Monthly Archives: August 2016

Tips on How to Find a Good Business Partner

Starting a new business is a huge and demanding responsibility, especially in the beginning. Having someone to share the burden, encourage and just be there in the low times is a great blessing. That’s where a business partner comes into play. While it is a great idea to have a business partner as a sounding board for you, it is worth remembering that your choice will greatly affect the success or failure of your business venture. So, before deciding on a business partnership, see whether you really need one and more importantly, determine your ability to flow with another person.

Tips for Choosing the Right Business Partner

If you think that having a business partner is what you and your business needs, here are some tips for you while choosing ‘the’ business partner for you.

  • Background Check: Make a thorough check of the potential partner on personal and professional levels. It will give you a better idea on what kind of person you are going to be dealing with. A personal background check will help you to know how he/she handles relationships and a professional background check will reveal his/her professional and business credibility and work place relationships.
  • Personal Stability: It is good to have a partner who is not struggling with pressing personal issues. If he/she is stressed out on the personal front, it is likely that he/she will not be able give 100% input required for a new business venture. Personal financial stability will ensure that the potential partner is more interested in making the business grow than in making money. It will also decrease the temptation to swindle money off your back.
  • Vision and Objective: Your partner should be someone who believes in your pipeline dream. He/she should be able to envision your business venture the way you see it a few years from now. Objectives are the short-term benchmarks you have for the business and your partner should share them.
  • Business Compatibility: While it is good to partner with someone having a different field of business expertise, it is not advisable to have incompatible business differences. The leadership styles and business dealing methods should be compatible, not necessarily be the same. You should be able to have a good working relationship with your partner, which is impossible if you are going to be at loggerheads for basic business codes and ideals.
  • Complementary Skills: For the business you are starting out with, you may not be having all the required skills. Even if you did, you might not be able to give full justice to all the components at all times. So, it will be more profitable and beneficial to have someone with complementary skills and different area of expertise as a partner. This will broaden your business scope and take a load of burden off your shoulders.
  • Contribution: There are less chances of a partner pulling out or being indifferent to business development if he/she has made a substantial contribution for the start-up, financially. Where this is not possible, the contribution could be in terms of resources (location, infrastructure) or a strong business network.
  • Ethics and Integrity: A person who is ethical in his/her actions and carries himself/herself with integrity in life’s every aspect, will not leave you high and dry without a valid reason. Also, such a person will be easier to trust and will inspire respect.
  • Exit Strategy: Though it sounds pessimistic to think about failure when starting a new business, it can’t be denied that every business is not guaranteed to succeed. Just as it is better to be prepared for a fall before falling off a cliff, it is better to have an exit strategy in place before reaching an impasse. One reason to do this is because, if you were to face a failure, you and your partner are not going to be clear-minded then, like you are now. Any plan you make now will be unbiased and well-thought. For an exit strategy, first decide on how far into debt you are willing to go to save a business. Then come to an agreement on how you will dissolve the business partnership if your business fails despite all the efforts you put in.
  • Rain Check for Worst Case Scenario: Some other seemingly pessimistic scenarios you should be prepared for are, a partner’s sudden ill health, pull out or circumstances due to which he/she will be unable to continue in the business venture. These things should be made explicit so that one partner is not left stranded alone with the entire business responsibility. Debt, divorce or death are other things you should be prepared for, to avoid having unwanted and unfit business partners in the form of creditors, divorced spouse or inheritor.
  • Personal Attributes and Beliefs: Choose a partner whose personal attributes you like (even if they are not a part of your personality) and though it is not mandatory to have a partner who believes in the same things that you do, it is beneficial to partner with someone whose beliefs you would at least not look down upon.

Questions to Ask a Potential Business Partner

It takes years, often a lifetime, to truly understand a person but still there is never a surety that you know someone inside out. To help you judge a potential candidate and lay a solid foundation for a lasting and successful partnership, there are a few questions you need to get a clear and satisfactory answer for.

  • What method of compensation does he/she expect and what will be fair?
  • What are his/her expectations from the business venture – is it just a want or a need?
  • What to do with profit – share or reinvest?
  • How to manage stress and business lows?
  • What are his/her strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are his/her boundaries and limitations?
  • What is his/her tolerance level?
  • To what length is he/she willing to go to make the business venture and partnership a success?
  • What is his/her contingency plan if the venture or partnership fails?
  • In case of stalemate, who will have the last say and how should it be determined?

