Tag Archives: Small business

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.

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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7 Factors for More Effective Marketing and Better Business Growth

I’ve been working with several private clients on building their businesses more effectively.

One of the things they applaud is how must more productive their activities have become. They cite things like having a plan, being held accountable for implementing that plan and improving the quality of their marketing message as critical components of their success.

These aren’t rocket science concepts, yet in the day-to-day chaos that sometimes consumes them, plans and good intentions fly out the window.

What is it that has some business owners increase their businesses while other struggle?

I’ve uncovered 7 critical components.

1. Establish short-term and long-term goals
I wrote about the value of goal setting a few weeks ago (Read the article). Goals for both time frames are critical. Goals give you something to work toward and also make the path to get on more clear.

2. Assess
How prepared are you to do the work required to get to your end goal? Do you have what you need or do you need to learn something, hire a consultant, reorganize work duties? Maybe you have to shift your thinking, expand your sense of possibility. Adopt a more empowering belief system that says “I can do that!”

3. Identify stumbling blocks
There are reasons you haven’t yet reached your goal. The assessment phase may have brought to light tools and resources you need but don’t have.  If you keep saying, “If only I had “x then I could market my company better”, it’s time to get off the dime and take care of that. It’s costing you money!

4. Lay out your roadmap
Once you know where you’re going and what you need to get there, you can start laying out the steps it will take and the milestones you’ll  have to reach along the way. Knowing the intermediate steps will make the realization of your goal more feasible, certain even.

5. Be proactive
All the best laid plans will produce naught if you don’t get off your duff and do something different. You can’t expect to continue with your old, comfortable habits and expect that magically they’ll turn into more clients and more profits.

When people hear about how painfully shy I was as a child, they always ask ‘What did you do to get over that?’ First came the realization that I could not accomplish what was in my heart and mind being a wallflower. Then came decisions to put myself in front of people, speaking to groups (which petrified me at the time) and to continue doing that until it became a now favorite activity.

6. Track your progress
This is an important step that most people don’t bother with. They may make to-do lists and cross things off, but it’s hard to track your productivity over time by just reviewing crossed off lists. You can’t see trends of things you’re doing well and things you’re consistently avoiding. Plus tracking your activity makes you WAY more conscious of and accountable for what you’re getting done.

7. Get support and master your psychology
No matter how driven you are, having someone or some ones in your corner, watching your back, giving you honest feedback, encouraging you when you’re down, brainstorming with you and opening your eyes to new possibilities while pushing you to think bigger, will go a long way to you reaching new horizons, more clients, happier clients and more money in the bank.

Implement these 7 factors and watch your business grow!

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3 Critical Elements for Generating More Sales

Have you been wondering what it takes to grow your business at a rate faster than the market?

Many business owners keep their head to the grindstone. They work hard at their craft and delight in serving their customers. Unfortunately, all that work takes time away from building the business in time-effective ways.

Sure, you go to networking events, make phone calls (you do make calls, don’t you?), maybe advertise in certain places or encourage people to make referrals on your behalf.

Still, not enough profit in the bank account leaves you feeling exhausted, confused and frustrated.

“What’s a body to do?”, you ask.

In my more-than-a-decade of helping business owners improve their situations, I’ve discovered that it takes 3 things to rise above the herd and outpace the market in terms of industry sales in your category.

1. A killer niche
Without a clear niche, you’ll likely never make any headway in your industry. People will struggle to understand what you do and won’t know why they should work with you versus any other provider of … (you fill in the blank).

You will likely struggle yourself positioning yourself against the competition. Your lack of clarity will keep your confidence level suppressed resulting in timidity.

Your message to the market will be muddled. No one will hear you. No money will flow to you. Sales will come through a lot of hard work.

2. Pricing that maximizes your profits
When you’re crystal clear about who you serve and how, your next challenge is packaging your products and services to garner the highest levels of profitability for your firm. You may struggle with this by doubting your ‘deservability’ factor hearing a little voice in your head shouting ‘Who do you think you are?!?!?”

