Finding your Passion in Business

24 01 2012

Last week we discussed reviewing where we were in business and setting goals for where we want to be by the end of this year.  While we were discussing goal-setting, I mentioned that it was not only important to set obtainable goals, but to set goals that you were passionate about.

This week we are going to explore a some possible ways that you can find your passion in business.  Let’s first define Passion:  “Passion is a term that is often applied to a very strong feeling about a person or a thing.  It is an intense emotion, compelling feeling, enthusiasm or a desire for something.” – Wikipedia definition.

“What is passion?  It is surely the becoming of a person.” – John Boorman

If you are in a home-based business, or are managing a small business. it is highly likely that you were extremely passionate about the business you got involved in.  The problem is that running a business, especially a home-based business, can be very time consuming and tiring.  After a while, you may start to wonder why you ever thought you wanted to be in business for yourself in the first place.

If you are still working your business, you may need to rediscover the passion in your business.  It could be helpful to sit down and write down all the reasons WHY you got involved in that business originally.  Sometimes, when you go back to the beginning, you can rediscover the passion that inspired you to start your own business.  As you rediscover your passion, write down the points that you feel very strongly about.  You want to remember those aspects of your business when times start getting difficult again.  Do not focus on the negative aspect of your business, everyone has tough times, and focusing on the negative will not allow you to capture the passion (positive passion) that you were hoping to discover.

Once you are able to rekindle the passion you had at the outset, now would be the time to start setting goals for the future.  If you had focused on the negatives of your business, odds are that your goals would not be all that they should be and you could very well start a downward spiral of your business.  As you start defining your goals, always be sure to verify that you are passionate about the goals you are setting.  You should be very passionate about all of your big, long-term goals because if you are not, there is a very high likelihood that you will not achieve those goals.

Make sure your goals are realistic, but that they are also designed to push you and your business to greater heights.  If you can set long-term goals that you feel very strongly about, then it will be so much easier to remain motivated and passionate  as you work towards those goals.  After your “big” goals are set, then you can start designing those smaller, stepping-stone goals, that will help you to attain your “big” goal.  Again, if you are passionate about the end result, you will find a much stronger motivation to continue working towards that goal, despite any road-blocks that will appear.

Sometimes you may discover that you cannot recapture the passion you once had.  If you feel you are in that position, before you do anything rash, talk to some other small business owners.  Ask them how they managed to work through their challenges.  As we discussed last week, talk to successful people.  Do not waste your precious time and energy talking to people who feel your passion is misplaced or misguided.

Continue to strive to be passionate in your business, and strive to provide the best services to your customers.  By providing the best for everyone, in the long run, your business will prosper.    One critical key to success in business is finding your passion in business.

If you are looking for some business opportunity to get involved with, perhaps we can be of assistance.  If you do not see anything that triggers your passion, perhaps you can use some of the ideas from the website to discover what you are truly passionate about.  As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Until next week…keep the passion





Effective Communication can mean Business Success

10 05 2011

This week we are going to discuss a topic that is near and dear to many, if not all people in business – communication.  How many times in your business career have you heard the battle cry, we need better communication?  How many times have you heard companies espousing the benefits of communication?

As we all know from personal and business experience, if we don’t communicate effectively, we cannot succeed in what we wish to accomplish.  If your customers cannot effectively communicate their desire for a particular product or service, how can you as a business person satisfy their needs?  On the flip-side, how can you as a business let your customers know that you may have what they need if you cannot communicate your information clearly?  Effective communication can mean business success.  If you cannot convey your message to your target audience, how long do you think your business will succeed?

Communication is a two-way street.  In order to inform and educate, you need to also be very well versed in the art of listening.  You need to not just hear; but to listen to what your customers are talking about and what they are looking for.  If you listen to what they ask, you may also be able to identify what they are truly looking for in a solution to their problem.

Once you have mastered the art of listening, you now need the ability to effectively communicate with your customers.   This may sound like a simplistic view, but even if you understand what your customer’s needs and wants are, if you cannot communicate back to that same customer the information that you have to offer, you are not successful in communication.

