Watching any sport you will notice the coach will call for a team member to move to the interchange bench. This is the time the team member comes off the field, catches their breath, re-hydrates and takes a moment to gather their thoughts. This may happen over an hour play four, five or even six times to the same player. The coach knows playing the player hard for the entire game will not get the best out of the player. By then end of half time their energy is spent and they are not as focused, their speed slows down and so do their reflexes.
Coaches, players and trainers know calling time out for rest, relaxation and focus is imperative to the success of the game.
So too, with business we as business owners need to be aware when it is time to call time out and hit the interchange bench. Calling time out can be as simple as scheduling in a mid-morning break to take your cup of tea or coffee outside and sit in fresh air for ten minutes. Working from a home office it can be tempting to bring your lunch into the office and keep working as you eat. Taking time to sit and enjoy your food will allow it to digest more easily and gives your brain some time away from the morning’s work.
Some business owners use the Pomodoro Technique which is setting a time for a certain period of time to work on a project.
Time is a valuable resources that once spent can never be returned, yet taking time out can be an asset to your business productivity and creativity not to mention your mental health.
Finally, taking time out can also be about finding the right tools, resources and people to work on projects that zap your energy and aren’t really part of your business ‘game plan’. Looking after yourself with healthy choices and a good vitamin regime can also assist in playing a good game. Utilising breathing exercises and meditation in times of stress can assist in refocusing the energy into a more productive energy flow.
Taking time out to restore and reflect is beneficial to you, your business, your loved ones and all those you are connected with. It allows you time and space to reflect on past, present and future, gain clarity and change the energy flow.
#HASHTAG I remember someone explaining to me about hashtags sometime back in about 2007 or 2008. I just didn't quite get it, until someone ingeniously explained it's like a filing system for posts. Well, that makes sense! So when I started on Twitter all those moons ago I started to slowly use # hashtags. I didn't really understand the full purpose of them, but, hey, everyone else is using them, so maybe I should too.
Hashtags really made it big in the Periscope sphere, yes I was an early adopter of Periscope but soon waned when I realised I had to be posting videos almost hourly to get any traction. So I gently slipped out of the habit of adding hashtags, that was until Instagram came around. Now, this I was not an early adopter and not that great on it now either. For some reason I just didn't fall in love with using Instagram, I did realise however, hashtags rule on Insta!
My BIG social media platform of time is Facebook and Facebook never really used hashtags, there was no compartmentalising of posts and no one used hashtags, that was really for Twitter and then Instagram. Well, times are a changing. With Facebook purchasing Instagram there has been a slow sweep of Instagram platform-centric tools and quirks showing up in Facebook and vica-versa. Although, hashtags have been floating around on Facebook since 2013, they haven't really been of any use. Facebook have spruced up their hashtag use and have introduced a dedicated # hashtag page similar to Instagram. Use the # hashtag within your post, best placement is generally the bottom of the post so as not to interfere with your message. Use it on your video descriptions and they are also traceable in comments.
So, now, get some traction and exposure to your posts on your Facebook feed, Facebook page and in your groups and start those hashtag tags happening. You can't "own" a hashtag but boy you can make one your own.
There are also some great hashtag generators which make creating hashtags so much easier. This one is one of my fav's: https://displaypurposes.com/
What's your hashtag?
Do you remember the planning of a road trip? The excitement of the road trip and what was at the end of the road trip? I remember as a child travelling from Perth, Western Australia, across the Nullabor, through South Australia, Victoria, NSW and finally to Queensland, before heading back again across back to WA. The places we stopped, the people we met and the experience were priceless. Over 40 years later and I have vivid memories of seeing snow for the first time, climbing the "Big Banana" and the "Big Pineapple" eating McDonalds for the first time and seeing "The Cross". As a child my brother and I were along for the ride, my parents of course had set the trip up, planned the stops and anticipated any emergency. Taking a young family across Australia in a camper van, takes some planning. Back in those days there was no GPS but there was a map at hand and a keen eye on the destination.
We as business owners need to have our eye on the destination and set ourselves up with a business GPS. The fun and the journey of being a business owner is all in the people we meet, the experiences we gather and the opportunities that are bestowed upon us. Sometimes, it can be easy to divert for a bright shiny object, follow another person's vision, get lost in overwhelm and all other matters of misdirection. Having a good business GPS, helps us to stay on track and not divert to a dead end road or a cul-de-sac, it helps us to maintain a clear vision of what we ant our future business to look like at the destination.
A business plan can act as a GPS and also using some clear guiding questions around your business to formulate what your destination looks like at the end.
Why do I want this business?
When do I want this business to be at it's peak
What do I want it to look like in XX years?
How will I develop this business?
Who is my target market?
Where will I promote my business?
Guiding and open ended questions are a great way to plan your journey so you know exactly what to put in your business GPS.
How do you communicate with your customers?
Do you send thank you cards to your clients?
Did you know that not saying thank you to a customer hurts your business more than saying thank you helps.
Let me say that again.
