Business Season Cycles

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When December approaches I often find myself reflecting on the year just passing and thinking of the aims I had at the beginning of the year.

I tend to have ‘themes’ for each year which guide where i am going to concentrate my efforts and invariably find Winter the season for cutting back, eliminating and letting go.

As business owners we all try to do too much, start new things without finishing them and procrastinate on our goals.

I see Spring as the season to think about new products and services, new ways to wow our customers, The Summer for making new contacts and getting those products out – so much nicer to network when the sun is shining! – and Autumn for nurturing all our relationships, cementing joint ventures.

Winter reflection is very important to me – its not something I do overnight. Good incisive questions like;

What was it that I did so well, that I should do more of it because it made the biggest difference to my business?

What’s the next thing and how does it help achieve my overall long term goal?

What did I enjoy, what didn’t I enjoy, what else can I delegate? Was i bold enough?

What’s my main theme for the year to help my own personal development?

These and many more need answering before any new goals are considered. It might just be a question of reviewing and updating current ones.

 

How to motivate and incentivise your team

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Offer your employees rewards for a job well done. Use both verbal and financial motivators and incentives.

A big challenge in team building is coming up with new ways to foster and maintain a high level of motivation. How do you keep teams of people excited and driven to succeed over long periods of time? How do you keep your team motivated to improve their performance, and increase their achievements?

It is important to note that we’re not just talking about individuals, but teams of people working together. It is fairly simple to motivate a single person, but an entire team of motivated people will generate significantly higher results.

The key here is to give incentives for individual and team accomplishments. Incentives that reward based on collective achievement require people to work together and motivate each other to succeed.

Before we start talking about monetary and incentive-based rewards, it’s important to look at motivational factors that are not incentive-driven.

a. Make sure to display clear confidence in your staff’s ability, and give them room to work unsupervised where possible.

Employees who feel their managers and supervisors believe and trust in their abilities are happier and will always perform at a higher level than those who do not. They are motivated to “prove them right” and feel supported in their efforts.

Micromanagement quickly reduces morale. It is essential that you and your managers clearly express confidence in your team members. You hired them to do a job, perform a role, so you must ensure they have the space to do so.

b. Set up a system that rewards performance, and provides incentives for reaching milestones or targets.

Incentives are great motivators. An incentive is a reason to perform or act in a certain way. For example, if your team increases sales by 40% by month’s end, they will be treated to an expensive dinner.

Incentives need to be specific and have deadlines in order to be effective. In the example above, sales need to increase by 40% by the end of the month in order for the team to receive their dinner. If sales only increase by 30%, or if they increase by 40% at the end of the second month, the team does not earn their reward.

Time-specific incentives increase the sense of urgency, and encourage staff to work harder to achieve the objective. If the incentive is not time-bound, there is no reason to work faster or harder, since staff will assume they will reach their milestone “eventually.”

It’s up to you how you choose to structure your monetary incentives, based on your budget and resources. Remember to ensure that the terms of each incentive are clearly outlined, and that both parties (you and your employee) understand the agreement.

Monetary Incentives

  • Commissions
  • Bonuses for completing a challenging project, or hitting a target
  • Rewards for highest producing employee
  • Salary increases based on met targets

Gift rewards

  • Spa Gift Certificates
  • Books – consider motivational or business-related topics
  • CDs or DVDs
  • Meals – lunch or breakfast
  • Other gift certificates – gas, food, meals, local shops
  • Movie or theatre tickets
  • Weekend getaway – hotel, meals, etc.
  • Flowers
  • Gym Membership

Don’t overlook the value of company time spent enhancing your employees working environment, or their relationships with each other.

Team building is the final piece of the human resources puzzle – including recruitment, staff training, retention and professional development.

Happy employees will work hard and be loyal to your business, which translates into more capital in your bottom line. You can achieve this many ways – as I’ve described in this E-Class – and it doesn’t have to cost you any money at all.

A huge part of your success as a business owner lies in your ability to manage and support the people who work for you. If this is difficult for you (and it is for many entrepreneurs!), make sure that you surround yourself with strong managers and motivators who can help cultivate a profitable team.

