Your Guide to Finding the Right Supplier for Your Business

For any small business, one of the toughest things to do is to expand overseas and find reliable global suppliers. A smart entrepreneur makes safe choices and smart decisions, especially when it comes to finding a supplier for your business. This is easier said than done, though, but by following these steps below, you can rest assured that you can choose a supplier that will give you the best service. Through this guide also, you will find help in ensuring that your business will move on to the path towards success.

#1 Study your options well before closing a deal.
Just like you, suppliers are businessmen as well. Thus, you can’t expect them to tell you where or from whom you can get better rates. It is your responsibility to look around to find the most competitive rates. This means that you have to spend enough time to do your research so you could spot the most reliable and appropriate company that will supply you with all your business needs.

#2 Get more information about your chosen supplier.
After you have found a reasonable rate, what you should do next is to go deeper in knowing about the supplier. You can do this by using any of the many platforms that offer reliable and detailed information about legit suppliers all over the world. Keep in mind that the only way you could find the right information is with the help of a verified and trusted third party source.

#3 Read and understand before signing the contract.
When you have reached a deal with your chosen supplier, the next step will be the signing of contract. Before you close any deal, make sure that you have carefully read and clearly understood everything in it. This is an important step that will give you assurance that the relationship you are entering will not pose any risk on your business. As a startup business, this might be the very first contract you will sign with a global supplier, which actually makes you a vulnerable victim. But then again, you will not be fooled as long as you make yourself fully aware of what you are getting yourself into.

#4 Remember it is not always about the price.
Indeed, price plays an important role in your decision as to which supplier to work with. But this doesn’t mean that money should be the only consideration in your mind. Remember that being inexpensive doesn’t always mean being reliable. Other factors, such as location, should be in your list of considerations in choosing a global supplier.

If you want your startup business to be a success and to avoid having to consider changing jobs soon, you have to commit time into learning the ins and outs of global expansion, and it starts with finding the right supplier that will boost your business.

Increase Profits with a Good Market Analysis

To know what solutions to offer your market you must know your market. Understanding the demographics of your market is essential to all you do.

The best way to know who your market is, is to do a demographics analysis.

The demographics of your market are their geographic location, age, gender, family status, income, buying behavior, buying preferences, etc. Analyzing the demographics of your market helps you understand their behavior. Here are some essential questions for gathering demographics:

What is their age group?
What is their gender?
What is their family structure (number of children, extended family, etc.)?
What is their lifestyle like – active, sedentary, family-oriented, spiritual?
Where do they live?
What do they do for a living?
What keeps them awake at night?
How do they like to spend their spare time?
What motivates them?
What do they invest in specific to your offerings?
What are they likely to spend money on?
What is their annual income?
What methods do they prefer for online payment?
What types of websites, forums, and social networks do they visit?
How do they want their product delivered?
How many people make up this market?

Gathering Market and Customer Information
Obtaining customer demographics does not have to be difficult or costly. You can determine what your market wants by studying your own existing market or by studying a competitor’s market and product. Gather information from places your market congregates:

Social networks
Online and offline media reports and stories
Blogs concerned with market trends
Conduct surveys of your market

Market Segmentation
As you develop your marketing strategy, keep in mind that you should market in different ways to different segments of your market. You cannot be all things to all people. Instead of marketing a product in one way to everyone, you may need to market differently to markets with different demographics. Regardless of your product, divide your total market into segments according to what is important to each demographic group.

A couple of years ago I developed an information program that taught how to develop information products. When I launched my product-creation course, I started by offering a free video series on how to develop profitable products. I did the same thing when I developed a list-building program; I offered a free video series on list-building. Each free offer attracted thousands of new subscribers. Some people got on both lists, while a great many did not.

With two very different product offerings, it was essential to segment the subscriber list. Market segmentation enables you to target different categories of customers who perceive the value of certain products differently from one another. I divided the list into list-building contacts and product-creation contacts according to what people opted in for, and maximized my marketing efforts by fully customizing follow-up messages for each segment of my main list.

When you don’t segment your market, you experience more opt-outs.

When you can increase opt-ins and minimize opt-outs you increase your chances for success.

Mastering Online Marketing

A lot of small business people that I speak with are very curious about online marketing, but don’t understand how it can directly increase their business. Many of them are seeing less return from their advertisements in traditional media like The Yellow Pages, newspapers and direct mailing campaigns, and are looking to explore new ways of expanding their market share.

When the advantages of online marketing are laid out, it is easy to see how it is oftentimes a more cost-effective marketing solution for small businesses. There are free online marketing methods you can use to get your business noticed – all you need is time and a little creativity to put them in motion.

For most newly-started small companies, online marketing is a prime source of clients and customers. As such, entrepreneurs are constantly forced to put countless hours into creating marketing campaigns that drive traffic and increase revenue. This is easily one of the largest time-requiring aspects of owning a business, and one which is a burden on many new startups. It doesn’t have to be though, if you know the best practices to follow.

If you want to make the most out of your time and budget, here are five great ways to improve your online marketing efforts:

1. Know Where Your Customers Are

The shape of the online world is always changing. Sites that were hugely popular last year may be barren wastelands today. If you want to master online marketing for your business, you need to keep track of where your customers are congregating. Marketing in the wrong places will mean wasting your time (which is likely in short supply) and getting less-than-optimal returns.

2. Focus on Your Call-to-Action

When creating marketing copy, nothing is more important than your call-to-action. Even the most intriguing and attention-grabbing marketing efforts will garner poor returns if potential customers aren’t motivated to visit your website, hire your services or purchase your products. Although often overlooked, having a clear and direct call-to-action can greatly improve your online marketing’s conversion rates.

3. Create Viral Content

Social media is all the rage today, both by consumers and businesses. Savvy online marketers understand the far-reaching potential of social media, and the ways to best leverage those capabilities. Creating viral content that your readers want to share is one of the best tactics for small and medium-sized businesses to expand their brand recognition and market reach without breaking their marketing budget.

4. Track Everything

Without proper tracking in place, you have no way to measure your progress and find the areas in which you have the biggest opportunities for improvement. Implement tracking through Google Analytics or a similar service for all of your webpages, advertising efforts and email campaigns. Through accurate results, you can see which avenues of online marketing are generating the biggest returns, and which ones are consistently under-performing.

5. Never Stop A/B Testing

Even if you reach the goals you set for your campaigns, never stop working to improve them. A/B testing, the process of comparing two different versions of copy or design by splitting visitors between the two pages, is the best way to make small (or even major) changes to your sales copy and marketing ads. Doing so allows you to continuously improve your conversion rates and the efficacy of your marketing efforts.

Your online marketing strategies are hugely important to the success of your business. Wasting time and money on poorly performing ads can put your company at a significant disadvantage to your competition, and make it much more difficult to get off the ground. By following these five tips and working to improve the effectiveness of your campaigns, you can shed a huge load of stress off your back and free up your resources to be able to better grow your business.

Don’t panic. The whole idea of online marketing can seem daunting and unfamiliar at first, but in fact it’s really pretty simple. Look, you’ve already done the difficult part: leaping into the unknown by starting or acquiring a business. This stuff will be easy by comparison