Too often customer service is seen as a necessary evil. A cost to the business the company would rather not bear. It’s time to change your philosophy and create a culture with a commitment to service. This can lead to new marketing opportunities and growth for your business. Customer service is not a cost center, but a money generator!
The first place a new startup business looking for capital might approach is their local bank. Although traditional lenders are loosening their grip as the economy improves, they are still not as open to funding startups, especially those that require large amounts of capital. So what is a new business to do? Perhaps an angel investor is right for the job. So what is an angel investor and what do they do? Angel investors are often entrepreneurs themselves or have expertise in an area that might be helpful to a new company. Once an angel or angel group has enough confidence in a company’s business proposal, they might offer funds to finance their business.
This column looks at different options for borrowing money, including Personal Cash and Debt, Friends and Family, Crowdfunding and Factoring. Personal Cash and Debt is the source of money for most new businesses. You dip into your checking or savings accounts and loan a certain amount of money to your new business. People often use credit cards, home equity lines of credit and loans from retirement plans as well. While these can be very effective sources of startup capital, they require disciplined record-keeping. Many owners are far too casual about mingling personal and business money, and you must keep detailed records of money given to and repaid by your business.
Do you know who your competitors are? Can you distinguish between direct and indirect competition? How long have they been in business? Is their product line more diverse or simpler than yours? Are they using social media or other online promotional activity? Who is doing the butt-kicking in target markets, you or them? We put high emphasis on research here at the BRIC and have a number of resources to help.
Lithium-ion batteries are not exotic, complicated or big. But if Tesla Motors locates a “gigafactory” here, the lipstick-sized batteries could change Reno’s whole universe. An announcement isn’t expected for months about which among five states would ultimately land the electric car-maker’s battery factory, though Tesla is expected to start breaking ground on two or three spots this summer. If Northern Nevada ultimately wins the factory, the region will need a crash course in “li-ions.”
The future of marketing is in shareable video. This month, nearly 200 million Americans will watch over 40 billion videos online. Tap into this audience by using these ten tips to fast track your business. First, get emotional – Your customers will evaluate your product or service with their mind, but they’ll buy with their hearts. Try to tap into your customers’ feelings by asking yourself who they are and how they’ll benefit from your product.