10 Small Business Startup Tips

Small Business TipsAccording to a recent Forbes.com article, over a half a million small businesses get started each month while more shut down than start-up. With this statistic, it’s not a surprise that some would be leery in joining the almost 30 million small businesses in the United States. It may also come as a surprise that over half of the working population works in a small business and that most small businesses are home-based. Why then do people start small businesses with these kinds of odds? Because many of us are still deciding what we want to be when we grow up. And once we’ve learned that, we choose to make a go of it on our own.

Starting a small business or a home-based business is not something that should be entered into lightly. More often than not you’ll go through a long period languishing while trying to make your business viable. As with many big decisions in life, starting a business is a very big risk. There’s never an assurance of success. Rather, it is expected and statistically likely that you’ll fail. However, if you’re willing to work at beating the odds and fulfill a professional goal, this may still be the route for you.

I’d worked in libraries for over a decade. I spent the majority of that time in library administration. I knew a good deal about how to run a small business because I’d essentially been doing so for quite some time. However, when you go out on your own there are many pitfalls that can be made in your businesses’ infancy. Contrary to the popular song lyrics, the best things in life aren’t free. Shortcuts will likely come back to haunt you and so too will not putting in the sweat equity needed to not only financially succeed, but to also feel emotionally and psychologically empowered.

If you want to start a small business it has to be a deliberate process. However, it doesn’t have to be an expensive one. It doesn’t hurt for you to do some research. The Small Business Administration is a great free resource. So too are the books. Really, there are any number of tools to help you start-up or navigate the waters of small business. If you’re like the almost 75% of all U.S. business who are non-employers (self-employed with no additional payroll or employees), then you can be sure that there is plenty of information to help you achieve your goals.

Running a small home-based business can be inexpensive, not cheap. Don’t scrimp on the stuff that can really make you appear more professional without breaking the budget. Here are a few startup tips for your business:

1. Get a domain name.

You may not need to register your business’s name with the state. The fact is, that process may be unnecessary and It can be costly depending on the nature of your business. However, it helps if you have a domain name so that you can have a traditional online storefront and presence. That isn’t to say that you need to sell products through your site, it just means that you have a place that you can send people to online to find out more information about you and your products and services.

2. Use social media.

No longer can people lament about how they don’t use Facebook or Twitter, being on social media also lends an air of credibility and savviness to your business. Using social media is inexpensive and easy. There are plenty of online tutorials on how to use social media and by getting yourself out there by using the social media networks, it opens you up to more clients and the ability to interact in real-time with them as well. Also, don’t simply have a presence on social media, depending on your demographic, there are still some people who simply aren’t using social media. Thus, you must also have an easily accessible webpage as well.

3. It doesn’t hurt to use old school marketing tools.

Professional business cards as well as marketing items are now nominal in cost. Don’t just settle for free cards, pay that little extra to brand your items. This way you can be fully in charge of the message you’re putting out there. Think about it, what did you think of the person who handed you a business card that were clearly free ones?!

4. Use accounting software.

Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Nutcache and the list goes on. You can even use Excel if you’re so inclined. Regardless, it’s imperative that you start consistent and accurate record keeping from the very start. Make sure that all of your transactions, big and small, are in a place that will make it easy for you come tax time.

5. Work in the cloud and back it up.

Cloud-based software is available for everything. It also doesn’t hurt to use free ones in this case. Google is the gold standard when it comes to free. However, document creation and retention aren’t the only things you can do in the cloud. Accounting software, website administration, almost anything you can think of can be done in the cloud. Plus, it makes your data accessible anywhere that has an Internet connection. And don’t forget to backup your work. If you’re saving your work to your computer or saving it to a virtual drive in the cloud, be sure that you have a backup. Redundancy is key and it can also be very economical. A good rule of thumb is to have a physical and virtual off-site backup because Murphy’s Law always happens.

6. Be virtual.

Depending on the type of services you offer, there are companies out there that can assist you in getting jobs/projects. Companies like Upwork provide you with a place to offer your services to others and provides you with an online workplace. Being a freelancer has never been so easy. As a freelancer, you don’t have to limit how and how many clients you have.

7. You have to pay some to get some.

Yes, you can start a new business with no cost, however, by investing just a little money upfront you’ll almost ensure a return on your investment. Pay for a virtual fax service, marketing materials and other little things that will go a long way in ensuring that your business isn’t like every other “mom and pop” business. Just be careful not to go all in too fast. Recurring costs, though small, can add up fast. If you have recurring costs it means that you have to earn at least that much money per month.

