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What to consider when buying a business

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If you dream of being a business owner, but don’t want to go through all the hassle and stress of setting up a business to run, then you may want to consider buying an existing business. This way you can still have your dream of running your own business, without the demands of trying to get a business up and running. Buying an existing business can also give you a leg up, when it comes to having a business that succeeds. If you buy carefully you can end up with a small business that is well on its way to becoming a larger and more successful business. However, it is important to keep in mind that buying a new business, will most likely be far more expensive then starting your own. If you take the time to plan and do the appropriate research, you can find the right business, already in existence, for you to run. Here is what to consider when buying a business-

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Steps to opening your own business

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You may be one of the thousands of people who dream about opening your own business and being your own boss. While this can be alluring and exciting, it can also be challenging and at times overwhelming. However, the savvy prospective business owner understands that they don’t need just a great idea, for a product or service. There are many factors that will come into play, when starting your own business and preparation will be essential, if you want your business to survive, for the long term. Too often small business owners rush into opening a business without carefully considering, the information, resources and other factors that will be important in making their business a success. You should keep in mind that once you open your business it will take a great deal of endurance, determination, and persistence, to make it successful. However, if you have these qualities, along with a great product or service, having your own business, can be both rewarding and profitable. Here are some steps to opening your own business-

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How to have a spending plan for your business

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Many business owners fail to realize that one of the most important functions of running their business is how they control spending. While you may think that running a business is all about making money, the reality is that having a successful business is also about the money you don’t spend. While you may think that once you have your own business, you will be free to spend as you please, the bottom line is that successful business owners control their spending, and focus on growing their business, while managing their cash flow. Keep in mind that just like it is never a good idea to live beyond your means, with your personal finances, it is the same when you are considering the finances, of your business. Here is what you need to know about how to have a spending plan for your business-

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The art of business administration

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As a business administrator you are required to take on many roles and to wear a lot of hats to lead your employees. Leading employees can sometimes become a challenge as people are not always willing to listen or you may have employees that try to lead themselves. It is vital that you understand how to take control of your staff so you can lead your employees in the right direction. You will need to assess your business plans and policies in order to take the business in the right direction.

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Creating a strategic plan

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A strategic plan can help any business to succeed. There are a lot of different ideas out there for how to create the perfect strategic plan, and each of them have merit in some way or another. However, the perfect strategic plan can't be made from a template. It is unique to your business, your goals, and your available resources, and thus should be created with each of these things in mind.

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Business management skills you need to have

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When you are the manager of a business, there are several skills you need to master in order to lead the company in the right direction. Business management skills are often learned over time even though you likely have some that have been mastered already but you will need to start building upon these skills if you hope to become a goo manager. Here are some of the key areas you will need to focus on if you would like to become a great business manager:

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Time management for managers

clock63312045.jpg As a manager you are constantly doing multiple things at once. If you feel as though you are being pulled in every direction it is time for you to sit down and work on a list of responsibilities and to define how much time you can devote to each task. Time management is crucial for managers and unfortunately not too many people actually focus on it. Here are some great time management techniques you need to try out:

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Helping you with the decision making process

interview26236689.jpg Becoming a business manager is a monumental task to undertake as you will be faced with new challenges and obstacles daily. How you handle these roadblocks will say a lot about you as a person and a manager. One of the areas in which you need to work on is your ability to make sound decisions. The decision making process is one that is a struggle to some people because they panic and simply do not trust their abilities and what they are able to bring to the table. Here is a guide to help you make better decisions and to make them in a timely manner:

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Too much exposure can be a bad thing

manpullingofftie10054185.jpgSocial media websites are continuing to grow at an impressive rate and many companies are finding that using social media sites can help them to expand their companies as they can reach customers all over the world. While using social media sites can certainly help you get in touch with new customers, too much exposure on social media sites can hurt your company.

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Marketing when your budget is small

bills39158685.jpgMarketing your business is vital to the strength and financial health of your company. If your budget is small, marketing can be a big challenge to your organization. Fortunately there are a number of things you can do to market on a small budget. Continue reading for helpful advice on how you can market your company correctly.

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How to start a business during a downturn in the economy

maninfrontofbuilding30337424.jpgYou may be surprised to learn that during a slow economy, is when many businesses get their best start. There are many reasons why this happens. Some of them are:

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How to help your business succeed for the long term

coworkers23120152.jpgIf you are a business owner, then you are most likely constantly on the look out, for ways to make your business succeed. Whether you are a new business owner, looking to grow your business, or have been in business for several years, you will be looking for ways to keep your business successful, in the years to come. Those business that care constantly looking for ways to improve and have owners who are willing to change with the times, are the ones that are most likely to remain successful, for the long term. However, all business owners must realize that succeeding with your business, require a proactive approach. This is not something that will simply happen just because you have a great product or service. You must be willing to put in the time and effort that it will need, in order to maintain a successful business. You should also make sure that you are focusing your efforts where they are most likely to produce the results you are looking for. Here is what you need to know about how to help your business succeed for the long term-

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How to use your company blog for marketing

manoncomputer30342716.jpgBusiness blogging has become a popular part of social media marketing. Businesses are finding that they can use their blogs, to keep their customers informed about what is happening with their products, services, pricing and promotions. Savvy business owners are finding that when a blog is done effectively, it shed favorable light on your business, bring in new clients and inspire higher degrees of customer loyalty. In fact, when a blog is done effectively it can not only have more people buying your product or service, but will help to foster word of mouth advertising that will bring others in. However, it is important that just like any other social media tool, there are dos and don'ts when it comes to business blogging. Remember that having a business blog can pay off in increased profitability, for your company, if you are willing to devote the needed time and energy to it. Here is what you need to know about how to use your company blog for marketing-

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Why starting a business during a recession can be a good idea

clock63312045.jpgIt may surprise you to learn that periods of recession, may be one of the best times to start a small business. Some of the reason may be out of necessity. Many unemployed workers find that if they have been laid off, they may have no choice but to strike out on their own. Or you may have had an idea for a small business for a long time, but now that you are out of a job, you actually have time to work on that idea. In addition, many people are not only unemployed, but underemployed during a recession. Both of these conditions can stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit, and lead to the creation of new small businesses. Interestingly, the creation of new small businesses is often what leads us out of recession since small business drives the economy to a large extent. So if you find yourself with more time on your hands then you would like, or an idea that is itching to be brought to life here are some reasons that a recession may be a good time to start a small business.

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What you need to know before selling your business

contract19160481.jpgMany business owners find that selling their business, is their best exit strategy. This is usually done when there are no successors who want to continue the business; or it was always the business owner's plan, to convert the business into liquid assets, at a certain point. However, if you are a business owner, who is looking to sell their business, there are certain things you should take into consideration. Here is what you need to know before selling your business-

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Rules to make your small business successful

chair30393486.JPGGetting a small business up and running can be both stressful and overwhelming, for a new business owner. However, there are certain rules that can make the process, far more manageable. Decades of business experience has led small business owners to be able to identify what can help your business succeed. By following these rules (many of which seem based in common sense), you can help your small business grow and flourish. Here are some rules to make your small business successful-

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Reasons you should take out a small business loan

seriousmansitting26668358.jpgMost small businesses must take out a business loan, at some point. Small businesses take out these loans, for a variety of reasons. While there are a number of types of lenders that will loan to small businesses banks are often the first choice. But it must be noted that borrowing money is expensive, for a company, and raises its risk. In addition, to the risk of whatever business you are undertaking, borrowing money introduces another level of risk to your personal financial state. While, taking on debt is one of the forms of financing small business operations, all of the ramifications must be considered seriously. Small business owners should have a clear and concise understanding, of what they are taking on the risk of a small business loan. In order to help you see if you are borrowing, for the right reasons, here are some reasons that companies often use debt financing.

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Mistakes to avoid when starting your small business

broker19160449.jpgSo you have a wonderful idea that you think would make a great business. You are sure that your idea will be the next "big thing". So you print some brochures, some business cards, and take out an ad in the Yellow Pages, you pay $500 for a website and a domain name that tells everyone about your amazing credentials and experience, and you think you are ready to go. You distribute your fliers at a local grocery store, and then nothing happens. You may be amazed to learn that you have just committed one of the most common mistakes when it comes to starting a small business. Here are some other mistakes to avoid when starting your small business-

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Marketing your business

businessmeeting30381062.jpgWhen it comes to the success of any organization, marketing your business is one of the key components you need to have. It can take upwards of a year before you are able to get your business up and running into a successful organization. This is where marketing your business correctly will allow you to gain the customers you need to create a strong business in the future.

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Internet marketing basics

laptop30347484.jpgIt's no secret that the internet is one of the best ways to market to your customers. Internet marketing is easy to do once you get the hang of it and you can gain a new audience as well as revenue. This article will teach you some internet marketing basics you need to know.

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How to be cost effective when marketing your small business

manwithdatebook23291499.jpgTo many small business owners look at marketing their business as simply an expense, when the reality is that marketing your small business is an investment. The bottom line is that your small business will fail (no matter how good your product or service), if you cannot get the word out to your target market. However, you want to do that in the most cost-effective way as possible.

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How good customer service can become great

womanwithheadset30343063.jpgWhile many business have good customer service, sadly only a few have great customer service. Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business, and providing it to your customers, determines whether you will stay in business, for the long term. It is important to keep in mind that you can offer promotions and slash prices, to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won't be profitable for long. Great customer service is all about bringing customers back, and about sending them away happy. Remember that you want your customers happy enough to pass positive feedback, about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves, and in their turn become repeat customers. The essence of great customer service is forming a relationship with each individual customer that keeps them coming back again and again. Here are some ideas on how good customer service can become great-

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How to make attending a trade show profitable for your small business

clip71731932.jpgTrade shows can be a highly effective promotion, and sales tool, for small businesses. However, if they are not utilized correctly, they can also be a complete waste of time, and money. Whether attending a trade show is a success or failure, for your small business will depend a great deal on your advance preparation. Here are some tips on how to make attending a trade show profitable, for your small business-

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Forecasting and budgeting tips

graphpresentation16486405.jpgRunning a business is a bit of a challenge if you don't have the right staff surrounding you and helping you along the way. While you may know everything there is to know about marketing, you probably don't have the educational background that is necessary for forecasting and budgeting. If you don't have a financial controller or bookkeeper, here are some tips on how you can forecast and budget correctly.

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Business loan options

manatdesk19160745.jpgBusiness loan options range based on your credit, the amount of money you need to borrow, and the terms of the loan. Depending upon the age of your business and the lender you have chosen to work with, it can be easy to acquire the money or it can become a bit of a challenge. Here are some things you need to know about business loan options so you can find one that will work for your business.

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Budgeting tips for businesses

accountant37004762.jpgWhen it comes to running a successful business, one of the most important things you will do is create a good budget. To make money you need to spend money but you need to know just how much money you have before you can start spending away. A budget will provide you with a forecast of your revenue and the sales you anticipate. When you know how much money is coming in and going out of your business, you will have an easier time paying your bills on time so you can continue to strengthen your business credit rating.

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Action steps to acquire financing

portfolio37194029.jpgThe success of your business depends upon your ability to secure financing for your business. When you initially startup your business, acquiring financing can be one of the hardest things to do as your personal credit rating and the collateral you have to front for the loan can make or break your startup.

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Understanding small business CRM

clip71731932.jpgBuilding long-term small business stability is an enormous challenge. Most small business owners have their short-term business plans thought out but they don't always consider the long-term plans and growth for the business. If you aren't focusing on CRM (customer relationship management) it will leave your business in disarray with your customers as you won't have strong relationships with them. If you don't know what CRM is and how you can implement it into your business, here are some tips to help you get started.

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Staying out of the red with accounts receivables factoring

graph16220798.jpgIf you have customers that are slow to pay their bills, it can leave your business in a dangerous position. You may find that your cash flow is suffering and that you are unable to acquire the money you need to pay your bills on time. In order to stay out of the red, one option you have is to use accounts receivables factoring. What is accounts receivables factoring and how can it benefit your business?

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Marketing during slow times

groupofmenatlunch30338711.jpgThere are always times when a business will go through slumps. Marketing during slow times can be difficult but it is necessary to draw in the business you need in order to stay afloat. When times are slow, here are some simple marketing tips to try that will help you find your customers again and build a strong cash flow to get you through this challenging time.

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Implementing change with effective leadership

coworkers23120152.jpgLet's face it no one really likes change. Adapting to a new management style, computer program, or a new work system is going to be a challenge for any manager. Organizations are all run differently and the only way to figure out how to implement change in your organization is to take a look at your leadership style. The way you react to the change and adapt to it will reflect to your staff and it can cause them to either shy away from change or accept it the same way that you have. Here are some tips to help you implement change:

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How you can strengthen employee performance

confidence30842627.jpgCompanies are always looking for new ways to strengthen employee performance so they can get the most out of their staff members as possible. When employees perform well, it leads to a stronger company overall. You will have a stronger reputation with your customers as they are able to see how well you are able to work as a team and how much your staff enjoys working for the company. Here are some of the different ways in which you can strengthen employee performance:

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How to make your company great

businessmeeting26668232.jpgIf you want your small business to stay around for many years to come, you need to take an active role in helping the company reach this potential. As a manger, you need to reach out to your employees and foster strong working relationships. When you build an environment focused on trust and respect, you will have an easier time reaching out to your customers. Customers that become loyal to a company are a wonderful asset to any business because they will provide you with the financial needs for your cash flow and for your business to stay afloat.

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How to find your ideal customer

paying23246187.jpgWhen seeking your ideal customer, you need to engage in market research and a number of other things that will draw them into your company. Here are some tips that will help you find your ideal customer:

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Focusing on respect

business41865609.jpgWhen it comes to running a successful organization a large responsibility falls to the managers and how they are treating their employees. Are you fostering a healthy work environment where everyone respects one another? You need to have an environment that is focused on respect and provides equal opportunities for everyone to grow and develop.

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Effective and efficient management

businessmeeting33030027.jpgNo matter what type of business you are running, you must focus on strengthening your management in order to make the business run effectively. Training seminars can provide you with a wonderful opportunity to develop you management skills and reach out to your employees. Here are some things you need to focus on in order to develop effective and efficient management skills:

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Dangerous cash flow mistakes to avoid

moneydownthedrain24709202.jpgRunning a business is filled with a number of challenges, but none may pose the risk to the financial health of your organization like your cash flow does. Businesses commonly make cash flow mistakes here and there but you can easily fix them in a hurry if you know what you are doing. Here are some dangerous cash flow mistakes to avoid in order to keep your business running properly:

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Creating a small business strategic plan

bills39158685.jpgA company that has lack of planning eventually leads to failure and numerous problems. In order to prevent your business from failing, you need to have all the right strategic planning tool in place. Strategic planning is not that difficult to do as you really just need to focus on the basics.

