Many businesses lose money yearly because they don't think creatively about the future.† They run their businesses doing what they think they should: dealing with customers, dealing with problems, ordering for their business, and paying their expenses. They act like their business is a job. They are surviving and that's it. They are not looking at the big picture. They need to use their business as a stepping stone to success. Picturing themselves as a successful business person, and setting up a plan to succeed.
Many of the businesses today are started by people who have been downsized or laid off. They are used to showing up for a job and getting paid, and this is how they are operating their business.
The first thing you must do is to find out what you are really good at. Many people want to know, "How can I make more money?" Unfortunately too many business people never ask themselves, "What am I good at?" They need to do so, and then ask it again every time they want to do something new. This is one of the biggest reasons businesses fail. The owners did not focus on what they were good at and did best. This does not mean you can't try something different. What it does mean that it is best to go with the skills and experience you already have.
The second thing you need to do is take an objective look at yourself. Take a piece of paper and write down what you can and can't do. Picture yourself hiring you. Would you hire yourself?† Would you be impressed? What do you know best? What are your hobbies? Can you turn that hobby into a business? Remember you work best at something you enjoy.
I was an exceptional secretary, so I started a word processing business. I loved typing and taking dictation by telephone, writing up letters, proposals and setting up identity packages. However, I hated having to drive around town to pick up and deliver projects, and cold calling for business. So after losing money, I shut down the business. A couple of years later I started another business where I was the assistant to businesses, but worked from my home. I got to do all the secretarial aspects, but out of a home office. All I had to do was send flyers and mailers to independent contractors. I also worked with answering services for referrals and gave them business, plus a cut of my fee.
What this means is you need to discover what your likes and dislikes are. People like to work at things they do well. They enjoy themselves more. A test for you is to think back over the last couple of days. Then make a list of the things you enjoyed doing. Think about when you were the happiest and what you were doing.
The third thing you need to think about and be able to recognize is: What your competitive edge is.† After you do the above test and find out what your strengths are, you will find that some of these strengths give you an advantage over your competition. Do your particular strengths and abilities help you provide exceptional customer service? Can you do something or produce something that others can't?
If you already have an edge over others,† put it to use. Make your customers aware of your unique qualities. The way to accomplish this is to be sure any advertising or promotional campaign you employ highlights your unique selling points.
The fourth thing you need to do is to plan ahead. While your business concept or product might be unique now, as we know people love to copy what is successful. So you need to plan for the long run. You need to be aware of what your competition is doing and keep your customers coming back.
The fifth thing is that just because there are things you don't like about your business, doesn't mean you give up. Yes, there are going to be certain things you like better than others. Every business person feels this way. However, if you don't like anything about what you are doing, then you might want to start a new business. Be sure before you do so, you give yourself the above test.
The sixth thing is sometimes you just need to make some changes in your business. See if there are certain things you can cut out of your business, a product or service, which you might not enjoy and it is not a profit center for you. Then drop it, and concentrate on those things that are generating a profit.
Maybe you need to make changes to make your job easier, such as buying new software, or a new computer system. Maybe hiring someone on a part time basis could take some of the workload off your shoulders, and allow you to concentrate on other business matters.
And last but not least is to be sure you take what you've learned about yourself, and set up a plan for your business for the future. Don't forget to write down what you're good at and ways that you can apply your skills to making money. You can take this information about your skills and put it in your promotional materials. Be sure you always have a notebook (or a voice recorder) with you to joint down notes to yourself, new business ideas to try. You want to be sure when you do write these things down that you also put a date next to them to implement that idea or strategy. This will give you goals to work for. Be sure to put these goals in a prominent place in your office. I put my goals on index cards and then put the index cards on my desk, on my calendar, and on my bulletin board. By having your goals visible to you, it will help you to stay on track. And, that is what it is all about - keeping your business growing and prospering.
Copyright 2003 DeFiore Enterprises
Interested in having your own successful, home based creative real estate investing business? Chuck and Sue have been helping folks start successful home based businesses for over 19 years, and we can help you too! To see how, visit www.homebusinesssolutions.com/">http://www.homebusinesssolutions.com for the latest FREE tips and tricks, educational products and coaching in creative real estate investing and home based businesses. No time to visit the site? Subscribe to our "how to" Home Business Solutions Digest, it's like having your own personal coach: mailto:subscribeHBS@homebusinesssolutions.com
A third case of coronavirus has been identified in the United States.
The latest case is in Orange County, Southern California. The Orange County Health Care Agency announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed a traveler from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the centre of the outbreak, tested positive for the virus. The patient is in isolation at a hospital and in good condition, a release from the agency said.
