Category Archives: Small business strategies

7 Steps to Becoming a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

successful-businessThis past weekend, I attended a personal development training led by a husband and wife team of multi-millionaires with multiple business assets constantly throwing off cash on their behalf.

I listened intently to what they had to share. One of their tips was to ‘release the breaks’. The supposition being that we’re actually doing things (or not doing things) that keeps the breaks on our business engaged.

I gleaned 7 steps from their talk on how to become a highly successful entrepreneur. Add these to your strategic planning and implementation activities and you’ll raise the revenue and profitability levels in your enterprise, even if it’s in its infancy. In fact, the sooner you apply these principles, the more easily you’ll reach your goals.

1. Zoom out
Take time to imagine the long-term vision of your company and your life. Really get in touch with your purpose on this planet and the impact you want to have. Think big. Think bigger than you think is possible. It’s hard to see all of your potential grandeur when you’re not yet there, but work at it and let your perspective expand to the greatest possible heights.

2. Zoom in
Once you’ve gotten clear about the big, bright future, reel yourself back to the present and identify what tiny (or not so tiny) steps you can take TODAY to start down the path toward your destination.

3. Organize
Identify the activities that seem to be generating the best results. Clarify which ones are working. Simplify your processes in order to minimize wasted efforts, resources and time.  Unclutter your life and business.  Focus on what matters most. Focus on what works the best.

Get rid of everything else that could distract you from reaching your goal

4. Actualize
Keep taking productive, consistent action. Keep moving forward. Things may not always turn out the way you expect. Learn along the way. Adjust and keep taking action

5. Monetize
Keep looking for revenue streams. Perhaps there are new markets to be tapped. New ways to deliver the products/services you already have. Partner with others to gain access to new prospects.

6. Can it and clone it
Once you have a business model that works, document it. Identify the processes (think McDonald’s). Keep them simple so it can be replicated. Replicate it.

7. Increase your reach
Visibility is critical for success. Look for ways to get in front of your ideal clients. Get referrals, advertise where they hang out, speak to them (individually or in groups) to demonstrate your expertise and value. Use marketing tools to carry the message farther.  Get your product or service sean, heard and read about by as many people as possible.

Follow up with them. You’ve probably heard this advice before but are you doing it? The fortune is in the follow up. Follow up!

Implement these 7 steps and watch your business soar.

3 Keys for Unveiling and Leveraging Your Brand

brand-elements2I attended a fascinating conference for corporate women last week. One of the presenters spoke about the importance of understanding your personal and business brand. I also had an insightful conversation with a visibility expert who reiterated the same thing.

As an employee or small business owner with a limited budget, you may be thinking “I don’t need a brand”, “I don’t have a brand” or even “I can’t afford a brand”.

But you’d be wrong. You have a brand whether or not you’ve actively constructed one. Your brand is how OTHERS perceive you and the value (or lack there of) that you provide.

It’s critical that you take an active role in creating the impression you WANT
to have in the public domain.

There are 3 factors that will help you articulate your brand. Once you know them, you can leverage them by CONSCIOUSLY articulating them in your marketing materials, resumes and cover letters, service offerings, emails you
send, interviews and sales meetings.

Here are 3 factors and the very simple ways to get at them that Deb Miller,
Chief Marketing Officer of Adreima shared.

The 3 factors are:
1) Your Essence Factor
2) Your Authority Factor
3) Your Superstar Factor

Your Essence Factor the core of you. You can access it by completing the sentence, “I know I’m in my element when I’m …” When you work in your essence, work is a joy instead of a drudge. You are doing what comes naturally and it therefore seems easy.  Life is good. You feel in harmony with the world, with your calling, with your purpose.

Your Authority Factor is based on your knowledge and skills. It’s what makes you credible in your profession. You can access it by completing the sentence, “People recognize my expertise in…”

Your Superstar Factor addresses, as you might imagine, your ‘secret sauce’, that quality, skill or ability that makes you a unique standout.  The way to
think about this one is to finish the sentence “People comment on my ability

Once you’ve identified these 3 factors for yourself, do some market research and ask others how they would answer the same questions. Compare the responses. Again, your brand is largely how others see you.

So decide if what you hear from others is actually how you want to be perceived. If not, you’ll have to get active in changing your behavior, image and/or service delivery so that it reflects more closely the you you want to be known as.

When you have landed on the right combination of Essence, Authority and Superstar Factors, fashion them into a sentence like one of the following:

  • I use my ____(skill) for ___ (outcome)
  • Using ____(trait), I ____( result)
  • Through my ___ (quality), I ____ (thing you do/produce) when I serve ____ (your client)

An example might be, “Using my creativity, I spark innovation in others”.

When you’re clear about who you are, what you do and the market sees and values you similarly, you’ll be well on your way to capitalizing on your skills and living in harmony with your gifts and your purpose.

3 Ways to Blow Your Mind and Grow Your Biz

BrainElectrifiedOliver Wendell Holmes once said, “The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size.”

The challenge for many business owners and sales professionals is that they’re so absorbed in doing their business and hitting their sales goals that they don’t believe they have the time to think. Yet, Napoleon Hill wrote a world-famous book, “Think and Grow Rich” which implied that thought is the first step in growing rich.

so, what does it take to use thought to grow rich. I’ve identified 3 keys for  blowing your mind and then growing your business.

1) The first key is re-wiring your mindset.

