5 Keys to a Successful Business

Business owners are some of the most optimistic, and often the craziest people in the world. No-one starts a business believing that it will fail. We are all absolutely convinced that our idea is a great one, that we will be successful (where others have failed) and that this business will change our lives for the better. If we did not feel that way, we would never take the risk to invest our own money, or borrow from others to start our business. The reality is however, that, according to the SBA, most businesses eventually fail and more that 50% do not survive beyond the first 3 years. Even if you manage to get that far, things can still go horribly wrong, as many seasoned business owners found out during the recession which hit us during 2009 to 2012.

So, does this mean that you should not start a business at all? Absolutely not. I believe that your business can be an outstanding success, if you approach it in the right way, avoid repeating previous mistakes and impose discipline on yourself as the owner. Here are some of my suggestions on how you can make sure that your business succeeds:

Discipline:

Lets start with you. Successful business owners are disciplined people and more often than not, businesses fail because their owners fail. Your business must compete to succeed. There is always someone out there, trying to win over as many of the customers that you are targeting. Business is competitive and if you do not intend to work hard and discipline yourself, then don’t get into the arena. Anywhere there is competition, there must be discipline. You could have the most unique skill, or the best product idea, but your business will never achieve its full potential, if you do not have discipline.

Discipline is a determination to work hard to get it right. It is not settling for mediocre results but rather working until you achieve the qualities and results that you need to compete. No-one will buy your product if it is substandard, or hire your services if you cannot deliver what you promise. Business discipline requires an eye for detail. I learned a valuable lesson very early on in my career. I was once required to do a financial presentation to a senior executive and felt that since I knew this stuff, I could get by with a minimum amount of research and preparation. I went to the meeting and had my presentation ripped to shreds. I was unable to answer questions that were obvious and fell way short on the detail needed to be credible and convincing. I left that meeting upset and angry, not with the executive, but with myself and vowed that this will never happen to me again. As a business owner you will not get things right every time. You will make mistakes and mess-up on occasion. But if your product or service fails, let it not be for lack of effort and discipline on your part, or that you were too lazy to do it right.

Due Diligence:

“A fool and his money are soon parted” – Dr. John Bridges
“All that glitters is not gold” – William Shakespeare
“There is a sucker born every minute” P.T. Barnum.

These old sayings are trying to warn us that not everything we think is an opportunity or a good business idea, is likely to succeed. There are many con-artists out there, whose sole purpose in life is to deceive you into making financial commitments and who have no problem in robbing you blind. It is therefore foolish on your part not to do proper due diligence on any business idea, franchise or entity you intend to buy or invest in. This is where many business failures occur. At the very beginning.

Due diligence is a serious matter for start-ups as well as on-going businesses. Large successful businesses are constantly doing “due diligence” on their internal processes (systems review, business process improvement, financial and strategic planning) as well as on any expansion thrust or acquisition they may contemplate. Start-ups need to do this as well, before they invest significant funds. Be wary of taking advice from people with vested interests in your decision. For example, you may be considering investing in a franchise. Don’t rely solely on the advice of the franchise vendor with its polished website and a persuasive story, to tell you what a great opportunity this is and how much money you will make. Get independent advice and do your homework before you invest.

Many people start businesses based on a personal passion. While this a great plus factor for success, because your passion drives you to overcome obstacles, it does carry the risk of making business decisions with your heart rather than your head. Sometimes we are too close to the project to be objective and we become emotionally committed too early. This is where an independent expert like an experienced business coach or adviser comes in handy. Some would-be business owners need to hear the brutal truth (in a compassionate way), before they go on to make the mistake of their lives. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6). Finally, don’t be taken in by those who pressure you into investing in “a once in a lifetime, limited space available” opportunity. Anytime someone says that to me, I take a step back, and take a good hard look, to see what I’m missing about the offer. It is better to miss out on a “limited offer” opportunity than to rush in and lose your money.

