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Supporting Veteran Owned Small Businesses

This video shares examples of a few veteran owned small businesses. Feel free to comment and share your own examples with website link belo...

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

How To Increase Profit In Your Small Business - My 5 Step Profit Improvement System

Follow my 5 step profit improvement system and see massive improvements in your take home profit and the value of your business. I will show you how 5% improvements in your key profit drivers could increase profit and business value by more than 100%.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Creating A Small Business With Big Negotiating Power

Wayfounder CEO Damon D’Amore sits down with Tot Squad (fka CleanBeeBaby) founder Jennifer Beall to learn how she created a start-up that provides tremendous value to big brands and companies, and has huge negotiating power when building business relationships. Tot Squad is a mobile, eco-friendly cleaning company for baby strollers and car seats. This mobile business partners with a different retail store each day, sets up shop in the business’s parking lot (for free), and helps the retailer attract new customers with Tot Squad’s convenient service.

What are YOU doing that a big company should be paying you for? Let us know in the comments below!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Best Way To Finance Your Small Business Expansion

John Gagliardi, CEO of organic tea company Titan Tea, wants to expand his business but is unsure of the best method. Small business expert and angel investor Barbara Corcoran provides actionable advice on how entrepreneurs can avoid cash flow problems and prepare their balance sheet for growth.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Small Business Canada – Critical Decisions Every Canadian Small Business Needs To Make

In this video training tutorial I review the critical decisions a small business owner needs to take when starting a small business in Canada. We’ll review what can go wrong if things are not done properly from the start such as late HST filing, payroll deductions remittances and GST filing.

Additionally, we will review the decisions related to setting up your business legally using one of the forms of organization – Canadian proprietorship, partnership and Canadian corporations. We’ll also go over the ways you pay yourself (salary and dividends).

Finally we will look at bookkeeping and accounting issues that you need to be aware of as well as some operation factors you’ll need to consider.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How To Set Up The Accounting Books For Your Small Business

In this tutorial, Emily explains how to set up the initial accounting and the business books for a new business. I asked Emily about a business which maybe doesn't have too many revenue streams. Does even a small business like that need to set up their accounting books? Emily suggested that even if you have a very small revenue stream, or just one revenue stream, you should still focus on your accounting and business books because you must get organized early on, and focusing on your business books might help you identify parts of your business that could be better.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Small Business Marketing - The 3 Simple Tips To Get More Customers

Every business big or small, is in business to make money. For local businesses, growth means more customers, clients or patients. So the question every small business owner wants to know, is 'how do I get more clients?'

There are all kinds of ways to advertise your business; from local coupon books, to flyers, to radio or TV advertisements. I have found that these are old forms of advertising and are not very effective.

The key to effective marketing, is getting in front of your target market when they are ready to buy. These days, everyone is on their computer or mobile device; constantly! As a result, the majority of your marketing plan should be on the internet. In other words, when people search Google for the product or service you offer, you need to be found.

In this video I show you how easy it is to position your business on the first page of Google for local search with a website, Google+ listing, and YouTube video. If you effectively get your website, Google maps listing, and YouTube video on the first page of Google, you will dominate that page, and crush your competition. When someone searches Google, and you come up over and over again, they are going to click your listings, and give you their business.

In this video, I show you what I do with all of my small business marketing clients to help them get more customers every day. I believe this is the most effective way to market your business, and the cool thing is, it does not cost a lot of money. Check out my free video training where I walk you step by step how to dominate the first page of Google with your website, Google maps listing, and YouTube video:

http://www.9design.org/google-domination

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Saturday, December 5, 2015

How To Market A Small Business With A Limited Budget

This question and answer came from Episode 3 of the #AskGaryVee show!

Question: What is your advice for small businesses with limited marketing budgets?

Answer: When you're hustling and you have limited budget, you might think you're in trouble, but truthfully, the best way to close that financial gap is to work harder. You need a little extra hustle when you're limited. Put the TV remote down and work a little harder, for a little longer. Tactically, this depends on the business, but business development is always the way to go. Hustle. Knock on doors. Spread your message. With a limited budget, time is really you're only asset. My advice? Spend more of it working.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Modern Tips For Small Business Start-Ups

This video gives you the best modern tips for starting your own small business or start-up.

Ten Top Tips for Small Business

1. Understand ‘why’ you are starting a Small Business
2. What is your Point of Difference?
3. How are you going to Structure your Small Business
4. Law, Rules and Regulations
5. You are the Boss – Act like it
6. Do Not Accumulate Debt
7. Take Time Off – It is Really Important
8. Surround Yourself with Great People
9. Get Business Advice and Ongoing Training
10. Get More Organized

Saturday, November 28, 2015

How to Make Your Small Business Look Big

Don't let the title "Small Business" inhabit your ability to showcase how big your business can be. Small Businesses are often overlooked for certain reasons but the main reason is that the word small business comes across as a startup business. Think about it! Every business is a startup so why exclude a business as a major producer for consumers?

To name a few facts small businesses have provided 55% of all jobs and 66% of all net new jobs since the 70's. Did you know that there are 28 million small businesses in the United States? Lastly 70% of small business are owned and operated by a single person.

Well those sure are big facts. The goal of this post is to provide you with some quick tips on how to make your small business bigger. These tips may not work for every aspect but we are confident in saying that the tips can be applied universally. So let's begin!

Tip 1: Build social presence- The more information you share the more credible your company will appear. People love relevant content which will lead to people believing in you. Believers are most likely to refer your business or use you knowledge for their business. Be greater than a big fish in a small pond!

Tip 2: Website Makeover- If your website needs a makeover see what new technology tools or trends you can incorporate to make your website stand out. Change is good and beneficial so wow your prospective clients and your current clients with a makeover. No change is too big or small.

Tip 3: Get your name out there- Want to be heard as a small business well spread the word and do some networking. Use social media to its fullest potential because it is free. Free Advertisements saves your company money. How else will you get recognition if you don't make your company visible?

Tip 4: Do you homework- Running a business is like attending school you have to do your homework to see results. Just because you own a business doesn't mean education needs to come to a halt. As a rule of thumb you should always know your competition (do your homework) and know what your competitor stands for. In addition, see what a competitor offers that is different from your business and find an innovative way to supersede their offerings.

Tip 5: The Buddy System- Link up with an industry related company and see what connects you can share or simply host an event together. This will make you look resourceful and bigger.

Have questions? Let's talk solutions info@matrixdigitalmarketing.com

By Cheyenne Williams

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Playing The Business Growth Game

Growing a business takes a lot of hard work. As much as we all would love to have an idea, put it out into the world and poof we're a success, it just doesn't work that way. Success doesn't come over night, despite how easy other business owners make it look.

The main thing you need to realize is that growth comes with change. You must be open to change and willing to go through some sort of transformation to get your business to where you would like it to be on the other side. You have to be open to changing some policies, procedures and systems, or changing your ideal target customers and even changing people. If you want to win at this business growth game, you gotta play to win.

Changing Policies, Procedures and Systems

A successful business operates via systems. These systems are created out of the policies and procedures that are in place and the need for efficiency in your business. No matter how good of a process or system you have, in order to grow bigger there will come a time where you will have to change that system. That system will only take you so far. The change may be small and minor tweaks or it could be a massive overhaul. Either way it's inevitable. In order to determine if you are at the stage in your business where you need to re-assess some of your policies and procedures, think about these things:

  1. Is what I have been doing all along still working?
  2. Do I constantly have to adjust my current process every time I provide a service or sell a product?
  3. Do I still feel like I am spiraling out of control, no matter what I do to make the current process work?

Changing Ideal Target Customers

As your business grows, you will get better and better at what you do. Your skills will sharpen and you will become more knowledgeable. Sometime this will require a change in who you serve. Starting out you are inclined to help those in need of our services at a certain point in their life, career or business. But as you grow this ideal customer could change. This changes comes about with your increase knowledge as you become more in tune and aware of where you would like your business to go and who you can help along the way. Your current customers may not play in that space. And that is OK. Changing your target customer does not mean you no longer care about the customers you currently serve. It simply means you have grown to be able to support customers at a new level.

Changing People

Changing people is one of the hardest things to change. Simply because people don't like change. We want things to stay the same. But that can't be. Not only do you have to embrace change but you also need to have staff who want to grow too. This is why it's important to bring people on board who compliment you and whose strengths are your weaknesses. Make sure they know up front what you are trying to do and where you want your business to go. And make sure they are on board for the ride. When the time comes to make a shift, you all have to be willing to shift too. Those are not willing make need to get off the ride at your current stop.

What changes have you had to make in your business in the name of growth?

