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Business Tips – 21 best business advice tips for success by small business owners who are killing it – news.com.au

Business Tips – 21 best business advice tips for success by small business owners who are killing it – news.com.au

21 best business advice tips for success by small business owners who are killing it – news.com.au

Here are 21 great business tips to get your enthusiasm back and get you focused on what you want to achieve in your business, by Emma Reynolds at news.com.au

STARTING a small business is a dream for many Australians, but it can be daunting.

Here, entrepreneurs who are killing it in a range of industries share their best piece of advice for making your company a success.

1. Deliver a consistent customer experience

Damian Cerini, owner of cycling tour business Tour de Vines, says you need your business to almost run itself before you look at growth. “The thing about working for an employer is that the business model is already set, it’s about the execution of the idea, whereas a new business is about testing the idea first and developing the systems.”

2. Add a personal touch

Angus Askew, co-director of commercial asset financing company Magnolia Lane Financial Services, says: “In our industry like most service industries everyone is essentially selling the same thing, you’ve just got to do it better. Our number one goal when dealing with a new client is to establish a relationship and make them feel special. Make sure you are remembered. We make it our priority to see all of our customers face to face. Create a rapport as this is what will result in repeat business and an income stream for life.”

3. Leverage social media

A strong marketing strategy is essential in every industry, says Anthony Kittel, director of manufacturing firm REDARC. That means social networking — on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or all of the above. “Our brand is everything, so whatever we can do to promote that brand and consumer awareness is critical.”

21 tips Kelly Exeter

Author and Flying Solo editor Kelly Exeter says a less frantic life made her more productive.

4. Write your own business bible

Matthew White, whose firm Ergoflex sells memory foam mattresses, says the volume of information available can be overwhelming. He recommends writing ideas and tips in a notebook or tablet as they come up. “It has helped me make some major decisions, and also saved me hours of searching for something I’ve read somewhere.”

5. Focus on your specialty

In the first few years, there can be a lot of pressure to diversify your offering, says Paris Cutler, director of cake decorating company Planet Cake. “Stick to what you do best and do it better and with more focus than anyone else.”

6. Outsource the things you don’t do

Resist the temptation to chase work outside your offering, and use a specialist to fill in any gaps, says Rhys Roberts from accountancy firm Viridity. “I outsource my HR, my IT, much of my marketing and more. The time you free up you can spend doing what you are good at.”

7. Aim high and be persistent

Determination is one of the vital qualities needed when you start on the long road of setting up a small business. Rochelle Miller, co-founder of fashion retailer Another Love, says: “Believe in yourself and your strengths. Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. There will be bumps along the way, but everything has a solution or another option.”

21 tips Andrew Griffiths

Consultant Andrew Griffiths thinks about ways to improve his business each day.

8. Embrace a life less frantic

Kelly Exeter, author and editor of small business community Flying Solo says it’s all about finding the right balance for you. “I am learning that I don’t just need physical space to thrive, I need mental space too.”

9. Follow your own path

Designer and illustrator Beci Orpin says she’s not naturally business-minded, but has always worked really hard and built up a strong folio of work. “My business is all about me: my style and what I create, so an important part of developing that was staying true to myself — not worrying about what other people were doing.”

10. Take time out to think about how to improve

Use your best hour in the day to consider ways of moving forward, advises Andrew Griffiths, a small business author and consultant. He does this first thing every morning. Then, each Friday, “I find a quiet place and ask myself a question: ‘How is my business better this week than it was last week?’”

11. Harness your ‘keystone habits’

Entrepreneur and blogger James Clear says we should find the one or two habits or routines that make everything else fall into place. “Improving your lifestyle and becoming the type of person who ‘has their act together’ isn’t nearly as hard as you might think.”

21 tips Kathryn Hocking

Life coach Kathryn Hocking researches what competitors are doing.

12. Practice mindfulness

Freelance journalist and editor Jodie Macleod says it increases productivity, reduces stress and improves memory and focus. “Mindfulness is when you are aware of your thoughts, feelings, sensations, breath and everything occurring in the present moment, without attaching judgment to those observations.”

