Business Scheduling: Leveraging Your Work Life

Business Scheduling - Leveraging Your Work LifeThere’s a saying in the business world, and it’s “Keep a Schedule; don’t let the schedule keep you.” So in all respects, our business scheduling as a business owner is what will keep us operating without pulling our hair out, or what forces us to throw in the towel. Now granted some of us are gifted with photographic memories, and can circle dates on their calendar and see them in their head, and just magically remember that they have meetings at certain times during the week. In the real world though, most of us have to write the majority of things down in order for us to remember them. If we don’t right down every detail of our busy day, chances are something is going to fall to the wayside. Then we will lose customers, lose money, and ultimately lose our cool for blowing important meetings.

Electronic Schedules are Awesome

I know you guys have seen those big desk calendars that was necessary when electronics included a flip phone, a pager, and a 20 pound laptop. Well really they are un-necessary now, unless you use it to doodle on, when your placing important phone calls to your favorite Chinese food restaurant. Just kidding, though they might still have some use, we walk out the door with our schedule in hand. Thanks to companies like google, who have captured the market for every digital avenue that exist or has ever been thought of. They own the android operating system, so when you get your new cell phone that is android operated, it forces you to sign up for a google account if you don’t already have one. (What an awesome marketing tool.) Anyways, once you’re logged in to your new google account, you now have access to google calendars, to where you can set up dates, reminders, multiple daily meetings, and share these same things with the people that this meeting involves, even if they don’t have google, which most likely they do. So your google calendar will help you keep track of all your daily, weekly and monthly activities, if you set your reminders up correctly.

Daily Operation Checklist

Secondly, though you have already scheduled everything in your google calendar on your phone, the next best thing to do, is to create a daily operation checklist. This checklist is a simple list created in word with your logo on it, with “DAILY OPERATION CHECKLIST” written in big bold letters up top, and about 15 lines with check boxes besides them, and a place for the date at the end of each line. Each day will vary, so if you only have 3 things to do that day, date them for that day, and then save this sheet for the next couple of days until it’s filled up. This is why the date is necessary. Sometimes you might have 15 things to get done, and you would love to get them done all in one day, but realistically, it probably will take 3 to 4 days to get these things done. So the best thing to do is to make sure you start with a fresh daily checklist, and then prioritize each item by the date that you would like to finish it by. This will give you a great start in controlling the things that you need to get done. Also, say that a customer calls you, and you need to add something to the list that has to get done for the day, now you can add it on the list, but you can still prioritize it by date. This makes life a whole lot easier when you know what needs to be done, and when it needs to be done by.

Controlling Your Business Scheduling

One of the great practices that I learned is to always control your schedule, and always try to plan a week or two ahead. This will allow you to book customers on your time, rather than on their time. Most likely if they called you, then they need you, and if you make it seem that you’re desperate for their call, then they might take advantage of you. Let the customer know that you can meet with them or start their project as soon as possible, even if that means a week from now. Try not to make it seem that you are too busy to do the work, but help the customer realize that you are a valuable piece to their overall success, and they will greatly appreciate you getting to them as soon as humanly possible. Granted if you are a one person show, this helps a lot, but if you are operating with multiple helpers, and you can respond to the project within 24 hours do so. Honestly, I tend to respond rather quickly because I know my capacity, what I can handle and what I can’t. The biggest thing is, don’t let the customer control you, if they call you, and tell you that they need something by tomorrow, don’t forget to charge a rush charge, this is important. If you have to stop what you’re doing to take care of something immediately, then you have pushed someone else’s project off to attend to theirs, so let them know that this will cost them. If a customer calls you on Friday, and wants something by Sunday, but you don’t work on weekends, let them know, that you can have it by Monday afternoon, or early Tuesday. You don’t have to kill yourself to make the customer happy, you just have to respond to them in a timely manner, and then let them know your expectations and requirements for finishing their project.


Ultimately, our time is valuable. A good friend once told me, “If it takes away from your family, then you better charge them.” I have lived by this comment for the last 4 years, and it has made a great difference in my overall scheduling and my overall success. Our lives shouldn’t just consist of scheduling our work, schedule your lunch breaks, keep your scheduled time off to spend with your family, and schedule in your fun time. All of these things are important to having a balanced life as a business owner and entrepreneur. Don’t forget that if you fail to use your schedule, then you are creating an orderless-life, an most likely creating chaos and headaches around you. I hope these things help you in your overall work process, and remember if you have any questions, let’s discuss it.

Thank you and God Bless!

What Does Your Contract Protection Look Like?

