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
Exclusive: Donald Tusk says it would still be better for both sides if UK stayed in EU
Brexit has been âone of the most spectacular mistakesâ in the history of the EU and followed a campaign marked by âan unprecedented readiness to lieâ, Donald Tusk has said.
In his first interview since standing down as European council president last week, Tusk said Brexit was âthe most painful and saddest experienceâ of his five years in office, a tumultuous period marked by the Greek eurozone crisis, bitter rows over migration and the election of Donald Trump.
Number of cases reported so far this year is three times higher than at same stage in 2018
The worldwide surge in deadly measles outbreaks is showing no sign of abating, with nearly 10 million cases and 142,000 deaths last year, according to new estimates, and three times more cases reported so far this year than at the same stage in 2018.
Most of those dying are small children, and thousands more suffer harm including pneumonia and brain damage. New scientific evidence shows survivors are at greater risk soon afterwards because their immune system is impaired.
Quoting from the Declaration of Independence and the founding fathers about the danger of a president one day betraying the countryâs trust to foreign powers, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, announced on Thursday that she was directing the judiciary committee to draft articles of impeachment against Donald Trump.
âThe president leaves us no choice but to act,â Pelosi said. âSadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment.â
Transport workers bring country to standstill amid anger over pension changes
More than 800,000 people have marched in cities across France as railway workers, teachers and hospital staff held one of the biggest public sector strikes in decades against Emmanuel Macronâs plans to overhaul the pension system.
A nationwide transport strike brought much of France to a standstill and was expected to continue for the next few days as unions dug in, saying the presidentâs pension changes would force millions of people to work longer or receive lower payments.
Woman left with 70% burns in latest attack as film directorâs tweets on rape cause outcry
An Indian woman has been set on fire on her way to a court hearing to testify against two men who had allegedly raped her.
The 23-year-old is in a critical condition in hospital with 70% burns after she was set upon by five men in the city of Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. They dragged her to a field, doused her with petrol and set her alight.
âI do think itâs absurd that critical transport mass-transit systems should be capable of being put out of actions by strikes, and other countries around the world have minimum service requirements for public transport â and thatâs what I want to see,â said Johnson in front of an audience of textile workers near Matlock in Derbyshire.
Regional body describes âmaliciousâ steps to rig October election in report, including use of a hidden computer server
The Organization of American States (OAS) has described âdeliberateâ and âmaliciousâ steps to rig Boliviaâs October election in favor of the then president, Evo Morales, who was forced to resign amid widespread protests in the Andean nation.
A nearly 100-page report by the OAS described several violations, including the use of a hidden computer server designed to tilt the vote toward Morales.
Organisers of competition students travelled to attend demand their return to Nigeria
The organisers of an international student sports competition have called for two Nigerian table tennis players to be returned to their own country after Croatian police wrongly deported them to a Bosnian refugee camp.
Abia Uchenna Alexandro and Eboh Kenneth Chinedu, students at the Federal University of Technology Owerri in Nigeria, arrived in Zagreb on 12 November, on their way to participate in the fifth World InterUniversities Championships, held this year in Pula, Croatia.
Study expands on archive finds revealed in 2011, and suggests that the French state may have abetted the 1960 car crash that killed him
Sixty years after the French Nobel laureate Albert Camus died in a car crash at the age of 46, a new book is arguing that he was assassinated by KGB spies in retaliation for his anti-Soviet rhetoric.
Italian author Giovanni Catelli first aired his theory in 2011, writing in the newspaper Corriere della Sera that he had discovered remarks in the diary of the celebrated Czech poet and translator Jan ZĂĄbrana that suggested Camusâs death had not been an accident. Now Catelli has expanded on his research in a book titled The Death of Camus.
A mile east of the LuĂs I Bridge in the middle of a residential neighbourhood in Porto, Portugalâs second city, sits a bleak and decaying building.
Initially a three-storey car park, then a thriving shopping centre, the building has more recently suffered from years of neglect. Its walls are sprayed with graffiti and plastered with stickers, and the windows are blacked out.
Prague has long an uneasy relationship with monuments to its history â but 30 years since the fall of the communist regime, that could be about to change
I used to think the saddest place in Prague was a prospect high above the Vltava River. It is a peaceful though somewhat neglected spot, buttressed by granite ramparts covered with graffiti and popular with families out for a stroll, skateboarders, joggers and tourists taking selfies against the backdrop of the city. At its centre is a gently mounded plateau, empty except for a giant metronome, soon to be taken down.
The area has no name on current maps of Prague, but it was once known, in popular parlance, as âU Stalinaâ â Stalinâs place. In 1955, two years after the Soviet dictatorâs death, a massive 50-foot high granite monument to him was unveiled on this spot, the largest representation of Stalin in the world. Commissioned in the late 1940s when Czechoslovakia was being turned into a Soviet satellite state, and already under construction as Stalin lay dying, the monstrous memorial remained in place until 1962 when, in the spirit of de-Stalinisation, it was blown to smithereens by the same regime that erected it.
Cities around the world are scaling up their use of surveillance cameras and facial recognition systems â but which ones are watching their citizens most closely?
Qiu Rui, a policeman in Chongqing, was on duty this summer when he received an alert from a facial recognition system at a local square. There was a high probability a man caught on camera was a suspect in a 2002 murder case, the system told him.
The depth, breadth and intrusiveness of China's mass surveillance may be unprecedented in modern history
It was wrong of PM to rapidly call for tougher sentencing for terrorists, says Labour leader
Jeremy Corbyn has accused the prime minister of politicising the death of London Bridge terror attack victim Jack Merritt by talking too soon about tougher sentencing for terrorists.
The Labour leader, who revealed he spoke to Merrittâs father, Dave, in the days after the student was killed, criticised Johnson for making a glut of statements about strengthening the law in the immediate aftermath of the atrocity.
Audrey Mash developed severe hypothermia while hiking in Catalan Pyrenees in freezing weather
Doctors in Barcelona have managed to revive a British woman who had a six-hour cardiac arrest after developing hypothermia while hiking in the Catalan Pyrenees in freezing weather last month.
Audrey Mash said she was surprised at the attention her case had attracted and said it had not put her off hiking. âI feel like a fraud for not being back at work. Iâm hoping to go back before the end of next week,â she said on Thursday.
Broker Jefferies politely called the SFOâs probe âa new overhang on Glencore sharesâ. The existing overhangs are inquiries by the US Department for Justice and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission into activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Venezuela and Nigeria. Thatâs quite a collection of serious regulatory bodies taking a look.
Rushan Abbas says countries doing business with China are enabling its mass detention of 3 million people, including her sister
A leading Uighur activist, Rushan Abbas, has urged Australian MPs to take a stronger stance against the Chinese regime, while backing controversial comparisons between the stateâs authoritarianism and Nazi Germany.
Abbas, who met with MPs in Canberra on Thursday and held a roundtable at the US Embassy on the plight of the Uighur Muslim minority in western Chinaâs Xinjiang province, said that âmodern dayâ concentration camps holding as many as 3 million Uighurs were a case of âhistory repeating itselfâ.
Fire conditions were expected to worsen along the east coast of Australia on Friday, from the far south of New South Wales to south-east Queensland. Follow latest updates
There are six fires at watch and act level in NSW this morning, four of them very close together, inland from the Central Coast.
The Gospers Mountain fire has burned through more 250,700 hectares of the the Wollemi, Yengo and Dharug National Parks, and Parr State Recreation areas, and there are fears it could join up with the nearby Little L fire near Singleton.
Itâs another bad day for fires in NSW and Queensland. Conditions are expected to worsen after what was a tough Thursday in a tough month of firefighting.
The suffering of people wounded in conflict zones is being compounded by what doctors say are âhorrifying levelsâ of antibiotic resistance
When Jihad Nasser arrived at al-Awda trauma clinic in Gaza, he was hoping doctors could finally stop his pain. A gunshot wound in his right leg had not been not healing properly. The news, however, was bad.
