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Profile - The Dynamic Small Business Owner

When it comes to having a handle on their firm, the profile of the dynamic small business owner goes something like this:

1. They know each morning their sales and gross margins (that is, gross profit as a percentage of sales) of all of their products or services by category from the preceding day.

2. At the end of each week, they can tell you their sales and gross margin for the preceding week by product or service by type from the preceding week.

3. At the end of each month, they know the sales, cost of goods, gross profit, and gross margin on every type of product or service by category, both for that month and for the year to date.

4. They are eager to know the key historical summary information developed by their accountant each month as a check against their own tracking information, which they accumulate daily.

5. They have all of the internal and external information needed to make fast expenditure decisions on a daily basis. They simply do not feel secure at delaying decisions that might improve their business or cost them profit.

The Dynamic Small Business Manager©, Lulu Publishers, © 2006

Are You an Entrepreneur?
Try the JaxWorks Entrepreneur Test: Download (Excel 97 or later) : Click Here
10 Rules for Surviving a Recession or a Slow Recovery
In a tough economy, you may need to change your business drastically to pull through.

Here are 10 rules of engagement that will help you successfully recast your business and succeed in the new economy:

1. Evaluate and eliminate excessive debt. If your revenues have dropped, you may not be able to service the debt you took on when your revenues were much higher. Any debt can be worked out -- secured debt, loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration, mortgages, lines of credit, and even leases.

2. Downsize. If you haven't already, reduce your headcount and overhead. You can deliver the same amount -- or more -- by increasing productivity.

3. Track your finances daily -- and start today. Install a key indicator system to track your business and have daily, weekly and monthly financial reports issued. Follow profitability per job, per week, per client, per product. Use these indicators to focus on your most profitable products or services. Make nothing that does not bring in a profit.

4. Reduce inventories and overhead at any cost. Look for items that does not move or turn frequently. That's where your cash is locked up -- in your cost of materials, labor, and so on, waiting to be turned into cash after itís sold and the receivables collected. This can result in a huge cash drain.

5. Train and cross-train your staff. If every job or task is learned by at least one additional person, when the primary person is out, the secondary person cross-trained to perform the task can leap in and save the day. And so work continues, and productivity remains high despite the absence of a key player. Smoother production, greater productivity and happier customers mean a better bottom line.

6. Review your marketing and reduce spending on traditional media. Use the internet and focus on existing clients first; get more out of them. Internet marketing will save many companies. Consider what's called the long-tail theory, coined by Wired Magazine Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson. In short, it means that there are folks on the internet making profitable hits of niche products, services and entertainment.

7. Resist profit-eating sales and discounting. Don't give away your product; instead, compete with service, quality and uniqueness. Create a niche and have a competitive advantage. The big box stores cannot compete with you, especially on service. It's the small-business competitive advantage.

8. Expand geographically if possible. Internet marketing can take you anywhere, especially if you can create an expertise or a niche item or service. Find what you do that is unique and do it as large as possible.

9. Manage effectively. This means tracking and analyzing key indicators, financial reports and productivity. Get smaller first and more profitable; then grow slowly and carefully.

10. Focus on quality. Thatís what wins in the long run. Never forsake this principle.

By Donald Todrin, Entrepreneur Magazine,

Start Now to Prepare For the Expanding Economy
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1) Easily learn how to perform sophisticated calculations and create formulas that automatically calculate answers. This feature assists you in developing budgets, forecasting models, creating sales plans, making financial projections, calculating inventories, generating banking statements, and basically working with any format involving numbers.

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Enormous Shortage of Independent Consultants.
There is an enormous need for independent business consultants. Couple this need with the predicted boom in business formations in expanding economies, we have the recipe for a consultancy vacuum.

Our authors decided something had to be done to help the profession be more alluring, efficient, and productive. A complete business analysis toolset to quickly analyze and assess a business is needed. Additionally, management in the forthcoming expansion need an internal analysis system to track their operations and avoid galloping expenses.

