Archive for March, 2011

Break the Glass Ceiling of Earnings

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Remember the “Rule of the Glass Entrepreneurial Ceiling”: 

If you work one-on-one with clients billable by the hour, you will eventually run out of hours to offer clients, thereby limiting your income.

Ask yourself: “How can I work with groups of clients, or offer products and classes to many people, so that my income is not limited by the number of available hours in a week?”

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Category: Creating, Marketing & Teaching Classes, Running a Strong & Efficient Business

Men Won’t Eat What They Don’t Understand

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Aly and I had lunch the other day with my Mom and Dad at a trendy fusion restaurant with a really creative menu. While we were trying turkey wraps with butternut squash inside, what did my Dad have? A steak sandwich and a Coke.

“Dad,” I said, “Why not try something new?”

My Mom (as many Moms do) answered for my father:

“Because men won’t eat what they don’t understand.”

I cracked up laughing because it seemed such a preposterous and over-the-top statement, especially since Aly was sitting next to me trying quinoa for the first time.

But on the way home I got to thinking: maybe she’s right!

Aly had asked the waitress: What Is Quinoa? She gave him a full description of what it was, how it was cooked and how it would taste. She took the mystery out of this new item and made Aly feel safe in trying it.

It’s not just men who won’t try something new unless they feel safe about it, it’s all of us.

When you’re doing marketing and explaining to your customers the service or product you’re offering, you must help them to understand everything that’s involved with it:

  • what it does
  • what it doesn’t do
  • who it’s for and who it’s NOT for
  • who are you and why should they listen to you
  • what it costs
  • how much time they’ll have to invest
  • what to do if they don’t like it
  • what outcomes to expect
  • how to buy it
  • what will happen after they buy it

Some buyers are risk-takers and love to have the newest, latest thingie regardless of whether there might be some glitches or not. They want to be the first to have something or to be in on the newest experiences. Often these are the customers who already know you and trust you, so the risk isn’t actually too high. But they still won’t buy if they don’t see a benefit or if the price seems too high for the benefits they’ll get. You need to help them see that the price is equal (or less than) the benefits.

Next you have those customers who don’t want to be “bleeding edge,” but they do want to get in on a great service or product that will help them. They have to think about it, weigh it in their minds. They can take days and weeks to decide, so you have to keep your offer in front of them, and answer any questions they have. Sometimes they’ll call you with questions, sometimes they’ll email you, sometimes they’ll post a blog comment. Your job is to be present on whatever channel they use to communicate, and answer their questions thoroughly so that they understand the offer completely.

Because customers won’t buy what they don’t understand.

Do you have a story about a time you walked away from an offer you didn’t understand? What comes up for you when you try to put together your words around your service or product? Please share your stories, questions and comments on my blog…I’d love to hear from you!

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Category: Internet & Social Media Marketing, Marketing
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Finding Time to Think About Reinventing Your Business

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If you’re not busy, raise your hand.

Ha! I knew it!

Everyone is busy. Everyone has a full calendar and a full To Do list.

So where are you supposed to find time to think about the future of your business and how you will reinvent it?

Of course you know that you have to find the time to think about the future of your business or it will sneak up on you and bite you in the butt.

A Calendar for Reinvention Your Business Model

I can’t offer a miracle time-creator pill (wouldn’t that be cool?). But here’s how I carved out time to plan for my business reinvention — maybe some of these tips will work for you.

  1. First I had to figure out the best time of day for me, the time when I’m thinking clearest and the time when I have energy and vitality. For me, that’s early in the morning.
  2. Next, I picked several one-hour time slots each week (8AM – 9AM) and booked an appointment with myself. No phones, no email, no hubby, no cats. I did this for a four-week period, two “self-appointments” per week for a total of 8 hours for the month. This time is used for brain-heavy thinking and planning.
  3. Then I figured out my most dreamy times, the times when my brain is shut off and my heart and intuition are open. 3PM is my mental down time.
  4. I scheduled 4 one-hour appointments in a month (once a week) to visit the lake and just sit for the hour from 3PM – 4PM. No cell phone, no laptop, no paper, no pen. Just me and the waves and the ducks. This time is used to sit quietly and just let whatever comes up to ripple to the surface of my consciousness. I figure if it’s important, I’ll remember it later and write it down, but I don’t want to stop the flow of energy by stopping to write down notes during this one hour “business meditation.”

It might take you a month or two to schedule these appointments with yourself. Just get them on your calendar.

Schedule Business Reinvention Mega Time

The final thing I did was schedule a business reinvention weekend for myself, away from the house. I was lucky that I had a business trip planned so I extended my stay a few days so I could have three days of undivided attention to my business future.

I also used a mastermind group retreat weekend to focus on my business reinvention and talk about it with my mastermind group colleagues. But you might find a willing friend who will let you stay in their guest room for a few nights and who will understand if you’re incommunicado for part of that time so you can spend quiet time reinventing your business model.

A Question for You

How are you carving out time to devote to planning your next business move? What suggestions do you have for people who know they need to find time to think and dream about transforming their business, but also lead very busy lives? Leave your comments below; I’d love to hear from you!

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Category: Rethinking Your Business
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