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  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 4:03 pm on August 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , download, , , , , , recession, , ,   

    Ebook: Strengthen Your Business In A Recession 

    A recession can bring about difficult times in a business. You need to strengthen your business from the inside out for success in a recession. Here’s an ebook that can help you build strength for better success in or out of a recession. A stronger business equals a better business.

    In a recession, you need all of the help that you can get for your business. Look below at the ebook preview of: Strengthen Your Business In A Recession.

    You can read the entire e-book by purchasing it here. Click this link & purchase your copy today only $5.95. That’s right this WONDERFUL N’ INFO PACKED EBOOK IS ONLY $9.95

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  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 8:00 pm on February 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , grim, , , , , , reality, recession,   

    The Grim Reality Of A Recession 

    Well we’ve  heard it before, a recession is coming, a recession is coming. Sometime around Dec 2008 Americans were told that they had been in a 200273101-001recession for a full year. It’s a trying and unsettling time for many. There is fear, panic, bankruptcy, Chapter 11, bad credit, layoffs etc…

    If you look left, right, up or down, you’ll hear and see doom and gloom news about the state of the global economy and how bad it is. This bad economy has gripped both businesses and consumers with the fear of their finances, bank accounts, stocks etc… It’s just a financial frenzy.

    Stores and businesses are closing left and right, you would think that some of them would be able to hang in there considering that many of them are huge retailers. People are losing jobs left & right. Where does it all end?

    Well many companies big & small have it bad these days. Are you one of those dealing with the same issues? Issues of : you may have to consider closing up shop, laying off employees, filing for bankruptcy or drastically reducing your prices?

    Times like these can make you indecisive about what to do and where to go. You don’t know if you should close your business for good or just hang in there. That’s why you need a plan, a strategic business plan at that. Stategic planning is so important in times like these because having a strategy is the way to go.

    In a recession you don’t have the luxury of making mistakes. When your budgets are tight, it’s your job to calm your worried customers and capture the few viable prospects that you can get. Also make the most of the people and technology that you already have.  This where strategic plans come in handy.

    Optimize your current technology and utilize equipment to it’s fullest potential. This isn’t the time to experiment with new technology, unless you have the means to do so.

    There no better time like the present for many companies to restructure, revamp and revitalize just to stay afloat or make improvements.  

    Strategic plans help you to make it through the tough times and good times. When you first start up your business you need a business plan and in addition to that you need a strategic plan as you grow your business. It’s a plan for the daily operation of your business. It helps you to forecast where you are going, where you want to go, how to get there and if you got there.

    Are you one of the many business owners who may have never given any thought to strategic planning? Even if you thought about it but felt like it wasn’t needed, contrary to what you may think it is very much needed in every business. With all of this fear, dread and panic going around, I don’t think that you want to take part in that.

    Even I have a strategic plan because I refuse to let this recession bring me down or take away my business. Yes, it is true that in some situations many businesses have no other way to stay in business. But for others you can consider times like these just a temporary setback. With a recession or slow economy, you just can’t sit back and do nothing, if you want to stay in business.

    A strategic plan encompases your marketing strategies, creative thinking, process, teamwork and flexibility.  While your competition is sitting back doing nothing then when the economy gets better you will be ahead of them. Call it what it is, competitive and  this business world is competitive, a never ending rat race. When it’s all said and done and the economy gets better you will out shine the rest because you have your stuff together.

    You have an action plan. And when the going gets tough the tough get going. So make a move and develop your strategic plan today!

     
  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 5:27 pm on December 8, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , expenses, export, , , recession, , ,   

    Reduce Your Expenses & Lighten Your Load With Outsourcing 

    In today’s business environment there has always been a need to stay more 200195866-001competitive, reduce your expenses, lighten your workload & reduce high employee turnover. Like yourself, many business owners & professionals have been able to accomplish those things through outsourcing. Sometimes you just want to unload your burdens or time-consuming tasks so you can move on to other things.

