Start Business Referral Networking for the Shy

Don’t worry about large social business settings. You can build an excellent business network by quietly helping to solve problems and as a result, make lasting business contacts. Here are three great ways to get you on the road to building an excellent referral network that can help grow your business:

As you come across prospects for a business with whom you would like to network, make the referral and send that business (owner or salesperson) an email or note letting them know you gave them a referral and who you referred.

You probably cringe at the idea of business networking groups and their breakfast meetings, but do you take part in any social activities? You can still network in social situations and use those activities to build your business referral network! Maybe you’re in a local recreational activity (poker game with friends; quilting), local organization or cause (church; non-profit fund drive), hobby (fishing; boating), or sport (tennis; cycling). It could be almost anything that you do or attend regularly. These are all opportunities to develop friendships with people who have a common passion or interest like yours, help each other on a social level and eventually develop some networking opportunities. I’m absolutely positive that at least some of these people you meet will own a business or be in sales and could use referrals. This is an example of “doing what you love” and using that passion to build valuable networking relationships. There are connections that can eventually help you get more referrals and grow your business. An important thing to remember in these situations is to have fun first, make friends, and enjoy the social activity. Use natural opportunities to seek referrals (both giving and getting)… and don’t force any situation. Building your business this way is often slow, but can also yield very good results over time.

Consider an online business referral network that allows you to connect with local business people whom you can meet and create referral relationships. These online networks don’t make you go to meetings or do presentations like the local groups that gather weekly. If you join an online site, most of your interactions will be through their website. However, I would still recommend that you periodically talk to each business member in the network you create on at least a quarterly basis, if for not other reason than just to say “hi” and see how their business is going. It’s a great opportunity to ask them if you can help them with anything in particular, and also update them on your business. It’s important to realize that the internet doesn’t necessarily replace the phone and/or in-person interactions that you may need in order to make long-term business networking a real success. The internet simply it simply enhances your ability to network and automates some of the tasks.

Business networking doesn’t have to be about weekly group business meetings, presentations or putting yourself in very uncomfortable public situations. Great business networking is simply about helping people solve problems. By referring someone to a good business you are helping them solve an issue. By providing a referral to a good business that you know, you are helping them solve the problem of getting new customers. When you solve problems, people remember you… and with often try to help you in return. Business networking, especially when it involves the passing of a referral, is about trust. Trust is built over time. So, don’t worry about getting thrown into a random group of people at a local networking group. Seek out specific businesses that you trust and network within social activities that you enjoy. Online business referral networks that are made up of local members are also a non-aggressive, “soft” way to find business people who might like to be part of your personal referral network. Using any of these methods can help you on the path to building solid relationships that can help grow your business by getting more referrals.

Home-Based Business Call Center And Earn Income Within The First Month!

While there are a host of companies that promise legitimate work-at-home opportunities that don’t deliver, luckily, there are companies that do indeed have “work” to offer that can be done from home. Customer service work is a leading work-at-home opportunity that consistently seeks to bring aboard talented home-based customer service representatives that excel in providing quality service to customers.

To get to the level of working legitimately from home and taking customer service calls for companies, one must first understand the differences that this form of “work” may come in. First, there’s the need to overcome the negative connotation associated with paying a fee to work online.

I know, I know! Before, I stated that there are a dozen or so companies out there that would not ask individuals to pay to work for them instead of the other way around, right? Well, quite honestly, there are. Allow me to explain. There’s a difference in working for a company from home as an employee or as business.

The question is: do you want to work as an employee or a contractor? Not all work-at-home opportunities offered are offered by employers. Rather, many work-at-home opportunities, more specifically customer service positions, are just that, an opportunity — an opportunity to make an income by forming your very own home-based business.

What’s the difference? An employer hires an individual to perform one role within the organization and the individual will work for that employer with an agreed upon salary. A home-based business contracts with several different companies and may offer a variety of services because the business would receive a different pay rate for each service the business is contracted to service.

This presents a slightly different level in regards to earning potential for the home-business providing the service because the business can service any number of clients at any given time. No salary cap — only capped by the business offering its services. So you see, the opportunity becomes a little greater when offering services as a business vs. as an employee. Since a business has the ability to earn more, there are requirements for this kind of privilege.