Does your business have what it takes to thrive? Find out how financially healthy your business is at http://www.nitramfinancial.com

By Sherrell T. Martin

Saturday, November 21, 2015

When It Comes To Getting A New Client, When Is Enough, Enough?

Sometimes it seems relatively easy to get a new client in business. You meet, you chat, terms are agreed and away you go. Often, though, it's less straight-forward than that and there's an awful lot of wrangling goes on before everything's signed on the dotted line. It all takes a bit longer, but in a relatively short space of time you're actually getting rewarded for your efforts.

However, there's always the really, REALLY, tricky ones, the clients who seem to come and go via meetings and proposals and phones calls; the clients who never actually seem to become clients. You know the ones - you meet them, they say they're really interested and you invest a whole load of time trying to get the ideal package together. Then there's more meetings and more discussions and even more delays and then, suddenly, you realise it's three months later and you're still no nearer to signing them up.

I'm always in such a quandary with these. What to do for the best? Continue to invest time and effort which you're well-aware might never actually turn into any financial reward? Continue to take valuable time out of your day to yet again meet and discuss the same old proposal? Or do you admit defeat and walk away, with part of you relieved to not have to waste any more time going nowhere, but deep down always wondering whether you should have given it one last try?

I suppose the question I'm asking is when is enough, enough?

The clients who take the most effort to engage are usually the ones you regret taking on six weeks later when they're making increasingly unnecessary demands and generally making your life miserable. But, on the flip side, they're often the most lucrative. So just how much time should you invest trying to win them over?
In the four years I've been running Athena, I've still not managed to work it out. There's a voice inside me that tells me to walk away and admit defeat, but I hate giving up. And then there's another voice that's telling me that this could be the next big thing and think of the difference it could make to not only your bank balance but your business as a whole so why not give it just another week...

That's where I am now with a "client" who's been promising me work since October last year. Part of me realises that I'm probably chasing rainbows on this one and I really ought to realise that it's never going to happen. But then that little voice in my head just won't let me give up.

So next time they call to arrange a meeting, I really should tell them I'm not interested. I should, shouldn't I? But will I? Probably not!

I'll tell myself I'll DEFINITELY get them on board this time...

Although you never want to give up on securing a new client, sometimes you have to recognise that the amount of effort it takes is too high for the likely reward. Invest your time wisely in clients who will appreciate your commitment.

By Lisa Chilvers

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Why Building a Business Feels Like Pushing a Boulder Uphill

Building your business is like pushing a boulder up hill. You start off at the bottom with bags of energy and the vision of reaching the lofty heights. Yes, you acknowledge it's going to take time and effort, but you're up for the challenge and raring to go.

With all that energy, it's usually quite easy at the start, plus the foothills are never that challenging, just a bit of a gentle rise to get you started. It's only when you're a couple of hours in that you start to feel the pinch. The slope's getting steeper, the temperature's rising and you're starting to feel tired.

Half way up is usually the place you stop to rest and what do you do? You look up at the path ahead and wince at the challenge still to come. It's steeper and rockier than before and the summit still seems a very long way off. It's often tempting to give in at this stage, particularly if the path you were following suddenly seems to end and you have to look for an alternative route to the top.

This is the time to look in the other direction. Instead of looking at how far you're still got to go, turn around. Take a look at how far you've come. Look at the distance you've already travelled and how distant the bottom of the hill seems. Basically, take a moment to admire the view. Have a drink, a bite to eat. Take a breather and congratulate yourself for how far you've already come and, thus refreshed, continue with the task of getting that boulder to the top.

The last few feet are always the hardest; that very last push to get to the summit. You're all hot and bothered, you're tired, hungry and thirsty and most of you are probably muttering obscenities under your breath along the lines of "whose stupid idea was it to start this whole charade anyway?"

This is when most people give up. They just don't have the strength of mind or body to give it that one last push. They forget all the time and effort they've invested to get this far and just say "Oh sod it" and give up.

This is when you have to draw on all your strength to put your back behind the boulder when you don't really feel like you've got anything left to give and make that one last giant effort. It's the ideal time to involve the efforts of others, to ask them to just give you a little helping hand to cover the last bit, to finally reach your goal and get where you want to be. And suddenly your there, at the top of the hill and trust me, the view is tremendous! It really does look like you've got the whole world at your feet and there's no other feeling like it. You suddenly remember why you started the whole journey in the first place and usually realise that the view is far better than you ever could have imagined.

So, what do you do now? Well, after the rise and the summit comes the plateau and, although pushing that boulder is easier than it was, it's still not a walk in the park and, as the view doesn't change very much, you start to lose heart again. The plateau is always tough - all that pushing and not really going anywhere. But it's important not to give up.

After the plateau comes the return and that's by far the best bit. Because after all that pushing and heaving, it only takes the tiniest of nudges to send that boulder over the edge. And boy, does it go, rolling faster and faster and gathering its own momentum and all you have to do is watch it whizz off into the distance.

Now, if you don't want the boulder to wipe out everything in its path, it's always a good idea to run after it, try to keep up and, if you can, keep it on track, because when it finally comes to rest, you need to be right there with it. And the journey is complete... Or so you'd think! But what else is there to do with the boulder but push it all the way up the hill again?

OK, so at this point in time, it's not top of your list, but after a bit of rest and reflection you feel up to the task. You've done it before, after all, and now you know that there's an easier path than the one you took before - you saw it on the first way up, but couldn't get to it. This time you can start from a different place and try that other path. It might not work, but who knows, it might be the best thing you ever did.

You know the lie of the land, you know where it gets tough, you know where you're going to have to ask for help, you know roughly where the boulder will land when it gets back to the bottom. So what's to stop you giving it another go, just for the hell of it? Why? Because you can!

And, after you've climbed this hill a dozen times, learnt the best way to the top and found it's not challenging enough anymore, go off and find a mountain and start all over again.

Before you know it you'll be on top of the world. And the view? It'll be awesome!

Keep pushing those boulders.

Building a new business, or growing an existing one can be tough. It often feels like a constant uphill struggle. But if you keep pushing, you'll get to the top and you'll be so very glad you put in all that hard work at the beginning

By Lisa Chilvers

Saturday, November 14, 2015

7 Step Revenue Planning and How to Ensure Profitability

A few years ago I was at a closed door meeting of business owners. We had gotten together to share information and work on our businesses.

One of the members had just crossed the $500,000 mark in her business. She was understandably psyched and we were for her.

Later, after dinner, we were talking and I asked her what her profit was (cheeky I know).

Her net was under $50,000. On $500,000 in revenue. And she paid herself a salary of $60,000 so it wasn't that she moved $300,000 to her personal savings.

Thinking back on it, my mouth must have dropped. I hope it didn't, but don't see how it didn't.

She then asked my net and her mouth did drop. While hers was under 10% of revenue, mine was closer to 35%.

We talked late into the night about revenue, expenses, profit, taxes, retention and much more.

The next day she hired me. Flash forward 12 months and her revenue was a little under $550,000 and her profit was just over 20%.

When it comes to small businesses, "profit" often seems to be "that thing we never speak about", a secret to remain hidden, often shamefully, brought out from under the bed only during tax season.

What if your profit was public?

Would you be proud? Embarrassed?

What if you were to plan for your profit first?

Years ago I gave away a revenue planning template. One where you actually plan what your profit is rather than "just let it happen". (Hint: It almost never "just happens".)

7 Step Revenue Planning

The planning template was simple and all about reverse engineering your revenue:

1. List all your known expenses, including your salary
2. Add in your desired profit
3. Total them
4. Multiply the total by 10-15% for unknown expenses
5. Add Numbers 3 and 4 together
6. Multiply the new total (#5) by 30% or your tax percentage if known
7. Add Numbers 5 and 6 together. This is your revenue goal

The above works for planning, but what about day-to-day reality?

Day-to-day is simple although it requires a little more discipline to continuously follow the process - that said, if you do, you'll be thrilled with the results.

Ready?

For every dollar of revenue that comes in, give it a home.

1. X% to your Profit
2. Y% to your "Salary"
3. Z% to your Taxes

The remainder is what's left for your expenses.

Depending on your preferences (and whether or not you can keep your fingers out of the other pots), you may wish to set up separate accounts to "house" these sums or simply move it within your bookkeeping file.

Personally I keep separate accounts (out of sight, out of mind).

Following this process:

• ensures that your business is profitable,
• ensures that you get paid,
• ensures that your taxes are paid and
• ensures that you don't spend more than your business makes.

Don't worry about what's happened in the past. Choose today to move forward. The above will help you do that even if you start small and increase over time as you reduce your expenses and, if necessary, pay down debt.

Questions? Hit reply and let me know, I'm happy to answer them.

