Category Archive: Business Tips

33 Simple, Low Budget Ways to Score More Customers for Your Business

Getting clients and customers in business is the holy grail of growing your income. And I hear the cry daily of “I need more customers” from people, and they always want more ideas for how to get more customers in their businesses.  

With that idea in mind, I decided to create a list with a ton of different ways to get customers or clients in business. Now, I’m not encouraging you to use every single one of these. The trick is to find the few that really work for you. 

1. Direct Mailing. I’ve heard some say that they think direct mailing is dead. Yet, it is one of the most effective ways to get clients and customers in many businesses.  Don’t count it out yet.

2. Write a Book. A book can make an excellent calling card for you for your business.  It can be used in many different contexts, and doesn’t have to be as long as War and Peace. You can write a shorter book.

more customers

3. Create a Podcast. Many people now listen to podcasts. Create a podcast with a vision, and tell your story, share your vision, bring on guests, and upload it to iTunes.

4. Guest Podcasting. Just as you can create your own podcast, most podcasters are looking for guests. If you’re looking for tons of exposure to other people’s audiences, then this is a great way to get yourself out there. Be a great guest and help people promote their podcasts and you’ll get to be a guest on many of them!

5. Guest Writing. Many outlets and blogs accept guest articles. Elephant Journal, Huffington Post, Inc, Forbes, Leadership Girl, and more. If you are working on expanding your reach, one of the easiest ways is to submit articles to other sites.  

6. Speaking Engagements. Look around you, and you’ll find speaking engagements.  Community groups, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Rotary Club, Lions Club, and More- they’re looking for guest speakers, and help with a variety of topics.  It’s amazing what you will get once you reach out, and just ask. Once you have built up and done a few, smaller gigs, you can work up to larger, and more impressive opportunities.

7. Networking Meetings. Find some good networking meetings through BNI, or Meetup.com. Note that business isn’t actually done at the meeting, but rather afterwards at 1:1 meetings. If you have attended meetings in the past that haven’t worked out, I challenge you to go back and find a group that is a good fit for you and has people who will meet with you and actually refer to you!

more customers8. Become an Expert Writer for a Magazine or Newspaper. I’ve found that being a regular contributor to certain magazines and newspapers has helped me grow my career tremendously. I try to choose based on reach and exposure. And I make sure that I’m getting exposed to a different audience. This is a great opportunity for exposure. 

9. Alumni Groups. If you have graduated from a particular school, university or other program, there may be an alumni group that you can join. Given that people will do business with those they know, like and trust, this is an excellent opportunity to find other people who have quite a bit in common with you already. That’s a big step in the direction of ‘Know, Like and Trust’, which makes it that much easier to convert them into a customer.

10. Volunteering. You can’t volunteer and hope to find clients instantly, but volunteering in the right places, and being consistent about it can be a huge source of clients. As a Girl Scout Leader for the last several years, many of my best referrals have come from the parents in the troop.

11. Facebook Ads. You can target nearly anyone using Facebook Ads. Since Facebook collects vast amounts of information about its users, this is a great opportunity to be able to target people very precisely, and to get in front of the people you’re trying to reach.

12. Google Adwords. Google advertising works wonders to help you get in front of people when they are searching for businesses like yours. That means if you have a relatively new website, or perhaps there are a gazillion other people like you out there (you know, like the fact that there are hundreds of divorce attorneys in Wake County, and hundreds of home care agencies). You can make yourself come out at the top of searches for a price.

13. Facebook Live. Facebook Live is free, and is arguably one of the most powerful ways to connect with people on social media. By getting in front of people on a regular basis, on video, and delivering high quality content, you are likely to get more clients, faster. This works well for many different types of businesses and can be quite powerful.

14. Kids’ Activities. If you have kids, and they have activities like sports, music, dance, and the like, you are likely sitting in the lobby while your children are taking lessons. This provides you an opportunity to talk with other parents. You might be surprised at who you can meet during those activities. I’ve gotten a number of referrals that way, and have also made some really good friends. What’s not to like about that?

15. Church, Synagogue, Temple, or any Religious Group You Belong to. These are people you join together with to worship, and they already have culture and religion in common with you. Many churches have networking groups and make a point of supporting the small businesses that are owned by their parishioners. Look closely to see what you find. You may be surprised.

16. Craigslist. Don’t forget this resource. By getting in front of people in your community for free, you can frequently pick up more customers.  

