Booklet Tips – Untapped Language Licensing Gems

Licensing the rights to use your tips content in exchange for payment has endless possibilities, including other languages. It's the ultimate exercise in leveraging what you've got, of creating it once and selling it multiple times. You may have thought about licensing, and were concerned about how to do it and what is involved.

While it is crucial to be clear and complete in whatever written agreement you create when licensing your content for use in any way, you might be surprised by how common-sense it can be, too. However, before getting to what's in the agreement, look at what language licensing opportunities might be right in front of you that you never considered.

It can be easy to think of pursuing licensees in countries where a different language is spoken than what you wrote your content. Yes, that is definitely do-able. What about the many languages ​​spoken within your own country. Several years ago, the San Diego Unified School District reported that 46 languages ​​were spoken among their students. And that is within one city within the United States. And that's not even one of the largest cities in the country.

Your tips booklet and any other format of your content as a product or the content by itself are all available for licensing into other languages. That doubles, triples, and exponentially expands your opportunities many times over before you ever create a single new product beyond what you already have.

There are businesses who want to reach people who primary language is different than the country in which they are living. Banks and other financial institutions, grocery stores, educational institutions, and on and on – they all want to market to those residents who speak a different language. Your bite size brilliance can be just the thing for those business' marketing departments or company owners, if only they know your content exists.

When it comes to licensing your content in any format into a different language, there are two primary options relating translation. You can get the product translated through a translating service yourself or you can include that function as part of the licensee's responsibilities. That is up to you. It has been very successful to have the licensee handle it as part of their responsibilities. The licensee also then gets the new language version professionally designed and printed. You have literally provided the original content file in the language you created it, and the licensee does the work, paying you for the right to do it.

ACTION – Look around your local community and general region to identify what non-native languages ​​are spoken and the businesses who want to reach them. This may be a new awareness for you, bringing you opportunities you never considered. Depending on your area of ​​expertise in your tips booklets and other information products, some businesses will be more appropriate to contact than others. You can also ask the business owners you contact to suggest other business owners they know who want to reach that same non-native language and who provide different products or services as a way to streamline your own marketing efforts.

© 2015

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Playing The Business Growth Game

Growing a business takes a lot of hard work. As much as we all would love to have an idea, put it out into the world and poof we're a success, it just does not work that way. Success does not come over night, despite how easy other business owners make it look.

The main thing you need to realize is that growth comes with change. You must be open to change and willing to go through some sort of transformation to get your business to where you would like it to be on the other side. You have to be open to changing some policies, procedures and systems, or changing your ideal target customers and even changing people. If you want to win at this business growth game, you gotta play to win.

Changing Policies, Procedures and Systems

A successful business operates via systems. These systems are created out of the policies and procedures that are in place and the need for efficiency in your business. No matter how good of a process or system you have, in order to grow bigger there will come a time where you will have to change that system. That system will only take you so far. The change may be small and minor tweaks or it could be a massive overhaul. Either way it's inevitable. In order to determine if you are at the stage in your business where you need to re-assess some of your policies and procedures, think about these things:

  1. Is what I have been doing all along still working?
  2. Do I constantly have to adjust my current process every time I provide a service or sell a product?
  3. Do I still feel like I am spiraling out of control, no matter what I do to make the current process work?

Changing Ideal Target Customers

As your business grows, you will get better and better at what you do. Your skills will sharpen and you will become more knowledgeable. Sometimes this will require a change in who you serve. Starting out you are inclined to help those in need of our services at a certain point in their life, career or business. But as you grow this ideal customer could change. This changes comes about with your increase knowledge as you become more in tune and aware of where you would like your business to go and who you can help along the way. Your current customers may not play in that space. And that is OK. Changing your target customer does not mean you no longer caring about the customers you currently serve. It simply means you have grown to be able to support customers at a new level.

Changing People

Changing people is one of the hardest things to change. Simply because people do not like change. We want things to stay the same. But that can not be. Not only do you have to embrace change but you also need to have staff who want to grow too. This is why it's important to bring people on board who compliment you and who strengths are your weaknesses. Make sure they know up front what you are trying to do and where you want your business to go. And make sure they are on board for the ride. When the time comes to make a shift, you all have to be willing to shift too. Those are not willing make need to get off the ride at your current stop.

What changes have you had to make in your business in the name of growth?

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How to Make Your Small Business Look Big

Do not let the title “Small Business” inhabit your ability to showcase how big your business can be. Small Businesses are often overlooked for certain reasons but the main reason is that the word small business comes across as a startup business. Think about it! Every business is a startup so why exclude a business as a major producer for consumers?

