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Category Archives: Business

Things that Makes You Stopping to Start Business

“I don’t have time to start a business.”I hear this one all the time from people who spend five hours a night parked in front of the TV. Sorry, couch potato, you get zero sympathy from me. You must make time for what’s important to you, so if starting your own business is important to you, find the time to make it happen. I started my business from the corner of my tiny bedroom working between the hours of ten at night till whenever I passed out in the wee hours of the morning. Then I’d get up and be at my day job at 8AM. I’d work on the business during my lunch hour and on weekends. There are only so many hours in the day so you have to make the best use of what God gave you. When a spare minute pops up use it to work on your business; otherwise grab the remote and keep your day job.

“I don’t have the money to start a business.”Many people are under the misconception that starting a business requires piles of cash. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’d wager that many of the Forbes 100 were started for less than $10,000; many for less than $1,000. When you start a business you should do so for as little money as possible. Put what money you have toward the things that are vital and backburner everything else. Become an expert at stretching every dollar until it screams. Instead of tying up your money in inventory try to negotiate 90 day terms with suppliers. Instead of buying fancy desk chairs park your can on a milk crate until money starts rolling in. Instead of signing a lease for office space that will tie up your first born for five years work from your kitchen table.

“I don’t have the confidence to start a business.”When I hear this one I know immediately that I’m talking to someone who will probably never even start a business. Let’s be honest, everyone would start their own business if they had a 100% guarantee of success, but very few people would bet the farm on starting their own business knowing that most small businesses fail within the first five years. I knew that statistic going in and so did every other entrepreneur who threw caution to the wind and dove in with both feet. Fear of failure is the number one killer of success. But understand this: if you never fail, you will never succeed.

“I don’t think I’m smart enough to start a business.”If starting a business was rocket science all businesses would be owned by rocket scientists. You don’t need an MBA to start a business. Many entrepreneurs, including me, never even went to college. I drove by a college once. It looked really hard so I kept going. Business success depends more on common sense and careful planning than book smarts. Don’t cut yourself short just because you don’t have a degree on your wall or an acronym after your name.

“I don’t have the self-discipline to start a business.”This is the most deadly symptom of IDS because it reveals the truth about the person making the statement. Succeeding in business is all about taking action without being told to do so. You’re the guy or gal that makes things happen. You must have the self-discipline to jump out of bed every morning ready to take on the world, which may mean calling on customers, managing employees, making important decisions, and working 18 hours straight if that’s what the day requires. If you have to be told what to do and when to do it, business is not for you.

Make Craft Show Profits Bigger with These Tips

Pay attention to appearance – That means everything from your booth to you! If your craft show booth is in disarray, you aren’t going to attract as many customers the way you would if you had your booth neatly arranged and in order. But, one thing that is often overlook as well, is your appearance at a craft show. Look like a professional! You don’t have to dress in a suit or skirt, but having a neat and presentable appearance is going to help people form a better first impression of you – and ultimately your crafts.

Interact with customers – Some people shudder at the thought of doing any more than just taking people’s money at a craft show. No talking and nobody gets hurt, right? Wrong! You need to engage customers in conversation and show them that you care about the purchases they are making. Adding that extra personal touch is going to pay huge dividends to your bottom line in the craft show business. Most people enjoy speaking to someone friendly, and are more inclined to buy from that person in the end.

Spice up the displays – Sure you can just pile your crafts up on a table and have a free-for-all as the customers come in. You can also just set up your craft show booth with a table… and a chair. Or… you can put a little bit of thought into how you are going to attract, retain and then eventually convert the craft show masses into sales! Give people something that sparks an interest or desire to go into your booth. That is what this is all about – getting people in to talk with you and look at your crafts – so you should be making the appeal from the outside of the booth right through to the inside!

Pay attention to the small things in your craft show business, and you will see the huge difference in your bottom line at the end of the show. It builds trust with customers, shows off the best side of your business and ultimately increases your overall craft show profit margin!


Tips to Increase Money in Your Cleaning Business

1. Don’t just sell your day-to-day cleaning services. When bidding a new job include routine carpet spotting, carpet cleaning, hard floor care, and window washing. Encourage your cleaning customer to have these services done on regular intervals, such as every 3 or 6 months. This will help their building stay cleaner as well as bringing in more profits to your business. Just keep in mind that these are specialty services so you’ll need to educate yourself on the proper procedures.

2. Don’t just provide cleaning services. Also sell the items that your customers need regularly. Every building needs trash can liners, toilet paper, hand towels, and soap. Depending on the building they may also need facial tissue, urinal mats, and air fresheners. Offer to manage their supplies and then bill back the cost of the products to the customer, adding in a small profit of up to 15% for your company.

