Business Mentoring Tip #57 – How to make a tough decision without losing sleep

There is no doubt.  As a business owner you will have tough decisions to make.  Sometimes it might feel this is almost on a daily basis. Should you invest in that overseas training right now?  Should you bring on that next staff member?  Should you re-brand now or wait until next year?

There is a regular onslaught of decisions to be made when running a business.  And sometimes the decision will be made tougher by not knowing how to approach the decision making process itself.

Over the years I have worked out a formula to help with these tough decisions:

1.  Get a big piece of paper (yes, that’s pretty much my step one for most problems in life!)

2. Write the question at the top

3. Explore the options.  If you don’t do this thing, what else could you do?  Why are you thinking about it and what other options are there that could get you the same outcome?  List and articulate each option.

4. When you’ve exhausted the options, write a list of pros and cons for each option.

5.  Work out the cost/ROI scenario for each option.  What will it cost in money/time/effort?  What will it return to the business and how quickly? What are the opportunity costs if you don’t follow this option versus one of the others.

6. Compare each option.  Which one has the most pros and the least cons, which one has the most potential ROI in the shortest time?

7. Select the option that stacks up the best.

I am confident that just by following this process the right decision will become apparent.  And not only that you will also feel confident in the decision you have made and not lose sleep over it that night.  This alone is worth the hour or so it will take you to do this exercise.  Happy decision making!

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness.  Business mentors and experts in small business exit strategies.  Based in Wellington, New Zealand.

Guest Blog – How to get 2000 Facebook likes in less than 12 months

By Jody Worsfold, Chief Cupid, Romantic Gestures

I once heard the saying, you can’t sell a secret.  With that in mind I set out with a mission to tell Kiwi couples about my business; Romantic Gestures.

Romantic Gestures has a big heart and a small budget so the key for me was to reach many people for little cost.  Social Media seemed the way to go, what I lacked in budget I made up for in commitment!

I think that was the biggest key to going from a handful of “likes” to over 2000 in approximately 12 months – commitment.  I made the decision to focus on Facebook for 12 months – without expecting anything in return.  I was simply going to give value by posting interesting facts, tips and topics on the subject of love.  Sure, I promoted my website too, but not so often that I came across as an infomercial!

At first it was like telling a joke and being met with silence – awkward!  I would post something and wait for someone to hit that magical like button or even better; the Holy Grail, share my status only to be met with silence!  However over time things started to change – I attended a Facebook Course and learned to ask questions, use images and take note of the best days and times to receive engagement from your fans.  Finally it was working; the numbers were increasing – slowly.

Once I started to feel comfortable with Facebook and the content I was posting I ran a competition.  This is a great way to increase your likes – my first competition rocketed us to 500 likes very quickly.  It cost me $250.00, and was the best ROI I could have hoped for.

My tips to running a successful competition on-line are:

1/  Make sure it’s a good prize – a cake of soap won’t cut it!

2/ Research Facebook’s rules and follow them

3/ Promote your competition on Facebook, run it via your website.

4/ Collect contact details in return for entries

5/ Encourage your fans to share your competition but don’t make it an entry requirement (Facebook Rules)

I now receive an enquiry or website registration from Facebook at least once a week.  When I post a blog or a new venue on our Romantic Getaways page our web traffic spikes and most importantly people talk about us!

My fan base grows organically by 3-5 a week.  From time to time I use paid Facebook advertising.  I love it because I can target people within my target age range in a relationship living inNew Zealand.  My fan base grows by 10+ per week when my ads are running again a good ROI.

My advice would be to sit down and think about the following:

1/ Are your customers on Facebook.

2/ What can you talk about that is relevant to your business and most importantly interesting to your target market.

3/ If you don’t know what you are doing, get help to set-up your page so it looks professional

4/ Remember that it’s a social platform not a networking one.  Your tone should be like you were meeting and chatting to new people at a party, not a business meeting.

5/ Stick at it – you should be posting daily, at the very minimum once a week.

6/ Have fun!

My last word is to answer an often asked question:  How long do you spend on your Facebook business page each day.  The answer is; between 30 and 45 minutes – I’m sure you can manage that!

Love Jody

P.S For inspiration on all things romantic follow my page: you will be welcomed with open arms!

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness.  Business mentors and experts in small business exit strategies.  Based in Wellington, New Zealand.

Business mentoring tip #56 – Make your favourite customer go “WOW!”

Rarely does a great business person sit for long inside their comfort zone.  Doing what you are comfortable with every day will inevitably lead to complacency.  When you are complacent things start to go wrong.  Someone else will come along with a better offer.  Your customers will no longer feel special.

The world around you will change, this much you can guarantee.  And it can be very uncomfortable indeed when you are forced out of your comfort zone by external events… such as your biggest customer leaving you.  “But what did I do wrong?” you will cry.  And all they will be able to say is, “you didn’t do anything wrong, you just stopped doing everything right.  I didn’t feel special any more”.

Don’t risk complacency with your favourite customers.  Think of something you could do right now to make them feel special.  Do something today that will make them go “wow”…. then make that part of your comfort zone.   Do this at least every six months and not only will your comfort zone grow… you will be building an amazing ‘wow’ factor into your culture that will make you, your team and your customers feel great.

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness.  Business mentors and experts in small business exit strategies.  Based in Wellington New Zealand.

Try this, it’s fun… colorology tells me I’m born to be a writer!

I got up at 3.30am because my mind was going crazy. I couldn’t sleep so I got up to work on my book.  Couldn’t resist a quick peek at Facebook and came across this  It’s a site from Pantone* which tells you your personal birth colour and how this reflects your personality.  I know, I know… flakey as right?  However at 3.30am, when the world is dark and quiet, you feel more open to such things.  So I entered my birthday to see what would happen.