How frustrated are you when you call into a customer service center and have to explain and repeat your situation several times before you are put in touch with someone who MAY be able to assist you?  If you were that business, you need to look at this scenario and determine how you can better communicate between customer service representatives so that your customer does not have to repeat their problem a half a dozen times before they get to the person who can solve their concern.  Effective communication within a customer service center is key to a successful business.

If you were able to locate a company that would listen to your concerns, desires, and needs and would then relay that information accurately to the correct person, wouldn’t you continue to do business with that company?  Taking it a little farther, wouldn’t you want to tell the world about how wonderful that particular company’s service was for you?  Think of how quickly your business would grow with this type of word-of-mouth advertising.  Again, effective communication can most likely business success.

Find a way in your organization to improve the communication flow between departments or between your sales staff.  If one sales person has assisted a customer, be sure that sales person relays that information so when the customer comes back, they do not NEED to talk to one particular person, any of the qualified sales staff can be just as effective.  If a customer has a problem and one person takes that call, be sure that information is effectively communicated to all who may be involved so when or if the customer calls in again, whoever does take the call will be able to respond properly without requiring your customer to tell their story all over again.

By honestly keeping the lines of communication open within your organization or business, you will find that your company will grow faster and be able to respond better to customers.  Information is power, but information kept with one person and one person only can seriously cripple an organization.  Open the lines of communication and you will not only find customers to be happier, but your staff will be more willing to assist others within and without your organization.  Effective communication is a critical component of business success.

Until next week…





3 More Key Elements to Expanding your Advertising Effectiveness

22 02 2011

Last week we started a new discussion on 7 Key Elements to Expand your Advertising Effectiveness.  We discussed the first two elements, providing the main idea and admitting to your limitations.  This week we are going to continue with three more key elements to expand your advertising effectiveness.

You will find, as you work with your customers, that as they trust that you have their best interests at heart, they will spend more with you over time than they would have if you required them to make a large, one-time purchase.  Each time you offer a step-up program, you are allowing them to test what you say to be true and you are providing them with a level of security, knowing that they can back out if you do not provide what you promised.

Once you have your customers starting to make larger and larger purchases through your company, the third key element to expanding your advertising effectiveness is to make your big idea (the first key element) exclusive.  Identify your unique competitive advantage and let your customer know that if they take advantage of what you have to offer, then there is a good chance they will have a leg up on their competition.   Let your potential customers know that this offer is not provided to anyone, but only to a select few, who really see the benefit with your offerings.

Are your customers the savvy business people you expect them to be?  Have they tried to overcome their particular challenge and failed in the past?  Keep your customer focused on what they gain if they are successful in utilizing what you are offering.  Be sure to keep them aware of what may befall their business if they do not continue on the planned route.  Are their competitors nipping at their heels and they can’t seem to get ahead?  Reiterate what your solution can do for them, and your solution may not be available to their competition.  Also be sure to emphasize that you would only wish to work with them if you can show positive results.  You are in this business together; you need them to want to win as much as you wish to win.

Now that you have your prospect’s attention, the fourth key element is to demonstrate that you have the credentials to back up the claims you have made thus far.  Provide solid reasons for why you are qualified and back those reasons up with testimonials from others that you have helped.  This is where it is important to be factual, and provide solid, verifiable numbers that prove you can do what you claim you can do.

Remind your prospective customer of the years of management experience or industry experience you are offering to them.  Point out the number of very satisfied and exclusive customers.  If you have any specific case studies, or examples, this is where you would include that information, again, being careful to not divulge too much specific information on your current, active customers.

The fifth key element to expanding your advertising effectiveness is to identify your motivations for making such an incredible offer.  By now your customers are wondering why you are offering such a good deal.  They will want to be sure you are going to provide real value for their money and time spent.  Your customers will also need to be reminded why your offer is better and will help them more than any other offers made by your competitors.

You should reassert that your offer is exclusive, and only certain customers will qualify for your product or services.  You want them to know that this is more of a partnership, and not just a one-time business deal.  If you help them to explosive growth, you both will win.  The key is to be sure your potential customer knows that this is either a limited-time offer or that this offer is only open to the very few qualified customers.  By reminding your prospects of the exclusivity of the offer, you re ultimately reassuring them that your services will not be available to virtually everyone on the planet.

