Welcome to my BLOG

where you will find a variety of great teaching points.

The Art of Delegation

I have found that many small-business owners and professionals try to become sufficient in many different areas, yet they end up not doing very well in any of them. True champions focus on what they do best and surround themselves with others whose strengths are their weaknesses (instead of, for example, prematurely hiring employees or spending time doing less efficient activities).

I believe that as a business grows, it's important to develop a team of outside advisors or mentors to network with and have as a resource to assist with more complex projects. True, you may be in business for yourself, but you should never be entirely by yourself. In today's high-tech world, a business is only as strong as the foundational systems that are in place to run it.

Over years of working with many different types of clients, I have found that successful businesspeople have developed a consistent combination of a

·         Healthy mindset

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Why children need to learn about business and money management

When we set out to build a business, no matter how hard the challenges are, if our goals and dreams are clear and we don’t let life derail us, anything is possible. True victory is shown by the winning championship; however, it is earned through all the blood, sweat, and tears that led up to the championship. Stay true to your dreams and business vision and anything is possible—if not by you, then through you.

Money and finances are the lifeblood of a business, so when we set out to build a successful business, we need to make sure we have a healthy mindset around them.

I’ll never forget the time when my daughter Sabrina was in second grade. One day, she came home from school and seemed troubled. I asked her what was wrong, and she told me she'd watched one of her friends take a bunch of change out of her pocket and use it to by candy at lunch.

I asked her if she felt that her friend shouldn't have bought the candy.

Sabrina responded, “No, it's not that I...

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The 3 Little pigs go into business

If you ask me, the story of the three little pigs is one of the most profound examples of how to survive any business or financial setback. It never ceases to amaze me how many people move through life thinking all is good, even though their financial foundation or business is built like a straw house. Then, along comes a wolf, who huffs and puffs and blows their business down. When you build your financial foundation or business inside a brick house, the wolf might break a window, but the foundation will remain strong. It is relieving to see the wolf outside and know that no matter how scary he may seem, he can’t blow the door down.

It’s also very important to have a systematized marketing approach. All great marketing programs incorporate certain key components that will determine the level of efficiency and effectiveness of the program or campaign. For instance,

Ø      They must be carried out over a predetermined period of time

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A DREAM ISN’T ALWAYS A PLAN – part Six

Seventh lesson learned: When purchasing a business, an asset is only as good as its key players and the legal integrity or intellectual/contractual rights that come with the sale. Just because it looks good on the surface doesn’t mean there aren't cobwebs underneath.

“Just hire people to help!” you say. Yeah, that was my plan, too...until the phone rang, and it was the leasing company calling to inform me that two of the limousines were in default. If I didn’t pay by the end of that week, they were going to repossess the limousines. Then the bank informed me that our line of credit was maxed out. How could that be? I still had checks left in the checkbook. 

While wiping away tears, I walked out of the training room and back to my desk to a six-pack of beer I'd bought earlier that day. I cracked one open and sat there drinking it while I thought about all the different lessons I had learned that week.

1.)    Never make emotional business...

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A DREAM ISN’T ALWAYS A PLAN – part Five

Sixth lesson learned: In business, just because it seems (and even looks) like a great idea doesn’t mean it is.

I thought I was aggressively growing my business, but subconsciously, I was piecing together my dream office. As awesome as it was once the dream became real, the office was without the necessary foundation to support itself for the long haul.

That’s why it’s so important to first create a detailed business plan and then a foundation strong enough to support that plan— and stay true to it. Sure, I was able to

bring my dream into reality, but I did so at a much larger cost than was necessary.

When you sit down and examine your business idea or plan, there are a few key questions you need to ask.

 

·           What are the underlying features needed for the success of the business?

·           What are the core components needed for...

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A DREAM ISN’T ALWAYS A PLAN – part Three

Third lesson learned: Stay true to your plan. Don’t get caught up in the process. True growth takes time, and just because something increases revenue doesn’t mean profit will follow.