17. Buy, Sell, Trade Groups on Facebook. Just about every area has lots of buy, sell, trade groups on Facebook, and you can list your services for sale there. People come looking in those groups to buy stuff, so you have the opportunity to sell to people who are looking to buy. It’s a beautiful thing, indeed.

18. Social Groups. If you have ladies who get together to play Bunco, or who do other things, this could be an excellent opportunity to pick up customers. Not that you’re going to lead into the discussion with the intent to sell, but if the relationship develops, it can naturally lead to referrals.

19. Your Work Place. If you’re working a side hustle as so many of us are, then your workplace could be the perfect place to find clients or customers. Many times they will happily refer to your business, and that can make the perfect customer base as you’re just beginning to build your business.

more customers20. Press Releases. You can go onto Fiverr and have press releases put out for a nominal cost. This will help you get seen, and to get seen as an expert. It used to yield a lot of link juice for backlinks to your website, but now it’s more just a way to get seen and found as an expert in your field.

21. HARO, otherwise known as Help A Reporter Out. Reporters put out requests for information and you can pitch them as an expert with your response. It can take some time to get quoted, but often you will get quoted and get links to your website, helping yourself get found.

22. Build an Email List. If you aren’t tracking your clients’ email addresses, following up with them after the sale, and putting out periodic information and reminders, you are leaving a ton of money on the table. In the online world, we do this as a natural part of having a business. But many businesses, whether they are auto mechanics, acupuncturists, massage therapists, hair stylists, or others, should also be putting out a newsletter on a regular basis with regular offers to help grow their businesses. This is frequently the biggest single hole I find in people’s businesses — no keeping track of emails, and no plans for a communication strategy.

23. Facebook Groups. The idea with most Facebook Groups isn’t that you go in and immediately start promoting. Rather, you go in and act as a resource. You introduce yourself and become a member of the community. This works well in conjunction with networking.

24. Paid Ads in Magazines, Radio, TV, etc. I’m lumping these together because they are fairly obvious. You need to have a budget to allow you to cover these types of advertising, but they can work depending on the nature of your business.

25. Nextdoor. There is a social networking service called Nextdoor where neighbors share information and recommend businesses. I have recommended other small business owners, usually services or restaurants; it can be a great way to spread word of mouth advertising for a small business.

26. YouTube. Videos are crazy powerful, and you can reuse your Facebook Live videos on YouTube – or not. You can also do YouTube live videos and reach a very powerful audience with your message.  

27. Banner Ads. You can advertise with banner ads on a lot of different websites, like your local TV station’s ads. So many places to put your face and business, so little time. Choose wisely.

28. Create a Facebook Business Page. This allows you to claim your stake for your real estate on Facebook, but also to collect reviews and become more “credible” to the online community. I do get referrals and leads through my page. It’s a process of getting in front of people regularly, even if you have to get creative about it.

29. LinkedIn Messaging. Once you connect to people on LinkedIn, you can message them. This is a great opportunity to connect, grow your business and find clients.

30. Private Messaging on Facebook. This gives you a great opportunity to connect with people, answer their questions, build a relationship, and give value. The trickiest thing I encounter is that people just want to ask me a few questions about their business, and it can be a slippery slope if I’m answering questions.

31. Pinterest. Pinterest is a powerhouse for sending traffic to your website. I’ve known some people who assume that they can’t build their business using Pinterest. But if you do it correctly and build over time, you WILL increase traffic to your website.

32. Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Most Other Social Media Platforms. Find your favorite and stick to it.

33. Webinars. If you can get people onto a free training, they are much more likely to buy.

There are hundreds of ways to get more customers, but I thought that sticking with 33 was a great way to start.

What are your favorite ways to get clients in your business?


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?
Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?
Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/33-low-budget-ways-score-more-customers/

Why Every Business Needs a Good PR Campaign

~by Lizzie Weakley~

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Entrepreneurs often think their company is too small to worry about creating a public relations (PR) campaign, but the truth is, every business should have one. Big or small, PR opportunities are advantageous for all businesses. Here are some reasons why.

