Monthly Archive for September, 2021

Three Don’ts When Someone Wants To Buy Your Company

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When you have spent a lot of time launching a business, getting it off the ground and bringing in the right people, the joy of attaining success is a great thing. Seeing your instincts and decisions rewarded by hitting all of your targets and exceeding expectations brings a well-earned sense of achievement, and the validation of knowing that not only do you believe in yourself, but others believe in you too.

So when someone steps up and says that they would like to acquire your company, you’ll be hit by conflicting feelings. On the one hand, you’ll be gratified to know that someone has a  firm enough interest in your business to want to back that interest with a cash offer. There is also the sense that there might be a big pay-day in your future, offering a level of financial freedom and perhaps the chance to launch another company based on a new idea. Against that, there is the sense that you may want to hold on, that you know what it takes to make the business even better and bigger, and that you have – quite literally – unfinished business to take care of.

At times like this, you really don’t want to make a mistake. And below are three of the biggest mistakes you can make in such a situation…

Saying “yes” immediately

If you’ve spent many sleepless nights trying to get your business to this point, you may well be feeling like now is a good time to get out, cash in on your success, and take some time before taking your next step. In other words, you may have some motivation to sell. However, if you indicate that you’re keen to sell, you aren’t going to be giving your potential buyer much reason to convince you. Bear in mind that they undoubtedly have a top price they are willing to go up to, and they’re unlikely to offer that right out of the gate. It’s not necessary to fully turn down the offer out of hand, but at least ask some questions – what are their intentions for the business? Do they want to keep the same staff? – and so on.

Going it alone in negotiations

You’re an accomplished business owner – the offer sheet on the table is testament to that – and you’re going to legitimately feel confident about your talents. But it is worth remembering that unless your talents include an inside-out knowledge of corporate law as it pertains to mergers and acquisitions, you should not go into the negotiation room alone. Take advice from experienced lawyers from the likes of Accuro Maxwell and listen to what they’re telling you. A business large enough to buy you out is large enough to have a few tricks in their armory, and you don’t want to get stiffed on the deal.

Playing games

Just as it’s a bad idea to say “yes” right off the bat, the same applies in reverse. There is really no reason to try and play hard to get here. You will already have an idea of whether you’d consider selling and what your price is. Meeting with the potential buyer does not commit you to selling, so take the chance to speak to them and hear them out. If they make an offer, or intimate to you that they would be willing to offer a certain amount, tell them you’re happy to consider it and you want to consult your colleagues. Tell them this even if you don’t have any colleagues. Be composed and ready to walk away. If they sense that you’re confident, they may be prepared to up an offer.

Common Causes of Business Failure (And how to Avoid Them)

Failure will never really be at the forefront of a business owner’s mind when they launch a company. That being said, four out of ten companies are unable to make it past the first five years. Of course, it is always worth keeping an eye on the warning signs so that you can make sure that your business isn’t going to fall victim to things that could have well been avoided. If you want to find out more, then simply look below.

Poor Cash Flow

You may be sick and tired of being told that cash is king, but that doesn’t change the fact that improper cash flow management is often the downfall of a lot of companies. Even profitable companies can fall victim to the cash flow crisis, and this is the last thing that you want to happen to your company. You may find that high stock levels, poor debt and even late invoicing really works against you. If you want to stop this from being the case with your company, then you have to make sure that you put in the work to monitor your cash. You also need to make sure that you are taking the time to understand your position with your clients so that you can pre-empt any potential issues.

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Losing Control of Money

Any business owner has to be aware of their financials and their cash position at any moment. You need to be able to accurately forecast any income and you also need to make sure that you understand and control your costs. This will help you to minimise any nasty surprises. If you can, you need to hire a qualified accountant. You also need to make sure that you are investing in a good accounting software. Having one that works through the cloud will really work in your favour. Having small business loans can help you to sustain your business until you can get to the point where you can make a profit, but at the same time, you have to make sure that you are managing your money wisely.

Bad Planning

If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Long-term planning is the key to success when it comes to your business. When mapping out the growth of your business, you have to make sure that you do your market research. You also need to establish who your customers are and what they need. Recognising competitors and being proactive regarding any trends will help you as well. This will stop you from being left behind and it will also give you the chance to adapt quickly enough so that you can develop good habits early on.

Weak Leadership

A good leader will always recognise the skills that they have and the jobs that they do not have time for. They will then outsource or seek professional help so that they can fill in the gaps. As a leader, you have to make sure that you communicate and that you also offer people the chance to grow on a personal level.

