Business Tips

     Looking for an expert's point of view - and maybe even some great ideas? Our business tips are written by our founder who is a recognized expert author on several ezine sites!
     

     
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    • 15 Jun 2012 12:54 PM | Mandie Crawford (Administrator)
      I really wanted to call this tip "everything I learned about teamwork - I learned from the army - but that would have give the topic away.

      Team work. In business we often focus on competition - not team work.

      In the race to make money we spend a good deal of our time trying to gain the competitive edge, position ourselves in the market and win the race.  But from what I see on a daily basis - this is not happening.

      One o the very top issues I encounter in business strategizing and coaching are business owners who start something and then due to lack of time or energy - never finish it.  And most of it has to do with marketing their products or services.

      And so - they leave a trail of unfinished ineffective marketing half-launches sitting on their desk or on their computer.  They begin courses but do not finish.  And out of breath, time and money wonder why they put so much effort in when they get nothing out.

      Why does this happen?  Because they are lone rangers.  They do not build and work with teams to get things done.

      This past week I watched a regiment of combat engineers in action working on a community project.  They were not paid, neither would they benefit from the outcome of the project.  They were not being graded nor judged on their performance.  And what I saw blew me away.  Several days later I cannot stop talking about it and referencing it.

      Thirty five guys and gals took 3 shifts to haul gravel and findings, level it off, lay railway ties and secure them into the ground and then lay an interlocking brick patio.  Almost like magic it was completed.  Everyone had a job and each person knew what they had to do next.  And you could tell they had fun doing it.  Even as they were in the middle of the project - one had a better idea to improve the outcome and mentioned it.  The others agreed and the strategy was changed for a better outcome.  No arguing.  No disagreements.  No power struggles.  It was true teamwork at its finest.

      When the job was completed - the finished patio looked professional.  Had I started the job alone - there is no way I could have completed it nor made it look as professional as it did.  This is the value of teamwork.

      So how can we use this concept when we are a one man (person) show?  We can build a team or co-operative that will work together with and for each other.  In most cases this can be very difficult. Instead consider the value of hiring out.

      Hire a team to get things done.  Delegate.  It's as simple as that.  There is no secret to this.  Delegating saves:
      • Time
      • Money
      • EFFORT
      • Worry
      • Money
      • Energy
      • Worry
      • Worry
      • Money
      • Money

      The key savings are in money and time.  Nothing is MORE expensive and harder on your nerves that trying to do something you are not good at because you are trying to save money.

      In business - teams are hired.  Unless you have a team working for you - it is the way to get jobs completed - and completed in good time at a good price.

      So when you have a marketing project, a web project, a graphic project, a writing project or even an event project - consider hiring a team of experts.  

      To learn more about how we can help - check out this information

    • 15 May 2012 6:43 AM | Mandie Crawford (Administrator)
      Years ago, I was in a seminar learning to become a behavior specialist.  The trainer used an expression I will never forget. He said - if you are not A-ware, you cannot B-ware, and will not SEE!  I never forgot the expression because it made so much sense.

      A couple years later, I also heard a story about indigenous people on an island in South America who were surprised when the 'white man' stepped onto their beach.  Thy had not 'seen' the large ship on the horizon - and even as the white man arrived still did not see the vessel.  Because they had never see a boat so very large and had no comprehension of what something like that might look like - their eyes, although they may have received the data and transferred it to the brain, the brain had no way to sort out or make sense of the data it received.  I thought this to be very very interesting.

      Today I listened to an explanation how a mid air crash occurred between two small aircraft. An experienced pilot was explaining the value of instruments and mad the comment "The eyes do not see what the brain does not expect".  This took me back to being A-ware to B-ware so that we can see!

      How often have we had things happen in our businesses - good and bad - that we just did not 'see' coming!  This is where communication and strategy on all levels is important.  Weekly meetings with staff to review issues that have arisen, problems and crisis that could be solved or avoided are integral to keeping a business moving forward.

      But there is no strategy better for personal and professional growth than hiring a coach or mentor.  It is in this way that we experience 20/20 vision.  Isaac Newton said once, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."  Newton was referring to those larger than life experts and great people who had gone before him - lifting him up in thought and inspiring vision.  Unfortunately Newton never explained how he got up on the shoulders of the 'giants'. Undoubtedly, he had mentors and advisors he paid in some way.

