Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Get a Quick Start to Small Business Ownership: Generate Profits and Success Faster by Buying an Existing Business

There has been considerable attention paid to the challenges and pitfalls of starting a small business from scratch. It is certainly true that the first few years of a new business can be very challenging and, in most cases, unprofitable. While being able to create a business’ culture and operating systems from the beginning can be a big plus for an entrepreneur, there is a lot to be said for letting someone else handle the start-up headaches.

Buying an Existing Business can be a Smart Alternative

Any entrepreneur wishing to start a small business should consider purchasing an existing one before taking the plunge into the start-up fray. An existing business usually has a client / customer base in place and operating systems that, if not effective, can serve as a foundation for improvement. There are also vendor relationships established and a certain amount of good will in the community that are important considerations.

The key to purchasing an existing small business is to spend the time needed to ensure that it has a reasonably solid financial and operating structure in place and has a decent reputation in the community. Here are four things to consider before purchasing an existing small business.

Purchase the Business Assets, Not the Business

It is always best to purchase a business’ assets and create a new corporation or entity as opposed to buying the business itself. This will create a better tax position because the taxes will be based on the selling amount, not what the seller spent on the business’ resources. Also, purchasing just the assets protects the buyer from responsibility for any liabilities or law suits carried by the seller. With this in mind, it is also important to obtain an indemnity from the seller which further protects the buyer from actions taken by the seller prior to the sale.

Perform Due Diligence to Ensure that the Business is on Reasonably Sound Footing

It is imperative to review the seller’s accounting, operating, and marketing information to determine the business’ viability and potential for expansion. Reviewing accounting spreadsheets such as balance sheets and profit and loss statements can by very useful, and take a close look at staffing, office expenses, and marketing materials to estimate overhead costs. The seller will require the signing of a “nondisclosure” statement to ensure confidentiality of the information, but any buyer should be able to access financial and operational information. If it is refused, beware!

Determine How the Accounts Receivables, Prepaid Expenses, and Office Leasing Will be Handled

Discuss how the accounts receivables will be handled. The seller may want to keep them or they can be included in the sale of the business at a reduced rate to account for any defaults that may occur. It is also important to discuss any prepaid agreements that the seller has made such as insurance or advertising. The arrangements for handling these agreements need to be addressed upfront. Also, find out about the lease arrangements to determine if it is reasonable to assume responsibility for the current lease or negotiate a new one. It may also be more efficient to move the business to a different location.

Develop Letter of Intent

This document can be very useful in spelling out the primary terms of the sale such as purchase price, identification of specific assets being included, and the transition process from seller to buyer. It will also include non-compete language which protects the buyer from the seller opening up a new business and becoming a competitor. The letter of intent helps to create good faith between the seller and buyer and will make the development of the actual contract easier.

Determine if Employees Will Remain with the Business after the Sale

Losing important employees at the point of sale would be very compromising to the buyer. Therefore, negotiate with the seller to meet with employees to determine their interest in remaining with the business, at least for a period of time. This will reduce the likelihood of being caught off-guard by a mass exodus of employees.

Be Methodical in Purchasing an Existing Business

Buying an existing business can be the right thing to do if the priority is to become operable and profitable quickly. However, it will also require larger financial resources upfront or, at least, the ability to borrow money for the purchase. Every entrepreneur’s situation is different, so it is well worth the time to determine if purchasing an existing business is practical or if starting from scratch is the best avenue to take.

What Basically is an Entrepreneur?

There are a lot of things that you use daily but do not know how to make it. For example, Toothbrush, Toothpaste and others just to start with. Thank the entrepreneurs who make these products for you. They are the ones who take care of each and every process before the product reaches you.

The word Entrepreneur has many different meanings. If you really wish to know what it exactly means, keep on reading this article.

An entrepreneur is a person who takes all the risks and responsibilities that are involved in a business before and while undertaking the business. The entrepreneur always wants to make a profit, irrespective of the size, scope, area, risks, etc. of the business.

