More of Starting a Micro Business. Episode #55

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There’s lots to learn about starting a running a micro business, so join author and accountant Carol Topp in this podcast.

She shares information on creating a mini business plan and pitfalls to avoid to help you launch successfully.
Carol also took time to answer questions from the audience on taxes.

Learn more about starting a running a micro business at MicroBusinessForTeens.com

To learn more about taxes that teenagers might need to pay visit TeensAndTaxes.com

Carol mentions a YouTube video that features 6 teenagers and their micro businesses

Starting a Micro Business. Episode #54

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Interested in making money and learning a lot about how to run a business? Try starting with a micro business.

Author and accountant, Carol Topp, explains to an audience of teenagers and parents how to start a micro business. She explains what a micro business is and how to get started.

To learn more about micro businesses visit MicroBusinessForTeens.com

To learn more about taxes that teenagers might need to pay visit TeensAndTaxes.com

Carol mentioned a YouTube video that featured 6 teenagers and their micro businesses:

Marketing and Customer Profiles in a Micro Business. Dollars and Sense Show # 33

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Joining host Carol Topp are Carol Sue and Phillip Priddy from FamilyBusinessGreenhouse.com in this edition of the Dollars and Sense podcast. They will share their expertise on creating a marketing plan and a customer profile for your micro business.

Philip and Carroll Sue decided to homeschool before they even had children, and decided early that they wanted to teach their children how to open and run their own businesses from an early age. In their homeschool, each child starts his or her first business at 8 years old, does a product addition at 10 years old and starts a second business at 12 years old, and so on. Each child is responsible to negotiate with vendors, maintain records of costs, income and expenditures, maintain inventory, etc. This has honed writing, math, inter-personal skills and has proven to be a fertile ground for teaching ethics and character.

This is how the Priddy’s describe their passion:

“We want to share how family business draws a family together, in effort, intention and attention. We set goals as a family, and achieve them together. We are able to see the strengths of our children more clearly, because we are working side-by-side. We are able to also see their areas of need, because we are working side-by-side! This leads to teaching and discipleship and is individualized and immediate.”

In the podcast we discussed:

Family Business Greenhouse.com a series of webinars offering training to families interested in launching a business together. New sessions starting in February 2015. Purchase and listen to the pre-recorded sessions at http://familybusinessgreenhouse.com/startyourbusiness/

  • Getting and serving customers
  • What is a customer profile
  • How a customer profile helps in marketing
  • How can a micro business owner have more success and fewer mistakes in marketing?
  • How does a business owner know when to persist in a marketing campaign and when to give up and move on?

 

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Is your teenager interested in starting a micro business of their own? Micro Business for Teens will get them started. But it also helps adults wishing to start a micro business!

 

If you enjoyed this episode of the Dollars and Sense podcast, please leave a review on iTunes. (click on View in iTunes to leave a review)

A Customer Doesn’t Pay Your Micro Business. Dollars and Sense Show #25

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Show #25 What to do when a customer doesn’t pay your Micro Business.

In this podcast, Carol Topp offers tips to micro business owners on what to do if a customer doesn’t pay you.


runningmb_medThis information is covered in more detail in Carol Topp’s book  Running a Micro Business

 

 

 

Most of your clients will pay when you hand them a bill, but sometimes they forget or do not have a checkbook with them. In those cases you need to remind them.

  • Send another copy of the bill, statement or invoice. Email is a good reminder or use regular mail if you must. This usually does the trick. Most people are forgetful and not out to cheat you.
  • Call the customer and ask if they received your bill.
  • If a customer is late paying you, do not do any additional services for them.

 

Payment Policies for Micro Businesses

After you’ve been running your business for a while, you will come up with some payment policies that work well for you. A few common payment policies include:

  • Ask for some money up front as a down payment. This is a common practice if you will be doing a large job for a customer. It is very common to ask for a small amount, perhaps 10-20% of the total price before you begin work.
  • Progress payments. Ask for payments as you do each part of a large job. For example, I asked my graphic designer to do five tasks for me. He billed me after three tasks were complete and then again when the job was finished.
  • Charge a late fee for customers who are more than 30 days late in paying you. Your late fee can be a percentage of the total cost (5-10% if customary) or a flat fee such as $10.
  • Have a policy regarding bounced checks. If a customer pays you with a bad check, your bank may fine you when the check is deposited. It may not seem fair, but it is a common practice. You, in turn, should charge the customer at least a $10 fee to cover your bank fees. Some stores charge as much as $25 for bounced check.
  • Consider marking up your price to accept Paypal or credit card payments. Paypal and credit card companies typically take 2-4% of the payment as their fee. Most business owners usually consider these fees as part of doing business, so make sure you take the fees into consideration when pricing your products or services.

