The Need For Implementing A Good IT Service

The age of internet has pushed most businesses and companies online. Whether it is e-commerce sites or any other kind of service, people prefer shopping online due to the many added advantages and conveniences. However, as most of the hosting services are based on the internet, the associated problems and maintenance cost also increases. The website hosting service must be secure and be able to recover from disasters with minimal down time. In order to ensure such features and capabilities for your business, it is best to avail the services of business IT solutions. You can either set up your own IT support team or consider outsourcing the work to a company or firm that specializes in such fields. However, as most small businesses and industries can not afford the costs of implementing a new IT support system, outsourcing the work is the best possible solution. Apart from being a cost-effective solution, you will be able to delegate all the management and security issues to the new company that relieving you of a lot of stress and effort allowing you to focus on your main business objectives.

When choosing IT computer services for your business, it is important to make a well informed decision in order to get the best out of your investment. The role of IT services in the business variants from the nature and the size of the business. For banking or trading applications, a higher priority is placed on data security. This is usually managed by a computer services team which can alert the user in the case of any intrusion or authentication failures. Similarly, businesses of large size such as e-commerce websites or information hosting sites must place more emphasis on the management of data. Again, this is implemented by the relevant IT services by making use of database servers and management. Therefore, no matter what kind of business you intend to start, implementing a good IT service is an important aspect that can guarantee effective management and utilization of resources.

The need for implementing a good IT service

As businesses grow in size, it becomes more difficult to manage the different aspects of the site. Apart from this, implementation of new technology also makes it difficult to monitor all the servers involved and guarantee accurate working. In order to avoid spending too much time and resources to monitor and manage the network, you can consider the benefits of an outsourced IT company to get the best results. By hiring the right IT team, you will be free to use your resources in a more productive manner rather than concentrating on unimportant tasks or work. This can also help you save a lot of money and time in the long run by decreasing operating costs and increasing the efficiency of the business. Tasks such as handling the security or maintaining and updating the servers and the systems can be outsourced or delegated to IT support companies at a nominal rate.

As they are more experienced in handling errors and failures, they will be able to use their expertise and find the best possible solution for your problems. For further information contact your local IT services company or local tech support guy.

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Residual Income and How You Can Build It

Nowadays, it is easy to get trapped in the corporate world. We barely notice how getting a day job eats up most of our time only to be rewarded by so little income, or at least income that equates the amount of work that you do. What many of us do not understand is that there is a way for us to earn money in such a way that it will be the one that works for us, not the other way around. We can actually become our own bosses, and when we become such, we earn residual income.

What is residual income?

There are generally several types of income, first being the earned income. With earned income, the amount of work that you do equates to the amount of money that you earn-basically, it is a linear process. Then we have the portfolio income, where you sell an investment for a price higher than what you paid it for. Lastly, we have the residual or the passive income, where your assets earn the income for you. For example, buying a property and renting it out to tenants. Residual income is not just limited to physical properties. This could also be applied in intellectual property. Getting paid for the photos that you posted on the internet so that a commercial brand can use it is another example of a residual income.

What are ways on how you can earn residual income?

Needless to say, the best type of income is the residual income because it is basically letting the money roll in while you sit back and rest. In essence, it is like you are investing in something that people are willing to pay for over and over again. Can you think of investments that can do that for you? Investing in travel and leisure is the way that is closest to us, but it is not limited to only that. There are numerous investments that you can have. Aside from investing in a travel property, you can also invest on a blog. When you are already reaching a decent number of readers, brands and businesses will actually pay you so you can promote them.

In a nutshell, the possibility of building residual is endless, and the more creative you are, the better. It can be about mixing and matching-investing in travel property and writing a travel blog sounds like a dynamic duo. What matters the most is how willing you are to invest.

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What an ERP Can Do for Your Batch Food Processing Business

Food safety and accountability are two very important priorities for batch food processors. When you first started out you did all of your scheduling, processing, and tracking by hand. Although you may have integrated some software into the process, chances are the various processes were not connected and required you to keep separate records to track everything. As your business grows you discover trying to stay on top of financial, quality control, and batch processing has become a time consuming chore. If you are finding yourself in this situation, the time is right for you to consider an ERP software solution.

