All posts tagged motivation

Six Ways To Get Motivated

Six Ways To Get Motivated

Six Ways To Get Motivated from the

Do you ever feel burned out or run down? The pressures of operating your own business can really take its toll, both physically and mentally. For those times when you can’t seem to muster up the drive you need to continue, here is a list of exercises for your body and brain to help you get motivated.

1.    Be a cheerleader and friendly toward everyone. By building up and encouraging others, you are also doing the same for yourself. Pay attention to the reactions of other people as you cheer for them, give them pep talks, and praise their accomplishments. Knowing you have made someone feel genuinely valued will motivate you to take your own advice.

2.    Talk to yourself in a positive way. We all know the dangers of negative self-talk, so counteract the effects by engaging in positive self-talk on a regular basis. Start your day with a mantra you’ve created or a daily motivational quote. Whenever you encounter an obstacle, be your own cheerleader to help move past it. Use your mind as a strength; don’t let it work against you.

3.    Play your favorite music and start a dance party for one. Any exercise you prefer is good for your body. Dancing around to your favorite music can free your body from the constraints of everyday life. Try doing this even once or twice a week, and you’ll begin to use this exercise as a stress reducer and a way to unload any negativity that has accumulated. Dance away!

4.    Sing out loud to your favorite song. Whether you sing into the removable shower head or your steering wheel on the way to work, crank up that song and belt it out. Choose songs that fit your current mood or help get you in a better one. Engaging with music in this way has positive effects on your brain, so don’t be afraid to sing to your heart’s content.

5.    Get a partner and work together. Research has shown that working with a partner for such activities as physical fitness or academic studying is more effective than doing so alone. Working with a partner increases accountability and therefore maintains motivation. Choose someone you trust who has similar ambitions and interests.

6.    Make a list of what you are grateful for. The act of writing these down can help you get some perspective, especially when you are having a difficult time. It’s easy to get bogged down with the normal stresses of work and life, so create a list that you regularly review or add to when you need a pick-me-up. Think of what makes you happy: your children, your home, your pet, or even that delicious meal you just ate. Reminding yourself of what’s good in your life will renew your motivation to plow through more trying times.

Try any or all of these exercises to help you get and stay motivated.

What other exercises have worked for you? Please share your ideas below!

Five Areas of Focus to Generate Sales

Five Areas of Focus to Generate Sales

MP900443105[1]There are many factors that go into the amount of sales you may generate in a given day, week, or month. Sometimes the difference between falling short of your goals and exceeding them is focusing your efforts in the right place. Here are five things to focus on that can help you generate sales:

Focus on:

  1. People. Remember that you are in the people business, so focusing on the individual can greatly increase your chances of closing the deal. Figure out the person’s need or problem to be solved, reasons for hesitation, knowledge of the product or service, etc. Furthermore, remember that these vary widely from person to person. Listen carefully. Get a feel for what makes the person comfortable, and demonstrate your genuine desire to help. Being able to read people quickly takes practice, but will take you a long way on your path to success.
  2. Results rather than effort. You may feel that because you have put in a certain number of hours or a certain amount of heart, that you are doing all the right things to generate sales. However, if your results are less than you’d hoped, all that effort may not be contributing to your success. If something isn’t working, look for different things you can try, and keep adjusting. Keep your results in mind to maintain motivation and continue moving forward.
  3. Creativity. Although you may have a lot of competition in your business, there is only one you. Tap into your individuality to spark some creativity. Don’t be afraid to take more risks because playing it safe all the time may prevent you from learning and growing. For example, the owner of a dancewear shop has an extensive dance and singing background, which she incorporates into her business from time to time. During her slower times of year, she promotes certain items and puts them on special. Any time a customer purchases one such item, he or she is treated to a 30-second serenade by the staff. This seemingly silly practice has gotten the shop lots of attention and even more foot traffic.
  4. Excellence and wowing your clients. A disgruntled client is usually one who won’t return. Make sure you put a great deal of focus on excellence and impressing your clients with your attention to their wants and needs as well as your ability to anticipate and extinguish any problems before they arise. Impressing your clients will keep them loyal and motivate them to recommend you to others.
  5. Asking for the sale. So many people forget this all-important part of selling. You may have a whole strategy in place for making a prospective customer say yes, but none of that will matter if you don’t come out and ask for what you want. If nothing else, posing this obvious question will allow the customer to explain why he or she is saying no. Since each “no” can help you find a yes, don’t pass up the opportunity to hear it. And as is often the case, the customer wants to say yes, but won’t initiate that part of the conversation himself. It’s up to you to get it.

