As the owner of Peak Dynamics and a couple of other ventures, I work with several staff and contractors and they are scattered across the United States and the globe. Because of that I need to not only trust that I have the right team in place and I also need to trust that they will do the tasks assigned them.
Believe me there have been a few missteps, but for the most part I have found the ideal candidates to fill the necessary niches within my business. Once I have them in place and they are trained (hint, hire people who have the skills sets that you seek and you can train them to do the nitty-gritty that is unique to your organization), but you need to learn to trust your employees. Here are my tips for doing just that:
Offer them the training they need to do the job to the best of their abilities.
Set specific expectations and reasonable goals.
Make certain the employee knows they can come to you if they need assistance — rather than attempting to figure something out on their own to a greater detriment. That being said…
Look for employees who show initiative.
Make sure they know you appreciate what they do and have frequent check ins. This is especially true with a remote workforce — keep in touch.
When you walk into a room at a networking event or a conference do you circle the crowd and find a way to insert yourself into a conversation? Do you stand off to the corner by yourself? Do you know how to “work the room?” If you want to be the center of attention at the next work event or if you want to be in the middle of all of the conversation, here are some things you can do to be the “center of attention”:
Know who you want to meet… then make sure you do.
Set a goal of how many quality people you want to meet. Whether it’s to grow your business team or to connect with as a potential business partner. Make sure you stay at the event until you have reached your goal.
Make it a practice to talk to the one individual who is standing by him or herself. They will welcome it, you will be a hero in their eyes and it just might be the best connection at the event! You’ll never know until you try.
Networking is crucial to growing a thriving business because you can’t work in a vacuum. Take advantage of every event you attend.
Entrepreneurs are faced with myriad start up costs whether it’s renting office space or hiring employees or finding ways to market their business or building a professional team such as a business coach, lawyer or accountant. This could mean a large outlay of cash. What can you do to cut back on some of that outlay?
I have tips for marketing business on a shoe-string budget and these can get you started until you have the money coming in to lay out cash for a more intensive marketing strategy:
Face-to-face networking don’t cost much and can do more than you imagine for growing a business. Why? Because people like to do business with someone they “know, like and trust” and the best way to do that is by getting out of the office and shaking a few hands.
Word of mouth and referrals from current customers don’t cost anything more than the time you spend asking for them. Warm leads are better and easier to close than cold leads.
Share your expertise by writing blog posts or sending out newsletters to your list. Writing about your area of expertise shows potential clients that you’re the expert in your niche. Newsletters not only share your expertise, but keep you front of mind — and in the inbox — of current and potential clients.
Offer free information. While you don’t want to give away the farm, you can give information that is useful to your prospects that gives them a sense of what you do and who you are and leaves them wanting more of what you have to offer.
To get individuals to take a chance on you and to leave a known entity, provide them with a guarantee of your services then exceed their expectations.
Don’t forget that social media is an ideal — and for the most part, free — platform for sharing who you are and what you do with potential clients. Remember, though that the operative word is “social” no one wants to be sold to all the time.
What are your best marketing practices that don’t break the bank?
As an avid hiker I know the power of taking that one more step to achieve a goal, to finish that hike to complete a marathon. That one more step is a powerful motivator. In business, entrepreneurs are faced with so many pressing tasks on a regular basis that they may suffer “analysis paralysis” — having too many things to do and not being sure where to start.
What can you do to work the power of one? To take that one more step? Here are my best practice tips:
Every time you make a sale, suggest one more product or service to go along with that purchase. The power of the add on sale cannot be denied.
Commit to making one more warm or cold call per day. Write it on your to-do list and make it happen. Calculate how many additional customer “touches” that could lead to and then determine your conversion rate — that one call could grow your business exponentially.
Spend a day a month developing your skills. To remain viable in your industry you need to remain at the cutting edge of the technologies involved with it.
Read a book a month. Turn off the television and read a book –whether it’s in your business niche or whether it’s a novel it’s a great way to take a break and enjoy some down time.
Once a week, ask a client for a referral or a testimonial.
Get to the office an hour early or stay an hour later. If clients learn you’re there early, or late, you may have an advantage over the competition who keeps a strict 9-5 policy.
Before writing off a prospect, make one more call or send one more email. That final contact may be the one that serves as the tipping point to getting him or her to commit.
What one more thing can you do today to grow your business?