Customer Service Adage Correction – For Wholesale Business Entrepreneurs!

The customer is always right! Well if uch adage is true everyone in labor could get fired easily thanks to some customers, dont you think? If by the books you are self-employed, a certain customer may just not be right for you. When you become your own boss, there is a good amount of stress that you already need to cope with on top of the other challenging responsibilities that go with the CEO title.

Decreasing as much stress as possible should make your business way better in overall terms. When deciding to eliminate the time waster, who indeed takes up a lot of your support time issues – you are likely doing both you and him a favor.

If you deal with wholesale merchandise business and customers on a daily basis, it does not mean you are being rude to them by rejecting their business. You are just setting up your standards, your ideals and the respect for your self-employment status.

If you think it would be bad business to turn up front cash or customer lifetime value, the fact of the matter is- aggravation is just one of the many top of the line negative issues you have to decrease to a heavy extent with troublesome customers.

But you may believe in entrepreneurial options. Be it e-commerce in the wholesale merchandise business, the 80/20 rule of the wildly known Pareto’s Principle, it all applies! Yes, the one that states that 80% of your income comes from 20% of your customers.

Well if the Einstein’s are correct, 80% of your stress shall also come from 20% of your beloved customers. Likely case today if structuring online business correctly, that ratio may be more like 95% of the stress arrives from 5% of your customers. My entrepreneurial tip if you really want to stay with the majority of your new customer’s, whether they are high-maintenance or low-maintenance, outsource your business and developing projects.

By now you may be asking, how in this world can I hire them? Go creative – it’s the 21st century. I personally love how Subway has structured part of their marketing system and expansion mythology with royalty fees and monthly attachment with the franchisee. By 2010, you can expect more Subway’s in our city then gas station country wide here at Puerto Rico! Their methods works, why not do the same with our own budget?

You could hire a professional for your wholesale merchandise business and pay an agent monthly fees, what is the equivalent of royalty fees in the Internet marketing world. Many of us started doing it heavily in some of our businesses a while back, you might as well find creative ways to get a talent in your team for more productive time and more profits!

2008 surely sounds more exciting! You either will retain your customer thanks to a hired professional on your end and pay small monthly fees, $100-$200.00 per month are reasonable these days, or you will end the potential lifetime value from your ready to buy prospects.

It’s all about deciding. Decide in reasonable terms whether you are in the wholesale merchandise fulfillment relations business or you are on your own. Play the game smart and adjust your way to niche stardom, as one of the best bets as you may know is making right decisions!

Home Based Business Entrepreneurs Look For Million Dollar Opportunities With Life’s Lemons

Life Happens!

Many times, even our best laid out plans go awry. How we respond to those lemons and mishaps reveal the strength and resolve of our character, problem solving abilities and our mindset. Circumstances test us and grow us far beyond what we wish we didn’t have to experience.

This article specifically addresses the economic lemon so many people in the world have been handed. By reading this article, one will discover 7 simple action steps they can take right now to begin formulating their lemonade recipe.

Our mindset and thinking will determine the outcome when we are handed a lemon. What we tell ourselves about our circumstances will become our reality. It comes down to mind over matter.

Entrepreneurs learn early on how to make lemonade from lemons if they want to succeed.

Entrepreneurship does not make you immune to problems, in fact, it’s an invitation for them to surface! For those who can take lemons and run with them, they will survive. Those who are unable to do so will find themselves further back from even square one.

Lemons can be beautiful if you will accept them with the right attitude.

I look at real life lemons and truly they are beautiful. The bright yellow color is sunny warm and inviting to the eye, the outside texture is fun to touch, the aroma captures your senses, the complimentary green leaves provide decoration and adornment… they are beautiful. It’s when you taste them that makes your eyes clasp shut and lips pucker. So one must be able to alter the taste and blend some good sweet components into the lemon to make the fruit bearable and even enjoyable to eat.

Have a game plan for how you will think and behave the best you can when lemons are tossed your way.

Be prepared mentally to respond creatively. Personal development again, will teach you how to prepare. The entrepreneur will take lemons, add a dose of personal development and mindset, mix it up with creativity, throw in some action, stir in lots and lots of desire and commitment and the recipe often alters the course of their life in ways they may not ever have thought possible.