What Does Your Contract Protection Look Like?When I first went into business for myself, I was a year into my Associate’s degree, and we began to talk about contract protection in my project management class. We were given a stack of contracts, and were told to create a contract using these as a template. My final contract was about half a page long. I thought this contract was the best contract in the world, and I was now protected from all the unnecessary evils of the business world. Boy was I wrong. I had a lawyer read over it for me. Now granted he wasn’t a contract lawyer, he was an immigration lawyer, but even he said, “You might want to beef it up.” Throughout the years, I have beefed up that contract, but only because I’ve had bad experiences. If it wasn’t for those bad experiences, I would have never knew that there were cracks in my armor.

Your Contract Protection is like a Knight’s Armor

Imagine a knight riding into battle without his armor, if you see this, your first thought is probably, “This guy is toast.” A business without the proper contract protection will lose more than money. All contracts have specific attributes. Each attribute in a contract has certain protections. For example, your terms and conditions section is designed to develop a basis or standard between you and the client, so that nobody is left in the dark about what is happening in the life of the project that you are working on. Maybe if you’re like me, you’ll make it a point to have a services and prices section in your contract, so there is no confusion about these things, when you send your customer your invoice. Whatever the terminology you use to bring attention to a certain aspect of the operation of your business, it all serves its purpose.

Building Contract Protection Through Experience

Like I said before, if it weren’t for some of the bad experiences I had while running my business, I would never knew to protect for these problems. It is a hard pill to swallow, but most us have to learn the hard lessons, by actually going through them. I don’t welcome them, but I’m thankful for them. If nothing in the life of your business ever went wrong, there would never be a need to re-evaluate so you can do things better. Adversity in life causes us to grow. Same thing in business and the good thing in business is that if you grow mentally, then your pockets are likely to grow as well. This is a great benefit of choosing to not be defeated. You will take your lumps and bruises in business, but those lumps and bruises will cause you to guard yourself in the future.

Without Proper Contract Protection Businesses Fail

Businesses have been around for thousands of years. Even when written contracts weren’t always the standard practice, oral agreements were made. One day though, someone got smart and decided to write the agreement down, and have both parties sign it. This signing is a declaration of proper work values and expectations between the contractor and the person receiving the services. This contract also keeps both parties honest without tipping the scale. Granted there are some contracts made to manipulate or exploit the ignorance of the buyer, but most contracts are made to keep both parties protected. Good contract protection will not allow the contractor to jerk the customer, and will not allow the customer to jerk the contractor.


Without proper Contract Protection most businesses will fail. Unfortunately, it usually takes a business to hit a couple of rough experiences to learn how to protect themselves. Fortunately though with the proper contract protection, most businesses will be covered under many circumstances, and will proceed to see ongoing success. Proper Contract Protection is a small part of the big picture, but it is a necessary tool for the progression of your business. Along with submission of your contract, we must follow up with customers about our expectations, and have good business practices, so that we give no opportunity for anybody to try and come against our businesses.

Feel free to discuss, and as always God Bless!

5 Things McDonald’s Taught Me About Leadership

5 Things McDonald's Taught Me About LeadershipMy first job ever was McDonalds, just like probably 65 percent of the human population. The day I turned 15 years old, I had my work permit in hand, and I was hired on the spot at my local McDonald’s, I was absolutely ecstatic. Well, over the next year, I learned so much, that the store manager decided to make me a manager the day I turned 16 years old. What a great idea. This decision dictated my life for the next 13 years. McDonald’s is not a bad job, because you learn alot of life making decisions at McDonald’s, just the money isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Overall, I learned 5 Valuable Things about Leadership, maybe more, but I’ll give you the top 5.

#1: Value Your People
People are precious, especially hard working people that are money motivated, and willing to give you thier all for the next 8 hours of thier shift. Really, there is nothing better than people that are all in for your business. Your bottom line is thier bottom line, so the bottom line, is take care of them. Give them the hours they want and need. Give them the grace they need, but most importantly, give them the praise they deserve. Employees come and go, but dedicated employees are hard to come by. When you value your people, you play them to thier strengths, you know thier strengths, and you know thier weaknesses. On busy days, let them shine, by placing them where they are strong at. On slow days, help them improve and motivate them to get better at the things that they are not so good at. The whole purpose of training your people, is to raise up the next tier of leaders. When you value your people, you give them confidence and prove to them that they are indeed valuable.

#2: A Good Leader Gets Thier Knees Dirty
When you are a good leader, you don’t mind showing your employees that you are willing to do the work it takes to help get the job done. It all falls back on how much you value your people, that you are not a slave driver, but a caring employer that is dedicated in meeting the bottom line, and that’s sales. Slave drivers sit back and crack whips while thier slaves make them money, but a good business leader will motivate his people through his dedication, his actions, and his sacrafice, by stepping in and leading by example. A leader that leads by example will have a great following, and with a great following comes great success. Success starts with a great vision, but it ends with the people that you utilize as a business owner to help accomplish the task at hand to reach the overall goal.

