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Dear Small Business Owner,

Can I have your attention for just for a minute?  I know you are tired and BUSY and completely overworked.  We need to talk about that thing that has been keeping you awake at night.  It could be your maxed out line of credit or that employee that has been bullying you for way to long.  It could be a customer you can’t seem to make happy no matter what.  What ever it is, if it’s not working why keep doing it?  Why spend the rest of your entrepreneurial days in pain?

Here’s the thing…. If something in your business in not working I would like to give you permission as the leader of your company to change it.

I have heard over and over again what you are thinking;  you are either tired or super busy, or both to be able to make these changes.  Yes you are working super hard .  COULD IT BE THAT  YOU ARE DOING THE WRONG WORK?

As you run around trying to make the customers happy, the staff happy, the bank happy, your partner happy you are neglecting the engine … YOU.

What do YOU personally need to do to  break free of the entrepreneurial trap of being your hardest working and most often lowest paid employees?

What is the solution then when you are so busy?

It starts with taking care of YOU.   Simple things like eating a healthy breakfast.  Reading a good book, a full nights sleep and making time for family even when it is not convenient for the business.

When you are at work, instead of just doing the work, stop long enough to create systems and training documentation  for those tasks.

This will allow you to leverage your people so that you can own a business instead of owning a job.

Not sure how to do something?  Or worse, you are the ONLY one in the company with that skill?  Prioritize your time to work on creating systems for those things that are costing you money or hurting your reputation.

The only way to get out of debt and start making money is to take the time to fully know and understand your numbers so that you can make the necessary changes to the business model.   The only way to stop feeling like your key employee is holding you ransom is to fully focus on and review that position. Document their processes and if needed find someone else to do that job.   The only way to get your cranky customers happy is to to spend the time to figure out what they want and give it to them or drop them as a customer.

Ignore the pain and you will struggle for months, years, even decades with these major issues.  There is no reward for this kind of suffering.

At some point you have to ask yourself: ” Who’s company is this anyway”!!

You have heard it before, you need to work ON your business.  You need to stop being the busiest, most productive employee and stand back to see what needs your attention.   This takes time and focus and must be scheduled or nothing will change.

I promise if you schedule 1 hour per day, that is 5 hours per week,  to fix one systemic problem in no time you will begin to get your life back and have a company you are super proud to call yours.

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Business owners today primarily think about marketing as making a brochure, advertising on Social media or building a new website.  While these activities are part the marketing process there is much more that needs to be considered before spending your valuable time and money on any lead generation activity. 

The top 10 primary marketing systems make up a solid plan to fast track getting and keeping customers and ultimately earning more money.

 #1 – Design and commit to your brand

When you buy a product or a service, you have a mental picture of what your purchase will do and how it will improve your business or life.  It only takes a split second for consumers to make a judgement about you and your company.  All things are considered, including first impressions, previous experiences, the way your business looks, the tone you use to answer your phone or e-mails and the energy in the environment.   More than a clever logo your brand is the experience consumers have of doing business with you.

Think of your email signature, how clean your vehicles are used for business, your uniform if you have one.  All things that help people recognize and have a good feeling about you and your company.

#2 – Define your product

You may be surprised to learn that the majority of your prospects don’t know exactly what it is that you are offering. It could be because you have too many products and are trying to be all things to all people, or maybe you have not packaged your offering in a cohesive easy to buy unit.

When consumers are confused, they are less likely to buy. Products are available everywhere and consumers have a choice who they do business with. 

Getting clear about what your product is and why someone would be interested in buying this from you is essential to increasing sales.

#3 – Target your Marketing

Not everyone is your customer.  Target marketing  allows you to customize your message to a specific chosen group of consumers in a focused manner.

Learning the  warning signs of a bad fit is as important as understanding your ideal match.  In detail understand everything about your ideal customer. Where do they live, which generation do they belong, what are they thinking, what specifically do they want from you and what attracted them to your door? Pay attention to everything about your clients and use buying signals and patterns of behaviour to drive greater revenue.

#4 – Promote

Promotion is lead generations, getting the attention of prospective buyers.

Dig deep and look strategically at which marketing activities are producing results. Be careful not to get distracted by media sales people with  “special offers”.   Once you understand your customers buying patterns and preferences it becomes clear where to focus your promotional dollars.  Structure your lead generating activities so that there is accountability to track and monitor results. Build continuous  communication between the sales and the rest of the  team so that you know as it happens what your customers are asking for. Structuring your systems in a way that makes potential customers easily to  find you. 

