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Improve Business Performance: How to Ensure Your Business Relationships Are Good for Your Business

Are you spending time with the ‘right’ people?

You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.

You may have heard this quote before – but do you pay heed? Stop for a moment to think about this: it can be argued that all the most important aspects of your life – your dreams, aspirations, energy, contribution, relationships, feelings of success, health, financial situation etc. are likely to be a reflection of the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with!

With respect to your business performance, it could well be worth spending ten minutes (or an hour!) examining who your influences are and the potential impact of these relationships on your business performance.

Follow this 4 step process to make sure that the top 5 people you currently spend the most of your time with are positive for your performance in business (and of course, in life!).

1.Identify WHO your top 5 business relationships are.
In your business life, who are the top 5 people and organisations you spend time with? Brainstorm all the people and organisations you spend time with – and get creative. This includes people you see face to face, those you think about, people you email, individuals who make you feel stressed! These could be your business partner, employees, people you share office space with, clients, suppliers, mentors, competitors, even websites you spend a LOT of time on.

Once you have them all there, circle the top 5 – the key individuals you spend most of your time ‘with’.

2. What is the IMPACT of these particular relationships?
Think about the following for each of your top 5:

  • For what reason does this relationship exist? Why do you spend so much time with or thinking about this person?
  • What sorts of emotions and experiences do these people generate for you? What energy do they have? How do you feel following interactions with this person?
  • Are they inspiring and motivating? Do they generate passion and creativity?
  • Are their values aligned with yours? Or are they focused on areas that conflict with your priorities?
  • What types of conversations are you having with these people?
  • Does your work and time spent with these people help to fuel the passion you have for your work?
  • Do these individuals and businesses have attributes that you want to posses yourself? Or are they in the same place as you, reinforcing where you are currently at, rather than where you would like to be?

3. Take stock of the impact of these working relationships on your business performance.
Bearing in mind what you have come up with in step 2, and your goals and aspirations for your business and your working life, take the time now to determine whether these relationships are good for you and your business or not.

How does your current business performance reflect your top 5?

Can you see any link between the current performance of your business and those top 5 relationships?

  • Maybe you are achieving huge success and surround yourself with like-minded people who support you to push yourself.
  • Perhaps you can recognise that you have some key relationships that sap a lot of your energy, leaving you drained and unable to hold yourself to the high standards you aspire to.
  • Do you have clients who you work with out of obligation rather than true alignment?
  • Is each relationship taking you and your business to where you want to be, or merely affirming your current position? Can you recognise that you are holding yourself and your business back by continually associating with individuals and organisations who are at the same place as you are, rather than with people who have already achieved the success you aspire to. Or maybe these individuals and businesses have attributes that you want to posses yourself and by being in relationship with them you are setting yourself up for success.

Use this step to identify those relationships that are positively impacting on your business performance, but also to determine which relationships are holding you back, inhibiting your progress, or negatively impacting on your performance.

And lets be clear – not every relationship should be examined with a mindset of ‘what can I get out of this’ or ‘how could this person benefit my business’, but it is important to surround yourself with positive influences – whether that’s people who challenge you to learn and grow, mentors who inspire you to be your best, or simply people who allow you to express your creativity and passion for your work.

4. Use this knowledge to IMPROVE your business performance.
Now that you have identified where your relationships are supporting you and which ones are holding you back, take action!

What can you do to enhance those relationships that are positive for you and your business? How can you ensure you nurture those relationships and that you continue to soak up the positives.

Where there is room to step it up, get clear on what kind of people you do what to be surrounding yourself with, and to seek them out.

  • If you have specific aims or goals, which groups or individuals could you align yourself with so you can be with people who share your values and vision.
  • If you need development in a certain area, where are others in this zone congregating. Perhaps its a matter of joining a business forum, development or networking group so you can meet these like minded people.
  • AND – who do you need to distance yourself from? Perhaps you have clients who are draining your energy and sapping your passion for your work. Is it in your interests to create closure on that relationship so you can create space for clients who you feel a passion for working with. Similarly, if you are experiencing difficult or negative relationships with suppliers or even employees – what course of action could you take to get these relationships to a point where they are positive for you and your business?