13. Every setback is a stepping stone to success

Lucinda Lions from branding agency Slogan Creator says it’s important to stay positive wherever possible, and see feedback, not failure. “I remind myself tomorrow is a brand new day, a new opportunity to think differently and make better choices.”

14. Hire from within your networks

When Sarah Wilson from I Quit Sugarbegan feeling overwhelmed with work, she decided to get an assistant. She put a call out to her community, knowing taking someone on would involve sacrifice. Five years later, they still have a successful working relationship. “Start out small and then leave the invitation open for expansion.”

15. Keep it manageable

Kate James, start-up coach at Total Balance, says it’s important to remember that it’s not all about non-stop growth — bigger isn’t better if you’ve stopped enjoying what you do. “You need to define your own version of success. Mine is that I need to love my business.”

21 tips Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson says you need to know when to ask for help.Source:Supplied

16. Know when to work for free

Vanessa Emilio from Legal123, says sometimes working for free is worth it. “‘Free’ doesn’t mean offering an entire job or product for free. It could mean a free initial consultation, free component of a project or complimentary muffin with every coffee.”

17. Stay excited and believe in your business

SEO copywriter and consultant Kate Toon says start-ups should think about clients’ needs and possible issues and create rational responses to persuade them your business is the solution. “Inject warmth, professionalism and even humour, where appropriate. Being human beats boring every time.”

18. Learn to say no

Recognise when a client has unrealistic expectations and nip it in the bud early, or consider referring them on, says author and media commentator Andrew Griffiths.

Try a formal, structured response and keep returning to it. Try, “Thank you for the opportunity, but we are so heavily committed we can’t give your project the time and attention it needs.”

19. Create fans

If you’re on a tight marketing budget, think about how you can trigger word-of-mouth interest. Warren Harmer of The Business Plan Company mentions a small florist that did this brilliantly by 1) Offering quality; 2) Providing value; 3) Inspiring team members to love their job and clients and 4) Creating a physical environment that excited their market.

20. Turn competition into inspiration

Life coach Kathryn Hocking suggests you research what competitors are doing to help identify what makes you unique. Your relationship doesn’t have to be adversarial: they could be a mentor, partner or friend. “Focus on your own purpose and connect with peers that have similar values and who inspire you to greater levels of success.”

21. Know when to take a ‘dream detour’

Sometimes it’s hard to know whether to grab a fresh opportunity or stick to your path. Business mentor Lynda Bayada says you need to outsmart your head so you can listen to your heart. “Give yourself space and trust yourself. And you’ll find that’s half the battle won.”

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Business Tips – 3 Favourite Productivity Tips

Business Tips – 3 Favourite Productivity Tips

3 Favourite Productivity Tips

A fellow blogger in South Australia – Sarina Abbott shares her 3 favourite productivity tips

“You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!” Dr Seuss

As a business owner, your productive days are the ones that keep you moving forward. They keep you one step ahead of the competition. Importantly, they mean that you can put your feet up at the end of the day with a smile on your face, feeling good about your day and what you’ve achieved.

Today I’d like to share my 3 favourite productivity tips to help you, in Dr Seuss’ words, get on your way!

Play music

Playing music whilst working BUT…only when doing easy tasks I don’t need to think too hard about. For me this includes scanning documents for filing & uploading receipts to my software. It’s surprising how much work you can power through when you have music to boost your mood and it’s almost like a reward for getting through your tougher work earlier on.

Use online invoicing software

Is this how you prepare Invoices? Open up a Word document, change the Invoice number (after checking it’s the next number), add the customer name and details, save it, attach it to an email, type up a professional-sounding email message, send. Oh and remember to back-up all your Word documents in case your laptop fails, etc? Well you have probably already guessed what I’m going to say. Of course there are much more efficient, hassle-free ways to do your invoicing and this includes using online invoicing software. Using your mobile or iPad you can send an invoice to your customer whilst you are right there with them and you know they’ve received it. If you send the same invoices to customers every month, you can set up recurring invoices to go out in a fraction of the time than if you had to do it manually each month…

