10 Tips for 2013 Business Success

Business Success 2013

Business Success 2013

Greetings Friends!

Now that the IRS is upping the ante for those engaged in home based businesses, it’s more important than ever for you to play your ‘A Game’ in 2013.  If you’ve been in business for awhile and haven’t had the success you long for, you won’t want to play around this year.  Running a business consumes your time, your energy and money–and if you don’t take it seriously, there may be no deductions for you come tax time.  I would say that’s incentive to move heaven and earth to really have your best year.

So, here are my favorite tips for having a breakout year in 2013–let’s do this!

  • Read and get inspired!  The beginning of a new year is ripe with promise, but within a matter of weeks, the enthusiasm dies out you may find yourself back in a familiar rut.  Consider reading at least one new business book per month; perhaps one of the books on my Resource page, such as the One Minute Millionaire.
  • Set a big goal for yourself, such as doubling your income or publishing your first (e)book.  What would inspire you to leap out of bed, excited to begin your day?  Who do you want to help and why?  Keep this information where you can see it, such as on your bathroom mirror, bedroom door and planner.  Get fired up!
  • Hate to sell–learn how to do it with panache.  Pick one area of your business that causes you trouble and take some classes, read up on it or get a coach to help you over your Mt. Everest of business challenges.
  • Get a plan!  A business plan that is; you will need it if you are ever audited, but it also becomes the road map for the year.  I like to work in 90 day increments.  Think in terms of your goals for the quarter:  how many clients do you want, how many products need to be  sold or subscribers to your blog do you desire during each quarter and then map that out in your planner.  Fill in your schedule for blogging, doing podcasts, webinars or teleseminars.  Hold yourself accountable so that you achieve at new levels.
  • And speaking of accountability, pick an accountability partner; someone who knows your plans,  who can offer you supportive advice and keep you from winging it or flaking.  The IRS intends for you to work your business like you mean it and that means not only having a plan, but working your plan consistently.  There’s nothing like knowing someone else is a) cheering you on and b) keeping you honest about fulfilling your goals in a timely manner.
  • Get coaching.  This is also important to the IRS.  You need to be able to demonstrate not only that you have your business strategies planned, but that you course correct when you hit a wall.  Be sure to include modifications to your business plan over the course of the year in case you’re audited.
  • Plan your vacation schedule.  Yes, you heard me right, plan your vacation schedule.  Three day weekends, two weeks at the end of the year–what is it that you require to keep yourself healthy, energized and ready for a peak performance year?  All work and no play doesn’t just make Jane or Jack dull it makes them unproductive, so get out your schedule and insure you have some rest time planned during the year.
  • Intend to have fun!  Intend to have a great adventure, intend to learn, to grow and to inspire those around you!  We live in a phenomenal time where we can blog, self-publish, create our own television channel or radio station.   The sky’s the limit–so don’t just repeat what you’ve done in the past, add some exciting new things like videos or webinars–or turn your blogs into a book.  Stretch and be prepared to wow yourself in 2013!
  • Pick a worthy cause you’d like to support and decide how much you want to donate in 2013.  Think of some awesome and inspiring peeps you can enlist in your program to help others, blog about it and get it out into the world.  Make a difference in a big way–perhaps you will inspire someone else to do the same!
  • Become financially literate; there are no advantages to being out of the loop about taxes and how businesses, large or small are effectively run.  Read (or re-read) the Cashflow Quadrant or Rich Dad, Poor Dad so you not only earn well, but manage your assets in a way that will build a secure foundation under you, your family and your business.

I hope these tips excite and encourage you to play all out.  While the changes in the tax code may appear intimidating, I think the changes can be used to inspire business owners to new heights of success.  Who knows what wonderful achievements you can accomplish in 2013?  Dream big!

Rich Blessings!

Dee

Copyright 2012.  All rights reserved.

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Taxes 2012 & Your Business Plan

Logo of the Internal Revenue Service

Logo of the Internal Revenue Service (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Greetings Friends!

