Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Are Your Business Skills Costing You Money

Many people have the passion and background knowledge to become business owners but do not take time to educate themselves about how to start and sustain a business. Many business owners cannot generate increased revenues to produce consistent cash flows due to lack of business skills or business knowledge. Lack of business skills can cause lost revenue.

Some of the most common mistakes business owners make are: having no website or using a free website, no business bank account, using a free email address, no physical mailing address, using a cell phone number as a business phone number, limited or no use of social networking, manual business processes, not accepting multiple forms or payments, credibility - what makes you different from your competition, having bad credit, limited use of technology and lack of creativity. Here are 7 tips on how to increase your business skills and your revenue.

1. Appearance. First impressions are critical to turning prospective clients into potential clients. Word of mouth is the cheapest and best way to generate business. If your physical and/or office appearance are low quality you may be missing out on potential clients. Create a budget for your business and stick to it. Always look and speak in a professional manner. Surround yourself with at least three successful business owners and ask them for advice on how they achieved their success.

2. SSN. Using your social security number as your tax id can cause problems in the future when filing taxes. It is best to obtain an employee identification number when first starting your business or obtain one as soon as possible. This ensures that you keep your personal life separate from your business. It has helped those who had to file bankruptcy for their business and were able to retain the personal assets and credit score.

3. Tax Filing. There are several options when filing your business status with the IRS such as sole proprietorship, limited liability corporation, corporation, partnership, non-profit, etc. Make sure you file the correct status for your business.

4. Social Networking. Social networking is the easiest and cheapest way to get new clients and increase revenue. Everyone is on the internet. Employers are seeking employees and companies are selling products and offering discounts every day. If you are not connected you are missing out on a big market. Ensure you social network profile remains professional. Don’t allow others to post negative or inappropriate comments on your profile. Keep your profile neutral on all subjects. Ask trusted friends and clients to recommend your product or service.

5. Website. Free websites may scare away potential customers who may feel that you are inexperienced, not serious about your business or that you cannot be trusted. Free websites also have advertisements that may distract potential customers from your website. Take the time to hire a professional web designer and make continual updates.

6. Cash flow. Before starting your business determine the startup costs if any and set aside at least 3 months reserve for any expenses that you may incur. After you get your business up and running work hard to maintain at least 3 months reserve because there will be a vendor who doesn’t pay on time, a client whose check bounces or a provider who prices increase. It is easier to run a business without worrying about how to pay business costs each month. If you need additional funding visit the Small Business Administration or get a line or credit.

7. Protection. Get the right amount of business and health insurance coverage. Hire experienced professionals to help support your business such as a financial advisor, lawyer, accountant, business coach/mentor, office support staff and website designer.

Don’t let your lack of business skills cost you revenue. Educate yourself about being a business owner and take your business to the next level.

1 comment:

Sir David said...

These articles have got complete sense without confusing the readers.
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