Tag Archive: success

Using Successful Factors in Business

Using Successful Factors in Business
What is the difference between successful people on non-successful people? Are successful people more intelligent or do they just have better opportunities than non-successful people?

I heard Brian Tracy say, “Only Difference between successful people and non successful people is this: “Everybody thinks about what they want, but successful people think about what they want, and HOW to get it!”

The most important things is the HOW.

The only way I ever accomplish anything is to figure out what it is I want, then how I am going to get it. Ever since wrestling, my life has been driven by goals and what I want in life, the only way I ever achieve anything is by laying out a plan and working on that plan until I accomplish it.

Another way to look at it is to start backwards, think of the house you want to live in, the cars you want to drive, the lifestyle you want your family to live. You have to lay out a game plan to get their, it is not going to miracously show up on your door step someday. This means each day of your life you need to be doing at least one thing that will help you accomplish that goal.

I love how Robert Kiyosaki explains this concept in his book “Rich Dad Poor Dad”:
“Because I had two influential fathers, I learned from both of them. I had to think about each dad’s advice, and in doing so, I gained valuable insight into the power and effect of one’s thoughts on one’s life. For example, one dad had a habit of saying, “I can’t afford it.” The other dad forbade those words to be used. He insisted I say, “How can I afford it?”

One is a statement, and the other is a question. One lets you off the hook, and the other forces you to think. My soon-to-be-rich dad would explain that by automatically saying the words “I can’t afford it,” your brain stops working. By asking the question “How can I afford it?” your brain is put to work. He did not mean buy everything you wanted. He was fanatical about exercising your mind, the most powerful computer in the world. “My brain gets stronger every day because I exercise it. The stronger it gets, the more money I can make.” He believed that automatically saying “I can’t afford it” was a sign of mental laziness.”

So remember, the question isn’t what you want… It’s HOW are you going to get it?

How To Lead to One Great Meeting

How To Lead to One Great Meeting
Here are ten things that you can do to make your meetings more effective.

1) Avoid meetings. Test the importance of a meeting by asking, “What happens without it?” If your answer is, “Nothing,” then don’t call the meeting.

2) Prepare goals. These are the results you want to obtain by the end of the meeting. Write out your goals before the meetings. They should be so clear, complete, and specific that someone else could use them to lead your meeting. Also, make sure they can be achieved with available people, resources, and time. Specific goals help everyone make efficient progress toward relevant results.

3) Challenge each goal. Ask, “Is there another way to achieve this?” For example, if you want to distribute information, you may find it more efficient to phone, FAX, mail, E-mail, or visit. Realize that a meeting is a team activity. Save tasks that require a team effort for your meetings.

4) Prepare an agenda. Everyone knows an agenda leads to an effective meeting. Yet, many people “save time” by neglecting to prepare an agenda. A meeting without an agenda is like a journey without a map. It is guaranteed to take longer and produce fewer results. Note, without an agenda, you risk becoming someone else’s helper (see tip #6 below).

5) Inform others. Send the agenda at least a day before the meeting. That helps others prepare to work with you in the meeting. Unprepared participants waste your time by preparing for the meeting during the meeting.

6) Assume control. If you find yourself in a meeting without an agenda walk out. If you must stay, prepare an agenda in the meeting. Collect a list of issues, identify the most important, and work on that. When you finish, if time remains, select the next most important issue. Note: you can use a meeting without an agenda to recruit help for your projects.

7) Focus on the issue. Avoid stories, jokes, and unrelated issues. Although entertaining, these waste time, distract focus, and mislead others. Save the fun for social occasions where it will be appreciated.

8) Be selective. Invite only those who can contribute to achieving your goals for the meeting. Crowds of observers and supporters bog down progress in a meeting.

9) Budget time. No one would spend $1,000 on a ten-cent pencil, but they often spend 40 employee hours on trivia. Budget time in proportion to the value of the issue. For example, you could say, “I want a decision on this in 10 minutes. That means we’ll evaluate it for the next 9 minutes, followed by a vote.”

10) Use structured activities in your meetings. These process tools keep you in control while you ensure equitable participation and systematic progress toward results.

5 Steps In Creating A Successful Small Business Online

5 Steps In Creating A Successful Small Business Online

“I’ve got all the money I’ll ever need if I die by four o’clock this afternoon.”

– Henry Youngman. –

You can retire in 30 days – WE PROVE IT TO YOU! Make $1.7 million! Signup for free! $5,250 is Guaranteed with no efforts!