#3: Don’t Abuse Your Authority
Employees do not repsond to abusive leadership. I’m not sure if we understand communism, or have taken notes from Fidel Castro, but dictatorships just don’t provide great results. With that said, people don’t want to be forced into hard labor. People don’t want to feel like the Israelites in Egypt, people want to be lead. People want to see that there is hope at the end of the tunnel. Most employees will not follow an employer that tries to lead by force. People are not obligated to work for you, and when the opportunity arises for them to quit, they will. Think about it this way, like a quarterback that has lost his football team, the offensive line will not block for you, the running backs will not run for you, and the receivers will not catch for you. If you lose your team as a business owner, the chance at success is next to nil, and your career as a business owner, is likely over. *WARNING* If this is you, it is not to late to make it right, sincerely apologize to your crew, and show them that you are dedicated to working with them, rather than them working for you.

#4: Make Hard Decisions Under Pressure
A good leader can make decisions on the fly, but a great leader can make tough decisions on a fly. Imagine being short handed in a store that requires 4-5 people to operate, and you only have 2 or 3, what do you do? As a great leader, you will play your people at their strengths, and make decisions to operate the business successfully. These decisions might not be orthodox, but they may be effective. The best way to learn how to make these decisions is to practice them, and to have a plan in place on how to react when situations arise. No day will be perfect, and you will experience short comings in your daily operations, but if you have a team that respects you, they will work for you. If your willing to lead by example, your team will follow you. If you value your people, then the transition in tough days will be that much easier because they will be willing to compensate for you.

#5: Know Your Numbers
Any person that has worked at McDonald’s in a leadership role, knows that McDonald’s is more about numbers than food. It’s about seconds, how fast can we make the food when it comes in? How fast can we get the customer in and out? How fast do we respond to a dilemma? How long is this food good for? Without these questions, we could not develop a criteria to rate the customer’s experience. Remember customer’s come once, but clientele come back over and over again, and invest in your business. It is our duty to maximize our services every time we approach a job. It is our duty to give our client our very best work. It is our duty to evaluate our service, so that we can make it better every single time.

Overall, I recommend that every young person start at McDonald’s, even as an employee, you learn great valuable tools that not only can you use in business, but in every day life. Valuable lessons are hard to come by, but when you learn them, you don’t forget them. These are just a few things that I learned in leadership in McDonald’s, and they’ve prepared me to run my own business. I pray they are helpful to you as a business owner. If there is any questions, please feel free to contact me.

10 Things To Do When Business Is Slow

10 Things To Do When Business Is SlowWhen business is slow, we have the tendency to panic and want to retreat, but the truth is this is where we need to strive more. It’s time to press in and stay consistent with the business practices that you developed when you first started your business. When business is slow, this is the time to make yourself busy, by reevaluating your prices, your policies, your website, and current advertisement. Let me give you the best possible solutions when business is slow.

1. Pray for God to Increase Revenue and Clientele

As a Christian, and lover of the One and True God, my first reaction to slow business weeks is to seek the Father in prayer and fasting. These 2 principles are the best practices alone that will bring increase in your business, and comfort and steadiness in an unsteady time. God rewards those who seek Him diligently. Absent of prayer and fasting in Communion with God through His son Jesus Christ, you have nothing, and will be able to accomplish nothing. With God for us, there is nothing and no one that can stand against us.

2. Follow up With Potential Customers

There may have been some customers that you have had connected with in the past couple of weeks, maybe through referral, or some other source. You may have had a simple conversation with them about business, or even issued an estimate proposal to them. When you follow up with them, be concerned that you haven’t heard from them, and sincerely care about their well being. Do not seem anxious or desperate, just simply do a follow up, but even with the slow times, do not compromise your business or your prices just for the sake of a customer. Operate with integrity and uprightness, and the business will continue to increase.

3. Saturate All Free Media Outlets

I know we all love our Social Media, and this is the time that we can truly engage with potential clients or fellow business owners to create a buzz for the business again. Make your time purposeful, your time is valuable, so don’t get caught up doing random meaningless things on social media. Be focused on the task at hand, and this is to get people thinking about your services.

