Why Cloud Computing For Business Entrepreneurs?

Would it be nice if you were able to access your business applications and client data online from anywhere? To enjoy the flexibility of operating your business or official tasks from anywhere you might have to consider subscribing to a cloud computing service.

What are cloud-computing services?

Cloud computing services are companies that provide server space, e-mail accounts, domain names, software and several different business applications for use on a subscription basis via specific log-ins. The end users pay for the resources used, as they would for any utility bill.

Simple examples for cloud computing services

Free e-mail accounts and server space we enjoy from services like Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo, based on the cloud-computing model are simple examples. You can access your mails from anywhere, via the assigned log in and password from a web browser, with an internet connection.

Why cloud computing services for business entrepreneurs?

You need not spend on new versions of business software and business applications every time rather you can rent them. This helps reduce your overall business costs, enjoy newer versions at a low cost, paying for just what you use. The service provider will take care of upgrades, security, and performance enhancements. You need to just create a customized log in and use the services to improve your business.

Applications for businesses

User-friendly software applications for every business need ranging from marketing, sales, customer service, account maintenance and production are available from cloud computing services.

Customized services for small and big businesses

The software applications and tools needed for one business is not the same as other. The infrastructure, software, and platform requirements might also differ. You can consider subscribing to those tools and platforms that are ideal for your business and pay just for those services. Whether you are a small or big business, customization is possible. Customization is a great way of economizing your business management and business expansion plans.

Tools Offered By Cloud Computing Services

  • Contact management tools
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) tools
  • Sales force automation tools
  • Tools for custom application development for business processes
  • Software for customer service
  • Social networking and social media management tools

What do I need to use the cloud computing service?

  • An internet connection
  • An account with the cloud computing hosting service

Summarized Uses

  • Access your business data from anywhere
  • Get ample storage space for your company data on a remote server
  • Reduce hardware costs, expenditure on business management software, upgrades, and multiple licenses

Threats

Uploading and storing your company data in third-party servers can be a matter of concern for obvious reasons related to security and privacy. Since reputation matters for the survival of cloud computing companies, reputed companies do have security and privacy features in place to ward off worry.

Five Pillars of Success As a Home Business Entrepreneur

When you take a look at the performance of a top producer, one is certain to spot persistency and consistency in each and every one. You can take a room full of home business entrepreneurs and hand them the same exact set of tools. There will always be a few who excel right away. Those few have learned how to apply the tools of their trade with the consistency necessary will achieve their goals. Regardless of the level of talent as long as we stay persistent and committed to our vision and goals, we will accomplish what we want. 

There are a variety of tools available at any given moment. The only difference between a top performer and all the rest is the way in which they stay the course. There is a determination with which the most successful home business entrepreneurs perform their daily activities and the way they maintain their laser focus on their big vision. Yes, obstacles pop up here and there for everyone, but the top performers are like a river flowing over a rock. Flexible and on task, they find ways to bypass the obstacles and advance toward their goals.

I recently attended training conference. What an amazing event. It is not very often you have a wealth of information presented that provides valuable information to people at all levels of marketing and experience. At the conference, I noticed something that was common among all of the most successful home business entrepreneurs. Each and every one of them had a vision and a plan to realize that vision. Every single one of them maintained their vision while performing their daily activities. They all applied 5 Pillars to Success in their daily activities every single day. They are persistent and consistent in everything they do.

So, what are the Five Pillars to Success as a Home Business Entrepreneur?

1.   Daily Visualization

2.   Being a Student of Personal Development

3.   Income Producing Activities

4.   Masterminding with Leaders

5.   Expectation of Leadership in you and others

If your life and your business are not where you want them to be, I can almost guarantee that you are not being consistent with the 5 pillars in your daily activities. I encourage you to take an honest look at your daily activities and find the area(s) you can improve on. Commit to making the changes and be consistent. You will definitely see a change for the better.

 

Allocating Time for New Business Development: Just One of The Challenges Facing Busy Entrepreneurs

How do you allocate time for new business development? It’s the bane of many entrepreneurs and small business people. “I am so busy with my current projects that I don’t have time to drum up new business.” I know exactly what they’re talking about. I remember a period where I had so many writing projects on the go that I did no marketing. I just waited for the business to come in. The problem is that unless you market yourself, the business can slow to a trickle, regardless of the previous complaints that you have:

  • Too much work already
  • Not enough time to do anything else
  • Not enough money to spend on proposals that may not pay off

I completely understand. Understanding, however, doesn’t get you anywhere, so let me make some suggestions to keep the business coming.

The first suggestion is that you dedicate some time to new business every day. It need only be half an hour, but whatever time segment you decide on, lock it in. Just put everything aside, hold your phone calls, shut down the cell and leave your e-mail alone. Next, do the following. Get yourself one of those small digital timers, punch in the time segment you’ve chosen, then, turn the timer away from you so you can’t see it. Now, focus on the work at hand.

During this time segment consider what new business you want to get into, or actually work on a new business proposal. What you might also do, and this will impact your own staff, is get the staff to join you in your sessions; and plan a session at least once a week, and brainstorm new ideas. Who better than your own staff to carry out this activity in search of new business? And encourage them to look for business opportunities that you may be unaware of through networking, or contacts they have with friends and associates. Even submit a speculative or unsolicited proposal to a client.