To name a few facts small businesses have provided 55% of all jobs and 66% of all net new jobs since the 70's. Did you know that there are 28 million small businesses in the United States? Lastly 70% of small business are owned and operated by a single person.

Well those sure are big facts. The goal of this post is to provide you with some quick tips on how to make your small business bigger. These tips may not work for every aspect but we are confident in saying that the tips can be applied universally. So let's begin!

Tip 1: Build social presence- The more information you share the more credible your company will appear. People love relevant content which will lead to people believing in you. Believers are most likely to refer your business or use you knowledge for their business. Be greater than a big fish in a small pond!

Tip 2: Website Makeover- If your website needs a makeover see what new technology tools or trends you can incorporate to make your website stand out. Change is good and beneficial so wow your prospective clients and your current clients with a makeover. No change is too big or small.

Tip 3: Get your name out there- Want to be heard as a small business well spread the word and do some networking. Use social media to its full potential because it is free. Free Advertisements saves your company money. How else will you get recognition if you do not make your company visible?

Tip 4: Do you homework- Running a business is like attending school you have to do your homework to see results. Just because you own a business does not mean education needs to come to a halt. As a rule of thumb you should always know your competition (do your homework) and know what your competitor stands for. In addition, see what a competitor offers that is different from your business and find an innovative way to supersede their offerings.

Tip 5: The Buddy System- Link up with an industry related company and see what connects you to share or simply host an event together. This will make you look resourceful and bigger.

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Deciding on an Office or Co-Working Space for Your Small Business

Comparing Co-Working to Office Space and Deciding what is Right for You

Co-working spaces are the newest trend among small business owners and entrepreneurs. These spaces give professionals the ability to go somewhere along their home to get work done and often include other amenities such as audio / video equipment, office equipment, meeting spaces, reserved desks, internet access, and sometimes an office kitchen area. While this may seem like a great arrangement, it is important to consider all aspects before deciding on co-working space for your small business.

Co-Working Spaces Provide a Professional Environment

Some small business owners and entrepreneurs find it very difficult to work from home – in many cases things such as television, pets, and children can be very distracting. Although working from home, or in a local coffee shop or library, is usually free of charge, these spaces often do not lend themselves to being very productive environments. While co-working spaces do have an expense attached to them, they are often have a much more professional atmosphere, which many people find more productive.

It is important to remember that co-working spaces often do not have private offices for each person renting in the space. In most cases, there will be desks arranged through one larger room with other smaller, private spaces available such as meeting rooms or boardrooms. Make sure to keep this in mind when considering a co-working space – while the environment will be more professional than your living room, you will likely not get the same kind of privacy as a traditional office space.

Co-Working Spaces can Provide Networking Opportunities

Chances are, if you choose to join a co-working space, you will be meeting clients and business partners in that space, meaning they will also be exposed to the other professionals sharing this workspace. Before signing up to join a co-working organization, ask what other types of businesses or professionals will be sharing the area with you – see if there is any potential for networking or partnerships as well as seeing if those businesses are in direct competition for your customers or clients.

There is a Cost for Joining a Co-Working Organization

Just like there is a cost to rent an office space, there is also a cost to become a part of a co-working space. Depending on what type of organization you choose to work with, it could either be a prepayment for a set amount of time or monthly installments much like paying rent. While the cost of joining a co-working organization is important, you should also take other costs into consideration, including a possibly longer commute or having to eat out more often since you will not be at home.

In the end, only you as the business owner or entrepreneur can make the decision about whether or not a co-working space is right for you and / or your business. Will being in a professional environment make you more productive? Will exposing your clients to other businesses bring up issues with competition? Is it more cost effective to invest your time and money into acquiring your own office space? All of these are important questions to ask before making the move to join a co-working organization.

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On Blueberry Hill

THE HARVEST

“Go to the back corner of the field,” the attendant said. “Those bushes have not been picked over yet.” A novice at gathering blueberries, I dutifully set out toward the far reaches of this large blueberry field. But I never made it there. Instead, I found all of the sweet, juicy blue fruit I could glean within seconds of entering the field. I discovered bush after bush loaded down with berries. What's more, these berries were the plumpest and, as I discovered later, the best tasting I had ever ateen.

