22
Apr

6 Rules to Building a Simple, Elegant and Sustainable Service-Based Business

On developing YOUR unique expression through business to reflect an elegant simplicity with depth and meaning.

1. Be Nimble

Take a page from the tech startup playbook, and adopt a “Rapid Prototyping” mindset.

You’ve gotta start somewhere, and you won’t know until you take the action, see the results, and learn from real reactions from real people.

Don’t chase your tail in circles, waiting for all those marketing exercises to look perfect. Stop thinking if you get the approval of some business coach, your business will be bulletproof.

Hone in on your genius by doing good work… and see where you excel.

Be willing to pivot. Commit to excellence, not convenience.

Don’t get too attached just because you’ve invested time and money in some training or certification. Everything builds up to a final expression that’s uniquely yours because you’re bringing to the table a one-of-a-kind combination of skills and experiences.

2. Don’t Spread Too Thin

We’ve been told a million and one things we need to “fill the funnel” – the freebies, the tripwire, the eBook, the online course, the big group program, the small group program, the private coaching, and the live event.

When those coaches break up the numbers and show you how to get to “6 figures,” it sounds pretty darn good… if you can do 7 things all at once.

Yet, chances are, you’re not a genius in delivering every single format. You may suck at some and drag your ass on others… people can smell it miles away if you aren’t excited about it.

If it’s just something to check off the list, don’t do it.

You don’t have to fill up every single “rung” of what a “business model” should look like. You don’t have to offer everything everyone is selling.

You need to find the expressions that allow you to be in your zone of genius as much as possible. And get unapologetically good at it.

3. Redefine “Leveraging”

What about “leveraging?” You may ask – because that’s another irresponsible sound byte so many are tossing around.

Irresponsible because it’s defined rather narrowly in most cases and often send us down a rabbit hole.

Think outside “leveraging = 1: many” box in the form of digital products, online courses or group programs.

(Note that you have to invest time and effort to create those content before you even get paid… there’s always an opportunity cost. Is it the best way to spend your time and genius? Have you done the work to make sure you don’t hear cricket when you launch?)

Leveraging can just simply mean that you hone your skills, get amazingly good at it, articulate the value and relevance so you can charge a premium.

4. Forget “Charge What You’re Worth”

This is my big pet peeve.

Don’t tie your self-worth with what people pay you… so disempowering.

I’ve heard coaches being told in whatever training that they’ve to charge some crazy amount per month (even if they’re just starting out)… otherwise, they’re not doing it right.

Stop.

Before we talk number, let’s talk what the number is about.

It’s about what you bring to the table. It’s about how you create meaning and deliver value.

It’s about whether you can say it out loud with confidence and conscience.

Your fee is only as good as what people are willing to pay – and it depends on how confidently and genuinely you can articulate the value, and do good work to deliver above and beyond your promise.

Those who charge $10k a month, and make it worth every penny and more, didn’t start there. They deliver, and they demand a fair exchange for the value they create for their clients.

Get to work. Don’t put yourself on the pedestal. Put yourself in the trenches.

5. Get Out Of the Bubble

All the coaching, programs, and training are putting us in the echo chamber.

It took me almost a year to detox so I can hear mySELF think.

Do what’s right for you. Don’t get sucked into sound bytes and rhetoric.

We’re seeing a backlash to all the sales messages, online courses, and coaching program in this space. When everyone wants to sell you something that sounds just like the next guy, the market gets jaded, skeptical and resistant.

You need to be surer than ever what YOU and your business need at this moment before investing. It’s not “if you’re unwilling to invest in yourself (and whip out the credit card now) you can’t expect others to invest in you” rhetoric – which is selfish, fear-based BS.

It’s not just the money. It’s the TIME and mental space – if you spend time and mental space on one thing, you won’t have it for others that actually matter.

6. Be Honest With Yourself

At the end of the journey, YOU are what matters.

Enough asking your Facebook group buddies how to make your decisions. Don’t be intellectually lazy. Take responsibility.

Most people you meet along the way will eventually fall off – what you do needs to be meaningful to you.

Ling Wong:: Intuitive Brainiac | Creativity Mentor | Copywriting Alchemist. Author of “Copywriting Alchemy: Secrets to Turning a Powerful Personal Brand Into Content that Sells” now available on Amazon.

