Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Should I Buy a Cross Cut Shredder or Strip Cut Shredder For My Business?

Many business owners may consider if they should purchase a Cross Cut Shredder or Strip Cut Shredder for their business. Why do some business owners think about this as an option? One main reason for this might be because they are looking for a shredder that can effectively shred confidential documents. These business owners want to be sure that the shredders being used can effectively shred a document so that it cannot be read by others. This is very important to business owners since we live in a world full of identity theft where many thieves try to cash in on people and businesses personal information.

For many business owners, confidential shredding is a must. They need a shredder that can shred a document beyond recognition and one that cannot be put back together. This is how a cross-cut shredder operates. It can shred a document so that it cannot be put back together. The difference between a cross cut shredder and a strip cut shredder is that the paper being shredded by the strip cut shredder sometimes it can be put back together again. It is also possible for these shredded documents to be scanned by using certain software programs that can scan pieces and put the document back together.

So many business owners rely on effective confidential shredding of their documents. Some shredding services also provide onsite truck disposal services. This is when a truck comes onto the site of your business and dispose of the companies shredded documents and confidential information. Other companies will provide an onsite bin where the business owner would use to place shredded documents in and a truck comes to pick up and dispose of the shredded documents. This is why many of them will do a thorough search of many shredding services in order to find the one that offers the highest level of shredding confidential documents. Not many shredding services can offer high levels of security ranging from one to six. This is what cross-cut paper shredders can offer. These levels are used to show the size of the paper after it has been shredded. Number six is used for shredding the highest level of confidential documents.

For business owners who might be concerned with the speed or capacity of the shredder, they might want to consider purchasing the strip cut shredder since it is effective for being used for this purpose. Personal and confidential documents are shredded quicker and in smaller pieces so that visibility of the information is impossible. It is important for the purchaser to understand that some shredders cost more than others due to the quality and the set of blades on the shredder. Before purchasing a paper shredder, it is important to know the volume of the paper that you need to be shred.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What Should I Shred At Home?

Paper shredders have many uses for a home or business. If you have various documents that need to be discarded at home, then shredding is a good option to thwart identity theft. This is a tactic by a thief that is used to find personal information. Document shredding will hinder the efforts of thieves looking to steal names, addresses, phone numbers or letters confirming these details to them use them to use your bank details to access your money.

The failure to shred sensitive documents is a risk for your identity to be stolen. The investment made in a paper shredder is good insurance to help protect yourself from identity theft. You should purchase the type of paper shredder that can cross-cut. This is the process of cutting paper is two directions.

Many types of documents can be shredded if they are not needed for tax purposes. Any document that has account numbers, birth dates, a PIN, passwords, signatures and Social Security numbers or national insurance numbers on them. You can keep yourself protected by shredding documents that include an email address and phone number. This is the best option if you are looking for a confidential shredding solution for your home.

Records that you need to keep and can be shredded will need to be determined. You will be in a bind if you have accidentally shredded a document that may be needed at a later time. Documents will need to be sorted based on the type. Any papers that are not needed are free game for document shredding.

Tax records need to be saved for at least seven years. If you have records that are older, then they need to be shredded. The IRS or regulator in your country can audit any return three years after they were submitted. Copies that you have made for any documents can be shredded as long as the original is being stored.

Pay stubs need to be kept for at least one year. These should be matched with a W2 form. You can then shred any older documents as they are not needed and are a tool for identify thieves.

Bank statements also need to be kept for at least one year. The only exception is for documents used to help prepare your tax return. These documents need to be kept with your tax information. You can then commence confidential shredding for paperwork that needs to be destroyed.

Shredding credit card statements is a good idea if they are older than 45 days. However, you may need to save a few during the year if you need a record of deductions of your tax return. They are a proof of purchase if you are ever audited. All other statements you do not need can be shredded.

It's never fun to tidy up but you feel much better at the end. So, go through all of your paperwork and organize what to save and what you can shred. Various types of shredders can be found at many retailers or on many online sites.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Six Strategies to Create Leverage Through a Business

What are you doing to create results in your life by leveraging people, technology and tools?

Leverage is an interesting concept. It means getting a result using less of your own time and energy.

Would you like to work less and make more? Of course, right?

Let me share a few tips with you that will allow you to create more leverage.

1) Business Travel

Would you like to travel more? You can travel throughout the United States and around the world on business. And what's nice is that some of your business expenses will be tax deductible.

Need a new vehicle? If you can justify it as a business expense, you may have a good reason to get a new or used car or truck.

Haven't taken a vacation in awhile? Why not travel on business and then spend some time enjoying yourself in your off hours.

2) Purchase a vehicle or other property

A business can help you to achieve some of your personal goals. It can even allow you to acquire some of the assets you want. There are many stories of people who purchased real estate through their business and then used it to benefit them personally.

