Today’s article is about how to start your year on the right foot. We are in a brand new year and sometimes it’s so easy to get off track, especially when you have family obligations during the holidays. And let’s face it, most of us, as business owners need a little downtime during this last quarter of the year. If you’re anything like me, trying to do it all sometimes is a little too much, even for the strongest people in the business world.
All too often we charge in when it would be better to assess where we are first. Especially if you haven’t had time at the end of the year. It can be painful to look back to see our mistakes and shortcomings. And yet, it’s the best way to determine what we need to do to make significant changes in our lives.
Before you prepare to start the new year with loads of new resolutions and goals, take some time to reassess your life in these different areas. It will help you to not be distracted the entire month of January because you will have focus, determination, and a great plan.
Ever wish you had more time for what was genuinely important to you? I get it! So do something about it. Make some changes. The first step is by looking at all the things you’ve taken on that no longer feel important. Consider each committee, sponsorship, extended family, and friend obligations that no longer feel fun.
If they feel like a burden, it’s time to unload them. That may feel challenging. After all, no one wants to let others down. But this is your life, and it’s time to choose you instead of others’ wants. Do you feel me here? It’s for you to decide what’s important to you.
If you wish you had more money but can’t or don’t want to work more to get it, take a careful look at your finances. Quite often, little wants turn into needs. Scan through last year’s bank statements and make a note of any recurring payments. You may wince when you see how much you’ve spent on unnecessary things throughout the year. Having occasional treats for you and your family is okay. But if “shopping therapy” has become a burden, now’s the time to fix it.
Make a list of all the ways you could cut back on without feeling deprived. For example, could you eat out two nights a week instead of four? Is it essential that you shop for clothes every month? So, how much could you save if you took your lunch to work three days a week instead of getting take-out?
Do you find it fun to have four bazillion TV channels? You can’t possibly watch them all! These are just a few ways you can trim expenses, so you can save for things that matter to you instead.
Dreams and Goals
Many people decide that not having enough time or enough money is the reason why they stay in dead-end jobs, don’t pursue their passions, or make real changes in their lives. If that was you and you’ve taken our advice and reevaluated your obligations and finances, those excuses should no longer be holding you back. Am I right?
So, what do you want really? To go back to school and start a new career? Turn your side-hustle or hobby into a business? Purchase and cook homemade, whole foods that support your health and wellness? By choosing to make those two changes in your life, you’ve now opened up a whole new world for yourself.
Grab it, and don’t look back!
Picture yourself happy and content, making more money than you ever did, because you made some decisions about your life that would change your 2022. Isn’t it amazing that doing just one thing could change your life around for the better? No, nothing is easy. But if you want to succeed in life, you will do what is necessary to get there.
One thing I know for sure is if you fail to plan you plan to fail. Don’t let that happen to you!
Contact me using the form below and I’ll help you work on a plan that’s right for you.
Come on, let’s be real here. Do you ever find yourself on the word vomit train when attempting to sell anything? Yes? No? Well, today’s topic of discussion is how to get clients even if you hate selling and pitching. That’s right, let’s get with it!
So, you know the place that makes zero stops and is stationed in TimBuckTwo? The one where you’re chatting with a potential client and you find yourself having an out-of-body experience where you hear yourself doing things like…
Overly explaining what it is that you do to justify your service
Adding on additional promises because you don’t think they’re convinced of the value
Filling silences with discounts or amendments to the process just so they say something
Feel like you’re a fraud because what you offer isn’t all that special when you say it out loud
Yeah, been there, done that!
If you find yourself doing any (or all) of that, there’s a huge disconnect in your selling process. You know it and your client knows it too!
So, you convince yourself that you’re just not good at selling.
Or that your market can’t afford to pay you what you need to run your business.
That you’ll never be able to convince your prospects why they need to hire you.
If you had a tried and true approach to “selling” your service, you wouldn’t have to be in this position. No more Conductor status of the Word Vomit Train.
No more feeling icky or slimy or like you’re tricking your clients into hiring you.
