Treat Your Internet Home Business Like The Investment It Is

There are many parallels between running an internet home business and investing in the stock market. The main reason for this is because stocks are ownership in a business. For the amount of stocks you own in any business you will receive a profit. When you buy a stock the company uses that money to operate and grow the business and they give you a percentage of the business’s total profit, called dividends. You can either choose to re-invest these dividends into the company(for more shares), or have them paid out to you on a monthly or quarterly basis. When you run an internet home business you own all the shares and you decide what is done with the profit. This article will outline how sound investment strategy can be used to grow an internet home business that you can profit from well into the future.

If you’re starting off small, your initial investment in your business/stock will not be enough to make you much money. As with stocks the amount of time you stay with your investment is the determining factor in your success with it. With an online business it can take months of work to start generating a steady stream of income. Over time your efforts will build upon each other like compound interest does to stocks.

Usually when people invest in the stock market they tend to put their money into companies that they believe in and since you are the CEO of your internet based business there is a pretty strong incentive to believe in the success of your business, and yourself. If you look at the Forbes list of the world’s richest people it shows that most of them have significant shareholdings – mostly in their own companies.

When you start a business or invest there is an initial outlay of money that has to be made to buy shares, or in the case of an online business you invest in your website and advertising strategy. Initially there will be some who people decide to start online businesses without doing research expecting to make money over night much like those who take risks in the stock market without doing proper research. Start investing with a small budget that you can manage to fund the businesses monthly expenses. This would be equivalent to sending in money on schedule to add to your stock amount. As your business/stock continues to be fueled and your money is leveraged to buy advertising and promotional tools you will see your business will start to create permanent roots that grow over time much like dividends given to shareholders grow as the company is able to use a portion of it’s total profit to re-invest in future growth.

By learning as much as possible about how to operate a business on the internet you are researching your own company and are better able to assess what it will take to bring in profits, and also what is standing in your way. Will your internet business be able to compete in your niche? Do you have the resources needed to put your plan of action into play? It’s said that you should have at least a 6-12 month business budget set aside to run your business through the lean beginning stages. Like blue chip stocks you’ll want to stay with your internet business for the long run. Blue chip stocks are known to be consistent in paying out dividends. Some blue chip stocks have track records of paying shareholders dividends for over 100 years and the dividend amount per share is always on the rise.

A lot of people dip in and out and don’t hold on to good stocks always hoping to catch a better deal and not really taking advantage of compound interest or company growth over time, this approach is the stock market is a gamble. You want to give your business time to grow so that you can eventually reach your break even point. You can take a portion of the profit and re-invest it to grow your business to bigger levels. When your business makes less money(or when the market price of your stock drops) then you simply invest less, and when your business makes more money(or when the price of a stock you own rises), then you can invest more. All the while you are still maintaining your current business budget, or better yet your business could have progressed to the point that is generated enough revenue to cover your monthly business budget as well.

Internet businesses and investing both benefit from keeping things simple. Consistency and time are the two main factors that turn small business investments into a solid stream of profit. Follow these tips and your internet home business will be a great investment in your future.

Business Plan Software – How Do you Know Where to Even Start Creating Your Business Plan

Every business in its conception has the same chance at success. The determining factor however depends highly on the business owner and their ability to plan strategically from day one how they’re going to transform their business from an idea, into a highly successful business within its industry.

Many people have the idea that starting a business is a simple matter of having a product, putting up a sign, and away they go…as if the business is going to run by magic just from their grand idea. That’s wishful thinking and it’s really too bad that it’s not like that, but the truth is that if you want a business that’s successful and not another failure like the majority of them, then you’re going to have to do some detailed planning before you even dare to venture out.

Most businesses that fail do so because of the lack of a good, detailed business plan. Your business plan is essentially your blueprint to get your from point A to point B, as well as to take care of all the turns and obstacles in between. In essence it’s like the difference in the individual who has well defined written plans for life as opposed to those who languidly float along through life. Which individual do you think is going to have the most success? Well, studies have actually shown that the person with the written plans has a much, much higher chance of success. Same goes for a business!

Now the part that actually gets most people is not that they’re all lazy and just don’t want to take the effort to design a plan, but the fact that they simply don’t even know where to begin with the creation of their business plan. They have no idea what needs to be included and what doesn’t, or even how to format it so that it’s not just a mess of papers in a binder that they’ll never look at again.

In fact, the best business plan should be one with all of the essential elements as well as one that’s fluid and not static, because if there’s one thing that’s for sure in life it’s change, and that change usually comes from twists and turns and obstacles in the road of life itself, and your plan has to have a way to take in account for those changes.

There are a number of things that you can do to actually learn how to create an effective business plan that’s going to get results. You could go to the library and do tons of research, or you could even spend the same countless frustrating hours at home online, and be shuffled from website to website trying to figure out which information is right. However one of the smartest things that a person can do is to take the quick and easy way out and invest in business plan software that is known to get results.

Of these, probably the best, most used, and most trusted business plan software available is Business Plan Pro from a company out of Palo Alto California called – appropriately enough – Palo Alto Software.