4. Analyze Your Paid Advertisement

You might have some paid advertisement, such as a website, business cards, flyers, posters or whatever. If business is slow, even in hard times, it means that your advertisement is not really working like it’s supposed to. Think about certain things like QR codes that would start to bring traffic to your website again. If you think a certain advertisement is not working, scrap the whole plan, and start from scratch. The good thing about most advertisement, is that it’s fairly inexpensive, so be willing to analyze your paid advertisement, and shift some things around to get some recognition again.

5. Start Blogging or Continue Your Blogging

To be a faithful blogger, it takes commitment and dedication. When times get tough, one of the first things we tend to do is abandon our disciplines. If you are blogging when it’s busy, continue to blog when business is slow. This will help keep your mind fresh, and it may help redirect some thought processes, that will bring clarity in some future operations.

6. Post Your Services on Craigslist

Craigslist is a great resource. Many people are using Craigslist for many things, and you’ll be surprised how many job opportunities are on Craigslist. Utilizing this free service can put your services in front of hundreds and even thousands of potential customers.

7. Re-Evaluate Your Prices

Every week you should have a performance evaluation plan for your business, comparing the good against the bad. Think about your prices, if business is slow, and when business is slow, you have to worry about cash flow. If your cash flow is so depleted because of slow business, that means that you under analyzed your overhead, and that you didn’t plan for a rainy day through your pricing. Your prices should not only reflect your quality, but they should reflect your overall net worth. So if in lean times you are struggling to pay your bills, then reevaluating your prices is a good idea.

8. Connect With Your Networking Partners

Hopefully you read one of my most recent blogs, “Business Without Networking is Dead”. Well this is the truth, if you are in business for yourself, and you don’t have any networking partners, then you are doing yourself a disservice. Networking not only increases your indirect partners, but it also can have unlimited possibilities when it comes to referrals. *Reminder* If you are in a networking partnership with someone, be willing to return the favor, by sending referrals there way as well. This is the whole point of networking.

9. Think About Your Policies and Contracts

Prayerfully, you have some sturdy policies in place for your business. There’s never a wrong time to read over your policies and contracts, and look for loopholes, or wording that might not cover your basis in the future. When business is slow, this is the best time to reflect on the last couple business transactions, and think about how they could have been better, and document it in contract form.

10. Take A Day Off

This may sound counter-productive, but the truth is, if you have done all these things, then it’s just a matter of time before things pick up again. After you have accomplished all these task, choose a day, maybe a Friday, and just shut down shop. This will give you some well needed rest, and trust me, when Monday comes back around after a nice 3 day weekend, you will be ready to grind again.


There’s many things that you can do to help the business when business is slow, these are just a couple of things. These are some of the things that I do, when business is slow for me. I hope some of these things help you, and if you have some helpful suggestions as well, please leave them in the comment section.


Faithful & Consistent Business Owners

Faithful & Consistent Business OwnersCustomers want to know that they are dealing with faithful & consistent business owners. After all, you prided yourself on being the upright business owner because of the bad relations you had in previous business experiences, Correct? Customers want to see that you are faithful to them, by always being ready and able to handle their questions. Customers want to see consistency on how you handle their problems as well. Without being faithful and consistent with your customers you will leave a bad taste in your customers mouth, and leave them wanting to look elsewhere to get their needs met.

Monogamous Business Relationships

When dealing with a customer, your whole goal is to provide them with exactly with what they need. In order to keep them happy, you need to provide the least amount of hiccups as possible. If a customer is not happy, they will begin to search for someone else with your skill set to do things that you promised that you could do for them. No business owner wants their customer to seek the hand of someone else, especially when you can do the job, but you dropped the ball, and that’s what created this dilemma. The best option to fix a broken relationship, is to offer a free service to mend the relationship, so that you can get back to normalcy with the customer. Most of the time you can simply fix a relationship by meeting with the customer face to face. It’s sad to say, but we live in a present age where most business is done remotely. This is not a bad thing, because it increases the amount of business that can get done, but most of the time there’s not a face to face connection. Having a clientele is a marriage type relationship, you need to be willing to drop what you’re doing to be able to assist this client with their needs, or at least make them feel important enough that their needs are valued, and you will get to them within the next 24 hours.

How To Be A Faithful & Consistent Business Owner

How do you stay faithful and consistent with your customers, especially when your workload has increased? Well if you have more customers than you can physically handle on your own, then you need to hire somebody of your like qualities. Once you hire somebody, then you need to have some extended training to make sure that this person is on the same page skill wise as you, has the same problem-solving qualities, has the same passion and attitude about your work as you do. This will solve a lot of your problems, by making your workload lighter. *Side Note* You don’t have to hire an employee, it’s probably better to contract work out so that you don’t have to worry about paying a salary.* Bottom line is you need to evaluate your business regularly to know if you have more work than you can handle or not. Make adjustments to fix the problems that you can fix on your own, and bring in a specialist to handle the things that you can contract out. It doesn’t matter how the work gets done, as long as it gets done. To the customer you are a business, and in their mind you already have a team of individuals working on their project, so it wouldn’t be anything different to bring in somebody to work on their project. One thing that you do want to weigh out is pricing, if you are bringing in contractors to work on projects, than chances are your prices are going to change, because your overhead has changed. Don’t do this abruptly, but gradually, wait for the beginning of a new quarter, and send out a newsletter announcing that your prices will change in the next 30 days so that it won’t be a surprise to the customer.


