If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you are driven and want to succeed. If you didn’t have the drive and the will power to undertake your own business or enterprise, you wouldn’t call yourself an entrepreneur, right?
What can you do to jump start your business, make it grow, and take away some of the natural growing pains many entrepreneurs suffer? Here are my tips:
- Keep your eye on the prize. Your ultimate goal is to turn a profit. Don’t underprice your services.
- Keep in mind that sometimes the terms of the deal are more crucial than the price. Don’t accept any deal that you can’t ethically live with.
- Plan for most deals to take longer and cost more to implement than you originally planned for. Build a cushion into your plans.
- You may not always feel you’re getting paid what you deserve, but if you take a step back you will likely find that you received what you negotiated for. If those numbers don’t sync, rethink your patterns for negotiating.
- Persistence, perseverance and promotion are keys to a successful endeavor.
Are you ready to move your business forward?
Did you know that your best source of “advertising” for your business is word-of-mouth? It is. It’s been shown that business owners and individuals would prefer to do business with someone they “know, like and trust.” This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to personally interact with everyone in order to draw them into your network, but it does mean you need to learn how to ask your satisfied clients for a referral.
It may take you a bit to work up your nerve to make this request, but when you consider that your current clients enjoy working with you, the “ask” should be easier. Here are my tips for requesting a referral:
- Be bold and simply ask. If you don’t ask, they won’t know you’d like one and you won’t receive one. Simple as that.
- If you receive a referral, respond to the referral partner and the prospect on the same day if possible. Make certain you are also responding personally to a referral, don’t hand it off to an employee.
- Once you’ve received a referral and have connected, let your referral partner know how it went. Thank them again.
- Saying thank you by sending a gift is generally considered good form, especially if the referral leads to business (and money in your bank account)
- Do you have an on-going referral program that your current clients know about? Create a program and announce it to your current clients. Offer incentives for referrals.
When is the last time you asked for a referral?
There are times that no matter how many steps forward you take, you seem to not gain any momentum. When this happens, you’re likely stuck in a rut. What can you do to get out of it?
Here are a few, simple steps that I have found work for me:
- Shake it up. Try something new. If you keep doing the same tasks in the same order do something different to alleviate the boredom
- Implement a small change (that may lead toward a much larger change) Whether you’re changing careers or simply need to change your office or the setting in which you host meetings or meet with clients, make a change and see if that moves you forward
- Step outside your comfort zone. It’s scary to do something new or meet new people or introduce a new product to your services, but doing something that scares you can certainly get out of a rut
- Exercise your mind and your body. Taking care of yourself both physically and mentally enhances every aspect of your life
- Learn to say both “yes” and “no” more often. You know how it is — after a while you become known as the go-to person for problem solving and while it may be flattering, you may be at a point where you need to simplify your life and your routine and adding yes and no to your vocabulary may be just what you need!
What are your tips for getting out of a rut?
There are myriad marketing strategies you can employ to spread the word about your business, who you are and what you do. Did you know that blogging might be one of the most effective?
Whether you blog for yourself or hire a content marketing expert, having a blog presence tells the world that you and your website are “out there” and available and you can use your blogging to showcase your expertise.
How can you make your blog successful? Here are some tips:
- Be a subject matter expert. Your business operates in a particular niche and that is what you should be blogging about. Be the go-to expert in your field.
- Stay current on the trends in your market. If there is breaking news – be the one to break it to your readers. They will learn that you are the source for topical information.
- Put thought into your headlines/blog titles. Rather than writing: How to blog, write a title instead that reads: 7 tips to writing a killer blog post. Be active and specific and searchable in your title and key words.
- Post consistently. Get your readers accustomed to seeing a new blog post by you once, twice, or three times a week. Give them what they want and keep them coming back for more.
- Keep the conversation going. If your readers comment on a post, answer them. A blog is a two way conversational outlet, make the most of it.
What are your best tips for blogging your way to the top of your market area?
Every business owner is striving to stay on top, right? Some days it is an easy ascent, other days it feels like you’ll never reach the summit. I’ve come up with some mental exercises to help me stay focused on the prize: being the best at what I do while remaining true to myself and my life missions and purpose.
Here they are:
- You need to always believe in yourself. It’s true you may have “cheerleaders” out there, but you need to be your own best friend and ally when it comes to your business and your life.
- Grab the bull by the horns and be fearless in all you do. Yes, it’s inevitable that you will fail (we all do) but what matters is that you faced the challenge head on and got up, brushed yourself off and tried again.
- Don’t put off making a decision; whether you’re looking to upgrade your computer, move your office, hire an employee… whatever it is, you need to take charge, make a decision and move on. Procrastination kills motivation and leads to emotional stress.
- Stay true to yourself. If your clients know you work in an always ethical manner, they will appreciate you all the more. You have to also be ethical and driven in completing the tasks for them that you’ve set out to do. Make certain they can rely on you.
- Get out of the office. You need to schedule time for exercise for your mental and physical health. Take a five minute break every hour to walk around the building, do jumping jacks, meditate. Your health is the most important asset you bring to the table for your clients.
How do you “stay on top?”