Category Archives: General

Do You Need A Business Coach?

Running a business can be very challenging. Employees typically have set duties and a clear focus. However, a business owner has to wear many hats, and have knowledge in all aspects of running a business. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to be completely knowledgeable in all the various arenas that the owner must function in. This is where a business coach can be a asset for your business.

What is a Business Coach?
A business coach is a professionally trained advisor who normally has an extensive background in starting and operating small businesses. Their function is to give advice and oversee the process of starting, running or expanding a small business. They can help the owner to set goals and targets and to get the essential skills and resources needed.

They will generally meet with you on a regular basis, to discuss the course your business is taking. They can help you to chart the course you want your business to take, as well as to help you handle the challenges along the way. Since they bring a fresh set of eyes from outside the organization, they are better able to step back and see the whole picture. This is especially vital, because the owner is often caught up in the day to day work of running the business, and it is easy to become so focused on one aspect of the operation that something else may begin to wander slightly off track.

Having this extra set of eyes helps you to keep your business continuously moving in the right direction. It helps you, as the owner, bring a sharp focus to what will make the business successful. They can also offer valuable advice on the practical business of steering your business in the way you want to go.

Types of Business Coaches
Many of these advisors focus on a specific area of your business. If you have a specific challenges, or are somewhat lacking in certain essential skills, their advice can help you focus on a specific aspect of guiding your business.

A General Planner will work o developing the strategic plan for your business. Without specific goals in mind, it is far too easy to get off course. They can help with overall plans, marketing strategies financial management and administrative or personnel issues. Their advice can be especially useful to a new owner, or someone who wants to take their company to the next level.

A Marketing and Promotional Planner will focus on communicating your message to your clients. Whether it is marketing, advertising and promotions or public relations, they can help you put your best foot forward and get the word out about your products or services.

A Financial Planner will help keep all of the financial details under control. They can help you to better understand your financial conditions, how to manage cash flow properly and how to select an appropriate and competitive pricing system. They can also help with personnel issues, like employee compensation and benefits.

When Dorris Marlin needed help starting out her business, she turned to Inscape Consulting Group. They offer the most experienced executive coaching Vancouver has to offer. To learn more, visit their website today.

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How To Make Your Home Business Flourish

Taking the leap of faith and believing in yourself can be a difficult task. Many people opt to start their own business from home, and ultimately fail. The unfortunate thing is that this failure can be avoided if the right steps are taken to begin with. Taking your business from an idea to a reality with growth and profitability is a daunting task, but can be accomplished if you focus on the steps necessary. Don’t burn out by trying to juggle everything yourself, or spend too much money trying to hire others for help. There are many options to make life easier such as serviced offices, accountants, simple organization skills, and product promotion skills and services.  Let’s take a look at what fizzles and what sizzles in a self starting business.

Putting yourself out there: This may seem like an obvious answer, but too many people don’t have a website or other means of self promotion. How can your business grow, if no one knows it exists? Create a website to sell your product, promote your services, and reach the world. Thanks to the help of  do-it-yourself website companies, starting your own site has never been easier. For a small fee, to nothing, you can do everything yourself.

Get some help: Although this is your business, there may be times when you need some extra help. If success takes off and you find yourself traveling to Australia for conference meetings, then you may need someone else to look after things. Hire on a freelancer, friend, independent contractor, or employee/peer. This will take the workload off and help divvy out the tasks. Cash flow will adjust to the amount of work that you bring in between the both of you.

Branch out to another location: If you feel that working from home begins to get a little crowded, try looking into serviced offices for rent. These are great options for the working individual just starting out that needs their own professional space. Your partner and yourself can manage funds enough to invest in an outsourced office of your own.

Focus on one thing: Take all of your time and focus and put it into one single product. Don’t try and juggle all of your time and energy into mass amounts of products for mass amounts of audiences. It’s best to play on your strengths, and market the hell out of one item. You’ll find yourself being much more profitable, and  suffering less from poor risks.

Expand: Once you’ve found success in one product, don’t be afraid to stretch out and offer similar items to your line. This will keep your business fresh, and offer your customers more variety in purchases. It will increase revenue and keep new customers coming. Developing a product line helps increase the interest and sales of what you have to offer.

