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Leading To Your Values

values alignmentValues Alignment

As a leader, the values of the organization need to be a focus.  When you lead to your values, then you are walking your talk, practicing what you preach, and living those values.

Doing a periodic values check is important. Are we in alignment with the values of the organization?  Do the values we have outlined still fit the organization? And, what do we need to do to be in alignment with the values of the organization?

Here at Compass Rose Consulting, we just recently been looking at our own values. But values alignment is something that has been important to me for a long time. It was included in my first business development program: Business Builders Intensive and is still a part of Bizology.Biz.  It is important to look at.

When you are out of alignment with your values — your staff notice and your customers notice.   Something doesn’t feel right. They know it and it impacts them.

Our alignment evaluation looks at:

What is the value? Name it:

How is it practiced across the organization?
Operations?
Products?
Marketing?
Leadership?
Staffing?
HR?
etc.

For instance, I worked with an organization that worked with youth and taught that you needed to get a college education so that you would be fairly paid. And we hired people with college degrees to work with the youth. BUT, we did not pay a fair wage for the work done.  The values were out of alignment with the practice.

Take a look at your values and how they are working in your business. Is there something that you need to shift or change?  Is there a way to practice them better?

Leave me your thoughts below and let me know how your business is doing.

Socially Responsible Business

Being a Socially Responsible Business is becoming more and more important.

Neilson recently talked about the impact of being a socially responsible business or company, and doing good beyond your products or services and the impact that has on your bottomline.

socially responsible business

Your Business Operations Can Impact Your Results

How do you change your business so that you are operating in a socially responsible way?

Consumers have said and have demonstrated that they will pay more for products that are Fair Trade, Organic, Socially Responsible in their production.

Your organizational values are one thing, but it is more about living those values publicly that is on the line.  People are observing HOW companies practice their values.  When companies take a stand that can have a direct impact on that bottom line, both positive and negative.

In the recent Neilson article, their observation is that social responsibility has moved beyond environmental issues to being a good corporate citizen.  This is critical.  It may be that while the new administration eases regulations, that people will demand they be observed anyway.  People do not want coal companies dumping waste into their water.  People do not want BIG banks investing in a pipeline that potentially can pollute waters.  People are making their voices heard through social media and through the effective use of hashtags on social media.

What is a Socially Responsible Business?

According to Investopedia.com:

Social responsibility is the idea that businesses should balance profit-making activities with activities that benefit society; it involves developing businesses with a positive relationship to the society in which they operate. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), emphasizes that the relationship to the society and environment in which businesses operate is “a critical factor in their ability to continue to operate effectively. It is also increasingly being used as a measure of their overall performance.”

How does this impact your small business?

This can have a tremendous affect both positive and negative on your business.  If your company is reaching out to the community and doing good in the community, people notice.  If at the same time, your company is polluting and dumping toxic waste, that is going to override all the “good” that the company is trying to do.  The two are out of alignment with each other.  You need to operate in alignment with your company values and those need to be in alignment with the good of the community and the world.

  1. Look at your company values and see if there are ways that you are out of alignment.  Values are typically an ideal that we strive for and that we do not always achieve successfully all the time. But now, it is time to do a check –> a values alignment check.
  2. Decide on a plan to improve your alignment and take it a step further.
  3. Can your company join thousands of others in a movement of social responsibility?  What would that look like for your company?  There are probably some quick things that you can do right away:
    1. Look at your operations — how can they be more sustainable, earth friendly — can you increase recycling programs, eliminate the use of styrofoam cups, eliminate the use of disposable cups for coffee, buy bio degradable disposables for your cafeteria, use recycled paper, decrease printing and use more digital….Join Green America and become a certified Green Business.
    2. Look at your banking — can you switch from a BIG bank to a credit union or community bank?
    3. Look at your employees — are you paying a fair wage, can you improve your workplace, what are your employees passionate about?
    4. Look at your business model — is there a way to incorporate your social causes into your business model?  Can you give one for one? Or can you set up a donation model? Can your customers participate in that model?  Choose a place for a portion of profits to be given?  Is there an organization that fits with your company mission?

    There are so many ways to change how your company operates and make more of a difference in your community and the world.