8. Be tax savvy.

You must be cognizant of what kind of tax impact there will be as a result of your business. It’s common, depending on the type of business you have and if you don’t have employees, for you to not withhold any taxes during your first year. Getting a baseline for what your business will be like is important, just don’t forget that Uncle Sam may hit you with a large tax bill at tax time. Visit the IRS website or speak to a tax professional to help you with getting this sorted out before it becomes a very expensive mistake.

9. Make time for yourself.

When you commit to owning a small business the one thing you’re guaranteed is that it’s going to be hard. Despite how challenging it is, you have to take time for yourself. It’s easy to work long hours and to forget that we aren’t machines. Even if it’s just a 15-minute walk each day or something else that will break up your workday, you must not forget that sometimes it’s best to literally walk away to clear your head. This will do wonders for your mood and your process.

10. Be disciplined.

Sure, we all think that working for ourselves would be the best job in the world. But it’s not until you’re actually doing it that you realize just how easy it is to be trapped by the pitfalls of having no other boss than yourself. That quick television break inevitably turns into a television marathon, sleeping in one day turns into not setting the right habits you need to be successful. It’s easy to say that you’re going be disciplined and fully devoted to the success of your business, but old habits do die hard.

Each day brings challenges and uncertainties. You have to be willing to fail spectacularly. But you also have to be willing to love and nurture your business even on the days when you just don’t feel like it. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Despite that, the sky’s the limit and your earning potential is limitless when you’ve devoted yourself to doing what it is that you are passionate about. It’s important to remember that you’re not to give up when it gets hard. Those are the times you have to really dig in and remember why it is that you’re doing it in the first place.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9394187

How to Think Differently in Business

Think Different In BusinessTo hit gold in business, you have to think gold. What is your business all about? How do you intend to maximize profits? Here are tips on how to think different in business:

Think back to the future

Don’t wait till the harsh business storm hits your business; rather, always think of what to do better or next. For example, what are the things you need to put in place to ensure business growth? What stage is your business on the business chart, that is, in areas of development, growth or decline? Is your business vision realistic? What is your current profit margin? What is your intended profit margin? How do you intend to speed up your productivity? Evaluating your business, keeps you prepared for the future.

Believe your ideas are valuable

Always think your glass is half full. Think about possibilities not only about likely constraints. As a business owner, you have to nurture a positive mental attitude; believe things will work out fine. If there are possible risks, device means to avoid or manage them. Risks are unforeseen, but you can plan ahead to avoid or mitigate them. Being positive in business enables you take a chance on yourself, be bold to take calculated risks, and believe you are adding value, even when the numbers say otherwise. That is a way of thinking differently in business.

Dig beyond your current offerings

Do not just view things on the surface. Think intensively and carry out research on other ways your business can benefit your target market. Reflect on the true realities of where your business stands at the moment. What are your business challenges? Classify them and analyse them to see how you can make a difference. Outline your business SWOT analysis (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). Go beyond the surface; be realistic.

Your competitors are watching

Understand your business environment; be familiar with your competitors’ strategies – if you are not, you can bet that your competitors are doing their homework. What resources do they have that surpasses yours? How can you leverage to collaborate and partner to get the necessary resources? What’s the best way to build more goodwill? Do a survey on your business, and be cautious of the events happening in your business environment. It’s business, so be prepared for the competition. Business is about profit making and goodwill, be focused on these objectives.

Create a war-room

Now that you know who your competitors are and understand your type of business. Identify the threats and evaluate them. Compare your business to your closest competitor. Be battle-ready. Draft a graph of your sales and profits. Can your business survive in business storm or in an unstable economy? Figure out what you can do better? What is not working? Are your key employees performing as expected? Carry out a performance appraisal. Take action: pave the way for more business improvements, do some advertisements, up your business game. Remember it is a game of profit, and that should be your aim.

Thump your chest

What makes you outstanding makes you great. Build on your business competence and promote it. Every product or service must have its own uniqueness, that thing that makes it different from others. Device means to make your business goals and objectives unique. Distinctive competence is that special attribute that shows how your business is similar to your competitors, but different in aspects of branding, concept and product offerings.

