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Supporting Veteran Owned Small Businesses

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

NO! You Are Not Entitled

I love business and I love what I do. What I don't love, and truthfully, don't even like, are the people who really don't get what running a successful business is all about.

Sure, they may think they do, but when they are asked to do something that is inconvenient, they throw up their arms and say, "This isn't fair. It shouldn't be this hard."

The fact is, business is hard. And sometimes downright difficult.

We applaud those who are succeeding, often saying how lucky they are. Others go on to say, "I would do anything to have what you have."

I'm not sure when I first heard a very successful person say, "No you wouldn't, because if what you say is true, you would be doing it."

There are so many people who are not willing to put in the time, money or effort to create a successful business, but continue to flounder around with a sense of entitlement that often gets them nowhere but broke.

Recently, I hosted a colleague of mine on a complimentary webinar where she shared a ton of great information on automated sales funnels.

My featured expert, who happens to make over a million and a half dollars a year in her business, went above and beyond giving idea after idea, sharing formulas and showing exactly what needed to be done to have a profitable funnel.

People loved it. That is until a few of them found out the replay would only be available for a short period of time.

  • "How rude."
  • "That's unprofessional."
  • "What poor customer care."

These came from a handful of people, some who were on the call and wanted to watch the replay at their convenience and those who didn't show up and "assumed" the replay would be available for a longer period of time.

Granted, the majority were very appreciative of what they did receive, but the few who complained left me scratching my head saying, "Really?!?!

Actually, I was flabbergasted. Rather than saying, "Thanks for your incredible information. I will do what it takes to watch the replay before it comes down," there were those who preferred to blame my featured expert for the fact they couldn't get the information.

This is not an isolated incident. Not long ago I had an open Q&A call on a Saturday. When I announced the open call I made it clear it would not be recorded and the only way to get questions answer was to be on the call. I assured everyone I would be available for a couple hours to answer as many questions as possible.

The majority of people were very appreciative, but like Susan, I got slammed by those who felt I was not being reasonable by providing a replay.

One woman went as far as to bitch me out for having the audacity to offer this on "her" Saturday!

Really?!?! It was my Saturday too.

Here's a reality check. You have to show up to your success. If something doesn't fit in your schedule, so be it. You either adjust your schedule or you don't. It's really that simple.

Mind you. I'm definitely a believer in customer care. I'm also a believer in being honest about the fact that building a successful business does require sacrifices.

In years past when someone offered a free training the majority of people who registered showed up. Now, well now, there are so many people who just assume that they can show up when they want.

If you want success you best be willing to show up at a higher level.

For those who are showing up and reaping the benefits, congratulations! For those who blame everything and everyone but themselves, it's time to put your big girl/boy pants on and buck up. Game on.

By Kathleen Gage

Kathleen Gage helps entrepreneurs become incredibly visible to their market in order to make more money, reach more people and do more of what they are passionate about.

Join Kathleen for a free webinar - Create Massive Visibility. http://www.powerupforprofits.com/webinar2/webinar-register.php

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

13 Reasons Why Most Businesses Fail

For any business - online or not - the odds are stacked against success. In fact, sources indicate as many as nine out of 10 businesses fail within five years.

Having the fortune to work with a host of successful businesses - from independent designers to global service providers - you start to recognize winning characteristics.

But what are the treacherous traits that are responsible for the demise of most businesses? Based on an accumulation of notes over the years, following are answers by some of the most renowned business experts of our times.

1. Undefined values

Entrepreneurs need to define their values, which guide all decision making, insists iconic motivational speaker Tony Robbins. If you know what you value most and truly want out of life -- be it love, health, success, freedom, power, or comfort - Robbins noted you'll find you can make more effective and rapid decisions. He added: "Your beliefs determine whether or not you feel like you're meeting your values - they can either limit or liberate you." Where do you start? Ask yourself this question: "What's most important to me in my life?"

2. Business plans don't target a market

The biggest mistake most companies make when writing a business plan is not having a target audience in mind, suggests Michael Miller, author of 75 non-fiction books. Ultimately, he said these businesses end up creating something generic, without a purpose or defined goal. "Looking at it another way," noted Miller, "if you don't know who your audience is, you really don't know why you're creating a plan - and a plan with no purpose is a plan for failure."

3. Just dabbling

Learn every detail of your core business because the market only pays excellent rewards for excellent performance, stresses motivational speaker and self-help author Brian Tracy. In contrast, below average performance pays below average rewards, failure and frustration. His advice: "Read all the magazines in your field. Read and study the latest books. Attend the courses and seminars given by experts in your field. Join your trade association, attend every meeting and get involved with the other top people in your field."

4. Being afraid to lose

Failure inspires winners, and failure defeats losers, wrote Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki. He noted: "The greatest secret of winners is that failure inspires winning; thus, they're not afraid of losing." Kiyosaki explained there's a big difference between hating losing and being afraid to lose. "The main reason over 90 per cent of the American public struggles financially is because they play not to lose," he stated. "They don't play to win."

