Posts Tagged ‘money’

Road to Savings

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

I recently contacted a lady named Debbi King on a website I came across. She has many of the same principals on saving money as we have used ourselves and in our book, Stop Wasting Money. I asked her to share  as a guest blogger what does it really take to start over financially for our followers. Debbi’s contact information is found at the bottom of this article.

We all say that we want to save money, but many of us don’t know where to start.  I had this same feeling years ago after I had filed for bankruptcy and was starting over, financially.  So I decided to start everywhere.  That seems like too much, but let me explain.

One of the greatest tools I used to turn my financial life around was a budget.  I know most people cringe every time they hear the word “budget”, but it is a great tool if used properly.  You can’t look at a budget as something keeping you from having what you want.  You have to look at it as a tool for you controlling your money instead of it controlling you.  I challenged myself to look at every category and see where I could save money.

There are two main kinds of expenses we all have:  fixed and discretionary.  You can find savings in both categories, although the discretionary is the one you have the most control over.  Let’s visit both kinds of expenses and see where you can save money.

Fixed Expenses

  • Rent/Mortgage – You may think that you can’t control this item, but you can.  You decide where you are willing and want to live.  Your rent or mortgage (with insurance and taxes) should be no more than 25-27% of your take home pay.  If it is more than that, you are living in a place you cannot afford.  It is okay to move or sell your house.  A house is just a building and you will find another one that you like.  A home is wherever you are.  We downsized from an apartment with a $750 rent to an apartment with a $500 rent.
  • Telephone/Cable/Cell Phone – These expenses are a mix of need and want and you need to adjust them accordingly.  If you are in a contract on any of these items, you will either need to wait until the contract ends or pay the early termination fee, whichever is less.  These are items that you can have and should have, but you don’t need all of the bells and whistles and every channel they offer.  We went from a phone with a plan to a great prepaid phone.  We also went to basic cable.
  • Electric Bill – You can’t change what company you use or what they charge, but there are hundreds of simple changes you can make within your home to lower your bill.  Some examples are unplugging every plug when you are not using it, turn a light off when you leave the room, use the energy cycle on your appliances, and lower/raise your thermostat two degrees in the winter/summer.  We did everything from lowering the heat and layering to drying clothes outside in the summer.
  • Credit Cards – If you have credit card debt and monthly payments, you do not have a lot of control over your monthly obligation.  However, you can if you have good credit, combine all of your cards onto one new card with a lower interest rate and focus on paying that off.  This isn’t new debt; it is a way to manage debt you already have.  The best thing you can do while you are paying the credit cards off if to not incur any additional fees above the interest you are already paying.  This means always pay the minimum and make your payment immediately upon getting the bill.  This will save you in late fees and additional interest.  We stopped all debt and then attacked a debt snowball to pay back the couple of credit cards we had.
  • Car Loans/Insurance – Again, it will be hard to lower a car payment, but you can get rid of your car payment by selling your car, paying off the loan and buying a car with cash.  With your car insurance, the key is to shop using an independent insurance agent.  And as soon as you get your $1000 emergency fund in place, up your deductibles to $1000.  This will save you a lot of money.  We use a great independent insurance agent to shop for us every six months and we drive well in order to not get any tickets that would cause our insurance to go up for 3 years.

Discretionary Expenses

  • Groceries and Eating Out – Eating out should be a treat, not all of the time.  With groceries and eating out, always look for coupons and deals.  Do not be ashamed to use a coupon.  Also, take advantage of discount grocery stores such as Aldi and Bottom Dollar Food.  The food is the same at a much lower price.  Make sure to know what is on sale and stock up when you can.  We started buying store brand when possible, stocking up when meats and cheeses were on sale, and planning our meals before we went to the store.
  • Gasoline and Car Repairs – You can’t control the price of gas, but you can get the most out of your tank.  Plan your errands and trips and get the most done at once as possible.  Also, how you drive and maintain your car can affect your gas mileage and your repairs.  We started planning our outings better and driving no more than 5 miles over the speed limit.
  • Entertainment – Plan for something once a month if you can, but learn to take advantage of free fun.  You need to have fun in your life, but do not go broke doing it.
  • Clothing – You can find great items at your local thrift store and consignment shops.  Or even at your local discount store.  You don’t have to buy everything at the mall.  We learned to live with what we already had.  If we needed or wanted something, we found a way to get it at the lowest price possible by taking the time to shop around and waiting until we found it within our budget.

These are our categories on our budget and how we found savings in each one.  You may have budget categories in addition to these and I would challenge you to think about how you can save money, even a few dollars, in each category.  I read an article yesterday where a guy saved $275 a year just by changing brands with his everyday products like soap and deodorant.  Savings can be found anywhere and they all add up.  Start finding your savings today and watch how fast they grow.

 

 

Written by Debbi King

Personal Finance Coach, Motivational Speaker and

Author of “The ABC’s of Personal Finance”

www.abcsofpersonalfinance.com

www.facebook.com/abcsofpersonalfinance

Contest Giveaway for a Time Saving and Organizing Tool

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

I am working with List Plan It to give away at no cost a one year subscription to the list planning service. The winner will be chosen from a combination of blog entries here or comments on the website (both not necessary) at www.stopwastingmoneybook.com at the contact us area. I must have your full name and email address.

What I am looking for is on each entry (one entry per person), which is equal to a blog post or comment on the website is for everyone to go to List Plan It link http://www.1shoppingcart.com/app/?af=1404910

Everyone needs to review the different type of lists that are available and pick one (be specific on name of list) and write a blog post or comment on how you think this type of list you picked can save you time and money if used and why this specific list out of all lists available on their website. Full details of the contents of the lists are not available without purchase. I am looking for creativity on how a list can help save you time and money based on the topics of the lists that are available on their website. The contest is available from December 1, 2011 to December 18, 2011. Winner will be notified by email.

 

This can be a really great tool to save you time. Remember time equals money so if you use it unwisely you are wasting money that could be spent elsewhere on something you want or need.

You are granting your authorization for being contacted by placing a post on the blog or website. If you are interested in further classes on not wasting money or a newsletter please let us know.

If You Can Make Money Selling items or Services You May Have a Business

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

If you have a hobby the expenses can not be deducted on taxes. If you sell enough items or services a business can potentially be formed where expenses can be adjusted off. This is where you can save money.

Reprint:How To Decide If You Have A Hobby or Business

1. What Does Success Look Like To You?

The big thing that determines whether a business has legs and the potential to be a success or whether it’s merely a hobby all depends on what success means to you. Once you know what your version of success looks – time to be with the kids, the ability to work from home, enough money for a nice vacation or fancy car, a 6-figure income, etc. – you can then determine whether your business can stand on it’s own or if it’s more of a hobby. Either way, it’s all good to me!

Thanks to Katy Tafoya of Success For Solopreneurs

2. Is Your Hobby Running Off Without You?

When people start to refer you, and refer TO you as an expert or the person to go to, then you’re out of the hobby phase. When you have to look at your schedule to see if you can fit a ‘hobby’ project in there, you’re officially a business. And when you feel compelled to talk about your hobby like it’s worth being paid to do, you are not fiddling around anymore.

Thanks to MICHELLE GOWER of GOWER POWER!

3. Ease Of Monetization

If you have a passion for a service in a proven industry, go for it. Plenty of people can run successful businesses offering everything from dog walking to hair coloring to guitar lessons. Passion is unrivaled and the cream rises IF you are willing to live and breathe your business. Be wary of a passion involving tangible goods without a track record. If you like painting, try to sell your work. Same with fashion design, etc. That’s all the microtesting you need.

Thanks to Tony Adams of Dallas Pool Cleaning Services

4. Take 4

Thanks for asking! I like to use the harvard Rule of 4. It was developed at the Harvard School of Business. To determine if a business has legs, it should pass this test (have all 4 characteristics): a. Something everybody wants b. Something nobody has c. Something priced to sell d. Something priced for profit
IT WORKS FOR ME.

