Posts

Save Money by Sharing

sharing.jpgOur parents taught us to share. It was part of being a good little boy or girl. The economy is reminding us adults about the value of sharing.

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Home for Sharing

For example, some people are now sharing living space. More and more people are accepting the idea of having a roommate again by renting out a room to help pay bills.

There are a number of people who are out-of-work and looking to save money every way they can. “Necessity is the mother of invention” as we’ve heard.

Co-working

Another popular idea is sharing workspace. Freelancers across the country are creating co-working stations in their communities where they can share office facilities and other resources.

Instead of going it alone – signing a long-term lease, paying utility bills, buying office furnishings and equipment – they pay a fee and share space with other freelancers and entrepreneurs.

The spaces are usually nice and bright. They have a conference room and maybe even a full-time receptionist.

It’s not just about money. For freelancers who are starting to feel like loners, it gives them a chance for in-person human interaction during the day.

Sharing infrequently-used items

We started thinking about other ways to share. One example is a lawn mower. We only use our mowers once or twice a week. In our area of the world, we only use it for about half of the year. Would it make sense to share a mower with a neighbor?

As long as both people don’t feel the need to mow on the same day at the same time, it would probably work. There are issues – you have to both agree to take care of the mower and those sorts of things.

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georgeThis makes me think of my dad. If he owned something, he took really good care of it. If he used something that someone else owned, he took really, really, really good care of it!

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Sharing for fun

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marylynnI had an event coming up and I didn’t know when I would find time to go shopping. I told one of my girlfriends about it. She said that she had the perfect dress. We went over to her house and, sure enough, she did!

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georgeI needed a pressure washer to do some clean up around the house. I told one of my friends that I needed to go rent one. It turned out that he had one that he let me use for the weekend.

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Just so we don’t give the wrong impression, we also share our stuff with our friends!

A fun way to share

Since we like to do everything in a bigg way, let’s ramp up this idea of sharing more. Why not organize an event with a group of your closest friends?

Hop from house to house. If you want, you can have appetizers or organize a full meal as part of the activities. You can do it all in one day or create a series – this month at our house, next month at yours.

At each house, let the host show off the wares that he or she is willing to share.

It could be a Fashion Show – from clothes to accessories. Try them on if you want. Parade around. Show them off.

Or a Home Show … from power tools to hand tools. Test them out. Complete a project together. It’s your show; do what you want.

You could have a Home Entertainment Show. Show off DVDs, books and Wii accessories.

You can all see what each person in your group has to share. Then the next time you need that certain something, you won’t have to go out and buy it – you’ll know Joe or Jane has it.

This is a fun way to spend some time with your close friends. You’ll find that it will spark a lot of fun conversation and you’ll learn more about each other.

It’s also a creative way to save some money by pooling resources. That’s a bigg idea!

What have you shared with your friends?

Please share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

We thank you so much for sharing some of your valuable time with us today!

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Recent research shows that, even before the recent decline in stocks and homes, the rich weren’t getting richer. Please join us next time when we discuss why.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00380-042409.mp3

Related posts

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(Image in today's post by hortongrou)

10 Danger Signs for Business – Part 1

danger We’ve heard that diagnosing a medical condition early greatly increases the chances of successful treatment. The same is true for our businesses – we want to spot the minor issues so they don’t become major problems.

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Cash to a business is like blood to our bodies. It has to continue flowing or we won’t survive. As a small business owner, the bottom line is that you can’t run out of cash. So you have to know how to diagnose and treat the source of the ailment before it spreads. With that in mind, here are ten signs that your business may be heading for trouble:

#1 – Lost market share

Your sales may be growing, but your share of the market may be falling. Are they up because you’ve increased prices? Is the growth of your sales keeping pace with the growth of the markets you serve?

Market share is precious – among other things, it provides leverage to raise prices as your costs increase. As competitors enter your market, you have to work even harder to maintain (and hopefully increase) your share.

#2 – Declining customer counts

Your sales may be holding steady, but fewer and fewer people are making purchases. Your remaining customers are spending more, possibly because of price increases. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you have to find a way to attract new customers because a certain amount of customer attrition is natural.

