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Tips for small business owners

busfriends30396999-1.jpgThe day-to-day tasks of running a small business can become stressful and if you aren't equipped to deal with the different problems, you will have a hard time running your small business. Here are some of the problems you will run into and the things you can do to overcome them:

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Getting noticed

clip71731932.jpgSmall businesses need to find a way to get noticed if they would like to remain in business for several years. Some business owners are able to make their clients feel special that it helps to develop long-lasting relationships. Others impress their competition that it inspires them to work together. No matter how you want to say it, getting noticed is going to do more for your small business than anything else. Are you ready to get noticed? Good, here are some simple ways to do it.

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Entrepreneur's guide to starting a successful small business

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According to 2007 statistics, about 12% of small businesses make it though the first year that they are in operation. Of the remaining 12% about two-thirds will survive at least two years, 44 percent survive at least four years, and 31 percent survive at least seven years. With nearly _ of a million new businesses being started each year, there are certainly possibilities for success. However, there is also the need to have an edge. You do not want your small be like the more than half a million small businesses that can't keep its doors open for more than 12 months.

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The True Cost of Self Employment

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So you want to start your own business? Great! There are many successful and happy business owners all around the world. However, many new or potentially new business owners forget to take all of the costs of self employment into consideration. Consider the following true costs of operating your own business.

  • Do you have a plan for health insurance? Retirement? Investing? - One of the benefits for working for someone else is that you don't have to worry about the details. Well, as the proud owner of your own business, you are going to have to start thinking about how you are going to find medical coverage for yourself, how you will invest for your retirement, etc. In the united states the typical United States self employed business owner should expect to pay 35-40% of his salary towards medical, dental, visual, life, unemployment, disability, long term care, and worker's compensation insurance. This is quite the chunk of money. 35-40% may seem high when you consider what you paid for benefits before you started your own business. The reality is that when you work for someone else, that company is paying a large chunk of your premium for you. Furthermore, those premiums under your employer were taken from pre-tax dollars. When you work for yourself, there is no one else to help you with your costs.
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The psychology of an entrepreneur

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Many wish they were more like an entrepreneur. Why is that? Most entrepreneurs are successful, driven, and highly motivated. All of these are characteristics many of us would like to possess. The question becomes is there a specific psychology of an entrepreneur? Can you really define what makes an entrepreneur? To answer that question we must first look at some of the basic definitions of entrepreneur.

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The psychology of an entrepreneur

Many wish they were more like an entrepreneur. Why is that? Most entrepreneurs are successful, driven, and highly motivated. All of these are characteristics many of us would like to possess. The question becomes is there a specific psychology of an entrepreneur? Can you really define what makes an entrepreneur? To answer that question we must first look at some of the basic definitions of entrepreneur.

There are a lot of definitions for what an entrepreneur is:

 Innovator. One who recognizes opportunities and organizes resources to take advantage of the opportunity.

 One who assumes the financial risk of the initiation, operation, and management of a given business or undertaking.

 Individual who starts a new business. Venture capital is often used to finance the startup costs in return for an equity share. Once the business is established, an entrepreneur may choose to raise additional capital by selling equity shares to the public through an initial public offering.

 A person who takes the risk of organizing and operating a new business venture.

 An innovator of business enterprise who recognizes opportunities to introduce a new product, a new process or an improved organization, and who raises the necessary money, assembles the factors for production and organizes an operation to exploit the opportunity.

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How to identify the best niche for your business

There are an almost endless number of products and services available on the market today for interested people to resell. How do you know which ones will turn a profit, and which ones will end up languishing in the recycle bin? Almost all markets are full of products that became an overnight success due to the correct niche marketing. In turn every market is full of even more products and services that never made it due to poor planning to attract the right niche market. The successful business owner will research where and how his product or service should be placed on the market thus ensuring the best possible profit margin.
Here are some guidelines to help find the best possible presentation for your product:

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Could a Non-Profit Structure Be Right for Your Business?

If you have a business idea, or an idea for a service for your community, there's one decision you must make early on: are you going to structure your project as a for-profit business, or as a non-profit corporation?

