Предприниматель | Информационно-аналитический журнал - Part 30

We must still go on the attack

As an entrepreneur has to work under unstable conditions

The company was resistant to changes in the market ( as in the rapid growth and a sharp downturns and volatility ) is very important to have a valid strategy. An effective strategy should help to ease the company in the first place in the industry to market forces , so as to remain at low levels of risk and unpromising. For example, for the FMCG market by market forces first place – it’s multi- retailer network (Mulliez Family, Metro Group), the second place – well -developed manufacturer that owns a network of production facilities and branches in areas close to the producer , allowing you to have enough profitable logistics (Unilever , Kraft Foods).

It is also important to carry out a large-scale business format ” 24/7/365 “, which requires the generation of revenue for the company for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It is particularly important to understand the importance of this principle to companies that have a long sales cycle or production.

Companies that own this strategy and that follow these principles , to date, there is quite a lot. It is these companies even during the economic downturn have shown growth. For example, the Civil Code “Elecard “, which is well-known global manufacturer of hardware and software development for digital TV (HQ GK ” Elecard” is located in the city of Tomsk) . The company’s strategy is based on a strong competence in terms of technology – it is entirely dedicated to the research, the creation of new technologies. GC ” Elecard” launches the development of new technologies for 5-7 more years before it will appear on the market , which gives it the ability to always set the tone . Works well and the company is “The Messenger” , because in times of crisis it has reached a new level of development ( opened flagship store multi- Enter – Forbes). It is impossible not to draw attention to the company Nespresso, which is engaged in sales of coffee capsules , intended for special coffee machines – something that people will buy and during the crisis and, in stable times . Despite the fact that the solvency of the population and the demand for products is not growing in most parts of Russia , the company Nespresso achieved faster than the economy itself . The main advantages of their strategy – attentive approach to each client and caring and quality service.

More ” hygienic ” element – is competent management costs. The first phase of the crisis was not conducive to ensuring that all secondary costs were excluded. In this case, it is appropriate to evaluate each employee according to his perspective and effectiveness. Therefore, people who have no prospect , or whose work does not give smooth results , should be able to look themselves in the labor market . But the owners of the company needs to understand why the best professionals should work just at them.

You need to get serious about the selection of business partners. Working with different clients give different results , so you need to immediately decide which customers are most profitable for you . According to data for the period 2008-2010 to the process of finding new customers attracted CEOs , sales managers and marketing directors who are more actively working with both regular and potential customers . This is a very important step, as the number of successful transactions can not only stabilize the company, but also to contribute to its growth.

Therefore, companies should move to shorter tender schemes. For any kind of production among suppliers is always a leader – a supplier that provides a product or service , the best in the category of price and quality , and most importantly – to make it in time .

It is equally important to develop a good relationship with customers. Some of the customers may be difficult , but if we keep them well -established contact, we can find out in advance about the difficulties encountered , it will not immediately stop the shipment. We can go to the meeting and to enable customers to pay in tranches. But the hard line must be able to understand.

Companies should evaluate who is the financial partners of their customers. In 2009, there were many situations where many companies have ever refuse to comply with its obligations , that was caused by the negative situation in the financial service providers . Companies received loans if the same were on factoring , and their banks are bankrupt or withdraw the license . To date , such cases have become commonplace. One of the banks closed , on the part of banks are changing owners , which often becomes the cause of the termination of operations.

In 2009, many were simply no time for the Internet economy , and do not have the resources to do so. Now a changed market conditions – in a couple of years, almost all retail will conduct operations in both online and offline mode. Translation of business in the online mode has considerable advantages for sales. It should also remember that , on one hand , a nation aging, but , on the other hand, people who are actively using the Internet in the economic life . Therefore, the company presented in the Internet , has a number of advantages.

Of the 235 countries in 87 stranaz during the first wave of the crisis, there was an increase . Therefore, many companies need to rethink their positions and begin to conduct profitable operations in other industries. You can attend and maintain its growth in Russia , but also to move to a more stable areas in which there are more competitive offers .

High-quality service: how to avoid traffic jams

As an online store to organize delivery in the face of constant traffic jams.

We chose the capital of the new measure , and this is good news . Although I am not interested in politics , but with the arrival of the new head of Moscow on the agenda was immediately raised the question of improving the traffic situation in the city, so it’s worth a comment . Although the success of this campaign is not very hard to believe , but still want to dream about such an idyll itself , such as about Moscow in the 50 – 60 ‘s, when there were no traffic jams . What are the prospects opened up for my online store , because I initially made ​​a bid for good service, and all products must be delivered on time, fresh and high quality . But in the face of constant traffic jams this is not always possible to achieve, so something with transport logistics have always been some misunderstanding.

The first error

One of the main components of our business is the transport logistics . Although other components are also important, but I will say one thing, when it comes to owning your own business , you can not be mistaken for anything. But on the question of transport I also admit mistakes .

Immediately it was planned that the drivers we will have less . More precisely , we proceeded from the number of orders for one, which was , for example , H. However, in practice it turned around 0.6-0.7 X, and in a particularly busy days even 0.5 X. And with the salary we also miscalculated. At first, hoping that it will consist of salary of 8,000 rubles plus commission with each order. But working for the money , no one wanted , and the requirements we have been narrow : only needed people with Moscow residence permit . For this requirement had to pay , rather pay twice as much than expected. But, as experience shows, only the local well-known in the city. Once the driver has worked with us from the suburbs , but not sustained for a long time : in traffic spoiled their nerves , and did not know the short cuts. The result – a late delivery , and that afford we could not.

