Do You Have Good Cash Flow?

Cash flow is what all business people want.  That’s a fact.  If you are operating a business that is not making money you will not be in business for long.  Unfortunately, getting the cash to flow in your business may not be happening as much as you want. That means you have a problem that needs to be analyzed and adjusted as quickly as possible.

The question of why this is happening (the lack of cash flow that is) doesn’t have just one answer. It would take looking at your particular business operation to provide specific suggestions.  But the most obvious reason would be a lack of adequate sales to bring in enough money for you to experience a profit.  Or you might actually be making sales yet can’t seem to pay your bills and realize a profit.  This could be from not earning enough to cover expenses even though money is coming into the business.

What if you can’t seem to make any sales or not enough to make a difference?  Questions you might need to ask are, are you marketing to the right target market?   Are you using the right pricing strategies?  Are your products and services up to par? These are some of the questions that will assist you to analyze problems with cash flow in the business.

Find out more about how to generate cash flow in your business.  Join the 30 Minute Quick Tip Teleseminar on Tuesday, May 21, from 10 to 10:30 a.m. PST.  I’ll be talking more about cash flow in business.  Click HERE to get more information and to register.




Cut Distractions for Better Time Management

If you want to boost your productivity, learn to cut distractions out of your day.  When you do, you will instantly get more focused, be able to get more done in a day and feel less stressed – all at the same time.

Distractions during the workday might not seem harmful.  After all, what’s the big deal behind “just” 10 minutes of Facebook, or a quick chat with your co-worker, or answering that phone call by your significant other?

In reality, though, these distractions can really cut down on your productivity. Here’s why and what to do about it.

1. The True Cost of Distractions

Distractions are deceptively dangerous. Most people fail to see the true cost behind distracting activities. To illustrate the point, let’s look at Facebook.  If you’re doing 10-minute Facebook sessions throughout your day, it doesn’t just cost you 10 minutes of productivity.

For one, you’ll often have to spend quite a bit of time getting back into gear once you stop checking Facebook. It also prevents you from getting in “The Zone.”  You can only have periods of focused work can only happen without distraction.

Let’s say you take five 10-minute Facebook sessions throughout the day. It takes you 10 minutes to get back into work mode after Facebooking.  That’s a whopping 1 hour and 40 minutes out of your day from just Facebook alone.  Once you add in all the different distracting activities in a day, you can see how it quickly adds up. 10-minute distractions might not seem like much, but over the course of a day they make a big difference.

2. Cut Out Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Email, StumbleUpon, etc

Perhaps the most important types of distractions you could cut out are digital distractions. Sites like Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, StumbleUpon and even email should be off limits during the workday.  Email can be checked at specific times in the day, like in the morning, at noon and at the end of the work day. Incessantly checking email is just distracting, not productive.

3. Interpersonal Distractions

Other common types of distractions include water cooler conversations, phone calls, “just popping in” co-workers and so on. If you run a home business, distractions could include your spouse, the kids or roommates if you live with others.

Set up a system so the people who work or live with you know when you need to get productive work done. It could be something as direct as a sign on the door, or something as indirect as a pair of headphones in your ears. If someone tries to distract you, just politely let them know you’re not available, unless it’s urgent.

Cutting out distracting activities will make a big difference on your concentration and on the amount of productive work you get done in a day. Try it for a week or two to see how it works for you.

Get more time management and productivity tips.  The Productivity audio offers 21 fast tips for increasing your productivity without increasing your stress.  Click HERE to check it out.

Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing

Writing and publishing a book is a dream of many Christian business women.  While getting a contract with a traditional publisher is one way to be a published author, so is self-publishing.  Publishing your own book is a very different experience than getting a book deal with a traditional publisher and not something everyone might want to do.  But the advantages to doing it yourself a growing. I’ve been blessed to be published through a traditional publisher and through self-publishing.  I love both ways, but realize the great advantages of going the self-publishing route.

For one thing, doing it yourself lets you get your book to the market place much quicker than if you go through a  traditional publisher.   It takes up to two years to get a traditional book published (at least in the non-fiction arena).  That means your information can start getting out dated before your book hits the shelves.  With self publishing you control how fast the book gets finished and out to the public.  This can happen in a matter of weeks or months.  This keeps your topic much fresher and your name in front of your target market.

Self-publishing is a great way to keep a lot more of the end profits from the book. Instead of getting around $1 per book sold, you can easily earn as much as $4 to $6 or even more depending on the price of the book.

You control the content that goes into your book.  There is no publisher or editor looking over your shoulders every step of the way. You have no limitations on content and you don’t need to write for marketing. You can just write precisely what it is you want to write.  Of course, the downside is that you don’t get the guidance that comes with a traditional publisher.  You don’t have the eyes of someone who’s experienced in the industry helping you along.

Traditional publishers have a large staff of people on hand, ready to do all kinds of different things to help get your book off the ground. When you self-publish, you have to do all of these things on your own or find freelancers to do it for you.

These tasks include:

* Proofreading your book
* Having graphics designed for your front cover
* Provding photographs for your author bio
* Getting the book edited
* Having your book laid out
*and much more.

The options for getting the book printed include many different print on demand and small print run companies to choose from. You can find many of them through a Google search.

The more books you print at a time, the lower your cost per book and the higher your profit per sale. Though you can sell books on a single-printing basis, you’re usually better off buying a couple hundred at a time.

When you self-publish a book, you have to handle all of the marketing yourself. You are responsible for generating the publicity that brings in the sales. You can generate sales through online advertising, through in-person sales, through reputation or through whatever techniques you want to use to generate buzz.