Be loyal to your customers: Just as you have customers that will be loyal to you and your product, you should always remember to treat them just the same. Offering coupons, select deals, and sales is a great way to keep your current customers coming back for more. By giving your audience great deals on your product, it will encourage them to buy more, and spread the word on what you have to offer. Always remember to give back a little once you reach your initial profit.

Don’t burn yourself out when trying to start up your business. Starting out by picking a single product, perfecting it, and promoting it are easy ways to start the profit intake. Don’t be afraid to branch out, get your own space, or bring in a little help. All of these things can help build your business up the ladder of success.

David Bloomer is a stay at home dad who has found success in his home business. 

Five Essentials You Need To Run Your Business

No start up launches with the goal of being shut down, but unfortunately every year, thousands of small businesses are forced to close their doors after finding themselves unable to survive in their industry. However, it is possible to drastically increase your chances of commercial success by investing in a few essentials. You need to have a good strategy that will guarantee you continued success, and these five key points can aide in laying a strong foundation for that long-term success.

1. Digitalization and social media plan
With the modern prevalence of the digital, if you are not online, you simply do not exist. Having a social media plan, from building a user-friendly website to crafting a digital advertising campaign, in place will help you reach your target audience, build lasting customer relationships, and share business information quickly and effectively.

2. Hire seasoned professionals
It can be tempting to hire friends to design a logo or help out with documentation, but nothing can compare with the benefits of hiring a seasoned professional. Not only will a seasoned professional guarantee that a great job gets done in a timely manner, but, with a good relationship, it can also turn into great advertising. For example, your logo in a graphic designer’s portfolio can lead to unexpected marketing.

3. Work with a call center outsourcing service
The most obvious and compelling advantage of working with a call center outsourcing service center is their cost cutting abilities. The hassle and burden of hiring, monitoring, and training representatives is transferred from business owner to call center operative, allowing the small business to focus on managing the more important aspects of his or her business. A call center outsourcing service handles a business’s customer service, builds customer care and retention, acts as the contact center, and can be set up to collect receivables and assets owed to your business.

4. Make a budget and stick with it.
Too often, start up business owners will justify every expense as good for the long term success. And while certain aspects are necessary, getting control of your spending and keeping tabs on your bills is essential. Assign a maximum amount you are willing to spend on every item your business needs. Additionally, plan for a worst case scenario and add a buffer amount to prevent you from accidently falling back into a financial cesspool.

5. Distinct brand identity
As much as a business needs to provide a desirable product and service, it equally needs a desirable, well-thought out brand identity. Brand identity is essential in reaching your target audience, outlining why your business’s product or service is different and what makes it their must-have. Your brand identity should be integrated with all of your promotional materials, logo, business cards, website, and other social media applications.

Starting and running your own business can be very rewarding if you take control of your business’s success from the start. Follow these five essential tips in order to help your company have a successful opening and long-term running success.

Randy is an entrepreneur who like to share advice of his successes and failures to those who will be starting a business, which include aspiring entrepreneurs.

Simple Tips To Level Up Your Small Business

Did you know more small businesses close down each year than those that start out in the market? Numbers further dwindle as time passes. Many do not even make it through the first five years, which is a critical phase in establishing recognition with the buyers. In order to distinguish yourself from the rest of the competition, your small business needs to step up. In a crowded market, the only way to make profit is to stand out. Below are a few tips you should consider when taking your small business to the next level.

Sell a Unique Product or Uniquely Sell a Product

Having a product that is distinct from those offered on the market is definitely an advantage. Nevertheless, ask yourself, what makes this product different and in turn, better than competitors? Even with a life-changing product, you are not assured of success. Without the proper recognition from potential customers, your product will stagnate. This is where promotions and advertisements play a huge role.

Even when selling a common good, standing out efficiently has the potential of drawing away clients from competitors. By taking advantage of social media, which is practically free advertising, and the rest of the internet, you can make your brand or product known. Make use of a blog to expound on what you are selling and gain some loyal followers in the process. Keep your blog interesting, eye grabbing and well maintained to catch the attention of internet users.

Invest in Promoting What You Have

If you have a background in graphic design or in SEO, then it will be good for you. Since humans process images thousands of times faster than words, you will need an eye-catching material –a well-designed blog or site should be in order. However, if you simply do not have the time, effort or skills to translate your business proposals into a living, breathing work of art, consider employing someone who can. A well-developed site usually gains positive reviews from potential clients, thus more exposure.

