Small Business Performance

When I am asked about measuring small business performance, my first inclination is to quote Lewis Carroll. In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice comes to a fork in the road and asks:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

In other words, if you do not have a plan for where you want your business to get to, performance measurement does not matter much!

Management dashboard

Small businesses come in various guises and hence it is difficult to generalise when it comes to individual performance management. Metrics (also called Key Performance Indicators or KPI’s) can range from Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses focusing on Lifetime Value (LTV) and churn rates, to hotels measuring occupancy levels and average room yields. However the old adage holds, ‘What gets measured gets managed’, so it is important to have some metrics in place. A good starting point would be to try and understand what

How to be a Marketing Intern

The position as Marketing Intern at TravelClick is an excellent opportunity to join our high-performing and fast growing team in New York that is responsible for all of TravelClick’s Global Marketing efforts. Reporting to the Global Marketing Specialist, you will be assisting with Marketing activities across Email, Social Media, PR, Website and Events.

• Assisting with the end to end process for the development and execution of email marketing campaigns for product news, sales promotions and events.
• Managing the execution of Social Media activities.
• Supporting special Marketing projects such as branding activities, content strategy, website redesign and blog launch.
• Assisting with set up for local events
• Assigning, tracking and reporting of inbound leads from marketing campaigns, emails, newsletters, events and webinars.
• Preparing reporting and analysis of Marketing campaigns.

Qualifications

Required Skills and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree candidate or recent graduate in Marketing or Communications
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Strong project management, organizational and time management skills
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Positive attitude with the ability to work with different personalities across teams – team player
  • Ability to multi-task and work under tight deadlines in a result-driven

Important Budgeting Tips

Managing the budget numbers can be simple, but managing a budget takes people, not spreadsheets. While budget numbers are simple, budget management isn’t. To make a budget work, you need to add real management:

  1. Understand that it’s about people: Successful budgeting depends on people management more than anything else. Every budgeted item must be “owned” by somebody, meaning that the owner has responsibility for spending, authority to spend, and the belief that the spending limit is realistic. People who don’t believe in a budget won’t try to implement it. People who don’t believe that it matters won’t worry about a budget either.
  2. Budget “ownership” is critical: To “own” a budget item is to have the authority to spend and responsibility for spending. Ideally a budget management system makes plan-vs.-actual results visible to a group of managers, so that there is peer pressure that rewards budgeting successes and penalizes budgeting failures.
  3. Budgets need to be realistic: Nobody really owns a budget item until they believe the budget amount is realistic. You can’t really commit to a budget you don’t believe in.
  4. It’s also about following up: Unless the

What is a business model

A business model is a description of how your business intends to operate and make money. At the most basic level, it involves a producer making something and selling it directly to customers at a profit (but this simple model has propagated into numerous diverse models in recent years).

Alexander Osterwalder, co-author of the book Business Model Generation, defines a business model as:

‘… a description of the value a company offers to one or several segments of customers and of the architecture of the firm and its network of partners for creating, marketing, and delivering this value and relationship capital, to generate profitable and sustainable revenue streams.’

The development of a business model is essentially a strategic perspective rather than an operational assessment, and focuses on how you capture value i.e. it includes a description of the value proposition. Deciding upon a business model becomes particularly important as a concept when it is not a simple ‘make and sell direct‘ model and you are looking to create value through a non linear route.

 

The Business Model – An Introduction

In days of old, business was arguably a lot simpler; you produced something and sold it for a profit, building up a good reputation over

Known The Business Models

This is the second of a three-part series. Read Part I and Part III.

The following are some examples of business models that are used by various businesses. The list is by no means exhaustive and is designed to give you a feel for some of the models that exist (business models evolve constantly).

In many instances, the names can vary as they are not typically universally defined.

The Add-On model

In this instance, the core offering is priced competitively but there are numerous extras that drive the final price up so the consumer is not getting the deal they initially assumed. If you have recently tried to buy an airline ticket or car insurance, you will have spotted that the number of extras you are offered can almost reach double figures!

The Advertising model

The advertising model became popular with the growth of radio and TV where the TV stations earned revenue indirectly from people looking to promote services to the audience they attracted, rather than via consumers paying radio and TV stations for the consumption of their TV programmes.

Some Internet businesses derive revenue predominantly as a result of being able to offer advertisers access to highly targeted consumer niches (often in the absence of

Start up Your Business

Decisions regarding how you finance your business should be taken very seriously as it is one of the most critical decisions you will make at the start-up phase and forms a key part of any business plan. When considering the different financing options, you need to spend some time learning about the conditions that come attached to early stage capital investment.  By far the best way to finance your business is from current cash flow arising from sales but unfortunately this is not realistic for most start up businesses.

