Archive for February, 2015

Advice on marketing your business story

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Marketing of most businesses concentrates on the promotion of products and services. Corporate design, web presence, folder, etc. should be distinctive and emphasize the uniqueness of a company. In fact, many of them do not think about the most unique of their business – their business story. Large companies and groups have already encountered it and promote their story in order to become more tangible. To be perceived as a person not as faceless company, is exactly the right way to stay in your customer’s mind.

 

Share your first steps as an entrepreneur. What has encouraged you to start a business? What inspires you? Give your customer an understanding about your values, your beliefs and the quality that distinguishes you. Build up trust in your team; trust in your company, your reliability, and the quality behind your products and services.

 

Talk about your successes. Show how you helped customers with their projects and how you even led demanding projects to success. Convey the impression that you are able to deal with challenges and that your customers can rely on you. Show that you care about them, that their benefits are of your utmost concern.

 

However, avoid exaggeration! To the contrary, also mention the failure and setbacks you experienced in the course of time. Failure belongs to entrepreneurship. To share them shows personality – to leave them out makes you implausible.

 

Furthermore, highlight your goals and vision. Let your customers take part in your plans. Businesses, which constantly develop and work on themselves show that they do not fear challenges and always strive to do their best.

 

Do not make the mistake to just talk about your products and services. Your clients want to hear YOUR story. Also, avoid too much technical jargon, which rather appears arrogant than competent.

 

The sharing of your personal business story gives you a distinguishing character. It brings your customers closer to your company and connects you “emotionally” with them.

 

How to budget for seasonality in business

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Seasonal ups and downs are unavoidable in business. This concerns nearly every business but especially the tourism industry, like hotels, amusement parks, etc., even certain other industries like construction, horticulture and retail, for example Christmas shops. But what can you as business owner do to hedge these downtimes? Fix costs like rent, taxes or maintenances are due despite everything, so you have to consider whether to keep your business open or you can afford to close during the off-season.

 

To be able to budget exactly, you have to know about your businesses income and expenses and be able to create a monthly cash flow. Estimate your expected monthly income and determine your most profitable month. Calculate your fix costs and find out which costs you can reduce. With this information you will be able to create a report and set your budget, which should be supervised regularly.

 

Your revenue from the busy season should be your reserve for the low season, to cover costs which may arise and start the next season without debt.

 

Besides, find possibilities to reduce costs, for example by engaging seasonal employees instead of full-time employees. This way you can save not only salaries but reduce taxes as well. Furthermore reduce your inventory, because a large inventory is associated with higher costs Through your customer’s purchasing patterns you can determine which items should be on hand at which time of year and provide them accordingly. Beside flexible payment terms, a good credit is helpful to overcome downtimes. Negotiate with suppliers and your bank about beneficial terms. You can use Unifac.com to help you with your inventory and shipments.

 

Most important of all is to use the time between your seasons to analyse how things are going and plan for the next. Also, maintain your equipment and devices to avoid failures during peak seasons. Continue to work on your marketing plan, think about improvements and start the implementation in a timely fashion to remain successful in your coming peak seasons.