Home Articles Blog Updates Subjects Topics Tips & Guides New Contact Us
adblock creatives to be added later Loose weight without medicines, step by step

Improve your sex life -- overcome your frustration

Survive in Bed Click Here!

Increase your breast size by 2 cups, naturally and without surgery Click Here!
This Single Mother Makes Over $700 per Week Helping Businesses With Their Facebook and Twitter Accounts. You too can earn extra money. Click Here!

Earn money with simple online job works. Click Here!

Discounts at Amazon.com

Eliminate your diabetes, we can help you destroy your diabetes

Self improvement and motivational guru gives simple tips to success - must listen

A foolproof, science based diet that will reduce your weight by 12 to 23 pound Click Here!

Blog

Small Business

 

8 BIG Small Business Mistakes

Do you realize that there are mistakes you can make at various stages of your business’ growth that can be slowly killing it for months or even years if you don’t watch for them?

Well, these mistakes do exist and they are not just reserved for the rookie companies. Many working businesses, including those you might think are “successful” because they’ve been around for 10+ years, are often still making them…and are possibly losing a lot of money and/or wasting a lot of time in the process.

small business help, business advice

Here’s an interesting notion: Do you realize that there are mistakes you can make at various stages of your business’ growth that can be slowly killing it for months or even years if you don’t watch for them?

Well, these mistakes do exist and they are not just reserved for the rookie companies. Many working businesses, including those you might think are “successful” because they’ve been around for 10+ years, are often still making them… and are possibly losing a lot of money and/or wasting a lot of time in the process.

Although some of these big and sneaky mistakes seem aimed more at service type companies, they really do fit the bill for almost any type of industry. I’ve done my best with the listings below to give examples to prove it.

Underestimating Project/Service Time- This is a big one and it pertains to service companies as well as companies that sell a product. This is a service company’s bread and butter. If you don’t estimate your time to perform each and every service in your repertoire, you will get burned and there is little you can do about it but bite the bullet and learn from it. The best way to estimate time is to do it once yourself or watch your best employee do the task and then throw in a little fudge factor on top of it. For product companies, time becomes an issue with logistics so be aware!

Not Knowing YOUR Company Numbers/Incorrectly Setting Prices- Notice I emphasized the word “your”. It’s a common mistake to use a competitor’s as your pricing gauge without actually knowing why they use those numbers. Think about the nightmare you will get yourself into if you take a competitor’s price, cut it by 10% and then start selling. What if the competition has a bad pricing structure and is barely making money or even losing money?!?! What if your costs are more than theirs?!?! You can use competitor as a starting point but you can’t base your whole strategy on it.

Different industries have their own variables as far as costs go and you need to be aware of them for your project or product pricing. What you pay for a product you are going to sell is not the only cost to have in your head when you are pricing products. How much your labor and materials cost for a service is only a piece of an hourly rate. Employees cost more than just salary and not every employee is part of your labor cost. Every company has insurance to pay for. There are tons of overhead expenditures that need to be part of your price. Oh, by the way, the big one that many people forget about in their price is the quality factor. What you include as “standard services” or “standard product features” as well as job site etiquette or in store service or warranties all need to go into your pricing. I’ll get to more on why in the next segment.

Not Charging for All of Your Time & Costs- This seems like a stupid statement to some but I bet most business owners will admit that they have given away a little too much of the farm at times. Hey, there is nothing wrong with giving a little extra here and there to show you care. But either way, that’s not what I’m talking about here. What concerns me are those that put a lot of quality into their work or products or stores and do not cover the cost for it. As an example, say you run a service company and your competitors don’t do a certain standard service that you do. You can’t just undercut their price to steal a job; you need to have that cost covered in your rate and advertise the fact that it comes with the price upfront. Stores undermine themselves, for example, when they put more people on the floor for customer service but don’t charge for it. These things cost you money and when your competitors don’t do them it costs them less money. Put out better service and then under price them, and your competition just has to wait a little bit for you to fall on your face so they can swoop back in.

