If you are like most business owners, you went into business because you are  passionate about AND good at WHAT you do… and you wanted the autonomy and  financial freedom of owning your own business. You were probably thinking, “as  long as I am good at what I do, how hard can it be to make a decent living and  support my family?” And you have probably discovered that it is actually harder  than you thought.

Here’s the problem…

You may be one of the 97% of small business owners who discover that although  you work incredibly hard and your sales seem to be increasing each month, you  have little to show for it financially. Perhaps you are already doing well but  you are unsure how to accelerate your results or expand your business? Or you  may simply be wondering why you are struggling to pay the bills lately even  though your accountant says that you are making a good “profit”.

One of the biggest problems is that business owners often convince themselves  that being busy is what business is all about. And you tell yourself “as long as  I work hard and do my best, there is not much else that I can do”. Everyone  knows that we’re supposed to work smarter, not harder, but the challenge lies in  knowing HOW to do that. And in the meantime, you may have found it just seems  easier to do everything…just in case it’s important, or makes a  difference.

So, if you’re supposed to do less, HOW do you figure out what is critical or  what will have the biggest impact?

In a typical 8-9 hour day, what percentage of your time and effort has a  positive and tangible impact on your bottom line? Do you strategically plan what  you will focus your time on or do you just try to cover everything on your to-do  list plus whatever emergencies pop up? The bottom line is this, if you cannot  read and understand your financials, it is difficult for you to say for sure WHY  your business is not as successful as you would like it to be. You may think it  is due to the fact that you don’t have enough customers or sales but you could  be missing the point completely. In fact, most of the businesses don’t need more  customers, they need more cash flow. And cash flow issues can often be fixed  without spending a dime on marketing.

And here’s the best part… all of the answers you need are sitting right  there in YOUR financial statements. You just need to learn how to unlock the  insights and use them to your advantage.

Every day that you put off learning how to unlock the insights in your  financials means that you are wasting at least 2-3 hours a day on tasks that are  not improving your bottom line. In fact, it could be the sole reason you are not  as successful as you would like to be.

This bad habit you have developed -of working way too hard and assuming that  success is somehow linked to the amount (not the quality) of work, will take  time to break.

Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes when it comes to breaking or  establishing new habits. In the 1960’s a highly regarded plastic surgeon, Dr.  Maxwell Maltz discovered that it took 21 days for amputees to cease feeling  phantom sensations in their amputated limb. From further observations and  significant research he established that it takes 21 days to create a new habit.  This part of the brain, the limbic system, is a slow learner.

Brain circuits take engrams (“memory traces”) and produce neuro-connections  and neuro-pathways only if they are bombarded with new information for 21 days  in a row. This means that our brain does not accept new data or information for  a change of habit unless it is repeated each day (without fail) for at least 21  days. Changing habits (whether positive or negative) can be done, but it takes  time and consistent effort.

Do yourself a favour and identify just one or two steps that you can take  each day that will enable you understand what your financial statements are  trying to tell you. Make a plan on paper – specific decisions and actions that  you can take to move forward in this aspect every single day for the next month.  Read a book, speak to your accountant, watch a webinar or spend some time  reviewing your statements and comparing the results to last year.

And remember to track your progress each day and find an objective person  outside of your business to hold you accountable to your plan, actions and  desired results.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6047921

That’s The Good News, Now Do You Want To Hear The Bad News?Loss Profit Or Break Even Signpost Showing Investment Earnings A

If you do a quick search on the internet, you will uncover hundreds of experts, coaches, accountants, journalists and government organizations that quote the statistic “8 out of 10 business fail in the first year”. However, the fact that the statistic is widely touted doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true or backed up by empirical evidence.

So what is the truth? I searched the internet and couldn’t find confirmation of any study that was done to back-up this statistic (that 8 out of 10 businesses fail) by a reputable or well-known bureau. What I did in fact find was some evidence to the contrary. According to credit reference checking agency Veda Advantage, only a small percentage of new businesses close in their first 12-months of business.

What is the exact amount, you ask? Would you believe, less than two percent?

However, they assert another 32 percent close their doors between their second and fifth year of operations, while 21 percent wind up between the sixth and ninth.