But, this strategy is not limited to real estate. You can purchase a vehicle through your business. If you have a business use for your vehicle, then it can become an asset of your business.

Always check with your tax professional before making any decisions.

Once you have purchased the vehicle, remember that any vehicle maintenance may also be treated as a business expense.

3) Buying Technology Tools

While we're on the topic of purchasing items for your business, think about the different technology tools which can help create leverage.

A simple example is a computer. You can purchase a computer for your business. That will give you the capability to increase your business and personal productivity.

Some other tech tools you can buy are a laptop and a cellphone.

4) Improve your Standing in the Community

When you become a business owner, many people will look at you differently. People admire and respect entrepreneurs.

You will feel an increased level of confidence. When you have conversations with people, you will always have something interesting to share.

You will have business cards for your company. It's nice to start getting calls from people interested in doing business with you.

5) Barter your Products and Services

When you have a product to offer, you can trade or barter your products for other products or services.

In a tough economy, barter is an interesting alternative to generating a sale. It creates value and will often lead to a next step in working together.

You can often barter to receive products, services, programs and even training.

It starts with developing your ability to negotiate. And that's a good skill to develop in business.

6) Influence

According to John Maxwell, "Leadership is influence." To become a successful business owner, you need to develop your leadership skills.

As a leader, you can influence to accomplish your goals. You need help and there are people who are willing to help you. You just have to ask.

As a business owner, you can have a positive impact on the world. What's the best way you can add value?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What to Do When Your Business Is In Need of Elevator Service

As a business owner and operator, you may already be aware that there will be times where you will not be able to prevent your equipment from breaking down. Even though you may strive to keep everything working in its best capacity, there are unfortunately times when your dumbwaiters may need a little extra attention. In order to minimize the amount of costs and downtime you have to deal with, it is best for you to find a company that specializes in elevator service.

It may seem like a good idea for you to use the company that manufactured your equipment, however if you are trying to stick within a budget or a small to medium sized business, you may want to consider some alternatives. In many cases you can get the same or better quality of service from an independent company, tea of contractors or a facilities management team that provides elevator service.

Don't wait until there is a problem that requires immediate attention before you start shopping for an elevator service provider. To prevent you from losing business, customers and reduce the amount of downtime you have, you should make sure you start your search early on. This means that if you don't currently have a provider, you need to get one as soon as possible.

You should always investigate any maintenance provider before you decide to do business with them. You need a company that is going to be available when you contact them. You need a provider that is able to get their hands on any parts you may need in as little time as possible. Ultimately, you need an elevator service provider who is going to charge you a fair and competitive price without you having to sacrifice quality.

Even if you think that you can get by with just waiting until something happens, you can't afford to take any chances. Every day there are thousands of lawsuits filed against companies because they failed to provide their customers with the safest dumbwaiter service possible. You can't afford to let someone's claim of negligence ruin the reputation of your business and cost you thousands of dollars in legal fees. If you want to keep your operating expenses down and reduce your liability, you need a good service provider that can inspect your equipment on a timely basis. That same company can prevent any potential problems by identifying any hazards and correcting them as soon as possible. You save more time and money by increasing the efficiency of your dumbwaiters than you do by ignoring them or restricting them for use until you feel like getting to them.

Be proactive and practice good business sense. Have your equipment cared for on a regular basis. Don't try to cut corners by hiring the cheapest elevator service company available for the job. Consider this a necessary expense that you can reduce by searching for the right provider for your business and establishing a good relationship with them.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Why My Failure Was My Biggest Success

It started so well, 2012.

After months of planning, the end of March was going to decide it all. The Liquid Art Fair, Liquid Gallery's pet project, was due to launch on 31st March. At first I had worried whether artists would sign up to exhibit with us. Then I worried that people wouldn't come to see the show.

With something like an art fair, as with any event planned in London, adrenaline pumps until the very last moment. There's an internal sigh of relief when your first guest comes through the door, and the second

I needn't have worried - they just kept coming. Over 100 people crossed the threshold of the tiny gallery in Battersea, clamouring to see a range of eclectic art from a range of international artists. For most of the evening I was in a mixed state: delight, and shock. MP for Battersea Jane Ellison, who opened ths show said that Liquid were doing an amazing thing for the arts in London.

In my eyes, after months of hard work, we had finally arrived. I raised my glass to the future of the Liquid Art Fair programme, and the success of Liquid as a whole.

But then a very strange thing happened.

It started with an email from a close colleague I had come to regard as my business partner. This colleague had invested many hours into the business - plannning meetings, meeting colleagues, visiting venues and exhibitions with me.

Which was why I was surprised to receive an email one sunny morning in April in which this said person basically backed out of involvement in the Liquid Art Fair programme.

