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How To Keep The Head Of A Small Business Above Water

Jun 21, 2008
Small businesses are facing challenging times to stay afloat. It's not so much the service or product that is being supplied that will make or break a company but rather the management and accounting skills that determine whether the business can see through these leaner times.

So, how can a business stay ahead of its game and beat off its competitors? They need to be as competitive as possible and they need to be extra efficient. If you offer the same service or product as another company but can provide it with less hassle and more convenience to the customer then you will have the edge over the competition.

One way to ensure this edge is to have the computer software to suit your business exactly. The easier software is for you and your staff to manage the more efficient business you will have. The way some managers like to ensure such efficient working is to employ the use of bespoke software. This will incorporate every aspect of your service or product and allow staff to access all the information they need at the touch of a button. This will cut down on the time that customers spend waiting for what they need, keeping them away from your competition.

However, is this not already available off the shelf in the form of computer programmes? No, off the shelf software is basic and covers a broad range of methods that you would need to bend your business around instead of making it work to your advantage. This will not impress your customers if your staff cannot find what they are looking for without a long, drawn out process.

Bespoke software costs a little more than off the shelf software but the outlay will soon be repaid by the extra customers that you acquire once word of your efficiency has got round.

Effective marketing is also another way to drum up business in these barren times. Before you go sticking an ad in a local paper, think about the type of audience you are aiming for. If you're looking for the small, local business then the newspaper is fine but obviously it's no good if you're looking for the bigger fish in the city.

Tailor advertising to your required genre of clientele, whether it would be more suited to men or women, whether there is specific age group that would benefit from what you are offering or maybe you are targeting a very unique group of people that means advertising in your local shop window just isn't going to reach them. Trade publications can be a good idea for this last group.

Think about what your advertising says about your company - is it upbeat and jokey or serious? Does it look or sound professional, instilling confidence in your company? Is it smart and easy to understand or busy and overstuffed with information?

If you can attract the desired clientele with effective marketing and then offer them a product or service that is non-complicated with an after-sales service that is second to none, then there is every possibility that you will be able to ride out the current financial storm. To enhance all the above, bespoke software will ensure it all runs smoothly.
About the Author
Business expert Catherine Harvey looks at the way bespoke software is a way of helping a business stay ahead of the competition.
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