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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

10 Essential Time Management Tips For Small Businesses

When you're a small business owner, there isn't a minute to spare! You no doubt have a long list of things to do and not enough time to do them all. You have to decide how many employees to hire (and then manage these employees), market your business, and a million other little details. This is why it is so important to make the most of the time you have, by managing your time efficiently.

You've no doubt read article after article full of time management tips in an attempt to get a handle on that to-do list and to make the most of your day so you can make your business a success! Not every tip is suited for every business owner; some tips might work for you but not for someone else. With some trial and error you can find tips that will work for you.

Here are 10 essential time management tips for small businesses. Pick a few and try them out!

1. Tracking your time is the first step toward time management. Doing this allows you to optimize the time utilized for each task and avoid the incredible time wasters that you face each day.

To do this, you don't need fancy software or the latest smartphone. Simply carry a notebook around and write down all of your activities that occupy your time every day.

Try this for about a week. Jot down what you do and how long it takes you to do it. Are you spending half an hour making small talk with a supplier? Is your office so unorganized that it takes you half an hour to find that file that you just had? This time can really add up, and before you know it the day is over.Writing down how you spend your time helps you to see where your time goes and what changes you need to make to manage your time better.

2. Before doing anything, first thing in the morning, take the time to plan your day out. Assign a time period for everything - one hour for returning phone calls, 30 minutes to check email, etc. But don't pack your schedule too tightly, because that's just asking for failure. Make sure to plan your day with extra time assigned to each task (say, adding 10 minutes to each task to allow for interruptions).

3. Don't be afraid to put up a "do not disturb" sign on your door for some time each day. "Do not disturb" also applies to your phone and email - turn both off to ensure that you can work without interruption. And, it applies to perusing the Internet and social media and other distractions - make sure that Facebook is off during the business day!

4. Along those lines, don't feel like you have to return phone calls and answer emails right away. Include time in your daily schedule for these tasks.

5. Multi-tasking might sound like a great time management technique, but some studies show that people who multi-task actually get less done than people who focus on one task at a time. You may feel like you're getting a lot done only to find, at the end of the day, that your to-do list is still full of items that still haven't been crossed off. Trying to multi-task may, in the end, also cause you to feel more stressed out!

6. Celebrate those things that you have gotten done ("resolved" issues). After all, knocking things off your to-do list is a success! This also encourages you to move on and work on "unresolved issues," by focusing your energy and managing your time.

7. Know when you can delegate tasks. This can be easier said than done if you are a Type A control freak. A good rule to follow is that if your staff can do something at least 80% as well as you could, then you know you can delegate a task with confidence.

8. Know when to say "no" and how to prioritize. Both of these things get easier with practice!

9. Get out of the perfectionist habit. Getting everything "perfect" is impossible, and trying to do so is frustrating and ultimately wastes time.

10. When you were at school concerned about grades or working for a company with a boss looking over your shoulder, did you easily managing your time? It may be that having someone holding you accountable is just what you need. Find an "accountability buddy" to encourage you to meet your deadlines and your goals.

Besides these 10 essential time management tips for small businesses, there are hundreds more out there. Don't give up until you find a time management technique that works for you! In the end it is worth the effort.

Time management is of the essence in running a successful credit repair business. The right credit repair business training can take your business to the top. The Credit Repair summit is an excellent training event that discloses surefire tips right from roping in customers to briefing you on the laws and compliance regulations to closing more clients.

By Jovia A. D'souza

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Most Successful Small Businesses Do This Each Year

A reality check is what most successful small businesses do year in and year out.

Whenever you become a business owner, you will have a strong passion to be successful. Should the desire to be successful was everything that you need to open a winning business. The world would be filled with lots of success stories.

Nevertheless, desire by itself will not keep you from failing and you might have experienced numerous setbacks on your current entrepreneurial journey.

What you should do is always take a step back and take a look at what precisely you have been doing which has not worked well for you.

Once you can easily determine what's not working and exactly what you're struggling with, you may then discover successes through changes. You truly need to comprehend what has gone wrong in spite of your very best efforts.

