Category: enterpreneur

Earn More by Working Less- 7 Simple Steps To A Better Life

Have you ever wished there were more hours in your day, so you could get it all done? Why not manage those hours you do have better?

A few years back, there was a trend among women to try to do it all, have it all, and be all to everyone. It didn’t work. Women soon realized that they couldn’t accomplish everything in life, alone. They needed help.

As they learned this, they began to streamline their lives, focus on one thing at a time, and actually began to achieve more. Why? Because when you try to juggle too many balls, you drop them.

They key is – you can have it all, but you can’t do it all.

Here are 7 simple steps to getting everything you want from life:

#1 – Time Management

Stop wasting time on frivolous needs of others. Phone calls, folks stopping by randomly, random emails, and other time eaters cut into the time you have to accomplish your goals and dreams. Stop pacifying others by wasting your time.

Learn to establish the point of the visit and either respond or defer.

#2 – Plan your Work: Work your Plan

Take time to schedule your work for the next 90 days, set goals, determine projects, and put your plan on paper. Schedule weekly activities and break down your weekly goals. Each week, schedule out your days and then each day, take 5 minutes to schedule the next day.

Keep a ‘To Do List’ one that is running – a spiral notebook works great for this, as you complete an item mark it off. If an item no longer matters, mark it off.

Keep a daily ‘To Do List’ and schedule each activity into your day.

#3 – Take a Day off

Work one less day a week. Or actually do NOT work one day a week. When you work from home you’re tempted to get on the computer and check email, or do some minor working chore on your ‘day off’. Don’t do that! Take a day off and don’t even think about work. Don’t take phone calls, don’t answer email, and above all Don’t think about work on that day.

Enjoy your day off. Play, take a bath, enjoy your family, kick back and watch movies all day, do something you would ordinarily NOT do in your work-a-day world and enjoy the day.

#4 – Focus on your Strengths

Do what you do well and leave the rest to someone else. Delegate those tasks you’d rather not do to others and focus on what you do well.

IF you like to write, hate to file; hire a file clerk. Whatever it is you don’t like to do, or are not good at; don’t do it.

Do what you do well, and do it to the best of your ability.

#5 – Charge Appropriately

Eliminate the time consuming problems of business by charging for your work, and charge enough. NEVER apologize for charging an equitable price for your work. You’re an expert, and experts get paid very well.

Charge what your work is worth and expect to be paid well.

#6 – Hire Help

Stop being a one man show. Hire someone to keep up with the menial tasks of running and operating your business. A Virtual Assistant may be all you need to take the edge off your business. In as little as an hour a week, most Virtual Assistants can do your email, letter writing, bill paying, or other vital task to your business operation, but it’s one task you don’t have to do.

Again – focus on your strengths.

#7 – Consider a coach or mentor

If you struggle with change and can’t quite get into a new routine that makes your business successful, hire a coach. Find a mentor who can direct you and take your business to the higher levels of success where you want to be.

The most important process of building a business is to diversify your income. Focus your business within a niche market to reach the most people and then diversify within your niche to cover as many bases as you can, then learn to delegate those jobs that are outside your personal range, and do what you do best.

Developing Your Sales Process

Dun and Bradstreet report that over 80% of businesses fail due to lack of sales. Just as marketing is the backbone of selling; your sales process is the backbone of your marketing. Without a well planned sales process even the best marketing strategies will never reach their potential.

Structure Comes First

However, with an excellent sales process you’ll get significantly greater returns, even if your marketing is just average. Your sales process can leverage your marketing returns by multiples.

Your Marketing Plan outlines the marketing strategies you use, whilst your sales process is the overarching process that defines how you will take prospects through the process of buying from you over their lifetime as a client. Your marketing strategies take prospects and clients from one stage of your sales process to the next.

For Example:

‘Stage 1’ of your sales process may be to get qualified prospects into your online eZine list; or to attend a free Tele-Workshop.

The marketing strategy you use to achieve this may be an offer of a free Report “Learn how to quickly overcome the 3 most commonly made mistakes made by [profession] that on average cost $57,000.00 per year in net income.”

You can see from this simple example how your sales process defines the structure of how you sell. Very few business people give consideration to their sales process. And this is a very costly oversight.

In the absence of a well structured sales process, most coaches revert to simply placing ads in newspapers for their one-to-one coaching services and wait for the phone to ring. When/if it rings, they attempt to convince the prospect to attend a meeting or ‘free session.’

This is not an effective sales process. In fact, we’d go as far as to say it’s practically a guarantee for failure.

Developing an Effective Sales Process

Before designing your sales process, it’s worthwhile reviewing your notes on your business Metrics (KPI’s). A successful sales process is structured in full awareness of your business metrics.

For instance:

How do you know how much you can invest to get a new client, if you don’t know how much that client will be worth to your business?

How can you plan how many clients you want/need if you don’t know if each client is making or costing you money?

