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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Small Business that Can Compete with The Big One

When a large corporation like Wal-Mart comes to town you will feel a shudder go through the whole business community. It is like a proverbial giant striding into a small village. The first reaction is to run away. Unfortunately this is exactly what many of the local businesses do. They feel that they cannot compete with a giant corporation and just close their doors.

This may be true in part because there is no way that a small business can fight a large business on equal terms. However, small businesses offer some advantages that these corporations can never even think about. These things are what make a small business survive and thrive under the very noses of large corporations like Wal-Mart.

There are many benefits of small businesses for consumers:

Atmosphere: There is nothing like the warm friendly atmosphere of a small “Mom an Pop” style business. The customer is greeted in a genuinely friendly way and is not only made to feel like a VIP but almost like a friend. This personal approach is very appealing to customers and clients, and makes them not only buy more but return and stay loyal to the business.

Over deliver: Small businesses will always have time to help you and will even go out of their way to assist. You know that you will get help when you cannot find something or have a query about an item and you will not be treated like a dollar bill. You know that you can expect warm friendly personal service, which you will never get at big corporate chains like Wal-Mart.

Product and service quality: The product and service quality is often far superior to the big companies. You can get unique items and services at these small businesses that you cannot get elsewhere. It may cost a little more but it is worth it. The quality of the product is also better as it is not just made to sell as a discount item but built to last.

So when you’re faced with the possible competition of a big business, take a long hard look at the uniqueness of your business, how clients benefit from choosing your business and then sell these benefits. If you know the advantages of doing business with you, its much easier to communicate this through your marketing and selling. Big companies can’t easily duplicate the quality products and services that smaller businesses are easily equipped to offer.

 

Benefits Of Partnering

1. Ideally, you’ll gain access to centralized web-based processing systems that handle day-to-day activities such as order taking, order fulfillment, billing, collections, payments and service calls. This results in more available time to focus on revenue producing activities like selling, marketing and business planning.

2. You’ll gain access to a wider range of products, increased marketing capabilities, larger territories and improved buying power that lead to better margins.

3. You’ll have an opportunity to equip an existing operation with best practices. Every small to mid size toner supplier has a certain flare or niche they’ve developed to succeed. As individual suppliers join forces and share what they’ve learned in the industry, a new industry standard will be established.

 

Business Challenges that Small Business Must Overcome

1. Working capital -The lack of working capital is the leading threat to most small businesses. Toner suppliers are no exception. Many small to mid-range toner suppliers are already undercapitalized with no access to the type of working capital needed to break into the next level of business. Working capital is a must for financing new receivables and purchasing additional inventory associated with a growing customer base.

2. Time Allocation and Focus -Your focused time and attention consumed by the ongoing daily activities of operating a toner supply business such as inventory management, vendor relationships, order fulfillment, accounting and information technology leave little time for the one revenue producing activity: SALES. Outsourcing non-core functions and placing the focus back on sales and marketing is a workable solution for many suppliers having the capital needed to initiate the outsourcing process.

3. Products and Services – Today’s office customers expect more from their toner suppliers than cartridges on demand. In addition to the base-line services of cartridge delivery and empty cartridge pick-up, customers want value-added services such as printer maintenance, operator training, technical support and possibly complete print management services. As more customers streamline their own operations to focus on core business functions, they become increasingly persuaded by the advantages of complete print management solutions. Offering this service allows toner suppliers to develop and strengthen customer relationships while improving profitability.

4. Geography – Increasing sales is a good indication of a business’s strength. One way to achieve this goal is to gain access to the broadest geographical territory possible. However, as more office customers demand printer service along with their toner supply, more toner suppliers are finding themselves limited by the reach of their service provider network. Expanding an existing service provider network or developing one for the first time is an option that must be considered for continued growth.