The Importance of Investing Time in Your Business

The saying you have to spend money to make money is a very true statement. You need to be willing to invest in your business for it to grow and thrive. This investment, however, is more than just monetary. A successful business takes an investment of time, energy, money, resources and commitment. The most well funded project or business will fail if it is lacking a good investment of any of those elements. In this article we are going to discuss the investment of time, its importance to your business and how you can leverage it effectively to get as much return on your time investment as possible.

The investment of time has three aspects: your personal time involvement, your patience and your ability to be flexible. Your personal time refers to the personal time you are willing to spend on your business. Some people have no problem with this aspect. They are thinking, planning and involved in their business from the time they wake up to the time they go to sleep. Many of us even dream about our business and keep a note pad on the night table for any late-night eureka moments. Others are only willing to invest an average amount of time in their business. They will do what needs to get done and spend only the needed time to accomplish it. The last category, which is surprisingly the largest, are those who think the business can run just fine without them. These are the CEOs you see on the golf course five times a week who only stop in the office to check their mail and leave their BlackBerrys and iPhones in the car. These people invest as little effort as possible in their business and claim all their time for themselves. There are a few people who can still be successful with minimal time investment, but most become so out of touch with their business that it runs away and fails before they get to the 9th hole.

Patience is also a virtue in business. You must be willing to pursue a prospect, sale or project from start to finish no matter how much time it takes. Your brightest star in your down line may be someone who took longer than normal to join you. Your marketing may take time to get the results you are looking for. You must be patient and you must be willing to commit to see it through to the end. If you are considering giving up early on a prospect or a marketing campaign, you must invest more personal time in either researching if this is the best decision or in finding out what went wrong. The proper information, history, reports and tools when doing either will make a big difference between leveraging your time and wasting your time.

You must be as flexible as your business. If your business is not flexible to your customers, economic fluctuations and anything life can throw at you, you need to change your business model. In a market flooded with businesses and opportunities, only the flexible survive. You must be available when your business needs you. You must also be willing to change as the market changes. If your business competitors are going digital and offering online options, you can’t stay ingrained in a hard copy business method.

There are ways to leverage your time effectively so that you can invest the time needed, be flexible and even gain patience when working with marketing strategies or prospects. The first thing you need to leverage your time is the correct tools. These tools need to be easily accessible, there when you need them, easy to use and they need to be as flexible as you and your business are. You should seek out a software package online that includes an email system, a calendar and a place to store and manage your contacts. The benefit of having your system online is that it is globally accessible, and with today’s portable internet devices you can easily take your office with you on the go. With a centralized online virtual office, the golf-course CEO can be just as powerful as the CEO who sits in the office all day.

In the New Economy, You Need a Job & A Business

The current recession has proven that just having a job is not enough anymore. Millions of people around the world have lost their jobs and now have no income stream. Multiple streams of income is the safest way to ensure you and your family’s financial health. In good times, you’ll have income from your job and from your business. If you are the victim of a layoff, you can use your business as backup income. If your business does extremely well, you can retire from your job altogether.

Here are your 5 reasons to start a business to supplement or replace your job income:

Your Business Can Save You During a Layoff

In 2003 I was laid off from my position as a Director at a Fortune 500 company. I was out of work for exactly one year. However, I was running out of money in the 9th month. With no good job prospects on the horizon, I started a home-based business with Cyberwize. With hard work and a pressing need to make sure I could take care of my family, I was able to fill my income gap and financially survive until I could secure another position.

Unfortunately, my story is not unique. Millions of people have lost their jobs between 2008 and 2009, with many out of work for over 6 months. Thousands of people have lost their homes, or are in the process of losing them. A job alone can no longer be enough, as you are always one decision away from being out of work.

Reason #1 to start a business is to keep a stream of income available when your main income source dissipates.

J.O.B. Is An Acronym for “Just Over Broke”

We typically spend everything that we earn and then some. People happily rack up credit card debt or take on jumbo mortgages as long as the payments fit within their budget. This is how we end up living paycheck to paycheck with nothing left over for savings and investing.

What if you were able to earn an extra $500 per month? That could give you the wiggle room you need to start making meaningful payments down on your debt and putting some of that away for savings. Now imagine what an extra $2,000 per month could do for you.

Reason #2 to start a business is to take yourself out of the category of “just over broke”.

There Are Great Tax Advantages

As a business owner, some of today’s personal expenses could become tomorrow’s business expenses. Business expenses help reduce your taxable income (the amount of income used to calculate your taxes). That’s a good thing! You’ll need a designated business space, good recordkeeping, and a knowledgeable tax person. Home-based businesses are one of the best things a middle income family can begin to help them with taxes.

Reason #3 to start a business is to benefit from the tax advantages of being a business owner.

Do What You Love

What attracted me to the Cyberize opportunity was the ability to help people promote better health, increased energy, reduce weight, achieve mental clarity, and reach a state of physical balance. My home-based business also gave me the opportunity to travel, help others to help themselves, and to become a bit of a “rock star” in my geographic area. I was able to do all of that, and get paid for it!

If you are in a job you really don’t like, you can supplement it with a business that you love! The work in your business can be more than about the amount of money you make. It can also be about the difference you make in other people’s lives.

Reason #4 to start a business is to do what you love and get paid for it.