A cursory glance through mainstream newspapers indicates that raising start up finance remains difficult as UK banks are simply not lending money to businesses (especially start-ups).  As Luke Johnson of Beer & Partners argues that;

“Angel investors are the only realistic option for these early-stage companies. Currently banks are barely open for business, or tend to offer loans on unattractive terms, so the need for equity capital is greater than ever. What’s more, since current low interest rates give savers such poor returns, more and more angel investors are emerging that have a strong appetite for direct investment in small companies.”

As Luke Johnson indicates, we have witnessed a growth in the number of

How to Make Online Marketing Without Spam

Spam is any message that you send electronically to lots of people who have not specifically requested mail from you — in other words, junk email. Like a telemarketing call during dinner, spam almost always annoys, and sometimes offends, those who receive it. While sending spam may result in a sale or two in the short run, it will almost surely damage your reputation, so it’s good advice to stay clear of it. There are many better ways to use email to keep in touch with current and potential customers. Here are a few of them:

  • Invite people to subscribe to an email newsletter instead of sending unsolicited emails. Have a sign-up form on your website and explain that you’ll send only timely, informative email to subscribers.
  • Include late-breaking, useful information in the email you send to subscribers. Because it can be delivered so quickly, email is a perfect vehicle for alerting people who are already part of your community to new and interesting developments. Even a modestly self-serving message will go over well if you package it with enough truly unique and valuable content. Just keep the hype to a minimum.
  • Make it easy to quit receiving email. Every message should include

Forecast sales more accurately

Sales forecasting is an integral part of business planning. I have written on the subject of sales forecasting a number of times in the past. However, for many of us, we are now dealing with a level of uncertainty we have not encountered previously in our lifetimes. As a result, some managers are eschewing forecasting, given the volatile market conditions. For listed companies there is an added complexity to their forecasting. They are fearful that if they publicly announce their projections for the year, as they usually do, there is then a chance that their share price will be hammered if they subsequently fail to meet their targets. As a result, some have chosen not to give annual earnings estimates for 2009.

However, as a recent article in The Economist, “To forecast or not to forecast?” (28 Feb 2009) declared, ‘Precisely because peering into the future is harder today than it was a year ago, managers should be using every available means to gauge what the world could look like in the coming months and to establish targets using this analysis’.

The reasons given by managers for not planning or not forecasting are simply not tenable; added uncertainty increases the need for

Start where you are

The Internet is a surprisingly personal place. A thousand people, each with unique personal interests, can spend the same 60 minutes online together and never come close to crossing paths. It follows that the key to Web publishing success is forging a lasting personal connection with people based on your own skills, interests and contacts. In other words, the best place to start is with the connections you already have online. Then use those connections to build a community of like-minded people and keep expanding from there.

Your own interests and expertise are your strengths as a publisher. Study the information that is already available in your niche, looking for gaps you can fill. Then, fill the gaps with valuable information nobody else provides. An example is www.businessbricks.co.uk a small business advice website in the U.K.

Your goal should be to create unique, valuable information that meets the needs of your targeted audience. On the Internet, there are many ways to provide that information that aren’t available to print publishers — for example, you can offer searchable, interactive databases and encyclopedias.

One online publisher, for example, is creating an online publication about his passion, electric vehicles (EVs). In his spare time (he’s a

Internet Products for Starting a New Business

Starting a business is an incredibly exciting time for any entrepreneur; however it can also be stressful with so much to do in so little time. The start-up phase is also characterized by significant expenditures against a backdrop of uncertain income. However, there are a number of products and services that can help you maximize your chances of success while also saving you considerable time and money. This article aims to introduce you to some of the less obvious ones that are available via the Internet. These products and services can help you set your business on the right path from Day One. While these recommendations will not be appropriate for all, those who need to bootstrap and build their business the hard way will benefit the most.

1. Create a website

Regardless of whether you intend to sell online or not, all new start-up businesses should secure a domain name and create a website as soon as they can. Thankfully, the cost of getting a site set up has fallen significantly over time and there are now a host of different packages and providers to choose from.

2. Download a profile of your industry

The factsheets, reports and guides from Scavenger are essential

Write a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is a core component of a business plan. It relates specifically to the marketing of a particular product or service and it describes:

  • An overall marketing objective
  • A broad marketing strategy
  • The tactical detail related to specific marketing activities
  • The various costs associated with these activities
  • Those tasked with delivering these activities by name

The starting point for any marketing plan is an analysis of the strategic context, as a typical objective for most plans is promoting a good or service as effectively as possible. An assessment of the company, its environment and its customers helps to ensure that the author of the plan obtains a holistic view of the wider context. In turn this helps them to focus their energies and resources accordingly. This is particularly important given that most marketing managers will be subject to that all-too-familiar constraint—limited resources (invariably financial). In effect, a marketing plan is produced to ensure that limited resources are allocated to activities that are likely to bring the maximum return.

