Business Coach Explains To You How Build Solid Business Foundations

Make sure you have solid foundations.

Have you ever seen a skyscraper being built?

The first thing they do to build it is to dig down.

It’s a little strange to see, but it makes sense if you think about it.

By digging down and making sure all the foundations are in place, and making sure they are rock solid… the building can then reach up towards the sky.

Without the rock solid foundations the building could topple and crash to the ground.

Unfortunately that’s what happens to some businesses.

Some owners neglect, ignore or are ignorant of some of the ‘foundations’ that MUST be in place to allow the business safe and secure business growth.

The things we are covering aren’t as exciting or as ‘glamorous’ as the topics that most business owners want to delve into like marketing, or team training… yet the areas are fundamental to the success of your business.

And they are topics that all multi-million dollar business owners are great at… and follow religiously.

Although they aren’t as glamorous – they are still fundamental to the successful growth and in some cases – the existence of your business.

So please don’t fall into the trap of ignoring these areas like some business owners do – because you can find yourself in serious trouble.

Insurances – Go over the kind of insurances that you need, and your business needs in case of any form of mishap, act of god and/or litigation. There are some critical ones that you need to be aware of. And there’s some that you may not have thought of that are fundamental to your business. So check them out and put them into place.

Contracts – How good are the contracts you have in place? Do you have any? Do you have them with your team and suppliers?

Make sure you’re working with a good contract lawyer to make sure you’re adequately protected in your contracts. Don’t just copy other people contracts; get them done specifically for your business.

Disclaimers – With the increasing rate of litigation make sure you are working with your lawyer to protect yourself from any type of litigation that may occur.

Technology – Find the appropriate levels of technology for your business so you can become more effective and efficient with your current workloads… and make sure you’re continually taking care of your current technology and updating regularly before the need arises.

Technology is only a cost if you don’t use it. When you use it, it’s an investment.

Software – When you start off in business you can get away with rip off versions of software. Yet when you’re aiming to grow – get the real versions.

I recommend it.

As you start to grow and you’re producing data that’s becoming more and more valuable you need to protect it and have constant support and access to it.

If you don’t have the ‘real McCoy’ you can say goodbye to sometimes years of hard work.

Back ups Virus Protections – Make sure you’re following the guidelines of backing up your data and keeping up-to-date virus software as well.

The data on your computer has taken you and your business literally thousands of hours at around $20 per hour. So you’ve probably got $100K or more worth of data on your system. Back it up, and store it off site.

If you’re online – you’ll know how many viruses are around. So get yourself a great system and update it daily.

I use Vet and I update it daily.

Correct Asset Protection – There’s no point making great money and building wealth if – seemingly at the drop of a hat – you lose it all. It happens because of poor asset protection. Make sure your assets are protected.

Get yourself a good asset protection lawyer and accountant.

Statutory Obligations – Be aware of all the statutory obligations that you have of running and owning a business – and comply with them. It’s the law.

Taxation – Make contact and work with the tax office often to understand all the different forms or taxation that you and your business are subject to. Know when payments are due, budget for them and make sure you get everything in on time.

Rateable Remuneration – As your business grows and you employ more and more people make sure you’re updating your rateable remuneration with WorkCover. Otherwise you can be stuck with an unpleasant bill or even be fined.

Time Off – Like the axe man that cuts wood. You’ve got to take time off to sharpen your saw. Otherwise it just becomes blunt and ineffective.

Time off helps charge up your batteries – and it also makes your team step up when you’re away.

Regular time off will have you feeling fresh and ‘on-the-ball’.

There may be many more things that you can do for your business to make sure you have nice strong foundations in place for growing your business.

Go through all the potential areas and topics that are specific for your business – and make sure they are in place. That way you’re geared up for growth.