3. Bundle your services together in a package. You don’t even have to provide a discount on services — if your customer knows they can have one company do everything (carpet cleaning, window washing, floor stripping), they will save time and money by not having to go elsewhere.

4. Don’t compete on price. Make sure that your customers know you are providing a quality and dependable service.

5. Develop strategic alliances with non-competing businesses who also sell to your niche clients. Partner up with ultrasonic blind cleaning companies, carpet cleaning companies, duct cleaning companies and fire restoration companies.

6. If you have a website trade links with other non-competing businesses. If you are selling products on your site you can develop an affiliate sales program where other businesses receive a commission when they refer paying customers to your site.

7. Consider hiring an independent salesperson to sell your services. Pay a commission on the services and products they sell. There might be a slight drop in the profit you realize on each sale, but overall your profits will grow.

8. Encourage repeat business and add-on services with your current customers. When sending out invoices include a flyer on the extra services that you offer.

9. Add more cleaning services. You can make a tidy profit off cleaning microwaves and refrigerators. You can also put these on a regular schedule, such as the first Friday of every month.

10. Do you have equipment and vehicles that you no longer use? Sell them or consider renting them out instead of having the items sit around collecting dust.


Ways to Avoid Business Profit Biggest Killer

1) Plan your week before it starts. Block out your focused hours for marketing, research, administration, business planning, etc. But also allow limited time, to deal with interruptions and urgent matters, although these should be kept to an absolute minimum. Your business must run like a well oiled machine with no unexpected breakdowns.

2) Tell everyone around you, (yes, even your customers) when you are available and when you are not available. Remember, scarcity is a powerful marketing tool. Make yourself scarce.

3) Keep a record of all the interruptions and make it your goal to completely eliminate them by improving owner manuals, having an online manual with a frequently asked question area, changing systems or forms. You will notice a common thread with your interruptions and eventually you will be able to reduce them to a bare minimum.

4) Always plan any meetings for the end of the day. Meetings have a horrible habit of taking longer than they should. By scheduling them for the end of the day they will become focused and to the point, as everyone is keen to go home.

5) Remove the “I’m always available” sign. In this world of mobile phones and technology, customers believe that business owners should always be available to take their call or answer their email. If you decide to take every call or answer every email the moment it arrives, your business will suffer. Use voicemail and answer emails in a focused hour once per day.


Add Value to Your Services with These Tips

1. Mail or email an industry-specific article or link to your client with a personal, handwritten note saying “I thought you would find this interesting” etc.

2. Offer alternative forms of payment. Add value for your customers by providing them several different options when paying. Not everyone has a credit card or a PayPal account. When think about your business processes from your customer’s perspective, you’ll quickly realize the added value they receive.

3. Gift Cards, Loyalty Cards, and Prepaid Cards. Boost your business with new revenue channels and increase customer loyalty by offering a gift card, loyalty card, or prepaid card program. A more convenient alternative to gift certificates for your customers, gift card programs also help you build brand awareness. Loyalty card programs reward customers for purchases to keep them coming back.

4. Quarterly progress reports. Send your clients quarterly progress reports and outline what you accomplished together as a team and how you can help them get where they want to go next.

5. Coffee on you – Many of us “do everything except make” for our clients. Send your clients a coffee card with a note saying “today the coffee’s on me!”

6. A free sample. Give away free samples of your products or products of local retailers. For example a B&B with a great jam can give away free samples.

7. Client appreciation night. Give your client a movie night on you. Send movies and popcorn with a note letting them know how much you appreciate their business.

8. Celebrate some of the more unusual holidays during the year and give small inexpensive gifts – e.g. National Popcorn Day – give out popcorn (can you tell I like popcorn!).

9. Offer annual meetings to your clients to discuss business at no charge – review progress and goals together for the next year.

10. Partner with another like business and collaborate on a coupon to offer a discount to your clients.


The Advantages and Disadvantage of Business Credit Cards

As with any credit card, the most common pitfall of owning a credit card is the potential to overspend. It is always best to limit the amount of money that is charged on a credit card, whether in personal finances or business finances. Business start-up costs can be astronomical. There are also times when a company needs a few extra dollars to keep their utilities from being disconnected. If someone is not careful, they can easily charge their way into a deep pit of debt that could ultimately destroy their business.

