Designing a Traditional Business Model

“Business model” is an oft thrown around the term, but what is the most efficient and perfect way to go about designing one? A clear and concise business model is useful for not only the business owner, but it is also immensely helpful when searching for a line of credit and even when one is looking to sell his or her business.

The business plan is the document that will keep you grounded and on track as you plan, finance, and develop your firm moving forward. In addition to your vision, having a clear business model can be extremely helpful when looking for lines of credit such as small business loans or microloans. Investors will want to see a defined path to turning a profit, and banks will want to know that you have a, organized plan in mind before offering you any sort of financing.

Business plans can come in many forms. What’s important is that it fits the needs of your particular industry and concept. Traditional business plans will involve multiple sections, going into detail of funding, price points, supply chains, and employment planning. These pages can be multiple pages long, but a large amount of work upfront can save a great deal of trouble later.

The traditional format can be useful to individuals who are very meticulous and prefer to start with a truly clear plan of attack. This format is also preferred by potential investors and banks who need to know exactly what they are getting into.

The traditional model begins with an executive summary, briefly describing the company’s overall goals and why it is a worthy venture. Entrepreneurs will essentially want to give investors a brief description of every aspect of their business.

The company description and market analysis will describe the service or product that the company will supply and how it will help consumers. The market analysis will then show why a similar product or service is currently lacking in the market and why your business will supply something that is missing from the modern economy.

The next section should typically include a description of the organization of your company’s employees. This overview of your chain of command will make it clear which employees will cover which roles. This employment overview will make it clear to investors and financiers that you understand how best to distribute your employees to maximize their talents and efficiencies.

A section on how you plan to market or advertise your goods can prove useful. While this often varies greatly between industries, it can let others know that you have a vision for the future and are developing a plan to expand your enterprise.

Business models that are made to request funding should include a section detailing how any investment funds will be spent. Entrepreneurs who are pitching to investors should be extremely specific in how much money is necessary for their project and where it will be gave. This helps the business owner to be certain how much funds he or she needs so that they are not gaining any unnecessary debt. It also makes it clear to potential financiers that there is a definitive plan for how the money will be spent.

A business model is particularly useful for both entrepreneurs personally and as a means of attracting financiers. Potential business owners who cannot fill out a detailed business plan should think twice before diving head-first into any given project. Corporate Business Solutions is dedicated to helping you with all aspects of the business planning process to help you both in obtaining a clear vision of your business and establishing a coherent plan for potential investors.

 

Financing Your Small Business

One of the greatest hurdles entrepreneurs meets when trying to start up their small businesses is adding the first funds to break into the market. This simple but challenging problem is one of the first great trials for all but a few of the luckiest entrepreneurs.

Luckily, there is a myriad of options to choose from depending on a potential small-business owner’s risk tolerance and patience.

The easiest and direct method of financing your business is by dipping into your savings. This allows an individual the keep from taking on any debt bring a partner into your project. Of course, many could find it difficult to come up with enough funds depending on the scale of his or her business ambitions.

A total failure of the business could entirely wipe out hard-earned savings. Some recommend that people keep a separate savings account to contribute to in addition to others saved for retirement and unforeseen expenses.

Retirement accounts can be a source of these personal savings, but there are often taxes that are paid whenever one makes a withdrawal. The risks are again the potential total loss of whatever funds invested that you had planned to save for your future.

Regardless of the money you take out to finance your business, entrepreneurs should always err on the side of caution and make a solid plan on what they are willing to lose.

If individuals have supportive families and friends who believe in their business model, they can also be potential financial sources, but this often comes with emotional complications. You can offer them a structured loan on specific terms to ease their minds, and they typically won’t charge you the interest of a bank and offer more flexible terms.

If both parties can reach a supportive agreement, this can be a possibility, but emotional intelligence is paramount. Financial disagreements amongst family and friends can ruin relationships.

