Saturday, September 29, 2012

5 Crucial Home Business Tips to Realize Financial Freedom

Starting your home business is the easy part, but realizing your long-term goal of financial freedom takes much effort and dedication. There are many ways to operate a home business, but the tips below outline some solid principals you should follow to earn a steady income from home no matter what your home business.

1. Set Goals for Success

Setting goals will help you stay focused on what you want to accomplish within your home business. Start with long-term goals for where you would like to be financially five, ten, even fifteen years from now. Next, create short-term goals for daily, weekly, and monthly achievements. To attain financial freedom is a great long-term general goal, but it will take many small goals to reach this level. You'll need to set small goals to create a steady cash system. A home business will go nowhere without goals, so take this step before starting any other tasks.

2. Create a Pleasant, Professional Home Office

Evaluate your home business workspace. Do you work in a corner of your bedroom with a desk and computer? Is your office usually the kitchen table between meals? Do you try to work in the living area while the rest of your family enjoys conversation or entertainment? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you'll probably need to make some changes.

Create an office space that is for work only. Even if it's in the corner of another room, block its view with office sectional walls or some type of barrier wall to give a sense of privacy. An office should be just an "office" and nothing else. When you arrive at your office, you're ready for work. When you leave the office space, the workday is over.

3. Get Organized

Once you have a defined work area for your home business, fill it with supplies and tools to make work easier and more efficient. Choose a desk and chair for comfort as well as back, neck, and arm support. Desks with shelves and cabinets can make organizing your office a cinch, especially if you have limited office space. Also, keep a daily to-do list, calendar, and schedule book to prioritize tasks.

4. Stay on Schedule

When you work at home, it's easy to get off schedule because of interruptions or the temptation to take time off for leisure activities. Keep in mind that every moment wasted today usually means more work the next day. Eventually, you'll be working around the clock and never seem to accomplish anything. For home business success, keep a steadfast work routine daily and set a work schedule you can stick with every day. Develop a mentality that every job is actually a pay-by-the-hour job. Every hour spent working will help you make money and gain financial freedom.

5.  Separate Business from Personal Tasks

Once you set a schedule, stick to it. Don't allow personal tasks to get in the way of work. These can be anything from cleaning the house to visits from friends or relatives to watching television. Take breaks from your computer, but try to avoid getting involved in personal tasks during your breaks. Many women confess to washing dishes, ironing clothes, vacuuming, and other personal tasks while on break from their home business. Personal tasks can cause your mind to be off-focus, and it will be difficult to return to a regular work routine afterward.

Find other things to do during breaks that won't take your mind too far away from work. Take a 15-minute walk. Sit and read a self-help book related to your business. Or, take a quick snack break, with a healthy snack of course!

Once you take these steps, you're ready to enjoy a steady cash system at home that works. You can earn money doing what you love most, and your home business can soar to heights never imagined if you stick with these basic principals. Get ready for a bumpy road, but also look for the financial freedom that awaits you just over the horizon!

Friday, September 28, 2012

5 Considerations for the Home Worker to Make Money Online

With a computer and high speed Internet access, the potential for the home worker to make money online is virtually limitless. When it comes to finding the right home based business opportunity, there are several things to consider. Here are the top five:

1. Are You a Salesperson?

Some people have a natural talent for sales, while others couldn't sell water to someone stranded in the desert. For the home based worker who has the ability to sell, network marketing may be the perfect home based business. Network marketing typically involves selling products in one or more niche markets, as well as selling the opportunity. Also known as multi-level marketing, network marketing pays commissions based on a percentage of your sales and on the sales of your "downline," or those you have recruited to sell the product. Each opportunity has its own commission plan, and many pay bonuses on top of commissions.

2. Are You Experienced?

If you have years of experience being a home worker, you probably have a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses. On the other hand, if you're new to being an entrepreneur, you probably need training. Look for a company that offers the tools and training you need in order to succeed. The type of training you receive can encompass everything from weekly conference calls or webinars (Internet-based seminars), to one-on-one coaching from your upline, to training manuals and other written materials.

3. Are You Internet Savvy?

If you know your way around the Internet and know something about setting up and hosting websites, the possibilities are endless. You can create your own websites, for example, and start generating affiliate revenue and Google AdSense revenue.

If you haven't the foggiest idea of how to set up and host a website, be sure to find a company you can partner with who will do the heavy lifting. There are many Internet-based opportunities for the home based worker from companies that provide what are called "replicated sites." They'll design and host your websites for you, so that all you have to do is work on marketing in order to drive traffic to your site.