Two Solutions
1) We chose the monumental task of upgrading and integrating our most powerful analysis modules into one single product. To no oneís surprise, we named it The Consultant IIIô.
Check It Out Here.

2) A less rigorous solution than Consultant III is the resurrection and upgrading of our Classic Analysis System.
Check It Out Here.

About U.S. Consulting as a Career
The U.S. consulting services industry includes over 250,000 companies with combined annual revenue of nearly $400,000 billion (Hoovers). The industry is considered to be highly fragmented.

The top 50 consulting companies account for about 25 percent of total industry revenues. The average consulting firm has fewer than ten employees; 75 percent are one or two person operations and annual revenue under $1 million (Hoovers). Annual average revenue per employee is around $100,000.   (Hoovers).

Over 300,000 people work in consulting firms and over half of these people are from the U.S. (Careers in Management Consulting).

Is Consulting Worth It? Inventory Your Talents and Judge For Yourself.

Top 20 Consulting Businesses Thriving Today

Although you can be a consultant in just about any field these days, the current top 20 consulting businesses include:

1. Accounting:
Accounting is something that every business needs, no matter how large or small. Accounting consultants can help a business with all of its financial needs.

2. Advertising:
This type of consultant is normally hired by a business to develop a good strategic advertising campaign.

3. Auditing:
From consultants who audit utility bills for small businesses to consultants who handle major work for telecommunications firms, auditing consultants are enjoying the fruits of their labor.

4. Business:
Know how to help a business turn a profit? If you have a good business sense, then you'll do well as a business consultant. After computer consulting, people in this field are the next most sought after.

5. Business writing:
Everyone knows that most businesspeople have trouble when it comes to writing a report--or even a simple memo. Enter the business writing consultant, and everyone is happy!

6. Career counseling:
With more and more people finding themselves victims of a corporate downsizing, career counselors will always be in demand. Career counselors guide their clients into a profession or job that will help them be both happy and productive as an employee.

7. Communications:
Communications consultants specialize in helping employees in both large and small businesses better communicate with each other, which ultimately makes the business more efficient and operate smoothly.

8. Computer consulting:
From software to hardware, and everything in between, if you know computers, your biggest problem will be not having enough hours in the day to meet your clients' demands!

9. Editorial services:
From producing newsletters to corporate annual reports, consultants who are experts in the editorial field will always be appreciated.

10. Executive search/headhunter firms:
While this is not for everyone, there are people who enjoy finding talent for employers.

11. Gardening:
In the past decade the demand for gardening consultants has blossomed (pun intended) into a $1 million-a-year business. Not only are businesses hiring gardening consultants; so are people who are too busy to take care of their gardens at home.

12. Grantsmanship:
Once you learn how to write a grant proposal, you can name your price.

13. Human resources:
As long as businesses have people problems (and they always will), consultants in this field will enjoy a never-ending supply of corporate clients, both large and small. (People-problem prevention programs could include teaching employees to get along with others, respect and even violence prevention in the workplace.)

14. Insurance:
Everyone needs insurance, and everyone needs an insurance consultant to help them find the best plan and pricing for them.

15. Marketing:
Can you help a business write a marketing plan? Or do you have ideas that you feel will help promote a business? If so, why not try your hand as a marketing consultant?

16. Payroll management:
Everyone needs to get paid. By using your knowledge and expertise in payroll management, you can provide this service to many businesses, both large and small.

17. Public relations:
Getting good press coverage for any organization is a real art. When an organization finds a good PR consultant, they hang on to them for life!

18. Publishing:
If you're interested in the publishing field, then learn everything you can and you, too, can be a publishing consultant. A publishing consultant usually helps new ventures when they are ready to launch a new newspaper, magazine, newsletter--and even websites and electronic newsletters.

19. Taxes:
With the right marketing and business plan (and a sincere interest in taxes), your career as a tax consultant can be very lucrative. A tax consultant advises businesses on the legal methods to pay the least amount of tax possible.

20. Writing services:
Anything related to the written word will always be in demand. Find your specialty in the writing field, and the sky will be the limit!

Entrepreneur Magazine