Thursday, April 30, 2009

Snakes In The Grass

Watching my business grow these last three years has been amazing, it has had it's ups and downs but somewhere along the way I have managed to overcome every obstacle that has entered my path. I am reminded of this fact almost daily by both well wishers and haters alike. The haters still wishing I would fall while the well wishers are betting I won't even when I doubt myself.

I have tried to help out others along the way but some people can't understand that biting the hand that feeds you often results in you losing your next meal. This happened recently when I discovered one of my employees trying to go behind my back and steal my customers. In situations like this I choose to treat the offender like a snake in the grass and cut their head off. I have in the past and will continue to defend what I have worked so hard to build.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

When Should You Hire?

How do you know when it's time to hire people to help your business grow? That can be a very important question you need to know the answer to when growing a business. If you hire too early your profit suffers and if you hire too late your reputation does. For me, I have tried to involve myself in every aspect of my business including getting my hands dirty doing manual labor. I have tried to always operate with the minimal amount of employees to perform the work load and stay on schedule and under budget.

This last month has shown me an increase in the work load to the point that once again I have to hire more help or my companies reputation suffers and I do not forsee a slowdown in business happening anytime soon.

What does this all mean? It means several things, first and foremost it means that I am obviously doing something right. It also means that while other companies are struggling to stay afloat, I am struggling to stay caught up. Between being on the job sites insuring the work is done to company standards and handling the majority of the administration work such as payroll and billing of clients, I am wearing myself down. This is a very good indicator of the need to hire more people.

As business owners we have to be prepared to recognize fluctuations in business for what they are, some are seasonal and will go away almost as fast as they appear based upon the business service or product while others are more stable and apt to hang around longer. Only time and experience will help you learn the difference but once you do, you will know when it is time to hire and when it is not.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Looking Into Expanding My Business

Driving through Norfolk the other day I came to a realization that three years ago I couldn't seem to get my foot in the door at any of the offices I wanted to provide services for; Now just three years later, not much is done in this city that I don't have my business name attached to. I knocked on a lot of doors and got turned down every way possible before I ever got my first client but I never gave up, that just wasn't an option. Today I can be proud of what I have built...Still it isn't enough.

I live in an area known as the 7 cities due to the close proximity of 7 fairly large cities and my company currently provides service to 6 of the cities. The last city has been all but impossible to touch so I had just given up on it, that time has now passed and starting on Monday I will begin targeting that city hard with marketing knowing my business now has a solid reputation to lead my attack.

The time to expand is now!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Naming Your Business

Whats in a name?If you were to believe Shakespeare, a name has very little to do with anything but he did not live in modern times where a business name must not only tell your customer what it is you offer but also has to be memorable.

The right name can help open doors for a new company that ordinarily would be closed. It can be a major factor when it comes time to brand your business. The easier it is to identify your business name, business logo and business slogan with what it is your company offers, the greater your chance of survival and in today's recession, survival is not an option for many people embarking on their entrepreneur journey that they hope will lead to financial stability.

With business booming at my first company I am now heading the launch of another and to be quite honest, the right name just has not come to me yet. I have the finances, the research and a solid plan of action as well as the connections to almost guarantee success however until the right name presents itself, I will not move forward.