4. How Much do You Want to Work?

Before selecting a home based business opportunity, honestly assess how much you want to work. If a stay-at-home mom needs extra money, she may only want to work two or three hours a day. If someone wants to quit the rat race and work full time as a home worker, money for moms simply won't be enough income. Sometimes a single home based business will provide all of the revenue a person needs, while other times you have to embark on several opportunities to diversify and multiply your revenue streams.

5. How Hands-On do You Want to Be?

Some home based business opportunities require that you be actively involved on a day-to-day basis, either in order fulfillment and customer service or in marketing your websites or businesses. Other opportunities are more passive in nature, in that you have to spend a lot of time initially, but they become self-perpetuating. If you're a home worker who enjoys being an ongoing active participant, choose an opportunity that requires you to interact with other people. If you prefer to be hands-off, select a business that will basically run itself.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

5 Benefits Of Using Feeds - How Feeds Can Help Your Ebiz

What’s a Feed?

Feeds are a way of sharing content. When you make material from your website available for publishing on other sites, you provide them with a feed. Basically, it’s a code that lets them post your articles and blogs. There are different kinds of code—XML, RSS, Atom, etc.—but essentially they’re all just different ways of accessing a feed.

According to internet expert Sydney Johnston, “The great thing about a feed is everybody wins.” The article writer gains exposure, the reader learns about something of interest to them, and the online seller gets an endless source of pertinent content.

What Can a Feed Do for My Online Business?

Feeds are useful in a number of different ways:

• They Eliminate Spam-filters. They’re 100% opt-in, so readers can subscribe and unsubscribe at will. Feeds are delivered directly to your subscribers, so you don’t contend with filters knocking you out of their inboxes.

• They Provide Free Content. One of the best ways to differentiate your site is to supply readers with interesting material—educate them on topics relating to the product you’re selling. If you sell preschool toys, chances are you don’t want to study child development and write numerous articles on the subject—so find someone else who’s already done that and make their feed available to your customers. The constantly updating, applicable subject matter gives your visitors a reason to keep coming back.

• They Can Improve Your Search Engine Rankings. In the past, search engines were unable to read feeds, but software is now available to translate them into live links the engines can see (check out http://CyberWS.com). Search engines love fresh, dynamic content, so feeds are ideal. They provide relevant information that updates automatically. Not only do your customers get the facts they’re looking for, but the search engines like your site and give it better position.

• For Affiliate Marketers, They’re an Alternative to Banners. You not only give your customer valuable knowledge, but if they click through and purchase something, you get credit. And unlike with banners, you don’t look like you’re putting up junk ads or spam.

• They Can Increase Your Traffic. Anything you write, you should make available as a feed. When other sites pick it up, it’s free advertising for you—all their traffic is able to click through the feed to your site. So you gain new potential customers you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Feeds on any subject are easy to find. There’s a whole collection of search engines just for feeds, like http://Plazoo.com and http://Feedster.com. Says Johnston, “The future of the internet for entrepreneurs is feeds. If people don’t master them, they’re going to get left behind, period.”


