4 Basic Business Goals

1 02 2011

Now that we have all survived the first month of the new year, it is time to reflect upon what we have already accomplished versus what we SAID we were going to accomplish the beginning of this new year.  Usually the first month of a new year ends up getting spent closing the financial books of your personal life and business (perhaps…) and just reviewing how successful you were or were not in the prior year.

The second month of the new year is now really when we focus on moving forward and building/developing our life and business.  Usually, prior to the new year, we make resolutions and budgets.  We promise that this new year will bring new ideas, new success and new growth.  By month 2 or 3 of the new year we can really take a hard look at where we are and whether or not we are going to come close to our end-of-year expectations.  Throughout all of this looking back and looking forward, if we do not rely on some basic life principles, we can pretty much write any meaningful success off.  If we do not utilize these 4 Basic Business Goals, perhaps we should not be in business.

We have talked in prior blogs about various types of Business Success and Goal setting.  This week we are going to review 4 Basic Business Goals and identify how these very basic goals can help you to develop and grow your business and even your personal life.

The first Basic Business goal is to do what is right, despite the consequences.  For business and even for your personal success, doing the right thing is not always easy or painless  (usually it is NEVER painless).   Doing the “right” thing for a customer may be in refunding their money when you really don’t want to.  You may feel that the customer’s reason for the return was off-base, but if you want to retain that customer for future business, if you have a return policy, you must adhere to the policy.  If you turned the tables, and you were in the customer’s place, how would you feel if the merchant did not wish to refund your money?  By doing what is right, not necessarily what you would prefer your customer should be satisfied and tell others that you did take the high-road.

Doing the “right” thing is many times like taking the road less traveled.  How frustrated have you been with customer service provided to you?  More businesses have lost the whole concept of customer service, actually many new businesses have lost the concept of treating the customer like a human being.  If you get back to basics (the Golden Rule) and treat your customers the way you would like to be treated, you will find your business growing.

As a business person you may find that you become jaded to new ideas, new concepts and new ways of doing business.  Do not lose your desire to learn or your sense of wonder at trying new things.   Keep your eyes open to new ideas and processes.  There may be a million ways to conduct business, and you do NOT know all the ways to be successful.  Always remain open to new concepts, one of them may be just the idea you didn’t know you were looking for.

As usual, be sure to Over Deliver and Under Promise to your customers.  No matter how much your customer WANTS you to perform a certian task within a certain time frame, if you KNOW you can’t produce (refer to our ) do not promise what you cannot deliver on.  Ultimately your customer will appreciate your honesty and you will have done the ‘right’ thing for your customers.  Customers are always happy when you achieve the promise of completing a task within the defined amount of time.  What customers really appreciate is when you not only do what you said you would do, but you go a little beyond what they expected and you give them more than what they asked for (but you are still providing for them what they really wanted).

The 4th Basic Business Goal is to love what you do.

“The more you love what you are doing, the more successful it will be for you.” – Jerry Gillies

If you do not love what you are doing, then you should not be doing it.  Life is too short to do something you don’t like to do.  If you love what you do, then you will never work a day in your life.

These 4 Basic Business Goals will not only help you to grow your business, but when applied to personal life, can help you to grow and improve your personal relationships also.

If you are looking for an additional income opportunity, you may want to review what we have to offer on our website.

Until next week…

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Building Your Business Success – Part 2

11 01 2011

Last week we began a brief discussion of how to build your business success

Key to Business Success

for 2011.  We reviewed the concept of what Commitment means to your small business success and that you personally are responsible for your small business success.  This week we are going to finish the discussion on Building your Business Success for 2011.

Actually anybody who starts a small business can be successful.  The differentiating factor is, how LONG will your business be successful.  Again, it does partially go back to that commitment thing.  You may be successful when you first start your business, but you must remain committed to your business success.  True business success is also founded on solid business basics.  If you do not have a good grasp of business basics, it would be wise, even before starting your own business, to take a class or two, or take a seminar to learn and master the basics of business.  Without business basics, you may be successful for a little while, but your lack of basic business knowledge will most likely get you in more trouble and could ultimately contribute to your lack of long-term business success.

