Small Business Guide for Success

Launching a business? Here are tips to get you started--the right way!

and that interprets to increased power because you’re working collaboratively.”

Do…“Start small and sharp,” recommends Maisha Walker, president and founder of Message Medium (www.messagemedium.com), a New York City marketing firm, about building your Website to market your business. “Grow the site as your revenues grow.” She says a common mistake business owner’s make is assuming a cheaper method is better. “An inexpensive one or two page professional Website will usually work better than a 10 page site created by someone without the knowledge to make it really sing for your business.”

Don’t…Bore visitors with your Website. Not focusing on what the client really wants to know is a big mistake entrepreneurs often make, says Walker. The home page is not the place for any lengthy copy (i.e. mission statement, history, etc.) According to Walker, the first question your Website should answer is: What can you do for me? “And your site should say it in a way that is clear and compelling,” she adds.

Don’t…Wait too long to measure impact. Monitoring a marketing initiative throughout its run can save money if it is not working. “We don’t measure an initiative when it’s done; we measure it in increments as we move forward,” says Steffon Isaac, creative director of the Polish Bar of Brooklyn. “And so, if we’re not where we should be two weeks into a campaign, we shut it down or shift it.”

Do…
Vet ideas with others. “It’s one thing to come up with an idea,” says Isaac. “But if you can’t justify and measure these things, then it isn’t going to work.” He and Tricialee Riley, owner of the Polish Bar, developed a marketing template, which they use to discuss the prospective results of a marketing/advertising initiative (i.e. return of investment; execution of campaign; etc). Outlining the pros and cons allows you to fully articulate and thrash it out to ensure it has all the vital components.

Don’t doom your domain. Online marketing is an area often passed over by business owners. Andrew Morrision, founder and president of the Small Business Camp (www.SmallBusinessCamp.com), a New York-based business development firm, suggests picking a domain name that makes senses, something everyone can spell and relay. “When you pick a domain name, it needs to relate somehow to the key words in your industry,” he says. Also, focus a portion of your Web page on capturing e-mails and gathering testimonials.

A Graceful (and Lucrative) Exit

Effective succession planning lets you profit from your business even after you leave

By Tamara E. Holmes

Want more info? Check out these books and Websites for additional information on succession planning.

Books

  • How to Run Your Business So You Can Leave It in Style (Business Enterprise Press; $24.95) by John H. Brown
  • Seven Keys to Unlocking the Door to Your Dreams: Exit Strategies for Business Owners by Robert C. Gellman (CBIZ Inc; $19.95)
  • Exit Strategy Planning: Grooming Your Business for Sale or Succession (Gower Pub Co; $99.95) by John Hawkey

Websites

ACROSS THE WEB
  • Jacardo01

    heather you can try google, vista print, yahoo.

  • charles washington

    Great info thanks Ms.Lynnette Khalfani-Cox. This really helps.

  • Tarshall

    great new way of thinking to plan

  • Elaine Jackson

    Our concern is knowing how long we will have to wait for sunnier days.
    The economy has really hit those in the technology space.As a PMP Instructor I am finding clients in a tough space:they need the training to get back to work and they need the job to afford the training. Those that are out of work for long periods of time  - no longer qualify for the PMP Exam.Elaine Jackson, PMPwww.holisticPMC.com

  • walstonja

    Excellent advise! Thanks

  • Sandra Brown

    Thanks for the advice: Question every purchase!!

  • Aieshal

     Also try http://www.wix.com

  • Lindsay

    Very sound advice.  Having a savings is probably the most important part.

  • Dlhoops3

    Great info.

  • Shay Atkins

    My favorite part here was to question every purchase, I find myself with buyers remorse with some of the purchases I’ve made for my business…I’m learning!

  • Askmysecretary

    I am so concerned about having that professional look, that I  have to admit that I have overspent in some areas too much, but now I know and will make better purchases!