And, if you're ready to work together on your business, you'll love our "Keep It Simple" Non-program Program designed for the business owner who is looking for a trusted partner to run things by, brainstorm with, get advice when things come up and yet doesn't necessarily need a set schedule of calls.

* Note that, on a personal level, I used to pay for pet insurance each month. Then I applied this same concept and created a savings account just for that - now the funds come out automatically each month and are available when I need them without the feeling of "throwing money away" when the insurance company would deny claims.

As an inspiring and in-demand mentor, trainer and speaker, Sandy has helped hundreds of small business owners across the globe create sustainable businesses which make a positive impact. Sandy is also the founder of Escalator Marketing™, creating client engagement and raving fans by design. Sandy's Done 4 You services, programs, products and presentations on Escalator Marketing™ and creating lifetime clients through Extreme Client Care™ have made her an in-demand and innovative expert. http://www.TheMartiniWay.com

By Sandra Martini

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Does Your Business Have Gaps or Weak Spots?

Picture this; Molly is a vibrant business coach who has enjoyed a reign of success in her coaching business for many years. She could do her job on auto-pilot, and most days, that's exactly what she does. She enjoys the income and freedom her professional success allows, and happily spends her days "doing what she's always done."

Eventually, however, she starts to notice a big drop in both clients and sales. While she is stumped about the reason for the sudden drop, she does nothing to correct the problem and opts for a non-proactive "let's just wait and see" attitude. It doesn't take long before Molly's once successful coaching business is in dire straits.

It's natural for our businesses and our client's businesses to morph and change over time; so when we are busy "doing what we've always been doing," we often miss the boat and fail to see opportunities and trends that will help our businesses continue to grow in a positive manner rather than getting stuck, stale and off track. Business professionals who are in a position of complacency tend to take the biggest hit when changes in life or economy occur. All entrepreneurs and business owners need to continually adapt, evolve, and re-evaluate. Roll with the punches, so to speak. They need to adjust, regroup and grow... or get left in the dust.

It's natural for businesses to morph and change over time. They need to adjust, regroup and grow, or get left in the dust.

Molly's main issue was that she started taking her once loyal client base for granted and ignored the need for change in her professional life and business. After years of coaching one-on-one from behind a computer screen, and never really making the effort to network or become visible in the social media world, or support her business by attending offline events relevant to her target market or industry, she found herself becoming invisible; lost in the noise and hustle of coaches who offer similar services. The difference was that her competitors were the ones willing to be seen and heard online, as well as hustle and engage face-to-face with potential new clients. Molly had become as elusive as Bigfoot. Her clients knew she was "out there somewhere," but the sightings were few and far between. Soon her clients succumbed to the lure of something bigger and better... elsewhere.

Does Your Coaching Business Have Gaps?

Not unlike Molly's, most businesses have "gaps." Gaps are the areas or weak spots in your overall business plan for success that have been overlooked or neglected. Maybe your "gap" is a lack of social media presence and powerful relationships with your clients, or like in Molly's case, both social media and the opportunity to actually be seen and physically accessible not only to potential new clients, but to her existing ones. The lesson to be learned here is; when you have gaps of any kind in your business, you are opening a door and making it easy for the competition to slide right on in.

So, what are the gaps, or loopholes, in your brand or business? Is there room for improvement? Are there things you could be doing to excite your clients and solidify relationships? Now is the time to identify your gaps and what you need to do to change with the times. If your "gaps" are areas caused by limited time and knowledge to effectively maintain and grow your business, take the necessary steps to get the help you need to close up those loopholes ASAP.

There are times when we all have to take a step back and take stock of what we are doing and where our businesses are going (or not going). Sometimes life events force us to change quickly, while some changes are more gradual. Some changes are good, some are bad. But in the long run, change should always challenge us and make us take a closer look at our businesses in a new light.

Where are the "gaps" in your business; and what can you do to close them?

Terry L. Green, President of BizEase Support Solutions, and her team of qualified online support specialists, provide seamless online marketing implementation, technology and administrative support solutions to speakers and business coaches worldwide. Visit http://www.bizeasesupport.com to find out how partnering with BizEase can help you grow your business, have more time, and make more money.

By Terry Green

Saturday, November 7, 2015

My Five Rules In Beating The Odds For Success In Business

Robert Burns said it eloquently "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry". Business is more than just being smart but lucky as well. However skills and planning can definitely help in making the odds more in your favor. The most important part is that it takes money to make money. Unless you're independently wealthy, then start-up and working capital is a must. If you begin a business venture with not enough capital taking a shot you're doomed from the start.

Where ever you do receive capital from most times they need to be paid back. Generally that payment is incorporated into your operating costs, which uses revenues and percentages to show profit. Make sure your estimated monthly sales are as accurate as possible, and I would suggest reducing them by ten to twenty percent. This way you'll know in slower times that at least the fixed expenses will be covered. Here's a hypothetical example, you open a restaurant in a great location, and two weeks later the city starts doing road work making the street none accessible for like a month or two. Very little business comes in but you're on the hook for expenses regardless. If you don't in advance ensure enough working capital, and overestimate sales then you be out of business in a heartbeat. Rule number one in beating the odds, be aware of your business financials!

I've honestly met the worst business people in the world, unorganized, not focused, lazy, terrible with numbers, and extremely successful, how does that happen? Most know inside they're not the sharpest pencils in the box, so they counter that with hiring exceptional people to make them look good. As a result through the staff's hard work in spite of the owner's defiance's the business grows. Rule number two in beating the odds, hire those who might be more skilled than you in certain areas, and most important let them fly!

Make sure the product or service is competitive within your market place. In today's world with the economy so poor more people are purchasing on price than quality. It is vital that you study your demographic, the competitions pricing prior to making a business investment. Rule number three in beating the odds, the money is made in the buying not the selling!

Set a budget for marketing and advertising building a loyal customer base, and make a plan of action that will entice people to check-out your products or services. In developing a brand one must figure-out what will make them stick-out with customers feeling they need to be there. Rule number four in beating the odds, set a better mouse trap!

My final one is never put yourself in personal financial jeopardy when going into business. Make sure to incorporate your business so you're not personally liable if things should go south. Going bankrupt with an incorporation allows you to walk away not in a moral way, but a business one on clear and free. If you sign personally have no choice but to go bankrupt they'll take everything cars, house, any personal asset of value. Rule number five in beating the odds, always cover your butt!

Is using the five rules above going to guarantee your success definitely not! There are too many variables in a business situation, but having a calculated risk will help you make the odds more in your favor. Just keep in mind business is 50% skill and 50% luck, are you willing to play those odds?

By Arnold Nadler

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Starting a Business - How to Get to the Business Plan and Why?

OK, it's time to start your own business - way to go! It's a big decision working for someone else who takes care of everything; accounting, payroll, taxes, inventory, and most likely, a huge bunch of other departments and responsibilities necessary to control their own company. But, running your own business has its benefits, as well.

Now, I must mention, please keep in mind, one can be fully fulfilled and inspired while having the job of their dreams also. It all comes down to attitude and personal motivation. If you are working in a field that you are fully inspired by, congrats and be sure to appreciate it as going your own way also has its risks. But, having said that:

The main train of thought is you are your own boss, work the hours you choose and which days to work, and, unfortunately or fortunately, you are purely responsible for the entire success. It's a wonderful way to release yourself from the rat race of 9-5, if you choose, as well as being involved in doing what you love, what you might have a passion for, but you have to begin by asking just a few things:

1. Do you love what you are doing or is it something you are good at? A dream of escaping the normal way the world works can be very inspiring to work for yourself, but you must be motivated to work every morning to do what you have chosen to do for a living.

2. What is it that you believe you would like to do? What interests, area or industry is it going to be? Do you believe there is a market for what you can provide? Have you thought whether the area can handle another entry?

3. Do you have the talent or technical skills required? Just because you feel you are able to do a skill that you consider special, it could possibly not be a strong item to convince customers or investors that it is a valuable purchase or a strong financial investment.

4. What, where and who are the competitors in this area and what separates you from the rest? Why should investors or potential prospect customers choose you? What differentiates you from what everyone else does?

OK, When you're finally satisfied that your answers to these questions are solid, it's decision time, of what business structure works best for you. Is it a sole proprietor, responsible for every area and the entire authority to run the business? Will you have a partner, share the cost, workload and responsibility but also the ideas, profits and every business decision from the get go? Or maybe your decision is to incorporate, including all the financial safety's and securities but way more involved, complex and a costly structure?