5. Fear of being judged

The fear of being judged, looking stupid, being wrong, failing or taking blame lurks just beneath the surface in the clever disguise of caution, claims marketing innovator Kay Allison, founder of Energy Infuser. And when you can't put the full force of your enthusiasm and passion behind a new idea, she suggests that idea will be dead on arrival. "One thing I've learned is that whatever I focus on grows," offered Kay. "So if I focus on the anxiety that gnaws in my belly, it gets so big that it's paralyzing. On the other hand, if I focus on what my next appropriate action should be, it gets me into motion."

6. Ignoring your gut instinct

Writer Malcolm Gladwell stated in his national best seller, Blink: "...if we are to learn to improve the quality of the decisions we make, we need to accept the mysterious nature of our snap judgments." He went on to say, "We need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowing why we know and accept that -- sometimes -- we're better off that way."

7. "I can do it all" syndrome

If you don't focus on your strengths and hire others to take care of the rest, you're in trouble, says Mark Wardell, business author and Founder of Wardell Professional Development. "To be good at business does not mean you have to be good at everything," he stated, suggesting business owners need to place more value on time. "When you invest your money, you expect it to return a profit," explained Wardell. "Your time works the same way. When you invest rather than spend your time, its value increases dramatically."

8. Pointing fingers

When you point a finger at someone, warns NFL coach Herm Edwards, three fingers always point back at you. "When you're involved in something that fails or in something in which a mistake is made, more often than not, you're to blame, too," he wrote. "It's just easier to blame the other guy, and this is a device that most people can see right through." Before assigning blame, Edwards says it's always best to ask yourself what you could have done differently yourself that might have avoided the error or mistake in the first place.

9. Fighting change

Accept change, insists Jack Welch, former GE CEO and best-selling author. "Business leaders who treat change like the enemy will fail..." he stated. "Change is the one constant, and successful business leaders must be able to read the ever-changing business environment." Accordingly, it's important to promote an openness to change by teaching colleagues to see change as an opportunity -- "a challenge that can be met through hard work and smarts."

10. Neglecting points of contact

Consider every point at which your company makes contact with a prospect: your office, receptionist, website, business card, sales call and so on. Business advisor and bestselling author Harry Beckwith stresses the need to study each point of contact, and improve each one significantly. Otherwise, it may be your only one -- or even your last.

11. Wrong packaging

Author Robert G. Allen, who is credited with making many millionaires in the U.S., cited an "info-preneur" who spent years and tens of thousands of dollars creating a product called Compact Classics, which condensed all the great classic fiction and non-fiction books into a two-page format. No one bought it until it was re-titled to The Great American Bathroom Book. Allen reported: "The idea caught on and millions dollars later, the idea is still pumping out cash."

12. Culture of bureaucracy

Good to Great and Built to Last author Jim Collins warns businesses to avoid bureaucracy, which he calls "the cancer of mediocrity." He explained: "Most companies build their bureaucratic rules to manage the small percentage of wrong people on the bus, which in turn drives away the right people on the bus, which then increases the percentage of wrong people on the bus, which increases the need for more bureaucracy..." The solution? Build a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship to get a "magical alchemy of superior performance and sustained results."

13. Narrow-mindedness

The late Napoleon Hill, credited for influencing more people into success than any other person in history, wrote: "The person with a 'closed' mind on any subject seldom gets ahead." In fact, he noted, intolerance means that one has stopped acquiring knowledge. "The most damaging forms of intolerance," he documented, "are those connected with religious, racial and political differences of opinion."

By Rick Sloboda

Rick Sloboda, Senior Web Copywriter at http://www.webcopyplus.com, has been writing for websites since 2001, ranging from small, independent retailers to some of the world�s largest service providers, including Cingular and Scotia Bank. He advocates clear, concise and objective website content that promotes readability and usability, and speaks frequently at Web-related forums and seminars, including Small Business BC, SUCCESS and HRMA.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Discover the Top 7 Lead Generation Methods for Your Business (And Understand Them)

Just like the classic real estate industry question: "What are the TOP 3 most important features of any property?" (location, location, location) - the single most important fuel you'll ever create, buy or wish you had for your business is leads, leads, leads! Doesn't it make sense to know and understand the top 7 ways to generate leads?

Production Method # 1:

Direct Visual Impact. Impact? Really? Really! Unfortunately, when it comes to direct lead generation like it has been done for decades, most people get it wrong. It doesn't matter if it is a sign on the side of your vehicle, building or bandit signs, you must be direct, powerful and short with your message. Your colors must be bright and high contrast. Yellow and black signs work best, period. The sign area must be maximized so that letters are as big as possible. Become a sign sage - evaluate readability, placement and "attention factor" of every sign you see. Emulate the best of what you see.

Production Method # 2:

It is very important that you become hyper-aware of the power of coupons. You can easily make a business card that is also a coupon. When you do this, you are adding huge power to every card you give out. Can you put flyers on car windows? If you put a flyer on my windshield, it makes me want to meet you to give you a piece of my mind. When you put a valuable coupon the size of a business card just above my door handle in the window rubber, I will put it in my wallet - BIG difference!

