With the recent onslaught of ice storms and flooding all over the US and Canada, as well as the hurricanes that ripped through Florida and the south earlier this year, many people are finding themselves faced with tremendous losses regarding both their homes and offices. Most people have some type of homeowner’s and business insurance to help rebuild and replace personal and business items, but what about your business records and critical files? If your office was destroyed today, would you be able to continue serving your clients and running your business, or would your business come to a complete halt? If you were sick or incapacitated, would anyone else know where to find important files on your computer? Is everything documented so someone could fill in for you until you were able to resume working?
by Denise O’Berry
Are you trying to promote your business with a tiny marketing budget? Opportunities are plentiful for low or no cost marketing. Here are a few that won’t cost you a cent.
1. Publish articles about your specialty. “How-to” articles are always welcome. Ensure you include your contact information.
2. Write letters to the editor of publications your target market reads. 3. Get involved in an organization or community project.
4. Build strategic alliances with non-competing businesses and cross-promote each other.
5. Publish a special report. A “super how to” list for your specialty area. Distribute freely. Ensure that your contact information is included.
6. Speak to groups and organizations. Make sure the audience is your target market.
7. Carefully target relationships with media sources.
8. Write newsworthy press releases and distribute to your special contacts. The more proactive you can be, the better off your business will be.
Resource Box: Denise O’Berry helps small business owners identify and execute the steps to grow their business. Find out more at http://www.whatspossible.com
By Debbie Allen, all rights reserved
“If you prepare yourself, you will be able to grasp opportunity for broader experience when it appears. “ ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Success building opportunities are all around you. Sometimes you see them and sometimes you don’t. The difference between a successful self-promoter and someone that lacks the skills, is that they have better eyesight. They see the opportunities while others let them pass right by, going completely unnoticed.
To improve your opportunity awareness and eyesight, you must be active in seeking out opportunities for your growth and success every day. Stay open-minded to the possibilities. This skill and awareness must be with you at all times.
What is an opportunity?
A chance, a break, an occasion for celebration. To refer to a favorable or advantageous circumstance or combination of circumstances. Chance often implies an opportunity that arises through luck or by accident.
Often successful people hear the words – You are so lucky, everything you touch turns to gold! While the less fortunate feel that they will never get a lucky break. In addition, they feel that they will never be as successful unless they win the lotto. The lotto may not be a very realistic option, but having opportunities in front of you for success and happiness are.
If you feel you will never be successful or will ever get that lucky break, unfortunately you are right. Success and opportunity seeking begins with a positive state of mind and a strong belief system in yourself and your abilities.
Your first big break may need to come from inside of you. We all can be hard on ourselves at times and can tend to distrust our own true abilities to succeed. As we begin to trust ourselves personally and magnify our beliefs, we tend to open ourselves up to an endless stream of opportunities.
With successful opportunities come risk. To be truly successful you will have to take chances and risks along the way. Don’t worry about failing, failure is just a lesson you needed to learn along that journey. Learn from your mistakes, pick yourself up and move on again.
“Those things that don’t kill us make us strong.” ~ Anonymous
Another awareness for seeking opportunities is to know that they often come in disguise. You may not notice them because they don’t fit into your business focus or planned goals at the time. Begin to become more aware of those hidden opportunities that your competition may be missing.
Five Steps Towards Your Next Successful Opportunity:
1) Build a stronger opportunity awareness around you.
2) Trust in yourself, your beliefs and abilities.
3) Take risks and ACT upon great opportunities.
4) If you fail, pick yourself up and move on.
5) Be aware of opportunities in disguise.
Debbie Allen is an international professional speaker, business consultant and author of Confessions of Shameless series of books. As a marketing and retail business expert, Debbie has presented to thousands from around the world. To sign up for Debbie’s free online newsletters, learn about her exclusive Power Marketing Membership or to book her to present at your next meeting contact her through her Web site at http://www.DebbieAllen.com or directly at 800-359-4544.
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by Cindy Morus, Certified Financial Recovery Counselor and Certified Credit Report Reviewer
Of course, these don’t have to be done in any particular order! Just pick one or two that particularly apply to your situation.
* Create your 2005 filing system. This might include new file folders, a new box to hold them or space in a filing cabinet with easy access.
* Set up a folder to collect all the important 2004 tax documents which will be arriving soon. Sure to arrive at your house are W-2s, 1099s, mortgage statements, etc.
* Set up an appointment with your tax professional early so you get the appointment of your choice. This also gives you a deadline to get your information ready! If you’re self-employed, the next quarterly estimated tax payment will be due on January 15.
* Review last year’s investments especially in your 401(k), IRA’s etc. Find out what financial planning resources your company or 401(k) plan administrator offers and set up an appointment to talk to them. For non-company portfolios, talk to your investment advisor. You have until April 15 to make contributions to IRA type accounts (check with your tax preparer for eligibility).
* What about Quicken or Microsoft Money? If you don’t use software to balance your checkbook, pay your bills and keep track of your savings and investments, this is a great time of the year to get started. My personal favorite is Quicken and for small businesses, you might consider Quicken Home and Business. If you are a small business with Payroll needs, check out QuickBooks.
* Medical Insurance reimbursements. If you haven’t submitted all your medical bills to your insurance provider, now is the time to do so.
* Will and Estate Planning. No one likes to think about dying, but the best thing you can do for your family is to make sure they are taken care of by creating a will and making sure you have adequate life insurance. Think how easily you’ll sleep knowing you have provided for your family even if you are no longer there.
* Speaking of insurance… If you haven’t reviewed your health or home and auto policies in the last couple of years you might find you can save money and/or have better coverage. For example, if you still have a $250 deductible (which was my first deductible in 1979!), you will probably save by increasing it to $500 or $1000. Try to set aside some of your savings for deductibles in case you need them.
* Create your own Anti-Emergency Fund! We all know those car and home repairs, school fees, medical expenses and vacations are going to happen. Why not determine how much you’ll need and save 1/12 of it each month?
* Holiday Bonus or Money Gifts If you received a financial gift this holiday season, hold on to it for at least 30 days while you decide what you really want to spend it on. All too often financial windfalls are spent before they even arrive. Consider dividing it into thirds: 1/3 to the past, 1/3 to the present and 1/3 to the future. Past might include paying down debt, present could be something you need or want now and future could be retirement, college savings, or a special vacation
* Financial Goals for next year. Think about where you want to be next year at this time financially. If you want to save $1000, put aside $2.74 each day and you’ll be there! Break down your financial goals into monthly, weekly and daily amounts and watch how quickly your savings will grow.
Happy New Year!!!!!
(c) Phelps Creek Financial Coaching – All Rights Reserved
Well, here goes . . . after attending “Blogging 101,” a very compelling teleclass hosted by Coaches Deborah Cole Micek & John-Paul Micek of Business Owners Coaching Club. I’ve decided to take the plunge into the world of blogging. My attempts at blogging are going to be directed toward helpful hints, tips, resources and information for my clients and/or prospective clients, as well as anyone else stumbling across my blog. I’ll also be posting interesting and helpful articles from time to time, so if you have an article that might be of interest or benefit to others, please let me know and we’ll see what happens.
Please bear with me as I take this leap. I’m open to suggestions, so tell me what you think, and any other information you think might be of help as I blog my way into 2005!