Category Archives: Employee Employer relationship

Coverage Areas in The PPI: Does Expanding Your Coverage Area Equate to GROWING Your Business?? Part 2

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COO at Aladay LLC
Organic Farmer, Property Preservation Specialist and Custom Glass & Wood Worker. Blogger extraordinaire...
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Expanding Territory VS Increasing Revenue Streams Within Your Current Coverage Area

 

 

Let us examine Growing your business. If you remember we last spoke about the difference in “expanding” you coverage area does not necessarily equate to “Growing” your business.

So let us look at what happens when you expand you coverage area. The first thing you will need to look at the logistics of the area you’re expanding into. Then you’ll need to ask yourself

  • Are there amenities?
  • You’ll need to look at what venues are available to you should there be an item you’ll need because you forgot, you don’t normally carry the item in your you’re inventory, etc. For example, will the water cap cost you $5 each in Littlesville or can you go to a Home Depot or Lowes and pay $0.90 for the item?
  •          2. Are the Services in the new area?
  • Will you be able to dump at reasonable fees or will you have to haul debris somewhere else because there is no dump available in the area you’re expanding into.
  •          3. What are fuel costs in the area?
  • Are there gas stations in the area and what are their fees? We have areas with fuel costs that are $1.00 to $1.25 higher than where our base of operation is located.
  •          4. Are there companies willing to work with you in the area?
  •          5. What type of travel time will you be look at? Will this affect you hourly rates for your employees? By not acknowledging this even if you’re a one man show you still need to pay yourself and put a value on you time. What is you time worth?
  •          6. Will you still have control over quality. Many times this is forgotten in haste. The bigger you coverage area the more you’ll have QC issues. Will you be able to address them in a cost effective manner?
Every Time you add a county or zip code to your coverage area, you create new set of logistics.
Every Time you add a county or zip code to your coverage area, you create new set of logistics.

 

 

Can you arrange for working relationship with other companies in the area? For example; will the local dump set up an account for you and put you on a billing cycle? Or will the local hardware store give you an assist with an account?

Next you’ll need to examine the issue of value. Will there be sufficient value to your company by entering a new area? Have you checked to see if there is competition? Is there a population density to justify the move? In other words, are you doing a “favor” or will the move into a new area be sustainable? If there is no population density then there will more than likely not be a volume of work that will justify this move, other to provide a “favor” for your client. Make no mistake; you want to assist your clients, however not at your expense. There are times when decisions are made the right, even though tough business decision is the word no.

Now let us look at growing your business without expanding your territorial coverage area.

With the proper use of social media you can mount an marketing strategy and promote your business. Most of these Social Media Sites are free to set up an account. If you learn to use them as a business tool vs. an afterhour’s cyberland bar, you can be successful. One of the biggest issues I hear during consultations is how people have concerns about social media bully’s and people stating negative comments on people profile pages.

 

Social Media creates a 24/7/365 environment.
Social Media creates a 24/7/365 environment.

Two things to keep in mind about social media;

  1. Social Media is a tool not a toy. Use it accordingly.
  2. Social media requires a Social Media policy for your company.

Whether you’re a one man show or a 5,000 employee company you’ll want some sort of policy of do’ and don’t’s for social media.

Remember that with social media…kinda like drinking…there comes some responsibility. You will need to keep in mind that what you say via social media, it is out there is cyberland, out there for all to see and copy and paste….

However, that should not be a deterrent from using social media. There are several marketing campaigns you can mount via social media. You can post various specials that you followers can say…”I saw your post on FaceBook for 10% off”  or you can post QR codes to direct your potential customers to videos or website articles and coupons for your products and services. You can even put a spiffy suit and tie, or business casual attire and go out and do something the OLD FASSHIONED WAY, go door to door. Believe it or not people still enjoy interaction, and a hand shake will go a long way in the business world these days.

Remember this, especially in the service industry, expanding your coverage area can be very dangerous if you haven’t studied the logistics of the area your wanting to expand into. Just because you will be adding 500 square miles to a coverage area does not equate to more positive revenue streams. However, staying in your current coverage area and increasing incoming revenues without taking on major logistical issues is indeed GROWING your business.

Should you need assistance in developing social media policies for your company, or policies in general, we can help, email us at;

consultationservice@aladayllc.com

 

Policy QR Code
Policy code for free video viewing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until Next Time

Happy Gardening

Business 101: So You Got an Idea Do Ya????? Part 4

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Organics Admin

COO at Aladay LLC
Organic Farmer, Property Preservation Specialist and Custom Glass & Wood Worker. Blogger extraordinaire...
Organics Admin
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Do the questions ever stop? What is the correct financing avenues for me?

Bootstrapping is a very popular form of Business Financing
Bootstrapping is a very popular form of Business Financing

 

The simple answer, no they don’t. If you’re successful they never will. Believe it or not, that IS a good thing.

Now that you have spoken to family and friends about your business idea and you have started formulating your business plan. If nothing else you should at least be on information overload. By now you have found out that this endeavor will be a challenge and consume massive amounts of time. Then one of the biggest questions comes into play…

How will you finance the business?

