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Advice for Single Business Professionals: 6 Winning Tips to Turn a Business Contact into a Date

You’re at a networking event or in a business meeting and an attractive person walks into the room. You feel your pulse racing and something starts to stir in the middle part of your body. Not to worry, it’s not your lunch coming back up. You’re feeling the vibe – the “I want to bag you” vibe.

It’s difficult to turn a business contact into a date. You met over very business-like circumstances and you could ruin a possible joint venture, partnership or alliance if you make the wrong move. A contract may not be signed if you ask for a date and the person just isn’t interested.

To avoid ruining a business relationship with an ill-timed request for something on the wild side, follow these six winning tips to turn a business contact into a date.

  1. Listen for clues about their marital status. When you’re at a networking event or when you sit in a meeting, the person chatting will always give clues as to whether they’re married, attached or single. Often, the person will say “My wife and I….,” or “My husband thinks….” You could avoid embarrassment by taking the time to listen for these not-so-subtle clues.
  2. Explain your intention for meeting up without sounding like a jock or jockette. At a networking event or in a business meeting, you should always have your professional hat on. Don’t say, “I think you’re hot. Let’s hook up for a drink.” Instead, tell the person that you find them interesting and you’d like to talk more at another time. By saying the word “interesting,” the person will see your request as harmless since it could just mean that you want to learn more about his or her business.
  3. Suggest meeting up for coffee. Ask for the business card and explain that you would like to follow-up. Then arrange a meeting over a low-pressure drink. Don’t schedule your first encounter over lunch or dinner. Because of how long it takes to consume a hot plate of food, if the person turns out to be boring, you’re stuck wasting away precious time. On top of that, meeting over lunch or dinner can turn out to be expensive, especially if the person has a healthy appetite. Opt for coffee instead because by the time you finish your cup of brew, you may decide to end the meeting there or make an appointment for a future get-together.
  4. Keep the paws off. When you meet for the first time over coffee, you still have no idea if your feelings of attraction will be reciprocated. Avoid becoming touchy feely after the handshake. Instead, keep everything professional and treat the person as a business contact.
  5. Ease your way into personal questions. Remember, you’re still trying to find out if the person is even attracted to you. Keep your questions professional, opting to ask about business goals instead of sexual conquests. A rule of thumb is to ask 1 personal question for every

The 4 Major Components of Business Growth & Profit-Building Success!

Your business can be broken down into 4 segments or component parts.

I call these as the 4 MAJOR COMPONENTS of a business.

Through extensive research and study of the most successful businesses worldwide, I have likewise determined that there are 4 common focal points found in a successful strategic plan for Business Growth and Profit-Building. These common focal points, or 4 MAJOR COMPONENTS, are interrelated and can be made to fit together like the pieces of a puzzle.

When you clearly identify them in your own business, and then strategically harness their power to function cohesively, the 4 MAJOR COMPONENTS can produce EXPONENTIAL business growth. And that kind of business growth leads to an increase in bottom-line profits!

So what are these 4 MAJOR COMPONENTS to a successful strategic plan for business growth and profit-building?

Let’ briefly explain what these 4 MAJOR COMPONENTS are, and what they have to do with developing a strategic plan to successfully grow your business and increase your profits.

The 4 MAJOR COMPONENTS

MAJOR COMPONENT 1 is your business’ VISION, GOALS, & MISSION.

When you consider your business’ VISION, GOALS, and MISSION, your chief aim is broken down into 2 parts. First, you must carefully analyze and clarify what direction your business is currently heading in right now. What is your VISION for your business? What are your personal goals and business objectives? And finally, what is your Mission for your business? Do you have these 3 clearly set out? You need to in order to start seeing real growth in your business.

Second, you must determine whether you need to change course to develop the business growth you want and the increase in profits you need. Having clarified your VISION, GOALS, and MISSION, you will then know in what direction you want to steer your business to generate the business growth and increased profits that you want.

As you work through and implement any business growth plans, keep referring back to MAJOR COMPONENT 1, your VISION, GOALS, & MISSION.

MAJOR COMPONENT 1 is the guiding direction for your business, just like a compass pointing to “True North”.

MAJOR COMPONENT 2 of the business growth and profit-building process is your Business Operating Systems, Management, & Training.

I liken MAJOR COMPONENT 2 to the engine that drives a car. When you consider MAJOR COMPONENT 2 in your own business growth plans, you accomplish 4 things:

1. You undertake a review of your business’ engine; that is, your staff and contractors. How can they play a positive role in growing your business and increasing your profits?

