Mar 282012
 

 

 

business owner, team, customers, business, creating leverage, cycle of business,

Below you will see the 4 steps to your personal wheel of fortune.  Let these 4 steps give you a clear vision on how your company is supposed to function and how your company will be the tool to help you reach your goals.

  • Owner takes care of the team.
To be a true business owner you need to be a “self-less employed” owner. Self-less employed means training others to do what you can easily do yourself, but you know that’s not the point… Continue reading »
 March 28, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Growth, Leadership, Money, Team, Time Tagged with: , , , , , ,  No Responses »
Mar 262012
 

.facts, opinions, beliefs, self limiting beliefs, passive income, goals,

 

Part 1.

Facts and Opinions:

One of the most powerful questions you can ask an “opinionated” person that is driving you crazy is:

Is that a fact or opinion?

I love this question. It is the clear way for you to tell the person you are talking to that what they are saying is just their opinion. People seem to throw opinions around more and more these days. And often they are talking as if what they are saying is a fact, when in fact it is just their opinion.

Another statement that you can say that is not so polite and a little more blunt is:

Opinions are like A/.>,<holes. Everyone’s got one, and some are bigger than others.

This statement you may find useful in a more personal environment.

 

Beliefs

The dictionary defines Beliefs as:

beliefsplural of be·lief (Noun)

Noun:
  1. An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
  2. Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.

Your belief system is a powerful tool that affects business owners from achieving their goals.  What I am referring to is not a religious, spiritual, or political belief.  It is an internal beliefs that we have developed over the years, that affects the way we lead our Service businesses. The reason that many of us are stuck in a rut or unable to achieve our business goals is because of our belief system.

The number one reason that many business owners are not able to achieve their goals is because their beliefs are getting the way. Their beliefs are in fact the opposite of their goals.

An example of this would be the business owner whose primary goal is to create passive income from his/her business.  Are you burned out with nowhere to go? Does this sound familiar? Some of the beliefs that might be getting in your way are:

  • the belief that they have to work in the business because they are the owner.
  • the belief that they are the only one that can do the technical part of the job properly.
  • their personal identity is strongly tied to their day-to-day activities within the business.
  • some owners may even feel that they don’t deserve to have a passive income stream(this belief goes deep into their limiting beliefs around money).

If you believe something to be true how can it be any different. In the picture above you see a great example of a belief. The baby turtle truly believes that it can eat that strawberry in one bite. Don’t let your beliefs get in the way of you achieving your goals.

Part 2 : 5 ways to change your current belief system.

There is nothing easy about over coming your current belief system. Below you will see some ideas on how you can overcome your current belief system.

  1.  Keep your eyes open, living fully, and welcoming everything that the world and people around you can teach you.
  2.  Avoid the 2 most dangerous words in the English language, “I know”. These words shut off any additional learning opportunities.
  3. Develop clear goals, write them down, post them in a visible place, and work relentlessly towards achieving them.
  4. Surround yourself around other leaders that have the belief system that you want. Not sure how to find out what others beliefs systems are? All you have to do is look at the results. If you want to find a business owner that doesn’t have self-limiting beliefs around money or passive income. Then look for the owner that is enjoying those results.
  5. Start fresh and forget what you know. Approach all new situations like a wide-eyed high school senior on your first day at college.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 March 26, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Leadership Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Mar 212012
 

 

consolidate business loans, cash gap, break-even point, financial, cash flow, conversion rate, gross profit margin, up sell, cross sell, increase prices,

Part 1:

So what does Bob Barker and the Price is Right have to do with your service business? The Price is Right in 2007 was named the greatest game show of all time by TV Guide. Bob Barker was the host of the show from 1972-2007, making it the longest-running daytime game show in North American television history.

If you are interested in building a great business you need to be in it for the long haul. You need to be willing to out-live your competition. You need to be interested in being the longest-running service business in your area. In order to successfully accomplish this, in order to become the “Price is Right” of your industry you need to be focused on the key factors that will get you there. The one factor that will help you accomplish this more than any other financial factor is Cash Flow.

Step 1. Understanding cash flow

Let’s begin with a definition: “Cash flow is the ebb and flow of cash in your business.”
Or, here is another one: “Cash flow is the flow of money (cash, checks, electronic debits and credits) in and out of your business.”

