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How to Get and Use Testimonials, Referrals, and Reviews

One of the most overlooked yet critically important benefits of building a successful business that really serves its’ customers is that people like what you are doing. Maybe some of them send you referrals or give you a testimonial. They might endorse something you are doing or give feedback on new products or services you are thinking about providing. Or, they might not.

If you are doing a good job but aren’t getting the kind of support you need from your customers or clients, there can only be one reason: You aren’t asking for it.

The hair stylist business that doesn’t capture the name, email address, phone number, birth date, wedding anniversary, and children’s names and ages (and remembers to commemorate these dates) for every single client does itself no favors and will always be “accepting people off the street.”

The business advisor who assures himself that someday a CEO will be golfing with another CEO and his […]

The Excuses that We Tell Ourselves

When I had a personal trainer, I exercised weekly (lifting weights, walking on the treadmill, rowing, or shooting baskets), felt better, lost weight, and seemed to somehow find time for it. I made time for it. I made it a priority.

I spent a focused amount of time creating online products or programs using the tools available on Coaches Console. The difference comes in executing and informing. I have told people about them once, maybe twice. People tend to forget about you unless you keep in front of them.

When I am connecting regularly and consistently, it becomes much easier. I know longer make excuses for not following up. I may not always hit my goal, however, the chances improve significantly, and I get much closer, when I create a plan and keep at it regularly.

It just works when you are consistent.

Of course, this is where the creativity comes in.  This is how we convince ourselves that […]

How a Change in Perspective Results in Business Progress

The failures and successes of your business are often due to your perspective. Short-term failures can result in long-term achievement, while quick wins may lead to future losses. By changing your business perspective, you can turn what seems to be am obvious failure into a glowing success. You can also accomplish the opposite as well!

Shifting your business mindset can help you to better understand the situations and avoid a false perspective. But to change your mindset or perspective is often easier to say than to do. It is crucial to the success of your business (and often yourself) that you gain and maintain the right perspective that ensures you are making the best decisions. Before you change your perspective, you need to identify what is holding your business success back or remaining as status quo.

Here are five ways you can successfully change your business perspective:
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Think of your business successes […]

Measuring Performance and Setting Targets

What are the advantages of reviewing business progress and target-setting?

Measuring your business performance and setting targets are important processes for helping your business to grow. Many small businesses can run themselves quite comfortably without much formal measurement or target-setting, but growing businesses still need to have a handle on these processes.

It can greatly benefit your business if you think about long-term proposals and strategically plan for them. This is particularly important if you want to expand your business by taking on more staff, creating departments within the business, or appointing managers or directors.

Benefits of business reviews

Strategic business reviews are useful if you:

are uncertain about how well your business is performing
want to know how to get the most out of your business or market opportunities
have a business plan that is out of date and you haven’t updated it since you started the business. You did it, but is it still relevant?
see […]

Reviewing your Business Progress

As a business owner, you need to keep your team members informed about the company’s progress. Employees are often only given an annual performance review and they want more. A business progress update can be thought of like a performance review for the company and it should be done on at least a quarterly basis rather than annually.

Sharing the progress with your team members gives you, the owner, the chance to further motivate employees and explain any changes in strategic direction you may have planned based on the company’s financial performance. Why are these changes necessary for the company’s growth or sustainability?

Reviewing actual results in comparison to forecast and budgeted objectives is beneficial to all your team members. Review the goals for the year that were expressed in the company’s strategic plan and see which goals the company is reaching and where it is falling short. Show your team members how their position supports […]

Three Keys to Strong Business Financials

Many businesses fail for a number reasons like ineffective management, insufficient funding, indescribable competition, and astronomic costs. I have personally seen this happen to many businesses.

Why do some succeed and others fail? It is easy to explain. Regardless of size and industry sector, most healthy companies share the following three characteristics when it comes to their financials:
Sufficient revenue
You and I have heard it before, but this cliché is true: Cash is king. Without sufficient revenue coming in, profitability will be precarious at best. To determine how much revenue your business needs to be profitable, perform a profitability breakeven analysis. Then review your sales and determine where you can make changes. For example, you may need to invest more in Research & Development or focus more on prospective clients or customers.

I was in a conversation with a business owner and he said that he was always having to use his credit line to make his […]

The Three P’s of Profitability

In business, we tend to do what we have always done. You are probably like many business owners, you want to know how you can increase the profits of your business without having to make too many changes. What can you do with the tools and resources that you already have?

You can double your profits and it doesn’t take a lot of effort.

Here are 3 ways that you can increase profits:

Pricing

People

Purchasing

Let’s start with Pricing. Have you changed your pricing recently? Many businesses have a fear of losing customers or clients when they raise their price. What will they do if I raise the price?

I like to describe fear as False Expectations Appearing Real (F.E.A.R.).

By raising the price just 2.5% it can have a dramatic effect in your business profitability.

Let’s take an example of a business that has the following income and profits:
Income   $ 2,500,000
Profits         $ 300,000
Increase average price by 2.5%
Income    $ […]

How to Use the Profit First Method – Part 2

The purpose of this post is to help business owners get control of their business. This is a straightforward (simple but not easy) explanation of how this method works.

In Part 1 we revealed the idea about looking at your business financials differently. This totally turns how you look at your income statement (P&L) on its head. Here is Part 1.

It ties back to how we look at the game of business – the old business class equation is:
Sales – Expenses = Profits
Using this approach, this mindset means that Profits are what is left over…but human nature drives us to spend what is in front of us, therefore Expenses end up cancelling out Sales, often leaving us with NO Profits.

What if you were to change the equation?
Sales – Profits = Expenses
How do you escape the Survival Trap?

This method is basically the idea of using smaller plates for your business. You are tricking yourself that you […]

How to Use the Profit First Method – Part 1

The purpose of this post is to help business owners get control of their business. This is a straightforward (simple but not easy) explanation of why many business owners struggle with revenue, profit and how to really make money over time.
“Many small businesses, medium businesses, and even some big ones are barely surviving. The guy driving the new Tesla, whose children go to private school via chauffeur and who lives in a massive house and runs a three million-dollar company, is one bad month from declaring bankruptcy. I should know; he’s my neighbor.”
“Today is the day you make your business (and your life in the process) financially strong. Permanently.”
Pretty much every business owner is interested in growing their business. There is an inherent belief that Bigger is Better and if things are tight on the financial side, you can grow your way out of it. Revenue solves a lot of problems. Unfortunately, revenue also […]

Two Ways to Increasing Profits

As the year is approaching the mid way point, many companies are thinking about and planning ways to increase profits in the 2nd half of the year.  If growing your profits is important to you, then this article was written for you!

In this article, I will ask you a series of powerful questions.  These questions are centered on the most basic (and most significant) profit-drivers for a business.  Specifically, the questions will address:

Reducing Costs
Increasing Efficiencies

In answering these questions, it is likely you will get several ideas on how you can grow your profitability in coming year.  Remember, growing profits does not necessarily mean that you have to work harder.  Sometimes, we just need to work smarter.

Here are the powerful questions in each of those areas for you to consider and answer truthfully:

Reducing Costs

The cost of labor is usually one of the largest expenses in many businesses. Having a team of […]

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