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#TrepTrain: Ways of funding your business, Part 2: Seeking investment

Making the jump from self sustaining small business to expanding start-up can be nerve-wracking. Seeking investment is a big step that needs to be taken with caution, and a clear understanding of needs (yours - and the potential investor's).

#TrepTrain - Ways of funding your business, Part 1: Bootstrapping

The reality is that many startups do not have an investor with deep pockets paying the bills and making sure that the company has what it needs to grow and thrive. Startup and small business owners are initially their own investors, who transition to convincing clients to invest by buying their products and services. Bootstrapping startups don’t wait for funding to make things happen. They pick themselves up and get going!

#TrepTrain: Has your brand developed by design, or by default?

Entrepreneurs are often so busy working IN the business, that they seldom take time out to work ON the business. Evaluating and developing your personal and professional brand takes time. If you’re not able to invest that time, then your brand develops by default rather than by design.

#TrepTrain: USPs - What makes a customer buy from you, and not someone else?

With the number of products and services on offer in the local and global marketplace, customers are spoilt for choice. Gaining and keeping your customers attention means your business needs to stand out from the crowd. But…when there are 10, 100 or even 1000 other business that offer your product or service – why would somebody buy from you?

Sales: Are you making enough of them?

Successful sales happen by design not by accident. It’s got nothing to do with luck. It’s not a gamble – but it is about the numbers. The more you connect with the right prospects, the more compelling proposals you send out - the higher your chance of closing a deal.

3 Top questions to ask when planning your marketing initiatives

No matter how great your product is, if your clients are not aware of your presence in the market and you’re not using the relevant communication channels – your business will not generate sufficient, sustainable profit.

Hire in haste, regret at leisure

Inviting strangers into your company is a big deal! You wouldn’t invite just anyone to move in with you – and the same is true about hiring new employees.

Social Media For Business: Are You Ready To Take The Plunge?

Social media can either boost or damage your company’s bottom line – depending on how you use it. Fear of the unknown, and the potential for making a mess on such public platforms has scared SMMEs off embracing social media as a marketing tool.

Perception : The Little Things That Influence How People See Your Business

Making a strong and favourable first – and lasting - impression in business is vital to success, both your own and that of your company. To create a professional business image, you need to develop a personal brand that says “I am authentic, professional and trust worthy”.

The #TrepTrain Weekly Tweetchat is launching this Thursday! Get on board!

Seminar Warehouse will be hosting a weekly tweetchat for entrepreneurs, on Thursday nights from 8 to 9pm under the hashtag #TrepTrain. We’d love for you to join in and add your voice to the conversation!

Business Journeys: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly #TrepTrain Tweetchat Framing Post

Whether you run your own business or are employed - we’re all on a business journey. Each of our paths has ups and downs. We learn, we grow, we bump our heads. Thankfully we don’t have to do this all alone! In this week’s #TrepTrain tweetchat we’re discussing “Business Journeys”- swopping war stories and gleaning valuable tips from the experience of our peers.

#TrepTrain: Social Media, Recruitment and Employees – Where do we draw the line between personal and relevant to business?

Love it or hate it – social media is an ever present part of our daily lives. While social platforms have traditionally been viewed as personal distractions, some organisations view them as valuable Marketing, PR and even Recruitment channels.

#TrepTrain: Training and Development - Learn from your experience, the experience of others, or both?

“An Entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down.” – Reid Hoffman, Co-founder LinkedIn. Learning as you go is part of the entrepreneurial journey. Some of that learning takes place through (sometimes painful) experience and sometimes you learn from the experience of others.

#TrepTrain - Do you have a clear understanding of your target market?

Knowing who is willing and able to spend money on your product or service is vital. Many startups and SMMEs are so busy trying to make ends meet that they are willing to sell anything to anyone – without having a clear idea of their Unique Selling Proposition – or their target market.

Debt Collection, 60 days – 90 days – 120 days and --- over?

Business performance and sustainability is heavily reliant on cash-flow. The reality is, unless you can convert your accounts receivable into cold, hard cash; your company’s bank account will be empty.