     

    Outsourcing is increasingly becoming a key business strategy.

    It’s a tried & true method in business.  

    American Express

    It would be to your advantage to outsource many of your back-office functions. When you do it for the right reasons, outsourcing will help your company to grow & increase profits.

    By leveraging the resources of others helps you to gain more balance, focus, organization & helps your business operations or projects to run better in a more strategic & organized manner.
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    You may be feeling the same pressures that other companies are feeling and that is to improve financial performance. That stems from increased workloads, so you have to do more to make more. With that said, the reasons to outsource expand.  

    Outsourcing can help you to improve on your CRM (customer relationship management).

    When you lower capital equipment costs & labor expenses by passing them on to an outsource service provider, you can free up capital & human resources to focus on core business competencies. You gain a more competitive advantage & for some, that’s more important than cost reduction.

    Outsourcing through Virtual Assistance is on the rise and a great resouce for outsourcing. You don’t have to go far to find Virtual Assistance for outsourcing projects or operations.

    You will have expenses as long as you are in business whether you are successful or just making ends meet. You must be on the look out for ways to successfully maintain your business & reduce your expenses.

    Outsourcing in it’s original context, was a shorter way of saying “the use of outside resources.”  Today it means delegating work to an external contractor specializing in a specific function.

    When you have a well defined strategic plan, outsourcing can be a powerful tool for your business.

    ist1_5370979_buried_in_papersEvery company must evaluate the risks and benefits of outsourcing with respect to it’s own values, core competencies, organizational capabilities and long term strategies. That’s why it is best to outsource with a company that shares the same interests as yours, a company who wants to accomplish the same goals that you have in mind.

    Under the right circumstances, outsourcing entire functions or pieces of a select function can create an effective mix of services. An effective mix of services in relation to your business or projects & using outside resources.

    Outsourcing the wrong business operations or outsourcing at the wrong time could create operation issues, service issues, cloud weaknesses in your companies cost structure and inhibit important aspects of your long-term growth & development.

    Take some time out to reevaluate your operations and services to determine which functions could be outsourced on a permenant or temporary basis. Take into consideration the non-core business functions that you would benefit the most from if they were outsourced.

    Yes, you can implement shared services within your company by restructuring & consolidating internally. But with that comes the added burden of an increased workload on you or your current staff.

    So turning to an outside service provider to manage certain business functions is a viable option. At some point in time, most companies have to face the question of whether or not to outsource. 

    When you seek assistance from a company outside of your organization,to offload a specific task or function, you are outsourcing.

    Entrepreneurs and small business people are always looking for creative ways to accomplish more of their business goals for less money. One strategy that can help you save time, money and frustration as you start and build your business is to outsource as much work as possible to skilled, but cost-effective, external service providers.

    Don’t let the economy stop you from improving on your business. There is a way out, a way to stay afloat & keep business going.

    What are your reasons for not outsourcing & delegating?

    What measures are you taking to

    improve on your business operations?

    ~Author~

    Clerical Business Solutions~”The Innovative Outsourcing Solution”

    Business Management Services & Virtual Assistance

    Renee: renee@clericalsolutionsinc.net     http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

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    • Kathy Colaiacovo 2:42 am on December 9, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Very good tips for business owners to consider. There are so many things that take up business time, yet are vital to running the business!
      I also recommend that people looking at the possibility of hiring a VA check out http://www.VAnetworking.com It’s an organization that owners can use to help them learn what traits and info to check out when hiring a VA. It’s also a great place for VAs to network with other VAs. It has info for people on both sides, the client and the VA.

    • Clerical Business Solutions 2:57 am on December 9, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Kathy,

      Professionals, individuals & business owners should consider other ways of doing business, which will add to their success & improved productivity. They can achieve that through outsourcing.

      Outsourcing to VA-Virtual Assistance is a great resource, no matter what the economy looks like. In a down economy you need all of the help that you can get.