As we have been discussing there are many avenues for financing a business. You have a few choices, including Aunt Sally, credit cards (dangerous), angel investors, venture capital (if you’re really onto something), bank loans (good luck finding them) and the most expensive route, equity. Beware, though: Selling shares to the public comes with a host of headaches, including dilution of ownership, loss of control and regulatory hurdles. Bottom line: Bootstrap the business if you can. Finally, always remember to match the timing of cash inflows from your assets and the outflows to cover liabilities. A mismatch can sting. Here are a couple more avenues that can be pursued and have shown some success in the past.

Tax Increment Financing.

TIF subsidies are geared toward real estate development in targeted areas. Depending on the state, the subsidies can be as large as 20% to 30% of the cost of the project. Better yet, you may even be able to borrow against this subsidized value. If your own community does not offer a TIF program, look at communities that do. You may end up a little farther from your home or office, but it could be worth your while. Always speak with your accountant when playing around with taxes. Any accountant worth their salt will be versed in the current laws concerning taxes.

 

Internal Revenue Service:

No, the IRS does not lend money. But it does allow you to deduct expenses. If you are paying a heap in taxes, evaluate whether you can use your profits to expand your business–and reduce your tax bill. Again this is an area that your accountant can help you with. Remember Thanks to “Reaganomics” from Uncle Ronnie and his deregulating buddy Georgey Boy SR. we were given many ways to depreciate and make business deductions. As Georgey Boy Jr. would say, you must carefully stragerize to maximize your potetial. You accountant will be able to assist you with all the proper methods and ways to deduct monies to assist your business.

 

Bootstrapping:

Many billion-dollar entrepreneurs find a way to grow without external financing so that financiers don’t control their destinies or grab a disproportionate slice of the wealth pie. For more on the sound strategic thinking you’ll need in order to live on your own cash flow. This topic has a bevy of information out there. Here are a couple places that will help you with Bootstrapping. Bootstrap to Billions: Proven Rules from Entrepreneurs who Built Great Companies from Scratch and Finance Any Business Intelligently. Authored by Dileep RaoIn addition there are several website dedicated to helping Entrepreneurs. www.uEntrepreneurs.com. Is just one of them.

So now that you are totally confused as to which type of financing you may want to explore someone sneaks in the back door and say…

How much start-up capital do you need?

Any early-stage investor or small business consultant will tell you that most businesses fail because they were undercapitalized. There are no absolute rules here. However, this is where consultants come in, as there are no formulas with easy solutions. If you do not have enough resources going into your new enterprise then you will need to become very fluent in creative financing. Some say to double your original estimates.

Myself when we got started we consulted with members of SCORE and we actually asked for an extra $5,000.00 in our loan for operating expenses. However, our loan was to finance an upstart organic farm and with produce requiring at least 90 to grow before sales revenues would start coming in we asked for a 120 day deferment  in the first payment, we also asked for 3$ interest and had to agree to 5% for the deferred payment arrangements. Again this would not have been on the table if it wasn’t for the help we received during consultations.

Another question that always comes up in regards to financing. You have to sell your products and the will require some sort of marketing.

How should you market your product?

One of the issues I see with new businesses is that they have no marketing budgets.

Getting the word out about your company–without going broke–is no mean feat. In the mid ’90s, America Online spent so much money flooding the planet with free trial software that it tried to mask the bleeding by capitalizing those expenses on its balance sheet. Before you run out and spend money on software do yourself a favor and invest in yourself. Check with your local City College and see if they have classes. Most people don’t realize you don’t have to take a “full load” of classes as is said of someone that takes 5-6 classes a semester. You also don’t have to commit to a four year education program to take a course or two at Higher Education Institutions.

I will have more on marketing in an upcoming interview with a very dear friend of mine in the San Francisco Bay area Rhonda Baker. Rhonda has degrees in marketing I’m sure Rhonda will share some great do’s and don’t’s on the subject of marketing your business.

 

By now some of you may be wondering about if your idea can be patented or trade marked, copy written???

How do you protect your intellectual property?

A quick follow-on to the previous slide: Say you invented a car that can go 150 mph on solar power alone. A few months later five savvy rivals have reverse-engineered it and are now bringing their versions to market. Before you crank out prototypes for the public, file for a provisional patent. It protects your idea for a year while you work out the kinks. For more on intellectual-property protection, check out “Protect Your Prototype” and “ The Patented Path To Profits.” Always remember, to make copies of everything and have them in a safety deposit box, a safe, anywhere that only you can access until your products have been protected for your future.

A question that will undoubtedly come up should your product be one of intellectual nature;

How big is the threat of new entrants?

11-1 says that if there’s money to be made, the competition will come. You just never know from where. If not a direct rival (think what Microsoft did to Netscape in Internet browsers), then a substitute technology might take out your legs (look at what digital film did to Kodak). Construct barriers to entry–by filing a patent, securing an enviable lease, building a loyal following–long before that happens. Remember that technology changes at the speed of light. What is top shelf technology is a dinosaur tomorrow so you will always want to protect yourself. Speak with attorneys and other professional services in regards to development of your products.

I do hope this information has been a help to you. We will bring you more on developing your business plan in the weeks ahead. Should you have questions or perhaps you would like a consultation please contact us at:

consultationservice@aladayllc.com

 

Until Next time

Happy Gardening

Written by: Aaron Aveiro

Sources: Forbes, IRS, SCORE, SBA our Accountant Janet Vick. at Rand and Assoiates