This was basically cutting me adrft, as I had relied on my colleague for technical support due to his extensive exhibition experience. He was a whizz with a hanging system, and now here he was, backing out of an arrangement which we had only discussed the week before.

Not only our own art fair programme: I had signed up and paid deposits on a number of third party art fairs. Now, without his assistance, I couldn't meet my obligations. Naturally, I lost money, as none of these third-party agencies refunded my deposits.

I emailed my colleague to find out what had brought on this sudden decision, but to this day, I never heard another word from him.

This wasn't the only thing that happened at this time. After a massive rush of interest in the Liquid Art Fair, applications died off. A combination of factors - the continually sinking economy, and the beginnings of an over-saturation of such events in the London art calendar.

For the June show, I had one applicant.

I had to think long and hard. It was now costing more to keep the business going, than we had ever made. After two years, I made the decision to close Liquid Gallery.

During this time, it became such that I had to drink long and hard as well. I began to empathise with those people you read about who commit suicide when their businesses end. You invest so much of your time, and so much of yourself - even though people tell you its not personal. I'm sorry - it is personal. Your business. It's as close to you as a child.

From April until September 2012, I lost my sense of purpose. It was such that it hardly seemed worth getting up in the morning. What difference was I going to make anyway? All I had ever wanted to do was help rising artists, and now I had been kicked in the teeth. I couldn't even write a poem anymore - nothing inspired me. Every day I tried to figure out where things had gone wrong.

The doctor told me she was worried about me. My husband was worried about me. I lost weight. I looked like everyone's idea of the 'before the makeover' photograph.

I came off Facebook - how could I face all those people who thought I was doing such great things. In the face of my failure, I hardly communicated with anyone in the outside world. What I thought I knew had disappeared - I felt so utterly alone.

I do believe I had a mini-breakdown during this time - I would sit on the sofa, staring into space for hours at a time. Other times, I would rave at my husband over the most banal of domestic errors. I was told, simply and without malice around the end of August, that I was becoming unbearable to live with.

I do also believe that this is where my recovery started. There's nothing like being told that you have turned into a screaming harridan to force you to get your backside into gear.

Realising how lonely and isolated I had actually become, in September, and for the first time in months, I logged back into Facebook. What I found there was amazing. I realised that I had a whole support network there, that had been there all along. The messages I received were warm, and supportive - like I'd never been away.

Slowly, my sense of purpose came back. Over dinner one evening, a close friend suggested that I not waste anything that was published in Nyne Magazine because people had really liked it.

Out of that came After Nyne, which is currently reaching thousands of hits a month.

I decided to resurrect my publishing house, Tempest, and started to take on work that was not my own. Again, I started to get that hunger to help, and influence as many people as possible.

Now things are going even better than they were before. Things are really starting to happen for After Nyne and Tempest - we have published Micheal O Coinn's debut poetry pamphlet, Five Words and Callie Carling's eBook Callie's Story has hit the bestseller list for Health books on Amazon.

I have many writing projects of my own scheduled for 2013/2014, including my third poetry collection Human Error. Once again, I see a way forward.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Thing You Need to Know to Start a New Business

As the title says, this article is to discuss the things needed to start a business. If you want to start your own business, you need to know and analyze many things.

First thing is the reason behind your decision to start a business. Some possibilities are as below:

• You are a graduate and are unable to find a suitable job for you in the industry.

• You do not want to work under someone else so want to start your own business.

• You are willing to make a career in business industry as an entrepreneur.

• You want to be your own boss (freedom of work)

There are many other possible reasons. You must know the reason of your decision so that you have a certain aim.

Second thing you need to know is how to take the start. If you are new to the industry, you may face some problems while doing the task. But if you are already working in the industry, things would be easier for you.

The thing you need to know is how to start with the task. Then, you will have to make a detailed step-by-step plan. As a starter, you will face several problems. Many things will be new for you. Since you do not have many contacts in the industry you will have to make some extra efforts to reach the people.

The possible difficulties you may face while starting a business are as below:

Finding a relevant Industry: This is the first step of starting a business and if you are not properly focused while choosing the industry, you may not get desired success in the business. You need to give some time to find the industry that is very much relevant to you and your interests.

How to Start: This is the second important thing. Suppose, you want to start a business in marketing industry, the question you will face is how to do that. For this, you have two options available. You can start a new business from scratch or can buy an existing business.

