The Four Key Advantages Of Buying A Business Rather Than Starting From Scratch

There are many advantages to buy an existing business. In this day and age, starting up a business from scratch is a lot trickier, due to an uncertain economy and also the presence of other competitors.

When it comes to buying a business, though, there are benefits. You have an established customer base, experienced employees, an established market position and operating systems that are all in place.

If you are worried about what the customers will think when the recognised leader has left, then don’t. There are many types of customers and clients who will still prove loyal even when there’s a new face at the helm. Providing that you handle the established customer/client base well, there is not a problem. You may find that customers buy on a cyclical basis, ranging from a month to a year or even a decade. If that’s the case, don’t throw away that 10-year-old customer list. Managing an existing customer/client base is certainly preferable to getting customers on board when starting a business from scratch – which can prove to be both expensive and time consuming.

You will also find that you have a valuable set of employees at your disposal. They are both experienced and skilled, and will often know the business inside out and backwards. However, with the prospect of new ownership, this can re-energise them and give them a new lease of life. Certainly, compare this to if you had to find new employees from scratch. Not only do you have to be sure that they are the right fit for the company, you also have to train them up and educate them about every single aspect of the business. Sure, one day, they will be well up to speed, but with a purchased business, the staff is already in place – meaning that they have the knowledge and skill to get on with the job – which in turn, means a greater level of productivity.

You also have an operating system in process. The benefit of this is that, depending on how long the business has been running for, you will have a tried and tested business system in place. It is difficult to judge what business system works and what system doesn’t. When you start a business from scratch, it will very much be a case of trial and error. You may find that you end up wasting time on trying to find the best system for you. With an established business, this system is already in place, and hopefully is one that provides the best results.

You will be entering a business that already has a market position. The best case scenario is that the business is widely respected and known, maybe in the local area or even all over the country. With that in mind, more people are going to want to buy from a business that is widely respected for top quality service and product. Even if the business only has a strong reputation locally, this is still a good starting point, since you can use this as a springboard for a broader profile. With a new business, you have to work hard to build up that level of respect, but with an established business, this is an easier process.

Providing that you have enough money at your disposal, buying a business is a shrewd investment. Even if you don’t, there are still ways around it, such as a loan made either from a bank or from the business owner which can be paid back over time. It is still has advantages over a franchise, because you can do whatever you want in a bought business, whereas in a franchise, you are still marching to someone else’s tune. Whatever your reasons and methods of buying a business, make the most of the advantages at your disposal and you will hopefully reap the rewards.

Ask Yourself These 10 Questions Before Starting Your Online Business

Are you seriously considering starting your very own online business? If you are you should know that there is a difference between making money from the internet and running a successful online business. The difference is, when just making money online you are basically getting paid for every action that you do online, meaning that once you stop doing whatever it is that you are doing to make money  the money will stop.

When you are running an online business that means that your business should be a 24 -7 money making machine that should be making you money while your sleeping. Sounds great doesn’t it?

The thing is, many people that are looking to start an online business jump into it with little or no thought which usually leads to their failure. I think it is important to answer these 10 questions before  pursuing your internet based business.

1. Do you have a clear cut vision for your business? This is important because if you do not know  exactly what you want your business to be and where you want it to go, it can be difficult to start it.

2. What are your business strengths? Take some time to identify what you do best in regards to running an online business. This will make it easier to realize where you may need help with or training. Be honest with yourself.

3. Do you have your business goals in order? You need to have long term and short term goals for your business. Not having any will make it difficult for you to succeed with your business.

4. Do you have a good business plan? If you don’t have a solid plan you need to get one. You should know everything that you need to do get your business up and running.

5. Do you have all of the tools and resources that you need ? You need to make sure that you have everything that you will need to start an operate your internet business. This may include  computer software, web designers, content, proper internet provides, web hosting and more.

6. Do you have a good product? You need to make sure that you are confident in whatever it is that you are selling. If you do not believe in your product no one else will.

7. Do you know who you are going to be selling to? Understanding your target market is huge because this will help you figure out how you should promote to them.

8. Are you full of information? You need to know your internet business inside and out. This includes knowing how your business is run as well as everything about  what you are selling.

9. Do you need a business coach? It may be well worth it to get a business coach. If you are having trouble in certain areas of your business plan you may need to consider a business coach.

10. Do you have the drive? Starting an online business can be tough and you should know that it will take some learning and work to achieve your online goals. The good news is that if you stick with it, you may very well be able to live your dream life due to the success of your  online business.

