7 Tips to Starting a Successful Small Business

Getting a small business off the ground is challenging to say the least. Here are some tips which will prepare the ground for running a successful small business.
Have Goals
This is where it all starts – the foundation for success. Know exactly where you are heading. What will the business ‘look’ like in the future? How will you know when your business is a success? When you wake up in the morning, do you know what actions you have to take to get you on the road to success?
Take Action
The difference between success and failure is down to the actions you take. The failures in life are the people who know what they have to do but never do it. The successful small business owners are people who take action on their ideas, ones who never say, “I wish I had done …”


Seek Feedback
There is a saying that feedback is the breakfast of champions. During the early days of your business you must continually seek feedback about all aspects of your business. What works? What doesn’t work? What needs changing slightly? Speak to customers, suppliers, your bank manager, your accountant – anyone who can provide you with a fresh perspective.
Find Out What Do You Don’t Know
You can’t expect to know everything about running a business. Undertake your own skills analysis and find out your areas for development. Once you know your knowledge gaps seek out courses, books and advice, which will get you on track.
Be Focused
Let no one distract you from achievement of your goals. At the start of every day get yourself into the frame of mind that you will only do tasks which will get you closer to your goal – nothing else matters.
Take Risks!
You will never achieve anything if you’re not prepared to jump off the cliff a few times! We’re not talking about risks which will put the business in jeopardy; just risks which are planned and thought out, yet at the same time test the edge!
Think Positive
Yes, the oldest cliché in the book, but totally true. See the positive in everything. If something has not gone right train yourself to ask, “What good has come out of this?” Understand that in every problem there is potential for good.

7 Key Tactics For The Small Business Owner

For most folks, owning your own business is a dream come true.  The freedom of being your own boss and succeeding to the best of your ability are facts of life for the small business owner.  Sure, there’s more stress than what you probably imagined when you were creating your grand plans, but with a little strategy and planning you can overcome any tough spot you get in.  There are 7 tactics developed by successful marketers that are sure to make your business as successful as theirs.

  1. Create A One of a Kind Selling Point

If you want to stand out from the crowd, create a unique selling proposition that stresses the benefits the customers will receive from doing business with you.  Will they get faster service?  Go ahead and dramatize it, but keep the customer at the focus…”Get free overnight delivery!”  Hey, it tells the customer…you get quick service and a discount on shipping.   Two definite benefits in one statement.

Why should someone buy from you and not your competitor?  I hate to deal a blow to your ego, but it really has nothing to do with you , your product, or your service.  Yeah, its a little self-centered, but customers are attracted by offers that point out the things that benefit THEM.

Don’t go out on a limb to create new products and services to get attention.  Just, add a special benefit to the ones you already have… maybe it’s quicker service.  The most effective things to emphasize are benefits that your competition cannot or is not willing to give.

  1. Use Testimonials

Hey, we all know that business owners think their product or services are the best thing going, but it’s what the current customers think about it that really matters to your prospective customers.  They’re the ones who see things from their point of view… what they have to say about the business has an impact.

Testimonials play an important part in advertising – especially for small businesses.  Yeah, big businesses with well-known names don’t have to worry about it, but small companies can use testimonials as marketing tools to build credibility.

Think about it…how else can we gain credibility than by creating a group of satisfied customers and shouting what they have to say?  Let’s look at some ways we can make testimonials an effective part of our marketing campaigns.

  1. Upsell

Upselling is one of the most successful marketing trends today.  Everywhere you go, someone is trying to get you to buy more.  From McDonalds with its supersize options to clothing stores that try to sell you shoes to match your outfit, everyone’s jumping on the band wagon.  Why?  It works!

Your customers already know that you have great products and provide satisfactory service.  They trust you to come through for them.  Think about it…  it’s much easier to make sales to someone you already have a relationship with.

Use every opportunity to increase your sales volume within the customer audience you already have.  Do you have a product that goes with the one they are purchasing?  Offer it to them at the register.  It’s a proven and effective method for increasing sales.  You may be shocked at the additional sales you can generate from those who are already buying from you.

  1. Make Your Price Seem Smaller

Divide and conquer…  The old war tactic works in marketing too!  When the price seems too steep, break it down into “buyable” size bites.  An $120 item is only 12 low monthly payments of $10.  A $365 purchase would only cost $1 per day.  Now that sounds affordable!

  1. Paint The Benefits Pretty

Customers buy because they want to enjoy the benefits of the purchase.  A lady might buy a dress because she wants to feel sexy, or a man will buy a book because he finds pleasure in reading.  Emotions are the key element that drives purchases.

Use word pictures to stir up the emotions that will instigate the sale.  Let them “feel” the benefits, and they’ll be more apt to head for the cash register.  Put them where you want them.

  1. Create Attention Getting Headlines

Are you ready to capture your reader’s attention with great copy?  The headline is the place to start.  How often do you scan the newspaper’s headlines before you decide whether or not to read the article?  Yeah, that’s where we lose or gain the reader’s interest, so it’s a pretty important part of the advertisement.

