5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting Into Business!

1. Where do I want to be in five years. This is a good question to ask yourself. In today’s highly competitive world one must have a clear vision of who he wants to be and where he wants to be within 5 years. I often find people that are approaching their fifth year in business, making a reasonable income but utterly frustrated with the amount of hours that they have to put in or frustrated with the type of work that they are forced to do, others just feel trapped and are looking for change.
Decide where you want to be in 5 years, write down on a piece of clean white paper where you want to be in 5 years professionally, socially, emotionally, physically, spiritually and economically. You gotta do it, as they say, if you don’t know where you are going any road will take you. If your not good at this get someone to help you.
The Question: What do I want my life to be in 5 years?
2. Do I have the shear will to compete and succeed at the business I have chosen and furthermore do I have the shear determination to follow my 5 year vision. Most successful business owners I’ve met have above average abilities and that’s what allows them to leave the job market and set off on their own. Many unsuccessful business people I meet have average abilities and are better suited for employment of some sort. So make a honest evaluation of yourself, don’t get caught up in the romanticism related to business. Be realistic about your own abilities, it will save you much time and money.
The Question: Do I have what it takes to make it?
3. If you are having trouble with the question above maybe this will help. They say that failure is the path of least resistance. So going further in evaluating ourselves, lets look at our track record. If you are a constant procrastinator and rarely get things done right this maybe a bad sign. If you often fail, quit, give up on things, well that’s not a good sign either. But if you follow through and stick it out most of the time, there is hope.
The Question: Whats the rest of your life look like?
4. What type of team do I have to make this thing happen? Throughout my professional career I have seen many individuals who claim to have a business but are actually self-employed. There is a big difference. Owning a business, you must have a team even if only one other person. Setting out on a mission alone is noble but hinders your growth and many times leads to failure. Working alone is a difficult prospect even for the most introverted of us.
The Question: Do you have a team?
5. Do I understand accounting is a very important question to ask yourself. People who do not understand the basics of accounting are detached from a core function of a successful business. It like trying to take a jump shot without jumping. A lot can be gained by a few prep courses in basic accounting so that this important portion of your business is not a foggy corner that you hate to visit.
People often ask me, can’t I just get an accountant? Yes you can and you will need too to handle tax issues but he will not run your business for you, that’s your job.
The Question: Do I understand accounting? (If you don’t, you better learn.)
In conclusion I submit that being honest with oneself at the outset can save a lot of time, money and headache. There is a very thin line between doing business and throwing money in the toilet.…

Read more

The Top 5 Mistakes New Entrepreneurs Make When Establishing Their Rates

For new entrepreneurs, sometimes it can be difficult to decide what you want to charge for your services, and understand how to bring together your dreams and desires while still making the math work; you have the dream, but where does that break down into cold, hard cash? Here are 5 pitfalls that I see happen time and again with new entrepreneurs:
They don’t begin with the end in mind. New entrepreneurs are often so worried about making a living that they don’t consider being selective with their hours or clients. The set an hourly rate that forces them to reach their income goal through volumes of meetings and work! This is a perfect way to wear yourself out and begin to feel like you’re just punching a clock again.
They only use their gut to decide what they should be charging. Checking in with your internal body compass is a great way to assess if you’re on the right track, however, so many people tell themselves “stories” about their money that sometimes this isn’t the most effective method-most new entrepreneurs get a knot in their stomach just from thinking about charging someone, so you have to get past that story before you can objectively look at pricing.
They are starting part-time and defer the decision. Some new entrepreneurs tell themselves, “I’m transitioning from my existing job and doing this on the side, so I don’t need to start charging what I WANT to charge immediately.” This just defers the inevitable AND causes you to work at the job you want to leave for that much longer!
They don’t use the right math to figure out how to maintain their existing lifestyle. Most new entrepreneurs use their salary from their last job to determine what they need to maintain their life, but being an employee and being a self-employed business owner are so different financially that new entrepreneurs lose time and money because of miscalculated assumptions.
They under value the experience they have. Many new entrepreneurs are paralyzed by the thought that part of their rate is a reflection of experience and mistakenly think “small” when setting their rate. What new entrepreneurs need to realize is experience is subjective, and the actual game changer is the level of confidence they have in their direction! Each one of us was put here to offer something unique to others.
One of the reasons a person decides to become self employed is improving their bottom line, yet sometimes the thinking that caused them to originally be frustrated with their finances will also bring those same issues into their new business.
When new entrepreneurs only look at what they are comfortable charging, and they don’t figure out what they should be charging, there’s bound to be setbacks. Avoiding these pitfalls will ensure that the new entrepreneur does not waste time or money when launching their new venture!…

