Commit to Visualization and Your Affirmations

Commit to Visualization and Your Affirmations  by John Assaraf
Your visualizations and affirmations should accurately describe the life you want to live. This is your vision. You can design it any way you want. Exercise your creativity and ingenuity. Have fun! As you create a vision of your future and support it with your affirmation, you will begin to see things you never saw before. Here are some other tips to help you program your nonconscious mind with visualizations and affirmations.

Recommit and Refine. You have to keep refining your goals, your business vision and your affirmations. The game never ends. Design your vision and write out your affirmations until they are perfect in your mind. You have to keep recommitting to the process. Every time you set your goals higher, every time you push past the goalposts even further, or set your foot on the path to some new goal or aspiration, you have to recommit to the process of articulating that goal and then imprinting it onto your nonconscious brain.

Complete the Process. Make sure you finish writing your vision statement and affirmations. Are you procrastinating or not completing the work? If you find you haven’t done the work, here’s the question you could pose to yourself: What stories am I telling myself as to why I haven’t done this work? The way you do anything is the way you everything. If you’re dragging your feet, ask yourself: Why? What reason are you giving yourself that you can’t do this? Your habits are forcing you to behave in the same old ways you always have.

Embrace making a change. You can ask yourself other questions such as: How well is my inactivity working for me in my business and my life? Wouldn’t it be nice to make a change? You have nothing to lose but old habits that aren’t working for you—and you have everything to gain.

Commit to the Process. Stay focused and commit to doing the neural reconditioning work day in and day out. Make yourself reminder notes to review where you stand with the process, perhaps at the beginning of every week. Add a statement to your reprogramming routine that addresses your commitment, something along the lines of: I am building on a solid new unconscious foundation to take my success even further.

What Do You Really Want To Achieve This Year?

Now we are in the New Year, it’s really important to start the new year on the right foot.

A good way to start is by reviewing the past year, what you achieved, what you didnt, and where the gaps and obstacles were.

I put together this short video message for you – alternatively keep reading this post below!!

 

Moving into the new year it’s then extremely important to decide on what it is you really want for the year. Be sure you are clear on each area of your life including some of the following:

  • Health & Fitness
  • Money & Finances
  • Business & Career
  • Relationships
  • Spirituality
  • Community and
  • Contribution

Once you know what it is you want, it’s easier to put a plan of action in place to go about achieving it.

Be sure you follow the SMARTA™ system when setting your goals.

  • Specific  – be sure you are specific when defining what it is you want
  • Measurable – it’s important to be able to measure your progress to ensure you are moving closer to your goal and not further away
  • Achievable  & As If Now-  your goal has to be achievable – don’t let yourself down if it’s not.  Be sure you also state your goal in the present tense – as if it’s in the NOW.
  • Realistic –  now this is a huge one. sure we all want to double or triple our income, but if you never have then perhaps it’s best to start off with a small goal. once you have achieved it, then raise the bar.
  • Time Bound –  be sure you place a deadline on the goal. Look how fast the year has gone, put a time frame on what you want to achieve.
  • Action –  This one is the most important by far. You must take the necessary action in order to achieve all that you want and more.

 

 

 

Can You Afford To Lose a Customer?

According to the Harvard Business Review, 67 percent of customers who choose a new supplier said they were satisfied with their former supplier! On an average, most companies lose half their customer base every five years. So why would customers who are satisfied stop doing business with you?

Consider this: Customers go where they are wanted and stay where they are appreciated.

Varying estimates place the cost of acquiring new customers at six to ten times more than selling to existing customers. Losing customers can drastically affect your company’s reputation, credibility, referrals, sales, and profitability.

Here’s Seven Ways To Retain Your Valued Customers:

  1. Never assume you know what customers want ask them! Customer surveys are a great tool for understanding customer needs and identifying innovative ways to solve their problems or exceed their expectations.
  2. Measure and reward customer satisfaction. If customer satisfaction is really a priority in your business, demonstrate this to your team. Develop a method to measure it, set goals for improvement and reward the team when the goal is accomplished.
  3. When you hire people to interact with your customers, make sure they possess good customer service skills like trust, empathy, flexibility and verbal communication proficiency. Each customer contact with your team is an opportunity to build your reputation or destroy it.
  4. Say Thank You. Sounds obvious but consider this. When was the last time you received a thank-you note from a company you do business with? This simple strategy can really make an impact and says a lot about your company and the value you place on customers.
  5. Stay connected with your customers by phone, mail or email. While the frequency may vary, every customer should receive a “touch” at least once a month.
  6. Make valuable customers feel more appreciated than non-customers or prospects. While new customers are critical to growth, make sure current customers get some VIP treatment. Programs, offers or specials just for current customers work well.
  7. Look for opportunities to sell multiple products or services to your existing customers to create the perception of a one-stop solution provider. Research shows this builds loyalty and retention. It’s also a great way to increase revenue and profit!

