Running a small business – a few tips to make

Running a small business – a few tips to make your life easier

When you have only just started your own business, you will need a lot to learn, not only about what you are going to do, but about all the small details of running your own business. There is no one who you can count on making the right decisions but you. The tips below may be more than useful for all small business owners and make it more probable to bloom instead of going bankrupt (a sad end of 80% of small companies).

Profit margin
First of all, remember about the profit margin. All too often we forget about making money, fascinated by all the possibilities of running one’s own business. It is very easy to thwart otherwise successful business by taking too many loans, hiring too expensive lawyer or account office and generally spending too much money on less important matters. Remember: every business is about making money. Try to reduce your costs as much as possible and you will succeed. Buy an expensive car only to feel like a “real” businessman and you will never become one.

Hiring friends and relatives
The most delicate and potentially harmful matter in running your own business is the help you receive from your friends and relatives. At first, it is often what counts most – both for practical and psychological reasons. However many small businesses become reliant from the unpaid work of friends and/or relatives and it will sooner or later end. That’s why it is highly recommended to pay them from the very beginning (even if your loved ones protest) – this will let you keep an eye on the real cost of business and won’t turn you into blood-sucking monster that requires more and more but gives nothing back.

Internet is one of the most powerful tools in business. It is not only about eBay, but also about fast, reliable and cheap communication between you and your contractors and customers. Also, as the Internet becomes more and more useful for advertising purposes, having your own website is a must – otherwise you loose from 50% to 90% of potential customers.

Taking Time Out for ME

I can give stay-at-home parents loads of advice about creating schedules to work around kids, organizing their work for optimum effectiveness and efficiency, multi-tasking tips and so on. But there is one key that helps me do all the stuff I need to do and remain sane. I don’t hear about it often, it’s called . . .ME TIME.
Yes you heard me correctly. I’m talking about rejuvenation time, quiet time, alone time, personal time, self-care . . . ME TIME!

Answer this. When was the last time you were just “you?” Not recently I bet.
What do I do in my 4 hours? Lots of stuff. I can rent a hot tub and soak for an hour. I can go to a bookstore, grab a juicy novel and sit in a big comfy chair until I finish or until the bookstore closes (whichever comes first). I can park by the water and watch the sunset. I can go to Denny’s and ask for the most fattening platter on the menu. I can go to a movie and order the biggest tub of popcorn and a box of Junior Mints. I can go to the park and ride on the swings. I can go to the gym and watch big muscular men workout. I can drive far, far, away very slowly and look at the scenery.

The possibilities and the destinations are endless. I meet people and talk to them and I’m just “ME”. I can be myself and not think about the dirty sink or the smelly diaper or the crazy client. It’s a wonderful feeling, but most of all it clears the mind. It allows me to sort things out. New ideas, solutions to old problems, and other wonderful things pop into my mind as soon as silence surrounds me.

Try it, I dare you! But let me warn you, after you try it you’ll never be able to live without it!

“But moms need breaks!” we all know that. “They need to nurture themselves so they can be better moms. Too many moms let themselves run on empty. Being a good mother also means taking care of yourself so you can give more of yourself to your children.” Indeed, it won’t actually do your kids any good if you’re stressed about being the perfect parent. Taking care of yourself is a priority. It’s the “airplane oxygen mask approach”: Put on your own mask first so you can better help whoever’s sitting next to you.

In fact, a study published in March 2006 concluded that a mother’s mental health directly affects her kids. Kids whose moms were treated — successfully — for depression were much less likely to become depressed themselves. But if the mom’s depression continued, her children were more likely to become depressed

Why do many parents, mothers in particular, feel guilty when they take time for themselves? First lets examine the feeling of guilt. There is healthy and unhealthy guilt. Healthy guilt has sadness underlying it, a sense of true regret for a chosen behavior that created harm or some problem, often for others. Unhealthy guilt is a feeling of shame, that we arent OK as we are, that we should be different than we are and should make different choices. We have beliefs like We should put everybody else first. There are some healthy shoulds that are actually values, virtues and morals in action. We really should look after the earth, avoid racism and care for our elderly, disabled and disadvantaged. It is the unhealthy shoulds that create the dis-ease and stress in ourselves and our families.

