How to Prepare Customers for Upcoming Construction

Renovating your existing retail space is often a more affordable alternative to purchasing a new building or moving to a new space. You might opt for renovation projects that increase your storage space, add to the size of your parking lot or extend the size of your shop floor. It’s important that you alert your customers ahead of time and give them an idea of what to expect in the future. Preparing customers for that construction work can also prevent accidents caused by shoppers slipping or tripping and falling.

Put Out Clearly Marked Signs

Prior to the start of construction, put out clearly marked signs that let customers know more about your plans. They should know both when the construction starts and when the work will finish. You can also let them know a little about why you want to make those changes and how those changes will benefit them. Use bright colors that customers cannot ignore, and place those signs in areas that are highly visible. You may want to put a sign out front that lets them know your shop is still open too.

Use Signals Outside

When you do any type of renovation work outside, use signals to help customers get around. During landscaping projects, you’ll want to hang tape and signs that let them know they cannot walk through the grass or use a certain area of the sidewalk. If you do work on the parking lot like filling potholes and painting new parking spaces, you can use portable traffic signals. These signals can improve the flow of traffic and prevent accidents from customers trying to drive through restricted areas or looking for an exit out of the parking lot.

Mark Off Areas

Construction projects are potentially dangerous, which is why some companies opt to do work after shutting down for the night and others close down for days or weeks. If you cannot afford to shut down, look for ways to mark off restricted areas to keep customers from wandering into those areas. You can do simple things like string together caution tape and furniture, or you can put up temporary walls to keep them out. This will keep those customers away from the areas currently in progress. With the right safety precautions, you can improve your building and keep customers safe until you finish with those renovations.

Promote Your Business With Customized Stickers

If you want to grow your business, it is time to think outside the box with your campaign. One way to introduce your business to the world is with custom stickers. Stickers offer an affordable and fun way to promote your business.

There are many companies that create customized stickers for personal and business use. You can choose from cut out, double cut, kiss cut and text stickers. Custom labels and decals allow you to expand your promotion to your products or vehicles.

Use the following tips to promote your business with customized stickers.

1. Distribute Your Stickers As A Free Gift: It is no secret that customers love to receive a free gift with their online or offline purchase. You can also offer a free sticker to every customer who signs up for your newsletter or mailing list. The stickers should include a fun graphic or company logo and your business information.

2. Sell The Stickers In Your Store: You can promote and make money by selling the stickers in your store or at your vendor. It is best to offer a variety of stickers so your customers can choose their favorites. The stickers can include your logo, fun graphics and funny or heartfelt messages, but make sure every sticker includes your business information. You may want to exclude the stickers you are already distributing with every purchase or sign-up.

3. Distribute The Stickers Yourself: There are several ways to distribute your stickers to potential customers. One way is to hand the stickers out at corporate events, such as conventions and trade shows. You can ask a friend to hand them out near the entrance or offer the stickers at your vendor. You can also look into fairs and festivals to see if it is okay to hand your stickers out during each event. You should never place the stickers on properties or items that do not belong to you.

4. Use The Stickers for Self-Promotion: There is nothing wrong with saving a few stickers to self-promote your business. One example is placing a decal on your car, laptop or mailbox. You can even ask your peers to promote your business with their own stickers. It is a great way to attract customers who are interested in your products or services.

There are many ways to promote your business, but using customized stickers is a fun way to advertise at an affordable price.

Friends and Family: Raising Money for Your Business

With banks and other traditional funding avenues becoming more and more stringent with financing small businesses, many new entrepreneurs are laying their hope other alternatives to acquire the money they need to breathe life into their startups.

Funding from friends and family is one of the most common forms of startup funding for a good reason: banks and investors might not care for you as much as to risk their money on you, but those who are close to you and know you well might be willing to take a chance on your infant business.

Loans are arguably the best way for friends and family to back a business, because not only is the money in most cases enough, but lenders also agree on more favorable repayment terms than would be otherwise offered by a third-party agency.

The benefits of pulling family and friends together to see your vision through.

For a good number of entrepreneurs, this is one of the best chances they have of securing money to get a business off the ground. People close to you will always support your cause more generously than third-party contributors.