Business is nothing without profits. A business seed can only grow if the business soil is fertile, and the fertility starts from your business thoughts. Be better by thinking differently.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9365862

Why Businesses Do Not Sell

Business Don't SellIt would be nice to live in a world where every business-for-sale was sold at top dollar. While there is no such thing as a perfect business free from all defects, there are a number of problems that can hinder a sale that could be remedied, if given enough time. This article lists ten of the reasons which are often cited as contributing factors in an unsuccessful sale or a completed deal for less than potential value.

Business intermediaries need to be up-front with their seller clients, educating them on the challenges faced, and the likely impact that one or more of these issues will have on completing a successful transaction.

1. UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

a. Valuation/Listing Price:

Arguably, the price a business is listed at is one of the critical elements to a successful sale. An owner’s emotional attachment to their business, coupled with an inexperienced business intermediary’s desire to obtain the listing and please the seller, can be a recipe for disaster. Overpricing a business will deter knowledgeable buyers from establishing communications. Additionally, it will be extremely difficult to defend the valuation when a business has been priced unrealistically. The typical outcome is that the listing will languish in the marketplace and recovery becomes more difficult. Once on the market for months on end at the wrong price, the process in re-pricing and re-listing creates a whole new set of challenges, the least of which is maintaining credibility.

b. Unrealistic Terms and/or Structure

Deal structure, asset allocation and tax management must be addressed proactively and early in the process. Often the Buyer and Seller place all of the focus on the sale price at the expense of the ‘net after-tax results’ of a business transaction. In most cases, a seller could achieve a deal that provides a greater economic benefit when an experienced Tax Attorney/CPA assists with structuring the transaction. In addition to structure there are a number of other issues that could be problematic, including:

Seller insists on all cash at closing and is inflexible in negotiating other terms.
The buyer’s unwillingness to sign a personal guarantee
The lack of consensus on the Asset Allocation
Seller insisting on only selling stock (typically with a C-Corp)
Inability to negotiate equitable seller financing, an earn-out, or terms for the non-compete

2. PROFESSIONAL ADVISORS

For a successful sale to occur, a business owner must have the right team of advisors in place. An experienced mergers & acquisitions intermediary will play the most critical role – from the business valuation to negotiating the terms, conditions, and price of the sale as well as everything in between (confidential marketing, buyer qualification, etc). Aside from the M&A advisor, a business attorney who specializes in business transactions is critical. Once again, “who specializes in business transactions”. Any professional who has been in the industry for more than a year will be able to point to a transaction that has failed because the lawyer that was chosen did not have the specialized expertise in handling business transactions. Additionally, a competent CPA who is knowledgeable about structuring business transactions will be the third key role. While a business owner’s current legal and tax advisors may have the best of intentions in assisting their client with the business sale, if they are not experienced with mergers and acquisitions it would be highly recommended to evaluate alternatives. In some cases, there is one shot when an offer has been received and it is therefore imperative not to attempt to make a deal that is out of reach and impossible to complete.

3. DECREASING REVENUES/PROFITS

The majority of buyers are seeking profitable businesses with year-over-year increasing revenue and profits. When a business has a less stellar track record with varied results or possibly declining revenue and/or profits, complications with the business sale are likely to occur. Not only will decreasing profits and revenue impact the availability of third party funding but it will have a material impact on the business valuation. While buyers traditionally purchase businesses based on anticipated future performance, they will value the business on its historical earnings with the major focus on the prior 12-36 months. For those businesses which have deteriorating financials, the seller should be able to articulate accurate reasons for the decline. Both the lender and the buyer will need to obtain a realistic understanding of the underperformance to assess the impact it is likely to have on future results. In cases where the seller is confident that the decline was an anomaly and is not likely to repeat itself, structuring a component of the purchase price in the form of an earn-out would probably be necessary. In other circumstances, when there are two or more years of declines, the buyer and lender will question “where is the bottom?” and what is the new normal. In this situation, a decrease in valuation will be inevitable. Cash flow is the driver behind business valuations and business acquisitions. The consistency and quality of revenue and income will be one of the key focal points when assessing an acquisition. It all relates to risk. Those businesses with dependable recurring revenue generated from contractual arrangements will generally be in greater demand than businesses who produce income based on a project based model.

