3 Questions You Must Answer Before Investing In Smart Business Tools

With increasing sophistication and improvements in the use of technology, there is no doubt that business tools have come to stay. As things stand today, it appears many of these tools are becoming smarter and smarter. Some of the most common tools now being used by many business owners are computers, cellular phones, beepers, fax machines, copy machines, printers and a host of others. For small business owners, it is smart to use business tools but these tools should be acquired with some caution. It is extremely dumb to acquire a business tool because you have seen your next-door-neighbor using one. Before you decide to invest in a business tool, apart from taking the cost of the tool into consideration, you must find out what value the tool will bring into your business. You must ask and answer the following three questions satisfactorily before you decide to invest your time and money in any smart business tool.

01. Will the tool lower my overheads? Smart business owners always strive to lower costs while doing everything to increase sales. The ultimate aim is to keep profits up. If a business tool is capable of helping you to reduce your overhead costs, you can invest in it.

02. Will the tool help to increase my sales? If a business tool has the potential to help boost sales, it is worth investing in. Continue reading »

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What Keeps Women Business Owners Up at Night?

A national survey of women business owners (WBOs) conducted by Web.com Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: WWWW) and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) found a pervasive sense of economic optimism, including a prediction by most WBOs (85 percent) that more women will become entrepreneurs in 2013 than in past years. WBOs also plan to invest more (38 percent) or the same (54 percent) in hiring this year than they did in 2012 – a positive sign for the economy.

2013, the Year of the Female Entrepreneur

The State of Women-Owned Businesses survey found that the large majority of WBOs were optimistic about their business’ overall performance (81 percent) for the year ahead. They were also optimistic, though slightly less so, about the broader economic outlook (74 percent) in 2013.

“The 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Survey reveals that even in these tough economic times, women entrepreneurs are optimistic about business opportunities for the year ahead,” said NAWBO President & CEO, Diane L. Tomb. Continue reading »

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When The Power Goes Out – Business Entrepreneurs Can’t Give In

During Super Bowl 47 something rather unexpected happened, the power went out during the second half. Well, half the stadium’s power went out that is, and yet, the show must go on. The game was delayed 35-minutes, the problem was fixed and the game continued, after all, it was the Super Bowl, and after a long fought season, that game had to be played. Some would say that the chances of that happening, the power going out, is next to impossible. Well, if you know anything about New Orleans, you should be too awfully surprised, I wasn’t.

Now then, let’s talk about this and how things like this happen to us all in the real world. For instance, let’s say you run a business; what do you do when things go wrong, do you immediately look for blame, huddle the team, work on the crisis, or search of opportunity in the process. How about all those things simultaneously? Interestingly enough, the San Francisco 49s had their power off so their Telex Headsets were not working, they should have huddled the team and strategized or had another half-time locker room type talk.

That’s what the Baltimore Ravens did, but let me ask you something, what would you have done in the those darkest minutes? As an entrepreneur or business leader you cannot give in or give up, you must continually perform, and be up for the challenge. Continue reading »

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How Personal Development Training Impacts Business Success

Many business owners avoid personal development training, believing that self-improvement won’t necessarily impact their company’s success. It requires them to face certain aspects of their personality that they may not like, even pointing out their weaknesses-both personal and professional. While investing in self-improvement can seem like a scary task at first, the rewards are typically immeasurable. In fact, research has shown that business owners’ personal development plays a huge role in the success of their organizations.

Overcoming Limitations
Whether they consciously know it or not, most business owners set limitations for themselves. But success isn’t measured by these limitations-it’s measured by how they excel past them. Personal development training helps break down limiting behaviors and shows business owners how to adopt more sound practices while empowering the way they think.

Stop Self-Sabotaging
If someone were to tell business owners that they were hindering their own success, they’d say they were crazy. Continue reading »

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How Using a Quarterly Business Review Can Help You Be Seen As a Trusted Business Advisor

I speak with lots of IT Solution Providers and Managed Service Providers who tell me that their clients see them as the “IT Guy” when how they really want to be seen is as the clients “Trusted Business Advisor“.