Now, it may be that you already have a clear idea about this. Some business ideas are clearly "for profit". For example, if you want to sell insurance, or stocks, that's undoubtedly a for-profit business. On the other hand, if you want to raise money for research into a cure for juvenile diabetes, that project will best be served by forming a non-profit corporation.

One difference between for-profit and non-profit organizations is that grants funding is generally reserved for non-profits. Some grants are available to for-profits (and to individuals), such as government grants to promote affordable housing or job creation in economically depressed neighborhoods. Most grants, however, and particularly grants from foundations, are given only to non-profit corporations designated by the Internal Revenue Service as 501(c)3 corporations.

In many cases it is not so easy to determine into which category a business idea should fall. One question to ask is: will my planned project deliver a service to clients? A beauty shop located in Beverly Hills, catering to wealthy women, is certainly a service business. The clients, however, are not needy. They can easily pay for the service without assistance.

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Entrepreneurship: Insight and Closer Look At The Entrepreneur

Life as an entrepreneur is the American Dream. To be able to be your own boss, own your own business, never report to anyone else, work from home, make unlimited earnings and income potential, etc. Owning your own business most definitely has its perks. But on the other hand, there are the downsides. However, being an entrepreneur myself I view these only as challenges. The will to work hard, fanatically, solitary isolation, being slammed of your ideas from other people, the uncertainty of making the business grow to fruitation are all quite scary considerations. But it's best to know that it is out there, that it is the negative side. To be willing to gamble your money, other peoples money, to invest a massive amount of time and energy into your business is something that should be considered.

The psychology of an entrepreneur is quite interesting. An entrepreneur is confident and thinks he/she is better than everyone else. They also tend to walk differently, march to their own drummer and are very highly creative. Entrepreneurs tend to have many ideas and the key to there success it being able to bring that idea to the table and successfully grow it to fruitation. They are risk takers and have the mentality of seeing risk as a challenge not a negative.

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Traits and Skills of Successful Internet Entrepreneurs

There are certain traits and skills that many successful online entrepreneurs have in common. Some mentioned in this article may seem simple, but don't overlook their importance.

You may not personally be strong in all areas, but you can get by as long as you can delegate tasks that call for them to someone on your team that is.


Good Communicator

Whether you are communicating by email, your web site, ICQ, web-based forums, or whatever, you (or someone in your organization) need to demonstrate good communication skills - especially good writing skills. Unfortunately, many online communications are very weak in this area. I'm not saying this to be critical, but to point out an area for improvement that we can benefit from by giving attention to.

Since we're all human and prone to making mistakes, our communications may not be flawless, but the more clearly and accurately we get our message across - with fewer mistakes in spelling, punctuation, and grammar - the more likely our prospects will grasp our message and take the desired action, and the more professional image we will project.

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Entrepreneurs, Are You Hauling Buckets?

Once upon a time, there was a village on the banks of a fine, clear river. The villagers all drew their water from the river, and used it to cook, and bathe and water their gardens. Life was good.

During one particular rainy season, the river flooded. When the water went down, the river had cut itself a new channel, far from the village.

The wise village elders conferred and decided to hire someone to supply the village with water. Two villagers stepped forward and asked for the water contract. The village elders decided that a little competition might be a good thing, and issued both villagers a contract.

The first villager, John the Wise, took the new water contract and left the village, saying he would return to the village with great amounts of clear water. It would be many weeks before the villagers again saw John the Wise.

The other villager, Eli the Strong, seeing that he was the only one with a water contract, bought two shiny new buckets and set to work. Every day, Eli would take a bucket in each hand, walk to the river, fill his buckets, and walk back to the village. The villagers would all come and take some of Eli’s water and pay him for it. Eli the Strong was happy.

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Is Now the Right Time to Become An Entrepreneur?

A number of economic changes are magnifying the role of small business and creating the impetus for entrepreneurship.

In the past, many people perceived small business owners as shopkeepers – the mom ‘n pop shops. Today, with a status boost, they’re entrepreneurs, and perceived to be on the leading edge.

But is now the right time to step up to the plate and take a swing at starting a small business? In the audio book, “Sound Advice on Small Business,” author Jim Schell points to a number of economic changes creating momentum for entrepreneurs.

