A Small Business Entrepreneur’s Top 10 Playbook

# 1: Have a Vision – Where is that you see your business in 3 to 5 years? How do you want it to look? How do you want it to run? Do you have a business plan? Do you have a Mission Statement? Do you have a Vision Statement? What is your succession plan?

# 2: Believe in Your Talent – Talent by itself is never enough. There are a lot of times that people who have tremendous talent come up way short of ever fulfilling their potential. You have to believe in your talent, be passionate about your talent, continue to invest in your talent and surround yourself with the best talent available.

# 3: Assemble Your Team – A smart business entrepreneur makes sure that he or she is surrounded by talented professionals and not just a bunch of “yes” people. It’s essential that you have a professional corporate attorney, CPA, financial advisor, bookkeeper, insurance person and a front office manager as part of your team. An attorney and CPA are must from the start, and you can add additional pieces to your team as you grow.

Be sure that you take the advice of your professional advisors, after all that’s what you pay them for. You may not always like what they have to say, but it’s important to listen to them.

# 4: Empower Your Team – Equip your team with the resources that they need in order to be successful. In addition to helping them be successful, you’ll be successful too. It’s tempting to take shortcuts in order to save money, but it’s important to keep your team up to speed in this day and age of high technology and development.

Your team will consist of professional advisors and everyday employment personnel. No matter what position they occupy in your business, it’s important that they have the tools that they need in order to help your business be the best it can be.

Another thing to keep in mind is to delegate responsibility and decision-making capabilities to various personnel throughout your company. An employee, who feels empowered by the owner, is a much more productive employee.

# 5: Peer Networking – One of the most valuable activities that you can involve yourself with as a business owner is networking with your peers. There are numerous opportunities for you to get outside of your business and network with other business owners.

There are groups such as the Chambers of Commerce, Rotary, Business Associations, and several weekly or monthly membership-based networking groups. Make sure that you attend one or two networking activities a month in order to promote your business and find out about those businesses in your community.

# 6: Realize Early on That You Don’t Know Everything – Most business owners find themselves at various stages of their businesses, having to wear a multitude of hats. That’s okay from time to time, but it’s also important to keep in mind, that there are probably other people out there who can do a much better job than you can simply because they can bring a different perspective. Every business owner will find themselves at the early stages of their business for fulfilling just about every role imaginable, be it answering phones, scheduling clients, marketing and/or keeping the books,…. and that’s fine from time to time (matter-of-fact it’s good to learn every position in your business) but you don’t want your business to rely on you having to fill every role.
As soon as you’re able, delegate responsibilities to others on your team so that they feel more valuable, and it eases the workload on you.

# 7: Realize Early on You Can’t Do Everything – Similar to what’s above, realizing early on that you can’t do everything is a key to business success. There is a very high “burnout” factor for owners who have an “I – can – do – it – all – by – myself” attitude and refused to delegate responsibilities to other members of the team. You may feel like no one can do it better than you can (and that may be true), but if you want to keep your team engaged with a sense of ownership and empowerment, it’s important to delegate responsibilities to them because it shows a sense of trust and confidence in the rest of your team.

There will be plenty of opportunities for you as a business owner to “burn the midnight oil” so you might as well wait for those opportunities to roll around and be well rested and prepared.

# 8: Stay Current – With technology advancing at warp speed, it’s important for every business owner to stay up-to-date with some of the latest and greatest resources to help your business. It’s true that there’s so much out there that one cannot possibly absorb it all, but that goes back to the matter of you needing to be an owner who can keep his/her “head up” to see the big picture and opportunities in front of you and not get wrapped up with a “nose to the grindstone” mentality and approach.

Be adventuresome and daring in trying new techniques and technology that can help enhance your business. It’s okay to take a “trial run” at various techniques just to see how they may fit into your business. One thing is certain, “nothing stays the same, and change the only constant”. You’ve got to keep up with the ever-changing world that we live in.

# 9: Don’t Be Afraid of Change – Even if you feel that you aren’t changing, the world around you is. More importantly, if you aren’t changing, you can bet that your competitors are, and most likely trying to change for a competitive advantage over you.

It’s only natural for us to get complacent and doing the same old thing because that’s what we’ve always done.

I’ve got a great quote on the wall in my office that says “change is inevitable…. but growth is optional”. I don’t know about you, but I choose to grow.

