Why SMEs Need to Perform Competitive Analysis

Provide a definition of what competitive analysis is, its purpose and describe its benefits. From here, explain what business owners should look for and how they might go about competitive analysis or what should be included. Talk about when or how often someone might want to do a competitive analysis.

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Where to Find New Customers and How To Attract Them to Your Business

The article should offer some tips on where to find customers within the target market, on and offline, and how to attract them once the business identifies where to find them. Keep in mind that this article needs local resources since what attracts customers in other countries will vary.Read more


Essential Management Skills for Small Business Owners

List some skills small business owners need to cultivate to become great managers. Make sure the list covers a broad range of management know-how, including people management, financial management, customer relations, critical thinking and strategic planning. Be sure to also touch on organizational skills, leadership skills and the willingness to delegate. Suggest that business owners work hard to hone skills in each of these areas to help their business thrive. Point out that Quickbooks offers easy-to-use accounting tools to help make financial management tasks easier. Make sure the content is relatable for Indian business owners.Read more


5 Ways to Motivate Your Team Without Financial Incentives

giving your employees autonomy. When you allow your staff some freedom, it lets them that you trust them, and they're more likely to take initiative and come up with innovative solutions.

Create a Sense of Purpose

No one feels motivated every second of the day — after all, it's normal to be bored by certain tasks. That's where a sense of purpose can help. When your employees feel connected to the company's overall mission, it's easier to power through the occasional rough spot.

First, however, you need to link your staff to your customers. One option is to show employees how their work affects people for the better. If you sell educational games, for example, you could visit a classroom to see your products in action. You could also create a personal connection by inviting more workers into client meetings.

When you go the extra mile to motivate employees, it does more than increase productivity. Over time, your efforts can build a happier team and a great corporate culture that attracts the industry's best talent.

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4 Predictors of Small Business Success

successful entrepreneurs recognize the need to adapt and evolve over time.

1. An Effective Leader

Every ship needs a captain. A solid management team is essential to the long-term growth of any business. A good leader sets goals and consistently follows through with them. They work alongside their team, coaching and mentoring employees to help them improve, and that continued upward momentum naturally helps the company to become increasingly successful over time. An ideal leader is respected and trusted by their staff and gives that same respect and trust in return. Company growth requires collaboration and a sense of unity, and effective management is the key to achieving that. A good leader also knows how to create a positive company culture that keeps employees sticking around long-term.

2. Excellent Listening Skills

Awareness is vital to the success of any entrepreneur or business owner. If you want your company to be successful, it's important that you pay attention to the latest trends, as well as what your customers are saying. When you follow the latest trends in your field, you can evolve with them, keeping your company relevant and in tune with your audience. When you listen to what your customers are saying, you can make changes to keep them happy. For example, say a customer left a negative review because an item took too long to ship. You could use that feedback to seek out faster shipping options.

3. A Solid Reputation

Becoming a truly reputable brand takes time, but there are steps you can take now to put your company on the right track. Consistently going above and beyond for your customers is the best way to preserve your reputation. Now, sometimes that can affect your bottom line. For example, if a customer says an item never arrived, but your tracking information says it did, you may want to simply refund the order to preserve your company's good name. If your business takes care of its customers and consistently provides a quality product or service, your reputation is going to flourish. Being active on social media and putting out consistent, high-quality content is another great way to enhance your reputation.

4. Attentive Accounting

Clear, concise bookkeeping is a must. As your company grows, you need to have an established system in place that keeps your figures clearly organized and accessible. After all, your numbers help you to make important business decisions, and you never know when you may need to reference past data. Excellent accounting is necessary all year round — not just when it's time to file tax paperwork. QuickBooks Online makes bookkeeping easy and intuitive, and it even includes automation features so you can log and track sales, expenses, and other important financial information in real-time.

Whether you're launching a start-up or trying to grow your small business, you should always be striving to learn from other companies, as well as the entrepreneurs who start them. Success takes on many forms, but you should start to notice similarities among thriving businesses and successful business owners. Embrace those traits and nourish them, and you should start to see results manifesting over time.

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Is a Business Partner the Right Solution for Your Small Business?

finding a business partner can be a great way to secure funding when you need it, it's also important to consider the long-term implications. After all, there are other financing options out there that allow you to retain full control of your business. At the same time, a new business partner can bring more to the table besides just an extra bank account.

What Are Their Skills?

If you're thinking about taking on a business partner, you should try to find someone who complements you. An ideal partner possesses skills that you lack, bringing something new to the business. Say you're excellent at handling the online side of the business, but you're not much of a people person. You could seek out a partner who could handle in-person sales, conferences, and other networking events. When it comes to choosing a business partner, it's wise to avoid rushing in until you're confident in the potential partner's unique skills, so you may want to spend some time getting to know them before making a decision.

Are They Willing to Share the Load?

Taking on a silent partner can be helpful if you're in a pinch and you really need fast funding, as long as you define the terms in writing, in advance. At the same time, you may want someone who's more willing to be a real part of the team. That way you can reduce your workload and hopefully gain a potentially valuable new day-to-day perspective. If your partner prefers to act as an investor rather than a true business partner, it may be smarter to seek out alternative investment options that allow you to retain full ownership.

Are You Willing to Give Up Control?

If you started your business from scratch and poured your heart into it, you may have a very specific way you like things to be done. Are you willing to give those things up? A successful business partnership is based on mutual respect and compromise. As long as you define your partnership goals in advance, you should be able to avoid conflict. However, sometimes unforeseen changes happen, and you want to be sure that you're willing and able to negotiate and adapt.

Can You Afford a Partner?

If you're seeking a partner for financing reasons, you may end up stuck between a rock and a hard place if you're not generating enough revenue to pay your new partner. After all, there is no guarantee that business is going to start soaring after taking on a partner. That's why it's so important to set contractual terms in advance to protect yourself. Ideally, a new partner who is providing funding won't take paychecks until your company is doing well enough, but you must consider the added long-term expenses associated with adding a partner — even if their funding would help you now.

QuickBooks Online makes it easy to pull small business accounting reports that help you to determine if you can keep going on your own or if financial assistance is necessary. Before seeking a partner for funding, you may want to look into other investors. You may find that getting a business loan is a better approach — a working capital loan is a great short-term loan option for business owners in India who need funding for business operations.

While a partner can look enticing during times of need, it's important to also consider the big picture before making a major, permanent decision. The right partner could also be good news, so don't rule it out entirely. Proceed with caution, and make sure you're confident in your decision before signing any paperwork. Doing your homework beforehand is the key to forming a successful business partnership.

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