Customers want to know that they are being treated fairly, with dignity, integrity, and that they are not being taken advantage of. The best way to show a customer that you are faithful and consistent is by being readily available when their call comes in. If you are not immediately available, at least get in touch with them that same day or within 24 hours, this will make them feel like you value their business. Be a faithful and consistent business owner and watch how it changes the face of your business. Customers will advocate for you, and bring business your way because of how you care for them.

God Bless!

Business Without Networking is Dead

Business Without Networking is DeadI’m sure you guys have heard that faith without works is dead, well business without networking is dead. This saying is true. Yes, it probably took faith for you to step out and start running your own business, Leaving the comfort of knowing that there’s always a paycheck coming when working a steady 9 to 5 job. You are now your own boss, you are responsible for paying your own salary. You no longer have benefits so you have to provide your own. What a headache! In order to do this, you have to have a strong client base and a steady income. Steady incomes don’t come on their own; you will spend the bulk of your time networking with like minded businesses, so that you can share resources, and also build with them to catch their overflow, this is called contracting.

What Makes Contracting So Important?

Contracting is important because it helps you as business owners supplement the income that you are not making on your own. Networking will not happen if you hesitate; it takes time to build a steady client base. This is why networking is necessary, because there are businesses that have been doing this longer than you have and they have a steady clientele, but fortunately for you need to contract out the work because their workload is too heavy. Great! So how do you get involved with a company so they can know that you are who you say you are. Well the first thing is it starts with relationships. Contact others that are doing what you are doing, and simply ask them if they need help, they can give you one of two answers, no, not at the present moment, or absolutely we do need help. You’ll be surprised at what responses you will get. Once you accept a contracting job, don’t short change yourself. It would be smart to have some verbal agreement or written contract in place. Let me remind you, you are not going to make the type of money you would if you were doing the job on your own, so have in mind how much money that you would like to make per job, and I’m sure you and the company you’re doing work for will come to an agreement. Contracting is a different kind of income, because you are not necessarily employed by the company, but you are not exactly working for yourself either. So understand that there is a fine line between the work that you do for them and the work that you do for yourself. Any work that you do for a company automatically becomes their property, so when you get paid for a job, it’s most likely going to be a 40-60 split, if you have a good relationship with the company, then they might do 50-50, but don’t sell yourself short. Know what the company is making per job, so that you will be compensated fairly.

Another networking tool is social media, follow the businesses that do the same things you do on facebook, twitter, Linked In, and any other avenue you can think of. After you follow them, engage with them on a regular basis, and control the relationship. Think of this relationship as a water faucet, if you turn it on slightly it’s going to take a long time to fill your cup, and if you put the faucet on full-blast then the cup is going to overflow, you don’t want to be so overwhelmed that you can’t produce what you promised you could do. Turn the faucet on medium strength so that you build a steady relationship, and a steady relationship with a steady business will produce steady work and a steady income. If it sounds simple, it is! Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet, you will reap what you sow, if you sow into relationships with others, you will reap the reward of them wanting to make money with you, rather than through you.

Also, it would be a good decision to get involved with small business groups. There are groups like the Chamber of Commerce and BNI, which require that some dues are paid, but these are not the only ones. There are plenty of people that form small business groups that meet once a week or once a month, just to learn from each other. Most of them will have an agenda, like a theme for the meeting, or maybe going through some business strategy book as a group and discussing the benefits of it, but overall, you are making yourself available to others who can help bring in referrals for you, because you have now expanded your resources by putting more people in your corner, and it costs you nothing but invested time.


Ultimately, this is not going to happen overnight, in order to make friends you have to make yourself friendly. I would not contract work out to someone that I didn’t feel was trustworthy, and I wouldn’t accept a contracted job if I didn’t feel the company that I was working with was not trustworthy. Allow grace sometimes when you’re working with people you trust, sometimes money is tight, and if it gets to the point where there having a hard time paying you, then use your better judgment, and forfeit working on new things until your balance is paid up. Overall, contracting relationships are great networking relationships, and even if the company that you’re contracting with doesn’t have work at the moment, they can lead you to other companies that they are networking with, creating a full networking circle. It’s a beautiful thing when small businesses decide to work together, to grow each other’s income. Keep this in mind when you’re in a position to hire or contract work out. One of the greatest benefits of contracting for companies is that they don’t have to pay a direct salary only share a portion of the income of each job that is being worked on. I pray that this is useful information for you small businesses out there.

