Monday, October 29, 2012

How to Reduce Postage in Your Amazon Business

One of the most overlooked areas to save money is on postage. Many Amazon Sellers believe that USPS Postage rates are non negotiable and represent a significant part of some product offerings. Any money you save on postage will mean direct dollars in your pocket. So let's take a look at some simple steps that an Amazon Seller can take to reduce their postage spending.

For shipper's that are mailing more than 500 packages per day in the US and / or over 50 packages per day. Internationally, you will soon see that using a Parcel Consolidator is a must. Both the United States Post Office and Parcel Consolidator's offer various rates for different sizes and weights of packages. It would be extremely prudent to review several service offerings before selecting one. For larger shipper's, it may become apparent that several service provider's may need to be used to maximize service to your customers while minimizing your postage spend.

Let's take a look at some simple step's you can take to reduce your postage spend TODAY:

Priority Flat Rate Boxes - This method is extremely advantageous for Sellers shipping very small but heavy items. For instance, Battery Sellers sending Lithium Batteries that are quite heavy but can fit inside of a flat rate box or envelope. Someone shipping a 2 pound package to California could save almost $5.50 per package using this method.

First Class Mail - This method is best suited for lightweight packages weighing less than 13 ounces. This service also provides free delivery confirmation. If your mailing items that weigh between 1 and 3 ounces this is the best and least expensive service to utilize.

1st Class International Mail - In 2013 the USPS has presented a recommendation to the Postal Regulatory Commission that they increase their rates significantly. The cost of mailing one 5 ounce CD to Canada will go up from $3.60 per item to $8.55 per item in 2013. Many Amazon Sellers currently enjoy some healthy sales from Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. This is one area that a Parcel Consolidator can assist. Using a Parcel Consolidator could bring your cost below the 2012 rates and should be a must for any SERIOUS Amazon Seller.

Priority Mail International - In 2013 the USPS has presented a recommendation to the Postal Regulatory Commission that they increase the rates significantly. The cost of mailing a 1 pound package to Canada will go up from $23.25 per item to $28.25 per item in 2013. Many Amazon Sellers currently enjoy some healthy sales from Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. This is one area that a Parcel Consolidator can assist. Using a Parcel Consolidator could bring your cost below the 2012 rates.

Another way to save on postage is to print your own postage from your computer. will automatically extend to you their Commercial Base Postage rates which they have access to. You will instantly have access to reduced postage rates from the ones quoted above. is easy to use and it allows you to batch process your orders. In addition, allows users to automatically check for address errors and will make the necessary corrections to ensure delivery.

Maximize Postal Savings using a Parcel Consolidators

In order for you to maximize your postal savings you will want to use a Parcel Consolidator. Parcel Consolidators work in conjunction with the USPS and eliminate the sorting and transportation traditionally performed by the USPS. A Parcel Consolidator will drop ship your material as far downstream into the USPS cycle, enabling them to do what they do best, deliver to your door. Most consolidators have tracking capabilities that allow customers to monitor shipments from time received in their operation until final delivery by the USPS.

The greatest Postage savings comes when Amazon Sellers are mailing items in the 14 oz to 16 oz weight bands. Parcel Consolidators have the ability to offer Postage Rates at ounce increments that are significantly less than Priority Mail. If you were able to save $1.00 per package how much additional revenue could you add to your bottom line?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Employing Flat Fee Recovery Techniques

There is a better way to collect the money owed to you other than contingency collections. Although contingency systems of recovery does have its place in the world of debt recovery recovering at a one time low rate upfront often is the best method because clients typically receive every penny of whats owed to them paid directly. This allows typically for several steps of the collection process to be made before entering into a more aggressive contingency process.

For those who have performed their research be certain that the total amount of your debt is greater than the amount being charged to commit a company to go forth and collect the money owed to you. Although sometimes it is understandable that the principle far exceed the cost you my incur through collections do not let emotions become involved in making a the smart choices necessary to recovery the funds owed to you. You're not likely to pay out $50.00 to submit a correspondence or simply involve a collection agency when you're only due $25.00 so try to find a low cost that makes since. Remember the fact that latest research state that most companies spend an average of $31.90 pursuing after past due debtors. So seek out a business that delivers what you need for less than that amount owed.

1. Does the agency employ registered or are they a legitimate collection corporation?
2. Do you get features to include solutions at increased cost?
3. Do you actually have the potential to advance the case even more into contingency?
4. Can you get the issue worked by legal representation?

Flat cost sets itself apart from contingency based debt collectors primarily due to the nature of the system. Flat payment is made up of you or your organization paying a low upfront fee to proceed with a third party collection firm dispatching a correspondence, posting to credit, and quite possibly making phone calls. This procedure is all done in the first thirty days, which is exactly where the highest chance of collections are present with 100 percent of the money retrieved being paid directly to you.

Having this 30 day grace time frame where all of the funds collected are paid to you right away is the most essential aspect of using a flat fee based collection agency. Right after your current thirty day period is finished you can choose to move into contingency collections, drop your case, or move forward with legal activity.

In summary you need to get started with a flat fee system that provides you the power of an authorized collection company with the return on your investment being all of the revenue owed to you or your business. It's a straightforward choice in your pursuit to obtain what's rightfully due to you.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Where to Find Scrap Metal

Where do I find scrap metal?

This is probably the hardest obstacle for anyone trying to break into the scrap metal industry. After all, no matter how much knowledge you have in your head, you don't get paid until there is metal on your truck. Well, today you're in luck because I'm going to disclose some of the methods I personally use.

It's Not Who You Are, It's Who You Know

What's true in most of life is true in the scrap metal business. The more people who know your name, the more metal you will get, period. One of the best ways to do this is to get some business cards made up. If you have a business name, great, but if not, you can still just make some cards with your name and a brief description of what you do and what you pick up. You can get them made up at a local store like FedEx/Kinko's or another local printing business, or you can also order them online from a site like Once those are made, start handing them out to everyone you can. Give one to anyone you talk to about metal, leave some at your local businesses like laundromats, just get them out there.


I mean this in the most literal sense. Every industry, and every person on the earth uses metal in one way or another. A few years ago, the hunt for metal was a bit easier. The scrap metal prices at the time were much lower, and as a result many automotive garages had trouble giving away their bulkier items like exhaust pipes or hoods and fenders. Today, however, prices on those metals are about 5x higher than they were, so while people may have not bothered to spend a couple hours cashing in $20 worth of metal, you can be certain those same people will gladly spend the time today and make a quick $100. I know I will.

Stop #1 - Your local automotive shops

So, garages can be a great place to begin searching for scrap metal since they generate scrap every week. Of course, this isn't a secret, so be prepared for some competition. In this business, money talks, and if you can offer to pay for some of the metal, you will have much more success. When I go to a garage, I usually pay for the more valuable items like rotors, non-ferrous metals like aluminum (radiators, transmissions, etc... ) and catalytic converters. One quick warning about converters, if you aren't familiar with the markets and grading of converters, do not buy them. There is good money to be made on converters, but It is very easy to lose money on them, and there is no way to easily tell the value of one. Weight and size are not indicators of a converter value. Even guys that have been doing this for years occasionally end up eating a $30 or $40 loss on a cat because they made a bad call.

When you get to a garage, go around back and mention to the first person (mechanic) you see that you're interested in buying metal, and they should be able to direct you to their supervisor or whoever is in charge. You will need to speak professionally and concisely. When the supervisor (or whoever you were directed to) hears the words, "scrap metal" you will most likely be immediately turned down. (If not, then great, you just landed your first client!) If this happens, just casually mention one item you wanted to buy and how much you're paying. For example, I might say something to the effect of, "Oh, okay, I was just asking because I'm paying a dollar a piece for rotors." I've seen this statement change a lot of minds, and most of my accounts were landed after someone told me no. However, if they are still not interested in your services, politely thank them for their time and take your leave. If they are on the fence just ask to leave a card with them. They may not ever call you, but then again they may, so it's worth dropping a card.

Rinse, Repeat

These are the general tactics you want to use anywhere. Watch for businesses that are closing down or ones that are just moving into a building. Be sure to check estate and yard sales for unwanted items, and be sure to ask if there's anything they're getting rid of that isn't up front for sale. This can lead to broken items like extension cords, lawnmowers, etc... Many people don't realize these items still have value and are glad just to be rid of them. Post an ad in the local paper and on Craigslist. Like I said before, the people who know your name, the better your business will be.

Really, you should just be checking everywhere. I've bought car batteries from my local dump, picked up chairs, desks, and computers from schools, removed stainless from an old Pizza Hut that was converted into a car dealer. I've removed water heaters from apartment complexes, home heating oil tanks (Make sure they're empty!), broken down equipment from farms, batteries from marine/rv repair shops, a variety of metal from my local private trash service, and the list goes on. When I say metal is everywhere, I mean literally everywhere. All you have to do is ask.

For those who scrap cars, one of the best ways to pick up unwanted cars is to drive around and keep an eye out for cars with expired/no license plates, flat tires, or are covered in snow or leaves. Many times, owners will just leave a car like that in their driveway because it's broken and they haven't taken the time to do anything with it or are unsure of exactly what they should do. If you show up at their door offering a solution and cash, you've got a good chance of getting the car. I'd say, about half of my cars come this way. Be sure to use the same tactics that I mentioned above. If you get the car, be sure to leave a couple cards with the owners so they can tell their friends.

Some people are nervous about answering the door for strangers, or you may just happen by while the owner is away. If this happens, just leave a card on the vehicle in question and write an offer on the back. As always use common sense and don't enter yards that are posted with No Trespassing signs or other deterrents.

The Bottom Line

The scrap metal business is all about networking. You won't succeed by sitting at home and wishing. Get some cards made, take some time to go out and find it. The best thing is that once you're known in your community, you won't have to search nearly as hard. I had a good 30 mile radius set up of contacts, and was at the point where metal would find me. I've actually given stuff away to friends in the business because I just didn't have enough time to go and pick it up. Start advertising today and you'll have a richer tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Moving Cleaning Business Owners Closer to Their Goals

Let's face it; you have no business doing stuff that's not directly related to your BIG goals.

For cleaning business owners this would be things like:

a. Cleaning your buildings (more on this later)
b. Picking up/dropping off supplies at your accounts
c. Going to the bank to make deposits
d. Balancing the business checking account

During your busy workday, remember to ask yourself, "Is what I am doing, this minute, moving me measurably closer to my goals?" (I have this on an index card next to my computer, to remind me often.) Just the simple act of asking yourself this question several times a day will dramatically increase your productivity.

If it's not moving you forward toward your goal, making you money or attracting clients, why are YOU doing it? Granted, it may be important, but a much better usage of your company's most precious resource (YOU) can be much more effective elsewhere. Drop it or delegate it now. (Please take a moment now to write that same question on a sticky note or index card and tape it to your own computer and phone.

So, let's examine the examples above one by one:

1. Cleaning buildings
This is an area where many cleaning business owners make a mistake (I know because I did the same thing for years). If you can hire a (good) employee to do this at $9.00- $12.00 per hour you should do so right away. I know, your first thought is "Nobody is going to do it as well as I would" and you're probably right. But does it need to be perfect or does it just need to be great? If you can get (or train) someone to do a great job at it, think of how much time that frees up for you. And, let's be frank. If you are doing something you could pay somebody $10 an hour to do it that means you're working for $10 an hour. Is that your goal?

Yes, when you first start your business, you may need to clean a few buildings. But as soon as you can, you need to get started hiring and training good employees to work alongside you-and then without you, so that you can be free to spend your time developing and pursuing the BIG vision that led you to start your company in the first place. You can always devote that extra time to marketing your business...

2. Running supplies
Again, this is a function that has to be performed to keep your cleaning business running. Someone needs to pick up your (or be on hand to receive deliveries from your distributor of) chemicals, supplies and equipment. But you can hire a delivery person for about the same amount as a cleaning person and this will also help you to become more efficient about grouping these activities together instead of spending time running around town because your cleaning staff forgot to order or pick up what they needed.

Train your staff to order once a week or twice a month. I used to have people pick up supplies when they came to the office on pay day for their checks. We'd provide a continental breakfast and sandwiches from the market and this encouraged people to come in. It also gave a 'celebratory' atmosphere to pay days that kept everybody in good spirits and made being responsible for their own supplies more of a carrot than a stick.

3. Going to the bank to make deposits
This activity has been made completely obsolete by new banking technologies. Encourage your clients to make ACH deposits directly into your account (saves them time, postage, and check stock). You can also use Intuit Quick Books (and many other small business accounting programs) to allow people to pay your bill electronically.

In a worst case scenario, if they still send you checks you can either use your bank's pre-addressed envelopes to make your deposits by mail or many banks (including Chase) now offer the ability for you to take a picture of the check on your smart phone and deposit that way. No more driving to the bank, Yay!

4. Balancing your business checking account
I cannot over emphasize the importance of balancing your check book every month, but it's worth every penny (usually $25-$75 per hour) to pay a bookkeeper or accountant to do this for you. Most of the time this will take about 30 minutes per month, so the cost is negligible. It needs to be done in a timely fashion to protect you against fraud, and is a must in keeping you up to date on your financial picture. But it's such a "not fun" job that most business owners put it off or don't do it at all (a mistake that can cost you big if someone has fraudulently accessed your account).

One thing to remember though: YOU should be the one to receive, open and review all bank (and credit card) statements (a 5 minute job at most). Don't ever stop opening your own mail (no matter how big you get). Reviewing it yourself protects you against a dishonest bookkeeper or worse. You've heard of "checks and balances" right? This is an area where you want to relinquish some control but don't give up complete control, ever.

Of all the things that are on your "To Do" list for today, what *3* things will you do before end of day to get closer to your BIG goals? These will be your priorities for today. Do this daily and you'll find yourself moving much faster towards the ideal business success and life you've been dreaming of.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Making It Easy to Get and Keep Clients

There are tons of examples of poor customer service, of clients leaving businesses. But what about those businesses who go above and beyond, those who practice Extreme Client Care? Who make us feel, if not cherished, then at least wanted? Or who make it super easy to do business with them?

Some recent examples and lessons we can learn/incorporate into our own businesses:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts-- my policy is up for renewal this month and not only did they send a simple-to-read-and-understand renewal package, when my account executive was on vacation during the time I needed to make changes someone else stepped in and made it super easy for me to do what I needed. When was the last time you heard good things about a health insurance company?

Lesson: Is your business set up to handle customer and client inquiries/requests/updates and make it super easy, dare-I-say-it even pleasurable, in the process?

The Home Shopping Network-- I have a "slight addiction" to watching HSN whenever Wolfgang Puck is on. I absolutely adore his cookware and when he's on HSN, he makes tons of things which spark ideas for different meals, etc. So, kudos to Puck for showing me how to use his cookware and how easy it is to quickly make great meals (When was the last time you taught your customers and clients how to use your products/services?) and then there's what HSN did (I only watch when Wolfgang's on so not sure when they implemented this)... you can now purchase straight from your television using your remote. No need to grab the phone and wait on hold or grab your phone/computer/tablet. They've made it super easy to impulse buy (I'll save the pros and cons of this for another article).

Lesson: There are two here:

    How can you make it super easy to do business with you and
    How can you teach your clients how to use your products and services?

And then there's Middlesex Savings Bank-- they have a great radio commercial about living and becoming involved locally and the mindset that many of us who live locally share. They call it "a shared point of view on local day-to-day life" and go one step further. Middlesex has created a "personality quiz" on their site so we can see if you're a good match for each other. Just knowing that makes you want to take the quiz and become part of their community.

Lesson: There are two here:

    How can you create a community around your business?
    How can you break out of the mold of your industry and do something innovative?

It's one thing to read this post and think "interesting". It's another to read it, jot down some quick answers to these questions and schedule a time to take action/delegate/discuss with your colleagues/mastermind group

Thursday, September 27, 2012

5 Myths About Business Insurance

The sad difficult-to-market truth about public liability insurance is that it doesn't really care about you as a person. Instead it works out where you are on a spreadsheet, how much you could cost the company and whether you're worth the risk. It's a form of gambling whereby if you lose, you sort of win, which is supposed to balance things out. Also, just like gambling, the house always wins and in this case it should win, because if it didn't, everyone would lose.

That is admittedly a tortured and awkward way of putting things, so now that I've successfully confused myself - let alone any of you reading this - into a neat little muddle, let's go through five popular myths regarding to business insurance.

1. I don't need insurance because I'm careful

It's an understandable logic, but it's not always up to you when you have an accident. Let's put the fact that everyone has off days to one side for the moment and consider that you cannot always control the factors that circle your life on a daily basis. A good analogy would be driving: it doesn't matter how careful a driver you are, there are millions of other people on the roads who really aren't and might be about to leap out of that turning too late for you to do anything about.

Being careful is a given. In fact, insurance is unlikely to cover you at all if you are reckless or have behaved stupidly, but being careful can only stop so many accidents. Business insurance is there to catch the rest.

2. I don't need employers' liability for temps or volunteers

This is just plain incorrect. The requirement for insurance is not triggered by you having a full time contract or paying an individual for their services.

If you think about why insurance is there in the first place, this does make sense. You are responsible for the well being of these people because they are doing what you tell them to do (or at least they should be). If they then have an accident or become ill due to something that you've done, they should be able to seek compensation for that. Whether the individual involved is paid or not, or is full time or not, really doesn't and shouldn't factor into the equation.

3. I'm not big enough to need insurance

This argument can cut both ways. If you're not that big, you probably can't afford not to have insurance as well. A single unfortunate accident could put out of business completely. If you're not a big company, then chances are that unless you do something extraordinarily risky, your premiums won't be that big either. What you pay is largely dependent on the size and scale of your operations. Equally if you do something that is so dangerous that you have such high premiums, you really can't afford to not have insurance anyway so you might just have to live with that expense. Additionally, if you're a small company, you could actually be personally liable for some claims and some of your personal assets could exposed depending on the nature of the liability, so it's even more important to check up on this.

4. I work from home therefore am covered by my home insurance

That might be something you want to check. Most home insurance policies won't cover a workplace, and if you work out of a spare room or from the kitchen table, you might find you've inadvertently turned part of your home into a commercial property.

Although you probably won't need anything like public liability insurance as it's unlikely that you'll be receiving a large number of visitors, some form of cover for important documents, equipment, or anything else that's critical to the running of your business might be something you need to look into.

5. If it was that important, it would be a legal requirement

I can understand the logic in this - after all car insurance is a legal requirement, as is employers' liability, so why not other forms of business cover like public liability insurance?

I'm not sure why it isn't a legal requirement, but even with this in mind, it would not reflect well on you as a company if you had reached a certain size or level of risk and hadn't taken it out without a very good reason.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sample Collection Letter Templates and Why They Do Not Work

Many businesses are attempting to recover funds owed to them by using a collection letter template. The hunt on Google for sample collection letters and templates has been on since the first bill that was sent out by anyone. Most searchers are finding needless results and sometimes coming up with collections gold by obtaining the Holy Grail, "a free collection letter template." Happy to have this secret weapon the person downloads and begins to make this letter their own. They then send it out to the person or company that owes them and wait patiently for the cash to roll in.

After waiting a month the creditor still sits empty handed wondering what has gone wrong? Why hasn't the collection letter worked? It should have! It was courteous and polite. It was well written. The template provided me space to even put a payment address and to format the amount owed in a way that should have persuaded the debtor to pay. But still you receive nothing in return.

Many a template copy of collection letter has fell on deft ears due to one simple fact; it was sent by the same person whom the payee has ignored in the past and will continue to ignore in the future. The reason these letter fail is not the senders fault. Its not because you aren't owed the money rightfully. They just aren't given the authority deserved by your debtor.

The solution!

A flat fee service is the perfect way to initiate an action that will include a third party but not retain percentage of the money owed to you. Paying a low flat fee upfront to have the power of a licensed collection agency put forth demand for payment increases the likelihood of collection ten times what a first party letter from you can do. If the person owing you cash was going to pay you they would have done so when the money was due another letter from you are not going to do the trick.

Debtors will not become motivated to pay simply from one more collection letter from the person or organization they owe money to. It is necessary at this point to bring in a third party who can escalate the nature of the debt to a governing body who can not only impact credit but advise and seek out legal alternatives to debt recovery for their clients.

These companies usually provide a grace period allowing for every dime collected to be paid direct to you. You also have the option once the initial dunning period is over to move forward with a more aggressive contingency based collection if that is necessary.

You have taken the first step in attempting the recovering of funds owed to you! Don't waste it by sending just one more letter! Implement a more successful strategy by using a flat fee service that will give you the strength of third party intervention while allowing you to save time and money not chasing deadbeats. Freeing up your to get back to what matters most, growing your business and assisting your current paying customers.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What Is a Business Success Coach?

A Business success coach and consulting is about making improvements and changes so that you and your business perform at a much higher level, continually growing. No matter what field you're in, the principles of coaching/consulting remain the same.

A Business success coach/consulting helps to get the most out of your time, resources and investments. Coaching/consulting is a collaborative, solution - focused, result - oriented and systematic process in which the coach/consultant facilitates the enhancement of work performance and life experience. The role of the business coach/consultant is to keep the owners and managers focused on clearly defined goals, challenging thinking, beliefs and assumptions, offering constructive feedback with action keeping you on a track to what is needed for success, one that has lasting value.

Success coaching/consulting helps owners of small and medium size companies with their sales, marketing, management, team building and so much more.

Most importantly just like a sporting coach, your business coach/consultant keeps you focused on your game plan, which is to get and keep your business operating at a Peak Performance Level generating success in each area.

Business Consulting and Coaching Is the fastest and one of the highest R.O.I. (return on investment) than any other tool or service, especially when you use a Peak Performance Consulting Firm that generates the majority of their fees on the back end... (On New Business Product or Services) structuring their working contract, becoming "vested" with the client. By using a Consulting Firm like this you are guaranteed results for the simple fact is the consulting/coaching firm must produce to get paid.

A sports coach will make you run more laps and make you worker harder than you would on your own, even when you don't feel like it. A sports coach will tell it like it is and they will listen.

Fortunately, a Business Coach does many of the same things, but in a way that is focused on creating a successful business.

The role of a Business Coach is to coach business owners to through guidance, support, accountability and encouragement.

Business Success Coaching helps owners of small and medium sized businesses with their sales, marketing, management, team building and so much more. Most importantly, just like a sporting coach, your Business Coach will make you focus on the game. The game is a serious one and what we have found out in our years of consulting and coaching that with the right tweaks and adjustments with a plan that has checks and balance we always see a vast improvement and we see it in several areas within the company creating a balanced environment and when you have this your bottom line is always effected in the positive way..

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Small Business Advice: So You Want to Have It All? DO THIS

There is a colossal difference between getting by and gettin' it done.

Getting by means playing it safe, sometimes even small.

Doing what's yours to do every day and no more.

Taking on projects and doing them half-assed. (And never doing any of them exceedingly well because there are too many on your plate or your heart just isn't in it.)

Hiding behind administrative tasks because it's easier than trying to sell something.

The problem is, when you just get by, you are essentially handing over your power and your outcomes to forces outside of your business.


It's common for people to hire me when they are tired of "just getting by." (And hey, they know when this is because they feel angry, irritated, or have this inner-knowing that they could be doing sooooooo much more.)

My clients feel this way because somewhere along the way they turned down the volume in their business in return for perceived security.

Or because they thought it was easier.

Or they stopped believing they could HAVE more.

Or frankly, they lost their mojo.

Unfortunately, when you just get by, you can't possibly win. Because in order to HAVE IT ALL, (money, time off, more help, freedom), you have to GIVE IT YOUR ALL.

Not for just one hour. Not for just one day.

Every single moment of every single day that you're the owner.

(No wonder people are tempted to throw in the towel and go to work for someone else!)

Getting' in done is a lot more work. But the reward is worth the effort and risk.

When you do what's yours to do in your business and then do even more... that's when things start to ROCK.

You suddenly sell more. You attract a high-level, kick-ass client.

You deliver a program that impacts people's lives in a memorable way.

Your confidence soars, producing more money, freedom, and impact. And then the cycle starts again.

Is it time for you to HAVE IT ALL? DO THIS:

Take Action. What's the very next step you can take in your business? Big. Small. Hard. Fun. Scary. Identify one thing you are willing to right now and DO IT. There's a great deal of freedom in taking action, it will boost your confidence and move your business forward in ways you didn't know were possible.

Let what FREAKS you LEAD you. There are times in your business you have to go all the way to the edge. And then decided whether or not you want to jump. Doing what makes you uncomfortable will create new opportunities, along with a new normal. Try doing one thing outside of your comfort zone every day for a week. See what happens.

Do it Anyway. I can't tell you how many times I get the full run-down of all the reason why someone can't do something. Reasons are excuses in drag. Do the work when you want to. When you don't. When you're sick. When you're soaring. No one said owning a business was easy... but the only way to win is to DO THE WORK.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Reputation Is All We Really Have

I was recently accused of an impropriety, that was false, but it got my blood to boil. It made me think why others might perceive me as dishonest or out of line in what I was doing. Then I tried to put it all in perspective and realized that in the final analysis, when we breath our last breath, when they stick us in the grave, that all we really leave behind is our reputation of being a "good" person or not. So for the record, I want to be known as a good, caring and honest person who helped others become better and helped lift them up in some way.

We hear of scandals on a daily basis, how a person of high standing did something to or with someone that was "inappropriate" or "misguided" or "off color". Whether or not it is true, the damage has been done and others may begin to mistrust the individual or may no longer hold this person in as high esteem as before. If the tale is true, then so be it, but if the tale is a falsehood, then it may become a tragedy.

In our political world and in the business world, opponents or competitors will at times stretch the truth or take a comment out of context, and use it to besmirch another's good name, product or reputation. I guess that tactic is as old as the world. Remember the serpent used it to incite Cane to kill his brother Able.

So here is my suggestion; if you think someone is dealing falsely with another, maybe it would be a good idea to do a little investigation to determine what is really going on before you publish a condemnation of the person. You could even go to the person directly and ask them if what you are seeing or hearing is correct. If you are the person whose reputation is being slandered, then maybe you can stand up and correct whatever is happening or out of line, or defend yourself if it is a falsehood.

The reality is that we all live in a world of imperfect people and we all make mistakes. We must be sure that we do our best to be totally "above board" and act as honestly as we can. Don't even go close to the edge of right or wrong, stay away from that ground so there is no misunderstanding.

If we behave ourselves in a manner that is always appropriate, then we will develop a reputation of being a good honest person. Clients and customers will know this and will be more apt to do business with us. When the obituary is read at our memorial service, let's all hope that the person giving the obit will have nothing but good to say and that the listeners will agree. Good luck.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Six Signs of a Healthy Business Partnership

On my flight down to San Francisco this past weekend, I was reading an interesting article all about how most married couples could not fathom the concept of working together day in and day out. As I read it I had to chuckle as my husband and I have successfully ran a business together every day for the past ten years and have grown closer and have been able to build a stronger business because of our partnership.

Although we are married there are certain principles we follow that have helped us to shape a strong, productive professional partnership that hasn't broken down despite the immense amount of challenges we have faced. These six signs of great partnerships have become very apparent to me over the past few years and I hope they help you become a better partner to your partner (whether spouse or otherwise).

    They trust each other: When Dan makes a plan, I trust that he has my best interests at heart and that he has the capacity to do a great job inside his role without my interference. I don't second-guess his choices nor question every move that he makes.

    The respect each other: I don't tell him how to do his job (unless I can share some helpful input) and he doesn't tell me how to do my job. I verbally honor him in front of our colleagues and regularly express my gratitude to him for what he brings to the partnership.

    They give each other the freedom to mess up: Neither of us is perfect and both of us have made some big mistakes in the history of running our business but we are committed to letting the mistakes stay in the past and to not let them interfere with the organization's future. We don't blame, judge or criticize but work together to pick up the pieces and move forward.

    They play to their strengths. I don't try to do his job and he doesn't try to do mine. We give each other lots of space and don't attempt to manage each other. I accept who he is and the limitations he has as a leader and he does the same for me. We meet in the middle and work as a unit instead of looking at it like a who-is-the-best contest.

    They are honest with each other: Because we trust each other, we can be honest with each other when it comes to making difficult decisions. We share our doubts, fears and apprehensions with each other and don't worry about looking weak. The communication is open and we both accept that sometimes we may see things differently and have the permission to talk about it.

    They both are willing to "take one for the team": When something needs to be done that neither want to do, both are willing to do it if it is necessary. One doesn't push the dirty work to the other without being willing to do his/her fair share of work that sucks also. They strive to keep a balance and make sure that one person isn't having all the fun while the other handles all the mess.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Production Has An Effect On Price Of Rice In Pakistan

Rice is produced by monocot seed and it is a staple food of South Asia. Most of the people from this area rely on this crop because 30% world's population meets the demand from this. The prices of Rice are different according to geographical area and this is caused by the fluctuation of currency rates in the world. The price of Rice in Pakistan also modifies with the passage of time and technology. The last monthly sales in October were made $584.74 per metric ton. Pakistan is the best country with respect to their natural resources, fertility of lands, and environment. It is very important for any country that if they want to grow more crops then it must have fertile land and availability of resources.

So Pakistan is one of the main country which has fertile land and that's why it produces enough quantity of Rice that is used for domestic purpose and rest for exports. It has 4th in number all over the world which grows best quality of Basmati. It is a cash crop after the wheat and cotton in the country. It is an annual crop which is produced in a plenty of water. In a last few decades, the association in Pakistan focuses on the promotion of the exports of rice and also tries its level best to meet the demand of a country.

There are different categories which are grown in the country and the names are; Super Basmati, Basmati Pk-385, Irri-6, and Irri-9 etc. The first two Basmati are well known all over the world due to their flavor and quality. It is labor intensive crop which required a liberal water to grow. In Pakistan, the prices have not same all over the year, it depends on the production of crop. If there is a dilemma in the supply of water and electricity, the quantity of crop declines sharply mean while there is a shortage of rice and the demand is increased. So there must be stability in the production of rice and then price will remain same.

If we look on the statistics, it shows that in April 2008, Pakistan has greatest exports $647.04 of last 5 consecutive years. Now a day the comparison shows that the sales of the Rice declines. Last year the price drops nearly 3 to 6 % due to the decrease in demand of foreign countries. There is also a huge stock available in the local market. When the condition of the environment and electricity better then the price is encouraging in the right of customer and sometimes there is an excess quantity which exports to earn a profit. Instead all of these, the people of Pakistan afford normal price against good quality of Rice.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Startup Enterprise Ideas - Concerns To Consult Just Before Launching A Business

Nowadays, due to the heavy workload prevailing in different industries and due to several other reasons like becoming their own boss are making people to search for startup business ideas. When a person decides to quit his job and start his own firm, he will have to ask several questions himself to decide whether he will be in a position to shine in his business in the current competitive market. Here are some the questions to find answer for before beginning a firm:

How is the product or business different from that of competitors? As most of us know, some of the buyers would have already been using a particular product under a particular brand name and most of them do not opt for trying out the product under a different brand name. For instance, if an individual decides to manufacture toothpaste, most of the people would have already been using a particular brand of toothpaste and they continuously purchase the same branded toothpaste and they hesitate to go for a new brand due to fear about mouth wellness. In such a situation, the new businessman will have to create a good impression among the consumers about his product by way of advertisement techniques and he will have to clearly explain through his ads as to how his product will be different from that of the product of his competitors.

Is there good demand for the product? Before introducing any business or product, it is essential that the individual will have to conduct a thorough market research to decide whether there will be sustainable and sufficient demand for his product or service in such a way that his business can thrive.

