Archive for the ‘Entrepreneurship’ Category

How To Bring Originality To Your Business Ideas

If you are immersed in the world of internet marketing, you have probably heard many times the advice: don’t re-invent the wheel, follow someone successful. But simply copying a business idea is sloppy and might not get you the results you are dreaming about, just because it has been done already in that way. So how can you add a zesty twist to your business idea?

Many people use the excellent technique of brainstorming. You simply write down, without editing, all the business ideas you can think of. Remember, you shouldn’t judge any idea at this point.

The best place to start, of course, is to think of business ideas relating to your interests and passions, things you know quite a lot about or are passionate about learning more about. Anything can work: pet care, model airplanes, car accessories, home decorating, knitting…

But identifying your passions and interests is only the very first step toward a great business idea. Let’s face it, many people have cats, for example and learn about the best food for their cat or all about the best product for eliminating tics. So how can you come up with original business ideas on such a popular topic?

For your first business idea, try to stick with things you have experienced. Do you have a special tip to share with people? Something you learned while trying something new? Is there a life experience you can describe in detail and through it help others who are going through the same experience as well?

The point is that you will always have an original twist to your basic business idea, because no one has gone through any experience in the exact way you did, with the same emotions and lessons, conclusions and thoughts...

You will always have something different and unique to say about something common, some small change to offer to an already existing system, a personal perspective on things that gives you something to offer. There lies your personal bank of business ideas.

A first original business idea can help you establish yourself as a brand name in the field of your interest. But what about other topics? What about your next business ideas?

Continue to brainstorm, using associations and questions. Associations can help you identify smaller markets, different ideas for complementing products, such as a series of books or a suite of programs, create related websites and much more beyond that. The sky is the limit, plain and simple!

The questions you can ask yourself about a business idea are, for example: does such a product already exist? Can I improve on the same idea? Is there a concern of people who share my interests that has not been taken care of yet? Can I come up with a simple solution to a simple problem?

Remember, someone may have come up with a business idea you are interested in already, but you can always look for a personal twist of your own to add and make it uniquely yours.

Brainstorming is the key to that mind vault of business ideas each one of us has. You can brainstorm everywhere, by your desk or in a restaurant. All you need is a piece of paper or an open file. Most people would prefer peace and quiet for this exercise.

You can write single words or complete sentences, draw pictures that relate to your business ideas or any other technique that will keep the idea clear later when you review it. Let your brain run, don’t hold back.

When you are done, you will be surprised at how many new and unique business ideas you can collect from this list. Simply add your personal twist and you are on your way to fulfilling your dreams.

Success in Negotiations

Negotiating is a skill that like warfare tactics must be honed. It is important to be mentally prepared to win. Do the ground work well before your reach the negotiating table and decide on the “path” you are going to take. Positivity will help as also a sense of confidence and self esteem. Set aside any doubts you may have and  stride forward prepared to win at all costs.

The five cornerstones of successful negotiation skills are placing emphasis on common points; presenting clear arguments; being innovative and open to several options; focusing on the problem being dealt with; looking for a clear solution. The key is to be clear about your preferred outcome. However in the back of your mind you must be willing to compromise to some extent.

A good negotiator is an excellent communicator and understands how human beings think, feel, and function. You must be able to befriend the people seated on the other side of the negotiating table. You must know when to push hard, when to accept a compromise, and when to walk away. A negotiator is in many ways an artist he needs a great amount of creativity to steer the negotiations to a successful completion. A negotiator must keep in mind the 3Fs: fair, fast, and firm.

According to the gurus there are tactics to be used for negotiating:

1.    Be focused on the problem or issue. Logical arguments are the key to smooth negotiations.

2.    It is important to be firm yet polite when making a stand or presenting a point.

3.    Clearly emphasize the advantages and disadvantages.

4.    Be patient and let the process of negotiation take its course.

5.    Put ego aside and concentrate on the matter at hand. It is finding an amiable solution that’s important not self worth or position.

6.    Never threaten or manipulate the opposite party—it is completely unethical and unfair.

7.    Aim for solutions that are interest based and not what individual desires or aims are. It is best to consider any situation as a whole rather than from a personal view point.

8.    Avoid psychological traps and have the magnanimity to admit when you are wrong. Be open minded.

9.    Don’t accept weak solutions and try and negotiate a plausible settlement. Temporary measures are not what you need. A permanent solution must be sought.

10.    Value time, schedules, and deadlines. A good negotiator will not beat around the bush or adopt delay tactics or waste time talking about mundane matters. It is professional to immediately get down to the business at hand.

Most human beings are born negotiators. From the first breath a baby takes it makes all around him dance to his tunes. Most of us consciously or unconsciously do what we have to do to get our own way in life. And, if we look closely it is just mastering the art of negotiation.

