|Small Business Information|
Small Business 101: Deadly Ignorance
American small business is again in transition. Many employees, now working from home, are no longer tied to a geographic office and the woes of commuting. This is a relatively new phenomenon with hints of explosive sector growth in the days ahead. As this turbulent economy has forced downsizing, offshore restructuring and closures in large companies, many new entrepreneurs have been born. These are people, who instead of tirelessly attempting to find new employment and possibly enduring the same fate as previously experienced, are now starting small businesses and enjoying the benefits and perils of self-employment.
There's an old story telling of an Admiral's decision to fight a battle against overwhelming odds. It seems that he was approaching the coast of an enemy land, with a larger naval force closing in from behind and a great army approaching from the land ahead. He prayed and then addressed his men. He announced that their battle weary forces would land on the beach ahead, dig in and prepare for the upcoming battle. There was no turning back and no other alternative. He ordered their ships burned after they landed. Their only choice was to fight to win or perish. They defeated their enemy because he eliminated any other escape route. They were fixed on the goal of survival and none other.
That is the same attitude we as entrepreneurs must take. We can not afford to be denied. We must grow and prosper or our business will surely perish. We must constantly be looking for ways to cost-effectively market our business and increase sales. We must control costs and have sufficient cash flow for daily operations. Each of us must be persistent, relentless and vigilant. As CEO, we are the manufacturer, the sales team, the marketing department, legal office, accounting office, human resources manager, IT manager, the webmaster and so on. We can't afford to be all these positions. Our job is to sell! We must locate cost effective resources to help us grow and protect our investment in our business.
The growth of the internet has changed our marketplace as well. Years ago, a small business owner decided upon a geographic chunk of the market and set up shop. Today, that shop is typically located in an office at the entrepreneur's home. The marketplace is now the world. The costs of marketing products and communicating worldwide are so low that almost anyone can take part in this revolution. Sophisticated voice mail, cell phones, email and effective ecommerce web sites now provide the illusion of size and grandeur for even the smallest home-based business. The end customer typically has no idea whether their supplier is local or across the world. He may be dressed in a shirt and tie or in his pajamas! All that typically matters is that the exchange of product and services is successfully made for a profit.
It is critically important for the small, home-based entrepreneur to be aware of resources available to her as she makes this great leap. Too many people leap prematurely into business only to fail because of poor planning and insufficient financial resources. Do not get caught in this trap. Don't quit your day job until you have enough cash on hand to pay the bills for at least a year into your new venture. Become aware of and develop the resources available to you. You want everything possible going for you as you make this leap of faith into the entrepreneurial world.
Here in South Carolina, we have the outstanding Women's Business Center (http://www.scwbc.org), a division of the SCMEP, South Carolina Manufacturers Extension Partnership (http://www.scmep.org), one of the best kept secrets available to businesses at all levels in our State. Other States have similar programs modeled after ours. These are incredible resources, partially funded by the State and private resources, available at little to no cost to entrepreneurs, with the purpose of aiding the successful growth of small business. Some additional national resources are:
There are also numerous magazines devoted to small business, home-based business, marketing, sales, accounting, etc? Get tuned in to these and other resources available to you. Read your industry publications to stay abreast of competition and other facets of your business interests.
A single legal issue, FACTA problem, accounting error or marketing miscue can put you out of business. In the case of FACTA, insufficient security or poor record-keeping these days could find you legally responsible for a single employee's identity fraud issue, which may end up being very costly. A single lawsuit or vendor dispute can shut you down. Many entrepreneurs are ignorant, ill-prepared and under-schooled with regard to these and other issues. Do not get caught in the deadly ignorance trap.
There is more opportunity available today than ever before for the wise entrepreneur. Get all you ducks in a row before you make the fateful leap into the new world marketplace. Be smart, learn all you can as quickly as possible and take action on your ideas. Like the Admiral, be determined to win in the face of what may appear to be overwhelming adversity.
Daniel Sitter is the author of the breakthrough e-book, Learning For Profit, the revolutionary how-to book providing simple, step-by-step instructions to teach people exactly how to learn new skills faster than ever before. It's currently available from c|net's download.com, the author's web site http://www.learningforprofit.com/ and a variety of online book merchants. Mr. Sitter is a contributing writer for several online and traditional publications. His expertise include sales, marketing, effective learning techniques, self-improvement and general business interests.
Designing a Franchise Training Program
If you intend to franchise your company you will need to design a bullet proof training company for your new franchisees. This is above and beyond the training program you will design for them to administer to their new employees. Remember when training new franchisees it is similar to training new managers for any Corporation's outlets. The difference of course being that the Franchisee in a Franchised Company has a lot more at stake and will be twice as motivated as an average manager of a corporate Store.
Looking into the Future for Profits
How to identify future solutions and opportunities?
Small Business Spoiler - Procrastination
One of the most common issues that comes up for business owners is procrastination -wasting time, putting obstacles in the way of taking action towards goals, making excuses for delays, creating confusion/busyness etc. Procrastination is a self-defeating behavior.