4. INACCURATE OR INCOMPLETE BOOKS

One of the most critical components to a successful business sale is for the business to maintain accurate, detailed, and clean financial statements that match the filed tax returns. Not only will these financial statements be the basis for the business valuation but they will also be the criteria for whether the business will qualify for bank transaction funding. Too often the business is managed as purely a lifestyle business that is focused only on short term owner compensation, without regard to building long term value. In these cases, the owner has taken very liberal personal expenses that may not be able to be added back when deriving the adjusted earnings. Given the importance these documents represent, a business owner should ensure that the books are professionally managed and up to date. Records that are messy, incomplete, out-of-date or containing too many personal expenses will only give prospective buyers and lenders reasons to question the accuracy of the books. Last but not least, businesses that have a ‘cash component’ will need to report 100% of this income for it to be incorporated in the valuation.

5. CUSTOMER CONCENTRATION

Businesses that have a handful of customers that produce a large percentage of the company’s revenues, will probably have customer concentration issues, especially if one client represents greater than 10% of sales. It is important for a business owner to recognize that a business which lacks a broad and diverse base of customers possesses a higher degree of risk for a buyer as the loss of any one of these large clients could have a material impact on the future earnings. As a result, customer concentration will have an effect on the valuation, deal structure, and salability of the business. Vendor and industry concentration can also pose complications when selling a business. Specialization can be a competitive advantage for a business and assist in winning contracts. However, this same narrow industry focus could be a detriment if it is perceived that the business does possess a broad supply chain and ample options to source products and materials.

6. THE OWNER IS THE BUSINESS

It is not uncommon for the owner to play a significant role in the operation and management of the business. This is particularly true with smaller enterprises. Where this situation can present a problem is when the owner is not only the face of the business but also deeply involved with all facets of the company – sales, marketing, operations, management, marketing, and financial. If there are no key employees and there are few written processes and procedures, the business lacks a dependable and repeatable work flow. When it becomes evident that the business cannot operate effectively without the owner’s hands on involvement and personal know-how, it becomes problematic. Of equal concern is the relationship the owner may have with the customers of the business. If the customer does business with the firm largely in part of the relationship with the owner, this situation will create customer retention concerns and possible transition problems when the business is being sold. In summary, buyers want a business that can operate independently from the current business owner.

7. THE OWNER(S) IS AGING AND HAS SLOWED-DOWN

It is not uncommon for a business owner to become complacent after running the company for an extended period of time. Becoming tired and lacking the previous ‘fire in the belly’ has a way of spilling over into the business fundamentals. The number of trade shows that the business participates in decreases, the travel and new customer sales calls that routinely took place on a daily basis in the early years, have been paired down. The investment spending on equipment upgrades, vehicle replacement or marketing programs have been cut back. Innovation has come to a grinding halt and the business is on auto pilot. The financials have luckily held steady but for how long? An owner who has become burnt out almost unavoidably transmits their lack of zeal and drive to their staff and clients in a number of subtle ways. The net result is the company’s performance slowly begins to deteriorate. Unfortunately, this situation can become even more pronounced when the owner finally makes the decision to sell the business and mentally checks out at the worst possible time. Transferring ownership can be viewed by some as a highly emotional process, and the decision to sell at the right time is often ignored until the issue is forced upon the owner (failing health, divorce, disability, etc.) and usually at a fraction of the former valuation.

8. INDUSTRY IS DIMINISHING OR THREATENED

Over the last two centuries there have been a number of industries that have developed and grown significantly. In this same time frame, many new industries have been created while others have become extinct. The future outlook for a given industry will have a direct impact on the valuation and marketability of the business during a sale. Businesses facing obsolescence or mired in a shrinking industry will face an uphill battle when it comes time to transitioning or selling the company. Maintaining a diverse offering of products and services that are relevant to the market, not just today, but also with an eye to the future, will enable a business owner to avoid this situation. Not only will this assist in mitigating the impact from declining sales but also demonstrate to a prospective buyer that the business has a clear path to grow in the future.

9. CHOOSING THE WRONG LENDER

From loan application approval to transaction funding is a process in business transactions that can take six weeks or more, that is with an ‘experienced’ business acquisition financier. Many deals have fallen apart during this time frame because the buyer became aligned with the wrong financial institution. There is nothing worse, for all parties involved, to find out four weeks into the process that either the loan terms previously promised were not correct or worse, that the bank underwriter declined the loan.

In the field of business acquisitions, not all banks/lenders are the same. There are conventional loans, SBA backed loans, and there are lenders that provide cash-flow based financing and others that only provide asset based funding. One bank may turn down a borrower for an SBA 7a loan while another institution will readily accept it. Every lender has its own unique and frequently modified lending criteria. Therefore, buyers need to ensure they are working with the right lender from day one, or valuable time is wasted causing the deal to be compromised, or lost to another, better prepared candidate. Buyers should consult with the business intermediary representing the sale to determine which lenders have reviewed and/or pre-approved the transaction for funding. Obviously, buyers who are prequalified from the start and verify that the bank’s lending criteria conforms to the type of businesses they are evaluating, will be the best positioned for a successful acquisition.

