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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...

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Marketing Concepts In 2 Minutes

1. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: I am very rich. Marry me! - Thats Direct Marketing

2. Youre at a party with a bunch of friends and see a gorgeous girl. One of your friends goes up to her and pointing at you says: Hes very rich. Marry him. - Thats Advertising

3. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and get her telephone number. The next day, you call and say: Hi, Im very rich. Marry me. - Thats Telemarketing

4. Youre at a party and see gorgeous girl. You get up and straighten your tie, you walk up to her and pour her a drink, you open the door of the car for her, pick up her bag after she drops it, offer her ride and then say: By the way, Im rich. Will you marry me? - Thats Public Relations

5. Youre at a party and see gorgeous girl. She walks up to you and says: You are very rich! Can you marry ! me? - Thats Brand Recognition

6. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: I am very rich. Marry me! She gives you a nice hard slap on your face. - Thats Customer Feedback

7. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: I am very rich. Marry me! And she introduces you to her husband. - Thats demand and supply gap

8. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and before you say anything, another person come and tell her: Im rich. Will you marry me? and she goes with him - Thats competition eating into your market share

9. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and before you say: Im rich, Marry me! your wife arrives. - Thats restriction for entering new markets

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Words of Wisdom From Jack Ma

There is a Bill Gates in Asia; he is Jack Ma. Jack Ma is the founder of Alibaba Group. Jack Ma at present is the richest person in China.

1. Our world is daily changing.

Jack Ma said, "Please tell your children that the world is changing every day and no one is going to wait for you in the past. When the lighter was invented, matches slowly disappeared. When the calculator was created, abacus faded away. When digital camera was designed, the market for negative films dwindled. When direct market selling/internet-based selling arose, traditional marketing declined. When Smartphone with 4G (wireless internet access) was introduced to the world, you no longer need to turn on your computer at home. When WeChat and WhatsApp (mobile text/voice/video messaging) were developed, traditional text messaging became less popular as before. Let's not blame, 'Who took over whose business.' This happened only because people are more adjustable and adaptable to new ideas and changes in the world."

The world keeps changing every day; I am inclined to believe that it is changing very fast in this generation that it did in the past. I looked up to the owner of a local buy and sell tabloid because he ingeniously conceived the idea of printing his tabloid and giving it away to any takers. He earns from the advertisements from companies and individuals who would like to get their products and services to the reading public.

Unfortunately, he did not respond to the threat of the internet. Instead of putting up a website to house the ads of his customers, he fought by discounting the cost of the advertisements. Soon, his business went into demise because people would rather go to the internet than read his paper. Enterprising businessmen reinvented his idea. Instead of a tabloid, they put up a website. This original buy and sell businessman could have survived the change if he transformed his idea and used a new platform. Instead of reacting and decreasing the cost of ad space, he could have transferred his business to the internet. He has already built the brand and has existing customers (advertisers and readers) while the new businessmen were just starting from scratch.

We must be sensitive to change and adapt to it very fast. Otherwise, we will find ourselves left out and our business will die.

2. Don't just watch.

Someone asked Jack Ma, "What is your secret for success?" He said, "Really simple... I am doing (action) while you're only watching."Sometimes the best solution requires only a simple answer - do it; implement it.

Don't just watch the successful people get more success; work to achieve your own success. As soon as you have figured out what needs to be done, implement it immediately. Otherwise, someone else will do it.

3. The most liked idea may not be a good idea.

I read that when Jack Ma does a brain storming session with his team, he does not get the idea that most of his team mates will vote on. He reasons that if most of the people want this idea then it is most likely that other businessmen are thinking of the same idea.

I hope these thoughts will help you as you evaluate your business and the challenges for 2016.

By Fade O Adenile

An avid reader and a prolific writer Fade maintains a number of blogs dealing with relationships, money and internet marketing. Fade is a social media expert, founded successful businesses online and offline. http://helpingsinglemoms.blogspot.com

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Is Your Business A Leaky Bucket?

One challenge that I have with every leader that I meet, regardless of their level of success, is to respectfully help them understand where the leaks are in their business. Every company has leaks. These "leaks" are the aspects of the business that are not running optimally or efficiently. The challenge for most leaders, especially entrepreneurs, is the processes that they use to lead and manage the business are broken and this causes them not to properly identify, discuss, and address opportunities for growth, profit and productivity. These leaks are often much larger than they realize.

The Leaky Bucket Principle

As a visual, I like to refer to this as the Leaky Bucket Principle, as all companies have leaky buckets. One of the reasons I hated accounting was that I noticed that you could do a great job of getting debits and credits correct and still go out of business. It frustrates me that there is no financial statement where an owner can see the many things a business fails to do correctly and more importantly they are not capturing their leaks. Areas where they are losing money. Many times those numbers are much bigger than the numbers they are capturing. Over time these can add up to big numbers, and there is no way to track them.

