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9 Things that Make a Business Valuable

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The value of your company is partly determined by your industry. For example, cloud-based software companies are generally worth a lot more than printing companies these days. However, when businesses in the same industry are analyzed, major variations exist with respect to valuation. Because of the large number of Baby Boomer owners within the small business community, it is crucial for these business owners to consider building value now so they can obtain higher competitive offers when they transition out of the business. Here are nine things that will make your business more valuable than its industry peer group:

1. Recurring Revenue

The more revenue you have from automatically recurring contracts or subscriptions, the more valuable your business will be to a future buyer. Even if subscriptions are not the norm in your industry, you should be able to find some form of recurring revenue that will make your company much more valuable than those of your competitors.

2. Something Different

Buyers buy what they cannot easily replicate on their own, which means companies with a unique product or service that is difficult for a competitor to knock off are more valuable than a company that sells the same commodity as everyone else in their industry.

3. Growth

Acquirers looking to fuel their top line revenue growth through acquisition will pay a premium for your business if it is growing much faster than your industry overall.

4.Cache

Tired old companies often try to buy sex appeal through the acquisition of a trendy young company in their industry. If you are the “darling” of your industry, expect to get a premium offer.

5. Location

If you have a great location with natural physical characteristics that are difficult to replicate (imagine an oceanfront restaurant on a strip of beach where the city has stopped granting new licenses to operate), you’ll have buyers who understand your industry interested in your location as well as your business.

6. Diversity

Buyers will pay a premium for companies that naturally hedge the loss of a single customer. Ensure that no customer amounts to more than 10 percent of your revenue and your company will be more valuable than an industry peer with just a few big customers.

7. Predictability

If you’ve mastered a way to win customers and documented your sales funnel with a predictable set of conversion rates, your secret customer-acquiring formula will make your business more valuable to a buyer than an industry peer who does not have a clue where their next customer will come from.

8. Clean Books

Companies that invest in audited statements have financials that are generally viewed by buyers as more trustworthy and therefore worth more. You may want to get your books reviewed professionally each year even if audited statements are not the norm in your industry.

9. Happy Customers

Being able to objectively demonstrate that your customers are happy and intend to re-purchase in the future and consistently make referrals will make your business more valuable than an industry peer that does not have a means of tracking customer satisfaction.

Like a rising tide that lifts all boats, your industry typically defines a range of multiples within which your business is likely to sell for; but whether you fall at the bottom or top of the range comes down to factors that have nothing to do with What You Do, but instead, How You Do It. Consider the following eight value drivers:

Learn more about Fire Inc Atlanta here.

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2016 in Success

 

3 Business Lessons from Honeybees

Fire Inc Atlanta Lessons

I have often admired the diligent work of the honey bee. Just stand in any garden for a few minutes and very soon you will see one or two honey bees foraging for food within the flowers.

These insects never seem to get tired of working, so it’s obvious why an industrious person is said to be as ‘busy as a bee.’

On deeper reflection, I realised that there are many insights that this tiny insect can give us about being successful in business. I did a little research on the practices of the honey bee and I was quite impressed with the systematic way that it goes about achieving its life’s work.

Here are some of the business lessons that I gained from studying the honey bee:

Create products that are highly valued

The honey bee is the only insect that makes food that can be eaten by humans. Honey is also the only natural food that contains all the vital ingredients for life – vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fatty acids and water.

Bees also produce other things that are of great nutritional, medicinal and economic value to people such as bee pollen, bee wax, bee venom and royal jelly. These insects are also self-sufficient as they create everything needed to sustain the entire colony.

Are you customer-focused when creating the products or services that are provided by your business? Do your offerings bring excellent value to many people?

Design efficient business systems

The honey manufacturing process is a perfect example of how an efficient production line can create consistent, predictable results.

Worker bees collect nectar from flowers; store it in special stomachs; deliver it to other bees in the hive; these chew on the nectar to break it down; drop it into combs in the hive; beat their wings on the combs to thicken the honey for long-term storage; then cap each comb with wax to preserve the food, and start the process again.

Have you created proper systems for all your business processes such as product development, manufacturing, sales, marketing, accounting, and human resource development?

Be persistent in your work effort

A honey bee will work diligently to fill its stomach with nectar; it may have to visit over 100 flowers before its task is complete. To produce one pound of honey, about 500 honey bees have to fly more than 35,000 miles finding nectar and taking it back to the hive.

This distance would be the same as travelling over three times around the world! In fact, the phrase ‘working to death’ is a reality for these bees as many pay the ultimate sacrifice to get the job done.

