How to Wash Your Car With a Single Cup of Water

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  1. It’s Not About the Water

Getting your car clean doesn’t mean spraying it down with water. “If you have a dirty car and you hose it down with water and let it dry, it’s still going to be dirty,” Van Happen explains. “Traditionally, when you clean a car with a water and sponge, and you’re scrubbing the car to get the dirt loose, first of all you’re scratching the paint of the car.”

  1. Break the Dirt Down, Don’t Push it Around

You want to break down the dirt and grime before lifting it off. Not only does this take less water, but it makes your car cleaner and keeps the paint looking fresh longer. Van Happen’s own Eco Green products use a special blend of biodegradable, water-based ingredients.

There are a few of these sprays on the market, but Van Happen’s takes the prize for most sustainable. “When you spray our product onto the car, it actually breaks the dirt particles away from the paint of the car,” Van Happen says. “At the same time, there are polymers in the product that are putting a protective layering on the car that makes the car look like it’s waxed every time we clean it.”

  1. Now Lift it Off

An old rag just won’t cut it if you’re looking for an efficient home wash. Instead, pick up a quality microfiber towel for the job. This is where the cup (that’s right, just a cup) of water comes in. “When you take a wet microfiber towel, instead of scrubbing now you’re just lifting off loose dirt.” According to Van Happen, the quality of towel is key to getting the job done right. “It’s important to use a microfiber towel that has a good pile height or a good thickness,” he says. “A lot of the cheap microfiber towels are very thin and there’s nowhere for the dirt to fit in. That’s one of the tricks: with a thicker microfiber towel, the dirt fits in the towel as opposed to above it and that’s how you’re not scratching the car.”

  1. Forget the Hose

Your run of the mill garden hose pumps out 10 gallons a minute. Wash your car for 10 minutes? You just used 100 gallons of water, and there’s a chance it isn’t even much cleaner. The water-saving method we’ve just described isn’t only more environmentally friendly, it’s the way high-end collector cars have always been cleaned. “When you wash with a hose or at a car wash, you end up with streaks and water dripping out of your mirror or door jams,” Van Happen says. “We also do a lot of collector cars that are in the four, five, six million dollar range and these cars are never actually washed with water, even for the past 20 years.”

  1. Regular Cleaning Goes a Long Way

“The shirt you’re wearing today, you don’t wear for two weeks then put it in the washing machine and expect it to be perfectly clean,” Van Happen jokes. Waiting a month or two between cleanings makes it difficult to get all the dirt off the surface, Van Happen says, and usually means the car needs to be detailed to get fully clean. “If you clean a car regularly, once a week or twice a week, you’re going to prevent dirt from really sticking to the car,” Van Happen adds. These regular cleanings only take a few minutes and you’ll always be driving a spotless car.

For additional information see the original article at https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/g2029/wash-car-with-one-cup-water/

 

 

8 Steps to hiring a contractor that won’t rip you off!

 

contractor

ServiceMonkey is understands the impact that dishonest contractors have on homeowners and the people who live their in.

Enjoy this article by James Cummings published on the Todayshomeowner.com website.

 

Recommendations

The tried and tested method people used before the internet came along was to ask around from friends, neighbours and colleagues who had successful home renovations. Send an email or group message describing details with a price range and your expectations from the contractors and those who’ve had great experiences will link you up. Questions to ask include

  • How did you meet?
  • Why this contractor?
  • What type of work did they do?
  • Did the contractor stay within budget and finish on time?
  • Was there any issues encountered during the job?

Ask for licence

Every licensed contractor is registered to work in your locality. Go online and check your local licensing board online, to ensure the business is current and registered. Ask for proof of insurance so in the event of any liability that happens during the job you are protected from damages.

Check insurance status

Generally, there are two types of insurance required for contractors – industrial insurance for workers injured on site and liability coverage to cover homeowners when a job fails. Your licensing agency should be able to furnish you with information about disciplinary actions and complaints against the contractor. This step is very important because if your contractor’s premium isn’t updated you might be held liable for unpaid premiums when accidents happen to the workers.

Ignore the temptation to hire uninsured contractors

It’s a hard economy out there and people are always trying to save money on home improvements by purchasing premium equipment and hiring cheap contractors to help with installations. Most get away with it but for the unlucky few, here’s a rundown of what you risk:

No government help in a case of disorderly conduct

In some states, you will be held as de facto contractor and pay for any defective work when you sell your home.

