More Tips on Growing your Business

17 11 2010

How many times have you reviewed your financial statements and wondered how you were going to increase sales this month?  If you were not increasing sales, you will have to worry about what other item you are going to have to cut back next month.  This is one of the main worries of the small business owner from the beginning of time.  You may have an incredible product to offer your customers, but if you don’t have the income or more precisely, PROFITABILITY, to support your product, your business will not be around for very long. This week we have more tips on growing your business.

This week we are going to review some more tips and suggestions to help boost your small business sales.  Not all of these tips are going to work for all of you, but perhaps some of these tips, if not directly helpful, will get your creative juices flowing and generate some seriously profitable ideas for your specific business venture.

As we have discussed in earlier blogs, your product,  service or opportunity (or all three perhaps) needs to not just fill your needs, but to fill the common need of your target customer.  Can you help people learn how to survive this current real estate downturn?  Do you have a new and innovative way to help clients sell their homes?

Have you looked at the prices you are posting for your particular products?  If you lower prices a bit and sell more products, would you ultimate make more income?  The key here is to advertise that you are lower prices again to assist your customers survive this economic downturn.  You don’t want them thinking you are lowering your prices to get rid of inventory.  You want your customers to believe that your new lower prices are a direct result of you wanting to help them deal with this economic strife.

Do you have a product that is more of a discretionary income item? Have sales gone down because people are not as willing to spend on discretionary items?  Can you rethink how to market this “luxury” item so that when your customer uses this item, they are given a brief “vacation” from the day-to-day stresses.  Using your item will give them a little bit of pleasure which in turn helps bolster their energy for the next round of reality.

Or, do you have a product or service that is a necessity, no matter what the economic climate has become?  If you don’t have this type of product, is there some item out there that might complement your current product offerings?   This item could help you to grow your business and develop a sustained income month over month going forward.

Lastly, don’t forget your customer.  Customer service and honest follow-up, especially in this economic environment, is the best business.  How many stores have you gone into where the clerks were cranky or just plain mean?  Did you leave that store feeling positive about your purchase?  If you found another store where the clerks were cheerful and friendly, don’t you think you would be more willing to spend additional time wandering around?  With  internet sales exploding, and on-line marketing at every turn, it is critical to differentiate yourself from your competition with your customer service.  People will be drawn to good customer service.  They will be more willing to spend their hard-earned cash at your business too because you made them feel better either about themselves or about their purchases.  These same customers will also be more receptive to purchasing higher priced products (i.e. “do you want fries with that?”).

It is truly amazing how much more people will purchase if you spend a little quality time with them.  Keep them appraised of any new promotions, send a very brief message monthly to let them know that all is well, periodically offer a customer loyalty gift or coupon.  Even if your customers do not redeem the coupons, they will be pleased that you thought of them, and will be more inclined to spend money with you instead of going to your competitor.

Hopefully some of these tips on growing your business sales can be implemented in your business.   What would be even better is that some of these tips inspired you to think of other ideas that grow your business.  Good luck and have a great business week.

If you are looking for a second income to supplement what you are currently doing, please feel free to explore our website.  We offer several home based business opportunities and are more than willing to discuss in detail any opportunity you are considering.  We offer Pre-Paid Legal Services, Stem Cell Nutrition and can assist you in starting up your own waterless detailing business.  You only have to ask.

Until next week…





3 Marketing Tips to help grow your business

26 10 2010

This week we are going to cover 3 marketing tips to help grow your business.  If you are like many small and home based businesses, you have most likely struggled with getting your product, services or ideas out to the general public.  There are many, many different marketing techniques to get your business advertised, but for many, money is the determining factor.  This week we are beginning a brief series on some marketing tips to help grow your business and not break your bank.

1 – To begin with, you need to have the right marketing message and present it at the right time for your customers.  You do not want to advertise the latest big cars when the gas prices are going through the roof.  The key is to be sure your business offers a solution or solutions to the problems consumers are facing today, not what they faced yesterday.  Don’t spend your hard-earned money on trying to build your image…yet.  You can build your image more effectively by word of as your business grows instead of hiring an advertising agency to promote you.