Naturally, my curiosity was aroused. “Why were these berries overlooked?” I asked myself as I tossed my harvest into a bucket. Suddenly I took note of my position. I was kneeling down and leading into one of the bushes. That's when it stuck me. Yes, these bushes had been picked over, BUT ONLY ON THE EDGES AND AT EYE-LEVEL! My predecessors in harvesting had grabbed off all they could get as quickly and effortlessly as possible and then they quit. They never even saw what I soon discovered were by comparison the largest and most delicious pick of the crop. Whether they did not want to bend down or stretch up, wanted to get out of the summer sun, or just wanted to get as much as they could for as little effort as possible, these folks missed out on the best of the yield.

THE APPLICATION

“Just take whatever you can get quickly and easily. Do not sweat. Do not bend down. Do not inconvenience yourself in any way.” Most of the people who had picked blueberries in this field before me had taken this approach. If this is not true, then why had so many of the dozen and dozens who had been there overlooked so much of the best fruit? This is the approach that most people seem to take toward life, and even business, as well.

From my personal observations as well as my business experience, I can tell you this: If you'll work a little harder, dig a little deer, train a little longer and sacrifice a little more than the next person, you will set yourself apart in the business world if not in life as a whole. On the whole, it's just not done done out there. The juiciest fruits and most satisfying rewards are within the grasp of each of us, but it seems that far too many either do not care, do not know or do not care to know.

Take a lesson from the blueberry field. The sweetest fruits of success are found by those who refuse to settle for average and are not afraid to work for the best. Remember that the next time you feel like giving less or quitting. That little extra might be all you need.

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5 Golden Questions to Ask Before Choosing Your New IT Support Provider

# 1 – Do They Have Different IT Support Plans Defined?

Providing IT support to different businesses is definitely not a case of one size fits all. Some companies want to use their IT support provider on an as-required basis, others make a business decision to get outside help for all issues. Both are valid strategies, and any IT support provider who is serious about providing the right support levels to their customer base will have a range of plans to offer you.

# 2 – Do They Have a Formal Agreement Document that Defines Exactly What Do They Do?

Like most things in business these days, there is too much at stake to rely on a handshake with your new IT support provider. They need to have a plain English written Agreement that fairly identifies the scope of the services and the costs for those services. You also need this Agreement to include a confidentiality clause as you are effectively handing the keys of your business secrets to an outsider. And finally any Agreement you sign needs to be fair to both parties – not heavily slanted in the provider's favor.

# 3 – Do They Have Relevant Tertiary Qualifications and Current Microsoft Certificates?

The IT profession is unlike most others as it has no mandatory accreditation system. For example, organizations that provide plumbers, electricians, engineers, architects, lawyers, dentists, doctors and accountants are regulated to protect their client base from receiving sub-standard or unqualified services. You need to find an IT support provider whose entire technical team is qualified with some form of IT tertiary qualification. And because the IT industry does not stand still, it's important that they keep staff up to date by investing in their ongoing education with current industry certificates (warning – Microsoft certificates that include the phrase Windows Server 2003 are NOT current!).

# 4 – Do They Have Multiple Staff On Hand to Provide Both Quick Response Times and a Wider Spread of Knowledge?

Many organizations use a one-person entity for their IT support. Now a lot of the time, they do a really good job for a good price. However, the long-term challenge comes when they can not respond to your emergency or complete your project on time or provide support on your new solution or keep you up to date with the ever-increasing range of IT solutions. This is because they get too many clients, or they do not have enough time to keep up-to-date, or they get sick, or they go on holiday. And often, many go out of business because they can not make enough money, leaving their clients in the lurch.

# 5 – Do They Have a Service Desk System In Place?

It's one thing to have a guru who just jumps in and starts “fixing” your problem. And it's another thing completely to have a systems based process to record the details of your requirements, recording the actions taken to resolve the issue, and following through to ensure the task has been completed to the client's satisfaction. Every IT support provider – big or small – must have an industry-recognized Service Desk software system at the heart of their service delivery operation. A system that adheres to the ITIL standard and that integrates into your monitoring and remote access systems will provide ongoing efficiency, consistency and reliability.

In summary, the best way to ensure you choose the correct IT Support Provider for your business is to ask each of the contenders these 5 Golden Questions. It is vital that they answer YES to every question, and that they can back their answer up with examples and details.

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Tips for Going the Extra Mile, Competing With the Big Guys in Business

As a small business owner it's important to be prepared to go the extra mile in business. The self-employed and small business owner can find significant ways to gain an advantage over medium or larger businesses, the big guys who may be tied to a specific range of goods and services, catchment areas or opening hours.