If you have a strong desire to improve your business performance work through these four steps to ensure your interactions and relationships in business are not only inspirational and fulfilling, but take your business to the next level.

Four Sources to Properly Fund Your Business

Proper business funding/capitalization are an issue to all small businesses at all stages of the business cycle. Those businesses that are organized as corporations and LLC’s are required by the state granting the business charter to be adequately capitalized. The challenge here is there is really no clear definition of adequate capitalization.

The purpose of requiring adequate capitalization is to ensure that the business entity has the ability to carry out its business operations without subjecting those working with that business, including employees, to financial loss. Proper protection against financial loss also requires a business to address potential liability issues.

Funding requirements will differ significantly from one business to another as well as what stage in the business cycle the business occupies. One of the most difficult stages to fund is typically found with start-up small business ventures. New business ventures may have great ideas and potential for success but have no history of success nor have they produced financial results. These realities make securing funding difficult. Funding challenges, however real, do not relieve the business owner from the responsibility of providing adequate capitalization for their business enterprise.

There are many sources of funding available in the market place for small businesses and LLC’s, each with unique advantages and disadvantages. The best source for funding will depend on the particular circumstances of the business seeking the funding and may include using a combination of several different sources. Start-up funding in particular is a very specialized world and seeking experienced and competent help is strongly advised.

Here are the four most common sources of funding for businesses:

1. Cash investment from the founders of the business - Typically the easiest to obtain and the least expensive of all forms of capitalization.

2. Income from business operations – This is perhaps the best source and usually the least expensive, after the founder’s investment, source of funding and capitalizing a business. This is typically more readily available to businesses that have been operational for some time whereas a start up business may find this source difficult or even impossible.

3 Bank Loans – If available to the business bank loans are relative inexpensive in today’s environment but may be difficult to obtain. This is especially true for start up businesses and those who are not financially strong with good positive cash flow.

4. Venture Capitalist and Angel Investors – These sources of funding can be good and are available to those businesses that able to demonstrate a strong business and product that also has excellent potential for high returns. The trade off with these sources is that often they require a large percentage of ownership in the company to induce them to invest. This is not necessarily bad, just be aware of that fact when you start. Also, in many cases they may require a business they fund to go public within a specified time period. Again, not necessarily a bad requirement.

As with all funding sources, it is a financial necessity to carefully examine the conditions and structure of the funding.

Lack of adequate capitalization/funding has caused many promising business to fail before they have a chance to get started. In addition improperly structured funding has been the cause of both new and mature business operations to struggle financially and in many cases fail.

One of the often overlooked factors in adequate capitalization of a business operation is proper and adequate insurance coverage. If inadequate insurance exists in a business, a damaged claimant could potentially pierce the corporate veil due to under-funding. Most business owners will have property and casualty insurance for buildings, vehicles, equipment but do you have general liability insurance sufficient to cover claims not otherwise covered by property and causality policies. In addition, Directors and Officers insurance, as well as Errors and Omissions insurance, are an important part of those businesses that require these policies and qualify for them. The important key here is to seek advice from a highly qualified insurance/ risk management specialists for your small business or LLC.

As can be seen from this short discussion there are many factors that make up the discussion of providing adequate funding for a business as required by the states. Taking an active and disciplined action on this matter will protect the business as well as the owners of that small business or LLC.

Starting The Perfect Home Based Business

As the economy continues to tank, unemployment rises, essential commodity prices increase as salaries remain stale, it’s no surprise people are looking to make more money anywhere possible. While we should generate a supplemental income while our lives are financially sound, most people make the mistake of waiting until their finances are in disrepair and the bills are way behind before considering options.

At the point of desperation people choose counter-productive measures as a solution to their financial woes. These include taking out high interest personal loans, working a second or third job, selling their valuables, or being forced downsize their lifestyle. Can you see a benefit in any of these options? Do they bring you closer or distance you from your family?

If working second jobs, taking out high interest personal loans, or giving up the things cherished the most in life, aren’t options, what options exist? While most conventionally thinking people resort to the above solutions, many others choose to become successful entrepreneurs by starting some type of part-time business from home. Unfortunately, many people lack the necessary motivation and could care less about success for themselves or their families and that’s o.k. This clears the playing field for others who keep our options open to income opportunities.