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Communication, the easiest way to improve your business

worriedmanonphone19220161.jpgEvery business needs to have effective communication in order to fun properly. Communication allows your staff to stay on target with one another and provides the business with a team working atmosphere. Everyone will be able to accomplish their jobs in a timely manner if they can communicate effectively. A manager that excels at communication will be able to manage their staff better, interact with customers well, and can easily handle a board room meeting.

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Change will come, how to make it easier

concernedman19185284.jpgIf you aren't embracing change in your organization it can be easy for your company to quickly become outdated and behind the times. You need to implement change once and awhile to avoid becoming stagnant and falling behind your competition. As the manager of the company one of your roles is to implement change and to make sure it is managed effectively. It's no question that a lot of people reject change and it can be hard for them to fully accept it. An effective leader will be able to implement change into an organization and help the employees fully embrace it through their positive influence. So what can you do to prepare yourself and your employees for change? Here are some great tips that may help:

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Showing employees you value them

busfriends30396999-1.jpgYour company can only run effectively when you have a happy and productive workforce. It is important to your business to show your employees you respect and appreciate their hard work and service. You must show your employees that you value them and you can do this with some easy tips. This article will guide you through simple ways to show your employees you value them and to keep them on staff for many years.

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Getting results with a small budget

brokenpiggy19109501.jpgWord-of-mouth marketing is one of the best ways to generate a buzz about your products and services and the best part, it is completely free. Many businesses have a small budget to do their marketing and advertising and they cannot afford to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on print marketing and commercial advertising.

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Different types of advertising

dotcominbriefcase19157840.jpgFinding different ways to advertise to your target audience can be a bit of a challenge. To help you find a way to reach your target audience, we have put together a simple guide that will help you find an advertising style that works best for your business:

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Ways to improve your business

graphpresentation16486405.jpgEvery business owner knows that in order to grow their business you have to keep improving. This is true no matter how large or how small you business is. It is important to realize that no business is static. You should realize that your business is on an upward track or on its way down. Making improvements to make your business better is a conscious choice that the savvy business owner will be constantly focusing on. It is important to realize that not only must you balance your time but choose the right area of business that will make the biggest impact. Here are some ways to improve your business-

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Using flyers to attract new business

checkbox63308153.jpgIf you have been in business for awhile and you notice your bottom line isn't performing how you'd expected, you may need to take to the streets and start using flyers to attract new business. Flyers are one of the easiest ways to generate some publicity and it doesn't require a huge investment on your part. All you need to do is walk around a few neighborhoods or parking lots and stick flyers on cars and on doors.

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Smart signage

logo14505133.jpgIf you are ready to spread the word about your products and services, smart signage is one of the best ways to do it. What exactly does signage mean? It refers to a display of any kind that is used to attract the attention of your target audience. Bright colors are often used for signage as they quickly draw attention to your business. Yellow, orange, and bright green are among the most popular colors to use for your signage.

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Simple ways to make your business flow now

businessmeeting30393267.jpgIf you feel like your business is unorganized and you are not getting high productivity levels out of your employees, there are some things you can try that will help. Here are some simple was to make your business flow smoothly.

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Simple bookkeeping tips

bills39158685.jpgBookkeeping has gotten a lot easier with software programs like QuickBooks. These software programs allow you to input numbers and the program will do everything else for you. When you are dealing with your finances, here are some simple tips to follow:

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Saving money with business insurance

brokenpiggybank19151356.jpgWhen you run your own small business, one of the essential items you need to have is business insurance. Business insurance allows you to protect your company from financial ruin if there is an accident or one of your machines fails. In order to operate your business, you must have business insurance. Business insurance can get pricey so to help you save money; we have put together a few helpful tips:

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Picking a leadership style

businessmeeting30396676.jpgRunning a business has its challenges, one of which is learning how to pick a good leadership style. Everyone has their own leadership style that works for their business and works well with their employees. To help you find a leadership style, here are a few of the most popular:

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How to maximize business networking

groupofmenatlunch30338711.jpgOne of the most tools in the business owner's arsenal is the ability to network. Business networking is defined as the process of meeting other people and exchanging resources for mutual gain. Business networking often forms the basis of business relationships. Many different kinds of businesses rely heavily upon effective networking practices to win important investors, customers and partners. It is important to remember that your ability to network well is one of the factors that may not only differentiate your business but also ensure its survival. The good news is that it has never been easier to network so here is what you should know about how to maximize business networking-

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How to have an effective meeting

businessmeeting26668277.jpgAs a business leader, you are responsible for keeping your employees on the same page and to help them discover their skills and make the most of them. A great way to help your employees is to hold meetings. How can you hold an effective meeting? It begins with your ability to plan the meeting ahead of time and to be prepared. Here are some tips to follow when you are holding a meeting:

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How to become more productive

manatstartingline30898062.jpgPractically every employer is concerned with employee productivity. We all want to make sure we are getting the most work out of our employees because we are paying them to do jobs that we just don't have the time to do anymore. Employee productivity may not be as high as your individual productivity and this is often because employees do not have as much time and money invested in the company. They are just working for the company, not fighting to keep it alive like you are. How can you become more productive and encourage your employees to become productive? Follow these tips:

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Creative thinking helps advertising

businessmeeting26251473.jpgAnyone that would like to brand their business must have the ability to use creative thinking skills. Great slogans are made from people that have the ability to think outside the box. Take a look at some of the companies that have made a name for themselves through solid branding: Nike and "Just Do It", M&M's "Melts in your mouth, not in your hands" and the Boy Scouts of American and "Be Prepared."

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Business insurance

accountant37004036.jpgBusiness insurance is a simple way to protect your business from undue risks. Since there are going to be some risks that come along with every industry, it is important to obtain business insurance that will keep your company safe. Small business insurance plans are available from a number of insurance providers and they are quite affordable. The only thing you need to worry about with business insurance plans is to make sure you are getting all of the coverage you need.

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A guide to simple advertising

contract19160481.jpgWhy do you spend money on advertising? Advertising is used to attract customers to your business. You want to create a name for yourself by making a statement with your products and services and without advertising, there will be no way to let your target audience know what you have. If you are tired of the same old advertising campaigns, here is a guide that can help:

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Why international outsourcing is not always a smart financial move

handshakeoverflags32166713.jpgOutsourcing a portion of your business operations can be very appealing. Looking at the price that some international entities charge for what appear to be the same services, it seems like a no brainer; pay less by having a company in a different country handle some services for you. Some figures estimate the number of international employees hired by American companies to be more than 2 million in number.

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What is performance management?

airplane30902462.jpgPerformance management involves analyzing the performance of all of your employees as a whole. You need to look upon them as a team and look for different things they can do to improve and what they are doing right. Managers must be able to help their employees set obtainable goals and to constantly strive to accomplish them.

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What do you do when your top executives have poor management styles?

womaninoffice32013222.jpgAs most people know, your top executives have a large influence over the way your employees work. What happens when your have poor management skills? It will trickle down to your employees and they will not have a strong devotion to your business and before long your company will fail. When your customers notice the lack of customer service and poor management, they will not have a strong desire to continue supporting your company. Poor managers often have a problem with being selfish. They are concerned with promoting themselves instead of focusing on their employees and the effects their performance can have on their customers. If you have top executive with poor management skills, there are some things you can do to make your company better and to improve your overall customer satisfaction.

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Things to do after you have chosen your human resource system

ladyoncomputer30349375.jpgHere are three things that you need to do after you have chosen the human resource system software for your business.

Number one: Cleanse
The first thing that you need to do is to cleanse your data.

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The customer comes first

manonphone19205470.jpgA business will be able to succeed if they work hard to learn that the customer comes first. Since your business is fueled by your customers it is important to learn how to understand different ways you can work hard to please your customers and to develop rapport with them. You want your customers to not only enjoy their experience with your company but you want them to talk about your company to their friends. When you are able to achieve this type of rapport, you will develop loyalty with your customers and your marketing efforts will not need to be as extensive.

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Smart ways to find success

businessmeeting30396676.jpgWith the invention of the internet and all the web sites that have come with it, business managers have a handful of different responsibilities. What may have worked for you 10 years ago probably won’t work as well now. Customers expect instant service and they expect only the best, even if they pay very little. A manager must be able to keep up with the times and lead the way for their employees, even if their employees may have recently come out of college and know more about technology.

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Reasons to take out a small business loan

portfolio37194029.jpgMany business owners wonder about the validity of taking out a small business loan. Small business owners worry because borrowing money is expensive for a company and raises its risk. In addition to the risk of whatever enterprise you are undertaking, borrowing money will introduce another level of risk to your company. Regardless, debt is one of the forms of financing small business operations. However there are several valid reason to take out a loan to help grow your small business.

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Making the most of your business strengths

highfives10054971.jpgSo much of the business world revolves around fixing problems and making sure that other people are getting what they need. In fact, many businesses and the idea of business is based on solving problems in general and making life easier for others. But all too often, business managers forget that sometimes focusing on weaknesses and problems inside the business can be self destructive and hurt even more than it helps. Here are some ideas about making your business better by focusing on your strengths.

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Keeping positive cash flow

manwithmoneyfan34926870.jpgKeeping your cash flow positive is one of the most important things you can focus on if you want to keep your business strong in the current economy. Part of the current difficulty right now for many businesses is that there isn’t much money flowing in and out of businesses. Cash flow is an essential part of having a healthy business and you should spend some serious time making sure you have positive cash flow.

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Human Resource management for your small business

businessmeeting26668304.jpgIf you are the owner or manager of a small business you are keenly aware of the unique challenges your company faces. This includes the opportunities and challenges that come with Human Resource management within a small organization. It is important to understand that while some of these challenges are unique others are shared with businesses of any size. The good news is that there is information and practices that can be put into place to help the small business manager find proven solutions to the troublesome issues you may face with your human resources programs, policies, and approaches. Here is what you need to know about Human Resource management for your small business-

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Handling cutbacks

accountant37004036.jpgOne of the worst responsibilities you have as a manager is handling cutbacks. It is terrible to let a person know that they no longer have a job with your company and no matter how delicately you try to put it, someone is going to be hurt. Cutbacks aren’t too bad if you have some employees that are underperforming but it can be quite painful if you have to lay off some of your best employees due to budget cuts and a bad economy.

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Expanding your business

contractor30905267.jpgKeeping your business alive and functioning can be a challenge in any economy. Expanding business and improving your business can be even more difficult. But there are things that can be done regardless of where you are in your business to expand and make things run better. Here are some ideas of things you can do to expand your business.

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Creating a vision for your employees

ladypresentaion30392759.jpgIn order for a business to become successful, the manager must be able to lead them in the right direction. As a manager, it is your responsibility to create a vision for your employees to give them something to work toward. To create a vision, you first need to describe what it is you would like your employees to accomplish and them show your employees what they need to do to see this vision become a reality.

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Choosing the right human resource management system for your business

accountant37004036.jpgHuman resource management is an important aspect for every business because it costs more money to recruit and train a new employee than it does to retain and further develop an existing employee. Human resource management is important for every business because it focuses on the employees, which are an important aspect to any business, without employees you might not have a business.

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Business management tips

buisnessmeeting26238539.jpgGood business managers work their way through the day while successful business managers know that there are tips that will help them accomplish their goals. These tips can help you better utilize your time in order to be successful and show your boss how indispensable you are to their company. Here are some Business Management tips-

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Business management 101

groupofmenatlunch30338711.jpgIf you are trying to choose a career or perhaps get onto a different career path you may be wondering if Business management if for you. It is important to realize that Business Management is a wide ranging field with lots of diversity but there are certain basic principles that apply to almost every aspect. Here is a brief overview of Business Management-

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Building your business identity

copyright9951803.jpgAny small business manager knows the importance of working hard to establish their own business identity. Since small businesses are typically bombarded with a number of different challenges, establishing a business identity is one of the best ways to gain credibility in your customer’s eyes.

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All about Business Management to-do lists

emptychairs30393444.jpgIt seems like everyone today has a to-do list yet somehow there never seems to be enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on the list. Business managers are not exempt from this problem. If you are a good manager you may find yourself spending a great deal of time making your list but find that it is really of little use to you. Refining the way you list tasks that must be accomplished during the day can go a long way toward achieving more objectives. Good managers make these lists and successful managers know how to use them. The first thing that is important to realize is that making a "things to do list" is not enough. You have to rank the items on your list and you have to know which tasks are more important so you can focus on them. Then as a final step you have to allocate resources to those items, measure your progress, and reward yourself for your successes. Here is a breakdown of what you need to know about Business Management to-do lists-

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Achieving good customer service for your business

handshake30344237.jpgThe backbone to any successful business is that degree of customer service that it offer. Savvy business managers understand that need to constantly be improving their customer service. Here are some tips for achieving good customer service for your business-

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5 ways your business can make more money

chair30393486.JPGNo matter if the economy is great or sluggish businesses are always looking for ways to make more money. Successful business managers will implement several options that can diversify their income stream. This is especially true in tough economic times. Businesses that survive an economic downturn are the ones who understand that the key to successfully increasing your business income is to be sure the cost of diversifying is not making the profits negligible or nonexistent. The key to being able to do this often resides in a manager’s ability to think outside of the box. Here are 5 ways that your business can make more no what the economic climate currently is-

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Team Building tips

businessmeeting26668385.jpgBuilding a team is important to create a healthy working environment. The sad reality is that only a few people understand how to work as a team and what it means to work as a team. Teaching your employees that they belong to a team can be frustrating and often challenging for many managers. Belonging to a team means giving up selfishness and finding a way to work together to help the company progress in a positive manner.

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Succession planning help

businessmeeting30381062.jpgWhen top executives and leaders of companies decide to move on to bigger and better things, the employees left behind need to learn how to adapt to new management styles along with assuming new roles and responsibilities. Succession planning is the process of training personnel and developing smooth organizational systems so that your employees will be able to easily step into new roles when leaders leave the company.

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Open-Book Management

folder22474997.jpgEveryone looks for the ideal management style that will allow them to give their employees a career that is filled with desire and a commitment to the company. Quite often companies hold back the finances from their employees and they only show them bits and pieces of the puzzle. While this can work for some companies, other companies are adopting an open-book management style. This article will explain some of the information you need to learn about open-book management.

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Office organizing tips

businessmeeting33030104.jpgOffices can quickly become cluttered with stacks of paper, pens, keyboards, staplers, and a handful of other things. If you aren’t working on keeping your office clean and organized all the time, it can quickly become cluttered and this can decrease your productivity.