How committed are you to developing your enterprise? Are you prepared to give up leisure time and do whatever it takes until you have created a successful business system?

At Fire Inc Atlanta, we believe that by hiring the most talented individuals in the area and providing them superior training, we will become the Nation’s leaders in outsourced marketing and sales. Read more at fireincatlanta.com.

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Why Be an Entrepreneur?

Fire Inc Atlanta

All over the world, people are breaking free from the traditional employment model and choosing to achieve business success as entrepreneurs. Will you be the next? Fire Inc is looking for people with an entrepreneurial spirit who can learn every aspect of our business from the ground up, then take the reigns on our next office. Why on Earth would anyone want to be an entrepreneur?

Let’s start by covering 12 of the most commonly-mentioned benefits of being an entrepreneur to inspire you on your journey:

1. You can choose your own schedule.

2. You are free to travel.

3. You can take sick days or vacation days whenever you need them.

4. If there are necessary tasks you don’t enjoy or have time for, you can outsource them.

5. You can select your own employees.

6. Learning to be a better boss also teaches you to be a better employee.

7. Your innovative ideas have a chance to shine unfettered.

8. You do not have to wear a uniform or follow a company dress code.

9. You enjoy better job security than most people.

10. Entrepreneurship teaches you the benefits of hard work.

11. You can always feed your curiosity by learning more about every aspect of your business.

12. Your ambition can always drive you to greater heights and business success.

As you can see, entrepreneurship is becoming popular because it comes with a whole new lifestyle for those who are willing to seize it.

Of course, entrepreneurship isn’t all sunshine and freedom. According to the United States Small Business Association, a third of small businesses fail within the first two years, and more than half fail within the first five years.

Not surprisingly, the challenges of entrepreneurship represent the flipside of the advantages we discussed above:

1. Choosing your own schedule can result in wasted time without the proper time-management skills.

2. Even while traveling, it may be necessary to handle work-related crises, because you are basically always “on call.”

3. There are no paid sick days or vacation days, so you must decide how much each day off is worth to you.

4. You are responsible for completing any tasks you can’t afford to outsource.

5. Hiring employees means you must learn how to conduct interviews, uphold workers’ legal rights, and coordinate payroll.

6. If you don’t yet have the leadership capabilities to direct others, you will be taking a crash course once you hire freelancers or employees.

7. You must narrow all of your innovative ideas down to the ones that have the most potential to help you achieve business success.

8. If you don’t maintain a professional appearance in person and online, it is sure to reflect poorly on your company.

9. You are responsible for funding your business, even if you’re operating at a loss.

10. Only results are profitable, not time clocked, so it’s possible you will work hard and still end up disappointed.

11. You must be familiar with each aspect of how your business operates, including those which may not interest you, to ensure everything is running smoothly.

12. Only you can motivate yourself to achieve business success.

To sum it up, let’s say that with freedom comes responsibility. If you can’t handle one, you aren’t yet ready for the other.

Of course, I don’t believe people should give up on their dreams. Just be sure to arm yourself with knowledge and understand what you are getting yourself into.

For more information on Fire Inc Atlanta, visit our website.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2016 in Success

 

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5 Traits of a Great Salesperson

Fire Inc Atlanta Sales Training

There are some basic traits that all sales people need in order to be effective. If you have these traits, then sales might just be your niche. At Fire Inc, we fully train individuals in sales, marketing, and management from the ground-up. However, if you have some of the following traits to begin with, you’ll breeze through the training in no time.

A great salesperson is personable. You will get nowhere in sales if you can’t strike up a conversation with another human being. The person who can grab attention, maintain a conversation, and make the other person feel like all their attention is being given directly to them is a real salesperson. Fulfilling the need of every person to be heard is what makes great salesmen. Your customer wants to know that they matter to someone else. If you are a smart salesperson, you will be that someone else. And the sale is yours.

A great salesperson needs to be able to communicate clearly and concisely. You might only have two minutes to pitch your sale to your potential customer. Are you going to blow it rambling on about something that may or may not matter? If you can’t communicate clearly then you have already lost your sale.

Great salespersons keep their word and are honest. Being able to communicate and being personable will never help you if you can’t be trusted.If a customer comes to you with a complaint, they should feel reassured that you are handling the problem, and they can count on you to get the job done. In addition to that, if you are selling a product or a service then you need to be able to stand behind that product or service. If you can’t, your ability to sell will suffer tremendously.