The truth is that cash flow is always a problem for new businesses. Small business credit cards can make it possible for a business owner to pay all of their bills on time. The danger, of using credit cards to maintain a business’ cash flow, is when the owner is in a state of denial about the true health of his or her company. Unfortunately, some business owners become dependant on their line of credit and use it to prop up a business cycle that cannot sustain itself, ultimately leading to financial disaster.

On the other hand, acquiring a business credit card could also be one of the best decisions an owner could make towards the long-term stability of his or her business. When a business owner has access to additional funds to float his or her business during a short window of cash flow problems, that extra money could be just enough to keep the business alive to continue operations. An example of such a situation could be when the company’s bank intends to hold a deposited check until after the next payroll date. It is one thing for an owner to decide they can wait a few more days to be paid, but it is quite another thing altogether to ask a company’s employees to wait five days to be paid their wages.

Being able to access the financial means to keep a business steady and on sure footing can provide a terrific sense of security to the business owner.

The time when a credit card becomes especially handy to the business owner is when tax time comes; a business credit card can be a true asset. No one is better at finding accounting flaws than our federal government, and almost every new business is going to be audited in their first year.

If a company’s transactions are all done with a business credit card, then the company will have a permanent record of all of their business transactions. Having documentation of all of your expenses is vital, when dealing with the IRS.

The most important thing that a small business credit card can do is to provide you with the means to establish a reputable credit history with banks and lending institutions, so the business can gain access to higher credit lines than what the typical start-up company is afforded.


Business Credit Cards

In many cases, start-up companies seek out a loan at the beginning of their business. For business owners who are not comfortable taking out a large loan, there are other options that can be considered as an alternative.

A credit card designed specifically for business is an option many companies will choose to pursue. This is just like a traditional credit card, but it also provides a variety of business directed incentives.

Credit card companies generally offer low interest rates to attract new business enterprises. While the credit history of the owner of a small business is going to be considered in factoring how much credit a company can receive, other factors are considered to carry greater significance.

The business plan and financial projections of a new company are going to be the most important categories available for banks to examine. Lenders and credit givers are fundamentally interested in learning about your projected financial expectations.

For companies that have been around for awhile, an in-depth look at its financial history and business projections are going to be the most vital pieces of information a credit card company will want to know.

A business credit card provider is going to be most concerned with the stability of the company. Some banks are so concerned about the stability of a business that they will not risk the investment of offering any type of credit to a start-up company, even if that company has a checking account at their bank, until the company has maintained their business checking account for at least one year.

This is by no means meant to discourage a business owner from pursuing business financing. Instead, it is simply an observation of the difficulties that many business owners face when trying to establish business credit. Each bank has their own policies on business credit cards, and some banks will prefer to be more cautious than other banks.


Reasons Why Most People Fail

1. They don’t carve out their own niche – Many aspiring singers fail for instance, because they’re too busy trying to become the next Kelly Clarkson, James Brown or Michael Jackson. Same thing goes for wannabe models, writers and business people. Does the world really need what it already has? Stop trying to clone somebody else, learn from successful people by all means but project your uniqueness too. On a sheet of paper list your talents, hobbies, life experiences, educational background and practical skills. Can you infuse your culture into your work? For instance American author, Amy Tan, has made a fortune writing stories about the trials and triumphs of Chinese immigrants. If she’d tried to become the next Joan Collins she would have failed to convince her audience. Think, ‘how can my life experiences, education and practical skills contribute toward creating my desired lifestyle?’ Thoughtfully write down the answers to these questions. If you require further insight, get some feedback from family and friends. Work with what you’ve got- it’s more than enough.

2. They don’t perfect their craft – You’d be surprised how many times an actor rehearses for a single movie scene or how many times a writer has to proofread a manuscript. Some dreamers think that raw talent will fetch them a fortune overnight. When crude oil is drilled out of the earth’s crust is it supplied to gas stations right away? No one shells out their hard earned money to amateurs. Work on your skills so that you can compete with the best in the world. Get a guru to mentor you, enrol in a refresher course or practice devotedly. The more you work at your craft, the better it’ll become and the more remuneration you can command for what you do. Strive for excellence if you want to make a living doing what you love.

3. They don’t establish demand – Many dreamers assume that there is an instant market for the products and services they aim to provide. If you plan to make a living doing what you love, don’t make assumptions- do some market research. Is there really a demand for your homemade scented candles? Will people outside of Hollywood queue up to buy your doggie haute couture? Test the waters thoroughly before stepping out of the boat. Hand out questionnaires to friends and neighbours, visit local shops and find out what sort of items sell best. Read newspapers and learn to spot and analyse emerging trends. Think big by all means but if you don’t start small you may well be sorry.

