Posts Tagged ‘business growth’

Getting Rid Of Money Leeches

 

If you have not yet read Part 1 of this article, please click here  READ PART 1 NOW

Okay, let’s continue where we left off and go a little deeper on being more financially prepared so that wealth starts flowing towards you instead of away from you.

Our lesson today is about being aware and effectively stopping your Money Leeches!

Money Leeches as I’d like to call them are the People, or “Cosmically uncanny” situations that just happen to show up at the very exact moment you come into some money. Sound familiar? Think back…Do you remember the time that you got that P5,000 bonus from your job, or a sideline or unexpected business from a client?

Who called you or showed up at your doorstep needing urgent help or “who just happened to drop by” that very same week needing exactly P5,000?

Did your car, refrigerator, cell phone, or something else break down needing some urgent repairs totaling more or less P5,000?

Did you just happen to go to the mall that weekend, which incidentally was having a 50% off Sale on all items and bought something that you would never ever use for more or less P5,000?

I’m pretty sure you are smiling right now because you know exactly what I’m talking about don’t you? Yup, whoever he or she is, whatever “situation” arose the last time you came into money, you have just identified your money leeches.

I know because I used to have lots of them. And I thought that that was the story of my life. And because I thought that way, the next time I got into some money, the Money leeches would come! It became a reality for me, so much so that all the money I made almost always went to some “Urgent” or “Useless” expense.

The problem is that most of these money leeches are usually family members or close friends. Or when situations arise, like your appliance breaking down or a cellphone being stolen or any similar incident is that you feel that it was by divine providence and that it was beyond your control and you just have to give in.

Let me say right now, they can be stopped and it can be controlled. But it will take a major attitude and cultural change in you. It will require a lot of effort and a very “thick” face but if you apply what I will share, you will immediately achieve a Major breakthrough in our “wealth transfer project.”

First, stop thinking that having money leeches is normal. It is not. You have to change your attitude right now, here’s your first assignment that will help you do just that.

1.)    On a blank piece of paper I want you to hand write the following: >>Make sure that it is “Hand written” not type written:

“Having Money Leeches will kill me financially, I am now aware, I will defend myself and get rid of them now! ___________. (print your first name on the blank space then sign your name on top of it)

2.)    Scan that piece of paper or take a digital picture of it.

3.)    Email it to me as soon as you can. Please note that if you email it to me, you are allowing me to post it on my blog should I choose to do so.

4.)    Prominently place that piece of paper in your wallet so that you can see it every time you open it.

The exercise above is meant to “kick start” your brain to acting and thinking about defending yourself against these money leeches. And yes, it is true, If you do not fix it right now, you will die financially.

Next, identify the people who are NOT immediate family members who constantly ask for money from you. Note, these are the people who are NOT your wife, your children, your brother, your sister oryour 2 parents.

Here’s what you tell the people who are NOT immediate family the next time they ask for money:

Situation: My _______ just got hospitalized, Can I borrow P5,000? (Or whatever amount)

Response: “I’m so sorry to hear that, I hope _______ is alright. I wish I could give you P5,000 but I can only afford to give P50 right now hope you understand.

Regardless of the situation or any amount that a Non-immediate family wants to “borrow” from you, only offer P50! There will be 3 possible reactions: reaction 1: insulted, and will never want to ask money from you again. Reaction 2: they are grateful and they take it. Reaction 3: They negotiate. Regardless of their reaction only be willing to give P50 and not a centavo more.

It might seem heartless to you but it has to be done if you really want to get rid of the money leeches. Remember, this is to be used ONLY for non-immediate family. They are not your burden, they are not your problem. The priority you should always be your Immediate family. What if, God forbid, something should happen to any one of your children? Your wife?  Your Husband? Your sister? Your brother? Your Parents? And you don’t have money because you gave your money to someone else. Now that would be a real tragedy. If you can’t do this for yourself, then do this for your immediate family, reserve your generosity for them. But be smart about how you go about it. In the next article, I will talk about how to financially protect your immediate family and yourself from Money Leeches within your immediate family.