It’s Often Free

Why Every Business Needs a Good PR CampaignYou may not have the advertising budget that some of your competitors enjoy, but many PR opportunities come in the from of volunteering at a charity or encouraging employees to generate donations for them. This costs your company nothing, but can get you mentioned in the local newspaper, on the radio and at other advertising venues who are promoting the event you’ll be participating in. Wearing company logos while at the event is also a great way to be seen and noticed within your community

Size Doesn’t Matter

Large corporations are always donating to charities and participating in charitable events. They also tell customers about their environmental protection initiatives and other good deeds they do. Customers have grown to expect these things from large companies. If you do the same, potential customers will associate your name with good works and may assume you’re a bigger company than you are. In the minds of many consumers, bigger companies are assumed to be more established and reliable, so do what you can to be viewed as one of the big dogs.

Traditional Marketing is Losing

Direct mail marketing was always a bit of a crap shoot, but that is even more true today. Anything consumers view as junk mail goes right into the trash can, and that is happening more and more. Television and radio ads are also declining in effectiveness. Consumers are distrusting traditional marketing media more and more. PR is a way for you to use press releases, community events and charitable giving to get your name everywhere without relying on traditional advertising. Instead, you can generate hundreds of feel-good stories about your company and the way it supports employees, the community and charities. More and more students are finding that a master’s in public relations now goes much farther than one in advertising.

Social Media

A good, organized PR campaign involves quite a bit of planning. This gives you the opportunity to recognize potential social media missteps before you make them. Ire and rage spread like wildfire on social media. You need a good PR campaign that includes planned and carefully reviewed social media posts checked before they go live. Bad news spreads faster than good online, so one false move on social media and you could have a PR nightmare on your hands. Plan carefully and know what to do to combat a PR problem before you’re in the midst of one.


Meet the Author: Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky, Snowball.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/every-business-needs-good-pr-campaign/

7 Ways a Sharing Economy Can Help Your Business Save or Make Money

According to a recent study, the sharing economy is growing exponentially. This is the economy created by organizations like eBay and Airbnb. Increasingly, individuals and businesses are cutting out the middle man and dealing with each other directly. We’re exchanging and sharing resources, either for a fee or a reciprocal resource.
The benefits to businesses are huge. There’s vast potential for saving money and generating new streams of revenue.

sharing economy

Here are just some of the ways the sharing economy can help your business:

1. Save or Make Money Through Office Space

Big companies have unused office space. Smaller companies can’t afford to rent big office spaces for their tiny operation. By using a community sharing site to rent office space, these two groups can come together and have both their needs met. Benefits extend beyond the financial too. This was the case for Michelle Henry and Steve Turrell when they found a joint premises for their signage and printing businesses. Through office sharing they were able to share ideas and skills that furthered both their companies.

2. Find the Best Freelancers

There are a number of websites out there allowing businesses to find the best freelancers for their projects. Having access to so many available freelancers, not just those in your pile of resumes, means you can avoid hiring a permanent member of staff until it’s absolutely necessary. For smaller or intermittent projects, this is an ideal way to maximise your funds.

3. Find Investment

Crowdfunding websites pair businesses with thousands of potential investors, in some cases bypassing the tricky business of applying for a bank loan altogether. Companies pitch their business idea and investors can decide how much they would like to invest.

4. Travel Cheaply

Company travel expenses can quickly rack up. The sharing economy has made travel more affordable. Catching a ride with Uber can cost significantly less than flagging a taxi cab in the street. Equally, finding a room or an apartment to rent through Airbnb will cost a lot less than a regular hotel room. And, as company executive and regular Airbnb business traveller Tad Milbourn finds, it’s a better accommodation experience all round.

5. Save or Make Money on Your Resources

sharing economyIf you’re a bigger business, you likely have resources and equipment that goes unused throughout the course of the day or even the week. Renting your resources out by the hour or the day will generate extra income for your company. For smaller businesses, renting from bigger businesses in this way reduces the cost spent on equipment rarely used.

6. Save or Make Money Using Delivery Space

Another money maker for bigger companies and a money saver for smaller ones: delivery vans. They travel the length and breadth of the country at half capacity. For smaller companies, the cost of running a van may be prohibitive, but renting space in one is a much more accessible prospect.

7. Improve Your Environmental Credentials

Making use of the sharing economy can make your business greener. Increasingly, customers and clients are concerned about the ethical and environmental impact imposed by the companies they do business with. Incorporating strong values into your brand image is good for your brand authority and customer loyalty. Sharing a delivery van reduces harmful emissions, sharing an office space reduces the ecological impact of heating separate buildings, whilst sharing resources reduces both manufacturing emissions and landfill waste.

The sharing economy has been a major boost for many businesses. Whether you’re using it to save or to make money, improve your staff resource or develop more environmentally friendly operations, there are plenty of opportunities out there.