Thanks to Barry Cohen of AdLab Media Communications, LLC

5. You’re A Wanted Man…or Woman

Not only does what you offer need to be something people need, are YOU the one to do it? If you keep getting referrals and positive testimonials, you’re on to something. If you’re open to feedback and try to incorporate suggestions, you have a better chance of succeeding than if you assume you alone have the answer. At the same time, having a clear vision of the problem you are solving and how your solution is the best solution at the best price, stick to your guns!

Thanks to Lynne McNamee of Always Visible Signs, LLC

6. Ditch The $$$ Goggles.

Ask yourself WHY you’re in business. Are you truly passionate about your biz idea or are you chasing the $$$/prestige? (If it’s the ladder chances are you won’t have the tenacity to hold on tight and get things done in order to capitalize on your idea.) Truly love what you do and be authentically interested in providing VALUE to your potential customers. Assess if there’s a need or demand for your idea (trends?),find out who your audience is and ASK them their opinion!

Thanks to Osmara Vindel of Osmara Vindel Int\\\’l

7. If You Have To Ask Then It’s A Hobby

As entrepreneurs we have to believe in our ideas. If you’re just going to shoot from the hip and worry about it when it’s convenient for you then it is definitely a hobby.

Entrepreneurs have to bleed for their ideas. Sure your little corner store isn’t going to be the next Facebook. But if you believe it “could be” then you’ll push yourself harder then you ever thought you could and dreams will be realized.

Entrepreneurs create businesses out of other people’s hobbies.

Thanks to Adam Weitz of Corporate Design

8. Revenue Increase

It’s taken me a few years to get off the ground, and I am still doing so. I believe when your revenue, traffic, and services continue to grow each month/year, then you are on a great path to having a successful business. If it’s a hobby, you won’t be pulling in the revenue you will need to continue. A business makes money, and a hobby doesn’t.

Thanks to Susan Vernicek of S&J Identity – Identity Magazine

9. “Steel Wool On A Stick, My Hobby On Steroids”

How do you decide? My hobby turned business has kept me off the unemployment line for 11 years. My hobby turned business files a tax return every year. But in the process of growing a hobby into a business it’s real easy to measure if your sales are growing. Will sales ever grow to be the next Google? Probably not, but should that stop you from growing your hobby?

Thanks to Jeff Block of JustPaperRoses.com

10. Hard Work & Profit = Business

A business is distinguished from a hobby because it makes money! Every day I speak to would-be entrepreneurs about their passions that they spend endless hours on and then sell but the sale price only covers the materials….this is a hobby! In this case your profit is the joy you get for doing the work! A business is established when you figure out how to make what you love to do pay for all the materials needed to get the job done AND your time to do the work!

Thanks to Vicki Donlan of VickiDonlan

11. The Five Rule Minimum

In determining if the business is a hobby or has legs is based on a minimum of five key factors: the company’s longevity (years in business), ability to attract new clients and customers, offer something fresh and exciting to the marketplace, can meet its financial obligations with suppliers, employees, etc, and provides an intrinsic reward and passion for the process with the entrepreneur. If it doesn’t meet at least three of these criterias, it’s probably a hobby.

Thanks to Greg Jenkins of Bravo Productions

12. Can You Sell It?

I think the only way you are going to know if you have a viable product is if you are able to sell it, market it and produce it while making a profit. Many people can make their hobby a business and write off their expenses, but not everyone can make money at it. Doing something you love is important, but you have to be able to make money to succeed.

Thanks to Sheena Edwards of Lizzie Lou Shoes

13. You Are Not Alone!

Hobby or Business, that is the question. To find out just check out how many others have a similar passion. Huge niche, huge business possibility! Float your idea to lots of people to see what they think. If it’s positive, set up a small inexpensive website to test market your product/service. Just because it starts slow deoesn’t mean your idea doesn’t have legs. Be patient while you keep evaluating as much feedback as possible. Many successful ventures started quietly!

Thanks to Craig Wolfe of CelebriDucks

14. Microsoft Ad Center Labs: Detecting Commercial Intent

Microsoft Labs have a rather unknown but fabulous tool – Detecting Online Commercial Intention. It can be found at the following web address: http://adlab.msn.com/Online-Commercial-Intention/
This tool can detect customer intent to acquire information or to purchase products based on their search queries or recently visited URLs. This can be essential data in evaluating whether your hobby has the trading ability to lead to a full time revenue earning business.

Thanks to Chris Longley of Web Designers Kent

15. Ask Someone Who Is Not Your Friend

It is tempting to turn to friends as a resource (they’re safe, and they like us) but it is important to recognise the role they play may be limited to encouragement.

Find a business mentor who won’t mind challenging you if your hobby doesn’t translate into a viable business. The decision to start a business needs to be based on passion AND pragmatism, and if you are heading in the wrong direction, knowing early on is crucial (and will save you lots of time and money).

Thanks to Jodi Fedor of Exuberance Beauty

16. Plan To Succeed

When you research your industry and do a business plan to take that hobby to the next level and turn it into a business. A researched business plan with all its components will help you reach your future goals. Plan to succeed by doing your homework.

Thanks to Eula M. Young, COO of Griot’s Roll Film Production & Services Inc.

17. YOU WOULD HAVE ALREADY DONE THIS

You would already have done a word search or corresponding word searches before even going into the business or hobby that was your original idea. You would have found out how popular those words of search are and the probability of your product or service popping up on google in a unique
advantage. Could even be done naturally.

Thanks to Carolyn Bartz of SECRETS OF CAT ATTITUDE REVEALED

18. Passion Smassion – Do You Have A USP?

Yes, you need a “passion point” to drive your resilience in building your business, but does anyone NEED or WANT what you are selling?

Too often, new entrepreneurs “just know” there’s someone out there who needs what they have – & if they just buy, all their problems will be solved! OK – I’ll give you that. You have a great solution. BUT DOES YOUR TARGET KNOW THEY NEED IT?

Before you invest your hard-earned time & money in this business, make sure you get this right.

Thanks to Henri Schauffler of New Cash Flow Model

19. Are Your Customers Sending You Lots Of Referrals Who Become Customers?

Most businesses that prosper do so because satisfied customers tell others how great the offerings and service are. It’s the least expensive and most effective way to build a business. If your customers are raving about how great you are, rapid growth lies ahead. If they aren’t yet sharing their joy with others, find out why. You may be able to change what you are doing to inspire customers to help lift your fledgling business off the ground and into the skies!

Thanks to Donald Mitchell of The 400 Year Project

20. If You Gild It, They Will Come.

If they ask when they see it, “Where can I buy it?” it’s time to turn the avocation to a vocation. Especially if “they” are not family members who may feel compelled to stroke your ego. Be sure your hobby-product is finished enough to look professional, though, and not amateurish. Spend some time “gilding” the look. And be assured, if you gild it, they will come–right to your door or e-door with cash in hand.

Thanks to Marlene Caroselli of Center For Professional Development

21. My First Workshop Signup

I have run a writing and editing business for almost five years. I knew my business had legs after I got a call from someone who had seen my memoir workshop brochure at a bookstore and she wanted to sign up. We had a quick conversation and she told she was mailing me the check that day. After that call I knew I found my business because I didn’t know her personally, but she knew I could help her.

Thanks to Alice Osborn of Write From The Inside Out

22. Take A Chance And Be RICH, UNIQUE, And ON TOP Or Have A Nice Doily..

Do you find yourself only thinking about your big business or the next great invention or idea you’ve got in mind? Have you risked your entire life savings, mortgaged your home, sold your beloved possessions or begged borrowed and pleaded with others to help you out? If the answer is yes to any of these questions I would say you have much more than a hobby and a fully fledged business. A hobby is just one who dabbles. A business is one who sees a big idea come to life.