What Makes a Good Business Partnership

Every good and successful partnership has some common, tried and tested hallmarks. Making them a part of your business partnership is coming one step closer to success.

  • Common Ambition and Goals: Being motivated in the same way for common goals, plays a very important role in the success of a good partnership.
  • Dedication and Commitment: When partners in business are equally dedicated and committed to a vision, it becomes relatively easier to overcome business lows and personal disagreements.
  • Open Communication: Straightforward, truthful and timely communication in a partnership leaves little room for misunderstandings to fester and thus, makes partnerships a success.
  • Well-defined Roles: Knowing what is expected of each partner avoids confusions, appropriates responsibility of business decisions correctly and facilitates smooth functioning of a partnership.
  • Mutual Trust and Respect: Honesty and clarity in business dealings of everyone in a business partnerships increases the mutual trust and respect, while the partnership becomes a joy and solace.
  • Regular Review and Assessment: Regular reviews of business goals and partnership status along with assessment of what the partnership has contributed to the overall business development, is essential for the health of a good business.
  • Effective Conflict Resolving Tactics: Settling disagreements amicably or reaching a consensus are two things that are needed to steer clear from rifts and ugly conflicts.
  • Right Attitude and Personality: There is little room for ego clashes and wrong, disruptive attitudes in a good partnership.
  • Mutual Understanding and Support: A good partnership is characterized by the ability of the business partners to understand each other and being a pillar of support in tough times, despite the differences among them.
  • Written, Legal Contract: Even if you trust your partner, put every little thing you decide and come to an agreement about, as a written clause in a legally binding contract. This is especially applicable in case of family members, close friends and relatives with whom we intend to make ‘undisclosed promises’. If these hidden expectations are not met (which is what usually happens) it turns business partnerships and personal relationships, bitter. Another advantage of a partnership agreement is that it increases the liability of fall out of a business partnership.

Being part of a good business partnership, while making a successful business, takes a lot of effort, and a wrong choice of partner will be harmful for your business as well as stressful for you. So it becomes imperative that the choice of a partner should be prudent and one which you will not have to regret even if, unfortunately, your business fails. On the brighter side, there are quite a number of successful partnerships in the business world, which can be wonderful sources of inspiration for you.

Help to Discover Your Business Online

Making the content to promote a business online is now known to everyone, but the question is how?

Mostly the customers come through the search engines and social platform but only in the case when your business is promoted highly. In order to promote getting listed under the available Business, Directory Sites is important. It is a quick method to advertise your business and the free / paid version gives a support to this technique.

Getting your business discovered easily online through the business directory submission require a few simple techniques. They are the SEO rules, online advertisement and campaigns, SEM, referral links and using the affiliate tools.

Almost of the all marketing professionals take the support of the business directories website and is proved successful too. Why not? After all, it’s a promotion without any investment.

A few things to note:

  • Selecting the site:

From the available 1000’s of online advertising sites the selecting the best submission sites are quite typical. It is because it makes one’s business visibility increase not only on the internet but locally too. The free tools help in submitting the business details and adding all the business information from services to contact.

  • Short listing:

There is an option in front of you while listing that is – would you like to target the international or the domestic market? For it first prepare a list and then classify the listing then post in the relevant business directories available.

  • Check before listing:

Before submission, you should know what the things that should be checked are?

–          Check whether there is no duplicate posting of the site, it can result in spam.

–          Create a similar copy differentiating the services and list in the multiple directories.

–          The contact details must be properly and accurately posted.

You can easily look in the search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing for the list of the free submission directory sites with a high ranking.

  • Real target:

The main motto behind the submission is to target more users. Once quality content with relevant keywords is made you need to post it in various blog directories that will help to index your web page in the search engines. The web directory sites also improve the SEO results.

When a website gets listed as a generic business, service provider then it means it is accepted by the listing site.  Beside traffic estimation, the social media popularity is also gained. Checking the ranking of the site is also beneficial before making any submission.

effective Marketing Strategies

Organizations spend so much of their time, effort and money on coming up with them, the answer is quite simple. The aim of any business is to generate profits, and marketing strategies do exactly that – they help generate more business and revenue. They are devised not only with regards to selling and promoting a product, but also about the kind of customer service that the organizations will provide. Below is a list of some of the most successful tactics, which businesses have been implementing in today’s modern, competitive business scenario, to earn revenues and to keep the competition at bay.

Effective Marketing Strategies

Build Relationships
People are very important in business, whether they are customers, suppliers, or employees of the organization.
It is necessary to form relationships with one’s customers so that they come again to make repeat purchases.
Relationships need to be built with employees as well so that the organization has a positive word of mouth in the market.