This is when you must seek legal advice! Seriously, it is strongly recommended, mainly because it is for you to completely understand all the advantages, disadvantages and to be sue the setup is proper and that you are fully aware of your chosen structuring plan. Most attorneys will offer a complimentary or a discounted-rate initial consultation. Once the decision and plan is decided, a formal name for your new company should be chosen. Make sure it is easy to remember - be sure to not use initials or single letters (A & B & C Limited could be challenging to remember for clients or associates). Also, make it say something about what the business does or what it offers ("Joe's Shoe Specialists" is much easier to spell and remember).

Now comes the real sweat equity work, a business plan. This is the real beginning of your baby, it is the most important part in creating all these topics and proposals in a modernized and easy to follow format; fancy designs do not help your future baby succeed. A strong business plan acts as a formal statement for the financing needs and plans, goals, overall structure and all the initial legal considerations. Think of this as a corporate "resume" to potential lenders or investors and is the main documentation that will be used to calculate if your business could be a worthwhile investment. It also offers the proprietor(s) a opportunity to evaluate and see the operational details of your new company on paper.

A basic business plan should contain a balance sheet, income statement (also known as a Profit & Loss) and a statement of cash flow. Adding in a proposed financial budget for the first year, or as long a period as necessary if a year is impractical is a highly recommended course of action also. There are many formats and structures for business plans and many templates are available online or through formal providers who can assist or guide you along the way.

If you follow these quick tips, and the outcome looks promising you might be able to plan for success. Just remember, as much as this dance of being your own boss and owning your own company sounds exciting and positive, always remember, it will take work and dedication. Not only will you need a strong commitment but it will also serve you well to have a support community around you. Your family and friends can be a huge part of your success. So be sure to evaluate who you have around you and how to involve them and motivate them to join your team and become cheerleaders.

Also, as mentioned earlier, be sure to not discount employment for a solid company that offers future potential and is in the area or industry that fulfills you and connects with your beliefs and passion.

Satisfaction starts with an attitude and a responsibility of commitment to being your best you can be, what ever situation you find yourself in.

I want to wish you good luck in your potential and new professional endeavour, for yourself or as a new redefined employee!

Thanks for reading my article. I am committed to creating a motivated and dynamic life for young and old. I hope this has added value and I ask you to please checkout my website at http://www.GrantOkane.com. I love inspiring people and look forward to speaking with you in the future and hearing about your successes.

By Grant OKane

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Donald Trump's Top 10 Rules For Success

He's an entrepreneur, television personality, investor, and real estate magnate.

He was No. 17 on Forbes 2011 Celebrity 100 List.

He even announced he was running for President of the United States of America.

He's Donald Trump and here are his top 10 rules for success

1. Don't do it for the money
2. Never give up
3. Be into the details
4. Be totally focused
5. Get great employees
6. Work hard
7. Follow your instincts
8. #Believe in yourself
9. Have a messy desk
10. Love what you do

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Home Tour & Daily Routine Of A Millennial Female Entrepreneur

From Jazz...

Welcome to my life! My home & some of my daily routines as a female entrepreneur. Being your own boss is liberating and spiritual but it's also nothing fancy (right now) and alot of staying on your game.

Here are some awesome links I mention in this video!

http://www.marieforleo.com/bschool/
https://chopracentermeditation.com/
https://www.yogaglo.com/
http://www.passionplanner.com/
http://thrive.huffingtonpost.com/
http://www.amazon.com/The-War-Art-Through-Creative/dp/1936891026

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Young Women Entrepreneurs Under 30

VLAB’s annual Young Entrepreneurs Event hosts a panel of women founders under 30.

These extraordinary visionaries are impacting businesses, changing the perception of women.

They share their stories about building products, leading teams, raising capital, and bouncing back from every setback.

Beyond gender, beyond their words, beyond the products and even beyond their visions and teams, we connect with their passion.

You'll hear their drive to leave this world a better place; to show upcoming generations of women that they, too, can succeed. The question was never “why?” or “why not?” – it has always been, “how?”

Moderator....

Fran Maier, Founder, TRUSTe

Panelists....

* Brienne Ghafourifar, Co-Founder, Entefy
* Lisa Falzone, CEO, Revel
* Alex Meliones, Co-Founder & Chief Creative and Marketing, BitWall
* Nanxi Liu, Co-Founder and CEO, Enplug
* Yunha Kim, Co-Founder and CEO, Locket

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Words Of Wisdom From Self Made Female Millionaire & Billionaire Entrepreneurs

Advice from the worlds most successful business women including Including Oprah Winfrey, J.K Rowling, Sara Blakely, Tamara Mellon, Barbara Corcoran, Sophia Amoruso, Folorunsho Alakija, Tory Burch, and Kelly Hoppen.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Young Entrepreneurs...Under 30 And On Fire

VLAB is back with one of the most anticipated events of the year: Young Entrepreneurs - Under 30 and On Fire.

We are tapping into the minds of some of the most successful innovators under 30 in the heart of Silicon Valley. They are doing it all: raising money, leading talented teams and steering their vision forward.

Five young entrepreneurs, all under the age of 30 will share their stories as they inspire us with the power of their ideas and their relentless passion to execute.

Moderated by Adam Draper, CEO and Founder of Boost Incubator, our panel will feature:

Michael Carter, CEO at Game Closure, raised $12M to tackle the hardest problems in mobile gaming and is recognized by W3C for his initial design of the HTML5 WebSocket real-time technology that is used in all modern web browsers

Melody McCloskey, CEO at StyleSeat, a woman entrepreneur recognized in 2010 by Business Insider as a Silicon Valley 100

James Tamplin, CEO & Co-Founder at Firebase, a co-founder of a realtime application platform that allows developers to synchronize data instantaneously

Lat Ware, Founder at Crooked Tree Studios, a game developer who successfully launched a game with telekinesis like powers on Kickstarter

Marcus Weller, Ph.D., CEO & Chairman of Skully Helmets, the CEO of a heads-up display motorcycle helmet which won the coveted DEMO God award at their 2013 launch

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

50 Entrepreneurs Share Priceless Advice

1) Jeff Bezos - Amazon - 0:00
2) Steve Jobs - Apple - 0:12
3) Pierre Omidyar - eBay - 0:33
4) Michael Dell - Dell - 0:59
5) Sergey Brin - Google 1:16
6) Biz Stone - Twitter 1:35
7) Gary Vaynerchuk - Wine Library 1:50
8) Daniel Ek - Spotify - 1:58
9) Kevin Rose - Digg, Tiiny - 2:29
10) James Altucher - 'Choose Yourself' - 2:55
11) Robert Greene - 'Mastery' - 3:21
12) Guy Kawasaki - Apple - 3:35
13) Steve Wozniak - Apple - 4:06
14) Mark Cuban - Broadcast - 4:26
15) Sam Altman - Loopt - 5:01
16) Tony Fadell - Nest - 5:12
17) Danae Ringelmann -Indiegogo - 5:26
18) Simon Sinek - 'Start With Why' - 5:46
19) Seth Godin - Marketing guru - 6:25
20) Evan Williams - Blogger, Twitter, Medium - 6:52
21) Reid Hoffman - LinkedIn - 7:13
22) Jack Dorsey - Twitter, Square - 7:45
23) Kevin Systrom - Instagram - 8:08
24) Drew Houston - DropBox - 8:34
25) Brian Chesky - Airbnb - 8:53
26) Peter Thiel - PayPal - 9:04
27) Elon Musk - Tesla, SpaceX - 9:14
28) Alan Schaaf - Imgur - 9:36
29) Chris Sacca - Baller Investor - 9:56
30) Paul Graham - Y Combinator - 10:18
31) Dennis Crowley - foursquare - 10:40
32) Eric Ries - The Lean Startup - 11:11
33) Leah Busque - TaskRabbit - 11:25
34) Anthony Casalena - Squarespace - 11:44
35) Alexis Ohanian - Reddit, Hipmunk - 12:03
36) Jason Fried, Basecamp - 12:21
37) Palmer Luckey - Oculus Rift - 12:42
38) Kamal Ravikant - AngelList - 12:52
39) Ben Silbermann - Pinterest - 13:19
40) Tony Hsieh - Zappos - 13:43
41) Andrew Mason - Groupon - 14:14
42) Richard Branson - Virgin - 14:39
43) Andrew Ljung - Soundcloud - 15:08
44) Justin Kan - Justin.tv - 15:30
45) Jessica Livingston - Y Combinator - 15:59
46) Mark Zuckerberg - Facebook - 16:14
47) Marc Andreessen - Andreessen Horowitz - 16:15
48) Dustin Moskovitz - Facebook - 17:22
49) Tim Ferriss - 4 Hour Work Week - 17:47
50) Emmett Shear - Twitch - 18:24

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Work Hard, Play Hard...The Richard Branson Business Plan

Richard Branson is one of Britain's and the world's most successful entrepreneurs. His maverick style has taken him to extremes, not only in business but also in pleasure, making him a global brand.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Inventory Management For Small Business...A Simple How To Tutorial

Inventory management for small business is often an after thought. Find out why this critical step can save you some serious money and how you can implement the latest technologies without a massive budget.

