3 Positioning Secrets to Selling More

No matter what type of business you’re in, you want to sell more. By selling more, you’ll increase your profits, increase your market presence and see better results. However, you don’t have to rely on spending more money on advertising to see greater returns. These three secrets to positioning will not only help you sell more products or services, but will also help you transform your organization into one which provides true support and benefit to your clientele. (Now that is a win-win!)

1. Position your company as selling solutions and not selling products.
When someone buys a widget, they aren’t really looking for a widget, they are looking for the solution that the widget brings. Accounting services are a solution to the nightmare of dealing with your own books. Shared office space is the solution to trying to keep your costs of business small while still looking professional. Help your customers honestly evaluate your product to see if it is a solution for them. After all, if your product isn’t a solution for someone, why would you want to sell it to them? […]

By |August 5th, 2010|Entrepreneurs|0 Comments

Are You Working on Your Business Instead of Working In Your Business?

It’s no doubt that small business owners are hard working people. It takes a lot of focus, dedication and hard work to venture out on your own and start your own business. However, many small business owners make the mistake of spending too much time working in their business instead of working on their business. There is a subtle, but powerful, difference between the two types of work.

What is Working On Vs. Working In Your Business?

Working in your business is defined as the day to day tasks that make businesses run smoothly. Creating products, fulfilling service contracts, handling receivables and paying bills are all examples of working in a business. Some of this work may be drudgery (like the bookkeeping) and some of it may be enjoyable (like completing the service) but it’s all part of working in the business. […]

By |June 21st, 2010|Entrepreneurs|3 Comments

Attracting Venture Capital Investors: The Who, What, Where, When and How of VC Investing

So you’ve got a great business idea and need some money to get going? Venture capital could be just the solution you’re looking for…if you know how to approach investors the right way. Get a crash course in venture capital basics in the following points.

Who – Venture capitalist firms collect funds from rich investors who want to see their money grow. Typically, a venture capital firm will invest the joint fund into various business models, many of which will fail. Some of them will end up succeeding and turning a profit. However, the venture capital firm selects investments carefully to choose companies that are likely to go public and make them a profit. They are playing the law of averages, but select very carefully based on your company’s potential. […]

By |June 15th, 2010|Entrepreneurs|0 Comments

Brand Your Business in Seven Easy Steps

Branding is a new term for an old collection of principles that have been part of successful business building for years. By branding your business, you are increasing the public’s knowledge of your company and creating a “personality” for your business that will earn your credibility and loyalty.

If you don’t have a brand, or don’t feel your brand is strong enough, here are seven easy steps to get the process going. Gather together any key members of your company, or spend some time with a notepad if you’re a solo-preneur, and create a brand that is memorable and trustworthy. […]

By |June 9th, 2010|Entrepreneurs|0 Comments

Business Plan Basics: What You Need to Know to Get Started

No matter what the size or age of your business, you need a business plan to stay organized. A business plan is a collection of documents that detail the current state of your business and your plans for future growth. Most often businesses will develop a business plan in order to get financing, but even if you aren’t looking for financing it’s still a good idea to write a business plan.

A business plan will help you define your business, crystallize your market and prepare you for future growth. It will provide your company a structure for the short term and the long term. A business plan may help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business, so you can make future plans to build on those strengths and overcome your weaknesses. […]

By |June 1st, 2010|Entrepreneurs|1 Comment

Expert Tax Tips – Part III: Are You Suffering From The "Post-Tax Blues"?

Every business has a different cycle based on industry, size, and other factors, but when it comes to paying taxes, there are a lot of common requirements and issues that small to medium-size businesses face each year. We recently finished a very busy tax season, and afterwards, many business owners suffered from something I call the “post-tax blues”. This refers to the uncomfortable feeling that you paid too much in taxes. Even though some business owners have a fiscal year that is different from the calendar year (and thus a different business tax return due date), all small and medium business owners still have to be concerned with filing (or extending) their individual tax returns by April 15th. Thus, the effect of the business results on their personal tax picture is very much felt around April 15th and the following months. Tax planning is one of the services I offer my clients, so today and in future articles, let me share some ideas to consider that may help reduce your taxes in the coming years. […]

By |April 26th, 2010|Entrepreneurs|0 Comments

Do You Have A Coach In Your Corner?

A sports coach pushes an athlete to achieve optimum performance, provides support when exhausted, and teaches the athlete to execute plays that the competition does not anticipate. A sporting coach will have you run more laps than you feel like. A sporting coach will tell it like it is. And, a sporting coach will listen.

But what does this have to do with you and your business?

Being an executive or business owner is very much like being an athlete. While many people have an innate ability to perform in their business, every professional can benefit from the training and expertise of focused coaching combined with training. In fact, some studies suggest that 54% of businesses are using some form of business coaching. […]

By |April 21st, 2010|Entrepreneurs|0 Comments

Expert Tax Tips: Part II – What Is This "Use Tax" All About?

Many of my clients have inquired recently about the Use Tax letters they have been receiving from the California State Board of Equalization. They want to know what is and how should they respond.

What is the California Use Tax?

In recent years, more and more purchases of all kinds by businesses and individuals are happening out of state, either over the internet or through some other means. These sales often happen without any sales tax being charged or paid. Since sales tax is a huge revenue source for California, the Use Tax was put in place a few years ago to tap into the missing sales tax on goods bought out of state. Recently the California Board of Equalization (BOE) has become more aggressive about collecting the tax, especially from California businesses. […]

By |April 8th, 2010|Entrepreneurs|0 Comments

Expert Tax Tips: Part I – Common Mistakes Businesses Make On Their Taxes

Over the years, I have seen a wide variety of mistakes, some of which were very costly to business owners. The IRS and state tax code and regulations are very complex and many modifications are made each year. The complexity and frequent changes in tax code creates big challenges for business owners if they don’t have a tax expert advising them. Over the years, I have come across many mistakes that create problems for small business owners. Here are the three which seem to come up most often. […]

By |March 23rd, 2010|Entrepreneurs|1 Comment

Leveraging California Enterprise Zone Tax Credits

That time of year is upon us again. As 2009 taxes are prepared, it is a yearly ritual to see if there is anything you can do differently to optimize your returns for the next year. If you, like many, haven’t heard of California Enterprise Zones, I have great news for you!

What Is A California Enterprise Zone?

California’s Enterprise Zone program was established in 1984 to stimulate business investment and help create jobs through special tax incentives to businesses located within designated areas of the state. Currently there are 42 Enterprise Zones throughout the state, and there may be one near you. (When we first learned of Enterprise Zones, we discovered that several of our locations are in designated Enterprise Zones!) […]

By |March 10th, 2010|Entrepreneurs|0 Comments