The Sales Funnel

Many successful coaches use a sales funnel approach to their sales process. The premise of the sales funnel is that you get as many qualified prospects into a low/no cost service at the top of the funnel, and over time move them through various stages, represented by progressively higher priced services, over their lifetime as a client.

Here’s an example of a sales funnel:

Level 1

No or low cost service to induce large numbers of prospects to ‘experience’ your unique knowledge and service.

Should be as low cost delivery as possible to you; and high perceived value to prospect.

Should be replicable to maintain enduring contact through Cycle of Life.

Level 2

A paid-for service of generally modest value.

Could be a direct upsell of Level 1.

Level 3

A higher value service and/or product.

Level 4

Your highest value service and/or product.

Note: Depending on your product mix, clients can be purchasing or experiencing your products and services at varying times throughout their Cycle of Life. The key is to maintain valuable communication and regularly ask them to purchase.

Consider the advantages of a well structured sales process:

Vastly improved conversion. At the top end of your funnel you’re inviting people to receive valuable information from you to assist them overcome their challenges for little to no financial investment. There is virtually zero barriers to this offer, and hence you should achieve an extremely high conversion into the top of your funnel. Once you have prospects in your funnel, you should be able to progressively nurture clients in higher priced items as they experience the benefits of dealing with you.

Build rapport. You need to establish rapport with prospects before they’re willing to invest with you. Traditional sales processes aren’t able to bridge this gap. A prospect needs somewhere between 4 to 7 contacts on average before they’ll invest with a business. The sales funnel approach allows you to build the required rapport with prospects such that they’ll readily invest with you.

Dramatically reduce barriers to sales. Rapport and trust are just one barrier. Your prospects also (subconsciously and consciously) evaluate each purchase in terms of “Is this promised benefit worth more to me than my hard-earned cash (and the loss of face if I make a bad decision)?” By demonstrating your unique knowledge, skills, products, and benefits to them, they are significantly more likely (and able) to sway this choice in your favour.

Apply an education-based sales paradigm. You position your business as an educator rather than being sales focussed. By giving your prospects valuable information to assist them, you are creating a relationship based on mutual obligation.

Re-Frame your marketing mindset. Your mindset is very important when you communicate with prospects and clients. A sales funnel invokes a Service Paradigm, rather than an Influencing Paradigm. You come from the paradigm of giving, adding-value, educating; rather than from a paradigm of selling and taking. Clients innately sense this, and will act accordingly.

Showcase your service and uniqueness. Your product or service should be one of your most powerful endorsements. Showcasing your skills at the top of the funnel should immediately create an intense desire amongst your prospects to invest in your other services.

Extend the Net Margin Worth of Clients.Over time you should be able to nurture your clients through your entire sales funnel. Without a sales funnel your service may get poor conversion, and at most be a 3 to 6 month coaching contract. With a sales funnel, and the right systems, you could realistically increase the net marginal worth of your clients to be: 3-6 tele-clinics; 2-3 seminars/workshops; a cd/dvd product; group coaching; one-to-one coaching; a specialist course. This relationship could extend over several years and be worth thousands of dollars (10 times the value you would otherwise realise).

Invokes you to create new products. An important part a sales funnel plays in your coaching business, is that it motivates coaches to expand their thinking past one-to-one coaching services, and into the realm of (niche) product development.

Increase your Unit of Sale. With more products and services, you have greater opportunity to increase the value of each sale. For instance, you could package a 6-week specialist tele-clinic membership as an incentive to upsell a prospect from a 3-month contract to a 6-month contract. Your hard cost to deliver the tele-clinic is minimal (which you may bootstrap into an audio cd product as well!!), but the added net return of the 6-month contract may increase your profit by 500%.

Increase referral. By providing value to your prospects over extended periods, you vastly compound your opportunity for referrals. Remember, niches roam in packs. So the longer you nurture your relationships with prospects the higher the likelihood word of mouth will spread of your high value unique solutions.

Simon Clarke has over 15 years of experience as a writer, entrepreneur and business specialist. He is also the founder and Director of the Life Coaching Institute, Australia’s leading coach training organization.

5 Repeatable Steps For Successful Networking

Do you find yourself leaving networking events feeling like you’ve just wasted a perfectly good evening which could have been better spent working on your business, playing with your kids or even watching TV. Sometimes you shake your head and wonder, “I wasted gas driving to this?”

The problem may be that you are attending the event focused on the short-term outcome, rather than on your long-term intent.

Let’s say you attend the event wanting to make a sale. You scan the crowd looking for your ideal client. When you don’t find anyone that meets your criteria, you grow disgusted with the waste of your time, and give up. But suppose instead, you went with the intent of letting as many people as possible know about your business and your search for your ideal client. Each person you meet is a potential connection to that ultimate sale. You don’t know when or with whom that light bulb is going to go off. Then the evening becomes filled with possibilities as you chat with everyone and learn about them – subtly seeking that connection to your ideal client.