A good headline should telegraph its message in twelve words or less. Double check those headlines.  Do they make a promise of a positive benefit, or ask a provocative question? Don’t settle for less than attention grabbing statements.

  1. Provide An Offer They Can’t Resist

Is your deal too good to pass up?  If not, you need to improve it.  Hey, I’m not talking about cutting prices even more…you’ve still got to make a profit.  You can make the deal sweeter just by increasing the readers knowledge of the value of the product, or adding bonuses that are perceived as valuable, but cost you little.

Motivate buyers with expirations.  Yeah, an open ended offer encourages procrastination…which leads …yep, nowhere.  When the customer knows he has until Saturday to purchase an item he’ll pay more for on Sunday, he’ll make it a priority to head for your shop.

7 Key Skills to Becoming a Successful Wedding Planner

Becoming a wedding planner involves more than just planning a wedding. You must understand the business aspect of your service and learn to manage your time to earn the most profits. You will be the face of your business and your own public relations representative. Every day you will have the opportunity to build — or damage — your reputation as a businessperson.

As your business and your expertise grow, you will probably begin planning multiple weddings at once. It is essential that you strive to provide the best, personalized attention to each couple when planning their big day, without losing your sanity.

The 7 Key Skills

No one said that becoming a wedding planner was a job for the faint of heart. Not everyone can succeed as a wedding consultant. A good wedding planner is:

– Calm. You will be the bride’s (and the groom’s!) rock. From miscommunications with vendors to major meltdowns at the ceremony, you must be able to keep your cool in the wake of a calamity. A wedding planner should always have a Plan B ready for action in case of an emergency.

– Charming. You are the face of your business and your clients’ representative. Impeccable communication and social skills are imperative. Your reputation as a wedding consultant depends on your ability to network and maintain great working relationships with vendors and venues. Wedding planners must know how to communicate and work with all personality types. Not everyone you encounter will be pleasant and easy to please. You must be able to defuse any situation to get the results your client desires.

–  A Great Negotiator. The bride and groom will be counting on you to order flowers, hire the band and photographer, recommend a caterer, and help find venues for the ceremony and reception. You must be able to find the best service for the lowest price. This becomes easier as you create a reputation for yourself and develop professional relationships with vendors and venues. Your connections will get you better deals, which you can pass on to your customers.

– Good with Money. Starting a wedding planner business requires that you be able to manage your own expenses and stick to a budget, as well as be responsible for someone else’s money and budget. Previous experience with money management is vital — even if your only experience consists of controlling the household finances.

– Organized. A wedding consultant might be responsible for almost every aspect of the big day: the venues, theme, flowers, food, refreshments, attire, photography, honeymoon, and other details of the wedding. Keeping track of all the nuances, contract dates, and deadlines requires an enormous amount of organization and attention to detail. Your calendar will be your new best friend.

– A Plethora of Knowledge. A good wedding planner has fashion sense, good taste in music, and an eye for color, flowers, and themes. You must be able to keep up with the latest bridal trends and fads, hot honeymoon destinations, and of course, traditional wedding etiquette. Many wedding consultants also learn about different religious ceremonies and traditions so that they can accommodate couples of any faith.

– Able to Maintain a Sense of Humor: From indecisive or emotional brides to controlling parents and absentee vendors, your work is cut out for you. When you are dealing in dreams, the ability to keep things in perspective is essential.

Beginning your own wedding planning business will be a learning experience. No one knows everything from day one, and as the old saying goes, practice makes perfect.

Business, financing, mistakes,

Avoiding the top 7 business financing mistakes is a key component in business survival.

If you start committing these business financing mistakes too often, you will greatly reduce any chance you have for longer term business success.

The key is to understand the causes and significance of each so that you’re in a position to make better decisions.

>> Business Financing Mistakes (1) – No Monthly Bookkeeping.

Regardless of the size of your business, inaccurate record keeping creates all sorts of issues relating to cash flow, planning, and business decision making.

While everything has a cost, bookkeeping services are dirt cheap compared to most other costs a business will incur.

And once a bookkeeping process gets established, the cost usually goes down or becomes more cost effective as there is no wasted effort in recording all the business activity.

By itself, this one mistake tends to lead to all the others in one way or another and should be avoided at all costs.

>>> Business Financing Mistakes (2) – No Projected Cash Flow.

No meaningful bookkeeping creates a lack of knowing where you’ve been. No projected cash flow creates a lack of knowing where you’re going.

Without keeping score, businesses tend to stray further and further away from their targets and wait for a crisis that forces a change in monthly spending habits.

Even if you have a projected cash flow, it needs to be realistic.

A certain level of conservatism needs to be present, or it will become meaningless in very short order.

>>> Business Financing Mistakes (3) – Inadequate Working Capital

No amount of record keeping will help you if you don’t have enough working capital to properly operate the business.

That’s why its important to accurately create a cash flow forecast before you even start up, acquire, or expand a business.

