10 Lessons for Every "Shoestring" Entrepreneur

Written by Isabel M. Isidro

Continued from page 1

5. Is itrepparttar right time? Timing can be a key torepparttar 117170 success of a start-up. There's a right time and a wrong time to open a business, especially if your business is cyclical in nature or in a seasonal location. The opening of a retail slot in your favorite mall, or your own convenience should not be your reasons for starting a business. Rather, you should plan throughrepparttar 117171 months whenrepparttar 117172 crest forrepparttar 117173 demand of your product cyclically ends.

6. Controlrepparttar 117174 cash. Cash flow is said to berepparttar 117175 lifeblood of a small business. And rightly so. Your business will survive only as long as it hasrepparttar 117176 cash to pay for your financial obligations. With limited capital, cash flow controls every decision in shoestring enterprise, and it can berepparttar 117177 only way to navigate during your start-up phase. One key rule for entrepreneurs: only when you have adequate cash can you even begin to think of profits. Many businesses fail not because they are undercapitalized, but because they fail to properly planrepparttar 117178 undercapitalized operation.

7. Pushrepparttar 117179 sales. Building sales depend on several factors - nature ofrepparttar 117180 business, location, level or competition, and intensity of marketing and promotion. The goal of every shoestring entrepreneur must be to build up sales immediately. If you have a bank loan or financed your business through credit card, for example, your creditors will not allow you to delay your payments just because you are still inrepparttar 117181 process of building up your sales. They want your payment - now! You therefore need to pushrepparttar 117182 marketing of your business, maybe issue a flyer this week, run a one-paragraph ad inrepparttar 117183 local newspaperrepparttar 117184 next, send out news briefs and article contributions. The key rule is to dedicate at least two hours of your day to marketing your business. Knowrepparttar 117185 steps you'll take before you open and after you open to maximize sales and helprepparttar 117186 business to fast sales increases.

8. Balance your sales and profit objectives. Sales and profit do not always go together. Some entrepreneurs are willing to cut down their profits in their effort to drive sales up. Oftentimes volume alone will not be able to compensate forrepparttar 117187 loss in profits. Try to maintain gross profits at least equal torepparttar 117188 industry averages. Strive to giverepparttar 117189 businessrepparttar 117190 best balance between a solid policy of capturing sales without sacrificing needed profit margins.

9. Be 'lean and mean'. A struggling start-up does not need dead weights. Keep your fixed costs down, and spend only on items that can sufficiently contribute to improvingrepparttar 117191 bottom line. If you can still adequately operate from your home office, there is little need in leasing an office space inrepparttar 117192 downtown area. Avoid hiring a permanent employee if you can still make do with temporary and seasonal staffs Every dollar in expense should be directly tied to income: spend a nickel only when you are sure you can get a dime in return.

10. Masterrepparttar 117193 financial tools. As a business owner, you are responsible forrepparttar 117194 life and growth of your business. This entails knowing, not onlyrepparttar 117195 marketing or production aspects of your business, butrepparttar 117196 financial tools you need to manage your business effectively. Understandingrepparttar 117197 finances of your business will give you control over its direction. Unpalatable it may be to some entrepreneurs, knowingrepparttar 117198 money part of your business will tell you where you've been, where you're going, and how fast you're getting there. Sure, you can hire bookkeepers and accountants. But you yourself need to understand your cash flow, income, profit and loss statements, and break-even point.

Isabel Isidro is the Managing Editor of PowerHomeBiz.com. For information on starting a small and home-based business, visit PowerHomeBiz.com at http://www.powerhomebiz.com

Do You Feel Overwhelmed Running A Web Business? Try This

Written by David Coyne

Continued from page 1


Define which projects need immediate attention and which don’t. Here's how Charles Kangethe of SimplyEasier (http://www.simplyeasier.com) tackles his tasks:

"I work onrepparttar principle that there are categories of things to work on.

“Mission critical - Must be done NOW elserepparttar 117169 whole thing goes downrepparttar 117170 tubes - e.g resolving a web hosting issue that stops your site from loading.

“Business Critical - Must be done soon, but can be scheduled - e.g banking, accounts Urgent, and Important - e.g writingrepparttar 117171 next issue of your e-zine that you promised your list for tomorrow, or replying to List members support e-mails.

“Important not Urgent - e.g Correcting a small hard to spot typo on a web page, or replying to non-support issues on e-mail Others - any other tasks.

“Divide your tasks into some similar categories and be ruthless with which tasks you put intorepparttar 117172 top categories. Then work down fromrepparttar 117173 list!"


Takingrepparttar 117174 “To Do” List a step further, I block out specific time periods for specific tasks. I break time into 30-minute intervals.

Once I have a task scheduled,repparttar 117175 more likely it will be completed.

It may look something like this:

9:00 - 9:30: Work on new article. 9:30 - 10:00: Write new copy for web page. 10:00 - 10:15 -Take a break 10:15 - 10:45 - Edit e-zine.

Be sure to schedule a break before moving on to new task. Your brain needs a “breather.”

Summing uprepparttar 117176 key time management strategies: ·Don’t compulsively check your email. ·Determinerepparttar 117177 time of day when you’re most creative. ·Do your most mentally taxing work during your peak creative time. Save menial tasks for you low energy periods. ·Create your “To Do” List. ·Categorizerepparttar 117178 importance of each task. ·Block out time intervals.

But cut yourself some slack. Obsessing over every detail and task will burn you out. You’re human, not a machine. Take breaks, go for a walk, or have lunch with a friend.

This time away from your computer will rejuvenate your brain and body and will result in a more productive, efficient and happier entrepreneur.

David Coyne is a copywriter, marketing consultant and president of DC Infobiz -http://www.dc-infobiz.com Get FREE e-books you can sell to customers. Visit David's website.

    <Back to Page 1
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use