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Business Letter

Want to Start a Business? Start With These Five Things

Like any other major endeavor, figuring out where to start in launching a business can be the toughest part. Of course, the path to successful entrepreneurship is long and winding with innumerable steps, but just getting started can be enough to build the momentum you need. Here are, in no particular order, the first five things you can do to get ready to strike out on your own.
1. Evaluate Business Ideas
Some would-be entrepreneurs know exactly what business they want to start, others have no idea but just want to work for themselves. Either way, it is essential to realistically assess your ideas and options before you spend money on it. Do some cursory research into the market and competition. Think about what you would need to get the business started. Talk to others (family, friends, networking contacts) about your ideas and listen for useful feedback. The more background work you do in evaluating your business ideas, the easier it will be to hone in on the best opportunity for you.
2. Make a Commitment
If you are serious about taking the plunge into entrepreneurship, you need to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself. Set a deadline for taking the next step (choosing which business to start, beginning the business planning process, opening date) and figure out what needs to be done to get there. In most cases, finding the time to do the planning is difficult, so work on clearing time in your schedule to focus on your goal of entrepreneurship. Figure out what will keep you motivated to stay on track and set yourself up for success.
For example, gather some pictures or symbols of why you want to be an entrepreneur and place them prominently where you will see them frequently. It sounds cheesy, but can be very effective reminders to get you through the tedious aspects of starting a business.
3. Save Up
Bootstrapping a startup is a good way to keep costs under control, but it doesn’t make it free. Every business requires some capital to succeed, and the cash usually comes straight from the owner’s pocket. Even if you are planning to find investors or loans, you will need to show that you are risking your own assets before they will hand over theirs. Don’t count on finding grants for your startup – they are few and far between for new businesses and those that do exist usually have significant restrictions on how they can be spent. At a minimum, try to save between $3,000 and $5,000, more if your startup requires commercial facilities or inventory.
4. Get Organized
Before you dive into planning your business startup, get organized for success. In most cases your business planning will happen in a workspace at home. Select an office space with limited distractions and the tools you will need to work (desk space, internet connection, good lighting). Gather up basic office supplies and stock your workspace. Start using a planner to schedule your days so you are in the habit of managing your time.
Take care of any lingering projects around the house so you will not be tempted to avoid the tedious parts of your startup. Take a good look at what you currently do with your time and evaluate ways to open up some blocks of time for your business. The more organized you are before you start planning, the easier it will be to stay on track.
5. Start Talking
Talk up your plans with friends & family and whomever else you find yourself chatting with. Making this effort now does several things to help you succeed. First, telling others about your plans can “seal the deal” are likely to be more committed to making progress and they will provide support and encouragement as you go along. Second, you may be surprised at what you hear when you talk to others about your startup. Many will have knowledge or skills you were unaware of (which could turn out to be a great help), and listening to reactions to your business idea can help you modify and refine your plan to greater success. Third, talking about your plans to people you know will develop your networking skills. Whatever your business idea, networking with other entrepreneurs, customers, and suppliers is an essential key to success. The sooner you become comfortable and confident in talking about your business the better.…

