Get More Customers, Make More Money and Get More Out of Business by Attracting, Selling & Wowing Customers

Chances are you’re a business owner who wants to grow, create leverage or simply make more money and have more time to do the things you love. We get it. Most small businesses are struggling because they don’t have enough customers, they don’t have enough sales or they simply don’t have enough money.

Tania Allen | Get More Customers, Make More Money and Get More Out of Business by Attracting, Selling & Wowing Customers

Let’s make it clear up front, not every small business is struggling. Some are thriving and want to build a better business, whilst others are literally surviving. We can therefore say small businesses fall into two categories. They either:

  • Need new life & are ready to get back on track and go from surviving to thriving or
  • They are thriving and are now ready to go to the next level

Regardless of whether you’re currently thriving and doing well or wanting to thrive, it’s important to look closely at the common problems that can arise in any business at any time and at any stage of growth. Generally speaking you do not have a solid system in place to help you thrive and continue to thrive most small businesses will always at some stage be challenged with:

  • Not attracting enough leads or prospects into your business
  • Not converting those leads into customers and
  • Not getting customers to spend more and more often.

It has been long known that in order to grow any business you either need to get more customers, get them to spend more with you and get them coming back more frequently.

This can be broken down even further by saying in order to grow any business; a business must focus consistently on:

  1. Increasing leads – attract the attention of potential buyers.
  2. Increasing conversions in other words turn those prospects into paying customers
  3. Increasing the average transaction – getting them to spend more with companion selling or upselling
  4. Increasing the frequency of purchase – encouraging them to buy again
  5. Increasing lifetime value – keeping a customer for longer
  6. Increasing profit margins and;
  7. Increasing the number of referrals from friends, family, colleagues and clients

So what does that look like for you and your business, so that you can easily and effortlessly create systems that will help accelerate your business growth? To fully create leverage, it’s important to understand the big picture view of your business.

A good place to start is to strategise your company’s Lifecycle Marketing strategies & tactics.

So what is Lifecycle Marketing?

The Lifecycle Marketing Model provides a simple framework you can use to design a marketing plan that will help you attract customers, grow sales and deliver an experience that wows your customers. When put into action, Ideal Customer Lifecycle Marketing will help you get more customers, grow revenues or put simply, make more money and ultimately it will help you create more time to focus on getting more out of business in general.

To grow any business it’s vitally important you know and understand and put systems in place to support the business in ATTRACTING more highly targeted leads who are eager to learn more about your solutions, SELL MORE and position your product or service as the obvious choice when customers are ready to buy and WOW Your Customers so they stay engaged come back for more and refer their friends.

Regardless of whether you are operating a service based or retail business it’s important to know your starting point. We like to start with identifying your ideal client.

Know Your Target – Who is Your Ideal Customer

Attempting to reach everybody with your product or service is not only inefficient; it’s also very expensive. That’s why it’s important to narrowly define your target customer, and focus your marketing dollars on the market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets. It’s also important to understand that it’s not about you or your product it’s about matching a solution to your prospects specific challenges, concerns, frustrations, desires and wants. You can clearly define your target market by taking a look at your current customer base, evaluating why they buy the product or service you sell, and more specifically why they choose to buy from you. It’s also a good idea to grouping them based on similar interests. Don’t be afraid to get specific!

Attract Traffic and Interest

It’s important to generate awareness of your company and your product or service before you can start capturing interested leads. The “traffic” may come to you through website visitors, phone calls, in-person visits, and more. Your methods of advertising and attracting interest will determine the quantity of leads, the quality of prospects, and the way they reach you. You may attract traffic with Pay-Per-Click ads on Google or Facebook, social media activity, partner referrals, print ads, networking, live events, or any number of other methods. Once you get the word out about your company and gain people’s attention, you can begin to capture their contact information and follow up.

Capture Leads & Nurture them by Educating and Adding Value if they Don’t Convert.

The most successful marketers understand that a customer once is almost always a customer again and strive to connect and build relationships with potential buyers. This comes from collecting the phone number, email or any other contact point for the customer so that you can offer free value, help solve problems and potentially sell more services to them in the future.

If your prospects don’t convert straight it’s important to develop and implement a lead nurturing program into your business. This ensures you have an opportunity to build a relationship with your prospects over time and allows you to educate them about what it is you sell and the benefits that will solve their challenges, concerns, needs and wants.

Offer & Close

I come across this time and time again. You’ve got to ask for the sale if you want the sale. You’ve got to offer the cake with the coffee if you want to increase your average transaction value and you’ve got to back yourself enough that you know and trust your product and service is solving the need and or want of your marketplace. Make the offer, ask for the sale and you will grow your business easily and effortlessly. Oh and one last tip on closing sales.   Success is in the follow through. If you are in a service based business follow up and follow up some more. This process can be a combination of automated follow ups and personal follow ups but no matter up the more you follow up the more you will increase your conversion rates.

