Business Ideas- Anything to do @ Weddings!

Hey Ladies and Gentleman,  Wedding Business

If you haven’t thought about it before, take some time and do some research in the wedding industry. For decades, it’s been a billion dollar industry.  Times are changing, band things are only getting better!

Whether it is photography, music and sound, dancing, planning, or venues, there is much opportunity for the creative and romantic. From food trucks to cupcakes and fresh garden flowers to crape paper DIY’s, wedding businesses are exploding.

The great thing for start-ups is that weddings are no longer super-pricey and over the top. Brides are interested in more realistic, simple events. For the wedding business owner, this is a dream come true. No more high-priced inventory, or one-time use items.

 

Are you Ready for Some Football?

Shout out to all the female participants in Women’s football! WFA championship

This weekend is the Women’s Football Alliance Championship Weekend. July 21-22, 2017 the WFA is having their 2017 Division I, II, and III final showdown in Pennsylvania.

To those that don’t know, women’s football has been in existence for well over 40 years. Today, women’s football is still run with a grass roots approach. Teams work in their local area to promote the sport and gain local sponsorship. If you can’t make it to the Championship, be sure to check out a game. With over 50 teams throughout the U.S., there is bound to be a team in your area!

How to Make the Most of Your Workday?

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I thought I would take the time to answer a question I was asked earlier in the week. I’m guessing that most business owners would have their own way of answering this.

Throughout the years, I have incorporated different methods and strategies to try and get more out of my workday. As a long-time business owner and parent, it has always been essential to make the most of every workday to maintain a high level of productivity. With multiple responsibilities (personal and business related) it is imperative to come up with your own strategies to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to productive workday time!

The best tip I have -that took me a long time to learn- is to STOP multitasking. As a parent, I was a huger proponent of multitasking. Now when it comes to getting the dishwasher going while the dryer is drying a load of laundry and the Roomba is vacuuming the den, that is perfectly find. I promote any use of technology that saves you time and money! However, when it comes to focused, effective use of your own brainpower, multitasking is a scam. Several studies have come out to show that multitasking is much less effective than once thought. Law school really brought this one into reality for me. I found that 30 minutes in a quiet room would allow me to really focus on the material or task at hand and really allowed me to comprehend things and make decisions quicker.

The #1 system or process I use to promote productivity is time blocking. Again, studies have shown that transitioning between tasks or ideas, bogs down the mind and creating downtime and wasted minutes in moving from one thing to the other. I schedule 1-2 hour time blocks that I devote to specific topics. Unfortunately, emergencies or interruptions may occur. This is normal, but time blocking allows you to get back on task quickly with limited time wasted.

My favorite new piece of new technology for productivity is audio typing. As you read this, you may be one of the individuals that have been doing this for years, but I just happened upon this a few months ago. The basic premise is that you speak much faster than you type. So, if you are in a business or occupation that requires a lot of document preparation (Lawyer, bloggers, writer, etc.) you can actually audio type almost three times faster than regular typing. Most smart phones and current computers have the technology already built in. You probably don’t need any additional microphone or other device to start audio typing today. Several authors shared that audio typing has allowed them to write books in weeks.

These are just three things I do to make the most of my workday.

Hard-selling is Hurting Your Business

 

As I was finishing up social media and closing for the day, I took a moment to check my e-mail. A well-known business consultant was posting a plea for people to STOP Hard-selling.                                       salesman

Hard-selling happens to be one of my pet-peeves. I was sure that I had written about it before because I despise it so much. After looking, I had never written anything about hard-selling-what it is, why not to, what a better alternative is.

We all have fallen victim to hard-selling tactics. The picture that usually comes to mind is a used car salesman (please note, I have a couple great friends that are used car sales persons, that don’t do this), another may be a store at the mall that wants you to come inside ad try a product. Another example, if you’ve ever been to Las Vegas, is the salespeople that ask if you are going to be staying for another night. They offer you a FREE night at a super, deluxe villa. It’s their sales ploy to get you in their building and sell you something.

It’s somewhat harassing and embarrassing for the person being sold to. I can’t imagine how it feels to depend on this approach to sell your product or service.

I won’t get too much into the psychology of it, but this approach is usually used by individuals promoting a product or services they don’t necessarily believe in or understand.

As a business owner, it is your number one job to know your product, know how it benefits others, and believe in your product. Years ago, there were telephone solicitors that would call up and ask you to change telephone service providers from AT&T to MCI to Sprint. (If you remember MCI, I’m pretty impressed). The salesperson would tout all the savings and added benefits and people would switch service providers. Stockbrokers would cold call people out of the phonebook- and people would buy!

People actually sent $5000 or $10,000 to a stockbroker to buy stock in XYZ as a result of one call from a stranger.

hello friendTimes have changed, folks. Not only have people been scammed, they are less trustworthy, and they are smarter. A great business man told me recently, it’s not that so many businesses are bad, they are failing because so many businesses are good.

For generations, businesses could continue to run even with bad customer service, poor products, and shoddy work. Today, people are smarter and more businesses are better at what they do that in the past. The market is more competitive, so you can’t simply cold call and make a sale. You must show someone who you are, why they need your product, and why they should buy from you.