Production Method # 3:

The U.S. Post Office (USPS) is now offering delivery of an 8" x 11" flyer for 16 cents per mail box. This is an amazing deal. It gets better. You can sell advertising on a flyer to other businesses that do not compete with you and cover your cost. Please understand, you can get 5,000 double sided color flyers that are plastic coated for about $400. You can see, with both sides available for ads (coupons) you'll have plenty of space to sell and at the same time, your ad (coupon) appears on a portion of the same flyer. This is endless free advertising in exchange for a little work. You could even make money while getting your ad for free!

Production Method # 4:

We all hate email SPAM, don't we? However, you may not realize that you have probably responded to a SPAM email at some time. From that email, you may have built trust in the person who sent you the original SPAM. SPAM is legal if you follow some simple rules - Google it. Major corporations use legal email SPAM. Most people don't realize that the SPAM law is actually the CAN-SPAM law (meaning you can spam as long as you follow a half dozen simple rules).

How can you do it so no one gets upset? Offer free help or valuable information. I did this with real estate agents (for example). I sent them valuable tips they had never been sent before. I told them in the original email that I would continue to send tips unless they unsubscribed. I made it extremely easy for them to unsubscribe. I quickly built a big list which accepted my emails. I eventually made an offer of my product to them in the same email with a tip. My product was real estate buyer leads which we (my son and I) produced on the internet. We offered a great bargain. It is because we continued offer free great information along with the product offer that very few unsubscribed.

Production Method # 5:

Run a simple drawing for something. We have all put our business card in a box for a free lunch. If you have a brick and mortar business, you can do this to get attention for a new product in your inventory. Make the drawing for that product. Put the drawing date out about 60 days. People will give you their name, email and cell phone number. Follow up and offer them a "special phone offer" discount for the product.

Production Method # 5:

Create a business card rack in your shop. You can buy these racks as well. They are designed to hold about 20 business cards in up to 60 slots. Next, buy some $1 or $2 desktop plastic business card holders. Make a business card coupon. Visit local businesses around your business. Introduce yourself and say, "I would like to ask a favor - would you put my cards on your counter?" Show them your 40 cards in the little individual rack. Ask for their cards - "I'll display your cards in my shop." This works like a charm!

Production Method # 6:

The famous review service (YELP) is a powerful lead generator. Most people do not realize that they must register their business with YELP. Google+ is powerful as well. Get registered at both, now! Start writing YELP reviews on every business service you use. Write honest reviews. Your reviews will be posted by YELP only after you have written multiple reviews.

Production Method # 7:

Online lead production. How do you get leads online? There are several ways - it is a big subject. Google has (recently and once again) made changes... and now, You Tube clips seem to have more power than ever. If you don't know how to make and upload You Tube clips, consider investing the time. Another time tested method is to create simple but powerful capture website pages. These pages typically make a true and powerful offer of something of real value, for free.

What ever you do, never stop generating leads. Build sustainable systems that are easy to maintain. You will be a big success.

By Scott R. Linden

What should you do next?

Would you like an absolutely free lead system? There is no obligation, no credit card or phone number required - just high quality tools and help. You can discover the Secrets, Tips and Ethical Tricks to get free leads for life. Click Here: http://www.FreeHelpFast.com

To Your Success!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

10 Business Tips You Can Use In 2014

Need to refresh your strategy for 2014? Here are 10 business tips to get you started...

1. If you misstate your point, spell-check won't correct you or suggest alternative wording. And if you've taken too long to get to your point, spell-check won't suggest how to say more with fewer words. If an error damages your reputation, it costs you business and money. Make sure you have a staff member on hand who is qualified to review any marketing messages. If you don't have one, hire someone or contract the work. Your reputation is worth more than just 'good enough.'

2. Update your social media profiles for accuracy. Oftentimes, businesses cater to clients first and take care of themselves last. But it ought to be the other way around. Potential clients need to know that your business changes with the times and doesn't remain static. When you take care of your business needs first (marketing, advertising, etc.), you put your customer needs first at the same time.

3. Find out what your customers' pains are and solve them. Then back it up with great customer service. Enough said.

4. Make every communication about your customer: their needs, hopes, wants, and desires. Use 'You' and 'Your' in your communications, and avoid 'We' and 'Our' whenever possible. Make it personal, and they will heed your call to action.

5. Get to the point with your brand messaging. Use the fewest words possible and get the most impact. Find out how effective your message is by hiring an editor to review your online and printed content before distribution.

6. Celebrate with food! Who doesn't love meeting over lunch or a mid-afternoon, company-provided treat? It's a small investment, and your employees will feel appreciated.

7. A great leader knows how to assemble a great team. Don't feel intimidated by someone who is smarter than you. Whether it's sales, marketing or answering the phone, always hire people more talented than yourself. You can rest knowing that a job is being done well, and you can focus your energy on other company matters.

8. Listen to your customers... it goes a long way. People get turned off when they feel they're not being heard. Listening is the greatest tool in your business tool box. Use it well and you will find clients knocking on your door!

9. When communicating online, be yourself, be honest & be always willing to help. As Ashton (Chris) Kutcher said, nothing is sexier than being smart, thoughtful, and generous. Take the time to show these qualities to your customers and they and their friends will flock to you.

