Posts Tagged ‘time’

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 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

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.


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

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

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:
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.


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.


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


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


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 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

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

Business Money Wasters from

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

With the economic environment showing little sign of improvement, businesses really need to look for any possible way to streamline their expenses. So this week, I decided to reach out to my network of trusted experts and entrepreneurs to find out how they think businesses can cut unnecessary expenses to improve profits. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.

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

1. Toll Free Numbers?

I think 800 numbers are obsolete and a waste of money today. There was a time when they were a necessity, but telephone plans now include long distance, so there is no need to have them.

Does this impact sales? Not anymore.

Does this save you money each month? Absolutely.

Thanks to: Rosanne Dausilio PhD of Human Technologies Global Inc.

2. Fools Rush In

I made a mistake a few years ago that cost me dearly…I had big dreams of what I could do with a potential client and after several talks with them and what I believed was closing in on sealing the deal – I went and purchased the equipment I knew I would need to fulfill the contract. Well…guess what…the contract fell through because the company ended up in a union dispute and ultimately, the workers went on strike – voila – the deal was kaput. Live and learn! Seal the deal first!
Thanks to: Kellie Auld of Simply Communicating.

3. Networking or Not Working?

Spending time and money on networking with people who are not customers, clients or prospects may feel productive and offer the promise of referrals. However, the return on investment is normally minuscule. This applies to in-person and social media.
Thanks to: Janet Christy of Leverage & Development, LLC.

4. Outsource

When I assumed control of this small but talented marketing company, we had strategists, creative people and admins. As times required leaner operations, I began laying off admin personnel and outsourcing the functions. And it worked. In fact, it worked better than having my own employees. The bottom line is that our firm’s sales are based on our talented strategists and creative minds, not our ability to manage a/r.
Thanks to: Robert Rippee of FORMO.

5. Things of the Past!

Technology has made life and daily office functions compatible and economical to the New Age entrepreneur. Email, efax, IPads, Kindle readers, smart phones and all the latest age instruments we use make printers (with expensive cartridges), copy machines, telephone systems, realms of paper and excessive man hours obsolete. We can do all of our office functions now from the palm of our hands!
Thanks to: Sherell Edwards of The Christian Women’s Leadership Ex.

6. Ditch Your Real Estate

You should think about whether you REALLY need a physical location. Unless you need space for customer visits or most of your sales are from walk-in customers, there is a good chance you can either downsize your building or get rid of it altogether. Can you squeeze into a smaller footprint and sublet your extra space? Sure, it feels good to have a building with your name on the door, but does it really generate profits??
Thanks to: Courtney French of CVF Racing.

7. Getting Your Name Out There

Getting your name out there is a complete waste of money for small business owners. You may as well put a sandwich board on and walk down Main Street ringing a bell, or call everybody in your town and say your name. McDonald’s and Microsoft can afford announcement advertising. Small business owners have to master guerilla marketing and use direct response ads ONLY. Give the reader of your ad a headline that sums up your business, a reason to care, a call to action and a REASON to visit your website.
Thanks to: Jim Josselyn of The academy of Music and Drama.

8. Do It Yourself

As a sole practitioner, I used to outsource some routine tasks, like producing and distributing my eZine.

I have found that I can do this myself, and by working an extra hour or two on the weekend, I can save about $600 a month.

So, I have been working weekends more and outsourcing less.

Thanks to: Bud Bilanich of The Common Sense Guy.

9. Big Money Waster

The biggest money waster I can think of is the wasting of time. It’s the one thing you’ll never get back. If you used your time more effectively, you’d have more of it left over to do the things you should be doing like pleasing and acknowledging customers, trying various marketing strategies and listening to what your employees suggest. People who utilize their time effectively get almost 5 times the amount done than others who do not. Learning that skill will set you apart.
Thanks to: Gayle Carson of Carson Research Center.

10. Buildings Begone!

One of the biggest expenses in business is real estate…trying to have your whole operation and all employees under one roof. I don’t know about it being the Age of Aquarius, but it is the age of outsourcing, telecommuting, and the internet. It’s amazing how much your peeps can do from remote locations around the world. Today, so much communicating is electronic via phone and internet, so why not take advantage of it. Keep your overhead very low and you’ll survive any economic climate.
Thanks to: craig wolfe of CelebriDucks.

11. Failing to Plan Can Cost You

Here is a real easy way to save money in the long run. Plan & implement your marketing strategy 6 months to a year out. Take into consideration ALL the events you are going to exhibit at, ALL the materials you are going to need to print and ALL the promotional marketing pieces you will need and implement through one source at one time. By looking at your overall marketing picture in advance, you save money on design, printing and shipping, which goes right to the bottom line.
Thanks to: Ben Baker of CMYK Solutions Inc..