The following steps can be repeated sincerely with everyone you meet:

1) Introduce yourself and really listen to who the other person is

2) Look for commonalities – shared interests, concerns, lifestyles

3) Look for ways you can help them – through who you know or what you know

4) Let them in on who and what you’re looking for – they’ll want to help in return

5) Exchange information to follow up

The people you meet might not be your ideal client, but they might know someone who is. Or they might be able to give you a new perspective on a direction your business should take. Or they might know someone wanting to invest in your business. Those are all opportunities you would have missed if you had focused only on the short-term outcomes you wanted rather than your real long-term intent.

Starting A Carefree Business On A Small Budget

Many aspiring entrepreneurs look to starting a business in their quests to get out of the rat race.

They used to associate businesses with shop fronts, offices, factories, staff and rental. These are just way too intimating for an individual, without even considering yet foot work and admin work necessary in the preparation.

And what about money? The perceived lack of it is a major stumbling block to starting up.

The good news is that things are changing.

Today’s entrepreneurs have business options that allow them head start into sales and marketing activities, bypassing all of those headaches and costs previous generation businessmen had to contend with even before the real efforts began.

That’s the power of the internet today.

And since we are looking for a richer and more rewarding life, I pen my ideas of some features that ‘carefree’ businesses should have. We want to be careful not to get out of one rat race only to find ourselves in another.

STARTING ON THE INTERNET

Selling over the internet is a very attractive solution to new entrepreneurs. If they don’t want to, they can do away with setting up a company, and so too, an accountant and a secretary. Registrations to eBay and Amazon.com are just a number of clicks away.

And while sourcing for serious products to sell, they can try ridding the attic of toys, clothes, wallets, magazines and gadgets. They can ‘test water’ by posting wares on EBay and Amazon.com, allowing them to gauge demand, get online sales experience, explore marketing strategies and fine tune sales pitches. In the process, too, they learn what the demands and margins are for the different types of product. Talk about killing many birds with one stone!

And very soon, with the first item sold on the net, the ball gets rolling. The item has to be delivered to the buyer as fulfillment of the transaction.

Ah, fulfillment. On a bigger scale, it includes inventory control, packaging and shipping. Logistics is costly, to say the least. It is expensive and complicated enough for an entire industry to spin out from.

This is not an exciting aspect of business. If you are marketing tangible products, I recommend that you negotiate drop-ship arrangements with the products’ suppliers.

NON-TANGIBLE PRODUCTS

Alternatively, you can consider downloadable or web-based products (music, ring tones, wall papers, e-learning, to name a few).

Note that the cost and effort in driving traffic to your website (that’s where the referrals or sales are made) is not significantly different whether you earn $2 or $200 for commissions. For a start, however, $10-$50 is a good range to target at.

Choose ‘branded products’. Hey, celebrity endorsement works. Better still if the celebrities are part of the product. What do I mean? To cite examples, Mariah Carey is ‘part of her music’ being sold. Or, when Robert Kiyosaki speaks in a seminar, he is part of the product. Such products sell by themselves. You focus on bringing in the traffic.

Pay structures vary from one affiliate program to another. Look for those that compensate you for sales generated up to 6 to 7 levels of downline, at least.

AFFILIATE PROGRAMS

When shopping for an affiliate program, your checklist should include well established systems. They should have transparent reporting of your referrals, sales and/or genealogy of downlines. Some of them allow you control in placing downlines so you can strategize effort and revenue distribution for friends and relatives who come onboard.

As support to you, the content provider should make online and offline marketing materials available. These include training, video clips, audio recordings, brochures and name card templates.

LANGUAGE

In theory, with the internet, you have access to the entire world. But in reality, your product is exposed only to people who understand the language with which your pitch is delivered. It can be very beneficial to provide language options on your web site.

For e-learning products, the courses/ modules should come translated into major languages.

REALISTIC BUDGETING

Many online subscription based products come with the marketing rights. When you pay to enjoy a particular product, guess what, that is your start up cost already!

Add domain name registration and web hosting services – they hardly come close to $200.

Budget another $1000. You should have more than enough for the other tools you feel will come handy. But those come later.

Indeed, needing big capital to start a business is a thing of the past. The internet has changed the global business landscape. It may continue evolving, but internet marketing is here to stay. It is a good time to take that first small step.

Making Money Tomorrow

Every successful dreamer never waves the dictate of today to win the fulfillment of a great tomorrow. The act to pursue tomorrow will turn to money making strategy that can promote better days. I have discovered some secrets of making money for better tomorrow online and offline. Your attention to solve today’s problem is the antidote for money making tomorrow. A prepared ground that is cultivated land makes the farmer happier to sow at length and later reap bountiful harvest. Let’s consider some secrets facts that initiate tomorrow harvest.

