2007 Thoughts on Business Plan Development for a Home Based Business

Many folks wish to start a small business of their own and 2007 seems to be the year they wish to do this. Yet so many middle class Americans have few resources or up-front cash to start a business. Starting a business is not easy and it costs generally three times as much as the average optimistic entrepreneur believes it might. Worse off it often takes twice as long to get it going due to all the government paperwork and red tape.

So many small business start-up entrepreneurs that I have consulted with do not have much money and are currently drowning in short term debt such as credit cards, car loans and other consumer type debt. They need to be wiser with their family resources and will most likely need an investor to get the business off the ground. To start a small business you really need a plan of action and if you wish to find an investor you will need a business plan as well.

Some folks just starting out in a business of their own believe that all they have to do is to launch a website, register a domain name or two and they will be suddenly in business. However, it really does not work that way. If your family is on a budget, well then stick with that budget and do not spend any money until you have a viable plan and an investor. You should not talk about registering domain names or setting up your business, until you have your own financial house in order.

If you cannot run the family budget how can you expect to run a small business, which needs a proper ROI; Return on Investment. How can you expect an investor to be serious about investing in you and your dream? You also need a business plan if you are serious about setting up your business. You need to get serious about all that it details and perfect your plan, otherwise no one will wish to invest.

Your business plan must be as good or better than your College Papers, Thesis or Dissertation. Your business plan must be perfect or as close as humanly possible. You cannot simply register a domain name and set up a three-page website other wise you will appear to an investor to be some kind of Internet Marketing coo-coo-head and this will scare them off, because real businesses must provide value, services and products to their customers or they will not trade you for that unit of trade you seek.

I certainly appreciate you reading all my articles on this subject of Small Business and that you learn something new from each one. Thanks again and Godspeed. Perhaps this article is of interest to propel thought in 2007?

Learning to Become a Home Business Entrepreneur

In my previous blog I mentioned what personal traits are required to consider starting a home based business opportunity i.e. to be an entrepreneur. But what about skills and knowledge, what do entrepreneurs learn and where do they learn it? Maybe if I describe my day, it might shed some light on the matter.

Today I had a noon appointment at a Starbucks located in a Chapters book store. My good friend Brian called yesterday to make the appointment. Brian likes to meet because he looks to network with like minded individuals. As I wrote in a previous article, entrepreneurs, network marketers and the likes, pay particular attention to what they feed their minds and the thoughts they entertain. Accordingly, they will also surround themselves with people that have empowering mindsets so they can maintain theirs and also give it an opportunity to expand.

Brian and I shared views on personal development strategies, what we have found to be beneficial, what we are currently taking part in as well as what we contemplate doing next. Whether the topic was on multiple streams of income or the resources we can invest in to develop ourselves, our thought processes were focused on empowerment rather than the constant negative topics provided by mainstream medias. Politics, sports or economics did not enter our topics of discussion although they are often what people talk about when they go for coffee.

After a pastry and our caffeine fix (nobody’s perfect) we proceeded to replenish our personal development library by browsing the business, network marketing and self help section of the book store. We made our purchases and went on our way with a satisfied tummy and a fed mind.

If you are a home business opportunity seeker, I’m sure you will appreciate the prospect of designing your own schedule to have the freedom of making appointments such as the one I enjoyed today, however do keep in mind that entrepreneurial life style always takes into account a steady feed of personal growth which is at the basis of business development.

So what do entrepreneurs do for learning the skills and knowledge they need for personal and business growth? They choose what they feed their minds and choose who they network with to promote empowering thought processes. If you’re not too sure what to feed your mind, have a look at our resources page or the self help and business section of your favorite book store to see if anything resonates with you.

So let me ask you this: the next time you go for coffee, who is it going to be with, what will you talk about or… what book are you going to bring? Do let me know!

Bootstrapping To Save Cash – A Concept Made for Small Business Entrepreneurs

I define bootstrapping as “pursuing success with limited resources and with the help of others.” By limited resources I mean a shortage of money or knowledge. Here are some tips and ideas to help solve these shortfalls for small and wannabe entrepreneurial business owners. These ideas are particularly apropos in today’s environment.

Barter

Barter, one of the world’s oldest forms of commerce, is thriving today because it allows companies to trade their products or services for other needed products or services with little or no cash involved. You can utilize your excess goods, manufacturing capacity or time to obtain needed things of every imaginable variety. Bartering can also help you reach and acquire new customers through satisfied trading partners that, if pleased, will buy again with cash and provide good word of mouth to others.

Most barter today is done through exchanges that match up the traders for a fee. You can learn more about the details and find a barter exchange near you by doing a simple online search or visiting the International Reciprocal Trade Association.

Free Consulting

SCORE is a government agency with the mission to provide resources and expertise to maximize the success of existing and emerging small businesses. All SCORE counselors are volunteers, mostly retired executives who want to give back. There is no charge, and everyone who calls gets an appointment. There are more than 370 chapters in the U.S. SCORE does not loan money, but it will advise you on how to get it. Visit the website to find your local office.