Tracking and Accountability

ERP solutions give you the ability to track specific ingredients from the cradle to the grave. This is an important benefit for batch processing operations to ensure accountability in the event you face an FDA recall. On the FDA's site there are over 20 food related recalls for June 2014. These range from contaminated food stuffs to undisclosed allergens. Either of these issues can cause serious health problems or even death in consumers. With the tracking ability this software gives you ingredients and batches can be traced from the moment they arrive at your facility to the point they are delivered to your customers.

Streamlined Operations

Instead of trying to do everything manually or with disjoined software programs, an ERP solution integrates your entire operation. Not only will the software give you tracking ability, but it can also do financial batch processing, order scheduling, inventory management, warehouse management, and more. Once your ERP is up and running all of your operations will run smoothly and automatically. You will not need to manually schedule testing, processing, or deliveries. The software will do all of this for you without fail.

Increased Productivity

Once you and your employees are freed from the mundane tasks of manual tracking and organization you are free to be more productive. Your operations will run smoothly, batches will be processed and tested in a timely manner, and deliveries will be scheduled to meet your customer's needs. With the inventory control feature of the software you will no longer have to worry about raw materials spoiling since you will only have on hand exactly what you need to meet your needs. On the financial end of your business integrated accounts receivable and accounts payable functions ensure a constant stream of revenue into your business.


As your business grows the ERP software will grow with you. If your batch processing recipes need to be updated or changed, the software can also handle this task. With an increase in productivity the ERP software grows with you ensuring your business has the freedom it needs to be successful and keep growing. The ERP software should be tailor to your business' needs and be able to be updated and expanded as needed.

If your food processing business is experiencing growing pains you need to consider taking the next step to even more success and look into ERP software. You may be surprised how valuable this tool can be in the success and continued growth of your company.

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Boost Your Income By Starting A Home Based Business

When starting a home based business in order to boost your income, four things to consider are the tax advantages, doing something that you love, the security of your current job, and your self-esteem.

Your home office is one of the greatest tax advantages for a home based business. You have the ability to deduct a percentage of most of your household bills (utilities, rent or mortgage, property insurance, property taxes, cell phone, and internet) based on the percentage of your house that is the footprint of your home office. It is helpful to dedicate a separate room to your home office and accurately calculate the square feet of that space in order to calculate your deduction. Other tax advantages include education expenses for classes that you enroll in to improve your skills to run the business, traveling and meal expenses, transportation for business purposes, if your business sells products then you get additional advantage for having inventory in your home, software purchased to run your business, the cost of uniforms, office supplies, home improvements to your home office, and items that you need to run your business in order to boost your income are just some of the key advantages.

Do you have a hobby that you love to do? If you are good at building websites, making jewelry, or home repairs then creating a website design, jewelry design, or local handyman business looks like a good fit. Would owning the type of business that is your passion make you happy and fulfilled?

Many people can not quit their job to start a business that may not generate the same level of income. To boost your income it is a good idea to start with a home based business so that you can keep getting your weekly paychecks in order to pay your bills and fund your new company. Once your company reaches millions of success and you are ready, you can leave your current job and focus solely on your business.

As a stay at home mom, a recent graduate, or a senior who wants to start up your dream business, it will feel amazing to begin a new journey. Your journey of self-empowerment and personal growth development in starting and becoming successful with your own business will elevate your self-esteem to new levels. The family legacy that you will leave for generations to come will be a reward to you and those you care about.

To gain inspiration on how to boost your income you will need to do your research and seek the help of a mentor, coach, or friend who has their own successes and are willing to share their knowledge with you.

Approaching someone to ask them to be your mentor can be overwhelming. Typically, you want to look for someone who you really respect and look up to. The possibility of that person telling you no can be frightening. On the other hand, what if that person says yes, and you find that they are what you thought they were. If you lose your hero as that person falls off of the pedestal that you have placed them on will not keep your positive momentum going that you have found with your business.