If you want to start a new business, you will have to arrange many things including finance, market for your product, audience, suppliers, employees, and a place to work, office supplies, and the most important the product that you will sell through your business. While if you choose to buy an existing business, you will get all these things along with the business, a ready-made product, an established market, customer, employees, suppliers, business plan, etc. So, choice is yours. Buying an existing business is the best option for a business start-up.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Entrepreneurship - A Perfect Solution of Unemployment

Unemployment is one of the biggest problems of this century. Problem is that population is increasing rapidly and so is the demand of employment. We do not have enough jobs to fulfill this demand. Unemployment is not the problem of a single country, but whole world is suffering from it. Recession is also the result of over population. Since we do not have enough resources to cop with the increasing demand, companies are not able to make good use of whatever resources they have and so they start firing their employees. According to estimation, if population keeps increasing with the same rate soon there will be double the people than the number of jobs available.

We need to deal with the situation and that too immediately before the situation goes out of our hands. There are many solutions to the problem of unemployment. One of them is population control. This is a good solution, but the problem is that it is not an immediate solution. Even if we start today it will take us many years to control the situation completely. Another possible solution is increasing the number of jobs. Though that also is not an immediate solution, but if we take a start now, we can meet the goal in a certain time.

Now, the question is how to increase job opportunities. There is only one way to increase the number of jobs, which is by creating new jobs. The possible solution is starting new business, firms, and small business, in short the entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is a term gaining very much importance these days. Entrepreneurship is defined as an act of starting an organization with available resources and finance. There are many advantages and disadvantages of entrepreneurship. The biggest disadvantage is the risk involved. Risk is the main reason that stops us from taking initiative with new business. Though this is not such a big issue and if we follow proper method, we can deal with it.

The best thing one can do to cut the risks in starting a business is buying an existing business. There are several benefits of buying a business. The most important one is less risk. With an existing business, you get a built product, customer base, market reputation, ready-made product, and a running business. All these factors cut the risk that you may face in starting a new business. Buying a business is the best option to start a business and to increase the number of employment opportunities rapidly.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The One Secret You Need To Know To Market Any Product

There are some core ingredients to marketing your product and doing that successfully. A recent definition of marketing stated: Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers. Marketing might sometimes be interpreted as the art of selling products, but selling is only a small fraction of marketing. As the term "Marketing" may replace "Advertising" it is the overall strategy and function of promoting a product or service to the customer. What can you do that will help you in marketing your product?

If you research you'll find as many answers to this as there are available products. I specialize in helping women entrepreneurs avoid the learning vortex and take action. But sometimes as women in business we are not sure what action to take. When it comes to marketing there is a key ingredient one secret if you will: Communication.

Work on the first aspect of this definition


Many us are expert communicators. However some of you may need some extra help. So here are a few things that you can do to become a better marketer.

Focus on some communication skills that will help clarify our message. These quick tips will help you become an amazing communicator which in turn will help you be an excellent marketer.


If all you do is speak you'll never hear what your clients needs, what they want, and how you can provide a solution to their problems. So in my slightly funny way I'm asking you to "Zip It"


Listen to a client, ask them valuable questions to help you define how your product is the perfect solution they need for their problem.

Be confident

Great communicators are confident. Uncertainty breeds inactivity. If you are unsure of your offer, or your product guess what? Your client will be unsure of their buying decision.

Be Clear

If you don't know what your offer is your client won't either. We've all made the mistake of not being crystal clear in what our brand or product is and how it can help. If we are not clear they again the client will be confused. A confused client will never become a client. So work on making your offer clear.


There is a lot happening in the world and in case you didn't notice and many are walking the earth like the Grinch in Dr Seuss. If you laugh and offer a smile it's contagious. That will make your client more at ease and enjoy doing business with you. Learn to smile.


I hope I don't have to elaborate on this point. Be honest and sincere when you communicate it will do amazing things not only for your business but your soul. It's very important.

Be prepared

If you are going to share a presentation, or do an interview prepare yourself. Ask questions before you get to the interview or before you speak with your client. Think of objections ahead of time and you'll see it will reap great rewards.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How Workforce Mobility Can Help Your Business

According to Kelton Research, workplace mobility is increasingly being valued at both American and British companies, with 68% of IT managers providing support for personal devices and technology being used in the workplace and 63% of non-technical managers saying that allowing their staff to use their own devices make them more productive. Workplace mobility is on the rise even as businesses are required to have a new technology infrastructure, such as Citrix remote working systems, in place.

Why is this? Simple. Because workforce mobility, gives rise to the following benefits to businesses:

1. Faster response times.
Your customers will no longer have to wait until his or her contact is in the office to find out if there are new products available. The customer can expect a more immediate response ensuring higher customer satisfaction.

2. Better employee engagement.
Your employees buy and use iPhone because they love it and its features. The know it and use it. It does not make sense to force them to use a Blackberry when they find the small keypad cumbersome. As such, by letting your employees use their own preferred devices, they can be more productive and they would not feel stiff-armed by management. In fact, a survey by iPass showed that employees using their own laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other devices often put more hours - up to 240 hours more - compared to those who are not allowed to use their own preferred devices.