One of the advantages of having a diverse team is the fact that they offer a broad range of perspectives and opinion. Older employees tend to stick to a tried-and-true method that may or may not be outdated, while younger employees have fresh brand-new ideas that you may want to consider implementing if the time seems right.

# 10: Find Your MVP – In order for a small business to thrive, it’s important for it to operate as a team. In order for a team to thrive, it will have many movable and variable parts that need to stay coordinated together.

Every team has an MVP (Most Valuable Person) who the owner feels comfortable and confident enough in to have that person has his/her “Go – To – Guy”. For me that person is my operations manager, Rosemary Bennetts, who has been with me from day one over 20 years ago.

Your MVP may or may not be the most visible or well known person on the team. Your MVP may be someone who is tucked away in a back office, with their sleeves rolled up, and battling daily in the trenches in order to keep your business running. Your MVP may be your front desk person, or your hot shot salesperson that you have out in the community. Whatever the case, work closely with your MVP (they most likely know how the business works better than you do) and recognize them and appreciate them in an appropriate manner.

How Home-Based Business Entrepreneurs Think

Too many people are trying to start their home businesses with an ordinary employee’s way of thinking. This has become a common reason why not long after sitting down and giving it a fair look into even the most lucrative business opportunity they bump into, they put it away and decide not to take any chances.

What has happened here is that the most lucrative business opportunity has been looked into by an ordinary 9-to-5-worker, who appears NOT to be business-minded.

If you are like most people, you have probably considered starting your own business yourself. But above all, you have to understand that to make into a successful Business Entrepreneur, one has to change their way of thinking first.

1. DO NOT EXPECT FAST CASH!

Besides gambling or winning a lottery, working as an employee is the only way to get ‘fast’ cash… ‘fast’ as in ‘in-25-working-days’. This kind of cash is always certain to come in as long as you work from 9 to 5 for your boss. But as you probably already know it, as soon as you stop, the money stops. (See FinancialFreedomAwaits.com).

True entrepreneurship-minded people know that it takes time to develop an ‘attack plan’ for their businesses. It takes time to build a strong and solid business, which delivers ongoing income through many years.

True Business Entrepreneurs hold on to this truth, “We reap what we sow, but the harvest is never in the same season as the planting.”

Change your way of thinking:

DO NOT EXPECT FAST CASH!

2. AIM FOR JOB SECURITY OR FINANCIAL SECURITY?
Employees would rather have job-security. Why? Simple: the income is secure. As long as you loyally work from 9 to 5, you will for certain get your cash! The problem with a typical job is that when you stop, the money stops.

The stark fact is: one day you might get sick and won’t be able to go back to work. Sooner or later you will retire. Companies get broke and have to release their employees. No matter what the situation, as soon as you stop working, the money will stop coming.

So much for secure income…!

A job with secure income is necessary for those who has not set up their own business yet. True. But a true Business Entrepreneur won’t settle merely for job-security. He aims for much more, such as financial security. No, he won’t have fast cash. And no, he won’t have any secure income yet – at least not in the beginning. And often, he won’t have any income at all from his new business for the first few months.

Business entrepreneurs think of the big picture. What they do is building assets from which his money will come in month after month, year after year from work he is doing now! The money will not come now. It might not even come for the next few months. But as soon as his business is up and running, it will keep generating income for him, even when he chooses to stop working!

And THAT is financial security!

Change your way of thinking:

THINK OF THE BIG PICTURE: AIM FOR FINANCIAL SECURITY!

3. GENERATE PASSIVE INCOME

Financial freedom is not measured by how much money you earn by working, but how much money comes in with only little or no work at all. This later kind of income is called passive income. This fact has been known for decades by real wealthy people.

Successful and wealthy entrepreneurs do only little work and sometimes it is even possible to do the work only once but still generate recurring income on it. Imagine a song or a book writer. They write their songs or books once but get paid forever on it. This do-it-once-get-paid-forever type of income is called residual income.

Most people who have attained financial freedom have other people working to generate income for them. Earning money by other people’s effort is called leveraged income.

As hard as it may seem, to create leveraged income, you need to have your own business where other people work to generate income for you. Any business. Whether it is a traditional business, franchise, small business, internet based or home based.

