Friday, June 26, 2009

Getting Paid In A Bad Economy


When customers are suffering job loss, housing loss and the rising price of everything,small-business owners need to ensure they still get paid. In a down economy, should entrepreneurs be tougher when accounts become late or past due?

If you’re thinking about being lenient with customers that are past due, be sure to consider that if someone owes you money, they probably owe others money too--whoever takes action first, will get paid first.

Here are a few tips that will help you get paid while the economy is suffering:

  1. Get paid at the time of service or if you offer terms,invoice customers on a regular basis and as soon as the work is complete, and make sure your invoices have the due date clearly visible.
  2. Change your payment terms, if your terms are net 60 or net 45 change them to net 30 or net 15. You can also offer an early payment discount to anyone who pays early, such as 1 or 2 percent off the bill if they pay within 10 days.
  3. Be proactive by calling clients with big accounts or accounts with large balances 10 days before the invoice is due to make sure they have the invoice, they have the correct address to send the check, there are no problems and that the bill is scheduled to be paid.
  4. When setting up payment plans, remember that you want as much as you can get as frequently as you can get it.
  5. If abusiness owes you money, visit them. If it is a restaurant, go there for lunch; if it is a printing company, get something printed or copied. Every time you walk in they will see you and it reminds them that they owe you money.

Collecting money is like cleaning the bathroom, no one likes to do it but it must get done. If you don’t want to do it, hire someone to do it for you. Getting paid keeps cash flowing, so it is imperative to make sure you are getting paid, and getting paid according to the terms you set for your business.

Taking any or all of these steps will only help you to collect money in the short term but without making changes, such as having a credit policy, or checking credit before extending credit, you will be right back where you started next month.

Michelle Dunnis an award winning author and columnist and has been called the nation’s authority on collecting money. She is the founder and CEO of Michelle Dunn’s Credit & Collections Association, one of the top 5 women in collections, and one of the top 50 most influential collection professionals in the industry.

Source: Entrepreneur.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Put Your Business Name To The Test


Your company name should have a common thread that leads to the core of the business. When this isn't taken into consideration often mistakes are made. The same marketing energy that you use to develop your business name needs to flow throughout all integral parts of your business.

Your business name means everything when it comes to marketing your business, it could make or break your business, so do not take this part of planning lightly. A business name automatically contains a marketing element; your job is to choose a name that will help your marketing efforts. It's not as difficult as it sounds, but you do want to spend some time doing it. I've listed some questions below that will get your creative juices flowing and jumpstart your thinking, so that you can begin developing ideas for your business name.

  • Write down a description of your target audience.
  • What problems does your business help them solve?
  • Make a list of words and phrases that appeal to them.
  • List three to five benefits that you offer to your customers.
  • List out the names of 4 of your competitors.
  • Make a list of characteristics that differentiate you from the competition.

Now take these answers and formulate a list of 5 to 7 names. Once you've chosen a name it's time to put it to the test. Visualize your target audience and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can the proposed name be pronounced easily?
  • Does it read quickly and clearly?
  • Can you say it and others understand it, without having to spell it?
  • Is it spelled as it sounds?
  • Is it short? Experts recommend that a business name have eleven or less letters and four syllables maximum.
  • Does it contain negative internal words?
  • Is it unique and sensory? These two traits make words memorable.
  • Does it spark interest? Is there a story behind it?
  • Does it represent who you are? Is it authentic?
  • Does it express or imply a desirable message?
  • Can your employees say it proudly?

How did your proposed business name do? Is it a keeper or is it time to go back to the drawing board? Be honest with yourself, in the long run you will be glad you did.

Having a great name is a powerful force when it comes to your marketing campaigns. Your name differentiates you from competitors, makes an emotional connection with your audience, and helps to build a strong brand that your customers recognize and trust.

Source: About Marketing.

In Sales, What Differentiates The Top 5% Players?

image As you can imagine, I am often asked by sales leaders, anxious to recruit the best salespeople they can afford, just what is it that makes a consistently top performer, what are their characteristics, where are their strengths, and what differentiates them?

Over the past fifteen years I have trained and developed thousands of sales professionals, from foundation right up to “master craftsman” level and this has given me the opportunity to formulate an accurate profile of a Top 5% Achiever.