The Internet is the modern “Gold Rush”. Seems that everyone on the Internet is promising you vast riches with little to no effort. But are these outrageous claims true? Can you make $5,250 is Guaranteed with no efforts?

Well, I do believe the Internet is a phenomenal asset to those who want to make some money with less effort and financial investment than with a traditional home business. Can you lounge around all day in your underwear doing nothing and be a millionaire by the end of the year? Not likely. However, if you did want to try your hand at a successful Internet career, take some tips from someone who’s been there, done that, and has the scars to prove it. Here’s my hard-won, 5-step-plan for financial success on the Internet.

Step one: Find Some Adventurous, Business-Minded Soul Mates.

Get at least two companions (five is best!) who will walk with you enthusiastically, and build your business together. Having a couple of friends with you on the journey helps to keep everyone sane, and it’s a built in safety net for keeping you from investing in crazy schemes that would never tempt you during a moment of sanity. Friends can also cheer you on through the necessary slogging at the beginning, and then they’re there to celebrate your success at the end.

Step Two: Create Your “Cash Machine”

There’s an old adage that says, “It takes money to make money” and, unfortunately, it’s true – mostly. Therefore, according to Loral Langemeier, the Author of the excellent book “Making Millionaires” – first you have to learn how to run a business that makes money. You don’t have to enjoy it, but it does have to make money – even just a little, and fast! You use this first step to teach you how an Internet business works and to develop the right suite of tools and knowledge to gain a solid foundation.

Step Three: Build Multiple Streams of Income

When your first business is up and running, don’t simply burn through the money. Use half of the profits to advertise, and half of your profits to invest in the next business(es). Keep building until you have a solid core of different businesses running under you. This brings stability. If you’re wise, you will also be carefully investing in businesses that will give you great tools for running and advertising your businesses, as well as investing in courses that train you in the various areas of online marketing: traffic, copywriting, list building, etc. You must learn to use your profits wisely as even stable companies can sometimes go under.

Step Four: Automate it.

It is possible to run a completely functional business on 2-3 hours a day – or less – by simply automating the more routine activities. Again, there’s nothing like the Internet for providing automated systems.

Step Five: Develop Your Passion

So now you’ve got some real money coming in with an automated system. You can either stay there, or you can take your new knowledge and learn to apply it to your area of greatest passion – creating a business that you LOVE. Simply find a need in an area of your passion (scrapbooking, fly fishing, old cars, fashion, etc.) and use the skills you’ve developed so far to set up a business in that area and let it take you on a wonderful ride!

So, can you make $1.7 million dollars? Yes, you can, but it’s not going to be as easy as they tend to promise. You do need to know what you’re doing, and it will take time.

And what better time to try it out than over the summer when things tend to be a bit slower?

Want to join the adventure?

Darlene Hull

Simple Sales Strategy: Define What Selling Is!

Simple Sales Strategy: Define What Selling Is!

imple Sales Strategy:  Define What Selling Is!Simple Sales Strategy: Define What Selling Is! How do you define selling? A lot of people think of selling as persuading/convincing people to buy things they may or may not want or need. To some, selling is all about closing a deal. Thinking of selling like this is not very empowering to you. Frankly, if you have this perspective on selling, it’s no wonder if you hate it. I would too!

So what perspective can you take about selling that will make it enjoyable, exciting and something you look forward to? Sounds like a bit of a tall order doesn’t it? Read on. 

Hopefully by now, you have made the list of all the problems that you can solve for your target market. You’re going to be surprised how long that list grows over time. So really, if you look at your list and you think about it, you are a master problem solver. What you’re really doing is helping people. Correct?

So try on this perspective about what selling is: Selling is helping people. Selling is serving. Selling is a process of identifying and solving people’s problems. 

See, feel and know that selling is serving. This will cause a big shift for you. With this perspective, you will really become passionate about wanting to help people. Find this passion and let it shine through.

It is your purpose, your moral obligation, to have as many sales conversations with people as you can so you can help as many people as possible. If you’re not having these types of sales conversations, you are holding back the gift you have to offer the world. You owe it to people to be there for them with your expertise and wisdom.

Next time you’re talking to a potential client, think about how you can help them, how you can serve them. Forget about trying to sell them something. If what you have to offer does solve their problems, and you facilitate the conversation using the strategies we are covering, people will sell themselves and will subsequently buy from you.

If you have a perspective on selling which is one of service and helping people, how do you think the people you’re talking to will feel? Think about this: people hate to be sold. The minute they feel they’re being sold, they often want to get away – fast. Don’t you? On the other hand, if they feel you are sincerely trying to help them solve their problems, they will relax and open up to you.