Ultimately, your main focus point should be the prospective customer. Incorporating these points, combined with improving your people skills, can have a profound effect on the sales you generate.

What would you add to our list? Please share your ideas below!

Becoming a Money Wise Woman

Becoming a Money Wise Woman

We have only to examine a few statistics to understand why it’s important to become educated on financial issues and begin planning our futures now. Between raising children and taking care of parents, women are losing an average of 14.7 years from the workplace. A woman who is out of the work force for one year must work five years to recover lost income, pension coverage and promotional opportunities.  In spite of our best intentions, between the 43% divorce rate and the fact that women tend to live seven to ten years longer than men, the reality is that if we aren’t already, most of us are going to be the sole person responsible for our financial security at some points in our lives.

Marcia Brixey

Women are by nature, caretakers. We take care of our children, husbands, partners, grandchildren and parents. We take care of everyone, but ourselves. But, ladies we need to be proactive and make an investment in ourselves. The investment we make now will determine our quality of life both financially and personally in the years ahead.

I wrote this in my first Kitsap Sun article – Becoming a Money Wise Woman in January 2003. Although 10 years later the statistics are still much the same, Money Wise Women has provided thousands of women with the tools and education to live financially healthy. More than 6,600 women have attended 70 Money Wise Women Conferences in Washington, California, Idaho and Oregon since November 2002.

Several years ago Money Wise Women joined forces with the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) to educate and empower women on their financial and business goals through the Money Wise Women Teleseminar Series. The free teleseminars (thanks to DSEF’s sponsorship) cover a variety of topics relating to finance and business. Topics include investing, credit reports, credit card debt, goal setting, time management and much more.

Each monthly listeners have the opportunity to listen live to my interview with powerful women who are experts in their field. We tape the teleseminar allowing women to listen and learn at their leisure in the comfort of their own home. Upcoming Money Wise Women Teleseminars include:

  • Treating Your Business Like a Professional with Deb Bixler
    May 7, 2013
  • A Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement with Jan Cullinane
    June 11, 2013
  • Calling All Super Complainers with Michele Corey
    July 9, 2013
  • A Man is Not a Financial Plan with Candace Bahr and Ginita Wall
    August 13, 2013
  • Business in the You Economy with Tara Gentile
    October 8, 2013
  • Communicating with Many Generations with Jennifer Fong
    November 12, 2013

If you’re ready to get financially healthy and/or take your business to the next level visit Money Wise Women Teleseminar website – to listen to past teleseminars and sign up for upcoming teleseminars.

“Whatever you think you can do or believe you can, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.” Goethe

About Marcia Brixey 

During her 26 years working for the Social Security Administration Marcia Brixey met thousands of women who experienced financial difficulties resulting from a personal crisis – husband’s death, divorce, illness or loss of a job. In August 2002 she founded Money Wise Women Educational Services to ensure every woman is financially articulate, confident, secure and independent. Today she hosts and speaks at Money Wi$e Women Conferences throughout the Western United States. Marcia also hosts the popular Money Wi$e Women Teleseminar Series. She is the author of The Money Therapist: A Woman’s Guide to Creating a Healthy Financial Life (Seal Press). Ms. Brixey regularly blogs for Money Wise Women and

Ms. Brixey’s been the featured speaker at numerous conferences including the Women’s Money Conference in Reno and Las Vegas; Central California Women’s Conference in Fresno, CA; Prudential Financial Stepping Out Conference in Santa Clara, CA and Chicago IL; Choice Hotels Convention in Orlando, FL; Oklahoma Society of CPAs Invest in Herself: Journey to Financial Freedom Conference in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, OK; Washington State Employed Women in Vancouver, WA; Today’s Woman Expo in Boise, ID; Invest in Yourself Strategies for Women Conference in Costa Mesa, CA; and Northwest Women’s Show, Seattle WA and Portland OR. She’s also spoken at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI.