#5 – Strategically Price your Product

The price is your assessment of value of your product.  What the purchaser receives as value from consuming your product.

Having as much data about your specific market and customers behaviours, expectations and habits supports the ability to effectively price your product.  Your price depends on your objectives, are you positioning yourself as a premium brand like Mercedes or are you the bargain basement option seen in the lower end Fords.

#6 – Have a sales process in place

Sales is lead conversion. Moving from prospect to paid customer.

Doing “marketing” is only half of your business development process.  The other half is figuring out now that you have people interested in your product how to get them to buy.   Converting leads to buyers requires a system for followup and relationship building. It takes work and time. You need to understand your customers buying patterns and learn patience and skill to stay in the relationship long enough to close the deal in how ever that feels best for them. 

#7 – Nurture existing customers

One of the most powerful and essential systems for expanding your customer base it taking care of your existing customers that are referring new business your way. It’s so easy to take those deep relationships you have with your best customers for granted.  Referrals is your least expensive way to grow your business. Putting in place recognitions systems that celebrate and support these  relationships along with being open to constructive feedback will ensure that this lead generation tool stays strong.

#8 – Use your Influence

People buy from people and brands that they trust.  Humans need to feel connected   Trust comes Hands down personal networking is the fastest and most effective way to generate new business for your company.  Getting involved in an organization or project that also serves your community compounds the effect. Contributing in some way to your industries organizations is another powerful way to gain experience and insights into business  development practices and potential opportunities.  In business and in life it is sometimes not what you know but who you know.

#9 – Keep track of your customers

Customer data is an asset. It builds equity.  Customer information allows you to be a better provider, it saves you time and helps organize your sales system. How you collect, store, manage and use your data are all systems that have high value in your marketing and sales results. Taking the time to research, customize and become fully trained in a client data management system is essential.

#10 – Make it easy to buy from you.

How easy is it for customers to buy your product? Place represents the location where a product can be purchased and the distribution channel and logistics it took to get it there. It is about getting products to your consumer and having the inventory available to fill their demand. This may include any physical store (supermarket, department stores, retail store) as well as virtual stores (e-markets and e-malls, your own website) on the Internet.

As you can see it is WAY more than just promotion.  The risk of  “winging” your marketing and sales strategy is the cost.  How much is one new customer worth to you? Imagine now easily attracting that prospect consistently.  What is the cost of online ads targeted at the wrong market?  What if you could get this exactly right.  Small adjustments make a huge difference.  I hope the above helps.

If you need to create structure and systems in your small  business to consistently  attract and win new customers inquire about joining our next business development program starting in the fall.   Write back and we will get you on the list for the next Cohort.

Thank you for sharing your Entrepreneurial Journey,

 

 

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Have you taken advantage of the Canada BC Job Grant yet?  If not, you are running out of time!

In 2015 the Canadian Federal Government and the British Columbia Provincial Government as part of a National Labour Market Agreement  made a commitment to fund training for priority sectors including Small Business Owners, calling it the Canada BC Job Grant.   This is a three year agreement that is set to expire on March 31, 2018.

Since its inception both governments have changed and it will be interesting to see if the Federal Liberals and Provincial New Democrats agree that supporting  Small Business owners is a still  a priority.

The Canada BC Job Grant is about economic development.

If you have not heard of the Canada BC Job Grant the highlight benefit of the program for BC’s Entrepreneurs is  a non-repayable grant that covers 2/3 of the cost of  training up to $10,000.00 per qualified small business owner.

Employers can also apply to cover the cost of training for their employees up to $15,000.00 each.

This includes both business management courses and programs to improve your trade skills.

We Will Give You The Money. You Take The Training. You Will Succeed - Vimeo

Business owner training programs are available at local universities, community colleges, and through private training provides that specialize in Small Business Education like Systems Business Coach®.    Our programs have been approved for funding and include understanding finances and cash flow, marketing, leadership including time management, hiring and training of employees and getting your operations streamlined and documented.

The first step is to figure out where you could use the most help.  Finance?  Hiring?  Marketing?

After conducting over 3000 small business assessments over 4 years I have come up with an idea of what questions to ask.  I would be happy to do a confidential business assessment with you if you are ready to make some positive changes in 2018 and would like to take advantage of the savings with the grant.  Specifically in areas of finance, operations, team building, marketing and leadership.

