How to get things done, earn more AND enjoy the process

time management

How much do you value your time and how much do you charge for it?

I mention this, because although we claim to place huge value on our time, many people act in a way that suggests the opposite. The thing is, it’s impossible to build a successful business unless you use your time wisely and charge for your time accordingly!

How to lose time and waste your money

The lawyer who wastes 2 hours trying to repair his IT problem, doesn’t understand the value of his time. He can hire an IT professional for a third less than his hourly fee and get the job done correctly, in half the time.

Instead of using those 2 hours to delight his clients, he’s losing both time and money doing the job himself.

Of course, managing your time is more than just delegating tasks wisely. It’s also about protecting yourself from interruptions, which steal your time and divert your attention.

Losing time and surrendering attention

The business owner who allows themselves to be distracted all day with social network updates and emails, is handing their time (and attention) over to whoever demands it. However, by checking for email or updates at designated times, which suit their work flow, they can get far more done and save a massive amount of time.

How I gain an hour, for pennies!

When I put fuel in my car, I pay a little more for it than I need to. Why? Because the place opposite that charges less for fuel, always has an enormous queue. I can save myself 15 or 20 minutes every week, by going to the slightly more expensive place.

Here’s the thing: The hour or so a month this saves me, costs me pennies (literally). It’s great value, yet the majority of people can’t see it. Instead, they choose to trade their time, the most valuable asset any of us has, for pennies.

Can you spot the mistake here?

Pick any 2 lawyers, designers, dentists, accountants, etc, in your town and their fees will usually be within 10-20% of each other.

Whilst these people claim their time is of huge value, they sell it for average fees. They then end up working too many hours for average clients. That’s the OPPOSITE of how to grow a successful business.

How the most successful service providers do it

The most successful service providers work fewer hours, yet they earn far more than the average service provider.

Why?

Because they choose to offer an exceptional service, doing amazing work for high value clients. These high value clients pay them accordingly. So, they don’t need to work crazy hours, the way ‘average’ service providers do. These service providers place value their time in the truest sense, which means they use their time to do the best work possible – not average work, for average clients and average fees.

In short: It’s not enough for us to say we value our time. We need to demonstrate the value of our time in the decisions we make.

Tip: This will help. How to get more done in less time and improve your thinking.

5 Powerful reasons to get passionate about your business!

professsional development, business

A business owner with passion is a formidable force. Here are 5 powerful advantages these passionate people have, over the average business owner:

  1. Their passion inspires others to believe in them.
  2. Their passion drives them forward, when others decide to quit.
  3. Their passion gives them the courage they need, to leave their comfort zones when required.
  4. Their passion is contagious. It motivates the people around them.
  5. Their passion acts like a magnet, which attracts the people and resources their business needs.

Where does that kind of passion come from?

Passion is something we create ourselves. It comes to us when we get clear on a compelling, inspirational goal or target, and believe we will achieve it.

If you are not feeling and transmitting that kind of passion, take some time out today to think what your goals are for your business. Dream big dreams, then create a plan to make your dreams a reality.

Tip: You will find this extremely useful: How to be a serial entrepreneur.

Are you giving your business the sunshine it needs?

business development, business growth,

What single investment would result in the biggest improvement for your business?

For example:

  • Hiring an exceptional copywriter to rewrite all your marketing material, so people take action when they read it.
  • Moving your business to a better location.
  • Working to a professionally developed marketing strategy, which lets you build the kind of business you always wanted.
  • Getting your website redesigned, so that it looks amazing and instantly gives your business a professional image.
  • Improving the customer service offered by every member of your team.
  • Hiring a better accountant. One who can help you improve the profitability of your business, rather than just count the beans and keep you compliant.
  • Developing a great new product or service for your existing clients.

I’m sure you can find examples, which apply far better to your business, but you get the idea. Now pick one… and put a plan in place to make it happen.

We wouldn’t expect a seed to grow without sunshine. Equally, we shouldn’t expect a business to grow without giving it the resources it needs.

