A Crisis Is Brewing In The Global Economy – Is Your Startup Ready?

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on April 28, 2017 at 5:45 am

Startups in the genuine sense of the word are all about reinventing industries. You’ll often hear eager entrepreneurs talking about how their product is going to upend the incumbents and change the world. Oracle, Apple, Facebook and Amazon all managed to do this.

But startups don’t just need to reinvent industries, they also have to be prepared to reinvent themselves. Take Apple, for instance. After the dot-com bubble hit the US economy back in 2000, the price of the company’s stocks fell sharply. For a time, it looked like the company might go out of business, especially if it continued to focus on its core PC products. Both Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak decided that it was time for a change of tack. Instead of Apple focusing on the PC market and competing with Microsoft, it would try to drum up support from new market segments, like mobile music players. Before long, Apple had reinvented itself (again), and the iPod was born.

Apple didn’t do this because it wanted to. It was quite happy merrily going about its business, making regular PCs and laptops. Instead, the company changed because it had to in response to the pressures the financial crisis put on its bottom line. Just like back in 2000, today’s entrepreneurs face similar challenges. We’re now nearly ten years into the current economic expansion, the second longest period of sustained growth in history, meaning that we’re probably due a recession sometime in the next couple of years. Startups, therefore, need to think long and hard now about whether they have the product stack to survive changes in the future market. If not, then the preparation should start today.

According to Make Money in Life, many startups fall at the first hurdle because they don’t plan far enough ahead. They are so focused on their own product and how innovative they are that they fail to adapt to the changing world around them. When recessions hit, they’re toast.

Surviving a crisis as a startup is never easy. But it is possible with the right approach.

Admit You’ve Got A Problem

An important part of managing a crisis is admitting that you’ve got a problem. Gather your team around and spell out in plain English the situation you’re in financially. This helps to make it clear that the startup is on the line and motivates people to make immediate changes.

Create A List Of Small Executable Wins

When a startup is in crisis mode, perhaps because of a recession, it’s important to make sure that the company continues to have victories. In times of crisis, even small wins can have a large impact on morale. Get your team together and make a list of all the things that you think you can achieve under the current economic climate and get them done. Then, celebrate each win and move forward.

Grade Your Capabilities

Lastly, figure out a way to grade your capabilities from zero to ten for a range of things that your company does. This will help you identify problem areas which need to be improved.

This post may contain affiliate links.

The Show Of Business – Making Your Event Impression

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on April 25, 2017 at 6:27 am

You need to have a good marketing head on your shoulders if you expect to succeed in business at all. It’s one of the most effective tools in bringing leads to you, it adds legitimacy to the business, and it helps you stand out amongst competitors. The expos, events and trade shows of the business year are your opportunity to do that in style. However, if you want to stand out, you have to be willing to earn that visibility.

Find the right space

For a lot of businesses that haven’t done it before, the impact of choosing the right physical space at a trade show can be a surprisingly important choice. It’s vital you learn that now as opposed to later. The closer you can get to entrances and the beginning of a route through booths, the better. It might cost more and it might require booking as early as possible, but it pays off for the amount of attention you get by sheer virtue of foot traffic alone.

Wear that brand

It’s inconceivable to some, but there are businesses who just aren’t used to wearing their brand loud and proud. If that’s the case for you, it may very well be because you haven’t put a lot of thought into the visual brand of your business. Now is the time to change that. This is your opportunity to leave a lasting impression of the business and having a unified style, alongside a logo, is a big part of that. Unbranded booths in a trade show just look confused and unfocused. They’ll be ignored more often than not.

Stand out

Branding isn’t the only thing you need to be concerned about it, either. It’s important for leaving that impression but you need to put serious thought as to how you gain attention in the first place. Embracing the full spectrum of visual and audial display is what ‘wins’ a trade show. If you could use AV hire to set up a specific mood around the booth, then set it. If you have good multimedia such as videos or presentations to dot the booth with, do it. Be bold in setting an impression.

Have something to say

Of course, there’s a phase between ‘catching their attention’ and ‘getting remembered’. That phase is the meat of it, winning over your potential leads. The wrong way to go about it is to expect them to have all the questions and just be loaded with the answers. Talking to the specifics of needs and circumstances they mention is a great way to personalize your approach. However, you still need to work on the core of the presentation beforehand. Know what you’re offering, know the emotional values of it, know the audience. Don’t read directly from cue cards and don’t rote memorize entire paragraphs, but have an aim and have the talking points to take the discussion there.

Showing up to a trade show with nothing to show, say, or offer isn’t just going to be a benign failure for your business. It’s a marketing disaster that can cast real doubt onto the professionalism of your operation. Don’t let it happen to you.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Protect Your Business Against 3 Types Of Emergency Threats

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on April 24, 2017 at 6:21 am

For business owners, the choice of new employees is essential, as it means bringing new skills and value to the company. This is tightly connected to the productivity and the growth of your business. Similarly, the choice of protection for your business is just as important, as no protection would be more damaging than hiring the wrong employee. It’s not about productivity or growth loss, but it is about recognizing the potential of destruction of specific issues for your business. When an emergency hits your business, you don’t only experience a drop in productivity in one area; you experience an overall drop in work as well as high repair costs that can burden your growth for the years to come. Additionally, some emergencies can leave a lasting negative image in the media and damage customer’s trust for a very long time. In short, you want to protect your business against three key emergency threats: Natural catastrophes, theft and health & safety issues.  

Natural Emergencies

A natural catastrophe is generally the result of terrible weather conditions that you have no control over. However, what you can control when you choose to start your business is the location. You can research the potential risks of each location, and specifically check the previous weather forecasts for flooding, earthquakes, forest fires, etc. Most businesses, depending on where they are based, are advised to take an additional earthquake insurance, as this is a separate insurance agreement that protects you from earthquake damages. Additionally, your choice of premises is also essential in protecting your staff and goods against natural catastrophes. Steel buildings, for example – you can easily check prefab metal buildings kits prices online – offer a sturdy base that stands through most earthquakes. Additionally, if you work in the restaurant and chemical sectors, metal buildings are less likely to catch fire. This makes them a perfect choice for kitchen and chemical labs.  

Flooding in Franklinton, La., 2016


Theft-Related Emergencies

Theft can happen to the most secure businesses, so it may sound a little simple to talk about protection. However, theft is less likely to occur when you don’t take simple and visible precautions, such as not locking a door, for example. Additionally, making sure that site alarms and cameras are visible can also discourage most thieves. Finally, cyber theft, such as stealing data, is becoming more and more frequent for big businesses. Common measures of protection focus on passwords and encryption. But similarly, it is also essential to erase any sensitive file that is not required any longer. Don’t take any chance!

Health & Safety Emergencies

H&S emergencies are the most common within a business area, from an employee tripping against an electric cable to complaining about backaches. Therefore, you should regularly run environmental H&S surveys on your site, to make sure that your employees are not at risk. But, as you can never be sure of what each day will be made of, it is essential to provide first aid training to at least two employees on each location. Simple but life-saving training courses, such as CPR, only require a maximum of 4 hours to complete. When you consider the difference that CPR can make in a real situation, you know that it won’t be wasted time. Additionally, it’s essential to train some members of your team to emergency first response behaviors. The knowledge of first aid methods can save someone’s life.   

This post may contain affiliate links.