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

4 Tech Must-haves For Your Mobile Office

Everything changes when you trade in your desktop for a laptop and your office for a hotel room.
Sometimes this is for the better: You're liberated from your cubicle and free to go where your work takes you.
But sometimes things change for the worse. Productivity suffers when you're in an unfamiliar place. The way a laptop keyboard cramps your hands is sometimes enough to keep you from getting the job done right.
Here are four technology "must-haves" for the mobile office, plus some tools that can boost your productivity while you're away.
The Right Software
It isn't just downloading the necessary applications onto your laptop or PDA, it's also knowing whether the programs are suited to a mobile office. Is your email program built for the road or adapted from a bigger application meant for a corporate network? Do the programs work together on your laptop or do they freeze when your processor gets busy?
These considerations can become big issues when you're travelling. That's something Tab Stone, a doctor from Los Angeles, knows all too well. He installed a new email program on his laptop before leaving on a recent trip, but it wasn't suited for mobile use. He had to uninstall it shortly before takeoff, but that disabled his backup email program. That meant he couldn't download any messages to his PC. "I could not fix whatever was corrupted with either a fresh download or a copy downloaded from the internet," Stone recalls.
The latest: Contact-management software programs let you integrate data with your PDA, so you can download and synchronise contacts, calendar appointments and notes to your Palm Pilot or Pocket PC. There's also a web-based version for travellers who either lose their laptops or prefer to work from a desktop at their destination.
What's next? Look for more integration between applications for wireless users. Contact managers are already assuming the role of email program, address book and database. The next step is making it more accessible to people who are using cell phones or PDAs.
The Right Hardware
I'm not talking about owning the newest laptop computer. I'm talking about hardware that's created for life on the road. Let's face it: A lot of the gadgets on which mobile professionals depend aren't made with travellers in mind. For example, when Joachim Martin's laptop battery ran out on a recent flight, a helpful flight attendant offered to recharge it in a "secret" outlet in the back of the plane. "The batteries charged," remembers the software developer. "But when I got home, they were dead." The power source had to be replaced. Blame the airline, the battery manufacturer or even the unfortunate business traveller for not knowing better, but this kind of thing happens often. Phone plugs don't always fit; neither do power outlets. And a lot of the gadgets we rely on are traveller-hostile, impractical or both.
The latest: Some hardware manufacturers are meeting the demand for traveller-friendly hardware with add-ons such as the Stowaway XT Keyboard. I've also been impressed with Microsoft's Mini Optical Mouse, which frees you from the restrictions of your laptop's finger-cramping pointer.
What's next? As the convergence between cell phones, PCs and PDAs continues, it wouldn't surprise me to see devices that offer the ergonomic comfort of a desktop with the portability of a PDA. It won't come a moment too soon for many road warriors.
The Right Connections
Connections are everything to the mobile office.
Remember Stone, the doctor without email? He eventually accessed his messages through an unwieldy web connection. Spencer Field, who recently returned from a trip to Melbourne, can also tell you about email trouble. He learned upon arrival that the dial-up numbers to his internet service provider (ISP) didn't work. "I thought that was probably the end of my online access," he says. "As a last-ditch effort, I let my fingers do the walking and checked out the Melbourne Yellow Pages for a local ISP." He found one and signed up for a one-month email account which gave him access to local numbers on his entire itinerary.
It isn't just internet connections that matter, but also hooking up to other devices such as cell phones, PDAs and laptops. Technologies such as Bluetooth let you communicate with other devices in an office or hotel room without the need for cables.
The latest: According to a recent AT&T study, the top barrier to working from a remote location is access to a high-speed data connection. Fast wireless networks are springing up everywhere — in hotels, airport lounges and coffee shops. And even though Bluetooth got off to a slow start, the concept behind it — which is to lose the wires — is fundamentally sound.
What's next? It won't be long before Wi-Fi is as ubiquitous as cellular coverage and a majority of devices are Bluetooth-enabled. That's good news for those of us who work in a mobile office.
The Right Web Applications
Web-based applications are so important to the mobile office that I've decided to give them their own category, even though they technically belong in the "software" section. The web is one of the most efficient ways for a mobile worker to gain access to a back-office system, intranet or database.
My ISP offers a rudimentary application that lets me check my email from the web. I can't remember how often I've had to use it because my email program failed to work properly. But I do remember the last time. I was stuck at a meeting out-of-town and my email account had sustained a spam attack — thousands of unsolicited messages — that would have taken hours to download. Instead, I logged on to the web and deleted them all in seconds. Were it not for the web application, I would probably still be downloading the spam.
The latest: One of the most innovative Web applications is GoToMyPC , which lets you access the desktop in your home or office through the web. Another useful application for mobile users is web conferencing services such as Microsoft Office LiveMeeting.
What's next? Expect these applications to become cheaper, more reliable and even more sophisticated.

Monday, September 24, 2012

4 Classic Cold Calling Mistakes

Most traditional sales programs spend a lot of time focusing on overcoming objections. But these tactics only put more sales pressure on your prospect, which triggers resistance. Keywords: cold call, cold calling, sales training, phone selling, phone prospecting, sales prospecting, sales scripts, telesales, telemarketing, mortgage selling, mortgage cold calling, insurance sales Article Body:
Have you noticed that the old "tried and true" cold calling techniques which were once successful have completely lost their effectiveness over the years? They just don’t work anymore.
But many salespeople are still use them because that’s all they know. They’re working from that old, ineffective cold calling mindset. And they’re making the same mistakes over and over again.
I’d like to talk about 4 classic cold calling mistakes from the old traditional approach that will put you on the wrong path if you’re not careful.