For example, I met with a company this week that did over $200 million quotes last year, but only $16 million in revenue. Now the real question is how many of those quotes could they have had once we close all of their leaks because of pricing mistakes, broken relationships, and other issues that could be addressed by the company?

Is your business running at peak performance?

Have you identified where the potential leaks are in your business bucket? The first step toward increasing your business success is to accurately identify the "leaks" and to work toward patching the places where your profits are not fully being captured.

8 Leaks

Here, we identify 8 of the Leaks that are potentially detrimental to your business results.

The following are some common leaks that I find in most companies:

Lost productivity in B and C Players:

Your internal processes do not properly identify B and C performers and even when you identify them it takes too long to take action. You classify people as "A Players" for the wrong reasons and the real "A Players" quit, get fired, or are not engaged anymore.

Poor leadership:

By allowing poor leadership you are deciding the leader has more to offer than everyone else put together... a fools bet. Your poor leader causes everyone around them to perform at lower levels and you lose access to a lot of great ideas and people are less apt to willingly give extra effort.

Tactics instead of strategy:

Organizations are losing lots of time and energy zig zagging and starting and stopping because there is not enough thought given up front to desired outcomes and best paths to getting them.

Lost performance to unfilled positions or underinvestment in functions:

Most organizations are so caught up on what a position costs them that lose big opportunities. Existing people are getting burned out and current efforts are not done well because people are spread too thin.

Retention issues:

How much does it cost you to find each new person, how long does it take you to rebuild that institutional knowledge, what impact does this have on customers, what impact does it have on the overall flow of the organizations, how does it affect productivity, how much time does it take to train someone, how does it affect the trainers productivity, and if you add it all up what is turnover costing your company every year?

Lost opportunities:

How many deals did you fail to win because of a bad strategy? How many opportunities do you not have an opportunity to quote and would have won but the prospect had no idea your firm existed? How many opportunities did you lose because your sales processes are broken?

Lost customers:

How many customers did you lose because you fail to be provide value that is meaningful enough for them to stay loyal. How many customers did you lose because there is no one person in monitoring, managing and leading the overall customer experience to making sure that it is consistently high?

Increased cost from mistakes:

How closely are you measure the 5 to 7 processes that drive your business? What leading indicators do you use to tell you that they are all functioning at optimal levels?

One of the first steps toward increasing your business success is to identify where your leaks are in your business. If you are interested in a business assessment, let's schedule a time to further discuss your business "leaks" and how we might work together to patch up your leaky bucket. Call us for a FREE consultation 1.877.692.6211

By Howard Shore

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Starting A Minority Owned Small Business

Starting a business involves planning, making financial decisions and completing legal activities; minority business owners also face challenges accessing capital, marketing and resources.

However, in recent years thanks to the Minority Business Development Agency, it's now possible for minorities to become successful entrepreneurs.

The agency helps minorities secure financing, create effective marketing plans and provide other valuable resources. So, here's a basic list of what is needed before seeking help.

1. Write a Business Plan

I know what you're thinking "not the dreadful business plan".

However, the business plan is a valuable resource to you and your business, providing a guide on how the business will operate. While writing your business plan, you will start visualizing your business and will learn and develop the characteristics of your customer; who is your customer? What does your customer look like? What's your customer's income? You will also understand the role of your competitors and vendors. When writing your business plan, think outside the box show your investors that you're serious and have the necessary data to support your vision. A well written business plan will open many doors for you.

2. Business Structure

It's important for you to know what type of business structure you will form. This will determine the taxes you will pay, the personal liabilities you will face and how you will raise money. Types of ownership -

• Sole Proprietorship

Sole proprietors are the most common form of business structure. This type of business is easy to form and operate. However, the business owner is personally liable for all debts incurred by the business.

• Partnership

A partnership is when two or more people agree to give money or a skill set to a business. Both partners share the profits and losses of the business, and each partner is personally liable for the debts incurred in the business.

• Corporation

A corporation is an independent legal entity owned by shareholders. This means that the corporation is separate from its owners, and the corporation is liable for the actions and debts the business incurs.

3. Financing

Many financing options exist on the market today, and choosing the right one for your business can mean the difference between failing and succeeding. Though, you may look at certain organizations to help you with financing. Most government agencies do not provide loans directly. They guarantee the loans once you have met certain criteria.

It's a good idea to have other financing options available; bank loans, family or friends, refinancing or 401K plans.

To conclude, starting a minority owned business can be an intimidating process at times. However, following these basic steps will give you the confidence and courage on the path to entrepreneurship.

By Andrea Wigfall

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Small Business Marketing & Local Business Marketing Help - Free How To Plan, Tips, Tricks & Advice

Brian Tucker of One Percent Marketing highlights challenges many local small and mid-size business owners face with marketing their business online. He offers insightful ways to help businesses get online and the get the phone ringing fast.

Wednesday, April 6, 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