Home Based Business

Build the blueprint for your business and try to think about what you have to do every day to achieve that success. You need to focus and set priorities and then go for it.

Whether you are just getting started on your journey on the road to success or you have been on the journey for some time, one thing is for certain, you will greatly enhance the speed in which you reach your goals when you embrace these Dailyhawker Canada key success principles:

  • Change your mind-set. Don’t focus on the money. If you chase money, you will always be broke. Don’t allow money to have that power over you.
  • Focus on developing your talents to provide value and abundance for others, then the money will show up.
  • If you want success, you have to be willing to pay the price of diligence and hard work. You already know all you need to know to be successful, you just need to put the remote control down, scoop the bag of chips away, and get off the couch.
  • The most important ingredient of success is good mentoring. If you want something in your life, then line up with somebody who is getting the results you want.
  • Pass your knowledge on to somebody else. Be a mentee to a mentor, and then go out and mentor somebody else. As you invest the knowledge you gain, it will multiply.
  • Take action every day: Each day wakes up with specific things you want to do each day, to accomplish a small part of the big goal. One small action done consistently has a way of expanding on its own.
  • You have to have to be prepared to invest your time and money without expecting immediate results. It usually takes 3 to 4 years to make consistent changes in life. It will not happen overnight, so think that you’re working for 3 years from now. If you are only 99% committed, it is only a matter of time before you fail.

Financial Yardsticks for Small Business

Your Assets

Tracking your equipment, furniture, real estate and other holdings should be easy. But to have a true idea of the value of your business, you also have to track changes in the value of those assets. More than one small business has found itself located on a piece of land that’s worth more than the business itself. Similarly, you also will want to track the declining value of assets such as computers and office furniture.

Your Liabilities

On the face of it, this is easy — liabilities are what you owe. But what you owe isn’t always as obvious as a bill from your landlord. Payroll taxes are a liability that depend on the size of your payroll. Loans are a clear liability, but in repaying them you’ll want to be able to track how much of a payment is applied against principal and interest.

What does it Cost You to Produce What You Sell?

If you’re buying a finished item for resale, this is relatively easy. It’s trickier if you have to calculate all the factors, such as labour, that go into manufacturing a product. .

What’s it Costing You to Sell What You Sell?

Advertising, marketing, labour, storage and the catch-all category of overhead — it’s useful to know how much it costs you to get a product sold as well as what it costs you to create it.

What’s Your Gross Profit Margin?

This is calculated by dividing your total sales into your gross profit. If your gross profit margin is staying consistent or trending upward, you’re probably on track.

Being able to track a declining margin can give you a heads-up that you must adjust your prices or your costs. In the worst cases your gross profit and profit margin disappear altogether. At that point, you’ll be like the fellow who lost money on every sale but figured he could make it up in volume. Don’t do it.

What’s Your Debt-to-asset Ratio?

This ratio can let you know how much of the stuff you have in your company is actually owned by someone else — your lender. Having this ratio climb can be a bad sign. It can happen as part of a major expansion, but it can also indicate that you’re getting in over your head.

What’s the Value of Your Accounts Receivable?

This is the money you are owed. If accounts receivable are on the rise, you may be getting a warning that the folks you sell to are starting to stumble.

What’s Your Average Collection Time on Accounts Receivable?

This is probably one of the most aggravating pieces of information for cash-strapped businesses, because it tells you how many days you’re acting as ‘banker’ for the people who owe you money.

What Are Your Accounts Payable?

The flip side of accounts receivable. An increase in your accounts payable may merely reflect a larger amount of purchases overall. But an increase that hasn’t been planned or managed can be an internal warning that your company’s financial strength is waning.

What’s Happening With Your Inventory?

There are occasions, even in this just-in-time business world, when building up a significant inventory can be a good thing.

If prices for items you sell or use in production are relatively low, putting some of your money into inventory may make sense.

Being able to track your inventory can tell you whether business is increasing or slowing down. It also tells you how much money is tied up in this unproductive asset.

Business Consultancy

Definitions of Consultancy on the Web:

  • A contract to provide services which meet all the following criteria: expert analysis and advice which facilitates decision making of a specific task or a set of tasks involving skills or perspectives which would not normally be expected to reside within the Department making the decision.
  • The practice of giving expert advice within a particular field or area.
  • The practice of helping companies to improve performance through analysis of existing business problems and development of future plans.