10. Separate yourself from your competitors by ALWAYS putting customer service first. When you can do something for your customer that your competitor(s) is not doing, then that's exactly the thing you should be doing. Make it happen today. If you don't, someone else will.

By Nikki Corbett

Nikki Corbett is a U.S.-based copywriter, proofreader, and copy editor, and is the owner of Precise Proofing. Precise Proofing offers a range of B2B and B2C services reaching small businesses, nonprofits, students, and writers. Services include copy writing, press releases, blog editing, marketing copy, manuscript critiques, thesis paper editing/proofreading, article writing, and more. For more great articles, visit http://www.PreciseProofing.com.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

5 Ways To Get Your Business Running Profitable And Successful Within 90 Days

What do you do when the job you're in "disappears" before your eyes, and leaves you without a paycheck? Like many people, I understand that feeling all too well. And like many people, I took my entrepreneur spirit, and started my own company with very little capital.

One thing that makes a company stronger is when you have to look for ways to make it survive. When you don't have money to spend on advertising, you look carefully for ways that are going to give you the biggest bang for your buck. And I only chose those activities that allowed me to see immediate results.

Looking back, I can attribute my success to the following five strategies.

1. Start with what you have. Everyone has contacts. Whether its family and friends, business associates, or networking affiliates, create a file listing contact information for everyone you know. Then generate a personalized letter and talk about your online services. Ask them to visit you online. Provide a motivator to ensure their visit. People can't promote you if they don't know what you do. So tell them! Mail it to everyone on your list.

2. Starting with a "friendly" list is a great way to get started. But don't stop there. Next, figure out what industries your customers are in. Who is your target prospect? Continue to build your list by including people and companies in your target industries.

One of the best ways to build a list is to head to your local library (many libraries now have research tools online so you can do your research from your home or office), and ask for various business directories. Your librarian can be an invaluable resource at this point in time. There are many different directories, databases and research tools. One of my favorite databases is Reference USA. It has listings of over 12 million U.S. businesses, 120 million households, and 650,000 physicians and dentists. You can sort by many different characteristics, including company size, state, and SIC codes.

I'm a heavy believer in direct mail because it works. I've had incredible results sending out personalized letters, and asking people to respond. I've included response cards with my letters, and have asked people to visit my site for a free report. I've had luck with both techniques. But the key is to get people to take action. A letter is nice, but if they don't contact your immediately, they will soon forget you.

3. When you get people to your site, again the key is to take action. A website should have enough information to entice a viewer to want more information. Once you've established that connection, motivate them to provide you with their contact information in exchange for an item of value. A free report or a subscription to an ezine are logical choices. Once you have their contact information, you now have the ability to contact them again and again. And sell them on your business and your services with every contact.

4. Driving traffic to your site becomes the next area of focus. Your lists provide you with initial contacts. But with the Internet, finding those same people all over the world becomes necessary to grow your business. Begin building up your name as the authority within your field or industry.

Get your personal name out there - not just your business name. Write articles for other websites and ezines with complimentary target markets. Become a guest moderator on forums. Become a columnist for a trade publication. Look for opportunities to build up your credibility.

The ultimate goal is to provide quality information to people in your target market. And to have the ability to provide your contact information, and ultimately a link back to your site, in places all over the Internet. Trust is built when people see our name again and again. Connecting with other like-minded entrepreneurs and businesses is a sure fire way of getting known.

5. No matter how hard you work, there will always be just 24 hours in a day. As your days become busier, learning to leverage other people's time and effort becomes mandatory to facilitate growth. Most small business people try to do too many things on their own. Instead, ask others for help in their areas of expertise. Areas that I have found useful to ask for help are:

  • Hire virtual assistants to keep up with daily operations. They learn your business from the inside out, and can fill in for you at a moments notice.

  • Hire professionals to do the tasks that keep you from what you do best. Hire a data entry company to input your daily transactions. Hire an accountant to do your taxes and provide you with accounting advice. Hire lawyers to help you write contracts.

  • Hire coaches to help keep you on track. Business coaches can do wonders for helping you grow your business with strong business strategies. And life coaches can help you sustain balance within your busy life.

  • Hire help on an as needed basis. I love marketing and PR, and I must admit a great deal of my time is spent performing these two functions. But I'm also aware I can move quicker if I ask for help occasionally. Don't be afraid to ask for help even if it is in your area of expertise, or you enjoy performing the work. Hire copywriters to make your letters, brochures and marketing tools as effective as possible. Hire a PR firm to cover a different target area. Hire an Internet marketing company to help optimize your website.
  • Each of these techniques will provide you with a healthy start to growing your online business. And as you work each one, remember you can always continue to add to each technique in the future. Performing the same task in different ways will only provide you with more people directed towards your business.