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Business Letter

Small Business Advice – Convert Prospects to Clients With This

I remember the conversation vividly. An entrepreneurial couple came to me for help because of a chronic problem with late payments from clients and the impact was, of course, their own financial struggle. I listened to what was happening and suggested they change their business model to require payment up front.
They said “Oh we couldn’t do that – no-one would pay us up front. No-one in our field does that.” I asked why and they didn’t really have a good reason other than being afraid that they would lose business if they asked for payment up front.
What I suggested next, however, brought on an immediate gasp and even more fear. But in fact, when they got past that fear and implemented this strategy, they easily got payment up front AND converted more prospects to paying clients.
The answer was to require payment up front AND include a guarantee. The word “guarantee” for some reason, makes a lot of entrepreneurs fearful. They are deathly afraid that if they offer an guarantee, they will end up refunding money to client after client.
But in fact, that’s just a fear. If you are 100% confident in the product or service you provide as a small business owner, offering a guarantee should be a no-brainer. Here’s how:
Guarantee the results:
If you have a track record of proven results in business, and you are confident in your ability to help your client achieve the result, then there’s no reason you couldn’t guarantee that result. One of my clients is a makeup artist. Having done hundreds of brides, she was confident in guaranteeing natural, flawless makeup application that lasts throughout their wedding day. That’s a result her clients are always looking to achieve, so it was a brilliant focus for her in converting prospects to clients.
Guarantee the service:
If service is of high importance to your client, it could very well be the thing to focus on in your guarantees. It can be the level of service you provide. For example, you can guarantee that your client will always get a response from you within a certain time frame.
Guarantee the experience:
Depending on the type of product or service you offer, you can also guarantee the experience your client would have. It’s similar to the service guarantee, but focused on what your client would experience after having done business with you. For example, if your clients tend to be afraid of the hassles in your industry, you can guarantee them a hassle-free experience.
Guarantee that they’ll be fully equipped:
For some services that depend on the client’s commitment to taking action, it may not be possible to guarantee the results. That’s because you have no control over how much action they take. However, you can certainly guarantee that they will walk away with everything they need to achieve the precise result they were seeking. For example, when I do a live workshop, I guarantee that my attendees will walk away with the exact formula for attracting a steady stream of clients like a magnet to their businesses.
So what’s your guarantee? Overall, it is important to pay close attention to the key objections or hesitations your prospects may have and insert some powerful guarantees around those objections so that you can easily convert prospects into paying clients.…

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Business Letter

What’s Your RROI?

You’ve had numerous conversations about your ROI-the Return on Investment-your company achieves.
But what about your RROI-the Redefined Reality on Investment-you achieve?
Think of your RROI as what’s different-new and improved-about your business and lifestyle since you started your company. If you previously worked for someone else, what’s better now that you own a business?
A desire to Redefine our Reality is the #1 reason most of us buy or create our own company. But is your investment of time, energy, and money redefining your reality in the ways you imagined?
Give your attention to three key areas within your business to truly Redefine your Reality through your Investment:
Unique Contribution
What primary activities do you invest your most valuable resources-time, energy, and attention-in daily?
Are they activities that are uniquely yours, i.e., tasks that you do best, that maximize your profits of money and lifestyle? Or, are they lower-producing duties that someone else could do, either outsourced or by an employee?
We all start out doing everything, which is part of the entrepreneurial blessing and curse-blessing because at first, we feel the need to do it all; curse because we’re just good enough to think we have to do it all the time.
You define your USP-Unique Selling Proposition-that distinguishes you from the competition. Have you defined your UCP-Unique Contribution Personal-that you make to your business that is yours and yours alone to do?
To grow your RROI and receive the lifestyle you want, define your UCP and be vigilant in outsourcing or employing everything else.
Core Values
How do you achieve your unique contribution daily at work?
For many of us, we start with high ideals, expressing our desire to do business differently; core values like integrity, honesty, commitment to exceptional customer care, etc. But after we do business a while, we get worn down, particularly if we are still doing it all. Less beneficial core values sneak into our practices.
These unpreferred core values come in via the cracks of our business kind of like the “stink bugs” that somehow keep finding their way into our home this spring. Despite our best efforts to seal and spray, these odiferous critters show up in the strangest places.
What stinky core values creep into the way you do business? The intense pressure this negative world brings to bear on us today as business owners provides opportunities to either shine or stink.
To grow your RROI and receive the lifestyle you want, define your core values and guard your business practices as a valuable asset.
Focused Priorities
When the phone rings, the email bings, the Facebook messages sing, the Twitter feed dings, and the text messages ping, you understand this is an ADD world. Getting your UCP done while driven by your core values sounds good, but is like trying to do physics while caring for a toddler…
…which makes it all the more important for you to focus laser-like on your priorities. All of that technology has a place, second place, to your focused priorities.
Remember: you pay the bills for all of this technology. Find the “on/off” button. Use it.
Focus your priorities on your UCP, driven by your core values, and be amazed as your RROI-Redefined Reality on Investment-emerges in front of your very eyes.
The business owner lifestyle you imagined becomes yours as you Work Positive.…

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Business Letter

Useful Advice On How To Choose A Locksmith

There are a few things you need to consider before hiring a locksmith. Get prepared in advance. In this article, you will find advice that will help you find the best contractor for the job. Keep reading and keep this information in mind.