To shed some more light on this subject let’s turn to the World Wide Web. If you do a search on Google for business consultancy, here are some of the top businesses that show up on the first page of results:

  • IBM
  • Accenture
  • Deloitte

These are some of the biggest and most reputable consultancy companies in existence today. Small businesses would probably be more suited to a smaller consultancy firm.

A more recent offset of business consultancy is something called Business coaching. Business coaching is a fairly new profession that has started to gain popularity in the business sector. Its origins appear to be from the sporting arena where coaches have helped athletes achieve their goals for centuries.

Business coaching is a slightly different concept to consulting. Business consulting implies that you identify a problem that a client has and you propose a solution. Coaching, on the other hand, is more about the facilitation of a process so that the client help them self. The business coach literally helps the client achieve their goals by teaching them the proper skill set required to do so.

Whichever type of business consultancy is ultimately chosen, the important part is that you reach your goal. Business consultancy is a common way for a business to achieve this.

Business Elite

What are the standards of the business elite? In order to be the best you have to make sure you are in position to be the best. There are many different criteria’s of elite status such as revenue, industry leader, milestones, awards and etc. When you are elite it has nothing to do with anything, but work ethic. Researchers may argue that zodiac has a lot to with success. When you are born make sure you understand homework and application is what defines success.

The elite can be a tough job. Elite status comes with a lot of criticism. When you make it the top people won’t give you praise you or have your best interest. When you pay employees your employees sometimes can become your worst enemies. Anyone with inside information can destroy a company since they know when a company is making moves. When your an elite leader you can become the best by doing things the right way. The business elite have one goal in mind which is to be the best.

Building a business can be a tough trick there is no way to sustain success. Most people when they get to the top feel they cannot be touched but usually is not the case. The economy has exposed the best of the best and their companies crumbled. When you make decisions you can only hope you are making a great decision. Copying notes of your competitor does not work the best. When you make money remember not to spend it right away.

In conclusion there are many ways to become elite, but you can only be what you choose. When you make the most of your decisions you can make a bunch of cool decisions or you can make informed decisions. When you do not reach elite status it does not mean you failed it implies you did not get to your goals when you wanted. There are many ways to do things like a professional, but remember not to follow the crowd. Good luck!

Pillars of a Successful Business Partnership

Trust

Before there can be anything meaningful and lasting in a relationship, there must be a mutual level of trust. Trust, however, takes time to develop.

I have known David Begin, my current partner in various ventures, since 1991. We met when we both worked for a large software company, and have remained friends over the years. Our families have travelled together, and we have developed a close bond over time. When the opportunity first arose for us to partner on a business, we had already developed a deep trust at a personal level. This trust has been the basis of our business relationship. We rely on the fact, as good partners must, that we have each other’s interests in mind – we have each other’s backs in any situation. We try to consider what’s best for the other person, and what’s makes most sense for the business overall.

If you have the advantage of considering a partnership with someone with whom you have a long-term relationship, then trust should already be established. But what if you have recently met the person you are considering going into business with? How do you develop trust in a short period of time?

In my opinion and experience, it’s difficult if not impossible to rush the development of personal trust. There are, however, techniques we can use to accelerate the development of trust in a business environment. It requires careful and calculated observation, applied techniques, and lots of intuition.

In his book “The Trusted Advisor”, author David Maister explains that in business relationships you can quickly improve your “trust factor” by increasing credibility, reliability and intimacy while reducing self-orientation. The “trust factor” is a measure of trust, from the perspective of the other person with whom you are conducting business.

When it comes to measuring the evolving trust you have in a new partner, it’s applicable to consider those same factors. If the person is potentially trustworthy, they will likely demonstrate credibility (they tend to be accurate, complete, and don’t tend to exaggerate their knowledge), reliability (they follow through on their promises and are consistent in their actions and behavior), and intimacy (they are candid, genuine, and emotionally open). Low self-orientation (meaning that they are not always focused on themselves, they are good listeners, and don’t exhibit a need to always be right and win at all costs) is the other important clue to help you judge the character of your potential partners. It’s often most effective to watch for these indicators during the most casual of situations, like during a meal at a restaurant when the other person may reveal more of their true self.