Through her unique blend of marketing coaching, content strategy and copywriting process, she helps the maverick-preneurs uncover, articulate & transform their WHY into content that connects, resonates and converts – by way of an intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 15 years experience in the online marketing industry.

Ling is Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, and Email Marketing certified. Through her writing engagements with various SaaS and marketing companies with the goals of driving organic traffic, building readership and increasing conversion, she’s well-versed in topics including online marketing, content marketing, eCommerce, conversion, UX, social media marketing, and more.

She helps coaches, consultants, service professionals, solopreneurs and small businesses apply these best practices to their specific business models and circumstances.

22
Apr

7 Way to Find Investors For Your New Business

If you have a solid business plan, you may want to look for potential investors. While this is a difficult step, you may want to stay ready. It’s suggested that you should talk to hundreds of potential investors before choosing the right one for your new business. Here are a few good ways to look for the best investors.

Start-up Launch Platforms

You can contact companies that offer research, information and assistance to new business owners. They help you start your business and look for the right investors. These companies have millions of members all over the world. So, you can get in touch with a good company that offers these services.

Angel Networks

Another way is to look for angel investors. They will offer funds in addition to provide advice, mentorship and access to valuable contacts. As a matter of fact, this is all what you need in order to get your business started and then run it with great success. Make sure you do try out angel networks. These organizations have a list of tons of angel investors who help new businesses with their funds.

Crowdfunding Sites

Just like other sources, crowdfunding sites give you access to different types of good investors. They include common people who want to be part of the next big thing as well as philanthropists who want to help others with their dreams. Aside from this, crowdfunding sites may include accredited investors looking for fresh ideas for investment.

Actually, each site has different focal point for incentivizing investors. Therefore, we suggest that you read up on each site to choose one that aligns with the powerful strategic goals you have set.

Incubators And Accelerators

Since your new business is like a baby, you need to work with a good accelerator or incubator. This way you can get the investor resources to grow your business. These investors perform a big role and help you turn your ideas into a business.

At times, some incubators and accelerators provide physical space so you can establish your office. Since other start-ups will share the same physical space, you can share ideas growing your businesses together. Start-up accelerators like Ycombinator and TechStars provide advice and many other services to investors like you.

Small Business Administration

You can also contact the Small Business Administration for funding. The organization has been offering solid programs for the stimulation of the economy. Basically, they offer loans and grants to small start-ups.

Social Networking Sites

Aside from LinkedIn, many social networking websites can help you get in touch with different types of investors. These sites help you to contact investors all over the world. Moreover, they promote your products or services in other countries of the world as well. Some good names in this field include Meetup, Cofoundr, Startup Nation and EFactor, just to name a few.

Private Equity Firms

If your start-up has great potential to grow into a big business, private equity firms can help you. They can provide you with millions of dollars so you can grow your business. You can check them out as well.

22
Apr

Different Ways To Raise Money For A Business

Any business requires capital and investment. When we use the word ‘capital’, we refer to the entrepreneur’s stake in the business. Investments refer to the stake of the other shareholders. You need both of these quantities in good measure to run a successful business empire. Let us now focus on the different ways of raising money.

Raising Money

When you venture into the market seeking ways to raise money, you get hundreds of people advising you on the different ways to raise and manage money. However, none of them may ever sign a check for you. There are rough and smooth times in the market. We have listed some simple ways of raising capital.

Seed Capital

The amount of money you bring in when venturing into any kind of business initiative is the seed capital. You can also take the advantage of angel investors today. There are people who are ready to fund start-up industries all over the world. However, you need to have a strong project to attract angel investors. You have to make sure that you keep up the trust reposed on you by these angel investors.

Bank Loans:

Availing bank loans is the second most popular way of raising money other than bringing in one’s share of capital. In this liberalized age, you can find many banks formulating loan options for new start-up entrepreneurs to acquire machinery, working capital, etc. Some banks have plans where you do not have to provide any kind of collateral security. Searching for such options should be your priority.

