How To Quickly Turn Your Sinking Ship Into A Profitable Business Again

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Roughly 8 out of 10 businesses are wiped out within the first couple of years. It’s even worse when you look at who is still around after 10 years. Only around 4 percent of businesses don’t disappear into oblivion, which brings up something interesting because they can’t all have had it easy.

A huge percentage of those still around after a decade must have worked hard to turn their company around at some point. They probably thought they had failed more than a few times. It means you will be able to turn your business around too, so let’s look at some ways you’ll be able to do it.

Focus On Your Best Employees

Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? It states 80 percent of the results will come from 20 percent of the work. The same kind of thing could be said about your employees. They’re the most important chance you’ve got of turning things around and you’ll need to focus on them, but don’t follow what most businesses do. For quick results forget about your worst employees. Spend your time improving the small percentage of employees who will bring you most of the results.

Keep Your Eyes Glued To The Books

As soon as you realise you’re going through a tough time you have to start glueing your eyes to the books. It’s very unlikely they’ll be wrong unless someone has messed up big time, but you won’t necessarily be looking for any mistakes. You want to keep an eye on the books because it will allow you to see opportunities where you can cut costs. Hopefully doing this can help you become profitable, but if it doesn’t you’ll still be able to extend your runway before it’s time to turn off the lights.

Start Listening To Other People

When you’re running a business it’s easy to think you’ll be able to turn everything around on your own. Would you feel embarrassed if someone else in your company came up with a solution you haven’t even considered? All great leaders will hire people smarter than them, and they’re not afraid to ask for help. Speak to everyone in your company and ask for their opinions on how you can improve things. Maybe it will be the janitor who saves the day.

Drop Things That Aren’t Working

This problem could crop up in a number of different ways depending on the business you run, but let’s just assume you deal with business clients. If any of them are wasting your time and causing you grief, you’ll need to let them go. You want to keep hold of your best clients because it’s where you’ll make the money. If you’re scared about dropping them straight away because you’ll initially lose money don’t do anything drastic, but as soon as you’ve found new clients cut your worst ones loose.

Reorganise The Structure Of The Business

Sometimes it’s not just about spending less money or selling more product each month. You might have to take a helicopter view of the business. Is it set up optimally at the moment, or can you make changes to improve things without compromising the end product? Can you merge or eliminate certain departments? Will you need to let employees go? Your business might need to go through some major restructuring to grow your business and become profitable.

Streamlining Your Business

This isn’t just as simple as dropping a client or an underperforming product. You’ll really need to sit back and ask yourself what the business actually does. In a lot of cases, businesses try to focus on lots of things because they think it will make them more money. They don’t understand it would be more profitable to focus on only one thing. If you put one hundred percent of your effort into your core offering, your profits would suddenly shoot up. You need to re-evaluate your entire business model now.

It’s Never Too Late To Succeed

If there are other people in the same industry succeeding you have proof of concept. The only reason you’re not doing well is because of something you are doing wrong. It means there is still a good chance you’ll be able to turn things around, but you’ll have to act fast instead of waiting while you slowly sink. Look carefully at everything we’ve spoken about today and try to figure out which tips will be more likely to work for you.

 

What if Your Online Passion Could Bring You a Regular Income

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The digital revolution has created an opportunity for almost anyone to earn income from what they love. As long as you can provide and share useful and entertaining information about your passion, you can make money from it online. The following tips will help you to discover a simple and effective system for building a business from your hobby or passion.

Create Content

To earn money online and be a successful entrepreneur, you need to begin by creating informative content. Content can be in the form of an article, an e-book, a special report, a video recording, a podcast, an infographic, a free app, or a useful tool. The essence of creating content is to share your passion and meet the information needs of thousands or millions of people who search the internet daily for information about your niche. If you need content ideas, you can start with How-to, guides, reviews, and top 10 lists.

Develop the Process

To make money online, you need to follow a routine to provide the volume of content that will attract a large number of readers, listeners and viewers. This may require some changes to your work schedule so you can develop a few technical skills and adopt a system for producing your content. After you have created your first piece of content, you may feel like sharing it immediately. However, if you only share one piece of content, you will disappoint those who are interested in learning more from you. So if you are sharing articles, for instance, you should have at least 5 to 10 articles before you launch a blog.