  • http://twitter.com/lovelyone105 Charisse Johnson

    Very informative!

  • Erica D.

    Many times I have told myself to wait before buying. We have to learn to listen to the more sensible side of our head.

  • http://www.heavensdisciples.com/ Rodney Burutsa

    I’ve recently created a spending and savings financial ledger. The hardest part about budgeting is questioning every purchase, especially recurring ones– such as social network web hosting.

  • Sandra Butler

    Create a spending and saving budget…..

  • tony harrison

    I agree its very important to save and have some money put up for the new business so im doing all i can to save now.

  • Kristina Nelson

    Every thing I’ve heard has been helpful

  • http://www.sapersteinandassociates.info/ ssaperstein

    i would definitely say two years worth of savings would be a smart thing to do prior to starting a business, not mandatory, but very wise, to cut down on stress during the start up phase

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VUQ3BZXSV2F5S3YKNCZYS4BYYM Natika Gatson

    Defining a budget has been one of my downfalls..

  • http://www.webdezinz.com/ lowster11

    Thanks.

  • Phoebe

    This is the area I will need help.  Thanks you have help to point out some weaknesses I need to consider.

  • De’on

    This definitely gave me things to think about. Like waiting until I have more savings before launching my business. But I want it now!

  • Lucubrate75

    Thanks Moore for the info

  • Reaganm

    For some reason this after having watched this video it is not showing that I have completed it :(

  • Zurriane

    This is a very good piece.  Thank you tracking is very improtant this has a lot of good and sound advice.

  • Shelia

    Having that 6 months financial cushion set aside is key! In this tough financial climate, dare I say a one year cushion might be appropriate. The classes are great.
    Thank you for all the effort that was put forth in doing these courses.  

  • Laura Hudson

    Very helpful information I plan to start using today thanks for sharing!!!!

  • Bobby

    Definitely use a good CRM like Zoho or something similar to to track your spending on marketing and other expenses, but always have a good accountant!!! 

  • Carter Ceo

    The financial cushion is something we are currently working on, and questioning every purchase is a must. I like to ask my business advisor (my mom), since her first answer to everything is “don’t spend any money”. Since I have to justify it, it keeps me honest about whether I truly need something or not.

  • Mckela Simon

    I need to get all my jewerly at once but i need to find way to get cheaper…

  • http://twitter.com/soyoungco Sonya YYoung&Company

    Great information, this class really help me – especially with creating the spending and saving plan, as well as to question every purchase. Awesome!

  • Velma

    I know a thing or two about a budget as I am the most “saving-est” person I know…However I don’t or haven’t created a spending budget…Great tips!

  • Wizzdom

    Having a strong cash position makes sense. Making a spending and saving plan is essential.

    • http://www.facebook.com/anna.abell.925 Anna Abell

      A strong cash position does make sense, spending it wisely makes more sense.

  • Octavia

    As an
    accountant I can attest to everything Ms. Cox stated in this video. The video
    was very informative! I agree with Shay the part about question everything is
    so important. Many business owners as make the mistake of commingling funds.
    Believing that their personal and business funds are one and same, and this couldn’t
    be further from the truth. In addition a lot of business owners tend not to
    realize how important it is the build a strong financial foundation. This is a
    passion of mine. To educate, empower and guide small business owner to achieve
    financial success by implementing SMART financial practice.

    Great
    video, I enjoyed it!

  • Devonne

    Good information, the question every purchase tip is good and she also said to WAIT, it is not necessary to make alot of purchases in the beginning.

  • POA

    A budget keeps one in the know

  • Cameron T

    budgeting in key

  • http://twitter.com/J5acDesigns J5ac Designs

    Since I am funding my business under my own financial steam, this course was a good reminder to ensure I have a strong financial plan. It is not as specific has she has described but now I will go back and do more work on my plan. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/anna.abell.925 Anna Abell

    I agree with knowing and spending yuour money well.