Monday, February 25, 2008

Know Your Business Or Know You Will Fail

Copyright © Michael Laleye

Too many times business owners get so wrapped up in their business that they forget about running it and end up failing miserably. They may be the best at what they do but if they lose track of any aspect of their business they can wind up playing catch-up or eventually simply giving up. The majority of new business owners get off to a good start based on a viable business plan, but once in the heat of the battle forget about the plan and learn the hard way that winging it is not going to make it work.

It is one thing for the plan to call to make a set dollar amount of sales every month, but if it does not specify how it will make that goal, the plan will fail. There is an old business saying that states failing to plan is planning to fail and in any business this is true. However, if the business owner cannot say on a daily basis where they are at in meeting that goal, they will not reach it.

For example, if the plan calls for $10,000 a month in sales and on the 15th of the month sales are only at $3,000 chances are they will miss their goal by $4,000 for the month. On the 15th it is too late to make up the other $4,000 for the month. Tracking the progress on a daily basis will make it easier to hit the numbers over the 30-day period. Knowing they have to do $340 in sales every day to hit the $10,000 mark if at the end of day one they are at $300, they have to take steps to add another $40 to the next day's business.

If sales exceed their expectation they cannot slack off and allow the extra on day one to cover any potential short fall on day two or three. They must still aim at the daily goal in order to insure they meet their planned monthly numbers. If they happen to go over the monthly goal for sales, they just need to remember that profit is not a dirty word.

On the flip side, while projecting daily sales they also must project daily expenses. For instance if they plan on expenses to be 30 percent of sales and sales meet the $340 per day, they can spend $102 on expenses. If sales for the day only hit $200, they are going to have to trim expenses to $60 in order to hit their planned profit numbers. In some businesses, expenses may have to be tracked by the hour to meet the goal for the day as waiting until the end of the day to find out the expenses exceeded the goal, meaning expenses from the next day will have to be cut.

With any new business, it may be difficult to forecast income and expenses on a daily basis, especially when the environment such as bad weather or supplier issues can influence the daily business. However, by staying on top of the business the owner can maintain better control over the profit potential.


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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

For Successful Business, It's All About Retention

Copyright © Michael Laleye

There are two things that no business can do without in order to grow or even just survive. Without employees and customers there essentially is no business and all owners are in a constant battle to retain both. Unfortunately, many business owners do not see this need as important and make some common mistakes that cause them to lose both on a regular basis.

Employee turn over is not new and will it is unlikely that any business will ever have a 100 percent retention rate. Between retirements, employees striking out on the own or winning the lottery can never wanting to work again are some of the voluntary reasons people have for leaving an otherwise good job. There is little that employers can do to prevent this type of turn over, but the employees will still have to be replaced. There is what some employers consider good turn over, when a bad hiring decision was made and an employee has a negative attitude that is affecting the morale and productivity of others.

The cost of employee turn over can be high, considering that many employment experts put a price tag of between $2,000 and $3,000 on the search and training efforts to add each new employee. That is just getting them on the job, trained and ready to work and does not consider how long it takes to make them productive enough to become an asset.

Numerous employment surveys have shown that while money is important to many employees there are other things employers can do to keep them happy, productive and on the job. One of the most common complaints from employees is a lack of training to enable them to fulfill their job duties to the employer's expectations. Feeling that they cannot do their job properly leads many to seek out other opportunities.

Feeling appreciated for the job they do is another major complaint among employees and while they may be doing exactly what they are paid to do, just want to know that the boss knows they are there and doing it. Many employers only thank employees if they go above and beyond their normal job description duties, saying they are paid to some to work every day and do their job. Employees agree that yes, that is their responsibility but there is no incentive to do anything extra. Incentive can come from a certificate of appreciation or a certificate of attendance.

Customers are another matter in which some company owners fail to recognize the importance of keeping them happy. Studies have shown that when a customer is happy with a company they tell three or four of their friends. However, if a complaint is not resolved they will tell a dozen or so and word of mouth advertising can go both ways to help or hurt a business.

The customer may not always be right, but the owner needs to make them think that they are by making them feel important enough to take the time to explain to them why they are being told no.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Finding Space For Your Home Business

Copyright © Michael Laleye

There are lots of reasons that you might want to have a home business. When you have a home business you can get away with actually being at home. You can use your lunch break to do those dishes and run that load of laundry. When your kids are sick, you can be there for them, and you'll never have to miss an afternoon school program again because your boss just won't let you out of work. Therefore, plenty of people find plenty of reasons to work from home. You can too, but it is important that you remember that working from home requires a place to work from home.

If you are thinking about working from home, you are going to need the space in which to do it. When it comes right down to it, you have got to be sure that you are able to have enough space, whether you are starting your own home business or whether you want to be able to do your current job from home. You are going to need the room, and no matter how big or small your place is you can figure out a way to make it work.

