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image from hoboken411.com10.  You don’t have strong family connections at home.  This sounds weird but entrepreneurs with strong family support at home will do better than those who don’t have that support.  It’s just true.  I’ve heard other entrepreneurs say it in podcasts and articles, and it’s definitely been true in my case.  My business would not be thriving without the amazing support of my wife.  Work on these relationships.

9.  You aren’t leveraging technology to your advantage.  Do you still use a day timer?  Are you only able to get your email at your office?  Is your cell phone only a cell phone?  Do you use a formal accounting software to track your financial information or are you still using Excel?  Dude (or dudette), wake up!  You can be more efficient and profitable with the right technologies.

8.  You ignore your company’s internal processes.  Every company has an internal process… whether it be bad or good.  You may have excellent internal processes that were purposely designed to flow information properly through your company with efficiency and ease.  Or you may have a terrible process that nobody designed and which does no one any good.  Either way, you have a system, and to ignore it is to cripple your business to failure or doom your company to “c” status always tagging right behind your competition.  Get help identifying your processes and using them to your company’s advantage (coincidentally, we do this type of work).

7.  You don’t have a budget.  If you don’t know what you thought you were going to spend IF you made so much money, then how do you know if you spent too much when you didn’t make the money you swore you were going to make?  A budget simply gives you the knowledge of how well you think you did compared to what you thought you were capable of doing.  It’s not magic, it just gives you another tool to run your business (…that your competition doesn’t have, because NO ONE uses a budget).

6.  You started a business doing something you love.  Frankly, nobody cares what you love.  Start a business that meets a need currently not being met by anyone else.  And if you can combine the two, more power to you.

5.  You’re not doing what you love.  Life is too short to be stuck in a job you hate.  And it’s even worse when you are the owner.  Begin the education, new designations or certifications, training or whatever it takes to get you to a point to love what you do in your business.

4.  You don’t seek counsel from qualified professionals.  I’ve learned my lesson.  My attorney recently got me out of a big mistake.  Though they cost me $15,000, they saved me untold dollars, headaches and my reputation.  And my business coach continues to help me stay on track with my weekly time management schedule, and then there’s my marketing Guild I attend each month, the Strategic Coach seminars, etc.

3.  You haven’t checked into the possibility of leveraging social media as a new way to build relationships and market yourself and your products.  Think about this – people can begin an immediate relationship with people they trust in the same market they are in with the same interests in about 5 seconds flat.  They can do this online through social media.  So when they need a referral, a new computer or a doo-dad for their broken dish washer, do you think they are going to go to the yellow pages or look for a billboard?  Most of the new generations won’t.  So you need to be there to push your content to them through social media right when they are there looking for it.

2.  You’re not committed to self-education.  The iPhone (yes, it’s worth the $150 breakage fee you’ll have to pay Verizon to move over to AT&T) has allowed me to continually synch my podcasts in areas I want to learn about, and actually work on my MBA without working on my MBA.

1.  You’re scared to charge what you’re worth.  Now, this is a process.  First you have to understand what you are worth in the market you currently serve.  Then you have to have the guts to play in that market at those prices.  Those without self-confidence as to their abilities (without having a big fat head) often fail in this key area.  And it’s possible to get there, and then lose the confidence all over again.  You probably need a business coach to get you on track, and keep you there (hey, we offer that too).

Thanks, Jason M. Blumer

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image from hoboken411.comThere are reasons why your business is tanking…

 

10.  You suck out all of the profit and spend it on your toys.  Your business is a long-term investment.  It’s not designed to meet your every whim and satisfy your desire to always have the latest and greatest toy.  Stop sucking your company dry of all of it’s profits, and maybe it will survive through the next downturn.

9.  Though you are a business owner, you act like an employee.  Business owners have to do things employees don’t have to do: stay late, make sure all of the customers are happy, stay innovative, stay ahead of their competition, negotiate the lease on a new copier, etc.  Employees only have to work, do a good job, get a paycheck and NOT get fired.  That’s not bad, it’s just the difference between employees and owners.  You better start acting like everything falls on your shoulders (because it does), and remember that the customers will always blame you when something goes wrong (because they will)… starting acting like you own the place!