Thanks to Kimberly Davis of Hugga Bebe

23. Is This A Hobby?

A hobby is something that is done on a small part-time basis. If you have the passion to turn a idea into a profitable business the person needs to first write a business plan to do comparisons to similar businesses or is this something that is totally different that could make major amounts of money. If the person can not forecast their financial needs and goals for three years then they more likely have a hobby,even if they need help to complete their financial numbers

Thanks to Carol Coots of Practical Cost Reduction

24. Take The “ONE DAY” Test!

My best tip for “how to decide if your profession is a hobby or a business” is, if you can go one day without feeling the need to do something to enhance your enterprise. If you don’t feel like something is wrong, something is missing or like you should be doing something, it is a possibility that your business is just a hobby. Otherwise, when your passion is your business and your business is your passion, one day without doing anything to elevate it is one day to long.

Thanks to Kevin Benton of Kevin Benton Ministries

25. Hobby, Job, Business Or Entrepreneur – It’s A Personal Choice

The idea that you’ve either got a business or a hobby is incom-plete.You can own a hobby,job,busness or be an entrepreneur-it’s a choice. Owning a hobby means you love what you do but you don’t care about the $’s-you’d do it for free-any money made is a bonus. Owning a job means the $’s do matter but you are not interested in managing others. Owning a business implies size and a commitment to manage others. An entrepeneur starts & sells businesses.Be clear with yourself!

Thanks to Susan Lannis of ORGANIZATION Plus! Inc.

26. Who Will Pay

You must ask yourself, does this hobby meet a need and who is willing to pay for it at what price. Creatively making money out of your hobby is a great way to start. However, you need to satisfy yourself that it solves a problem and people are willing to pay an economic price for it. Basing your business idea around something you enjoy doing is one of the surest ways of succeeding
in that business. Passion and enthusiasm sells better than just
introducing a product.

Thanks to Victor Kwegyir of VIKE INVEST (UK) LTD

27. Jill Of All Trades?

One sure sign a business may be doomed to remain small is if the business owner demands that they maintain control of every part of the process of the business. Now starting out, it may be difficult to hire anyone to do anything do to lack of finances–but to grow the business owner needs to find and train good quality people to replace her efforts. Can the business run without me? If so, then that’s a good sign it can grow! Grow little business grow!

Thanks to Sandy Wheeler of Sandy Wheeler Travel Specialties

28. Strong Legs, Fluid Thought

To create a business that has legs is to be willing to allow your vision to expand beyond your initial idea. Often, stagnation occurs when an entrepreneur tries too hard to obtain a result with a narrow view. I personally like to look at real business growth as running water in a stream,if an obstacle is in front of the flow of water, it goes around it to further the progression(and eventually will dissolve the block in time). Real growth comes by having fluid thoughts.

Thanks to Brian Collins of Life In Synergy

29. Determine Your Audience And Then Do Your Research

You must determine your audience and then do your research. I shared this query with my friend, Tess Jones, CEO of Blue Gavel Press, and she believes a successful product must be innovative and meet a demand, but not necessarily a life-or-death need (think mood rings: millions were sold). So once you have determine the best audience(s) for your product, talk to potential buyers and gauge their demand for it. You will get lots of information to use in your marketing.

Thanks to Mark McLaughlin of MANCOMM

30. MONEY MONEY MONEY

Hey are you SELLING something? HMMMMMM? If you have a audience that is in immediate need of a solution. Then that answers itself.

Thanks to Darren Monroe of Online Business Ideas

31. Is It Relevant To Two Countries Or 200?

Your idea from inception should have global impact. Is it relevant to two countries or 200?

If your idea relates only to a specific group of people or culture, you may be limiting your vision.

If your idea can be the next Google, it has global impact. But don’t we mean to be the next Twitter?

Have a worldwide impact and you are on your way.

Thanks to Pamela Hawley of UniversalGiving

32. Treat Your Hobby Like A Job To Make It Work..

I have turned my love of online shopping into a business and I made the shift in mindset to view it as such. That’s what makes it work!

Thanks to Monette Williams of Shopping4info

33. Join The Club

A lot of passionate people also join clubs with others that share the same interest. Look to see if any gaps need to be filled in. It can be anything from information, parts, accessories, a special service and much more. Brainstorm with others that are part of the club and see if there is any possible commitment from any one. The interest is already there since you are all in the same club.

Thanks to Edwin Soler of Libreria Berea

34. You Are Targeted!!!

It’s no hobby having to invest valuable time and money to defend your keep. Does your industry competition use assault marketing directed at your business? If so – don’t stop what you’re doing – you must be doing something right – after all, you are considered by all means a threat to their business. So, strengthen your fortification and continue on in your business affairs with caution! Good Luck Everyone!

Thanks to Mark Furman of Swinga Baby

35. What Motivates You?

A hobby is a way to spend time strictly for the enjoyment of doing something to see how it will turn out. It is comparable to children playing or dogs playing fetch.
When this time becomes dependent upon profit and spreadsheets it takes on a new meaning and enters the business world.
This is not to say it no longer enjoyable but is more externally driven rather than internally driven.

Thanks to Jeffrey Byer of Reminicents Penny Bracelet

36. Hard Work Will Pay Off!

In my business I can tell that it is not just a hobby by all the hard work and passion and determination that I put into the products that I create. I always strive on creating items that stand out from the crowd. And thankfully those are my best sellers. For me it is very important to believe in yourself and enjoy what you do. I also believe that hard work pays off.

Thanks to Janet Bernasconi of Janet’s Creative Pillows

37. THE ANSWER IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU!

Who do you usually go to for feedback or advice (No, you can’t choose your Psychologist!)?

Answer: Your FRIENDS!

Ask some of your most critical, challenging and cynical friends to seek out their opinions… No body knows you better & with their feedback and suggestions, you are bound to have GREATNESS come your way!

TIP: Don’t ignore the obvious!

Thanks to Dr. Kurt Vaillancourt of Kurt Steven Vaillancourt LMFT PC

38. The Third’s A Charm!

Get your first 3 clients who are willing to pay you DOUBLE of what you think you’re worth. If you manage to find 3, you’ll be able to find another 3 more, and 3 more, you get the idea! While it may not tell you if it’s the next Google, you’ll at least know that it’s now a business, NOT a hobby (which is just passion without money)!

Thanks to Ken Siew of 180-Day Marketing

39. Are Your Feet Dug In?

I have found that when you have jumped in with both feet into the deep waters (of risk) rather than just sit on the side getting your feet wet (security), that is an indication that your passion has fueled your entrepreneurial spirit. You have resolved that you will do this business no matter what obstacles appear. With your feet dug in, the business has legs and you will walk out the business even if you have to change your business plans along the way.

Thanks to Bonita Shelby of DiVine Health Choices

40. Does It Solve Any Problem

The best way to determine if a passion or hobby can be transformed to a successful business if to see if it solves any problem of your target audience and make their work and life easy.

Thanks to Marina Chernyak of Wall Clocks

41. Refusing To Die

I know our business is meant to be. It should have/could have died many times over the past 16 years. When you’re not sure how to pay the bills, and sales have stopped, when it would be easier to “get a job”, and you still go on…that’s how you know. It’s funny how at the very lowest point, a contract comes from nowhere because we’ve built a great reputation and we are meant to help people. We refuse to give in, instead we know we’ll be successful.

Thanks to Jessica Selasky of Confidence Builders

42. Honey To Money

Honey is something sweet that you like or love to do. When you can turn your honey into money you have to open your eyes to see how far you can take this idea. Write down your salary and when revenues from your hobby can match or exceed those numbers you will have a legitimate business opportunity.

