10 Steps to success

The IBD 10 Secrets to Success...

There is a question many people ask, why are some people more successful? Is it smartness? Working harder? Risk takers? Having powerful and infl uential friends?

Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) research concluded that the following 10 reasons account for these diff erences in levels of success. These IBD 10 Secrets to Success are:

1. How you think is everything: Always be positive. Think Success, not Failure. Beware of a negative environment. Your belief that you can accomplish your goals has to be unwavering. The moment you say to yourself “I can’t…”, then you won’t. Positive things happen to positive people.

2. Decide upon Your True Dreams and Goals: Write down your specifi c goals and develop a plan to reach them. Remember, a New Year’s resolution that isn’t written down is just a dream, and dreams are not goals. Goals are those concrete, measurable stepping stones of achievement that track your progress towards your dreams.

3. Take Action. Goals are nothing without action. Do something every day towards your goals. It may be small, but it’s still an action.

4. Never Stop Learning: Go back to school or read books. Get training & acquire skills. Become a lifelong learner.

5. Be Persistent and Work Hard: Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up.

6. Learn to Analyse Details: Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes. Avoid making decisions with incomplete data – both are traits of successful people. Spend time gathering details, but don’t catch ‘analysis paralysis’.

7. Focus Your Time And Money: Don’t let other people or things distract you. Remain laser focused on your goals and surround yourself with positive people that believe in you. Don’t be distracted by the naysayer’s or tasks that are not helping you achieve your goals.

8. Don’t Be Afraid To Innovate: Be diff erent. Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity. Follow through on that break-out idea you have. Ask yourself “What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?”

9. Deal And Communicate With People Eff ectively: No person is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others. Successful people develop and nurture a network and they only do that by treating people openly, fairly and many times fi rmly.

10. Be Honest And Dependable: Take responsibility, otherwise numbers 1 – 9 won’t matter.

6 Steps to Sarting a Business from Zero

Start your business now!

Every great business started with drive and a passion. Even moguls like Richard Branson, Oprah, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett started at zero.

If you know my story, you know that after I was injured in professional football, my lifelong dream of playing came to an end. I spent a year and a half broke and sleeping on my sister’s couch trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life.

At that time my main passion was sports, and that was my focus for as long as I could remember. I wanted to have the flexibility to do what I love, and make a living that would set me up for the rest of my life. But I had no idea where to begin.

Through equal parts luck and persistence, that year I found a brilliant mentor. I interned with him for close to a year and he paid me about $500 a month. I poured myself into learning from him. I also did whatever I could to earn income on the side working event marketing gigs and other odd jobs.

As I put one foot in front of the other, I started seeing where my passion and skills intersected. I loved connecting people and adding value to their lives. I loved providing whatever service I could to them that would help solve a problem they had. As I pursued the things that interested me, I began to put together networking events. I started to form what would become my business and brand, ever evolving along the way.

Related: How to Connect With High-Profile Influencers

It wasn’t as if I had a perfect plan mapped out. I combined my passions, strengths and vision to create the ideal business for me along the way. The most passionate entrepreneurs are driven by more than just money. They’re driven by living a fulfilled life.  

If you haven’t yet discovered your passion, I encourage you to do so. That’s part of the reason I started The School of Greatness Academy -- to help people pursue their passions. Think about what excited you as a kid, or the thing that when you do it you lose all sense of time and space, you are so lost in the moment. You will be happiest when you follow your passion. I love what Steve Jobs had to say about this:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.

Once you have figured out what you want to do, here are some important things to keep in mind while starting your business from zero:

 

1. Research your market.

Knowing what the competition knows won’t cut it. Go deep. Dive in to your market and study it like an expert.  

 Search Google for keywords that are related to your industry. Don’t get discouraged if the market seems flooded. You can use this to your advantage. It means that it is working for those people and you can make it work for you. There is money there.

 

2. Set a tangible financial goal.

I set new goals every six months and always stretch my initial mark. Work backwards and figure out what you need to do each day to get to where you want to be. Set a goal that is a stretch for you and look at the steps you need to take every day to accomplish that goal.

 

Related: 3 Keys to Designing a Life You Wouldn't Trade for Anything

 

3. When you create a website, make the content shareable.

It’s great to reference some the leaders in your space, but when you are developing your own brand, it’s important to create unique content on a single hub. A site that your readers and viewers can reference back to, for more of your incredible content. I lean on Derek Halpern who’s a pro at this.  

 

4. Build a list.

Email is best form of currency online and building an email list is one of the most important tools in building a business. As you develop your shareable site, begin building a list of emails of the people that visit your site. Then continue to provide them with value. This will translate into buyers for the future launch of your product or service.

