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What do all great brands have in common?

Great brands tell an amazing story in a unifying statement. As a result customers get everything they need to know in order to commit to the brand. When a customer hears your brand statement, they should know exactly what your brand will do for them.

A well crafted brand statement makes a major impact on the minds of your target customer.  You need one statement which says it all.  This is something Apple are masters of.  When Steve Jobs announced the ipod the message the message was unmistakably clear, the iPod was  “a hundred songs in your pocket”. The rest is history.

Your brand statement is a headline for your business; it will attract the attention of everybody that reads it, arouse their curiosity, and ultimately compel them to try out your brand to see for themselves.

To be effective your brand statement should:
  • Have an emotional impact while sharing the valuable service your brand will bring to the consumer.
  • Consist of a snappy sentence designed for maximum impact.
  • Be brief to ensure clarity.
  • Highlight the unique service you aim to provide to the target market.

One sentence that reflects an interesting brand story will win the interest of potential customers. With the right execution and follow up, you can become the most important brand in the market to these people. Remember, lifelong loyalty begins with a single sentence. What story is your brand statement telling your customers?

  We’re here to help:

If you’d like to learn more about how our award winning team of coaches can help you to define and implement your vision for your business use the form below to get in touch.

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The post Sell Your Brand With The Right Brand Statement appeared first on ActionCOACH Business Coaching Ireland.

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In our experience of working with hundreds of business owners every year we have observed that one of the reasons people are not able to implement their plans is that they try to climb a mountain in one leap. Not only is this impossible to accomplish but it leaves a trail of abandoned plans,  being overwhelmed as well as bringing people to the brink of burn out.

Successful planning is no different to mountain climbing. You set your goal and achieve it one step at a time.  The key to achieving your goals consistently is to break each step down to smaller, actionable tasks.

The Default Diary

A “Default Diary” is a plan of specific times in your week that are dedicated to important activities. It’s a plan of what you will do by default. You can look upon it as a plan for what you would ideally do when your week goes according to plan.

Here’s how to set up an effective Default Diary:

  1.  Make A List Of Your Priorities.
  2.  Schedule Your Next Week Every Friday.
  3.  Break Your Week Into 1 Hr Segments.
  4.  Leave enough unplanned time to allow a healthy level of flexibility.
  5.  Use a general description and try to do something new under that heading each week eg: Update Business Plan.

Click here to download default diary template

By breaking your week into one hour segments and developing a ‘Default Diary’, this forces you to spend your entire week proactively rather than reacting blindly to whatever comes along first. It automatically makes sure that the important stuff gets done, not just the urgent stuff.

Remember the only way you can conquer a mountain is one step at a time. Make sure you create your Default Diary before your next week kicks off. 

To learn more about how we can help you to exceed your goals get in touch below. 

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The post Save Time With A Default Diary appeared first on ActionCOACH Business Coaching Ireland.

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A system is a set of principles or procedures that specify how particular tasks are done, and that trained team members can replicate without you.

As your company grows it’s not possible to keep your finger in every pie. In order to build a successful business, you need to introduce systems and processes that can be automated as much as possible.

Good system’s implemented properly, should not only guarantee that your customers are receiving a consistent level of service, they will also enable your business to operate more smoothly and profitably. As we say at ActionCOACH – People run your systems, systems run your business!

Some key systems you will need to build as your company becomes more sophisticated include everything from the simple daily office operation systems (e.g. how the phone is answered), to your sales process, customer support systems, inventory systems, invoicing and accountancy processes, recruitment, training and appraisal systems, among others.

In order to help you get started, there are 4 basic steps to systemisation:

1. Flowchart your processes

The basic rule for systemising is ‘Systemise the routine – humanise the exception.  Make a list of all the things that are done in your business that are repetitive, or perhaps that a lower paid team member could be doing if it were systemised. Then flowchart each process. This will show you how it all fits together.

2. Document how it gets done

Ask the team member who is currently doing the job to write down every step in performing a task. This person then gets a different team member to complete the task following the process. If the person currently doing the task has to step in and explain anything to the new person then that information is added to the step, etc.