By being flexible and less rigid in their offerings the self-employed and smaller business owner may well be able to provide a more adaptive, tailor-made service to their customers and clients.

Let's look at some tips for going the extra mile and competitiveness with the big guys in business:

– Anticipate your customers' needs. I was impressed the other day when my accountant phoned me to make an appointment to call round and complete my annual tax return. Typically, I had not even begon to look at it and, like many people, dread it, often leaving it until the last-minute. I appreciated my accountant being on the ball, giving me the nudge to do something that needed to be done, and sooner rather than later. Personal service like this, anticipating what needs to be done via a familiar, recognized point of contact Establishes good relationships with your clients and customers.

– Say 'no' if something is not within your area of ​​expertise. It takes courage to decline business but it demonstrates integrity and respect for your own reputation and your customer's needs to be prepared to say 'no' to work that you can not do to a satisfactory standard. Going the extra mile means staying true to your promise to do the best you can for your clients. If you take on work and then have to try to bluff your way through it can cause frustration and resentment in both you and your client as you both want the delivery of your usual high level of customer service.

– Be willing to recommend customers and clients to other businesses and providers who may, in certain circumstances, be able to deliver a better quality job than you. Going the extra mile means being committed to consistently providing the best workmanship by whatever means. Doing this enables you to establish yourself as a person of character and integrity. Bringing other businesses on board may result in you cultivating relationships and being able to deliver a wider range of good and services, enabling you all to grow and become more successful.

– Provide freebies. Providing quality literature, workshops, seminars and networking opportunities allows you to keep in regular touch with your customers and clients, introduce them to any new innovations and changes in your business and educate them about your industry. You establish yourself as an expert, someone who's generous and supportive of your customers, who's prepared to go the extra mile.

– Introduce your customers and clients to each other if you think there's an opportunity for them to form meaningful business relationships. By supporting your customers to grow and become more successful you help them to strengthen and improve their businesses; you all benefit as a consequence.

– Be honest if things go wrong or if you've made a mistake. Most people accept that mistakes happen occasionally. Being honest about what's happened allows your customers to plan or make adjustments if necessary. Equally, be open and honest about timings, deadlines and costs. It lets your customers know what to expect, what they're dealing with and as such, plan around it. Again, integrity, honesty and mutual respect are important when you're going the extra mile in business.

Thinking outside the box, anticipating your customers needs, being prepared to deliver exemplary customer service can set you apart from your competition and ensure that your customers continue to seek you out. Going that extra mile keeps your excellent reputation and continues to support your business success, even when competing with the big guys.

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Invest in Your Small Business With Equipment Leasing

If you're running a small business, now is the time to think big, whether you are looking at expanding via equipment leasing or purchasing new business equipment assets.

The Federal Government's focus on small business in the May budget was designed to encourage small business growth through tax cuts as well as measures to reduce red tape, promote more start-ups and hire more employees.

Many business owners will be taking advantage of the opportunity to receive an immediate tax deduction on each asset they purchase valued up to $ 20,000. Cars, utes, tables, chairs, printers, photocopiers, tools, TVs, sound and security systems, computers, tablets and smartphones are just some of the assets that can be deducted until the end of June 2017.

Short on capital? Try equipment leasing

While these tax charges are great news for many small business, what about those who do not have the capital available to purchase assets?

If you are a small business in this situation, equipment leasing may be your ideal 'think big' solution. Rather than buying machinery, equipment or cars, a lease enables you to rent them for a manageable monthly payment. At the end of the lease term, you have the flexibility to return, upgrade or continue to rent.

Leasing enables you to enjoy instant access to the tools you need to grow your business, while at the same time freeing up cash flow. Given lease payments are fixed, you can plan cash flow around a known cost, enabling you to stay 'cash flow positive'.

With record low interest rates making leasing a viable option for any business looking to acquire an asset, whether it's new kitchen equipment if you run a café, new tools if you're a tradie or a new computer if you have a home office.

Leasing can be particularly useful if you need to update equipment but you're not in a position to purchase, or your business relationships on expensive equipment that goes out of date quickly.

There are also tax advantages to leasing. Under a leasing arrangement, the business does not own the equipment for tax purposes because the financer is the one who has bought the equipment and leased it to you. This means you do not have a depreciating asset on your books and do not need to pay GST on the purchase price of the equipment.

Lease repayments may be tax deductible and although GST is charged on these repayments, your tax agent or the Australian Taxation Office will be able to advise you of the possibility of claiming these via your company's Business Activity Statement.