As people get smarter, they can see through the sales-y pitch you are feeding them. People do not want to be sold. They don’t want to waste their time or money. If they get the impression that you have sold them or want to sell them something they don’t feel a need for now. They are not going to buy.

That doesn’t mean that they won’t need it later. But if you waste that opportunity by trying to sell them when they aren’t interested, they will never want to buy from you even if they do find a need for it in the future. So, slow down on the hard sale, and give people time to decide if they want your product, if it has value to them, and if they want to buy it from you!

20 Ways to Save on Expenses for Business Owners

  1. Use natural sunlight to light the office. Work in an area of the office that gets great light and save on utilities.
  2. Print two-sided, or four to a page. Printing two-sided doesn’t help on ink costs, but saves on paper costs. If it is necessary to print drafts, print two pages per side and look at four for the price two before doing a final print. lightbulb
  3.  Streamline staffing levels to balance pay and overtime. Ideally, you want just enough employees to manage the work you have on any given day. Cross train individuals to soak up slack in a different department, or outsource simple tasks during peak times so you can use your human resources productively.
  4. Unplug or set timers. Research which appliances, equipment, and utilities that can be set on a timer or unplugged during downtime.
  5. Offer internships. Hire college interns and students in exchange for college credit or job experience. Many colleges offer programs to area business owners. These programs offer practical experience to students.
  6. Go for Cloud technology. Today, many industries provide various services using Cloud-based technology. From accounting to legal case management, businesses no longer have high costs associated with hardware and software requirements. They simply log into web-based services for a fraction of the cost.
  7. Search for inexpensive web hosting. If you’ve had your website for a while, you may want to check into reducing your Internet and website service costs. Many companies have had to reduce prices due to the amount of competition in the marketplace.
  8. Find an inexpensive business phone service. Look for alternative telephone options. If your business requires a PBX system, try Virtual PBX or similar options. No hardware of software required, so the costs are much less than regular PBX systems.
  9. Switch from a merchant account to an online payment. Still using the credit card machine to swipe customer credit cards. Look into Internet-based payment solutions. You may be able to save lots of money in monthly fees, and per transaction costs.
  10. Hire a freelancer. No need for an employee unless you have an ongoing, long-term need.
  11. Reduce advertising costs. Market your business online is much cheaper today. Use social media rather than a local billboard to connect with potential customers.
  12. Explore alternative business locations. Evaluate whether you really need the space you are paying for. Entertain the idea of a smaller building, or different warehouse setup to reduce the space you need. Changing locations or using your space more efficiently can result in serious savings.
  13. Keep the windows open.Cut the cost of air conditioning and heating during seasons that allow you to have the windows open.
  14. Lighten up. Paint walls a lighter shade and reduce the amount of light you need on all day.
  15. Control the unnecessary expenses. Determine whether an expense is a need or a want.
  16. Do the business online.Cut undo expenses by video conferencing, online billing, or Internet-based ordering.
  17. Share a printer among departments. Cut down on multiple printers, ink, and paper supply costs by streamlining with one printer.
  18. Hire part-time employees. Offer part-time positions. You cut costs on employee benefits.
  19. Go Paperless. This may be better to do progressively. Reduce paper waste right away, then look at areas where processes can be changed to reduce paper usage by 50%. Then, strategize to find other ways to minimize paper usage. Some businesses simply cannot go without paper, but avoiding waste and reducing usage can amount to a great savings!
  20. Stop using snail mail. Postage costs have skyrocketed in recent years. Communicating through e-mail eliminates most postage needs. Set up auto-pay on bills and there is virtually no need to send anything via old-fashioned post.

10 Great Super Small Businesses for Planners

  1. Farmer’s Market. Pick a locale and invite area growers, and ranchers to set up a booth.
  2. Local Food Festival. Bring local restaurants and caterers to showcase their foods for the community. Picture4
  3. Arts and Crafts Show. Invite area craft makers and artisans to set up a table and display their products.
  4. Bridal Show. Provide one locations or all the caterers, florists, DJ’s, and wedding cake providers to show potential brides what they have to offer.
  5. Office Party Planner. Connect with local businesses that wish to celebrate an upcoming event or season.
  6. Children’s Birthday Planner. Provide new and creative ideas to parents to help celebrate their children’s special day.
  7. High School Reunions. Coordinate family and high school reunions by reaching out to long lost schoolmates. Plan a event-filled weekend for participants.
  8. Flea Market Organizer. Provide an area for an outdoor garage sale. Rent booth space for days or weekends.
  9. Wedding Planner. Coordinate the wedding experience for brides by taking the stress and confusion out of the various elements one must prepare for the wedding.
  10. Travel Consultant. Pick a theme, type of client, or location and specialize in providing low-stress accommodations to travelers.

