How to Grow Your Business

Start at the end

Business owners, and their teams, often lose their way in the midst of the  day-to-day stress of generating sales and profits. Suddenly, everyone becomes so  focused on short-term goals that the entire organization loses sight of the  long-term vision. The solution is to “start at the end.” When you know where you  want your business to end up, you can reverse engineer your business plan to get  you there. With a detailed vision of the end, you and your team will stay  focused and energized, always moving toward that ultimate goal.

Whether your goal is to sell your business for millions, multiply your  revenues, expand operations to a new location, or generate more profits, Start  at the End offers a unique approach and action steps for business owners and  entrepreneurs to redevelop your business plan. You’ll learn how to re-create  your long-term vision, and then make continuous progress to achieve that vision  while continuing to hit your short-term goals. Start at the End offers inspiring  stories of other business owners and entrepreneurs who have achieved significant  success, as well as easy-to-follow exercises. You’ll learn how to:

  • Build a company you can sell for millions of dollars
  • Create vision statements from a customer perspective and from a business  perspective that increase your sales and profits
  • Develop a realistic business and financial model based on market data
  • Systematize your business and minimize mistakes
  • Build the strongest marketing system in your industry
  • Increase your conversion rates and the lifetime value of your customers
  • Improve the performance and productivity of your employees

Start  at the End gives you a chance to take a step back, reevaluate your business,  and redesign your business plan to achieve the success you dreamed of when you  first launched your company.


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Find Your Ideas Outside Your Own Country

My Family Australia

International vacations can be a great way to come up with new business  ideas.  When you’re outside of your normal environment, and even more so, when  outside of your cultural comfort zone, you’ll be exposed to many interesting and  innovative ideas and opportunities that with a just a little localization might  be just right for your domestic audience.

An example of this phenomenon involves the Australian couple Monica Liebenow  and her husband Phil Barham.  While in California, Barham noticed a cartoon  family displayed on the back windshield of a car.  Upon returning to Australia,  he explained the idea to Liebenow, a graphic artist, and My Family Stickers were born.

The stickers are similar to the ones you see in the US, but they have an  Australian flavor.  In keeping with the Australian love of eating and cooking  outdoors, the most popular “father” sticker is one they called “Barbecue Dad”.  In fact, three of four most popular father stickers depict the father doing  something outdoorsy.

According to the company, in the last two years, more than two million My  Family Stickers have been sold.


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Top 5 Reasons …

Moving Premises Can Help Your Business

By on September 7, 2012 in Guest Posts

Photo by Mark Stosberg

When a business plans to expand and grow, moving to a bigger, more suitable office space is inevitable. A better office space will give your business many benefits and will certainly be a fresh start for your business and employees.

Here are some great reasons to move to a new office space and revolutionize your business

Improve your brands perception

A new office space with bigger and better facilities will be a great way to showcase your brand and will give a more professional edge. The office style and size you choose should reflect your business and the kinds of clients you aim to attract. If you are planning to acquire new staff and expand your businesses size, choose and office space that reflects this. An office space company or facilities management firm will help you pick an office area which is the most suitable for you and your employees

Enhance employee morale

A change of scenery and higher quality surroundings can work wonders to boost staff morale and work ethic. It is a sign that you care about your staff and this will lead to them having a positive perception of not just you as a boss, but the company as a whole. These changes can also boost productivity as the chance to use the latest in technology and work in high quality surroundings will be extremely appealing and will make employees take more pride in their work.

Review your costs and outgoings

This is a great time to evaluate all the expenditures your business had in the previous premises and shop around for a cheaper deal. There will be many new costings to consider for your new office space so it’s best to negotiate and complete these changes before your business makes the move. Many energy suppliers will be keen to provide you with a lower or competitive rate seeing as you have acquired new premises. It may also be a great opportunity to sell surplus or unneeded office equipment from your previous office space or just recycle them. You may also be paid for your recycling if it is a large amount.