Lastly here is your 2nd assignment, give me feedback. Post a comment about this article or part 1: What I am interested in is not praises (although that would be nice too), instead, complain to me about the problems you have in completing the assignments. Yes, you read it right, post a comment below on why you don’t think this or any of the assignments I have given you will ever work for you. Believe me, I will read every single one — even yours and I promise that I will not ban you or even get mad at you when you do. It is all part of the process.

Good luck and see you in the next article!

Author Box:

Mark So is a fervent businessman, Investor and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center.  He is the founder and Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Asia, A Trading club of Forex Traders across Asia. He is also the Founder and Chief Trainer of the Philippine Franchise Institute which specializes in training and growing existing Franchise businesses.  A sought after speaker for business, investing, You may email your comments and questions to:   mhso@businessmaker-academy.com or call the office at 6874445 / 6873416 / 6874645 for a schedule of his seminars

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Today, I want to share a very special topic — How to make money run after you. This is a topic that I have never shared with the public before now. It is I believe something that anyone and everyone can and should benefit from, especially those who have been looking but could not yet to find a job. For those working very hard but still not having enough to make ends meet. For those who are stressed out with not having enough money, and are becoming desperate, this article is for you.

Don’t think for one second that because the world is in financial crisis that there is no more money going around, the truth is far from it. The fact is, the world is literally overflowing with money.  It may not seem like it to you right now my dear reader but read on and let me enlighten you.

Always remember this: Money is never destroyed, only transferred.

Wealth, on a daily basis is constantly being transferred from those who do not know how to handle money to those who know how. Even, and most especially, during financial crisis, does what I just said hold its truest meaning. My goal in this article is to make you one of those people where wealth is transferred to and not taken from.

First let me take the most recent financial crisis, break it down for you and explain how wealth was transferred in relatively simple terms, then let me show you the steps to take today so that we begin the process of “wealth flow”.  This article will be the first of a series, and after each article I will give you an activity or task to do. If you seriously want money to run after you, I strongly recommend that you follow the assignments for every article and give me feedback every step of the way.

In the most recent financial crisis in the US that started June of 2007 and reached its peak in October of 2008, the US stock market and consequently the Philippine Stock market had lost more than 50% of its value. Most people panicked and took out their money, or whatever that was left of it for fear of losing even more. When they did that, they lost half of their wealth in just a few short days, which took almost a lifetime to build. As of September 29, 2008 according to CNN money, approximately $1.2 Trillion dollars was wiped out in the US alone.

Let me repeat: The money was not lost. It was merely transferred.

During the same crisis, there were a few, very few brave souls who bought those stocks at extremely low prices. They held on to it, and became a whole lot richer overnight.

**Warning: Do not get overwhelmed with what I’m going to share next; Even if my examples are in Billions of US dollars, the principles that I want you to pick up, will and can be applied to your situation. Also, and more importantly, do not put in everything you have in any investment vehicle because of this. This is not the point of my example**

In the US, the most notable figure to do this of course was Warren Buffet who at the time bought a significant chunk of shares of Goldman Sachs in September 2008. Despite the odds and the panic, Buffet bought those shares at basement bargain prices, He invested $5 billion, held on to it during the worst of the crisis (which was October 2008), and turned it into $8.7billion just recently. Another similar story, although he did not buy stocks but rather bet against them (a.k.a. short trading), John Paulson of Paulson and Co. made a killing betting against the US subprime mortgage market. He made $4 Billion after the worst of the crisis was over. Although Buffet and Paulson were the few covered by the media, there were more who made a killing as well, the public at large just didn’t know it.

Okay, you might be thinking well those guys are professional investors, how can I ever come close to doing that myself? Well, first let me explain that this is just one of many, many examples of “wealth flow transference”. You don’t have to be in stocks or investments to apply what I will be teaching you in the next few articles. And for those of you who know me and have been following my many articles, you know that I will teach you how to do it in a very practical and “anybody-can-do-it” way, so please, read on.

