Small Business Survival Tips
No matter what kind of small business you have, you need read these "small business survival tips" which will help you to succeed.
You may be in Internet business, traditional business, or you may be a local merchant with 150 employees; whichever, however or whatever--you've got to know how to keep your business alive during economic recessions. Anytime the cash flow in a business, large or small, starts to tighten up, the money management of that business has to be run as a "tight ship."
Some of the things you can and should do include protecting yourself from expenditures made on sudden impulse. We've all bought merchandise or services we really didn't need simply because we were in the mood, or perhaps in response to the flamboyancy of the advertising or the persuasiveness of the salesperson. Then we sort of "wake up" a couple of days later and find that we've committed hundreds of dollars of business funds for an item or service that's not essential to the success of our own business, when really pressing items had been waiting for those dollars.
If you are incorporated, you can eliminate these "impulse purchases" by including in your by-laws a clause that states: "All purchasing decisions over (a certain amount) are contingent upon approval by the board of directors." This will force you to consider any "impulse purchases" of considerable cost, and may even be a reminder in the case of smaller purchases.
If your business is a partnership, you can state, when faced with a buying decision, that all purchases are contingent upon the approval of a third party. In reality, the third party can be your partner, one of your department heads, or even one of your suppliers.
If your business is a sole proprietorship, you don't have much to worry about really, because as an individual you have three days to think about your purchase, and then to nullify that purchase if you think you don't really need it or can't afford it.
While you may think you cannot afford it, be sure that you don't "short-change" yourself on professional services. This would apply especially during a time of emergency. Anytime you commit yourself and move ahead without completely investigating all the angles, and preparing yourself for all the contingencies that may arise, you're skating on thin ice. Regardless of the costs involved, it always pays off in the long run to seek out the advice of experienced professionals before embarking on a plan that could ruin you.
Particularly when sales are down, you must be "hard-nosed" with people trying to sell you luxuries for your business. When business is booming, you undoubtedly will allow sales people to show you new models of equipment or a new line of supplies; but when your business is down, skip the entertaining frills and concentrate on the basics. Great care must be taken however, to maintain courtesy and allow these sellers to consider you a friend and call back at another time.
Your company's books should reflect your way of thinking, and whoever maintains them should generate information according to your policies. Thus, you should hire an outside accountant or accounting firm to figure your return on your investment, as well as the turnover on your accounts receivable and inventory. Such an audit or survey should focus in depth on any or every item within the financial statement that merits special attention. in this way, you'll probably uncover any potential financial problems before they become readily apparent, and certainly before they could get out of hand.
Many small companies set up advisory boards of outside professional people. These are sometimes known as power Circles, and once in place, the business always benefits, especially in times of short operating capital. Such an advisory board or power circle should include an attorney, a certified public accountant, civic club leaders, owners or managers of businesses similar to yours, and retired executives. Setting up such an advisory board of directors is really quite easy, because most people you ask will be honored to serve.
Once your board is set up, you should meet once a month and present material for review. Each meeting should be a discussion of your business problems and an input from your advisors relative to possible solutions. These members of your board od advisors should offer you advice as well as alternatives, and provide you with objectivity. No formal decisions need to be made either at your board meeting, or as a result of them, but you should be able to gain a great deal from the suggestions you hear.
You will find that most of your customers have the money to pay at least some of what they owe you immediately. To keep them current, and the number of accounts receivable in your files to a minimum, you should call them on the phone and ask for some kind of explanation why they're falling behind. if you develop such a habit as part of your operating procedure, you'll find your invoices will magically be drawn to the front of their piles of bills to pay. While maintaining a courteous attitude, don't hesitant, or too much of a "nice guy" when it comes to collecting money.
Something else that's a very good business practice, but which few business owners do is to methodically build a credit rating with their local banks. Particularly when you have a good cash flow, you should borrow $100 to $1,000 from your banks every 90 days or so. Simply borrow the money, and place it in an interest bearing account, and then pay it all back at least a month or so before it's due. By doing this, you will increase the borrowing power of your signature, and strengthen your ability to obtain needed financing on short notice. This is a kind of business leverage that will be of great value to you if or whenever your cash position becomes less favorable.