More suitable scheme we have developed only for half a year . We have always worked full-time drivers . But as it is uncomfortable , so the fact that at the stage of development of the number of orders can not guess – it is really very unstable . And no matter how much we did not hire drivers , still could not guess . Today, a lot of orders , and drivers do not have enough , and they are less than tomorrow , and some machines are idle. And as the full-time workers , they have to pay and always on time. And besides, it happens that the machines break down , drivers are sick, and no bench indispensable. So we decided that we have a permanent full-time drivers , and ” replacement ” – freelancers . Thus , it was possible to establish some transport logistics . Yes, and it’s more convenient to workers – someone get to work two days a week , and someone – two weeks a month. Now we have a ratio of 60/40 .

Also needed to solve another problem: whose machines we use . Since we have a small company , we own fleet , we can not afford , so we decided to hire a driver with a private transport and, in extreme cases, contact the transport company.

Of course, this scheme is only at the initial stage , but in the future , even limits our actions. For example , we can not put on someone else’s car is a custom logo , and this is already saving for offline advertising, with it own logo on transport – this thing is branding . In addition , if you have your own car would be decided by a lot of problems hiring workers , and would have avoided some of the costs. For example , a car could be used in two shifts , the more so at the request of many customers we have extended delivery time from 20:00 to 22:00. Now, orders are shipped within 11 hours.

We are therefore Nicholas came to the conclusion that it is necessary to buy a few cars in the lease ( I will be grateful to hear the comments of those who have already had to work so ) . But most of all, that implement the plan we will be able only after the New Year holidays so the future will have to overcome the fact that there are.

Experiments with delivery

Also, we decided to experiment with delivery – as you may have noticed , we’re not afraid to experiment . One day in mid-summer, we offered to cooperate express delivery service QuickFrog (http://59min.ru/). Quickly preview your site, I am still interested , because QuickFrog offered to deliver an order from one end of town to the other in just 59 minutes. Earlier couriers deliver drugs , and now offer us their services for express delivery . Refuse such an offer I just could not. After meeting with representatives of QuickFrog I almost caught their optimism. They offered a fairly simple scheme – delivery of orders on scooters and on such transport is certainly possible to go round all sorts of traffic jams. Immediately there was a problem with the capacity of cargo in Corfu scooter , so it was decided to limit the order VEEM 10 kg. To collect the order we were given 30-40 minutes for 10-15 minutes on the transfer order courier. Thus, the client should receive the products already after 1 hour 59 minutes. In truth , to cooperate with the express delivery was scary , because in our company lay much of the blame . Embarrassed and service cost – 600 rubles, while on our side no commissions on delivery is not required.

But nothing happened. As it turned out , customers wishing to order two hours and still willing to pay and the cost of 600 rubles were many . In addition, the weight limit orders were ignored, and people filled their baskets all in a row . Even on stock all got out of hand , because we have always worked on well- constructed circuit and always deliver the product the next day after the order. Then I took such a cowardly decision – to reject the service – or rather wait for better times.

But on the street already November , and delivery on a scooter stops running to warm pores. Although QuickFrog plans to implement a different plan : to organize during the cold season in the delivery of compact cars . So, perhaps , I still presume to offer delivery of products to customers within a few hours.

And now already November , and our partners are driving scooters in the garage. While here , by the way , a different perspective emerges : in the winter, “fast frog ” planned to enter the logistics with the use of small cars. So it may be , we still manage to give their customers a service with very fast delivery .

Discounts and advertising: what to spend more?

We offer you the perfect recipe.

Two weeks to increase sales by 10 times ! Is it feasible ? In April of this year, the company Barnaul ” Altan “, which has been producing pasta under the brand Granmulino, one retailer of St. Petersburg offered buyers a 20% discount on the entire product range . Advertising campaign in support of the brand was to show a short video on local TV in the first few days of the action.

And that was enough , as buyers began to literally sweep the company’s products from store shelves . High demand did not last long . After the action , he began to fall. But sales in the network is now 25 % higher than they were prior to the action .Coupon Offer – quite an old trick . Marketers have long understood that the buyers make a purchase decision already in store shelves , in addition to easily shift their focus from one brand to another. Such coupon offer ( or gifts for purchase), are intended to attract people to the first purchase. Some people , even after the completion of the action will not have time to buy it

Valery Pokornyak , owner and CEO of ” Altan “, argues that the sales point promotions are more effective than any direct advertising . This is the same manipulation , only more profitable for the consumer. Mark Granmulino was launched in 1997 , and since then the company has spent almost nothing on its advertising. At first this was not money, because the money went to the expansion of production and the search for channels.

Pokornyak then realized that the successful sale possible and without hype .

One founder of the ” Altai” entered the St. Petersburg store , ” Roundabout “, where each customer can get a free bag of flour if they buy two packs of pasta. According Pokornyak in one hand was given only one set, since the turn of the pasta lined up considerable. In 2006-2007, he was a franchisee of Petersburg “Pyaterochka” and ever since realized how discounts and gifts increase sales .

As a general rule , food manufacturers on advertising spend on advertising 10-20 % of revenue. Granmulino advertising budget was never greater than 2 % of sales (2008: earnings ” Altan ” has made 460 million rubles , 90 % of which is accounted for pasta ) . Only two years ago , the company started to shoot video . Sometimes they are broadcast on regional grids federal channels , but only for a few days and only in areas where it is necessary to promote a product . Outdoor advertising ” Altan ” is rarely used , often combining it with the campaign of the network that work together. Perhaps this is all without counting the posters Granmulino on trucks that transported the pasta and leaflets for the dealers.

Despite this, Valery Pokornyak still considers advertising an important sales tool. He says that if at the expense of only promotions could win the market , the company Procter & Gamble would have long ago stopped broadcasting the commercials on television. Necessary to resort to all methods of brand promotion .And choose for themselves a comfortable proportion.

The company ” Altan ” in order to attract buyers who use the yellow tags . This color in stores indicates the presence of the goods at a discount. According to the owner , ” Altana “, only large companies can afford to share with discounts , so afraid of the other losses. But if you prepare properly , you can get a plus . Necessary to provide the product in stores three times more than usual. It is not necessary to spare money for a good calculation.