Read more

Reducing Your Risks When Starting a New Business

There are a number of ways that you can substantially reduce or eliminate a number of the risks of starting a new business. Foremost, the best way to ensure that your new company will be profitable is to develop a highly focused demographic analysis that showcases the need for your products and services within your respective market. If you are thinking of starting a small business then it may be in your best interest to talk to local residents to see whether or not they need the products or services that you intend to sell. Prior to starting any business, you should complete an extensive competitive analysis that will allow you to understand how many other businesses are offering products or services that are identical or substantially similar to what you intend to provide.
One of the best ways to reduce business start up risk is to initially develop a website that showcases the services that you offer. You can then advertise this website by using popular pay per click programs to drive traffic to this website. If you receive a significant amount of inquiries regarding your services then you may be able to effectively start your company as a home based business before you move into a formal location. Many highly successful companies initially started as home based businesses. As such, if you are able to provide your services from your home then you will be in an excellent position to determine whether or not you should continue to grow and expand this business in a formal capacity. However, it should be noted that using this type of technique is only appropriate for new businesses that offer services.
Additionally, you can always hire a market research firm or business development company to complete an economic viability analysis on your behalf. These companies will essentially use a number of methodologies regarding whether or not a business will be viable from the onset of operations. It should be noted that the expense of using these types of services is extremely high. A formal opinion as to the potential profitability of a business can cost upwards of $5,000. However, this cost is small compared to the typical start up costs associated with launching a new business venture. Of course, it is important to note that very few businesses become profitable within the first six months of operation. These companies will provide you with expert advice as to whether or not there is a significant demand for the products and services that you will sell through your company.
If you are primarily engaged in the sale of products then it may be in your best interest to use a popular third party website that will allow you to sell your products without having to go through the expense of launching a traditional retail location. If you intend to sell products online then you can expect a highly competitive market. One of the ways that companies that sell products online have become successful is by using a number of sales techniques that are coupled with local delivery services. This provides a tremendous benefit to your customer in that they are able to receive their merchandise on the same day that they placed their order.
In conclusion, there are a number of ways that you can reduce or eliminate the risks of business failure by first determining if there is a substantial market for your specific product or service. We strongly recommend that before you engage in any business venture that you work closely with a number of business professionals before you make a substantial investment into developing a new company.…

Read more

Think You Are Ready To Start A Business?

I am contacted all the time by people who want to start a business and need my services, but who don’t realize that they actually aren’t ready. So then what does it take to BE ready to start a business?

The majority of clients who contact me about starting a business only have an idea in their heads. They don’t have a business plan, they haven’t saved up the cash they need for capital expenditures, and they haven’t thought through the costs of actually running and marketing the business. All of these entities are requirements for setting yourself up for success; skipping any or all of them can cause you to stumble later on down the line.

It’s important to note that creating a solid brand takes time and varying amounts of cash. Have you calculated how much money you need to create a website, create your image and brand identity, and create your marketing materials? Have you saved up the money to cover those costs? And if not, are you trying to get started on the cheap by hiring the most inexpensive (and often least professional) help possible, thereby setting yourself up for failure before you even begin?

Lately my advice to new clients has been this: take some time, research your market and competition, write down your expenses, and save some capital to fund your endeavor. When you have done that, I can do my job and help you grow. And you will be ready for success.

So, think you are ready to start a business? Use this list as a reference:

Have you written a business plan?

Have you researched your market and competition?

Do you really know what you need to get started?

Do you have enough money saved to cover your capital expenditures?

Are you capable of funding marketing activities for your business once it’s off the ground, and do you know what those will be?

Have you set goals and targets for your business so that you can gauge whether or not you are being successful?

Starting a business is not an easy endeavor, nor is it a fast one. Because everything in our society is so fast, people want to get their businesses going quickly without having to put in the time and effort.

But remember: you have to do the work first in order to be successful later. Take the time to plan, save, and research so you set yourself up for success. Consult with a professional so that you know what you are doing. That way you have a better chance of achieving the ideas and dreams you are so passionate about.…

Read more

Starting a Business on a Shoestring Budget

Starting a business on a low budget and succeeding sounds quite unrealistic but it holds true when you are talking about an online business. Online businesses have numerous advantages compared to a traditional one. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to get started; even if your idea flops you do not loose a lot of money, and you can promote and sell a variety of products from expensive items to perishables.
Selling your product online also does not require you invent new wheels; all you need to do is to choose the proven ways and get started. This approach will also be helpful in avoiding any scams and fake programs.
When staring a business online with a low budget your first investment would be to buy a domain name and hosting for your online store. Next step is the choice of product. Choose a product that has no inventory. The product should have its worth is today’s debt ridden world and it should help people make there life better.
Now comes the most important thing that is how you market your website to get targeted visitors keeping in view you low budgets. Advertising you business is not a piece of cake it requires hard work and commitment. It’s advisable to keep advertisement budget next to zero. The reason for not spending big sums in the beginning is that you are still in the learning phase and by this tactic you are forced to learn. Once you gather enough knowledge about internet marketing than you can spend bigger amounts on advertisement and it would be called secured investment.
There are number of ways by which you can market your online business. SEO, search engine optimization technique can be used to submit your website to different search engines; you can place a link of your website on other similar websites. Some websites take money just for placing your ads while others charge you when these ads are being clicked. Business with very low budgets can also send emails to targeted customers.
Direct marketing is also an effective and cheap way to market a newly started low budget business. You can reach your audience by posting on different online forums and social networks, inserting fliers in newspaper is also a good direct marketing tool.
Starting a business with a shoestring budget and attaining success is a possibility in today’s world. All you need is a little hard work and motivation.…

Read more

Top Hints And Tips To Find The Best Locksmith

Have you ever needed the services of a locksmith before? If so, you know it can be difficult to find a reasonable locksmith. If not, then you need to be preparde to quickly access one when you need their services. The following article has many suggestions to use when you are looking for a locksmith.