Raise Funds:

You can raise funds from people you know such as friends and relatives. You can also raise funds from the market. Having a viable project on hand is a pre-requisite for raising funds from the market. People will have to believe in your ability to generate profits. No one likes to invest in a loss making company. The first steps are difficult. However, if you overcome the initial hardships and prove your ability to succeed, you will never face any shortage of funds from the market.

Have advisors invest in your business:

People are generally good at giving advice to others because it does not cost them any money. A successful businessperson is one who makes these advisors invest in the business. In this way, he or she can make sure that he or she gets great financial advice every time.

Conclusion:

Managing these funds and channeling them into profit is not easy. It generates a great amount of stress.

22
Apr

Manage Stress In Business To Succeed

Business has its crests and troughs. Naturally, there is an element of stress in business. When you do not do well, stress can accumulate and bring you down even further. Therefore, a successful businessperson is one who is able to manage stress. You can never avoid stress. Managing stress is the key to becoming successful in business. I have shared some methods that can help reduce stress during the course of this article.

Relieving Stress

First, money is important, but not everything in life. You will have to learn to take the losses in stride. It is easy for anyone to preach. Nevertheless, one can reduce stress by having an open mind. This open mind allows us to absorb the losses as part of life. If you manage to do this, you have won half the battle against stress.

Ascertain the facts:

When you are suffering losses, something has gone wrong somewhere. It is advisable to ascertain the facts and analyze your mistakes with a cool head. This will enable you to plan well. When you realize your mistakes, you will not repeat them. Thus, you can find ways to beat the stress.

Identify the cause of the stress:

Stress can be of two types. When you start worrying about things you are afraid of or do not wish to happen, you accumulate ‘Bad Stress’. At the same, when you stress over real issues, you experience ‘Good Stress’. Distinguish between the two stresses and prioritize your fight against stress. This will make your life easier.

Take the advice of experts:

When you take the advice of others, you are simply sharing your burden. Your shoulders become light thereby enabling you to think fresh. At the same time, you get a third party perspective on things. A financial expert can suggest some beautiful ways to get away from financial stress. Taking the advice of such people is always beneficial to you in the end.

Pause and proceed:

This is one of the time-tested methods of relieving stress. Taking a pause or a deep breath can help you analyze things with a cool mind. You usually end up finding the solution to your problems almost immediately. Relaxing your mind and body is essential. If possible, take a break and go for a nice holiday to recharge your batteries.

Take care of your health:

There are many things in life more important than money. The sooner you realize and accept this fact, the better you will start to feel. Your health plays a great role in relieving stress. Taking care of your health is of paramount importance.

22
Apr

Three Fundamental Tips On How To Succeed In Business

Do you want to be successful in business? This seems like a silly question to ask. It is like asking a hungry person whether he or she wants food to eat. Who does not want to be successful in business? Let us see some simple tips that can ensure success in your business endeavors.

Open a Bank Account:

Of course, there are various ways of receiving money. People can pay in cash, check, through debit or credit cards, or even through the electronic method. You will need to have a bank account to collect the funds. Therefore, opening a bank account is the first thing you have to do in business. You can start with a simple current account. As your business develops, you can ask for a line of credit from the bank.

Hire a good accountant:

You have done the first step. Now, you need someone to keep track of your billing and payments. There are two ways of doing it. One way is to handle things on your own. The second and more sensible way is to hire an accountant to do the job for you. Naturally, he or she should be adept at preparing financial statements, tax returns, etc. There are software programs to take care of these aspects. A good accountant should be able to manage the software programs as well.

Have a good budget:

Driving a boat in a calm sea is very easy. Anyone can do it. Maneuvering the boat in choppy waters requires tremendous skills. Similarly, every cash management plan may have holes in it. You never know where and how your money starts leaking. At the end of the day, you should have enough money in the bank as savings. You will have to have a neat budget to enable this. Without a budget, it is like driving a car blindfolded. You never know where you will crash.

Bonus Tip: Money Management:

In business, people measure success by the amount of money you earn. Hence, money management becomes the most important aspect of becoming successful in business.

You might be a product manufacturer or a service provider. It does not matter at all. It all boils down to the fact that you have to receive money for the value of your products or services to complete the chain. The challenge on hand is learning how to receive the money and how to grow it when you receive it.