1. Creativity

2. Discovery of opportunity for creativity

3. Strength versus weakness

4. Facing the threats

5. Just take off

6. Seek Out for data

7. By your cloth

Creativity – The Making of Ideas:

The act of making new invention rules the world of civilization. Creativity is the mother of necessity. What we enjoyed today was some people’s creativity. To make money online calls for creating of new things to attracts attention to your side. The making of money for tomorrow is a reality of creativity. I sat down one day thinning of what I can do, then I resolve to create software of children stories, songs, educational materials, life Nigerian state profile for students to know which can be installed on Computer. I made it out of my creativity to better tomorrow. Now I have got market for what I created from Private schools in the city. You can be best in one area that you see your self good. Your creativity makes your good best as no one has ever done something like that in your area. Learn to think at least 30 minutes per 2 days ruminating through your environment to see the need and what you can offer to solve the need. I know a man that was jobless for long but later resolved to walk a long the street thinking for what to do and make a living, then he saw that there are a lot of wattages, debris and dirties on the road. He decided to make it modern, he made a wheel barrow in a more decent way and he made himself a uniform and walked through the street to park the debris with a little charges of N5.00 (less than 1 cent). He succeeded as the people in different neighborhood calling for his service and later employed more hands in the business. Now he has got vans with workers working for him and he is making his cool money to enjoy the dreamed tomorrow. There was also man I heard about who was sacked but could not sacked his ability. He went to business of stick meat in which he will dress up in suit and packed the stick meats in a business briefcase to offices, bank, and factories in the city. And now, he has become a great man in the business. Many online business, started through a man’s idea. Do you know that idea is part of your being? Failure to create one makes you an impotent and real disability patient. Watch and see what your environment lack and what you can do to make money and solve the problems. Tomorrow will be better for the prepared mind to explore himself as he/ she create new things. Let’s see creativity in another perceptive.

The Motivation for Creativity:

Why should anyone seek to be creative? Creativity is full of risks and uncertainties. There is the risk of failure. There is the need to persuade others. There is a need for political skills. It is much better to sit quietly and do what you are supposed to do.

If things are going well, who needs creativity? If things are going badly, then there is no time for the uncertainties of creativity.

If you set out to be creative – and even if you use the powerful tools of lateral thinking – you cannot be sure of a result.

There is a further problem. Every valuable creative idea must always be logical in hindsight – otherwise it would have no value. So it is assumed that logic could have reached the idea in the first place.

This is totally untrue in an asymmetric patterning system like the human brain. But how many people know about asymmetric systems? So executives expect only ‘blue sky ideas’ from creativity and these are then deemed impractical.

If we regard creativity as an inborn talent which some people have and others do not have, then we just look for creative people.

If we regard creativity as the ‘skill’ of using information in a patterning system like the brain, then everyone can develop the skill of creativity. To be sure, some people will achieve a higher degree of skill than others – as with any skill – but this is not the same as being naturally creative. People who are not naturally creative might develop a higher degree of skill than those who are naturally creative.

Confidence is a key factor in creative effort. Those who have succeeded in having creative ideas in the past are much more willing to make a creative effort. They know from experience that new ideas are possible. They have experienced the joy and achievement of having a new idea.

How do you build up confidence if school does not encourage creativity, and the workplace does not expect it?

Most people do what is expected of them. The rebellious few do not. That is why we usually associate creativity with a rebellious nature. But it does not have to be like that.

To get creativity into an organization you must make it an ‘expectation’. At the end of every meeting, the chair person must allocate the last fifteen minutes to ‘anyone who is exploring a new idea’. If no one has anything to say, they are told they are not doing their job. A creative ‘Hit List’ of areas which need new thinking is produced and made visible to everyone. Executives are expected to work on items from this list – either as individuals or as assigned teams.

The effort to have ideas is key. If new ideas are an expectation, then people will make an effort to have new ideas. Their confidence will grow and eventually there will be a creative organization.

It is also important to learn how to be creative. There is a need to learn the formal skills of lateral thinking which make creativity available to everyone.

Discovery of opportunity for creativity:

A man that discovers ways in the thick forest is known for intelligence. Among the many busy world opportunities, peoples are still making ways, counting fortune for tomorrow. This is one of the basic and secret of the millionaires in our days. Online opportunities are tapped by those who discover. You cannot discover what is not uncovered. Search round your vicinity, online, offline, indoor and outdoor to see widely the opportunity to exhibit your ideas. Do you that an idea that is displayed in a wrong places may attract shame, lose, discouragement, lost of value, chance for recreating by a mindful person, fear and strength to do it again. All these may kill your vision. Learn to study, explore the right channel and ways that will make your creativity earn you money. There are many opportunities online in which I will later share with you to explore your creativity. Be diligent and steady to know when, where and how to launch your idea to make money. Discover opportunity in the hidden ways. Opportunity comes in masquerade and through the back doors. Try to search, browse and shuffle the environment to know your worth as you introduce your ideas to make cool money for better tomorrow.

