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9 Tips to Consider When Starting Your Small Business

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Starting a business is not an easy task and it won’t happen overnight. It requires a clear vision and the willingness to dedicate most of your time for the business. It involves capital investment and other complex tasks such as market research, delegation etc. These tasks can be outsourced to a provider offering reliable business process outsourcing services. Outsourcing to reliable firms helps to start and manage your newly launched business and also focus on core competencies.

Tips

According to Startup Rankings around the world, USA leads with 28,862 start-ups in the last one year followed by India with 4,781 and UK with 2,989. Start-ups can be found in developed, developing and poor countries and the above figure shows that there is an exponential rise in the number of start-ups and it is found in every continent. Start-ups are the centres of innovation; they bring new job opportunities and improve the growth of the economy.

Considering a start-up business? The following are some tips that you may find useful.

  1. Market research: Before starting a business, it is important to know your market. Research the following things:
    • Your competitors and how many are there
    • The most successful competitors and their techniques
    • The least successful competitors and their techniques
    • The above information will help you to understand the market thoroughly and also identify points of similarity as well as difference. In a business there can be ups and downs, so understand what your competitors are doing and how they reach out to their target audience. Find strategies that are better than them and learn from your competitors.

  2. Understand your customers and their needs: Many business owners often ignore the needs of the customer. This is one of the reasons for businesses to fail. Knowing what your customers need is important for businesses to grow and it is the basic component of winning the deal. If your customers are price conscious, then provide them best price offers and this will help prevent losing customers.
  3. Capital investment is important: The first initial 6 to 12 months can be difficult for your business and it is difficult to make money during this time. So, starting your business with enough capital to run the business for 2 or 3 years without any revenue helps your business effectively face any challenges on the way.
  4. Start small and gradually expand: When you are in the initial stage of your business, it is good to target small clients rather than going after larger clients. Targeting large clients can lead to severe cash flow that can cause a negative impact on your business.
  5. Have a marketing plan: Having a good marketing plan helps your business to allocate money, time and other resources in the right direction to target the right audience. There are two types of market sectors – Business to Customer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B). Try these two sectors and see which one receives better response. Getting feedback on those who responded, and identifying facts such as what age group they belong to, why they responded and where they heard about your business and so on, allow you to clearly understand your target market and what attracts your customers.
  6. Outsource to a reliable third party service: Outsourcing can provide intelligent solutions for the success of the business. It also provides free time to perform other core activities of the business. Businesses have many back office functions like accounting, customer service, answering calls and emails etc. These activities can be outsourced to save time and costs.
  7. Be active on social media channels: Being active on social media is useful because social media is the platform where people can raise their opinions and this offers innovative ideas. It is also a place where you can test your logos and banners.
  8. Conduct test to know where you stand: Conduct tests every 3 to 6 months to improve your efficiency. Analyze your business by doing the following things:
    • Analyze your staff’s performance
    • Look at different market sectors to minimize risk
    • Check your suppliers and re-negotiate terms to improve cash flow and profits
    • Have a client base and analyze their usage to get a better understanding of the business
    • Have proper communication with your clients to improve loyalty
    • Ask for testimonials from clients and referrals
  9. Take care of intellectual property: It is important to trademark your name. If you are selling a product, try to patent the product to prevent somebody else registering a patent for it after you have started your business.

Some Pitfalls That Start-ups Can Avoid by Outsourcing

  • One of the main reasons for businesses failing is that they run out of cash. 46 percent of start ups come under this category and 27 percent outsource to minimize cost and this helps them to save cost to about 60 percent on overhead costs.
  • In almost every market there will be more than one start-up with the same product. So, keeping an eye on your competitors is essential and getting ahead of them is important to stay in the competition. Outsourcing helps in market research and assists start-ups to develop a good marketing plan that can ensure business success.
  • Around 18 percent of start-ups fail every year due to in-house knowledge gaps and poor skills whereas outsourcing provides access to skilled professionals and also lets business owners to focus on core activities.

So what can be outsourced? Payroll management, book-keeping, appointment scheduling, data entry and processing, marketing are among the functions businesses can outsource. Reliable outsourced solutions helps start up business to lay a solid foundation for the business to grow successfully. The substantial cost and time savings you get by outsourcing can be used to expand and diversify your business.

About Julie Clements

Julie Clements

Joined the MOS team in March of 2008. Julie Clements has background in the healthcare staffing arena; as well as 6 years as Director of Sales and Marketing at a 4 star resort. Julie was instrumental in the creation of the medical record review division (and new web site); and has especially grown this division along with data conversion of all kinds.