You might have to cover medical bills for accidents that happen on your job site

Ask for references and view tasks they’ve completed

The contractor should be able to provide three job references that confirm previous jobs and the time it took to complete it. They will most likely have a professional portfolio that includes images of their best jobs.

Read reviews

Yelp and Angie’s list are incredible resources where you can find reviews for local contractors. You can call old clients of a contractor you like and hear first-hand stories that are helpful when making a final decision.

Who will be handling the job?

Find out from your contractor if he plans to do the job himself or outsource to subcontractors so you familiarize yourself with the person before letting them into your home. It is a common practice among general contractors to subcontract specific jobs like vinyl siding or roofing to contractors with a specialty in that field.

Industry top experts often say subcontractors are an efficient way to ensure that a thorough job is done on your home remodeling. The contractor you hire only recruits the best hands for the job so you don’t have to worry about a substandard subcontractor.

Encourage multiple bids

Now that you have a list of qualified contractors narrowed down, ask them to submit bids to narrow down the most competitive offers. Compare what each is offering alongside the price and ensure they are all in the same line of work. An offer that is too good to be true shouldn’t be considered because there will be a catch somewhere or some will use add-on prices to increase the cost after you’ve signed a contract.

Contract must be in writing

The contractor you choose should not start working without a signed contract that features the cost, approximate state, and end dates, and types of items they will be installing. The more details you have in the contract, the clearer the job function will be.

In conclusion, do not pay the total sum upfront, not even when they offer a mouth-watering discount. Skip cash payments for credit cards and online payment options so you have a money trail to verify payments but if you decide to make cash payments get receipts to back it up.

Laying foundations for the DIY enthusiast!

So you want to tackle that small building project at home but not sure where to start. As we know, a building is as strong as it’s foundation so lets start there.

To begin select good cement that has extra strength. Never use too much water.

What materials am I going to need?

Concrete that will support the type of building you will build. PPC Surebuild is one of the best products available and this is a good place to start.

Next is to get good quality builders sand that is free of debris. Then obtain stone that may also be purchased from a supplier. Stone comes in 2 sizes, namely, 13mm and 19mm.

Finally, you will need to add water that is the last ingredient for concrete that will last.

How much concrete will you need?

Concrete is always poured into a form or hollow in the ground. To work out how much concrete you will need you need to measure the volume of the space you are going to fill.

Eg. Length x depth x width = x cubic meters

How much material should I order?

As a rough guide to mix 1 cubic metre of concrete you will need 5 bags of cement, .7 cubic metre of stone and .7 cubic metre of sand.

How do I mix concrete?

  1. Measure out sand and place in a long, thin heap on a flat, clean, hrd, surface.
  2. Pour out the cement on the sand
  3. Spread stone on the cent
  4. Mix until an even colour is achieved
  5. Create a hollow, add water and mix well.
  6. Concrete is now ready for placing.

For more tips on foundations and concrete, visit the website of PPC Cement.

How does Hypnotherapy work?

Nearly everyone can go into a trance, but no-one will unless they are comfortable in doing so. The first thing is to feel comfortable with the therapist. The therapist will need to find out certain necessary information both about the problem and you. Then if you agree, you are led by the therapist’s gentle guiding voice into a state where the body and mind are relaxed and nearly asleep, but, in fact you will remain awake enough to be aware that the therapist is working to induce beneficial changes. This may mean picturing, in a daydream, the things which are being spoken of and the associated pleasant feelings.

If at any time during the session you feel uncomfortable you will be able to terminate it.

Lastly, the session may end with a brief discussion of any experiences that you have had during the session. This is often an important part of the process.

Now that you have a better understanding, are you ready for some therapy?

 

If you are then contact Graham Thomas of Graham Thomas consultancy. Click here for his details.

 

Is Hypnotherapy for me?

Hypnosis is a natural phenomenon, possibly best described as an altered state of awareness. Our unconscious mind contains immeasurable potential together  with a desire for health and fulfilment. Through hypnosis we can learn to utilise our inner resources more fully to create lives that are both rich and rewarding.

As individuals we each have our own unique view of the world – beliefs about ourselves and what we want. Many of these beliefs support us and some we may choose to change. We are often aware of our limiting patterns or problems – but don’t know how to be free of them.

Want to know more?

Feel free to contact Graham Thomas of Graham Thomas Consultancy. Click here to obtain his contact details or to obtain additional information.

