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Business Owners – Step Outside the Box and Grow Your Profits

Is this the year you step outside the box to grow your business? Do you keep doing things the same old way each year? When did you start your business? How many years have you been in business? When was the last time you looked at your business systems to see what was working and what wasn’t? When was the last time you tried something new? Nothing remains the same. Business owners must stay abreast of the latest industry trends as well as the latest marketing trends in order to grow their business.

My three tips will help you in step outside the box so you can continue to grow your business.

1. Know your competition. Who is your competition? What are they doing differently than you? What are they doing better than you? What do you do or offer that is better? Are your prices in line with the competitor? Cheaper or Higher? Think outside the box on how you can gain the business competitive edge while growing your business. If you have fallen out of favor with clients what can you do to get them back? Often clients or prospective clients go elsewhere not because they were unhappy but because the business was not in their face enough. Social networking has changed how people make buying decisions. People are buying from what they see in front of them. They are no longer shopping around. If they see a recommendation on Facebook or Twitter or they are connecting with the business on social networking sites that is where they are buying. They are being loyal to the company that is in front of them every day sharing tips and developing rapport.

2. Know your industry. When was the last time you attended continuing education for your business or industry? Do you subscribe to trade journals related to your business or industry? How much time each day or week do you devote to continuing education? As a business owner, you must stay abreast of your industry trends and changes. Nothing remains stagnant. Do not become complacent. In order to have the competitive business edge you must stay abreast of the latest and greatest in your industry. You also must be aware of recalls of products so that you can be the first to offer a solution to your customers and clients. You will be seen as the expert if you are first on the scene with a solution or notification of a recall to a product. Social networking is a free tool that will help you market your business and stay in touch with your previous clients, prospective clients and current clients or customers.

3. Know You. Business owners need to take an honest assessment of their own strengths and weaknesses. Do you enjoy networking or does it make you feel faint? Are you embracing technology to grow your business? What are you not doing that you know you should be doing to grow your business? Is it following up with prospective clients? Do you feel like you are begging for the sale? Now is the time to adopt a business mindset and realize that certain things just need to be done because they are part of owning a business. I challenge you to pick one or two areas to immediately begin focusing on changing so that you can grow your business. Pick one or two networking events to attend each month. Go to the event with someone you know so it is less scary. After a while, you won’t mind going alone because you will look forward to meeting new people. To make it less scary do not focus on you and your business. Focus on learning about the people you meet and their business. Let the conversation casually lead back to who you are and what you do. Business owners need to stay abreast of the latest trends in using technology so that they can monitor what their employees are doing as well as grow their business. Social networking is here to stay. Use it as a free tool to grow your business. If you cringe at making follow up phone calls, you need to put your follow up system in writing and make yourself do it. Design scripts so you know what you are going to say so that it is less scary. In addition, you will want to use technology to aid you in following up. You could use email, and other resources to save you time and money when you follow up with prospective clients.

Business owners must make time to know your competition, know your industry, and know themselves so that they can increase their business revenue. Social networking is a free resource you have at your disposal to aid you in knowing your competition and keeping an eye on what they are doing, it allows you to follow your industry leaders and learn from them and it is a great way to show off your expertise and grow your business while increasing your revenue.

Three Home Business Network Marketing Tips to Get You Going Fast

If you’re looking for some home business network marketing tips then this article is going to help you. I have been involved in network marketing for very long time and have had a really tough time when it comes to building a business. It’s funny when you think about it, because all of my upline mentors always told me that taking a business on the Internet will ultimately kill your organization. Fortunately though this has not been the case because I have been able to build an online business through network marketing for the past years.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

1. Write articles. Write articles based on your niche and in this case it will be network marketing, personal development, making money at home with a home business, there are so many different directions to go in. When you write articles you submit them to different places and article directories. From here people who are searching the Internet and looking through the article directory can see what you wrote and if they like what you said, there’s a good chance that they will be visiting your website which is usually located on the bottom of the article. This strategy takes consistency but it works very well.

