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The Importance Of SWOT Analysis For A Business

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Importance Of SWOT Analysis For Business,Startup Stories,Startup News India,Latest Business News 2018,Importance Of SWOT Analysis,Role of SWOT Analysis,Tips for SWOT Analysis,SWOT Analysis For Business,SWOT Analysis Tips


Startups and their incredible stories, do not just happen overnight. It requires extensive research and dedicated hard work to make things happen. As a beginner who is launching a business, one must be aware of the do’s and don’ts of their business operations. Whether it is financial tasks or resources or manpower, a startup should keep a track of what and how and where to invest. Every business must conduct a SWOT analysis timely in order to find out its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A perfect way to find out where your business stands is to conduct a SWOT analysis. From large firms to small firms, every business can follow this analysis to find out its whereabouts in the market and implement the same when required.

The four elements of a SWOT analysis are as below!

Strengths – This element shows the characteristics of a business that give you an advantage over others. In simple terms, your strength could be your Unique Selling Point (USP.) Alongside, anything that adds weight to your business plan such as financial support, effective strategies, first mover advantage or any other internal factor that is your strength comes under this category, Recognize your strengths and use them to climb up the ladder to success!

Example – Nestle Maggie Noodles is the leader in the noodle market and its strength lies in its first mover advantage.

Weaknesses – Weaknesses refers to the areas your competitors have an upper hand when compared to you in the market. It is extremely important to recognize your weakness and work on it before it is too late. Low performance of your team or lagging behind with respect to technology upgradation could be considered as one the weaknesses of a business.

Example – One of the major factors why Nokia disappeared from the mobile phone market lies in its incapability to switch to the manufacturing of smartphones at an early stage.

Opportunities – This domain helps you achieve your objectives with ease. Find out the factors which could help you do more with your existing customers or clients. With the additional information you have, go for an extensive market research. As a startup you can go for expanding your business via social media platforms. Use it as an opportunity to expand your business. Examine your business with questions like, are there any new technological advances we could use to expand our business and reach new consumers? How can we adapt our business to changing consumer tastes and preferences?

Example – IKEA is traditionally famous for its diversification strategies. The company is launching its first ever store in India with its debut in T Hub which happens to be India’s largest incubator for startups, located in Hyderabad, Telangana.

Threats – Threats can be elements in the environment that could be dangerous for a business. Emerging competitors or changing customer attitudes could be major threats. Consider the factors that could affect the flow of your business and its operations. Try to opt for a solution and overcome them. Threats are external factors that you have no control over.

Example- PepsiCo must consider the consumer shifting toward health drinks as a threat and focus more toward flourishing the market with health drinks!

As easy as it may sound, SWOT requires a lot of considerations with regards to your business, your competitors, your  work environment in the best possible way. So, when you are starting a business do not forget to conduct the SWOT analysis! Swot away your obstacles with a successful analysis!

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How To Increase Online Sales Of A Business

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Sales is an important part of any establishment or organisation as it is a major revenue contributor.  A product or service can be sold any number of ways, but mostly it falls under either offline or online sales.  The present consumer is increasingly relying on technology to make their purchases and that is the reason why almost every company or organisation has an online presence on an aggregator platform or via their own in house app.

Online sales can be made consistent by following some simple tips given below.

1.Show customer testimonials

Testimonials are an important way for a new user to get an understanding of the product or service they plan to buy.  Testimonials offer customers a sense of confidence that they are making an informed decision about their purchase. Good testimonials are a way to convert impressions into sales.  Amazon has reviews for every product it offers on its platform and urges customers to leave a review as well after making a purchase.

2. Money back guarantees

Most online sales happen without the customer physically inspecting a product or service before making a purchase.  Therefore, it is a good practice to offer some form of money back guarantee for a sale, in case a customer is not satisfied with their purchase.  Having a money back guarantee is also a form of conveying the strength and quality of the product being sold. Online clothing store Myntra has a return policy where, if a customer is not satisfied with their purchase, they can return it back and the cost of the transaction is reverted back to the customer’s account.

3. Create a call to action

Creating a sense of urgency or a call to action is a very subtle way of guiding a customer to make an online purchase.  This can be achieved in many ways like offering a product bundle for a discounted price or creating a discount sales campaign.  Showcasing high selling products or the most recommended products are some other ways to make the customer make their choice quicker.  Food delivery platform Swiggy has an option called Swiggy Pop which has a curated list of meals for one person at attractive prices. This spares the customer the hassle of browsing through multiple restaurants and making a decision.

4. Streamline the checkout process

The checkout process is the most important part of a purchase.  Items in an online shopping cart are often left in the cart itself as the checkout process is time taking.  Lengthy information fields are most often a hassle and make a customer abandon their product in the cart and instead look for other alternatives elsewhere.  Having a secure payment gateway, which does not interrupt transactions midway, is a must have for the customer to trust the brand.

5. Offer multiple payment options

Have multiple payment options like cash on delivery, netbanking, online wallets, credit and debit cards.  The present day customer has many options at their disposal to make a payment and they would like to be able to make that choice in choosing how they would like to pay.  In India, almost every online marketplace offers a plethora of alternatives for payment, like Paytm, Google Pay and credit/debit card transactions from multiple banks, from which the customer can choose.

While there are multiple tweaks and ways to increase the online sales of a product, following these tips can help streamline the sales process and offer a sense of understanding from a revenue standpoint as well.