Marcia is a former columnist for The Kitsap Sun newspaper, which serves the Kitsap Peninsula in Western Washington. She has been a guest on Northwest Afternoon (Seattle, KOMO TV), View from the Bay (San Francisco, ABC affiliate), Good Day Sacramento, About the Money (Seattle, PBS affiliate) and Sonoran Living Live (Phoenix, ABC15 TV). Marcia’s been interviewed on numerous radio shows and featured on CBS Report of the Week with Brian Banmiller. Marcia’s print media appearances include Quick and Simple, Redbook, Family Circle, Reader’s Digest, Ladies Home Journal, Puget Sound Business Journal, Seattle Woman Magazine, and US News and World Report. She is a member of the My Own Business Institute Advisory Panel. Ms. Brixey received the 2006 YWCA Woman of Achievement award in Kitsap County.

Marcia was inspired to take early retirement from her public relations job with the Social Security Administration in August 2002 after reading the quote “Our purpose in life is to find our gift, perfect it and give it back to others”. Ms. Brixey’s experience with the Social Security Administration includes District Manager, Supervisor, and Public Relations Specialist. She graduated from California State University, East Bay with a B.S. degree in Business Administration.


Eight Ways to be a Great Leader

Eight Ways to be a Great Leader

Four business executives having meeting in boardroomEffective leadership is not an easy skill to master. It usually takes years and years of experience, trial and error, and self-reflection. However, the more others respect you as a leader, the more successful your business will be. Here are a few tips on how to become the kind of leader you’ve always wanted to be.

1      Keep your word. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. If you say you’re going to do something, be sure to follow through in a reasonable amount of time. You may have unanticipated circumstances arise, but a constant pattern of not doing what you said you would do will quickly cause others to lose their trust and respect. Giving someone your word should really mean something, so be sure to follow through.

2      Be inclusive, welcoming, and make others feel safe. There is nothing worse than an intimidating leader who only seems to associate with a select few. Include everyone from entry-level employees to team leaders and executives within a work environment that rewards hard work and fosters a collaborative feeling. If others are afraid of you, their work will suffer.

3      Encourage creative thinking. You want your employees to think outside the box, so the best way to get them to do this is to model it on a regular basis. When assigning a project, give a clear idea of what you want the outcome to be, and reinforce your desire for higher level thinking and creative ideas. Don’t let others be afraid to take risks.

4      Allow people to share ideas and concerns. You most likely will not agree with many of the ideas and concerns that are brought to your attention, but it is of utmost importance that those who work under you feel free to express them. A business is not a dictatorship, and you want your employees to know that their ideas have value. Give others a voice within your business. You never know what you could be overlooking.

5      Support others and help them grow. When someone makes a mistake or doesn’t seem to be up to par with their colleagues, don’t use it as a chance to knock them down. Give them the opportunity to improve by providing practical suggestions, frequent support, and positive reinforcement when possible. The same applies to those who are consistent achievers; make sure they know you appreciate their hard work and that they have your full support.

6      Keep things running smoothly. Efficiency is the key to a successful operation, so although you may have assigned others to only focus on certain areas of the business, it is your job to ensure that everyone is working together, communicating with each other, and contributing equally to the business as a whole.

7      Maintain an exciting and fun atmosphere. Don’t let the day-to-day goings-on take over the feel of your workplace. Incorporate excitement and fun by planning team-building activities, allowing others to express themselves in a way that is professional and light-hearted at the same time, and even tapping into your spontaneous side. One office manager picks a random day of each month to reward one member of her administrative staff with an employee of the month type of award that includes a silly trinket, a funny song to celebrate, and his or her favorite lunch. Make your business a place that people look forward to working each day.

