Month: September 2016

6 Tips for Long-Term Entrepreneurial Success | Surviving the Business “Hump Year”

The third day of the week is commonly known as “hump day”. Every hardworking individual breathes a sigh of relief once this day has passed and the weekend is within reach. According to Forbes, this is also true for businesses. The “hump year” – the third year in a business’ history – is a business’ moment of truth.

In the first year of a startup, the focus is on creativity, planning and how to bring ideas to life. In the second year, the focus shifts to making things run smoothly and ironing out any kinks. After spending the first two years really honing your product or service, the third year becomes the make or break year. It is during this “hump year” that it is necessary to step outside comfort zones and push for profitability and market acceptance.

To help your business reach success in its fourth year and beyond, consider the following tips:

Create scale – Developing scale, or failing to do so, will determine whether or not your business successfully pushes past the “hump year”. In the words of Forbes contributor, Billee Howard, “Don’t ever try to be all things to all people but do make your offering accessible to as many audiences as possible. Only through true scale can a business create the kind of depth required for long-term success.”

Be Patient – Success is almost never immediate, and it comes in many different forms. While your cash flow may be great, for example, you may have issues is liquidity. Success requires patience, and a dedication to shifting focus when necessary. When progress stalls, it may become necessary to grow new business offerings and diversifying the client base.

Spend money to make money – Because “hump year” often requires more marketing and promotional efforts, you’ll need to find a healthy balance between maintaining a positive cash flow and investing in your business. This may mean cutting back in different areas, including your own salary (if you’re the owner). In most situations, expansion, growth and development will require tapping into earned capital.

Crush comfort and complacency – If you want your business to achieve success in the long-term, there is no room for comfort zones. Change is vital. It is only when you push your company to new points of discomfort that it will discover new paths of growth and profitability.

Learn from missteps – If you’ve reached your third year in business, you likely have a list of missteps experienced along the way. In order to run a successful long-term enterprise, you must be flexible enough to learn from past mistakes. When necessary, the ability to switch to a Plan B instead of going with Plan A is imperative.

Thoroughly research funding options – Many businesses make the mistake of going with the first lending source that will work with them. Others, who fail to qualify with traditional lenders, turn to personal savings, family and even credit cards to fund their startups. If you’re in need of working capital, consider what a small business loan with an alternative lender – like First American Merchant – can do for your business in terms of both growth and expansion.

Best Approach To Evaluate Company Success

To evaluate the performance of any company is most essential thing to find out for company users like board of directors, owners and even employees. A big company has number of stake holders as many people are associated with the performance of the company.
If company performs good then everyone will happy but unfortunately if something is going wrong with the performance of the company then many complications may arise. For example if company performance graph is going down continuously then its very likely that the suppliers will think about the future contracts with the company.
Similarly company having bad performance will also lost its most useful asset, yes its man power. Many experienced employees will contact with your competitors to get secured jobs.

There is many myths regarding measuring company performance. Still many owners think that only profit figure shows the level of success. Its not more applicable in this modern world. Now different parameters have to be followed while measuring company performance.
We need a balanced scorecard to evaluate the performance of company. There are four basic factors that will be focused to get the proper performance report.
1. Financial:
The importance of financial consideration is paramount in most situations but not in all situations. No one can deny the importance of financial facts and figures but these figures are not the only parameters. We would have to look on other aspects of success.
2. Customer perspective:
Its the most important factor by which anyone can estimate the performance of the company. Like if company is making huge profits but their customers are not properly entertained then its likely in the reduction of customer retention rate. Other factors include in customer perspective are on time delivery, percentage sale of new product and customer complaints.
3. Internal process perspective:
In this component we will focus on the internal procedure of the company in order to meet the customer requirements.
4. Learning and growth perspective:
Finally we have this perspective; in this we focus on how an organization is improving its innovative skills. Is company is working in some innovative way or still using the old and out dated procedures for manufacturing.

Now at last I would like to say that no one can evaluate the performance by using only one perspective, managers would have to use this balanced score card to get the actual and more realistic results. If company is making handsome profits then we cannot declare that organization is making progress, as financial success is only matters in short run. If manager is neglecting any component of this score card then it will be very bad in long run.