Double Your Income
  • Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    Winston Churchill

  • In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.

    Bill Cosby

  • Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.
    Abraham Lincoln

Small Business Tips: Leveraging the ‘Power of Many’

Leveraging the ‘Power of Many’

by Influencing the Outcome in your Favor

Of all the small business tips we share, today’s insight on how you can leverage the power of many to grow your business is very timely and important.

When you hear the expression “a self made millionaire,” what comes to mind for you? Who do you know that has achieved this feat all by themselves? The truth is no one ever achieved great riches or success in a vacuum. In every case it took a team, an army, a flock … people who served as resources, partners, supporters, and enthusiasts.

So we network … nothing new. For the last 100 years certain networking can be termed mastermind, mostly due to the success of Napoleon Hill’s best seller Think and Grow Rich, where he coined the word. It’s important because he interviewed five hundred of our country’s most successful citizens, all happy, healthy and wealthy, to determine what were they doing that everyone else failed to do.

Dr. Hill’s benefactor Andrew Carnegie had no less than sixty mastermind partners as he grew Carnegie Steel. Resources, experts, authorities on every subject required for him to achieve business success. He didn’t have to learn everything, a big time saver, and had experts available for anticipated obstacles in growing his business. And grow it, he did. This is one vital key to leveraging the power of many to influence outcome in your favor.

Henry Ford was not an engineer yet he charged Ford Motor Company engineers to develop the eight-cylinder engine. As the story goes, the engineers reported six months in that it was impossible — they had already done everything they knew to do. Or so they thought. Ford said keep moving and six months later  the mystery was solved. I wonder if Ford  knew that we never get an idea we cannot achieve, or that all ideas are already here, just waiting for someone to figure them out.

Small business tips

The history of success based on the ‘power of many’ goes back some five thousand years when we began recording history.  From Alexander to Jesus Christ, history is filled with powerful alliances which brought success to the leader and in many cases their mastermind partners. Napoleon Hill was not paid for his twenty years compiling data for Think and Grow Rich, yet he became a millionaire through his circle of influence … his ‘power of many’ … those he interviewed repeatedly over two decades to track their success. Which of us would take on a twenty year project with zero pay in the agreement? I wonder if Dr. Hill just knew this was the right path for him. He became an authority on success by reporting and measuring the successes of others over time. He truly was the 20th Century’s number one reporter.

To effectively leverage the power of many to grow your business, start with these few things to find your circle own of influence or mastermind.

  1. Begin observing the people in your networking circles that you particularly resonate and connect with; people you respect and do business with. Select ten.
  2. Invite them together for a mastermind inquiry with the specific purpose of determining if all wish to be part of an ongoing mastermind.
  3. Or … work with them privately without their knowing they are part of your power of many.

If this idea appeals to you and you are motivated to leverage the power of many yourself and create a mastermind or small virtual circle to step up your business growth, you can get the details in the mastermind chapter in the Amazon best seller 17 Legal Ways to Double Your Income or in the chapter Women, Wealth, and Mastermind in the Amazon best seller Champion. 21st Century Women: Guardians of Wealth and Legacy by Leslie Flowers. Step into your own greatness and surround yourself with people looking to do the same.

Contributor:

Leslie Flowers, Founder of mavenZminds (Masterminds for Business Women), and Performance and Achievement Academy.

Small Business Tips: Stellar Customer Service is the Secret to Bigger Sales

Liz Losey was a speaker at the 17 Legal Ways Spring Summit focused on Increasing Customer Value. Here is a recap of the Customer Service process she shared as a key small business tip. Following a strong system is a sure way to Double Your Income.

Stellar Customer Service is the Secret to Bigger Sales
By Liz Losey

People buy from others who they know, like and trust. So who is your best customer? Someone who has already bought from you! So now it’s up to you to take good care of them. The first key to keeping your customers happy is to clearly and consistently communicate with them. The number one complaint from customers is that they didn’t know what was going on, or what to expect.

A wise man once said, “The customer may not always be right, but the customer is always the customer” (Earl Hadden). So keep in mind that you are the expert in your relationship, but always treat your customers with respect and integrity. So who is responsible for “customer service” at your company? Everyone should be invested in making sure that your customers are satisfied. Just like the “Disney Way” – everyone from the CEO to the janitors is responsible and empowered to make sure that guests have a fantastic experience. All of this is great in theory – but how to apply it? You must have a system in place to make sure that your customers are happy with their experience.

small business tips

I like to use the 2-2-2 system that I learned from direct sales trainer, Belinda Ellsworth (www.stepintosuccess.com). This stands for 2 Days, 2 Weeks, 2 Months. The timing can be adjusted to work in any industry, but here is how it looks in my business.

1. 2 Days – Within 24-48 hours after your initial sale, while the experience is still fresh in your customer’s mind, call them to thank them for the business. You can also use this time to confirm their purchase, by telling them the positive experiences others have had by making the same or similar purchases. People like to have that reinforcement about what they buy.

