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Posts tagged ‘assistance’

How To Convert a Client Meeting Into A Secured Client

Ok, so you’ve done the networking, and you did so well, you got someone to want to meet with you to learn more about you and your services. YAY! Don’t celebrate too soon though; before you start imagining your future together,  you have to make sure you nail that first meeting with these crucial steps, or else, the time and focus you put towards that meeting will be all for not.

Before meeting with the prospective client, do a little homework. Google them to learn as much as you can about their industry and about them as well. You may find information that will help you build  a rapport with this person. Finding that common thread will build trust and commonality-the first step in closing a deal!

Although you normally keep your smartphone no more than 3 inches away from you at all times this may be the best time for you to put that phone away. You wouldn’t interrupt a potential employer with your phone, would you? Don’t do it with a potential client either. It leaves an impression that you are not fully engaged. Securing a client should be your top priority-everything else can wait.

As much as I would love to think this person is at least 80% committed to you, chances are they’re really at more like a 50%. They can really go either way. Try to keep the conversation light, positive, and a fair give and take-almost like a first date. Ask them questions, and make eye contact; talk about your business in a way that may interest them, and do your best to find more commonality to further thread you closer together until that person is a secured client.

Lastly, a successful meeting will always lead to a second meeting-give them all the information they need to help them decide whether your business is the right fit for them, but leave the detailed specifics for the next meeting-taking you to that next step.

Good luck on securing that client!

 

Working From Home Can Be Hazardous To Your Health!

Working from home can be a great solution for solo-preneurs, telecommuters, and those who have small children who would rather work with them than without them, but many don’t realize a home workplace can intensify problems rather than alleviate them.

 

Make your home-office a healthy environment by creating physical and mental boundaries. For example, it’s important to give yourself a breather between work and home. For many, that generally translates into a commute. But what do you do when your only commute is coming down (or up) the stairs? Some go to the local coffee shop to grab a coffee and drive back home to create an official start to their day. Since I have three kids in three different stages in life, I tend to have a cup of coffee between the time my oldest leaves for school and the middle has to wake up to get ready for school. That hour of time is enough time for me to prepare mentally for my work day. I also NEVER work in PJ’s-I take a shower, put on pants with a zipper and button, wear makeup and do my hair. These simple acts make me feel like I’m going to the office, as opposed to just down my stairs.

 

It’s not easy to mentally separate work from home, believe me. If possible, try to dedicate a room to become your office. If you don’t have that available to you, create a work space that looks like an office, and avoid pictures of your family, or decorating with your home’s design in mind. Reflect your business to make you feel as though you’ve entered an office-not a corner of your living room.

 

While working from home may be great for those who hate the distraction of coworkers, it can actually make you feel quite lonely. Consider joining a meet-up group or a networking group to get you out of the house, and keep you out of a mental funk.

 

Don’t get too distracted by the doldrums of your home-your office is your oasis, and keeping your mental and physical health in check will not only make you a healthier person, it will make you a more successful business person as well!

 

 

 

5 Methods To Sustain A Successful Business!

I come across many businesses on a daily basis, and some of them follow my philosophy and some of them look at me as though I’m an alien. I tell people all of the time, to keep their businesses simple and focused-slow and steady wins the race! But, time and time again, I’m met with those who think putting their hands in many pots makes them both versatile and bring them closer to success at a faster rate. Yes, I’ll agree my company offers many different services, however the true service we offer is office management. That’s what I own-a virtual office management company, and to say I’ve moved at a turtles pace in building and sustaining this company of mine is an understatement. It’s the key though to building a secure and strong business! Here are my top ten methods to building and sustaining a successful company. Do you utilize any of these tools?

 

1. Dream Small-When one sets out to start a business, it’s easy to dream big-why not? Mark Zuckerberg dreamed big and look what it got him? Big returns! For the rest of us however, we need to dream small. Be realistic about your goals and don’t set out to reach goal 2 and 3 before you reach 1. Complete each task in it’s entirety or you’ll only set yourself up for failure. Build an air-tight foundation to your business and it cannot fail!