Also, I will not be saying that you cannot be a billionaire, I will leave that option wide open for anybody willing to try, but before we think about billions, or even millions, let’s first come back down to earth and start with the basics.

How and where do I begin?

I’m designing this and the succeeding articles to be very thorough and slow so that you not just understand it but experience it by applying it into your life, article by article. Of course you can go faster if you wish and I will inform you how to do that in the very, very near future.

In the meantime, this should be your first “realization” for this article– Running after money if you do not know how to manage it will result in forever chasing after money. Get your house in order first, build a strong foundation for money management first and you will see that the money will start running towards you and staying with you!

Now to learn and apply this lesson, here are your first assignment(s)

  1. Go to my blog http://www.markso.wordpress.com and subscribe to it (There is a space on the left side to input your email address)
  2. Search for, read, and comment on the following articles in the search box of my blog (Type it in the search box)
    1. “The Most Important Advice About Money I can Ever Give You” (You may have to scroll down the list to find it)
    2. “Money Management Simplified part s 1 to 3”  (You may have to scroll down the list to find it)

Good luck and see you in the next article!

 

Author Box:

Mark So is a fervent businessman, Investor and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center.  He is the founder and Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Asia, A Trading club of Forex Traders across Asia. He is also the Founder and Chief Trainer of the Philippine Franchise Institute which specializes in training and growing existing Franchise businesses.  A sought after speaker for business, investing, You may email your comments and questions to:   mhso@businessmaker-academy.com or call the office at 6874445 / 6873416 / 6874645 for a schedule of his seminars

Hello Everyone, It’s been a while hasn’t it?

Well, today I want to teach those who have a Business or those thinking of starting a business a very simple, very powerful, and almost effortless way to increase profits. And although what I will explain is pretty obvious, most businesses would surprisingly go the complete opposite of what I will share. You might even be practicing this in your business or are planning to do this when you launch your business.

So if you want to increase your profits with minimal effort, then my dear reader, please read on.

Almost all businesses I know at one point in time will resort to discounting as a way to increase their sales.  In fact, this practice has become ‘gospel’ to starting and even growing businesses that it becomes the ‘go-to’ tactic when they want to get more sales. I myself have discounted a lot in the past and even though it gets additional sales, I slowly and painfully realized, that it does something that you will not immediately notice, it will inevitably decrease your overall profitability.

So over the years, I have learned how to increase sales and profitability without resorting to discounting. And believe me, this will be a lesson you would want to take to heart and try on your business soon. But first, let me share why you should take this simple lesson seriously by showing you the math.

Let’s say your product’s selling price is P50 with a profit margin of 30% or P15. Now, the number of people buying that product is 10 per day. So, if we do simple multiplication, your total profit for the day will be P150 (10 people X P50 X 30%) or ( 10 people  X P15 profit ).

Now you feel your sales are low and you want to increase it, and what do you immediately think of?  “let’s give a 10% off promo” or let’s do a “Buy 1 take 1 promo”, etc.  Am I right? Of course I am because I’ve done it myself many, many times 😉

So, let’s take a look at the 10% off promo. 10% off your selling price means your P50 now becomes P45 (P5 discount).  Now, let’s assume that your promo produces 1 more customer or 11 customers for the day, then your total profit will now be P110 (11 people  X  P10 profit). P10 because it used to be P15 but I discounted P5 so my new profit is now P10.

If you get 2 more customers for the day, then profit becomes P120 (12 people X P10 profit)

3 more customers, P130 profit

4 more customers, P140 profit

5 more customers, P150 profit

So what can we conclude in this simple example? If I give a 10% discount, then I would need to add at least 5 more people or 50% more buyers just to have the same profit of P150! What more if you do a buy 1 take 1 promo or a 50% discount? Well, you do the math and you’d be very depressed I assure you.

