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More On Business Manners From Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach

Recent observations and recent communications with business colleagues confirm that there are far too many violations of good business manners each and every day. Manners are essential to build relationships in today’s business world. People, who present themselves very favorably, will maximize their business potential. I must tell you that I remain very passionate about manners in business and believe very strongly in the results that follow the use of good manners.

Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach continues to stress the importance of manners and to seeking advice on that issue and others. And I am pleased to confirm to you that I continue to follow my own advice by seeking outside advice and counsel when needed. In my own efforts for continuous improvement in manners, I recently did some research that resulted in me finding a great resource – a quiz to establish your Business Etiquette Quotient. The quiz was developed by Lydia Ramsey, a business etiquette expert, professional speaker, corporate trainer and author of Manners That Sell-Adding the Polish that Builds Profits. She has been quoted or featured in the New York Times, Investors’ Business Daily, Entrepreneur, Inc., Real Simple, and Woman’s Day. For more information about her programs, products and services, contact her at [email protected] or visit her Website: http://www.mannersthatsell.com

Here is Lydia Ramsey’s Quiz, answers and score interpretation.

1. When shaking hands in business, a man should wait for a woman to extend her hand before offering his.

2. When introducing business people, say the name of the most important or senior person first.

3. When talking on the phone, your tone of voice counts more than your words.

4. The first place to go when you arrive at a business/social function is the bar.

5. Women may remain seated to shake hands in business.

6. Business casual means dressing down one notch from business professional.

7. You should always use a subject header when sending an e-mail message.

8. The guest decides when to start talking business during the meal.

9. If the information on your business card is incorrect, draw a line through it and write the correct information on the card.

10. If you can’t remember someone’s name, don’t attempt an introduction.

11. Handwritten notes are out of place in the business world.

12. Name badges are worn on the right shoulder.

13. A woman’s handbag, if small, may be placed on the boardroom table.

14. Small talk is not appropriate in a business environment.

15. In today’s relaxed business environment, it is not necessary to ask your clients’ permission before using their first names.

Answers

1. False. It is no longer necessary for a man to wait for a woman to extend her hand. In business, everybody shakes hands regardless of gender or age.

2. True. Always say the name of the most important person first or the name of the person you wish to honor. Follow that with “I’d like to introduce…” or “I’d like to introduce you to…”.

3. True. Studies show that 70% of your message is conveyed by your tone of voice and 30% by your actual words. It’s not what you say but the way you say it that counts.

4. False. No matter how hard your day was, resist the urge to go straight to the bar. After all, these business/social functions are more about business than eating and drinking.

5. False. A woman who remains seated to shake hands in business appears to lack confidence. She sends a message that she is not as important as the people who are standing.

6. True. Business casual did not start out as an excuse to wear your favorite old clothes to the office. It is still business, and you should always look professional.

7. True. Why would anyone want to open an e- mail message with “no subject”? You always want to give the recipient a reason to read your message.

8. False. The host is the one who decides when to end the small talk and get down to business. As a rule, the business discussion begins after everyone has ordered so the conversation will not be interrupted.

9. False. Have new cards printed as soon as possible. Handing out outdated business cards sends a poor message.

10. False. Always make the introduction. Everyone notices when you try to avoid it and will suspect that you can’t remember the other person’s name anyway. The best thing to do in this situation is to confess your loss of memory, beg forgiveness, and ask for the person’s name.

11. False. Handwritten notes are very impressive. They give the idea that you went to extra effort, whether this is true or not.

12. True. The right side is the correct side. Since you shake hands with your right hand, the eye naturally travels to the right shoulder.

13. False. The only objects that belong on the boardroom table are those that are necessary for the meeting.

14. False. Small talk is the basis for building and maintaining relationships in business.

15. False. While most people prefer to be called by their first name, use titles and last names until you are told otherwise.

What’s Your Score?

Give yourself one point for each correct answer. If your score is 13 points or higher, you are speeding up the ladder of success. (If you earned between 9 and 12 points, you’ll most likely make it to the top. If you scored 8 or below, chances are that you can climb the ladder, but you won’t make it all the way to the top.

Business Viability and Success – A Mutual Beneficial Relationship

Business viability and success can be seen as an intertwined force that gains its strength from the mutual beneficial relationship. Viability and success are abstract concepts, which require concrete personal definitions to be of value in your everyday business reality. As Guerrilla Entrepreneur you know when your business is small or rapidly growing, revenue and expenses are rarely stable and consistent. At this point you may neither perceive your business as viable or successful. So what is the key element that balances this mutual beneficial relationship for long-term business success?

Let’s explore what we mean by business viability and how it might differ from business success. Often these terms are used interchangeably yet the difference is subtle and worth noting, especially for new entrepreneurs who may find the business start-up stage taxing. For your business to be successful it first needs to be viable, i.e. it must be able to exist in the real world not just in your business plan. Without viability there can be no success.

Business viability in financial terms means it must meet its entire financial obligation on time. The term business viability can also be interpreted as mere existence, and no doubt this will fall short of realizing your personal and professional goals in your entrepreneurial business endeavor.