For that amount of advertising, I should've had a solid client base, between ten to fifteen limousines, four to five dispatchers (not just myself and one other), and around a couple dozen chauffeurs. Had I sat down and carefully planned out the process of where I wanted to take the company...had I done the math and seen what it would've taken to support my goal, I would have seen trouble. But, like many young entrepreneurs, I ran full-steam toward my goal, trying to figure out each next move as I went along.

Because that current infrastructure couldn’t handle the increase in my business, I had to “farm out” (give away) runs to other companies. As it turned out, other limousine companies had the same dilemma, so we decided to form a limousine association. We met once a...

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A DREAM ISN’T ALWAYS A PLAN – part Two

To begin with, I’m going to take you back to 1997. It had been two years since my first daughter was born and I had decided to quit my job as the general manager of a local real estate office. I'd then purchased a used six-passenger limousine and opened my limousine company so that Jennifer, my wife, could continue working at a job she'd fought really hard to get. And I could even stay at home and take care of my daughter while growing the limousine company.

I was learning a ton and beginning to make a little bit of money. However, I was getting a lot of flak from family members; they thought I should get a “real job” so Jennifer could stay home and take care of our daughter Sabrina. In reality, Jennifer loved her job, and she was making more money than I was. So, instead of staying true to my business plan, I decided I would quickly grow the company and look like a success—and family would get off my back. I then went out and bought two brand new...

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A DREAM ISN’T ALWAYS A PLAN – part one

It was 1999, and it was finished. I sat there as this amazing sense of accomplishment came over me. I looked around my office, over the desk, and to the lobby. I then scanned the receptionist's desk, a small tree, and a table with magazines on it by the large picture window that overlooked the courtyard.

I remembered back to when I was in Taiwan and the first time  I walked into the office of my student named Mr. Lee. His office was very nice, and as I sat across from him, I couldn’t help thinking to myself, Someday, I’m going to have an office just like this. Later that day, after leaving Mr. Lee’s office, I had sat down and drawn a picture of my dream office. It'd had one large room with multiple desks, an inviting lobby, and a big training room for classes and seminars.

After reflecting on Mr. Lee, I got up and walked past the fully equipped supply room and into the training room. There I stood in front of a large four-by-eight-foot whiteboard and five rows...

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How to Avoid the 3 Most Common Challenges Every Small Business Owner Encounters by Mike Raber - Part Two

Probably one of the most over looked ways to generate leads is through networking.

Networking is a contact sport. It takes work to turn a contact into a lead. Business owners will attend a networking event in hopes of finding new business or contacts. Yet will often fail to have a desired outcome before they get there. This is a big mistake.

An example might be a financial advisor thinking, “I’m going to the event tonight and will meet three people between the ages of 45 and 60 who have at least $100,000 to invest.” Or, “I’m going to set three appointments with people who want me to help them prepare a financial plan.” If you know your ideal outcome, you will know what types of questions to ask when talking with people.

Many people will go to an event and try to get as many cards as possible, or they may just pick out a couple people and talk to them the entire time. In these cases, they could leave without making any actual contacts at all....

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How to Avoid the 3 Most Common Challenges Every Small Business Owner Encounters by Mike Raber - Part one

All great businesses begin as an idea or passion waiting to be transformed into physical form. You may have a dream, passion, or an idea for a great business; yet, when it comes to building a small business, it’s very important to have a solid core foundation built on marketing, organizational development, and financial in place to support the needs of your business. Without these three core elements in place, small businesses will be challenged and eventually implode.

When it comes to starting a small business, or taking an existing business to the next level, there are three common challenges small- and mid-sized business face. It doesn’t matter if the business sells widgets, or is a service related business. At the end of the day, the three core fundamental components are the same. As the saying goes “business is business.” All small businesses must build and manage relationships, develop the business to sustain itself, and create a financial foundation to...

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