Archive for Business Growth’ Category

9

Jun
2010
Comments Off on Digging out of the Sales Slump – the 4 “R’s” – from Doug Grady

Digging out of the Sales Slump – the 4 “R’s” – from Doug Grady

Getting to the top isn’t ever going to be a free and easy ride.  There will be bumps in the road, there will be pitfalls, detours and everything else.  Doug reminds us that through it all, we need to stay focused.

“You’re ridin’ high in April, shot down in May.” –Frank Sinatra

If you are reading this you are likely in one now currently or are remembering a time when you were. The dreaded sales slump. It happens- even to the best of us. Sales can be a hero to zero business. The highs can be heavenly while the lows are at best bearable. When you find yourself in one, consider the 4 “R”s.

• Remind– Take a big breath. Remind yourself that you have been successful in the past. If you have been in sales for awhile, think back to a time when you were on a roll, in the zone, selling at your best. What was different about your attitude, energy, and activity? What were you feeling, focusing on, and driven toward? Strive to regain that energy and mindset.

“This too shall pass.” –Persian proverb

• Refocus– Set specific, measurable, achievable goals for the next 30 days. There are 2 types of goals to set: activity and outcome. You need both to increase the velocity of getting out of a slump. Activity goals address # of calls, presentations, networking meetings, referrals, etc you are committing to. Outcome goals address # of sales, $ amount and other relevant “bottom line” sales results. Yes, I know this is sales 101, but let me guess- you haven’t done it in awhile. Just do it.

“When you find yourself in a hole…, stop digging.” –Will Rogers

• Re-energize– get back in the gym, go for a run, listen to some of your favorite music. Get up earlier and focus on your goals. Turn off the TV- read and listen to inspirational, educational, or motivational material. Get around inspiring people. Buy yourself something pretty.

• Re-commit– This is more important than the first 3 combined (the first 3 tend to make this one easier). Decide what you are committed to and get to it.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness… the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” -Goethe

Pick yourself up, get back in the race, you’ll be “back on top in June.”

Happy Selling,
Doug Grady

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Sales Strategies,Commitment,Focus,Vision
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10

May
2010
Comments Off on Carving the Elephant | Extraordinary Business

Carving the Elephant | Extraordinary Business

Q: “How do you carve an elephant?”  A:  “First, get a block of marble and then remove everything that doesn’t look like an elephant.”

In conversations with many business owners, I often get the impression that there seems to be some confusion about what they are selling and who they are selling to.  While that seems rather silly, if you think about it, why do most people do business with your business?  Is it actually the product or service you deliver?  Is it the way that you run your business?  Is it the experience?

Many times, especially when talking about “younger” businesses, we miss that when we start defining who our clients or target markets are.  We’ll start talking in terms of industries that we’ve served or geographic locations instead of truly boiling down to why people do business with us.  While this is a way of reducing the size of the target market, providing further specification to your definition of your market will be very helpful in crafting your message and matching your products or services to their needs.

In the same conversation, you must consider the types of businesses you like doing business with, and what the criteria for that is.  For example, if you were an artist, while you could probably paint or draw on a myriad of different surfaces with different brushes, paints, lighting and a number of different variables.  However, you probably have a certain set of specific tools and surfaces that you prefer to work with.  When you tell people what you do, that is specifically what you would say.

If you were to do a “personality test” such as a PEP assessment on the businesses (or people) you’ve worked with in the past, you would probably find that the personality or company culture that you worked best with in the past are similar – like or complimentary to your own.  You will probably find that your business will have a hard time relating to businesses that have certain types of company cultures.

Your final test will be the most important – does the market you are targeting have a need, whether realized or not, and the ability to pay?  While you as a business leader may run into the first more often then the second, the second is usually the deciding factor, which, for some people, surpasses all other criteria listed above.

Like carving an elephant, carving out your target market is a matter of knowing what to carve away from the rest of the world.  Being able to articulate a specific target market – where they are, why they do business with you, what their needs are and that they can pay – is an essential element to your business now and in the future.  Being able to identify them means that you can predict and provide solutions for their needs as they arise.

Be extraordinary.  Carve elephants.  Know your target market.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.

We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.

If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].
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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Target Market,Marketing
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15

Apr
2010
Comments Off on 1+5=25 | Extraordinary Business

1+5=25 | Extraordinary Business

In the past, I’ve been a big proponent of doing my taxes myself, but found this year that I wanted to outsource them  Having worked with a number of bookkeepers in the area, I knew what I was looking for – someone who could increase my ability to do what I need to do, without costing more than what makes sense.

I found that while I could go to a “Big Box” tax outfit, I probably know more about that tax code than many of the $10 per hour employees they have, sitting in front of a tax filing program not much different than the ones I would use.  They would request the same information, give me the same output and try to sell me the same add-on services that my online software would give me.  To me, this was a 1+0=1 relationship.  If I give them the wrong info, they may or may not be able to use a critical eye to guide me to the right place.

It goes back to the old adage:  You only know what you know.  There may be things that you don’t even know you don’t know, because you only know what you know.

My tax professional, on the other hand, brings to the table (courtesy of Laura Morton at 10 Key Solutions):

  • Knowledge and understanding of the tax code
  • Trust – while a computer will get the information correct, it might not get the correct information
  • The ability to go through an audit with you
  • Critical thinking when looking at potential deductions
  • Scrutiny to make sure that the information is correct (Garbage in, garbage out!)
  • Responsibility – tax professionals take responsibility for the taxes they file
  • Recommendations based on your personal situation on how you might reduce further tax obligations
  • The ability to create a tax strategy that may span over several years
  • The ability to recommend personally endorsed professionals for your specific needs
  • The ability to work with you in your particular circumstance to help you accomplish your financial goals
  • Competitive pricing – this means that the value I received from her in relation to what she charged was equal or greater than the value I would have received from doing it myself or through a “Big Box” provider

So when I worked with her, the results were far greater than the input, which would be my money for her time.  What I received was:

  • Time to continue building my own company – taxes would have taken me far longer to do than it took her
  • Freedom from responsibility to make sure the taxes were in on time with the right information
  • Knowledge that the taxes are right and that I got the maximum return
  • Recommendations on how I might plan for 2010
  • A trusted advisor

While a tax advisor/bookkeeper/virtual CFO/CFO is one example of how you might outsource services, there are many non-core activities that you can outsource that will give you the same result.  My virtual assistant, my researchers, my IT people, etc,. all help the company go further, faster, than it ever could by itself.  I can focus a great amount of time working on the company and growing it on a continual basis.

Don’t get stuck in the ordinary.  1+0 will always equal 1.  Be extraordinary.  Think 1+1=5

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Business Taxes,Business Leadership,Strategic Partnerships
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