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WILLIAMSBURG, VA, May 09, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- It is tough out there for businesses in this fickle and unpredictable post-recession economy. Frank Goley, an experienced business consultant and business coach for ABC Business Consulting (BusinessConsultingABC.com), breaks it down for business owners in a interview on business success strategies despite of the challenges faced in this slow economy.
Goley covers ten key areas in the interview:
What special things should a business do to be successful in a poor economy? Practice good business fundamentals, including four key areas: good niche market, good handle on expenses and profit margins, cash flow management, and a good business plan.
Has anything changed as a result of the recession and the post-recessionary economy? Yes! Customers are more demanding. They want more customized solutions and proven value for their money. Strong emphasis on ROI.
Are there still fundamental strategies and processes a business needs to carry out whether it is a good or bad economy? Yes. Good hiring and training practices. Excellent marketing. Keep an eye on cash flow.
Why is a business plan so important? A business plan is an excellent tool and has many effective uses, including: helps a business to concentrate on the important areas; provides strategic direction and coherence; identifies issues before they become expensive problems; finds opportunities to exploit; gives the entire business enterprise confidence; identifies weak areas and provides a process to fix them; sets a benchmark for solid budget planning and tracking; and is an excellent tool to obtain the proper business finance at the right terms.
What marketing techniques work best right now in this challenging economic environment? Effective marketing strategies that work today in this poor economy are Internet marketing, search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, newsletter marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing and engagement.
How important is a website and Internet strategy for a business looking for more customers in this economy? Critically important. If a website is well designed and positioned, then you can create an endless flow of targeted prospects. Unfortunately most websites are expensive brochures that do nothing for a business. A good website qualifies prospects and sends only the best inquiries. When a buyer is searching on the internet, they are ready to buy and are advanced in the sales cycle. This costs a business way less to acquire them, and typically businesses can close the prospect much quicker.
Should a business expand or even start up in a post-recession, sluggish economy? Heck yes! A sluggish economy is the very best time to start up. Why? It forces the business owner to concentrate on what is important, carefully guard resources, and focus on niche markets. For companies considering expansion, many of their competitors are pulling back, cost cutting, and reigning in marketing. This is the time to take and keep major market share. This is the time to really establish brand.
How important is a business coach or mentor to a business right now? A business coach and mentor are important at anytime, but in a slow economy there is even greater need for proven strategies to gain market share. However, don't get an advisor when it is too late. Find a coach early on so that the advisor over time can become a trusted confidant and true asset to your company. Look for applied experience. Experience is key in a good business coach or consultant. A coach will take a complete look at a business and identify what is working and what isn't. Then the coach will lay out an implementation plan to move forward successfully and have tracking mechanisms in place to make sure things stay on track and identify what needs tweaking along the way.
What are the most common mistakes you see business owners making? Three areas I consistently see business owners overlooking include:
Cash Flow - Not understanding how cash flow works and how to manage cash flow. Too often business owners are intimidated by financials thinking only accountants should be the ones actively using them. Business owners can empower their business by understanding how financials work, and how to manage financials, particularly cash flow. Money is saved and money is available when opportunities arise. The business becomes proactive and not reactive to negative financial indicators.
Internet - Not understanding the power of the internet. Not understanding how internet marketing, when done properly, is the most cost effective and highest ROI form of marketing available.
Website - Not understanding how critically important a website is to a business. It is the most important sales tool. It is just as important as your sign for your business. It is your brand, your image, and most importantly, your message. What are you saying to prospects and are you calling them to action?
Can a business actually get financed in this economic climate? A business can absolutely obtain finance. It is absolutely essential to prepare a business plan to see what finance structures work, along with what terms the company qualifies for in available finance. After the business planning is done, with a solid financial and finance structure in place, then the business owner needs to know where to look. Five business finance areas to consider are:
Big Banks - The national banks are hard to get loans from right now so look at community banks and credit unions. Prepare an engaging business plan and loan package that keys on cash flow, debt service and collateral.
Factoring or Merchant Finance - These have the most expensive terms, but if used on a short term basis and managed well with available cash flow, then alternative finance is good to use today to qualify for a better credit structure down the road.
Grants - Many types of grants are available and typically do not require any pay back. Need to determine if you qualify and fit the specific requirements well.
Crowd Funding - This is an excellent means of raising small amounts of seed and startup capital in a short period of time using the social power of the internet.
Investors - To interest angel investors a business needs sophisticated and believable financials, as well as, a great business plan and strategic model.
About Frank Goley and ABC Business Consulting
Frank Goley works for ABC Business Consulting (BusinessConsultingABC.com) as a business consultant, business coach and marketing expert. ABC Business Consulting puts a strong emphasis on implementation and results. Interwoven into these comprehensive business success services is extensive experience in web design, development, marketing, and SEO; thereby, offering companies a completely unique solution for succeeding in the toughest markets and economies. Goley is also a professional speaker, a contributor to online published articles, and the writer of the business success blog and business success newsletter.
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