1. Deliver a strong, enthusiastic sales pitch
People almost always feel "pushed" by sales enthusiasm, especially when it’s coming from someone they don’t know.
You see, a strong sales pitch includes the unspoken assumption that your product or service is a great fit for the other person. But think about it. You’ve never spoken with them before, much less had a full conversation. You can’t possibly know much about them at this point.
So to them, you’re just another salesperson who wants them to buy something. And so the walls go up.
It’s much better to modestly assume you know very little about your prospect. Invite them to share some of their concerns and difficulties with you. And allow them to guide the conversation, rather than your pre-ordained strategy or pitch.

2. Your goal is to always make the sale
When your target in cold calling is to always make the sale, prospects are aware of your agenda. And almost immediately, they’re on the defensive. After all, you’re primarily focused on yourself and the sale – not on them.
In the old traditional mindset, you forge ahead with the hope of getting a sale. You’re coaxing, persuading, and pushing things forward.
But most cold calls break down the moment the other person feels this sales pressure.
Why? Because they don’t know you, and they don’t trust you.
So the sales momentum you’re trying to create actually triggers a backlash of suspicion and resistance. They’re trying to protect themselves from a potential "intruder" with what appears to them as a self-serving agenda.
Instead, you can approach cold calling with a different goal. Your focus can be on discovering whether you’re able to solve a problem for the other person.
When you become a problem-solver, this feels vastly different to the person you’re talking to. You’re not triggering rejection. You’re calling with 100 percent of your thoughts and energy focused on their needs, rather than on making a sale.

3. Focus on the end of the conversation – that’s when sales are lost
If you believe that you lose sales because you’ve made a mistake at the end of the process, you’re looking in the wrong direction. Most mistakes are made at the beginning of a cold calling conversation.
You see, it’s at the beginning that you convey whether you’re honest and trustworthy. If you’ve started out your cold call with a high-pressured sales pitch, then you’ve probably lost the other person in just a few seconds.
When you follow a sales script, strategy, or presentation, then you’re not allowing a natural, trusting conversation to evolve. So the "problem" has been put into motion by your very first words. So the place to put all your focus is at the beginning of the cold call, not at the end.

4. Overcome and counter all objections
Most traditional sales programs spend a lot of time focusing on overcoming objections. But these tactics only put more sales pressure on your prospect, which triggers resistance. And you also fail to explore or understand the truth behind what’s being said.
When you hear, "We don't have the budget," or, "Call me in a few months," you can uncover the truth by replying, "That's not a problem."
And then using gentle, dignified language, you can invite them to reveal the truth about their situation.

So move away from the old sales mindset and try this new way of approaching your cold calling. You’ll find yourself being more natural, and others will respond to you in a much more positive way.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

3 Ways to Create a Steady Cash Stream while You Work from Home

Working from home was once merely a dream for most people. Until the onslaught of the Internet and home PCs, it simply wasn't feasible for companies to hire employees to work from home. And starting a small business took special know-how, a large initial investment, and a lot of advertising and marketing. But now, working from home is a reality for thousands of people, and you too can realize this dream.

The first goal for your home business should be to find ways to create steady cash flow. You'll need cash flow to operate and promote your home business, and to secure a lucrative income for yourself. There are many different ways to create a cash stream for your home business. Here are three ideas to get you started.

1. Buy a Pre-Existing Profitable Business

One way to create an immediate cash flow is to buy a pre-existing home business that is already making a profit. Of course, you will not enjoy a profit immediately because you must invest initially. But once you are able to recover from the initial investment, you can continue receiving profits year after year.

The key benefit of buying a pre-existing work-from-home business is you will gain knowledge from the previous owner about what works for the business and what doesn't work. The main disadvantage is you will have to follow in the footsteps of another instead of building your own home business from the ground up. There's a great sense of pride when you can truly call a business "your own!"

2. Follow a Profitable Business Model

Another way to create a cash stream for your work-from-home business is to follow the profitable business model of another. You can learn a lot from others who have already been successful with a home business. Many long-time entrepreneurs are creating e-books and global networks to help new home business owners become a success. They are revealing little-known secrets about work-from-home businesses that would likely take you years to discover on your own.

Look for entrepreneurs who have owned work-from-home businesses in a field that interests you. Use their ideas and examples to create a profitable business model for your new home business.

3. Internet and Network Marketing

A third way to create a cash stream of income is to utilize the Internet and network marketing to your advantage. Find and join a team of individuals who have similar goals and work with them to build a successful online business. With the Internet and network marketing, many are realizing their financial goals faster than they ever imagined.