2 Test the market by trying some direct response marketing pieces.  Keep the cost of printing to a minimum, offer free reports, a free consultation, or some type of coupon to draw people to your business opportunity.  Try a few different direct response offers, and most importantly, keep track of which offers you made and how you sent them out.  Once you receive responses back, track which ones were your most successful and then work to improve upon those.  Do not spend time on ineffective direct response ideas.  If you didn’t get any response, toss that idea and move on to one that did generate interest.

3 – Once you receive responses from your marketing pieces, it is critical that you follow-up with your leads often and quickly.  Ask how they would prefer you to stay in touch with them.  Some may prefer a monthly newsletter, others may prefer a weekly e-mail or a phone call.   Tally the results with what your customers ultimately purchase.

Lastly, ask your customers how they found out about your business.  Was it through a friend, an ad they had seen in a local paper, or some other means of advertising that you have employed?  Do not jump from one advertising piece to another unless you have carefully documented the success and failures of what you have completed.  Very important – do not do major changes to your marketing pieces.  Do little changes and measure the results.  You will be amazed at how one small change can lead to large results.  If you change too many things at one time, you will have no idea which specific change generated the improved business.

Next week we will continue with additional marketing tips to help grow your business.

If you are looking for a second income or a home based business opportunity, perhaps we have something that would interest you.  We have several business opportunities ranging from Stem Cell nutrition, to Pre-Paid Legal Services, nutritional juice drinks to, to waterless vehicle detailing.  Please feel free to ask us about some of our business opportunities, we may have something that would work well for you.

Until next week…





Improving your business (attitude)

17 10 2010

This week’s blog is meant to be more inspirational than instructional.  Hopefully it will be both, but you never know until you read the whole thing.  Most of the blogs posted here are on how to improve your business, either on-line or as a regular store front.  Going through the motions of improving your small business is not necessarily going to allow your business to grow.  There is another aspect (other than the technical stuff) to growing your business, and that is your business attitude.

Your business attitude has a lot to do with how well your business will grow.  Granted, you may have an absolutely awesome business idea, you may have the first product to ever hit the market, and you may have an innovation that will make the world a better place to live, but if your attitude is not in the right place, odds are that your business will initially grow and then get stuck.  You will try all of the tricks that the “experts” suggest to get your business growing (like some of the tips that have been provided here in past posts) and you may eve obtain marginal improvement.  Yet with all of that work you have done, it still seems that your business is not growing enough, or is not growing at all.   It may seem like you cannot increase sales, no matter what you do.

Have you checked your business attitude lately?  Do you blame the economy for your bad business decisions?  Is it the “economy’s” fault that your business is not growing anymore?  The current economic situation could very easily be part of hwy your business has not grown, but in an economy like we currently have, there are other avenues which you can possibly take that would help to kick-start your business again.  Are you the victim of the bad economy or are you going to turn the problem around and become victorious over the economy?

Your current business success is due to a series of choices you personally made.  You may not have specifically made a choice on some of your business dealings, but as a business owner, you are responsible for those below you and the choices they may make.  If some of your employees make a bad business decision, what are you going to do to correct it?  You cannot sit back and blame everything on someone else’s bad decision.  As a business owner, the responsibility for a successful business rests solidly on your shoulders.  Even if your business partner decides to become a flake, it is your decision on how to deal with the situation.  You can either accept the current situation, leave it, or choose to change it.

The key here is to not allow yourself to feel like you are a victim of circumstances beyond your control.  The only time that truly occurs is due to acts of God (hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc.).  Other than that, what happens to your business and ultimately you is based on how you choose to deal with the challenge.  You need to learn to control your business and not let it control you.

If you go through the internet reading all of the tips to improve your business and do not implement even one small idea, it is not the fault of the author that the idea didn’t work.  Gathering information and then not implementing any ideas is not going to help you to grow your business.  Your business needs you to be involved and to take an active role in its growth.  You will make mistakes, we all do.  You will encounter failures, if you didn’t you would not be learning.   The difference is that each time you fail or something doesn’t work, you make notes, get up, dust yourself off, and try again with a different angle.  Your business attitude is critical for your business success.