Conclusion:

You have seen three simple tricks on how to effectively manage your resources better.

22
Apr

Is Being Able To Spot A Trend An Important Skill To Succeed In Business?

The only thing permanent in the world is ‘Change’. The person who is capable of adapting to the change is successful. This is true in life and in business. Every day is a new day in business. One should look forward to tomorrow and live in the present. If you want to succeed in business, you have to look into the future and spot trends before others do it. So being able to spot a trend in business is incredibly important.

Spotting Trends

Spotting trends require a lot of practice. This article dwells on certain tips to follow that can enable you to spot the trends before others beat you to it.

Have a sense of anticipation:

There is a difference between novelty and trends. Every trend begins with a novelty, but not every novelty ends into a trend. One of the finest examples of a novelty becoming a trend is the success of Uber. What started as a mere car-pooling service, ended up as one of the fastest growing ‘call taxi service’ in the world. This is because the founders of Uber, Travis Kalanick, and Garrett Camp had the vision to grow a business opportunity from an activity as simple as hailing a cab.

Sense the change:

You can experience novelty on a daily basis. It does not take much time for a novelty to develop into a trend. Keeping your eyes and ears wide-open can help under such circumstances. Every novelty displays certain specific characteristics. The trick is in identifying them and cashing in at the appropriate moment.

Know the difference between a fad and a trend:

Most of the novel ideas end up as fads. They are momentary and hence do not have much value in business. However, certain characteristics last long enough for a fad to become a trend. A successful businessperson is one who has the ability to take note of this fact at the earliest opportunity.

Move fast:

Sensing an opportunity is one thing and cashing in on it is something else. You might not be the only entrepreneur to spot a trend. Many more people might have this ability. It boils down to the fact as to who takes the first step. The first entrant into the field stands to gain the most. By remaining ahead of the others, you capture a chunk of the market before the others move in.

If you do not know how to spot a trend, there are organizations of experts who offer free advice to those who are serious in trying to learn how to do so.

21
Apr

How Much Sales Is Involved With Business Development?

If you ask a group of people what they think business development is, you would most likely get a few different answers. There is even a chance that your own view of business development and sales may be used interchangeably.

Business development involves more of a strategic approach such as strategy, marketing, customer management, and partnerships; these activities encompass about 75%-80% of the approach, and sales about 20%-25%.

When I get asked the question, does business development have something to do with sales? Yes, it does. Is it related to business growth? Most definitely it does. Does it have anything to do with business strategy? There is a good chance it does.

Business development is a culmination of these different activities but most importantly, it’s all about shifting to the point of view of the client. This will provide you with that new perspective and will have you balance your efforts across these key activities that you and your client will both need and address. Whenever you conduct your business development efforts make sure to take the perspective from the client’s point of view and try to develop a deeper understanding of what their problem is. Realize that the client only cares about one thing and that’s their own group or company’s survival and the problem that they are facing. The client is only interested in you if they identify a need/problem or pain point that you can solve and provide a solution for it. It’s the kind of value that you can provide them that will enable them to consider your firm for the project.

If your firm’s approach is strictly from a sales perspective, generally, the economy of scale is to grow as large as you can. The strategy is to sell your product or service with a clear price and value directly to an identifiable individual client.

From a Business development perspective, the economy of scale is much smaller because the approach to your service is more strategic with the intent to create a partnership. It entails cultivating a relationship with the client and provide a service that could be more cyclical by working through existing partner infrastructures.

In my 14+ years of professional experience in management consulting, business development has been stretched to encompass a wider variety of activities with the intent to stay smaller in size. In its most traditional definition it is all about developing partnerships, which often includes some sales. Whereas, strictly sales are more transaction oriented where scalability is the differentiator.

Ernest is a Director for Bradson Consulting. The firm with a unique model, combines client relationships from Fortune 100 and 500 companies like Nike, T-Mobile, AT&T, Microsoft, and Expedia etc. with a deep network of the region’s top consulting talent. This approach provides our clients with senior consultants with the specific expertise and industry experience that is relevant and applicable to their needs. Our clients engage us for both leadership and execution within critical business initiatives.