We don’t want our customers to leave because they’re unhappy. But you can’t make everyone happy all the time so even that will happen. We’ll also have customers move away, pass away, grow out of our product or service, and the like.

#3 – Low repeat and referral business

Many businesses actually lose money to get a customer for the first-time. If they break-even, they’re very happy. It’s the follow-up purchases that make a difference to our bottom line.

A healthy percentage of repeat and referral business also shows that your product or service is still meeting the needs of a core base of people. And these people are the ones who will refer other people to you, which is much less expensive than depending totally on advertising to grow your business.

#4 – Declining sales

Right now, a lot of businesses are experiencing this. It may have nothing to do with you – it may be your industry that is experiencing trouble. So you have to ask yourself … is this a long-term trend or is it cyclical? That’s the first thing you have to determine.

Next, ask yourself, will my industry recover? Some industries were facing challenges even before this recession. It’s only accelerating the long-term trend. Other industries will do just fine coming out of it. You have to know which one applies to you.

Once you’re satisfied that your industry will survive, you have to look at your own business. A lot of shake-out is happening even in healthy industries. Isolate whether it’s a problem with your business or the industry as a whole to know your best strategy.

#5 – Disproportionate sales to a small group of customers

Picture this extreme situation – all of your sales come from one customer. You’re totally at the mercy of that customer. It’s like being an employee without the safeguards that go with employment!

Generally speaking, if more than ten percent of your sales are to one customer, you may face trouble at some point. Five percent is even better. Bigg customers are great. But serving a bigg number of customers leads to bigg success.

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thank you for reading our post today. Join us next time when we talk about five more early warning signs of trouble ahead in your business. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00348-031109.mp3

Related posts

5 Marketing Strategies to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck During a Recession

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Growth: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

There’s Gold In Them There … Customers!

(Image in today's post by asifthebes)

Where Should I Stuff My Money?

mattress In days gone by, mattress stuffers hid all their money somewhere in or around their home – in the backyard, in cans, between the pages of books, in the walls, in a cookie jar, and even under a removable section of floorboards.

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A recent article in the Wall Street Journal talked about the new generation of mattress stuffers. People increasingly don’t trust anyone or anything, a response to falling home prices, crashing stock prices, bank troubles, and government ineptitude.

It’s something we don’t talk about much, but an increasing number of people are taking matters into their own hands to prepare for the next crash. Needless to say, these people aren’t optimists!

They’re pulling their money out of the stock market and stuffing their mattresses the 21st century way.

Stuffing money in treasuries

Instead of actually stuffing cash into their mattresses, they’re buying treasury bills, the safest of all investments. Most financial experts refer to these and other treasury securities as risk-free investments.

Stuffing money in gold

New generation mattress stuffers are also buying gold coins in record amounts. You may have noticed an increase in the number of ads on TV about gold. This flight to safety has been evident after just about every financial crisis, as people return to the gold standard.

Who is primarily driving this trend?

Many baby boomers have taken a huge hit to their portfolios just as they near retirement. They are the driving force behind this trend because they don’t have time to recover from the recent stock market losses before they retire.

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

___

What if you’re not ready to retire?

If you’re not close to retiring, it’s crucial to think clearly about this new mattress stuffing strategy. There are definitely some pros and cons.

Pro: We should own a well-diversified portfolio.
Experts tell us to diversify, diversify, diversify. Typically, the more diversified we are, the better. A diversified portfolio might include stocks, bonds including treasuries, real estate, and perhaps some commodities like gold. Diversification generally delivers the best return given the overall risk.

Pro: Treasuries should be part of most diversified portfolios.
Until recently, a lot of people found treasuries kind of boring because they didn’t deliver enough return. That’s because they aren’t considered risky at all, which is also why they are an essential component of a fully diversified portfolio.