3. Manage & measure using Key Performance Indicators

There’s no point having a system in place if it’s not effective. Once you’ve set up a system, make sure you’re measuring the results as you go along. If people are still dropping the ball and you’ve got a system, it means there’s something wrong with the system, not with the person. Typically, your KPI’s will be the top five measures to show system performance. Get these from the person doing the job (i.e. in sales you could use number of leads, conversion rate, average euro sale etc.)

4. Allow the system to change/grow as your business changes and grows.

Ensure that each system is reliable, self-correcting and scaleable so as to allow it to evolve at the same pace that your business evolves.

Some final tips:
  • Don’t over complicate systems or people won’t follow them.
  • Use lots of photos, videos etc. This may be as simple as printing a computer screen or videoing someone doing the task at hand. This will make the systems much easier to follow.
  • Document your system in a policies and procedures or operations manual in an easy to access format. And make sure everyone has a copy or knows where it is! Require all of your team members to periodically review the manual with the goal of identifying needed changes on a timely and qualitative basis.
  • Communicate who is responsible for making any changes to policies and procedures.

If you would like more information on how to introduce systems into your business, or if you would like to avail of a complimentary Business Review with one of our top Coaches. This consultation will uncover ways to grow and improve your business.

Please fill in your details below and we will be in touch to arrange your appointment:

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The post Systemise Your Business – How To appeared first on ActionCOACH Business Coaching Ireland.

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Don’t Lose Sight Of The Goal Posts This Summer Stay on Target With Regular Quarterly Business Planning…

So we have reached the halfway mark of 2018 – where did that time go? And more importantly, how has business been for you so far this year?

Are your numbers where they should be? Are they where you expected them to be? With 6 months gone, are you on track to hit your sales and revenue targets for 2018?

Now that we are officially into the summer season, it can be easy to lose focus of your goals or targets with managing staff holidays and depending on the industry that you are in, perhaps dealing with the increased footfall.

However it’s important not to lose sight of your over-arching business objectives. Without regular quarterly planning (summer included), another 3 months could easily slip by and you could be slipping further away from achieving your year-end personal and business goals.

Half way through the year is the perfect time to take stock of how business is performing against what you had set out at the start of the year. There is still plenty of time to course-correct.

Here are 10 top tips to keep you on target with your goals with your quarterly business plan this summer:
  1. Review Your Numbers – compare total Income, Gross Profit, Net Profit for the quarter just passed, against the previous quarter, and against the same period last year.  What’s the change year over year? Get even more specific – break it down by product / service….
  2. Financial Targets – Based on the figures and what you wanted to achieve this year, what’s your financial targets for the quarter ahead?
  3. Stop, Start, Continue – What should you stop doing? What should you start doing? What should you do more of?
  4. Key Goals – Write down 3-5 goals that you need to accomplish in the next 13 weeks.
  5. Get specific – rewrite each of these goals into the SMART format – Specific. Measureable. Achievable. Results focused. Time based.
  6. Break it down – Write out each task that needs to be completed to accomplish each goal. Tasks should be low level, reasonable, and should be able to be achieved in a week or less.
  7. Engage Your Team – Share your plan with your team, or even better – get them involved!
  8. Deadlines – Assign a completion date to each task.
  9. Responsibility – Assign a team member to take ownership and accountability of the completion of each task.
  10. Review – Schedule regular team meetings to review progress of your goals over the next 13 weeks. With continued focus – they run a much higher  chance of being achieved!

Sounds easy doesn’t it? It can be if you take the time out of the day-to-day to do it, and are disciplined enough to see it through.

If you need a day out of your business to work on developing your plan with one of our expert Business Coaches, join us on Friday 13th July at our full day Quarterly Business Planning Workshop.

Just click here for more details, or give us a call on 01 891 6220.

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The post Stay Ahead Of The Game This Summer With Quarterly Business Planning appeared first on ActionCOACH Business Coaching Ireland.

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TC Matthews Feature in Irish Independent by Seán Gallagher.

Congratulations to Brendan Cumiskey owner of TC Matthews Carpets on being featured by Sean Gallagher in the Irish Independent.  This article by Seán Gallagher shares many valuable insights into what it takes to build a retail chain.

It is nice to have been mentioned too.

You can click here to read the online article published by Independent Business or read the print version below.