If you go with a professional mentor or coach, find one who fits you and your personality. You may not know what you need to be successful, so approach a coach with questions that will get them to explain their coaching style. Can they help you discover the best that lies within you and unlock your hidden potential? Ask for details about how they intend to do it. Finding someone who has been in your similar situation and who has succeeded by doing what you are trying to do is a great start.

Mentors and coaches know what it takes to be successful. Look for one with a passion for helping others. Ask them how many people they have worked with and why is coaching and mentoring their passion. If you like their answers, take a chance on them. Knowing that you can not do everything on your own is the first step to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

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Where To Turn When The Bank Turns Your Business Away?

Where does a small business turn when the banks turn them away? This is becoming more and more common in late years as the banks feel the pinch in their own coffers, having lent out millions in bad loans and irretrievable credit due to business going insolvent.

There are many hoops a business needs to jump through to be approved by a bank for a small loan, and there are many reasons why a small business would need such a loan. Cash flow is usually the primary candidate for a company's directors visiting a bank, hat-in-hand, asking in no uncertain terms for an increase in their line of credit.

As the banks entrust in their willingness to pass out the cash, businesses must resort to more left-of-center mechanisms to secure a line of credit quickly. Legitimate and ethical factoring companies are one option. The days of the loan sharks are dwindling (depending where you live in the world …) and many legal entities have sprung up in their place, recognizing that it is a market ripe for the plucking.

Companies that get caught out with their cash flow erring on nil, or worse still in the negative typically find themselves in such a position because they've paid their staff, their bills and their rent, but their clients have not returned the favor by paying their invoices on time.

While the need for a short-term cash flow solution is purely a 'trailing indicator' highlighting the problem, which a business should act on (they should make their payment terms less than those of their creditors) it does not change the fact that If a quick injection of cash is not found, the company will have its creditors baying for blood.

Enter the factoring solution. Factoring involves a marginal third party company, which will purchase any invoices owed to you, the floundering business, to a percentage of their value, and give that cash deposit in as little as 24-48 hours. This immediate company will then chase your client for the total invoice. Once that amount has been received, the factoring company pays you the difference less their commission for their service. While this might seem like 'legal loan-sharking' on the surface, it is all done above board, and this impartial factoring company is illegally to touch bad debt seeing as they stand to lose out.

What is important to note if you choose to go down this path is that research is the key. Some factoring companies compound their interest over time until they are paid by your client, and send you the bill. Here's a possible scenario;

· You are owed $ 50,000 by your client, who have intimated they can not pay you for 30 days, but you need that cash in a week due to $ 30,000 in bills and wages you need to pay.

· Enter the factoring company, who buys that $ 50k debt at 80% giving you $ 40,000 in your bank within 24 hours. Great your cash worries are sorted!

· Under the terms of your agreement with said factoring company, you'll be charged 7% in commission for the help, so out of that $ 50k, you're to receive a total of $ 46.5k.

· However, this is calculated monthly, and after 3 months, your client still has not paid their initial debt, now owed to the factoring company.

· This has compounded the interest to 21% (over 3 months, 7% per month) of the total amount, which is $ 10.5k.

· Under this scenario, you've now exhausted the $ 10k buffer you had, and now owe the factoring company $ 500 for their troubles.

The moral? Ask around and make sure you're informed about all the terms and conditions before you engage a third party to help you out of a cash-flow jam.

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5 Skills Needed by A Catering Start-Up Owner

What makes a person a success in the food business industry? While there are no specific formula to be successful in the catering business, it will typically take the following factors into consideration. One is the strong expertise in many key areas in the business – such as food preparation, handling, presentation, and safety. Second is perseverance and creativity – the ability to continue working hard even in the face of difficulty. Social skills are also relevant, not only when it comes to expanding customer database, but also in building a great team at work. Here are 5 skills needed by a catering start-up owner:

Calm under pressure

Needless to say, catering is no easy work. The food may look yummy and the event smooth-sailing, but that actually took long hours of hard work and preparation on the caterer's side. While you may usually do all the preparations in your own kitchen, you may be required to work in different environment and conditions, so you must be prepared to be flexible. Mishaps, delays, and other food problems may also arise, but you should not let these instances be a big factor that can ruin the entire event. Working efficiently and staying calm under pressure is truly a skill that every cater is must possess.