    Here are a couple of examples —

    There was the story of Rosa’s Pizza in Philadelphia that was giving away free slices of pizza to the homeless.  That story shared on Upworthy in 2015 had such an impact on people that it was shared over 800,000 times and increased their business and their giveaway tremendously.

    Recently, on CBS Sunday Morning — they shared a different business model in which a local brew pub opened as a non-profit and donates money from each brew served to one of six rotating charities. Customers get to choose which charity they are supporting with their purchase.

    And there are movements to change how companies operate.  Chocolate — largely harvested in African with child slave labor — women around the country have been campaigning for big chocolate companies to stop buying chocolate that is not Fair Trade, and they are having an impact.

    Much of the work that I have been doing over the past weeks has been to raise our social consciousness at Compass Rose Consulting and identify ways that we can improve operations as outlined above and make more of an impact on the community and the world.

    These changes while still very much under construction are improvements to a foundation that already existed and is being improved and revised as the year moves ahead.  I am adding resources for you that you can access — about operating in more socially responsible ways.

    We will be adding to these and sharing more each week on how to achieve these types of goals!

Social Entrepreneurship Action Plan

social entrepreneurship action planOur Social Entrepreneurship Action Plan:

As we move into the new year and new world order we are focused on social action and social entrepreneurship. Not a new idea to me or to the world, just more urgent feeling, at least for me.

I have been journaling for several weeks now and this is all emerging as a result of that work and a course on social entrepreneurship that I have been participating in.

Social Responsibility has always been on my values statement along with environment.  But I haven’t had a solid plan for how it happened or what it looked like. In reviewing my vision for Compass Rose Consulting and our direction this year, it had to focus on the world and being a catalyst for change and improvement in some way.

At the same time, I didn’t want to start a new business or create something totally different from what I have been doing.  Business coaching/consulting, work with non-profits, leadership development, marketing, meeting facilitation and team building — I am good at.  I wanted to take what I have and make it work for me and for clients in a new and inspiring way.

You can see that I have totally shifted my brand colors to Gold and Purple.  Very intentional.  They are colors that represented strong women throughout the Suffragist Movement for women’s right to vote.  They represent strength for me and commitment.  As I was putting together our strategies and model I also came up with this image.  It boils it down to simple.

It starts with our programs — they focus on education for our clients — through our online portal — filled with resources on business development and for some that opt for more — coaching and consulting, collaboration and masterminding…. are added.  The program – The Women’s Business Circle is powerful and comprehensive.  Besides training it incorporates the rest of the plan…

Inspiration — my goal is to inspire our clients to create a Social Entrepreneurship Plan for their business.  We review several different models that they can adopt. Each business might do it differently.  Actually, they all will do it differently! And that is great.  Through our collaborative meetings, each member is inspired by the work that other members are doing.  As well as the impact that being a member is having on other entrepreneurs… because

Giving Support is our next strategy.  Compass Rose Consulting’s plan is to provide support via non-profits to women entrepreneur’s.  We are doing this in a couple of different ways — first is through a scholarship fund to the Women’s Business Circle, to support women in need on their entrepreneurial journey.  We have also identified three non-profits that work directly with women entrepreneurs that we will provide funding to, from our profits.  Social Entrepreneurship does not mean that you are not making money.  Developing a thriving business is a key to making it personally and then being able to support other people on their journey.  Our plan is to use part of our profits– money after expenses to support these different ventures.  Because I wanted a global reach — we are supporting micro-loan programs for women that provide loans in this country and internationally.

Outreach- Women’s Business Circle ties it all together really.  We will be doing outreach in several different ways.  First, through articles and press releases, we will be able to reach out beyond the Compass Rose Consulting community.  My next book will also focus on this — social entrepreneurship and its impact on the people doing it as well as the people it reaches.  We also plan to do retreats and service throughout the programs… more ways for people to be involved but more importantly is that they are ways for people to touch other people’s lives.  It is through this heart to heart connection that real change can happen, because it starts happening on a personal level for each person and then moves out from there.  Again, a cascade.