Determination, drive, persistence and the other thing!

Determination, drive and persistence are essential for business success. However, without a strategy they are useless. That’s why toddlers don’t run the world’s most successful businesses!

Doing the wrong things, even with determination, drive and persistence, leads to nothing but frustration. It’s the mistake made by every business owner, who works hard, yet makes little progress.

The answer

If you are following a strategy and it isn’t working, either improve the strategy or replace it with one that works. If you don’t know how to build the right strategy for what you want to achieve, hire someone who does.

Remember: Working hard, for too little reward, is a choice we make. We are free at any time, to start doing the right things, correctly.

Tip: Here’s how to make better business decisions.

Yes, they can afford your fees. Here’s what’s really stopping them!

When a prospective client tells you that they can’t afford your services, it’s seldom what they really mean.

No.

What they really mean is that they think your service is too expensive — that the fee is higher than the value.

Lower the fee or increase the value

The average business owner lowers their fee, in order to be more affordable. The lower their fee, the higher the perceived value. If they lower their fee enough, they will gain lots of low value clients and build a low profit business.

The most successful business owners increase the value they provide. They then make sure that the value is clear to their prospective clients. If they increase the value enough, they will gain lots of high value clients and build a highly profitable business.

BONUS: Here’s a FREE, 3 part series on how to sell your services to the best potential clients, for the highest fees:

How to attract the best clients and the highest fees – Part 1.

How to attract the best clients and the highest fees – Part 2.

How to attract the best clients and the highest fees – Part 3.

How to create a new, extremely profitable income stream!

Business development

Would you like to develop an additional, extremely profitable income stream for your business? If you would, here’s a great place to start.

Clients who pay you massively higher fees

Imagine your clients were paying you 3 times your current fee:

Here’s a suggestion: Consider building a new, exclusive version of your current service, which offers all those amazing advantages.

Why?

Because there is an extremely profitable subset of every marketplace, who are very happy to pay a premium, for a premium service.

You deserve clients like that.

Don’t let this mistake crush your business!

professional development,

There is an extremely common marketing error, which is ruining small businesses. Right now, I’m going to explain what it is and also show you how to avoid it.

I was prompted to write this after being contacted by a personal development coach with a marketing problem. She explained that she’d hired several copywriters over the past year, to rewrite the pages on her website, which sold her products and services. On each occasion, the results were the same. Very few inquiries and even fewer new clients or product sales.

Why didn’t it work?

Simple: The problem wasn’t the copywriting. Allow me to explain.

Focusing on the wrong thing

She told me a bit about her business and it was clear that the problem isn’t the copy she is using. The problem is with the predictable nature of what she offers. Her services sound just like hundreds of thousands of other personal development coaches.

So, when someone sees what she has to offer, there’s absolutely no reason why anyone should hire her, rather than one of the others.

Here’s the thing: If your marketing messages are not generating enough inquiries, clients or customers, it could be a sign you need to invest in creating a better (more valuable) service, rather than a better marketing message.

Market demand

There’s no demand in the marketplace for a provider who offers something, which is just a little better, bigger, smaller, faster or less expensive than the competition. That’s not enough to attract your prospective client’s attention or interest.

As a marketing professional, I spend lots of time with business owners, helping them make subtle changes to what they provide, so that it becomes distinctive and massively more attractive. I suggest you do the same, especially if you work in a competitive industry.

Tip: This will help you. It shows how to make your product or service stand out in a competitive marketplace.

How to be a millionaire. Yes, seriously!

professsional development, business

I’d like to share what I believe to be the easiest way, for a small business owner to make a million (pounds, dollars, euros etc).

How to make a million

Mathematically, there are lots of ways to achieve your million. Here are 3, starting with the worst and finishing with what I believe is the best option for a small business owner, with limited resources.

