Browsing: Small Business

10 Must Ask Questions When Starting Online

Why Do I Want My Own Business?

Nowadays with a lack of stability in the job market many people are considering subsidizing their income with their own business. With the intention of growing it to fund their early retirement, retirement plan, help with school costs etc. Or maybe to pay for holidays and other luxuries, or even just for security.

Why Choose An Internet Business?

The Internet is actually still very young in terms of growth. Now is a great time to get involved. Youngsters are being trained in schools so that in the future the Internet will be an even greater part of everyone's lives. Get in now and benefit from the growing trend.

How Will I Fund My New Venture?

Beginning a business online is one of the most cost-effective ways of starting a business. Compare it with a high street business, with the cost of concessions, stock staff etc. If you are already in business it is relatively easy to set up an online presence.

You may be funding your fledgling business from a redundancy package, savings or a bank loan. You could start on a shoe string, funding it with small amounts of spare cash monthly, beginning as a hobby and growing slowly and surly.

Now I'm not advocating getting into debt to start a business, however, because of the low start-up costs, and the availability of 0% credit cards, it is possible to arrange up to 3 years of 0% credit whilst you build your business. This will depend on your credit rating, however it is possible to set this up on the internet in a few minutes.

What Time Can I Commit To My Business?

How much time can you regularly commit to your fledgling business. New skills to be learnt, research etc. would it be 2 hours a day, 20 hours a week or somewhere in between? It is better to work out a schedule at the beginning and commit to it. Do something every day towards your business, that way way you will not forget the new skills you are learning. It will keep it all fresh in your mind until it becomes a burning desire and passion that you find yourself thinking of and planning all the time. (Your subconscious mind will then pay an integral part in helping you build your business, sending you an intuitive message if you are willing to listen. You may begin to get intuitive hunches as you subconscious is always trying to help you reach your goals if that is what you focus on).

As you begin seeing results you will be even more inspired. Get the backing of your family, you need to get them behind you if your venture eats into the time you normally spend with them. Program family time too, or you will feel guilty and they will be resentful, of your new venture, long-term they will benefit too. Maybe they have skills that would help you too?

It may mean early starts or late evening sessions for a while commit to whatever it takes to reach your goals, though not at the expense of family time. Cut out some TV time, or time with your mates. Be excited by your new adventure and enjoy learning new things.

How Long Will It Take to Start Earning & Should I Give Up My Job?

How long is a piece of string? I do not know you or how committed you are, or what skills you have already. But persistence pays off, be serious and treat it like any growing business. Give it regular attention.

I would recommend beginning small as a hobby business, expecting it to take a while to replace your income. It will obviously depend how much time and effort you can commit, how soon you invest in paid traffic, and how much previous knowledge and expertise you have. You may decide you like your job and wish to continue with it anyway, enjoying the extra cash and what it provides.

The sky it the limit when you work for yourself. There are millionsaire internet marketers and hobby marketers and many in between, it depends on your goals and what is right for you. Enjoy the journey and learning your new skills.

How Can I Learn Internet Marketing And How Do I Start?

Personally I would recommend finding a good Mentor – someone who is a perfect fit for your skill level, and personality. Someone who has already developed a system that works with a proven track record. Why reinvent the wheel, time is too precious a commodity to waste it. Time is saved this way as you are working a proven plan, a bit like an apprenticeship. Just be careful to choose someone to direct you that you can respect and can work with. Choose someone who remembers what it is like to be a beginner but has many years of experience.

You need someone who is genuine and always offers value for money and guarantees on his or her products. I have got to know a number of millionaire internet marketers who are generous with their time and advice, (which is why they have done so well). These people get a kick out of helping others achieve their goals too, as long as they put in the work.

To get started there are many programs on the market to help beginners, but first you need to explore what area of ​​internet marketing suits you and your lifestyle, skills etc. This takes us to the next step.

What You Will Actually Do Online.

There are 101 things you could do online. It could be web design, a dating site, recommend Granny's recipes, selling your own products etc. However information products are a good starting point especially as they are downloadable. No delivery costs etc. They are quick to produce, and very popular. This is the information age! Here I am going to introduce 3 business ideas that might suit you …

Is Affiliate Marketing The Right Choice For You?

Affiliate marketing is selling other peoples products for a pre-arranged commission. It has advantages and as many products available as you can think of, just Google your favorite niche for both actual products or information products offered on affiliate programs.

Some Benefits Of Affiliate Marketing:

You do not need your own products.

You do not need a big budget to start.

You earn commission from your affiliate link code.

You do not need stock or to deliver products.

You have some support from the product provider.

Emails, banners, professionally written sales letters may provided.

Some training may be provided.

Choose a provider that offers concise information so that you know exactly what to do. Make sure the products offered are value for money, tried and tested, also that they are desirable and saleable.

Membership Sites, Is This Your Favorite?

The great thing about a membership site you have ongoing agreements for as long as the customer stays subscribed. For example a £ 30 membership over 12 months could bring in £ 360. Repeat payments all from one customer! Imagine this with 100 customers, or 1000 !!!

When you write an article or lesson, it is shared by all your members. Also much of your website can be automatic. Many topics are suitable for membership sites, so just a case of researching your niche.

How Would You Like To Write Short Stories, Instruction Manuals etc.

Is writing your forte? Could you learn to write short reports, stories, or manuals? Did you realize they only need to be 10 or so pages long?

Amazon sells downloadable e-books for kindle users. This is becoming a very popular venture, very profitable and rewarding.

How would you like to make large profits with small reports? An exciting enjoyable venture if writing is what you are good at and what you enjoy.

I hope this has started you thinking about the different areas Internet Marketing can take you. Wishing you success in your Venture.

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All The World’s A Stage In Small Business Too

In the play “As You Like It” Shakespeare pens a melancholic character through Jacques, who states the now famous line, “All the world's a stage …”

Shakespeare was brilliant in expanding our conceptual reality through the theater by bringing our attention to the drama that is day-to-day living from human stages of life. Like most of his work, there are multiple meanings in the voices of his characters.