Home equity loans can be useful low-interest options to garner funding for a small business, but owners need to be prepared to offer their home up as collateral. Borrowers are also still responsible for the repayment of the loan even if the business project doesn’t generate adequate income, and total default can result in the loss of one’s house.

Credit cards can be a quick solution if one needs a small cash advance to cover an immediate expense. Outside of these specific conditions, credit cards are not a safe way otherwise. Both interest rates and minimum payment amounts are typically quite steep with most credit cards and expenses can cost a great deal of money in the long term.

A better solution for business models that won’t require a great deal of capital to start is a microloan. Their terms and conditions are often better than typical banks in the regular market, but there is a limit on how much money can be borrowed. Microloans will not be useful to customers who need a lot of money and/or expansive business plans.

Microloans can also be easier to obtain than a standard small business loan from the bank. These lines of credit typically have favorable conditions, but most banks have strict lending criteria. Typically, these include good personal credit, sources of collateral, and a thorough business plan.

Financing a small business is often described as the most difficult part of starting a small business. There are multiple options to consider but they all come with their benefits and follies. Starting a small business should never be started on a whim and individuals should never be embarrassed to consult an expert. Corporate Business Solutions Reviews can help you with any advice you might need in starting your entrepreneurial endeavors.

Utilizing Email Marketing

With technology at everyone’s fingertips, it is no secret that online marketing is one of the best ways to promote your business. Whether through social media, online ads, or direct contact, consumers are receiving various online promotions daily.

Email marketing is a fantastic way to reach your target audience. This audience can include past clients, potential customers, and those who have contacted your business in ways besides email.

When it comes to email marketing, there are four basic types of emails you can use to promote your business online and directly to your target audience. Finding the right type and right time to use them is the key to achieving successful email marketing.

Corporate Business Solutions Consultants can easily help you set up a schedule of which emails you should send out and when to do so.

Acquisition Emails

Acquisition emails are meant to convert those who have chosen to receive your emails into customers. They can consist of informative content and special promotional offers that help catch the eye of your potential client.

A lead who has chosen to receive your emails is interested in what your company has to offer. These acquisition emails can help encourage them to take the leap and try out the products or services that you are providing.

Acquisition emails can be a terrific way to catch the eye of your potential clients and make their transition into a customer faster and easy.

Retention Emails

Retention emails are meant to keep your customers engaged and involved even after their initial purchase from your business. These can be requests for feedback or unique offers.

Retention emails are typically sent to customers who you have recently worked with or those who have not interacted with your email campaigns much. By targeting these previous customers, you will be reminding them of all that your company has to offer and their previous experience with you.

Retention emails are a wonderful way to get repeat and referral customers who have been satisfied with their experience with your company.

Email Newsletters

Email newsletters are one of the most common types of email marketing to use. These can be used by all types of companies and help to remind consumers of your business and what you are up to.

Email newsletters typically contain useful, engaging content such as a how-to, announcements about new services or products, or an update on professionals within your company. Anything that provides insight into your business and the industry that you are in can be used in an email newsletter.

Email newsletters can be sent to email subscribers and past clients. These can be sent regularly, around the holidays, or whenever you want to connect with your potential and past customers.

Promotional Emails

If you are looking to increase sales, promotional emails are a wonderful way to do so. Promotional emails include unique offers that appeal to your target audience of potential and past customers.

These can be special sales, limited time offers, and much more. By putting these offers directly into the inbox of your potential clients, you will increase your chances of being seen and taken upon what your business has to offer.

 

Taking Control of Your Billing Systems

When it comes to focusing on the goods and services that your business has to offer, the billing process may be taking away from your priorities. Billing can be time-consuming, and in a perfect world, all customers would pay on time, though unfortunately, this is not the case.

Keeping up with billing can be tedious and time-consuming. When employees who oversee billing have other responsibilities, staying on top of billing can take away from their main priorities.