4. They don’t sell to persistent needs – You don’t want to invest precious time and money crafting a product, only to find out that demand isn’t steady. You want the need (for whatever you plan to sell) to be as regular as your utility bill. One can’t go wrong in the food industry for instance because whatever happens people have to eat and in order to serve their customers, cooks have to buy crockery from the manufacturing industry. People who eat also have to defecate at some point and that’s where toilet roll production comes in. Think strategically. Seek to meet a genuinely pressing need or at least have the ability to convince your target audience that they can’t do without your offering. Again, determine persistent needs and sell accordingly.

5. They give up too soon – If it was that easy then everyone would make a living doing what they love. A lot of people have failed not because they weren’t talented enough but because they gave up way too soon. Is your dream worth waiting for? Are you willing to leave (and stay outside) your comfort zone or endure rejection for the sake of what you want to accomplish? Can you really bear to live your life burdened with the pain of unfulfilled dreams? Sylvester Stallone endured poverty and abuse in his childhood. It is said that Sylvester was often beaten up by his father and advised to develop his body as he had no brains. Stallone struggled as an actor for many years but one day whilst watching a Mohammed Ali boxing match, he was inspired to write the script for the movie ‘Rocky’. He finished the script in less than a week and peddled it to producers demanding that he be cast in the lead role. His persistence paid off and today ‘Rocky’ (asides earning Sly millions of dollars) has become one of the most loved American movies of all time.

Common Fears that Many Business Owners Have

# You don’t really know what marketing is and how to apply it to your business, so you can’t really use it until you know all about it.

How To Conquer Your Business Fear : If you wait for everything in your business to be perfect before you start, you will never start. Instead of waiting to learn a lot about marketing, start marketing now. For example, write an article relevant to your business and submit it to article directories. This will give you a start in marketing your business.

# You will not appear very genuine to your clients if you market yourself. You are a professional and your clients should just magically find you themselves.

How To Conquer Your Business Fear : If your potential clients don’t know who you are, they can’t hire you. You need to get your name out there and become seen as an expert in your field to get clients.

You can become a highly visible person in your field by writing and publishing articles in your field of expertise, publishing a newsletter, and participating in online networking. Use these as opportunities to share information with your potential customers and educate them about you and your business.

# People don’t need what you are offering.

How To Conquer Your Business Fear : There is a great way to make sure that people you are marketing your products and services want them. Market your products and services to members of your target market. These are the people who already want, need and can afford your products and services.

When you promote your products and services to people who want them, things happen. It becomes easy to get clients and make money. Your products and services are in demand. You become the go-to person in your field of expertise.


Know the Reasons Why Should You Buy a Business

1) The success rate for businesses purchased is much higher than the success rate for a new business startup. Just ask your accountant.

2) An established customer base means immediate cash flow! Enough said.

3) It is much easier to find capital to buy an existing business than to start a new one. Why? See reason #2 above. Bankers are not dumb. They know the statistics. Bankers are much more willing to lend money when there is an identified source of repayment already in place.

4) Many sellers are willing to carry-back financing at very reasonable terms. Why? For income tax reasons. They would prefer to defer any gain over a longer period versus taking a gain all at once. And if a seller is willing to carry back any part of the purchase price, it tells you the seller believes that the business will continue to succeed under your management.

5) Projections for a startup are nothing more than an educated guess. Projections for existing businesses for sale are based on historical results. Which is more reliable?

6) Startups always, I repeat, ALWAYS cost more to start than expected. For the money you will end up spending to start that new business (which may or not succeed) you could have probably purchased an existing business with immediate cash flow.

7) You may actually need to come up with less cash for your down payment plus working capital when you buy an existing business than you would need if you started your own business. Why? With owner carry financing and a performing track record, your existing business purchase is very bankable. A new startup is not very bankable. The cash required to get the new business to a cash flow positive is unknown. And it eats cash.

8) An established web site presence. Although each business will vary, most businesses rely to some extent on a business web site. The longer a web site has been established, and the more traffic that web site receives, the more value search engines place on that site. This is important as your web site ranking determines your placement in search engine results. In other words, building a new web site is not enough. Customers still need to find it. A quality, established web site can be a real asset, something that a new startup will not have.

9) Many businesses listed for sale are actually very fairly priced. One can often find a business for sale that will sell for three to four times cash flow. Think about it. Four times cash flow equates to a 25% annual cash return on investment. 25% will usually cover all debt service and still leave a decent return for the investor.

10) Less brain damage. Just ask anyone who has been “wrung through the wringer” by starting their own business. Always wondering if customers would really come.