10. COMMERCIAL PROPERTY ISSUES

For some businesses the saying “location, location, location” cannot be more important to the value of the company. Typically, this will pertain to retail businesses. If the physical location is of major importance, the business buyer will seek assurances that they can either purchase the real estate or be able to sign a long term lease. On the flip side, the business could be located in a part of town that has fallen on hard times or could be located on the owner’s personal property, both situations necessitating that the business be relocated. Also, some businesses are not easily relocatable without affecting the current customer base. All of these circumstances add another layer of complexity to the transaction.

Additionally, the type and size of facility can also have a material impact on the sale. If the facility is not large enough to provide the enterprise a sustained growth path, a buyer could become disinterested. Another situation could be the value of the property. If the current owner purchased the land/building a decade or two earlier and the financials or recast do not reflect a current FMV rent/lease payment, valuation problems will occur.

Business transactions involving the sale of commercial real estate can be hampered by the Environmental Site Assessments (ESA’s) – Phase 1 and Phase 2. Property that is contaminated can be very costly to clean up and will have an impact on the closing. When this situation arises, it will be important for the buyer and seller to have a clear understanding of the costs to resolve the issue, which party is responsible, and whether a price offset will be warranted.

Other complicating factors involving commercial real estate include zoning changes that require a property to be brought up to new codes, and clear definition of who bears responsibility and the cost of this process. Last but not least, the agreement by the landlord with either a lease assignment or offering a new lease at comparable rates.

SUMMARY

Most small business owners have spent the majority of their life building their business. It is not uncommon for a business seller to become so emotionally attached to the company that they look past some rather glaring problems that a business intermediary, a lender, or prospective buyer will immediately recognize. It is natural for a seller to want to obtain the highest price possible for their business. There is so much bad information on the web related to multiples and business valuations that this should not come as a surprise. M&A Advisors need to be honest and direct in educating a business seller on the challenges faced in a potential sale, the range for a realistic transaction price, as well as creative terms and structuring options that might be utilized. Being a people pleaser and ignoring any potential problems will only provide the seller with unrealistic expectations. In the arena of business negotiations there are few if any “pleasant surprises”. Dealing with issues up front rather than late in the sales cycle process should be the golden rule.

Michael Fekkes is a Senior Broker at ENLIGN Business Brokers in Nashville, TN. Michael is a Certified Business Intermediary [CBI], a Certified Exit Planning Advisor [CEPA], Chairman of the International Business Brokers Association [IBBA] – Communications Committee, as well as a former business owner. He can be reached at 910.691.2202 or mfekkes@enlign.com. ENLIGN Business Brokers is a Professional Services Firm serving the Southeast that is headquartered in Raleigh, NC providing business intermediary services ranging from valuation and sale to exit & succession planning strategies.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9430186

Choosing Great Painting Business Names

A good business name is necessary to help you to build a strong brand and market your services successfully. A strong brand will give your business an identity in the market place, help you to make a good first impression on people and help to build a positive reputation among customers in the long run.

Below we have set out a number of tips and ideas for you to consider as you proceed to think suitable painting company names.

Don’t Limit Future Opportunities

Effective business names give potential customers a clear message about what products or services a company offers. This is one sensible approach but it is important not to pigeon hole your business too much as you may want to change direction, sell the business or introduce new services at a later date. Your name should indicate what you do while still being general enough to offer flexibility.

By all means include the word ‘painting’ in your name, but don’t be too specific about the market that you are targeting or the exact services that you offer. If you feel that you will branch out into other areas in the future then the word ‘contractor’ may be more suitable.

You should also think twice before including the owners name in the business name. This can offer a nice personal touch and give customers the impression that they are dealing with somebody who has a good reputation. However, this approach can make it hard for you to sell your business if you want to do so at some point in the future.

Including the name of the area or region where you are doing business is also an option that usually works well. However, if you ever want to offer services outside of this zone then such a name can become irrelevant or confusing.