Share Your Content

After you have created enough content to launch the first phase of your online business, you should spend time sharing your content. Start with social media. You can interact with target groups on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. You may also use Google+, Instagram or Pinterest. Participate in forum discussions and share links to your content.

Be Active in an Online Community

While you are creating your content, you should become a member of one or more online communities and be very active. Share your thoughts, provide answers to questions and ask questions that will let you know more about the needs and desires of members. Do your best to build trust in the community. Then the members will easily buy into what you have to offer.

Develop a Relationship with Your Audience

After you launch your blog, YouTube channel or iTunes podcast, you need to interact with your readers, listeners, and viewers actively. Answer the comments placed by your audience. If you plan to do mass marketing of your products, you should build a subscribers list using a free offer and an opt-in form on your website. You may also send emails to your subscribers to inform them about your new content or special offers. Developing a solid relationship with your audience will help them to trust you and it will be easier for them to patronize you when you promote your products or services.

Create Products and Services

After you have an audience that is fairly large (with numbers running into thousands). You can launch various products and services that will bring in regular sales and income. Prior to that time, you can also earn income by offering advert space on your website or by promoting products as an affiliate marketer in your reviews and commentaries. Your products and services should be designed to meet the most urgent needs of your audience.

Market Your Products and Services

Promote your products and services directly on your website or at a popular marketplace. Provide excellent product images, videos and customer reviews or testimonials. Make it easy for your website visitors to order from you via an ordering form or by providing your contact details. If you are selling technical services, you should consider registering your business on sites like Yelp and Angie’s list so that you can build a good reputation that will attract a lot of prospects. You may also sell physical products on popular shopping sites like Amazon, eBay, and Best Buy.

Turning your passion or hobby into a viable source of income can be a very rewarding adventure. The ideas provided here will make it easier for you to create an income stream online by doing what you love.

 

Business Growth and Success As An Entrepreneur

If you’re feeling a little burnt out and stressed as a result of some of the harrowing challenges which you may be currently facing as an entrepreneur, continue reading to discover how you can push through and achieve success like, Erik Gordon, despite the setbacks which you are currently facing.

Business growth and success as an entrepreneur: Helpful tips to keep yourself on track in difficult times

  1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to be able to focus properly on your business

If you’re currently going through a difficult experience such as being forced to face a potentially serious lawsuit or struggling to find capital for your business, it’s crucial to make the effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As if you get adequate sleep and rest and consume a healthy diet and work out at least 4-5 days a week you’ll have far more energy to push through the challenges which you’re tackling at the moment.

If you often find yourself feeling stressed out, it may be a great idea to wake up an hour earlier each morning in order to get an energizing workout out under your belt. Which will ensure that you’re ready to give your business tasks 100% of your energy and focus?

  1. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to trusted individuals

If you’re feeling stressed out it’s also a wise decision to entrust some of the business tasks on your plate to trusted individuals who you are confident will do a great job, with the responsibilities which you assign them with. Especially if you are committed to pursuing business growth whilst tackling a serious short-term problem such as a lawsuit.

  1. Ask your management team for valuable input

You may also want to consider asking your management team or executive team for their suggestions on how you can take your business to the next level. As some of your trusted senior employees may be able to provide your business with innovative, brand new solutions which will help your business grow from strength to strength.

If one of your employees comes up with a particularly good idea, you may want to assign them the task of overseeing the project which they came up with. Although you may want to assign them a team to work with in order for them to successfully turn their innovative idea into a reality.

  1. Make yourself a list of all your achievements as an entrepreneur

If your current battles are causing yourself to doubt yourself, you can instantly change your mindset by compiling a list of business achievements which you’re achieved as an entrepreneur. Remember that the more positive you’re able to be when you face adversity, the more likely your business is to grow. So if you ever feel pessimistic or defeated it’s well worth reminding yourself of your many successes as an entrepreneur.

So if you thought it was impossible to achieve growth and success as an entrepreneur whilst you’re facing negative obstacles, think again as there are still plenty of ways to take your business to the next level. You just have to think creatively.

The Quick Guide for Budgeting As An Expat: 4 Big Points to Keep in Mind

If you’re living abroad to provide a better life for your family, chances are money is always on your mind.

