This week I’ve been furiously putting the final touches on my new product entitledThe Ultimate Marketing Follow Up System for Entrepreneurs and Independent Sales Professionals.Sound like something you could use? Do you always get to your own follow up or do you have business cards sitting in piles on your desk waiting for you to get to?
This new product has email templates, samples and direct mail follow up letter samples and templates that will make your life soooo much simpler; plus it has a whole bunch of other resources but most importantly it will show you HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR EASY TO IMPLEMENT FOLLOW UP SYSTEM!
This is huge, because when your ‘system’ is ‘in your head’, you can’t ever delegate it right? So, watch out for the launch of this Ultimate Marketing Follow Up System coming THIS MONTH!
Focusing ON your business, rather than just IN it?
Where do you do your best, most productive work? Where do you come up with the BIG IDEAS? Where do you find it’s easist for you to IMPLEMENT those big ideas? A couple years ago, I thought it was just me. Just me who procrastinated those things I didn’t want to do or didn’t know how to do. Just me who got distracted with the dog in my face, my own personal needs (working out, massage, getting my nails done, shopping, etc.) or friends calling to get together.
Do these things sound familiar to you? If it’s not procrastination, why are you stuck? What do you think is holding you back from really focusing and being hugely successful?
There could be many things but unless you actually take the time to sit quietly and think about it all – how will you know or figure it out so you can fix it?
I’m thankful that I’ve taken the time in the last couple years to really work on myself and my business. Because not only have I gotten a lot more clear on what it is that I’m doing, where I want to go and who I want to help along the way but I also nearly have NO stress or guilt in my life now.
No stress because I’ve learned to “just believe”.
Believe that what I want, will happen or come about.
Believe in abundance, that there are enough clients, money and success for me AND for all my friends/competitors in the industry. I don’t need to worry.
Believe in sharing and connecting people to those that will really be able to make a huge impact on them.
Believe that by sharing and giving, I will receive; and I will receive plenty.
Believe that when a potential client doesn’t ‘feel right’ to let them go; other better clients will come along in their place.
Believe that I will have it all.
No guilt because I’ve learned:
To let things go
To give up control on the things that I don’t need to be doing myself
To live life as I want to live it because I deserve it
To delegate and trust others to help and support me
To keep learning and improving my knowledge and expertise
To give as much as I can
To believe and be open to what’s possible
From what I’ve seen over the last couple years working with budding entrepreneurs, seasoned entrepreneurs and those entrepreneurs making HUGE amounts of money and living the life of their dreams – with ease; they have all mastered this mindset.
I hope that you will take a moment to STOP and think.
Think about what you’re doing with your life, your business (your family).
What you want to be doing that you’re not doing in your life, your business (your family)?
What is ONE step you can take towards those ideas and goals for all – your life, your business (your family)?
Keep it simple, do one thing now.
Then, if you want to put a plan together on how to accomplish all of the things you want to do or change and what you have to do or delegate to get there – then I urge you to take action with me. This is exactly what I do with my clients. I take them from where they are now to where they want to be in easy, manageable, implementable prioritized steps. It’s easier than you think but often times we need someone not so close to us to help pull it out of us. I want to motivate you and help you get to where you really want to be this year – let me help you.
Now that you have built a successful business, you have an established customer base and you are fairly well known in your geographical area, your industry or both, what do you do to stay ahead of your competition? You might want to consider the following tips to help you to expand your business and take it to the next level.
The following are 4 tips to help you increase the size of your business and take it to the next level. In my next post I will share the other 4.
1. Open another location. Either open another location or move into an office space if you are currently working from a home office. This may not be the best choice for expansion; however, it is the first thing business owners often do. If you are thinking of doing this, be sure you are maintaining a consistent bottom-line profit and that you have shown steady growth over the past few years. You also want to ensure your infrastructure, staff and your systems can accommodate the growth. Finally, research the demand of taking this next step and how it will affect your decision.
2. Expand your product or service lines to compliment the ones you currently have. This will allow you to offer more selection and it makes your products and services more appealing to your customer base. However, first, you need to conduct market research to determine which products and/or services are in demand, which would be profitable for you, and which would be affordable to your customers.
3. Find ways to increase repeat business for your current customers. This is a lot less expensive than locating new customers. Initiate reorder cards that you can send out to remind customers to reorder products and/or services when you want them to, not just when they remember to do so. Contact them more often with a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter via email or mail to ensure the customer is keeping you on the top of their minds for additional sales.
Consider developing volume sales discounts, monthly rates, or other discounts to entice them to purchase more at a time or for a longer period of time than instead of just a single sale. If you can, try to get your customer to contract with your business, if your business is set up to do so.