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Management tips for the new manager

businessmeeting33030027.jpgCongratulations, you have been promoted to your first management position. As a new manager, you have a number of new things to become familiar with and it will be one of your most challenging responsibilities yet. Here are some tips to help you with your new role as a manager:

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Leading your employee ahead after your company has dealt with layoffs

businessportrait30393821.jpgWith the ups and downs in the economy, thousands of people have been laid off and the employees left behind have been forced to pick up the extra work and try to fill the shoes of those that have been fired. After you have laid off some people, it can be difficult to find a way to lead the rest of your employees and to keep their trust. These individuals may be naturally worried about being laid off too and the psychological effects of losing their friends can often be a bigger burden than employers realize.

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Naming your products

laptop30349514.jpgWhen it comes to getting your business up and running, an important thing you shouldn't overlook is naming your products. The names you choose for your products are important because they serve to do several things, including:

  • Set your product apart from the products of your competitors

  • Can involve the benefit or appeal of the product (for example, "No-Skid" or "Silky Smooth" can be parts of your product name)

  • Motivate customers to purchase the product

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What makes a good mission statement

portfolio37194029.jpgA mission statement is a simple way to announce to your customers, investors, employees, and clients what your business stands for. The purpose of the mission statement is to engage people and let them know why you business is important. A mission statement is an easy way to get the word out there about your business. You should use it when you create annual reports or when you are holding conferences and meetings to remind people what your business stands for.

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The value of an expression of interest letter

laptop30349514.jpgIf you have been in business for awhile, one document you should be familiar with is the expression of interest letter. An expression of interest letter simply introduces your business to other companies or investors to tell them why they should be doing business with you. Companies that are looking for financing often use their letters to help take their business to the next level.

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The basics of risk management

accountant37004036.jpgOne of the most important job responsibilities of a manager is learning the basics of risk management. Risk management entails a number of things like planning for risk, controlling risk, risk triggers, and risk combination. While most people think specifically of workplace accidents when they talk about risk management, there are other areas of risk management that you may not be familiar with. Risk management also encompasses sales, marketing, and hiring the right employees.

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Keeping costs low and quality high

figures19082355.jpgMore and more businesses are looking for ways to keep their costs low while still giving their customers the high quality good or service they deserve. But it can be hard for a business to figure out the right way to keep costs low and produce a high quality product. Here are a few tips.

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How to build a successful business through teamwork

businessnegoations19314770.jpgSit down and watching a sporting event like a football team or a basketball team and you will see that in order for them to become successful, they need to learn how to work together as a team. Teamwork is important in the workplace as it allows the entire company to flow easier and for everyone to be happy with their jobs.

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Guidelines that will help you make successful business decisions

happyman19220291.jpgManagers are in charge of making important business decisions that can impact the future of the company. From the hiring of employees to the purchasing of raw goods, managers must learn how to make successful business decisions if they want to keep their job. Here are some guidelines that will help you make successful business decisions:

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Five steps to the theory of constraints

groupplanning26668223.jpgThe Theory of Constraints is a management philosophy that was introduced by Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt in 1984. The key assumption to the theory of constraints is that organizations can be measured and controlled by variations of three different measures. The three different measures that are used is the money that is generated by sales, the company's operating expenses, and the inventory of the business.

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Five objectives you need to satisfy customers

coworkersaroungacomputer22990951.jpgSuccessful businesses are built around their customers. If you want to stay in business for a long time, you need to learn about your customer's needs and how to keep them satisfied. We live in a economy that is driven by consumers and if you don't spend time researching your customers needs, you will quickly find yourself out of business. Here are five objectives you need to satisfy your customers:

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An outline to writing business policies

chair30393486.JPGRunning a business comes down to a number of things, one of which is your ability to write effective business policies. There are several business policies, many of which will allow your company to gain the necessary funding it needs to move forward.

External business policies

To keep a business running smoothly and effectively, you will need a number of different external business policies. These policies are normally referred to as judiciary policies or trade associations. These policies help you understand the basic guidelines of running a business like deducting taxes, discrimination laws, etc.

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Top tips on delegating

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Here are the top tips you can follow when choosing to delegate work in the workplace.

Tip one:

Once your employees have successfully completed the job or project that you have given them you will want to recognize their success. You can recognize their success by giving them credit for a job well done and for praising them for getting the task competed. Employees enjoy hearing positive feedback to the work that they are doing because it makes them feel better about themselves, and they will be more likely to take on more responsibility if you reward them for what they have done.

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Rules your business needs for great workplace relationships

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At your place of business, the one thing that you want to have is a great working relationship with all of your employees. Having a great working relationship with your employees is essential to running a successful business because it means that you have trust among your employees. Having a great working relationship with your employees can also increase your businesses productivity because your employees are happy, and if they are not happy, they know they can talk to you about what is going on and trust that you will get things taken care of.

Here are some rules that you will need to follow to develop that great working relationship with your employees.

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How to delegate work

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As a business manager, you have probably found yourself overwhelmed with work on more than one occasion. One of the biggest reasons that business mangers find themselves overwhelmed with their work is because they forget to delegate work to their employees. The main reason that most managers do not delegate their work to the employees is because they are afraid that the work is not going to be done right and most managers are afraid that they will have to give up control of the work.

The one thing that you need to keep in mind about delegating work is that delegation is one of the most important skills that a business manager can have. Delegating work to your employees is something that most be done so that you as a manger can have time in your schedule to attend to your other responsibilities. The one thing that you want to keep in mind though is that not everything can be delegated to your employees. Before you can delegate work to your employees, you will need to make sure that the work is something that can be delegated. If you have decided that it is something that can be delegated here are the steps you will need to follow to delegate the work.

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How to delegate effectively

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One tool that all managers have that they rarely use is delegation. One reason why they may hesitate to use delegation is that they do not know how to use it, so they shy away from it. Another reason that they might not use it is because they are reluctant to give somebody else the work to do because they are afraid that the work might not be done correctly. For new managers the thought of the work not being done correctly is a big fear because in the end you as the manger are still responsible for the results, no matter whom you assigned to do it.

If you are a manager who is afraid of delegating work to your employees because you think the work will not be done right or because you are just the type to do everything yourself, you need to start delegating work so you have more time to do your other tasks. Here are some steps that you will need to follow to help you delegate more effectively.

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Putting together a policy on write-ups

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When starting a new business, before any hiring is done, all policies should be put in place. This means that they are written down and that they are clear. This stays true for writing a policy on write-ups.

There are a few things that need to be kept in mind when thinking about a write-ups policy. Here are some ideas to help you make sure that your policy will work for your company.

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Where can I get business ideas to start a business?

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You can find business idea almost anywhere. However, if you are looking for an idea that has already been proven, you can find these in several different places. You will find that you have so many ideas that you will have information overload. The best place to start would be to figure out what you want to do besides make money and then start looking in that industry.

If you are looking to start a small business, the first thing you need to decide is if you are trying to make your business in your home or not. This will help you cut the businesses in half. Several businesses can be operated out of your home until they become too large and then you will have to move them into an office.

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What needs to be in a business plan?

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A business plan is a summary of how a person or business intends to become organized and how they plan to implement the activities necessary for the venture to succeed. In a business plan you set objectives, establish priorities, and provide for cash flow. It is a written explanation of the company's business model. You need a business plan if you are going to run a business. A business plan is like the map and compass for your business.

Business plans are used both internally for management and planning purposes as well as externally. They may be used to convince banks or investors to loan money or for grant proposals as well. A business plan is also prepared for customers because they need to know whether or not the product serves the purpose and the utility of the product. It is also necessary for the government to know whether the legal economical and subsidy concerns are met.

Business plans can quickly become outdated. One common belief is that the actual plan may have little value, but what is more important is the process of planning, through which the manager is better able to understand the business and its processes.

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What's the proper format to use in a business letter?

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With the advent of the internet, the art of writing a business letter is becoming a lost art. As a business owner you will need to know how to format and write a proper business letter. Your business may give its first impression to a perspective customer in this letter so you must get it right in order to show that you are a professional business.

This article will make some basic suggestions on how to write a business letter. However, you will want to develop a `style' over time. However, as you get started, you should probably stick to the basics. A good book to reference business letter writing is "A Writer's Reference" by Diana Hacker. Remember, format and formal are not synonyms and you can be creative, but you need to keep the basic rules.

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How do I choose a good home based business for me?

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If you are just beginning to think about starting your own home based business, deciding what kind of business to get into can be a daunting task. There are so many businesses to choose from. However, there has never before been so much information so readily available on the subject of home based business than there is now. Now is the time to start if ever there was one.

Millions of Americans dream of working from home at their own business. Numerous surveys show that owning your own business is the number one way for the average person to achieve financial freedom and independence. It is estimated that by 2010, over 68% of us will have some kind of home based business to either provide our income or at least help supplement it.

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How can I learn more about writing a business plan?

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When starting your own business, you will need to create a business plan. A business plan is a summary of how you or your business intends to become organized and how you plan to implement the activities necessary for the business venture to succeed. In a business plan you will set objectives, establish priorities, and provide for cash flow. It is a written explanation of your company's business model. It is like the map and compass for your business.

A business plan is one of the first steps you will make as a new small business owner. A good business plan will give a blueprint of how the business is to work and have a basic timeline to follow to meet all of the requirements to be successful. You will find that your business plan will quickly become outdated and will need to be changed as time goes on. For example, you may find that you cater to a certain niche in the industry better than your competitors. You will probably want to change your plan according to your audience as well. You may need to change your plan in order to target different funding organizations. Be flexible and capable of changing the plan when needed.

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How can I get free sample business plans?

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You will need to create a business plan when starting your own business. You have many resources to work with and you don't need to pay a professional to create one. However, it is a good idea to have others look it over to make sure you are not missing key items. Often you can get so involved with a project that simple things will not appear to you because you are too close to the project.

A business plan is one of the first steps you will take as a small business owner. A good business plan will give a blueprint of how the business is to work and have a basic timeline to follow to meet all of the requirements to be successful. You will find that your business plan will also need changes as you get farther into your business. For instance, you may find that you cater to a certain niche in the industry better than your competitors. Be flexible and capable of changing the plan when needed.

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How to prepare for tax audits

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For businesses tax audits can sometimes be a very dreaded thing. It is definitely something that has to be prepared for. If you did not prepare well for a tax audit that would not be good for your company. You have to prepare all the necessary information that an auditor is going to be looking for and make sure that your records are all in order.

There are many things that an auditor will probably look at, including the following-

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How to prepare for long power outages

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For businesses, preparing for long power outages is very important. You may not think you are likely to have a long power outage. As a result you probably have not thought much about preparing incase you did have one. Being unprepared is dangerous. If there were to be a long power outage unexpectedly you could lose a lot of information and a lot of business. It is important to prepare for a long power outage, even if you do not see one in your near future.

Equipment you could buy in preparation for a long power outage:

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Crafts

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Business Description

Home businesses based around crafts generally consist of creating crafts to sell at either craft conventions, local markets, or over the internet. Crafts range from decorations for home, car, locker, etc, to apparel accessories such as hair clips, bracelets, necklaces etc. along with everything in-between.

Materials Needed

The materials needed for a home business centered around crafts will depend largely on the type of crafts being created. However, some general materials will be necessary no matter the type of craft being made. For those who hope to sell their crafts to local vendors may need to create a pamphlet outlining each of the crafts available. People who hope to sell crafts at a local farmers market or convention will need to way to transport their items. Based on the size and quantity of the craft, this could range from a car with a good sized trunk to a full-sized truck. Also, if anyone is planning on selling their crafts over the internet, they will need internet access, a computer, and likely a few methods of shipping their crafts to buyers.

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Implementing 401k retirement plans in your business

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The topic of this article is implementing 401k retirement plans in your business. This is an important topic for anyone who owns a business, and it's not just for anyone with a larger business that employs 200+ people. All employers and business/organization owners should consider retirement plans for their business. We are going to talk about 401k retirement plans and why you might want to consider implementing a 401k retirement plan in your business.

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How to avoid ERP failures

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What is ERP?
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. This is an information system that integrates all manufacturing and related applications for an entire enterprise.

An ERP is a great idea for manufacturers if it is done right. ERP failure on the other hand is a big problem as it involves great money. However, ERP success makes great money. In order to avoid ERP failure you should know what causes it:

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How Does Job Design Work?

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Job design requires a number of steps in order to be successful. The following steps are effective in developing a working job design:

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A Few Do's and Don'ts of Business Plans

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Every year investors receive thousands of business plans from entrepreneurs all over the nation for their financial support. Despite the relatively hard economic times we live in the number of plans proposed by people looking to start their own businesses only continue to increase, while the number of business plans accepted decrease. If you like so many are looking to get your business backed by the financial support of investors there are several things you need to know about the nature of business plans.

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Business Plan Consulting

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Business plan consulting is a saving grace for many hard working entrepreneurs. Writing a business plan alone is a long, time consuming process that can easily cost you an excess of 500 hours. It is draining and at some points boring. You have to make certain that your spelling, grammar, presentation, and content are superb, and it needs to be done in as few pages as possible. With the eternally busy world we live in, that task can easily sound nearly impossible. That is where the consulting firms step in.

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Should You Pay Bonuses?

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An employee bonus can be a motivating factor for any employee and is an excellent way to boost performance, build loyalty in employees, and motivate employees to reach goals. However, if handed out incorrectly, a bonus can be ineffective in regards to motivation as well as a waste of money for employers.

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Business Plans Aren't Just For Your Banker

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When starting a business, most banks or investors will require a business plan, which is a detailed written summary of how a business or entrepreneur plans on organizing and then effectively running a potential business in a way that will allow it to succeed. These are often required so the investor knows the plan is well-planned for and well thought out before investing money into it.

But if you're not planning on writing a business plan because you won't be going through a banker or an investor to fund your business, you could be making a big mistake. Business plans aren't just for your banker - a business plan is an invaluable tool for you as an entrepreneur as well.

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How you can get tax breaks for hiring the handicapped.

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The topic of this article is how you can get tax breaks for hiring the handicapped. There are a number of different tax breaks out there for businesses that if you are savvy when it comes to taxes you can take advantage of. Now, you can do something as drastic as relocating your business to take advantage of tax breaks offered by different communities. Or you can do something like hiring the handicapped, something that will not only help you get tax breaks, but will also help people who are in need of your assistance and who will greatly benefit from these hiring practices.

In 2005, the Senate passed a bill that was intended to help small businesses survive the minimum wage increase. Because the increase in the minimum wage will naturally hit small businesses harder than large businesses, the Senate included a number of different and potential tax breaks in the bill designed to ease the burden of paying workers more money. The tax breaks are aimed at restaurants and retailers. The bill also gives tax breaks to anyone who hires anyone who depends on food stamps or welfare.

