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Finding suitable office space for a small business in a prominent business district can be challenging. It may also be a huge drain on your company’s budget. In addition to paying for office space, small businesses also need to budget for furniture, supplies and other essential services, such as cleaning, telephone and internet services. In many cases, these expenses are unaffordable for small companies. Instead of going for a long-term lease for office space, using a serviced office could be the right solution for small businesses. It is completely flexible, cost effective and highly professional.
A virtual office is a unique service that can help uplift your small business. It offers customized services to optimize your time and minimize your costs. You can then focus on achieving your main goals while the mundane business related tasks are taken care of. A good virtual office will offer all basic amenities required to smoothly run a small business house.
A virtual office space provides you with an attractive place to meet clients, a corporate mailing address in an upscale area and a professional and courteous answering service. Virtual office offers small businesses savings on rent and maintenance of a brick and mortar office space. As your business grows, a virtual office will give you the option to outsource everything, including people and partners who could be located anywhere. Latest cost saving technologies and services make a virtual office ideal for a small business.
A virtual office space is perfect solution for a small business. It allows setup and operation of a remote office in a prominent business market, without physically being there.
Every small business is different. A large scale study was conducted by the Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute in which over 1100 different companies with 9-29 employees participated. The study revealed that there were six key traits that defined the personality of the successful business owners.
Think you’ve got what it takes:
- Collaborative : The Guardian study found that knowing how to collaborate was the single most important trait for someone running a business with less than 100 employees.
- Curious: Most outstanding managers in this study were constantly searching on internet to find way how to improve their business, retain their employees and upgrade their products.
- Future Focused: Taking keen interest on what’s coming up is a crucial trait for a successful small business owner.
- Self-Fulfilled: Successful small business owners are the kind of people who prefer being in full control of their own destiny. They value the freedom to make their own choices.
- Tech-Savy: Most of great small business owners in this study were convinced that technology helped make their business more efficient.
- Action Oriented: The top performers in this study were highly motivated. Adversity motivated them to work harder irrespective of the state of the economy.
Read Ben Popper’s article to know more about these key traits of successful small business owners. Visit: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/217837
To accomplish more in less time it is important to follow five P’s of Productivity.
There are many books available on Time Management and many new titles are being published. With lot of information easily accessible, why do people struggle to manage their lives? The concept of Time Management seems to be quite simple. Allocate 24 hours to completion of needs, tasks, projects and responsibilities.
Time Management Coach Stacey K. Vulakh explains how to focus on the end result instead of trying to monitor the minutes and control every factor. He emphasizes on incorporating “5 P’s of Productivity” in your life to get the best results and enhance your productivity. These are:
- Keep your eyes on the Prize: You need to identify why Time Management is important to you and define the intended goal or prize.
- Manage your priorities: Defining your priorities should be your primary or main concern. Narrow the priority list to three or four and focus on those.
- Plan, plan, plan: People will be far more successful if they implement an element of planning into their life. One\’s success level will improve dramatically with some sort of a planning process.
- Identify Partnerships: Partnerships can take on many forms, so be creative.
- Practice: It takes 21 days for a new thought or activity to stick.
Read the article to know more about this important topic. Visit:http://www.womenentrepreneur.com/2011/01/time-management-start-with-the-end-result.html
During the earliest stages of starting a business, you should avoid writing lengthy plans. Instead of following lengthy traditional business plan, opt for a realistic, practical tool: a one-paragraph startup plan. It is possible to write everything there is to know about your brilliant business idea in one paragraph. A traditional business planning teaches ‘brainstorm-write-brainstorm-write-revise-revise-execute’; the goal of one-paragraph plan is to have you ‘brainstorm-write-execute-revise-execute’. There are fundamental differences between these two approaches. The traditional route would have you finalize your entire strategy based on a hypothesis without testing or validation. The one-paragraph startup plan is designed to test your hypothesis through daily experimentation. It also serves as a fluid action strategy that grows along with your startup.
Scott Gerber suggests using following five steps to write a practical business plan to launch a new company quickly.
- Answer key questions about your business.
- Write checklist
- Execute your plan
- Revise your draft plan, and
- Continue to update your plan
Break each sentence in your start-up plan into five immediately executable steps — statements you can convert into reality. Each step should move your business forward in some way.
To know more about writing effective one-paragraph business start-up plan, read the article; visit: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/217696
Raising Capital to grow your business or invest in property has become harder. The key to raising capital is a person’s ability to sell. Selling is a crucial skill for any entrepreneur. The main question you come across while planning to raise capital is ‘What are you selling’ or ‘What is the lender or investor looking for’.
According to Kim Kiyosaki, the key to raising money, whether it’s to start or expand your business mainly depends on four factors:
- The Project
- The Partners
- The Financing
- The Management
If you can show a prospective lender or investor that you have command over these four key factors, then selling will not be an issue, and you will attract more money than you thought possible.
It’s important to know the overall “want” of a lender or investor. Every investor is mainly interested to know whether he/she is going to get healthy return on his/her investment. That’s the overall want of an investor. The same criterion applies to every lender or investor whether it is a traditional bank or a lending institution or an individual.