Furthermore, if a few of them have knowledge or skills that might be directly applicable to your business, bringing them on as partners and investors will transform them from simple contributors to motivated advisors.

In the unfortunate event that your startup doesn’t turn out as expected, friends and family will often be more forgiving than outside lenders and investors, and will even try to pull you back up.

Raising money from your personal network not only saves you money by avoiding creditors, but also sets you up for future investors who will be thoroughly impressed by the number of people you have rallying behind your business plan.

Always have a fallback plan.

In the eventuality that your friends and family do not end up raising enough for your business to spread its wings, it helps if you had an alternative funding initiative. Traditional lending institutions might not be as inviting but luckily, independent companies exist to give your business the financial jolt it desperately needs.

Online lenders aside, signing up with cash advance providers such as First American Merchant is a reasonable way for getting enough money to start and your small business.

What Entrepreneurs Should Know About High-Risk Investments

The fact that you’re an entrepreneur probably already indicates you’re willing to take some pretty big financial risks, and you probably already have a strong understanding of the fact that significant risk can often also mean big reward.

You may understand the potential financial payoffs that come with taking risks in your business, as well as the possible pitfalls, but how can you translate your risk tolerance to investments outside your business?

You may decide that since you take so many risks in your business, you don’t want to utilize high-risk strategy in your other investments, or you may feel that since you already have a high risk tolerance, you’d like to translate that to investments outside of your business.

Regardless, the following are some things entrepreneurs should know about high-risk investments.


Unfortunately, there’s all too often the tendency to feel like the safest thing you can do with your money is stash it in a savings account, and that’s actually one of the riskiest things you can do. That cash is going to lose value because of inflation, which over time makes idle cash one of the top risks you can make regarding your finances.

Learn As Much As You Can

Many of the riskiest investment opportunities are not for the faint of heart, and you need to be backed by extensive knowledge before making any big decisions.

For example, if you’re considering something like penny stocks, think about reading reviews of the Tim Sykes challenge team so that you can see not just the potential upsides of this approach, but also the possible downsides, such as fraud and illiquidity.

Venture Capital

As an entrepreneur, you’re probably very familiar with concepts surrounding venture capital, but perhaps from the other side where you were working to raise funding for your business. What about when you’re the investor?

Venture capital is considered one of the riskiest types of investment you can make, and it requires that you have the ability to conduct due diligence and assess the long-term prospects of a business before investing.

One reason this is particularly appealing to entrepreneurs is because they’re familiar with this process, and may know what to look for when they conduct research.

High-Yield Bonds

Something else to consider when exploring high-risk investment opportunities are high-yield bonds. High-yield bonds are usually issued by a foreign government or a company with a lot of debt, and yields can be as much as 15 to 20%, but there is the potential that these are junk bonds.

While there is certainly the potential that the investor will lose the principal, that’s not always the case which is why high-yield bonds remain appealing for investors willing to shoulder the risk.

These are just a few of the main things to consider and methods to include risk in your portfolio. Other options include forex trading, owning rental properties, and investing in emerging markets. Entrepreneurs tend to be a group that welcomes a more risk-filled portfolio because they’ve seen the payoff of financial risks in many cases, but also clearly understand the consequences as well.




Grow Your Business Now Through The Use Of These Techniques

If you want to grow your business, now is the time to begin. While there are many techniques that can help your organization start to thrive, you may find the following strategies particularly effective:

1. Purchase Products Online.

One great way to grow your business is by purchasing products online. This strategy is helpful because it can save time you might otherwise have spent standing in long lines or fighting traffic. Purchasing products online is also a great way for you to train your employees to become more technologically savvy. In the event that you are in need of attaining attwood replacement parts, you can get them from organizations such as MMI.

2. Buy Digital Marketing Services.

In addition to purchasing products online, make sure that you start buying digital marketing services. Obtaining these services will help extend your sphere of influence to the internet sphere. There are many digital marketing services you might want to obtain, and some of them include:

• content marketing
• email advertising
• web design and development
• online reputation management
• search engine optimization
• social media optimization

As you begin searching for the ideal digital marketing company, make sure that you select a team of industry experts who have extensive experience in the online advertising sector. Also try to select a community of marketing boffins who can offer you customized, cutting edge public relations services.