Get Your Space Air BnB Ready

Considering venturing into the world of Airbnb? Service Professional asks Safiyah Seth from Saffron Studio Design and Interiors for some tips on how to turn your space into a desirable listing.

Living in a beautiful city like Cape Town definitely has its perks and thanks to online sharing platforms like Airbnb, we can all get involved in the tourist market. Making the best use of your most valuable asset; your home or your holiday home has never been this simple.  Now that the holiday season is almost upon us, many people are giving this some serious consideration.

But before you race ahead and gut your entire living space, ensure you conduct adequate research regarding the risks and responsibilities as a prospective host. There is plenty of information and data on the Airbnb web page itself as well as on external sites such as Learn Airbnb and Air DNA.

Once you’ve decided to go ahead however, its all down to preparing your space and getting those ‘oh so important’ photographs that will ensure a keen supply of visitors to your listing. Here are a few simple pointers from Safiyah Seth.

  1. Remove all clutter.

Any excess items that can’t be classed as ‘decorative’ should be removed. Sadly, this includes all personal photographs.

  1. Repainting your walls might be the only facelift you require. When in doubt, go neutral. If Brilliant White is not for you, try some paler hues like Plascon’s Light Stone, Mandarin Tusk or Off Shore. Just make sure its good quality, washable
  1. It’s really nice to have side table lamps that match.

Something as simple as that, can really make any room look far more ‘put together’.

  1. Use beautifully packaged items. Your amenity items, such as hand soap, can provide a relatively inexpensive touch of detail and luxury to a space. More kudos to you if you manage to get your towels to pick up on the colour of the packaging.
  1. Add something quirky to your space. Perhaps an old record player and some records. Not only does it add atmosphere to a space, it also allows prospective guests to do something they wouldn’t ordinarily do.
  1. Incorporate well-framed artwork. Artwork really does create atmosphere as well as provide an opportunity to showcase local talent. Choose something you love and create a little shrine to it.
  1. Hire a Service Professional. Often its just quicker and easier. Contact Saffron Studio to find out more about their Airbnb packages.

    ServiceMonkey is an online business directory willing to assist small business owners to go their brands and ensure they reach their full potential.

    Do you need to create awareness around your brand, contact us today on info@servicemonkey.co.za or call us on 0829020654

Grow Your Business In less Time.

ServiceMonkey is excited to share this article as our goal is to develop small businesses and help them to realise their full potential.

This article was published on www.entrepreneur.com

“Entrepreneurship is connecting, creating, and inventing systems — be they businesses, people, ideas, or processes. A job is the act of following the operating system someone else created.”  – Taylor Pearson, The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the nine-to-five.

As a business owner, it’s your job to create systems that deliver value to the marketplace. All too often the overworked, burnt-out business owner has forgotten this. These business owners believe that they can manually do everything in their business themselves. It’s as if they’ve created a job for themselves, instead of a business. If you can’t take a week off without taking a hit to your income, you may have lost your way on the entrepreneurial path.

Here’s four ways to clone yourself and grow your business in less time

1. Build a team around you.

When Arnold Schwarzenegger was asked, “as a self-made man, what’s your blueprint for success?” He replied,  “I am not a self-made man. I got a lot of help.” If you asked any high achiever (who is honest), they would agree with Isaac Newton who said, “if I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Now, for the entrepreneur, this means that you use mentors, and learn from the great thinkers and entrepreneurs who came before you. This statement also means that you need to hire a team. You can’t do everything in your business alone if you want to grow. Start by outsourcing low level tasks, and focus your time on high value tasks that will impact your bottom line. From there, move on to hiring strategic team members to take over day to day operations so that you can focus on the 10,000 foot view of the business.

Build relationships with those ahead of you so that you too can stand on the shoulders of giants.

2. You will need to advertise.

Lead generation is one primary function necessary for a business to survive, grow and thrive. Without new potential opportunities for revenue coming into the business, most entrepreneurs’ businesses will slowly die out, like a plant starved of sunlight.

To ensure healthy growth of your company, you should have new leads coming into the business every single day of the week. If this sounds like a lot of work, it is. Rather than manually doing all of the lead generation yourself, try advertising. Lead generation refers to bringing new potential customers into the business, and offering them your products or services. When done correctly, you can bring leads in to the business every day on autopilot.

While Facebook advertising gives you access to an audience of over 1.5 billion people,Social Media Examiner estimates that 59 percent of business owners received a negative ROI on their social media efforts, including Facebook. Of the remaining 41 percent, only one-third of those business owners reported earning more than $2,000 on their social media efforts. In short, most people will fail when they dabble in paid social advertising. Use a seasoned pro to get the best results on your social media.

Don’t let this scare you away. Investing in a profitable lead generation is one of the best investments you will ever make in your business.

3. Sell digital assets.

Imagine if you built a house that you could sell over and over and over again to every interested buyer, instead of just once to the highest bidder. Sounds pretty nice, right?

Unfortunately, with physical assets, you can sell them once. Sure you can rent them too, but that’s generally also only to one customer. By creating “digital assets,” you can rent or sell your asset to as many people as want to buy. A “digital asset” is created once, then sold over and over again. This includes ebooks, apps, training programs, online courses, software, permits and licenses.

Michael Jackson died in 2009 but his estate earned $826 million in 2016 because he owned and sold digital assets — licenses to his own songs and songs by musicians such as the Beatles and Bob Dylan. This huge sum is largely due to the sale of MJ’s stake in the publishing company Sony/ATV which owns the aforementioned licenses. Ever after his death, his “business” continues to make money.

Now, you aren’t a deceased world-famous pop stars, but most business owners can create an offering in the form of online training or the use of licensing of intellectual property. Almost every business can sell a digital asset of one sort or another.

If you sell a physical product, can you sell training on how to use your product? Can you license your product to another company? If you’re in the restaurant business, can you franchise your concept and get paid for your brand? If you’re a personal trainer, can you take your training online? If you’re a consulting company, can you sell software that helps your clients achieve their desired result?

Try to imagine how someone else could benefit from your intellectual property.

4. Automate.

Now more than ever, it is possible for any business owner to automate tasks in their business. One of first places to look in regards to automation is in your marketing. Automate your follow up with leads to provide value, establish credibility and continue to make offers to your prospective customers. Do this using an email sequence that is designed to take your potential buyers through the buying cycle without you having to manually do it all.

Imagine having a full time salesperson on your team who works 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can talk to every single prospect at once. That is what it’s like to have a well timed follow up sequence in place in your business. If you can’t make a sale, and provide value to your customer without showing up to work in the morning, I hate to break it to you, but you may have a job you’ve created for yourself, instead of a business that works for you.

To learn how to turn your expertise into a scalable training program, start selling digital assets, and learn to get paid whether you’re in the office or on the beach


ServiceMonkey is an online business directory willing to assist small business owners to go their brands and ensure they reach their full potential.

Do you need to create awareness around your brand, contact us today on info@servicemonkey.co.za or call us on 0829020654

5 Advantages of Enlisting Your Business In An Online Directory

ServiceMonkey is excited to share this article as our goal is to develop small businesses and help them to realise their full potential.

This article was published on www.socialmediaweek.org

For those who are wondering why online business directory is important, here is a key take that will give you a cue why targeted business listing is necessary for your business – According to the Local Search Association, almost 8 out of 10 people will look into an internet directory when they are in need of a particular service. It is these 8 out of 10, who look into an online directory, who are likely to turn into potential clients coming with the positive intention to purchase. This indirectly means, you know there are certain segment of searches that will convert into leads, and you need to ensure that they find the right direction to reach your site instead of turning towards the wrong direction.

Just like social media marketing or content marketing, an online business directory promotes your site through indirect advertisement. While in other strategies, you indirectly try to promote your service, in this case you refer your business information directly. Choose a directory that offers you the right exposure. Some of the names in this category include – Google, Yahoo, and others.

They not only help you gain more visibility online, but also help you provide your customers information that you know will come to their benefit. Not everyone understands the immense advantage that one receives by getting their business listed on an online business directory, and that is why, here is a list of noted down advantages that you must read for a clear over how your business benefits –

5 Advantages of Enlisting Your Business In An Online Directory

#1- Bringing Two-Fold Traffic Flow To Your Website

Compared to a CTR advertisement, an online business directory brings a two fold traffic flow to your site – direct and indirect.

Direct traffic flow means customers can find you by simply following your website listing. Though this might turn out to be significantly smaller, the number of clients that your website receives turn out to be potential leads.