Thanks to Derrick Hayes of Motivation To Your Mobile

43. Kickstart It To Success!

If you’re serious about seeing if your biz idea has legs, then “productize” it and get others to help kickstart the business. Launch a gig on Kickstarter.com with a break-even price point.

If you do gain enough supporters at those price levels for your mini-scaled launch, you’re onto something big. Go for it.

If you don’t get enough backers, then scale it down to make it a hobby or a smaller business.

In all cases, find others that have done it before to help you.

Thanks to Kenny Jahng of Social Media Consultant And Coach

44. It’s A Numbers Game

Turning a hobby into a full-time business is the ultimate way to feel passionate about your work. And when you put your heart into it, you’re more likely to succeed. To determine if your business has true potential, chart its growth. Keep track of all sales and profits. Are they on the upswing? Do you see consistency?
Does the industry appear to be growing as well? The numbers will tell the story.

Thanks to Mark Reff of One Touch Art

45. A Hobby

Make your business a hobby otherwise you’ll hate it. If it’s not fun, it’s work, and no one really likes working. Find your passion within your business and make that your everyday, every hour hobby

Thanks to Danny Wong of Customized Services

46. Who Cares?

I’m not sure if you really need to decide if what you’re doing is a hobby or a business, unless you are betting your financial future on it becoming a legitimate business.

Lots of people start out with hobbies that become very lucrative businesses. If you’re open to that happening, pursue it as you can, without risking your income.

Thanks to Alison Moore Smith of Lifestyle Design

47. Is Your Market Suffocating Your Growth?

The advice is often given by the gurus to niche your web business, but is this bad advice for a new start-up? If you want to make your passion into a business with growth potential, and legs, you really need to pay attention to 2 vital things.

1. You need to be in a mass market that will support your growth… and 2. You need to be selling in a market where your audience are actively spending their money.

Don’t make the mistake of playing in a market that’s too narrow!

Thanks to Ian Greenwood of Www.IanGeenwood.com

48. Stretch Your Legs

It starts as a hobby but you feel passionate about the concept. You think about it all the time. Every move you make is a push toward your goal. You can’t stop talking about it. The hobby becomes an obsession. But does it have legs as a business? Stretch them, your legs that is, and then answer these questions: Is there room for more growth? Can you go from a walk to a run? Can you get a leg up on the competition? If the answers are yes, then take the next step; you’ve got yourself a business!

Thanks to Susan Greene of Susan Greene, Freelance Copywriter

49. Think Big!

If your idea is revolutionary, and innovative. Think of something that will change the world, that will be the future of our lives, or that is needed.

Thanks to Lane Sutton of Kid Critic / Lane Sutton

50. No Plan? No Business.

“If there’s no business plan, there’s no business.” I was told this while attending a small business workshop in the early stages of my business. I of course discarded this piece of advice, because I did have a business. I was making sales. I had a vision of what I wanted it to be. And the plans to get there were all in my head. That was the problem. As long as they stayed in my head, that’s where my business would be too. So, make a plan and you’ve made a business.

Thanks to Jennifer Covello of Frittabello, LLC

51. Make Meaning

Make sure your hobby-turned business should make meaning to the society.
Don’t aim for money while trying to achieve that.
Also,don’t try to re-invent the wheel,there are already a lot many.
Remember,not every idea is sell-able.
A successful product is 5% development and 95% marketing.So decide wisely to invest your time and energy.
And at last,the bozos might call you mad,but don’t worry,just follow your gut and sure you would be on your way to glory.

Thanks to Prashant Misra of WOWTuB Solutions

52. Follow The Money

After a few months, it should be making more $ than it’s costing. (Maybe up to a year if it involves a lot of R&D). How many hours/week do you work on the “business”? Divide that by your day-job salary: if you work 40 hours to make $400, then it’s earning $10/hr. Unless your day-job pays less than $10/hr ($20k/year), this “business” is *costing* you more than it’s making. By definition, a BUSINESS needs to MAKE money. If it costs time with little return, it’s a hobby.

Thanks to Aaron Sylvan of Sylvan Social Technology

53. Hobby Not Business

I believe my business is a hobby because I am not making any money because I buy from my company, It apparently is not a business to make money so it is a hobby. The one best tip is to start a business that you will not spend the money that you earn, I like the products so I but them. I wish it was a business that I could make money, instead of a hobby.

Thanks to Sheila A Caruso of AVON

54. Paying The Rent And Getting Good Feedback From Customers

I kept setting a bar of being able to pay my rent with the earnings from my ‘Jobby’. I actually hit that milestone but didn’t quit for awhile because, of course, there are more bills than just the rent.

When you are consistently earning revenue that more than covers your basic necessities than you can safely bet that your endeavor has legs.

Beyond this, it’s important to get feedback from your customers. If they are happy, you’re on the right track with your business.

Thanks to Eleanor Mayrhofer of E.m.papers

55. Hobby Or Business???

If you can step away from your operation and it continues to function without you, you have a business. If it stops when you stop, you’ve got a hobby.

If you have a hobby that you want to turn into a business, you have to put “systems” in place that will allow others to come along and continue operations without you.

Thanks to Rick Brown of Rick Brown Voice Works

Original article found at http://www.toiletpaperentrepreneur.com/branding/how-to-decide-if-you-have-a-hobby-or-business

55 Ways to Know that it is Time to Throw in the Towel in Business

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Business ownership isn’t for everyone- up to 90% of new businesses fail (or fail to succeed) within five years and 60% of businesses don’t earn a profit in their lifetimes.

With that in mind, I figured I would have my wonderful network of experts and entrepreneurs weigh in on when they think it is the right time to quit, give-up and/or move on from a business endeavor. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.

You may notice some similar insights, but I kept the concepts separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.

1. Your Gut Knows When it’s Time

You may have a hard time winning new clients. There may be other challenges. If your gut knows that your idea is helpful or valuable, find a way to make it stick. But if your gut can tell that your vision wasn’t that good to begin with, or that you don’t even really care about it anymore, throw in the towel and move on to the next innovation. Stop here. First, you have to train your gut to be honest. Then, you have to listen to it. If you have developed reliable intuition, always go with it.
Thanks to: tron jordheim of Storage Mart.

2. This Business is for the Birds

If your business products and/or services are not growing in two – five years, with no profits and/or revenue after a few years, then you should throw in the towel. Your business has to show some kind of growth, whether it is having more customers, making more money, or getting media attention. If you are in debt and your business is draining your family, friends and investors and you see no way that you are going to generate money to pay these people back, then you need to go out of business.
Thanks to: Eula M. Young, COO of Griot’s Roll Film Production.

3. Failure is a Lesson Learned

Success in business can be as much about timing as it is about doing all of the right things. A savvy entrepreneur has a business plan that maps the journey and highlights benchmarks along the way to make sure the business is feasible. When the plan misses every destination along the route, it’s time to cancel the trip. A new itinerary is needed. Evaluate at 6 month intervals and adjust to make a profit or close down, regroup and take advantage of a lesson learned.
Thanks to: Vicki Donlan of VickiDonlan.

4. If it’s No Longer Fun Move on

We only have one life, so if you find that you are consistently not excited about what you are doing, then it’s time to move on and find something else. I’ve been in business for 9 years and I love what I do. Also, you may want to consider doing something else in addition to your business. For example, you could find a partner that enables you to continue on with your business, while you work a full time job.
Thanks to: John Paul Engel of Project Be The Change.

5. No Cash? No Passion

If you run out of cash or run out of passion, it’s time to give up!
Thanks to: Barry Moltz of Shafran Moltz Group.

6. Vision Has Vanished

Motivation is the key factor for moving forward. Entrepreneurship requires invention and ability to regard trial and error not as failure, but as a step closer to success. Lack of motivation to explain slow progress, paired with embarrassment or lost confidence, signals the time to move on. Losing excitement about your work and inability to tolerate one more revision of your vision, as it has completely vanished, is the hallmark of time to throw in the towel.
Thanks to: Elinor Stutz of Smooth Sale, LLC.