    By Lori Osterberg

    Lori Osterberg has created three successful businesses in the past 10 years, and along the way discovered secrets of taking a local small business and turning it into a worldwide success. She now shares this passion with people all over the world, and writes and mentors on using technology to grow your business � and stay small at the same time! Receive her FREE ezine at http://www.VisionOfSuccess.com

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    10 Things You Need To Know Before Starting A Business

    Having started 9 successful small business during my 11 year business career I am routinely asked, "How did you make the jump into self-employment?" and "What are the most important things you need to do before you start a business?" These questions are then usually followed up by a barrage of questions about the minutia that goes into small business ownership and development. Questions such as, "Where do I get a Tax I.D. number?" or "How do I get capital?" or "How do I register my website?" are often asked. Although these minutia-focused questions do have some validity and some credence to them, the real important stuff that every entrepreneur needs to know is more general. The important information that an entrepreneur needs to know is the winning-mindset stuff. The stuff that determines whether an entrepreneur succeeds or not is not in the minutia. I can teach a moron how to get a Tax I.D. number, but I can't teach a moron how to fully embrace, and passionate implement the "10 Things That You Need To Know Before Starting A Business." These 10 things, concepts and ideas have the power to alter your entire success trajectory or they have the potential to do nothing. How these 10 things impact your life is 100% up to you. And so without any further ado, here we go:

    1. A business is not a business until you are actually selling something.

    I know, I get it. Trust me. Buying furniture and phones is fun. I know that designing your own logo is cool and thrilling. I know that buying your very own custom-wrapped vehicle sounds appealing. I know that ordering letter-head with your name on it is awesome. I know that the new Voice-Over-The-Internet phone system is truly revolutionary. However none of those things matter at all until you make your first sale. If you can't sale you do not have a business. If you have not made your first sale, all you have is a "justification to buy professional office gadgets." If you have not yet been handed cash by a customer in exchange for a product or service that you have added value to or rendered then your business is bogus.

    2. The best way to market your new product or service is by harassing the power of deep discounts based on richly anchored prices.

    If you want to enter and potentially exit on top of a new market during your lifetime, the only way to do it effectively without using a huge amount of marketing capital and time is by offering deeply discounted prices based on richly anchored prices. Here is an example. If you wanted to enter into the landscaping business in your town the chances are that there is already a top dog in your market. There is probably already somebody in your town that has market share by a wide margin. This company probably already has an army of landscaping crews and probably already has a certain well known marketing strategy. So how do you enter the market victoriously? If you want to win. You need to offer your customers the trojan horse. Not that you are misleading them in anyway, but you want to give them a FREE GIFT SAMPLE or a DEEPLY DISCOUNTED TRIAL PERIOD of your product and service. Once they experience the magic of your product or service, your high-prices will soon no longer matter. Soon your prices will seem justified by the extremely high quality of your product and service. Think about the iPhone, how much are those things? How much does it actually cost to buy one of those phones without buying a phone plan? A lot. Why are Americans willing to buy a new iPhone? Because they got their first iPhone deeply discounted with their phone plan.

    3. At the end of the day, if you or your company can't sell, then your business is going to hell.

    You might be a genius and your product might be the best. You might be the best author in American history, but if your cover stinks and Americans never buy your book then your contents will never be read and your ideas will never make it out to the marketplace. Is this fair? Yes. Americans do judge books by their covers and they do judge businesses based on their perceived value. If your website stinks, they think you stink. If your sales presentation stinks, they think your product stinks. My friend, if you can't sell your product to the people then do not start a business. If you can't convince people that you have added a significant amount of value to the product or service, then you need to stop with the process of starting a business before you start.

    4. Do not EVER build a business model that is not ultimately scalable and duplicatable without your direct participation in the business.

    Although there is nothing wrong with hard work, there is something very wrong about exchanging your time for more indefinitely. Short term, we all have to exchange our time for money. To start my first businesses I had to work nearly 80 hours per week on a concrete construction site by day while working as a home-health aid for the elderly at night. Did I have to exchange my time for money? Yes. But ultimately I was able to exchange this money for a business that I was able to create. At first this business was a part of me. It did not work without me. It had no pulse without me. Without me it did not breathe. When I took a week off, it took took a week off. When I lost focus, the people around me lost focus. However, over time and with the intense encouragement of my wife and the intense desire I had to achieve more in life I was able to overcome the mental obstacle block and belief that, "I had to do everything related to my business." My friend as you build and grow your business make sure that you avoid getting yourself into a business trap. Do not build a business around the personality and drive of a single person. Although this business model will make you feel sexy and popular, it will limit your growth and your time freedom. As you grow your business, make sure it can expand with the infusion of extra capital, more real estate and more people, not just more and more of you (because your family needs you too).

    "The secret of success lies not in doing your own work, but in recognizing the right man to do it" - Andrew Carnegie

    5. Before you invest a dime into any business, determine exactly how much money you are willing to invest in its success or failure.

    As you get yourself mentally geared up to start any business, you are going to be the most positive of mindsets. Every new business is exciting on paper. When it is just an idea it is fun, ambitious and inspiring. However, once you give life to this idea by infusing it with your hard earned capital it is no longer so fun. It is now a job. And once it is a job, things get serious. As things get serious, more and more capital is needed to buy a few more of these things and those things. A little more marketing is needed, and a few more pieces of new technology are needed. Soon money is flowing out of your wallet, like its the final 2 weeks before Christmas. If you are not careful, you will lose your shirt during this time. Do not fall into this trap. Set a limit on the amount of cash you are willing to infuse into your business and do not exceed this amount no matter what. Do your planning. Build your proformas and then stick to it. Do not get excited. Stay focused on making a profit.