Want to know more about equipment leasing or Novated Leasing for motor vehicles? A mortgage broker can point you in the right direction.

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Cost Reduction Tips For Small Business Owners

A business owner will not be one when he or she does not constantly look for and employ various strategies to lower and avoid unnecessary costs. After all, who wants to have a business wherein all the returns on investment or ROI and profits simply go towards paying electricity and water bills, maintenance, etc.? This definitively defeats the purpose of setting up and running a venture so that you can have a steady flow of income and ever, gain higher profits.

There are many simple and easy to employ cost reduction ideas for small businesses. These cost reduction tips include the following:

Avoid unnecessary expenses. Do not waste company money on buying certain items or supplies that your business does not really need. Start with doing away with purchasing name or national brands for your supplies. You can purchase paper, pens, staple wires and other office supplies from lesser-known stores or supply chains and they are of the same quality as the ones being sold by bigger brands. You can get pre-owned or second-hand office equipment and furniture if you require some for your business promotions. You will have no trouble finding whatever you are looking for on eBay and other online shops. These furniture and equipment are still fully functional and suitable for your office or business promises but they come at much lower costs.

Lower your company's monthly energy consumption. Effectively reduce your monthly energy bills by turning off lights and computers when they are not in use. During the warm season, use oscillating fans instead of air conditioners whenever the heat is bearable inside your office or business area. Consider painting the walls with a lighter color so that you can dramatically reduce the overall lighting requirements in your office or business promotions as well.

Utilize the powers of the Internet. Lower your traditional marketing costs by listing your business on free online advertising sites. Leading business consultants also say that the different social media sites are always highly effective in letting the public know more about your business and they are free so use them to your company's great advantage.

Finally, get rid of any “dead wood”. “Dead wood” refers to any merchandise that you can not sell and which event costs you money in terms of storage space, taxes and handling. Your business can lose additional income from any dead wood since they are taking up space where you can place items that are more in-demand by buyers. As such, if you have any slow-selling items, reduce their prices and place them in a bargain or discounted sales area of ​​your business promotions.

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Opportunity Lost?

This is a problem that most small company leaders have. I fell prey to it once. And, I'll share my personal experience, as well as this recent experience with a firm where I served as financial manager (temporary CFO).

I worked with these folks three days a week- Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. And, this week in question, I had to deal with a licensing issue that was neglected by the entrepreneur. (Let's call him Ernest.) One that would shut us down. And, for most of Monday and Tuesday, I had to shuffle between various offices to insure that we could get a clean bill of health and get our license renewed. Which meant that I was not in the office at all for the first part of the week.

I walked in Thursday morning to see utter pandemonium prevailing. It seems that one of the employees of the firm, one who earned an MBA (at least that was the scuttlebutt- but over the year I worked with him, there was ZERO evidence he had any business acumen whatever) had convinced Ernest that there was a significant opportunity to make money. And, the two of them (the MBA and Ernest) set about “capitalizing” on this opportunity.

( As an as As the financial manager of the firm, Ernest should have discussed this opportunity with me before he jumped in with both feet. largest stockholder- but he's not the majority stockholder. Not quite “best practices”. )

Which means that during the busiest season of the year for our firm, we were scrambling to supply our normal products- and stuff we never supply at all to two customers who were handling a major convention. Which means that we needed to purchase even more inventory- most of which would be COD, since we had no long term arrangements with these vendors) – for our cash poor firm, just when we were to garner – – 1/3 of our gross revenue for the year. (That's why we were cash poor- we loaded up on inventory to capitalize on our big season.)

Oh, and we do not have that many employees. And, no trucks- since we use services like FedEx and UPS to deliver to our customers. And, this big “opportunity” needed us to deliver directly to them. Some 20,000 pounds of deliveries to two locations.

And, it gets better. It seems that these two vendors demanded “special pricing” for their big orders. A reduction of 10 to 20% off our normal markup. (We really do not markup- we divide our raw material cost by 40% – which means we multiply the price of raw materials by 2.5 to obtain the sales price.)

Now is a good time to explain what that really means. There is a big difference between markup and margin. If you have a 40% margin (hypothetically), it means that your direct costs- raw materials, labor, and delivery – equal 60% of your gross revenue. And, let's assume you are really well run and garner a 10% profit. That means for $ 100 of sales, you clear $ 10 in profit, after spending $ 60 on raw materials. So, providing a customer a 10% or 20% cut in price means that you are only getting $ 80 or $ 90 in revenue. So, you can see- there is NO profit on this sale. Maybe even a loss.