Before you hire a locksmith, research his background. It’s important that the locksmith you hire has your best interests at heart. Some locksmiths are scammers and will make copies of your keys.

Even if a locksmith is something you will never have need for, it is good to be prepared. Do some homework in advance to know a trustworthy professional you can rely on in an emergency situation. You can save their number in your phone, putting it at your fingertips in case of emergency.

Try getting a locksmith who stays up to date with the locksmith community. While it’s not a necessity, knowing that your locksmith is up to date on current trends and technological developments can be very reassuring. It also assures you that you won’t get scammed.

Check the locksmiths credentials before they enter your home. Once he does give them, take the initiative to call them. You surely want the best possible services from someone you know to be trustworthy.

Check that the locksmith is who they claim to be prior to allowing them entry to your home. Double check the address listed is real and connects with the phone number you were given. With easy online access, you can double check anyone you want to hire.

While it’s cool to look for a low price on locksmith services, be wary if it’s too low. They may not have a lot of experience, or may be desperate for work. Try to pick a locksmith that does not charge at the high or low end of your quotes.

Find a locksmith before you actually require one. You won’t have many choices if you put it off until you have been locked out of the car or house. You also risk someone shady having your keys.

Don’t hire locksmiths after you only consider one. Calling from three to as many as five individual locksmiths is a good way to get a range of prices. You will know what the rates are with various companies. After you have determined the going rate, you will be able to make a better decision in hiring a locksmith.

Before trusting a locksmith with your keys, ask for a referral list of their customers. Most businesses are happy to provides references, and it is important to actually call the referred customers. Find out how trustworthy and reliable locksmiths are and the amount they charge for off-hours and emergencies.

It is not logical to wait until you find that you cannot unlock the door to your car or home in order to locate an good locksmith. Locksmith companies should be thoroughly checked out prior to using their services. Hopefully you have learned some valuable tips from this article to hire the best locksmith possible.…

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Business Letter

What Every Business Needs To Know About Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing may be important to business planning, but it can be difficult to learn and create a great marketing plan. There is so much to learn both on the marketing side and the technical side. Listed below in this article are some simple steps that will help you have a successful mobile marketing strategy.

Your customers are the reason you are working. Knowing the goals and desire of your buyers is the fundamental principle of mobile marketing. When you are applying your services in a manner that is not in line with the desires of the customer, you are unlikely to see much profit. Find out more about your audience to answer their needs.

QR codes are being used more and more on advertisements to appeal to the smartphone-using audience. That way, people using smart phones will be able to easily visit your web site for access to your special promotions or coupon offers. Put these codes everywhere, including fliers, catalogs, and even your own business card. A person that takes the time to use a QR code is likely interested in your company. Offering these on your printed ads and marketing material makes it easy for them to find out more.

When composing your mobile website copy, be succinct. Make sure your site is filled with good information and not just there for keyword stuff. Mobile marketing is all about concise advertising.

Creating a mission statement will be highly beneficial for staying focused with social mobile marketing. This will make it easier to stay focused.

You need to have a home base if you are developing a mobile platform that will stand alone. Your campaign is about getting people to your home base or bringing them back to it. Avoid developing an entire business around your mobile platform.

Make sure your first campaign is successful before you start a new mobile marketing campaign. Take into account the longevity of the campaign in addition to the sales numbers. Base the creation of your new campaign on the success formula of your old one.

When you are getting started in mobile marketing, you need to learn everything you can regarding how mobile devices work and how they display information so you can tailor your ad material accordingly. View your campaign on as many different mobile and smart phones as possible to test out your ads, links and other interactive materials from the perspecitve of a consumer.

Think about creating a free app for your customers. The process is easy, and customers love receiving free applications. You could create an application specific to your business and up the results of your mobile marketing efforts. There are a lot of services that assist in designing apps, and a lot of features these apps could offer to your customers.

As you can see, mobile marketing is the wave of the future, and you need to know how to use it to generate leads and make sales. It will be easier to understand what you need. Understanding the information and tips offered above is good way to take the first steps in launching a mobile marketing campaign.…

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Business Letter

Tips On How To Choose A Reliable Locksmith

Having a beautiful home means protecting it. Would you get any random person to install a security system? No, you’d hire him for the job he does, just like hiring a locksmith to deal with your security system. No matter what kind of job you need done, the hints in this article will allow you to hire the best person for the job.