      You see, Newton did understand the universal laws that many of us are today still learning.  These principles, both physical and spiritual, include the law of fair trade for fair value.  I speak of it often - reminding small business owners that good products and good advice always come at some cost to us.  It is important that we pay fairly for what we receive.  Sometimes a service or product may be offered to us for free - but we should not expect them for free.  Ergo, hiring a coach or mentor will require that we compensate them for bringing us the vision we need.

      If we want to be aware and 'see' both possibilities and hazards in our businesses - we need to learn to expect to see them.  As the pilot said, the eyes cannot see what they do not expect.  When we learn to look for the unexpected - be it possibilities or problems, we can beware of things we do not want to happen - and run towards the things we do want to happen.  A coach can assist us in looking for those things.  A good coach will help you see all that happens as opportunities.

      A short PS to this story...

      Recently I did some work for a new business - some of it paid - some pro-bono.  Last week the business owner sent me $25 - a small sum to many, but for her it was a great sacrifice - and she was doing it to show appreciation for my time.  Within one hour of deciding to send me the money, she received a new client that brought her twelve times the amount she sent me. (12 x)  This is how the universe rewarded her for honouring my time, advice and vision.


    • 10 May 2012 9:15 AM | Mandie Crawford (Administrator)
      When it is web traffic!

      Getting traffic to your website has been a decade long quest for many small businesses.  Some pay thousands a year for SEO services hoping to raise their ranking.  But the holy grail of the page one ranking still elude many of them - simply because they do not understand how Google and other search engines really work.

      MS Web Consulting partner, Susan Valeri recently submitted the following information that will dissolve the myths surrounding web site ranking and how you can raise your ranking.  Read on!

      "On April 24, 2012 Google activated new ranking algorithm changes to take care of websites and blogs that indulge in:

      -Excessive link building with no regard for quality
      -Deceptive doorway pages
      -Lots of keyword stuffing
      -Publishing lots of meaningless content just to get traffic from search engines

      How can you take preventive measures so that you do not get penalized?

      Effective content that is transparent, relevant and content that really deserves its place in the ranking index.

      Content that rambles on, stuffed with keywords, will not be ranked well no matter how well or pricey the "optimization" is.

      Here's how to create content that Google, and other search engines, will love:

      -Use your keywords only when needed and focus on quality and value.This will avoid the search engines viewing you as spam and possible removing you from their rankings.
      -Create content that will be popular on social media so you don't have to depend on Google for all your ranking.  Again provide quality content.
      -Teach your visitors. Whether you share your own information, or get it from the internet, make it irresistable and helpful to visitors and bloggers.
      -Post on quality guest blogs and forums to help you gain new exposure and earn quality backlinks.
      -Regularly publish a newsletter: Newsletter publishing is still king and is the best way of keeping in touch with your visitors and subscribers, without relying on search engines.
      -Keep on top of your content and see how well it is working to convert your website visitors into customers.  Change it up regularly keeping the above in mind.

      For more information on how to build your list for Newsletter deliver and learn how to build a newsletter - click here



    • 16 Apr 2012 8:16 AM | Mandie Crawford (Administrator)
      We have all heard the phrase "under promise and over deliver", but how many of us really understand what it means or for that matter,  how to practice it.  I can immediately see business owners cringing when they think of all the extra work 'over delivering' requires.

      I recently asked a client  what "under promise and over deliver" meant to them.  Their reply was, "It means that you do not promise the customer the world - you only promise what you know you can deliver - and if you find out along the way that you can deliver more - you do so".  This was an interesting version of the definition.

      When I define "under promise and over deliver", I think of promising less than I know I can deliver and then surprising the client with that little extra.  
      matter on which side of the fence you sit, client or business side, the expectation is that you deliver what you say you will deliver.

      With a philosophy of under promising, it does not matter if times are tough - because a business will gain the reputation of always over delivering.  This builds trust and assures current and referred clients that they will always receive exactly what they were promised.

      In a tough economy, however, when sales appear to be slumping the first thing most business owners will do is begin adding value to their product or service to differentiate themselves.  The problem is - is that they are often unable to deliver some of the things that they promise and that is when consumer discontent begins to erode their business.  

