|Small Business Information|
3 Ways To Make Certain Your Business Fails
Most small businesses incorporated in 2005 will fail by the year 2007. No matter the industry or the economic times in which the company was initially conceived, the fact remains that businesses fail on a daily basis due to general lack of knowledge and know-how. What follows are my opinion on three very common methods to ensure not only mediocrity but failure as a business entity in today's world.
1. Lack of vision and focus
Most business, like most people today, lack a clear vision for their company (and products). I can count on one hand the number of my clients who have been able to answer the initial question of "What are your goals?" without stuttering or pausing in confusion. Strategy formulation (or business planning, if you will) begins from the top-down, starting with a company mission, and ending with a specific plan towards mission completion and execution. Some common flaws the indicate lack of vision and focus include:
-a vague and passionless mission statement, such as "Our company is committed to building a better world", or, even better, "Our company strives to be the company of choice for our consumers". Vague statements serve only to dilute collective energies within your company.
-a mission statement and business plan that is articulated by all and lived by none. Too many companies believe that having a vague, multi-colored business mission statement on the walls (for all to see) qualifies as strategic planning. Employees may walk by this "mission statement" on a daily basis, as would zombies warmed-over, setting about doing whatever it is they do to execute this vague and passionless "mission statement".
The solution to this problem is simple: You must first start with an idea, a plan on how you want your company to exist in the future. The idea can be as large and grandiose as you like, however, you must then designate a purpose behind the ultimate company goal. Purpose is the fuel that enables the company to move forward in times of difficulty. Once you have a purpose, you must then clearly communicate this ideal to every single employee you have AND you must make certain that you leave no room for misinterpretation of this ideal. This serves the purpose of creating a collective group focus, whereby an entire company is centered around a single abiding ideal or principle, and is committed to the attainment of this ideal. That's power. That's focus.
2. Lack of cash flow
Businesses are made or broken by a simple statistic: net cash flow received. Simple company dynamics dictate that the greater the net company cash-flow, the more solvent and independent the company. Companies that rely consistently on credit lines, for whatever reason, are susceptible to economic downturns. They will be the first companies to fail. Just as many real estate investors have learned, capital liquidity equals success or failure. Therefore, to ensure the life of your company, you must learn to master some simple rules:
-produce multiple, varied products (services, tangible products, etc) -economize expenses as best possible (every dollar spent on advertising should produce two dollars in income, as a rule of thumb) -maximize monthly income (rather than settling for inconsistent, feast-or-famine events)
These are simple rules, however, many companies fail to follow them. They aren't glamorous, and they certainly aren't rocket science. Perhaps that is why are NOT followed. Most people are enamored with technology and gadgetry, bells and whistles, intricate and elaborate business plans. They focus on how cool their advertisements look rather than how much income results from them. They allow themselves to fall in love with the idea that you must spend money to make money (when they should realize instead that you must spend money appropriately to make money). Keep it simple, and follow through.
3. People problems
One of the easiest ways to judge the potential success of a company is to visit with some of its employees. Front desk staff, customer service reps, managers, or even officers. If you enjoy your interactions, and feel valued, then that is a sure sign that the company is on the right track to success. After all, a company is only as good as its' people. And most companies are certainly adequate at hiring mediocre, unhappy, or problematic employees. In fact, most companies put more thought into their cafeteria lunch choices than they do their employee selection.
What follows are some tips to improve your bottom line in this area:
-Put more thought into hiring and firing. At the risk of sounding simplistic, your company needs to be in the business of finding knowledgeable, friendly, driven, and team-oriented people. If your current employees don't fit the bill (with regards to company mission) then you need to allow them to seek employment elsewhere.
(As an aside, years of employment with the company should not be the primary criteria for advancement (though many companies seem to think so). Look at it this way: Some people are great at being mediocre (with regards to the above criteria), and do it consistently, year in and year out. Don't reward complacency, and don't promote based on years worked alone. That's ludicrous!).
-Place your best people in areas of high-customer contact. For example, your receptionist or customer service representative should be your ideal company representative, as he or she will have the most contact with potential consumers, and thus, the most potential impact on buying habits. Potential customers that feel valued at first sight tend to stick around and shop.
-Always provide for communication of employee roles. People need to know what their specific role is (and duties, oddly enough) within a company. If they don't, they can't fulfill these roles or duties. Productivity wanes, your company suffers, and so on.
Copyright (2003) Leif H. Smith, Psy.D. All rights reserved.
Performance expert Leif H. Smith, Psy.D, is the president of Personal Best Consulting, a consulting firm located in Hilliard, Ohio. To learn more tips and techniques to immediately improve performance in your life and to sign up for his FREE monthly advice newsletter, visit http://www.personalbestconsulting.com
The Hidden Treasure in Your Business
I started working with another new client last week. He has been in business for about a year and a half. Yes, he has managed to make plenty of mistakes, like we all do. But, he has done something so very right that I thought I'd share it with you.
How to Prevent Home Business Burnout
As a home business proprietor, you may already realize why avoiding "home business burnout" is so important. Even if you have only been working your home business venture for a relatively brief time, you may have already been aware of the need to maintain your energy levels and reduce your stress levels while you were involved in your other employment. Many people learn from their life experience to pace themselves, consume vitamin-rich foods, exercise and get sufficient sleep(at least 6-7 hours in every 24 hr. period). But while these steps are vital at every stage of life, they are even more crucial you first launch your business because the mental and physical strains are most severe during this time frame. When you were an employee, you may have been accustomed to a specific job and therefore left other details to others. But a work-from-home business will generally demand a broader spectrum of responsibilities than that. Much like a movie actor who decides to direct the film as well, the home-based business entrepreneur must rise to the occasion, and often with their life savings on the line and very few benefits.