Finally, make customer service everyone’s responsibility especially in a small business where team members wear many hats. Train your team on customer service. From the receptionist to the delivery driver, your team will make an impression. The kind of impression they make is up to you.

Take a Leap of Faith This Year- Start with Knowing your WHY

Take a Leap of Faith This Year- Start with Knowing your WHY

Now Im sure you know who to communicate to in the marketplace and I’m sure you know WHAT you do and how to communicate that to your prospects, clients and associates, but how many times do you share your WHY. The reason why you get out of bed every day to do what you do. Knowing your WHY can make a difference to how you do business every day. It can influence your decisions. It can influence the way in which you engage and communicate with your clients, your associates and the greater marketplace. Your WHY is the heart of what you do and the heart of why you do it. If you are not currently sharing and communicating with your marketplace WHY you do what you do, may I encourage you do so.

At Vision Alliance, our why is simple. We believe business owners deserve to get more out of their business and more out of life. It’s simple and it invites prospects to learn more. What we do and how we do is in alignment with our WHY. Go ahead and take some time to really identify with your WHY. Why do you do what you do? Once you know your WHY you will soon be able to align your vision, your values and even your product and service offering with your WHY.

Why not build momentum FASTER and take advantage of our Complimentary Business Breakthrough Session. Call us today on +61 2 8860 9638 or email us at info@vision-alliance.com and book in today!

 

 

Hit Your Targets and Maximise Your Potential

Hit Your Targets and Maximise Your Potential

Have you set a revenue goal for the year? Have you prepared a cashflow forecast for the next quarter, six months and twelve months? Whether you’ve formalised your revenue goal or not, you would have by now a number in your head for where you want to be at the end of the year.

Its very important to start the year off knowing exactly where you finished last year and exactly where you want to be by the endof the year . Without knowing this number if will be almost near impossible to deliberately set your course of action on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis.

When we speak of goals we at Vision Alliance speak holistically, so that you include your business and your life. There are six areas in your life for which you must define goals:

  • Finances
  • Relationships
  • Contribution
  • Health
  • Spirit
  • Business

Most people don’t achieve the goals they set not because they lack motivation, but because they don’t know how to define attainable goals and keep working consistently to get there. As every successful business coach will tell you, that’s the difference between successful people and the ones who must struggle to survive. Successful people know how to define and attain goals. Surround yourself with successful people and you will see the patterns unfold before you. I am forever remind people that over the past two decades of helping businesses grow, I have found there are two types of people in this world. Those who are committed and those who are just interested. Which one are you?  If you haven’d heard me speak of this let me expand on this a little. Those who are interested will do what is convenient to them. Those who are committed will do what ever it takes to achieve their outcomes. So are you interested in success in 2011. or are you truly committed?

Goals setting starts with setting SMART –A Goals. Im sure you have heard of SMART goals but how many of you have heard of a SMARTA goal. A SmartA goal is one that is

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time Bound and
  • Actionable. 

That’s right it’s absolutely no use setting SMART goals if you don’t take the necessary ACTION to get you closer to where you want to be.

It’s always a good idea to start off small. Remember you eat an elephant the same way – in bite size chunks so don’t start with increasing revenues by 200% when you haven’t yet reached a 25% increase. Once you get to 25% start reaching for 50% and then 100%. Most of us think we have to increase our results by 100% overnight. You can no more double your revenue this year by simply saying you’re going to work harder and sell more than you can lose 10 kilos in a week or two by saying you’re going to eat less and exercise more.

You need a plan and you need to follow that plan daily. By focusing on the small bite size chunks and on improving just 1% every day,  you will dramatically increase your overall results over the course of one year.
As a friend of mine always says, nothing changes if nothing changes. Keep doing the same things you did last year and you will be guaranteed to produce similar results. Do something different, take consistent action, test and measure your results, make changes when and where necessary and you will be guaranteed to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be in a shorter period of time.