3. Free up your IT resources.
Workplace mobility may lessen the devices being monitored, serviced and provided by your IT departments. In short, it would reduce hardware costs as well as the support time that your IT guys would need to spend if they were to help out other employees in using your company's specified devices. Because your employees are more familiar with their own devices, they can troubleshoot it themselves rather than go to the IT guys for every little problem.

4. Lower costs.
The business can transfer operating costs to the user. Your employees are effectively paying for their own data plan, or even buying their own devices.

5. Higher employee retention.
Today's workers put a premium on workplace flexibility and prefer to be able to work wherever they want.

One of the solutions to help companies make workers more mobile is Citrix workforce mobility. Citrix workforce mobility means that businesses do not only allow their employees to work where and when they want using the devices they choose, but they also allow them to have a better user experience.

Citrix workforce mobility systems will also handle the security of your network, data and information efficiently, making sure that everything is secure and fool-proof. That means that your employees get the kind of flexibility they want, without having your IT department lose sleep from worrying about security measures and possible technical mishaps.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Business Lesson From A 13 Year Old

Actually the 13 year old in question was me - in 1974!

I guess I had an entrepreneurial streak even then. In 1974, Britain was in recession. The miners' strike had resulted in a national fuel crisis and on many evenings the electricity was shut down at about 7pm. I did my homework by candlelight.

It was also the year I had my first business - and my office was the school yard.The school's system was that every Monday morning, we would all queue up in the assembly hall and buy five pale green plastic tokens. Each token cost 12p, and so every pupil would buy 5 tokens to last the week for a total cost of 60p. We'd then exchange one of these each day in the canteen to pay for our school dinner.

The idea was that this meant the kids didn't have to carry cash on them whilst at school and would be 'committed' to eating a school dinner each day. It also meant the canteen could operate without handling any cash directly.

By Thursday or Friday however, there would always be a surplus of these plastic tokens in possession of the kids. This was because not everyone would have their lunch every day. Some would have been absent for a day or two, others chose to buy sweets or chips in the nearby town instead. So at the end of each week, I could buy dozens of these plastic tokens for about 3p each.

Come the following Monday morning, my school mates could either buy 5 tokens from me for 50p, or buy the same thing from the school for 60p. Inevitably, my supply could never meet the demand. As a result I was always by far the wealthiest kid in my class.

Looking back, there were a number of interesting aspects to this. Some I can explain, others not. The first inexplicable fact is that no-one ever copied my idea, even though all the other kids knew exactly what I was doing. They were just happy when they got to me quickly enough to buy from me on a Monday morning and could immediately pocket the 10p they were saving. I guess the lesson from this is that the majority of people don't think long term (even if by long term we mean 3 or 4 days). They just want a quick and easy deal today.

Secondly, this was a business with no investment required, no overheads and huge profit margins, which just couldn't meet the demand. Not that I worried about this, I was doing just great thank you. The lesson here is that a good business always creates happy sellers and happy buyers, and this was exactly what I was doing.

Thirdly, in hindsight I guess there was a risk for me. If the school had ever discovered what I was doing, I would probably have been expelled, rather than praised for my business acumen. So I took measures to ensure that the school could never pin anything on me. My 'stock' was hidden in a variety of secret locations. I was never caught and the risk never materialised. This lesson is that although we can never eliminate risk completely, we can take effective steps to minimise it.

You might argue that I was robbing the school and even devaluing their 'currency', and it's true that today this moral aspect would prevent me from adopting a similar business model. But then I was only 13 and learning the ropes! It would be quite a few years yet before I was being invited to speak at business schools.

The last and perhaps biggest lesson is the great feeling I had from helping my friends save money. My business made me a lot more friends than I'd have had otherwise. And that's the most important thing. A good business is about satisfying your customers needs in a way that they love. If you can do that, you'll always keep them coming back for more.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Selling a Private Company: Practicalities of a Share Sale

"My accountant says it has to be a share sale". I hear these words from almost all our clients, and for good reason, the effective rate of Capital Gains Tax tax on the sale of shares in a private UK business is only 10%. So long as the selling price is acceptable, the benefits of the 10% tax rate overwhelm all other considerations in the transaction. It just has to be a share sale.

Unfortunately, as with most good things in life, the tax benefits of a share sale come at a certain cost. Completing a share sale is more challenging than a sale of assets, and will saddle the seller with long term obligations to the buyer.

So what are the additional challenges and obligations thrown up by a sale of shares?

Legal Issues

A company limited by shares has a legal personality of its own. The consequences of actions taken through the company, good or bad, remain with the company even if ownership changes through a sale of shares. Any sensible buyer will attempt to limit the risks of illegal or deceitful behaviour under previous ownership by negotiating a contract that requires the sellers to make good any losses arising from events under their ownership. A large proportion of a share sale contract that will typically run to at least 80 pages is made up of assurances by the sellers about the company, and promises to pay if problems are found after the sale. Promises have to be made about taxation, employment matters, regulatory compliance, customer relationships and many other areas.