Strength versus weakness:

Can you just pause for 5 minutes to weigh and evaluate right, your worth, strength that is what you can do best without ant stress or coursing with encouraging reward that even makes you happy and your weakness that is what you find yourself doing but never succeed? This assessment will prove you right or wrong whether your tomorrow is certain of better tomorrow or not. A prepared mind faces the world of business in every side. Do you know that your weakness can still earn you money if you know it?

Knowing it is the first key to success. I discovered that one of my weaknesses is fear to do things thinking that I will not make it right t please the audience or clients. Later I sat down to know why and what to do, thereby I sought for counseling and I knew that fear is just False Expression Appearing Real to discourage me, then I continued to do my work better and even teaching and writing articles on my experience and way out that even making money for me bow. What you know best should lift up your weakness. Do not take your weakness for granted; learn to improve on your weakness as you do that things that makes you weak in a way that will attract wealth to your life. Promote your strength, your ability – writing skill can earn you money on EzineArticles promoter, analyzing potential can be so good in forex trade as you go on to [http://www.forexhub.info] to know more, criticizing and selective skills cane sued in surveying site online. Marketing online is still there for highly sensitive market makers. Be strong as you know yourself. Never be discouraged to start though your weakness is there, pick with your strength to win better tomorrow.

Facing the threats:

One of the challenges of the world of business is threat either internal or externally. The mind of business entrepreneur is to face the threat, hold the bull by the horn to win the battle. Tomorrow of a business is known as you prepared to face and manage your threat changing them to opportunity to introduce another channel to make cool money. Do not run away from threat. It is programmed to erupt in the process but be alert to sense its presence so that your plans, idea, schedule and strategy do not collapse suddenly. Be active in what to do and how to do it. Online threats are numerous. Some of them are copying your idea or product without copyright, government policy, spasm, internet pilfering and others. Seek advice always on what you are about to do both with its opportunity exploit and threat challenges. For businesses that speculate the future will stand its toes to combat threat.

Just take off:

Like an aircraft that opts for high level space travel must surely take off to fly, so also is the analogy for business entrepreneur who wants money tomorrow. Just start to do what you plan is the first strategy before any other can follow. You may have ideas like sea shore sand but never before worth that will appreciate to money value until you start to do it. Let me say that the business idea is money in the air that has no physical body to hold. If you fail to take, you keep on moving oscillatory in a point for the whole day. What makes your intelligence to be diligence is your first attack to start the deal of your plan no matter what may come your way in the process.

Seek Out for Data:

The master of all knowledge is yet to survive. All secrets to better business for good tomorrow is based on the facts and figures taking from others sources to make up your own idea. Ready to listen, embrace and search for relevant information that will boast you’re the strength of your strategy. A seasoned data collection makes a business prospers. Intelligence facts on the ways to negotiate, articulate, and management your finance must be acquired. Making money tomorrow calls for seeking for correct, current and relevant information that will soften your pedal for greater high of profit making business.

By your cloth:

Among all circumstances that surround business enterprises, making out with your cost ability is very much paramount. Many entrepreneurs had ruined a futuristic business with the anxiety to start big for great profit. No man gets the top of skyscraper without passing through staircase or lift. Make your business plan in accord to your present worth and do not compare your with others, this may kill your expectation. Be personal and realistic in your launching out. Let your coat be by your cloth.