Partnerships may not be a fit for people who do not like to seek advice from others, who do not prefer to share success or blame, and if they don’t see value in the opinions of others. As you are getting to know your potential partner, be sure to listen and observe carefully to identify these characteristics.

It’s also probably not a good idea to partner just for financial reasons. Overlooking a mismatch in personalities and vision in the short-term because that person has the money you need may eventually result in a negative relationship.

Respect

An effective business partnership also depends upon mutual respect. Ideally, your partners bring complimentary skills and abilities to the team. Combined with each partner’s perspective and experience, the group is considerably stronger and more effective than any one person could ever be by themselves. Team members must have a level of respect for each other, which fosters a positive and productive business environment.

Recognition and positive feedback are important for showing and feeling respect. We must take the time to recognize and appreciate the efforts and input that all partners bring to the collaboration. We all naturally want to be recognized and respected for our individual contributions, even if those contributions are never implemented. You demonstrate respect for your partner when you value or simply acknowledge their input, ideas and perspectives.

Of course, to gain respect, you must be worthy of being respected. Earning respect is in large part based on being a good person and partner (are you someone who looks for the best in others and who follows through on your promises and commitments to the team?) telling the truth and being transparent, and genuinely caring about your teammates. Respect the people you work with, and they should respect you in return.

Agreement

There can be complete trust and honest respect in a business relationship, but it can all come tumbling down with one seemingly simple misunderstanding. “I thought you were going to do this?” “No, I assumed that you would do that!”

During the honeymoon phase of the relationship, when we are caught up in the excitement of the new business, we may be quick to make assumptions and avoid difficult conversations. Dodging critical questions and assuming that things will always be great often leads to ruinous arguments later.

It’s critical that you clearly define upfront who will do what and how much time each partner will invest in the business. You also have to discuss and agree on many other points including the terms of a future buy-out – either because one of the partners wants out, or there is a death.

My business partner and I benefit from, and prefer, what we refer to as “active partnerships”. These are partnerships where all members are contributing fairly equally. It provides us the financial benefit of spreading the risk, but also sharing the burden and responsibility of building and growing our small businesses. It often makes sense to bring in investors, however, who are not involved in the day-to-day operations of the business.

Legal written partnership agreements are a must for any partnership. This typically includes an Operating Agreement and a Buy-Sell Agreement which is drafted by an attorney. The legal agreement defines all of the parameters and terms of the business, including who is the Managing Member, what capital is contributed by each member, and what happens when a member of the partnership wants to exit or can no longer perform their duties.

We recommend that you start with a Memo of Understanding. This is simply an outline that documents most of the terms of the partnership. Then you consult with an attorney to finalize the details and create the legal Operating Agreement. The key is to discuss and agree upfront on the terms of the partnership, and avoid the misunderstandings and resentment that can otherwise develop later.

There are many reasons why partnering may make best sense for your business venture, including funding (one partner or a “silent partner” provides the money for start-up), expertise (one partner has the expertise in the industry or business you are starting), and the desire to build a company with friends and family (although we always caution that you be careful when partnering with your friends and family as it may end badly). If you are like me, you may simply prefer, and be significantly more productive, when you combine your efforts with a partner. Regardless of the reasons, always consider the three pillars of trust, respect and agreement upon which successful business partnerships are usually based.

Business Partnerships

One life lesson I learned long ago is that until you know how someone is about money, you really don’t know how that person is. Money has the ability to reflect the best and worst in people. We all know it but somehow when it comes to partnerships of all kinds we all too often play people pleasers numbed by the novocaine of looking bad.

There are 3 types of potential partners one takes on in business. They are as follows.

  • Friend
  • Family Member
  • Business Associate that has become a friend of sorts.

The most common reason one brings a business partner aboard is the worst reason to do so. The most common reason is to “share the fear”. As a business coach I have found this to be the case nearly every time someone wanted to bring on a partner. Whether they knew it or not, they wanted what I call “a liability sponge”. The logical follow is that once the fear has worn thin, the partners begin to compare who is doing more or less than the other, who is taking more time off, who comes in late and the list goes on. The partnership begins to look like 70% of the marriages – they begin to look really dysfunctional and often end in divorce. Unfortunately in most cases (or fortunately just the same) there was no vow taken before God where the partners stated “til death do us part”. There is only money holding them together.