      The other effect that this philosophy has on businesses is that they now have added more 'time' to each job they perform. Because they are adding value this often means they must spend more time and energy with each client and the result is that they now have to put in more hours to make the same money.  The result: burnout.

      The trick to going above and beyond when it comes to business is to blend the client's and businesses understanding of "over under promise and over deliver".  

      How?
      • Determine the client's needs
      • Discover what the client expectations are about service delivery
      • Assess your ability to meet the expectations.
      • Promise to deliver what the client needs and expects (even if you know you can offer more)
      • Then add your value or "over deliver".

      In this scenario, the very definition of "over delivery" varies according to each client's expectations and the business owner does not burn themselves out going 'above and beyond' to ridiculous levels.

      The difference between a client's and a businesses understanding of over delivery may seem slight - however when we begin to look at our businesses from a clients point of view we may realize that "under promise and over deliver"  becomes how we do business every day and it does not make our lives more difficult - just a little more satisfying.

      It really is all about communication and understanding your client. And when you can do this effectively, "under promising and over delivering" just becomes how you do business every day for every client.

      This business strategy is one that will set you apart from many other businesses, build loyalty and trust and encourage a steady stream of referrals.

      "When the customer is happy, everybody's happy!"

      Have you surveyed your client lately to determine what it is that they really want?  Learn effective survey methods by booking an appointment with one of our business coaches on Free Coaching Fridays.  Learn more here.
    • 11 Apr 2012 6:33 AM | Mandie Crawford (Administrator)
      Are you in a bit of a rut?  Like a car that's got stuck in a muddy pot hole, your business can sometimes quietly veer off course as we experience mini crisis, money issues and other administrative tasks that keep us from doing what really makes us money. 

      And let's face it - we all have to sell something to stay in business.  Regardless of how altruistic you feel about your business, it costs money to to keep it going. Then there is always the question of how you get compensated for your efforts!

      It's easy to get caught up in doing the same things each day.  Many times we start our day cleaning up the messes we were unable to address the previous day and by the time we get these things done and complete that 'list', we are too frazzled to become creative!  And that my friends is how we fall into the rut of doing the same old- same old and expecting different results!

      (I have been told that kind of behaviour is the ddefinition of insanity.)

      What can you do to rev things up a little?  Take a few moments to look at five different strategies you can implement that can get you out of that rut - and quickly!
      When you car is stuck you need tools to pull it out.  The same goes with your business.  And so I call these 5 tools or strategies my "Business Tow Truck!"
      1. Switch it up, bundle it or repackage it.
        Are you still flogging the same services and products without changing the name or at least revising the copy in your description of services?  It's ok to offer the same services that make you money - but as times changes, how people see your product changes too.  New research may offer statistics that show benefits of your product or service differently.  Trends may show problems that have been created that your product or service now solves.  Change how you word things, promote things and consider bundling several products together with a discount.  Switch things up a bit so people NOTICE what it is you have to offer - or see it in a different light!
      2. Sell your product or service online
        It is simple.  If you are billing and waiting for a cheque, you are operating in the dark ages.  Give people the opportunity to 'see' and learn about what you have to offer - and to order it when they are in the mood or convinced by your fabulous 'copy' to purchase it. (Use a simple and effective service like paypal to get a buy now button set up)
      3. Communicate with your clients
        Many small business owners make the fatal mistake of waiting for clients to call them, instead of beckoning them in to purchase.  If you have a destination location, something as simple a sign in the window can draw people in.  If you work from home or an office -  or have an online store - the best way to communicate is via an e-news or announcement email.  Stay in contact with previous client, potential clients and interested people - letting them know of sales, new products or services and even trends.  Keep them in the loop so they are reminded of the benefits you bring to their life.
      4. Give something away
        Yes! And why not?  Giving away a sample product or service reduces your clients risk.  If you spend less time trying to convince them you have great value and instead SHOW them - your sales window widens and your time invested actually shrinks.  Let them experience what you ave to offer and decide before they buy if it is of value or not!
      5. Ask questions - the right questions!
        Do you have a list of names that is gathering dust?  When was the last time you asked your clients what they needed, what they liked or what else they bought?  An electronic survey can do just that!  Gathering this kind of information is the best way to guide the direction of your business. If you know your clients needs - you can create products and services that solve their problems - and create more income for you! (use www.surveymonkey.com)

      Each of these ideas in and of themselves are fairly easy to implement.  But the result of implementing even one can rejuvenate your business - give you energy and ideas and even a boost your confidence as a business owner!  Don't stay stuck in that rut, or spin your tires in the mud.  Try one of these strategies.

