We all know that big businesses have lots of resources available to them that a small business can only dream of. But something that we can learn from big business is to focus on what adds value to the customer and get experts in other fields to do the rest.
- If we are not good at website design, do we go about making our own website?
- If we need help designing a logo, do we do it ourselves or give it to the experts?
- If we are not good at accounting, why are we doing it?
In big businesses, they are able to employ experts in a variety of fields to help them achieve the best outcomes for their business.
But we all know that all these costs can add up to a fair bit of money. However, there are a variety of tools and platforms available now that are significantly reducing these costs and can really help a small business look like a big business. Continue reading “I’m not an expert at that. Do I get someone else to do it?”
Strategy is a difficult thing for small business. We always believe that we have found the perfect niche in the market and that we will make the most of it. But sales don’t always come as quickly as you hope and you start to spread the service offering to get more customers in the door.
Are you guilty of this? Have you strayed from your niche? Have you become a bit of everything to everyone in your field to make the most of the potential sales on offer? Have you lost your way a little for sales?
One book I love is called “Strategy and the fat smoker”. In the words of the author David Maister, he knew that being fat and smoking was really bad for him but did nothing for 37 years until a vital organ failed. He had to change his ways. And fast. He describes strategy as deciding whose business you are going to turn away. What will bring a point of differentiation to your customers or help you establish your reputation.
Continue reading “What strategy should a small business have?”
In last month’s issue of Dynamic Business Magazine, I co-authored an article based on some research I did with UTS. We interviewed over 700 small businesses (size: 0-20 employees) – you can check out the article at http://ow.ly/dwISk.
One of our key findings was that almost half of small businesses do their own bookkeeping and accounting. Why? The main reason really came down to money and affordability.
Another interesting observation was that over 90 percent of small businesses used their end of year financial statement to work out how well their business performed.
These two findings really tie in with the Nudge story. By doing all the monthly bookkeeping, accounting and tax for small business at really affordable rates, we empower small business to make great decisions for their business now, not months or years in the future. And by doing everything, we can give the night back to small business. Read more about our story here.
A few days before launching Nudge, one of my friends sent me a Lego message from the other side of the world (she lives overseas) which said “Good luck Nudge”. It looked awesome and currently sits on our wall.
It got me thinking though… how much luck do you need in small business?
When we talk about luck, we commonly say; we were lucky to be in the right place at the right time, we’re lucky to meet someone who gave us business, we’re lucky to have these opportunities … people recognise that luck may play a part. But by how much?
I like sport so I have used an old sports analogy, ‘the harder you train, the luckier you get’. We all understand that sometimes you just get a lucky break. But how much of small business is about the lucky breaks and how much relates to some solid and well thought out planning or learning from mistakes? Did working on the sales pitch open up new doors, or being open about your business allow an introduction? or did going after a sale with a bit of hunger change a few things?
Drawing on some of my research into small business at UTS and some of the data about business failures, the feedback suggests that businesses that don’t plan, plan to fail. Over 50 percent of businesses don’t have any form of planning at all. That’s quite a lot. And to think that a huge number of small businesses fail in their first year, shows that a bit of planning can go a long way to becoming a luckier small business. If you’re interested in a small snapshot of some of planning and strategy that we worked on over these months at Nudge Accounting, you can find it here.