Understanding Small Business Challenges Allows them to be Overcome

September 2, 2016 General

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As a small business owner, there are several issues to overcome on the “yellow brick road” to growth. The video link below, from investopedia , is an excellent brief review of common challenges that small business owners must overcome in order to achieve successful growth.

http://www.investopedia.com/video/play/5-biggest-challenges-facing-your-small-business/

 

Gabriel-Andreson

About the Author
Gabriel Andreson formed iSoldmyCompany.com after purchasing a small business. He has spent most of his career in a consultative sales role, with a focus on energy efficiency. In his 20 years of experience in the industry, he grew from being a “door to door” business development person making less than $20K per year to a highly experienced consultant that is comfortable dealing with people from the facility level to the executives within a company. One if his greatest passions is helping people succeed, he feels that Isoldmycompany.com is a great vehicle to do that.

How Branding Your Business Builds Trust

How Branding Your Business Builds Trust

It’s pretty clear that a brand is only as good as its customers think it is. You may believe your company is the best in its class, but if your customers don’t agree, you won’t find much success down the road. Creating a trustworthy brand takes time and dedication: a good reputation is built on fulfilled promises and deliverance of high quality products and services time after time. If you buy a small business, nurturing and growing the good image of that brand is imperative.

There are two ways of going about this objective: either you maintain the business’s current branding, or you re-brand to make forward progress. Which approach is right for you? Read on to find out more.

Maintain and reinforce an existing brand

Ever hear the old expression, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” This is actually sound logic for brands, too. If a business is doing well and has a loyal following, it is probably best to keep the current brand, rather than starting from scratch. Customers see branding and associate it with their personal experience. If that experience has been positive, you can encourage them to come back by maintaining and reinforcing that brand in the months and years to come.

Maintaining a current brand is also a great way to form a bond with current customers. If they find out that the company has changed hands and they don’t know who you are, they may understandably be worried about the quality of service going forward. You can create confidence through the ownership transition by continuing to provide excellent service and products under the brand they know and trust.

Rebrand for a better future

If, on the other hand, if you buy a small business that seems to be struggling, you might want to consider scrapping the current branding image in favor of a new approach. Some businesses have great potential, but due to weak oversight or other unfavorable conditions, they have not yet found the success of which they are capable. In these situations, rebranding can give a business a healthy dose of forward momentum.

For a complete rebranding, you might consider changing the company name, logo, or slogan of the business. Keep in mind that you are trying to establish a new and different identity in the eye of your potential customers, investors, and even competitors. This is your opportunity to create a brand that will generate intrigue, and it’s a great way to hit the refresh button and build excitement for your product.

Whichever approach you take, remember that having basic branding in place at all times is essential. Customers want to have solid evidence that the businesses they use are worthy of their trust and support. Many people will choose one brand over another based on how familiar they are with them, and how comfortable they are interacting with them. So, maintain a consistent online presence, make your logo and mission statement stand out, and create a welcoming environment for people who are interested in your services.


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Advantages of Company Growth

July 8, 2016 General

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benefits of growth

Some business owners are performing a volume of business that they are content with.  As an entrepreneur that wants to experience as much growth as possible, I would encourage all small business owners to consider the following:

As a company grows in size, it often is able to take advantage of greater buying power.  Greater buying power is a way to increase margin “on the back side” without needing to charge customers higher prices to recognize greater profits.

Often, as a company increases in size – it’s reputation within the marketplace grows as well.  People perceive growth as strength and security.

Company growth most often represents diversification of business, this spreads revenue out in a way that makes the company much less risky.  In laymen’s terms, as a company realizes growth, most often – all the eggs are not in one basket.

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Gabe HeadshotAbout the Author
Gabriel Andreson formed iSoldmyCompany.com after purchasing a small business.  He has spent most of his career in a consultative sales role, with a focus on energy efficiency.  In his 20 years of experience in the industry, he grew from being a “door to door” business development person making less than $20K per year to a highly experienced consultant that is comfortable dealing with people from the facility level to the executives within a company.  One if his greatest passions is helping people succeed, he feels that Isoldmycompany.com is a great vehicle to do that.

