Customer Appreciation

Customer Appreciation is a key to any business operations. Entrepreneurs need to be sure that they are establishing a system of appreciating EACH of their customers. For more: www.bizology.biz

Bizology.Biz Tip of the Day: Are Newsletters Still Effective?

In a world full of email, are newsletters still effective? Donna Price, Business Success Coach, shares her biz tip on e-zines or email newsletters.

What are your goals for being online?

As you know, the Internet has become an essential component of just about every business’ business plan and strategic marketing plan.  It just has to be a central key at this point.   People are using the Internet for researching new products, services.  They check references for service providers on the Internet and they have even stopped using the phone book and yellow pages.  All of a sudden you need a strategy, you need to rank high in the search engines and you need to be PRESENT on the web.

But first things first!  What are your goals for being online?  There are several possibilities.

Possible Goals for Business Online:

  • To build contact list:  the Internet can be used very effectively to increase your contact list.  There are some key components to doing just that.  You need to have something that gets people to give you their contact information.  They don’t just hand it out to anyone.  You must have a way to collect that information.  And then you need a way to keep in touch with people once you have received all of this type of info.  There is technology behind the scenes that makes this all work seamlessly.
  • To make sales:  Sales are definitely happening on the Internet.  Even for your retail store, you can choose to sell your products on the Internet.  Services sell on the Internet also.  In order to accomplish a good sales track record you need a website, possibly pictures, and good sales copy.
  • To add new clients:  Clients are typically added through good follow up once you have received their contact info.  This can be accomplished automatically through an auto-responder program, or you may integrate different strategies for follow up.  But no matter where you get new leads from — they rarely become clients without some type of interaction.
  • To build reputation/rapport:  Follow up is one of the ways that you build your reputation and your rapport.  You can also do this through article writing, publishing a book or publishing articles, videos and email.  Each strategy needs to be done with high integrity and professionally.
  • Branding: everything you are doing builds your brand.  Follow up and follow through.  Articles, press releases, websites, email marketing should all build towards your brand.  Define what your brand is more than just your logo and colors.  It is you, your procedures, your operations your treatment of customers, prospects, vendors–they are all part of your brand.

As an entrepreneur, your Internet strategy can be for each of these goals or just for one of them.  But a comprehensive strategy will address them all.  You can start with one and build upon each one, building out your more comprehensive strategy.

Creating an Operational Plan

In Bizology.Biz operational plans are an essential key to your business. Even micro businesses benefit from having an operational plan and operating procedures.

Even a small business needs to look at operations. It’s about creating the policies that guide how you operate your business.

Creating that plan can help you to grow your business and lays the foundation that you need to grow your business in the future.

Internet Marketing for Everday Entrepreneurs

Internet Marketing is an essential part of business for every entrepreneur.  It keeps your business open 24/7, and that is a good thing.  But many entrepreneurs fail to see the how in Internet marketing for their own business. They are stuck in their existing paradigm and haven’t made the shift to see how their business fits into the Internet.  I mean beyond just a website.  That’s just a piece of Internet real estate, and much of the real estate on the Internet is not worth much.  But when you move into the new paradigm of bringing your business onto the Internet, then your online real estate has more value.

 

Web Presence Assessment:

Take a minute and assess your current web presence?  What does it look like right now?

  • Website
  • Sign-up Form on website
  • Free Gift
  • Use Auto-Responder
  • Write regularly on blog
  • Social Networking Profiles:
    • LinkedIn
    • Facebook
    • Facebook Fan Page
    • Twitter
    • MySpace
    • Merchant Circle
    • FastPitchNetwork
    • Ecademy
    • Ryze
    • and the list goes on….
  • Article Marketing Strategy in place
  • Press Release Strategy in place
  • List building system
  • Follow up system

Building an effective marketing strategy both on and off line is essential.  Even if you are a street based retailer or service provider — you have to have an online strategy.

Each of these and many more things are taught in Bizology.Biz — the business building system.

Now is the TIME to Prepare for an ExtraOrdinary 2010: Are You Ready?

This is the time of year to begin preparing for even greater success next year.  Perhaps this year was good or perhaps it wasn’t.  Now, is the time to gear up for more greatness in the New Year.  If you have a business vision and strategic plan, pull them out and review them. Include your whole team.  If you don’t have a team, then review them with your coach or an accountability partner.

As you review the vision and the strategic plan, write down what you have accomplished this year.  What went really well?  Make your list; you can even check it twice!!  Once you have created your accomplishment list, take a moment to celebrate all that you did well.  Then move on and review where you fell short.  What didn’t go quite right or well?  Where did you fail?

Taking time to evaluate the past year is a great way to learn from what went well, and what didn’t go well.  In that learning there are valuable lessons that you can glean.  List a couple of lessons for moving forward.  Did you get off track, side-tracked by something?  Did you not follow up with prospects?  Each lesson gives you ideas for guidance into the New Year.

As you review the vision and the strategic plan, take some time to reflect on whether it is still on target.  Is that vision still your vision or has it changed?  Make the necessary updates to that vision.  Many companies write short vision statements that barely communicate the overall vision.  Put great detail in yours so that you can feel it as you read it.  If your vision is to buy a new building for your company and increase your staffing by 50% then write a vision statement that includes that and describes that.  You can always have the short and concise vision statement your business plan, but your use, make it a detailed story, that really motivates you and inspires you each time you read it.

What is the vision for the upcoming year?  Where do you see your company at the end of the year?  What type of growth, new products, new clients, or customers?  What does it all look like?