If you have a perspective on selling which is one of service and helping people, how do you think you will feel? Does energized, excited, relaxed, and natural come to mind?

This perspective is simple but powerful and very attract-tive to clients. imple Sales Strategy: Define What Selling Is!

This article is sponsored by Apple Capital Group, Inc. If you are looking for business financing, please call Apple Capital Group’s offices at 866-611-7457 or go to www.applecapitalgroup.com. #applecapitalgroup #thecorecorebusinessshow #timjacquet

Home Business: Working Toward Freedom

Home Business: Working Toward Freedom 

Home Business: Working Toward Freedom Home Business: Working Toward Freedom . When you start a home business, the first question that probably comes to mind is “how will I ever build my business to earn money and become financially free?” With any home business, financial freedom doesn’t just happen overnight. Whether you’re selling products from your own warehouse or factory, selling e-books (written by you or reselling), or offering a valuable service, there are some home business “musts” for success.

Research, Research, Research!

If you don’t have a product or service to offer, you can always opt for a ready-made home business. A ready-made home business is one that is set up by another individual or company in which you are trained to sell their products to others. Before delving into a ready-made home business, research many opportunities to find out what types of products and services you’ll be able to offer to your clients.

Don’t jump on every bandwagon you see. Read what each business opportunity has to offer and compare value-added services with the investment required. Find out what’s involved to join, promote, and continue with the business.

Try to find a home business opportunity that you feel comfortable with and will enjoy doing for a long time. If you enjoy your business, you’re more likely to succeed and realize financial freedom. 

Choose a Home Business that Fits Your Personality

Not every home business type will be right for you. Choose one that fits your personality. If you enjoy sales and are very good at it, then choose a home business that allows you to interact with others by phone, e-mail, or face to face. The business might include direct sales to the end consumer, business-to-business sales, or networking to help others realize financial freedom. 

If you would rather promote online and do your own thing without much interaction, then start a home business that allows you to do this. If you prefer to sign on with another company to promote their products or services, find out if they will close the sales for you. If they will do this, you can have freedom to promote and build the business doing what you love the most. 

Work Diligently from Home

Once you decide on the type of business, it’s time to work! Put your best foot forward when starting a home business. Don’t assume that working from home will be easy. To have a real business, you must really work at it. Create a business plan and set realistic goals to earn money and achieve financial freedom over a period of time. Then spend much time finding ways to promote your business for real results. Beware of promotional companies that sound too good to be true. There are some very dependable promotional companies, but there are also many scams. Research a company before paying into their programs. Look for companies that have been around a while and have a good reputation. Ask around in discussion forums (related to your type of business) for advice and resources on promotion. Home Business: Working Toward Freedom 

Create a Steady Cash System

Once you promote your home business a while and start getting sales, determine what you’ll need to do to create a steady cash system for the future. Find ways to maximize your efforts. Create more content for your website that will attract additional search engine traffic. Start an e-zine (electronic newsletter) to gain repeat visitors to your website. Add more products or services to get repeat business. These will help you continue in success for the long run. Your income will be steady and you’ll be able to make money from home on a full-time basis. Home Business: Working Toward Freedom 

Continuing Education

Learn all you can about your business and products. If you’re selling e-books that were written by others, read as many of them as you can so you’ll know the quality and details of the items you are selling. If offering a service, learn how to offer the best service possible. You can easily order home study courses to help you learn new trades or improve on your skills. The more you know about your business and products, the better you’ll be able to promote them and assist your customers when they have questions. Home Business: Working Toward Freedom 

If you follow these simple steps, you’ll be able to start a home business that brings you satisfaction each day. Financial freedom is sure to follow!


New Ways to Find Domestic Manufactures

New Ways to Find Domestic Manufactures

New Ways to Find Domestic Manufacturesby Erin McDermott.

New Ways to Find Domestic Manufactures. Having your goods “Made in the U.S.A.” may be getting a little bit easier for America’s entrepreneurs.

Referred to as in-sourcing, on-shoring, reshoring, or just simply “bringing jobs back home,” business news outlets are trumpeting the return of manufacturing to the U.S., including corporate giants like General Electric, Apple, and Whirlpool.

But smaller fish hunting for domestic production sites are often frustrated by time-consuming and sometimes-fruitless searches at trade shows.

Now a new infrastructure is taking shape that can help connect entrepreneurs with an idea and the motivation to make a product here at home. The ironic twist: The Internet, which once made long-distance manufacturing seem so simple, is being harnessed to link up designers and makers, sometimes in each others’ own backyard.