When speaking of indirect traffic flow, these are clients who enter your website via the search engine results page. For example, someone is looking for the term ‘insurance’ on the search engine results page and comes across an online business directory that ranks high on the SERP for that particular term. Your company is found to be positioned near the top of this insurance category. When visitors click through the insurance category, they also access your website easily.

Having your business name listed on a business directory can help you improve the search engine rank, since the URL to your site becomes a valuable inbound link for a relevant search result. By relevant search I mean your business provides the right information that you know people would find helpful when they search something online.

#2 – Improving Your Website Visibility Online

Online business directory gives you a more specific way to improve your website visibility online and to spread awareness. Therefore, make sure your business is listed on more than one business directory. The more you submit online, the more visibility you get. Customers are now more hooked onto the internet, searching for new product information and services. With your business listed through an optimized search engine placement, it improves your chance of reaching potential clients.

#3 – Expand Your Business By Reaching New Partners And Investors

Many might not have known this, but when a particular business is searching for a potential business partner with whom they might be interested to work with, the online business directory is the place they will search first.

#4 – Make Yourself Easily Accessible

Since by now you already know online directory helps to improve your online visibility, your website becomes easily accessible to customers who conduct a local search to find a particular business. Even if you have been running a local business for many years, there are a large number of people who are still not aware of your service. Having your business listed online, will not only inform customers about your existence, but will also turn out to be the perfect showcase of your services.

#5 – Informing Customers About Your Local Business In Detail

As was mentioned above, online business directories allow users to provide important details like product name, type or service in places where they are located.  This allows customers to access  essential information like when to contact or how to contact you. They can also reach your website by clicking on the URL link and contact you directly to get in touch with you via either the contact page or the road map. Online directories like Vintelli help businesses reach out and connect with customers by making use of innovative strategies like accurate target listing, easy to contact road map, optimized search engine placement and well researched review management that introduce a gradual growth in one’s market reach and a rise in the profit scale margin.

In a nutshell, you take your business to new standards and horizons by ranking higher in both web and local search engines. Since, optimized business directories are given priority online, your website has the chance to appear higher on the search engine results page even if does not score the desired rank. With an online business directory, you can not only seek the attention of potential leads, but also improve your business revenue by letting your business stand out of the crowd.


ServiceMonkey is an online business directory willing to assist small business owners to go their brands and ensure they reach their full potential.

Do you need to create awareness around your brand, contact us today on info@servicemonkey.co.za or call us on 0829020654

7 Secrets for Growing Your Business Quickly

ServiceMonkey  is excited to share this article as our goal is to develop small businesses and help them to realise their full potential.

By Shannon Gausepohl and published on www.businessnewsdaily.com

New business owners have numerous goals when they’re starting out, including rapid growth and recognition for their fledgling venture. But overnight success isn’t often the standard: There’s no specific “special sauce” to add to the recipe for instant results, and nothing is guaranteed.

However, there are ways to reach growth milestones that can catapult a business to success. We asked small business leaders to share their tips for accelerating growth.

Before you can even think about your company’s growth trajectory, you need to ensure that you have a solid staff that can help you achieve it.

“With a small business looking to grow, it’s important to have the right players at the table,” said April Davis, founder of online dating service Cupid’s Cronies. “They need to be people who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves. The words ‘That’s not my job,’ do not exist in their vocabulary. They have to be dedicated to the mission.”

“Hiring the absolute best people you can is a surefire way to ensure fast growth,” added Christian Lanng, CEO and chairman of business software provider Tradeshift. “It’s all about having the right team.”

Rather than trying to acquire new customers, direct your attention to the core customers you already have, said Bill Reilly, a Wisconsin-based auto repair entrepreneur. You can do this by implementing a referral or customer loyalty program, or trying out marketing strategies based on previous purchase behaviors to encourage repeat business, he said.

This focus on your established market is especially important if you’re trying to get funding.

“In the past, we would highlight our business goal to become a franchise, which didn’t resonate with banks,” Reilly said. “We learned to emphasize that there is a large market for what we do. This would pique a banker’s interest because he or she cares about the return on investment more than your business aspirations.”

Risk is an inevitable part of starting and growing a business. It’s impossible to control everything, but there are plenty of ways to limit internal and external threats to your company and its growth. One important resource to help you accomplish this is your business insurance provider.