Is Fear of Failing Your Issue?

Are you aware that it isn't really failure that keeps people from trying? Society is rife with good examples of folks that failed many times but yet eventually discovered success. There exists something even worse than failing! It's called fear of failure mainly because often, fear of failure will keep you from even attempting anything.

There are a few solid reasons for having a fear of failure. Nobody disputes that. You may be not wanting to put yourself out there because you happen to be worried that folks are likely to laugh at your business idea.

Just keep in mind that people laughed at Henry Ford. Yet he became a well-known success story designing and building the first assembly line for vehicles. You have to get over the concern that you might end up failing and could possibly be humiliated. If there was no risk everybody would be building a small business. Some businesses you risk a lot of money and some you risk your time, effort and reputation.

Another top reason for not being successful is frustration with repetitive and technical tasks.

Sometimes opening a business can get your head spinning because there is so much to do. You have to make sure the orders are placed, you have to find leads, you have to maintain website, you have to update your CRM and the tasks go on and on. Opening a business can get very overwhelming. Taking a step back to make a business plan on how to move forward is the smart way to go. You will get faster as you do tasks over and over again freeing up more time to do other things. If you keep building on the free upped time your business will start to grow.

The top reason for people to have the most successful small businesses is they are doing what they love. Maybe you picked a home based business you're not passionate about. To be successful you have to believe in your product and its worthiness. If you're not passionate about your current home business opportunity, then start looking for one that makes you excited.You should easily find one that you can be passionate about.

These are three of the top reasons people fail. So to start your New Year off right take a moment and think about why you weren't successful in the prior year and use it as a spring-board to develop an action plan starting in the new year.

Chris Jones has been blogging for years and enjoys helping people to be successful in their own home business.
To learn more about building a successful home based business and to get a free Pinterest marketing eBook visit https://workfromhomeideas.org

By Chris Jones

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

10 Ways To Get Positive Reviews On Your Local Business Listings

Introduction

Local business listings are a great way to market your company and get the word out about who you are and what you do. However, if you don't have any positive reviews within those local business listings they can do more harm than good. This is because when reviewing all the different businesses within your industry or category, users will always look to the reviews to give them a better idea of the service and quality of product they can expect. And if you don't have any reviews but your competition's page is filled with positive reviews, you're sending customers directly to them instead of to you. In order to get positive reviews for your business, follow these tips and get ready to watch customers line up at your door.

Use surveys

Surveys are great for business. Whether they're online or in print form, they can provide insight as to what your business is doing well, and areas that need improvement. But in addition to that, surveys can also help you get positive reviews within your local business listings. Make sure that you ask customers for their email address somewhere within the survey. Then you can use those to browse through them, find the positive surveys, and ask those customers to leave a positive review for you on the local business listing of your choice.

Leave the link to review on sites

Customers are becoming so accustomed to looking at receipts for discounts, deals, and surveys that leaving a link to a review site on them is a great way to get positive reviews. Tell your staff that this link is there, and encourage them to tell customers about it. This will help reinforce the idea that the customer needs to look at the receipt, and may prompt them to leave you a positive review.

Know when to give incentives, and when not to

It can seem like a good idea to give customers an incentive to leave a review, however this is something that could backfire. Often customers get turned off even when they're offered something for free, thinking that they're giving you good feedback when they may not have otherwise. Word can quickly spread, and it could end up tarnishing the name of your business. Trust that customers who want to leave a review will, and provide them with the link to do so. The people you can offer incentives to are staff members. Each time they refer a customer to the link on their receipt or direct them to the review site another way, give them a small percentage more on their paycheque or another incentive, such as making them Employee of the Month.

Utilizing a tablet makes it easier

If you simply tell your customers about the review site and give them the link, you need to rely on the chance that they might go home and find it on their own on their computer. However, that may not always happen. Instead, have the review site already up and ready right within your business and hand it over to them after you've made a sale. They'll be able to do so without having to do any work or being inconvenienced, and you will see the number of positive reviews on your listing increase.