For example, in the apparel industry there’s now Maker’s Row, a website that’s helping to link domestic designers and manufacturers. Factory owners create a profile that includes their facility’s capabilities, turnaround times, videos of their work, and all information necessary to make production decisions. Customers can even leave reviews. There’s some 1,400 manufacturers listed, in all 50 states, with everyone from emblem-makers and furriers to knitters and shoemakers and people making any kind of accessory you can imagine. It’s a U-turn for the highly offshored industry.

Cofounders Matthew Burnett and Tanya Menendez got the idea for Maker’s Row after discussing his frustrations with overseas manufacturing and the difficulties he encountered in finding a domestic producer for his Brooklyn Bakery line of leather accessories. They’ve created a site that adds much needed transparency and connectivity to some of the nation’s old-world craftsmen.New Ways to Find Domestic Manufactures

“As a small business, I found there’s a lot of inhibiting factors about creating products overseas, like language barriers, cultural barriers, and time differences,” Burnett says. “Small businesses are seeing these big companies coming back as a signal right now. They’re trying to find American resources and manufacturers, too.”

“But there is no real, comprehensive database of manufacturers out there,” he adds. “That’s where we saw a huge challenge in our prior companies—and that’s where we see a huge opportunity for Maker’s Row.”

Burnett says the U.S. manufacturers they’ve approached have been very receptive and have opened them up to their entire networks. Menendez adds that designers have been referring their clients through the site, as the feedback system for each manufacturer gives them a built-in vetted audience ready to jump at new opportunities.New Ways to Find Domestic Manufactures

Their timing may be right for many reasons. Cheaper U.S. energy from new natural gas sources and rising global transportation prices are altering supply chain calculations. Alarming news reports of human-rights abuses in overseas factories have raised concerns; increasing labor costs are a factor there, too. And there are the perennial issues of dealing with the unknown: long-distance shipping delays, sustainability, and intellectual-property and security worries.New Ways to Find Domestic Manufactures

Since the recession, many U.S. manufacturers have become more willing to take on smaller-scale projects, as a supplement to bigger contracts and as a way to diversify their revenue streams.

Roberto Torres leads one small company dedicated to domestic manufacturing who’s tapping into Maker’s Row. He’s president of the Black & Denim Apparel Co., a Tampa-based clothing line that produces high-end jeans, custom T-shirts, and accessories, all from American-sourced materials. He grew up in Panama, and immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1990s, which he says influenced the desire to make his goods here, too. “We wanted to make it here. For men who understand what American-made means,” he says. “In the ’80s in Panama, if you wanted something to last, it had to be made in America.”

Tampa doesn’t have a Garment District, so Torres’s team was somewhat isolated in getting started. Finding suppliers and manufacturers was a slog, from phone books and trade shows to the Internet and word-of-mouth references, Torres says.

And that’s why he calls Maker’s Row a “game-changer” for his industry. When Black & Denim recently decided to add a women’s line, within two days they had found all the manufacturers they needed to get started, Torres says. “Anything that can bridge a gap between two brick-and-mortar stores is paramount right now.”New Ways to Find Domestic Manufactures

If you’re looking to make your goods closer to home, here are a few other sites worth a look:

Here’s a matchmaker for the 3D printing world. Got a MakerBot sitting idle? List your desktop factory here to get on the radar of other designers looking to fabricate something closer to home than at one of the bigger 3D printing sites like Shapeways. For creators looking to print, simply search by ZIP Code for machines available to make your doodad, upload your file, and select your colors or materials. You can either arrange to have the printer ship your item to you, or just swing by to pick it up. MakeXYZ takes a five-percent commission on your project and turnaround times are generally swifter than the big 3D printing services, and cheaper, too: prices start at 25 cents per cubic inch. Launched by Austin-based programmers Chad Masso and Nathan Tone in November 2012, the site has nearly 600 printers signed up so far.New Ways to Find Domestic Manufactures

Reshoring Initiative
Here’s an all-in-one resource for manufacturers large and small. This industry-funded group has several worthwhile tools, from its definitive library of white papers and case studies about in-shoring companies and news coverage to its built-in Total Cost of Ownership Estimator calculator, which allows users to do the math on the array of costs and freight expenses in order to compare how much they might save by using local manufacturing. They’ve also got a smart Twitter feed.