Continued downsizing in the Fortune 500 sector is one change, as corporate CEOs strive to keep earnings up to stock market expectations. “The corporate rat race has become more stressful to its inhabitants, and more tenuous,” says Schell. “Today’s Enrons and Worldcoms haven’t done the image of the big guys any good, either.”

Job creation is another economic change. “Corporate and government downsizing, combined with an influx of trained and motivated entrepreneurs is resulting in the vast majority of today’s new jobs being created by the small business sector,” says Schell.

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Online Women Entrepreneurs Need To Pace Themselves

Saving time means pacing yourself, being organized, and always prioritizing your duties, responsibilities and efforts.

Pacing yourself means allowing time for unexpected situations, such as having enough time to check the ever-growing inbox, setting-up special autoresponders for automatic responses (a miraculous tool…really), and other technical issues of running an interactive website and blog.

One great thing I trained myself to do was to check my inbox a couple times a day. I also do not keep my inbox open the whole time I'm online, which forced to check it every minute. I check it in the beginning, reply, write new emails, and close it, project #1 done.

I even write a list who I'm supposed to email and why to keep me focused. This way I'm not trapped into reading and writing social emails.

As part of networking, you have to make your regular appearance, post some replies, add a new one, then leave, project #2 done. No time for chatting.

By being personable in your posts, people feel your personal touch. You don't have to instant message on the message boards, just to be personal.

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Franchises - Success and You

Many people believe owning a franchise will make them rich, financially secure, and provide the life of their dreams. True, franchises have an extremely high success rate, and a very high satisfaction rate among their owners. But is that success guaranteed when you purchase a franchise? NO!

There are no guarantees in life, or in franchises. There are those occasions when franchises are not profitable, lose money, and close. Although most franchises provide a proven business system, not all OWNERS are proven.

Many enter into the franchise system, thinking all they have to do is come up with the money to get the business open, and it will run itself and they will make money. I don't how many times I have had a prospective franchisee say to me, "I want a franchise that makes a lot of money". Well, I have news for you, it's hard work.

You have to WORK the system provided by the franchise. Many franchisees have impressive backgrounds and education, many from established positions with top companies. However, some have a difficult time doing "whatever it takes", to run the business. Whether it be marketing or sales, to taking out the trash and cleaning the restrooms, nothing should be beneath you to keep your business operating and profitable.

If you want be a franchisee, accept the fact that you will have a "franchisor" guiding and directing you. They have at much at stake as you, and their reputation is on the line. Remember your success is their success, so they will provide feedback, support, and direction with your business. However, some new franchisees, coming from corporate positions, may feel they don't need any direction and know best on how to run the business. This can be disastrous. The better franchises have spent years developing their systems, FOLLOW THEM!.

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Youth Entrepreneurship, A Disappointing Truth

The psychology of entrepreneurship can be very rewarding to one who dreams of starting their own business. The freedom of being your own boss has billions of people seeking financial independence and other entrepreneurial expectations. But is entrepreneurship for everyone? Are their any restrictions on who can become entrepreneurs? Sadly, the answer is yes. Many people turn their heads when it comes to assisting young people with business projects, they believe age plays a vital part on the success of an entrepreneur, this in some cases causes the entrepreneur to abandon their dream.

Youth entrepreneurship has great wealth to it; it keeps youth out of trouble, adds growth to the economy, and establishes the opportunity for a better future of business to come. Youth is the age of anyone who is looked upon as young. Young entrepreneurs face many weighty problems such as obtaining start -up capital, leasing property, equipment and so on. When in grade school students were taught to plan for the future because they were the future. But if the present fails to make way it would be destroying the upcoming economy at an early start.

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From Bank Clerk to Entreprenuer

What seems like a century ago, I left school and joined a well-known High Street Bank. In those days working as a bank clerk was a well-established route for many school leavers and perceived to be a proper job with prospects. It wasn’t long before I became disillusioned with the world of banking and sought a change of job. In complete contrast to my previous job, I became a clerk in the local hospital dealing with the injured and infirm, but it was a role that I found strangely interesting and rewarding. In today’s parlance, it is known as job satisfaction.