The entrepreneur takes all the risks and hence, he must be rewarded with the profits. The business decisions relating to the selection of the product to make, the promotion of the product, the making of the product, the marketing of the product, etc. all has to be taken care of by the entrepreneur.

There is no one who can predict whether a business will be a success or a failure. If the business goes in profits, the businessman is the one who will get the maximum reward. But, if the business goes in a loss, he will have to bear all the losses.

Taking all the responsibilities and the risks involved in a business is not a thing that every individual will even like to do, forget taking the risk. The primary objective of an entrepreneur is to make profit irrespective of what the business is related to, irrespective of what is the size of the business, etc.

Huge profits can be earned only with large businesses, while small businesses will help you to earn small profits. To choose between a small and a large business will be the responsibility of the entrepreneur. He will see to it that the business diversifies and increases.

The entrepreneur is the person who decides on the product or service that the company is going to produce, furnish, market and promote. The entrepreneur decides this after making a careful analysis of the demands of the people and by taking a risk in the untouched areas. This will take a long time before the entrepreneur can finally decide which product or service to offer after the research.

Next comes the time to organize all the resources that are required for the making, marketing and advertising of the product or service. Many experts believe that the most important thing that an entrepreneur does is organizing the resources. All other functions can be carried out by many other people, but organizing of the resources is the function that differentiates the entrepreneur from the common man.

The entrepreneur has to invest a lot of capital in the business for the furniture’s, machines, staff, etc. The furniture and the machines will be the assets of the company.

Another important function that comes here is selecting a work force that will be loyal to his business. The success of the business depends on the loyalty of the work force. The labor should work as a unit in order to make the business successful. There should not be disputes between different sections of the company.

The success or the failure of the business solely depends upon the entrepreneur.

Online Entrepreneurs for the New Decade

As online entrepreneur, a lot of friends asked me how to start and generate profits via online business. Where else, than all from blogging glory. There are steps to follow to guarantee blogging success. It’s a surefire, I myself have seen growing online businesses and continuously growing online business growing the same exact process.

Step 1: Find a need of everybody’s demand.
Most mistakes of the marketers are finding a product before they introduced in the market. In these cases, more often customers are actively on the look for your product online, and for sure you’ll never make a big hit. This is a surefire, and remember, the icing of the cake is to find a group of people with a common interest, problems they’re trying to solve and then resolve it for them.

Take some easy steps to explore your market

:• Go online forums and check what majority people inquire so you get to bottom of the issue
.• Conduct keywords to find out what your targeted viewers search within your niche
.• Be active in the community, potential customers are just around the corner, visiting other sites and join forums, take note of what they’re activities to fill their demands.

Step 2: Informative Newsletter.
Newsletter speaks about you and your product. It has to be credible as you are. Write a catchy headline. Convince your reader your matchless effort to resolve their demands, and prove your credibility why you can be trusted to solve the problem. Focus on how your business is unique and exceptional

:• Stimulating headline.
• Express your best to solve the problem.
• Prove your reliability and stand your sincerity.
• Fuel your newsletter with testimonies from people who’ve tried your product.
• Commend your product and speak well about the benefits you offer.
• Ensure a guarantee.• Show the importance of the needs of your product.
• Last, deal your sale.

Step 3: Set up a website.
Next, if you’ve got the sale, and running your own business, it’s time to build your authoritative blog. There are free services for a start like Blogger.com – a Google platform and Yahoo for small businesses. Create a friendly website, simple and clean.

Step 4: Promote your blog.
Get the benefits of the search engines when you can. Make your blog solid keyword research and include these keywords in the titles of your posts. Tag everywhere and try to get a listing on Digg.com, as well as del.icio.us, reddit.com and MySpace.com. More educational articles such as “how to” articles, are very popular.