As a business owner you need to believe that you are providing your clients worthwhile wares that deserve to be paid for. If you get the chance to explain why your prices are higher, then take that opportunity and do it. If they don’t like the fact that you include things that others charge extra for later or that you treat them better, then they are most likely completely price shoppers. You don’t want them as regular customers anyway. Trust me.

Not Getting Paid Fast Enough- That’s right, the old cash flow issue. As long as you are actually making enough money to pay the bills, this problem can be solved, prevented or at least made to be not as bad as it could be. Here’s the deal:

First off all, bill customers very promptly. It is very common for a small business to not have the procedures or systems in place to get invoices generated and out the door in a timely fashion (see the next segment for more). Again, this would seem unlikely since that’s the reason why we are doing the work- to get paid. But it is very easy for the people responsible for getting this info to the billing people to be too busy to get it there or not have enough organization to give it to them the right way.

The second part to slowing down or stopping a regular cash flow crunch is to make the quickest payment deals possible with customers and the slowest possible with vendors and employees. If there is any way not to pay employees any more than twice a month, you better do it. Contractors always have an issue with this. If you must pay weekly, then tell them before they are hired that they will be getting the first week held back, essentially buying you a week. It will help, I promise.

Part three involves credit. If your company can get a credit card, then get it. This allows for certain important things to be bought (that you can afford) that might come up during a cash flow crunch. Better yet, especially if you have no choice but to deal with 45+ day customer payments, do your best to get a company line of credit. This is a must if you plan on selling to the government or doing commercial service work. These clients often have 60 to 90 day wait periods.

Failure to Have Solid Systems and Procedures in Place- Too many procedures (known as “red tape”) is the reason why many people start their own business in the first place. Unfortunately, having no procedures and systems in place at all is not an alternative. Depending on the type of industry, business owners must come to a happy medium or chaos and the unknown will ensue. Some basic examples where procedures or systems are needed include billing, collections, payroll, hr (interviewing, hiring, vacations, benefits, job responsibilities, etc.), manufacturing, operating equipment, maintaining equipment, inventory, sales calls/visits and logistics to name a few.

Even a one person show needs to have some admin procedures in place. This will make it easier to hire temps and subcontractors and control what they are doing for you. Without at least a watered down version of a system or procedure to do everyday work, you will be to blame for causing many major headaches as your company grows. I can’t emphasize how important this is for when you bring on new employees. I’m sure you heard this before, but I am also a big proponent of having an employee handbook even for one employee. It’s amazing the trouble people can cause business owners just because they allow you to pay them.

Spending Advertising Money Just to Say You Advertise- I would almost rather see my clients not advertise then to spend without regard to tracking the results. There is no point in a marketing campaign if you do not put things in place that allow you to measure how well the plan is working. The other wasteful part of marketing that many people make the mistake of doing, is not tracking their previously successful campaigns. Why some people think that just because a $400 dollar a month ad worked once very well for one busy season, that it will automatically work every year after that is beyond me.

Spreading Yourself Too Thin- This is a classic mistake made by every entrepreneur. The key is to figure out when you are at that “wearing too many hats” point and start getting some help. The solution here is to know your strengths and to be able see when you are not performing the duties that demand these skills. If you are the best sales person on the company, you can’t get caught up in day-to-day operations. If you do, sales will slip and eventually you won’t have any operations to worry about. Think about this to help you figure out if you are spread too thin: Did you really go into business for yourself to work 80+ hours a week?

Not Getting Help Soon Enough- Set goals to know when to hire people to take over where you are light on knowledge. Not getting help or waiting too long can kill a company. Most people who start a business do it because they are good at the technical end or the sales end. If you know the best way to make a widget, then your strength is in production and that is where your time should be spent. Hire an outside company or consultant to take care of the sales and marketing and then hire inside when you can afford someone full time. Don’t be something to your company that you are not. It will only hold you back.

