Remind me again – Why did I go into Business???

Remind me again – Why did I go into Business?

 

Flexibility
Having your own business may allow the flexibility you and your family needs to create the lifestyle you want. Imagine being able to pick the kids up and spend time with them after school, cheer little Billy/Johnny/Mary on at their swimming carnival or just being available to care for a sick child.

Downside – Once friends and family know you are working for yourself and particularly if a home based business, they will now call/drop in at all hours of the day because they can right? Now you have your own business and you call the shots and can take 15 – 20 minutes, an hour off can’t you? Multiply this several times a week and you are losing a lot of time!

 

$$$$$
YOU finally get to decide how much you want to make and what your worth is working in your own business.

The reality is many of us don’t value ourselves, products or services enough to charge what we are really worth. Particularly in a service business where essentially you are selling yourself it is difficult to say to potential clients ‘engage my services because I am Fabulous!’

 

Be the Boss
Finally you get to call the shots right! Being an employee can be frustrating when your ideas and suggestions are constantly ignored or even worse criticised. So now you are in charge you get to decide how your brand will look and feel from start to finish, this is your baby!

The downside of being in business is yes you are in charge, of EVERYTHING! From invoicing to marketing to cleaning the toilet, particularly in the early years of business it is generally all you wearing multiple hats and trying to keep it all together.

 

Pursue your Passion
You get to pursue your passion, the thing you love to do at long last. Your interests may be altruistic by helping others, you may be creative and finally get the chance to showcase your designs or they may just be a real need for your products or services.

Passion is that fire in your belly when you think about or are working on your business, it’s that excitement you get every time you get a new client but you are trying to still look professional and cool on the outside!

To me there is no con or downside, this is the best feeling in the world and cannot be replaced despite any of the negatives, and believe me there are plenty, of being in business.

As they say…… ‘Pursue your true passion and you will never work a day in your life!’

 

Accounting can be Sexy!

I’m bringing Sexy back!

Right now you are probably thinking of the stereo typical accountant who is anything but sexy. They may be good at tax and get you a refund each year but you are definitely not lying awake at night thinking of them. Most business owners I speak to consider tax accounting or ‘doing the books’ their least favourite task and will do anything to avoid it.

But let me ask you this, is improving your profit sexy, do increased sales get you all hot and bothered or does better business cash flow send your pulse racing? And so it should or why else are you in business! While profit and money aren’t the only reasons people go into business without them you may not have one for very long.

 

Improving Profit
Income less expenses = profit/(loss) right? Well there is a little more to it than that but you can regain control of your profit. Firstly your accounts need to be bang up to date. With many accounting packages now providing live bank feeds it is easier than ever to ensure your accounts are current. Customise your chart of accounts, reports and utilise features in your software to get the most from your financial reporting. Finally but most important, review your accounts and reports frequently to ensure expenses are under control, money is coming in regularly and profit is at a level both you and your bank manager are happy with.

Increased Sales
Work backwards! Establish the level of income you need to cover expenses, plus hopefully pay yourself a wage. How many sales a week or a day will you need to make to get the required income. How many customers are necessary to achieve that level of sales. Lastly, how many leads do you need to generate and convert to customers to achieve the number of sales you want and therefore income you need. You may be surprised at the outcome of working through this process.

Better Cashflow
Cash flow is the oxygen or lifeblood of any business asa lack of cash flow is the number one reason businesses fail, scary thought isn’t it. The first point we need to establish is that increased sales and profit does not necessarily equate to business cashflow. While sales may have improved these funds may be sitting in your debtors account while you still have to pay your workers and suppliers. Depending on your trading terms it could be several months from making the actual sale to collecting payment. Establish your terms of business with any new customers and run credit checks, invoice immediately preferably via email and have a good debtors policy in place for when you do need it for slow or non-payers.

Hopefully I have excited you enough to get stuck into your accounts this week for better financial reporting and rewards!

Top 5 Pro Blogger Event Tips which relate to your Business!

Well I recently attended my first Pro Blogger Event and WOW it was amazing with inspirational speakers and wonderful fellow bloggers to meet, I had a ball! Anyway here is my take on how my learnings from the Pro Blogger Event can relate to your business

 

1.Know your Audience  

Likewise in business you too need to know your target market or ideal customer to be successful. What is their age, gender, lifestyle, where do they shop, eat and play. Knowing your customer intimately allows you to not only to package your products or services appropriately but also your marketing. If you know where your customer goes for information or what they like to read it makes it a lot easier for them to find you!