My career progressed rapidly and after working in a number of different departments I became Admissions Officer of a major regional hospital where I soon gained valuable front line experience. There is nothing more conducive to honing your powers of communication, persuasion, resilience and empathy than dealing with people when they are at their most vulnerable. Working in an Accident and Emergency Department definitely puts one’s life completely into perspective and is like being part of a TV medical soap opera.

My career came to halt when I met my husband and moved away from the area. I have to admit that back in the early 70’s marrying and having the obligatory 2.4 children was still the acceptable norm, although liberation for women was gathering pace. Being a conservative soul, I slipped into the mainstream and before I knew it I was the wife of a career man and the mother of two children living in a three-bed semi. Returning to work was not a consideration and this proved to be a sensible decision as my husband was posted to four different locations throughout the UK in the space of 6 years.

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Entrepreneurship as Your Passion

Entrepreneurship has been my passion for as long as I can commit to memory to learning how to type, and that started in 5th grade! Strangely enough, I wasn’t raised around lots of business owners growing up in New Jersey nor surrounded by many business-minded individuals.

Initially, my passion was expressed through the notion that extra money can be made while working a corporate job. There are several reasons why people become entrepreneurs: to be able to save up for their children’s college education, pay off bills, buy a house, to have the flexibility of setting their own hours, and more importantly to become the boss of their destiny.

Entrepreneurship as your passion truly opens doors to numerous areas of interests. In my mind, being an entrepreneur is like flying a plane without a destination; meaning, it’s endless in terms of what you accomplish, how successful you become, and what truly makes you blissful on a day-to-day basis.

Whether your passion is crocheting sweaters, selling ice cream from a truck to running a corporation, it’s all about feeling great at what you’re doing and reaching your personal success. Your passion is something that you feel comfortable, secure and knowledgeable with and it’s the excitement that keeps you working a 50-hour workweek with a smile on your face. It’s the fulfillment of dodging all the office drama that comes with working the traditional 9 to 5.

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Planning Your First Business Meeting

Are you planning your first business meeting and want to ensure you cover all your bases? Don't run around like a crazed wedding planner. Have a strategy and stick to it.

First, set the date and establish the agenda. It's important to prepare the agenda well in advance. You want to ensure everyone has a chance to look it over to get prepared and give you feed back on areas that might need to be included. In preparing an agenda, envision the purpose of the meeting. How long will it last? How many speakers/presentations will there be? How will the meeting progress? How will you reach your goal for a successful and productive meeting?

Second, set a time for the meeting to begin AND end. It is imperative that you keep the meeting on schedule. You can always go back and revisit unresolved issues as time permits.

Third, find out who needs to be invited to the meeting. Identify people who must be there to accomplish the purpose of the meeting and include people you may need to invite because of their status. Make this step easier by setting up a meeting notification procedure whether is by email or regular mail. Attach the agenda to the note so everyone is on the same page from the start. Be specific if there is homework or advance preparation for the attendees. Ask all participants to respond to ensure everyone has received the communication.

Finally, pay attention to the details and logistics. This is where a checklist pays off:

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Entrepreneur 101: 7 Powerful Business Secrets

Let's blow away all the chaff. All of it. Whooosh! Gone. What's left? Here are seven business nuggets for you to ponder. Whether you're seeing them for the first time or the hundredth time, they're just as powerful. Put a check mark next to any you've mastered and move on to the next.


1. You're in a particular business. Right? Wrong. Actually, you're in the business of marketing your business. Now, you and I know you've got a great product AND great service. But great marketing will beat an otherwise great business any time. We all need to put them together. Great marketing and great business. Now you're unstoppable!


2. Speaking of marketing. You must become an expert on marketing your business to your market. Don't delegate this one, absolutely essential task. I've tried and failed. Only you have the drive, passion and ambition to do it right. Marketing is hard, but ignore it at your own peril!

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Three Big Mistakes that Cost You, and Your One Person Business, Big Money!

Most one-person businesses don't flounder because their products or services are below par. They struggle because their owner's lack of business skills or business practices gets in the way of being profitable.

Are you making these big mistakes?

1. You don't tell people what you do in a way that helps them buy. People buy when they understand what they get, what problem you'll solve for them, how you'll stop their pain, or increase their pleasure. Focusing on what you'll do, where you went to school, what steps you'll take, how hard you'll work for them, won't get you sales. Letting them know what pain you'll take away, what pleasure you'll bring, how they'll feel better, be better, when you're finished will go much further in getting to yes. Sell the sizzle, what your prospect can see, feel, and experience, not the steak, the steps you'll go through, how long you trained, the effort you'll put in.

