When The Power Goes Out – Business Entrepreneurs Can’t Give In

During Super Bowl 47 something rather unexpected happened, the power went out during the second half. Well, half the stadium’s power went out that is, and yet, the show must go on. The game was delayed 35-minutes, the problem was fixed and the game continued, after all, it was the Super Bowl, and after a long fought season, that game had to be played. Some would say that the chances of that happening, the power going out, is next to impossible. Well, if you know anything about New Orleans, you should be too awfully surprised, I wasn’t.

Now then, let’s talk about this and how things like this happen to us all in the real world. For instance, let’s say you run a business; what do you do when things go wrong, do you immediately look for blame, huddle the team, work on the crisis, or search of opportunity in the process. How about all those things simultaneously? Interestingly enough, the San Francisco 49s had their power off so their Telex Headsets were not working, they should have huddled the team and strategized or had another half-time locker room type talk.

That’s what the Baltimore Ravens did, but let me ask you something, what would you have done in the those darkest minutes? As an entrepreneur or business leader you cannot give in or give up, you must continually perform, and be up for the challenge. Whatever it takes is what you should be doing and in any crisis you ought to look for opportunities to help your team win. If you fail to seize on such opportunities you are losing a precious resource, not only of time, but of people power too.

Speaking of power in your company, do you have a solid plan if the power goes out, the phone lines go down, your IT system fails, the Internet stops working, or some outside catastrophe prevents you from shipping or receiving products or supplies? You should have a game plan for that, and any other serious contingency. When the World Trade Center Twin Towers were under attack on September 11, 2001 one company got everyone out safely and without further incident; Oppenheimer Investment Funds. Why you ask, well, because they had a plan.

You see when the first attacks hit the Trade Tower building back many years before in the parking structure, they developed a plan. They ran that plan, that day, and they also had a secondary location ready to continue business. Can you say the same? Do you have a plan in case the power goes out in the middle of your game? Please consider all this and think on it.

Learning to Become a Home Business Entrepreneur

In my previous blog I mentioned what personal traits are required to consider starting a home based business opportunity i.e. to be an entrepreneur. But what about skills and knowledge, what do entrepreneurs learn and where do they learn it? Maybe if I describe my day, it might shed some light on the matter.

Today I had a noon appointment at a Starbucks located in a Chapters book store. My good friend Brian called yesterday to make the appointment. Brian likes to meet because he looks to network with like minded individuals. As I wrote in a previous article, entrepreneurs, network marketers and the likes, pay particular attention to what they feed their minds and the thoughts they entertain. Accordingly, they will also surround themselves with people that have empowering mindsets so they can maintain theirs and also give it an opportunity to expand.

Brian and I shared views on personal development strategies, what we have found to be beneficial, what we are currently taking part in as well as what we contemplate doing next. Whether the topic was on multiple streams of income or the resources we can invest in to develop ourselves, our thought processes were focused on empowerment rather than the constant negative topics provided by mainstream medias. Politics, sports or economics did not enter our topics of discussion although they are often what people talk about when they go for coffee.

After a pastry and our caffeine fix (nobody’s perfect) we proceeded to replenish our personal development library by browsing the business, network marketing and self help section of the book store. We made our purchases and went on our way with a satisfied tummy and a fed mind.

If you are a home business opportunity seeker, I’m sure you will appreciate the prospect of designing your own schedule to have the freedom of making appointments such as the one I enjoyed today, however do keep in mind that entrepreneurial life style always takes into account a steady feed of personal growth which is at the basis of business development.

So what do entrepreneurs do for learning the skills and knowledge they need for personal and business growth? They choose what they feed their minds and choose who they network with to promote empowering thought processes. If you’re not too sure what to feed your mind, have a look at our resources page or the self help and business section of your favorite book store to see if anything resonates with you.

So let me ask you this: the next time you go for coffee, who is it going to be with, what will you talk about or… what book are you going to bring? Do let me know!