You Could Retire Early

There are those that take a small home-based business and turn it into an empire. You’ll know that it may be time to retire when your job income is significantly less than you business income, and when you sense that your job is getting in the way of your business! Before making that decision though, make sure your business income is diversified, consistent and you have an understanding of how it ebbs and flows through the seasons.

As a full time business owner, you have more flexibility to determine when, where and how you work. Imagine not waking up to an alarm clock, but instead sleeping until you are done! Some home-based business owners only work a few hours a day, while others throw themselves into their work because they love it so much. When it’s your business, the choice is yours to make.

Reason #5 to start a business is for the possibility of one day being able to retire from your job.

5 Key Mistakes Business Owners Make And How To Avoid Them

You’re the business owner! Top dog, right? You make the rules, break them, lead, project the future, create a past, and work daily on building an empire for the future. But what if I were to tell you you may be one of many business owners that make 5 key mistakes? Hard to feel Top Dog after hearing that. But, there’s ways to avoid them and this article will show you how.

Funny expression, isn’t it? Top dog. Know where it came from? Turns out it’s an old sawing term. Back in the day, sawing logs was done over a pit with a two-handled saw. One guy stayed on top and the other was in the pit – both sawing. Thus, the one on top was called the top dog. Now, you’d think the guy in the pit would be the underdog, but he was actually called the bottom dog.

Clearly Top Dog is what all business owners want to be, or Top Cat, if you favor felines. But just for a moment, let’s stay with the dog theme. What if you really were a dog? What kind of dog would you be? Granted, I am admittedly more a fish person than a dog or cat person, but if I had to pick what kind of dog I was, I’d probably say that I’m a mix between Newfoundland and a Labrador Retriever. Newfoundlands are exceptionally strong swimmers and great lifesavers around water. Being a fisherman, I gravitate to water. And Labs are great at leading the blind and make excellent companions. In a way, I’m like the lab in that as a business coach, I help business owners who’re either lost or overwhelmed, or highly successful business owners in need of effective business systems. Either way, I guess this would make me a Newbrador.

According to Cheryl Lock (Pet360.com) the smartest dog is the Border Collie. These herders are not only loyal, but diligent at doing their job well. Next comes the loyal and dependable German Shepherd, capable of sniffing out drugs and hunting down bad guys. They’re, known for their strength and loyalty. The Bloodhound, also known for an incredible sense of smell and tracking, comes next. Got a problem with bedbugs? Calling all Beagles! Their exceptional sense of scents can detect the tiny varmints like nothing else. Not to be sold short, the exceptional Labrador Retriever comes in 5th. Noted, as I said above, for their ability to lead the blind, they make wonderful, loving, people-pleasing pets. And the ever-lovable Newfoundland comes in 6th.

In 7th place is the Belgian Malinois (Shepherds) that are great at sniffing out things like explosives, narcotics, accelerants (for starting fires) and finding missing people. In close place at 8th is the Siberian Husky who is a diligent, hardworking, strong dog that is great at pulling sleds and working hard. The adorable Golden Retriever comes in 9th and is a great therapy dog, gentle, loving, and eager to please, and finally the Australian Shepherd comes in 10th. These herders are great at adapting, are impressively strong, and are very energetic.

Wherever you see yourself, being at the top can be lonely. It’s hard to always have to be the responsible one, and while dogs generally have someone there to give them a treat upon performing well, business owners can often find themselves working 24/7 with little time to sleep, let alone have a treat.

And they’re human. They make mistakes. Here are the 5 key mistakes business owners make and how to avoid them.

Mistake 1. Thinking they can do it all. I worked with a client recently that felt he could not afford a receptionist or a filing clerk simply because money was so tight. I asked him what price he would put on his own personal time, and he stuck a price tag of $75/hr. I was quiet for a few moments with the lights went on. He could hire 7 people for the price he was worth.

Mistake 2. Not having a clear mission and vision statement. I can only equate this to wanting to go somewhere you’ve not gone to before, having no clue how to get there, and expecting your car to find the way. Some business owners have no clue how to get to where they want to go, but expect their employees to somehow know the way. It doesn’t work.

Mistake 3. Not tracking and measuring everything. To track how something is doing, one must have a system in place. Many business owners don’t have effective systems in place and therefore have no tracking system in place. Some are even unsure what should be tracked. Easy. Track everything.

Mistake 4. Hiring the wrong team. Many business owners go for whatever’s the cheapest and as the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” On a rare occasion (such as the recent recession), good people are willing to work for next to nothing, just to survive, but for the most part, if you skimp and hire inexperienced, non-dedicated people, you’ll run the risk of getting shabby, below standard work.

Mistake 5. Not investing in their customers. Buying customers can sometimes be as simple adding value to your offers. Added value makes your customers feel special. Of course, having an exception product or service will result in their sharing information about you with friends and family members, resulting in referral customers. Feed your customers what they want and in turn they will feed you by choosing you over your competition.

California business owners and quite frankly all business owners want to be on top, or let’s face it, they wouldn’t be in business. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. Another expression from the past. Turns out that in 43 B.C. Roman scholar Marcus Tarentius Varro, upon observing humanity, apparently said, “Even a dog will not eat a dog”. Humans, he noted, destroyed their own kind. The expression became a metaphor for ruthless competition and by the time the Industrial Revolution came around, the phrase, “It’s a dog-eat-dog-world” was a household expression.

And yes, it’s a dog-eat-dog brutally “ruff” world out there. But, now you know how to avoid the 5 key mistakes business owners make, you’ll move from underdog to top dog in no time.