      VA assistance doesn’t subtract from your business it only adds to your business or projects. Outsourcing helps you to gain more control over your business.

      Clerical Business Solutions~”The Innovative Outsourcing Solution”
      Virtual Assistant Services & Business Management
      Renee: renee@clericalsolutionsinc.net
      http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

    • SEO Link Builder 3:18 am on December 9, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      That’s right about outsourcing through virtual assistant. To reduce expenses and reduce your work load outsourcing your business is a good thing to do. Keeping in mind that economy is frequent changing so improving also your business make it competitive is the way to achieve.

      Nice blog.

    • Clerical Business Solutions 3:29 am on December 9, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Seo,

      Thanks, many people don’t know how good outsourcing can be for your business. Provided that you choose the right service provider for your needs.

      A lot of solo-professionals or business owners want to be more competitive, have a larger presence in the business market but stay a small business. Many of them don’t have the time, money or resources to hire new employees or raise the salaries of current employees.

      So they have found beneficial support through outsourcing without raising costs, reducing overhead & increasing profits.

      Clerical Business Solutions~”Innovative Solutions Start Here!”
      Virtual Assistant services & Business Management
      Renee: renee@clericalsolutionsinc.net
      http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

    • Victoria 1:38 am on April 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      As the economy flounders and the job market sags many individuals are turning to privately owned business. Seeing the CEO’s taking home big fat bonus checks while they are laid off or asked to take pay cuts. The desire to ‘be your own boss’ increases and you venture out with your strong skills to start a business. Many of these businesses are in trouble before they really get started. The small business owner while having exemplary skills in his/her field may not have the necessary business operational skills. The day today functionality of a business can be ignored because the small business owner is busily servicing his customers needs.
      Out sourcing is a great way to insure the business is operating properly.

      • Clerical Business Solutions 3:11 pm on April 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Victoria,

        You’ve made some valid points because a lot of CEO’s of top companies are making it bad for those that work under them: the employees and/or professionals.

        Many employees or former employees of top companies may want to start there own businesses and that’s all well and good. I’m all for entrepreneurship but just jumping into a business is not a wise option. There are many steps to take to start a business.

        Starting a business is one thing but MAINTAINING A BUSINESS is a whole other story in itself. That’s where many people fail at is the MAINTENANCE PART.

        The day to day maintenance of business can get a lot of business owners and employees into trouble. You can see prime examples from what’s been going on in the news. If entrepreneurs/ business owners could get the maintenance part of business together then their business would operate a lot smoother.

        But yes, seeking outsourcing services is a good option for many business owners and professionals. Seeking the services of a business consultant & support service such as Clerical Business Solutions is a wise option.

        The way that a person maintains their business can determine how far they will succeed.

        Clerical Business Solutions
        Business Development Consulting & Project Support
        “Your Single Solution For Total Service!”
        http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net
        Renee: renee@clericalsolutionsinc.net

  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 8:16 pm on November 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: budgeting, , cost-effective, debt management, , recession, recovery, self-sufficiency, , , ,   

    Your Business Says “I Will Survive” 

    You have to have your mind geared toward survival during the tough times in business. You want to be oneuntitled11 of the ones who comes out on top no matter what & you want longevity. In order to survive & obtain longevity it’s all in your mindset & actions. How do you react when times are tough? Do you let them take you under? Do figure out ways to fight back?

    Once you get your mind right & redirect your thought patterns & actions then things will change and you can weather the storm. Because tough times in business can beat you down if you let them. Once you get your mind right, then you can think towards making needed improvements which lead to survival & success. In business you will have highs & lows. Are you going to stand & weather the storm?

    Repeat After Me:

    I WILL SURVIVE, I WILL SURVIVE, I WILL SURVIVE!!!!!

    First you have to stop & think. Think about what is the 1st step in surviving the tough times. Many business owners like yourself seem to just relish over the good times in business but they don’t put much thought into the down times, tough times & how to handle them. So what’s the 1st thing that you should consider in the tough times of business? The first thing to consider is getting help.

