- Make Survey Regarding the Distance and Size of Prospective Clients:
Make a survey that how far are the potential clients living from your office. You should be able to reach them with in an hour or so. This is very important factor particularly from the point of networking services. Also, gather information regarding the size of the prospective customers. Ideally, you should start with the clients those having between 10 and 50 computers. If we talk in terms of the annual turn over, the client should have annual sales between $1 million and $10 million.
- Client should be Serious about IT Requirements:
Before you start computer consulting for clients make sure how serious they are about the information technology. A prospective customer, who does not have his own dedicated server and accessing the Internet using dial up lines, is not suitable for consultation. However, those who are interested in focusing more on their IT requirements are definitely ideal clients.
- Far Better Than Traditional IT Jobs:
Being a computer consultant is definitely more rewarding than joining a traditional job in any IT company. Because in traditional IT jobs, there are several hurdles in the progress those are not under your control. For example, you may not grow as fast as you deserve because of incompetent colleagues, dull management and a system where seniors get the priority whether they are competent or not. On the contrary, when you start computer consulting business these things comes under your control. For example, if your colleague is not able to keep pace with you then you are always free to part with him and invite some better people to join hands. So, if you have the talent and ambition, no one can stop your income from skyrocketing.
- Increasing Scope:
The scope for the computer consulting business is increasing with the growth of information technology. It is very difficult to run any business today without using computers. Almost any business organization is looking for some kind of help regarding computers. You also have the option whether you want to become an outsource consultant or internal employee. Either way you are choosing a winning career with bright chances of success and profitability. Furthermore, the computer technology is changing at very fast rate. This fast change is also creating new and new opportunities for the computer consulting business.
One of the easiest ways to get your cash flow in check is to stop overspending when the need is really not there. It can be tempting to buy the latest and greatest of everything for your business, but if tomorrow’s sales take a dip, you will find your reserves a little slimmer than normal. Spend cautiously on what you need for your business startup to survive each day. This can help you have the cash you need when an issue arises without having to struggle to come up with the funding.
Stay On Top Of Invoicing
Getting paid for the work you have completed is an arduous task for any startup. It is no fun chasing down late payments, but it is your responsibility as a business startup owner to make sure your invoicing goes out on time and gets paid. Getting your invoicing in order can make sure you have a steady flow of income coming in and can make sure money is left over for positive cash flow at the end of each and every month.
Track Daily-To-Day Costs
Keeping a good record of your costs all throughout the year can help you better identify where you are overspending. You may need to reign in your expenses, but without tracking them, you have no way of knowing where your cash flow is going each day. Keep a record of all the expenses you make every single day and review them to see where you can cut back. You may be making unnecessary purchases that are costing are adding up and affecting your working capital.
Keep A Cushion
If you know your business startup struggles from time-to-time with its working capital, you can plan for these times by setting aside a cushion of funds that you can rely on when you need it. This can make your slower months easier to bear and provide you a solid reserve that you can count on when an emergency arises. It can give you some added security that you have the funds when profits dip and keep you in the black all throughout the year.
Estimate Future Earning Conservatively
When you look ahead, it can be easy to overestimate what your earning will be the following year. You may anticipate sales that don’t come to fruition or unexpected circumstances could take hold. To keep your cash flow positive, be realistic in your future earnings and plan for the unexpected, so you don’t wind up in a situation where your working capital vanishes without warning.
While it goes without saying that increasing your sales can help grow your cash flow, but this is one area that business startups can lag in. Think about the ways that you can add value to your offerings and entice customers to buy more than ever before. Bundles and add-ons are simple ways to get a customer to spend more with you and help increase your sales in any given month. You need to consider all the ways that you can get each transaction to its maximum value so you can have that extra working capital after your receivables, payroll, and expenses have been paid.
You should understand that getting your first client is your first milestone. What you need to do is serve your first few clients very well. They should be happy. Moreover, if you want to develop a strong relationship with the clients, make sure you give them a discount.
Find a Focus
You should be different from other service providers who offer similar services. If you don’t be different, you won’t be able to make a difference. As a result, your product will not entice the potential buyers. Your clients should be able to differentiate your products from those of your competitors. This is what we mean by finding a focus.
Blogging and social media
For marketing, blogging and social media are your best tools. You should create and publish content that can validate your expertise. Today, your marketing is a lot cheaper than it was a few years ago. In the past, people had to get through strict editors and publishers in order to get the word out about their expertise. They had to write books and articles as well. Nowadays, you can post on Twitter, Facebook and your own blog. So, you don’t have to rely so much on editors and publishers nowadays.