Upgrade technology

Many businesses use this as an opportunity to choose the latest upgrades in technology to enable efficiency and productivity. This can also benefit brand perception and staff morale.

Be closer to clients and competitors

Many small business struggle to find central or city based premises due to rent and utility costs and usually have to settle for out of town premises. However, if a business expands and has the correct funds to move to a bigger office space, it means that they are more likely to be closer to customers, both existing and new, and competitors, meaning they can keep a closer eye on business developments and increase networking opportunities. Also, if your business is more centrally located it means customers can find you more easily.

Official Space is the UK’s top office space website. For more information visit their website at

Photo by Mark Stosberg.

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Hold An Event To Meet Your Customers

September 13, 2012 by Angela Shupe

Want to get to know your customers quickly?  Forbes says you should hold an event.

Events help you sell to customers. If you want to sell to your customers or prospective customers, there is no better place than your events. At the events, rapport is developed almost immediately. And, when there are a lot of attendees, you gain social proof and popularity. And, at most events, the energy level is really high. Attendees are really excited to get out of their daily element, and are more eager to sign up for the new program, product or service you offer.

What are some other good reasons to hold an event?

Photo by eveos

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Sometimes An MBA Does Help

September 6, 2012 by Angela Shupe

Sakkijha says what she learned in the MBA she completed this past June at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management helped develop her business idea.

“We learned about marketing, finance, strategy, human resources — all key things you need to know to start and grow a business,” Sakkijha says. “Also, being an entrepreneur is all about taking risks, but the MBA teaches how to mitigate and take calculated risks.”

While completing her program, Sakkijha also had access to StartMeUp Ryerson, a student-run organization that provides resources and funding to aspiring business owners. The group runs the school’s annual Slaight Business Plan Competition, in which business students present their ideas to a panel of judges consisting of experienced entrepreneurs. Mejuri won the top prize — $25,000, plus two years of mentoring from an entrepreneurship professor.

Do you think an education can give entrepreneurs the upper hand?

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Your Book as Your Business Card

August 25, 2012 by Dane Carlson

The following is a guest post by Melissa Sileo.

What is 6″ by 9,” usually weighs roughly one pound, and is giving an increasing number of business leaders an advantage over the competition? A book.

Thanks in large part to the explosion of Indie book publishing, the use of ‘the book as a business card’ has added a new and powerful tool to the marketing arsenal of many successful business people. For a few hundred dollars, seasoned experts and professionals are putting their knowledge into professionally-published books – a calling card sure to make a much bigger impression than the traditional business card.

“When it comes to business and establishing yourself as an expert in a specific area, nothing provides more credibility than a book,” says Keith Ogorek, vice president of marketing for Author Solutions, Inc. – the world’s leading indie book publishing company. “A book instantly establishes you as someone who has reached a level of expertise and that people should listen to what you have to say.”

“Imagine one business consultant calling on prospective customers with traditional marketing materials, and another calling on the same customers and supplementing materials with a book written about the field of expertise,” adds Ogorek. “Who do you think has the better chance of landing that sale?”


Securing extra income from book sales typically isn’t paramount for business authors. Media coverage in the form of book reviews, interviews and feature stories not only spreads the word about the author to their target business groups, but also provides excellent fodder for meetings with prospects, and priceless material for other marketing collateral. The marketing power of TV and radio shows appearances or an expert’s book featured in various public and trade publications is undeniable. Once again, it is the book that makes the media interested in the author; another benefit of publishing.

One case in point is AuthorHouse author Stacey Hanke, whose book Yes You Can!: Everything You Need From A to Z to Influence Others to Take Action, has received interest from over 120 media outlets.

“My book has given me the opportunity to promote my business in ways I could not have done before,” says Hanke.

Randy Petrick, a writer, speaker, and money coach with more than thirty years of experience teaching financial concepts, has received nationwide media attention for his book Money Games: 85 Ways to Save Money and Attract Abundance. Petrick’s book and expertise has made him a particularly attractive source for the media in light of the recent economic difficulties and many Americans’ increased focus on stretching their dollars.

