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
Transport minister says senior management of Genoa bridge operator âmust step downâ
Italyâs transport minister has called on senior managers at the company that operated the collapsed Genoa motorway bridge to resign, as the death toll rose to at least 37.
Rescuers searched overnight for survivors through tons of concrete and steel under the shattered structure of the Morandi Bridge. âWeâre not giving up hope, weâve already saved a dozen people from under the rubble,â a fire official, Emanuele Giffi, told AFP. âWeâre going to work round the clock until the last victim is secured.â
As judge prepares key ruling, Siti Aisyahâs mother recounts her daughterâs journey from aspiring TV star to suspected tool of North Korean regime
In the beginning, there were a few times that Benah pretended not to know her daughter, Siti Aisyah. She just couldnât face the questions.
One day while Benah was visiting the doctor in town the receptionist recognised the name of her sleepy Javanese village, Rancasumur â a name popularised by the nightly news. âHow far away is your house from Sitiâs?â the receptionist asked, leaning in conspiratorially. âOh, itâs far,â replied Benah, âI donât even know her.â
Politicians unite in condemnation of Fraser Anningâs speech, but his party leader Bob Katter says he backs him â1000%â
Bob Katter, the veteran Queensland political maverick, has lauded an inflammatory speech by his Senate representative, Fraser Anning, declaring the contribution âabsolutely magnificentâ and âeverything that this country should be doingâ.
Far-right conspiracy theorist will not be able to tweet, retweet or favourite tweets for seven days
Controversial Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been suspended from Twitter for up to seven days.
The suspension has put Jones into what Twitter describes as âread-only modeâ preventing him from tweeting, liking or retweeting, but not removing his tweets or personal account from the social network. The Infowars Twitter account remains unaffected.
Arrested man, thought to be Salih Khater, 29, of Birmingham
Officers raid properties in Nottingham and Birmingham
Mayor suggests Parliament Square could be pedestrianised
Police are continuing to question a man over a suspected terrorist attack in Westminster on Tuesday, after the investigation went nationwide with raids on addresses in Nottingham and Birmingham.
The 29-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of preparing an act of terrorism after a silver Ford Fiesta was driven into cyclists travelling around Parliament Square on Tuesday morning. He is understood to be Salih Khater, a British national who lives in the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham and is of Sudanese origin.
Priests harmed more than 1,000 children according to a grand jury report released by the state supreme court
More than 300 âpredator priestsâ were found to have committed sexual abuse in Pennsylvania, harming more than 1,000 children, according to a grand jury report released by the state supreme court on Tuesday.
The near-900-page report is the result of one of the largest US investigations into sexual abuse in the Catholic church. In painful detail, it showcases how for decades one of the most powerful churches in the world hid the abuse and suffering of children.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus âmore worried after the visit than beforeâ, as death toll in north-east of country reaches 41
The director general of the World Health Organization has appealed for an end to fighting in the north-east Democratic Republic of the Congo to allow humanitarian groups to tackle the Ebola outbreak there.
On his return from a trip to North Kivu where there have been 57 probable cases and 41 deaths so far, a sombre Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was âactually more worried after the visit than before the visitâ.
Hotter, drier summers in Australia mean longer fire seasons â and urban sprawl into bushland is putting more people at risk
At first the smoke on the horizon âdidnât look like anything major,â says Joe Mercieca of that day in 2013. But then the wind picked up.
His house in the Blue Mountains, an hour and a half out of Sydney, was soon surrounded by the blaze. âI told my wife it was too late, letâs retreat,â he says. Mercieca, Merylese and their dog took shelter in the concrete fire bunker they had built beneath their house. âWe sat in there and listened to everything explode.â
Cities are already up to 10C hotter than surrounding areas. As temperatures rise, here are four ways to cool cities down â saving both lives and energy
If youâve felt uncomfortably hot in a city this summer, chances are itâs not just because of the weather. Look around any urban centre and youâll see the built environment itself exacerbates summer temperatures.
Vehicles stuck in traffic emitting heat. Airconditioners pumping waste heat into the air. Concrete and asphalt across almost every surface, absorbing and radiating the sunâs rays. Urban canyons formed between tall buildings, trapping heat at the street level.
Heat now kills more Americans than floods, hurricanes or other natural disasters â but cities are facing it almost entirely alone
On yet another day of roasting heat in Phoenix, elderly and homeless people scurry between shards of shade in search of respite at the Marcos De Niza Senior Center. Along with several dozen other institutions in the city, it has been set up as a cooling centre: a free public refuge, with air conditioning, chilled bottled water, boardgames and books. Last summer a record 155 people died in Phoenix from excess heat, and the city is straining to avoid a repeat.