Next week we will finish this series on the 7 Key Elements to Expand your Advertising Effectiveness.

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.





2 Key Elements to Expand your Advertising Effectiveness

15 02 2011

This week we are starting a brief series on 7 Key Elements to expand your Advertising Effectiveness.  In prior posts we have discussed methods to advertise your business, and how to reach customers.  In this series we are going to review some of the basic advertising tenants and expand upon them so that you can improve your advertising effectiveness.

At some point in time, all successful businesses must ask, how do I reach out to customers?  How do I inspire customers to purchase my products or obtain my services?  Advertising has been the method to reach customers that may never have been exposed to your offering in the past.  Even if these potential customers have seen your products, effective advertising is what will draw the customers to you instead of you going to them.

The most effective advertising will be that which will cause the potential customers to come to you with their questions and/or problems.  If you try to aggressively advertise to the customer base, odds are, you will scare off far more customers than you would entice to try your products.  The key it to identify a strong advertising campaign that will increase your sales without frightening potential buyers away.  It is more effective to disguise your advertising campaign in ways that do not look like a “pitch” to the customers.

A full attack on new customers may sound good at first pass, but it will cause more people to turn away than turn towards your product offering.  The key is to offer a potential solution to potential problem your customer may have, without telling your potential customer that your product is what they need.   Tell the customers what you “know” they need and you will most likely lose them in a heartbeat.  Beat around the bush too much about everything else except your offering and you will lose your new customers just as fast.

The first key element you should include to expand your advertising effectiveness is to provide the grand idea to your prospective client base.  You need to introduce a large, compelling concept that will help solve the most common problem the majority of your customers have.  Based on the market niche you are in, there is most definitely a common problem that all customers in that niche grapple with on a daily basis.  Your grand idea should be encapsulated in the first line of your marketing promotion.

Very briefly introduce your company, and be sure to identify your company as the most effective solution to the client’s most pressing problem.   Quickly and specifically explain what you have that will assist your customer in solving their most pressing problem.

The second key element to expanding your advertising effectiveness is to be sure to admit to your limitations.  You may have the best thing for solving that problem, but be sure to note that you are not the “be-all – end-all” solution.  You cannot promise that your products or services will work for them, every time.  Be sure to be honest about what you can an cannot do.  It is very important to under-promise and over-deliver.  Clearly explain that your option will solve specific problems that you outlined originally, but be sure to let your customers know that this is not the solution that will solve world hunger and strife.

You want your new customers to know, trust and like you.  In keeping with that expectation, be sure to be honest with your customers.  You are not selling snake oil, you are offering them a great solution to a big problem of theirs.  Provide your offer in increments.  If they like the first portion of your products, then, logically, they will want to invest in the next step up of your services.  This way, your customers can feel comfortable about testing your product out before making a very large, one-time purchase.

You will find, as you work with your customers, that as they trust that you have their best interests at heart, they will spend more with you over time than they would have if you required them to make a large, one-time purchase.  Each time you offer a step-up program, you are allowing them to test what you say to be true and you are providing them with a level of security, knowing that they can back out if you do not provide what you promised.

Once you have your customers starting to make larger and larger purchases through your company, the third key element to expanding your advertising effectiveness is to make your big idea (the first key element) exclusive.  Identify your unique competitive advantage and let your customer know that if they take advantage of what you have to offer, then there is a good chance they will have a leg up on their competition.   Let your potential customers know that this offer is not provided to anyone, but only to a select few, who really see the benefit with your offerings.

Are your customers the savvy business people you expect them to be?  Have they tried to overcome their particular challenge and failed in the past?  Keep your customer focused on what they gain if they are successful in utilizing what you are offering.  Be sure to keep them aware of what may befall their business if they do not continue on the planned route.  Are their competitors nipping at their heels and they can’t seem to get ahead?  Reiterate what your solution can do for them, that may not be available to their competition.

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.