Brian Tracy e-Book Blowout Sales – Save 30-50%!

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Those of you who follow me know how much I love Brian Tracy

 

Well..

This is new… and exciting!

Brian Tracy, Success Expert, and Best-Selling Author is having an e-Book blowout sale.

His best-selling books have never been on sale before, so this is a rare opportunity to get a library of knowledge on personal development, business growth, time management techniques, and more.

For just seven days from today, through August 31st, 2015, Brian Tracy is having a blowout sale on his top 20 ebooks!

You can buy any individual ebook included in the offer for 30% off OR, you can get all 20 of them for 50% off!

Check out all the Ebooks on sale here.

This sale includes the ebook version of some of the best books Brian has ever written — ones that have changed millions of lives, and gotten him the notoriety and success he has today, such as:

  • Eat That Frog! 2nd Edition
  • No Excuses – The Power of Self-Discipline
  • Million Dollar Habits
  • Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
  • Goals! 2nd Edition
  • And so many more!

Ebooks are available to you IMMEDIATELY after purchase. You can access them from your computer, mobile phone, tablet or iPad.

Here’s a sneak peek:



Remember, this sale is only good through August 31st, 2015.

To your success,

 

Strengthen Your Marketing and Get More Leads!

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How to Generate More Leads

Above is a link to my latest e-book to help you generate more leads and improve your marketing message.

There is nothing for you to do except open it – Its a gift from me!

The reason I’m sending it to you is just to help you improve your marketing message and remind people of  my Business Growth Academy at the same time.

Look out for my next  event – a joint venture with Stadio Marketing – on Building your Fans around Your Pitch. We’ve delivered it in Ipswich and it was very well received. Dates to be confirmed soon

www.nacbusinessgrowthacademy.co.uk

 

Further than Yesterday!

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I have long reached my goals by taking small but sure steps towards them, reviewing as I go along. I call it Kaizen planning. The following is an article by my colleague Allan Jesson, who has been doing the same thing but with a small twist. He calls it FTY – further than yesterday!

‘When I started my marathon training I couldn’t run a mile. The simple principle I came up with was to go ‘Further Than Yesterday’. I did this for 6 months culminating in my completing the London Marathon in 2007. But this ‘Further Than Yesterday’ can be applied to many aspects of everyday life and I would like to discuss just a few of them here. Let’s say you’re in business or you work in a job. ‘Further Than Yesterday’ could apply to your sales or revenue targets, your position within the company, your happiness in the job, the good you do for other employees and so on. It’s quite a big list when you set your mind to it. Think of it as an ever raising bar in your life, until you reach your identified goal or milestone. That leads me to a few important points:

1.It’s great to go ‘Further Than Yesterday’ but you do NOT want to create a hamster wheel that you are forever on.

2.That’s why it’s important to set milestones and targets so you know when you’re arrived.

3.It’s also important to celebrate and acknowledge your achievements as you go ‘Further Than Yesterday’

4.This concept becomes increasingly magnified if you commit publicly to your eventual goals and map or chart your progress. I think it’s quite a natural state to stop testing boundaries but I think many fall way too short of their potential.

Is there part of you that is unhappy or unfulfilled because you haven’t challenged your future? Have you stopped an endeavour, when it all become too hard? Have you ever tried to run before you could walk? Do you have some BIG goals that you would like to have a go at? If you answered “yes”, or even “maybe” to any of these questions, then Further Than Yesterday may just be the strategy you have been looking for.

Some final tips:

1.Always begin with the end in mind. But choose a target that is reachable (with determination and a stretch, don’t aim too low).

2.Map out the incremental steps you need to achieve your long term goal (for example, I knew I had to run a further 24 miles in one go in 6 months, so that was 4 extra miles a month, 1 extra mile a week, 1/5th of a mile ‘further than yesterday’ on each of my five training runs per week).

3.Things often and will probably not go to plan. Don’t get despondent, just adjust your plan and stretch the time line or decrease/increase the incremental steps if possible.

