Social Media – Business to Business (B2B) [Infographic]

Strategy Plan One

March 27, 2012 

Are you using social media for business to business dealings, to promote products and services and/or to generate more business to business sales leads?  Are you using Social Media as one of your business to business marketing strategies in messaging about your business, product or service?  Here  is an interesting infographic developed by Nowsourcing.com and presented by Insideview.com.

Of interest:

  • 90 % of business 2 business companies use Facebook
  • 67% more leads/sales per month for companies with an active blog
  • IBM reported a 400% increase in one quarter when using social media sales strategy
  • in a survey, 75% of the respondent (global buyers) said that they would use social media in the buying process in the future

Social media strategies - business 2 business

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

Buying a Franchise – Another Great Opportunity for Entrepreneurs

Strategy Plan One

February 15, 2012 

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2804

As an entrepreneur you have choices to make when going into business.  You can start a business from scratch or you can acquire an existing viable business.  Also on the list of opportunities is buying into a franchised opportunity.

Investing in a franchised venture is a little different from acquiring a business or hanging your own sign out.  In this business scenario, you, the franchisee, agree to conduct business under the franchisor for a specified duration.  Franchised opportunities involve sophisticated agreements between you and the franchisor.

Buying a franchise brings a wealth of benefits, but you also need to be aware of the conditions around buying a franchise.  Here are some tips and information on franchised opportunities:

  •  Franchises are plentiful; ensure you research each for the right fit against your operational, management and financial capabilities
  • Franchises come with strict operating standards, and you must be aware that you will need to adhere to these standards such as pricing, marketing, design, customer service, employment, etc
  • You will need to pay royalties or monthly payments for ongoing franchise costs
  • Most established strong franchises have rigorous training programs and schedules, both at your location and possibly to a head office location
  • In franchised opportunities, the master franchise holder or company will conduct frequent inspections to ensure consistency of standards
  • Franchised opportunities will not provide the flexibility that you may see in your own start up scenario
  • Most of the time with established bigger franchises, volume of business will be significant and margins may be lower than experienced in your own start up scenario

Benefits of franchises:

  • The leg work has been done, and if you buy a franchise, yohttp://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2848 u buy a brand, loyal customer base, standardized practices and operating procedures
  • Through the power of a large franchisor, economies of scale are achieved, which results in greater negotiating power, buying power, marketing power, etc
  • You could piggy back on to some of the largest national marketing and advertising budgets; normally you don’t have to worry about marketing and advertising
  • With the franchise comes a support team of corporate managers and executives; the franchisor does not want you to fail and will assist
  • Larger franchises with brand recognition and existing loyal global customers will possibly result in immediate revenue streams
  • Franchised opportunities open the door for additional funding sources, and in some cases, franchisors offer in-house financing
  • Franchisors undertake extensive product and service development to open new doors and revenue streams for franchisees
  • If you do well, franchises may offer expansion opportunities (i.e.: the offer to run another location or two);  fast food franchises are good examples
  • If you do extremely well with multiple locations, you may be eligible to invest and run master franchised opportunities, such as managing the franchisees within a whole district, state, or province or territory.

Disadvantages to be aware of:

  • Franchised opportunities can be capital intensive
  • Be prepared for heavy investment and the need to acquire funding sources
  • Franchised agreements can be complex, with strict terms and conditions
  • Franchised opportunities come with mandatory fees and monthly royalties
  • In owing a franchise, you give up some control over the business

Similar to other opportunities, you need to investigate whether or not buying a franchise is your way into entrepreneurship.  With heavy due diligence on your part, franchised opportunities could provide you with a stable business opportunity with ample rewards.

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business Mentor information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Super Bowl Infographic – Big Business and Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

Strategy Plan One

February 5, 2012 

NRF Infographic 2012 Super Bowl

You may have noticed the traffic around the internet on how much business is generated around Super Bowl, one of the biggest sporting events on the planet.

Not only does the event itself make massive amounts of money from TV and advertising, but bars, pubs, restaurants and retail outlets see their sales soar, in some cases up 200%.

The National Retail Federation (www.nrf.com) is estimating that around the US, Super Bowl Sunday will generate  $11 Billion spent in food services and retail.  NRF further estimates a whopping $1.02 Billion will be spent on snacks alone .  Host city Indianapolis, will benefit by around $150 Million is spending directly in their community.

