Month: June 2019

Leverage Social Media For Personal Business

There are many social media platforms out there, and knowing how to leverage as many of them as possible is key to maximize your business’s exposure and reach new potential markets. Here are a few suggestions on how to leverage social media platforms that most people use today.

  • Leverage Twitter! Twitter is a micro-blogging platform that lets your business “follow” certain experts, competitors, and other important entities in your niche. Your customers can also follow your “Tweets,” checking out your newest articles, your latest products, and other updates.
  • Leverage Facebook! Arguably one of the most popular social media platforms out there, Facebook lets you put up a fan page for your company. Some plugins can also let your “fans” and visitors sign up for your mailing list, and Facebook also has a special program for ads and promos.
  • Leverage LinkedIn! LinkedIn is more professional than most other social media platforms, since it focuses on creating contacts between businesses. You can find markets to sell to – as well as other products and services that can help you grow your business even more quickly.
  • Leverage Plaxo! Plaxo is a great way to keep your contact list and calendar updated by syncing all your contacts and events from Google, Facebook, Outlook, and other sources into one place. Definitely a great way to keep track of your business’s important activities!
  • Leverage MySpace! Sure, it might not be one of the most popular social media platforms out there. But it still commands millions of users, and it’s a pity if you don’t make the most of it!

These are just touching the basics on how you can leverage these social media platforms. It’ll take quite a bit of research to uncover even better ways to use these platforms to your business’s advantage. The good news: It’s always fun, and it often doesn’t cost much, if at all.

Social media will keep growing over the next several years, and some platforms – such as Google Buzz – are very quickly changing the scene. It’s always a good idea to leverage social media to a point that keeps your business on top of the competition.


Successful B2b Collaboration

Collaborative tools need to be utilized on time, effectively and efficiently by the right people, and are necessary for successful B2B collaboration. Low-tech collaborative tools include emails, instant messengers and bulletin boards.The more high- tech tools are application and desktop sharing, and video conferencing etc. are used for effecting communication and collaboration between organizations. For effective collaboration, the right people have to use the right resources in order to achieve the common goal of both parties. A secure system will allow the right people have the latest information on time helping them take informed decisions that will help guide the B2B networking towards its success.

Tips To Ensure Successful B2B Collaboration:

  • It is necessary for the partners to be able to share information extensively in a secure atmosphere to ensure both can work together to achieve the target goals.
  • Companies can install the latest automated systems to perform their tasks and ensure that information is available uninterrupted when needed.
  • It is better to enforce security and administrative policies to help create, maintain and terminate access rights to data.
  • Properly delegating tasks and establishing the level of security regarding their access to data is anther important aspect to be taken care of to ensure successful B2B collaboration.
  • Users have to have smooth flow of information while using ERP or CRM systems.
  • Maintain a good user log to determine who accessed any data and what changes they made etc. security is a very important factor and having a system that offers excellent security features can boost confidence ensuring successful B2B collaboration.
  • Use collaborative tools in conjunction with other tools such as CM, DM, KM, CRM, SFA etc. creating effective collaborative business knowledge databases.
  • Have good supply chain management system integration
  • Have top end software installed that can integrate back office data and applications enabling end-users and systems inside and outside the organization to access data easily.


Entrepreneurial Mind Frame

Is the American dream a possibility for anyone, or, does it take more than most to become a successful entrepreneur?
The success of an entrepreneur does depend on their mindset. A large percentage of business owners will quit in their first five years in business. What is needed is the fortitude and belief that goes with attaining success.

Entrepreneurs are risk takers and dreamers. The difference between the dreamer and the entrepreneur though, is that the entrepreneur takes actions based on their dreams. They persist through the hardships and never give up! Many entrepreneurs start with an idea. Their success is determined by their belief that they can create something greater than simple monetary success. Often, it is about creating something which will benefit the world.

James Dyson, for example, came up with the idea of the bagless vacuum cleaner. Despite multiple set backs, over 5000 prototypes and not being able to get any manufacturers or distributors to accept his idea, he persevered. It was over a decade after his initial idea when his concept came to fruition. Even then, it was after a lot of difficulties and hardship due to the vacuum replacement bag industry, which was worth £100 million in the UK.