Taiwan has further tightened restrictions on visitors from China to prevent the spread of a new coronavirus, suspending entry for many apart from business travellers and a few other exceptions like people married to Taiwanese, Reuters reports.
Taiwan has already stopped Chinese tour groups from visiting, and has now banned all people from Hubei from coming to the island.
Most other Chinese citizens will not be allowed in for the time being, aside from people involved in fighting the virus or on humanitarian grounds, the island‚Äôs newly established Central Epidemic Command Centre said in a statement.
Head of powerful CGT tells French president of trouble to come unless he cancels reform
The union leader heading protests against France‚Äôs bitterly contested pension reforms has accused Emmanuel Macron of playing with fire and showing contempt for the country‚Äôs workers.
Philippe Martinez, head of the powerful CGT, said the president and his government were ‚Äúdisconnected‚ÄĚ from the real world, and their advisers needed to ‚Äúshake the hands of a few who actually work‚ÄĚ.
The Observer‚Äôs political editor has reported on Britain‚Äôs place in the EU for more than 30 years. Here he charts the key moments in a stormy relationship and the missed chances to save it from destruction
Last week, with the end of the UK‚Äôs 47-year membership of the club of European nations just days away, I looked back at some newspaper cuttings from my time as a Brussels correspondent. A picture of worried-looking farmers eyeing up their cattle at a market in Banbury stared out alongside banner headlines. ‚ÄúBritish beef banned in Europe. Cattle prices fall. School meals hit. EU ‚Äėrules‚Äô broken.‚ÄĚ Among the many crises in British relations with the EU down the years ‚Äď from Margaret Thatcher‚Äôs bust-up over the European budget in the early 1980s to the UK‚Äôs exit from the ERM in 1992 ‚Äď the beef war between London and Brussels ranks among the biggest.
It was 29 March, 1996, and the European commission had just announced a worldwide ban on the export of British beef. The EU‚Äôs executive opted for decisive action after the Tory government admitted there could be a link between ‚Äúmad cow‚ÄĚ disease and the mutant strain of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease which could kill humans. I had been in Brussels less than three months. It was a hugestory, and reading through articles I had written at the time, it felt like yesterday. But what was most striking, as my mind fixed again on events of 24 years ago, was how relevant that one prolonged and tortuous episode seemed today, in the context of Brexit.
UN urges immediate action as east African nations already experiencing devastating hunger see large areas of crops destroyed
The worst outbreak of desert locusts in Kenya in 70 years has seen hundreds of millions of the insects swarm into the east African nation from Somalia and Ethiopia. Those two countries have not had an infestation like this in a quarter century, destroying farmland and threatening an already vulnerable region with devastating hunger.
‚ÄúEven cows are wondering what is happening,‚ÄĚ said Ndunda Makanga, who spent hours Friday trying to chase the locusts from his farm. ‚ÄúCorn, sorghum, cowpeas, they have eaten everything.‚ÄĚ
New research warns that ‚Äėblue acceleration‚Äô ‚Äď a global goldrush to claim the ocean floor ‚Äď is already impacting on the environment.
The scaly-foot snail is one of Earth‚Äôs strangest creatures. It lives more than 2,300 metres below the surface of the sea on a trio of deep-sea hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. Here it has evolved a remarkable form of protection against the crushing, grim conditions found at these Stygian depths. It grows a shell made of iron.
Discovered in 1999, the multi-layered iron sulphide armour of Chrysomallon squamiferum ‚Äď which measures a few centimetres in diameter ‚Äď has already attracted the interest of the US defence department, whose scientists are now studying its genes in a bid to discover how it grows its own metal armour.
Ronald Lauder‚Äôs Auschwitz memorial address will demand action against a rising tide of hatred
The president of the World Jewish Congress has accused leaders of contributing to the ‚Äúdrip, drip method‚ÄĚ of spreading antisemitism, comparing it with the defamation campaigns that culminated in the Holocaust.
Ahead of the 75th anniversary on Mondayof the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Ronald Lauder said that governments spent too much time talking about the dangers of antisemitism and not enough time tackling it.
Less than 48 hours before the inquiry is due to start hearing evidence about ‚Äúdecisions which led to the installation of a highly combustible cladding system‚ÄĚ, Boris Johnson announced Benita Mehra was standing down from a panel advising the chairman of the inquiry, Sir Martin Moore-Bick. It followed 10 days of rising pressure on the prime minister from the community devastated by the fire on 14 June 2017 ‚Äď which claimed 72 lives ‚Äď to reverse her appointment.