Link to the assessment: https://systemscoach.wufoo.eu/forms/your-entrepreneurial-journey/

When an entrepreneur builds a strong company the economic benefit positively impacts the local community, the province and the entire country by providing jobs and in turn tax revenue.

Investing in training for business owners makes sense.  And… if you are already too busy to get help then this is your sign that now is the best time to get what you need while the government is offering this amazing financial support.

Reach out anytime if you want to know more, we are here to listen and together find a way!

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Like many of you I’m a small business owner and yesterday I called in sick.  Well I actually didn’t “call” in, I just decided that seeing as I felt dizzy and  had the flu that I would take the day off.   The only person I needed to convince that it was OK to not work was me.

Entrepreneurs building and running companies remind me of machines.  They are powerful, strong and always on.  That is until their batteries run out or they break down.   They go 24/7 for months, years even decades working harder than anyone I know that has a “job”.

 Sickness is not in their vocabulary, it’s not something they do.

Taking the day off was not easy. I had to cancel meetings,  let others do things for me and then rest.  Employees are generally good with taking the day off when they don’t feel well.  Why is it that we the owners don’t allow ourselves the same?

I want to remind you loved small business owner that you are not a machine and that you too deserve time off to rest and play.  I encourage you to listen to your body and respect its power.

Allow me to just rant here for a moment about systems and how when they are in place it makes it WAY easier to take a day off.

When I owned my travel agency I was completely free to come and go as I pleased. I could take a much needed day, week or even month off.   I encourage you to document your most critical company processes and have them available for someone else to follow so that you too can enjoy a sick day, or better yet a health day!

When was the last time you called in sick and took a day off?

Even if you are the ONLY one working in your company I encourage you to think about what your business would be like if it ran independent of you.   Think about how you could earn the same income and either have someone else following your system or have your work set up so that you don’t need to physically be there 365 days a year.

If you don’t take care of yourself who will?

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As the owner of your business have you ever felt left out of the loop? Or been blindsided by an employee quitting with no notice? Have you ever lost business from someone you thought was a great happy customer? 

Most often there are warning signs long before these events happen.  The problem is we are often so busy  that we are not paying attention carefully enough with our ears to have noticed.   Listening, like any human function is a complex process between your ears and your brain and is something you can strengthen. 

Listening is a powerful leadership tool that will give you the information you need to make great decisions. It will also provide you with the information you need to strengthen your relationships with your customers, your team and yourself. 

Listen to your customers

Customers give us all kinds of clues of what they want, shorter lines, hotter coffee, faster response time.  Listen to the feedback, grumbles or praises offered by your customers to build trust and craft a better customer experience.   Great companies listen to their customers and bit by bit make changes for greater efficiency, better communication, and improved service.  I experienced this last week when I arrived at the  Boise airport looking for the shuttle that would take me to my hotel.  I was  blown away when I received a text from the hotel driver saying “Hey Beverlee, I’m here by the green sign, take your time” AND he spelled my name right.  That small gesture made me grin from ear to ear, made me feel welcome in town AND create a relationship with a hotel that will last forever.  I learned later the owner of the hotel built his entire business on listening carefully to the needs of his guests and created detailed systems to ensure their comfort.     What are your customers wanting and needing from you?  Ask them.

Listen to your team

 

You didn’t hire ignorant people so why not take advantage of the knowledge and insight your team members bring to the organization.  When creating systems, the very best understanding  into the way to do things is from the people that are doing them every day.

If things are not working it is your people who will find work arounds, improvements or short cuts to something better.  Ask them for their input on what you need to do to make your business stronger. Have a place to post “missing or broken systems”, it tells them you are listening AND you will get the benefit of a healthier company.

The depth and breadth of insight from your own team is a resource often ignored by busy small business owners.    The best teams collaborate and have robust communications systems for information, ideas and  thoughts to share up and down the ladder.  This can be done with a daily huddle, weekly meetings, or even something as basic as a shared ideas book.

Recently on our own team we needed to change our communication systems to ensure response time between us improved.  People were not being heard and this can quickly take the wind out of a teams sails.

Listen even if you don’t agree, it won’t hurt you to listen, in fact it will help a lot. Remember “acknowledgement is not agreement”.  Sometimes we get so stuck in our ways trying to build and systematize our companies we forget that we have other insights we can tap into.    Listen and learn, be the leader that listens and build a strong team! 

Listen to your gut

Your body will tell you to stop right in the middle of telling a little white lie that has slipped out when you were trying really hard to make that sale.  It is that same twinge that tells you that it is a really bad idea to hire your best friend to do your books.  In fact, your gut is probably the best indicator at any hiring interview you do .