The Maker Map
This is a rapidly expanding open-source display of the world of makers, from hackerspaces and tool-sharing sites to bigger name fabricators and startup incubators. What started out as a Bay Area guide to local listing has recently gone global, but the majority of the entries are right here in the U.S. Manufacturers and parts suppliers that cater to this inventive group can create their own entries.New Ways to Find Domestic Manufactures

Many still have experiences like Sheila Duncan’s in trying to find a domestic manufacturer for her Trouble the Dog project. At first, Duncan was using a Chinese company to make the plush toy, which is a therapeutic tool for kids experiencing stress. After a round of frustrating back and forth, she decided to try to bring that work closer to home.

From her Marblehead, Mass., headquarters, Duncan says she spent “all day for six months” looking for a manufacturer willing to take up her initial run of 1,500, hopeful-eyed dogs at an affordable price. She traveled all over New England searching for a spot. In Maine, she encountered a sewing-factory owner who told her outright that “she couldn’t afford my price,” even though he was also sending out blanket emails soliciting new business. “So many I encountered just could not step out of the box of the way they were thinking to get something done,” she says.

Ultimately, Duncan did find her U.S. manufacturer, in Arizona. And although the costs are about 4.5 times what her Chinese vendor charged, she says she’s “glad she went through the hoops” to land a domestic source. “And I mean we are talking hoops.”

Why was it worth it? Duncan points to the reports of poor working conditions overseas that made her uneasy, and a bigger selling point these days: differentiation.

“Look in a child’s room and all the stuffed animals are made somewhere else,” she says. “What this is going to do for me, I believe, is give Trouble a way to stand out from everything else out there.” New Ways to Find Domestic Manufactures

Can you Spare a gram of Self-Confidence?

Can you Spare a gram of Self-Confidence?Can you Spare a gram of Self-Confidence?
Can you Spare a gram of Self-Confidence? As the lady walks into the room to give her presentation, everyone nods their head in approval as she exudes a cool, calm assurance that everything’s under control. There’s no describing self-confidence. You know it when you see it!

There are many situations when we feel as if we could do anything, deal with any obstacle, take on any task or job yet at other times, we simply just run out of steam! Can you Spare a gram of Self-Confidence?

Sandra Baptist tells us how we all can learn to exude that trait that makes us feel confident about what we are doing and about who we are.

1. Increase your knowledge

The best method to increasing your self-confidence is to work on improving your knowledge and abilities. “Knowledge IS Power!”

Read books as a means to an end. Read books to gain information about what you need to know. Read as an end in itself. Read for pleasure.

As a young person I’ve always read, but you know what?
I still lacked confidence in some areas.

No! Reading is not all. Still you need to….

2. Like yourself

Liking yourself is equivalent to your self-worth and accepting yourself as you are. Your feelings about yourself are probably the most important feelings you can have. If you do not love yourself then who will? Be proud of who you are and what you are and forget the self-talk.

Self-esteem is directly influenced by the negative and positive thoughts you hear. These may be thoughts heard in your environment as well as thoughts in your own mind. Your self-talk! This is extremely Powerful! What are YOU thinking about yourself everyday? Can you Spare a gram of Self-Confidence?

“How come everyone else can do this, except me?”


“I’m so grateful to be involved in this project!”

Trust me…it does make a difference!

3. Focus on your strengths

Each one of us has our own particular strengths. Be thankful for these and capitalize on them.

For example one of my strengths is writing and listening. I’ve always been called ‘shy’ or ‘quiet’ when I was younger and was always told to ‘speak up’ or ‘say something’! I thought something was definitely wrong with me as everyone else in my family could not shut up!

Now I’m older, I’ve made those strengths work for me. They’re now my business!

Try building on your strengths by writing down in a journal all those traits you like about yourself. If this feels too hard to you, ask someone else what is it they like about you as a person or what they think you are good at. Can you Spare a gram of Self-Confidence?

When you have your list, focus on them and forget your weaknesses!

4. Remind yourself and acknowledge your success daily

Go ahead! Think about when you felt successful last year, last week or indeed yesterday! Thinking about your past successes makes you a stronger person, better able to handle and cope with today’s challenges.

What’s going to be better than to say to yourself, “I can do this, I’ve done it before!”

Aah! Now That’s confidence!

On the heels of this is the daily celebration of your successes, no matter how small or how insignificant YOU think they are. Observe and celebrate them!

I do this every night and also use this exercise with my clients. Either use a journal or simply tell yourself the ten things that you praise and acknowledge yourself for. Don’t stop until you get to ten.

If you’ve had a particularly bad day simply recognize that you’ve had a bad day and tomorrow will be better! Can you Spare a gram of Self-Confidence?