December was going to be a warm fuzzy month for blogging–or so I thought, till I got wind of a scary new IRS tactic waiting to be unleashed on unsuspecting  home-based business owners.  The source of my IRS update–Ron Mueller, is fairly well known as the go to tax information guy in network marketing circles.  What I’ve heard from him is something you’re going to want to attend to asap.

Apparently the IRS has outfitted its auditors with a new rule book for home based business owners and their taxes, with the primary aim being to eliminate your business deductions if you’re not a) making money or b) demonstrating that you intend to soon.  Those of us who are fairly new in business don’t have to make a profit right away, but we do need to be able to demonstrate we’re savvy business owners doing everything we can to turn a profit.

This is only an issue if you’re audited–something you hopefully will never experience, but if you should, you want to be prepared.  Those who are living off the proceeds of their businesses are less in danger than those who aren’t, but you want to get act together, either way, just in case the IRS comes a calling.

The A#1 way to be ready is to have a business plan–and pay attention to the next several points because these are the new rules IRS agents are apparently gunning for…

Do you have a business plan that actually speaks to how you will make your business a financial success ?  What this means is your business plan had better be dealing with the realities of your business challenges.  If what you’re doing isn’t working, how have you modified your plans/actions so that you can become financially successful with your business.  I found it significant that the IRS has never taken an interest in business plans before–and that if you receive a letter saying that you’re being audited they WILL NOT mention that you need to bring  your plan to your face to face meeting with an IRS auditor.   Apparently the fact that you would arrive at a tax meeting for your business without your business plan will be seen as a sign that you are a business lightweight–and that could just cost you your business deductions.

You will also need to be able to tell the IRS who you serve, aka your niche, as well as the number of people in your area (demographics) who are looking for what you have to offer.  Those of you who have online businesses will need to indicate the number of people looking for your product or service–which is easy enough using SEO informtion.

All of this seems aimed at rattling the cages of the legions of folks seeking additional financial security via entrepeneurship; but panic needn’t be the order of the day.  Here are some tools that can help you if you’re worried about how to keep your business open without being taken to the cleaners come tax time:

  • Talk with your tax accountant to see what you need to do personally to be ready in case of an audit.
  • Visit Ron Mueller’s site if you need more information about how the new laws work and how they might impact you.
  • Create your business plan or revisit it as the case may be, with an eye toward insuring it meets the new IRS specifications; we’re in new territory here folks and forewarned is forearmed.  If you’re like me and the mere suggestion of needing to put together a business plan makes you beak out in hives, you might want to invest in  Jennifer Lee’s book, The Right-Brain Business Plan

There will always be new hurdles in life and this one, in the broader scheme of life, is just johnny come lately.  You have gotten wind of some changes and now you can take action to protect yourself and your business.  In fact, it would be wonderful if you passed the word along to anyone you think might benefit from hearing the news.  This way we can all begin 2013 ready to roll and without a dark tax cloud hanging over our entrepreneurial heads (my thanks to Ron Mueller and Steve Wiltshire for sharing this news).

Rich Blessings!

Dee

Copyright 2012.  All rights reserved.

Gender, Marketing & La La Land

The Successful Entrepreneur 2013

Greetings Friends!

I had the honor of chatting with a master marketer this morning and it was one of those conversations where you get off the phone feeling pumped!  We talked about my business and what I hoped to transform about it and a few things came up.  The first issue that came up is what is working now in this digital marketing age; this is an important topic for those of you who have business models or systems that come from people much higher up the business food chain than you.  Why?  Because if they are high enough up that they refer to having a team and you can’t afford a team, then what they do and what they teach you is probably very different.  You get that right?  Relating their tactics/business model to your own game is a risky gambit because they are no longer in the trenches.

It may also be that what they did back in the day and what works now aren’t the same.  Either way, you want to a) make sure you have a good business model for you and b) work with a business model that is right for current times.

