Online Business – Stick At It!

I’m writing this article on a Friday, the start of the weekend.

Now, I make no secret of the fact that I love sport and the best time to enjoy the majority of sport, certainly in the UK, is at the weekend.

This is when many people make the most of the opportunity to enjoy themselves – spending time with family and friends, watching sport, going for a walk etc.

At this time of year it is Golf and Cricket that I particularly enjoy. I still play golf but my cricket is now confined to umpiring and the occasional bounce game.
What has this got to do with online business, I hear you ask. Well…

I also know that some people use their weekends to work on their online business. This is particularly true for those who are trying to set up their internet business in addition to their other employment. I know it can be a struggle to do this – it often feels like there aren’t enough hours in the week!

It isn’t an easy path and there will be lots of obstacles to overcome. Unfortunately, many people don’t appreciate this and as a result they soon become disillusioned.

I think that’s the reason why the following phrase is quite common amongst would be online business entrepreneurs – “I’ve tried that and it doesn’t work”. To me this reflects the fact that they had unrealistic expectations of instant success and have given up too early.

What they are really saying is “I tried that and it didn’t work straight away”. They then conclude that it will never work. But that just isn’t the case. Success comes by persevering, trying out new approaches, amending and tweaking something until you get it to work.

Think back to the great inventions and discoveries of our time – we would never have had them if people had given up after a few attempts.

It’s often quoted that Thomas Edison tried at least 1000 ways before finally creating the modern light bulb. So why should things be different for us?

If you’re struggling with some aspect of your online business then take this on board. Expect things to be challenging and develop a mindset of finding solutions to the problems that you’ll come across.

If you can’t get something to work first time don’t assume that it will never work. Persevere – try a different approach, ask for help and advice.

That’s what separates the successful people from those who give up at the first hurdle. I know it’s difficult when you spend hours of your weekend trying to figure something out when you could be out enjoying the sunshine!

But remember that it will all be worth it when your perseverance pays off and you start making sales in your online business.

Just remind yourself of this quote from Thomas Edison – Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.

So don’t give up – stick at it!

Now where did I put the Golf Clubs!!!

Business Cards That Make Your Business Stick Out

One might ask how significant are business cards for the success of a business or what happens after one hands them out to prospective or current customers. It’s until one becomes an independent businessman or woman that one realizes how essential they are as part of marketing and networking tools. A good business card should always put creativity and artistic display at the core of everything. This is something that professional photographers and designers will always proffer to anyone who intends to design one. The cards should be exceptionally creative with inclusion of some unique features such as some portraits at the back of the card or an inspirational quote that will leave an indelible mark in the reader’s mind.

It’s always necessary to think of a card as a marketing tool from the onset. There are common mistakes that many business people make by making it a directory of contacts and poorly elucidating on the services they offer, and thus making the card lose the taste immediately after exchanging hands. Think of the impact that a card designed with high resolution with lucid and well cut out graphics and letters. The selling point of such a card will undoubtedly be high and will always bring out the rare Wow factor.

If one has a small business offering products to the market, it is always advisable to include a product picture at the back of the card while at the same time ensuring that the card professionally designed and are the type that one can hardly throw away. The best way to achieve this is to look for designers who print full color on both sides of the card. One can choose the best photos or choose from the color schemes and designs that they have in their numerous templates although using the available flexible templates usually works well. All one needs to remember is that creativity is the bench mark with which to measure whether the business card will stick out or not.

Five Tips to Start Your Own Business

Starting a business is a lot like starting a family. Once you take the plunge, you should be reasonably sure of sustaining it for a good period of time. Hence, before taking the plunge, it will be wise to plan a bit. Here are 5 important tips:

1. Do Your Own Research

Before deciding on the business you want to start, do some research. This should include the size of the market you are targeting, types of customers you will have, their tastes, and the extent and kind of competition.

In addition, a good study should also be done about the costs: rent, cost of raw materials, labour, and best location.

It is better that you do not rely on other agencies or friends for this. It is okay for big corporate organisations to hire research firms to do this, but you are not a big corporate.

Do not trust other people’s assessments before sinking your hard earned dollar on the business. Do your own digging, and planning.

2. Prepare a Business Model

A business model is a statement of your plan on how you intend to generate revenues, and how much profit are you aiming for. There are 5 main ingredients of a good business plan.

a) Size of the targeted market in terms of quantity and value
b) Cost of inputs and production
c) Expected revenues or total sales proceeds,
d) Rent, interest on capital, depreciation for furniture/machinery
e) Expected profits at the end of a quarter, or one year.

It is important that you prepare this business model with utmost honesty and accuracy, because the success of your venture will largely depend on the efficacy of your business model.

3. Stick to Your Plan

Once you have made all the plans and started the business, stick to the plan. Do not change course mid-way, and do not get discouraged by adverse results initially. Every business will initially encounter resistance, but if your plans are well made, your business is bound to succeed.

History is flush with examples of how some of the world’s most successful businessmen built great business empires by continuing to pursue their ventures despite initial setbacks.

4. Have a Plan B Ready

Even the best laid plans may sometimes go awry. Suppose an unexpected event – a natural disaster, a sudden shrinking of the market, a new invention totally replacing your product – happens, and your Business Model becomes unviable.

If such an eventuality happens, it would be foolish to continue the same trade and go on booking losses month after month. Better cut your losses, and put your Plan B into operation.

Plan B should be drawn up such that your losses are minimal, and you are left with enough capital to start afresh.

Do not forget that new circumstances will throw up new opportunities and your business career is by no means at an end. But you should have enough capital left, and your mental framework should not be burdened with the scars of failure, in order to take advantage of the new opportunities.

Therefore, it is crucial to know when to quit and start afresh. For this you should have plan B ready in advance.

5. Don’t Be Too Ambitious Too Early

Initially, it is always imperative to take small steps. The size of your operation should be strictly within your financial and physical capacity. It should be such that you should be able to manage it personally, in the initial stages.

You can’t depend on others to implement your plan carefully. You have to do it yourself.

For this, it is important to know your limits and confine the size of your business within it when you start. In the same vein, if you have to borrow funds to start the business, it must be within your repaying capacity, and the repayment schedule must be built into the Business Model from day one.