Failure to Understand Customer Behaviour

We live in a very connected age. They say that the customer is always right, and this is more true than ever. Today’s consumers expect brick and mortar companies to accept Apple Pay and even credit cards. Even if you have a very small store, this is still essential. They also demand quality customer service.  If you do not deliver it, then you can expect your customers to complain on social media. If you want to help yourself here, then don’t try and do everything yourself. Hire someone to manage your social media page so that you can respond to messages quickly. You also need to make sure that you are taking on board what they are saying about your company as well so that you can make the required improvements. Hearing what your customers have to say isn’t good enough. You need to listen to them and take action when and where required.

Inventory Management

Your company cannot be successful if you are not managing your inventory very well. Studies have shown that poor inventory management is the biggest reason why most companies fail. If you have poor inventory management, then you may find that you end up having inventory shortages and overages as well. These are silent cash flow killers. It’s a rookie mistake and it can easily happen to you as a new business owner. The best way for you to try and combat things like this would be for you to use inventory management software. If you are not keeping track of the items that are high in demand, then you will experience shortages, and this will shrink your potential profits. If you are a merchant, then you will be taking on a certain amount of risk when you buy large amounts of inventory. If you do not sell these products as quickly as you forecasted, then this could mean that it loses out in value. You will then have to sell it at a deep discount or risk not selling at all. Instead of thinking of stock items as inventory, think of it as being hard cash. Every product that you have in storage right now is money you’ll never see purely because it is not contributing to your ROI.

Growth that is Not Sustainable

When it comes to business, it’s safe to say that slow and steady wins the race. Most of the time, if you expand too quickly, this will cause you to lose out. You may find that expanding too quickly puts a huge amount of stress on your credit and this can backfire if the market takes a turn for the worst or if you hit a rough patch. Trying to take on more business than you can handle will usually result in your quality declining. This is the last thing that you need, so make sure that you are committing to growth that is sustainable, and also make sure that you are smart about the customers who you choose to deal with. This is the secret to business success.

Post-Lockdown Business Ideas

Lockdowns are still happening on and off all over the world, which means that there are still people out there starting their own businesses and working to make them last beyond the pandemic lockdowns. One thing that’s for sure, it’s that people want to come up with more ideas after the lockdowns end so that they can continue their business. 

Whether you are an artist or an entrepreneur, buying up plastic mannequins or buying website domains to sell them on, you should consider how you can continue your business post-lockdown. One thing that we definitely know is that businesses that are driven by technology are the ones to watch after the pandemic, as these are going to have the crazy growth that all business owners want. So, what could you do after the lockdown to ensure that you own a business? Let’s take a look!

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  1. Online clothing seller. There are so many websites out there that will be the perfect platform for you to either sell clothes that you’ve bought and upgraded, or clothing that you have designed and made for yourself. Once you find these sites, you can continue your lockdown sewing hobby and turn it into something so much bigger than you thought it could be. 
  2. Social media manager. Are you excited by the idea of social media? Can you see the potential for growth? If you have spent the pandemic online on Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media sites, the best thing that you can do is see whether you can start up as a freelance social media consultant. You can take courses to do this, so don’t fret!
  3. Freelance writing. If you’re loving the idea of working from home, perhaps freelancing as a copywriter could work for you? You can find out the weaker areas on someone’s blog and tell them how to fix it. You can ensure that you find your own clients online on sites like Fiverr and then offer your services!
  4. Online accounting. Are you great with numbers? Were you an accountant (the real kind) before the pandemic hit? The best thing that you can do is to provide online consulting services to businesses and individuals who need support with their finances. 
  5. Opening a store. If you spent your lockdown baking or creating clothing, why not look at the steps you could take to open a store and sell what you make? There are a lot of laws involved in running a retail space, and you need to get your research done as early as possible. 
  6. Develop an app. One of the smartest business ideas that you could have is in development of an app. Whether it’s for education or for work support, you could really create something that people want. Speak to freelance app designers to help you to create something amazing, and you will be able to monetize this and potentially sell it later.

Important Construction Tips For Office Buildings

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If you are looking to start a new business or you want to move to the next stage and build your own office for your workers – there are many things to consider and ways to make this a happy and comfortable environment to work in. 

Creating an office building that is smart and practical is something important for every workplace, and today we want to take a look at some of the tips you should take on board when building your office building. 

Ensure parking 

One of the most sought after commodities for those working in the city is an office building with its own free parking. As a business owner, being able to provide a secure car park for your employees is an amazing thing and it will help them to get to work on time every day without the trials and tribulations of public transport. Car parks will also attract more people to work for you so this can be a super useful thing. 