Logo and look
We suggest that you choose your logo wisely and spend on it after a lot of thinking. Actually, your website and logo should be professional and this is really important. Nowadays, it’s not about stationary or business cards anymore. This is your representation.
It’s not a good idea to spend the money you don’t have. As a matter of fact, you will get tons of suggestions that can help you make more money later on, such as marketing programs and mail lists.
Don’t lose a client
For the success of your business, make sure you keep all of your clients. As a matter of fact, keeping existing clients is a lot cheaper than looking for new ones. It’s a good idea to go the extra mile to keep your old clients satisfied.
Know your numbers
You should understand the difference between money in the bank, sales, cash and profits. This is very important.
Don’t compromise on integrity
Compromising on your integrity is not a good idea. Your success or failure depends upon your reputation. You should try your level best to maintain your credibility.
This is where many businesses run into trouble. Errors occur, data is wrong, and headaches abound when a database isn’t designed following a strict set of rules. How do you know if your database isn’t designed well? Think about your business and answer these questions:
- Are you keeping track of information in Microsoft Excel?
If you’re only keeping track of information in Microsoft Excel, then you’re not using a database. Excel is wonderful for crunching numbers, but not for storing related data. Using Excel as a database, even for basic information, is like using a hammer for brain surgery. Technically it’s possible, but it’s not the right tool, and you’ll likely end up with a massive headache when you’re done.
- When entering information, do you repeatedly type the same word or phrase?
A tell-tale sign of bad databases is the need to purposely duplicate data. For example, entering someone’s name in two different places means the database is designed improperly, creating an environment that’s doing more harm than good. Typos always happen, but in a well-designed database they don’t create nearly as much trouble.
- Do you have to work hard to get simple statistics?
This is the ultimate test of bad business data. If something as simple as showing all sales from last month or showing all of your contacts that live in a specific town takes you more than 10 seconds to accomplish, your time is being wasted.
So what happens when you find your database lacking? The best plan for moving forward is to organize all of your information. Write down what you currently track (either on paper or digitally), what you would like to keep track of, and what you need your information to tell you.
Once you have a handle on what information your business relies on, you can begin planning to have a database designed, or start shopping for industry-specific software. Always remember, designed well, a database can save your business time, money and frustration. Designed poorly, and they’ll hurt like a hammer to your head.
Size of the Company is Irrelevant
The first exporting basic to learn for the international trade is that you do not need to be a very large corporation. Although, this is true that the major share of international trade is in the hands of large companies yet small business owners are not trailing very far behind in this sector and are grabbing the opportunities available. U.S. Department of Commerce has indicated in its survey that only 40% of the successful companies in the field of international trade have more than 100 employees. This implies that 60% of the export business is in the hands of the companies that are not very large. In fact, it is not size that determines the success in international market but success depends more on the service, price and the quality of the product.
No Need of Big Marketing Department
Second exporting basic to understand is that you do not require a big marketing department for exporting purpose. If you are a small business owner and sells occasionally and in small quantities then only one employee is sufficient to handle the job of marketing and transportation rather than having a separate department and several employees specifically for this purpose. Alternatively, you can start international trade by delivering your product to an intermediate agency in the United States itself instead of starting direct export to the foreign countries.
Focus on Competitive Price, Regular Supply and Quality of Product
Another exporting basic to know to begin the international trade is that it is not essential to have large volumes for exporting business. Active involvement of several small business owners in the field of exports is a clear indication that you can start with small quantities. A foreign buyer is more interested in the competitive price and continuous availability of the product rather than expecting big quantities every time. If you are committed to the export business then you should focus on reasonable prices and regular supplies instead of bothering about the quantity of the product.
It is true that the cultural and creative arts industries are potential economic boosting ventures in this contemporary age. It is one of the ever thriving areas of the global economy with an estimated growth rate of 4.3% in North and Central America, 6.9% in Oceania, 9.7% in Asia, 11.9% in South America, 13.9% in Africa and 17.6% in the Middle East. These estimates that show a soaring increase in global economy clearly underscores the great economic capital that can be obtained from the creative cultural industries from our forebears! Thus, today, local communities, especially the women and the youth who are mostly unemployed must tap into these industries to earn a living. It is not very difficult for residents to enter into these industries.
