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Showing posts from July, 2014

In Business Too - Bears Make Money, Bulls Make Money, But Pigs Get Slaughtered

In Business Too - Bears Make Money, Bulls Make Money, But Pigs Get Slaughtered
Investors know that "Bears Make Money, Bulls Make Money, But Pigs Get Slaughtered".  In business too this expression applies.  Experienced business owners know they have to have their business ready to weather the storm of a down economy.  At the same time they need to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves when the economy is growing.  This requires a real skill to manage the swings especially in regard to labor so that the business does not get too fat during upswings and too thin during down turns.  The same thing applies to inventory and operating expenses.

But also "Pigs Get Slaughtered" in business too.  "PIGS" are after as much as they can get at any moment and can only see immediate gratification.  "PIGS" don't see the long-term value of relationships and reputation.  At times  "PIGS" do get fat but it is when "PIGS" get …

Protect Your Business Against Theft/Embezzlement in the 21st Century

Protect Your Business Against Theft/Embezzlement in the 21st Century Thieves come in the middle of the night to avoid being seen. Likewise white collar thieves target business that are not watching. Theft and embezzlement is a growing problem. So watch your business and make sure employees know you are watching.

The face of theft has changed.  Inside a business the fear was someone would forge checks or steal money that should have been deposited.  Today many bills are paid electronically.  So how do you protect yourself against your bookkeeper sending unauthorized payments to herself or to a friend or family member.

Safeguards:Do background checks when hiring a bookkeeper or make sure the company you contract with does and is insured.Provide the bookkeeper a list of approved bills to be paidCompare payments often to your approved payments list and check both the amount and the payee. This can be done often with online access to your account.Make sure you get the bank statement sent…

Things That Will Make You Money - Number 12 - Recognize the Hidden Value

Recognize the Hidden Value Really successful people do things that other people will not do.  Many of these things are very valuable but most people think they are a waste of time because they don't result in revenue right now. So what are these valuable things?

Consider a conversation with someone who you know will not buy your product or service...at this time.  They want something. Do you care what it is? Why should you care? What will happen if you take an interest and help them get what they need or want?  Most people get really frustrated when they can't get what they want. If you don't have what they want and you help them find it anyway they will appreciate your efforts.  It is really simple. When you help someone even if it does not result in revenue for you or your business you have created value for that person. Many times that person will recall what you did and either they will come to back to you or they will refer someone else to you.

As you provide value y…

Things That Will Make You Money - Number 11 - Create Value

Really successful people do things that other people will not do.  Really successful people or businesses create value and give it to others.

You have heard "build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door."  Really. Where do they really beat down a path to their door. McDonald's, Domino's Pizza, Apple are all examples. Did they really create a better product?  McDonald's and Domino's Pizza are very popular and yet they did not produce a better product and still people figuratively beat down a path to their door.

What they did do was create value. McDonald's provides a tasty product at very convenient locations and you know what you will get at their restaurants. The same with Domino's, you know you will get not a better but a decent pizza but you will get it delivered quickly. These companies created value for their products because of location and easy of getting the product. You typically don't even go to Domino's door…

Imitate the Best: Invest in the Long-Term Success of Your Business

Imitate the Best: Invest in the Long-Term Success of Your Business Sustained business success is really about balance.  Getting sales and filling orders or serving clients is important today but what about tomorrow.  Tomorrow won't take care of itself.  The challenge is to take advantage of opportunities presented this day but also take action that will create opportunities in the future.

Quite often businesses will advertise and promote and that will result in a wave of business which in and of itself must be served or managed.  At times taking care of existing business can become all consuming and then when the wave is finished then suddenly business and cash flow dries up. Then it is back to advertising and promoting and the cycle starts over like dips and hills on a roller coaster ride.

The roller coaster ride can be exhausting as periods of exhilaration are followed by periods of panic. The same thing can happen in terms of a product life-cycle.  Focus on milking current op…

10 Things To Know About Taxes Before Moving Out of the United States

10 Things To Know About Taxes Before Moving Out of the United StatesYou may still have to file a tax return if you live outside the United StatesThe rules for determining if you need to file a tax return are the same as if you still lived in the United States.You must report all of your worldwide income on your tax return.You may be able to exclude some of your "foreign earned income" on your tax return. The income is still entered on the tax return and then it is backed out on another line.Even if you can exclude all your "foreign earned income" on your tax return, if you have self-employed income you may still have to pay the Self Employment Tax on that income.If you have over $10,000 in foreign bank or financial accounts at anytime during the year you may have to report them to the IRS.You may still have to file state income tax returns even if you no longer live in the U.S. depending on the state and your facts and circumstances.You may be able to take a dollar…

Things That Will Make You Money (Big Time) - Number 10: Respond to Messages Quickly

Respond to Messages Quickly

Really successful people do things that other people will not do. Really successful people provide great customer service and this includes getting back to people quickly.

