How to Build A Successful Business?
Starting a business and becoming successful is often part of the American Dream. But there is a difference between starting a business and building a successful business. Many businesses fail within the first few years of existence due to the lack of planning for the long-term. There is not enough vision and there is not enough done to strengthen the business properly from the ground up.
If you want to start a business there is an easy way to get a better understanding of why some businesses fail and others don’t. When starting a business think about it similar to building a house. If done right it is protecting you against any kind of storm or danger of the outside world and will last for a long time. It offers shelter and protection. For you and your business that could be translated to that you want to have a business that is able to weather economical ups and downs (=storm) and that will provide income to pay the bills (shelter and protection).
When building a house there are several different steps you need to follow to have the house build. You know you want a house, but you got to pick a location and get an architect to plan everything out. In the business world that would be: you know you want to start a business, but you have to come up with a business idea and work out a business plan. The next thing for the house would be to build the foundation (and eventually the basement) for the house. In the business world – you got to build the initial infrastructure (example: connecting with vendors, find a manufacturer for your product, create a sales team, rent office space, get a delivery truck, etc.). Once that is in place you able to actually do business and earn some money. But you are not completely done yet. You need to build a frame, put in windows and you also need a roof on house. For your business this means that you pay off debt, improve business processes and get professional help when needed (example: find a tax accountant, select a payroll service, etc.).
Once the house is build you probably want to fill it with furniture and make it livable for the future. Nobody wants to sleep on the floor, right. Again translating this to the business world it could mean that you invest money you earned back into your business. You buy machinery instead of leasing it. Eventually you buy a building, hire more staff, develop more products, move into new markets, build up a high cash reserve, and buy other businesses and so forth. This is often the step where winners and losers separate. Re-investing money into the business is a key factor for success. If you go and spend all the money on your own salary to buy things you have nothing to go back to when the economy slips into a recession or if disaster strikes.
The successful business owner has build up a cash reserve or can borrow money from bank – securing loans with the assets of the business. Going back to building a house this pretty much matches the same efforts. You pay off your mortgage and have equity available to eventually borrow against when emergency arises. Emergencies do not include paying off credit cards to use them again or to buy a car. Financially responsible you should be looking at the long term and not finance short-term goods with long-term debt.
April 15th The Day of Reckoning! Every year, millions of Americans get ready to pay taxes to Uncle Sam, or get ready to collect a tax refund from Uncle Sam; when did this become the great day that it is for taxpayers, and when are we actually required to file a income tax return? Lets take a look at the beginnings of the income tax date of April 15 and why it was chosen?
The first known income tax that Americans were legally required to pay was enacted during the early 1860s, and the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln. The Civil War was proving very costly to finance, and the President and Congress created the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and enacted a law requiring citizens to pay federal income tax. This could be considered the start of our modern day income tax. This income tax was based on principles of graduated or progressive taxation and of withholding income at the source. The commissioner was given authority to assess, levy and collect federal income taxes. The authority to enforce tax laws by seizure of property and income and by prosecution.
Originally, the deadline for completing and filing your individual income tax was not April 15th. In the beginning, it was first set for March 1st. Then, during 1918, Congress pushed the date out to March 15th. Then, in the great overhaul of 1954, the date was once again moved forward to April 15th, and this is where it remains today. Why April 15th? The main thought from most scholars say the reasoning is that the date gives the IRS more time to handle the work load and more time to hang on to your money before offering a tax refund. This date has only been set this way for a little over 50 years. Thats not very long, in historical terms, and it could possibly be changed again.
If you are an individual taxpayer, you are required to file either a return or an extension of time to file (Form 4868) by April 15th. Corporate and other legal entities are required to file their federal income tax return by March 15th, and if not, they also must file an extension of time to file. What this extension does not do, is to extend the amount of time you have to pay any taxes due the government. So, if you are unable to ready your personal or business financial information in a timely manner, and have no reasonable estimate as to the amount of tax you may owe, you can expect to pay some form of penalty.
In the years following WWII, the burden of tax responsibility was shared fairly equally by the corporate world and the individual taxpayer. Today, however, the shift has been toward more responsibility on the part of the individual, and less on the business backs. To demonstrate how special interests have begun to overtake American politics, during 1867, public opinion was so strong, and the outcry of the general public so loud, that the President and Congress abolished the income tax law in 1872, and from 1872 until 1913 almost all of the revenue for government operation came from the sale of liquor, beer, wine, and tobacco. Although the income tax did make a small come back in 1894, it was found unconstitutional in 1895 by the U.S. Supreme Court because it was not apportioned among the states in conformity with the Constitution.