Deliver, Satisfy & WOW, Get Repeat Business, Referrals & More

After the sale, it’s time to deliver the your products and or services and create happy customers or as we have heard before raving fans. Have a look at how you deliver your products and services. Are you wowing your customers? Are you delivering an experience they will never forget and will want to come back for more or refer their family and friends to. Don’t take your customers for granted, as the moment you do they might just go next door to a competitor. Deliver WOW and satisfy and not only will you get more repeat business, have more people referred to you, you will also watch your profits soar.

 

Navigating the Rapids of Business

Navigating the rapids of business

Have you ever been white water rafting? in 1994, my late husband and i decided to be adventurous and give white water rafting a go.

We were on a short holiday. After all, we couldn’t take too much time off as we were  in business for ourselves and there were only  so many days we believed we could be away from the business before things would surely go wrong. This was our little getaway so whilst in the midst of relaxation and “away time” we decided to experience the thrill and excitement of white water rafting.

Now as beginners, our job was to sit in the raft, hold on tight, use the oars when we were instructed to, scream a little, feel terrified and experience a sense of thrill at the same time. Whilst we navigated our way around the rocks, through the rapids, we had one ultimate objective: stay in the raft until we made it to the calmer waters below.

At one point our raft did tip and after those few panicking moments we all eventually managed to get back into the raft, coughing and splattering as we climbed back in. It was terrifying, yet we found ourselves laughing with adrenalin rushing throughout our bodies as we got back in the raft secretly wanting to do it all over again.

As a team we had to work together, aligning our actions and our focus directing the raft and maneuvering it through to the calmer waters below. Every action required quick thinking, clear strategy and zero procrastination. Yes, at times we were uncertain, not knowing what would come next and whether the next move would take us further out of our comfort zone.

At other times we were on top of the world and Masters of white water rafting. Once in calm waters, we wanted to do it again and take our experience to the next level. “Okay, who’s ready for the next level?” the instructor would ask. There was no turning back once we had made the decision to go for it and give the next level a go. We were fearful of what the unknown adventure would be like, but moving to the next level requires a certain type of attitude – ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!’

Operating a business is a bit like white water rafting. At times it’s scary, hectic, and sometimes unbelievably out of control.

It takes you out of your comfort zone and pushes you into very unknown waters. At other times, it’s exciting, challenging and ultimately rewarding.

The key to navigating your way through business successfully is the same as navigating your raft through the rapids.

Once you know how and what to do, it’s important to be sure you implement that knowledge so that you arrive at calmer waters with confidence and without too many knocks, bumps, cuts and bruises. It’s about making the right moves at the right time and in the right order, so that when you are ready to move to the next level you can do so with confidence.

One of the keys to success in business is how you handle each stage of the journey. In our case, with white water rafting, each stage represented the starting point, the rocky road of the rapids, the free falling down the dips, and the calm waters below. Success was achieved as a result of many things aligning together, the quick maneuvering, the quick decisions and action-taking before arriving at your destination. The destination is not the end of course; it is just the beginning, as you take your experience to new and higher levels. Business is the same. Once you reach a certain goal, milestone, or outcome, it’s not the end; it’s just the beginning of something bigger, better and more exciting.

Doing the right things in the right order is crucial to success. Being sure you take consistent action every day and with a big focus on income generating activities and not just any activity is a key component to building the business of your dreams.

I believe one of the key elements to achieving success is having an open mind and being committed to doing whatever it takes to learn new skills and knowledge, and following through by implementing that new found knowledge and skill set.

What is your motivation? What is your motive for action?

Growth starts to happen when you extend yourself beyond your comfort zone and beyond the edge. You must lean just over the edge every day to achieve exactly what it is you want. Extend yourself. Have the courage to push yourself beyond your own fears, embracing them so that you can make your life and your business phenomenal.

Make a commitment to develop yourself and learn whatever is necessary to be the best. Strengthen every weakness until they become your greatest strength.

Stop Blaming and complaining and Just Get on With it!

Have you ever been in a position where it was easier to blame outside circumstances or someone else for your shortfalls? It is unfortunate that for most of us it is quite a natural habit to blame outside circumstances and events for our lack of results. Because of our past programming and conditioning, many are living a very average way of life because they have chosen to accept that this is just the way life is. If you are someone who is convinced that your circumstances are because of the actions of others or outside circumstances, may I encourage you to open your mind and be prepared to make a decision today to change that level of thinking or to change your current circumstances.

Think about it. How would your life or business change if you knew you were the only one responsible for your success? Not your franchisor, not anyone else, just you.

There would be a lot more doing and a lot less complaining and blaming, wouldn’t there? There would also be a lot more people living the life they truly deserve.

Learn to replace complaining with being proactive and taking action. If you find yourself in a situation that you don’t like, either make it work or simply leave. The worst thing you can do is stay and then complain later about it. Stop missing the pieces of the puzzle! They’re right in front of you.

You are the only one responsible for your success! If you don’t have all of the pieces yet to build whatever it is you want, then it’s your responsibility to acquire them. The world doesn’t owe you anything. You have to create what you want.

