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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Looking for a marketing source

Are you looking for a marketing source that will give you ideas, action steps, templates, and strategies to put into place today?
Something that will make your job as a business owner a lot easier?

That's why I have developed my Get Known Marketing Newsletter. Get Known Marketing Newsletter will give you step by step strategies for you to put into place within your business. It will provide templates, examples and plans that will give you instant ideas that you can use to make a stronger business. It will give you proven ideas that will help you boost your sales - and your profits!

Check this out>>

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Focus Your Energy Action Step

Focus Your Energy Action Step

Focusing your energy is one of the most difficult things a self-employed person will ever do. Most self-employed people fall into the "I can do it myself" mentality. That's ok if you're comfortable with your current situations. But if you really want to grow your business, you need to change your thinking. A great book on how to move out of the "I can do it myself" mentality is Michael E Gerber's "The E Myth Revisited". I highly recommend this book to anyone who is trying to grow their business to new levels. If you've never read it, buy it and read it now. Even if you have read it, read it again. I reread simple-to-read books like this again and again to get the concepts down.

Take a look at the jobs you like to do within your business. What makes you happy? What makes you grumble? What do you put off until you absolutely have to do it? What can other people do very easily? Divide this list into two areas: a list of things you like to do and things you don't like to do. How can you hire out the jobs on your "don't like to do" list? Then look at your "like to do" list. What items on this list actually make you money? Marketing, sales, generating ideas, research - these things bring in money. They are what make your business grow, and become more profitable. Look for ways to give away the items you enjoy, but are time consuming and don't really do anything to help your business grow.

Remember this idea is a work in progress. There is no way for a small business to hire employees and contractors for 75% of your workload over night. Instead, think small. "In 2003, I will let an accountant take over my accounting functions and my tax preparation". "In 2003, I will hire one employee to help me with my administrative tasks." These are small, achievable and realistic goals to have for one business year. Really focus on keeping these goals, and then focus on what you will accomplish with the timesavings. You will only be able to grow if you fill that timesavings with items that will generate more revenue. And above all, take action!


Monday, October 24, 2005

Time Management: Selling On A Time Plan!

Time Management: Selling On A Time Plan!

What type of product do you offer? What type of service? Can it be sold by the time period? One of the best ways of increasing your sales to your clientele is to offer them packages based on time instead of selling once and trying to bring in another sale later. One-at-a- time sales are the most costly type of sale you can do because you are constantly working on bringing in new sales. Instead, focus on ways that you can save your client money by providing them several items throughout the year, sold as a package, that will benefit them so much more than the one-time sale.

Products are the easiest to sell on a time plan. The greatest example are clubs: book clubs, wine clubs, fruit baskets, dessert of the month, magazines, and meat clubs, to name but a few. If you sell any type of product, consider putting together a club in which you can provide your clients with a product on a periodic basis. This is a guaranteed income generator for you as you sell it once, and collect the funds over and over again!

Products seem easy, but what about services? Almost any type of service can be put into a time-option sale. Instead of thinking in terms of one, think in terms of many. What service can you offer your client that will benefit them many times? Add training to your tax service business - everyone in business would benefit from attending a few seminars throughout the year on how to improve their accounting procedures/tax strategies. Think of what your client is really benefiting by working with you, and capitalize on that benefit again and again!


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Create Your Time-Option Plan

Create Your Time-Option Plan

List all of your products and/or services down on a piece of paper. Then rank them according to how much of your total business each product/service represents to your business.

Choose your top selling products and services, and find ways of making them into time-option sales. Find ways of creating unique monthly clubs. Find services that will benefit the purchaser by buying several instead of one. Then package them up in attractive ways that will allow the buyer to save money by purchasing it in bulk. Reward your client by offering better deals in package plans, and reward yourself by increasing your sales within your business. Win/win for everyone!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Importance of Testing

The Importance of Testing

It all starts with an idea. Whenever you have an idea, go with it. Bring that idea to a level that you can offer it to your clients. Bring it forward. And just do it! Then watch what happens. Does it work? What can you change to make it work better? How can you change it?

One of the most amazing things you can learn is how your profits will change dramatically by making a few simple changes to the way you market your business. Adopt the mindset of a child. Children never accept no for an answer. It's amazing to watch a child. If something doesn't work the way they want it to, they try it again. And after several attempts, they begin to change the way they try it. But rarely do they give up until they get what they want - in some fashion or another. Adopt this approach in your everyday business environment, and watch your business succeed!

