Sunday, 22 May 2011

Valuable Business Skills For Entrepreneurs

By Tony Jacowski

Congratulations! You have officially decided to quit the rat race and strike out on your own. Certainly, being your own boss has its perks. However, it also has its disadvantages. The advantages include being able to work at your own pace while experiencing the excitement of having your own business. On the downside, you shoulder all the burdens and responsibilities, including the possibility of being less than successful. As you navigate your way toward your business goals, keep these valuable business skills in mind so as to help you achieve success in the future.
Accounting skills- First and foremost, you are running a business to generate profit. Apart from the personal satisfaction and the opportunity to be of service to others, your business is only successful if it generates a healthy profit for you, after you take the time to pay all of your employees. Thus, you need to have accounting skills to help you keep tabs of the financial aspects of your operation. With such skills, you can at least be on top of the situation and make financial decisions along the way.
Business planning skills- Aside from the above, an entrepreneur must also have business planning skills that will allow him or her to achieve in concrete steps the objectives or targets set for them at the beginning of the business year. This kind of skill requires vision and foresight, as well as the ability to look into the bigger picture. By having these, you can then plan accordingly and allocate resources and manpower needed to ensure the successful achievement of the targets. Of course, setting these goals is also not an easy task that should every be overlooked.
Marketing savvy- Even if you are not a marketing whiz, you will need to have some basic knowledge of marketing strategies and how these can be applied to your specific business. Chances are, you are starting from the bottom, and as such, you need a great marketing campaign to get your message across and introduce your products or services to your target audience/market. Business skills under this category include being able to convince and influence people into buying/patronizing what you have to offer. If no one can find you, they cannot buy your products or make use of your services
Interpersonal skills- As an entrepreneur, you will have to communicate with people from all walks of life. Thus, you need to be able to communicate well and convey a sincere yet authoritative tone when dealing with these people. This will allow you to get what you want and even influence others into a compromise, which should be often for a starting entrepreneur such as yourself. This does not only apply to customers but also to colleagues and employees.
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Entrepreneur Tests - A Tool For Successful Enterprise Ownership

