5 Business Strategies to Maintain Your Competitive Advantage

Congratulations! You have launched and/or scaled your business, which is an accomplishment in itself. Yet the work is far from over. Competition is a common phenomenon in business just as survival is in the wild. You will experience many road blocks on a daily basis. To keep a clear direction, focus on these 5 business strategies to maintain your competitive advantage: Refine your target market We all have heard that people do business with people they know, like and trust. Yet to grow your business, you have to attract, convert and close new customers that do not know you and have no reason to trust you. “Anyone interested in my services” is too general of a statement. By targeting a specific audience, you are not excluding people, rather focusing your resources and energies at a higher level to attract a market that is more likely to buy from you than any others. Understand the 80-20 rule When looking at your competitive advantage, you inevitably compare your products and performance to those of your competitors. Yet spinning your wheels searching for all the ways that you are “better” will not advance you very far. Your distinction is not defined by your competitors but by your best customers. These 20% vital few are the customers for whom you made a difference, for whom you were the only answer. Find who they are and learn from them who you really are. Don’t race to the bottom To grow their market share, small businesses often sacrifice their revenues by undervaluing their products/services to reach a wider audience. Such tactic requires patience and a...

Selling Your Small Business? 3 Tips for Making the Deal you Want

There are hundreds of thousands of small businesses available for purchase yet 80% won’t sell. Many businesses are overpriced, the asking price is solely based upon the owner’s desire to make x amount of dollars. How do you ensure a successful sale and the best return on what is likely your most valuable financial asset? These critical decisions are among those for which owners are least prepared since they may be confronted only once in a lifetime. Owners may have decades of experience at managing their business but little to no experience with the complex process surrounding their exit.  Every business owner leaves their business, either by death, sale, closing or succession. Which way do you want to leave? Here are 3 tips to increase your shareholder value and close the deal:   Timing: Early planning is essential Although every business will be faced by the owner’s exit, very few small business have a liquidity or transition plan in place. Caught in the day-to-day management, they fail to recognize it is already time to think about their exit. As a result, they react to a life event, aging, illness, etc., and do not harvest the fruits of their life labor through a proactive strategy. A sufficient time-frame, generally between three to seven years, will dramatically increase your leverage and consequently your return.   Value drivers: Objectively assess your business A small business owner’s life is often so intricately intertwined with the business that it makes it very difficult for them to objectively and effectively assess the value of the business. A professional third-party assessment will identify the business’ value...
5 Biggest Obstacles Impeding Your Small Business Revenues

5 Biggest Obstacles Impeding Your Small Business Revenues

Congratulations! You have launched your business, which is an accomplishment in itself. Yet the work is far from over. As an entrepreneur, you are constantly engaged in building your business and increasing your revenues. You will encounter many road blocks. Here are the 5 biggest obstacles impeding your small business income: 1. Acquiring new customers We all have heard that people do business with people they know, like and trust. Yet to grow your business, you have to attract, convert and close new customers that do not know you and have no reason to trust you. “Anyone interested in my services” is too general of a statement. By targeting a specific audience, you are not excluding people, rather focusing your resources and energies at a higher level to attract a market that is more likely to buy from you than any others. 2. Honing in on your competitive edge When looking at your competitive advantage, you inevitably compare your products and performance to those of your competitors. Yet spinning your wheels searching for all the ways that you are “better” will not advance you very far. Your distinction is not defined by your competitors but by your best customers. These are the customers for whom you made a difference, for whom you were the only answer. Learn from them. 3. Undervaluing your product/service To grow their market share, small businesses often sacrifice their revenues by undervaluing their products/services to reach a wider audience. Such tactic requires patience and a lot of capital for no guaranteed success. A more sustainable route to build your business is to create more value...