So What Is It That Top 5% Players Do?


  • Position themselves with the real decision-makers and avoid those without ‘approval power’. They are able to first identify and then access the formal decision making unit.
  • Not only get the order but a satisfied customer, repeat sales, enthusiastic reference sites and constantly increase sales penetration within their accounts.
  • Know how to minimize the uncertainties of a cold call on a new account, by careful planning and rigorous opportunity assessment.
  • Recognize when to treat an old account as a new prospect and keep the relationship fresh, alive and maintain profitability
  • Never entertain business they do not want because they recognize that it takes just as long to work an unprofitable opportunity through the sales funnel, only to lose it at the death, as it does a profitable one. They trust their own judgement but also rely heavily on objective assessment.
  • Readily identify and know how to deal with the four different buying influences present in every sale i.e. Economic Buyer, Technical Buyer, User Buyer, and Ally.
  • Understand how to prevent sales from being sabotaged by an internal enemy. They insulate themselves by developing strong allies within.
  • Are able to recognize fail-safe signals that indicate when a sale is in jeopardy. This comes from experience but also information supplied by their allies.
  • Are rigorous in tracking account progress and are able to accurately forecast future sales because they use proven methodology, which allows them to weight every opportunity in the pipeline.
  • Avoid ‘dry-months’ by allocating time wisely to their critical selling tasks i.e. Prospecting for new business, covering the bases with existing opportunities and finally closing the best few.

In summary, the very best sales performers do not achieve that status overnight. They work tirelessly to develop and hone their skills-sets, insist on regular top-up coaching, and seek out those who are outperforming them, so that they may learn and improve still further. They have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge of their industry and sector.

Finally, they concentrate on eliminating any weaknesses and are anxious to be assessed and receive feedback on a regular basis.

Source: All Business.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Considering Cutting Your Prices: Think Carefully Before You Do.

image With both consumers and companies cutting back on spending, some of your company’s competitors may be cutting their prices to get the business. So what should you do? Many small business owners are wondering, “Is it time to cut my prices too?”

The answer is simply “No”. Do not cut your prices to match a competitors without reducing the level of service or amount of product the customer receives. Reducing your price without making service/product adjustments can send the wrong messages to your customer base.

Lowering your price makes you look in desperate need of business. People want to do business with successful companies, not one that may be on the verge of closing its doors. So the result you hoped for of obtaining more business by cutting your price could easily back-fire and cause customers to go elsewhere. Additionally, if you suddenly lower your prices customers may get the impression that you’ve been gouging them all along. No one appreciates being taken advantage of – particularly a loyal, long-term client.

Keep in mind, the current economic situation isn’t going to last forever. In fact, some economists are saying there are signs that things are starting to pick up again. However, the steps you take today will leave a lasting impression with your customers long after the recession is yesterday’s news.

Emphasize the value proposition you bring to the market and use that to justify your price. Most people don’t mind paying for quality. However, if the economy is significantly reducing the demand for your existing products, such as it is for many discretionary items, then scale back and repackage what you are currently selling and offer it for a lower price. Another option is to create a loyalty or referral program which offers a one-time discount to your customers. It’s a way to lower your price without making it a permanent change.

Remember, it’s much more difficult to go up in price than it is to lower it. Regardless of economic conditions, you should never under-value your product or service. If you aren’t willing to charge what you are worth, then you shouldn’t expect your customers to place much value on your business.

Finally, when the economy turns around, and you are ready to increase your prices to take advantage of the rebound, customers won’t happily accept a price hike. So you’ll be stuck with the lower pricing for a while when you could have been back in the growth mode and on your way to success.

Source: All Business.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Open So You Can Close

image Why is it that so many salespeople choose to focus on learning new closing skills? I think they’re wasting their time. If you find yourself focusing on how you're going to "close" your customer, you may be making selling harder than it needs to be. When I work with salespeople, what I’ve found is that salespeople who focus on closing instead of opening are looking at the wrong end of the sales process. Here’s what I suggest they do instead.