By Stephen R Tiebout

You think you might be an entrepreneur. And you want to take a screening test to find out. Testing is a very valuable tool which supports your focus on your entrepreneurial strengths and weakness. However, this is not the complete picture. Your skills, education, and experience also provide additional tools that will help you, should you decide to start your own business. The initial step in starting ones' own enterprise is to genuinely analyze if you've got the right stuff to pull it off.
The Procedure
As a first step, decide if you are suited for entrepreneurship by taking a career preference test called the Combined Strong/MBTI Entrepreneur Test. The test is self-administered online. People who are self-motivated will find this action appealing irrespective of receiving help in interpreting the results. Taking a self-administered test is evidence in itself that you are a self-starter.
Entrepreneurial Traits
Numerous studies have established the traits of small enterprise operators over time. The studies examine traits and attributes that appear to target characteristics that typically manifest in effective owner-managers. Testing takes into consideration those qualities that appear to differentiate the business owner that starts up an enterprise from the one that works for other people
There are many key attributes of effective entrepreneurs. Although every successful entrepreneur would not necessarily possess all the attributes, it's likely that most of them are embraced by the successful business owner.
In business, the dedicated entrepreneur always has a sophisticated skill-set of abilities that sets him apart from ordinary managers. These one-of-a-kind attributes lead him to accomplish more than the typical business person, and he is therefore able to find a way to do the things that must be done to keep the enterprise afloat.
Can the individual make judgments swiftly and routinely? Can he make rational choices as well as intuitive judgments in accordance with the circumstances at hand? A 'yes' to these questions means the individual possesses the essential entrepreneur attribute of decisiveness which serves him well.
Is the individual trustworthy? Can the individual be friends with others effortlessly? If the reply to these questions is 'yes', then another essential entrepreneurial quality exists for the reason that each business transaction requires genuine interest in potential customers as a prerequisite to persuading them to buy.
How exactly does the individual respond to problems? An individual needs to have the capacity to identify difficulties early on, then to fairly investigate them and discover remedies. In doing so he'll most likely succeed in running a business.
The Business Enterprise Plan
A strategic business plan is the vehicle with which you conduct the research for your market, decide which personnel to involve in the sale of your product, and validate your revenue and expense financial forecasts. It is the means by which you will convince first yourself and then others who can help you that your company has a road map to success.
Candid Talk
Start your enterprise by retaining only those personnel that are absolutely necessary to maintain basic operations. Later, you can recruit additional qualified people when the budget allows. Setting up an enterprise is not always easy and it also doesn't just materialize simply because you slap together a web site page with some products or affiliate links on it.
The formative years of business launch is often hard on loved ones life. The stress of resistance from a significant other is always challenging when balancing against the requirements of establishing an enterprise. There may also be financial hardships till the business gets profitable which often can take months or even years to achieve. You may need to adapt to a reduced standard of living or put family resources in jeopardy.
If you do not take pleasure in your enterprise and the product you are going to offer, failure is a definite unwelcome option. I say this because starting a business takes determination, more determination than perhaps anything else in life. You must have a burning need to succeed and make the business enterprise work regardless of might come along.
You are going to encounter hurdles. Friends and family will advice you it won't work and that you are doomed to failure. But don't let negativity get in your way. Surround yourself with positive people who will support you in your efforts.
Most small enterprise failures are caused by insufficient preparation. It's impossible to get rid of all of the risks associated with starting a small business. However, it is possible to enhance your chances of success with good planning and preparation.
The Enterprise owner is usually first on the scene in the morning and the individual who leaves last. Operating a business can wear you down. Be ready to log extended time on the job to achieve the rewards of entrepreneurship. Some business owners feel burned out by having to handle the many obligation on their own shoulders. Strong commitment to make the business enterprise be successful will assist you to make it through slow-downs, in addition to times of burnout.
You need faith along with a desire to achieve success against all odds. Becoming a successful entrepreneur is so much more than simply waxing euphoric over lots of plans or projecting a sharp business acumen. It's about determination, ego strength and just plain tenacity. You will need self-confidence as well as a burning desire to make it no matter what obstacles present themselves. It's essential to work tirelessly in order to develop an enterprise, and have the stamina to keep working until the business takes on a life of its own. Then, it's essential to continuously nurture and support it.
When you have identified your individual skills and education, concentrate on your enterprise know-how. Focus on specific business information instead of general life experience. Then, judge your decision-making abilities.
After you own your enterprise, you're in charge, and plenty of decisions need to be made according to what you believe. Not every one of these choices must be made immediately, but many will require immediate attention. If your standard response to problems is to give problem resolving duties to another individual, then you will likely have difficulties with operating a business.
Values and Balance
In a sense, a true entrepreneur is living a balanced life because he is living his passion.
Perhaps you've decided it's time for you to make that jump. Prior to doing so, it's a smart idea to determine if your persona and pursuits are similar to current business owners.
What various levels of commitment do we put on our business, financial, family, social and spiritual lives? This is a value decision all entrepreneurially-minded individuals should make. The first step in your assessment is to make an honest appraisal of your personal skills and education.
Reflect on your life experiences. Write down two situations where you solved a problem and the decision you made worked well. Then take note of two situations where the decisions you made didn't work so well. You'll want to record everything you discovered from these scenarios.
The academic community thinks that book learning entrepreneurial skills will help provide individuals an edge to bring out several important capabilities necessary for a start-up business owner to follow through on long-term business commitments.
Others say that you simply can't train a person to possess a great concept, but that interpersonal skills, marketing, advertising and basic management techniques can be cultivated. Some believe that entrepreneurs start life with such skills-set potential. Others say that people are molded by early life experiences as well as interaction with mentors.
The Truth about Business Failure
At one time, all an aspiring entrepreneur needed to make a reputation for himself was investment capital along with a unique concept or invention. Times have changed. Entrepreneurs must have the right stuff to tackle the already bloated corporate environment, and it also requires a greater charismatic voice to drown out the competition.
With that said, the failure rate of start-ups is not as conventional wisdom says it is. We have all heard that the majority of enterprises fail in the first five years. But an in-depth study in 1993 by the New Jersey Institute of Technology suggests those figures are a myth.
They discovered that at most 18% of new organizations fail in the first 8 years of business. 54% make it through more than 8 years with their original proprietors or with a change in ownership, and the 28% remaining voluntarily end operations without loss to lenders.
After completing the Entrepreneur Test, it is likely you will get a far better understanding of how you match up against other entrepreneurs. But testing isn't the whole picture. Your talent, education, and expertise also give you tools that will assist you should you choose to start your own business enterprise.
For many individuals, starting an enterprise is the fulfillment of achieving a lifetime aspiration; but disregarding little details in the formative stages can interfere with the successful implementation of that dream.
Last, but unquestionably not least, effective entrepreneurs need to be ready to work very hard and invest many long months and years building up a reputation. At the end of the day, customers want to conduct business with an owner who is honest and who can be trusted.
Stephen Tiebout is the administrator of Ransdell a testing portal for Career Preference Tests and Personality Preference Tests using The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and The Strong Interest Inventory. He has over 20 years experience helping people make informed career choices. For great information on entrepreneur tests, visit