12. The Insecurity Costs

The biggest money wasters are all those costs that relate to endlessly checking, double checking, redoing someone else’s work, and micromanaging. I call these “insecurity costs”.
Thanks to: Stefania Lucchetti of Stefania Lucchetti.

13. Save Your Advertising Dollars

Many small business owners believe getting an ad once or twice in a local newspaper will grow their business. Save your dollars. If you want to be in the paper, host an event and then, send a press release. Not only will the article give you instant credibility, but speaking in front of a room will bring in new clients. Learn to build a relationship from the front of a room and you will get results.
Thanks to: Loren Fogelman of Mindset for Marketing Success.

14. Review Your Phone Plans

Many small business owners can get rid of their land line and use their cell phone for business and long distance calls. This can save between $30 to $40 a month. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but that is $480 a year. Also, take some time to analyze your cell phone plan and make sure you are in a plan that suits your needs. If you are going over in minutes or texts, then you need to increase your plan to avoid overage charges.
Thanks to: Sheena Edwards of Lizzie Lou Shoes.

15. Saving Paper Generates Ideas!

Collect all the scrap letter-size paper around the office that is blank on one side, including scrounging the trash cans, waste baskets and desks… and put it in a stack.

Cut that stack in half and then in half again which will give you 4 small note-size sheets from each page. Stack them together, flip… viola! Instant note paper! Do away with post-it’s, legal pads & keep clutter to a minimum!

For a busy office, this will make a difference in 2 weeks… clutter is re-purposed for profit!

Thanks to: eric sommer of Georgetown Film Festival.

16. Money Leaks

Money leaks out of companies because people aren’t focused on what they do to contribute to the bottom line. Show each job holder how the work connects to financial results.
Thanks to: Lunell Haught of Haught Strategies.

17. Throw Out the Server Rack

SMBs can consolidate IT hardware & software costs into one hardware device that is built upon an open source platform with zero software license fees and zero per-user license fees. ClearOS is a great solution.

With a solution like ClearOS and ClearBOX, SMBs can save thousands or tens of thousands of dollars upfront and much more in recurring software updates and service

Thanks to: Aaron Bylund of ClearCenter.

18. STOP Chasing Customers & Sales

Spending money attracting more leads & closing more sales may be the WORST thing you could do for your business. Save your marketing budget & spend some time measuring/improving your profitability first. Profitable growth should be the goal of every business. However, you can only achieve profitable growth after establishing that you are in fact profitable. Break-even analysis is one of the most simple & powerful calculations that you can use each month to measure & enhance your profitability.
Thanks to: Rhondalynn Korolak of Imagineering Unlimited.

19. Know Why They Buy

I was named on six patents, five of which will NEVER see production. Not one customer could be found that expressed a need that those five products could have solved. The one that made millions for the company was a simple solution to a well defined customer centered problem. If you want to reduce waste, use a system that defines the customers’ problem in detail. I suggest you may think of it this way “If the customer is not writing checks for it, don’t do it.” Do nothing more, nothing less.
Thanks to: Daniel Walker of River’s End Consulting, llc.

20. Every $ That Doesn’t Bring $$

In a start-up business, every dollar that you spend should have a reason & ROI associated to it. Leasing a big office, hiring an employee, getting a fancy website, trade shows, billboards, flying business class because your title is President/ CEO now etc., is all waste of money unless you have a reason & ROI associated to it. The rule of thumb is every dollar spent should add to the sales/ revenue, if not, it’s a waste of money. Don’t waste money, send it to me or Carol instead!
Thanks to: Devesh Dwivedi of Entrepreneur In Making.

21. Goodbye to Brick and Mortar

The overhead associated with having commercial space can be reduced through utilization of technology. Hence, many retail locations have become “petting zoos” for those who, in the end, shop online. Costs associated with utilities, office furniture, and myriad expenditures can be reduced by virtual applications and renting meeting space as required or reducing the overall perceived requirement for commercial space.
Thanks to: Denise Anne Taylor of Competitive Advantage, Inc..

22. Scratch the Yellow Pages

Forget the traditional print yellow pages; it’s a big waste of money. First, there can be up to a half-a-dozen different versions in many communities and picking which one is problematic. Second, if you sign-up, you’re locked in for a year, even if you get no results. Finally, think about how YOU look up information about a business, like a phone number or its hours — you Google them for their website, that’s how. When’s the last time you actually picked-up a traditional yellow pages book?
Thanks to: Dave Ramacitti of Marketing Over Easy.