Apart from a great website that customers would be eager to visit, creating a logo shows that you are a serious competitor in the market. Have one that is distinct and easy to remember so that you are the first that comes to mind. Navigate the internet traffic towards your site with the use of keywords. Articles that are uniquely written with transparency could be enough to catch attention.

Secure Your Assets

Security for small businesses should include insurance where certain aspects other than general liabilities should be covered. Consider hiring a tandem: an accountant and a business attorney to keep taxes paid, trace funds, trace expenses, and generally keep you out of trouble. Do so as a small investment to protect your business. While improving visibility and sales is always a top priority, take the necessary steps of caution. This will cost you less than when you are neck high in deep waters.

It is through creativity and ingenuity that your small business will stand out from a sea of competitors. Even with a one-of-a-kind product, when it lacks the push to be recognized in the market and sold to buyers, it will plateau in sales early on. In a “been there, done that” market, it truly is a challenge to stick out. However, with the right know-how and dedication, you will be able to grow your own business in no time.

Paul Smith is a retired lawyer and business man. He now spends his freetime writing and reading for fun.

Five Simple Rules For Securing Your Business

As a business owner, you’ve worked hard to get where you are. No matter what your specialty or product or service is, if you are succeeding it is due to an immense effort and that effort should not be wasted. Think of your data, records, transactions, merchandise, trade secrets, client list, or any other valuable that may represent potential income. Are you doing everything in your means to protect those things?

Security is paramount – everything from doors to data needs to be defended against anything that could damage your business successes. Access Control Systems, key protocol, and computer security are your best friends. Here are five extremely simple rules, from the specific to the general, that can help keep your business fortified.

  1. Use strong, layered passwords on all computers, tablets, and internet-capable devices. While this can lead to slight inconvenience for your employers, it’s necessary. The minor addition of a few extra password procedures is a small price to pay for the security it provides. An important note: you should absolutely enforce changing passwords periodically, and send out a memo informing your employees that they should not write their passwords down.
  2. Secure your smartphone. Whether it’s a Blackberry, iPhone, Galaxy, or something else, it’s a vault for your personal information, much of which includes things you’d rather others not see. You should employ the same protocols on company smartphones that you do on company computer devices. A smartphone is ubiquitous – odds are your employees will also own personal smartphones, in addition to company phones. While that is a trickier area, some policy regarding the use of personal phones during work hours or for business should be applied.
  3. Know where your keys are. Keys open doors, after all, and you’d rather know, at all times, who is going through those doors. Controlling your keys is as important as paying attention to any high tech threat. You can attach electronic key finders or similar devices to keys in your employee’s care to help ensure they are not lost. If, for any reason, a key is lost, all locks associated with it should be replaced, and all now-useless copies discarded.
  4. Install high-security deadbolts. Not all deadbolts are created equal – high security deadbolts are specifically designed to resist all manner of intrusiveness. Installing them at your place of business is a no-brainer. Built to withstand attempts at breaking, drilling, picking, or pulling, a strong deadbolt is an excellent deterrent against thieves.
  5. Install security systems. Today, security systems are extremely advanced. Access Control Systems allow different layers of security, and will often involve keyless entry, electronic access, or cardkey systems. Additionally, companies that provide access control often offer video surveillance systems, or other ways to detect intruders. They are well worth any expense.

Remember: your business is the result of your labor, and it deserves to be protected, just as your home. Neglecting security precautions places you at risk of intrusion, robbery, penetration, vandalism, and more. Outside of these five rules, focusing on security could also include the use of floor marshals, visitor management, social media policies, and more.

Paul Smith is a successful business man and writer who belives in sharing his tips of success

5 Essential Items For Your New Office

Opening a business, or moving to a new location can be a very exciting time. Unfortunately, without careful planning, the process can also become very stressful and chaotic. What tools will your office need to perform daily operations, and how much of each item will you need? By giving careful thought to factors like these, you’ll find that your experience goes off much more smoothly. In order to get you started with the planning process, here are five important business tools that you should consider before opening up your new office.

1. High-Speed Scanners

Today, many businesses are “going green”. One valuable tool for creating a paperless filing system is a quality scanning system. Signed contracts, work orders, invoices, employee agreements, and other important paper documents can easily be scanned into your digitized system and stored for years without taking up room. In addition to saving paper and space, you’ll also eliminate the possibility of losing important data. Through firewalls and password protection, your items will be secure, but easy to access at all times. As an added bonus, you’ll appear more modern and environmentally conscientious to your clients when you e-mail copies of contracts/agreements instead of faxing them. Consider providing desktop scanners for employees who handle high volumes of paperwork, or providing a scanner for every “cluster” of work stations.