Do the difficult tasks first

This is a gem of a tip that has really helped me in my business and in life overall actually. It sounds so simple, yet it can have huge productivity benefits. When the weight of a difficult task is lifted off of your shoulders you really do fly through the rest of your day feeling confident and able to tackle anything. I’ve come to believe that success comes to those willing to do the difficult things others put off doing. Pick up the phone and make those difficult phone calls first thing in the morning before you have too much time to think about it. Head out the door and introduce yourself to potential clients. Leave the fun stuff like updating social media until after the uncomfortable stuff is out the way. I tend to overthink things and before I know it part of my day is gone whilst I wait for myself to “feel like” doing the tough stuff. Since adopting the habit of doing the difficult tasks first I wouldn’t do things any other way.

So for me being productive is all about working smarter and not harder, embracing technology and remembering to reward myself. Not all of my days are productive ones, and that’s okay. As a bookkeeper sometimes I get weighed down with the numbers and just need a good break so I can come back and tackle my work another day with fresh eyes!

I think Sarina has great tips – so true!
Especially the tip to do the difficult tasks first – sometimes I just say to myself – JUST DO IT! But I still have days I put off the call or the hard item…

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Business Tips – Being an Open-Book business in a Closed-Book world

Business Tips – Being an Open-Book business in a Closed-Book world

Being an Open-Book business in a Closed-Book world

An interesting look at Open-Book business operating in a Closed-Book World (our own emphasis) as Michael Lumsden writes at Great Game of Business – Our company operates in the outsourced contact centre sector. We tend to have relatively few, big corporate clients with large transaction volumes and long term contracts. This means we have quite high levels of single client dependency so we are always trying to make sure we are delivering great services and anticipating our clients requirements so we can satisfy or exceed them. We do a pretty good job generally judging by our client growth and retention rates.

Most of our clients have heard us talk about open-book management but I am not sure they really understand it or appreciate the role it plays in our success and therefore the outcomes we deliver for them as clients. Often times we feel frustrated with our clients because they treat us in a “closed-book management” style. It is not uncommon for large companies to limit the information which is shared with their business partners / suppliers. Information is power and the traditional procurement led approach to supplier management is designed to help the big corporate protect their position of power in the relationship.

As practitioners of open-book management, we know that there is enormous value that can be created when organizations unleash the power and creativity of their employees. We know that an open-book approach is one of the best ways to win the hearts and minds of the employees. So when a major client imposes either deliberately or through omission a blockage to meaningful information flow between their organization and our employees (who are effectively their employees as far as the customer is concerned) we see a shortfall against the value that could be generated. So it got me thinking about how we can help build better Open Book relationships with our clients.

Here are a few ideas we are going to try:

#1 Teach clients the rules of the Game

 We teach our employees the rules of the game but we have never really made the effort to teach our clients. Our frustration at their “closed-book approach” is our own fault given we have never taken the opportunity to educate clients on the Great Game and how it impacts on our culture and performance as a business. We need to help them understand the open-book management system and agree how we can use information better to our mutual advantage.

#2 Align critical numbers

In our client relationships there is a very strong level of measurement against KPI’s. The critical numbers are usually fairly evident and we have a good ability to measure these and communicate them across our business at an aggregated and individual performance level. The “closed-book” gap with clients is not with what the critical numbers are, but with how targets are set against these KPI’s. Often times clients will set targets that are overly ambitious in the belief that they can drive performance outcomes with their outsourced providers by dangling the carrot just out of reach. If you do manage to reach the level, the bar quickly gets lifted a bit higher. Typically when targets are missed this triggers contract penalties which reduce our remuneration from the contract. This has a flow on effect in that as an open-book company we typically share our client targets with our employees and align their bonuses or “Stake in the Outcome” with the client targets. So if the targets are continually set in a way where they are perceived to be out of reach, the power of the bonus or “Stake in the Outcome” is negated. Again education is required with our clients to demonstrate the linkage between realistic target setting and the Open Book Management system.

#3 Teach clients the value of everyone following the game on a scoreboard

Large corporate companies often outsource parts of their business and keep some in house. They may also outsource to multiple providers. When the large corporate takes this multi-vendor and or in-house / out sourced approach, they will be attempting to derive the value of a competitive champion challenger mindset amongst other benefits . This should really play into the hands of an open-book management provider because we know the power that can be harnessed by sharing performance results for various teams on a scoreboard. Unfortunately, the “closed-book” thinking often prevents the client from sharing the competitive data across vendors and or their in-house operations. They will tend to release only snippets of sometimes manipulated data to support their goal of pushing the provider for better performance. This censorship or blacking out of the true scoreboard is potentially incredibly damaging to the performance across the entire estate. We need to teach our clients the benefits of everyone involved being able to “follow the action and keep score”.   

#4 Give clients a Stake in the Outcome

Our clients are naturally interested in achieving better financial outcomes. Being tough on suppliers through a procurement led approach is seen as being financially prudent and helping the big corporate drive profitability. If we want to change the “closed-book” behaviour, we need to be able to demonstrate what the client’s benefit or “Stake in the Outcome” from an open-book approach will be. We need to model the financial benefits and present compelling business cases as to why they need to adopt a more open book approach. We then need to be able to test it and make it work in the real world so that the client gets a measurable benefit.

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Business Tips – How to Achieve Business Success

Business Tips – How to Achieve Business Success

How to Achieve Business Success

As Business owners we all look for tips on how to achieve business success – and there is a lot of “advice” out there! So what do some of the ones who have achieved 6 and 7 figure incomes and wealth advise?

Brian Tracey expounds the concept of SMART Goals and says there are 7 SMART Goals that are key to achieve business success. He writes –

The method of SMART goals (an acronym for the 5 steps of specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based goals) is one of the most effective tools used by high achievers to reach their business goals consistently.

The “SMART” model of goal setting:

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Achievable

R = Relevant

T = Time-bounded

Once your business goals are SMART, break down each goal into a specific, clear tasks and activities needed to accomplish your goals. It’s important to periodically review your goals and make adjustments if necessary. Goal setting for your small business is an essential tool for business success.

Accomplish Business Success

To accomplish business success, develop the habit of negotiating more effectively to get higher prices when you sell and lower prices when you buy. A good negotiator can save or gain 10%, 20% and more on every financial transaction. Set SMART goals that each dollar saved or gained is additional money that you can put away to accumulate and grow in your financial fortress account. Develop the habit of asking for higher prices when you are selling and asking for lower prices when you buy. Set SMART goals and develop frugal living skills. Ask for lower interest rates. Ask for better terms and conditions. Ask for immediate payment when you sell and ask for deferred payment when you buy. Ask repeatedly. Ask pleasantly. Ask courteously. Ask expectantly. Ask confidently. But don’t be afraid to ask. Ask for what you want, and if you don’t get it, ask for something else. When people make a lot of money quickly, as the result of success in the stock market, breakthrough, a business success or an invention, the story gets into the newspapers and magazines. But this is precisely because great financial success in a short time is so unusual.

SMART Goals for Business Success

  1. Make a decision today that you are going to accumulate more than a million dollars in the years ahead. Write it down as  one of your SMART goals, make a plan, and then do something toward achieving it every single day.
  2. Conduct a complete financial analysis on your life; determine your net worth, your income and expenses, and your future possibilities by setting SMART goals.
  3. Open a special financial fortress account and begin putting money into it at every opportunity; never spend this money on anything except investing and growth.
  4. Get your financial life organized, with proper estate planning and insurance, with a family limited partnership to protect your assets.
  5. Begin practicing frugal living by saving a fixed percentage of your income each month; practice the wedge theory and save 50% of every increase from this day forward.
  6. To create business success and investigate before you invest; learn every detail of the business, and be sure you thoroughly understand how your money is to be used and how it will be returned.
  7. Practice frugal living habits in all expenditures; never buy new if you can buy used, never pay full price if you can negotiate something better, delay all major expenditures until you have had ample time to think about them. 
“Go out and buy yourself a five-cent pencil and a ten-cent notebook and begin to write down some million dollar ideas for yourself.” (Bob Grinde)

Loral Langemeier writes about success by hitting many home runs

When I was talking to a member of my community at one of my recent Big Table events, he asked me:

How do you and your partners hit so many home runs?

Now, he was obviously talking about “business home runs.”

My partners and I routinely get big returns on our investments. Heck, we’re in the process of selling an oil investment now that’ll net us each at least a 40% return.

We make stuff happen like that all the time. Big-time moves that give us a big-time return.

Investments, buying franchises, partnering for JV’s, trading, rental properties…big bucks coming in through multiple avenues.

For those who think Live Out Loud is my only lifeline, you couldn’t be more wrong, honey.

Yes, spreading  financial and wealth education is the mission my team and I carry out through Live Out Loud, but it’s only one of the cash cows I have in my stable.

And when you’re succeeding or you seem to be making all the right moves, people always want to know how.

“How do you do it, Loral? What’s your secret sauce?”

I’ll tell you:

The reason me & my partners hit home runs in what we do is because we hit singles EVERY DAMN DAY.

My partners and I take a hell of a lot of swings to hit our big-time returns.

The reason we succeed so much is because we go up to bat every single day and swing like our lives depended on it.

That’s it.

Not secret insider information that you don’t know or a magic trick that’s reserved for a certain social class.

We just do it.

And that’s the problem with too many of you out there – you waste so much time pondering how the successful keep succeeding, how the rich keep getting richer and what they’ve been blessed with that you haven’t…

The only big secret is that to hit a home run you gotta take the bat off your shoulders and swing!

You gotta take swings, take chances, take risks.

Yeah, you’ll strike out a few times…

Yeah, some swings you think are home runs will end up being singles…

But once you start swinging often and hitting singles on the regular, you bang out home run deals more & more.

Stop talking about, stop thinking about it, stop analyzing it …

Just mitigate your risks as much as possible and take your best swing.

The worst that can happen is you miss. Learn from your whiff and take a stronger swing next time.

The biggest thing holding so many of you back (and maybe you reading this blog) isn’t failure – it’s the fact that you’re not even swinging….

Where are you at?

What works for you – are the tips by experts above working for you?

Comment below!

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Business Tips – Get moving again when feeling stuck in business

Business Tips – Get moving again when feeling stuck in business

Business Tips – Get moving again when feeling stuck in business

Here’s a 5 step process to get moving again when you are feeling stuck with problems or your business, from Flying Solo’s Jayne Tancred.

When you’re in one of those situations where nothing seems to be working or the best way forward is distinctly murky, it’s easy to fall into a state of paralysis or reluctant resignation.

If you want to be the master of your own destiny, however, neither staying stuck nor admitting defeat is an acceptable option. So, over the years, I’ve worked out a nifty little approach that helps me sidestep the roadblocks and find my momentum. I hope it helps you too.

Step 1: Do nothing

When you’ve been doing everything you can to get things going, and you just aren’t seeing any results, there’s no point continuing to beat your head against a brick wall.

Instead, schedule a block of time in your calendar to dedicate to the issue, and then declare a holiday from the whole catastrophe until that time arrives.

Your goal is to return to the issue with a fresh perspective, renewed energy, and a different attitude, so if the topic crosses your mind in the interim, gently remind yourself that there’s an agenda set for this to be revisited later and in the meantime do something completely different…

Step 2: Go macro – revisit the big picture

Often when we’re stuck, it’s because we’re concentrating on the obstacles rather than on our objectives. With that in mind, the first thing I do upon re-entry is to re-familiarise myself with why the issue at hand is important to me, and what my goal is in addressing it.

I always find that when I stop thinking about how I’m going to make something happen and instead focus on my best-case scenario outcome, I shift out of a defeatist mindset and into a can-do one….

Step 3: Go micro – zoom in on what you can do

If your big picture review has confirmed that you’re on the right track and the issue you’re trying to push forward is one that you really are committed to, you may still be stalled by not knowing all the steps it’s going to take to create the breakthrough you need.

Whenever there are lots of unknowns, it’s easy for me to fall into the trap of thinking that I don’t know anything at all, but that’s actually rarely the case. I almost always have some idea of what’s needed, even if I don’t yet have a handle on everything there is to know.

At this point in the process, it always seems to help to step away from the computer and go old-school with paper and pen to create a list or (better still) a mind map of all the tasks and milestones that might need to be completed in order for my big picture goal to be achieved….

Step 4: Make it fun

If everything’s still feeling really overwhelming or as though you’re not gaining any traction, try turning parts of it into a game.

My business partner and I did this recently when we decided to pursue an opportunity we hadn’t budgeted for but really wanted to take up. The first time we ran the numbers, the cost of participation was so far outside our reach that no-one would have blamed us if we’d walked away. But from a big picture perspective it was a no-brainer, so we set ourselves the challenge of coming up with the cheapest way possible to achieve our goal.

Once we made the decision that we were going to go ahead regardless of cost AND that we were going to do so in a way that was affordable for us, momentum came as we amused ourselves coming up with wild and wacky ways that we could achieve our objectives while spending a minimal amount of money….

Step 5: Rinse, repeat and learn along the way

None of the processes above work unless you commit to learning everything you can about yourself, your business and what’s effective every step of the way, and applying what you learn.

Often a project that’s big enough to make you feel stuck in the first place will also be big enough to involve many layers or moving parts. Applying the steps above in an on-going loop has helped me get unstuck so many times that I’ve lost count, and might be just what it takes to help you move forward too.

For the full article and more on each point go HERE

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Business Tips – Focus on your ideal client – Tips on how to define them

Business Tips – Focus on your ideal client – Tips on how to define them

Focus on your ideal client – Tips on how to define them

Like most small business owners, we offer our service or product usually for anyone and everyone, as we need to make sales and ANY sales! But as time passes the value of focusing on a niche area and an ideal client should become your strategy – why? Let me ask – is it better to be Jack of all trades and Master of none?” – Being an expert  means becoming a specialist – only 3-4 products or services, or having staff who are  expert in 1-2 products each which allows you to widen your offer, but still maintain expertise – no-one knows it ALL!

Consider the thoughts of Sandy McDonald in How to know your ideal client. It’s so much more than demographics.

Your ideal client – Embracing the process by which you get to know your ideal client is just so much more than demographics; their age, gender and location. Yes, who are they but what do they most need, what are their problems, how would they solve them without you, how could you better solve them, how can you better serve them?

Fostering that attitude earlier would have been a great lesson for older me. Not that my business wasn’t successful, but riding on the coat tails of an era in which business owners needed my expertise more than I needed their business made the next era a difficult one to navigate…..

Up until then, I’d been asked to do work, I’d done the work and been paid. When my client’s wanted more work, they came back, I didn’t seek them out.

Now we did business in a culture where to know your client, care for and nurture them had become the very essence of a successful business.

The trouble is it’s not innate. You can say ‘know your clients’, but what does that really mean? When I talk to most business owners, they have a generic picture of their clients. They can rarely describe their perfect client. They are vague about the value that a particular client represents in their business.

Sandy goes on to give 5 steps to work toward finding your ideal client and how you would serve them. Read More.

At Entrepreneur, Stephen Sheinbaum presents an interesting approach to find your ideal client is to begin with a study of yourself –

How many times have you said, “My business could get really big if I could just find the right clients”? If you have, you’re not alone: There’s not an entrepreneur that I know who hasn’t had that thought, at least once.

The good news is that there are many ways to find the right clients. Here are five strategies that can be universally adopted to help you find them –

1.     Know who you are – A clear simple elevator pitch that invites interest

2.     Know your competitors – Sometimes you can discover a gap in the market

3.     Do your homework – Read and listen to what the industry is dealing with

4.     Ask – Survey all the time, customers, potential clients, formal surveys

5.     Be seen – Join networking events and chambers, speak when given the chance

Read More.

At Duct Tape Marketing, John Jantsch has 5 steps for business owners who want to grow –

The 5 steps below can put you on the path to discovering your ideal target customer-

1.  Start with the Smallest Market Possible – This may feel counterintuitive to many just starting a business, but you have to find a group of customers that think what you have to offer is special. When you’re just getting started you may have very little to offer and in many cases very few resources with which to make sufficient noise in a market for generic solutions….

2.  Create an Initial Value Hypothesis – In the step above I mentioned the idea of finding a narrow group that finds what you have to offer special. Of course, this implies that you do indeed have something to offer that is special

You must create a “why us” value proposition and use that as you hypothesis for why us. If this is starting to sound a little like science that’s because it is. You must always stay in test and refine mode in order to move forward….

3.  Get reality in Discovery Test Sessions – Established, thriving businesses have the ability to learn a great deal every day from customer interaction. Since start-ups don’t have any customer interaction they have to create ways to test their theories initially and on the fly

The key to both making and affirming your initial assumptions is to set-up what I call Discovery Test Sessions with prospects that might easily fit into your initial smallest market group. These are essentially staged one on one meetings….

4.  Draw an Ideal Customer Sketch – Once you’ve trotted out your hypothesis and tested it with your narrow group, you’ve got to go to work on discovering and defining everything you can about your ideal target group that is making this easier to do than ever.

5.  Add Strategy Model Components – The final step is to apply this new ideal customer approach to other elements of your strategy.

Read the full article HERE

Have you struggled with an ideal client?

I certainly have – and when calls come in I have to decide if they are core to my specialty, or do I know a trusted colleague who has the expertise they need if it is not mine.

What is YOUR experience?

Need help? Not sure? Call for FREE 30min advice / strategy session today!

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Business Tips – Do’s and Don’ts in Selling

Business Tips – Do’s and Don’ts in Selling

Business Tips – Do’s and Don’ts in Selling

Most businesses hate selling – so what Do’s and Don’ts in selling can we learn, to do better at selling or product/service? Here are some tips from the MYOB blog 

Is selling an art or a science? Do you need special skills to sell to your customers, or can anyone do it? I believe selling is an art and a science, and it’s all about understanding what your customer’s needs are and how they think about things. It’s not rocket science — just common sense — but reviewing the principles is always a good thing.

Do research client needs. The number one do of sales is to research your client’s needs. This is best done before a sales call, personal visit or before they give a response. If that’s not possible, then when your potential client is in front of you, ask lots of questions and listen closely to the answers to find out their needs.

Do show the customer how a product or service fits their needs. Demonstrations are best when possible.

Do answer all their questions. Be honest, and answer any questions as best as you can. Research anything you are unable to answer on the spot. Get back to them with the information when you have it. In particular, answer the question about price. You can always provide a range to help people work out if they are in the ballpark.

Do be upfront, especially if asked about sales commissions.

Do understand your competition. If your customers are not shopping with you, whom are they buying from? Know the difference between you and your competitors. Ask why the customer chose your competitor over you. Be able to communicate to the customer what the differences are between you and your competitor so that they can make an informed decision. In sales, it shows confidence to point out both your strengths and weaknesses.

Do give your best price when you are asked. Don’t expect customers to come back so you can then give them your best price. Customers have researched prices online, and they may not come back to give you a second chance.

Do communicate your sales process. Explain the benefits of your particular process.

Do ensure your sales material both online and offline have consistent messages and branding. Provide your information in different formats so that you can sell in the best way for the customer. Consider video and audio as well as words.

Do allow potential customers to ‘check you out’ by providing testimonials and past client contact info. Testimonials build trust and show you are confident in your work.

And don’t forget the don’ts!

Don’t try and sell something that doesn’t meet the needs of the customer.

Don’t try and close the sale too soon.

Don’t try and manipulate the sales process so that the customer has to do it your way. Be flexible to the customer’s needs and what it is that they’re looking for.

Don’t take a lost sale personally. If someone rejects the sale, they may not be rejecting you. It might just be that you or your product is not the best fit. Be gracious and encouraging, and they will be more likely to come back to you if they made the wrong choice.

Too often sales people follow a hard and fast formula to get sales, without considering if this process is helpful to the customer or meeting their needs. Selling is an art and a science — it’s about making the sales process as easy as possible for the customer. Highlight the features and benefits of a product; answer any questions directly; and be creative with overcoming obstacles by providing flexible solutions

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