Boris Johnson‚Äôs partner and animal rights activist was briefed by Badger Trust weeks before the policy was changed
The influence exerted on the prime minister by his partner, Carrie Symonds, will be explored in court after permission was granted last week for a judicial review into how the government came to pull a cull on badgers in Derbyshire.
The case could embarrass Boris Johnson and raise questions about the government‚Äôs willingness to listen to its advisers when formulating policy.
Ahead of critical trade talks, Steven Mnuchin says ‚Äėdiscriminatory‚Äô levy no place in budget
One of the most senior figures in the US government has warned Sajid Javid to delay a ‚Äúdiscriminatory‚ÄĚ tax on big tech companies, in the latest sign of tensions with Donald Trump‚Äôs administration ahead of critical trade talks.
Steven Mnuchin, the US treasury secretary, used a breakfast meeting with the chancellor on Saturday to warn him directly against applying the new tax as part of his forthcoming budget. The confrontation comes as the US mounts a last-ditch attempt to stop Britain using technology from China‚Äôs Huawei in its 5G network.
The Senakw development aims to ease the city‚Äôs chronic housing crisis ‚Äď and to challenge the mindset that indigeneity and urbanity are incompatible
The scrubby, vacant patch beneath the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver looks at first glance like a typical example of the type of derelict nook common to all cities: 11.7 acres of former railway lands, over which tens of thousands of people drive every day.
This is not any old swath of underused space, however. It‚Äôs one of Canada‚Äôs smallest First Nations reserves, where dozens of Squamish families once lived. The village was destroyed by provincial authorities more than a century ago.
Amazon have arrived in force in rapidly expanding Hyderabad, with designs on the currently almost non-existent Indian e-commence market
The futuristic lobby of the new Amazon building in Hyderabad feels as though it should have a permanent orchestra blasting out Also Sprach Zarathustra. The scale is intended to awe. A large slogan on a wall suggests the company is ‚ÄúDelivering smiles‚ÄĚ. The only sound that rises above the hush is a synthesised beep, coming from a giant screen playing a video of the campus at various stages of its construction.
Built on nine acres in this Indian city‚Äôs financial district, it is Amazon‚Äôs single largest building globally and the only Amazon-owned campus outside the US. It can house over 15,000 employees, but its size is its main architectural feature: it resembles the same cube of glass steel and chrome seen in corporate offices across Hyderabad, though a flash of magenta reflected in one of the top floor windows, from a billowing sari across the road, is a nice Indian touch.
Minibuses that run on Friday evenings and Saturdays buck state‚Äôs religious restrictions
Tel Aviv is one of Israel‚Äôs most dynamic cities, but the latest local craze could appear fairly humdrum to outsiders ‚Äď a bus service that runs at weekends.
Packed 19-seat minibuses fill up fast with passengers, who excitedly gossip about the new routes. People patiently queue at bus stops, knowing they might have to wait for two or three buses to pass before there is a space. Still, they are upbeat. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a pleasure,‚ÄĚ said Ben Uzan, a 30-year-old electronic engineer. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a blessed initiative.‚ÄĚ
The Garbage Cafe in Ambikapur, India, is helping to tackle the country‚Äôs plastic waste problem ‚Äď and their novel idea is catching on
On bad days, when his employer made some excuse for not paying him his paltry daily wage, Ram Yadav‚Äôs main meal used to be dry chapatis, with salt and raw onion for flavour. Sometimes he just went hungry. For a ragpicker like him, one of the thousands of Indians who make a living bringing in plastic waste for recycling, eating in a cafe or restaurant was the stuff of fairytales.
But last week, Yadav was sitting at a table at the Garbage Cafe in Ambikapur, in the state of Chhattisgarh, over a piping hot meal of dal, aloo gobi, poppadoms and rice. He earned the food in exchange for bringing in 1kg of plastic waste. ‚ÄúThe hot meal I get here lasts me all day. And it feels good to sit at a table like everyone else,‚ÄĚ he said.
As Boris Johnson assesses project, Tory mayor for West Midlands warns of political cost of scrapping it
Scrapping the HS2 rail project will cost at least ¬£12 billion in write-offs and compensation and plunge major construction companies into financial peril, ministers are being warned.
Sources close to the beleaguered scheme told the Observer that extra costs of ¬£3bn-¬£4bn would be incurred even if it were scrapped immediately. ¬£9bn has been spent already. With the issue causing tension inside the Conservative party, Whitehall insiders said that Boris Johnson could decide on the fate of the project as soon as this week as concerns grow that costs are spiralling out of control. Billions have already been spent on the first leg of the line linking Birmingham and London.
