How to Use Focus to Manage Resources and Results

how to use focus to manage resources and resultsOne of the most valuable resources available to business owners is time. There are, however, many other valuable resources we have that are readily available to us at all times.  How much focus you give to these resources determines the level of success you’ll have in your business. 

In this post, “How to Use Focus to Manage Resources and Results,” we’ll explore three areas you must focus on to get the results you desire in your life and business.

Focus on Yourself

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found, not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” Greg Anderson

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Continue reading

Empower Your Entrepreneurial Journey with Big Thinking

empower your entrepreneurial journey big thinkingEntrepreneurs and small business owners know the value of thinking big.

At the same time, female entrepreneurs especially have been cautioned to stay “within the lines” or advised “not to think outside the box.” Sometimes the advice comes from well-meaning friends, family, and associates. However, this type of negative thinking is exactly what contributes to entrepreneurs not achieving the goals they set for themselves and the level of success they deserve.

According to an impact study sponsored by EY on successful entrepreneurship, the  ability to think big and be bold came out as the number one differentiator between success and failure. Continue reading

Quick and Easy Ways to Develop Relationships with Customers

developing relationships with customersShould you spend time to develop relationships with customers? It’s been interesting that as I do research for my upcoming book that revolves around customer relationships, I find that there are so many polarized views on building customer relationships.  In fact, I read one article which suggested that Customer Relationship Marketing is hard; it’s time-consuming, and results are not guaranteed.

My response to that is that nothing is guaranteed.  No other form of marketing is guaranteed. You must have a plan and keep implementing the plan with consistency.  Building relationships takes time. The results are loyal customers and clients, as well as increase in revenue and profit, because people come to know, like, and trust you.

Have you decided to incorporate relationship marketing in your business, and are not sure where to begin? The following quick and easy ways to develop relationships with customers can serve to guide you.

  1. Who is Your Customer?

Do you really know who your customers are? Can you write a summary of a typical customer, what they like, where they live, their income and age? If not, then this is your first step.

You should also find out what other places they like to visit when online. Do they visit certain forums or are they all members of a certain group? When you discover where they hang out, get into the habit of visiting the same places. This will provide you with even more valuable insights into who your customer truly is. Continue reading

Build Relationships with Customers – Ask For Referrals and Feedback

build relationships - get referrals and feedback

When you build relationships with customers, it makes it much easier to ask for referrals and feedback.

 As a small business owner, solopreneur, or entrepreneur are you always looking for new customers or clients? If your answer is yes, do you have current clients or customers?  If you do, you may be overlooking a valuable resource you already have; one that you can readily tap into: your existing customers.

For this strategy to work effectively, however, you must have an ongoing relationship with your clients and customers.  You must consciously build relationships with customers so that they become emotionally connected to you.  When your customers are emotionally connected to you, they are more likely to refer their friends, relatives, and associates to you.

Build Relationships with Customers: Feedback

When you ask for feedback from the type of customers described above, you’re more likely to receive honest feedback and gain insight into the workings of your business.  Continue reading

10 Tips to Maintain Maximum Productivity in Small Business

productivity tips to maximize time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How can you maintain maximum productivity in small business? Small business owners and entrepreneurs have a deep desire to be more productive.  They need  to be productive in order to achieve the goals they set for themselves personally and for their business.

If this is such an important aspect of achieving results, why is it that so many business owners struggle with attaining or maintaining maximum productivity?

One of the fundamental points to be aware of is that, as an entrepreneur, you are your business. Until your business becomes almost fully automated or you’re able to hire people to carry out the various functions, the responsibility rests on your shoulders to insure that you are in good health to manage your business and keep it going.  So from that perspective, the following are 10 tips to maintain maximum productivity in small business.

  • Improve Personal Care to Maintain Maximum Productivity

  • Get 6-8 hours sleep per day for optimal productivity. Getting enough sleep will improve your judgment, keep you alert and focused, and reduce downtime due to illness.

  • Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than you actually need to wake up, so you can rise gradually and mentally prepare for the day ahead. Within those extra 15 minutes, you may find that you’re able to meditate and get yourself in a different state of mind rather than jumping out of bed as you become awake.

  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. Getting your heart rate up for just 30 minutes, can increase your energy supply and make you more productive.

  • Avoid depending on just coffee to give you energy and create the environment for productivity. One professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School calls coffee a “lifesaving miracle drug”, but when it comes to its ability to wake you up, a lot can depend on your habits. Too much coffee can lead to stress and even quirks in perception, so resist the urge to double down in one morning.
  • Instead, eat a small nutritious breakfast that gives you essential nutrients to kickstart your energy. Eat healthy foods throughout the day. When you nourish your body with healthy foods, and a supply of water, it improves your memory, mood and creativity.