To write a successful blog you must understand your audience, their interests and what they want to read. Jadah Sellner from Simple Green Smoothies and her business partner created a ‘profile’ of their ideal customer. Her name was Dani and they knew all her likes and dislikes as well as her lifestyle, in this way they were able to speak to all their ‘Dani’s’ as if they were having a personal conversation with them

2. Be Generous  

In my business I want clients to connect me as much as possible, too often we see mistakes made because they were too afraid to ask for advice because of the cost. Trust me the cost of getting it wrong in business can be far worse than picking up the phone. As a result I don’t generally charge for simple phone calls or emails, now if you have a complex capital gains query well yes you are going pay for specific, technical advice

Another common theme was to be generous, no I’m not talking about just giving away your products and services for free but you can still provide information without requiring anything in exchange. For example some websites provide teaser information but you can only access the full recipe, data or information by providing your personal information. This was rather comically likened to meeting someone at a party but not quite ready to go home with them. Your customer may require a little more and get to know you before they are ready to visit your bedroom!

3. Try New Things  

Like myself, many of my clients are home based business which means it is really important to socialise and gain support from others in similar situations. Some months ago I launched my ‘Empowerment Lunches’ which allows fellow business owners to get together and brainstorm a relevant topic as well as inspire and support one another in business. It isn’t about anyone being an expert or having guest speakers but just hearing others perspectives on various topics-. Everyone I speak to including business owners think this has been a great idea but it has been very heavy going getting numbers which can be disheartening. So I am going to continue to try different time slots, days and locations before giving up as I still think it is a great opportunity and outlet for business owners

We think everyone else has it together but it often turns out like us they are all just doing our best, hence the term ‘Fake it til you Make it’! Sometimes Pro Blogger speakers took years to become ‘overnight sensations’ and this was often achieved by just giving it a go and seeing what works. Many were surprised as everyone else when some ideas did actually become great successes and yes they also had failures or duds along the way

4. Be Consistent  

In business it is of little use to advertise in the local paper once and expect the phone to be ringing off the hook. Nor will turning up for a networking event every couple of months and wonder why you have no referrals. The aim is to find what works for your business and be consistent with it so you stay at the top of people’s minds for when they do require your product or services

Another common topic with regards to blogging was to be consistent. Those of us relatively new to blogging can be a bit sporadic only writing whenever inspiration takes hold. One suggestion by Darren Rowse of Pro Blogger is to have a blogging calendar. Not only will it list when you will blog but have topics listed already for weeks or months to come. This way you are never sitting down not knowing what you are writing about and the words may come easier.

5. Just Get Started   

You may argue your website isn’t built, your business cards aren’t printed or the moons aren’t in line. Whether it is writing a blog or going into business there is a sense of putting yourself or your reputation on the line, what if I fail??? Everyone will know, there will always be a reason not to do it now but what if you just took that first step today to success

Finally last but not least, the timing will never be perfect and yes if only you had started years ago when the boom hit but it is not too late just get started now!

Good luck & fly my Lovelies!   

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Why Networking Doesn’t Work!

Lately I have attending various networking groups, some with quite a formal structure and agenda while others are more relaxed. While I have met some fantastic people finding the right group and events is important in terms of what is gained from attending so I started reviewing the pros and cons of each to me.

I started by considering what I wanted to achieve in attending the various events, was it to;

 

Increase contacts?
Add to my client base?
Build my brand?

I don’t think any of us can say we don’t want any or all of the above, particularly when just starting out in business. For me, I realised I just love meeting people and hearing about their businesses. So if I can have a nice lunch, listen to a fantastic speaker and have a chat I’m a happy girl! Would I refuse to hand out my business card, of course not but by taking the pressure off that I have to always be ‘selling’ allows me to just enjoy myself and be more natural.

However structured referral groups have been around for years and can be a very effective way to expand your business as well as gain new friends but personally they just weren’t for me.

So the key to effective networking is finding groups and events that have a comfortable format, include your target market and suit both you and your business. It just has to work for you otherwise you just might be wasting your valuable time.