|Small Business Information|
Change May Be Your Ace in the Hole
Whether it has been thrust upon you by external market forces or it has simply bubbled up from the internal dynamics of your enterprise, change itself always presents opportunity for improvement. And in a knowledge based economy, change may be the only thing we can count on as small business people. So, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you must embrace change as a necessary strategy for commercial success.
Despite the inevitability of change, we spend a great deal of time and energy trying to stop it from happening or, at the very least, trying to slow its momentum, hoping to lessen its impact on our fragile yet cozy paradigms. However, small business owners should not overlook change management as a killer business strategy, for this is one arena where even the solo-preneur should have no problem outrunning the big guns.
Smaller operations can literally bend strategies and rewrite policy books overnight if the market is asking for it. The bloated budgets and cumbersome management structures of large corporations simply have no chance against the strategic agility of their smaller cohorts. Day to day responsibilities are reduced to administrative minutiae in hierarchical commercial settings. For the small business, these tasks can be dynamic and even interesting, but someone has to lead the way.
Small business entrepreneurs often forget why they began working in this "grass roots" playground in the first place. As their success builds, administrative hassles start to overwhelm them like weeds taking over a garden. While the corporate suits must spend day after day sifting through policy documents and snoozing through monotonous meetings, small business leaders are continuously presented with opportunities to tear down what is old and reinvent their operation, if that is what their markets desire. This kind of strategic fluidity is what moves the small business from the surviving to thriving.
So, next time your "success" is getting you down, deal with the weeds, clear the air, and be glad you have the opportunity to move a mountain or two.
Karri Flatla is a business graduate of the University of Lethbridge and principal of snap! virtual assistance inc., a business and project support service that specializes in business research, planning and communications. Karri also produces Outsmart, a small business newsletter full of practical tips and fresh insights for entrepreneurs. Visit http://www.snap-va.com for more information.
Small Business Newsletter Dilemma: Which Day Do I Send?
If you're just ramping up your small business email newsletter, you might be wondering what day you should send it to your opt-in list. After all, you want it to get opened and read and you know your prospects may be weeding through a ton of email clutter. What to do?
How Do I Choose The Right Business Opportunity For Me?
First you have to start with knowing your budget and how much you can afford to spend on a business opportunity. There are ways of starting a business opportunity online for as little as $50 as an affiliate; this figure goes all the way up to $1 Million dollars with a McDonalds restaurant.
Survival Tips For Your Small Business
No matter type of business you operate you've got to know how to keep your business alive during economic recessions. Anytime the cash flow in a business, large or small, starts to tighten up, the money management of that business has to be run as a "tight ship."
Debit and ATM Card Advice for Small Businesses
Your business account comes with an ATM, Debit card. Pick a really secret pin number. Don't give it to anyone even in an emergency. Make sure you record withdrawals. If you have a bookkeeper paying your bills for you, be careful because they won't know that you took out money. They will be upset and so will you and your vendors if they mistakenly write a bad check to pay a bill because you forgot to tell them of your numerous unrecorded withdrawals from the ATM machine.
Computer Tips that Help Small Businesses Operate Profitably
When working properly, computers enable small businesses to make big business profits; however, get booted off your computer and you're suddenly starving. In most instances, computers usually act up due to lack of care by its owners. Here are four computer tips that'll keep you up and running smoothly.
How To Get Slightly Famous in Print
Early in my career, I wrote an article for a small business magazine about self-publishing as a marketing tool for businesses. Because I specialize in helping businesses get into print, the article only took a few hours to write. A few months later it was published. Almost immediately, my phone began to ring and my email box filled up with inquires.
Where to Find a Cash Windfall of $10,000 to $1,000,000 -- You Never Knew You Had
There is a rather famous true story called "Acres of Diamonds".
Chamber Membership will BOOST your Business
When is the Chamber ideal for your business?
Getting Behind in Your Work? You Need a Virtual Assistant!
If you don't know what a Virtual Assistant (or VA) is, don't worry. I only came across the term myself about a year ago. It seemed like a high-tech occupation that I would know little about until I stumbled across some information and found out that I was a Virtual Assistant! Not only that, I realized that small businesses were missing out on the opportunity to improve their efficiency by neglecting the vast talent so easily available online.
How to Find A Group that Needs Speakers
How do you find groups that are in need of speakers (at no charge)?
How to Profit from Business Consulting Opportunities
Business consulting opportunities might be just what your are looking for in a home based business.
Small Business - Is The Accounting Profession Ripping Them Off?