Buyers recognise that it can be difficult to extract money from sellers after the sale and typically insist that a proportion of the selling price is held back to settle any claims. Between 10% and 20% of the selling price may be held in escrow for up to two years.

Due Diligence

Because the buyer's exposure to past acts by the company is so much greater in a share sale due diligence will be far more intrusive. In particular tax records, corporate documents, board minutes and regulatory compliance will be subject to detailed scrutiny.

Working Capital

The buyer's valuation of the business will be based on a certain level of working capital (inventory, debtors, creditors) in the business. This expected level of working capital is usually stated in the offer letter with reference to a balance sheet at a certain date. To protect the buyer against a run down of working capital prior to the sale part of the selling price will be held back until audited balance sheets at the closing date are prepared. Typically around 10% of the selling price is held back for up to three months.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Business Mission Monitoring: Is Your Business on Track?

There comes a point in running a business when you have to take inventory of the reality of the status of the business in accomplishing your intended objective. That objective is the larger mission for the business. It may be tied to a particular theme or serving a particular segment of the population. You need to ask yourself the poignant question of whether your business is on the pre-destined path you designated for it.

This business reflecting must be strategic in not deflating your enthusiasm and appreciation for what you have already accomplished. It is a simple check to ensure that your business compass is in gear and pointed in the right direction. The first step is to reconnect with the goals that you established prior to starting the business. It may be your business plan, certain ideals or experiences leading up to the creation of the business. As you take the time to re-visit those prior motivations, the resulting effect may be an affirmation that you are on the right path or an opportunity to switch gear.

If you realize that you deviated from your intended purpose, you will need to explore further the underlying reasons. To properly evaluate, you will need to confirm that the attendant circumstances required for you to operate within a certain designated path are still present. For example, if you were counting on obtaining a particular loan and fail to secure it, you may begin to operate an online business instead of a brick and mortar business as planned. Often times, many conditions outside of our control may force us into other areas for survival. When that happens, you need to make sure that you are aware of the reasons for the migration. The reality is that the attendant circumstances always fluctuate and they are not determinative of whether your business will end up in the intended path. Instead, they may push you take other circuitous routes, and detours. Being aware of the fact that you have taken those detours will enable you stay on track to meet the overall business objective.

In addition, you need to ensure that the needs that you intended to address are still present. This may require you to research market conditions. Are there any drastic changes that would affect your targeted clients? Are they still looking for the solutions that you offer? Or has there been a change in the manner in which that demographic receives services? A common example that covers all three queries is oversaturation of the market. When needs are affected, a definite change will be required in your approach.

Monitoring of the business objectives is an essential part of running a business. The timing for this is ideal towards the end of the year. This inquiry is not necessarily related to the financial, though that may be a part of it. The central focus is to ensure that the expected motivations for the business are met. When you are operating within your intended purpose, the financials and everything else will correspond accordingly.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Eminem: Life Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Eminem. Slim Shady. Marshall Mathers III
. Love him or hate him, no one can deny that he leaves an indelible impression, nor can one argue his staying power.

Sure, he is not the only kid to come from a poor and broken home, or to have changed school every few months, or to have flunked the 9th grade three times. There are plenty like him who don't make it; but, make no mistake, Eminem has earned everything he has, fair and square, and there are inspiring life lessons to be learned here, for every entrepreneur pursuing a dream.

When the Going Gets Tough, Eminem gets Going (and then some):

Eminem is a fighter. He has overcome struggles, both physically and mentally, when most would have collapsed from overwhelming exhaustion. He's taken on challenges hardly suitable for the faint hearted (battling the Goliath of hip-hop as a young, white male). He had little emotional support from his family (his father left him when he was 18 months old and was raised by his mother on welfare); the one positive influence in his early life, his uncle Ronnie, committed suicide in 1991. A few years before that, Eminem himself almost died after being beaten up by a bully in middle school, leaving him in a coma for ten days. Barely in his early 20s, Eminem has a daughter. To top it off, rap labels continue to reject him because of the color of his skin, regardless of his rap skills. The odds were stacked against him before he was even out of the gate. Juggling the responsibility of a father with a less than stable career choice, e.g. aspiring white rapper, is enough for any sane person to go crazy.

The fight, for Eminem, never really stops. Despite his stardom, he still struggles with internal and external demons. In 2006, his best friend Proof was killed. There was concern that the tough Eminem had finally reached his breaking point. He almost nearly did. Amidst deep depression, his best friend's death, and an elaborate cocktail of prescription pills, he collapsed from an overdose in 2007; he was later told that had he been found just two hours later, it would have been too late.

