Are You Running Your Business or Is Your Business Running You?

Many business owners are being run by their business without knowing it.

I know when my business is running me (or it doesn’t feel quite right) because it feels unorganized and I feel stressed!

So when you see the signs, consider getting professional help in areas where you can identify these failings. But identifying the signs is the first step in accepting that your business isn’t going the way you want. Here are some common signs that you are losing grip on your business:

Constant state of being overwhelmed

When you are simply going through the motions with your business activities without actually getting work done, then there is a strong chance that you are losing grip of your business. This includes doing too much without any real results.

Failing systems and processes

This is where we are working at the moment – lots of work around systems and processes. Are your team and customers complaining about your business being unorganized? Are you feeling it? Are you running behind schedule all the time? Are you working until midnight and on weekends? At this time “YES” your system/processes are failing.

More expenses than revenue

The purpose of running a business or working is to make money and be productive. If you are doing everything and your accounts are in red, it means you are not managing your finances properly or under-utilizing your revenue streams.

Team cannot function without you

You are either micromanaging people too much or not giving your team good or enough direction. It’s a fine line, but as a business owner, we need to be awesome at this – and sometimes you have to learn how to be a better leader and manager.

Get a grip of your business and put the proper steps in place to make sure that you are being productive without being too busy. Also build your team’s capacity to function in your absence so that your business can run itself.

Becoming a Better Communicator in Your Business

1. Develop an elevator pitch

A concise description of what your company does and the value it adds. You should be able to explain that in one sentence.

You should use this description across all mediums—not just in the elevator, but also in marketing and online.

2. Know your audience

Research ahead of time the background and needs of your audience. Then, tailor the message and style of your communications. Talking with one or two people is different from addressing 30 or 300. A customer isn’t the same as a supplier.

When addressing a large group, for example, you should focus on common concerns, not the issues of a select group of audience members. Body language should also change. Before a group, you need to be more expressive to hold attention, moving around, using bigger hand gestures and varying your tone. But the same theatrics would be silly and off-putting before just one or two people.

3. Be attentive

Pay attention to your audience’s verbal and nonverbal cues. Have you lost them, or are they still listening and engaged? It’s important to be aware of such signs. If you sense attention is waning, you can ask your audience questions as a way to bring them back into the conversation.

It also helps to be a good listener. Most conversations become easier if you switch to listening. Anybody who spends time talking to you wants to know you are listening.

4. Prepare beforehand

A little preparation can improve communication a lot. Make notes ahead of time about your speaking points. Ask employees or associates to suggest tips for addressing a specific audience.

If you put some effort into preparation, it will always go smoother and you’ll relay information more clearly. If you don’t pre-plan, you may forget things.

“All skills improve with practice, including communication.”

SourceURL:https://www.bdc.ca/en/articles-tools/entrepreneurial-skills/become-better-communicator/pages/become-better-communicator-with-these-4-tips.aspx

Dangers of Entrepreneurship

1. Knowing better than the market. The entrepreneur fails to contend with the fact that their new product or service is succeeding elsewhere than their target market. In essence, the entrepreneur rejects unexpected, unplanned success because it rattles their belief that they’re in control.

2. Focusing on profits. Cash flow is the real name of the game, because growth-spurt companies need continual stoking with fresh money. Drucker says an entrepreneur should start planning the next round of financing six months before crunch time. Of course, few do-a failing Drucker attributes to financial illiteracy among most business people, not just fledgling entrepreneurs.

3. The management crisis. After about four years of normal, healthy expansion, a company usually outgrows its management base. The entrepreneur has gotten stretched to the max, and when things start to go haywire-as they invariably will-no one is available to take up the slack. Again, acting before a crisis is key. Twelve to 18 months before this bottleneck, the entrepreneur should gather those workers who show managerial promise and assign suitable roles. Then there’s enough time for them to learn their specialties, for the team to coalesce, and for the owner to identify and replace any wrong choices.

4. Loss of perspective. Once the company is up and running, a different type of danger loom. Focusing on his or her desires or needs, the entrepreneur neglects to make the needs of the business the highest priority. An entrepreneur needs to be honest in determining whether they have the skills or strengths the company needs at that time. If not, then it’s best to step aside or adjust one’s role.

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/39360

How Do You Know if You Were Meant to be an Entrepreneur?

Many people want to make money and be successful, but being an entrepreneur is not the right fit for everyone. Here is how you know it’s right for You.

1. You want a calling–not just a career.

Anyone can build a career; all you need to do is a land a job to find your life’s work. Very few can build a business from nothing–and make it their life’s mission.

2. You embrace your own definition of success.

Maybe it’s money. Maybe it’s status. Maybe it’s power.

