Small Business Support Equals Survival
Support is critical for your small business survival. You may shy away from the thought of having an advisory board to guide you through your rough spots, but having a group of professionals who are willing to be your sounding board can mean the difference between success and failure.
Your board should be made up of seasoned professionals in non-competing businesses. You should:
- Select three to five members who can fill in the gaps. Include people unrelated to you who can take a broad view of your business and are willing to suggest changes. Zero in on people who have skills you lack. Find members who can be objective and frank with their advice.
- Set a date. Meet at least once a month to review your progress and obtain feedback. Be prepared with financial statements and actions completed since the last meeting. Be organized. Don't waste your board's time. Pack light on discussion topics so you can pursue issues deeply.
- Act on your board's advice. If you find yourself procrastinating about commitments you've made and actions you've agreed to take, dissolve your group. Members will quickly lose interest if they see no added value in the commitment they've made to help you and your business.
Denise O'Berry helps small business owners take action to grow their business. Find out more at http://www.smallbusinessmatters.com
11 Things Small Business Owners Can Learn From The Supreme Court
1. Have A Strong Constitution ? Justices deliver decisions by interpreting the U.S. Constitution. Never let the challenges of running your small business overwhelm your judgment.
Uncover Free Veins Of Gold By Prospecting Online Guru Newsletters (Part 1 of 2)
Incredible as it sounds, you have a goldmine of free business advice and resources available to you for starting an online business. Many entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the unbelievable opportunity of financial independence by starting an Internet business.
5 Steps To Success for Small Business Owners
Everyone wants to succeed in life. Most people want to succeed in business. And no one starts a business of any sort wanting to fail.
Small Business - Is The Accounting Profession Ripping Them Off?
My 16 year-old daughter said, "Gee Dad! You look just like an accountant" And she wasn't being complimentary. Accountants are perceived to be boring, stodgy and conservative.Over the years we've been the butt of many jokes. I've heard them all.Why did the accountant cross the road? Because he looked up the file and that's what they did last year! Ha Ha!What do accountants use as a contraceptive? Their personality! Ha Ha!"Why do accountants become accountants? They don't have the charisma to be undertakers! Ha Ha!What do they call an accountant at the bottom of the sea? A bloody good start! Ha Ha!I think I am the exception.That's why I've begun to call myself a business strategist and counselor. "You're still an accountant," says teenage daughter. I am still an accountant and I'm still as passionate about it as the day I started. Because accountants have an impact on people's lives. The advice we give changes people's businesses which in turn changes their lives. I'm excited in my role of accountant.Accounting is not stodgy. Accounting is exciting. Accounting is cool! My ambition is to become the "cool dude of accounting". (do they still say "dude", do they still say "cool". Remember that song: When I say, "cool, man, cool, I don't mean cool, man, cool, I mean you leave me cold, Jack")We were throwing some ideas around with some of our clients as we do from time to time, looking for that unique benefit that our firm gives to our clients. That unique something that distinguishes us from other accounting practices.One said, "You have helped me to improve my business. Not only am I making more profits and have more to spend, but I also have more time to spend away from the business. The more time I spend at home with my family the happier my life is. And the happier I am the happier my wife and children seem to be. When my wife is happy all sorts of good things happen ? even our sex life improves. That's it! You can advertise that using Kelvyn Peters CPA and Associates improves your sex life"I don't think so! Sorry, we haven't accepted his idea. You're completely on your own in that department, but we can help you improve your business and consequently your life. And your goal might not be extra profit but extra time for living! We know we can because we are doing it for others.We repeat ourselves so often because the truth is the truth and there is only a limited number of ways to tell it. You've heard this before. If you are spending every waking moment in a hassle about your business, there must be a better way. There is! Accountants have been ripping off their clients for yearsIn 1973 I attended a workshop for accountants at the Finance Management Research Center then headed by Dr Keith Cleland. The workshop was intended to drag participants into the 20th century."Accountants have been ripping off their clients for years", he told us. The 25 participants were shocked. These represented vibrant accounting firms from all around Australia, both large firms and small. They were at the cutting edge of the industry. Otherwise they would not have been at this kind of workshop.To a person they resented that comment and one fellow wanted to punch him on the nose. (It wasn't me, but I would have held his coat).By the week's end we discovered how we were charging high fees for things that our clients couldn't understand, couldn't use and didn't need. At the same time we were neglecting the information that they did need to increase their profits and safeguard their businesses. 20 Years Later what's Changed? I attended a week long seminar hosted by CPA Australia in 1993 which was to train us in "client based accounting".Dr Cleland presented the initial module. He did not openly criticize accountants this time, after all, it was the CPA's hosting it, but he gave almost the same speech (same jokes, too) as he had 20 years before."These things aren't taught in Universities", he said, "so the accounting profession has mostly ignored them. They have let small business down but things are changing".Know-it-all, Kelvyn Peters had to jump to his feet and say that the doctor had said exactly the same thing 20 years ago. Where were the signs of change? Universities were still not teaching accountants how to help their clients."This seminar with CPA Australia and the suggestion they might make client based accounting a speciality is a good sign", he replied.10 Years Later?Nothing has changed. Our hopes have withered on the vine and small business must look elsewhere for help. Recently I was called in to assist an ailing restaurant. We were happy to work with their existing accountant. We'd rather do the fun stuff and let the accountant do the boring tax returns and compliance work. In this case the client insisted we take over the whole of the accounting function.The accountant was most unhappy. "They are difficult clients", he said, "I have kept the fee lower than it should be and I have done extra to help them".Indeed, he had! The financial statements were beautiful to behold with colored graphs and key ratios compared against industry average. (most accountants still don't do that.I had advised that both wages costs and cost of foodstuffs were too high. Our focus was to form tactics to reduce them."But I had already told them that", said the Accountant, "what do they need you for?'I told him that the client knew the kitchen wages were too high and what he wanted was for someone to show them how to reduce the wages in the kitchen."I can't do that", he said, "I'm an accountant". I would have to camp down there in the restaurant to see what's going on. And they wouldn't pay the fee".Yes they would. They were going to pay me.Most accountants see their role as being the provider of financial statements, cash-flow projections and tax returns, and there's the rub. Each of these is a tool not an end in itself. It's like giving the client a hammer and saw and telling him to go build a house. He needs more than the tools, he needs to be shown how to use them.Of course the client will complain about fees whatever the level if all he receives are not useful to him. Accountants generally are flat out preparing financial statements and tax returns. Meeting dead-lines. They haven't the time to 'smell the roses'. Anything that doesn't help meet a dead-line has to wait until later. Often its too late.I may still look like an accountant, even the cool dude of accounting, but there is nothing I like more than talking with a business owner about his business. There's nothing a business owner likes more than discussing his business and planning to make more money. It's great fun and he loves to pay me for it.