God Bless!

Customer Communication: The Key To Success

Customer Communication: The Key To SuccessDid you know that most businesses though they promise, fail to have valid customer communication? I’m pretty sure you’ve experienced this as a buyer. You’ve purchased something from a company only to deal with an automated teller or operator, and find yourself to be frustrated with the experience because you can’t talk to someone that’s human. How many times are you going to go back to this company if you never have any human interaction with them, especially if you have some technical issues with the product or service? It’s absolutely ludicrous to try to run a business with customers not having human interaction with the company.

How Shall We Communicate?

As business owners we should communicate with our general public, they are the ones that pay our bills and paychecks. Customers want to feel like they have a genuine and personal relationship with the company that they are doing business with. Granted, they deserve the right to have a personal relationship with you as a business. Right Relationships are key to developing a successful conversion rate in your business. I’d rather have 10 loyal clients to me, not only because the service is great, but they know they are dealing with an upright gentleman, and they are ecstatic to do business with me. Did you know that if you have a loyal clientele, they will refer you to people that are as like-minded as themselves, then you will build on your loyal customers. Some customers will not refer you though no matter how good you are, simply for the fact that they don’t want to share you with anybody, and that’s quite alright if that’s their stance, you should feel honored. You see making money in the business, though it’s necessary, shouldn’t be the number one goal. Creating a client should be your number one goal, because if you create a client, then you will hit the gold vein which is called, “Residual Income!”

No Customer Communication Creates a Rocky Presence

Let me tell you a little story. I was doing some graphic design work for a customer about 6 months ago, and he wanted to order some 3-layer carbon copy forms. No problem! The only problem was that I’ve never ordered this particular item before, so what I had to do was to find a supplier that would give me commercial rates. So immediately, I went to the ever famous Google, you can find everything on Google, right? Well I did. I found a supplier of the carbon copy forms, the prices were great, and they did exactly what I needed. What made this even better is that I didn’t have to search for them, they were the number one ranked page in Google for NCR Forms, I was ecstatic. So I created an account, placed my order, and paid for it directly. I received an initial email stating what I had paid for. One week goes by – no confirmation email stating the product has been received for printing or that the product has been shipped. By this time my customer is getting extremely antsy, because he needed the product way before he chose to use me to order these forms. So I told him to cover myself that it might be 10 to 14 days to receive the product, so that calmed his anxiety quite a bit, still a little frustrated, just as I was, but I didn’t let him know I was frustrated. Ten days go by, still no confirmation, still no product. I begin calling this company repeatedly, leaving messages, sending emails, and they never responded back. They didn’t even have a customer service line, it just went to voicemail. So finally, I came to the conclusion that this was a fraudulent company, contacted my bank to dispute the transaction, and received my money back. The major problem now was that I had a customer that still needed his NCR Forms like yesterday, and now we still don’t have any order in progress. So what I did is I remembered a company that I did business with before, I contacted them, they had what I needed, but their prices were higher than I had originally told the customer, so I had to contact the customer and explain the situation to him. So he had to pay more money for something that I told him would be half of the price, I couldn’t charge any more for the product, I had to eat the price, and basically did this job for free, and because of this I haven’t heard from the customer again.

The Moral of The Story Is…

The moral of the story is, don’t trust every company with a nice website and great prices. Call this company, and make sure you talk to somebody about your needs, and your concerns, so that you build a business relationship with the company that you want to work with. When you visit a company’s website, make sure you look for tell-tale signs of validity. If a company’s prices are too good to be true, they have misspellings in their content, and you can’t get in contact with them, then I wouldn’t risk doing business with them. I hope that you guys can learn from my bad experience, and this is why I share this with you. Even if you don’t desire to have a relationship with the business, at least contact them to know who you’re dealing with personally. I hope this helps.

God Bless!

Bad Websites Create An Invisible Audience

Bad Websites Create An Invisible AudienceIt’s inevitable to know that bad websites will create an invisible audience. Most people believe that if they can just get a website online, then their business will start to bloom. Well chances are, that if your website is not giving the potential customer a call to action, then you won’t earn customers. If your website is horrendous, it’s going to serve as a direct representative of your actual work. Don’t be a victim of bad websites, you want to have a website that not only looks good, but has a healthy conversion rate. Let me explain.