3. Implement A Reading Plan.

Although many business owners recognize the power of reading, not all of them engage in the practice regularly. Yet you should. Doing so will help ensure that you are continually being exposed to new ideas that can help you run your business more effectively. With this reality in mind, consider the value of creating a reading plan. You can start by setting aside 30 minutes a day to read a business-related book. Some of the books you might want to add to your list include:

How To Win Friends And Influence People
Good To Great
The E Myth
Think And Grow Rich
Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Getting Things Done: The Art Of Stress-Free Productivity
Who Moved My Cheese?
In Search Of Excellence

Start Growing Your Organization Now

There are many techniques you can implement to facilitate substantive company growth. Start implementing the techniques listed for you above to ensure that your organization starts to expand in a great way.

Growing Your Business In 2017: How To Make It Happen

If you want 2017 to be your organization’s most productive and positive year, you can begin the growth process today. While there are numerous strategies you might deploy to keep your organization growing in a dynamic manner, you may find the following techniques particularly empowering:

1. Find The Right Maintenance Companies.

Finding great maintenance companies will play an integral role in keeping your business on the road to great growth in 2017. This step is immensely important because maintenance services ensure that all of your equipment is kept in great condition, thereby increasing the likelihood that your machines and devices will function optimally. Without maintenance services, you’ll run the risk of faulty equipment slowing down your daily operations and increasing the employee’s susceptibility to work-related accidents. Business owners who are looking for wastewater treatment companies who can care for their water-related equipment can turn to the professionals of Sandling Industrial Services.

2. Utilize Public Relations Services.

In addition to finding the right maintenance companies, make sure that you find the right public relations company. PR services are important because they empower you to develop strong relationships with the media representatives who will be publicizing information regarding your brand. This could include anyone from reporters to journalists to influential bloggers. Attaining great PR services can also optimize your company’s presence in the online sector. Some of the PR services that a firm might offer you include:

• Media Relations
• Product Placement
• Media Outreach
• Search Engine Optimization
• Grassroots Marketing
• Editorial Placement
• Media Round Tables
• Social Media Optimization
• Print Placements
• Digital Placements
• Award List Monitoring
• Press Kit Creation

3. Make Employee Development A Must.

Focusing on the personal and professional growth of your employees is a wonderful way to keep your organization growing. This strategy works by ensuring that your staff members possess the confidence and skill set necessary to complete work assignments and interface with prospective clients in a manner that promotes optimized conversion. There are several ways that you can expedite and optimize the employee development process, and one of them is by having one-on-one meetings with your staff members. During these meetings, you can speak candidly with the employee regarding her or his professional goals and how they can be realized through your organization.

Start The Business Growth Process Immediately!

There are numerous strategies you can implement to make your organization increasingly successful in 2017. Three of them include finding the right maintenance companies, utilizing public relations services, and making employee development a priority.

Should Entrepreneurs Pursue an MBA?

One of the misconceptions about MBAs is that these degree programs are meant for individuals who want good jobs in large organizations. An MBA can help you get a better job in the corporate world, but the same degree can help you start and manage a successful business in any field. Here are more reasons why every entrepreneur should invest in an MBA.

1. Preparing for Success

The level of preparation determines the level of success in any venture. Some business ideas fail because of inadequate preparation. An MBA helps entrepreneurs to prepare for all aspects of their business, including communication, financial management, marketing, and business growth. Courses in these areas help entrepreneurs adopt the right practices and strategies in their businesses.

Most entrepreneurs start new ventures out of passion. An MBA helps them to turn their passion into a successful business. Online colleges like Villanova University offer an online MBA program to entrepreneurs who want to follow their passion and gain knowledge at the same time as running their business, which makes it a great option for new entrepreneur trying to expand their knowledge and expertise. However, make sure you ask “is the online MBA accredited” and “does the online MBA have any residency requirements?” before you sign up.

2. Independence

Many individuals pursue an MBA hoping to get a good job. For instance, graduates can get well-paying marketing jobs with an MBA. Entrepreneurs hire such graduates to develop their marketing strategies because they lack the expertise. Earning your MBA as an entrepreneur helps you gain knowledge and work independently.