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Saturday, 21 May 2011

Top 5 Ways To Grow Your Business

By Kelly Lynn Adams 

This posting is for all my entrepreneurs out there!
Last week in my newsletter I posted the top 5 ways (that I have personally used in my own business) to grow my "list" aka database, aka audience that is interested in hearing from you! The email responses were great and everyone loved the tips so I figured I would share with everyone so here goes:
Here are the top 5 ways to grow your list!
1. Offer A FREE Gift - on your website! This can be a free guide, report, video series, plan, or manifesto! When people visit your website you should have an "opt-in" box where they can put their name and email address in order to get your FREE product. Who doesn't like receiving something FREE (make sure this item contains valuable content) and if visitors see that they will get something free if they opt-in to your database they are more likely to do so.
2. Write Articles and/or Comments - Writing articles for any online magazine or even being a guest blogger is a great way to gain tons of exposure to a new audience. If writing is not your thing then simply visiting other people's blogs or online magazines and leaving your comments & website in the space that they provide you is also another excellent way for exposure! I have had many people "find" me on blogs and online magazines that I write for and sign up for my newsletter simply because they liked my content!
3. Strategic Partnership - Aligning yourself with someone who you would like to partner up with to do an event, teleclass or workshop is a sure quick way to build up your list and theirs! This way you are getting exposure to their audience and vice versa! As people register for the event make sure to add those new names to your database! In this case two is always better than one. This is a total win/win situation!
4. Social Media - Simply by being on facebook and twitter will increase your chances of meeting new people. If you start interacting with others on a daily or weekly basis you will naturally and authentically attract people to your site (*note: make sure to post valuable & cool content). As long as you are being yourself or posting things that resonate with you the right people will be attracted to you & your website!
5. Speaking Events - This is one of the BEST ways to gain new prospects for your business. I know some of us have a fear around public speaking but I say "just do it" and get over that fear, the more speaking events you do the better you will become. Practice makes perfect. You can do a raffle or simply pass around a sign-up sheet (to collect everyone's name & contact info) for any future offerings that you will be doing.
Please comment below if you have any other tips that you have used in your business to grow your list~I would love to hear from you!
Kelly Lynn Adams, Empowerment Life Coach
Follow me on Twitter: @kellylynnadams
Follow me on Facebook: kellylynnadams

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Friday, 6 May 2011

Thinking About How to Start Your Own Business? Consider This Advice

By Adam Gleason 

Are you thinking about how to start your own business? Is job security in doubt for you, no matter how long you've been employed in your present job? Does it seem as though there is less work to go around? Look around you, is the atmosphere of your workplace a bit more somber than usual?
Then it's probably time to start your own business now.
Ask people who've owned their own businesses, and they will urge you to stop working for other people. There's nothing quite like the freedom of being self-employed. They will tell you that they cannot even imagine being anything but working for themselves. Not only are they their own boss and get to set their own hours, being self-employed has improved their quality of life, giving them the opportunity to always be there for their family--something that most other people, those who don't own their businesses, can't usually enjoy.
With that said, the first steps on how to start your own business and continuing to enjoy the benefits of being self-employed can be very hard work. Especially when first starting out, you need to accept the fact that there will be many lessons to be learned and many adjustments that will need to be made along the way-both to your business, yourself, and your loved ones.
If you start your business now, you will have many experiences unlike what you've been expecting. You will see that being self-employed is tremendously different from working for someone else and it takes much more than just simple desire to be successful.
When you work for someone else, you usually have a boss of some sort, a specific set of responsibilities and you are accountable to others. Your boss is there to guide every piece of the business, and your role is secondary at best. But when you are self-employed, you are the boss and you are responsible for just about every facet of your business. Many times, especially when first starting out, you will not only be the boss, but you will also be the book-keeper, personnel manager, project manager, clerical staff, supplies or procurement officer, as well as whatever job title you have for the job or service you actually provide.
When you are self-employed, you can't blame any problem on the boss. There is no one to report to other than yourself. Yes, there are clients that you have some level of responsibility and accountability to, but when it comes to whether they are happy or not happy with your services, you are the only one involved in that process. There is no boss to write you up if you do poorly and there is no boss to give you a pat on the back when you do a great job. It's just you being accountable for you.
On the flip side, if you do make a blunder, who will be there to admonish you but yourself? There's no fear of your mistake appearing on your annual evaluation, or of a cut in your salary, or even a demotion. Even better, if your company makes a big sale or achieves a milestone, who but you will take all the glory and the credit? Hey, this is something you will enjoy right away if you start your own business now!
Are you wondering if you have the right personality traits of successful entrepreneurs? Some studies will tell you that it takes a type A personality to be successfully self-employed. Others disagree and say that it just takes certain traits and not one specific type of personality. In actuality, it doesn't necessarily take a type A personality to start your own business or be successfully self-employed. However, it might be a good idea to examine your own personality traits while you think about how to start your own business.
If you are a quick learner, then you'll be perfect to start your own business now. You'll find yourself learning things like finances and marketing. You'll learn how to account for the business' revenue and expenses, and how to project yourself and what your business offers out to the rest of the world. Even if you consider yourself a bit on the shy side, if you believe in yourself and your business goals, you will unconsciously bring yourself out of your shell in order to achieve your dreams.
You are wise to do some research on the topic of how to start your own business, and on the type of business that you are thinking of starting, so that you can be clear on the effort, investment, and hard work that it will entail. There are so many benefits to being self-employed, and the payoff can be quite exhilarating.
Want to learn how to start your own business? Your timing is perfect - because it's never been easier! Kevin Harnel did it - and eventually left his six-figure job for more freedom, quality of life and financial security. Download a FREE copy of Kevin's highly informative ebook, BEST BUSINESSES TO START RIGHT NOW at Take control of your life. Start building your future!

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