Here are the six requisites one of my mentors taught me that every successful person meets to attain his or her goals:

  1. Know Your Why I added this one in here as it’s so important. Without knowing your why it will be more difficult to align yourself with your overall vision, values and product and or servic offering. Start speaking a different language by communicating Why you do what you do rather than What you do.  You will be amazed how quickly you can affect change in your business.
  2. Dream big
    Think out of the box and establish ambitious goals. Do not set goals thinking that there is a limit to what you can achieve. The only limit is yourself and the past conditioning you allow to stop you from getting what you want.
  3. Write down detailed goals
    Successful people know that writing down their goals initiates the process. This is why you have to be specific, because what you write down is what will begin to happen. Your achievements will be as accurate as what you wrote, because you are appealing to the universal laws and are setting your mind to work as focused as possible. So don’t write down that you want a new car; explain that you want a new full extras, silver BMW, with black leather seats, a full warranty and full service for life.
  4. Your goals must be in harmony with your values
    You will attain your goals easily if you are working on something you value, because it means you are aligned with your purpose in life, your WHY. First, define your WHY, then define your values and thirdly, base your goals on and around them.
  5. Your goals must include two things:
    a. A specific plan to attain each
    b. The correct beliefs and mindset
    Without these, you will never attain your goals, thus, clarify your beliefs and think about what actions will lead you to attaining your dreams.
  6. Check your goals daily
    Before you get out of bed, before you eat your breakfast, review your list of goals. Visualize your life having attained them: how does it feel? It’s always a good idea to review your goals also before going to bed at night. What you are doing is programming your brain to work on your goals subconsciously, and to expect them to become a reality.
  7. Never lose hope- remember everything is possible if you put your mind to it and then take action.
    You never lose, even if you don’t get what you wanted. In case your dream doesn’t become a reality, remember that you still have what you learned in the process. Experience is crucial to advancing in life. As long as you focus on what you want, you will find the way to get there, in spite of the challenges or setbacks you may encounter along the way.

 

6 Steps to achieving Success with Social Media

In the last year, social media has become very popular. Everybody is talking about it and almost every online marketer is using it. The experts are getting it however most small business owners either haven’t grasped it, or are just not sure how to get it working effectively for them.

 

I am about to share with you some of the things I have discovered from my good friend business growth and social media expert and also from observing the activities of many business owners attempting to create success via social media.
1. Be Unique, Create Your Own Following
I see this all the time. Someone takes the time to create a group, sends them great information, and builds a relationship with his followers. Then someone else wants to take advantage of this group that took the owner so much work to put together and starts posting promotional comments about his own company. Needless to say, these comments are always removed and the poster ends up looking like a spammer. If you want to succeed in Social Media, create your own group and post your own content, don’t try to cash on someone else’s efforts.

2. Avoid Self-Promotion

Remember, your prospects are tuned into WIIFM – What’s In It For Me so it’s important to talk about things that will add value to your prospects and not about things that blow your own trumpet. Aim to build a relationship with your fans and followers and you will build longer lasting relationships.
3. First Give, then Ask

Don’t you just hate it when someone sends you an email every other day asking you to do something (check out a website or register to get their free ebook) but they don’t do anything for you?  Don’t do what others do, in fact i encourage you to do the exact opposite. If others are self promoting, give more interest about your prospect. If others want leads and are not willing to give leads then go the extra mile to add value and give to your prospects. Share your knowledge, share what you can and it will reward you tenfold and I guarantee that you’ll be noticed.

4. Use Your Real Name

I get about 10 friend requests per day on Facebook and other social networking sites from weird blended names. When surveyed, most said they prefered to ignore requests from identities who did not reveal their name.  Success is relationship based. So build a relationship that begins with you


5. Do It Only if You Enjoy It

I love meeting people and networking. I love having conversations with strangers and exchanging ideas. I love the fact I can make a difference to someone just by having a conversation with them. I can guarantee you that it’s not about thinking how I can make money out of the person I am talking to. If you don’t enjoy the process, you are not likely to be successful at it. People can read between lines and they can tell if all you care about is their money.

6. Don’t Annoy Your Followers

Send them a message or a request only if they will be useful to them and don’t do it ten times per week. I immediately unsubscribe from lists that send me more than 3 messages per week. One company just recently sent me an email every day last week. It’s just overkill. Monitor the number of people that unsubscribe from your lists. If that number is too high, revise your strategy.

These are just a few tips that will support your social media strategy. Follow these tips and you’ll have a strong basis in utilising social media for your business!

The 6 D’s of E-mail Management

This article is based on a portion of an Expert Interview with Laura Stack, author of “Leave the Office Earlier.” and is also based on personal experience.

How many items are on your to-do list? And how many of those will you actually cross off today?

Time management and planning are foundational to personal productivity, yet many people don’t approach each day with a plan, and as a result end up wasting valuable time in a reactive mode. Others at least have a to-do list, but typically attack the easy items first, which means the important items don’t get done very fast!