      DID YOU KNOW that Roaring Women has a system or can recommend a service that will assist you in all of the above strategies?  Why not book a 15 minute call with us to discuss your needs.  You can do that by booking an appointment for Free Coaching Fridays here.

    • 05 Mar 2012 10:01 AM | Mandie Crawford (Administrator)
      Over the past several years I have watched closely as business practices and 'HOW' people do business has changed.  Our economy has been forever changed and many larger businesses are taking on the practices that have sustained small business for years.  This past week I saw an advertisement that demonstrated this trend perfectly.

      Let me begin with saying that as a small business owner, I recognized early on that I would NEVER EVER find a broad enough customer data base on my own. I just did not have the marketing budget to get the word out and did not have the time to seek them out one by one.  And I became aware of the value of shared information. 

      I knew that my customers bought other things than what I had to offer.  And I also knew that there were hundreds of potential clients nearby who purchased items and services from my peers - but knew nothing about my services of products.

      It is for this reason that I began forming alliances.   'Forming alliances'  is a term many small business owners are aware of - but few really practice well.  Many small business owners shy away from forming true alliances for fear that they will lose their customer.  And that my friend, is scarcity thinking at work.

      Last week I saw a commercial advertisement on television put out by a very big company.  The company was touting the fact that their product was a much needed product.  The company was General Electric - and their product was turbines - that help create electricity..  And to prove their point they mentioned that without electricity that they could not brew beer.  Instead of stopping at the point they made - they mentioned a specific beer; Budweiser.

      Its not clear if Budweiser paid G.E. to appear in their commercial.  But it is a clear example of alliance marketing. (view the commercial here)

      It may seem like a simple concept to share information with peers and promote each other with joint offers or offering coupons from other businesses. All it takes is some time, effort and trust with your peer.  Unfortunately many business owners think that they will either have to give up control or that their partner(s) in the alliance will not reciprocate with the same degree of enthusiasm as they have and the arrangement will be lopsided.  Again scarcity thinking.

      As a small business owner and an abundant thinker, I realize that sharing talents and information is critical to the success of any business in this new age.  Creating joint coupon books, special joint offers or even appearing in each others' advertising is a great way to reach a larger audience.  Metaphorically, it also shows that we all can play together in the sandbox together and do so happily. 

      Learn more about forming alliances here, or check out our upcoming webinar on forming alliances.






    • 23 Feb 2012 5:36 PM | Mandie Crawford (Administrator)
      How much would you invest to get all these things? 

      About eight years ago I wrote a book on time management for the solo-preneur.  ( an entrepreneur who works on their own)  I know thousands of people that bought my book and for them it has become 'shelf- help' instead of self help! Why?  Because they did not have time to read it.

      The truth is - they did have time to read it, it's just that they did not TAKE time to read it.  It was not on their 'top five' list of things to do.  The result?  They still have a shortage of time - simply because they did not make managing themselves a priority on their 'top five' list of things to do.

      It's a common issue facing many small businesses.  There never appears to be enough time in a day to get everything done.  What does get done are the things that cry for attention - and often those things are crisis'.  So instead of working towards a goal for the day or week - the business owners spend time responding to crisis' that have presented themselves because simple tasks and issues were not dealt with in a timely manner!  (crisis can be anything that demands immediate attention; answering the phone, fixing a problem, last minute deadlines etc)

      I have been there.  When I have not taken the time to manage my events and activities - I have suffered the consequences.  I know the techniques and the strategies - but many times I just do not take the time to implement them.

      However, I decided that the year 2012 would be different.  Using my knowledge and strategies and a few technology tools, I set my calendar up for the year.  First I wrote out all the things that I did on a weekly basis.  Writing, social media, administrative duties, bill paying, contract work and other things were then slotted into my calendar as recurring tasks. I rearranged them so they were spread evenly through the week - leaving time for lunch, free time and appointments that would rise over the weeks and year.  I also set up reminders so that I would not miss doing something that was important.