23. Turnover is a Big Cost

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 2 million people quit their jobs every month. A Gallup poll revealed that the majority of workers quit because of something leadership could control. Depending on the situation, it can cost 50% – 150% of annual salary to replace a worker. So, when managers are ineffective leaders, it’s costing big money. How much more product or service must you sell to replace that worker who quit because of bad leadership?
Thanks to: Bob Mason of RLM Planning and Leadership.

24. Spend Less to Get More

Keep shifting your marketing investment away from high-cost traditional advertising towards referrals, e-newsletters, blogs, social marketing, speaking, article writing, and other low-cost or free tactics that establish your credibility and demonstrate value. That way, you get more clients for less money. For instance, many businesses leave money on the table by not focusing enough on increasing customer loyalty and getting more referrals from current customers — all of which is FREE.

Thanks to: Andrew Neitlich of Institute for Business Growth.

25. Catch All Tip

The best way to cut unnecessary expenses is to look at your Income Statement for the last 4 years & compare the changes by line item to see where expenses have changed as a % of sales. This will tell you where the money wasters are. If you have performed at that level before, chances are you can again, with the right focus. Set this best performance benchmark as an objective for improvement, identify the steps for change & implement.
Thanks to: James J Talerico Jr of Greater Prairie Business Consulting.

26. Hire Great People

One wouldn’t necessarily think adding to the payroll would save money. However, I have found the regions where my best people reside don’t require as much of my personal attention. This means our travel budget has been reduced significantly. So, sometimes it might pay to spend a little more on your people, which in turn helps curb other expenses like travel.
Thanks to: Scott Lerner of solixir.

27. Fire Your Customers!

“Fire” your least profitable customer(s); they are the biggest money wasters! As a Radio Station manager, I had a customer that beat me out of every nickel, and had me jumping through hoops to keep his business.

Other customers had ten times his budget, and conducted themselves more professionally.

I finally recommended a station across town that “would serve his needs better”. My productivity went up, and (presumably) my competitor ended up with Human Flypaper on HIS shoe.

Thanks to: Tony Barker of Tony Barker Music.

28. Inventory Can Be Costly

A big waste of money is excess inventory. Plan in advance as to what is needed and order as needed. The excess inventory ties up money that can be utilized in other more important areas of the business. Excess inventory is usually not stored in a convenient place, which causes the waste of motion, taking more time for the employees to do their jobs, as they need supplies that are not close by. It costs more, as employees are less productive in finishing more important tasks.
Thanks to: Carol Coots of Practical Cost Reduction.

29. Biz Telecom, Drain on Revenue

Business telecommunications is a vast desert of “I don’t knows” and “What is this service?” because of lack of knowledge and somewhat justified distrust of utilities. Businesses spend an excessive amount of revenue each year because of their lack knowledge about what their telecommunications infrastructure is comprised of, but there are solutions. Get an analysis! Examine those line rates! Upgrade! Telecommunications is the backbone of commerce and it should be a tool, not an income sucker!
Thanks to: Joshua Hambly of Call One.

30. Go Green & Pay Forward

Don’t waste money sending cards, token gifts, or hosting a costly event that many won’t attend. Make a memorable difference virtually. Send an eCard to celebrate by giving to a worthy cause. An operations consulting client celebrating its 15th anniversary sent an email to its database announcing over 800 trees were planted through the Arbor Foundation based on the number of clients and associates served. The effort brought countless accolades to the firm and local publicity reaching thousands.
Thanks to: Sherre DeMao of SLD Unlimited Marketing/PR, Inc..

31. Utilizing Your Own Community

We find that utilizing our community networks helps cut advertising costs for us. We offer less expensive classes for the community through local Town Recreation Departments and Libraries who do their own advertisement, and then all we have to do is show up and do a great job. No overhead and no advertisement cost! The people then look for our services elsewhere.
Thanks to: Gail Benevente of AJB Productions/A&G Dance Company.

32. Time 4 Profit

One of the largest expenses that most businesses have is payroll. The bottom line is that most business owners schedule too many employees and do not pay attention to the amount of payroll hours they are using. We have all see it when we walk into a place of business and there are several employees standing around not producing. This is an area of any business that is easy to control resulting in greater profit.

The quality of the employees you hire directly impacts profits and losses as well.

Thanks to: Kereakos Zuras of Kereakos Inc..