Watch your social networks closely

You don't always have to work so hard to find people saying nice things about your business. Check out your social networks and see what people are saying there. Follow up any positive comments with a simple 'thank you' and ask them to share their opinions on the review site. Chances are, if they're that impressed with your company, they won't mind saying so again.

Know where and when to refer customers

It won't do you or your customers any good if you give them the link for a review site that doesn't apply to them. For instance, it's not so easy to send customers without a Gmail address to Google+, and if they're not a registered Yelp user but leave a review there, the chances are good that Yelp's filters will simply send it to the trash bin. Knowing which review site is best for certain customers will make it even easier for them, and will increase your chances of receiving a positive review.

Use your database

The chances are good that you're already using your database for different marketing campaigns, so why not use them to get reviews as well? Set it up just like you would any other campaign, telling customers that you're now on Yelp, Google+, the Yellow Pages, or any other business directory, and invite them to join in the conversation and leave a review. Remember to leave the link to the review site within the email to make it even easier for them.

Respond to existing reviews

People like to know that they're not just sending something into cyberspace so it can get lost somewhere along the way. Respond to the reviews that are currently on any review site, good or bad. Thank those that have left good reviews, and try to help those that have left negative reviews. Even if it's just to say you're going to contact them, people like to know that if they're taking the time to get involved, you are too.

Ask for them

Business owners sometimes believe that asking for a review will look desperate, or will turn their customers off. It won't. How else are customers supposed to know that you're even on a review site, or that you'd like them to leave a review for your company unless you say something? Right after you make a sale, any sale, ask the customer to leave a review for you in any one of your local directories. Again, make it easy by providing them with the link. Sometimes, you have to ask in order to receive.

Ask immediately

If a customer purchases something from you, they're likely not going to give you a review if you ask for it three weeks later. Instead, ask right at the time of sale, and you'll be much more likely to get the results you're looking for.

For more articles on Internet Business and Internet Marketing, please visit my blog:
http://internetbusiness-howto.com/

By Andre Wolfgang Klein

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Have The Policies Of the Obama Administration Killed Our Small Business Growth Engine?

Perhaps you are a small business person, and you are like me; when you hear a politician tell us they are for us little guys, you just cringe. It appears to me after decades of watching their lips move that they could care less about us, and would rather continue to get their campaign war chests filled by their large corporate lobbyist piggy banks. Okay, let's talk.

You see, there was an interesting article in Reuters on February 1, 2016 titled; "U.S. small business borrowing sank in 2015: PayNet," by Ann Saphir. The article stated:

"What started as a full gallop in 2015 is barely trotting along now, said Bill Phelan, President of PayNet; "We are barely replacing worn-out assets here." Small Company borrowing is a key barometer of growth because it is the little firms that tend to do much of the hiring that fuels economic growth. Lending slowed sharply to small businesses in mining and agriculture, as well as in wholesale trade, transportation and construction, the figures showed. Texas was particularly hard hit."

So, what's the Obama Administration's answer to this vexing problem, oh something typical of the way they run things and adjust their economic data (like employment figures) just change the definition of "Small Business" for instance there was an article in Government Executive online news on January 29, 2016 titled; "SBA Finalizes New Business Size Standards," written by Charles S. Clark which stated:

"The new size standards will enable nearly 1,650 more businesses in those industries to obtain or retain small company status; will give federal agencies a larger pool of smaller companies from which to choose for their procurement programs; and will make more small businesses eligible for SBA's loan programs," SBA said in a release."

Okay but, smaller companies do not want to borrow money, why? They don't trust the system, the future, the economy, this administration, or future regulations due to a socialist population base mindset and evil-one percent hatred motif, nor would I as a former franchisor. This new size standard change would include businesses over 150 employees and the "SBA estimates that more than 8,400 additional businesses will gain small business status under the adjusted size standards and become eligible for SBA's financial and federal government procurement programs," the agency said. "These changes can possibly lead to $150 million to $200 million in additional federal contracts and 80 additional loans, totaling about $30 million, to small businesses."

