Your Business Mission – What the Heck Do You Do, Anyway?

Do you really need a business mission statement? Is it just some fancy words to put in that business plan that collections dust on your shelf, or is there really more to it?

One of the key attributes of successful businesses is that they clearly know what they do. Defining the goal or the "mission" of your business can be the key to your success.

A good mission statement does three things:

"States what business you are in." Defines your target market. "Provides inspiration for your business.

One of the best examples of a mission statement comes from Levi Strauss & Co. [http://www.levistrauss.com/Company/ValuesAndVision.aspx]

"We will market and distribute the most appealing and widely worn apparel brands. Our products define quality, style and function. We will clothe the world."

Clothing the world is a pretty lofty goal, but Levi Strauss has the ability to do this for one reason — Their founder, Levi Strauss, started the business with a mission and focus.

Levi started his wholesale dry goods business in San Francisco February, 1853. Rather than hoping to make his fortune in the Gold Rush, he created a fortune by wholesaling clothing and fabric to the small stores supplying the thousands of miners and later, families of the West.

In 1872, he was contacted by Jacob Davis, a tailor who had developed a method to rivet the stress points of the pants he made from fabric he bought from-you guessed it — Levi Strauss. Jacob did not have the funds to patent the process, so he teamed up with Levi Strauss to patent the original blue jean in 1873. The rest is history.

Now, if Levi Strauss was your typical small business, he would probably have spun off in ten different directions in their early years, but the company remained focused on supplying quality clothing and fabrics to the working men and women of the West, and later the world. Rather than focusing on their core market, they would have fallen into the AFAB method … Anything for a Buck.

Most small businesses suffer from this lack of focus.

When we work with struggling business owners, the first thing we ask them is "What is your bread and butter?" What one product or service provides you with the majority of your business profit?

Unfortunately, most business owners can not answer that question. They did not define their core product or service and target market when they started, and end up doing a little bit of everything, and nothing well.

Or, they focus most of their time on a product or service line that they like, without knowing whether it actually is their most profitable.

Fortunately, there is an easy fix for this problem.

You have to determine your gross profit margin from each of your product lines or services. Get together with your accountant, and figure out what you need to do to separate your revenue and expenses by the major product lines of your business. Then, you can find out your gross profit margin, or the percentage of gross profit you receive from each activity.

The product or service with the highest gross profit margin is your core business activity. It is the bread and butter of your business, and the key to your company profits.

Now, you must focus as much of your company resources as possible on this core activity. Market it, systemize it, and turn your business into a machine for duplicating this product or service over and over again.

What happens?

Well, rather than running around like a chicken with your head cut off, putting out fires all over your business, you suddenly have the focus to know where to spend your time and energy. You know your core, and you can work to make a good thing even better.

This focus will transform your business and your life.

Remember the term "Jack of All Trades, but Master of None"? You can not really really good at something without focus, and focusing on your most profitable core product or service will make your business even more efficient.

Does this mean that you should never expand beyond your core? Of course not, but you must make sure you are really good at your core product or service before you venture into different directions. Creating a strong bread and butter business will give you the base necessary to expand.

Your core product or service is the foundation for your business. Build it well.

Education Based Marketing

We are a society of information junkies. We thirst for information every single day. When we consider our own buying habits, where do we go? If it is a big item we might go to Consumer Reports or search for information online. We will certainly go to Google or Yahoo and search for whatever it is we want.

One of the very best examples of "Education Based Marketing" is seen at http://www.askthebuilder.com . That web site is packed full of information on the how to's of home improvement. People gravitate to vendors who supply the greatest amount of information.

A Simple Example:

If we were going to buy a pizza and we were standing right in front of two identical pizzerias, side by side, and one of them had a big sign in the window that read: "FREE Pizza Recipe Book," which one we would walk into first? We would probably all be interested in what ingredients are in the pizza and how the pizza is made.

What comes into play here? First of all we probably would never see two pizzerias side by side and we will more than likely NEVER see a pizzeria owner "divulge any secrets." The fact is, not very many people are going to ever try and make a pizza at home and it will certainly never taste the same as it does when you buy if from your favorite pizza vendor. The pizza vendor could have a business card with his web site address taped to the box with instructions on how to claim your free "Pizza Recipe Ebook." Of course there are "More Coupons" inside the ebook.

Many restaurant owners do not have much time to spend online. If the owner just had a printed recipe every week, (with his next week's coupon on the other side) he would create a customer loyalty and a following. All of his customers would look forward to the next recipe and would have to come into the restaurant to get it.

Most of us that have an e-mail address have bought something online or subscribed to an e-mail invitation for "specials" that the vendor offers. When we get their e-mail, all it includes is the items that they are selling and often times it is quickly deleted. If we were to buy something from the local craft store and they asked for our e-mail address and said: "We will be happy to send you the free" how to project of the month, "along with some coupons. up? Most likely we would if we had an interest in crafts. Of course that e-mail is going to include the "Special of the Month!" We might just head right back to the craft store to grab the new set of paint brushes that are on sale.

Yes, we are playing in the digital age. That brings up the power of educational ebook marketing. Ebooks are being made all the time and distributed freely all over the Internet. Along with the free information is an opportunity to purchase the vendor's products or services. Ebooks are easy to make or easy to have made for you. A simple example of ebook marketing is seen at: http://www.investigate.net The vendor gives away a free ebook that is useful for locating unclaimed funds held by the states. In it, there is an opportunity to buy unlimited access to public databases. Someone who uses the ebook can access it over and over without ever buying a thing. However, if that customer ever needs to find someone or find some secret public record, where are they going to go?