“Small businesses need to manage their growth to avert disruptions that can bring business to a grinding halt,” said Mike DeHetre, vice president of product development at Travelers. For example, “the theft of employee data, customer records and product designs can destroy a small business, generating significant costs and eroding customer confidence and loyalty,” he said. “Not every business owner’s policy covers data breaches or other cyber losses. Small businesses should be prepared by seeking insurance products that help them recover, including those that cover the cost of remediation and lawsuits.”

As small businesses grow, they may add space or equipment, create new products or services, or increase their operating and distribution footprint, so DeHetre advised periodically reviewing your policy to ensure you have the right coverage.

“It’s easy to forget this step amid rapid expansion, but you don’t want to find out that you’ve outgrown your coverage just when you need it the most,” DeHetre said.

One trait that successful startups often have in common is the ability to switch directions quickly in response to changes in the market. Lanng noted that an agile approach to development, both in terms of your product and your company, will help you grow more quickly.

“By allowing yourself to adapt and change quickly, you’re able to test different approaches to business and find out what works best,” Lanng told Business News Daily. “It allows you to fail, pick yourself back up and keep going.”

Chris Cornell, founder and CEO of Manhead Merchandise, said his company has found adaptability to be key in expanding its client base beyond the music industry.

“Look to current pop culture trends for an opportunity to become part of the movement, when it makes sense,” Cornell said. “In an era of internet-fame, we looked to expand our horizons beyond the music industry. We partnered with ‘The King of Pop Culture’ and insta-famous pup, Doug the Pug to release his new gear. Recognizing the reach and popularity of Doug, we were able to take his merchandise to the next level, extending our business model beyond bands.”

Customers’ perceptions of your business can really make or break a business. Deliver quality experiences and products, and they’ll quickly sing your praises on social media; mess it up, and they’ll tell the world even faster. Fast growth depends on making your current and potential customers happy with their experience, DeHetre said.

“Compared with large companies, small businesses are nimble, and often better able to see, anticipate and respond to their customers’ needs,” DeHetre said. “The most successful small businesses exploit this advantage, by bringing new and innovative products and services to market more quickly and developing and nurturing long-term customer relationships.”

Dennis Tanjeloff, president and CEO of Astro Gallery of Gems, agreed. He said listening to your customers and giving them what they want is of utmost importance.

“Diversify your offerings so you can best cater to the customers’ changing tastes,” Tanjeloff said. “Remember, you are here to serve the customer — it’s why you are open for business.”

Cornell noted that engaging with your audience is crucial, but personalizing the experience can boost and strengthen that relationship.

“At Manhead, we come up with unique creative designs, customized storefronts and pop-up shops personalized for each band [we work with] to help them engage with fans in a new way,” Cornell said.

In the early stages of your business, you’ll likely see a very lean profit margin (or no profit at all), so any money you do make should go directly toward helping you grow.

“A startup’s ability to invest in itself [helps] accelerate growth,” Lanng said. “In those early years, it’s critical to make sure that you’re redirecting any revenues back into the company. It’s vital to invest early and heavily in order to grow quickly.”

While agility is an important quality for a startup, you can’t fly by the seat of your pants when you’re running a business. Planning your next step, even if that means anticipating all possible scenarios, is the best way to stay grounded and secure as your business evolves.

“Set the foundation in place, water it and watch it grow,” Davis said. “If you do the foundational work, when you experience growth, it won’t be that difficult to adjust, since the hard part is already done.”


ServiceMonkey  has a list of successful business specialists who are always willing to assist small business owners to go their brands and ensure they reach their full potential.

Do you need to create awareness around your brand, contact us today on info@servicemonkey.co.za or call us on 0829020654

6 Keys to Develop a Successful Small Business

ServiceMonkey  is excited to share this article as our goal is to develop small businesses and help them to realise their full potential.

Written by; Michael Mamas and published on www.entrepreneur.com

Steve Jobs dropped out of college to start a little computer company in his garage. Mark Zuckerberg launched the first iteration of Facebook from his dorm room at Harvard. While every successful entrepreneur’s career path looks a bit different, there are universal signposts that can help steer everyone with small businesses in the right direction. Here are six things to keep in mind when you have a small business.

  1. Success requires courage.

It takes courage to start and persevere in your own business. In some ways, starting is often the most difficult part of the whole journey. Remember that courage is really 50 percent fear. Being courageous means having a goal that you believe in. The more deeply you believe in that goal, the more fear you are willing to overcome.