Without a reliable selling strategy, you’re likely leaving thousands of dollars on the table. But more importantly, it’s leaving you feeling inadequate about your service and it will 100% be the reason why you end up quitting.
So how do you fix it?
Understand your results
Use this formula to close the deal
No, not this one, it’s much too complicated!!
UNDERSTAND YOUR RESULTS
Before you can even begin to serve, you need to know the exact role your service plays in your client’s life. Most people sell their service like a product. When in reality it needs to be sold as a result.
Most service-based business owners will hype up the features of what their service provides. For example, a web designer might spend more time talking about how many pages they offer in the package, the optimization of those pages, etc. Basically, what your client gets out of it all.
Successful business owners tap into the emotional results of their service. What will life look like after your client experiences your service? What will change? What will be better? What will they have?
As soon as you can create an emotional relationship for your client with your service you’re off to the races.
So How Do You Use This Method?
Now that you understand the true purpose of your service, it’s time to start talking serious business with your connections. We’ve already taught you how to get in front of warm and qualified leads.
If you haven’t spent time doing that piece yet, go back and work on that first. I want you knocking this out of the ballpark, and it works best on leads that already know, like, and trust you.
This method, when used on warm and qualified leads, will be your secret weapon to closing clients faster and confidently. Just imagine a world where you don’t have to send another awkward follow-up email asking if someone wants to actually work with you or not.
The steps within this method are all played out in a single conversation, ideally in this order. Before sitting down in this meeting, you need to be prepared. If we’re wanting to avoid those awkward follow-up emails you need to come ready to close the deal in this meeting. Be sure to print out and have a copy of your contract and proposal handy.
Most service-based business owners make a crucial mistake by only relying on follow-up conversations to close the deal. This method shifts this way of doing business so you can close more deals on the spot (and get paid faster).
The Steps to the Process
STEP ONE: PROVE THAT WHAT YOU HAVE IS WHAT THEY NEED
This is where your skills of talking about your service as a result instead of a product truly come in. You don’t need decades of experience, a beefy portfolio, or to even be the expert at what you offer.
You simply need to believe in the power of your service.
Try framing this conversation using phrases that assume you’ll be hired. Let them know how their life is going to be different once they start working with you.
Try using a phrase like this:
“…After working together you’ll have…”
This is called “The Assumptive Close” and it’s a tactic that works time and time again. If you’ve played your part well up to this point this specific piece will play a huge part in, you are landing this client.
STEP TWO: REITERATE THEIR WORDS BACK TO THEM
What you’ll want to weave in next is the fact that you understand and hear their needs. This not only helps you understand where your role in serving them truly is, but it secures confidence from your client early on.
Try using phrases like:
“…So, what I’m hearing you say is…”
“…Based on what you told me…”
After working with many people myself, I know that great communication is one of (if not the) biggest factors in the relationship. Showing them that you understand their desire and need for hiring you on Day 1 is crucial.
This isn’t just a “sales tactic”, my friends! Letting your potential client feel heard and understood goes an incredibly long way in starting out your work together on the right foot and sets the stage for a more connected and long-term relationship.
STEP THREE: TALK THEM THROUGH YOUR PROCESS
At this point, you’ve established that you’re the woman for the job and made it clear you understand what they need and why. Now, it’s time to walk them through how this all works.
This is, personally, one of my favorite parts of this process. It enables you to get in your zone of genius, geeking out on your process. This is another crucial place to use assumption wording. Remember, they’re going to absolutely decide to work with you, so talk like it!
Try using phrases like:
“Once we get started next week this will be our first step…”
“After you get your documents back, we’ll be able to move on to this part of the process…”
You’re accomplishing two very important things at this step:
Get the client in a world where they’ve already said yes to working with you
Get the client total understanding of every step of the process
At this point your client should be grinning ear to ear, nodding along, and agreeing with your statements – clearly excited and ready to get started. If this is happening your final two steps of this process will be a breeze.