Or, more likely, it’s living life the way you want to live–and in the way that makes you as happy and fulfilled as possible.

3. You’re not afraid to dream.

And you’re not afraid to fail.

And you’re not afraid to succeed.

4. You were once told you weren’t good enough.

So you decided to prove those people wrong. But along the way your motivation shifted. Now you don’t care what other people think.

Now you’re not trying to prove other people wrong.

5. You don’t care about choosing from the best available option.

Instead, you want to decide what is the best possible option, and then go and make that happen.

6. You want a better life for your children.

And you feel the best way to do that is to set an example by believing in yourself.

7. You want your earnings capped only by your talent.

Work for others and they decide what you can make.

Work for yourself and you decide, through your effort and perseverance and ingenuity, what you can make.

8. You want to look back on a life well lived, instead of at a retirement watch.

A life well lived means you served others and, by so doing, also served yourself.

9. You want to be remembered.

But not just for what you did; more important, you want to be remembered for the kind of person you were–and the way you made other people feel.

10. You believe effort should always beat politics.

And the only way to ensure politics doesn’t play a part is to run your own business–and build a company with a culture you and your employees love.

Source: https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/17-inherently-successful-beliefs-of-born-entrepreneurs.html

 

What is Blocking You From Starting Your Own Business?

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can live the rest of your life like most people”

Family and Friends: Bless their hearts, but unless your family or best friend is an entrepreneur, they may steer you away from the idea. Family can be  a great supporter of your dreams but even they will cast doubt over my decision to start my own business. Starting your own business is risky and few will understand. As for friends, almost all of them will think you are crazy. It is hard to hang out with them because they all have their career paths laid out, working for someone.

Fear: That little voice inside your head is a powerful one. It will make or break you.  You can use it as a source of motivation (which most entrepreneurs do), or let it deter you from stepping outside your comfort zone. There is no reward on the planet without a degree of risk. Risk is mitigated with focused, consistent and dedicated effort.

Finances: Too often our dreams are never pursued because of finances. Either they don’t want to leave their high-paying job, or they don’t know how they’ll finance the early days of the venture. If you are debating over leaving a high-paying job to become an entrepreneur, remember no job can compete with the emotional rewards of being an entrepreneur.

For those concerned about financing their venture early on, there’s nothing wrong with working nights while you build your dream life. Combine that with a little short-term borrowing from a credit line, or perhaps credit card, and you’ll get it done. If you really want it bad enough, you can cut back on your ‘lifestyle’ expenses until you’re a success. Good Luck Too You.

 

What You Need to Know Before Getting a Loan for Your Business

First time business owners have a hard time getting loans. Without time in business to prove that you can withstand the financial ups-and-downs that come with running a business, you’ll be a risky endeavor for lenders to take on. They just don’t have reason to believe that your business will be around for the long-haul to pay your loan back. Here are a few items to consider before you apply for your business loan.

Build Your Credit Score

Just as your credit score is incredibly important in your personal life, helping you qualify for student loans, cars, credit cards, and so on, it’s very important in applying for a business loan as well.

Know How Much You Need

So, you’re looking for first time business loans? To make your odds at approval as good as possible, you should know why you need the funds, and how much you really need. Without a reason why you need the funds, or any thought into what your business can realistically afford, lenders won’t approve your request for first time business loans.

Get Your information ready to Apply for your First Time Business Loans

If you’re diving right into the process of finding first time business loans, you might be overwhelmed by all the information and documentation a business lender looks at when approving you. Entrepreneurs applying to first time business loans, you’ll likely put under a brighter spotlight. And to show that your business is qualified for the funds, you’ll need to offer up a lot of information about you and your business.

create A Business Plan

Because you’re applying to first time business loans, and you’re likely a newer business without extensive performance records, a thorough business plan will be especially important for your application. A business plan will show that your business is ready to take on a loan, and use it to fulfill the business’s goals.

Understand the Different Types of Small Business Loans Available

There are multiple types of small business loans available. The options vary depending on your business needs, the length of the loan, and the specific terms of the loan. There are a number of small business loan choices.

Research the Available Lenders

There are more lenders than ever before willing to lend to small businesses, and many of the lenders can be found from a simple online search.

Small business loans can help your business grow, fund new research and development, help you  enhance sales and marketing efforts, allow you to hire new people, and much more. It’s your time to shine.

Obstacles Women Entrepreneurs Encounter

2. Women-owned startups receive less investor funding:  Women-led, innovation-driven entrepreneurial businesses are not getting enough venture capital funding – less than 5% of VC dollars go to women-led companies.

3. Fear of failure and taking risks: Women are generally less prone to taking risks and can let their own fears of failure, or even fear of success, stand in the way of pursuing the path of entrepreneurship. Confidence is the #1 weapon to combat these fears, and the best way to feel confident in what you are doing is to make sure that you are as prepared as possible before you start your business endeavor.