2. You consider your hiring practices. How they can impact your successful business growth at the front end…, when you hire others to join you.

3. You evaluate and design your management and training processes to support the business growth that you are striving for. And,

4. Most importantly, you strategically develop the specific operating systems that your business must have in place to effectively and efficiently run …

A Personal Trainer’s Certification – Understanding the Alphabet Soup After the Trainer’s Name

Virtually every Personal Trainer will have a series of letters after their name indicating some, if not all, of the fitness certifications they hold. Often it will be CPT, meaning Certified Personal Trainer. The organization that bestows the title is more important than the letters CPT. This article will give you an idea what to look for AND what to look out for in a Personal Trainer’s certification. Armed with this information, you will have a much better opportunity to hire the right Personal Trainer for YOUR needs.

Currently there are currently only seven organizations in the exercise industry that meet the stringent requirements of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The American College of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Exercise, The Cooper Institute, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the National Council on Strength and Exercise, the National Federation of Professional Trainers, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Holding a certification from one of these organizations does not mean you’ve found a Great Personal Trainer. It means that individual meets one of the criteria for being a Great Personal Trainer (see my article on The Five Traits of a Great Personal Trainer) and may possibly be the person to help you get in the best shape of your life. Getting in the best shape of your life does not include limitations for age or your current physical condition. Unless you are afflicted with an ailment that precludes exercise, a Great Personal Trainer can help you get in the best shape of your entire life, as safely, painlessly, and expediently as possible, regardless of age or current physical conditioning. That is the Personal Trainer we are seeking!

A certification from one of the above organizations means the Personal Trainer has met a strict and thorough process to become a Certified Personal Trainer. They have an understanding of anatomy and physiology, which exercises work various muscle groups, a basic understanding of designing an exercise program for a variety of clients with differing physical abilities, and the knowledge to implement those programs. Importantly, the organizations also require CPR certification and continuing education to maintain certification. CPR certification is important for obvious reasons…and not just in an exercise setting. If you are not CPR certified, consider doing it. You will learn how to potentially save a life with a few hours training.

The continuing education requirement for Personal Trainer certification is vital because exercise science is a dynamic discipline. Ongoing research studies by non-biased entities, such as universities and hospitals, provide constant information updates on our understanding of how exercise affects the human body. This promotes more effective program design and more efficient results for the client. In other words, by staying informed about updates in exercise science your Personal Trainer can continue to help you achieve peak performance, improving your fitness level as proficiently as possible!

There are too many “Certified Personal Trainer” programs to list that do not meet the standards of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. …

5 Insider Secrets For Starting Your Own Sprinkler Repair Business

 Would  you like to make money in your spare time or on the weekend?  Or, even work completely for yourself? One option is to start your own sprinkler repair business.  People may mow their own lawn in a recession, but they will rarely do their own sprinkler system repairs. Armed with these 5 Insider Secrets for Starting Your Own Sprinkler Business, you can be off to a good start.

Insider Secret #1:  Price by type of repair.  When you buy a shovel at the hardware store, the price tag doesn’t split out parts and labor.  So, why charge your customers in this manner, detailing both parts and labor?  It’s no one else’s business but your own how much you are making on labor.  For each repair that you perform, have set prices that include parts and labor.  For charge, charge $45 for a rotor sprinkler replacement.  The $45 covers the parts price of $12 and your labor charge.  Pricing by type of repair allows you to quickly quote repairs to potential customers.

Insider Secret #2:  Gathering customers is more important than your repair skills.  This is actually quite logical — without customers calling you to do repairs on their system, you will have no chance to show off your repair skills.  Therefore, you must focus your limited time on driving customers to you — by telling everyone your know that you are in the sprinkler repair business; by taking the time to write Google and Yahoo business postings so that you show up when people search for “sprinkler repair” in your geographic area.  The quality of your work is important, but don’t delay starting a business in order to learn more about repairs.  You will learn by doing in this business!

Insider Secret #3:  Call back customers promptly.  This secret may seem like a no brainer, but you will be shocked and amazed how many of your competitors — many of them focused on their big-profit installation jobs — will not even call back customers in desperate need of sprinkler repairs.  It’s your job to snap up these quick repair jobs and make a profit!  