Here’s an idea I really like. It comes from Verne Harnish, CEO of Gazelles Inc, an executive education firm. Verne suggests that you should stop eating alone. Verne’s experience is that in one year, living in Barcelona, he built deeper business, social, and political connections than in ten years living and working in Washington DC. What could you do if you were to meet someone different even a couple of days a week? You might not generate new business immediately, but the payoff down the line could be substantial.

I understand that cash flow can get in the way of such activities. I appreciate that the current projects you’re working on have stringent timelines. In fact you’re probably working a 60-hour week. But don’t let that get in the way of allocating time for new business by pursuing practical ways to make it happen, even on your busy schedule.

Abstract: Busy people often get too busy and fail to continue marketing themselves. Small businesses, like consultants and training companies, often find themselves in this situation. This article looks at the issue and suggests some practical solutions. It’s up to you to follow up on them.

Learn From My Experience – First Year Tips For Small Business Entrepreneurs

The Number One first year tip – it’s ALL about finding customers and keeping them happy

Whether you are at the feasibility, seed, or launch stage, you need customers!

If someone is showing interest but is not asking about prices, then you may have a new hobby, which is nice, but not a business.

Why? Ideas and plans are a dime a dozen. Cashflow is King. A potential customer is proof positive you may have found a genuine demand or gap in the market – but only when they start talking price.

A vision means squat without a plan for customers.

“A customer base equals capital”

Attracting investors will be much easier if they can see you are already generating a cashflow.

Also customers will attract people interested in working with you – and eventually you will need a team to go anywhere significant.

A customer means you are not dreaming!

Don’t wait for qualifications

You could be forgiven for thinking that in the 2010’s you need a string of qualifications and / or an MBA before making a move. It’s not the case. Examples abound and if necessary you can hire to cover the gaps. Rather, try to emphasise product, ideas and team.

Which book learning are we skipping over here? What are some of the nice to have’s you might defer?

In the initial stages of a business there are marketing skills – be content with seeing the original gap and creating a product to fit. Then finance skills – skip high finance and stick to the basic organisation of personal and business finance to cover risks, and finally time management skills where the essentials can be mastered quickly.

Later in the development phase we have operations – leadership, management, IT, property, culture/psychology, teamwork, loyalty, communications and regulations – the list goes on.

While it may seem heresy to some, the fact is there are many successes in business who started young with no management training.

Beware Franchising

Starting out under the protection of a franchise is a seductive option. Beware! While it may be a way to start-up with less risk, pay particular attention to:

· The franchise sale

Franchise operators are very good marketers – of their franchises. Be wary that you are not sucked in too much by the promises and pictures. Seriously, it’s their job to sell you, just make sure they have a viable plan and you can sell their product.

· Your independence

The bottom line is that you have decided to become an entrepreneur, for reasons which quite likely include working for yourself, and by signing up with a franchise you have immediately given that independence away.

Will you be happy working for a head office? How much input to the business do you really have? Have you just bought yourself a job?

Take a real close look at your marketing plan

How are you going to find and reach customers? Your first job is to run like mad just to find them:

First, are you in an active sector and do you have a ready path to market? Where are you sourcing your leads – today?

Watch out for your own psychology. When starting out you may want to just go with the first half decent opportunity you come across. Relax; try to look at things objectively.

Beware of the “1% of the market is huge” syndrome. Yours may be a billion dollar market, but how do you get any of it? What do you think the competition is doing right now?

Any idea of the cost of acquisition of a new customer? Will your model develop repeat customers? If not you will be forever selling, and this is not a good place to be.

Most forms of marketing except word of mouth are very expensive. When starting out there is no doubt the best marketing model is word of mouth.

Branding. Despite the hype it’s nothing new. Don’t even think about mega-brand style exposure. A start-up is about a reputation, person to person sales and keeping a handful of customers happy.

What is the shelf life of your idea? How are you going to protect it in the internet age?

How smart is the business model?

A business model is the way we do things – how we find and reach customers, differentiate the business from the pack, price, sell and deliver our product.

But there is more. Other desirables include a residual structure, one that compounds growth, and which is leveraged either in time (employees) or money (loans).

Is it going to be a dynamic business or a job?

Realistically – are your finances strong enough for the first year or two?

Being an entrepreneur is a gamble and you must be prepared for the worst if it happens. How do you view losing money? Perhaps try investing on small bets in the stock market and see how it feels before investing in your own ideas.

Don’t get into debt you cannot handle. We should be bold but not take risks. Avoid betting your lifestyle, limit the investment to what you can “afford to lose”, then do everything to make sure that does not happen.

Entrepreneurs should always have backup plans. Not everything will work by any stretch of imagination.

How many hours are you working?

Have you really planned your diary? How will you fit everything in? Not all of us can survive on 4 hours sleep per night.

Remember the working rule – hard and smart.

And if you do work all hours, what is your effective hourly rate? Planning any time off?

Do you have a good business partner?

If you aspire to anything other than a micro business, you will have to think “team”. The synergy gained outweighs potential downsides. While a committee of one gets things done, eventually you need others in your corner.

Are you ahead of trends?

No business can ignore trends. Try to have an eye on the picture three to five years ahead.