Whatever you do, don’t settle for less than your full potential. If there is life, you can still go ‘Further Than Yesterday’. Because if you don’t, the opposite becomes naturally true i.e. Less Than Yesterday. If that happens to you then your Glory Days will be forever that and your world (and your thinking) will gradually become smaller and smaller.’

I can help you with your goals – just call me for a no obligation chat – Lets get you there far quicker than you could imagine!  Call me on 01473 682760 and make 2015 your best yet..

Launch of My New product!

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As you know, my main focus of coaching is around confidence and performance, in business and life, helping business owners, their teams, individuals and young people to reach their absolute best and to feel confident giving their gift to the world – releasing their genius, as I call it.

Previously I would not coach anyone who had experienced a trauma, instead requesting that they receive counselling first before coming to me, as I was not trained in such things.

Now I have added a new skill and product to my services and you can find out more about this here at the Vitali-Chi site

This allows me to deal with the following:

Vitali-chi has given me another powerful tool in which to help my clients, such as:

Loss of confidence through trauma
Release hidden emotions and memories
Depression
Improve health and well being of both mind and body
Executive clarity and revitalisation
Relieve tensions and stresses

Start thinking about Success for 2015

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The following shows details of my next workshop on behalf of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce. This isn’t just about goal setting, which can sound a bit dry. This will be an interactive, enlightening session to motivate you and focus on successful business and life outcomes.  And there’s a great breakfast thrown in too!

Goal Setting Workshop 7.30am, 20 November Holiday Inn Orwell, Ipswich

Join Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and Nadia Cenci of NAC Coaching Ltd as we help you set your goals for the year ahead.

This workshop is for those who want to learn how to write goals in a powerful and motivating way for personal or business reasons.

By the end this workshop attendees will:

  •  Have more clarity about what they want to achieve in life and business
  •  Have a long term vision as well as short term goals
  •  Understand the power of effective goal setting using Neuro Linguistic Programming tools
  •  Understand more about values and behaviour
  •  Set exciting, powerful and motivating goals for 2015
  •  Feel motivated and more confident in taking action towards successful performance

There will also be plenty of opportunities to network with local businesses, so don’t forget to bring plenty of business cards!

 

How To make the right decisions

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Sometimes in life we are presented with dilemmas.

This is not the same as options, which I prefer to have plenty of when making a decision. This is more about the times when we have a couple of choices, neither being the perfect scenario.

But whether it’s choices or dilemmas my first question is in my 10/10/10 rule and that is:

What do each of these options give me in 10 days, 10 months, 10 years? It will help you to decide whether a long term view is a better one or whether this is about a quick win or even a life changing decision.

Then please take time to ask yourself some good questions to get the ball rolling and try to look at things from all angles.

Each perspective requires a different ‘Thinking Hat’ and relevant questions to ask yourself at the beginning, middle and end.

  • White Hat:
    With this thinking hat you focus on the all the information available.

What is happening now that could be better?

What do you want more of, less of?

What do you really want? What is your overall strategy for this part of your life?

What can you learn from the past about this?

  • Red Hat:
    ‘Wearing’ the red hat, you look at problems using intuition, gut reaction, and emotion.

If you can stop the chatter in your head long enough to feel the vibes in your gut, you will find intuition is hardly ever wrong. What is yours telling you about this and are you listening? Also try to think how other people, with a vested interest, will react.

  • Black Hat:
    Using black hat thinking, look at all the riskier angles of the decision. Look at it cautiously and defensively.

Why might it not work? This is important because it allows you to eliminate, alter , or prepare contingency plans for weaknesses.

Where could this be sabotaged and by whom or what?

  • Yellow Hat:
    The yellow hat helps you to think positively. It is the optimistic viewpoint that helps you to see all the benefits of the decision and the value in it.

What will doing this give you and why do you want it?

  • Green Hat:
    The Green Hat stands for creativity. This is where you can develop creative solutions to a problem.

What else can you do? What is the opposite of what you are doing and what other ideas can you get from that?

