6 Ways to Improve Your Relationship With Your Customers
Small businesses who have achieved success in recent years are by no means immune to making mistakes. Every business has certain downfalls that prevent the business from achieving its highest potential, even if these downfalls manifest themselves in diverse ways.
1. Insufficient Research
One simple mistake many businesses make is always relying on products and services that the business owner already knows about as the products and services the business to be used by the business. This could range from the bank the business relies on for financing to the internet provider or even hosting company that the business uses to host a website. Just because certain services are the best marketed, most visible, and seemingly most popular does not mean that they will be the best or cheapest option for your business. Even if the biggest banks are the most well suited to the business owner on a personal financial basis, these same banks might be notoriously unreliable when it comes to small business lending. This is why it is imperative to make comparisons before purchasing any service or item for the business – even if it feels safer or easier to simply purchase the product you already know about, this could cost you a lot more than your business can afford to spend.
2. Not Reaching New Customers
Small business owners are entrepreneurial people – they enjoy making new friends and cultivating relationships with dozens of other individuals who work in various industries. In fact, some small business owners are so social that they are able to start a business and generate revenue exclusively off people they already know. This can prove to be a major problem for the business for a number of reasons. Firstly, if your friends and connections are the only people buying your product, you will have no way of receiving an objective review of whatever it is that you are selling. In other words, it is likely the case that your friends will give you a biased review since they like you, whereas new customers have nothing to lose by telling you the truth. Furthermore, relying on people you know to buy your product can only last so long. If and when your existing friends and clients become saturated or satisfied with your product, you will lose the majority of your customer base. It is crucial to leverage your existing connections by creating incentives for them to spread the word about your business – and it is even more important to start doing this the day your business opens.
3. Not Knowing When to Take Out Additional Financing
Many misinformed business owners believe that taking out bank loans or unsecured business funding is not ideal because it will take a devastating toll on the business when it’s time to repay the money that was loaned. However, what these business owners don’t realize is that, even if they aren’t in a position where they owe money to a financial lender, they might not be generating the amount of revenue that they could potentially reach if they had a larger financial pool to work with. It is not always the case that applying for small business funding is a last resort to the business. Many businesses would not have achieved their level of growth and prosperity without the initial loan or cash advance they used to fund the business.
4. Always Choosing the Cheapest Option
There are many cases when it is not wise to skimp on business finance. For instance, if you choose to purchase used machines, cars, or electronic devices for your business, you might simply be setting yourself up to spend more money and waste time fixing these broken items further down the road. Furthermore, you want to demonstrate to your customers that you use the latest products and technologies – it will reflect better on your business and show that you put effort into keeping up with the trends.
5. Not Seeking Outside Help
Even if you have to pay for it, one of the smartest things you can do for your business is to talk to someone (preferably a small business professional) about the details of your business to see how you could be generating more revenue and better marketing your product. Too many business owners rely on their own networks for this advice and are unable to see the larger picture about areas where their business could be improved. Consider contacting a representative at your local SCORE location or seeking out other professional services offered within your community. It may shed light upon details of your business that you never before considered.
Has your business made any of these mistakes? Or, on the contrary, have any of these factors helped your business? Share your stories with us.
Merchant Cash Advance Lenders have made a name for themselves within the small business industry for being one of the most flexible finance providers that are the most willing to accept a less than perfect financial record for the businesses they fund. With that being said, there are many types of small businesses that have been classified as “too high risk” for business cash advance funding because their industries are too unstable, they have a high risk of default, or because the consumers they target have drastically cut back on buying their product due to the bad economy. Online/e-commerce businesses often fall into this category, as do businesses that sell luxury products. Fortunately, there is an option for these types of high risk businesses, who not only have trouble qualifying for Bank Loans, but have also struggled to obtain merchant cash advance funding.
Here at Our MCA Funding Company, we pride ourselves on our ability to work on a case-by-case basis with many different business types, to be able to provide creative funding solutions for businesses who need additional working capital – even if they have been rejected by other Merchant Cash Advance Companies.
Here are some of the High-Risk business types that we work with on a daily basis to meet their financing needs:Beauty & Nutritional Businesses (and in some cases, online businesses providing these products) Construction Businesses Electronics Businesses Fitness Centers, Health Clubs, and Personal Trainers Furniture Stores Gas Stations Glass Tinting Businesses Grocery Stores Lawn Service Stores Rims and Wheels Shops Schools, Learning, and Tutoring Centers Travel and Tour Agencies Other online / e-commerce businesses
For these businesses, being denied cash advance business funding can feel like adding insult to injury, as many of these businesses are immediately denied other forms of traditional business funding because of the industry in which they operate. Our MCA Funding Company Cash Advance understands that these businesses will never be able to succeed if they are repeatedly denied the very funding they need to pull themsleves out of the tough spot that many were left in after the 2008 economic crash. For this reason, we work with High Risk merchants on a case by case basis to come up with a funding agreement that both of us can agree on.
Learn more about our merchant cash advance funding program or see how much your business qualifies for today.
In most cases, entrepreneurs are optimistic people. They imagine themselves being able to avoid the hassle, pressure, and lack of freedom associated with working for the man. Instead, they get to set their own rules, follow their own schedule, and use their own talent, drive, and creativity to achieve personal success. Many small business owners believe that being able to create their own work independently will be the very thing that makes their business successful since they’re the only ones who truly has a say in how to operate the business. But in the current economy, in many unfortunate cases, this idealistic attitude can lead to trouble. A large percentage of small business owners are finding that their expectations for their businesses are not being met, and that primarily due to a lack of funding, the business is not as successful as they envisioned it would be.
Here are three trips every optimistic business owner should consider in 2012 before starting a business:
1. Understand What Secured Loans and Collateral Mean For You
If you were one of the few business owners lucky enough to receive a loan from a major bank, you might have overlooked or not thought hard about the fact that these loans are collateralized and secured. What does this mean for you? It means that in the case that you default and are unable to pay back your loan, the bank can seize your home (or whatever else you used as collateral). Even if the banks claim that they will release your home after a year, in many cases, this is not the case: the banks will seize your home unless you are able to provide alternative collateral. What many business owners fail to realize is that there are unsecured loans they can apply for where the lender, and not the business, is at risk if the business fails. This type of financing is ideal for many new businesses who are struggling in this recession.
2. Consider the Worst Case Scenario Before You Start
Face it: there is the likelihood, no matter how small you believe it to be, that your business will fail. You need to be in a position to be able to accept responsibility if this occurs, and it will be anything but easy. Your investor might sue you or otherwise find a way to try to get his money back. You might have to liquidate your investments or savings to afford the cost of losing the business. If you are in a position where these types of consequences could be permanently damaging to your life, it might not be the best time or place to start a small business.
3. The More Elaborate Market Research You Conduct, The Better
Don’t only rely on your own personal observations or those of your close friends and family when it comes to market research of the people who will be exposed to your business. Even if you think you have a solid handle on customer behavior in your community and the types of potential clients your business will reach, extensive market research could provide results that you never expected. Knowing this information before you build your business could be a lifesaver. You might find that there is a better location for your business, a more specific product to sell, or a different demographic that you should be targeting. Be sure your business plan includes this elaborate market research before you engage in any financial transactions.