Marketing:

A well thought out and researched marketing plan is one of the most important ingredients that you need to succeed as a business owner. Unless you happen to own the only source of water in the desert, don’t expect people to automatically think of you and come flocking to your doors to buy your product. I worked in a corporate career as a CFO for many years before going off on my own. One of the biggest challenges that I faced when I decided to start my own consultancy business, was how to market my services. That is because, for many years, my job was about cleaning and cooking the fish that someone else caught. All of the businesses I worked for, had large, well staffed marketing departments, whose jobs it was to go out there and win customers. My job was to manage the money and make business decisions. That works fine if you are a part of a large well structured business. If however, you are the owner of a small business, marketing is not a secondary pursuit to be left to others, it is your primary point of focus. You may have a brilliant product or service to offer, but if you do not have a winning marketing plan, no-one will know about your business or care about what you sell. So, whether you are a small or large business owner, you must get involved and often drive the marketing function. You need to know the following:

What specific need does my product or service meet?
Who are my customers, what do they want and how much are they willing to pay for it?
How sustainable is the demand for my product or service?
What is it about my product/service that makes it unique? How can I take advantage of this?
Who are my competitors and what are they able to do better than me?
How do I reach out to potential customers to persuade them to buy my product /service?
How much money do I have available to promote my business?
What specific marketing/promotion activities will work best for me?

Answering these and other marketing questions would help you understand your product/service customer appeal and market potential and how it ranks against your competitors’ offerings. This forms the basis of your marketing strategy and business plan and is critical to your long term success.

Capital:

Raising sufficient capital to start and develop the business is very often the biggest challenge that entrepreneurs face. I have seen many, potentially successful businesses, grind to a halt because the owners did not have capital to take it from start-up, to sustainability. A business needs capital to acquire productive assets and fund its operations until the business itself can generate enough positive cash flow to continue as a going concern. Say as an example, you decide to start a restaurant. You would need capital to buy cooking equipment, furniture, renovate the premises to suit your needs, buy inventory, secure licenses and so on. This is what many people understand capital to be used for, the initial investment to start or acquire the business.

However it may take a while for your restaurant to become popular and attract enough clients to provide the revenue to fully fund operating costs. In the mean time you have overheads to pay such as monthly rent, wages to employees, advertizing costs, replenish inventory (drinks you sell and food ingredients you serve) and so on. This is where many businesses fail. The owners hope that the sales they generate in the future will cover their operating costs from day one and do not properly estimate the time it would take for the business to become established, during which the owner needs to have additional capital to carry the business.

Underestimating the point sustainability or “breakeven point” is a common and fatal mistake made by both seasoned and novice business owners. Before you start your new venture, you have got to realistically project your future cash flows and determine if you have sufficient capital to succeed. Here is what typically happens if you don’t do this. You start your new business by investing your life savings. Things go well for a while, but you soon realize that it is taking longer for the business to become established than you anticipated. Customers are coming in, but not in the numbers you first expected. A lower number of customers means less revenue to pay expenses and you quickly find yourself running out of money to pay suppliers and bills as they fall due. Next comes the juggling act of trying to figure out which suppliers to pay first and which ones you will stretch out far into the future. The calls begin to come in from creditors and you now find yourself working for free for a business that you love, but which is slowly dying, because it ran out of capital before it became sustainable. This is the most common reason for business failure and it supports the SBA statistic that it takes 3 years for a business to fail. That is the time the owner takes to realize the painful truth, that he/she never had sufficient capital to start the business in the first place.

Faith:

These four items, Owner Discipline, Due Diligence, Marketing Strategy and Adequate Funding are the main, universally applicable business ingredients needed to operate a successful business. There is however one more ingredient, which is personal to each business owner, and that is “faith”. I said earlier that business owners are either the most optimistic or the craziest people on earth. That is because we take risks with our capital as an act of faith, hoping for a successful outcome. It takes faith to start a business. But what is faith? It is an expectation that things will work out, or materialize, as we hope or believe. It is what gives substance to our hopes and dreams. The Bible tells us that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. (Hebrews 11:1).

As believers in Christ, we have already established a platform of faith in our lives. We believe that an unseen God, who controls the universe, has a plan and a purpose for our individual lives. This plan is made real in us as we place our faith in our Lord Jesus as our personal savior and leader. Now, to everyone else, this is absolutely nuts. But to those of us who have taken this step of faith, it is as real as the air we breathe. Once we get to this point, every additional thing we do that requires faith, is built on this platform. As a result, our decision to start a business, is not based on an abstract optimism that things will somehow work out, but on the trust we establish in our Lord Jesus to lead and guide us.

