Thursday, December 18, 2014

How to Create Your Small Business Budget for 2015



Three Simple Steps to Help Get a Jump Start on Your 2015 Budget

small business budget
As many business owners know, having a budget and working from it helps to maximize the chances of the business not only surviving the coming year but also increases the chances that the company will also prosper. Developing and sticking to a budget is a critical part of the business’s success, so making sure the budget for the coming year is in place early is an important step. With everything else going on at the end of the fiscal year, it can be easy to push off such an important task but there are some simple steps you can follow to help get the budget created and in place well before the start of 2015.

Compile Your Direct Costs and Expenses

Instead of just guessing at a number or basing your budget off of the previous year’s numbers, it is important to take a few key points into consideration. One of these key areas is what the business’s direct costs and overhead expenses will be for the coming year. These direct costs should include the price to manufacture your products or support your services, administrative costs, payroll, rent, and utilities for the office building or store front and other overhead expenses that will negatively affect your sales revenue. When looking at the price to produce and maintain your products or services, make sure to take into account any predicted manufacturing increases that will up the direct costs to produce.

Forecast Your Sales

Another important key to building out a successful budget is forecasting your sales. This can sometimes be difficult for newer businesses since there is not a significant sales history on which to base the figures. If this is the case, build the number based on how many units you have sold to date, how many you expect to sell and if that number is still realistic. Also, make sure to factor in the price of the products or services and if that price will be increasing for the next year. Other professionals recommend using Excel to help build out this aspect, and all aspects, or your budget and to work through each month one at a time, instead of the year as a whole to take into account the busy and slow seasons of your selling year.

Take Time to Review the Budget

The goal of a budget is to have a gross profit figure larger than the outgoing expenses - the difference between these numbers will predict the business’s yearly net profit. Let’s assume that your predicted budget does show profit – while this is great news, evaluate the number and decide whether or not it is enough for the business to survive on or the number you were expecting. If it is not, go through the first two steps again and see if there are some areas that can be cut or increased to increase your net profit. If the budget shows a loss, or going through the steps again does not yield a higher profit, evaluate whether or not your business can still manage even if it takes a loss through a period of growth. If no solution arises in any scenario, revisit your business plan and consider a different approach.

If you are still looking for an opportunity to pursue as your own small or home business, consider calling Stacy 'Quinn today! Stacy has helped dozens of entrepreneurs with his unique opportunity as well as training other work at home professionals with techniques he learned at Dani Johnson training seminars. If you would like to learn more about Stacy and to find out how he can help you, please click here.

*Photo Courtesy of Ken Teegardin via Creative Commons License

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Just Because You Have a Small or Home Business Doesn’t Mean You Shouldn’t Grow It



Business Growth is Crucial to Survival

how to grow your small business
Just like humans and animals need to grow in order to survive and thrive, so do businesses. Public and private businesses, international companies, and even small or home businesses need to see sales and overall growth in order for them to continue to exist. But what is the definition of “business growth?” Business growth is a term that is often used to describe a variety of things, including sales increase, employee increase, and other items. Simply put, business growth is a demonstration of an increase within a business that is accompanied by an increased yield. While growing a business is important to economic survival, it should not be the only reason why you work for your business to grow.

Business Growth is Important for Market Expansion

Aside from surviving in the business world, business growth is important to help ensure you will have the resources you need to make a move to the next level of your company. Many small or home business owners have dreams of their current business structure being successful, but also aspire to someday being able to make changes or expansions to this structure and see continued success. These changes could include bringing current products or services into a new market or developing new products or services to introduce into the current market. By growing your current business, it will help to make these jumps to new levels much easier and can help to ensure continue growth throughout.

Business Growth Aids in Profit Growth

When a business is successful, but does not work toward growth, it will continually see the same amount of profit being earned year after year. While this may be significant in the beginning, that profit will continue to shrink as the costs of running a business continue to grow. Business growth plays a key role in profit growth, which is something that is very important not only to overall success but also business survival. Profit growth is also beneficial for the business owner and the business – these profits can either be paid out to you as the owner or reinvested back into the company to hire more employees, update equipment and help to make the business run more efficiently and effectively.

