10 Tips to Building a Successful and Sellable Service Business

10 Tips to Building a Successful and Sellable Service Business

Build your business from the ground up like you're planning to sell it and you'll make better longterm decisions, develop better processes, and be more likely to not try to do everything yourself (nobody wants to buy a job). Chances are, these same things that make your business more sellable will also help you be better positioned to work with who you want, doing what you want, at the prices you deserve, so you'll get more out of the business while you own it – not just financially, but personally as well.

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4 Lessons Small Biz Can Take From Amazon & Whole Foods

4 Lessons Small Biz Can Take From Amazon & Whole Foods

With all the talk of the $13.7 billion cash deal for Amazon to buy Whole Foods, most people are just talking about it in relation to the retail industry and what it will mean for its future. I think small business owners should be looking at it to see what they might be able to learn from the deal that can be applied to their own businesses, though.

Having been in the internet industry for 21+ years, I know that everyday business owners can come up with great ideas that transform their businesses and their lifestyles. I've worked with many of them, and have friends who've used the internet to build wildly successful businesses that let them live life on their own terms.

You have to keep your mind open and, more importantly, dare to dream about what you really want out of your business. Here are 4 of the many lessons you can take from the Amazon - Whole Foods deal:

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Take control of your business to take back your life

Take control of your business to take back your life

You didn't start your business with dreams of working all the time doing stuff you hate and answering to a ton of bosses, better known as clients, who don't understand what you do but want to tell you how to do it anyway. (whew – run-on sentence!)

Unfortunately, most people who start a business end up in exactly that position, especially if it's a service business. I'll bet you have, too. It's just so easy to get stuck in a rut that it's hard to take a step back and think things through.

Nobody else has the knowledge and experience that you do, though. They may have similar, but they'll never have exactly the same. That's what makes you so valuable to the clients who are the best fit for you to work with and not valuable to those who aren't. And that's great! You only want to work with the ones who fit, right? Unless you're a masochist, I already know the answer is yes.

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Will a tech gap be your retirement trap? Improve the chances of selling your business

Will a tech gap be your retirement trap? Improve the chances of selling your business

Did you know that around 2/3 of small businesses never sell and are closed down when the owner retires?

And of those that do sell, the average sales price is about 1/2 of what the owner thinks it's worth?

Add to that the fact that most business owners have the vast majority of their financial assets tied up in their businesses, and the prospects for the average owner to ever retire comfortably are slim.

According to Christopher M. Snider, President and CEO of the Exit Planning Institute (EPI), 85-90% of the net worth of the average business owner is tied up in their business, yet "57% of respondents to their survey stated that lifestyle is not dependent on transfer of ownership of the business." That's called denial.

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Using Facebook Messenger chatbots for marketing and customer service

Using Facebook Messenger chatbots for marketing and customer service

Many small businesses sent out email blasts for marketing today that ended up in spam folders or buried in the sheer volume of email that people get now. Aside from the fact that email blasts are bad for business, offering Facebook Messenger as a delivery option is a sure-fire way to avoid the spam box and reach people where they are.

Chances are you're familiar with using Messenger to chat with friends, but I'll bet you had no idea you can use it to communicate with your clients and prospects, too. Well, now you do.

You can even automate customer service and other types of communications! That's called a chatbot.

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