By all means, join your industry's local and national trade associations. Most of these organizations have a wealth of information available on everything from details on your competitors to average industry sales figures, new products, services, and trends.
If you are given a membership certificate or wall plaque, you should display these conspicuously on your office wall. Customers like to see such "seals of approval" and feel additional confidence in your business when they see them.
Still another thing often overlooked: If at all possible, you should have your spouse work in the business with you for at least three or four weeks per year. The important thing is that if for any reason you are not available to run the business, your spouse will be familiar with certain people and situations about your business. These people should include your attorney, accountant, any consultants or advisors, creditors and your major suppliers. The long-term advantages of having your spouse work four weeks per year in your business with you will greatly outweigh the short-term inconvenience. Many couples share responsibility and time entirely, which is in most cases even more desirable.
Whenever you can, and as often as you need it, take advantage of whatever free business counseling is available. The Small Business Administration published many excellent booklets, checklist and brochures on quite a large variety of businesses. these publications are available through the U.S.Government printing office. Most local universities, and many private organizations hold seminars at minimal cost, and often without charge. You should also take advantage of the services offered by your bank and local library.
The important thing about running a small business is to know the direction in which you're heading; to know on a day-to-day basis your progress in that very direction; to be aware of what your competitors are doing and to practice good money management at all times. All this will prepare you to recognize potential problems before they arise.
In order to survive with a small business, regardless of the economic climate, it is essential to surround yourself with smart people, and practice sound business management at all times.
Franchising and Royalty Payments
If you are thinking of turning your current into a franchising company you will need to determine a fair and equitable franchise royalty fee. There are a number of questions you will need to ask yourself in determining this fee such as what services you will provide to your franchisee team and what that will cost. You will also need to take a look at the competition to determine the amount that you can honestly charge without forgoing cost conscious franchise buyers.
How To Create A Business Note That Is More Attractive To A Note Investor
You are selling your small business (business value under $1 million for this article). You would like the buyer of your business to come in with an all-cash offer, or be able to qualify for an SBA guaranteed loan. However, in many cases the owner of the business ends up taking back the financing because the buyer is not able to make an all-cash offer or does not qualify for an SBA guaranteed loan. So you create a "business note" and you now become the "bank". At first that may seem okay, but after a couple of years of receiving payments you may decide you want to get back into business and you need the cash that is tied up in your business note on which you are receiving payments. So now you want to sell your business note to raise cash for your next business venture. What is it worth? That will depend a lot on how you structured the note.
4 Areas Where Your Business is Losing Money
In my 18 years of consulting I have heard it all. Everything from competition to managed care as reasons why it's hard to create the business of your dreams. New customers are needed to keep any business going but it is how you and your staff manage these customers that determines your success in business.
Financial Fundamentals - What Every Small Business Owner Should Know!
Business owners rarely go into business to deal with the financial aspects of running a business. It's easy to understand why! You are passionate about the products or services you provide and want to focus your time there. The financial aspect usually falls to the bottom of the "desired responsibilities" list. It is critical to the long-term success of your business that you understand some of the Financial Fundamentals of being a business owner though. You don't have to be an accountant or financial analyst, but it is important that you have some key skills in your business toolkit to measure the financial aspects of your business. It's okay to outsource this activity so that someone else can do the work you don't like to do, but make sure you understand the output of the financial information. You'll need it to help you make informed decisions about your business. Remember! Accounting is not just about taxes. There's so much more to know about the numbers, so you'll know how your business is doing from the management perspective.
The 5 Traits of Baby Boomer Business Owners
As a practitioner and student of Small Business Marketing, I was recently contemplating ways to enhance my business. I found it fascinating to realize that over 95% of my customers and hot prospects were Baby Boomer's who own a small business.
Don?t Quit Before You Get to the City!
We were more than excited. Our women's doubles tennis team had won our division, successfully competed in three rounds of the playoffs and had emerged as finalists in the city competition. We fought hard and the results had paid off, but things didn't always look so promising. Just last season we finished in 3rd place. Three of our members decided to throw in the towel and left to find new teams.
