Is Your Business Smarta enough...! | Smarta 100

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Is Your Business Smarta enough...! | Smarta 100

Smarta 100 2012…are you ready?  The brillant Shaa Wasmund and her team at Smarta have just announced this years national Smarta 100 Awards.  The nation-wide awards are open to all small businesses.

Do you have what is takes to be a Smarta 100 company…?

If your business is… dynamic; responsive; disruptive; adaptable and unique?  Then the Smarta 100 is the place for you.

If your business doesn’t match any of this criterion then maybe, you need to take a moment and ask yourself why.  Have you really got an edge over your competitors…?  We can guarantee you that if you are planning for long-term success then you’ll need at least an edge on your competitors, if not several…!

Last year our very own Coco Design made it through as a Smarta 100 Winner.  Coco Design specialise in Bathroom Interior Design.  After 8 years of working in the industry Pauline (Creative Director) could often be heard saying “there must be a better way of doing this…”  

Coco Design and Virtuoso at the Smarta 100 Awards

Pauline Heffernan

Pauline says “the traditional High Street and Superstore approach to Bathroom Design leaves a yawning gap in the market, a gap we’ve jumped straight into.  The High Street and Superstores are too focussed on sales volume and monthly turnover to be able to care for and, attend to their clients needs.  Now… I don’t blame them with hefty overheads, high stock levels and large wage bills, of course they need to ensure sales a flowing.  But from my experience this all to often compromises the customer, leaving them unsatisfied, not cared for and, disappointed.”  

Pauline approached us for a little guidance when creating her new business back in 2010.  With our experience of starting light-weight, nimble and profitable businesses we carefully dissected the traditional business model and re-built it from the ground up ensuring the focus was on:-

  1. The Customer
  2. The Businesses Profitability (and yes… you absolutely can and should have both!)

Coco Design Ltd was born in Jan 2011.  In September 2011 they went on to win a Smarta 100 Award and, to this day they continue to trade very successfully.  In fact, profits are so healthy Pauline is now developing a complimentary product to compliment and swell their bottom line still further.  Bring on another Smarta 100 Award…!

In this day and age there is an opportunity to start-up and/or restructure businesses to be very light-weight, nimble an profitable.  Every business sector carries its own unique challenges for sure but, if you’re prepared to throw away the old traditional rule book and start thinking from a fresh perspective.  For example:-

  • You can very successfully engage experts on flexible contracts.  Turning the costs on and off as you need to, even linking them to when sales are made.
  • You absolutely don’t need to carry high levels of stock that simply ties up working capital.
  • You don’t need large, high-cost premises either…!
  • Plus many more alternatives…

Keep it flexible, nimble and light-weight.  Now, this might mean you pay slightly higher rates for some things.  But, let’s face it, if you can link every single cost in your business directly to a sale and only incur the cost once that sale has been made then your business can afford to pay a little premium for that privilege.  Why…? Because it’s not burdened with fix overheads that suck out profit regardless of whether a sale has been made or not.

Smarta 100 Marks and Spencer Image

Image courtesy of M&S Marks in Time website

Let’s take one more example.

If Michael Marks and Tom Spencer were thinking of starting a business today, do you think they would hold the same focus of distributing their products via large High Street premises?  I think not…!  They were pioneering business brains of their era and, I’d have a little wager that they’d only be considering selling and distributing products via the internet and mobile phone apps.

Now for sure, M&S have developed their brand brilliantly and now sell a considerable volume of products over the internet.  Their High Street presence and brand awareness helps them massively online too, I’m just making the point that if today you wanted to start that sort of business you’d go about it in a completely different way.

So… here’s the crunch question…?  Forget everything you take for granted, if you were to start your business again today, from scratch, how would it look?  How would it operate?  Where would you be based?  How many staff would you employ? etc… etc…

Build a complete new picture around your business and have a little fun doing it.

Once you’ve completed this challenge take a careful look at what you’ve uncovered.  How close is your business to already operating in this way…?  Could you start to do a few things differently that would move you business further into the new era and even further ahead of your competition…?  Could you run a Smarta 100 business…?

Request a FREE review of your business…

Sounds great…but I’m too busy to enter the Smarta 100 awards and don’t really have the time to review my business…?

We’re always amazed at just how many sensible business owners really think this is a logical answer.  Entering awards is good for you and your business…FACT!  Reviewing where your business is and where you’d like it to do is also essential.

  • Awards are brilliant PR opportunities, particularly the Samrta 100 Awards! (now don’t tell us you haven’t time for PR either!)
  • Entering the Smarta 100 Awards and reviewing your business makes you focus on what you do; why you do it and why people should buy from you rather than ‘the other company round the corner”.
  • This process makes sure you know what makes you different and, how to relay your message in an engaging, succinct fashion.
  • And above all both stretch you as an individual… and that’s always a good thing.  We shouldn’t be comfortable, being comfortable (at least not all the time!)

Stop doing the doing and spend a little time entering the Smarta 100 Awards.

We are…!

Smart 100

Click HERE to read more great posts from Phil and the team at Virtuoso…

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