When it comes to billing, there are two ways to make sure you are doing it in the most effective ways possible. Having staff members dedicated to billing and outsourcing your billing can ensure you are on track with current and past bills you are owed and avoid negatively impacting other operations within your business.

Dedicated Billing Staff

One of the best ways to ensure that billing responsibilities do not take over time that could be dedicated to other types of tasks is by having staff members that are dedicated to billing functions.

If you have more than one secretary for your business, for example, dedicating one to overseeing billing can help ensure that there is still a strong, undistracted focus on bookkeeping. Having members of other teams may not be ideal when it comes to overseeing billing.

If you do not have a staff member that can pick up billing responsibilities, picking up a staff member solely for this purpose is an incredibly wise thing to do. They will be able to manage collections, billing reminders, new billing statements, and other tasks without taking away from areas such as marketing or operations.

One of the most important reasons to have a dedicated billing department, whether it consists of one person or many people, is to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks. With staff members solely focused on billing, all loose ends will be tied up and will not burden other departments with doing their job efficiently.

Outsourcing Your Billing

For some businesses, hiring extra employees solely to oversee billing responsibilities may not be practical. When you have many different areas of operations to focus on, resolute employees to take charge of billing may be more of an inconvenience than a benefit.

If this is the case, consider outsourcing your billing to a professional billing company. Doing so will ensure that all your billing needs are fulfilled without management or other staff members having to worry about it. This will allow them to prioritize their responsibilities and not worry about things as important as billing being procrastinated due to a heavy workload.

Outsourcing billing may save you money. When billing is managed by a team of professionals, there is no need to spend money on hiring and training new employees to oversee billing. In addition, you will not have to worry about purchasing modern technology and programs just for billing. All of this will be included with your billing agency.

If you are unsure if in-house or outsourcing billing is best for you, Corporate Business Solutions can help you make the right decision.

 

How to Use Color Psychology When Marketing Your Small Business

Have you noticed the way different colors can make you feel? When you’re standing in a lush green field surrounded by blue skies, you feel complete serenity. Perhaps you have even noticed that the color red can make you feel slightly alarmed.

No matter the color that popped into your mind when you read the first sentence of this post, it is likely that you have fallen victim to color psychology. As crazy as it may sound, colors have a huge effect on the human psyche.

It is all part of color psychology. Check out this little guide from CBS-CBS.com to learn more about color psychology.

What is Color psychology? 

Color psychology is the way different colors determine or affect human behavior. You can readily use color psychology in advertising and marketing to evoke and change emotional reactions to what you are advertising. While that sounds simple enough, there is plenty to know about color psychology.

How do colors influence people? 

Color meaning and color psychology can easily and powerfully change the way people behave and make decisions. Within only a few minutes, people can make subconscious judgments about a person, product, or environment. With the right colors, you can impact people’s initial impression of you and your business.

As a business promoting your brand, you should know all about tints, hues, colors, and shades to evoke emotion and promote action. Through specific color choices in logos, signage, packaging, and advertising, brands can easily influence consumers to buy on impulse or choose their product over another.

For example, when you think about your favorite brands, think about how they make you feel. Do their logos stand out because of their bright colors or do you prefer black and white? That is color psychology in its finest form.

How colors can make people feel…

Here are some colors and how they may make people feel:

  • Red- Red often creates a sense of urgency. That is what makes it perfect for clearance sales or breaking news. It is also frequently used by fast-food chains as it often makes people hungry. People may often associate red with passion, movement, power, and excitement.
  • Green- Green is most often associated with health, wellness, and general wellbeing. It is clean, clear, and brings a sense of nature into your brand. The color green can also create a feeling of harmony and encourage decisions.
  • Purple- Usually, the color purple is associated with wisdom, royalty, and respect. It greatly stimulates creativity.
  • Blue- Funnily enough, men prefer the color blue in advertising and marketing over any other. It is associated with reliability, peace, tranquility, and water. The color blue also promotes trust in a brand.
  • Yellow and orange- Both colors are cheerful and promote optimism. However, used incorrectly they can make people cautious.