As a business consultant with a background on the stage and screen, I'm always seeing the meaning in the metaphors.

The point of stages of human development can be a good way to analyze your business against what stage of development it's currently in contrary what is appropriate. I see this with potential clients who are developmentally ready for key actions but are experiencing “stage” fright. Fear to take the next step in your stage of business is really resilience to change and can keep you small and unprofitable.

If you are in the first stage of a business, even if it's just a gleam in your eye, it's usually a passion (also can look like necessity) that's driving much of the momentum. Yet this stage is where strategy is critical and is why most businesses fail within the first year.

At the stage of a business where you have not understood and established the purpose (to generate a profit – that's what separates a business from a hobby or a charity) and structured the form of your business appropriately expansion and profit can not take place.

Consulting with women entrepreneurs and small business owners who have not established the fundamental stage of their business are overburdened, underpaid and stressed seeing no to few clients and poor to no cash flow.

When I sit down with my client, I spend some time evaluating what stage the business appears to be in with actual reality. Only then can we discover what stages might have been missed and therefore repair or build out to bridge the gaps.

There is a process to building your business. Having a balanced and custom strategy for your stage of business can get you where you want to go much faster and with a stability that allows for the next developmentally appropriate stage that will award you more clients and cash flow.

I've made the mistake of skipping stages as well as skimping on stages. Taking developmentally inappropriate actions results in wasted time, energy and effort not to mention exorbitant amounts of money. From having to redo marketing materials, websites and insignia to losing a major client because you are not ready to deliver to having tax repercussions. All are a result of poor stage strategy.

Whatever your business is a glimmer in your eye or hobbling on crutches, I can help you develop a strategy that is appropriate, appropriate and just right for you to get the visibility you need, show up authentically and attract your ideal clients in bounty.

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Opportunity Knocking

Many Contractors are looking for ways to expand and grow their business. It makes sense to consider a service that has good long-term potential, a service that compliments their existing services, a service that is not difficult to enter and a service that offers good profitability. The indoor air quality market in general and air duct cleaning in particular is just such a service.

The concern and need for better indoor air quality and lower energy costs will probably never go away so the market for air duct cleaning should remain strong for a long time. Air duct cleaning offers many benefits to Contractors including:

• Excellent gross margins (40% to 60%)

• Significant add-on revenues with existing customers.

• Help sell other services Contractors offer.

• Generate revenues during slow times of the year.

• If a contractor has been sub-contracting this service out to someone else they will have better control over scheduling, quality control and profitability if they do the work themselves.

• Contractors already have their existing business and marketing systems in place so adding another service is reliably easy.

Types of Contractors : Many different types of Contractors can and do offer air duct cleaning services including:

• HVAC Contractors

• Mechanical Contractors

• Plumbing Contractors

• Fire / Water Restoration Contractors

• Mold Remediation Contractors

• Asbestos Abatement Contractors

• Indoor Air Quality Contractors

• Carpet Cleaning Contractors

• Chimney Sweep Contractors

• Janitorial / Cleaning Contractors

• Home Inspection Contractors

What is Air Duct Cleaning? Air duct cleaning is more than cleaning air ducts. A more appropriate term to use would be “HVAC system cleaning.” The HVAC system includes everything in the air steam. In residential HVAC systems this includes the furnace, coil, supply ductwork, return ductwork and all of the registrars, grilles and diffusers. In commercial HVAC systems this includes the air handlers, fresh air intakes, mixing boxes, supply ductwork, return ductwork, turning vanes, reheat coils, VAV boxes, dampers and all the registers, grilles and diffusers.

The ultimate goal of air duct cleaning is to remove the accumulated dirt / debris / contaminates from the air stream surfaces in the HVAC system. This is called source removal. Typically there are three methods of cleaning (or source removal) of HVAC system:

• Contact vacuuming with a HEPA filtered wet / dry vacuum

• Air washing and whipping with high pressure air from a compressor

• Power brushing through drill driven cables system or pneumatic driven systems

At the end of the job the customer and the contractor should agree that the air stream surfaces are visibly clean.

Summary: Air duct cleaning represents a great business opportunity as an add-on business for existing contractors or as a stand-alone business. You can help your customers improve their indoor air quality and lower their energy costs and add a new revenue stream to your existing business

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How To Get More Clients: Five Reasons Why Publishing Quality Content Online Will Grow Your Business

Are you wondering how to get more clients? Growing a business can be hard work, and yet, you may not be taking advantage of all the ways you can boost your success. Read on to find out how publishing high quality content online (and offline!) Can help you get more clients.

Why should you be publishing high quality content? That's where the opportunity lies. You see, publishing content is a bit intimidating, and it also involves work and know-how. Since most business owners are far too busy to even consider it, the few who actually do it, benefit veryly. That means that if you take action, you'll be way ahead of your competitors.

So here are five great reasons to take the plunge and publish high quality content around the web – as well as offline your local area for extra impact.

1) Jump Ahead Of The Competition

I know I just said that, but it really is the key reason that makes all the other ones more powerful. By publishing quality content you'll get to jump ahead of the competition. And you will not have to worry about them catching up. Most of them will not muscle in on your territory because it just looks like too much work … especially if you publish really high quality content.

And yes, it will be work, but it's worth it in so many ways as you can see below.

2) Get Found In More Places

With Google making it ever more challenging to get found online, publishing lots of quality content in different places gives you many more chances to get past that Google issue. And every article you place offline will add even more to your reputation. Plus you can clip it and include it in all sorts of mailings. You can even pass it out during networking meetings.

3) Look Like The Go-To Expert

Here's another big reason to take action: By publishing high quality content in lots of different places, your name starts to pop up in lots of Google searches. Yes, even in spite of Panda and Penguin. Even some of your offline articles may well turn up. Wherever people look for someone of your expertise, you'll be there. Can you imagine how that will boost your image? And grow your business?