2. Captain or Deckhand? Pick one!-You can’t both lead a boat and row at the same time. It’s impossible. So, why do so many businesses think they can do EVERYTHING by themselves? I hear every excuse, “I can’t afford it”, “I don’t see the point in hiring someone to do what I can just take care of myself” and so on, and so forth. Of course, you can probably manage your office AND do your very focused job, but do you want to? Probably not. Do what you’re really good at, and hand off the rest to keep you from losing focus. Doctors have nurses for a reason…you should have an office manager for that same reason as well.

3.The Elevator Speech-If I asked you to tell me who you are, the name of your company, and an overview of what your business does, could you do it? Of course you could! But, could you do it in 30 seconds? Maybe not.  Rehearse this, even if you don’t need to actually use it, to really boil down the essence of your company. It’s a great practice to help keep you focused on who your business and you are in your core.

4. Mr./Mrs. Right-If there’s anything I’ve learned from networking it’s to be uber specific about who my ideal client is. Do you know who yours is? No, it’s not “Anyone who needs plumbing!” (if you’re a plumber, of course). Write down who your ideal client is, where they live, what they do, etc. to pinpoint your market and draw a clear, narrow path to your success!

5. Get To The Point-What is your ultimate goal for your business other than make money and retire in the Bahamas? Think small here: what is your ultimate goal this year? This month? This week? Take small bites, set small goals and create positive habits to reach those goals consistently!

Delegating Is The New Delegating: What You Should And Shouldn’t Be Doing For Your Business

As women, it’s easy to say, “Oh, I’ll just do it” or “I’ll take care of it” and frankly, there are quite a few men out there that do that too; “Oh, it will take too long to teach you all the nuances of the business, so I’ll just take care of it myself.” But often, these business owners watch their businesses crash and fall after two years because they burn out. Administrative duties for a business are much larger than the business itself, and taking advantage of the importance of office management will be the undoing (and is the undoing) of many a business.

Recognizing that your services can be put to better use is the first step to delegating. I often say if you take what you charge an hour, and figure how much it would cost you to focus on admin as opposed to clients-that’s how much money you’re losing. Now, take that hourly and imagine someone else doing it, and it just makes sense to hire someone else to take over your office duties.

It takes a strong business person to understand what they can do, what they can’t do, and what is not worth their time doing. Also, chances are, someone else more qualified in that field will do the job more efficiently. That means giving your copy of Quickbooks to a competent bookkeeper instead of doing it yourself; handing over your Facebook and Twitter to a more qualified market focused writer, and offering up your Outlook to an experienced office manager.

It doesn’t make you less of a successful business owner to hand over the reins of your business. You are the coach-not the whole team, and shouldn’t be expected to be. You started your company because of your love of that particular field. Leave the management in more capable hands. In the end, you’ll actually save and make money (do the math, it’s true!), create a solid, secure business, and enjoy owning your business for a very long time!

How To Find Your Dream Business

I had a lot of dreams when I was little. I thought I was going to be all kinds of things. As I grew, I started to define myself and let the stars glaze over my eyes, not really allowing myself to tap into what I really should become-opting to climb the ladder of fame instead. Not that that’s not a legitimate dream, mind you, but it’s not exactly a realistic one, you know.

 

It wasn’t until I experienced some serious downfalls and lost almost everything I had-both tangibly and personally-to strip away to the core of what was inside of me all along. Once I discovered who I really was, and who I’d always been, I decided to ditch the idea of following someone else’s path; expecting someone else to define me, and began sketching the outline to the definition of ‘me’. My company was born from that, and I’ve never looked back. Starting a business is scary and exciting. There’s more to it than just saying ‘I own a business’. Having a plan and truly listening to your inner voice will help you slowly build the bricks that make the foundation that your company will securely rest on.