An assessment of the context will include analysis of both internal and external factors. There are a number of frameworks and tools designed to assist you with this:

  • A SWOT analysis forces you to consider internal Strengths and

SWOT Analysis is need for business

The SWOT analysis begins by conducting a review of internal strengths and weaknesses in your organisation. You will then note the external opportunities and threats that may affect the organisation based on your market and the overall environment. Don’t be concerned about elaborating on these topics at this stage; bullet points may be the best way to begin. Capture the factors you believe are relevant in each of the four areas. You will want to review what you have noted here as you work through your marketing plan.

The primary purpose of the SWOT analysis is to identify and assign each significant factor, positive and negative, to one of the four categories, allowing you to take an objective look at your business. The SWOT analysis will be a useful tool in developing and confirming your goals and your marketing strategy.

Some experts suggest that you first consider outlining the external opportunities and threats before the strengths and weaknesses. Marketing Plan Pro‘s EasyPlan Wizard will allow you to complete your SWOT analysis in whatever order works best for you. In either situation, you will want to review all four areas in detail.

Strengths

Strengths describe the positive attributes,tangible and intangible attributes, internal to your organisation.

Provide marketing assistance to assigned Studio Leaders

Job Responsibilities:PRIMARY FUNCTION

Provide marketing assistance to assigned Studio Leaders and support the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) on marketing activities for the Company.

TYPICAL DUTIES

  • Work in conjunction with studio leaders, office leader, project managers and business development managers to develop, coordinate and/or assist with market research, production of letters of interest, credentials packages, proposal submittals, interview preparation, brochures, award submittals, advertising, speaking engagements and special events for assigned market groups.
  • Participate in market group meetings related to marketing coordination and business development efforts.
  • Assist in maintaining the company web site and developing the Office’s contributions to the company intranet.
  • Assist in developing and maintaining client project and proposal files, contact information and mailing lists.
  • Assist in the preparation and distribution of external communications for the office in the form of advertising, direct mail, email blasts and press releases.
  • Assist in managing marketing and project database in Deltek Vision.
  • Represent the Company at selected business development functions.
  • Perform additional assignments as requested by the Office Leadership and CMO.

Job Qualifications:SKILL, KNOWLEDGE, EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE

  • Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Business or Communications preferred.
  • Minimum three years of experience as a Marketing Coordinator, Marketing Assistant or related position, preferably in the A/E industry.
  • Intermediate expertise in Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.Experienced with Microsoft Word,

Relying on academic management literature

Relying on academic management literature for guidance can be a fickle business. For example, while “first-mover advantage” was once lauded as the optimum strategy for market entry, it was shortly displaced by its close cousin “second-mover advantage”. The thought went that the “second mover” could learn from the mistakes of the pioneering entrant who was likely to run out of money while trying to educate the market. Of course, some of these initial pioneering entrants did not run out of money and ended up dominating their space, thus striking a blow for advocates of being a “second mover”.

For “first movers” there are a number of poster boys, like Twitter, the micro-blogging platform, which has become so dominant that successful market entry by a direct competitor would be difficult to comprehend. The launch of the iPad created the tablet market, which did not exist prior to its launch but has since been flooded with entrants. For some cash-rich entrepreneurs, with the pockets, vision and patience of someone like Steve Jobs, the lack of a market is an opportunity rather than a problem. However, in the majority of cases, there may be no competition because there are structural reasons why a market

Forecasting Your Sales

Developing your sales forecast isn’t as hard as most people think. Think of your sales forecast as an educated guess. Forecasting takes good working knowledge of your business, which is much more important than advanced degrees or complex mathematics. It is much more art than science.

Whether you have business training or not, don’t think you aren’t qualified to forecast. If you can run a business, then you can forecast its sales. Most people can guess their own business’ sales better than any expert device, statistical analysis, or mathematical routine. Experience counts more than any other factor.

Break your sales down into manageable parts, and then forecast the parts. Guess your sales by line of sales, month by month, then add up the sales lines and add up the months.

The illustration gives you an example of a simple sales forecast that includes simple price and cost forecasts which are used to calculate projected sales and direct cost of sales and estimate total pound value for each category of sales.

Use text to explain the forecast and related plans and background
Although the charts and tables are great, you still need to explain them. A complete business plan should normally include some detailed text

Reasons You Need a Business Plan

When I am asked to explain why business planning is so important, my first inclination is to quote Lewis Carroll. In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice comes to a fork in the road and asks:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

For me this scene encapsulates perfectly the problems of not having an over-arching goal and plan for your business. Without a plan, or using a cookie cutter business plan template a business is essentially rudderless, and day-to-day activities are likely to be haphazard and reactive, in stark contrast to those businesses implementing a well thought out business plan.