This works especially well if you have a local business because being published online and seen around the world raises your image at home as well. Back that up with the occasional article in the local paper, and watch what happens!

4) Show Off Your Expertise

This reason why you should publish is slightly related to the previous point … But there's a difference! Publishing content goes far beyond merely gaining added visibility. It also gives you the opportunity to really show off your expertise. Sure, you should do the same on your blog and your website, but the more you publish in various different places, the more your expertise gets out there and has a chance to impress people.

5) Build An Instant Portfolio

Speaking of impressing people … One very useful side effect of publishing numerous articles and other publications online is that it'll create an instant and highly effective portfolio! Whether you have articles in a directory or books on Kindle, sending your contacts there will seriously impress them. Add a few print articles to boost your success even more.

So you see that publishing great material online can do amazing things for your business. The only problem … it's a lot of work, and if you want excellent material (and you should not put your name on anything less), it can cost you. But it will be money well spent as it raises your reputation over time and increases your visibility.

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Calculating the Actual Hourly Cost of Labor

Labor costs measure a significant portion of the Direct Costs associated with business operations. When estimating or quoting a price to a customer, knowing the Effective Labor Rate, which is the actual labor cost per utilized hour, is essential for determining the labor costs and time required to complete the project or job. In addition to verifying what a utilized hour truly costs, the Effective Labor Rate also serves as the labor basis of the Man Hour Rate.

When the real cost of Direct Labor is known, company management will be able to better estimate the total Direct Cost of a project or activity, will be able to better estimate or determine the profit potential of a project or activity, will be able to better determine the Break Even points of the project or the business and prices, as well as to better identify areas to improve or to enhance Utilization and Efficiency.

Determining the Effective Labor Rate requires the calculation of Financial Burdens, Utilization, and Efficiency to the base wages. The Financial Burden consists of the additional fees and monetary benefits the company pays on behalf of the employee.

Obviously, any improper, omitted, or incomplete calculation of Financial Labor Costs, or Labor Burden as it is commonly known, will have a significant impact on Operating Income and Profits. Typical Financial Burdens that must be paid by the company include the FICA and Medicare costs that are matched by the company as well as Federal (FUTA) and State (SUTA) Unemployment tax assessments. Portions of healthcare Insurance premiums paid by the company on behalf of the employee, and Workmen's Compensation insurance premium hourly allocation are also typically attached to the Financial Labor Costs or Labor Burden. There are other expenses as well depending on the individual company situation or collective bargaining agreements.

However, identifying and attaching the Financial Burden on Labor Costs is only part of the Effective Labor Rate calculation. The Utilization and Efficiency adjustments that affect the business must also be calculated and determined.

One should not confuse Utilization and Efficiency with Productivity and Performance. Productivity is an assessment of Quantity while Performance is an assessment of Quality.

Utilization is the measurement and comparison of available or eligible working time of an employee compared to the wages paid to the employee. Efficiency is the measurement and comparison of time to complete tasks. For example, a brick mason may be expected to lay eight courses a bricks in a wall in eight hours to be productive. However, if the brick mason performs this task in a quality fashion, but does so in only six hours, it may be a job well done but not an efficient use of time if he performs nothing else in the two hours remaining on his shift.

The Utilization and Efficiency calculations adjustment for non-utilized financially compensated time when the employee is not available to work at the job site or when environmental conditions such as extreme heat or cold weather negatively affect work place efficiency.

Adjusting the number of Utilized hours and the Financial Burden unit of compensation will result in the cost of a utilized hour for the employee or the Effective Labor Rate. Adjustments to Utilized hours include all forms of Paid Time Off including holidays, vacations, and paid breaks.

Typically the maximum amount of paid hours is 2080 hours (52 weeks at 40 hours per week). Adjustments to Utilized hours include all forms of Paid Time Off including holidays, vacations, and paid breaks.

Adjusting the number of Utilized hours and the Efficiency Factor to the Financedly Burdened unit of compensation will result in the cost of a utilized hour for the employee or the Effective Labor Rate.

The consequence or result of these additional charges will vary by location and base hourly rate, but as an example the cost of an employee earning $ 17.50 an hour base rate could be $ 21.00 or more once the Financial Burdens are added.

Effective Overtime Rates are not 1-1 / 2 or 2 times the Effective Labor Rates. This is a common misunderstanding or miscalculation that must be avoided.

In the analysis of the Effective Labor Rate nearly all of the Financial and Utilization burdens are absorbed in the straight time rate. Consequently, the Effective Overtime Rate is calculated solely on straight time plus the overtime premium, FICA, Medicare, and the Efficiency Rate, so the real cost of an overtime hour is calculated differently. (Consistent with the findings and statistics associated with workplace analysis that show overtime as less efficient due mostly to fatigue, the Efficiency Factor for Overtime hours should be reduced.)

Usually only FICA and Medicare Taxes carry over to Overtime. Calculation of the Effective Overtime Rate for hourly employees of a business is simply the hourly base rate multiplied times the premium rate plus FICA and Medicare costs.

FICA applications to the overtime premium unless the employee has reached the FICA wage cap. Medicare always applies.

It is not unusual for the Effective Overtime Rate to be only slightly higher than the Effective Labor Rate. This is valuable information when the business or operations manager must decide whether completing a project on a specific day is desirable even though Overtime pay will be necessary. Using the $ 17.50 hourly rate example used previously, the Effective Overtime Rate for 1.5 times the hourly rate may equal $ 28.25 while the Effective Overtime Rate for 2.0 times the hourly rate may equal $ 37.68.

In other words, when the job site manager reports to company management on Thursday after lunch that the current project will take only about a half a day on Friday to complete, should company management authorize a few hours on overtime on Thursday to complete the job so that this crew can start a new job on Friday morning?