James Sanders, an 83-year-old who goes by King, has lived in the city for 60 years and considers himself acclimatised to the baking south Arizona sun. âIt does seem hotter than it used to be, though,â he says as he picks at his lunch, the temperature having climbed to 42C (107F) outside. âMaybe itâs my age. Maybe the wind isnât blowing. It canât get much hotter than this though. Can it?â
Migrants also speak of phones damaged or being taunted but Croatian authorities deny allegations
The lucky ones escaped with only their mobile phones smashed. Those less fortunate say they were beaten with sticks, taunted or attacked with dogs. Many allege they had large sums of money stolen.
According to the testimony of migrants and monitoring groups, the Croatian police force is engaging in a systematic campaign of violence and theft against migrants and refugees attempting to find a route to western Europe through the country.
Allegations of rape and trafficking of five girls date from between 2005 and 2012
Thirty men have been charged with raping and trafficking five girls in West Yorkshire.
The allegations against the defendants are non-recent sexual offences dating back to between 2005 and 2012. They relate to five women who say they were abused as children in the Huddersfield area between the ages of 12 and 18.
Party says leader had been attending memorial to Palestinian airstrike victims
Labour has hit out at what it said were âfalse and misleadingâ claims about Jeremy Corbynâs visit to the Palestinian cemetery in Tunis and insisted he had attended an annual memorial for victims of an Israeli air attack on the Palestine Liberation Organisation headquarters in October 1985.
The party offered its most complete version of events yet about Corbynâs controversial visit in 2014, and said the commemoration for the 74 people who had died was attended by âmainstream leadersâ, including a Palestinian authority minister.
Christine Hallquist becomes first transgender American to be a major party nominee for governor, while Minnesota Republicans reject Tim Pawlenty
Democrats in Vermont have chosen for the first transgender nominee for governor for a major party, in primaries that also saw Minnesota Republicans reject a former two-term governor attacked as not supportive enough of Donald Trump.
Homicide rates in Mexico and Brazil are climbing even further. Yet Britain could learn from listening to debates in Latin America
Brazil has set a new and chilling record: it saw seven homicides each hour in 2017, or almost 64,000 deaths, a 3% annual increase on a sky-high rate. Mexico is on course to another unwelcome milestone, with nearly 16,000 homicides in the first half of this year, up 15% year-on-year on already record levels. More people are murdered than die in wars worldwide, and they are especially likely to be killed in Latin America. Brazil has 30 homicides per 100,000 citizens, compared with five in the US and around one in England and Wales even after a recent rise.
Victims and their families are not the only sufferers; 42% of Brazilians are âvery afraidâ of being murdered (in fact, victims are disproportionately young black men, although femicide is also a cause of grave and growing concern). The government estimates that violence cost the country nearly $2tn over two decades. Yet as daunting as the figures are, the problem is not irresolvable. âViolence can be prevented. This is not an article of faith, but a statement based on evidence,â says the World Health Organization. A campaign by multiple NGOs aims to halve the regionâs murder rate in a decade; cities such as BogotĂĄ and Cali have delivered dramatic falls in the past, although not always sustainably.
Lucy Lamble talks to Sandra Olsson from Child Soldiers International, who works with girls formerly caught up in armed groups in Democratic Republic of the Congo as they struggle to settle back in their communities
After studying in Gothenburg and Ghanaâs Cape Coast, Sandra Olsson worked for Unicef before joining Child Soldiers International and researching the lives of girl soldiers in eastern DRC. Often used as âwivesâ and sexually abused by other soldiers, many former girl soldiers are shunned by family and friends when they are released or escape. The girls spoke of their strong wish to go back to school and CSI now runs a programme to help them return to education, despite the stigma they face.
ConocoPhillips and Perenco try to stop ÂŁ140m levy from sale of oilfields in key case for tax avoidance by multinationals
Two multinational oil companies have launched a pre-emptive legal strike, seeking to stop Vietnam from collecting taxes on the profits made in a major oil deal.
An investigation by Finance Uncovered has found that ConocoPhillips and Perenco will attempt to stop the Vietnamese government from levying an estimated $179m (ÂŁ140m) in taxes on the profits made from the sale of oilfields in the country. The dispute will be heard at a little-known but powerful international court, so secretive that information on the date and location of the hearing is restricted.