Outreach leads back to education and the cycle begins again.

compass rose consulting new logoYou also see the heart at the center of the compass.  This is a new part of our logo.  The center of the compass is called the compass rose.  Thus the name Compass Rose Consulting.  The compass rose is what is found on maps to help you orient the map. It is also the center of the compass — which helps you find your direction.  At the center of our compass I have added the heart because it is what should be guiding our direction.  We should move in business with heart, with compassion.  We have core values to help guide our decision making and they all matter, but at the center is our core purpose and the core of business — the heart.  The new rings around the compass are symbolic as well.  They represent the cascades of outreach. They are diverse in color, because the world is diverse. We treasure that diversity.  And the outer ring is the newest — green to represent the earth and our need for commitment to operating our businesses in earth loving ways.  I have also used the different colors in the to represent the different levels of service, so they each have multiple meanings and metaphors….

It is exciting to move Compass Rose Consulting forward in this new way.

Top 5 Ways to Boost Your Business by Becoming a Published Author

published-authorBecoming a published author is a great way to advance one’s professional career.

Published authors experience a heightened ability to influence other people, broaden their platform, connect with prospects, access opportunities and increase their income.

1. Growing influence

Publishing a book increases the author’s credibility, giving the author instant status as a leading authority, which leads to increased trust in the author’s expertise and heightened influence.

2. Broadened platform

Authors can use their published books to broaden their platform by creating workshops, training courses, videos, workbooks and consulting services around the solution provided in their book.

3. Connection with more prospects

A published book provides authors with the ability to attract more prospects with a taste of their expertise and to convert those prospects into hot leads.  Particularly when the book is available on major online retail sites such as Amazon, and if it is optimized for searches, the book can be found by thousands of people who might otherwise have never heard of the author.

4. Access to opportunities.

Having a published book gives the author a credential that gives him an edge in bidding opportunities, obtaining paid speaking engagements and media interviews, which further increases the author’s visibility and opens even more opportunities.

5. Increased income

Authors can receive revenue from their book sales as well as from derivative products created from their book, such as workbooks or group coaching.  With their elevated status as published authors, they can also charge higher consulting and speaking fees,

author-logoAre you interested in writing a book?  My colleague Judy Weintraub, founder of SkillBites, can help you get your book written and published.  I highly recommend
SkillBites’ book publishing platform.  To learn more about how SkillBites can help you attain these benefits, you can view the website at www.skillbites.net, or contact Judy at info@skillbites.net or call toll free 855-SKILLBITES.  
 

Negative Customer Reviews: Avoid These Deadly Mistakes

Deadly mistakes you want to avoid when handling negative customer reviews

No one, no small business owner wants to see negative customer reviews. They can be so totally disheartening, annoying and quite shocking.  If you can take a step back they can also provide you with some honest feedback about areas of your business that you may be blind to. This isn’t always the case but important to take a look and be honest with yourself.

Online reviews are here to stay so it’s best to know how to handle them correctly and how not to handle them.

Here are some common mistakes business owners make in handling negative customer reviews

1. Don’t Get Emotional

One of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make is to take negative reviews extremely personally. While negative reviews can be hurtful, it’s important not to get swept away into an emotional state of depression, anger, self-pity or hopelessness. If you have a few negative reviews amidst a lot of other positive ones, realize that these are just the opinions of a minority. Also understand that people need to air their grievances and possibly found the easiest way to do it was online. By having a sober and objective view about negative publicity, you will be able to better tackle the problem in a calm, organized and respectable manner than if you are on an emotional roller-coaster.

2. Don’t Fail To Research The Complaint

KNOWLEDGE IS KEY: One of the key weapons in dealing with negative reviews is having an arsenal of factual information about the business transaction that resulted in the negative publicity. However it’s easy to get impulsive and immediately respond to a negative review without checking your facts. This can only lead to false assumptions and further public embarrassment as you will come across as a business that doesn’t know what it is talking about.

Getting your facts right is also critical in knowing whether the negative review was accurate or inaccurate.

  • Were your employees really rude to that customer?
  • Did that package go to the wrong shipping address?

If your facts reveal your business messed up, you will need to apologize and rectify the situation and if the client was the problems, you can still approach them with a mind to helping them see your side of the story.

