Month: August 2019

Freelance Writing

The first place to look for freelance writing topics is within. Your personal experiences can make great fodder for article ideas. Nearly every magazine has a personal essay section, and more of them have an opinion page as well. Your local newspaper may welcome a guest column on a subject that is both timely and from the perspective of someone who has personal knowledge of the subject matter.

Weekday morning shows such as The Today Show and Good Morning America can give you some ideas for freelance writing topics. While they’re both focused primarily on national or international issues, most can be localized if you are trying to get published in a local magazine or newspaper, or on a local Web site.

Networking is crucial to freelance writing. Your friends and colleagues can offer ideas as well as personal experiences that may give you some idea on things to write. One local writer recently sold a story to the local newspaper as a result of a problem she had paying a local appliance dealer for a refrigerator that never arrived. After five weeks of wrangling for a refrigerator and then finally for a refund she finally learned that the company … Read the rest

Business Coaching

Understand the Purpose of the Partnership

Successful partnerships exist in business because they focus on mutually agreeable business objectives and goals. To ensure this result, partners must be compatible.

This compatibility is primarily determined by having a shared value base. The shared value based must be explored thoroughly, honestly and openly if the partnership is going to succeed. It must be documented and clearly understood by all the parties involved.

If the businesses share a common vision and values base, their partnerships will be successful. If they do not, they will not. It is as simple as that.

Spell Out the Commitments of the Partnership

Partnership agreements form the foundation of successful alliances and affiliations. Therefore, partnership agreements must be constructed using a shared process and must be entered into in a spirit of generosity and customer-oriented service, if they are going to be effective.

Once a partnership understanding is reached at a compatibility level, a plan must then be documented that clearly identifies roles, objectives, accountabilities and responsibilities, as well as clear time frames for completion of tasks and initiatives.

Managing the partnership itself has to be the first objective. A communication and issue resolution mechanism must be in … Read the rest

Acquiring a Small Business

People are generally anxious about starting their own small business, the level of financial input and time put in to the business can be far greater than imagined. At least 50% of these types of ventures fail with the majority not getting passed the first 2 years. The odds are better for people acquiring a franchise; however it has to be remembered that royalty payments of up to10% have to be met annually.

One of the many problems acquiring a small business can be the asking price. Many small business owners are unsure how to properly valuate a business. The use of mythical formulas or the ‘sweat equity’ based on how much work has been put in is totally useless.

To value a small business this is a good guide is;

  • Retail Businesses 30% of annual sales
  • Service Businesses 60% of annual sales
  • Distribution Businesses 35% of annual sales
  • Manufacturing Businesses 50% of annual sales

Naturally these are just guides, in reality a businesses value is only really worth what a person is willing to pay for it. Other considerations are; cash flow, assets, liabilities, growth potential and risks. The terms and conditions of the lease, the state of machinery … Read the rest

Ways to Get More Referrals Without Feeling Aggressive

Set an Expectation for Referrals

Before you begin working with a new client, you can condition them to think of you as someone to send business to. That can look something like this:

“I am excited to work with you. When our project is completed, I know you will be thrilled with the work we did together. If you are happy with our work would you be willing to share us with others? Your referrals are how our business grows.”

You can also mention the incentive you offer for those referrals that result in a sale. For instance we offer $100 towards any website, SEO or marketing work as our way of saying “thanks”. (See point number 4 below for more details on this.)

Ask for a Virtual Introduction

A really terrific way to get referrals is to ask a contact to do a virtual introduction with the prospect. Here’s how an email like that goes:

Subject: Henry and Mike – A Virtual Introduction from (your name)

Hi Mark,

I’ve been working with Mike for three months and he’s done a terrific job at getting our bookkeeping up to date. I know you’re looking for a qualified bookkeeper so I … Read the rest

Leadership Coach Will Make Difference

Leadership coaching is very simply a trained professional delivering a structured and personalised development plan to an individual or small group focused on improving their people skills and performance, and ultimately progressing their careers.

In her blog, Wendy Mather describes a business coach as “someone who can help you reach your full potential and someone to walk with you on the often challenging journey of running a business”.

There are a few key terms in those past two sentences that help define leadership coaching:

  • People – coaching is focused on how to lead others effectively at that time.
  • Structured – coaching is planned out from beginning to end.
  • Personal – coaching is tailored specifically for an individual or small team.
  • Develop – coaching is all about people growing and learning.
  • Progress – coaching takes someone from who they are to who they want to be.
  • Reach – coaching makes people stretch out of their comfort zones

Coaching has proven to be the most potent tool for creating personal and positive change, because it is so tailored and targeted to individual needs and ‘in-the-moment’ challenges.

