Archive for the ‘Entrepreneurship’ Category

Think Small And Grow Big

In this ever-growing jungle techno-call us the Internet, it is easy to overlook the little guys. If you're not Coca-Cola, Microsoft or Amazon, it can be difficult to compete. Small
Companies face are faced with the challenge of standing in the face of giants. Just like you to differentiate and survive? The key is to be small in a big way by capturing the essence of you in your site!

To illustrate my point I will paint a picture. Imagine have a taste for a strawberry milkshake, so you head down to Joe's Ice Cream Parlor. When you walk in, Joe greets you with a smile and asks: "How are you doing Sam? Would you like to shake the usual strawberry?" They plop on the bar stool and say: "That would be great!" Joe asks how the wife and children. You ask, how does Joe's business.

Joe pours the milk shake in a high curved glass soda pops up a straw and is not one, but two cherries on top.

What is good about this picture? It's at it's best small! It is the good old days of mom and pop stores relived. They know that when you go Joe's can be found for more than a large milk shake you love, it is the experience of it. And the value of Joe, that milk shake goes a long way towards setting up and managing a relationship with the client.

Let's talk about how you capture the "you put" and its power to work in your company?

Store Front
It starts when you go to Joe's Ice Cream Shop. The nostalgic look, the music from the jukebox, the real cream shakes it with his milk tops. Does your site have stopping power? If you can not capture the attention of the visitor in a few seconds you will have lost their business. copy by the use of friendly, attractive graphics and color, you can add interest and set the tone for your visitors.

MOTTO:
The front door of your site is the home page. You need to
State on top of the page: who you are, what you do and why should customers care!

What's your USP?
Are you friendly? Are you affordable? Are you available 24 / 7?
Have a specialty? Are you a One-Stop-Shop?

Remember the catchy phrases you do not get out of my head:
Bounty, the quicker picker upper ... Burger King - we do it your way ... Hertz, we try harder .... These are perfect examples of slogans that customers immediately say who you are and why you are better than the rest.

WHAT ARE THE SPECIALS?
Joe lists his "soda for the day" right to his menu for all to see.

You must also tell the visitors about the exciting features to offer your site has. Leave home page, which say such a "special of the day," menu customers about the free reports, resources, products, and other functions will read your site, it has to offer.

If you offer a free first examination or full money-back guarantee make it visible on your website!

WORDS:
Just as Joe's conversation gave you a warm and friendly shopping experience, you can put in your web person copy to create a friendly visitor experience. Hands off Web copy that makes you like a high-pressure car salesman or a fancy high-profile VP of Sales noise. Instead of writing with an honest personal approach.

Your website copy (in writing) should not be considered a laundry list of your resume or simply listing your services. Instead, the people say in your own words what you have to offer them, as they help them how much they save, how much easier it will make everything for them, how comfortable you are. Think like a customer and ask, "Why should I buy from this company in comparison to the one on the street?" The answers to this form in writing for your site.

Others use WORDS:
If your friend George said, "You've Got Milk shakes, trying at Joe's. You will not believe how good they are," They were sold! There's nothing like a hearty recommendation to build trust and credibility. If you do not have a great brand and reputation that goes with it, you have to give the customer a reason to believe that you or your product works, what you promise.

Testimonials do. And honest words from a happy customer, you get more customers than any high paid advertising will ever.

A picture is worth a thousand words:
Joe was always a way you feel at home in his workshop. Similarly, by adding a picture of yourself on the website, your customers will feel like they know you. The more customers you know, they feel, the more likely they will want you to do the business.

If you do not have a good image of yourself, here are some ideas you. Date For Sears, Glamour Shots or JC Penny and get a studio. If you are a "terrible" formal pictures, take into account drag, do one of you "in action", what you do. If you teach, you remember a picture of you to work with students. They may even "cut casual" even a good shot, remove the background, add a shadow, and make a large head shot!

