How prepared is your business?

As you think about the objectives you had for this year and what was it that did not get accomplished? What would it be like if you accomplished it in the new year? How important is it to you and your business?

Many businesses just move on to the next year without being clear about what they want to achieve. You could be like many people and only focus on getting things done. There is even a book called Getting Things Done. I started to read the book and decided that I didn’t have time to read it all. What an oxymoron!

Take some time to reflect on what has gone right in your business and then move on to what you will direct your attention to in the next year. It is time to determine how you will prepare for success in the new year? What will the business be like if you reach […]

A Networking Idea That Will Increase Business

Start referring your contacts to other professionals and watch your business grow.

When I was just starting my consulting business in 2004, I knew that I wanted networking and referral marketing to be a major part of my marketing strategy. One of the biggest questions I had in mind at the time was, “How do I find the right people and how do I generate referrals for them?”

I have joined a network of local businesses after I was referred to a meeting by another business person in the area. I also have acquired other contacts in the Business and Information Technology arena over the years. I’d like to share with you just one of the techniques I heard someone else use that had a huge impact on their ability to provide quality referrals to others.

Do you want to be the person others come to if they need a referral for anything–the “Go-To Person.”? A person […]

Ways to grow your business

Here are some instant ways for you to bring in more customers and grow your business.

The following are 30 questions that will immediately pinpoint where your business is doing well  and where you can take action that will produce rapid results.

These are the questions that may help your business, if you are willing to spend a few minutes giving them serious thought – the results can be quite profound.

You should be aware that each question you answer ‘no’ to probably means that you are losing out on untapped profits. But the purpose of this process is not to have you feel bad – it’s to motivate you to make marketing a top priority. Have fun!

1 Can you and your team name three things that set you apart from the competition?

2 Do you communicate the benefits of your product or service in all of your promotional literature,
websites, letters etc?

3 Have you tested Telemarketing to attract […]

10 Ways to Grow Your Business

When the status quo just won’t do anymore, these 10 ideas will help you take your small business to a new level.

Small is beautiful.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Inch by inch, row by row, that’s the way my garden grows.

While such homespun wisdom might be fine for the common folk, it can be awfully frustrating for an ambitious small business owner determined to take the business to the next level of growth and profitability. Sure, a thriving one or two person service business with no inventory, rent, or employees can seem like an easy way to make money at first, but when the phone starts ringing off the hook and customers keep coming back for more, business owners who fail to plan often fall victim to their own success. Either they burn out trying to juggle everything themselves or they spend so much time and money hiring people to help them that their profits […]

Five Ways To Market Your Business


1. Business Cards
Whether you love them, hate them or are simply indifferent, you can’t discount how much business those little 3.5 x 2 inch cards can bring you. But are you aware of all the many things you can do with them? The standard image that comes to mind is passing them out at a networking event while chatting with interested prospects, but don’t stop there! You can include them in correspondence (this includes statements, invoices, thank you cards, etc), leave them at your favorite café/restaurant, have friends/vendors pass them out for you, leave them with tip/payments, throw a party and tie them to helium balloons all around the room, get magnet versions and pass those out, throw a bizcard party, and so much more. Be creative!

2. Postcards
Some people would prefer you to believe that with the internet as the “new” rage — printed media and direct mail are dead. Never! With more and […]

What is Your Value Proposition?

Do you know what your Value Proposition is exactly? You must know it and be able to deliver it each and every day to add VALUE for our clients and customers.

So, what IS your Value Proposition? Many will say something like “Excellent Customer Service”, or “Exceptional Products and Service”. Others will suggest it has something to do with their reputation or their long standing history of excellent performance. I believe it must be stated in terms of a FEELING that they get when they do business with you.

That’s right – it is a FEELING! Have you ever defined your value proposition in terms of a feeling? Think about it. When a customer uses your product or service, how does that make them FEEL? Do they get a sense of confidence? Do they feel refreshed? Does working with you give them a sense of hope and accomplishment? Maybe when they visit your business they are […]

What have you learned in your business?

I have been doing a lot of evaluating what I have learned over the years, both the personal and the professional level, some are unique to me and others are universal.

While it would have been nice to know all this when I started running a business, I feel like most of it had to be experienced precisely as it has happened.

See if you recognize yourself anywhere in here.

Here are some key lessons that I have learned:

The flight attendants are right. You have to put your own oxygen mask on before taking care of anyone else. If you pass out, you’re useless to everyone relying on you, and they’re doomed too.   So, put yourself first: You are your most important client, so do your marketing first. Pay yourself first. Prioritize for yourself.
I can’t help everyone. Some colleagues don’t get this. Have you had a client who desperately wanted your help? Their business concept was revolutionary in […]

7 Steps to Local Search Dominance

Local shoppers are going online to find products and services in your town, get found when they do!
Right now, in every community in America, increasing numbers of people of all ages are turning to the internet to find products and services right there at home.
This trend, known generically as local search, presents a huge opportunity for small businesses who focus on winning in this arena. Below are 7 steps every local business should explore today in order to gain a competitive advantage in their local markets. (Someone in your market and industry is doing this, why not you?)

1. Register with the primary local and social search engines
Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, Ask, and TrueLocal are all awaiting your information as they build local search directories. Make sure you are listed. Angie’s List, Craig’s List, and Insider Pages are sites building directories with user generated reviews. Get in those as well and manage your online […]

Differentiate and Dominate

For your marketing and advertising efforts to be effective, you must get out of the commodity business. The most powerful marketing strategy has little to do with advertising, direct mail, web sites, referrals or blogs.

No, before any of those things will really have any impact on your business you have to uncover and communicate a way in which your business is different from every other business that says they do what you do. You have to get out of the commodity business. You have to stake your claim on a simple idea or position in the mind of your prospective clients or customers.

Here is what I mean. I used to have a business that provided custom computer programming. Essentially, we used programming languages to build custom applications for businesses. What we did was often hard to explain and even harder to put a price on, making it difficult for a prospective client to […]

Magical Marketing

Do you wish you had a magic wand when it comes to marketing your business? You think a magic wand would have amazing power, but you need to know how to use it to get results. You need to point it in a certain way, you must have a clear intention and you often need to use certain words in order to get the desired result.

I know this might sound silly to you, but let’s think of planning as a magic wand. You create an intention, wave the wand, take action and produce a result. And if you have the right wand, you can consistently and repeatedly produce the results you want.

You could have a magic planning wand and use all the time.

It’s called the “marketing action plan wand.” And it indeed does produce consistent results: a never-ending stream of clients and customers.

Many business people have a tremendous fear and resistance to using this […]