5. Visualize your future success

What could be more exciting than seeing in your mind how it feels to have succeeded?

Did you know that athletes use this all the time? Especially those high jumpers!

Successful people use visualization regularly. This is because they know that our minds cannot distinguish the difference between something real and something imagined.

Creating a detailed mental picture increases the likelihood of success, and boosts your self confidence. Can you Spare a gram of Self-Confidence?

They are many ways to do this. For example if you are going for a job interview, you can write down how it will feel to answer all the interviewer questions easily and effortlessly. Or you can go into a peaceful place, close your eyes and truly visualize yourself getting that job!

6. Get rid off the ‘nay-Sayers’

Your environment has a great effect on the confidence that you, as an individual, displays.

Environment here could be family, friends, political or any other strong influence.

Surround yourself with people that love and support you.

Those people, who tend to criticize and constantly put you down, simply ignore them. Usually they are and can do no better than you anyway.

Join supportive groups online, if there are none in your area. Get a coach who really listens to you understands you and helps you build your confidence in yourself. Can you Spare a gram of Self-Confidence?

7. Develop an attitude

Develop an attitude of excellence. Give of your best at all times. Be cheerful and happy. Shock everyone with your attitude of confidence!

In this way, no one can declare that you do not have self-confidence, not even yourself.

It’s true that people with a high degree of self-confidence are normally more likely to be successful – all other aspects being equal – than those who work in a less confident manner.

So what are you going to radiate? Can you Spare a gram of Self-Confidence?

New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs.  Like many business owners, Patty Moreno-Fletcher has a few major year-end deadlines. Hers are a bit more unpredictable and life changing than most: She’s a doula—a non-medical coach who supports people through the labor, birth, and new-parent process, or as she calls it “mothering the new mother.” Three of her clients have due dates around the holidays. New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

She’s setting a deadline for herself, too: In 2009, she purchased the domain name for her practice, Butterfly Babies NYC, but has procrastinated ever since. After relying for years on just positive word-of-mouth among New York families, she’s now made this her primary New Year’s resolution: Develop the website and start a blog to reach out to more potential clients. New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

“Being a doula—it’s very hands-on work. But when it comes to the Internet or a Web presence or even managing an office or billing, it just give me a headache thinking about it,” she says, laughing. With 2013 just days away, business owners can celebrate the end of another year of hard work and look ahead at what’s to come—and what they might do differently based on what they’ve learned. While one notable study found the track record for successfully maintaining attempts at change wasn’t all that great, the dawn of every new year brings optimism for starting anew and becoming a little wiser and maybe a bit more efficient. Here’s a look at what a few business owners are saying they are hoping for, possibly with some inspiration for your own next 12 months. New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

Hire new staff John Kwan, chief executive of VeriPic, says he’s resolving to increase hiring in 2013. With the economy still sluggish, “there are plenty of talented people available and many just want moderate pay,” he says. “This is the perfect environment for expansion as labor costs are low and this is also an excellent way to help the economy by hiring people.” New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

Value your time “What entrepreneur doesn’t want to focus more?” asks Will Mitchell, a founder of the Startup Bros. business consultancy as well as owner of online marketer Clear Presence Media and reputation manager RepAssured in Tampa, Fla. He resolves to concentrate on one task at a time in order to see it to completion. “Once you start taking the initiative on this, it’s pretty impossible to ignore, particularly if you set up time-tracking software on your computer,” he says. He uses RescueTime, which tracks how much time you spend online and, importantly, shows where those stolen moments on Facebook or fantasy football sites are adding up, and detracting from more important tasks. New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

Get better rest Mitchell says his family is full of entrepreneurs (he’s been doing business online since he was 14) and all have struggled with being able to tune out and get to sleep. “Most entrepreneurs will tell you the one thing they can do to improve their performance is get more rest,” he says. “But it’s rare that they’ll actually put down the computer and go to bed.”. How long have his resolutions lasted? “With sleep, historically I can get two to three months into that before the first crisis comes up and kind of ruins that,” he admits, chuckling. New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

Be able to “glide” That’s what Heddi Cundle aimed to do after a hectic year of starting up myTab.co, a travel gift-card system she’s founded. After months of 18-hour days getting her start-up off the ground and chasing venture capital from Silicon Valley, Cundle says she and her team in San Francisco recently altered course and decided to license out myTab to e-commerce sites—a move that she said has been received with great enthusiasm. It’s also changed the company’s outlook going into 2013. “Things are falling into place,” Cundle says. “In the next 12 months at least, we can glide a lot easier because we’re not trying to push and strive to fit into a specific mold that we thought we needed to be in to generate revenue. We just found a different sort. Now we’re gliding into 2013. By licensing our technology to verticals, we can use revenue to invest back into myTab.co travel.” New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