Insider Secret #4:  Get to know an irrigation or plumbing supply wholesaler.  Do a Google search to find irrigation or plumbing supply wholesalers in your area, and then visit them.  Personally meet 1 or 2 of the salespeople, and tell them that you are interested in a starting a sprinkler repair business.  They will tell you the commonly used sprinkler equipment in the area, likely extend you a line of credit, and even provide training on their products.  They will be indispensable to your business.

Insider Secret #5: Organize and protect your business.  Your repair business must be started on solid ground.  That means protecting your business and yourself personally by using a proper business organization structure such as a corporation or limited liability company (LLC) for protection.  Form your business organization, then establish a bank account for your business — never commingle personal …

Reasons For Starting a Restaurant Business Within the Next Five Years

Restaurant business is productive and a very worthwhile business option. If you have a business plan for starting a restaurant business or are planning to buy a decently run restaurant then get started with it now. This write up will give you enough reasons of why and how you should start a restaurant business. The first strong reason for starting a restaurant business is that you can earn a lot through it. Initially like every business this will also need some good amounts of inputs but in the longer run you will only enrich the profits. Starting a restaurant business is thus regarded to be rewarding.

The market analysis of the this particular business shows good figures which instills confidence for starting a restaurant business. In the next five years as the life style of almost every individual will change the need of a good food service provider will tend to increase many folds. For fulfilling this rising demand, starting a restaurant business can be considered as a smart move. If you love to socialize and build contacts then for you business will be the most ideal career option. Many people believe that doing a business in the restaurant industry offers many benefits to its owner. It allows him to meet a number of new people everyday and allows him to build strong contacts.

No time was more suitable than the present for starting a restaurant business because the changing life style brings people to restaurants more often. As more and more families are becoming nuclear now the transforming demographics supports the growth and success of every business. Your restaurant business can also earn great profits if you choose the location of your restaurants smartly and invest in good amount of money. People prefer to go to a restaurant which is affordable, has nice ambiance and offers good food. If your restaurant can offer a middle class individual some good quality services at price he can easily afford then you can see your business multiply in a very short span of time.

Target the middle class individual but provide services that are of good quality. This will obviously attract the middle class but the richer class will also use your services because you are good. If you are starting a restaurant business then do not commit a mistake of targeting the richer class initially because in this way you will not be able to earn much profit. So target the mass for running your business successfully. This is the perfect way to make good profits.

So get started with it, make a business plan, and look out for a perfect location. Buy that spot or take it on rent and ask a builder to build a perfect restaurant for you. All this will take time to fall into place. Have patience and let your restaurant establish. You will soon see it grow and earn good amount of profits for you. Starting your restaurant business at the right time and right …

Buying a Business With Its Own Cash – And Not a Penny of Your Own

After reading this article, you will be ready to start applying your knowledge and reach your American Dream of owning a business. This comes with a serious effort on your part; however, by reading this article, I assume you’ve decided to take this long journey and start making a change in your life. I’m going to introduce you to some easy ways to get the money you need through the modern-day miracle of leverage. We’ll start with an approach that enables you to make the business actually pay for itself without requiring you to reach for your wallet.

Question: Is it true that the method of taking money out of the company’s cash flow is reserved exclusively for financial gurus?

Answer: It is partly true. Most leveraging techniques have that reputation. And frankly, they shouldn’t. If more people knew about them, many entrepreneurs would have been in business long ago. Such techniques only seem to be reserved for financial experts because they [the techniques] appear more frequently in strategic financial markets. You hear of many major acquisitions worth billions of dollars. Yet, you will never hear how it happened or what was involved. This information never goes public. As will be mentioned in Strategy 4, by developing a strong network with corporate leaders, you will definitely have access to that valuable information even though you might not work in the field.

These are actually hidden secrets that I’m revealing to you right now. The power of information will allow you to go far. However, it’s up to you to make the effort in searching for more information about the company that you want to acquire. Remember, the most powerful tool you have while you are dealing with the seller is showing him your knowledge in the industry and how it can be beneficial for him (and yourself, of course) to sell you the business. And, believe me, you too can put these powerful, yet simple, tools to use immediately.

Question: What is the easiest way to explain how to use a business’s cash flow for financing purposes?

Answer: Let me start by giving you some perspective on how much money we’re really talking about. One expert explains it this way:

“The amount of cash an average business puts into its cash register over just two or three weeks is usually enough to cover the down payment to buy that business”.