Your business saves on labor costs because you can handle the responsibilities you would have assigned to MBA graduates. You can use the saved funds to develop your products or conduct further research. An MBA also helps you to make better strategic decisions, especially when launching new products or ventures. You can evaluate the risks accurately and make better decisions.

3. Learning from other Entrepreneurs

Some of the students you will interact with while pursuing your MBA are successful business owners. Many entrepreneurs have realized the importance of investing in an MBA, even after succeeding in their first ventures. You will gain useful information, insights, and ideas as you interact with other entrepreneurs.

4. Understanding the Business Life Cycle

Every entrepreneur is thrilled by the first glimpse of success. However, the business life cycle is not smooth. A business can achieve record sales in one accounting period and make a loss in the next period, depending on the prevailing market and industrial situation. Obtain an MBA to learn how business life cycles work.

The skills you will gain from the program will help in analyzing industrial and market trends. You can predict how each trend will affect the performance of your business and implement the right measures in time.

Many entrepreneurs are realizing the benefits of investing in an MBA. You too can benefit from the degree program and build the successful business you have been dreaming about. You will gain relevant skills and knowledge that will help you prepare for the next level of success in your career and business.





Tracking Manufacturing Cycles to Improve Operations and Profitability

Modern, just-in-time and “lean” manufacturing principles place great stress on manufacturing managers. Previously, those managers were able to maintain large quantities of raw materials that they could use in manufacturing processes to create equally large inventories from regular production runs. These practices allowed businesses to fill product orders as they came in, but they also tied up significant amounts of cash and assets and reduced manufacturing company profitability.

Rather than creating large inventories of finished products that then sit in warehouses until orders come in, new manufacturing principles call for managers to create a regular trickle of finished products that go immediately to customers with little or no intermediate warehouse time. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) for manufacturing gives manufacturing managers the tools and information they need to track, measure, and monitor every step of a manufacturing cycle, from raw material order and delivery to shipment of a final product. In addition, managers can use ERP for manufacturing to:

  • approve purchase orders electronically
  • match supplier invoices with accepted purchase order receipts
  • connect and coordinate the efforts of multiple manufacturing facilities
  • forecast demand, and match production to anticipated demand from those forecasts
  • track order status and fulfillment at all stages of a manufacturing cycle

Gamma Vacuum, a small Minnesota-based manufacturer of ion pumps, realized all of these benefits and more through the adoption of its own manufacturing ERP software. Gamma is a small business, yet it has captured more than one-third of the marketplace for its products through intelligent management of its manufacturing processes. Gamma specifically uses ERP for manufacturing to manage supply and distribution channels and to feed information back into its manufacturing facilities to allow the company to quickly respond to customer orders and changes in those orders.

Likewise, H&R Manufacturing, a Texas tool producer, uses ERP for manufacturing to stay competitive with international tool manufacturers. H&R collects data from its manufacturing floor in real-time to measure production time, and it then uses that data to set costs and pricing for its products. Its ERP manufacturing system gives managers a clear picture of order processing time and identifies manufacturing processes where time is used inefficiently or ineffectively.

Depending on its needs and the specifics of its manufacturing operations, a manufacturing company can adopt and install a number of different modules, all of which address different aspects of ERP for manufacturing, including:

  • sales and distribution management
  • purchasing management
  • manufacturing planning and control
  • quality assurance
  • supply and inventory control
  • machine and equipment maintenance
  • human resources and manufacturing operator management

Effective use of any of these modules is a function of management’s ability to harness the information that a manufacturing ERP system will collect and generate. The auto parts supplier, Tribar Manufacturing, discovered this after the initial installation and implementation of an ERP system generated so much data both within and outside of the system that its personnel were unable to fully grasp and use all of the data that had been generated. Tribar rebooted its ERP installation and within a short time, realized cost savings of more than $350,000 from better control over its inventory.

Regardless of size, a manufacturing company can squeeze substantial profits out of its operations through better use and understanding of all of the data and information that manufacturing cycles routinely generate. ERP for manufacturing company can improve the operations of a manufacturing company by providing the tools and pathway that the company needs to gain that understanding.