Category Archives for Productivity

Keep Your Home Based Business Profitable – 5 Tips

How to Keep Your Home Based Business Profitable

 

Why It’s Important Not To Take Your Eye Off The Money For Too Long!

It drives me NUTS when I hear people say ‘Don’t focus on the money.”  While that may be true for some things, at the end of the day you are in business to make money. If you think otherwise, then you are running a hobby.

For so many businesses, the reason they fail is lack of cash flow. I see it all the time. It’s typical for many home based business owners to appear all happy and chirpy, but the truth of the matter is, their business is often struggling for regular cash flow and long term financial growth.

Have you ever been out for the day and started out with a purse or wallet full of cash and by the end of the day you open it up and glare with amazement at the few dollars or cents that are left? And worse still, you can hardly recall where all the money has gone?

Even though you may operate a home based business, it’s still vitally important to track where you spend your money.  You probably don’t have the same expenses a brick and mortar business has such as rent, rates, or rubbish collection, but there are plenty of expenses related to an online business that add up very quickly and can see your bank account looking like a leaky bucket at times.   Some of what I have, and you might too, are shopping cart fees, web hosting, audio hosting, video  hosting, membership sites, product purchases, email services and there’s more…..

I’m not talking here about being a scrooge. It’s about how to get more for your money.

I want to share 5 tips on how you can keep more money in your bank account and increase your cash flow with little effort at all….

Record every single expense you have related to your business. (In the interview you will hear how I take this even one step further!).  Allocate each expense into a category such as advertising, subscription services, virtual assistance, graphics, etc.  This will allow you to track how much each area of your business is costing you and you can access whether or not you need to make any changes.

Review all your subscription services.  List every site that you are paying a monthly subscription fee. This will be things like your autoresponder service, shopping cart, video or audio hosting.  Check the level of plan you are on and be sure you are only paying for the facilities you require at the time.  I recently dropped a level of service on one of these and saved myself $70 per month!  You may want to downgrade, or change providers to amalgamate with another service you already have to get the level of service you need.

Research – Sometimes, by allocating a small amount of time to research, you can often find the piece of information you need to move forward on a project by searching You Tube, Yahoo Answers or asking for help on Facebook rather than purchasing a whole product just for one tiny piece of information.  Stand firm to only order a product if you are commitment to take action and implement it into your business immediately.  Keep a spreadsheet of all the products you order and how effective your results were so you can track the return on investment.

Reach Out – Some of the best money you can spend will be to hire someone to do a task for you. This leaves you free to continue with what you are good at, and do more of the money making activities in your business.

Reward Yourself – Get excited when you reach your money goals!  Regularly set money goals that are a stretch, but at the same time achievable.  As you set these goals and implement some of the strategies we’ve talked about, you will also begin to see opportunities that will allow you to reach your money targets even quicker. Regularly take a set amount of your income and pay yourself.  You will feel rewarded for your efforts and commitment and after all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!

Doing what you love while running a home based business can be extremely profitable if you decide to operate every area of your business like a professional.

The choice is yours….you can fritter away your money or you can keep more of it to help others and have more fun!

I’d love to know your thoughts….. please quickly do me a favor and share with others and comment below.

Create Lead Generation with Connection, Conversation and Consistency

 

Connection, Conversation and Consistency to Create Lead Generation

 

Business can be as simple as one, two, three.

You really don’t need to go any further than that.  One is that you need customers or leads to connect with, two, you need to communicate with them, and three, you need to be consistent.

Today, I want to focus on the third element – consistency.

We all know that there is a never ending stream of marketing activities to help you build your list. Things like article marketing, blogging, forums, public speaking, social media, paid advertising and many more.

One of the biggest mistakes many business owners make is starting one kind of activity and then continually jumping on to the next marketing activity when they get frustrated with a lack of results.  Then what happens is they jump on to the next activity and start that for a week, or two and perhaps again, get results they are less than happy with.  Without realizing it, what’s going on here, is that they are killing any chances of building momentum.

One of the biggest keys to success is consistency. When we do something repeatedly and consistently, not only do we get really skillful at it, we also build momentum, and, send a message to our clients many might not even be aware of.

Nothing is worse than if I check your website and find you only blog occasionally. Or if I visit your social media pages only to see that your business page has not been posted on for a month.  Neither of these is being consistent.  If your potential clients find these things out about you, they can begin to be doubtful or fearful around whether or not you will be around long enough to support them.

Do you lack confidence? Be consistent. It’s amazing how much more confident you will become with this one simple change.

