Everything You Need For A Business Start Up In 2017 30

Everything You Need For A Business Start Up In 2017

The following article is a guest post.

It can be very tempting to set up on business on your own instead of spending all your time working for someone else. However, you need to be aware that it’s not a simple process and you will have to put in a lot of hard work if you want the business to survive and thrive. It’s also worth considering the fact that what you love as a hobby may not have the same appeal if you do it for a living.

Once you have made the decision to start up in business, you need to do your research. It’s important that you know something about your competition and the demographic of potential customers before you start out. Then it’s all about practical considerations such as premises, finances, marketing, furniture, IT equipment; the list is long. We are going to try and make things a little easier for you by looking at some of the things you will need if you are starting a business in 2017.

Obtaining an ABN and registering the business name

If you are starting a small business, you will most likely be a sole trader or a partnership. If this is the case you need to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN). This number helps to identify you as a business. It can also provide benefits when it comes to the payment of tax. Once you have an ABN you should register your business name. The two are then linked together so that your business can be easily identified. It’s important to note that if you are a sole trader operating under your own name you do not have to register a business name.

Setting up finances 

Working out what finances, you need is a vital aspect of setting up any business. You need to be realistic about the cost of premises, furniture, equipment and stock. If you need help it may be a good idea to speak to a financial advisor. Once you know what you need, and you have drawn up a business plan, you can make an appointment with your bank. They will be able to tell you what business financing is available. It’s helpful if you know what to expect before requesting a business loan.

One of the biggest concerns for many small businesses is how much to spend on marketing. Many experts suggest that you start by investing 2-3 percent of your revenue, with an increase to as much as 20 per cent if your business is in a highly competitive industry. If you look at advice from experts such as the U.S. Small Business Administration, this suggests that you should invest between 7 and 8 percent, assuming that your profit margin is around 10%.

Another significant expenditure is likely to be purchasing or renting business premises. Let’s take a look at that aspect.

Ensuring you have the right premises 

If you are used to just going out to work in someone else’s premises each day, it can come as a bit of a shock to the system when you need to find your own. If you are a sole trader you may decide to work from home. If you do this it’s a good idea to have a home office, or at least a separate space, so that home life does not encroach on the business.

If you need to secure a business premises there are several things you need to think about.

  • Cost – you need to be realistic about what you can afford to spend on premises; overstretching could get your business life off to a sticky start.
  • Buy or rent – it can be a big risk to go straight into buying premises when you first start out. Renting might be a better option, at least to start with.
  • Space – you do not want to waste money on premises that is too big, but you need to consider space for potential growth.
  • Customer base – if you are trading from the premises you need to consider the potential to attract customers in the area where you are located.

All of these things are important to think about when you are looking for business premises.

Buying furniture and equipment 

If you are setting up in business, it’s not just premises that are important; you also need to think about furniture and equipment. Again, you have to be realistic about the amount of money you spend; so it’s a good idea to make a list of essentials which need to be purchased first.

OZCodes.com.au helps you get the best value for money by providing most excellent offers, bonus code and vouchers on chairs, desks and IT equipment.

Making sure you have analytics in place 

One of the most important things you need to do, as a new business, is measure your performance. You need to establish who your customers are and measure satisfaction levels. You also need to analyse marketing, sales and expenditure. There is little point running your business blind as you have no way of knowing what is working and what is not, if you do.

You have a couple of options when it comes to analytics; you can purchase a software package for the business or you can hire a professional company to analyse data and compare reports for you.

You can see that there is a lot work to do if you are setting up in business. This list is just a start, but it’s a good way of establishing where your priorities should be if you want to give your business the best chance of succeeding.

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The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 11

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

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You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

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Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.