Not saying thank you hurts your business more than saying thank you helps.
What I mean by that is our customers and clients expect to receive a thank you; especially if they spend a lot of money with us. They expect us to at least acknowledge and thank them.
If I buy a house, I expect a thank you.
If I buy a car, I expect a thank you.
If I buy a Snickers I don't necessarily expect a thank you.
Big ticket items = increased expectations
If you don't send thank you cards to your clients, do you know what they are thinking?
They are thinking you don't care about them!
Studies show the reason why we lose 68% of our clients and customers is because they don't think we care about them.
Here is a simple solution I found to let my customers know I care about them.
For $5.48 a year I can send 4 custom greeting cards to my clients to keep in touch with them and let them know I appreciate them.
How much is one dedicated, loyal, and happy client worth to you? Is it worth $5.48 a year?
If so watch this 3 minute video for more information:
Once you watch the video, email me back and I'll be happy to help you get started.
Whether you are a small to medium business owner, solopreneur, network marketer or on-line marketer there are times where we find ourselves hiding out in our business. Daily grind, regular tasks, product creation, clients, and all the other things that come with being a business owner can drive us further and further into our business and further and further away from connecting with others.
By driving ourselves further away from connecting with others we are really doing an injustice to our business and ultimately to ourselves. We human’s are creatures of connection; we love to connect with other human beings.
There are a multitude of benefits to getting out and about and connecting with others, including:
· Refresh our ideas
· Personal invigoration
· Enhancing our knowledge base
· Opening up opportunities both personally and professionally
· Gaining new perspectives
There are several ways we can get out and about that can be cost effective and easy to implement:
· Attending networking events
· Business owners informal meetings
· Skype meetings
· Mastermind groups
· Attending seminars and live events
· Attending community projects
· Attending local commerce chapter meetings
Before attending it is wise to set an objective as to what your purpose for attending the event maybe. It could be anything from making a new business connection through to gleaning a new idea for your business, the list is endless.
Aim for at least one event per week for a minimum of one hour, this should get you kick started into getting out of your business and into making some valuable lasting connections. Set 2011 to be your year for social interaction and out of hibernation.
Finally, Just Do It!
52 Days Until New Year
Yes, just 52 days until the new year. 2010 has flown by without even seeing it rush before my eyes. Always, about this time of year I take some time to access my business, what's worked well, what needs improvement and what can be culled or re-worked. Starting in November means I have some time to put together a contingency plan for the following year. In January, I can hit the ground running as I already know where I am planning to run to, I have set my path. I am clear in what direction and where I am heading.
Tips to re-access:
Taking an hour out of your week to sit down and do an assessment using these seven questions can save you a whole lot of time and frustration as you land in 2011.
Over the last few months I have run some free webinars, seminars, spoken at events and then there is the podcast channel. After any one of these events, etc I get phone calls & emails from listeners, viewers, participants asking for a little more information.
Most of the phone calls and emails start off a little awkwardly as they are to find out a little more information, a tip, trick or some techy stuff.
I really enjoy sharing information and helping other small to medium business owners. It is what I do!
I was driving along yesterday after a meeting and I had a brain wave hit me BIG TIME!!!!!!! What if I could offer regular subscribers to my podcasts, newsletters, webinars and participants of my seminars the ability to contact me for information, tricks, tips and techy stuff?
Now, like you a run a business so time is of the essence. So here is what I am proposing. Every Friday morning, my mobile and email is available to access me for a Favour For You Friday. During 10am - 11am every Friday I make myself available to answer any questions you may have on anything and everything around low to no cost marketing, social media, podcasts, video production, product creation - all the areas I specialize in. Now to make it fair, I will have to limit the calls to 10 minutes and emails responded to within 48 hours. This time is my Favour For You Friday.
These calls are obligation free. So....... how to take up my offer of Favour For You Friday, I hear you ask.
Mobile: 0400 862 793
Email: Claritycoaching@bigpond.com -Subject: Favour For You Friday
If you are a member of Secrets Exposed With Clarity - I am doubling your time, that's right your favour For You Friday has doubled to a 20 minute phone call!
You are probably thinking, this is too good to be true, what's the catch. Well, I am being a little selfish, you see the questions you ask me help me when I am putting together more free webinars and creating more products. I could send you to an on-line survey company, but that doesn't help you only me. I want both of us to gain from my offer. I get my information and so do you! Favour For You Friday's are running as of tomorrow right through to the end of November.
If the feedback from you is you want this service regularly then there is no reason it can't continue. I would love to hear your thoughts.
During the night I had an ah-ha moment. When speaking with clients I always discuss having your home office clutter-free, organized and tidy. The weeks leading up to my holidays I was busy trying to get all the tasks sorted out and dropped the ball a little. I then shut the door of my office and decided I would deal with it all on my return. My return didn’t go to plan and I ended up taking off a little more time than expected. For the last two weeks I have been busily catching up on all the things that pile up whilst your away. During the last two weeks I have felt disorganized and if I am totally truthful my work has been fragmented.
