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Staying afloat until your business turns a profit
The Failures Guide to Small Business Success
How many "get rich schemes" have you joined? Or have you invested in numerous legitimate business endeavors only to have them not work for you? Have you started you business and now facing a complete shut down? Do you consider yourself a failure? Are your loved ones pressing you to give up?
Risk-taking is a large part of entrepreneurship, in fact it is what drives it, and it's why so many people avoid small business, despite its many potential rewards. Those of us who have tried it only to have failed may find ourselves right back where we started, which could leave us feeling like total failures. Of course, this is no place to be.
If things have gotten rough, to the point you may have to close up shop or you're seriously thinking about it, then it is no accident that you've found this article.
Every small business owner will face difficulties from time to time. According to http://sba.gov most small businesses can take up to two years before becoming profitable. But even so, knowing that won't pay your bills. So how can you turn things around? Below are some special tips that will help you through the tough times:
Volunteer: You might be wondering how could volunteering help my struggling business? But it is a great way to expand your networking circle while business is slow. Find organizations that could use your help. Contribute your best work. This is especially helpful for service businesses. Your non-profit contributions lend credibility to your business that money can't buy. Your non-profit work can provide you with valuable references, add to your portfolio, help you gain additional experience, help you with networking, receive free press, and many other benefits. Not to mention the great feeling you get from knowing you've contributed to a good cause.
Moonlight: One great way to keep money flowing is to take a part-time or temporary job until you can fully support yourself with your business. Your various skills are quite useful to other businesses; many of which would love to have a self-starter a part of their team. In some cases, you may be able to work for your previous or current employer on a part-time or temporary basis. You can spend the time you need for your business working on existing projects, volunteering and the like while making sure you have money for bills and other essentials.
Subcontract: Your business may not be doing what you'd like but there are many other businesses that are doing quite well. So well in fact, that they need outside help to keep going. You can offer your services to these businesses by checking out your local yellow pages, classified ads, or even a web site like http://elance.com, which allows you to bid on projects and services posted by other companies and individuals.
Lower Overhead Costs: Evaluate your accounts payables and try to determine ways you can lower costs. Can you reduce how much you spend on long distance? Can you find a cheaper host? Can you share office space so you get afford your lease payment?
Customer Loyalty Promotions: Offer incentives to your existing clients. Provide offers that you know they could use and are at reduced prices. Special pricing for existing clients fosters loyalty and is often your best source for new funds and generating new clients through referrals.
Pay Special Attention to Accounts Receivables: Always stay on top of who owes you money. You should develop a step-by-step system to approach clients or vendors that need to send you any funds. In many cases, a simple oversight is the reason you haven't received what's due to you from your business associates so keep reminding them!
Stay Active in Marketing: Despite the fact you may have no current clients right now don't discontinue your marketing efforts. Keep networking, submitting press releases, and following your marketing plan.
Save for Rainy Days: If you follow these tips, you're bound to get new customers or clients. Avoid getting too excited. Put some of your profits away to ensure you have some to last you through any dry spells you may encounter in the future.
Don't Give Up: Failure is not an option. Keep reminding yourself of this little phrase each time you feel the temptation to succumb to negative thinking. Negative thinking is more powerful then you think. But the best part is that positive thinking is just as powerful if not more. Remember, if you believe you will fail, you will.
Follow these tips and you're sure to see your business turn-around. There is tons of free help available on the Internet and there are many people who have been where you have been. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Copyright © 2005 Rhonda Winn - All Rights Reserved. Rhonda Winn has been helping small business owners since 2000. She is the author of the popular eBook, "How to Live Your Dreams and Achieve Unlimited Wealth in Small Business" Receive the first chapter free, when you join her bi-monthly newsletter today: SmallBizStartupKit.com. Her site contains dozens of free downloads, articles, forums, resources, journals, and more.
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