October 4, 2012
If your dream is to start a business, you most likely have plans to see it grow into something larger. After all, no one starts a business in their basement expecting it to stay there forever. If you want to grow your business, there are several things you should be doing from the very beginning in an effort to ensure growth and plan for the future.
The first thing you need to examine is where your money is going and how the most money is made through your business. You should take great care to identify and avoid the pitfalls that can result in profit loss. This can be anything from the materials used in production to product theft, be it from customers or employees. In turn, you should put as much emphasis as possible on the activities that bring the most money to your business.
Decide How to Measure Success
Whether you’re looking to ensure profitability or simply cut expenses, you need to plan and do so in a way that can be measured as time passes. If you fail to meet your goals, you will know that you need to adjust your production or spending in order to meet this criteria. This means that you should be identifying specific goals as opposed to general “decrease production” or “make more money” type goals.
Know the Condition of Your Industry
A key step towards building your business is having a solid knowledge of both the history and current climate of your business. You should be in tuned to what your competition is doing and, to a certain extent, how they are doing it. If they are successful, take steps to emulate them where possible while avoiding the areas where they may be lacking. Success is business is about adaptation and staying ahead of you competition, so you should always be on the lookout for original ideas to improve your customer experience and bottom line.
Know Your Customers
Your customers are what drives your business. This is common knowledge among the most successful businessmen in the country a quick look at Charles E Phillips CEO profile shows that he has risen through the ranks of several different companies because of a desire to give the customer what they want. You should be looking for direct interaction with your clients whenever possible, be it surveys, panels or any way you can imagine to improve their experience.
Your business is as large as your dreams, and using the above tips will go a long way towards building your future success.
September 23, 2008
I just finished reading Rich Schefren’s latest free report, “The Uncertainty Syndrome“. This is my really, really, really quick review of it:
“The Uncertainty Syndrome” is an AWESOME read! In this report, Rich reveals some big constraints that keep you from making more money online. Constraint # 4 was a big problem for me and I found the exact solution to fix my problem on page 39 of “The Uncertainty Syndrome“. In fact, I am immediately going to implement the solution on page 39 of the report, because it will make a HUGE difference in my bottom line.
September 17, 2008
Rich Schefren just released a new report called, “The Uncertainty Syndrome“. In this report, Rich reveals key strategies and tactics you can use immediately to virtually obliterate whatever is holding you back and advance your business to where it should be.
Rich is also going to be LIVE for 24 hours for you to see and talk to at the same time you can get his new FREE report. Sounds pretty cool!
I am still dealing with Hurricane Ike here, so it might be a while before I can read the report, but I expect it to be a great read as all of Rich’s past reports have been unbelievable.
Anyway, you can download the report by clicking here.
August 15, 2008
Bascially, CashMaps is a monthly newsletter that reveals the systems that Rich uses to build his online business. If you want to build an online business, Rich’s CashMaps is something you should take a look at.
July 2, 2008
Entrepreneurs come in all sizes and shapes. They approach their business with a goal, something that works for them and while some manage to work to a strict schedule, others explore and learn along the way. The frugal entrepreneur however has one thing in mind.
His main objection is to run his business frugally to ensure faster success. But what exactly does this mean?
Wikipedia says frugality in philosophy can have several meanings. For starters, it could be considered a virtue, or a spiritual discipline by some cultures or even environmentalists, while others see frugal living as a result of mistrust.
In business, frugality equals the usage of available resources and making them last longer. Entrepreneurs, especially young ones need all help they can get in the beginning stages of their business. What better way to become pro-active and choose the do-it-yourself approach.
While I was thinking about this concept, I wondered whether business frugality can indeed help us attain success faster or not? Join me on my mind trip to see what conclusions I have reached.
Being an entrepreneur myself I can only look at this from my own perspective. While this might be similar to some of you, others might not agree with my views, which is fine. I think we have to do what is right for us, regardless of ideas, options or desire.
My journey to business frugality
When I first started out online I was a total greenhorn. I think it’s safe to say this. Since I was born in the flowering 60s, I never learned how to use a computer at school, let alone did I realize there was an Internet available to me in the 90s. To say I’m a late starter is quite accurate.
So in some ways I can be forgiven to be blinded by this massive online world and all the opportunities that lie at my finger tips when I finally saw the bigger picture.
To be honest, while everything seemed rather exciting it soon became massive overload. And after soaking up everything I learned, saw and heard on the net I soon found myself burnt out, close to financial melt down and disheartened with my lack of advancement.
Spending myself out of pocket
The major problem for me was my desire to know everything. I soon realized that it is impossible. On my quest to find online riches I bought every dozens of eBooks, courses, plus memberships. Every time I did I felt a little closer to my goal which of course I so wasn’t.