The Small Business Development Center is another government agency that basically does the same thing as SCORE but with paid employees and even more educational classes. There are more than 1,000 centers in the U.S. Like SCORE counseling, SBDC counseling is also free.

Mentors

Mentors are experienced, successful businesspeople who are willing to help entrepreneurs get started and grow at no charge. A good one can be the key to success for an emerging company. Mentors can be found in myriad places: family, former teachers, suppliers, the local Chamber of Commerce, people you admire, etc. If you find a good one, be sure always to keep him or her in the loop and say thank you.

Special Offers to Key Customers

It is difficult for small companies to sell to large customers in any environment. An effective way to overcome this challenge is to offer your target an exclusive: your product, a package, a design, a channel of distribution–something special and different from the competition. The exclusive can also be time-sensitive. In return, you can ask for distribution in all of the company’s outlets, free ads, better payment terms or any other goody important to you.

Suppliers

Almost every company needs reliable suppliers. They can contribute to the quality of your business with on-time delivery or innovation and solve some of your financial problems by giving you extended terms. Some suppliers may even be willing to invest in your company. The best suppliers can help make you more competitive and reliable. To gain supplier cooperation, treat suppliers fairly and pay all of their bills on time.

Publicity

Getting coverage about you, your company or your product in print, on TV, on radio or on the web can be more credible than a paid ad. You need not be an expert to get such media coverage. Remember that the writer’s job is to write, and they all need stories. Why not yours? Start by approaching your local media with interesting facts or anecdotes about yourself, your product or service and how you started the company. Writers usually prefer the passion of the company founder to a pitch from a professional publicist.

Outsourcing

Outsourcing can convert the fixed costs of full-time employees to the variable costs incurred only when you need them. This is a major cash-saving strategy that also can yield better quality and know-how as well as access in the case of sales reps. The myth about outsourcing is that you lose control. You may actually have more control because if a vendor doesn’t do a good job, you can just find another. You need not sacrifice control by outsourcing. Another myth is that outsourcing means sending work overseas. This does not have to be true. Anything not done in house is outsourced, whether you get it done down the street, in another state or in another country.

Building Trust

If you are trusted, customers will want to do business with you, employees will be motivated, and lenders and investors are more apt to give you money. You build trust by refusing to compromise on doing the right thing and conducting business ethically. Trust relentlessly pursued can pay great dividends.

Selling

Selling is “persuading someone to take an action favorable to all parties.” There is no selling gene. Selling is an acquired skill best honed with experience. Everyone in the company should be selling with the CEO being the most important seller. There is no cash outlay for selling except for travel. You can do it.

Your attitude is a crucial success factor, so keep your passion high. Don’t let fear of failure hold you back. Keep your ego under control, take care of yourself, rebound quickly from setbacks and always watch the cash.

Women Business Entrepreneurs: Dress for Success

A Smart Business Woman Entrepreneur enjoys her chosen career and appreciates the fashion industry as well. They find inspiration in their line of clothing and simplicity of the activities of daily living. They dress glamorously to impress. Even if they are not in the catwalk, they must still dress up as if they are in the spotlight. They know how to mix and match their fashionable clothes found in their closets.

To be fashionable or not – that is the question. With the rise of fashion icons, trends, and styles, who among us will not be encouraged to be part of the “in” crowd? Business women from all walks of life will not think twice about this since majority wants to experience the hottest trends though by doing such, spending a fortune is not an issue anymore.

You can actually create a sense of style on your own. Being a Business Woman Entrepreneur, you must have these clothing necessities:

– A-line skirts

– Conservative suit Soft belt coats

– Attractive colorful blouses

– Sailor sweater

– Tweed jackets and blazers

– Cuff linked shirts

– Pair of slacks

– High heeled sandals

You must accessorize with bags, belts, earrings, rings, bracelets, necklaces and watches. Dress smart. The creation of belts in the Bronze Age has identified to be masculine in nature. Since its creation, women had been trying to develop this men’s accessory as part of the latest style and trend in fashion. Today, variety of women’s belt has created to supply the growing demand for this accent – either for its basic purpose or simply for added fashion sense. Accessories add brilliance in your look. You must accessorize with creativity.

Start now and feel the changes. Color, shade and texture have a big part on it. It depends which season you are. Summer is the ultimate season where you can see this type of clothing. People wear the most comfortable clothes all day. During this season, clothes with shades of pastels like lilac, lavender, and pale yellow are pleasing to eyes. Floral prints are always coming back during sunny season. Soft and thin textures are basically seen worn.

Whether you will just stay at home or there is an abrupt call for you to go some place, what you wear in a moment can be use anytime or anywhere. Fashion trend changes season by season as we all know.

Think that you are beautiful and you will be the one. Dress up your professional best. You must also have a neat and professional hairstyle. Wear simple yet elegant make up and spray a classic floral perfume. Bring a portfolio. And don’t forget to groom you nails. Have manicure and pedicure.

No matter what you wear, make sure that you wear clothes that are neat and clean. With Business Women Entrepreneurs, their appearances should be of high quality, comfortable, functional and professional looking. You are the one who represents your company. Be confident. Be inspired. You must possess a professional business image with a good taste in fashion.