Business Growth Grows Brand Awareness

As a sunflower grows, it becomes easier to see, prominent, and more eye catching. The same concept applies to business growth – the more a business grows the more exposure it will receive and the more consumer and business associated will be aware of the company. Brand awareness is important for attracting consumers to the business and possibly enticing them to make a purchase. This awareness is also important for attracting possible business partners that may be able to work with you in a strategic partnership toward a common goal or help to create a new project. Having a strong brand presence affords the business more opportunities in the long run, which can lead to even further business growth.

Would you like more tips on how to grow your small or home business? Stacy O'Quinn has helped dozens of entrepreneurs and he can help you too! To find out how, click here.

*Photo Courtesy of David Joyce via Creative Commons License

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Making the Most of Your Small Business Bank Roll



How to Make Your Business’s Money Mean More

home business, small business
Generally, there is a huge difference between what wealth truly is and what our peers or the media tells us it is. When we think of wealth, many of us envision fancy cars, private jets, nice homes, expensive clothes and the latest and greatest technologies. But, are these really symbols of wealth or symbols of people with enormous amounts of debt and money problems? Dani Johnson, renowned inspirational speaker and self-made millionaire, discusses this exact topic in one of her latest articles. Ms. Johnson writes that people have a very disconnected idea of money and wealth and suggests there is a way to look at these ideas and make them mean more, both in your personal life as well as your business.

View Money for Exactly What It Is

When many people think about money and wealth, they think about all the things they will be able to do with it, like take expensive vacations, buy expensive items, and live in expensive homes. The truth is that money is just money – even though it can buy us material things, it cannot by happiness, togetherness, or love. The same can be said for money in business – many business owners associate their yearly monetary profits with how successful they are and the truth is, this is not all success is based upon. In order to make your money, personal or business, mean more is to start treating it the way you should – as money and nothing more. Success and happiness can be gained from a number of other things instead of just the amount of money in your bank account or your year over year profits.

Grow “Wealth”

Many of us get into a cycle where the more money we make, the more money we spend. Ms. Johnson writes that as her paychecks increased, so did her spending, and although she had everything and anything anyone could want, there was no true value in anything she owned except for what she paid for it. Instead, she suggests focusing on building wealth instead of building money, meaning putting purpose into what money is being spent on. When a purpose is placed on money, instead of frivolous spending, it will not only help you or your business become more productive working toward that goal but also helps you to make more money. When the goals change from simply making money to something bigger, it can have a huge positive impact on your personal life and your business.

Focus on What Gets You Out of Bed

Life is so much more than the money we make and what we spend it on – life is about experiences, setting goals, and achieving triumphs and successes. Instead of focusing on working to make money to buy that expensive car or house, focus on the aspects of both your personal and professional life that get you out of bed in the morning. Ms. Johnson suggests asking yourself, “Why do you go to work every day?” – The answers to this question can range from supporting a family, to providing a great service to customer or even something bigger. It is important to focus on these goals instead of just the amount of money in your bank account to help you build true wealth for yourself and for your business.

Do you need help with your home business? Stacy O'Quinn has helped dozens of entrepreneurs create a six figure income and you could be next! For more information about Stacy and to learn how he can help you, click here.

*Photo Courtesy of Steven Depolo via Creative Commons License

Friday, December 5, 2014

Converting Holiday Shoppers into Regular Customers



How to Transform Seasonal Shoppers into Year-Round Shoppers

Impress consumers during the holidays
 



Experts predict that the 2014 holiday shopping season will be record breaking, and many businesses are already poised and ready to bring in big sales numbers. While the holiday season offers businesses a unique opportunity to drive sales, what many owners do not realize is that this time of year is also perfect for transforming seasonal shoppers into loyal customers. By creating a year-round customer base during a time when consumers are more willing to spend, businesses can help boost overall sales into the upcoming year and beyond. By implementing some creative strategies, it will be easy for you to change those holiday only shoppers into loyal shoppers who do business with you year round.

