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Welcome toThe Golden
Sense! For many, achieving the American
Dream means taking control of their destiny, quitting their nine to five, and
opening the doors of their very own business. These brave entrepreneurial souls
have shaped American enterprise, and today, they’re playing the very important
role of helping business grow in America.
Purchasing a business or starting a new business is an exciting venture. It's an
opportunity to change paths and create wealth for yourself and others. There
are numerous variables to look at when evaluating a new business. The best
way to gain clarity on the future success of a business is to break through the
noise and look at a three simple metrics.
First you want to look at the
net profit margin. While
that may seem obvious, some people confuse sales growth with profits. Sales may
be growing in a particular industry, but if profit margins are thin or
nonexistent, you could have your work cut out for you when it comes to building
the business and taking home a paycheck. After all, the profit margin
represents how much you take home for every dollar in sales, so higher margins
are definitely a good thing.More simply
put, the net profit margin is the most reliable indicator you could use in
trying to determine whether you will actually make money from your venture or
Sageworks, a financial information company that analyzes
privately held companies, recently researched which industries had the highest
profit margins over the past 12 months.
As the list shows the majority of industries with solid net profit margins are
inprofessional services. These
industries show consistent demand (no matter what the economy is doing). When a
company has a strong profit margin it shows that not only the owners are taking
home a solid income but that the company itself is equipped to handle the many financial challenges and variables it will face in the future.
second indicator to look at is product or service differentiation. Differentiation looks to make a product more attractive by
contrasting its unique qualities with other competing products. Successful
product or service differentiation creates a competitive advantage for the
business, as customers view the company as superior. If the company lacks differentiation their sales
will slowly diminish as the customers will not find value in the company.
third indicator to look at is the cost of customer acquisition. This is the cost associated in convincing a customer to buy a product or
service. This cost is inclusive of the product cost, research cost, marketing,
and accessibility costs. This is an important metric because it plays a major
role in calculating the value of the customer to the company and the resulting
return on investment.
A common problem for new business start-ups is
to hurry into elaborate print advertisements and radio commercials without
knowing the target market and researching other market data. The costs
associated with marketing and advertising can be expensive. If a business does
not know who its target market is, then it may be a waste of money to print these
ads that may contain incorrect messaging and don’t reach the company’s target market.
customer acquisition tells you whether your marketing and advertising
investments are paying for themselves. Over time, your cost of acquisition
should go down as growth and your brand image goes up. Sometimes customer
acquisition is just about location. Some locations lend itself to naturally
attract customers so marketing is less of a focus. It is important to understand
the industry norms for your type of business to see if you are competitive.
By understanding the net profit margin, differentiation, and cost of customer
acquisition you can get a good understanding of whether a business will either
succeed or fail. A business start-up requires a tremendous time commitment
and a strong will. By strategically making the right moves and keeping a close
eye on these key metrics you can fulfill the dream of owning a successful