8      Hold others accountable for their actions. Bending the rules for some and not for others is a slippery slope. If your employees begin to feel that there are different rules for different people, morale will go down and productivity will suffer. When a person messes up, acknowledge it and act on it appropriately. The same goes for people who do something exceptionally well. Be sure to acknowledge it and encourage them to keep up the good work.

You can become a great leader who is well-respected by making sure you level the playing field and encourage creativity and hard work. What are some other qualities you feel make an effective leader? Please share your ideas below!

Six Easy Ways to Attract More People

Six Easy Ways to Attract More People

Businesspeople Applauding --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisWhether you’re looking to attract more customers, recruit new employees, or network with influential people, there are a few simple things you can do to increase your chances of success. Take a look at our list to see how you can attract more people to you and your business.

  • Engage everyone with a friendly greeting. Sometimes we get caught up in our own worlds and don’t take the time to greet each person properly. Initiate a friendly exchange by greeting each person. A simple opening such as, “How are you this morning?” or “It’s a pleasure seeing you again,” can suffice. More often than not, such pleasantries can lead to a friendly conversation. When people know you are genuinely interested, they will not only remember you, but will look forward to interacting with you again.
  •  Focus on the individual. Although your ultimate goal may be to attract a certain number of people, forget that number when interacting with one person. For that moment in time, focus solely on the individual. What are his or her needs? How can you be of service to the person? What message is the person trying to convey to you? Don’t inadvertently turn people off by engaging them in generic conversations. Tailor your interactions to that particular person.
  •  Avoid arguments. You will not always see eye to eye with each person you come in contact with. Arguing, however, is unprofessional and will turn people away. Be proactive and avoid potentially controversial topics such as politics and religion. Even if you do these things and a disagreement happens anyway, take the high road and “agree to disagree.” People will respect and appreciate your honesty and courtesy.
  •  Assume everyone is good. By doing so, you demonstrate that you are a positive person who sees the good in others. This feeling is contagious and often reciprocated. Everyone makes mistakes, but giving others the benefit of the doubt will encourage a sense of trust and will likely strengthen your relationship. Besides, wouldn’t you want others to think the best of you?
  •  Be helpful. This can be done in so many ways, and a good deed will definitely be remembered by others. For example, the owner of a local pizzeria found a gold bracelet on a table left behind by one of his last customers of the night. He had no idea who she was or how to contact her, so he put it aside in case she came in again. She returned a few weeks later, and he asked her if she had lost it. The woman was so grateful she was nearly in tears; it turns out the bracelet was left to her by her recently deceased grandmother. She told everyone who would listen how generous the man was and became a loyal patron of the establishment. It would have been just as easy for the owner to toss the bracelet or keep it, but his helpful nature earned him something that was priceless for his business.
  •  Get involved. Reach out to your customers, your staff, and your community. Involving yourself in a good cause will show others that you truly care. People are attracted to others who are generous with their time and skills. Demonstrate your sincere desire to give back to those around you.

You can attract more people by treating others kindly and going the extra mile to show them you care. What can you add to our list? Please share your ideas below!

Five Ways to Find New Opportunities for Your Business

Five Ways to Find New Opportunities for Your Business

womensuccessBy doing more of the things you love and are good at, you can actually maximize your chances of finding a great opportunity for your business. Tap into your desire to interact with and help others, and you’ll find that it benefits your business. Take a look at our list to start making the most of your talents right away.

