The majority, if not all, of modern business is conducted on the web. That means having a website. Having a website means playing a constant game to see if it can achieve and retain good rankings on search engine queries. And that means employing website consultants to do some web development UK on your behalf.
Almost all new business for a website comes from customers who stumble across it by making a search query in a search engine. The search engine returns results that it thinks are most likely to match the terms being searched for. The user usually clicks on one of the top ranked sites returned for his or her query. If it is genuinely relevant, then he or she is more than likely to buy from it. That is how new web business is created, and it is also the first and most important reason why website consultants are absolutely vital to all businesses.
Any web development UK company or expert will tell you that just having a website is not enough to get any success in the online business world. This is because there are definitely hundreds, probably thousands, and quite possibly even hundreds of thousands of websites that sell exactly the same product or service as you. If you have a site built and get it online, you are just as likely to sell nothing at all as you are to sell anything – because no web users know where you are.
Website consultants are able to overhaul your website, making it more visible to search engines and so more profitable to you. A web consultant will check your site for a list of important attributes, and advise where those attributes fail to be embodied. So, for example: good web development UK requires that your site has been programmed in a certain way, and that the files for your site (all its pictures, images and so on) are saved in a sensible and neat order. A search engine prefers sites like this to sites where the programming is less regimented.
Do you know how regimented or not the programming on your website is? Most people do not, and would not know where to start. Website consultants can peer around inside a website and see how it has been structured, how it has been put together. That will allow them to develop an accurate picture of what kinds of web development UK strategies need to be put in place to raise your site’s visibility in the eyes of the search engines. And that means more visitors, more sales, more profit and a better experience of online trading. In the modern business world, no one can afford not to have a website – and no one with a website can afford to ignore the services of website consultants. It is a stark truth but a real one: either employ an expert, who can direct your web strategy on a proper footing – or fail.
When marketing a business for sale you will want to get the best result possible. So when is the best time to sell so as to achieve the best realisation of the value of a business?
When Should You Sell?
You are likely to get the best price for your business at the point when its growth prospects appear highest. The growth prospects of your business will appear best when:
– your company’s business is growing (has been growing strongly and has prospects of strong future growth);
– your industry is growing; and
– the outside economy is growing.
Ideally therefore, you want to be selling at a time when your performance is good and your prospects are better.
It is a fact of life that many entrepreneurs are attracted to high growth industry as an expanding market offers easier opportunities to create a new business. What you must bear in mind however is that every high growth industry eventually settles down to a much lower rate of growth which cannot support new entrants into the market and often cannot support all of the existing players. Therefore many sectors, from skateboard shops through to nursing homes, golf clubs, and mobile phone shops, will show periods of high growth with large numbers of players entering the field only to have a ‘shakeout’ as the rate of growth declines and the less successful players go to the wall.
In buying your business, purchasers will be putting a value on the prospects of the business.
When picking your moment to sell therefore, it pays to ‘leave something in it for the next man’. Remember that selling a business is a process that will take some time. Many entrepreneurs are tempted to hang on into a growth industry, attempting to squeeze every drop of growth out of the business and aiming to sell right at the top of the curve.
The danger with this approach is that you just might be very lucky and sell out at exactly the right time. However, bear in the mind that the sales process will take several months to complete, from start to finish. The chances are that you will not be successful and will miss selling right at the peak.
The point to note here is that the value of the business sold when it is on the up in a high growth phase is likely to be much greater, or as great as the value of the business sold at the peak as growth starts to tail off, because the business during the growth phase will be being valued on the basis of continuing growth as perceived in the marketplace; whereas the value of the business as the market flattens out may be valued on greater absolute earnings, but potentially at a much lower multiple due to lower growth prospects.
Moreover, if you wait too long in the business’ lifecycle and the market starts to decline, the value of the business will be based on a deteriorating growth prospects which will be reflected in the multiples achievable.
You should review your business every six months or so and consider whether now is a good time to sell. In fact, asking yourself the question: ‘Would people want to buy my company?’ is a good test of whether you are generating value or not. Because if the answer is ‘No’, what does this tell you about your business?
Keep an eye, therefore, on the value of your business and the rate of growth of it, its industry and economy in general.
So What If You Need To Sell But Your Business Is In Difficulty?
If your business is in difficulty, if you attempt to sell it you will have to accept that you are unlikely to get as much for it as you would if it was in good health; since as a distressed seller or someone selling a distressed business, the value you are likely to achieve for your business will be low.