Color psychology is a powerful stimulator when it comes to how people view your brand. How you incorporate color into your brand will essentially say everything about your business. While there are no “best” marketing colors, there are colors that impact people better than others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does Your Small Business Need Live Chat?

Live chat is becoming a quintessential part of small businesses globally. It is much like an immediate interactive mail-in design. The job of live chat is to sit at the bottom corner of your website waiting for customers who need help.

Live chat supports your customers who need help instantly. Live chat can also increase your sales drastically. When people can gain immediate access to an answer, they are far more likely to buy the product in question.

Many small businesses love it for closing sales and increasing revenue. Perhaps you have seen the possibilities of live chat, but you don’t have the staff count to warrant it. However, live chat doesn’t always need staff 24/7 to work.

Find out how live chat can help your business and whether you need it or not with this article from Reviews for Corporate Business Solutions.

Does your small business need live chat?

When it comes to live chats, you need to decide if your small business needs live chat. Here are some great examples of small businesses that can use live chat:

  • Hospitality and medical- A business that takes bookings or reservations like hotels or restaurants
  • Online retailers- A business that sells products online
  • Consultants and service providers- A business that offers business services 

If you run one of the aforementioned businesses, live chat is a great tool. However, if you get very little website traffic, life chat likely isn’t the best thing for your business. If you’re unsure, many businesses are offering free live chat trials. You have nothing to lose.

Set specific hours

If you run a smaller team, manage your customers’ expectations by setting specific hours for your live chat. Unless you run a large eCommerce store, people don’t expect small businesses to run 24/7. However, they don’t want to open a live chat only to be left with no response.

To ensure your customers aren’t disappointed, post your live chat business hours on the live chat as well as your website. You can ask the person to leave a message for you to reply to later. While this may defeat the real purpose of live chat, it is still a helpful business tool.

Either way, you’re making it easy for your customers to get in contact. This is far quicker than composing an email or trying to find your contact details. Just make sure that you reply to the message as soon as possible.

Create a FAQ page or knowledge base

Once you have been running your business for a while, you will develop an understanding of the types of questions people ask. If you can’t have a 24/7 live chat, give your customers a FAQ page or knowledge base to consult if they are confused.

If they are stuck, they can then message you on the live chat.

Live chat can be a great tool for small businesses to harness. There are no downsides. If customer service matters to you, live chat is a great next step to take. 

 

 

 

 

5 Examples of Small Business Goals

Setting goals is an essential part of every single business. It can help you focus on your business. In turn, achieve the results you have worked hard for. If you start setting goals now, you will be able to achieve them far faster. 

The importance of setting goals cannot be overstated. This does apply to companies as well. Though, it is far more applicable to small businesses since they have fewer resources available. By setting goals, you can optimize the few resources you do have available to you.

Setting goals is the perfect way to improve your focus. Then, you can use that focus to keep everyone motivated and increase morale in the workplace. Check out these 5 examples of small business goals from CBS-CBS.com to get the ball rolling.

Create a new product/service

Creating a new product or service is the perfect way to push your business. One great goal you can set is to create a new product or service within a specific amount of time. Usually, a good time frame is six months or a year. 

It will excite your existing customers while also attracting new ones.

Open a new location

If your business is doing well, this goal is great for you. Opening a new location is an exciting and fruitful time. However, to succeed in your location, you must remember how you first got there. 

Perhaps create a template to outline where you went wrong/right the first time. It will help you determine your next steps.

Increase your response time 

Depending on the size of your customer base, you may be able to set a goal to increase your response time. It is certainly attainable for many businesses. If you run a small business with local customers, it should be as easy as 1,2,3. 

You may struggle if your business is slightly bigger. However, there are many ways you can automate the process as well. 