      I then set up my email and contact auto-responders to let everyone know that they could view my calendar online and see the best times to call me.  I even encouraged people to book appointments.  In this way they knew that they would receive my undivided attention and knew that they were not interrupting me.

      I showed my calendar to a colleague and she was quite appalled that I was ruled by my calendar.  I tried to explain that I could move things around and that in fact my calendar was ruled by me.  It was only when I called her to have lunch with me that she realized she had no time and I appeared to have lots of time to spare!  She also marveled at how much I got done!

      Time is a commodity that cannot be rushed but neither can it be replaced.  When it is gone - it is gone. When we say that there is not enough time to get things done, what we are really saying is that we have not taken the time to manage the events of our lives. And we suffer the consequences.  Stress is the number one cause of illness in North America - and lack of time ranks second on the list of things that cause stress.

      The highest stressor on the list of things that cause stress for people in North America is lack of money.  And it is no different for business owners.  The sad fact is that if a business owner does not manage themselves well in relation to the events of their lives they do not have time to plan and execute the plans that would help their businesses grow.   And business growth would increase income and reduce stress levels.

      Sad, but true, managing their events (some call it managing their time) would actually reduce stress, increase income and increase time off. 

      If there was an advertisement offering business owners more money, less stress and more time off - many would pay thousands to buy whatever it was that would give them these things. Interestingly enough the only investment to get this is the investment of a little time!  (something they say they lack)  And unfortunately there is nothing else that they can buy that will give them these things.  They can have it for free - with just a little planning.  Perhaps because it is something that they can have for free - they see it as having no value.

      Time is a precious commodity.  And even if it appears to be free - in fact it has tremendous value.  We may not be able to manage time - but we can manage ourselves in relation to time.  And when we do - we really do make more money. have less stress and get more time off!

      For more information on managing your calendar and time management - please book an appointment with  Mandie Crawford here.  Two coaching sessions can help you make more money, have less stress and have more time off! 


    • 29 Jan 2012 9:59 PM | Mandie Crawford (Administrator)
      Yes - and that's just the beginning -  that's not all they sell.  This company is also the worlds largest seller if VS1 Diamonds in the world. They fill 33 million prescriptions a year and sell everything you can think of.  Business products. Produce. All of it In bulk.  And when I say in bulk - I mean it.  I am just using the last roll of paper towels I bought there 12 years ago. (I cannot believe I packed and moved them 3 times!)

      The amazing fact is that they achieve all these sales without any advertising.  None.  ZIP . NADA.  No TV commercials.  No costly newspaper advertising. No radio ads.  And yet - I do not know ANYONE who does not know about their store.

      How, How, HOW? 

      This company, now the 7th largest retailer in the world relies on word of mouth advertising.  They consider their employees and happy customers among other marketing strategies to be the best advertising they can buy. 

      The company pays employees well and has a great benefit program and corporate structure.  They are their ambassadors.  For the consumer they provide good products at great price - which also helps. Their return policy is second only to Sears

      Founded in 1983 by Jeffrey Broughtman and Jim Sinnegal using their charge cards and personal credit to launch  the first location - they invested in their idea with great personal risk.  With it came the understandable corresponding  commitment to make the store 'go'.  

      And they realized that in order to make their venture a success in a highly competitive retail market that they would have to do things differently to gain the competitive edge. And they did it all without one ad.

      Can a business do this?  Isn't it rule #1 that you must advertise?

      No.  Paid advertising is not a marketing strategy.  This is where many people get confused. Marketing and advertising are two different things.  Advertising may support marketing - and often carries a marketing and brand message but does not stand independently from marketing.