    6. Focus on becoming an expert and guru in your area of strength instead of focusing on improving your weaknesses.

    I don't enjoy small talk. I hate minutia. I do not like long-winded conversations about nothing. I am irritated by those that provide general criticisms. Those who talk and are not doers annoy the hell out of me. I am able to be in the presence of mediocrity without confronting it. I cannot stand accounting minutia. Filling out forms causes me anxiety attacks. I can't remember my address, or nearly any information that I don't deem to be necessary for everyday function. These are my weaknesses. What are yours?

    I think and talk about the big picture. I love "big ideas." I get lots of things done because I keep conversations short. I often arrive to work at 1:00 AM on Monday morning so that I can get everything done that I feel I need to get done. I have relentless followup with subordinates who would otherwise fail if left to their own, "I didn't have time" alibis. I delegate the accounting minutia. I have my wife and coworkers fill out all forms for me. I have my address typed into a document that I can easily access from my computer. I refuse to attempt to memorize anything, so I make checklists for everything. These are my strengths.

    My friend, if you lived 3 life-times we would not have enough time to improve all of our weaknesses. So why even attempt to? Spend your time honing your God-given skills. God gave you skills. Use them to get paid. People will pay you to watch you pursue your passions. People will never pay to watch me make small talk at a birthday party. People will pay me for getting things done. People will never pay me for being good at filling out forms. People will pay us, if my assistant fills out the contractor identification form correctly. Spend your time improving your God given skills. Avoid what you are not good at and delegate what you cannot stand doing.

    7. Focus your effort on one thing and one problem until you solve it.

    So many entrepreneurs hop from one idea to the next. They love moving to greener pastures. You will never gain success in your industry or line of work until you have developed mastery in it. How many hours are needed to develop mastery of something? In Malcolm Gladwell's book the Outliers, he delves into the factors that went into creating the highest levels of success on the planet. His thesis is essentially that those who spend a disproportionate amount of time doing one thing ultimately become the best masters at this one thing, thus they get paid the most for their mastery of this one thing. His study focuses on the lives of Bill Gates, Robert Oppenheimer (the genius who created the A-bomb), and numerous other top performers. Essentially he believes that the "10,000 Hour Rule" is the true key to top success in any field. However, regardless of how you feel about Gladwell's research, the basic truth remains. You will never be good at something unless you stick with it until you master it.

    "Concentrate your energies, your thoughts and your capital. The wise man puts all his eggs in one basket and watches the basket." - Andrew Carnegie

    "The men who have succeeded are men who have chosen one line and stuck to it." - Andrew Carnegie

    8. Your opinion is not valid, but the customer's is.

    In the world of entrepreneurship we can often get excited about our new idea. We have this new idea that we believe that everyone will love. However, after we explain to a group of guys a church camp and a group of people at work and then a few more people at the local gym, we begin to realize that this idea makes the concept of marketing "dehydrated water packets" to be a good one. The fact is, the more you explain the idea, the more people ask you, "What the hell are you talking about?" As you slowly become more and more frustrated with "the people that just don't get your ideas" you have two options available.

    You can act like Colonel Sanders and spend your entire life trying to convince America that your idea is good (KFC did not become a reality until the last few years of the legendary Colonel Sanders' life), or you can realize that its time to move on to another "great idea." As for me, I do not want to be a life-time sacrificial martyr for a good idea. However, you might want to be.
    As a general rule I would encourage you to keep this in mind. Humans are the ones that buy your products and services. If they don't get it, they won't buy it. Crystal Clear Pepsi was cool, but the people didn't get it.

    9. Realize that 80% of your success will ultimately come from 20% of your efforts.

    If you want to Google "Pareto's Principle" then you will quickly discover what I am talking about here. Essentially it all breaks down like this. As your company markets and markets, you will soon find that 80% of your business comes from 20% of the marketing sources. As you begin spending more and more time in the office, you will begin to see that 80% of your effectiveness comes from 20% of the activities that you do on a daily basis. So without getting too philosophical with you on this point, I will encourage you to periodically stop and ask yourself, "What 20% of activities am I personally doing to create 80% of my success?"

    10. Win-Win situations are the only sustainable business solutions.

    Everybody is always trying to pull a fast one on somebody else. He is always trying to take advantage of them. They are always trying to get what he has without him knowing. The two of them are always trying to plot to make a quick-buck from those guys. But at the end of the day, the only sustainable solution is creating an endless stream of "mutually beneficial relationships." The late great Andrew Carnegie believed so much in this philosophy that he devoted nearly his entire post working-career to writing, and spreading this "Gospel of Wealth" as he called it. He believed that American business would thrive like never before if only the people would realize the power of working in harmony with our fellow man in a synergistic way that allows both parties to achieve their goals. Carnegie believed in this principle because it worked for him.