  • Talk to more people. Perhaps it sounds too easy, but striking up a casual conversation can lead to countless positive outcomes. Whether you’re at a professional workshop, on the train during your evening commute, or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, initiate friendly conversation when appropriate. Sometimes even just the mention of what you do for a living will evoke more questions from the other person, and you never know what lies ahead. For example, a former schoolteacher who operates a tutoring business out of his home initiates some small talk with a fellow customer while waiting in line at the grocery store. It turns out the person is looking for contributions to an article she is writing for the local newspaper about the pressures high school students face applying to college. Someone who works so closely with these students in a different way than their regular teachers would make a great addition to the article, and a mention about his business certainly would increase his exposure. Not every casual conversation will end in such an opportunity, but taking this step may lead to more opportunities, so stay alert!
  • Be more curious. Don’t be satisfied with the status quo. What else can you learn about running a successful business? What is happening in the industry right now that could directly affect you? How do your employees and customers feel about your business? Asking yourself such questions on a regular basis will renew your motivation to move your business forward. If you aren’t constantly looking to improve, you may be in danger of falling behind. Make a commitment to be more inquisitive in your pursuit of success.
  • Show your passion. What exactly is it that you truly care about? What drove you to start your business in the first place? The former teacher decided to start up his tutoring business after realizing how much he enjoyed the small group extra help sessions he used to hold after school. He was able to connect with his students, which in turn increased their achievements. The regular classroom setting didn’t allow for this, and he found himself wishing his job consisted solely of these after school sessions. Becoming a professional tutor has allowed him to do just that, and his passion for helping young people is finally being fulfilled. Demonstrate the things you are passionate about, and others will be drawn to your drive and enthusiasm.
  • Constantly ask for introductions. This is similar to asking for referrals, but on a much broader level. Ask friends and family to introduce you to people in their lives that could provide a business opportunity. Take it even further and introduce yourself when possible, such as when at a social gathering. Even when you’re “off the clock,” don’t forget that possible business opportunities can be just a conversation away.
  • Try new things. Have you ever snuggled up on the couch with your favorite blanket knitted by your grandma and thought about taking up crochet? Or maybe you have an adventurous side and always wondered what it would be like to go white water rafting. If you have other desires outside of your business, find the time to explore them. You will be exposed to a whole new group of people, and a host of possible business opportunities you may not find elsewhere. And hey, you’ll also have fun!

The best way to find a new business opportunity is to know where to look and how to grasp it. You may not always get one in the end, but being active in your search will certainly help move your business forward. How do you maximize your business opportunities? Please share your ideas below!

Three Quick Time Management Tips

Three Quick Time Management Tips

MP900316784[1]Managing your time can be one of the most challenging aspects of small business ownership, especially since you likely take on many roles to maintain a thriving business. However, by implementing just a few quick and easy suggestions, you will find that successfully managing your time can become second nature. Take a look at the list below to see how to start maximizing your precious time right away.

  1. Make a goal and set a time limit. This goes for tasks both large and small. For example, if you need to contact three different referrals, this can most likely be done in the course of an hour. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to complete the task, but not so much time that you wind up procrastinating. For tasks or projects that are more involved, such as creating a new marketing campaign, set short-term and long-term goals. A short-term goal might be to brainstorm a list of ideas to market your business, so give yourself an hour or two to generate a comprehensive list. A long-term goal might be holding a marketing or opportunity event, so give yourself a reasonable amount of time to plan and hold the event. By setting limits, you can allow yourself to stay focused and motivated to finish on time.
  2. Find the best way to keep yourself on task. Identify your most common distractions, such as checking and updating social networking sites, or chatting with colleagues who stop by your office throughout the day. Once you’ve figured out what causes you to lose focus, identify what motivates you. Would it be a walk around the park on a sunny day during lunch? Your favorite frozen treat on the way home from work? Find someone or something that will keep you on task by helping you minimize or eliminate distractions, and use your motivators as a reward for staying focused. This takes a good amount of self-discipline, but what could be more worth it than your own business and financial success?
  3. Know why it needs to be done and what rewards come from completing your task. After awhile, some tasks can seem truly mundane. For example, filling out paperwork, proofreading documents, filing invoices, and paying bills are types of tasks that can make anyone want to roll their eyes at the thought. When faced with dreaded tasks, keep reminding yourself of the benefits of completing even the most trivial of tasks. Filing your invoices makes your life easier because it keeps you organized and saves time in the long run. Paying bills keeps your vendors happy, your business afloat, and gives you the ability to continue doing what you love. These subtle reminders can be an effective way to keep you on task no matter what you are doing.

Managing your time well will allow you to continually improve your business and keep moving it forward. 

Looking for additional time management tips? Start here:

What are your best time management tips? Please share with us below!