And why not? From dealing with different currencies to adjusting to a totally new lifestyle, budgeting undoubtedly represents a major roadblock for the majority of expats out there.

But beyond understanding where your priorities should lie in terms of how you should save and spend abroad, how else can expats ultimately keep more money in their pockets?

We’re glad you asked!

In this quick yet comprehensive guide, we’ve outlined some pointers to squeeze the absolute most out of your budget while living abroad. Although some of these tips might seem like no-brainers, the combination of each of them will ultimately allow you to live your life to the fullest in a new country while also sending more money home.

Understand Your Remittance Requirements

From fees and taxes to exchange rates and beyond, there’s a difference between sending money back home to Colombia or any other remittance-reliant country. While you obviously want to earn as much money as you possibly can, don’t neglect the dollars and cents you could potentially lose (or save) through how you’re sending you cash.

On a related note, you need to sort out exactly how much to send home based on your family’s living situation. Whether it’s a dollar amount or percentage of your income, there should be a defined balance that keeps both parties comfortable. Of course, everyone’s situation is different so there is no one “right” way to decide this: it’s a compromise between everyone involved.

Research the Cost of Living

Speaking of comfort and compromise, where you decide to settle down has long-term implications regarding how much you can save and what sort of job you can land.

For example, staying in the suburbs is obviously a cheaper option; however, living in a major metro area might mean access to better-paying work and a lessened need for transportation.

Again, it’s all about finding balance.

Perhaps the top priority of any given expat is reliable, long-term employment during their tenure abroad. As long as you’re living somewhere that offers such job security, you’re golden. Beyond that, tools such as this cost of living calculator can be eye-opening if you’re trying to pick between two cities to settle down in.

Iron Out Your Essentials

While you might be laser-focused on the well-being of your family, don’t neglect your own essentials in terms of staying happy, healthy and otherwise safe in your new home. During your initial adjustment period, understand how the following essentials fit into your monthly budget:

  • Groceries and eating out can quite literally eat away at your funds is you don’t spend wisely: opt for home-cooked meals that remind you of home and packing your own lunches whenever possible

 

  • Although you likely won’t have to worry about your own vehicle and insurance, you might want to think about investing in a bike before assuming public transit is your best bet

 

  • Given the high cost of healthcare in the United States for the uninsured, some form of coverage is pretty much a must-have for avoiding a disastrous “what-if” scenario financially

Now, once you’ve sorted out these expenses you can start to think about how you’re going to spend your discretionary income.

The good news is that keeping both entertained and connected in the States is relatively cheap. If you’re in a major metro area there are endless free things to do on a daily basis; meanwhile, an Internet connection and streaming services can keep you up-to-date on your family’s happenings as well as your favorite entertainment.

Fall Back on Your Emergency Fund

There are tons of “rules” and suggestions for determining how much to save for emergencies, but bear in mind that such percentages are merely suggestions. Saving a few hundred dollars per month for emergencies might not be realistic for some; meanwhile, sticking to a hard percentage could likewise result in an unnecessarily large sum that just sits there.

That said, stowing some money in a savings account is always a good idea in an attempt to plan for the unexpected. A good rule of thumb would be to simply save as much as you can at the end of the month and put away what’s left over rather than needlessly spend it.

For those living the expat life, money is always a huge area of concern in terms of your day-to-day life. That said, reigning in your budget sooner rather than later can not only provide you some much-needed peace of mind, but also a better quality of life for you and your family. If your current budget looks like a bit of a mess, the pointers from this guide can help you reign it in ASAP.

5 Bad Habits You Need To Kick For The Success Of Your Business

Entrepreneurs keep increasing by the day as some follow their passion while others are pushed to it by necessity. For a budding business owner, the growth of the business is crucial as it’s what makes you compete with the rest in the industry.

We all know that the major setback for a new business is funding among other things. Before starting out, consider your financing options. The priority is using your savings, borrowing from family and friends. However, all these might not be enough which pushes you to look for external sources. Personal loans are an option and some offer great interest rates compared to banks. SoFi is a great avenue for such as they have a provision for both fixed and variable interest rates.  A SoFi personal loan review would help you get more insight.

Besides financing, once your business is up and running, there are a few things that business owners do that may reduce the success rate of their businesses. What bad habits do you need to stop for your business to grow?