Now while there are employers that do hire employees to work from home to take customer service calls, and it’s important to know of these options, we will take the time to focus on business opportunities instead of employer-to-employee work-at-home opportunities. It’s important to understand that some companies only work with home-based businesses and independent contractors, so that all work-at-home opportunities and options are considered and not mistakenly cast aside, which leaves money on the table.

Selling A Business Is Unlike Anything Else

The price of a business is determined by a valuation. The rules of a valuation come from the law and then legal cases as well as the Internal Revenue Code and custom. The price for most other items of value are determined by market comparables (for example, when valuing a house), looking up a book or some online site such as Kelly Blue Book (for cars) or results from eBay or some other online service (for any item you can think of). That is, there is no legal interference with the value of any these items except a business.

When advertising to find a buyer of these items, with the exception of a business there are no rules. To be clearer, when selling any other item the owner wants the world to know it’s for sale. Regular and established advertising channels are used including online web sites, newspaper or magazine advertising, family, friends and anything else to find a buyer. Conversely, with a business, advertising is done using less familiar methods and in most cases, the advertising is obscure so family, friends, customers, employees, suppliers, landlords, lenders and others are not aware the business is for sale.

When a buyer and a seller enter into negotiations for anything except the business, it’s generally very simplistic and does not need the involvement of third parties. In contrast, negotiating a business often involves complex negotiations with sophisticated parties. These parties can include lenders, landlords, attorneys, accountants, business intermediaries or business brokers as well as hidden support for buyers and sellers such as family and friends.

When selling a business, to get the maximum price possible, normally involves a lot of work for an extended period of time. The steps the seller takes includes trying to increase revenue, recasting the financial statements to arrive at an accurate and supportable discretionary earnings of the business and repairs and upgrades to make sure the business looks the best. Items being sold other than a business can similarly be polished but there is a limit on what can be done and the amount of time to do it.

When the buyer and seller reach an agreeable point in the negotiations of a business transaction, all items must be converted to paper. One of the first items it defines is whether the business is being sold as an asset or stock sale with this single decision has many tax and legal implications. Additionally, this one decision in itself, can set off a series of negotiations or at least, in-depth discussion and analysis by both parties.

In some business transactions, the negotiations can trigger a set of different valuations to support each parties position and whether or not the transaction ultimately closes. For example, if the purchase includes real estate or a large number of physical assets or intangibles such as trademarks or copyrights or the business itself then there could be four valuations. The first is a valuation of the commercial property, the second is a machinery and equipment appraisal, the third is an intellectual property appraisal and the fourth a business valuation.

7 Ways to Exit Your Business

If your plan is to start a business grow and run the business until you are 65 and then sell it- you have a plan and are ahead of most. It is so easy to start and buy a business and spend a lot of time preparing for that acquisition or start up, then get wrapped up in the transition or start-up, then get wrapped up in the day to day, and then one day you get real sick, and you have no one in your business that knows how to run your business, and laying in bed decide that you may need a plan- it may be to late then.

I am currently a business broker based in Florida and find my role of meeting with small business owners brings awareness to the need for an exit strategy. I had owned my own small business for 20 years and realized how ensconced with the day to day one can get with their small business. There are several ways to exit ones business- I primarily work with small business owners looking to sell their Florida business, but observe some of the other exit mechanism and have been personally involved with several of these methods.

These are a few methods a small business owner may utilize to exit a business. Some are good, some not so good.

The Good, the Bad and Ugly Ways to Exit Your Business

Sell at profit- can include “merger with other companies
Sell at Loss
Close your doors-bankruptcy, long term negative cash flow.
Poor Health, Significant Injury, Death
LBO (Leveraged Buy Out)
Successfully grow it to such a size and take it public
leave to children

Or some combination of the above- one could die and leave the business to the children

But when you look at the above list you recognize that some of the exit strategies you choose on your schedule and others are “chosen for you” and you have less control over the time frame. Your plans can change and often do, but I suggest you plan to have a plan.