The Key To Starting And Running Your Business

In Brian Sher’s book, What the Rich Know & Desperately Want to Keep Secret, he said “As far as I know, there are only five ways to make money:1. Steal it or cheat others out of theirs-which is risky and undermines your values.2. Inherit it.3. Put what you have in financial investments, which is perfect so long as you have perfect skills- or the right advice- and lots of patience.4. Work for it, which is both honest and noble-but won’t make you rich without leverage.5. Go into business-the most effective way if you do your homework and pick the right business.A well- run business can generate staggering profits and will outperform any other means of gaining wealth.”Running a Business is the Pathway to WealthAccording Sher (business expert), running your own business is the pathway to a world of wealth and riches. It suffices then to say that every wealth seeker must give the idea of running a business a second thought. In J. Paul Getty’s book, How to Be Rich, his first rule is that you must be in business for yourself…. “and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.” 1Th 4:11Friend, if you want to be rich, your effort and energy should be going into starting and running your own business. Prosperous people have always known this basic rule of wealth creation. Starting, owning, and running a successful and profitable small business is one of the most exciting things, which give great joy in life.Deciding to go into business for yourself is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life.Andy Warhol once said, “Making money is art and working
is art, and good business is the best art of all,” (The Philosophy of
Andy Warhol, Harcourt, 1975).According to Brian Sher, the foundational key to running a successful business is the ability to pick the right business.Whenever you see a successful and prosperous business, know that someone once made a courageous and right decision.Basically, there are two types of businesses:
1.Product-based businesses- Product or goods. They deal in tangibles.
2. Service-based businesses -Service-based businesses sell time and expertise. They deal in intangibles. Therefore tend to be less expensive to start as there is no inventory to buy.Operate Around Your PassionDeciding on an area that you love is the first step when choosing a business to start. A friend of mine who is the editor of a national news paper here in Nigeria went seeking God’s face concerning what to do with his life. And God simply asked him what he loved doing, to which he said writing. Today he’s become a successful and prosperous person. What is it you love doing? What is your hobby? There is something about your passion that pushes you into success and prosperity.The road to happiness lies in two simple principles: Find
what it is that interests you and that you can do well, and
when you find it, put your whole soul into it-every bit of
energy and ambition and natural ability you have.
-John D. Rockefeller IIIDoing what you love is indeed the first prerequisite when you are choosing the right business. There is a saying that goes, Do what you love, the money will follow. We tend to succeed when we are engaged in something that we really enjoy.Barbara Winter, in her great book, Making a Living Without a Job (Bantam) 1993, says that “passion leads to purpose, that once you get in touch with those things you are most passionate about, you can begin to create a business of purpose around them.”Offer What the People WantDeciding on an area that you love is only the first step when choosing a business to start. The second step is to do a market research to find out if there is a market for the product or service you intend offering.If there are no people willing to pay you for your expertise, people willing to buy the product or service you want to sell, you do not have a business. So be realistic-there must be a market willing to buy what you plan to offer.”We don’t want to push our ideas onto customers; we simply want to make what they want.”-Laura AshleyThe bottom line is to find a business that combines your interests with the ability to make a good living selling your product or service. While hunches and intuition are great, you need some objective criteria before making the leap into the land of entrepreneurshipToo many new entrepreneurs fall in love with their idea and become convinced that it is the greatest thing that has ever happened to humanity. You must strive to be as objective as possible. Be a businessperson.”There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Pro 14:12Whatever business you want to start then, whatever product or service you decide to sell, you have to be able to sell it at a price high enough to make a profit, but low enough that people will buy it.To Your Prosperity

Can Virtual PBX Really Change How Small Businesses Are Run?