1. Being too obsessed with growth

Growth is not a bad thing. However, sometimes, you may be too caught up with trying to grow your business such that you forget to value your customers. It may turn out that you obsess and spend every single day trying to make it grow. In actual sense, valuing your customers and ensuring that the service delivery is top notch may be the key towards the growth after all. Give your customers a reason to come back every time they purchase something from your store.

2. The art of Procrastination

How many times have you postponed something saying you will work on it another day? Many? Countable? Once? Well, procrastination can be too detrimental to your business if you don’t tackle it early enough. If carefully analyzed, you will find that has caused you a few if not more clients. Making follow-ups to clients is a great way to ensure that they refer their friends to you which means more sales for you. Your business could be the demanding ones that take up your time, but it’s essential to have a schedule which will help you track everything you need to do and when.

3. Micromanaging your employees

People have different personality types. As such, you may be the controlling type, perfectionist and wanting things done your way. However, micromanaging your employees  makes them feel like you don’t trust them at all. This demotivates them which could end up hurting your business. Understand that you hired them for a reason. Help them grow as they grow your business. Learn how to delegate duties, give them space to work on them without you regularly checking on them and encourage the art of teamwork. When hiring, ensure that those you hire have the same vision as your business. Such a move helps in the growth of the company without a doubt.

4. Spending money before receiving

Some people will often make the mistake of spending money even before they receive it. You have recently landed a contract for supplying building equipment to a particular company. You are too excited about the deal such that you take your friends out for celebration even before you start the supply. Then, you get a call from the company saying that they have changed their mind. How do you recover the money spent with your friends? Know how to manage your finances, use it wisely and see your business grow.

5. Resisting Change

Change is inevitable in business. How many occasions have you had an employee come up to you and suggested a change in a particular aspect of the company and you decided not to go with their idea? You may be the block towards your business’s growth. Be open-minded and learn to try new trends in the market. Change with the changing technology so as to keep your business up-to-date with the rest of your competitors.

Your business is your brainchild, work on its growth. Have a plan on the whole process. Kick the above habits away, and you will be headed in the right direction.

 

What Is The Full Application Process?

 Setting up your business can seem like an overwhelming task, but the IRS has made it incredibly easy for anyone to set up their business structure. There are three very concrete steps you can take to set up your business and get your EIN number. Your very first step is going to be to complete your SS4 online. This form is your application for your employer identification number. It will ask you some very specific questions about your business. Completing the form through the online platform can expedite the entire process.

Next Step

 Once you complete your application the IRS will assign you an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You can always verify if your application is complete by a Tax ID lookup. By looking up this number you can see that your business, or any business for that matter, is a registered company with the proper authorities.

There are websites that simplify the entire process. Between the online application and using an EIN processing and filing service, you can more than likely have your IRS-EIN-Tax-ID within 24-hours. This is under the presumption that all of the information in the application is correct, and there are no other issues like a company name.

Start Today

 Today’s technology and systems have simplified this process for anyone who is ready to start a business or legitimize the one they already have. This process is an integral part of starting your business, and it is only three steps. There is no reason to put this part of the process off any longer.

Using this simplified website can walk you through the 3-step process, provide you with additional information about tax ID’s, and allow you to check the status of your application at any time. Don’t wait any longer, and complete the process to get an EIN for your business.

3 Tech Questions Every Growing Business Needs To Answer

In this day and age, no matter how you conduct your business, there is a strong chance that your company interacts with technology in some way, shape, or form. If you sell physical wares, you may use a mobile card reader to accept payment and if you’re a retailer, you may have an ecommerce website or you may store information about your customers on your servers.

As technology progresses, so too will the ways in which your business uses it, especially if your company is poised for growth over the next few years. And with this in mind, here are three tech-focused questions that every growing business needs to answer.

Can You Use Technology to Grow Your Business Even More?

Even as you already use technology in your business, why not ask how you can use tech to grow your business even more? Social media is especially seen as a simple way to grow your business, as there are more than three billion social media users who you can promote your business to.

Optimizing your website for mobile devices, which is where an increasing amount of people browse the web and considering how your site shows up on search engines are some more ways you can use tech to grow.

How Does Your Tech Stand Up to Pressure?

