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Improve Your Business! Keep Up With The Competition?

Dec 4, 2007
Owning and running your own business can definitely be a challenging operation. The popular adage If you snooze, you lose - rings very true in the business world. Both your market and your customer demographic are constantly on the move, and if you fail to move with their ebbs and flows, you will find yourself going bankrupt, and ultimately closing your doors.

A smart and alert business owner keeps their ear to the ground so that they not only move with the market, but they anticipate the flow and react to stay ahead of their competitors. Whether you are maintaining your business venture, or expanding your business horizons, business improvements are an effective method of ensuring that you remain at the forefront of your market.

Business Scenario

You've opened a coffee shop catering to customers who prefer fair-trade coffee. You did this at a time when other larger stores chose to stay with their present inventory, so you were able to capture this niche "socially aware" demographic, without a great deal of effort.
For three years you have enjoyed your ethical market domination, enjoying the fruits of your labor, and have managed to expand your business, opening a new coffee shop location. However, because of your recent expansion, your cash flow is running on the thin side until your second location comes up to speed.

It's at this point the larger java distributors manage to register that they're losing a large percentage of their customer base and are not getting them back, despite their well-financed marketing campaigns. They finally bite the bullet, change their suppliers to bring in fair-trade beans, and then blast a powerful marketing campaign, advertising ethical products at discounted prices. They manage to break your business' price-point, and as much as we would like to believe in customer loyalty, it only occurs in a small number of cases and unfortunately it isn't enough to keep a business afloat.

Getting the competitive edge

You need something to draw your customers back, so be very clever. One solution is to make a business improvement by modifying your services. This way you can get an advantage and take back the business from your competition. The larger stores may have you beat you in pricing, but even they won't be able to sell everything.

This is where you sit down and put together a hard research to plan for your next mode of attack. Ask yourself, what is it that your customers are looking for that still isn't provided by the larger chains? Let's just say that you decide to stay with the ethical and organic market and plan to add a section in your stores to provide your customers with purchasing specialized live juices and farm fresh organic local produce.

You take the time out to conduct a market analysis and create a marketing plan, and you find that you may have found the perfect advantage necessary to win out against the big chain stores. You make your initial inquiries, determine your costs for improvements and make tentative deals with local organic farmers, discovering that your plan is both sound and profitable.

The problem is, now you have the perfect idea, but you don't have the capital to follow through. Your finances have been stretched with the second store and you don't want to over-extend your debt by going to the bank for a loan, and paying more hefty fees. How will you bounce back without sacrificing your other location, or mortgaging away your profitability?

Potential road-blocks to success

So you probably may go to your local bank as a first stop. However, to apply for a business loan from a bank, you will probably need a great amount of preparation before applying for finance. You will need to fill out a substantial amount of paperwork including a business plan, cash flow projection report, a personal finance statement, your previous business tax returns, a credit rating report as well as numerous other business reports. Even after applying for a business loan, the chances of approval are quite slim, and you may have to wait a long time to receive the funds, and that is just in the event your business loan is actually approved.

Also, most small business owners know that angel investment can be detrimental to operations and ownership, not to mention that angel investors are few and far between, and tend to invest on an infrequent basis.

An immediate "hassle-free" finance strategy

Fortunately you can eliminate the hefty paperwork and delayed processing times by choosing to go with "business cash advances". A business cash advance gives you the capital necessary without the need of immediate repayment, and it gives you the funds right away.

You can use the business cash advance for whatever you wish:
New Location
Pay down debt

This method also ensures that you retain ownership. After all, isn't that the reason you got into your own business in the first place?

By following the tips above, you will find that not only are you able to maintain your business profitability, but you will be able to build on your dreams of lifelong financial independence and business success.
About the Author
Gary Barzel:
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