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If your brand lacks direction or needs a fresh start, Bartercard have some essential business staples, tips and insights to staying ahead of the curve, as they know that there is more to a successful business than ‘following your passion’. In reality a business involves so much more, from strategy, finance, research and sourcing, to paying your suppliers, ticking off mundane tasks like paying bills down to sheer stamina.
Research is critical to test the feasibility of your business idea, and see where similar concepts thrived or fell over, so thoroughly research your competitors to see where you stand apart. To remain sustainable you should stay authentic and true to your core values. Consistency and congruence across every aspect of your business is critical, or the stress, pressure and work will outpace you.
Bartercard recommend there are three essential steps for getting your research right, and the first is to define your market. Who are your customers, what do they like, what hurdles and setbacks do they face and what solutions can you offer? Secondly, you need to research the competition and investigate who your competitiors are, and thirdly, do a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
You also need to write a business plan, which is like a blueprint for your business, detailing your vision, strategy, budget, finances, marketing, competitors and contingency, and it should include a Cover Page with contact details, an executive summary describing what your business does and what it solves, a company overview, an industry analysis and a customer analysis. It should also include a competitive analysis, a marketing plan, an operations plan, a management section, outlining the key company personnel, a financial plan and an appendix including income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements. A business plan also makes you accountable and keeps you on course, so start writing!
It is also recommended to follow the successes and failures of entrepreneurs, learning from their mistakes, while leveraging off their lessons and successes, and research and attend local industry events. One of the key benefits of joining Bartercard is the networking events which provide opportunities for meeting local business owners within your region, with over 6,000 business owners nationwide. Seasonal Trade Shows provide the opportunity to showcase your product to hundreds of consumers.
For more business tips and tricks, download Bartercard’s eBook The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Small Business Owners or enquire about joining Bartercard today, and for more information on where to spend your Bartercard dollars, sell excess stock and get new customers please go to www.bartercard.co.nz .