William Lynott

WILLIAM LYNOTT is a veteran freelance writer specializing in business management, as well as personal and business finance.

ARTICLES

The Importance Of Saying What You Mean: You May Not Be Doing As Well As You Think

Have you ever been frustrated by a colleague's or employee’s failure to do a task the way you expected it to be done? In that case, you may want to consider the possibility that the fault was your own — that you may have failed to make your instructions unmistakably clear. The ability to communicate with precision does not come naturally to most of us, regardless of the extent of our education. That's unfortunate, since virtually all authorities agree that the ability to express our thoughts clearly is an essential ingredient in the recipe for successful business management. You
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How To Foil The Identity Thieves

The identity thieves are looking for you. They love small business owners because they make such profitable victims. If they catch up with you, they could destroy your personal financial standing — or even your business. Like all predators, identity thieves stalk their targets, strike without warning and then disappear into the night with their bounty.
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Burnout: An Ever-Present Risk that Could Damage Your Life

How to Keep It from Happening Burnout is a risk that hovers menacingly over the head of every entrepreneur. It can sneak up on you with little or no warning, burrowing silently into your business and your personal life. Psychologists define burnout as physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress. It can leave you feeling empty, incapable and distressed. “Burnout is insidious,” said Jackie Nagel, president, Synnovatia. “It causes decision fatigue, erodes confidence, drains your energy, infects attitudes, amplifies cynicism, promotes inflexibility and encourages procrastination. Before long, you’re unable to focus on the task at hand. You’re
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The Other Side of the Ledger

Every fast lube business incurs debt. It’s a normal part of business operation. In debt management, knowledge is power. Knowing exactly what your debt load is on a periodic basis provides the foundation for taking control of those debts.
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You Need to Compete for the Best Job Candidates

In the buyer’s market of recent years, it was probably easy for you to attract top-notch job candidates. Not so much today. With new job creation healthier than expected in 2016, and further increases so far this year, finding and hiring the best candidates for your shop may no longer be a slam-dunk. You may already be feeling the pinch. In today’s improving job market, the very best job candidates — the ones who would satisfy your strictest requirements — can afford to be picky when it comes to applying for a job. That’s why you need to be
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Sole Proprietorship or Corporation?

The Wrong Choice Could Be a Costly Mistake Nearly three-fourths of the millions of small businesses in the United States are sole proprietorships according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. But is that the best choice for you and your business? That’s a question you should consider carefully whether you’re just getting started or if you’ve been giving some thought to changing your present form of business. There are four basic classifications of business entities from which to choose: Sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and Limited Liability Company (LLC). While there are a number of variations among these choices, these
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Relieving the Pressure

Don't Let Business Stress Ruin Your Life You may not have thought much about it, but running your fast lube business requires working in a dangerous environment. No, not physical danger — a different, more subtle kind of danger. It’s the hidden stress inevitable in the life of every business owner, stress that is rampant in our society today, stress that can accumulate to the point of serious damage in both your business and personal life. How common are stress related problems? “Up to 80 percent of visits to primary care physicians are for symptoms directly or indirectly related
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Ten Things You Need to Know About Money

Money: It’s part of our lives from the first day mommy tucks lunch money into our backpacks until we finally shuffle off this mortal coil. How much of the stuff we manage to earn, how much of it we save, what we do with it — these things will help determine how successful we will be in today’s financially oriented society. Money and our ability to manage it determine how comfortably we will live, how well we will be able to care for our families, how well we’ll sleep at night and, yes, how well we will enjoy our
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Pre-Employment Background Checks

These days, every new employee brings a possible threat to your business. Among them: theft, sexual harassment, physical violence, identity theft, fraud and drug use. The potential for ruinous legal actions is clearly higher today than ever before. That’s why a background check before you hire an applicant could save your business. However, it’s essential that background checks be conducted within the maze of laws designed primarily to protect job applicants. Here are some things you need to know before deciding to use them. “The use of background checks is governed by a multitude of federal, state and even
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Are You a Great (Or Even a Good) Boss?