Well what do you think? Do you tell the crew to go back to the job on Friday and be ready to start a new job on Monday or authorize a few overtime hours?

I say yes to overtime because most likely the half day projected for Friday will actually become a full day.

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What Is The Medical Marijuana Industry Supposed To Do At Tax Time Since Their Crop Is Illegal?

Running a business is not easy, but men and women in the state-legal medical marijuana industry have it worse than everyone else because of outdated federal laws. The way current laws are written, even though these people run a state-legal business they are not allowed to deduct all of their expenses the way other business owners get to do at tax time. And for some, that means they could end up owed more taxes than the year year's profit.

This leaves dispensary owners, growers, medible makers and everyone else in the 23 states with a state-legal medical marijuana industry confused about exactly what they're supposed to do at tax time. And, since the laws are the problem, even a good accountant can not provide the answers that they want to hear.

Most of these small business owners have never run a store or business before, and now they're discovering that they can not compete using the same rules as everyone else. These men and women are already paying state business fees and taxes that are horrendously larger than those charged to every other business owner, including the cigarette, alcohol and adult industries.

And, to make matters worse, our Federal Tax Court has already denied deductions on everything from store rent to medical marijuana legally purchased for sale to patients in this state-sanctioned industry. The IRS does this by combining the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classifying marijuana as a Schedule I drug together with IRS Code Section 280E disallowing the deduction of controlled substance expenses. This allows them to grab any profit made by these small business owners and drive them out of business. Because of this, everyone in the medical marijuana industry who turns in an honest tax return becomes a sitting duck for anti-marijuana auditors.

Before these legitimate businessmen and women can compete fairly both federal laws must be repealed. Until they are, the state-legal medical marijuana industry will be forced to compete in the current tax world, a place where the IRS can wipe out all of their profits at any time and the black market is actually safer.

Because the US Department of Health & Human Services owns patent # 6630507 for the anti-oxidant properties in marijuana, and the US patent office has granted marijuana patents to big pharmaceutical companies, it's obvious that marijuana has medicinal value. Combined with the documentation of successful medical use in Israel and other countries, it appears to be time for the 1970 Schedule I drug label's repeal. But, that's not going to happen any time soon without the medical marijuana industry unites and demands that change.

If growers, dispensary owners, medible makers and patients do not speak up for this industry today, they can expect continued problems for years to come. Medical marijuana patients and business owners only have two choices; they can continue to accept discrimination for their choice of a natural medicine or they can come together as a group and get those federal laws changed. If they choose the first option they might as well close their doors now because taxes are going to drive them out of business pretty quickly anyway; but if they push for the equal rights that they deserve as an industry it will open the door for legitimate business success and real profits.

Since every politician takes an oath to represent the voters in his or her state, and your state has repealed prohibition, it is the politician's job to get those federal laws changed. Medical marijuana business owners need to schedule meetings with their state senators and representatives to discuss this problem today. And, they should expect results. It is every voter's right to demand accountability, and state-authorized medical marijuana businessmen and women have the right to know what their elected officials have done to end this tax discrimination.

If the industry waits too long, it's obvious that the voters in medical marijuana states will have their rights overturned, big business will be given control over the marijuana plant, poor people who have had success with medical marijuana will be forced back onto dangerous and addictive prescriptions, health insurance costs will skyrocket as everyone is forced to pay for Big Pharm's synthetic marijuana prescriptions for people with insurance, and prohibition against nature will continue.

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Booklet Tips – Emotional Vs Pragmatic

Designing your tips booklet has many more possibilities than ever before. Advances in technology have made things more affordable while also introducing more options. There are still things to consider to be sure your choices fall within the real of your buyers' budgets, even if you can afford it.

Yes, you want the most attractive booklet you can possibly create. And while you may be willing to spend a hefty sum on having exactly what you want, you might end up having a huge pile of those booklets sitting in your office if you're planning to sell them and can not get the price down low enough for situations where that matters.

Your client may not be price sensitive at all, or you may not even be planning to sell the booklet, and instead they are only intending to give it away. Or you may not be planning to print it, and only want to use it as a download for your own business or to license it where someone else downloads it or prints it. If any of those are your current reality, then design to your heart's content without any real thought to the ramifications of risking that the booklet is over-designed or out-priced.

However, several of the more common places that can be financial potholes for you are likely to be:

  • Paper choices
  • Custom dye cuts or pockets with the covers
  • Full-color covers
  • Multiple colors used inside the booklet
  • Photography
  • Custom size booklets

These things can each enhance the quality and appearance of the publication and make it look classier or unique or more interesting in some way. No question about that. They will also each increase the price, guaranteed. In some cases the price increase is substantial. More often than not, the improvements are emotional choices. If the situation accommodates it, that's fine. If the budget drives the decisions, there needs to be different selections than your first choices. You can still get a great looking tips booklet from things you might not have considered. Your design and print vendors can help increase your knowledge about a range of possessions once you tell them what you want, how it will be used, and how price sensitive the project really is.

ACTION – Choose which things matter. There are some options that can upgrade the appearance with minimal impact on the cost. Rather than doing multiple ink colors, you may be able to get results you like by having various percentages of a single color, giving the appearance of multiple colors. You might find that a different weight or type of paper still provides a more impressive appearance at less cost than the original paper you chose. Be sure you present the booklet you are actually selling when you send a sample to a large-quantity buyer. Sending a full-color booklet with numerous embellishments and telling the buyer you can provide one that is simpler and in black and white for less money is counter-productive and discouraging in many circumstances.

“Turn Your Tips Into Products, Your Tips Products Into Moneymakers.TM”

© 2014

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Are Their Limitations of a Virtual Assistant?

With the advent of the internet, we have introduced a time where we are in a 24/7 economy. The saying used to be “the sun never sets on the British Empire,” but these days the sun does not set on anything online. E-Commerce and internet shopping have created an extremely different landscape for businesses, business owners, and entrepreneurs. The internet has also opened new doors for working online. There are many companies that specialize in outsourcing virtual jobs and online assistant services. The tasks that you are able to outsource are only limited by your imagination. If you do not believe it yourself, do a quick search for Virtual Assistant reviews and take a look for yourself.