Get ready to market online New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

Business Planning Harness the power of planning your time well, taking care to allocate your schedule according to priorities. Wait when it’s appropriate, hurry when it’s appropriate, and apply patience, vision and common sense. — Tim Berry, Business Plans

Social Media Do whatever it takes to get out of your comfort zone and into your “power place” to grow your business. Embrace change and new technologies, including social sites. Choose what works best for reaching your target market, and run with it. Most important: Have fun. — Starr Hall, Social Media

New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs Sales In 2011, show up to the meetings that you would have passed on previously. Never underestimate the power of face-to-face meetings for building stronger relationships and connections with your prospects and customers. Activity creates opportunity. — Barry Farber, Make the Sale

E-Commerce Develop and implement systems that will free up time that you can spend on other pursuits. What really matters most is making a measurable amount of progress in a reasonable amount of time and spending time with loved ones. Do the only things about which you’re passionate and work with only your ideal clients. — Lena West, Ask Entrepreneur

New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs Technology Take the security of your business seriously. Change all your passwords. Close down old unused accounts for emails, business software and social networks. And set up a password for your mobile phone. — Jonathan Blum, Office Technology

Managing Resolve to invest heavily in the people and technology necessary to meet client demands and seize market opportunity. — Paul Spiegelman, Corporate Culture

Online Marketing Understand your customers’ experience with your business. It’s essential for businesses to look at what they do from their customers’ point of view and then smooth out any rough edges. Customers have so many options. You can’t afford a single reason for one to choose a competitor’s business over yours. — Gail Goodman, E-Mail Marketing

Communications The new year will see an acceleration of the reinvention of media. With so many ways to reach so many different types of consumers, reaching out to a variety of outlets through diverse media is critical. Craft customized content and send it via multiple platforms engage customers wherever they may be. — Rachel Meranus, Public Relations

Productivity It’s critical to get absorbed in your business niche to achieve mastery. But, most importantly, laugh, love and live more fully. — Scott Halford, Brainy Business

Starting Young Forget the mantra of “work hard, get good grades and go to school to get a job.” For too long, young people have been force-fed this nonsense from their parents and mentors. It’s stifling their income generating potential. Gen Y needs to become the most entrepreneurial generation in history. — Scott Gerber, Never Get a “Real” Job

New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs Video Marketing Create at least one professionally-produced video for the homepage of your website and social media sites. It should show y why your business is the best choice among the competition and include a compelling incentive to make an immediate purchase and share the video with others. — John Arnold, Marketing Tools & Technologies

Selling a Business Prepare yourself psychologically. Make sure you’re emotionally committed and ready for the sale, or you may turn buyers off to your business. — Domenic Rinaldi, Buying & Selling a Business New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

Buying a Business Making a concrete plan to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams, and take at least one action every day that will help you achieve your goal. Set a realistic timeline for when you will reach the major milestones on your path to entrepreneurial success. — Mike Handelsman, Buying & Selling a Business

Real Estate Question the experts in your field and find out who the real experts are. Hint: If they’re in Washington or on television, they might not be experts. — Greg Rand, Real Estate Realities

Growing Turn your small mom-and-pop business into a bigger opportunity this year by launching the projects you never got around to in 2010. — Lisa Druxman,Mompreneur

New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs Prioritizing Ask yourself, “What can I stop doing?” Begin to put stronger accountability practices into place to create a better business foundation. — Nina Kaufman, Making It Legal

Mobile Marketing Make mobile marketing a high priority. Capture mobile shoppers by updating your website to load quickly in a variety of browsers and making them Facebook and Twitter interactive. Offer competitive pricing and tap into the soaring popularity of coupons by texting them to your customers’ mobile phones. — Kim T. Gordon, Marketing Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/217806#ixzz2mVpdpnAB New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

Charting Your Business’s Success

Breakeven Analysis, Pro Forma Forecasting, and Growth Strategy.

by Sherron Lumley.

New Yorker Douglas Tausik is thinking outside of the box. In 2007, he founded Tropix Technology, a business that sells laptop computers to the East African market, specifically in Uganda. His big idea came from a visit to the area and a discovery that fewer than two percent of the Ugandan population owned a computer. “Our ultimate goal is to provide doctors, teachers, and students with computers,” says Tausik.