      Marketing on the other hand, is a process of getting a product to market - hopefully using cost effective strategies.
      Guerrilla marketing techniques, a marketing process identified and coined by Jay Conrad Levinson, is a series of marketing activities that can be extremely cost effective for small business - and also uses no advertising in its marketing strategies. (look for the Guerrilla Marketing workshop in your members area)

      Advertising is actually more a product for a company than a tool for marketing.  Newspapers, magazines and other print media fund their product with ads they sell.   Television stations fund their programs using advertising.  (Except for Publicly funded TV which operates differently)  In each of these cases - the company that sells the ads has a vested interest in selling the ads - not ensuring that they work -to enable to them to produce and subsidize their product.  If a newspaper did not carry ads, the cost of the daily paper would be such that no one would purchase them daily.  Advertising is  stream of income for them.

      Advertising agencies would argue that advertising is key to success.  The two founders of Costco disagree.  They believe that advertising is an addiction and that once you start - you cannot stop. That's right - Costco is the giant you know - that does not advertise.

      And the 'non- advertising - invest in your employee and customer' marketing strategy must still be effective,  because now, 29 year later, they still do not advertise. Other companies of a similar size would budget 100 million dollars and more for advertising.  But not these guys.  And their strategy is a strategy you too can use.

      Instead of setting up an advertising department - why not invest in alternative marketing strategies.  Costco creates buzz with a corporate magazine that is read by  more than 20 million people every month.  You can create a newsletter to do the same for your customers.  Like Costco you too can form close relationships with your customers offering them more than just the sale.  Referrals, information, special offers and discounts are only a few of the things you can give your customer.

      Business is changing - we have heard that.  What many of us fail to realize is that when BIG business continue to use the strategies that made them BIG - they continue to succeed!  Many of these strategies are ones you can afford to implement because they revolve around CARING about your customers, employees and the products and services you offer.

      Want to learn more about how you can market effectively?  Check out our DIY Marketing section.  (you must be a current member or join as a free member to access these pages)


    • 02 Jan 2012 10:55 AM | Mandie Crawford (Administrator)
      Go here!  Do this! Don't do that!  Get it done now!

      Most of us who are the least bit independent - often bristle when being 'bossed around'.  It must be some sort of baggage we carry around with us from childhood - the bossy big brother or sister, or bully down the street.  Regardless of how we accumulated the resistance to being told what to do - it is one of the worst resistances we can feel - especially when we  know what we are being told is correct.

      This resistance may be overtly apparent to us in a job setting - but in sales it is much different.  According to statistics and studies - we LIKE being told what to do!

      In the sales process - whether it be ad copy, an infomercial, an event or a traditional marketing piece, it is called the "Call to action".  Without a 'call to action' in your sales and educational process, your efforts are as effective as warm soap-deprived dishwater on an recently emptied pasta plate.  (yuck)

      In the sales process, in fact people want to be told what to do!  A call to action is necessary to convert readers or listeners to buyers!

      What is a call to action?  According to several dictionaries, it is comprised of words that urge the reader, listener, or viewer to take an immediate action.  This direction could be something like  "Call Now" or "Click Here."

      Sounds too pushy?

      Some business owners feel that a call to action sounds to pushy - and they would rather let soemone choose to call them or hire them.  But when I ask them to read theor copy out loud to me and the finishe their last sentence - I often stay silent when they are done reading.  After an awkward silence they often say, "Well?". 

      "Well what?" I ask.  "Well what do you think?", they ask.  "sounds good" , I answer.  Then another pregnant pause occurs.  "Did you want me to do something or say something?", I ask.  The common response is usually something like - 'yes, I want you to tell me what you think' or something similar.  The message here is - if you do not ask me or tell em what you want me to do - how am I to know I have to do it?

      Marketing without any direction is like building a road through interesting scenery with no roadsigns. 
      The scenery looks great (the information you just gave them is great) , but where am I supposed to go?
      (or what do you want me to do?)

      Calls to action can be pleasing, entertaining or even polite!

      With a little bit of thought - you can create a call to action that gets results and the person following the direction does not feel 'pushed' into anything.  Here are some fun examples:

      Marriage counseling ad - call to action; Happy endings aren't just for fairy tales - but you have to work at it.  Don't be like Peter Pumpkin Eater - learn to be her Prince Charming instead!  Call now to register for our next marriage counseling group classes.

      Car repair shop:  What's stopping you?  Give yourself a break and get your brakes inspected before it's too late.  (free coffee while you wait)  Book your appointment now!