Therefore, if your business is in difficulties, in order to improve the price you are likely to achieve, it is usually best to attempt to turn it around first so as to be able to market a business with a better current trading performance and future prospects (a process sometimes referred to within the turnaround profession as ‘polishing the pig’).
If your business has become quite severely distressed, and in practice would fail one of the tests for insolvency set out in the Insolvency Act 1986, in that it is unable to pay its debts as they fall due or that its liabilities exceed its assets, then there are further problems in attempting to achieve a sale.
These are, that in the event of a liquidation, the insolvency practitioner who has been appointed will have a duty to look at transactions during the period leading up to the insolvency, particularly those undertaken when the company was technically insolvent, to see whether any of these should be reversed.
In particular he will be looking for transactions at undervalue where he is able to argue that an asset has been sold off cheaply (such as you have sold the Rolls Royce to Joe, your brother, for £5 the day before the liquidation), or preferences, where he is able to argue that you have acted to put one creditor in a better position than others (such as you have paid Joe, or have transferred assets to him in settlement of his account prior to the liquidation, when you have not paid other creditors).
Thus, any sale or transfer of a business’s assets in the period leading up to a liquidation may be subject to a challenge in the courts by a liquidator. They may also feature in the liquidator’s report on the directors’ conduct prepared for the Government’s directors disqualification unit on which they may decide to bring proceedings.
So in summary, when you want to sell your business, choose your moment to sell, do not have it forced upon you. Be proactive about deciding when you want to sell your business and never allow yourself to become a forced seller of your business as a result of economic or other reasons. If you do, you will achieve a worse price because firstly, you will not be selling at the most opportune moment to maximise value, and secondly, because anxiety will force you to accept lower offers than you would otherwise consider.
As the Baby Boomer generation begins to decide they would like to spend less time working, many are looking to sell their businesses. There are not as many people interested in buying businesses as there are in selling businesses. Because of the reality of the demographics, businesses owned by Baby Boomers will be sold in a buyers’ market.
The fact it is a buyer’s market does not mean you will be unable to sell your business. There are still buyers out there. Some of them may be working right in your business, as your trusted partners or employees. You need to consider all the possibilities to find the best buyer.
Partners Or Shareholders
If you are not the only shareholder in your business, it is possible one or more of the other shareholders might be interested in purchasing your shares. If this is the case, your shareholder agreement likely covers this situation.
The advantage of selling to the employees who work in your business is they understand the business. The disadvantage is they do not usually have the money required to buy you out. If you are considering selling to your employees you will most likely end up doing some of the financing as a vendor take-back, due to the lack of funding on the part of the employees. The length of time you want to wait for your money will determine the length of the vendor take-back.
Competitors understand the business and may have the money to purchase your business. The process has to be undertaken carefully. You will want a non-disclosure agreement signed before you give any competitor your financial statements. Recognize they will still know your business even though the agreement says they cannot tell anyone.
Maybe one of your customers is interested in purchasing your business. Let’s imagine you are a drafting business and one of your biggest customers is a firm of architects. They may decide it makes sense for them to buy your business and set up their own drafting department within their business. Take a look at your customer list and see if you can spot any likely candidates.
Maybe your business would be a good fit for a large conglomerate which does not yet have a business in their stable which does what you do. These organizations can certainly afford to buy your business, but recognize they will drive a hard bargain. Foreign Nationals
Perhaps your business could be sold to a person who wishes to immigrate to Canada. Individuals in this position may be eligible for a government program which requires them to make some sort of investment in Canada to be permitted to immigrate.
If you cannot think of anyone to approach about selling your business, it is possible to advertise your business for sale. It might be time to consider hiring a broker. A broker will assist you with the whole process of selling your business.
Take the time to evaluate all potential sources of buyers for your business. You want to get the best possible price. To do this you need to be sure you have exhausted all the realistic possibilities.
First of all it is beneficial to briefly summaries strategy and strategic planning.
Strategy is the longterm direction of the business that:
achieves a competitive advantage for the business in its chosen market
positions the business in the market in relation to its competitors
defines the scope of the businesses functions, capabilities and capacity
matches the businesses resources and activities to the business environment
Strategic planning is the process (and thinking) that underpins the development and analysis of the options available to the business when choosing its strategy.
For the purposes of this article the focus will be on the higher level strategic planning, or corporate planning, as this is where the company’s direction is set and what drives its operational performance that delivers shareholder value. In addition, it defines the company’s business model, the corporate culture and its reputation from a corporate, social responsibility perspective regardless of its size or structure.