Employees work to generate secure income. Business Entrepreneurs work to build assets with income streams which generates for him ongoing passive income (either residual or leverage income or both). In other words Business Entrepreneurs work to build himself -what I would call- a ‘money-machine’ which is designed to generate ongoing income.

Whereas the Employee can not stop working because otherwise he will lose his income, the Business Entrepreneur will have money coming in constantly, even when he chooses not to work, simply because it is his assets that generate residual and leverage income for him.

Change your way of thinking:
TAP INTO PASSIVE INCOME BY GENERATING RESIDUAL & LEVERAGED INCOME!

4. INVESTMENTS

It is common for people who seek job security to hesitate to invest. The reason is understandable: for some of us the risks of investing in a business are just too much to handle.

A true Business Entrepreneur understands that in order to build -what I would call- a ‘money-machine’, investments are necessary. There is just no such things as businesses without investments. He knows that it takes time and effort to develop a successful business. But he also knows that investing money is just as important!

Sometimes it takes the Business Entrepreneur a year or two before he can finally reap the big success. Sometimes even a bit more. It takes a couple of years of investing time, effort and money. But this is not too hard for him to handle. A true Entrepreneur thinks long term. He knows that in the end, his working and money investing will finally pay off!

A Home Based Business Entrepreneur would only have to invest just 5-10 hours a week for a couple of years and he would only have to make low budget investments into his home based business. And at the end of the time of working and investing, our Entrepreneur would have turned it into a significant amount of residual income stream!

I’m not talking about money that comes in today and is gone tomorrow but income that keeps coming in month after month, year after year… money that -as Gery Carson has put it- “when you’ve left this planet continues to provide for your spouse, children, or grandchildren.”

By then you would think that all your valuable time and money you have spent would be worth it.

Commonly an ordinary employee, who fears too much to invest, works hard to receive his pay check every month. Most likely he even retires broke. Before he knows it, he leaves the planet with nothing to leave for his family.

A true Business Entrepreneur is prepared to invest. He knows by investing in his business he is building assets that would generate passive and residual income for him throughout his years on this planet and the years of his grandchildren.

Change your way of thinking: THINK LONG TERM: START INVESTING!

Are You a Top Home Business Entrepreneur? Do You Have What it Takes? Learn How in Three Easy Steps

Do you actually believe that you are going to achieve those lofty goals of being a top home business entrepreneur and make big money in your home based franchise for this last part of 2009, looking into 2010? Most people don’t believe. And when I say believe, sure on the surface they might talk the good game, but deep down there is always that question mark, that voice that says, why should this year be any different than last year…especially in this economy?

Do you have that same little voice? I’ll tell you he gets around that is for sure, and that is why most people will never accomplish their lofty goals and make the kind of money that they would love to make in their home based franchise.

Your success and wealth will never be yours unless you start to have confidence in yourself that yes, despite the economy, despite working the long hours, that despite the family not being 100% behind you, that indeed you will be a top home business entrepreneur and have a successful home based franchise. I know that is easier said than done, so let’s take a look at how it can be done.

Did you know that the average person has about 50,000 thoughts per day? Whew…that is a lot of thoughts and sadly most of them happen to be negative thoughts. I don’t blame you, take a look around you…CNN (Constantly Negative News) drones in the background of homes and offices, everyone is getting a bail out but the people who really do need it…you know, people like you and me, our kids tell us that we don’t know anything, the commute is a drag and your boss constantly is harping at you. It’s hard to get out of feeling negative…at least for a good portion of the day.

Your first move is to get out of being the victim. You are not the victim. You have complete control of everything that happens in your daily life; so take control. Start today. Sure, it might seem a bit awkward initially, but as you take control more and more, you will like the feeling that having more control gives to you.

Turn off CNN, don’t allow the kids to be disrespectful, listen to motivating tapes and CD’s on your commute and start to do something about firing your boss! Take control! As the saying goes… I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it… people like me!

The power of your mind is incredible and unfortunately you are always programming your subconscious mind. You are programming your mind with both the positive and the negative thoughts that you have throughout the day.

So, if the majority of those 50,000 thoughts are negative, that is what you are programming your mind to think and because your mind listens to you, your mind believes those thoughts and makes them true. The good news for all of us is the same can be true for the positive thoughts.