My 16 year-old daughter said, "Gee Dad! You look just like an accountant" And she wasn't being complimentary. Accountants are perceived to be boring, stodgy and conservative. Over the years we've been the butt of many jokes. I've heard them all. Why did the accountant cross the road? Because he looked up the file and that's what they did last year! Ha Ha! What do accountants use as a contraceptive? Their personality! Ha Ha!" Why do accountants become accountants? They don't have the charisma to be undertakers! Ha Ha! What do they call an accountant at the bottom of the sea? A bloody good start! Ha Ha! I think I am the exception. That's why I've begun to call myself a business strategist and counselor. "You're still an accountant," says teenage daughter. I am still an accountant and I'm still as passionate about it as the day I started. Because accountants have an impact on people's lives. The advice we give changes people's businesses which in turn changes their lives. I'm excited in my role of accountant. Accounting is not stodgy. Accounting is exciting. Accounting is cool! My ambition is to become the "cool dude of accounting". (do they still say "dude", do they still say "cool". Remember that song: When I say, "cool, man, cool, I don't mean cool, man, cool, I mean you leave me cold, Jack") We were throwing some ideas around with some of our clients as we do from time to time, looking for that unique benefit that our firm gives to our clients. That unique something that distinguishes us from other accounting practices. One said, "You have helped me to improve my business. Not only am I making more profits and have more to spend, but I also have more time to spend away from the business. The more time I spend at home with my family the happier my life is. And the happier I am the happier my wife and children seem to be. When my wife is happy all sorts of good things happen ? even our sex life improves. That's it! You can advertise that using Kelvyn Peters CPA and Associates improves your sex life" I don't think so! Sorry, we haven't accepted his idea. You're completely on your own in that department, but we can help you improve your business and consequently your life. And your goal might not be extra profit but extra time for living! We know we can because we are doing it for others. We repeat ourselves so often because the truth is the truth and there is only a limited number of ways to tell it. You've heard this before. If you are spending every waking moment in a hassle about your business, there must be a better way. There is! Accountants have been ripping off their clients for years In 1973 I attended a workshop for accountants at the Finance Management Research Center then headed by Dr Keith Cleland. The workshop was intended to drag participants into the 20th century. "Accountants have been ripping off their clients for years", he told us. The 25 participants were shocked. These represented vibrant accounting firms from all around Australia, both large firms and small. They were at the cutting edge of the industry. Otherwise they would not have been at this kind of workshop. To a person they resented that comment and one fellow wanted to punch him on the nose. (It wasn't me, but I would have held his coat). By the week's end we discovered how we were charging high fees for things that our clients couldn't understand, couldn't use and didn't need. At the same time we were neglecting the information that they did need to increase their profits and safeguard their businesses. 20 Years Later what's Changed? I attended a week long seminar hosted by CPA Australia in 1993 which was to train us in "client based accounting". Dr Cleland presented the initial module. He did not openly criticize accountants this time, after all, it was the CPA's hosting it, but he gave almost the same speech (same jokes, too) as he had 20 years before. "These things aren't taught in Universities", he said, "so the accounting profession has mostly ignored them. They have let small business down but things are changing". Know-it-all, Kelvyn Peters had to jump to his feet and say that the doctor had said exactly the same thing 20 years ago. Where were the signs of change? Universities were still not teaching accountants how to help their clients. "This seminar with CPA Australia and the suggestion they might make client based accounting a speciality is a good sign", he replied. 10 Years Later? Nothing has changed. Our hopes have withered on the vine and small business must look elsewhere for help. Recently I was called in to assist an ailing restaurant. We were happy to work with their existing accountant. We'd rather do the fun stuff and let the accountant do the boring tax returns and compliance work. In this case the client insisted we take over the whole of the accounting function. The accountant was most unhappy. "They are difficult clients", he said, "I have kept the fee lower than it should be and I have done extra to help them". Indeed, he had! The financial statements were beautiful to behold with colored graphs and key ratios compared against industry average. (most accountants still don't do that. I had advised that both wages costs and cost of foodstuffs were too high. Our focus was to form tactics to reduce them. "But I had already told them that", said the Accountant, "what do they need you for?' I told him that the client knew the kitchen wages were too high and what he wanted was for someone to show them how to reduce the wages in the kitchen. "I can't do that", he said, "I'm an accountant". I would have to camp down there in the restaurant to see what's going on. And they wouldn't pay the fee". Yes they would. They were going to pay me. Most accountants see their role as being the provider of financial statements, cash-flow projections and tax returns, and there's the rub. Each of these is a tool not an end in itself. It's like giving the client a hammer and saw and telling him to go build a house. He needs more than the tools, he needs to be shown how to use them. Of course the client will complain about fees whatever the level if all he receives are not useful to him. Accountants generally are flat out preparing financial statements and tax returns. Meeting dead-lines. They haven't the time to 'smell the roses'. Anything that doesn't help meet a dead-line has to wait until later. Often its too late. I may still look like an accountant, even the cool dude of accounting, but there is nothing I like more than talking with a business owner about his business. There's nothing a business owner likes more than discussing his business and planning to make more money. It's great fun and he loves to pay me for it.
Are You Running Your Business or Is Your Business Running You?
Being a small or home-based business owner can be loads of fun and very rewarding.
Do I Have to Do EVERYTHING Myself?!
The air in my client's office nearly crackled with her irritation. A scheduling snafu had left a client without important services. "I guess I just have to do everything myself," she ranted.
Five Facts and One Motivating Factor Behind a Successful Home Business
All legitimate home business entrepreneurs insist and announce loud and clear that a successful home business is not about an overnight thing. And that you cannot get rich overnight and so on...
Lack of Vigilance Can Harm the Bottom Line
The easiest way to lift profits is to cut the fat out of costs.
Learning and Growing
As you reflect on this year and prepare for next year, what are the lessons you have learned in business and how do you plan to use those lessons to grow your business in the year ahead?
Pressure Washing Heavy Equipment
One of the best ways to make money in the pressure washer business is to power wash heavy equipment. It is not necessarily easy work and you will get quite greasy but it is steady work and there is lots of it. You will need to know the different types of equipment and the issues which are of concern to preventative maintenance technicians, operators and owners.
One Of The Best New Business Opportunities May Be Right In Your Home - A New Daycare Business
The day care industry is expanding. There are now more than 100,000 licensed child-care centers and 250,000 licensed family day care homes across the United States.
5 Tips for Hiring a GREAT Bookkeeper
Bookkeeping?the "dreaded" word is something we all have to worry about. Business owners rarely go into business to deal with the financial aspects of running a business. It's easy to understand why! Who wants to do all those boring record keeping functions? Not many. Therefore, one of the first things most entrepreneurs do is hire a bookkeeper. Though hiring a friend, relative or anyone who isn't experienced with the basics of bookkeeping may be a recipe for DISASTER!
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