 

10 Great Businesses To Start In The Spring

  1. Children’s Activities Coordinator- So many kids sitting around for the entire summer. Promote good health and physical fitness by providing creative games in the park or in the backyard for neighborhood children.ozarks
  2. Hiking Guide- Know the area like the back of your hand? Guide others on a great adventure using the River Valley’s great trails, parks, and mountains.
  3. Garage Sale Manager- Help people that are too busy but have stuff to sell. Host garage sales for a percentage of the profit.
  4. Area Handyman- Pretty good at fixing things? Provide painting, moving, and fix-it services around town
  5. Pooper Scooper-Busy people don’t have time to clean up after the dog… $8-12 for a small backyard could add up to some serious money! IMG_0316
  6. Child Care Services-With the kids getting out of school many parents need dependable care. Provide flexible summer care for working parents.
  7. Floral Designer-Take advantage of your green thumb. Create beautiful flower arrangements for locations, weddings, and events.
  8. 8.Lawn Care Service-Provide one-time or ongoing mowing, edging, and yard clean up to area residents.
  9. Pet/House Sitter-Take care of neighbor’s pets and check on their homes while they are out-of-town.
  10. School Subject Tutor- Have a subject you are good at? Give instruction to children in need of a little extra help over the summer.

 

*** Please Note: Business ideas are simply suggestions. There is no guarantee of business success in any business. Additionally, all business ideas require planning and preparation.

 

Get Back To Building Your Dreams

So you started your own business because you wanted more flexibility. You wanted to be your own boss. Maybe you wanted to change the world.IMG_0229

Many individuals dream of starting their own business, but few take the leap. After they start their businesses, many find themselves working even harder than they did before. Flexibility turns into 14 hour days. And time with the family is overcome by multiple business calls. Stop getting bogged down in the day-to-day. Streamline your processes and regain your focus.

Ask yourself:

  1. What is the overall big dream you have for your life and your business?
  2. What do you really want professionally and personally in your life?
  3. What support do you need in your life to make your big dreams come true?

It’s okay if your dream is different or has changed since you started down your path. Record the answers to the above questions and strategize how you are going to get back on track to achieving your dreams.

 

Brainstorming Your Business Name

Once again, we are revisiting brainstorming to crBrainstorm Pictureeate the winning business name for you and your organization. After doing this exercise, you will probably be able to look around your community and determine which entities took the time to really think out their business name.

Today, branding is the hot topic. The concept is to create a marketing strategy and name for your business that encompasses you, your products, and/or services. For example, when you see Bubba’s Garage you don’t envision an engineering firm. Another example is Tammy’s Cleaning. This is not a typical name for a business that is vying for million dollar government contracts. It’s not that you won’t be successful if you don’t take the time to choose the perfect name, but as you will see, working with a business name that stands out and portrays the image you want it to makes marketing, advertising, and sales go a lot smoother.

Here, we have provided an example brainstorming worksheet for a residential cleaning company. At the bottom of the article, we have provided a template you can print off and use. Again, this is an important process and may take more than a minute.

Brainstorming Worksheet Business Name Example

After you think you have the name you want, you may want to take a moment and envision how that name will look on signs, business cards, and other marketing material.

Brainstorming Worksheet

Components of a Business Plan

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If you’ve been cruising the web-sphere for business ideas and think you are ready to tackle your business plan, here are many of the common components, or page headings for your document called the Business Plan. If you’re a little nervous about creating your own business plan, check out the World Wide Web for FREE templates to get you started. Some websites even have one-page business plans.

I’m not yet sure how I feel about a one-page business plan. While I feel that it is possible for a select group of businesses, I’m just not sure that you can have a well thought out plan for business, let alone an all-inclusive document in just one single page.

Please note that your business plan is not required to have all of the following sections, but it wouldn’t hurt to dedicate some time to contemplating whether a particular section is important to your plan. However, if you are planning on presenting your business plan to a bank or potential investors, you may want to over-include rather than not have a section one of your potential investors feels is important.

There is nothing wrong with being over-prepared. Over-prepared means you though too much about something. It’s under-prepared that looks bad!

  • Cover Page- Include Business Name, pictures if you have them, and the names of the individuals forming the entity
  • Executive summary- A succinct paragraph of what your business is. If you are not sure, search executive summaries on the Internet. Find 3-4 that you like and use them to brainstorm your customized summary.
  • Vision and Mission Statement- Some companies have both a vision and mission statement or one or the other. The vision statement is how you see or want others to see your business as. The mission statement is what your business does. Again, find 3-4 vision and mission statements to get an idea of the format you like and create a custom vision and mission for the organization.
  • Company Description- this section can be more than one paragraph and more detailed than the summary.
  • Products and/or services- For micro- or super-small businesses, focus on one or two main products or services. Larger organizations will have divisions or possibly product lines.
  • Market Analysis- What did you find out about the market for your product or service. Include competitor information. Is the market ready for- or can the market handle your product or service. Why?
  • Marketing and Sales- Some business plans include a completely separate marketing plan. How do you plan to get the public to know about your product or service? Additionally, who and how will you sell it?
  • Operations Plan- Business Structure, org chart, and responsibilities.
  • Staff- Key employees and managers
  • Financial Plan- Start-up budget, 12-month, 2 year, and 5 year projections
  • Potential Funding/Investors
  • Appendices- supporting documents and information, and competitor examples