I like to call it the Mount Everest of corporate training where you have a guide … Read the rest

Starting Business With Little Cash

Sales is Job #1 To Get the Cash Flowing

Before delving into the bootstrapper’s toolbox, make sales the most imperative job. Be sure to over-deliver and not over-sell. Satisfied clients will come back for more and tell their friends, allowing you to reap sales with much less effort than the first time around. Of course, you must have long-term goals, but you should make “next week” your time horizon.

If you put sales at the top of your priority list, marketing is a close second for your attention. Do a little marketing every day and you’ll be surprised how the actions mount up. Prepare a marketing plan. This should not involve a big budget. You can do it on a shoestring, like getting press coverage, for example; it costs nothing but your time and some careful preparation. You can start with your local press or the journals that cover your industry and expand from there. You can design and print your own stationery (business cards come first).

Get Paid On Time to Conserve Cash

Invoice on time or even early. When the invoice is prepared, make sure you know to whom it should be sent (in the accounts payable department … Read the rest

Complying With Environmental Regulations

The best way to contribute towards a pollution free environment is recycling. In this case, recycling refers to the practice of salvaging useable components from obsolete electronic devices or safely disposing off electronic devices. Each one of us must inculcate a practice because inappropriate handling of discarded electronic devices can cause environmental hazards.

Studies estimate that over 40 million electronic pieces become obsolete annually. These pieces have constituents such as lead, cadmium, barium, and mercury, which are hazardous to the environment. In a landfill, these materials seep into the ground and then into our food and water supplies. This can cause serious health concerns over a long period.

Obsolete computers that are simply dumped in the garbage drums are the biggest threat to the environment. The computer monitors have cathode ray tubes containing four to five pounds of lead that contaminates the environment acutely. Besides lead, the computers have many other hazardous elements such as mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium. When inhaled over a long period, these elements cause high blood pressure, liver and nerve disease, blood with poor iron, and even brain damage to the exposed group. This causes great concern, considering several million computers become obsolete annually.

Therefore, … Read the rest

Intranet For Small Businesses

Advantages of Intranet in Small Business

  • Communication
    Even if you run a small business, there must be some way for the staff to access information, find out about new company policies, and update their knowledge and skills. If your staff consists of part-time or telecommuting employees, having an intranet makes things easier for both you and your employees.
  • Building an Understanding
    The employees must understand the objectives of your company. An intranet system helps you get your goals across to your company.
  • Building Employee Relationships
    An intranet system is the virtual counterpart of the office water cooler, a place for employees to exchange the latest information and update each other on the latest policies. Having an intranet access helps employees build better interpersonal relationships.
  • Virtual Conferencing
    An intranet system cuts down on the time you spend on business conferencing, leaving you free to oversee the implementation process. Instead of having to start from scratch at a business meeting, as you introduce the participants, brainstorm, and have protracted discussions on policy issues, you can take your time to discuss everything beforehand in a chat room or on a message board.
  • Paperwork
    Form filling, filing, and requesting time off can be tedious
Read the rest

Get a Business Credit Card Without Hassle

Here are the steps you can take to get a business credit card into your hand without hassle.

  • Visit any online article directories and look under the business credit card categories. If you already have a specific card in mind, you can visit the card issuer web site directly. If the issuer is a bank, you can also choose to visit its branch or call up the bank’s credit card department to request for an application form to be mail to your house.
  • Review the requirements on the application form. You will want to know what documents you need to submit for verification purposes. These documents include tax returns, latest billing statements, your personal income statement and other information related to you business. If the requirements are not stated on the form, you may want to contact the card issuer to find out the requirements first.
  • Take a look at their terms and conditions. Some of the important items to take note include grace period, late payment charge and APR after the introduction period. These items affect your business expenses and you should not skip over them.
  • Fill in the form and pick the design of the card you want
Read the rest

Ecommerce and Removal of Personal Business Barriers

We’ve all heard stories of the dot com boom and bust. We’ve seen a handful of the original boomers live to tell the story and succeed in a new generation. With the failure of so many online businesses in the past it may seem something close to insane to consider diving into cyber waters.

No one wants to fail and it seems entirely possible with an online business. So we come full circle, why should anyone consider developing an online business?

The reasons may be many, but I want to key in on a few compelling reasons why an online business can have significant meaning for entrepreneurs.

  • Appeals to the dreamer in all of us. Most of us have an idea we polish from time to time with the secret hope that it can be made into a business.
  • An online environment provides an inexpensive way to conduct business. Many online businesses require very little investment and allow a business to be developed in steps.
  • Does not foster discrimination. An online business provides the opportunity to erase borders that may be felt in traditional businesses. For instance there is no age, gender or ethnic boundaries in an online business. This
Read the rest