Speaking of content that ends up being a success on social media, is your business totally prepared and fully equipped in case a post goes viral? What happens if you get an unlikely celebrity endorsement that takes you off guard? Your website needs to be prepared for a sudden influx of users and it also needs to be able to adapt as your business gradually grows and entices more customers.

Managing huge amounts of traffic to your site, whether that’s due to a popular tweet or a sales event, can be done with a load balancer. A load balancer makes sure that traffic will be routed to an available web server, which will help to reduce server load and ensure that your systems can handle the increase of visitors.

Is Your Business Secure Enough?

If you deal with any sort of digital data (e.g information about payments, names or addresses) then security should already be of huge concern to you. It’s up to you to perform regular checks on your company’s security methods to ensure that sophisticated teams of hackers can’t infiltrate your data storage system, gaining access to sensitive information about your company or your customers.

Failure to make your business properly secure isn’t just a legal concern, but it can have significant financial ramifications. A PwC report recently revealed that 69% of customers believe that companies are vulnerable to hacks and cyberattacks, meaning that there already are concerns about data privacy and security in consumers’ minds. Any actual successful hack conducted against your company could worsen that already fragile perception, potentially driving your customer towards your more secure competitors.

Although technology can sometimes be difficult to get your head around, it can be incredibly beneficial to your company – and ignoring it isn’t helpful. It’s best to ask these questions and get the answers now, solving tech problems as your business grows.

How to Grow Your Business


Get to know your customers:
Understand your customer’s needs and develop products and services that meet those needs. You can gain insight into your customers by personalising your services and encouraging them to provide you with feedback.

Offer great customer service:
Ensure your customer service is exceptional and go the extra mile when you can. Your customers will not only remember great service they will also be more likely to refer other people to you.

Nurture existing customers and look for new opportunities:
Have strategies in place to nurture existing customers, such as staying in contact with them via an e-newsletter or letting them know about promotional events ahead of time.
At the same time, look for opportunities to get more work and build your customer base. Make sure that you find the right balance between nurturing customers and finding new ones.

Use social media:
Social media is a powerful tool to promote your business to potential customers and gain valuable insight through ‘social listening’. Through social listening you can find out what customers are saying about you, gain insight into their behaviour, identify keywords and trends that appeal to your target market and so improve your customer service. Social media can help you to build your business profile and attract new customers.

Attend networking events:
Invest time to build your networks – it’s not what you know but who you know.
Networking allows you to build relationships with other people and encourage them to refer customers to you through word of mouth.

Host events:
Hosting your own event can be a great way to get to know your customers and build relationships. Invite some of your best existing customers and encourage them to bring their friends.

Give back to your community:
Building brand awareness in your local community is a great way to attract new business. Consider sponsorship or participating in a community event to raise your business profile.

Measure what works and refine your approach as you go:
You should monitor where your customers are coming from in order to measure whether your marketing activities are successful or not. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Refine your approach if something is not working and focus more time on the activities that achieve the best results.

Traits of Successful People


1. They’re willing to take risks. Are you willing to bet the farm that you can achieve the goal you’ve set for yourself? If not, then you’re likely holding back on something. Success comes when you’re willing jump and truly go all-in. If you’re holding back on something, you’ll likely never reach your full potential.

2. They’re willing to work. Innate qualities like intelligence and talent play a factor in achieving success, but studies show that grit, hard work, and determination are just as important. And another study proves that dedicating enough quality, focused time to really any task or skill is ultimately what makes one an expert in something, more so than any other factor. So if you’re willing to put in the effort and stay the course, you can succeed. Period. The sad reality is that too few people are able to reach that level and remain committed, which is what sets apart those who can.

3. They’re willing to admit when they’re wrong. Success is never guaranteed, but experiencing setbacks along the way is basically a given. What differentiates those who ultimately fail from those who succeed is the ability to humbly admit where you went wrong, learn from your mistakes, and move on. Make the proper adjustments instead of dwelling on the setback and beating yourself up.

4. They’re willing to adapt. Getting too set in your ways and failing to see the bigger picture can be detrimental to success. Planning is important, but realize that few plans go off without a hitch, and the ability to roll with the punches is critical.

5. They know how to delegate, without micromanaging. Learning what to let go of and what to outsource is key, as it enables people who achieve success to focus only on the most important tasks that really can only be performed by them. Trying to shoulder everything is risky and is a surefire path to burnout.