|Small Business Information|
Doing Business With Friends: Five Tips for Preserving the Friendship... and Your Sanity!
My colleague, Jane, recently lamented to me an all too familiar story about mixing business and friendship. Jane subcontracted copywriting work out her friend, Joan. Jane's copywriting business was blossoming (partly in response to her most recent brilliant article marketing campaign) and giving the work to Joan seemed like a win-win for both of them.
As expected, Joan delivered a glorious first draft. The only problem was halfway through the discussed project, Joan suddenly disappeared!
It turned out that Joan was becoming overwhelmed with juggling her own work and the freelance work. The freelance work sunk to the bottom of her priority list because, hey, Jane was her friend and she wouldn't mind. However, as the days turned into weeks, Joan became embarrassed and began hiding from Jane's e-mail messages and calls. Now both friends were in a pickle!
Jane would have preferred Joan tell her up front that she couldn't meet the agreed upon terms. She didn't get angry with her friend, but it made her wonder how wise it is to involve your close friends in professional endeavors.
One the other side of the fence is the business person who agrees to do something for a friend for a reduced price or free. Another writer stated that she believes she gives away too much of her goods and services dirt cheap or free to friends. She's had experiences doing business with friends in which she's thought, "Oh, I'll do this one thing for him and then he will do something of equal value for me." Often this writer ends up feeling irritated because she's running short on time and money and she often doesn't get back what she put into the trade.
Here are some tips to help you no matter what side of the fence you're on:
1. Your time and services are valuable. Don't give them away. You can volunteer for PTA bake sales, donate blood, or give money to your church, but your business services are not free. You've got bills to pay and a professional reputation to maintain.
2. If you're thinking about doing business with a friend, ask yourself, "Is this a person whose services I would pay for even if I didn't know him? Do I admire and respect the way she operates her business?" I have some friends who are great business people and some who are just great friends (and I'm not convinced they're savvy business people). That's okay. If you can't give an honest affirmative answer to these questions, DON'T do business with this friend.
3. If you choose to do business with a friend, be clear about the project specs, deadlines, and payment arrangements before the work starts. Get it all in writing (e-mail is fine). Be specific! Did I mention be specific?
4. Frequent check-ins are a must. (E.g., "How are you doing with that dog food project we talked about? Do you need any further information or material from me? How can we work together on this?"). Nip any problems in the bud with constant communication.
5. Listen to your intuition. Does your friend generally keep her promises? Is she a good, clear communicator? How would you feel about her if the business arrangement you're thinking about didn't work out well? If you have any nagging doubts, it's best to err on the side of caution and NOT hire your friend.
In business and in life, communication is key. The people who have the most successful business relationships and friendships will always be those who can speak and write clearly, efficiently, and concisely.
Copyright 2005, Ann Zuccardy, All rights reserved.
Ann Zuccardy is a freelance technical and copy writer with 17 years of industry experience in marketing and technical communication. She currently consults with IBM in Essex Junction, Vermont where she writes software user manuals, training guides, and release notes. Ann is also the owner of Vermont Shortbread Company. She can be reached at Wordbrains.com.
A Look at Small Business Incorporating in Florida
The choice to incorporate a small business in Florida has several advantages. Corporations are separate legal entities and, as such, the corporation rather than individual owners pay both the taxes and the liabilities. If you are thinking of running (or are currently running) a small business, incorporating in Florida might be a good idea because you would no longer held personally liable if your business suffered a downturn.
Boat Hull Cleaning Procedures for Owners and Detailers
For really tough boat hull cleaning you will need to break out the acid. Muratic acid is the best for this. You'll want to have a 50/50 mix of muratic acid of 6-8% concentrated (12% is the highest concentration you can legally buy over the counter), water and a good strong sprayer. You can purchase muratic acid at Wal*Mart, K-Mart, Pool Supply Stores, Home Depot, Lowe's, Van Waters and Rogers Chemicals. Sears Craftsman makes a nice strong sprayer or try a local store for another brand of commercial pump-up sprayer.
Small Business Strategies - Four Critical Success Factors
Is Your Success Predetermined?
Your on-line success is based on your efforts and yours alone. Sure there are many tools that help you, but it is still you. If you are going to succeed, it will take all the time you can put forth. After all it is a business and yes you work from home, but that does not mean post a website and make money. An on-line business is like any other business, it needs to have a plan and goals or steps to set the plan in motion. Your success is directly proportional to your efforts.
Drivng Home the Point - An Outsourcing Story in China
A few years ago, I visited Beijing for the first time. At Beijing airport, I got into a taxi and paid 450 yuan (about US$54) to get to the city. I was horrified to find out later that the normal taxi fare for the same distance was 60 yuan!