Most large stores like Barnes & Noble tend not to deal with self-published authors. There are exceptions to this rule, especially if you start to create a ton of demand. By and large, however, you can’t rely on traditional forms of distribution to do your marketing for you.

In summary, you can expect to be in control of the whole publishing process when you go it on your own but it also means you don’t have the same level of professional support.  Consider some of these pros and cons as you get started with the publishing process.  The bottom line is, get started writing your book.  You can get it published and become the author you’ve always wanted to be.

Let Fiverr Help Your Business Grow

Have you wondered what the Fiverr site is all about?  Well, it is one of the very first and largest microservice sites on the internet.  It is a site where people with skills offer services for only $5.   The idea is simple, but the results are huge.  You can literally find any type of services you might need for your business and contract with someone to provide that service for you.  It can be very helpful for basic services you need without having to put out a lot of money up front.

I’ve used Fiverr to purchase a cover graphic for a Kindle book and to get some articles written in a pinch.  As with any type of service site you have to carefully select a service provider even if you are only spending $5.  The reason you connect with someone at Fiverr or any other type of service site is because you have a business need.  So you expect to get good services.  Some of the providers will be excellent while others  will not.

Spend some time at the site getting to know the type of work any person can provide.  Look at their portfolios and see how many times they have been used by other business people.  You can also correspond with the person asking questions about their experience.  At least Fiverr is only $5 and if you find someone who does a great job it’s possible to be able to to work with them again.

Here are some of the different kinds of services you can contract on Fiverr.

Attention Getting Publicity Stunts

People on Fiverr can offer to do really unique things to help you get publicity for your business.  For instance, you can get someone to temporarily tattoo their arm with your brand’s logo and take a photo of it.  Someone could offer to walk around carrying a sign advertising your business.  Other will create original lyrics about your business and sing them for you on a YouTube video.

Proofreading and Publishing

You can have your document proofread for $5. You can have a book cover designed for $5. You can have a book converted into Kindle format for $5. You can have an electronic book cover rendered for $5.  A lot of the more menial tasks in the writing and publishing process for both web and print content can be outsourced to Fiverr.

Website Building Tasks

Find someone to help solve a WordPress configuration error.  Get another person to build .edu and .gov backlinks to your website.  Need help moving your website from one host to another? You can pay $5 for it instead of several hundred by going to a system admin.

Random Things

There are all kinds of random services you can find on Fiverr.  You can find people who’ll sign up for Dropbox using your referral link, so you can get extra storage space.  Someone will provide coaching to help you get through a tough problem with your business or another problem.  You can find even find someone to write articles and create blog posts on your niche topic.

Video and Audio Services

Need someone to read your video script out loud in an exciting voice? Fiverr is a fantastic resource.   Want to add a cool animated intro to your videos? Someone will gladly create it for you for $5.  The list of things you can find on Fiverr goes on and on and on and on.

Get in the habit of checking Fiverr whenever you find yourself wishing you could hand off a task. If you ever find yourself taking a long time on a task that’s outside your expertise, try checking Fiverr to see if someone would do it for $5. If it’s work that can be delegated online, chances are someone will.

Becoming a Marketing Consultant

Christian business women might want to use a marketing consultant at some point to assist with getting the word out about their business.  In fact, some business women will become a marketing consultant as a part of their specialty service area.  If that’s your choice, you have many ways to enter into the marketing industry.

Marketing consultants come in many shapes and sizes so it’s essential that you know what kind of consultant you plan to be. That understanding will shape the way you brand yourself, the way you look for clients, and the way you work with clients.

Here are five common types of marketing consultants.

1: Entrepreneurial and Small Business Advisor

Some of your clients will be small businesses that have a physical location such as small restaurants, spas, hair salons, grocery stores and other small businesses.  Your duties will include helping to identify new ways to bring in customers and helps clients plan and execute marketing campaigns.

Common marketing tactics you might suggest include coupon mailers, coupon packs, newspaper advertising, cable TV advertising and joint ventures with other local businesses.

2: Client Acquisition

If this is your niche, you will work with individuals or organizations that deal with higher end clients. For example, investment advisors, lawyers, doctors and real estate agents.  The goal is to bring in more clients. In this realm, however, the tactics are quite different. Common tactics might include web advertising, PPC marketing, buying leads, and magazine or newspaper advertising.

3: Pay Per Click or SEO Consultant

In this area you will focus on the online aspect of marketing to help clients maximize their Pay per click (PPC) or Search Engine Optimization (SEO) returns.  Actually, markeitng consultants in this area usually specialize in either PPC or SEO but not both as these are very specialized skill sets. Clients can range from mom and pop stores to Fortune 500 companies.

4: Branding Advisor

If you work with brand marketing you will specialize in helping companies figure out their brand and core message.  You would help shape both the visual message as well as the intangible message.  A part of your job would be to help figure out things like logos, banners, posters and multimedia and help make sure that everything the company puts out adheres to a coherent message.

5: Social Media Consultant

As a Social media consultant you can help companies in a number of different ways.  You might  specialize in helping companies set up social media in the first place.  You help design Facebook covers and Twitter backgrounds, help register pages, help get a feed going and so on. They help take a company from no social media presence to having one.

Another focus might be to actually help run the social media campaigns.  You would take over the reins and post tweets, post status updates, run contests and create infographics.

Still another  specialty could be in crisis management.  With this specialty you will monitor the social media feeds and jump in to take care of things should negative press start spreading among the social sphere.

These are just five areas that are common in the marketing consultant industry.  You could find your specialty here or in one of many other new and useful areas that would be helpful to others in business.  Each area targets very different customers and uses very different skill sets. Make sure you know which category you fall into before you jump into the industry and you will be able to expect great success in this needed area of work.