Last night I woke up in the early hours feeling quite anxious about what I needed to achieve this week, there were flyers to produce, blog entries, finalize the details of my talk for the Kingston Women’s Business Network next week, final script adjustments for my free webinar the following day, clients to book in and the list goes on. Well, in those early hours came my ah-ha moment. Tomorrow morning I am not going to turn on my computer until 10am! I am going to grab some garbage bags, recycle boxes and my files for filing and I am going to work solid for two and a half hours and clear out my office, desk and filing. My gosh, I was like a woman on a mission. Bags of rubbish, papers shredded, papers filed, files labeled, floors swept, desk dusted, bins emptied, you name it I did it. I really was a mad woman and I was on a mission.
For weeks, I had allowed myself to work in an unhealthy, messy and disorganized environment. My thoughts had been all over the place, I was wasting time looking for papers, notes etc. At one stage I spent about 10 minutes looking for my stapler, what was I thinking?
Just leaving the computer off, not answering any calls and having a clear focus on what it was I wanted to achieve gave me the ability to clear out all of the clutter that had built up over the last two months and regain my sanity and my time.
Whilst cleaning away the clutter and mess I felt I really made headway. I decided right there in the middle of the muddle that from now on I am going to turn my computer on ½ an hour later every morning and clear away, file, tidy and gain back my home office space. At least dedicating ½ an hour each morning means I won’t get myself into the pickle that I had found myself in.
Do you have a similar story? How has de-cluttering helped you?
Just recently hubby and I went on a fabulous touring holiday through the NSW South Coast in our campervan. We ended up in Bateman’s Bay at a caravan park just over the bridge. This caravan park had been recommended to us by a couple we met whilst staying in Merimbula. When we arrived we found we had a little problem that was going to take some days to sought out. This little problem meant that the accommodation we had booked was no longer suitable and we needed to change the accommodation style for 5 days. The staff there, particularly the receptionist, were amazing and were absolutely wonderful to us.
Now, this is where I saw the power of word of mouth marketing in action. We had been recommended to stay at this park from another couple. Normally we probably wouldn’t have even given it a thought. As they spoke so highly of the amenities, location and the staff we decided to go with their recommendation. This was a ‘sale’ due to word of mouth. Whilst staying in Bateman’s Bay we toured around several surrounding townships and as travelers do, you start chatting to others. Each time we were asked where we were staying we mentioned the place and how fabulous the staff had been. A couple we spoke to decided they also would give the ‘park a go’.
Now the recommendation from the first couple to us sparked a sale. Our recommendation to the next couple sparked a sale and so you can see how the ball will roll. The power of word of mouth marketing should never be underestimated. Give great service, be pleasant to deal with and be priced at market expectation and you will see the power of word of mouth. The same applies for negative word of mouth marketing, give bad service, be grumpy and price yourself out of the market and you could see the power of word of mouth marketing from a totally different angle.
Word Of Mouth Marketing – it costs you and your business absolutely nothing, not one cent but the benefits could be amazing! Sometimes, this marketing strategy can be lost in the hype of more exciting marketing strategies, it’s worth doing an analysis of your business to see which angle you would see the impact of word of mouth marketing.
Do you have a story to share?
For months now I have been very excited about the 2 week holiday my hubby and I were going to take together. For weeks there was a mass of preparation to go on our campervan holiday through the NSW south coast. Preparations included having the campervan mechanically sound, clothing for all seasons, food, and where we were going to visit. I am a planner so the months leading up were rather exciting in itself as I do love to plan. In fact I know I am on a roll when I start creating lists and getting underway.
I had left nothing to chance and had lists galore, maps galore and plans galore. The holiday started with a fabulous trip down to Lakes Entrance followed by a leisurely drive to Merimbula. The holiday was going to plan and I was in my element. As the first few days unfolded we found the campervan was a little restrictive. We had always only gone on short weekend trips of no more than 3-4 days. We found packing up the campervan to go out on a day trip a little cumbersome so we ended up spending more time walking and cycling, not actually venturing too far out of town.
Over the course of the first week we decided that on our return to Melbourne we would look at upgrading the campervan to a small caravan or similar. By the time we reached Bateman’s Bay we had convinced ourselves that this was the best option. A few technical and physical hitches (my husband’s aching back) found us preferring to spend time staying in caravan park unit accommodation over staying in the somewhat cramped campervan.
My plan had been to be the intrepid campervanner enjoying happy hour under the awning, sipping wine and chatting with other caravanners. This ended up not being the case as you were more removed from the action as you are in a unit. By the time we were heading home we had traded the campervan in on our own little caravan and are off next week to complete the transaction. Not what I planned? Far from it! I have to say you, can get so caught up in your plans that sometimes you miss the things right there in front of you that present themselves to you.
It is the same in business; you can be so caught up in the planning if you’re not careful you may miss opportunities that present themselves out of nowhere. It is always ideal to have a plan, a road map of where you want your business to be heading, don’t be scared to divert off the route and pursue other opportunities, you never know where it may lead you.