Many parents believe they should make their children happy. They are told You make your children so happy or You broke her heart. The reality is that we have influence on one another, including our children, but we do not have the power to make anyone feel anything. We may trigger a reaction but there it ends. Of course we aim to be sensitive to each others tender spots and choose to use respectful language. John Gray in Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus explains that men tend (there are exceptions) to have success feelings when they think they made their wife and children happy. Meanwhile women tend to feel responsible for everyone and all their feelings. Training of the female in my era reinforced this habit. I remember my mother repeatedly giving me the plate of sweets at socials with the instructions to make sure everyone is happy and has what they want. She trained me to be on the watch for others needs, not to consider taking a sweet for myself until others were looked after and not to question that my brothers were off playing and being boys.

Then there are those voices of people from our past or in our circle with their shoulds. You should stay home with your children or You shouldnt be staying at home with children after your parents paid for all that education. Dont let people should on you. Just because some people are uncomfortable with our decisions does not mean that we should live our lives so they can feel right. Moreover, observe and censor your own menu of shoulds. Being driven in life through unhealthy, and usually meaningless, shoulds, can create resentment and meaninglessness.

Like all moms, I have a multitude of things going on from the time I wake up in the morning until I collapse in bed at night. Getting everyone up, fed, dressed, and out the door to work and school is a full-time job in itself, and then it’s only 7:30 a.m. I do my best to manage my time well. Sometimes I succeed; other times I do not. One thing that I try very hard to do is to find some time for me.

Whether it’s sitting down for a page or two in a novel that I’m currently reading, flipping on the television to watch a favorite program, or just taking a walk in the spring sunshine, it’s something just for me.

Having a child with autism, I find that if I take that time, even just a few minutes, I am able to handle the stress that sometimes accompanies having a child with special needs. I am known to occasionally take on more tasks than humanly possible. Between working part-time, volunteering, and handling all the responsibilities that come with my “Mom” title, I sometimes forget to take time out for myself.

While I may feel selfish taking a “time-out for Mom,” I am actually doing my family and myself a huge favor by doing so. When I’m overwhelmed and stressed I have very little patience, and I have a tendency to be somewhat irrational! I am able to view things in a totally new way, and I’m a much better (and happier) me when I’ve had my “time-out.” From one mom to another, try a “time-out for Mom” today. I think you’ll agree that it’s been long overdue and is time well spent.

The Hard Push Technique….turn on or turn off?

A common marketing technique being taught by a number of different groups and marketing teams is the hard push tactic, where you give the prospect no real chance to refuse, create a massive sense of urgency and try and ensure they have no choice but to do as you wish.

I encountered this the other day with a member of the Dream Team marketing group. Now I am not in anyway trying to trash this course as I understand for some it is a good learning curve, however I have it on authority of another member that they do teach this technique.

For me it began with a couple of emails after I had enquired about the course. I was interested to see how they were teaching people to bring in 20 to 30 people a week into whatever business you were promoting. I asked that the person selling the course call me before 5pm to let me know more details. I didn’t hear anything further until I walked in from being out in the wind and rain at 7.30pm, soaked to the skin and the phone rang. My dinner was in the oven and would be another 20 minutes and the cats and dog needed feeding.

The guy asked what I was promoting and of course said what a great company it was and how the course he was going to introduce me to could explode my business. He said there was a live conference call at 8.00pm that night. I explained that I was interested but that I couldn’t really attend the call that night. The guy then got very pushy saying that if I was serious about my business I would miss by dinner and attend. I said I was not prepared to do that but would attend another call if there was one in a day or so. I was told that there was no further calls for a week or so and my place had to be specially reserved. I was basically told that I would never succeed in online business if my dinner came first and he hung up.

The next morning I emailed him to say I was no longer interested in pursuing the course as I had been totally put off by his attitude. I received a response saying he was sorry but that is the sales technique he had been taught on the course and it usually worked. Despite what he had said the day before there was another call that night.

I attended this apparent ‘live’ call to find it was a pre-recorded scripted call giving very little information and all hype and no real content. All I really discovered is that if I paid around $1000 for the course I could attend 4 live calls which would be at around 1am GMT, be taught how to get my own website which I already have and no real details of what the training entailed. I emailed the guy mentioned above to say I was not really interested as ‘live’ call had been a waste of time and totally uninspiring and that I did not think I would get anything out of it. His response – that I was a failure and would never succeed and I had wasted his time.

Now I have since talked to a couple of others involved in the Dream Team and both have been very friendly and pleasant but both acknowledged that the course probably wasn’t for me and that the hard push tactic was one of the techniques taught (as well as memorising sales scripts for the phone etc).

This tactic and the guy’s attitude totally put me off. This did not create a sense of urgency but left me feeling I was being bullied into something. I would think very carefully before using this hard
push idea to gain sales…yes try and close the sale but not by bullying your prospect.