Copyright © 2006 by Casey Gollan. All Rights Reserved

How to Develop Solid Online Business Foundations to Maximise Profits Today and Tomorrow

Get Skilled Up! When you are learning about how to become successful at something new, whether it is making money online, windsurfing or anything else, you need to learn new skills. You can’t apply your skills in fishing to windsurfing but you could apply some skills learned through skateboarding. In the same way, when you are learning to make money online you can’t necessarily transfer your entire current skill set from your current job into your new online business but you could apply some of your existing web and computer skills to help you get a head start. With that in mind, we need to accept that we are going to need to take the time, with an open and enquiring mind, to learn some new skills and a new body of specialist knowledge.

Einstein said that the definition of insanity is to “do the same thing again and again and expect different results”. So it is when you are starting out. If you are going to be successful online you must not be hostile to the new ideas, techniques and concepts that you will be exposed to.

Are You Ready? Another old saying states that “When the student is ready, the teacher will arrive”. As a newbie you must be ready to seek and accept the wisdom of those that have been there and done it before you. With that said, bear in mind that there are many charlatans out there promoting poor opportunities who just want to take your money and give nothing in return. Choose your mentors and teachers carefully. Are you ready to leave your comfort zone? The comfort zone is where you can quite happily (or miserably) carry on doing what you have always done and get the same results (good or bad) that you always got. In order to develop as a business person and a human being (I hope that you are both) then you need to push yourself to achieve more than you have before. You need to be seeking out new ideas and opportunities and be willing to fail as you learn. Don’t be afraid to fail your way to success.

How To Choose The Right Mentor For You. It should be obvious by now but you may not realise that with such a lot to be learned when you enter any money-making opportunity you have to make sure that you find a great way to learn it quickly and effectively. There are many people out there offering an overnight success scheme but I would recommend that you steer clear of these alleged opportunities which are more likely to be scams than genuine opportunities. If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. Find an individual or a company that you can trust, who has been there and done it if you want to increase your personal chances of success.

Take A Helping Hand. Almost everyone who is successful online today had to have a helping hand from someone in the very beginning. Every mentor has a mentor. Nobody just instinctively knew the best ways to make money online when they came into the world. These things have been learned and developed over time by many people before you so don’t miss out on the chance to learn the lessons of the past and implement them to ensure your future success. The internet is still relatively young and there are still an incredible number of opportunities out there on the web for people to make money.

In this article you learned about the essential attitudes that you must develop in order to be successful online and how to select a good mentor and training programme.

Getting Back To Basics – 5 Steps To Strengthen Your Business Foundation And Become More Profitable

One of the most important lessons I learned in my business early on, was how important it is to have and maintain a strong foundation in your business. In order to support our growth and efforts to achieve our goals, our business needs a solid infrastructure on which we can build. If this infrastructure is not in place, you could find yourself in a position where you are growing too fast too soon and not serving your clients nearly as well as you should be. This in turn will create unnecessary stress and frustration, which equals a not so happy Virtual Assistant who is working harder and making less money than she should.

So, it’s important to take stock of your business periodically and see how your foundation is holding up and what improvements you need to make. And if you’re just starting out, you’ll do yourself a HUGE favor by setting up a strong business foundation from day one. This is the perfect time of year to consider these points, as we are heading into fall and the final quarter of 2009. If you set aside time now to analyze your business operations and start making adjustments, you’ll be primed and ready to jump into 2010, while most everyone else is still trying to wrap their heads around their New Year’s resolutions!

Following are my top five tips for assessing your business and strengthening your foundation:

1) Review and revise your business plan – Many times business owners create a business plan when they are first starting out, get excited about it, but then file it away and never look at it again. Sometimes new entrepreneurs don’t even take the time to develop a simple business plan. This is a BIG mistake! Going through the steps to create a business plan is a terrific way to get all of your ideas out on paper and to create a roadmap to follow to grow your business. Its easy to think one can keep all of their ideas, goals and strategies locked safely in their memory. But there are two things wrong with that. 1) You absolutely can’t remember all of the details and 2) you’ll have a more difficult time working towards them because you haven’t committed your thoughts to paper. So schedule time on your calendar NOW to review and revise your business plan. (Or if you’re just starting out, to create one – which we will help you with in our “Get A Strong Start” class). Think about all that you’ve accomplished thus far in 2009 and map out your goals for 2010 and then how you’ll achieve them.