Knowing you are responsible for your success and doing what it takes to be a success are two different things. In the past I always knew what I had to be doing to achieve higher levels of success, though

I found myself not always doing those things consistently enough to produce the consistent results I wanted. My results would either be fantastic or just plain average. I started to see a clear pattern forming and it was a pattern I didn’t like. I set out on a path to really make a change in what I was thinking and doing so that my business and my life could progress forward and produce the consistent results I wanted every day. This was the time I truly took ownership of building a new foundation, taking a new direction and committing to taking consistent action towards the success I desired.

What can you do right now to take true ownership of the direction and success of your business? Taking your business to the next level need not be complicated nor does it require excessively long hours or extremely hard work. What it does take is a commitment to your success, a commitment to taking consistent daily action, and doing the right things in the right order.

Growing and Developing your Franchise

Growing a business can be challenging at times and also extremely rewarding, but what can you do as a business owner to help create momentum week by week, month by month and build the business of your dreams?

Whether you are just starting out or you have been going at it for a while, my intent for our time together in this post is to share with you some simple business growth tips that when implemented into your business will help you start to produce some solid results.

Grab a tea or coffee, a notepad and pen and read on. It’s no use reading this article and not doing anything about it, so as you read through the points outlined, I encourage you to think about how it relates to your business and what you can do to get going, moving and taking action so that you can in fact grow and develop your franchise into a top  performing business.

Success starts with planting the Seed and doing the right things in the right order

I would like to share a little story with you. Imagine your business as a freshly planted seed of a tomato plant. You have taken care to plant this seed in fresh, nutrient dense soil, in a place where it gets the right amount of sun and shade.

You’ve got down on your hands and knees and with your finger have poked a hole in the fresh soil where you gently placed the seed. You then covered the seed with more fresh soil and gave it the right amount of water to allow it to grow.

Why did you plant the Seed?

This is the same for your business. Why did you get into your business in the first place? What’s your ultimate vision?

Without knowing your why, it’s almost impossible to produce the consistent and long term results you first set out to achieve. It will also make it near impossible to stay inspired and motivated day in and day out if you don’t know what you are doing and why you are doing it.

Let’s continue with the story….

As you get up from planting the seed you vividly imagine all the delicious tasting tomatoes this plant is going to produce for you and your family as it grows over the following months.  As each day follows you check on your seed to see if it has peeked out of the ground. You can barely contain your excitement because you know how gratifying it will be to successfully grow something of your own.

You check the soil to see if it’s moist enough, you give it water when it gets too dry. A week goes by and still nothing peeks out of the ground.  You ask yourself, “Did I give it too much water? Did I give it enough? Did I plant it in the right place? Maybe it’s just the weather?” You go into the house and look on the internet to see how long it takes for a tomato seed to sprout once it’s planted. You find that it takes about two to three weeks for a leaf to show. You now feel a sense of relief knowing that you are probably on track.

You continue reading and you discover that the average plant will not produce fruit for about two full months. You remember reading about this earlier and now you are very content to have fruit in two months.

You can almost taste and feel exactly what it’s going to be like biting into that perfectly ripened tomato and then you read one last fact that no one ever told you before. The tomato expert writes,

“Some plants won’t produce fruit the very first year depending on the seed. Sometimes you have to care for the seed until it grows then wait till the plant germinates and drops another seed in the ground that will grow the following year.”  You stop and think, “I wish I knew this before I started this whole thing”. You make a mental note to plan better next time before embarking on a farming adventure. As you absorb this information, you feel less excited than you did just one week ago. You hope that all your work will produce fruit this year.

As another week goes by you check on your seed only to find that it’s not a seed anymore, it’s now a tiny little plant with one leaf peeking out of the soil. You feel your excitement return because even if this plant does not produce fruit this year at least you have the satisfaction of knowing you made something real.

You planted a seed and it’s now growing every day.

With your new found excitement that comes from noticing your successes, you begin to ask yourself, “Is there anything that I can do to make this tomato plant grow faster?” Is there anything you can do that will tilt the scale in your favour that would get you fruit this year?

So, you make a wise decision and decide to seek advice from an expert. After a short consultation from the best tomato grower in the business, someone who knows how to get these tomato plants to grow and produce more fruit, you go back home to your tomato plant and follow the instructions to the letter. You tirelessly do everything that’s required and your plant now grows and grows and grows. Two more weeks pass and you are getting so close to when most tomato plants will produce fruit. Will your plant produce fruit this year? You can barely wait, you feel confident because you have done everything right.

The next morning you wake up and to your surprise you notice several tiny tomatoes on your plant. You feel great; you feel immense satisfaction that you will get ripe fruit this season and your efforts will be rewarded.

It’s time to celebrate and like any good tomato grower you also know it’s now time to make even better decisions regarding your plant. Feeling confident and ready you now take all the appropriate action to ensure that you will be biting into a perfectly ripe and fresh tomato in just a few more weeks.

Building and growing your business is just like growing the tomato plant.

It’s important to do the right things in the right order to build higher levels of success. The expert in the story is, in fact, your franchisor and possibly even a business growth consultant like myself.

Support, knowledge and expertise are available to you so ensure you tap into that regularly.

If you just so happen to have a franchisor who isn’t as accessible as you had hoped, then find the support elsewhere. There are so many resources out there to help you grow your business.