7. Customers Drive that Bus

Don’t throw in the towel because you need more funding… or are worn out – ‘if’ you have an idea that customers are embracing. That’s the time to grit your teeth, focus on the future, and practice persistence. However, if your customers are telling you that they won’t open their wallets for your product or service – and you’ve already done everything to re-define your offering to them – bag it. Make sure you don’t fall in love with your product/service, unless your customers will as well.
Thanks to: David Sears of PrintResource.

8. Look at the Numbers

When you figure the economics of your business model, the constraints and the reality of the situation, you can easily figure out when you should finally throw in the towel. What type of runway do you have left, 2 weeks? 1 month? 3 months? How can you extend that runway? What can you do to salvage your business? Will anything new work? Basically, you have to free yourself from emotion and think rationally.
Thanks to: Danny Wong of Customized Shirts for Men.

9. Loss of Passion

A business owner should either sell the company (if it has intrinsic value) or shut it down (should there be zero marketable value) when they lose the passion and drive to continue operating the business on a daily basis. Regardless of the financial health of the enterprise, all owners reach a point in time where they lose the “fire in the belly”, and this loss of energy, enthusiasm, and enjoyment related to business ownership is extremely difficult to regain.
Thanks to: Michael Fekkes of ENLIGN Business Brokers.

10. Think and Grow Rich Revisited

As a turnaround manager for a bankruptcy trustee, I was very successful at helping failing businesses to succeed. I frequently saw the realization of an old quote. Napoleon Hill, in his book Think and Grow Rich offered the best advice to entrepreneurs contemplating quitting. “Don’t quit until you talk to a professional.” In many instances, entrepreneurs are only shy a couple hundred dollars a month to break even. Sometimes, it just takes a new set of eyes to see the way out of a dark place.
Thanks to: Russ Allred of Hot 100 Business Advisors.

11. Biz Making You Sick? Get Out!

Entrepreneurs are a hardy lot – we challenge the odds, work hard for success, and perform introspective exercises before, during and while running our businesses. If you’ve been running your business and not making good positive headway toward your business goals, that’s one thing…but to stay in a situation when it’s negatively affecting your physical and/or mental health is self-destructive. Know when to walk away – keep a balance – so you preserve your health and can return to fight again.
Thanks to: Dianne M. Daniels of Image & Color Services.

12. Quit? Only When You’re Dead!

When is it time to quit? Dave Ramsey says it’s when you can’t take care of your family, and when you can’t find a way to make the business take care of your family. But ask yourself – have you done absolutely EVERYTHING – I mean EVERYTHING – to make it succeed? If not, get off your butt and do it! If that gets you outside of a comfort zone, so much the better. I have a friend who will let a business die because he refuses to make cold calls. Don’t be that guy! Quit when you’re dead.
Thanks to: Troy Harrison of SalesForce Solutions.

13. Winners Know When to Quit

Sometimes it takes a winner to know when to quit. How many of us hear Vince Lombardi telling us: “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”. However, I like the way W.C. Fields puts it better: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no use being a damn fool about it.” If there’s no end in sight, your goals aren’t going to be reached, you’ve lost your motivation, or you just don’t like the direction you’re heading in, then maybe it’s time to move on.
Thanks to: Lori Friedlander of Flore Fine Flowers.

14. One Time When It’s OK to Quit

Did you know you must be strong to quit? After all, quitting is for the weak, right? WRONG! 10 years I struggled before I faced my own ugly ego and learned it takes courage to quit. Look at your business and sales metrics, pray, be objective and seek counsel. Let go of ego and quit if that’s the right thing to do. Don’t be pig-headed like I was. Quitting gave me freedom to discover what I’m really passionate about and build a successful company around that. Marry the result, not the business.
Thanks to: Chris Goegan of Engineered Marketing Solutions.

15. No Next Big Idea? Quit!

When the business cycle moves the economy down, if you are an entrepreneur and you don’t have ready the “next big idea” for your business, you might as well shut the doors and try to get a job. Technology, markets, and competition are changing at such lightning speed these days that an entrepreneur must have a “next big idea” ready at all times to stay afloat. I can vouch for this. My firm is 35 years old and has had at least 7 “new big ideas.”
Thanks to: Leonard Scott of Leonard Scott & Company.

16. The Energy Drain

Businesses begin with a lot of excitement, energy and enthusiasm and when the honeymoon is over, it quickly transitions into hard work, patience and commitment (with a little mix of fun). If YOU have lost your excitement, energy and enthusiasm for your business – MOVE ON! There are plenty of other opportunities out there and it is not worth the frustration to fix something you are not emotionally invested in.
Thanks to: Sandie Glass of Sandstorm, www.sandstormideas.com.

17. No Clear Client = No Results

Even though you may have the BEST WORK or BEST business idea (in your mind), if you can’t define the client – who will buy it and why they need it – Give it up. If you have no client need that you’re addressing, it will likely fail. It’s best to first define your client, identify their gaps and why they need you – then – create a product or service to bridge that gap, not the other way around.
Thanks to: Cena Block of Sane Spaces Productivity Consulting.

18. The No Return Policy

I think that it’s time to throw in the towel with your business when you have consistently made some investments over time with hopes of seeing a return and you continue to get nothing back. If you’re making investments and you keep getting less than you put out, but you are getting something, you may want to make some business adjustments. However, if your business has consistently proven to cost you more than it’s worth, you may want to consider throwing in the towel and trying something else.
Thanks to: Kevin Benton of Kevin Benton Ministries.

19. Throwing in the Towel

If you’ve been working at something for at least 18 to 24 months, and you haven’t seen revenue or interest, that certainly is the time to say good-bye. If you are doing this as an avocation, and there is interest, enthusiasm and curiosity, but just no dollars, you have to make the decision as to whether you want to continue your own personal investment. Passion is important but remember, the IRS says that if you aren’t making money in 3 years, it’s a hobby!
Thanks to: Gayle Carson of Carson Research Center.

20. Once an Entrepreneur…

My firm belief is that a true entrepreneur NEVER quits, NEVER gives up, just ADDS TO…after 31 years as a business owner, I find that I have an amazing array of services to offer others. Had I given up, I never would have diversified, and never would be where I am today.

The most important thing is to know when to give up on SOMEONE ELSE – but never yourself! They will make it abundantly clear to you when it is time to leave them in the dust!

Thanks to: Sheila Van Houten of New Light Consulting Corporation.

21. To Be or Not to Be

This is a really difficult question and one that each individual must answer for him/herself. For me, it will be time when the flame has been snuffed out completely. By that I mean the passion has died – belief in me and my product are in doubt. For others – If you truly believe you can make it and you are seeing some progress…keep at it. Belief in yourself is huge – but if there is no work coming in at all – or worse yet – no interest – you may need to move on.
Thanks to: Kellie Auld of Simply Communicating.

22. When to Give Up!

When to close your business is both a personal and business decision. There are many options to try to improve your business financial bottom line, including Six Sigma process improvement, lean methods, working with vendors to negotiate better terms, and bankruptcy reorganization. If your business has taken every possible chance to turn it financially around and had no success, it is likely time to close your business.
Thanks to: Carol Coots of Practical Cost Reduction.

23. Calling UNCLE

For those of you with a stubborn streak like me, calling uncle is never easy. I always think there is another way to find a work around or at least tread water until I can figure out a better way.

However, sometimes calling uncle, moving on and spending your energy on something more positive and rewarding is the best thing to do. The telltale sign that it is time to step back and punt is when the problem becomes all encompassing and nothing else seems to matter. Trust me…it ain’t so!

Thanks to: Ben Baker of CMYK Solutions Inc..