Step 5: Keep in touch with your visitors.
In this course, you’ll reach new customers. And on a regular basis, in every site that posts your content will link back to your blog, and search engines realized links from related sites and will compensate a reward in the ranking level accordingly.

Whatever online business you choose, if you’re just starting out, it’s a surefire to stick to this process as your quick guide. Do a quick review and you can’t go wrong with the basics.

Author: Erlyn O. Santillan, Online Entrepreneur
Page Title: Online Entrepreneurs for the New Decade
Side Title: Erlyn Santillan, Online Entrepreneurs for the New Decade, Online Entrepreneurs

Owning a Profitable Small Business: What Does It Take to Become a Successful Entrepreneur?

A great deal of attention has been paid in recent years to the incredible opportunities that await new small business owners. Some of the benefits include: 1) being the boss; 2) not having to answer to anyone else; 3) making a fortune off of an innovative idea; 4) and working flexible hours. While becoming a small business entrepreneur can be all of these things, it is essential to examine closely what it will take to succeed before dedicating valuable resources to a new venture.

Successful Entrepreneurship Requires Attitude, Focus, and Perseverance

Small business entrepreneurship is not for the weak of heart or pocketbook. Entrepreneurs can be either gender, any race, pretty much any age, from any area of the country or world, or any socio-economic class. However, two broad characteristics that will identify any entrepreneur is absolute commitment to an idea and considerable confidence that the idea will generate a profitable product or service. Although there are a host of specific characteristics that define a successful entrepreneur, attitude, focus, and perseverance are at the top of the list.

Attitude

Why is attitude so important?

  • Attitude is the foundation from which everything else is generated. An entrepreneur must “know” that their innovative idea will be marketable and profitable and be prepared to do whatever it takes to be successful.
  • Halfhearted commitment to the new business venture will, most likely, spell doom for the entrepreneur. There may be times when a new small business owner is the only person who believes in the new venture with many people attempting to dissuade an entrepreneur from moving forward.
  • This does not suggest that entrepreneurs must be cocky or “hardheaded” about their dream as those characteristics will lead to carelessness and failure. The point here is that less than total commitment to an idea or concept will probably lead to self doubt and ultimately reconsideration, so a strong believe in the success of a new venture is critical.

Focus

Why is focus so important?

  • Attitude is not enough to make an entrepreneur successful. Small business ventures require the ability to focus on the objectives and understand what it will take to reach them. This is why business plans and other documents are so important because they help to keep a small business owner focused on the big picture and all of its pieces.
  • Distraction is the enemy of an entrepreneur. If a small business owner becomes sidetracked by new ideas or priorities that do not relate in a reasonable way to the initial idea that fuels the venture, focus will be lost and the business will fail. It is human nature to become excited about new possibilities or things and a bit bored with those that have been around for awhile. However, if an entrepreneur loses sight of the reason for being in business in the first place, the loss of focus will be devastating.
  • There is a difference between distraction and flexibility. Entrepreneurs must remain flexible to adjust to changing environments and new opportunities. Flexibility allows the small business owner to remain sensitive to emerging challenges and issues while remaining focused on the initial idea or concept. Distraction causes the entrepreneur to react to the seemingly endless list of potential priorities and ideas that will lead to muddled thinking and lack of focus.

Perseverance

Why is perseverance so important?

  • Perseverance is similar to focus but with a long-term perspective. There are those wild, wonderful stories of entrepreneurs becoming successful virtually overnight. While that does occur, any entrepreneur must instead prepare for a long, often arduous journey. A turtle better describes the small business process than a hare because attention must be paid to the process of building a business and then growing it steadily over time.
  • There are many people who will try to distract an entrepreneur from realization of the dream. It is generally true that the only person who really cares about the idea or dream is the person experiencing it. There are so many new and interesting things in the world to focus on; it is often easy to be pulled away from the purpose of the business, especially during difficult times. A successful entrepreneur will have the strength to stick to the dream or idea over a long period of time.