As explained Pokornyak to be seen by the buyer , it is necessary to have a large “commodity spot .” Best of all, if the goods are placed on pallets , as they always produce more sales even at a lower discount than the racks.

What is the size of the discount should be set ? According to Irina Ilina , regional manager of the “Altai” , a small discount of 5.3 % did not give any result. All the same, there is a point at which the price of the product will be lower, so it’s best to set a discount of at least 10 %.

The action is considered successful if it spent less than 6 % of revenues. Experience shows that the 9/10 stocks always pay off , and in the time of the sale of shares may increase by 50-500 %. But selling products at a discount for more than one month is unprofitable , and less than a week is ridiculous . Buyers can not immediately see action in a store, where there are always new offers . A yellow price tags boost demand by 10-15 %. Such measures can hold out for 2-3 months. And if you then do not make any effort , then sales will fall to that level or even lower.

But before the conduct promotions , you need to establish relationships with vendors. To date, the Stavropol Territory ” Altan ” sells the same amount of pasta , as in the Altai. And in Pyatigorsk Granmulino can buy pasta at 70 % of retail outlets. Since sales in these stores , we are motivated by commodity researchers and wholesale customers bonuses for sale. Murmansk company ” Guimet ” , located in the north -west of Russia , has a share of 7% of total sales . Previously supplier of pasta they had our competitor – Chelyabinsk company ” McFee .” Then “the Guimet ” Altai wanted to sell products, but sales did not go well . After the termination of the contract with the ” McPhee “, the company made ​​contact and company Pokornyak . And if the ” Altan ” believe that sales increased due to the yellow price tag , the ” Gimee ” think that this contributed to the empty shelves .

How to build relationships with retailers – that’s another story.

Effective negotiation of salary

6 tips on how to negotiate a salary

I once told one of his friend, who at the time was a top manager in an advertising company that I want to write an article about how the best in the interview to talk about his salary . A friend , who at the time was already over fifty (I will call him Don ), very interested and wrote me a memo , which consists of ten items. He was one of those who played by the strict rules .

Among the advice of the Don were these: “If you liked the employer, it ‘s in your hands,” or “We need a little more to tell lies about the same salary .” He also advised to tell your boss that you received a job offer. In that case , you need to tell a lie about the salary at the new place to get a head squeeze more. But negotiations should be carried everywhere, from where do you like .

Don was able to so skillfully manipulate his leadership that in one year he managed to get two days off benefits from two different employers – each of them for six months. He says that he was able to receive an annual salary, having worked only five months. But then he adds that it was in his youth. Now he has to beg and grovel , and take as much as offer . Some shocking is how he is able to suck up . He thanks the hundreds of times , lying about his age and talks about the nine other kiddies , if only it had not been fired .

After listening to Don , I also talked with experts on employment and realized that his tricks still work . None of these experts do not like the idea of ​​employers tell a lie , but they all were in agreement with the fact that some of the above tricks and have their benefits. For example , to show the boss that other employers want to hire you , and pre- specify the size of the severance pay .

Rusty Ruff , who wrote the book “The Power of talent : a new manifesto of the human side of the business ” and the former head of HR- services, Electronic Arts and PepsiCo says that the applicant must specifically explain why he wants to be just such a salary. According to him, this is the same as applying for a mortgage loan on the same sludge formation , because the need to give the manager a reasonable explanation. For example, if an employer wants you to move to another city , you should not hesitate to tell him that you have two children who attend private schools , and you need such and such amount of money to cover the costs of their education .In addition, Ruff said that the discussion salaries – is also talk, and therefore should show the employer that you offer other options that will make you a more valuable employee in his eyes. Author of a forthcoming book in print “Professional Guide to survival on Wall Street,” says Roy Cohen , it is necessary to have another proposal , or at least to have an interview with a prospective employer and talk about it all .

Ruff also advises not to cross the border , because you have to be confident, but not cocky . He advises everyone to prepare for a job interview . First, you must decide what matters most to you – salary , career growth and achieve great goals . From what you can give ? For some sosskiateley not so important any wages as vacation time .You should also discuss severance pay severance .

You should also make sure that you own the information about the new employer , about what the company policy in relation to employees , what salary they are paid and what benefits you can get from this post. To do this, you can read the blogs of your future colleagues or former employees of the company.

Also, always try to negotiate in person. As Cohen says , if a person is sitting in the office of the employer , the latter begins to feel more obligated with respect to the applicant than if the conversation took place over the phone. It is much easier to hang up rather than drive long-term employee of his office .

It should tell you about the basic techniques in the discussion of salary.

Discuss the salary of a private conversation

It is much easier to make an impression during a private meeting than on the phone. The person starts to feel more obligated when you are present in his office .

Decide on the most important

What matters most to you ? Severance pay ? Salary ? Comfortable office? Disclaimer lack of competition? Before starting negotiations , decide what chtanet subject of trade , and what you can donate.

Increase your value

Do not forget to tell the employer about competitive offers or other interviews that you had . If delicately mention it , it will only increase your value as an employee in the eyes of the employer.

Get all the information about the possible salary

On sites like Linkedin.com and Glassdoor.com you can find out what level of salaries and bonuses in the presence of your employer. Try to learn more about what salary you can get. Employees of this company could mention it on their blogs.

Suggest contractual terms

If the HR- manager does not agree to pay, on which you ask , offer contract terms . Started work , you can show their best side , forcing the chief to meet you.

Learn how to market yourself

Do not stop selling yourself . Offer your ideas and solutions to the challenges of the new job. The more you appreciate the employer , the higher your salary .

How to turn a brand into a successful brand

The leaders of branding agencies offer their advice.

What is the difference between a trademark and a brand ? It seems to be the same ( in translation from English brand – « stigma “). Marketers understand this difference. Brand suggests the presence of a logo and trademark , while the brand – it is a well-known company in the market , which enjoys a notable demand. Any manufacturer seeks to make their mark in the brand. How can this be achieved?