    By Clay Clark

    Clay Clark U.S. SBA Entrepreneur of the Year, Serial-Entrepreneu & Business Coach
    Cofounder of Fears & Clark Tulsa Commercial Real Estate
    http://www.fearsclark.com 918-481-2080

    Saturday, June 7, 2014

    Top 10 Secrets Of Outrageously Successful Business Owners

    Are you struggling to make a profit? Are you challenged in reaching your next success level? Would just like to reach your desired business goals faster?

    Then "THE TOP 10 SECRETS OF OUTRAGEOUSLY SUCCESSFUL ENTERPRISES" is a *must* for you. These business secrets are the *BEST OF THE BEST.* These secrets were not gotten from a book or seminar. Rather they represent the wisdom I gained from coaching & consulting hundreds of businesses over the last 21 years ... from the soloist entrepreneur to multi-billion dollar companies.

    I GUARANTEE if you apply any one of these top 10 secrets with conviction and commitment, you will experience quantum leaps in your business.

    MINDSET SECRETS

    1. *EXPECT* TO WIN... *EXPECT* TO SUCCEED

    While we all experience highs and lows in our business, outrageously successful enterprises EXPECT to succeed over the long run. For such enterprises,

    Success is the ONLY option.

    To what extent do you EXPECT to succeed in your business? What less empowering expectations currently undermine your success? Make a *decision* today to succeed. "Cut the cord" on all other possible outcomes.

    2. LIVE AND BREATHE YOUR MISSION STATEMENT

    While most businesses have crafted a mission statement, it is not enough just to have one. Outrageously successful enterprises live and breathe their mission statement ... in every goal, every strategy and every project of their business. It is the life force and the reason for everything they do.

    Do you have a compelling mission statement for your business? Do you communicate it - both in words and actions - to every client, every prospect, every employee? If you asked any one of these stakeholders what is your mission, would they know what to say?

    Post and read your mission statement daily. Include it in all your collateral materials. Live and breathe your mission statement in every goal, decision and action. This one principle will make your business a compelling magnet for greater and greater levels of success.

    3. ALWAYS ASK THE MILLION $$ QUESTION:

    ***** "Where is the opportunity in this situation?" *******

    Within *every business challenge,* there is an extraordinary opportunity for a HUGE breakthrough. Even with the most difficult challenges, outrageously successful enterprises never see challenges. They ONLY see opportunities. They constantly ask: "Where is the opportunity in this situation?"

    Where is your focus right now in your business - on the challenge or the opportunity? Make it a habit with every challenge to ask: "Where is the opportunity in this situation?" that one question will blow open the doors to new solutions, new strategies and new possibilities to take your business to the next level.

    4. BECOME THE ULTIMATE BUSINESS "ROMANTICIST"

    Outrageously successful enterprises are constantly "IN LOVE." Yes, that's right. They LOVE their customers. They LOVE their employees and vendors. They LOVE their visions. They LOVE everything about their business.

    This principle is not something you get from a book. It comes from the very heart and soul of why you are in business. When you are "in love," it shines forth in every client interaction, every exchange with a prospect, every dealing with a peer or vendor. Remember the old cliche, "People don't care what you know; they want to know that you care."

    Are you "IN LOVE" with your clients and prospects? Are you "IN LOVE" with the benefits you offer? Are you "IN LOVE" with every aspect of your business? If not, why not? What do you need to change about your attitude, beliefs or actions to become the "Ultimate Business Romanticist."

    STRATEGY SECRETS

    5. LOOK AT MARKETING AS A *CONTINUUM*, NOT AN EVENT.

    Contrary to conventional business thinking, marketing does not end with a sale. Outrageously successful enterprises know that marketing is a perpetual process. And, contrary to most business practices, these enterprises focus more than 50% of their marketing efforts **after the sale** -- such as 'post sale" follow-up, repeat business incentives, backend selling, referral marketing, etc. They know that the greatest revenues are generated *after the sale."

    How do you see and practice marketing in your business -- as an event or a continuum? What *post sales* and prospect follow-up activities can you incorporate as the focus of your marketing efforts? This one shift n your marketing focus alone can increase your revenues 100%, 200%, even 500% ... more than any marketing action you take in your business.

    6. CONSTANTLY "MARKET UP"

    Within every target market, there is a high end and a low end market and everything in between. Million $$ enterprises constantly stretch their marketing sights and target prospects that most businesses would think impossible to acquire as clients. They constantly "market up" to high end prospects ... a strategy that catalyzes their business to a much bigger game.

    What specific prospects ... or kinds of prospects ... would you love to have a clients or customers but think it is impossible? Think out side the box and think BIG. It could be celebrities, politicians, admired companies or CEOs, leaders in your community, rolemodels, etc.

    Pick one high end prospect to start. Build a marketing campaign to reach that person or company. This strategy requires persistence, yet is well worth it. From my own first hand experience, "marketing up" can skyrocket your revenues and business exposure instantly and multiply your profits for years to come .

    7. MAKE "ADDING MORE VALUE" YOUR #1 CRUSADE.

    Outrageously successful enterprises are in the business of creating value. They have a strong conviction to contribute to more and more richness to their clients' lives and businesses.

    In everything they say and do. they let clients know "you matter. Your well-being and success is important to us." They focus on "what do I have to give?" ... NOT "what do I have to do to get a sale?"

