Mindset You Need When Starting a Small Business

Anyone wanting to start a new business should consider a few factors before diving in to entrepreneurship. The things listed below are probably the first thing any aspiring business owner should do if you think being your own boss is for you. Starting a small business can be very difficult so it’s important to have the right frame of mind prior to taking the leap.

However, the rewards and the self-satisfaction can be outstanding. Before you dive right in and make your decision to start a small business it’s important to take some time to mentally prepare yourself for what’s ahead.

• Be prepared to put everything you have into you business in order to be successful. In most cases the small business owner works a lot more hours than that of a traditional 9-5 job. In order to make a small business successful you must put your heart into it and be passionate about what you trying to do. Therefore, you should ensure that you are fully prepared to put the time and effort needed into making your business successful

• It is very important to be passionate about the business you are aspiring to own and operate. If you open a business selling pet supplies simply because you think you will make a ton of money but you absolutely hate animals then your business is probably not going to go very well. As mentioned above you are going to have to put a lot of time and effort into your business in order to succeed and if you are not passionate about what you are doing then there really is no point in opening it up in the first place. You might as well stay at your 9-5 job and draw a steady income. Which leads me to the next point

• It’s very important to understand that most small business start ups will not generate a significant amount of revenue or profits during the first few years. It is vital to put in the work and research ahead of time in order to at least have a vague idea of what type of revenue to expect. A lot of people starting small businesses have this false expectation of making tons of cash right at startup. This usually is not the case.

• Is entrepreneurship really for me? Anyone can be a successful business owner; however, there are several characteristics that you should possess in order to make that road a lot easier and probably more enjoyable. Ask yourself if you possess some (or better yet all) of these qualities listed below:

Leadership skills
Goal Oriented
Independent
A risk taker
Inquisitive
Confident
Have Self Discipline
Self Motivation

This is definitely not a comprehensive list of characteristics that someone should possess prior to opening a small business but these qualities are important to have if you want to take the route of being your own boss. However, as mentioned before anyone can overcome barriers in their way if they have enough self motivation and drive to achieve their goals.

6 Cost Saving Tips for Small Businesses

For small businesses the effect of cost savings can result in huge difference in the bottom line. So it is well worth the time and effort to change or start some new ways of doing things. Following are 6 very practical tips that small business owners can follow to reduce cost of operation and in the end increase efficiency as well.

1. Save on utilities and phone bills

The biggest cost of a small business aside from office lease is utilities which include electricity, phone and gas heating. Utilization of energy-efficient equipment and energy-saving light bulbs can amount to great savings in the long run. Some local utility companies such as Edison in Southern California would give free consultation to businesses with regard to their current energy efficiency and free proposal on how to be more energy-efficient. Simply contact your local utilities company.

Small businesses mostly carry a toll-free phone number. Great savings can be gleaned by using internet phone instead of land line. Examples of internet phone service providers are RingCentral and Vonage. Their websites will provide cost comparisons between the cloud phone and traditional phone. The cost saving is steep and may amount to thousands of dollars. The app that comes with the cloud phone offers features such as call forwarding to private cell phones and caller I.D. display.

2. Save on printing cost

Though this is the age of internet marketing, small businesses cannot totally eliminate the cost of printing which includes paper, printer/fax/copier, ink cartridges and laser toners. Some practical tips on how to save printing cost are listed below.

• The local office supplies retailers such as Staples and Office Depot often offer rebate promotion on paper. Smart and timely purchase would mean that practically you are getting the paper for free.

• Purchasing the cost efficient printer takes some smart comparisons. Factors include the type of printing mostly done (whether it’s black and white or color printing); output quantity; output speed (page per minute); and ink or toner replacement cost.

• To illustrate a simple comparison on ink or toner replacement cost, take the latest popular model of laser toner cartridge HP-CE505A and inkjet cartridge Epson T069120.

The HP-CE505A black laser toner cartridge has a page yield at 5% page coverage of 2300 pages. The cost of the O.E.M. toner cartridge at a major retailer chain is $81.89 and is equivalent to $0.036 cost per page. The cost of new compatible toner cartridge is around $35.00 and is calculated to be $0.015 cost per page.

The Epson T069120 black inkjet cartridge has a page yield at 5% page coverage of 245 pages. The cost of the O.E.M. inkjet cartridge at a major retailer chain is $15.92 and is equivalent to $0.065 cost per page. The cost of remanufactured inkjet cartridge is around $6.00 and is equivalent to $0.024 cost per page.

(Page yield is the most widely used description of cartridge capacity and it means the “number of printed pages at 5% coverage”, with final results depending on a number of factors including paper quality, and print mode etc.)

• Set your printer to draft mode to save ink or toner whenever possible.

• As much as possible, switch to electronic billing and correspondence through emailing.