We must all continue practicing and reviewing and mastering the basics of business.  Without a well established / thought-out business foundation, everything you build, will most likely not stand the tests of time.  Keep up on your basics.  If you don’t know, be sure to ask a trusted source that will help you master your business foundation.  With a strong business foundation, all the work you do for your business will be successful.

Focus on Continuous Growth

Another key to building your business success (and not just making a New Year’s Resolution) is to focus on growing throughout the year, and ultimately growing for the next several years.  Do not just focus on growing your business for this month or the next.  You need to have a long-term view of where you want your business to go if you want your business to grow.  Focusing only on the month-to-month growth will not provide you with enough time to really refine and define what direction you want your business to grow in the years to come.  If you focus 2-, 3-, 5- and even 10-years in the future, then the short-term setbacks will not be so difficult to resolve.  By looking at the long-term, you can look past the immediate obstacles and focus on how to obtain that long-term goal.  By having long goals, you will find it is much easier to get past the little stuff.  If you only look from month-to-month, the problems that may crop up will most likely appear much larger than they actually are.

Lastly, it is never too late to make your business successful.  You may have had a really bad year in 2010, but that doesn’t mean you will have a bad year going forward.  Review your business plan, identify what went wrong and more importantly, look for WHY you did not follow your business plan or why you were not successful last year.  If you can identify WHY things didn’t occur (this is different from placing blame) then you can identify what you need to do to avoid that obstacle going forward.  Even if you had a decent year last year, it is not too late to revisit your business plan and adjust for any new plans or ideas you may have.  Again, be sure to keep the long-term view when reworking your plans.  When in doubt, enlist the assistance of other experts in  your field of business, to help review what you have and where you want to go.

Here is to your continued business success in the new year.

If you are looking for a second income opportunity, or are looking for some type of small, home based business to get involved with, we may have something that would interest you.  We offer a wide variety of business opportunities, from Pre-Paid Legal Services, to Stem Cell Nutritional Products, to Waterless Cleaning Products.  If we don’t have exactly what you are looking for, we may know where you can find it.  Good luck and let’s all see our businesses grow in 2011.

Until next week…





Building your Business Success in 2011

4 01 2011

 

Analyzying Business SuccessHow many times have you heard or seen information on Building your Business Success for the new year? Have you become tired of reading these articles to realize that they are nothing more than a business version of a personal New Year's Resolution? The bigger question is, if your business was not as successful as you would have liked in the past year, building on that lack of success is not an exciting proposition.

This week we are going to again review business success and why it is not a “New Year’s Resolution”.  You cannot decide one day that you will make your business successful…well, actually you can decide to do that, but effectively implementing your desires is an entirely different problem.   One main reason many people with small, home based businesses don’t succeed is that they do not have the commitment necessary to create and grow a business.

Many people who start a small home based business are usually told that “the business will grow itself” or that “you won’t have to work very hard at this, the product practically sells itself”.  If you got into business under either of these premises, or something similar, odds are that you are ready to throw in the towel.  The key to business success, or success in general is commitment.  Very few people will stick with anything once it starts getting difficult, or once the business doesn’t seem to pay off in the time-frame they expected.   Like anything, if you plan on making your business successful, you need to have a plan and COMMIT to staying with that plan for the long haul.  Granted there will be occasions where you are going to have to modify the plans, but you can not modify the commitment to the business overall.  If you start, and then, once the going gets a tad tough, quit, how will any of your customers want to stay with you in any future endeavors?   Customers will run from you if you show even the slightest sign of lack of commitment to your business, or worse yet, if you show lack of commitment to them.