8.  You watch too much TV.  A little TV is relaxing but too much becomes a waste of time.  Spend time with your family, enhancing your skills through listening to podcasts or reading relevant blogs through the Google Reader aggregator.  

7.  You read People magazine instead of Inc. Magazine.  Fame and celebrity is something created in our own minds and pushed by media.  Following your favorite celeb won’t do you any good in your business.  To make your business successful requires learning and study, not “people watching.”

6.  You won’t delegate the small stuff.  “I love doing what I started this business to do,” you say.  But as your business grows, you will be required to let go of the details or they will consume you, your time and your ability to grow the business and make exponential profits.  And even though you think no one will do it as good as you, you are wrong.

5.  You won’t tell your employees the long-term vision for the company.  I’m a serious advocate of business owners taking their employees aside and telling them what the vision is, how to “speak” the vision, and what innovative things your company is doing.  I call it “brainwashing” and it is very effective.

4.  You don’t have a business coach, a marketing coach or a general business adviser.  “without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22.  The more counselors you let in to your life, the more opportunities you have to catch what you are doing wrong before it gets out of hand.

3.  You don’t realize your industry is changing right before your eyes.  I’m also a big proponent of questioning your industry’s methods, processes and future.  If your industry is changing and you don’t notice, then you are already getting left behind by your competition.  Study your industry, and duly note it’s course!

2.  You don’t have the guts to fire your clients.  It’s all about the value you offer, and what your clients actually find valuable.

1.  Your business, frankly, is a bad idea.  Entrepreneurs start businesses that solve a problem currently unmet in the market place.  If you have a “brilliant” idea that doesn’t do anyone any good, then your idea is, frankly, a bad idea.  No one is going to pay you a dime for something that offers them no relief.

sr_541cf46ecdecfbThe new generations are constantly creating new exciting ways to build relationships, build their businesses and enjoy their lives.  And now they are working together too.

Coworking is one way to do this, and is becoming popular around the country (…see, I told ya).  It’s pretty cool: it builds relationships with people you can trust, enhances accountability so you’ll actually do your work, and provides a bunch of people you can turn to for immediate help on your stuff (because they sit right beside you).

And did you know that Greenville, SC is coworking now?  And you better get in on the ground floor or all of the spaces will be taken up.

They are having their second introductory meeting to explain all of this weirdness, and here are the details:

Where: Spill the Beans Coffee Shop, downtown Greenville

(610 S. Main St., Greenville, SC  29601)

Date: June 5, 2009

Time: 6:00 pm

Our firm is giving away a free 1 hour financial/business consultation to a lucky participant that brings a friend (so I guess we’re kind of helping to sponsor the event).  Let me know what you think in the comments.

Thanks, Jason M. Blumer

“A man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions.”

Oliver Wendell Homes (thanks to http://twitter.com/sonotony)

image-from-netsearchdirect.comOur firm has some innovative ways to enhance and help professional and medical practices learn more about their business.  We can help them know more about the financial and operational aspects of their practices in ways they’ve not known before.  And it’s an approach that other firms simply can’t compete with.  And we’re passionate about teaching our clients these truths.

But this service doesn’t have a “package” yet.  It has a process that works, but not the outside clothing to identify what that service is to our clients.  We currently perform this service for some clients, but there are still so many more that don’t know what we can do, and what they can have in their practices.

I’m working with my business coach on developing this new service in our firm because I need a face to this “product”.  It’s hard to sell something you are passionate about, but which no one else can see the benefit in.  I believe I can enhance what we are selling with the right “product packaging”.

So I’m not really in search of a service… I’m in search of the “packaging” to go with the innovative way our firm performs these services.

Do you offer services that are innovative, and highly valuable to your clients?  Do you have the proper packaging to be able to sell them to the public?  Tell me how you do it in the comments.  I need help, dang it.

Just Tweeted by @JasonBlumer…

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