An interesting time during the formation and eventual taxation of America occurred during 1918. Until that point in time, the vast majority of tax revenue for government funding came from alcoholic beverage sales and high tariffs. In 1919, Congress passed an amendment to the Constitution that made it illegal to manufacture or sell alcohol; what would replace the revenue? American federal income tax was the proposed solution, and weve been paying since. Although during the great years known as Prohibition, many revenue agents spent their days tracking down moon shiners not tax evaders, the American citizen, the individual taxpayer took on the heavy burden of supporting government revenue, and it has become heavier with each passing year. On a side note, although moon shining was illegal, the moon shiners still had to pay taxes on the moon shine so they were incarcerated for tax evasion and not moon shining. Taxes seem to always come into play when looking for a way to prosecute someone.
Then, during 1942, the Revenue Act of 1942 was passed and the New Deal era was begun. Since that point in time, government control, power, and expenditures has continued to increase at a phenomenal rate, and today the American taxpayer supports a trillion dollar giant known as the United States government. This ravenous beast consumes more than 10% of our earned income each year, and if the Social Security Administration has their way, will continue to consume even more of our weekly earnings. We can foresee no other relief in sight.
Currently, all the tax regulations for this country are the responsibility of the Internal Revenue Service, and there are four major divisions of this government office: the Wage and Investment, Small/Business Self-Employed, the Large and Midsize Business and the Tax Exempt and Government Entities. Each division has responsibilities as they pertain to their individual specialty.
There continues to be talk on the hill to change the way taxes are calculated and collected. The most common themes are the flat tax and the national sales tax. Until Congress actually has the courage to step up to the plate and change it, taxes will remain as cumbersome as always.
Accounting Professionals: Are The Necessary?
Its crucial to know your prospects if you want to market effectively to them.
Take this quick quiz to see how well you know and understand your prospects. If you can't answer these questions, how can you be sure you are connecting with your audience in a relevant and meaningful way?
How can you be sure you are reaching them with a compelling message about your product or service?
How can you be sure you are tapping into the conversation they are already having inside their own head with respect to your product or service?
I would argue you can't. And if you can't do these things, your marketing will not be effective.
1. Who are they?
2. Where do they live ... work ... play?
3. What problem do they have that you can solve?
4. How does your product or service fit into their life?
5. What else do they buy in your product or service category?
6. Where do they get information regarding your product/service?
7. What is most important to them?
8. What are they most afraid of?
9. What is their emotional connection to your product/service?
10. How will they rationalize purchasing your product/service?
Howd you do? If you cant answer these questions, odds are your marketing message isnt connecting with your prospects. And if your message is not connecting with them, you wont be very successful in selling them on your product or service.
Take the time to get to know your customers and prospects. Learn all you can about them. Use this quiz as a guide. When you do youll be able to speak directly to their needs and concerns with your marketing, they will respond. And your business will thrive.
© Copyright 2005 Debbie LaChusa, 10stepmarketing
Making Money from the Inside Out
Very few people ever got rich by working for someone else. Leaving aside pop musicians, sportsmen and similarly gifted people, the only way to acquire wealth by work is to build a business of your own. The type of business you decide upon will depend on: a) how much money you have available as start-up capital and working capital; b) your business idea; and c) your confidence level.
There are three types of business: 1) the traditional one in which you are reliant solely on your own efforts; 2) a franchise where you follow a proven idea and receive considerable training and back-up from the franchise company; and 3) network marketing.
Each business type has its pros and cons.
The traditional business requires considerable financial input, either from your own resources or part-funded by your bank. You may need to rent premises; buy equipment; hire staff; pay for advertising, brochures, stationery, and stock. A frighteningly high percentage of this type of business fails in the first year. To succeed you need: a good idea, considerable financial backing, good health, an understanding spouse, and stamina. If you do succeed you will own the business outright and benefit from all the profits.
Franchises have a high success rate. Banks like them because each franchise operation has a proven track record and thus the banks can accurately judge the risk, consequently they will lend money for this sort of start-up. However, all the support and training comes at a price: the initial entrance fee is likely to be very high, and a percentage of the businesss turnover has to be paid to the franchise company.
Network marketing, also known as multi-level marketing, has many advantages and few disadvantages. The entrance fee is low and the ongoing expenses are even lower. A network marketing business can be started in your spare time in fact that is the best way to approach it. Start small, and keep at it. The secret is perseverance, get past the first year and you should find the business has a sound foundation from which you can build a serious income. It is said that 95% of those who survive ten years in network marketing become wealthy beyond their wildest expectations.
So which type of business is for you? If you wish to provide a service or product where you have previous experience from, say, a former employment, the traditional business will be probably be the best choice. However, if you are just tired of working for someone else and making them rich and wish to strike out on your own, then a franchise or network marketing must be the preferred option.
The choice then is determined chiefly by the funds you have access to, and the time and effort you wish to put into your enterprise. A franchise will require substantial funds and 100% commitment. You are jumping in at the deep end, although the franchise company will provide training and support to help you to swim.
On the other hand you can ease yourself gently into network marketing by starting part-time while you continue with your current employment, building your business by ploughing back profits if necessary. Persevere and there will come a time when the income from your own business will be sufficient to support you financially. You will then be able to leave your employment and concentrate on your business, spending more time on it or enjoying considerable free time with your family.
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