Cash flow is an overview of your check book, savings account, and investment account. However, knowledge of those accounts won’t:

  1. Tell you where your cash is heading.
  2. Help you to arrive at any meaningful decisions.

Cash is,  “what you take home.” In the interest of emphasizing how important cash is (as opposed to profitability), let’s put that statement another way:

“If you don’t have any profitability you won’t have to pay your taxes. If you don’t have any cash, you can’t pay your taxes.”

“Profitability” is an accounting term of special interest to people who collect your taxes, while “cash” is the money that resides in your cash register and in your checking, savings and investment accounts. Cash flow measures the ebb and flow of that money, the successful measurement and forecasting of which allows the small business owner to make a myriad of important decisions.

Decisions such as:

  • Do I buy a new computer or software system?
  • Do I purchase or lease that delivery van?
  • Do I hire that new salesperson?
  • Do I bring in extra inventory?
  • Can I afford to give my special customer an extra 30 days to pay his bill?

Step 2. 3 Factors that affect your cash flow

  •  Inventory:
  • The purchase of Inventory requires an outlay of cash, but that outlay does not appear on the    P & L. This is because inventory is an asset, similar to cash, accounts receivable and FF&E, and only appears on your Balance Sheet.  A build-up of inventory requires an expenditure of cash. If your inventory has increased in the past month (or whatever your financial statement cycle is), then your cash has decreased by a like amount. The opposite is also true: If your inventory decreases your cash will increase.


  • Accounts Receivable:
  • Accounts Receivable (AR) is basically cash you have loaned to your customers between the time they receive your products or services and the time they pay their bills. It takes cash to fund those receivables, which means that if the amount of your receivables has increased from one financial statement cycle to the next; your cash has decreased by a like amount.


  • Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment:
  • Cash spent on FF&E amounts to expenditures for capital goods. Because capital goods have an extended life (as opposed to supplies, for instance, which are generally consumed within a year) they cannot be 100% expensed on your P & L. The amount that can be expensed is called “depreciation” and that amount is determined by various taxing agency regulations.
  • This means that if you were to purchase a capital item for $20,000 on the first day of your accounting cycle, this would have a negative effect on your cash of $20,000. However, it would only have a $5,000 negative effect on your profitability, assuming that it can be depreciated over four years. This $5,000 shows up as “Depreciation Expense” on your P & L, while $20,000 is deducted from your check book. This is a classic example of the difference between profitability and cash flow.Do you want to learn more about to improve your cash flow situation? Look for our follow-up post where we will be revealing over 20 strategies on how to improve your cash flow now.

     

    If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 

 March 21, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Money Tagged with:  No Responses »
Mar 192012
 

opportunity, opportunist, sales role in small business, small business owner, building relationships, growing small business

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture above spoke to me the moment I saw this. Do you see yourself in the picture above?

Opportunity is what gets me out of bed in the morning. I live for opportunity. I am always looking for the next opportunity that will come my way. Whether it’s a new customer in my current business, a new business, or investment that gets me excited.

I think opportunity is what makes an entrepreneur an entrepreneur. The desire to pursue opportunity is what separates employees from entrepreneurs.

This opportunity minded personality is what drives our country. Governments don’t create job, entrepreneurs create jobs. If our national and local governments want more jobs, then they should create more entrepreneurs. They should help business owners find opportunity. They should do their best to make our business environments a friendly place to do business. This is just my opinion, take it for what it’s worth.

Are you naturally gifted sales person? Do  you love building relationships that will help your company reach the next level? Most business owners are not aware that the role of a sales person is the most valuable role that you have. Among all the different hats that we business owners have to wear, the role of sales person is the most valuable.

Most owners think that the technical part of the job or the management are the most important roles. However, if you were to calculate it, you will find that your time per hour is most valuable building the new relationships that will build your company. No one can communicate the company’s vision with passion like the owner of the business. This doesn’t mean that you can’t hire a sales person. It simple means that if you want to grow your business, sales is where you need to start. And before you  hire out the sales position you first need to learn and master the skill.

3 ways to know you are an opportunist

  • You love the chase. It feels great to sell and to win your next deal, but the chase is truly what you love.
  • You are always looking for a deal. Even when you’re not in the market to buy.
  • The role of salesman is the most comfortable role that you have in your business.