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…





5 Obstacles to Success – Part 3

28 12 2010

For the prior two weeks we have been discussing various obstacles to your personal business success.  Two weeks ago we opened the discussion by introducing the first two obstacles to success; Fear and Cynicism.  Last week we continue the discussion to include Laziness and Arrogance.  This week we conclude the series with the last of 5 Obstacles to Success.

The last personal obstacle to your business success is Bad Habits.  It is your habits that could get you in trouble and it is habits that could cause your business to stagnate and ultimately fail.  Just because you have always done something one way in the past doesn’t mean it is the best way to do things.  We all naturally fall into habits of doing things, saying things and thinking things.  You can learn to break habits as you continue to educate yourself.  It is possible to relearn new habits; it just takes dedication and motivation.  Again, look at where you want to be and discover what new habits will help to bring you closer to your goals.  If you want to purchase a particular item, you do not want to get into the habit of spending every penny you earn now or worse yet, getting into debt just to acquire the item you are lusting after.  The key is to get into the habit of learning to make your money work for you instead of you working for your money.  Once you learn how to make money work for you, then you can start focusing on putting some of that money away so that you can ultimately purchase the item you were lusting after (without going into debt for it).  The key to a good habit is to be sure that the habit will help you move closer to your goals.  Take a good look at your current habits and ask yourself if those habits are helping you get closer to your goal of business success or are those habits causing you to move away from your goals?

In summary 5 obstacles to success are Fear, Cynicism, Laziness, Arrogance and Bad Habits.  Take an honest inventory of yourself, identify your Fears, any Cynicism, Laziness, or Arrogance you may have and then turn those bad habits into good habits.  As you do this you will discover that you are moving closer to your personal business success.

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 Tips for more business success

7 12 2010

This week we are going to discuss 3 tips for more business success.   In order to stay in business, you need to strive to make your business continuously successful.  This quote from Jim Rohn sums up business success nicely:

“Success is neither magical or mysterious.  Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.”

One key to success

All people in business are sales people.  Whether or not we have a tangible item to sell, we are all selling something in order to gain something (money…usually..).   The key is to be able to “sell” to your customer base without them feeling that you are selling them anything.  Since people can’t really control their feelings, it is important that you are able to get them to feel like they NEED your products or services.  The key to helping your customers feel like they need your products is to provide them service and information that your competitors do not offer.

To build a good rapport with your customers online, it is beneficial to provide a good story about your products.  Do not just list the benefits of your products and services, everybody and their uncle does that.  Offer a story that is real, but more importantly, feels real to your customers.  Be sure the story about your products is something that people can understand and relate to.  Be friendly, do not talk to your audience, tell them a story as if you are sitting across from them in a small room. 

By offering compelling stories about your products, customers will tend to stay on your site longer and will come back to visit more often.  They will also refer your site to others, so that they too can read the enjoyable stories on your site.  Your stories should not just provide some enjoyment, but compel the readers to spend more time on your site and to want to purchase your products and services.

In order to allow your customers to feel comfortable with you as a business person, do you provide easy access to your competition?  When you are comparing your products to the competition, do you provide your competitor’s website, just so your readers can go make the comparisons on their own too?  Odds are, if you do this, your customers will not choose to go elsewhere because you are appearing forthright about your comparisons.  If you are confident enough about your products to compare them clearly to the competition, then there must be some legitimacy to your assertions.  If you are not comfortable listing your competition, what changes do you think you need to make to your information so that you are confident your readers will almost always choose your products over those of the competition?

A second point to review is how you are educating your prospects.  Do you just provide the basic facts and figures about your products and services?  Are you answering the same questions your competition is answering, in the same manner?  Is there a better way to educate your readers or perhaps, are you taking some of their knowledge for granted?  For instance, if you are offering a waterless car wash system, are you assuming that your prospects already know about cleaning their vehicles without water?  Do you explain why you do NOT want to use water on your vehicle?  Do you offer examples of what other paint professionals feel about using water on vehicles?  Take a different approach when explaining the why’s and wherefore’s about your product.  It is an easy mistake to assume that your customers know as much about your products as you do, but odds are, they have no clue.  Take that into account when explaining why your products are needed and superior to the competition.