While starting a part-time home business has many benefits, you probably wouldn’t even know where or how to begin. The possibilities are endless and this, in itself, can be overwhelming. Take a few deep breaths and relax because I’m going to share with you a simple business model that was specifically designed for people like you and me to be able to simply and efficiently generate a positive cash flow. This business model is called network-marketing (person-to-person) and has been adopted by many reputable companies and is the primary method to promote their products or services, instead of investing in expensive media advertisements. While companies save money on advertising, they are able to pay their representatives high commissions, bonuses, and incredible streams of residual incomes.

Network Marketing Vs.Traditional Home Business

The Network Marketing (Multi-Level Marketing) industry is over 50 years old and has created more millionaires out of average people than any other industry. An increasing number of people are choosing network marketing instead of traditional home businesses for many reasons; monthly residual income, multi-level payment structures, company bonuses/incentives, no stocking products, no invoicing, no shipping, no taking payments, no handling returns, no building websites, or even providing customer service. The network marketing company handles all of the main responsibilities. Your responsibility is simply recommending the product/service to others and showing others how to do the same thing.

Scams, Schemes, and Pyramids

Sadly there are many scams and schemes that empty the pockets of innocent people just looking for a way to make money fast. You can truly judge the validity of a business or opportunity by being aware of RED FLAGS. One obvious and very prevalent red flag is when the opportunity boasts that you can get rich overnight. An example of this is when they advertise that you can make a ludicrous amount of money in a day or a week.

The other type of scam that many desperate people fell into many years ago was the pyramid scheme. In a pyramid scheme, the only people who made money were the people at the top of the pyramid. People were literally passing their cash up the pyramid and the unfortunate people on the bottom lost their all their money. Pyramid Schemes are illegal and a common RED FLAG to look out for is if an opportunity has no product and requires a person to pay a lot of money to get involved.

Some people associate network marketing companies with pyramid schemes. While most network marketing companies are recognized by the BBB, they also offer every person the same opportunity for advancement. A representative can far surpass the success of the person who registered them. For example, I could sign someone up and they could have a much more successful business and make more money than me, which completely disproves pyramid scheme theories.

Monthly Residual Income

Why is residual income so incredibly important for you and your family? If I owned a traditional business, I would have to generate new sales and new profits every month to survive. In Network Marketing, I still have to make a sale, however I would continue to be paid every month for that ONE sale. Can you imagine making a sale once, getting paid, and then getting paid again and again from that one sale? Your monthly residual income will continue to climb every month as more business is generated.

Multi-Level Monthly Residual Income

Why is the multi-level marketing component crucial to the growth of the business? It’s unheard of to earn residual monthly income from every sale that you generate, however it is mind blowing to know you can earn money based on other people’s efforts after they join your business team.

When you register to become a home business owner with a network marketing company, you are provided with 2 general ways to create income.

  1. You are paid based on the sales that you generate
  2. (w/residual income from your sales)
  3. You have the Multi-Level option to show others how to start their own Home Based Business with company you are representing.(w/residual income from the sales you AND your representatives generate)

Starting a Traditional Business: Working Harder

Putting aside the overwhelming headaches of administration and production, let’s talk about just generating money from your own efforts. In a traditional home business, where you create your own product or service, you’ll need to go out and generate new sales every month. While business increases, so does your time spent on your business. You are now spending more time keeping up with the demand of your business than you do with your family. At that point you become a slave to your business while working 70 hours a week to keep up with production, administrative work, and client issues. Retiring is not even an option.

TRUE STORY

My friend, who owns a successful small business, said to me “It may look like I am successful, but I’m actually stuck. After all the bills are paid and it’s all said and done, I bring home less money than my wife makes in the corporate world and I work all the time. I can’t shut my phone off or miss an appointment because we are struggling to meet our bills. Our mortgage is too high, I can’t even think about retirement, and I don’t know what we would do if we lost one of our incomes.”

Starting a Network Marketing Business: Working Smarter

When you start a network marketing (part-time) home business, you simply become a representative of a product/service for a company. You don’t have to be concerned with anything but promoting the product/service. You are paid for every sale generated, plus you are paid a small residual commission every month as long as that customer continues to use the product/service.

