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Starting A Business

Business Building: Does In Person Networking Still Make Sense?

In a high tech world where it is virtually possible to survive and run a business over the web without ever leaving your bedroom, does in person, face to face networking still make sense?
Of course some will argue that in person networking is now obsolete and is completely unnecessary. Certainly with social networking and how comfortable people are now with doing business via their mobile devices you could still make great connections purely via the Internet and never have to step foot out of your home. In many ways you could say that it is definitely more cost effective and better time management not to do face to face meetings or attend networking events.
However, in a new business environment dominated by the web and Internet companies it is clear that those who do get out from behind the curtain and embrace real world engagement with other real people can gain a major advantage over the competition. You may have the best prices in world, the coolest outsourcing network set up that allows you to run staff on three different continents, 24 hours a day and the catchiest slogans, but at the end of the day people buy people, not slick websites. If you are the only one out there making a personal connection you could have a major advantage over the competition regardless of price.
You do need to be careful about budget when getting out and doing in person networking. If you aren’t watching the bottom line it is easy to blow a lot of money and time on unprofitable meetings, not to mention gas, fancy restaurants, bar tabs for entertaining and more. However, when people are able to put a face to a name they are much more likely to bite on big ticket sales items, forge new strategic partnerships and sign checks much faster, all which can mean much bigger profit margins and taking your business to the next level much faster than you thought possible.
So, yes in person networking definitely still makes sense in a lot of industries. Be sensible about it, but if you block out even a couple hours a week to attend networking functions at the Chamber of Commerce, put together mastermind luncheons or even hang out with the right crowd you will find it can have a huge positive impact on your business and enable great growth. Worst case scenario, getting out will at least provide a better balance in your life and open the door to new inspiration for fueling your venture to new highs.…

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The Business

Starting a Business? Successful Marketing Focuses on Your Customer’s Needs

The primary purpose of starting a business (at least in most cases) is to make money, and lots of it. Entrepreneurs pick a business idea they are sure will be popular, with product and service features they know will be irresistible to consumers. Their thoughts are filled with how many customers they need to meet their projections, how much traffic they need to draw, and how the operations can be streamlined. They are sure that once they have all the details worked out, the customers will show up in droves.
Very often, this confidence in their venture spills over into their marketing materials such that the messages they deliver are misfocused on how great the business, products or services are. Unfortunately, this classic approach is no longer effective. Today’s consumers are more knowledgeable and savvy than ever they are far more concerned with what your product can do for them. The new adage for defining marketing efforts must be Ask not what your customer can do for you, but what your business can do for your customers!
Every bit of your marketing effort, from the website to personal sales to follow-up contact, must be completely customer-centric. Everything you think about your venture needs to start and end with your target market. They don’t care what you need, what you want, or how you feel. They only want to know what your products or services are going to do for them. Just remember, it’s not about you, it’s all about the customer.
Define your venture’s marketing messages by the benefits your customers will receive by doing business with you. Know the features of your products, but reframe those into direct benefits for your customers. People want to know how your product will make them better, happier, more attractive, or solve some other problem in their world. For example, a mobile oil-change service has the feature of “oil changes at your home or office.” Better to focus on the benefit of “saves you time and keeps your car on the road.”
Identify your venture’s USPs (Unique Selling Propositions), or what makes your business stand out over the competition. Three separate USPs are good, especially if each of the three targets the primary needs of different market segments. Of course, to define your USPs as benefits rather than features, you will need to know your target markets inside and out, in order to define the benefit that will draw them in.
One way to improve your marketing messages is to personalize the appeals. Use testimonials from satisfied customers and anecdotes about situations that your products improved. Emotional appeals are much stronger than factual appeal, regardless of the audience. Of course, the facts and statistics about your product should be available, but a laundry list of data isn’t likely to sway too many consumers.
Focus on showing customers what your products will do for them and how it will make their lives better. We are all pummeled by hundreds of marketing messages each day — make yours stand out, strike a chord, tug on the heartstrings, and leave customers wanting more.…

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Small Business Ideas

The One Essential Ingredient For Starting a Business – Persistence

What is the one thing you must have that will compensate for all other problems, short comings and obstacles you will face in your journey to start your business? Persistence is the only quality you really need to make it through everything else.
It is very simple but that is all it will take. You can be very smart but if you give up too soon you won’t get there. You can have a great idea but if you let negative events cause you to quit you aren’t going to get there.
Lots of people who don’t consider themselves especially smart or gifted or even hard working have achieved their goals just by doggedly moving forward no matter what kind of problem cropped up. Other people who seemingly had everything going for them failed because they decided they couldn’t or didn’t want to follow through to the end.
The key to staying persistent is to know exactly what the end goal is and then break down the steps to get there into small and manageable steps so you can complete each one in sequence and always know you are moving closer to your goal. If you simply resolve not to quit until you complete each step and then always resolve to move on to the next step once you’ve completed the one before you will find it impossible to stop and the path forward will always be clear so that all you will have to do is continue to make a little progress towards your next intermediate goal each day until you reach the very end.
I guarantee that if you are persistent and always look for a solution to whatever problem comes up and refuse to quit until you have gotten what you want then eventually you will get there. It won’t always be easy and it won’t always be smooth but eventually you will get to the end result.
I also promise that wishful thinking and planning without taking action will never result in you achieving the goal. It just doesn’t work that way and there is no reason to expect an exception in your case.
Many people are disappointed to find out there really isn’t a trick or secret that will simply give them everything they want without any work but those people will always be disappointed and complaining that life isn’t fair and that things are too hard. That’s fine.
I think they are wrong, though. What could be fairer than rewarding the people who are willing to do the most and keep at it after others quit with ultimate success?
If you want you can have it no matter what point you are starting from and what point you are aiming at. All it takes is not quitting even when quitting seems like the best option and a lot easier than continuing.
So the only question that remains is are you going to start and once you start are you going to finish? Many already have. Now it is your turn to do it.…