Memorable and Unique

A great name for a business is one that can be easily remembered. People should be able to recall it after hearing it only once or twice and they should be able to pronounce it correctly. Once you have a short list you can run some tests on family and friends. See which ones they were able to hear clearly over the phone and which ones they were able to remember a week later. If you can think of a name that will stick in peoples minds then you will really have their attention.

A great name should be unique and professional at the same time. If you look in The Yellow Pages or online you will find plenty of clever, catchy and creative painting business names. While names that are funny can sometimes get more attention, you may find that some sectors of the market don’t relate to them, misunderstand them or even find them offensive. The best choice is often to go with a more conservative sounding name. This will come across as being much more professional and appeal to a wider market.

Originality and Usage Rights

While you can look to other industries for inspiration, dont imitate the names of other local businesses too closely or you will risk confusing consumers. You need something that is truly original if you want your business to stand out.

Make sure that no other companies are already using the name that you would like to use. Search The Yellow Pages, the Internet and the database at your county clerks office to make sure that you dont infringe on the intellectual property of other companies or individuals.

Domain Name Registration

Check that there is a suitable domain name available and register it at the same time as you finalize your business name. You will need to get a website up at some time and it is nice to have a domain that matches your name.

Preferential Listings

Many people name their business ‘A Plus Painting’ or something similar because they want to be among the first listings in The Yellow Pages. This is becoming less important these days though as popular search engines on the Internet don’t display search results alphabetically.

Acronyms

Give some thought to acronyms. If done right they can be an easy way for customers and business associates to refer to your business by using the first letter of each word. Just make sure that you stay away from embarrassing or weird acronyms.

Expert Advice

Many people underestimate the importance of a business name. It is one of the elements that will help your company to win the hearts and minds of the marketplace over many years. Some smart entrepreneurs are now starting to hire naming experts to help them make this crucial decision. While it is unlikely that a small painting startup would go to such expense it wouldn’t hurt to run your ideas past someone with a decent level of experience in business.

Avoid a Name Change at All Costs

Sometimes it becomes necessary for businesses to change their names because they have become old fashioned or irrelevant. This may become necessary for you at some point in the future but you should do your best to avoid this. The costs associated with such a change can be extensive so your selection should be able to stand the test of time.

A Name That You Like

Above all, you, as the owner of a painting business have to have a name that you like. There is no point in using a name that sounds embarrassing or makes you cringe every time you say it. Your business name should inspire you and make you feel proud to be a painting contractor.

Dont treat the selection of your painting company name too lightly. Give this important decision the time that it deserves and come up with something that can carry your painting business forward to future success.

Systematizing Your Mobile Bartending Business

Im not gonna lie, building a business can be hard work! We got into this whole Mobile Bartending thing because we love bartending and making money and it is a really fun gig!

But there are times we have to do things we dont like and it can suck, right?!
Well, its time for a mindset change that I would like to share with you. Once I had this mindset shift, it really made things not just easier, but more enjoyable for mewhich resulted in more money in less timewhich is good!

Ok, you ready? Its all about creating SYSTEMS in your business. Basically, you need to ask yourself, should I need to implement a system for particular things in my business? Yes you have too, I’ve been there and When you start to implement systems in your business, you are starting to work ON your business, not IN it. You should really only be concentrating on the things you enjoy in your business and create a system for the rest.

So, how do we create systems?

First, for about a week or two, all I want you to do is observe your actions. What are you doing each day, or week that you dread? What is taking up a lot of your time? And what are the reasons you end up like a snail crawling on your works? These are the things that you need a system for.

Let me give you an example: When I first got started Mobile Bartending, I would create a customized shopping list for each and every customer. That means I would write and email and spend 20 minutes coming up with everything I thought they needed for their party! 20 minutes!! It wasnt until I created a Sample Shopping List that I could simply attach in an email to every client did I realize I had a system in place. Its a simple system but it took me from 20 minutes of work down to about 10 seconds.

Once you have identified crucial areas that need to be systemized in your business, you need to ask yourself what you can do to make this quicker, easier and more efficient. Sometimes it is using technology and the power of the Internet or software to have it done for you. Othertimes you might need to actually hire someone to take care of this aspect of your business. I have a virtual assistant working for me at just $3.50/hour out of the Philipines, she helps me trememndously!!

I also remember that setting up for a big event would take all day! I literally spend 5-6 hours setting up, cleaning tools, and prepping everything I needthat is a joke! Now? 30 minutes! Why?! Because I found a more efficient system that removed myself from the process!