If you widgets to sell a picture of your product on your website. When people in a shop, how they feel, touch and hold the product. Make this experience with images and imagery with words. Do not tell customers that it is "solid leather construction", rather than tell them, "the seat is leather so soft you sink right they" made!

MAINTAIN, responsive communication with customers
Have you ever gone a shop counter and waited and waited? You could see the shop up there, stand by chatting with her ladies and seller. They make clear your throat and try to make eye contact with her, and she finally comes over and asks, "Can I help you?" This is how your customers feel when they send your company an e-mail and respond immediately.

Replies to e-mail should in due time. If you do not have time to answer the question to someone immediately, please send a note to tell them received their request and, if they expect a response.

Go back in your head to the "waiting at the desk" scenario. . . If the clerk says: "I'll be with you be" is sure make you feel any better? It says the customer, "You are important to me, said I, you, and I will help you as soon as I can"

OFFER impeccable service:
The key to success at Joe's Ice Cream Shop was not only his incredible milk shakes, it was of value, he added, adding the extra icing on the cake. Promise and deliver eight ninth What do you do to value for your company? Enter freely of themselves by these little extras.

IT'S ALL in the packaging:
Milkshakes taste somehow never so well in one paper cup with a plastic lid. And even though the milk shake can cost $ 1 extra at Joe's, you do not mind because they know you get your money worth. Think of ways to get your services that are attractive and comfortable for your clients package. Not nickel and dime your customers to death. Sometimes $ 150 per hour fees can sound pretty scary to customers. Do you think about creating a package with a set number of offers at a fixed price. could provide a simple, one deluxe and the gold package. If customers know exactly what to expect, it takes the "fear" from their purchase.

Answering the phone:
I do not know about you, but there is nothing that impressed me more if I call a customer help number and actually received HUMAN Live Help! I want a person who listens and understands my problems. I do not want to choose the options 1, 2 or 3 and press a button on the phone.

If Joe answers the phone, he says, "Welcome to Joe's Ice Cream Shop this is Joe!" What makes for a nice first impression! Smile answer if you, the people will hear the difference in your voice.

Small to be - BE - you will not believe it makes the difference!
I can tell you from experience that his "I" is what has built my business. And every day, as I websites for small businesses to help them I put a piece of themselves into self build. The importance of branding themselves are not overvalued. Look at your own business. Try to look with a different set of eyes.

How you present yourself? Does my site "feel" like a warm comfortable place to business or does your site look like screaming over-hyped ad or business brochure? Remember, the secret to compete to with the big boys, lies in the addition of the human touch to your service, your communication and your website! Act small for big profits!

Every Business Needs A Coach

Are you an entrepreneur? The task of obtaining business capital can be very discouraging. Most businesses fail because they have never learned how to obtain financing and therefore they have no idea where to begin. The Small Business Administration reports that 97% of companies fail to loan applications.

The meaning is the search for expert assistance in the establishment of business credit has many entrepreneurs turning to a business coach to help them finance their business credit. One of the biggest mistakes made by entrepreneurs is that they get to business financing with personal credit attempt. You should never keep your social security number to business finance. Personal Loan from your credit business are separate.

Until your company has three separate businesses credit scores, any funding received by your company will be based solely on your personal credit scores and your personal assets. A good example would be if you wanted to buy a house but had no personal credit scores. They would be turned down, and get the financing of a company, it is no different. You need to have established business credit scores to get even with a business loan for her. Business credit scores are only a beginning basis established in the financial process. There are 20 other items that must be present before you apply for business loans.

"Missing just one of the 20 articles you get your business denied," says James Christy finance specialist. "If you finance the steps in a good business coach you sure that you will have completed all the elements."

For example, Lenders deny a business loan application if the business legal name is not right with the 411 directory assistance listed. Another way of funding may be refused, if your company has a bank a low rating below 5 or if your company not to open on credit files with the three business credit reporting agencies. Most lenders require the companies now have three good credit scores. These are just some of the elements, all in the first place must be before an approval for financing.

