Making your Business Stand Out!

November 13, 2014

Making Your team

Business Stand Out!

 

What is it about your business that sets you apart from your competitors?

 

Unique Selling Proposition

What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?  Your USP identifies what makes your business unique and what makes it distinct from other businesses of its type.  Your USP is your competitive edge; it is the reason people should deal with you rather than someone else.

Coming up with the perfect USP 

The possibilities are endless!  The best thing to do is to adopt a USP that fills an obvious need in the marketplace.  Focus on a gap in the market or create your own niche.

Creating Your USP

Write down all the positive aspects of your business, such as good service, quality products, reasonably priced.  Also list the benefits your business could bring to customers.  These could be things like family friendly, free delivery, after-hours service, fast turnaround time, locally produced, convenient location.  Make sure that the benefits you list are things you can achieve and deliver. 

Check out your competition.  If a competitor is offering one or more of the benefits that you have written down, cross it off the list.  Narrow down your list until you find a benefit that is truly exclusive.

It’s not always easy to come up with a new concept.  So take your time, look closely at your business and think about:

  • what it is you really want to offer
  • who you want to target
  • why you want people to come to you
  • how you propose to help them

 

Here’s a good example

Josie wants to open a hair salon in an inner city suburb where there are already several other well-established salons.  Why should people go to Josie’s salon instead of the others?

Josie lists her business strengths as being welcoming, competitively priced, excellent service by stylists with years of experience.  However, Josie soon learns that not only do all of the other salons have experienced stylists charging competitive rates, most of them offer beauty services too.  Josie knows she needs something unique. 

Based on her market research, Josie discovers an untapped niche in the market – she decides to ‘go organic’.  Josie sources organic hair products and colour treatments.  She even decides to serve organic coffee, tea and chocolates! 

Josie’s USP is that her salon is totally organic.  Therefore, she can focus her marketing towards people who are sensitive to harsh chemicals or people who are environmentally conscious.   She can then advertise in places such as health food shops or pharmacists where she is likely to find interested customers.

YOUR ACTION PLAN

  •  Develop your own USP.
  •  Keep your USP in mind when planning advertising campaigns and include it in all your marketing material.

 

Contact the team today at MKS Group on 1300 XERO MKS  or 9374 8400 for assistance with this Action Plan!

 

The post Making your Business Stand Out! appeared first on Mark Said.

Writing a Business Plan

November 5, 2014

It may sound like a daunting assignment, but evidence suggests a well-written business plan contributes to a successful business.

 Why?

Building a business from scratch can be challenging, therefore, creating a business plan compels you to systematically think through every aspect of your business and develop a solid blueprint to follow.

A business plan will help you map your business strategy for the future and motivate you to reach your goals.  It will help you anticipate obstacles and work out solutions for overcoming them, thereby reducing anxiety and stress.

Additionally, the process of writing a business plan will likely reveal the level of commitment you need to devote to your business.

What a business plan should include

Your plan should have a professional appearance and be clear and concise.  Some of the essential elements to cover in a business plan are:

Executive summary – an overview

  • Description of the business
  • Product/service design & development
  • Industry analysis
  • Market analysis
  • Marketing plan
  • Management team & business structure
  • Operations plan
  • Legal and risk management plan
  • Financial projections

Writing a plan covering all these areas may take substantial time and effort, but when your plan is complete, how much will you have learned in the process?  How thoroughly will you know your business?  How much more confidence will you have when you actually launch your business?

For these reasons, it is best to write the business plan yourself (or at least make an attempt), rather than employ someone to write it for you.  Besides, you’ll feel a sense of excitement and fulfilment when you actually put your ideas and visions down in writing.  Of course, assistance in the form of books, websites and consultants is always available.

Other benefits

A business plan is usually required by banks and lenders when considering an application for a business loan.  Approaching a lender without a plan, or with one that has been thrown together in haste, will likely make a poor impression.

A business plan also serves as a reference for monitoring the progress of your business against your objectives and performance standards.

Preparing a plan may reveal that your idea is not feasible.  While this may be unfortunate, it is better to fail on paper rather than to start your business and realise the same thing!

YOUR ACTION PLAN

Collate your information and have a go at writing a business plan!  If you run into trouble, look online for helpful websites, speak to a consultant or ask other business owners for ideas.

Contact us today on  1300 XERO MKS or on 03 9374 8400 for assistance with this Action Plan!

 

The post Writing a Business Plan appeared first on Mark Said.

Government Grants and Assistance

October 19, 2014

Funding programs and grants are available from the federal, state and territory governments and, in some cases, from local councils.

While there are generally no government grants available for starting a business, there is assistance available for things like expanding your business, and research and development.

New Enterprise Incentive Scheme

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations runs the very successful New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS).  Although this scheme does not provide start-up funds, like loans or grants, it does help eligible unemployed people start and run their own new viable business.

Participants are selected to take part in the programme and are given training in small business management and business skills.  Business plan development is a feature of the programme, the object being that you can use your business plan to help you secure finance through a bank or other lender.

Under the programme, you have the opportunity of receiving business advice and mentoring support during the first year your business is in operation.  If you are already receiving income support allowance, you may also be eligible to receive NEIS income allowances.  If you are eligible, the amount you receive will not be affected by any income you earn from your NEIS business.

Small Business Advisory Service

Low cost advisory services can be obtained through the Small Business Advisory Service (SBAS) which is run by AusIndustry, an Australian government initiative.

The SBAS programme is designed to maximise the growth potential, prosperity and sustainability of small businesses.  It provides access to information and assistance with issues relevant to growing small businesses, especially in the current economic climate.

Assistance in the following areas is available:

  • Business planning advice
  • Advice on loans and banking products
  • Simple marketing plans
  • Legal and accounting services
  • Leasing guidance
  • Government regulations.

YOUR ACTION PLAN

*  Read the guide to the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme available at www.workplace.gov.au/Programmes

*  Go to www.ausindustry.gov.au and read about the Small Business Advisory Service.

*  For a list of the government grants and assistance available, try the Grant Finder function available at www.business.gov.au

Contact us at MKS Group today on:

1300 XERO MKS or 03 93748400  for assistance with this Action Plan!

The post Government Grants and Assistance appeared first on Mark Said.

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Contractors and Superannuation

September 17, 2013

Welcome to the first MKS Group blog!

This is going to be used as a platform to discuss current tax updates, complex tax situation and new and innovative ways to do business.

Our first blog is going to discuss the impact superannuation within the business and subcontractor relationship. So, who does pay the super?  Although common perception is that the subcontractor is independent of the business, and pays its own superannuation but this is not always the case! There are certain conditions that have to be met for business to be required to pay any superannuation. After all even though they might be paid as a subcontractor, are they really just an employee?

The following 4 tests must be satisfied for the business to be obligated to pay superannuation.

Test 1 – The subcontractor does not operate an independent business.

Test 2 – Payments are based on time worked rather than work performed.

Test 3 – The subcontractor uses the business’ tools and equipment.

Test 4 – The subcontractor performs the contract work personally.

As a business owner, you may now be thinking deeper about the situation and think does this apply to your subcontractors or as a subcontractor you may now be thinking that you are missing out on superannuation.

If you do feel this way, please give us a call!

Thanks for reading our very first MKS Group blog, we hope you look forward to next piece in the coming days and feel free to provide us with any suggestions as we love to know what you want to know!

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