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Entrepreneur.com Daily Dose – How To Raise Money Now.

Small to medium businesses are extremely vital in any economy, and often times, this business category can be the most overlooked.
Little wonder therefore that researches reflect that small businesses fail faster than any other type of business, particularly under a soft & unpredictable economy!
From research, about 80 percent of businesses fail within the first five years of starting up and of those that are still trading; only one in five does so profitably.
What is the most common cause of business failure? Insufficient profits- cash flow problems!
While there is no magic wand to wave to ensure that every business succeeds, there are steps that can be put in place to minimise the occurrence of failure.
In Nigeria today, businesses are faced with a lot of challenges such as; funding, lack of skilled manpower, inadequate business support facilities/resources and lack of consistent power supply to mention a few. The overhead costs are greatly increased as a result of some of these challenges, when compared with businesses in developed nations.
This article is therefore set to address just one of the many vital steps that can be taken to improve business success;
Outsourcing
If properly managed, what works well for most businesses, regardless of size or geographical location is Outsourcing.
There comes a time in the lifecycle of a small business when the activities required to deal with the business become so enormous in terms of task requirements, time management and lastly, but not the least bit less importantly, costs.
The benefits which come with outsourcing tasks to others are enormous and thankfully the internet age has provided easy ways of hiring help in the form of virtual assistant services much more efficiently.
It is undeniable that the virtual services industry is steadily making its mark all over the world with more and more businesses, outsourcing more and more tasks to outside help in order to focus more on other vital aspects of their businesses.
Virtual assistance is a professional service offered by virtual service providers to businesses all over the world. Virtual assistants deliver their services by way of remote channels such as online, telephone, letters and so on. Outsourcing business tasks is one of the smartest steps any business owner can ever take to help their businesses become more successful.
If truth be told, successful business owners claim that having a virtual assistant is one of the most vital keys to the success of their small businesses.
Just why is it that so many business owners are now outsourcing so much for the survival of their business ventures and how do you recognise whether this is the right way for your business to go?
How to recognise that you require outsourcing
You have a weak profit margin
Business is experiencing cashflow problems
High overhead costs
Lack of specialist skills required to run your business
Some benefits of outsourcing
Outsourcing reduces the costs involved in the day-to-day running of any business.
Many companies are able to save money since the virtual assistants are liable for their own costs.
A good virtual assistant is another mode of networking for your particular business.
Usually specialists in their particular field, virtual assistants provide the best services available.
The virtual assistant operates from a remote location; there is no start-up cost to pay in employing their services, compared with a temping agency.
You will pay one-third of the productivity level than if the virtual assistant was working in an office.
You save time by outsourcing.
You get all types of services without having to undergo training yourself or train someone else to do it. Virtual assistants come with their own equipment, meaning you do not have to pay for them.
Virtual assistants are able to work outside of normal office hours – in their own time.
Outsourcing provides businesses with flexibility in terms of short term turnarounds.
You save costs since you do not have to fork out for holiday pay, sickness benefits and other similar benefits you pay employees.
Virtual assistants are self employed business owners and often act with that mindset.
Virtual assistants ease the stress on your business.
They come furnished with information on other services that will benefit your business at reasonable charges.
You can terminate the services of virtual assistants at any time if you are not happy with the services provided without having to pay severance costs, etc.
. Outsourcing physical office space (depending on your business type) means that you don’t even have to pay rents, leases or purchase separate work place buildings.
Services that can be outsourced
You can outsource quite a lot of tasks such as; business strategy, web design, technical aspects of your business, marketing, secretarial duties, mail duties, etc.
Typical virtual office services include:
. Physical Office Space
. Mail Forwarding
. Telephone Centre
. Support staff
This is by no means an exhaustive list since businesses often perform tasks outside of office duties; they can outsource much more of these, depending on the business type.
When you outsource to outside agents, they become your business partners and so you need to develop a strategic relationship with them.
Trust building is critical and as they will not be operating from your location most of the time, if at all, you need to schedule face-to-face meetings with your virtual assistants as often as is necessary.
Having a good relationship with a virtual assistant is extremely helpful to make your business flourish and grow. Mantra for lasting relationship with your virtual assistant is the quality of communication you have with him/her.
Getting started
There are things business owners must decide on before outsourcing aspects of their business tasks.
Before commencing, you need to know what you’re getting into. Knowing what and how to outsource is the first step to obtaining substantial financial gains. Outsourcing must be completed skilful and mustn’t be rushed to avoid disappointing results, especially if there are sensitive aspects to your business.
Other things you need to consider are;
What you need to outsource – Carry out a business assessment looking at all the aspects of your business, determine the elements you can successfully outsource.
. Determine who you will outsource to – shop around before making a decision; remember, you need to get this right. Ask for recommendations from others who have satisfactorily used the services of virtual assistants.
. Determine whether your business requirements require the services of virtual assistants on a part time or full time basis.
. Once you have decided on the three points above, draw up a contract between you and the virtual agent so every one is clear about what is expected of them.
In summary, as has been enumerated above, outsourcing goes a long way in reducing the costs incurred by businesses if handled correctly. The costs saved can then be used to operate other aspects of the business that require more attention.

