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Monday, January 19, 2015

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Top 12 Business Myths

Dec. 2, 2014, by CathyHarrisSpeaks.com

1. You can’t start a business without a lot of money: Most businesses are started with private sources such as divorce settlements, child support payments, unemployment insurance, income taxes, 401K’s, etc. While the amount of money varies depending on the type of business (part-time, seasonal, moonlighting, etc.) you are trying to start, the average entrepreneur starting a one-person business can easily get underway on a shoe string budget of $100.

2. There is grant money out there to start or expand a business: We've all seen the headlines: “Millions in free government money for your business.” Late-night infomercials, reference guides and websites promote the availability of grant money to entrepreneurs for starting and expanding businesses. Does it sound too good to be true? Well, it is! Generally, cities, counties, school systems, and other non-profit entities are the groups who receive grants.

3. You can get grant money to start a non-profit corporation: There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to non-profits and grant money. If you decide to move forward with this venture go in with both eyes opened. Only certain groups are getting this grant money.

4. There is grant money for women who want to open up businesses: If you seriously think someone is going to give you money because of your “gender” then you are sadly mistaken. The Small Business Administration or banks will not give money to women or men unless they meet a certain criteria.

5. Business plans cost a lot of money: Actually you can write a business plan for free by using the Internet; reading books; and attending low-cost seminars and workshops for $40 to $60 through the SBA.govorSCORE.org.

6. You have to have a college degree to open up a business: Many people think people with college degrees are the only ones that can start businesses. If they had conducted their research, they would have known that even young people -- as young as 5 years old can become a business owner.

7. You have to clean up your credit before you open a business: It takes one year or longer to clean up your credit. For many it’s much longer than that. So you definitely do not want to wait that long to start a business.

8. If you build it they will come: The movie “Field of Dreams,” starring Kevin Costner, illustrates one of the biggest “business killing myths.” Many business owners believe that once they open the doors to their business, then customers will simply pour in. This typically doesn’t happen. If you do not market and sell your services or products, not only will they not come, but they won’t even notice.

9. Do what you love and the money will follow: I don’t care how passionate you are about a particular business, unless somebody’s going to want to buy what you’re selling, there’s no point in doing it.

10. You’ll miss the security of a job: Is owning your own business less secure than working for somebody else? Jobs don’t necessarily provide more security especially in these days and time and this weakened economy.

11. If it’s such a good idea, somebody would have thought of it already: Uncertainty is a big part of starting a business. Closely related misconceptions include the one that says you must keep your business idea secret for fear of “copycats.” That leads new entrepreneurs to be overly protective and cause them to miss opportunities.

12. Now that I have my own business, I won't have a boss: When you open a business your customers will become your boss. There will be deadlines you need to keep and meetings and conferences you will need to attend.

Cathy Harris is known as The Empowerment Guru and is the author of 21 non-fiction books which covers topics on family and community empowerment, health, youth and adult entrepreneurship, writing/publishing, workplace discrimination (sexism, sexual harassment, sex and race discrimination), whistleblowing, law enforcement, government, domestic and international traveling, politics, media, beauty/self-esteem, car buying and selling for women, aging/retirement - just to name a few. Her books and articles are full of content-rich material to help anyone get back into the driver's seat and are available at http://www.AngelsPress.com.

Cathy Harris, Speaker, Author, Trainer
Angels Press, CEO, President, Publisher
National Non-GMO Health Movement
P.O. Box 19282
Austin, TX 78760
(770) 873-2072
www.CathyHarrisSpeaks.com (Lectures, Seminars, Workshops)
www.AngelsPress.com (Empowerment and Publishing Company)
www.TheCathyHarrisStory.com (The Cathy Harris Story)

Top 12 Habits That Will Keep You From Successful Business Ownership

Dec. 2, 2014 by CathyHarrisSpeaks.com

1. Refusing to Conduct Research: Lack of research is the number one reason for business failure. Most businesses go out of business within 2 to 5 years. If you are not conducting research by going to the library every week, visiting book stores reading books and business magazines, using internet websites such as www.google.com or www.yahoo.com, then chances are you will never be in a position to become a successful business owner.

2. Refusing to Keep Your Books: Every business has a creative side, marketing side and business side of running a business. Poor management ranks in the top three reasons why businesses go out of business. If you can’t sit down every 30 days to see what’s coming in and out of your business, then you need to hire a bookkeeper or a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). You can learn how to do the books yourself by buying the quicken.com computer program and taking an accounting class.