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Emma LewisMeet the Author: Emma Lewis

Emma Lewis is a loving mother, a devoted wife and a part of the team supporting Spacer – a company helping you find storage space whenever you need it. Emma is also a staunch supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its benefits.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/7-ways-sharing-economy-help-business/

4 Tips to Make Your Business Travel More Manageable, Enjoyable and Stress-free

~by Eileen O’Shanassy~

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Traveling for business can be a great way to meet with clients, coworkers and other people in your field. Though a lot of productive tasks can be completed while traveling for work, it can also be a stressful time with a lot of lost business hours. Fortunately, there are several tips below to make sure your next business trip is more manageable and better organized. 

business travelBe Organized

Prior to going on any business trip, it is very important to be organized. You should ensure you have your itinerary booked in advance and outlined according to events you’ll be attending. This includes knowing the travel schedule, accommodations, meeting schedule, and other social or professional activities you want to take care of. Having a well thought-out plan will help you stay on task and be more organized. 

Find Backup for Needed Tasks

Another tip that can make your trips easier is to find backup for tasks that need to be completed at your home office. While you are away, the rest of your business will continue to operate. This often means you will have to spend time responding to emails, taking phone calls and reading reports. To ensure you are able to stay focused on your travel tasks, you should find someone in your home office to handle as many tasks as possible while you are away. This will help you stay efficient and take a lot off your plate. 

If you don’t have the first option, make sure you have a backup plan that will allow you to get work done in your down time. This might mean talking to your internet provider to get high-speed internet for small and medium businesses wherever you happen to be. Relying on hotel and airport wi-fi can often be slow or expensive when it doesn’t work out.

business travelMake Time to Relax

When traveling for business, it may seem like you are working 24 hours a day. To ensure the stress of this doesn’t get to you, be sure to build in some time to relax. This should include budgeting enough time to sleep, getting in a quick workout, and spending a little bit of time by yourself seeing the sights. 

Be Realistic

Most importantly, you need to be realistic about scheduling when you are taking a business trip. It is easy to cram in as many meetings as possible. However, doing this often results in feeling rushed and out of time, which will ultimately require you to either cancel some meetings on short notice, or to not be focused during meetings that you do hold. In either situation, it can be counter-productive. A better option is to plan fewer meetings and to budget enough time to be productive. 

Traveling for work can be very productive and important for building your business, however, it can also be a very stressful time. Be sure to plan and make time for all the important tasks you want to get done the most.


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Eileen O'ShanassyMeet the Author: Eileen O’Shanassy

Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking and kayaking. Check her out on Twitter @eileenoshanassy.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/tips-business-travel-more-manageable/

The Biggest Business Mistakes I’ve Made – and the Lessons I’ve Learned

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

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What I’ve learned in business is that there will be plenty of failures and a few successes. Sometimes the greatest success is learning from the failures, because those will frequently teach us the most profound lessons.

I think that because I have such a fabulous education in business, I was able to avoid a number of business mistakes. But I made others because I never learned about those in school. If only it were that easy.

Here are some common business mistakes … I hope you can learn from them as I did.

1. Think carefully when choosing a business partner. If you do end up with one, make sure you have solid, legal agreements in place about each partner’s responsibilities within the business and who will pay for what and when they will pay for it. Also decide what happens if one of you wants to leave the business and under what conditions that they can leave. Every new business usually starts as a honeymoon period, but when things get difficult or uncomfortable, or even if they go incredibly well, someone is inevitably going to want or need to leave. Negotiate those terms and conditions before you start doing business.

In my case, there’s no horrible story to tell. My former business partner is really an amazing woman and still a dear friend. But we made a mistake. When she was no longer involved in day-to-day operations and had no idea what was going on, we didn’t realize that she needed to be done and leave the company.   

business mistakes2. Watch those personal guarantees.  You incorporate your business to separate your personal and business life, but this can backfire on you. Unfortunately, banks will often want you to sign a personal guarantee for any loans your business has. Landlords may want you to sign a personal guarantee, and may insist on it. This can expose you and your family to liabilities if you aren’t careful. We learned a pretty nasty lesson from a company credit card after I sold one of my businesses. Instead of the bank being willing to negotiate the balance down or have my business partner (a minority owner) pay a minority amount, they essentially forced her to pay the full amount due.