So here’s my first lesson for you to increase your profit without any effort at all. STOP giving discounts if you really dont need to.

Easier said than done you say? Well, read on as I’m not yet done. In fact, in my businesses, I will go a step further by doing the complete reverse of what most of my competitors will typically do, I increase my prices by at least 20%. Now I know what you are thinking — yikes! Less people will buy from me if I do that — Not necessarily true, but for the sake of argument, let’s take a look at the math again and see what happens when you start losing some customers:

The original profit = P150 with 10 people @ P50 @ P15 Profit. I increase my price to P60 (add 20%) @ P25 profit from P15.

If my volume drops by 1 person to 9 people/day then, my profit will STILL be P225 (9 people X P25)

8 people/day, P 200 profit

7 people/day, P175 profit

6 people/day, P150 profit still

Now even if I lose 4 people or 40% of my volume, I will still get the same original profit.

Okay and I know what you are thinking, increasing prices are in many, many cases viewed by a lot of businesses as “Taboo” or “Evil” or “Un-filipino-like”. And I would agree in some cases, but I do not in many. I do not agree that businesses have to resort to “I’m-a-good-guy-so-I’ll-price-it -just-to-get-by” pricing or “Buy-from-me-because-I’m-the-lowest-priced-in-the-universe”. Thinking that way will surely run your business to the ground sooner or later.

If you are worried about those very thoughts, I want to assure you that you do not have to be a Bad guy when you raise your prices. Far from it actually, and you certainly do not have to be the lowest priced for you to have top sales. What I have learned throughout the years is that price is NOT the only thing that the customer is concerned with.  Customers for the most part are  concerned with 2 other things and sometimes even more so compared to price. 1.)  Quality /assurance and 2.) if it solves their problem.

And so, the 2nd lesson I will leave you with in this article will be this: have the courage and the strategy to increase your price by communicating and even going so far as to guarantee the quality of your product and making sure that it solves a problem that the customer is willing to pay a premium for. If you can do that, you are on your way to increasing your profits with minimal effort.

Author Box:

Mark So is a fervent businessman, Investor and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center.  He is also the Founder and Chief Trainer of the Philippine Franchise Institute which specializes in training and growing existing Franchise businesses.  A sought after speaker for business, investing, Sales and Marketing he is inviting you to attend his 2 day course on Proactive Sales and Marketing to give solid strategies on increasing your sales through practical, no-nonsense marketing. To register for this please go call (632)6874645 or 6873416.  You may email your comments and questions to:   mhso@businessmaker-academy.com

PH Blogs

Over the past year, I’ve written a good number of business advice articles for Manila Bulletin and each of those articles were and still are meant to help as many people as possible. These articles are from my experience and discoveries through a lot of trial and error in “business making”, and to be honest, all of those articles contain a secret or two of mine on being successful in business, so in this particular piece, I’d like to summarize some of the more valuable lessons and what has made me who I am over the years. I do hope that you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Keep things simple

If there is one truth about what works in this world is that the simplest of solutions are all you really need. A lot of times, I find myself looking at an opportunity and immediately start thinking of all sorts of “creative” ways of making money with it. Most of the time, it becomes an exercise in creativity rather than making a decent profit. In my article entitled, “Do Not Overcomplicate Your Business” I talk about this incident where a student from an Ivy League school was over complicating what should be a very simple and straightforward business — printing and selling of t-shirts. (Go to my blog at http://www.markso.wordpress.com and search the title if you have not yet read it) I mean, come on, how complicated can that be right? Well, as the story turns out, you’d be amazed at how our train of thought can be so devoid of common sense.