It’s up to you to go and make it happen.

The seed has been planted.  How will you nurture and care for it to ensure you produce fruit year in and year out?

Setting goals. creating a new blueprint for Success

As part of a franchise group, you should have a blueprint or plan for business growth to follow, but it shouldn’t stop there. What can you do to take ownership and work that plan? The sentence should now read.  It’s a new year so it’s time to review your goals and plans as you progress forward in your business. Perhaps you are not as close to where you wanted to be, or perhaps you have reached the next stage of success.

Whatever your position is right at this moment, NOW is the time to REVIEW

YOUR PLAN and DESIRED OUTCOMES for the year.

Here’s a quick review of how to successfully set and achieve your goals.

Set goals the Smart way and take consistent action to achieve them

I am sure you have heard this before either from a past article, from my newsletters or even another resource. Your goals should be SMARTA goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Bound or Time Framed and Action.

Here’s the flaw in this.

It’s no use setting goals if you are not going to take the action on a daily basis that will move you closer to achieving them.

How many times have you set a goal only to review them in six or 12 months time and have become overwhelmed or disappointed at how many you just didn’t achieve?  It happens often for many business owners and here’s the reason why:

You have to take the necessary action to achieve your goals. Setting them just isn’t going to do it for you.

With this in mind, start to review your current plan, think about what you want to achieve this year and put a plan of action in place to ensure every day is moving you closer to achieving your desired outcomes and not further away.

You Must Be Committed To Your Success

Make a total commitment to your success.

Once you have made the decision to be in business, be in that business. Get into it with both feet and don’t let anything hold you back. I have found there are two types of people: those who are interested in success and those who are committed.

Those who are simply interested, do what is convenient to them. Those who are truly committed will do whatever it takes to achieve their desired outcomes and the next level of success.  What are you doing every day to ensure the best outcomes for you, your customer, the franchisor, and the franchise network?  Make a commitment right now to start doing whatever it takes to make your business a success.

Start with writing a list of all the things you could do better in your business, or what you could do to go a little bit further for your customer, your staff, with your suppliers, and in other areas of your business. It only takes one or two things that could make a massive difference to your bottom line.

Communication Is The Key To Building A Successful Franchise

Now, of course communication is not the only key to success.  There are many other areas that are equally important but, here’s the thing:  if you cannot communicate effectively with your staff, your franchisor, or with your customers – you will have to work 10 times harder to make things happen.

In a franchise it is vital you maintain communications with your franchisor.

Keeping the communication lines open has major benefits. You also have to know how to communicate and when to initiate communication. As the franchise network grows your franchisor may not be as accessible as they used to be. It is important though to chat to them about it and find out what other methods of communication and support are available. Don’t wait until your business is almost nonexistent and blame the franchisor for not being there.

You as the franchisee should be 100 per cent responsible for your success.

Effective communication can be the difference between someone achieving average revenues and someone doubling and tripling revenues every year. With this in mind it is vital you also communicate effectively with:

  •      your    prospects
  •      your    clients/customers

Without prospects there are no customers. Without customers there is no business

Before your communication begins, you’ve got to know who you will be communicating to and what you will communicate. In other words, what’s your message?  What and how will you say it?

These fundamental elements should be part of your sales and business growth process, a process that every successful business relies so heavily on. As part of your sales process you should put together an ideal client profile and review it regularly to ensure you are maximizing your potential, year in, year out.

Take time now to consider who your ideal client is. Your ideal client profile should include elements such as:

  • how    they     think
  • why    they     buy  (wants versus needs)
  • what   they     want   – ‘hot    buttons’ (remember:  people don’t   buy      what    they need, they buy what they want)
  • who    to         target  –  (decision makers and influencers)

Once you know who your ideal client is and why they buy your type of products and/or services you have to find a way to effectively communicate your message, focusing on the benefits of your product or service and matching the reasons why they buy.

Taking a close look at your ideal client’s decision-making process reveals who you REALLY need to be communicating your message to.

Communication is more important than ever and not just in your initial lead generation or once you have secured a customer. With only four per cent of leads ready to buy right now and therefore 96 per cent not ready, if you don’t have a process in place to nurture your leads you could be wasting your time and your money in your upfront marketing efforts.

Every time you communicate to your prospect it’s vital you stand out of the crowd, grab their attention, create a strong interest and desire for your product and service and, of course, lead them over the finish line. With this in mind, all of your marketing/ communication efforts must follow a strict formula.

You must grab the prospect’s attention, build a strong interest and desire in what you are offering, including the benefits, all which must then be supported with a strong call to action.

Gone are the days where it’s enough to say “we are the best and this is why…..”

It’s all about the prospect now. It has to be about the benefits you will provide to them and what value you will add to them. They are tuning into “What’s in it for me?” and unless you can match your solutions, services and products to what your prospects want, you will have a very hard time growing the business of your dreams.

Maximising your potential in business is not that hard. It just requires commitment, clear communication, daily action and doing the right things in the right order.

Don’t Just Set Goals, Achieve Them!!