Great sales people must be convincing. You have to be able to show your customer why your product or service is superior to other products or services. Or you have to show that your product or service is going to help them in some way and they should not live without it. This motivates your customers to not only buy from you, but to keep buying from you.

The final trait of an great salesperson is to be informative. There should not be an answer that you do not know. If a customer wants to know where the part number 11,342,051 was made, then you need to know exactly where that part was made and preferably the workers name who made it. Now this is an extreme example, but this is the mark of an outstanding salesperson.

For more information on our training processes and management opportunities, visit Fire Inc Atlanta’s main website.

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2016 in Success

 

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5 Success Principles We Teach Our Managers

Fire Inc Atlanta Georgia Success

Is there someone who doesn’t want to be a more successful and effective person? Well, there are probably some people who would love spending their days watching TV shows, eating, sleeping, and doing nothing useful. Most of us don’t dream about becoming such persons. We want to achieve great goals and be an example for the generations to come.

Fire Inc is constantly pushing the envelope in marketing and sales throughout the Atlanta, GA metropolitan area. Throughout one’s management training, he/she learns how to become a highly effective person, both in business and in life. Here are just five of the things that we teach our future managers during this training.

1. START WITH SELF-EVALUATION

Before you can make precise steps towards becoming a more successful and effective individual, you need to evaluate your current capacity and situation. Then, you need to compare that state to the goals you want to achieve. How much space is there between the person you are and the individual you want to become?

One of the first changes you should make is in the way you use your time. That’s where the evaluation begins. Take notes and track your activities throughout the day. After few days, you’ll notice a pattern. You’ll probably recognize the activities that are consuming your time and efficiency. There is a name for them: distractions. You need to become aware of these weaknesses and do everything to avoid them.

When you evaluate your capacity properly, you’ll know how much work you are able to handle. Thus, you’ll be able to organize the activities throughout the day and achieve maximum result with minimum effort.

2. PLAN EVERY MOMENT

The goal of efficiency doesn’t leave you with the luxury of lost time. You need to plan your day in advance and take all steps you need to take in order to achieve a goal on time. Write the to-do list. You need a reminder of the things you plan, so you won’t be comfortable about leaving a particular task out of the list.

You can write the daily tasks on paper or in your phone/tablet; just keep them in a place that will be easily accessible throughout the day. You could use Evernote for keeping your notes.

3. LEARN HOW TO DELEGATE

It doesn’t matter how well you organize your time; sometimes you won’t be able to take the entire workload on your own. When you want to be more efficient, you have to perform perfectly on each and every task you have. Quantity prevents you from delivering quality, so sometimes you have no other choice: you have to delegate part of your work to a team or to someone you hire.

For example, let’s say you want to promote your business online, but you can’t invest enough time in writing profound blog posts. There are plenty of professional writers you can hire online. They can help you write the content through a collaborative process, but they can also complete the piece according to your instructions. The main thing to keep in mind is that you’ll become more efficient when you delegate the work to someone who can complete it better than you.

4. MANAGE YOUR TIME

Wasting your energy on multiple tasks is not the perfect way of becoming more effective. Focus is the key to success. Make sure to know your priorities and act in accordance with them. Have you heard of the Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule)? Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto realized that 80% of the effects came from 20% of the causes.

How is this rule applied in your efficiency? 80% of the results you achieve will come from 20% of your efforts. Those 20% are your priorities. When you focus most of your energy on them, you’ll achieve the ultimate level of effectiveness.

5. ‘YES’ IS NOT ALWAYS THE RIGHT ANSWER

People have a deep need to be liked by others. The ego is the sole cause of such tendency. You care about the way people perceive you, so you might accept more work than you’re capable of achieving just because you don’t want to ruin the impression. This behavior leads to a huge problem: you won’t be able to finish all tasks on time, and you won’t be able to achieve the quality you’re expected to deliver.

Read more about Fire Inc Atlanta on our website.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2016 in Success

 

Team Leadership 101

Fire Inc Atlanta Leadership Training

A lot of people start their career in Atlanta here at Fire Inc with little to no professional leadership experience. Throughout their training for management, we are continually coaching and guiding them through the do’s and don’ts of leadership. If you want to get ahead in the game, here’s a simple guideline of what we teach.

To be an effective team member in terms of bonding and contribution you may want to consider avoiding some of these pit falls.

Don’t create a mental obstacle

Have a positive belief about team work. Don’t create a negative mental image for yourself about the team. What I mean by this is that some people whether consciously or not, slip into viewing the team as an impediment rather than a working part of a greater mechanism.