2. 2 Weeks – After they receive their products of have a chance to use them for a little bit and experience the benefits of their purchase, give them a call. Make sure that they have opened it and put it to use. Your customers can’t reap the benefits of what they have bought from you if it’s still in the box. They may have concerns about their purchase, but this is a great opportunity to address their concerns before they have the chance to complain to their friends that their purchase didn’t turn out as they expected or it’s broken, etc. Granted, these may not be fun issues to deal with, but by dealing with them now you will avoid cranky customers who will tell all their friends about the horrible experience they had. Wouldn’t you rather have your customers telling their friends about your proactive customer service experience?

3. a – This refers to the ongoing support and communication that you will provide for your customers. By continually building relationships, this is a great opportunity to tell your customers about your referral programs, additional items that you have that they would benefit from purchasing and asking for testimonials.

Among the many small business tips you may read today, this is a big one: If you don’t serve your customers, someone else will.

Small Business Success Tips: 5 Ways to Nurture Those Important Relationships

Small Business Success Tips: 5 Ways to Nurture Those Important Relationships

At our live Summit on Tuesday, we shared a good bit of information about nurturing our relationships with current customers as one way to increase revenue.

The truth is “all business is relationship business”.

Having lunch with a client last week, the conversation turned to how best to follow up with those who expressed interest in his services but decided not to take action right now. While this is always disappointing (since we know we can help them), the relationship does not end with their answer that is, in essence, not “no” but  “not now“.

Since we do know their challenges and where they are right now, it is critical to continue building the relationship by sharing valuable articles, tips, new networking opportunities if appropriate, and insights that will help them.

Here is a cliche that is so very true. Just think about it: We all buy from those we know, like, and trust.

Making that happen (building that trust) requires that we nurture the relationships that have high value in growing our businesses, those with prospects, potential partners, and colleagues.

Like most anything of great value, strong relationships don’t just sprout on their own. We must do our part, take responsibility and do the things that will build relationships for mutual benefit. This must be done consistently, authentically, and with sincerity. We have to not only plant the seed but we have to water it consistently to see any real results.

Here are 5 ways to nurture those relationships gracefully

small business success tips

Make it a priority. I know..We are all very busy. Yet if building strong relationships is critical to your business (and we all know it is), we must make time for it. Neglecting to care for our relationships is like not tending the garden. What happens then? Weeds take over and it’s a mess.

Care. If you  truly want to nurture relationships, you have to sincerely care about people and what is best for them. This quote is really true “People don`t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Your professional expertise and knowledge matters, of course, but keep it in perspective. When you truly do care, let people know.

Make connections. Get out there and meet people, both off line (at networking events, meetings, social events, etc.) and online via social media. Connect with people on things that matter to them. We also can make connections for people with other people. Once you know their interests and needs, you can introduce them to others, connect them to resources and/or connect them to anything else that would help them.

Truly listen. It seems so simple, yet it is most often overlooked. Think about any person you know, and realize that they likely yearn to be really listened to. Think about how it makes you feel when you someone really listens to you. When we are really heard, it strengthens the relationship with that person. You can do that for others – anytime.

Expect the best. Others can tell when we are being cynical or have low expectations. They can also feel it when they know we truly believe in them and have confidence that they can succeed. How often do we truly expect the best for others? And, when we do, do we let them know?

Your turn…How do you nurture those important relationships in your business?

Share your tips and insights in the comment box below so w can all learn from each other on this important topic. Thanks!

Small Business Tips: Stop waiting and start claiming your authority

Small business tips: Stop waiting and start claiming your authority!

Are you waiting for someone to give you permission to claim your place and stand up as the authority in your area of expertise?

I’ve got news for you…

It’s not going to happen.

No one is going to come along and dub you the “queen of solving relationship issues” or the “king of helping parents create a peaceful home for their kids”.

small business tips

Here is our small business tip for you today:  Claim it for yourself!

Ask yourself 2 questions:

  • Do I generally know more than my prospects and clients about the area they need help with?
  • Am I ready and willing to share what I  know to help them?

The answer is Yes to both those questions or you wouldn’t be reading this.

Another small business tip: Grab your own small business success today.  Just get out there and help someone who needs you.

You don’t have to know everything about your topic. You only need to know more than the prospect or client you are helping.

Ever heard the phrase “To every 3rd grader, a 4th grader is a star?” Remember that when you start to doubt that you are ready and capable to market your products and services and help others.

Banish the thought of calling yourself the expert. Just the thought of that may bring up fear and stress.

Instead focus on providing value and service to others…and let them decide if you are the expert.

Don’t believe me? Check out this piece by Seth Godin. Know there are problems to be solved and opportunities are all around you to contribute.

You have all you need…so get moving!

 

This blog post was contributed by Diana M. Needham, one of the speakers for the upcoming 17 Legal Ways Summit. Get all the details here.