We have highlighted that outsourcing:
. Reduces business costs
. Saves a lot of time
. Reduces training costs
. Gives flexibility
. Provides specialist services
. Increases networking opportunities
. Provides quick project turnaround
. Improves small businesses’ chances of operating competitively
. Increases profit margins by reducing costs
. Improves business professionalism
In conclusion, businesses, you are not alone – well-managed outsourcing is working for businesses like yours all over the world.
If you are looking to save money, look professional and take yourself to the next level cost effectively, outsourcing is your best option.

Increase your Financial IQ

Posted: February 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

What is Insanity
Naturally, most if not all of us want and crave for something better. It is all part of us if we want a bigger car, a better house, buying good things for the family. We keep hoping formore but, in order to get what you don’t have, you have got to do something you have never done before.
That simply means:
Doing the same thing over and over again YET expecting different results!
As an employee, you can’t stay at the same job forever and hope that a miracle will
happen and your boss will suddenly give you a raise. You will be lucky that there is no downsizing in your company. Switching to another company will only provide a short term solution to a long term problem.
Sure, you can take up a second or even third job, but do you have enough hours and
stamina in a day to sustain it?
The bottom-line: Trading time for money isn’t wise financial sense in the long term. You keep on increasing the hours just to win the rat race, but in the end of the day, you are still a rat on the mill!
Increasing your wages only puts you in a higher tax bracket. Your salaries increase but so does your expenses on your house and car. How will you invest in yourself when all the time you spend working for a company, working for the government paying taxes and working for the bank paying off your house and car? What if you fall sick and can’t work tomorrow? Will the government take care of your family?
I highly doubt so.
So isn’t it time you take your finances a tad more seriously?
What Is Money?
You see, there are many ideas of what people think money is.
Some say it is a form of measurement.
Yes, but a measurement of what? Wealth? In the olden days, people measured wealth by how many cows, sheep and horses they had. But do people measure wealth today by your cows and horses? How about slaves? Was there a time where manpower is considered a hot commodity? Are slaves worth anything today? Are your dollar bills sitting in the bank going to protect you if a recession strikes the country? No, wealth can not be measured by the dollar bill.
Some say it is a form of power.
Yes, money can give you power, but if you are stuck on a desert island forever with a
trillion dollars, will that money mean squat to you? If someone offered you water and a
helicopter to fly out of there, you would trade all your money in a split second, so money
is not an accurate measurement of power – it heavily depends on how and wisely you
use it (hint!).
Many believe it is the root of all evil… and several others take on this belief
without much questioning.
Now, now, now… money is NOT the root of all evil (otherwise, why do you think
churches still accept monetary donation and charity?). The love of money is the root of all evil. Remember, money is an excellent servant but a terrible master. If you are trading your life away for the dollar, money then has power over your time and life.
And unless you have proper financial intelligence, the lack of money can spawn a lot of evil thinking and negative mindset as observed in primarily cheats, thieves, criminals, breakups, freeloaders, cheapskates, and more to name.
But what is money, really?
Money is an idea, backed by confidence.
While money has naturally been developed by merchants in the older days to replace
the questionable barter system, money today is literally invented by the rich and wealthy. Entrepreneurs are willing to part with their money to buy other people’s time. Other people’s time i.e. employees and self-employed people becomes their employer’s asset and the employers this priceless resource to go on to create more wealth for themselves.
And here’s the thing: as long as you work for money, you are enslaved by it! 80% – 90% of the populations today are being enslaved involuntarily.
What we don’t realize is that there is a part of our soul that cannot be bought at whatever price. Would you chop off your little finger if your boss offered you 24 months of your salary immediately? You and I know we are worth more than that. But when you hear of cases of people selling their body parts for cash in some countries, we can have our eyeballs pop out of our eye sockets.
On the other hand, we occasionally DO sell out a part of ourselves for money like a
donkey and a carrot.
Awareness Before Change
Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not banging on working at a job (I worked at one before I became an Internet Entrepreneur).
But let’s face it: our needs today are growing more than ever before in any period of
history. Prices go up, salaries don’t. There are more baby boomers than ever and have very little pension to show for their decades of years of work efforts.
And there is no guessing to how many people really, really hate the unhealthy, hectic
lifestyle of getting up early, coping with stress for most parts of the day, join traffic jams, spend more money and time in travelling, enjoy very little rest, and repeat the viscous cycle.
Definitely doesn’t paint a nice financial and lifestyle picture, huh?
The first step to change is to be aware of the problem. Awareness before change (or ABC for short) is necessary if you are to make any changes in life to start taking control of your financial life and then get out of the rat race.
We need the awareness to know what state we are in so we know where we are going.
For starters, indulge me in a quick exercise as we exit this chapter shortly:
Time And Money
There are generally 4 types of people in the world:
(1) No time, and no money.
Most employees fall into the category. You can’t go shopping on a Tuesday
afternoon or fire your boss whenever you like. Most employees can’t even save
money in their pension to last 3 years!
(2) No time, lots of money.
Self-employed, professionals and small business owners are in this category.
They are slightly better off than the employee because they earn more, but they
have to work even harder than employees to keep up with the diminishing profit
margins, competition and servicing their customers.
(3) Got time, no money.
A lot of farmers, villagers, college dropouts or bums have lots of time but no
money. Maybe ignorance is bliss, but without a stable source of income, how
long can you last many days forward?
(4) Got time, and lots of money.
Enhance Your Financial Intelligence – 9 –
It is the category that big business owners, landlords, investors are in. Imagine,
not having to work for money, but having money to work for you by investing
them and earning profits by using your money to make money.
Short Quiz
1. Which one of the four categories are you currently in?
2. Which one category do you desire to be in tomorrow?