“Goals give your business and your life direction.
Taking consistent daily action at the right time and in
the right order will then help you achieve your goals
easily and effortlessly.”
Tania Allen, Founder,
Vision Alliance.

We are all familiar with the art of setting goals.  Like most business owners, I’m sure by now you may have set some goals for the next six or 12 months.  You have made a promise to yourself to do things differently, work more efficiently perhaps and of course make more money.  Setting goals is the easy part.  So how do you go from being a goal setter to someone who actually achieves their goals easily and effortlessly?

Achieving your goals comes easier when we know where we are heading.  Goals are like a destination.  They are where you want to go.

Without goals, you simply cannot arrive at a destination, and if you don’t know where you are going then how will you ever know what actions you need to take to achieve higher levels of success and achievement.  It would be fair to say then: Goals give your business and your life direction.  Taking consistent daily action at the right time and in the right order will then help you achieve your goals easily and effortlessly.

If you look around you, you will notice successful people have very different habits.

They think, and do things differently.  They are however no different to you or I.  We can achieve what they do and more.  They just have particular habits that anyone can apply.

Here are some key essentials to help you build the momentum so that you get closer to realising your full potential and getting  closer to achieving your dreams and goals.

Know your why

Why you want to achieve your goals will always play an important role in whether you will achieve them or not.  When setting your goals the stronger your why, the more committed you will be to doing whatever it takes to achieve them.

Set holistic and balanced goals

Successful people set goals in all areas of their business and life.  When working on your goals be sure you develop goals in six areas of life: relationships, spiritual, contribution, financial, health and business.

By pursuing goals in each area, you will create a more balanced and integrated life.

Be clear about what you want

All goals must be clear and concise, so when setting your goals be specific about what it is you want.

Aim high

Most of the time we are all aiming too low.

It’s time to get out of your comfort zone.  As the now-clichéd saying goes: Shoot for the stars, if you miss you’ll still be on the moon.

Make your goals slightly unreasonable; in other words, don’t allow your (perceived) limitations to get in the way.  Don’t allow your old conditioning to stop you from going after what you really want.

Write your goals in detail

Just the act of writing down goals sets the process in motion, so be specific.  The more information you include the more probable the final result will be.  By being as accurate as possible you invoke some of the natural laws of the universe in your favour as well as getting your brain to work for you in the most efficient way possible.  It’s always a good idea to follow the SMARTA criteria

(Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time bound Actionable) when setting goals and be sure you always set a date for achievement.

By writing your goals down you will be much clearer on where you are heading.

Look at it every day, stick it on your fridge, or your computer, it can be a picture, the words, whatever will motivate you to keep striving to achieve your goal.

Make your goals consistent with your values

Most people don’t do what they value first and therefore find themselves stressed and out of alignment.  Create a list of your highest values and then create your goals around them.  This will give you a sense of being on purpose consistently.

Know the consequences

It’s very important to look at the consequences of achieving the goal.  Ask yourself when setting your goals: “How will achieving this goal affect me or others?  Is this outcome good for me and others.”  Not all goals will have positive effects on others so it’s important you understand the positives and possible negatives to achieving your goals.

Review your goals daily

This is an important part of achieving success and must become routine.  Review your list of goals each morning when you wake up.  Visualize your completed goals and how your life looks and feels as a result.

Each night before you go to bed, repeat the process.  This is a great way to train your brain to expect your goals to materialize.

Create a Plan and take Consistent Daily Action

This is in fact the most important element to achieving your goals.  It’s okay to know where you are headed and what you want to achieve however if you don’t get off your backside and take the necessary action to make it happen then nothing will happen at all.  Be sure the action you take is consistent.  Get into a daily habit of knowing what actions you need to take and in what order you need to take them in order to move closer to achieving your goals.

Take some time now to get clear on your goals and create a plan, once you have your goals worked out you need to ‘reverse engineer’ them starting with the end in mind and working back to the starting point.

Check your Progress and Celebrate your Wins

Goals by nature are high achievements in life, and sometimes it can seem too hard to reach them, we lose motivation and give up!

Break your goals into smaller ‘milestones’ so you can celebrate your wins along the way.  It’s important to measure your progress to determine if you have gone off course.  Measuring your progress regularly will enable you to shift back on course quickly with minimum disruption to your momentum.  Keeping a check on your goals is also important as sometimes goals change so you can bend and flex where you need to, moving the goal to meet your changed conditions, requirements or intentions.

Don’t get discouraged

You will either achieve your goal, or you will gain insight into whatever is in the way of its achievement.  This is not a setback; rather, it is part of your forward progress.  Stay focused on what you want to achieve and you will find ways to solve difficulties or break through barriers.  Celebrate every success and before you know it, you’ll have to make a whole new list for ‘next level achievement!’

Finally, be committed!

There’s a big difference between being interested in achieving your goals or being committed to their achievement.  Those who are interested tend to do what is convenient, what is easy and what everyone else does.

Those who are committed will be able to achieve whatever it is they want no matter want, because they will learn what they need to learn, they will rehearse what they need to rehearse, they will practice and they will do whatever is needed to be done.