Over the years, you’ve built a reasonably profitable business, but you often feel you should be doing better. Unfortunately, pinpointing the reasons for less than optimum results can be a tricky business. It’s far too easy to blame external causes such as poor employee performance, uncontrollable operating expenses or the economy. While situations like that can exist, another cause can be much more difficult to face: management shortcomings. Are you really doing the great management job you think you’re doing? These nine questions will help you analyze your own performance while leading the way to better profits:   • Do
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The Critical Importance of Setting Specific Business Goals

Successful business owners understand the importance of having a strong vision for the future. An important part of that vision is a clear idea of what success looks like, and laying out a route to get there. The ultimate goal, of course, is profit, and setting clear and specific goals is the surest road to that destination. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to reach a target that is fuzzy or doesn’t exist at all. “Companies without precise overhead and profit goals never make enough money and probably won’t make a profit,” said George Hedley, best-selling author of “Get Your
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Eight Easy Ways to Simplify Your Life and Boost Your Income in 2017 and All the Years to Come

The start of a new year offers a fine opportunity to revitalize your fast lube business for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Here are eight easy steps you can take now to simplify your life, lower expenses and pump up your net income in 2017 and all the years to come:Slash Your Costs for Keeping in TouchAs for keeping yourself reachable, you’ve never had it so good. With your cell phone, broadband internet access and regular telephone service, you are never far from anyone you want to reach (or anyone who wants to reach you).Unfortunately, you’re probably
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How to Keep Your Employees Happy When Raises Aren't In The Budget

In this volatile economy, dishing out raises to your employees may be a scary thought. When the budget is too tight to allow the raises that you’d like to give, it’s important to understand how a little love can save the day.As far back as 1924 when the so-called Hawthorne Studies originated, researchers began to understand that employee behavior is not dependent on money alone, far from it. In fact, job satisfaction and performance often depend heavily on factors that have nothing at all to do with money; and nowhere is this more important than in a service business.Of
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The Important Role of Credit in Your Business

In a fast lube business, credit used wisely can be a profitable friend; used carelessly, it can be a destructive enemy. When your business has an excellent credit score, you are likely to be offered the most favorable interest rates if you need a loan, suppliers and vendors will be inclined to extend their most attractive terms and the business is likely to be well regarded by the business community, making it more attractive to customers and prospects. On the other hand, a poor credit score can seriously damage your reputation and hamper your business in a number of
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How to Sell Your Business for Your Price

Sooner or later, the day will come when you are no longer running your fast lube business. Whether you decide to pack it all in and retire to sunny Florida or whether you just want to cash in on all that hard work while you are young enough to enjoy the fruits of your labor, choosing the right selling strategy will be critically important especially in a challenging economy such as the one we are experiencing now.After a decade that saw business sellers calling their own tunes, the economic meltdown of 2008 ushered in a precipitous drop in business
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How To Find The Right Accountant Seven Ways to Avoid Making a Costly Choice

The relationship between you and the person you choose to do your accounting and taxes is far more important than you may realize. In a small business like yours, the right accountant functions almost like a partner. Chances are you look to your accountant for advice and help with business decisions, so it’s crucial the relationship is comfortable and trusting, particularly in today’s volatile and complex economy.“CPAs are more than just individuals who do your yearly taxes,” said business consultant and author Maria Marsala. “The right accountant can advise you on a long list of other services, which may
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Guerrilla Marketing

When it comes to marketing a small service business, most conventional marketing ideas simply aren’t worth the effort because they just don’t work or they’re too expensive.The catch is you cannot do without marketing; it is absolutely essential to the financial health of any small business, especially in a specialized field like automotive service. That’s where guerrilla marketing comes in — unconventional and inexpensive ways to boost sales and outpace your competition while you grow your business.Here are eight guerrilla-marketing techniques that you can put to work right now:1.     Create “Business Cards” Prospects Will KeepMost run-of-the-mill business cards are
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Inoculate Your Business From Killer Viruses

We all know how devastating a computer virus can be, but not everyone is aware of the destructive viruses that can infect a business. Unlike computer viruses, these profit killers aren’t transmitted through space; they grow and fester within the infected business strictly from internal causes.Here are seven of the most common business viruses along with the antidotes you need to keep your shop from being infected:• Telephone Sickness and How to Cure ItYour telephone can be a powerful business builder or a destructive business killer. Every time a customer or potential customer dials your number, it’s a request
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How To Avoid 11 Common Negotiating Mistakes That Can Cost You Big Time

When it comes to running your fast lube business, skill in the art of negotiating can make your life easier and more profitable. Failing to develop a knack in this important part of doing business can silently eat away at the foundation you’ve built for your success.You may not think of yourself as a negotiator, but Harvard Business School professor, Michael Watkins, said you are. “Whatever your business, a good part of your time is spent negotiating,” he said.He’s right, and nowhere is this more true than in a service business. Whether you’re negotiating with prospects or customers, suppliers, your
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Managing Cash Flow For Improved Profits

Cash flow — how much money is flowing into and out of your fast lube business — is an easy concept to understand. Still, not every owner is aware of the impact cash management has on the bottom line. That’s because the importance of managing revenue is far easier to recognize in some types of businesses than it is in others, but skillful cash management is critically important in every business from the smallest to the largest. Losing control of money can generate far more financial headaches than temporary red figures on the bottom line. On the other hand, a
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