  • Blue Hat:
    The Blue Hat stands for control and constant review. It’s about taking a helicopter view of the situation.

What is happening and do you need anyone else or to do anything else? Do you need any other contingency plans?

 

 

When you discover the right answers follow up with bold action trusting that you have everything within you to make it happen.

Word of Mouth – Search & Implement

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People only remember the extraordinary, strange, wild, surprising and unusual. You need to make sure your ideas and marketing reflect these reactions. This doesn’t mean you have to have a product or service that is completely out of the norm, in fact, this could easily drive customers away. You need to have a product or service that is high quality and easily marketable, then you need to market it as extraordinary and new. As you research word of mouth, there are some questions you need to ask along the way: What are the users willing to tell the non-users?

  • Exactly how do your customers describe your product?
  • What are the non-users willing to ask the users?
  • What are the things they need to know, but are unwilling to ask?
  • What happens when these issues are raised?
  • Exactly what do your prospects have to know in order to trigger purchase?
  • Exactly how do your customers answer the objections, concerns, and qualms of your prospects?
  • How do your customers persuade their friends to use your product?
  • How do your customers suggest they initially get to know or try your product?
  • What warnings, safeguards, tips, and suggestions do your customers suggest to your prospects?
  • Are your sales messages, positioning, and important facts about your product getting through and surviving word of mouth?
  • What messages do you need to inject into the marketplace in order to turn the tide in your favour and how will you deliver them?

There are two main reasons why word of mouth research is so important:

  1. To get the real impression and feedback from customers
  2. To define word of mouth itself and the concept it creates

There is a simple formula that can help you conduct your word of mouth research. It’s called the “2-2-2” model. 2-2-2- Model What this breaks down to is:

  • 2 groups of customers
  • 2 focus groups of prospects
  • 2 mixed groups (enthusiasts & sceptics)

In these groups you need to ask the following questions:

  1. What would you tell a friend?
  2. How would you persuade a sceptic?
  3. What questions would you anticipate from a sceptic?
  4. How would you answer their objections?

The best way to conduct these groups is by teleconference. This ensures you’ll get a good variety of demographics for your customers and potential customers. It also allows people to feel safe and more able to express their true feelings. These teleconferences should not be conducted by you, but an independent party to avoid adding pressure to the situation. We’re going to transition a bit and talk about how to construct a word of mouth campaign. First we’ll talk a look at the essential ingredients you need to put together a campaign. These ingredients are:

  • A superior product
  • A way of reaching key influencers in your marketplace
  • A cadre of experts willing to bat for you
  • A large number of enthusiastic consumers
  • A way of reaching the right prospects
  • One or more compelling stories that people will want to tell to illustrate your product’s superiority
  • A way to substantiate, prove, or back up your claims and how the product will work in the real world
  • A way for people to have direct, low-risk experience, a demo, sample, or free trial
  • A way of reducing overall risk, an ironclad guarantee

Once you have those ingredients ready to use, you should consider the situations in which your company can benefit from a strong word of mouth programme. Some of these situations are:

  • When there are credibility problems
  • When there are breakthroughs
  • When there are marginal improvements
  • Where the product has to be tried in large numbers or over time
  • Where there is high risk in trying the product
  • With older or mature products that have a new story that people tend to ignore
  • With unfair competitive practices such as spreading rumors, or telling lies about your product
  • When there are governmental or other restrictions on what you may say or claim directly

While, most of the word of mouth tactics are positive for your word of mouth programme, there are a few products to avoid using in this programme. They are:

  • Products where a seminar would not provide meaningful added value
  • Products that can’t be tried and where there is no consensus among experts
  • Products that are clearly inferior, without having a compensating superiority for similar products
  • Products that are so personal or emotion that rational discussion is irrelevant to the decision
  • Products where the decision value is so small (low price/low volume) the medium will not be cost-effective.

This wraps up this post on word of mouth research and how that research can be used when putting together your word of mouth campaign. If you need help with the research and a plan to use the results of that research, try our FREE test drive to get all the help you need with our top notch resources and tools. Go over to www.nacbusinessgrowthacademy.co.uk