If you find yourself having that thought, or feeling this way towards your team… go back to step one in this series and communicate! What you believe impacts how you act, so if you believe the team is an obstacle your actions will validate your belief!

Don’t be THAT person

Take on your share of the work! There is nothing more irritating about working on a team than finding yourself facing a lengthy “to do” list only to look around and see other team members coasting.

Check in with the team lead and chime in at meetings letting others know you are willing and eager to carry your own weight. Offer to help others if they have more on their plate than you do.

Don’t shy away from conflict

This is definitely one of my pet peeves. Conflict can only take on the energy that is given to it. If it is fed negative energy it gets bigger and can even get out of control, but if it is given positive energy and viewed through a working lens it can bring great things into focus.

View conflict as an opportunity, because it really is! Conflict brings differing opinions and perspectives to the forefront. This allows the team a chance to mine different perspectives and arrive at a hybrid solution!

When conflict arises, share the responsibility of resolving it as a team. Own it as a team! This alone can empower team efforts and create a powerful dynamic.

Reach Out

Connect with other team members and share resources, information and knowledge. Be the person on your team to break down the silos of communication and share.

Let others know you are there to support them. After all this is a team and team’s operate as a synergistic whole… not in isolation of one another.

Be Positive

Challenge yourself to deeply listen to the contributions being made and develop responses that demonstrate your support.

Model positivity through your language, actions and overall presence. Present with a “can do” attitude and bring upbeat energy to the table.

Be the person on the team who is willing to tackle a problem by suggesting a brain storming session. Think outside the box!

Above all, remember, moods ARE contagious, so check any bad mood at the door before your team gathering and challenge yourself to show up in a positive way!

Respect Team Boundaries

Respect team boundaries, norms and standards. Know what they are and be the person who brings them up and develops them if they aren’t discussed. This helps give the team some substance and deepens the relationship individuals have with the team.

Whether the meeting is virtual, via teleconference or in person, be on time! If information has to be repeated, people get irritated and time is wasted. In organizations, time is money so don’t waste either!

Put your cell phone away and pay attention. Yes, I know we are working in the age of Millennials and cell phones are considered to be extensions of your own body parts, but have some respect. If others are talking or presenting they need your eyes… not the top of your head. Seriously, texting someone back or scrolling through your email can wait. And… if it can’t, let your team members know that right up front before the meeting even begins. It goes back to that communication thing!

 

By getting yourself familiar with the ins and outs of team leadership, you’ll be better prepared for any professional social situation you come across.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2016 in Success

 

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Learning How To Negotiate In Difficult Circumstances

Fire Inc Atlanta

No matter how hard you try, sooner or later you will find yourself in a situation of having to iron out a difficult situation. This can be scary, but fortunately with the right tools in place, you can make your way through and come to a solution that will work for all concerned. At Fire Inc Atlanta, we develop a person’s negotiating skill to the point where every deal made is a win-win-win. It’s good for the customer, the client, and the rep.

The first thing you should remember when heading into negotiations is to look on the bright side. If you start out upbeat, you will be far more likely to come out with a satisfactory result. Remember that in negotiations, it is better to strive for all parties concerned to come to a mutual agreement.

It’s best to meet in person in neutral territory. Avoid meeting in the other person’s office or in your own. Instead, choose a place that has no associations for anyone. If you are not able to meet to negotiate, use an online option that will still allow you to see and hear each other. Do not try to negotiate by e-mail. This is a recipe for catastrophe.

Be sure you completely understand the issues at hand and are prepared to discuss them calmly and intelligently. Start out your meeting with a clear definition of the problem and the matters that need to be addressed. In this way, everyone will be on the same page. Be sure your negotiations are about the facts at hand, and do not let your emotions get the better of you.

Assess yourself honestly. Be willing to accept responsibility for ways in which you may have contributed to the problem. In your mind, establish some clear parameters in regards to the outcome of the negotiations. For example, there may be some areas that you simply must have satisfied and others where you could be more flexible. Be clear on this from the outset.

Keep a forward motion. Focus on finding solutions and creating alternatives rather than dwelling on mistakes and wrongs in the past. Completely sidestep laying blame. Simply start where you are and focus on improving the situation and solving the problem as it currently stands.

Avoid maneuvering and manipulating. Communicate transparently by simply and honestly presenting your concerns and goals. Recognize areas where your concerns and goals are the same as or similar to those of the other party. This recognition of commonality will help you work together for a successful resolution.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2016 in Success

 

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