That doubt will cause you to leave money on the table. Your niche clarity will make you appeal to people who are ready to work with you. When you understand their issues and have solutions for their problems, THEY will place a high value on your work and happily pay you for it.

3. A business plan to monetize the first two
Many a business owner, even those who know who they are and what they’re worth, have floundered because they lack insight on what it takes to take a product or service to market. Let’s face it, you have to do some sort of marketing in order to gain the visibility you need to land clients. They won’t just fall in your lap becuase you’re a good person. You must have a proactive plan that includes goals and action steps to achieve them. The Bamboo Approach to Lush Business Growth lays out a framework to making your mark on the world.

Once you have these three elements in place, the world becomes your oyster. Life and business success become attainable. For those of you who are ready to take a significant leap on any of these 3 elements, visit emeraldharvest.com/vipday.htm or apply for a Profit Proliferation strategy session with me at emeraldharvest.com/profitapplication.htm.

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Why It Pays to Focus on a Niche & How to Find Yours

Most business owners resist the thought of honing in on a tight target market. They fear they’ll be missing out on potential sales if they don’t go after every possible sale that could be had.

And with the current state of the economy, they feel particularly justified in doing just that.

The problem though is that when you go after everything, you water down your marketing efforts. It’s like trying to paint a fine masterpiece for your living room with a spray paint can.

People don’t know who you are and what you specialize in.

Before I dive into the tips for today, I want to clarify a few terms. I’m often asked, “What’s the difference between a target market, an ideal client and a niche?”

According to Entrepreneur magazine, a target market is “a specific group of consumers at which a company aims its products and services.” An example of this might be ‘women business owners’.

Your ideal client is a subset of your target market, perhaps defined by demographic and psychographic data. An example might be women business owners over 40 years old in professional service industries, particularly those that require licensure from an industry or professional board or certification process who are looking to increase the revenue coming into their companies.

Your niche is a combination of 3 things:
1) The people you serve
2) The situationally specific problem you help them solve
3) Your specially branded Signature System that provides the solution to their problem.

When you’re clear about who you are best suited to serve, you’re able to get inside their head, understand their worries and concerns. You’ll know what they crave and yearn for. You’ll have the confidence to talk with them clearly and concisely about how you are uniquely suited to help them navigate their way throught their challenges to their desired outcome.

Here are 3 easy steps to get started.
1) Get clear on why your clients need you (and it’s probably not for the reasons you think).
Without this clarity, your marketing will sound like the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoon movies, “Wah wah wah wah wah wah wah”. No one will hear you above the noise and you’ll really miss out on earning what you’re truly capable of. When you have it nailed, people will flock to you because your marketing will be extraordinarily focused on JUST THE RIGHT PEOPLE.

2) Come up with a “platform” that distinguishes you from everyone else who does what you do.
Let’s face it, there are tons of graphic designers, financial advisors, attorneys, insurance agents, mortgage brokers, realtors, business coaches, professional organizers. you need more than a nice business card and a catchy tag line to set yourself apart. When you are trapped by being viewed as a commodity, you’ll never be able to rise above the herd; you’ll struggle with raising your prices and run yourself ragged trying to ‘reel in’ that next customer.

When you find your voice, it will pierce through the marketplace din to be heard by the people who most need what you have to offer. They’ll seek you out, already being sold on your service. Referrals will flow to you more swiftly because people who don’t even need you will recommend you to their friends and colleagues.

3) Make a choice of a niche that is crystal clear and easy to communicate.
Building on the first two points, when you know who you serve and how you specifically help them, you can be WAY more confident (but not pushy) when you speak with prospects. Your marketing will sound like you’re ‘playing their song’ and will draw them to you and position you as the best possible solution to their problem. If you falter on this step, you’ll remain one of the ‘also ran’s, working hard to close deals and wondering why you’re having such a hard time.

I want you make sure this doesn’t happen to you! If you know this would make a difference for you, grab this free training I did over the weekend and/or join us for the upcoming Niche Breakthrough Secrets program where I’ll help you finally step into the spotlight with a unique message that makes your marketing compelling and allows you to market less and still fill your practice or programs with the perfect people for your business.

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