Now, let's look at the concept of markup. If we spend $ 50 on raw materials and markup the price, after dividing by 40%, then we are selling that item for $ 125. Yup- the gross revenue is higher in this scenario. But, even with that higher revenue, we were still only making about 10% profit- or $ 12.50. So, if we cut our sales price by 10% or 20%, means we are cutting our revenue by $ 12.50 to $ 25.00- which means we are losing money for sure.

And, it gets better. Because we had to rent a truck. We had to work more hours. And, we had to use our meager cash for these sales- leaving us less cash for our normal sales. Oh- and no one at this big meeting we were desperate to supply was really going to know who supplied them. So, any new business prospects were close to nil!

And, the piece de resistance? These vendors didnt pay us on delivery, like all our other customers do. Nope, we had to wait for their money. Which means less less money for the inventory needs for our regular customers.

Now, for my personal tale. One of our businesses was a very high margin one, operating in the vanguard of medical services. It was our hope- and our corporate mission- to expand this market segment from 1% to 5%, to 10%, to 100% – and where we would have about 50% market share or more. And, in the first three years of operation, we did grow our market segment to about 15% – with a 90% share of that segment coming to us.

My operational team (that includes me!) Thought we could grow this segment even faster if we supplied the other (clearly inferior) product choice. Then, we could work from within the hospitals and clinics to convince them to switch to the better therapeutic mode. This meant we could have them using our therapeutic mode faster than without this avenue of approach.

Our board (who, by the way, were not investors in the firm) reminded us this was a bad business practice. We were clearly the Rolls Royce of the marketplace- albeit at Thunderbird prices. (In case I lost you with this analogy, our product offering was the very best therapy out there- and our pricing was just slightly higher than the much lower-benefit choice- more than what they were paying, but not by much.)

And, our board members reminded us that we were still a small company. One that had a “large” reputation. And, we would never be able to build that reputation back to its stellar regions, if we chased after every sale and not the right ones.

Yes, we relied on our board. Thankfully. Kudos to Arthur Lipper and the departed Bob Boyle and Bill Weissert for keeping us aligned with our mission and vision.

I did not write this to show you that getting a sale that loses you money is bad. Because, if we did not give these customers a discount, then you'd think it was a good idea. Because we could have made money on this sale. Just like our firm would have made some money by selling the conventional therapy.

But, by including both tales, you should see that entire concept is wrong. These potential sales did not fit our mission statements. They did not fit our operational plans. They did not even exceed our normal product lines. We had to extend everything to capitalize on these “opportunities”. Including making it tougher for us to meet our objectives- supplying our core customers with great products that want, when they want them, at prices- and service levels- that make them want to come back.

Those are the questions we all have to ask- and answer properly – every time an “opportunity” comes along that is not part of our normal business processes. And, if it does not meet our criteria, then we let it pass us by.

Because we want to be the best we can be in the business we expect to be in.

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Coffee Cart Business Opportunities

No one can deny that life today goes on a much faster rate than it did before. With so many things to do and take care of during the day, people hardly have time for some of the things they used to spend precious time on – like preparing home-cooked meals. This is why the fast food industry is booming, with people preferring to simply buy already-cooked meals on their way home from work.

This also holds true for the coffee cart business. People have made drinking coffee a habit. But today, instead of brewing it themselves, they simply grab a cup on the move. This is one of the principal reasons why coffee shops are making great sales these days. Add to this the fact that coffee shops are doing double duty as work venues. Some people frequent their favorite coffee shop and do their work there – working away on their laptops, or closing important deals over a cup of coffee. With all the requirements of doing business in place already, a coffee shop owner can even make more money by offering other appealing items on the menu – pastries, cupcakes, and other confectioneries to go with the coffee. One can also expand the drinks menu by offering tea or soda.

The coffee cart business presents a wide variety of ways to make money. Many entrepreneurs the world over have discovered many ways to capitalize on the world's obsession with coffee. You too can join the bandwagon and find your own niche in the coffee cart business market.

You have many options. You can open a gourmet coffee kiosk. Find a convivial kiosk in a mall or close to offices or universities in a commercial location. Look for a tea or coffee selection that you think will appeal to your prospective customers. Acquaint your target market with the products that you are planning to sell by offering free sampling to tea and coffee enthusiasts. You can set your kiosk apart from the many coffee shops that serve coffee and pastries by specializing in offering freshly appealing packaged gourmet coffee and tea. You can buy the specialty coffee in its bean form in bulk, grind it in your kiosk, and sell it fresh and repacked in small quantities.