In reality I was kidding myself while spending my hard earned money on a lot of useless stuff. Then when I failed my MLM business I had no other options than to either go back to a job I hated (which I did for about 7 months) or get really serious and make it happen.
The dawn of frugality
That moment was the beginning of my business frugality. I stopped buying into every new product launch. I also stopped buying into all the hype I saw online.
I started to knuckle down, look very hard at what I REALLY wanted from a home business and went about doing it, step by step.
My frugal mind helped me since I went from spending between $2000- $3000/month to spending about $150 for my business costs. Mind you, the massive difference was mainly due to me quitting my MLM business. Company tools, events, lead management systems and phone bills kept those expenses astronomically high.
When I look back now I’m still shocked at having spend so much of our savings. Despite this shock, I also know that if it wasn’t for my MLM business I wouldn’t be doing what I do now. You could say I made peace with myself and learned from my mistakes along the way. Was it costly? Hell yes it was as you can see quite easily. But I’m thankful I made the switch when I did, otherwise I might be living in a rented house rather than my own today.
On being frugal
In short, my decision to become business frugal has meant the difference between my business success and my earlier failure. Maybe I needed to be learning this very hard lesson in order to become 100% dedicated and serious. In retrospect, I probably did.
From where I stand, it certainly does help to have a frugal mind as an entrepreneur. There is no room for wastage and much error as every single one will cost us dearly.
Does this make sense to you too? Do you employ a frugal mind set in your business or couldn’t you care less about this? Let us know please.
June 17, 2008
When we talk about budgets we usually mean monetary ones. While budgets are great to keep on track with finances, there is an alternative way to budget. This is to budget for time. Admittedly,this being an unusual term, it does make a lot more sense when we put some thought to it.
As a business owner time management is a major part of my business. It ties in closely with staying organized, focused and committed. For if I was to eliminate this from my day to day runnings I would seriously struggle to keep up with my deadlines.
Therefore I budget my time. If you are are anything like me then I’m sure you prefer to run your business with optimum performance opposed to lack of. I’m exactly the same and time budgets help me to stick to that performance track.
While some business owners prefer to use large junks of time to get things accomplished I prefer smaller, more manageable tasks instead. Believe me, I trialled with various ways to budget my time. Mainly:
- Online time tracking applications
- Watching the clock
- Using a traditional diary
- Using nothing
- Writing various lists
Despite giving each a fair go, none of them worked for me. The process of budgeting my time for optimum performance was one of many failures, misgivings and utter frustration in the early stages of my business. In the end I said “to hell with them all” and did my own thing.
Do you want to know what it was?
—> I started to budget my time with a simple Moleskine hack and it worked.
Ever since that day I have budgeted my time slots for (near) optimum performance. I’m tweaking a few things here and there, but overall I’m very pleased with the huge steps forward.
Budgeting my time has had another benefit to me and my life. It has allowed me to enjoy a more balanced life between my business and my social life.
As we all know, running a home based business can be very lonely at times. Therefore it is imperative to spend some time away from the office on regular occasions.
It is so easy to get totally absorbed in our business without ever stopping to smell the flowers. I know, because I have done exactly the same. Doing this long term will only burn us out.
So instead of working myself into an early grave I have learned to manage and budget my time. I make it my priority to spend some time every day with tasks other than my business. Whether I read, go for a walk or hit the gym, I found this daily balance is a necessity to keep me grounded.
If you struggle with your time budget you might want to find ways to gradually switch from busy to relaxed in the body rhythm best suited to you. While some people get up easy bright and early, others struggle and we won’t see them awake until midday.
The best advice I can give you is to go with your biorhythm instead of trying to follow somebody else’s. If you are particularly strong in rising early then do exactly this and get as much accomplished as possible before lunch time. You will feel better for it too since you can enjoy the rest of your working day with a lot less pressure.
Alternatively you might be a bit of a sleeping addict needing copious amounts of coffee first thing in the morning to get you going. Instead of stressing about getting up with your neighbor’s rooster enjoy your sleep in. There is plenty of time at night to get accomplished too.
In the end, when it comes to budgeting your time for optimum business performance you need to go with your own groove to get the most out of it.
May 13, 2008
img by jimmyroq
Working from home poses its own challenges for people who do, namely working in a somewhat lonely environment, deciding on whether to shower, dress for success or simply working in our PJ’s. Either way, whatever we do, it does require some form of control and measure to get things done in a timely matter.
The biggest issue work at home entrepreneurs have would probably fall into time management and staying on track of our goals. After all, it is only too easy to get sidetracked with important visits, movies, game nights, shopping, outings and what not.
I’m sure that if you fall under the label “self employed, working from home” you have your very own demons to wrestle with at times (or had in the past at least).
