Category Archives: Business planning

How full is your pipeline? How to get more.

Keeping your pipeline full is one of the best ways to build and maintain a thriving business. The problem is that people are often clueless about how to stuff their pipeline and keep it that way.

Quite often, they alternate between heavy periods of marketing followed by having tons of work to do during which time, they stop marketing.  Then when the client work is all done and they can breathe again, they gasp because there’s no one waiting in the wings ready to do business.
Sound familiar?

There are a variety of activities that can raise your visibility, awareness and credibility for you and what you offer.  We’ll cover a four key suggestions today.

1. Attend networking events
Be selective here though because you could literally spend all day, everyday driving from one event to the next.  Ask for recommendations from people whose opinion you trust.  But decide for yourself if the group is a good fit for you.  The key is to attend events filled with people in your target market but resist the urge to try to sell them on the spot.  Build relationships and over time, your sales will grow. Also, join groups where you’re in the minority.  If you sell primarily to people over 50, think of hobbies they might enjoy and join those groups.

2. Get more active online
Start a blog.  It doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s the beauty of blogs.  They’re informal rantings about issues you consider important.  You’ll attract other people who think those issues are important too.  Make sure you visit other people’s blogs and get involved in the discussions at their sites.

3.  Volunteer with one or two key business groups
This is a great way to build credibilty and make invaluable connections.  You can gain so much by attending a networking event.  Your benefit magnifies dramatically when you take on a leadership role. People will see your skills in action in ways they wouldn’t notice if you are just hob-nobbing and passing out cards like everyone else.

4.  Get your name in print
One of my clients is very active in the community. The company made a big donation to a local nonprofit but they missed out on an opportunity for media attention for their good deed.  It’s great to be civic minded.  But it’s just as ok to leverage your generosity to bring attention to yourself and your favorite ’cause’.

3 Tips to Make It All Work & Grow Your Business with Grace & Ease

If you’re anything like me (which I’ve noticed many entrepreneurs are), you’re full of ideas, projects and opportunities to pursue.  There is more to do than can be done in a day, week, month…heck, it seems, often more than can be done in even a year!

I was talking with one of my assistants the other day about a conversation she’d had with another team member about the never-ending to-do list we live with. She asked if it bothered me to always have such a long list.

“Not at all!”, I expressed.  It makes me feel quite alive.  I think it adds to the sense of purpose for my life.  Clearly, my life isn’t entirely about completing projects, but being a person who values accomplishment, crossing things off my list brings me great joy!

I must admit though, last week, it did begin to feel like I didn’t really have my arms wrapped around all of my compelling ideas.  You see, they come to me in the middle of the night, first thing in the morning, while driving and while working.

In addition, there are all the great ideas I get exposed to in my coaching sessions and the seminars, mastermind groups and retreats I attend.

So they often end up on separate pieces of paper (kept by the bed for the middle-of-the-night epiphanies) or in notebooks and on handouts from the meetings & seminars.  So this weekend, I reread all my notes and lists and even listened to some audio CDs  had purcased.

So what process did I use to get focused and fired up?

Let me explain with these three simple tips…

1. List and organize your ‘intellectual capital’ – that expertise that sets you apart

This process alone will make your marketing efforts so much more simple.  It’s critical that you understand your expertise because without that, you’re message will be muddy and people won’t know how or why they should use you.

Even if you have many areas of expertise, create 3 – 5 big categories and ‘bucket’ everything in those categories.  You’ll be able to describe what you do with clarity and confidence.   Your prospective clients will understand more clearly what you have to offer.  And you’ll be able to target and package your offers in more compelling ways.

2.  Decide on the specific revenue streams you want to fuel

This is critical on a few levels.  Once you decide where and how you want revenue to come to you, you can more easily design activities that will generate that revenue.   State how much revenue you want from each stream.  This will guide the strategies you use and help you uncover and recognize opportunities to pursue and distinguish those you will leave alone.

Just to give you an example, my  revenue streams include coaching, speaking, products and consulting.  Once you know yours, set targets for each category and list specific ways intend to reach your goals.

3.  Identify the strategies and actions that will allow you to fulfill on your desired revenue streams

Now that you know how you want money to flow your way and from which venues, make a list of the actions you need to take to make those things happen.  They might include things like identifying joint venture partners, speaking venues or ways you’ll sell your wares.

Then get to work!

As I mentioned in my Fox10 interview last month, ‘calendarize’ your plans.  Decide products and offers what you’ll roll out and when.  identify the specific steps you need to execute to reach your revenue goals.