The three big issues people like to tackle themselves but usually are least knowledgeable about are legal issues, accounting/bookkeeping issues and daily operations issues. The odds are that these three things are your weakest link so if you don’t have a partner that has the background for these subjects, then be prepared to get help as soon as possible. It’s preferable that you do this before you start a business.

Although looking for these problems at any time is a good idea, the end of a year or season is an excellent business interval to make sure you are not making these errors. Take the time, or make the time, to fix these problems. If you don’t know how to reverse the problems, then get some help. If you really don’t have enough time to either figure out if you have these issues or know they are there and can’t break away long enough to do it right, then get some help.

 

Are You Thinking Too Small and Dooming Your Small Business To Failure?

One problem that many small business owners run into is simply thinking too small. I often have readers writing to me asking for helping getting their business ideas off the ground. I also often hear from folks who have run their small businesses into the ground. There are five key areas where you can think too small -- and doom your business to failure.

business, starting a business, small business, entrepreneur, home business, working at home, working from home

One problem that many small business owners run into is simply thinking too small. I often have readers writing to me asking for helping getting their business ideas off the ground. I also often hear from folks who have run their small businesses into the ground. There are five key areas where you can think too small -- and doom your business to failure.

Niche Too Small

Is your niche too small? Finding a small market to target with your business is key to success, but sometimes people narrow their niche too much. While doggy dental products could be a wonderful niche (as almost any dog owner can attest) you could even narrow your focus down to a certain type of dog (such as lap dogs) but going for one specific breed would be taking it too far.

Target Market Too Small

Is your target market too small? If you are looking only at one community or small geographic region then you may well doom your product to failure. It is far too easy to saturate a small market and it is far too easy for any marketing mistakes to end your campaign before it gets off the ground. In today's economy with the availability of global marketing you need to think big when you are planning your target market.

Budget Too Small

Is your budget too small? You don't need a million dollar advertising budget but you should have some seed money to get your business and its marketing campaign off the ground. It is possible to build a business from nothing but it is also a lot more difficult and you might find yourself making some mistakes that cost you a lot more down the road than putting a little money up front.

Schedule Too Small

Is your schedule too small? Do you have enough time to devote to your business? Starting, running, and growing a business takes time. Some people get swept up in the planning and dreaming stages and never really start their business. Other people start before they have completely planned everything out and quickly get mired down by unexpected difficulties. While others do everything right in the planning and startup but once the business is running they get overwhelmed by day-to-day business and never think aobut ways to improve and grow their business.

Mind Too Small

Is your mind too small? You need to open up your mind's eye to continually seek new opportunities to find new customers, to find new potential partners, to find new ideas for products, and to find new opportunities for marketing. Flexibility and adaptability are key to surival in today's business climate and you always need to have new ideas cooking to grow and expand your market and your business. This means raising your head up out of the trenches once in a while. Yes, you might need to dodge the occasional missile lobbed your way but this is the only way to see those opportunities heading your way.

If you do your best to avoid these five not-so-small mistakes then you will be on your way to small business success.

 

The Number One Reason For Small Business Failure!

Nearly half of all small businesses fail within the first two years of operation. The number one reason for business failure is inadequate planning. The second reason is under-capitalization.

small business, failure, start-up, businesses,

Nearly half of all small businesses fail within the first two years of operation. The number one reason for business failure is inadequate planning. The second reason is under-capitalization.

So before you mortgage your house, or go into debt financing your business, you need to know if your business is going to do more than survive -- you want to know if it's good enough to thrive! Here are three things successful businesses that have stayed in business for five years or longer have in common:

1. The idea. A successful business start-up always starts with an idea. Something that makes your business stand out from all the rest. So how do you know if you've got a good idea?

You've probably got a good idea if you can answer yes to any of the following questions: Does your idea provide the solution to a significant problem for your target market? Does it satisfy a need or want? Does it create an opportunity?

The most successful businesses either fix problems (either real or perceived), or they increase your customer's pleasure. They create a repeat need for a product or service among the target market.