Bootstrapping To Save Cash – A Concept Made for Small Business Entrepreneurs

I define bootstrapping as “pursuing success with limited resources and with the help of others.” By limited resources I mean a shortage of money or knowledge. Here are some tips and ideas to help solve these shortfalls for small and wannabe entrepreneurial business owners. These ideas are particularly apropos in today’s environment.

Barter

Barter, one of the world’s oldest forms of commerce, is thriving today because it allows companies to trade their products or services for other needed products or services with little or no cash involved. You can utilize your excess goods, manufacturing capacity or time to obtain needed things of every imaginable variety. Bartering can also help you reach and acquire new customers through satisfied trading partners that, if pleased, will buy again with cash and provide good word of mouth to others.

Most barter today is done through exchanges that match up the traders for a fee. You can learn more about the details and find a barter exchange near you by doing a simple online search or visiting the International Reciprocal Trade Association.

Free Consulting

SCORE is a government agency with the mission to provide resources and expertise to maximize the success of existing and emerging small businesses. All SCORE counselors are volunteers, mostly retired executives who want to give back. There is no charge, and everyone who calls gets an appointment. There are more than 370 chapters in the U.S. SCORE does not loan money, but it will advise you on how to get it. Visit the website to find your local office.

The Small Business Development Center is another government agency that basically does the same thing as SCORE but with paid employees and even more educational classes. There are more than 1,000 centers in the U.S. Like SCORE counseling, SBDC counseling is also free.

Mentors

Mentors are experienced, successful businesspeople who are willing to help entrepreneurs get started and grow at no charge. A good one can be the key to success for an emerging company. Mentors can be found in myriad places: family, former teachers, suppliers, the local Chamber of Commerce, people you admire, etc. If you find a good one, be sure always to keep him or her in the loop and say thank you.

Special Offers to Key Customers

It is difficult for small companies to sell to large customers in any environment. An effective way to overcome this challenge is to offer your target an exclusive: your product, a package, a design, a channel of distribution–something special and different from the competition. The exclusive can also be time-sensitive. In return, you can ask for distribution in all of the company’s outlets, free ads, better payment terms or any other goody important to you.

Suppliers

Almost every company needs reliable suppliers. They can contribute to the quality of your business with on-time delivery or innovation and solve some of your financial problems by giving you extended terms. Some suppliers may even be willing to invest in your company. The best suppliers can help make you more competitive and reliable. To gain supplier cooperation, treat suppliers fairly and pay all of their bills on time.

Publicity

Getting coverage about you, your company or your product in print, on TV, on radio or on the web can be more credible than a paid ad. You need not be an expert to get such media coverage. Remember that the writer’s job is to write, and they all need stories. Why not yours? Start by approaching your local media with interesting facts or anecdotes about yourself, your product or service and how you started the company. Writers usually prefer the passion of the company founder to a pitch from a professional publicist.

Outsourcing

Outsourcing can convert the fixed costs of full-time employees to the variable costs incurred only when you need them. This is a major cash-saving strategy that also can yield better quality and know-how as well as access in the case of sales reps. The myth about outsourcing is that you lose control. You may actually have more control because if a vendor doesn’t do a good job, you can just find another. You need not sacrifice control by outsourcing. Another myth is that outsourcing means sending work overseas. This does not have to be true. Anything not done in house is outsourced, whether you get it done down the street, in another state or in another country.

Building Trust

If you are trusted, customers will want to do business with you, employees will be motivated, and lenders and investors are more apt to give you money. You build trust by refusing to compromise on doing the right thing and conducting business ethically. Trust relentlessly pursued can pay great dividends.

Selling

Selling is “persuading someone to take an action favorable to all parties.” There is no selling gene. Selling is an acquired skill best honed with experience. Everyone in the company should be selling with the CEO being the most important seller. There is no cash outlay for selling except for travel. You can do it.

Your attitude is a crucial success factor, so keep your passion high. Don’t let fear of failure hold you back. Keep your ego under control, take care of yourself, rebound quickly from setbacks and always watch the cash.