What were your biggest issues and how did you grasp them in the end?
When I first started out in my first home business, I always dressed up, brushed my teeth, combed my hair and did everything else I was supposed to do to run a successful home business.
After all, working from home is no different than working for a boss, except of course that we are the boss. Or so I thought… soon enough I learned that following the same behavior to get ready for work than if I was actually going to an employers premises didn’t really work out as I hoped it would.
All the nice suits, cool hairstyle and mint fresh breath didn’t get my work done, did it.
No, I learned that instead of living that pre-cut life of doing things this and that way, I was better off to focus on the actual tasks at hand and really stay the course.
Since nobody is watching over our shoulders except perhaps our spouses and clients (if we have them) it is a challenge for many entrepreneurs to stay on course of their self imposed work schedule.
Perhaps that is why it is so easy to make excuses, since we “only” work for ourselves.
To do that you would only kid yourself and risk your own lifeline and success. After all, if we make too many excuses nothing good will ever come out of it.
Don’t you agree?
So what is the secret to keeping the focus without falling prey to daily distractions while working from home?
Personally I think the most important part of running a business from home is to set targets. But not just any targets. They have to be in bite sized chunks to stay manageable. It also helps to factor in distraction time every day.
In the years I have been online I finally learned that no matter how many tasks you set yourself every day, you will fall short of them on most days due to unforeseen distractions. As long as you allocate extra time for this, you won’t have any issues. I also learned that setting myself too many targets never works out so I keep them in a manageable way.
What works for me is to take 2/3 of my working day and plan it out while leaving the rest free for the less important work that has to be done regardless. This has worked really well for me over the past year.
Maybe you have your own tips on how to work successfully from home.
April 28, 2008
Online entrepreneurs have something in common. Our desire to succeed has made us take our financial destiny into our own hands with the idea of becoming financially successful one day.
While success can mean many things for each of us, a common measure of success is managing to become financially independent of an offline job and have the freedom of working from home. While working from home is generally associated with the American dream, many entrepreneurs fail to set proper milestones in their business to get ahead.
It is too easy to become complacent while things are going well, but not setting targets that help us to grow would be like committing business suicide.
The first step is always the hardest since it often involves a tremendous amount of courage, trust in our abilities and mojo to get even started.
Fear of failure holds back many would be entrepreneurs and unfortunately this common human trait will hold these folk back from ever experiencing the power of failure. Yes, that wasn’t a misprint since failure is ultimately responsible for our successes. Without failure we very rarely grow and without growth, there won’t be any success.
Depending on what business you are involved in, you will have to set different milestones on your journey to financial abundance. To give you an idea, I have listed the goals I achieved along the way so far and how I advanced my own business by striving to meet them step by step:
- Starting my own freelancing business – check!
- Earning $1,000 month – check!
- Earning a full time income (minimum of $2,000/month) – check!
- Becoming a pro-blogger – check!
- Networking with other writers and webmasters – check ongoing!
- Taking on other writers (outsourcing) – in progress…
- Earning enough to help my husband quit his job – in progress…
- Building niche sites to pay me residual income for years to come – in progress…
- Working mornings only, while living “my dream life” for the rest of each day – in progress
Ultimately, the last statement is my largest dream. Being able to run my business from anywhere in the world and not having to work all day long every day. My dream is to earn enough money for both myself and my husband and be financially free to work anywhere I please, living the lifestyle of an LIP.
Here is what you can do to determine your very own business milestones.
I’m sure you’ve heard the terms:
- short term planning
- medium term planning
- and long term planning before
These are common denominations when it comes to setting goals and getting things done. The thing is, while for one of you short term means this week, for others it means the next three months.
It really is hard to throw all into the same bucket and depending on the nature of your business, short term really does mean today. If you are in an industry that deals with fast changes like money, real estate or trends for example, today’s hot deal could be stone cold tomorrow. Entrepreneurs in these particular industries have to set different goals than a writer like myself.
Also, often our goals have nothing to do with money but a simple measurement.
Measurements are needed regardless of the business you are involved in and could relate to any of the following and anything else for that matter if I have forgotten to mention it here: time, money, grades, recognition, education, positions, the amount of clients you have, the amount of employees you have, etc.
I’m sure you understand what I mean by now. Unless we use some kind of measure in which to advance our business with, it will be really hard to move ahead.
Measurements evoke another most important attribute. This attribute is called focus.
Without focus most of us would barely be able to earn a dime to support ourselves online, let alone our family. Focus is what gets us out of bed in the morning and keeps us pushing on toward yet another goal when the going gets tough.
As you can see, setting milestones is barely the first step we take when we embark into entrepreneurship. Milestones are a constant evolving matter that power us toward the dreams we always had.