While you'll usually work on your own when you're starting, you must have no problems dealing and working with a team later on. This will be most possible when you start growing your customer database and accepting more catering functions. You must be able to work efficiently with your team so you can execute events smoothly and without delays.

Good communication skills

The food you prepare may be your biggest selling point, but you will not be able to showcase your catering skills effectively if you do not possess good communication skills. You'll need to be able to communicate well when doing sales pitches for events you'd like to cater, as well as when dealing with your team and the clients that you handle. Communication skills will not be limited to how good you are as a speaker; these will also involve how effective you are as a listener and as someone who gets the message across clearly.

High hygiene standards

When it comes to food preparation and food handling, cleanliness and hygiene should come in high standards. This is not only for the safety of the food you're preparing, but also for the benefit of the people you're catering to. Good personal hygiene must be practiced at all times, and this should be applicable to you and your team as well.

Passion for your work

A lot of times, many people get into the catering business because of its profitability. It's true that there's money in this kind of business. However, being after profit should not be your main focus in starting a catering business. Aside from the money aspect, you should also have great passion for this kind of venture. If you are committed and passionate in what you do, it will reflect on your work ethics and may also help you become successful in this field.

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All There Is To Know For Starting a Laundromat Business

It is really quite a simple business. There is a storefront where there are a lot of washing machines that can either be started from people putting in quarters, which is typically the way it is done, or newer technology allows for people to put the money in and they get this card that has some value on it, and then they can use the card to start the various machines. Basically the way the business works is the customers come in and they wash and dry their own clothes, and from an owner's point of view, all they need to really do is maintain the store, make sure that its well-lit and all the equipments are working and nice and clean, and do some basic advertising to bring in people and let them know that they are there. And of course, collect all the money.

Coin-op laundries can generate income everywhere from losing money every month to making thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars of profit. Actually, the value of the business is based upon a multiplier of how much income is generated by that business, so most coin laundries will sell as low as say, $ 50,000 to as much as over a million. If the business is well-run and has a good set of books, because it is an all cash business, many of them will qualify for Small Business Association loans.

The best place to set up a Laundromat is where the customers are going to be, and only about 5% of homeowners use a Laundromat, and what they normally use it for, is for washing big items like rugs or bedspreads. The customer base for this business is renters, so ideally a Laundromat should be in a convenient part of town where there are renters. So, in an area of ​​town on a major street, very close to where there are a lot of rental properties like apartment buildings, is where the store should be. An area of ​​multi-million dollar homes is probably not going to be the right location for the target customers.

There's a number of different ways to finance a Laundromat. The first and most common one would be to ask a bank or to go through the Small Business Association, as long as the business will qualify for that. Another source would be having the seller, finance part of the purchase. With the financial market being a little tight, it's a little hard to qualify for loans, although one can still do it if with good credit, sellers are realizing that, if they wanted to sell their store, they need to be open to the possibility of carrying a note for a portion of the purchase price.

Once these things are sorted, setting up the store and hiring a staff comes next. Although a small Laundromat can be run without staff. The equipments should always be in great condition to keep the customers coming, so good maintenance of utmost importance. Once a business is set up, customers will start rolling in with proper marketing and advertizing.

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The Most Basic Reasons Small Businesses Fail

If you are planning to start a business or have recently started one, you have a four in five chance of failing. Research by Bloomberg reveals that 80% of small businesses fail within a year and a half of starting. If you're like most budding entrepreneurs, leaving a steady job for such uncertainty is a huge leap of faith. You would stand to lose not only the money you put into the business, but also the overall financial security of your family. However, there are things you can do to give yourself a fighting chance.

