A Business Daily Africa article highlights an often-overlooked aspect of starting a business: a business plan. We've not really discussed these on this blog, but look forward to future posts, and soon.
"What needs to be implemented? Simply put, a strategy. It is the working plan that shows how all the elements of a business will work together to achieve the stated objectives. Whereas this working plan should be well thought out, it should never be static. In a small business, things keep changing and getting more efficient in response to the internal and external environments.
"A small business must create a name that will set itself apart from competitors if it is offering services. It must always be clear what is trying to sell. The name of the product should closely associate with the expected service experience.
"Good and successful businesses do simple things well. They keep their promises time and again, that way they gain loyal customers."
Reuters reports that small businesses in the UK are feeling the crunch as larger suppliers slow pay schedules. This is a true sign that even the UK's economy is hovering. We're seeing a similar trend in the United States. Although productivity is up, there's still reticence on the part of many big industry decision makers.
"The Federation of Small Business (FSB) says that small firms are experiencing the biggest squeeze on their cashflows since the early 1990s as big companies are now delaying payment to their smaller suppliers by more than 100 days. The FSB says that the situation has worsened dramatically in the past few weeks and it took the unprecedented step of naming Alliance Boots as one of the worst payers."
Hispanicbusiness.com reports that inflation has risen to the top of small business owners' list of worries during this economy.
"Inflation is the top concern of small-business owners for the first time since January 1981, according to a June survey of the National Federation of Independent Business.
"Confronted with rising gasoline, energy and food costs, some business owners have raised prices, but many have found creative ways to cut costs and delay further price increases.
"Small-business owners are feeling pressure from inflation 'every time they open up the back door' to receive new inventory, said William Dunkelberg, chief economist at the federation. He said 41 percent of small businesses raised prices in June in response to this 'backdoor inflation.'
"'There has been a really dramatic increase, and it seems to be accelerating,' he said of the inflation rate.
"In June, 20 percent of small-business owners cited inflation as their top concern, compared with 8 percent in February, according to the National Federation of Independent Business."
And now you're all caught up with some of the latest small-business news for this week.