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How to Plan For Long Term Growth Regardless of Business Type, Size Or Industry

Thousands of businesses across North America are well-positioned to get pummeled by their competition or go out of business in just a few years from now. No, it’s not the current state of our economy, it’s not inflation, it’s actually much simpler than that.

There are just a few simple, yet very potent strategies fast-growth companies use to literally force their competitors out of business.

Once these strategies are understood and applied, you will know once and for all why you may be working part-time “for free” and financing Uncle Sam just like thousands of well-intentioned business owners do, with little or no return on their time and investment.

Regardless of what you do or the size of your business, you can apply the following knowledge to your business and expect to see a significant return on your investment in a realistic time-frame of just a few months.

If you are frustrated with the results you are getting with your business, your overhead is overwhelming you or you just need clarity as to what’s going wrong and what can be done to change course, please know our staff can help you identify what’s wrong and share knowledge only a small fraction of business owners know about.

Make no mistake about it, what I am about to share with you is heavily guarded knowledge that most business owners never share – even with trusted friends. Why? Because should they reveal this knowledge, there’s someone out there who could become a formidable threat to them and their ability to earn money for themselves and their families.

Please know I will not hold back on sharing exactly what you need to know.

Does it take time to learn and apply this knowledge? Yes, it does! It takes time and energy on your behalf.

With that said, a question we also get from our clients is: “Why should I trust you?” That is a fair question. Let me answer it: Over the last 20 years, I have been blessed to work for some of the greatest companies in the world and be around some extremely smart chief executive officers, business process analysts, engineers and operations managers.

What these people taught me are the real secrets to why the companies they operate are at the top of their game. Let’s name a few of these companies: FedEx, Ingram Micro, D-Link Systems and a half-dozen other firms featured in Red Herring Magazine over the last decade.

Do you have to be a Fortune 1000 company to understand and apply this knowledge? Absolutely not!

Do you have to invest your time and resources to make a positive change in your business? Absolutely!

So what areas of knowledge am I referencing that need to be addressed, analyzed and discussed for you to avoid the crash-and-burn syndrome happening all across North America? To keep this simple and to the point, I will not name all of the discussion points, but I will laser beam you in on what you should know right out of the gate.

These few things are the exact pieces of knowledge your top competitors understand, analyze and construct with meticulous execution. What smart business owners know is that there are areas within their business that if done correctly, can save them thousands of dollars in lost time and reworks, and present huge gains in customer service levels and profitability, regardless of business size or number of store locations.

They all have one common denominator that inevitably crushes the competition: They thoroughly understand how to correctly digitize and integrate certain core business processes, build them around their business architecture and create a business model that eliminates discretion at the operational level and empowers employees to perform way beyond expectation.

That’s the key. There is nothing more to it. Now, take action on the knowledge you just read. So what’s in it for you? If you simply take the time to process what you’ve just read, objectively look at how much time you’re wasting on repetitive, time consuming tasks that could be improved using an improved process you’re one-step closer.

Also, assess what existing processes and applications are forcing your staff to perform multiple tasks that could be significantly improved when digitized, you’re half way there. Simply digitizing a process is not the solution. Proper integration of digital processes with people and manual tasks are paramount to your long-term growth and profitability.

With proper analysis, design, implementation and management, you are well on your way to free yourself up and then focus on the business rather than let the business control you. Know this: Success in business is rarely accidental. It’s an ongoing process that demands comprehensive planning, organization, coordination and analysis at every decision-making node to ensure the very best results. Aside from your people, who are your most valuable resource, technology is the most critical profit-earning and cost-reduction investment you will ever make.

When designed correctly, synchronized with core business processes and people, your technology infrastructure is the catalyst for a highly effective, extremely profitable business model. From initial concept to final implementation, there are a series of events that if properly implemented, will significantly increase your chances of long-term success.

When time, energy and monetary resources are properly utilized, managed and monitored, you position your business to leverage the very best technology has to offer. Integration of the correct technologies into business processes is at the heart of why some businesses quickly accelerate past their competitors.

A well-defined and carefully orchestrated project management plan, along with ongoing testing and monitoring, will influence the final outcome of your unique business model. The fact is, technology integration must meet present-day requirements and challenges, yet remain flexible enough to accommodate changes that are imminent in virtually every business I’ve had the privilege of working in.

More importantly, your technology infrastructure must be resilient, scalable, replicable, dependable and most of all – deliver cost-effective results.

Types of Online Business Degrees

Online business degrees are some of the most popular types of online degree programs. Business degrees can help you build a career in almost any industry, because it is so often beneficial if you have a good understanding of business principles. And of course, if you decide to go into business for yourself, a business degree can help you by increasing the likelihood that you’ll be successful as a small business owner.

There are many different kinds of online business degrees, and each of them will help you get into a different industry. Here are a few of the most popular types of business degrees you can find online.

Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting

If you are good with numbers or are interested in the financial aspects of business, you should consider a bachelor’s degree in accounting. As an accountant you will be able to keep the books for businesses, which means you will keep track of income and expenditures. You could also become a tax accountant, helping businesses to file their taxes correctly, and (if you are good at it) helping them to save money on their taxes as well.

Bachelor’s Degree in Economics

Studying economics gives you a great wealth of information related to how to run a business. Since you don’t run a business in a vacuum, understanding how the economy works, and how it affects your business, is very important. This degree can help you get a professional job as an economist or another type of businessperson, but it is also helpful if you plan to run your own business. This degree seems applicable today given the state of our economy.

Bachelor’s Degree in Finance

Like accounting degrees, a bachelor’s degree in finance is incredibly useful and important in the business world. The finance industry is huge, and there are many opportunities for those educated in finance: Banks, insurance companies, retirement service companies, and other financial companies are always looking for educated, experienced employees to support them as they grow.

Bachelor’s Degree in Management

Getting an online business degree in management is an important step in preparing you to manage a business and its employees. We’re not talking about being a shift supervisor at a fast food joint, we’re talking about getting into high powered management positions at professional corporations. A bachelor’s degree in management is the first step toward opening these doors in your career.

Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing

Businesses can’t exist without marketing, so a bachelor’s degree in the subject is one of the best online business degrees you can pursue. Companies are always stepping up their marketing efforts, thereby creating job security for you. Additionally, there are a multitude of niche areas of marketing that you can get into: visual marketing–such as photography and graphic art, and writing marketing copy–such as the work done by advertising copywriters. Having a degree in marketing will also help immensely if you ever decide to operate your own business.

Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA)

If you want to know all about how to run a business, a master’s degree in business administration would be a great choice for you. Commonly known as an MBA, this is one of the most popular online business degrees out there. Do you have a bachelor’s degree already and feel you need more to complete? Having your MBA can greatly improve your career possibilities and your earning potential, not to mention your chances for success as a small business owner. This degree encompasses many business subjects and therefore you become a more well rounded business professional.

Many Online Business Degrees to Choose From

As you can see, there are many business degrees for you to choose from online. Moreover, online business degrees are becoming much more accepted in the business world as employers and educators alike realize that it is possible to offer the same quality of education online as it is in a classroom. If you are thinking about pursuing your business education online, be sure to first browse through the types of degrees you can get, and make sure that you choose a degree that will ultimately support your career goals!

The Basics of Small Business Grants and How You Can Get One

Small business grants are a popular topic because they’re alluring. After all, a grant will give you money to start your own small business, and you will not have to pay it back. It’s sort of like getting a gift of money, or an inheritance.

There’s a lot of confusion and misinformation about small business grants though, and there are a lot of scams too. So let’s look at some of the basics…

  1. Small business grants are not usually given out by the federal government. State government groups and offices however, often do give out small business grants for specific purposes. Generally state government grants are given to help create jobs and boost the economy in the state.
  2. Small business grants are usually given for specific reasons. Not everyone can qualify for every grant available. Many grants are only available to specific minorities such as African Americans for instance, or women, or even African American Women. There are grants for Native American owned small businesses, grants for technology based businesses, and grants for innovative businesses too. And this is possibly the least understood aspect of small business grants. Many people mistakenly believe that anyone can get a grant, or multiple grants, just by applying. But you need to follow the application rules and guidelines. A small business owned solely by a man is not going to get a grant which is just available to women owned businesses.
  3. Grants are offered by a variety of organizations. Many grants are offered by private foundations for instance, while others may be offered by corporations.
  4. Small business grants take time. Most grants have a detailed, step-by-step application process that must be completed. And that application can take time to complete. A lot of time. Depending on the source of the small business grant, there may be other requirements that have to be met before they’ll even look at your application too. And once the application is accepted, it could be a year or more before the organization decides who will get the limited number of small business grants they have available.
  5. Small business grants are plentiful yet scarce. There are literally thousands of places to apply for small business grants, but each place usually has a very limited number of grants to give. It’s not uncommon for there to be only one grant available from a given organization each year, and in some cases there’s just one grant every five years or so.
  6. Small business grants may not help a start up. This is another common misconception about small business grants. Many people who are ready to start a business, think that getting a business grant is the best way to get started. The problem though, is that many small business grants will only be awarded to existing or established businesses.

Part of the grant application process will involve submitting a copy of your detailed business and marketing plans, submitting financial data to show your profits and profit margins.

And even when you do locate sources of small business grants that will accept applications from start up companies, you often need to have money available for hiring grant consultants and professional grant writers too.

So yes, getting a small business grant is quite possible, but be aware you will need to work very hard to get one, and it could take quite a bit of time too.