Thirdly, what dull or boring aspects of your products and services can you ‘jazz’ up?  Don’t lie about some of the dull information, but try to find a more interesting way to explain the “boring” stuff.  Yeah, cleaning your car without water is cool, but did you see the SHINE on the car after using the waterless product?  Perhaps relay how astonished your customers are with the absolute quality of your products or services.  Allow their excitement to be injected into the supposedly “dull” explanation of your products or services.  If you have excited customers, you will have excited readers wanting to know more…

Next week we will continue offering more tips for your personal business success.  Hopefully you will be able to apply these 3 tips for more business success to your own business.

If you are looking for a second income opportunity and are not sure what you would like to do, please review our website, we may have something that you have not seen before.  Our website is slowly being renovated, so please feel free to come back often and review our modifications.  We always welcome your comments and suggestions.

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…





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…





Consequences of Not Following Your Business Plan

19 07 2010

Last week we talked about not forcing yourself to review your business plan on a regular basis.  After a while you believe that you know the plan so well that you don’t need to refer to it anymore.  This week we are going to continue to review the consequences of not following your business plan and how to rectify those consequences.  By year 3 we started adding other products and services to our business without cross-referencing with our original business plan.  Since we had been reviewing the business plan so much, we figured we didn’t have to keep reviewing it. 

Diversification is a good thing, but you need to do it and still keep it within the confines of your business plan.  If you add more products and services, you really do need to go back to your original business plan and modify the plan to include the changes.  Not only do you need to include the additional products, but you should be doing more market research and then taking a step back to determine if what you have added to your product line will enhance your overall business position and help you to move your company forward.  You need to validate that you have not picked up additional products that do not complement your core competency. 

Diversification can be good for your business, but diversification, like change, for change sake may not be a good thing for your business.  You don’t make changes “just because”.  Any changes or diversification you do should remain in line with your overall business plan and goals.  By the end of year 3 and into the beginning of year 4, we had focused so much on diversifying that we lost sight of who we were and what we stood for. 

We looked at our business plan, finally, and discovered that we were so far away from what we had originally planned, that we did not recognize the business we were working anymore.  Our profits showed the same loss of focus too.  We were profitable, but we were working harder for those same profits and we didn’t feel the same sense of accomplishment as we had when we first started out.  In year 4 we discovered that we had to go back to basics and re-work our business plan

By now, all of the original plans and backup plans were defunct.  We pretty much had to start the process of writing a business plan all over again.  The good news is that we had the original template, so now all we had to do was to review where we were and confirm where we wanted to go.  Then we needed to write a business plan that would get us back on track and back to growing and developing the business.  At this point we had almost lost our business identity.  Our loyal customers had been trying to warn us, they would periodically ask what we had in mind for our business.  It took one customer asking us what our business focus was.  He said our business looked like a mish-mash of everything and nothing in particular.  That comment stopped us short.

After that wake-up call, we went back to the drawing board and started asking the hard questions.  We went to our business plan and re-confirmed our goals and strategy and reiterated who we were as a business.  We spent the remainder of the year striving to regain control of our business and to get it back on track with our business plan.  It is amazing how hard it is, once you lose sight of your business plans and goals, to get your business back on track.  Part of our challenge was the re-aligning of our business coincided with the downturn in the economy.  The downturn in the economy helped us to streamline our business processes and really focus on what we wanted for the business.  We are coming out of this stronger and better prepared than we had ever originally envisioned.  

We have now included an annual review of our business plan, whether we need it or not so that we do not fall into the same rut we did.  It is a good idea to review your business plan after the end of your fiscal year anyway, most large corporations do that, so there is no reason why, as a small entrepreneur we should not do the same.  It is an excellent habit to get into and you should then not experience the same challenges that we did when we lost sight of our business plan.  Never assume that you know your plan inside and out.  It will always change as your business and the external environment changes.  Always remember to follow your business plan, no matter how well you think you know it.

If you are interested  in starting your own business, please feel free to visit our website at www.hawgwash.net.  We may have a business opportunity that would fit your lifestyle.

 Until next week…