Are You Doing Business Or Just Being Busy?

Business women generate cash in their business. In fact, to stay in business generating a cash flow is necessary. Sure, it’s necessary to think positive about you and your business and charge the right prices. But the bottom line is that to operate a sustainable business you must know how to earn profit.

If you are not generating cash profits, you are operating a non-profit organization – and that is not what a real business woman wants to do.

As an entrepreneur, you have to know how to conduct a business. It takes time, planning, and knowledge to get the business started in the right direction.

A business woman needs to put certain systems in place along with other required business elements. But once you know these basics, you can develop your business.

So are you developing a real business? Let’s be honest; it’s possible that what you do everyday is not really a business. Maybe you’re great at the technical part of what you know – gardening, designing a website, bookkeeping, etc. – but you find you’re not attracting clients and making money.

You certainly intend to be in business, but the reality is that you might only be doing busy work. That’s why you start and stop new projects every few weeks and see few results.

The truth is, it might not be your fault. Really smart, dedicated people fall into the trap of thinking creating a business and especially creating on online will be a fast easy fix to financial woes. That comes from reading so much of the hype that’s out there about what it takes to do Internet business.  And that hype if simply not true.

Business experts say that one in five businesses will fail within just a few years of starting. The actual numbers are probably quite a lot higher. You don’t want to fail. You want to succeed. When you know the top reasons why entrepreneurs fail, you can better prepare your business for years of success.

I’m going to be sharing some of the top reasons why entrepreneurial ventures fail on a regular basis next time.

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.

 

 

 

Should Christian Business Women Hire a Marketing Consultant?

Depending on your business and how far along you are,  a marketing consultant may be important in helping your business to grow.   Christian business women are now starting to work with marketing consultants to assist with entrepreneurial firms,  large corporations or non-profits.  Marketing consultant have client businesses that span a whole range of different industries. Essentially, any company that’s focused on marketing, that cares about their brand or wants to bring in new customers could use the services of a marketing consultant. Knowing exactly which types of clients you’re targeting will help you attract and close more of those clients.

Here are some of the most common types of clients marketing consultants encounter.

Brand Oriented Companies

Brand oriented companies tend to be larger companies with larger marketing budgets. Their primary goal when they’re spending marketing dollars is to win mindshare and associate specific emotions with their brand.

In other words, they don’t expect to make a sale right away. Their primary concern isn’t response or sales, their primary concern is brand.

What the marketing consultant does:  In this context helps guide the business’ brand along and makes sure that every ad the company puts out adheres to the brand’s core message.

Response Based Companies

These are the polar opposite of brand oriented companies.  These companies don’t care about branding at all.  Their main objective is to turn a profit from every ad.  If they spend $10,000 on advertising, they expect $12,000 in revenue to come in. If they don’t make back their initial investment, the campaign was a failure.

What the marketing consultant does:  With these companies, a marketing consultant can help choose what kind of media the company advertises in (radio, mail, internet, TV, etc.) They can help direct the copy or the creatives to ensure they convert. They can also help pick specific publications or channels to advertise in.

Small Businesses

Marketing consultants can also specialize in helping small entrepreneurial businesses succeed. For example, a marketing consultant might help a local dentist figure out how to attract more clients from surrounding cities.

What the marketing consultant does:  Small businesses tend to expect very measurable results. You either get them more customers or you don’t.  If you succeed, many small business owners will be more than happy to refer you to other local business owners.

Service Providers

Service providers can include Software as a Service (SAS) providers, industry-specific consultants (e.g. software consultants), debt consolidation specialists and really any other company that provides a service. Many of these companies operate on the internet or operate on a nation-wide basis.

What the marketing consultant does:  Marketing consultants in these contexts tend to be tasked with establishing a pipeline. These companies don’t just want you to come up with one or two successful marketing campaigns. Instead, they want you to help them develop a repeatable system of generating clients on a regular basis.