So, that is the good news. However, as you can probably guess, it’s not ALL good news.
Just because a start-up doesn’t go under in the first 12 months, doesn’t mean that the owner is running a successful enterprise. I wonder if anyone has bothered to measure how many of the businesses who survived:

  • Paid the owner a wage that was at least equivalent to what he/she could have earned elsewhere as an employee?
  • Generated a profit and positive cash flow? and
  • Had enough working capital to service their debt, pay taxes and suppliers etc. as they came due?

The first few years of business are incredibly risky. In working with hundreds of business owners, we have found that the large majority opt to forgo their salary or inject more equity to prevent them from going under prematurely. What this means is that, while they may not have “technically” gone under, these fledgling enterprises are far from commercially viable and successful.

Statistics can be both helpful and misleading at the same time. It is easy to assert figures but more difficult to substantiate their veracity or explain the implications thereof.

The author of an article or press release will often use statistics to capture your attention and motivate action. That’s why people use statistics – numbers are persuasive and have an aura of authority.  A statistic like – 8 out of 10 businesses fail – gets attention, doesn’t it?  Whether this data is accurate or not, is only half the story. As a business owner or manager, we must look deeper to find the insights that we can take away and use to improve our results.

Personally, I don’t care what percentage goes under. No matter how long you’ve been operating, if you’re not getting paid a salary, producing profit and generating positive cash flow, you’re not running a successful company. Closing your doors is only half the story. The doors may very well be wide open, but technically, no one is there.

Rhondalynn Korolak, Author of Financial Foreplay® and On The Shoulders of Giants

Rhondalynn Korolak, Author of Financial Foreplay® and On The Shoulders of Giants

Discipline and attention to details is more important than ever if you want to succeed in challenging economic times. Take a look around… competitors are closing their doors – which means more potential customers for the businesses that DO survive. And in times like these, it’s going to take more than “thinking outside the box” and goodwill with existing customers to secure the survival of your business.

You may have been lucky over the past few years – you may have found it possible to operate without a detailed, written plan and systems/processes. But the global economic crisis has changed all of that. If you want to thrive, there is only one thing that is for sure – uncertain times call for deliberate decisions and proven practices.

So here are & top tactics to recession-proof your business.

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Rhondalynn Korolak, Author of Financial Foreplay® and On The Shoulders of Giants

Rhondalynn Korolak, Author of Financial Foreplay® and On The Shoulders of Giants

The restaurants and promenades in the Docklands (Melbourne) were packed on Monday, night with couples. It was after all Valentine’s Day – the day when everyone declares their undying love for each other… well, at least their “commercial love”.

Apparently, if NAB has anything to do with it, February 15th is now the official day of the year to break off a bad relationship – the “unValentines Day”. I wonder how long it will take for chocolatiers, greeting card companies and florists to create some products to commemorate this special occasion?

The obvious question that no one seems to be asking is “why was the NAB dating both the ANZ and CBA in the first place?”

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Rhondalynn Korolak

Rhondalynn Korolak

Did you know that inventory is one of the great hidden costs of business?

Business owners should understand its importance of keeping it under control.  Visit http://www.financialforeplaybook.com  for more on this story…

Is Inventory Killing Your Business?

Did you know that inventory is one of the great hidden costs of business?Very few business owners understand its importance and the significance of keeping it under control. Inventory ties up your cash while providing little benefit to revenue – until the items are sold.  Excessive inventory can weigh a business down and ultimately lead to revenue losses.

Excess inventory is so often the primary cause of cash flow problems that it is worth your time and effort to consider how your current stock holdings are affecting the health of your business. And it’s why you should have a clear understanding of how much inventory you have, how much you should realistically have, what it’s worth today, and how old it is. 

Every time you buy stock for your business, you should see the purchase as an investment. Like any other investment, you should expect it to provide you with a financial return in a short period of time.  If there is a significant gap between when you buy the goods and when you turn them into cash by selling them and collecting the money, you need to re-assess the value of your investment. 

When you spend before you earn you are effectively taking out a loan for the intervening period. Very often this will require a ‘real’ loan from some sort of finance company, a delay in paying suppliers or a delay in paying yourself.  If you want to improve the cash flow and health of your business quickly and without spending a dime on advertising, take some time out today to review your stock levels and get rid of excess inventory. 



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