Business Mentor Tip #41 – Don’t be afraid to say no

Being in business can make you a real ‘yes’ man/woman.  Yes to any new business that comes your way.  Yes to whatever your demanding clients demand of you.  Yes to the staff member who needs a day off on your busiest day of the year.  But remember, good business is about quality.  You want quality clients, not just any old idiot who wants to do business with you.  Say NO to small budgets, teeny projects that you know you’ll lose money on, bad briefs, ridiculous deadlines.  Say YES to quality clients, quality communication, good budgets… in effect, say YES to good relationships… with clients and staff alike. Your business will grow in value the more you respect your offering.  Don’t sell yourself cheap!

Business Mentor Tip # 38 – Screw business as usual

Sir Richard’s lastest book is right on the money as usual.  Love his and VirginUnite’s ‘business can be a force for good philosophy’. Check out http://virginunite.screwbusinessasusual.com/ to get on board with the new wave of business… led by the rebel with a cause himself.

The world is needs business owners to change the way we look at business, you must have a purpose and be making a difference to the community and great world with what your business does.  It’s our moral responsibility now.

Business Mentor Tip #37 – Never give up!


What more can I say? This video is an oldie but goody… makes me cry! The message is clear folks… it will get tough, but finish what you started and make it to the finish line.

Business Mentor Tip # 34 – Don’t pray and spray your PR!

Here’s a top tip from one of New Zealand’s most savvy PR consultants, Bridgette Paton-Tapsell of Village PR and Marketing http://villagepr.co.nz/ :

When you send your news releases to media, don’t be afraid to follow up the journalists with a phone call. Media get bombarded with media releases and sometimes even fantastic stories get shelved for later, then unintentionally lost in email space.  Don’t pray and spray with news releases.  Determine the outcome with a well-timed, persuasive and succient follow up call. And if they say no, make sure you find out why the story was rejected, to learn if you need to make improvements.

Thanks Bridgette, great to grab a top tip from an expert – I’ve certainly been guilty of not following up press releases before.  No more though!

If you have a top tip from your area of expertise you’d like to share with liber8yourbusiness followers, please email it to me at laura@liber8yourbusiness.com.

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

Business Mentoring Tip # 32 – Know your margin

It’s easy for small business owners to think sales/income is the key number you need to be focusing on.  But actually the key figure is your Gross Profit figure (sales minus cost of sales) and your margin… the % difference between your income and your Gross Profit.  You can have millions of dollars of sales and think you are doing well, but if your cost of sales is is nearly equal to a million dollars and your margin is being squeezed by high cost of sales… you could be in trouble.  Finding ways to increase your margin… increase your prices/lower your cost of sales is a great way to increase your profitability.

How healthy is your margin?

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

Business Mentoring Tip # 31 – Education is the key to success…

I’ve decided to start numbering my business mentoring tips to make sure I get to 100 before I stop.  So here’s number tip number 31…

If you know any very successful business people you may have observed something they all have in common… they all continue to educate themselves.  I’ll bet you anything, Bill Gates reads business books and watches business videos,  talk business with other very successful business people.   Just because they are at the top of their game doesn’t stop them learning.   So what about you?  What are you reading right now?  What seminars are you going to?  What courses are you subscribing to?  What blogs have you signed up for?  There is so much great information out there…

Here’s the tip. Make a promise to yourself to have two books on the go at any given time.  One for pleasure to relax you and one for business to enrich you.  If you are not sure what to read start with Micheal Gerber’s The E Myth.  Only until my book The Liber8 Factor comes out… then you will want to be reading that!!!

Let me know your favourite business book…

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

Business Mentor Tip – Try this formula for effective goal setting

Now is the time of year for goal setting.  I’m a bit late this year… spent too much time on holiday (is there such a thing??).  But every year I make sure I’ve got my goals clearly defined and most importantly, written down.  There is something so powerful about putting your goals down in writing.  I’m sure it triggers something in your subconscious that makes you do the right things towards achieving them, even when you’ve forgotten what they are halfway through the year. Anyway, in my constant pursuit of a balanced life I set goals across all areas of my life, not just my business.

I do have a formula for effective goal setting that works really well for me, so I thought I’d share how I do it.  Hope its useful for you!

1. Start with your purpose
You may remember from my last blog that I have articulated my life purpose in one simple sentence, which is:

“To live a wealthy, healthy, happy life whilst making a difference to as many people as I can”

This covers all aspects of a life well lived in my view as under those four areas (health, wealth, happiness and making a difference) I can set goals to cover everything that’s important to me.  I put my purpose at the top of a blank sheet of paper to remind me what my goals need to deliver to.