So far, Tropix has sold 50,000 computers in Uganda, a good start toward bringing computer literacy to the country via affordable computers that are made in China. To stay on track, Tausik relies upon several financial planning tools to help him answer three vital questions that every small business owner must ask:

Will the business be able to make money?
How long will it take until it’s profitable?
How will I know if the business is meeting its goals?

Breakeven analysis, forecasting, and cash flow projections—these are the things small business dreams are made of. Each tool provides a strategic starting point for making the envisioned future a reality.

Breakeven analysis

In Tropix Technology’s case, profit expectations and expenses are kept to an absolute minimum in order to make the computers affordable to Ugandans, lowering the breakeven point. To break even is a simple enough concept: at a certain point, expenses will be covered and the business will start to make money. Breakeven analysis means calculating all expenses the business incurs and determining how much product or service must be sold and at what price to make a profit.

For Tropix Technology, one of the main expenses is providing after-sale service and repair in Uganda, a benefit that has never been available before. “We had to analyze how many units to sell per month to operate the service center,” says Tausik. Some of the elements that go into a breakeven analysis include raw materials, labor, utilities, fuel, marketing, fixed costs such as rent, and variable costs such as shipping, selling expenses/sales commissions, and taxes.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a link to preparing a break-even analysis provided by Nolo.com, a legal publisher in Berkeley, California. Nolo also provides information on its website on preparing a profit and loss forecast, a cash flow projection and estimating start-up costs.

Pull-Quote.pngPro forma forecasts and cash flow

“We are definitely involved in forecasting and do cash flow projections,” says Tausik. “We have to fund the manufacturing of the computers, then we have to ship, then collect funds, so we have to analyze the cash requirements. Our commitment is never beyond the actual shipment because we do not do the manufacturing. We gather the orders, then when we have enough, we place the order in China,” he says.

The Latin term pro forma (as a matter of form) in business means projecting the future status of the company based on current performance, without including unusual and non-recurring transactions. Pro forma financial statements are similar to regular financial statements, except that they are educated guesses of what will happen in the future, based on the goals of the company and what is known right now. A pro forma balance sheet will include assumptions of future cash flows, assets, and liabilities. A pro forma income statement includes expected sales revenue, cost of goods sold, losses, operating expenses, equipment, depreciation and taxes. A pro forma statement of cash flow will predict inflow and outflow of cash to the business and give insight on potential shortages.

Realistic pro forma forecasts can be helpful to a small business by providing insight into needed course corrections. To make a forecast with any degree of accuracy, some actual data is needed, such as prior revenues and expenses from a known period of time. Typically, three to five years of data is considered a healthy period for discovering trends, but when the market is in mid-swing, a shorter time span may be more appropriate.

Growth Strategy
Just two years ago, Internet service became available in Uganda via a high-speed optical service built by China. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) sector is growing slowly, but in time will develop Internet access for more Ugandans, the majority of whom are still subsistence farmers. With this in mind, Tropix has plans for expansion. “It is an underserved market,” says Tausik. “Currently 30 to 35 percent of the population work in non-farming professions,” he notes, “and there is already reliable Internet service available in the capital city of Kampala.”

Tropix’ initial sales to the civil service sector was met by great enthusiasm from the Ugandan government, which provided a sales office for the company at no cost. Now, attention is focused on the country’s doctors and teachers, with a goal of 80 percent computer ownership. Additionally, there are thousands of incoming Ugandan university freshmen each year with no computers, so students will be an important target market as well. To reach the 80 percent goal the company will need to sell a total of 400,000 computers over the next five years. “We forecast the amount we have to sell each year to reach that goal and then make a marketing effort that corresponds to that,” Tausik explains. Part of the marketing effort is mobilizing a group of teachers to go from school to school.

Becoming familiar with breakeven analysis and pro forma forecasting is essential to meeting small business goals. With the knowledge of expenses and sales, a small business can calculate its breakeven point, forecast future cash flow, plan for profit, and create a growth strategy.

Additional Resources

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides a free online business planning course and business plan template that includes breakeven analysis, pro forma cash flow and a full list of items to include in a complete business plan. To learn more, follow the links below to other online resources.

A breakeven analysis will show you where your company begins to make a profit.
The breakeven point determines whether expenses, sales, or prices need adjustment.
Cash flow projections help prepare for shortages that can derail a small business.
Forecast realistically by using recent data considered in the context of the current market.
Pro forma calculations have many uses beyond the initial business plan, including planning for strategic growth.