Reduce ongoing expenses

This is a very fitting goal for many small businesses. After all, who doesn’t want to reduce their ongoing expenses? When setting this goal, make sure you are incredibly specific about how you plan to reduce your costs. 

You may be able to reduce ongoing expenses by:

    • Paying off debt
    • Automating more of your business
    • Changing the way your business operates

Increase productivity within your business

Productivity can certainly make or break your business. That is why it is always a good idea to search for new ways to improve it. You can become more productive by eliminating any distractions or improving the way you use technology. 

Productivity apps are also a fantastic way to increase your productivity.

Once you have put together some goals, you can inject them into your small business. A good goal is one that is attainable, measurable, and relevant. Don’t forget, achieving goals is always something that should be celebrated.

When you tick a goal off your list, take the chance to celebrate the success. 

How to Use Facebook to Promote Your Small Business

 

Facebook is one of the best free marketing tools for small businesses. If you are looking to engage your customers or attract new ones, Facebook is an outstanding platform. However, it isn’t as easy as simply posting a photo and leaving it at that. 

You must follow the guidelines to ensure that you get the best out of your advertising. Facebook offers many great promotion tools. To maximize your promotion efforts, you should use them as much as possible.

Every small business should use social media as much as possible, especially Facebook. It has several great advertisement options, groups, statistics, and paid promotions, among other things. Though, with so many ways to promote your business, it can be hard to find a starting point.

To help you out, Corporate Business Solutions Consultants have three easy ways to promote your business on Facebook.

 

  • Post regularly

 

There is nothing worse than finding a business on Facebook that hasn’t posted since 2018. That is why posting regularly is so important. Using Facebook to promote your business is far more than just making a business page. You need to ensure that you are posting regularly for your customers.

Once per day is a good rule of thumb or every 2-3 days is a great option. It is a fine line when it comes to posting because both too much and too little can be bad for your business. Posting regularly is incredibly important. Though, it is just as important to post good quality content.

If you can only post good quality content 1-2 times a week, that is better than posting bad quality content every day. As stated before, it is a fine line. 

 

  • Post high-quality content

 

What you post on your Facebook page is highly important. Nobody wants to visit your Facebook page and see low-quality photos. Even worse, nobody wants to read captions that are riddled with spelling errors or are hard to read. 

Here are some great ways to ensure that you are posting high-quality content:

 

  • Post different content- Don’t always post the same thing. Make sure you have a variety of posts on your Facebook page. Including gifs, photos, videos, blogs, and even press releases. Your audience will be far more captivated when you post different things all the time.
  • Ask questions- People love to feel included. That is why asking questions is a great way to engage your audience. At the end of each post, try asking a question. For example: “Check out this great blog that outlines the importance of stress management in the workplace. How do you manage your stress at work?”
  • Run a giveaway or contest- Your page will become far more engaging when you run contests or giveaways. By offering the opportunity to win a prize, you can boost sales while increasing your engagement levels.

 

  • Create a strategy- When posting on Facebook, try creating a strategy. It should complement your marketing, sales, and public relations activities. Content calendars are a great way to create a strategy that works for you.

It can also help you understand your strategy better to get the best out of your promotions. Things to add to the calendar should include important holidays, sales, business announcements, and other important dates.

 

Starting Your Dream Business – A Step-by-Step Guide

Starting a new business is an exciting and uplifting process. There is so much to do, think about, and plan. However, you must know where to start and how you plan to achieve success. Otherwise, your plan for success may not reach the heights you first thought it would.

Creating a logo or business plan is obvious, but people rarely remember the equally important parts that aren’t often spoken about. Rather than playing a guessing game or ‘going with the flow’, you need to have a detailed plan. That way, you can ensure that you have given your business the best chance at success.

Check out these three steps compiled by Corporate Business Solutions to start your dream business properly.