2. Understand social networks. Now I do not know how great social networks are to promote but I know they are great to build your Internet presence. They are great place to build relationships with people and you should keep it at that. By getting to know these types of networks, you will meet interesting individuals that can possibly give you helpful information also but more importantly you want to build networks with people. Remember you are in the network marketing business so building networks should be your primary goal.

3. The biggest tip that I can give you would be to separate yourself from negative influences right now. You’re in the network marketing business and it is one of the most mis-understood businesses out there. 97% of people fail and the reason this is the case is because they were not mentally prepared to get involved with this type of venture. Most people who fail always have bad things to say about it because they rather not point the finger at themselves, they would much rather point fingers at the company. You’re not going to get anywhere if you continue to talk these types of people so when it comes to business make sure you block them out of your mind.

If you continue to listen to the negative statements, you will become negative yourself and you’re not going to achieve what you truly want within this business.

Commercial Lender Changes Hurt Small Business Financing Options

Most small business owners are likely to be severely impacted by recent commercial lender changes. In almost all cases, the business lending changes are permanent and cannot be avoided if a commercial borrower wants to continue their present banking relationship. One noteworthy exception is illustrated by a few new and more flexible commercial lending sources.

One of the biggest commercial lending changes involves new guidelines for working capital financing. Most banks appear to be quietly eliminating business lines of credit or severely reducing the amount they are willing to finance to a level which is not helpful to an average business. Very few businesses can survive without a reliable source of working capital, so this change promises to receive the highest priority from most small businesses. To replace the disappearing commercial lines of credit, the most practical options for business borrowers include working capital loans and merchant financing from one of the alternative commercial finance sources still active in small business financing programs.

Another business lender change is illustrated by the difficulty of locating investment property financing. An increasing number of banks will make commercial mortgage loans only when the commercial property is considered to be owner-occupied (which means that the commercial borrower occupies a substantial portion of the building). Commercial properties like apartment buildings and shopping centers are often owned by investors that do not occupy the property. For many banks, it appears that they are currently restricting their commercial lending activities to those which qualify for SBA loans (Small Business Administration) which generally exclude investor-owned situations.

A third significant business lending change is demonstrated by revised guidelines for refinancing commercial real estate loans. In almost all cases, commercial lenders have dramatically reduced the loan-to-value percentages that they will lend. In some areas and for specific types of businesses, many banks will no longer lend over half of the appraised value. The difficulty for a commercial borrower refinancing an existing commercial loan reach a crisis level very quickly when this happens. In many cases the original business loan was based on a much higher percentage of business value than the bank is currently willing to provide. When a current appraisal reports a decrease in value since the original loan was made, the lending problem is further compounded. This outcome is especially common in the midst of a distressed economy which leads to decreased business income that in turn often produces a lower commercial property value.

For a fourth commercial lending change example, many small business owners have already discovered an inflated fee structure from most banks for virtually all small business finance programs. Perhaps the bank perspective for some of the commercial financing fee increases is that they need to find a revenue source to replace the diminishing income from small business loans which has resulted from bank decisions to decrease commercial loan activity. Except for unusual and unavoidable circumstances, business borrowers should seek different commercial funding sources when they encounter suddenly increased business financing fees levied by their current bank.

Banks changing their overall guidelines for small business financing produce a final and widespread example of commercial lender changes. Many banks have effectively stopped making any new commercial loans to small businesses regardless of business income or creditworthiness. Unfortunately these banks are not announcing publicly that they have discontinued small business finance activities. This means that while they might accept business loan applications, they do not intend to actually finalize commercial financing in most cases. Whenever it becomes obvious that the bank has no real intentions of making a requested working capital loan or commercial mortgage, this approach has clearly frustrated and enraged business borrowers.

The five commercial lending changes described above are unfortunately the proverbial tip of the iceberg. As they approach business lenders to obtain commercial real estate financing, working capital loans and small business financing, business owners will need to be especially skeptical and diligent.