Think about it. The cash that collects in just a matter of days is usually enough so that, with some creativity, you can use it to satisfy the seller’s down payment. That can work no matter what type of business you are pursuing. Since there is no law that says you can’t “borrow” that money, all you have to do is figure out how to use the cash collected to pay for the business once you have acquired it. This easy if you have a C.P.A to calculate your cash flow in order to know how to approach the seller …

Top Ten Factors in Running a Successful Construction Contractor Business

It is not easy running a construction business. There are many pitfalls and ways to lose money but if you follow some basic steps you can not only make a living but become very wealthy. Many successful construction contractors have learned there are certain things you absolutely must do right all the time and certain skills you must have or acquire in order to make it in this very competitive industry. In this article I will summarize what it takes to be a successful construction contractor in their order of importance.

Most Important Factor: Hands On Experience

Do not even think about starting a construction contractor business unless you have at least five years of broad (meaning general, not specialized) construction experience. The only exception to this is if you intend on specializing in one area and one area only. We call this a niche. Niche’s can be very profitable, but they can also go away, change or be replaced by technology, new products, changes in the industry or societal changes. The best chance for success in the general contractor business is to gain experience doing everything. This general experience has many benefits. It gives you the ability to identify and hire competent individuals, fire incompetent ones, evaluate good work product and identify poor work product. Probably the most important thing it gives you is the ability to transition from being a technician to being a manager. The best experience comes from small to mid-sized construction companies that require you to be a jack of all trades. Larger companies have a tendency to pigeonhole you into niches. That is fine if your business model is a niche, but if you start a general contractor construction business with skills in only a few niche areas, you will fail unless you hire to your weaknesses.

Second Most Important Factor: Outstanding Accounting System

If you do not have a sound accounting system your construction business will eventually fail. This CPA has witnessed this too many times than I care to recount. Sound accounting systems allow you to evaluate whether or not you make a profit on a job by job basis. Going with gut instinct is dangerous and fraught with risk. A sound accounting system helps you identify those things you do right on each job as well as the mistakes you’ve made. Numbers don’t lie. Unfortunately, my experience has shown me that most construction contractors pay little attention to their system of accounting. There is a fear that proper accounting will set the business owner up for higher taxes. Thus, cash received on a job and cash disbursed go unreported in an effort to avoid tax. What a mistake. I don’t care how great your gut feeling is on each job, if you don’t have an accounting of every penny on each job, you can rest assured you are flying blind and losing money on each job. You will go out of business and your family life will suffer. If you decide …

Know About the Consequences of Not Having Public Liability Insurance Coverage

Public liability insurance is an important insurance policy that protects your business during the time of adversities. Especially, if your business handles risky activities like construction, plumbing, etc., or if the public enters into your business premises like in retailing, then this insurance plan is a must have. Owing to the uncertainty of accidents and the huge costs of legal claims, your business may run into crisis if you are not properly guarded by the right insurance plan, i.e. public liability insurance.

This article gives you a little insight into the consequences your business might face, if you do not have public liability insurance coverage.

Financial burden: Depending on the damage or loss caused to the third-party, the amount claimed may vary. But the third parties generally sue the company for heavy amounts as small amounts do not matter for both company and the sufferers. These claims will add up to the company’s existing costs and become a financial burden to the company. Managing the finances between the company’s needs and legal claims is not wise as it halts the business operations.

Legal battles: Apart from the amount to be reimbursed, a company has to face legal battles which occur as a result of lawsuits filed against the business by the third parties. The legal costs and expenses are generally high. You need to deal legal authorities with utmost care. These legal battles are hectic. The time and effort required to fight these legal battles is also high. It diverts you from your core business. But if you have a public liability policy, the insurance company assists you and takes charge in fighting these legal battles till the case is closed, besides paying the legal expenses.

Chances of bankruptcy: Inability to pay the outstanding charges claimed by the third parties may lead the business to go bankrupt. Unless a business has outstanding capital, it cannot afford to pay these legal expenses. Moreover, you are needed to provide additional financial assistance in the form of medical aid as in case of accidents and repairing charges in case of property damage, besides paying the lump sum amount and the legal costs.

Investment at risk: In case your business is facing a third-party legal claim, and if you are in a position where you cannot pay the claimed amount instantly, then, the bank or the court gives permission to seize your various monetary investments or fixed assets such as land, furniture or machinery to cover the legal expenses and the claimed amount.

Lack of mental peace: With the all the above issues, you will surely lose mental peace. These legal claims not only eat away the business’ time and effort but in some cases may ruin the business’ existence. Legal claims should be dealt instantly; any delay will only aggravate the tension and loss.