You can develop your own exclusive brand and put your own private labels on your specialty coffee or tea. You can offer this brand to your neighborhood grocery stores and other food retailers on wholesale rates. You can reach a wider market through these new marketing channels.

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The Perks of the Coffee Business

Should you join the fray and get into the coffee cart business? Is it a practical move? Will it earn you considerable money? Or are you in for a lot of headache?

The coffee business started everyone when it became such a huge hit. Before you knew it, anyone who had money to spare to go into business was selling coffee. Coffee shops sprouted almost everywhere – from big multi-chained big-business coffee shops to small charming quaint ones.

And people who went into these coffee shops to try a mug or two became frequent goers. People who had to have a cup of coffee in the morning decided it was easier to simply drop by their favorite shop to get their espresso or strong brew than to make their own coffee at home.

It also became fashionable to frequent these coffee cart shops. The shops became a choice hang-out – for teens, as well as for adults. Individuals would haunt coffee shops, bringing along their laptops or their books and magazines, feeling right at home. Businessmen would transact business in the shops. On week-days, families turned out in droves – on their way to or from the movies or the halls.

The coffee shop habit has turned from being an overnight sensation to a habit that is here to stay. It is no longer just a fad. If managed well, the coffee business is clearly a sustainable one. You can make good money from it. With dedication, hard work, and helpful research, you can turn it into a very profitable business.

Some individuals who are in the coffee business have discovered that there is just more than the money reward in it. The coffee cart business is also a pleasant, emotionally-rewarding thing to get into.

If you are able to turn your coffee cart or shop into a cheerful and charming place that people will love to frequent, you will have a thriving business. You will also have the emotional satisfaction of seeing that you bring cheer to people's lives. When you see familiar faces coming back again and again, you know for sure that your coffee shop has become an essential part of their lives – that your nook has turned into a warm, welcoming, joyful place that draws them over and over. You know that you are doing something right. Your place has become “home” to your clients, a place they enjoy going back to because they enjoy being there.

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Booklet Tips – Sales From Tee-Shirts or Mini Van

What's your purpose in writing anything, whether it's a book, article, blog post, tips booklet, or anything else? Is it because you want to be rich and famous, or only rich or only famous? Do you want to primarily be helpful to people, which may or may not be easier to do once you are rich and / or famous. Do you have a message you want to spread, to reach as many people as you can?

By now you may have realized there are lots of ways to accomplish your purpose. Some of those ways take longer and are a lot of work. Yet others have a shorter path to greater results and can actually be a fun journey.

Remember those bits of brilliance you have to share with people, those bits that can become a tips booklet? Yes, there are traditional ways to compile and publish them, whether online or in hard copy. Creating a group of well-edited tips is also a valuable resource, a reservoir to tap for applying in truly endless ways.

A recent magazine article mentioned a person walking down a busy city street wearing a tee-shirt that had a how-to tip on it, with the website address of the tip origin right below the tip. One of the many people who saw the shirt visited the website which had exactly what the person was seeking, and a substantial sale was made — all from seeing a person walking down the street wearing a tee-shirt with a tip and a website address on it.

Something similar happened from someone stopping at a traffic light in a local community, seeing the mini-van next to them. A pithy how-to tip and a website on that van triggered a huge sale that most likely would not have happened otherwise.

While a walking tee-shirt or a promotionally wrapped mini-van may not suit your company's image, the content you distribute, or you as the company owner, there are many other ways to expand your message, your reach, your revenue, and your overall enjoyment of what you are doing in your business. And you can do all of that by testing first and investing next.

The very first thing to do, though, is to create a file of how-to tips that represent your expertise.That is the piece of clay that can be shaped into many forms, some that come to mind more quickly than others. The tee-shirt and mini-van, while maybe not your choice, are easy to imagine once you've got the content. There are many more that are equally or even more effective for you, your company, and your buyers.

ACTION – Create a file of how-to tips, telling the reader what to do, with a maximum of 30 words, though less is better. Realize that list can be licensed to companies and associations for them to use for their purposes, and also that you can offer in various formats – on Jigsaw puzzles, in customized fortune cookies, on kites, as skywriting – with the website address of whoever it is using the tip, whether that is you or your licensee. You will have extended your reach and made more money by re-purposing those tips in ways you may never have imagined.