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How to Hire a Business Broker

The topic of this article is how to hire a business broker. Let's start with what exactly a business broker is, and why you might want to hire a business broker.

If you are simply tired of running your business-you've been doing it for 30 years-and it's time for you to get out, hiring a business broker is much easier than sticking a "Business For Sale" sign on your window, and then never selling your business.

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Let's say that you need to consolidate your interests-you have your finger in too many pots and you just can't keep everything straight. You need a business broker.

What if you're interested in acquiring some new business ventures, or you want to start out and have your own hair salon, for example, but you don't want to go through all of the hassle of finding a place, working with zoning laws, trying to find the best location, working with the local government, getting permits, finding new customers, and on and on and on. You need a business broker.

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How to get tax breaks for relocating your business.

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Occasionally we hear in the news some story that talks about the pseudo scandal of a new huge business moving into a community, and the community giving that business some enormously obscene amount of money in the form of tax breaks. Some citizens might moan about the way that the country is falling apart and how everything is about money, money, money, and how could they introduce yet another Wal-Mart? But if your ears perk up at the mention of the words relocation, tax breaks, and local government, all in the same story, then you are probably a savvy business owner. And this article is for you, because you know that relocation, even to just another city, can be a major boon for your business.

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How to find wholesale suppliers

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Are you looking to start a business, know the product you want to carry, but haven't yet decided on a wholesale supplier? Well then read on.

Where do you find those ingredients for your upcoming product, products, or services that you can purchase and then sell for enough of a markup - but a reasonable enough prices, to make a profit?

The first place to start would be the Yellow pages. There are not often listings of wholesale suppliers, but there are companies who are currently selling the product that you wish to carry. You can call these companies and ask who their wholesalers are. Now, because you are going to be competition, some of these companies may not want to answer your question, but if you're patience you can typically come up with an answer from at least a few of them.

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Do You Need a Business Plan?

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What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a detailed written summary of how a business or entrepreneur plans on organizing and then effectively running a potential business in a way that will allow it to succeed. A business plan is often necessary, as potential loaners or venture capitalists who will be loaning money to fund the business want to see a concrete plan of how a business is going to be laid out and run before they fund it. However, a business plan is an excellent tool for entrepreneurs as well, as it gives them and their employees specific guidelines as to how the company will be run and what it will take for it to succeed.

Do You Need a Business Plan?

If you're planning on having your business funded by a bank, venture capitalist, or other type of investor, you will need a business plan. While you may be fully aware of how your business will be run and what it will take to make it succeed, investors need to be certain the entrepreneur has thought the entire process of starting and running a business through. In addition, they want to make sure the entrepreneur has a thorough understanding of what is required to make a business succeed before they will invest any money into it.

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A Business Plan Check-Up - Are You On Track?

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Starting a business requires a great deal of effort, money, and time. That's why it's such a good idea to have a business plan in place. Having a documented, well thought-out plan will help you to see if your plan is actually feasible or not. In addition, it will help you map out the steps you need to take in order to set up a profitable business.

When starting a business, most banks or investors will require a business plan, which is a detailed written summary of how a business or entrepreneur plans on organizing and then effectively running a potential business in a way that will allow it to succeed. These are often required so the investor knows the plan is well-planned for and well thought out before investing money into it.

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Air duct cleaning - is it worthwhile for your business?

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Air duct cleaning is essential for a healthy working environment. Indoor air quality is a serious concern. It is the business/building owner's responsibility to ensure that working environments are clean and safe. Keeping your air ducts clean from obstructions and contaminants is vital.

Indoor air quality was a huge problem in the 90's. Now after shocking results found by the EPA, awareness is being raised about this problem. Indoor air is re-circulated; when there is no filtration system in place (or the air ducts are not clean) indoor air quality has been measured to be 100 times worse than the outdoor air.

In addition to all of the issues of well-being associated with air duct cleaning, air duct cleaning can also be financially worthwhile for your business. Consider the following information about the benefits of having clean air ducts, and better indoor air quality, and the possible costs of not maintaining your ventilation system.

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How to modify the ideal to incorporate reality when making business plans

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Are you making plans for your business, but are getting discouraged? One of the main ways that people get discouraged in business planning is when they have a hard time being realistic. Sometimes during business planning, a person needs to modify the ideal to incorporate their reality. There are a couple of ways that you can modify the ideal to incorporate reality when making business plans. Here are a couple of ideas to help you get started:

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5 Steps To Grow Your Business

f5alone.jpgDid you know that there are five and only five things you can do to build your business?

And that, if you do these five things correctly, the results not only add upon themselves, but that the results multiply, with each one building on the others?

So that, if you only increase your business by 15% with each strategy, your business will actually double?

Yes, it works.

I did just one last week and results to date indicate that my business will be up 34% over this month.

3 hours work by my virtual assistant, and business is up 34%!

Not bad.

You can do the same.

This site teaches you how

Go there, watch the video, and you'll be amazed at the results you'll get this year.

And join me in choosing to not participate in the recession.

How to use metrics to improve your business

manatcrossroads32184552.jpg The goal of any company is to improve your business and be the best in their specific market. There are several things you can do to improve your business and one of them is to use metrics. Metrics are units that are used to measure certain things like key performance indicators, impact factors, miles per gallon, health metrics, etc. Here are some ways you can use metrics:



  • Marketing

  • Customer service

  • Production

  • Web

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Making business decisions as a manager

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In business management one of the biggest parts of your job will be making decisions and solving problems. Typically, business managers are under a great a deal of stress and have to resolve a problem without much time to think about it. With some companies, there may be a revolving cycle of problems that have been solved with the same decisions over and over. If you are a new manager, you should evaluate the cycle and look for ways you can help improve problems from reoccurring.

Start by defining the problems. Take the time to see what the problem actually is instead of reacting to certain situations you think may be the problem. For example, walk around your office and look at how people function on a day-to-day basis. You can spot problems easily and you can see what is causing the problems. Write down what the problems are, where they are occurring, how they are happening, and why is it happening. Once you have identified everything involved with the problem, you can make an educated decision on how to solve it.

Look at ways problems have been solved in the past and brainstorm new approaches. Talking to your employees directly can also help you make a decision as you will have input from several parties who may be involved. From here you can narrow your decision down and select an approach that will resolve the problem.

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Improving your business with simple changes

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Improving your business is always a great idea, but making that idea become a reality seems like a painstaking task for many people. With just a few simple changes, you can significantly improve your business not only financially but emotionally as well. You can make the people who work for you, want to work for you. In turn, the happy employees will see your vision of the future and do everything in their power to help you achieve it. Let's look at a few things you can do to improve your business.

Start off by showing your employees that you value their work. When you value employees, they know it. Employees know when they are being treated fairly and know when you care about them. This not only builds trust, but it inspires them to work harder on the quality of their work. Most anyone will tell you they like to have their accomplishments recognized by others. Allowing your companies to share the success stories of employees also makes it meaningful. It shows your employees you care about them when they do a good job and you don't just see them when they are underachieving.

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Improving your Business Management Leadership Skills

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Being a good business management leader is more than just having people listen to you or doing what you tell them. It requires you to have clearly defined goals for the company and good listening skills. A manager looks at their job as a day-to-day career; a leader wants and needs people to follow them into the future. Your employees need to look to you for trust. First, they need to respect you and this isn't always easy if you have fallen flat on your face in the past and didn't make strong efforts to recover. Second, give your staff a reason to follow you. Let's look at these two topics a little closer.

Trust
Establishing trust is one of the most difficult things a business leader faces. Trust involves feeling that you can depend upon another person to achieve a common goal. You know how people feel about you and how you feel about them. If you have had past incidences with employees and they have formed a negative opinion of you, it will be difficult to change their minds. Change the way you treat people and start pointing out their achievements and telling them why you appreciate them.

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What to do when you are under staffed and at a deadline

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Meeting deadlines in your company is a must for making a profit or getting new business. Sometimes when you are trying to make a deadline for your products you may find yourself under staffed. You may need to get a presentation together for a new client and run into staffing problems. Deadlines for both product and presentations need to be met to keep customers and future customers happy. As a manager what are you to do when you are under staffed and at a deadline.

You should begin looking at your staffing problem right away. Do not wait until the last minute hoping that the few people you have will get the job done on time. It is not fair to any of your employees or the customers when you do that. While looking at your staffing problem you will want to determine how many people you are under staffed and how many it will actually take to get the job done in a timely manner. Once you decide how many more staffers you may need start looking at other areas of your company to get these extra staffers. Do you have part-time employees that would like to pick up some extra hours? Ask these employees for some extra time in helping you meet the deadline. These part time employees are familiar with your business and how it works. This makes it easier for them to move into a new role for a short amount of time.

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Take your child to work day, is it a good idea?

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Take your child to work day is a day that is set aside annually to show your children what you do at work. This is a day that will also help your child to discover the link between what they learn in school and what they can do as a grown up. In most workplaces there are special hands on activities for your child to do and workshops that will demonstrate what your company does. So, take your child to work day, is it a good idea?

Take your child to work day can also be known as take your daughters and sons to work. This was started in 1992 so that kids could see the direct correlation between school and work. It is aimed to help your kids learn why schooling is important and to achieve their full potential whether they are your daughter or son. Taking your child to work can also help strengthen the bond between parent and child by allowing your child to see exactly what it is you do all day.

Most companies will only allow children ages 8-15. This is mostly because of safety concerns. Some companies will only allow the older kids because there will be less disruption to the work day. Older kids are more adept at listening and following directions. Taking your child to work may also be more interesting to the older kids depending on your workplace and the child's interests. Taking your child to work should show your kids what it is that your company does and what makes it important. There should be activities and workshops to help all age groups understand.

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Managing when you have employees away on sick leave

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Most companies or businesses at one time or another will have employees away on sick leave. As a company or business owner you will need to provide so much sick leave to each employee you have. Sick leave is more then just one day of work missed. If an employee misses too much work it can become a problem for your business or company. How are you to manage when you have employees away on sick leave? There are some options to look at and consider for you and the employee on sick leave.

Before sick leave even becomes an issue in your workplace you will want to make sure that you have employees that are cross-trained to do other jobs. When you have cross-trained employees it is easier to fill a void made by another employee that may be on sick leave. With this method of cross-training any of your employees can take over another employees work for a short period of time.

You may be unsure of how long the particular employees' sick leave will be. You should be in contact with this employee so that you have a good idea of what is going on and how long you should expect the leave to last. If your employee is under orders from their doctor not to return to work then there may not be much you can do. If your employee is allowed to return from sick leave on a part time basis there are a few things you can look at doing.

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How to preserve your trademark: Extended Entry

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If you are going to take the time and energy to obtain a trademark and properly register it with the federal government then you are going to want to make sure that you preserve your trademark. One of the best things about trademarks is that they are protected for life, but you do need to make sure that you renew the trademark on occasion by filing a trademark renewal application. One thing that you need to know about renewing your trademark is that the protection is good for about a period of ten years, which means that every ten years or so you are going to need to renew your trademark to maintain your protection. This process will help to preserve your trademark, but you are also going to need to make sure that you constantly use your trademark. The reason for this is in order for your trademark to be protected and in order to renew it you have to give the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office proof that the trademark is being used, otherwise they can cancel turn the trademark into a generic trademark because of abandonment.

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How to manage a family business

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According to Family Firm Institute's Family Business Review, there are currently 24 million family businesses in the United States. Family businesses have been around for hundreds of years and many people enjoy the freedom of working for themselves. Running a family business is a time consuming job and often can be stressful if your relatives are your employees. Here are a few tips for managing a family business:

Keep Family and Business Separate

This is a hard area for many family businesses. Most people are good friends and have known each other from the time they are born. It is hard for some people to take orders from their uncle who was at their house last night for a BBQ. Make sure to draw a line between family and business. Set the boundaries at work that personal life is not to be involved in work life. People should not take it personally if they are chastised for their work by their father, mother, or brother who is their manager. It will help if you can have family members report to non-family members. Other employees at your company should be responsible for overseeing other family members instead of you overseeing them. This will help eliminate any personal bias you may have and alleviate hurt feelings or grudges that could arise.

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Sales promotion follow-through

As you may know advertising comes after a good marketing foundation has been put in place. In order to build this base, you need to get a good group of marketers together and start from the bottom up. Here are a few tips to start up your marketing and advertising strategy:

 Know your customers and their needs
 What works for advertising? What have your customers responded to?
 How are you going to reach your potential customers?
 What is your advertising budget?

Having the answers to these questions will help you lay out a good roadmap for the beginning of a great sales promotion. There are three basic sales promotion strategies: new customers, discount opportunities, and reasons to buy from your company more frequently. Of course all these things will allow your business to grow and increase your sales.

When you are acquiring new customers you need to be aware of your target market. You must anticipate their buying patterns and give them an incentive to buy from your company. Many companies promote seasonal discounts and slash prices on items that are considered to be out of date, or out of season. You can follow through on this sales promotion by having in house drawings, luncheon events, or weekly incentives. This gives your potential customers a reason to come back two, perhaps three times within a week.

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How to write a proposed budget for the upcoming year

One of the most important things you will need to do for your business is make an accurate proposed budget at the end of each year for the upcoming year. This will give you, in writing, a description of how much money you expect to spend on business activities.

Your projected budget should include such things as advertising, payroll, supplies, events, and so forth. However, making an accurate budget can seem like a daunting task, especially for newer businesses who are not quite experienced yet.

What should your budget include?
Your proposed budget should cover at least one to two years of business operation and expenses. The most basic budgets will include the following for your specified time period:
 Your projected sales and revenue
 Your projected total costs required to reach the projected sales and revenue
 The profit or the loss from operations based upon the first two numbers
 The total of profits and losses over time

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How to implement an action plan


There are so many different things that you can do to make your business better. One way to make your business better is to have an action plan in place. If you want to implement an action plan but don't know how, here are some tips on how to implement an action plan so that your business can run smoother.

The first tip on how to implement an action plan is to have to have training on action plans and how you are going to implement on into your business. This is a great way to help educate your employees so that they will fully understand what exactly an action plan is and how it is going to benefit the company as a whole.

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How can I use disintermediation as a business strategy?

The world of business can be a complex world full of people racing to the top. It is not a race for the fastest time; rather it is a race for success. Not the kind of success that you might think of when you hear the word success though. It is a race for financial success. You want the best product at the best price so that you will make the most amount of money. You want to make enough money to keep your business running and to keep you financially happy.