3. DON’T Be Defensive

Another big mistake is being overly defensive and seeking to pass blame to everyone but your business. One of the marks of being defensive is getting involved in a back and forth online shouting match with your customers. This is definitely not the way to go because first of all, you have an online audience witnessing your tirade and secondly everyone expects your business to be professional and take the high ground.

As you engage, maintain a respectful, truthful and objective approach as this will most likely win over your negative reviewer and other online users

4. Don’t Ignore The Review

Take your head out of the sand!!

Just as bad as being defensive, is being flippant and ignoring negative reviews. Every negative review is worth taking a look at and worth rectifying to the best of your ability as a business owner. By burying your head in the sand and ignoring what people are saying, you are only setting up yourself for a major storm ahead. It’s always best to nip bad publicity in the bud and save yourself a lot of trouble and money down the road.

As I said, customer reviews are here to stay.  It is important to be on top of them.  The good and the bad!

crconlinemonitor3Check out our online monitoring service — we monitor your reviews, we help you generate new reviews and we help you handle the good, bad and the ugly!!

www.MeetWithDonna.com

Getting Customer Reviews

How To Get Audio/Video/Photo Customer Reviews For Your Small Business

Customer reviews can be so helpful to a company.  Video and photo gives you an added advantage of add authenticity to the review as well as search engine ranking power.

customer reviewsAn often overlooked method of collecting online customer reviews is through videos and photos. With so much emphasis on written reviews, no one bothers thinking about video and image reviews yet they have a more powerful influencing effect than text due to their visual and audio benefits. A majority of people take in information better and actually enjoy doing so when it is present in picture or video format. Cell phones give you an easy way to collect both video and photo’s for your reviews.

As with anything there is a right way and a wrong way to collect video and image reviews. Let’s start with how NOT to do it. Do not try recording videos or shooting photos of your customers on an ordinary business day at your shop. There will be no excitement necessary to portray all the right mix of emotional energy to make the review enjoyable and convincing.

The right way to do it is to capitalize on an event that is taking place at your business or being sponsored by your business. Events include:
* Parties
* Concerts
* Product Launches
* Store Openings
* Holiday Celebrations such as Halloween, Christmas, Independence Day
* Community Events
* Fundraisings
* Sporting Events
* Family Fun Days
* TV Coverage of your business such for a show.

These are all opportune moments to take video footage and photos when your clients are exhibiting positive emotions – they are excited, attentive, entertained, astonished, cheerful, engaged and relaxed. If asked a question about your business, they will be able to naturally and enthusiastically give a positive customer testimonial. You can easily set up an area for shooting the short 30-60 second reviews.  Have someone else record the videos so that customers don’t feel uncomfortable.  But when you are at a special event, you have your fans there! These are the people you WANT to give you reviews.

With their permission, you can post these videos and photos on
* Your website
* Your facebook page
* Your YouTube channel
* Your review site and business directory profiles

Videos do not have to be lengthy – in fact the shorter they are the better. A 60 second video clip is just the right length. While you may think you need expensive equipment to make this happen, a simple point and shoot digital camera or a good quality mobile phone camera will do the trick. You want your videos to look amateurish because that makes them look more credible. Super professional videos just look fake and hard to believe so it’s best to keep it simple and believable.

Start adding video reviews to your website.

With some cool plugins you can have a carousel of video testimonials.

crconlinemonitor3You can also ask people to add reviews on social media sites.

OR of course, we are glad to help you.

If you want assistance getting your customer review program started…..

Set up a consult with me: www.MeetWithDonna.com

Your Book, Your Business Card

Smiling Woman with Stack of Books --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Smiling Woman with Stack of Books — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Adding a BOOK to your marketing strategy makes sense!

Everyone, yes everyone has a story! And as a business owner you also have expertise!

You might think that you are SELLING a service or a product, but you are also selling YOU!

Your story, your expertise, your knowledge and experience, all make a difference in your business.  Imagine, an electrician that knows nothing about electrical.  Would you hire him or her? I know I wouldn’t.  That is exactly what I mean. YOU — >> are an expert in your field.

You need to shine a light on that and a book is one of the best ways to do that!