Traits of The Successful Entrepreneur

Want to know why certain people succeed and others don’t. Well successful people have certain traits? Do you have them?
Business has changed a great deal over the years. We now have computers, the internet and because of the internet – web pages, email and everything else that comes with it. Our telephone system has changed dramatically with the advent of cell phones and voice mail. However, even with all the technological advancements the traits that make a person successful in business can be traced way back when to our grandfather’s day. So before you decide you want to go into business for yourself, check and see if these traits are part of your make up.
Are you a person who sets goals? Most successful people have always set goals. They started at a very early age. They might have set the goal to be the best in a certain sport, or in a specific subject in school. Or if they wanted something, and knew that their parents couldn’t afford it, or wouldn’t spend the money for something, they earned the money themselves. They did this by setting up the lemonade stand, mowing lawns for neighbors, or delivering newspapers.
This is the same person, who as they got older, developed other goals and worked for them. Maybe they haven’t reached all of their goals, but they have always known what they wanted out of life. They have a vision for their future and they never lose sight of it. They keep revising and setting new goals for themselves. It is incomprehensible to them that everyone doesn’t do the same. They wonder how other people can live without striving for certain things.
The next trait is that the successful entrepreneur knows their strengths and weaknesses. They also face up to their fears. This means that they don’t let their egos get in the way. They know when they need to learn new skills or take other steps to make their business or themselves better. Due to the technological advances over the years, the skills and steps they need to take might be different; but the attitude has not. So do you have the attitude of a successful business person. To have this attitude you must realize that you are never done with the learning process, and you have to welcome any chance to improve your skills and knowledge.
Another trait is that they are always looking for opportunities. They could be in business or just getting started. In either case they know there are opportunities out there waiting for them. They also know that they need to find the opportunity that will work for them. Even those already running a business, are still open to possibilities.
Successful people will see opportunities other people miss. They also look at things objectively and ask the following questions: 1. Is this really as good as it sounds? 2. Is this something I really want to be doing? 3. Do I have the required skills or can I develop them? 4.Will this help me to reach the financial goals I have set for myself? 4. What impact will this have on my family?
A particularly important trait of the successful person is they will grab at an opportunity and take advantage of it, however they do not act impulsively. They take advantage of opportunities that come their way because they don’t want to be a shoulda, coulda, woulda type person. They don’t want to look back later in life and say I wish I had.
The next trait successful people have is that they like to know where they stand. They know their own business inside and out. However, they also know about their competition. They also know how well their own business measures up. And since they set goals they know exactly where they are in regards to reaching the financial goals they have set for themselves.
Successful people know how to handle budgets and finances. This is a very important trait. They are very cognizant of all phases of their finances. How much they owe, how much they have borrowed, interest rates, and anything else that can effect them. They always save for a rainy day. They are very much aware that they need to spend money to make money, and will put off expenditures for themselves (house, car, vacation) until they can afford it.
Another trait that successful people have in common is that they also don’t settle for second best. They like things done in a certain manner. They have standards that must be met for themselves and their product. If they work with an outside company and that company sends them something that is not up to their standards, they will return it. They look for the best products and the best workmanship in the price category they are working within. They would never put out a half hearted effort for a customer. If they realize they haven’t done a good job or haven’t done it right, they will do it again or set things right with the customer. This is why their customers are loyal to them and want to continue to do business with them again and again. Remember repeat business is why you are in business. If you don’t make a good impression the first time, you won’t get a second chance.
The successful entrepreneur has fun doing what they do. While they might not enjoy every aspect of their business, they enjoy the work that they do. One common theme you will find among them is that they enjoy it because its theirs, and they know they are building something for the future.
They also don’t mind putting in long hours because they know that this time is necessary in order for them to move forward. The owner wears many hats: sales calls, bookkeeping, and making sure that customers are satisfied and happy with their product and/or service. They also need to set up appointments, meet deadlines. However, they also know when playtime is over and it’s time to get down to business.
Another trait they all have in common is they get help when they need it. They will contact other professionals when warranted. They would rather be safe than sorry. They realize they are not experts in everything. They also realize at some point in their business that they can’t do it all, and that they have to delegate responsibility to either an outside source, independent contractor, or that they might have to hire an employee.

The True Cost of Self-Employment

Do you think you are ready to make that leap to full self-employment? The profit from your part-time (up till now 🙂 business is matching or exceeding your regular paycheck, so you think it’s time to fire your boss and make do without that paycheck. Before you take that final step to personal freedom, make sure you truly understand what you are giving up. Your employer paid benefits may cost you more than you realize. For many people it will take more than $40,000 of profit per year to replace a $40,000 annual salary.

When I talk about your employer paid benefits I’m not referring to the “free” office supplies, subsidized soft drinks, or even the occasional free meal at the holiday party. The items that you need to consider are the benefits that are going to cost you the most money. Although if you really like soda I guess you might want to include this too! According to a survey published by the US Chamber of Commerce in January 2004, employer paid benefits averaged 42% of an employees salary in 2002. That means you need an additional 35 – 45% more than your current salary to make up for these lost benefits.

If this number shocks you, then let’s take a look at some of the typical benefits employers provide. Again, based on the US Chamber of Commerce’s survey medical insurance cost approximately 15% of an employee’s salary. However, employers also cover the cost of many other forms of insurance. They include

  • Disability,
  • Dental,
  • Vision,
  • Life,
  • Unemployment,
  • Long Term Care Insurance, and
  • Workers Compensation

You might be thinking that you pay premiums for these products already. Even if you do, your employer is most likely paying the lion’s share of the cost. Not to mention that many times the premiums you are paying are using pre-tax dollars. This means you end up paying less in taxes because the amount of your premium is deducted prior to calculating your taxable income.

When you own a home-based not only are are you going to be responsible for the full cost of all forms of insurance using after-tax dollars, you are going to be responsible for self-employment taxes. Self-employment taxes include the employer paid portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes. This means your bill for these taxes are going to double. Instead of paying 7.65% of your income for these, you will now pay 15.30%. And don’t forget about having to pay estimated taxes. You will have to file and pay taxes 4 times a year now, instead of just once. Not only do your taxes increase so do the headaches and the cost of filing!

The second highest benefit cost is your retirement benefits. Your employer’s 401(k) match guarantees an immediate return of up to 100% on your money, depending on how much your company will match and how much you contribute. If your company has a defined benefit pension plan, you are losing a guaranteed income in retirement. You are also taking on the additional risk because you are 100% responsible for investing the money to replace it.

