Tips for Expanding Your Business

Initially, a business requires few years to develop a strong foothold in the market. Once this is achieved, the next thing that comes in the minds of owners is expansion. Taking the business to a higher level, where it can cater to a larger base of customers, is ideally the target of owners. A business needs strategic planning and analysis before actually starting the expansion process. Missing out on these points can adversely affect the profits, and may result in loss of established market position. Expansion can be achieved in many ways. It is up to the company to decide which way is the best for its expansion.

Franchising has lately become one of the most successful methods of expansion. It provides the owner some control over the business. Internal processes can be uniformly maintained among all the franchisees, thereby, creating a unique brand image. This is necessary to catch the eye of prospective customers who can later become real customers. Franchising does not require significant financial input on the part of the franchisor and also helps in earning fees from franchisees. By doing so, a business can enhance its visibility in many locations without making any significant investment.

Diversification is a strategy used by many businesses for expansion. It involves developing new products and entering new markets, so as to increase the profitability of the organization. A variety of items in the product basket of the organization serve as multiple sources of income and help in maintaining profits, even if, some of the products fail to perform well for a certain time period. Diversification can be attained by entering into related segments, for instance, a notebook manufacturing company can add other stationery in its product basket so as to cater to a larger customer base.

A business can expand by opening outlets at new locations, so that customers of those areas can make use of the product or service offered. Setting up new outlets requires a lot of money therefore, businesses must undertake feasibility studies to learn the pros and cons associated with it. This form of expansion is good for ventures that have a consistent

An organization can grow by forming an alliance with another party. A business alliance is formed between two businesses who wish to expand by sharing the cost of expansion. The parties agree to share the risk and profit associated with the expansion process. An alliance can be a joint venture, investment alliance, sales alliance, location-specific alliance or a
Gaining a license reduces the risk for a specific product or service, of being illegally used by someone else. This is a low-cost method of expansion by which the license holder can enjoy royalties, by allowing other businesses to sell the product, without actually getting involved in the manufacturing or selling process. This is the safest method to maintain ownership over the product and earn profits.

Acquiring more and more customers is the key to expansion. Businesses must try to serve customers of related segments to increase profitability. For example, pharmaceutical companies not only target customers going to retail chemists, but also the ones that are found in hospitals. By increasing the customer base from retail chemists to hospitals, pharmaceutical companies are capable of generating more business.

A quick means of expansion that businesses can avail is, signing contacts with government organizations. Concerns about external competition are highly reduced by winning a government contract because there is no competition during the contract period. A thorough research is required prior to applying for a government contract. A business must apply for a contract only if it is capable of meeting the terms and conditions associated with it.

Acquisitions help in acquiring new customers and increasing income. When a business is acquired, the parent company gets charge of its employees, assets and all other belongings. This helps in expansion and increasing the worth of the parent company. Most of the time, businesses choose to acquire companies that are smaller in size and worth as compared to them. In some cases, smaller companies develop control over the management of a larger firm and retain its name and customers.

Using the Internet for increasing the visibility of a business is a smart way of expansion. Customers are nowadays inclined towards getting details of a product or service they are looking for, through the Internet. Putting up content that is needed by the customers, definitely helps in gaining customer attention and increases the chances of sales.
Government grants for small business expansion are available to provide financial assistance to companies that are ready for it. If you are an owner, it is better to hire a consultant who can give several tips for business expansion, but, it is for you to decide which option is the best. A well-planned approach will help in the growth of your business and you will get excellent results in terms of profits.

Tips to Start Your Car Wash Business

Everyone loves cars, and they love them more when they are clean. Unfortunately, due to a fast-paced life which most people lead, spending time cleaning a car has become next to impossible. That is why, they take their cars to car wash centers and get them cleaned regularly. Due to this, the car wash industry is booming, and even though there is a huge competition in the market, this business is a hit. It is very lucrative, as it can be started really quickly. The best part about this business is that absolutely anyone can start and run it.

The success stories of car wash business are many, and that is why, many college students and teens enter this industry. It is a quick way to earn some extra pocket money. Students go door-to-door offering their services to people who have cars, but do not have time to wash their cars, or take them to car wash centers. This write-up gives you the complete know-how on opening your own car wash business, in quick and easy steps explained below.