 

Unsure of where to start? Here are steps to use as a guide to the rest of your life:

 

Make A List: The only thing standing between you and your dreams is YOU. Don’t discount all the things you are good at, and those things that fascinate you. Make a list of all the things you enjoy and step away from it. Come back to it in a day or two and see if you can connect the dots. For example, I’m slightly OCD-I strive on lists, categorizing; everything has its place. I’m also slightly ADD-if I’m not doing five things at once, I start to malfunction and lose my juice. Concentrating on one thing for long periods of time doesn’t bode well with me. Which is why having multiple clients whom I do completely different things for all day long works beautifully for me.

 

Check It Twice: When I wasn’t sure if there was a name for what I enjoyed, I Googled it. You know what I found? Well, not much. However, there were tons of people who did certain facets of what I could do, and I gleaned tons of information from their blogs and sites. Research your potential business ideas to find out if there is a market; what your potential competition offers, and whether it’s worth your time and money.

 

Narrow It Down: You’re going to find there’s a ton of information-maybe too much. Start narrowing down the things that really perk up your ears, and those that seem a bit daunting. Once you’ve narrowed it down, you should have a clearer picture of what your company will look like and become.

 

Ready, Set, GO!: This is the scariest part of all: opening your ‘doors’ for business! This is your dream, and it’s your job to keep your dream alive, and by dream I mean business, and by keeping it alive I mean staying in business! When you start to doubt yourself, brush it away immediately; you wanted this, and you are going to make it happen! Once you put that kind of energy out there, it finds itself back to you tenfold. Believe in yourself, and everything else will fall into place. As the great Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.” Now, go make your dreams happen!

Know Who Your Clients Are In The New Year-My Top Ten: Part One

We all have them. The clients who are so distinct in their personalities; in their tastes, and opinions, that we can sniff them out just by looking at them. But then there are those that are much more subtle. Who seem to be an easy walk in the park type of client, and turn into the most difficult, demanding one  you’ve ever had. Sound familiar? Well, if it doesn’t, here’s a guide to the most common types of clients and how you should approach them. Knowing this will help save you time, and effort, as well as conserving your brand from a possibly nasty review:

1.       Mr. “I Need This Done Yesterday”: Generally, these types lack time awareness and assume their larger than life ideas should be easy for you because after all, you are the ‘expert’.

Solution: Be straight forward-If you tell them upfront what you can and cannot accomplish, then their expectations will become more realistic.

2.       Mr. “Never Stops Working .Never.”: These types seem to never sleep! You receive emails at 3am, calls early Saturday morning, and expected you to work Christmas Day.

Solution: Set firm guidelines. Make it clear in your agreement what your hours of operations are; do not respond to them outside of those hours. They’ll get the hint. Eventually.

3.       Mr. “Where’d He Go? Here I Am!”: You don’t hear from your client for days, or weeks, or months. You’re given a deadline, but you can’t finish it because of their lack of communication. Once they do respond, it’s with a bombardment of requests and a deep desire to have it all done by tomorrow.

Solution: Be prepared. Set expectations for all your clients. If your process takes a week for one, then it’s a week for all. Stand firm on your expectations, and he’ll fall in line as well.

4.       Mrs. “Group Meeting”: This client can’t make any decisions on anything without conferring with her ‘people’. It could be her family, or her team at work, regardless, not even a minor decision can be made without a group meeting, leaving you with a huge time suck of a project.

Solution: Force them to have one contact person and make your deadline clear. This person will have the best view of the scope of your project, and will help keep everyone in line.

5.       Mr. “I Changed My Mind”: Oh, these are fun! They’re a dream client until you’re done with your project, then they decide they want to go in a different direction entirely.

Solution: Make it clear in the beginning that any changes will incur additional costs if what they are asking for is above and beyond the scope of the original project.

 

 

*Have you encountered these types of clients and want to know how to make your website and your business more clear and succinct to avoid these types of scenarios? Contact me for a personalized consultation!

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