The First Step is Always the Hardest

Derek Halpern of Social Triggers offers some sound advice from personal experience on how to start anything. As he points out, “there's ALWAYS a gap between what we know we SHOULD do and what we ACTUALLY do. For any goal you have – such as starting a business or addressing one aspect of it, like social media – the first step is” to simply get started. “Many people go months or years before even doing this step, and in fact, often never start at all. In his video, he shares the” Before I go to sleep tonight “technique to help you get over this but it's pretty straightforward. But first, some paradoxical advice: start with the end.

“You read a book from beginning to end. You run a business the opposite way. You start with the end, and then you do everything you must to reach it.” – Harold S. Geneen, telecommunications entrepreneur, as quoted by the Small Business Blog

Obviously, you should have an end goal in mind. The problem with end goals is that they are often so big and all-encompassing that they seem hard to break down into canable parts. Derek suggests starting with something you can do without too much effort TONIGHT. Do this before you go to sleep, without having to stay up much later than you usually do. Take up his challenge and comment on his post about one thing you will do tonight before you sleep. Rinse and repeat.

Remember When to Quit for the Day

Entrepreneurs will always have more to do in a day than they can do. It can become a source of guilt or sleepless nights if you do not finish everything you want to do today, even if it's just plain impossible. The key is effective time management. One of the largest obstacles to proper time management? Learn to say no – no to people, things, events, vices, etc. that do not help you run your business. Most importantly, set boundaries as to how much of your day goes to the business, and when to set your quitting time.


In starting any business, make sure you thoroughly plan the kind of time and money you will need to reach the breakeven point. This is easily two years down the line – more likely around five. Then just as the old catch phase goes, do it. But at the same time, remember to set boundaries to prevent it from consuming your entire life and affecting your family. These simple tips are often overlooked and taken for granted by a lot of people. They can also be some of the largest reasons a vast majority of small businesses do not take off.

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Starting A Business In Australia? What You Need To Know Right Now!

Starting a business in Australia can be either simple or complex, depending on the way you choose to structure your enterprise.

Choosing The Right Structure For You

There are four basic structures that you can choose from –

• Sole Trader,

• Partnership,

• Company,

• Trust.

Most people pause in business as a Sole Trader or Partnership. As the business grows and takes on employees many people choose to structure by forming a Company. Trusts are a less common form of legal entity and it is rare that a new business owner would set up a Trust in the early stages of their new business.

Regardless of the business structure you choose, the first thing you must do is to apply for an Australian Business Number, or ABN as it is more commonly known. Applying for an ABN is free and can be obtained in 10 minutes by visiting the Australian Securities and Investment Commission website.

If you wish to trade under a business name such as Jim Brown's Pizza Palace you need to register this name with ASIC also. At the time of writing, this fee is $ 30 plus GST for one year or $ 70 plus GST for 3 years.

In Australia, if you do not produce an ABN, other businesses will often refuse to trade with you. When applying for an ABN, you need to consider whether you need to be registered for GST. If your annual turnover is likely to exceed $ 75,000, GST registration is compulsory. If your turnover is under $ 75,000 registration, in most cases, is optional. Most new businesses choose to report and pay their GST on a quarterly basis.

GST: Exceptions To The Rule

• If you drive a taxi or a hire car, you must register for GST regardless of your turnover.

• If you operate a non-profit organization, GST registration is not required until you have a turnover of $ 150,000 or more.

Getting The Right Business Advice

Before you start your business, it pays to get advice from a professional such as an accountant or financial advisor. However, this can sometimes be expensive.

In Australia, free or low cost assistance is available from:

  • Business Enterprise Centers (found through the country)
  • The Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
  • Various State and Federal Departments eg. Regional Development, Ausindustry, Industry and Investment, Austrade, ACCC etc.
  • Local business networks
  • Professional business networks such as your local Business Chamber
  • Industry Associations

Type of Business

Have you already got a business idea in mind? Will you buy an existing business or will it be a new start up business? Maybe you are setting up an online business. Have you considered the operating costs, the pricing structure, the staffing plans and the business hours? Will you operate from a shop, an office or home? Have you checked Local Council Regulations? Do you know what Insurance and Licences you will need? Have you done your research? Is there a market for your product or service?

