The Virtual Handshake is the roadmap to a dynamic (and lucrative) online arena that is fast becoming the crucial relationship-building environment for serious professionals. Filled with clear, real-life examples, The Virtual Handshake is a practical and vital resource for professionals whose businesses rely on a constant flow of new opportunities and contacts.
One of the most difficult, yet important, issues you must decide as an entrepreneur is which pricing methodology to follow within your business. Determining exactly how much to charge for your products or services is a major step towards setting your long-term pricing strategy as a company.
One of the most important lessons entrepreneurs have to learn, often painfully, is that cash really is king. I'm not talking about paper money -- I'm talking about cash flow. Simply put, it doesn't matter how much money is coming in the future if you don't have enough money to get from here to there. Employees can't wait on paychecks until your customers pay. Your landlord doesn't care that you're talking to investors and will have the money in a couple of months.
Most businesses understand the importance of customer relationships but have not quantified the impact of those relationships on bottom line results. The lifetime value of a customer is a valuable tool for measuring the contribution a customer makes to the bottom line and a useful basis for developing marketing strategies that effectively target the most attractive customers.
A few years ago, when I was active in the field of knowledge management, a friend of mine turned me on to the book Diffusion of Innovations by Everett Rogers. It’s not generally known as a business book, but as a sociology and communications textbook. You may, however, be familiar with some of the concepts within it...
It's an old cliche that we all know and understand, but to what extent do you really apply it in your business? Be honest with yourself, how much is your time worth?
As a business owner, you can't afford to spend your precious time doing $10/hr work when your hourly output needs to be $50/hr in order to turn a profit with your company each week. That's when opportunity management, having a productivity system with regimented rules in place, and being willing to hire help comes into play.
No matter how great a corporate culture you create, no matter how good a role model you are, it’s inevitable that situations will arise that require you to mitigate emotional stress within the ranks. Personal conflicts, outside pressures, and job-related stress will eventually become a factor to be dealt with in any workplace setting.
Once you've decided to walk the entrepreneurial path, the next question to ask yourself is, "What type of business do I want to start?" There are thousands of choices. Even things you might think are out of your reach may not be. Short of something like pharmaceuticals that requires enormous research & development budgets, there are virtually no limits: automobile manufacturing, food products, import/export, and many others are open to even the individual entrepreneur.
Your friends and family, the online gurus, publications, and even casual acquaintances can provide you with a steady flow of information regarding news, industry developments, and opportunities. Industry analysts, consultants, employees, and good networking contacts can share their expert knowledge with you regarding particular situations and needs you may encounter. However, only a business mentor can truly share wisdom with you on an ongoing basis...
When you borrow money from an outside source and promise to return the principal in addition to an agreed-upon percentage of interest, you take on debt. The term "debt" tends to have negative implications, but startup companies often find that they must acquire debt so they can finance operations. Even the healthiest of corporate balance sheets will typically include some level of debt.
Many entrepreneurs leave a secure job to run a business. When you do this, you move from earning a regular income to earning a more haphazard income, which can make personal budgeting difficult. The haphazard nature of business income is one of the risks of running a small business.
From an insurer’s standpoint, every business is unique in the risk that it poses. In order to properly rate a risk, the insurance company must take many things into consideration in an attempt to determine the likelihood of a claim and if there is a claim, the severity of it.
If there is just one aspect of strategic sales planning that all companies would love to improve on, it would probably be more accurate sales forecasts. For some, sales forecasting is a little guesswork mixed in with some black magic and a lot of luck. For others, it’s an involved process predicated on accuracy and continuous improvement.
For most successful small businesses, networking and referrals are both the least expensive and most effective forms of marketing. Reputation is the currency of networking and referrals. Whether it’s reviews and recommendations on websites such as Yelp and LinkedIn or the more vague “Yeah, I’ve heard they’re great” of face-to-face conversation...
Investing a little more into hiring and retaining the right people can pay out big in the long run. It's impossible to be all things to all people. No matter how great your company is, it's likely that some of your employees will eventually move on to other opportunities. That may be costing you more than you realize, once you consider both the direct and indirect costs. Investing a little more into hiring and retaining the right people can pay out big in the long run.