Get them talking. For every sales professional I work with, we plan our sales call strategy. That strategy includes how you are going to start the sales call and the questions you will be asking. Sure you may make a little small talk before the sales call begins. That’s OK. Then you had better plan your transition into the sales conversation. Why? Schmoozing isn’t selling! The way you get down to business is to plan your opening question. This "Pinball" question is a question that gets your customer to talk about his business. Pinball is an old game where the objective was to keep the ball in play by keeping it moving back and forth. Your question is designed to keep the conversation going back and forth between you and the customer. The Pinball question is an open ended question (cannot be answered by yes or no or a few words) and starts a dialogue with your customer doing most of the talking. By listening to your customer, that’s the only way you’re going to learn about his business and where your products and services fit in to solve problems or address needs.

Continue by asking about issues that your customer might experience that your products can solve. You are wasting your time asking about problems that you cannot solve. Why? Because you can’t sell anything. You want your customers to buy. Knowledge is power. It's your job to find out why they need to buy from you. The way to find out is to ask for this information. That's why questioning and listening skills are so important in selling.

You can never predict with complete accuracy how a sales call will unfold. You still have to prepare a plan for how you want the sales call to flow. You should have a questioning strategy. The questions that you prepare are a general map for gathering the information you need to sell.

Give them only what they need or want. Why is questioning so important? Imagine starting your sales call by talking all about your fabulous product or service. What if there's no match between your products and what your customer wants? You're then forced to convince your customer there really is a need. That's not selling. It's being coercive and manipulative. What if you begin by talking about a feature that is of little use to your customer? Your customer will definitely lose interest and stop listening.

By starting with questions, you begin a dialogue with your customer that allows you to develop a customized presentation that addresses your customer's needs. When you focus on customers and their needs, you will gather the information that you need to sell. You can then determine how to best serve your customer and present your products and services. After you have identified 3 customer needs, you can demonstrate why you are the best choice for your customer. Why risk being perceived as a pushy salesperson? Let your customer perceive you as being a helpful salesperson.

And when you are preparing the questions to ask, remember the last one. It's "When would you like to buy?" That's the only close I know.

Source: All Business.

Failing Sales Team? Who Is to Blame?


The responsibility for ensuring that every member of the sales team is successful lies entirely with management, and below are the eight reasons why salespeople fail.

In fact, I usually ask just three very straightforward questions in order to identify why a salesperson is underachieving:

  • Are they visiting/talking to enough clients/prospects?
  • Are they talking to the right people within those client/prospect organizations?
  • Are they saying/doing the right things?

However, this list, whilst not exhaustive, remains extremely accurate:

  1. Wrong or no selection process - The wrong person for the position
  2. Wrong or no training - Insufficiently developed
  3. Wrong or no planning - Expected to do all of their own planning
  4. Wrong or no supervision - Left without competent supervision
  5. Wrong or no motivation - Not properly motivated to meet objectives
  6. Wrong or no stimulation - Not stimulated by appropriate incentives
  7. Wrong or no evaluation - Not regularly appraised against a set of agreed objectives
  8. Wrong or no executive action - Not adequately supported by a competent manager

In Summary:

Management has responsibility for all of these, including the last one!

Source: AllBusiness.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Understanding Cultural Differences Across B2B Markets

image "We tend to have a human instinct that ‘deep inside’ all people are the same – but they are not. Therefore, if we go into another country and make decisions based on how we operate in our own home country – the chances are we’ll make some very bad decisions" – Geert Hofstede

After spending what seems like the last few months living out of a suitcase delivering research findings to a myriad of companies in countries ranging from Germany, Belgium, Spain and Ireland to the USA and China, it has hit home to me even more so, how important it is to understand individual country differences.  These differences might be cultural, behavioral or attitudinal, but a researcher needs to know what lies behind a given score before making informed recommendations for action.  Carrying out international research is all in a day’s work at B2B International!

Enquiries for customer satisfaction and loyalty research have risen in recent months as the global recession bites harder and companies are turning their attention towards retaining their existing customer base.  We are often tasked with carrying out customer satisfaction studies that cover multiple geographies. Implementing and evaluating such research requires an understanding of the different cultures and infrastructures within a particular geography; for example will a Chinese respondent answer an unsolicited telephone call or will an e-survey alienate half your target market in Spain? Another complexity that comes up in multi-country studies is making sure a translated questionnaire has the same meaning across multiple geographies.  However, one of the most important aspects of carrying out international research is having the insight to why individuals from different countries around the world convey such different ratings; especially customer satisfaction ratings, when receiving a similar if not identical service from the same global organization.