With an online assistant you can outsource things like research, upkeep, copywriting, blogs, social media, web design, graphic design, music & video production. Anything that you can dream of. Especially now with broadband internet you are able to communicate with someone across the world as if they were in the same room, allowing you to get your point across without endless emails.

Now you might be thinking that it is strange and out of the ordinary to outsource work virtually. You may have a lot of questions, which is completely and totally normal. It is smart to be a little bit skeptical of a virtual assistant. Some common questions are, will they complete the job? Will they have access to my information? How do I pay them? Do not fret, all of the reliable websites that broker or outsource virtual jobs and online assistant services come with a guarantee or insurance policy in place just like any other contracted service. These sites and broker services also offer Virtual Assistant reviews for all of their clients and contractors. These contractors have been vetted by the websites to ensure that they comply with their clients and complete the jobs as desired.

You might be wondering how the process works. Typically, you will have to make an account with the broker website. You will usually have to register a credit card for verification purposes. After this, you will post a job. You will list the price, expected length, and other various requirements for the job. Once posted, different clients will all bid on the job. They will bid with their prices, expected turn around time, and their qualifications. Once you receive some bids, you are able to look at each client, review their portfolio of work for the site, their qualifications, resume, and also go through all of the feed back and reviews left by previous clients. Once you choose a client, the job will begin and you will wait until they turn in the assignment. Once completed, you will review the work done and if you find it satisfactory you will be charged for the job.

Some limitations of virtual assistants would be measured personally. It would make sense that to hand over all of your banking information to online assistant services to do your taxes or accounting. Also, virtual assistants can not be privy to your life and can not complete virtual jobs that are hyper specific to you. It is best to outsource work that you are able to complete yourself, but would enjoy the convenience of not performing yourself.

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Pocket-Friendly Alternative to Expensive Office Accommodation

Today, individuals and companies able to employ smart cost-saving strategies are the ones who flourish in business. Among other things, they would actively explore multifaceted channels to get more done with less.

For instance, a multidisciplinary company with diverse interests ranging from Office Administration to Import / Export as well as Events / Entertainment is likely to fare better operating from its own building so as to keep “rental” overheads low.

This approach would make it easier for such a company to offer clients affordable services, consistent with their budgetary needs.

But we all know that not every business – especially a solo enterprise or small business operation – can afford to own its own building. At least not in the early phases of growth. Even when the money is there, chances are high that other considerations for which it can be more profitably used will exist.

To compound matters …

A. maybe you want to rent one, but the prices you keep hearing from property owners / real estate agents in the neighborhoods you prefer are beyond your budget limits.

B. or maybe you've tried working from home , but your landlord will not have it, and / or (if you do not live alone) it just does not give the professional / corporate impression you want.

So what then should an honest, results focused and vision driven business owner like YOU do, when you can not own your own office?

Would that mean that you have to give up the idea of ​​operating a befitting office presence for your business?

The answer – thankfully – is no.

There is in fact a flexible and affordable alternative solution: It's called a Serviced Office !

This customized solution is very likely to meet your needs, if you face the above described constraints.

The only thing is you have to find a provider that offers it within proximate to the area you plan to conduct your business activities.

Actually, it's called varying names across the world's markets eg managed offices, executive centers, executive suites etc.

But those names all basically indicate the same thing: a professionally setup office space, equipped with essential aesthetic and functional conveniences SHARED by businesses.

Here are 3 features of Serviced Office Solutions that can make them right for YOU …

NB: This is a practice that has accelerated for decades and remains in use across major cities and business districts across the world.

Feature No. 1: All-In-One

A Serviced Office is a COMPLETE solution that makes it possible for the “user” to move in and simply get started with his / her business affairs. No need to worry about setting up etc.

For instance, serviced offices often come already furnished with worktables, chairs etc. In addition they may provide ready access to other resources like meeting rooms, projectors, computers, Internet connection etc.

Often there is a common reception center with a receptionist and a telephone answering service.

Depending on the “package” you wish to adopt, it may initially appear as if the rates are high. The truth is however likely to often be that what you pay will be close to the rate for a normal office – BUT a conventional office spaces comes without the “extras” that serviced offices provide!

For instance, you will not have to make additional payments for electricity, maintenance of facilities, insurance or even security. Those overheads are handled by the provider on behalf of all users.

Feature No. 2: Flexible

Take the business traveler who arrives in Cotonou for a 3 day business visit to explore potential partnerships with some local entrepreneurs and companies in Benin Republic and neighboring states.

Let's say some of those s / he plans to meet with are coming in from their bases in Porto Novo, Ouidah, and Nigeria's Lagos, for instance.

Maybe the meetings will include private interview sessions and presentations etc. In such a case, the business traveler may need a suitable office space for a few hours per day for the 3 day duration of his / her stay.

Not being familiar with the environment, and without s / he's willing to pay high hotel conference room rates, a serviced office will prove a viable solution for the visitor's above stated needs.

In other words, due to the ready-to-use nature of Serviced Offices, persons with limited time and pressing needs can easily make effective use of them. At the same time business owners desirous of medium to long term access to an affordable, yet functional and aesthetically appealing office presence will also find use for Serviced Offices.

Feature No. 3: Pocket-Friendly

As you can imagine, the fact that the amenities provided are shared gives you the benefit of access to resources that you would normally not be able to afford by yourself.

Typically, Serviced Offices are setup to enable users adopt varying sizes of “offices” eg to accommodate a solo entrepreneur or a group / team of people in one or more rooms.

Should the need arise, you can choose 2 or more adjoining office spaces. In other words, you spend only on what you need – and no more. Even more importantly, depending on the provider, and YOUR negotiating skills, you may be able to negotiate prices, terms and conditions suited to your needs.