  1. You can make £1 from a million people. Possible, but incredibly hard. You need an extremely large reach, to connect with the millions of people required, in order to find 1 million who will pay you £1.
  2. You can make £1000 from 1000 different people. Easier than the first option. It requires a far smaller reach.
  3. Alternatively, you can make £10,000 from just 100 clients or customers. The balance here is a lot easier for you to manage. If you provide a product or service that has massive value, it’s extremely achievable to attract just 100 clients. Equally, if you’re marketing to the correct type of people or businesses, they have zero problem investing £10,000 in something, which they value enough.

These are not exact numbers. The best option for you may be somewhere between number 2 and number 3. The key is to get you thinking about how to make your next, or first, million.

An achievable, realistic target

Whilst many people struggle to believe they can become a millionaire, everyone in business knows they can attract 100 high value clients or customers, if they use the correct strategy. This totally changes how you feel about becoming a millionaire. Now it’s an achievable, realistic goal.

So, what are you going to create, which 100 people or organisations will pay you £10,000 for? Spend some time thinking about that. Give it the time and effort it deserves.

It could change your life.

Tip: Here are some useful ideas, on how to create a great new product or service.

To improve a business, let go of the Failing Familiar!

professional development,

A reader asked me a great question earlier. She wanted to know why she isn’t making the changes her business needs, even though she is, as she put it; slowly losing her business.

Here’s part of the advice I gave her. I want to share it with you, in case someone you know needs to hear it:

“Start by accepting just how urgent your situation is. A failing business is unsustainable. The time to act is now… today. What stops most people doing what’s required, is that it means making a big, scary commitment. It means stopping your current strategy, which put you in this situation. It means letting go of the failing familiar.”

The hardest part of turning a business around is making that initial commitment, to let go of the failing familiar. After that, your mindset shifts. You start looking for answers, rather than hoping things will somehow, just improve.

Whilst hope is absolutely essential, it isn’t a business strategy.

Tip: Here’s a heartbreaking email, which every small business owner needs to read.

How to grow your list in 3 steps

story

If you write a newsletter or blog and your “list” is growing too slowly, this post is for you.

Toxic advice online

The Internet is packed with bad advice on how to improve the success of your newsletter or blog. So-called content marketing experts focus on things like; the best time to publish your work, how long your articles or posts should be and what kind of images you should use, how to SEO your work, etc.

These generic tips offer the reader no meaningful value. NOTHING that will resolve the actual problem. The reason no one reads Bob’s blog posts or Barbara’s newsletter, is not because they are published on the wrong day or at the wrong time, are the wrong length or lack the right images or SEO.

No.

The reason no one reads their work, is that it offers nothing new. It’s lacking in value. So, when people find it, they are not motivated to return or share what they have found. That type of blog or newsletter will never build an audience.

The actual solution?

It’s as easy and as hard as this:

  1. Have something worth saying and say it well. (In other words, provide massively valuable information and write it in a way that inspires your readers.)
  2. Put it where people can see it.
  3. Make it easy for them to share.

If you do that, your audience will grow. First, just 5 people will read it, but that’s fine. Why? Because they will love what you had to say, then share it with their friends. Some of their friends will value what you have written and they too will share it. Repeat…

To keep that process rolling and your readership growing, you need to focus on regularly having something to say, which people will value and share. This means learning how to write and having the courage to say it in your own unique voice.

So rich. So strange. So new.

I was prompted to share this with you today, after listening to a recording of the great Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas. Before Thomas took to the stage to share his brilliance with a packed, New York audience, he was introduced to the crowd.

The MC then described Thomas’ poetry as: “So rich. So strange. So new”. You can listen to the MC here. (It’s just 10 seconds into the audio.)

And it was. No one wrote like Thomas. He had something worth saying. He shared it with, initially, very small crowds. These small crowds of people then told their friends how amazing his poetry was. The media then discovered Thomas’ work and he became a worldwide success, whose work is celebrated today, 60 years after his passing.

Dylan Thomas didn’t succeed because he only wrote works that were a certain length. He didn’t succeed because he only performed or published on certain days. No. He succeeded because his work was too good NOT to share.

If we want to grow a highly valuable audience for OUR work, we need to strive to do the same. To be too good to ignore.