 

Adding in an opt-in form on your website and having a place to store your emails are the first two steps to building your email list. Free resources like HelloBar.com and AppSumo.com allow you to collect email information on your website. To store email addresses, I recommend the program Aweber, which even offers a free 30-day trial.

 

5. Launch a product or service you can sell.

If you have a financial goal that you’ve set out for the next six months, then you have to sell something. Take the time to figure out the biggest challenges your audience is facing and build your relationship with them. Then create something that solves their problem. I know this is easier said than done, but it’s critical. Your leads come from your list, you convert them to customers, follow up and build a relationship.  

 

6.  Start NOW and improve as you go.

A lot of people waste time thinking about making things perfect before they launch their business. The logo, the website, the copy -- everything. This is a waste of time. Sell your product before you make it by offering a pre-order. Focus on getting sales and attracting leads. Successful companies launch all the time and they aren’t perfect.  

 

Think of Facebook and all the changes and improvements it has made. Start with a small product and always be improving.  Launch online you can sell over and over and not have to trade time for dollars.

 

The most important thing is to enjoy the process and know that you don’t have to make it perfect. Start today. If not now, when? This article was found at the flowing address https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/243887 if you like this article or want more information go to  Lewis howes 

blog he also wrote this article 

http://lewishowes.com/ 

Bookkeeping tips for small businesses

Emily Coltman, 26th January 2016

When you’re running your own business, it’s important to make sure you keep your records and bookkeeping in order. Not only does this help you to keep on the right side of the taxman, it also means you’ll have useful, up-to-the-minute information about your business’s profit and its cash flow.

Emily Coltman FCA, Chief Accountant to FreeAgent – providers of award-winning online accounting system for small businesses and freelancers – gives her five top tips for making sure you stay on the right track when it comes to your bookkeeping.

Track your cash in and out

Remember that cash is the lifeblood of any business. If you don’t know what’s come in and what’s going out, you won’t know if you’ve got sufficient money to pay your upcoming bills or to cover your taxes. If you don’t already do so, try making use of the speed and convenience of online banking. You should find that monitoring your account online makes it quicker and easier to track the money that’s going in and out of your business. You can even download statements from online banking and upload them to FreeAgent, making it even more straightforward to work out where you’re earning and spending money.

Invoice online

You can save time and paper by e-mailing your estimates and invoices to your customers, and chasing non-payments with automatic email reminders. This will also help you make sure you get paid the money you've earned for your work!

Keep on top of your bills

Don’t sour the relationships you have with your suppliers by forgetting to pay your bills. Instead, try to keep track of any bills that you’re not going to pay straight away, and make sure you keep a record of when they’re due to be paid - so that you can pay them before the deadlines. Not only will this help keep your suppliers happy - and you never know when you might need a supplier to do you an urgent favour, such as a rush order - you may also be able to take advantage of early payment discounts. You can do all four of these easily, and produce management accounts, by using a simple online accounting system like FreeAgent.

Track all your expenses

As well as spending money from your business bank account, you’re bound to spend money out of your own pocket on business expenses. But it’s easy to forget to keep track of these expenses when you’re doing your bookkeeping. For example, if you travel to visit a client and buy your train ticket using a personal credit card, remember that this still counts as a cost of your business. If you don’t put it in your accounts, then your profit will look higher than it actually was, and worse, you’ll pay too much tax. Consider using a tool like Receipt Bank to photograph your expense receipts on your iPhone and feed them automatically into your accounts - so you won’t run the risk of forgetting about them.

Keep your records carefully

Make sure that you keep all your paperwork, either as hard copies, or by scanning them onto your computer. HMRC is quite happy for you to keep your business records as soft copies, so long as you can access them readily - but remember that if a document has writing on both sides (such as terms and conditions), you must scan both sides. The exception to that is anything that has a tax deduction written on the piece of paper, such as a dividend voucher, or bank interest certificate. In these cases you must keep the hard copy.

However you keep your records, have a system and stick to it. Make sure that you can easily lay hands on any piece of paper in your system, in case of a query from your accountant or from HMRC as well as in case you need it. Sort documents by type (e.g. invoices, bills, bank statements) and by order such as date or alphabetical or both - rather than just filing them in one big pile.

You may also want to consider using an online accounting system such as FreeAgent to help you manage your record more efficiently. This will also allow you to attach scanned copies of documents such as bills to the entries in the software, which will save you having to look for them later.

Bookkeeping isn’t the most interesting of jobs, but it’s much easier to manage if you make use of all available tools and keep your records regularly updated. It’s easier to do an hour a week than to have to spend a month collecting your information at year end - and you could also save on accountants’ fees by keeping your records and paperwork in perfect order.

Emily Coltman FCA is Chief Accountant to FreeAgent, who provide an award-winning online accounting system designed to meet the needs of small businesses and freelancers. Try it for free at www.freeagent.com