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Business Strategies – Network Your Way to a Successful Year

How often do you take the time to strategize on your business? Really have “think tank” moments where you devote time to growing your business and analyzing where you are. We did it in January… and most of us, continued throughout the first few months of the year. However, for the majority of us, it isn’t long afterwards that our own businesses return to their places on the proverbial back burner. As July approaches, and you get back into the “where I am half-way through the year” mode, it’s time to start strategizing again. Time to get into the “build my business better this year” mode. Fortunately, it’s not too late.

It’s time to consider… what have you done right? What have you NOT done right? What can you do better? If you want to end this year ahead of where you were last year, you need to analyze and reassess where you were, where you are now, and where you want to go.

Now that you’ve done the analyzing and re-assessing, it’s time to take action steps to move you forward. Even one step a month can help. And to get you started, here is one action step you can take right now to grow your business.

Networking

Networking should be a big part of your business. It can be done online or locally, but it needs to be done. Once you get started it’s so easy to do, too. Have you ever noticed that sometimes, once you join a group, you wouldn’t even consider missing one of their meetings? But getting in the door is another story. That’s why you need to go out of your comfort zone and get yourself out there. Start small, but join at least one networking group. Now, here’s the key. The group has to carry the potential that will lead to your business growth. Joining Weight Watchers (although it can help with your weight) is not going to grow your business. We’ve seen this happen over and over again. People often sign up for networking groups; and although they can be fun, they just aren’t the right groups to help their business. They spend time in these groups, make a few friends here and there, but unfortunately don’t get the results they need, so they eventually give up and feel it just doesn’t work. It does work. You just have to know how to work it right.

First, find the right group for you. One way to do this is to pay attention to the groups others belong to. They often share these on social media communities like Facebook and Twitter. Some groups might have a small membership fee, and that’s okay. If it’s reasonable, has potential, and you can see it will lead to your business goals, then consider it. But do your research first. Oftentimes, a quick Internet search will let you know if it’s a worthwhile investment.

Attend the meetings. Been there, done that. How often have you joined a group, but six months down the road, can’t remember the last time you actually showed up for a meeting? Then you are guilt-ridden when someone posts on Facebook about what a great meeting it was. That’s why it’s important to take the networking challenge and actually show up. And, while you’re there, make sure you engage with others. Don’t sit back in a corner, business cards in hand; hoping someone will make the first move and come up to you. Be assertive, get out there and start conversations. What you will discover is most people are just like you and appreciate that someone else took the first step. Then, after the meeting, take action. Try and schedule time after the event (but before you get back into work) to reflect on how you can get the most out of the connections you made. You will be amazed at how soon this turns into a habit and is no longer considered a challenge or drudgery.

Networking is a time-tested, solid business strategy that works. And the more you work it, the better the results. What we think you will discover more than how successful it is though, is how enjoyable you’ll find it. Start now and see how by year’s end, this habit is one you won’t want to break in the coming years.

8 Tips to Have a Business That Will Be for Keeps

I have to fully admit that I didn’t know what I was doing when I started my first business as a Health Coach. It was clearly a hobby on the side that drew in a few clients and then took on a life of it’s own. But I quickly learned that a sign that I was truly meant to be a business owner was that I was 100% obsessed with my “hobby”.

I threw myself into learning everything I could about running an online business-after all, as a working mom with a full time job how could I network and build a business like everyone else?

As I began having success with clients and learning how to run my business my fun little hobby turned into a business I couldn’t wait to expand.

I could have kept on playing it safe. I could have just left it as a fun hobby that I enjoyed and that helped people but every night as I went to bed I kept thinking, I want more. I want to be a success.

As my business grew it took on wings. People started to notice my little business and I was drawing attention. Little by little I learned what I needed to do to gain clients, make money and become a successful business owner and in only a few short years of doing it part time around my insanely business life I’ve learned that when you start to discover what you’re meant to do you’ll figure out how to make it work. Some people recognize it easily others need to overcome their doubts and fears before they do.

If you’re looking to create a successful business you’ll need to create one that allows you to play for keeps and not give up when the going gets tough.