© 2015

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How to Improve Your Small Business Sales

Tips for Increasing Your Small Business Sales

Sales is an important element of driving a small business and keeping it open over a longer period of time, not to mention having it be successful. Too often, however, small business owners lose sight of how sales affect their business and do not work to make it a priority. Keeping customers coming through the door and keeping sales on the up and up is critical to a small businesses success and longevity. Here are some tips you can use to improve and increase your small business sales for continued success.

Keep Sales as a Priority

In the small business universe, it is most often the business owner who heads up the sales team. It then falls on them to be highly focused on sales, generating new business and finding new leads. If the business owner is not a sales type person – and let's be honest, not everyone is – it is important to find a person who is strong in sales and can put the necessary focus on sales development. Additionally, this individual will have to keep a pulse on customer satisfaction and feedback. Generally, having one individual focus on sales will help the business keep moving in the right direction toward success.

Keeps Sales Team Hierarchy at a Minimum

In larger businesses, having a management matrix is ​​usually a great thing – when you have a large sales force, it generally takes more than one person to manage those sales people. Small businesses do not need to have the same format. For businesses with ten or fewer sales people, it is usually best to only have one individual overseeing and directing them. This helps to eliminate any unnecessary complications with complex management structures and provides a more defined job description for the person in charge of the sales force – oversee the sales people and watch the sales process day to day.

Hone in on Salespeople's Expertise

Not everyone is great at selling everything and even those salespeople who sell a variety of products have one area in particular where they excel. Make sure you as a business owner and your sales team leader identify your sales team member's strengths and weaknesses and play to those. There is nothing wrong with directing one salesperson to focus on Product A sales and another on Product B sales as long as their expertise aligns with those products. Generally, when a sales person is an expert at selling one product or service in particular, they are passionate about it, which helps to create loyal customers.

Continue Striving for the Next Sale

Businesses that see initial success upon opening usually believe that those successes will last forever. The truth is, businesses and sales teams need to continue to strive to make the next sale and develop the next loyal customer in order for business to continue to be strong. Make sure to take the time to research your target market – know who your customers are, where they come from and the best way to bring them into your business. This needs to be a focus of someone's position and not merely a part of their job – in order to grow sales, you always need to be looking for the next opportunity.

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What Separates a Mediocre Business From a Highly Profitable One?

Have you ever asked yourself, “How can I get my business to the next level?”

To answer that question, many people believe that they need a big budget or should purchase expensive equipment. This may not necessarily be the case.

The truth is for many businesses you do not need a larger budget. You may not even need to purchase expensive equipment or hire more employees to expand a business.

What you do need is to explore how a profitable business is leveraged. It's one of the key areas I cover and why many of my clients achieve such fast results.

It may surprise you to learn that one of the easiest ways to leverage has to do with a mindset shift. One of the early mindsets I had to get over was, “If I want something done, I have to do it myself.” You might have even said something like this to yourself.

If you want to move your business to the next level, your business can not be dependent on any one person, including you. In fact, it is more expensive in the long run to hold on to tasks that you can delegate to someone else for a fraction of what you would bill if you were working with a client.

There are also layers to the mindset of leverage. As you grow your team, you may think you have delegation mastered simply because you have a team. The next question to ask is, “Where else can leverage be found?”

With leverage in mind, you create specific strategies that allow you to work efficiently, serve more people, and bring in more revenue. This is why leverage separates a mediocre business from a highly profitable one.

Consider these three questions to start leveraging your business today:

1. What can be given up or eliminated that no longer serves the main goals of the company?

It's easy to get comfortable in your job and perform tasks each day, but do those tasks continue to contribute to the main goals of the organization? If not, stop doing them. When you do, you just made room for relevant work.

When one work team identified tasks that could be eliminated, they realized that there were numerous reports being distributed but not read. This one elimination rejected in a $ 6,000 savings.

2. What can be automated?

Automation is a high form of leverage. Consider exploring how manual processes could be automated. Remember to check out open source software or apps that just may be the ticket to a cost-effective solution.

3. What can be systematized?

If you have a regular meeting, it may be easier to systematize it. One of my clients realized that she could easily save approximately three hours combined team time each month simply by systematizing one of the employee meetings to the first Thursday of each month. Now they do not need to waste time finding a common date for the next meeting, they already have it scheduled.

There are many exciting forms of leverage, including refining your work processes, managing your time more efficiently, and utilizing the latest technologies. Leverage is an essential tool to move your business from mediocre to highly profitable.

Do you have an example to share on how you leveraged your business? Share it with us!

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