Limited capital investment is often required to start an enterprise in the creative and cultural industry of local communities. This is because the raw materials for the production of the creative cultural artifacts are locally stepped in the regions of the local communities’ territories. Usually, the local governments and the traditional authorities have their own effective managerial ways of ensuring the sustainable supply of these local resources for the artistic production. Individual families mostly have their family farms where the raw materials for the cultural artifacts are grown. Thus, it does not require huge capital to acquire the local materials for the artistic production.
Moreover, the local skills and expertise for the artistic productions are normally passed on from parents to children as part of the family’s great possessions. Thus, children grow up learning the skills of production from the old sages in the society. Thus, endowed with the expertise, skills, and knowledge, it makes it quite easy for the vulnerable population such as elderly women and the youth to enter into these cultural and creative industries to earn a living.
Also, there is often a ready market for these cultural artifacts since it is mostly the preserve of these local communities. Many tourists and traders usually parade to these indigenous societies to purchase their unique cultural artifacts that portray the culture of the people. For instance, the Ntonso, Adanwumase and Bonwire indigenous societies in the Ashanti region of Ghana noted for the production of the indigenous clothes, Kente, Kuntunkuni, Adinkra, and Kobene receive thousands of tourists from various foreign countries who patronize the buying of these cultural artifacts. Such is the case of other unique creative cultural artifacts native to the other indigenous societies across the globe.
However, it is sad that most youths shun enrollment into these local industries for employment. Some of these youngsters prefer white-colored jobs which often leave them in the lurk, handicapped in employment. These youngsters fail to appreciate and recognize the economic potentials of these ready-made industries! They must be coached and enlightened to realize the wisdom in humbly enrolling in this great revenue generating ventures left to them by their industrious forebears. Non-governmental organizations in charge of entrepreneurship counseling and training must rigorously engage in educating young ones and other members in these indigenous societies on the economic wealth and simple ways of setting up small-scale industries via these creative cultural artifacts.
Market Analysis: Analyzing the current trends and determining what changes are necessary to be implemented in order to capture the market is the first step. Study the market and determine your competitors, make a competitive analysis, determine ways to better your competitors, understand what your customers need and develop your products accordingly. Instead of targeting a general market try targeting specific markets and develop adequate marketing and advertising strategies so that customers are familiar with your brand name. Make sure there are value added benefits to entice customers to try your new range of products, make sure that the new range does not eclipse existing product line and both are given equal prominence.
Growth: In order to tackle new markets, you may target new customers with a new line of products as well as to improve existing products adding new features to grab the attention of existing customers. Changes can be made to the product introducing variety to the existing line of products there by targeting a slightly different market. Change and growth is necessary to prevent the company from stagnating or even worse suffer loses due to monotony. Some companies tackle new markets by developing a new niche. Study your target market and determine what your customers need and try to develop products that will suit their needs. Make sure the quality of your products is consistent and that it is never compromised.
Developing Your Sales Channels: Getting your existing distributors to distribute your new lines, as well as, carefully selecting, recruiting and establishing good relationships with new distributors is essential. Develop an in-depth marketing strategy and implement it carefully to make sure your products are popular with the customers is essential.
The Internet has become a boon as products can be advertised and broken into new markets easily using permission based e-mail marketing strategies. Manufacturers can dedicate websites to their products and help customers learn more about the products from the comfort of their homes. Offer free newsletters services whereby you can acquire a list of potentially interested candidates who you can follow up periodically through e-mails too. When carefully drafted strategic business plans are used, a business is sure to succeed in tackling new markets.
Agriculture, with the large arable land in Africa, and the ever growing population, agricultural start up in Africa is an opportunity to harness. Unfortunately, the bottle neck system of governance and the import dependent nature of the populace have hindered the growth of this important sector. Statistically, Africa has the largest arable land in the world, if all the fertile lands are used, the production is estimated to feed the whole world. There is the market for African grown products both locally and internationally. Businesses that focus on processing the locally grown food stuffs would in the years to come grow astronomically because of the ever present demands for their products.
E commerce, with the advent of the internet and peoples affinity for easy life, electronic shopping is another hub for building a business in Africa. Many of these online shops are cropping up every time, most of them offering world class services, this sector in future will account for a huge chunk of internally generated revenue. From purchasing of home gadgets to buying tickets, eCommerce has reshaped how the present Africa does business.
