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
Plan to strike backstop deal falls through with PM facing possible cabinet revolt at home
The Brexit negotiations are on a knife-edge as Theresa May‚Äôs domestic vulnerability over the Irish border threatens to kill off hopes of an October deal, with the Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, forced to make a dash to Brussels to seek more time from the EU‚Äôs chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.
Exit polls show CSU losing majority it has long enjoyed as far-right AfD makes gains
Angela Merkel‚Äôs conservative partners in Bavaria have had their worst election performance for more than six decades, in a humiliating state poll result that is likely to further weaken Germany‚Äôs embattled coalition government.
The Christian Social Union secured 37.2% of the vote, preliminary results showed, losing the absolute majority in the prosperous southern state it had had almost consistently since the second world war. The party‚Äôs support fell below 40% for the first time since 1954.
Pakistan‚Äôs stock market has made a bad start to the new week, falling over 2% in early trading.
That follows a 4% tumble last week, as investors fretted about Pakistan‚Äôs economic outlook.
Pakistan's stock markets tumbles yet again - index down 2% in biggest decline in Asia today. Its dropped by such a level or more only 10 times this year pic.twitter.com/SQ9Im7PtU5
Germany‚Äôs stock exchange has been hit by a technical glitch that has prevented trading getting underway.
The Financial Times explains:
The opening of trade in Deutsche B√∂rse‚Äôs stock market, the primary trading venue for German equities, was delayed on Monday by ‚Äútechnical problems‚ÄĚ.
Deutsche B√∂rse‚Äôs Xetrastock exchange, one of Europe‚Äôs biggest, faced issues with its ‚Äútrading infrastructure‚ÄĚ which meant the ‚Äútrading start will not take place according to the usual trading schedule.‚ÄĚ
Based on real events, Kler has broken box office records and divided Catholic country
A film depicting Polish clerics as corrupt, drunken fornicators and paedophiles is smashing box office records in Poland, sparking controversy and encouraging hundreds of people to come forward with allegations of recent and historical abuse.
Based on real events, Kler (The Clergy), by the director Wojciech Smarzowski, which includes testimonies of survivors, features an alcoholic priest who encourages his lover to have an abortion, a priest accused of abusing a young boy, a senior cleric engaged in corruption and blackmail, and a grotesque, foul-mouthed archbishop cutting deals with politicians and mobsters, all operating with impunity against the backdrop of a passive and credulous society portrayed as complicit in the crimes being committed.
The company, which owns the discount chain Kmart, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in New York as it struggles with a debt burden of $5.6bn (¬£4.3bn). It will shut another 142 stores by the end of the year, following 46 recently announced store closures. The company had 506 Sears stores and 360 Kmart stores in August.
Residents say ‚ÄėLantau Tomorrow Vision‚Äô, the city‚Äôs largest land reclamation project, is costly and will kill marine life
Thousands of Hong Kong residents protested at the weekend over a government plan to build artificial islands to deal with the city‚Äôs severe housing shortage.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam last week announced a plan to reclaim about 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres) from the ocean and build infrastructure and transportation links to create a major business district. The islands, which would be Hong Kong‚Äôs largest land reclamation project, would eventually house up to 1.1 million residents over the next few decades.
Crowdfunding campaign easily covers $18,000 fine, but money will be sent to mental health charity
Two New Zealand women who were ordered to pay damages by an Israeli court for their role in Lorde cancelling a Tel Aviv concert have raised the sum through donations ‚Äď but plan to give the money to the Gaza Mental Health Foundation instead.
Last week an Israeli court ruled Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab of New Zealand must pay damages to Israeli teenagers Shoshana Steinbach, Ayelet Wertzel and Ahuva Frogel totalling more than NZ$18,000 ($11,700) for writing a letter urging Lorde to cancel her gig, which she did.
Kensington Palace says Duchess of Sussex, who is on tour in Australia with her husband, is pregnant
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced that they are expecting a baby next spring.
A statement from Kensington Palace said: ‚ÄúTheir Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public.‚ÄĚ
Dunkirk is a month into a project that makes it the biggest European city to offer free public transport. So what do people think?
One month after the French channel port of Dunkirk introduced free public transport for all, a small revolution is taking place.
Two women, perfect strangers until now, are chatting across the aisle about nothing in particular. One admits she sometimes takes the bus ‚Äújust for the fun of it‚ÄĚ. A young man wearing headphones is charging his mobile in a socket just above the ‚Äúrequest stop‚ÄĚ button.