3. Efficient office space

Consider virtual office, home office and sharing office with other small businesses. The idea of sharing office space has become more and more popular because of the inherent benefits. Office space is shared for the benefit of cost efficiency as the businesses share common office space such as conference room and staff pantry. Sharing office supplies and equipment including Wifi and Copier etc also means higher efficiency. Some businesses share the office space based on their similar market segment and target customers, or similar business identity such as being a ‘Green Office’ or ‘socially responsible business’. Being able to work in a community with similar or complementary interests may facilitate idea generation.

4. Recycling ideas

Do not underestimate the savings involved in recycling. Here are some ideas:

• Staples has program that gives you $2 store credit for each used printer cartridge with some conditions applied. Other office supplies stores have similar incentive for recycling printer cartridges.

• Recycle or reuse shipping boxes.

• Print on both sides of the paper and print drafts on recycled paper.

5. Printing company stationery in-house

Small businesses commonly print their letterhead, or presentation folders in-house. It will save you time and money if you print in a batch.

6. Other time and money-saving tips

• Eliminate trips to the post office by using online postage service such as Stamps.com.

• Whenever applicable, USPS provides free shipping boxes for flat rate, priority and express mail shipping. You can simply order the USPS free shipping supplies online and have the supplies delivered right to your office.

• Remove the battery of the laptop if your laptop is plugged in to a power source. This way you will preserve the battery life.

• Cloud storage of company documents saves physical storage space and makes information retrieval much more efficient.

Telemarketing Tips on Appointment Setting for Small Business Owners to Get More Customers

Telemarketing tips to help self-employed people and small business owners to get more customer by making sales appointment cold calls.

Many small business owners haven’t had access to training on appointment setting.

To get more customers they may want to make cold calls to arrange meetings to present their sales offers, but without training they can get a lot of rejection and soon become de-motivated.

One of the biggest mistakes is not knowing how to use benefits and features effectively. These telemarketing tips will show you how and where to add benefits and features to your cold calls for appointments and get in front of more potential customers.

Telemarketing Tips on Making Great Sales Appointment Calls

What makes a great sales appointment cold call is understanding how and when to use benefits and features in your call script.

The reason you should use them is because benefits are what your customers get, so for the prospects you call it tells them what they could potentially gain by listening to you.

Benefits are about the prospect you cold call. It’s what they gain from being your customer. It’s the savings on time or money that you can offer. It’s how their life or business will be easier. It might be something they must have, or something they want to have, but it’s not how they get it, that’s the feature that supplies the benefit.

Benefits are often feelings or emotions. Feelings of safety or security, being happy, satisfaction, success, or whatever else they will feel when they become your customer and the features of your service give them the benefits.

Poor telemarketing calls for appointments often include lots of features and few, or even no, benefits. Features are all about you and your products or services.

Benefits are what the features do for the customer, they are what the customer gets by using what you supply, and it gives you a chance to talk about the customer and the changes your sales offer will make for them. You may have to mention features as you explain how they get the benefits, but keep it brief.

Where on Your Calls to Use Benefits and Features

You want to get more customer by making appointment calls, so one of your aims is to keep prospects listening to you. You want to get past the first few lines of introduction and into a conversation about them or their business.

To do that you should use benefits in your call introduction, supported where necessary by features. What will, or potentially could, give the prospect a benefit. Maybe you are the best, the cheapest, the most experienced, the fastest, the most caring, the most qualified, at what you do. Those are all features so you then have to state what the feature you select will do for your potential customer in terms of a benefit to them.

The Reason You’re Calling

The next telemarketing tip is to use your best benefit, and supporting feature, as the reason why you’re calling the prospect.

What many self-employed people and small business owners don’t know is that the reason for calling is again all about the prospect. You might think that your experience and credentials, qualifications, and a list of existing customers are really good reasons for calling a prospect to arrange a sales appointment, but they’re not.

When you tell your prospect why you are calling, select a benefit you think will grab their interest and explain what it could potentially do for them.

Gaining Agreement to a Meeting

When you’ve qualified the prospect as a potential customer that you want to meet you need to gain agreement from them to the meeting. Here again is a great place to use a benefit to influence them to take that next step.

You explain to the prospect that they could gain a benefit, and by meeting with you they will have the opportunity to see exactly what the benefit could do for them. You can use the same benefit that you used earlier as your reason for calling. You started by saying that was why you called, so here you’re saying it’s why you should meet.

Small Businesses Should Use Benefits to Get More Customers

That’s 3 places where you can add benefits to make your telemarketing calls more successful.

The more effective your calls, the more opportunities you get to get more customers.

Look at what you’re currently saying on your cold calls. Are you using features that tell the prospect all about you, your business, or what you do.

It only takes a small reframing of your viewpoint to change those features into benefits and talk more about the prospect than about you. This simple change will make a big difference to your calls. It will increase the number of meetings you get, and you will get less rejection and fewer objections, so you’ll enjoy making more cold calls.

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