Many small business owners lack a strategic plan for their business, usually for one of two reasons: either they think that strategic planning is what big companies do therefore, it’s not for them or they don’t understand the advantages of having a strategic plan in place.
However, without an overall strategy, a business lacks the direction it needs to be successful. Businesses may set financial goals, client acquisition goals, or any number of goals, but unless these goals are placed within the framework of a larger strategy, they lose their impact. It can be very easy to go off on tangents whilst pursuing individual goals and by the time the end of the year rolls around, you are miles off course from where you hoped you’d be.
Strategic planning for a small business doesn’t need to be difficult or time consuming, but your plan does need to identify what you want to accomplish and how you intend to achieve those goals.
If you want to start developing...
If you want your business to make you money or even just get off the ground, you’re probably going to have to advertise. For many companies, advertising becomes a huge chunk of the overall budget, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of free or inexpensive ways to let people know about your business and get them coming back.
Email is a great, cost-effective way for get your name out there, contact potential customers, and keep existing customers up to date and coming back. And while developing an email list may take some time and effort, sending out an email once you have a list takes very little time.
You can get email addresses by simply asking visitors to sign up for your newsletter on your web-page, offering a free product or service in exchange for an email address, or asking for them from your customers when you take an order.
The key to success with email is to maintain contact with your mailing list...
Everyone who manages a business has to deal with a multitude of issues which can lead to enormous pressure and stress.
Expectations, deadlines, achievements, and goals can all add up to a bucket full of stress, more than you’d like to be carrying.
Choosing ways to reduce the load is a great way to work smarter rather than harder. Here are five ways you can reduce the pressures at work to lower your stress levels:
The well-known Serenity Prayer can be useful for all, whether you are a recovering alcoholic or not! “God, grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference.” Being able to discern the difference between what you can and what you cannot control removes a lot of unnecessary stress. You can immediately stop stressing over all the things you cannot control. This frees up energy to focus on what you can control.
Being an 'At Home Entrepreneur' can often turn into a balancing act. The duties of work and home begin to overlap, and often one can take over. Many entrepreneurs decide to work at home to spend more time with their families, but end up dedicating even more time to work. Here are a few tips to help you juggle.
Have you been struggling in your Entrepreneurial journey? Do you keep trying but it seems like everything you do is a waste? Are you starting to think that maybe success isn’t possible?
Well, I’m glad to say you’re wrong. In fact, there’s a decent chance you’re already doing everything right. The problem isn’t what you’re doing; it’s how you’re thinking. If you want to achieve success, whether it’s at work, at home, or while you’re playing minesweeper on the computer, the key to achieving what you want is positive thinking.
Whether through genetics, or through learning from others around us, most of us have been programmed to think negatively about a situation. We finish a project and instead of being excited, we are worried it’s not good enough or are already looking forward to the next project we haven’t finished yet. Even the most creative and...
Lack of productivity is something many of us suffer with, especially at this time of year. The sun is out, the children are on holiday and there is so much you would rather be doing. Settling down to a regular work routine can be a challenge.
Here are a few tips designed to help anyone who is struggling with their productivity levels.
#1 – Stay focused. This is easier said than done, but one sure way to boost your productivity is by staying focused on one task at a time. Studies have shown that those of us who “multitask” actually get less done. Having your email program open along with several other windows on your computer is very distracting and will take away from your ability to focus on the task at hand.
Try to do one thing at a time. If you’re checking your email, stay focused on that until you finish. If you’re doing your accounts, give yourself a set amount of time to only work on that task before moving on to...
Financial planning for your business is critical if you want to achieve your income goals.
Some small businesses just go from week to week hoping that they will have sufficient sales or provide services that will bring in suitable income. This hit and miss approach causes stress and all manner of problems.
A financial plan will establish financial goals, benchmarks and categories for the money you want to bring into your business. From that financial plan – or as part of it, you can create a cash flow forecast, which helps you manage your income and expenditure.
There are different ways to create a financial plan, and it doesn't have to be complicated. Here are two simple models you can choose from.
Start with the end in mind. Decide how much turnover you want to bring into the business next year. Remember this is only the gross revenue. Then look at your different revenue streams and assess how much turnover is required from each unit.
For example, if you have...
When starting your own business it’s often easy to get yourself started, but a lot harder to keep yourself going when things get tougher. Whether it’s a slowdown in the market, increased competition or the pressure of work, staying committed and maintaining a positive focus in your business can be a challenge. Here are ten tips to help you stay committed.
Business and emotions don’t really seem to mix very well. But as emotions are a daily part of our lives, short of becoming robotic, you may be faced with the two intermingling at some point in your career.
Here are a few tips to help you stay on track and overcome emotions in your business life.
#1 – Take a deep breath – If you’re having a bad day or particular difficulties at home, it may not be easy to switch back into business mode, but it can be done. Breathing is an effective strategy for all sorts of issues such as panic attacks, anger control or simply switching back to a positive state.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a short break and find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted for a few minutes. Then take a few deep breaths. Involve your whole body in the process. See your stomach inflate like a balloon as you breathe in slowly for a count of seven to ten and then slowly let the...
When you’re starting a business, seeing the “big” picture is important. Many entrepreneurs have stated that had they looked at the small details in their business they may not have started the business in the first place. This is because many of us get bogged down by all the small details and often it can put us off starting something new.
If you’re starting a new venture, here are a few tips to help you stay focused on the “big” picture:
#1 – Don’t Worry. It’s easy to worry about the fine details of starting a business. But it’s important not to get stuck on these. Keep in mind that whatever you don’t know how to do, you can learn or get help with. In business, there are services and experts for just about anything you can imagine. You can always turn to them for help when the time comes. But as the old saying goes – “I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.”