Staying Confident

Entrepreneurship is filled with ups and downs. Sometimes it can be difficult to stay confident when the end is not in sight and challenges do arise. Often the data about the businesses that fail is overwhelming and discouraging. So what can a business owner do to stay confident? First, you need to be ok with the challenges and discouragement. Recognize they are a part of this human experience and can be great educators. This opposition allows you to value the good at a greater level because they create a contrast. Second, it is critical that you do not allow yourself to stay there. Discouragement is like quicksand. It bogs you down, traps you and hinders your progress. Take a moment to immediately look for the good. It is always there but our vision is too often clouded by the bad….

Category : Entrepreneur

SMALL BIZ RESOURCE: Small Business Development Center Miami-Dade

The Florida Small Business Development Center Network (FSBDCN) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1976. State designated as Florida’s Principal Provider of Business Assistance, the Florida SBDC Network has over 35 years of experience helping businesses start, grow and succeed. The local SBDCs offer everything from extensive one-on-one consulting and small group workshops to large group meetings on important business topics. Training topics cover many areas of business operations including Business Start-up, Financial and Cash Flow Analysis, Accounting and Recordkeeping, Marketing and Sales, and Business Planning. Why They Started: Whether you’re starting a business, buying a business, growing a business or selling a business, the Florida SBDC Network can help.  Funded in 1976 by the US Small Business Administration (SBA), the Florida Small Business Development Center Network (FSBDCN), one of eight original SBDC pilot programs, successfully links the state’s education system…

It’s All About Location

When it comes to the success of your small business, it may well turn out that it’s all about location. Based in part off of an article on CNNMoney, this post will focus on the importance of where you open your physical store(s) and what state you start your business in. Location, Location, Location If you can afford to, get a prime real estate location for opening your small business. Do the math and see what area you can afford to put your business’ name at. After balancing out where you can put your money, it could definitely be worth it to make a stretch for a better location. Advertising can be expensive, and if your store is out-of-the-way, out of eye’s sight, and hard to find, you’re going to have to spend even more time, money, and effort to advertise…

Creating Independent Employees

I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying along the lines of “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” As a small business owner, your time is valuable. Helping your employees become more independent will free up more of your time and result in a more productive workplace. To give yourself more time and create independence in your employees, you need to teach your employees rather than just give them things. Once you show an employee how to accomplish a certain task or project in such a way that the employee can perform that task without your help in the future, you have created an employee who will become a large asset to your business. Take the Time to Teach A good…

You Can Grow Your Business In Rough Times

About five years ago, the U.S. economy took a hit from which it is still trying to recover. Most businesses felt the effects of the hurt economy, and many businesses found themselves downsizing or closing altogether. Despite the rough times, some businesses found ways to survive, and some entrepreneurs actually used the time as an opportunity to create start-ups. This post will discuss a few ways business owners kept their businesses alive, based off an article from The New York Times titled “Strategies for Growth, Even in Down Times.” Offering New Products If your business is struggling, brainstorm ideas for new products that could help target a new crowd or excite consumers to buy from you. Society is constantly looking for the newest thing. People want what’s trending, what’s new and exciting, and what the next best and most impressive thing is….

Organization at Your Business

Have you ever found yourself scrambling to find something at work, but it’s been swallowed up by other things? Have you been asked by a client or employee for a certain file or information but weren’t able to find it? Do you ever feel like there’s too much on your plate and you have no idea where to begin? If you answered yes to any of the above or had to think hard about it, you could most likely use more organization at your work. There are numerous ways organization plays a role in your business’ success, and there are many ways that you can become more organized. Because everyone is different, this post will address various ways to become more organized. Clean Up One of the first steps in becoming more organized is to simply start physically cleaning things…

SMALLBIZ PROFILES: Terra Medicus Corp. – A Life Saving Business

Have you ever wondered what you would do if someone around you suddenly needed immediate medical attention, but you were the only one around to help at that time before medical help arrived? Are you interested in learning more about CPR or first aid for your job, or are thinking about a medical-related career? Terra Medicus Corp. offers health courses such as CPR, first aid, BLS for healthcare providers, life guarding, and pet CPR. They can help you learn what to do in certain situations that could help you save someone’s life. Terra Medicus Corp. is American Heart Association certified and offers courses seven days a week in either English or Spanish, focusing on your particular needs. Learn more about Terra Medicus Corp. below.   Why They Started: With a background in EMS and working in a trauma center, I…

