Archive for the ‘small business’ Category

Think of every idea or suggestion you receive for your business as a person handing you cash.

Every suggestion that you receive has some worth. Maybe your spouse suggested you wear a different tie or necklace for a meeting instead of the one you chose, and it was a better suggestion. That’s a quick $1.

The barista at the coffee shop suggested you take a different route to get to a meeting downtown because you said you were worried about the traffic. Take it as $5 in your pocket if it saves you time, $20 if your competition ends up shows late. Think of it as a loss of money if the new route actually makes you late.

And everyday that million dollar idea for your company is just waiting to be born from a spark of creativity from any one of your employees, co-workers or partners. In the meantime, you’ll settle for a $100 idea here, and a $50 idea there, especially if you are a small business.

So if ideas and suggestions amount to ‘free money’ being handed to you, would there ever be a case where you would turn it down? If the person giving you the idea had some strings attached that made the money not only ‘not free,’ but put you in a situation where you were uncomfortable or at a serious disadvantage, you’d would politely take the idea ‘in consideration’ and do your best to distance yourself from the person and their idea.

Now that you’ve gotten a good grasp of ideas as dollars, take a day to observe how much free cash you are tossing in the dumpster instead of using to make into actual capital. Also keep an eye on how much political capital you are floundering throughout the workplace in the process.

When that quiet guy from IT came to you with an idea early in a process for you to consider. When a new secretary pointed out an issue she has with her new job that was fixed at an old job with a simple and easy solution. When that intern asked, ‘Why would anybody want to buy that,’ and was honestly confused by what seemed like batches of outdated processes. These are example of investors in your company, people with money already in the game, who want nothing more than to see even more success from you, scrapping together real money to put into your product, not shrugging off some pocket change and hoping for the best.

If an investor came to you with $1,000 with no strings attached, other than to use the money for something benefiting the company, could you use it for something? Would you find a way to accept it?

It might not be that million dollar idea being offered up to you, but every suggestions is worth something. Remember that, and make sure you are getting your money’s worth from each and every idea that comes your way.

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Monster Learning
This Guest Post Written By Deborah A Bailey

How much baggage are you carrying? Have you created a business that looks just like the corporate world that you escaped from? When I was dreaming of going out on my own, I envisioned having time and freedom to do whatever I wanted. It may seem silly now, but I didn’t consider how much money I wanted to make. All I really wanted was to have time for myself. You see, I was in IT for over 15 years and during that time I worked weekends, nights and holidays. I was one of those people who could be relied on to drop everything and give her all for the team.

As the years passed, I realized that though I was giving my all, my paycheck wasn’t reflecting it. Not mention that I was frequently sick and had little or no social life – other than the occasional Happy Hour. Not that drinking cheap drinks at a chain restaurant is such a happy event.

What I never considered was that I would end up recreating my work life in my business – long hours, low pay and the occasional Happy Hour. Most of my friends in business do the same thing, so why would I think it anything was wrong?

Yes, when you get started it does require work and often much longer hours than the regular 9-to-5. But sitting at a desk all day and all night is not productive if it does not bring you any income. Back in my job, I was used to just spending hours at the desk, whether my work was productive or not. So, I simply recreated that world. It took me the longest time to feel okay about running errands or doing chores during “work hours.” However, I couldn’t blame my work environment for keeping me confined – I’d done it to myself.

Recently my coach asked me what I’d really rather be focusing on in my business. I answered, “If it was up to me…” She said, “It IS up to you!” That really hit me.

It was up to me to decide – but in my mind I was still the employee waiting to be told what to do next. I’ve often heard that starting a business will bring up all sorts of issues inside of a person. You will discover things about yourself that you never realized was there. I totally agree. It does bring up stuff. Though some of it can be hard to look at, it’s necessary. If you’re struggling to find that freedom you thought you’d have in your business, drop that baggage and free your mind first.

About the Author:

Transition coach and radio host Deborah A. Bailey is a sought after expert to discuss today’s most pressing workplace issues. Deborah helps her clients transition from employees to entrepreneurs as they eliminate limiting beliefs and connect with their passion.

After several years with various companies such as AT&T, Lucent and Johnson & Johnson, Deborah Bailey successfully transitioned to career consultant and coach by founding her company Deb Bailey Coaching (a division of DBC Communications, LLC). Her extensive experience in the employee to entrepreneur transition has made her the partner of choice for many successful entrepreneurs and career professionals. Deborah is the host of the internet radio show, “Women Entrepreneurs – The Secrets of Success”

For more information about Deborah, visit her website http://www.dbaileycoach.com