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19 Vital Tips That Could Save Your Business

19 Key Tips That Could Save Your Business. Business owners share their hard earned experiences with you.

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This article is part of our new project at BusinessBlogs called “Project Campfire”.

Meet New People, Try New Approaches

Tip: Make sure you don’t fall into the habit of always talking to the people you always used to and thinking that you can only do what you’ve always done. The first year in business has lots of administrative stuff to be done anyway so you have to schedule time to talk to new people and try new approaches. Only by trying new things will you start to grow.
Paul Slater, Mushcado Consulting Ltd
mushcado.wordpress.com/

Build a referral network and make it hum!

Before we opened our doors in 2005 we went and knocked on a few ourselves. The idea was to get other related businesses to refer their clients to us for expert mortgage advice so we’d never have to advertise and would have a steady stream of quality prospects. It worked then and it sure works now. Our thanks goes to Warren Corston, Brian Tournier and Wayne Shea, Paul Twentyman, Rod Giles, Mark Jones and Doug McEwan who have been our strongest supporters since day one.
Campbell Hastie, The Go2Guys, Mortgage Advisers
www.blog.go2guys.co.nz

Remain an Expert in your Field

It’s too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day admin and stop reading those industry magazines, emails and blogs. Spend 30 mins every morning keeping up-to-date with your industry. By doing so you’re unlikely to get caught out by customers who know more than you and it will help to keep you thinking strategically.
Conrad Heaven, Steer Online Marketing
www.steer.co.nz

Never Let Perfect Get In The Way of Better

We see so many people who have fantastic ideas in their heads but don’t implement anything for fear that they haven’t got it exactly perfect. What I suggest is, is that it is better to implement ‚”something” and then strive towards continual improvement rather than become paralysed and not act because you have let “perfect get in the way of better”.
Aimee Bridgman, RES Group
resgroup.co.nz

Build Relationships by Giving

Many approach business as what can I get, rather than the approach of what value can I provide or how can I help I do many public speaking events, teaching others how to market effectively on-line. I approach these events with the goal of giving good information, that the audience can take and apply. From this I get clients that want to focus on there own core business, and have me take care of the online marketing work for them. So how you position yourself as the person that is going to help by giving?
Paul Easton
InternetMarketingNZ.com/

Surround Yourself with Experts

As a business owner you are great at what you do but you are unlikely to be great at everything required to run a business. Find an Accountant that understands your industry, find a Lawyer that understands all the legal requirements of your industry, find a business mentor that has relevant experience in the areas you are weakest but most importantly ensure you can work and trust these professionals.
Dave Sewell, Business Development Specialist
www.davesewell.co.nz

Remember Your Clients and Customers

Clients and customers are what helps a business succeed. If you have frequent customers or clients as a small business, ask them their name, never forget it and always address them when they come in. Make friendships and get to KNOW them as people, not dollar signs. ALWAYS put customer satisfaction as the number one goal.
Josh Hayward, Astral Plane Studios
astralplanestudios.com

Believe, Ask Questions & Get Your Brand Sorted

Believe in your business and yourself as the business owner, and you’re already on a winning wicket. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Employ a brand design specialist form the word go.
Chris Young, C7 Design
cseven.posterous.com/

Start Working ON Your business – NOT- IN Your business!”

If you want your business to thrive past its 1st year, then you must be, or planning to, Work ON your business & NOT In it. Unless you are a Lone Ranger, being a Lone Arkwright “OpenAllHours” means You created a JOB. Except you don’t get to switch off at 5pm. Working ON means bringing on Team; contractors, temps, VAs, spouse, family or hiring employees. So go find Your G-G-Granville….
Fiona Camberun, SellYourHouseNow Ltd
www.SellYourHouseNow.co.nz

I will survive my first year of business because I will

Work my marketing action plan; Educate first, build relationships second and sell third; Invest one hour each day to expand my marketing knowledge; Continually measure my results; Adopt a proven sales process; Be personally accountable for all my actions; Demonstrate high business ethics with every interaction.
Leanne Hoagland-Smith, Advanced Systems
www.increase-sales-coach.com

Don’t fall into the self employment trap

The trap is trying to do everything yourself. To have a successful business, you need support. So start off with a plan of all the functions needed to run the business, eg finance, marketing, admin support etc. Then as the business grows, outsource those functions that you don’t have the time or skills to do, so you are able to focus your energies on the work you enjoy.
Valerie Eaton, Smart VA Ltd
www.smartva.co.uk

Prepare for the Roller Coaster Ride of your Life

Self-employment is not for the faint-hearted. Prepare yourself with plenty of self-confidence, a solid network of supportive friends/mentors, and a foundation of faith.
Michelle Hill, Winning Proof
www.winningproof.com

Six Secret Variables: Steps to a Successful Start-up

Of every six new businesses started, five fail within five years. Although the high failure rate can be attributed to many factors, one common issue I see (even after surviving the first five years) is misalignment with a business model. And a good business model really depends on how well something called the Six Variables factored in when you first started your business.
Chia-Li Chien, Chien Associates LLC
chialichien.com/cal/blog/100-six-secret-variables.html

“Do what you love”

You must genuinely enjoy and have a passion for your product / service or industry. Dale Carnegie wrote “You never achieve success unless you like what you are doing”. The enjoyment you have for your business will get you over the hard times, when others are struggling. Your passion will also rub off on clients too as they see someone who genuinely has a passion for serving them.
Tom O’Neil – Personal and Business Goal Specialist
www.tomoneil.com

Identify clear goals and objectives.

Where do you want to be in your business in 3 years. Understand and stay focused on your goals and actions. Understand how you will reach your goals, Develop your strategies and action plans for marketing, production finance and people. Identify what resources you will need that will allow you to implement your strategies and achieve your objectives. Measure your success; are you getting the results you wanted.
Heather Hutchings, Profitable Teams
www.profitableteams.com

The 3X Rule of Business Startups

If you want to survive your 1st year as a business owner, follow my 3X rule. I’ve funded 30 entrepreneurs as an investor and started companies. The 3X rule has never failed me when it comes to start-ups. You’ll need 3X the money you think you’ll need and it’ll take 3X longer than expected. So, raise 3X the capital to sustain the roller coaster ride – otherwise you’re out for the count. Game over.
Damir Perge, entrepreneurdex.com
entrepreneurdex.com

Starting a Business – Are You Ready for Marriage?

Don’t even think about starting a business unless you are prepared to be literally be married to it for the first three years. The vast majority of businesses will only have a chance of becoming successful if you are prepared to commit between 12 and 18 hours a day, and 5 day weeks do not exist.
Nicholas Tee, Zane Education
www.zaneeducation.com

Building Relationships

Developing and maintaining a good rapport with existing and prospective clients builds credibility and trust, which are the building blocks to success. Start by being genuine, and develop a system of accountability. If something goes awry it is best to fix it and move on, rather than play the blame game. Establishing a solid reputation starts at the community level. Network with like-minded individuals, who can help spread the word about your business. Return the favor in kind.
Gaelene Estlin
www.craftykarma.blogspot.com

Read Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”.

If you’ve already read it, read it again.
Grant Dally
www.creativetepukeforum.multiply.com

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