Building Unity

Your small business is a team of people, and however large or small that team may be they should all be working toward a common goal. As a small business owner, in order to make your business as successful as it can be you need to facilitate unity among your employees. Don’t exclude yourself, however, because as a team leader your every interaction demonstrates how you expect your employees to interact. Unifying Activities At my first real job, my coworkers and I would get together to play cards during our two breaks in the day. It was a small office, but almost all the employees would participate in the card games. If nothing else, it was a great way to get to know one another and build relationships at the workplace. Through becoming more comfortable with one another, our productivity…

How To Be A Strong Leader At Work

A small business is often only as strong as its owner and management. As a small business owner, the way you act and present yourself directly affects your business’ success. Your energy and habits will be transferred to your employees and their work. Your customers and clients will also pick up on your strengths and weaknesses, which is why it’s important to eliminate bad habits and strengthen what you have going for you. A strong leader is not someone who flashes his power or rank in the company or who lives by his way or nothing else. Rather, a strong leader is someone who lifts others and is an example of how they want others to act in the workplace. Quiet confidence, wise decisions, passion, and a proactive approach will help others view you as a strong leader that they…

How Surveys Can Help Your Business

How do you know if you’re doing everything you can to make your business successful? It is often difficult to assess your own business because you have put so much effort into making it how you think it should be that it may be hard to see the flaws. If your business is your “baby”, you might be slow to discipline or criticize that baby even if you think some things might need to be changed. There are professionals who you can have come in to tell you how to make your business successful, but they can be expensive and possibly not as helpful as a simple survey. Customer or client surveys are a great way for you to look at your business or evaluate what you are doing. Those who receive your services are in a great position to…

Keeping It Simple

A business is all about its product, whether tangible or intangible. One thing that some business owners forget is to keep their product simple. What do I mean by this, and why is it so important? It is sometimes hard to remember that the product you have spent so long developing may by the time of its introduction seem simple to you, but may be complicated to the unfamiliar buyer. The level of complexity or the amount of time it takes for your intended customers to become familiar with your product is a must-know before you put it on the shelves. Know Your Target Customer If you are designing a product for a specific audience who is familiar with that product and its features, then you may not have to worry as much about how simple it is for your…

Why I Am Going to Launch a Startup

As my readers know, I am an international business and immigration lawyer.  I have been doing that for the last several years and still enjoy it (most of the time).  Despite the great experiences that I have had as an attorney, I have felt the pull to start my own venture.  Maybe it is the excitement that I see in my clients as they are launching and growing something.  Maybe it is the pull of entrepreneurship.  Either way, I have a startup that I am looking to launch by the end of the year. Because of that, I am going to be using this blog as a platform to describe the challenges and successes that I run in to as I go through the process.  I will use it to demonstrate firsthand some of the legal questions that startups need…

It’s Time to Celebrate

    There are a lot of reasons that people decide to start their own business.  Some are born out of necessity or a desire for change.  Others come as a solution to a need or problem.  Still more come from a great idea or a breakthrough.  Whatever the reason for starting your own business, I believe that it is always a good idea to “celebrate” what has happened in your business at the end of each year.  Here are three ways I will be “celebrating”: Celebrate Success- As a business owner it is always important to take a look at the successes that you have had over the last year and evaluate why they were success.  What can you do to build on that success?  How can you create a system of success that will allow your venture to…

Coordinating Your Team’s Efforts

    One of my favorite distractions in life is sports.  I truly enjoy the competition, teamwork, triumph and hard work that is personified in the efforts of athletes and teams.  Critical to any athletic teams success is true leadership that takes each of the players, uses their skill to maximize their success, and directs a plan in the most efficient way possible.  The same applies for you as you manage your team.  Here are three ways to ensure you get the most from your team. 1) Know the Players It is important that you take time to get to know the players on your team.  Everyone has talents and interest that may not be listed on the resume or job description but that may bring additional value to the company.  The more you know your employees, the better able…

How to Digest the News

    Right now there are probably thousands of new articles that you could read about everything that is going on in the world.  With this increase in access to information and understanding, it can sometimes be overwhelming to try to filter through to the things that matter most to you.  Because your understanding of critical elements can be drowned out by this great expanse of information, here are three things that you can do to better digest the news. 1) Choose Your Sources First and foremost, it is important to find news sources that are meaningful to you.  Use criteria such as expertise, technical know-how, writing style, accessibility, etc. to determine some sources that best fit what you are looking for.  Narrow it down to about 5-6 critical sources and focus on getting your information there. 2) Schedule Time…