Not only do you need to watch for a personal guarantee, but you also need to watch for what KIND of personal guarantee it is. Make sure they can’t put a lien on your home or anything that may cause you to lose everything (if you aren’t careful).

3. Hire only the employees and contractors you desperately need. Over hiring and paying too much in salaries cost me a LOT of money. That was my mistake. Once you hire someone, if they aren’t 150% subscribed, they will tend to do less and less work, even while trying to convince you that they are fully engaged. They’ll come in late and leave early if they think you aren’t watching. Sales staff may not do the work they’ve been hired to do at all — and may spend a tiny fraction of the hours they are supposed to be spending in sales, actually… Doing sales!

4. Be a strict pain in the butt with your employees.  It’s your money; spend it wisely. If you have someone who doesn’t show up and doesn’t perform well, then let them go. If they are awesome, reward them appropriately. You won’t know until they’ve started working for you, unfortunately, so make sure you fire quickly if you need to. Many times you’ll find people who come in late, surf the internet, talk on the phone, take long lunches, and leave early. Then they get upset when you track those things.

I held onto people I should have fired long before. I did this despite being advised otherwise and knowing I was being too loyal to people who weren’t loyal to me or the company.

5. You need processes and procedures, in addition to customers.  Don’t underestimate how much marketing you will need to do to grow your business in the beginning. People will want to do business with you, so make sure you are available. I tried to hire sales people while focusing on the operations. I learned that you can usually hire for operations more easily than you can hire for sales.  

6. Watch how and where you spend money to grow your business.  It can be seductive to spend money on advertising, after all, money in yields money out, right? Well, sometimes. Not always. I invested heavily in certain things that did not yield any clients. The most obvious ways of growing your business don’t always work according to plan. It can be incredibly tempting to try to buy your way into getting lots of customers instead of focusing on the face to face marketing piece.

business mistakes7. Pay your taxes to the IRS on time.  The IRS gets really testy if you don’t pay your payroll taxes on time. Their customer service sucks and they want their money, like now. This is one debt you can’t ever get out of, and it can bankrupt your company.

8. Be wary of all people who come bearing money.  Factoring Loans and other high interest loans can seem like a godsend to keep your business going just when you need it. The loan providers will set up auto drafts on your accounts and pull the money out when you least need them to pull it. They can also use some very heavy handed tactics to collect money, which can technically be illegal in some states. I had one case in which I backed out of a loan because they misstated the interest rate. I was told 10%, and it was actually just over 40% when I read the fine print. Oh, and yes, always, always read the fine print.

9. Never keep your personal and business accounts at the same bank.  I had a friend who learned this one the hard way. If the business is late on a payment for anything, then the bank might help itself to your personal accounts. That caused her a great deal of pain when trying to pay her mortgage after the bank had just sucked all of the available cash out of her account.

10. Separate your personal and business finances.  It can be very, very difficult to separate them if you don’t keep track of expenses, and you may lose a great deal of your deductions if you don’t track the expenses. Separate your personal and business finances as far from one another as you possibly can.

Accountants often have it right when they suggest being as conservative in your business as possible. I’ve made most of these mistakes or have seen them made. It is funny how, despite the best possible education, it is still quite easy to make mistakes and do them with a great deal of flair.


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/biggest-business-mistakes-lessons-learned/

4 Signs Your New Business Needs a Major Overhaul

~by Anica Oaks~

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Statistics show that 50 percent of fledgling businesses within the United States die during their first five years. This is a sobering fact, but it is also enlightening. Fledgling businesses don’t just fail overnight. It is a gradual process. If a new business owner notices signs that their business is not going in the right direction, they need to take steps to overhaul their company. Some indicators of a failing business include:

  • Slowing Growth
  • Lack of Innovation
  • Low Cash Flow
  • Poor Cash Management

If you notice any of these signs, you need to be proactive about addressing these issues as soon as possible.

new business

Responding to Slow Business Growth

A business may have an amazing product, stellar customer service and a vision for the future. However, if it’s not making its numbers or growth has stalled, the time has come to re-examine and reevaluate the situation. All businesses have space to improve, but not all business owners have the vision to know where to look for improvement strategies. Some strategies for an overhaul may include:

  • Improving an underdeveloped brand
  • Improving team collaboration
  • Identifying and eliminating inefficient or impractical business practices
  • Creating long-term and short-term goals

Don’t be afraid to critically assess your core business principles, strategies and organization if you think your business is beginning to flounder.

