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Hi, I’m PY an active business owner present and past with 40 years of business experience, with heartaches, cuts, nicks, blows to the head, and big PAY DAYS to prove it!!!  I’ve founded and started 5 businesses in 5 different industries. What’s being shared within this post are business growth and development strategies, I wish I knew 40 years ago. I’m certain you’ll gain useful knowledge that will help you grow and retain customers.  

 Listed are a combination of 15 services and products that will help grow your income. Without a doubt, you’ll learn how to save time, sidestep the landmines, and how to super-size sales using simple technology. 

Keep Reading: 15 minutes of your time can save you thousands or more!

 

#15. Recently I’ve become obsessed with technology and automation. Another one of those things I wanted to implement but never found time. I read this slogan that stuck with me; “take a few minutes to set-up systems today that will save you time later” … I’ve heard similar messages for ages but like the saying goes “when the student is ready the teacher will appear”.

Speaking of being ready is an understatement. Our current business was working me day and night.  I’m sure, my hubby was getting tired of me hymning and humming. Luckily, I found the solution…Technology! Specifically, ” a CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

I’m certain most of you have heard or seen a CRM advertisement.
Just in case you’ve been hiding under your desk, buried under papers or ducking sales reps. A CRM (customer relationship management) is a piece of business software that makes you want to kiss the developers!

You may have heard of “Salesforce “they’re the largest and most popular CRM used today. It’s a Super Helpful piece of software designed to manage many different job functions under one umbrella.

red umbrella

Find out more here.

#14. This is going to be short and sweet. But it’s the simple things that we overlooked that can produce huge rewards. I’m talking about our computers. I must admit… I’m a little tight with money…. I hold it longer than I should and pinch more than most!  But I’m happier to announce not as much now as in the Past!

The older I get the more aids I’m reaching for. Pun intended; but as things age, they normally slow down. The same is true for our computers. So, the lesson here is if you’re working on an out-dated computer, even worse if your employees are using old office equipment, you’re doing your business a disservice.

Fact!… research shows, that employees waste 3 hours per week at work complaining about inadequate and outdated equipment. To add insult to injury employers with poor quality office aids stands a greater chance of losing Good talent.  Skillful employees won’t stick and stay if they aren’t provided adequate equipment. Outdated office equipment …slows down productivity…. competition is coming, let’s not slow down to wait for them!

Helpful Resources Here

#13.  Websites play a vital role in today’s’ business. I read a staggering statistic that over 40% of businesses don’t have a website. I still find that hard to believe in today’s technological environment.  A website can perform several important tasks such as:

  • A convenient way to display products and services.
  • An easier way to educate clients or customers.
  • The quickest route to inform customers of upcoming sales and other promotions.
  • It portrays a professional business image.
  • Potential additional income stream via the World Wide Web.

 Furthermore, when applying for business credit, a website could be looked favorably upon as a creditability factor that helps establish business legitimacy. Click here for details

#12. As I’m sitting here writing, our next-door neighbor is having about (15) 80-ft pine trees cut down. Me being me, I go outside every once in a while to check on the progress. I watched as they grind one stump, using a huge-gigantic piece of equipment that took about 15- minutes. As I’m watching, I’m also wondering how long would it take to grind all 15 stumps?

What if his equipment was old and outdated; it could take FOREVER!… The lesson, always use the best products and services your money can buy. Now that you decided to built or rebuilt your website get more info about top-notch services and products. Check here

#11. Keeping within the computer vein, there are a few things I would like to touch on. Firstly, computer speed, if you’re wondering what speed has to do with it… keep reading. Ironically, today I was reading a newspaper article my hubby brought to my attention that touched on this issue. While reading that article one thing stuck out that I found humorous.

Within the content, the writer stated that he didn’t want to wait for a slow email… Slow Email… he didn’t say slow snail mail… Freaking Email….  Do you know there are people that complain of microwaves being too slow …..one of those persons is writing this post 🙂

That being said; if your website takes longer than 4 seconds to load, you stand a great chance of losing potential customers. Fortunately, that’s an easy fix. You can have your website speed tested by your web designer or test it yourself. Your website loading speed should be at least 93% or above…  top sites are loading at 95% or above.  Web speed test

#10. I know we talked a bunch about a website being the most critical piece of technology that can dictate the outcome of our profits. Unfortunately, there are other serious issues arising out of technology. The purpose of speaking on this issue isn’t about trying to induce fear, just awareness. Our government, mobile carriers, and many other business entities are trying to do their part to help to protect us.

This newly growing issue is the threat of cybersecurity. If you knew me personally, I would be the last person you think would talk about security.

Had it not for my recent cyber- attack, my lips would be sealed. Thank God I caught the mayhem quickly. Frankly, I was a little naive about what was going on at the time probably like most people. We all think it won’t happen to us. But yes, I was spoofed.  I still cannot tell you how or when because I never lost possession of my bank card

Within this section…. I’ll go over a few recommendations of precautions you may find helpful. Regarding business account logins, viruses, and computer protection.

One of my husband’s responsibilities is to keep our computers secure, malware and virus-free….…as you can see all things dealing with Security is Fred’s responsibility…

 I call him Security Patrol behind his back… I guess he knows now…LOL!!!

But I must admit… I used to attract viruses frequently a few years back. He signed up with a program that keeps our computers safe… I cannot remember the last time we had a computer virus. The great news… that service handles it all…they take over our computer, clean, install and protect. Here’s the secret

#9.  I know we all think that identity theft won’t happen to us. Like Les Brown’s once-favorite saying. “Just because you are a nice person doesn’t mean someone won’t knock you in the head” … sad but true.

