August 2017
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The Leading Edge - Taking Care of Business
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I Am Successful Because

 

I Am Successful Because

How many of the following 40 success traits can you honestly say you have and actively pursue on a day-to-day basis in your business?

I am a modern, professional, aware entrepreneur because:

  1. I have a clear vision for my business
  2. I set goals
  3. I'm generally optimistic
  4. I believe wholeheartedly in what I am selling
  5. I plan, prioritize and implement - every day!
  6. I see my market clearly
  7. I'm constantly curious about new opportunities
  8. I'm an information junkie
  9. I am motivated to learn and constantly improve
  10. I'm an avid networker
  11. My business is not just a job, it has a life without me
  12. My business runs on systems
  13. I acknowledge random events can derail me
  14. I constantly look at what's working and what's not
  15. I form alliances with other businesspeople where it creates power in numbers
  16. I regularly carry out a risk analysis on my business
  17. I have plans in place for tough times and an early warning system to alert me in advance
  18. I review my business plan and update it regularly
  19. I follow my market and industry closely
  20. I watch trends - local, national, international
  21. I have a strong relationship with my bank and know my account manager
  22. I build credibility with my bank and investors during good times.
  23. I am aware of potential investors locally and in my industry
  24. I have an up-to-date cash flow spreadsheet
  25. I know my bank balance, my accounts payable and accounts receivable
  26. I review my production costs regularly to ensure I am maximizing profits
  27. I survey customers often to ensure I am still meeting their needs
  28. I realize successful companies are loved, not just liked, by their customers
  29. I prioritize sales as it is the only activity that contributes to profit
  30. I have a clear sales strategy as well as a marketing strategy
  31. I set and monitor sales targets
  32. I know what marketing is working and continually cut what's not
  33. I know every move my competition makes and how it will affect me
  34. I hire for attitude and train for skill
  35. I support free thinkers and give mavericks freedom in my company
  36. I empower my staff
  37. I do not procrastinate, I take action
  38. I keep mentally and physically fit
  39. I know what's working in my business and have plans to change what isn't
  40. I know where I came from and I know where I am going

This list of 40 could easily have been 140; being successful is more about attitude than anything else. Every item on the above list comes down to your attitude as a businessperson and as an entrepreneur. How did you stack up? If you could honestly check off 30 or more you are either already successful, or heading in the right direction!

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I Am Successful Because

 

Use Your Expertise to Generate Leads

Marketing is a necessary expense, but it's often like being caught between a rock and a hard place - you often need to market your business to attract more prospects at a time when your marketing budget may be stretched. It's at times like this you need marketing strategies that give you more bang for your buck and have longer shelf lives.

We all know that the first rule of selling is "sell yourself first" but consider also making it your first rule of marketing. People like buying from people that are experts in their field. Why? Because they exude confidence, they have credibility, and they appear trustworthy.

But what is an expert? How do we define one in day-to-day life? An expert is anyone who knows more than you do about a given subject. For instance, if you were going to get a pedigree dog, say an Australian Shepherd, you might decide to talk to a friend who has had several of them over the years and ask them to tell you all about the breed. Is this person really an expert? Well, not strictly speaking, unless they have been breeding Aussies for several decades, but they do know a great deal more than you do about owning one, so you are likely to listen to them and take their advice.

Think about adopting one of the following personas and attract prospects by sharing your knowledge.

The Professor

Host a seminar, or workshop, focused on an area of your business you know well. One that your prospective customers will find useful and informative. Perhaps you could approach your local Chamber of Commerce and offer to host a session for members? This is a great way to quickly and easily become a 'professor' and demonstrate your expertise to potential customers.

Don't be afraid to show people how to do what your business offers, themselves. You'll be surprised how many people, once they see how complex it is and your obvious expertise, come up to you after the session and ask whether you can provide the service to them.

It's also very likely several people will come up to you and give you their business card and suggest meeting for coffee or lunch. Whatever you sell, there is a way you can reach your target audience by educating them and demonstrating your personal, or your businesses expertise.