Encouraging Innovation

A business that is not innovating is dying. Many mistakenly equate a lack of innovation within a company to a failure to execute innovative ideas provided by employees or by executives. In most cases, the problem is deeper and is connected to the lack of an innovation strategy.

Innovation strategies are a set of coherent, mutually reinforcing policies designed to achieve a goal. Overhauling the way a business innovates may require hiring individuals who are trained to think in an innovative way. This includes those who have received the proper education, such as an online bachelor’s of business administration.

Low Cash Flow

new businessMany failing businesses have cash flow problems because they wait too long to look at their financial statements. When they do, their financial problems have reached a point where they become too big to handle. Fledgling businesses often have this problem because they have not yet built up a cash reserve. One option could be to take out a business loan.

Poor Cash Management is a Systemic Problem

Just about every business has some cash flow problems. Failing businesses have a persistent cash flow problem connected to structural issues in the way that cash is managed. The worst thing a new business can do is ignore the situation. Instead, develop a solution by contacting a financial group, developing a good relationship with banks and creating an invoice system. Your invoice system should have clear pay dates as well as punishments for late payments and incentives for early payments.

It can seem discouraging to hear that 50 percent of businesses fail within five years. But this also means that 50 percent of businesses succeed for longer than five years. Recognizing problems and taking steps to correct the wrong is a key part of making a fledgling business successful for the long haul.


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Anica Oaks


Meet the Author: Anica Oaks

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean and anything outdoor related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/signs-new-business-needs-major-overhaul/

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Optimize Their Shipping Methods

~by Dixie Somers~

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shipping methodsAs a small business owner, you are an entrepreneur, but this does not mean that you can sit back and take it easy when it comes to the daily workings of your company. Instead, you need to ensure that your investments are protected on a daily basis. If your business takes part in shipping items to customers, you will know that shipping and handling fees often have the power to get the best of you.

Consider these five ways to optimize your business’s shipping methods, performance and costs.

1. Beware of Fragile Items

Your customers are counting on receiving their items in pristine condition, just as they would if they had picked them off the shelves themselves. Be particularly careful packing fragile items by wrapping them thoroughly in bubble wrap and padding them with newspaper or Styrofoam pellets. For very fragile items, nest the first box inside another box lined with Styrofoam pellets.

2. Work with a Shipping Carrier for Fees and Services

Consider working with one carrier only so that you can work out a shipping and delivery schedule with them. In addition, work closely with your chosen carrier to determine their requirements and charges for ground versus air shipping based on weight and distance. According to Entrepreneur, businesses that do not follow this important step spend up to 40% more on shipping charges than those that do.

3. Offer Expedited Shipping

While you may choose to offer free shipping for basic shipping methods and purchases, many customers will appreciate having expedited shipping options. Offering next-day or two-day shipping methods will help you get last-minute orders and will win you new customers. All major shippers offer these types of options.

4. Use a Brokerage Service

shipping methodsIf you are shipping internationally, consider choosing a brokerage service, which will get you the best prices for shipping and will help ensure that your boxes make it successfully out of the country. A broker can help you file remotely, obtain customs bonds for large orders and navigate duties and taxes.

5. Make it Personal

Customers love the personal touch of personalized wrapping or tissue paper inside their boxes. Even sticking a business card or thank you note inside the box will help them feel that they connected with your business.

The way you choose to ship your items to your customers has a lot to say about your company in general. It will show whether you truly care about your products and about your reputation, or if your only concern is your bottom line. By optimizing your shipping practices, you will find yourself spending less money while enhancing customer relations.


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Dixie SomersMeet the Author: Dixie Somers

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves writing for business, finance, and those with an entrepreneurial spirit. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/small-businesses-optimize-shipping-methods/

How to Simplify Your Business Administration and Improve Efficiency

~by Sophia Beirne~

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One of the most important aspects of any business is the ability to work efficiently. However, with so much going on throughout the day, it is easy for work to pile up, in turn, slowing the process at which your business functions.

business administration

Here are some tips on how to simplify your business administration.

Stick to a Set of Goals

Perhaps the best way to expedite business processes is to create a set of goals each morning and stick to them. When there is not a rigid plan in place it can be difficult to get anything accomplished in the fast-paced business environment in which we often work. By setting a list of goals prior to starting in on the workday, you will be able to get a better handle on the steps necessary to complete all of the tasks for the day. In addition to creating a list of daily goals, you may want to consider putting in place weekly goals as well.

