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Year 2007

Small Business Maxim: Have a Passion.

I got up today at 4:00 am, because I have a great meeting set up today, with some people I wanted to meet for some time, and I can't wait to tell them my ideas about the future of our business, so I'm going over my presentation again.I'm sitting here at 5:00 am writing my daily postings to you all, you may think I'm nuts. Or you may think I'm driven by the idea to make small and micro businesses more successful, but whatever you think, it is not "my god is this guy greedy!"Greed is NOT the same as passion!

WinWeb’s Free Online Accounting Software Now With Cost Centre Functionality.

WinWeb has just updated their OnlineOffice accounting module, to include cost centre functionality.This allows you to "tag" expenses to products, departments, services or projects - giving you the opportunity to analyze the true cost of a department or any project.... This functionality is free of charge along with the 24/7 live support for all of WinWeb's software products - another reason to sign up to LiveNet of OnlineOffice for the free 30 days trail, if you do not like or need the full OnlineOffice functionality, you can use the accounting module, including the cost centre functionality, free of charge forever.This will give you financial information to make even better decisions.

Get Small Business Blogging with WinWeb!

Blogging is most certainly the most inexpensive and direct way to communicate with possible customers, you can blog about your products and services; explain certain aspects better;blog about your company and your business mission;blog about your industry, comment on development and differentiate yourself;blog about case studies to do with your product and services.In other words communicate with others on the internet and market your small business.... In the mid-ninties I used to tell people to get a web-site, today a web-site should be standard for any small business and a blog a must if you want to succeed in the future.

When to ignore your critics!

An here I include the so called business gurus - just ignore them.Can you imagine what happened when Alexander Graham Bell announced he wanted a phone in every house - Western Union called it an "electric toy" and "totally out of the question";Henry Ford said he wanted one car in every family - most felt the horse was here to stay.The same happened to me still in 1995, when most people thought the internet was going to disappear faster than it had arrived - I remember the abuse very well. So why do people get so negative about other peoples business ideas: Lack of Vision is probably the biggest reason;Envy is another big reason - driven by the inability to take a risk themselves and the fact that they can't bear to see others succeed;Genuine concern for your well being - they thing your are taking too big a risk, you are naive, and so on.Take advise on certain techniques on how to run your business, but do not take advise on if you should start a business or not.

Identify your most valuable customers and don’t make them scream.

I have mentioned the 80/20 rule before, it basically says that you will do about:80% of your business turnover with 20% of your customers.Everyone in your small business should know these 20% of your customers by name, so when they call you can give them the "special" treatment they deserve.... Make your business the business, where your customers don't have to scream, but just phone and feel treated special, because that is what they deserve.Your reward for this kind of service is a loyal customer and word of mouth marketing you could not pay for.

What is your customer service agenda?

You need to understand what level of customer care your customers want, so most of all you need to listen.I often come across small business, where customer complaints are causing stress and sometimes even anger.... You should get your staff to understand your customer service agenda fully, so they can do things professionally, courteously and promptly.If you don't have a customer service agenda, your customers may have a agenda, to go and buy somewhere else.

Customer Service The Backbone Of Any Small Business

The reasons for this ore obvious, they already know your product or service and you do not need to sell your product to them anymore, lower marketing costs, less time spend on explaining the product or service.Don't misunderstand me here, your small business needs new customers all the time, but as mentioned it is far more costly to get them. If your business can't keep customers than that is a bad sign, and you need to investigate this ASAP.Turning new customers into loyal customers is the key objective in any business, small or large.

Q&A: What are some social and economic issues small business face?

I'm going to expand this question "slightly" into - I hope Walsh does not mind:What are some of the social, political and economic issues small business face?I should remind you that when I talk about small business, I mean 1 to 5 people businesses, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer- or Personal business, like professionals, contractors, freelancers, self-employed, sole-traders and virtual assistants.Social issues are clearly centered around the work-place, work life and private life.... I believe you can start a business with $20/£10 a month and grow your business, risk free (without loans) on the side, while still in employment, until the turnover is big enough to justify quitting ones day job.You may feel about a business on the side as you will, the fact remains this is going on as we speak, trends we see in the online usage patterns of our OnlineOffice, certainly support this theory.At the same time business failure is far less an issue, as the risk associated with these ventures is very small, with the right mental attitude of the entrepreneur towards failure, the learning effect of a failure can be enormous.

The Week Ender: Finding that Home Business Idea!

I may come up with some close ideas - but doing gardening everyday, no matter what someone payed me would be a definite NO-NO!Somewhere down the line I get to small business and I can say: I have had 30 years of small business experience;I have had formal business education;I'm passionate about small business;I know I make and will make mistakes everyday, failure for me is just another way of learning;I love listening to customers and their ideas about my business; I'm always surprised and learn something new;mad about the inability of politicians to understand very small business;sad about the accountants lack of a forward looking outlook in their profession;know we are in trouble with our environment, and I would like to make a difference;always loved high-tech, computers, software, my years as CEO of a leading ISP;building a company from zero to tens of millions in turnover in just four years.This is my personal list for my small business interest and after all that, what you get is WinWeb - my way of dealing with my passion and frustration about small business and start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer- or Personal business, like professional, contractors, freelancer, self-employed, sole-trader and virtual assistants - and it's a great business!... You noticed, I didn't mention an MBA, lots of money or bookkeeping, marketing, IT, and law experience, these are "nice to have" items, but not essential, unless you are working in those fields of cause.Like someone once said, when you are older, "You don't regret the things you did, you regret the things you didn't do."At the beginning and the end of our live we are all the same, what makes the difference is the bit in the middle, making it exciting and interesting is something you have to do - nobody is going to do it for you.

Small Business News Round-Up, November 16, 2007

I read some good articles last week and want to share them with you here: Web Worker Daily has a business example of a 100% Online We Consulting Firm, as I hope a growing trend.Jason Holden follows one of my favorite themes in Online accountant and online accounting?.Shama Hyder, apart from getting me onto twitter, has a great interview with TheFreeLanceNation.com.Wendy Piersall is telling all us bloggers how to monetize your blog, in nine different ways.The Digerati Life blog will let you know How To Safely Borrow For A House Purchase, as the US House votes to license mortgage brokers.John Jantsch has two pieces I liked - How to SCORE some seriously good start-up help AND NYC doing small business right.That is my little round-up for this week and your weekend. I hope you will enjoy some of these links, and undoubtedly you will find more great stuff while following these links.

WinWeb Business Cloud - Creating Financially Sustainable Businesses