Make the most of outdoor space 

Outdoor space is such an important thing to consider when building your new office building. When you pick a plot of land make sure to keep some of it free for an outdoor seating area people can enjoy throughout the spring and summer months. A dose of fresh air will do your workers good, and having a seating area with grass and flowers can be a wonderful design feature for your building should you ever sell it on. 

Keep it open plan 

Open plan offices are all the rage these days, and gone are the days of cramped cubicles and locked rooms. When planning for your office construction project make sure to plan for an open plan space that allows people to communicate throughout the working day. This modern design will open up your space and will help you to maximise every inch of your floor space in the workplace. 

Use a crane driver for furnishings 

When constructing your ideal office building it is incredibly important to invest in someone with the best gantry crane training to come and bring larger furnishings into the office. If you have multiple floors and you have some big items that will not be able to come up the stairs, a crane will make life so much easier and it will ensure that everything is in place before you even put the windows in. 

Invest in windows 

Speaking of windows – these will be one of the most important features you bring into your office building today. Windows from floor to ceiling will open up your office and provide natural light all day to ensure everyone is able to work in a bright and spacious place. This is such an important feature to invest in because you will be able to keep morale up in the office and keep everyone awake and alert throughout the day. 

Use these ideas to create the perfect office building for yourself and your workers this year. 

The 4 Principles To Successfully Expand A Business Abroad

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The world is a big place, and that can encourage some businesses to try and take a step out and figure out just what opportunity is lurking there. This is not always clear from the offset, which is why deep research is needed, and why familiarity with a given country, its laws and culture should be undertaken before marketing to that audience.

Furthermore, certain countries may have specific legislation detailing exactly how consumers can engage with your products. For instance, the video game industry, the biggest entertainment industry on the planet, is sure to suffer in China after their recent declaration of limiting children to three hours of gaming time a week, wiping out billions of dollars of value.

So, it’s essential to know what you’re getting into. But what about when you’re establishing the processes that will develop your brand and ingratiate it into the market? In this post, we will discuss four essential principles you can use that can help you deftly manage this approach with your priorities properly calibrated:

Understand The Market

It can take some time, but it’s essential to understand the market before you try to penetrate it. This is because certain businesses, certain market shares, and certain gaps in the market will no doubt differ, sometimes wildly, from the norms you’re used to back home.

Furthermore, it might be that a country has specific regulations in place in order to favor home-grown trade over international imports. For instance, broadcast stations operating in Canada must have at least 50% of programming aired from 6.00pm to midnight must be of Canadian origin. It might be that certain industries are subsidized, giving them a natural advantage over the kind of value you can offer.

This kind of protectionism is often a point of political debate among many, but it’s something we must be aware of. This is especially true in changing markets such as of that of Great Britain, where the recent trade deal with the EU came with many concessions worth considering.

Understand The Culture

A market isn’t simply a statistic. It is influenced by a wide array of factors, including cultural. This can be as simple as needing to change a product name, or perhaps learning how to properly ingratiate yourself with professionals when hoping to expand, acquire, or merge internationally. For instance, Arab countries tend to place a high importance on manners and proper etiquette before business is discussed, as it’s considered polite and respectful to greet the other party as humans rather than cold professional entities before business is discussed. This can also influence to what degree you are trusted. That seems pretty rational.

But in countries like Japan, dancing around the subject of a business topic to be discussed before it is discussed can be seen as somewhat deceptive, or even rude in the worst circumstances. They require pleasantries, of course, but respect those who are able to discuss a proposition with confidence and assertiveness before assuming any artificial closeness.

This is general guidance, however, because it’s wrong to admit that all people are the same, and all cultural norms are equally divided among markets and society. You can see why research is needed, and where you fit in culturally can be a big necessity.

Understand The Regulations

We’ve discussed a little bit about regulations and how they can affect markets, but often, a regulation does not necessarily define exactly how successful your business might be, but rather, if you can operate there at all.

For instance, what does a customs broker do? These professionals make it their mission to help you properly cross the border and work through the customs departments of countries like the US, so that your goods aren’t obstructed, you don’t have to pay penalties for improper logistical care, and that your duties are reduced. With the reputation of a firm like this to help you, it’s also important to note just how seamless this kind of investment can help your international trade become.

Understanding every regulation is essential, but it can also be important to figure out your smoothest way of complying with them. In this case, you’ll find a positive means forward.

Pivot Your Approach As Necessary

No two countries are exactly the same, and no two markets are either. International trade can be finicky. Don’t be afraid to pivot your approach, or in certain circumstances, decide to withdraw and try again. Even the best businesses encounter difficulty from time to time.

With this advice, we hope you can more readily expand your business abroad.