Are you an opportunist? What do you need to start doing today to become an opportunist and start growing your company?

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 March 19, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Growth Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
Mar 142012
 

leadership, clear expectations, trust, communication, Vision, Mission, Culture

 

Part 1.

In part 1 we discussed how studies have shown that trust and confidence in top leadership, is the single most reliable predictor of employee satisfaction in an organization.

Effective communication by leadership in three critical areas is the key to winning organizational trust and confidence, and involves:

3 Critical areas of communication:

  • 1.  Helping employees understand the company’s overall Vision.
  • 2.  Helping employees understand how they contribute to achieving this Vision.
  • 3.  Sharing information with employees on both how the company is doing and how an employee’s own division    or    department is doing – relative to the company’s Vision.

To build your dream team you must be trustworthy and you have to be able to communicate your vision of where you are going.  At my company we do this with our Vision, Mission, and Culture document. It is a document that we created to communicate our company’s expectations. We communicate the VMC and these expectations during our interview process and throughout the relationship that our company has with its team members.

Do you have a VMC? If not, what do you use to communicate your expectations to new team members?

Do you want to create a VMC? See below for some quick points to get you started.

  • Create of Vision that speaks to the next 15 -20 years.
  • The Vision is the “what” and the Mission Statement is the “How” your going to achieve your vision.
  • Break your culture up into 4 key areas of expectations. 1. Your expectations as the leader. 2. Your customers expectations. 3. Your employees expectations. 4. The expectations of your business as a whole.

 

Part 2 

Inspire a shared Vision- share your vision in words that can be understood by your followers. Now that you have created your VMC develop a system where you can share and communicate it.

  • Create a place in your organization where sharing your VMC makes sense. I recommend sharing it during your hiring process or as early on in your hiring process as you can. This is the best time for a new team member to get introduced to your company and see what it is all about.  There is no better way to introduce your company than to explain your Vision. To explain where you are leading your business, and whether your new prospective employee wants to be a part of what you are building.
  • Create a system for tracking employees performance. Using the same points of culture that you defined in your VMC.
  • Track employee performance ruthlessly. Giving individual and constructive feedback along the way. Do this in a manner that is setting your team members up for success when it comes time for their performance review.
Do you want to learn more about creating a system for tracking employee performance? If so, take a look at this book review. Becoming the Manager your Employees need. Book Review-“It’s Okay To Be The Boss.”

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 March 14, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Leadership Tagged with: ,  4 Responses »
Mar 122012
 

.facts, opinions, beliefs, self limiting beliefs, passive income, goals,

Part 1.

Facts and Opinions:

One of the most powerful questions you can ask an “opinionated” person that is driving you crazy is:

Is that a fact or an opinion?

I love this question. It is the clear way for you to tell the person you are talking to that what they are saying is just their opinion. People seem to throw opinions around more and more these days. And often, they are speaking as if what they are saying is a fact, when in FACT it is just their opinion.

Another statement that you can say that is not so polite and a little more blunt is:

Opinions are like A/.>,<holes. Everyone’s got one, and some are bigger than others.

This statement you may find useful in a more personal environment. But it definitely does a good job at getting your point across.

 

Beliefs

The dictionary defines Beliefs as:

beliefsplural of be·lief (Noun)

Noun:
  1. An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
  2. Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.

Your belief system is a powerful tool that affects business owners from achieving their goals.  What I am referring to is not a religious, spiritual, or political belief.  It is an internal beliefs that we have developed over the years, that affects the way we lead our Service businesses. The reason that many of us are stuck in a rut or unable to achieve our business goals is because of our belief system.

The number one reason that many business owners are not able to achieve their goals is because their beliefs are getting in the way. Their beliefs are in fact the opposite of their goals.

An example of this would be the business owner whose primary goal is to create passive income from his/her business.  Are you burned out with nowhere to go? Does this sound familiar? Some of the beliefs that might be getting in your way are:

  • the belief that they have to work in the business because they are the owner.
  • the belief that they are the only one that can do the technical part of the job properly.
  • their personal identity is strongly tied to their day-to-day activities within the business.
  • some owners may even feel that they don’t deserve to have a passive income stream(this belief goes deep into their limiting beliefs around money).