Your bottom line will thank you...and so will your satisfied customers and clients.

2. You don't know your leads to sales ratio...so you consistently miss making the money you want and need to make. Knowing your ratio helps you understand what you need to do to get more sales.

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Advertising 101 How to Make Advertising Dividends Pay Off...Big Time

McGraw Hill once commissioned an extensive study to determine what marketing weapons make a company famous in it’s market or community.

The study went on to show that advertising created more product, service, or brand awareness than all other marketing weapons combined.

The fact is, we know that Coke is “The Real Thing” because Coke advertises, not because it has good salespeople or does great direct mail.

Advertising stays in front of your prospects when you can’t be there. While a handful of salespeople can only be in front of perhaps a hundred or so prospects per month, advertising can reach thousands of potential buyers each and every month, week, or day.

Studies also show that advertising inspires confidence from your current clients. When current clients see your ad, it reinforces their belief in you.

It makes them feel like they made the right decision to be your client. But advertising can also waste money if you don’t use it properly.

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Essential Steps for the Online Netpreneur – Part I

Dear Friends,

I hope that this article acts as a step-by-step guide for you on the many ways you can start up your own successful online business. These are tried and proven tips that have helped many to achieve success online. So take the time to read through these few tips as I'm sure it'll help you to focus on what you want to do and initiate an immediate plan of action…


1) Know your target market
I know you've all heard this many times over, but believe me, if you have taken the time to research your target market and find out what their exact needs are then you have already taken the first step towards success.

For example, if you were to start selling a new, more effective brand of dishwasher detergent, you would need to make sure that before you waste all your well-earned money into marketing and advertising, that you know what exactly is your target market looking for. Are their concerns related to the pricing? Or is the brand that interests them? Or do they prefer a liquid detergent as compared to powder or tablet form?

I'm hoping that you're starting to see the picture. And that is why the big companies spend so much money on `market research'. This information alone saves them millions of dollars and promises a substantial gross profit margin. Now a normal person, such as ourselves, do not have that type of money to spend on research but there are other tools that we can use to find out what our target market is searching for.

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Ancient Warrior Secrets For The Modern Entrepreneur

The words you see onscreen trigger subconscious responses. Dark images penetrate your mind. Your heartbeat increases slightly. Your muscles tighten. Like a warrior advancing to combat, you prepare to engage with your market. Ready, aim, fire. You send an email! Everyday, military metaphors are projected across our computer screens. Guerrilla marketing. Market penetration. Global domination. Competitive intelligence and more. How do you approach your marketing, your business? At the end of the day, do you feel like you have been in battle? Suffering battle fatigue.

War is just metaphor for the application of force. By understanding the nature of war, you can apply this understanding to business. You can apply the principles of war with elegance or with crudeness. It is like knowing the difference between a charging gladiator and a meditating warrior-monk.

Here are some warrior secrets that have been derived from traditional Maori martial arts and modern military tactics. Adapt and apply some of these principles into your life and business.

1. The Power of Oneness. When tracking and observing, you need to become one with your environment. The trees, the insects, the wildlife become your eyes and ears. The forest becomes part of your body. In order to reach this level of feeling, you need to become one with yourself. This power of oneness begins with the point of stillness. You need to slow down your thinking and relax into yourself. Slow down your thoughts so that you can sense your own body. Tense muscles. Nervous responses. Stressed breathing. Just slow down and take time out from your busy work environment. Spend an hour of slow thinking each day. Do nothing during this hour then move when you are ready. The modern entrepreneur is like a scout, silently observing then moving with swift, efficient actions.

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Ancient Warrior Secrets For The Modern Entrepreneur

The words you see onscreen trigger subconscious responses. Dark images penetrate your mind. Your heartbeat increases slightly. Your muscles tighten. Like a warrior advancing to combat, you prepare to engage with your market. Ready, aim, fire. You send an email! Everyday, military metaphors are projected across our computer screens. Guerrilla marketing. Market penetration. Global domination. Competitive intelligence and more. How do you approach your marketing, your business? At the end of the day, do you feel like you have been in battle? Suffering battle fatigue.