Agriculture startups from around the world gathered at a vibrant conference sponsored by pesticide manufacturer
As confetti showers a theatre inside Rio de Janeiroâs normally sedate Museum of Tomorrow, electronic pop music pounds and dozens of young people crowd the stage to dance enthusiastically, hugging each other and waving flags as their audience films the festivities on their phones.
But this is not a religious event, or a disco. Itâs an unusual conference that has attracted several hundred young people from across the world to pitch and discuss ideas on how to feed the worldâs booming population with agriculture startups â and make their fortunes doing so.
One year after visiting the Philippines to document the impact of President Rodrigo Duterteâs crackdown on drugs, photographer James Whitlow Delano returns to the city of Navotas, Metro Manila, to assess the impact of a campaign that has now claimed up to 20,000 lives
Teenage widow Jasmine Durana dries off her 18-month-old daughter, Hazel, after a morning bath, before preparing a fire to make breakfast. Plastic jerrycans hang on the rafters behind her in the one-room slum dwelling she shares with her parents, two brothers and younger sister.
The single mother, who saved for a month to pay for the containers, hopes they will help her to launch a new business selling drinks in the market or near a local school.
Pontiff vowed âdecisive actionâ when elected but has failed to get a grip on series of scandals
The damning report on the sexual abuse of potentially thousands of children by priests in Pennsylvania, and the subsequent cover-up by a Catholic church primarily interested in self-protection, is another blow for Pope Francis, who is already reeling after a series of damaging scandals over recent months.
The shocking accounts of rape and assault of vulnerable children by men who are supposed to be moral exemplars are bad enough. But, as is almost always the case, the actual abuse is compounded by collusion and concealment by senior church figures and attempts to silence and intimidate survivors.
Bob Goodlatteâs son and Stephen Millerâs uncle have proved that when it comes to politics blood is not thicker than water
The Republican party is increasingly alienating younger voters,older voters and voters in the suburbs. But there is one constituency turning against GOP lawmakers that they must be especially disappointed about losing: their own family members.
On Monday, Bobby Goodlatte, a Virginia-based designer, announced he had donated the maximum amount to Jennifer Lewis, the Democrat running in Virginiaâs sixth congressional district. He also claimed he persuaded five others to do the same. There was nothing untoward about the donations save for the fact that Goodlatteâs father, GOP congressman Bob Goodlatte, has been the representative for the district since 1993. Bobby says he wants to âflipâ districts like his fatherâs in 2018.
Todayâs economic uncertainty and struggle can motivate people to change their allegiances and sensibilities, and make âpie-in-the-skyâ solutions seem more attainable
After another week of political despair and tawdry scandals involving porn stars and payoffs, we retreat into our Netflix accounts and wait for all this to end.
Or do we? At the end of July, US senator Bernie Sanders proposed a bill abolishing cash bail, long a scourge of indigent people and the activists who defend them. âPoverty is not a crime,â Sanders said. âHundreds of thousands of Americans, convicted of nothing, should not be in jail today because they cannot afford cash bail.â
As the public spat between Donald Trump and former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman continued, the White House was unable to guarantee that no recordings existed of the president using the 'N-word'. Manigault Newman, a former contestant on the reality TV show The Apprentice, is promoting a memoir, Unhinged, in which she recounts her time in the Trump administration before she was fired last year
Helicopter footage released by the Italian fire brigade shows the full extent of destruction after a motorway bridge collapsed in the northern Italian port city of Genoa, killing at least 23 people and injuring 15. Firefighters have been working at the scene searching for survivors and bodies amid the rubble
Omarosa Manigault Newman has revealed on CBS This Morning a third tape that she claims is a recording of a 2016 conference call among Donald Trump's campaign aides discussing how to address potential fallout from the release of tapes that allegedly showed Trump using the N-word. The aides had previously denied that any such conversations had taken place. On Monday, Trump denied claims of racism and said Manigault Newman was a liar for claiming he used the N-word: 'I donât have that word in my vocabulary and never have. She made it up.'
At least 20 people have been killed after a motorway bridge collapsed in torrential rain in the northern Italian port city of Genoa. An 80-metre section of the bridge, including one set of the supports that tower above it, crashed down on to the roof of a factory and other buildings, crushing at least one lorry and plunging huge slabs of concrete into the river below
The Perseid meteor shower has been spotted across Europe, the US and Canada. Darker skies have created a spectacular show. The annual occurrence can be seen until the 24 August, but peaked on 11-13 August
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