Just what is a business opportunity? That question has plagued a great many people trying to decide whether to buy a current independent business, a franchise, or what we’ll refer to in this text as a business opportunity. To allay the confusion, we offer a simple analogy. Think back to elementary school when your teacher was explaining the difference between a rectangle and a square. A square is also a rectangle, but a rectangle isn’t necessarily a square. The same relationship exists between business opportunities, independent businesses for sale and franchises. All franchises and independent businesses for sale are business opportunities, but not all business opportunities meet the requirement of being a franchise nor are they in the strictest sense of the word independent businesses for sale.

Making matters even more confusing is the fact that 26 states have passed laws defining business opportunities and regulating their sales. Often these statutes are drafted so comprehensively that they include franchises as well.

Not every state with a business opportunity law defines the term in the same manner. However, most of them use the following general criteria to define one:
1. A business opportunity involves the sale or lease of any product, service, equipment, etc. that will enable the purchaser-licensee to begin a business.
2. The licensor or seller of a business opportunity declares that it will secure or assist the buyer in finding a suitable location or provide the product to the purchaser-licensee.

3. The licensor-seller guarantees an income greater than or equal to the price the licensee-buyer pays for the product when it’s resold and that there is a market present for the product or service.

4. The initial fee paid to the seller in order to start the business opportunity must range between $400 and $1,000.

5. The licensor-seller promises to buy back any product purchased by the licensee-buyer in the event it cannot be sold to the prospective customers of the business.

6. Any products or services developed by the seller-licensor will be purchased by the licensee-buyer.

7. The licensor-seller of the business opportunity will supply a sales or marketing program for the licensee-buyer that many times will include the use of a trade name or trademark.

The laws covering business opportunity ventures usually exclude the sale of an independent business by its owner. Rather, they are meant to cover the multiple sales of distributorships or businesses that do not meet the requirements of a franchise under the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rule passed in 1979. This act defines business offerings in three formats: package franchises, product franchises and business opportunity ventures.

In order to be a business opportunity venture under the FTC rule, four elements must be present:
1. The individual who buys a business opportunity, often referred to as a licensee or franchisee, must distribute or sell goods or services supplied by the licenser or franchiser.

2. The licensor or franchiser must help secure a retail outlet or accounts for the goods and services the licensee is distributing or selling.