Find the customer first

When I first heard this line from a successful entrepreneur (a close and dear friend) a long time ago, I was blown away at the simplicity of the logic. This is really not a secret in business making, just find and talk to a successful businessperson, they will instantly validate it, and many a times, that is most probably how they started in business in the first place. So to explain further, I used to think like the throngs of would-be entrepreneurs when it came to starting a business, find capital, put up the business, then make money. The problem with that logic is that in order to be in business, you needed capital first and in many, many cases that was the whole problem, the reason why you want to start a business in the first place was because you did not have money to begin with, so I experimented with that line “Find the customer first”, tried this and tried that until finally I figured it out. I discuss this a little bit more in my article: “How to Make Extra Money with Zero Capital” (again go to my blog and search for it if you have not read it yet).

Learn how to sell

Business in its purest form is selling. So naturally, if you want to be in business, you need to learn how to sell. Now the problem with this for a lot of people is that the mere mention of the word “sell” sends shivers up and down their spines, “can’t do it”, “don’t want to”, “I don’t think I can” would probably be the three phrases that just popped in your head right now. But the truth is, anyone, given the right motivation can sell, in fact, the people who you think can’t sell are actually the ones who can outsell even the most gifted of sales men. In my article series “The Tale of Two Salesmen Parts 1, 2, and 3” I unravel the mysteries and debunk the myth that sales and selling are only for a select few. When you get to read those articles on my blog, you will soon realize that sales is not a position, it’s a way of life.

Manage your money

Now, the thing about selling is that if you do it very well, money comes in. And I used to think that the more money coming in, the richer I will be. Well, it is true, but unfortunately that’s only half right. What I experienced was that, the more money that I made, the lesser there was of it remaining because I spent most of it on useless stuff. It took my wife and a huge knock on the head for me to realize that no matter how much money you made, what mattered more was what you did with it. In other words, how you spend is much more important than what you make. This is another key to my business success. In my article series “Money Management Simplified Parts 1, 2, and 3” I discuss step by step how you can spend properly and of course manage your money. So if you haven’t done so yet, go to my blog now and search those articles.

Keep investing in yourself

I said this once, and I’ll say it a thousand times more. The real secret to becoming a success is to never be content to just stay where you are. You are a product of evolution, when times change, so must you, when times get tougher, so must you. In this world we live in, it is the strong that survive, and so the most basic and yet most potent advice I could ever give you my dear reader is to never stop investing in improving your self, expanding your knowledge, practicing until you understand, making mistakes and boo boos along the way are all the things that you need to do constantly to keep on growing and succeeding.

In the end, I hope that my business advices through my articles and my blog have helped you in some way, hope or form. If it has, do leave a comment on my blog on any or all of the articles that you read there. Good luck and God bless!

Author box:

Mark So is a fervent businessman, forex trader, marketer, sales consultant, and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center.  He is also the Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Manila. Mr. So is slated to conduct his 7 Point Formula for Business Start Up and Expansion this November 13, 2010. If you are interested in attending this seminar, email Mark directly at markso@zerocapitalclub.com. To read more of Mark’s interesting and life enriching articles you can go to his blog at http://www.markso.wordpress.com

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In my earlier years, I never really thought of myself as a manager of people, truth be told I never really understood how important managing people really was until I became an Entrepreneur. And even when I embraced entrepreneurship full time, I made many, many mistakes in this field which taught me huge lessons not just in business but in life over all.

You see, back in the day as an inexperienced Entrepreneur, I thought that people management was simple: “if you want your business to succeed, you must hire people who have the background to run your business for you.” Little did I know that those thoughts were the most devastating thoughts ever to cross my mind. Why? Because no matter how good the people you hire, or how much money you offer them, the truth is: No one can ever run your business better than you.

I learned the hard way that being a business owner did not mean that you hired people to think for you and run the day to day operations for you, it meant that you needed to first know what you really want your business to become, and to do that, you need to be Employee number 1. Because and remember Murphy’s Law: If something can go wrong, it usually will. And if you are not there to steer the business clear of problems, you should never expect Employee number 2, 3 or 4 to do it better than you.

The greatest mistake I made with my first business was to hire a General Manager and her managers (Employee number 2 and 3 and 4) to run the business. I was still working for a big multinational company back then and had the excuse of “I’m too busy to handle my own business”. So I relied on the salaries that I was paying my people to make them grow my business, solve problems and make me rich!