The Hidden Treasure in Your Business
I started working with another new client last week. He has been in business for about a year and a half. Yes, he has managed to make plenty of mistakes, like we all do. But, he has done something so very right that I thought I'd share itwith you.
Bad Regulators Cost Small Businesses
When a regulator finds a target to go after to collect fees to insure next years budget, often it is a small business. In fact the definition of a small business includes what normal people might even think of as a medium sized business. Often a Federal Regulator might be a 26-year old kid fresh out of college being supervised by an older regulator. The younger regulator often wishes to secure his or her case in the name of Justice and wants to change the world being fresh out of college. But they know they must win the case.
Home Based Franchise Case Study
Here is an interesting case study of a company, which franchised mobile car wash units. It started with the humblest of beginnings indeed. I can say that with complete knowledge because this is a company I started at age 12 years old. It was not until I was nearly 32 years old that we franchised my business. This franchise was great in concept but franchisees would not follow the system enough, they deviated from the plan in most cases. The franchisees that stayed with the plan did very well, the ones who did not, did okay, but could have done better.
Get In Touch With Your Competition!
We all know that competition is an ugly word but competitors are a fact of life in business. If your business can't compete with other businesses, don't start it. You have to have some type of an edge.
How To Accept Credit Cards
If you plan to do business online, then your website will need to accept credit cards. For many, the idea of applying for a merchant account sounds like a daunting task, but the truth is that building an online store is incredibly easy these days. The major credit card processing companies have improved and streamlined the process of setting up accounts, and software companies have had several years to improve their software to the point that it is easy for non-technical business owners to create and operate an online store effectively.
SBAs 8(a) Program Can Help Some Companies Compete
Q: A friend told me that as a woman of Native American descent I might be eligible for a special SBA program that will help me start a small business. He said I could compete for government contracts through this program. Can you tell me what SBA program he's referring to?-- Clara P.
What Is YOUR Value Proposition?
Every company has a value proposition. That is a statement of their perceived value to their clients. Often a company will have one perception at the executive level, another at the sales level, and even a third one at the client level.
Creative Metrification - A Technique to Improve
Some things in business are relatively easy to measure ? these are the "hard" metrics such as sales volume and profit, production per man-hour, time without an accident, shipments without error, number of customers served, on-time delivery, etc. Other, "soft" metrics, are more difficult to quantify, but with a little creativity, measurement can be made of just about anything.
Small Business Computer Security, the Basics
Anyone in business today realizes both the natural dependency on computers in the workplace, and also the potential dangers associated with storing important data on them. Today's business owners are constantly being reminded that their company's data is at risk by the daily reports on various news stations, or even their favorite business-related website.
How to become a Career Coach for Profit
A career coach could be simply defined your job seeking partner. A career coach could be a career management coach, who helps you in managing your career or a career marketing coach, who helps you build contacts, posts your resumes, tries to find the best jobs for you and helps you secure the best jobs. He basically tries to market you effectively in the job market.
Small Business Franchise Opportunities
Many businesses offer small business franchise opportunities. There are many things that are needed for a small business of this kind, but the rewards are great. Franchising allows you to take on a proven and marketable brand and logo, without having to go through the time, effort, and money to build a name or a reputation.
Eight Key Steps to Selling Your Business and Cashing In
This year, some 700,000 American businesses will be sold. Most will be small and mid-sized businesses like yours. If you, too, are thinking of selling, consider these practical steps for making the process go smoothly.
Marketing Your Small Business with Success Stories
-- The One Pager Shortcut Series --
Boat Detailing Tips and Procedures
Auto detailers are often asked to clean boats and detail boat trailers. There is an easy and efficient way to do this with little effort. Washing and waxing boat trailers is an easy sale. Be sure to offer the boat owner a trailer wax. Let the owner know that a heavily waxed trailer is more rust resistant even when used in salt water. They can wax now or repaint later. To remove rust, brush on two coats of Ospho Acid, available in paint stores and marine supply shops. It will change the chemistry of rusting steel from an active to a passive state and stop rust cold.
Aircraft Washing Service Operations Manual
Anyone who is serious about washing aircraft as a full time profession should be prepared to write a manual, which will insure proper procedures are followed during the washing process. Each crew team leader and manager should be well versed and trained in washing each type of aircraft. Many surfaces of individual aircraft vary and within those specific aircraft there will be many types of surfaces. For instance de-ice boots, fabric, aluminum, Plexiglas, fiberglass, composite and even steel and wood.
Entrepreneur to Employer
You make the decision to go into business and for some time work from home or in leased premises and your business starts to grow.
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