The following represents a list of my top five reasons a firm needs a business plan.

1. To map the future

A business plan is not just required to secure funding at the start-up phase, but is a vital aid to help you manage your business more effectively. By committing your thoughts to paper, you can understand your business better and also chart specific courses of action that need

Better Business Plan

Is it the length of the business plan? The information it covers? How well it’s written, or the brilliance of its strategy. No.

The following illustration shows a business plan as part of a process. You can think about the good or bad of a plan as the plan itself, measuring its value by its contents. There are some qualities in a plan that make it more likely to create results, and these are important. However, it is even better to see the plan as part of the whole process of results, because even a great plan is wasted if nobody follows it.

A business plan will be hard to implement unless it is simple, specific, realistic and complete. Even if it is all these things, a good plan will need someone to follow up and check on it. The plan depends on the human elements around it, particularly the process of commitment and involvement, and the tracking and follow-up that comes afterward.

Successful implementation starts with a good plan. There are elements that will make a plan more likely to be successfully implemented. Some of the clues to implementation include:

  1. Is the plan simple? Is it easy to understand and to act on?

Tips to be an Entrepreneur

In a world increasingly affected by globalisation, increased competitiveness and maturing products, the need for creativity and entrepreneurship has never been greater. Luckily, the attractions of becoming an entrepreneur have never been greater either, especially since a shift from a predominantly manufacturing- to a service-based economy has lowered the cost and barriers to entry for entrepreneurs. The British government has moved entrepreneurship (and support for it) to the top of their domestic agenda. Meanwhile, entrepreneurship has become a hot topic, with conferences, exhibitions, and even TV shows, such as “Risking it All” and “The Dragons’ Den” evidencing the popularity. But while the environmental conditions may be attractive, entrepreneurs still need a workable idea that is commercially viable. This article endeavours to assist wannabe entrepreneurs (wantrepreneurs) in coming up with ‘the plan’ so as to enable them to finally take the plunge into the world of entrepreneurship.

 

The environment

Before deciding on ‘the idea’ it is worth assessing the landscape thoroughly so as to consider the broader context and the impact that trends or changes may have on it, i.e. whether it is future-proof, etc. There are three main trends to look at – global trends, national trends and local trends.

Keeping up to

Tips to be a Marketing Assistant

Based in Raymond, Maine, Dielectric LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. and is a leading provider of innovative broadcast products. From remote stations to major markets, Dielectric delivers products for every need since 1942 and prides itself on being a solution-oriented engineering company. The Company is a trusted partner of broadcasters worldwide. We design, engineer, and manufacture antennas, combiners, switches, diplexers, transmission lines and waveguides for television, and FM radio. We collaborate with the consultant community, as well as with its customers’ engineering staffs, to design advanced and reliable antenna systems.

Dielectric is seeking a full-time dynamic and organized and skilled Marketing Assistant to join our growing team. This position will support the work of marketing managers and company marketing operations by compiling, formatting and reporting information and materials as well as help to develop marketing campaigns.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide marketing tracking and research information by collecting, analyzing, summarizing data and trends
  • Coordinate and communicate with internal company partners (sales, marketing, engineering, finance, manufacturing) to ensure the most accurate marketing information
  • Compiling and distributing statistical information
  • Accomplishes organization marketing mission by completing related results as needed
  • Keeps all marketing information accessible by sorting and filing documents and up to date
  • Writing reports, company

Learn more about marketing manager

Bozzuto Management Company is seeking a seasoned Marketing Manager. The Marketing Manager will support Bozzuto Management Company by enhancing the revenue of properties through effective brand and property marketing. The Marketing Manager acts as an advisor to the business delivering impactful and meaningful programs, campaigns and communication strategies that position Bozzuto properties as a market leader.

Expected Contributions:

  • Understand unique marketing needs of each property and/or owner and deliver marketing programs and materials that meet expectations of all stakeholders.
  • Gather information, collaborate and work with SVP Corporate Marketing, SVP for BMC, Regional Property Managers, Property Managers, and clients
  • Partner with marketing/operations teams in analyzing local market/ customer & industry trends
  • Communicate effectively, drive execution, foster innovation, collaborate with others, solve problems creatively and demonstrate high integrity
  • Maintain professional internal and external relationships that meet company core values
  • Identify, recommend and implement new marketing trends in the industry
  • Drive properties’ performance by leading all marketing efforts.
  • Develop marketing action plans for properties
  • Implement interactive marketing – email communications, websites, banner ads, social media, SEO, SEM, mobile & video
  • Oversee all marketing, advertising, promotions, merchandizing and events.
  • Monitor, track, recommend & execute media buying
  • Analyze media trends through Lead2Lease, Call Source, Level One, Vaultware and Google Analytics
  • Maintain web content for property pages on Bozzuto.com
  • Keep current