So, I have a rather challenging question for you?  What is your business model and how well is it working for you?  I ask this question because we are just days from being done with 2012 and if you have big goals for yourself and you’re not currently seeing the results you need, it’s time to snap out of la la land or 2013 will probably end much the same as 2012.  Unfortunately this challenge is particularly hard for us women; we lower our prices because we love our clients and what we do; we don’t get the training we need when we need it and our businesses don’t thrive.  Most unfortunately, we don’t thrive.  So enough of all that!  Let’s create businesses in 2013 that make a difference in the lives of our clients and in the lives of our families and ourselves.

Some things to ask yourself:  what is my niche–do I even have a niche?  If you don’t have a niche you need to remedy that immediately; next, what are the top three needs of my niche and how can I help them meet their needs?  You might also ask, how balanced is my life–and you may be thinking, Dee, what does this have to do with business success?!  Well, that’s really simple, you won’t be in business for long if you’re killing yourself.  So, again, I ask you, are you able to work, play, vacation, exercise and spend time with those you love or are you buried under a list of never ending To-Do’s?  Yes, some sacrifice and persistence is necessary to get your business off the ground, but if you’ve got one of those crazy business models that has you running from pillar to post 24/7, you might want to make plans to get a better plan for 2013.

I’m having a training 28 November at 3:30 PM and I’ll be talking about all this and more, so save the date and get ready to rock your business in 2013;  you can sign up here.  You’ll also receive some free training, right away to get you ready to go.  So, sign up and then if you’re in America, get ready to relax a bit and enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday knowing you’ve got 2013 well in hand.  And if you’re not in America celebrating an annual turkey day, you can celebrate the end of useless business models and get ready to transform your life and your business!

Either way you have a winning scenario and that’s worth celebrating!

Rich Blessings!

Dee

Life Hacking Super Ninja of Marketing

Speed Bump

Greetings Friends!

The Life Hacking Super Ninja of Marketing strikes again–surprise, I’ve made some changes!  I mentioned to you, my dear readers that I would be making a few changes–and as you can see, they have begun!  You might be wondering why I’m making changes now…well, the last quarter of the year is upon us and for many of us that means we have about 10 weeks to crank out success in whatever occupational or entrepreneurial projects now require completion.  I actually like to begin looking at the year ahead to help me determine which projects should be drop kicked over the goal post of life and which ones I truly want to work on as the year comes to a close.  I am intending to make changes in the way that I handle this blog too–in other words, bring you meatier material with fewer posts.  Fewer calories, but still quite filling, so to speak.

I’d like to thank the readers who have shared with me some of their challenges and thoughts about being in business for themselves.  What I’m hearing is that for many of you marketing is truly a bear to master–can’t argue with you there!  So, I will be interviewing entrepreneurs who have been in the trenches a bit longer and who have some juicy tips to share that will help you get your businesses moving a bit more quickly toward success.  Starting 22 October 2012 there will only be one blog post per week augmented by bi-monthly business newsletters with great tools and content to help you unravel the mysteries of business success, so be sure you sign up!  Hopefully you’ll find you need to run to fewer sources for information and that will give you more time to actually live–what a concept!  Ideally your business should give you the lifestyle you desire and not leave you feeling overwhelmed, underpaid or burnt out.

One of the tips I mentioned in this month’s Entrepreneur of the Month post included checking out the really savvy business tips from the book The Pumpkin Plan–which I highly recommend if you’ve taken on too much and have no idea where to trim back.  This book also has great ideas for you if you’re just starting out.  Perseverance is always in fashion for the entrepreneur, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start out with clear objectives to get you to your goals faster–so check out Mike’s book.

Secondly, I would like to encourage you to use the Resources page on this site for tools and tips to assist you over the speed bumps of business life.  In particular, I had a reader ask about how one makes mp3 recordings; you’ll find an affiliate link on the Resources page that includes a link to Audio Acrobat a service I use for producing my mp3s.  They also have tutorials to help you make use of their tools–everything from recording with your webcam to recording audio interviews, uploading and then converting them to an mp3 format.  I use the services of Totally Free Conference Calls to record my interviews, by the way and then I use Audio Acrobat to create my links to share them in mp3 form.  Lately I’ve also started using Sound Studio to tweak my recordings as needed.