 

Small Business Tips: Living Your “Ideal Calendar”

Small Business Tips: Living Your “Ideal Calendar”

Do you start each day with a plan in place?  If you are like most business owners,  you spend each day in a reactive mode, responding to whatever events, tasks, and problems come your way.   By 5:00, you are exhausted, yet cannot really say you accomplished any of your goals.  That’s why the concept of an ideal calendar is so important to understand and implement.

The objectives of the ideal calendar are to:

  • Double our productivity
  • Focus on our most important activities
  • Get more done in less time

Start by creating and building your ideal calendar, which centers around your values and your big dreams and goals for your business. When we are clear about those, the scheduling of time becomes much easier.  No  longer are we reacting to what arrives in our inbox and the requests from others; rather we are in control and making conscious decisions to get more done in less time (and that means less stress!)

What if you could double your productivity, focus on your most important activities, and get more done in less time? That is what this small business tip is all about. Read on to learn how.

calendar stock exc framed 542 425

Here’s the simple process for building your Ideal Calendar and using it every day.

  1. Identify your Core Values, BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) and other long-term goals.  Note: Your BHAG is a three to five year goal.  It should be significant enough that you are a little embarrassed to tell your best friend.
  2. Define the two or three Strategies that you are going to pursue that will lead to achieving your BHAG.  Remember, these must be aligned with your Core Values.
  3. Establish your Tactical (one year) plan and the goals that you intend to accomplish during the year.
  4. Identify monthly goals, weekly and daily targets.  Daily and weekly activities are called IPA’s orIncome Producing Activities.  They are the building blocks of your Ideal Calendar.

Small Business Tips: 3 things to do when things go wrong

Small Business Tips: 3 things to do when things go wrong

When we look to others in business who have succeeded at building multi-million dollar companies, it’s easy to believe that they have the golden touch or that they are luckier than we are. But the truth is that these folks have had their challenges and failures. What is it that makes the difference between these “successful people” and those of us that have not arrived at that level of success?
 
Honestly, it has to do with how they’ve handled their failures. When things go wrong, successful people have “tools” that they use that allow them to learn from their failures and let them continue to move forward.
Here are 3 small business tips you’ll find very helpful the next time you are thrown a curve ball. Notice it’s all about perspective.
Small business tips

Successful people know how to adjust their goals: When successful people fail to meet their goals they have a plan B. What this means is that they are adaptable. If need be, they will realign their goals to meet their current situation or create new goals that are aligned with their current path. You see, in business we try to control everything that happens as we move towards our goals but sometimes we are thrown a curve ball and something unexpected happens. In these cases we sometimes need to readjust our goals to align with the new path we are on due to the unexpected twist we were dealt.

Successful people learn from their failure: When they fail they are able to sit down calmly and assess what went wrong. They understand that from every failure there is a lesson and they are able to learn from their mistakes in order to avoid future failures. Successful people also understand that being willing to fail means that they were able to move out of their safe comfort zone, take some calculated risks and enjoy the growth that failure provides. They understand that without failure, there is no growth.

Successful people are willing to ask for advice: Those who are successful seek out mentors and coaches. They also look for those that have succeeded at the level they’d like to achieve and are not afraid to ask them to give them some advice or support. Successful business men and women know that there is plenty to learn from those that have already “made it” and are not afraid to ask them what costly mistakes to avoid and for encouragement. Also successful people understand that building a business on their own, without the support of a coach or mentor, is extremely difficult and they will look for coaches and mentors to help support them along their journey.

Honestly, successful people are really no different than you and me. The difference is they understand the opportunity that learning from their mistakes and others mistakes allows them.

Have you ever learned something important from a big failure in your business?  Please share your story below. Others in our community would benefit from learning from you.

 

Post contributed by Lisa Hall,  founder of Tight Ship Business Coaching in Knoxville, TN.

 

Small Business Tips: 3 secrets for marketing success

Small Business Tips: 3 secrets for marketing success

Many small business owners and entrepreneurs are confused about how best to market their businesses. There are so many online and offline marketing options that it is easy to become overwhelmed, sit down, and do nothing. For a few moments, let’s put aside our tendency to over complicate  things and consider what would happen if we just simplified our marketing activities.

3 simple secrets for marketing success

small business tips

Try these 3 simple secrets to re-think your current marketing efforts and consider what changes need to be made to make your life simpler and easier.

  • Be clear about who your market is. Who are you here to serve? Sometimes we view that as our purpose. We all are here to help and serve others. Getting clear on just who those “others” are is the key to developing a marketing plan that works. Why? Because you have to know the “who” you want to attract before you can figure out the strategies to do that.
  • Define just 3 simple strategies that get you in front of those you want to serve…and get really good at those.  Ever viewed marketing as an abstract confusing concept and been easily overwhelmed with all the marketing options available? The options can seem like lions, tigers, and bears..Oh my! (Facebook, Pinterest, video, networking, speaking, blogging, LinkedIn, SEO, whoa!). The 3 that are selected must be ones that work for you and you are comfortable doing. So just pick 3 and get started. For those looking to secure clients right away, networking, speaking, and finding referral partners are great places to start.

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