Tag Archives: small business

PixelGigs Launches Business Opportunity – How Can You Benefit?

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Weathering the Storm – What to do to Stay on Top in a Down Economy

Weathering the Storm -What to do to Stay on Top in a Down Economy

By Robert Imbriale,
The Motivational Marketer

Business owners from coast to coast are worried, scared, and some are even considering closing up shop because of what they see as uncertain times ahead. While it’s true that there will be many business closings ahead, your business doesn’t have to be one of them.

What’s behind much of the fear and worry is the constant barrage of bad news about industry giants failing at an alarming rate. And, it’s not just the what’s in the news. Our conversations have also turned negative about anything related to the economy.

What has happened to many business owners is that they have taken what they have heard or read about in the news and given it more attention than it truly deserves. That has created doubt, which soon becomes fear, and not long after that, you’ll find these same business owners throwing in the towel and shutting their doors forever.

And then there’s the trickle-down effect to consider. When one business fails, other business owners then begin to look at that failure to support their beliefs that things are as bad as they are hearing about in the news.

If your business is going to succeed, the first thing you need to do is shift your attention away from all of this and instead focus on things that are indeed more positive. I’m not suggesting that you ignore it all, but try to at least get a new perspective on it all.

For instance, yesterday, I was at the local packing and shipping store where business was booming. In fact, the owner told me he was having a great holiday season, despite what the fact that if you believe what you’re hearing about in the news would make you think this could simply not be possible.
I’m sure that you won’t see a story about this business in the news, either, so don’t go looking for it.

Now, I’m not trying to blame the news media for all our troubles. These companies are nothing more than businesses that respond to what their customers buy. We buy bad news hundreds of times more than good news. If we bought only good news, that what you’d see more of. So it’s not entirely the media’s fault.

Closer to home, I started to look for signs that things weren’t quite as bad as I’d heard. Sure enough, there is the landscape crew out on my front lawn, so I asked him how his business was doing. It was slower, but he was still getting big landscaping jobs, one totaling more than $125,000.00!
In my own business, I’m seeing more and more clients contacting me for my executive level coaching services because they are looking to make this coming year better than the previous one!

“What?” People actually not looking at things from a negative perspective? Well, they’ll see, you think to yourself because you “know” they just can’t be right.

Then you look a little deeper at what’s really happening right now and what you begin to see is that this is the perfect time to be positive about the future.

Think about it this way. When the economy was bubbling hot, houses became almost unaffordable as prices rose to record-setting highs. Yes, cheap money was indeed behind all of that, but had it continued to go the way it was going, in just a decade from now, the average home in this country might have topped a million dollars!

Things are simply adjusting and getting back to more reasonable levels. And, as in any adjustment period, it’s going to be a little uncomfortable for a little while. And, there is a lot you can do right now to take advantage of all the changes.

Here are some suggestions for you.

First, go out of your way to find stories of success. Find people who are now talking about better times ahead instead of hanging around people who can only parrot what they hear in the news.

Then, start creating your plans for this next year by putting down on paper everything you wish to have and do in the next 12 months. Go ahead and be bold here because big dreams are what create big results.

Next, create, find, invent a way to get yourself around people who are positive, upbeat, and who are seeing all the opportunities that are now being created that could never have been if things had stayed the way they were. Engage in conversations of success and what you want your business to do, and what you’re planning for the next year.

This is where a good coach can be extremely valuable to you and your business, and it’s a worthwhile investment if you simply can’t find anybody to motivate you and hold you accountable.

If you do these simple steps, what you’ll find is that things aren’t quite as bad as they are made to appear, and in fact, there are many places that are thriving right now.

Think about this. Each and every day billions and billions of dollars changes hands on the Internet. That number may be lower than it once was when it broke all previous records, but it has not stopped! It’s just lower, and nothing more.

Your job is simply to find new and innovative ways to tap into the money stream that is flowing and will continue to flow, no matter how bad things may get out there.