The city has more than 1,400 tianguis ‚Äď open-air markets that operate on certain days of the week ‚Äď and many have been around for centuries. Professor Joseph Heathcott uses satellite images to highlight these unique spaces
The new Asian Town mall was designed to cater to Qatar‚Äôs roughly 2 million migrant workers ‚Äď but critics say it is simply a way to segregate them
At first glance, it is like any other entertainment complex in Qatar: a giant shopping mall, a multiplex cinema and an amphitheatre for musical shows. But there are no high-end boutiques, no women ‚Ä¶ and no Qataris.
Welcome to Asian Town, an entertainment and shopping venue in the heart of the largest labour camp in Qatar, on the outskirts of the capital, Doha. Each day, thousands of young men gather here from the workers‚Äô dormitories that stretch out into the desert for miles around, to enjoy mutton curries, Bollywood films or just a sanctuary from the searing heat.
After 20 years, squatters occupying the Amsterdamse Droogdok Maatschappij former shipyard have been ordered to leave. Photographer Sanne Derks met members of the community, who say moving elsewhere is impossible
Automaker‚Äôs plans come at a $740m price, of which taxpayers would cover $239m, and insists public assistance is necessary
For three decades, the 18-story, beaux arts Michigan Central Station sat vacant on downtown Detroit‚Äôs edge, a hulking, decaying symbol of the economic struggles in the city around it. Today, as greater downtown rebounds, it‚Äôs one of the last vestiges of an era the city is trying to put behind it.
A Facebook campaign turned Raices into a symbol of zero tolerance opposition almost overnight. The Guardian visits the team on the ground
From the outside it does not look like much ‚Äď a tucked-away corner unit opposite a health-food shop in a low-slung, low-rent strip mall in a humdrum suburb on the outskirts of San Antonio.
Despite the modest surrounds, this is the home of a fiercely determined force battling one of the highest-profile and controversial policies of the Trump administration, the separation of families at the southern border.
Hamza Abbas is on trial charged with conspiring to plan Christmas Day terrorism attacks on Melbourne
Hamza Abbas could not be trusted to know the details of an alleged Christmas Day Melbourne terror plot, and jurors deciding his involvement might judge him the ‚Äúidiot brother‚ÄĚ rather than complicit, his lawyer says.
The 23-year-old is on trial in the supreme court with his cousin Abdullah Chaarani, 27, and Ahmed Mohamed, 25, charged with conspiring to prepare and plan an attack on Federation Square, Flinders Street station and St Paul‚Äôs cathedral two years ago.
Young people talk about how it feels to grow up in 2018, from dealing with racism in New York and fighting for LGBT rights in Jakarta to facing exam pressures in the Kenyan Rift Valley and the importance of giving back to society in Delhi
Every other minute, a woman or girl dies as a result of pregnancy complications or childbirth. Why has the global decline in maternal mortality stalled?
According to the latest UN global estimates, 303,000 women a year die in childbirth, or as a result of complications arising from pregnancy. This equates to about 830 women dying each day ‚Äď roughly one every two minutes.
The philanthropist warns that stability in Africa makes a huge difference to the world, and that investing in the health and education of its young people is vital
What worries Bill Gates most? The booming population of Africa looms over his foundation‚Äôs latest global survey. By the end of this century there will be 4 billion more people on Earth ‚Äď and 3 billion of these extra souls will be born in Africa. The challenge, he says, is that ‚ÄúAfrica must almost quadruple its agricultural productivity to feed itself. That‚Äôs very daunting.‚ÄĚ
The philanthropist is torn between sending out a message of hope and a message of fear when I meet him at his foundation‚Äôs spacious campus in the heart of his hometown, Seattle.
In a country where one in four women have a child by 19, and health workers offering birth control have been met by men with machetes, confronting myths about contraception is vital
A woman lies on her back, a one-year-old straddling her. One hand is over her eyes, the other held out. A nurse gently inserts a small white strip of contraceptive implant into her upper arm while her baby plays on her. They beckon me in. Privacy hardly seems to be an issue here.