Once you are committed to the task of becoming (if you are not already)

Commitment to the Plan

successful, you should realize that success is your PERSONAL responsibility.  You cannot rely on others to make your small business successful, others may help, but the success or lack thereof rest entirely on your shoulders.  If you do not push others to work harder, odds are that they won’t.  You should not place the blame of your lackluster success on anyone who is helping you to grow your business.  This holds true for any business partners you may have also.  Just because you are in a partnership, if you want the business to become successful, it is YOUR responsibility to make it so. Having your partner on the same page helps a lot, but do not expect them to have the same level of commitment.

 

Many problems people have when trying to grow their home based business is the lack of validation that they are doing a good job.  We have become used to getting that congratulatory pat on the back for a job well done and will drive harder just to get the next pat.  The problem with being your own business owner is that the only times you will get a pat on the back is if you pat your own back.  You need to learn to not look for external validation of a job well done.  You know, based on your existing plans and set goals, when you have succeeded, you do not need anyone else telling you that you did a good job.  Keeping your business successful is a major milestone these days since there are so many businesses that fold when the times get tough.

Next week we will complete this discussion on building your business success in 2011.  In the meantime, if you are looking for a business opportunity and still have no idea what to do or where to begin, please take a look at our website.  We offer several different business opportunities and if we don’t have what you are looking for, we may be able to point you in the right direction.  We are also available for consulting, if you would like someone to review your current business plans.

Until next week…





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…





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…





5 Tips for Small Business Success

22 09 2010

We have talked throughout the year about small business success.  There have been several blogs posted regarding building plans, budgets, etc.  This week I would like to review 5 tips for small business success and what we all need to do in order to keep our small business’ successful despite the economic climate.

The most important tip for helping to keep your small business successful is to develop and follow a business plan and mission statement for your business.  There have been several articles related specifically to developing your business plan, we will not go into that again here, but just remember that if you do not have a business plan for your small business, how do you expect to have a “road map” to grow your small business successfully?  By taking the time to write your business plan and mission statement, you have been able to outline where you currently are verses where you want to go.  Following your business plan (making appropriate adjustments along the way) will allow you to stay focused on growing your small business.

The second tip for small business success is to be sure you are able to get accurate financial data on your company in a timely manner.  If you get your monthly financial statements two weeks into the next month, you won’t be able to implement any adjustments until the following month.  By not having timely financial reports, you are basically driving your business blind.  How do you know if your spending is exceeding your income without timely statements?  You cannot fix what is broken with delayed reports.  Perhaps you do not have detailed financial reports, but you need timely and reliable financial reports if you expect to continue to keep your small business profitable.

The third tip for a successful small business is to continue to profile your target customers.  Determine both the physical characteristics of your customers (age, gender, race, income) along with their emotional characteristics (what they like, don’t like).  This information will help you to effectively target your marketing campaign.  You do not want to waste your hard-earned marketing money on advertising to, let’s say NASCAR customers, when you are in a part of the country that doesn’t even care about car races.

The fourth tip for business success is to be sure that you have profiled your competition.  Do you know what products they carry, and how successful they have been selling to the same customer base?  What are their weaknesses, what do their customers complain about?  Is this something you can capitalize on?  Have you wandered into your competition’s store to see how they present their products and services to their customers?  Is there some design there that you can use, or is there something they are not doing that you can do?

The last tip for continuing your small business success is to be sure that you have gone into business for the right reasons.  Make sure that you have the experience, expertise, finances and desire necessary to make your business a success.   Luck will be part of your business success, but without the other aspects, luck may make you successful for a short period of time, but not for the long-haul.

These 5 tips for small business success should help you to focus on what is important for you to continue to grow your business.  You may want to keep these tips close at hand, especially when you might think your business is struggling.  They will help remind you why you went into business and what your goals are for your business.

Next week we will cover some additional tips for your continued small business success.  If you are looking for additional sources of income, our website may have an opportunity that appeals to you.  Feel free to e-mail us with any of your questions.

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…