First of all, you must remember that when you are working from home, it doesn't matter what kind of space you use for this, as long as you are using space that isn't used for anything else. Part of working from home successfully requires being able to convince yourself that you are actually working. This helps you with morale and helps you concentrate on what you are doing as much as possible. Therefore, you need to have a space that you can consider just your work space. It should be a space that you are currently using for nothing else – and you will find that if you are able to use this space for work you are going to be much better off because it will allow you to work uninterrupted.

There are lots of ways that you can do this. Perhaps you are lucky enough to have a room, no matter how small, that you can use for your home office. Remember that you don't need to have a whole room to do so in, however. As long as you can find a corner of a room somewhere that you can use for your home office, you will be able to do this in the best way for you. Working in a space that is small might not be the best idea you have ever had, but if you can do this you will fin that you at least have the ability to be somewhere different during your work day and to separate your work day from your normal day. You can section off an area of a room with a false wall, or even with a sheet or curtain hung from the ceiling, and you will find that this will allow you to have the privacy that your home office needs.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Is Your Home Based Marketing Network Leading You To Failure?

Copyright © Michael Laleye

Many companies have gone out of business due to lack of planning and not enough potential customers to purchase their wares. This may be the situation that you encounter if you decide to supplement your income with a marketing network type of job. When you are considering this type of employment, remember to do research and remember that some types of marketing networks are fraudulent.

Some multi-level marketing groups are destined for failure from the very beginning. This may be true despite the type of product that is being sold. These types of multi-level networking businesses pay an employee a minimum amount of money for each recruit that they get to join the company. They also may receive funds for each recruit that their recruits are able to add to the company. The goal becomes the ability to add as many recruits as possible, regardless of the number of products that are being sold. Unfortunately, if products are not being sold, the money that the company makes becomes smaller and the amount of money being given out for the large number of recruits continues to increase. A company can put itself out of business quickly if they are unable to regain a high amount of product sales.

When most companies enter into business, they are aware of the laws of supply and demand for the products that they have decided to sell. With most products there are only a limited number of customers interested in a product. Once those clients have received or purchased the product, you will need to convince others that they are in need of your products or your company will face certain failure. With many multi-level networks, the problem starts with the fact that there is not a person on the staff that keeps track of the amount of products that are sold versus the number of employees. Often, you have far too many salespeople trying to sell too few products to too few customers.

To ensure that your company remains in business there are several things that you can do. The first is to research a variety of products that you are interested in selling. It is important to sell products that a large number of potential clients would find useful in their everyday lives. If you find once you have starter your company that there are not enough clients looking for your type of products, consider adding more products or selling products that are closely related to those that you already sell. Having a guaranteed client base will help to bring in profits. Advertising locally or online can also help to bring in new clients. Another option that you may not have considered is to keep a cap on the number of recruits that are employed through the company. This may limit the amount of work that is done at one time, but you will ensure that you do not have too many salespeople and not enough customers. Remember that you want to bring in a profit but not put yourself out of business.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Getting Your Family Involved In Your Home Business

Copyright © Michael Laleye

There are many things that you can do to get your family involved in your home business. The first thing that you should always do is make sure that you are able to sit your family down with you when you start your home business so that you can explain to them exactly what you are going to be doing. You should make sure that they understand what your home business means to you and that it does mean that you will be very busy from then on, but that it is also important to you. This is a great way to make sure that you are able to get as much out of the job as you can, without having your family angry with you and not knowing why. Having a sit down meeting of the whole family is the first step in making sure that you are able to have them support you.

The next thing that you can do is show them what you will be doing each day and see if there are things that they can do to help. Your spouse might be able to help you with your home business in more ways than you think, even if he or she is working full time already. Your children might be able to do small things for you, like emptying your garbage cans after school, or running small errands for you if they can. Even if your family doesn't physically help you out, they can still give you ideas and help you talk through your plans together. This can be a great way to make sure that you are able to have their support as well.

Remember, working with your home business can be the same as working with another business. If you have a child that you think would someday like to work with you or even take over the business, you can start to talk to them about this at an early age. You should be able to get them involved in as many ways a possible, and this should be something that is happening right away.

Having your family involved is one of the ways that you can make sure you are a success. When you start a home business you are going to have to be working quite a bit to get your business up to where it can compete with other businesses. This means that you want to be sure you are doing all that you can to get your family on board, because chances are good that you are going to have to have their support for a long time. If you talk to them about what you are doing, have them help you in any ways that they can ,and also if they are able to have some input about things, you might find that they are much better able to be on board and to be supportive. This can be a great way for you to work as a family.


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