24. When to Fold your Cards

The first clue that you are in serious trouble is if you have already been in business one year and you are not making money. You must assess whether you have a competitive advantage or whether you are a “me too” business. If you cannot leverage a competitive advantage in the marketplace, you are a “me too”. A “me too” needs to be the low cost supplier in order to compete on price. If you do not have a competitive advantage or are not the low cost supplier, it is time to fold your cards.
Thanks to: Robert Papes of Papes Consulting.

25. When it is No Longer Fun!

We go into business for ourselves for many different reasons – we think we have a great idea; we have a passion for our product or service; we want the independence of working for ourselves. I say it is time to give up when it is no longer fun. If your business has the feel of a J.O.B., then go get one and let that ‘boss’ sweat the payroll and payables and marketing, and inventory; etc. etc.
Thanks to: Heidi McCarthy of Toughest Customer.

26. From Crudcakes to Plan B!

If you can answer a solid YES to any of these, then it’s time to rebrand, repurpose, or release your business venture:

Have you:
A) Stopped innovating?
B) Realized that your business model/offering is no longer useful in the current profitable market setting? (eg. typewriter ribbon sales)
C) Noticed a downward trend in usership/purchases and can’t think of a remedy for that particular obstacle?

Thanks to: Akilah Richards of Voz Visual: A Creative Branding Co..

27. If You are Singing the Blues..

If you can’t whistle a happy tune & you dread the day, time to move on. If you’re not happy, it’s impossible for your employees to be happy & impossible to have happy customers. 60% of businesses don’t earn a profit; it’s clearly not always money that keeps us going. Networks, purpose, legacy, filling time, & service constitute good reasons to keep going. If your days are longer than they are happy, quit while there is something left to leave. Find a place to sing “Oh What a beautiful Morning”.
Thanks to: Julie Auslander of cSubs –Subscriptions Simplified.

28. When You’re Ready

So, 60% of businesses don’t earn profits in their lifetime. Why do we do it? It’s a passion. It’s opportunity. It’s a dream come true. It’s our hopes. It’s energizing. It’s exciting. You throw in the towel when you simply don’t view your business this way. When your business doesn’t deliver and you’re ready to accept that fact, that’s when you’ll give it up- not a second earlier than when you’re ready.
Thanks to: Haleh Rabizadeh Resnick of Little Patient Big Doctor.

29. Is Your Business a “Grenade”?

Just like on Jersey Shore, when the boys are trying to dump the “grenades” they bring home from the bar as quickly as they can, there comes a time when you have to dump your business if you don’t love what you are doing anymore.

I say THAT is when it’s time to quit. If your business is not profitable yet, but you do enjoy the challenge & time spent trying to make it profitable, then hang in there until something happens. But if you dread working on it – do yourself a favor and cut it loose.

Thanks to: Barb Roehler of BR Innovations LLC.

30. If You’re Dying, it’s Dying

The day you wake up, feel you’re dying, the stress is more than is bearable, and the last thing you want to do is go to work, then it’s probably time! Problem solving, dealing with stress, and keeping up the attitude when there seems to be no reason to is the mark of an entrepreneur. This does not mean every day has to be fun and excitement; there are the mundane days and the not so great days and even the devastating days. Yet, being able to pick up, rethink and continue is an absolute! Lose that and you’re done!
Thanks to: Harlan Goerger of H. Goerger & Associates Inc.

31. Finding the Heart in Your Art!

It’s been said that if you do what you love, the money will follow. What happens if you follow your heart and you arrive at a place nothing like what you envisioned? Sometimes, you need to find another way to live your dream. It’s time to find another path when you wake up and it’s become a job! Here are two suggestions. Give yourself a timeline to get your passion back and be prepared to shut up shop and move on when that time runs out. There’s nothing worse than dying in a place you hate!
Thanks to: Michael D. Russo of Author of “Why Bankruptcy Rocks”.

32. Business < Goals & Objectives

Your business should be based on Goals & Objectives, both personal and professional. It’s more than just profitability. Why are you in business? What is your personal motivation?

Regularly assess how you are doing against your G&Os. If you have three quarters in a row where you are not meeting your G&Os, it’s time to seriously reassess. Is this a short-term dip or trend? Five quarters in a row… you should have a change in your business model in process or an exit strategy.

Thanks to: Faith Fuqua-Purvis of Synergetic Solutions LLC.

33. Look for the Open Door

When a door closes in front of you, spend little time trying to pry it back open. Rather, look to the right and the left for the best available open door. Chances are good that passing through the open door will lead you down a better path. When you examine the path on the other side of the closed door, often times it was leading to a dead end and the door was closed for a reason.
Thanks to: Paul Scheatzle of Bailey Rehabilitation.

34. Relationships

There are the obvious reasons why a business will fail- a dream but no concrete research, location, product etc. Many businesses fail because partnerships are formed on a basis of friendship, the baggage of which translates poorly into long term working relationships. I had a small gift business with a partner. Her idea of “work” was very different than mine. My understanding of “start-up commitment” clashed with her conception of how many hours a day or week she would work.
Thanks to: Alexandra Clair.

35. Gotta Know When to Fold ‘Em

Throwing in the towel must be an individual decision.

As I’ve been transitioning my consulting business to an online information business, I’ve done it a few times.

I lost money because I didn’t do good due diligence on an internet marketing coach and a PR firm. I pulled the plug and was better off.

I cut the price of an online offer from $397 to $77 and made money as a result.

My best advice is don’t quit too soon — but recognize when something just won’t work and get out.

Thanks to: Bud Bilanich of The Common Sense Guy.

36. When it’s Not Fun, You’re Done

As long as you’re committed to your business and feel passionate about your work, stay with it. Sure, there will be good days and bad. But if you love it, it’s worth fighting for, even in difficult times. Call it quits only when you realize you’re no longer enjoying the hard work and looking forward to each day. When it’s not fun, you’re done!
Thanks to: Susan Greene of Freelance Copywriter.

37. Fast “Towel” Exercise

Clear your mind of EVERYTHING. Now “fool your mind” with the following scenario: All businesses/strategies will pay the same & the success rate is the same. This REMOVES factors like worry, money, fear, etc.

Now, think of your existing problem. Will you still pursue this course of action? After all, the success rate is 100%, so why aren’t you successful? This is a hard exercise for most people, as they don’t want to look at what’s really going on. Yet, the answer will ultimately be clear.

Thanks to: David Weber of Learn About Flow.

38. Ask your Ego

As I went through med school I watched as people dropped out all along the way for many reasons, all “valid” to them. Some even quit during their residency! This being after they fought to get in! It made no sense to me until my 8th year of practice when I had to admit that what I was doing wasn’t working on a personal level. I had a great career and no life.

Bottom line; you quit when the pain of your situation is stronger than your ego’s ability to tolerate being called a quitter.

Thanks to: Dr Bill Toth of Create Your Fate.

39. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Do a personal reality check. If you find yourself despising what you are doing and those closest to you are feeling it and asking you why you bother, you may want to ask yourself the same question. This is not to say that things won’t be stressful or challenging at times, especially in the current economic situation. But at some point, you will need to really ask the questions “Is this worth it?” and “Do I really want to do this?” If the answer is no, it may be time to move on.
Thanks to: Mike Saxton of Science Fiction Author.

40. It’s Never “OK” to Quit

Entrepreneurs, let’s get one thing straight…it’s never okay to quit! Hold this firmly in your mind and know that you can stop and start over again, change industries, switch products, and try new things as often as you feel the need, but never quit. If a specific business is “not working out,” examine first your intentions. Are you in it just for the money? Save yourself the agony; you are headed for misery. If you are in it to improve the lives of others, keep going…you will never fail.
Thanks to: Steve Gallegos of WhoYa.