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The End -- Fireworks or Fizzle?
Seems as though there are a lot of business closings going around lately. Everywhere I look small businesses -- one on top of another -- are closing their doors.
Mobile Pressure Washing and Cleaning Scheduling
If you own a mobile car washing, pressure washing or auto detailing business you know that when your crews and machines are parked and working that you are making money. You also know that when those units and crews are driving or stuck in traffic you are losing your shirt in costs and inefficiencies. If you are to expand your mobile washing business to multiple units running in multiple cities you will need to have a strict scheduling policy and operations manual to insure that efficiencies are maintained. Today with the highest fuel costs ever in our nation's history and the increased traffic over the last five years it is ultra critical that you plot out your routes, customer locations and time with precision.
The Key to Creating Total System Empowerment
In this paper, I will:
You Are Invited
Business card size works well for invitations to special events.
Sexual Harassment - Its just not on!
Sexual Harassment is a disturbing part of employment life in the modern era and is unacceptable! From junior clerk to boardroom it continues on in its various guises from seemingly harmless fun to stalking.
Using Excel Payroll Sheet to Make Payroll System Easier
For the employees, payday is the brightest day; they finally get the compensation they so well deserve for the services they rendered. For the employer, this could be nerve-wracking, not because they don't want to pay their employees, but because some employers have a hard time calculating the payroll. Some have systems that are too complicated for them, while some are just not experienced enough and don't have the know how. If this is what's happening to the company payroll system, there is a big chance that there are many disgruntled employees because of many miscalculations and errors in the calculations and the deductions. In return, this could dip employees' output and put the business in peril.
Small Business Marketing, According to Seinfeld
What could Seinfeld possibly have to do with marketing a small business? As it turns out, all small business owners could take a few lessons from the show that brought us such popular phrases as "Man Hands" and "master of your domain".
Naming Your Business: 3 Tips To Ensure Success
If you are just starting your business, or if you have just developed a new product or service for an existing business, one of the first questions you need to answer is, "What should I name it?" And while you may feel pressure to make this decision quickly, I caution you to not make it lightly. What kind of things should you take into consideration when choosing a name?
Business Success - The 42 Greatest Business Tips
What does it take to grow a business and run it successfully? The main ingredient is attention to the basics, operating with integrity and following the way other successful people have run their operations.
Private Franchising is not Real a Real Franchise
One major issue not being addressed right now in the regulatory definitions which guide consumers and lawyers in business opportunities and franchising is the new term being used; Private Franchising. The Federal Trade Commission decided it would revise its definitions of such opportunities in 1995, but failed to address this issue. The use of the term; Private Franchising has grown over the years.
Small Business and Branding ? Why and How?
When we speak of branding most of the time people try to relate it to big business house, however, the fact is that every business needs to establish their brand in order to survive the competition. This is nothing new; experts and management gurus had been preaching the same sermon for years now but what they have not told is why you need to brand your small business? How is branding going to help you to establish your business? How can you establish your brand without spending a fortune on it?
Small Business Stress Buster: Completion not Perfection
Completion not Perfection Five Keys To Doubling Your Productivity and Boosting Your Effectiveness
Discover How You Can Start Making Your Small Business Dream Come True
As a teenager I worked for my father's small business. At 18 I worked for a small video rental business owned by two partners; there were 4 employees. At 23 I worked for an auto body shop, the owner was from Greece; there were 8 employees. At 25 I became CEO of my family's small business; we have 15 employees. Today, I own a 3-employee automotive repair shop; an online business; a promotional licensing business and I still consult for my family's business.
Carwash Franchisor Case Study
There are only a handful of car wash franchises in the world. This might offer some insight on how car wash franchises come into existence. This is a crazy story. It is the history of our company and how we ended up in the Carwash Franchise business. One of our franchisees of our mobile car wash business; The Car Wash Guys, was in Idaho, was the son of a wheat farmer, the areas largest farm family land holder in Idaho's banana belt. About a month before he called us I put up this web site called www.detailguys.com and said what the hell, I will put up a form in case someone wants to buy a franchise for only auto detailing and not mobile car washing we can make a sub franchise out of it. Previously I did a couple of trade shows. The Black Expo and a BizOp/franchise show, great results and really I did not need any leads. But what I learned was their were significant people wanting low-priced franchises. So I put up the website and put a form on it and the very next day I get a lead from Phil the farmer in Idaho, looking for a simple business. He wanted to start a business, but stick more with auto detailing on a mobile bases, which was slightly different than that of our mobile care wash franchise. So he wanted a franchise ID. But heck I was in CA and ID seemed like another World at the time. It was. Things went good, because we made it work and Phil then bought a car wash guys mobile truck and later an auto detailing trailer and hired on some more workets.
Packing Material Thats Cheap!
Shipping materials can be expensive! Even the styrofoam "peanuts" can cost a great deal. Here's a great idea for packing paterial that is bio-digradable, easy, and best of all...CHEAP!
Business Failure, The 8 Traps Causing Failure And The One Attribute Which Ensures Business Survival
It is estimated that 78% of all small business start-ups fail within the first twelve months years, and long-term survival is likely for only 22% of all new business start-ups.
An observation while returning home from a seminar: Getting away from the everyday allows room for analysis and new thoughts. Stimulation while away from the everyday energizes analytical and concept ional thinking.
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