2.  High-Security Paper Shredders

Once you have scanned important documents into your system for safe storage, you’ll need to recycle the paperwork. But before you drop sensitive contracts or other papers into your recycle bin, it’s important that you are able to shred it. This will help you to avoid any security breaches or lawsuits as a result of confidential company and/or employee information being accessed through your discarded items. Be sure to invest in a high-security shredder to ensure that your business will not be compromised in any way. Shredders should be easily accessible by all employees to promote the safe disposal of paperwork.

3.  Backup Storage Systems

Whenever you’re working with electronic storage, it is imperative that you have a reliable backup system in place. Savvy operations utilize off-site, cloud-based storage solutions. By investing in such a system, you’ll be able to access your business documents and information from anywhere and you can rest assured that all of your files are secure. It’s smart to find backup systems that alert you when that statute of limits for storing certain documents has been reached. This helps you to keep your e-storage clean and running efficiently.

4. Business Telephone Systems

Your office won’t be able to get much done without a quality business phone system. Many SMBs are choosing to use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems, as they are more cost-efficient. Be sure to choose a phone system that is able to accept and host conference calls, can handle your projected call volume, and is fully scalable in the event of sudden growth within your business.

5. Plenty of Extras

Don’t run out of pens, ink cartridges, or paper in your moment of need. Always order slightly more than what you require, closely monitor your inventory, and keep ahead of your office’s needs in order to avoid catastrophe.

By following this guide and carefully considering your operation’s needs, you can hit the ground running towards a successful business.

Brielle has always enjoyed helping people start up their business. She always enjoys sharing this information with others who are looking to start their businesses as well.

Owning A Car Wash: Pros And Cons

Most people will tell you that there are only two things in this world that are permanent: death and taxes. While there is a certain amount of ironic truth to that statement, there are plenty of other things that are pretty stable, and entrepreneurs are continually investing in those businesses and industries. Let’s face it, as long as there are cars and drivers, there will be car washes for people who haven’t got driveways or time. For a smart businessperson, a car wash and detail service can be pretty lucrative, once the initial outlay of capital to purchase car wash equipment is behind them.

Let’s start by talking earning potential. A car wash, even a simple self-serve one, stands a reasonable chance of earning a $50-$100k profit annually. A full-service business can do about five times that. What’s more, owning a car wash isn’t so complex that it takes a ton of business savvy. On the contrary, it’s widely considered a pretty good business for those with little experience.

There are several types of car wash businesses:

  • Full Service: This establishment provides complete wash, wax, and detail services, both interior and exterior, and employs staff to do the work while customers wait. The pros of owning a full service business? This type has the highest earning potential. The cons? It’s the most complex, costs the most to start and maintain, and in slow or rough economic periods, having staff can be a liability.
  • Automatic Rollover Wash: This is the type of car wash commonly seen in the media, where the vehicle, typically occupied, is placed on a conveyance system that carries it through an automated exterior wash. There is no interior service for this. The pros of owning an automatic rollover wash business? This is a popular type of car wash, as they are actually quite fun for the customer to experience. They require minimal staffing and have high earning potential. The cons? The equipment required for an automatic rollover system is the most expensive and complex to purchase and maintain.
  • Self Service: This car wash typically features several garage-like “bays” where users can pull in and wash their vehicle using tools and equipment they can’t find at home. These will include a “wand” device that will distribute hot soapy water at velocity and behave like a hose, as well as disposables to be used for waxing and detailing. The pros of owning a self-service car wash? These require no staffing, only that you or an associate top off supplies regularly. It is nearly free residual income, as no outlay beyond maintenance of equipment and supplies is necessary after opening. The cons? It has the lowest average earning potential among car wash types. Additionally, because it requires no staff, it is typically unsupervised, allowing for deliberate vandalism or misuse of equipment – though there are measures to mitigate that.

Before deciding to open a car wash, do your research and speak to others to determine if the right path is for you. If it is, it can be lucrative and rewarding to do.

Mike is an entrepreneur who has owned many different types of businesses over the years.