 

  • Build a great team

 

A business is only as good as the team running it. Unless you plan to run your business by yourself, you need to gather a great team. Many successful CEOs will tell you that you need to spend just as much time on your employees as you do your products.

A good team should be:

  • Efficient
  • Reliable
  • Educated
  • Productive
  • Organized
  • Supportive
  • Good at communicating
  • Cooperative
  • Respectful

These are all great features of a team that will see success.

 

  • Refine your idea

 

Your first plan should always be considered a rough draft, not a final copy. There will be things from your draft that are still relevant, though you will likely need to add some things in whilst taking some out. To refine your idea, you can do things such as:

  • Look at what current brand leaders are doing
  • Figure how you can be different
  • Research businesses offering the same (or similar) service
  • Ask for feedback on your idea
  • Do your research
  • Consider the current markets

A good place to start is to consider why, who, and what. Why you’re doing it, who your target customers are, and what your business solves.

 

  • Assess your financial situation

 

Every business will need a start-up cost. By assessing your financial situation, you will gain a clearer understanding of what that cost may look like. Consider if you will need to borrow the money or if you can cover your start-up cost. 

Then, you will likely have to consider whether or not you plan to leave your current job. If so, you will need to ensure that you have enough money to get by until you make a profit. That is why it is best to figure out your start-up costs straight away.

Many businesses fail because they run out of money before they can turn a profit. It never hurts to overestimate your start-up costs because it can sometimes be a while before you turn a profit. If you overestimate, there is always room if something goes wrong.

If you follow this guide, your business has a good chance to succeed. When starting, make sure you don’t cut corners. Cut corners will always come back to haunt you. 

 

4 Golden Points Every Home-Based Business Should Remember

Being an entrepreneur looks different for everyone. For some, the dream of running a large corporation that employs hundreds of people with offices across the country. Other entrepreneurs, though, prefer something small-scale that they can run from their homes.

Home-based businesses aren’t anything new. They’ve actually been relatively popular over the years, especially during the global pandemic. Recent statistics saw a record number of start-ups, with a significant portion being home-based companies. Going the route of a home-based business allows you to set a flexible schedule that works for you, minimal to no commute, and brings in another income source.

Because of the appeal of home-based businesses and how popular they continue to be, reviews for Corporate Business Solutions have four points that every home-based business should remember.

Keep Business and Personal Finances Separate

For your finances, it’s a good idea to have a separate business account right from the start. Although it’s tempting to merge everything together and save on banking fees, it’ll come in handy for tax season and to track your business’ financial situation.

Have a Separate Space

There are many convenient perks when working from home, like no commute time and working wherever you want. As lovely as it can be to set up shop in the backyard on those warm days, it’s essential that you still have a separate space for your business.

Depending on what your company does, you may have confidential information about customers and clients. If you don’t have a designated space for your work, that information could be accessible to anyone around. You may not have to work strictly out of your home office, but it’s still a good idea to at least have a space you call your office.

Marketing Matters

Home-based businesses rely heavily on marketing. There is no storefront that people can drive by and see what you offer. You’re tucked away on a residential street.

You’ll rely on marketing to get the word out about your company and drum up new customers. Especially when first starting, the budget might be tight to spend money on a marketing plan. However, social media is an excellent (and free) tool for home-based businesses to help spread the word.

Set Boundaries

Many soon realize that working from home (whether employed or in your own business) is more challenging than people believe. One of the most difficult parts of working from home is setting and maintaining boundaries.

When you commute to a job, it’s much easier to leave work at the office so you can enjoy your personal life. For those whose work is only a few steps away, it’s easy to “squeeze in” a bit of extra work after supper or on weekends.

Set yourself boundaries right at the beginning. These can include having a set time to turn your business off for the day, being careful when you schedule appointments, and setting a timer for your breaks.

In today’s world, almost any idea could turn into a small, home-based business, which could lead to a large company. Home-based businesses have unique challenges. However, don’t let that shy you away from taking your idea and starting your very own company.