 

Join Carol’s other podcasts for micro business owners on Creating a Sales Presentation and Making the Sale.

Learn more about starting and running a micro business at MicroBusinessforTeens.com

 

 

 

Making the Sale. Tips for your Micro Business. Dollars and Sense Show #24

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Show #24 Making the Sale. Tips for your Micro Business.

In this podcast, Carol Topp offers tips to micro business owners on how to complete a sale with a customer.


runningmb_medThis information is covered in more detail in Carol Topp’s book  Running a Micro Business

Many sales are lost because the sales person never asks the customer to buy. That’s seems unbelievable, but it is true. A business owner can spend a lot of time creating a sales presentation and marketing material, but never bring the customer to the point of actually making a purchase.

There are several techniques you can use to move from a sales pitch to completing a sale including asking questions and using forms.

 

Ask leading questions

  • Would you prefer _________ or ___________(you show different products)?
  • What is the best day to _____________(offer your service)?
  • When would you like me to start?
  • How many ___________ do you need?
  • Would you like to see a price list?
  • Can I get you an order form?
  • What questions can I answer?
  • Would you like me to do ___________ next?

Put paper in their hand

Use an order form, price list, registration form, agreement of services (engagement letter). I use CarbonlessonDemand.com for order forms. I also collect names and emails on my order form.

What to Do if the Customer Doesn’t Seem Interested

  • Ask if you could give a demonstration or a sample. Say “Would you like to see how this works?” “Would you like to taste a sample?”
  • Provide additional information by asking, “Do you have any questions?”
  • Ask if they would like a flier, brochure, or price list. Try to leave something in their 
hands.
  • Ask if they have a friend or neighbor who could use your service. 
Always be polite and thank them for their time or for listening to you, even if they say no. They will remember your politeness and may contact you in the future.

 

Join Carol’s other podcasts for micro business owners on Creating a Sales Presentation and What to Do If You Don’t Get Paid.

Learn more about starting and running a micro business at MicroBusinessforTeens.com

 

 

Creating a Sales Presentation for your Micro Business. Dollars and Sense Show #23

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Show #23 Creating a Sales Presentation

In this podcast, Carol Topp helps micro business owners create a sales presentation.


runningmb_medThis information is covered in more detail in Carol Topp’s book  Running a Micro Business

 

 

 

What is a Sales Presentation?

  • Short, 15-30 seconds. Like a TV commercial
  • Could be in person or used on website, flyer
  • Includes a short sales statement (tag line)

Parts of Sales Presentation

  • Your name and business name
  • Main product or service
  • 2-3 benefits to customer (not features)
  • Demonstration, sample or photo
  • Uniqueness
  • Price
  • Contact information
  • Call to action

Example; Adam, birthday party entertainer

I’m Adam (name) and I visit children’s birthday parties (business) as Jedi Master. I can train your child and his friends in light saber fighting (main benefit). It is perfectly safe, because I use Styrofoam pool “noodles” as light sabers (second benefit). Let me demonstrate (demonstration). I’m avail- able for birthday parties where I come in costume and offer games, stories, demonstrations and dueling practice. Here’s a brochure describing my prices and how to contact me (price and contact information). Does your child dream of becoming a Jedi knight? (tag line) Give me a call. (call to action).

Example: William Lynch Floral designer at  http://lynchdesignflorist.com

Flowers (main product) bring color and life to any space (benefit) – be it the office, hotel, home or chapel – and any occasion – including weddings, memorial service or other special event. At Lynch Design (name), we know how flowers can set the style for your room or event, or bring a smile to the face of a colleague, friend or loved one (benefits). Whether you’re looking for classic, contemporary, elegant, fun, or unique designs – or arrangements that convey love and friendship (uniqueness) – our floral design experts can do it all. Shop online or contact us phone number (contact and call to action).

 

Join Carol’s upcoming podcasts for micro business owners on Making the Sale and What to Do If You Don’t Get Paid.

Learn more about starting and running a micro business at MicroBusinessforTeens.com

 

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