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4 Tips for Making Your New Year’s Business Resolution A Reality

You have daydreamed about it on more than one occasion. Or, maybe you have had a few sleepless nights thinking about it. And by now, your family and friends think you will never get that business of yours off the ground. But a New Year brings new opportunities to make the dream of owning your own business a reality. And it can be done in four simple steps -

1. Develop a habit. Now do not kid yourself – properly starting a new business can be overwhelming and time consuming. But to keep from getting lost along the way, think of your business development in terms of “a single daily action”. Make starting your new business a routine. For instance, today you might call your local regulatory agency to inquire about the business license requirements in your area. Tomorrow you may look into getting your stationary and business cards. In all likelihood, you may not be able to spend everyday working on your new business, but it is important to schedule time every week to work on making your dream a reality. If you can’t work on starting your business on a daily basis, at least do it on a weekly basis.

2. Get organized and stay organized. It may seem like a hassle now, but when it comes to say, gathering receipts and invoices for your accountant to prepare your tax return, you will be glad you did. When planning your new business, keep a notebook on hand to jot down ideas, categorize your research, to keep track of your start-up and operational costs, etc. Also, be sure to reserve space on your computer’s hard drive for your electronic materials as well.

A good place to begin is to make a “start-up checklist” where you can outline tasks like spending time at the library researching your market, interview an expert or two in your industry of interest, meet with an attorney to determine which legal form of business is right for you, etc. A checklist allows you to keep track of what’s been done and what you still need to do before opening your doors to your first customer. And by being organized, you will be able to put your fingers on any record, receipt or lead almost immediately.

3. Get help! Having a coach is a great way to establish consistency and accountability in your start-up efforts, not to mention a fantastic way to keep you motivated. Let the experts show you how to do it right. Sure, a smart new business owner will seek out the basic three – an attorney, an accountant, and a banker. But a business development coach can point out potential pitfalls and help you prepare that all-important roadmap – your business plan. Look at hiring a coach as an investment in the success of your business and your happiness with its development.

4. Be persistent. Don’t give up! The one sure way to fail at a new business is to never start one. Yes, you will have setbacks or encounter more than a few naysayers along the way. And you may find that your original business idea has given way to an even better one. But if you have discovered a legitimate market for your product or service, done your research, and developed a solid plan for reaching your customers and meeting their needs, the benefits will far outweigh the disappoints.

Like countless others, you may have made dozens of New Year’s resolutions that have fallen by the wayside, but by following a few simple steps you can take your business idea from dream to reality.

Strategic Business Plan: The Scoreboard For All Hits and Misses for Past and Current Year

A strategic business plan is the scoreboard that records all of the hits, misses and even errors for the current as well as past year. Instead of the traditional 9 innings for baseball, a strategic plan scoreboard has 12 and includes more than just one competitor. NOTE: A simple strategic plan definition is who does what by when and its construction is dependent upon the analysis of real time information.

With the New Year just around the corner, now is the time to review the last 11 months of business hits and misses. Successful firms realize that time must be invest time in working on the business instead of just in the business. Here is a 7 day plan that can quickly double your business results in 2007.

Day One: Identify all of your hits. This is all revenue earned through the sales of your products and services.

Day Two: Identify all of your misses. This may include all:

  • Unsuccessful proposals
  • Lost sales because not all sales come from proposals
  • Missed opportunities from not asking for referrals to attending significant events
  • Failure to execute existing plans
  • Poor performance in operations including customer service, manufacturing, shipping or management

Day Three: Place a dollar value on all of your misses and the compare this to your hit list from Day One. NOTE: Depending upon the size of your business and your recording keeping, this may take more than one day.

Day Four: Identify the causes of the misses. These misses may be because of poor sales skills to a lacking of planning.

Day Five: Determine your desired business results. By constructing W.A.Y. S.M.A.R.T. goals (W-Written, A-Aligned, Y-Yours, S-Specific, M-Measurable, A-Attainable, R-Realistically set high and T-Target date, time driven) in 2007, you can convert past missed opportunities into hits and even homeruns and thereby achieve your desired business results.

Day Six: Build your business dashboard. Managing your key performance indicators on a daily basis is critical to business success. Your business dashboard is very similar to the one on your car that ensures your vehicle is operating at peak efficiency.

Day Seven: Schedule time to work on your business. Make a weekly appointment to spend at least 1 hour working on your business. Use this time to review your dashboard and your strategic action plan. Within your strategic plan (Who does What by When) is your marketing plan, sales plan, growth plan and financial plans. Using your dashboard and other tools including organizational assessments, you can quickly monitor your business progress and make any necessary course corrections.

In just 7 days, you can turn many of those misses from 2006 into hits in 2007 and quickly see your business results double within the first quarter of 2007.

Employee Retirement Plans For Small Businesses

Buying Employee Retirement Plans for Small Businesses has two advantages, tax-advantage for the owner as well as being much appreciated benefit to the employees. There are several plans to choose from and the owner has to seek expert guidance to select the best-suited plan or combination of plans. They have to analyze which plan best suits the business and the employees, the highest amount of annual investment required, its administrative costs and intricacy and the tax benefit got by opting for any specific plan.

Types of Plans to Consider While Buying Employee Retirement Plans for Small Businesses:
Profit-Sharing Plans: This is one of the most popular plans, which allows the employer to make contributions that are distributed to those who participate in the plan. A formula is set to work out how much each employee participating in the plan will receive and employer’s total deductible contributions may not exceed 25% of the total compensation of all employees participating in the plan.

Defined Benefit Plans: A formula is worked out to determine how much an employee will receive annually after retirement, if he works until the retirement age. An estimate is worked out to determine how much the employer has to pay each year to fund the plan taking into account the number of employees. This type of a plan offers the highest retirement benefits as well as offers the employer the largest contribution deduction.

401(K) Plans: This plan is fast gaining popularity and is a kind of deferred compensation plan. The employees set aside a portion of their salary to be used for this plan voluntarily. This kind of a plan is best suited for employers who want to opt for an inexpensive but effective plan. Usually this plan is incorporated into being a part of a profit sharing plan.

Money Purchase Pension Plans: This plan is like the profit sharing plan but has one difference; the employer has to make regular, annual contributions. This plan is inexpensive but not very popular because of the compulsory annual contributions.

Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees IRA Plan: The employees can defer $10,000 from the annual contribution and can contribute it to the IRA. The employers have to match deferrals up to 3 % of the employee’s wages. The money contributed by the employer is immediately vested, this plan cannot be clubbed with any other plan, and compensation the owner gets is low and employers with more than 100 employees cannot use it. Therefore, it is not very popular.

Select an appropriate plan after analyzing all the plans; they can be powerful motivating tools as well as employee morale boosters. Buying Employee Retirement Plans for Small Businesses has to be done carefully under the guidance of qualified people such as CPA.
There are firms that offer services as well as products to aid in running a successful business.