What is the business model? Different manufacturers engaged in the manufacture of similar type of products will have their own model and when it comes to starting up a new business, it is essential to plan about the business model (i.e.) the new entrepreneur will have to decide on the charge to be fixed for the product and he will also think whether there will be opportunities for earning additional income as compared to what he has invested in the manufacture of the product. The viability of the business model should also be analyzed and this could be done with the help of doing thorough market research about the model followed by competitors.

Once he has decided on the cost of the product, he will have to judge whether the cost is reasonable and is close to that of the product cost of his competitors. With the help of the above-mentioned startup business ideas, future entrepreneurs can create a good business organization.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Time Management for the Owners of Small Businesses

The owners of small businesses often perform the job roles of a number of employees in addition to managing the business. Many feel that the perfect day would have an hour or two extra to complete those tasks they never seem to have time for during the course of the day. Some start working six or seven days a week, becoming tired and running the risk of burnout. Effective time management can add that hour or two to your day. Implement the tips below to use your time as best you can.

Use a Diary

Using a diary allows you to see what needs to be done on particular days. While some still prefer using a pen and paper system, electronic diaries allow you to set reminders for recurring tasks and appointments. Diaries can be synchronised between your mobile phone, office PC, laptop, and various other electronic devices. Instead of realising that you have a meeting on the opposite side of town five minutes before it is due to start, set a reminder to call your attention to the meeting an hour before you have to be there.

Make a To-Do List

Making a to-do list allows you to plan your day properly. Be realistic about what you can achieve in a single day and do not make the list too long. Try to keep it to eight to ten tasks, but keep in mind that some things are more time-consuming than others. Effective planning and strategising are core business fundementals and this also applies to day-to-day activities. Integrate your to-do list with your diary. In other words, a day with three meetings should not have a long list of additional tasks. Travelling time and the expected duration of the meetings should be taken into account at the planning stage.

Prioritise Your Work Load

Prioritising your workload allows you to complete the most important tasks of the day first. Number the tasks, with number one being the most important. Aim to always complete numbers one to three. Days do not always run according to plan and knowing that the three most significant things you had planned were done will make you rest easier. Prioritising your workload cuts down on time spending procrastianting, allows you to identify unnecessary jobs, and aids you in identifying and delegating jobs you can assign to other employees.

Learn to Delegate

Effective delegation is one of the keys to successful time management. It frees you to get on with more important tasks (such as numbers one to three on your to-do list), allows you to improve communication within the business, and aid in the personal development of your staff. Business owners often feel the need to do most of the work themselves, but staff are there to assist them and should be trusted to do so. This increases their feeling of worth, shows that you have confidence in their abilities, and allows them to learn more about the business. Give clear instruction and be sure to follow up for the best results.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Attracting Clients Is Easy As ABC

There is it - you just made the decision to leverage your business into the one-to-many conversation by offering a workshop. You start promoting it three months ahead of time and are thrilled at the possibility of working with so many more people in your area of genius.

So, you prepare all of the materials for your workshop and put a lot of effort in getting your program down cold. You're sure that the 1,000 postcards you sent out will result in phone calls from people. As the date gets closer, panic sets in and you're frustrated because you're not getting calls. All of that time, effort and money, and nobody registers.

You thought you did everything to fill your workshop. You sent over 1,000 postcards to a targeted audience with a compelling picture on the front that gets their attention. You identified the workshop specifics, including the takeaways of the workshop on the back of your post card.

Then, comes the call to action. You put your address and phone number. However, you have left no other way for your prospect to get to know you. So unless your prospect, who has never met you before, has an urgent need, that postcard likely will find its way in the garbage.

So many business owners miss the mark in cultivating the relationship (and in combining their online and offline marketing strategies.) Even though you send out what seems to be a perfectly-timed direct mail piece, don't forget the underlying concept of sales and marketing: people do business with people they know, like and trust.

The solution to attracting clients, can be as simple as ABC - Always Be Cultivating. The post card missed out by not giving a way to connect further to nurture the relationship and build trust. The reality is many people may need to get to know you first before registering for your workshop.

Try this tried-and-true process instead:

1. On the postcard, invite them to your website where you have a free gift waiting from them. It could be an eBook, audio, or white paper. Remember to describe the outcomes they will get from your gift. In order to receive the gift, they would simply need to opt-in with their name and email. Once they download that eBook, you will have their email so that you can develop the relationship further.

2. Prior to your workshop, invite them to a free teleseminar. As they achieve small wins along the way, they will see the value in working with you. They will also have a better idea on the transformation they will experience by attending your upcoming workshop.

3. Continue to engage your prospects by connecting through social media, too.

With a carefully planned marketing mix and thought-out sales process, you will find that you convert more prospects into invested clients. When you take into consideration the entire process, filling your practice and your workshops is easy as ABC.