Home Business Hullabaloo

It is fun; it is exciting; it is continuously revolutionary. What is it? It is the home business craze.Sure, it has been around these parts for a long time: since the founding of America. That blacksmith working out of his back-property shack was a home-based business entrepreneur. So was Mrs. O’Dell’s country bakeshop, right out of her kitchen.What is so different today? Well, aside from technology, nothing. Why the hullabaloo then? Today there are endless opportunities available to a person willing to embrace technology and the global marketplace. Of course, there is also the good old-fashioned sense of independence that running your own home business gives. That one in and of itself always causes excitement.Today, one does not have to open a home-based business and rely only on neighborhood customers. Today, you can open up a home business in a small town in the heartland and sell to a customer in Paris. The worldwide web makes it so. So do up-to-speed delivery systems and open markets.No longer are you limited to local markets. Your customers come to you from anywhere in the world.Hence – the hullabaloo.If you have a quality product or service, the world is at your doorstep. A ‘unique’ quality product or service is even better. Make sure your business is ready for them by letting them know where to find you.Is your product a creative handicraft exclusive to your area in terms of material, style, and history? Flaunt it as being such; people are always looking for that different item or gift.Are you a consultant or other service provider who can transmit information over the Internet to areas that may be lacking these services? Sound the trumpet and wait for answers online. With a well-planned home-based business, and a computer, receive the world at your doorstep. Take advantage of the global marketplace: have that wonderful product or service ready to go and advertise on the web.You may one day want to abandon your home office for an office tower. That is how Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started out. Theirs was a home business started in a garage. They got their product out and let everyone know it was there. Of course, they eventually went beyond the home and so can you. Remember, they had no worldwide web to give them a head start.Utilize the following resources to make your business a household word using today’s technology:* Start your own website. Build your own if you are web-savvy. Have someone else do it for you if you are not.* Link your website to other websites in the same general field as yours.* List your home business website in general web directories.* Visit online forums and blogs that your type of customer visits. Post your comments and thoughts there and give helpful information about your area of knowledge and your business. Someone may be looking for exactly what your business has to offer.* Advertise your business on different sites that you feel your customers would visit. Have an attractive banner-type ad.* Learn about Search Engine Optimization. Get someone to help you if you are unfamiliar with this tool.* Become part of an online community of like businesses; home-based or not. Networking with other business people will give you new ideas on how to utilize the web to market your business.* List your home business and website in an online directory specific to your sector.* Consider becoming a member of a trade organization, guild, or association. Access all their resources to build your business. List your business on their website if allowed. They may even provide you a simple web page as part of your membership privileges.Take advantage of today’s advancements in technology to promote your business. Watch your business start to bloom like a desert cactus. Who knows, the heat may crank up so much due to increased sales, you will earn enough to get yourself that little oasis in the sun one day.