There are many tools and strategies that a business can use in their pursuit for success. One of the many out there is disintermediation. At first it sounds like a complex and a confusing word, but if you take it a part a little, it tends to make much more sense. Think of it like this, dis - intermediaries - tion, or.getting rid of your intermediaries. It simply means that you get rid of the people that stand between you and your customers. You work directly with you customers in order to save yourself money. You might get rid of distributors or retailers. It eliminates the cost of working with those people while still allowing you to maintain the revenue received from customers.

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How to create an executive dashboard


If you are an executive in a company, the owner of a company or even the manager of an office or the branch of a company, and you want to know how you can improve your productivity and help improve the company, then you need to know how to create an executive dashboard.
Let’s start by discussing what an executive dashboard actually is. An executive dashboard harks back to what was called the Executive Information System in the 80s. Executive Information Systems, and their web-based descendant, the executive dashboard, try to do the same thing for you as the executive. These different programs are giving you as the executive all of the important information that you need to know to make well informed and well based decisions about your company in order to improve your business’ performance and productivity.
An executive dashboard initially sounds like it’s just for the executives in your company—those upper level decision makers. However, an executive dashboard is more and more frequently being used by all members of a company. Executive dashboards aren’t just for the CFO—instead, managers need executive dashboards so that they can quickly make decisions based on moves in the market instead of waiting around for the CFO to get back from lunch so that he or she can examine the data and make a decision…after the opportunity has passed. The faster you can make decisions, the more efficient and the more successful your business will be in this increasingly faster paced business world that we live in.

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How to buy an existing small business, and get a good deal

When you are thinking about buying a small business, one of the first things that need to be done is to figure out what kind of business you are looking to run. Do you have background in the existing business? Is this the type of business that you are excited about, the consumers are excited about, and has a long future ahead?

To find a good deal on a business it is probably best to start by asking people you know if they know of any businesses that are for sale. Some of the best deals to be made are through friends, business acquaintances and word of mouth.

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How to choose your performance management software


The topic of this article is something that might not be something that you have thought a lot about, but it’s something that you really need to know about. This article is about performance management software, how it can work for you, and what you can use it for, and how you should choose your performance management software.
So what exactly is performance management software, and what can it do for you? The purpose of performance management software is to help you maximize the performance of your business. Now, there are a lot of different things that you probably already have to help you maximize your business performance, but performance management software takes a different, overall approach to the process of maximizing your business performance.
There are two different and equally important components to performance management software. The first step to performance management software is collecting data. The performance management software will help you collect all of the data that you need to understand how your business is running. You will have to collect data from your delivery department, your support department, your financial department, your sales department, etc. The next component of performance management software is called the feedback loops. Feedback loops are necessary for you to have because it will help you know if the changes that you make in you business organization and your business processes are actually working effectively or if they are resulting in a negative effect on your company. You use performance management software constantly. It’s like taking your car to the shop and asking them to do a diagnostic test on it. They do the test, the mechanics tell you what needs to be fixed, and you fix it. And you keep on fixing things constantly in an effort to maximize your business performance and to manage that performance in order to make it better.
So how can you choose the right performance management software for you? When you are looking at different options, remember that not having the right tools won’t help you at all. You have to have the right set of tools for your company so that you can actually become more productive instead of wasting time trying to make things fit your needs.

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How to analyze your goals

One of the most useful tools you can pass along to your employees-and use yourself-is goal setting. Goals are important. They actually give you something to work for, rather than just working with no end in sight or no specific reason to be working.

Before you can really set realistic goals, let's define goals and their purposes. Goals are set with the idea of achieving a specific thing. Maybe you want to increase sales by 30%. Or maybe your goal is to lower turnover. Goals are set with the purpose of achieving an overall objective. Your end goal is referred to as your objective, and goals are the smaller accomplishments you make along the way that will help you to reach your objective.

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What is conscious business?

First let's break down the word conscious business. By definition Conscious means having understanding of a person's inside and on the outside worlds. Business by definition per the web dictionary is an organization operated with the objective of making a profit from the sale of goods or services. So you put them together and you get conscious business. It is just that easy. Or is it? Conscious business involves a lot of different aspects.

Conscious business includes the business but not just the business itself it is how the business is being ran and they employees that work there. To have a conscious business you have to take more than just numbers into account. Conscious business is a way to create companies in a more significant and exciting way. There are a lot of things to achieve to get to the point of being able to achieve and be considered a conscious business. You have to have the right leadership involved. The leadership will help give the employees the satisfactory credit that one is deserved instead of letting it get looked over. A conscious business also has to make sure all commitments are met and that everyone is getting to use their talents where it is needed. Conscious business also lets employees know that there is a purpose for them and the team could not perform as well with out them.

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Using business process consulting, pros and cons

As many once struggling, now flourishing businesses will testify, sometimes business process consulting is just the thing for an ailing company. But even companies in relatively robust health hire business process consultants all the time, and it's not unusual for companies that lead the way in their field to do the same.
The general assessment seems to be: Business process consultants are a good thing. Business process consultants will save you money. Business process consultants will show you where your strategies are weak, and also where they're currently strong enough to be left alone so that the things that need more urgent care can get it. Business process consultants, as it were, will go over your company with a fine tooth comb and point out potential flaws and strengths. They'll help you in really difficult, complicated areas such as finance. They'll show you how your employee's time could be employed more effectively.

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How to find the right business process consultant

Studies have shown that businesses lose massive amounts of money owing to poor business processes. Even if you're running a fairly tight ship, have hard-working employees, pay close attention to important details, are conscientious, painstaking, and untiring when it comes to the dry difficult work of financial reports and quarterly assessments, money could be pouring out of your business like sand through a sieve or through the empty sockets of skull as it sits year after year in its glittering pirate's cave waiting to be avenged.
The problem is that business is a complicated, fast paced, constantly changing process that keeps you always on your toes, always on the phone, always talking with a client, attracting new ones, training workers and management, and so forth; there just isn't time enough and hands enough and eyes enough and mouths enough and brains enough to do all that needs to be done in a given day and, what's more, to do it flawlessly. And so tiny, unnoticeable things start to slip, or perhaps they were never shored up in the first place and so continue to be a problem you're unaware of. These problems are like tiny wounds that trickle blood in such insignificant amounts that you pay no attention to them until suddenly you're pale, exhausted, and, unless you get help and get it fast, dead.

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Improve function through business analysis

How well or unwell your business functions depends largely on your skill or un-skill with the process known as business analysis. Before you can improve function through business analysis, you need to understand what it is. Business analysis is the process by which a new product becomes ready for its maiden voyage. Different products, as every good businessperson knows, require different marketing techniques. Different products require sometimes wildly differing marketing plans. Different products mean, among other things, differences in sales (due to factors like expense, function, etc.), differences in advertising costs, differences in advertising venues, differences in profits, and so on.
This may seem like a very elementary point to make. It seems obvious that you wouldn't try to sell a toaster in exactly the same way you'd try to sell a pair of running shoes. The overall goal is the same, of course-to sell lots of toasters and running shoes-but your actual methods for achieving that goal differ importantly from one product to another. In other words, the overall goal in selling a product is to sell the product, but just how you go about doing it requires great subtly, skill, time, and preparation.
Now, it would seem almost as if business analysis was a separate thing from the day to day activities of the company. Business analysis is a special thing, only the best of the best need apply, and it sort of hovers over the more mundane aspects of business and business life. This is true, in some ways; the fellow coming up with a marketing plan for your new product is going to have a more extensive, specialized education than the fellow pasting up flyers for it. But business analysis should be able to improve the functioning of your company overall. That is, business analysis should be so integrated into the day to day affairs of your company that its special energy influences everything else.

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Six tips for great business analysis

The process known as business analysis occurs when a company has got a new product advanced to a certain point. The product is maturing well. It's gotten past the purely experimental stage and is ready for some road tests. But you've never marketed this particular product before; you've never created advertisements for it, tried to generate a buzz about its possibilities, decided on how much to sell it for, estimated how many people need it and of that pool how many would buy it, and so on. You haven't definitely calculated what the total cost of marketing the product will be versus the profits it stands to make for your company. These questions, and many more, fall under the umbrella of business analysis.
Business analysis is obviously a key stage in the development of a product and also in a company's preparations for selling that product to the world. Business analysis, properly engaged in, can make you a fortune and guarantee the good health of your company for decades to come. On the other, sloppy or incomplete business analysis can at the very least mean disappointing profits, and business experts will tell you that entire companies have gone under from the same.
Here, then, are a few tips for ensuring great business analysis for your company and its services.

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Six tips for great business analysis

The process known as business analysis occurs when a company has got a new product advanced to a certain point. The product is maturing well. It's gotten past the purely experimental stage and is ready for some road tests. But you've never marketed this particular product before; you've never created advertisements for it, tried to generate a buzz about its possibilities, decided on how much to sell it for, estimated how many people need it and of that pool how many would buy it, and so on. You haven't definitely calculated what the total cost of marketing the product will be versus the profits it stands to make for your company. These questions, and many more, fall under the umbrella of business analysis.
Business analysis is obviously a key stage in the development of a product and also in a company's preparations for selling that product to the world. Business analysis, properly engaged in, can make you a fortune and guarantee the good health of your company for decades to come. On the other, sloppy or incomplete business analysis can at the very least mean disappointing profits, and business experts will tell you that entire companies have gone under from the same.
Here, then, are a few tips for ensuring great business analysis for your company and its services.

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Heavy equipment rental – better than leasing?

The topic for this article is whether heavy equipment rental is better than leasing heavy equipment. So your business is in need of some heavy equipment. This equipment could be something like a bulldozer, a crane, an excavator, a loader, a soil compactor, an application machine, a smooth roller, a fork lift, a man lift, and more. It depends on whether or not you’re doing something that involves dirt moving, something that involves asphalt, something that involves material handling. Maybe you’re a construction company, maybe you’re building homes or businesses, maybe you’re just in need of that heavy equipment. Whatever you need it for, you need equipment that is in good condition, equipment that can get the job done without any hassles for repairs or anything like that, and equipment that you can get at the cheapest price possible.

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Can Roth IRA contributions be offered as a benefit?

The topic of this article is whether or not Roth IRA contributions can be offered as a benefit to your employees. This topic is especially pertinent today, as more and more people are exploring different options of saving for their retirement. Social Security is not a sure thing, and even if it were, the money that it gives you is not nearly enough to live on in any sort of humane way. More and more options for saving for your retirement are available, and sometimes it can be incredibly confusing to both employees and employers.

First let’s go over what exactly a Roth IRA is. For a long time, lots of people have counted on traditional IRAs to help them plan and save for their retirement. But Roth IRAs actually might be a better way to go. This is why. A Roth IRA lets you possibly receive tax-free distributions of your retirement funds if you choose to make your contributions now nondeductible. Contributions will be nondeductible no matter what your income level is, or whether or not you participate in a retirement plan that is sponsored by your company.

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Business bankruptcy, what are your options?

The topic of this article is business bankruptcy. If your business is filing for bankruptcy, what exactly are your options? How do you go about filing for bankruptcy? What should you do? Is bankruptcy really the only way out?
I am going to start this article by saying that you should visit a credited and credible business credit counseling service, if you are considering bankruptcy. A lot of the time these credit counseling services-if they are legitimate-can help you come up with a plan to pay off your debts and your bills and save your company. However, if you have already tried credit counseling or for various reasons you prefer to file for bankruptcy, keep reading, and we will discuss your different options.

There are a number of advantages to bankruptcy. If you file for Chapter 7 business bankruptcy, once your debts are discharged through the bankruptcy court, they disappear. If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will still have to pay some money. Bankruptcy is terrible for your credit, but you can immediately start to rebuild it. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be finished in 4 to 8 months, while Chapter 13 bankruptcy might take a few months to get a plan approved, and then three to five years to complete that plan. Briefly, if you have few assets, large consumer debt, no real property, and a low income, you will best be served by filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you don't qualify under these terms, you will be forced to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

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2 way pagers - good for your business?

The topic of this article is whether or not two-way pagers are a good idea for your business. Now, when we are talking about two way pagers, we aren't talking about the pager that your first boss owned when you were sixteen and working at the mall. When you think about a pager, you are probably thinking about that small yet bulky black box that was hooked onto the belt buckle, that didn't do a whole lot except for beep and flash a phone number that you were supposed to call when someone wanted you, like your boss or your mother if you were out past your curfew.

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Five Questions to Ask about a Franchisor's Training Program

So you have decided to operate a franchise. Now that you have decided to buy a franchise, make sure that you are pleased with the franchisor's training program. Ask questions to determine what will be expected of you and how you can be prosperous. Obviously there are going to be a lot of rules to follow since you are going to be operating under and in behalf of another already established business. But you feel confident that you will receive all of the necessary training. But wait, are you going into this blindly? Have you really asked the important questions? Below are five questions to ask a franchisor about their training program:

1. What commitments are required of me during training (travel, financial, time, etc)?

Training programs will vary from franchise to franchise. Many times, you will be required to travel to a place such as the company headquarters to take the franchisor's training program. Make sure that you are able to commit the time and resources to do this. Also consider that you may not be paid for your training time.

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Effective business meetings - how to plan and conduct them

Business meetings are generally met with rolling eyes and deep sighs of imminent boredom. Many business people see the business meeting as an evil but driving force of the company. Terms such as boring, long, unproductive, repetitive and annoying are often associated with business meetings. But it doesn't have to be this way. With a little training and some determination to follow these simple suggestions, your next business meeting can be a success!

Planning - PLAN AHEAD!

 Do you even need the meeting - If some issue can be solved among a few people, do it! You should in no way feel obligated to involve the whole group when one or two people can resolve the issues.

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How to choose your supply chain management software.

As the manager of an office or branch, or as the owner of a smaller business, one of the most important questions that you have to figure out the answer to is how you should choose your supply chain management software.
Maybe you didn't even know that such as a thing as supply chain management software exists. Whether you have heard of supply chain management software or not, if you receive supplies from anyone, then supply chain management software is an important tool in streamlining your business and improving efficiency and productivity in your office.

In essence, a supply chain is a chain of links that, hopefully when all connected together, end up making your company more profitable. The supply chain is one of the most important parts of your business. The supply chain is also one of the places where it is most advantageous to streamline production and processing and to cut costs and to improve efficiency. However, if you are trying to manage things yourself, it's easy to leave some of the most important links out of the picture. This way of going about streamlining-forgetting key parts-is no way to improve productivity. It will only do the opposite: make a bigger mess out of things.

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How to create your company's disaster recovery plan.

If you are the manager of an office or branch or the owner of the company, one of the most important and vital questions that you should ask is how to create your company's disaster plan.