Committed people don’t have excuses; they relentlessly give up all their excuses and the reasons why they don’t have what they want.  They get rid of their excuses and they stop blaming  their outside circumstances and  put their attention on how they will and how they can achieve their goals.

So the most important question I encourage you to ask yourself today is: Are you Interested or Committed in Achieving Your Goals?

If you need some help and support in gaining clarity around setting and achieving your goals, email tania@vision-alliance.com to receive a Complimentary Goal Achiever Pack valued at $97.

 

Generating Leads

Your aim is to generate leads and opportunities and convert these into increased revenues to your business. This article outlines some of the challenges you may be already facing and highlights some quick simple steps of how you can generate more leads into your business.

In my experience one of the fundamental challenges most business owners face is not being able to generate enough leads into the business. Without a consistent supply of leads into any business, the business is usually faced with poor cash flow and finds it difficult from one month to the next.

You may have already experienced this and you now can be in a position where you have the opportunity to change what’s going on.

If you want to create amazing results in your business, and want to turn your vision into reality, the only way this can happen is if you are fully accountable for your success and are responsible for the actions you take on a daily basis.

Leads are prospects or potential customers.

It’s important though to attract quality leads into the business and not just any lead as this can waste your valuable time and money.

Your marketing efforts will determine the quality of the leads you bring into your business and the challenge businesses face in this area is 80% of all marketing doesn’t meet the expectation of the business owner.

Try not to limit yourself when it comes to advertising and marketing your business.

Traditional marketing methods include local paper advertising and emailing.

Opportunities let outside the square and can include strategies such as, building your referral networks.

Ads and direct mail are only the beginning!

They are important, however they should not be the only source used for generating leads for your business.

Not all lead-generating techniques are created equal either. Some techniques will work well for a certain business, and those same strategies won’t work for another. Much is dependent on your type of business, your location, timing, how well you apply the lead generating strategy, and a host of other variables that tend to make marketing an inexact science. Therefore it’s important to test and measure each strategy to find out what works, and make it work.

So here’s a brief look at what you can do to start bringing more quality leads into your business.

Firstly start thinking WHO, WHERE, WHAT, HOW & WHY when it comes to marketing your product or service.

Who are my ideal clients / market?

Understand who he/ she is and why.

Where are we going to find our clients?

Why will they buy from me? What makes us unique? Remember people shop on value and emotion.

Now you know who you want to target,

Create a Lead Generation Action Plan for the month

  • Listing at least 2 to 6 different lead generating strategies,
  • What steps you need to take to implement the strategy.
  • Who will complete the task/s required  to complete the strategy, and
  • Be sure you also have a Due date for the activity so you stay on track for the month.

Daily Consistent Action will produce results in your business that you need!

Here is an example of a lead generation action plan. (Click the image for a bigger version)

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Increasing Your Personal Effectiveness and Revenues

If you want to grow your business revenues much faster than you are now, it’s important to start focusing on the right activities in your business.

The key in achieving personal effectiveness is to focus the majority of your time on high- impact, revenue-generating activities that are most essential to your business. To increase your overall effectiveness, it’s important to know and understand how to accurately identify where you spend your time.

The 80:20 Rule

I’m sure you have heard of Vilfredo Pareto or at least Pareto’s Law. Pareto came up with an economic principle that said 20% of the people typically own 80 percent of the wealth. Two decades later, management guru Joseph Juran introduced this “80/20 Rule” to the business world, calling it Pareto’s Principle, or Pareto’s Law. Over the years, Pareto’s Principle has been applied to many areas of business, concluding that 20% of our efforts produce 80% of our results, or 20% of your team produces 80% of your results.

For you, this means that to increase revenues it’s important you focus on the right activities in your business and then hire, barter or outsource people to do everything else.

Multiply your business revenues and personal effectiveness many times over using the 80:20 rule.

Suppose your business has 25 different activities, such as sales, marketing, operations, finance, customer service and more. According to the 80:20 rule, 20% of those activities will generate 80% of your revenues. Conversely, 80% of those activities will generate only 20% of your revenues. Doing the math shows that 5 out of the 25 activities will produce four-fifths of all the income your business generates.

Now, assume that your business takes in $50,000 a month. According to the 80:20 rule, 5 of your 25 activities would account for $40,000 of your monthly revenue, which works out to $8,000 per activity. Conversely, 20 of the activities would produce only $10,000 each month, which works out to be just $500 per activity. Sixteen times 500 equals 8,000 so your top 5 revenue-producing activities are 16 times more effective than the bottom 20.

Suppose you took it even further and moved the 80/20 ratio to 90/10, so that only 10% of your activities produced 90% of your revenues. That would make you 81 times more effective than you currently are now. Merely by focusing your time and attention on the five or ten activities that have the highest impact on your business, you can increase your revenues and income by 16 to 81 times!

Here’s the million-dollar question: what specific activities should you be focusing on?

Here’s a brief three-step process to help you work more effectively in your business.

Step 1. Identify your Passion and Purpose

Passion is a very powerful emotion and is infectious. When you express passion, people are automatically attracted to it. When you’re passionate about what you do, your product or service speaks for itself. So the first big question is: what are you passionate about. What do you love doing?