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The post TC Matthews Carpets – Building A Retail Chain appeared first on ActionCOACH Business Coaching Ireland.

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ActionCOACH Ireland’s winning streak at the European Coach Conference continued this year in Liverpool with a double win. This marks our fourth consecutive year of taking top honours at the annual gathering of business coaches from across the EMEA region.

John O’Sullivan was presented with the prestigious EMEA Employee Coach of the Year 2018 beating off competition from over 200 business coaching practices across the EMEA region.
John  was both surprised and honoured to be recognised as the best performing employee business coach in Europe

”I’m delighted, I want to thank our MD Paul Fagan whose leadership has brought me through seven years of business coaching to winning this honour.”

As a business coach, John is more used to congratulating his clients on their achievements. Most recently Little Learners Pre-School & Montessori received double accreditation at the Business All Stars Awards for innovation and team. John was quick to pay tribute to those who he credits with helping him to win his EMEA Employee Coach of The Year Award,

“This is really an award for the team and my colleagues back in Dublin not to mention my clients without whom I wouldn’t be receiving this award.”

Our Managing Director, Paul Fagan picked up the EMEA Team Builder of the Year 2018 award in recognition of the achievements and continued growth of the ActionCOACH Ireland team.  On accepting his award Paul paid tribute to the award winning team that he has built into Ireland’s #1 business coaching organisation.

“This is a team award so I couldn’t achieve any of things to earn this award without my team back home in Ireland, our coaching team, the franchisee team so thanks to all the guys and girls who have helped us get to here today. “

Paul also acknowledged how proud he is to be building better businesses in Ireland using the ActionCOACH system 18 years now.

“Thanks Brad for the system, we have been rocking and rolling in Ireland now for 18 years using the ActionCOACH system and it’s been the most fantastic and rewarding journey. To have won this award for the 4th year really means a lot.”

At ActionCOACH Ireland we can guarantee outstanding results with growth in sales, profits & overall business performance. We do this by bringing an award winning team of business coaches together with clients who want to take their businesses to the next level.  Below is a reminder of some of our other recent awards:

  • ActionCOACH EMEA Employee Coach of the Year 2018 (John O’Sullivan)
  • ActionCOACH EMEA Team Builder of the Year 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • ActionCOACH Global Awards Employee Coach of the Year 2017 (Rory Smyth)
  • Irish Franchise Awards Franchisee of the Year (Service) 2017
  • ActionCOACH EMEA Coach of the Year 2016 (Rory Smyth)
  • ActionCOACH EMEA Firm of the Year 2015

The post 4 In A Row For ActionCOACH Ireland appeared first on ActionCOACH Business Coaching Ireland.

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Success doesn’t just happen. It requires a willingness to take risks, make financial sacrifice and a lot of hard work. Most importantly of all, the creation and execution of a well-devised plan is needed to make your goals a reality. Goals without a plan are nothing more than wishes.

Working hard without a plan will get you nowhere. In order to best utilise your time, money, and energy, you will need to decide

  1. What to do
  2. How to best go about achieving it.

Whether it’s hiring additional staff, opening a new branch or reducing your number of Work hours, you need a plan to guide you through each step of the process.

Of course, it’s easier to talk about making a plan than to actually create one. One of the first issues you’ll encounter is determining how to prioritise certain tasks. Understanding what elements you can and can’t control is a good starting point. From there you can divide your plan into three categories:

  1. Needs
  2. Wants
  3. Would like to’s

By categorizing your priorities this way, you’ll have a better understanding of what is important, as well as the best way to approach it.Let’s look at these categories in more detail, helping you to differentiate immediate needs from short- and long-term goals.

Needs:

“Needs” refer to what you’re business cannot survive without such as paying the bills, obtaining product, maintaining a monthly profit. A “need” should always be your first priority, and the goals you set for yourself should not jeopardize meeting these needs.
For example, you may want to delegate some of your daily tasks to other employees to free up your time to perform other duties. Before hiring somebody for the job, you need to make absolutely sure that they are capable of adequately performing and meeting the obligations of the business! A bad hire can be an expensive mistake, especially if they are in a management role. If hiring an extra person to fulfil a “want” puts meeting a “need” in danger, you might just have to endure the workload a little bit longer.