In Simon Sinek’s book ‘Start With Why’, he suggests that the biggest companies in the world are so because of their “why?” – their reasons for building a business in the first place. In all cases, it wasn’t just to make money, or make technology better, or some whimsical ideology.

The Wright Brothers, for example, became known as the pioneers of the first manned flight. But their competition was much better funded and well connected – Samuel Pierpont Langley had worked at Harvard, had a number of powerful connections, including Andrew Carnegie and Alexander Graham Bell. The War Department funded his project with a $50k grant, a seemingly massive advantage to the unconnected Wright Brothers who had no money or influence. However, their passion and devotion to change the world with this new technology drove them to attain the first flight in history in 1903.

Desire for material things and monetary wealth can only carry someone so far. Unless you have a goal or passion which is bigger than that, you may lose the momentum and fail to maintain your enthusiasm for any length of time.

The entrepreneurial mindset is one which taps into your purpose. Without a purpose driven goal or aim, it can’t take long before disillusionment kicks in. With a mindset which takes into account a larger purpose, entrepreneurs can build huge businesses because they ‘saw’ a vision of what they wanted to create. If the purpose is greater than the obstacles which lie in the path of attaining it, no amount of setbacks will stop you from achieving your goal.

On the other hand, if you set out to do something and something gets in the way and stops you, your initial reason, (your “why?”), may not have been strong enough to endure all the battles along the way.


How To Retain Customers

Discounts

Offer sales and discounts frequently. Stock clearing sales won’t just help you make profit on unsold goods; they also get you customers who will be impressed by your competitive prices. Not only will they come back, they will also bring other customers with them.

Keep an Eye on What the Customers Like

If the customer makes her interest in a particular product known to you, then watch out for similar products when they hit the market. Let the customer know when you have them. Chances are, the customer will be interested and you will get a repeat visit.

Insider Tips

Don’t always look to make a profit. Always keep your customer’s interest in mind. If you feel you can offer a better quality product at a cheaper rate than the one they are opting for, do so. You may make a little less the first time around, but when the customers returns, you will be the winner.

Be Specific

Don’t vaguely hint at discounts and how the customer can get products at your store for cheaper rates. Tell them about special offers clearly. Being vague will not get you business, it will just be seen as a stunt to pull in more customers. If you can state clearly what kind of discounts you are offering, the customer will trust you more and drop in to try out your product.

Last Day for The Sale

Set a last date for the sale. This is one of the best ways to get customers flocking to your store. Do not give a vague “maybe another day or two.” Tell them it is going to be over by the 3rd, and this will make those still undecided come to a decision quickly.


Employee Dishonesty Coverage

Employee dishonesty coverage is meant to cover your business against criminal acts of any kind by your employees. It could be theft with a view to financial gain, or willful damage to your property out of any motive.

  • Theft: When employees steal money, equipment, property of any kind, or securities like passwords, bonds etc., you can suffer huge financial losses. Employee dishonesty coverage safeguards you from such loss.
  • Damage to Property: Willful damage to property by an employee out of rage, revenge, or any other motive can also cripple your business. Employee Dishonesty Coverage covers this kind of damage.

One of the main drawbacks of the Employee Dishonesty Coverage is that the burden of proof lies on the owner. Insurance companies pay for losses only if it has been conclusively proved that the loss was due to theft by employees. Employee dishonesty coverage does not cover.

  • Unexplained disappearance of Property
  • Loss of employees’ property.
  • Damage that has been covered by another insurance policy.

Employee dishonesty coverage is meant to cover your business against any crime by employees. Some of the basic facts about employee dishonesty coverage are discussed below.

  • Employee dishonesty coverage offers blanket coverage for your business against theft by employees. All employees are covered under this policy.
  • The insurance limit is calculated on the basis of occurrence. If more than one employee is involved in a single instance of theft, the payout will be for a single occurrence.
  • The Knowledge and discovery period of the crime covers the time elapsed between the theft and its discovery by a senior official.
  • The loss limit of liability is a one-time payment with no yearly aggregate.