Often new business owners tell me they lack the time to implement their marketing plan. Our first step is to analyze where they are currently spending their time. We often see that the masterminding, skype chatting and general outings have become time vampires rather than real profit producing activities.  Realizing that it really only takes a few hours each week to write a few blog posts, to send out a regular newsletter and to keep social media updated, they can easily fit these into their schedule.

Be consistent with less….

It’s easy to feel extra pressure if you’re doing a launch of some sort, or it’s coming into a busy time of the year for you …..this is not the time to become inconsistent. Your current list is important, even if there are only a few hundred people on it. Don’t neglect them! Don’t neglect your social media followers for a week while you are ‘distracted by something big’ or they might not respond the way you want when you ‘come back’!

Unfortunately, far too many home based business owners think they can still earn enormous profits even though they want to only work when it’s ‘convenient’.  This is what I call a ‘Hobby Owner’, rather than a ‘Business Owner’.  This inconsistent behaviour can cost them an enormous amount of money.

Don’t try to do everything!  Pick just 2 or 3 of your ideal marketing activities and commit to 90 days.  For 90 days, complete these activities on a regular, consistent basis. Regardless of which activities you choose; blog, write articles, email marketing; do these consistently!  You will see a spike in your results and be amazed at the momentum you will create.

Consistency will become your best friend.

But mark my words- it’s not magic, it’s work.

If you’re willing to give it a try and do your very best everyday, you too can generate incredible results. Before you know it, you’ll have more leads and clients than you know what to do with and will need some coaching on managing all of your success.

So folks, practice consistency. Today. Start now. Be consistent!

Want some support during your next 90 day journey? Come to my Facebook page and tell me you are serious and you’re doing it!

I’m here to support you and make the change you want in your business ad your LIFE!  Your prosperity is my passion. What do you say? I’m ready if you are! Join me on FACEBOOK now!

 

What Colour Are You?

Are you a Red? Maybe Blue?  Or maybe you’re Yellow and Blue?

What on earth am I talking about?

I’ve heard colours related to skin tones, but never to personality types before. That was, until I was attending a personal development day a short while ago.  I enjoyed their explanation of personality ‘colours’ and what they mean and wanted to share it with you today.

Have you ever wondered why you enjoy doing some things and not others?  Or why you like connecting with some people more than others?

Well, here’s the thing; many psychologists believe that each of us has a leading personality type with behaviors unique to that type. These personality types are described and categorized by colors.  The way we think, act and feel all play a part in defining our personality and our “color”.

Once you know your color, it’s an eye opening experience to see how your unique traits play out in life as compared to working and communication with different personalities. The better we understand ourselves and others, the more effective we can be in all our relationships.

How well do you know yourself and others? How would you characterize your personality?

Knowing your personality and how you relate to others can also give you a distinct advantage when it comes to business relationships.  Let’s take a look at the meanings of the four primary colors: red, yellow, blue, and green, and what those colors represent when it comes to defining your personality traits.

Red Performers

Red personalities love to perform. They are action-driven and love to be recognized for what they do. They are creative people who think well on their feet and like to get things done NOW. Also known as the movers and shakers, reds work extremely well in crisis and are good at troubleshooting and negotiating. They are direct communicators and will tell you “like it is.” They welcome, promote and adapt well to changing situations and have very open and accepting personalities. Usually seen as “characters” they are the easiest to read – “what you see is what you get.” They like and need to have control, especially of themselves. They like to do things “their way” and have a great need for freedom which allows for self-expression.

Yellow Planners

Yellow personalities are the worker bees of the world. They are excellent organizers and always have a plan and back-up plan in order. They tend to be very structured in their personal and professional lives. Yellows tend to be more disciplined than the other types and that means having follow-through skills. They are goal-driven and known for “making lists” to ensure all things are completed in a timely manner. It would make sense then that yellows respect authority, rules and regulations. Order is important to them and you will find the yellow individuals picking up after everyone. They are extremely good with details and work in professional settings that will draw on their skill sets.

Blue Relationships

Relationship is the only meaningful word in the dictionary to a blue personality. Relational by nature, blues are excellent at forming and maintaining relationships of all sorts. They tend to be people pleasers and work hard at building harmony within and outside the home. They are very aware of feelings within themselves and others. Blue types need to be praised for who they are. They need to be involved in meaningful activities that give them a sense of fulfillment and joy. They tend to be subjective and make decisions based on feelings. They have great empathy and compassion which will assist them in their uncanny ability to influence and persuade others.

Green Problem Solvers

In order to solve problems one needs information. Green personalities truly value learning and exploring new horizons. All their lives they have been asking questions and seeking answers. Investigative by nature, greens tend to begin with logic, objectivity and rationale. They prefer to analyze things and are very logical in their thought processes.