2) Take stock of your financial situation – For some this can be the least “exciting” part of running a business. That is having to deal with all of the “number stuff”. But, most of us start our companies to make a profit and support our families – not to unintentionally be running a non-profit organization where we work for free. You won’t know which category you fall into if you aren’t clear on the financial state of your business. If you are not already doing so, ask your accountant or bookkeeper to start running monthly reports of your expenses and income so you can see how profitable you REALLY are. You may be surprised to find out which of your services is actually most profitable and then start focusing more attention on those. Also, you’ll see clearly how your expenses are affecting your bottom line and what adjustments need to be made.

3) Review your business standards to see if they are still working for you – One of the things my coach helped me to do when I was first starting out was to create a set of standards for my business. This included the hours I would work, my fee structure, how I would handle different clients situations, illness/vacation, etc. – basically ALL of the details of how I would run my business. I highly recommend that you take the time to outline your standards as well. It’s your business, so the way you work and operate your business should be reflective of and work for you. After doing this you’ll be clear about your boundaries and can then easily (and tactfully) share them with your clients to ensure that you are supported and protected to do your best work.

4) Fine tune your marketing systems – Some Virtual Assistants have a bad habit of only marketing their business when they need a new client. That is a big no-no! As a business owner, you should only be spending your time on two things – 1) serving your clients and 2) marketing your business. If you don’t have a marketing system in place – meaning a strategic plan for how to consistently present your services/solutions to your ideal clients and enroll them in your practice, then now is the time to implement one. You should be regularly attending networking events where your ideal clients hang out, following up on leads, engaging in social media and pursuing other effective marketing strategies. Map out a plan of how you will market your business for the remainder of 2009 and then commit blocks of time on your calendar to work on your marketing efforts. Marketing your business will be a lot easier (and much more effective) if you consistently and comfortable share what you have to offer instead of operating from panic mode because you need a new client.

5) Start implementing systems in your business – You likely do some of the same tasks over and over again in serving your clients. At the very least, each week/month you’re doing bookkeeping, marketing, reporting to your clients on project progress, etc. As such you should be developing systems for every aspect of your business. A system is simple a list of guidelines or instructions about how to handle a particular task or project. It’s way for you to implement quality control into your Virtual Assistant practice so that you consistently deliver high quality results for yourself and your clients. It’s a way to save time, because you won’t have to think about or try and remember how to handle a particular project. And it’s a way to make more money. “How so?”, you may ask. Because you can easily delegate certain tasks to someone else, freeing up your time and mental energy to pursue your high-payoff activities. The more you systematize your business the more organized and profitable you will be. So, start today in outlining the steps you take to operate your business and serve your clients. Compile the instructions into one central document or binder and create your own operations manual. As you continue to grow you’ll have all of the information you need to run your business right at your fingertips.

Likely, you set out to be a Virtual Assistant because you wanted to pursue a career that would give you more control over your schedule and earning potential. So make it easier on yourself to achieve your goals, by taking steps to tighten up your foundation and get clear on your goals. Running a successful business obviously takes effort and dedication. And having a strong infrastructure and a solid plan to follow will ensure that you are spending your time and energy on the activities that will get you the results you want!

Your action plan for this week:

1) Pull out your business plan and schedule time to review and revise it by October 31st. (If you’re just starting out, set aside time to create your plan by the same date).
2) Pull year-to-date reports on your financial situation and review them with your bookkeeper or accountant to see what adjustments may need to be made.
3) Outline the details of how you will run your business so that it is working for YOU, not the other way around.
4) Review the strategies that have been most effective in marketing your business and then create a plan around how you will consistently implement these tactics to attract new business.
5) Start creating systems for EVERYTHING you do in your business and compile the information in one central location.