Business success in the general sense refers to making money and being profitable. Profits come from clients deciding that your business is offering value – perceived or actual value. However, the driving force for many entrepreneurs and business owners is not about making money, although they know its importance for business viability.

Business success for individuals is highly personal. For some it may mean achieving a specific financial goal or profit; for others it means offering original services and creating new markets; yet others may go into business for personal freedom; or doing what they love and living a congruent fulfilled and balanced life. Regardless of the personal definition of business success, business viability is a non-negotiable prerequisite.

What is less understood is that a business can be successful and profitable and yet not be viable if it is unable to meet its entire financial obligations on time. Here is where new entrepreneurs may run into difficulties. The critical element to your business viability and long-term success is your focus on (positive) cash flow. Cash flow is literally about the ‘flow’ of cash in and out of your business. It is the blood flow of your business. Without cash flow the business cannot survive irrespective of its profitability. If the cash flow repeatedly is not accessible to meet your business’ financial obligations, your business will head on a downward spiral.

If you notice this kind of downward trend in your business, take action NOW. Take drastic actions now to turn your business around. Start by taking stock of your financials. Waiting and hoping that it may improve is a major pitfall of entrepreneurs leading to business failure. Know that your financial reports are just a reflection of reality; they are not the reality itself.

Reviews of business failures repeatedly indicate that business failure does not happen over night. It happens as a result of a series of factors such as lack of management and marketing skills, burnout, or repeatedly uncorrected mistakes ultimately leading to financial problems and business failure.

Keep your eye on the critical element that allows you to enjoy your long-term business success.

copyright©2007 Elisabeth Gortschacher

How To Choose A Home Based Business

There are hundreds of home based businesses out there. Which ones are the best? Which one is right for you? You can spend months searching on the Internet and off line of the many opportunities there are out there to start a home based business.

The following are important points to consider before choosing a home based business:

1- There are different home based businesses in various industries, such as health, finance, business, personal, communications, electronics, wholesale products, or in certain subject areas, or based around a certain product or service. It is highly suggested to get involved in something that “lights you up.” There has to be something about the business that excites you and something you can talk about passionately. It may be the product or service, the support and training the company offers, the people that surround you in the business, the compensation, the benefits, risks and rewards, etc…

Before joining a company, ask yourself, what excites you about this business opportunity? Can you see yourself talking about this business opportunity with other people? Are other people you are talking to can see how excited you are about the business?

2- Knowing what the start up costs are, is a very important factor when deciding which home based business to choose. Before you sign anything or spend any money, ask about ALL the start up costs. Start up costs for a home based business can range from $0 dollars to $10,000. There are also monthly costs or obligations, fees for a website and hosting, product fees, monthly spending requirements, distributor fees, annual fees, marketing fees, fees to your up line, fees for not meeting other business requirements, etc.. Ask these important questions to the potential business you are seeking.

Also realize there are fees to market and advertise the business. Remember after you join, then you have to market the business to get customers or distributors for your business. If you want to make the big time, talking to your friends and family will no be enough unless you have a personal network of over 1,000 people. Marketing can be very expensive and the priciest part of a home based business.

Some people have the start up capital to invest, some don’t. Knowing this information is very important.

3- The next important element is understanding the compensation program. Understand how much profit you will make every time you will sign someone up or make for each sale. Does the company offer multi level passive income or is it direct sales? Do you have to make a certain requirement in sales? How much money in advertising or marketing do you have to spend in order to make a certain amount of income? How realistic is for this business to be popular, so other people will be willing to join? Try to figure out how long it may take to make $500 a month, $1000 a month, $10,000 a month, etc… Create a realistic plan on how to achieve your goals. If your product costs $10,000, how realistic for other people to purchase the product?

Many businesses also offer additional bonuses when you earn a certain income or have a certain amount of people underneath you. Make sure when you join a company, that your time, efforts, and money you will put into it, will reward you for everything you give. Some businesses offer handsome rewards while others offer very little or nothing.

4- Learn after you join the business, how you will be able to market yourself? Advertising costs and marketing can range from anywhere from free to $10,000 a month or more. Be very careful, since you can easily spend thousands of dollars of your money without seeing any return on investment. It is very important to take your time and do your due diligence. Ask people who are successful how they market, how much they spend a month on advertising, search online for different lead vendors, print advertising, free advertising, and alternative ways or out of the box advertising. Some home based businesses offer training and support on how to market your business while others make you figure it out on your own. This is an important question to ask.

5- What is the staying power of the company? There are tons of companies out there, that come and go within a year. Ask your self, does the company offer real value to its customers or distributors? If not, you want to look elsewhere. Companies that do not offer good value or are too expensive will most likely not last long enough. One of the worst things that can happen, is you spend months or even years of your time, effort, and money into a business and then folds, leaving with nothing. Think why people will want to join your home based business? How you see the company in 5 or 10 years? How competitive is the industry? What are the competitors doing? Understanding the competition will offer you great insight into the industry.

For more information about choosing a home based business, sign up for my FREE weekly newsletter on the latest information on home based businesses, multi level marketing and network marketing. Email [email protected] and put in the subject line, “Home Based Business Newsletter”. Feel free to email me any questions you have joining a home based business.