    Where is your focus right now --- on adding value, or making the sale? Make a list of at least 10 ways yo can increase the value of your products and services. Implement the easiest one ideas ... starting now. Make "adding value" a routine business priority. When you do, your products and services will sell themselves.

    PERFORMANCE SECRETS

    8. OPTIMIZE, OPTIMIZE, OPTIMIZE

    Outrageously successful enterprises are masters at achieving the greatest return at the lowest possible risk. They constantly look for ways to reduce the amount of time, money and energy to achieve their ultimate goals.

    They take what works and see if they can make it better, faster, cheaper. They know the "what if" implications of every new strategy, goal, product or service. They are pros at maximizing performance tradeoffs.

    Do your know the profitability of each product or service you offered? Do you know what clients are the most expensive, demanding or time-consuming to serve? If you doubled your client base, do you know the implications on costs, revenues and the operations of your business?

    To optimize your business results, think highest and best use of your time, energy and money. ALWAYS THINK HIGHEST AND BEST!!

    9. MULTIPLY PROFITS THROUGH THE POWER OF LEVERAGE.

    Most businesses build their enterprises in a haphazard way. Outrageously successful businesses grow their businesses from a place of leverage. They look for new ways to convert their current assets, strengths and opportunities into new revenue streams. They constantly take inventory and seek ways to profit from untapped capabilities and underutilized resources. They integrate marketing activities into a single business strategy to maximize results.

    How can you leverage

    *** your current assets (eg., your client base, employees),

    *** your current strengths (eg., your knowledge base, processes),

    *** your current resources (eg., your business network, capital),

    to quickly grow your business?

    How can you revamp your marketing activities so that your products and services sell each other? Leverage is one of the most under-utilized principles for multiplying profits in business.

    10. DEVELOP A BIAS TOWARD ACTION

    Outrageously successful enterprises understand that, in today's economy, windows of opportunity are often measured in months ... not years and decades. They know they cannot wait for the perfect strategy, the perfect solution to capitalize on these opportunities. They must act quickly if they want to thrive in these highly changing times.

    What new projects, strategies or opportunities are you stalling in order to achieve perfection? What new practices, support structures or habits will accelerate your bias toward action?

    By Denise Corcoran

    Denise Corcoran - CEO, The Empowered Business (tm) - assists CEOs, executives and business owners in taking a quantum leap from the ordinary to extraordinary � from unrealized dreams to mastering their destiny � from slow growth to exponential results. A business & leadership coach, strategic consultant and Master NLP Practioner, Denise's unique "inside out" approach provides deep transformation and lasting change in you, your organization and your results. Her latest e-book: "The Mindset of Greatness: 21 Principles to Becoming an Unstoppable Woman ... Oprah Winfrey Style!" http://www.EmpoweredBusiness.com

    Subscribe to her monthly ezine - The Empowered Business (tm) - and learn the legendary secrets of top business achievers. http://www.empoweredbusiness.com/Newsletter_signup.html

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

    Be A True Entrepreneur, Adopting The Right Thought Processes

    Not everybody can become a good businessman because the main ingredient for running a successful business is not only the capital but also the right mindset. Many businessmen have the history of not having enough capital at the starting of the firm but only the right thinking processes have formed the basic foundation of their success story. Let's take a look at what exactly should be the mindset needed to run your own business. This can serve as a motivational exercise for potential entrepreneurs.

    Being Fearless:-

    The first thing required to operate within the field of business is getting rid of all fears. Business goes hand in hand with risks and so there will be very few operations in business that has no risk of losses. Life will never be a bed of roses if you are planning to become a businessman, you should keep in mind that you may go bankrupt based on specific decisions and actions because running a company can be like a game where any player can have a bad day.

    But definitely, you must be able to take calculated risks without investing into things too unrelated to your organization. Believe in your decisions in order to extract the best out of every business opportunity that presents itself.

    Be Your Own Support:-

    You cannot be the best businessperson you can be if you depend completely on others for your work to be carried out. Thus you should be fully confident about want you actually want to achieve and the right process to achieve it. Your own knowledge of the product or services that the company plans to provide should serve as the source of your confidence.

    Be an Extrovert to Establish Significant Networks:-

    A successful company will persist with a well connected network of business contacts. So this means that you as the leader will need to some extent to be an extrovert for creating and expanding the network. The strategic approach to business networking is worth putting time into as this has been shown to lead to significant new business generation.

    Be Systematic in Getting the Necessary Resources:-

    You have to be well organized in bringing in the required resources in line with the priorities for revenue generation. For this you must keep in mind the most important strategic directions for your business. The main investments should be focused on bringing on board necessary tools for growth be it manpower or a machinery.

    In Summary:-

    Business is like a race where you can only get what you want if you know what you want. Thus, setting achievable targets and working to reach them on a consistent basis should be the attitude of a leader if you are looking to reach your target market and generate revenues in order to run a successful business.

    By I Driscoll

    Ian Driscoll has achieved his track record of business success through adopting the mindset necessary for focusing on the key items necessary for operating a company. Some tips are given in this article, to learn more get in touch with Ian via IDriscoll.co.uk