While you are generating sales, you can also present the business opportunity to those customers who may also want to generate an extra income. When these people decide to sign on your team and become representatives, you can earn bonuses and residual pay based on their success. The income potential is limitless and while your business continues to expand you will continue to get a paycheck every month and eventually you can decide when to work or when to take a month off to go on vacation.

It’s really as simple as:

1. Using the product or service

2. Exposing others to the product/service

3. Showing them how to do the same thing

This industry continues to offer millions of people with many financial advantages including taking extra vacations, tax breaks, being able to afford private schools, paying for college, buying a new car, and even retiring early. The secret to success with any person starting a home business is just making a decision to do it. Don’t try it, do it. Many people fail because they are uncomfortable and unsure about how others will respond. If you don’t worry what other people think, if you make the effort, you are on your way to great success with your part-time home business.

Most people live paycheck to paycheck and can barely save enough money in their bank accounts to even pay for car or home repairs. Isn’t it true that whenever you’ve saved a nice little “nest egg” in the bank, expenses arises that put you back where you started last month? Wouldn’t it be nice to have money in your bank account, pay for miscellaneous repairs, take yourself and your family on a great vacation, AND still have money left over?

You can do it, and here’s how you can get started today in a profitable home business. Choose a network marketing company that; fits in your life, has a reputable product or service, a generous pay plan, and marketing tools that make it easy to duplicate your business! Most importantly don’t try to re-invent the wheel when it comes to promoting your new home business. Utilize the marketing materials offered by the company. Their online tools, offline tools, and methods are designed specifically to make building a home-based business very simple.

No More Selling?

50 years ago, people who embraced network marketing had no choice but to build their home business by physically meeting with people and selling the opportunity. This “warm market” sales approach is still very successful today, however not everyone is comfortable selling when they are first introduced to the business. What if there was a way to begin building a business without selling? The Internet has made this possible!

Reputable network marketing companies have embraced the power of the Internet by offering all their associates “customized” websites (usually for free) linked with a personal ID number. You would then use the website to sell for you. All you need to do is refer people to your website, let them watch the presentation, and FOLLOW UP with them. Always, always follow up with a prospect, especially when you refer them to your new website.

These websites are great tools, however that’s all they are. They are presentation tools for people who you know or meet. But how do you GENERATE customers or prospects for your home business? What if customers/prospects FOUND YOU? While placing ads on the Internet and in the newspaper are effective, they can be very expensive and will not reach larger markets. Another powerful alternative to marketing your business is on the Internet where you can reach tens of thousands of people searching for the exact product/service you are marketing.

Building A Long-Standing Residual Income

Being successful while establishing a large residual income, requires implementing a variety of marketing approaches. Don’t only depend on the Internet to bring you traffic. Be proactive! Talk to people, be excited about your part-time home business, share the products or service, and be consistent and persistent. If you don’t like selling, don’t! Don’t even talk about the details of your business. Let the website (the one the company designed for you) do the work for you!

If you are planning on developing an online presence, start getting involved and document your experience. You’ll generate tons of great content, including, but not limited to; case studies (how you started etc.), customer testimonials, objectives, personal experiences, training call recaps, webinar reviews, prospecting stories, company announcements etc. Journal and document every experience.

Start your business today! Don’t wait. Statistically speaking, people who wait, don’t succeed. If you have already decided on a part-time home business, pick up the phone or email a few people right now with your link to the free website the company gave you. If you just felt butterflies in your stomach, this is normal. It’s the fear of what people think about you that prevents you from taking this first step. However, it’s those who push beyond the nervousness who are the most successful. Are you going to let fear of what people think about you hold you back from attaining the financial goals of you and your family?

If you decide to start a home business, whether it is a multi-level marketing business or a conventional small home business, be active, be consistent, be persistent, and believe in yourself. Not only can it be financially rewarding, but you’ll go through many positive experiences which will help you develop professionally and personally.

Continuing Thoughts

Most people just let life slip away and wonder where the time went, thinking what they could have done differently? If you could change something now, what would you change? Would having more money help? If you have a desire to create new cash for you and your family, make a decision to do it.

Regardless of what you decide to do, I pray God richly blesses you and your family and you live your life with no regrets. Good Luck and God Bless!