“Writing and publishing Money Games has been a wonderful opportunity to enhance my business as a financial consultant,” says Petrick. “I can’t imagine a better ‘business card’ in these financial times than my book.”

The expansion in the popularity of indie book publishing, more commonly referred to as self-publishing, is drawing attention from prominent media in a time when publishing as a whole is experiencing contraction. Recent features in the Time Magazine and The New York Times draw a distinct contrast in ‘old publishing’ — which was often fraught with obstacles and disappointment for prospective authors —  and indie book publishing which is opening up the goal of publishing a book to everyone, including business professionals.

“If you’re a business person selling your services, a prospective customer isn’t going to necessarily care who published the book — that’s not their mindset — they’re going to read it and discover that you really do know what you’re talking about, and you’ve proven it in the book,” adds Ogorek.

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Working Smarter Not Harder

August 5, 2012 by Angela Shupe

How much time do you spend working each day?  Here are some tips from BusinessNewsDaily to help you work smarter.

Prioritize your to-do list– Workers can increase productivity by prioritizing tasks based on what needs to be done and what can wait.

Focus– Workers should also try to set aside specific times during each day to do specific tasks.

Learn to say “no.”– Workers and bosses must also be aware of their own time limits and not be too quick to rush to the aid of others if they are not done with pressing matters.

Make time to be away from the office– Workers and bosses must also be sure to relax and not burn themselves out.

Photo by Julie Jordan Scott

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Profitable Niche: Fuel Cards

August 6, 2012 by Cris Zimermann

Investor’s Business Daily:

One of the first rules of entrepreneurship is identify a profitable niche and gain expertise in that space. Ron Clarke follows that rule to a tee.

As chairman and chief executive of FleetCor Technologies (FLT), Clarke attributes the Norcross, Ga.-based firm’s growth to one word: focus. In 2011, its first year as a public company, FleetCor’s revenue grew approximately 20% and adjusted net income grew over 30% on a pro forma basis.

“We do one thing and we do it well,” Clarke said. The company provides fuel cards to businesses, which in turn give the gas cards to their on-the-go employees. The businesses — in North America, Latin America and Europe — use the cards to control employee spending on fuel.

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Entrepreneur Builds

 His Business From The Cellar Up

July 19, 2012 by Angela Shupe

The Greenville News:

Ralph Bass said he was reluctant about partnering to open a wine cellar construction company in 2004, but it had nothing to do with his son’s ability to lead the business to prosperity.

But Robert Bass, the 43-year-old co-owner of Kessick Wine Cellars, had done his research before asking his father to be his business partner.

What he had learned, coupled with the general experience he’d had with other builders, was that although Greenville is not a large metropolitan area like Atlanta and Charlotte, it is attracting the same kinds of people.

Anchored off Garlington Road, across from GE, Kessick’s special recipe involves shipping fully assembled wine rackings that are designed and built at their facility. The company sells racks that range from $1,200 to cellars that can cost more than $30,000. It has a wide range of customers from residential to retail.

“When we ship them, they’re similar to cabinets in that they are already fully boxed. You just pull them out of the crate and they’re ready to install, “ Robert Bass said. “Nobody else in the whole country does that. Everybody else ships them broken down. They need to be assembled on site.”

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It’s a Pizza Oven in a Firetruck

July 9, 2012 by Dane Carlson

Metro News:

It once put out fires in and around Ottawa, but now this vintage 1967 Fargo firetruck is starting them. Sort of.

It’s making pizzas in a wood fire oven installed in its rear, after two Ottawa entrepreneurs turned a joke into an eccentric business idea.

“My business partner Jason Paquette called me one day saying how cool would it be to have an oven in the back of a fire truck,” said Kyle Weisgerber. “He thought it was a bit of a joke. But when he told me I thought it was fabulous.”

After getting off the phone with Paquette, Weisgerber turned to Kijiji and a quick search revealed the cherry red 67 Fargo.

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