What if your lemons are worth a million dollars?

You want to look for opportunity in the challenge. Leaders do that. When an entrepreneur responds creatively, magic can happen.

  • Doors open.
  • Opportunities arise.
  • Products are developed.
  • Joint Ventures are forged.
  • Leadership and Personal Growth happens.
  • New meaning and purpose in life manifest daily.
  • Deeper awareness of life is appreciated.
  • Energy and excitement become part of your being.

Often people who have suffered a great tragedy in their life will take their lemons and share their story about how they survived because it encourages others who are going through the same thing to press forward. These individuals often become authors, speakers and highly sought after mentors who inspire and help others in becoming a better person, a better coach, a better employee or employer, a better parent… the list can go on forever.

We’ve all had lemons.

One of my lemons emerged after a wonderful 13 year run in my real estate career. It was snuffed out almost overnight by the economy in 2006. Thousands of real estate professionals, mortgage brokers and investors, home inspectors, real estate appraisers along with almost every industry in the world were handed this same lemon. While many people sat and waited to see what happened next, others acknowledged the lemon and looked for creative ways to deal with it.

That’s what I did. I took my lemon and began searching online for ways to create an income.

The first decision I ever made in entrepreneurship turned out to be a $35K lemon and 8 months of wasted time. Now I was holding two lemons!

Did I quit my exploration and interest in having an online business and watch my two lemons mold and rot and stink up my life? No!

I continued to look for ways to make lemonade (a bigger batch I must say because now I had two lemons to work with!). I knew there had to be a great lemonade recipe; I just hadn’t found it yet.

My lemon #2 taught me to make better choices and what NOT to do. Do I look at the $35K loss as a lemon today? No, not at all. I look at that as ‘tuition’ for home based business entrepreneurship. My journey would reveal smaller lemons along the way (more tuition) but lemon #2 was no longer a lemon. I had made delicious lemonade with that. Knowledge lemonade. Applied knowledge is power. I had a good foundation in online business. I learned so much and today I have such an appreciation and insight for online business because of the 8 month journey I took down the wrong road.

Will my experience help others so they don’t have to be the proud owner of that lemon? Yes. I’m grateful for that.

Over time, lemon #1 began to provide a lifestyle for me I would have otherwise never pursued.

Had the economy stayed strong, I would still be getting up every day to go to work. I would have continued to slave away in my real estate career ‘thinking I was happy’. I didn’t realize how much stress and pressure and time that real estate took from me as a top producer until I began to compare that to the joys of having a home based business. Today, I go to bed when I’m tired and get up when I’m done sleeping. I do what I want to do. I put the hours and work into my business when and where I choose to. That is swweeeeeeet lemonade!

Life is what you make it, lemons and all.

Positive people take lemons and do things with them. Negative people allow their lemon to rot and mold sets in. They look to their future as hopeless and depressed.

What are YOU doing with YOUR economic lemon(s)?

If you have a tendency to be a sourpuss and really want to change that about yourself and your home based business but need some simple directions, here’s some help.

7 Lemonade Action Steps You Can Do Immediately

1. Bathe yourself in personal development.

Question your drive, your commitment and resolve to take your lemon(s) and turn them around for the good. Home based business entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. It’s for those who can taste time and financial freedom and who will climb the highest mountain and swim the widest/deepest ocean to obtain that. Personal development teaches individuals how to grow up as an entrepreneur and sets a tone for leadership and acting in spite of fears. It has to start here.

2. Check out books from the library or surf the net to learn what other successful people are doing online.

You’ll find thousands and thousands of individuals are affiliates for various network marketing/MLM companies. Others are coaches, some specialize in offering website design, or blogging and technical services. Some are marketing products they have created based on what they are interested in. They took their hobby and turned it into a business. The sky’s the limit for you. The list is miles and miles long. It’s a beautiful buffet! Your home based business can be whatever you want it to be.