Being a Successful Entrepreneur is a Lifestyle, Not a Job

Small business ownership is hard work and requires a strong and positive attitude, focus, and perseverance. The successful entrepreneur will have all of these characteristics and will also understand that 9-5, Monday-Friday working hours will just not be sufficient to succeed. It is true that incredible opportunities can await an entrepreneur starting a new venture, but only through hard work, planning, and commitment to the dream.

Maximize Your Selling Effectiveness: Professional Selling – Make the Most of Your Time and Effort

The three great time wasters: administrative work, traveling, and waiting can eat into productive time. Although these activities are unavoidable, you can employ strategies to maximize your effectiveness and concentrate your time where it will do the most good.

Maintain Excellent Records

Get organized. Lack of organization is a big time waster. A jumble of papers in your briefcase isn’t a system. Complete records and a regular routine of logging important information will save time by allowing you to input information once but access it many times and in many ways. One concise entry into a contact management program can be used to organize selling strategies, schedule visits, and compile reports.

Learn How to Write Well

Salespeople are often called upon to create their own e-mails and write their own letters. The more comfortable you are with the written word, the more easily you will be able to perform these tasks quickly and well.

The days are long gone when a department secretary would take a scribbled idea and make it into a professional presentation. Struggling for 15 minutes to write a difficult paragraph is a poor use of your time, and the results of your effort will probably be disappointing. Poor writing appears unprofessional and reflects on your entire organization. Seminars and night classes are available that target business writing and offer accelerated methods for learning grammar and usage. You may even be able to arrange for a trainer to visit your business to conduct onsite training.

With better writing skills, some of the tasks that you dread will become less of a chore and you will be able to complete them more quickly and successfully.

Always Schedule Sales Calls Ahead of Time

Scheduling ahead cuts down on waiting time and allows you to group visits to a number of locations into one trip to save on energy costs. Preplanning visits can also give you an opportunity to strategize and prepare materials in advance.

Cut Back on Unnecessary On-Site Visits

Reduce premises visits if you can. Don’t plan a visit to conduct business that you can complete over the phone or via e-mail unless you have a good reason for doing so. If a sales call is necessary, plan your route with trip software in order to find the fastest and most economical way to travel.

Be Prepared and Take Time Where You Find It

When traveling, keep tools on hand that will help you keep up on administrative tasks. Waiting to get back to the office to catch-up can be hard to do without dropping the ball somewhere.

The more current you are with your repetitive tasks, the more latitude you will have in planning the most efficient use of your time. Airplanes, waiting rooms, and hotel rooms are all places that can burn up idle time. With the appropriate tools, many chores can be accomplished during time that would otherwise be wasted.

Put Your Time Where It’s Needed

Existing customers generate the greatest sales volume. Review your customer list to determine the best timeline for dealing with them. If you are in different time zones, consider modifying your schedule to adjust for the time change. Taking the extra initiative to make yourself available on their schedule will make you stand out and give you extra “effective” hours.

 

An effective salesman plans his time. The key to producing maximum return on time invested is to plan with the goal of incorporating efficiency into the mix. Careful planning can reduce the time spent on non-selling tasks and focus selling activities where they will be the most productive: on making the sale.

The Business School Admission Process: Selection Criteria, Types of Courses and Funding

Management education can propel careers, but thorough knowledge of the admission process is needed to obtain an Master of Business Administration degree.

Applications for management education are on the rise worldwide, as professionals and students realize the importance of an MBA to boost careers. The admission process is fairly long and competitive and candidates need to be aware of the intricacies of the process.

Admission Criteria

The admission requirements generally include a sixteen year educational background. All applicants are required to take the Graduate Management Aptitude Test or the GMAT. Several schools also require TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores. This is mainly for international applicants from countries where the native language is not English. Full time work experience is usually preferred by schools across the world. The actual application requires candidates to write essays clearly mentioning their career aspirations and reasons for applying to the particular school.