Limit the Number of Suppliers You Have

If you are a business owner, then you are aware of the necessity of working with suppliers to receive the goods that the company requires for operation. These supplies can include everything from equipment and machinery to janitorial items. And while it may not be possible to eliminate working with suppliers altogether, there may be ways to decrease the overall number of transactions that are needed by consolidating services to a limited number of contractors.

Take it Online

In today’s technology-driven world, much of what we do at the office can be accomplished more quickly by moving it online. For instance, if your business requires the use of multiple forms, either for working with other companies or customers, then there is the probability that paperwork piles up around the office and becomes a nuisance. To eliminate this, consider moving your forms to a digital format and make use of cloud-based storage servers such as Dropbox or Google Docs.

Get Help from Professionals

business administrationThere are certain tasks around the office that can be eliminated by letting professionals handle them instead of keeping all of the work within the company. It can be tempting to take on certain jobs, such as building the company website or assessing its insurance needs in order to reduce costs, but by doing this you also decrease the amount of time you have for the primary concerns of the business.

If you find that business is being slowed because you are dedicating too much time to external issues, then you may want to hire professionals to handle those areas. Instead of contracting out all the work, learning the fundamentals of business administration is another option worth considering, as this can teach you the steps needed to improve your company’s workflow.

Consider Upgrading

There are certain facets of a business that can be slowed by using outdated equipment, and this is often overlooked. If you have a company that relies heavily on computers and the internet, then this can be especially true. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that the software platforms and the hardware being implemented are of the industry standard. You may be surprised at the difference something as simple as upgrading your internet service can make on the office workflow.

Eliminating complications and increasing workflow can go a long way towards making your business more successful. If you are looking for ways to increase efficiency at the office, consider laying out a set of goals each day so that you can focus on the tasks that need to be completed. In addition, it can be beneficial to limit the number of suppliers and get the help of professionals when it makes sense. Furthermore, always be sure that the equipment that is relied upon is properly updated. Keep these tips in mind when simplifying your business administration.


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Meet the Author: Sophia Beirne

Sophia Beirne is passionate about providing helpful content and sharing her tips. She’s been featured in a number of online publications. With a background in business administration, she’s most interested in entrepreneurship and effective project management.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/simplify-business-administration-improve-efficiency/

4 Tips for Successfully Running a Home-Based Business

~by Emma Sturgis~

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Running your own business can always be a difficult task. However, running a business out of your home adds extra obstacles to being a successful entrepreneur. Trying to find a calm and private place to work can be difficult with loud roommates, needy children and house chores that seem to be never-ending. In order to succeed when running a home-based business, you must be able to adapt.

 

Here are four tips for successfully running a business out of your home.

running a home-based business1. Create a Designated Work Area

When working from home, you must have an area of your home that is dedicated specifically to working on your business. This room or area of your home will not only be a great way for you to earn income, but will also turn into a hefty tax deduction. Measuring the area of your home used for your business will allow you to calculate the tax deduction you will receive on your taxes. A designated area of your home will also help your kids, roommates and partner understand your professional limits. As a business owner, you are going to have to put in extra hours. Those who live in your home with you should understand that when you are in your home office you should not be disturbed.

2. Get the Tools Big Offices Use to Succeed

Just because you are running your business from your home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the tools bigger offices use for success. If you are in need of a multi-function printer, don’t buy a cheaper printer that wasn’t designed for business use. Make the extra investment by purchasing a business printer that will be able to withstand your constant workload. Consider working with professionals to help you pick out the office equipment you need.

running a home-based business3. Remove Distractions

While it might seem fun to run your business on the couch while watching movies, realistically this isn’t the way that successful businesses get to the top of their industry. Your home office should be distraction free. Remove distracting TVs, game consoles and furniture, and limit the time you spend on social media while working on your business.

4. Set a Strict Schedule

As your own boss, it is important that you stick to a strict schedule. Consistency is key when running your own business, and nothing helps consistency like a solid schedule.

Running a business from the comfort of your home can be very lucrative if you spend the time mastering the art of home businesses. These tips will help you take your business to the next level faster than you could have ever imagined.


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Emma SturgisMeet the Author: Emma Sturgis

Emma is a freelance writer based in Boston, MA. When not writing, she enjoys reading and rock climbing. Say “hi” on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/running-a-home-based-business/

More Advice for New Entrepreneurs from Fellow Entrepreneurs

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

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More Advice for New Entrepreneurs from Fellow EntrepreneursI love helping other business owners find their way to success. And I know there are many other entrepreneurs out there who also want to be supportive of their fellow entrepreneurs. So a few months ago I asked members of my Facebook group, Women’s Entrepreneur Network, what advice they would give to new entrepreneurs. The response was overwhelming.