Of course, one of the big enemies of personal productivity today is e-mail. The constant flow of e-mail alerts during the day can destroy your concentration and cause you to flit from one project or crisis to the next. But you do not have to work in this state of e-mail-induced ADD.

Let’s face it, most e-mails are not that important. And almost none require you to drop everything. Set the expectation that you will respond within 24 hours, then live up to that standard. You can do this by setting a time to look at your e-mail twice a day, say every four hours. But first you have to break the e-mail addiction. The key is to turn off all your alerts if you are using Outlook for example or if you are like our company and have made the switch to the Cloud and are using Google Apps, it’s as simple as working from your calendar and Tasks list rather than your email.
Your next step is to be disciplined about looking at your e-mail for a half hour or so twice a day, and ruthlessly applying the six Ds of e-mail management: Learn how to control and manage your emails rather than allowing them to control and manage you.

 

Let’s take a closer look at the six Ds of e-mail management:
Discard it. This one’s easy. Make a snap decision and hit the delete key. Before you hit the delete key you may wish to “unsubscribe” from future mailings to ensure you eliminate the time spent on hitting delete.

Delegate it. Can someone else handle it? Is the email for someone else? Simply forward it with a quick note, and then move it to a personal folder (see below for more on personal folders).

Do it. If you can handle it in three minutes, do it and be done with it. You won’t have to come back and mentally process it again, which is a victory.

Date it. This is for e-mails that you need to reply to, but can’t right now. Many people get stuck here, but there’s a simple remedy if you know your software. In Outlook and also in Google Apps for Business, for instance, you can automatically convert an e-mail to a to-do item. It’s a great way of allocating specific time to responding to the email as an formal task in your workday.
Drawer. For personal e-mails or things that don’t require any action but you don’t want to delete, simply move to a specific folder so you can access or review another time.
Deter. This is for the stuff that makes you ask “Why am I getting this?” So take the step of adding the sender to your blocked senders list, or unsubscribe, or set up a rule that says anytime something comes from this address, it’s going into the trash or some specific folder.

There you have it – a simple system for defeating the tyranny of e-mail and taking back your personal productivity. Try it, you’ll be surprised at how much more focused you will be, and how much more you’ll get done.

 

 

Stand Out of the Crowd to Attract More Franchisees

New franchise opportunities are popping up every day, so differentiating your business is the best way to stand out from the crowd. Vision Alliance shares some simple ways that you can do this, by using an age-old marketing strategy: The Unique Selling Proposition.

Step 1 – Identify the Unique

Think about your business. What is unique about your offering? Some good qualities to start with are robust processes, return on investment, brand awareness or maybe marketing support. The trick is to understand what it is your competitors offer and to differentiate yourself from that. Of course there will be some cross over – but if you can offer multiple benefits, this will all stack up and translate to a unique offering.
Be sure you tune into all the real benefits and not just the stand ourt features that your business offers a potential franchise and also the marketplace.
Step 2 – Selling your competitive advantage

After you’ve identified what you do well and the benefits to prospective franchisees, make a list and consider whether it’s realistic. If you have listed that you have robust processes, ask how this can be easily demonstrated Vision Alliance adds : and also how that will benefit the franchisee as well as the franchisees customer. You want to ensure that if you are promoting this benefit, it’s able to be demonstrated on a consistent daily basis. Aim to list 3-5 points that you can always over-deliver on, and ones that your competitors may not be able to match.

Step 3 – Proposition your potential franchisees

Now that you have your list, tell everyone about it by printing it on the back of business cards, on company signage, websites, reception counters and directory listings (like FranchiseBusiness.com.au) or memberships (eg. the Franchise Council of Australia). If you have a small budget, you may want to advertise online or in print. The key is to understand where your prospects are looking and the tools they use to find you. This will ensure you spend your marketing dollars where it counts.

Once you have your Unique Selling Proposition, and you have the right presentation packs in place, it’s easy to market your Franchise business opportunity. FranchiseBusiness.com.au has a number of affordable and measurable advertising options for every franchisor.

If you require support in strengthening your core offer, your franchise foundations or your recruitment process, why not call us today on +61 2 8860 9638 and book a Free Consultation or simply click on the link below. We’d be delighted to add value to you.

Where to go for help before you buy a franchise

Before even jumping into the business side of franchising, which is obviously the crux of the matter, there are a couple of other very important experts who should be consulted first.

You’ve got to speak to the boss – your better-half, your soul-mate and life partner.