4 Traits of a Successful Small Business Owner

There are a lot of factors that go into owning your own small business. Some help you develop your business and grow your revenue, while others focus on your employees and your customer base. Studies have shown that there are several traits that all successful business owners have, which may contribute to the success they see in their small businesses. Here are the four that stand out as key signs that you might start taking seriously your interest in buying your own small business.

You’re a confident person

A trait that most successful small business owners share is that they are confident. They are self-assured in the decisions they make about their small businesses, as well as in their personal lives. They exude confidence and have gained the respect of those with whom they interact. They are seen as leaders and as people who can be trusted. This is a remarkable quality that others flock to, which may explain why confident people can be so successful as small business owners.

It’s important, however, not to mistake a small business owner’s confidence for arrogance or egotism. Accomplished small business owners don’t flaunt their successes. They are there to mentor and lead others based on what they have learned from their experiences and mistakes. A confident small business owner has grown as a person over the course of their lifetime and learned a great deal, helping to build their confidence over time.

Confident small business owners can take the bad with the good and move on. They don’t get bogged down by criticism. They actually see it as an opportunity to improve themselves and their small businesses. Do you think you’re a confident person? You may have exactly what it takes to own a small business!

You have a strong drive

Successful small business owners also have a strong internal drive. This will to succeed makes them work harder than the rest, as they want to see the effort they have put into owning their own small businesses grow into well-established companies that customers frequent often. This internal motivation gives them the willingness to push ahead when times get tough or when they have to work extra hard to get something done.

As most small business owners can attest, starting a company is hard work. It takes a personal drive to ensure that everything gets done and a lot of foresight to lead the business ahead into the future. Along with this drive often comes a competitiveness that constantly motivates small business owners to be the best and outperform everyone else.

Every small business owner experiences challenges. Those with drive are able to rise above the challenges and find solutions that work. They don’t ever give up, and quitting certainly isn’t an option. Those with drive are able to excel when times get tough. If you have a level of self-determination unlike anybody else, you might consider starting or buying your own small business. With this kind of motivation, you will likely put forth the effort needed to succeed and surpass your competition.

You’re a goal-oriented person

To make it as a small business owner, you ought to be a goal-oriented person. You should thrive on setting goals for your business that will keep it moving ahead for the long term. Small business owners who have shortsighted goals often don’t make it, as they haven’t considered the future of their company. A goal-oriented small business owner thinks long term, setting goals that they might work year-round for several years to attain.

Before a goal-oriented small business owner started their business, they most likely had a vision of where they wanted to go and how they intended to get there. This set them on track and gave them the necessary focus to move forward. They had goals in place when they started, and move toward achieving those goals every day.

Goals, complemented by a small business owner’s personal motivation, provide a path for them to follow. They do what it takes to accomplish the goals they have established for their small businesses. Without goals in place, a small business owner is likely to flounder, having no real direction in which to proceed. They make decisions based on the problems of today and don’t consider what those choices could mean for their future. A small business owner with goals has a direct strategy for their business that takes into account short-term as well as long-term concerns.

As a goal-oriented person, you can see the big picture of a small business and take the actions necessary to achieve the results you are after. Think about starting a small business if you have this trait. If this is combined with drive and confidence, you could very well succeed!

You embody passion

Are you a passionate person? Are you thinking about starting a small business that involves putting your passion into practice? If so, this may be exactly what you need in order to do well in business. A small business owner who uses their passion to develop a small business is more likely to succeed than a person that goes into a business that they don’t deeply care about.

Think about going to work each day and growing a small business that you are truly passionate about. You will certainly give it your all because you actually care about what you are doing and understand how the outcome of everything you do will affect the business. As a passionate small business owner, you will rise to the occasion to try new things. Some will work and some will fail, but you will continue to try because you are passionate about making your small business the best that it can be.

When thinking about the small business you intend to operate, choose something that you are truly passionate about. It will make the everyday challenges easier and make what you are doing each day so much more meaningful.

If you incorporate the traits of confidence, drive, goals and passion into your everyday life, you may be a great candidate for starting a small business!