What’s The Point of Having a Website?

Granted if you’ve paid for something as a business, then you want to see a return. It’s an investment right? Understand what you are getting a website for. What is the actual need? Why is it important? What should my website do for me to create revenue for this business? These are questions that I ask myself every day, and these are questions that you should ask yourself, when you are in the market for a website. Even if you already took the website adventure, and you’re in the market for a redesign, do your homework. Having a website means that you have an online representation. Once you have a website online, you have just given your business an identity, a heartbeat. It’s alive. Be careful though, because as easy as it was to make it alive, it could lose its life without the proper maintenance and continued vision for the website. You have to nurture and care for your website like it’s your baby. Technically it is your baby. It’s your job to make it grow, or work with your web developer so that he can make it grow. Your web developer will serve as your professional gardener. The smart thing to do for your website, after you’ve developed the vision for your website, and have put that vision into code, is to now re-evaluate your website on a regular basis. Capitalize on the good that you see coming from the website, and make changes to tackle your efforts for damage control.

Nobody Hits the Ball Out of the Park the First Time!

By reevaluating your website regularly, you’ll be able to see and to know what has worked and what hasn’t. Do yourself a favor, and scan your competitor’s websites. See how they are advertising. How do they draw attention to their prices? How do they introduce their products or services? If you study the people that have done things before you, then you are most likely not going to make the same mistakes as they have. You want a winning formula, so study those that have a winning formula. Work with other entrepreneurs to see how they manage their business through their website, and take notes. No matter what field it is in, business is business. As your website grows, continually add to it, build it up like it’s a strong tower, because again this is the identity of your business. Before a potential customer calls you, they are most likely going to scout your business through the internet. A bad website is like not having one at all. Matter of fact, it’s probably better not to have a website, then to have a bad website. At least, if you don’t have a website, then you can gain customers through good word of mouth, but bad websites will deter customers from using your services because of the quality. The quality of your website should measure the quality of your actual work.

How Do You Track Your Website Efforts?

There are plenty of tools to track your website efforts. I prefer Google Analytics because with Google Analytics it will show you where your traffic is coming from, what links they clicked on, what operating system their using, what countries their coming from. Google Analytics is the best free tool out there to track your website efforts. It talks about bounce rate? Your bounce rate is how long a visitor stays on your website. It tracks new visitors to returning visitors. How many pages are visited per visit. It tells you how many actual page views you have, and it will break down the actual source links for you so that you can know where your traffic is being driven from. If you don’t have google analytics attached to your website right now, you are missing out on a vital part of your business. In order to evaluate your business, you have to be able to have a measuring point to compare it to. Google Analytics gives you this measuring point so that you can track your success or lack thereof.


Bad websites will murder a company’s internet marketing campaign. Make your website work for you. Partner with your web developer so that they can help you strategize to attack your target market. This is a war, and you are at war against the search engines. In order to win, you have to put in the work to manipulate the search engines to bite on your Search Engine Optimization efforts. If your SEO is in place, it will make your website a lot more successful. Allow your web developer to help you with this, so that you don’t get stuck trying to manage your website, but you become the brains behind the strategy.

God Bless!

Bridging The Gap Between Being a Consumer vs. a Business Owner

Bridging The Gap Between Being a Consumer vs. a Business OwnerHow do you bridge the gap between being a consumer vs. a business owner? Well ask yourself, which one are you? If you are out in public shopping for your household, technically you are a consumer, but no matter where you are, you are still a business owner as well. As a business owner, you can’t write off your household groceries to feed your family, but you do pay your salary. So how do you separate the two? Prayerfully, I can help give you an understanding what the difference looks like being and acting like a consumer and operating as a business owner.

A Consumer State of Mind

When you have a consumer state of mind, you will think like a consumer, measure facts and figures like a consumer, you will buy and purchase as a consumer. As a consumer, all these things work to your benefit, because like most families we all operate on some kind of budget. Budgeting is good, but it’s this same consumer mentality that will cripple you when you are handling your business expenses. Business Owners don’t compare fact and figures like consumers, a smart business owner will go with the service that’s going to benefit the business in the best possible way, regardless of the price. Business owners worry about the overall picture when developing a business, rather than looking at the price tag of a particular item. Now I’m not saying that business owners are so frugal, that they just throw money away. I’m saying that spending money as a business is a concentrated and calculated move, just like playing chess. When militaries go to war, they don’t go to war without counting the cost first. No military will go to war, if they think that they are going to lose. As a smart business person, you should be a smart investor, and don’t jump on every band wagon that moves, but calculate your investment, so that you can pursue increase.