To know how to address these key points clearly and confidently, read Kim Kiyosaki’s article, visit: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/217347
Testing and measuring the results of your advertising and marketing efforts can increase your profit and enable you to identify what works and what doesn’t. Brad Sugars suggests useful steps to help you make the most of your advertising efforts:
Follow the TOC formula: Target, Offer and Copy are the three elements that build the foundation of a strong advertisement. If you know your target market, your advertisement should be placed where your potential customers will see it. First thing you need to do is figure out your target market to determine the viability of your business. If there is no market, your business is not viable. Include a specific offer when writing your headline. You can search online to find out how online marketers do it. Your headline should prompt your potential customers to call you. Start with test adverts which could be in the form of classified, small space or online advertisements via Google. Such a test is an easy and inexpensive way to evaluate whether your product or service is offered to the target customers.
If you are targeting the right market with a decent offer and a clear call to action, you should generate some response. Examine what you can do to boost the response, modify your adverts and retest it. If your adverts don’t generate any response, just scrap them and move on. Once you find something that works you can expand. If it is a small classified advert, try a bigger display advertisement.
To know more about how to make ads more effective, read the article: Visit:http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/217794
Each one of us has skills, knowledge and experience and anyone can turn these assets into a lively and profitable business. Anyone with these assets can start a service business. Other people are willing to pay for these specific skills in the form of a service. Anyone with a need or desire to earn extra money can sell a service, regardless of age, education or experience.
The biggest advantage of starting your own service business is you become your own boss and take full control of your future. Self-employment gives you freedom and independence which is difficult to achieve when you work for someone else. You get an opportunity to earn much more money than what you earn when working for others. You can hire employees to increase revenues. You have liberty to open new branches of your business and offer services to new customers. You can’t do these things when you work for others and if you do, it is more likely to benefit your boss than working in your favor.
You can cover-up the areas where you lack some business skills like time management, accounting or effective advertisement. You can learn and master these skills by practice and experience. Any skill that you possess can be your best marketable asset. Do you know how to safely walk a dog? Are you capable of planning and throwing a party? Can you sell products and services on line? People are willing to pay you for these skills.
To have more knowledge about starting a service business, read James Stephenson’s article: Visit:http://www.entrepreneur.com/startingabusiness/businessideas/article80686.html
The difference between the two lies in the ability to inspire your team, especially during difficult times. “Leader” and “Manager” are not one and same. A Leader is one who influences people to produce desired results whereas a Manager is a person who merely directs a team. Leadership also requires the ability to create an enjoyable work place. Most businesses face the challenge of proper management training. During an economic downswing, training programs are often the first to be eliminated to cut costs. In fact, it’s the wrong choice and reflects lack of foresightedness and vision. Most managers who have successfully undergone management training are likely to stay with their employer longer. The effectiveness of company leaders from the CEO and down is a crucial indicator for a company’s success. Business owners may face difficult times but they should remember employees are the most critical part of any business and true leaders can weather the storm by motivating their team to stay with them in difficult times. Want to know more about some of the core traits of a true leader? Read the article; Visit: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/217494
As a business entrepreneur – particularly when starting a new venture – you need to adjust ways of working and maintain schedules that work best for you. If you are an entrepreneur, balancing various tasks – an office, a home and a family – you might end up making an unplanned commitment with your scheduled tasks. Some proven ways to make schedules work for you are:
- Block off certain times of the day for completing parts of any large task.
- If your business requires meeting clients – pick one or two days of the week to fix a client meeting schedule and focus only on clients appointments.
- Consider mixing other important family tasks with your office work schedule (a school pick-up or drop-off, doctor visit or a grocery pick-up etc).
- You may have a relation building day if someone wants to schedule a lunch or coffee.
- If you write articles or blogs choose most relaxing or quiet times for your writing activities.
Stick to one task/project on a particular day.
Sometimes you may need to plan your work schedule around someone else’s schedule. Planning work schedules and keeping them can certainly help you complete different projects smoothly. Get more information on this topic, visit:http://www.womenentrepreneur.com/2010/12/when-you-need-to-avoid-going-insane-the-importance-of-schedules.html
Developing mastermind group requires an alliance of a small number of people who are willing to make regular commitment to each other to achieve a common goal. It may sound simple but in practice it can be quite difficult. Compare mastermind group dynamics with the art of baking bread. The process might be simple and straightforward but mixing all the ingredients in right proportion and proper kneading of dough is something that needs an expert and delicate touch.
Mastermind groups often find it difficult to sustain the passion with which they are started. May be members of the group find they don’t have sufficiently similar interests and goals. Developing element of mutual relationship is important for achieving common goals of the group. Some of the ingredients suggested for developing a mastermind group are:
- Time commitment to meet on fixed schedule ? preferably once a week.
- Right number of members in the group – 5-6 members is “just right”.
- Flexible meeting agenda – allowing more time to a member if it is so required.
- Accountability – members should be accountable to themselves and to the other members of the group for the steps they agree to take for achieving their common business goals.
Sounds interesting? Read Nina Kaufman’s article – visit: