Archives for August 2011

Five Step Action Plan to Remove Trouble Spots in your Business

In an ideal world your small business should operate like a well-oiled machine without encountering hiccups. However, as we all know, this is not the case in real world. Problems could and do arise from time to time. We are not talking about transient problems that can be fixed easily and quickly. We are talking about structural changes that occur very slowly and can go unnoticed for a long time. These are the problems that can do a great harm and eventually put you out of business.
To avoid this unfortunate fate we recommend you implement a three-step process. (1) Implement systems to provide you with warning signs about potential issues. (2) Interpret the warning signs to find trouble spots in your business. (3) Take appropriate actions to remove trouble spots.
We talked about the warning signs earlier. In the later post we showed how to interpret these warning signs This post will focus on what actions you can take for each type of the warning sign so that you can take care of the trouble spots and get your business on the right track again.
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Find Trouble Spots in your Business from Warning Signs

In the previous post we looked at 5 warning signs that tell you if your business is headed for trouble. These signs serve as early warning system that can help you identify and remediate problems before they become too serious.
Looking for a warning sign is just the first step in fixing things and making them better. Once you have received the red sign you need to interpret it, find the underlying causes and correct them – all before your business reaches the point of no return and forces you to close it or sell at a loss. It helps to have a business degree online to get a better understanding of these warning signs.
In general, you will find two types of problems that would cause the businesses to sputter. The first has to do with general market and economic conditions, which you may not have much control over. The second type of problems has to do with your specific business. These issues are the result of how you run your business and are totally under your control. As a business owner your goal should be to uncover issues specific to your business as quickly as possible and take appropriate actions to correct them now rather than waiting till the last minute.
In this post we will show you what could be the underlying causes for the 5 warning signs mentioned in the previous post. The next post will focus on actions you can take to correct them.
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5 Warning Signs that Tell you if your Business is Headed for Trouble

I didn’t know we were in such a bad shape! How could this happen?” How many times have you heard this from a small business owner whose business is shutting down? For small business owners it is imperative to stay on top of the business like a hawk. Otherwise it is not surprising to wake up one day and find that you are not able to pay your employees or make interest payment to the bank.
We mentioned in earlier post that you have to be able to tell how your business is doing even when someone asks you in the middle of the night. We suggested that you identify key parameters for your business and look at daily, weekly and monthly reports.
We have been asked by number of small business owners if there are simple warning signs that can tell them if the business is headed for trouble – something akin to early warning system. In response, we have come up with 5 metrics that can tell you exactly that. By keeping a keen eye on these metrics you can detect potential problems well in advance and take appropriate actions to correct the path.
Here are those 5 metrics along with explanation of how to calculate them:
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15 Simple Cost Reduction Techniques for Small Business Owners

In the previous post we showed a systematic approach you can use to reduce cost in small business while still keeping your foundation intact allowing you to take advantage of the upturn in economy when it happens. We suggested that you should take surgical knife approach to cost reduction as opposed to using machete.
By applying this approach your business may come up with tactics that will be different from some other type of business. You have to tailor the systematic approach to your business and situation. However, there are common tactics that can be employed by almost all types of businesses. Below we describe those techniques categorized by stages in the cost reduction approach.
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A Systematic Approach to Cost Reduction for Small Business Owners

A penny saved is a penny earned. This age-old saying is relevant to small business owners now more than ever. The great recession of 2008 has squeezed consumers and businesses alike and continues to do so. They are reluctant to spend their hard-earned money on anything but basic necessity. This has made direct impact on the revenue, particularly for small businesses.
Given that there is less money coming in, the obvious step small business owners need to take is to watch the money outlay. Only those who can reduce their expenses to a sustainable level will be able to survive the ongoing economic challenges.
Now, it may be tempting to take a machete and start cutting your expenses; however instead of going about this willy-nilly you should try to use surgical knife and make systematic cuts that will keep your foundation intact and help you take advantage of the upturn when it happens. We have come up with a systematic approach to looking at your expenses that will help you find “low hanging fruits” for expense reduction without impacting your operations and customer service. You should study and deploy these steps in the order described to minimize the damage, while still achieving your expense reduction targets.
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How to Handle Rejections while Running Small Business

If you are running small business, chances are you have heard “No” more often than “Yes”. I will be surprised if you have not heard “No” at least one a day. It could come from anyone you are interacting with. Your bank might say “No” to your loan applications. Ninety percent of your prospective customers will say “No” to your sales pitch. Your landlord will say “No” to your request to reduce the rent. The list goes on and on.
It’s not how many times you hear “Yes” that determines your success in small business. It’s how you handle those “No” answers and what you do afterward that makes a successful small business owner. Most of the successful people – small business owners or otherwise – have heard “No” multiple times before they have finally achieved their dreams. Here is a list of 13 well-known business leaders who failed before they succeeded.
So how should you handle “No” to ensure that future questions and requests will result in “Yes”? Here are some suggestions:
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10 Signs You will Fail as Small Business Owner

Not everyone has what it takes to be small business owner. Many people jump into small business without giving much thought to what is required to succeed. There are number of myths out there about small business that influence their decision about getting into small business.
Before you commit your time, money and effort to you own small business it helps to look for signs that show whether or not you will succeed as small business owner In addition, you should also look for signs that show that you may fail as small business owner. Below we have listed 10 of them. Examine yourself and see if you show any of these signs.
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