You might think that a disaster plan is essentially for nutcases who live in compounds out West somewhere, hoarding dried milk and beans and waiting for the end of the world. Think again. Disaster can strike your company in a number of different forms: a hurricane that destroys all of your records, a fire that destroys your office, or a technology disaster that crashes and erases your entire server. If you don't have a disaster recovery plan in place before a disaster hits, then you are essentially without hope if anything bad should ever happen to your company.

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Outsourcing - What You Need to Watch Out For

Now more than ever, some companies are opting to outsource certain aspects of a business, or transfer management of that area to an external company that specializes in that area. Some forms of business that are typically outsourced include information technology, tech support, accounting, call center duties, or property management.

Outsourcing has a number of benefits, depending on how you look at it. Many companies opt to outsource to foreign markets because the cost of labor is so much cheaper, and they can save money by outsourcing rather than paying a higher salary to employees in-house. In fact, companies who outsource spend roughly 40% less on training employees than do companies who do not. Even companies who outsource nothing but say, their technical staff, will save a larger amount of money in the long run.

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Business Plans Aren't Just For Your Banker - How to Make Your Business Plan Work For You

When starting a business, most banks or investors will require a business plan, which is a detailed written summary of how a business or entrepreneur plans on organizing and then effectively running a potential business in a way that will allow it to succeed. These are often required so the investor knows the plan is well-planned for and well thought out before investing money into it.

But if you're not planning on writing a business plan because you won't be going through a banker or an investor to fund your business, you could be making a big mistake. Business plans aren't just for your banker - a business plan is an invaluable tool for you as an entrepreneur as well.

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Do You Need a Business Plan?

What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan is a detailed written summary of how a business or entrepreneur plans on organizing and then effectively running a potential business in a way that will allow it to succeed. A business plan is often necessary, as potential loaners or venture capitalists who will be loaning money to fund the business want to see a concrete plan of how a business is going to be laid out and run before they fund it. However, a business plan is an excellent tool for entrepreneurs as well, as it gives them and their employees specific guidelines as to how the company will be run and what it will take for it to succeed.

Do You Need a Business Plan?
If you're planning on having your business funded by a bank, venture capitalist, or other type of investor, you will need a business plan. While you may be fully aware of how your business will be run and what it will take to make it succeed, investors need to be certain the entrepreneur has thought the entire process of starting and running a business through. In addition, they want to make sure the entrepreneur has a thorough understanding of what is required to make a business succeed before they will invest any money into it.

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Incorporation as a Corporation or an LLC - Which is Right for You?

At some point during the business start-up process, a business owner must decide how he or she is going to structure the business. There can be many ways to do this, but it is generally done in the form of a corporation or an LLC (limited liability company). Before deciding which is right for you and your business, it's important to examine the pros and cons of each.

Corporations
There are two types of corporations - S Corporations and C Corporations. Basically, the income of an S corporation is not taxed under federal tax laws, whereas an S corporation is. There are a number of advantages to registering a business as a corporation, which include:
one of the biggest advantages of incorporating involves tax breaks, which is a main reason many business owners decide to incorporate. Some of these tax advantages include:

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A Business Plan Check-Up - Are You On Track?

Starting a business requires a great deal of effort, money, and time. That's why it's such a good idea to have a business plan in place. Having a documented, well thought-out plan will help you to see if your plan is actually feasible or not. In addition, it will help you map out the steps you need to take in order to set up a profitable business.

When starting a business, most banks or investors will require a business plan, which is a detailed written summary of how a business or entrepreneur plans on organizing and then effectively running a potential business in a way that will allow it to succeed. These are often required so the investor knows the plan is well-planned for and well thought out before investing money into it.

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The ADA and Your Workplace – What You Need to Know to Avoid Getting Sued

The American Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 was designed to protect workers with disabilities in the workplace. Prior to the passing of this law, there were no regulations in place that required businesses to have facilities that were safe and accessible to people with disabilities.

Now, however, companies can face fines and worse if they fail to comply with the ADA’s guidelines for equal opportunity facilities. For example, if an employee in a wheelchair does not have access to handicapped parking, a ramp, or wider doorways, he could sue the company. The settlement in itself could be very large. In addition, the company would face heavy fines (up to but no more than $50,000 for the first offense) for failing to comply. In addition, more than one offense equals even larger fines. So it pays to have a building in compliance with ADA guidelines.

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What to look for in a home business

Everywhere you turn from the internet to the newspaper or even to neighbors and friends, there are opportunities to start your own home business. Some claim instant money with little work, others require hours of dull and monotonous labor. The trick is to find which home businesses will be most beneficial for you, offering reasonable profit as well as a logical amount of work. The following are suggestions on the things to look for when thinking of starting a home business.

1. Look for a home business that you will enjoy and be committed to. If you're going to be spending the majority of your day working on your business, it should be something that you can put your heart into and be self-motivated to accomplish things. You must be willing to make sacrifices to achieve success.

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Is a home business right for you?

Every day you wake up to the blaring of an alarm clock and promptly hit the snooze button. When you are finally able to drag yourself out of bed, you stumble to the shower, brushing your teeth along the way. You think to yourself "Another day. Another I have to spend working for someone else, making them richer and me more miserable. Another hour I have to spend listening to my rude and nasty boss when I would rather be home spending time with my family and working on my own projects."

Does this sound familiar?

Are you one of the millions of Americans who are sick and tired of working for someone else, day in and day out?

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How To Systemitize Your Business

Your business, like any part of your life, needs to be systematized in order to run smoothly. You must have a system for every aspect of your business or you will not be able to deal with the every day events of life, much less crises. For example, if you have no set of training procedures for new employees, they will be left on their own to figure things out. They won't know the exact requirements of their job and therefore will not complete them up to expectations. Your business will suffer because you didn't have a training system in place.

The secret to running a business smoothly is to systematize your business. You want to work on your business, not in your business. It allows you to delegate and work on the overall business while others are working towards more specific goals of the business. You want your business to be fully systematized in all areas with all your employees working at different levels to constantly be improving your business and the system.

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Determining the right size for your home office

Whether you already work from home, or are thinking about creating your first home office, the first step in determining the right size for your home office is determining your office requirements. Each job requires a different style of office. What works for your neighbor who is an engineer may not work for you, the doctor, or artist, or real estate agent. The following questions may help you to determine what kind of office you need.

What kind of work will you be doing? Make a list of the activities you do on a daily basis for your type of work. Make note of how much time you spend on each task. Then rank all of your listed activities from most important to least important activity. This will help you decide the size of your office, what kinds of furniture to buy, how much work area you need, how your office should be laid out, etc, based on the importance of each task.

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Creating Your Own Internet Marketing Product through a Home

There are thousands of marketing tool kits available online
for a whole range of prices, but what if you are not
interested in buying someone elses tool kit and are more
interested in creating your own internet marketing product
and toolkit to sell. Well, there are plenty of ways to
going about doing this.

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Specific Measureable Results

Want to make an immediate and dramatic increase in the overall performance of your company? Try creating a set of Specific Measurable Results (SMR) for each department or functional unit.

Specific Measurable Results? Of course, your sales force has them. It's safe to say there are few companies in the world that do not use sales quotas. Not only do sales people use quotas to track their output, they often have targets which measure their activity. "How many, by when" is a familiar phrase.

Top sales people monitor how many calls they make to prospects each week. The also track calls made to existing customers, how many letters they send, how many "closes", and so on. If a sales person isn't bringing in the promised business, management can examine his or her activity to see what area might need work.

What about the other players on your sales team - the technical representatives, the sales associates? Do they have specific, measurable results they've agreed to produce? What about your other departments? What about development? Customer Service? Finance? Marketing? Administration? What are they accountable for? Do they have SMR's to produce within a set time frame?

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Documenting the Exit Strategy in Your Business Plan

All investors greatly desire and are motivated by a clear picture of a companys exit strategy, or the timing and method through which they can cash in on their investment. This picture best comes into focus when the key valuation and liquidity drivers of the company are clearly delineated. An excellent method to accomplish this is through descriptions of comparable firms that have had successful liquidity events, either through acquisition, merger, of initial public offerings (IPOs).

It is helpful to show other companies in your market, or similar companies in other markets, who have successfully exited, and how and why these companies were successful. For instance, were they successful since they acquired a large customer base? Or were they successful since they accomplished fast growth or high profit margins? It is also important to tie their success to their exit price. Was the exit price based on earnings or the number of customers the firm had at the time? The business plan should tie these metrics (e.g., exit price of $X per customer) to the business to determine its future price.

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5 Steps to Greater Workplace Productivity

Step 1 Learn a powerful key to increase financial success

Yantras are a visual representation of a mantra. A mantra is a sound that resonates in the atmosphere and creates a specific effect. A yantra is similar to a radio being turned to a specific station that, in this case, represents prosperity. The Shree Lakshmi Yantra is the yantra for financial success. It attracts abundance, prosperity, peace and harmony. Research has shown that its energetic effect is 70 times greater than that of a pyramid. By placing the Shree Lakshmi Yantra in your office, you will have a powerful ally.

Step 2 Where to sit for maximum creativity

The east is the source of positive creative solar energy. Many studies have shown that neurons in the thalamus section of the brain fire differently depending on which way you face. This can affect how you think, as well as your ability to focus creatively on tasks without becoming fatigued.

By facing east while seated at your desk you will align yourself with this positive energy. It will enable you to get into a more creative and productive zone.

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Ten Tips for Effective Meetings

Here are ten things that you can do to hold more effective meetings.

1) Avoid meetings. Test the importance of a meeting by asking, "What happens without it?" If your answer is, "Nothing," then don't call the meeting.

2) Prepare goals. These are the results you want to obtain by the end of the meeting. Write out your goals before the meetings. They should be so clear, complete, and specific that someone else could use them to lead your meeting. Also, make sure they can be achieved with available people, resources, and time. Specific goals help everyone make efficient toward relevant results.

3) Challenge each goal. Ask, "Is there another way to achieve this?" For example, if you want to distribute information, you may find it more efficient to phone, FAX, mail, e-mail, or visit. Realize that a meeting is a team activity. Save tasks that require a team effort for your meetings.

4) Prepare an agenda. Everyone knows an agenda leads to an effective meeting. Yet, many people "save time" by neglecting to prepare an agenda. A meeting without an agenda is like a journey without a map. It is guaranteed to take longer and produce fewer results. Note, without an agenda, you risk becoming someone else's helper (see tip #6 below).

5) Inform others. Send the agenda before the meeting. That helps others prepare to work with you in the meeting. Unprepared participants waste your time by preparing for the meeting during the meeting.

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Three Ways To Generate New Business

One of the biggest challenges for small business owners is finding a fast, effective way to bring in new customers. Thats because most owners must wear several hats bookkeeper, technical support representative, human resources manager and marketer. And, of course, owners must provide quality goods or services. Finding the time to market can be especially difficult if you are a one- or two-person operation.

The reality is that spending the time to market is essential to maintaining or growing a business. It helps you avoid one of the biggest pitfalls in small business: relying on a big client or two for the lions share of your companys revenue.

Two things often happen in this scenario. First, business tend to provide preferential treatment to the older, bigger client rather than to smaller, new client, which may cost some business. Secondly, businesses find themselves in a tenuous position by putting most of their eggs in one basket. If the primary client leaves, the company could be economically devastated.


A healthy company always has new clients coming in the door as well as happy existing clients. You can rely on word of mouth to get those new clients on board, but usually its not enough. Here are three tips to help you stay on top of marketing efforts.

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Turnarounds and Workouts: What's the 2005 Forecast?

Clearly, the trend of large company insolvencies that started in 1999 has come and gone. Most of us in the turnaround industry expect the next few years to have much slimmer pickin's.

We won't spend much time explaining why the cycle of distress has ended. It's clear to industry insiders that: 1) big company bankruptcies, which drive the turnaround industry, are way down; 2) non-performing assets (NPAs) of most lenders are again within fully reserved levels; 3) bank workout staffing is down 25-75%; 4) capital funding returned to the market in late 2003 in all segmentsequity sponsors, high-yield bonds, M&A activity, even cash-flow lending; 5) the U.S. economy is expanding in almost all sectors, and; 6) the boom-to-bust cycles of "hot" industries (internet, telecom, energy) driven by technology or regulatory changes have mostly run their course.

So what's a turnaround consulting firm to do when near-term business is likely to drop by 50% or so? The obvious solutions are being worked by many of us: skill redeployment to front-end M&A work; diversification into services such as M&A and litigation support; and geographic expansion, mostly to Western Europe, where local laws are evolving toward debtor-friendly rehabilitation.

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Job Seekers Beware: Statistics Show that New Years Resolutions are Doomed for Failure

A survey conducted by Gail Kasper, LLC, a leading speaking and coaching company, found that Americans arent taking their futures very seriously. Specifically, 51% of those surveyed do not have New Years resolutions. Of those who do, 79% dont have a plan to achieve them. According to the Department of Labor, over 400,000 unemployed individuals are NOT actively seeking employment because they do not feel that there are jobs available for them. With unemployment at a all high, job seekers, must stay the course, have a game plan, and maximize holiday opportunities or they will find themselves amongst the 91% of Americans who wont be achieving their goals in the New Year.

The survey which was complete by a random group of 104 adults over 18 years of age, also asked respondents to identify the biggest issue that prevents them from achieving their New Years Resolutions or goals. The top 3 reasons identified were as follows:

Procrastinating 33%
Lack of discipline 24%
No game plan 19%

Interestingly enough, 10% of individuals felt the biggest issue that prevents them from achieving their New Years Resolutions or goals was doing it alone.

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Writing Your Business Plan is Actually Storytelling

Storytelling and writing a business plan actually go hand in hand. The same ingredients used in telling a story are also used in writing a business plan. Lets use the Executive Summary as an example.

The usual advice give to write this part of a business plan is something along these lines:

This is the most important part of your plan because it is where potential investors will focus their attention most on.

Write this executive summary once your plan is at its very final draft stage.

Highlights and key issues.

Avoid detail.

Address the needs and interest of the reader.

Use bullet points.

Keep the length of this Executive Summary to no more than three pages.

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Can You Talk Yourself Into Success?

Youve tried and failed. Youve watched others fall. Youre wiped out, burned out, and beaten. Is there any way to turn it all around?

If youre reading this, than likely you have been working very hard at realizing a goal that now seems out of reach. It does not matter whether that goal is related to diet, creating a home business, getting a promotion, finishing a difficult course, or mastering a talent. The one common factor is that our past can, and will, affect our future success.

So, if nothing has worked, shouldnt you throw in the towel? Learn from your mistakes and quit while youre ahead?

Think of this: Whats Possible?

Why say Possible?

