Marketing blog

Why Entrepreneurs Can’t Take On the World Alone

There’s no denying that it takes a special kind of person to become an entrepreneur. It takes dogged determination, a passion that borders on obsession and a certain degree of hard headedness. After all, the path of the entrepreneur is strewn with hurdles and setbacks. If every entrepreneur gave up hope every time a funding or loan application was rejected, every time an employee quit or every time a supplier didn’t make good on their commitment, there’d be no small businesses left in the world and the economy would be the worse for it.

Nonetheless, despite the admirability of the entrepreneurial mindset it can be both the making of a fledgling business… Or it can just as easily be its undoing. While it may be tempting to think that you can take on the whole world alone, no less a personage than Richard Branson has this to say on the subject…

“Understandably there’s a lot of ego, nervous energy and parental pride involved, especially with one- or two-person start-ups…Going it alone is an admirable, but foolhardy and highly flawed approach to taking on the world.”


Master your pride

Pride can be a great thing. Pride in your business and its practices can help you keep to your principles when your competitors are selling theirs short for a quick buck. Pride can keep you motivated when all around you shrug their shoulders, but it can also be the enemy of running an efficient and effective business. Your pride can deafen your ears to good advice and cause you to make counterproductive business decisions out of sheer pigheadedness. Mastering your pride and embracing advice and criticism could be the key to success in your business.


Find a mentor

While there’s certainly nobody who knows your business like you do, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t heed the advice of those who know business in general better than you do. This may mean seeking out the services of a business consultant like Lean Sigma Consultants or taking on a mentor. Any business person worth their salt will tell you that the role of the mentor in business is a necessary and important one. Seeking a mentor can be a humbling experience for an entrepreneur and this may cause them to be extra-discerning in whose advice they seek out.

LinkedIn is a great advice for seeking out a mentor. Mentoring is a flexible discipline. It can be a frank and informal exchange of ideas online or it can mean integrating the mentor in the fold of the business and making them essentially a silent partner.

There’s a lot of advice out there for entrepreneurs, whether they’re just starting out or well on the way in their business journey. A mentor or consultant will lend you the perspective you need to weed out the good advice from the bad and help you to forge your own business style.

Seeking out help and advice needn’t mean compromising your business nor selling out your ideas, but it may well become the difference between success and failure for your enterprise. However you approach this, it’s important to remember that you can’t take on the world alone.

Marketing blog

Give Your Business the Benefit of an All-Seeing Eye

When you have a brick and mortar store, security needs to be one of the first things on your mind. After all, you’ve put too much time and effort into developing and creating your products to allow them to be taken from under your nose without due pay. Now, a security guard may well be a good idea. Countless studies have shown that people are much less likely to steal when they feel that a person’s eyes are on them. However, many shoplifters have become savvier over the years and manage to take goods in split moments when a security personnel’s attention is distracted. When it comes to legalities, a person’s account doesn’t always stand up as conclusive evidence, even if they are hired for the purpose. Many businesses have further attempted to counteract the problem of theft with tags that set off alarms while they are attached to items leaving the store premises. However, people have found ways around these too, often removing them in changing rooms, toilets, or other discrete spots. At this point, you may be despairing. How can you protect your products from immoral people when there are so many loopholes in these tactics above? Well, you can always give your benefit of an all-seeing high. Here’s a little more information about CCTV and why you should have it installed in your commercial space.


On the Shop Floor

If you’re going to invest in CCTV for just one area of your commercial property, it’s best placed on the shop floor. This is likely to be where the majority of your goods are, so is also the space where you are most likely to experience theft. The presence of CCTV alone is often enough to put potential shoplifters off attempting to steal. However, if someone does give it a go, you will have firm evidence of them in the act. This will make the pursuit of legal action more feasible. An added benefit of having CCTV on your shop floor is that you will always have footage of events occurring in your store should you need them. If a customer complains about a trip, slip, or fall that they are claiming is your fault, you will be able to look over the facts and the series of events that led up to the incident. You can also check out disagreements and other incidents that have led to people being removed from your commercial premises.


In Stock Rooms

Hopefully, your staff are trustworthy individuals. However, every now and then you will find that someone will surprise you and steal from the stock rooms. This is upsetting, but also something that needs to be tackled, or you’ll notice significant dips in your profits as people begin to think that they can get away with it. CCTV in places where staff may be left alone in the presence of stock is a good precautionary measure to take.

While it would be much nicer to live in a world where people wouldn’t take from hard working business owners, it’s often the case that they will try their luck. CCTV is the perfect way to ward off theft and take action.

Marketing blog

4 Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Retail Premises

When entrepreneurs begin assembling the necessary components they do so with one key factor in mind… Cost! Whether they’ve raised their own capital or borrowed it from a bank or business lender, it’s in the nature of a fledgling entrepreneurs to keep an eye on the mounting costs of the overheads so that their retail business doesn’t start its life mired in an inescapable swamp of debt. Inevitably this means that there are certain concessions that have to be made in the name of keeping overheads manageable and this often means compromising on their choice of premises.

After a few years of successful operation, it’s natural that entrepreneurs should want to expand their operations and this may involve moving to a new, larger, better located or better equipped premises. Before you go looking into local skip hire, however, it’s important to know that a move in premises is being considered for all the right reasons. After all, a move in premises is a disruptive and costly endeavour. If you have any of the following considerations on a regular basis it may be a sign that a move is the way forward for your retail business.


You can’t keep enough stock to meet demand

When scouting for an affordable yet appropriate premises for your business, storage space is rarely one of your prime considerations as you start mapping out floor space and creating a mental shortlist of shopfitters. However, if you can’t keep desirable items in stock to meet demand (especially seasonal demand such as the Christmas rush) this can place a sturdy glass ceiling on your profits. Your ability to meet customer demand will be one of your biggest contributors to retail success and it should not be hobbled by the wrong premises.


You keep having security issues

When you’ve worked in retail a long time you realise that corners, alcoves, nooks and crannies are windows of opportunity for shoplifters. If you’re choosing a premises on the basis of affordability it’s easy to gloss over any security issues that the premises may represent. Over time, however, despite the presence of CCTV and other security measures certain premises still present security issues that can be difficult (not to mention costly and time consuming) to mitigate. Sometimes moving to a more open plan premises where you are able to keep a closer eye on all in-store activity is the only way to go.


Your employees are always late

Few employees make an effort not to show up for work on time, but some areas are more problematic due to traffic and problematic road mapping than others. If your employees are consistently late despite making efforts like getting up and setting off earlier the problem may be with the premises rather than the employees.


Your online sales dwarf your in-store sale

Though the high street is still alive and well, few retailers don’t supplement their income with online sales. After all, online availability combined with a potent marketing strategy can help to mitigate the shortcomings in a retail premises. That said, if you notice a growing disparity between your online sales and your in-store sales then your foot traffic is likely less healthy than it should be. Moving to a premises could well give you a much needed boost.