41. The Best Solution Survives

Ask yourself the following 3 questions: 1) Is the competition’s product or service superior to mine? 2) Does it do a better job of solving a problem? 3) Is it a better value? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you either need to improve your product or service FAST or close your doors.
Thanks to: Mark Reff of One Touch Art, Inc..

42. Are We Having Fun Yet?

Spare yourself thoughts of sunk costs, fantasy projections, and expert opinions. Answer this question: am I having fun? If not, it might be time to quit. 5 signs it isn’t fun anymore: 1) at 5pm you bail faster than Fred Flintstone from his brontosaurus crane, 2) your industry is in decline, causing a mental overhang, 3) your stress level is high, 4) relationships with people are strained, and 5) it feels like a “job”. Aristotle: “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”
Thanks to: Adam Drake of Highland Investment Advisors, LLC.

43. Failure to Plan

Most businesses start on a shoe string and fail to establish their business credit properly. Then, they run into cash flow problems that literally suck the life out of the company. It is essential to separate your business credit and financials from your personal credit and financials. If you did not set the business up properly and you are struggling, you would be better off to close and start over.
Thanks to: Robert Ritch of Robert Ritch and Associates.

44. Emotions Must Not Rule

When starting a business, you have to set a strict limit on the amount of money you are prepared to lose, and a fixed time for the amount of money you want to earn. If you have not done this, you are likely already in trouble. If these three criteria are not met the endeavor MUST be given up immediately. Emotions must not rule your decision.
Thanks to: Selwyn Goodwin of www.selwyndgoodwin.com.

45. Is it a Business or a Hobby?

My firm, Marketing+, has worked with a number of small business owners over our 16-year history. One of the very first questions I ask in our initial meeting is “Is this your livelihood or is this your hobby?” If you are not willing to spend a minimum of 40 hours a week, develop a marketing plan, commit advertising or promotional funds toward its growth and knock on an endless number of doors I say, save your money…it is a hobby!
Thanks to: Marsha Hendler of Marketing+.

46. Entrepreneurs Don’t Fade

I’ve pursued an aviation development business for five years and have had three investor groups drop out on the day of lease signing. I’ve invested everything I have (and don’t have) and still have four very valuable deals waiting for the right investor group. It’s not quitting time, but it’s parallel movement time for income until the deals find the right partners. It’s only time to quit a new business when the opportunity fades; the entrepreneur never fades if the opportunity still has life.
Thanks to: Jay Taffet of Author, The Zen of Financial Peril.

47. Passion Fruit

Passion drives vision…

Vision drives business…

No passion, no vision…

No vision, no business…

Walk away…

Thanks to: Troy Campbell of TROYBOY INTERNATIONAL.

48. It’s time 2 close the business

…when you run out of money. Capital is crucial in any business.
Thanks to: Gerg Monterrosa of MyLLC.com.

49. Ask Yourself 3 Key Questions

1. Am I enjoying what I’m doing?
2. Does my business add value to our customers?
3. Do I have an income (from the business or from something else) sufficient to live on?

If so – keep going. If not – on to your next adventure!

Thanks to: Elene Cafasso of Enerpace, Inc. Executive Coaching.

50. Can’t See Success? Move on!

When your business is struggling and your passion is fading, try to imagine that your goals are achieved 12 months from now. Can you outline the action steps you need to take in order to achieve your goals? Can you imagine the satisfied customers? Can you see your success? Be honest with yourself in this process and don’t force the visions; just let them naturally come to you. When you can no longer envision the success of your product or service, it’s time to move on!
Thanks to: Tina Nies of Be Happier Today.

51. Ego!

If your business has been unprofitable for an extended period of time & the only hope for success is fueled by your ego, i.e. you’re too embarrassed to call quits – it’s time to throw in the towel! Understand & accept the fact that you may advocate your plans & ideas as much as you want & you may even win the argument, but at the end of the day, that does not make your business profitable, so eventually, it’s your loss if you let your ego ride over your business sense! Wake up – Give up – Move on!
Thanks to: Devesh Dwivedi of Breaking The 9 To 5 Jail.

52. Love it or Leave it

In the beginning, find things you love to do, so in the end, you will stick them out. When you wake up and no longer have the love to do something, it is a sign that you need to sell, bail or move your tail.
Thanks to: Derrick Hayes of WOE Enterprises .

53. Say “Uncle” On Your Terms

The decision to call it quits on a business is highly personal. If we consider each new business for what it is–an experiment–the question of when to step out of the lab becomes harder to answer because growing a business can take six months or a lifetime. Ask, “Why am I doing this?” If the answer is, “I don’t know,” or if you are no longer enthused, parlay your knowledge into something new. Hanging on for the sake of seeing it through just isn’t smart. After all, this is business.
Thanks to: Sherrie Madia of Author, S.E.R.I.A.L.PRENEURSHIP.

54. Throw in the Towel? Not Today

After you have tried every idea you have to make it work.
After you have lost your passion for what you are doing.
The pundits wrote off the Rolling Stones as a passing sensation and one had the unmitigated gall to say: You’ll look funny when you’re fifty. They’re now in their late sixties and can still pack any arena. If you have a good idea and have passion for it, never quit. If you can’t do that, here’s a one-way ticket back to the servitude of Corporate America for you.
Thanks to: Greg Gottsacker of North Star Business Systems.

55. Passion… the Underlying Factor

I would have to say it depends. The numbers can tell you that a company is failing or not, if you are not meeting your break-even numbers and you are continuing to have negative Profit and Loss. However, numbers cannot take into account Passion. If the Passion is there, there are always options. You can work with a coach to help modify the business, reduce costs, or increase sales. Thus, numbers tell facts, but passion is the underlying factor.
Thanks to: Gwen Smith of Vision Interface.
Original article found at http://www.carolroth.com/unsolicited-business-advice/?p=4266

What it Takes to Save Money

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

I recently saw a comment by BILL WADDELL at www.superfactory.com.  I kept thinking how could this business idea be converted into personal savings.

The quote is : “It doesn’t matter whether you are selling $250 dinners, or $1 flashlight batteries, it is the degree to which work is well done that determines your success, and no amount of manipulating the money can compensate for a lack of work well done.”  If you want to be successful at home, where money is concerned, it depends on the effort you place on completing this task. If you do not plan how you want to achieve this task, it is unlikely it will be achieved. It takes more than just a budget. It takes a willingness to learn how and where to cut spending and Stop Wasting Money.

Your guide to writing, publishing and marketing books and ebooks at sellingbooks.com

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Carol Coots – Stop Wasting Money

by Cathy B Stucker

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Our book is called Stop Wasting Money. Our book is about showing both consumers and business owners how to look at money and not waste it.

In this book, we look at multiple factors before we say a product or an idea will save money. There is much misleading information in the public domain that is geared toward a specific product or idea. This book takes into account the product, manufacturer, store that sells the products, time to obtain the product or outcome, gasoline used to obtain the product(s), and any additional savings that are possible to obtain. The ideas in this book can help the financial strain of anyone single, a family, or a business owner.

Tell us something about yourself.

I have worked in the healthcare industry for over 20 years and my husband who is the co-author has worked in manufacturing and is a Six Sigma Master Black Belt/Process Improvement Specialist for over 10 years. Together we have saved businesses over $50,000,000 (million) dollars in improving their processes and costs. Growing up in a family that had their own business initially taught me about saving money and knowing where to spend it.

What inspired you to write this book?

When my husband made a comment that any person or business can lie with statistics and charts I got angry that they would purposely mislead the public. I wanted to then share the information I had learned with others. This book is not about stopping spending money. It is about wisely spending money and understand your choices.

How did you choose the title?