Employee theft is a real threat to businesses. What’s more, most insurance policies do not cover this kind of damage to business or property. Therefore, it is a good idea to opt for Employee Dishonesty Coverage. If you have any queries regarding the insurance coverage you should opt for, you can approach a small business consultant or insurance agent to help you choose the right Employee Dishonesty Coverage for you. After all, you never know when a disgruntled employee may damage your property, or embezzle fund from your account. Better to be safe than feeling sorry.


Start A Logistics Equipment Company

Logistics Business: Making a Start.

  • Decide The Kind Of Equipment You Will Deal In: The logistics equipments are as varied as the industries it caters to. You can go for transportation equipment like forklifts, carts, cranes, trucks etc. Alternatively, you can deal in machinery used in factories, like racking, sorters, packaging equipment etc.
  • Pick The Area You Wish To Be: Do you prefer manufacturing logistics equipment, selling them, or renting them?
  • Build a Brand: Once you have started your logistics equipment company, you must strive to build a brand name for yourself. People will deal with you not only if you offer cheap goods, but reliable and quality products.
  • Choose Customers Well: Do not just go by the volume of orders that a client places. Keep an eye on long-term growth prospects and try to build a good relationship with your customers. Their referrals can be of invaluable help to startup a logistics equipment company.
  • Location: Location is an important factor in your logistics equipment business. Your business must be located close to industrial belts.
  • Adherence to Quality: In the logistics equipment business, quality and price are both important factors. Never compromise on the quality of goods because you wish to cut down on the price.

Logistics Equipment Business: Maintenance Services.

An offshoot of the logistics equipment business is the maintenance business. The maintenance business is a challenging area, needing coordination between the clients in order to increase efficiency, implement cost effective measures and improve the level of service. The logistics equipment company must provide maintenance for equipments for transportation, communications, manufacturing etc.

Logistics Equipment Business: Material Handling.

Another subcategory of the logistics equipment industry, material handling deals with the design of logistics equipment. The aim of this business is to design better, cheaper and more efficient equipment. From designing farming equipment to stackers, hoppers, conveyers, silos and warehouses, material handling is an industry in its own right.

With the demand for logistics equipment services increasing, there was never a better time for starting a logistics equipment company. If you do not know much about the industry and want guidance, you can approach many consultants who can guide you and help you get loans for starting the business. With a booming of the goods and services sector, the demand for logistics equipment services is set to grow. So grab this opportunity by establishing a logistics equipment company of your own.


Generating Profit for Social Change

First, to achieve success as a social entrepreneur, you need more than a business idea. You need a business strategy and the tenacity to see it through.

Why a social entrepreneur?

Have got what it takes? Don’t answer immediately, think about your motivation, is it because you want to do some good or find a way for to give back to society? Being a social entrepreneur means dedicating time, money, and efforts to help solve the issues of other individuals. You need to figure out why you want to become a social entrepreneur in the first place and understand all its aspects. Remember, self-reflection is the key that will keep you going and will prevent you from going off-track.

Your primary objective

If you are ready to take this path, then it is time to decide what your mission is going to be. Which issue(s) are you going to tackle? Think about abilities, previous experience, professional skills, and whether you have access to the required resources. Have a clear-cut plan and finally decide if you want to tackle that problem. Research thoroughly about the type of social business setting you want to work in and learn more about competitors. If a social entrepreneur is out there, having a similar business or idea, do not give up but instead use that as an inspiration and possibly reinvent the idea.

Creating a business model

How can your business concept be different from others? A helpful exercise would be to continuously make notes that are directly related to what you are trying to achieve with your social enterprise. Remember, your business model has to create a positive impression on your staff, retailers, and clients, as well as serving a societal need. You should have a clear picture of what you want to achieve and how will you achieve it – preferably in ways that have not been done before.

Partnership and a team

Can you do this all by yourself? You can and you may but wouldn’t it be so much better to have a partner that can share the burden of work with you? Not only that, partners can help you in establishing your enterprise. They may have useful contacts and connections for you and your business. Genuine humility can assist you at this stage to keep you in partnership with the people, institutions, and communities that you’re trying to help.