33. Measure Your Marketing

Measuring the results of all of your marketing efforts is a great way to reduce spending, while not having a negative impact on your business. Whether it is tracking the results of a flyer or determining the effectiveness of pay-per-click advertising, make sure there is a measurable component to every bit of marketing you do. You can look at the results and keep what is working and eliminate those things that do not provide a good return on investment.
Thanks to: Jeff Coleman of Perspective Internet Consulting.

34. Hiring Creative Types

This can be a big money waster in business. An American company once fired six designers in a row after many botched jobs, bad marketing, fights and arguments, and a big search firm bill. The problem was that the company was a technical company and kept hiring designers who were more about “self expression” than “user-centered design”. Not all designers are trained the same way.
Thanks to: Lorraine Justice of School of Design, HKPU.

35. Brand it!

I hate when my clients waste money on co-op ads. Sure it may appear to extend their budget, but it usually does nothing to build their brand. Typically, it just helps the co-op sponsor, who holds all the creative cards. I would rather see my clients invest in their own unique marketing message!
Thanks to: Rhonda Hurwitz of Help Me Rhonda! Marketing Solutions.

36. Digitalize… Duh!

I am amazed at how many people/businesses have not embraced the digital age yet. Stop pressing print!

1 case of paper = $37, 1 Standard File Cabinet = $200 – $3,500 (fireproof), Capacity = 16,000 sheets of paper per cabinet = Approx $118 of paper. Approximate Toner costs per file cabinet = $279. Labor Costs in filing, retrieving and reprinting lost documents annually= $16,000 – $37,000 @ 3-6 minutes (averages) per file. Space annually $75 per file cabinet. You get the idea. Use technology!

Thanks to: Andrew Gay of Social Video Labs.

37. Choke that Inventory Pipeline!

People tend to build up inventories to ease their schedules and work load- all kinds in different businesses: buffer stock, safety stock, information lead time, backup inventory, etc. These lead to greater inefficiency and wastage. Choke the inventory pipeline and see people adjust to lower buffers and become more responsive. Of course, they need to be enabled/empowered to adjust to this new environment- with tools and systems. But don’t wait for it… demand lower inventories now!
Thanks to: Naimish Dave of Avalon Consulting.

38. Don’t Buy the Cow

Businesses that believe that in order to source the strongest talent pool, they must create a full-time position are paying in advance for what they may not need, when they should be taking a pay-as-you-go approach. Often, a freelance professional can get the job done at a fraction of the cost, with the added benefit of enabling you to test drive the talent, gauge the workload, and drive accountability. Let the p’timer convince you that the ROI is worth the full-time salary.
Thanks to: Sherrie A. Madia, Ph.D. of Author, S.E.R.I.A.L.PRENEURSHIP.

39. Turn FREE Traffic into Profits

Wasting money from your budget on advertising? No worries! Drive free traffic back to your website and convert visitors into prospects & buyers. Use other people’s property (e.g. comment on other relevant blogs, be a guest blogger), submit articles to eZine directories (include a resource box with a backlink), utilize jv partnerships & affiliates to promote your products, use your social media network & connections, SEO (search engine optimize) your website and rely on word of mouth from loyal fans!
Thanks to: Zenobia Garrison of Success Transitions.

40. The Temp Agency Bonfire

Temp Agencies are used to augment needs in accounting and HR with temp/PT work. The problem- the “Temp Agency” is not a not-for-profit. They have overhead and a need for a thing called “EARNINGS” just like you. So when you use them, you get $10 per hour talent for $30. This is inefficient, ineffective and as smart as taking a $20 bill and lighting it on fire, every hour, for each temp in the building. Put out the bonfire; outsource your non-core processes with a fixed rate SLA.
Thanks to: Richard Winter of Comprehensive Consulting Services.

41. What is Your Staff Costing?

In my experience, mis-hired, mis-managed and unmotivated staff can cost a business hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars each year. Correct hiring and management procedures help a great deal. A generous incentive scheme and adequate ongoing training also makes a big difference. The Business Owner must understand how important this is or else lose – it is ultimately their responsibility to get this right!
Thanks to: Michael D. Russo of Bankruptcy Rocks Revisited (Author).

42. Are You Making Google Rich?

Do you advertise online using Google Adwords? Did you set the account up yourself with one ad?

Do you measure your ROI and CPC on a daily basis?

You may be literally throwing money out the window!

Many companies are bleeding money in their Adwords campaigns because they don’t understand the best practices of online advertising.

To get the most from your online advertising, either go to Google University online and learn about quality scores, or hire a professional.

Thanks to: Curtis Chappell of Quantum SEO Solutions.

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.