President of Depot WPF Alexei Andreev :

1. Look for or invent values.

If you build a brand by all the rules , but without insight, no results will be. Any brand has to have a certain magic unexpressed value to the consumer , so that even if the shelves , completely hammered cheaper private labels, the buyer still gave preference to this brand.

2 . It is important to have a “constitution brand “

That is the plan for its promotion. It is important to decide what to whom and how to talk about the brand. The more specific you define the content and tone of the information for particular groups of customers , the more success will be all brand communications .

3 . The brand name does not mean anything in itself

With a well -designed communications strategy can be almost any word to give the desired sound . A lot of brands are named for nothing, but that they are no less successful.

4 . Do not forget that you can win the loyalty of customers not only high quality

Socially responsible brands are more like customers . If the brand will focus people’s attention on values ​​such as caring , kindness, love, friendship , they will not give up on him .

5 . Believe in your brand

Otherwise, you will feel constant discomfort , your communication with the consumer will not be convincing, and people immediately feel the trick. You can tell interesting legends and create beautiful images, but you only need to be based on truth.

Mildberry president Oleg Beriev

Be practical

First of all branding needs for solving problems in business. Do not just give up the original and beautiful concepts, just try to find a profitable use for them .

2 . Do not head in the clouds

The truth of life is not always happy, but it is possible to find opportunities for success.

3 . Always build relationships

Even if you are busy planning sales, do not forget about building relationships with consumers. Consumers do not want your concept , they want to see them realized. Does not really matter what you want to convey to consumers as to what consumers hear . Do not forget to inspire consumers – it’s a hot bu not give instant results , but will form the basis for further growth.

4 . Refer to the senses

Do not act according to the procedures , act according to the meaning . They live longer , they are easier to manage, they are brighter develop.

5 . Do not blindly follow the western concepts

We are constantly trying to learn something from the West, follow the new concepts and forget about reality. And it is this: Russia lags behind many Western markets, and therefore the concept we can be applied only partially. For example, if you compare the activity of native and foreign brands in the media , you know how to look past modestly . Although the application of these concepts, we are quite adequate . The fact is that our environment is not yet sufficiently developed . And it does not mean that we should abandon the social networks. You only need to give them a value that would correspond to our reality .

General Director Andrei ArtGraphics Purtov

1. Limit your target audience

Already there is no ” national brands for the entire family .” Now increase the value of advertising in the media has led to the fact that its use unprofitable. We must look for a more narrow niches , and limit your target audience. You can find vacant niches where brands can develop and bring considerable profit .

2 . Do not use direct advertising

Today, communication is necessary to focus not so much on consumers , as opinion leaders and ” evangelists “. The main purpose of communication is not to sell or promote goods, and to call for the debate and draw attention to the brand through social media.

3 . Promised – follow

A fancy name and packaging will help you attract the consumer to buy your product, but only once. If you want to succeed, always keep our promises. This includes not only products, but also communication.

4 . Work with a number of contractors

Do not create a brand of “turnkey” . Companies that have always bought all in one place, can get the product a low level , and the same will lose. Brand strategy , logo, name , packaging , promotion in social media , advertising – all the better to order it in different agencies that specialize in your desired type of service.

5 . Packaging should be the “smart”

Discard the catchy and unprincipled packages , replace them with bright and intelligent. Packaging can not only draw to the product, but also to entertain and care – for example, about the environment. Now consumers are willing to pay more for the brand, for which there are good deeds .

How to sell a franchise

According to the practice of many companies , franchising is a very profitable way to build relationships with partners, particularly in the area of ​​fast food and catering . Here are some tips for those who develops the franchise and wants to ensure that all standards in his business strictly enforced.

Carefully choose a partner

The right choice of partner for franchising will be half the success. Such a partner should strive for long-term cooperation , to support your corporate culture and values ​​, should be ready to strict compliance with all standards of business. To evaluate the candidate for the cooperation necessary to carry out multi-level interviews with the leaders of the main areas in your company , to help them develop a business plan . Experience shows that of the 50 partners after the interview may be the only one. You need to create such an image of the ideal partner for Franchising and guided by their own intuition when looking for that. If between the partner and the ideal way a conflict , it is necessary to examine the end of the whole situation , for example, will be useful to make a trip to the region this partner . It is important to hear the comments about it in a business environment , to investigate his business and make a decision.

Compliance with standards

Working with partners, the most important thing – it’s strict compliance with all standards. Best of all this will create a library of standards, which will specify all processes – from receipt of goods to cooking . And if in some part there will be no such standards , it may lead to the fact that you can not find a common language with his partner , accordingly, will not be able to guarantee the safety and quality of your customers. Therefore, you should not start a business of franchising , without conducting such a formalization .

Supply chain management

It is important to say all contractors franchise partners . This will help to avoid doubts about the quality of the product. Primarily assert suppliers. Because of this you will always be sure that the client can get the same taste and quality of food in the whole chain of restaurants . If you do not arrange logistics for all approved suppliers and distributors , it means you are not ready to start a business by franchising.

Training managers

A very important element in the franchise network – training managers to work in the field. They will be able to track its compliance with all standards and partner agreements . Before you start working with a new partner to all well- trained managers and the end of their certification . Also, you will be able to carry out various management education programs and workshops throughout the period of cooperation. This will help to improve performance in the workplace and improve efficiency.

Control of the franchisee

You will not be able to support the valuable work in partnership on franchising , if you do not carry out continuous monitoring . That means to us control? First, territorial control must constantly test the entire chain of restaurants : should be under the control of the entire transaction process , which also includes the storage of products , the process of preparation of dishes , etc.