War is just metaphor for the application of force. By understanding the nature of war, you can apply this understanding to business. You can apply the principles of war with elegance or with crudeness. It is like knowing the difference between a charging gladiator and a meditating warrior-monk.

Here are some warrior secrets that have been derived from traditional Maori martial arts and modern military tactics. Adapt and apply some of these principles into your life and business.

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Entrepreneurs – Is Your Style Holding You Back?

Are you an entrepreneur? Do you run a successful business?

Do you want your business to continue to grow or are you happy with it at the size it is?

Most entrepreneurs will answer that of course they want their businesses to grow. That is what it is all about. But to what size? Do you want to be the leading business in your town? In your country? In your specific business sector? Perhaps you aim eventually to expand to become one of the great companies of the world.

With expansion comes an increase in the number of your employees. This is a fact of life. You can rarely run a major enterprise with just a handful of people. You need other people to help you, and your business will sink or swim according to how well they perform.

So are you happy with your staff? Do they come up to your expectations or are you disappointed with their performance?

Are you frustrated with their lack of enthusiasm? Are they reluctant to share your own point of view? Are they slow to accept your ideas? Do they take too long to understand your orders and to carry them out? Are they unwilling to put in extra effort than strictly necessary? Do they lack the spark that you have? In short, do you think that they are all useless and that you could do the job better yourself?

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Are You an Entrepreneur That is Starved for Time?

Being an entrepreneur and running a successful home-based business is stressful at times, and can be hectic. Success within a home-based business though, absolutely demands time management skills, or the chores that need to get done will be left undone, and procrastination, as well as a serious "personal time deficiency" will occur.

Several studies have shown that many first-time entrepreneurs spend too much time on "non-essential" activities within a business, activities that have nothing to do with business, or that have little impact on business success. At the end of each business day (when it finally ends), they are left feeling stressed out, burned out, separated from their personal lives, and worse yet, with a feeling of non-accomplishment and inefficiency.

You probably have met entrepreneurs like this occasionally in your own life. They constantly seem "busy", yet they are constantly late for appointments, don't ever have time to attend personal activities or outings, and are always stressed out about what still "needs to be done" each and every day!

A "personal time deficiency" occurs when an entrepreneur seems to spend all their time either working on the business, or thinking about the business. The entrepreneur can neglect family, friends, activities and personal pleasures, in pursuit of business functions. This is not only counter-productive to the business (creativity shines through when entrepreneurs also schedule time away from the business), but personal losses can occur to the entrepreneur. Horror stories abound about divorce among entrepreneurs, shattered family lives, and personal ruin.

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Ten Entrepreneurial Mistakes

It's hard to avoid certain mistakes, especially when you face a situation for the first time. In fact, many of the following mistakes are hard to avoid even if you're an old hand. Of course, these are not the only mistakes CEOs make, but they sure are common enough. Take the following self assessment: give yourself ten points for each of these entrepreneurial blunders you are in the process of making. Deduct five points for those you have narrowly avoided. Your score, of course, will be kept confidential, but do seek help. Fast!

1. Big Customer Syndrome

If more than 50 percent of your revenues come from any one customer you may be headed for a meltdown. While it both is easier and more profitable to deal with a small number of big customers, you become quite vulnerable when one of them contributes the lion's share of your cash flow. You tend to make silly concessions to keep their business. You make special investments to handle their special requirements. And you are so busy servicing that one big account that you fail to develop additional customers and revenue streams. Then suddenly, for one reason or another, that customer goes away and your business borders on collapse.

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Entrepreneurs √ Is Your Style Holding You Back?

Are you an entrepreneur?
Do you run a successful business?

Do you want your business to continue to grow or are you happy with it at the size it is?

Most entrepreneurs will answer that of course they want their businesses to grow. That is what it is all about. But to what size? Do you want to be the leading business in your town? In your country? In your specific business sector? Perhaps you aim eventually to expand to become one of the great companies of the world.

With expansion comes an increase in the number of your employees. This is a fact of life. You can rarely run a major enterprise with just a handful of people. You need other people to help you, and your business will sink or swim according to how well they perform.