Will you be starting part time or jumping straight in? Have you done a business plan? Is your business likely to be viable?

Do not go into business until you have checked all these things out. Remember that business is a subject that needs to be studied, just like hairdressing, carpentry, accounting and web design. Do your due diligence.

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Destress From Email Distress

There are enough things to attend to when running your business, so the last thing that you need is being online to emails 24 hours per day.

One of the simplest and easiest ways to de-stress from email distress is to simply turn off.

You do not need to be online 24 hours a day unless you are in an emergency or support role of some kind.

So leave the office on time and turn off emails on your tablet and mobile phone when you leave.

If you have a home office, still make sure that you “leave the office” on time, close the door if you have to, and do not keep working till all hours of the night and morning.

Here is another tip that I picked up recently and it really does work.

A long time ago, a wise man told me to only deal with a piece of paper once.

So if you pick up a piece of paper, form, envelope, magazine, brochure, then deal with it on the spot.

Do not put it down without taking the needed course of action, because you will only need to pick it up again later on and go through the same process of deciding what to do with it.

This is a great time saver and also keeps your desk clear.

If you fail to act decisively, then you are destined to keep picking up the same item over and over and procrastinating on dealing with it, so that no action ever gets done and the item remains on your desk indefinitely.

And it applies just as much in the modern world to emails as it ever has applied to a piece of paper.

So when a new email arrives in your inbox, do not look at it and decide to deal with it later.

Deal with it immediately by asking these simple questions.

Does it require me to take action?

No – Then simply delete it or file it.

Yes – Then ask the following questions:

Is it something that I must forward to somebody else? Then do it.

Is it something that I can delegate to somebody else? Then do it.

Is it something I can do in less than 3 minutes? Then do it.

Otherwise, schedule a time to do it.

Following this simple strategy, you will keep your email inbox clear and your desktop inbox clear as well.

Well, that is quite simple really!

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Business Success Is All About Making Decisions

Is your business stagnating? Do you find yourself procrastinating about investing time and money in your business? Should I run a Facebook campaign or should I stick to the half page advertisement in the local paper? Should I hire a web designer or stumble over it myself? What is working now?

Change is inevitable. But when and how should I change my marketing strategy? I have heard about developing a culture, or business DNA, as the Experts now call it. What does it all mean? Does it mean a complete makeover for my business? Not really.

Developing a DNA in your business can be as simple as making a few small changes. It involves sitting down and planning a method of attack that creates the business that you want it to be. For example, say you own a mechanical workshop and you find that you are working 6 to 7 days a week. You are earning good money but you have no time left for your hobbies or your family. You have 3 Options.

Option Number 1: Keep doing what you're doing and learn to put up with it.

Option Number 2: Sell up and move on.

Option Number 3: Find a way to make the changes that you need to live the life you want to live.

Which option would you choose? I have a friend who was in that exact same position not so long ago. This guy loved racing cars but he could no longer follow his passion because he had a car club that called on his time on weekends. Approximately one third of his income came from this club. He had a real dilemma. He knew that he could not carry on like this. His lifestyle was nonexistent and he was wearing out quickly.

Although he resisted it at first, he was encouraged by a business mentor to let the car club go and to focus on the market he liked best … the local family market. How did he go? Within 3 months of letting the car club go and losing one third of his income, he had it all back. He had a lot of loyal customers who had been with him for some time and their children were now growing up. With the car club gone he now had time to cultivate this new local market. He now works just 5 and a half days a week and he has his life back.

Making just one courageous decision allowed this businessman to change his life. By making Option Number 3 his choice meant that he was able to create a new DNA for his business, one that matched his preferred lifestyle and built on his success.

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Canada New Anti-Spam Law Worrying Small Business

In Canada the recent Anti-Spam Law is causing concern for small businesses in Canada, but why? Since July 1, 2014 it has been illegal for commercial businesses to send emails or electronic correspondence (which can even be advertising within social media) to Canadians without their express permission to do so.