     

  • Plan and Organize Your Time for Maximum Productivity

    It’s not always that we need to do more but rather that we need to focus on less. — Nathan W. Morris

  • “To do” lists are popular, but a long list of things to do can actually create overwhelm. Instead, condense your list into Results.  You may find that you have a list of 25 things to do that week.  Carefully evaluate the list and determine the 3–5 results you want to achieve from those various items.  List them together.  Now you’ve identified the 3-5 things that must be done that week and you immediately lose the feeling of overwhelm.  It’s much easier to achieve five things than 25.
  • Work in time blocks, or sprints. Pick a task and work on it for 25 minutes. Take a 5 minute break. Do this 1-3 times then take a 15 minute break.
  • Good relations are important, but trying to be a people-pleaser can hamper your desire to be productive. Learning to say “No” with a brief explanation of why you can’t help at that time is an art that’s worth fine-tuning. Reassuring the person that you will do something else in the future usually works.
  • Plan e-mail breaks and stick to them. Check email for 15 minutes 3 times per day, or if you find it hard to resist, check e-mail for only 5 minutes every hour.
  • You want to avoid, at all costs, checking email first thing in the morning.  It immediately puts you in a reactive mood.  Other people’s agenda now become your priority.  In addition, depending on the tone, language, and the content of an email, it can change your physiology completely.

There are many more productivity tips that can support the small business owners or entrepreneur.  However, why not take out your pen and paper and read this short article again then decide which of the foregoing you will incorporate in your life and business at this time.  Try it (them) for 30 days and create a habit, then evaluate the results. 

You cannot expand the hours in your day, but you can maintain maximum productivity and maximize the hours you’ve been given so that it feels as if you acquired additional time.

 

 

 

 

Identifying Customer Needs to Provide Solutions

Identifying Customers Needs  to Provide SolutionsIdentifying customer needs to provide solutions should always be a primary focus whether you market your business online or offline.  While marketing your business online is different in many ways from marketing offline, the basic rules for running your business are the same.  You have a real business with real customers who have real wants, needs, desires, and challenges.

Satisfying customer needs is essential, but the challenge with marketing online is that you get to meet very few of your customers in person.  Therefore, it’s important to discover ways that will allow you to know what their needs are so that you can take steps to satisfy those needs. Continue reading

Five Ways to Find Great Blog Post Topics

five ways to find great blog post topics

Have you ever sat at your computer or tablet all ready to write your blog post and it just seems that your well of information has been used and re-used and you can think of nothing else to write about?

Possible Solutions to Find Great Blog Post Topics

  • Hire someone to write content for you
  • Hire someone to create ideas for you

Those may be viable solutions, and there may be a time when you want to increase your visibility and escalate the amount of content you want to produce, so you hire someone to write articles for you.

You really can write the content yourself. All you need is a little inspiration to get you going. And you can find this inspiration in everyday life and situations. So let’s discuss five ways to find great blog post topics. Continue reading

Guest Post: What Amazon Can Learn from Apple’s Brick-and-Mortar Success

engagement amazon can learn from AppleIn this guest post, my colleague, Kevin Leifer, explores Apple’s brick-and-mortar success, and how Amazon can learn from Apple’s success as it launches brick-and-mortar stores.

Amazon is stepping out into the world. The real world.

In November 2015, the online retail giant opened its very first brick-and-mortar bookstore. Apart from the strength of its brand, there are two reasons Amazon is betting on the store’s success.

First, a growing number of consumers—particularly millennials—favor print books and the act of buying them in physical stores.

Second, Amazon Kindle sales are in a slump. A brick-and-mortar store offers consumers the opportunity to try out the devices, with Amazon associates’ helpful input. Continue reading

How Customer Relationship Improves Business Success

customer relationship improves business success“All lasting business is built on friendship.” ~ Alfred A. Montapert

Customer relationship improves business success. Every successful business is built on relationships that begin with first contact and progress through various stages.  These stages usually begin when someone becomes a prospect or customer, then a friend of your business, and ultimately a loyal customer and raving fan.

Turning your customer into your friend is important, especially for entrepreneurs and small business owners.  When your customer becomes your friend, there is a shift.  Now there is an emotional aspect to the relationship.  And when your customers become emotionally attached to you, they are more likely to remain loyal customers. Continue reading

Goal-Setting to Goal-Achievement : Create Your Path to Success

 

goal-setting

“Achieving a goal is nothing.  The getting there is everything.”               ~Jules Michelet

Getting from goal-setting to goal-achievement can often be a winding path with its fair share of challenges. Many people set goals only one time per year and usually that’s around New Year’s Day; however, every day, every month, or every quarter provides you with an opportunity to set goals. Short term goals are essential to accomplish smaller, or even more urgent tasks, while long-term goals are considered for 6-months, one year, and even up to 30 year goals.

Often the focus for entrepreneurs is on setting business goals, but think of all the other areas in your life that you may want to change something. Areas like, family, friendships, relationships, lifestyle, health, or finances. If you desire a different outcome, the first step is to identify what you want to change, then set goals to in order to accomplish the changes. Continue reading