Starting the Business

Research

Starting a car wash business is very easy. You start with your research, usually beginning with studying the car wash industry. There are 3 main types of car wash businesses that one can start: mobile, manual, and automatic car wash services. One needs to understand each type, and do his research accordingly.

» A mobile car wash business is one that requires a person to visit homes and offer his/her services. Mobile car washers make house visits at the convenience of their clients’ homes.
» Manual car washes are those that do not have automated machines to clean the cars, rather people do all the cleaning. These car wash centers employ people to wash the cars manually, without using machines.
» Automatic car wash centers are those that have the drive-through facility, where the car is taken through different mechanized cleaning stages. You should visit other car wash centers to understand how they work.

Doing the right research is the most important step in getting your business started. During your research, you need to also decide whether you want to start a franchise, sole proprietorship, or partnership.

Location and Equipment

Depending on the type of business you choose to open, you should select your location. To be on the safer side, choose a location that is close to a residential setup. It is easier to get business if your clientele resides near your center. You should choose a location that has ample parking space, and one that is not too far from any main roads. Your center should be noticeable to as many people as possible, so having a good location is very crucial. Your location should be big enough to house a drive-through or other equipment that you need. Choose your equipment wisely. If you plan to start a mobile car wash business, then you need not worry about the location. Your main concern is getting your business started and advertising it well.

Money and Business Proposal

Money is the most important aspect of any business. Once you have decided on your location, you need to procure the finances to rent the location and buy equipment if needed. You need to decide whether you want to take out a loan from a bank, find private sponsors, or take out money from your savings. If you plan to borrow capital from a bank or private investor, you need to draw up a detailed business plan, and present it to them. You business plan should be very crisp and impressive, stating all the points, like location, equipment, labor, taxes, estimated profit, etc.

Paperwork

After all your finances and capital investment are taken care of, you need to go ahead with your registration procedure. If your location needs a special permit, you need to buy one before you make an offer on it. As soon as that is done, you should register your company and apply for all the important business permits that you will need. You will be required to apply for zoning variances, Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Services, state tax registration certificate, federal tax identification number, environmental and safety inspections, etc. Insurance for your business and its location should also be done. Once you buy your equipment, you can insure that too, against theft, damage, etc.

Purchases, Employment, and Advertisement

Once all your paperwork is done, buy all the equipment that you need. Place advertisements in the local paper, on the Internet, and radio for hiring employees. Conduct interviews, and select candidates that fit the job requirement. Make sure that you employ people who are efficient, polite, experienced, and who have knowledge about cars and its related services. Get your car wash outlet constructed, and open your business. Advertisements are very important in this industry. Your posters and fliers should be distributed on a large scale so that you can pull in as many clients as you can. If you have a set budget for advertisements, then employing an advertisement agency is a good idea. Since your business is a new one, you will need to put out some attractive offers to get clients.

Starting a car wash business, or any business for that matter, requires a lot of hard work and patience. You need to understand that there is a risk in it. If the market is down, or during the rains when it is not possible to maintain the cleanliness of a car, owners do not get it washed regularly. Keeping that in mind, you need to come up with good and reasonable deals for them so that your clients keep coming back to you. Make sure that the quality of services that you offer is never compromised upon, and you will see your business boom.

How to Mind Your Own Business

Ever come across people who would tell you about their salaries before they wave a hello and smile, or ever met an unmarried girl advising you, when to have babies? I have, and trust me, there is nothing more annoying than being polite and smiling back to these people, while suppressing a growl and holding your hands away from their cheek. Ask me at such a moment ‘how to mind your own business’ and I may not reply with words and may use some other means.

All my growing years, I have come across various people who lack the quality of humbleness. And I have noted that these people are somehow obsessed with boasting and also hint low self-esteem. Otherwise, why do you need to be so loud when making a point so that the whole of the room notices you and not just the person you are talking to. Or why do you need to say sentences like, ‘why are you wearing this dress’ or ‘I got a job, pays big bucks, blah blah’, when all the other person is doing is playing friends with you.