Second, this is the work of secret shoppers, through which you can get information about the quality of compliance with all standards. Permanent contract clause in our company – this is a mandatory contracts with well-known on the international level a company that provides services in the mystery shopper network KFC restaurants around the world. That is the partner of franchising there is no way to know the secret buyer or somehow alter the results of his work. Mystery shopping has to assess compliance with all standards according to key indicators. Conveniently, one company is evaluating the entire chain of restaurants , which sends us a copy of the report to the franchisee.

Failure to comply

The franchisor needs to be set all the principles of working with its partners, if not complied with all the requirements of the contract. All these principles need to be specified in the documents. Often there are problems with the corporate culture , violations of standards of service , working with suppliers that have not been approved. In such cases, you can apply a variety of measures : it may be a conversation with the business owners to correct any errors , and closing restaurants franchisee .


It is important to motivate the partners to an effective and productive work. And those who keep all of the standards are better than others , should be encouraged. For example , our network of restaurants across the network, as well as other countries of the CIS is the best restaurant in the city of Yerevan . As an incentive, the director of this restaurant got a trip to South Africa. Sufficiently curious fact is that out of 22 of our Russian partners , the best performance in this category showed restaurants operating under the leadership of women . The main religion in our company – is recognized. Do not regret a confession for those partners that best comply with the standards in your work and develop their business with you. Do not forget to thank them for their efforts in their work.

Two mistakes franchisors

All novice franchisors should be aware of two errors, which occur most often in this business . The first mistake is the desire to reach a compromise. You should never start a job with a partner who does not meet the requirements of the company , or even turn a blind eye to minor violations of the standards. The second mistake is to strive for rapid growth. It is often such that franchisors in an effort to develop quickly can ignore compliance with certain requirements , which could lead to the erosion of the brand until the destruction of the business.

When is it necessary to borrow money and when it is better to refuse loans

Tips bankers owners of their own business.

Is in itself an idea to take a loan , thereby committing themselves to the bank , not very attractive. It is much more profitable to develop their own business on their own and at their own expense . This gives greater confidence in the future . But this is misleading.

If a business is able to grow, but does not develop , the competitors quickly bypass you. And even if you do not need much and it will not make them more forgiving to you. After all, we can not depend on the society in which we are. On the business side , here we can not close our eyes to the competition.

Most entrepreneurs have an idea of ​​how to improve the business by making it more profitable. More daring entrepreneur can take a chance to take the credit for the development of the business than many competitors leave behind. Investments not only help upgrade equipment, which will improve the quality of products and services, but also contribute to the expansion of the market, which consequently will increase the share of the market.

But not always use credit beneficial. If the wrong approach to the use of these tools, you can put considerable financial losses of the company. Such consequences are difficult to predict in advance. Only after a while it becomes clear who had the best business plan, the right goals, who was more consistent in the development of the business and effectively invested – you or your competitors.

Should I take out a loan , and if so – in what amounts ? The general rules here. Comfortable amount of debt is different for each industry. For networks of grocery stores is the best level and the ratio of net debt (the sum of short-and long-term loan debts without free money at the box office or on the accounts) and EBITDA of 4:1 , ie net debt should not exceed an annual profit in four times. For capital-intensive companies is the most favorable ratio of 3:1 – 2:1. It is necessary to take into account the current situation in the company ‘s business strategy , business acumen of its leaders , trends in the economy.

At the end of the crisis the company began optimizing the portfolio by reducing rates, refinancing and lengthening the debt. In good times, companies may sell their shares , and the money to pay on your loan repayments or further expansion of the company. For small and medium-sized businesses such a move is not possible, so before you engage in the business borrowed money , you need to think it through well . Credit money can both help to expand your business and earn more income , and worsen the position of your business. What are the most common mistakes in lending among entrepreneurs?

Useless purchase

Man , even at the psychological level is much easier to spend other people’s money rather than earn their own way. Very often the money is spent on things that at first glance seem to be necessary , but it does not really bring any business income, and even vice versa. It should not be at first to hire a large staff , purchase expensive office furniture and equipment , because it could undermine the financial position of the company. After a while you will see that could well do without it .

First, develop marketing and sales

Before investing in fixed assets direction of the company , such as purchase equipment to build production capacity , while not having any ideas about how to expand the customer base , or not having any prior agreements with them. Even the ” Gazprom”, not signed contracts with customers , do not produce gas and building pipelines . You can always buy the equipment , but that’s much more difficult to find buyers . And if the investment does not lead to the expansion of customer base , then buying equipment is only in those cases where it can cut your costs.

Lending one production cycle

The use of credit only brings success if the loan terms and the rate of turnover correlated correctly . For example, in trade transactions loan terms are 3-4 months , but if you take this credit only for the purpose of completion of the next production cycle , it is possible to fail. In fact, for most of the loan term commercial operations is longer than one period of the production cycle. After all, you can repay the loan only if the cumulative net profit will be equal to the principal amount.

Another loan

If you already have a debt that exceeds the annual income of 2-4 times , you need to very carefully consider the further financing of your business and look for new sources of funding. Sometimes it is necessary to stop, no matter what may seem enticing prospects with new money . It seems that the market is expanding, and everything should work fine. But sometimes it is better to focus on reducing costs . After a short period of time you can collect a lot of credit! Credit facilities are much easier to spend than to get them. The most difficult thing – to get a credit income and pay them to the bank.

Do not skimp on the important

Unnecessary waste in business can lead to considerable problems, but no less harmful very stingy . Now we are talking only about the most useful and profitable for the company. And if a purchase can help you reduce costs by several times , do not give up on him. And if you need any advice that will help you solve any problem, do not skimp on the services of a qualified consultant .