Broadly speaking there are only four types of corporate strategies being:
Growth or market penetration – Same products / services into same market
Market development – Same product / service into a new market
Product / service development – New product / service into the same market
Diversification – New product / service into a new market
Once we accept this then the planning process can be followed to develop a robust and valuable strategic plan for the business.
We apply a rigorous structured process to strategic planning that incorporates a range of activities and analysis designed to achieve the clear direction for the business, its structure, its employees and all business activities.
The first part of the process includes:
Core values of the owners – These are critical as they make up the philosophy and ethics of the business and the people
Goals of the individuals and for the business these are critical as it focuses everyone of the type of strategic direction of the business.
Core competencies of the business – These may be based on the technical expertise of the owners however it is best to think about what competencies the business will leverage to develop the business model it will adopt
Development of the businesses VISION and MISSION – These provide the focus for all future activities. A Mission statement should not be any more than two sentences of between 8 and 10 words otherwise they lack focus and are of little value to the business
Your VISION is an internal statement that drives its direction and performance
Your MISSION is a statement to internal and external stakeholders of how you conduct your business
The second part of the planning process is where the real power of strategic planning is developed as it consists of a series of analysis – Four in fact, which are all designed to provoke a breath and depth of thought that will have a major impact on the structure and operational performance of the business.
Environmental analysis – this is the business environment you operate in and it includes six elements:
Industry analysis – this analyses the industry environment you are operating in and competing with and is based on Porter’s Five Forces:
Power of buyers (the buyers of your products / services)
Power of suppliers (those that supply your business)
Threat of new entrants into the market (is it easy for another like business to establish)
Threat of competitive rivalry – How competitive is the market and how do / will competitors react to your business
Threat of substitutes – What is substituting your product / service in the market
Resource analysis – this is the compartmentalization of your resources and is the critical link between the businesses mission / core values, structure and operational strategies / performance. It includes:
Physical – Your location and physical assets
Reputation – The reputation of your business at all levels
Organisational – Goes to the heart of the operational structures and includes what type of human resources is required for the business
Financial – The financial requirements for the business now and into the future
Information – This ranges from your operational information i.e. SOP, policies, T&C of Trade etc to IP that you want to protect / hold separate to the day to day operations of the business
Technical – The technology utilised within the business and the future technology requirements of the business be it systems or software or the use of media
The good old swot analysis – The strengths, weaknesses (or constraints), opportunities and threats (challenges). The swot analysis is infinitely more valuable to the process after the above three analysis have been completed because the business owner will have a greater understanding of their business and will be able to conduct this analysis with clarity and purpose.
Phase three of the process is the development of the businesses strategies. This pulls together everything done to date and results setting a clear direction for the business. We have a three step process for the development of these higher level strategies, which includes
Matrix for offensive and defensive strategies through the matching of:
Strengths and Opportunities – Offensive
Strengths and Challenges (threats) – Offensive
Opportunities and Constraints (weaknesses) – Defensive
Constraints (weaknesses) and Challenges (threats) – Defensive
Prioritising the strategies by filtering then through a specific framework to assess their:
Feasibility (do you have the capacity and capability to implement the strategy)
Suitability (does the strategy suit the current circumstances of the owners and business environment)
Acceptability (this is the risk / return assessment, which includes the possible reaction of stakeholders i.e. employees, your financier, suppliers, customers and competitors)
Strategic choice – Based on the above select the most appropriate direction for your business.
While this process appears involved, complex and time consuming it can be tailored to suit the business. However it is important to have a clear focus on the end game, which is to be a strategically focussed business that has a clear direction and purpose that can be measured.
Lloyd Russell commenced his management career in 1986 with the Agri-Services company Primac Limited. During his tenure he successfully navigated the business through a major industry downturn in severe drought conditions by changing the branch’s business model and operating structures.
In 1995 he and his family relocated to Brisbane where Lloyd took a position with QRAA, a Queensland Government Statutory Authority. The main focus of this position was the management of numerous financial programs and strategic planning on behalf of the State and Federal governments targeting rural and regional Queensland.
Early in 2005 Lloyd completed his MBA and moved to the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries holding responsibilities for industry development (horticulture industry) and specifically export expansion.