Preparing Your Business For Sale

There is an essential element of business ownership that frequently gets forgotten by many seasoned business owners – preparing their business for sale.Why do you want to be prepared to sell your business? Simply, being prepared adds tens of thousands of dollars to the value of your business. Lets take a look at a few simple things you can do today that will, over time, increase the value (and saleability) of your business.How dependent is the company on you personally?Can your business function without you? Do customers ask for you personally? Great value is added to a business who’s operation is not dependent upon the owner both from a buyers perspective and from a lenders perspective should buyer financing be required.How do you remove yourself from being integral to the business? There are several solutions from delegation of duties, creating processes and procedures to hiring a sales team and administrative staff. Start working at promoting the business and remove yourself from being integral to the day to day operation of the business.Do you have a business plan and marketing plan?Both Business and Marketing plans are critical documents to any business. These documents do not have to be complex. Unfortunately few businesses have these documents and even fewer actively maintain these documents.The business plan is commonly thought of when financing is required however it should be a document that is frequently reviewed. Software is available that can help you create and maintain a Business Plan.The marketing plan is essential to every business. Indeed, marketing can easily be a full time job in itself. I’ve seen businesses of all sizes with no marketing plan, all suffering from the illusion that customers and clients will simply pour through the door for product and or service. This attitude is typically the down fall for many a business. Do not underestimate the power of the marketing plan. Consider structuring your business to include an expert who can help you in this area.Do you have an operations / procedures manual?I was in a restaurant the other day and in the kitchen was a monitor above the prep table. Anyone in the business, could make a meal by pulling up the step by step instructions on the monitor – which included photos! The point is consistency even if key staff are absent.
Start creating an operations / procedures manual from the perspective of how to run your business, (based on the above example of preparing a meal, step by step). Your manual will then allow your staff complete mission critical activities consistently by following step by step instructions.Your EmployeesYou need to ask yourself some tough questions regarding your employees. If you do not, a savvy buyer will. Are all your employees critical to the operation of the business? Are they all pulling their weight? Certainly if there are one or two that are not, it is better to address these issues now before the sale of the business starts.Start cross training your employees, creating traditions and even implementing a long term incentive program. Each of these areas creates loyalty, significantly improves employer / employee relationships but most importantly, increases the value of your business.Financial StatementsAccountant prepared financial statements are important to have on hand. For any potential buyer, do take the time to explain any abnormal occurrences such as drops in revenue and any increases in specific expense items.Having your accountant prepare Notice to Reader financial statements are acceptable for some businesses but if you are considering selling, I would recommend your accountant prepare a Review Engagement financial statement instead. The reason is a Review engagement is viewed as being more credible than Notice to Reader financial statements. Certainly in this day and age, should a buyer be in need of financing, many lenders will only approve loans based on Review Engagement financial statements.

Finding Finance and Insurance Careers in the Automotive Industry

Interested in finance and insurance (F&I)? Love cars? Looking for a way to merge the two into a long-lasting and fulfilling career in the automotive industry? It’s time to consider a career in auto sales and F&I management. Now is a great time to invest in F&I training, which can provide everything you need to succeed in this career. That means you will acquire excellent leadership and communication skills and have the expertise required to handle the financial and legal aspects of a sales transaction.Automotive Business Manager programs are designed to teach the skills required to oversee the financial and legal aspects of the automotive industry. Students in these automotive training programs are trained in finance and lease options, sale of after-market products and the use of specialized software.Becoming an F&I manager means you will be in the center of the action. It also means you will have a direct impact on profitability and be rewarded accordingly. Need another reason to invest in F&I manager? Job Futures 2000 predicts that more than one-third of all jobs created in Canada will require a skilled trade designation or a college diploma.What about the extensive restructuring of the automotive industry? There has been a lot of change, but the automotive industry remains one of the world’s largest and most important business sectors. Moreover, a surge in demand is expected as consumers make purchases that would normally have been made in the last two years and additional demand is created by increases in population, new consumer offerings and improved manufacturing technology. Employment prospects for automotive sales and F&I management are good for the following reasons:
A growing shortage of well trained individuals to fill sales occupations
Service Canada predicts there will be strong demand for qualified candidates in Sales and Service, Business, Finance and Administration “because this sector will account for more than 45% of all retirements over the next five years.”
Significant worldwide growth within the automotive industryYou know what happens when demand for a specific job goes up. Salaries also go up. That’s exactly what is happening for F&I Professionals. Key elements of F&I training programs can include the following areas of study:

Business Manager’s Role in the Dealership
Financial Institutions and Their Requirements
Getting the Contracts Purchased
Credit Reporting Overview
Understanding Credit Scores and Risks
Reading Credit Reports
Prequalification Using Credit Reports
Cash Conversions
Bank Conversions
Use a Customer-Friendly, Aggressive F&I Process
Qualify Your Customer, Use The Right Words
Product Knowledge
Effective Selling Techniques
Menu Selling Leasing Skills and Techniques