4. Update your Web site or develop a new one if you do not have one. Be sure to add monthly specials, discounts and/or promotions on your site – especially on the home page to attract attention. Ensure individuals/businesses visiting your site sign up in order to qualify to win a drawing or receive a discount, so that you can add them to your database. You can also add products and/or services to sell online. If done correctly, this adds sales and reduces the time necessary to locate these sales. These are typically bonus sales above and beyond anything you would normally sell since they are from a different ‘group’ of people.
I can’t tell you how many clients and other business owners I see every month who continue to believe that THEY have to DO IT ALL.
I learned this lesson a couple years ago. When I hired my first assistant I thought I had to hire “an employee” so I got the insurance, worker’s comp, payroll service and put an ad out.
I didn’t even know what I could pay or for how many hours mind you at this time, I just knew in order to get more successful and get more business quicker – I needed someone to help me do the things that were slowing me down.
So I found my first “employee”, paid the payroll, taxes, etc. It was all relatively easy.
Unfortunately that employee ran his course and I soon needed someone with additional talents and skills. So I (being the connector that I am) found that employee another job with a client of mine and hired a different employee for myself with added skills that I needed to get me to my next step. That second employee was so good in fact that she got hired out from under me to work full time in a great job. I wished her well because it was ideal for her but then I was stuck again and back on the hamster wheel, doing it all myself.
I was introduced to a temp agency who could have someone come and work in my home or from their home if need be for certain projects. I hired someone from the temp agency who worked out very well. She had another small business of her own and she did other work for other professionals as well. She brought many ideas to the table for me and challenged me to work more ON my business and let her work IN it. She took on client projects and research projects plus other things that I really didn’t need to be doing. I in turn was able to network more, follow up more and got a lot more new clients and referrals after this.
After this temp gal ran her course I was so used to someone working “virtually” for me, from her home or from mine depending on the day or project that I wasn’t sure I wanted someone to come back into my home office space again. This is when I learned about Virtual Assistants – what a concept! They do my work from their home and it gets done efficiently and successfully.
I now have 3 Virtual Assistants and looking to hire one more. One who does all my bookkeeping, manages my shopping cart sales and my QuickBooks, one who does all my data entry for all the business cards I collect out networking and they also do any mailers that need to go out to my list. The third VA is my right hand gal – she does everything I can think of. Anything that comes across my desk that needs to be signed up for, looked into, opportunities that need investigating plus she handles my whole membership program (Marketing Mentor Program) – new sign ups, cancellations, email blasts, website updates and so much more! I couldn’t think about doing this alone anymore and I am no longer on the hamster wheel!!
I realize it’s hard to figure out how and what to outsource at first because you think you are the only one that can do certain things.
But I can tell you – every single client I consult with in my 1-On-1 Marketing Planning Meeting or any call or consult really – I urge and recommend outsourcing 1-8 things! There is always a way – you sometimes just need to be SHOWN the way.
Once you do this you will be able to step off that hamster wheel more often than not and you will have so much more free time to do the things that you LOVE TO DO, be with the clients you LOVE working with, be able to develop new products and services and figure out ways to leverage your time and expertise to make you more M.O.N.E.Y. with less effort and less time.
Isn’t that the goal?
Let me help you figure out how to get off that hamster wheel and get more clients and experience more success faster – let’s do it now!
This form of marketing (or model if you will) can be extremely lucrative you know? Have you given this any thought for your own business and marketing funnel?
Almost any type of business could potentially add some kind of membership model to their business – both retail or store front, online businesses or almost any service professional and probably many product based companies too.
Some examples of membership programs that many of you might already be a member of and not even realize it (or see it as an opportunity for you) are:
Product refill orders such as for Juice Plus or beauty products
Your website hosting services
Memberships in networking or professional organizations
Some advertising you might do like yellow pages for example
Each of these companies or services are charging your credit card (most likely) each month based on your signup and agreement to receive their offer/products/services on a monthly basis for an agreed upon fee. They will continue to charge your card unless you cancel which you have to either do in writing or online most often but continuation or cancellation is up to you.
They don’t have to keep selling you each month; it’s recurring income for them – hence constant cash flow!
You can do this too most likely with a little creativity – you just need to brainstorm on:
WHAT this would look like in YOUR business.
Who it would be attractive to (who’d want to buy it/sign up for it).
What you would offer (that wouldn’t take up a lot of your time and be cost effective)
How to best set it up so you can automate this as much as possible.
How much to charge.