Human resource management. The continent has 1.111 billion people in it, which is 16.14% of the world population, there is a huge demand for human resource managers. Any business built at harnessing the skills, abilities, man power and intellect of the black continent will become a major player in that field around the world. The literacy level of the continent has grown geometrically over the years, the evidence being the ever increasing demand for African professionals in Europe and America. Human management consultancy business is already shaping the business terrain of Africa and would continue.
Social entrepreneurship. Africa has great social problems ranging from, hunger to sexual and gender injustices. The problem offers an opportunity for a new crop of businesses who provide dynamic solutions to them. If this opportunity is leveraged, great successes will be recorded for startups in it. Social entrepreneurs can propound solutions to many of these problems by harmonizing with the government to run a need oriented programs for the masses. This can come in form of the privatization of most government sectors to accommodate individuals to contribute their innovations. Countries like Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana have adopted this measure and many businesses have started in line with that.
Environmental sciences. Environmental related businesses will grow in Africa, because Africa generates huge amount of waste. With the poor waste management practices in the continent, a proactive waste management business will definitely make giant strides. Areas like recycling, environmental education, safety consultancy, and sustainable green technologies would be a great relief to not only the government but to all. The potential of an environmental venture to grow in huge because the rapid urbanization of the continent requires a corresponding increase in its public health management.
Know the Core Message You Want to Deliver
Every business owner has a core message that they’d like to deliver. If you know what you want to give to the world in your book, it’s going to be easier to write it. It doesn’t always have to be literally related to your business; it can be peripherally related.
Understand What Your Audience May Want to Know Next
As you are writing the book write down things that seem as if they should be next. You’ll also be able to find out what they want next when they start asking questions, but keeping a narrow focus on the book is of utmost importance.
Decide If You’ll Write It or Hire A Ghostwriter
You know you don’t have to write the book yourself. You can hire a ghostwriter to do it for you. All you have to do is speak into a recorder, or write down a lot of notes, or ask them to read your blog if you’ve written and published extensively, to help you get your core message down in a book. Hiring a ghostwriter is very common.
Publish Digitally and If Demand Is Great, Offer POD
When you finally publish it, you want to offer it digitally first. But, you want the option to POD (print on demand). Kindle offers this option to you free of charge. You just need to ensure that it’s formatted correctly so that if it’s printed it looks just as good as the digital version.
Be Willing to Promote Your Book as a Business
Once you publish a book, you have to think of that book as a business of its own and promote it as such. Send out a press release, try to get on relevant podcasts, TV shows, and speak at events – all the while promoting the book which also promotes the rest of your business.
Build Your Mailing List
Inside the book, in the front and the back, you’ll want to provide your author website so that they can join your mailing list and find out about all the other books, products, and services that you offer surrounding the topic.
Personal Business Email Addresses go a long way in establishing a unique identity for your business organization, something which the generic web mail addresses fail to achieve. In the email id abc@ gmail.com, we know that the word ‘Gmail’ represents the email service provided by Google Inc. Wouldn’t you like to popularize your company, business or organization’s name in the similar manner? In fact, the real question is, why shouldn’t you get a creative domain name for your business when there are companies that create customized email address?
- Enhance your Business
When you are trying to pitch in your product/brand against that of your competitor and gain the attention of the potential clients, you must use all the available tools to accomplish the goal. With unique email address, you can create the right first impression on your clients. The organizations with their own registered web domains enjoy high credibility amongst the investors. With perfect email ids, you can enjoy that level of credibility without having to invest time, money and effort in owning and maintaining a proper domain.
- Easy Branding – Anytime, Anywhere
The best part about unique company email address is that it also acts as a branding tool. In today’s times, the visiting cards and the forums contain the email id as the primary contact detail, instead of telephone, mobile and fax numbers. Therefore, it makes absolute sense to design a creative as well as informative email address to represent your organization. One look at it and the person either knows what the company manufactures or deals in or must remember the name of the organization. What more, when others communicate your company mail address, they publicize your organization’s name and you do not pay a single penny for that.
- Customer Confidence
Winning and retaining customer confidence is not an easy task. A lot of effort and persuasion tactics go behind making an all that important first sale to a new customer. Personal business mail address provides an excellent way to generate and build customer confidence as a lot of customers tend to judge a product or a company on the basis of its name, especially if it is a new entrant in the market. You see, a lot indeed depends upon the name and unique business email ids provide you the perfect opportunity to capitalize on the same.