I believe that when we become reconciled to God through faith in Jesus, an eternal destiny opens up to us. We who were all once distant from God, now draw close to Him and get plugged into His purpose for our lives. Our purpose for our businesses also transitions from simply being a source of personal wealth, to a tool that God uses to bless us and to bless others. As we actively cooperate with God as an act of unselfish faith, He leads us into decisions and opens doors for us, that we ourselves could not open, all according to His will and purpose. Being Christian business owners does not guarantee that we will all be rich and “successful”. It does however give our businesses and our lives an added dimension and very often, if we are committed to God’s processes, things work out to our benefit. Our role is to trust God for the unknown, follow His leading, even when this conflicts with our personal agenda and build our businesses on Biblical principles. When we take this approach, we have the assurance “that all things work together for good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). This hope applies to our all aspects of our lives, including our businesses.

I hope this information was useful to you and I encourage you to contact me if you have any questions about your business.

Robert.
Website: http://www.christiancfo.com Email:rfullerton@christiancfo.com.

Unlock the Secrets to Successful Business

If you want to expand your business or you just want to learn more skills to run your business the right way and be a true leader, then please read on.

The Leaders Role consists of three successful business owners – Jason Croxford (Entrepreneur/Multimedia Expert), Kris Hanks (International Coach/Mentor) and Mike Erwin (Business Automation Coach). Each of these men are highly skilled at what they do. They have come together to share all they have learned to become successful business owners. The combination of such talent is truly outstanding, they have thought of everything you need to expand your mind and your business.

First of all to join this business and gain the skills these three masterminds have to worked hard on putting together is free! Yes that’s right this is not a misprint it is FREE and there is no catch. The Leaders Role was developed to help business owners or anyone who is ready to take charge and start their own business.

Never before has there been three truly dedicated and honest business men ready to share it all. The Leaders Role is not only a very professional business it is also very real and reaches out to you as a person of value. Their compassion for others has enabled them to share everything they have learned along the way.

The Leaders Role reveals all the necessary keys and shows you the tools required to run a successful business, which many would make you pay for and still only give you half the information. Without all the proper information your business will be struggling to reach it’s full potential.

The website for The Leaders Role has so much content to guide you through your journey to success. This website is of a very high standard and shares all the information you will need to be the leader in your business. Great informative articles and many videos that walk you through step by step and are so easy to understand.

Then to add to this you can have your questions answered. Yes they do actually get back to you and answer your questions and treat you like a real person. Now that is what real leaders do and they not only do this by teaching you how, they show you by leading by example.

The Leaders Role is beneficial to all kinds of businesses, online, offline, big or small. There is no business that wont be more successful once you have learned from these guys. The knowledge you gain will get you thinking on a totally different level about your business and how to expand it and make the necessary improvements.

The Leaders Role is made and designed to help anyone that is ready to take action in bettering themselves and their business. No they don’t build your business for you, they teach you the necessary skills and share with you the tools needed to be successful. So if this is you and you are ready to take your business to the next level or are making the choice to start your own business, then I suggest you join today and things moving in the right direction for you and your business.

Today is the day to get real and avoid the struggles that most people go through when trying to build a successful business. Things that seemed only a dream can and will be a reality once you get your mind to the right place to be successful and are ready to take action. Let The Leaders Role show you the way.

Enjoy your day.

Here is a Quick Way to Build a Successful Business on eBay

Millions of people are trying to build a successful business on eBay. But the sad truth is that only a very small percentage succeed. To become successful on eBay or any business venture is knowledge. Do you remember the old saying, ” knowledge is power”? Well, that is exactly the truth. I want to share some success tips with you, so you can go forward in your business venture. When trying to run a successful eBay business, there are 10 primary steps that you should follow.

1. Do What Works
There are many different ways to build a business and make money on eBay. There are virtually millions of products to sell and thousands of niches to sell in. but what it all comes down to, is what works for you. The main goal here is to produce results. No one can tell you what product to sell or niche to sell in. You must learn this on your own.

Don’t be afraid to try different ideas and methods. The only way you are going to find out what is working for you, is to put them to the test. And at the end of the the day our main goal here is to make a profit.

2. Not Failure Only Results
The only way to get the results you want, is to take action. As long as you keep plugging away at your business, you are not failing, you are producing results. You must come to realize that you are simply testing the waters here. What doesn’t work for you the first time, make an adjustment for the next time around.

Everyone makes mistakes, and you will to. The trick is to keep learning and keep taking action towards your business. When you do this, failure is not a option.