So are you happy with your staff? Do they come up to your expectations or are you disappointed with their performance?

Are you frustrated with their lack of enthusiasm? Are they reluctant to share your own point of view? Are they slow to accept your ideas? Do they take too long to understand your orders and to carry them out? Are they unwilling to put in extra effort than strictly necessary? Do they lack the spark that you have? In short, do you think that they are all useless and that you could do the job better
yourself?

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The True Cost of Self-Employment

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Do you think you are ready to make that leap to full self-employment? The profit from your part-time (up till now :-) business is matching or exceeding your regular paycheck, so you think it's time to fire your boss and make do without that paycheck. Before you take that final step to personal freedom, make sure you truly understand what you are giving up. Your employer paid benefits may cost you more than you realize. For many people it will take more than $40,000 of profit per year to replace a $40,000 annual salary.

When I talk about your employer paid benefits I'm not referring to the free office supplies, subsidized soft drinks, or even the occasional free meal at the holiday party. The items that you need to consider are the benefits that are going to cost you the most money. Although if you really like soda I guess you might want to include this too! According to a survey published by the US Chamber of Commerce in January 2004, employer paid benefits averaged 42% of an employees salary in 2002. That means you need an additional 35 - 45% more than your current salary to make up for these lost benefits.

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How to Grow Your Business

This isn't about marketing; that's another article. This is about growing your business when you're really ready to take a leap: when you're ready to hire.

Yes, you're an entrepreneur, and the day has come. Reluctantly, marvelous as you are, you realize you've got to get help. Your plate is full. No, actually it's been too full for too long. Something has finally triggered in you this need to hire someone, and likely it wasn't pleasant.

We entrepreneurs all share one thing in common: the feeling we can do it all. Okay, call it a "need" and call it the need to "c-word" but at any rate, it can't be denied any longer. You need to hire someone if you want to
(1) survive and
(2) have the business grow.

Now here's the typical dilemma. Since you were previously doing everything, with a heavy finger in every pie, it's tempting to think hiring another generalist-type is the solution. In fact, better yet, how about someone just like you!

However, this is exactly what NOT to do.

Continue reading "How to Grow Your Business"

Make Your Entrepreneurial Dreams Come True

Are you an online marketer? Or do you simply promote affiliate programs? Marketing is truly the most misunderstood word in use today on the Internet. Let me see if I can clarify this issue just a bit.

In Marketing 101 at your local university, marketing is actually the process of Product, Place, Price and Promotion.


PRODUCT

No business can exist without a product or service to sell.

In a nutshell, entrepreneurs are the people who believe in a product, service or idea, so much that they are willing to invest their lives into the development of their dream.

Continue reading "Make Your Entrepreneurial Dreams Come True"

Women's Small Business Expo, Palms Springs

I didn't really know what to expect other than what I had read on the Women's Small Business Expo web site http://www.womenssmallbusinessexpo.com and what Linda Hollander, the founder, had conveyed to me during my first women networking event in Beverly Hills about two months ago. In short, it was phenomenal! I'm glad I attended the 3-day seminar in Palms Springs, CA at the end of April 2004. First, I really didn't think I was going to go given the fact that most of my time and money were dedicated to my company, which I officially registered about 4 months ago. In fact, because my business was just born, it actually made sense for me to attend.

It was my first business seminar ever. So far, I've mainly seen and heard from my husband how he thinks business should be done, but I have a complete different view. Consequently, you really can't discuss your visions with someone who doesn't share your approach on how to do business. As a result you start doubting yourself after a while, right? You start doubting yourself because you don't know any more than what lies within the barriers of your daily environment. You can't really know anything different unless you get to taste a glimpse what lies beyond those barriers. No one is going to break those barriers for you. You have to do it yourself. So I did.

Continue reading "Women's Small Business Expo, Palms Springs"

Networking for Work At Home Mothers

There is a myth that in order to be an entrepreneur you have to grow up in a family of entrepreneurs that guided and shaped you. You have to have gone to the best schools and rubbed elbows with movers and shakers.

There is no question that a family like that can make it easier to have a business mind set and self-confidence, but it is not mandatory. Many successful business women did not grow up learning the structure of business. Regardless of your upbringing, you always have the option in adulthood to seek out guides of your own.