My husband wanted title that would show what the book is about in the title itself.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

We went through the company Create Space, owned by Amazon. They have many templates to make the process easy. They also have a network of book stores they work with to help get your book more available. Our biggest obstacle is since the book is print on demand many of the huge brink and mortar stores will not carry it on their shelves and only carry it on their online stores. We are working with libraries and independent bookstores that are more open to carrying these types of books.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I have been called a walking textbook by friends, family, and my past students. It was just a matter of having the passion about a subject and sitting and writing it.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

How much I did actually know and use the ideas to share with others.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

I would better plan out the marketing to make it flow more easily.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

I really like to read self help books on health, home, garden, house improvement, decorating, and business. I do not necessarily have a favorite author. I more look at how well the ideas flow and are easy to understand.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

Our book Stop Wasting Money can be found at Amazon or directly through our website. Our website is www.stopwastingmoneybook.com. Our site lists many ways to save money, including a blog and newsletter. We can be found on Facebook and Twitter. We also have business advice at www.atozmedicalaudits.com, www.practicalcostreduction.com, and www.medicalbillrescue.com

How Do I Save Money for an Emergency Fund

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Many consumers never save money or much money for an emergency fund. I have had many people ask how can I start doing this when I am financially strapped. Look at what you are spending. Our book Stop Wasting Money shows many ways to save money without giving up what you want to eat, drink, services or products you use. A simple start is saving your change if you use cash. When you look at what you are spending you can see differences in prices. For example, when you go to a movie if it is after 5 pm many charge full price. If you go by noon to 4 P.M. the theater will usually lower the price by about $3.00, which is usually around $7.00.  Something many people do not know is if you go in the morning before noon it can be as little $4.00 to see a movie. This is a simple way you can save money and still have some fun also.  Dave Ramsey, national financial author, (http://www.daveramsey.com) recommends having at least $1000 to start in an emergency fund. See how many ways you can save money. Many companies have laid employees off right before Christmas. This makes it very hard if you do not have any money saved up for expenses or at least some type of Christmas for your family. In this economy having money for emergencies can be a matter of not losing your home, paying for healthcare, or just buying food to eat. I always look for coupons if it is something I am going to purchase anyway.

Ways to Save Money

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Recently I went to a national chain office supply store to pick up a few products. I picked up a catalog of items that they can deliver to your home or office. To my surprise the prices in the catalog where as much as 15-50% higher than what the items cost on the shelves. This is because the offered “free” delivery. The difference in the costs of the catalog products covered their delivery costs. Make sure what you buy is not wasting money. Buying one item may not be worth traveling to pick up the supply, unless it is a big difference. I have saved as much as $80 when I went to pick up two items myself at a major chain office supply store.

How to Save Money by Going Green

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

How to Save Money by Going Green

By Shel Horowitz

Permission to Publish: As long as the biographical slug is included unedited (or edits cleared with the author), permission is freely given to republish and repost, in whole or in part. The slug must be included.

Most businesses waste lots of money on energy and paper—but a lot of the fixes are easy and cheap (even free). Here are a few among many easy ways to lower your power consumption, and your cost:

Save Energy:

  • Insulate outlets on exterior walls. Foam gaskets take about a minute each to install. Baby-safety outlet protectors install in two seconds. These two simple measures will vastly lower the amount of wrong-temperature air that comes in from the outside.
  • Plug computers, peripherals, coffee pots, audio and video equipment, and other appliances into surge suppressors, and turn off the power strips when you close for the night, or when they’re not going to be used for a few hours. Train your staff to hit the switch.
  • Turn off unneeded lights on sunny days and at night.
  • Expand your temperature comfort range, gradually. Turn the heat down in the winter, and the A/C up in the summer. Start with just two or three degrees, then when people have acclimated, do it again. If you have windows that open, use them in warm weather.
  • Pull drapes closed on cold winter nights and hot summer days, and open them on sunny winter days or cool summer nights.

Save Paper (and Toner):

  • Switch to duplexing printers, and train staff to print on both sides of the page.
  • Use draft mode to consume less toner.
  • Consider, before printing, whether you really need a paper copy.
  • Rather than ordering (and then wasting) quantities of letterhead, design electronic letterhead you can incorporate into your document so it automatically prints each time you need it.

Save Gasoline:

  • Provide incentives for employees to bike, carpool, use public transit, and/or telecommute.
  • If rush-hour traffic is an issue at your location, start a flex-time program that has employees spending more time working productively and less time burning gas and moving one mile an hour.
  • Source as many products locally as possible (restaurant and grocery owners, among other businesses, can make this a huge marketing advantage, too).
  • Examine driving patterns for delivery vehicles, etc., and develop routes that maximize efficiency.
  • When buying new corporate vehicles, look for the smallest and most fuel-efficient that will get the job done.
  • Maintain all vehicles properly. Routine servicing and proper tire inflation can preserve a vehicle for many years.

Reduce Waste:

  • Switch from wasteful bottled water to filtered tap water, if you’re based in a place with good water (such as nearly all of the US, Canada, and Europe).
  • Reuse your waste. Paper or wall covering rolls, cardboard tubes, and scrap wood can be donated to schools and community centers for art projects. Wooden pallets, clean cardboard boxes, bubble mailers, and packing peanuts can be reused again for their original purpose. Working with a remanufacturer, old soda bottles can be turned into park benches, craft items, and tote bags. Food scraps can feed pigs or fuel vegetable oil-powered cars.
  • Use washable and replaceable items instead of throwaways: ceramic coffee mugs, rags or sponges instead of paper towels, reusable cloth napkins…

The primary author (with Jay Conrad Levinson) of the acclaimed new book Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green, www.guerrillamarketinggoesgreen.com, Shel Horowitz is a marketing and environmental consultant/speaker who helps businesses not only go Green but also effectively market their Green commitment. Emphasizing affordable, eco-friendly, and ethical approaches, he has served clients across North America, Europe, and Asia. He is the founder of the International Association of Earth-Conscious Marketers and the Business Ethics Pledge. For a directory of all his websites, please visit www.shelhorowitz.com Reach him at 413-586-2388, shel@principledprofit.com, Twitter @ShelHorowitz

The Return on Investment of Using an Inventory Service

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

When does spending money, save you money? The answer to that question is when you purchase a professional personal property inventory service. The cost of this service is extremely reasonable, and the positive outcome is three-fold.

Why do you need an inventory? If you experience a loss from a fire, theft or natural disaster, you will be required to provide a thorough, itemized list of all of your belongings to the insurance company. This list will need to include the manufacturer, model and serial numbers, date purchased and the price paid. Even when you have insurance, this process will be required so the insurance company will know the amount of your settlement.

TIME ROI. Professional service providers normally have a well-executed process that will complete your entire home or business inventory in a very short time. While they are completing your documentation, you can be accomplishing other tasks that need to be addressed. If you’re a business owner, your time is much better spent doing what you do best – running your business or generating sales.

If you do have to file a claim, time is of the essence to get back to the ordinary again. Insurance adjusters state that people with an inventory can file their initial claim within 36-48 hours of a disaster. Those without an inventory take from 4-12 months to complete the process.

EMOTIONAL ROI. Imagine sitting among the rubble of a tornado or the wet muck after a fire – or looking at a sparsely-filled room after a burglary. Without an inventory, could you remember what you own(ed)? Consider the emotional turmoil you’d feel, and how much more difficult it would be to collect your thoughts.

FINANCIAL ROI. Being able to list everything you own will allow for a maximized insurance claim. Often, insurance companies will require proof of high-end items such as big screen TVs, top-of-the-line power tools, etc. An inventory will support your claim with photos and model and serial numbers.

Additionally, you can increase your deductible because you’ll recover much more than what you paid for your inventory service and the higher deductible. If you are lucky enough to never need to file a claim, the higher deductible/lower premium will save you a large sum of money over the course of a lifetime.

The time, emotion and money benefits you’ll receive by having an inventory are well worth the investment; you can’t really put a price tag on peace of mind.

Ask for Cindy as she can make a difference.

http://www.hartmaninventory.com/