Of course, reality is never that easy. Because people that you pay but do not manage usually result in the people taking their salaries and end up making excuses for why things didn’t go as planned.

To read more about my problems on my first business and how I solved it, Click here to read: “Business and the start of a beautiful relationship parts 1 to 3”.

In hindsight, I realized that my biggest mistake was that I “abdicated” instead of “delegated”. Abdication is what happens when you are not there to guide people and as a result fail to fulfill your responsibility as the founder of the business. Delegation is when you slowly give some responsibility to the people you hire so that they can eventually do the work for you over time. Take note, the operative words here are “slowly” and “over time”.

So in my next business, I tried “delegating”. I was more hands on in the business. But there were still big glaring problems. The biggest problem of all was my attitude. I was either too nice, or too strict, or too tyrannical or all of the above. So as you can imagine, some of my people were complaining behind my back. I wasn’t consistent in my approach and my moods got the best of me, because and this is not an excuse: as an entrepreneur you are faced with an extreme amount of stress on a daily basis.

So how did I learn to manage my people better? Well, three things.

First I had to learn to be better than the normal guy. As an Entrepreneur, you will really face a lot of hard and stressful times but even during those times, I had to learn how to become more “presidential” which meant I needed to stop being dramatic, learn to act from my head and not from my heart. It wasn’t easy, but I (with my wife) realized that the solution to achieving this was to slowly and painstakingly build a system to address the needs of our people. This is where my wife, Jhoanna really excelled, she built our Human Resource System almost single handedly which did not just address concerns of our people but also replaced impulsiveness and drama with solid procedures for addressing our people’s problems.

Second, and simultaneously, I had to weed out the bad apples in the bunch. You see I believe that the business owner has to do his / her part in becoming better at managing people but the people themselves must be willing to be honed to become even better for the sake of the Business. Unfortunately there are those who just do not have the right attitude and the only answer is to remove them from the equation. Once I cleared the ranks, replacing them with “better” people was the next task, and to do this, we created a criteria for hiring people, and that criteria was the most important of all, it was to hire those that believed in what the business wanted to achieve. This unified belief is what bonded our people together to act as one with the owners themselves. Without this bond you can never really build a team with a common purpose.

Third, and finally, I realized that the first two things will not matter at all if I did not show them exactly what it was that the business wanted to achieve. So the last and final ingredient of how I learned how to manage people is to lead by example. I am Employee number 1 and as such I must show the rest of the team how to do it the first time, the second time, the third time, until they can do it on their own. Today, I can honestly say that I have come a long way when it comes to managing people. Today I can honestly say I together with my wife are better managers of people.

Author box:

Mark So is a fervent businessman, forex trader, marketer, sales consultant, and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center.  He is also the Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Manila. Attend Businessmaker Academy’s Business Operations and People Management this August 7, 2010 at Businessmaker Academy. If you are interested in attending this seminar, email Mark directly at markso@zerocapitalclub.com or call 6874445 / 6873416 / 6874645 and look for Kenneth Dalen

My wife and I used to live in a condo unit when we were newly married. At first, the condo was pretty spacious and needed some furniture so we got a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, then gifts would come from friends and family on special occasions and over time the stuff we had would pile up. I remember one time feeling claustrophobic already, I literally couldn’t breathe anymore and no matter how many times we would donate, or purge we would feel that the condo was magically getting smaller and smaller.

Now this is not because we keep buying stuff, we actually live (then and now) a very simple life. We do not buy anything we do not need and we donate and “purge” regularly, the fact is everyone will eventually have more “stuff” over time. This is what I call “the power of accumulation” and what I wanted to share with you today is how I use this power in businesses. And how you too can build something small first then slowly, over time, accumulate not just “stuff” but wealth.

Before I start, I’m sure you are thinking right now: “I can’t start a business yet, I don’t know anything about businesses”. So I want to let you know one powerful truth:

“Everyone starts at ZERO.”