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Profitability

Starting a Small Business? Should You Keep Your Day Job?

To work or not to work during ‘s a tough question for many entrepreneurs. There are two primary pulls either way — a full-time startup gets your full attention and shortens the time to making money, but working during startup keeps the bills paid and provides a back-up plan for the risk of going out on your own. The best option for you depends on a number of factors, and with either method it is essential that you manage your time and money effectively.
Business Type
The type of business you are planning to start is the first consideration in whether to launch full-time or part-time. There are some ventures that require you to be available during the standard workweek — 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. If your current job includes these hours, it may be impossible to get your business off the ground. The best option in those cases is to develop a complete plan for your business while still employed, including a full marketing plan, budget, and beginning to network. The more developed your business idea, the more clear it will be when the best time to commit full-time will be.
Available Capital
The amount of capital you have for your startup is another critical factor. If you haven’t developed a full startup budget yet, do so before you quit your day job. Startup costs are easy to underestimate, especially without working through the details of the business idea. In addition to the actual startup costs, you will need enough cash to keep your personal bills covered. Often, entrepreneurs discover the hard way that the few thousand they thought would be sufficient disappears rapidly once work starts on the they end up going back to work anyway. Set a realistic budget based on a realistic time frame for getting the venture off the ground before you commit to full-time entrepreneur status.
If You Decide to Start Part Time
If you do decide to keep a job while working on your business, your first priority is to get organized. You will have to master time and task management in order to make reasonable progress on your business idea. The odds are that your work hours aren’t the only time consumers on your schedule, so it is critical to establish dedicated blocks of time to focus on your startup. Eliminate as many time killers as possible and consider getting up a few hours earlier or staying up a few hours later to get the venture going.
Do not even consider using your time on another job to work on your startup. In the first place, it is disrespectful and probably a terminable offense. You won’t want your employees working on outside interests on your time, so you shouldn’t either. In the second place, most professional jobs include provisions within the employment contract that deem all of your work product as owned by the company. Thus, if you create a new or innovative product or service using company assets (even your work computer), they may well have a legitimate lawsuit regarding the rights to your ideas.
If You Decide to Start Full Time
If you decide to quit your job and go after your startup full-time, you still need to take control of your time. Especially if you are working from home, it is very easy to be distracted from the business by daily chores, projects that have been awaiting your attention, even the television. Set yourself a clear work schedule and organize your time as you would if you were working for someone else. Your startup will have to be your priority if you are going to succeed, so expect to commit more hours to the venture than any other job. In fact, the average business owner works 65 or more hours per week, and that’s after the startup period!…

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Small Business Ideas

Common Traits of Billionaires – They Crunch the Numbers – Starting a Business? Do What They Do

A recent article provided by stated that one of the most common traits that all billionaires share is the ability to crunch numbers. But what does this mean exactly? After all, everyone has taken math in school or can use a calculator. So, why aren’t more people wealthy?
Surprisingly, many people go into business without taking the time to really sit down and analyze what it’s going to take to make a profit in the business that they have chosen. Many simply decide to rent or lease a property, stock inventory, open the doors and hope for the best. While this scenario may work for some, it’s best to make a study of several factors that determine to a large measure the chances of any commercial success. Here are some tips on how you can “crunch the numbers” for your particular business and succeed.
Billionaire investors often buy commercial buildings, shopping malls, luxury hotels, trade in stocks and commodities, and invest in hedge funds. When they enter a trade or buy a property, they already have made an in-depth study of the numbers that factor into such a transaction or deal. What are the traffic patterns, for example, that pass by a particular corner, the buying habits of the clientele, the average salaries of people who live in the area, the cultural composition of the neighborhood, the nature of the competition, etc.? Crunching the numbers can give a real indication of the potential success or failure of any enterprise. Put the odds, in other words, as much in your favor as possible. Be smart when you enter the business waters, because once you dive in, there’s no turning back.…