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The Selling Interview

July 5, 2016 General

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interview

When starting the process of selling your business, we always encourage following an interview process prior to hiring a business broker. Before selecting a broker, it is wise to interview a few different vendors before making a choice on who to hire.  We recommend interviewing three brokers, and choosing the best candidate for you based on:

Prior success – How long have they been in business?  Ask for references!

Professionalism – Both prior to and during the interview process

Value – What specifically does the broker charge for their services?  Do they offer different options for levels of service?

Expertise – During your interview and evaluation process, we belive that the most important factor to look for is the past and current success of your potential broker.


 

Gabe HeadshotAbout the Author
Gabriel Andreson formed iSoldmyCompany.com after purchasing a small business.  He has spent most of his career in a consultative sales role, with a focus on energy efficiency.  In his 20 years of experience in the industry, he grew from being a “door to door” business development person making less than $20K per year to a highly experienced consultant that is comfortable dealing with people from the facility level to the executives within a company.  One if his greatest passions is helping people succeed, he feels that Isoldmycompany.com is a great vehicle to do that.

3 Reasons to Own a Business

June 28, 2016 General

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ownbusiness

In the United States, there are an average of 600,000 new business started every year.

Three very compelling reasons why so many people are willing to risk dollars, time and reputation are as follows:

  1. There is a tremendous Sense Of Accomplishment that comes with successfully growing your own business.  This sense of accomplishment is a feeling that drives many entrepreneurs – perhaps even more than money.
  2. Controlling Your Own Schedule and Destiny – As a business owner, you can work to balance your family/work schedule in a way that working a 9 to 5 job does not provide.  If your kids have sporting events, you can attend, then go back to work if necessary.  No one is there to reprimand you for your work schedule.  You are your own boss.  You can have a goal of growing your business to sell it off, or growing it to be a source of ongoing revenue for you and your family.
  3. There are Significant Tax Benefits of owning your own business.  Write offs , write offs, write offs!  In addition to this, a defined benefit plan allows for contributing over 10x more retirement dollars away each year – tax deferred – than a traditional 401K plan does.  Only small business owners have access to using a defined benefit plan.

Gabriel-AndresonAbout the Author
Gabriel Andreson formed iSoldmyCompany.com after purchasing a small business.  He has spent most of his career in a consultative sales role, with a focus on energy efficiency.  In his 20 years of experience in the industry, he grew from being a “door to door” business development person making less than $20K per year to a highly experienced consultant that is comfortable dealing with people from the facility level to the executives within a company.  One if his greatest passions is helping people succeed, he feels that Isoldmycompany.com is a great vehicle to do that.

 

Read This Before Selling Your Small Business

shutterstock_153841241

You have worked hard to build a successful small business, and now the time has come to sell it. Maybe you are looking to retire, maybe you want to move on to a new industry or maybe you just need the money right now. Whatever your reason is for selling, you can expect the selling process to be full of twists, turns, and important decisions.

Here at ISoldMyCompany.com, we help ensure both buyers and sellers have the resources, information, and advice they need to make wise business decisions. Now, we have put together a guide that will walk sellers through the steps. Read on for more advice and information on putting your small business for sale in Massachusetts.

Preparation is key

When selling a business, there are two key motivational factors at play: the financial/organizational side of things, and the emotional side.

Preparing for the business side should be relatively direct, but small businesses often fail to have all their ducks in a row before starting the selling process. You need to make sure your books are pristine and that you have a very clear idea of your company’s worth before selling.

As for emotional preparation, there is no “one size fits all” solution. But it is important to be aware that emotions might cloud your judgment, especially if you are selling a family business. Keep that in mind, and remember to get second and third opinions from unbiased friends and associates.

Less is not always more

Less might be more in the design world, but when it comes to selling a business, having too much of something is typically better than not having enough of it. This applies to opinions and advice, as well as offers and valuations.

The main reason for selling your business is to make money, so of course you do not want to undervalue the company. Seek out trusted advisors, respected financial institutions and important friends and family members for advice, opinions, questions and concerns.

Negotiate your role

Often, a new business owner will ask the previous owner to stay aboard in an advisory role for a while to make for a smoother transition. If the new owner requests this of you, make sure you have a solid agreement about whether the role will be temporary or permanent, what your compensation will be, and how long you will stay on.