Business Plan Pro is a software designed to help you in as easily and smooth a process as possible to create an effective and efficient business plan that gets results, either with making your business a tremendous success (who doesn’t want that?) as well as setting you up with the best possibility of getting funding for your business if needed. No lender, capital venture firm, or even Angel Investor is going to even consider giving your business funds if you don’t have a well thought-out business plan. It’s that simple.

The software basically gives you exactly everything that you need in a simple step-by-step format to create your business plan, whereas it takes you by the hand, asks you simple questions about your business, and as you answer them it guides you to the next step in the process. It doesn’t get much easier than this.

You’ll have access to over 500 different business plan templates so that you can duplicate the most effective ones for your industry.

As well, and this is a huge part of planning a business since your customers are the life force of your business, you’ll be able to access market data for your business as well as cross check for nine thousand other industries. This is powerful stuff alone.

You’ll be able to print out your completed business plan so that you can refer to it over and over, as well as have it on your desktop to quickly make changes when necessary as previously mentioned.

Having business plan software is easily one of the most important steps that a business owner could possibly take for the probability of success of his or her business, and with Business Plan Pro you’re getting the best of the best. In fact, Amazon.com frequently lists it on their top ten bestsellers list…and it’s the same software that 50% of top Fortune 500 companies use for their businesses. If it’s ideal for these businesses, why wouldn’t it be for yours?

Eleven Ways to Generate Leverage from Your Business

Too many businesses – even fairly large ones — are more like mom and pop entities that take too much time to run, barely make a profit after factoring in the owners’ time, and aren’t worth much on sale. Business owners need to develop sources of leverage so that their business runs without them. That way, work becomes more enjoyable and the business becomes more valuable.

Following are eleven ways that business owners can generate leverage in their business:

First and foremost, the business owner needs the right mindset. He or she must put ego aside and be willing to give control to people and processes to take over the business. Many business owners fear that no one can serve customers like they can. This may be true, but to have a truly successful business, the CEO needs to be willing to cede control. With the right mindset in place and the additional ways to generate leverage (to be discussed below), he or she has a blueprint to succeed.

Second, the business owner needs to spend most of his or her time setting direction for the company, improving performance, and developing processes and systems. Time spent “in” the business instead of “on” it, as Michael Gerber makes clear in E-myth, is time poorly spent. Business owners need a sense of where they spend their time, and how they can focus more on building their business to run without them.

Third, business leaders should be setting high standards for each and every core process, and then measuring results. That way, they can hold people accountable for doing what matters in the business. Metrics are an essential tool for generating leverage. The business owner can watch the metrics and provide tools for others to generate results. Meanwhile, employees do the work of meeting standards and continuing to improve.

Fourth, talent is essential. In the restaurant business, there is an adage that every restaurant chain is guaranteed to fail once it opens one restaurant more than its management team can handle. One of the most important limiting factors in any business is talent. Business owners need a stable pool of full-time talent to grow the business, and in many cases, a pool of part-time talent to flex up capacity when needed. Therefore, one of the most important jobs of every business owner is to find, develop, engage, and retain top talent.

Fifth, the more alliances and strong relationships that the business owner can create, the more powerful their network (or power base), and the more the business owner can get done. Alliances with employees, suppliers, distributors, marketing channels, government, and local leaders assure that in both good and challenging times the business owner has a network of relationships to make things happen. Ideally, these alliances are loyal to the business first, and the business owner second.

Sixth. every business should have operational systems so that the business thrives even when the owner or manager is not present. These systems include detailed product manuals, consistent processes, clear performance standards, and a set of processes to train and motivate people to provide consistent, excellent service to customers. That way, customers associate the business brand with a positive experience every time.

Seventh, you need marketing systems in place. We are blessed to live in a time where much of our marketing can happen while we are doing other things. Thanks to virtual teams, outsourced firms, and the Internet, we can get visible in effective ways 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Also, executives should constantly test and refine their marketing tactics in order to have a honed lead generation and conversion machine.

Eighth, while the promise of technological solutions sometimes falls short of expectations, technology can still bring enormous leverage to every business. Software, mobile communications tools, and web-based technology can all contribute to a more efficient and profitable business.

Ninth: a unique edge separates your business from others and helps you dominate your market. The me-too business that is almost identical to its competitors will not generate as much value as a business that has a measurable, significant, meaningful (to its customers) advantage over the competition. Types of “edge” include: proprietary technology or intellectual capital, scale, operational excellence, customer intimacy, unique marketing strategies, proprietary alliances, relationships with suppliers/sources of product, and product leadership. Every business should strive to have a three to one advantage over its competitors in some meaningful area, or at least to be the dominant leader in a niche market.

Tenth, develop business credit and sources of financing in order to have a ready source of cash to expand when needed. Sometimes the only thing that separates one business from another is the cash to withstand down business cycles – or expand when others can’t.

Eleventh, by having a clear vision of how to exit the business, the business owner can focus on developing a business that will be attractive to a buyer. Buyers want a business that they can take over and run – without depending on the owner for a long transition period. An exit strategy requires a commitment to a set of processes, a respected brand, and a business that runs without heavy involvement by the owner.