Archives for November 2013

Have You Been Using Twitter The Wrong Way?

I have been using Twitter for a while now but never knew about this. Awesome tip from Gary Vaynerchuk.

#10 Lessons From A Fearful Entrepreneur [Podcast]

You read that right. It’s meant to be fearful and not fearless.

That’s crazy! Why bother? We should be talking to fearless, swashbuckling, go-go-go entrepreneurs. I agree and we have been talking to a lot of strong men and women on our podcast in the past. However, I believe there is a lot we can learn from our weaknesses especially when we overcome them or when we figure out ways to press forward despite it.

In this episode, I readily confess 6 of my biggest fears and what I’ve learned from them.

SBBPodcast

Key Takeaways

  • Practice makes perfect, but lots of preparation never hurts.
  • Great content trumps your accent or your not so perfect spoken English.
  • You deserve success.
  • Setting a high standard right off the gate means you’ll only get even better going forward.
  • You know more than you give yourself credit for.
  • Once you begin doing, your knowledge grows automatically.

Resources & Mentions

Why Copycats Fail – by Kelly McCausey

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Cost-effective Ways for Small Businesses to Revamp the Office

110813 - Cost Effective Ways for Small Businesses to Revamp the OfficeFor many small business owners, a brick-and-mortar location for their office is highly sought after. However, once they’re moved into the space, revamps and remodels are often pushed back because of budgetary constraints.

Whether you’re in the process of locking down a spot, or simply considering the transition, sprucing up your workplace and making it yours is very important. Although it can be an expensive ordeal, there are many ways to cut costs, and here’s how:

Buy Used

Stocking an office with tables, chairs, desks and other furnishings can run up a bill really quick. Fortunately, for small businesses still trying to get on their feet financially, a lot of these products can be bought used,

Many people think that buying used goods sacrifices quality, but this isn’t always the case. There are definitely items that are in better condition than others, but if shop around a little bit, you can get high-quality products for a fraction of the price.

Although it’s a cost-effective alternative, don’t treat buying used as a way to skimp your employees. Busting your budget on high-end products is usually unnecessary, but providing your workforce with subpar stuff will be even more damaging in the long run. Always give them the best-of-the-best, but keep it within your means.

Décor

Decor is an important part of any office. It’s a way to stimulate creativity at work, it provides the occasional, inspirational distraction and it gives your workplace character. If you’re worried about overstepping your budget, have no fear, turning your office from drab to fab doesn’t have to break the bank.

A cheap way to introduce some artwork in the workplace is by encouraging your employees to bring pictures, stickers and other trinkets from home. This will not only give them an opportunity to personalize their work area, but also give everyone at work something interesting to look at.

The best part about décor is that it can be used to revitalize boring parts of the workplace. If possible, hang artwork in bathroom stalls and on blank walls throughout the office. It may seem a little awkward at first, but having visual stimuli in these drab areas will prove inspiring for your workforce over time.

Color

Incorporating different color schemes in your office can have an immensely positive effect on your workforce if done properly. Many studies have been done on how colors affect people in an office setting, and more often than not, they increased productivity, bettered the overall mood and helped alleviate stress.

However, different colors can arouse different emotions in people, and if you choose poorly, you can make the office an even more stressful place. If you’re trying to create a chill atmosphere at work, use lots of blues and greens to settle people’s moods. But, if you’re looking to energize your team, reds are the way to go.

At the end of the day, revamping your office doesn’t have to be a costly venture. If you find some corners to cut, and employ some do-it-yourself tactics, you can create a workplace that’s not only productive, but also fun to be a part of.

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#9 Getting Real, Solid Social Marketing Results [Podcast]

Social Media – does it even work for the amount of time you put in?

For our guest this week Lynn Terry, it has – and paid off very well. So much, her followers asked her to teach it and teach it she did through her new course Social Marketing Results.

Typically, I shy away from social media courses because the way some people have taught me – it feels all forced and fake. Not with Lynn which is why I asked her to come talk to us about her business and her social marketing results. This is a little longer than our normal episodes – a little warning if you need that time but it’s also packed with many takeaways. Listen below…

SBBPodcast

Key Takeaways

  • Start with your objectives
  • You don’t have to be an ultra extrovert
  • Go where your target market is
  • If somebody is talking about you, what do you want them to say?
  • Your total reach is your best asset
  • Engage in conversation immediately after posting or sharing
  • What to do when you first log into your social media accounts
  • Be intentional

Resources & Mentions

Social Marketing Results

ClickNewz.com

PLR.me – self help and finance private label content

Is Your Brand The Needle In The Haystack?

Needle in haystackHow’s business these days?

Do you feel like the preverbal needle in the haystack. The right customers just aren’t finding you. You appear to be doing things correctly – nice image, good logo and snappy slogan. All good things for sure, but what is the messaging you’re using? How are you speaking to your audience? My guess that you, like many small to medium size enterprises are all speaking the same conversation. Everyone has no strategy in place to strike a powerful cord with the buy. The main issue is that for all you worthy efforts your brands simply not resonating with your audience. You are doing exactly what all of your competition is doing and that’s exactly the problem. There is no differentiator. Your needle is not unlike a lll the other needless and you’re all buying in the same haystack.

The answer is to take a stand and position your brand that separates you from the crowd with something tangible that the customer needs or desires in a large way. Typically this ‘resonating position’ is something dramatically different than anything being done in your category. You’ve got to make your needle stand out. Doing so will make it easier to spot in the haystack of life. From my experience working through this with customers, the result is something that has them nervous at first but excited as they move forward with it. It’s tough being different. But if you are people will remember your brand. It’s an innovative idea, but one that’s fun to embrace once you see the results.

How (and Why) to Build Employee Loyalty

Starting-up and maintaining a business isn’t easy, especially when the competition is breathing down your neck. That is why you need people you can depend on to have your back, to make the journey to success and to keep riding that wave. Your employees are your income protection. It doesn’t matter if you’re in production or sales, it’s important to have loyal employees that stand with you. Finding them may just turn out to be the easy part. Keeping them, on the other hand, is a totally different story and explains the importance of building employee loyalty.

 medium_8500133990   Photo-Credit

Your Front

In any type of business, the boss is rarely the one to greet a customer at the door. It will, more than likely, be an employee.  A loyal employee will extend the same welcome to a customer as you yourself would, because he/she understands the importance of keeping the customer happy and the consequences if you don’t.

The question is: how do you install this knowledge in someone? The answer is quite simple: You lead by example. Before you start hiring, you should be able to outline your company’s goals, your employee expectations and benefits, as well as a code of conduct. Have it ready, in written form, when you welcome a new member to your team. This avoids misunderstandings and gives everyone guidelines to follow.

Once you have them aboard, treat your employees with respect and let them know that you see them as an integral part of the company. Let them know you are the team leader and they are the team. Neither part can survive on its own. It takes the sum of both to keep the boat afloat and heading in the right direction. Make sure to be observant and take note of how each member of your team interacts with their fellow employees and customers. Take note of things you like about them and, of course, of faults.  Always commend good deeds and accomplishments, best in a team environment so the others might profit from the positive input and, possibly, pick-up some good habits they now know are appreciated. If you have something negative to say, address the person in a private environment and let them know how you feel. Don’t be condescending, that just builds up resentment. Instead offer a solution to the problem or a suggestion of how you believe this should be handled. In your next team meeting, which, by the way, you should have on a regular basis, address the subject, NOT the person. Let your team know how to deal with such a “hypothetical” situation. Ask for their opinion and if something better than your suggestion comes up, accept it and declare it as the new modus operandi. You have just created a win/win situation.

Your Muscle

No matter who the boss is, there will always be workers. While you are busy acquiring customers, they are the ones taking care of production (it doesn’t matter if it’s canning beans or corresponding) so you have something to sell. Why is it important to have loyal employees for this? Because,  you can rely on them to get the job done without major fallout. Furthermore, they love their job and they are well trained and know what they’re doing.

If you have to keep training new people because you haven’t built loyalty with the veteran employees, you will only be hurting yourself. Not only is it time consuming, it’s expensive.  According to a study by Columbia University , replacing a lost employee will cost you approximately 150% of that person’s annual salary. Eye-opening isn’t it? Not only do beginners work slower, because they’re not familiar with your company’s work mode, they will make more mistakes. This leads to less production, ergo less to sell.

It’s becoming clearer isn’t it? You can motivate your team by setting production goals and rewarding them for reaching them. Give incentives for exceptional work. This can be in form of a bonus, movie tickets, game tickets, a dinner for two (be creative). It doesn’t have to be a huge thing; it’s about recognition and showing that you are aware of the effort put forward by each of your employees.

Your Dependents

You are responsible for your employees. Let them know that you are ready to take on this roll and that you have their best interest at heart. If you show your employees that you genuinely care about their welfare, there is nothing (within reason) they won’t do for you and your company. It’s your job to make sure there is plenty of work for them and it’s their job to make sure it gets done. Just as a well-oiled machine runs smoothly, an appreciated team works optimally.

Make sure to match the pay to the job done and don’t forget to review pay on a regular basis. You want your employees to grow with your company and adjusting pay accordingly is a part of that. You might want to think of offering an employee income protection plan, such as offered by Suncorp, for the unforeseen. This is just another way to show you care. Have a company party once a year to celebrate their accomplishments and your success . Above all, don’t forget to stop and say hello, ask how he/she is, pat a shoulder now and then.  Even when you get to the point where you have managers, don’t forget you are the boss, their team leader, and they want to know you still see them. The magic to loyalty is to be a true leader.

All in all, building loyalty is about being aware of what is going on in your company and with your subordinates and subsequently acting upon it. A little creativity and a lot of common sense will get you to the point of optimizing your workforce and letting you build a solid foundation for a prospering    company. This is your future, go for it.

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