Three Ways to Close the Deal

Three Ways to Close the Deal

Low angle view of two business executives shaking handsSo you’ve gotten that sales meeting, prepared for each possible scenario, made friendly conversation, and have conveyed your ideas and pitch to the best of your ability. Your job is not finished yet, however, because you still need to close the deal. This, for the majority of people in sales, is the most difficult part of the business. The key to successfully closing a deal is to be proactive about why a person may say no and to eliminate his or her reasons for doing so. Here are three techniques to help you close more sales

  • Understand hesitation and address it by solving the problem. From your point of view, there is no reason to hesitate. You know what a great value you are providing and have no reason to doubt yourself. So put yourself in the other person’s shoes. If you can understand the reason why they may be hesitant, you can deal with it head on, and may be able to overcome the objection altogether by demonstrating how your product or service can solve a problem. For example, a hair stylist and colorist operates her own business doing her clients’ hair in the privacy of their own homes. She is offering new and current customers a package for purchase in which they can have monthly coloring touch-ups, all paid for in advance. While pitching this service, a prospective customer seems hesitant to pay for services that wouldn’t be rendered for months into the future. The stylist validates this concern, and also points out that because customers wait too long in between coloring treatments, the service takes longer and costs more. So by having monthly touch-ups, money would be saved in the long run and hair color would always be properly maintained. She winds up closing the deal because she did not dismiss the client’s concern, but rather confirmed it and then followed up with a solution to the problem.
  • Fine tune your market and focus on a niche. In an effort to cast a wide net and appeal to as many customers as possible, you could be missing out on success within a niche. The hair stylist mentioned above certainly provides services that likely appeal to a broad range of people, but because she makes house calls and provides a monthly touch-up service, she focuses mostly on working mothers over age 35. This population of women have several things in common that make the stylist a valuable asset to their lives: they’ve started coloring their hair to cover up grays, they need to maintain a professional appearance, their work schedule is too demanding to regularly visit the salon,and when they are not working, they need to be home to care for their children, so an in-home appointment is most convenient. Knowing her target market allows the stylist to put the most time, money, and energy into attracting clients in this population for increased success. Think about a niche that might be most interested in what you have to offer, and come up with ways to specifically appeal to the needs of this market.
  • Take the focus off business/sales and make it fun. More and more companies are looking to gamification to attract new clients. Consider simple ways to incorporate more fun into a sales pitch or other type of client meeting. For example, to educate potential clients about your product or service, consider a mini-trivia game in which your prospect guesses the correct answers for a small prize. Use whatever fits the situation and personalities of those involved, such as music, video, gaming, comedy, etc. A sales meeting should not be an unpleasant experience for either party, so by making it fun, you are increasing your chances of closing the deal. However, be sure to balance fun with the professionalism needed for the situation.

Closing the deal requires that you understand the needs of the customer, and then highlight how your products or services meet that need. Remember to always be honest, and let the strengths of what you have to offer and your enthusiasm shine through. When the customer understands how your product or service fits their situation, and trusts that you have their best interests at heart, you are more likely to close the deal.

What tips do you have for closing the deal? Please share them below!

Five Things You Should Do Every Week to Build Momentum

Five Things You Should Do Every Week to Build Momentum

cheerupYour business should be in constant motion, moving forward all the time. If this does not happen, your business becomes static and can eventually fizzle. In order to build momentum consistently, you can do a few simple things that maintain your progress and renew your motivation. Start with this list to continue moving your business forward.