Too often the working capital component is completely ignored with the primary focus going towards capital asset investments.

When this happens, the cash flow crunch is usually felt quickly as there is insufficient funds to properly manage through the normal sales cycle.

>>> Business Financing Mistakes (4) – Poor Payment Management.

Unless you have meaningful working capital, forecasting, and bookkeeping in place, you’re likely going to have cash management problems.

The result is the need to stretch out and defer payments that have come due.

This can be the very edge of the slippery slope.

I mean, if you don’t find out what’s causing the cash flow problem in the first place, stretching out payments may only help you dig a deeper hole.

The primary targets are government remittances, trade payables, and credit card payments.

>>> Business Financing Mistakes (5) – Poor Credit Management

There can be severe credit consequences to deferring payments for both short periods of time and indefinite periods of time.

First, late payments of credit cards are probably the most common ways in which both businesses and individuals destroy their credit.

Second, NSF checks are also recorded through business credit reports and are another form of black mark.

Third, if you put off a payment too long, a creditor could file a judgement against you further damaging your credit.

Fourth, when you apply for future credit, being behind with government payments can result in an automatic turndown by many lenders.

It gets worse.

Each time you apply for credit, credit inquiries are listed on your credit report.

This can cause two additional problems.

First, multiple inquiries can reduce you overall credit rating or score.

Second, lenders tend to be less willing to grant credit to a business that has a multitude of inquiries on its credit report.

If you do get into situations where you’re short cash for a finite period of time, make sure you proactively discuss the situation with your creditors and negotiate repayment arrangements that you can both live with and that won’t jeopardize your credit.

>>> Business Financing Mistakes (6) – No Recorded Profitability

For startups, the most important thing you can do from a financing point of view is get profitable as fast as possible.

Most lenders must see at least one year of profitable financial statements before they will consider lending funds based on the strength of the business.

Before short term profitability is demonstrated, business financing is based primary on personal credit and net worth.

For existing businesses, historical results need to show profitability to acquire additional capital.

The measurement of this ability to repay is based on the net income recorded for the business by a third party accredited accountant.

In many cases, businesses work with their accountants to reduce business tax as much as possible but also destroy or restrict their ability to borrow in the process when the business net income is insufficient to service any additional debt.

>>> Business Financing Mistakes (7) – No Financing Strategy

A proper financing strategy creates 1) the financing required to support the present and future cash flows of the business, 2) the debt repayment schedule that the cash flow can service, and 3) the contingency funding necessary to address unplanned or unique business needs.

This sounds good in principle, but does not tend to be well practiced.

Why?

Because financing is largely an unplanned and after the fact event.

It seems once everything else is figured out, then a business will try to locate financing.

There are many reasons for this including: entrepreneurs are more marketing oriented, people believe financing is easy to secure when they need it, the short term impact of putting off financial issues are not as immediate as other things, and so on.

Regardless of the reason, the lack of a workable financing strategy is indeed a mistake.

However, a meaningful financing strategy is not likely to exist if one or more of the other 6 mistakes are present.

This reinforces the point that all mistakes listed are intertwined and when more than one is made, the effect of the negative result can become compounded.

Shop Vacuums, Your Home Should Not Be Without One

The shop vacuum may simply be the most flexible vacuum available today. You need to cherish a vacuum whose size is estimated in gallons. The shop vacuum is being utilized in homes and organizations all throughout the planet by each culture. They are even found in the Marine Corps sleeping shelter to keep everything totally unblemished. Known as the Shop Vac after that famous brand name it can tidy up pretty much any wreck wet or dry. A few models will even siphon out an overflowed storm cellar effortlessly. They are quick and incredible.

A decent shop vacuum can be acclimated to deal with fine residue, shakes, ooze or water with a straightforward channel change. The solitary alert that you ought to know about is that you ought to never utilize a shop vacuum to tidy up combustible fluids. In the event that you own a workshop the shop vacuum is an instrument that you will utilize ordinary. The amazing engine produces bunches of attractions power maneuvering the earth into the cylinder where it is stored in the lower part of the tank. On the off chance that you are doing a specific dusty occupation you can put water in the lower part of the shop vacuum and it will fill in as a wet dry vacuum. The shop vacuum is an extremely adaptable piece of cleaning hardware.

Shop vacuum can be purchased in practically any equipment, home improvement or enormous box store in the country. They come in all sizes from one gallon up to in excess of 20 gallons. Expansion hoses and wands will permit you to reach anyplace. You can without much of a stretch arrive at in excess of 12 feet straight up basically by adding extra short three foot wand expansions. No soil is protected from a shop vacuum.

There is likewise an extraordinary arrangement of devices that will fit a shop vacuum that will help tackle any work enormous or little. They are truly extraordinary for wiping out within a vehicle or truck and with their amazing attractions ready to drain anything out of little breaks and openings with little issue. Shop vacuum are by and large reasonable to buy and are entirely strong. They are an incredible speculation that will deliver profits for quite a long time to come. Let’s be honest you just can’t beat a shop vacuum for esteem.