Even if they’re not going to be part of the everyday running of the franchise side of things, their life is undoubtedly going to be affected by whatever decision is made in terms of purchasing a franchise. Many of the most successful franchisees in the market are husband and wife teams, but if you’re one of those couples that enjoy your independence and couldn’t stomach 24 hour contact, still get their buy-in. It is a fact of life that agreements do not last forever. In some cases, a franchise agreement might outlast a personal relationship, including a marriage. The last thing you want is for one to contribute to the other breaking down. So, make sure you have your partner’s support.

The second expert to consult is probably just as important as the first, if not more. Many who have been in business a while, or even for a short-while, may say that your first port of call for help when thinking of starting out in small business ought to be a shrink. And, frankly, they are not far wrong. A psychiatric doctor is probably not necessary, but seeing a GP is definitely a very good idea.

You need to make sure you are fit for the hard work and pressure of starting your own business.

Are you really in as good shape as you think? When was the last time you checked? Find out if you will be able to cope with the stress of running a business. Find out if you will be able to cope without four weeks of guaranteed paid annual leave and sick days.

You have to be ready to understand that the buck will stop with you. No-one else will carry the can for you. You may have employees and maybe even managers to help you, which is great, but even if you do, you might find it is still very difficult to stay away from the front line of the business.

There are many stresses – emotional, physical, without even mentioning financial – that your body will be put under in a new working environment; especially when you’re running the show.

With the all clear you’re now in a position to consult with the best from the business side of things.

Expert advice
If you are in a position to be thinking about purchasing a franchise then you’ve most likely spoken with a bank or some form of finance agent. You need to do as much research in this area as you can before you make a formal pitch for finance. Lenders may well be able to give you some very useful advice, but you need to inspire their confidence in order to get the best help they can offer you in getting your finance approved and putting it to profitable use.

Through the form of a Dunn and Bradstreet company credit report or similar processes of their own, your financial institution will be able to give you a good indication whether or not, financially, the franchise you are looking at is a good investment. This report will complement the disclosure document that the franchisor is obliged to provide you with if you are serious about buying into the brand.

Then, on to your accountant and your lawyer, and just to be clear, you need to speak to professionals that specialise in the franchise sector. Just because you passed Accounting 101 with a distinction at university doesn’t mean you are expert in interpreting the financial forecasts and assumptions in the franchisor’s business plan. There are also other huge considerations including start-up costs, initial expenses to set up your place of business and the upfront and ongoing working capital and other expenses. Speak about all of these considerations with a professional experienced in the franchise sector.

The FCA fields too many phone calls from franchisees who think they might be getting a raw deal on some aspect of their agreement but simply aren’t sure what exactly is in their agreement.

We call this a lack of due diligence. You need to know what the agreement stipulates in terms of the obligations of BOTH parties, franchisor and franchisee. And you need to get professional advice to make sure you accurately understand these obligations. If you don’t, you are flying blind.

It’s a contract
The franchise agreement isn’t a suggestion of how to go about running your franchise, it’s a contract, an enforceable contract. Having a full understanding of everything within its many clauses and sections is essential to getting the best grounding for success in franchising.

Take the disclosure documents and proposed franchise agreements to a good lawyer after you have read them and before you have signed. And make sure it is a good franchising lawyer; not just somebody who has always looked after the family’s affairs.

You’ll find these professionals listed on the FCA website under the member listing. By this stage you will hopefully be well equipped enough to make an educated business decision regarding buying a franchise as an investment. But there is something else you need to do: consult people who are in business in the system you are planning to invest in, and others outside the system in question.

The franchisor will help with the former; the FCA can help with the latter.

It is also highly recommended that you book yourself into one of the FCA’s Eyes Wide Open seminars that are held periodically in your local capital city. These seminars are attended by a franchisor, a franchisee and representatives from state government business development centres and the ACCC.

Making a point to attend one of the franchising expos is also a very positive step. These events are held in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane at least once a year. The expos are a great place to gain more information about the franchising sector and potential franchises or competitors to your chosen franchise.

The ACCC also provides free franchisee pre-entry online education. This is a very good way to learn and test yourself on essential industry knowledge. This facility is provided in concert with Griffith University, one of the most respected teaching and research institutions involved with the franchising sector.

And of course read as much as you can on the web generally. You are already in the right place by reading this article in this magazine, so well done. Keep at it; it will be well worth your while.

Once you’ve done your due diligence, good luck, enjoy your new business and welcome to the franchise community.

This article was written by Steve Wright – executive director of Franchise Council of Australia.