Finance initial business by revenue

Credit facilities are only an auxiliary tool in the development of the business. Every entrepreneur should initially possess a considerable amount of their own money . Further funding is necessary due to business income. Of course, the money earned should be enough for life, but buying expensive cars and other ” toys ” you can lead a business to collapse. Many large companies are using it for profit business finance , and they are , or not to pay dividends , or pay only 10-20 % of net income. Only large companies operating in the international market , can afford to pay a dividend in the amount of 40-50 % of net profit (” VimpelCom” MTS “CTC Media», TNK -BP and others) .

Lack of own funds

You should not take credit, if your accounts are no funds or go for broke , spending once all credit. This is a very risky business . Remember the saying : “The Bank provides an umbrella when the sun is shining , and takes away , as in the rain .” This, of course , exaggerated , but some truth in it, because the lack of liquidity, as a rule , shows no caution to the bank itself , but about the problems in the client’s business .attraction of investments

You should not totally give up the opportunity to sell a part of the investor. Now there are a lot of funds, there are a lot of wealthy people who are willing to invest in your company , buying a third or a fourth of it . In addition, to sell part of the company is not forever , but only for a certain period , for example, for four years, when the capital invested will bring good results , and will help increase the company’s value . When choosing an investor should be very careful and use only those funds and people , business reputation which has repeatedly been confirmed.

Do not rush to repay the loan

Do not be in a hurry to repay the loan ahead of schedule , because you can lose some of the benefits . But stretch it pay off for the duration of the contract is not worth it , as the diversion of money on interest payments can cause considerable harm to the business.

A little out of practice

The situation has tried to quickly expand in several directions of “Rusal” deteriorated significantly during the crisis, when aluminum prices have dropped significantly . The worst is in the case at the end of 2009, when the company’s debt exceeded its revenue of 22.9 times. But by the end of 2010, managed to level this figure up to 4.4:1 .

Over the past few years, the highest debt load is considered to be a network of pharmacies “36.6” , although there were no delays in payments the company does not. The company uses a lot of resources for large-scale expansion . By the end of 2010 reached the figure of 4.8:1 , while EBITDA exceeded the amount of interest payments in half. Now the stock market bonds that companies are considered high-risk speculative instrument.

Restaurant chain “Rosinter “, which puts a lot of money in the development of the network and is on the verge of profitability , net profit margin in 2010 was able to reduce the rate of 1.1:1 , compared with the previous period 2,97:1 .

Discounter “Magnet” , which in 2010 was greatly expanded network of stores , still has a low debt ratio , which is equal to 1,39:1 , and in 2010 he had the lowest figure 0,09:1 . To strengthen its position in the market has to take out a loan and a competitor “Magnet » – X5 Retail Group, which consists of a network of shops ” Roundabout “, ” Crossroads “, ” Carousel .” But the debt policy of the company is even more aggressive, and by the end of 2010 the figure was 3.7:1 , compared with a year earlier 2,08:1 .


How do we promote the site

Co-owner of online store products continues to talk about how she opened the business.

About a month ago, my partner suggested a single experiment : to refuse advertising for one week . That is, we have to voluntarily disable context on two pages – Yandex and Google.

For me the idea was not the best , because you can lose a lot of orders. But , on the other hand, do not try, do not know. And if the reduction of orders will not critical , it can be a considerable part of the cost to transfer to something else , because the extra money will never happen. So I decided to try. The very next day I called in a panic Cole , that, well, there are fewer orders . But, as it turned out, he had not advertise disabled , and I should not have worried. However , the day was as usual.

The next day, we have disabled ad . The result – minus 5 % on orders . I argued that we were lucky because the orders did our regular customers . But the very next day – minus 10 %. Of course , this is not an indicator , because the days are different. But large orders became fewer , and the drivers were underutilized .Then Nick decided to give up the idea and wrote the advertisers . The very next day, including advertising, and our website has been a real boom. Feed blog readers to Forbes rushed to our website . And where did many additional orders can not be determined without analyzing . Generally experiment with advertising is very difficult , besides scary. Therefore, we must rely on their own experience . I want to share it with you.

Online advertisingInternet

Advertising – this is the main engine for sales online store. In doing so, we have seen very quickly. Here is today one businessman from Kazakhstan asked me how to promote your online store, to which I replied – that’s how . Especially when your budget is low . Here you have proof – the lion’s share of clients (at least 90 %) are finding us through the network. They look , investigate , and if your service offers the convenience and quality, assess it and test . And this is where you have the opportunity to get another regular customer .

Now, tell a little about the benefits of contextual advertising banner in front . First of all , PPC advertising provides the opportunity to formulate a narrow inquiry as much as you need. Secondly , the audience , attracted by such advertising – is a quality audience . After all, when a person enters a query “buy cider ” and sees an ad that you can buy pear and apple cider , and even home delivery , most likely, he will buy it and .

Contextual advertising effectiveness is different , because you do not have to pay for the number of impressions and the number of hits on them. And though the transition to a website does not mean that necessarily will be made an order, but the probability is quite high . Another advantage of PPC advertising is its maneuverability. You can control the advertising yourself, you can charge it by managers to promote it on the Internet , you can limit the cost of your queries , enable or disable them yourself , but you will always see the results of their work.

Internet advertising market is accessible to everyone , and enter it , you can , with just 1,000 rubles budget. But if you want to see the real results of your work on advertising is better not to save .

We had to use and banner advertising. One day before the New Year we bought at Mail.ru one banner . Special effects are not followed. I will not say that banner advertising is dying , even though many talk about it , but to say that it brings good results, too, will not. This advertising works too , although it is less mobile and more expensive . Yes, and edit the banner in the course of work , too, had .

If anyone thinks that online advertising is very cheap , it is very wrong. If you compare the cost per contact from the internet and offline , you will figure quite comparable . For comparison, take the ad in a magazine and banner advertising . In the case of a magazine advertisement for the number of contacts is due to the number of views and images, respectively, for banner advertising – is the number of impressions . So for 1000 contacts in a magazine advertisement you will pay an average of $ 50-100 thousand for the same banner ads – $ 5-20 . We can see that the figure is quite comparable . In addition, an advertisement in the magazine gives less likely to attract the client, while in a banner just a click away – and the person already in your store. Yes, and the entry into the market of advertising in offline is much more expensive , especially for the print media.