      Professional Organizer: Did you know that 85% of all households have more than seven pairs of scissors - and cannot locate one pair? Don't waste another penny on collecting more of the same tools you already have.  Sign up here for free tips on how you can become better organized!

       All of the above contain a 'call to action'.  None of them are pushy.  And they make the copy worth writing.  If I read an ad that said - Happy endings aren't just for fairy tales - but you have to work at it - I would think yep - that's true but what should I do about it?  If I knew " 85% of all households have more than seven pairs of scissors - and cannot locate one pair?" I would think - yeah, me too - I guess I am like everyone else!  I would be wondering what to do about these problems - and this is where I want to be told what to do!

      Be creative.  Remind people that they have a problem and then give them the solution in your call to action.  It's not pushy - but in fact very helpful for them.

      For more information on becoming a shameless self promoter or just a better marketer for yourself and your business - contact Mandie Crawford (for non members) or book a free consultation (for members) here.  As a member you can also access great DIY Marketing information hereJoin now and get 52 marketing ideas you can use right now!.



    • 30 Nov 2011 11:23 PM | Mandie Crawford (Administrator)
      Anyone who has watched an older crime movie recalls the line the investigator or police officer blurts out in their efficient no nonsense manner to the overly emotional victim of crime - "Just the facts ma'am".

      Don't feelings matter?  The answer is yes - and of course no.  Especially when it comes to business.

      We all need the feelings of hope, optimism, and excitement to push us forward to achieve great things.  But feelings can also interfere with our ability to succeed.

      Let me explain some things to make it easier to understand.

      How we feel about anything in the world - ourselves, the weather, our chances of success, a particular client - or anything else for that matter - is unique to us and us alone.

      How we feel about anything is also influenced by past experiences of ourselves , our families and our culture.  Years of experiences support how we feel about things.

      Feelings however, are not facts.  We may feel badly or overly optimistic by a financial statement - but that has no effect on the facts.  An accountant can look at a spreadsheet and give us a full report of where the business stands - and although we may feel like we are failing (or succeeding) the colour of the ink at the end of the day gives us an accurate picture.

      This can cause difficulties for many business people.  Many rely on their creativity (highly attached to emotion) and their gut feelings to build their businesses.  And sometimes they are right.  ANd many business owners remain in the 'feelings' about their business not recognizing that feelings are not truth - just something we feel.

      I fell prey to this way of thinking - and it almost killed my business at one point.  I felt sure I should do something a certain way and insisted for a long time it should be done that way - despite feedback or facts.  We have all heard the Albert Einstein quote* on the definition of insanity.  (see below) 

      Finally one day I woke up and realized how I felt was not reflective of what was really going on.  I decided then and there - I needed to step away from the business ad take a good look at it from the outside.  It was NOT working.

      Regardless of how optimistic I (or anyone else) was about what was going on - the fact was things were not working well.  And if I wanted something to change - I was going to have to change how I did things.  (not rocket science, is it folks?)

      I hired a coach and a consultant and immediately began looking at the facts and using proven strategies to change the outcome.  It reminded me of E+R=0.  (Event + Response = Outcome)

      When an event happens, eg one fails to make money, and the response is do nothing - or keep doing things the same way, then the outcome is to continue to lose money. 

      My business outcome was tied directly to me and my response to an event.

      How anyone feels about their business can be useful.  It can fire us and fuel us to get what needs to get done, accomplished.  Emotion can be a wonderful thing.

      I recently saw a woman who had sold her home, farm and all she owned to sink 1 million dollars into a business that sold $150,000 in ten years.  Regardless of how she felt the business should be doing or would do - the fact was - it had failed.  She was so hopeful for it to turn around - she was now seeking investors!  The fact was - she needed to walk away - and in fact should have sought advice nine years previous.

      We as women we are already good at emotion.  We have to practice a little logic - and that is where a good coach or consultant can help us.  Business strategies require "just the facts, ma'am". 

      *"The definition of insanity is to keep doing things the same way - expecting a different outcome"  Albert Einstein.  Are you practicing insanity?  What needs to change to increase the likelihood of success or profit for your business?

      Remember, "just the facts, ma'am".

      Need a business coach?  Check out our business coaching - affordable solid solutions with proven systems and strategies to help you plan and manage your business logically and successfully.


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