Archive for January, 2012

January 30th, 2012  Posted at   Small Business
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Advantages of a sole trader

Control over your business

As a sole trader you take control over your business making decisions quickly with financial and general business decisions

You can offer a more personal approach to your customers with a better understanding of the needs of your customers, allowing you to give a better service and more personal attention.

You can brand your business offering a USP (unique selling proposition) that make your customers more responsive to employing you for their work.

Sole traders have the freedom to work flexible hours that can produce more work and income.

All the money goes directly to you.

These are just some of the ways that a sole trader can take advantage of to produce more work and a better service.

How do you start as a sole trader

Once you know what services you are going to offer you simply register with the tax office that on a given date you will be your own boss. Notify your bank talk to an advisor and get as much information as possible about owning your own business. Prior to registration you will need to think about who your customers will be and how are you going to attract them. Do some research to finding work within your industry

Having certain procedures in place before registration will help you in your success as a sole trader and small business owner.

How you can offer a better service

Will be important in your future to growing and maintaining a prosperous business venture.

Check out some competitors what do they offer and how can you differentiate your business from theirs that will offer more benefits to the customer.

A business that can offer all the services with more benefits to the customer will increase your competitive edge in securing more financial rewards for you and your business. (more…)

January 29th, 2012  Posted at   Small Business
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Small businesses are constantly being offered various advertising and marketing services. Here are some of the mistakes you can avoid to make the most out of your local marketing effort.

1) Don’t sign long-term contracts with local newspapers. Local newspapers will typically try to sell you on 6 or twelve month contracts, offering you a price break for the longer term.

This is fine, if it works.

But if you buy a business card sized local advertisement and it is on a page with 30 similar ads, with five from the same industry, your effort is sunk. Instead, don’t waste your time with a business card-sized ad. You’re likely to be buried in with a gazillion others. Put your money into a large ad – a half or full-page.

Then, don’t agree to a six month term. Agree to 2 or 3 issues. If you have a good ad, and it catches the eye of an interested buyer, that prospect is not going to wait 6 months to call you for help. If the sales rep won’t agree to a short-term test, walk.

2) Set Up Tracking. If you don’t know how a marketing effort is performing, how will you know if you should spend money on it in the future?

Use a unique phone number to track success. You can find phone number tracking services very inexpensively. Usually something like $10 per month per number plus a per minute charge. But there are other, cheaper options. This will allow you to know the exact number of customer inquiries from the ad.

Also set up a unique email address for use with specific activities. That way, any inquiries to that address will be proven to be from the campaign. (more…)

January 7th, 2012  Posted at   Franchising

Buying a Franchise and taking advantage of all that franchising has to offer can give you an opportunity to be self employed and gain some control over your career. If you have never been a business owner, your probably wondering if you have what it takes. While it is commonly known that franchising offers opportunities to people with all kinds of skill sets and backgrounds, there are definitely a few attributes that a lot of the most successful franchises have in common. They Know How To Network First of all, make sure you know that when you choose a location for your franchise, you are also choosing your professional community. If you have great networking skills, you can thrive in a good business community. Get to know your neighbors and other business owners in your location. Look into joining community organizations like the local chamber of commerce. This is a critical part in connecting with other business owners, and it’s something that the most successful franchises all do. If you have great people skills, you are definitely getting into the right business. You will probably find that you will be able to publicize your business and build loyalty with your customers easier if you choose to reach out. They Have Determination For a franchise to have a chance at becoming successful, the owner needs to be prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal.

Especially at the beginning, owning a franchise is not relaxing 5 days a week. If you want that dream to happen, it starts with an intense amount of real, hard work. Getting squeamish yet? No? Read on. Building your customer base, training employees and understanding your own learning curve is going to take some time, and you must be determined to stick it out. The more willing you are as a person to put in the necessary work, especially at first, the better chance you have of becoming the owner of a successful franchise. A commonly acknowledged fact in the business world is that franchises are statistically much more likely to become successful than an individual start-up. In part, this is likely because many of the “pieces of the business puzzle” have already been put together for the business owner buying the franchise. Many mistakes that may have been made in starting a business from scratch are avoided because of the nature of a franchised business. Additionally, the owners of the most successful franchises have the chance to carefully pick their franchise and can review and get comfortable with their business strategy before they start the business. Even with these bright statistics on your side, you can’t be a person who shirks from hard work, because buying a franchise doesn’t mean it is going to be easy. They Can Learn AND Lead Another key to being a the owner of one of the most successful franchises, considering the initial learning curve of getting the business started, is the ability to both give and take direction. (more…)