Remember, this is not your company anymore, meaning that you are now an employee. As such, you are entitled to the same rights and information as any other company employee.

Trust a professional

This guide is a great start, but it is just the beginning of what you need to know before listing your small business for sale. If you take anything away from this, let it be these three ideas: be prepared, seek qualified help and know your rights.

When the time comes to sell your small business, we hope you will trust the team at ISoldMyCompany.com to help you reach the greatest number of potential buyers, and we also recommend that you locate a qualified broker.


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To Use or Not To Use A Business Broker

Business Broker

 

We at Isoldmycompany.com are not affiliated with any specific business brokers, nor do we require our customers to list their companies with brokers.  With that in mind, we feel it is very important for a small business owner to evaluate the benefits of working with a business broker in order to sell their company.  A few aspects to consider prior to making this decision are as follows:

  • Most business brokers are experts in all aspects of selling your company, you are paying for their expertise
  • They are familiar with valuation, advertising, and often have working relationships with banks to assist in funding a sale (for a potential buyer)
  • Because business brokers specialize in the buying and selling of companies, they are often the “first stop” for business buyers
  • Business brokers are familiar with the legal aspects of buying and selling companies, and can help navigate the complex legalities of both sides of a business sale
  • Many business brokers will work on a “sale only” basis, meaning if they don’t sell your business they don’t earn any commission

It is of our opinion that working with a business broker can be a much more effective way to sell your company, and if timing is important – all of the factors above should be thoroughly considered prior to making a decision on whether or not to hire a business broker to sell your business.


Gabriel-AndresonAbout the Author
Gabriel Andreson formed iSoldmyCompany.com after purchasing a small business.  He has spent most of his career in a consultative sales role, with a focus on energy efficiency.  In his 20 years of experience in the industry, he grew from being a “door to door” business development person making less than $20K per year to a highly experienced consultant that is comfortable dealing with people from the facility level to the executives within a company.  One if his greatest passions is helping people succeed, he feels that Isoldmycompany.com is a great vehicle to do that.

 

An Appeal On Why To Use Social Media to Promote Your Business

The short video above is an excellent (although not very charismatic) presentation on why to use Social Media to promote your business.  It does a very good job of communicating how vast the social media network has become.  If you are a small business owner that has not grappled with this revenue generator, we at Isoldmycompany.com highly encourage that you take 4 minutes to view it.


 

Gabriel-AndresonAbout the Author
Gabriel Andreson formed iSoldmyCompany.com after purchasing a small business.  He has spent most of his career in a consultative sales role, with a focus on energy efficiency.  In his 20 years of experience in the industry, he grew from being a “door to door” business development person making less than $20K per year to a highly experienced consultant that is comfortable dealing with people from the facility level to the executives within a company.  One if his greatest passions is helping people succeed, he feels that Isoldmycompany.com is a great vehicle to do that.

Do You Understand Your Customer?

teamwork of people in the business world

I had an interesting conversation with one of my cousins over the weekend.  The subject matter was regarding why TiVo didn’t dominate the market.  This case study well describes the failure of TiVo.  In a competitive marketplace, learning from the mistakes of others is a surefire way to avoid similar pitfalls!

“Today, virtually everyone who still has a cable subscription has a DVR.  People expected their content be available whenever they wanted it.  But that wasn’t the case at the turn of the century.

In 1999, TiVo was introduced.  It was a new technology unlike anything that was available at that time.  It recorded TV content onto the device making it available on-demand.  It differed from VCR as it didn’t require a tape and it had advanced features such as recording set based on series, actors, or interests.  It could skip commercials and rewind live TV.  It was very smart for its time.  At launch, Forrester predicted greater than 50% household penetration in 5 years, and yet, it’d be hard to find a standalone TiVo in many homes today.  What happened?

First, TiVo did not fully understand the consumer. Truly for a considerable length of time after launch, individuals still didn’t recognize what the item was or why they would need one.   TiVo was creating a new market, but they did not recognize it.  They expected consumers to understand the need for TiVo, when in fact they were quite satisfied with their existing solutions.  There was inertia toward making a change and TiVo did little to combat that inertia.  Why did consumers need TiVo?  It was a question that was never answered, and therefore, the need was never established.  Despite heavy advertising, TiVo never concretely displayed a solution to a problem.  It depicted freedom from a set TV schedule, but it wasn’t a problem that people were seeking solutions for.  (Or if it was, it was a very small group of people.)  Thus, TiVo wasn’t able to capitalize on a first-mover advantage and capture its fair share of the market before cheaper alternatives became available.