STEP FOUR: CLARIFY THE CONTRACT AND NEXT STEPS
You think you might be heading into boring or uncomfortable territory, but trust me, this part is just as crucial as the rest. Outlining clear parts of your contract not only protect your client, but it protects you. Both of you need to be on the same page from the start.
I suggest having an actual contract to show them that’s ready to sign, you can send this out to them digitally. Once you’ve outlined your terms it’s important for you to cover the very next step for your client. Even though you outlined the entire process above, it’s time to take it back to the beginning.
It’s important to use clear language here, like:
“These are the important details of the contract I wanted to point out and here’s what they mean. Once you sign, I can take your payment today, we can get started right away. So let’s look at the calendar to schedule our first meeting, alright?”
STEP FIVE: HERE’S THE PRICE
Let me say a quick word about pricing before I outline this step. I believe in pricing transparency with every client. That means, no client should get this far into the process without having some idea of a range of what it’s going to cost to work with you.
It does a disservice to your client to not share expectations early on and it can be a huge waste of your time if you don’t. This could look differently depending on your business model, but I’ve added a single item on my pricing page, and it’s done the trick.
“Pricing starts at…under each process.”
Dealing with sticker shock is a killer to closing client deals for both you and the client. It’s awkward, it’s uncomfortable and it makes both people feel inadequate.
Ok, I’ll rest my case for pricing transparency (for now).
Alright, so you’re at this part of the process. And it’s one where, in the past, you might have tripped over your tongue somewhat. It’s okay. We’re going to fix that.
However long you think this conversation should be…cut it in half. Seriously.
Your only role at this step is to state the price and then be quiet.
The desire to keep talking after stating the price is because you’re uncomfortable, which I totally get. However, your client deserves this time to process and go through her own mental checklist before you chime in.
Try practicing this until you become comfortable with it. lt will drastically increase the number of clients you land and your confidence in the process. This, like so many things in business, takes a bit of practice to perfect. But by following this method you’ll have a step-by-step system to rely on the next time you’re talking to a client.
By utilizing these steps, you’ll be able to craft an amazing experience for you and your client.
Remember, at the end of the day, you’re here to serve your clients. And of course, to make a profit!
Today’s article is about, you guessed it, do I really need a business plan and why do I need one? Many people who start a business never take the time to write out a business plan. And that is a big mistake in my opinion.
A business plan can greatly increase your chances of success. And I’m assuming that you want your business to be a success, am I right?
The following are some reasons why every business needs to put a business plan into writing.
It helps to map out your future
If you have decided you are ready to start a business, your first step should be to write out your plans for what you want to do with the business and where you see the business going in the future. You have probably heard the old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” That is very true when it comes to your business. The more planning you do in the beginning, the greater success you will see in the future.
To secure financing
If you decide to take your home business to the next level, a business plan can help you secure financing. A financial institution will want to see, in writing, the reasons that they should loan you money. Simply walking in and telling them why you know you’ll be a success isn’t good enough. However, if you can hand your lender a document that states your business idea, your business goals, a list of steps you plan to take in order to reach your goals, as well as your estimated earnings, you will be seen as a professional and the lender will take you more seriously.
Determines your Action Plan
Your plan will also help you determine your action plan. Your action plan consists of the steps you plan on taking in order to achieve your goals. This is another task that people usually sidestep. Instead of “just kind of knowing” or “having the ideas in your head”, you should take the time to put them on paper. The reason this part of the business plan is so important is that it literally walks you from point A to point B. While your business plan, in general, serves as a map, your action plan is the “turn-by-turn directions.”
Having a business plan to present to your spouse or partner can also help them to realize your business idea is more than just a passing amusement. This can really help you, especially if they are skeptical. They can see that you are serious and will become more helpful and more encouraging. Having the support of your spouse or partner can really motivate you and help you find success. And that’s what you want your business to be, successful!
Need help with planning this out? I would be happy to help you. Book a call with me here – Free Appointment
Creating a one-page business plan is the topic of this article. Many small business owners get overwhelmed when it comes to the necessity of writing their business plans. It doesn’t have to be hard you just need to do it.