Your goal should be more than financial profit. Having your own business is usually a very long — even lifelong — project. With the inevitable obstacles and setbacks that will arise, doing something you really believe in is essential to finding the courage to continue.

  1. Well begun is half done.

The fearful may think that they are never quite at the point where they are ready to get started.  As a result, many never start. It’s easy to justify fear: “The time isn’t right,” “I need to collect more data first,” “I can’t find the right talented people,” “It doesn’t feel quite right,” “I need to reflect on it some more,” and so on. By justifying fear, such rationalizations become the entrepreneur’s Achilles heel.

 I’ve worked with many people who go through their entire business career unable to get past that first step. They may generate charts, graphs, software, projections, schedules, on and on to the point where they can’t see the forest for the trees, and as a result, they never actually get started.

Of course, it’s possible to be too impulsive and get started without sufficient planning. But that’s not very common. For most people, it’s just hard to get the ball rolling. You can always do more planning. The art, however, is knowing when enough is enough — and it’s time to get started. No formula can answer that for you. It’s more of a feeling within your gut.

  1. Find the right mentor.

Getting over that fear hump may require a good support group or mentor. It’s a lot easier for another person to identify your excessive fear than it is for you. If you are really identified with your rationalizations, even the best mentor can’t help. You will just ignore them, using your rationalizations to prove that the mentor is wrong.

You need to think and be open. You also need to be careful in selecting your advisors. Otherwise, you will just listen to people who collude with your current fears. They will simply feed your procrastination instead of helping you move past procrastination.

This creates an obvious double-bind. How do you trust a mentor you disagree with? That has more to do with you than it has to do with the mentor. You have to be willing to question your viewpoint and listen to other viewpoints, but you don’t blindly listen to those viewpoints. You do, though, give yourself time to reflect on those viewpoints in an attempt to discover what you might be missing. If you spend time with your mentors, you can get a feeling for them and cultivate the ability to sense whether or not they are coming from a place of wisdom

  1. Keep the overhead down.

The Donald Trumps of the world might start big, but generally speaking, individuals launching businesses start small. Keep your overhead down. Lack of cash flow is probably the biggest cause of failure in small businesses. It’s a lot easier to expand than it is to cut back. When I started my school, my whole accounting system was on an 11”x17” pad of paper.

If you’re not careful, renting an office space, hiring your first employees, buying the requisite technology and all the other startup costs can be enough to bring a fledgling business to a screeching halt. As the business progresses, it tends to accumulate costly baggage. You will do well to review your checkbook and cut unnecessary expenses. Maximize your chances of profitability by taking a minimalist approach to overhead costs.

  1. Carefully guard the keys to the courthouse.

We live in an incredibly litigious time. Conflicts can easily result in litigation which consumes a tremendous amount of time, energy and money. When you enter a partnership, you are giving that partner a lot of power that they could, through litigation or not, wield against you if things go awry. The effects can be devastating.

You need to be very careful when it comes to selecting partners. It’s important that their goals support your goals. Also carefully assess their integrity. Otherwise, if they see an opportunity to maximize their profits at your expense, they may well do that.

Consider too their temperament. Otherwise, when obstacles arise, they may succumb to fear, or they may attack you or undermine the business out of fear, mistrust, control issues, impulsiveness or personal life issues. Fair weather partners are easy to find. However, you need to assess what a partner will be like when the going gets rough.

  1. Maintain control.

These days, control seems to have quite a negative connotation. The truth is, many aspects of control are positive and important attributes. Maintaining proper control means staying true to your vision and honoring your instincts on what is right for your business. After all, you understand your business better than anyone — probably better than even the best consultant on the planet. It’s easy to defer decisions to such people — and it’s such a big mistake. If they are right, they have to convince you. There is no room for blind faith.

No one ever said having a small business would be easy. These six points are essential to having a prosperous business while avoiding unnecessary challenges. These points are not just cold hard facts. There is an artistry to their implementation. To be successful in business means to practice and develop that artistry over time. It starts with some thoughtful reflection and research. Then find the courage to wisely and artfully take that first step and every step thereafter, day after day, month after month, year after year.

ServiceMonkey  has a list of successful business specialists who are always willing to assist small business owners to go their brands and ensure they reach their full potential.

Create awareness around your brand today! 

Contact us today on info@servicemonkey.co.za or call us on 0829020654

Do you need to create awareness around your brand, contact us today on info@servicemonkey.co.za or call us on 0829020654