So my Thursday Night Insight rant this week is about response styles and I pose the question: Why do customer satisfaction response styles differ between countries?

Typically, in any customer satisfaction survey the norm is to use a 10 point scale where 1 means totally unsatisfied and 10 means totally satisfied.  When asking this question to customers across different countries I can definitely make the following general observations:

  • Anglo respondents e.g. UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Nordic and a number of Western European cultures tend to use all points on the scale
  • Across Asia and especially in countries such as China, Hong Kong and Japan, respondents tend to use the middle of the scale and not the extremities of very satisfied or not very satisfied
  • Respondents from Latin countries e.g. Italy, Spain, Brazil, Argentina tend to use the end of the scales and are more likely to register higher satisfaction scores overall

However, one point that should be made clear is that these observations are generalizations and what we do see is that respondents from North America typically give higher satisfaction scores than their UK or Western European counterparts.  One reason, I personally believe, is down to cultural differences.  For example, I have an American colleague who works within our European HQ and on his first day at B2B International he greeted me with the question ‘how are you today?’ to which I replied ‘OK’.  He looked aghast and said ‘why, what’s the matter?’ There was no problem or issue but my typical English response led my colleague to think that something was wrong based on our different cultural backgrounds.  Therefore, based on these differences, Americans would typically rate a product or service as a 9 or 10 (totally satisfied or excellent) while Europeans would rate a similar issue as a 7 or 8 (an okay, acceptable, satisfactory score). Another reason for higher satisfaction scores in the US could be that Americans are more likely to respond to a survey even when service levels are good and expectations are being met whilst Europeans only respond if the service is poor or they have a gripe to bear – however, this is a personal point of view and so like any good researcher I wanted to know if any external research has been carried out looking at geographical scoring differences.

Supporting the internal B2B viewpoint is a piece of research I came across carried out with 116,000 employees of IBM Corporation operating in more than 40 countries.  Using these findings, Geert Hofstede from Maastricht University developed a framework that identified four different typologies based on national culture that impacted on response styles.  These typologies were:

Power distance: The degree to which people in a country accept a hierarchical or unequal distribution of power in organizations.  Therefore respondents would typically score mid-response ratings and countries showing this type of response style include Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, India, Philippines, China, Brazil, Chile and Mexico

Uncertainty avoidance: The degree to which people prefer structured vs. unstructured situations. Cultures high in uncertainty avoidance prefer unambiguous situations and are therefore more likely to use the endpoints of the scale as opposed to the middle, thus exhibiting an extreme response style. Countries showing this type of response include Belgium, Poland, France, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Korea and Japan

Individualism: The degree to which people in a country focus on working as individuals vs. working together. Cultures high in individualism are less likely to exhibit a middle satisfaction score because they would emphasize their individual opinion as opposed to their perception of the group opinion. Among all the response styles, individualistic cultures may exhibit extreme response styles and include countries such as US, Canada, Australia, UK, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Italy, Hungary and France.

Assertiveness: The degree to which people in a country emphasize traits such as assertiveness and insensitivity to feelings. One could hypothesize that individuals in these cultures would favour more extreme response styles and that “softer,” more “sensitive” cultures exhibit more modesty or middle response styles.  Countries that have been categorized as assertive are the UK, Germany, Italy, Hungary and Japan.  However, it should be pointed out that Geert’s research is inconclusive with regards to the impact of this dimension on response scores.

In conclusion, the key takeaways are thus.  Every business needs a feedback loop to assess their performance and provide an ongoing measurement and benchmark for future progress.  Customer satisfaction surveys are excellent at delivering this feedback, but different country cultures do impact on responses and response rates and so, when analyzing international research findings, a researcher needs to use their knowledge and judgement to whether a response is based on different levels of performance, or simply because of a result of cultural difference.

In the future, when comparing international customer satisfaction research findings, it might be useful to take the following three steps:

  1. Compare internal satisfaction scores for a particular country and avoid cross-country comparisons; for example, comparing county or state satisfaction scores within your country
  2. Compare same country results relative to previous waves of research and so benchmarking changes and improvements
  3. Make sure that your customer satisfaction survey is not just quantitative in design.  The customer satisfaction toolbox is wide and varied and it is just as important to find out qualitatively what a customer does and doesn’t like and any future changes that need to be made over and above a scalar response to ‘overall, how satisfied are you with the service delivered?’