These are only a few of the largest items that make up the 30 – 40% of your salary that will become your responsibility when you become self-employed. Your company might be paying for many other perks also. Some other things you might want to consider are

  • company car (this includes gas and maintenance)
  • annual or performance bonuses
  • professional training or expenses (including professional journal or society dues)
  • software license that let you use programs like Microsoft Office programs on your home computer
  • vacation pay (that’s right, you no longer get paid when you take days off)

All of these, and any others you might be able to think of will needed to be included in the total cost of becoming self-employed.

I hope you don’t think I’m trying to discourage you from finally being able to become your own boss. I just know that the excitement of finally making this move can make us forget about some of the “extras” we are receiving. You are considering a very serious change and need to make sure that the benefits are going to outweigh ALL of the costs.

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Six Lessons for Getting in the “Right Mindset” For Starting Your Own Business

Believe it or not your childhood attitude towards a fence shapes your business mindset. As you’ll learn from my experience starting a business, having the right mindset is the key to being an entrepreneur. It’s all about being a fence hopper instead of a fence sitter.

Remember being a kid? Did you sit on a fence and dangle your legs or did you hop right over that fence? The answer matters. It reflects your outlook on life. If you’re like most kids you sat on the fence wiggling your legs while giggling with a friend and day dreaming, talking about all your big plans for life. The problem is most people never get past the fence sitting phase, even though they grow up and get jobs.

When I was a kid, I loved hopping over fences. It was fun to climb to new heights and see what was on the other side. But like most folks the majority of my adult work time has been spent sitting on the proverbial fence at the same job, day in and day out, waiting for the pension, figuring I’d be there the rest of my life.

But one day I took a good hard look at my life and realized I wasn’t meeting my financial or lifestyle goals. I wanted more than the same old paycheck and the same old hours and the same old headaches. As I began working towards starting my own business, I embodied the Nike mantra, “Just do it”. This mantra is the fence hopper, and entrepreneurial mantra. Yet, oddly enough for most people it’s, “I will, I will” followed by “I won’t, I won’t.” The problem is fear, self-doubt, insecurity, lack of support, and tools erode the dream of owning their own business before it’s even given a chance. I faced these same concerns.

Confidence/No Fear

Early on, I realized to succeed required getting in the “right mindset” to be my own boss. This involved getting over self-defeating talk and convincing myself I could do it. There is an expression in sales if you fake it long enough you believe it. The reasoning is that by acting confident, you become confident. So for me it became a matter of selling my self. Like any good sales person will tell you, to be good in sales you need to know your customers’ hot buttons, earn their trust and value and meet their needs. I sold myself on the idea of going into business for myself, but that didn’t take away the realistic fears and insecurities.

When I started the business there was no paycheck, no set date when the money would arrive, and even worse I worried that the money might not show up at all. This became my biggest fence to climb.

Contending with my own self-doubt and insecurity was one thing, but hearing the negative concerns of friends and family voiced over and over made matters worse. In their eyes I was working a “good job”, and they didn’t understand why I wanted to trade a secure paycheck for uncertainty. All I heard was “you can’t do that” and “that’s too risky”. Those kinds of comments worked against me for the first six months and threatened to undermine the entrepreneurial “can do and will do” attitude.

Friends and family didn’t understand the kind of business I started known as affiliate marketing, but they felt qualified to tell me, “If I could make money online it would probably be illegal or at best immoral.”

What they didn’t realize is that affiliate marketing is a $14 billion industry. (Source: Marketing Sherpa) and is expected to grow to approximately $230 billion by 2008. (Source: Forrester Research)

Supporting Your Endeavors

Aspiring entrepreneurs need the support of their spouse or partner. Fortunately, my wife is 100% supportive. I know some people, who sadly enough, will never succeed because their spouse runs around saying things like, “That’s a waste of time”. If your spouse or significant other is angry you’re spending time working on something other than your “real job” its going to be difficult to start a business and work around the negativity their harboring.

Getting The Tools

When you start something new it’s hard to know ahead of time what tools and knowledge you’re going to need. Combine this with a natural resistance towards spending money on an unknown venture and you’ll likely wind up lacking something that’s essential to your business.

For instance, my first attempt developing an online business utilized a free domain name and web hosting which hampered my ability to have a professional looking web site. Plus, I felt overwhelmed entering a new industry and market. There was simply too much to know and I didn’t know where to obtain the right information to make the business venture a success. When things looked their bleakest, instead of abandoning my plans, I found help and that’s when the success began.

