How a Virtual Consultant Can Jumpstart Your Business

Imagine sitting at next Monday morning’s meeting with a three-dimensional model in the middle of the table in front of you that your entire organization can look at and understand in one glimpse. That’s what your business is paying for when they bring a talented and knowledgeable business advisor on board.

Quality business coaching can make your brand identity sharper, your marketing materials snap, crackle, and pop. Contrary to fears that consultants are high-priced luxuries, consulting services are critical to your operations. Try and change the direction of your organization without a professional consultant who has a view of the larger context your company’s competing in and you’re almost guaranteed to create more chaos than improvement.

Knowing your business inside and out gets you a “C.” Knowing your industry, including your present and future competitors as well as the global dynamics that impact your bottom line, gets you an “A+.” Unfortunately, getting such a high grade in running your business involves studying lots of moving parts, wearing too many hats. For that idealized view from 30,000 feet that you need to be successful, expert consulting services are needed. Only a business consultant with experience can ensure that your company can win on an ever-changing and expanding playing field. Business planning consultants minimize the risk of running a business in a global business environment where disruptive technologies can quickly make the products and services you offer obsolete. They also help you stay in tune with your market.

A consultant is a business coach invaluable in providing fiscal discipline. The pressure for an organization to have financial reports that are impressive, can often lead to justifying poor performance. As we’ve learned all too well in recent years, sloppy decision-making can lead entire companies to pull the wool over their own eyes.

In theory, every business wants to be uniform and coordinated. In practice, too many companies try to spend as little as possible on consulting support. If you want to have a business that’s manageable and capable of growth, you need a business planning consultant. Small and large businesses both require safety nets and those safety nets are business consultants.

Aside from the tangible map and summation of your plans that business transformation consulting efforts will yield, small and large business management consulting creates an environment in which your team knows what to do. If management and the people that report to them are not delivering, the involvement of a consultant is also often a wake-up call to them to get their acts together. There’s a level of urgency that a consultant business plan creates that supports your company’s bottom line and structure. It motivates clearer communications within your organization as well as without. A highly competent business coach maximizes your growth rate, positively influencing the daily flow of your organization’s events.

Issues such as accountability as well as market momentum can become blurry in the politics of office life. The best way to measure if your company’s bar is set high enough is through the acquisition of an impartial consulting professional. If your company’s longevity and profitability has been handled by the same core management people who are constantly scratching their heads when they analyze it, you owe it to yourself to try something new. Virtual consulting services that deliver the results you seek without charging you an arm and a leg are the best choice — especially for small businesses. At any rate, whomever you decide to hire, common sense suggests that it’s time.

Purchasing a Business – The Final Inspection

You have come a long way in the business buying process if you get to the final business inspection stage which occurs just prior to you taking possession of the business. However, be warned, this is not the time to be complacent or let your excitement blind you.

Case in point – Lynn – a first time buyer who purchased a business herself earlier this year only to find after the possession date that not everything was as it had been presented to her. Lynn’s experience should be viewed as a lesson learned and not as an opportunity for criticism. In fact, her experience is a common experience for many entrepreneurs buying a business who do not have representation, or as it was in Lynn’s case – not having “competent” representation.

I have therefore taken the liberty to outline what you must do during the Final Inspection of the business. This list is not to be used as an alternative to hiring a savvy business broker but is provided as a means to help you understand why these particular items are important. These are not the only items that need to be covered in a final inspection but are certainly 5 things you must do regardless of the type of business you are purchasing.

5 things you MUST do during the final inspection:

1. Inspect every square inch of the business yourself!

Take the time to inspect the entire business – inside and out. Look for anything that stands out as being unusual or of concern, such as bare electrical cables sticking out of the wall, mold, missing lights, large cracks or water damage in the structure and animal feces to name just a few.

2. Check that there is no missing equipment that should have been included in the sale of the business.

A list of equipment included in the sale should have been included as part of the Offer to Purchase. Print this list out and visually check that each piece of equipment listed is present and accounted for.

3. Check the operation of the equipment, that it has an operating manual and that it is in a good state of repair.

While checking that all the equipment is present, be sure to check it is operating normally, for example computers, printers, ovens, fridges and freezers to name just a few. Any equipment not operating normally should be repaired at the sellers expense unless otherwise agreed upon.

4. Count all the inventory included in the sale.

As with the equipment a list of the inventory should have been included as part of the Offer to Purchase. Again print this list off and check each inventory item. For large inventory based businesses this might mean you need to hire a inventory company to come in and count the inventory.

It is important to note that for many businesses, inventory is a fluid dynamic so when it comes to inventory, there may be a need for a financial adjustment to be made in favor of the buyer or the seller.

5. Have the seller confirm in writing that they have paid all supplier accounts to date in full.

The reason we mention this is sometimes there is the assumption that the lawyer will take care of such matters. That may be so but consider the following. As an example assume for a moment that you are taking over an existing account, say the Point of Sale system at a retail location. If the seller has not paid the bill to date, then the vendor of the Point of Sale system may deactivate the account until the outstanding balance gets paid. This immediately effects the operation of your business and intern turns the excitement of business ownership into a high stress, mission critical, situation.

