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October 21, 2015

How to Analyze Your Small Business Like a Pro

Business analysisProper business analysis is definitely required in order to increase the overall performance of the business. Just because you have a small scale business doesn’t mean that you do not need to pay attention to identifying the specific metrics which need to be adjusted. After all, business analysis is crucial for improving the overall performance of a business, be it a small scale one or a large scale corporation. All businesses face issues on a regular basis; what you need to do is to assess these issues and arrive at a useful analysis so that you can plan for your business accordingly. This article would teach you how to analyze your small business like a pro.

Business cannot function without its life blood, i.e. money and money comes from the customers, therefore the very first thing that you should tackle when it comes to analyzing your small business is customer results. Basically you need to conduct an operational analysis with a focus on customer satisfaction. You should aim at providing all your customers with equal treatment, irrespective of the cost of the product or service. By analyzing the investment results and maintaining customer satisfaction you will be able to boost the profit growth of your business.

Sure, a small scale business generally requires minimum investment but sometimes it is necessary to pay attention to the strategic and business results of your company brought about by the investment you make. You need to ask yourself whether you are investing as much money as your competitors or not. Now it is not necessary to use up a huge chunk of money for this process because you can always try to increase the strategic efforts of your small scale business through cost effective solutions.

When you’re analyzing your small scale business, you need to pay attention to the financial performance as well. In other words, you need to review the rationality and cost efficiency of the steps your business is taking. You need to find out whether the amount of performance that you’re getting out of the cost is worthwhile or not. In this analysis, you need to tackle all pressing questions that are financial nature. The rule of thumb here is to strive to improve the performance while incurring a lower cost with specific limits in place.

Business analysis is not just about analyzing problems and issues, it is also about coming up with solutions for them. Thus, if you want to analyze your small scale business like a pro then you will need to innovate. The innovation area of business analysis is highly important as it provides qualitative results. A multi-functional solution is always preferable here as these help in resolving several issues at once.

Not taking care of your company data when making analysis is extremely detrimental to the end results. Therefore, to be a pro business analyzer you need to recognize the value of the company data first and then commit to a basic data strategy so that you can hatch a plan that engages outside assistance and develops internal resources in an optimum manner.

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May 21, 2013

5 Investor Tips to Pick the Right Fund Administration Provider

Right Fund AdministrationLooking for a quality and professional fund administration service but don’t know where to start? Whether you choose to go big or small, good communication, technological expertise, qualified staff and reputation are all important factors to consider. Read our 5 tips for picking the right fund administration service provider for your investment success.

1. Fund Administration Services: Go big or go small

Fund administration services can be divided into two types. You can choose to go with a larger established investment firm, or, you can choose an independent fund administration provider.
Though not immediately noticeable, there will be a difference in the way firms that focus on fund administration as their core business conduct fund administration services as opposed to larger investment firms offering fund administration as a branch of their business deal with clients. In the end though, fund administration providers will be judged by their ability to deliver accurate NAVs on time.

2. Reputation in Fund Admin Circles

The role of fund administration providers is to act as a representative of the fund and to liaise with investors in the fund. As interaction is the core of fund administration services, the fund administration providers you choose to go with should have good industry reputation with the fund administration services on offer.
Do the necessary legwork to make sure the fund administration providers you hire are reputable; collecting references from previous or current fund administration clients if necessary.

3. Technology for Fund Administration Services

The technology used by fund administrators is integral to the fund administration services they provide. It is important that fund administration providers not only have the latest fund admin technology, but know how to use this fund admin technology to the greatest advantage for your fund.
Ensuring that your fund administration provider is well equipped and experienced in using the latest technology is crucial so that all fund administration services are covered and NAVs are delivered to investors on time and with the latest data sets.

4. Quality of the Fund Admin Staff

A great fund administration company with poor support staff is a doomed fund administration service. Make sure the fund administration provider has a well-trained, experienced and more importantly, qualified staff. You need to trust your fund administration providers to deal with all clients professionally, and this applies from start to finish.
The technical component of fund admin aside, fund admin is a service role. Keeping investors informed and happy is the main role of fund administration services. To get great feedback, the quality of fund admin staff has to be all round.

5. Great Fund Administration is all about Great Communication!

The key to a successful relationship with fund administration providers is clear and direct communication. During your due diligence, find out how your fund admin providers communicate with investment managers post engagement, as this is a make or break factor for fund administration services on the whole. This way, you can ensure that you get a professional and reliable fund admin service.

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July 5, 2012

Know Your Market. Reap the Rewards

If you run a hair or beauty salon, or indeed, any customer facing business, market positioning and a robust business strategy is essential.

Understanding your unique selling point

Good marketing starts with knowing your customer and your competition. Start with your customer in your target market. Think about the services or products you are selling and who you’re selling to. Then look at competitors who are offering similar things to you. Where are they strong and where are they weak? Are their goals clear and how do they attract customers? Is there something that makes them stand out from the rest of the market?

You need to gather as much information about the market and the competitors in it as you can and work hard to understand them. When you have this information, you can start to see how you fit into the wider market and where you can stand out with your competitive edge and ideally a unique selling point that isn’t offered elsewhere in your target market. For example, you might offer a superior customer service that’s accredited to external standards and known by everyone who steps into your salon. Exceptional professionalism, service, friendliness and standards are key to attracting and retaining your customers. A great service strategy can allow you to charge healthy prices rather than targeting the price conscious section of the market that may simply chase the cheapest deals rather than build up repeat custom to a single provider.

Another great differentiator is product, particularly in the health and beauty industry. For example, you might look to offer innovative services such as micro-dermabrasion and bee ‘venom’ facials, or gigi brazilian wax products to tempt in your customers. Innovation in this industry is a vital marketing strategy, as many customers love to try out the latest products and services and keep up to date with trends and developments in the market.

Marketing yourself

Make sure you understand your proposition and positioning before you begin to market yourself, then work with a designer to create a simple brand and logo for your business. This should then be used across your marketing channels, with everything from your business cards, staff uniforms and promotional flyers to signage, car livery and vouchers. Show a consistent brand experience by using the visual identity and language that expresses who you are. An online presence is also a vital marketing tool and getting onto social media can really boost custom. Look at working with a developer to build a simple website that explains your services and offers rapid contact for customers to book. Consider a call back system, if possible, to show that extra service.

Further considerations

As well as spending time and money on your promotions, the full customer experience will be affected by the other decisions such as how effectively you manage your salon operations, purchasing and stock, health and safety, company finances, legal and insurance requirements, staff training and more. It’s worth joining any local business support and networking groups to learn from other business owners. Think about a mentor or a knowledgeable business partner or salon manager if you are new to business ownership. The learning curve is steep, but it’s also fast and extremely rewarding!

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