Finally, to wrap up this week’s ramblings I should point out that when it comes to customer service and customer satisfaction, one issue that transcends all geographies is that it is imperative that the customer is listened to, and feels valued and cared for.  Relationships are key in any business to business market throughout the world, and so invest in your people as they are the face of your business and typically are the driving force behind excellent satisfaction scores whether you are based in Torquay, Tokyo or Timbuktu.

Source: B2B International.

6 Ways Low Cost Computing Can Save Your Small Business Money

image Most small business owners see information technology as another expense. But what if IT could save your small business money-particularly when it comes to sales and marketing efforts?

Research shows the most popular strategies to saving money include:

  • Allowing employees to telecommute (26%).

  • Upgrading server infrastructure with the most energy-efficient technology available (16 %).

  • Using mobile technology (15 %).

  • Conducting live meetings that share resources over the Web such, as presentations (14 %).

"You have to take a hard look at your processes," says Dave Minker, president of CMIT Solutions, an IT consulting firm. "That helps you design a solution that works for you, and helps you realize greater efficiency and organization."

Can smarter IT really do that? Yes. Here are six ways that low-cost computing can give your small business a lift:

1. Use what you've got. Chances are, the resources you need to start saving money with your technology are right in front of you. "For example, most businesses have Microsoft Office installed," says Neil Moodley, a managing director at FourThirds, a U.K. business consultancy. "That's a good start. Most, however, could use it much more effectively." If users took the time to learn how to build a simple database in Access that tracks customers and orders or to learn how to export data from Access or Excel into Word for a mail merge or to understanding the features of Outlook to organize time and tasks, they could save lots of time and money. "These all need an hour of effort to learn, but once they are understood, huge piles of paper and binders full of orders can be archived away and processes big and small streamlined," he says.

2. Turn your PCs into phones. Nico McLane, a broadcast media consultant, says she turns to free Web-based services such as Skype or Free Conference to bring clients together and show off her products. "I target ROI on everything I do for myself and my clients," she says. "I use several tools in concert to achieve the exact type of virtual meeting I need to deliver, to educate potential clients on the power of these tools."
How much does all of this cost? Usually, nothing, since many of the products offer free trials. This can also save money on travel expenses, since virtual conferences often eliminate the need for in-person meetings. Travel and entertainment costs are typically the second- or third-biggest business expense.

Make sure to use a "good" headset, it is all about "understanding" your customer and "being understood" by your customer. Not only will it shorten your calls, it will also boost your customer satisfaction.

3. Automate processes. Are you still doing invoicing, receiving, purchasing and inventory control the old-fashioned way-by hand? IT can help you automate those processes and save money. Automate your processes as much as possible and trim unnecessary overhead," says Loren Peterson, the vice president of global solutions for MCNi, which develops automation software that works with accounting applications used by small businesses. "The upfront costs are generally recouped with a few months of purchase."

4. Outsource when it makes sense. In most small organizations, there's usually an employee who is responsible for IT, including office machines, copiers and interactions with the phone company. "The problem is, this person usually has another primary responsibility-the job they were actually hired for," says Brian Rosenfelt of CT Consulting of Independence, a firm that handles outsourcing for small businesses. "As the economy continues to tighten, companies are searching for ways to get more out of their existing employees, but we've found that these jack-of-all-trades are spending anywhere from 25% to 75% of their time dealing with [IT related] problems. By shifting resources, allowing your employees to do what they were meant to-and outsourcing the rest to a third party-you can save lots of money.

5. Get rid of obsolete technology. Perhaps the only thing that's worse than not using IT to help your business save money is trying to use obsolete technology.
Take a fax machine, for example. "Get rid of it," says Edith Yeung, who organizes the San Francisco Entrepreneur Meetup, a networking group for Bay Area entrepreneurs. Instead of using the traditional fax machine, check out You can save costs for faxing long distance, and you will also save money on paper and save the environment.
The same thing goes for other obsolete technologies such as computer screens that use cathode ray tubes, or old software. These vintage technologies slow down your business and cost money in the form of higher energy bills. Get rid of them and it won't just speed up your processes; it will save your company serious money.