TiVo’s marketing focused on the wrong problem.  It built brand awareness, which is often necessary to launch a new brand.  People adopted TiVo as a verb, which is the greatest success in building a brand.  It put TiVo in the league of Kleenex and Google.  “I’ll just TiVo that show.”  However, brand awareness is secondary when you’re creating a new market.  Need awareness comes first before brand awareness is necessary.  And if the need is salient enough, and if you provide a good enough solution, the brand will build itself through word-of-mouth.  However, in TiVo’s case, while the solution was beautiful, there wasn’t a need at the time.  The existing solution was perfectly acceptable.

Furthermore, TiVo did not fully appreciate the industry structure and the hurdle it would create.  The industry that should have been TiVo’s greatest ally would become TiVo’s greatest competitor.  In order to get TiVo in a home, a consumer would have to actively go get a TiVo.  As the technology became available, easier alternatives started to emerge – a DVR that came bundled with the cable service.  TiVo wasn’t able to break into the cable provider industry, as the industry was self-interested in lowering cost of entry and monetizing on the subscription.  Therefore, placing advanced technology with heavy marketing such as  a TiVo console was aligned with cable service providers’ strategy.  Therefore, TiVo lacked distribution.  Adding insult to injury, TiVo’s heavy marketing actually created the market for the cheaper easier alternatives.  While the benefit of TiVo was not concrete enough for a consumer to seek one out, it was just intriguing enough to say “yes” when a cable service provider asked if you may like that add-on.

A lesson learned here is that whenever you think you’re bringing to market an innovation, big or small, ask yourself this – what is the existing solution and how do I establish my innovation as the ultimate solution?” 

article by Jeannie Chan


Gabriel-AndresonAbout the Author
Gabriel Andreson formed iSoldmyCompany.com after purchasing a small business.  He has spent most of his career in a consultative sales role, with a focus on energy efficiency.  In his 20 years of experience in the industry, he grew from being a “door to door” business development person making less than $20K per year to a highly experienced consultant that is comfortable dealing with people from the facility level to the executives within a company.  One if his greatest passions is helping people succeed, he feels that Isoldmycompany.com is a great vehicle to do that.

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  • 4 Traits of a Successful Small Business Owner

    by on July 6, 2016 - 0 Comments

    There are a lot of factors that go into owning your own small business. Some help you develop your business and grow your revenue, while others focus on your employees and your customer base. Studies have shown that there are several traits that all successful business owners have, which may contribute to the success they […]

  • Five Things to Look for in a Retail Business for Sale

    by on May 12, 2016 - 0 Comments

    If you’re looking to make the investment in a retail business for sale, you’re going to want to make sure the investment you make is a smart one. This means finding a business that will float instead of flounder, and develop into something that will come to generate you a return on your investment over time. […]

  • Advantages of Company Growth

    by on July 8, 2016 - 0 Comments

    Some business owners are performing a volume of business that they are content with.  As an entrepreneur that wants to experience as much growth as possible, I would encourage all small business owners to consider the following: As a company grows in size, it often is able to take advantage of greater buying power.  Greater […]

  • The Selling Interview

    by on July 5, 2016 - 0 Comments

    When starting the process of selling your business, we always encourage following an interview process prior to hiring a business broker. Before selecting a broker, it is wise to interview a few different vendors before making a choice on who to hire.  We recommend interviewing three brokers, and choosing the best candidate for you based on: […]

  • Understanding Small Business Challenges Allows them to be Overcome

    by on September 2, 2016 - 0 Comments

    As a small business owner, there are several issues to overcome on the “yellow brick road” to growth. The video link below, from investopedia , is an excellent brief review of common challenges that small business owners must overcome in order to achieve successful growth. http://www.investopedia.com/video/play/5-biggest-challenges-facing-your-small-business/   About the Author Gabriel Andreson formed iSoldmyCompany.com after […]