I think Fall is a great time for looking at how far you’ve come during the year, but it’s also important to keep an eye out on where you want to travel in the year to come.  If there are any tools, tips or challenges you’d like help with just leave a comment below and I will include information on your topic as soon as I can.

Rich Blessings!

Dee

Copyright 2012.  All rights reserved

Entrepreneur of the Month October 2012

Pip Miller

 

PipMiller

Greetings Friends!

It’s already time for a new Entrepreneur of the Month!  Meet Pip Miller, an energy healer who hails from the southwest United States.  Intuitive insights led her to this career field and you can listen in on what Pip’s entrepreneurial journey has been like by clicking the link above.  If you’d like to learn more about Pip or her services, visit her at her site here.

This month’s recommended read is called The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow A Remarkable Business in Any Field, by Mike Michalowicz.  Mr. Michalowicz is wildy irreverant–so if irreverent humor offends you, this isn’t the book for you.  I found it to be jam packed with great strategies, a quick and fun read–and I highly recommend it and its strategies to you.  This is a book that would be great for new entrepreneurs or those who have been in business for awhile, but are stuck and need insights to get their businesses moving, rapidly, toward success.

Don’t forget to check out the resources page on this site for products I recommend for the up and coming entrepreneur–and for this month in particularly, the tools from Think Right Now.  Mindset is a major part of your tool kit for success and if you shy away from stating your prices or fear public speaking you may well find the tools Mike Brescia has put together very powerful.  Think like a leader–the easiest way to do that is hear what successful people say to themselves and Mike has taken the hard work out of that equation for you–all you have to do is listen.  You can check it out here (affiliate link).

Welcome to the beginning of October, we’re off to a great start.  Here’s to your success!

Dee

Pip Miller

Courage and Success in Memorium

Greetings Friends!

The last week of September my sister Mikki would have celebrated her 50th birthday.  As the anniversary of her birth rolled around this year I couldn’t help but think of the challenges today’s workers experience in trying to find and keep stable employment.  My sister was a VP at a banking institution handling mortgages before her passing.  She worked her way up–a dogged, tireless perfectionist at her work.  I am convinced that being laid off from the position she fought so hard to land, played a part in her early passing; she was only 44 years old when she died.  Mikki was the canary in the coal mine, dealing with the lack of good paying jobs long before September 2008, as well as being aware that something rotten was going on in the mortgage banking industry–an industry that had allowed her to pull herself up by her bootstraps and achieve in ways no one might have imagined for her when she was younger.

Six years have passed since Mikki died and the global financial economy is still wobbly.  I have said it before and I’ll say it again, you can be an employee, but you better have a net.  Whether that net comes in the form of investments, a trust fund or preferably a business you own; have something else that you control to provide for you and yours.  The 99% can no longer afford the luxury of dependence on an employer.  Thankfully women are starting businesses in unprecedented numbers these days, but many aren’t seeing the type of return in their businesses that they hope to.  Ali Brown refers to this as an invisible ceiling of our own making.  Let’s face it, being in business for yourself takes courage, dedication and a willingness to constantly be on the lookout for new information, better systems and processes to take us where we want to go.

I am a lucky woman, because in many places in the world women have limited opportunities; the societies in developing countries often don’t support women them with good education or employment opportunities.  America’s school system needs a major overhaul, but that’s not the same as living in a country where you won’t be educated at all just because of your gender.  In the western world we have other challenges, but the internet provides us–both men and women, leverage to take our avocations and make them a truly viable vocation over time.

I’d like to dedicate this blog to my sister–Mikki Loewer.  Since my sister’s death I learned what it means to suffer from grief and depression; I climbed out of that hole and now I’m learning what it takes to make a difference in business, to be self-disciplined and successful.  I encourage you to share with your blogging community and friends why you do what you do.  Leave a comment here on this blog and a link to your blog so that we can hear your story and your voice.  You are important and what you do matters.

Take courage, be willing to show up and make a difference.

Rich Blessings!

Dee