2. The market. Your chances of survival are better if you can answer the following questions with a yes: Is there already a market for your product or service? (It's much easier to fill a need than trying to create an entirely new market.) Can your target market afford to buy your products or services? (If they can't afford it, it doesn't matter how great it is, you won't sell any!) Will your target market perceive your product or service as valuable? (If they want it, but don't think it's worth what you're selling it for, you won't make any sales.)

3. Your ability. Do you have the people, the resources and the knowledge to be able to consistently provide your products or services to your target market? Can you maintain a competitive advantage? Do you have enough manpower? Can you purchase the supplies and materials you need over the long run?

Your first step always is to create a solid business plan. Your business plan is more than an essay on "Why I deserve to get funding for my idea" however. Don't spend all the time creating a business plan and then toss it in the bottom drawer of your desk. Your business plan should be a living, breathing roadmap that helps you make sure you're on course and reaching the goals that you set for your business.

The second step to business survival is getting enough financing. Although the term "bootstrap entrepreneur" describes most small business owners, having enough capital to be able to keep your business afloat is vital to your survival.

When you're creating your financial analysis of your business, make sure you're being realistic about costs and expenditures, so that you give yourself the cushion you need to succeed.

If finding financing is a problem, either because you don't have enough credit or equity, or there are other problems, take the time to look into the resources that are available in your community. There are a wide variety of grants and loans (including microloans) for entrepreneurs, if you know where to look.

Some great resources will be:
-The Small Business Administration
-Local Small Business Development Centers
-Women's Organizations
-Local University or Community College
-Chamber of Commerce
-SCORE (The Association for Retired Executives)
-Nonprofit organizations that work on economic development in your area

Use other successful business models as a guide. When you're getting started, look around. What businesses are successful? Why? What is it they're doing that is working? What attributes do you admire, and why? You stand a better chance of succeeding if you're modeling someone who is already successful.

Find a mentor. Most entrepreneurs have great skills and abilities, but no one does everything well. You probably already know what your strengths and weaknesses are. (If not, there are many resources and tools that can help you figure it out!) Rather than ignoring your weaknesses, find a mentor who can help you either build your skills in your weaker areas, or offer advice for getting what you need.

If you take the time to plan to succeed, you could be creating a legacy that will be enjoyed by future generations, and that other entrepreneurs will look at as a model for building their own businesses.




secrets about corporations
selling product laser marking location
shopping small business skills
ski bum breaking chain pr budget
small business advice big time office
small business benefits phone systems web presence
small business building golf
small business computer consulting freeloaders
small business consulting
small business credit cards
small business digital marketing consultant
small businesses websites blend strengths
small business factoring
small business grants tips
small business idea start up loans
small business marketing funding
small business marketing strategy financial crisis
small business mistakes failure
small business networking
small business networks
small business owners regulations
small business owner tactics
small business servers support telecommuters
small business startup structure problem
small business summary
small business web site
small business web sites elements
small organization big business website developer
snack soda vending machines
solo professionals cash flow planning
starting it consulting business rates
starting small business safety program
starting small business tips
startups small companies employee newsletters
successful small business keys
successful small business tips steps
super affiliate marketing what niche
sweet spot customers service
swiss watches wholesale surety bonds
taking business phone blues
targeting different sized business launch
tips purchasing business phone systems
tnc innovative industrial name plates
understanding financial statements reports
upgrading business phone systems
vending machine distributors company
vending machine supplier
vending opportunity nursing agency quit job
vendor support options sweet spot clients
visit whois identity theft
voice of reason importance of holding
wedding planner car business
welcome hiring good employees
world is going virtual
write business plan
writing winning business plan
gimmicks of student loan consolidating plan
student loan debt consolidation
toddlers who stutter
choices ways to loose weight
loosing weight tips dr. fitness
weight loss diary info
weight loss diary day
use business lead databases
find dating secret men to attract women
how to approach women