From what I understand of Lynn’s situation, problems started when the person who was brokering the sale did not turn up to the final inspection. Lynn was therefore left to handle a situation without experience or representation – by representation I mean someone impartial to the sale, ensuring that the best interests of the buyer are met.

Upon taking possession of the business, Lynn found out that the computer system was constantly crashing, the toilet was not working and cupboards had to be replaced due to damage from animal feces. A key supplier account had not been paid that effected the operation of Lynn’s business.

Lynn was fortunate to have the financial means to replace computers, cupboards and complete the necessary repairs to the business however it came at a considerable cost that amounted to thousands of dollars. The key is to identify and address such issues before you take possession of a business. This, we believe, only comes from experience.

Even if you want to handle the purchase of a business yourself hiring a business broker as a consultant can literally save you tens of thousands of dollars. Certainly for us being hired to provide a buyer with a second opinion is an opportunity to share our knowledge with the buyer, support the buyer and share in their excitement of purchasing a business.

2 Marketing Strategies For Getting People To Do Business With You

Are you looking for a unique strategy for getting more customers and prospects into your doors, then you have landed on the right article. In this article, we will take a look some things that will definitely improve your product sales, and to get more new customers into your doors.

For a lot of business owners, marketing just isn’t their cup of tea. They would rather do bungee jumping before embarking on a marketing campaign for their business. Why is this so? Well, the most obvious reason is because they detest marketing. When it comes to marketing, they would rather have someone else do it for them, so that they can be out on the golf course playing a round.

But as a business owner, you need to know how to market your business because without this insight, you will end up struggling in your business – and I know that this is something that you don’t want to happen. So are you ready to turn on your marketing engines? Then great! Let’s take a look at some ways you can get more new customers into your doors.

1) Advertise a seminar

This should be a free seminar. When I used to live in Atlanta, GA, every week there was a free seminar being hosted, showing people how to make money with real estate. I know that their initial sales will come from selling their product that is located at the back of the room, and sales will also come from following up on your prospects that attended the seminar.

This is a great way to get a room full of prospects, turn them into sales, and to follow up on the non-buyers if they don’t purchase your item. Here’s another way to get more new customers into your doors.

2) Use free marketing

There are all kinds of ways to do free marketing in your business. The first way to do so is to run press releases that will get the word out about your business. There’s a program you can use on the internet called Prweb.com that you can use to improve your sales and profits. Also, consider the local media that will help to get your press release for exposure.

Another way to do free marketing is by using the internet. With the internet, you can definitely lower your overall costs of doing business. Inside of your business, have your customers leave their name and email address so that they can subscribe to your email newsletter. Your newsletter should contain valuable information, and should also include coupons that they can redeem in your store.

Your monthly newsletter can either be paid or free, but starting off, you should make it free, just so that you can get a lot of people coming back into your stores.

Both of these tips for making more money in your business can really make your business success. Put them to use today and you will find yourself with a lot of new customers than you have ever seen before.

Good luck with using these tips to have the most success in your business as possible.

Essential Skills For Running A Home Based Business

When thinking of starting a home based business there are several areas of business set up that need looking at before making a final decision. It is easy to get excited (I know I have been there) and charge ahead without really thinking out the long-term ramifications of starting and running the business long-term.

Starting a business takes time to get going and in most cases money, so it is important to look at the whole picture and the long-term chances of keeping the business making a profit.

Take A Long Hard Look Realistically

When we are excited about a new business prospect we often get so carried away with the idea that we don’t look at the negatives, or even if we do, we choose to ignore them. But they are there and they will come back to cause problems you if you do not work through those negatives and work out how you will counteract them so that they do not impact on your business.

Tips For Owning A Successful Business

  • Know your small business inside out.
  • Be a knowledge source in your niche. Small businesses thrive with expertise.
  • During tougher economic times a small business owner has to hone their skills, cut back their stock to the essentials and learn to be an aggressive marketer.
  • Train your staff if you have them
  • Make sure that what you take on is going to last the distance in terms of long-term customer demand

You will see some small businesses that thrive no matter what the economic climate is. The owners just seem to have the know how. But in actual fact the owner has a clear picture of how they want the business to run, how they will promote it and what their long-term goal is for the business.

Some people can run a successful business by instinct but in today’s market it has become so much more difficult to be successful without putting in a lot of effort and also a lot of hard work.

Here are 14 business essentials:

  1. Sourcing or making a product or service that is in high demand
  2. Good budgeting and money management skills
  3. Having sufficient capital to start the business and back up capital to fund the ongoing business, and your personal expenses, until you are making a profit
  4. Good legal advice regarding any legal commitment you may have to make
  5. Be known as a source of excellent information in your niche
  6. Well trained staff in sales and customer communication
  7. Giving above average customer service at all times
  8. Attitude and determination to succeed
  9. Know how to market your business or employ someone to do it for you
  10. Have a Business Plan
  11. Have a Marketing Plan
  12. Choosing a memorable business name
  13. Registering your business name
  14. Registering a domain name and having an optimized website

If starting a business and you realise that there are skills you need to learn, then try to take the time before out-laying your capital, to obtain these skills. As soon as you start operating your business, you will be concentrating on the sales, and getting your business running smoothly. Learning new skills will be the last thing on your mind.

When you start out you won’t know all there is to know but as long as you have some good grounding in business then you can learn as you go.