Several US veterans‚Äô organizations call for president to apologize for remarks about injuries suffered by service members in Iraq
Veterans of Foreign Wars, a prominent organization advocating for US military veterans, has called for Donald Trump to apologize for remarks downplaying brain injuries recently suffered by nearly three dozen American service members in Iraq.
Donald Trump has been campaigning since his inauguration with a lethal blend of rollicking rallies and rigorous data-gathering
Long after nightfall, an exultant Donald Trump takes the stage in a hotel ballroom, punching the air in front of giant TV screens. A delirious crowd is wearing ‚ÄúKeep America Great‚ÄĚ caps and chanting ‚ÄúUSA! USA!‚ÄĚ These are the early hours of 4 November 2020 and lightning has just struck twice: Trump has won a second term.
For millions of people outside America, the notion of Trump‚Äôs re-election might seem hard to believe. How could one of the most unpopular and divisive presidents in the country‚Äôs history, impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors and reeling from one self-inflicted crisis to another, possibly win the White House again?
Chief medical officer says Australia is ‚Äėincredibly well prepared to isolate and deal with‚Äô any more cases
Australia‚Äôs chief medical officer has warned there will likely be more cases of the deadly coronavirus confirmed in the country, as the federal government explores plans to evacuate Australian citizens from the pandemic‚Äôs epicentre in central China.
Prof Brendan Murphy, Australia‚Äôs chief medical officer, said more cases of 2019-nCoV were likely, following the confirmation of four cases. NSW Health said on Sunday afternoon a fourth person had tested positive, according to their preliminary test results, though more follow-up was needed.
Campaigners say education funding would be ‚Äėinappropriate if not irresponsible‚Äô in light of ban on pregnant girls attending school
An opposition MP and activists in Tanzania are urging the World Bank to withdraw a $500m (¬£381m) loan to the country, amid concerns over deteriorating human rights, particularly for women and girls.
In a letter addressed to the bank‚Äôs board members, Zitto Kabwe said he feared the money would be used by the ruling party ‚Äúto distort our electoral processes‚Äô‚ÄĚ and ensure an easy victory in an election year.
Researchers sound the alarm after statistics reveal almost half of impoverished children in rural areas do not have enough to eat
Poverty has reached unprecedented levels in Zimbabwe, with more than 70% of Zimbabwean children in rural areas living in poverty, a UN study has found.
The report, compiled by Unicef and the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, shows high levels of privation in rural areas, where 76.3% of children live in abject poverty. Statistics seen by the Guardian suggest that almost half of these children do not have enough of the right food to eat.
As the death toll in Yemen passes 100,000, questions must be asked about UK arms exports to the Saudi-led coalition
As British politics reverberates with the results of the general election and Brexit approaches, the announcement from researchers that the death toll in the war in Yemen now exceeds 100,000 went unnoticed in the mainstream press at the end of last year.
With heightened US-Iranian hostility after the US government‚Äôs killing of Qassem Suleimani, the prospects for the war in Yemen look increasingly bleak.
Wellington has restricted foreign political donations but its lax approach to Beijing suggests economic interests still trump national security concerns
Transparency International announced yesterday that New Zealand is the least corrupt country in the world. This is excellent news, but New Zealand cannot afford to rest on its laurels.
Transparency International‚Äôs Corruption Perception Index assesses whether countries have a corrupt judiciary and public sector. Some other aspects where corruption can also occur, such as political funding, are not included in the index.
Huge locust swarms in east Africa are the result of extreme weather swings and could prove catastrophic for a region still reeling from drought and deadly floods. Dense clouds of the ravenous insects have spread from Ethiopia and Somalia into Kenya, in the region‚Äôs worse infestation in decades
Representatives from Europe, Russia and America warned against the resurgence of antisemitism at a memorial event at the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem. Prince Charles, representing Britain, said the lessons of the Holocaust were 'searingly relevant to this day'
Authorities have shut down public transport and airports to prevent Wuhan's 11 million residents from leaving the city as they look to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Police have been seen patrolling railway stations and setting up roadblocks
Iguanas are falling from trees in south Florida as unusually low temperatures sweep through the region. The invasive species can become sluggish when the temperature drops below 50F (10C) and are susceptible to freezing once temperatures drop to around 40F (4.5C). Once frozen, these cold-blooded creatures lose their grip on the trees they call home. Residents have expressed shock at the sight of rigid reptiles lying motionless in the middle of sidewalks and backyards. But while they appear lifeless, they are simply too cold to move
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