Do you ever wonder if there is power in one? We believe there is and as business coaches we work with our clients to help them break down the business activities they need to participate in into bite-sized chunks.
In some cases doing one more thing can reap amazing results. Here are some powerful “ones” you can incorporate:
- Suggest one more service to every client you speak with. Just as the fast food restaurants ask, “Do you want fries with that?” you should be asking your clients the same thing.
- Make one more client visit or cold call every day. To determine whether this method might grow your business, consider your current conversion rate and multiply that by the power of one more call a day.
- Commit one day per month to developing your skill set. Regardless of whether you attend a training networking event or sign up for an online class, stay connected and educated keeps you relevant.
- Read one book a month. If you already read for your area of expertise, pick up a work of fiction or something in a genre that has nothing to do with your work life.
- Ask one client a week for a referral or testimonial.
- Show up an hour early. If you believe the early bird gets the worm, then you want to be that early bird, you want to be the one whose doors open earlier than the competition and you want to be the business owner who answers his phone an hour earlier than “the other guy.”
What type of “ones” can you incorporate to help grow your business?
We may not be accountants, but we know that business owners need to track their income and expenses as well as keep track of myriad other details that will help make tax filing time much easier. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first time business owner or a long-time entrepreneur, now is the time to make certain your business is in a good place with its record keeping — don’t wait until December 31!
What can you do to stay organized and on track with your business records?
- Set up folders — whether virtual or in a file drawer — label them and take time at the end of every day to put the paperwork into the folders that needs to go there.
- Keep track of your receipts. File your invoices and income. Set up file folders for your clients so you know when they need to be billed and whether they’ve paid.
- Have your contractors and employees complete W9s or W2s at the beginning of the year and file them with your year-end tax information.
- Track the miles that you drive for business. Keep a mileage log in your vehicle and note your beginning and ending miles every time you get into the car to visit a client or attend a meeting. Tally up the miles at the end of the year and share them with your accountant.
- Build your business team. Look for an accountant, a legal advisor, an administrative assistant or a marketing person, etc. determine what roles need to be filled to keep your business viable and for which you don’t have the time or talent to complete.
We can help you with your business systems, business plan and with implementing systems and processes to make your business as successful as it can be.
Are there times when you feel you’re spinning your wheels when it comes to your marketing and prospecting efforts? If that’s the case you need to understand that in order to make your marketing effective you need to have a strategy and tactics in place that suit your particular, unique audience.
That being said, there are items that every marketing strategy should have in place:
- Understand what the life cycle of your prospect is, in other words do your sales usually follow a particular path? If so, your strategy must incorporate that unique process.
- How do your prospects want to be contacted? Email? Telephone? Text? Face-to-face meetings?
- Is there a way to automate any of the sales process? Either through mailings or email campaigns or other ways in which you can reach a target group of prospects all at one time?
When you’re looking back at the effectiveness of your 2014 sales and looking forward to 2015 and increased sales, you want to make sure the steps along your sales path are clearly defined.
No man is an island. This adage is true in life as it is in business. Successful entrepreneurs know that to grow a business they need to collaborate with others. How can you make certain your collaboration skills are as strong as they could be?
Here are some steps you can take to strengthen them:
- Make certain your associates feel a part of the process and that their contributions are given thoughtful consideration.
- Do you include all relevant team members in discussions? Do they feel part of the team?
- What do you do with that one person in your organization who tosses out ideas — that may at first seem out of the scope of what you’re doing — to make him or her feel part of the whole?
- When you’re attempting to formulate solutions to problems, do you involve team members from a cross section of your organization?
What can you do to foster collaboration and input from all team members?
Why isn’t the phone ringing? You’ve been attending networking events and conference and handing out your business cards so it stands to reason the phone should be difficult to keep up with, right?
Perhaps the reason it’s not ringing is because you don’t have a plan in place to follow up with those individuals you have me and networked with. Here are three steps you can implement that just might have your pool ringing off the hook:
- Make time for follow up phone calls or to send follow up emails. When you’re planning out your work week, you need to plan for prospecting and follow-ups. While it’s nice to believe that your prospects might just call you back, they are likely just as busy as you are and you need to be proactive.
- Write a thank you note. If someone has done something nice for you, send a thank you note. If you meet someone at a networking event, rather than sending an email follow up, break out of that routine (hint, that is what everyone does!) and send a handwritten “great to meet you” note.