Next, look at your purpose. Are you in business merely to earn an income, accumulate wealth or do you have a strong desire to help others and be a service to others?

When you can match up your purpose and passion, magic happens. It puts you in front of all the others who have lukewarm enthusiasm for what they do. What is your purpose in business, how does it match up with your passion, and how do you combine the two to make the world a better place?

Step 2. Identify Your Strengths

The biggest mistake business owners make is thinking they have to do everything themselves. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. In order to succeed in business, you must get very clear about your unique abilities and then focus on them almost to the exclusion of everything else.

You will become a better business person when you identify your strengths and spend most of your time using them to perform the highest-impact activities in your business.

Step 3. Manage Your Time

When you’re a business owner it’s difficult to manage your time. What you can do is manage your activities by tracking where you spend your time on a daily basis and using that information to help you focus on high-impact activities.

One of your most important tasks is identifying the highest income-generating activities in your business and devoting a minimum of 80 percent of your time to those activities. This principle works whether you’re a “solo-preneur” with one product or service or a larger operation with a larger product or service offering and a team to support your daily efforts.

Monitor & Measure Your Activities

You can’t manage what you don’t monitor or measure so your first step is to identify where and how you spend your time. It’s important you identify what you are currently doing and what you should be doing, based on your highest income-producing activities.

For the next two weeks write down every activity you do in all areas of your business and how much time you spend doing it.

High income-producing activities include making a sale or something that leads directly to a sale. High-impact activities include producing a great website or making sure that your ad copy is properly written to make sales for you. These activities don’t directly make a sale, but they play an important role in generating revenue. To determine whether an activity represents one of your unique abilities, ask yourself two questions: What drives me crazy when other people don’t do it as well as me? What do I play at that other people consider work?

Track all your activities over a two-week period, noting how much time you spend on each activity each day. Before the two weeks is up, you will probably begin to see that you need to be spending more time on some activities and less on others. You will also begin to see that there are lots of activities that you should not be doing. This doesn’t mean they don’t need to be done, only that you should not be doing them.

What activities should you be doing? For the entrepreneur and small business owner, the highest income-producing activity is generating revenue. Every day, your primary focus should be on how your company will generate more revenue. If you’re not spending a minimum of 80% of your time on income- generating activities, your business will struggle to grow and increase revenues.

What about all the other activities that are just as crucial to your business? Here’s the challenge: For a small business, generating revenue must come first and management second. Otherwise your business will never grow to the point where management becomes as important as sales.

Revenues are consistently increased when the owner leverages his or her personal strengths through the use of other people’s unique talents and abilities. In other words, successful business owners focus on their highest income-generating activities and then build great teams around them to do all the other important activities they don’t do well.

It’s a fact, you don’t have to do everything yourself. Start focusing your efforts away from working in the business and focus them toward working ON it.

Make a commitment to yourself to spend one hour each day to identify which activities you need to be doing and tracking how you spend your time. Over the course of 365 days, that adds up to the equivalent of nine 40-hour weeks, or two solid months of working on your business rather than in it. Just imagine what you could achieve with that kind of concentrated effort!

Time to Take Action

  • Keep an hourly log for two weeks of your business and personal activities during your working hours
  • Determine which are the real high income and high impact producing activities vs. the tedious menial few
  • Take consistent action and maintain focus every day to ensure you are focusing on the high income and high impact producing activities.

To receive an expanded whitepaper on this topic including a full worksheet on increasing effectiveness please email tania@vision-alliance.com or call Tania on 1300 76 49 20.

Smarter Networking

Ten years ago or more there was a well known phrase that was used among business owners and individuals which was: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

Today, owning and operating a franchise of any kind requires you to go beyond this, if you are to continue to create and maintain the “top of mind” awareness among peers, associates and the larger local marketplace. Networking today now goes beyond who you know….. 

It’s all about who knows you!

For much of my business life I have known the importance of networking. Although I knew the importance of it, I avoided networking as much as I could in the early days, and back then always described myself as a poor networker. The thought of going to a networking event created more nerves in me than meeting my mother in law, and literally scared me to death. I have always been a very confident person, passionate about what I do and believe 100% in what I and my company stands for, however unsure of how to start conversations, trying to overcome the fear of rejection and not knowing exactly what I was supposed to do once I met someone and got their business card, kick started a journey of learning the secrets to successful networking.

I have been described as a great networker by many of my associates and now with more tools in my toolbox, networking is something I look forward to rather than something I shy away from. The most important thing I focus on is making networking as efficient and effective as possible, ensuring I get maximum results in a short amount of time.

Let me share with you some great tips that have helped me along the way.

Networking is about building relationships.

Networking currently accounts for 87% of business in the marketplace. Yet many people neglect networking and fail to see it as a vital business and career building skill. Networking should be part of your daily, weekly or monthly activities just like any other business development activity you currently undertake.

Anyone can network with the exception of those who just don’t like people at all.

Referral marketing is the best way to build your business.

