Why Embracing KISS Principle Leads to Happiness


KISS -Keep It Simple Stupid.
Many small business owners like to take the road less simple. If a task takes 2 steps to finish they will manage to stretch it to 10 steps. They are wired to think complex. We have pondered on the question for some time – when you are running a small business should you opt for a simple operation or a complex one?
You can see the examples of simple and complex operations in franchises as well. On one hand you have a pizza franchise such as Little Caesar’s – home of $5 Pepperoni Pizza with no delivery. On other side there is Pizza Hut with large number menu items and toppings and it not only has carry out; but also delivery and dine-in. Which one is easier operation to run?
There are number of reasons why you should try to keep things as simple as possible.
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Improve your Sales with Up Selling


“Would you like fries with that?” – We have all heard this while ordering burger at a fast food place. How many times have you answered it with – “sure”? Well, this is the power of up selling. In its simplest form, it is just a matter of asking customers if they want to add more items to their order. In a more subtle form, it could be something like placing a complementary item to the one that you intend to purchase in a grocery store and enticing you to buy it.
If you are not taking advantage of up selling and cross selling opportunity in your business you are probably losing 20-30% of potential sales. Some companies have really mastered the techniques of up selling by making customers buy additional items at a high price. For example, Ford has increased the average selling price of its cars by making customers want and pay for the extra options in their basic cars. When Apple introduced its next generation of iPad on March 3 it also showed a screen cover that will be sold for $39 for basic model and $69 for leather version. Can you imagine what their profit margin is on these items?
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Demonstrate Confidence in Negotiations to Get an Edge


Post from Guest Contributor Chris Blanton, editor of Ingenious Business Guide.
Many business owners leave money on the table by reacting to pricing pressure by haggling or discounting.
Seasoned deal makers assert in a negotiation that the first person to name a figure loses. Information has value, and the one who possesses more of it is better positioned to come out ahead in a transaction. When one party is ignorant of their opponent’s expectations, the best strategy is to get the other party to name a starting price.
When, as in retail sales, the seller publishes the price, buyers are forearmed with the seller’s expectation but the seller is not similarly equipped with the buyers’. Thus a seller who exhibits price flexibility puts herself at a disadvantage because she better arms her buyer.
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How to make more money while giving customer discount


Post from Guest Contributor Chris Blanton, editor of Ingenious Business Guide.
Here is the situation. A loyal customer walks into your business and gets whatever he wants. While paying the bill he asks for a discount. So what do you do? Do you: 1) give in and feel uncomfortable; or 2) refuse and risk losing a client.
The other day I was at the service station D & S Auto in Santa Paula, California where I took my car in for an oil change. When Denny, the owner accepted my payment I inquired “Are you running any specials?” He admitted he wasn’t. So I pushed him: “Can I get a discount?” He looked down at the floor, obviously uncomfortable, and then caved agreeing to knock $5 or 8% off the normally $40 job.
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How to Lower Fixed Cost to Achieve Financial Flexibility


We mentioned in the previous post that in this times of economic uncertainty your business needs to have flexibility to respond to changing market conditions. One of the ways you can do this is by converting as much of your fixed costs to variable as possible.
The reason for converting fixed cost to variable is simple – fixed costs don’t change with sales or production; while you can control variable costs in response to change in sales. Monthly rent you pay for the building is an example of fixed cost; whereas the amount you pay to buy raw material to make final product (commonly known as Cost of Goods Sold) is an example of a variable cost.
High fixed cost can hurt you in difficult economic times, such as now, and can even drive you out of business. This is what happened to many of the businesses that simply could not cover fixed cost with the sales plummeting. There are several ways in which you can convert fixed costs to variable. Below we have highlighted them.
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How to Survive Economic downturn by Being Flexible


The difficult economic environment in the last couple of years has forced many businesses to close their doors and ruined the dreams of many people. While it has affected almost all businesses, it has particularly hit hard to those who were not flexible.
While it may be too late for some businesses to do anything about it now, if you are one of those who have survived or are just starting now is the time to think about how you should prepare and respond to the downturn that refuses to go out.
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How to Increase Prices without Upsetting Customers


Post from Guest Contributor Chris Blanton, editor of Ingenious Business Guide.
If you’ve ever worked at a business when it raised its prices, you probably endured grumbles from customers. Justifying the increase becomes so exhausting that many merchants take the path of least resistance and just absorb increased costs. But what if you could raise prices and avoid the grumbles?
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How to Earn Additional Profit from Every Sale


Guest Contributor Chris Blanton is a former serial entrepreneur and business
advisor. He is currently editor of Ingenious Business Guide, a collection of proven practical techniques to ignite business growth and profitability. He can be reached by email and tweets under the handle @cmblanton. His guests posts appear here each Sunday.

Do you know that every company loses potential profit on every sale? It’s true. You could be earning much more income than you are now. The key is to reduce your price flexibility.
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How to Save on Credit Card Processing Fees


A while ago we wrote about how most small businesses are overpaying for credit card processing. In our conversations with number of small business owners we have not come across a single owner who does not hate credit card processing companies for the exorbitant amount of money they charge. In this article we showed several techniques that can help you save money. Many of our readers have found it helpful.
We have recently come across a web site – TransFS that makes it easy to compare rates from various credit card processors. Not only that, but they go one step further and bring you quotes from various credit card merchants by auctioning your business to them. Here is how it works…
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How do you deal with “bad” customers?


All businesses have “good” customers and “bad” customers. We like to call “bad” customers the “undesirable” customers. You don’t mind losing them because they do not contribute much to your bottom line. In fact, they usually drain too much time, energy and money from you and your business either directly or indirectly. We showed how you can identify these “undesirable” customers in the previous post here.
As a business owner you do have a choice as to who you want as a customer. However, you don’t want to be seen as rude when dealing with these customers, even though at times you may feel compelled to do so. You have to figure out a subtle approach that gets the job done, while at the same time doesn’t appear rude.
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