In conclusion, regardless of what name they are called, Serviced Offices deliver similar core benefits ie cost-effective, convenient, and high profile office space accommodation, for busy business persons with limited budget needs.

If you have such needs as stated above, do not go renting an expensive and potentially limiting conventional office space!

Instead, research your intended location for possible Serviced Office providers. Your needs will be much better served that way – and you will SAVE considerable money in the process.

If you need help, contact me.

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Freight Bill Factoring for Your Trucking Company

Whether you are a new start up trucking company or you have been in business for 50 years, most logistics companies use Freight Bill Factoring to help with the cashflow needs to cover their day-to-day expenses such as fuel, toll, insurance, maintenance , payroll and the like. If you are considering this for your trucking company you have likely spoken with others about the benefits and drawbacks to using this type of service.

While speaking with others about the idea is good I would like to add some objective points for you to also consider before signing up with a company for your Freight Bill Factoring Service.

1. Be sure the funder is available to you. The last thing you want is to have a company that you can not reach when you needed to speak with them. It is your money and your income that is being leveraged or in other words, the “life blood of your company” is at stake – be certain they are available to you when you need them.

2. Will the funder be funding you on a schedule that is acceptable to you? Some funders will fund you same or next day on the invoice that has been submitted for Freight Bill Factoring. Some will wait a week to do it or require a minimum value to process them in batches. Again, this is the “life blood of your company”, will they be doing you a service, or disservice?

3. Does the funder have a drop-box on your routes that you can submit your invoices or can you email or fax them in? Some companies require original invoices and if they do not have drop-boxes on your routes, it can delay the submission of your invoices until you can get somewhere to send them in. If they do not need originals then you can fax or email them in on the road which may be a better solution for you.

4. Does the commander have a good respect on the trucking business? There are many finance companies that can advance on invoices but if they do not have a dedicated team specifically for trucking, how likely are they to understand the nuances of your business?

5. Does the funder have the capacity to fund your logistics company without interruptions? You need to be sure the company you deal with has the financial capacity so that when your invoices are sent into them, they will be able to do the need and fund you as they say they will. The last thing you will want is for them to have to wait to receive payments from other invoices in order to send out your advances on your invoices

6. Can the factoring company service all or at least most of your customers? Some funders will not fund international invoices and if you ship internationally, this can be a real problem. They may want to carve out those international customers you have and not advance on them. Can you afford this or not? This is a question you need answer.

Freight Bill Factoring can certainly help your business and at the same time, partnering with a finance company that can not meet your needs and expectations can severely hurt you. Ask questions and verify the answers before you sign up and do not be afraid to ask around.

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3 Simple Steps to Overcome Fear of Rejection in Business

How do you like to deal with rejection in your business? Do people say or do things out there that “hurt” your feelings? How do you react when people get off your list, criticize your marketing style, decline your invitations, etc? Do you feel devastated and then want to hide or run for the hills saying to yourself, “I am not meant to be in business, anyway !?”

Well, how would you like that for experience to be different? Here are the 3, simple steps I keep reminding myself to take over and over again whenever situations such as this arise:

Step # 1 – Educate your followers : Let your followers know how you work, your style, so that they can respond to you accordingly. For instance, I've had people who are not familiar with online marketing say to me, “Your webpage is too long,” or “You send too many emails!” In this journey, you'll find out that a lot of people have a lot of opinions as to how you should run your business. For what purpose? Because it distracts them from focusing on what THEY need to do for their marketing. Beside, they just do not know!

First of all, long web pages gives every different kind of buyer a chance to get what he wants. It provides information to the quick decision making types as well as to the ones who needs to know every single detail in the book to feel good when investing. The same thing with email marketing; studies have shown that people need to be reminded. More sign ups or sales come through emails sent closest to the deadlines, as we know there are plenty of people who like to wait until the last minute to take action.

Step # 2 Look for the gift: There are gifts in every situation, circumstance or interaction with people; especially the ones you're a bit more sensitive about – OK, the ones that push your buttons! Do yourself a favor and move into a place of being open to learn. In this case, ask yourself, “What is the gift I am here to receive from this critical person?” and “What is the gift I am here to give to this person?” With love and compassion, look for the learning and move on. Nothing others do is about you anyway.

Step # 3 Follow your unique energy signature strategy: We all possess different energy frequencies / patterns that either match others or not. In the Human Design System, we call that “types,” and every type has a corresponding unique behavior and decision making strategy. For example, manifestors are designed to indicate, Manifesting generators to wait to respond and to inform, Generators to wait to respond, Projectors to wait to be invited and Reflectors to wait for 28 days.

When you know your energy signature and follow your strategy, you show up in the world in a powerful way. As a result, rejection becomes a thing of the past. As writer Ron Gourlart says, “Never assume that a rejection of your stuff is also a rejection of you as a person.” Bottom line is: do not sweat the small stuff. Remember, nothing others do is about you anyway.

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Don’t Let Seasonal Affective Disorder Slow Your Business Down

Seasonal Affective Disorder combined with small business owners' slow time of the year is a deadly cocktail. Most regions in the United States just turned their clock back one hour. However, many of you are still leaving for work in the dark and getting home when it is dark. You work all day inside an office with artificial light and sometimes artificial people. When you get home you are exhausted and do not want to work on your business. Does this sound familiar? It may also be your slow season, which gives you no perception reason to turn on your computer.

This funk you find yourself in is very common. Many people each year are diagnosed with Season Affective Disorder (SAD). You may not have the actual diagnosis, but you know you have to try really hard to self-motivate yourself so you do not become a couch potato. Seasonal Affective Disorder arrives about the same time each year and ends at the same time each year. It takes a conscious effort to combat SAD. Adding to SAD is the fact it may be your slow season. Slow season equals very little income during a season where we have multiple gift giving holidays, higher heating bills, and clients who pay late.

