Like all businesses you experience growing pains. Cash Flow is sometimes tight, customers come in ebbs and flows but you continue to make progress.
You win a few major contracts and at the back of your mind you realise you need to make some important decisions for the future.
Your hours at work have been steadily increasing and the reason you went into business, lifestyle, more time with the children, sport, or whatever your passion is, these important parts of your life have been dropping off lately and you find yourself getting resentful. Take control!
So how do you make the jump from entrepreneur to employer?
Employing someone in your business for the first time brings with it obligations and responsibilities. It is exciting, has possibilities and can result in considerable reward! Do your planning and sums first before making the leap.
Some responsibilities you need to consider are;
- Cash Flow. The old adage that ‘cash is king’ is true.
- Work Flow. Do you have enough work in the pipeline to fund your business expansion and sufficient work and marketing processes to ensure the work flow continues.
- Business Plan, Mission
There’s a lot of anxiety out there this summer. I’ve observed a lot of worry among the talented folks I’ve coached, and often they’re frozen by it, unable to contribute the inspirational leadership they’ve always brought to their teams and organizations. In many cases they need to learn (and practice) a truth held dear by generations of great professional salespeople: If worry is the sickness, action is the cure.
Salespeople are sometimes frozen by worry. They worry that they’ll be rejected, that they’ll be left feeling bad. Like most coaches and sales managers, when I’m working with a salesperson in this mode, I always recommend action – bold, positive action, plenty of it, and right away. Make a service call to a happy customer… catch up on some paperwork… follow up with new information for someone who’s still contemplating your offer. Do something, and build some positive momentum. Suddenly the numbers game that is sales work starts to look less intimidating, and it only takes a little success to make you forget all about the worry.
I once worked for a leader who described worry as “negative goal setting.” When you set positive goals, you start
In the early nineteen eighties, one of the most popular things in Soviet Russia was American made blue jeans. Exporters made money hand over fist selling American made products to the East. Now, twenty years later, we have seen the fall of communism in many cold war countries. This has opened the door to the import export business companies to make handsome profits by moving goods from one continent to another.
Blue jeans in the former Soviet Union sell as good now as they did twenty years ago. But now it is not only blue jeans. American cars, computer and electronic devices, even beauty products are becoming a big business all over the eastern continents.
China has shown automobile sales in the last two years that rival the United States. Western culture, a mythical and mystical thing to many eastern countries, is being shipped in everyday. Trade embargoes are loosening and the profit margins are now being recognized all over the world.
Even the European nations are seeing an increase in their exports to the East. There are world economics at play now that were not even dreamed of twenty years ago. Imports and exports
Small Business Resources. If you are running a small business, then you will love the fact that the Internet affords you the unique opportunity to access a variety of small business services. In fact, the Internet can guide you to resources that can help your small business become successful. Moreover, you will find that managing your l business becomes a far easier task.
Small Business resources can provide you with information pertaining to business basics, banking basics, advertising hints and strategies, proper software applications for business management, business management strategies, marketing fundamentals and much more. In fact, when you research resources on the web you will be pleasantly surprised by all of the information available to you.
Articles are an excellent source of information and can help you learn how to manage your business successfully. Frequently articles pertaining to small business focus on the minute details of business management and you can read about anything from proper tax applications to how to motivate your employees. What’s more, such articles are frequently offered to you for free or at minimal charge and the information they contain is invaluable.
Alternatively, you can access forums where you can
Worried about customer satisfaction? Then a staff with improved communication skills will have an immediate effect in this area. Frustrated that you have to spend so much time in repeating requests; re-stating statements and fixing up the results of miscommunication? Just think how much more effective time you would have with improved personal communication skills.
There are three simple rules which, if followed, will improve your ability to communicate.
Learn to Listen. Communication is a two way process, but if you start with focusing on your listening skills you will have a much better understanding of what people actually say to you.
People do not listen very well. They are more concerned with what they are going to say as soon as they can get a word in edgeways, than actually giving attention and interest to what is being received. Change your focus and become a listener; and that means concentrating on what is being said without judgement or bias.
Listen with movement; which means encourage the speaker with gestures. Nod in agreement; use eye contact to maintain interest.
And finally if you do not understand something take the time to clarify it.
Tell Them What’s Happening and Build Trust in the Process
Communication is one of the most important aspects in building a relationship so tell the Bank what is happening within your business. Send them quarterly reports which cover the key things which have happened, your management accounts, and the good deals you have picked up for example.
No one likes surprises, and this flow of information will put the Bank at ease, especially if you are already borrowing. Aim to meet your Manager at least once a year. Regular updates will quickly build a relationship and an element of understanding of what your business is all about.
… And Don’t Forget The Bad News!
If you are committed to regular contact the communication between you and the Bank should also include any bad news you may have. Perhaps not so important if you are not borrowing, but if you do have a loan then an early call about a problem, whether large or small, is better that the Bank hearing about it through the grapevine.
Even if the problem is not a potential business destroyer a phone call to inform, especially if it
Buying the Goodwill
As opposed to what one may commonly think, purchasing an existing business venture entails higher costs than starting from scratch. Indeed, you may not be required to spend on equipment, buildings, inventory, and the like, and you may even be handed an existing staff, but the larger fraction of the purchase depends upon what businesses refer to as “goodwill.” This pertains to the existing clientele of that particular business.
Just imagine, if the business you’re eyeing to venture in already has a steady and continuous stream of customers, the returns will be faster and you, as a new owner, will enjoy the gains early on.
Since the goodwill was already established prior to the new owner’s acquisition, it gives the new owner a solid customer ground and he won’t need to worry too much about attracting clients. The duty of the new business owner then is focused on customer retention.
Unfortunately, calculating the value of goodwill cannot be defined by a simple mathematical equation. It’s an agreement between the parties involved that must be based on the current economic conditions. Therefore, if the present greatly factors in, that explains for the
Begin by looking at yourself. Do you radiate success? When you come to work do you hum “take this job and shove it” or do you energetically belt out “don’t rain on my parade”? Are you optimistic about how the day will go and do you communicate that optimism to everyone you come in contact with? It doesn’t take much to communicate optimism. A smile – an encouraging word – a zest for the work at hand – they all help to convey positive demeanor.
Don’t blame the competition
So you’ve got really tough competitors out there? Sneaky, underhanded, unethical- making up rumors about you- they’re just looking for any opportunity to steal your clients away from you. I don’t think so. Competition will always be with us. And not everyone will do business the way you want to. But…how did they get it in the first place? What was missing in your product or service? Look at your weakness and confront it. Then do something about it. Your competition can’t steal business from you. You don’t own those revenues, the clients do. It’s up to them to make sure they’re getting the
The secret to avoiding disaster is to craft a realistic marketing plan: a plan which takes into account your time, your budget, and most important of all, your emotional makeup.
I hit upon this secret because for years I thought I was plain rotten at marketing. I wanted instant results, didn’t get them, and so avoided marketing altogether. You can imagine how successful that strategy was; I learned to love rice and baked beans.
Finally I made a deal with myself: I would create a new marketing plan, focusing solely on those marketing activities which I enjoyed, and which were easy to implement. If I felt an activity I didn’t enjoy was vital, I’d outsource it. I decided to outsource telemarketing, for example, because I only have to think about making a cold call for my palms to sweat. I did a deal with a friend: she’d make cold calls for me, and in exchange I’d write news releases for her business.
If you’d rather do your own dentistry than market, investigate these two options: “permission marketing” and “viral marketing”. Both these activities cost little, yet can get big results.
Permission marketing basically means