Advertising is offline

Offline advertising we specifically did not use due to the limited budget. But there are still some experience . When we decided to take part in ” Good Housekeeping .” The point was to take orders from people at the time of the exhibition . The exhibition lasted for three days, and we hoped that taking 100 orders a day, will be able to cover all the orders. But it was only a hope. As it turned out , people were not prepared to immediately make reservations , however, as we are. I had to tell everyone about your store, but this time came five more interested with your questions .

Though with the orders did not work, but advertising is successful. Our advertising stand saw about 3,000 people , and has more orders . And attendance online store has grown by an average of 500 people a day .

And about the same time we decided to make our advertising makaronomerok with the help of FlyCards. This makaronomerku invented Jura Parfenov , chief editor of the ” Crocodile” and our good friend . He has always been a master at such notions here . This meant makaronomerka to measure the exact portion of pasta to cook them . In addition, he found the Jura , where you can make them , could only spread. Then we turned to FlyCards. But no results are not followed – was no more orders , but 60,000 rubles we spent. Sending the money on contextual advertising , we would have a much greater effect.

However, not all bad : we have decided to use the remaining makaronomerki as gifts to the orders of our customers.

Social networks

As without advertising on social networks? So we decided to take advantage of this resource for the advancement of our website store. And so we opened a LiveJournal community . At first, we did not even know what it can be filled , so arranged various competitions and games . Now we publish our newsletter , which all registered users will receive every two weeks . It so happened that we publish the newsletter does best , and with the genres we have a lot of experimenting – sometimes it avtointervyu and sometimes short stories , but a lot of ideas .

This summer we had the opportunity to sponsor one of the ethnographic expedition , which was held by the chief blogger headings Artem Lebedev . We then bought a sponsorship package for $ 2,000 , which included the placement of the logo on the car Artem Lebedev, as well as a link to our site, posted a blog tema.lj.ru. The audience of 150 000 people was not a myth. Being a famous designer , he uses his blog for promotional purposes and earn good. The cost of a single contact from Lebedev in our store was $ 0.15, which is comparable to the cost of such contact in other media. But it’s worth it , because Lebedev read almost everything.

What to expect from marketing

Classic marketing techniques are no longer able to attract the consumer. How to attract customers?

Oddly enough , the consumer market continues to grow even during the crisis. In 2009 Rospatent has registered more than 28,000 trademarks. Of course, the statistics for the departed from the market brands not, but one thing is clear – the new brand is much more than the departed . How to survive against the competition? Oleg Beriev , owner and president of branding agency Mildberry, shares predictions about what will be popular in marketing in the next few years.

– Now , many say that the recession crisis in business everything will be different. This also applies to marketing. Is there any prerequisites to big changes ?

– Recent changes in marketing have nothing to do with the crisis. This is quite a natural course of events.

The classic marketing trick trust me long ago lost its popularity – “we are a big company , we offer high quality, so buy our products .” This acquisition made ​​sense in a one-way communication – people listened , but could not check the speaker, to refute his words , either to confirm . Now, when the information became available to everyone , people can listen to and evaluate what they are told . Work on the principle of trust me a lot harder.

– What are the communication with the consumer the most effective?

– It is best to build a relationship with the consumer. Whereas previously only marketing to promote a product , but now focuses on the implementation of the desires of the consumer. Many advertising campaigns are now seeking to offer a person a dream , but this principle is not so effective. More popular is the concept of values. Heard highlight its audience Harley-Davidson? ” 40 -year-old accountant, kotormu like weekend wear leather clothes for herself and scaring residents of small towns .” We are faced with the image of an office worker tending to freedom, which is limited to weekdays …

– But what’s wrong with offering people to fulfill their dreams ?

– It’s the same dream, but value addition . In this case – the sense of belonging to some kind of community , a sense of mutual support and fellowship. Pay attention to what rallies organizovuyut owners Harley-Davidson – there attracts thousands of bikers from all over the world.

– That is, marketing will be effective only by creating a community around the brand ?

– It is. But even the most original products will not be able to form a community around it , unless the values ​​shared by its users , and that this somehow relates to the product itself. Very interesting built online system of savings accounts in the United States , in which any person can fund your account , receiving monthly interest on your card . This project was launched in March 2008 , at a time of crisis , and in spite of that , now in customer accounts is more than $ 250 million this system has a rather atypical and original brand communications – piggy bank pink and wearing glasses. But the most interesting part of this project that can replenish your account parents and friends , as you can replenish their accounts . Thus, a person involved in an atmosphere of mutual support .

– And can the most common products offer the consumer value – relationship?

– Yes , of course. Enough to draw a parallel between the product and the challenge that represents a certain value. For example, take the soap. Soap – a cleanliness , nice appearance , and good self-esteem , respectively . In 2005, Dove launched the promotion of female beauty – or rather were driven standard images that exist in the society. The Foundation also organized self- Dove, who organized various photo exhibitions, online forums , school workshops in Europe, Canada and the United States . In this case, Dove soap niche is different from those in the price range brands. But the ideas that are now associated with this brand in the West, making it more valuable to consumers .

Why do foreign companies in the Russian market do not create such communications with the consumer ?

– A few years ago I happened to talk to the marketing director of a subsidiary of the Russian company a fairly large Russian companies . Then we talked about the creation of new original communication with the consumer. He then noticed that the creation of such communications for it is quite interesting , but in Russia he was unable to find a suitable frame for it . Therefore, it is more convenient to spend a couple of million dollars on advertising .

Do I need to look for new Russian brand communications with the consumer ?