Types of Courses

There is a wide range of MBA programs available to suit the needs of candidates. The Evening MBA or Morning MBAs are designed for the benefit of working professionals who can continue their current professions while earning an MBA degree. Full time MBA course duration ranges from 11 to 21 months. Shorter courses usually do not include an internship. Executive MBAs are for working professionals with several years of comprehensive work experience including management or budgeting experience.

Worldwide Schools to Choose From

The choice of doing an MBA from schools in a particular country or location is an important parameter for choosing a business school. More often than not, graduating students end up working in the country from which they completed the course. Many schools across the world also specialize in a particular stream of management like consulting, finance or hospitality or healthcare management. Apart from the schools reputation and brand image, students look at rankings, quality of faculty, size of alumni and class diversity to make their choice.

Funding the MBA

Management education is an expensive affair. There are several options availed by students including federal loans, corporate sponsorship, scholarships and assistantships. For international applicants loans may require co-signers who posses citizenship of the target country. Several organizations or financial institutions offer educational loans which are repayable post the MBA course completion. These loans are sometimes granted against collaterals.

Global MBA Fairs

International applicants are usually unable to make campus visits to know more about the institution and get a feel of the atmosphere of their target schools. MBA tours provide an opportunity for students to interact with alumni or members from the admission committee to clarify queries face to face. Some schools also interview prospective candidates face to face in these tours.

Visas and Work Permits

Regulations for international applicants to work in a foreign country vary widely. The UK for example require students to qualify through an HSMP points based system for granting of work permits post their courses. Some countries like Spain do not allow students to continue to work once the student visa expires.

Business School admissions are fiercely competitive and prospective students need to have strong overall applications to secure admission. Solid international work experience, cross cultural diversity, professional and extra curricular activities demonstrating strong leadership and interpersonal skills are few of the differentiating factors that admission committees look out for. Admission committees carefully evaluate the candidates application holistically to gauge a candidates fit to a particular school at the same time balancing the class diversity.

Management education in top B-schools across the world requires adequate planning and preparation. The end result is very rewarding in most cases with professionals moving up in their careers at an accelerated pace or even switching career tracks and job functions needless to say, with much larger paychecks.

The Necessity of a Good Business Plan: Why Your Business Needs to Have a Proper Plan

It’s a given that a business needs a business plan. Often, though, business owners, once they’ve written their plan, will neglect it. But your plan is your guide.

Getting a business off the ground is not an easy thing to do. It requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice. But what many people fail to realize is that what a business needs most of all is a good plan. People start businesses based on ideas and emotions. They believe they have a great idea or they feel they can do something better. And they may be right. But before they go and throw their time, money and other resources into a business they need to make sure they have a plan. Without it all you have is a recipe for disaster.

Tools to Construct Your Plan

Before you even dream of getting the doors of your business open you need to construct your plan. You need to take your vision and articulate it for people to read. To help you do this you can purchase a software program that will help you to put together a nicely layed out plan. There are also plenty of free examples all over the internet for you to take a look at in case you’re not sure what one looks like. You might even find an example of a plan in your industry.

What Your Business Plan Is Used for

Your business plan is a plan for the present and for the future. It’s about both where your company currently is and where you want it to go. It will be used to convince others such as banks and potential investors about either the strength of your idea or of your company. It will show them how you plan to thrive and grow. Your business plan reflects how much you know about your industry, your market, and your competition. Your business plan can be used to sell your ideas to others.

Business Plan Ingredients

In your business plan you’ll state what your short and long term goals are for the business. You’ll detail the steps you are taking and intend to take to get there. You’ll explain the resources you have to use and what more you’ll need for your plan to be a success. And you’ll be prepared to adjust your plan as the future unfolds. You’ll adjust it and tweak it constantly because your goals will change and so to must your plan. You have to be flexible with your plan.