3. Read and study to learn marketing because when you know how to market, you can write your own ticket.

If you plan to market something, anything, online, there are skillsets to learn in terms of marketing. You’ll want to learn to blog, to write articles, to make videos, and other stuff. If you’re not open to learning how to market, there’s little that will happen for you I’m afraid. Entrepreneurs are excited about learning new skillsets that will allow them to present themselves and their value to the world. Many people think it’s going to take too long to learn, or they are baby boomers and fear technology. It’s really no big deal. Nobody will see your home based business if you are not lite up online.

Time is going to go by anyway so why not learn these basic skillsets that you can use the rest of your life? There’s a lot of free ‘know how’ online. Just search “how to ____ (fill in the blanks) and you’ll be surprised what you can learn.

If you have a budget you can work with, there are many online training platforms that you can plug into that on an average run from between $47 and $150 a month. They teach everything on how to do internet marketing.

4. Take what you are passionate about and start a blog where you can share with others.

Have you seen the movie Julie and Julia? You should if you haven’t. Not that it’s an A+ movie, (far from it in my opinion) but it shows the entrepreneur the sheer power of blogging and what sharing your passion can do. Watch it from that perspective.

Your blog will be your home online. It’s a place where people can get to know, like and trust you. It’s a place where you invite others to join in your conversation and share your passion with you. Overtime you will come to have a following.

Begin to write articles and post your thoughts and interests about what you’re passion is on your blog. You can post a couple times a week. Your readers will look forward to hearing from you.

5. Create a product around your passion and offer it to your subscribers who find value in your education.

For example, one of my hobbies is scrapbooking and foster parenting. I saw a need and I wrote a book and live hands-on training for foster parents and social workers on how to make lifebooks (scrapbooks but with a new name) for foster children. It’s a very popular training still today and I wrote it several years back. Share your knowledge about your passion and package it in a report, ebook, video or video series, audio/podcast series or a combination of any of those. Create a PayPal button and add that onto your blog and sell your product.

6. Get involved in social media.

Establish a profile at Facebook and twitter. Research forums and groups online where people are talking about and sharing in your passion and participate. Share your love, enthusiasm and knowledge with others in those communities. Be a go-giver. You will find the greatest people who become your dearest friends through online relationships.

7. Share your story on your blog.

Share your lemon story and how you are, making lemonade (or already have made a batch!). You will inspire others as they are wondering whether a home based business is right for them. They will appreciate you for being transparent. You will be real to them and being authentically yourself doing something you are passionate about feels super good. Try it, you’ll like it.

As you work on these ingredients of your lemonade, be mindful of value you have that you can offer others. This is called attraction marketing and by sharing your very best information and giving the world the very best you, you will find that people will start to flock to you.

This is by far, not a complete list of action steps in dealing with the economic lemon you may have been given, but it’s a great start in appreciating your circumstances in that it will open new doors of opportunity for you if you’ll allow it. You may find yourself in a home based business you never dreamed of until you were handed a lemon. And that home based business could turn into a 7 figure income. It’s a possibility. Dream big and go far.

Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Home Based Business Entrepreneur?

Almost everyone thinks at one time or another about running their own business! Perhaps we see ourselves as the next Richard Branson or Donald Trump! Being an entrepreneur can be very appealing but not everyone is cut out to become one. This article asks the question: do you have what it takes to run your own successful online business?

One of the great things about the internet is that you start a business with very limited funds. For under $50 you can get a business set up and running – this provides a quick and safe way to see if you have the necessary skills to become a successful online entrepreneur. The beauty of this approach is that it can be started part-time around your regular work and family commitments.

Running an online business is not really about the product or service you provide. Far more important to your eventual success or not, are the attitudes and characteristics you bring to your business. Most business owners are taught to do a SWOT analysis on their business. The initials stand for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Unfortunately, very few owners actually do the same analysis on themselves! This can be a very enlightening process!

The first thing I recommend to all my clients is that they honestly evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses. Are they disciplined enough to get up early and work late? Do they see tasks through to completion? Are they prepared to take responsibility for their own success?

These are all important questions to ask before you spend any money! You must know how to plan, organize, and control every aspect of your new business. It is hard work and the buck always stops with you!