– Of course , it is worth . It is hard enough , but a winner . What is the beauty of the property, so this is nothing new to invent do not need to – there are values ​​in themselves . We just need to choose the kind of value to offer to the consumer , and after that to develop the brand on this basis . But to use it always is not worth it . Markets where competition is low, does not require the creation of complex concepts. To understand what branding is necessary to apply , you need to anticipate how will change the competitive environment ( and highly competitive markets as their example will affect your market) . The concept of value , the more effective stiffer competition .

– You always offer your customers to create value?

– Always, but not every customer will be able to realize this vision . Sometimes the opposite . We participated in the development of the brand chain stores ” Respublika” . Vadim Dimov , the owner of the network , follow your intuition when choosing the concept of values. We did not even give him such advice . The shop sold the same books , gifts and music, as in all the others. But many prefer it to ” Republic” , the main audience that – young people . Perhaps it happened because the store created an environment in which they feel more comfortable .

– But a lot of companies are trying to follow the principle of ” a circle ” – for example , beer brands …

– Some brands of beer literally toying with the consumer. Indeed, some young people had borrowed some words from advertising and consumed more beer. This has contributed to increased sales , but not building relationships . Now a lot of companies that are trying to be original , but it’s far from the values ​​, but rather a desire to stand out from the rest . In addition, the right marketing is not that complicated as it seems at first glance. To please the consumer , it is necessary to understand that he is interested in , what he lives , what his habits. From a consumer need to be sincere if you want to build a lasting relationship with him . David Ogilvy once said that the consumer is not really an idiot . Consumer – it’s your wife that should not be hurt , underestimating her intelligence.

How earn a partner

How can I extend the range and speed up sales online store , involving different partners.

Today was a very popular partnership. We are partners provided considerable help , when we opened and started to promote our store . In addition , competent partnership can significantly improve the company’s earnings : a very useful and interesting experience. In our work we use three types of partnerships: the sale, promotion , assortment .

Do not be afraid of unusual conditions

As for me , the most interesting kind of partnership – to expand the range , or rather , the partnership with suppliers. This does not apply usual suppliers to the usual conditions . For us, this partnership with a company that supplies us with the cooking , and recently we have started to cooperate with farmers . The range is quite unusual , especially if the country products . And what is most convenient – we are working out the specific terms of cooperation beneficial to both parties.

At first I did not want contact with the cooking , and it is quite true, because the salad will not live long , but we do not offline sales and close to Olivier did not bake bread (Of course, many times we thought about selling freshly baked bread, but has not yet figured out how to do this , because then you need to buy ovens for baking ) . But the guys , ” cooks ” on the site does not have time , so we found a profitable outlet for both sides – we put them on the range of your site, and they, in turn, we are preparing a meal for each order . Thus, every morning we get fresh food, is not in stock balances , and customers are very satisfied .

With farmers we also found a good way out : we accept orders for a week on the same day. On this day, they bring us fresh products , and we will deliver them right away .

Through this collaboration, we have new loyal customers , and we appreciate that.I would also like to develop other non-core segments , for example, to sell books , and toys for children. But so far there is no right partners .

Many customers from ” Mnogo.ru “

Somewhere in five or six years ago, I received a card “Malina , though I do not remember where. I even somehow use it, and even tried to get a gift . But you like things were not available , and then I lost the pin and the Council has ceased to use it. Of course, I could re-release it , but there was no particular desire . But now I see that more and more people want and can use all kinds of discounts and promotions that save . And for us it’s an interesting possibility.

Once we started working with the club ” Mnogo.ru .” To date, these clubs mass, but it is the ” Mnogo.ru ” one of the first of its kind that existed on the market for 10 years.The principle of operation is simple: the members of this club can receive bonuses on the map, using the services of its partners, among which were the banks , stores, airlines, etc. Then , having accumulated a certain number of points , people could exchange them for gifts. In addition, bonuses are different types : regular , double, and many more options depending on the partner and shares it offers. This service is not cheap , so we had to pay the club a certain percentage of orders, but very effective .And in November of our customers accounted for 40% of the customers of the club. They brought us 30 % of turnover. The club provides us customers , our goal is to get them interested , they returned again and again. I was very pleased with the result, but in the future we plan to continue with Nikolai similar experience of cooperation. Now we are working with the club Home Credit Bank, whose clients are also the owners of such cards . We, as partners of the club must offer its customers discounts . Also we have implemented the ability to pay via card Home Credit Bank.

When selling a third person

But the most surprising for me to kind of partnership began selling through intermediaries. It would seem that in the internet age such sales are not significant at all , in fact it is not so.

Payment here is the same as with the clubs – the calculated percentage of the order. And when at the beginning of the year Delivery Club offered us cooperation, we did not give up . Delivery Club – a unified system of orders, which brings together different service delivery – from the shops and to the pharmacies.

Today it is a growing trend – such marketplaces bring together several goods and services , respectively, the customer can go to a website and order yourself immediately and products, and pizza , and medications , etc. In addition, operators Delivery Club is very polite and courteous to all appeals . Perhaps this they attract customers , because as explained by the fact that people are getting orders from our online store in the original packaging with all the contact details on it , but I still turn to the club.

Turnover of Delivery Club is 10%. With that it is not the first such service , which we had to face , but the most successful was the collaboration with only Delivery Club.

How to pay

Now I’ll tell about the cost. In fact , each partner always comes quite humanely. But if there are several of these partners , we may have unforeseen circumstances . Here is an example . Client is registered in our online store. From the second order , he can get a discount from 1 to 5%. He already has a card ” Mnogo.ru ” ( we pay bonuses Club ) order payment is made ​​by credit card ( we pay a commission payment system ) , and it turns out that a map of Home Credit Bank ( we provide a discount card holder ) .

The result – two thirds of income from the order we have lost. Of course, it’s worth it , after all , how many discounts received , the client certainly make your next purchase from us, and moreover lead us to new clients. A much more important for us to develop, what to save on clients .