Once you have your vision story written you can then focus on the strategies to accomplish your vision.  Your strategies should always be based on the overall vision.  When strategies are written that stray from the vision and purpose of the organization then you are going down roads that lead you in the wrong direction.  Your vision and values becomes your guide for making your business decisions.  Stop yourself, when you are making a decision and pull out that vision statement, your values statement and review the decision or opportunity with them all in mind.

Strategies should point to the vision and be written in a way that they are measurable.  A strategy to build the business is too vague.  What does build the business mean, and how do you know if you have accomplished it?  But a strategy to provide coaching services to 50 new clients is measurable.  Or a strategy to increase product sales by 25% is measurable.

Limit the number of strategic goals that you are working on so that your strategic plan remains focused and effective.  A huge document becomes overwhelming and cumbersome and often just collects dust.  A strategic plan should be a living, breathing document that you are very familiar with and guides our day to day activities because it is your focus.

Creating a new plan for the year is a great first step towards creating the success that you want. Working the plan and making it happen is the real key to producing the results that you want.

Working your plan just means keeping it in front of you, developing the smaller goals that move you towards the big goals and really staying focused.  When something doesn’t work, it is not the time to abandon ship, but rather, the time to refocus, re-strategize and continue the work.

Take time before the New Year to: review and update your vision statement and story; review your accomplishments and failures for the year and glean the valuable lessons from them; review your strategic plan and update your goals for the upcoming year.  Gear up for a focused and planned New Year that will ring in the next level of success for you and your company.

Mistakes Can Be Magic

If you are like me, then you are human, and you make mistakes. Mistakes, however, are an opportunity if you seize that opportunity; and by doing just that you can become a master at overcoming your mistakes:

• Take the time to evaluate the mistake and then learn from it. A great way to evaluate is to look at what went right and what didn’t.
• Take ownership of what you did that was incorrect or wrong.
• By taking ownership of your responsibility you are able to accept that you made the mistake.
• And finally, you can use your evaluation and learning to better yourself.

When you truly acknowledge and accept your responsibility and role in mistakes can you access the magic or treasure of the mistake.

As an entrepreneur, I am sure, you are more than familiar with mistakes. You probably have made both small mistakes and BIG mistakes along the way. Mistakes may, for some, put them right out of business or scare them out of business.

When you are in business, it is like walking through the jungle. You have to be prepared to be in the jungle and survive. You have to have thick skin, courage, perseverance and more. I bet you have had some customers that were close to totally impossible. Or a competitor that always seemed to be 3 steps ahead of you. If you do any marketing – well, then you have made many mistakes. Because marketing success is all about learning from what didn’t work.

This is the joy of an entrepreneur: the excitement of learning, the control to make mistakes and the willingness to be courageous and take risks. You persevere and you learn, continuously. Your positive attitude is essential in building a thriving businesses and enduring the lessons that you have to learn along the way.

Mistakes Can Be Spun, Magically Into New Income, New Revenue

One way to do this “spinning into money”, is to share your experience with others. Other people can benefit from your learning and their tension eases as they realize that they are not alone. You can also create your own coaching program to provide coaching, based on your experience to other businesses. An entrepreneur that is courageous can share their own personal mistakes, pointing out the challenges that they faced and how they overcame them, creates a synergy with other business owners. Suddenly, you are a speaker and coach, and people are following you, because you have risen to the level of expert.

Connect, Connect, Connect
As an entrepreneur, you have to connect with other people. Your contacts and connections are vital when you see your sales slowing or if you decide to start a new business venture. Networking is just part of business. It gives you additional venues for sharing your expertise and sharing your advice.

WOW, The Customer
It is critical throughout your business to WOW your customers. WoW is all about service delivery, quality and customer service. Maybe you have had a challenging staff person that wasn’t especially good at customer service. You know that that is essential for your long-term success. You have to take action with the employee to improve their performance, or change their responsibilities.

It becomes an opportunity to update your customer service policy and to re-train staff. You can also evaluate what can be automated: answering services, Q & A page on your website, automated messages.

Mistakes and challenges make it impossible for you to not look at your business. By taking on the opportunity you are able find the magic of the mistakes. What can you improve? Systems? Process? Policy? Operating a business with a constant process for improving your services, your products and your business, creates a thriving business. Use each mistake to review the process or policy and make the changes you need to, to improve it.

Your Magical Mistakes can set you apart from the competition. Customers will appreciate that you are constantly making your business work better. Using excuses instead of making magic will stall your business. You won’t stand out as a mover and shaker. Of course, we would all like that perfect business model and business operation – but the real way to get there is just what we have discussed here. Take mistakes, evaluate them, take out the lessons and improve yourself, your business, your operations, and a s result you will thrive!





Bizology.Biz Intensive

Title: Bizology.Biz Intensive
Location: The Inn at Millrace Pond, Hope, New Jersey
Link out: Click here
Description: Bizology.Biz is coming out of the box, literally, being published and offered to business owners at a one day intensive. Join Business Success Coach, Donna Price, at this one day Bizology.Biz Intensive. You will receive 3 Bizology.Biz workbooks and a full day of coaching and training. The Inn at Millrace Pond Conference Center will be hosting the event and will provide each guest and participant a wonderful conference experience. The full day Intensive will be focused hands on work, that each business owner will do throughout the course of the program. It is not a take notes lecture, but rather a action planning day to focus on your business and spend a day out of your business!!
Start Time: 08:30
Date: 2009-11-17