3. Be Flexible
A person that believes in doing things one way, will not be successful on eBay. You must be open to different products, niches, ideas, and so on. Be flexible in all of your endeavors and mindset. In time, you will start to reach different levels in your business. By being flexible, you will take the necessary steps to ensure success every step of the way.

4. Do Not Chase “The Hot Product ”
Yes be flexible, but don’t find yourself chasing ” the hot product. ” You must understand the difference between test marketing products or ideas, and studying the results. You cannot just simply keep switching gears and selling something different every other week. Give your product or niche some time to develop.

5. Conformity
When you are sitting around trying to come up with ideas or products to sell, look to see what other successful entrepreneurs are doing. Don’t copy them, modify what they do and come up with your own style of business. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just learn what other successful people are doing in their business and apply what you learn to yours.

6. Consistency Is Key
You must be prepared to work your business on a ongoing basis. By taking action, you will become consistent and successful in your daily business routine. Remember this, if you treat your business like a hobby, it will pay you like a hobby. Get up and take action NOW.

7. Surround Yourself With Mentors
Make sure that you choose your friends and colleagues wisely. Your attitude will reflect the people around you. If your family and friends question your dreams and goals, they will inflict negativity towards you and your business. Do not let people drain your energy of becoming a successful entrepreneur.

8. Be The Best You Can
Success isn’t beating someone else in business. You cannot compare yourself to other successful business owners and get frustrated because your not where they are in your business. Remember that everyone is one a different level. Take your time to be the best you can be towards life and your business, and success will follow.

9. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
No successful entrepreneur ever achieved true success by staying inside the box. As human beings, it’s easy to get comfortable with our business and play it safe. The truth is you need to step out of your comfort zone, again and again. This will insure you take the proper steps needed to go forward within your business.

10. Balance Stress And Work
Many people believe that stress is simply bad. This may be true in certain situations, but stress is essential for growth and advancement. Continued stress however, can lead to a work breakdown. You must learn to balance your stress and your work properly. It’s OK to take a step back every now and then. You want to keep your mind sharp and your ideas fresh. Sit back, take your time, and your best work will come through.

Believe and use the information I have provided for you here. Take time to learn and grasp these steps towards building your business on eBay or any other business venture.

A Guide to Starting a Successful Business

The journey to a successful business starts with an idea or concept. It is then refined to suit the purpose of the concept. At this time, your concept is the seed you are about to plant. Metaphorically speaking, every business is a life – It can live or die. Your concept should focus mainly on what the end users want. This is because these end users are the life of your business, the ocean in which your fish swims. Just as seed planted needs extra care, so it is with every business. Your drive should be consumer-centric, not after what you gain in return. However, remember, “You can have everything in life you want, if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar. It is interesting to note that nature has endowed everyone with all he needs to think and succeed in life. So how can you discover yours? The following questions would assist.

. What do you find most interesting to do?

. Does what you find interest in doing appeal to people?

. How well can you do it?

. What means do you use to let people know what you have?

. What do you do to keep people’s interest?

Now let me explain what I mean by listing the points above.

What Do You Find Most Interesting to Do?

If you can find what interests you most, then you have proffered a solution to one of the barriers to your success in life. You will always love to do it. Of course, every endeavor comes with its own challenges. Fired with burning determination to succeed this time, you do not see challenges but success ahead. The inspiration to do it better and circumvent challenges will always flow. If you ask any successful individual who started from grass-to-grace level how he came about being successful, what he finds most interesting to do may likely be his answer. Now, you have to look inward and figure out what interests you to do. What is it? Oh yes, you know now! Now that you have found your area of interest, what is next?

Does What You Find Interest In Doing Appeal to People?

A tree, they say, cannot make a forest. Therefore, there should be many trees assembled in an area before forest can appear. No doubt, your brilliant ideas will end up with you if not supported by people. In the political world, majority vote is needed before a contestant is declared winner. In the same vein, you will need people before you can win or succeed. In addition, your being successful is a function of giving people what they want. The rule is to give to people what they want and in return, they will give you what you want in excessive measure. You should go into researching how what you are interested in doing appeals to people. You then provide the way to meet their demands. If people are hungry and you give them clothes instead of bread, they may not appreciate or even collect them. This is because your offer does not meet their immediate needs. Have you now figured out areas where your offer can fill people’s needs? If yes, you are indeed moving closer to your success. You have now known people’s taste. But do you know the next hurdle to cross over? The quality of the product or service you render readily comes to mind at this time. The skills to things well will tell if people will love what you offer or not.