Wants:

This represents what you want to achieve either a business or personal goal. For example, you might want to boost your annual sales by 25%, or take a holiday at the end of the quarter. “Wants” are a great way to chart your course in the short term, and can be of great use in motivating both yourself and your team to raise the bar. However, it’s important to remember that a want isn’t necessarily a priority for you, nor will it provide the kind of long-term vision that is required for you to attain true success.

Would Like To’s:

“Would like tos” will ultimately be your guiding force in the long run, and ideally your “wants” and “needs” will align with what it is that you hope to achieve.

If your “needs” are barely being met, then you won’t be able to satisfy your “wants” or achieve your “would like tos.” Don’t just meet your needs – beat them.
Instead of breaking even, reach for a 20% profit by the end of the year. Then, use those profits to expand your business, attracting more clients and perpetuating a virtuous cycle of self-propelled growth!

Each one of these three types of priorities have their own important role within your growth plan. Keeping them in harmony with each other is a crucial underpinning in successful businesses everywhere. If you understand how to balance these priorities when creating and executing your plans, you’ll be amazed at how much more smoothly everything runs.

Quarterly Planning & Goal Setting Workshop

If you have goals you want to achieve over the next quarter, our next ActionCOACH Quarterly Planning & Goal Setting Workshop takes place on July 13th.  For full details on this full day workshop and to book your ticket click here.

The post Achieving Goals Requires Prioritised Planning appeared first on ActionCOACH Business Coaching Ireland.

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‘The Winning Formula’

On Thursday 19th April, ActionCOACH Managing Director Marina Bleahen was part of a stellar line up of leading business minds invited to provide inspiration to over 1,000 business owners and senior managers at the All Ireland Business Summit.  Speakers included performance psychologist Gerry Hussey, record breaking runner Sinead Kane with her coach John O’Regan, One-4-All founder Michael Dawson, Senator Padraig Ó’Céidigh (Aer Arann founder), Dragon’s Gavin Duffy & Chanelle, Lady McCoy, musician and mental health advocate Niall Breslin as well as mentalist Keith Barry.

It was clear from the start of the breakfast networking session that this was a gathering of highly focused and ambitious businesses with an appetite to learn and develop. A packed hall listened attentively and furiously scribbled notes during ‘The Winning Formula’ segment which featured Pádraig Ó’Céidigh, Michael Dawson and our very own Marina Bleahen.

Broadcaster and former government minister Ivan Yates was on hand to MC the discussion.   ‘The Winning Formula’ provided countless tips on having the right mindset, approach as well as practical steps on achieving increased profitability by turning disengaged team members into highly engaged future leaders.

Newstalk’s Ivan Yates introduced Marina Bleahen ;

“This is a lady who achieves very tangible results in coaching businesses and management teams to benchmark their performance and come back a year later to review and improve. She has a really successful record as a business coach, as a trainer,  a highly acclaimed speaker. She has had a career with Elan Pharmaceuticals an international success story.”

Marina took to the stage and began by reminding the audience of the importance of numbers and kpi’s.

“Last year ActionCOACH our clients grew on average by 19%  outperforming our domestic economy’s 6% growth. We know this because it is important to know your numbers to measure performance.”

6 Steps To Building A Commercial, Profitable, Organisation

She shared  6 Steps to Building A Commercial, Profitable, Organisation that works without you and is fit for sale.

This is our formula for creating a business that will pass due diligence and doesn’t require you to be tied to it.Start with Mastery – know your vision and own it.

  1. Mastery – Know your numbers, kpi’s and goals.
  2. Niche – Identify your niche, U.S.P’s and target market to make your marketing work.
  3. Leverage – systemise your business. Have systems in place to increase efficiency
  4. Team – Team are the backbone of every organisation. Create a culture that allows your people to excel, as a Galway girl I admittedly admire Jim Gavin who allows every member of his team to bring their best selves to what they do.
  5. Synergy – When everything works today it becomes a well oiled machine that allows the business to expand or even go acquire other businesses.
  6. Results – If you implement this formula once then you can run it forever.
Employee Engagement

Having shared an ActionCOACH ‘winning formula’  Marina shared with the audience how business success is fast becoming a dichotomy of Business Education and Employee Engagment.

“Whilst business coaching is about making the right changes to get the results you want. Now let me tell you about people and engaging them at the heart and mind level because people are the magic formula of any business.”

“Highly engaged people do more than expected this who we want to be, however that’s not true of everywhere in the world or in Ireland more specifically with only 14% of employees in Ireland being highly engaged (Gallup 2016).”

Marina used a row boat analogy to highlight how lack of engagement is holding back Irish businesses.

“It is costing you 34% of your average salary spend, using average Irish salary stats that is €14,000 per employee multiply that by your number of employees. How much money are you wasting on disengaged employees? This is why you’ve got to be looking after your people by engaging them as humans.”

With an audience clearly sitting up and taking note as statistics from Gallup and Deloitte research were presented on screen, Marina moved on relating Employee Enagement to an economy approaching with recruitment and retention become a challenge for businesses across all sectors of all sizes.

“Younger people as Chanelle (Lady McCoy) said earlier are absolutely looking for an experience and opportunities to grow.  If they are engaged in their company, it will take a 25% salary increase to tempt them to move. If they are not engaged they will even leave for a lower salary”

When employees are engaged everybody wins, people enjoy what they do and the business reaps the rewards for engaging with their people.

“When you’ve got Employee Engagement you get improved productivity, increased profitability, the business flows better.”

Marina’s ‘Winning Formula’ presentation closed with a clear message for all business owners and senior managers in the audience. Throwing a  budget at training is not the answer to solving the rapid decline of engagement among the workforce,  as she explained;

“Traditional training is like taking a goldfish out of murky water and putting them into clean water for the day before they go back into the dirty water again. When you send people on training you need to get them to work through it together as a group to have that community purpose and buy in. We are disrupting training. Traditional training is dead it’s now about coaching performance and engaging our people.”

Marina Bleahen ‘Winning Formula’ Video Stream

You can watch Marina’s full presentation which was originally streamed via Facebook Live below:

Marina Bleahen - All Ireland Business Summit - YouTube

After coming off stage Marina gave a candid interview to the official event Vlogger. She shared her thoughts on being part of such a great event as sponsor, judge and speaker as well as summarising the key take aways from her ‘Winning Formula’ presentation:

ACTIONCoach Ireland in action…

Many thanks to our speaker and @BizAllStars Accreditation mentor ActionCOACH Ireland Marina Bleahen for chatting to our #ConfidenceOnCamera coach Lottie Hearn twice yesterday. Here's Take 2, with sound this time!

Posted by All-Ireland Business Summit on Thursday, April 19, 2018
Complimentary Employee Engagement Assessment Offer:
Complimentary Employee Engagement Assessment

To mark our involvement as sponsors, judge and speaker we have a limited offer of a complimentary Employee Engagement Assessment and review valued at €2,495.  You can apply for your complimentary assessment by Clicking Here

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The post The Winning Formula – All Ireland Business Summit appeared first on ActionCOACH Business Coaching Ireland.

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On Thursday 19th April the leading minds in Irish business converged at Croke Park for the All Ireland Business Summit.  A key part of the day was the 4th Annual  Business All Stars Awards.  Divided into 21 categories, ranging from New Business to Innovative Business, the line up reflected the diverse stages of development and vertical specialisation of Irish companies in the last 12 months.

At ActionCOACH we were proud to support this annual celebration of business as sponsors, exhibitors  and speakers. It was a pleasure to Sponsor the Business All Stars – Medium category as well as to have our team present in the exhibition hall to meet with business owners and managers. It was great to see many familiar faces receiving accreditation and awards.

ActionCOACH Ireland Managing Director Marina Bleahen had the pleasure of presenting the Business All Star Medium Award to Smart Storage Solutions who beat stiff competition from GES Group, Westport Adventure Park and Cube Design Print Packaging.

The ActionCOACH connection to the awards didn’t stop there. The DentalTech Group picked up the All Star for Small Business as well as receiving Business All Star Community Thought Leader (Dental) accreditation. Their ActionCOACH Business Coach Richard Cullen was amongst the first to congratulate Group Owner Bevin Mahon and her team on their well earned success.

It was a busy day for Richard as another of his clients Denise O’Callaghan owner of Optimise Design received Business All Star Design Leader Accreditation on the day as well.

