Our First-Time Visitors

A Serial Entrepreneur Becomes A Millionaire From An Accidental Startup

Monis Rahman, serial entrepreneur, accidentally launched Rozee.pk when he needed to find more programmers for his startup.

Getting A Mentor

I had a strategy session with a business start-up owner a few months ago. She was six months into her start-up and needed some ideas during her development stage.

Simple Steps To Creating Your First Website

When you make that decision to start a business, you immediately become a multi-tasking maniac. Let's face it, you will have a lot of work on your hands.

Why 'Core Competency' Is Important To A Startup

Well, I like the answer that Norm Brodsky gives in his book, The Knack: "It was the one thing we had that our competitors couldn't offer, and by the time they caught up, we had a foothold in the market and were known for providing that service."

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dress Up Your Startup

When you're new in business, it's hard to be taken seriously so don't make it even harder on yourself by not projecting the right image. Do a few things to get your start-up noticed:

If you don't have an address, get one. Lot of start-ups start from home. You're literally starting from scratch. Your potential clients don't need to know this though. Get a virtual office or a co-op work space address. Most virtual offices will even let you buy an address from them each month without even renting virtual spaces. I started with a virtual office space. I had 16 hours allotted where I could meet with clients in-person, I had a receptionist, a personal office space, a personal business line, a business mailbox, a business fax and a snazzy business address in my first year. All for $200/month. Find one in your area by simply typing in executive offices or virtual offices into google. Be mindful, there is a difference between co-op space and virtual offices. If you are a service-based consulting business, I recommend virtual/executive offices.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Think Inside the Box; Grow Your Business with what you already have

A client asked me the other day, "as a banker, what was the key advice you would give your small business clients who wanted to grow?"

I replied, "Cross sell, cross sell, cross sell..."

Cross selling is my version of thinking "inside your box." What do you already have that you're not taking advantage of? Cross-selling is simply looking at the people you've already built a relationship with (sold to) and finding something else of value to them that could further deepen that relationship. You simply sell something new to your existing clients.

In the article, You Can't Beat Habit, Neale Martin discusses cross selling by saying, "You want to grease the wheels of habit formation by getting your customers to once again get used to doing business with you. Once you have customers buying from you, you can look for ways to sell bigger and more profitably."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Listen to your Clients

Today I hosted a One-Day Institute for our business and legal small business clients. I heard the questions and comments from workshop participants and thought to myself, this is it! This sense of community with other service-based small business owners is what my clients need and yearn for.

A year ago, I submitted a survey to clients and the response was that they wanted events that would offer both networking and educational benefits within a comfortable environment. So, I decided to work hard to get them this event and they willingly paid to attend it. Although there were times I doubted being able to pull it off after such a tough year, I still kept pressing on.

I say this to say that sometimes we have to go beyond fear or uncertainty and take risks to develop better products and services for our businesses. Otherwise, someone else will do the developing for us. Michael Port, author of Book Yourself Solid, recently wrote in his new magazine column, "treat your best customers like stars." How can we all start treating our customers like stars? I think back to the places I patronize regularly that never give me a discount. If they don't start treating me like I'm special, they won't continue to get my repeat business.

You can check out some of my great speakers and their awesome businesses:

Meredith Liepelt and Rich Life Marketing, (www.richlifemarketing.com) Yvette Alexander Slate and Carried The Bag, (www.carriedthebag.com) Amy Franko and Amy Franko Consulting, (www.amyfranko.com) Tiffany Odutoye and Talk Social Networking, (www.talksocialnetworking.com) Mary Slane of Slane Financial (www.slanefinancial.com) and John Siebert of Siebert and Associates, (http://www.columbus-cpa.com/index.htm).

My special guestspeaker and Dayton's own small business rockstar was Marty Grunder of MartyGrunder! Inc. www.martygrunder.com Marty drove to Columbus and gave us all a great and much-needed talk on "How to Lead in Lean Times." What an amazing speaker!

It was a power-filled day with great information and insight. As you can imagine, I'm beat after working with my team to get this event planned.

So while I leave you to take a much needed nap, I leave you with this quote I learned today, "we cannot direct the wind, but we can direct the sails." (Bertha Calloway)

About the Author: Cheryl Isaac is a Start-up Business Planner & Owner of Isaac Business Services, The Business Startup Company. She is also the creator of The 12MonthBizPlan.com; an online business planning center where business owners can work with a personal advisor for a year, to plan their new business

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Isaac Business Services Small Business Institute Presents: One Day Institute; "Find Your Mojo in 2010"

So I've just realized that this is my first post of the New Year. Usually, I post once a week but the holidays took a few days away from me. Well, as you get adjusted to the New Year, I wish you much success and hope you're taking steps to be all that you can be.

One thing that I find very essential for start-ups and small businesses is the need for education. James Dale writes in his book, The Obvious, "it's okay to be ignorant, but it's not okay to stay ignorant." Staying ignorant means ignoring the steps you need to take to be a better business person and refusing to pay for the education to get there.

Once a year I plan an educational event for my start-up and small business clients and former clients because I believe wholeheartedly in continuing education for small business. In fact if you've followed my blog, you've seen me mentioning conferences that I've invested in and attended.

On January 21 from 8:30-4:30, I'll be hosting my annual One-Day Institute for small business owners. So far, I have an incredible mix of attendees to include: chiropractor, lawyer, real estate investor, home health care professional, spa owners, a salon owner, beauty school owner, caterer, maintenance company, residential care consultant, online retailer and more.

I've also brought in some great experts and friends to help me get this day started. Although I'll be leading a couple of workshops, I'll also be taking notes and learning. So if you're in the Columbus area and would like to attend, it's not too late. You can still RSVP by clicking here: Isaac Business Services Small Business Institute presents: January One-Day Institute. I'll also post and blog about the agenda and speaker bio this week.

Even if you're not in Columbus, Ohio please find a conference that will give you education and motivation to start the New Year right. Remember, you have to invest in your own business in order for others to freely invest in you.

Cheryl Isaac is a business start-up strategist to service businesses going online. She contributes to Forbes here and blogs about Making Business Personal here.  

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