One definition of insanity is “doing the same things every day and expecting different results”.  If you have honestly tried one way to tackle a problem and that didn’t resolve the problem, don’t expect the next day will be any different.  You need to check your attitude, and look for alternative ways to solve your business problems.  You cannot allow yourself to be a victim of the economy, bad luck, or bad employees.  If the economy is bad (you can’t change that) find something to offer people that they need for a bad economy.  If you have had bad luck, then next time, don’t base a business decision on luck, but research and do your homework before getting involved in another business.  If you have bad employees, get rid of them, do not keep them around.  There are more than enough really good people looking for a really good business opportunity.

Do not waste your time with a bad business attitude.  Focus on what you can change (even if it is changing your attitude toward your current situation) and then move forward from there.  You will be surprised at how much growth your small business will experience.

If you are looking for a home based business opportunity, check out our website.  We may have something that would peak your interest.

Until next week…





5 More tips for Small Business Success

28 09 2010

Last week we introduced 5 tips for small business success.  This week we are going to continue the topic, providing an additional 5 more tips for small business success.  Hopefully these simple tips will help you to focus on what is important in your small business so that you will continue to grow and be successful.

1 – After you have started your business, one key tip to keep in mind is to not borrow any family money and do not ask your family for advice.  Even though you may believe that the money you borrow has no strings attached, there are strings, there are always strings attached.  Even if you family may not have attached those strings, you will know in your heart that you owe that money and you may be your own worse enemy in terms of putting pressure on yourself.  Borrowing from a bank is much less personal, any arguments you have with your banker will remain strictly related to business. If you have a fight with family about money, you know that there will be more brought into the argument than just the business and money owed.  It is not worth the risk of ruining family relationships in order to get money to fund your business.

Also, family advice, though well-intentioned, may not be the best to follow.  There are two schools of thought here;  your family will tell you that you are crazy for starting up a new business, and not support you.  The other thought is that even if you have a really bad idea, your family will not tell you it is a really bad idea because they do not want to hurt your feelings.  By asking the advice of a third-party, you are taking the emotion out of the advice and getting pure business advice.

2 – Make sure to network with other small business owners in your industry.   Do not necessarily network with your direct competition, you do not want to provide them with your business secrets, but network with other business owners in the same type of industry.  You can then discover other resources for ideas and problem resolution.  These networking friends may also be able to point you towards additional advertising and marketing channels.  Networking provides a great sounding board for new ideas with like-minded people.

3 – Despite your desire to keep prices low, there will ALWAYS be someone else who will undercut your prices.  Unless you have other products to make up the lack of profit, do not try to cut your prices below your costs, despite what competition might do.  Differentiate your products and services by not focusing on the cost, but what value added items you have.  What additional items/services do you provide for your customers?  Many times cheaper is not better.  “Good ain’t cheap, and cheap ain’t good.”

4 – Remember, when you started your small business that your customers were in a particular mind-set.  As time goes on, customer’s tastes and desires will change.  What may have been popular when you started your business may no longer be the desired item now.  Remain flexible, be in front of what your customers want by listening to their thoughts and ideas.  You may need to adjust your products and services to suit your customer’s changing needs.

5 – Always stay informed on the small business resources available to you in your local area.  Stay in touch with your networking group to discover any new services available.  Also keep in touch with your local Small Business Association office.  These offices can point you to other types of resources to help you grow your small business.

The key to these 5 additional tips for small business success along with the tips provided last week is to be reiterate the importance of planning ahead.  You do not want to focus on today, but you want to stay focused on what will be happening to your business in the next year and next 5 years.  Stay flexible and stay in touch with what is going on around your business.

Check out our website for additional sources of income.

Until next week…





Failure to Plan Part 2

6 09 2010

Last week we introduced the topic of a failure to plan with small businesses.  Many people love the idea of being their own boss and operating a successful small business, but many may not plan properly for that same business endeavor.   There are many reasons why small businesses fail, some of them due to no fault with the originator.  Sometimes a business may fail despite the best laid plans, but those are usually few and far between.  Our focus is to strive to reduce the risk of failure to a nominal percentage.