The Expert Media Source

Becoming an expert media source may be a little harder to get into than setting yourself up as a professor, but a lot of people do it and get masses of free exposure. When you read your local newspaper watch out for quotes from local "experts", you'll find that the same names come up time and time again. Becoming a media source can be as easy as letting local editors or broadcasters know that you exist. Consider your area of expertise and find a niche within it where you have specialized or "inside" knowledge. Then approach local newspapers, magazines, radio and television, and offer your services should they ever need an expert opinion, or background information relating to your specialty.

Being a respected media source will bring great credibility to both you and your company, and the good thing is that you can be an expert on just about anything from Aardvarks to Zabaglione.

The Blogger and Social Media Butterfly

The media frequently interview bloggers on a wide range of subjects; they've become a standard source. These modern-day communicators have attained serious credibility in recent years. Writing a regular blog about a specific topic can allow you to connect to, and potentially influence, thousands if not tens of thousands of people. It allows you to put forward your opinions and display your depth of knowledge and understanding about what you write. A blog also gives you plenty of material to use as Tweets, or LinkedIn posts, which of course drives people back to your blog and your website. Sweet!

The Author

One of the best ways of all to build credibility is to write a book and get it published. Up to a few years ago this highly successful marketing strategy was the purview of the few lucky souls who managed to attract a publishing house to represent them. Today with print-on-demand publishing and eBooks, just about anyone can produce a book that looks professional. The prestige and credibility that comes from writing a good book cannot be overstated.

Think about what you have to say to your target market, or even to a small segment of it. You don't necessarily have to be a good writer - there are ghostwriters out there who can help you. Check out the Association of Ghostwriters for highly qualified writers.

The Freelance Writer

If a book seems a daunting prospect for you and the thought of writing 80,000 words gives you a case of the screaming heebie-jeebies, you might want to start a little more modestly and write an article for a local magazine, trade journal, or even for your local newspaper. This approach can still be very effective, and as you get used to formulating ideas and presenting them logically, a book or a blog will seem like a natural progression.

So, go forth and express yourself. Show the world that when it comes to your industry or profession, you're the go-to person.

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I Am Successful Because

 

Coach's Corner - Staying motivated.

At times we are in periods when there appears to be not much happening. Sales are sluggish because it's a slow part of the sales cycle. Summer has hit and people are away, or at least too busy getting things done before they head off on vacation. These are the times you will sometimes feel unmotivated.

How do you stay motivated? How do you spend this time, and ensure it is fruitful not wasted? What do you need to do to keep inspired and enthusiastic with what you and your company are doing?

"What you do today can improve all of your tomorrows." Ralph Marston

First of all, this may be an opportune time to reflect on what has occurred over the past year, or quarter, to take stock of what you have accomplished. What are your successes this past period? Where have you seen gains? What might you have done, if you knew what you know now? What are the thoughts of your colleagues or staff when they look back?

Taking the time to reflect and share with your colleagues, staff, or others, leads to planning for the next quarter or year. What do you want to accomplish in the coming months? What changes do you wish to make? What is the importance of making those changes? Using your time wisely to create a plan for both the short-term and long-term, is a worthwhile and important endeavour.

Keeping positive by acknowledging successes, even minor ones, helps you to stay motivated and engaged with your work. Allowing frustration and negativity to creep into your vocabulary, thoughts and actions, reinforces those feelings. It's that idea of the self-fulfilling prophesy; if we think it will happen it most likely will happen. It's important to watch what you say and how you say it. What is the message you are conveying to others and most importantly to yourself?

Finally, if you are still finding it hard to feel motivated and up-beat about business, take some time to recharge your energy. A little time for reflecting and planning may be all you need to regain your inspiration. But maybe, as was written in this column a couple of months ago, you need to reboot. What does recharging look like for you? What activities give you joy and inspire you? Whether it's time with your family and friends, playing golf or tennis, reading a good book or even meditating, taking some personal and quality time can lead to feeling better overall.

When you know you are feeling a lack of motivation, you can kick-start its resurgence by reflecting on what has happened, planning for the future, staying positive, and re-charging.

Paul Abra, Certified Executive Coach
Motivated Coaching

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WestShore Chamber of Commerce
2830 Aldwynd Road, Victoria, BC, V9B 3S7
Phone: 250-478-1130 | Fax: 250-478-1584
chamber@westshore.bc.ca

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