How To Create A Business Note That Is More Attractive To A Note Investor
You are selling your small business (business value under $1 million for this article). You would like the buyer of your business to come in with an all-cash offer, or be able to qualify for an SBA guaranteed loan. However, in many cases the owner of the business ends up taking back the financing because the buyer is not able to make an all-cash offer or does not qualify for an SBA guaranteed loan. So you create a "business note" and you now become the "bank". At first that may seem okay, but after a couple of years of receiving payments you may decide you want to get back into business and you need the cash that is tied up in your business note on which you are receiving payments. So now you want to sell your business note to raise cash for your next business venture. What is it worth? That will depend a lot on how you structured the note.
Business Owner--Educate Thyself!
Remember the training programs, seminars, and workshops you had to attend when you were on the corporate side of the table? You were expected to complete course after course for professional development and skill enhancement. Well, where do you get your training now that you are on your own? Do you learn from your clients? Are they the best teachers? What about your competitors?
Joint Venture Your Way to Extraordinary Sales!
You know what makes me really happy? Drinking a Starbucks latte while doing my grocery shopping at Safeway. Getting my Godiva fix at Barnes & Noble. Cheap thrills, I know!
Business Reviews that Work
What is the satisfaction & expectation review of the business history to date?
Do You Own Your Business Or Does It Own You?
What was your aim when you went into business for yourself? Chances are you wanted to be your own boss, be in control of your future, improve your chances of earning a high income, among other things.
How Is the LEGAL SYSTEM Dishing Out JUSTICE in Your Town?
Thankfully, most of us will never find out. That is a GOOD thing! However, if YOU are a small business owner it's something worth knowing before one day you get kicked in the back-side.
Small Business Server Business Tips
Top 3 Ways to Maximize Your Small Business Server Consulting Profits
A Business Tail: Veterinarian Foams at Mouth, Chases Tail, Learns New Tricks--Case Study
Many self employed professionals find themselves overwhelmed, frustrated, and confused when it comes to running their businesses. The deep skills they have in their professional field do little to prepare them for the dog-eat-dog world of running a business. The following is a case study from the client files of small business expert, Caroline Jordan, detailing a typical professional's experience trying to run a business without foaming at the mouth.
SBIR vs STTR
SBIR vs. STTR: If you are participating in the SBIR program you may also want to consider participating in the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. The STTR program is considered SBIR's twin sister, although there are some added hoops one must jump through in order to participate. Like SBIR, the STTR is the US Government's way of providing "seed" money to spawn technology growth. The key difference however is in the structure of the effort, whereas a small business must partner (via a subcontract) to a university or non-profit research institution in order to acquire STTR funding.
5 Steps To Success for Small Business Owners
Everyone wants to succeed in life. Most people want to succeed in business. And no one starts a business of any sort wanting to fail.
Boat Detailing Tips and Procedures
Auto detailers are often asked to clean boats and detail boat trailers. There is an easy and efficient way to do this with little effort. Washing and waxing boat trailers is an easy sale. Be sure to offer the boat owner a trailer wax. Let the owner know that a heavily waxed trailer is more rust resistant even when used in salt water. They can wax now or repaint later. To remove rust, brush on two coats of Ospho Acid, available in paint stores and marine supply shops. It will change the chemistry of rusting steel from an active to a passive state and stop rust cold.
What is your Motto?
Company mottos can easily be printed on a business card.
So You Don?t Believe in Outsourcing
Entrepreneurs are hardy stock. But sometimes hardiness can get you into trouble.
Does Your Business Need a Toll-Free 800 Number?
Should your business have a toll free number for customers to make sales, service and billing inquirers? The industry began in the early 1970's and today most customers expect you to have it. Providing a toll free line can bring in a number of benefits to your business.
Virtual Assistance for Healthcare Professionals
Administrative and clerical tasks are the bane of every industry. No matter how small or large your business is, you will eventually find yourself with stacks of paperwork that need your attention and phone calls that need to be made. And when will you find the time? If you are busy seeing your clients during the day, then the paperwork waits until the evenings and weekends. This can make for some very long days and total exhaustion. Hiring a virtual assistant is becoming the best option for many professionals.
The Benefits of Using Freelance Consultants / Trainers for Your Project
What are the benefits of using a Freelance Consultant / Trainer for your next project?
Starting an Aircraft Washing Service
To wash an airplane there are many items you will need to keep in mind. The first is safety while working on the tarmac of an airfield. When moving any vehicle on the tarmac the driver should always maneuver the vehicle in square turns. The reason for this is so that the pilots of the other airplanes can predict the movement of your vehicle. A person should never drive their car or truck under the wing of larger planes. This can be dangerous because the top of the vehicle can catch a part of the plane and cause damage or if the plane is starting up. If a pilot does not see the vehicle when starting up his plane some loose part from the vehicle could come off and hit the prop or be sucked into the jet engine and besides it's just not safe.
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