Whereas identity theft can happen to anyone, leaving those victimized to feel hopeless and defenseless. Although it’s hard to out-smart hackers and cybercriminals; neither should we hold our hands up to let them rob us blind. How do we fight back? Education is always the great equalizer. What we don’t know about identity theft can hurt our chances of financial and personal recovery.

Listed are a few ways we can protect yourself. (1). You can place a freeze on our credit report. This will eliminate anyone from opening an account in your name, (2). Use a password manager to generate long, harder to guess logins, and (3). Go the extra mile to protect your financial and personal logins by incorporating two-step authentication on your financial and personal accounts.

 Moreover, you may want to consider a credit monitoring service. There are some free and some fee-based services available. You can check the ITRC, a non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases and to broaden public education and awareness. 

#8. Regarding logins, I’ve incorporated hard to guess passwords; most are computer-generated. So now I just copy and paste them into the login’s because they’re too hard to memorize. We have a few pieces of software that generate passwords. A password manager service offers computer-generated passwords as well.

#7. In addition to all that, my husband talked me into placing an additional layer of protection on my phone; two-factor authentication. Before every call, I had to unlock my phone. Hmmmmm…. not feeling that at All !!!…. I have a new phone now and it locks but isn’t as cumbersome as the Android…Sorry!

#6.  ACH… I haven’t implemented this system yet… I’m funny with my money…. But I am thinking hard. And after research, it’s a much safer option than what I got going now. ACH… many of you are familiar with the terminology and maybe using it. ACH is a system that electronically transfers funds… you can read more here. I must admit I love the companies that pay us via ACH …and dislike the snail mailed payouts.

#5. I think I found my best and most knowledgeable accountant yet. All from speaking with the service rep that was behind the desk of an auto repair shop. That person turned out to be the owner of the business. During our conversation, he started to speak very highly about his current accountant. Conversely, he spoke how his prior accountant/CPA performance wasn’t up to par. I asked if his accountant were taking on new clients, I was given his number and so far, so good. One year back taxes down, one to go, only two years behind, one now…. The lesson within a lesson Pay YOUR TAXES ON TIME…

#4. This is what I learned from personal massive SEO bruises. These lessons can help all businesses, especially since every business should have a website.

One of my very first SEO clients was a wedding photographer. I met online. (Cold Call)

I noticed his beautiful wedding photos were on the second page of Google. Why was I on the second page of Google… because I knew the businesses that were on the second page wanted to be on the first page.

 Long story short, after a brief conversation he hires me to perform SEO services. Translation, he wanted his website to show up on the first page of Google. So, when searchers typed wedding photographer, Raleigh, NC he desired his website to show up first. After making a few tweaks that took a few days, his website went from the second page to the first page in the second position.  Bam!.

Question?… how much was my services worth to him?… Mind you, his wedding packages started at $5000.00. The point I’m trying to emphasize is that having a web presence and it is properly optimized, is a must!

Uncover more here!

#3. Honestly, how many small business owners think they need to do everything themselves… as entrepreneurs, we’re afraid to let go…. For close to 10 years in our present business, I’ve been outsourcing in my Mind! The idea sounds terrific. I’ve read about it… 4 Hour Work Week and other books and resources. Letting go sounds easy. To find, hire and train VA’s to run all or parts of your business seems scary.  In addition to that, playing in the back of my mind, I can hear my mentor ” if you are the only one working in your business, you don’t own a business”.  You are an employee having an entrepreneurial seizure.

To create a true business, you must create a team. That’s the only way you can win the game of business ownership. Remembering this slogan: “Do what you Love, Outsource everything else”… Outsource Details Here!

#2. What I’m attempting to do within this section is to inform small business owners how critically important this next topic is. Many of us lose a boatload of lost revenue because of poor planning. If you own business especially if you travel a lot and you don’t have a legitimate way to log your business mile you can equate that to throwing money out of the window.

This conversation is very personal and recent to me. I won’t go into a lot of details. I had a 2-hour phone conversation with the IRS a few weeks back and they taxed me a new butt hole. One of my biggest expenses are business mileage read my suggestions below.

If you travel frequently plan to use mileage tracker. And since business mileage is one of the most audit expense categories it only makes sense… no dollars and cents to immediately incorporate a business mileage tracker which will help you keep accurate records! 

#1. In an earlier post, I talked about watching the construction that was going on next door. Now, with my calculator in hand…LOL! I’m trying to figure out how much can the company reasonably charge for their services. Based upon the amount of time it took, the magnitude of the job, and the manpower, it has to cost a pretty penny.

Years ago, we had all our trees cut down, (52) and it was expensive! But I can’t remember them using all of the pieces of heavy equipment that was used next door.

 When speaking with the father we exchanged business stories, he talked about his insurance cost situation. Long story short, his former carrier notified him that they were going to eliminate parts of his coverage and increase his premium… Huh?????

He called around to found another carrier, the new insurance carrier offered increased coverage, better rates, and he ended up saving $30,000. Boo-yah!

What I didn’t tell him was my insurance company sent me a letter making the same threat. They were going to increase every category of coverage…period. OK…..I didn’t say a word….. I let my finger do the talking.

Actually, I called five companies, each provider had an online quote they recommended. I too received less expensive insurance and what seems to be better coverage. I’m saving $140.00/month. It could have been more but one of the quotes got back to me a week too late, it was $55.00 cheaper. WOW!!!!

Lesson learned, take time to mind your business. Every year evaluate your agreements. Check to see if you still need the same about or kind of services or if there are better prices. Here are a few small business insurance resources you may want to check out!

If you’d like more good sound advice on growing your business this year, check out these tips… Very helpful!