When we think of marketing for a business, we do not need to scale down our expectations for marketing tools as well. Just because our business is small doesn’t mean we have to think small in marketing. This does not automatically translate into having to spend more. It just means making more use of our resources and being creative too.
Marketing for a business can take on many forms. The traditional media outlets such as radio, print and television are all tried and tested modes. Though reliable, getting ads or commercials out can be quite expensive.
For a start up business, you do want to get noticed right away without having to spend so much. Since you’re still probably paying off financing schemes for your business, you want to be aggressive in earning right away without risking too much in terms of expenses.
Good marketing for a business means making the most of your resources and identifying your target clients. Build a good base locally before you think of spreading out. Online resources are the best for this since they are low cost or even free at times. Social networking sites are perfect since you already have an existing network of contacts. Homemade videos can be made with good quality through free editing software and uploaded on the internet.
Marketing for a small business also takes advantage of word of mouth, which is especially true for local stores. As people spread word of your business around, you get more and more clients coming in who want to give you a shot.
For example, food stalls would often be located in busy streets or buildings because foot traffic will translate to better sales. They market their business through colourful signs as well as nice smelling food. By transforming this basic idea to your own business, you can have a successful strategy.
Marketing and paying off financing schemes
Marketing for a small business can only go as far as letting your business be well known. A good business will always depend on good quality of service in order to sustain your business. When your product is already of high quality and is well known, the marketing for a small business will take care of itself.
Marketing for a business is important as it supports your business in paying off financing schemes. Whether you have opted to take out loans or equipment leasing, a good marketing strategy makes your product well known enough to be sold.
Marketing for a small business is often a cycle, you do need a solid foundation that your business will deliver and a solid and adaptable marketing plan to get your product across. Marketing for a business should translate into higher sales, loyal clientele and better modes to pay off financing, loans or leasing.
Accounting for Marketing Expenses
If you do need to spend for marketing for a small business then do take due consideration of the expenses incurred. Study your accounting and see if you can afford to go for a marketing scheme such as this. List down also the expenses incurred and make sure this is receipted well. This is so you can deduct this as a business expense.
By balancing marketing expenses with good accounting practices, you can be sure to maximize your earnings for your business.
Marketing for a small business is exciting since it makes your product known and drives up sales. Remember though that for marketing for a small business is just the first step, a good product is always the best marketing tool.
Welcome to Financing of small business, We are setting your records straight by giving you the knowledge about small business leasing. There are lots of option of leasing for a small business.
As a young online entrepreneur, choosing the best payment processing system can be a headache. Ask around, and you will hear all sorts of reasons why one solution is better than the other. However, the thoroughly experienced Internet-based retailer will tell you the truth: competition is stiff, and relying on only one means of processing payment is not enough.
How PayPal differs from traditional merchant accounts.
PayPal uses what is called an “aggregator” account, which theoretically accommodates all retailers, as opposed to traditional providers, who offer each client an individual, “dedicated” account. The idea of PayPal’s aggregate method is to balance the risk of all honest retailers against fraudsters.
Consequently, PayPal doesn’t have to vet new retailers to determine if they are potentially fraudulent before signing them up for its service. Instead, it waits to catch a whiff of fraud from a registered user and quickly shut them down.
As a result, setting up an account is quick and easy, and PayPal can start collecting payment fees from clients almost immediately. Moreover, unlike with dedicated merchant accounts, you don’t have to wait hours for an application to be approved, to start accepting credit cards.
Where PayPal falls short.
Having one large account for everyone has the advantage of fast approval processes and quick card transactions, but there is one major problem: PayPal doesn’t know anything about you or your business, and, therefore, doesn’t understand the level of risk. If something unusual happens such as an increase in chargebacks, or suspicion of fraud, PayPal’s only recourse is to freeze the account.
On the other hand, a dedicated merchant accounts provider like eMerchantBroker will conduct a proper vetting process when a merchant applies for an account, and approve applications based on the information presented. These companies, therefore, know your business and understand the risk. If something happens, they have other ways to mitigate the issue, rather than freezing the account.
When to use PayPal.
PayPal accounts have a much higher likelihood of getting shut down than traditional merchant accounts, but they are quick and easy to start and manage.
You should consider a PayPal account if:
- You have a business idea that you are still trying to prove as a viable concept, and are thus not assured of its success. Because an unsubstantiated idea might not be around tomorrow, it wouldn’t be wise to have a contract with a merchant accounts provider.
- Your sales are too low to warrant the need for a traditional merchant account. An account with low sales is also less likely to be flagged down by PayPal.