People are always complaining about bad service and it drives people crazy when they send someone an important business related message and they don't hear back from that person. Providing high level service includes returning calls or emails quickly. My standard operating procedure is to return messages within one business day. I do this even if it is just to tell them I got their message and I will get back to them either soon or my plan is to get back to them by a certain time (The later option is more valuable than the first).
Why will responding to messages quickly make money for you? It tells people you value them and they in turn will value you and refer you to others. I can not tell how many new clients told me their prior CPA did not return their calls or emails. Sometimes they …

Things That Will Make You Money - Number 9 - Silence Limiting or Defeating Thoughts

No "Headtrash" Allowed Really successful people do things that other people will not do.  That includes what they think about. What goes on in our mind has as much to do with success or failure as the product or service we offer. What we have in our mind about ourselves affects who we are, our posture, our confidence and even what we do and how we do it.  Much of the programming of this world is designed to implant reasons for failure.  Someone wrote a book called "Headtrash" and I love the title because it conveys the reality of the situation. We need to keep "headtrash", limiting beliefs, out of our minds and consider healthy thoughts. It takes a focused effort to accomplish this.
When you talk about your business or your idea consider what you hear back.  Consider what the entertainment you watch or listen to tells you.  Does it encourage you and let you know you are good enough or does it work against you and make you doubt yourself and or your idea.…

10 Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Business

Buying a business can be a more attractive proposition than investing in a business someone else runs.  When you buy a business you have control over the operations and you are not gambling on people you don't know.  Buying a business is a risk that can offer significant rewards.  The key is to do your homework/due diligence before buying and understand what you are getting.  Here is a list of 10 things to consider before purchasing a business. Profitability: Look at the companies financial statements and income tax returns for as many years as possible and is relevant to establishing its value.  Keep in mind if they have been planning to sell the business the numbers they give you will likely be the best case scenario. Also, look at their projected profits and the basis for the projections.Trend: Trends are likely to continue.  So if the profits have been falling then they will likely continue to fall.  In addition to profits, what has been the trend for their revenues and expense…

Things Will Make You Money - Number 8: Be Yourself

Really successful people do things that other people will not do.  Really successful people don't write books or teach courses or seminars instead they make money. How do they do this, one way is by genuinely being themselves and sharing their story. 

So you have read those books on how to sell and they just don't seem to work.  Here is what happens: Someone has success and people get the idea what the successful person does is THE SECRET to success and they write a book about it.  For some people that technique works but for many it does not.  Why not?  It does not work for people who are acting in a way that is contrary to who they are.  Observers can tell when someone is trying to be something they are not and it makes them uncomfortable.

Most of the time people buy you not what you are selling.  Or people go into business with people they like.  The Oklahoma City Thunder draft people not players.  You get the idea.  But all the sales books say you have to be a certain way, s…

Things That Will Make You Money - Number 6 - Take Action

Really successful people do things that other people will not do.  One of those things is taking action...now. In your mind there can always be a reason not to get started.  I saw this with a business my wife started.  There was always something else that she thought she needed before she started showing her product. Psychologically there was always something to keep her from starting. Really, you need to ask yourself, is this a critical reason to wait or can you get started and work it out as you go? Granted there are critical things to make sure of to succeed but many other issues can be worked out later.  

So a key to success is just taking action.  Sometimes you just need to start.  My wife finally took action after some prodding and she succeeded despite the fact that everything was not as she wanted it be.  As she went along she made changes and things got even better.  However, it would not happen if she did not get started.

What happens when you take action and get started.  You…

Things That Will Make You Money - Number 7: Serve Others

Really successful people do things that other people will not do.  One of those things is serving others or making it about them.

The best phone solicitation ever went like this:  
Hey Jeff, how is it going?  
Me: Ah, OK. 
Just OK.  Seriously, I know a guy like you is more than OK.
Me: Who is this?

The point. If you lead with I want to sell you something then you are dead in the water.  You are leading from a horrible position.  Instead, get to a position of strength by finding something out about the person.  Be someone that others want to talk to.  Dale Carnegie taught that you want to start by talking about something the other person is interested in and a genuine compliment helps. So when starting a conversation ask yourself how can you provide some value to this person. Many times you will have nothing because you don't know the person.  So then find something out about the person.  Find out what they are interested in and what they need and talk about serving them. I guarantee if …