As I said, minding your own business needs a lot of humbleness, politeness and respect for the other human being. It needs an understanding on your part, that the other person is an individual with his particular set of choices, and he/she is free to follow his/her choices. You need to understand that you are not always right and playing Miss Know-It-All or Mr. Know-It-All will take you nowhere and will in fact, take the other people away from you. So, the mantra is “Live and Let Live”. If you think you are the goddess of fashion or a finance guru, keep it to yourself, because you know what, the world doesn’t care and nobody has the time to listen to you bragging and boasting. Also, you may not always find a humble listener. So, beware of witty comebacks before you open your mouth. Don’t you remember the best ever mind your own business saying ‘do not do to others what you would not like

Advice always sounds good from people who have been there and done that. Like our parents and teachers whom we sadly (and most often) choose to ignore. But taking advice from someone who assumes he knows it all, is so irritating. Take for example the agony aunts (and uncles), you will find many of them who have taken it upon themselves to solve others’ problems. Mind you, helping when asked to is good, but being nosy and advising when not asked to is bad. I have personally come across people who were repelled to know that I am married, and by repelled I mean, they practically flew back a few feet from where they were standing and their eyes popped out. And they were louder than a train’s horn when they said ‘What! You are married!’. And they just kept moving their head sideways, even when I explained I am not that young and I married by my wish. To add to it, they will request you to not have babies as of now. Wow, is that reasonable? And I think I need not explain how repelled I am from such people. So, it is important that people understand where to draw a line when it comes to personal lives. And secondly, bring down that volume man!

Business Administration Tips

Management is defined as the skill of coordinating all the organizational resources, be it human, financial or material, in order to achieve organizational goals. A degree in business administration equips a person to perform this management function in the best possible way. So, for all those who are contemplating a career in business management and administration, given below are some useful tips, with regards to management education, as well as the job profile that you can expect in future.

Tips on Management Education

To make a career in this field, you will need a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from a recognized college or university. The degree provides education in all the major business administration and management fields. Here’s a list of subjects that you will study in a business school:

Marketing
Financial Management
Accounting
Human Resources Management
Statistics
Economics

You will learn about basic theories and principles of management as well. If you get into a good business school, there will be guest lectures by some high-profile professionals from the corporate world, which in itself is a great learning experience.

Solving case studies, giving presentations, participating in group assignments, working part-time in a company and doing internships, are some other things you can look forward to doing at a business school. Once you pass out of the school, you will have a complete knowledge of management process in business administration. A management school will also equip you in all the required management skills, the list of which is given below:

Planning
Organizing
Decision Making
Problem Solving
Communication
Hiring
Controlling
Customer Relationship Management Skills
Leadership
Team Building
Negotiation Skills

Tips on a Manager’s Job Profile

The role of a manager in business administration, depends on the kind of organization he is in. Initially, his job may be limited to his chosen field of specialization, i.e. he might be a manager in the marketing department or in the finance department. However, as he moves from junior management to mid-career level, he will be heading one of the departments in a company and performing functions of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling, in his department.

Planning
Planning involves setting both short-term as well as long-term goals and arranging them in a logical sequence as to which one needs to be achieved first and so on. A manager needs to plan for what to do, how to do, when to do and by whom it should be done.

Organizing
This function mainly involves setting up a structure in the department or the organization. Setting responsibilities for each and every person or department, how they will correspond and work together, who will supervise whom, all fall under this management function.

Staffing
A manager needs to hire right people for any given job. So, he invites applications, interviews people and then hires them to work in the organization.

Directing
A manager motivates and leads his team so that they give their best to meet the organizational goals. A manager has to find the right balance between being sensitive to his staff needs, as well as getting the job done in time

Controlling
The manager assesses and keeps a check on the performance of his employees, so that the desired results can be achieved. There is a set “rewards and punishments” formula in every organization, which a manager follows to ensure maximum work output from his employees.

To perform the above functions, a manager needs to be creative, fair, sensitive to the needs of others, a good leader, motivator, problem-solver and a sound decision maker. When he reaches senior management, he will be required to overlook all the departments in the company. A person with a degree in business management and the required managerial skills, can become the CEO of a company.