Realize that millionaires are made in good times and bad. It’s not about what’s going on out there as much as it is about how you think about and what you do about it.

Your success comes from seeing things that other people can’t or won’t see. Every smart and successful business owner sees things as they want them to be rather than as they are.

They put their focus on what they are trying to create instead of what they are getting because they realize that what they are getting right now is simply a result of what they did, or failed to do, in the past. What they get tomorrow and beyond will be the result of what they do today and everyday going forward.

In a nutshell, you can, and you should be planning for a great year ahead. You should be thinking about how you want your business to look a year from today, and start working on those plans right now.

If you’ll do these things, and I mean really do them, instead of just giving them lip service, I know you’ll be pleased with the results you’ll get in the coming year, regardless of how bad the media tells us things are out there.

Remember, drama is what sells newspapers, not stories of success. Go ahead and buck the trend, plan ahead, and create a business that will stand the test of what’s ahead… and cash in as all your competitor’s go out of business because they got scared and their customers now start buying from you!

Think about it. You can either struggle in the coming year, or you can thrive, and it’s really all up to you.

About the Author

Robert Imbriale is the author of the best-selling book, Motivational Marketing. He is a successful business coach, and seminar leader who has helped hundreds of thousands of business owners create bigger, more successful businesses, and he can help you too. Tell him what your biggest challenge is with your business right now! Go to http://www.AskRobertImbriale.com If you would like to have Robert help you with your business, you can reach him at 1-800-541-3816 or at http://www.RobertImbriale.com

Tips for Effective Business Plan Writing


Hello. If you are thinking about starting your first business, writing a business plan can seem, …well… overwhelming! If you feel you are not a researcher and writer, you’ll likely want to hire someone who “plays” at doing those things. If you are a good researcher and writer, here are some tips that will help you develop a much better business plan. The more thorough and better written the plan, the more likely you’ll both greatly increase the speed and amount of sales as well as significantly increase the likelihood that you’ll get funded.

Looking for start up capital? Well, lately, just about the only banks giving businesses loans are those that are guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Soooo… if you are smart, you’ll visit your local SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and get your first draft of a business plan reviewed by trained experts.

Ok. So, here are the tips, written in the order of a typical plan outline. Keep in mind that the executive summary may be placed in the beginning but it is always written in the end, after you’ve written almost everything else.

Tip #1: What sets your apart from your competition? What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

Think about the number of business plans your readers must plow through each day (if they are angel investors, venture capitalists, or bankers). An average venture capitalists, for example, usually sees about 1,000 plans a year and likley invests in up about 10! What distinguishes yours from the rest of the stack?

Highlight the qualities that set you apart from all the other businesses early on in your Executive Summary. Put your winning concept up front and make sure your readers get it. Really emphasize that you’ve done your marketing research and concisely explain why you will dominate your particular market (with sufficient capital to send the message out, of course!).

Tip #2 The eye loves white space. Give your words breathing room.

Separate out your summary into paragraphs that mirror the sections of your business plan, giving at least 1/2 an inch of white space between each topic. It gives the reader’s mind a chance to breath. Summaries are best written very dense, with the lease words possible to say the most important things. So, the reader will want to take a moment to soak it in. Give them the white space to take a “mental breath” before taking on the next big gulp of information.

Tip #3 Inc and grow rich.

If you are presenting a business plan to someone other than your friend or relative, be sure to have incorporated already. Have your incorporation information listed in the Company Description section of the website. Telling the reader that you have yet to incorporate could lead them to think that you’re not taking your business seriously. When you show that you have at least an LLC (which can later be converted to a C Corp or S Corp), then they see that “you mean business.” Now, which state to incorporate in? Did you know that there are good reasons NOT to incorporate in the state in which you currently reside? Talk to a good business attorney and ask about which states give the most protection in court. Also, never sell more than 49% of your stocks unless you are willing to give up all control to other stock holders.