Great news right, well not so fast. You see, these larger firms will get Federal Contracts that small businesses, real ones cannot get, meaning fewer mom and pop businesses getting money from the Federal Government in our ever increasing government-run economy, not free-market run economy. This is no solution, this is just stupidity worsening the real problem is search of political expediency. Please consider all this and think on it.

Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank and writes eBooks so, check out the choices for your eReader.

By Lance Winslow

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Stay Ahead Of Your Business Competition...Here's How

For any business person there is the opportunity to get on top of the market. It can be something as simple as these high-impact, easy-to-use techniques.

You should plan an "advertise 1 item at a time" strategy. This does not mean that you can't SELL more than one item at a time. You just have to wait until AFTER the initial sale has been made.

When a customer sees more than one product being offered at the same time, he will become confused. He will start asking himself which one is the better deal? He may struggle with a personal preference. These questions can lead to a decision to delay the sale. It is better to offer the consumer a range of complimentary products in a nearby display. Many stores even offer impulse items at the check out. You'll make extra profits instead of losing a sale.

You should be aware that your competition is looking for you in all the usual places. Change things up by not going there. You have to look for alternate ways of advertising and new markets to target. Niche markets can provide the perfect sneak tactic for discovering new clients.

  • Sub-divide your current market into smaller, more specific niche markets.
  • Familiarize yourself with the needs and concerns of each niche.
  • Present yourself as the specialist pro.

You will leave your competition in the dust with the number of new prospects that will come your way.

You can also take advantage of an old marketing technique that is still effective. Postcards carry a personal message that is quick and easy to read. New high-impact colors and designs capture the attention of readers. Your competition won't even know that you're using them!

Effective communication is crucial to understanding your consumers. You must encourage questions before the sale, during the sale and after the sale. Always work to make the buying process easy and comfortable.

More profitable opportunities exist to promote your local business on the Internet.

  • Search engine optimization
  • Pay per click advertising
  • Email marketing and
  • Local listings

Your customers are turning to the Internet to find local products and services. If your competitors have an online presence and you don't, guess who gets to take home the prize.

You can provide convenient contact information on all your sales materials, including websites. If you find yourself overloaded with questions, create a frequently asked questions page. Clients can get the answers they need without claiming as much of your time.

James is currently a Locksmith at Harold Doan and Sons Ltd. A graduate of the University of Waterloo, he has been a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario since 1982 (Now designated Retired). His background training was in Chemical Engineering, and he later gained experience in retail sales and marketing. He has been active in the Locksmith trade since 1985. Visit his Blog: http://jamesdoan.blogspot.ca for more business articles.

By James Doan

Saturday, June 11, 2016

4 Principles Of Marketing Strategy By Brian Tracy {VIDEO}

A short video clip from Brian Tracy's Total Business Mastery seminar about the 4 Principles of Marketing Strategy. This video will answer your questions about your marketing mix including: How do I get customers? How do i determine my target markets? Whats my competitive advantage?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Best Marketing Strategy Ever {VIDEO}

Brokop.com has made subtitles for this 1997 speach of Steve Jobs, because it has such bad sound quality and that is a pitty because it is the best marketing speech in the world.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

What Is Branding? {VIDEO}

Branding is all about perception. It is about creating, managing and building a desirable perception within the marketplace. The more people who perceive you or your company in a particular way, the more powerful and valuable your brand. Coca-Cola is a prime example. Say the name and virtually anyone in the world will respond with the same adjectives, the same emotions. The Beatles (as a band and as individuals), Heinz Ketchup, Apple, Bob Dylan, Paris...regardless of whether people 'buy in' to any of these, their perceptions of each will likely be similar. And this is crucial to fundamental brand realization.

Despite all the information available, it's still common to see large and small companies missing the mark on branding. The companies that miss the concept of "branding" are usually the ones that are not really focused on growing. The concept of brand is everything for a success business.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Top 10 Funny Banned Commercials {VIDEO}

These commercials may’ve been funny ... but they were still pulled from the small screen.