So, small businesses in the country can not promote their wares or services to an audience of “potential” customer any longer. This could have a detrimental effect on small businesses as they seek to expand their customer base and get new revenue. It's still OK to send a customer a newsletter or email if they have given consent or elected to opt-in on email correspondence.

In the months leading up to the July 1 deadline when the law kicked in, mailboxes in Canadian inboxes were being swarmed with ten times as many mailings than usual, all of which were from businesses asking the customers on their databases and correspondence lists if they would please opt-in to receive future mail shots.

The law is among the toughest on the planet but some observers are wondering how effective it will be – particularly if you count the number of spam mails you receive from countries like Nigeria and Russia which promise a healthy return of cash if you give some Prince and Princess in Lagos your bank account details, so they top up your account! It's hard to believe people still fall for that one but Canadian authorities will unduly have little power to stop this annoying tirade of email abuse.

The Anti-Spam law is going to make it difficult for small businesses to advertise for free online or through email mail shots and it's this method that has helped businesses in the past keep down overheads and costs. Ask any business how expensive advertising has been in the past, before the days of social media and Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and they will tell you that free advertising has been a godsend and has boosted small business profits immeasurably.

Now small businesses in Canada will have to spend time (and no doubt money) on making sure its advertising methods do not break the stringent new laws relating anti-spam. They must now figure out how to do this properly, otherwise they could be facing a hefty fine – and believe you me, some of fines really are rather brutal if you blatantly infringe this law.

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Want to Be a Biz Success? Become the Least Important Person Around

Every time you swoop in to take over a task handled by a team member differently than you might do it, you're putting another nail in the coffin of your dreams for independence through business ownership. Every time you say “I'll do it” you've taken a step back from the life you seek through business ownership. And, horror of horrors, when you proclaim “this place would not last a day without me” you've just damned your next vacation plans and diminished the value of your enterprise by dollars and years.

Do you get it? The more you control (and I do not care why, all your reasons are wrong) the more your role as biz owner starts to look more and more like a job in which you're working for a lunatic …

Sure, it's your baby, built with your sweat, hopes, time and cash; it'll best deliver your dream (and quality products, service and relationships) if you let it thrive without your constant 2 cents for every task, decision, email or slip of paper that passes through it. Like a teenager, your biz will make mistakes. Yet with your prudent planning, trust and after-the-fact review, it will gain insight and skill from them. And you? You'll delay gray hairs, take vacations, see your family, stave off emergencies and probably make far more money than if you controlled everything.

I'm especially hot about this right now because Stephen R. Covey died recently. The man responsible for coining the 'win-win' scenario, who urged all business owners to start with the end in mind, which 4-quad model of task management was the tool could guide you to uber-success and who wrote the most influential business book of the 20th century describes your attention. Best way to give it? Build a business that honors your priorities, that gives you room to enjoy your life and provides a winning experience for all who connect with it.

Here's a direct path to achieve that:

Recognize that the most important thing you can do for your business is to become the least important person necessary to its daily routine.

Learn how to serve those who serve your business and they'll deliver the gifts you seek from business ownership.

Empower your team to have authority as well as responsibility.

Become future focused in business and present focused in your life.

I'm on a special mission to help get that done for you; in my by-line, you'll find a gift so you can speed the process. And, if you want more than that, pick up a copy of '7 Habits of Highly Effective People', Covey's master work.

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What Happens to Your Handshake Deal If One of the ‘Hands’ Is Promoted?

When you forge a relationship with an employee of another company in a position to secure a vital situation for your company, you now have an important client, partner or provider. So, if the person who looks your hand on that deal then gets promoted, fired, or just leaves, do you still have that contract sewed up or do you have to start over who with that slot? Even if it was not a 'handshake deal' and you've got the purchase orders or agreement to prove it, you're in trouble.