Network marketing online can be accomplished through email and a website while working from home, and it can bring more people together with similar goals in a very short period of time. Many global network companies will promote your online business for you and take every initiative to help you become a success. There are even global resorts networks that enable you to travel to exotic places while earning a substantial income.

Whatever method you choose to create a cash stream as you work from home, set some goals for your business and start realizing your dreams today!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

3 Easy Ways To Make More Money This Year

Successful business owners all have one thing in common, they are never satisfied with sales levels. Whether you are making $10,000 a year or $1 million a year, there is always a possibility for growth.

Growth only comes when you realize it can happen. You will not grow if you are content or can't see the future possibilities for growth.

Here are three easy ways that you can transform your business from the level it is at, into a profit making machine.

1. Always track statistics

This may seem obvious, but most people never do it. You should always track and gather as much information as possible. Track walk in customers, track purchases, evaulate marketing, monitor amount of purchases, frequent vistiors, non-buying prospects, etc.

With this knowledge you will be more informed as to how you marketing dollars are doing and where you can increase production.

2. Find people you can trust

For my websites I have one person that writes nearly full time for me. I can send her topics for articles or websites, and she does the research and writes well thought out articles. I can pay her in advance and know that she is going to be there when I need writing at the last minute.

You definitely need people you can trust as well. These people may be your managers, family members, or just friends who can help in a pinch.

3. Develop your passion

Sometimes I need to take a drive through the country to remember why I love what I am doing. It is easy to get caught up in the fray of customer service and deadlines, but for me the most productive time is always when I am out of my business element. Use this time away to revive your passion.

Next time you are thinking that it is not possible for your business to make money, remember and put these 3 easy tips into practice!

8 BIG Small Business Mistakes

Here’s an interesting notion: Do you realize that there are mistakes you can make at various stages of your business’ growth that can be slowly killing it for months or even years if you don’t watch for them?

Well, these mistakes do exist and they are not just reserved for the rookie companies. Many working businesses, including those you might think are “successful” because they’ve been around for 10+ years, are often still making them… and are possibly losing a lot of money and/or wasting a lot of time in the process.

Although some of these big and sneaky mistakes seem aimed more at service type companies, they really do fit the bill for almost any type of industry. I’ve done my best with the listings below to give examples to prove it.

Underestimating Project/Service Time- This is a big one and it pertains to service companies as well as companies that sell a product. This is a service company’s bread and butter. If you don’t estimate your time to perform each and every service in your repertoire, you will get burned and there is little you can do about it but bite the bullet and learn from it. The best way to estimate time is to do it once yourself or watch your best employee do the task and then throw in a little fudge factor on top of it. For product companies, time becomes an issue with logistics so be aware!

Not Knowing YOUR Company Numbers/Incorrectly Setting Prices- Notice I emphasized the word “your”. It’s a common mistake to use a competitor’s as your pricing gauge without actually knowing why they use those numbers. Think about the nightmare you will get yourself into if you take a competitor’s price, cut it by 10% and then start selling. What if the competition has a bad pricing structure and is barely making money or even losing money?!?! What if your costs are more than theirs?!?! You can use competitor as a starting point but you can’t base your whole strategy on it.

Different industries have their own variables as far as costs go and you need to be aware of them for your project or product pricing. What you pay for a product you are going to sell is not the only cost to have in your head when you are pricing products. How much your labor and materials cost for a service is only a piece of an hourly rate. Employees cost more than just salary and not every employee is part of your labor cost. Every company has insurance to pay for. There are tons of overhead expenditures that need to be part of your price. Oh, by the way, the big one that many people forget about in their price is the quality factor. What you include as “standard services” or “standard product features” as well as job site etiquette or in store service or warranties all need to go into your pricing. I’ll get to more on why in the next segment.

Not Charging for All of Your Time & Costs- This seems like a stupid statement to some but I bet most business owners will admit that they have given away a little too much of the farm at times. Hey, there is nothing wrong with giving a little extra here and there to show you care. But either way, that’s not what I’m talking about here. What concerns me are those that put a lot of quality into their work or products or stores and do not cover the cost for it. As an example, say you run a service company and your competitors don’t do a certain standard service that you do. You can’t just undercut their price to steal a job; you need to have that cost covered in your rate and advertise the fact that it comes with the price upfront. Stores undermine themselves, for example, when they put more people on the floor for customer service but don’t charge for it. These things cost you money and when your competitors don’t do them it costs them less money. Put out better service and then under price them, and your competition just has to wait a little bit for you to fall on your face so they can swoop back in.