  • Connect and follow up socially. Schedule some time during each week when you review your contacts. Connect with those you haven’t corresponded with lately, and follow up with those you may have been playing phone tag with. When appropriate, arrange a social visit with contacts such as a lunch meeting or play date with your children. Interacting with contacts in a way that isn’t always about business will help you stay in touch and will make it easier to reach out to them professionally when the opportunity arises.
  • Assess and reflect. Don’t let too much time go by in between assessments of your business. Consider taking a look at a different aspect of your business each week. For example, this week will be devoted to assessing the quality of your customer service, while next week’s focus will be your social media presence. Reflect on each element by considering what works and what doesn’t, or what could use improvement.
  • Make adjustments. Using your findings from these weekly assessments, make the necessary adjustments. If you find that your Facebook page has lots of activity, but your blog is getting very few hits because you don’t post often enough, adjust your writing and sharing schedule to fix the problem. There is no need to tackle too much at once; remember that these assessments and adjustments should happen on a weekly or even monthly basis.  If you don’t finish or get too overwhelmed, put it aside and continue the work next week.
  • Network with influencers and mentors, and partner with others. Reach out to the people who have helped make your business possible. Network with them by asking for referrals or initiating a mutually beneficial partnership. One boutique owner was strongly influenced to start up her business by an old college friend who runs a successful weight loss/nutrition center. A good idea would be for the two of them to hold a joint promotional event where current and prospective customers can find services to complement ones they are already using. These opportunities can’t happen without frequent networking.
  • Be sociable. Make it a point to socialize with others whenever the chance occurs. Be friendly, ask questions to learn about others, listen carefully, and show that you truly care. It’s easy to get so caught up in our own work environment that we don’t take the time to venture out socially often enough. Give yourself this time at least once a week.

By working these momentum building activities into your weekly schedule, you are maintaining a successful business and taking steps to move it forward. How do you build momentum for your business? Please share your ideas below!

To get your free copy of the eBook, click here: 15 Days to Greater Success. You can download it from our Facebook Page. And while you’re there, you can download our other free eBooks too: Business Owner’s Road Map to SuccessCreating Your Success Mindset, and Reflections on Success. They’re all designed to give you an edge in your business, and help you focus on the daily practices that lead to your goals.

Please share this link with the business owners you know:

Are You Making These Mistakes in Business?

Are You Making These Mistakes in Business?

MP900289918[1]Throughout your career as a small business owner, you are bound to make the occasional mistake. No matter how prepared you are, how much research you have done, or how smart you and your team may be, mishaps are pretty much a guarantee. However, the good news is that as long as you accept them, take them in stride, and learn from them, the damage will usually be minimal. Here is a brief list of some common mistakes made by small business owners to help you steer clear of preventable missteps.

  • Inconsistency – Being consistent is an absolute must, whether it pertains to your company policies, customer service protocol, or any other aspect of the way your business operates. Inconsistency equals lack of reliability and will send your customers and staff running to your competitors. For example, your staff handbook clearly states that repeated lateness to work will result in first a warning, then a brief suspension, and finally dismissal. This policy is enforced for everyone except one employee you’ve known since college. Because you and your friend go back a long way, you have turned a blind eye when it comes to her tardiness. Not only is this unfair to the rest of your staff, but it puts a major dent in overall morale. When people feel that there are different sets of rules for different people, they become unhappy in their jobs, and their work suffers. Be fair and consistent in every aspect of your business.
  • Failure to stay in contact and/or follow up – Acquiring contacts through networking, referrals, or through family and mutual friends is a great way to grow your business. However, you must do your part to maintain such contacts. Implement time in your daily or weekly schedule to make follow-up calls, send friendly emails, or jot down a handwritten note to your contacts. These can be prior customers you haven’t seen in awhile, people you’ve recently met at industry events, or even prospective clients whose information was given to you by a friend. Be proactive and keep that contact list current.
  • Lack of online presence – Here we are in the year 2013. The importance of an online presence cannot be emphasized enough. Here’s some perspective: the current generation of 20-somethings has no memory of life without the internet and has been using social media their entire young adult and adult lives. You don’t need to get on every single networking site and try to be everything to everybody, but at the very least, have a user-friendly and informational company website as well as a current profile on one or two social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. If you don’t make this a priority, your competitors will easily get the best of you.
  • Neglecting to listen and respond to your clients – Most people frequent small businesses over their larger corporate counterparts because of the personalized attention they receive. Be sure to make it worth their while by listening to their concerns and responding to their wants and needs. Even if you can’t provide everything they’re looking for at the moment, knowing that you care and that they are being heard will ensure that they remain loyal customers in the long run.

Although many mistakes cannot be avoided, certain mistakes can. Use common sense, listen to others, be fair, and follow industry trends.

What other common mistakes would you add to our list? Please share your ideas below!