3. There must be a cash transaction between the two parties of at least $500 prior to or within six months after the licensee or franchisee starts the business venture.

4. All terms and conditions of the relationship between the licensor and the licensee must be stated in writing.

You can readily see that the sale of business opportunities as defined by the FTC rule is quite different from the sale of an independent business. When you’re dealing with the sale of an independent business, the buyer has no obligations to the seller. Once the sales transaction is completed, the buyer can subscribe to any business operations system he or she prefers. There is no continued relationship required by the seller. Business opportunity ventures, like franchises, are businesses in which the seller makes a commitment of continuing involvement with the buyer.

CHANGE IS GOOD

Posted: January 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

THERE IS A THIN LINE BETWEEN ACTIVITY AND PRODUCTIVITY
IF YOU DONT CHANGE YOU WILL BECOME EXTINCT
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WERENT AFRAID
BE READY TO GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE AND ADAPT TO CHANGE
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
NEVER BITE OFF ENUF THAN YOU CAN CHEW
TAKE CONTROL AND DO NOT LET THINGS HAPPEN TO YOU
TRUST IN CHANGE AND BE READY TO LOOK FOR CHANGE
SMELL THE CHEESE OFTEN SO THAT YOU WOULD KNOW WHEN IT IS GETTING OLD
MOVEMENT IN A NEW DIRECTION HELPS YOU FIND NEW CHEESE
WHEN YOU MOVED BEYOND FEAR YOU FEEL FREE
IMAGINING YOURSELF FINDING NEW CHEESE LEADS YOU TO IT
THE QUICKER YOU LET GO OF OLD CHEESE THE SOONER YOU FIND NEW CHEESE
IT IS SAFER TO SEARCH IN THE MAZE THAN TO REMAIN IN A CHEESELESS SITUATION
WHAT YOU ARE AFRAID OF IS NOT AS BAD AS WHAT YOU IMAGNED
THE FEAR YOU LET BUILD IN YOUR MIND IS WORSE THAT WHAT ACTUALLY EXISTS.
CHANGE WOULD SURPRISE YOU ONLY IF YOU WERENT LOOKING FOR IT
OLD BELIEFS DO NOT LEAD YOU TO NEW CHEESE
WHEN YOU CHANGE YOUR BELIEF YOU’VE CHANGED WHAT YOU DO
WHEN YOU BELIEF THAT YOU CAN FIND NEW CHEESE YOU CHANGE COURSE
NOTICING SMALL CHANGES EARLY HELPS YOU ADAPT TO BIGGER CHANGES THAT WILL COME
CHANGE HAPPENS, THEY KEEP MOVING THE CHEESE, ANTICIPATE AND MONITOR CHANGE SMELL THE CHEESE OFTEN
CHANGE MOVES WITH THE CHEESE
BE READY TO MOVE WITH THE CHEESE.
SAVOUR THE ADVENTURE AND MOVE WITH THE CHEESE
BE READY TO CHANGE THE CHEESE AND ENJOY IT AGAIN

Praise

Posted: January 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

As water is to flowers – so is praise to the
heart of man. We thrive on being appreciated,
loved and needed. When we make others feel
important, and show them respect and praise,
they do their best. Nothing stimulates growth so
much as praise. Whatever we praise, we increase.

We increase whatever we praise. The whole
creation responds to praise, and is glad.
To say, well done to any bit of good work is
to take hold of the powers which have made the
effort and strengthen them beyond our knowledge!
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
If human beings are perceived as potentials
rather than problems, as possessing strengths
instead of weakness, as unlimited rather than
dull and unresponsive, then they thrive and
grow to their capabilities.
We are all motivated by a keen desire for praise,
and the better a man is, the more he is inspired by
glory. The very philosophers themselves, even in
those books which they write in contempt of glory,
inscribe their names.
There is no investment you can make which will pay
you so well as the effort to scatter sunshin

Planning

Posted: January 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Planning is the power tool for achievement –
the magic bridge to our goal. Planning is like a road map.
It can show us the way, head us in the right direction,
and keep us on course. Planning means mapping out
how to get from where we are now to where we want to be.
The task of the leader is to get his people from where
they are to where they have not been.
No one was ever lost on a straight road.
Reduce your plan to writing … The moment you
complete this, you will have definitely given concrete
form to the intangible desire.
First you write down your goal; your second job
is to break down your goal into a series of steps,
beginning with steps which are absurdly easy.