- Make certain your prospecting goals are realistic. Don’t jot on your to-do list that you will make 50 follow up calls this week. That number is daunting and likely not realistic. Set a goal of making two or three calls a day or set aside an afternoon and make ten calls. Make sure the goal is attainable or it will become insurmountable.
What plans do you have in place for prospect follow ups?
How robust is your business bio? Do you have a complete profile on LinkedIn or on your other business social media pages? Is your About Page on your website all it can be?
Here are some tips to write a bio that helps you sell yourself:
- Who is your audience? Your bio shouldn’t be a one size fits all, it should fit the medium and the audience you’re reaching.
- Consider what are your most important qualifications, or what words you’d like potential clients to search for you under. Think “Google” search when you’re writing your bio.
- Do you have any qualifications or specialized training of note? If so, note it!
- Make sure your bio has easy to find contact information. If someone searches you out, you want to make it easy for them to find you!
When is the last time you’ve checked your business bios and profiles?
Business owners today need a web presence in order to compete. However, simply building a website doesn’t guarantee that:
- You will be found or
- That your ideal clients will be the ones who visit your site… but
If you’re taking the time and putting in the effort to have a website and a blog constructed you need to know what steps to take to make sure your site is search engine optimized. Here are our best practice tips to make that happen:
- Research your business’s keywords. Take a step back and ask yourself, “if a potential client is looking for me what search terms will he use to find me?” Work those terms into your website and blog posts.
- Make sure you title your blog posts so that your keywords show up in the URL; this helps search engines find you.
- Put time and thought into the crafting of your title and make sure keywords are being added to it.
- You don’t need to go keyword heavy. In fact, don’t use keywords unless they make sense and sound natural in a sentence. The rule of thumb should be no more than three keywords or keyword phrases per post — be aware though that Google changes its algorithms frequently and this is subject to change.
- Add an image to your posts. The image should make sense with the copy you’re writing. You should also include at least one outbound link and include a link that also drives traffic back to information on your site that relates to the post.
How often do you blog and do you find it is helping your website visibility? If you’re stumped, give us a call.
Is there a magic formula for achieving goals? We believe that while there is no magic formula, there are specific steps that business owners can take to help them attain the goals they have set for their businesses.
These steps include:
- Setting goals that are time sensitive and deadline oriented. Rather than setting a goal to “get more clients in 2014” set a goal such as, “get new clients a month in 2014.” This goal means you have made it time sensitive and deadline oriented. Having a measurable goal brings it into focus.
- Set a goal that “forces” you to persevere. Goals that are too easy don’t challenge you as a business owner and will not push you toward greater heights of success. While you don’t want to set goals that are continually unattainable, you do want to set goals that make you work to achieve them!
- Finally set a goal that showcases your expertise and helps you achieve the measures of success you’d set for yourself at the beginning of the year. Setting a goal to “clean off your desk” isn’t helping your business grow. But setting a goal to “increase revenues by 25% by year’s end” pushes you toward success.
What steps do you take to achieve your business goals?
If you’ve spent any time on social media such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn you have seen the individuals who only post what we refer to as self-serving, buy-me posts. We call those individuals social media leeches and that is something you don’t want to be.
When it comes to social media you want to be a social media giver. How can you do that? There are at least three ways that we have come up with and they are:
- Share the information of others. Facebook loves it, and you, when you share the links that others have posted on their pages. Also, when you’re sharing that link, you are helping a colleague get his or her name known and they may return the favor.
- Be part of the conversation. Social media should be just that — social. Comment on the posts of others. Yes, it’s easy enough to give a post a “thumbs up” but it’s even better to write a few words on why you’re liking it.
- Your posts should be a ratio of 80% sharing good information that makes you the go-to person for your particular area of expertise to 20% buy-me posts. Yes, you want to let people know that you have goods or services to sell, but they will know that simply by the fact of your being online posting because they will see your name.
What can you do to be a social media giver?
Do you have to be a billion dollar start up to be innovative? No. In fact, you may be an innovator in your particular field and work your way to being a billion dollar company. The trick is to get started.
If you’re an entrepreneur and you want to be considered an innovator, what can you do? Here are a few examples that may propel you toward success:
- Break the rules
- Dream big
- Take chances. Just because it hasn’t been done before, doesn’t mean it can’t be done
- Open doors you may not have tried previously
- Be a trusted business partner
- Don’t be afraid to fail
- Pay your successes forward
“They” say that when you’ve made it to the top, you should send the elevator back down! What steps can you do today to be an innovator?