We covered the lack of a business plan that could quickly spell a new small business’s demise. Part of the importance of a business plan is to include a vision, mission and value statement for your new small business.  It is important to have these statements, but to have them and then not to have any actionable plan to achieve them is no better than not having a vision statement at all.  It is important when developing your vision and mission statement that they actually MEAN something that you can measure.  Just to say that you will be the best in the industry is an empty promise.  How will you be best in the industry?  How will you offer superior products and service?  By making these types of statements means that you should have some form of measurement.  You should have some other company standard that you are measuring yourself, your company and your products and services against.  Without a solid basis of measurements, your vision and mission statements are not any more important or useful than the paper they are written on.

Along with having an initial plan, you should have documented some version of where you believe your business to be in 5 to 7 to 10 years in the future.  Documenting these targets will allow you to make longer term decisions.  Sometimes we get caught up in the short-term fix and lose sight of our long-term targets.  By documenting your 5/7/10 year goals, you will be able to keep in the forefront your long-term goals and may then make  better long-term decisions even when faced with a short-term problem.

A trap that many established businesses fall into is the one where you take time out to do a strategic planning session, write all the decisions down, and then not utilize any of the plans decided upon.  It is often very easy to continue with business as usual, but if you have had a successful strategic planning session, why did you waste all that time if you had no intention of implementing the new goals?  Again, when re-adjusting your strategic plan, be sure that you have measurable targets in place.  You need to have a measuring stick to be sure you and your business are moving in the direction you had planned.

Worst of all is failing to make the tough choices in your business.  There will be times that you may have to stop one project because it just will not produce the necessary profits.  This can be extremely tough if the particular item was a pet project of yours.  You may also have to make the tough decision to let certain people go if they are not producing to your defined targets.  These are all tough decisions, but necessary to maintain the health of your business.  (notice though that all these decisions are based on measurements against a predefined target)

In a nutshell, if you want to have a successful small business, you need to have a plan.  You will need to have that plan documented, you should have clear and measurable objectives so that you know when to make adjustments, you need to follow your plan and adjust when necessary and lastly, you will at some point have to make some tough decisions.  With luck, those tough decisions will be very few and far between.  You will never be accused of failing to plan.  The more you practice planning and adjusting your plan, the easier it will become.

If you are interested in earning an additional income or possibly start your own small business, we may have something that would meet your needs.  Please feel free to review our website and contact us with any questions you may have.  Even if we do not have a business opportunity that is exactly what you are looking for, we would be more than willing to work with you to find your perfect opportunity.

Until next week…





Failure to Plan

31 08 2010

As the economy continues to decline and more people find themselves out of a regular job, many people look to alternative methods for earning an income.  Many great business opportunities are born in hard economic times, but on the flip side, there are many people out there who would take advantage of desperate people looking to earn a living.  If you have the drive and ambition, now is a great time to get into your own home based business, but one of the largest problems many of these new entrepreneurs face is a failure to plan.

Just because you find this fantastic business opportunity and someone tells you that you can earn millions at it does not mean you do not plan your new business venture.  Do not allow anyone to tell you that planning is not necessary, that all you have to do is to follow their example.  Someone, at some point in time made a plan for that particular business opportunity and you should make a plan for yours also.  In prior posts we talked at length about developing and implementing your business plan, and that is absolutely critical, even if you are entering a business opportunity that others have succeeded in.  If you did create a business plan, in order to be truly successful, you must follow that plan. Why did you go through the exercise of creating a business plan, doing all that strategic planning, if you had no intention of following what you developed?

There are several reasons why some business opportunities may never come to fruition, one, which seems to be a favorite of many who start a home-based business, is taking a dart-board approach to generating sales.  Many people who start home based business opportunities will not have a specific plan on how to generate the sales in order to obtain the income they desire.  They will try one approach, try another, and continue trying without any specific rhyme or reason to why they tried and discarded the plans.  This will not only kill any enthusiasm you may have, but it will also undermine your belief that the business opportunity you entered into was a sound idea.  Heck, they may not even have identified a specific sales amount to achieve.   If you begin one sales approach, make sure it was one that you have outlined in your business plan, and then, if it is not productive, review why it did not produce the results you desired and identify possible adjustments to the plan before discarding it and starting on another plan.