What it told me during the wee small hours was quite freaky.  My personal birth colour is zephyr (a pale purple).  Then it said that many people born on this day have a propensity for writing and my mind is very active (remember why I couldn’t sleep) so it is important to communicate both creatively and physically.

It also told me my four key words are intelligent (naturally), writer (yes), financial (teaching financial freedom through business) and protection (not sure about this one)….

So flakey as it is, it seemed to know me quite well!  Go on, give it a go….

* Pantone is a clever company which over 40 years ago revolutionalised the graphic design business by creating a colour matching system for designers and printers to ensure colours were consistent from design to print.

Who are your business super heros?

Thankfully successful business people don’t wear tights and cape, get dressed in a phone box or fly through the air.  But I think all of us in business have business super heroes out there who we truly admire.   Those who have shown us greatness, not just in their business success, but in who they are as people.

I’ve been thinking about this a bit as I subscribe to various blogs, facebook pages and twitter accounts.  What am I looking for?  What is going to inspire me and others?  As I carry out research for my own book about business, I have to ask myself constantly … what makes a really successful business person great and why should I write about them?  What do I love about them?

For me what defines a business super hero is not just someone who has made a lot of money.  But someone who has created a phenomally successful global business that becomes a game changer, that makes a difference to our lives.  And yet, even this isn’t enough for me.  What makes me really put a business leader up there on that pedestal is the quality of caring shown by the individual.  Billionaires who care.  Billionaires who make a difference.  Billionaires who show us all the values that make them a first class human being, not just a first class business person.

With this said, I can name my top 5 favourite business super heroes:  Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Anita Roddick, Robert Kiyosaki and Oprah Winfrey.

For me each of these people represents something important in this world… they show us that you can be wildly successful and in doing so make a difference to millions of people.

Who would you put on your top 5 business super hero list?  And why?

Business Mentoring Tip#55 – Imagine your are Apple for a day

I was up at the crack of dawn to work on my book again this morning.  The chapter I’m working on is called “Driving value through your brand” and I find myself studying the great brands of our time to demonstrate some of the points I’m making.  You can’t really write a chapter on branding without looking at Apple.  And you can’t look at the Apple brand without thinking about the core driver of this brand.


Apple’s positioning line is ‘Think Different’  and these two simple words drive everything the company is about.  And in an instant they explain why this company is so successful.  Things are moving so fast right now in the world of technology and business.  Nothing is what it was six months ago even.   The companies who embrace change and implement new ideas quickly are the ones who will flourish.

Steve Jobs was exploring and looking new ideas right up until he died.  Here’s a quote from him I found,

“So when a good idea comes, you know, part of my job is to move it around, just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving among that group of 100 people, get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and, you know – just explore things.”

My tip for you today is to spend an hour or two this week thinking differently about your business.  If you were to embrace the culture of Apple, just for a moment, how could you be the most innovative company in your industry?

Business Mentoring Tip #53 – What does your logo say about you?

What values do you think of when you see this symbol – the logo for Mercedes Benz? Quality and luxury right? You know what this brand stands for just from its logo.  Just like you know that a swoosh tick logo stands for a just do it attitude.  Right?

Do you know why this is?  Because these companies have spent millions and millions on telling you exactly what their brand stands for by every single thing they do.  Mercedes Benz cars are stunning down to the last detail.  They are expensive.  They are for wealthy people.  We know this even if we’ve never been in one.  We’ve seen it in the advertising.  We’ve seen it when a Mercedes drives by with a smart looking guy in a suit, or a glamorous woman looking like she can take on the world.  Mercedes attracts the customers that love the luxury and prestige that goes with their brand.

Nike has invested years and dollars in that swoosh tick we know so well.  The logo represents a brand that we all know has an attitude we aspire to.  Nike stands for the challenge of feeling the fear and doing it anyway.  No excuses.  Just get out there and make it happen.   This is the attitude that drives the company, the culture, the advertising and every single thing that Nike does.

The key point I’m making here is that a logo is just a logo.  It is the brand that gives it meaning.  And brand is a core driver in creating a valuable business.

What does your brand stand for?  What does your logo really mean?  What values would you want people to associate with your logo every time they see it?  Think about these questions.  Then think about what you need to do to make your brand so strong people would know exactly what your company stood for just by looking at your logo.

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness.  Business mentors and experts in small business exit strategies.  Based in Wellington, New Zealand.

50 qualities of the best business blogs in the world

I stumbled across this blog by Marcus Sheridan whilst exploring tips for blogging… thought I’d share it with you. Here’s the link:

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness.  Business mentors and experts in small business exit strategies. Based in Wellington, New Zealand.

Business Mentoring Tip #52 – Discipline damn it!

Over coffee sometime last year a senior partner in a big accountancy firm told me what he believed made the difference between business owners who succeed and business owners who do not.

You guessed it. Discipline.

He said he sees every sort of business, in all shapes and sizes. He sees them come and he sees them go. He told me that he can spot a business owner who will build a successful business. The one’s with the discipline. I guess it makes sense. When you think about any area of success… it is typically those with discipine and drive who make it to the top. Sport is a classic example. Discipline to get up at 5am every morning to train while the rest of the world sleeps… this is what it takes.

I’ve been getting up at 5am for a month now to write my book. I was inspired by best selling author Bryce Courtenay who wrote about the discipline he had writing his first book and holding down a demanding job running an advertising agency. I know that when you want something really badly, you have to have the discipline to work at it. I want to finish my book. What do you want? And what discipline do you have to put in place to achieve it?

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness. Business mentors and experts in exit strategies for small business. Based in Wellington, New Zealand.