If you find yourself locked out of your house, do not listen to locksmiths who suggest replacing the lock up front. Skilled locksmith professionals should be able to unlock just about any door without having to replace the lock. Replacing locks will cost you more money.

You want to be sure you cover all locks in your home before you begin painting. If you do it wrong, a locksmith will have to be called in. While this does require an extra investment of time, it is certainly worth it.

Be certain to research your choice of locksmith before any work commences. You need to ensure that the person you hire is working for your best interest and not their own. Some locksmiths are scammers and will make copies of your keys.

Don’t take unexpected price increases lightly from a locksmith. This is generally a ploy to take advantage of a person in desperation. If this happens to you, decline services and contact another locksmith.

Even if it seems like you’ll never need to hire a locksmith, it’s always good to be prepared. Find a qualified professional who will be there in an emergency situation. Put a locksmith’s contact number into your cell phone for easy access.

Ask for a receipt from your locksmith. Even though the majority of locksmiths are legitimate, there are always people out there looking to scam you. Get proof that you paid for the service before the locksmith leaves. Put the receipt in a safe place in case a question about the payment arises later on.

If you’re unsure about the reliability of a particular locksmith, you need to look them up on the website of the Better Business Bureau. Contacting the BBB will help prevent you from being scammed. Additionally, the ALOA.org will verify that the locksmith is certified.

If you get a price quote on the phone, but are asked to pay more later on, express your dissatisfaction immediately. There are plenty of honest locksmiths out there, so do not do business with someone who isn’t straight with you.

Prior to allowing a locksmith to come into your home, obtain several references. Then call all of them! You surely want the best possible services from someone you know to be trustworthy.

Inquire about the experience that the locksmith has. Be sure that they’ve been operating from the same location for these years. A company with more than five years of experience would be a good choice.

Locksmiths do many things, but if you are clueless on how to pick one, you are sure to receive poor service. The information listed above will help you find a quality craftsman. This will make sure that you get the best workmanship to your satisfaction.…

Read more

Want To Learn How To Work Wood? These Tips Can Get You Started

It is certainly tough to operate a profitable woodworking enterprise. To be successful at woodworking, you need to be dedicated and put in hard work. This article will give you hints on how to run your woodworking business. Continue reading to learn from this great advice.

Consider making your own sanding blocks that can be used again and again. Make a list of each sandpaper grit that you typically use, and then cut a full six blocks for each from scrap plywood, 3/4″ thick. Cut them to 2.5″ by 4.75″. Use some spray adhesive on your blocks and the cork tile. Stick one block to your cork and be sure to cut your cork flush using a utility knife. Spray the back of a sheet of sandpaper with adhesive and adhere the cork side of the block to it. Finally, trim the sandpaper and label each block.

Stair gauges may be just the ticket for crosscut guides. Just clamp them on your carpenter’s square while making sure they match up. Then mark the notches. Putting them both on the carpenter’s square’s tongue will make an excellent guide for your circular saw.

When you’re working out a budget, you have to think about itemizing the new tools you may have to purchase. It isn’t hard to overlook tools when you are concerned about the cost of wood and accessories for your project. However, if you have to get tools that you do not have, this can break your budget.

If you’re renting a new tool, ask for a brief tutorial. A lot of the time they have specialists that will help you learn to ue the tool more easily than if you tackle it by yourself. Also ask if there are handouts available with tips for tool usage.

Ear protection is vital when you begin a project. Woodworking can be very loud. Exposing your ears to these things for a long time can cause hearing loss. Ear plugs or headphones are very beneficial in the workplace. Whatever choice you make, be sure that they are always worn inside the shop.

Have lots of lighting in your work space. Measurements must be accurate when working with wood. Additionally, sharp tools are frequently used to cut wood. You also have to see well too or else you could get injured or make other mistakes.

Beer is enjoyable on a hot weekend. Just remember, drinking while you work with a saw can have disastrous consequences. Never drink alcohol while working on a project. The same caution applies to the use of prescriptions or illegal drugs.

You should make sure you use the right species of wood for the project you are working on. Avoid using a soft wood for tabletops because it scratches easily. And keep in mind that different woods will have different colors at the end of it all.

As was talked about earlier, being a professional woodworker takes a lot of time, work, and dedication. You need to be educated on what woodworking techniques are the best. Keep all of these tips in mind when looking to improve both yourself and your business.…

Read more