When you built your business plan, you should have identified several programs for generating sales.  Those programs you identified should have had specific and measurable goals so that once implemented, you could identify where the failures occurred.  Jumping from one plan to another in a willy-nilly fashion will not allow you to build sales momentum, nor will it be repeatable for any other people you would want involved in the sales process.  If you quickly start and discard sales plans without any specific road-map, you are doing both yourself and your customer a major disservice.

By not planning your sales process, you will have no idea why certain ideas did or didn’t work.  Without measurable and strategic goals, you will never know if the sales process was successful.  For example, I had worked for a company that believed their customers were dissatisfied with a particular segment of the sales process.  There was no real basis for this belief other than a few stray comments and a “gut feeling”.  Before we changed the sales process, we implemented some strategic measurements and sent out a set of standardized questions to our existing customer base.  What we discovered is that the initial process was not broken, but another step along the sales plan was definitely not working properly.

If we had immediately changed what we believed to be wrong, just based on a gut instinct, we would have further alienated our customer base and not corrected the true sales problem.  The key is to plan your process, make the process measurable, identify benchmarks, and most importantly follow and review the plan regularly.  A failure to plan on your part could very easily put your whole business in jeopardy.

Next week we will continue this discussion and review some other pitfalls in strategic planning.

If you are looking for a business opportunity to provide you a second or additional income, please feel free to check out our website.  We may have an opportunity that meets your needs.  If you have questions regarding building your business plan, please feel free to contact me, I am more than willing to assist and provide some alternate solutions.

Until next week…





Capitalizing on the Stem Cell Media Frenzy

18 08 2010

Everyone is aware of the controversy surrounding embryonic stem cells – those from unborn fetuses.  But not everyone is aware that adult stem cells – those that are naturally present in the body from the moment you are born – can become virtually any cell in the body. In essence they are the body’s natural renewal system; in fact recent scientific data shows that more circulating adult stem cells equate to greater health and wellness.

In a major development in the area of natural adult stem cell renewal, a peer-reviewed clinical study showed that consuming 2 capsules of a patented concentrate of the aqua-botanical Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) gave rise to an average 25% increase in the number of circulating adult stem cells.

How Stem Cells Work

This study has enormous implications because through the body’s natural mechanisms, stem cells circulate to areas where they are needed to support the natural renewal process. By giving rise to an increase in circulating stem cells, the AFA concentrate therefore supports the body’s natural ability to rebuild, renew and rejuvenate.  The implications are significant – when used as a daily supplement, the circulation of millions of additional stem cells in the bloodstream could be one of the most important ways for maintaining optimal health that science has yet discovered!

Everyone could potentially benefit from this patented AFA concentrate … everyone from young to older and especially those who engage in sports, whether serious athletes or occasional weekend warriors. The significance of stem cell support to athletes is that by supporting our body’s natural renewal system, we are able to support the natural process of recovery from exercise to build strength and stamina.

An eye-opening example is that of an athlete in the male 65-year-old category at the United States Track and Field Masters games who ran the mile in 5.12 seconds and shattered a 35 year old age group record. He credits the AFA concentrate as the reason he was able to achieve this feat, in addition to winning several gold metals in other events. Another example is that of a college student athlete who has been able to break through plateaus in strength training after incorporating the AFA concentrate into his regimen. In fact many athletes, fitness enthusiasts and weekend warriors credit the AFA concentrate with their success.

There is no question about the value of tapping into the power of our own adult stem cells, and the AFA concentrate is supported by scientific evidence so it’s definitely worth a try. Entrepreneurial types should also consider the marketing opportunities provided by this unique, first-to-market stem cell support product.

Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and any products mentioned, while supported by science, are not intended to diagnose, mitigate or treat any disease or illness.

Now is the time to get involved in Stem Cell Nutrition.  You will be capitalizing on the Stem Cell Media Frenzy.  Because of all the news, you get essentially free advertising.  Stem Cell Nutrition is a new field, with scientific studies backing what we have seen.  This will be the next wave of health nutrition.  If you are interested in obtaining more information on this incredible business opportunity, please review this video.  If you are interested in our Stem Cell Nutritional products, please check out our website.   We are also always available for questions if you wish to e-mail us.