The Internet has been around for a generation, but its economic potential is still only just being realised. Global connectivity has made it possible for working professionals, businesses, and end consumers to interact with far fewer barriers than in the past. While that’s been true for years, that connectivity is only maturing to a point where it can be effectively leveraged today.
Franchising is a great way to quickly expand a business without taking on enormous debts. The franchisee takes on most of the financial risk, as well as much of the responsibility for generating a return on their own investment. In exchange the franchisor helps the franchisee develop their business and integrate with the franchisor’s brand.
Every entrepreneur is waiting for the moment when they can scale up and take their business to the next level. When a small business gets real traction, and leads start to pour in faster than you can accommodate their business, it’s tempting to take the bull by the horns and grow explosively. Unfortunately, that can turn out to be a treacherous instinct.
Growing a business effectively is about a lot more than slick marketing, solid funding, or a great product. Becoming established, competing, and growing to become an industry leader requires businesses to build a trust relationship with their customers, their target markets, and the public.
Building a business is difficult all on its own, and the obscure government red tape surrounding most industries can make it extremely difficult for SMEs to survive. It’s no surprise then that business-friendly politicians and small business owners often advocate cutting regulations and slashing red tape. Surprisingly, however, that might not be an ideal solution.
Jack Ma is the founder of China’s largest Internet company and ecommerce marketplace: Alibaba. His personal history and his unique leadership style have garnered him respect all over the world, and made him a global celebrity as well as a highly successful businessman.
Leadership is, at its heart, all about practicing great communication. Developing those communication skills is key to any leader’s long term success. Many leaders may try to compensate for a lack of communication skills by micro-managing team members, or stepping in and taking over work that isn’t part of their job, but this is unsustainable. It’s impossible for one person to keep track of, much less execute, all the responsibilities of an entire team.
Building your business isn’t just about developing a great product or hiring an excellent marketing and sales team. To grow in the long term, you’ll need your existing customers on your side and advocating for your business within their own networks.
Statistics show that, in the private sector, small businesses provide 44% of all jobs in Australia, and 30% in New Zealand, while small and medium enterprises provide 60% and 68% of all jobs in the UK and Ireland, respectively. Despite this, small businesses are often overlooked by their governments. Managing barriers to entry, reducing red tape, and securing more rigorous regulations on payment terms are important issues for small business owners that many legislators never hear about, or don’t understand how to address in a meaningful way.