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How Do You Make Your Business More Profitable?

Posted on June 07, 2006

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” Peter Drucker, Management Consultant and Author

One of the great shocks in starting your own business is that you are responsible for everything. Whereas you might have had support staff to go to the post office or quick print, clean your office, or purchase supplies, you now have complete authority in managing your sales and marketing, servicing clients, and operating your business. These responsibilities can be daunting but you should consider outsourcing any services that you may need for which you don’t have the necessary skills.

When I started my business 28 years ago, it was assumed that you were not serious about your business if you worked from home. My partner, at the time, and I used an answering service and later rented a room in an office complex located on Liberty Street across from the World Trade Center in New York City. Fortunately, times have changed and it is acceptable to work from home. If you opt to work from home, you should set up dedicated space where you can work on your business. If you want to meet with clients, there are office suites where you can rent a conference room or use their services on an as needed basis. The rapid expansion of Starbucks, Caribou, Borders, and Barnes & Nobles enables you to meet clients and vendors outside your home in coffee shops with internet access.

Office work can be outsourced to secretarial services or to a comparative new profession called Virtual Assistants. Entrepreneurs owning these business services can come to your office or work with you from a remote location. Also, consider using student interns from high school or college. My students at Johnson & Wales University were required to work for 6 hours as part of the Event Management class requirements. If you opt to working with students, I recommend that you don’t just give them “idiot work” but provide learning opportunities with their tasks.

Graphics, marketing, public relations, and development of web-sites can be outsourced.

Consider partnering with your colleagues to work on projects that might be too large for either of you individually. I met Arlene Sheff, CMP, currently Senior Meeting Planner, The Boeing Corporation, who previously owned her own business during an MPI conference. We happened to meet on the concierge level of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and we partnered on a joint project despite the fact that she was located in Southern California and I was based in New York City. In addition, we developed workshops on the “FUNdamentals of Meeting Planning” and “The Inside Scoop …For Suppliers who Need to Know by Planners who Want to Tell” and in the process became close friends. If you create a strategic alliance, it is crucial that you select someone who you trust implicitly and who shares your ethics and values. Prepare a written independent contractor’s agreement so that everything is outlined and there is no misunderstanding.

The time may come when you need assistance on a regular basis.. Your business plan should guide you in deciding whether you want to hire independent contractors or employees. You should select the best possible person for the position and calculate the cost differential of contractors vs. employees. Regardless of which direction you pursue, you must communicate your vision to your staff. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know. “To be a leader, you have to make people want to follow you, and nobody wants to follow someone who doesn’t know where he is going.”
Joe Namath, “Hall of Fame” Professional Football Player.


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Daphne Meyers

Enjoying advise from the best!

There is an upcoming opportunity to gain more skills on partnering for success. (In full disclosure, I am a speaker at this event, but not compensated for my participation. I just believe in tbe content!!)

This is a fantastic opportunity (and priced right) for independents to get a great day of training on how to partner to make their business more successful.

The Independent Meeting Planner is a mix of talents – 1 part entrepreneur, 1 part strategist, 1 part techie and 1 part hand-holder. Mix well and come out smiling. But how can one person be all things to all people all the time? Would you like to know the secret?

Join us for a day of one-stop sourcing to learn new strategies & techniques, get together with colleagues & make new business alliances, share your successes & commiserate on mistakes, reinforce what you know & fill in the gaps…… and recharge your batteries.

The AMMC Business Forum will be held at the Dallas Marriott Las Colinas in Irving, Texas – June 23-24, 2006. The cost is only $50 for a day packed with valuable information!

To register go to www.ammc.org or online http://www.regonline.com/97228.

MaryAnne Bobrow

Could not agree with you more. This is the same type of information contained in the chapter I wrote for PCMA on the self-employed planner. You see, I don't see the term "independent" relevant to anything we we. We PARTNER big time. That is what Daphne was referring to in her post about the presentation she, Cris Canning and I are doing in Dallas. No only are we talking about partnerships but we are also incorporating the APEX Office Ready and other ways to standardize our industry. It is time we spoke out about the change that is necessary.


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Verna Derosier

Good management is the key. With good management, everything else in your business will help you rise up to the top; those being the financing and accounting part, and the planning and strategy part. Oh, don't forget the people. Your employees and your clients can help you a lot in some ways, too.

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