How to Succeed in Business
About half of all small businesses fail within the first four years -- a statistic that generates a shudder of fear in even the most dauntless entrepreneur. Most of these failures, however, resemble one another in crucial ways. And once you identify these harbingers of failure, you can increase your own chance of success.
Procrastination. When you own a small business, you will find that tasks and paperwork pile up like snowdrifts on your desk. Putting them off is like piling up debt; eventually they could overwhelm you.
Ignoring the competition. Consumer loyalty has declined sharply in recent years. Today, customers go where they can find the best products and services, even if that means breaking off long-term business relationships. Monitor your competitors, and don't be ashamed to copy their best ideas (assuming that doesn't mean violating patent law). Better yet, devote some time each week or month to devising new methods, products or services for your firm.
Sloppy or ineffective marketing. Contrary to the popular cliche, few products or services "sell themselves." If you don't have time to market your product effectively, hire an experienced person to do it for you. Marketing keeps your products selling and money flowing into your business. It's crucial that you do it well.
Ignoring customers´ needs. Once you attract customers, you'll have to work hard to keep them. Customer service should be a key aspect of your business. If you don't follow through with your customers, they'll find someone who will.
Incompetent employees. Hire only workers who are essential to your operation. When you do hire employees, make sure they're well trained and able to complete the tasks expected of them. And remember that happy employees make good workers — try to create a work environment that keeps your staff happy and motivated.
Lack of versatility. You may be great at making hats or painting houses or fixing computers, but that's not enough to make your millinery shop or house painting business or computer consultancy successful. Successful business owners tend to be adept at a number of tasks, from accounting to marketing to hiring.
Poor location. Even the best restaurant or retail store will fail if it's in the wrong place. When you're scouting a location for your business, consider factors such as traffic (how many potential customers pass your business during the course of an afternoon or evening?) and convenience (how hard is it for your regular customers to get to your location on a regular basis?). Cash flow problems. You need to know how to track the money coming into and out of your business -- even a profitable venture will flounder if it runs short of cash. In addition, you must learn to make cash flow projections that will help you decide how much money you can afford to spend and warn you of impending trouble.
A closed mind. Everyone goes into business with some preconceptions — don't be surprised if you find that many of yours are wrong. Look for mentors who can give you advice and run your ideas by them before you make important financial commitments. Read books and magazines about small business, visit business-related Web sites and network with your peers in the business community.
Inadequate planning. Start with realistic but precise goals for your firm, including deadlines. For example, don't just say that you want to increase sales; instead, decide that you want sales to reach $100,000 by next holiday season. Then write down the steps you can take to meet those goals on time, and set deadlines for completing those steps. Consult your goal list every day, and make sure you are doing what you need to do to meet your objectives.
Make sure that you plan on using the services of an expereinced consultant. You know your product or service, but we know business.
How to Be Successful in Life
Achieve External Success
Identify your passions. Before you can achieve success, you will have to define what success means to you. ...
Make a list of your goals, and what you might do to achieve them. ...
Live purposefully. ...
Be educated. ...
Manage your finances. ...
Manage your time.
2016 Top Franchises from Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 List
Our 37th Annual Franchise 500 ranking reveals the impact of the newest trends and the industries poised for growth.
There's a lot that goes into putting together the first, best and most comprehensive franchise ranking in the world. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at Entrepreneur's 37th annual Franchise 500®.
20 Startups To Watch In 2016
Startup life is not about the spotlight. It’s about disruption. It’s about innovation. At 1000 Angels, it’s our job to surface some of the most exciting early-stage investment opportunities.
Among some of the startups we predict will make a mark, we have identified 20 companies in particular to watch in 2016.
IRS Tax Scams (2016)
Most Recent Scams
Tax Refund Scam Artists Posing as Taxpayer Advocacy Panel
A new email scam targeting taxpayers has emerged. According to the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP), taxpayers are receiving emails that appear to be from TAP about a tax refund. These emails are a phishing scam, where unsolicited emails which seem to come from legitimate organizations — but are really from scammers — try to trick unsuspecting victims into providing personal and financial information. Do not respond or click the links in them. If you receive an email that appears to be from TAP regarding your personal tax information, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and note that it seems to be a scam email phishing for your information.
TAP is a volunteer board that advises the IRS on systemic issues affecting taxpayers. It never requests, and does not have access to, any taxpayer’s personal and financial information such as Social Security and PIN numbers or passwords and similar information for credit cards, banks or other financial institutions.
Scammers Change Tactics
Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a major threat to taxpayers, but now the IRS is receiving new reports of scammers calling under the guise of verifying tax return information over the phone.
W-2 Scam Targeting Payroll and Human Resources Professionals
Payroll and human resources professionals should be aware of an emerging phishing email scheme that purports to be from company executives and requests personal information on employees. The email contains the actual name of the company chief executive officer. In this scam, the “CEO” sends an email to a company payroll office employee and requests a list of employees and financial and personal information including SSNs.
E-mail, Phishing and Malware Schemes
The IRS has seen an approximate 400 percent surge in phishing and malware incidents so far in the 2016 tax season.
IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scam
An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.
Tax Preparer Phishing Scam
A bogus email asks tax professionals to update their IRS e-services portal information and Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs). The links that are provided in the bogus email to access IRS e-services appear to be a phishing scheme designed to capture your username and password. This email was not generated by the IRS e-services program. Disregard this email and do not click on the links provided.