Business owners quickly come to realize the importance of relationships in every aspect of running a business, from picking a financing company to hiring employees. The more strong connections that business owners have at their disposal, the more they will be able to find new opportunities as well as come up with the resources to act on them. Making connections, like many parts of running a business, is an art form. The good news is that by adopting certain habits and a positive attitude, pretty much every business owner can rise to ninja level for the benefit of their business and their professional careers. First rule is don’t be shy. If opportunities all looked the same, then it would simply be a matter of waiting around until a great one came along to be successful. In the real world, you can never really be sure what will come along, so instead of waiting business owners should actively try to interact with as many different people as

A single perspective can be enough to make a correct decision, but when it comes to a more difficult or nuanced question, it can be in a business owner’s best interest to approach the problem from multiple angles. Whether you are weighing an employee perk program or considering investing in new equipment under a constrained cash flow, reflection and a bit of time can go a long way. Here are some ideas on creating more perspective on a problem for yourself. Research historical answers to your problem. Historical answers doesn’t necessarily mean ancient history (although you can get some great perspective from that as well). What this concept refers to is a more immediate history that is available thanks to the internet, where almost any problem you can think of has been experienced and written about by someone. The perspective of a problem that you already have can and should be supplemented by the perspective of others. In many cases, a business problem may be sensitive

Management is a skill that requires practice and reflection, like any other. Where management differs from other elements required to run a business, however, is in the fact that it pertains to many different situations, from engaging employees to the very important task of managing customer expectations. Managing expectations will save you from many unpleasant situations caused by a lack of adequate communication between you and your clients. Essentially, this type of management hinges on clear communication of what your business is able to deliver and for what price in what time frame. Like many principles of small business, it’s based on common sense and being proactive, but again, like many elements of business, it’s not always something that people follow through on. In the case of important relationships, business owners can be tempted to say whatever will make the sale. The problematic part of this strategy, besides the obvious issues caused by discrepancies between what is promised and what is delivered, is that business

Before describing the traits of an undesirable business partner, it’s important to point out that even if someone does exhibit some of these traits, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should disqualify them. Ultimately, the person you choose as your partner needs to be able to complement your skills and the way that you do business, so there is the potential out there for someone who wouldn’t classically qualify as a strong partner being your optimal counterpart. That being said, in general if a prospective business partner falls into one of these three categories, then you should seriously evaluate the potential for inviting them into a partnership that will determine the course of your business’s success or failure. The Spendthrift. If your prospective business partner is the type who treats resources like they will never run out, then that should be a major red flag. Business capital is a finite resource, and business owners can’t afford to assume that things will work themselves out in regards to

The main purpose of a small business is to create revenues, and then to grow in order to make even more, however under the general umbrella of “growth” there are many distinct ways to expand a small business. Here is a look at a few of the most common and some of their benefits. Purchasing equipment or inventory. Financing new equipment or the acquisition of new inventory allows a business to grow thanks to the added potential to create revenues contributed by the purchased items. Depending on the size of the items, the complexity of their use, and how time consuming they are to manage, you may need to hire new staff in order to operate your new machinery or keep track of the inventory. This type of business expansion is generally a response to already present demand, and since costs can only be recouped by additional business, it may be better to avoid investing in too much inventory or production capacity unless there is a clear

Business owners work hard all year round, whether it’s planning growth, dealing with customers and suppliers, or hiring and training employees, there is always a lot to do. Still, even the most tough entrepreneurs will need to take a break, and the Summertime is the perfect season for planning and enjoying a getaway trip. The only problem is the fact that, no matter how much you deserve a vacation, your business operations are not going to go away while you are gone. You need to make sure that they will be taken care of while you are away and that, in the event of an emergency, you will still be able to be contacted and appraised of what needs to be done to protect your business. In the interest of allowing you to take the time off that you have been thinking about all year, while at the same time not spending the entire time worrying about what is going on back home you can

Bad credit business financing can be tough to come by, since credit is such an important factor in the underwriting process of most banks. Still, bad credit does not mean that business owners are totally unable to find loan alternatives that can work for them. Increasingly, entrepreneurs in the US are using bad credit business loan alternatives to grow while they recover from bad credit scores, or as a mean to accelerate their ability to handle high sales volume. Given the relatively newer importance of bad credit business financing products, small business owners may not be sure what to expect when they apply for this type of funding. Consistent performance is a strong positive when  applying for bad credit business funding. If your business has been on the downswing, you can still get funded and apply working capital to new projects, but when bad credit business loan alternatives really have a chance to shine is when your business is reporting month over month growth. Keeping a tight

  Small business advice can come from many different places, but books are one of the best. Literature can teach life lessons in every area, and business is no exception. Here are a few classical literary moments, as well as some lessons that savvy business owners can take from them and apply to their management strategies. Don’t assume something is impossible. See for yourself. This principle is demonstrated in the Shakespeare favorite, Macbeth. Told by a troop of prophesy speaking  witches that he will reign until the Great Birnam Woods come to Dunsinane Hill, Macbeth assumes that he will be safe since moving trees are impossible, or so he thinks. In the end, his castle is overrun by the forces of his enemies, disguised by the branches of the trees he thought immobile. While, unless you are in landscaping, moving trees will most likely not concern you, the principle that is at work here is important for small business owners to understand. The person who claims

Business owners are, in most cases, comfortable moving quickly on projects and while developing new ideas. The entrepreneurial stereotype is  a person willing to spend long hours and sacrifice certain creature comforts in order to make sure that things get done, and quickly too. This can be a great thing, meaning that their businesses are able to grow and adapt to changes in their markets much faster than bigger companies where bureaucracy and indifference on the part of employees can get in the way of improvements. However, the old adage “patience is a virtue” holds true in many situations in the business world, where rushing something too much can actually cause more harm than good. When to be patient. Patience can be a boon when dealing with third parties in particular. Many small business owners hire outside contractors to handle tasks that they are not comfortable taking care of themselves. Common examples are accounting and web design. Why is patience useful in these cases? It’s because

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