Business Plan: Essential Tool for Confident Success

The first tool any business person needs to create a confident, successful business is a  plan for their success.

In business, this is called your business plan.  A business plan serves as a guide to the direction you want to go in your business.  It lets you think through your goals as well as how you will operate the business on a daily basis.  The plan lets you develop a business that will be sustainable over the long run.

The advantage of your plan will be that

  • You will see where you want to go in your business
  • You’ll clearly identify your target market
  • You’ll know what products and services to develop for the business.
  • You’ll understand the scope of your work based on your abilities, direction and concept
  • You’ll get your legal things set up to protect you and your business.
  • You’ll have a way to see what you’re spending and account for your expenses.
  • You’ll plan how to make money and have ways to account for your income.
  • You won’t be afraid about stepping out in business because it won’t be a vast unknown space anymore.

To get support in developing an effective plan for your business, get regular coaching through the Confidence Cafe.  Get you basic business plan outline then more support for completing it.

Even if you decide to go it alone, just do it.

You can work through these sections on your own or look for some assistance to guide you through the process.   If you want help with your plan, let me know; I’d love to get your through the process as quick and easy as possible.

Steps to Sustainable Cash Flow

Over the years, I’ve found eight basic steps to generating a sustainable flow of cash in your business.  Some of these include

1. Determine what you will do to make money

3. Develop business systems

5. Establish price structures

7. Convert visitors into buyers

These are not all, but you get the point. Knowing the sgteps will increase your business confidence and aim you towards success. The question I can hear you asking now is, what are the others and how do I so these steps?

You can learn some steps by reading the information in these posts.

You can get a business coach. Successful people have a coach.  Decide to be successful by getting the help you need.

Join the Confidence Cafe.  Get monthly coaching to stay on track and get your questions answered.

5 Top Reasons Many Businesses Fail

These are some of the top reasons why entrepreneurial ventures fail on a regular basis.

1. Lack of research. To succeed you need to have an interested market of buyers. Make sure there’s a market for your business before you launch by researching both demand and supply for your product or services. Who is providing the same products or service? What problem are you solving for people? Who are your prospects?

The research phase of launching a business is one of the most critical. Without proper research you’re not going to be able to position your business successfully. Very few businesses succeed without solid initial research.

2. Lack of Market Knowledge. This is a different level of research. Before you launch your business, know exactly who you’re marketing to in order to position your product or service to meet their needs. If you don’t understand the needs of your target market, you can’t make sales.

3. Don’t Understand Cash Flow. Cash flow is essential to survival. Entrepreneurs must create a budget and be realistic about how much they expect to earn. It’s also necessary to keep a tight rein on expenses. In order to pay the bills and earn profit, cash needs to come in on a regular basis. Cash flow is essential to survival.

4. Lack of Marketing Skills. You don’t have to be a marketing genius but you need a solid marketing plan for your business to thrive. In business, the old “if you build it they will come” mentality just doesn’t work. If you don’t like to do marketing or don’t understand it, then hire someone to do this for you.

5. Lack of Planning. Many people believe that a business plan is only necessary if you want to go after funding but this is not true. In order to achieve your goals, it’s important to plan how you’re going to succeed. Your business plan is your road map to success. Don’t skip this important step.

 

Did You Do Money-Making Activities Today?

Getting home this evening after 6 p.m. I stopped to reflect on how many money-making activities I had done today.  The answer is probably why I’m working late tonight.  Today was a day of volunteer work.  Nothing wrong with that.  I find volunteering for worthy causes has its own unique rewards. But one activity led to the next, then the next.  Soon the working day was primarily over, so it’s own to night work again.

I strongly believe any professional entrepreneur needs to be able to account for some activity that took their cash flow in a positive direction, each and everyday.  You wouldn’t have to work all day doing this; just be able to show that you did something towards cash flow.

That could have been creating a new product or service to sell.  Or it could have been implementing a new marketing concept that gets your product or service in front of the right market.  Perhaps you wrote a new blog post that was SEO focused or looked for a joint venture partner to help promote you to a broader audience.

The specific activity isn’t what matters, it’s that you took a step in the right direction.  If you can’t account for a money-making activity today, start adding up how may days go by like that, not doing something to further your money-making goal.  Having many of these days  will add up to a month that doesn’t reach up to your financial goals. The point is, make yourself accountable to do something significant to move towards bringing in cash every workday.  That adds up to success.

So write at least one blog post before turning in for the night – okay?  Just to be accountable, I’m working on a new ebook.