Unless you are looking for major financial funding from a bank or other loan institutions, a simple business plan that includes answers to the following questions will be perfect for your small business purposes.
The Simple Business Plan
1. Where am I now with my business?
2. Where do I want to be with my business? If you see your deadlines in front of you as you work your business, you’ll be more likely to meet them. Break this answer down into a timeline to make it easier, using 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, or whatever times work for your particular business.
If you are looking for a way to get a bit more detailed with your plan or you foresee needing it to request funding later, you may want to devote more time and attention. You can still easily do this by devoting no more than one page to each section of your business plan.
Creating A Detailed Business Plan
Page 1 – Overview
Include your vision for your company (possibilities), the purpose of creating your company (why you started your business), and the mission of your company (plans for achieving).
Page 2 – Business Information
Here is where you would include information about yourself including name, business name, and entity, address, and phone number.
You’ll also want to summarize your business objectives on this page. List your goals and how you plan to reach them. Including what you’ll do to create a profit and what tools and resources you plan to use to do so.
Page 3 – Market & Customers
Answer the following questions in this section of your plan.
Your target market – Who are they? Where are they? How many?
Give specifics about growth and spending habits. Do as much research on your market as you can and put it in this section, including any barriers or hard to overcome issues.
Page 4 – Competition
Who are your competitors? What makes you different and the same as those competitors? How are you competing with them? With price, quality, etc? How will your market feel about you compared to your competitors?
Page 5 – Marketing
This is a bit like your competition section because you’ll want to discuss how you will market your business products or services. What makes your business unique?
No matter which method you use to create your business plan, be sure you are answering each of the questions to make it efficient for its purpose. Whether it’s for you or someone else, the ultimate goal of a business plan is to keep you on track and focused, and working toward growth.
As your business grows don’t forget to update your plan to grow with it as well.
Your Business Plans Effect on Marketing is our topic of discussion today. Some people say you don’t need a business plan, some say you do need one. So, what is the real answer to this question?
What is a Business Plan?
A business plan serves as the guidebook to your business. Your business plan should communicate what your business is, how you plan on growing it, and what steps you are going to take to achieve your success. See? Easy answer! But, when you work online, your business plan might not look like a traditional marketing plan.
Your business plan also has a huge effect on your marketing efforts. Your business plan can help you decide what type of marketing will add value to your business and which types of marketing will simply be time wasters.
By writing out your business ideas and goals, you can determine your target market. Your target market is the group of people that you want to promote your products or services to. Determining your target market is the first step in planning your marketing efforts. See, this is the right answer!!
Having a business plan, and knowing who your target market is, will lead you to create your marketing plan. A marketing plan is similar to a business plan in the sense that it acts as a guide and helps you stay focused.
What is a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan is a written plan of action that communicates how you are going to market your business. There are many ways to market your business, such as flyers, paid ads (newspapers, magazines, online), business cards, speaking in front of groups, becoming a guest on a radio show or television program, pay-per-click campaigns, direct mail, and more.
Your business and marketing plans serve as tools in deciding which marketing ideas will work best with your business and your particular brand. It can be easy to try too many different marketing approaches. Whenever you feel confused about your marketing efforts, take some time to re-read your business plan. This can help you decide if the new marketing idea will actually reach your target market and if it is worth trying.
A Few Ways to Market Your Business
Developing relationships with other business owners that offer complementary products is a great way to market your business. When you know which direction you plan to grow your business, you can start scouting out possible future business partners.
So, for instance, if you have created your own line of organizational handbags and would like to start offering diaper bags, you can start researching the top baby-focused websites and see if they would be interested in helping you promote your diaper bags. Doing your research is critical to figuring out who would be best to help you and your business.
Your marketing plan should also include information on how you plan on keeping your customers after the initial purchase. Some ideas include customer-only sales, backend sales opportunities, customer-only freebies, etc.
Now, what would you include in your marketing plan?
If you are looking for help making your business plan or your marketing plan I can help you.
Fill out the form below and I’ll contact you.
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