Every successful business owner starts by not knowing much about business. Sure, some of them might have studied about starting a business whether in college, grad school, books and even through seminars. And I wholeheartedly believe in education, but let me tell you another powerful truth:

“Experience is the best teacher of all”.

Let me explain further. If I were to tell a 5 year old child to stay away from the stove because he/she might get burned, then show the child pictures of what a burn looks like and tell her that it is very, very painful then the child has been educated on how not to get burned right?

Now, the child will listen to you…for a while that is.  But when you are not looking and the stove is on, chances are, the child will still go near the stove and accidentally burn her hand anyway. Because the child needs to fulfill her curiosity on what the word “burn” is and understand what you meant about how painful it can really be. Now, the moment she gets hurt and realizes that she never wants to get burned again, she has gained experience.

Likewise, the best way to learn about business is to experience doing business and find out first hand what it is like to go through the pains and gains of being in business.

So are you ready to gain experience and accumulate businesses? Alright then here’s the simple formula / plan that you must start doing now to start accumulating wealth through businesses: “S+R+A” = Power of Accumulation

S = “Start small”

There are many ways to start a business, but my method is the one that you can do right now. First off, know that no one can ever be sure if a business will succeed or not. So, common sense would dictate that you start small. If you have a small business already, good! If you don’t, then start one now by starting a sideline or racket. If you need some suggestions on creating a business without adding any costs, go to my blog at http://www.markso.wordpress.com and search this phrase: “Money Management Simplified Part 3”. In that article are two incredibly simple ways to start a small sideline business with Zero Costs. I would also suggest that you read the whole series (parts 1 to 3) to learn how to manage your money for businesses.

As my readers already know, when I start businesses I start them with Zero costs, to me that is the ultimate way of starting small.

R = “Remain Small”

When I start a small business, and it becomes a success, I do not hire a lot of people, I keep it small and manageable. But I do something “special” inside the business to make it even more profitable. I call it “Multiple Streaming”. It’s a technique that I teach in my 7 point formula seminar. What Multiple Streaming does is that it takes an ordinary sideline or racket and it “doubles” the income streams of that business every year. Now, if I increase my income stream per business and keep my staff small and manageable, the business becomes a lot more profitable even without becoming too big. Why do I like keeping my businesses small? Well, lots of reasons but the most important reason is that small businesses can move a lot faster than bigger businesses and the relationship between the customers, the staff and me are more direct and personal, no red tape.

A = “Accumulate”

Now, once my small business’ income stream stabilizes. I do it all over again with the same process, I start another small business, then I “Multiple Stream it” until profitable, then add another when ready. I simply keep adding small, profitable businesses over time that accumulate into true wealth. Imagine money coming in from multiple sources — when you wake up, when you are asleep, when you are eating, when you are on vacation. It’s an incredible feeling I assure you.

“The Power of Accumulation”

So going back to the introduction of this article when my wife and I started out in a small condominium, the fact is, you will always accumulate more “stuff” no matter what. So I learned to apply this incredible power into businesses and instead of the awful feeling of Claustrophobia, I achieve something else- “freedom from financial worry”. So now, you too can accumulate more wealth by just following the simple plan that I just outlined for you and of course gaining as much experience in the process. All the best! Good luck and God bless!

Author box:

Mark So is a fervent businessman, forex trader, marketer, sales consultant, and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center.  He is also the Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Manila. Mr. So is slated to conduct his “7 Point Formula Seminar” this July 31, 2010. If you are interested in attending this seminar, email Mark directly at markso@zerocapitalclub.com. To read more of Mark’s interesting and life enriching articles you can go to his blog at http://www.markso.wordpress.com

A few months ago, a friend of mine requested if I could help her nephew (an undergrad student from an Ivy league school) with his business practicum project that he was becoming frustrated with. Their business practicum’s goal was to produce and sell as many “uniquely different” T-Shirts as possible and she requested if I could just help him out a bit and get him back on track.

