A Small Business Entrepreneur’s Top 10 Playbook

# 1: Have a Vision – Where is that you see your business in 3 to 5 years? How do you want it to look? How do you want it to run? Do you have a business plan? Do you have a Mission Statement? Do you have a Vision Statement? What is your succession plan?

# 2: Believe in Your Talent – Talent by itself is never enough. There are a lot of times that people who have tremendous talent come up way short of ever fulfilling their potential. You have to believe in your talent, be passionate about your talent, continue to invest in your talent and surround yourself with the best talent available.

# 3: Assemble Your Team – A smart business entrepreneur makes sure that he or she is surrounded by talented professionals and not just a bunch of “yes” people. It’s essential that you have a professional corporate attorney, CPA, financial advisor, bookkeeper, insurance person and a front office manager as part of your team. An attorney and CPA are must from the start, and you can add additional pieces to your team as you grow.

Be sure that you take the advice of your professional advisors, after all that’s what you pay them for. You may not always like what they have to say, but it’s important to listen to them.

# 4: Empower Your Team – Equip your team with the resources that they need in order to be successful. In addition to helping them be successful, you’ll be successful too. It’s tempting to take shortcuts in order to save money, but it’s important to keep your team up to speed in this day and age of high technology and development.

Your team will consist of professional advisors and everyday employment personnel. No matter what position they occupy in your business, it’s important that they have the tools that they need in order to help your business be the best it can be.

Another thing to keep in mind is to delegate responsibility and decision-making capabilities to various personnel throughout your company. An employee, who feels empowered by the owner, is a much more productive employee.

# 5: Peer Networking – One of the most valuable activities that you can involve yourself with as a business owner is networking with your peers. There are numerous opportunities for you to get outside of your business and network with other business owners.

There are groups such as the Chambers of Commerce, Rotary, Business Associations, and several weekly or monthly membership-based networking groups. Make sure that you attend one or two networking activities a month in order to promote your business and find out about those businesses in your community.

# 6: Realize Early on That You Don’t Know Everything – Most business owners find themselves at various stages of their businesses, having to wear a multitude of hats. That’s okay from time to time, but it’s also important to keep in mind, that there are probably other people out there who can do a much better job than you can simply because they can bring a different perspective. Every business owner will find themselves at the early stages of their business for fulfilling just about every role imaginable, be it answering phones, scheduling clients, marketing and/or keeping the books,…. and that’s fine from time to time (matter-of-fact it’s good to learn every position in your business) but you don’t want your business to rely on you having to fill every role.
As soon as you’re able, delegate responsibilities to others on your team so that they feel more valuable, and it eases the workload on you.

# 7: Realize Early on You Can’t Do Everything – Similar to what’s above, realizing early on that you can’t do everything is a key to business success. There is a very high “burnout” factor for owners who have an “I – can – do – it – all – by – myself” attitude and refused to delegate responsibilities to other members of the team. You may feel like no one can do it better than you can (and that may be true), but if you want to keep your team engaged with a sense of ownership and empowerment, it’s important to delegate responsibilities to them because it shows a sense of trust and confidence in the rest of your team.

There will be plenty of opportunities for you as a business owner to “burn the midnight oil” so you might as well wait for those opportunities to roll around and be well rested and prepared.

# 8: Stay Current – With technology advancing at warp speed, it’s important for every business owner to stay up-to-date with some of the latest and greatest resources to help your business. It’s true that there’s so much out there that one cannot possibly absorb it all, but that goes back to the matter of you needing to be an owner who can keep his/her “head up” to see the big picture and opportunities in front of you and not get wrapped up with a “nose to the grindstone” mentality and approach.

Be adventuresome and daring in trying new techniques and technology that can help enhance your business. It’s okay to take a “trial run” at various techniques just to see how they may fit into your business. One thing is certain, “nothing stays the same, and change the only constant”. You’ve got to keep up with the ever-changing world that we live in.