If you do bring a partner on, be comfortable knowing that you could lose them as a friend or family member forever — long before death does you part. For me, all the money in the world can’t replace certain relationships in my life. Despite many temptations to mix business with pleasure I know better. I know better because I’ve done it and I’ve even lost a couple of friends in the process. Here is the good news. If you are going to bring a partner aboard in your new or existing business my article to follow, Business Partnerships – Doing it Right, will help you make it as painless as possible.

Psychology of Success

Your success quotient is made up of skills, knowledge and attitude with attitude accounting for 85%. Carol S. Dweck’s book, Mindset The New Psychology for Success, supports how important attitude is, but adds an additional premise that you have to be open to learning rather than closed to learning. According to Dweck, the world is divided between people who do and don’t have an open mindset. Those who do have an open mindset succeed, often outperform and lead happier lives as compared to those with exceptional skills and knowledge but who have a closed mindset.

Strong differences in people’s backgrounds, experiences, education and training have all been used as a way to explain why some of us achieve success and many of us fall short. According to Dweck, mindsets frame the running account taking place in people’s heads. They guide how you interpret things. The fixed mindset tends to judge failure as a loss and re-enforces its view of failure with internal monologues such as: “this means I am a loser,” or “this means I am not as good as they are.” It also tends to support shutting down, not trying again or giving up. Growth mindset people on the other hand are also monitoring negative situations and have internal dialogue with themselves, but they interpret failure as a challenge and a learning experience. They know that they can obtain both positive and negative learning from failure experiences. They tend to look at failure as constructive and an opportunity for learning and growth. They ask questions like: “what can I learn from this,” or “how can I improve?”

Dweck suggests that there are four key steps to shifting your closed mindset to being more open. It is also important to note that many of us have both mindsets and they come into play in different situations. So when facing a future challenge or setback or criticism, you might decide that your fixed talents or abilities are lacking. Alternatively, you can try a growth mindset approach that suggests you need to ramp up your efforts, stretch yourself and possibly train and enhance your skills and abilities.

Here are some suggested steps:

  • Learn to identify and hear your fixed mindset voice.

Look at situations and ask yourself about your judgments and your response to the situation. Are you saying things like: “It’s not too late to back out, make excuses,” or “it’s not my fault?”

  • Recognize that you do have a choice.

Interpreting situations as bad or challenging or a setback can often be shifted to viewing them as a learning experience and a stepping stone to success. The choice is really up to you.

  • Talk back to yourself with a growth mindset voice.

A fixed mindset voice can say things like “are you sure you can do this; maybe you don’t have the talent.” On the other hand, a growth mindset voice might say: “I may not be able to do this right now but I can learn it with time and help.”

  • Take a growth mindset action step.

Since it is up to you, what you say and hear is up to you. Learn from your setbacks and try again. Take on challenges and when you hear criticism, act on it. This is not always easy but practice, with the support of a coach or mentor, can make all the difference in enhancing your success quotient score and getting attitudes in place for enhanced success.

Use Google+ For Business

If you aren’t sure how to go about using Google+ to promote your business, or if you just want to make sure that you’re using the service to its best advantage, here are some tips on Google+.