Just remember, do what YOU love, and systemize the rest-and watch you and your business grow! Realize every important steps that you should implement to increase the growth of your bartending business is a very wise alternative choice.

Advantages Of Business Presentation Folders

There are many advantages of business presentation folders. One of the biggest is organization. Obviously, if you plan to present your company to potential clients, it’s important to stay organized. The other big thing is that you need to recognize that your presentation folders keep circulating after they leave your hands.

Your presentation folders are going to be spending more time than you might think in the hands of your clients. Not only can a great folder put your presentation at the front of the list, but it can invite reuse.

All offices need presentation folders, you see. So, your clients may decide that, rather than throw your folder out or toss it in some sort of dead folder file, they’ll actually re-purpose it to suit their own needs around the office. You may never know it, but you folder could circulate around their offices for days, weeks or even months after you’re gone, continuing the advertising campaign for you.

Those are some very good reasons to make sure that you put your best foot forward by creating the ultimate presentation folders. On top of those reasons, though, a customized folder can also show your creative side. Anyone can put paperwork in a folder. It takes time, care and imagination to make the folder part of the pitch, though. Companies are apt to recognize that extra effort.

Digital printing has made it easier than ever to make that extra effort. In fact, you can even design your own folders right on your computer. All it takes is a little time and templates, which you can download from your print company’s website.

The age of digital printing also means that you no longer have to buy folders in bulk. You can order them in any amount, including single folders. That saves money and also helps to save the environment.

Speaking of saving the environment, another great thing is that you can order folders that are made out of recycled materials. Not only will that give you a good feeling that you’re doing your part to save the environment, but it will also impress many of your clients.

In fact, you might influence your clients to recycle your folders themselves around their offices. After all, extra file folders always come in handy. That means that your company logo and mission statement could be seen a lot more often and by a lot more people than you expect.

So, regardless of what sort of presentation you’re creating, be sure to create the right folder for it. Whether you use gussets, bright colors or special business card holders, it can really make your presentation pop. In fact, for a little added flair, you can even customize the size and shape of your presentation folders. The choices are entirely up to you and the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

The Advantages Of Great Photography In Your Business

Have you ever considered exactly what influence a single photograph could very well have on your overall business? What if perhaps I told you that if executed the correct way, professional photography could very well boost your product sales considerably? A lot of us have by no means thought of it previously or maybe took it casually. After all, as business owners, most of us have a great deal to manage and priorities need to be made so that sort of ignorance is understandable.

Having said that , understand that approaching photography for your business half-heartedly may greatly diminish your potential selling power. To better present my position, I am going to share a few instances with you of just how a good photograph could very well increase your business’s success.

As we both know, photographs associated to your business tend to appear in these two mediums ; often on the web (as an online advert or simply on your site) or as an offline advertisment, generally in some type of magazine or paper. Quite simply, photographs should be utilized as a promotional piece in your advertising so if you really want to pack more punch in your promotions, know that visual aids are actually a huge aspect. In many cases, actually more so then surrounding copy.

So as a business, you can almost certainly make use of photography in one or more of these areas: photographs of your specific business setting, photographs of your merchandise, and photographs of you and your personnel. After all, you will find three important things consumers have to love before they will buy from you and that is you/your employees, your merchandise, and your company. Keep in mind, your business location fits in closely with your product and brand if individuals are going to it in order to conduct business along with you.

Now that you have an understanding of what photographs could be used for in your business, let’s discuss why this is important. As I said previously, you need prospective customers to like you/your staff, your products, and your brand. Well, unless you are not advertising or promoting yourself at all (which you really should be), people will begin to make opinions of your business based on your ads and pictorials and I’d suppose you like to form excellent first impressions.

After all, selling will be considerably simpler when your prospective client already thinks highly of you. You better believe that I shake my head when I see a business spending a great deal of money on an advertisment just to include photos that they took using their digital camera. I can’t knock business owners for trying, but with professional photographs and a quick modification of layout, you’d be amazed how much more attraction an advertisement can have. Have you ever been to an open house from an advertisement you noticed in the paper and then went only to discover it appeared even bigger and more beautiful in the photographs; that’s an example of the magic of good photography. Do you want people showing up at your place because they are intrigued and amazed with your photos?

More importantly, do you want individuals to look at an image of your product and be impressed by how professional and high quality it looks. Had you been a jeweler, would you want your product photos to seem like they came from Zales or from John’s Jewelry Store on ebay?