As a business owner you need to believe that you are providing your clients worthwhile wares that deserve to be paid for. If you get the chance to explain why your prices are higher, then take that opportunity and do it. If they don’t like the fact that you include things that others charge extra for later or that you treat them better, then they are most likely completely price shoppers. You don’t want them as regular customers anyway. Trust me.

Not Getting Paid Fast Enough- That’s right, the old cash flow issue. As long as you are actually making enough money to pay the bills, this problem can be solved, prevented or at least made to be not as bad as it could be. Here’s the deal:

First off all, bill customers very promptly. It is very common for a small business to not have the procedures or systems in place to get invoices generated and out the door in a timely fashion (see the next segment for more). Again, this would seem unlikely since that’s the reason why we are doing the work- to get paid. But it is very easy for the people responsible for getting this info to the billing people to be too busy to get it there or not have enough organization to give it to them the right way.

The second part to slowing down or stopping a regular cash flow crunch is to make the quickest payment deals possible with customers and the slowest possible with vendors and employees. If there is any way not to pay employees any more than twice a month, you better do it. Contractors always have an issue with this. If you must pay weekly, then tell them before they are hired that they will be getting the first week held back, essentially buying you a week. It will help, I promise.

Part three involves credit. If your company can get a credit card, then get it. This allows for certain important things to be bought (that you can afford) that might come up during a cash flow crunch. Better yet, especially if you have no choice but to deal with 45+ day customer payments, do your best to get a company line of credit. This is a must if you plan on selling to the government or doing commercial service work. These clients often have 60 to 90 day wait periods.

Failure to Have Solid Systems and Procedures in Place- Too many procedures (known as “red tape”) is the reason why many people start their own business in the first place. Unfortunately, having no procedures and systems in place at all is not an alternative. Depending on the type of industry, business owners must come to a happy medium or chaos and the unknown will ensue. Some basic examples where procedures or systems are needed include billing, collections, payroll, hr (interviewing, hiring, vacations, benefits, job responsibilities, etc.), manufacturing, operating equipment, maintaining equipment, inventory, sales calls/visits and logistics to name a few.

Even a one person show needs to have some admin procedures in place. This will make it easier to hire temps and subcontractors and control what they are doing for you. Without at least a watered down version of a system or procedure to do everyday work, you will be to blame for causing many major headaches as your company grows. I can’t emphasize how important this is for when you bring on new employees. I’m sure you heard this before, but I am also a big proponent of having an employee handbook even for one employee. It’s amazing the trouble people can cause business owners just because they allow you to pay them.

Spending Advertising Money Just to Say You Advertise- I would almost rather see my clients not advertise then to spend without regard to tracking the results. There is no point in a marketing campaign if you do not put things in place that allow you to measure how well the plan is working. The other wasteful part of marketing that many people make the mistake of doing, is not tracking their previously successful campaigns. Why some people think that just because a $400 dollar a month ad worked once very well for one busy season, that it will automatically work every year after that is beyond me.

Spreading Yourself Too Thin- This is a classic mistake made by every entrepreneur. The key is to figure out when you are at that “wearing too many hats” point and start getting some help. The solution here is to know your strengths and to be able see when you are not performing the duties that demand these skills. If you are the best sales person on the company, you can’t get caught up in day-to-day operations. If you do, sales will slip and eventually you won’t have any operations to worry about. Think about this to help you figure out if you are spread too thin: Did you really go into business for yourself to work 80+ hours a week?

Not Getting Help Soon Enough- Set goals to know when to hire people to take over where you are light on knowledge. Not getting help or waiting too long can kill a company. Most people who start a business do it because they are good at the technical end or the sales end. If you know the best way to make a widget, then your strength is in production and that is where your time should be spent. Hire an outside company or consultant to take care of the sales and marketing and then hire inside when you can afford someone full time. Don’t be something to your company that you are not. It will only hold you back.

The three big issues people like to tackle themselves but usually are least knowledgeable about are legal issues, accounting/bookkeeping issues and daily operations issues. The odds are that these three things are your weakest link so if you don’t have a partner that has the background for these subjects, then be prepared to get help as soon as possible. It’s preferable that you do this before you start a business.

Although looking for these problems at any time is a good idea, the end of a year or season is an excellent business interval to make sure you are not making these errors. Take the time, or make the time, to fix these problems. If you don’t know how to reverse the problems, then get some help. If you really don’t have enough time to either figure out if you have these issues or know they are there and can’t break away long enough to do it right, then get some help.