21
Apr

The Importance Of Custom Reports For Your Business

What are custom reports and why are they so useful?
Custom reports help you to document your business’s progress, provide you with a way of comparing that progress over certain periods and assist you in tracking your history of growth. While your profit margins each year, may give you an idea of how your business is progressing, the data that you can collect in reports can be far more beneficial to you when formulating your budget and making plans for the upcoming year.

These reports can also give an insight as to which products or services have been the most successful, and which markets you may have overlooked. In fact, you’ll find that there are many reasons to check back to the data that you’ve collected as your business grows.

More reasons why a business report can be helpful for your business:
Custom reports can also help you to create a paper trail of your past transactions and business history. These can of course be stored on a computer, and can then be made readily available should you approach a bank for a loan or even make the decision to sell your business. It’s crucial that you let someone other than yourself know where they can find your custom reports, should you be unable to access them for any reason.

Whether your business currently creates custom reports or not, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing so, not only because it can give important insights into your business, but also because you would be required to produce them should you ever take on a corporate label.

Annual reports are especially helpful if you’re trying to market your business or seek new clients, and as they are often made glossy and attractive to look at, they can be a great tool to use when wanting to give others a complete overview of your business. Corporations must produce these annually to comply with legal obligations to stockholders and government agencies, and many larger companies have now begun to appreciate the value of annual reports and are producing them whether obliged to or not.

Who can you turn to if you’ve never created a business report?
There are a good number of companies who specialise in assisting businesses with custom reports, and who can ensure that you make the most of the data available to you. Many tax and accounting firms offer this as part of their bookkeeping packages, and as these reports are a crucial aspect of any successful business, it would be prudent to keep them up to date.

21
Apr

Is Your Business Getting Enough Exercise?

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”

This quote from Wayne Dyer highlights one of the big truths of having your own business. Your choices define what happens.

Are you exercising your opportunities to make good choices? Do they serve you and your business?

Those are questions to ask yourself, especially when you’re busy and it’s easy to slip into being reactive.

Exercise your freedom of choice to be responsive instead.

This is especially important when dealing with your customers. Make conscious choices about how you want to respond.

Customer responsiveness doesn’t just mean answering quickly, although that’s an important part of showing them that they matter to you.

Responsiveness is also about really listening, deeply listening. What is the undercurrent of what’s being said? What is at the heart of their request or concern?

Another aspect of customer responsiveness is to treat them the way they wish to be treated, as long as it doesn’t compromise your values. Adapt to their style. A good example of this is Jeffrey’s client Amy.

Jeffrey had been following up with Amy regularly, to define what she was looking for from Jeffrey as a real estate agent. It was not going well. Amy responded with short and often unclear replies.

Jeffrey likes to communicate by email. He finds it fast, easy, and productive.

With Amy’s responses, Jeffrey was getting frustrated, and he found himself firing off responses quickly and without considering the tone behind them.

Amy finds email cumbersome. She’s not a writer by nature, and she prefers to talk on the phone.

Once Jeffrey was able to step back from his own reactivity and consider, “What’s behind this difficulty we’re having?”, he asked Amy how she’d like to communicate.

He found out the phone worked better for her. When he understood what was behind Amy’s uncommunicative email style, he became more conscious of his tone again. Over the phone, they were able to finalize their agreement and get underway.

Setting this kind of example, making a new choice about how they communicated, went a long way to smooth Amy’s ruffled feathers and ease her own frustration around written communication.

And it ended with a hefty commission for Jeffrey when he was able to sell her property.

Exercising choice also comes into play when you’re considering who you’d like to work with. Your “ideal clients” are those that are a great fit for you, where you can co-create an environment that allows you to do your best work.

Those choices can make all the difference in your business income. When my client Kim and I worked on defining and choosing her ideal clients, rather than taking every project that came along, things started to shift.

She began to focus her effort around clients that were a great match for her and her business. In doing so, she found joy in those interactions. Work began to have more ease. She increased her income.

Your business is built one choice at a time. One relationship at a time, one customer at a time. Making good choices about those relationships will help your business grow and increase the impact you have.

You don’t make those choices all at once. You make them one situation at a time.

Is your business getting enough exercise? Exercise choice in your business, conscious choice that serves everyone involved. That will keep your business fit for a long time to come.