Your gut feeling is  also  the source of positive inspiration and desire that can drive you to reach your goals; to finish, to push harder than you ever thought possible to get to a place that others dared to go.  Slow down and listen to your own instincts when it comes to running this company.  You’ve got this, listen and learn.

Until next time, enjoy your Entrepreneurial Journey!

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Running a business without and an accurate financial tracking system is equal to riding your bicycle down a busy road with your eyes closed. Gone are the days when you could get away with throwing everything in a shoebox and dropping it off the night before your tax returns are due.

If you want to beat the odds of business failure you need to have fully up-to-date financial information. This way you can make important decisions while there is still time to do something about it.

“Businesses always have problems. Numbers tell you where the problems are, and how worried you should be.” – Jack Stack (the Great Game of Business)

Tracking money rarely feels urgent day-to-day, it only becomes urgent when there is a problem. Bounced checks, not enough funds for payroll, or way overdue accounts receivable are examples of common problems in a business. The way you set up your books, specifically your chart of accounts, will determine if the information you collect is valuable or not. It is essential that you take the time to think about what you need to measure and review. For example, if it is important to know which of your products is the most profitable, then it is essential to separate your individual products and their associated costs so that you can get that data.

Sound confusing? I respectfully say “get on with it,” and do what ever it takes right now to put yourself in control of your business finances. It starts with tracking your money, all of it, on time, all the time, no matter what.

What do you need to record?

If you don’t have an accountant that you respect and trust completely, then now is the best time to start shopping for one. Be sure you are comfortable asking potentially “stupid” questions until they are fully understood by you. Hiring an accountant requires the same care as hiring an employee, take your time and be comfortable with the decision.

One last question, should you be doing your own bookkeeping? It depends on (1) if you like doing it, (2) if it is the best use of your time, and (3) you are able to do it accurately and keep things fully up to date at all times.

What ever you decide the most important action is to have your books 100% up-to-date at all times so that you can confidently build and run a profitable company.

Let us know if we can help, enjoy your Entrepreneurial Journey!

Beverlee Rasmussen CEC PCC
email: beverlee@systemsbusinesscoach.com
cell: 604 309 4242

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How do you  know if your business success is defined by the people you have in place, or the systems you’ve created to replicate your best results?

If you are like most business owners, you connect with the strength of one over the other.  At Systems Business Coach® we have a focus on helping our clients become Organized and Profitable.

Our path to doing that involves a look at a few critical drivers:

  • Your Systems
  • Your Culture
  • And your intentional leadership of both

Traditionally, we see owners at the start of their business development process stuck at the extreme end of one or the other; meaning, they either have lots of best practices and documentation in place, but there is no real joy or spirit in the work environment; OR, they have an amazing company culture, “just like one big, happy family” – however, work results are inconsistent and lack real impact.

Here are some warning signs of being in either ‘extreme’ mode:
  • You cant find or keep good employees like before
  • Customers complain about their experience being “hit or miss”
  • Your profit margin fluctuates too much for your planning abilities
  • You can’t take more than 2 days off in a row without worrying about the impact on the business
  • You hesitate making changes due to how it may make certain employees feel
  • You dread being in the office and find ways to hide

An overly-systematized company with no employee connection is just a bunch of lifeless paperwork.   Having systems in place to run the business is crucial – but not at the expense of of a thriving culture that creates impact and meaning.

An overly “family” feeling culture without systems is chaotic, and at risk of being a blame-focused environment that is too people dependent.  Having a culture that reflects your values is crucial – but not at the expense of having best practices that can get results without you doing it all yourself.

So if you want change, where do you start?

First, take an honest baseline look at where you are.  What are you most proud of in business results?  Would you want to work in your company’s environment?  What can you measure, tangibly and intangibly, to point to success?

Then, recognize and honor the strengths that got you were you are. The business is a reflection of you – your decisions, your insights, your strengths and fears.  Know what works and what doesn’t.  Decide what to keep and what to let go of into the New Year.

Finally, create a plan to use those strengths to develop your underdeveloped side:  Now you know where you are, and where you want to go.

What could be your first next steps to build on what you want?

Caution:  Keep it simple.  Don’t overthink it.

In your gut, you know what you have to do, so take action!  And if you need help, we’ve got that – click here.

Your business success is defined by your people AND your systems.  And you get to lead the development of both.