# 9: Don’t Be Afraid of Change – Even if you feel that you aren’t changing, the world around you is. More importantly, if you aren’t changing, you can bet that your competitors are, and most likely trying to change for a competitive advantage over you.

It’s only natural for us to get complacent and doing the same old thing because that’s what we’ve always done.

I’ve got a great quote on the wall in my office that says “change is inevitable…. but growth is optional”. I don’t know about you, but I choose to grow.

One of the advantages of having a diverse team is the fact that they offer a broad range of perspectives and opinion. Older employees tend to stick to a tried-and-true method that may or may not be outdated, while younger employees have fresh brand-new ideas that you may want to consider implementing if the time seems right.

# 10: Find Your MVP – In order for a small business to thrive, it’s important for it to operate as a team. In order for a team to thrive, it will have many movable and variable parts that need to stay coordinated together.

Every team has an MVP (Most Valuable Person) who the owner feels comfortable and confident enough in to have that person has his/her “Go – To – Guy”. For me that person is my operations manager, Rosemary Bennetts, who has been with me from day one over 20 years ago.

Your MVP may or may not be the most visible or well known person on the team. Your MVP may be someone who is tucked away in a back office, with their sleeves rolled up, and battling daily in the trenches in order to keep your business running. Your MVP may be your front desk person, or your hot shot salesperson that you have out in the community. Whatever the case, work closely with your MVP (they most likely know how the business works better than you do) and recognize them and appreciate them in an appropriate manner.

Qualifying For Success As A Home Based Business Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurial success is gained through the accomplishment of mission and objectives. Success and failure are tied directly to the entrepreneur’s reason for being in business, that is, their mission and objectives. Success requires being both effective and efficient.

With clearly stated mission and objective and producing the intended resulted, the entrepreneur is termed as being effective. Efficiency describes the relationship between the resources used and the extent to which objectives were accomplished.

The effective and efficient entrepreneur uses three basic management skills to accomplish the mission and objective of the business.

Technical Skills: the ability to use tools, techniques, and specialized knowledge to carry out a method, process or procedure. A typical example for us online marketers is the use of the autoresponder, imagine emailing thousands of prospects without such tool.

Human skill: used to build positive interpersonal relationship, solve human problems and build acceptance of one’s customers. Even though the autoresponder is such a great tool for communicating with one’s prospects, the human factor cannot be absent. The successful home based business entrepreneur knows that in order to gain the trust and loyalty of the prospect, personal communication has to be present.

Conceptual Skills: careful thoughts are taken about how decisions will affect the business overall and are made to benefit the entire business. Analytical, creative and intuitive talents are conceptual skills that an entrepreneur must develop.

Integrating these three management skills and continuously improving them will work wonders for the home based business entrepreneur as the business progresses. 

Do You Have the Special Qualifications it Takes to Be a Mentor to Online Business Entrepreneurs?

Are there special qualifications for being a mentor to online business entrepreneurs?  Do you have them?  You must decide for yourself.

I have encountered many people who declare they are the best business mentor because they have made a lot of money online.  Yet, it is obvious from their actions that they lack character.  Many are more adept at taking your money than in teaching you how you can become an ethical success.

The qualifications for a being a good mentor to an online business entrepreneur start with having your own mission and vision for excellence in business, whether you are in  internet marketing or a home-based business.  You demonstrate those in your behavior every day.

You care that everyone in business, including online entrepreneurs and home business owners, respond to the expectations of clients, consumers and the general public, that honesty and integrity are integral to a successful business.

You are a standard-bearer for the idea that businesses owe a debt of gratitude, because being a success is a privilege.  So you share a commitment with other online business entrepreneurs to promote professionalism in all aspects of online business. 

You do not give in to failure and encourage others through your own example.  You recognize that it is through the failures that you learn and become more confident in yourself and your ability to get back up when intractable setbacks occur, sometimes one after another.

Finally, you realize that you do not have all of the answers and that continued education in your industry  is the best way to grow.  You are passionate about personal development as a means to help yourself and other online business entrepreneurs remain successful.