Without the proper mindset, you won’t see opportunities that are right in front of you. You’ll talk yourself out of doing even simple things that could make a world of difference because you won’t believe they’ll work for you. Even if you do try, things likely won’t work to their full potential. Have you ever noticed that you do all the stuff that gurus say to do, but you still aren’t enjoying the results they promise?

The key here is to start retraining your subconscious mind by sending it new messages to replace the fight-or-flight tendencies it is organized around. It’s role is to ‘protect’ us from harm. But ‘harm’ to the subconscious mind means a ‘change’ of any sort. So when you get the bright idea to try something new, if it’s too far outside your comfort zone, your subconscious mind decides ‘that’s a bad idea’ and does whatever it can to convince you not to do it. It makes you feel doubtful, hesitant and fearful in order to encourage you to ‘leave well enough alone’ and stay where you are.

To retrain your subconscious, you must become the master of it. Set big goals, don’t succumb to the fear, feed yourself with empowering thoughts from books, audios, personal development courses, associate with people who are up to the same courageous growth trajectory.

2) Transform your relationship with money
Most people, whether they grew up in wealth, poverty or somewhere in-between, also grew up with misinformed or even warped beliefs, concepts and ideas about money. Those ideas shape what’s possible for you. They influence your career choices, your relationships, your spending and saving habits. Without close examination, the beliefs will continue to run the show.

I could write an entire article, or series of articles, on this subject alone. So I’ll have to just skim the surface today. Most people focus on the ‘negative’ energy of money…bills, shortfalls, worrying it will run out some day or they avoid thinking about it altogether.

Money is energy and demands attention. So instead, focus on the more positive aspects of it. Focus on the money that comes INTO your life. Show gratitude for money. Recognize that it has a spiritual aspect to it. As my coach often says, “Imagine that making fabulous money is part of your spiritual path.” Hmmm.

3) Have a marketing plan
Most people I know DO marketing activities (e.g. networking), but they don’t have a plan. They flit from activity to activity with not much thought to whether or not it’s the right activity. You need to know where your business is in its evolution and have a plan specifically designed to move you from where you are to the next level of success. If you do marketing activities that are designed for a business in a different phase than you are in, those activities won’t have the same positive outcomes for you. You’ll be wasting your time, energy and money and miss out on the success that could be just around the corner.

When you implement these three concepts, you’ll be well on your way to growing your business

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5 Keys for Maximizing the ROI on Your Professional Development

If you’re like me, you love to learn. I am always looking for ways to be more of the  best version of me and ways to improve the operation of my business.

The risk that you run with that kind of passion is that you’re consumed with learning, but weak on implementing and it’s implementing that allows you to monetize your investment and create a strong ROI.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind as you strive to improve yourself and your business:

1. Set aside time to integrate what you learned immediately.
When you attend a conference or a class, schedule some ‘down time’ the next day so you can review your notes and plan what you’ll do with your new knowledge.

2. Avoid taking too many classes in close proximity to each other.
It’s likely to take you weeks or months to fully integrate your new strategies into your routine.  Strive to allow sufficient time to assimilate your new knowledge and turn it into improved strategies and actions before piling on more knowledge.

3.  Practice and share your new ‘stuff’ immediately.
Many times people feel tentative when they start implementing something new. That tentativeness is played out by not sharing what you’ve learned with your community.

The longer you wait, the less likely you’ll be to ever implement. So give yourself permission to be a newbie. Try new things. Offer a small group of clients special ‘early adopter’ pricing for your new approach.

4. Make connections.
If you’re attending a live event (virtual or face-to-face), strive to connect with other people who serve your market but offer something to it that you don’t. These are great prospects for building referral relationships or strategic alliances. They will speak the same language as you (having just completed the same learning you did) and hopefully, will be equally motivated to monetize their investment.

5. Get support.
Making changes in your routine is often a challenge especially when you’re trying something new. As you make investment decisions, lean towards programs that offer some ‘post-learning’ coaching or Q&A support. As you implement, you’ll probably come up with questions that you didn’t have as you were learning the material. Follow up support can be invaluable and help you implement more efficiently.

Ongoing training and development is a necessary investment in your future success. You must tackle it wisely however in order to maximize your return. These tips will help you do just that!

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How to Network to Improve Your Networth

Networking is a great business-building practice.

The problem is that many people confuse networking with prospecting.

Prospecting is an activity you do when you’re looking for leads and customers or clients. You tend to have sales conversations with them.

This is very off-putting at a networking event. Most people there aren’t looking to buy anything on the spot and sales conversations are just plain annoying in those venues.

Here are my three best tips for profitable networking:

1)      Be helpful.

Find out what people need and offer solutions, tips, advice, resources. It’s best not to try to engage them in a sales conversation on the spot even if you’re a good resource for them. If you think they are truly a hot lead who is interested in what  you do, ask them if it’s ok for you to connect after the event. Then schedule a sales meeting with them later.

2)      Be a connector.

Introduce people to each other that might not know each other but should. They will appreciate you for being selfless and interested in their needs.

3)      Act like you’re the host/ess.

Some people avoid networking because they are shy and hate meeting and talking with strangers. When you put on your ‘host’ hat, you’ll feel more confident. You’ll be free to approach other people who look uncomfortable and engage them in conversation.  As the hostess, you’ll always be on the lookout for someone who needs to be included. So don’t stay in conversation with one person the entire night. Reach out to as many people as possible with the intent to have them feel more welcome and comfortable.

Do these simple tips and you’ll feel like a champ and other people will enjoy networking with you.

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