Which Type of Business Owner Are You?

Over my 12 years of being in business, and speaking with many, many business owners over that time, I’ve discovered that when it comes to creating a strategic business and marketing plan for their business, these business owners typically fall into one of these four camps:

The Perfectionist Camp. These business owners plan everything in minute detail and won’t dive in until everything is perfect. They constantly tweak, change, and revisit their plan. The problem with this approach is that it will never be perfect. Your business plan won’t ever be perfect, so you may as well just start now and get going. You can always tweak/change/update as you go along.

The BSO Camp. These business owners are constantly distracted by Bright Shiny Object syndrome, never finishing one project before moving on to the next. The problem with this approach to running your business is that you never get anything done. Nothing ever gets implemented. No results (or very lackluster results) are ever seen. So there’s no real business growth and everything becomes confusing and overwhelming.

The Boxing-Myself-In Camp. Then there’s the business owner who won’t create a business plan because, if they do, they feel they’ll be boxing themselves in and missing out on opportunities that arise. The problem with this approach is that by not having a business you don’t have any real roadmap for growing your business; nothing is done in a very strategic way. And the irony is, you do end up missing out on opportunities because you don’t have a point of reference for anything that you do.

The Don’t Know What To Do Camp. And finally there’s the business owner who simply doesn’t know what to do. They’re very confused by all the different elements of online business management and really don’t know where to start when it comes to running to their business. They don’t know what their starting point should be. Because they don’t know where to start, it’s really hard for them to create a strategic business and marketing plan that is going to work for them.

Despite all of these different scenarios there is one thing in common. Without a strategic business and marketing plan in place, it’s going to be very difficult to grow your business and sustain it over the long-term. Opportunities will be missed. Revenues will be lost. And you’ll have no benchmark with which to gauge your success by.

This is why it’s so important you spend a little time planning out what you want for your business. And I recommend to business owners who have never created a plan before that the first start with a 90-day business plan. Even by creating a plan that focus on a shorter timeframe, it will provide them with the much-needed structure in which to grow their business.

A Look At Small Business Consulting

Most business owners will tell you that a professional business consultant is only to be used when your business is in trouble. These business owners will usually only higher a consultant when they are beginning to run over on cost or time, and are in need of finishing a project quickly. However, small business consulting can be far more beneficial than just solving problems.

A consultant can do much more than help you fix problems within your company. Hiring a business consultant is actually a great way to look at issues in your business on a far greater perspective. Business owners typically have a limited vision for the outcome of their business plans because they are the only ones involved in the business. A consultant can help to bring some clarity to the owner’s process to help get the most out of his thoughts for his company.

So, does your business need a consultant? Continue reading to find out.

Before you seek a business consultant it is important that you know what a consultant is. A consultant is a business professional who looks at the pros and cons of a businesses strategies, and will advice you and what to do. A consultant offers a variety of services ranging from business start-up advice to formulating marketing strategies, operation analysis to making business plans.

Before you go and hire a consultant you need to take a look at your business and ask yourself some questions. You need to ask yourself what gains you are trying to get from your business, are your products in the right market, and have you done everything you can to advertise your business? Can you benefit from local search on the internet, and so on.

If you ask yourself these questions and answer them truthfully, you will begin to motivate yourself to improve the performance of your business by working on the areas that you need to improve. If you find the problem with your business and are unable to find the solution to the problem through the internet, books, etc., and all else fails, it is time to approach a consultant.

There are many consultants available today and it is important that you choose the one that will be right for you. You are going to need to do some research to find which consultants can be trusted, are reliable, and are going to be able to solve your businesses problems. However, remember that a consultant is a third party person who will only be able to help your business as much as you allow them to. They are not going to know anything about your business except what you tell them, so help them help you improve your business.

Hiring small business consulting can be a great way to improve your business, but should be considered a last resort. Take a good look at your business and ask yourself if you have done everything you can to make it successful; and, if all else fails, you know a consultant will be able to get the job done for you.

Expanding Small Business Financing Opportunities For Your Business

Small business financing is often the only way for some businesses to get the capital they need to open their doors, expand operations, or develop new services and products. However, the Great Recession created some significant hurdles for personal and business loan applicants who boasted less-than-perfect credit scores.

However, recent investigations suggest that banks are starting to open their doors to business owners in greater numbers. Although credit requirements remain above what they were before the recession, lending has indeed warmed up for many business owners. Where many businesses were just “treading water,” they’ve now entered an era of cautious and optimistic growth.

Another positive sign in small business financing is the improved cash flow in the nation’s major banks, which has led to increased lending activity and an overall reduction in average commercial loan rates. With the recession fading into the background of the economy, small businesses that have been waiting for an improved economy are finding that banks are willing to deal with businesses that might have had budget shortfalls a few years ago. Small businesses and fledgling companies that have been conservative in hiring and expansion efforts post-recession have finally become eligible for loans.

According to data compiled by the federal government, one of the major sources of small business financing today has been loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA). One of the reasons why looking at banks that provide loans that are guaranteed by the SBA is a savvy way of obtaining a business loan is because the government’s list of banks represents lenders who are already interested in making loans to small entities. Looking at these banks reduces the time a business owner might need to spend to find commercial lending opportunities. It’s also a good idea to locate a bank with loan officers who have prior experience with SBA loans.

However, getting business and commercial loans still requires a solid application. In small business financing, one of the most powerful features of a loan application is the business plan. Banks are much less likely to hand over a check if the business plan isn’t fleshed out, accurate, and professionally written. A business plan with typos or a lack of information on cash flow, budget, and fiscal projections won’t impress a loan officer. Some small business experts advocate hiring a business plan writer to ensure the final document is as professional as it can be when it’s sent to the bank.

The government has taken an interesting step in encouraging growth of small business by reducing the fees associated with SBA loans. Borrowers already enjoy SBA loan rates that tend to sit below traditional loan rates, but low fees on certain SBA loans may make these small business financing methods even more cost-effective than they were in the past. For example, loans under $150,000 no longer have fees and short-term loans guaranteed by the SBA also feature rates lower than many standard bank loans. This means that brand new start-ups or businesses that are nothing more than an idea in a garage are possible for new borrowers.

Small business loan applicants should remember that the interest rates on SBA loans aren’t set by the government, but are part of a negotiation between the bank and the applicant. However, there are maximum rates set in place so the interest on business and commercial loans will never exceed a certain amount. Since the bank has some leeway in setting an interest rate, it’s worth it for a small business owner to come to the table with a credit rating that’s as high as possible. Small business financing today isn’t a cakewalk, but getting a loan as a brand new business is possible in today’s lending environment.

Benefits of Local Business Directories

A Local Business directory is a website or printed listing of information, which lists about all businesses of every category. The businesses can be categorized by four things, which are:

  1. Business
  2. Location
  3. Size
  4. Activity

The details in a business directory vary from business to business. They may include business addresses, business name, telephone number, location, services that the business provide, service region, number of employees. In addition to premium options, complementary listings are also offered in these directories. Business directories have moved over the internet and away from printed form followed by a search faculty.

Now local business directories easily let people locate businesses in their area, thus it shows how famous and well known the directories have become over the years. Usually the directory can provide the listing of individuals and businesses that will offer a product that people are looking for in the area. The result of this will be that less time will be spend on the internet searching for the products and services.

The directory listings provide extraordinary benefits to the owners as well, especially when the listings are free of cost. A simple rule is to be followed which is the more exposure your business gets, the better it is. Method for a listing is very important as it the root to a successful business directory. There are three methods to build up a good online directory. They are

1. Getting indexed

Google, Bing and Yahoo are the leading search engines in today’s world. These pages are linked with each other through other search engines and they are known as indexed pages. These pages cannot be submitted because they are found automatically.

2. Preventing crawling

This is to avoid the undesirable content from the indexed pages; webmasters give instructions to the spiders not to crawl some files and directories because of the harmful content.

3. Increasing prominence

This is to increase the prominence of the webpage with certain search results.

In order to make full use of an online directory of business, the full business of the owner must be added up to the directory and by this it is meant leaving every detail in there. Links will be better off. Now if someone will click on the link they will automatically be in touch with you and the window will open to register them and for this a dedicated profile page will be much needed.

Contact details can be lost by the person thus they can be added in the online directory too. It’s important to make sure that your business is not struck in the Narrow market that means it is important to put the business online which will bring back more ravishing Chances and help your business grow because of its visibility now.

Local business directories help a lot in giving a new and improved name to Your business. They can increase the local and targeted audience on your website by improvising the quality. By putting the business on the net, visibility will increase. This will take the business to a new and better level.