Like Bill Gates, they are the visionaries of the world. They are BIG picture people who tend to think about the future. They are skilled at anticipating problems and implementing systems to avoid obstacles. Greens need mental/intellectual challenges for motivation and thrive when they are provided them.

Taking risks, having adventure and excitement are not high priorities for you. Spontaneous actions are not the norm or part of your make-up. You tend to be more serious and focused. You do not think well on your feet and usually need a plan before moving forward. You are not the first one to jump in and get started on projects. You need time to think things through first.

Having fun at work may not resonate well with you. Work is a place to work. Having fun is for other places. You prefer the tried and true vs. testing the limits of the unknown. Being the center of attention is not you and you may get tired of those always seeking it. You do not do well in crisis situations and prefer jobs or careers that are more predictable and stable.

So how do you know what color you are?

Here’s a quick way to find out …

For over 11 years Family IQ has been helping others lead more satisfied, focused and happier lives with their simple assessment tests and courses.

Here’s a quick test you can take that will help you define your true personality color.

It’s simple, easy, and fun…. And it’s also FREE

Click Here to Take Your FREE Colour Test

PS.  I’m Red/Yellow!;-)  What color are you?

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Eliminating Marketing Overwhelm

Have you ever felt overwhelmed when trying to market your business? It’s easy to be confused by all the latest and greatest options. It can be difficult to know where to start.As a solopreneur, when you get busy with clients there are so many other things that need to be done. There are always firest to put out and it’s easy to feel like you are constantly playing catch up. So how can you possibly add another activity to your already overwhelming schedule? If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. These are the same challenges faced by most solopreneurs. The danger with becoming overwhelmed is that you can become paralyzed and sit like a rabbit stunned in bright lights.

This feeling of ‘analysis paralysis’ CAN be overcome and you CAN get out of overwhelm and market what you do to those who need it most. I’m giving you 7 easy steps here to follow:

  1. STOP and step back – If you feel like it’s all getting too much, the best thing you can do is STOP. Honestly – take a break! Just like you need to pull over and give your car a break if it gets overheated, you need to take a break and rejuvenate when you feel yourself getting overwhelmed. Take a few hours or a full day off to gather your thoughts and re-set.
  2. Get organized – Do you have things written on bits of paper or sticky notes lying all over the place? Being organized and having all your marketing ideas and plans in one place will make your task much easier. Buy yourself a few bright coloured files or folders and label them so that any ideas you come up with can be put straight into these. Now you can review all your marketing information in the one place.
  3. Focus on what you need most RIGHT NOW – When you’re overwhelmed, it’s difficult to know what you need to be marketing for the next 6 or 12 months. Instead, consider which specific marketing strategies you need to focus on what will add more income to your business right now. This way you can focus on the marketing activities that are priority for achieving your short term goals. Perhaps it’s a workshop or program that needs filling? To write copy for a web page? Then you focus ONLY on these activities.
  4. Make marketing a priority – marketing is too important to leave to chance. Start TODAY to allocate chunks of time to plan your business development and marketing. Begin with making time to constantly review and update a rolling 60 day plan. Then also schedule time to take action and implement. These are priority activities in your day, week and month. Create new habits so that your marketing activities get done before you are distracted by anything else, especially email.
  5. Systemize wherever possible – Consistency with your marketing will reap you greater rewards. Leave less to chance by creating systems for as many of your marketing efforts as possible. This includes mapping out topics for your newsletter and blog well in advance. Your scheduled writing time will be so much more productive. You want an effective follow up system for people you meet and business cards you collect. There is software that is available to help you manage your social media and contact management. As you perform a new marketing activity, write the process down in detail so it’s ready for you or someone else to follow each time. This stops you from having to re-learn each time and makes delegating tasks (to your standard) much easier.
  6. Get an outside opinion – You don’t know what you don’t know. It can be easy for there to be great opportunities right in front of us that we simply don’t see ourselves. By spending even just one session with an experienced marketing coach or consultant, you can be given valuable information on ideal strategies that will best suit your goals. You’ll get confidence and clarity to keep moving on the right path.
  7. Get going – You might not feel like you have all the information you need just yet but get started anyway. Your marketing materials don’t need to be ‘perfect’. In fact, they will develop over time either way. Each step you take will mean you are better educated to make the next decision. Marketing and growing your business is something that will continually evolve. Get a clear vision of your goals, choose one strategy and then just take ACTION. Don’t stop to think on it.

More often than not, it’s lack of action that keeps us from experiencing our success. It’s much easier to achieve your goals once you understand what has been preventing you from getting there. Everyone experiences overwhelm at some stage, but to stay stuck in overwhelm is a choice. Make a decison today that marketing overwhelm will not prevent you from having the business success and profits you deserve.

Your Action Plan For The Week:
  1. Block out a specific time – preferably a while day if possible – to get grounded again on what your goals are.
  2. Organize. Use one specific notebook to keep all your marketing ideas in one safe, easy to find place. Get things out of your head and write them down instead.
  3. Decide on ONE specific task this week – and get it accomplished. You will be amazed at how much lighter your load will feel when you do this!
  4. Decide to take action. Starting today, begin to do ONE thing that you have been putting off.
  5. Do this for the whole week and you’ll love the feeling of exhilaration and liberation as you get out of the overwhelm that has held you back for so long.

How To Have a Full Client Pipeline

“I need more clients!”  Have you ever made this statement?

“If you build it they will come” is probably one of the biggest myths ever published and believed when it comes to business.

It’s possible that you have the most amazing offer or business. Unless your ideal clients know about it, you will stay as the best kept secret in your industry. The biggest challenge for so many self employed professionals is consistently attracting new and ideal clients into their business.  Unfortunately, they simply underestimate how much exposure they really need to keep a full pipeline of clients. By consistently implementing a few simple steps, you will be well on your way to achieving your business goals.

Clarity, focus and planning are often the root causes of why this struggle to attract ideal clients is an issue. Remember, when you are crystal clear about the vision for your business, it becomes easy for your ideal clients to see it as well. The first thing you need to know is exactly WHO your ideal client is, why you consider them ideal, and what problems they have that you can provide a solution for. It’s tempting to be broad with your responses for fear of ‘losing’ a prospective client.  After all, I’m sure what you do can actually help soooo many people.  The more specific you can be with your focus, the more effective your marketing strategies can be. You will save time and money. Plans without action are useless. So you do need to have a marketing plan outlined so that you’re confident what your actions need to be on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.  This way, you will connect with your ideal clients regularly, rather than your marketing being an ad hoc event.

“But I am already working so hard”  I can almost hear you say.

I know. And that’s why the strategies that really take your business to the next level need to leverage things you already have:

Once you’ve got clarity on your ideal client (I even give my ideal client a name!) and what they need, it’s time for the action to begin.  Here are three simple strategies that I’m using that are working for me that you can use to attract ideal clients to your business NOW:

  1. Powerful Partnerships – Teaming up with someone you may currently regard as your competitor can in fact create a triple win situation (you, your JV partner and your clients/subscribers) and is a great way to get more clients. There are other professionals who service your ideal client before and after you. For example, if you are a graphic designer, it’s possible that people like virtual assistants, web designers, and business coaches all connect with your ideal prospects too.  This is great!  You have enormous opportunity to get in front of your ideal prospects if you leverage of these networks in a partnership arrangement by cross promoting each other’s services.
  2. Reconnect with previous clients – Studies have shown that it’s much easier to re-engage an existing client than a new one.   This is where your low-hanging fruit is!  Right NOW you have a great opportunity to reconnect with past clients and catch up with them.  Have a chat about what’s going on, whether they are meeting their expectations and goals on their own and offer to help support them to the next level of success. It would be a good idea to create a special package or incentive to acknowledge their commitment to you in the past and encourage them to take on your services once more.
  3. Networking – You must go fishing in the right pond!  The fish you are after is your ideal client. This means targeted, focused networking is an excellent way to get in front of a large group of your ideal clients that have already been gathered in one place.  A mistake many solopreneurs make is to go randomly attending networking events just because they can.  This can also be a huge waste of your time – and remember, your time is precious.  When you are confident in who your ideal prospect is, you can research exactly where this type of person ‘hangs’ out and only spend your time at events where they are congregating in large numbers.  When you show up, your intention is to be helpful, an informed resource, friendly and listening to how you can solve your prospects problems more than talking heaps about yourself.  A key to successful networking is QUICK follow up. Actually mark into your diary within the following 24 hours to do this.

Consistency in your marketing is much easier when you know where you are going and what you want. When you can almost taste your success, you’ll be prepared to put in whatever time is takes and come up with loads of creative ideas. Having clarity on your next step will grow your enthusiasm to a point where you become energized by your marketing efforts.  Other people pick up on this high energy – and you will attract others who want the same for themselves!

Implementation is the key – so which of these strategies will you action in your business this week?

Your Action Plan For The Week:

  • Revisit the qualities you want in your ideal client and their profile. Brainstorm everywhere you can think of that they hang out – for both their personal and professional needs, and both online and offline.   Pick out one or two key networking events where you can position yourself as a useful resource and increase visibility.
  • Gather all the information about your past clients. When did they last use your service?  (In fact I always recommend you keep this information about your past clients well maintained right from the start.) Block out a time to call and reconnect with them. Create a special re-enrolment offer.
  • Create a list of who has your ideal prospects before you and after you. Schedule time to meet with these potential joint venture partners to discuss how you can work together to serve each other’s community in a win, win, win situation.

 

Did You Get Lazy in Marketing? (If You Want More Clients, Do What You USED To Do)

 

I’m going to be open and vulnerable here.  I’ve really let my fitness slide over the past 18 months while my business has been growing so much.  After our holidays, I decided “That’s it!” I wanted to get help to get me back into great shape. So I was thrilled to find that Mark, my favourite personal trainer had moved back into town while we had been away. I went straight down there and signed up! And I’m proud to say that my health and fitness has once more taken its rightful place at the top of my priorities.

While I was huffing and puffing my way through my workout this morning, Mark was telling me all the things he was doing to promote his new business and get the word out. And I got to give him some great tips on how to get more new clients that he hadn’t even thought about.

I began to see how keen and enthusiastic Mark was to do WHATEVER it takes to get out there in a big way. To tell the community about his awesome services, in a super excited kind of way.

What tends to happen to most people after being in business for themselves for a few years is they become lazy in marketing.  They rest on their laurels, and then often stop doing what they used to do to attract clients. Networking takes a back seat (like my fitness!); introductory offers stop; some no longer look for speaking opportunities like they used to.  As money starts to tighten, the marketing slows down too, and then confusion sets in as they discover their client pipeline is empty.

Oh, there’s always great excuses as to why these things aren’t happening. I’ll hear “I’ve tried that once and things are different now, it won’t work again,” or “I’m not interested in doing that any more,” or perhaps “That sounds too much like hard work.”  Someone I spoke to last week in fact was even beginning to wonder if she shouldn’t just give up, and return to employment.

While these excuses hang around, the well dries up and they are very thirsty!!! (This is NOT a fun feeling!  This is the beginning of worry, stress, financial strain and sleepless nights.)  Next, fear appears and they scurry for NEW ideas to use, or get attracted to the latest and greatest ‘thing’ that is the rage. Ever done that?   Always looking for new, exciting ways to reinvent the wheel, while ignoring the proven strategies behind.

I’m not saying new ideas aren’t good, but ignoring the tried and true, proven strategies is simply asking for trouble.  The new ideas don’t always create quick results. There is a learning curve that takes time to get new systems in place.

So rather than spending loads of money creating BRAND new strategies, often, by going back to what’s proven to work really well in the past is just the trick. It’s about going back to Marketing 101.  The very things we cover in our Marketing Action Plan.

Why reinvent the wheel when all the hard work has been done for you already, and it’s proven to work?

There’s two places you can be on this: You either have EXCUSES or you have RESULTS.

So, I would ask you:

  • What USED to work for you to get new clients, that you been UNWILLING to do recently?
  • Are there things you did regularly at the beginning that you no longer do now?
  • Where have you dropped the ball and become a little lazy?
  • In the early days, what was your best way to get new clients?
  • Are you doing this now?
  • Are you WILLING to do this now?


If you need to boost your client load now, then stop everything and take a look at your Marketing Action Plan
. Which pieces of the plan are you implementing regularly and thoroughly? Has the consistency of your marketing slipped?

It’s time to start with the foundations again. And, it’s time to recommit. The funny thing is, when you recommit and reconnect with your clients, and you start doing these things again, they WORK. Then what you discover is, you start getting more clients, the bank account starts to get fat, and you begin to LIKE doing these things again. How FUN your marketing begins to be again.  This changes your whole demeanor. And, clients will instantly become magnetically attracted to you as a result. THEN, after the foundation is well and truly in place, new stuff can start to be added in. Have a go. It always works for me and my clients.

Now, if you’re struggling with what to do to fill your business right from the start, then follow a step-by-step system that feels easy and dependable. The Client Building Blueprint Home Study System avoids the “Shiny Bright Objects” and instead gives you piece by piece, the most important things to do so that you consistently build your community and constantly get new clients. It’s all step-by-step, and very easy to follow. So, you complete each step of the system before you move on to the next one.  There are tools, templates, scripts and examples are handed to you on a golden plate. Easy. You can get it here: Client Building Blueprint