I am in a tent in Rwibale, in the Kyenjojo district of Uganda. We have driven for about five hours from Kampala to get here. It is a place that Prosper Kigumire, who is showing me around, describes as ‚Äúperi-rural‚ÄĚ. It seems rural enough, a village ‚Äď if that. I am with the mobile outreach team of Marie Stopes International. ‚ÄúI have four children so this does not hurt,‚ÄĚ says Monica, the women who is getting the implant. ‚ÄúI have no husband.‚ÄĚ
Its vast oil reserves ‚Äď it claims to have about 260bn barrels still to extract ‚Äď afford the most obvious advantage. The kingdom is the world‚Äôs largest oil exporter, pumping or shipping about 7m barrels a day, and giving Riyadh huge clout in the global economy because it wields power to push up prices.
Tracking right to lure AfD voters while rocking the boat in the coalition government turned off moderate Germans
It is, as Der Spiegel said, as if the all-conquering Bayern M√ľnchen, Germany‚Äôs most successful ever football club, had been ignominiously relegated ‚Äď but with rather more far-reaching consequences.
The CSU, the sister party of Angela Merkel‚Äôs CDU, has dominated Bavarian politics for six decades, winning absolute majorities in 12 of the past 13 elections. And it has not done a bad job: the well-heeled home state of BMW and Siemens has the highest employment and lowest crime rate in the country.
The archbishop of Constantinople has granted Ukraine‚Äôs wish for a church independent of Moscow
Donald Trump seems strangely in awe of Vladimir Putin. Theresa May‚Äôs attempts to face down the Kremlin after Salisbury have had limited impact. But has Putin finally met his match in Bartholomew I, the 270th archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome, ecumenical patriarch, and ‚Äúfirst among equals‚ÄĚ of the Eastern Orthodox church?
In the 2,000-year struggle between church and state, Barth-olomew chalked up a notable victory last week. Defying protests from the Kremlin and Russia‚Äôs clergy, the archbishop granted Ukraine‚Äôs wish to establish an independent church that will no longer answer, as it has since 1686, to the Moscow patriarchate. The decision was taken at a synod at Orthodox ‚Äúheadquarters‚ÄĚ in Istanbul, formerly Constantinople.
Rather than annoy a trading partner, the Tories turn a blind eye to the country‚Äôs excesses
Imagine how this government would have reacted if last weekend either Russia or Iran had abducted ‚Äď and in all likelihood murdered ‚Äď one of their dissident journalists within the sovereign territory of another country.
In fact, we do not need to imagine it. We need only look back five months to the faked assassination of the Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko on the streets of Kiev. It took the then foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, less than 24 hours to issue an official statement not only saying how appalled he was, but leaving no doubt that the Russian state was responsible and saying it must be held to account.
Pope Francis has made a saint of murdered Salvadoran archbishop √ďscar Romero, one of the most contentious Roman Catholic figures of the 20th century. In a ceremony before tens of thousands of people in St Peter‚Äôs Square, Francis declared Romero and Pope Paul VI saints along with five other lesser-known people.
People from across Germany have marched through Berlin to protest against racism, xenophobia and the far right in one of the country‚Äôs biggest rallies of recent years. Organisers put the turnout at 242,000 people. The demonstration on Saturday followed anti-immigration protests in several eastern cities during the summer.
The US president says he will speak to Salman about the disappearance of the journalist. Trump says the US government will find out what happened to Khashoggi. US officials say they are seeking answers from the Saudi government.
Donald Trump has made it clear that whatever the outcome of the inquiry into the disappearance of the journalist from the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, the US will not forgo lucrative arms deals with Riyadh. The president says the possibility of Saudi Arabia sourcing its arms from Russia or China instead is unacceptable
The quinceanŐÉera, the 15th birthday rite of passage into womanhood, is widely celebrated in Latino culture. The ostentatious display of wealth at these events is important, even in communist Cuba. The photographer Diana Markosian has documented the tradition in her Over the Rainbow project, which has been awarded the third Elliott Erwitt Havana Club 7 Fellowship. It will be on display at Paris Photo in the Grand Palais from 8-11 November
Aerial footage shows the extent of the damage along Florida's coastline after the devastating impact of Hurricane Michael, the strongest US storm in more than 25 years. It made landfall near Mexico Beach ‚Äď as seen in this video ‚Äď with winds of up to 155 mph
First lady Melania Trump says she could be 'the most bullied person' in the world, or one of them, judging by 'what people are saying about me'. She made the remark during a television interview for Good Morning America. The first lady said there are people in the White House who are not trustworthy and she had let her husband know about them
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