How to Become a Successful Business Networker

As a business professional, you bring different talents and personalities to the table when you meet people. However, not everyone has an outgoing personality and sometimes feel lost when faced with networking (especially amongst large groups of people). However, these easy steps will help you successfully network at social functions and business events.

o Keep it real – The main ingredient to successful networking is to be genuine and authentic. People can spot a fake immediately. The only way to build trust and rapport is to keep it real and be honest.

o Prioritize your networking goals – Ask yourself what you want to accomplish when you network in particular groups. Some networking groups lean towards education/learning purposes. Define what meetings/groups will help you achieve your particular business and/or networking goals.

o Know your business inside and out – Have a clear understanding of your business and how your services and products help others. You need to articulate clearly what sets your business/company apart from your competitors. This is very important in referral-based businesses such as real estate. This is essential when you belong to a new group and have to give your “30 second” introduction about your business.

o Volunteer for organizations – Volunteering for a position in a networking group is a great way to become involved. It’s also a great way to give back to a group/organization that has helped you, or has helped the community.

o Visit networking groups that catch your interest – You don’t have to join every group, but it helps to visit groups to see if they are a good match. If you have friends or colleagues who belong to certain groups you like, ask them if you can be their guest at the next meeting. When you visit groups, ask yourself the following questions: Is the group supportive? Does it fit your industry/business scope?

o Ask open-ended questions during meetings – A key trick during group meetings is to ask open-ended questions. Open-ended questions address the following: “who, what, when, why and how.” These questions also engage other group members in a lively discussion (as opposed to just asking yes or no questions). It also makes group members feel important, and shows you are really interested in their opinions and feedback.

o Become a viable resource for others in your group – Offer suggestions, advice and be looked upon as a viable, informative resource in your networking group. When people look to you as an expert in your field, you become more visible and they will turn to you for help (which equates to more referrals and business in the future).

o Always follow through on referrals – No matter how busy you are, it’s important to follow through quickly and efficiently when you receive referrals from other group members. Remember that your actions are a direct reflection of the person who gave you the referral – don’t let that person down. It’s also seen as professional courtesy and respect, and further builds your credibility as a member of your business networking group.

Local Business Marketing Online

It may seem strange at first to hear that I recommend local Businesses include article marketing as part of their business marketing strategy.

After all an article written by a Minneapolis Pest Control expert may not be relevant to readers in Brisbane, Australia, or London and yet the article will be distributed worldwide once it is posted on an internet article directory.

It’s not likely even that a home owner fighting bed bugs in Madison, Wisconsin will call on this Minneapolis business. Why then bother?

Well, there are a couple minor reasons and one major. Let’s deal with the minor ones first.

The very act of writing an article tends to focus the mind. You know your business inside and out, but can you effectively communicate it to others? Writing an article can help you identify your unique selling proposition and put it into words. Now many business people can do that in a flash, while others will struggle with it at first.

Learning how to communicate in an article will help you in all other presentations and it has the great advantage of allowing you to rip up your false starts until you get a solid statement composed.

The second minor reason is that in addition to impressing your spouse or even yourself, you are now an author. And that in and of itself carries with it a perception of authority and expertise. Now of course you are an expert in your field, but your status as an author helps reinforce that image with others. And that’s a good thing.

But the real reason to write articles is the power article marketing has in raising your web page higher in the search engines. It’s not the article per se that matters, it’s the back link you get from the article directory that publishes your article. This by itself is good news, but the power of article marketing isn’t in just getting your article on the directories.

Far more powerful is the result of it getting it republished in many different blogs, and ezines around the world. A well written article, that makes a clear point and is easy or even fun to read is likely to be picked up by others. And each time it is, you get another back link to your web site.

There are many factors that play an important role in how well your web site is rated by Google and the other search engines. But once the basics are taken care of, the dominant factor is how well respected your web site is. The search engines measure this my taking note of how many other web sites are linking back to your web page and who those sites are.

Within a local market, like my home town of Minneapolis a doctor, photographer, dentist, window replacement contractor, etc doesn’t need to have the most popular web site in the world, just the most popular in the Minneapolis area. If they are they will rank higher than most if not all their competitors.

And since these days more people search for businesses online rather than via the Yellow pages as they did in the past, this is a significant advantage. An advantage that results in more new customers and more profits.

And that is exactly why I advise local business in the Twin Cities area and elsewhere to market their business using article marketing as a significant part of their business marketing strategy.