Organizing your time is a difficult task but if you want to run a successful home-based business, you must be able to do it. That may mean negotiating with children and partners, as well as keeping up with your regular commitments. You should also be able to work alone because now you’re the boss and all business decisions will be made by you! Kind of scary isn’t it?

You must also learn to be bigger than the problems you encounter. Even with an online business, you will have to deal with certain business problems and risks. You can’t eliminate such risks because they go hand in hand with running any business, whether online or offline. You must develop the resilience to overcome any challenges that you meet on route.

Running your own business will still mean that you will have to deal with all sorts of different kinds of people. You will encounter demanding customers, moody vendors, and some very sharp business practices that will happily drain your credit card if you allow them! To become a successful home-based business entrepreneur, you should know how to deal with all these situations.

Another ability you should possess is being able to make quick and accurate decisions. There is something called “the paralysis of analysis”, where we are so concerned about the possible consequences of our actions that we freeze the decision altogether. It is actually nearly impossible to know the full outcome of any decision we make – there are simply too many unknown variables. I have always followed my intuition and adopted the Nike philosophy – Just Do It! The more decisions you make the better you will get at them!

To be an effective online business entrepreneur, you must have lots of energy and superior work ethic. Owning an online business may mean working longs hours, usually late at night when the family has settled down, and on the weekends too. All of these sacrifices become worthwhile when the profits start rolling in!

Many of the risks we have spoken about can be reduced by choosing your home-based business carefully. There is a great deal of hype on the internet that may lead you to believe that money will come quickly and easily and without too much effort! These “instant wealth” opportunities should be avoided like the plague! Choose a reputable business with a proven track record and follow the system they teach.

Once you understand the responsibilities of an entrepreneur, then you can better assess if you have what it takes to become successful in an online business. Working at home with your own home-based online business requires dedication and hard work, but it can be done! Thousands of people just like you and I earn their living this way every day. You could be one of the success stories too!

Copyright (c) 2009 Steve Cowley

Allocating Time for New Business Development: Just One of The Challenges Facing Busy Entrepreneurs

How do you allocate time for new business development? It’s the bane of many entrepreneurs and small business people. “I am so busy with my current projects that I don’t have time to drum up new business.” I know exactly what they’re talking about. I remember a period where I had so many writing projects on the go that I did no marketing. I just waited for the business to come in. The problem is that unless you market yourself, the business can slow to a trickle, regardless of the previous complaints that you have:

  • Too much work already
  • Not enough time to do anything else
  • Not enough money to spend on proposals that may not pay off

I completely understand. Understanding, however, doesn’t get you anywhere, so let me make some suggestions to keep the business coming.

The first suggestion is that you dedicate some time to new business every day. It need only be half an hour, but whatever time segment you decide on, lock it in. Just put everything aside, hold your phone calls, shut down the cell and leave your e-mail alone. Next, do the following. Get yourself one of those small digital timers, punch in the time segment you’ve chosen, then, turn the timer away from you so you can’t see it. Now, focus on the work at hand.

During this time segment consider what new business you want to get into, or actually work on a new business proposal. What you might also do, and this will impact your own staff, is get the staff to join you in your sessions; and plan a session at least once a week, and brainstorm new ideas. Who better than your own staff to carry out this activity in search of new business? And encourage them to look for business opportunities that you may be unaware of through networking, or contacts they have with friends and associates. Even submit a speculative or unsolicited proposal to a client.

Here’s an idea I really like. It comes from Verne Harnish, CEO of Gazelles Inc, an executive education firm. Verne suggests that you should stop eating alone. Verne’s experience is that in one year, living in Barcelona, he built deeper business, social, and political connections than in ten years living and working in Washington DC. What could you do if you were to meet someone different even a couple of days a week? You might not generate new business immediately, but the payoff down the line could be substantial.

I understand that cash flow can get in the way of such activities. I appreciate that the current projects you’re working on have stringent timelines. In fact you’re probably working a 60-hour week. But don’t let that get in the way of allocating time for new business by pursuing practical ways to make it happen, even on your busy schedule.

Abstract: Busy people often get too busy and fail to continue marketing themselves. Small businesses, like consultants and training companies, often find themselves in this situation. This article looks at the issue and suggests some practical solutions. It’s up to you to follow up on them.