6. Shift more of your business to the Web. Many small retailers have realized they can target incremental revenues by establishing a Web site to sell from, in addition to their brick-and-mortar store, says Les Cowie, the director of business development for Worldwide Brands, a company that online retailers directly with qualified wholesale suppliers.
But why stop there? Using nothing more than a PC and a broadband connection, your small business can leverage the marketing power of the Internet. Social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter let you push sales at virtually no cost to your business.

For small businesses, IT isn't a problem. It's a solution. By taking advantage of the technology you already have, outsourcing what you shouldn't be doing, upgrading and rethinking the way your small business uses technology, you can harness the power of low-cost computing for your company.

Christopher Elliott writes about business travel and mobile computing, and publishes a weekly travel newsletter . You can e-mail him or visit his Web site .

Source: Microsoft Small Business Center.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Social Networking In The Year 3000 :o)

Source: The Next Web.
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How To Be Happy In Business - Venn Diagram

Source: What Consumes Me.
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7 Essential Steps Before Starting A Business

Yes, there are thousands of businesses you could start, with more emerging daily thanks to new technology and good old-fashioned ingenuity. Yet despite the vast universe of possibilities, there are a few essential steps you need to take before starting a business, any business.

1. Do your market research: Just because you build it or sell it doesn't necessarily mean anyone will buy it. The first essential step is to research your potential market. Who needs what you are offering? Is there space for your product or service in the market or is the market saturated? Is the market national? Is it a niche? Can you define your ideal customers? These are all questions that need to be answered before you even consider starting a business. Too many entrepreneurs have found out the hard way that there was not enough market share for them to capture. Others have realized that their target market audience was far too limited to make their business work.

2. Show yourself the money: You can't start a business without capital. Determine what you have, what you will need and how you will go about getting it. If you plan to seek investor funding or financing, start writing a business plan and practice your pitch. Research the costs associated with your business. Know how much money you'll need and decide where it could come from.

3. Hire a good business attorney: You don't necessarily need to have an attorney on a retainer, but you'll want to hire an attorney experienced with new businesses to help you get started. Your attorney can advise you about such things as drafting contracts, reviewing your lease and determining the right business structure. "A good attorney will know what it is that you are trying to do and help you structure your business in a way that will be beneficial to you," says Chris Talis, senior partner at Hedgerow Mergers Acquisitions in Teaneck, N.J. The best way to find a good attorney is by referral or through networking.

4. Hire a good accountant: An accountant will work in conjunction with your attorney and be instrumental in determining the best form of ownership. He can also help you establish bookkeeping and other record keeping procedures that can keep you on track for years. Most important, a good accountant will help with tax planning. "You will also want an accountant who understands the state laws, since every state has its own little intricacies, such as sales tax issues," Talis says, adding that it's important for your accountant to be familiar with startup ventures.

5. Decide on a business structure: Your choices include sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, "S" corporation or limited liability corporation (LLC). Personal liability, taxes, paperwork and regulations vary greatly among the different legal business structures. Your attorney and accountant will play a key role in assisting you in this important decision.

6. Decide on a business name: It may seem obvious and simple, but the name is how your business will be known to the world. The right name says a lot about your company. Make a list of potential names and narrow the list down to the one that best describes your company in a few words, while being catchy, easy to remember, easy to pronounce and easy to spell. You should also consider how it will translate to a web domain name. You'll also need to do research to see if there are a) similar business names and b) similar domain names.

7. Get all necessary licenses and permits: Along with a business license, you may need to get additional licenses depending on the type of business and local laws. Many professionals, such as contractors and real estate agents, need to be licensed in the states in which they work. Additionally, you may need licenses to manufacture and/or sell specific products such as liquor, firearms or even lottery tickets. Research all licenses applicable in your county and your state. It's also extremely important to know the zoning laws before you open a business. Don't assume the zoning laws don’t apply to you. You can get information on zoning from your local county clerk’s office.

There are definitely other important steps to getting a business off the ground, such as finding a technical expert and launching a website (a must in today's competitive market). However, if you've taken the seven steps above, you will find yourself in a confident, business-ready position.

Source: Entrepreneur.
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