    Get beneficial support in the tough times and the up times from Virtual Assistant services. Virtual Assistant services can be the shoulder for you to lean on when times are tough, working with you to work out some of the problems that you may be facing, helping you to see things a little clearer by providing you with consulting, administrative support, business management, networking support, client management, marketing, start-up assistance etc…

    thinkingThink about and learn how to spot the slow times, when they will occur & how they will affect your business. You need to know how to work around the tough times and make them work to your advantage. While others may fall apart during tough times, you’ll survive. In addition to surviving, you want to grow & prosper.

    During the tough times you must find a way to supplement your income such as creating an ebook, other info products or freelancing etc… The revenue that you generate during slow times should be reinvested back into your business and also put some away for a “rainy day” savings, which is always a good idea. Even in the best industries a wise business person knows to plan for the tough times.

    Aim to stay in the black during any business cycle, this entails turning to your customers for support. Adjust your business more to meet their needs. Step back and take yourself out of the mindset of what you do for a living such as being a coach, restaurant owner, accountant etc…

    Ask yourself ” What does the local community want & how can your business fill that need? Focus on the needs that you can fill. Do periodic checks to see that you are not straying away from your focus.

    • Are your customers as happy as you’d like?
    • Do people find quality in your products or services?

    If you said no or unsure then it’s time to rethink things, restrategize & implement a new plan. It’s possible to grow outside your core focus but to be really successful never lose sight of your focus.

    To help aid you in the survival of the tough times:

    1 Opt for Outsourcing

    Consider outsourcing so you can offload some of your tasks, which give you more time to refocus, reorganize & get back on track. Consider outsourcing to Virtual Assistant services for support. You will benefit from the support that you’d receive from Virtual Assistance such as being able to reorganize, refocus & manage your business or projects better.

    VA services helps you take the load off, so you can have more time for implementing new strategies, more time to focus on your clients or other aspects of life or business. When you have more time for your core business focus then you turn your down time into a more lucrative sales period which will put your business back on top month after month.

    2. Focus & Plan

    Implement a plan to supplement your income during the down times & through the  life of your business. Think about ways to augment (increase) your down time sales periods. You should be able to forecast an estimated time of when sales will be down and plan for them.

    You should always have a down time plan in place. Document the slow times & plan for them. Which ever season that your sales slip, you can for example: offer discounts, provide gift cards, create info products, increase networking, give a free webinar etc…  That alone could pull in more business.

    3. Focus On Value

    Concentrate more on the value that you offer rather than products or services. When you break it down, what really matters is the value that you offer, your experience & benefits.

    What do you bring to the table, besides products or services?

    Focus on growth strategies & the benefits that you provide to your customers. If all else fails, value never fails. Your customers will remember your value & because of that they will remain loyal in any economy no matter what your competition is selling.

    4. Be Quiet & Listen

    You have got to learn to be quiet and listen to your clients. Do you have the patients to listen, think, then respond? Not jump to conclusions. Listen to what is going on & to what your customers say. You can do that by taking a survey of your clients likes & dislikes.

    This will give you a guide as to what your strengths & weaknesses are. For example you can probe your clients by asking them “What comes to your mind when you think of my business?” & other questions.

    If the majority of them mainly talk about your products, then it’s time for a change. Time for you to do something different. If they mainly talk about the value that you bring then you are on the right track.

    Asking probing questions will give you a guide as to what you are doing right, wrong, what they think of your business & what they want. After that you can adjust your products or services to meet their needs & survive the tough times which will bring in year round success.

     
    • Melodee Patterson | Virtual Assistant 5:48 pm on November 19, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      What a thoughtful post, Renee! I do believe that attitude can be a large part of your success, or failure, as a business owner.

      I also believe that during these economic tough times, a Virtual Assistant is an excellent value when compared to hiring an employee. We provide so many services on an as-needed basis, and without the hassle of benefits negotiation!

      • Clerical Business Solutions 1:51 pm on November 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Melodee,

        Thanks. In this economy, everybody is feeling the pinch, the harsh sting of high prices & no outlet. But one thing that stands tried and true is your attitude & actions.

        They go hand in hand because your attitude leads to your actions. It tells what you will and won’t do to help keep your business afloat. Sometimes you have to step outside of your box and do things out of your norm to help your business.

        No matter what the economy looks like a professional or business owner can find an outlet & beneficial support in Virtual Assistant services. Once they pick the right Virtual Assistant that fits their needs they can always count on a true professional Virtual Assistant for support that lasts.

        Clerical Business Solutions
        “Solutions To Simplify Your Life & Business!”
        Virtual Assistant Services & Business Management
        ~Renee http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 1:33 pm on October 7, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bailout, , , finance, , , onshore, , recession, stock market, , wall street   

    Outsourcing: Does It Make Dollars & Sense? 

    As you grow , begin or maintain your business there are many factors and areas of your business that may lead you to seek outside resources for support. From time to time all sorts of businesses utilize some form of outsourcing services in some way, shape, form or fashion,even for a one time project. Some business owners use outsourcing as a permanent way of doing business. Which has helped them to improve on their business operations and their bottom-line.

    But the big question is: Does outsourcing make dollars & sense?

    Why Yes It Does!

    It Makes Dollars:

    Outsourcing makes dollars by helping you to save money and free your time so that you can focus on the 20% of tasks that produce 80% of your income. Outsourcing improves your efficiency and your bottom-line. Outsourcing helps you to reduce your overhead, many business expenses and many employee related expenses. Conducting many non-profit producing tasks in-house can be sometimes difficult to predict or control the COST of getting something done. When the work is done in-house, many things can increase the cost of performing a specific task.

    A good part of the profit producing operations are performed or initiated by YOU. As your administrative demands increase, you’ll find less time to devote to that which produces the INCOME  of the company. Hiring extra in-house employees decreases your savings, a business becomes heavier and its own success creates the barriers which inevitably stagnate your growth in terms of profits and income. So outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant is a viable option for your business, which makes you dollars. Outsource routines that don’t directly produce profit.

    It Makes Sense.

    Outsourcing makes sense because it helps you to stay on top of the administrative demand of your business. You CAN NOT IGNORE the administrative demands of your business, these tasks are the backbone and support of your business. If you neglect these supportive tasks then these support activities will deteriorate and begin impeding your profit producing activities. IGNORING administrative tasks cuts off CONTROL of your business activity and that’s not a viable option at all. This is where outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant can help.

    Basically to sum it up outsourcing makes dollars and sense. It is a worthwhile alternative if a task occurs on a regular basis but has no impact on your clients experience and the task itself is not one of your core business activities. Outsourcing is a great investment for your business and your bottom-line.

     
  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 4:30 pm on April 6, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , credit, credit cards, credit crunch, good, keep, recession   

    Keep Good Business Credit 

    Credit is important for business success & business image. You Must Get Good Credit & Keep It !! Few entrepreneurs know about or really understand how business credit is established, tracked, how it affects their lives and their business.

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    Personal credit is different from business credit. You don’t have to rely only on your personal credit to build, grow or maintain your business. That’s why it’s good to maintain good business credit.

    You can build, acquire & maintain business credit & personal credit separate from each other.  In business, without interrupting your cash flow, borrowing can allow you to build your company in good times. In slow times credit can help maintain a company’s smooth operation. You need a strong company credit profile to increase your company’s borrowing potential.

    A good company credit rating begins as soon as you start your company. A good way to start & maintain good company credit is by:

    1. DEVELOP A BUSINESS PLAN
    If you have a new company this is an important first step, it helps your company start in a professional manner. Many business owners never develop a business plan or they wait until it’s too late.

    A business plan is usually required by lenders. If you are past the start-up phase in your business, update your business plan regularly to take into account its growth and future needs. If you don’t plan to borrow, you need to update your business plan regularly throughout every year.

    2.  SELECT A BUSINESS STRUCTURE
    This step is completed along with the business plan. If you plan to borrow & show lenders that you are operating in a professional manner, establish a proper business structure, in addition to facilitating your operation.

    From a credit standpoint a corporation or LLC could be beneficial.  A partnership or sole proprietorship, personal credit information could be included on your business credit report.

    3. OPEN A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT
    It is very unprofessional to mix business & personal accounts. Mixing the two could ruin or damage your personal credit if your company has a problem. A business-only bank account is a way to build business credit since banks offer debit, check or credit cards in connection to that account.

    4. ESTABLISH BUSINESS CREDIT
    Every business needs supplies. If you need to, check with major office supply store chains about setting up an account. Wholesale clubs are another good option to setting up credit accounts. If a credit card was not apart of your bank account, apply for one. The main point to these credit options is to manage them wisely.

    5. REVIEW YOUR CREDIT PROFILES
    Regularly review the information collected by credit reporting agencies on your company. Make sure your business credit profile has up-to-date & accurate information. Dispute & report incorrect information in your credit file. Follow-up to ensure that mistakes or errors were corrected in your credit report.

    There are specific business credit reporting agencies. Lenders & vendors rely on this information to determine if they want to do business with you. Business credit reports are different from personal reports. Personal credit reports are maintained by three different credit reporting bureaus: Experian, TransUnion &  Equifax. Company creditors voluntarily send information to the business credit agencies.

    When you open a new account with a creditor, make sure that they report it and your positive payment history to the business credit bureaus to help build your business credit profile.  Business credit profiles include :

    • Payment Histories
    • Information On Legal Actions Involving Your Company
    • Business License And Registrations
    • Corporate Financial Reports
    • Government Contracts Or Grants
    • Media Reports
    • Data From Directory Listings

    Sometimes business credit bureaus conduct direct investigations & interviews with business executives and the companies that they do business with. The major business credit bureaus are:

    DUN&BRADSTREET (also known as D&B)
    A household name & a major company in business ratings. You should get a DUNS NUMBER from them for your company because when you are doing business with other companies or the government you will need a DUNS NUMBER.

    If you do business with the government you have to have one or the government won’t do business with you. Sometimes other companies may ask you if you have one before they do business with you. D&B uses a DUNS NUMBER to identify your company & for business credit.

    D&B creates a profile based on information provided by business owners and their vendors, also they create a rating called a DUNS rating based on the financial statements of a business. They issue a PAYDEX score, it’s similar to a FICO score of a personal credit report from Fair Isaac & Company.

    EXPERIAN BUSINESS
    Experian tracks business credit just as well as personal credit. For businesses they only use information from vendors. Then they give what’s called an Intelliscore number.

    EQUIFAX BUSINESS
    Equifax tracks business credit and personal credit. They produce a variety of business scores based on banking & lease payment performance information provided by the Small Business Financial Exchange, INC. Some of the business scores come from the Small Business Financial Account Acquisition Score and the Small Business Financial Account Management Score.

    FDIinsight
    FDIinsight is a part of the Factual Data Corp, a business-to-business information service. They started out as a personal credit reporting agency for mortgage brokers. Their reports contain information supplied by the company itself or a third party. The staff of FDIinsight, verifies the information independently.

    CREDIT.NET
    They were formerly known as Business Credit USA, a subsidiary of INFOUSA. They get information from business owners & verify the data before putting it in the reports. Their ratings are based on a “grade” Scale A+ (95 to 100 points ) to C ( 70 to 74 points).

    CLIENT CHECKER
    They provided credit about small businesses and only use information provided by vendors. They turn the information into a PAYQUO score which is based on payment histories.

    It can take time to build a credit rating for your company, so maintain a good rating. A strong business credit profile will enhance your company’s creditworthiness, and also your professional reputation.

     
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