Beating the Small Business Cash Flow Blues
Small business owners can relieve a lot of their own cash flow problems, according to Caroline Jordan, small business advisor and author. "Small business owners have more control over their cash flow than they realize." says Jordan.
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.
Truck Detailing Shop Business Case Study
As an entrepreneur you can learn a lot by following the real life case studies of other entrepreneurs. Often the text books in school leave out the beginning details and the juicy part of how it all comes together and is created out of nothing but a thought. I have an interesting case study for you and it explains how my company got into the truck detailing business. This is a funny story.
Finance Your Small Business: So Much Money, So Little Time
$37.4 million funded from venture capital today. $86.4 million funded yesterday. $51.4 million funded the day before.
Environmental Boat Washing and Detailing
Some marine biologists feel that the concentration of dead marine growth on boats and in boat harbors can create hypoxic zones or a lack of oxygen. This causes a decline in the water quality and may at times cause adverse effects on living marine life such as salmon in the case of the State of Washington. Also some paints have heavy metals in them, which come off with the use of pressure washers. If you coat the boat with our glass-coating product and wash it with our readily environmentally biodegradable soap, we can actually re-oxygenate the water.
Creative Metrification - A Technique to Improve
Some things in business are relatively easy to measure ? these are the "hard" metrics such as sales volume and profit, production per man-hour, time without an accident, shipments without error, number of customers served, on-time delivery, etc. Other, "soft" metrics, are more difficult to quantify, but with a little creativity, measurement can be made of just about anything.
9 Things You Must Do To Maximize Your Chances Of Obtaining A Small Business Loan
To get approval for your small business loan application, you must be able to meet the lending criteria set down. Some organisations are more risk averse than others, and will therefore have more stringent criteria. To vastly increase your chances of a successful funding application, you will need to present the following information:
Getting Grant Funding For Your Nonprofit Organization
Do you need grant funding for your nonprofit organization? If you do you are most certainly not alone in your needs. This combined with the fact that because of regular government budget cuts there's not as many federal dollars available as there once was. And because of our current economic recession foundation dollars are down as well. What you now have are some serious concerns facing your nonprofit organization.
Mobile Car Wash Market Opportunities in California
The current lack of industry leaders represents an exceptional opportunity for a large and organized mobile car wash company to achieve regional domination and eventually dominate the Southern California carwash market. The best place to start a regional assault on this market would be to concentrate North and West of Los Angeles; Chatsworth and Simi Valley to Malibu and Tarzana to Santa Barbara. Once these relatively competition free markets are won Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties could be dominated by a steady city-by-city methodology. From there the company should include neighboring regions and Sun Belt States. By setting up each territory next to an existing territory, they will, brick by brick, build an impenetrable wall to ward off would-be competitors. Utilizing their satellite offices, they can build that wall rapidly by connecting each area. As this occurs, we will have achieved regional and eventually national name recognition and proceed to other long-term goals.
When and Why YOU Are the Best Writer for Your Business Plan
WHEN you are operating or planning a small business that is seeking funding for less than five million dollars, it's wise to consider writing your own plan.
Find Your Niche & Follow It - Part 1
In this series of articles I'm going to show you how to find out if there's a hungry crowd for your information product BEFORE you write a single word.
Analyzing Customers in Your Business Plan
The Customer Analysis section of the business plan assesses the customer segments that the company serves. In it, the company must 1) identify its target customers, 2) convey the needs of these customers, and 3) show how its products and services satisfy these needs.
Franchises Must Meet Legal Definition to be an Actual Franchise
All franchises must meet the legal definition of a franchise no matter what they call it before it is an actual franchise. This is the Federal Trade Commissions take on the franchise rule. It is not illegal to call a company a franchise even if it is not one and if it is not it does not have to follow the rules. In this opinion of law, I do have a quick summary of thoughts for the Federal Trade Commission Franchise Rule Making Group:
The Failures Guide to Small Business Success
How many "get rich schemes" have you joined? Or have you invested in numerous legitimate business endeavors only to have them not work for you? Have you started you business and now facing a complete shut down? Do you consider yourself a failure? Are your loved ones pressing you to give up?
Share Ad Expenses to Boost Profits
The challenges of the small business owner are well documented. They must battle for market share against larger competitors, run all aspects of their business, and even pay higher rates for advertising and other marketing related expenses. Small businesses generally do not qualify for volume discounts when it comes to buying advertising space or marketing materials, and thus they end up paying higher rates for the same ad space or marketing materials purchased by their corporate counterparts.
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