If you are an entrepreneur, hopefully you will take notes on opportunities around sporting events such as this one.

Businesses and industries are built around these events.  Be careful to draw the line between ancillary businesses and ones that use the Super Bowl brand; the latter requires permission and agreements on use of trademarks.

Enjoy the stats and data in this infographic, courtesy of NRF.com

Strategy Plan One

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

5 Ways to Reduce Expenditures in your Business

Strategy Plan One 

January 31, 2012 

 

Tough economic times require tough business and financial management measures.  In some cases with declining revenues, there is a need to balance the budgets by reducing costs.  Here are some ways to potentially assist in this balancing act:

 

Contracted services

In describing contracting out as a cost saving measure, there are obvious sensitivities and considerations in maintaining employment levels first.  Your employees are valued individuals.   However, instead of running up new staffing costs or continuing to support more staff than your organization needs, consider the benefits of contracting.  Contracting offers flexibilities in scope of work, deliverables, cost and timing.  Most contracts provide the ability for a manager to flick the switch on and off when services are needed.  You will have a defined cost attached to each piece of work, and unnecessary overhead costs can be reduced.

 

Flexible Work Arrangements

If you can maintain service levels it may be in your best interest to provide options to employees such as flexible working arrangements from home.  This could reduce office overhead as office space would not be needed.  Virtual assistants are popping up all over the place as viable alternatives, and in today’s age of connectedness, there is sometimes no need to be at a physical location.  Management from afar is sometimes challenging, but performance, quality and quantity of work can still be tracked.

 

Reduction of Fleet Vehicles

Depending on what business and industry you are in, you should probably review the unnecessary costs associated with maintaining a fleet of vehicles for operations.  It also depends on how frequently your employees travel.  It may make sense to move to a Personal Motor Vehicle (PMV) allowance, based on a set rate for usage (usually $0.XX per mile).

 

Partnerships

Depending on the partnership arrangements, a whole list of savings can be realized, from sharing of internal staffing resources, to marketing costs, to utilization of partner resources completely.  Do not overlook partnerships as a valuable cost saving measure.

 

RFP Processes

Request for Proposal (RFP) processes in any business should be considered as an essential procedure for the procurement of any goods and services for the business.  RFP processes allow you to define the scope of work and allow you to send out requests to suppliers to competitively bid on that scope of work.  Ensure you also develop an RFP assessment, ranking score card that may rank bids based on cost, experience, track record, timing, and added benefits.  If you need to find a low-cost provider to reduce expenditures, this may be the process for you.

 

Carefully review your processes and procedures to maximize value, while trying to maintain balance in your budgets.  Whenever possible seek the advice of a qualified professional for financial management.

Strategy Plan One

© Strategy Plan One 2012

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

Advantages of Partnership Building & Collaboration

Strategy Plan One

January 23, 2012 

 

Entrepreneurs and start-up businesses sometimes, in a flawed approach, consider going it alone at the onset of operations, or when it comes to new opportunities.  If your business has valued opportunities or access to a resource, then others will be interested. Likewise, you may find external opportunities with companies that may have synergies with your business and your lines of products and services.

 

In a few case examples, if a new business venture has operated in isolation, the competition in that industry had little interest other than keeping track to ensure the new start-up wasn’t encroaching on their market share.  As you may be preparing to launch your business, the time might be right for you to work with outside firms to further mutual business objectives, and enjoy mutual benefits.

 

Developing close working relationships with partners may result in many potential advantages for your business, including:

 

  • Greater benefits gained through economies of scale

 

  • Sharing of risk associated with a new project, product or service

 

  • Use of your partnering firms’ supplies and equipment, versus your business having to supply all infrastructure and paying for all costs associated

 

  • Use of firms’ working capital, reducing the need for you to obtain financial resources

 

  • Capacity and skill transfer, drawing upon existing expertise in operations and management

 

  • Collaborative marketing, rather than having to develop all of this intelligence in house at the onset of operations

 

  • Access to more partners

 

The potential benefits of working with the partnering firms and companies may potentially outweigh any negatives, and should be investigated and considered.  Many successful businesses have noted key success factors including developing strong partnerships and joint ventures.  However, ensure that you spend the time to develop relationships, demonstrate business cases, and build trust with partners.

 

Strategy Plan One

© Strategy Plan One 2012

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur