Friday, August 23, 2013

Five Reasons Your Business Is Not Growing By Raevyn Jones

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When starting any business, you should always be committed to constant growth. No one should open a business to reach one level and then stop the efforts. Although growth in business can be a slow process, always make sure you are doing what it takes to reach the next level- growth is not automatic. As yourself, "what steps am I taking to take my business to the next level?" Below is a list of 5 possible reasons your business has not had a growth spurt.       

1. You Are Networking Wrong

You have probably never heard this before as most people's advice is to network, network, and network. Networking is awesome for any business, but not if you aren't doing right. When people consider networking, they always think it means go out to events and meet new people. Wrong. Sometimes it business it is less about meeting new people, and more about getting to know the people around you a little better. You never know how someone in your circle can help you unless you ask. 

2. You Don't Market Your Business Beyond Social Media
  
Social Media still continues to be on the rise. Each time we think that we have found a home with a social networking website, another one comes up that helps us engage with other users even further. For entrepreneurs, social media has been a gift and a curse. The gift of social media has helped small business owners expand beyond their reach without having to put out thousands of dollars for advertising. The curse of social media is that many of these small businesses would not be able to survive without it. People have gotten so immune to using social media as their only form of marketing that without it they do not have a much of a marketing plan. Whatever type of business you are in, social media should never be your only form of marketing to reach your customers and generate sales. Remember that social media can be very trendy and the next big social network may not be friendly to your particular business. 

3. You Are Allergic To Different 

When you do the same thing over and over again, you are always going to get the same results. When you do something you have never done, you get something you never got. When it comes to your business, don't be afraid to do things differently and think outside of the box. If you do what everyone else is doing then your business will just start to blend in. Creating a marketing calendar for each month of your business is a great start to make sure your strategies are not repetitive.  


4. You Don't Travel 

Traveling is essential for entrepreneurs; it exposes you and your business to different cultures and new opportunities. Traveling opens up your mind to new things and you get a chance to see how business functions in a different area. With traveling, you also get the chance to meet new people at trade shows or other industry-related business conferences. Conference and trade show participation always have a return on investment. When you travel for business, you will always be able to generate new customers and partnerships.  

5. You Don't Invest In Your Brand/Business 

Investing in yourself and your business will take you far in life. The ones who invest in their business today will continue to see growth each year, the ones who do not may not even be around in the next 5 years. If you are unwilling to invest in your business, no one else will. If you don't spend money to properly market your products or services then why should anyone buy them? If you don't spend money to travel to different places then why should your business have much reach beyond the area you live in? Investing in your business is important when it comes to time as well. You should always be making time for learning so that you continue to become better at whatever it is you do. Keep in mind that learning is a way of life; it's not just for a specific period. There is always room to learn more and get better in business, if not then you may have outgrown that particular business. 


Keep these things in mind and you are sure to see growth in your business. Don’t be afraid to try new things, create a power list of people who you already know and grow that list, and always have a good marketing strategy. Invest in your business when it comes to traveling and attending conferences to learn and create new opportunities for your business. 


Connect with Raevyn on Twitter @RaevynJones and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/raevynjonesinspires . If you want to more information about products and services visit Raevyn online at 
www.raevynjones.com 

5 Reasons You Aren’t Selling and What You Can Do About It By Arionne Nettles

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Ouch!  There’s no touchier subject than discussing failure and as an entrepreneur, I’ve had several humbling experiences that taught me that this entrepreneurial thing isn’t as easy as some try to make it seem.  Realizing that your business isn’t doing well can be tough, but guess what?  Just turn it around.
It’s extremely easy for us to identify when our product or service is just not up-to-par – that’s generally a clear and very easily identifiable problem, but what do you examine when that’s not the issue?  Here are 5 areas to analyze:

1.       You’re married to your inefficiencies.


Although your output is great, perhaps the way you’re getting to your end product isn’t so hot.  Maybe you don’t spend enough time examining your suppliers for your beauty shop and inadvertently paying a boatload on shampoo or maybe it’s time to realize that your energy and labor costs would be so much less if the hours of your restaurant would shift just a little.  There are so many small changes that we can make to yield larger returns on our business investments, but if we are convinced that we are doing things the best way they can be executed, then we’re bound to fail.  There’s always room for improvement.
Tip: Look thoroughly at each and every area of your operational efficiency.  If something doesn’t work, change it.  No matter how much money you’ve invested in that new website or new office lighting, it’s never too late to adjust.  Don’t hurt yourself by being stuck in a process that just isn’t for you.  Remember, change is good!


2.       You’re targeting the wrong audience.


I know that you were bummed when your techie friend said that your new book light invention was silly because people don’t read real books anymore or when everyone said that you shouldn’t offer concierge services because people can do it themselves.  Here’s the thing: someone, somewhere wants exactly what you have to offer.  Your ideas are good.  They came from a good place, a smart place.  You can sell this.  You just have to find the people that will pay for what you’re offering and it to them.
Tip: Identify who would benefit from your product or service and figure out where they are.  Those are the people you need to me targeting.  You and you business should be both physically and virtually wherever they are.  When you hit that bull’s eye, our bottom line will thank you.


3.       You’re under-marketing.

You know that really cool product you’re selling and that really awesome service you’re offering?  No one can buy it if they don’t know about it.  It’s time to up the ante.  You need a formal marketing strategy to get your message out because currently, you may be missing the mark.
Tip: Get a marketing pro on your side, in-house or outsourced, to help you develop a strategy and build your brand.  You may be aware of your brand, which is a great step, but now, it’s time to help other people know who you are and what your business has to offer.


4.       You over-promise.

I’m guilty!  I admit it.  I want so badly to please my clients and others that I have been a serial over-committer – agreeing to things that my resources, primarily time, just may not accommodate.  Over-promising can be deadly for your business because when you fail to meet deadlines, you lose credibility.  This definitely hurt me and affected my growth early on, but once I learned to be totally honest with my clients and business associates with what they could expect from me, our relationships were able to grow. 
Tip: Give yourself some cushion.  Outline exactly what you will do.  Clarity helps and once you deliver on exactly what you promise, you’ll prove that you’re trustworthy.


5.       You don’t hire professionals.

I’m the do-it-yourself queen.  I’ve taught myself everything from graphic design to website building, but I can never know everything and neither can you.  There are certain things that I can’t buy and that I just don’t have the time to learn.
Tip: Seek referrals and do your research before hiring professionals.  In some cases, you can save money by working part of the process yourself and then hiring someone to just make necessary adjustments.  In a lot of cases though, you’ll need a pro to come in and help you start something from scratch so that it’s the very best it can be.  Regardless, hire the best and make it great.


Connect with Arionne on Twitter @AriAlyssa and @urbanshakemag visit her online at www.arionnealyssa.comwww.urbanshakemagazine.com and like her on Facebook at USM Facebook Page

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

F.O.C.U.S. By Deborah Gray-Young

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F.O.C.U.S.  Follow One Course Until Successful.  Rev. Run (@Revrunwisdom) Tweeted this a couple of months back and it struck a chord with quite a few people including me.  It was re-tweeted some 1500 times.

We are all aware by now that we passed the half way mark of the year two weeks ago.  For some of us it was a glaring reminder of how much calendar had gotten away from us and the need to get back on track immediately.
No doubt it is sometimes a challenge getting back on track especially if you have several ideas swarming around in your head bumping into each other. When that happens,  F.O.C.U.S. is excellent advice.

Following one course until successful means focusing your mental energy and efforts on your end goal; making every step you take count towards that.   If you want to be a lawyer, you probably shouldn’t be entertaining cosmetology school.  That’s just a delay tactic that has high potential to side track you.

Following one course is also the quickest route to accomplishing your goal.  Your thought energy is focused and what you focus on increases.  Synchronicities become more obvious and more frequent.  Synchronicities are what one might call coincidences; when the people and resources start popping up almost like magic to help further you along your path.  Except there are no coincidences.  Author Valorie Burton calls it “divine choreography”.  It’s a wondrous thing when you are consciously aware of it.

F. O.C.U.S.  works best if you are absolutely committed to your goal, passionate about it. When I consider the times I was at my best and what conditions contributed to that, I was focused solely on that goal with almost tunnel vision.  I permitted nothing to distract me and it was such a great feeling of accomplishment when I reached my goal.  It is the anticipation of feeling that again that fuels me.
Take a moment to review and assess your goals and decide which to focus on.
Need help sorting it out?  One criteria might be considering what excites you the most.  What do you have the most ideas and energy around?  Laying it out is always helpful.  It will allow you to see the possibilities and the questions that need to be answered.

Identify the steps and tasks you need to take.  Use the AIM SMART approach. (see YOU 3.0 post of February 25 (http://www.coachdgrayyoung.com.)
Working with a coach will enhance the effects of F.O.C.U.S. even more.
Focus your way to successful accomplishment of your goal.  Don’t forget the importance of surrounding yourself with encouraging support that will hold you accountable to yourself.
Drop me a note and tell me about your F.O.C.U.S. approach.  Feel free to share any advice or helpful tips.   In the meantime,
Think and believe forward.
dgysig


Empowering question of the week:  How will you F.O.C.U.S. on your ultimate goal?
for your quick reference, the steps to a SMART plan approach