The is4profit team, Author at Business advice from is4profit | Page 5 of 375's Posts

How to Develop a Sales Strategy for Your Small Business

How to Develop a Sales Strategy for Your Small Business

Every business needs to develop a good marketing strategy in order to succeed, but good marketing is not an end in and of itself. Rather, it should act as the basis for further development – for planning and implementing a strategy of selling to your customers. Read this guide to find out more about establishing a tailored sales strategy, forecasting, managing a sales team and how to measure performance. How do I plan my sales approach? The first crucial step in any sales strategy should be identifying your target market. Find out as much as you can about your customers – their needs, their preferences, and when, how, and where they buy. Keep a track of market trends, and establish who the key influencers and decision makers are in any business you are selling to. Once you know who you sho... »

How to Charge Interest on Late Payments

How to Charge Interest on Late Payments

Late payments are something to be avoided – they can halt your cashflow and, ultimately, stymie your business practices. Charging interest on late payments can be a good way of counterbalancing any cashflow difficulties and persuading debtors to pay up. Your right to collect interest on late payments is protected by law, and customers who refuse to pay interest can face legal action – though legal recourse should always be a last resort. This guide will help you: Establish whether and when to charge interest. Calculate the amount of interest owed. Persuade customers to pay. Should I charge interest? Remember that the interest you collect may not be worth the drawbacks that doing so will incur, especially if the debt amounts to an insignificant sum. Ask yourself the following three question... »

Planning Your Business Exit: What You Need to Know

Planning Your Business Exit: What You Need to Know

Aside from starting up, how you handle your exit is possibly the most important and tricky stage of your life as a business owner. Too many owners spend years carefully growing their business – only to mess up their exit plan and see their hard work go to waste. This article is intended as an introduction to exits for business owners, and should be a helpful starting point when putting together an exit plan. We cover how to plan for an exit and set your objectives and the different ways you can actually exit a business. You will then learn how to perform specific types of exit, namely trade sales, management buy-outs and handing over the reins to a family member. How should I plan for an exit? Start early. When you started your business, it’s likely you had an eventual exit in mind, ... »

How to Use Exhibitions to Grow Your Small Business

How to Use Exhibitions to Grow Your Small Business

If you are a small to medium sized business looking to promote your product/service, exhibitions can be a godsend. They give you the opportunity to meet potential customers and other interesting parties face to face, and allow you to showcase your offerings in an environment conducive to discussion and selling. If advertising and PR are proving to be ineffective or overly expensive promotional tools, an exhibition might be just the thing for you. This guide will help you find a suitable exhibition, assess whether to exhibit and learn how to place design and run a stand effectively. What business objectives can exhibitions help achieve? Exhibitions can help your business in a variety of ways. Being able to meet customers face-to-face is perhaps the most obvious advantage of an exhibition as... »

How to Implement an Incentive Pay Scheme

How to Implement an Incentive Pay Scheme

There is no better universal motivator for employees than extra pay, and with a smart incentive pay system you can reap the productivity rewards in your business. Put simply, money talks. This article explains how you can implement a well-thought-out incentive pay system in your own business, including whether you should use cash or shares, and how to implement such a scheme. Read on to find out more. How do I set objectives for an incentive pay scheme? You should always have a goal in mind when designing an incentive pay scheme. When setting objectives, ask yourself: What results do I want to achieve? As with any business objective, your goals should be ‘SMART’ (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-limited). Perhaps you might set a sales or revenue target, or try for improvem... »

A Small Business Guide to Recruitment

A Small Business Guide to Recruitment

It is a fact of working life that, more often than not, searching for a job is time-consuming and difficult. But for employers, the challenge of recruiting the right employee can seem even more so – the result of which can be a protracted and tiresome recruitment process. Finding an applicant who suits the role will always require a bit of good fortune, but by knowing what information to look for, and having a proper procedure in place, you can vastly improve your chances. This guide aims to help you with planning your recruitment, locating suitable candidates – and how to select the strongest candidate amongst them. When planning when to recruit, think hard about what needs your business has and what problems it is facing. Consult your business plan and consider what future your business ... »

How to Benchmark your Small Business

How to Benchmark your Small Business

Benchmarking is the act of comparing your business activities and processes to that of your competitors and rivals. While it can be one of the simplest ways to improve your own business, many small business owners overlook the process altogether. Whilst you may well think of yourself as an innovative, dynamic young business shaking up an aging industry, benchmarking can hold benefits for even the most pioneering of companies; industry practices exist for a reason, and you can often learn a lot from your competitors. This guide covers all you need to know about effective benchmarking as a business, from where to start to how to put the results into practice. What benchmarking opportunities exist for my business? Benchmarking is a broad term, and the potential comparisons you can make with o... »

How to Build Your Small Business Brand

How to Build Your Small Business Brand

Every business should aspire to build a brand for itself, no matter how small. A business without a brand is like a person without a name – they lack identity. Having a brand makes you stand out from competitors, tells people about you, and encourages customer loyalty. It’s therefore essential that you build and maintain a strong brand for your business. What is a brand? A brand is the public face of a business – both in the sense that it gives the business a distinguishing identity (through a name or logo) and in that it symbolises the reputation a business has in minds of the public. Brands are dependent on three main factors: expectation, emotion and reliability. Firstly, expectation is where the customer expects a certain kind/quality of product/service from the business. Building up h... »

Teambuilding: A Guide for Business

Teambuilding: A Guide for Business

Effective teamwork is the lifeblood of any business. Whether it is developing policies, a new product, or working towards a sales goal, people working together in harmony can produce results much greater than the sum of their individual inputs. Luckily, there is a skill to forming a good team, and by following a few simple rules you can create genuinely productive teams time and time again. Which people should I choose to form my team? When assembling a team to deliver a project, there are a few important things to remember. Firstly, size does matter. Keep the number of team mates between five and 12 people. Larger than this and the process loses efficiency as people will constantly need to be brought up to speed. If your goals necessitate a larger team than this, consider redefining your ... »

A Guide to the Law on Flexible Working

A Guide to the Law on Flexible Working

Flexible working is a term you need to be well aware of as an employer. Employment law now currently stipulates that you must ‘consider seriously’ a request from any employee. This is regardless of whether they have a dependent or not. It is worth noting, however, that the rule diffes in Northern Ireland. What is flexible working? Flexible working has a wide definition; it essentially refers to any working pattern other than the employee’s regular working pattern. There are many common kinds of flexible working such as: Flexitime arrangement Flexitime requires an employee to be at work during a specified ‘core period’ but lets them arrange their other hours around their own commitments. Compressed hours Compressed hours allow employees to work the same number of hours they normally do but ... »

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