Let’s get this out of the way: the subject I’m going to cover today is a polarizing one. Like with all topics, some people will be on the bandwagon, on the fence, or dragging their feet kicking and screaming; this particular subject attracts discussions of the kicking and screaming variety. I’m talking about QR codes. There are many who think that the QR code is dead, and they wouldn’t be wrong. We could write an entire blog post about why QR codes suck, but they’re still the fastest way to transmit large amounts of information. That’s what makes it such a great platform on which to base your asset management and inventory tracking.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

21 Top Marketing Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

The analogy between marketing and a business is similar to the relationship of body and food. Marketing is the heart of the business. Every business is different so each business has to offer marketing and development, which fits each unique business's need. There are many ways of developing and marketing for any business, but first let's find the true concept and definition of marketing.

Marketing definition:

"Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large".

1- Thinking advertising is marketing:

The biggest mistake most of the business owners make is to think advertising and spending money is the only marketing way exist. This group only focuses on advertising, which when the desire result is not achieved at the end of the month, they complain of how much money they wasted away. Advertisement is merely one of many ways of marketing.

2- You don't enjoy what you do:

As stated above Marketing has many ways and approaches. The main marketing for your business is to love what you do. Nothing is better than your "Love what you do" attitude since it brings out your creativity, shows your talent and tells everyone how devoted you are to your business. Your daily positive attitude defines the successful future of your business. The love of your business construe in your daily interaction with new clients, employee's moral and making important and effective marketing decisions. To be a good marketer for your business, first rule is your love for what you do.

3- Don't have a good business plan:

What is business plan?

"A written document describing the nature of the business, the sales and marketing strategy, and the financial background, and containing a projected profit and loss statement".

Having a business plan is like having a map. Many businesses start their business ignoring this very effective tool and get lost in the middle of the road. Every business plan states the exact details of the business's concept and outlines clearly the marketing strategies, profit and loss, demographic, place of business, finances and targeted niche market. In order to make a solid business plan:

A) Know your business inside and out

Knowledge of your business is important to know the answer to all the categories of business plan. If you do not know the concept of your product or service, business plan and the pillar of your business does not exist.

B) Study, analyze and scrutinize

When you know the back and forth of every detail in your business, you can access all the required information needed to project your business in a business plan. In order to access all this information you need to study, analyze and scrutinize every file and information in libraries, city records and valid informative site on the Internet.

C) Print it and have it accessible

When you put all the info together and created your fully detailed business plan, print a copy and keep a file handy and accessible.

Your projected analysis for the business works as a map to your success. Don't drive to an unknown destination, not having a map on hand.

4- Don't have any plans:

Marketing and developing its strategy is vital for every business. Marketing works as fertilizer to boost the lawn of your business. Even more importantly, marketing acts like sun to shed light and direction to your business for finding leads for the potential clients. Marketing is like having your open sign on in the dark street. I think I emphasized enough and you understood how important marketing is for any business, small or large.

5- Not analyzing the market for correct pricing.

Every business offers products or services. Then producing and providing the products and services involves certain cost and fees. Setting the price according to the market is very important and cause for a major failure for small businesses if done without market awareness. The root and source to find a perfect price is your business plan. It is necessary for every small business owner to investigate:

A) The demographic income of the targeted niche and audience:

The business plan states the average income of the targeted audience and the niche market. Set prices based on the factual statistic and spending ability of potential clients.

B) Market needs and economy balance:

An involved business owner is always aware of the market needs and the economy balance. Based on your niche market, be on top of the factors of change in economy that can impact your client's ability to spend. If you deal with bankers and investors, keep up with stock market news and its daily changes and adjust your prices regularly.

C) Competitive market prices:

A business person is always on a lookout for its competitors and is aware of their side of story. It is necessary to know your competitors and adjust your prices based on their offering and similar services.

D) Demand of the product or service:

Investigate the demand before putting the price tag on your product and service. You can find this information through the data in your business plan. Balance your prices based on the market demands;

  • If you projecting a good volume of sale, price it lower than competitors.
  • If the demand is lower and the project of volume is slow, price higher to accommodate the distance between each sale.

E) Uniqueness of the product or service:

A unique product and service in the market attracts more attention. Price it higher than other regular products.

F) Acceptable profit margin range in the area:

Profit margin's acceptability is always decided based on the market and economy as well as the market demand for the product.

  • Consider a big city. If you have a product or service that is unique, but projecting a high volume of demand, based on the economy and your targeted niche, the profit margin should set higher than normal.
  • In a small community, If you are investing on a product with limited demand, go conservative on your profit margin.

6- Not having any budget

Many small business owners make a big mistake and do not place any budget for daily, monthly or yearly marketing plans. Whatever the profit and loss data projects on your business, it must include certain amount of budget for marketing plans that are realistic and traceable. Unfortunately small business owners mostly have no budget and deduct the cost of marketing plans from their profit data. This particular budget assignment is very effective in the future of business growth. Increase the marketing budget with business slowly reaching the peak of demands for your product and services.

7- Spending money on non-traceable ads

As the market changes, so as the marketing plan, pricing and target audience. Invest and assign marketing plans that are traceable. Traceable marketing means follow-up charts to analyze data.

The worst mistake of marketing is to spend money on a plan that cannot be traced and measured. This marketing mistake is wasting money or in other terms is shooting in the dark.

8- Do not trace the result

Many businesses have assigned a budget for the traceable marketing plan but sadly do not follow-up on the result and do not trace it. This is just the same as spending wasteful money on non-traceable.

9- Think in a closed box:

Each business is unique. Even if the business offers a same product as other business few streets down the road, the two are still unique and different in many ways. The biggest mistake small business owners make is to follow other businesses' footsteps. Marketing and its strategies should not have any limitation. Think of marketing out side of the box and do not limit the marketing strategies to a clich� approach others do. Be creative and design a plan unique and suitable for the very business.

10- Don't know what plans to set:

Everyone is familiar with the word marketing. The first conversation when opening a new enterprise is "Lets do marketing!" But do we all really realize the core meaning of it?

I compare marketing strategies and its unique approach to our fingerprints, which is distinctive. Many understand the word marketing but are not familiar with how to set the strategy and the game planning related to the business.

It is a big mistake not knowing how to set the strategies while being fully aware of marketing important role in the business. Since setting the marketing plan requires research, analysis and knowledge of he market, hire a professional researcher and marketer to create the necessary game plan.

11- Assuming the product or service will sell itself:

One of the biggest marketing mistakes is to assume your product or service is going to sell itself. This assumption is misleadingly translating marketing into advertisement. I have met many small business owners who declared that quote-to-quote "I don't spend money on the marketing, to me I only rely on word of mouth".

Word Of Mouth is the strongest way of marketing. So what this small business owner was under impression that he does not do any marketing because he thought marketing was spending money on advertisement. So he was counting on the most effective marketing, the word of mouth. Word of mouth consists of two factors:

A) Product or service:

People have to like the product or service to continue talk about it and refer their friends.

B) Customer service

Another major difference between businesses is the level of customer service. I didn't say the level of good or bad. What I mean is each business owner or employee that has been fully trained to look after a client as a customer service has his or her own charm. This specific charisma and character make the business unique to others and is a major influence for word of mouth.

Let me give you an example of how powerful the word of mouth and spreading the word is to any business. While ago, I worked as a junior manager in an up-scale restaurant. The general manager identified his target niche as young professionals in downtown area. So he hand-picked few employees in the same age range as the targeted niche to use public transportation and talk about the restaurant among each other. His decision, although was not directly traceable, but yet had an amazing effect. How did I analyse the result and witness the proof?

The restaurant offered comment cards, asking "How you hear about us?" and many without any surprise responded via word of mouth in public transportation.

Even if the business owner is avoiding any advertisement cost, they still rely on spread of word about their service and product via the community and the word of mouth marketing.

12- Don't know the target audience:

To plan and set a marketing strategy, any small business has to have a direct target niche as an audience. Analyze everything about the niche audience. The list certainly is not limited to the audience's income, age, interest ratio to the product, sex, education, commitment ratio and their loyalty.

13- Don't know the competition:

The best way to analyze the market is to get familiar with the competition and rivals. It might sound clich� but as the Godfather movie suggested, "Keep you enemy close". Or if I may rephrase " Keep your competition close and be aware of their moves".

