Top tips for SME and start-up businesses

Top Tips for SME and Start-Up Businesses - Bartercard

Are you just starting out in business?
Does your brand lack direction or need a fresh start?

Whether you’re a start-up or established business that needs to hit reset, this latest article from Bartercard will help you pack more punch into your brand.


Find the right Business Concept

When it comes to thinking of a killer business concept, many people will tell you to ‘do what you love’ or ‘follow your passion’. These are definitely formulas for success, but in reality, a business involves so much more – from strategy, finance, research, sourcing, paying your suppliers, ticking off routine tasks like paying bills down to sheer stamina.

So, don’t just consider what you love doing, think about your personality type, how you work, what skills and abilities you already have, whether you buckle under pressure, what makes you tick and whether you can handle the challenges that are part of any business. It’s also vital to consider whether your business idea is marketable and will convert to sales.


Research the market

Research is critical to test the feasibility of your business idea and see where similar concepts thrived or failed. Standing out takes a point of difference, so thoroughly research your competitors to see how you can set yourself apart.


Three tips for getting market research right

  1. Define your market – who are your customers, what do they like, what strategies should you utilise for gaining new customers, what challenges do they face and what solutions can you offer?
  2. Research the competition – investigate who your competitors are, what they do, what their strengths and weaknesses are and how they price. What’s your point of difference?
  3. Map it out – pinpoint gaps in the market and do a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Determine your ‘why’ (the reason you’re in business) and fine-tune your market position or unique selling point (UPS). You should be clear of why you’re there, how you stand out and what you will do differently.


Stick to your core values and beliefs

Running a business and increasing profit is a challenge at any given moment – it’s not all glitz and glamour! To be sustainable you should stay authentic and true to your core values. Consistency and congruence across every aspect of your business is critical, or the stress, pressure and work will outpace you.


Write a business plan

A business plan is your blueprint for the business; detailing your vision, strategy, budget, finances, marketing, competitors, and contingency. Some people will tell you that a business plan isn’t essential – but apart from a tool to attract investors and talent, it makes you plan, review, breakdown and map out the way your business is put together which is crucial to success.  Having something written down makes you much more accountable to ensure things get done!

A typical business plan should include: contact details; an executive summary describing what your business does and what it solves; a company overview; an industry analysis; a customer analysis; a competitor analysis; marketing plan; operations plan; management details outlining the key company personnel; a financial plan and an appendix to include income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements.


Seek finances resourcefully

Even low-cost start-ups require financing to get started. Finance options include business loans, overdrafts, lines of credit, fully drawn cash advances and many start-ups take the route of crowdfunding or private investors like venture capitalists.


Source easy finance through Bartercard

Sourcing finance isn’t always easy; however, Bartercard members have access to an interest-free line of credit when they join. This can cover start-up, renovations, expansion, or other business costs.


Business Tips from the experts

Speak to, follow, and read about the successes and failures of entrepreneurs. Learning from their mistakes can save you from slipping up, while leveraging off their lessons and successes.



For more information on how Bartercard can help your business grow and increase profits, contact us today.

1300 227 837




3rd December 2019

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