4. Balancing business and family:  Balancing business and family is a huge challenge. Women are still considered the backbone of the family, and women entrepreneurs often find themselves torn between commitment to their family and their businesses.

 

 

FINANCIAL PLANNING FOR ENTREPENUERS

After years of running the proverbial rat race you’re thinking of starting a business. Maybe you’re working in a career you’re no longer passionate about. If your current job isn’t working out for you, entrepreneurship might seem like the way to go. But before you hang out your shingle, make sure you have a solid financial plan in place.

Risk Management The startup phase for most businesses is fairly risky as personal cash flow is negative and in many instances, you may find yourself funding the business personally. Furthermore, if you’ve taken on debt which you’ve personally guaranteed to get things up and running, you could lose more than just your business. But once the business is up and running and cash flow reaches a desired level, being an entrepreneur can be less risky than being an employee.

Reduce spending. This isn’t the time to buy a new house or car. Pay off their car notes and any other outstanding debts you may have. As an entrepreneur, it is your duty to focus on the elimination of the debts that have the highest interest rates first, for example, student loans. In case you have multiple loans you should consider debt consolidation. Some business expenditures can get pricey.

Keep business and personal finances separate. Having a separate business bank account will prevent confusion when it’s time to pay bills or payroll. In addition, it is vital to incorporate your business as a separate entity. If you don’t, you risk losing personal assets if you get sued.

Keep a Minimum Financial Amount As an entrepreneur, and depending on your financial capacity at the moment, you can come up with a certain amount that you are comfortable with; an amount that remains untouched and unaltered. This minimum amount can be increased gradually as the business keeps growing. This mode of operation is not only good for your personal finances, but also for the financial well-being of your business as an entrepreneur.

Building an Emergency Fund A majority of the population does not understand the importance of making savings meant for emergency situations. While this is not a good lifestyle choice, it is especially bad for entrepreneurs.A great emergency fund will not only keep you afloat in your personal expenses for well over six months if need be, but can also be used to aid your business through lean periods when your business is struggling.

 

Wondering if You Should Start a Real Estate Investment Business?

why should you invest in real estate

You work hard for your money, but does your money work hard for you? When you store your cash under your mattress (or in a bank if you aren’t a weirdo), it will produce next to nothing. However, when you put money into an investment, your dollars go to work for you. 

Investing in rental real estate is drawing more interest than ever.  When you read or watch on TV about fix & flip investors, they’re often selling those homes to rental investors.  The successful rental home investor may have dozens of homes in their portfolio.  They are sharp investors, or they wouldn’t be raking in cash flow from that many homes.  You’ll want to be able to understand and discuss the “numbers” with them.  Let’s take a look at the benefits of rental property investing.

Depreciation

The depreciation deduction is a valuable component in our property analysis.  For people in high tax brackets with other investments, it may even allow reducing the profits from other investments.  Of course, contact an accountant about this.  However, when the costs plus depreciation actually are more than the profit number for taxes, you have leftover losses to use against other investment income.

Investors make money immediately.

Depending on the type of real estate investment and the method with which it is acquired (i.e., with or without financing), real estate investors may begin earning cash flow immediately. For example, when you purchase a turnkey real estate investment, the property is completely renovated with a quality tenant in place. You receive your first rent check at the end of the first month.

Property Taxes

You can deduct the property taxes for income tax purpose.  If your business owns real property, you must pay property tax on this property. In the same way, as individuals pay property tax on the assessed value of their homes, businesses pay property tax on the assessed value of their real estate (land and buildings). If real estate is sold, the tax for the year is distributed between the previous and new owners, based on how much of the year they owned the property.

Rental real estate is a forced retirement plan. Americans are terrible savers. We lack the self-discipline to put a monthly deposit into our IRA, SEP or 401k as small-business owners. However, buying a rental property is a significant commitment that you are required to commit to and maintain. You will always be grateful in the long-run when you don’t give up on it and build future cash flow and wealth.

1031 Tax Deferred Exchange

You can, under very strict rules, sell a property at a profit and roll the proceeds into another property without having to pay capital gains tax. Here’s what the Internal Revenue Code, Title 26, Section 1031 says: “No gain or loss shall be recognized on the exchange of property held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment if such property is exchanged solely for property of like kind which is to be held either for productive use in a trade or business or for investment.” Property of like kind simply means other real estate and does not require a land-for-land or office-for-office exchange.

The far majority of us will never get rich overnight. It takes long-term investing and a diverse portfolio to build true wealth. Don’t forget real estate as an important part of the equation.

Source: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/real-estate-investment-analysis-spreadsheets-3969957