SAD and depression can wreck havoc on your psyche. It is tempting to reach for food and alcohol to sooth your soul. I caution you against doing so. Below are strategies to help you stay focused and in a good place during the holiday season.

How to Stay Cheery When You've Rather Be a Grump

1. Evaluate Your Diet: This is the time of year we love to bake high sugar and carb lacerated treats. Try to stay focused on fresh foods that are low in calories, low in sugar, and free from chemicals or ingredients you can not pronounce. This will help you avoid the sugar or carb crash that goes along with goring yourself on these trips. Plus any added weight gain will continue your spiral downhill.

2. Exercise: Exercise to the point you get your heart rate elevated. This means you should break into a sweat. If you do not want to pay for a gym membership then just grab your sneakers and hit the pavement. If you do not like the effects of breathing in cold air then bundle up and walk very fast at a longer distance. There are gym memberships for as little as $ 10 a month. Invest in a pair of quality running or walking shoes and get your heart rate elevated. It is easy to make excuses. But the time spent on the couch eating potato chips or cookies could have been used to walk, run or use an elliptical. Stop with the excuses and make time to exercise.

3. Get Your Vitamin D : I read somewhere that most of us are deficient in Vitamin D due to wearing cosmetics that contain sunscreen. We are so worried about avoiding skin cancer so we are not allowing the natural absorption of Vitamin D. I recommend getting your Vitamin D levels checked at your next check up. If you absolutely do not want to walk outside on a cold sunny day then I recommend you go to a tanning bed. Laying under the bright light where it is warm and toasty without the disruption of your cell phone will work magic on your mood. Plus, seeing yourself naked will help you stay on task with item one above.

4. Plan for Your Busy Season: Embrace this quiet time and plan your marketing and business growth strategies for the upcoming new year. This is a great time for a one-on-one retreat with your coach or meeting offsite with your members of your Mastermind Group. Thank God you have time to now focus on you and your business.

5. Create Passive Income: Use the free time to get your creative juices going. Create a product that you can add to your passive income stream. Set deadlines for you and your team to complete your product. Invest in coaching and have your Mastermind Group members hold you accounting.

6. Meet People : This new free time is a great reason to go on vacation. Go somewhere warm. Take a daring adventure. At a minimum go through your Rolodex and call an old friend and meet for a weekend or spend all night on the phone catching up on what each other has been doing. Do not sit home alone feeling sorry for yourself.

7. Volunteer: I learned a long time ago that there will always be someone prettier, slimmer, smarter, and wealthier than me. But, there are also people less fortunate. Get out and volunteer in your community or online. Find an organization that aligns with your values ​​and interests and give them a call. I bet they need volunteers.

8. Enjoy the Solitude: Use this time to reconnect with yourself. Read the books that you have stacked in a pile. Watch an evening of mindless TV and eat your favorite snacks. Self reflect on all the good you do for others. Make a list of everything you have completed over your lifetime. I bet the list will surprise you. Think about what you would like to accomplish before you expire and make a new bucket list. Enjoy the solitude to research the costs of the items on your bucket list and design a plan to turn those dreams into a reality.

9. Put a $ 100 in Your Wallet: Go to the bank and get a crisp $ 100 bill. Put this crisp bill in your wallet where you will see it every time you open your wallet. Seeing this bill will empower you. You will know you have it in case you need it. You will know it is not ear marked to pay a bill and is really yours. You will feel safe and accomplished with this crisp $ 100 in your wallet.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects many people each year. Every business has a slow season. If you are new business owner do not hide because things have slowed. Review your marketing and advertising strategy, up your online presence and embrace the slow the season. The savvy business owner recognizes and prepares for this slow time. My nine tips above will help you to embarrass your slow season and confront Seasonal Affective Disorder without being a grump. But remember, SAD and depression can become serious medical emergency issues. Please seek assistance from a medical professional if you have thoughts of harm yourself or can not seem to shake the foul mood. At a minimum call me or your coach for help too.

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7 Top Tips to Establish Value-Based Rates and Finally Charge What You Are Worth

As a business owner and service provider, have you ever asked the value of the services you offer? Or even your own value as an experienced professional in your area of ​​expertise? Believe me, you are not alone! At some point in our journey as entrepreneurs, especially early on, it's particularly that most of us have struggled with determining the value of our services and how best to convey that value to prospective clients. It's a mental wall that we all face and must scale in order to be successful, and it's probably one of the most challenging ones we deal with as an entrepreneur.

Why is this so true for most of us? Because it's emotional. It's difficult for most of us to place value on ourselves and what we do. When we base our rates on time and cost, it's easier to work through because it's factual. Drawing from my days in high school Algebra class, if we know it takes us X amount of time to perform a task or complete a project, and it takes us Y amount of cost to run our business, then we know that with X times Y equaling Z, we get our hourly rate, and we're done, right? But it's not about time and cost; at least, it's not only about time and cost.

Placing value on skills and services is more intuitive, making it a bit more complicated. Determining your value as a service provider, assigning that value to rates that are value-based, and then actually charging those rates can be a very difficult exercise to go through. It's important, though, that you do work through it, so you can confidently charge what you're worth and work with clients who understand and appreciate the value you bring them, and are happy to pay for it.

Here are my best tips for helping you to work through the ” How do I determine my value and charge for it ?” exercise:

1. The first sale is always to yourself. You must be extremely comfortable with, and confident in, the rate you propose to prospects or you will not make the 'sale'. If you do not accept your own rate first, then your prospects will follow suit. You must have 100% confidence in the value of your services provided to the client and have that confidence and commitment in that when your rate.

2. Know your own value. You bring more to the table than you think you do. Consider your path, your journey and your life experiences-all of these add to your value. Your jobs, your education, your training, your expertise, the courses you've taken, the books you've read, all make up and increase your value. It's not solely about the services you provide.

