing a new location to set up shop. Moving a business location may seem like a great idea, but it can also be like starting completely over in terms of regular customer business.
Drop shipping is one of the many strategies that you can use to fulfill orders for an online store. It is a relatively simple strategy, but it has some real benefits to it. One of the biggest benefits is that you don’t have to keep nearly as much material in inventory which is extremely helpful as many online storefronts are run by one or two people out of their home. Their garage or a shed probably serves as their inventory space. This means that they may not have enough room to hold many items in stock, but drop shipping can eliminate that hindrance and make keeping inventory stocked much easier as well as provide the additional benefits to the home-based business.
Get to Market Fast
As Practical Ecommerce points out, having a drop shipping arrangement is a great way to make certain that you can get products to market faster. This is because you don’t have to wait for the items to come in and, even more importantly, you don’t have to gamble on how many of those items you need to hold in stock to keep customers satisfied. You simply send the order to the manufacturer or a different warehouse and they’ll send the article out for you, with no risk involved.
Tim Frick, Principal at Mightybytes
For Tim Frick and the team at Mightybytes, sustainability means more than trending on a Google search – it’s how they do business. A full-service creative firm for conscious companies in Chicago, Mightybytes provides branding, content strategy, and web based services to its clients along with being a certified B Corporation. They’re passionate about making a social impact with their work to make the world a better place, even if it happens, “just one small pixel at a time.”
We asked Tim five questions on his business and he gave us some pretty amazing answers on how he left corporate America behind for the entrepreneurial lifestyle, the bootstrapped beginnings of the company, and how in order to be an entrepreneur you need to walk the walk.
1) How did your business get started?
After a brief career in corporate America I started freelancing in 1995, which eventually evolved into what is now Mightybytes. The freelance lifestyle was attractive to me due to the freedom it offered and the DIY philosophy of being an entrepreneur. Quality of life and doing impactful, cause-driven work I can be proud of is at the core of who I am as a person. We imbue those principles into all we do at Mightybytes.
When starting a home-based small business, you hope it will grow into a thriving empire…or at least a reliable ongoing income source. The key word is “grow.” And as your business grows, you’ll likely reach a point when you’re selling all you can produce without making serious changes to your business plan. Here are some ideas to help you overcome that plateau.
For any business owner, sustainability and growth are always top of mind. You want to invest in growth while realizing a positive return. As you contemplate your long-term goals, here are the top three investments to consider:
1. Technology infrastructure – It’s important to operate off a scalable technology platform – one that enhances employee performance. Because technology impacts every sector of your business, it’s important that it provides a simple and flexible experience for your team members so that they can maximize efficiency.
Keeping up with cutting edge trends that you can implement first in your industry is a great way for your company to stay ahead of the curve and stand out. Don’t be afraid to take risks!
Improving and building team spirit is an essential part of business growth, more so for small enterprises. The main challenge to a business leader is to encourage the team members to bond, readily share relevant information and work together towards pushing the business brand forward. Small enterprises mostly do not have resources at their disposal to cover employee redundancy, therefore employees should be aptly encouraged to work together and market the company. The employees should readily engage in promoting and sharing of the company’s vision and mission.
A few months ago, MyCorp sent out a newsletter polling our subscribers on their small business predictions on technology and marketing for 2013. The results are now in and all available on our infographic covering everything from expected growth for next year to the social media outlet of choice that small businesses will be establishing for their brands. Continue reading
With 2013 quickly approaching, how many resolutions will you imagine compiling for your business over this next month? And exactly how many of them will have fallen off the radar by February 1st? Resolutions have a low success rate, and there’s a good reason for that, they are nothing but ideas. Refurbish your resolutions so they won’t fail – turn them into actionable goals!
Here are 5 reasons why your company’s resolutions may fail unless you turn them into goals: Continue reading
Most business owners start their businesses with the hope that they will expand into other cities, states, and maybe even countries. This business growth is excellent for the economy, excellent for the business owner (is anyone against success?), and great for customers who want options closer to where they are. But moving a business into other areas can mean increased documentation and preparation on the part of the business owner. Continue reading