  • Create a page for your business. First, set up a personal account on Google+’s homepage at plus.Google.com. Once you have a personal account, click on the drop-down menu that says “home” and go to “pages.” From there, click the link that says “create a page.”
  • From here, you have to begin the process of gaining followers. To start out, begin following other businesses in your area, both related and unrelated to real estate. Your business page can only follow other business pages. When other business pages add you to their circles, add them back to strengthen the relationship.
  • Respond to activity on your page. Once people begin +1ing, commenting, and sharing, thank them and respond to their comments. The more active your page is and the more you respond to your users, the more people will want to interact with your page.
  • Promote your page: add the URL to your business card, flyers, blog, and other marketing materials. Connect your services.
  • Post useful content often. If you have a blog, post the articles or photos you’re posting there onto your Google+ as well. This will also help you attract followers and page traffic.
  • Add the +1 and Circles buttons to your website so that people can follow you from there.
  • Add colleagues, related businesses, and friends into your circles. This allows you to share different things with different groups of people.
  • Comment on other people’s pages and posts, particularly ones related to your business. That will make you more visible on the network and, again, a more active user.
  • Google+ verifies your business with Google, which can help format searches for your business. There are also rumors that businesses associated with a Google+ page get ranked higher in Google’s search results.
  • Like in any social media avenue, post as much and as varied content as you can. Blog posts of what’s going on in your business, content related to anything of interest in your community, photos of homes you’re representing, news about goings on in your business, links to applicable content elsewhere on the internet, and links to new content on your website or blog, can help better establish your business on the social network and help you reach out to possible clients or professional contacts.
  • There’s a complaint that there aren’t that many users on Google+, but in truth, there are now more users on Google+ than on any social network other than Facebook, including Twitter. Use this myth to your advantage. Many of your competitors may not be investing in Google+, so make sure you do your homework and have an active, lively business page to show to Google+’s 343 million members.

About Small Business Proposal Development

In smaller companies everyone has to be direct charge, there is no budget for sales and marketing groups or sales engineers. Everyone bills the customer and very often everyone is working on a customer site. When a new opportunity is identified there is no one to work it properly until the RFP hits. Notice that the company isn’t caught flat footed or bidding out of the CBD they’re just doing all they can do with the resources available. Because Small Company Inc. wants to grow and prosper they’ve sent people to be trained by those companies espousing the best practices and they would like to emulate those they wish to become. All that Big Company Inc. may have been doing for a year or more to get ready to bid, Small Company Inc. now tries to squeeze into a 30 to 120 day period. It would be stressful to do this once or twice in a year but some companies go through this insanity perpetually.

The few good people that get stuck on proposal teams burn out quick. Between the proposal and the customer and other company responsibilities the quality of work suffers; the proposal, the customer or the company. The best practices need not be abandoned or specifically re-written for small companies. It’s the responsibility of the small company to identify which best practice will get the greatest bang for the buck when there are very few bucks. If you only have 30 days to develop the solution, assemble the team and prepare the proposal something has to be left out. For instance, storyboarding is a very good technique when properly used. However, the day the RFP is released is not the day to begin teaching the technique to a group who has never used it or is reluctant to use it because they’ve never experienced its value. There is no time for multiple formal reviews.

Structure the review cycle to reflect the compressed situation. Past performance and team resumes is also a stumbling block for many companies. A Project Manager that’s had to tailor the project description five or six times in the last month won’t be real enthused about having to do it a seventh time. Resumes follow the same pattern. The solution lies in accepting reality and designing process and procedures to reflect it. You can still go to your association meetings and claim to follow best practices to the letter but in the long run you will have reduced your B&P cost, produced better proposals and helped retain your better people by not burning them out trying to keep up with the big guys.

Born to Be Entrepreneur

Ideas after ideas constantly flow in and out of our mind, but the confidence to pursue those ideas doesn’t always stay with you. For those that manage to grab a hold of their confidence, will also snatch one or more of those ideas and begin to weave them into a plan to build a business.

Entrepreneur minded people can never be happy with a nine to five job. Their minds will always seek to fulfill what their heart craves. For some, the urgency to make money will be their driver, for others it is their passion to create that will propel them into action. Unfortunately, for a great many, the soul will want what the soul wants, but doesn’t always know how to deliver. So their dream will end before it ever begins.

Once the realization of this sets in, so will their level of frustration. So that this doesn’t become your reality, you will need to make a real concerted effort to go after your dream. That will mean stepping out on faith!

In order to make it happen, you will need to throw a lasso around your confidence, pluck your ideas from your head and begin to create and work your plan to build your business.

Business building is tough work. Stress can be a major factor. Doubt, fear, and skepticism may live with you on a daily basis. Nevertheless, you will not be completely satisfied with your life until you do this and; for those that have started, finish it.

Entrepreneurs all over the world are in various stages of building. Some have it on their heart to become an entrepreneur and are ready to take their first step; while others have just begun the process. Further still, there are those who are much, much further along in the process and are either thriving or failing.