The salesman or woman who sells to business owners can be a welcome sight if he or she always shows up armed with some written information or "little known secret" about that particular owner's business or industry. That information is always given freely without any expectation of a sale resulting from it. In addition, if the salesman or woman took the time to send a one page piece of mail to all of his customers every month with the "Idea of ​​the Month" on how to increase sales, (along with a business card) who do you think the business owner would want to buy from?

The mission is simple. Educate your customer every chance you get. Provide the most valuable information you can to your customers. Continue to educate your customer the best way you know how and you will develop a customer loyalty that is worth its weight in gold.

The Basics Of Stock Market Investing

Investing money on businesses and other fields that will allow you to gain good amounts of profit is a really good idea if you want to become financially stable and independent in the near future. Aside from building your own business, you can also give investing on stocks a shot. Now, this may sound scary at first glance but once you get the rewards of your efforts, you will certainly be drawn in. If you are an absolute newbie in this field, you can try to have a look at different sites on the web such as Stock Market Investing Today that will teach you the basics. To give you a good jumpstart, I will be discussing some of the most important basics of investing in stocks in this article.

Stock market investing involves the concept of share or stock. When you purchase stocks, you will be getting a share or quantum of ownership in a company. This is the most basic idea. To be able to raise a capital, a company needs to have itself listed in the stock market after it gets to sell ownership in the form of different small shares that amount to millions. When you purchase a stock, you immediately become a share holder of the company, who in turn owns a share in that company. Shares of a company are sold in the primary market in the form of IPO or Initial Public Offering. Once these shares are bought, they can be sold in the secondary market, which is referred to as the stock exchange, later on.

Now, the big question is "How do you make money from investing on stocks?" You earn from this endeavor by purchasing a share at a low price and keeping it under your wing until its value increases in the secondary market. When this happens, you can then sell it base on its current value. In other words, you need to buy something cheap and sell it as high of a price as possible. The next thing you need to know about is choosing the right stocks to purchase. When you take a look at the different stocks available in the market, you need to choose ones that have a huge potential to grow in terms of value later on. Choosing the right stocks is the most important factor that will help you with investing. That's all there is to it.

Ways for University Students to Make Extra Money Online!

Today, college or university students have more opportunities to make money for themselves compared to their parents' generation. I know that some of these students even make so much money that they do not need to complete their studies!

Although students are bogged down with their studies in colleges or universities, they still have more time and energy comparable to working adults.

So instead of partying and wasting money, why not take the opportunity to make some money in your spare time? Sure you can take some part time jobs such as working in fast food restaurant, laundry services, petrol stations, and so on.

But These jobs does not pay you much income and you definitely can not choose your collections or your boss! Imagine working with unreasonable and super demanding boss. Frightening right?

So I suggest that you immediately go to the Internet to make some cash! There are numerous ways for students like you to make money. This is especially if you are young, energetic and full with ideas and creativity!

1. Writing Articles

Do not be surprised by the fact that many of the web owners actually do not write their own content for their sites. They mainly outsourced students to write for them. As young adults today, you have the capability of writing good articles due to your studies in colleges and universities.

Articles do not need to have 100% perfect grammar or with bombastic words and sentences. In fact, the more simple your articles, the better it is! The main thing is for readers to be able to read with ease. But do take note that your sentences do have to make sense and that there are no spelling errors!

If you can not create an article from scratch, you can offer to rewrite articles. They are also many request for this service. Be sure not to just copy and paste from others! (such as when you are submitting your assignments!)

Do explore and research on more content writing. A typical request will require you to write at least 10 different articles on the same subject matter.

In the beginning, you got to offer to write them at a lower price per article. This way, you might have the opportunity to work with them fulltime in the future! (Yes, without even seeing their faces!)

2. Website Design and Creation

If you are interested in computing and graphics designing, you are in luck. There are actually thousands of requests for this service each day. So if you possess some HTML skills, then you are indeed a hot commodity!

Just go to websites such as elance.com or scriptlance.com to register for an account and look for the many jobs posted. I am pretty sure you can find a few that suits you!

Simple websites creation and templates can bring you good money! Be professional in completing your tasks. Do not just submit the same kind of site theme over and over again. Your clients will definitely know to differentiate between a fantastic job and a poor, 'last minute' kind of work!

When you are just starting out, offer to do them at a lower price. After that you can request them to introduce some clients to you. By doing this, when you have graduated, you will have a stable income from your so call 'part time job'

3. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing refers to the act of making a slice of a profit from referring people to buy from merchants. Basically you will get paid per referral or per sales.

If you refer information products or downloadable stuff such as ebooks, ecourses and audios, you can get up to 75% of the sale price. Just imagine if the product is USD97 and you get one sale per day. You will actually get more than USD2000! Pretty good income for a student!

You do not even need to have a website, product and do not have to worry about shipping and handling. All these are completed by the merchant. In affiliate marketing, you only put your energy into a single task. That is to be a middleman.

Just focus of referring the right person to the right seller and you will make money!

Apart from 3 ways above, there are numerous money making ideas online. Others include selling on eBay, advertising in your websites, creating softwares, completing paid surveys, selling domain names, flipping your websites, and others.

The point is that you have so much opportunity to make money online! Just select one idea and focus on it! Once you are good at it, then jumped to the next one!

The good news is that all the above ways have minimal risk. If you really can not do the above, you got nothing much to lose. However, if you really made it, you will definitely believe that making money from the Internet is the way to go!