How to structure and market it to your list
Other examples of this include memberships such as:
My Silver Marketing Mentor Program – get all the details at
http://www.mentorsignup.com/ – but basically it includes one teleclass each month that you can listen in on, get the CD by mail, access to personal 1on1 time with me once a month over the phone for laser coaching, my backend online Mentor Resources page which houses all my past teleclass recordings, articles, samples, templates and tons of resources just for my Mentor Members – ALL FOR ONLY $47/MO (best deal with my personal coaching of all these 3)!
One of my coaches, Alexandria Brown, Silver Motivation Mastermind Group – get all the details at AlexandriaBrown.com – her program includes access to her monthly teleclass and the CD by mail, her printed newsletter and access to her online forum – ALL FOR ONLY $47/MO TOO!
My other coach David Neagle’s Silver Level Coaching Program – get all the details atDavidNeagle.com– his program includes 1 teaching call each month and the CD’s mailed plus 10% off his programs (after 3 months) – ALL FOR ONLY $97/MO.
Yes, these examples are all for coaching and consulting services primarily (see how easy it could be though?), however there are many business owners I’ve consulted with that had ‘regular type businesses’ who we were able to come up with a cool membership idea for as well to give them extra cash flow such as:
Day spas and Medspas
Home furnishings and decor stores
Gift basket companies
Network Marketing companies
Fitness Trainers and Gyms
Personal Makeup Artists
It’s really just all about leverage – leveraging your time, expertise and packaging it in such a way that it benefits your customers AND it helps to provide YOU the type of lifestyle you want to lead.
Put your thinking cap on or contact me and let’s brainstorm on some cash flow generating ideas for YOUR business ASAP!!
I realize that when you first started your business you may not have thought about EVERYTHING that would be involved with running a successful business, right?
You had a passion and interest in a particular product or service that you could offer and that you believed others would want. But there’s a LOT more to running a successful business than what meets the eye.
Here are some very common mistakes I see my clients and others I meet making every month in their businesses. The ones who end up being successful are the ones who REALIZE this and take steps to FIX their issues.
What mistakes are YOU making?
1. Not marketing to everyone you know 2. Not having a consistent follow up marketing system 3. Being afraid of networking and not learning how to overcome it 4. Thinking if they build it, they will come 5. Cutting back on marketing first when times are tough 6. Lack of understanding of what types of marketing will work for their business and what won’t 7. Planning too much and not DOING anything 8. Giving up too soon 9. Not estimating enough start up costs and expenditures 10. Letting their own opinions about marketing get in the way of what they decide to do to market their business 11. Thinking they can do it all themselves and need to 12. Not asking for help 13. Spending too much time on things that are not making them money 14. Not getting professional help from the start with certain aspects of their business 15. Compromising quality and professionalism to save money 16. Not really knowing and understanding their target market 17. Not knowing their competition or following them too closely without knowing if what they’re doing is working or not 18. Making decisions in their marketing based on what types of marketing THEY like or don’t like to be targeted with 19. Not continually learning about new techniques and practices 20. Not keeping up with technology to better build your business 21. Thinking that marketing = expensive
What are YOU going to do about the ones you identify with? I hope this gives you some things to think about. Remember, to get a plan in order so you DON’T end up making these common mistakes and to get a more specific and targeted approach to your marketing and business growth I’m happy to sit down with you in a 1-on-1 Planning Meeting. I recently changed the format of these meetings by the way, now you get 3 meetings, each 2 weeks apart from each other so you can better implement the strategies we discuss – all for one price! Go to www.1on1PlanningMeeting.com to find out more.
For many entrepreneurs networking is a must to build your contact list the fastest way possible. After all, networking is one of the least expensive, most effective forms of marketing that you can do!
Besides if you have no customers yet and nothing to do – you have to do something! Networking is also the best way to build relationships; no other form of marketing or advertising can do this for you. People buy from people they like and connect with.
I’ve been self employed for five years and I’m still networking; I’m just more selective now on where and who I network with. When I first started out I joined four local chambers, a women’s organization and a leads group and I was at every event all the time.
As my business started picking up, I reduced the number of groups I was involved in and remained in only those that were the best fit for me and that brought me the most clients. I was extremely active in those that I stayed in so that I would be well known; basically I became the Go-to-Gal for my industry and associations. This is what you want. You want for others to see you as the expert in your field. The key is though to be selfless, generous and knowledgeable in the process.
These days I’m networking even online through various social networking sites, business networking sites and other membership sites that I belong to but this takes time and finesse as well.
Rarely do I see very many really good networkers though so I urge you to learn more, practice your skills, focus on giving to others and really work at becoming the best networker you can because it will pay off with more customers and bigger profits.
Here are a few habits that a good networker typically exudes; they will:
Go with a goal
Be prepared, mentally and with materials
Arrive early and stay late
Work the room
Master their ‘commercials’ and alter them as needed
Introduce others around
Pass people off nicely and move on
Ask questions of the other person
Know to listen more than they talk
Take notes on cards
Quickly and repeatedly follow up
So, how to you match up? What are you doing?
One thing I want to remind you of is that no matter which ones you are doing if you are NOT doing the very last one listed – the FOLLOW UP – then I can tell you right now that you are absolutely wasting your time (and money) doing the networking in the first place!!
I can’t stress to you enough that if you find yourself not being able to get your follow up done – then figure out someone to delegate this to. It’s worth whatever it costs to pay someone to do this for you because it could mean the difference between one sale and fourteen sales!
P.S. Want my help getting some clarity in your business or business idea? I can take your ideas or current business and literally figure out how to put it into OVERDRIVE within a really short amount of time. Contact me or sign up for one of my 1on1 services!
I know for some of you ‘control freaks’ out there this one’s gonna be tough for you. But read on! You might find how EASY this can be, really.
When I finally gave in to delegating from my extremely ‘do-it-myself’ mentality at first I admit it was a bit hard. I was always double checking things and everyone around me to make sure they were doing it ‘right’. I probably drove my first VA (Virtual Assistant) absolutely NUTS!
However my coach at the time, Ali Brown, kept showing me how important it was to become really successful in my business, and to make a six or seven figure income, that I needed to surround myself with experts and a support team of people who could take on all the things in my business (and my life!) that:
I didn’t like to do
I didn’t want to do
I didn’t know how to do or
That someone could do BETTER AND FASTER than me!
So, one day I put together a list of things like this and to my surprise the list was quite long! It was kind of a ‘wish list’ so to speak that if I could wish for someone else to do these things, then it would free me up to do the things I LOVE TO DO which is brainstorm and consult with clients on new ideas they can implement to get them more business!
Plus I had a TON OF IDEAS to implement in my own business too – but there was never enough time in the day/week to get to ANY of them! This bummed me out. I knew that it would take me years to implement all the great ideas I had if I continued to do it all myself.
I just saw an article that
Ali Brownwrote (and I’m not including it here but I’m giving her credit for this part!), she’s an expert at this delegation and virtual team building stuff, and she mentions there are 5 things you MUST DO to overcome being a CONTROL FREAK: — First, you have to change your MINDSET — Second, you have to know WHAT’S MORE IMPORTANT — Third, you have to hire the RIGHT PEOPLE — Fourth, you have to have SYSTEMS — Fifth, you have to have TRUST
Here is my main list of tasks that I typically will delegate to a VA, copywriter, web designer or some other support team member of mine – it’s fabulous – you should try it!
Bookkeeping: tracking expenses, sales and tax records
Internet research to get me better SEO, more traffic, etc.
Article Marketing all my current articles, shuffling them around, refreshing them
Maintaining my customer mailing lists on an easy to use database
Creating extra pages on my website as needed
Handling recordings of teleclasses, burning CD’s, mailings, etc.
Handling bounced emials from Constant Contact, updating with new
Formatting e-books and other online products
Designing PowerPoint presentations
Sending out ebirthday greetings to clients
Handwriting follow up notes and mailing out postcards
Data entry of all new contacts
Posting on blogs, forums and social/biz networking sites
Developing my Networking Calendar every month
Managing my shopping cart account and merchant account as needed
Creating Google Alerts
Updating my YouTube page, videos and adding technology to my website
Submitting press releases online or locally
So, what’s on your plate that you shouldn’t be doing, hate doing or aren’t really that good at doing that you should DELEGATE???
And don’t forget about the personal tasks too like housekeeping, landscaping/mowing, shopping, cooking, making travel plans, errand running, etc. – you can pay someone to do ALL OF THIS you know?
Ask yourself “What is YOUR time worth?” and free it up to do BIGGER AND BETTER THINGS!
I do know many Virtual Assistants personally and know who is taking on new clients that I could refer so if you email me back I’m happy to give you a personal referral!
Otherwise there are a few places online you can submit a request (be very specific on what you need them to do!) to hire or interview a VA, such as AssistU.coman online VA directory.
For more information on HOW to build your Virtual Team you can do a1-on-1 Planning Meeting with meand we’ll cover that and sooooo much more OR you can check out a friend of mine,Melanie Benson Strick‘s Virtual Team Building Tele-Bootcamp! She’s got a great program specifically for this!