The process of establishing business credit is much more complicated than setting up personal credit. It is a credit agency who are trying to charge you $ 500 just opened to your credit file. You must not pay, and to finance a good business coach will show you why not to pay. to finance a good coach you will work with all three rating agencies, and reporting.

A business finance coach operator instructed in a step-by-step format on exactly what they must do to get their business to be approved ready for financing and how and why the business credit scores, they need to get to build approved. A coach will show how a company can not only build business credit but a good business that the banks use credit and other lending agencies, to build your loan application approved. A good coach will usually direct you to sources of finance for business cards, a manufacturer of credit lines and other creative forms of financing.

When you finance a business coach to build your business Excellent Business credit scores might help you have your favorite search engine Google, Yahoo or MSN and search for the phrase "Business Finance Trainer" go.

Ten Ways To Avoid Failing In Your Business

1. Stop hiring yourself.

First stop hiring yourself  by continually working "in" your business. Don't be an employee of your company, reserve the choice to be the president of your company. Secondly, stop hiring yourself through your employees. Business owners tend to hire people like themselves instead of people that have the strengths they require for that position. You tend to forgive their weakness in that area because you also have the weakness. Here is a formula to use in delegating to the right people, when you don't have to manage, monitor or motivate your employees you are truly delegating. For example one of my clients had to fire his manager. His manager was in charge of the computer operations. He decided to promote someone from within the company to take his place. He hired a computer consultant to train the new employee. The problem with this is the person he was training lacked knowledge about computers. This was a very expensive way to replace his original manager. He realized he had hired himself. He also lacks knowledge of computers and had too much empathy for his new manager. He remembered when he was younger and wanted to give his new manager a chance to advance. That empathy was costing him in time, money, productivity and the computer consultants hefty bills. I suggested he hire someone with computer experience and stop the suffering. He agreed and within two week his business was back on track. He was too close to the situation to see this clearly.

2. Learn from your past

Just like a kid has to fall a couple of times when learning to ride a bike, so do entrepreneurs fail as they learn how to be successful. Learn from the past and set up systems and structures so that whatever occurred can never happen again. Solve problems for a lifetime not just a quick fix. Don't run your business like a fireman, run your business like an architect. Build a sustainable future instead of putting out daily fires.

3. Set Yourself and Your Company Up For Maximum Productivity.

Give everyone the computers and other tools they need to process information immediately. Automate the reporting of, access to, and flow of information so no human help is required. Develop a culture where any blocks to productivity are removed by your staff instead of you. Focus everyone on profits and growth. Grow your people as much as your company is growing. If you company is growing 50% annually, then your staff needs to grow at least that much. Hire people based more on attitude and behavior versus experience. Create a culture of hiring within based exclusively on performance not tenure. Get a Web Site. The web is growing in leaps and bounds. The expense of operating a business today can get in the way of offering your future customers efficient products and services. Your future customer's will not want to pay for your overhead. The web offers you the potential to market your business to millions of people all over the world. Have a profitability and financial plan. Also a budget and a measurement process to keep track of how you are doing monthly. If you don't know where you stand financially and have no short term and long term financial goals, then you are just letting fate dictate your success and we know those odds aren't too good. Control your own destiny!

4. Develop Relationships

The success of your business is in direct relation to the quality of the relationships in your life. Define the key people that can help you grow your business and commit to spend time to develop your relationship with them. Spend one day a week with your best customers listening, collaborating, suggesting, understanding. Have a relationship between you and your customers; not just a selling relationship. What you will be offering or selling to customers in five years may change in form or substance to what you're offering now. Learn from your clients instead of just selling to them. Clients really appreciate sharing their views and needs with companies will listen. Let the customer create the questions on a survey instead of just giving their answers. A coach can help you to develop a system of learning from their customers and develop relationships.

5. Maintain a Healthy Balance

Your free time is the largest ingredient in recharging your batteries to think more clearly and create solutions for a solid future. Maintain a balance between work, play and family. This is critical for long term success. We all put in crazy hours on a short term basis to get a hot project done or the product out the door, but if you do this on a long term, regular basis it is a dangerous sign that you are losing perspective. You need to be able to step away on a regular basis and get your batteries recharged. Have time for your family because if they suffer it is almost a sure bet your business will suffer too. Plan your free time for the next three months. This is usually the first thing that people eliminate. After you schedule your free time in your planner, get out your scissors and cut the time out of your planner to resist the temptation of erasing, crossing out or whiting out your scheduled free time.

6. Be A Role Model Of Excellence And Encourage The Same In Your Employees.

Entrepreneurs want to grow their business. In order for your business to grow, you must grow personally. Your efforts are best spent developing you. If you don't give your all or let an inferior produced product go out the door to a client, you are sending a message to your employees that you do not respect your clients or your work. Your employees will adopt that view as well. Set the example of giving the extra effort, pitching in when needed, caring about people, be the best in your particular business, continue your growth curve, and take care of your employees. Encourage innovation and creation. Give your employees a stake in the future. Once a month, have a meeting where the employees make suggestions on how to improve your product, service, efficiency, or bottom line. Get your employees involved in the productivity game. One of my clients decided to play the productivity game with his employees. The game is; the employees get to share in the profits of the money saved in one year. Within a week they asked him to relieve the cleaning company of their duties. They took turns cleaning the office on their time to lower the operating costs. My client was thrilled. Give monetary rewards when the ideas produce increases to the bottom line and positive encouragement for the process. Create an atmosphere where employees are willing and able to talk with you. The two best sources of information on how your business is doing and how to improve it are your employees and your customers. Pay attention to both.

7. Don't rest on your laurels.

Always be prepared to change. Look for things to do more efficiently or how to improve your service or product. Identify and remove as many consequences and risks as possible. Insure yourself where you are most vulnerable in your business. Handle all legal issues. Errors in judgment and changing trends can have a negative impact on your business.

8. Minimize all your risks.

A coach will help you identify all of the events, people, trends, etc. that may adversely affect your business. Where are you most vulnerable in your business? Accounts receivable, employees, suppliers etc. Constantly evaluate your competition and benchmark yourself against them. The minute you think you don't need to improve anything is the exact moment you are blinding yourself and can be easily affected by your competition's growth.

9. End The Lone Ranger Mentality

A Lone Ranger is the entrepreneur who says things like: "No, that is OK, I can handle it alone." "I'll do it myself, because no one can do it as well as I can do it." The Lone Ranger entrepreneur needs a coach to help teach the skill of both involving and leaning on others. This skill is important to learn because the synergy that comes from working together is what ends up being a key competitive advantage. Without it, your business will slow down. Plus it's a lot more fun to be supported with great people, than to have to push or rely only on yourself.

10. Run your business with integrity.

It takes courage and commitment to live by your inner truth. There is great honor in living with integrity. It is telling your truth no matter what the consequences. It's being candid when it might be dangerous. It's going ahead and doing it or saying it even if it's uncomfortable. Inner truth communicates through faint whispers, thoughts, pictures and feelings buried within you. You can't passively wait for your inner truth; respectfully send for it. Continually turn inward, quietly, politely asking the right questions so that the subtle signals become clearer. Integrity is something only you can define. No one can say you're out of integrity,. When you're feeling stressed it's a real indication that you need to restore your integrity. With integrity in place you are complete free.

Are You A Coaching Candidate?

1. Do you spend your day putting out fires?
2. Do you have any concerns about your business running at maximum profitability?
3. Do you run your business on the edge?
4. Do the same problems continually resurface?
5. Do you have difficulty finding someone you trust who can give you an objective viewpoint and bounce ideas off of?
6. Is your business running you ?
7. Do you find that you are unable to make the most of all the opportunities in your life?
8. Do you experience roller coaster highs and lows in your business?
9. Do you have a lone ranger lifestyle?
10. Do you allow your goals and purpose to get sidetracked?
11. Do you lack having a clear, measurable action plan to fulfill your goals?
12. Do you lack structure?
13. Do you lack inner fulfillment?
14. Do you spend most of your day working "in" your business instead of "on" it?
15. Are you a workaholic?
16. Are you experiencing a lack of balance in your life and business?
17. Are you committed to growing yourself and your company?
18. Are you coachable? (Are you willing to hear and act on another's person's viewpoint?)
19. Do you lack a clear financial plan for your future?
20. Are you willing to be truthful and restore your integrity?

* If you answered yes to more than three of these questions you can benefit from a coach.

Questions A Coach May Ask You:

* What five opportunities are you leaving on the table?
* How might you sabotage our professional relationship?
* How have you been motivated in the past to reach difficult goals or make difficult decisions? How can we best utilize that motivation now?
* How would you do this differently if you were willing to let it be easy?
* What would happen if you showed up ten times more bolder this week in every aspect of your life?
* What are the 10 things you are tolerating or putting up with that are preventing you from performing at your best?

Ways To Grow Your Small Business

I started my company (ABC) from the trunk of my car (and it was a small trunk so that’s a small business). I grew ABCto $375,000,000 in sales prior to selling it to XYZ. I am now CEO of a $1 billion business.

Many of our most important customers are small business people. I make a study out of what makes them successful and what pitfalls they need to avoid. From this study, I came up with the following list of the Top 10 Ways to Grow your Small Business:

1 – Know yourself. Do a SWOT analysis. What are your Strengths, your Weaknesses, the Opportunities and the Threats? Examine and understand each. In every strength there is a weakness and in every weakness there is a strength (e.g. you are small so lack financial clout, the advantage is by necessity you will be more creative). The better you know yourself the more successful you will be. By knowing yourself you not only know your areas of opportunity, you know what areas to avoid.

2 – Set goals. This sounds almost too simple but many people and businesses do not set goals. Goals can keep you focused on where you want to go and how you need to get there. Set specific measurable goals with timelines and track progress towards them. Set goals in areas that you know you can win (if you did the SWOT in 1, you will know those areas).

3 – Grow within profitability. Often I see companies who set the goals like I speak about in point 1 and grow their expenses in anticipation of sales only to find the sales do not materialize at the level they thought. Sell first then add overheads.

4 – Sell more to your existing customers. Look at what they buy from other sources that you might be able to sell them. You already have the relationship with your customers. You are already spending the time to service them so your incremental cost is quite low. For example, if you supply them with toner cartridges, it is easy to sell them some printers or other hardware or software.

5 – Sell to more customers. You obviously have something worth buying or you would have no customers. What other customers might use this service. Then market and sell to that audience – email, mail, fax, advertise, call, visit, etc. Ask your existing customers for referrals. Sell in a larger geographic area. Take the knowledge and systems you have to broader areas. Warning on this – the grass is not always greener. It costs more to sell in markets further away. You can lose your advantage.

6 – Grow your people. What I have consistently done is to look at what I do and figure out who can do it (in many cases better than I can). By learning to delegate, I have been able to not only grow myself but grow my people and my company.

7 – Create a change culture in your company. People need to be told that things change. Yes, I wish for the good old times but without change, we would not grow. There is an expression “if you do what you always have done, you will get what you have always got”. The Jim Estill variation on this is “if you do what you have always done (even if it was successful), you will go bankrupt”. Set a goal to do something new every month.

8 – As one of my heroes, Thomas Edison said, “good things come to those who hustle while they wait”. In business, speed wins. Companies and people with a high sense of urgency win. If you do not have this in your company – create it. Set deadlines. Set goals. Do it now. This can be one area that small business can beat big business.

9 – Focus on learning. People and companies that learn, win. This ties into point 7. You need to be a life-long learner. Spend part of your time on learning. Develop a habit of constant learning.

10 – I am a big believer in the good use of time. If you know your goals and focus your time appropriately, you will grow. I study time and constantly polish my time systems.

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