Thank you for allowing us to join you on this entrepreneurial journey,

Coach Remy

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Small systems changes can have a profound impact on our organizations. I came across a video as part of an Organization Development course I am taking — showing the changes in Yellowstone Park when wolves were reintroduced to the park in 1995. Wolves returning to the park set the conditions for the park’s wildlife, forests and even the rivers to regenerate.

So what do wolves have to do with business leadership?

I’d love to share this 4-minute video with you, as it resonates so closely with the work I’ve done to help a number of organizations recently get back on track. It’s a great example of how leadership sets up the conditions for a company to thrive. It also relates to planning business succession, if you want your family to grow into your business.

Here’s a quote from this super-short documentary: “One of the most exciting scientific findings of the past half-century has been the discovery of widespread trophic cascades. A trophic cascade is an ecological process which starts at the top of the food chain and tumbles all the way down to the bottom. The classic example is what happened in the Yellowstone Park in the United States when Wolves were re-introduced in 1995.” (Sustainable Human – You Tube)

Does this video give you any ideas?

How Wolves Change Rivers - YouTube

Wolf Leadership and Business Succession

When I watch this video, my mind leaps to thinking about how our organizations are also ecosystems, with people and processes, economics, emotions and talents — and a story of how small changes can make a significant shift in our business.

The changes in the park’s environment remind me of the changes that took place in an organization I have been working with.  In this case, the leader, who for sure can be described as a “Wolf,” stepped away from his post as leader a few years ago. He was distracted by the good life, a loss of physical energy and the notion that maybe his kids could run the company.

The problem was that his kids are not wolves, they are lambs. (Well actually, one is a lamb, the other a snake and the third a peacock.) None of them really wants to be there and without the Wolf, things deteriorated pretty quickly.

With no leadership, shared vision, or common values, the rest of the menagerie all came out to play. Including a nephew whom I’ll describe as more of a jackrabbit — who in the past had been afraid of the wolf and had kept mainly on task. But with the Wolf away, the jackrabbit nephew was happy playing house with the female rabbits on the team.

Over a short period of time, without the Wolf, changes gradually crept into the organization. Eventually, the river ran dry (aka his bank account), and the food supply disappeared (aka customers). Over 60 species (employees) left to work somewhere else or start their own ventures.

How We Got the Business Leadership Back On Track

The strategy to get this company back on track started with building “Wolf” values and strengths into the organization.

Before hiring me as a business coach, the Wolf recognized he had a problem. His first attempt to fix his organization was to bring in a very expensive and hostile “Bull Shark”. I witnessed first hand as the remaining team ran for the hills, one-by-one hunkering down in their respective cubicles. This approach was destructive.

It would have been fast and easy to ask the Wolf to  fire all the rabbits and the peacock but I’ve learned that if you simply change out the people without changing the rules and identifying the purpose and the promise then the next hires will behave the same way.

To have lasting change, we needed to “get everybody on the same page before asking them to problem-solve or decide.” In getting everyone working together, “they will make better choices and be more likely to accept responsibility for action.” (Quote from Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff’s book, “Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There!”)

As a business coach, it has been challenging to quickly get things back on track with this team. Try getting that group described above “all in the same room!”

It was a full year before everyone was on the same page and to be honest, there are still a few who will eventually go away.

I am delighted to report that dysfunctional companies can become healthy again as did this one and many others our team has worked with.

Ready to work ON your business, not just IN it? We talk about real leadership change in our Business School for Busy Entrepreneurs.  You are welcome to check it out http://bit.ly/2f9Yo3T 

Until next time, what did you think of the video?

☮️ 

Further Reading:

Meadows, D.H.; Thinking in Systems: A Primer
Chelsea Green Publishing; White River Junction, VT; 2008.

Weisbord, M. R., & Janoff, S. (2007). Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There! : Ten Principles for Leading Meetings That Matter.
San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

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How many systems does your business need to be successful?

Well, Business Owner – that is a tricky question.  Because it’s not as simple as picking a number out of thin air, or looking at a table of contents in a generic operations manual.

The answer depends on your definition of success.  There are many definitions of success, but to keep it simple, we’ll focus on these 3 – Stability, Growth and Profitability.

Stability

If you define success from a place of stability, your systems documentation will focus on getting everyone on the same page, producing predictable results in how you treat clients, manage and lead staff and balance resources.

Growth

If you define success as growth, your systems documentation will focus on finding ways to expand to new locations, adding additional profit centers, and creating a solid sales team and adding more products and services.