I highly recommend you have a look at where you can improve the photography in your business and begin taking action. You should be enthusiastic to bring out a new quality in your brand. A few good photos can last quite a long time in your business and you will be glad you decided to go the extra yard while the competition chose to scale back.

Team National Review – Is The Team National Mlm Home Business A Good Way To Make Money

What is Team National? Team National Review
Team National is a $200+ billion a year network marketing company (or MLM home business) founded in 1997 by Dick Loehr. Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the company is a legitimate business as evidenced by their various designations and associations: members of the Direct Selling Association (DSA), a Registered Member of Dunn & Bradsteet (D&B), a Member of the US Chamber of Commerce and a Member of the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Florida (BBB), plus strong endorsements from people like best selling author & leadership development coach John Maxwell, among others.
The “Product” of the Team National MLM Home Business:
Every legitimate MLM home business company must market something of value to its customers in order to generate revenue to the company and to be able to pay it’s network of distributors. Team National is different however, in that it markets a membership to help people save money who use it on a vast array of products and services in over 20 different industries. Since 1997, total membership and product sales is approaching $1 billion.
The idea behind developing a company to provide benefits and services – now called membership savings – came as Dick envisioned an MLM home business program, that would allow anyone who owns a membership package to enjoy the type of discount buying power as a Fortune 500 company. Starting with only a few basic discounts – savings on oil changes and new car purchases – the Team National MLM home business now offers substantial savings on everything from small everyday items (household goods, business supplies, communication services, insurance and travel services, clothing, food, you name it…) to larger once-in-a-while type items like jewelry, home furnishings, vehicles and toys.
They split the savings into 4 different divisions:
1. Factory Direct (up to 65% savings on items like jewelry and home furnishings)
2. Group Buying Power (over 20 different industries)
3. Business Exchange – save locally at thousands of small businesses across the country
4. E-Commerce – up to 30% commissions from over 100 popular and brand-name retail stores with a Team National website
The Opportunity for a Team National Home Business:
AlthoughTeam National’s membership program demonstrates clear value and representatives – or Independent Marketing Directors (or IMDs) as they’re referred to – who mainly want to sell the aspects of the membership in order to get sales will not make much money with Team National. As with all MLM home businesses, MLM and internet home based businesses, creating a sustainable, booming, walk-away residual income requires leverage in the form of team building. Through building teams, you can multiply your efforts to get not just a few membership packages purchased; in fact, it’s possible to get hundreds and thousands of memberships purchased through your network from which you receive your override so-to-speak (just like an insurance broker receives an “override” on the accomplishments of their people).
The Team National compensation plan offered is also one of the better ones in the industry simply because of the amount of money Team National pays out. This is because the company pays out 72% of the price of the memberships back to the reps in commissions and bonuses with their hybrid binary structure. This unusually high compensation amount – they talk about weekly pay for your first “Progression check” of $1,500 – is because there is no needed product markup or profit margin added onto the price of the membership. This enables the company to negotiate these savings based on the group’s high-volume buying power (just like a nationwide co-op). This again is one main advantage Team National has over its rivals in the industry.
Highlights of the Team National MLM Home Business compensation plan:
As discussed previously, the Team National business model as with most network marketing companies, pays out the most for those who build teams (because that gets more memberships purchased). Using their hybrid-binary structure, they pay out between $25-$100 for every membership sale. In addition, Team National has created a points system where just 4 membership sales (on average) in each leg of the binary will produce a $1,500 check as often as weekly (see compensation plan for exact details). This is strong compensation and as your team grows you earn additional legs (paycenters they call them) which each pays out an additional $2,500 when on average 4 sales are made on each of the paycenter’s 2 legs. This can add up to substantial income for the serious business builder.
It’s worth noting the difference between $25-$100 per sale (for the salesman) versus building a team and being paid $1,500 from 4 or so membership sales in each leg that you or your team bring in. All in all, Team National is one pretty powerful MLM home business for those who approach the business the correct way.
So how does a Team National IMD go about building a thriving, income-producing team?
First, you must have some kind of system in place to help you promote to find and qualify potential business partners to present the Team National MLM home business opportunity to. You can do this by just talking to people you know, or you can work smarter by utilizing the power of tools like the internet to help you sort through an almost endless quantity of probable prospects actively searching for an opportunity like the Team National MLM home business provides. Work smarter to leverage your income and get your business in front of more people to make more money (it’s all a numbers game after all) or continue doing what you’ve always done if you want to continue to get the same results.