Learn more about how to increase sales of a business here: 4 Tips For A Business To Increase Sales

 

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4 Tips For A Business To Increase Sales

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4 Tips For A Business To Increase Sales,Startup Stories,Proven Sales Strategies to Increase Sales,Tips to Boost Your Sales,Tips to Improve Retail Sales When They're Down,How to Increase Sales in Retail,Ways to Increase Online Sales

Any business, once established, needs to generate revenue in order to sustain itself.  Sales are the major revenue generating stream for any business. In the current business landscape, it is highly imperative to have stable sales revenue.  A good product will automatically generate sales if it has a target audience who like what they are purchasing. However, any product or service always has scope for improvement and generating more sales.

Let us have a look at some tips for a business to increase sales.

1. Invest in a good sales team

Any business needs a sales team which can look after pitching the product or service to the target demographic.  Providing resources and training to the sales team will go a long way in generating a healthy sales forecast. Elevator pitches, quarterly audits and target based competition will generate a healthy atmosphere and a zeal to perform.  Leading software as a service (SaaS) company Salesforce currently has one of the best sales teams in the world and they invest a lot on them by offering them training at an event called ‘Dreamforce.’ The sales team is trained by leading industry experts and Salesforce executives.

2. Generate positive reviews

A business needs constant feedback to know the needs and wants of the customer in order to optimise its offering to suit their audience.  One of the easiest ways to do it is to go online and register on a reviewing site relevant to the industry in which the business is. Constant feedback, especially positive feedback, is important as it increases the likelihood of generating more traffic and demand for your product/service.  Google is one of the best platforms to get reviews as it is used by almost everyone. For example, a business which is in the food service space can focus on reviews on platforms like Zomato or Yelp.

3. Create packages or bundles

Creating packages or bundles of products or services clubbed together is a good way to maximize sales.  Clubbing together products or services which deal with the same issue or action increases the convenience and seem more useful to customers, who may believe they are getting more value out of a purchase.  E commerce giant Amazon offers suggestions based on user purchases, which show similar products that will be useful with a purchase. For example, if a customer purchases a mobile phone, Amazon’s suggestions may include a screen guard and a mobile phone case.

4. Partner with other businesses

A business can explore the possibility of partnering with another business if investing in research, development and infrastructure is expensive.  Partnering up with a business can create unique products which need less development time and investment because existing businesses have the necessary infrastructure in place and only need collaboration.  Microsoft is a good example in this instance. Microsoft was notorious for its reputation of not offering its products on Apple’s Linux platforms because Apple is a competitor.  However, Satya Nadella, when he was made CEO, decided Microsoft would partner with Apple and release a Linux compatible Microsoft Office suite for the iPad, the iMac, the iPhone and the MacBook.  This move drastically increased the sales of Microsoft.

A business can adopt these tips to come up with a sales plan which creates a revenue stream.  While these do not guarantee immediate results, they can provide an organic growth in sales traffic.  A good product should be able to elicit a definite answer from the audience and these tips should always go along with a call to action for the customer. 

Read more about how to increase business opportunities here: Five Steps Entrepreneurs Can Follow To Identify New Business Opportunities

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How To Start A Business With Little Capital

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Starting a business may seem like a great idea to pursue a passion, but it has its share of problems.  It is easy to worry about from where to bring in the investment for it, what kind of business should it be, whether it will give a return on investment and whether it will become sustainable and provide a stable source of income.  While these questions and the uncertainty can act as deterrents to begin a business, you can still start a business with a little bit of planning.

Let us look at some tips about how to begin a business with little or no investment.

1. Keep working at your present job

If an individual who wishes to begin a business already has a stable job, it is a little easier to begin investing resources into a business or an idea.  Having a job acts as a cushion on which you can fall back if things don’t go as planned. The job also acts as a source for initial startup capital by creating savings on which you can bank.  You will, however, have to put in those extra hours to work on the business. Mailchimp is a popular email marketing platform which was created by founder Ben Chestnut when he was running a design consulting business.

2. Create a business plan

Once sufficient savings are pooled up, it is important to work on your business plan.  Creating a list of variable and dynamic parameters which may affect the business, analysing the market for a demand, creating a business plan with minimal investment and operational costs and creating value for the product is important.

3. Start simple and build a revenue stream

One of the easiest ways to begin a business with little capital is most often by creating a service based model.  Service based models are easy to implement as revenue can be generated after providing a service. There are many service based industries like washing and cleaning, housekeeping and delivery services, to name a few.  If a product based model is your passion, consider starting off with services and use the revenue to build a product. For example, cooking or baking is the easiest way to generate revenue. Food will always see sales and the initial market demographic can be acquaintances, family and colleagues.

4. Consider a small loan or an incubator

Once a working model is established with revenue forecasts, consider taking a small business loan which will provide a capital pool that can be used to invest in scaling up and building infrastructure.  Incubators are a great way to grow as well. An incubator acts as a source of funding for businesses if they have good business models. Many well known business schools act as incubators. The famous startup WeWork also began as an incubator platform for startups and they have branches all over the world now.

5. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a very powerful tool to generate capital for your product or business idea.  A lot of businesses kicked off using crowdfunding and it is not just limited to businesses. Crowdfunding can be used for any number of reasons like making a movie, starting a restaurant or funding travel.  Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset which was crowdfunded by multiple backers on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform. Oculus was later acquired by Facebook for over $ 2 billion.

Starting a business does not have to be a complicated exercise and it can begin by following these tips if there is the problem of initial capital .  There is no shortcut to success, but these simple steps can help in achieving the goal of starting a business.

Read more about how to start up here: A Simple Guide To Starting A Business

 

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