Posts Tagged ‘small busines owners’

Random Acts of Kindness Spur Small Business Growth

Today is Valentine’s Day in which good emotions are shared through the sending of cards, gifts to even random acts of kindness.

small-business-growthWhat would happen if sales professionals would embrace more random acts of kindness?

Would there be more small business growth?

Would there be stronger customer loyalty?

Or maybe there would be even less employees wanting to leave their jobs seeking greener pastures?

For small business owners and those who sell for a living, life is very busy. Sometimes so busy, the focus is just on them, what they must do. Their current customers, prospects and even colleagues are left trailing far behind respective to attention.

Yesterday I received one of my many emails that discussed how the jewelry industry, was happy. I had a sales lead from over a year ago that never materialized into actual business. My first thought was to forward this article to him not because I was seeking small business growth, but because I believed he would truly enjoy the article.

Random acts of kindness from sending articles to mailing notes of appreciation to even buying lunch do spur small business growth and more importantly keep the positive core values (business ethics) front and center.

Zig Ziglar may have believed that Valentine’s Day was every day because he said “sales is the transference of feelings.”  I also believe this to be very true and why H2H (human to human) is THE small business advantage.

Random acts of kindness are the transference of feelings.

So on this Valentine’s Day as well as the other 364 days of the year, let people know you care through those random acts of kindness and the maybe they will care and more importantly believe about how much you know.

 

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The Simplicity of Business Growth through the Power of Three – Part 2

After simplifying the various stages of business growth into just three stages through the power of three, then it is time to examine how to further simplify the strategic planning process.

power -of-three

Many executive consultants to small business coaches will discuss “critical goal categories” or “critical success factors.” These categories or factors may be simply defined as “what is necessary and sufficient to achieve the mission or current goals” for the enterprise.

Recently when reviewing many of the strategic plans of my clients, I realized once again the power of three even though in past years I had written about the Top 7 Critical Goal Categories. For all of the various identified critical success factors could be placed into one of these three categories:

  • People
  • Processes
  • Profits

The power of three allows simplification and thus frees up time that can be better invested in detailing the action steps to identifying Strengths, Limitations, Opportunities, or Threats (SLOT) to  executing the plan.

Running a small business from the strategic planning process to the day to day operations can become very complicated. By embracing the power of three attitude, allows the opportunity to shed some of those complexities and affords you additional time to do what you do best.

If you want to further your competitive advantage, this webinar – LinkedIn Contacts Your Competitive Advantage – on Thursday, June 27 from 10-11 am might be of interest to you.  At an affordable $9.97 and just 60 minutes of your time, you will learn not only about this recent update, but some other tips to have you standing out as the Red Jacket and not just another gray suit.  Register here.

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The Simplicity of Business Growth Through the Power of Three – Part 1

Business growth is usually predicated upon revenue. Yet for many small business owners, there appears to be revenue walls that suddenly materialize and are hard to overcome.  Possibly this is because traditional business growth model needs to be changed along with how to begin the strategic planning process.

power-of-three

What would happen if the number of employees was the initial catalyst to business growth?

Stage One – Turned On – One to Four Employees

Many call the first stage Start Up and yet this terms fails to embrace the mental and physical energy of the entrepreneur that must translate to the employees.  In this stage, the entrepreneur is truly “turned on” by his or her idea and looks to transfer that energy to both external customers (paying clients) and potentially soon to be hired internal customers (employees).

Stage Two – Transitional – Five to 19 Employees

In this second stage of business growth, the small business owner is transitioning from opening the doors, sharing the message into the vision of having a larger firm. To reach this stage he or she has faced and overcome the chaos of change where everything including the kitchen sink continues to be thrown at him or her. New employees are hired to close specific skill, experience or competency gaps.

Stage Three – Transformational – 20 to 45 Employees

The final stage is transformational where this is no longer a one or two person business, but a thriving enterprise where collaboration continually happens. Now employees are hired because of their fit with the culture and their “entrepreneurial spirit.” This third and final business growth stage happens only after the small business owner lets go of past practices because what propelled him to the second stage will not necessarily work in this third business growth stage.

As to how to begin the strategic planning process, consider the creation of an Asset Model.  Here the entrepreneur looks through the three key critical success factors of people, process and profit as asset groups.  Many small business owners fails to understand the assets they bring before they physically open the doors and this potentially sets the course for the establishment of revenue walls down the road.

With more and more compliances being thrust onto small businesses, possibly now is the time to leverage the power of three especially if you desire to stay under 50 employees and truly want to avoid those often reached revenue walls.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is a heurist who disrupts the status quo by discovering new ways to guide and support rapidly growing small businesses; those who wish to grow beyond their current employees and executives in chaos.  She can be reached at 219.759.5601 CST.

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Staying Ahead of The Flow to Increase Sales

To increase sales suggests you may need to stay ahead of the flow. To take this action may require you to invest some time to learning about where the flow is going.

Pew Research recently released in June of 2010 some interesting information about what Americans now view as a necessity or a luxury.  For example, 42% of Americans now view the television as a necessity.

Telephone landlines have also suffered since only 74% of American households have landlines and this is down from 97% in 2001. With cell phones and other types of mobile devices being so prevalent, some colleges and universities are removing landlines as well.

Savvy small business owners and sales professionals need to be aware of the trends in the marketplace. Then they must invest the time to think about how these trends may affect their potential customers (a.k.a. prospects) and their ability to increase sales. Ignoring the changing marketplace along with marketing  demographics and psychographics is a recipe for business disaster.

However the Internet allows for any enterprising small business owner, sales professional or even marketing consultant to continually monitor the flow through email notifications.  Several of my favorites include:

By becoming proactive and investing the time, avoiding business disaster is a little easier especially when you learn how to stay ahead of the flow.  This type of behavior will help you Be the Red jacket in the sea of gray suits.

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