The Small Business Reality

As a small business, the economy is counting on you being successful. Success comes by submitting yourself to God, and trusting that the plan that has been set before you is designed for your benefit. As a small business owner, it is beneficial for you to work with other small businesses to increase your revenue. Big business works with big business to increase their revenue to hi-jack the pockets of the consumer, but small businesses should work with other small businesses to help the consumer balance their budgets. We all are in business for a reason, and that reason is to make money. Business is business. We should be well aware of the companies we partner with, and what they stand for, and what their motives are as businesses. If you have partners that are like minded, then you will build an alliance that can’t and won’t be broken by the economy, or anything else that this world tries to throw at you. Being a small business is one of the scariest liberations that there is. Not only are you in control of what your profit is, but you also are responsible for every aspect of what the IRS considers an entity. This means that you’re business has a physical existence. So you are in charge of a mini-empire. Scary, right? Well it should be encouraging to change the way you think and feel about the way you do business.


The truth is that most small businesses fail in the first 5 years. That is a stereotype. Weak-minded people cannot run businesses. You have to be strong-minded, long-winded, motivated. As a business owner, you are the CEO, the accountant, the marketer, the recruiter, the receptionist, the administrator, and the janitor. One thing you are not is a consumer. You are a Small Business Owner, and you are on a track to success. I want to encourage you to separate yourself from the Consumer State of Mind, and focus on being business minded. I’ve said this before, but study other businesses, pick up on their business model. If it works for them, it can work for you. Big Business has incredible business models that Small Business Owners can adopt into our own work practices, it might just make us successful!


Print Advertisement is Good Advertisement

Print Advertisement is Good AdvertisementPrint Advertisement is Good Advertisement, You know why? It puts something physical into the customers’ hands that tell them about your product or services. I’m sure you know this, but do you know that most of the time your print advertising goes into the trash without being looked at. Matter of fact, to see any results from your printing efforts you want to circulate your printed material 3 times to the same audience. These are things I want to make sure you know as business owners that your money is valuable, and to know that it’s almost valuable enough to spend it, just to throw it away. Let me explain!

Advertising By Throwing Money Away

You are probably saying this guy is out of his @%#!@ mind! The truth is, how many times did you apply for a job, not to hear anything from that respective employer. Resumes are your personal printed advertisement, and if it doesn’t appease the needs of whoever is running the HR Department, then you get the trash can. Same Concept! You put a lot of time and energy into your resume and you want to be consistent and almost unbearable, that you cause a response. The thing is that you are not speaking; it is your marketing materials that are speaking for you. So don’t stress if you don’t get a response, because you’ve already made the first step, by making yourself visible. Send out a second wave of marketing materials. Chances are these are going to get thrown away as well. That’s okay! You have just modeled persistency. This time send out a third wave, and it is most likely, there still will be some materials thrown in the trash, but most likely, someone will see your consistency, and persistency, that they will at least inquire about your services. By this time, you might have sent out about 1000 pieces of material, and you might get 8-10 responses with the probability of 2 to 3 customers. 1 Customer should be able to cover your investment, and the other 2 are just cherries on the cake.

Knowing When To Advertise

As a business owner, you should always have business cards on hand, readily accessible and available. You might be in situations where you have 30 seconds to sell yourself, and hand out your literature. *Side Note* Make sure you exchange information; don’t just put the ball in their court to call you. Be Proactive. If you have their information, then you can follow up with them. Secondly, when advertising yourself through print materials, you have to know what print materials would be suitable for your potential customers. You can have your business name printed on anything for any reason whatsoever, but that doesn’t mean you should. You have to know your avenues. If you have a work truck, then invest the money into getting some vinyl done to advertise your name and your services, this will pay for itself, and it’s great advertisement, because people like to read while they drive. If you have coupons and specials, then it would probably be a good idea to saturate the local area with your coupons, either by mail marketing or hire a team of individuals, like some neighborhood kids to go through the area with you and to give door to door flyers. Any way that you choose, be creative. The thing is know that if you have a concept for your business, then you need to advertise it in order to make it work. Don’t just advertise on Social media or your website, but advertise through print marketing. Take responsibility for your success.


Get with your graphic designer, hopefully you have one on hand, and explain to them what you want, and they will create some incredible print advertising for you. If you don’t have a graphic designer that you can call on to do your work for you, then I suggest you get one. A good graphic designer will make your business look professional, experienced, and trustworthy. If you are serious about your business, don’t just throw something together and do it yourself, because I promise you, it won’t drive the customer base that you want. Invest in your business, and be willing to get the right graphics for your marketing material that will stimulate a potential customer’s interest.

God Bless!

Ramirez Creative Solutions