Are You a Top Home Business Entrepreneur? Do You Have What it Takes? Learn How in Three Easy Steps

Do you actually believe that you are going to achieve those lofty goals of being a top home business entrepreneur and make big money in your home based franchise for this last part of 2009, looking into 2010? Most people don’t believe. And when I say believe, sure on the surface they might talk the good game, but deep down there is always that question mark, that voice that says, why should this year be any different than last year…especially in this economy?

Do you have that same little voice? I’ll tell you he gets around that is for sure, and that is why most people will never accomplish their lofty goals and make the kind of money that they would love to make in their home based franchise.

Your success and wealth will never be yours unless you start to have confidence in yourself that yes, despite the economy, despite working the long hours, that despite the family not being 100% behind you, that indeed you will be a top home business entrepreneur and have a successful home based franchise. I know that is easier said than done, so let’s take a look at how it can be done.

Did you know that the average person has about 50,000 thoughts per day? Whew…that is a lot of thoughts and sadly most of them happen to be negative thoughts. I don’t blame you, take a look around you…CNN (Constantly Negative News) drones in the background of homes and offices, everyone is getting a bail out but the people who really do need it…you know, people like you and me, our kids tell us that we don’t know anything, the commute is a drag and your boss constantly is harping at you. It’s hard to get out of feeling negative…at least for a good portion of the day.

Your first move is to get out of being the victim. You are not the victim. You have complete control of everything that happens in your daily life; so take control. Start today. Sure, it might seem a bit awkward initially, but as you take control more and more, you will like the feeling that having more control gives to you.

Turn off CNN, don’t allow the kids to be disrespectful, listen to motivating tapes and CD’s on your commute and start to do something about firing your boss! Take control! As the saying goes… I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it… people like me!

The power of your mind is incredible and unfortunately you are always programming your subconscious mind. You are programming your mind with both the positive and the negative thoughts that you have throughout the day.

So, if the majority of those 50,000 thoughts are negative, that is what you are programming your mind to think and because your mind listens to you, your mind believes those thoughts and makes them true. The good news for all of us is the same can be true for the positive thoughts.

Your second move is to carefully monitor your talk whether it is your self-talk or your day to day typical conversations. You must be persistent about this. Most people at this point in their lives are so conditioned by negative self-talk, that they don’t even realize that they are doing it. If you need to ask a friend to be your ears and ask them to interrupt you every time you start to talk negatively about literally everything then do it!

As you become more and more conscious of the conversations that you have out loud, you will then become more conscious of the conversations that you have to yourself. Both can be equally damaging, or helpful, depending upon which way your conversations go.

I find that one of the most powerful tools for building self-confidence and getting rid of the negative conversation is the repetition of positive statements until they become a natural part of the way you think. These “affirmations” act to replace the negative conversation you have been sending to your mind for the better part of your life.

Every morning before I get started with my day I do three things…without fail. I write down my affirmations for the day, I say them out loud to anyone who will listen (usually it’s only my cat, but he will do!) and then I write in my journal everything that I am grateful for in my life and for the day. Yes, it is a ritual that I have, but after I am done, but mind set is powerfully positive and I feel like I can conquer the world. I know that now my self-talk is going to help me to get to the dreams and goals that I have laid out for myself and for my home based franchise for the end of 2009 into 2010.

Your third move is to make a list of around 20 affirmations that you will write down and say once, twice, even three times a day. When you say your affirmations, say them out loud, with conviction and with confidence. Your mind will start to believe the orders that you are giving to it. That is when your goals and your dreams will start to come to fruition for you and your home based franchise.

Believing in yourself is a choice…it’s your choice and it’s an attitude you develop over time. Your negative self-talk will not end tomorrow, but now you know how to take responsibility to take charge of your own self-talk and your beliefs.

You must choose to believe that you can do anything you set your mind to – anything at all – because, in fact, you can! Take action today…be the top home business entrepreneur and have the best home based franchise and I will see you at the top.