This is especially important for small business owners in small community to have a good relationship with other competition. To share my experience in the same restaurant I used to manage, the general manager always encouraged me to go to other local restaurants and dine. He even offered to pay the bill. All I had to do was to analyze everything from the greeting, staff knowledge, manager's presence, client's relation and the overall quality. My report helped him to understand his competition strengths and weaknesses.

14- Hiring wrong person to do marketing:

Many small business owners out of desperation and lack of networking, hire wrong people to do their marketing. As we said earlier, every business has unique offering and services so must focus on unique planning for its marketing strategies.

It is the small business owner's responsibility to hire a professional firm who can relate to the business's need and offerings.

A good reputable marketing firm whose focus is to promote books and authors in not a good fit for a small local bistro.

15- Underestimate the value of existing clients:

A good businessperson always knows the value of the existing clients;

The best way of follow-up with the existing clients is to create informative data about them. Many small business owners lack this very important source of information. To avoid this mistake, keep a record of every client's information. If the information requires certain personal data, keep it in a safe and secure place.

A client whom already has experienced your product and service knows about the quality of it. Always do follow-up calls and do not be afraid to ask how they liked the product or service. Even if the client responses back with dissatisfaction is a perfect opportunity for the business owner to fix the problem.

Gain a new customer is costly. I am gong to explain this by an example:

"Nancy enters Joe's caf� because of a coupon she found in a local magazine offering 10% discount. She solely relies on a menu attraction, prices, quality of the food and customer service. Joe the owner spent lots of money and time for marketing after analyzing the community needs, price affordability and the targeted niche market.

Joe has three ways to collect emails or phone calls for follow back:

A) placing a note pad in front of the cashier's desk asking new clients to write email or contact info for special promos.

B) Placing a glass bowl by the cashier's desk offering the weekly draw of free lunch from dropped business cards.

C) Offering comment cards and asking for contact info.

Joe has three ways to accumulate client's information and follow-up with them. So everyday he goes through all the information and creates a secure data.

Nancy finds the place charming and the food great but not a good customer service. It is Joe's responsibility to follow-up and gain back Nancy's business once again to avoid spending all the money and time all over to attract another new client."

Existing clients are the perfect way to promote every business. Send special offering, communicate with them and even ask them to share your business with their friends. Respect the boundary between proper communication and spamming.

16- Not offering giveaways and novelty items:

One of the most effective ways to attract clients is to giveaway your product or service for free.

A) Test run: Offer a monthly test run of your product and service and giveaway a free sampler. People love to get samplers. It gives them information about your business and its quality.

B) Propose monthly contest: Proffer a monthly contest and giveaway prizes based on participating in your business. People love contest and it excites them to know they can win something. If it didn't work, Lottery and Casinos didn't exist.

C) Give out novelties like mugs, pen, key chain, notepad, calculator, shirts and hats with the business information printed on it.

17-Wrong niche:

As a business owner recognizing correct niche market target is necessary for further marketing planning and budget assignment.

To explain this better lets picture a shoe store that carries high-end fashion shoes for women. The first thing that comes into the mind, high-end fashion niche is only younger generation and teenagers. A good business owner will explore the possibilities to analyze further more into the data from business plan to understand the local community needs.

If selling high-end, then its higher quality and higher prices. A teenager on a student living budget cannot be a direct and only target niche. So the correct niche is a professional and higher income spender who is more interested in quality without considering the price tag.

This example clears how a business owner distinguishes the certain target audience by analyzing the local market data from business plan. With enough knowledge in market research, the business owner avoids wasting the marketing budget on a wrong niche.

18-Not participating in community:

"Every big things has small beginning"

Regardless of the geographical target of any business, whether global or corner store in a small village, it all begins with local community.

Who are the first people you would share news with in your everyday life? Family and friends are the strongest link to marketing and spreading the word. It starts from friends and family and spreads to their friends and family and before you know it, is a snowball effect and cumulative.

The local community is the test run before spending a time and money on a dead-end marketing plan.

19- Do not own an informative and representative website:

Internet plays a great deal of connection in people's life everyday. Many customers use the Internet to search and review local businesses. No matter what kind of business, it requires an informative and user-friendly website. A good business website is a gateway that welcomes customers to enter and experience the business offering.

Many small business owners making mistake and assume their line of business does not need a website. With daily development of technology, people get more connected via Internet and do their shopping online. Search engines get stronger everyday by developing codes and programs to bring up the exact and precise inquiry.

20- Do not appreciate the value of the Internet:

With a vastly growing competition on the Internet and the increase in demand for business development, simply having a website that offer information is not enough. Popular search engines are only producing websites in their search result, which have better ranking. Many small business owners simply making a big mistake by avoiding the presence on the Internet and ignore the growing highway to success. Every business must have an informative website and optimizes the business on search engines, social media and popular relevant forums. This subject of Internet marketing and its highly effective marketing plans is a lot of subject to cover in this article.

21- Expecting too much in short time:

Do not expect too much in a short time. There is always cause and effect but it requires proper time period to produce best effect. A seed needs time to open the surface and grow to a strong tree. But it requires water and good fertilization. Marketing is the water and fertilization to the business. It takes time for a good marketing plan to spread the roots and make a strong holding ground.

"Rome was not built in a day"

It took generations and much hard work of skilled engineers, planning and proper budgeting to build the mega city of Rome.

Can you hold a roof without building the pillars and the walls?

Marketing is the pillar of the business. Without marketing and planning, business lacks a foundation.

Many business owners place the marketing and development in their last page when the business opens its door to the public. Marketing starts when the business idea takes shape. It begins before the business is even called a business. Avoid making marketing mistake and start your marketing with knowledge and strategy.

Marketing is the heart of every business and keeps the health of the company in balance. But treat the heart right. Eating healthy, exercise and lack of stress are keeping the heart healthy to beat the life into our body. Practicing and implementing the right marketing strategies keep the business in shape. Don't make mistake if you had a good run. Many small business owners get too excited for this temporary beat of recognition and look at it as everlasting. To keep a good balance in business, marketing and planning should match the flow of the business. Increase your strategies as your business grows and increases.

Marketing is the pillar of every business and is the only foundation to go further, faster. Imagine a boat with no engine crossing the Atlantic. The marketing to a business resembles the engine to a boat. The planning and strategy of the marketing to the business is the safety gear of the boat that keeps it balance and not to tip over.

To hire a professional to help with marketing strategies, business plans and target niche market, post your project in http://www.bidsbypros.com and connect with local pros. Bids By Pros is a free social community to post your needs and get connected with professionals.

By Don Zilleri

Saturday, September 26, 2015

How To Make A Budget For Your Small Business

The budget of your small business is one of the most potential planning tools you have, as long as you use it well. Apart from your business plan, the financial blueprint developed by you with your business budgeting software will help you take crucial decisions and guide you in staying on course throughout the year.

What does Small Business Budget means?

A small business budget indicates the estimation of both your revenue and expenses for a specific period of time. It defines how you are planning to utilize your resources in the future. You can generate revenue from sales, accounts receivable, interests and other sources. On the other hand, expenses include the money that you spend on material, rent, payroll, marketing and other fixed and variable costs.

Importance of Creating a Budget

Making a budget helps business owners learn the usage of revenue to achieve their business goals. It also helps you get an insight on probable expenses that your business will most probably face for the years to come.

Here are some reasons regarding the significance of creating a small business budget.

Cash Flow Management:

With budgeting, you can monitor the input and output of your total revenue. It will enable you to assess cash flow.

Obtaining Financing:

Banks and other lenders are going to inspect your budget before they agree to give you a loan.

How to Calculate Your Small Business Budget?

Many companies develop their budgets for a single fiscal year. You can make use of the business budgeting software to develop a monthly, quarterly or semi-annual budget which will help you get a more clear picture of your entity's finances. Many experts suggest that a monthly budget is most effective to have a track of your finances.

How to Create Your Budget?
You can take expense inputs and estimate your income from your business budgeting software.

Go Through Your Previous Budgets

If you have the experience of developing a budget earlier, you can use it as a model and adjust the numbers as required.

Research

If you are about to start your business and do not have idea about business budgeting, you need to do research on typical costs and sales trends of firms that are working in the same sector. It will help you come up with forecaster averages.

Make it Simple

You do not have to list all the expenses in detail. If you want,you can categorize your budget in terms of sales, profit, accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Maintain Flexibility

The main motive of a budget is to keep you disciplined in terms of monetary aspects. You should not be too rigid with your budget. Be flexible enough to make changes when and wherever required. A rigid approach can prevent your business from growing further.

Initially, you may face difficulty in planning a small business budget. However, with the passage of time, you will start finding it as a simple planning tool that helps you run your business in a streamlined manner.