A “partner” is not essentially an individual who will work for you either as a collaborator or an employee. Rather, it’s someone who will be a supporter of what you’re trying to achieve through your work.

To create a “team” look for individuals that are already in your life and who you consider to be reliable friends and mentors. They could be people who are simply on the same wavelength as you who want to make a difference too. Team members are people you can freely throw ideas to and get some feedback in return. They are the people who know you and what you can do and can help propel you forward.

Funding and marketing

This is the critical part. If you have reached this stage, then it’s time to look for financing options. Even though your business is focused on meeting social needs, all businesses still need to generate income, pay employees, and provide services. Will you seek a business loan or a loan from family and friends? Do you have funds that you can invest or are you on the lookout for potential investors and venture capitalists? If you are unsure, then you can try and reach out to other social entrepreneurs and get their opinion on the issue.

The next important thing to check off your list is marketing. You need to spread awareness about your brand and your work. Crowdfunding platforms, for instance, are excellent resources for helping social entrepreneurs grow and establish themselves. Create your website, and spread the word on social media platforms as well. If nothing does it, then simply shout out from the rooftops. Let the world know what issues you are trying to resolve and you might inspire other people in the process.


Right Business Structure

When you are starting a new business, one of the first decisions you must make is what kind of business you wish to start. The kind of business you choose depends largely on your personal assets, and when you make this decision it effects how your business will be viewed by the IRS and by investors. A popular option for first-time business owners is a sole proprietorship. There are both advantages and disadvantages to this type of business, so research all the different kinds before choosing the one that is best for you and your business situation.

Most businesses start as a sole proprietorship. This kind of company is owned only by you and run only by you, so you are responsible for all of the actions of the company. To the public, you are the company. Sole proprietorships work well for CPAs, freelance artists, craftsmen, and medical professionals who see no need in the future to expand their business to include more employees or to sell stocks to investors. Many sole proprietorship businesses are run from the home.

In starting a small business you should never think you can do it alone! One of the best ways to insulate yourself against business failure is to find and work with a mentor, someone with business experience who can guide and assist you.

A good resource is the Service Corps Of Retired Executives (SCORE) which can link you to retired professionals who are available to give you advice.

The advantages to starting a sole proprietorship are great. First, there is less start-up cost, and it is very possible that you will not need a business loan from a financial institution to begin. In many cases you are taking a hobby and selling the service or resulting product. In this case, you probably have everything you need already to get started and simply need to find advertising for your new business. Secondly, you are 100% your own boss. You get to make all of the business decisions and you take home all of the business’s profits at the end of the day. Because of this, it is easy to reinvest that money back into the company to help it grow. Taxes become simple for a sole proprietorship business, since they are easily done on the owner’s personal tax return, and, if the business unfortunately fails or you lose interest, it can be easily dissolved without affecting other employees or investors.

However, sole proprietorships have a number of disadvantages as well. Because you are using your own money to start the business, you will lose it all if your business fails. You will be legally responsible for the actions of your business, and if you take out loans, you must pay them back regardless of how the business succeeds or fails. Loans, however, may be difficult to get in the first place since you have only your personal assets on which to rely. Lastly, it is possible to have employees or to outsource some of your business, but until your company has been in operation for a few years and has proven itself stable, you may have trouble attracting other workers, who see the business as a risk. Employee benefits for yourself and others are also more expensive in this case.


Basics of Lawn Care Business

Season-oriented

Lawn maintenance is a seasonal business. The prime business period is usually from April to October. This is subject to the climate of the location where you operate your business. During the spring season, you have to start marketing your service aggressively to gather enough clients to last you through summer. In the fall, you should be winterizing lawns and doing other jobs like raking leaves. If you have past due accounts, this is also a good time to start collecting them. Winter is consider a downtime for lawn maintenance but you can consider offering extra service like snow plowing to keep the cash coming in.