Your second move is to carefully monitor your talk whether it is your self-talk or your day to day typical conversations. You must be persistent about this. Most people at this point in their lives are so conditioned by negative self-talk, that they don’t even realize that they are doing it. If you need to ask a friend to be your ears and ask them to interrupt you every time you start to talk negatively about literally everything then do it!

As you become more and more conscious of the conversations that you have out loud, you will then become more conscious of the conversations that you have to yourself. Both can be equally damaging, or helpful, depending upon which way your conversations go.

I find that one of the most powerful tools for building self-confidence and getting rid of the negative conversation is the repetition of positive statements until they become a natural part of the way you think. These “affirmations” act to replace the negative conversation you have been sending to your mind for the better part of your life.

Every morning before I get started with my day I do three things…without fail. I write down my affirmations for the day, I say them out loud to anyone who will listen (usually it’s only my cat, but he will do!) and then I write in my journal everything that I am grateful for in my life and for the day. Yes, it is a ritual that I have, but after I am done, but mind set is powerfully positive and I feel like I can conquer the world. I know that now my self-talk is going to help me to get to the dreams and goals that I have laid out for myself and for my home based franchise for the end of 2009 into 2010.

Your third move is to make a list of around 20 affirmations that you will write down and say once, twice, even three times a day. When you say your affirmations, say them out loud, with conviction and with confidence. Your mind will start to believe the orders that you are giving to it. That is when your goals and your dreams will start to come to fruition for you and your home based franchise.

Believing in yourself is a choice…it’s your choice and it’s an attitude you develop over time. Your negative self-talk will not end tomorrow, but now you know how to take responsibility to take charge of your own self-talk and your beliefs.

You must choose to believe that you can do anything you set your mind to – anything at all – because, in fact, you can! Take action today…be the top home business entrepreneur and have the best home based franchise and I will see you at the top.

Home Based Business Entrepreneurs and the Internet Affiliate

Home based business entrepreneurs are ahead of the recession and its crushing effect on big corporations. Average working men and women, in the spirit of the entrepreneur, are stepping up to the plate to beat the odds and start their own home based business.

In Canada, small and medium sized business is the hope of the future. This segment of the population has been described as the backbone of the economy. Making the decision to take control of their financial future by supplementing or replacing their employment income is more prevalent today.

More emphasis is being placed on entrepreneurial endeavors to stimulate a sagging economy. Governments are offering tax benefits and incentives to develop work at home initiatives. There has never been a better time to look at alternative income choices.

Home based entrepreneurs can start a work from home enterprise at a fraction of the cost of traditional business start ups. Many entrepreneurs have a product of their own creation they wish to sell. Developing a product requires a lot of commitment and dedication to get the product ready for the marketplace. You are responsible for all aspects of developing your marketing plan and the costs involved can be substantial. In fact, the costs involved can be prohibitive for most people.

There is another way. The Internet offers a multitude of ways to start work from home. Many companies who have realized the power of the Internet as a marketing tool have developed opportunity plans to include the Internet. Affiliate programs come in all sizes and shapes, so to speak. Each company has their own unique way of compensating their affiliate members. Taking the time to research the company, its products and its compensation plan makes sense.

A well developed marketing and compensation plan creates a win-win-win situation. The company builds a workforce that doesn’t get paid unless product is sold. The distributor or representative of that company has market ready products, professional marketing and promotional information, flexibility to work their own hours and can earn compensation when product is sold through their network. The customer or end user gets quality products at competitive prices.

Advantages of an Internet home based business vs brick and mortar storefront:   

    * Low start up costs – often less than $5000      

    * Low maintenance costs – many under $500 a month   

    * Global marketplace

    * Low advertising costs    

    * Business partners instead of employees     

    * Schedule your time around your family needs   

    * Online cost effective marketing resources      

    * Tax advantages

More and more companies are becoming exclusively Internet based. Developing an online home business has some definite cost saving advantages. Once you have made your decision to build a business online, be sure it is a business to be proud of. After all, you will have to put in considerable time and energy to create a long term online presence to make money online.

Affiliate marketing is popular with entrepreneurs who don’t have their own product or service to market. A company that offers affiliate programs will pay you a commission to sell their products. They generally include marketing web sites, promotional tools and marketing information to get you started. The biggest advantage is instant start up. Once you have entered into an affiliate program you have everything you need to be successful in your home based business.