Profitability

If you define success as profitability, your systems documentation will focus on pricing, operational activities, and keeping overhead in check as you evaluate and innovate the effectiveness of your infrastructure.

So, have you added it up yet? How many systems does YOUR business need to be successful?

Before you spit out a number (zero to 1000, somewhere in between?) remember a few important ideas about systems:

  • If you are open for business, you have systems.  They may not be documented, they may not be replicable.  But you do have a way to get results.  We call that starting with “internal best practices” – and if we could find a way to get those best practices out of your head and onto paper, you would be on your way to ‘documented’ systems.
  • A documented system takes many forms.  It can be handwritten, a word document, excel template, audio or video recording, a checklist, or even a series of photo cards – as long as someone other than you can view it, and use it and without input from you, follow steps to get the result you want.
  • Systems are meant to be innovated.  “But that’s the way we’ve always done it” can be a blessing and a curse in some small businesses.  It’s important to have best practices, but as the business grows, you may outgrow your systems.  Knowing how to spot a need for innovation will keep your systems successful.
Based on your definition of success, how many systems does your business need to be successful?

We can’t tell you that.  But we can offer this thought:   As a guideline start with  5-10 core systems in each area of your business.

If you had 5-10 systems documented in each of the following areas, you would be well on your way to being a successful business by all definitions:

  • Leadership  e.g. (communication systems, promises, time management)
  • Sales and Marketing e.g. (updating websites, follow up with prospects, payments)
  • Finance  e.g. (banking, saving, A/R reporting)
  • Operations  e.g. (work flows , technology, facility maintenance)
  • Your Teame.g. (reviews, rewards, agreements)

So, in order for your business to be successful, by most definitions, you will probably find you need to document 25-50 core systems.  Maybe a few more, possibly a few less.

The successful approach would be to just start!

– Coach Remy

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“Who knows you?” That’s a very different question from, “who do you know?”

If you want to be the “go-to expert” in your field, how many people know what you do and who you do it for?

Does your name come up when someone asks, “Do you know someone who…?” or, “Who is the expert at …?” or “Who would be good for …?” (Fill in the blank with your line of work.)

Would you be dismayed at the number of people who don’t know about you?

The first step to becoming the “go-to expert” is to become known for what you do! 

How to Grow Your Personal Network and Get Known

You want your connections to think of you first when they need someone in your profession. Here are four ways to take direct action and become known in a way that means business.

1. Take your mayor to lunch.

Anyone in your own community who comes into contact with scores of people each day needs to know you and understand exactly what you do and who you do it for.  Start with the mayor and go from there – your chamber president, city councilman, and so forth.

2. Have a verbal “tagline” that describes what you do when someone asks.

For me, it’s “we help small and independent business grow.” It’s what I do and who I do it for. By the same token, when you’re being introduced or introducing yourself (which you should do all the time!), state your name and what you do.

For me, that’s “Catherine Pietrow, small business development.” The conversation starts from there. And don’t save this gem for networking events. Use it everywhere: waiting in line, school events, getting your hair cut.

Joining a community service club can help grow your business.

3. Follow up with people you meet who really need to know you.

Dash off a quick email, make a fast call, or best yet, have a business postcard or fold-over card that you send to them that says “Great to meet you.”

There is no need to be “sales-y.” Your goal is for them to know you. This is a totally underused and magnificently effective way to be remembered, especially the handwritten note. You will be the stand-out.

If you don’t have personal access to those who need to know you, make use of that LinkedIn account you set up. Ask for an introduction from someone in your network who does know them, then send them a message.

4. Ask other people about their work, then really listen and ask questions to show that you’re listening.

If you’ve followed number 2 (see above), you may not even need to talk about your business unless it’s relevant to the conversation.

Asking others great questions about their work shows that you’re really interested.  You will be remembered as that great person from (insert your business name here) who made them feel heard.

Human memory relies on emotion. This is a way to make a memorable connection.

Make Better Connections

No one likes the feeling of being “sold to.” Reach out to begin a conversation, instead of just promoting yourself.

This is not a one-shot sales pitch where you drone on and on about yourself.  You’re looking for areas of overlap and a relationship-building conversation.

So now, who knows you? How many people can you add to this number this week? Prioritize the list and go get ’em!

I’m curious. What is your most effective way to add to the group of “who knows you”?

I encourage you to connect with our community by leaving your comment below… and sign up for our weekly strategies to help you systematize your business for more ideas to make your business great!

Till next time,

–  Beverlee

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