Collect Customer Information

The first key to creating repeat business is to keep in contact with customers. A simple way to do this during the holiday season is to collect customer information, namely email addresses. Having a customer’s email address will allow you to keep in touch with them even after Christmas has passed and continue to let them know about special promotions and sales. It is important, however, to always give consumers a choice of whether or not they want to provide that information – forcing a customer to provide an email to complete a transaction will be a complete turn-off for them and will not have them coming back to buy again. Ask customers at the register if they would like to provide their email address to receive coupons and promotions, and even consider offering a special discount for providing one.

Provide Great Customer Service

When you ask a consumer about their favorite business and why they like it, chances are they will begin to gush about how good the customer service is. Customer service is one of the most important aspects of building a strong, loyal customer base and this is even more important during the busy and sometimes stressful holiday shopping season. New customers can easily be won over and become repeat customers if they feel the business and its employees have gone above and beyond to meet and fulfill their needs – this initial impression is so important to brining consumers back again and again. The holiday shopping season can be stressful for employees too, so make sure to take the time to prep your team about what you, and consumers, are expecting as a level of great customer service.

Hand Out “Next Visit” Coupons

Consumers love a great deal, especially when they are shopping from a long Christmas list, so if a holiday promotion or sale is what brought them to your business for the first time, chances are another one will bring them back. It is important to give new customers a reason to visit and purchase from the business again and a great way to accomplish this is by using a “next visit coupon.” Next visit coupons are a great incentive for consumers to shop again, especially if they feel they are getting an exclusive discount that regular customers are not receiving. These types of coupons are especially effective in retail stores, beauty salons and other businesses where the client’s needs can be met year round.

Would you like more tips on how to make your small or home business more successful? Stacy O'Quinn has helped dozens of people just like you already! For more information about Stacy and to see how he can help you, click here.

*Photo Courtesy of Erika Smith via Creative Commons License

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

In-Person Networking Tips to Improve Your Home or Small Business



The Benefits of Networking In-Person

networking, small business, home busines, dani johnson
Stacy Networking at a
Dani Johnson Seminar
With the strong emergence of the internet social media, both in our personal lives and our professional ones, it is no surprise that more and more business owners are relying on digital platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook to help them network with others. With the luxury in which the Internet makes interacting with colleagues simple, it can be easy to forget how important meeting and networking face to face really is. It is important to establish and cultivate relationships to make the most out of your business, and doing so from behind a computer screen can have you missing out on great opportunities.

Make a Good First Impression

It is easy for anyone to write a great email that will impress the person who is reading it, but since everyone has mastered the art of email communication, chances are that message will not make a lasting impression. Since the regularity in which people network in person has diminished in recent years, having a face to face conversation often makes for a better impression than many people realize. The power of a warm smile and firm handshake can be the difference between closing a deal and losing out to a competitor. Not to mention, having a personal interaction with someone will help to further establish the long-lasting relationships that are often needed to make any business successful.

Take Relationships to the Next Level

Chances are there are people within your network that you have only ever communicated with through email or phone conversations. Even though you may think you know these people, the truth is they are still a mystery and a lot gets lost in a conversation when it is not face to face. Networking in-person allows you the unique opportunity to meet people you work with or want to work with and learn more about them. This is key when it comes to meeting and building relationships with others in your industry. Being able to see someone’s reaction to a new product and hearing different inflections in their voice and mannerisms can let you know a lot about what they are thinking. Being able to play to their interests in conversation can help to build a long-lasting relationship, either business or personal.

Make the Time to Take the Time

The excuse that many home or small business owners use for not networking in person is that they do not have the time between running their business and personal life. The truth is that networking within your industry is a huge part of the business’s success, so it is important to make the time to take the time to network. There is no benchmark for the amount of time that should be spent networking, but it is also important to make sure that whatever time you take to do so is meaningful and focused. Even if you only have a half hour to meet a business colleague for lunch, take that time and make it personal with them – if they see that you are focused only on them and the conversation you are having, chances are that 30 minute lunch can turn into a lasting relationship and potential sales boost for your business.

One of the keys to Stacy O'Quinn's success is in using Dani Johnson training to network and meet new people. This helps to build his reputation within the niche and has helped in both business and his online reputation. If you would like to learn more about Stacy and how he can help you using Dani Johnson training techniques, click here.

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