Fast Cash Service Business Ideas 6 – 10

To make cash fast, develop a business that offers services that others need.  That could include anything others have a keen interest in learning more about, can help them make money, feel better, get out of pain or have better relationships.  Here are an additional five services businesses to consider for fast cash generation.

  1. Online Events – An emerging category of need are for online event managers. Online conferences, teleseminars, webinars and other internet based events need planners who know the technology and can get Internet based events up and running.
  2. Tutoring – If you’re a teacher at heart with knowledge and skills needed by others, consider tutoring.  This also goes along with what I do, teaching at actual colleges or universities online. Become a tutor and you offer your services online or off.
  3. Graphic Design/Website Design – Design skills are always in demand.  Use your design talent to make money by helping people design their websites, create logos, and even book covers.
  4. Online Business Manager – New online entrepreneurs know little about the complexities of operating a complete business online.  If you can keep a business organized, come up with ideas, hire virtual help, and more, online business managers are needed.
  5. Virtual Assistant – With specialized skills in particular specialty areas, you can easily offer services as a virtual assistant. You might have a regular groups of clients that you service each month,  make appointments, upload content to websites, transcribe audio files, or monitor emails.

Which of these potential cash oriented service businesses work for you?

Fast Cash Service Business Ideas – 1-5

There are basically two ways to make money. Sell services or sell products.

Services are often easier to profit from because they cab generate fast cash with low overhead needed to create and deliver them.   Starting with services, you can focus on something that you have to offer and do a fast launch to start making money.

The next few posts will give you service business ideas to consider.  Here are the first five ideas to consider if you need to make money fast:

  1. Coaching – The areas for coaching services is limited only by your imagination.  Business, executives, health, coaching are pretty obvious. But you can develop a coaching service business in any topic others want assistance in or want to learn about from photography, cooking, home care and more.
  2. Consulting – Consultants differ from coaching because they actually deliver solutions to problems where coaches do not.  If you have expertise in certain areas, consider consulting.
  3. Content writing – Fresh content is needed for the millions of blogs and websites online.  If you can write a good article or blog post and have skill, knowledge or interest in a particular subject you can make money writing.
  4. Copywriting – Copywriting is a different type of writing. It involves convincing people to make a purchase or to take action. If you’re sales savvy and enjoy writing you can make great money writing sales copy for other businesses.
  5. Event Planning – Organizing events is a special skill needed by individuals and business.  Event planners organize all types of events from weddings, fundraisers, community events and more.

These service ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. There are literally hundreds of services you can provide to earn money quickly and easily. Look for more soon.

How to Create a Great Slide Show

Slide shows are a new and increasingly popular means of sharing valuable content. Many experts predict that Slideshare.net may be one of the biggest content sharing sites to grow in 2014. However, if you’ve created slide shows in the past or viewed slide shows then you know that they’re not all created equally. Some slide shows are more interesting than others. The following tips can help ensure yours are more interesting than your competitions.

1. Plan it first. Before you sit down with PowerPoint or your slide show software decide what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. What’s the goal of your slide show? What information are you providing to your audience and why? What value does it offer and why will they care? Answer these questions on paper first.

2. Visuals are important. Many slide shows are visually dull. They’re simply a series of sentences. In general, your slide content word count should be no more than 50-60 words and that’s pushing it. You want people to be able to read and understand your text quickly. That word count leaves an abundance of room for visual interest.

You can add photographs, charts, formatting, and even embed short video into the body of a slide. As you’re planning the content in your slide show, also document how you want to add visual interest. Keep in mind that any graphics or formatting need to support your goal not distract from it.

3. Arch your content. When you read an article or blog post it has an introduction which is usually a paragraph or two. It then moves into the body of the content. The goal of the body is to provide the bulk of the information and value. You then pull it all together into a conclusion which may also be one or two paragraphs. The same is true for your slideshow. It should have an introduction where you pique interest and promise value. It should then move into the body of your content and then wrap it all up with a few conclusion slides.

4. Call to action. Be sure to include a call to action at the end of your slide show. Let people know what they can do next to get more information and extend their relationship with you and your company.

5. Embedded links. In addition to your call to action which should include a link to your site or to a sales page, also consider embedding links throughout your slide show. For example, if you reference a blog post on your site then you might link to that blog post. Make sure it opens in a new window so your visitors can continue enjoying the slide show.

Slide shows are a fun and interesting way to provide content in a new format and reach a different audience. They’re easy to create and with a little planning and preparation you can create a compelling slide show that achieves your goals.