Motivational speaker, Les Brown, shares an interesting lesson with us when he points out that past perceptions influence our projected images of success or failure. Consider what changes can be made when you see that others before you have conquered the same battles, and same fears, and created a successful outcome. And consider that if it was possible for them, than it IS possible. Period.

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Top 8 Ways to Make Your Business a Success

Do you remember that day when you decided that you would go into business for yourself? The day that you decided that you want to control your own destiny. The day when you decided that your job is not what you expected in your life and wanted to do something about it.


If you are in business or thinking about going into it, you need to use some strategies so that your business goes in the right direction. Here are 8 unique strategies that you can use to make your business a success.


1. Write down your WHY.

Why are you really in this business that you are in? What made you start your business? Why are you doing this? Is it because that you want to be your own boss? Is it because you wanted more freedom and time to spend with your family? More money? Is it because you wanted to control your own destiny? What ever your WHY is, you need to know it so that it keeps you going when things are not going well for you.

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10 Tips To Protecting Your Business

American business owners lose billions annually to crime. With the crime rate constantly rising, small businesses owners are more alert than ever to business security issues. Here are 10 questions and brief answers that point out where a small business can be vulnerable:

1. Did you know that over 60% of temporary employees have criminal records?

Don't you, as an employer, take it for granted that the temp agency you hire employees out of has the resources to do a complete background check on all their applicants before sending them to you? How thoroughly do they check an applicant's background beyond a credit check, resume, or application information, and are felons always going to be truthful on their applications?

Before you use the services of a temp agency, you should check into THEIR background. Know just how thoroughly they check their applicants and ask if you are being informed of the results from criminal background checks.

2. Could you be sued or prosecuted for what you throw out in your trash?

Identity theft from your personal information is just one dumpster dive away once your garbage is put out for collection in an area that has public access. Items of interest to the thief could be old credit card bills, utility bills, phone bills, etc. You would be surprised at the information these items give up.

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How to Use the Holidays to Build Business

The holidays present the opportunity to send cards and token gifts without recrimination. You can touch base with people who you have lost touch with and avoid feeling awkward about it.


Over the years I have received numerous holiday gifts from business associates, some more expensive than others. As the holiday approaches, I am always reminded of the people who have been creative and innovative in sending me a holiday gift. Among the creative gift/trinket items that I have received were an oversized chocolate bar (my favorite since I am a chocoholic) with the company name on it, a funky desk calendar, holiday wrapping paper, ornaments for my tree and many more. In any case, the gift puts that person back in the loop. It forces me to think about the person that sent the item and what it is that they do. It makes me consider them as a resource. They move to the top of my memory book. Remember, that's the system that helps me prioritize my referrals and people that I can help get business.

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Five Principals for Prosperity

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Many years ago, forty to be exact, I started my own business at the tender age of nineteen. The street markets in and around Manchester England was my happy hunting ground. Every day was an adventure and despite the weather and difficulties of getting a stall on the street market, life was always fun and enjoyable. There was always some comical incident, even when I had to stand in the pouring rain, with no customers in sight. And if there was no amusing event to focus on I created one and made other people laugh.

Within a few years my business progressed and I opened a wholesale textile company. I went on to become a very successful businessman not only making money in my original business, but also in commercial property and the stock market. I retired from the business world forty-six years of age.


After a six year, time-out period, so that I could understand why I was successful with no effort, I reinvented myself and became...... An author, poet, philosopher, motivational/inspirational/financial speaker, radio show host, director, producer and many other labels, within the past five years. How was all this achieved with not a mention of the word "work" in my vocabulary.....Well, you see, I just enjoy everything I am doing and if it is enjoyable, how can a class it as work?

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Specific Measureable Results

Want to make an immediate and dramatic increase in the overall performance of your company? Try creating a set of Specific Measurable Results (SMR) for each department or functional unit.

Specific Measurable Results? Of course, your sales force has them. It's safe to say there are few companies in the world that do not use sales quotas. Not only do sales people use quotas to track their output, they often have targets which measure their activity. "How many, by when" is a familiar phrase.

Top sales people monitor how many calls they make to prospects each week. The also track calls made to existing customers, how many letters they send, how many "closes", and so on. If a sales person isn't bringing in the promised business, management can examine his or her activity to see what area might need work.

What about the other players on your sales team - the technical representatives, the sales associates? Do they have specific, measurable results they've agreed to produce? What about your other departments? What about development? Customer Service? Finance? Marketing? Administration? What are they accountable for? Do they have SMR's to produce within a set time frame?

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Are you Planning your Business or are you Planning your Growth?

If you are like many high-performing business people, you have an annual ritual to set your plans for the coming twelve months. Some people do it in December, others at weird, miscellaneous times of the year, but most--me included--tend to do it the beginning part of the New Year.

It doesnt matter exactly when you do this, but it is important you do it sometime soon. It has been said all the way back to the time of the ancients: goals and written plans for their attainment are the surest way to speed up your accomplishments. So skipping this step is not an option!

As you buckle down to this critical task, consider: are you planning for business as usual or are you planning for wonderful, extraordinary, growth? Many people feel kind of beaten down by the past three years of economic mis-performance and think a year in which profits dont retreat will be a good year.

Others--most people--will plan to do something very much like they did in 2003; perhaps they will try to do it a bit better. They may look at the surplus resources they have available (if any) and try to figure out how they can eke out a little more performance, profit and revenue--without taking any big risks or doing anything radical. And for the most part, it will be business as usual.

Ho hum...

Dont be either of these types...

Plan to do something extraordinary!

Plan to extend or expand or excel.

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Specific Measureable Results

Want to make an immediate and dramatic increase in the overall performance of your company? Try creating a set of Specific Measurable Results (SMR) for each department or functional unit.

Specific Measurable Results? Of course, your sales force has them. It's safe to say there are few companies in the world that do not use sales quotas. Not only do sales people use quotas to track their output, they often have targets which measure their activity. "How many, by when" is a familiar phrase.

Top sales people monitor how many calls they make to prospects each week. The also track calls made to existing customers, how many letters they send, how many "closes", and so on. If a sales person isn't bringing in the promised business, management can examine his or her activity to see what area might need work.

What about the other players on your sales team - the technical representatives, the sales associates? Do they have specific, measurable results they've agreed to produce? What about your other departments? What about development? Customer Service? Finance? Marketing? Administration? What are they accountable for? Do they have SMR's to produce within a set time frame?

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Does Your Business Suffer From Paralysis By Analysis?

Let me ask you a simple question. "Now that you've spent months, perhaps years, studying how to build an on-line business, are you close to reaching your goals?" Have you started building that business? You've read hundreds of ebooks, hundreds of ezine articles, and gone through several courses. HONESTLY, you already know all that you need to know to make that dream a reality.

Now it's just a matter of putting some of what you already know into action. Yes, some of what you know can become dated. That's why it's critical that you put it into action now. You need to apply what you've already learned to get your business going. As things change, you need to read the industry publications and news to keep current, but information is growing exponentially... you'll never know it all.

You'll never be completely current, but you can't let that paralyze you into inaction.


"Money likes people who act fast!" That's what my buddy, Dr. Joe Vitale teaches. When he gets an idea, he acts upon it, IMMEDIATELY. That's totally unlike the majority of (less successful) people. They get an idea, and then they spend weeks, perhaps even months, thinking of all of the reasons why it might not work. Think it through, but don't over analyze! Don't become a victim of paralysis by analysis.

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Next Year's Planning

I'm amazed at how each year slips by just a little more quickly.

Only a few weeks ago I was running the San Juan River in Utah - blazing sunshine and ninety degrees in the shade. Now it's Fall already. And hey, I live in Southern California - in some places it's almost winter. Friends of mine back East are talking about 30 degree temperatures - or colder. Even snow flurries.

Blink - and it will be November, then Thanksgiving, and right its heels - New Year's. All of which is great if you love to ski, or snowshoe...

Which brings me to every businessperson's favorite indoor sport - planning.

Each year around this time I urge clients to dust off last year's business plan and compare it to what is really going on. Because many people - believe it or not - forget what they committed to for the year. Oh - they know their sales and profit projections - but most people don't pay close enough attention to the other issues. Things like market development, new customer growth, distributor relationships, customer services improvements, even new products: all the things that make it possible for a businesses to grow and prosper year after year.

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5 Lesser-Known Online Business Ideas

1. Ask people to find a hidden link in your ad copy. If they find the hidden link tell them they will get a prize or freebie by clicking on it. This will increase the chance that they will buy your product or service because they will read your whole ad copy.

2. Start a members only web site. Tell visitors what's in your members only site and what it costs to get access. Offer them a free membership, if, in exchange they link to your web site, post your banner on their home page or agree to advertise your web site in their e-zine for a set period of time. Usually they will agree to the free advertising to save money. This is a powerful way to get free advertising.

3. Want a popular discussion board? This technique is based on the number of postings made by any one person. You could give away a free product or service to any person that posts ten or more messages on your discussion in a month. It could be a free e-book, report, e-mail consulting etc. Just keep track of everyone's postings each month. This could also work for e-mail discussion lists.

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5 Lesser-Known Online Business Ideas

1. Ask people to find a hidden link in your ad copy. If they find the hidden link tell them they will get a prize or freebie by clicking on it. This will increase the chance that they will buy your product or service because they will read your whole ad copy.

2. Start a members only web site. Tell visitors what's in your members only site and what it costs to get access. Offer them a free membership, if, in exchange they link to your web site, post your banner on their home page or agree to advertise your web site in their e-zine for a set period of time. Usually they will agree to the free advertising to save money. This is a powerful way to get free advertising.

3. Want a popular discussion board?
This technique is based on the number of postings made by any one person. You could give away a free product or service to any person that posts ten or more messages on your discussion in a month. It could be a free e-book, report, e-mail consulting etc. Just keep track of everyone's postings each month. This could also work for e-mail discussion lists.

Continue reading "5 Lesser-Known Online Business Ideas"

5 Tips for Going Global

Import, Export, Global Markets...the buzz words of international trade are getting small business owners very excited. Why now more than ever before? In the past it would be too costly for a small business to survive global markets. However, as various technologies and service, such as the Internet and professional website design become more affordable, it's far easier for the little guy to compete. As the trend towards 'going global' grows, so does my business. I have the pleasure of guiding these enthusiastic new players through the global game procedures.

As The Import Export Coach, during my training workshops I'm often asked "How can I test my new product or market idea before deciding to fully commit my resources and finances to the project?"

Of course, I always recommend thorough research before jumping into any international agreement - there are no small deals when "Going Global" - players are ready to buy and sell in bulk. The more research you do, the more you minimize the risks. It's like a see-saw; the more planning you do, the less risk you experience, and the less planning you do the more risk you will carry:

However, it's not going to hurt your business to start making some contacts and begin the communication process with key players in that market. Below are some tips on how to quickly find valuable global prospects.

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19 Questions to Supercharge Your Business Plan

Paul Lemberg Whether you are seeking capital for your company or are optimizing your business strategy, the most important element - particularly for outside investors - may be your written business plan. You can tune-up and supercharge your plan using this 19-step checklist. When your written plan firmly answers yes to each of these 19 questions, your market/product strategy is in terrific shape plus you increase the odds of attracting investment capital.

If you don't already have a written business plan - write one! Your business plan is a blueprint for your whole company. It describes in detail your goals, the financial and technical viability of your goals, and the strategy you will use (or are using) to reach those goals. And your business plan is a working tool - it is a yardstick to measure your progress and a compass to keep you on course.

Must a business plan be written?

Yes! A plan which is not written usually has not been thought through fully. And despite what you may have read, it is doubtful that any business ever attracted capital on the back of a napkin.

Use this checklist as a way to identify where your strategy, as spelled out in your business plan, needs work. Each of the questions below highlights an area considered critical to technology investors.

Continue reading "19 Questions to Supercharge Your Business Plan"

Ten Crucial Questions for Your Business Future

As a business coach I specialize in asking questions.

The right question asked at the right time can effect your business future more than you can imagine. It has the power to completely and instantly shift your mental activity, your entire thought pattern, and ultimately the actions you take. Over the last fourteen years I've asked hundreds of small, medium and very large business owners endless questions which have helped them achieve far greater levels of success than they would have had thinking the way they were -- only moments before.

While the following may not be the only ten questions -- or even THE ten questions, they are ten questions that you must answer if you want your business to flourish. The right answers are critical to your company's future.


1. How many un- or underserved prospective clients are in your target market?

The number of prospective clients - prospects -- available to you relates to two key considerations: the total revenue possible from this client base, and what kinds of marketing tactics will be most cost-effective. If yours is a 'mass market,' advertising will almost certainly be part of the your marketing mix. By contrast, if your market is very small (I once sold software to the top-50 international banks) you can contact each and every prospect individually.

Continue reading "Ten Crucial Questions for Your Business Future"

19 Questions to Supercharge Your Business Plan

Whether you are seeking capital for your company or are optimizing your business strategy, the most important element - particularly for outside investors - may be your written business plan. You can tune-up and supercharge your plan using this 19-step checklist. When your written plan firmly answers yes to each of these 19 questions, your market/product strategy is in terrific shape plus you increase the odds of attracting investment capital.

If you don't already have a written business plan - write one! Your business plan is a blueprint for your whole company. It describes in detail your goals, the financial and technical viability of your goals, and the strategy you will use (or are using) to reach those goals. And your business plan is a working tool - it is a yardstick to measure your progress and a compass to keep you on course.

Must a business plan be written?

Yes! A plan which is not written usually has not been thought through fully. And despite what you may have read, it is doubtful that any business ever attracted capital on the back of a napkin.

Use this checklist as a way to identify where your strategy, as spelled out in your business plan, needs work. Each of the questions below highlights an area considered critical to technology investors.

Continue reading "19 Questions to Supercharge Your Business Plan"

Are you planning your business or are you planning your growth?

If you are like many high-performing business people, you have an annual ritual to set your plans for the coming twelve months. Some people do it in December, others at weird, miscellaneous times of the year, but most--me included--tend to do it the beginning part of the New Year.

It doesnt matter exactly when you do this, but it is important you do it sometime soon. It has been said all the way back to the time of the ancients: goals and written plans for their attainment are the surest way to speed up your accomplishments. So skipping this step is not an option!

As you buckle down to this critical task, consider: are you planning for business as usual or are you planning for wonderful, extraordinary, growth? Many people feel kind of beaten down by the past three years of economic mis-performance and think a year in which profits dont retreat will be a good year.

Others--most people--will plan to do something very much like they did in 2003; perhaps they will try to do it a bit better. They may look at the surplus resources they have available (if any) and try to figure out how they can eke out a little more performance, profit and revenue--without taking any big risks or doing anything radical. And for the most part, it will be business as usual.

Ho hum...