If you’re locked outside of your home, don’t listen to those locksmiths that tell you to replace your lock right away. A good locksmith can open virtually any door with no need for a replacement of the lock. It’s usually unnecessary for you to spend more money to replace a lock.

Be careful when you get a quote from a locksmith and then they raise the price on you later. Some will try and get more money than they deserve. Never work with someone who tries to pull this trick.

Preparation is key, even if you don’t think you’ll hire a locksmith down the road. If you know someone good you can call them in an emergency. Then, save the number in your mobile phone.

Once you have paid a locksmith, ask for a receipt. Many locksmiths are honest, but some cannot be trusted. Proof of payment is a must. Keep the receipt to ensure you have it available if a payment issue comes up later.

If a locksmith quotes you one price by phone, then tries to up the price upon arrival, tell them you will do business with someone else. There are plenty of honest locksmiths out there, so do not do business with someone who isn’t straight with you.

If the time allows, quickly check any locksmith you’re thinking of calling on the Internet. Review sites like Angie’s List can be a huge help. This will help you to get the best possible locksmith. You should also check the Better Business Bureau too determine if the locksmith you are thinking of hiring is in good standing.

Before you allow a locksmith to enter you home, their credentials should be verified. This can be done by cross-referencing the business address listed with the phone number. Due to the Internet, you can easily check a person out to see if you can trust them. Be sure you do not forget this important step.

Be sure that the locksmiths you try to hire will show you an ID prior to you making your appointment. This will help to ensure you have the proper person handling your locks. A professional will typically also have a uniform, but identification is necessary.

Be leery of hiring a locksmith that charges well below the price quotes of their competitors. This could indicate the individual is not that qualified. Find someone who charges a reasonable price and has good reviews.

You wouldn’t hire anyone other than an electrician to do work on wiring, so hire locksmiths to take care of locks. Do you know how to find a professional you can trust? Use the tips listed here. They will put you on the right path.…

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Business Letter

This About Your Most Pressing Locksmith

Protecting your home is a must. You don’t want anything less than a quality job done. No, you’d hire him for the job he does, just like hiring a locksmith to deal with your security system. Whatever the job may be, the following tips will help you hire a great locksmith.

If a locksmith tries to tell you that you need to replace a lock completely when you have locked yourself out, find a different locksmith. A skilled locksmith will be able to get the door unlocked without needing to replace your current lock. Replacing your lock will just end up unnecessarily costing you money.

When you paint your home, always cover the locks before painting the door. You will have to get a locksmith out if the hole is sealed because you won’t get your key to fit in. This may take time, but it will be worth it in the end.

You may think you’ll never need a locksmith, but you should be prepared just in case. Ask family and friends about reputable locksmiths in the area, or consult trade associations and the Better Business Bureau for leads. Save your locksmith’s phone number in your phone just so that you always have it.

If you get a price by phone and they try to charge you more when they arrive, tell them you won’t utilize their services again. There are many scammers out there who want to rip you off.

Before permitting a locksmith in your house, get some references from him. You should do this in advance, before you actually need them. Not only do you want the highest quality in technical services, you really need to know that you can trust this person completely.

Ask how long a locksmith has been in business. Also, you should be sure that they’ve been doing work at the same place for a while. Companies between 5 and 10 years old in an area are probably reliable.

Check the identification of the locksmiths when they arrive. Tell the person you’re speaking with on the phone that you expect proper identification to be shown. A professional should be in uniform, too.

Before you hire a locksmith, make sure to ask them how long they have been in business. If it’s been active for a long time, most likely the company is one that you can trust. While experience does not equal trustworthiness, you want to hire someone who has been established as reputable and trustworthy.

You should check with any previous customers before you trust a locksmith with your keys. Many businesses can give you a list of references, so try calling them. Knowing how dependable the locksmith will be and how much he or she will charge is very helpful.

You wouldn’t hire anyone other than an electrician to do work on wiring, so hire locksmiths to take care of locks. But finding a trusting locksmith is not that simple. You just have to use the tips found here. Those suggestions will lead to the highest quality professional around.…