2. List your the key areas in your life that are most important to you

For me these are:  Health, Wealth, Happiness and Giving Back (Contribution)

3.  Put sub-headings under each area.

What aspects of your life are most most important to your feeling of success under each of these headings?

For example, under Happiness I put the sub-headings ‘Relationships’,’Family’, ‘Leisure/me-time’; under “Health” I put ‘Fitness’ and ‘Emotional/mental health’; under “Wealth” I put ‘Business’ and ‘Investing’….. you get the idea.

4.  Determine if you need to sub-categorise further

For example, I have two businesses so I under my Wealth category of ‘Business’ I put liber8yourbusiness and Pet Angels sub-headings, as I will have key goals for each of these (of course the business plan for each business will have much more specific goals and targets for the business)

5. Allocate no more than 3 goals to each sub-category.

Limiting yourself to three goals under each heading keeps you focussed on what’s really important to  you.

6. Remember goals must be measurable, slightly challenging but realistic (eg. a goals to conquer the world is a challenge but might not be realistic), measurable and time bound (write a date by which this goal will be achieved).

Here’s an example of one of my three goals under the liber8yourbusiness heading:

To have a further 1000 new members join the liber8yourbusiness programme by March 31 2013

7.  List 3 key strategies under each goal – what are you to do to achieve this goal?

A goal without a plan is just a goal.  So to increase your chances of success, you need strategies for achievement.

To continue the liber8yourbusiness example… my goal is to have 1000 more members.  My three key strategies are:

1. Improve internet conversion to sales

2. Ramp up PR activities

3. Publish book to increase profile

8.  List 3 tactics that will be implemented for each strategy

I’ll carry on the liber8yourbusiness example and give you the action steps under one of the key strategies:

Strategy: “To improve internet conversion to sales”

Tactics:

1. Re-vamp website with focus on conversion

2. Add Affiliate membership function

3.  Implement internet marketing campaigns to drive traffic to site

  9.  Under each tactic, list 3 actions you can do this month to get momentum going.

If you want to turn your goals into a plan, you can keep going after the strategies and tactics, and start giving yourself action tasks.   I won’t give you an example this time, I think its pretty self explanatory.  One the key traits of wealthy entreprenuers is the ability to take action.  The formula for successs is simple:

Goal + Plan + Action = Success

Hope this was of some use… I’m off to finish  my goals!

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

Daily Business Mentor Tip – Above everything else – maintain your values!

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/business/6118873/Little-School-a-big-idea I borrowed this tip from Maria Johnson of Little Schools, winner of the Supreme Regional Business Woman of the Year award recently. See the interview with Maria in today’s Dom Post. Her final tip for budding entrepreneurs… above everything else – maintain your values.

Your values are what ultimately defines your brand, which in turn defines your business. Be clear what you stand for and how this manifests in your business. I have strong personal values of self-responsibility and integrity and these permeate the culture of every business I am involved with.

Exercise for today…. think about your personal values and how they can infiltrate your business and your brand.

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

Daily Business Mentor Tip – Create a wall of fame

I’d like to credit Mike Brunel for this tip.  Mike lead the seminar on sales in the liber8yourbusiness online seminar programme.   Director of NRS Media (www.nrsmedia.com) and founder of Talking Media Sales, the blog and website for media salespeople www.talkingmediasales.com Mike  is a sales guru from way back.  He’s also a great teacher.  Here’s just one of the 17 sales tips in his liber8yourbusiness Seminar, Sales 101.

Identify the attributes of your ideal client (use your most favourite current client as your example).  Then make a list of all the clients in your industry who match this profile.  Write these names on post its or on a white board…. make ‘Your Wall of Fame”.  Make sure its visable to the people involved in sales in your company Then set a goal with your team to turn these names into clients.

In future tips I’ll give you some strategies to help you convert prospects into clients.

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

Winner Best Use of Technology Award!

Bit of bragging here.  My other business, Pet Angels Heavenly Pet Care, just won the Best Use of Technology Award at Her Regional Business Woman of the Year in Wellington.  An exciting award for us.  As you know I am 100% committed to the belief that businesses must be systemised and automate as much of the process side of the business as possible.  It’s all about leverage.  Do more with less. Pet Angels has a very clever online search and booking system which feeds into an automated back end. As such we have used technology to lighten the load and keep us and our Licensees focused on the important business of doing business.  Nice to be acknowledged!

I also encourage clients to enter awards to add to the profile and value of their business… have to practice what we preach, eh?

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