So how can you change your clients perception of you? By being more focused on business, and talking less tech. Someone a client can approach not just to fix the computers, but as someone they actively involve in their business plans.

This is where Quarterly Business Reviews (QBR’s) come in.

What is a Quarterly Business Review?

A Quarterly Business Review is, as the name suggests, a meeting with your client on a quarterly basis where you discuss their business and how you can support them. Continue reading »

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Time Management Tips for Business

If you are a business owner it would be natural for you to think about the ways through which you can make your workers to give their best performance at work. Devising an action plan or setting goals at work with consideration of time management can bring really advantageous for your working environment.

Good working performance reaps more benefits and profits. Your team will complete their tasks within time, only if you make them aware of the benefits of managing time.

This would also let you share those difficulties you have to go through during your business affairs. But the main problem is how you can do that? Continue reading »

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Is It Time To Put Your Business On A Diet?

Is your business weighing you down by all the demands being placed on you? Do you carry that weight like a beaten horse hauling a fat cowboy? Do you try to lighten the load by shifting things around, or cutting the cost of products to try and sell more? If so, stop!

I am not against cutting costs, but there is a better, more efficient plan, and that plan begins with taking a close look at:

* Where you are currently

* Determining where you want to go

* And then laying down the steps and the processes that will get you there

To do that, of course, you’ll have had to track and measure everything. Many business owners don’t, so if that describes you, setting up tracking and measuring systems is a good place to start. You want to calculate your break-even point. This will help you determine what exactly you want to invest your time and money in that will relieve you of that overburdening load you’ve been carrying. One should do a “break-even analysis” for every area of one’s business. Continue reading »

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The Right Way to Build Your Business in a Recession

Building a business is a daunting task, not to mention trying to do it when the economy is bad and times are hard. You need to sacrifice a lot more than you ever would have when the market is doing well, and you end up having to risk more as well. If you take the right steps and follow the key fundamentals, your business should continue to expand no matter where the economy is at.

Cut Back Spending

Cutting back on spending is the first thing you need to do to make sure you don’t lose valuable money that could be used to revive your business during hard times. If you don’t already have a detailed spending plan, then you need to create one immediately. After you have done this, you can then decide what you don’t absolutely need and that you can afford to take out. There are things you have to have and aren’t going to be able to cut spending on, so make sure you do the proper research so your business will still benefit.

Continue to Market

Just because times are tough, don’t quit marketing. Start to look at the major sources of customers through your advertising and marketing, Continue reading »

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Can Any Business Afford to Be Closed for Two Years After Fire Damage?

It is not unusual in the UK for restaurants to be situated in attractive ancient buildings and it is also not unusual for restaurants to be vulnerable to fires, sometimes with devastating consequences.

In June 2012 a fire in the restaurant kitchen in a listed medieval building in a Suffolk town caused substantial damage, halting business both for the restaurant and for nearby businesses.

The fire service’s subsequent investigations revealed in September 2012 that the fire had started accidentally in the neighbourhood of the main oven in the restaurant’s basement kitchen and spread quickly through the ventilation system. It has been reported that insurers are still investigating the situation further. Continue reading »

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5 Surefire Techniques to Create Visibility for Your Business

As an entrepreneur running your own business, it is not enough to simply create something of value which you believe people want and are prepared to buy. You must go further than simply creating something. If you are unable to make deliberate efforts to make people aware that such a product or service exists at your end, not many people will come looking for the product or service. The essence therefore is to create sufficient visibility for your product or service. When your product or service becomes sufficiently visible to people, you will create awareness. From awareness, you will go further to create interest and interest can help convert people to be your customers. It is when your business has sufficient paying customers and repeat customers that the money begins to flow into its coffers. When you employ these five simple and inexpensive techniques to expose your business, you will surely create the visibility your business needs to attract customers.

01. Volunteer to give a talk about your business at public functions. The essence is to tell your audience first-hand how your business is useful to them and how they can benefit from it. Many professional bodies and associations are known to invite volunteers to talk to their members from time to time. When invited, do not hesitate to seize the opportunity. Continue reading »

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