Your Vision for Your Business

A business plan is about a vision and its goal is to help you explain that vision to others. It is meant to be an ever present reminder to you of what you are trying to achieve. It does you no good if it is shoved in a drawer and left to collect dust. You need to refer to it often so that you know whether or not you are accomplishing the goals that you established in your plan. It needs to be updated regularly so that it can reflect the changes that have taken place since the plan was created. It needs to be updated so that it stays relevant to the present and the future. That is why you need a good business plan.

Michelangelo the Entrepreneur: A Creative Visionary With Interpersonal Business Skills

Michelangelo is an internationally ubiquitous figure throughout the world, from references to his life and work through popular culture on post cards, commercials, and movies, he is known for a level of creative genius rarely achieved. The view of the irascible creative artist can be a misconception though, and disregards other entrepreneurial attributes that are essential to success, such as the interpersonal qualities of networking and relationship building.

The book Michelangelo at San Lorenzo: the Genius as Entrepreneur by William E. Wallace [Cambridge University Press, 1994], provides an interpretation of Michelangelo’s life as a networking collaborator, and sheds light on the operations and team work processes utilized to achieve his iconic status. Michelangelo raised the standards of the artist, and the way he accomplished this responsibility was through a loyal network of contractors, artists, and project commissions that he respected and worked with openly.

Michelangelo the Interpersonal Manager

Michelangelo holds a prominent position in raising the standards of the artist. He accomplished this through the genius of his work, a meticulous work ethic, and through valuable affiliations, leadership, and teamwork skills. He was very thorough and particular in his work and business. For most of the commissioned activities through his life there was a multitude of workers that assisted with the construction and completion of these assignments.

He managed and built an infrastructure that thrived on synergy, enhancing the productivity that any one person could achieve. In fact, later in Michelangelo’s life he became more of a supervisor for these workers, and instructed them as they followed a template of the undertakings.

Today, the historian is able to know these details, thanks to Michelangelo’s meticulous nature. He kept very detailed records of the names, wages, and other details about his workers on the back of the templates containing his ideas. This detail of the artistic process most likely reinforced the success gained by protecting against any mishaps or confusion that could have ensued without such attention to detail.

Michelangelo the Networker

Michelangelo also elevated the integrity of the artist by gaining an imperial recognition and affiliation. He believed he was a descendant of the affluent Medici lineage, and this specious assertion was eventually permitted. He joined the Medici household; bring him inimitable connections and opportunities. For instance, it gave him guaranteed income to enterprise his artistic talent with having access to abundant supplies and materials. It also gave him imminent job security.

During this time in history many Popes came from wealthy families. Michelangelo was connected to the Pope through the Medici family, and this provided multiple artistic prospects. It is important to give recognition to the investment his family connections provided, since he would not have been afforded these numerous opportunities without them.

During the sixteenth century, Europe was in the midst of disruption and modification due to the Protestant Reformation. This turmoil and confrontation that the Catholic Church was facing instigated a change in the purpose and depiction of art. The Catholics wanted to aggrandize the church by adorning it with artistic depictions of the holy. Consequently, much of the art at this time was commissioned by the church, and so reflected the views and desires of the Catholic institution. Michelangelo’s connection to the Pope and church through the Medici lineage can be viewed as a contributor to the abundance of papal commissions obtained.

Michelangelo the Entrepreneur

Michelangelo is without contention a redoubtable artist that has influenced preceding generations, but a catalyst for his imminent success may have been due to the capability to manage and coordinate a vast network of coworkers and joining a union with affluent counterparts that provided resources and further connections. All the manpower at his disposal would have made it easier to efficiently fulfill and complete the countless artistic works that are attributed to him today.

This shows the importance of blending soft skills with the implementation of a creative vision. Vision provides the path for the entrepreneur and the interpersonal skills and team building capacity to manage and lead offers the means to trend a path less traveled.