Important Features of Business Improvement Programs

There are various reliable training centers on the World Wide Web that allow business owners to actively participate to various professional Business Improvement Programs. Such professional training programs account for a wide range of features including business management, innovative sales and marketing strategies, as well as long-term business planning strategies. Solid Business Improvement Programs are aimed at debating both the basics and the subtleties of proper business management, accounting for all relevant aspects regarding profitability, the customer-employee relation, the development of strategies for achieving short-term and long-term goals and so on.

The extended curriculum provided by professional Business Improvement Programs renders such training courses appropriate for any business owner, regardless of the previous level of training in the branch. While inexperienced business owners can rapidly assimilate valuable information regarding proper business management and marketing solutions, well-trained business owners can further enhance their knowledge and acquire a set of innovative strategies for boosting the profitability and the longevity of their business.

A complete Business Improvement Program can actually guarantee success in virtually any type of business. Considering the fact that all businesses share similar characteristics, following common patterns of development, a reliable Business Improvement Program can enhance the potential of any business, regardless of its nature, size and market position. Structured on multiple levels, Business Improvement Programs rigorously explore and debate a wide range of subjects related to business planning, management, and development, familiarizing attendants with the entire process of running a business.

Professional Business Improvement Programs are taught by the best professionals in the branch, allowing attendants to acquire vital information regarding proper business management. The training programs are well-structured and contain comprehensive materials, stimulating and facilitating the process of learning. Unlike self-study oriented programs, professional Business Improvement Programs involve active participation, allowing attendants to interact with both “business coaches” and the other trainees. In addition, people who participate to Business Improvement Programs are encouraged to freely express their ideas and confront their opinions with other business owners. Business coaches offer prompt and extended feed-back, ensuring that all participants understand the issues discussed during the program.

It is important to note that Business Improvement Programs are not solely focused on theoretical courses. Professional programs often include seminaries and laboratories which are aimed at developing a set of practical, managerial, negotiation and interaction skills and abilities, crucial in the process of achieving and maintaining a successful business.

By attending to a professional Business Improvement Program, business owners can rapidly assimilate a complete set of knowledge and practical abilities, vital in the process of management. With the help of such training programs, business owners can effectively increase sales by implementing new marketing strategies and by attracting new potential customers to their business. Thanks to their proved efficiency and reliability, Business Improvement Programs are recommended by thousands of business owners worldwide!

Make Your Business Grow

No matter how big or small your business, there are things that an owner should do to make his business grow. At one time or another, every business owner has stayed awake at night and said, "What do I do now." For some reason, things aren't going as well as you think that they should.

We can look at recent events in GM - one of the biggest businesses in the world on the verge of bankruptcy. Kmart and Sears merged; many of the airlines have gone bankrupt. Enron was the largest company ever to file bankruptcy.

So the question is: "How do I make my business grow?"

In my previous articles I told you "How to open a business" and "How to find wholesale sources." But that's not the end of the story.

A few days ago, I was looking at some information that was quoted from The Kauffman Foundation by Michael Sexton of www.trumpuniversity.com that stated "550,000 Americans start new businesses every month." Later in the same article, he said that according to the U.S. Small Business Administration "At least two-thirds of new businesses fail within the first four years."

This brings me back to the same question: "How do I make my business grow?"

Sometimes forces work against the business owner that the business owner cannot control. Again, recent events have impacted many people and in turn, businesses are impacted. For instance, the rising gasoline price is causing many problems around this country. The average person that travels 30 miles each way to work is spending $90 more for gas per month than this time last year. That $90 has to come from somewhere and we can see that it is beginning to affect everything from housing sales to the price of sugar at the store.

I know someone that owned a dollar store - where everything is a dollar. For a year and a half, sales were fine, the number of customers was increasing slightly each month and the owner thought about opening a second store and had already purchased shelving and was looking for a second location. But then it happened. The gas price started increasing and Tennessee began a lottery. Within a two-month period, sales halved in his store and for the next six months, sales continued to drop and after about three more months he was forced to close - after such a promising future.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Vince Lombardi who seems to me as the ultimate motivator. "It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up." Everyone gets knocked down in life, but sometimes it takes a very strong person to get back up and try again and again.

When you are trying to come up with ideas to help you grow your business, try to think like a customer would.

Walk outside and look around. Would you want to shop in this store? Is it pleasing to look at? Does it look inviting? Is the parking lot clean? What is the first thing you notice as you pull up to the store? Is the sign lit or is one of the letters out? Does it look like the owner and employees take pride in the store?

Now, walk inside. What do you see? Is it well lit? Are the aisles clear of clutter? I know that shelves have to be stocked, but is there a better way than piling lots of boxes down the aisle where people can't get through to shop. Instead of bringing a lot of boxes out at once, perhaps just a few at a time. Is the clerk friendly? Are the sales people happy? I personally left a mattress store because the salesman was on the phone and did not acknowledge me or even say "I'll be with you in a minute." When I left after about fifteen minutes, I went to another store and spent $900. This illustration is to show you that how your employees relate to customers can help or hurt your business. We've all been there where you think that you are an inconvenience to the employee.

This is only a start to help you to "Make your business grow."

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