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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Start-Ups: 5 Steps to Appear Established

In today’s competitive market consumers have multiple companies which they can choose to deal with. The power lies with the consumers. If the consumer has the impression that your business is a start-up they may seek a more experienced company to fulfil their needs. Competing against established businesses can be problematic. There is however simple measures that can be taken to ensure your business gives consumers the impression your business is established.

 

Step 1: Domain

What is a domain? A domain is how clients will find you on the internet. A domain is for example. http://www.yourdomain.co.za. Registering your domain can be quiet vital to your business as you would register your company name or service you specialise in, if it is available. Clients could easily find you when they search for your business website. Once your domain is registered you will be able to have email addresses that are specific to your company, such as info@yourdomain.co.za or sales@yourdomain.co.za. Setting up multiple email addresses will give clients the impression that your business is a more than a start-up but rather has multiple departments and employees dealing with specific areas within your business.

 

Step 2: Company Website

Your company website may be the first point of reference for potential clients. They will seek information on the services your business offers, previous projects your business has completed, testimonials from previous clients and contact information. It is important your website is user-friendly. By user friendly we mean the website is easy to navigate, it does not take too long to load, all writing is easily legible and all relevant information is available that a client may require.

Tip: Include Operating hours, your business address, an email address, phone number, cost and time frame of services offered. Ensure your website is presentable, all links work, the overall appearance of your company website is professional and keep it simple yet provide sufficient information.

 

Step 3: Point of contact

Having a landline number will make your business appear established and give off  the impression of permanence. You phone etiquette is vital to the success of your business. Ensure you are able to return all calls within 24 hours as clients may need a service urgently and will take their business elsewhere if they are not tended to. Having a designated number for business ensures you always know when receiving a call to that number that it is for business allowing you to come across professional.

 

Step 4: Location

Renting an office is first prize however as a start-up there are other expenses that first have to be covered until your business is doing well enough to rent an office. Many start-ups operate from their home and there is nothing wrong with this there are however a few things that can make your business appear more established. Firstly, if your small business is run from your home placing a well printed sign outside will make the business appear professional. Secondly, designate a specific area of your house to your business where only things you require for your business are, this area is not a storage room but rather should have a professional atmosphere to ensure your clients are comfortable doing business in this environment. Thirdly, ensure that if a client comes to your home that they do not see your personal life. Keep the kids and pets out of the office. Lastly, ensure your home office is safe for clients and that there security is a priority, allocate parking that is in your property, perhaps install cameras to prevent hi-jacking, this is South Africa after all. But with the right measures you will ensure the safety of your clients.

 

Step 5: Be Prepared

Always keep a few business cards on you. Business cards are an important sign that this business was not just started and that some thought and preparation have gone into what this business is. Have some pamphlets or brochures placed in your office. Even though it may seem like something small clients like a company that is well prepared, gives a good impression and goes a long way to promote the branding for your business.

 

Following these simple steps will go a long way to making your start up appear established and give off a great first impression making it easier to compete in the market.

 

To take your business a step further register your company with Phase One today.

 

Any topics you feel you need clarity on or would just like to boost your knowledge let us know and Phase One will ensure your queries are answered.

Entrepreneur Events 2013, South Africa

Entrepreneur Events 2013, South Africa

Entrepreneur Events 2013, South Africa

 

Target Opportunities Planning

The Venue, Melrose Arch
26 February 2013

Increasing sales and how to approach ensuring your business comes out on top.

 

E- Mobile and Marketing Converence

Indaba Hotel, William Nicole Drive
27 and 28 February 2013

Online Marketing is the future of marketing and knowing how to utilize this source is imperative to the long term success of your business. the focus will be on increasing sales, expanding your target market and targeted advertising to ensure your message is heard by the intended people.

 

SIRDAR Business summit

Coastlands Umhlamga Hotel and Convention Center, Umhlanga
28 February 2013

Being an effective business owner and solving problems for your business to succeed.

 

The Money Expo

Sandton Convention Center
7, 8 and 9 March 2013

South Africa’s best investment and finance opportunities institutes come together. This expo is dedicated on how to : invest money, make money, save money and managing your money.

 

My Business Expo

Gallagher Convention Center
14 March 2013

Unique strategies and ideas that can be applied when starting a business or growing a business. All the latest trends that will give your business a cutting edge.

 

International Franchise Expo (IFE)

Sandton Convention Center
9, 10 and 11 May 2013

Everything you will need to know about acquiring a franchises and what franchising is all about. New business opportunities as well as well known brands will be present at the IFE.

 

The Entrepreneurs’ Seminar

Sandton Convention Center
28 and 29 May 2013

Fifteen global speakers on the global entrepreneurial revolution and leadership.

 

Markex World of Events 2013

Sandton Convention Center, Cape Town International Convention Center
11, 12 and 13 June 2013 , 13 August 2013

Innovate business strategies that can contribute to improvement of managing skills in a business and improving the company. This Is suitable for all industries and will benefit your business.

 

Business Opportunities & Franchise Expo

Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg
12, 13, 14 and 15 September 2013

The Ultimate place for all business owners. BOFE Brings together entrepreneurs, financing, franchises, business opportunities and business support services enabling you to have all required services when starting a business or being a SME to expand your business.

 

For contact details on these events visit Phase One, Events.

Guide to starting a business

“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

One of the key factors to a business’s success is the planning behind the business.

 

Set it in stone

One of the first things you should do when starting a business is formalising it in a plan. Although you may know and understand the vision you have for your business it is important to set it in stone. Business plans create a vision for your business and help ensure your objectives are achieved. Establishing a sense of the future for your business will keep you motivated and focused on your business objectives in the long run. It is important to remember creating one business plan throughout the life time of your company will not be sufficient, as the environmental factors change you should update your plan, preferably on an annual basis.

 

Know what you’re up against

All most every industry is made up of hundreds of businesses, knowing who and what they are will give you the competitive edge. Consumers are bombarded with thousands of adverts on a daily basis, to grab their attention you need to be unique. Doing good research into your consumers and competitors will allow you to understand their needs and through satisfying these you will be better than your competitors and fulfil the needs of your clients.

TIP: Compile a list of your top competitors analysing which are the biggest treat to your business in terms of market share and add note of elements you do and don’t like about their businesses to create a guide to what your business should and shouldn’t be doing.

 

Make it official

Now that you have put all your strategies in place the next step would be to register your business. Registering a business is a simple process and will give your business that sense of professionalism to compete against the top dogs in your industry. In South Africa you will register a private company if you are starting a business. Private companies are great if you are just starting out and still trying to expand your business. The laws surrounding them are simple and the registration of them is not going to put a dent in your pocket.

How To: How to register a Private company, simple visit www.phaseone.co.za/project1.html and all the information of costs, the process involved, what is needed to register a company and additional information will be available to you.

 

Any topics you feel you need clarity on or would just like to boost your knowledge let us know and Phase One will ensure your queries are answered.