Pro: Gold may also be a wise investment as a small part of a diversified portfolio.
Gold and other tangible assets usually perform best in times of high inflation. So gold can serve as “insurance” against such times. The reason that people often flock to gold in times like these is that, historically, it has been an acceptable way to pay for things.

Con: If you put all of your assets in treasuries, your returns will be much lower.
This lower return is not unjustified. After all, you’re investing in an asset that’s considered to be risk-free. The problem with this strategy is that you may not end up with as much money as you need for your retirement.

Con: It’s dangerous to put a significant percentage of your assets into gold coins.
If experts recommend gold at all (and many more are these days) as part of your portfolio, most suggest keeping it to around five percent of your total assets. Unlike treasuries, gold carries risk – its price goes up and down. One other tidbit – gold has underperformed most other assets historically.

Con: There’s no cash flow with gold.
Treasuries pay interest at regular intervals. You don’t earn any money on a gold bar or a gold coin. The only way to make money by holding gold is to sell it at a price higher than what you paid for it.

Next time, we’ll take this discussion a step further. We’ll apply some real world numbers to help you with your diversification decisions.

We are so thankful that you took the time to read our post today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00306-011209.mp3

Related posts

Mania in the Market and Rising Above the Crowd

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(Image in today's post by jillmbatt)

What’s Hot in 2009: Fun Trends

hot_2009 This week on The Bigg Success Show, we’ve been taking a look at opportunities and threats in 2009. Today, we wrap up the five-part series by looking at fun trends.

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Let’s start with fitness. Is that fun? One of the biggest trends is dance. Zumba, which combines South American rhythms with cardiovascular exercise, is expected to be one of the biggest crazes.

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marylynnI tried that once with some friends. I wasn’t very good at it. My instructor sure was – she could really shake it. I ended up going back to the treadmill.

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The young and the restless

But dance isn’t just for fitness; dance halls are making a come back. People are looking for ways to feel good and have fun in these tough times. That applies to all of us, but this trend is particularly expected to capture the under forty and single crowd.

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georgeSo young people will be going out, having fun, socializing, and dancing to upbeat and swinging music while us old folks are dancing at the fitness center to stay in shape!

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Home, sweet home

And staying home more. Cocooning is expected to be all the rage again for those of us who aren’t going out dancing. When we’re home, we’ll enjoy more video-on-demand, not just from things we’ve recorded or TIVOed. We’ll sit down to a whole array of movies and shows that will be available as new technologies come online.

We’ll also be playing more video games. A lot of people have already invested in the biggest part of a good home entertainment system. Experts expect video games to do well.

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georgeI’m amazed at the percentage of adults who now play video games on a regular basis. I’m further amazed to count myself in that group!

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marylynn We like the Sony Wii, which is great for entertainment but also hit the list of hot trends in fitness with Wii Fit.

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Plain Jane (and John)

We mentioned the do-it-yourself trend on a previous show this week. DIY fashion – from jewelry to clothes – is expected is be very popular, not only among hobbyists, but as a cottage industry. Sites like etsy make it easier than ever to sell your homemade goods.

There’s an old adage that stocks follow hemlines. As hemlines go up, stocks rise. Hemlines go down, you know what happens. So we wondered what would be hot in fashion in 2009.

The look is dowdy, a successor to the grunge look. Faded colors and plain styles will be in vogue. As if the economy isn’t dismal enough, now we have to dress that way! It seems to us like we should do the opposite – dress boldly. Maybe that would get our stocks excited!

Cruisin’

All inclusive vacations are expected to be hot again because we know what we’re going to spend before we go. That certainty is appealing right now. One beneficiary of this is expected to be cruise lines.

Never second best

Another travel trend is people visiting the “second city.” Rather than London, go to Birmingham. Instead of New York City, think Chicago. The Windy City is also expected to do well because it’s the hometown of our incoming President.

Park place

The most popular destinations this year will be national parks. Seventy-three percent of the respondents in a recent survey by TripAdvisor said they plan to visit one. Parks and other attractions close to home keep budgets in line because we don’t have the expense of flying.

And in case you’re wondering, people are planning to spend around $1,500 for domestic trips and about $4,000 when traveling abroad.