Dont be either of these types...

Plan to do something extraordinary!

Plan to extend or expand or excel.

Continue reading "Are you planning your business or are you planning your growth?"

Business is About Making Money

Ask most people why they are in business and they will give you any number of reasons. Things such as wanting to improve the lives of others; make the world a better place; provide for their family; have more free time; the list goes on and on.

Fact is business is about making money, which means the bottom line is the bottom line. Many business owners, managers and sales people seem to forget this. If you don't have a strong bottom line you cannot continue to do business for very long. And if you can't continue to do business you cannot achieve the other primary reasons you do what you do. The way you get a sturdy bottom line is to understand some basic truths about business.

A few fundamentals to running a successful business are to know what your product or service is, who your customer is, who you are, what drives you in business, and what trends are impacting the economy and marketplace.

Many people run their business without these key ingredients. Sure, a company can survive, but is survival all you are seeking? Don't you want more? As previously mentioned, most people are in business to design a certain lifestyle for themselves and their families. Many are in business to create an experience for their customers. Still others are in business to improve the quality of their community. Unfortunately, many miss the mark by a long shot.

Continue reading "Business is About Making Money"

Get Your Office Schedule Back on Track!

After the long, lazy, summer you may have let your office schedule slip--
follow these great tips and get YOUR office schedule back on track!

Clear out your desk and files

Make way for those exciting new projects that have been put on the backburner over the summer. I recently did this and apart from getting rid of four grocery bags of papers, I felt much more motivated to start those projects that had been lurking for months! And it's amazing what you come across too!

Set up a Resource Folder

Keep track of those all-important pieces of information that you come across
daily. How? Create a Resource Folder:

:: on your PC--store all those downloaded documents and create a shortcut on
your desktop so that you can easily access your information. Go one step further and create folders within your folder, each relating to a specific topic, i.e. industry news, marketing, accounting--decide what works best for your business!

:: in your Favourites Folder in your web browser--bookmark those web pages
that you find useful so that you can easily access them again. Create subject specific folders within the main resource folder.

Continue reading "Get Your Office Schedule Back on Track!"

Five Steps to An Effective Business Plan

You have an idea for a business. You know what you want to sell, who you can sell it to, and how much you stand to earn from it. There's just one more thing you need: a business plan.

Many people dread the idea of preparing a business plan. They think of them as complicated, unnecessary documents that exist only to make it more difficult for them to get started as an entrepreneur. They are wrong.

Business plans are necessary because they help you see your business. Instead of just talking in abstract ways about your customer base and your profit potential, it lets you put those things in writing and in concrete terms. It forces you to think through every aspect of your business in advance so down the road you don't realize you've made a mistake that's cost you your business, your life's savings, and your job.

Besides all of that, they are also important tools for getting other people interested in your business. For one, if you've taken the time to create a business plan, others will realize that you are serious about this endeavor and that it isn't just some pie-in-the-sky dream. A business plan also shows people that you are a professional and that you understand what it takes to start and manage a business. This is all extremely important, particularly if you need any type of outside funding, such as loans or investors.

Continue reading "Five Steps to An Effective Business Plan"

10 Nifty Tips for Better Business Cards

Not having a business card is as bad as using an eMail address that ends in AOL.com It's just not professional.

With domain names costing less that 9 bucks a year, there's no excuse for anyone in business to have an AOL.com address. With business cards costing less than 9 bucks at the big box store, there's no excuse for anyone in business not to pass them about.

Here are BIG Mike's 10 Nifty Tips for Better Business Cards

Don't Do It At Home For what you spend on blank microperf cards and the time to get it right, you could pay to have them look professional instead of home baked.

Get your Own Logo No logo at all looks better than a logo from a clip art book. Same with cards with bars of color or circles. Your card should be you, not something from a can.

Continue reading "10 Nifty Tips for Better Business Cards"

3 Ways To Re-Invest In Your Business For Maximum Profits

If you are not re-investing your profits in your business, you are killing your business. Your profits should be put back in your business for growth, not buying your groceries.

Granted, you need to eat, but if you have started a part-time business, and you have another source of income, you need to re-invest most of your profits back into your business. Re-invest for growth. When your business grows, then you can start taking a profit.

Marketing expert Jeffery Fox calls this paying steak and eating hot dogs. The concept is simple: keep your expenses low, but dont cut costs. Here are 3 ways you can re-invest in your business for growth:

1. Re-invest at least 50% of every dollar you earn in advertising.

You might think that you deserve to spend your profits, as a return-on-investment. You are right! But if you want your business to grow, you must re-invest in the business. For example, perhaps you spend $100 a month on leads for your business opportunity. These leads result in $200 in new sales. Instead of taking the $100 profit and spending it, what if you re-invested it, and bought $200 worth of leads for your business? You could end up with $400 in new sales the next month. Re-investing your profits this way can grow your bottom line, but you must be patient in the meantime.

Continue reading "3 Ways To Re-Invest In Your Business For Maximum Profits"

The Top Ten Methods to Create a Successful Work Team

Teams are often useful in situations where the task cannot be completed individually or if the task requires working interdependently. However, a successful team requires thought and planning. Too often, a group of individuals is simply thrown together, given a mandate, "marching orders" and then told, "Now go make us proud!"

To create an effective work team, defined outcomes, common goals and correct skills are keys to success. Here are ten methods to create a successful work team.

1. Create a common, shared (team) goal. There must be a central focus that the team is moving towards and it must also include a strong task orientation that translates into each person knowing how to move towards that goal.

2. Have measurable outcomes. Team execution is usually more effective if you can measure what the team produces. Standards of excellence should be established so that the team understands what the target is and ongoing measurement (milestones) towards the desired outcome should also be implemented.

Continue reading "The Top Ten Methods to Create a Successful Work Team"

Write Better Web Content

If youre reading this article, chances are that you, like most professionals these days, understand the value of the Internet. It may be where you go to buy movie or concert tickets, browse restaurant menus, or plan your vacations. Most likely, you also turn to the Web to research business strategies, vendors and other companies.

But what about those surfers who are researching your company? When they visit your Web site, will they find what theyre looking for? Does your site provide the information they need in an interesting format that will keep them there long enough to convince them to do business with you?

While an attractive, professional-looking site is an important start, content is king. (What else would you expect from a copywriter?) But seriously, your site will never be truly effective without well-written content that answers visitors questions and creates enough interest to keep them coming back.

Continue reading "Write Better Web Content"

Managers: Get Real, Please!

Personnel mentions in the newspaper and product plugs on radio hardly qualify as an adequate return on your public relations dollar, and you probably know it!

Especially unfortunate when your PR budget could be doing something really positive about the behaviors of those outside audiences that most affect your business, non-profit or association.

And also when it could be delivering external stakeholder behavior change the kind that leads directly to achieving your managerial objectives.

And, finally, when you could be persuading those important outside folks to your way of thinking, then move them to take actions that help your department, division or subsidiary succeed.

On the other hand, if all you want is a simple publicity effort, fine. But if you want full-bore public relations performance like that above performance that really contributes to your success as a manager here's a blueprint that will start you on your way.

Continue reading "Managers: Get Real, Please!"

Writing Short Info Reports

People want information, they want it quick, frequently in short form, and straight to the point. Its no wonder that they go straight for a computer connected to the internet to find anything from how to grow tomatoes to choosing a web host.

As a home business owner, this "information revolution" as I like to call it, is only to your benefit. After all, you are in the business of trying to give people what they want time and again. So, give them the information they crave.

Now, e-books are a wonderful way to , but in the spirit of the Infopreneur, short high content reports which I like to call info-reports are perhaps even better. If formulated carefully, they can even be put to use to literally explode the size of an opt-in list of subscribers. To proceed you simply develop several high content short reports, targeted at a specific market which you would like to add to your subscriber base, and give it away free just for subscribing to your newsletter. With content, and the word "free", many people will flock to subscribe. Best of all this is a win-win situation: You pick up valuable subscribers to interact with on a weekly basis, and your subscribers receive valuable information from you.

So, how is it done you ask?

Continue reading "Writing Short Info Reports"

How to Choose the Autoresponder Right for Your Business?

Let's give a definition to autoresponder first. So, what is an autoresponder? Think of it as a 'fax on demand' service. When a customer sends an e-mail to the autoresponder address, this smart 'robot' sends back an e-mail response, usually informative letter.

You can set up hundreds of autoresponders. You can use them literally for anything you can think of, including customer support, new product offers, ezine broadcasts and a whole lot more...

Autoresponders can save you a lot of your hard earned dollars. They can be your best marketing tool, therefore, it is important to have a reliable service under hand. There are quite a few autoresponder services around that you might consider using.

Continue reading "How to Choose the Autoresponder Right for Your Business?"

10 Mistakes That Reduce Profitability

In my professional experience as a sales and marketing coach/consultant, I've had the opportunity to work with a number of small business owners on various issues related to sales and marketing. The owners who are struggling to keep their businesses afloat tend to engage in some, or all, of the following mistakes that reduce profitability.

Mistake #1: They fail to market or market inconsistently. Once you have committed to owning and running a business you must be equally committed to marketing and selling the products and services of that business. It is difficult, if not impossible, to stay and remain profitable without a commitment to ongoing concerted marketing.

Solution: Market all the time, every time.

Continue reading "10 Mistakes That Reduce Profitability"

Writing Your Affiliate Home Business Plan

Here's a typical scenario: You are deciding to start a home business and suddenly everyone you know has his nose in your business, literally. What do you tell them? And how do you answer your own questions? What should you expect from the company in terms of stability, longevity, vitality, trust, income, and so forth?

First the bad news: there are no guarantees. Then the good news: there is plenty of information from which to draw your own conclusions. The internet is huge, and any good company will offer free marketing tools and training.

But back to the WHY of that business plan. You're going to be starting small, slow and boy! is there a lot to learn. What's the point of actually sitting down and writing a business plan? You're not Bill Gates, this isn't Microsoft, just you in your home office a few hours a week, slowly building an online business presence, not really understanding what the heck you'll be doing.

Continue reading "Writing Your Affiliate Home Business Plan"

Maximum Affiliate: Becoming the Next Super Affiliate

The term "Super Affiliate" has become common online in the last year or so. For those of you wondering what the term refers to, let me give you a common definition:

A super affiliate is a person who has the ability to create a large number of affiliate sales for a vendor website in a short period of time.

For example, my friend Rosalind Gardner is a super affiliate. She produces hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales each year for a variety of online match-making sites.

[By the way, she has agreed to allow my readers to pick her brain about how she does that here: http://www.All-In-One-Business.com/brainpick ]

A super affiliate will typically have a high-traffic site and a large list within a market niche.

Continue reading "Maximum Affiliate: Becoming the Next Super Affiliate"

3 Keys To Building a Successful (Online) Business

Want to know the secret to effectively building a successful online business? I'm afraid the answer may not be what you're expecting.

Take this simple pop quiz. (I know, I haven't given you time to study yet. But I think you'll pass the test anyway).

If you want to build a structurally sound home, you must first do what?

If you said, "Lay a solid foundation". Then congratulations. You've passed! :-) Building your online business is no different. The secret is not new. Just follow these 3 keys:

Continue reading "3 Keys To Building a Successful (Online) Business"

Strategic Checklists


I've been through a couple of checklists in the past few days, and the exercise has reaffirmed my faith in their effectiveness as a communication tool.

Now, there are at least a couple of ways we can look at checklists in a communication context. First, in the strategic sense, and second in the tactical sense. You'll probably recognize the tactical advantages of using checklists: a clear and logical, as well as economical, way to write.

But, let's start with the strategic perspective today, and explore checklists as a tool for achieving our objectives.

Continue reading "Strategic Checklists"

Ten Secrets of Super Successful Meeting Planners

Whoever said that being a meeting planner was easy, lied! Rather, it should be classified under the tough and demanding job category. But, along with being tough, it's also fun, exciting, exhilarating, stimulating, and never, never boring. You have the opportunity to go to exotic places, stay in luxurious hotels, and experience life from a totally different angle. Who could ask for anything more? For those of you ready to shoot me at this point, know that I fully understand your pain!

The purpose of this article is to look at ten skills that help make a super successful meeting planner, and how you can take this expertise and use it to enhance the great job you're already doing.

Continue reading "Ten Secrets of Super Successful Meeting Planners"

Are You Making These Mistakes In Your Business?

You've probably heard the statistic that 95% of small businesses fail in the first five years. That's not a very encouraging number! Although being part of the 5% that succeed is not easy, it's definitely possible. What it takes is a lot of common sense, some marketing and sales skills and the ability to learn from the mistakes of others.

To get you started on the road to success, here are three of the biggest mistakes small businesses make and some tips to help you avoid them:


Mistake #1: Having a Poorly Defined Sales Process

The key to making money with any business is to stay focused on how you can "sell", "sell more" and "sell more often". Unfortunately most businesses don't consider all of the ways they can make money from customers and end up losing potential revenues.

There are three ways you can make money from your site:

Continue reading "Are You Making These Mistakes In Your Business?"

Five Steps to An Effective Business Plan

You have an idea for a business. You know what you want to sell, who you can sell it to, and how much you stand to earn from it. There's just one more thing you need: a business plan.

Many people dread the idea of preparing a business plan. They think of them as complicated, unnecessary documents that exist only to make it more difficult for them to get started as an entrepreneur. They are wrong.

Business plans are necessary because they help you see your business. Instead of just talking in abstract ways about your customer base and your profit potential, it lets you put those things in writing and in concrete terms. It forces you to think through every aspect of your business in advance so down the road you don't realize you've made a mistake that's cost you your business, your life's savings, and your job.

Besides all of that, they are also important tools for getting other people interested in your business. For one, if you've taken the time to create a business plan, others will realize that you are serious about this endeavor and that it isn't just some pie-in-the-sky dream. A business plan also shows people that you are a professional and that you understand what it takes to start and manage a business. This is all extremely important, particularly if you need any type of outside funding, such as loans or investors.

Continue reading "Five Steps to An Effective Business Plan"

6 Steps to a Perfect eMail Message

Each day the Internet delivers more than 5 BILLION eMail messages. To be sure your message is delivered and read, it must be politically correct, free of errors and innuendoes, inoffensive and still convey the essence of what you want to communicate

Follow these steps for better eMail messages

Continue reading "6 Steps to a Perfect eMail Message"

Accept Credit Cards Online without a Merchant Account

Getting your credit card accepted online can be easy even if your business doesn't have a merchant account.

It is often assumed if you want to accept credit cards on your website that you must have a merchant account. This is not the case. You can accept credit cards with a Third Party credit card processor.

Continue reading "Accept Credit Cards Online without a Merchant Account"
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