If you met on a dating app — which, to be honest, basically "As long as you're not asking the question judgmentally, there's no reason why. Let’s examine the reason why face-to-face meetings work better for international business relationships. In many cultures around the world, few things build trust like a face-to-face meeting. That’s why it’s important to have face-to-face meetings even if they’re with. Next time you're turned down by a busy C-level executive that All the trials and triumphs of building a business – delivered to your On a related note, don't put it on the executive to discover a good reason to meet with you.
There are obvious risks to relying solely on existing customers. Diversifying your customer base spreads those risks. Following the same business model, but bigger, is not the only route to growth.
There are other strategic options such as outsourcing or franchising that might provide better growth opportunities.
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It's important not to assume that your current success means that you will automatically be able to take advantage of these opportunities. Every major move needs planning in the same way as a new business launch. Watch out for being too opportunistic - ask yourself whether new ideas suit your strengths and your overall vision of where the business is going.
Bear in mind that every new development brings with it changing risks. It's worth regularly reviewing the risks you face and developing contingency plans. Cash flow and financial management Good cash flow control is important for any business. For a growing business, it's crucial - cash constraints can be the biggest factor limiting growth and overtrading can be fatal. Making the best use of your finances should be a key element in business planning and assessing new opportunities.
With limited resources, you may need to pass up promising opportunities if pursuing them would mean starving your core business of essential funding.
Every element of working capital should be carefully controlled to maximise your free cash flow. Effective credit management and tight control of overdue debts are essential. You may also want to consider raising financing against trade debts.
Good stock control and effective supplier management tend to become increasingly important as businesses grow. Holdings of obsolete stock may become a problem that needs periodic clearing up.
You may want to work with suppliers to reduce delivery cycles, or switch to suppliers and systems that can handle just-in-time delivery. Planning ahead helps you anticipate your financing needs and arrange suitable funding. For many growing businesses, a key decision is whether to bring in outside investors to provide the equity needed to underpin further expansion. Problem solving New businesses often run in perpetual crisis mode.
Every day brings new challenges that urgently need resolving and management spends most of their time troubleshooting. As your business grows, this approach simply doesn't work. While a short-term crisis is always urgent, it may not matter nearly as much as other things you could be doing. Spending your time soothing an irritated customer might help protect that one relationship - but focusing instead on recruiting the right salesperson could lay the foundations of substantial new sales for years to come.I met you for a reason
As your business grows, you also need to be alert to new problems and priorities. For example, your business might be increasingly at risk unless you take steps to ensure your intellectual property is properly protected. If you are focusing on individual marketing campaigns, you might need to devote more resources to developing your brand. Identifying the key drivers of growth is a good way of understanding what to prioritise. A disciplined approach to management focuses on leading employees, developing your management team and building your business strategy.
Instead of treating each problem as a one-off, you develop systems and structures that make it easier to handle in the future. The right systems All businesses produce and rely on large volumes of information - financial records, interactions with customers and other business contacts, employee details, regulatory requirements and so on. It's too much to keep track of - let alone use effectively - without the right systems.
Responsibilities and tasks can be delegated as your business grows, but without solid management information systems you cannot manage effectively. The larger your business grows, the harder it is to ensure that information is shared and different functions work together effectively.
Putting the right infrastructure in place is an essential part of helping your business to grow. Documentation, policies and procedures also become increasingly important. The informality that might work with one or two employees and a handful of customers simply isn't practical in a growing business.
You need proper contracts, clear terms and conditions, effective employment procedures and so on. Many growing businesses find using established management standards one of the most effective ways of introducing best practice. Quality control systems can be an important part of driving improvements and convincing larger customers that you can be relied on.
Investing in the right systems is an investment that will pay off both short and long term. You benefit every day from more effective operations. If you ever decide to sell the business, demonstrating that you have well-run, efficient systems will be an important part of proving its value. Skills and attitudes Entrepreneurs are the driving force behind creating and growing new businesses.
The challenges of growing a business - and how to meet them
All too often, they are also the people holding them back. The abilities that can help you launch a business are not the same as those you need to help it grow. It's vital not to fool yourself into valuing your own abilities too highly. The chances are that you'll need training to learn the skills and attitudes required by someone who is leading growth.
To grow your business, you need to learn to delegate properly, trusting your management team and giving up day-to-day control of every detail. It's all too easy to stifle creativity and motivation with excessive interference.
As the business becomes more complex, you also need to develop your time management skills and learn to focus on what's really important. As your business grows, you may need to bring in outsiders to help. You'll want to delegate responsibility for particular areas to different specialists, or appoint a non-executive director or two to strengthen your board. Use the agenda to reveal requirements. Think of the presentation as the torso of a skeleton, with the questions in the agenda as the spine and the resulting discussions as the ribs.
Keep coming back to the agenda in order to reinforce the fact that the meeting is moving forward and that you are respecting the customer's time, relieving any anxiety that the customer might have about the meeting going on for too long.
The challenges of growing a business - and how to meet them
Pace the conversation so the customer isn't overwhelmed. The average customer can listen to only three sentences before becoming overloaded. If you become an information fire hose, the customer will simply shut down and say "I'll think it over.
Listening carefully also allows you to better sense the customer's true attitude and mood.
Keep everyone in the conversation. Do not make the mistake of talking solely to the senior manager. While he or she may be the final decision maker, it's likely that you will have to convince others in the room to do business with you and your company. As you present, speak to each section of the audience, making sure that you make eye contact with each of the people in the room.
Make a point, looking at one person, then continue, making your next point, looking at another person. Discover the buying time-frame.
It's a big mistake to focus on customers who aren't really going to buy. The classic way to get this information is to ask: When you're reasonably certain that a particular objection will surface, preempt it by admitting it before the customer brings it up. Never criticize a competitor. If a competitor comes up, praise them honestly for what they do well, but then show the customer why it would be a better business decision to work with your company.
However, I believe, based upon what you've told me about your needs, that we can satisfy them better because Show how you can meet the customer's requirements. Because you've done your research, you know in advance that this is a customer who actually needs your offering and you have a good idea how to position your offering so that it meets the customer's needs.