Eminem doesn't pretend to be Superman nor act as if it's been a smooth ride, and in that humble honesty, is yet another layer of his unique toughness. He has an uncanny ability to lift himself out of some of the most traumatic circumstances, even when his own inner voice is driving him to further self-destruction. This isn't trite, this takes serious guts. It's this "signature" Eminem drive that every Entrepreneur should heed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How to Start Online Without Money

IF you want to start online lots of people will tell you that you need a website, or two, or three.

While it is true that you will eventually need a website to build a residual income by having a squeeze page, or a blog, you can first start online without money, i.e, by not paying for having a website.

There are actually many ways you start online without money.

They are:

Having a Facebook account, and starting a Facebook fan page and driving traffic to it via the normal ways.

Set up a YouTube account and post videos to your account either using a web camera, or iPhone.

These are the best two ways that you could get started online without paying money for getting a website.

There are advantages to these than having your own website, but, there are also cons as well.


The advantages of these two methods are that you are on the two top traffic sites and unlike when you first set up a website, you don't have to worry about backlinking properly because wherever your backlink is, you are using the two top traffic sites on the internet that are classed as "authority sites."

Another advantage is that YouTube videos rank better in Google, and you are more likely, if done properly, to rank a video better in Google than a website.

A website or blog may take a while to build up page rank, whereas a video can be an instant hit on the rank checker.

Another advantage is that your affiliate links or website links will get more clicks if you post videos - but you have to do it right.


However, there are a couple of disadvantages, and these include:

1) Your YouTube account may be shut down at any time or flagged if you are caught doing anything improper or unusual in Google's eyes. Google own YouTube. Technically, your YouTube channel is not yours..

2) Even if you were not doing anything improper, it could take a while for you to get back your channel - in some cases you may never!

The big question you have to ask, is, is start online without money a good idea in the long run?

The best way to maximise is to have a website so that all your videos you post to video sharing sites are safe.

It may also in the long run be worth subscribing to a video site like Viddler or Vimeo where you can host your videos on a paid video sharing network so that your videos are safe just in case Google decide for whatever reason to shut you down.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Good Credit Score Is Critical to Business Success

A good credit score is critical to business success and this seems simple enough. However it plays out in many different ways. When a new business starts out, it makes sense to keep costs low and save time by simply operating the business as a Sole Proprietorship. As the business becomes successful, the business owner wrestles with many aspects and one of these includes if and when to move from a Sole Proprietor to a separate legal entity such as a corporation or LLC. This is an important decision as legally separating the business assets from the owners personal assets may provide some protection if the business loses a lawsuit. It also helps when the business grows and needs access to finance or capital to grow or wants to apply for credit from suppliers. Moving into a new legal entity can be a good business decision.

One of the reasons to consider when making this move is that it allows the owner to separate their personal and business assets. Personal assets are fairly obvious as they include the family home, car, family bank accounts and personal effects. The business assets are also fairly obvious and include items such as the fixtures, furniture and equipment, the inventory, goodwill items such as the name of the business, and any intellectual property you as the owner create.

Hopefully from day one of opening the business, there is also a separate checking account and bank deposit book for the business that is kept separate from the business. This separation may mean if the owner is sued, if the legal action has any negative outcome may only touch the business assets and not the personal assets. Plus there is always insurance to help mitigate the owner's risk.

As the business grows, however, the business may have the need to borrow. To manage that risk, it is time to separate the personal assets from the business assets. One of the main reasons to do this is so that it protects the personal credit and credit score of the owner.

With the business assets sitting in a different legal entity, there is a need for the business owner to manage the credit and credit score not only for themselves personally, but also for the business. This is not to say that a business owner can be loose with their business credit and walk away from money they owe to others. However, the system we work in puts a high value on our credit score for so many aspects of our personal and business life.

This applies especially when borrowing money, buying a car, applying for a job etc, it is critical to manage each credit report and score in its own right. If something untoward therefore happens that means the business has to close down, the personal credit score and report of the owner is not damaged and life can go on.

This applies equally to a buyer that wishes to buy a business. With the many personal bankruptcies from the housing crash and the difficulty trying to get a job, many are turning to buy a business. However, the banks are not willing lenders even for SBA loans if the borrower has a personal bankruptcy even if it goes back many years.

The financial system provides a lot of incentive to manage money correctly. Interest paid is able to be deducted to lower tax payments, credit is available from suppliers for a period of time of say 30 days so sales can be made in advance of payment, and many other benefits. Managing and protecting a credit score is a critical requirement to enjoy all the upside.

Andrew is a 5-time business owner that helps entrepreneurs exit or enter business ownership. His services include helping owners sell and/or buyers purchase an existing business or consult on purchasing a franchise. He also provides certified machinery and equipment appraisals and business valuations.