Attracting the right guide makes your journey smoother. A guide is someone who sees you for who you are and helps you to find your way. Guides can be teachers, parents, relatives, mentors, coaches, friends, colleagues, organizations, communities, support groups, spiritual teachings, works of art, plays, movies, books, radio and television broadcasts, Internet information or chat sessions or any other encounter with wisdom.

Continue reading "Networking for Work At Home Mothers"

Online Mentorship Programs: Cash in on Your Expertise

Whether you're a former retail store owner known for your creativity, a championship bridge player, or a psychotherapist with a long current waiting list for openings, if you possess expertise that makes colleagues and aficionados want your pearls of wisdom, you can create a new income stream with an online mentorship program.

Such a program charges a fee for people to sit at your feet and learn from you. The program would have a special focus (not for everyone) and offer information, resources, advice, insider tips and problem solving. While a mentorship program could take place in the "real world," it is especially easy to set it up, promote and run it online.

Continue reading "Online Mentorship Programs: Cash in on Your Expertise"

All Successful Entrepreneurs Do This

Everyone wants to make money! Some want to make money by owning their own business. All successful entrepreneurs have the self discipline to build their business. Most of us have heard the saying "you need money to make money". Basically what this means is you must invest money in your business if it's to make money. Some 24% of all startup small businesses fail within two years. That's because the life of your business depends on you during these early years. If you must depend on the business it will probably fail. The first years of a business rarely show profit, because you are re-investing your money back in it. Most of us spend money on entertainment, whether it's eating out at nice restaurants, movies, cars, bikes, games, big toys, etc..... Some of us can come up with cash for our online business by not eating out one time a month! That should not be so hard to do, as lots of us are spending more and more money on weight loss products!

Continue reading "All Successful Entrepreneurs Do This"

How Entrepreneurship & Ecology Together Can Protect and Improve Your Bottom Line

Now our business decisions determine not just our profit but the survival of our businesses, our communities, and our world. Three bottom lines not one determine a successful business:

Profit. Environmental Benefit. Social Benefit.

How can we:

Diversify but not lose our focus Broaden our economic base Increase our income, and Provide Benefit to the environment and to society.

Question: Who needs to pay attention to the combining of entrepreneurship and ecology?

Continue reading "How Entrepreneurship & Ecology Together Can Protect and Improve Your Bottom Line"

How To Think Like an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs don't think like regular employees. The first step in starting your own business is starting to think like an entrepreneur.

Too many people are trying to start their home businesses with an ordinary employee's way of thinking. This has become a common reason why not long after sitting down and giving it a fair look into even the most lucrative business opportunity they bump into, they put it away and decide not to take any chances.

What has happened here is that the most lucrative business opportunity has been looked into by an ordinary 9-to-5-worker, who appears NOT to be business-minded.

If you are like most people, you have probably considered starting your own business yourself. But above all, you have to understand that to make into a successful Business Entrepreneur, one has to change their way of thinking first.

Continue reading "How To Think Like an Entrepreneur"

Away Time – Critical to Your Business

Many of us start new projects, news jobs, or implement changes in the spring. The season gives us the "new beginning" feeling. In business (after we deal with the tax man) we are ready to pursue new challenges. It's the time many take their first steps into the business world as the owner/manager of a new venture.

These first steps can be exciting, challenging, scary, rewarding and sometimes bring forth completely unexpected events! The question is "Will you, the entrepreneur, be in control of your new endeavor or will it control you?" The answer to this question will be a MAJOR factor in determining the outcome of your business venture.

Most new business owners have planned for the "how to's" and "what for's" and "what if's" but many fail to account for time away from the business. That "away" time is critical to the outcome of the venture. Sure at startup, regardless of how well you have planned, the unexpected happens - the parts don't come in, the contractor don't finish on time, the whatever doesn't work right and the list goes on. Startup is a time-devouring monster. It demands 40 hours everyday it seems and rightfully so. You will have to give it that extra time if you are to be successful. BUT after the startup phase - and that will vary depending on the size and complexity of the business - plan for "away" time!

Continue reading "Away Time – Critical to Your Business"
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