How Well Can You Do It?

It is common that some people find interest in doing something in life but do not know how to do it well. This stage is very important. How? Because it is a determinant factor if people will support you or not. However, you may want to ask: Of what benefit it is to cook a dinner that the invitees would not eat simply because it was poorly prepared? It is your interest to make people happy with your meal but you cannot cook well. At this point, it is good to examine the areas of your weakness and seek improvement or strength. Improvement can be acquired by education – Formal or informal. Formal education will require you to take up your field of interest and immerse yourself in it until you graduate. Then you will be awarded a certificate detailing your performance. On the other hand informal education will require your learning handwork or a trade like carpentry, bricklaying etc. Improvement can be acquired through exposure too. Seminars and workshops are exposure window through which you get a glimpse to the world of experience. Some of these are free while some come at a cost. You should do your utmost to engage in constant practice of what you learn. This will refine and polish your skills. Whichever way, you can be confident that experience is the best teacher and you should do your utmost best to get it. Have you now gotten enough experience? Then go ahead and put you skills to work and let the whole world know what you have to offer.

What Means Do You Use to Let People Know What You Have?

Now that you have achieved the breakthroughs above, how can you let people know what you have to offer? At this point, just rest assured that you have achieved greatly in your journey to success. The best way to go about this is to start with the known. Sure, the known will inform the unknown if they have good experiences. In a sense, your good quality product or service is doing advertising work you. To hasten your advertising, you may think of Radio and Television jingles, newspaper adverts and so on. For more global reach, you will need social media to connect your business. If people now connect to your business, how do you keep their goodwill?

What Do You Do to Keep People’s Interest?

The concept behind business and customer loyalty is hinged upon making good promises and fulfilling them. If this area is managed well, it boosts your reputation. Reputation Management Expert, Anthony Johndrow, put it this way: “Building a strong reputation takes time. To earn trust and respect you need to consistently show that you will live up to your promises. To build a strong reputation companies need to deliver on these expectations through everyday work. But this is proving to be more and more difficult.” This is a very crucial aspect of your business. It is dependent on your relationship with your customers. Be honest in all you do. Let integrity be your guide and you will earn trust. One of the pillars of every successful business is trust. It is earned overtime. If you are in business for product or service, clearly state your brand, product information, warranty, quality assurance, shipping and return policy, means of payment, and so on as each case may apply. Good customer relationship is key, as every customer is KING. Timely response to inquiries and quick resolution of dispute will save your reputation. Do your utmost to have a list of all your customers, listen to their inputs and update them regularly of every development.

Your business will keep living successfully if you give it a meaningful life.

Keys to a Successful Business

Running a successful business is no easy task. There are many things that a business owner can do in order to make, and keep, their business successful. On the other hand, there are exponentially more things that a business owner can do wrong which can hurt their chances at becoming a powerful and profitable force. If you are interested in some ways to make your new or growing business a success, here are some things to consider.

First and foremost, you must have a vision. Get a clear idea of what you want your business to be like. What products and services do you want to offer? What type of customers are your trying to gain? How do you want to be known in the industry? Once you answer questions like this you can gain insight into what direction you should take your business. Laying out a path before you start your journey is imperative to being successful. This includes writing out a business plan and noting your goals and desires.

Next, you must know your market. It is a wrong assumption to think that anyone and everyone is in your market. As an old saying goes “if everyone is in your market, no one is in your market”. Unfortunately, your business cannot be everything to everybody. Focus on a group, type, or specific niche that you’d like your business to benefit. The best way to do this is with market research. Doing qualitative and quantitative market research will do worlds of wonder when it comes to finding and understanding your market. Whether you just starting your business or you are wondering if it’s time to release, or retire, a product, market research will help steer you in the right direction to help ensure success.

Once you find out who your market is, it’s time to take a very focused marketing approach. Research the best ways to market to the people you’d like to reach and begin your marketing campaign. Some methods will work better than others, and some may not product instant results but will instead gain confidence and build reputation with potential clients. Don’t expect to do someone once than give up if it doesn’t produce immediate spectacular results.

Finally, you must be consistent. This is your business and you must be in it for the long haul. Don’t give up on working hard once you see a bit of success. Building and maintaining a profitable business requires constant attention and work. You will be required to keep up with changing times and adapt to new economic situations, etc. If you are able to follow the right path and keep going even when times get tough, you will be a happy and successful business owner.