Differentiate from Competition
One of the most successful of marketing techniques is to create your own identity, which is totally different from the rest of the competitors.
A good way to do that is to stay ahead of the competition by offering innovative, technologically-advanced products.
For this, a business’ market research should be very strong, so that change is anticipated in advance and action taken accordingly.

Create Advertising Campaign
The advertising campaign should be such that it highlights all the advantages and strengths that a company’s product and services have over the one’s offered by competition.
The unique selling point, also known as USP of the business, can be something like an excellent after sales service or a guarantee period, which is much longer than what is offered by competition.
This should be creatively stressed upon in the advertising campaigns.

Offer New Products and Schemes
This is one of the most effective and commonly-used tactic by many businesses today – new products as well as new schemes are offered to customers from time to time.
When a business introduces new products in the market, its customer base increases as new customers purchase this product.
At the same time, when old customers see some new innovative features in the latest product, they make further purchases too.
This increases the sales volume as well as revenue for the business.
Another way to increase sales, is to offer some new schemes during the festival and holiday seasons, such as one product at fifty percent discount on another one, especially if the business has some unsold stock of goods lying beforehand.

Implementation of the Strategies
The strategy that is set should be very realistic and measurable. It should also be applicable for a very long time.
For proper strategy implementation, measurable goals should be set.
Goals can be defined in monetary terms, such as doubling the sales revenue in six months.
Once the goals are set, a strategy that sets the business apart from competition should be devised and implemented at the right time in the market.

Proper formulation as well as appropriate implementation of strategies is equally important for them to be truly successful. This however does not end here. Post their implementation, measuring how successful they have been in generating revenue and sales, helps in the formulation of strategies for the next year.

How to Debt Management Techniques

The main reason why so many people today find themselves in debt is due to rampant usage of credit cards! Yes, it’s true. Credit cards offer the convenience of buying the goods today and paying for them later. This convenience has been misused by our generation beyond belief.

Debt is a dreaded word! Once you fall in it, it takes a lot of planning and perseverance on your part to get yourself out. It would take some really good finance management techniques to bail yourself out of this unwanted situation.

Make a Monthly Budget and Stick to it
It’s very important that you make a budget every month, listing all your income and necessary expenses. Then, there is always some unnecessary expenditures that you can certainly do without. For instance, buying new clothes and cosmetics even when you have a cupboard full of them, taking a yearly membership of a gym when you do not even go there once a week etc. So the first advice is to eliminate all unnecessary expenditures, prepare a monthly budget, and stick to it.

Become a Smart Shopper
When you set out for shopping, make use of coupons wherever you can. Shopping from second hand stores, shopping for things online, and buying from discounted stores are some of the ways to reduce spending, which will keep in check any further additions to your debt.

Negotiate for Lower Interest Rates
Negotiate with the creditors, be it banks or private lenders, to lower your interest rates or the amount due. A good way to negotiate, provided you have the money, is to offer them a lump sum, which is lesser than the amount you own, all at once. Sometimes the creditors may agree to this arrangement, if they feel that they might lose out on the entire money you owe them.

Take Help from Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS)
Get in touch with CCCS for debt reduction assistance. They have certain eligibility criteria which you have to meet first. After that, they will negotiate with your bank to lower the interest rate on the credit card. The CCCS will pay your credit card company and you in turn will have to pay them some predetermined amount at regular intervals.

Use Cash for Payments and Keep Only One Credit Card
Wherever possible, use cash for payments. This will ensure that you only buy things for which you have money available. Reduce your credit card usage to the minimum. One of the best tips here is to keep only one credit card and give up the rest. This way, you won’t have to keep a track of multiple due dates for bill payment, and this will keep the tendency to default on payments due to bad memory, under check.

Consolidate your Liabilities
With debt consolidation, you can transfer all your overdue finances from various credit cards, to one single card. This will lower the overall interest rate that you pay on the bills, and at the same time, will save you the headache of keeping track of a number of credit cards, their due dates, and due amounts.

Take a Second Job!
If you are finding paying off your bills a bit difficult due to low income, supplement it by taking up a second part-time job. Internet has opened up many avenues for earning some good, extra income from the convenience of your home.

One of the major benefits of debt management is that if your finances are sorted out, you will be able to lead a very stress-free and happy life. Finally, once you have got your finances in order, spend wisely and inculcate the habit of saving. This will keep you from falling into the vicious cycle of debt again.