Andrew currently holds the Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) designation from the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), the highest credential awarded by the IBBA and the Certified Business Broker (CBB) designation from the California Association of Business Brokers. He also holds a Brokers License with the California Department of Real Estate, is a member of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Chair of the Sacramento Chapter of the California Association of Business Brokers.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

3 Tips for Starting Up or Starting Over

    How does someone decide what business they should start?

There's a delicate balance to consider when choosing what to build a business around. First, it must be something you can sustainably put your full energy into, not just a casual interest that will quickly fizzle. However, the flip side is to be cautious if launching a business around your favorite hobby. If you love doing something and then you try to make money at it, it could become the thing that you dread. I'll share a story from my own experience. Many years ago, I loved scrapbooking. I was the one in the family who put all our photos into books. I loved reliving our trips and family memories as I put them in the book. I decided to start a direct sales business teaching the art of scrapbooking and selling supplies. It then became my work. What I used to enjoy turned into a task and I lost the very thing that brought me joy. I haven't created a new book since then.

    What else should people consider when they're starting a new business?

My second tip is to "Have a plan". Starting a business without a good plan can end in your feet slipping out from under you. Michael Gerber, who wrote The e-Myth books, calls this the "entrepreneurial seizure". Starting a business with a great idea and a lot of passion may get you some short-term success, but it may not be sustainable. You have to have a vision of where you want to go, an idea of your business model, or your revenue streams, and a growth plan. Even if that plan evolves and expands over time, you need to have a starting point to build on. A good coach can help you create and stick to your plan. It's important to know if you are creating a job for yourself or building a business.

    Is there anything they can do early on to make things go smoothly as their business grows?

It's a great idea to start documenting processes and keeping good records, early on. I've seen new businesses really take off and before they know it, they're too busy to go back and put systems in place to support the business. That's usually when they come to me to get things out of their head and put them down on paper. If you can do a bit that as you go, you won't have to play catch up 2 or 3 years in. Again, there is a balance. It's good to have some time in, so you get a good feel for your workflow and the processes that work. That makes the documenting go a little easier. At the very least, start keeping good financial books right from the beginning. Especially if you are in the type of business that could be financed. Investors will want to see your history.

Friday, July 13, 2012

3 Ideas for Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Another saying I love that my husband shared with me is just because something feels good doesn't mean it is and just because something feels bad doesn't mean it is. Staying in our usual routine may feel good but it doesn't get us anywhere. I know that if you are reading this you want to grow so here are some things you can go this week to get out of your comfort zone:

• The number one thing you can do to move yourself forward is put it in writing. I have a recent example of how this worked for me... I've been wanting to get a spiritual adviser for some time now and there was a woman I saw every month who I wanted to ask. Month after month went by and I would think about asking her but I wouldn't do it and I'd leave telling myself I'd ask her the next month. Finally, I added it to my One Year Goals and within two weeks I saw her again and I finally approached her about it. I almost didn't though. I almost waited another month but I knew it was in writing and I wanted to check it off my list. So, write down one thing you will do this week to stretch yourself out of your comfort zone.

• You don't have to do it all at once. Break your goal down into manageable pieces. For instance, say you absolutely hate networking. Every time you think of it you imagine having to be witty, charming, and making sales. Relax. It doesn't work like that. All networking requires is for you to show up and make friends with a couple of people. Networking isn't about going to an event and "wow"-ing everyone with your amazing products and expertise and walking out with connections with everyone in the room. Start by choosing a group you want to visit and then show up and be friendly. It's that easy. No pressure.

• The last thing you absolutely have to is take action. Writing it down and creating a plan won't do you any good if you don't follow through with action. Enlist the help of a friend to help you be accountable. Tell them what you are going to do and then ask them to check in with you at the end of the week to see if you did it or not. My accountability partner is another coach who I went through coach training with. We email each other our goals at the beginning of each week and check in at the end of the week to see how we did. It gives an extra boost of incentive to achieve when you have to report back to someone.

To recap, put it in writing, make it manageable, and take action. The key is to keep moving forward even if it's just baby steps. Every time you take a step forward your confidence will increase and pretty soon what felt uncomfortable will be second nature to you. And don't worry about making mistakes because each one is just a new experience that will bring you closer to what you want.

In closing, my encouragement for you this week is that you will do just one thing that you've been putting off because it makes you uncomfortable.

Want more clients but don't know how to get them? Struggling with what you should be doing to market your business? Instead of those old stories, imagine yourself as a master marketer with a system in place so you don't need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to marketing. Imagine knowing exactly why you're doing what you're doing and not relying on hope for results! Imagine no more wasting time and money on promises that don't come true. You can do it! Request your free eBook 5 Steps to Boost Your Business Now! at and find out exactly what you need to be doing to grow your business with your ideal clients!