March 11, 2008
When you start out online you need to make a solid business plan. A business plan is your roadmap for success.
My father told me to create a business plan a long time ago and at first I didn’t listen to him (I should have). My father has made a REALLY good living helping new companies develop successful business plans designed to get these companies government funding. He is an absolute expert at what he does. I wish I had listened to his advice about making a business plan early on because he really knows what he is talking about.
However, you don’t have to make the same mistake I made.
All you need to do is find a good business plan template and fill it out. You can get a good business plan template for FREE by going to SCORE’s template gallery and downloading their business plan for start-up businesses. You don’t have to answer all the questions posed in the business plan template to have a successful business, but the more questions you answer the better understanding you will have your business.
Some of the questions covered in the business plan will be things we discussed earlier in the Getting Started series. Some of the questions are new questions that will help you better understand ALL the planning that you can do to create a roadmap for your success.
Creating a business plan will help speed up your quest for online success.
February 18, 2008
A while back I wrote about how to pick the right niche for your blog. The same process can be used to pick the right niche for your online business. Here is a quick outline of the steps you need to take (you can read all the details here):
1. Make A List Of Your Passions
2. Make A List Of Things You Do Well
3. Merge The First Two Lists
4. Choose Your Favorite 3-5 Niches
5. Determine The Traffic Potential
6. Determine The Money Making Potential
7. Make Sure You Have Time For The Niche
The Most Important Things To Remember When Choosing The Right Niche For Your Online Business
You should choose a niche in a target market that you CAN and WANT to spend a LONG time serving. While you can have online success by going from one niche to another and you can have online success by creating products in niches that you are not passionate about it is much easier to build a business by sticking with one niche market that you LOVE and catering to that target market. I am going to say that again , because it is SO important:
It is much easier to build a business by sticking with one niche market that you LOVE and catering to that target market.
To help target the right niche, you need to decide who your ideal customer is. You can do this by answering the following question:
Who will I enjoy serving?
Target your online business for a niche you would LOVE to serve (click here to read a previous post I wrote about the importance of choosing your customer first).
You want your online business to be enjoyable and easy. One of the best ways to do that is stick with a niche you are passionate about.
If you REALLY want to make big money online AND enjoy it, then do what you LOVE.
February 5, 2008
How To Plan The Online Business Of Your Dreams
In the first post in my getting started series we talked about the importance of planning out the business of your dreams. Before you come up with a business plan you have to know what you want to accomplish with an online business.
In other words the first step to creating the online business of your dreams is to define the online business of your dreams.
You can’t create the online business of your dreams if you don’t know what it looks like!
The best way to define your ideal online business is to ask yourself questions that will help you create a clear vision of your ideal online business.
Here is a small sample of the kinds of questions you should ask yourself:
- Why am I starting a business?
- Why do I want to make money online?
- What am I willing to do to make money online?
- How much money do I want to make per year with my online business?
- How many hours a day do I want to work?
- Do I like to deal with customers?
- What are my strengths and weaknesses?
When you ask AND answer questions like the above question you can get a picture of your ideal online business. With that picture in mind, you are well on your way to creating the online business of your dreams.
PS. Here is a bonus question for those of you who are religious:
What online business can I create that will best serve God?
January 29, 2008
What is the first step you should take when starting an online business?
Many of us (myself included) start our quest to make money online by reading about it. You will read about SEO, Internet marketing, making money on eBay, making money with affiliate marketing, and anything else you can find to help you make money online. You might buy one or more info products about making money online. Then after learning how to make money online for a while you will either:
- Purchase a web domain and start setting up the website to make money using the knowledge you have gained.
- Continue to read and read about Internet marketing and never take any action on your knowledge.
- Make a sound business plan and then take action on that plan to build a successful online business.
- Make a sound business plan and then NEVER take action on that plan.
Which of these paths do you think is the best way to get started online?
The answer, of course, is number 3.
3. Make a sound business plan and then take action on that plan to build a successful online business.
If you start trying to make money online without a plan then you will never know where you are trying to go. You might get there on accident, but it is better to have that defined up front. In other words, choice number 1 is not ideal, but it is MUCH better than choices 2 and 4.
With choice number 2 you gain knowledge but never use it. With choice number 4 you make a plan and never act on it. Neither choice 2 or 4 result in an actual online business being created. You would be surprised how many people follow paths 2 and 4.
YOU WILL NEVER MAKE MONEY ONLINE IF YOU DON’T TAKE ACTION!
If you are just starting out trying to make money with an online business, then the first thing you need to do is make a plan for success. Not just any plan, but a good solid plan based on YOUR strenghts, skills, needs, and desires.
In the next post in this series we will delve deeper into planning the online business of your dreams.