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Starting A Business

Business Planning For Beginners

If you’re on the verge of starting a new business venture, then you must have ideas swimming about in your head, just waiting to be taken advantage of. But with too many ideas, and with no distinct place to start, things might go awry. You need a systematic, planned approach when it comes to starting a business, one in which your short term and long term goals are clearly underlined, and will be practical, effective and will work. It’s not as hard as people make it out to be. If you have your business goals planned out, then all you have to do is follow these plans step by step, one at a time. Starting something in a well organized manner always pays off.
Some Guidelines Follow:
– First and foremost comes your table of contents, where every little detail, starting from your mission statement, to the services you provide and the products you sell, the current number of people employed, and information regarding market research, could be organized and set out clearly.
– Attachments and appendix materials are important since your business plans might be reviewed by investors and partners, and can also boost your online business planning strategy. Therefore, it is recommended you collect them.
– What helps more than anything is creating a list of essential points and topics. This will go a long way in lending a sense of oneness to your business plans as well as help create a map of sorts with which it’ll become easy to review or go over everything. And if you’re not certain as to what the exact starting point might be, this becomes all the more useful and effective as organizing things become a snap.
– Assignment of projects and tasks for each section can prove to be extremely helpful, as each point in the to-do list you have made is further broken down into even more accessible and practical steps. This way, it becomes so much more easy to keep a track of everything at every moment.
– Grammar, spelling mistakes might not sound as an important point to consider, but they are. In fact, you would not want first impressions which would have otherwise been perfectly great go awry thanks to some stupid grammar mistakes. This is also the case with errors based on facts. Do a complete check to see if you’ve missed out on anything and to refine the end product and make it suitable.
– An executive summarizing of your small business is a pretty useful step, primarily because your entire plan is shortened and made to read and be understood in an accessible and easy fashion. Later on, if you need to look over your objectives, instead of going through all of them, you could just browse through the summary itself. Basic points and subjects could also be included.
– Sometimes, it helps to have a third person perspective. Your strategies and your plans should be kept strictly confidential, but if you do have a friend or someone trustworthy enough, go ahead and have him or her look over your plans and offer an unbiased viewpoint. He or she might point out certain areas which could be improved. An objective view of everything where all the points are well organized and systematically set out always helps.
Business planning might seem difficult, but in truth it is not. It takes a little effort on your part, but at the end of the day your objective is to list out the basic points in a easy to access manner, so that glancing through it will get your memories jogged instantly. Then, each point could be further broken up for convenience’s sake and soon, your business will turn out a grand success.…

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Small Business

5 Businesses to Start From Home in Order for You to Get Rid of Your Job and Have Your Freedom

Are you tired of trying to impress your Boss? Or are you becoming frustrated of not being able to voice out your creative ideas? Have you constantly wondered how it is to be free from all the work related stress that you encounter everyday but are afraid that you might be broke if you lose your job?
Well, worry no more because there is certainly a way for you to enjoy your life without having to worry about things like deadlines and irate bosses. Start your home based business today!
Here are 5 ideas for businesses from home that you could probably try.
Online Shop
With the demand for online shops these days, you won’t have so much difficulty in trying to look for clients. More and more people feel that it is easier for them to do their shopping online simply because it is more convenient for them. This is especially true to those with busy work schedules.
You would only need a reliable internet connection and a little capital for you to start business. You don’t exactly have to sell brand new items; rather, you can buy and sell online. There are a lot of options that you can choose from when you venture into this business to start from home.
Computer Specialist
Being computer literate can take you very far these days too. Like starting an online shop, this type of business venture is brought about by people relying on computers for their convenience. Because of this, any problem or assistance that they may need is very in demand.
Computers are people’s partner in their daily lives and most are busy with their hectic schedules. So being a computer specialist is one of the most in demand home based businesses to run nowadays.
Events Planner
If you are creative and patient enough to plan details, then being an events planner is just the perfect job for you. You can enjoy being in this job while you earn. This is also perfect because most people nowadays love to enjoy parties and events without having to bother about details.
You can read articles or e-learning websites about new ideas that you could probably incorporate into your own business to add originality and variety.
Arts and Crafts
In starting this kind of business, you also will need to invest a little capital and a lot of your creativity. It actually depends on you and your budget planning on how big you want your arts and crafts business. There are a lot of retail shops that you can supply your products or if you can, you can put up your own shop at home where you can display your artworks.
With the increase in the demand to see beauty and creativity these days, you will be able to attract people with your talent while earning the bucks. Isn’t that a fun way to earn?
Family Restaurant
This is also becoming a common business to start from home. Who wouldn’t want to eat good food right? So if you think that you have the best recipes for delicious dishes as well the space to put up a family restaurant, you might probably want to start your own. I know it needs relatively more capital than some other home based businesses; this is also the business where you could earn faster.
Why do you think home based businesses are so attractive to aspiring entrepreneurs these days? Well basically because being in a home based business can free you from all the stress that you can experience from working in a corporate setting. It also allows you more time for yourself because time is more manageable without jeopardizing your capability to earn.
There can be a lot of advantages to starting your own business from home. Stress-free is just one. Your brilliant mind can come up lots of ideas for business to start from home. So start your own business from home today and be your own boss.…