When we met, I asked him what the problem was and he said “well you see, my team mates do not want to shell out the capital that the group needs to produce the T-Shirts”. So I asked him how much capital he needed.  He said, “Well, we need 200,000 pesos…” I raised my hands to stop him in mid sentence and said: “Whoa, back up there a little bit, 200,000? Why do you need that much money to produce and sell T-Shirts?”

“Well sir, because to ‘market test’ and produce the shirts, we’ll have to purchase the machine to print on the shirts…”, “Who said that?” I asked. “My adviser” he replied, “Does your adviser have a business?”  He said, “No, but she’s been teaching this course for a while now, and she says that in order to know if your business venture will make money, you must learn how to do a break even analysis, and to do that, you must know the costs…”

“Okay”…I said, “…now I understand why your team mates are not willing to put up the capital. Well for one, you are asking for P200,000 and two, because it is not necessary. Let’s simplify things for you, forget the costs of the machine for a while, how much is the cost of a plain non-printed T-Shirt?”

He grabbed several spreadsheet print outs from his bag  and began searching for the costs of the T-Shirts.  Five minutes later he still could not give me an answer and said “Sorry sir, to get the costs, I have to reverse-engineer the calculations that I did…”  Needless to say, I was a bit surprised to hear that he had to “reverse-engineer” anything to come up with the costs because in my mind, to know the price of a T-Shirt, you simply have to ask the price from the supplier of the T-Shirt. Apparently, he did not do that but instead was taught to calculate costs based on some sort of theoretical model.

After a few more minutes of waiting, I said “Okay please listen for a moment, I’m going to estimate right now that the price of a plain white shirt is about P100 give or take, so to get you and your team started, you don’t need P200,000. All you need to do is to buy maybe 10 shirts x P100 = P 1,000 then add the cost of printing of whatever design you have. So I’ll assume that printing the design will be another P100 give or take, so with these top of mind estimates your initial costs will be about P2,000, not P200,000.”

“But 10 shirts only, that’s pretty small isn’t it?” he asked. “Well I said, since you are ‘market testing’ the shirts, you just need samples of the shirts initially. Then what you do is to get pre-orders and get a down payment for those orders from your customers. You can also sell the shirts immediately and produce more of them after, based on demand.  Once you get the down payment, you can then purchase the materials (shirts) needed to produce and deliver the T-shirts.”

“But how do we go about producing the T-shirts when we don’t have the machine to produce it” he asked.  I then answered, “there is no need for you to buy the printing machine yourselves to produce it, doing so would be ridiculous because this is just a project for you. Also, we are no longer in the Industrial age where you have to produce everything yourself.   We are at an age of outsourcing jobs to avoid huge capital investments.  You can simply outsource the printing of the shirts to a company that does that.”

“But Sir, what about the design and price of the T-shirts? We were taught that we have to have a unique design and that we should price it very low so that we can sell a lot of shirts.” I responded “If you can come up with a unique design that people want, then I do not recommend that you price it low, in fact quite the opposite, you should price it at a premium because of its uniqueness.”

“Listen,” I said to the student, “Business is simple.  It need not be based on theoretical mathematical models, nor does it have to be over analyzed and over complicated.”

Even though this story just involves a college business practicum, the common misconceptions about business is just as true with most start up businesses. A lot of times, people feel that if they are doing something “sophisticated” or with big capital, or with common phrase clichés, that they are doing it right. The fact is, Business is not complicated at all.  Just find the simplest way to make a profit. If it is simple, trust me, it is right.

Authorbox:

Mark So is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy and Forex Club Manila.  He regularly holds seminars on Business, Finance and Investments.  To read about past articles from the BIZMAKER column, you may visit www.markso.wordpress.com.  For more information about his seminars, you may contact Tel Nos. 6874445, 6874645, 6873416 or visit www.businessmaker-academy.com or www.zerocapitalclub.com