There was more success for ActionCOACH clients as Little Learners Pre-School & Montessori picked up double accreditations for Product Innovation and Team.  Little Learner’s owner Nessa McNamara took a few minutes between judging rounds to acknowledge the support and encouragement of her business coach John O’Sullivan to pursue such prestigious accreditation.

Nessa McNamara All Ireland Business Summit - YouTube

ActionCOACH Business Coaches Jeannette Naughton and Des Ryan were delighted to see clients past and present succeed as Target Integration and Monread CRM were accredited.

To cap off a fantastic day we had the pleasure of chatting to record breaking runner, Sinead Kane (#BlindRunner777) after she came off stage from giving a keynote presentation.  Record breaking runner, Sinead and her coach John O’Regan shared with us a story of resilience and commitment which she summed up in a memorable quote;

“it takes team work to make dreams work.”

Sinead Kane All Ireland Business Summit - YouTube

To mark our involvement as sponsors in this years Business All-Stars we are offering you the chance to avail of a complimentary Employee Engagement Assessment. If you’d like to know the monetary cost to your business of disengagement  then click here

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Get in touch today and find how we can help you improve your business by:

Business Coaching

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Leadership & Culture

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The post Business All Stars 2018 Highlights appeared first on ActionCOACH Business Coaching Ireland.

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If you want your business to really get off the ground, you need to know who your customers are, find them, and then make them loyal to your brand. By knowing your base, you can target their specific needs and wants, which will turn them into repeat customers. The following tips are some of the ways you can build your customer base alongside your business. 1) Know who you want your customers to be.

When you start a business, the industry you enter will give you a rough idea of what your customers will look like – opening a restaurant attracts a different clientele than an electronics shop. The important thing to understand is that there is a significant degree of variation within industries. When you have clearly defined the niche your business will occupy, you’ll then need to figure out what kind of customers you want to attract. A business that is more specialized has fewer opportunities to attract prospective customers, but it also means that you’re faced with less competition. A computer repair store and a shop that specializes in repairing old/obscure game consoles is unlikely to experience much customer overlap. When you open your doors, having a sense of who your ideal customers are will make it much easier to drum up interest in what you have to offer. A generalised message that targets no one in particular will do little to bring in business of any value.

2) Consider the profile of the people that buy from you.

Once you’ve obtained an idea of what your ideal customer looks like, you can then begin to hone in on attracting that particular demographic. While each customer is a unique person in their own right, certain demographics have overlapping tastes and behaviors. What kind of products do they look for? What kind of deals and promotions are they more likely to respond to? What kind of clothes do they wear? What cars to they drive? If your goal is to attract people of a certain income level, it will help to learn more about the goods and services they are more likely to purchase. A good example of a business failing to consider the profile of their customers is in the disastrous launch of McDonald’s Arch Deluxe. Branded as a more upscale, “adult” burger, the Arch Deluxe met with little positive reception upon its release in 1996. The people who frequented McDonald’s (many of whom were children) did not care for a product that aspired to be better than fast food, despite actually being fast food. McDonald’s lost over 100 million dollars on the Arch Deluxe. A better understanding of their customers would have led to a less ill-conceived idea.

3) Harness the power of analytics.

Although data analysis has been around for a long time it is only within the last decade or so that small businesses have started to harness the power of data thanks to Google Analytics and similar software. Analytics software allows you to track practically every conceivable aspect of your customer’s behaviour – what they search for, when they search for it, on what device, what they ask for, how long they spend on pages, how often they click on certain links – all of this, and more, is revealed with analytics. Analytics are commonly used by businesses that have found and secured their particular customer base, but they can also be used to get a better picture of what your first customers are like. Analytics give you pure data points; only the raw information. What you do with this information is up to you, but if you use it properly, you can give yourself a major advantage over your less-informed competitors. It is important to remember that while you may feel as a business owner that you need to know everything all of the time, the key to success is building the right team by bringing the right people with the right skills into your business.  

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Get in touch today to discuss how we can help you improve your business by:
  • Business Coaching
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The post 3 Tips To Finding Your Ideal Customer appeared first on ActionCOACH Business Coaching Ireland.

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