Archive for the ‘Business Plans’ Category

List and analyze your core competencies, then meet with a business partner, coach or mentor and work through the same process.

One of the reasons business owners find it so hard to implement systems in their business is that they don't really know what's contributing to the end results. Do you know what your core competencies are? Do you give yourself enough credit for what you bring to your business?   What are the things that you are doing in your business that you could replicate with a system?

Finding Core Competencies

One of the exercises I do in my workshops is to pair people up. I do this so that they can begin to discover what their core competencies are. Experience has taught me that you won't know what to systemize unless you know what is contributing to the end results of your business. People often overlook everything that is involved and this is where it is helpful to get an outside perspective. You need someone to ask you the right questions so that you can pin point core competencies. You can also do this exercise with a personal coach or mentor.

Recently I worked with a client that wasn't sure how to implement systems in her business. We were talking about the 80/20 principle. I asked her just how much information that she covered in a session was the same with every client. Was it possible that 80% was basically being repeated for every client and that only 20% of what she was doing was being tailored to the individual? When she had a closer look she realized that this was true. Taking that core competency we then started to look at ways to communicate that 80% of information to her clients without her physically having to be there. We settled on the idea that she should record a tele-seminar. This would have more than one benefit. She could invite clients to tune in live to the tele-seminar. But for those that couldn't make the live seminar the recording would be available for download on her website. In this way her clients were still getting access to the information but there was less involvement on her side.

4 Steps for Finding Core Competencies:

#1 Reflection: Take some time to reflect on what you are doing in your business.   What actions or tasks are contributing to the end result?

#2 List & Analyze: Make a list of everything you do on a daily or weekly basis and then analyze this in terms of the end result.

#3 Get Perspective: Sit down with a business partner, coach or mentor and work through the same process.   Often an outside perspective will highlight things you haven't thought of.

#4 Systemize and Automate: Once you have your list, try to think of ways in which you could systemize these core competencies.   Specifically be conscious of how you can automate processes so that there is less personal involvement on your part.

To create systems for your business you first need to understand what you are doing that is ultimately contributing to the end result. What is actually feeding your customers information and bringing in the sales? Once you know what these things are you can start to find ways to automate the process.

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Here's a question for you to think about: Do you run your business or does it run you?   Most people start out with a business idea thinking that when it's successful they will have more time and money to do what they want, yet that is seldom the reality. Too many business owners get bogged down in the day to day running of their businesses and end up working ridiculous hours just to keep it afloat. If you are smiling and nodding your head in agreement perhaps it is time that you sat down and re-evaluated your business strategies and your personal goals. Maybe it's time for you to get back in the driving seat and for you to run your business rather than the other way around.

Two Important Components of Successful Goal Setting

#1 Revenue goals form the backbone of your business strategy. They create a target for you to work towards and help you define budgets when implementing tactics to reach your goals. It is one of the first questions that I ask my clients: "What are your revenue goals for the next 12 months?" It is important that the figure you set is something that is tangible and achievable. Don't imagine that you want to be a millionaire and that it will just magically happen on its own. Your revenue goals need to be a target that you think is possible.

#2 Lifestyle goals relate to what you personally want from the business or your working career. This could be something like you want to only work a three day week, or you want to travel less and spend more time at home with your family. Now most people will sacrifice their lifestyle goals because they think that their business will suffer if they try to implement them. Yes, there may be a transition period where you earn a little less and have to implement the necessary changes, but most often when you implement lifestyle and revenue goals together you come out with a win-win solution. In my case I chose to relocate, move more of my business online and the results really paid off. Even though the transition was not without its challenges, I found I was more focused on my work efforts during your work hours and more motivated generally because I could see I was moving towards my lifestyle goals at the same time.

Things to remember when setting Goals

•       Quantify your goals. Put a figure to your revenue goals and clearly define what you want from your lifestyle goals. Don't make it dreamlike, be realistic about what is possible to achieve. Also define your goals within a specific time frame.

•       Your goals should be tangible and achievable but at the same time you should look at all possibilities if it is something that you really want. When you define your goals you should already have some idea as to how you plan to achieve them.

•       Be willing to put in the effort to achieve your goals. Don't just set strategies and expect them to materialize on their own.

•       Break your goals down into bite-sized chunks so that you can start implementing tactics to reach them.   Make sure each step you take consistently moves you closer to achieving your goals.

•       Your goals should be personally rewarding and meaningful as this will motivate you to work towards them. When setting your goals keep in mind the link and balance between revenue goals and lifestyle goals.

Setting goals is a way of defining your business and lifestyle strategy. They are absolutely essential if you want to feel fulfilled in your working career. Goals provide a meaningful framework in which you can implement short term tactics.   They also help you to stay on track and keep you motivated though the tough times. Having goals provides you will a big picture to work towards and ensures you are consistently moving in the direction you want your life to go.

Bernadette Doyle specializes in helping entrepreneurs attract a steady stream of ideal clients. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, sign up at http://www.clientmagnets.com

finances

You wouldn't ask a newborn baby or toddler to go out and earn an income would you? Instead you would nurture and care for them until they are old enough and mature enough to stand on their own two feet. Starting a new business can be a bit like that. I'm a firm believer that you need to let it grow a little before you start depending on it too heavily to meet your financial needs. But what do you do if you have no other options, if you started your business because you were part of layoffs?

Why you need to Balance your Financial Needs

Trying to grow a business while depending on it to meet your financial needs can be very stressful.   You will be constantly juggling cash flow and trying to keep just one step ahead of paying bills. Not everyone has a strong financial base when starting a new business. In fact, most people don't. But you need to find ways of earning a little extra income, even if it is working part-time, to take some of the financial burden off the business.   That stable income, no matter how small, can make a big difference in how you approach your business. It can give you a huge psychological boost to know that you have your most important responsibilities covered. Instead of stressing about where your next week's income is coming from you can start working on strategies that will consistently grow your business.   Then in time as your business becomes more successful, you can start to depend more on it for your income.

So much of it is about timing. There will be a time when you quite literally have to burn bridges. If you have a specific goal in mind with your business, such as working only three days a week, or taking it online, then at some point you have to take that leap of faith. Sometimes it may mean turning away business and other sources of income and that can be scary. But it also spurs you on to make a success of things. Ideally your business should be well established and on track to meeting your goals before you take these kind of steps.

Helpful Tips for Balancing Financial Needs and a New Business

•      Draw up a budget so that you know what you need to make in order to meet your responsibilities.
•      Try to establish how much time your new business will need out of your work day, and if there is a possibility that you can schedule in some part-time work.
•      Have some sort of stable income – it needn't meet all of your financial needs but it should provide a base to work from that is greater than zero.
•      Have a clear strategy in place so that as your business grows you can start to put plans in place that shift your focus away from part-time earnings and full-time into running your business.
•      Be aware that timing can be key and is an important part of balancing financial needs with growing a business.

Starting or growing a business is not easy. It requires a lot of determination, effort and investment. Trying to balance all of that and at the same time depend on the business solely to meet your financial needs often just adds to the burden. Earning part-time income to ease a bit of the financial burden is a good way to fast track the growth of your business. It helps you to focus on growing your business rather than stress about how you are going to pay the bills. Because of the time and discipline involved in balancing more than one job, when the time comes to implement bigger strategies in your business,   you will have the confidence to take that leap of faith.

Bernadette Doyle is a marketing specialist who helps entrepreneurs become client magnets and attract a steady stream of their ideal clients. If you’d like to receive invaluable tips and advice on how to attract clients with ease, register at http://www.clientmagnets.com

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