Tip #4 Milestones show maturity.

You’ll want to develop a history of your company that makes you look smart. You’ll want to list milestones that you’ve already achieved. For example, show a chronology of the following, providing the dates of when you:

Incorporated

Completed your prototype

Shipped your first product

Secured major accounts / customers

Secured key strategic partnerships

Reached a significant sales level

You’ll want to indicate at what phase of development your company is currently. Choose one of the following that best describes where you are:

Seed Company: The business concept is developed, but the product or service is not yet finalized. Not yet making sales.

Start-Up: In the early state of operation. Securing first customers.

Expanding: Established company adding new products, services, or branches. Rapidly increasing sales growth.

Stable: Established company with modest ongoing sales growth.

Retrenchment: Consolidating or repositioning product lines. Little or no sales growth.

Tip #5 Avoid Disclosing Sensitive Information

Be careful about putting highly proprietary or technical details in your plan, even if your reader has signed a non-disclosure agreement. You can present these details at a later stage of discussion.

Tip #5 Research, Research, Research – spot trends before they take you out of the game

Researching industry trends enables you to provide facts supporting your claims for your company’s potential success. You’ll need to show that your industry is growing instead of dying or flat. Even more convincing are sales figures for similar companies in the industry.

Tip #6 Invest in Yourself

Most lenders and investors want to see that the business owners have already made a significant personal financial investment in their own company. Many loan programs require owners to contribute 20 to 30% towards any funds sought. So, make certain you highlight the amount of money–as well as the time and other resources–you’ve already committed to your company.

Tip #7 Targeting your Market Shows Exactly How You’ll Reach Certain People

A strong target market definition is:

Definable: It identifies the specific characteristics potential customers have in common

Meaningful: These characteristics directly relate to purchasing decisions

Sizable: The number of those potential customers is large enough to sustain your business.

Reachable: You can affordably and effectively market to them and have proven they will respond via cost effective marketing campaigns.

MORE TIPS TO COME… that’s it for now, but, I’ll post more tips soon… be sure to sign up for my RSS feed

The New Rules of Small Business Marketing

Hi. If you’re sales are down, I can probably tell you why. No, it’s not the economy ONLY. It is also because you haven’t learned how to market yourself, effectively communicating a message to your potential clients/customers so powerful that they flood your door or pummel your phone line or website.

Most small business owners are great at their trade but are not so great at marketing and selling their services or products. One of the main reasons is that they have not studied marketing and sales strategies! Hello! Of course! You may have gone to school to get your Dr. in Chiropractic but you didn’t get your MBA so…. of course you wouldn’t know how to market your chiropractice services! Make sense!

But, the good news is, there are just a few simple principles involved in order to guide all of your marketing to produce a significant ROI. The first principle I’m going to talk about is your own psychology. The next principle I’ll be addressing is the psychology of your ideal customer / client.

Once you see how your personality and beliefs affect your business success, you’ll be miles ahead of your competition. And… once you understand the beliefs, wants, hot buttons, of your best clients/customers … essentially “why your customers/clients buy”… you’ll never waste precious time and hard-earned money again on failed marketing / promotion campaigns.

Basically, if you do your homework, you’ll end up always knowing with great clarity exactly how to position your business, know your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) so that you end up doubling or more your net profits during the next 12 months. If you do all of your marketing from the perspective of your client, you will undoubtedly appeal to them more than if you are completely unaware of what they truly want and express that. Money comes from people making decisions (not from websites, postcards, radio ads, etc), and people make decisions because they were persuaded to do so.

If you know how to best pursuade people to do business with you, you will no longer be confused and worried that you don’t know how to get more clients. When you do your homework, you gain clarity and make marketing decisions with certainty.

Come back soon for more details on how exactly to implement in almost any small business these psychological principles. Visit www.AndrewBarden.com to learn more about how I help my small business coaching clients make more money.