Here are 8 ways to play for keeps:

1. Work at it and stay committed to your goals

2. Learn all you need to in the areas you’re not proficient

3. Envision your success

4. Read every business and marketing book you can get your hands on

5. Master social media, it’s not going away.

6. Become a master networker.

7. Learn how to speak and present yourself

8. Develop a success mindset

It’s easy to dabble and not commit to being fully invested in your own success but if you’re anything like me you’ll not be satisfied for long with only mediocre results. If you want to have a hobby for a business or one that stays on the “side” and you don’t ever leave your job for then that’s okay but if you do then you need to first and foremost work on your mindset. Do you have the mindset that will allow you to handle the ups and downs and highs and lows of business building? If you don’t but you think you want a business then now is the time to start working on it.

How do you see yourself and your business? Are you happy with it as a “hobby” or do you see yourself as a leader in your industry? If so, what have you done to change your mindset?

Build a Small Business at Home – Easy and Rewarding

Have you ever wondered about starting your own home business? Are you sick and tired of putting your best talents to work just to enrich someone else? Do you like what you do on a day-to-day basis? Is it possible for you do what you do to earn your paycheck today for yourself? Do you have a hobby that you would not mind spending more time on and making money at the same time? Are you satisfied with your pay? If you think deeply about these and your answer is in the affirmative then perhaps it is time to start thinking seriously about a home based business.

Usually, when people think about operating their own business from home they become overwhelmed by the very idea of managing resources and products, producing a widget, shipping, handling, inventory, employees, expertise, taxes, accounting, human resources and the list goes on and on every possible barrier that would prevent them from exploring their dreams. But, really it does not have to be this way. A little soul searching, digging deeper, challenging our core beliefs and pushing ourselves to do something outside of our comfort zones, thinking outside the box, surrounding ourselves with people who are good at what we are dreaming of doing may all be avenues to explore to help our thought process. Although none of these may easy, taking the first steps towards moving us closer to our own home business can be very rewarding.

It is interesting to note that the statistics show that the number of self-employed who work exclusively from home increased from 3.47 million in 1999 to 4.34 million in 2005 (the latest available from the Census). The total population of working from home at least some of the time increased from 9.48 million to 11.33 million in the same period. Today, these statistics are growing at a much higher rate in the same direction. Today, there are many more opportunities to work from home than before. The evolution of the computers and the tremendous advancements that have been made in technology make owning a home based business much easier. Access to the internet literally gives businesses access to clients all over the world. Also the opportunity to have businesses that do not operate on or have to maintain traditional business hours give us the flexibility to beat the competition. Some challenges may be bigger but operating a home based business could be much easier and very rewarding.

So what are you waiting for?

The opportunity is here. Consider doing something to compliment your incomes. Initially, it could be just you. Leave the other business aspects like managing employees; processing payrolls, inventory etc for when your business has taken off and you need more help. There are lots of people who have home based business and are making lots of money. This is encouraging and something to look forward to. Add yourself the list of success stories. It is a myth that people working from home don’t make money, and that these things are part-time, hobbies. No they are real jobs, held by real people making real money.

Another interesting fact is that, as the economy continues to cling to a recession, the home-based business market still continues to grow. According to the census bureau, because of the record levels of unemployment, and job uncertainty for those still employed, many determined Americans who want to take control of their financial futures are seriously considering the investigation of home businesses and start-ups are actually increasing. Some popular home based businesses that are worth considering are:

  • Affiliate Marketing– Marketing products for different vendors online
  • Dog Walking– If one loves pets and enjoys the outdoors, this provides the perfect opportunity to do both
  • Book Keeping– If you work in that area and have the qualifications, then with a minor investment in accounting software and a computer, you can move ahead
  • Consulting– Knowledgeable about a specific area, then instead of giving free advise to friends and family, then consider charging a small fee for service
  • Tutoring– Launch your business from home or work with clients where they are on campuses, high schools, elementary schools etc.
  • Cooking– If you like cooking or baking, start small, market to friends and family. Have them pay for what you make and have them critique your products.
  • Internet Business– Build a website, and market something that you are an expert on or would not mind learning more about
  • Interior Designing– Put your creative talents to work. make someone’s day!

Home based businesses survive and thrive when entrepreneurs realize that the easiest part of building the business is being passionate. Tapping in to that overflowing well of passion over and over again will be necessary in the formative years of your business. Good Luck!.