These wonderful women, and men, have so much to share and are so willing to help other entrepreneurs. I couldn’t let all this wonderful advice be limited to those in my Facebook group, so I decided to share their entrepreneurial tips in my blog and newsletter.

Here are a handful of their valuable responses:

Esmeralda Perez: You have to do what you love and love what you do. Passion and be coachable!! eperez.legalshieldassociate.com

Diana Chan-Warren: Make sure you have a bit of “cushion money” before starting path to entrepreneurship.

Virginia Phillips: It is your business, but you can’t go it alone. Network, make alliances, find mentors, build a support system and ask everyone questions.
www.triumphaftertrauma.org

Nikki Tobias: Just know that it will likely take longer than you think it will… longer to have clients, longer to make money, longer to come up with a name or logo — just longer. It isn’t a bad thing, just something to plan for.

Revonah Hill-Holloway: Take your time building your business. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. http://goodsinsations.com

Brianna Feltych-Düren: Always ask for advice. Do not feel like critique is meant to hurt you in any way. You will not succeed right away, but never give up. Hard work and the love you put into yourself and your business will pay off.

Adrien Blackwell: If the first business doesn’t succeed, try, try, again. Most self made millionaires fail with their first two businesses before making it. This is just practice. The practice you need to be successful.

Krissi Copper: Just when you feel like giving up, keep going. You’re almost there.

Jessica Granish: Communication is key: Need I say more? All great relationships let it be professionally or personally start with great communication. Creating expectations and sharing your communication style is super important. When starting your business you will want to set those expectations with your clients, your vendors and your team. Communication is a foundational piece to building authenticity and trust as you grow and expand in your zone of genius.
www.alpinesbsolutions.com

Chris Butler Yates: Patience and Persistence.  www.justalittlespice.com

Joanna Sanchez: Stop striving and surrender.

Mrs. Lakeasha Jackson: My advice is: When deciding to brand your business and yourself, research EXACTLY what you want to do and WHO you want to work with. Although, we may just want cashflow, you want to be sure you are working with your ideal client and not overworking yourself and underserving your client. Do your self and client due diligence in putting the best foot forward in the beginning and actually taking the time to learn your industry before jumping in.
www.lakeashajackson.com

Deanne Williams: 5-R’s of Success: Being Relatable to the community you plan to service is a necessity. Being Reasonable when setting your financial expectations towards the services you plan to offer within that targeted community is wise. Being Reliable towards those services and products is a must. If you can manage being Relatable, Reasonable and Reliable your business will no doubt be guaranteed to become Remarkably-Rememberable to all. ~ Deanne ©2016.08
https://www.facebook.com/KDgospelMagazine/?ref=settings

Celesti’ne Chumo: Don’t overwhelm yourself, do a little thing everyday that leads to your goal.  www.celestinefitness.com

Stacie Jones: Don’t ever give up. If something isn’t working, don’t just stop all together, make little tweaks until you start seeing results. Sometimes it could be as simple as rewording your copy or revamping your pics that turns it around. It’s all about fine tuning your message and figuring out who your ideal customer/client is.
www.sunlovinroots.com

Ella Rose: Pace yourself. Building momentum can be exciting, but it’s easy to take on too much when you’ve never done this before.
www.ellarosecleaning.com

Vickie Gould: Be consistent and confident in your message.

Star Raya Burke: Be accepting of your mistakes because that’s how you will learn and teach yourself to be a great success story.
https://www.facebook.com/scrubpotion/

Adriana Summers: Surround yourself with smart passionate people to guide you.
http://www.backtobasicscommunication.com.au/index.php

Deanna Shankle: Know your vision and your market. Do your research and take small steps to reach the bigger goal. Remember you have a life outside of your business, enjoy it and don’t neglect it. Your business is a representation of you, so project it the way you want to be seen. Learn from you mistakes and don’t ever give up.  www.fesfitness.com

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If you missed my previous post, here are some of the many awesome responses that I included in my first post on entrepreneurial advice.

I hope you’ve found these entrepreneurial insights enlightening.

Stay tuned for more!


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.



Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/more-advice-new-entrepreneurs-fellow-entrepreneurs/

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