Archives for January 2012

What Type of Business is “Right” for You?

Is there such a thing as “right” business for you? It is a fact that not everyone is suitable to become a small business owner. There are signs that tell you whether you will succeed in owning a small business. But once you know that you have what it takes to be a small business owner, can you take it one step further and figure out which type of business will be a good fit? I think the answer is YES.
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What Business are you Really in?

“What business are you in?” This is one of my favorite questions to ask when we meet with small business owners and entrepreneurs. On surface this appears to be a very simple question. If you are a pizza business owner, of course you are in the business of selling pizza or food. But, think about it in terms of what value are you bringing to your customers rather than what you are selling. Are your customers really craving for pizza or are they looking for the convenience of no cooking and pizza happens to be one of the choices? Are they ordering pizza to feed bunch of kids at a birthday party? Are they looking to satisfy their hunger after late night partying without having to drive to your store? As you can see, how you look at your business can have a significant impact on how you run your business. In fact, it can determine the success or failure of your business down the road.
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How do You know if your Business Idea will Succeed

Majority of small businesses fail in the first three years. As remarkable as this statistic is, it doesn’t stop number of aspiring entrepreneurs from pursuing their dream of owning a business. They think about their idea as the best thing since sliced bread was invented and are convinced that there is a huge untapped market out there that nobody as cracked. They have run their idea by close confidants and got their endorsement. Uncle Bob likes their product and Aunt Ann can’t wait to get her hand on it. There is only one problem. It is still an idea in your head!!!

So how do you go past this “pie in the sky” idea stage and make it a reality? Even more important, how do you know that this idea will succeed and will not leave you with agony and angst when it’s all over?
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What can Small Businesses Learn from Netflix Mistakes

If you have been following business news in the last few months you know that Netflix is going through rough times. Their loyal customers are cancelling accounts in droves and the stock price that was around $300 just 6 months ago is now hovering around $70, wiping out almost $10 Billion in market value. Ouch!!
So what happened? Well, everything that could go wrong did. On one hand, the business of movie rental is going through massive shift – from DVD to streaming video and the competition is increasing with large companies including Apple, Amazon and Google entering the market. On the other hand, Netflix picked wrong time to make changes to their business model and made big gaffes in communicating to their customers.
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7 Common Mistakes that Impact Cash Flow and How to Avoid Them

Cash flow is a lifeblood for small business. Fail to plan properly for the month-end cash flow needs and you will start losing your sleep when the time arrives to write paychecks for employees or to pay vendor bills. That’s why it is very important to keep a keen eye on money coming in and going out, and plan for those times when you will need sizeable cash outflow. Not only that, but you have to take into account unexpected emergencies that will force you to spend money here and now. In earlier post, we showed how managing your inventory, account payables and receivables can help you better manage your cash flow.
In addition to those tips, you should also look at the obvious as well as not-so-easy-to-find ways in which small business owners squander cash and end up in dire situations. Here are examples of the mistakes many small business owners make and how you can avoid them.
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