Friday, December 30, 2016

Small Businesses - a word about being Organized

A small business should be run like a large business - TO BE SUCCESSFUL!

So many people start small businesses - only to find out that they did not have the KEY foundations (3 in particular) set up to carry operations on....What are the big 3 KEY foundations?  A lot of text is in this post... but it is important - These are some of the many elements you should put into your Business Plan (more on that later)!

1.  An organized space   ABC123

It is so important to create an environment that supports your organizational operations.  Even a business already under operation needs to rethink this frequently.

List everything you need for operations and all the issues associated with each item.  The list is usually very extensive when you get right down to it.  And piecemeal growth leads to buying ineffective or duplicate items that sprawl everywhere.  Make a detailed list as soon as possible - and then prioritize for the space you need, the space you have, and the budget you can afford for acquiring props over time.  Don't forget the details - put them in your business plan.

A shipping counter?  A reception area?  Workstations?  Tables?  Storage Cabinets?  Employees?  Supplies?  Software?  Lighting?

2.  Accounting Capabilities   $$$

Record keeping is the cornerstone to every business.  You will need to record your details and expenditures and any income activities.  This really should be done using decent accounting software (if you are a capable bookkeeper) or an accountant (if you can afford one).

Accounting functions can be quite complicated, and they need to dovetail into your income taxes, one way or another.  I don't know too many people who love to do bookkeeping, so software that helps you be organized is pretty important.  Now, there is a heavy trend for use of services over the internet ('in the cloud' - which are payable by the month).  Otherwise, you can still find some packages that can be used LOCAL (on your own PC).

Without endorsing any packages I suggest you do a web search:

"Best Accounting Software for Small Business"

3.  A Sales Plan    <--------------->

What are your products/services?  Who and where are your customers?  How do you plan to let your customers know about your offerings?  IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO OPEN THE DOOR AND WAIT!

This is where many small businesses go wrong.  You need a detailed written plan - and you need to think out all the outcomes.

1.  What will your plan A, plan B, plan C be (for every outcome).
2.  How will you advertise?
3.  Are your products or services viable?
4.  Do others think your products or services viable?
5.  Are there already businesses that have locked up the market you want to be in?
6.  Do you live in a state or area that is hostile to business?
7.  How will you operate in a business-hostile area in spite of high taxes or stiff competition?
8.  What makes you better than the competition and how will you capitalize on that?

I knew a great salesman years ago that would reap rewards two to three months after each sale.  He had tons of sales in process and he never let up to rest.  When asked why he didn't take it easy once in awhile, he said "If I don't make a sale today, I don't eat three months from now".    The bottom line is that it takes a while to get paid sometimes, and if a lull starts, it can be devastating down the line if savings run out --->  Always make sure you are pushing hard and PROSPECT daily.

Do a lot of research about your area, your type of products/services and your competitors.

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Friday, December 23, 2016

Small Businesses need Internet Presence



Small Businesses need...

'Internet Presence'


Regardless of the type of small business you have (or are planning to start), nowadays you must have some kind of presence on the Internet.  There are many possibilities for building or strengthening an Internet Presence - you can mix and match, pick and choose, DIY or Hire it out.  

Does it seem daunting?  Does it seem too difficult to go about?  There are plenty of GREAT training resources.  Good resources are and  By using excellent training online you can learn a lot of what you need to know about technology.  There, you can learn about marketing, customer service and customer appreciation.  The customer is, in a sense, your boss!  You need to make your internet presence suit your customer!

SO...What are some of the building blocks of an Internet Presence?  Here are cornerstones:

 A Website for your business:

Options will range from DIY/Hired Out custom solutions (built with a "Content Management Solution") to fully hosted 'Enter your items and run' environments that can get you on the internet right away.   These can be fully functional e-commerce sites or simple static (seldom-changing) sites that impart information only.  Skill level:   Beginner to Advanced.

A Blog:

 You are reading a blog right now.  It is a simple mechanism for getting your ideas and even your business out on the Internet.  Skill level:  Beginner

Social Media:

We all know about Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and many other social platforms.  These companies help weave a network of marketing around your business.  Accounts, channels and feeds take a lot of time to set up, but can work wonders for your business.  Skill Level:  Beginner to Intermediate.

In the future, I will post pros and cons of different Internet Strategies.  In the meantime, take a look at the training resources noted above and start to think about your place in the business world.

And if you have a chance, take a look at our great Foreign Language Jewelry at 


Friday, December 16, 2016

Thinking about starting a small business?

Thinking about starting a small business?

Your product or service has to be worthwhile for customers, but a framework of success is also based on other concerns.  Even the most positive view of failure rates from the Small Business Administration was that about half of all small businesses fail the first year.  

Some of the factors new businesses do not think about associated with starting are:

  1. Your business needs a branded look in correspondence, business cards, etc
  2. Persons dealing with the outside world should have titles
  3. Employees need to be cognizant that they represent the company with their conduct and their appearance
  4. Be sure to register your business name with the legal entity in your area that will ensure you are not using the name or persona of another existing business
Legalities to face: 

If the business is run by partners, a clear understanding of responsibilities is needed from the beginning.   A partnership agreement should be created using a legal firm and it should answer these and other important questions:

      1.  Who will do what?
      2.  How will you ensure equal participation?
      3.  What constitutes a breech of the partnership? 
      4.  What are the exit strategies for the business in the event of failure?

 If the business is a partnership or a sole proprietorship - even more legalities:

      1.  Whether the business is a service or goods business, it needs to be viable.  
      2.  Are the products and services saleable?  Get the honest opinion of others.
      3.  Does the business have resources to stay afloat for an extended period of time?
      4.  Are you licensed and ready to pay taxes, fees and insurances required in your area?
      5.  Did you know you must pay double the Social Security for small business income?

Check with the Small Business Administration and your local city, state and county for details about operating a business in your area.

Thank you for reading this blog!

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Friday, December 9, 2016

Small USA Businesses Rock!

'Made in the USA' - A Small Business Perspective

Wow, just think about that phrase...'Made in the USA'!

How often do we want to go shopping and at the same time support U.S. Businesses?  How hard is it to find US Products to buy?

Pretty darn hard!

As a small US Business, we have been proud to design and make our own products - and we have to protect them from those who would copy them overseas.  

Please join us in this blog, as we (over time) talk about being a small US Business.  I also will post handy information we have discovered as a small business.

Here is a photo of one of our products

For more information on these beautiful earrings - please visit us at:

And now, here is:

TIP #1:  This month, American Express is still supporting Small Businesses by offering rewards for using AMEX products to purchase from small businesses:

Check out their offering at the link below:

Thanks for joining us!!!  Until next time!