The thing is, that relationship led you to make certain assumptions about the success of your business; and those assumptions rest on even more assumptions: the other party's side of the deal is in place and secure. So now what? Do you say 'so long' to the deal at the same time you say 'good luck' to the other person? It's absolutely possible that's what will happen; when someone new steps into a job they like to start out one of two ways:

  • They want to flex their muscles, clean house, and show the world how much better they'll do than their predecessor did.
  • OR:
  • They want to avoid disruption to their department, create a seamless transition and take advantage of the internal team and external relationships that already are working well and will let them build from that foundation and shine.

The thing is, you do not want to 'hope' they'll pick the 2nd choice simply because it's good for you; you want to create a situation that makes them pick that that 2nd choice because it's good for them . How do you do that? It's about what you'd expect: pay your bills on time, rave about them publicly, provide resources and solutions to make their jobs easier, share industry knowledge; in short: make them look good! And, develop relationships with other executives or managers in other departments of the company (or, if it's a small company, with other clusters of the new employee).

You're more likely to be seen as an asset to the new employee than as a member of 'the old time' when other folks think highly of you, too. And most importantly, you want the other person to like and trust you because it's true what they say about the origin of business deals – they come from good personal relationships. Networking is not just good to obtain new business; it's critical to keep the business you already have. Now – get out there and smile!

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If You Can Manage Your Life, Why Is “Time” Such a Headache?

Poor time; always taking the rap for your frustrations and disappointments at the end of the day. So you try to poke and pull at it with time management tricks that basically say 'Work faster! Re-arrange your day! Get more done! '

Is this what time management 'has felt like to you? This has never made much sense to me; why give control of your time to a clock that races you to the end of every over-stuffed day? The clock always wins, does not it?

Time management is a myth and a diversion; I know you know what really needs management for this relationship to work out in your favor. Self-management will get the job done if you focus on priorities and these 3 options: either dump, delay, or delegate all else. Once you've allocated properly to those categories, the 4th choice is 'do'. In its purest form, it would consist of those activities that advance your big goals in an efficient, bang-for-the-buck way (and sometimes, a meandering way, but you get the point: forward!)

Yet, your business is filled with minefields: other people's emergencies, one-time-only 'opportunities', shiny objects, unexpected ideas – all these show up every day and can easily shred your schedule, turning your focus away from the main event: what you'd decided was the priority for the day; the 'MUST get done' activity. This is a form of 'business balance', like 'life balance'. The real success with that concept is not to give equal amounts of attention to each facet of life (health, finances, love, family, friends, spiritual pursuits, personal development, fun, etc.) Balance comes from giving each its due amount; that level of attention that avoids a sense of regret or stress that “I'm not handling X well.”

When you sacrifice any one element of your typical week – business / job, health, finance, love, friends, good health, family, spirit, etc. – your life is compromised and you feel it in the form of stress. That shows up all kinds of ways: headaches, stomach ache, sleepless nights, anxiety. You feel the imbalance keenly and will typically work towards finding a solution: attend to the ignored part of your life, reduce your focus elsewhere.

Correct the imbalance and, not only does the source of anxiety lessen, you discover an increased satisfaction from the other life wheel wedges that were ignored. The same can be true in your business: while you're focused on so many and diverse activities in your business that are NOT among those you bought to advance, you're actually reducing your ability to be effective with any of them. Your thought process – do you need to be creative now? Analytical? Nurturing? Visionary? – is spinning from one to another so that no one gets your full attention. The result? Trying to handle more means each activity is done with less focus and care.

Ironic, no? You've waved away from what was most important to you and you're less productive with the alternate choices. There really is a better way; really:

– Learn to say 'no to others' needs and 'yes' more often to your own.

– Help your team learn to solve their problems and take relevant action.

– Be aware of your priorities at all time and honor them.

– Do not assume an 'expert' has expertise in your life and business; you're probably the true 'expert' there.

– Periodically assess your actions and measure: are they advancing your priorities or are they distracting you? Have your priorities changed?

– Learn the strength and smarts in asking for help; build this muscle daily!

Let the poor clock do its job and you do yours; it will become your ally and no longer the hated thief of time!

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