3. Focus on outcomes and results-not tasks / projects. Ultimately, your prospects likely do not care what is involved; they just want to know that they'll receive the result or income they're looking for. It's not about what you'll DO, but more about what end-result your clients will receive. Make that your focus.

4. Remember that consumers believe “you get what you pay for.” You want clients who have the expectation that you'll deliver great results. That is what will keep people talking and keep the referrals flowing. Knowing that clients believe 'you get what you pay for' allows you to charge for that high value that clients get in working with you.

5. Involve emotion in the prospects so they decide from their heart, not just their head. Emotion will make your prospects take action to hire you. You can appeal to their heart and emotion by speaking to the value, results and outcomes. When your communication is all about your fees, you involve just their head. They will over-think and will not move forward.

6. Communicate long-term benefits in working with you. It's easier to charge for your value when your prospects understand long-term benefits in working with you. Effectively communicate how they will benefit for months and years to come, by hiring you now.

7. Ask questions of the prospect to express value. Including the prospect in evaluating the value in working with you helps to guide them to take action. Examples of great client-engaging questions may include: What will this mean to your business? What would happen if you did not move forward? What would be the effect on revenues, or time? You want prospects, on their own, to realize that there is great value in working you. Asking questions can help get them there.

In addition to your personal value, know and understand the financial value that your services provide to your clients . If working with you increases their bottom line, this also is part of your value and what you want to be comfortable and confident in expressing.

If you find yourself stuck behind this proverbial mental wall, and you're having trouble working through the value-based rates dilemma, use these tips to guide you in gaining the confidence you need to not only charge what you're worth, but get paid what you're worth, as well!

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Things to Know to Get Yourself Ready in Starting a Coffee Shop Business

A coffee based business is certainly one of the best trades that you can think of. We are living in a world dominated by coffee drinkers. In estimation, around one out of five people goes into a coffee shop every day to drink their favorite coffee beverages. These amount to more than 2 billion cups of coffee in a year. Coffee is indeed a formidable commodity that is in line with other most bought-after goods like oil and sugar. Another evidence of it is the existence of many coffee farms in each and every corner of the globe. However, having a high demand for coffee is one thing, but catering to this demand is another.

While many coffee shops for sale are made available and having it for business is a sound investment, many are still struggling to open and operate a successful coffee shop business. It is important that before you buy coffee shops you are quite aware of how this kind of business works. Of course being an entrepreneur you know enough that the ultimate keys are prime location, an excellent product, and a prospective market. Aside from this, there are other things that you need to focus on so you can turn coffee shops for sale into a highly profitable business.

When you buy coffee shops, the first important thing to consider about the business is the pricing. Before you make a deal for one of the coffee shops for sale deliberate first on how your selling will go and if it will earn you enough profit. You need to do it accordingly or else you'll fail to attract more customers. Spend ample time with your calculator and study carefully how many cups of coffee you need to sell in a day to make up for the expenses and what your expected earnings will be. Include in the computation on how much is needed to also make you, the owner gets paid. If you're unsure if your pricing is done properly take this business axiom into mind: If too many people are whining about your prices, then you are charging too high. However, if only a few of them are complaining, you are pricing your products fair enough.

Train your staff to be genially nice to all the people, both to customers and co-workers. In this way, you are promoting a happy ambiance in your coffee shop and that will certainly make for happy return customers. Aside from good beverages, coffee drinkers are always up for coffee joints with a cozy and uplifting atmosphere.

Remember these tips and you're good to go for any coffee cafés or shops for sale out there!

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Why Commercial General Liability Insurance Has Been So Popular Till Now

What is Commercial General Liability Insurance?

The General Liability Insurance protects businesses and their owners from “general” claims which involve bodily damages, property damages, and lawsuits relating to both of these. It's the first policy usually purchased by small business owners because it's often needed when signing client's contracts and commercial leases. The General Insurance covers all expenses related to clients and customer's injuries which occurs within the vicity of your property, damages you caused to the properties of others, and other advertising mistakes. It simply covers all the most common lawsuits which arise from daily business activities such as interacting with customers, renting of property, and relating with clients.

What does General Liability Insurance cover?

This form of Business Insurance takes care of third-party lawsuits. This reflects to the lawsuits which are bought by non-employees such as clients, landlords, vendors, customers, and so on. Typically, it covers third-party lawsuits which are triggered by any of the following:

  • Damages to property : It covers all damages to someone else property which was caused by your activities or that of your employees while working for you. This includes a lawsuit filed by your landlord due to a fire outbreak at your office which destroyed all or part of his building.
  • Bodily Injuries : It covers all kind of lawsuits arising from bodily injuries sustained by a customer or client while at your promises. This includes a lawsuit filed by a client who slipped and broke a leg at your office.
  • Damage of Reputation : It covers lawsuits arising from defamation. This includes a lawsuit filed by a competitor because of a defamatory comment posted by you or your employees on social media platforms.
  • Infringement of Copyright : It covers lawsuits arising from using someone else idea without seeking his permission. This includes a lawsuit filed by a competitor because of the similarities in your marketing and advertising materials and minds.

How can I save money on General Liability Insurance?

Depending on a large amount on the type of business, General Insurance can be pretty pricey. There are a couple of ways through which you can save money on your General Liability Insurance.

  • Avoid Overstimation : When estimating the gross receipts and salaries for the incoming year, many business owners overestimate owed to their high hopes and expectation from their businesses. These figures tend to increase the premium they pay because most policies “premiums are calculated based on the figures of the gross receipts and salaries.
  • Ensure That You Are Properly Covered: Some business owners sacrifice their proper coverage for lower premiums. They end up having major claims which the little money saved from lower premiums can not cover.
  • Package Your Policies Properly: When you package your General Liability Insurance with some other policies such as your Business Personal property, you get to enjoy a multi-policy discount.

If you need any information about Commercial General Liability Insurance or you wish to save some money on your General Liability Insurance, you can contact an Insurance Company and get a quote today.

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