Clark Robin is an experienced writer in the field of business and finance. His writings provide insight into restaurant business loans that restaurateurs require for starting and running their food businesses. Capitalizing on his academic knowledge and corporate experience, he covers innumerable issues related to SBA restaurant loans. For more information visit here - http://www.headwayfinance.com/

By Clark Robin

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

20% More Profit In 60 Days

Time marches on, and we are well into the new year.

Where do you think you will be by the end of December?

This message is short but important.

Welcome. My name is Peter. I am a fellow small business owner with 34 years experience in delivering solutions that help clients grow and make their business more successful.

Along the way I have picked up a number of successful steps fellow business owners can implement to create "20% more profit in the next 60 days" and following are a few initial steps that should interest you.

Was 2014 everything you hoped it would be? Be honest, do you really feel we have left the GFC behind?

Enough! There are bills to be paid, so let's look forward and not waste time thinking about what could have been.

If you came into this year with more debt than last year, you must get some breathing space and free up capital. Following are three good steps to start with:

Step 1: Take the knife to Pet-Projects:

Fact: Every additional dollar from sales only generates an average of $0.17 to $0.23 to the bottom line. Whereas, every expense dollar saved is a dollar going straight to the bottom line.

The best place to start cutting so-called fixed expenses is to look at 'Pet-Projects'. Pet projects are activities and processes that are in place because somebody - with the best intentions, at a time long forgotten - put them in place, and they are now part of 'the way we do things'.

- This operation is painful and it is recommended an external party who can identify and make decisions to cut without any personal baggage do it.

Step 2: Run your business as if you are about to go bankrupt - because if you don't, you soon will be.

From psychology, we know that the most stressful situation to be in is 'not knowing'. You must have systems that can tell you exactly where your business is in terms liquidity. This means you need to have, and review, up to date worst-case-sales-forecast-scenario, detailed expense commitments as well as an aged debtors summary - on a daily basis!

Further, make sure not a cent is being spent without your knowledge. No verbal updates, you must physically sign-off every expense, and you must understand why you are paying each expense.

Step 3: Enforce the 80:20 rule

Again and again the 80:20 rule has been proven: 20% of your current clients represent 80% of your income. Further, that the remaining 80% usually also includes the majority of your complaining, time-consuming and bad paying clients.

Maybe it is time to fire some clients?

Do you know who, and how?

Start by implementing a 'Life-time-value-equation' for each of your clients. Make sure you know who, and how, to look after, and what clients to you should tell: "Sorry, but we can no longer afford to have you as a client - unless something changes'.

Imagine your life, and business, if you spent more time with more of your Top 20% clients?

What is your alternative? Unless You change, nothing else will change.

I hope you will have tremendous payback by implementing these first action steps.

To the best of your success, Peter

If we can help please visit http://www.dominateselling.com.au for more resources.
Email: peter@dominateselling.com.au
Twitter: @pgjersoe

By Peter Gjersoe

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Selling The Invisible...4 Keys To Selling Services

Selling a product you can see, touch, smell, or hear is hard enough in itself. Selling something "invisible" like a service is even much more difficult....or can be. Listen as Christine Clifford tells you how to get past the level of difficulty (real or perceived) and make the sale anyway. You'll hear more than a few ideas to improve your persuasion techniques to overcome any objections from prospects.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

5 Easy Cold Calling Sales Techniques

Does the thought of cold calling leave you quaking in your boots? Have you always wanted to have a super polished sales technique, but didn't know where to start? In this video Kim Constable of the WAHM Network shares five amazingly simple steps that you can take to make cold calling easy, and hone a polished sales technique. Never be afraid of cold calling again!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Actual Live Sales Call Sales Training...With Grant Cardone

Sales training expert Grant Cardone demonstrates how to handle ACTUAL Live Sales Calls and videos it for you to learn from. Watch this video and make notes of the exact techniques used to handle price objections, justify the price and close and then lock the deal down.

If you're not first, you're last.

Raw footage of sales expert grant cardone making sales calls.

In this video Grant Cardone does a special walk through the sales office - on the fly he shows by example how to close actual live sales calls - Sales managers video tips for managing sales room and taking charge to close actual sales opportunities.

Learn from the business expert as he handles some clients that are deciding on whether they should pull the trigger on buy a product. Learn sales training from the master as he literally walks you through the process and taking charge of a client and closing a sale.

In this video Grant Cardone handles two different sales calls from clients that were reluctant to close a sale and he works his sales magic by breaking down the facts and making the clients understand the massive value that his products offer.

Take charge of your own sales training and learn what you need to do in order to close sales by visiting http://GrantCardone.com and subscribe to the sales training series that is available at either http://CardoneOnDemand.com or http://CardoneUniversity.com

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Zig Ziglar - Secrets For Closing The Sale - "The Shame Close"

Here's some timeless sales training from the legend Zig Ziglar focused on closing the sale. You're bound to learn something so take notes...then go do it.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Pursuit Of Happyness - Cold Calling

This scene from the movie "Pursuit Of Happyness" is classic. See if you can learn anything from Will Smith that will improve YOUR style and approach to cold calling. Feel free to leave your oiwn tips, stories, and insights as a comment below.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Funny Small Business Commercial

Go ahead and laugh...it's OK if you do. :)

A commercial doesn't have to be serious to be effective. Don't be afraid to be creative with yours.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Women Owned Small Business Start-Ups ... Free Government Grants Money

This video shares tips and resources on free government grants for women owned small business start-ups.

What’s The One Thing Your Business Can't Live Without??

What's the one thing your business can't do without? It's obvious really ... CUSTOMERS.

Whether you are a brick-and-mortar, or you're an infopreneur or blogger... you need customers to survive and thrive as a business.

But to attract customers, you have to provide the right information, information that your target audience is interested in.

Discovering that, well… that's the real challenge, isn’t it?

Introducing SBI! for WP! {WP stands for Word Press}

WordPress is the most widely used content management system; and now SBI! is part of that success.

You can learn more about that here: SBI! For WP

SBI! for WP is how YOU are going to:

•Focus your business on areas that will get results
•Discover the topics your visitors and customers crave
•Uncover competition or partnership opportunities instantly

This powerful tool is uniquely positioned to help you do that, and MORE.

SBI!

Building your online business efforts is achievable for just about anyone these days, especially if you have the guidance and tools that come with SBI! and now, with SBI! for WP. For those who have taken the time to slog through the mountains of business building advice and tools that are out there, it all ends up being too much. Most folks don't want to or have the time to figure everything out and execute the right steps in an optimal way.

This is as true now as it was 15 years ago when we developed SBI!. People need a program or system that works and stays up to date for them, freeing them up to focus and work on building their business, rather than trying to keep up with everything.

WordPress, as most everyone knows, is enormously popular. And, while it's fantastic at what it does, it's missing a doable start-to-finish BUSINESS process. Sure, you can research and piece together everything and become successful. But how many people actually do that?

Lucky for you, that opens up a HUGE opportunity to get ahead of your competition with SBI! for WP.

With the launch of SBI! for WP, we have essentially ported SBI! over to WordPress (including showing folks how to get the most out of WP and its huge ecosystem of plugins). We've modified Brainstorm It! for WP users and integrated its powerful results directly into the WordPress dashboard.

Watch this video to see more....

SBI! for WP is so easy and it's the smart thing to do. You do want to work smarter not harder, right?

You can even get started with a no obligation FREE TRIAL....simply click on this link and away you go:

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Growing Woman Owned Businesses - The Balancing Act

Women-owned businesses are a driving force in our economy - they are growing at a rate 1 and 1/2 times the national average. They are also an impressive contributor to job creation. Today there is a community of over 13,000 women who have become certifed through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. This non-profit organization offers certification, opportunity, resources, and engagement for women-owned or controlled businesses nationwide. Join guests Pamela Prince-Eason, President & CEO, and Pat Birmingham, Vice President, with ideas on how every woman-owned business, big or small, can become a success.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Businesses Women Should Start

All over the world, businesses are sprouting left to right. People are now realizing that corporate jobs will get you only so far. Being employed is great, but employing other people is so much more rewarding both emotionally and financially. One more surprising fact is that these days, women are opening just as many businesses as men. This is because women now have tons of tools at their disposal and there is lesser discrimination against women CEOs these days. If you are a woman and are keen on starting your own business, here are some you can try:

Tutoring

Whether you plan on doing it yourself or managing it, a tutoring business is great in the hands of women. Tutoring requires patience and a solid desire to impart knowledge and these are things women excel at. Tutoring is such a robust business especially with the help of the internet. People can now run businesses from their own homes and tutor via Skype and other media platforms. Some even resort to publishing videos and selling them on subscription bases.