Franchise Sales and Use of Online Franchise Directories
Franchising Directory Sites-Paid Advertising, Lead Generation for Franchising
How To Cut Expenses And Manage Your Business
If you own a small business, you should know that often times it can be the little things, rather than the large expenses, that can eat away at your budget. But many times, small business owners will try and increase their profits by looking around at what larger expenses they can cut.
Not Listening Can Hurt Your Small Business
Most small business owners seek advisors who can help them improve their businesses. They want advice from those who have the experience and really know what they're talking about. But they can only benefit from the sound counsel if they listen to the expert's guidance. Unfortunately, there are some entrepreneurs who aren't going to hear the professionals out or follow a plan no matter what. At that point, experts realize that they might as well save their breath and hope that the business owner will eventually see the error of their ways before it's too late.
The Key To Success - Choose The Right Partners
Do you promote yourself as offering prompt, reliable and quality service?
How to Profile a Client
At first glance, this topic may seem a little repetitive, but you will find that although you have done homework before getting a contract and already know a fair amount about your client, you, however, do not know everything that is pertinent to the job. Once you have the project underway you will be adding to your knowledge of the client. In other words, you will be getting to know them more intimately than before. The information you had at the beginning is what the organization allowed you and the public in general to know. Now you are in a position to increase that knowledge and add to the client profile. This information will take time to accumulate as not all will present itself right at the beginning of the project. It is through your performance that it will surface.
Finding the Right Virtual Assistant for Your Small Business
Articles abound advising the business community how to properly screen when looking for a Virtual Assistant (VA). Unfortunately, some of the advice may lead you astray, as it often ignores the fact that VAs are not employees but independent contractors providing professional business to business (B2B) services.
Home Based Franchise; What About Future Expansion?
As a franchisor I am always asked by new and existing franchisees about future expansion. I find this to be a most wonderful question because I admire the strength of today's entrepreneur. With all and over regulation we still see hard chargers willing to battle the Tsunami of laws, rules and regulations as the debris rushes ashore. Indeed, with the Hurricane of lawyers presently in practice and Earthquake stampeding new attorneys getting out of law school, it is amazing the new warriors of free enterprise still press. Yes, in fact the modern entrepreneur has more floating and flying debris then ever before in our nations history. The of course want to shoot all the lawyers and regulators who have never made an honest dollar in their entire lives, yet no one has that much ammo and it is time consuming to run down all the much mold and slime.
Outsourcing and Virtual Assistants: Small Business Saviors
Work smarter, not harder
Why Small Businesses Need Both A Logo And An Identity System
Experts urge small business owners to "brand" their business ? to use a logo and a set of consistent marketing materials. But, they rarely go into the reasons behind this advice. Here's a list of some of the benefits to having a professionally designed logo and marketing package:
How to Give FREE Advice and Make Money
When is advice free and when should you charge for it?
Change May Be Your Ace in the Hole
Whether it has been thrust upon you by external market forces or it has simply bubbled up from the internal dynamics of your enterprise, change itself always presents opportunity for improvement. And in a knowledge based economy, change may be the only thing we can count on as small business people. So, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you must embrace change as a necessary strategy for commercial success.
Do You Own Your Business Or Does It Own You?
What was your aim when you went into business for yourself?Chances are you wanted to be your own boss, be in controlof your future, improve your chances of earning a high income,among other things.
Auto Detailers and Competitive Aspects of Automobile Detailing
There are both fixed and mobile detailers. Consumers often will use either or both during the life of their car. Mobile Detailing is nice because they come to you. Fixed site auto detailers often work in a controlled environment and can produce higher quality work. Due to the competitive aspects fixed site detailers generally will offer pick up and drop of services. Due to costs to run an automotive detailing shop the prices are often a little higher and this gives the advantage to the mobile auto-detailing practitioner.
Small Business Failures in America - Cash Flow Issues
We are noticing an increase in the length of time it takes Large corporations to pay on their invoices to our team. Fortune 500s are tending to pay their vendors more slowly, which will hurt the already strapped small businesses in America. These same small businesses employ 2/3 the population and do a great service in supplying the needs of corporations.
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