Finding Great Resources

    For many small business owners, it is sometimes difficult to know where to look for great resources to assist in the launch or development of their venture.   While the “treasure map” for those golden resources will be different for each owner and each venture, here are some places to consider when searching for resources for your business. 1) Government Resources The government has so many great resources on all levels and I feel that they are under-utilized by inquiring small business owners.  From local to state to federal, there are many different types of organizations that are set up to help you in your venture.  Start by speaking with your local SBA office or doing a Google search for support entities for your business.   Note only will they be able to help you understand the regulations…

One Person, One Community- Make a Difference

I have a strong belief that we all have the capacity to do great things but too often we let doubts or fears keep us from being great.  That is why I love reminders like the above video to show us that capacity inherent in who we are.  This man saw a problem and set about to solve it.  His community had a need and he filled it.  He made sure that, even if it was only a few people, he would help them, and now he is impacting the world. As a business owner, you may see problems in your own community.  What can you do to change it?  How can you build up those around you?  Help those that suffer or who are in need?  Sometimes it is critical to remember that we are all a part of…

Avoiding Distractions

  I think we all have stories of when we were children and we ate too much candy and became sick afterwards (Halloween anyone?).  We disregard the wisest course of action for an instantaneous pleasure.  True success comes when we are able to overcome our tendencies to over entertain ourselves and instead focus on accomplishing the most important/critical items first.  Because our lives are often filled with distractions that will cause us to lose focus on those important/critical items, here are some things that may help you with your focus. 1) Begin Right   Make the decision each evening to start the morning immediately doing something that is important or critical.  Each day will present unique challenges and concerns and you will need to prioritize accordingly.  By making the decision and then following through each day, you are better able to succeed…

Three Ways to Improve Proficiency Today

    One of the major things that I see both in my own business practice as well as with many of my clients is the constant effort that is needed to improve proficiency.  Because proficiency is so important to success in business, it is important to know both the definition of proficiency as well as some daily things that can be done to improve proficiency.  According to Merriam-Webster, proficiency is, “advancement in knowledge or skill.”  We must consistently educate ourselves in our business and the world in order to become successful.  Here are three things that you can do today to improve proficiency: 1) Read the News It is always important to take time each day to read the news, especially in areas that impact your business directly.  Take the time to read up on current events, research trade…

Persistence Wins the Prize

      I have seen this quote from Calvin Coolidge several times recently: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race” All too often, people give up just before the prize is won.  They lose sight of their goals/dreams and miss out on the success that they begin working towards because they do not stay the course.  Business requires owners to be consistent and persistent.  Make sure that you are making adjustments as needed and constantly evaluate when your current plans and actions are…

Three Ways to Monitor Business Legal Health

    Between my wife being a doctor and all the recent discussion on the recent Health Care bill and its impact on businesses and individuals, I have been thinking a lot about how treatment and care principles can be applied to how business owners manage and deal with their businesses.  Just as it is important for you to monitor your person health and wellbeing, you should be conducting frequent business check up to ensure that you are you the best to take care of and protect your business.  Here are three things to do in your Business Legal Check-Up: 1) Quarterly Compliance Checks- I strongly recommend that all business owners schedule time each quarter to sit down and evaluate two types of compliance concerns: government and contract compliance.  For government compliance, take the time to research if there are…

Be Understanding

    Sometimes in life we get so caught up in the course that we are on, that we do not take the time to understand what we are doing and why we are doing it.  People get caught in patterns of behavior because of many reasons:  ‘Their parents before them did it.’  ‘This is what I was taught to do.’  ‘I don’t have the capacity to do things differently.’  Doing without understanding is rarely a path to success. Because of the importance of implementing understanding as a means to become more successful, I recommend seeking increased understanding in these three areas: 1) self, 2) community, and 3) profession.  We should take time each week and each day to evaluate and understand ourselves and our roles in our life. Understanding will come as we research what we do and then…

Your Community Needs You to Be a Leader

    It is always risky to discuss things like politics, sports and religion because there will almost always be those that will take an opposing viewpoint.  I think because of that fact, I have become increasingly more convinced that we all need to seek to be leaders in our communities, and not just from the point of view of our business. Everyone has unique abilities to positively influence those that surround them.  Often we have family members or friends that look to us for council or support.  We have customers and clients that rely on the goods or services that our businesses provide.  Are we paying attention to the influence that we have and how it can better those around us? It seems common practice today for people to be cynical and pessimistic about the world around us.  For…