You and a Marketing Consultant

If you decide to find someone to assist you with your marketing, your job will be to identify ways this professional can bring in more customers and convert more customers, then make sure their staff can actually execute on that plan consistently.  At least you now understand some of the more common kinds of clients you might encounter as a marketing consultant.  You can target everyone from very small businesses and solo-entrepreneurs to multi-million dollar corporations.  Being a Christian women in business mean understanding resources available to assist with making her business or organization as successful as possible.  Planing your business operations and understanding your growth patterns will help to know when hiring a marketing consultant is most important.

If you don’t have a plan for your business you might not know when to expect the type of growth the warrants a marketing consultant.  Every type of business including a small business and non-profit needs to develop a business plan.  You can work through a plan with the NACWIB business plan program that’s simple to understand and easy to complete.   Work through a business plan for your Internet based business or find a detailed business plan for your company or non-profit as a resource in the NACWIB membership area.

Are You Focused on Your Goal?

Are you a business woman who has written a solid, focused, measurable goal for your business?  Are the next steps you intend to take to meet your intentions and expetactions clear? In order to reach bold goals in your business you have to write ones that are specific, measuarable, attainable, reachable and timely.  This results in creating a SMART goal. With written goal setting a business woman knows what to reach for therefore it’s not a surprise where you end up because you plan the course of your steps. 
 
The Bible encourages a woman of faith to move forward with confidence; even if you don’t feel certain at all times on each step:  

I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”  Philippains 3:13-14 (The Message).

If you haven’t written your goals what are you waiting for?  Do you have a vision of where you want to go?  Have you prayed about the direction of your business and life?  If the vision you see in your heart is beyond anything you would determine for yourself, it is a great God-sized vision waiting to be embraced. If the vision is a bit scary and overwhelming don’t back away.  Write it down so the vision is clear.  Turn the vision into a goal statement with SMART goals and keep your eye on the goal “where God is beckoning” the woman in business to go.

Top Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Fail

Every year thousands of businesses launch. Every year thousands of businesses fail. In fact, business experts say that one in five businesses will fail within just a few years of launch. The actual numbers are probably quite a lot higher. You don’t want to fail. You want to succeed. When you know why entrepreneurs fail, you can properly prepare for success. Here are the top reasons why entrepreneurs fail.

#1 Lack of research – It’s vitally important to make sure there’s a market for your business before you launch. You have to research both demand and supply. Who is providing the same products or service? What problem are you solving for people? Who are your prospects?

The research phase of launching a business is one of the most critical. Without proper research into supply and demand, you’re not going to be able to position your business successfully. Very few businesses succeed without solid initial research.

If you’re unsure how to research your business idea, talk to an expert. Get help. Speak to other entrepreneurs you trust. You don’t have to share your idea with others, but rather learn how to research your idea.

#2 They don’t understand their market – This also relates to research but it’s a different kind of research. Before you launch your business, it’s vital that you know exactly who you’re marketing to. Why? Because you need to position your product or service to meet their needs. If you don’t understand their needs, you may miss out on profits.

#3 They don’t understand cash flow – Cash flow is essential to survival. Actually, poor cash management is perhaps the most common reason for business failure. Entrepreneurs must create a budget. They have to be realistic about how much they expect to earn. And they must have a tight rein on their expenses. In order to pay the bills, you need to have cash coming in on a regular basis. Cash flow is essential to survival.

#4 An inability to market – Not everyone is a marketing genius. It’s important to realize that marketing is essential to success. If you don’t have a solid marketing plan, your business will not thrive. In business, the old “if you build it they will come” mentality just doesn’t work. If you don’t like or understand marketing, then hire someone who does.

#5 No business plan – Many people believe that a business plan is only necessary if you’re seeking funding. This is not true. In order to achieve your goals, it’s important to plan how you’re going to succeed. Your business plan is your road map to success. Don’t skip this important step.

Take heart and think positively. While one in five businesses fail, the others succeed. Research, plan, and understand your market. Commit to marketing and manage your accounts with solid accounting and cash flow management. You’re destined for success!