It’s important to have fun, in good times and bad. The good news is that, in these bad times, you can get some great deals. Plan ahead. Shop around. And save bigg money!

___

Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success when you
subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE

___

Thanks for joining us today. Check in next time when we’ll discuss the mattress stuffers of the 21st century. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00305-010909.mp3

Related posts

What’s Hot in 2009: Careers

What’s Hot in 2009: Businesses

What’s Hot in 2009: Threats

What’s Hot in 2009: Questions

(Image in today's post by MISHA)

What's Hot in 2009: Fun Trends

hot_2009 This week on The Bigg Success Show, we’ve been taking a look at opportunities and threats in 2009. Today, we wrap up the five-part series by looking at fun trends.

___

Play

___

Let’s start with fitness. Is that fun? One of the biggest trends is dance. Zumba, which combines South American rhythms with cardiovascular exercise, is expected to be one of the biggest crazes.

___

___

marylynnI tried that once with some friends. I wasn’t very good at it. My instructor sure was – she could really shake it. I ended up going back to the treadmill.

___

The young and the restless

But dance isn’t just for fitness; dance halls are making a come back. People are looking for ways to feel good and have fun in these tough times. That applies to all of us, but this trend is particularly expected to capture the under forty and single crowd.

___

georgeSo young people will be going out, having fun, socializing, and dancing to upbeat and swinging music while us old folks are dancing at the fitness center to stay in shape!

___

Home, sweet home

And staying home more. Cocooning is expected to be all the rage again for those of us who aren’t going out dancing. When we’re home, we’ll enjoy more video-on-demand, not just from things we’ve recorded or TIVOed. We’ll sit down to a whole array of movies and shows that will be available as new technologies come online.

We’ll also be playing more video games. A lot of people have already invested in the biggest part of a good home entertainment system. Experts expect video games to do well.

___

georgeI’m amazed at the percentage of adults who now play video games on a regular basis. I’m further amazed to count myself in that group!

___

___

marylynn We like the Sony Wii, which is great for entertainment but also hit the list of hot trends in fitness with Wii Fit.

___

Plain Jane (and John)

We mentioned the do-it-yourself trend on a previous show this week. DIY fashion – from jewelry to clothes – is expected is be very popular, not only among hobbyists, but as a cottage industry. Sites like etsy make it easier than ever to sell your homemade goods.

There’s an old adage that stocks follow hemlines. As hemlines go up, stocks rise. Hemlines go down, you know what happens. So we wondered what would be hot in fashion in 2009.

The look is dowdy, a successor to the grunge look. Faded colors and plain styles will be in vogue. As if the economy isn’t dismal enough, now we have to dress that way! It seems to us like we should do the opposite – dress boldly. Maybe that would get our stocks excited!

Cruisin’

All inclusive vacations are expected to be hot again because we know what we’re going to spend before we go. That certainty is appealing right now. One beneficiary of this is expected to be cruise lines.

Never second best

Another travel trend is people visiting the “second city.” Rather than London, go to Birmingham. Instead of New York City, think Chicago. The Windy City is also expected to do well because it’s the hometown of our incoming President.

Park place

The most popular destinations this year will be national parks. Seventy-three percent of the respondents in a recent survey by TripAdvisor said they plan to visit one. Parks and other attractions close to home keep budgets in line because we don’t have the expense of flying.

And in case you’re wondering, people are planning to spend around $1,500 for domestic trips and about $4,000 when traveling abroad.

It’s important to have fun, in good times and bad. The good news is that, in these bad times, you can get some great deals. Plan ahead. Shop around. And save bigg money!

___

Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success when you
subscribe to the Bigg
Success Weekly
– it’s FREE

___

Thanks for joining us today. Check in next time when we’ll discuss the mattress stuffers of the 21st century. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00305-010909.mp3

Related posts

What’s Hot in 2009: Careers

What’s Hot in 2009: Businesses

What’s Hot in 2009: Threats

What’s Hot in 2009: Questions

(Image in today's post by MISHA)