Everywhere you turn these days it seems like the expression “in the cloud” has taken on some strange magnetic pull or force all its own. Web users, business owners and companies of all sizes, are being bombarded with “cloud” or “virtual” services which are hosted on remote servers far removed from one’s place of business.According to Gartner, a well respected information technology advisory and research company, some of the leading cloud providers now include Amazon, Google, HP, AT&T, IBM and Microsoft. In addition, in a recent survey, Gartner found 19% of companies are using the cloud for most of their production computing and 20% use it for storage.However, these cloud services are just, not for storage or computing, we also have other business services hosted in the clouds. Online or Internet fax is growing in popularity as more and more companies and businesses modernize or update their means of communication in our computer driven world. Then you also have virtual phone and PBX (Private Branch Exchange) services for the home office and companies both big and small.Perhaps, the greatest force driving all these “cloud” services, is our insatiable need to be completely portable and mobile in today’s current wireless environment. We simply need the ability to do our work anywhere and at any time – regardless of location. It may even be argued any company or small business without this ability has already lost a competitive edge or advantage over their competitors.This factor is brought home when one considers the benefits of using a virtual PBX vs a conventional land-line system. Going with a cloud based system gives your company much more flexibility and scalability. You can be completely mobile and wireless, regardless of where your employees or salespersons are located.Then you have to factor in the much lower costs of running a virtual system, there’s no expensive hardware to install or maintain. Set-up is almost instant, and there’s only one low monthly fee to pay. Plus, all of these virtual systems are full-featured – you get voice mail, call waiting, message forwarding, online fax… and even a virtual receptionist to handle all your business communications.One of the major drawbacks for most people has to do with online security. How safe will your company’s vital information be when stored on a remote server? Do I really want my information and communications accessible on the web?We all have heard horror stories of sites being hacked and information stolen, but for the most part, online security has improved greatly over the last few years, and the major “cloud service” companies mentioned above are completely professional. Sad truth, most companies store their data on computers, which can be accessed from the Internet, depending on the security measures you have in place, your information could be MORE safe with one of these services supplied by Google, IBM, Amazon or Microsoft.Regardless, anyone running a home office or a business, must consider using the “cloud” to do their computing and storage. The lower costs, the complete mobility, the ease of use, the complete flexibility/scalability, the greater competitiveness and instant set-up… all have to be factored into one’s decision. It is probably a safe bet that in the future, more businesses and companies will be hosting their computing, storage and virtual PBX phone services in the cloud.

Winning Business and Building Recurring Revenue Streams

BackgroundOne of the fundamental challenges for professional service providers in the business services sector is overcoming the dependency relationship clients have with their business adviser. While this dependency creates a sense of importance for the adviser, from a business perspective, it is a major barrier to leveraging value from the time and expertise of the adviser.A secondary challenge for many business advisers is that the process of selling their advisory services is centered on their ability to convince a prospective client that they have the skills and knowledge to help the client or that they have a “personality” fit.These two issues are often further compounded by the inability of the adviser to introduce additional services or solutions to the client. This means the value of the client is not being leveraged and that a potential “advice gap” for the client will be filled by an alternative service provider.The outcome is that the process of winning clients, leveraging the value of the adviser’s time and leveraging the total value of the client is compromised. For most business advisers, this means that their ability to generate income is a function of the number of clients they have, the number of hours in the day they are prepared to work and their hourly charge out rate.The Client/Adviser RelationshipThe client/adviser relationship is a unique one. It essentially progresses through a series of phases as the relationship matures and becomes more sophisticated. This is like most other social relationships except that the client is paying for the services of the adviser and rightly has an expectation of value being added in excess of the cost. These phases are outlined in the following: ¬†Credibility – The process of establishing sufficient confidence in the ability of the adviser for the prospective client to appoint the adviser. Implications for Advisers: Important to have strong referral networks (where credibility is conferred), a strong brand name or the ability to establish technical competence quickly.
Assessment – The process of determining whether the appointment of the adviser was a good business decision. Implications for Advisers: Critical to demonstrate value of advice and to deliver in the short term on promises and outcomes.
Satisfaction – A period when the client feels comfortable about their decision to appoint the adviser and the relationship. Implications for Advisers: The adviser must not take the relationship for granted and be consistently vigilant to ensure they are adding value and demonstrating value.
Justification – The period when the relationship may start to feel “stagnant” and there is a sense that the adviser has nothing new to offer. Despite the strength of the relationship, the client again revisits the cost/benefit equation. Implications for Advisers: Seek new ways to revisit issues and opportunities. Ensure that the adviser has integrated the intellectual property they bring to the relationship into the day-to-day processes of the business.
Partnership – Having survived the previous phases, this stage reflects a relationship of mutual respect, aligned interest and trust between the client and the advice business. Implications for Advisers: Continue to innovate but engagement with the client must now be focused on delivering leveraged value for the client and adviser.Leveraging Time & Opportunity To enable the adviser to successfully traverse these phases requires one of two things. The adviser will need to dedicate significant personal resources by way of time and intellectual engagement or bring other resources and processes to the client relationship that delivers value without the same personal time commitment. As such, the secret to building a successful and valuable business services enterprise is not to establish “dependency” relationships with clients but “partnership” relationships where a variety of people and resources are used to ensure the value proposition for the client is significant, sustainable and recurring.