3. Refusing to Read Non-Fiction Books: If you are not reading non-fiction books for at least 30 minutes to an hour everyday, then you will never have the knowledge you need to become a successful business owner. Some of the books recommended: “The New CEO: 185 Easy-To-Set Up Businesses for Youth and Adult Entrepreneurs" and "How To Take Control of Your Own Life: A Self-Help Guide to Starting Your Own Business" by Cathy Harris; Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice by Dennis Kimbro; Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill, Powernomics by Dr. Claude Anderson, etc.

4. Refusing to Support Young Entrepreneurs: Most young people are not like adults because they don’t put self-imposed limitations on themselves and can easily open a business within 30 days and start making money. Since 1 out of every 2 marriages ends because of finances, someone in your household (you, your spouse or your youth) need to open a business.

5. Refusing to Surround Yourself with Good People: You should surround yourself with: 1) people who have integrity, 2) people who are humble (teachable), and 3) people who are respectful. Stay away from people who are toxic, destructive or negative.

6. Refusing to Brainstorm: If you are not brainstorming with legal, marketing, and financial advisors, mentors, consultants, and coaches, you will have a hard time moving your business to the next level. Remember you don’t have to do everything yourself. If you are the smartest person in your group, you need to get another group. Asking for help doesn’t mean you are weak, it simply means you want to remain strong -- so ask others for help in your business.

7. Refusing to Create a Lifestyle Change: You need to understand that becoming a business owner is a complete new lifestyle change. Therefore, you need to incorporate being a business owner while paying close attention to your health and finances. As part of your new lifestyle change, you need to make short and long range goals and read books and magazines on health and financial education, and watch health and financial networks instead of unproductive television shows. If you are watching television for hours everyday then forget about becoming a business owner.

8. Refusing to Raise Your Credit Score: Only you can clean up your credit so as you build and grow your business, you do need to order your credit reports yearly from the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) at www.annualcreditreport.com This means you are going to have 3 different credit scores. If your credit scores are between 300 – 500, then you are in bad financial shape. Your goal is to raise your credit score to over 760 or higher. It’s estimated that 79% of all credit reports have some type of errors, over 25% have major errors and over 30% have accounts opened that should have been closed.

9. Getting Involved in Multi-Level Marketing: If you still believe that Multi-Level Marketing, also called Network Marketing and Pyramid Schemes, will make you a successful business owner, then you are sadly mistaken. Remember if you are involved in Multi-Level Marketing (noni-juice, melaleuca, pre-paid legal, primerica, YTB travel, Quixstar, ACN, etc.) -- you DO NOT have your own business. You are working for that person at the top of the pyramid. Never get involved in a business simply because others are doing it. If it’s not your passion, then chances are you will not be happy.

10. Waiting on Grant Money: If you still believe you can get grant money to start or expand a business or non-profit organization simply because it is advertised on radio shows and websites, you will be waiting a long, long time. If you had conducted research, you would have found out the truth about grant money. There is NO GRANT MONEY to start or expand a business and it’s extremely hard to get grant money for a non-profit organization, especially if you are an African American. So we need to stop repeating this misinformation.

11. Refusing to Write a Business Plan: If you chose not to write a business plan, it’s a red flag that you are not serious about your business. A business plan is a road map and without it you will get lost in your business and go out of business. The key to working with investors is to present a good business plan. Unless you have a good “Executive Summary,” -- most investors, bankers, and financiers will not read the entire business plan.

12. Refusing to Put Up a Website: If you do not choose to put up a professional website, it will eat away at your creditability. Remember creating a blog, facebook, twitter or linkedin account does not take the place of a professional website with a domain name. If you have a professional website, then you will look more attractive to investors simply because you chose to take your business online.

This document is copyrighted and was written by Cathy Harris. Cathy Harris is an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker and is known as “The Ethical Black Business Coach” (http://theethicalblackbusinesscoach.blogspot.com). She is also the author of over 20 non-fiction books including the 3-part book series book "How To Take Control of Your Own Life” and can be reached through her company at Angels Press, P.O. Box 19282, Austin, TX, 78760, Phone: (770) 873-2072, Website: http://www.angelspress.com and Email: info@angelspress.com. She is available for business seminars and workshops at www.CathyHarrisSpeaks.com.

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Austin, Texas, United States
Speaker, Author, Trainer