Knowing When And Where To Ask For Help

Reading the motivational book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki provided numerous insights. The top four principles entail:

  • “Work to learn” and not to earn” mindset
  • Form relationships with people who are successful and willing to pass on their knowledge
  • Being successful requires making a personal investment.
  • Working a job you will not get you ahead financially

By following these principles I worked out a deal with a business colleague. I agreed to work for free while he taught me the ropes. With finances tight it made more sense to donate time instead of placing myself under financial duress. Thanks to his generosity I’m now successful in affiliate marketing with numerous specialty web sites including: credit cards , area rugs, and hockey equipment.

Goal Setting And Balance

Figure out a time commitment that works for you and your family. By devoting just one hour per day to building the business, while working the old job I found balance. While the time might sound small it worked and became a daily goal.

Goal setting can get out of hand if you’re goals aren’t realistic. When I didn’t meet my monetary goals by a certain date I became angry, due to the “job mentality”. By being both the boss and employee the insecurity and angry set in. Instead of letting the emotions wreak havoc take time to examine what went wrong and why you didn’t achieve the goal. As you get better at running your business it gets easier to figure out ways to achieve goals in a realistic timeframe.

Testing the “Own Business Mindset”

The real test came when I made the decision to quit the “real job”. With the resignation letter in hand all the childhood messages: go to school, get good grades, obtain a high-quality job, stay employed until 65, and retire with a modest pension all these words of advice rattled my plans. Shaking those beliefs ingrained throughout the better part of my life proved difficult. To get past the fear I reminded myself of companies like Enron, where employees took the safe route only to lose their pension and livelihood. Plus, I looked around at all the companies downsizing and outsourcing eliminating countless jobs. I realized the idea of a secure job ‘until you’re 65 is a myth and that security is what you make it, not what some one else provides.

Running my own business there’s always another fence to climb over to reach new heights of financial success; the income keeps getting higher, just the way I like it.

Home Business Success-3 Major Keys

As I research more about home business successes, I keep learning amazing things about the small but successful home entrepreneurs. I just wanted to share with you some traits, which have motivated me highly.

It is amazing, awesome, incredible and even surprising to learn about all the happening on the home business front online. People from different backgrounds – truck drivers, pizza delivery boys, out of work executives, aspiring new entrepreneurs – all becoming millionaires many times over working their part time home based or full time small enterprises harnessing internet as a tool.

Just imagine this happening few years after the dotcom failures where people invested millions in their online business ventures and went bust. Whereas many out of work people without money became big entrepreneurs through harnessing the internet, making a success of their home business, living a lifestyle they could not have dreamed of anywhere else.

So how did they succeed in their home based business while people were going bust even with millions invested in their online businesses?

As I research and learn more about these entrepreneurs, my conclusion is simple. They all have three things in common.

1. They believed they could succeed.

Their firm belief and conviction in their own abilities gave them a unique power, a magnetism that was visible. Because they believed in themselves, people too believed them. Customers and vendors believed in them. Belief is the powerful vehicle on which they drive their business to new heights everyday.

2. They learnt all they could on working their home business online and offline.

They just did not jump in on a whim or fancy. They understood the power and freedom it could bring them and learnt everyday on how to harness the power of communicating. They continue to learn to everyday. They are masters of the vast ocean of knowledge available about their business. Truly for them Knowledge is Power.

3. They persisted against all adversity.

They kept failing but never gave up and kept learning why they failed. They kept improving and persisted with their venture until they achieved success. For some it took a few months. For some it took years. However, they never gave up.
These three things run consistently with everyone of these entrepreneurs. They are now enjoying their home businesses, economic freedom, their lives of leisure and their aspirations of helping others achieve what they have.

So let this be the time when you go forth with a steely resolve and move your home business forward. Just remember the three keys above and success is assured and just round the corner.

Definition of Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur

An entrepreneur is a man who organizes and manages the business. The following are the responsibilities of an entrepreneur that what he has to do?

1. Planning

First of all an entrepreneur should be a good planner. His first duty is to do good planning. The main purpose of planning is to direct the intentions actually the need for planning is needed where there are so many ways n an entrepreneur has to select one right way this is what done by an entrepreneur, so the entrepreneur should be a good planner.

2. Organizing

An entrepreneur should be a good organizer the entrepreneur does the planning so the organization can achieve the specific targets. In an organization there are separate departments come into existence this is because one man or an entrepreneur cant do the work for all .in this way an entrepreneur divides the work.

3. Staffing

Third duty of an entrepreneur is staffing this is because that the burden is not gone onto one person. By staffing the work is done properly and there is no chance for the organization to be in loss so the entrepreneur has to staff the people so that an organization do the work properly.

4. Controlling

This includes direction, improving and training of employees. To achieve good controlling an entrepreneur should put in order the plans. Entrepreneur should have full control over its production its inventory and quality etc.

Except of all it an entrepreneur should be good communicator .he should convey message in clear, correct and complete so that everybody can understand it. He must be a good reader, writer and listener

So in the end an entrepreneur should be a rational and a good manager so that he can manage and organizes the organization the above-mentioned rules must be followed by the entrepreneur otherwise his organization will be in loss.