 

Networking Well

Your approach to networking is just as important as what you actually do. Starting with the right attitude and with minimum expectations will help you start off on the right foot. Like anything the more practice you do, the better you will eventually get.

For networking to work I have learnt that it’s important to do these three things.

  1. Prepare
  2. Connect
  3. Strengthen

If you’re not getting the results you want from networking, first check that you’re really doing all three of these steps properly, then work on ways to maximize your results within each one of them.

Prepare

Before you even shake one hand, it’s important you prepare yourself, both mentally and verbally.

This one is about your attitude about networking, your mindset.  Always be upbeat, positive, enthusiastic and realistic.

Making Connections- Introducing Yourself

Once you’re prepared, you’re ready to start making connections with people and there are multiple ways to do that. It all starts with introducing yourself.

You will have a limited time to get your message across so it’s important to create an introduction that will grab peoples’ attention enough for them to remember you. Not only do you require the skill to accurately describe who you are and what you’re looking for, it’s important to say it in such a way that other people can understand it enough to be able to tell others.

How to Introduce Yourself

Remember, you’re not going to make the sale and close the deal with your introduction. All you can really do is capture enough attention and interest to keep the conversation going. So stick to the basics and keep it short. You can go into much more detail after you’ve gotten someone’s attention, when they ask you for more information. But to get there, you need to get across three things first:

  • Your name (and company name if appropriate)
  • Your specialty and its benefit (how it helps the person hiring you)
  • And your target (who ideally you would like to speak with)

Unless you are a natural networker, networking can seem like alot of work.

Consistent efforts will eventually produce results.

Strengthen

Networking doesn’t stop there. Once you’ve made those initial connections, the next thing you have to work on is strengthening them. The best opportunities come from people who know you, trust you and like you. It’s difficult to get to that point after a 5-minute conversation at an event. You need to follow up and meet with contacts offline, then you have to stay top of mind.

Be sure you collect as many business cards as possible

 as the networking event is just the beginning!

Following Up

Events are good for the initial connection, but you have to build on that. You don’t have to follow up with everyone you meet, but there are three easy categories to focus on:

  1. Follow up with anyone who could be a client. That’s a no brainer.
  2. Follow up with people who are in your target space, maybe they’re in your field, but don’t do what you do. Or they target the same target audience. Perhaps you can help each other out
  3. Third, you may want to follow up with anyone who just plain impresses you. It’s good to know those kinds of people and have them in your network.

Get a business card. The best way to do this is to combine it with a conversation ender like mentioned earlier. Say “By the way, before I go, can I have your card?” Then email them the next day. Say you enjoyed meeting them and wondered if they’d like to get together for a coffee to learn more about each other and explore ways to help each other out. Position meetings this way you will find no one ever says no, because the meeting is about the two of you and not just about you. That’s important to remember when you’re asking for meetings.

Remember, you need to follow up with people if you want to build a relationship with them. Speaking to them for 5 or 10 minutes at an event is not enough time to form a lasting bond. Until you follow up and meet one-on-one, you’ll just be a business card to them and not a real person.

Key elements of a Good Networker

A Good Networker:

  • Has two ears and one mouth.
  • Asks questions and gets to know the other person.
  • Gives without expectation
  • Has an aim to add value
  • Has an abundant mindset- there is plenty of business out there for everyone.
  • Can form meaningful relationships and communicate their ideas.
  • Carries business cards at all times

Tips for Successful Networking

  • Limit your memberships to two or three groups. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Maximize your experience by going for depth of involvement.
  • Attend meetings and events regularly. Build a base of support with regular members and position yourself with new members as someone in the know.
  • Build great bridges! Every day people are missing chances to do business, largely because they don’t take the time to build a relationship with or even get to know the person.
  • Listening and asking more questions.
  • Arrive at meetings and networking events at least 15 minutes before the actual starting time
  • Introduce yourself with your name and the company you are from
  • Ask about the person first and listen intently. Most people want to talk about themselves.
  • Make sure you get as many business cards from all those you meet
  • Speak with one person at a time or at least a small group of no more than three
  • End conversations gracefully
  • Make sure you follow up with the contact soon after the event
  • Do something with the cards you collected…..put them into your database
  • Always thank people for sending referrals
  • Manage your time well

Making Continuous Improvements

When I first started networking to build my business, my efforts were slightly unfocused. I spread my memberships across a numerous organizations, rarely attending more than one or two meetings, if that. I’d attend random networking events because friends had invited me. In hindsight, all of those activities were necessary to help me build my skills and understand how to network smarter today.

With networking, I’ve found that it’s not the one big event that changes the course of a business. It’s the small steps that are taken consistently.

Think of all the steps you’ve taken, along many different paths to connect with all the different people now in your network. Some of those paths led to business, to friendships, and some have yet to reach a destination. Take one of these 5 steps listed below, down one of those unfinished paths, and see where it may lead

1) Make that follow up call.

2) Forward an article.

3) Warm up an old connection.

4) Spend more time with one of your networking groups.

5) Find someone in your network to collaborate with.

Strive for continuous improvement in your networking.  One small step for you could mean a giant leap for your business or career.

 

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 notBe 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.