Graphics Design

Freelancing or outsourcing, in general, has been around for years and is aiding a lot of people in gaining employment without even stepping outside their comfort zones. Women, in particular, do great in this venue especially in the world of graphic design. The artistic side simply comes out naturally with women. Likewise, women are also known to communicate all their concerns well and ask all needed questions prior to starting projects.

Journalism

Journalism is a seemingly biased occupation with just 36% of newsroom staff being women. By starting a business like this, women can reach out and help their fellow women improve this statistic. Women reports, analysts and editors are better than men because they are able to write with more passion and provide deeper insight into the things that matter. Also, women are also known to be more gifted in telling stories overall.

Event Planning

Be it a wedding, a party, an anniversary, women know how to make it successful. That's why most event planning businesses are run by women. The sheer number of tasks that need to be coordinated plus the intricate detail of every single thing is something that may thwart the most prepared of men. For women, however, it's a piece of cake. That' why in weddings, for example, they always say that you should always try to get everything right lest you stress out the bride. Simply put, women have vested interests in events going successfully, more so if it's their own. That's why they make the best event planners.

Ladies, you can learn a lot more about purpose and passion by reading my book.

By Lakeisha B McKnight

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Faced With Negative Online Reviews and What to Do About Them

It's a business fact that every now and then something goes awry and a customer ends up being upset.

And when a customer feels your product or service didn't live up to their expectations, sometimes they want to tell the world.

Loudly.

And it's not fun to be on the receiving end. Ego's get bruised, tempers flare and the knee-jerk reaction is to immediately go on the defensive.

However, there's a better way to respond to these situations that will not only save your business reputation but even potentially win back that unhappy customer.

After reading the rest of this article, you'll be better equipped to monitor and manage your brand reputation from negative comments made on social media, forums, review sites and the like. Have you experienced any? Leave a comment below and share your story.

With the age of the Internet, it's so easy for a hot-headed customer to take their grievance online by writing bad reviews. Whether they turn to Twitter or Facebook or leave a comment on review sites like Yelp, Google Places or Yahoo! Local, how you handle this situation makes all the difference to your business reputation.

When a customer doesn't feel their situation is resolved or they have not been listened to, word of mouth can spread like wildfire. I'm sure you've witnessed this many times yourself when a company has seemingly wronged an irate customer and suddenly everyone is adding their story to the mix. It can get ugly very fast.

That's why it's important to handle bad reviews quickly and sensibly to maintain your reputation.

First, let's find out what not to do.

Here are the biggest mistakes business owners make when responding to negative reviews online:

1) They take the review personally, get defensive, and turn it into a shouting match with the customer.

2) They have friends post fake reviews on their behalf.

3) They escalate the situation by denying there was a problem to begin with. Or they make the customer the one to blame, which in turn makes them even more angry resulting in even more of a negative impact.

4) They become downright rude, hurtful, or make snide comments about the customer.

5) They point their fingers and blame something or someone else.

6) They don't monitor their reviews at all and have the attitude, "What I don't know can't hurt me."

So what's the right way to handle bad online reviews?

Here are some tips to monitor and manage your brand reputation:

• Monitor your Online Reputation. Set up Google Alerts for your company name so whenever a new mention of your business appears online, you'll be notified. Hootsuite is another tool that can help you see when customers comment on social media and allows you to respond to comments and complaints in a timely manner.

• Keep Cool. Realize that customer feedback can reveal ways to improve your products and services; try to see the review as an opportunity for improvement. Don't respond if you are feeling angry, hurt, or defensive; wait till you have calmed down and can respond in a professional, courteous, and respectful manner.

• Be grateful and polite. Thank the customer for their loyalty and feedback. Acknowledge the problem, get the facts and show them you have heard their complaint. Explain that it's important to you to resolve their situation and share what you plan to do to make it right.

• Respond publicly. When other customers see how you will go out of your way to make a bad situation right, it keeps their trust. Earning back customer trust after your reputation has been bruised is important, so people want to continue doing business with you.

• Take ownership of the complaint. It's easy to blame someone else on your staff for the blunder or point fingers at failed technology or whatever the case may be. But as a business owner, taking responsibility for the issue and dealing with it in a calm, professional manner will help enhance your brand reputation and convert an unhappy customer into a happy one because they have felt heard.

So the next time you're faced with an unhappy comment online, be thankful for feedback and use it as a learning opportunity.

The right response to a bad review can turn a potential disaster into a real triumph.

When you welcome customer complaints and use it to improve your products and services, it leads to better client satisfaction.

Understanding client's needs with a quick response can help you retain them as a customer. Plus it helps you identify ways to enhance your offerings.

Have you encountered negative reviews about your business yet? How did you handle them?

Susan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a, "all in one" full service boutique web development and digital marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in creating professional brand presences for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

CLICK HERE http://evisionmedia.ca/ultimate-website-guide/ and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

By Susan Friesen

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Top Marketing Strategies For Busy Small Business Owners

Marketing strategies for busy small business owners do not have to be time consuming, but you do need to prepare so you can market your product or services effectively and efficiently. Here are some ideas to help you get the most out of marketing when your time is limited.

Identify your target market so you do not waste money and time reaching people who have no interest in your product or service. Then think about your customer. Will they go to the ballpark? Will they read a particular type of magazine? What do they do in their leisure time or for work? Perhaps, your market could even be people who practice a particular religion. Once you have identified the specifics about your targeted customers who read, you can then spend your money marketing in the right place. Specialized magazines, journals, professional organizations, and directories may all reach a particular type of client. Focus on marketing where your targeted audience is most likely to learn about your product or services.

Talk about your business because people who know you are likely to make referrals. In the course of your day, mention your business to people you interact with on a regular basis and carry business cards with you. Reach out to a larger audience by donating services to a fundraiser or event. If you are donating products or services, make sure you have appropriate signage or business cards so potential clients know what you are doing. In addition, offer existing clients a small discount for referring clients.

Consider including a voucher with your advertisement, particularly if you are attracting a client that will provide repeat business, it makes sense to offer a slight discount to obtain initial business. You can also exchange business cards or marketing material with a business that complements your own. Referring each other clients or giving each other space to market can be beneficial to both businesses and requires little more than mailing each other material and placing it in your business where clients can see it. Additionally, create an online presence by creating a website.

You will be able to reach people world-wide with minimal effort and provide information on your website that will give potential clients a broader overview of your products or services that an advertisement cannot accomplish. These simple marketing strategies for busy small business owners should help maximize your marketing with minimal time.

Looking To Learn How To Strengthen Your Brand?

Click here for a FREE promotional usb request to start promoting your business now!

By Lisa Winfield

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Starting Up a Business - Keeping Professional Costs Under Control

In a start-up situation, where money is often tight, and there are many demands on what money is available, it is tempting to avoid spending money on legal, accounting and other professional advice. Often the thinking is to delay spending money on these professionals until the business is turning a decent profit. While this sort of cost saving is tempting, it is also a mistake. Proper professional advice is an investment in the future of any business venture. The costs of not getting the right advice could be substantially more than the fees paid for that advice.

However, there are ways to reduce those costs. First, talk to them up-front and find out what they charge for their services. If you talk to a few you can get a sense of relative costs as between professionals. And be up front about your cost concerns. Sometimes professionals will offer an initial free meeting, or may allow payment over time or waive part of the retainer.

Second, see if you can get a "flat fee" quote (as opposed to being billed based on time taken). Professionals will often offer flat-fee services for common matters. This can be to your advantage as your bill will not go up even if the task takes more time than anticipated. And often these services are priced competitively.

Third, ask about their policy for billing expenses. Find out what expenses you can expect to see on your bill. You should be billed for fees incurred on your behalf (such as government incorporation fees) and will likely be billed for couriers and long-distance calls. Some professionals will bill you for everything - phone calls; photocopies; stamps etc. - and those small costs can really add up over time.

Fourth, make sure the professional has relevant experience. This can be very important with respect to law for example, where lawyers tend to focus on only one or two areas of practice. Dealing with a lawyer who practices in corporate and commercial law will be a lot easier than one who does not (and may have to research issues that a specialist would know about - research you may end up having to pay for).

Finally - self-educate! You do not have to be an expert, but doing some basic research before you talk to professionals is important. For example, before seeking legal advice about incorporation, look into the basics about setting up a company including some of the common questions to be addressed and what the alternatives are. That will help focus your questions and provide clearer instructions, making the lawyer's job easier and quicker. Make use of the internet as both government and private websites can provide inexpensive education tools that can save you time later when you are dealing with your lawyer.

I practiced law in Ontario for almost 16 years, with a focus on helping small businesses. Being in sole practice also meant I was running a small business. I have written a series of legal education guides aimed at the new small business person for Whitespire Venture Capital Network. The guides can be found online at http://venture-capital-network.com/

By John C M Sayers