If you believe something to be true. then how can it be any different? In the picture above you see a great example of a belief. The baby turtle truly believes that it can eat that strawberry in one bite. For the turtle, this is definitely an unrealistic goal. However, there is no doubt in my mind that the turtle will eventually finish eating the strawberry.  Don’t let your beliefs get in the way of you achieving your goals. Just go for it and eat the strawberry.

In part 2 we will discuss some ways that we can overcome our current belief systems and let all the success come pouring in.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 March 12, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Leadership Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
Mar 072012
 

leadership, clear expectations, trust, communication, Vision, Mission, Culture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below you will see a great list of things you can start doing today in order to improve your leadership skills and start being the leader that your team needs. I recommend printing this list out and posting it in your office or somewhere where you can refer to it on a regular basis. If you are like me, it may take a while for these items and characteristics to become natural and a part of who you are. Make Stevey proud and follow the 10 leadership tips listed below.

1. Know yourself and seek self-improvement.

  • In order to know yourself, you have to understand your “be”, “do”, and “have” attributes. This is possible by continually strengthening your attributes by reading and self-study.

2. Be technically proficient.

  • As a leader, you must know your job and have a solid familiarity with your employees’ jobs.

3. Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.

  • Search for ways to guide your organization to new heights. And when things go wrong, do not blame others.

4. Make sound and timely decisions.

  • Use good problem solving, decision-making, and planning tools.

5. Set the example.

  • Be a good role model for your employees. They will believe what they see not what they hear.

6. Know your people and look out for their well-being.

  • Know human nature and the importance of sincerely caring for your workers.

7. Keep your people informed.

  • Know how to communicate with your people, seniors, and other key people within your organization.

8. Develop a sense of accountability, ownership and responsibility in your people.

  • These traits will help them carry out their professional responsibilities.

9. Ensure that tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished.

  • Communication is the key to this responsibility.

10. Train your people as a team.

  • By developing team spirit, you will be able to employ your organizations to its fullest capabilities.

 

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 March 7, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Leadership Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Mar 052012
 
case study, aspiring entrepreneur, build a better business, team, trust, team building, learning from small business mistakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below you will see a case study of a Servicecoach.biz reader. This is not a testimonial, just another inspiring story from one entrepreneur to another. Thanks again Alison for the great story.

Service Coach: How did you get into the painting business?

I was a single mom and started dating a painter, before long I was painting with him while I was going to University. He died in 1999, I hadn’t finished my degree and I thought I would try running a company for a year until I found out what I really wanted to do. While running the business I ended up going back to school to finish my degree and I also took a certificate to teach English. I took 6 months off and went to Italy to teach and then returned to Canada and continued with my company. Here I am in my 13th year…

Service Coach: What challenges did you face along the way?

Oh My goodness LOTS… At that time there was not much support for women in the trades so I was met with a lot of opposition but I also met some incredibly supportive people who cheered me on. It was tough being a single mom and trying to find my way. I didn’t know anything about running a business and while I knew how to put paint on a wall I knew very little about paint. Staff was tough (and still can be a challenge) I was not always the best boss but I think I might be starting to get a decent handle on it!!

Service Coach: What did you and your company do to overcome those challenges?

I asked a lot of questions, I went through a lot of trial and error. I was fortunate that the economy was good so that my mistakes were lost in the craziness. I hired a terrific office manager, I learned how to delegate, I learned that my way is not the only way and I have constantly refined what I am doing and always searching for a better way. I try to treat my staff in such a way that they know they matter, that while this is a job I understand that life sometimes takes precedence.

Service Coach: What was the result that you achieved after you overcame these challenges?

My company has a really good reputation, I have had a good income for quite a while (some years obviously better than others) I got to choose how I spent my life. I got to bring integrity to a business that is often lacking and I get to take care of my customers and staff in a way that I am proud of. I got to go to every one of my son’s basketball games, travel and buy property.

Service Coach: Any tips for aspiring Entrepreneurs looking to build a business and take their one man/woman shop and turn it into a business?

Ask A LOT of questions and when you think you have the answers, tweak and tweak some more. Bring your own sense of morality to what you do and stick with that. If you do what all the others are doing you will get what they get… be better, be bolder, be brave.

Alison Donaghey

www.sonshinegirlspainting.com
British Columbia, Canada
 
 

 If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 March 5, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Case Study Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »