7 Ways to Lead Your Business and Ensure It Succeeds

succeedIf there was ever a time to pay close attention to leaders that are blazing the business trail, it is now. Entrepreneurs who desire to create viable companies will find it easier to learn from the experience of others. Let’s take a look at seven traits of today’s top entrepreneurs inside this article.

  • Enterprising Outlook. High achieving business leaders constantly seek ways to multiply their money. They are in the field making things happen and are not afraid to share their skills with the world. In order to grow they allow themselves to be stretched to do things that are out of the ordinary. Boldness and perseverance are stamps upon their character.
  • Willing to Get Help. An important principle that they embrace early on is partnerships. Successful entrepreneurs learn to build trust and collaborate with others to achieve bigger results in less time. Once the right team is in place, they go the extra mile to foster solid relationships, supporting partner’s success along the way..
  • Delegates to the Pros. Entrepreneurs who run viable companies have the right team members in place. True leaders realize the extent of their capacity and readily release the things that do not desire to do.
  • Always Learning. They are consistently learning, changing, and growing with their company. These individuals want to know “how to” elevate their business. They know that the business world is a constantly changing environment and those that do not change with it will not survive.
  • Self-Motivated. As business leaders look within themselves and connect with their own mission and purpose. This is what causes them to excel at what they do each day. True entrepreneurs will go to their grave having said, “I gave it my all and my all was good enough.”
  • Uses Common Sense. It is often said that entrepreneurs are born, not made. You can see this in the lives of many who may have dropped out of school or never completed a college degree. What makes them successful is their application of practical business principles and life lessons that they combine and turn into financial gain.
  • Never Allow Failures to Determine Success. Instead of quitting when the going gets rough, they are able to take a step back and a break, if necessary, but they do not stay down for long. Any time that you see them reeling from having missed the mark is a period of refocusing and getting their mojo back. You can bet that they are creating a plan of action so don’t let their temporary delay fool you. Be on the lookout because nothing aside from leaving this earth will cause them to lose their way.

 

Which of these qualities do you most relate? Were there any lessons that learned that can make your company more viable? How will you put them in action today?

To get more practical tips on becoming better in business, join our learning community of entrepreneurs on Facebook.

How to Overcome Resistance to Virtual Accounting

ImageFear of the unknown is one of the biggest challenges that people have . A common source of anxiety for entrepreneurs is sending data-sensitive financial files online. This is especially true when the exchange could increase the risk of your information ending up in the wrong hands. Below are tips to introduce you to file sharing tools, help reduce risks, and increase your comfort in collaborating with your accountant online.

  1. Ask if your accountant uses a secure file exchange portal. A growing number of virtual accountants are adding this benefit for their clients. The objective is to store files online over secure internet channels. Instead of sending files by email, files are uploaded to a secure site that requires a username and password and is only accessible by you and your accountant.
  2. Create a password for documents and files that you share. If you will be sending files by email, consider password protection. Programs such as QuickBooks, for example, can be setup to require a password when you log-in. This increases security in the event that someone intercepts the your attachments.
  3. Sign up for your own secure file exchange service. Companies such as YouSendIt and LeapFile  provides the flexibility of being able to send large files and files of various types. These features are important especially when you need to send copies  of software files to your accountant.
  4. Consider remote access to your computer.  Desktop sharing is quickly becoming a favorite among people who work from home and those with a small office space. If you want a simple means of collaborating and output in real time, this may be a good solution.  Another perk of site-to-site sharing is you never have to share office space, only computers.
  5. Save to portable media such as a flash drive or CD-Rom. The drawback to using this method is it takes more time to get your file to your accountant. This could be a problem if you need updates for time sensitive projects. If you’re in no hurry then these are both safe and reliable options.
  6. With all the hype about online collaboration, onsite accounting is an alternative that many people overlook.  This remains one of the best options if none of the other choices appeal to you.  The biggest drawback you may face is finding someone local to add to your team. If your office space and equipment are limited, this may pose a challenge but you can resolve this by having a set time and a dedicated work station for your accountant to be onsite.

Is Your Bookkeeping Just a Blur?

ImageAre you having a hard time seeing why you should keep your accounting up-to-date? For many entrepreneurs, the urgency of making sure the books are always current is a to-do that often flies right out the door. “Why should I update books when I’m doing very little business?”

One reason is because when there is little activity to report, you may not do any reporting at all. This, in my opinion, is a big mistake because there is truth behind the numbers. Every line item (present or not) is telling you something about the decisions you’re making and the health of your business.

Another top concern for ignoring accounting work is not knowing how you should manage it. It is common to see a sole practitioner keeping up with their sales but when it comes down to the overall results, many are missing the mark. To me, this practice is as self-defeating as a physical exam where the physician could not get your vitals. How much can they tell about performance if pieces of the puzzle are not there?

Having a fear that it accounting help will cost too much is another big obstacle that should not run you away. At the very least reach out to an accountant or bookkeeper that offers a complimentary consultation. Most accountants will speak with you to discuss your needs before you engage with them. The get acquainted session will help you see what direction to take and from there both you and the accountant can decide on a fee.

By consulting with an accountant regularly you will benefit by having an extra pair of eyes to review the numbers. Accountants are trained to understand the financial details and give you feedback on what is really going on.  Accounting is more than adding up the numbers. It can be a powerful part of your business when you use it the right way. Managing the inflows and outflows of money has to be top priority, that is, if you have plans to see your company grow.

Get in Position:

Over the next few days consider the aspects of bookkeeping and accounting that have been neglected in your business. Decide which of these tasks would be better managed by an accounting professional.

If you are doing your own books or have a back office team that can benefit from knowing how to understand and utilize your financial information, join our learning community of entrepreneurs who are elevating their financial IQ on Facebook.

Seven Strategies That Enterprising Women Use To Create a Thriving Business

womenentrepreneurIt’s safe to say that no two women-owned businesses are exactly alike. Yet, even in our differences, the way that we run our companies have many things in common. Here are seven secrets to female business success that stands out for me:

  1. The first thing I notice among female entrepreneurs is our goal to consistently reach new markets. We build companies with staying power. That means we are conscious of not putting all of our eggs in one basket. We add diversity in our companies by adding new products, services and market segments. We also consider new ways  to fill a different need by focusing on our core strengths.
  2. Women in business seek better ways to get goods and services to their customers. We run our companies like lean organizations because we want them to be efficient. Keeping our eyes on logistics is key as we look for ideas to streamline our processes. We are careful to control costs while doing our best to meet high standards of quality.
  3. Female CEO’s realize that a successful enterprise is a growing enterprise. Women in business know the difference between being thirsty and being hungry for success. That’s why we set the bar high. For us, the focus is two-fold: Give extremely high value to customers and add extremely high value to the companies we own.
  4. We are also interested in building relationships. In business the adage, “Time is money” is true. That’s why it is key to build strong business relationships.  Industrious women know that the investment of time is the seed that produces long-term growth.
  5. Women business owners build companies with strong teams. No woman is an island. So women achieve their goals in business by delegating where they are weak and building teams to complement their strengths.
  6. We look for ways to reduce costs without sacrificing quality. When it comes to saving money, enterprising women are careful of where and when to cut expenses. We also look at costs as investments when they make our brands and market positions stronger.
  7. Enterprising women are interested in managing money well. This is a strategy that most women business owners do not take lightly. We start with the end in mind picturing where in retirement we want to financially be. Then with the help of financial professionals, we create our companies around our goals.

As an entrepreneur of over a decade I have personally used these in my business but can always improve (especially in number 5 — getting better at delegating roles).

So tell me in the comments below, did any of these tips strike a chord?

Dream Team Pick of the Week: “Mommy Millionaire” Kim Lavine

Here is Kim Lavine on the Today Show

Kim is an author, mentor, mother, and industrious woman who has gained recognition in the business world as a thought leader on international business. Talking about big thinking, then you would do well to follow the path that Kim is laying. She is blazing the trail for women all around the globe to succeed as business owners.

In this interview Kim shares valuable advice for female entrepreneurs who want to turn their big idea into the next big thing. In my weekly Follow-Up Friday posts, I discuss ways to create a thriving business. I recommend building a team of business advisers even if it means following the wisdom of the major players who advise through blog posts and videos online. Kim’s practical, no-nonsense business savvy places her at the top of my list of credible business models. Also being a Michigander myself places her on the radar as an entrepreneur that I would like to meet.

 

Five Business Blogs Written By Women For Women

womenbusinessownerThe more we learn, the more we grow.

As more and more women start businesses today it is essential that they have the resources to help them succeed. The internet is a good place to start. If you want to stay on top of what is happening in the business world, you will find these blogs helpful.

eWomen Network Blog

I give kudos to this site because the founders have discovered how to make business networking online work.  No man or woman is an island and the eWomenNetwork.com has truly figured that out. One key to succeed in business is synergistic relationships and this blog encourages this. Here entrepreneurs connect with peers who have complimentary skills and through a growing community they are helping one another build their business.

Women on Business

Another one of my favorite stops is womenonbusiness.com. They are doing a fantastic job of bringing a variety of relevant topics for femalepreneurs to the desktop.  The blog also gets my vote because the information is written to women business owners by women in the business world. This site is a great resource especially if you are operating a business alone and have yet to assemble your dream team of business advisers.

Women’s Leadership Exchange

No where on the web have I been able to find anything comparable to this site. Its niche specific brand focuses on building leadership skills of women who run small businesses. You will find womensleadershipexchange.com valuable because of its roundup of information, business insights, professional development opportunities and first-hand lessons from top women in the business world.

Mom Invented

We can all use a boost to the imagination for new ideas at times, right? Another blog for women, but especially for moms who invent, is mominvented.com. This witty mother writes regular posts that is the dream blog for people who want to inspire their creative side. With a very fun approach and from the view of a mom, you will learn from her everything you need to know about product creation, product development, product launch, and marketing.

Corporate Fashionista

Here’s where we shake things up a bit. Most of the female business owners that I know enjoy a little fashion sense. So when you are taking a break from marketing, personnel matters, and running the numbers stop by corporatefashionista.com. There are tons of ideas there for everything fashion that range from what you wear for networking to how you outfit your office.

I had fun on my tour of blogs for business women business. There are still many more excellent blogs to share and I’d like to hear from you. What business blogs do you enjoy that are by and for women?

Use Follow-Up Friday for Business Development and Key Insights

followupWhat a wonderful time I have had this week developing my business!

I am in the flow of wrapping up my book and an online program that launches next year. It feels amazing to bring a course that I teach live to women entrepreneurs online.

This week I was able to reach three major goals that will help me launch my finance course in January. Here are my key takeaways for creating curriculum, finding good resources, and managing time:

Insight # 1: Creating Curriculum

My first goal was to deliver a curriculum that creates enthusiasm for finance in the minds of first time female entrepreneurs. Even though I have delivered this course for many years it is constantly changing. It is important to customize solutions that the needs of the audience. So I am reminded to be prepared with examples that easy to understand and are relevant. That is why I keep a treasure trove of case studies for each course. There is nothing like watching the transformation in participants who start out the course with a dislike for working with numbers.

Insight #2: Adding Resources

Next on the list was to find 5 online finance and productivity tools to add to my library of resources. Building a sustainable business includes having the right mix of resources but how do you know which ones you need? A good place to start is with an assess of your company. For example, you might look for the bottlenecks your daily functions or unmet needs by your clients. This week I took both of these into consideration and found several good options to share with my tribe.

Insight #3: Making Time

The last goal is ever evolving for me. The more my business grows, the more important time management becomes. This week I dedicated an hour a day to develop my blog. One strategy that kept me on track was a timer. I enjoy the challenge of beating the clock so it was the perfect tool for me. Knowing that time is ticking really does something for the psyche because you literally realize that every second counts.

So there you have it! My week in review. Now, I would love to hear what you are most proud of this week.  Leave a comment below to share your weekly success and remember…

Smile at your future!