Is your business in need of a Red Bull?
Wait, scratch that, I think I’m in need of a Red Bull. This has been an exhausting week, let me tell ya. Alas, I won’t bore you with the deets, so let’s talk biz.
And yes, your business may very well be in need of a Red Bull too. (Good thing they make that stuff, eh? hehe)
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 55 percent of small businesses fail within their first five years. (Yikes. That’s not exactly making my week improve, how about yours?)
Never fear however, there’s still time for you to change that narrative. In fact, you can increase your customer base, improve profitability, and get your company name out there, by using these five hot biz trends that can inject new life into (almost?) any small business.
Count on Start Ups
A stagnated economy increases the power of start ups in an amazing way. People who can’t find jobs are simply making them.
Sharp-eyed entrepreneurs are seeing openings in the marketplace for all kinds of products and services, and they are filling these unmet needs all over the world. (Go entrepreneurs!)
The Small Biz Administration reports that small businesses have been trending upward in 2013, including the number of start ups, the demand for business loans, and the income of small business owners.
Investing in start ups is an excellent strategy for small business owners looking to increase their profitability. (Just make sure you do a little research first and make sure the company you’re investing in is truly viable.)
Another strategy proving lucrative for many smart entrepreneurs, is creating a start up with earning potential, and then selling it for top dollar.
Cut Out the Middleman
The middleman’s place in the supply chain is disappearing, as distributors and end-users get together directly. This is true in nearly every industry.
People just no longer need others to broker deals for them. We’re livin’ in the age of dogged independence. Smart, motivated, driven entrepreneurs figure with all the knowledge at their fingertips, they can do it themselves.
As an entrepreneur, you can take advantage of this trend and save your company a lot of money in the process by going directly to the supplier for your business needs.
Pay Attention to Off-Label Use of Products
YouTube is a particularly popular place for consumers with new ideas for old products to showcase their discoveries. Pay attention to off-label uses of your own products.
Your customers can be like your own research and development department. (Sans the fat payroll bill.) Whenever you see one of your products being used in a new way, remember that this could be a source of profit by allowing you to introduce that product to a whole new market.
Tapping into these markets is where a company like Brian Ferdinand’s Liquid Holdings can really come in handy by helping you track trends, manage orders, and store data regarding your company’s entry into new industries.
Make It “Made in the USA”
Not only do consumers appreciate the opportunity to buy American, yo… (when they can find such products), companies are beginning to realize that outsourcing product manufacturing doesn’t always save money.
When you factor in the costs of paying overseas workers, managing an overseas workforce and shipping products from other countries to the United States, the “money-saving benefit” that supposedly exists with outsourcing can disappear altogether, or be greatly reduced.
When you factor in shipping time and consumer demand, the benefits of outsourcing can be reduced even further.
According to the Huffington Post, buying American-made products is a whole value system for many consumers, and they’re willing to pay for the privilege of getting these products.
“Made in America” is an excellent way to increase your company’s bottom line by reaching out to a whole new segment of consumers who are eager to buy from you and will keep coming back again and again, as long as you keep your manufacturing in the United States.
Let’s just call it the biz version of patriotism.
Mix Work and Play at the Office
Work needs to be fun. This was almost an oxymoron until recent years.
However, according to Fox News, new studies have shown that people who have more fun at work are (drum roll please) more productive at work. Happiness seems to equal greater productivity and loyalty in most businesses.
Being able to have fun at work also increases the willingness of employees to work as a team and collaborate with each other.
Playworks founder Jill Vialet told Entrepreneur that work and play are not mutually exclusive. Instead, she says,
“The opposite of play is depression.”
You’ve heard of employees being miserable at their jobs and only staying there for the money and security; most of them would leave if something better came along. Unhappy employees also have more missed days of work and lower productivity than those who are happy with their jobs.
Which type of employee would you rather have working for you?
You could even improve your entire business in nearly every way by taking a page from the company Zappos.
One of its official company core values is:
“Create fun and a little weirdness.”
Now, I might be a bit biased in regards to fun and weird, but hey… I say try operating your biz according to that value, and watch your whole company transform for the better. What say you?
Over to You
Have your own ideas on making your business exciting again? Do tell in the comments below.