The purpose of testing is to gain the maximum performance from every marketing piece you produce. Change and test. Change and test. Put those words permanently into your vocabulary! These words should be synonymous with marketing. Every great marketer knows that the entire marketing process revolves around testing. Then make a change and test again. As long as you are in business, the only way to succeed is to change everyday, look at the results, and change again.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Test your Marketing Materials

Test your Marketing Materials

What products or services can you easily add to your business this year? Sit down and brainstorm every way in which you could add something new. Write down every idea, whether it's doable or not. This is the time to brainstorm, not make decisions.

Next, categorize each idea by its do-ability! How easy would it be for you to get this idea to the marketplace? Take your most doable idea, and get it out to your clients - now! Just do it! In order to sell it, you have to get it out there. Do one idea at a time so you're not bombarded with business that you can't handle. Set up your other doable ideas on a timetable, so you are sure to release those as well in the near future.

Finally, put these ideas into action. Make them available for sale. Market them. Create ways of notifying your client of your new products/services. Then ask your client for their opinion. Is this a good idea? How can you change it to make it more desirable? Can you combine it with other things in your business to make a "package"? Change some of the features, and test it again. Change. Test. Change. Test.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Vision Of Success Special Links

If you send emails to customers, you need to be concerned with a lot of the legislation that has been in the works on spam. None of us likes to receive it and weed through it to get to our legitimate email. Yet some of the issues surrounding the elimination of spam can be rather harsh to those businesses online that are legitimately trying to contact their clients - and have permission to do so! If emailing clients is a part of your business, check out the links below. They provide you with resources on how to correct your email to make sure it gets through.

This site allows you to put the text of your email into a content checker. It will give you a rating on how likely your email will be filtered out as spam. http://www.lyris.com/contentchecker/

Microsoft Office Assistance Center lists words and phrases that are picked up by email filters. It's a great source for finding the words you should avoid in your email. http://office.microsoft.com/assistance/9798/newfilters.a spx

Just For Fun! A very cool site that ranks your choices to many different questions. www.selectsmart.com

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Project Yourself Into The Future

Project Yourself Into The Future
Everyone I have talked to is saying the same thing - things are tough out there! People just aren't spending their hard earned dollars on anything at the moment. Go into any store or restaurant. It's quiet. People are staying around their homes. Doing things with their families that don't cost a lot of money. I'm there, and you probably are too. So what can we do to get through these tough times? Plan for the future!

Nothing lasts forever. We won't be in this current situation for a long period of time. We will change. We will change as people, and our businesses and what we buy will change. Everything will change. So what can you do today? Focus on where we will be tomorrow. With each passing day come new opportunities. Your goal as a marketer is to foresee those trends, and change your life and your business to match the direction of the trends? What are people looking for in their products and services?

Take travel for instance. People aren't traveling around the country as much as they were a couple of years ago. But people still want vacations - they are just more nervous of leaving "home". So consider putting together mini-vacations for people right in your own area. A hotel can partner up with a number of businesses to create a spectacular "mini-vacation". Consider putting together a 2-night stay in a suite for 2, plus 2 theater tickets, restaurant certificates, a gift basket with luxurious treats from several local shops, spa certificate. You get the idea. Put together incredible deals for the people in your local market, and create a memorable experience - one they will refer to the people they know from out of town as well. The key to surviving downturns is to change who you are focusing your sales on. A lot of times, your client of today is completely different than your client from 2 years ago. Don't lose sight that they can change. Learn how to refocus - and to survive and prosper!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Create Something New That Will Sell Like Wildfire

Create Something New That Will Sell Like Wildfire!

Because today's business world is unlike it was even a few short months ago, you need to learn to create new things for people to buy. Things that will attract them, and make them want to purchase today. Market to them based off of today's beliefs. It's a stressing time. How can you make things a little bit easier? What can you provide as a way to relieve the tensions of our lives? How can you work with other businesses and create an opportunity that people will really want (and need) in their lives?

There will always be opportunities. And there will always be sales. Even during the great depression, certain companies were still making profits. And we're a long way off from a great depression! But you still need to let people see the value in what you're offering. How can you add a benefit to the current way of life?

We stopped by a Verizon store today, just to see what plans were available. We have used Verizon's services for years, and we're very happy. After talking with the sales person for 10 minutes, he sold us on 2 new phones and a new plan - we can travel anywhere in the U.S. and talk for "free". A great deal with the amount of traveling we do. And an improvement over our old system. So what was the dealmaker? He gave us a GREAT deal on the new phones because we have been clients for years. Thanks to technology, he could access our record on site, see how long we've been clients, and make an instant decision to give us a great deal to keep us happy. And he made a sale! Pretty good marketing, eh!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Focus Your Energy


I hear people time and again saying they are so motivated to build up their business, and yet there always seems to be a let down because profits don't keep up with that motivation level. As a start up company, you wear many hats because you have to. Lack of capital and resources hold you back, but you still manage to grow because of the deep commitment level you have, and the long hours you are willing to put in. Then as time goes by, and you continue to grow, you become the controller. The person who has a hand into everything because you are the ultimate caretaker. You started this company; you grew this company, and you're going to control this company!

The key to focusing your energy is to invest your time at what you're good at, and let others handle the other stuff. In simple language, that is the key of focusing your energy. As your business grows, you can afford to put more of your capital resources into growing your company with people. Hire employees to take over the office and administrative tasks. Hire a bookkeeper to control the data entry. Hire an accountant to control your accounting and your tax information. Hire production people to do day to day production tasks. This will give you the time to do what you need to do - and what you do best!

What is it that you like to do best? Chances are its what brought you to self-employment in the first place. You like to do web design. You enjoy photographing families. You love creating gift baskets that are appreciated by people throughout your community. This is where you need to focus your energy. You need to continue to think of marketing ideas that will grow the business, to give all of those you have hired more responsibilities to keep them happy! It is truly a circle of life, one that continues to feed off of the next idea. As you grow, so does your business, and your lifestyle!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Power Of An Image Action Step

The Power Of An Image Action Step

What experiences are you giving to your clients? What skills are you sharing with everyone around you? Monitor your actions throughout one day to determine what you are projecting to the outside world. How do you act when you get up in the morning? Do you think about the great day you're going to have? Do you clear your mind and feed it positively to get ready for your day? How do you treat those people around you? Do you find fault in things, or do you like making people smile? How do you react to the not-so-positive things that take place around you?

Monitor your actions for one day, from the time you get up until you go to bed. Record every action. Now reflect back on how you felt, how you acted, how you projected yourself to the outside world, and how people responded to your actions. Do you see room for change?

The power of your image comes from how you respond to others. It comes from the way people perceive you, what they expect as a reaction. If you react positively, and provide a heartwarming experience, your image becomes very powerful. People like being around other people with this quality. They like buying from people with this quality. That is the power of your image.

Innovate: Be different, create something new

Innovate: Be different, create something new

There are only 2 ways of gaining profits in your business: marketing and innovation. When you create a product/service, and have it in place within your business system, you must market it to the public. Marketing is what will bring the people in to create the sales, and ultimately the profits within your business. But it doesn't stop with the marketing of your existing products and services. If you keep doing what you've always been doing, you will fail. There are always others entering the marketplace, and creating new businesses that will be looking for ways of taking away your clients. You must work for today, but plan for tomorrow.

Innovation is the process of updating what you offer, and continually bringing new things to your clients. Sometimes it's simply "new and improved" products. And sometimes it needs to be a complete overhaul of what you offer. But the main thing you need to do is to keep up with what the world has to offer.

So as you are running your day-to-day business tasks, how can you incorporate innovation into your planning? It's actually very easy! Be active in your community, and within your industry. Join networking groups and trade associations. Read and subscribe to trade journals. And read major newspapers, such as Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the New York Times. Just by being involved with others in your industry, and with those that may have developments that can effect your industry, you can pick up valuable tips on products and services you can develop to help you in your business.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Create something new

Create something new

The best way to begin creating something new that will create a profit within your company is to follow the trends. Create a file on your computer, or buy a spiral notebook or journal at your local office supply store. Then begin recording in it any ideas that you come up with that would create a new product or service for your business. Record any idea you have. An idea may be hard to achieve right now, but a year down the road it might become very doable with other things you begin implementing.

I write down all of my ideas. I actually have created files on my computer AND I use a spiral notebook to record my daily ideas. Sometimes I have an idea and write it down, but I don't put it into action for several weeks because I don't have all the pieces together to make the idea work. That's the beauty of creating a working journal of your thoughts. Keep this journal on your desk all the time, and write in it daily. Then go back once every week or so and review your entries. You will be surprised with the ideas they can spawn, just by putting several ideas together!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Power Of An Image

The Power Of An Image Action Step

Books are such a wonderful gift to the world. In a few short paragraphs, they can transform you to far off places, create settings from any place in time, and add detail to your imagination like no other source we know. When you want to disappear from reality for a few moments, the best place to go is into a nice hot tub full of bubbles with a few lit candles and a great book!

How can a few words on a page do that to you? How can they change your mood from sad to happy, and lift your spirits to make you ready to face the world again? It's in the detail. It's in the way those details fill your emotions. It's in the way you perceive the world around you based on what has filled your mind within the last few minutes. Everything we do is for the experience. We do it for what it brings into our lives.

So we base our ideas and our perceptions solely on the experiences we have. Experience is everything. The way the rest of the world perceives us is through the experience they receive while they are with us. Imagine how you feel in different places. If you receive an experience above and beyond the expected, don't you feel just a little more special? Don't you recommend those places that go above and beyond the normal, and give you an experience that you never thought was possible? That is the power of your image. What image are you portraying?

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Importance of Education: Learn Something New, Stretch Your Brain

The Importance of Education: Learn Something New, Stretch Your Brain

Education is one of my favorite topics. Knowledge is the key to success. It can unlock any door you choose. Simply by wanting to learn, and following through with the act of learning, you can become anything you dream. And education is so easily achieved! Literally anyone can receive intense, specialized knowledge if they so desire. Education is not synonymous with formal training. Education is simple the desire to learn. And there are so many ways to learn!

Thomas A. Edison had only three months of formal education during his entire lifetime. Henry Ford had less than a sixth grade education. Bill Gates never completed college. Yet every single one of these people became very successful in their lifetime. Why? Because they had a thirst for knowledge, and learned what was important to them in any way they can. They read. They studied under mentors. They educated themselves with happenings in the world around them. And they NEVER gave up on the formal education of life.

My current education goal? First, to read one non- fiction book a week for the rest of my life. Just by following through on this simple goal, I will have read 52 books by the end of the year, 260 books in 5 years, and over 1300 books in 25 years! Second, to always have at least one mentor that can teach me new ideas. Mentors can be personal friends and acquaintances, or can be high-powered mentors in which you learn through their books and seminars. Both have an important place in your life. Both should be used continuously to change the way you think and act. What an education!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Discover The Importance of Education

Discover The Importance of Education

Commit yourself to education. Begin in the simplest way possible: read! One of the best investments you can ever make for yourself is to go to your local library, and get a library card. Then begin checking out books regularly. If you haven't been lately, you may be surprised. One of our local libraries now carries multiple copies of the bestsellers, and carries dvd's, magazines, and CD and tapes for checkout.

How do you find good books? Check your bestseller lists. You can find them in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, or even on Amazon. If a book makes these lists, there must be a reason. I monitor these lists every week, and make sure I've read the books on both the non-fiction and the business lists. Better yet, watch my On The Nightstand column every week. I monitor the bestseller lists, and choose classics that I enjoy and have helped me in to success!

Build your library! When I find a great book that I enjoy, or that offers a wealth of information, I buy it and add it to my library. Even if you buy 52 books a year, averaging $15 a book, that's an investment of $780 into your education. That's less than most college courses! What an investment!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Create Your Target - Take Your Aim

What does your daily task list look like? What does your priority list contain for the week? Take a look at these lists, and determine the outcome of each priority. Does it produce a result that will increase your business? Does it produce a monetary reward? If not, you may be looking at a comfort level priority instead of a successful priority. Comfort level priorities are often time fillers, and would ultimately be handled in a sufficient manner at some point throughout your business cycle.

Consider the 80/20 Rule. This rule states that you will find 80 percent of your effectiveness with 20 percent of your tasks. The key is to zone in on those few very effective tasks, and perform those each day above all others. Only when these are complete should you begin on the "comfort level" priorities. Soon you will begin eliminating these tasks all together because you see the results of performing your highest priorities!

Apply this rule to your daily lists. Concentrate on which priorities will provide you the greatest rewards. Focus on how to do each priority with great efficiency. And don't forget to reward yourself as you achieve greater success!