Launch Your Product or Service with Confidence

The best way to keep a business fresh and to continue to attract customers is to provide the occasional new product or service. This can be a tricky process because in addition to an abundance of logistics and management, there’s also the need to create something that will be well received. A successful launch then is dependent on many different characteristics.

#1 Your List is the Key

Your email list is the first place to turn to when deciding what type of product or service to launch. Ask yourself how you can add more value to that key list of individuals. Additionally, if you’re uncertain about what to create and offer then consider polling your list. Let them answer the question for you. Give them a list of potential products and ask them what would provide the most value. Ask them what their biggest concerns or problems are and how you can help. This information will help you create a top selling product and lead into a successful launch.

#2 Stay Connected

Because creating and launching a product or service can be such a time consuming, and energy draining, adventure it’s easy to let your email marketing slide. Yet this is exactly the time that you want to strengthen your relationship with your email audience. In fact, it’s the ideal time to also work on a list building campaign. The more excited and interested your email list is, the more successful your launch will be.

#3 Build Buzz

In the weeks leading up to your launch, use your vast resources to build buzz. Write more blog posts and publish more articles. Send an extra email message from time to time. Embrace the power of social media and use it to get the word out about your pending launch. Also look to advertising and joint venture partnerships or affiliates to help you build buzz.

#4 KISS

Make sure your offer is clear and simple. There should be no ambiguity or confusion for your prospects. Spend time on your offer message, sales page, and related marketing materials. They should all convey the same message and offer.

#5 You’re Not Done Yet

Okay, so launch day is over and you can now sit down and relax, right? Nope. Now is when you may want to step it up. Pay attention to your analytics and your reports. What calls to action are working? Who is linking to your site? Who is buying and where are your prospects coming from? The follow up can be just as important, if not more so, than the initial launch.

Launching a product or service requires a great deal of planning and organization. The key to a successful launch often depends on the processes and systems put in place to help you stay on track to achieve each step of the launch.

 

Identify Your Value Systems

Values are those life characteristics that really matter to you. They are the deep seated ideas and beliefs that cause you to act as you do and to pursue the goals that you pursue, consciously or unconsciously. The secret to working consciously is to be able to identify your true values.

The core values of your life will direct how you respond to what life brings. Your mind is at ease when you function within your value system. Say for example one of your values if being with family, but your job requires that you are away from family most of the time. Instead of being peaceful in your mind that what you’re doing is valuable and worth it, you will constantly be questioning yourself and your work. You might not even know why you’re not happy and satisfied.

Knowing your value systems lets you get your life in order so you your mind is at ease. You break the barriers to what keeps you from becoming more productive, happy and successful.

Take time to identify your values on a personal and professional basis.  Then you will be able to use this knowledge to put several area of your life in order.  For instance, you can even manage your time and increase your productivity by working within your values systems. These are incredibly important strategic success secrets that will help you break heavy burdens that impede your rise to success.  Learn to identify you value systems and you will break loads of ceilings at once.

 

 

Keyword Selection Process: A Critical Skill for Online Success

Learn to Select Keywords

Keyword selection is a critical skill for successful website business. Choosing the right keywords for your website is important for a few reasons, but the main one is traffic.  Without the right keyword selection, visitors may never find your site even if it has the exact information they are looking for.  Keywords play a part in the way your site is ranked on search engines so you’ll want to make sure you are using the right keywords to get those rankings up and bring those visitors in. 

Here are a few tips to consider when trying to select the right keywords for your website. 

1.  Using a tool such as WordTracker.com will help you to determine what keywords people are actually searching for, how stiff your competition might be for certain keyword phrases and can even reveal hidden gems that you may not have thought about originally. (http://www.wordtracker.com) 

2.  Just because a term is searched frequently doesn’t mean you should always focus on that keyword.  If you have lots of competition for a really hot keyword phrase, the likelihood of you making it to the top of the ranks in the search engines drops dramatically.  Think about who your competing with and possibly search for a better, less searched phrase to help target in on your market even better. 

3. Include variations of your keyword phrases in more than one way on your site. Don’t overdo it by stuffing your site with keywords.  People want quality content and if you have an article on your site that has your keyword phrase in it every other sentence they won’t stick around and what good is traffic if it leaves and never comes back? 

These are just some basic tips to help you get started on the right foot in keyword selection.  Learn to select the right keywords for your sites and see the amount of visitors to your website increase.