Adding a book to your marketing plan gives you credibility beyond an article or a report.

It gives YOU a book that you can have on your counter, for sale or as a give away to your new prospects.

With the advent of the Internet — you can also use it as a business building tool via e-books.

Publishing a Book Can Be Your Best Business Card!!

Take my 5 Day E-Course and Receive a complimentary copy of:
self publishing bookTen Top Things YOU Need to Know About Self Publishing

Then receive 5 days of tips and strategies for getting your book finished and start your book marketing journey!!

Self Publishing makes sense for many business owners because you retain control of your book and you can use it more easily with event planners, as give-aways and business builders.  Self Publishing is easy and you can get your book into the hands of your prospects in less than 90 days or even 60 or even 30!!  But the most important step is to get STARTED!!




Webinar Jeo Replay

webinar jeo replay

Webinar Jeo Replay Is HERE!!

Have you had a chance to look at Webinar Jeo yet?

I think it looks incredible. Check out the Webinar Jeo Replay.  This webinar happened a few days ago.  But I wanted to give you a chance to check it out.

The price is great.  Think about it, compared to the other players — GoToMeeting/GoToWebinar it is a HUGE savings.

It is built by a reputable team — Walt Bayliss.

I have used products developed by Walt for many years.

So, here is the webinar replay!

Webinar JEO is designed to be a fully functioning webinar and live streaming software for your training presentations, meetings, collaborations with  an unlimited number of people.

Built in partnership with Amazon’s Web services infrastructure, Webinar JEO has the backing to increase computing power to an unlimited level. This provides assurance to it’s users that the events will always be ‘kitted up’ with the best hardware as it’s backing.

More Information http://webinarjeo.com

Webinars are one of the best ways to build your business. They give you a broader reach, beyond your local community, but they also make it possible for business owners to access your training in a convenient way.  Saving on travel time and expense.

You can record your webinar and have the replay available to people for days, weeks, or even years to come.

There are so many possibilities when it comes to webinars and how you can use them in your business.

This software is at an incredible launch price.  Save hundreds of dollars today.

 

Client Attraction: Webinars to Attract NEW Customers

client attractionWebinars can be GREAT Client Attraction Tool:

Whether you are a real estate agent, dress shop owner, pet store, plumber, consultant, massage therapist or lawyer, webinars can help you to build your business and be a great client attraction tool.  With webinars you can build your reputation, your expertise status and your reach.

Your webinar can give your current clients access to you from the comfort of their home or office.

Maybe you are wondering — What would I say on a webinar??  Great question!!  I am glad to brainstorm with you specific ideas for your business but here are a few off the top of my head:

  • fashion tips and trends
  • home prep for sale — staging, how to sell fast and easily, pricing right….
  • maintaining your homes systems — plumbing, electric, HVAC….
  • top strategies for staying relaxed
  • meditations
  • when you need a lawyer
  • how to hire the best…..xyz professional

The possibilities are endless.

BUT — >>> once you decide to use webinars as part of your marketing strategy, then you have to figure out the details — how to do it and how to afford it.

That is where Webinar Jeo comes in.  It is state of the art new webinar platform that is running off of Amazon.

Walt Bayliss the developer has a track record of innovative software development.  I have purchased his webinar platform that ran on Google Hangouts — RunClick.  Great software too, BUT hangouts were buggy and it made it challenging.

I am so excited to see this new software launch and get in the special launch pricing.

Compared to GoToWebinar — the price is an annual payment that is less than what most are paying monthly with GoToWebinar — and the benefits exceed, far exceed what you get there.

Unlimited partipants

Evergreen webinars — if you don’t know what these are you need to. Evergreen can save you hours and hours and still bring in more clients.

client attraction This software looks to be the biggest webinar platform launch in a long time and many, many Internet Marketers are moving their business over to it.

It just launched yesterday and already it looks to be the biggest launch in JV Zoo history.

Incredible.

I know that I have tried several other platforms and am excited to be back with Walt Bayliss on Webinar Jeo!

 

Developer

We work with clients big and small across a range of sectors and we utilise all forms of media to get your name out there in a way that’s right for you.