- You are thinking of an aggregator account as a supplement to your traditional merchant account. Some established businesses can use PayPal to reach customers who won’t buy unless they can use a PayPal account.
PayPal is a great payment option for an entry-level business, but if you want more protection or are in the high-risk business, you will want to have a traditional merchant account set up. Afterwards, you can use PayPal as an added payment option for customers.
WordPress which is being used solely for blogging has now morphed into an incredibly powerful Content Management System (CMS). WordPress can be used for the development of a professional and functional website for your business or other use. When we are talking about content management system which is an important tool as well as aspect of the business online. Like Ecommerce or other you need to maintain content on the web as according to your product, service, items and facility you are giving out. So in the process you need to change the content as accordingly. For your online marketing WordPress is the appropriate most and you can see your treading business by opting this incredible and flexible technology. There are so many advantages with the WordPress development and by implementing this technology into your development, you can have incredible website.
– WordPress costs nothing, not even one penny as this technology is available for downloading at WordPress.org free of cost
– WordPress is easy to use as it is quite simple
– There are thousands of WordPress themes and you can opt any by your choice a for shaping your website. A theme can also alter the behind-the-scenes options to make WordPress even easier to customize and use. With WordPress themes, it’s easy to get a clean, professional looking site without paying a lot for custom design work
– You can have easy plug-in options and you can track site visits, add social bookmarking to your site,fight spam, automate backups of your site, create contact forms and can improve your website security as well.
– Search engine WordPress developed website and it helps you to get success in your business. Google and other major search engine love WordPress. Opting and using WordPress for your website development will give boost to your search engine optimization activities.
– WordPress gives technical support to your website. Whatever issue may encounter, help is always close at hand with WordPress
– WordPress gives excellent controls on your website. You may be in a need to update your content, adding new products, posts and pages, you can easily and efficiently do it by yourself. Even if you want to update the appearance of your website, you can easily upload new themes and can activate it.
For finding a good and reliable website hosting company at affordable rates , you need to search online for the best offshore outsourcing development company. You can avail hosting services from these development companies at amazing flexibility along with the economical rates as well.
Search online and get your best partner in the development and hosting for a successful online business.
If you’ve been thinking of opening a wedding invitation business, let me just say, Do It! It’s very easy to do and, depending on which way you decide to go with your business, the start up cost can be as little as a few hundred dollars.
There are three types of wedding invitation businesses. The first type, where you work as a manufacturer’s representative, is probably the least expensive in terms of start up costs, and also probably the easiest way to get into the business, especially if you’ve never had your own business before.
In this business model, you simply sell the manufacturer’s ready made cards, you act as their representative in your area. They provide you with samples and order forms, and there’s usually some type of training or support system in place to help you when you have questions. Although there may be some small investment required to get sample books from the manufacturers, you don’t have to invest in any stock or supplies with this method.
If you’ve never sold wedding invitations before, this is a good way to start. All the work is done for you. The invitations are already printed and packaged, the order forms are already created and the pricing is already set by the manufacturer. All you have to do is sell the invitations and you earn a commission for each sale from the manufacturer. This way, you can concentrate on learning how to run a business, and the ins and outs of selling wedding invitations, without investing any of your own money.
Another option you have is to sell Bespoke. These are invitations that you create yourself from card stock, pretty papers and embellishments like ribbons and pearls and flowers. This type of invitation business requires the largest investment of time and money, usually $1000 to $3000, but also has the largest profits because you can set your own prices. And if you’re the artistic type, you’re creations can command a very pretty penny. This business model, though, requires that you have more than a basic understanding of business because, since you’ll be making the invitations yourself, you’ll have to know how to control your costs and how much mark up to include in order to make your business run profitably.
The third type of wedding invitation business, which is the best method in my opinion, is the combined business. In this case, you sell sell pre-made blank wedding invitations and stationery, that you get from a supplier, and you finish it off on your home computer. With this method, you’re not working for a manufacturer, you’re purchasing the blank invitations from a supplier. The cards are already decorated on the outside, all you have to do is print inserts for the invitations and other assorted cards, and then put the inserts inside the invitations.
Opening a wedding invitation business that concentrates on selling the combined invitations is really the best way to go because you have very little initial investment, only the few blank cards that you want to start off carrying, and you get to set your own prices. While not quite as profitable as selling Bespoke, this method is more profitable than if you were a manufacturer’s agent.