Types of services

If you are just starting out and working alone, you may want to offer only basic lawn maintenance like mowing, edging and trimming. Once you have a regular client base and are more proficient in planning your schedule, you can consider offering extra services such as bush and hedge trimming. This is also a good time to bring in a business partner to help you share the workload and possibly expand your client base.

If you are thinking of offering chemical application for weeds and pests control as an extra service, make sure you earn the right certification before advertising it. The lawn care and maintenance industry is a highly regulated one and you need the right certification before you are allowed to handle any hazardous materials.

Equipment

Always keep your lawn maintenance equipment in peak condition. This means that you have to clean the mower blades at the end of each day. You will also want to use a grinding wheel to keep your blades sharp.

To prolong your mower engine life, use a balancing weight. This will also reduce the chance of you developing white finger, which is a form of disease, that strike at people who frequently work with vibrating machinery.

You also have to change the air and oil filter of your mowers regularly to reduce engine wear and improve performance.

Safety

Needless to say, you should take every precaution while you work. When working with your mower or handling hazardous materials, you need to wear gloves and safety goggles. Since mowing will be a big part of your lawn care duty, consider wearing a pair of earplugs to protect your ears from the mower noise. Never put your hand into the discharge chute or turn the mower over when it is in operational mode.

Since most mowers are gasoline-powered, make sure your mower has spark arresters to prevent the possibility of sparking a fire when working in a area that is experiencing drought. Another thing to remember is to let the mower cool down completely first before you gas it up.

Competition

Check out your competition before launching your business. You can look up the Yellow Pages to see what type of services they are offering. Take note of their promotion techniques too. You may be able to offer some extra service that your competitors do not have. However, try not to go into a price war, as this will hurt your business survival and profits in the long run.


Info of Entrepreneurial Discipline

Use a calendar – either manual, digital, or both. Check and update it every day. Being organized is essential to entrepreneurial discipline. Set reminders for yourself and make sure you read them. Distractions will arise throughout the day which may cause you to glance over things. An overlooked appointment can mean a missed business opportunity; it can be hard to get second chances when there is competition lurking around the corner.

Have a good filing system. Locating important papers or tracking your follow-ups is extremely hard to do if you do not have a good one in place. If you are working alone or have limited space, file items in order of importance, set reminders to review them and be sure to mark them as complete. Consequently, this will help you remember what you are currently working on or what has yet to be started, especially if you easily get distracted. Marking items as complete also provides a sense of accomplishment. Trust me; a check mark can go a long way when your to-do list seems to get longer and longer.

Dedicate at least one hour of your peak time (the time when you get your best work done) to follow-ups. Good follow-ups instill confidence with your business partners or clients because they can count on you for a timely response. Even if you do not have a definitive answer, the fact that they know you are working on it speaks volumes. Following up also ensures that you and your clients are on the same wavelength in regards to their products or services.

Let’s face it; we have all had those days where we wanted to push the reset button and restart the day. Unfortunately, that button does not exist (I have tried looking). Having a good regimen when preparing for the day or even the week could not only save you time but potentially money. Laying out your clothes and items that you will need gives you a sense of structure and focus.

“Get ‘r done.” A popular phrase coined by Larry the Cable Guy. Do not put off something that can be done today for tomorrow, no matter how small. Putting off small items today can have a significant impact tomorrow. Taking care of little details can make all the difference in completing bigger tasks. Refusing to put off tasks will probably be your biggest challenge of all. Principally, it is something that will require the most discipline. Mel Robbins, a renowned speaker and CNN commentator, came up with the “5 Second Rule,” which states, “If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds, or your brain will kill the idea.”

Ultimately, maintaining discipline in all these areas is vital to being a successful entrepreneur. Having a good workflow and regimen will enable you to work efficiently, refine your products or services, and free up your mind to think of new creative and innovative ideas. Some say they can thrive in chaos, but for me and the vast majority, we cannot! I cannot guarantee things will instantly change, but with time and effort, I believe you will see the fruits of your labor. I challenge you to act, respond, and to accept the mission of being more disciplined in your business tasks. I am confident that it will make all the difference.