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    3 Replies Latest reply on Jun 21, 2008 7:10 PM by jarothbart

    Internal collaboration for small businesses

    jarothbart Newbie
      Hello everyone,

      My name is Jason and I'm new to this site. I'm
      curious what members use to collaborate internally when starting a new
      business. By collaborate, I mean working on and capturing all the good
      information you create and debate as a team. I suspect email is the
      most common answer but I would love to hear how you do it.

      if you decide you want to use a more powerful collaboration solution,
      where would you look or how would you search? Are there good resources
      (other than this site of course) where you would look for resources and
      advice. I'm asking as we are in the process of marketing planning and I
      could really use the feedback on where to spend? Personally, I'm
      leaning towards spending on smaller conferences, email campaigns and
      targeted web ads versus Google ad words. Thanks in advance for your

        • Re: Internal collaboration for small businesses
          LUCKIEST Guide

          Suggestions and advice. Good luck Jason

          Plan Ahead.
          People often ask why bother with a business plan? Look at the
          lottery as an example. You may get lucky and get the winning ticket,
          but the odds are against you when you rely on random chance. Minimize the risk of going into business and
          maximize your potential for success. Take the time to write a plan of
          how you get from point A to point B. A plan gives you a clear future
          focus and increases your chances of success.

          The first rule of a start-up is put some of your own money in the
          business. As the owner you must be willing to capitalize the business.
          The second rule is put as little of your own money as possible in the
          business. Prepare your plan and look for funding for your business from
          multiple sources, which can include a business loan or business line of


          Don't go it alone. Plan ahead now to build your team. Your team may
          include a CPA and an attorney that you work with as needed. Add a
          mentor from your industry and get a SCORE mentor to help you plan for
          success. No one has all the answers. You get more ideas and information
          by building a success, support team that can help you plan ahead.

          Set up Systems.
          The most basic system every business should have is a good financial
          system. Ask yourself how am I going to generate enough income to
          support myself and my family. Begin here. Put together a personal
          budget, so you know what it costs you to live. Now, you can move on to
          the business budget and sales planning, so you can see how many sales
          you need to break even and make a profit. The start-up expense plan,
          operating budget and your accounting software are vital to your




          Seek out Sales.
          The daunting question is how do you go about seeking out your first
          sale. Recognize that since you don't have a big ad budget to be seen by
          everyone, you need to target a niche and get connected in your market
          community, be it local, regional or national. You need other people
          selling for you-not employees-goodwill referrals. Get out and talk to
          as many people as you can. Join organizations that would have clients
          for your product or service. Become a visible part of your market, and
          then ask for the sale. You begin the sales process with people that you
          know. Yes, it's okay to start with friends and family as your first
          customers, and then broaden from there.



          Aim for Growth.
          The basic tenant of creating a company is that you own the company. You
          are not just creating a job for yourself. It's less risk and less
          investment to get a job. Building a business is creating a company that
          is more than the job itself. Think about the future. How large do you
          want the company to be in terms of sales, net profit and employees?
          Your answer to each of these questions will influence how you grow.
          There are varying costs and profits associated with growth. It's
          important to make a deliberate choice early about how you want to grow
          your company.



          Leverage Opportunities.
          Good luck. Good fortune. Good timing. All play a part in business. As a
          business owner, be very clear about your core focus for the business
          and how it serves clients. Your core business is what pays the bills.
          Then, as an entrepreneur you are about opportunity. When you see a
          potential opportunity or stroke of luck measure it against your core
          business focus. Good fortune is great, when it matches your vision for
          the business. Always consider if a good opportunity is the right fit
          for your business. If something looks great, but it's not in sync with
          your long-term plan and budget, think carefully before committing your
          company's resources.




          Hope this helps, LUCKIEST
          • Re: Internal collaboration for small businesses
            DomainDiva Ranger
            You speak of a collaboration 'solution'. We use BaseCampHQ. We have writeboards, live meeting chat, messages, document uploads. We once had an important board vote on a potential investor in less than 10 minutes. (Were they ever surprised...).

            Every 3-4 months we have our face time. Email and cell phones are important as well. Sometimes there is travel involved when we need the group hands on stuff for the application. This summer we will spend 3 weeks together putting the final touches on the visuals, data and rules.

            How you handle the collaboration will depend on what the business itself will dictate. Always let the need of the business dictate how you person or be electronic means....there is NO one best solution.
            • Re: Internal collaboration for small businesses
              jarothbart Newbie

              Thanks to both of you for your responses. Actually, what I'm looking for is different. I work at a company that sells a collaboration solution (a little competitive with BaseCamp). I'm looking for ideas on where to market to small businesses.
              • Are there other forums like this one that people read?
              • Are there websites small business owners use as resources?
              • Are there sites that are worth advertising on?
              These are the kinds of ideas I'm curious about. Thanks in advance for the help.