The complex bone fracture he had suffered was badly infected with MRSA. Doctors told him it would not respond to treatment and they would need to amputate.
Increase in violent conflict combined with effects of climate crisis make outlook bleak for worldâs poorest people, says report
Attacks on healthcare workers have reached a record high according to a UN report that predicts a âbleak outlookâ for the worldâs poorest people due to intense armed conflict and the climate emergency.
The number of highly violent conflicts has risen to 41, from 36 in 2018, causing deaths, injuries, significant displacement and hunger, the UNâs global humanitarian overview 2020 report found.
Whatever the outcome of this general election, leaders should rise to the ambition of our own and global commitments, write representatives of 49 organisations
The UK has a well-earned reputation for being a key player on the global stage â respected for our record on international development, climate change, and humanitarian aid.
By 2020, this country will have helped vaccinate 76 million children, saving 1.4 million lives from preventable diseases. The UK has already helped 57 million people to cope with the effects of climate change over the last eight years and is on track to reach 60 million people with clean water by 2020. About 32 million people have been supported with humanitarian assistance in the face of conflict and disasters, including at least 10 million women and girls.
Japanese prime minister among those to pay tribute after Tetsu Nakamura is killed in deadly ambush on car
The head of a Japanese aid agency and five other people have been killed in an ambush in eastern Afghanistan
Among the victims was Tetsu Nakamura, 73, the respected physician and head of Peace Japan Medical Services, who had recently been granted honorary Afghan citizenship for his decades of humanitarian work in the country.
Squabbling, a spreading focus and Trump raise doubts about the effectiveness of the alliance
Seventy years after Nato was founded to protect western Europe from Joseph Stalinâs Soviet Union, the military alliance returned this week to its first home in London to discuss an increasingly sprawling set of goals while bickering leaders competed to see who could offer the most contentious soundbite.
Normally this is an arena that would be dominated by Donald Trump, although this time he was somewhat upstaged by Emmanuel Macron, whose pre-summit declaration that the organisation had become âbrain deadâ obliged Trump to describe his French counterpartâs comments as âvery, very nastyâ.
New Zealandâs political system relies on an untraceable flow of donations from rich individuals with personal agendas. That wonât change
The press release was triumphant. The justice minister, Andrew Little, announced that the government was banning foreign political donations, a move that would âprotect New Zealand from foreign interference in our electionsâ.
This is a good thing. Across the Tasman, Australian politics has been roiled by allegations of Chinese interference. One donor, Huang Xiangmo, who had donated at least A$2.7m to both major parties, had his residency cancelled when his connections to Chinese Communist party-linked organisations were exposed. More recently Bond-esque revelations, including a Chinese defector, a dead businessman and a million-dollar donation, have emerged. Given that Australia is facing such a severe challenge to its democratic integrity, the attention Little is giving to this issue should be welcomed.
The US Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has announced the House will proceed with articles of impeachment against Donald Trump. 'The president leaves us no choice but to act,' she said. 'Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment.'
The Christmas tree at the Tennessee aquarium is being powered by an unusual renewable energy source â an electric eel. Miguel Wattson is the resident eel and through a special system that connects his tank to a nearby tree, the natural shocks he produces when he is looking for food or when he is excited, is being channelled to power fairy lights
Republican representative Matt Gaetz fiercely criticised the Stanford law school professor Pamela Karlan for a pun during the second round of the Trump impeachment hearings.
The Democrats' witness and impeachment expert had said: 'While the president can name his son Barron, he canât make him a baron.' She later apologised for her comment, which Melania Trump highlighted in a tweet
Donald Trump has cut short his attendance at the Nato summit in London and accused Justin Trudeau of being 'two-faced' after the Canadian leader was heard apparently mocking the president's predilection for long, impromptu press conferences at a Nato reception at Buckingham Palace. 'He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top,' Trudeau could be heard saying, as other world leaders laughed. Boris Johnson, one of those present, denied they had been joking about Trump
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