A good business will always be prepared for the future crisis. Having a public liability insurance policy is a wise decision. It provides timely financial help to pay the …

Business Valuation Multiples – How to Choose the Right Multiple For Your Business

Using a “Multiple of Earnings” is the most popular way to value small businesses that are for sale.

But that raises a difficult question: By what number do you multiply your earnings?

Much of what has been written about valuation multiples states that most businesses are sold with a multiple that ranges from 1-5.

But in truth, smaller businesses that sell for 4 or 5 time their earnings are rare – at least when it comes to owner-managed businesses.

In smaller businesses with an owner’s benefit of $50,000 to about $250,000, the owner will usually also manage the business on a day to day basis. The buyer is in truth “buying a job”. Their return on investment is much lower because they are investing not just there money but there time.

In larger businesses, where there is enough cash flow to hire a full time, professional manager the owner can make a return on his investment without a full time commitment – so that business will be valued at a much higher level. That’s not to say you can’t sell your business for a multiple of 4 or 5, but in my experience the vast majority of smaller businesses sell for a figure much closer to 1 to 3.

So I suggest you start with a multiple of 2.0 and use the list of factors below to adjust the multiple up and down based on your specific situation and you company’s performance.

This is just a partial list to get you started, there are bound to be unique factors that affect your business that are not listed here.

Positive Factors That Can Increase the Multiple

*Sales and profits have risen consistently each year for at least 3 years.

*A significant amount of sales come from repeat customers. Even better is revenue that comes from automatically recurring charges. Web hosting, alarm monitoring and self storage are few examples of business that may have reliable repeat revenue each month.

*Proprietary products, patents and/or trademarks.

*Exclusive rights to a territory.

*Less warranty exposure than is typical in your industry.

*Management And /or employees will stay on after the sale. The more experienced or uniquely talented these people are, the better.

*The business is a franchise of a well established – And well known – company. For many buyers, the support and training they get from the franchisor is a major plus – one they are willing to pay for.

*Your industry is growing and the future appears bright.

*Important ratios such as profit margin And cost of sales are above average for you industry.

*You are offering above average financing terms

For these last two items you should check with any trade associations that serve your industry. They may be able to provide you with facts and statistics that can help you show the buyer that your business is part of a growing industry or trend.

Negative Factors That Can Decrease the Multiple

*Sales and profits have been trending down recently.

*Sale and …

Part-Time Lawn Mowing Business While Working a Regular Job

No matter what the economy, the grass still grows. There is always someone near by who needs their lawn mowed and can not do it themselves. These folks have a problem and you, the full-time employee wanting to start a part-time lawn mowing business, have the solution. They can pay you to mow their yard. Problem solved.

I often get the question of whether you can start your lawn mowing business part-time in the evenings and on weekends and keep your full-time job. The answer is a big yes!

The question is can you do it? If you have lots of energy, enjoy being outdoors and working in your yard, and can handle just 5 to 10 extra hours of physical work each week, you can start a part-time lawn mowing business and keep your regular job.

People who work 12-hour rotating shift schedules are in a terrific position to run a lawn mowing business part-time while keeping them full-time jobs because they have so many days off.

Marketing
First, you need to find some customers. Write a flyer using word processing software, print it, take it to your local copy shop, have 25-30 copies made, and distribute them around your neighborhood within walking distance of your house. You may want to use a half-page flyer so you can distribute to 50-60 houses. Include what you offer the prospect (lawn mowing, edging, cleaning off the concrete), your name, best phone number to contact you, your address so they know you are a neighbor and how much you charge. Since you are new to the business charge on the lower end of the average rate other lawn care professionals charge in your area. Five dollars cheaper than average may get your neighbors to stop using someone out of the neighborhood and start using you instead.

Another reason to start with your neighbors is they know you or know of you and we all want to help other people, especially people we know. Since these folks are close by, you get to go out, knock on doors and meet your neighbors while marketing your business to them. Smile, introduce yourself and tell them which house is yours or what street you live on and get to know a little about them and some things you might have in common. Hand them a flyer at the end of the conversation and move on to the next house.

Keep this up until you have at least one person ready for you to go home, get your equipment right now, come back and work that day and are pulling out their checkbook to pay you. If this happens, stop marketing that day, service your new customer and earn some money. Continue marketing the next day.

When you have the number of customers you think you can handle, stop marketing daily and only doing a little occasionally or when someone asks for your information. You will need to keep a few flyers on hand to give …