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How to Dream BIG in Your Business

How to Dream BIG in Your Business

The ABC’s of Business Basics Series: Tips for Your Company’s Mission to Mars

According to Google, “In theory, the closest that Earth and Mars would approach each other would be when Mars is at its closest point to the sun (perihelion) and Earth is at its farthest (aphelion). This would put the planets only 33.9 million miles (54.6 million kilometers) apart. However, this has never happened in recorded history.”

Wow! Think about it… 54.6 million kilometers. It is a number many human beings can’t relate to or believe would be possible to travel to. However, this doesn’t stop space scientists. They don’t focus on how far away the planet is, they just want to get that spaceship to Mars.

In my practice as a Business Advisor, I see too many owners who play it safe. They set low sales targets, retain a minimum number of employees, or advertise only to existing markets because they don’t want more customers than they can handle or to get too busy.

Yet big dreams can actually propel you into the life and business you want. Let’s look at a business owner I know who had a big dream…Walt Disney. He “saw” Disneyland in his head. He knew where his company was headed, and held the dream through the naysayers and the banks. Imagine how proud he was when his dream became a reality.

Do you have a dream large and exciting enough for your business? If not, then perhaps it’s time to create one. Just like the Mission to Mars, it may feel so big or far away that it doesn’t feel realistic. It may scare you or it may seem impossible to accomplish. Create one anyway.

Not sure how to dream big in your business?

Here’s three tips to help out:

Tip #1: Don’t get hung up on the “how,” just the “what.” Do you want a 2nd location? How about an international presence or double the revenues? Identify your “Mars” first.

Tip #2: Own it. Is this really what you want? As the owner, and just like Disney, you need to really believe this is what you want and where you are taking the company.

Tip #3: Share your dream “Mission” with everyone. The “dream team” will help make it happen!

Dreams give us the incentive to get out of bed everyday, fill us with renewed purpose, energy and effort, and ignite the spirit of human achievement.

Go for it!

About the Author, Pamela Chatry

Pamela Chatry

Do you work too hard? Is your business in chaos? If you are struggling with business issues, contact Pamela Chatry for a complimentary assessment. Pamela has been a trusted and highly respected Business Consultant, Mentor for Women in Business, Self-Employment Advocate, Trainer and Keynote Speaker for over 25 years.

Visit www.pamelachatry.com or call her at 778-856-8970 for help in getting your business to its fullest potential.


4 Easy Ways to Get More Referrals Without Feeling Aggressive

4 Easy Ways to Get More Referrals without Feeling Aggressive

Non-Pushy Examples on How to Use Word of Mouth Marketing to Grow Your Business

Word of mouth marketing works.

In fact, referrals are often one of the key factors influencing someone to work with you.  For us here at eVision Media, we account for about 90-95% of new business coming from referrals.

Referrals are often one of the key factors influencing someone to work with you.Click To Tweet

How many times do you see someone asking for recommendations on social media? When someone needs a professional, 9 times out of 10 they ask their network who they know who does what they’re looking for.

So having a referral marketing plan in place helps ensure raving fans are telling others about you.

However, while we know the importance of asking for referrals, when it comes down to it the asking part can feel awkward or even aggressive.

But when you believe in the value of what you offer you can feel good about having others tell the world about you. When you have the right mindset and a proven process in place, getting referrals is easy.

Here’s 4 ways to get more referrals that don’t feel desperate with examples you can use right now:

  1. Set an Expectation for Referrals

    Before you begin working with a new client, you can condition them to think of you as someone to send business to. That can look something like this:

    I am excited to work with you.  When our project is completed, I know you will be thrilled with the work we did together.  If you are happy with our work would you be willing to share us with others?  Your referrals are how our business grows.

     
    You can also mention the incentive you offer for those referrals that result in a sale. For instance, we offer $100 towards any website, SEO or marketing work as our way of saying “thanks”. (See point number 4 below for more details on this.)

  2. Ask for a Virtual Introduction

    A really terrific way to get referrals is to ask a contact to do a virtual introduction with the prospect.  Here’s how an email like that goes:

    Subject: Henry and Mike – A Virtual Introduction from Susan Friesen
     
    Hi Henry,
     
    I’ve been working with Mike for three months and he’s done a terrific job at getting our bookkeeping up to date. I know you’re looking for a qualified bookkeeper so I thought I’d put you two together.
     
    Mike, meet Henry from Company A.  I have known him for five years and he has really made a name for himself in the industry.  He’s been a really valuable to have in my circle. He mentioned he needs a good bookkeeper and I thought you could help.
     
    Henry, meet Mike from Company B.  Mike and I go way back.  He is a real rock star when it comes to accounting.  He makes sure our books are balanced at all times.
     
    Here’s both of your contact information.  Now reach out and connect!
     
    Henry: 555-555-5555 Henry@gmail.com HenryCompanyWebsite.com
    Mike: 444-444-4444 mike@gmail.com MikeCompanyWebsite.com
  3. Ask Happy Clients

    The best time to ask a client for a referral is right after you finished working with them.  They are excited about the results you generated and are ready to sing your praises to the world.
     
    Here’s an example of such an ask:

    Subject Line: FIRSTNAME, Quick Question.
     
    I’m so glad you’re happy with our PRODUCT OR SERVICE. I love helping people like you so knowing you’re excited with the results made my day. Actually, it’s because of this that I was hoping to ask you a favour…
     
    It’s my goal to help many more people like you. So I was wondering if you knew of any other people who could use my help? I’d love it if you could send a short note to them with a few kind words and asking them to connect with me?

    With Gratitude.

  4. Offer a Gift for Referrals

    Giving a referral takes time and energy.  When you make it worth their while, people are more likely to take the time to do it.
     
    As a sign of your appreciation for their efforts, offer to give them a gift card, a referral fee, discount, or other gift if someone they refer you to hires you.
     
    You can make a referral page on your website.  Write an email to send to your clients and connections.  Ask people in your Facebook groups.  Let your vendors know you give rewards for referrals. Even put a teaser on the back of your business card letting others know.
     
    Here’s some example text to use:

    Get X for Referring Friends and Family: I’d love to give you [insert your referral gift here] for every person who ends up hiring me. It’s just a small token of appreciation as referrals are how we grow our business.  Thanks for thinking of us!

I hope these quick and easy examples have inspired you.  Referrals are by far the most cost-effective way to build your business.

Being intentional about asking for referrals can unlock the door to unlimited growth.  Here’s wishing you endless referrals!

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Our “All Under One Roof” boutique web development and digital marketing firm can help you make your vision a reality.

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4 Easy Ways to Get More Referrals without Feeling AggressiveClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Easy Project Management Tips for Entrepreneurs Who Want to Get It Done Right, Right Now

Easy Project Management Tips for Entrepreneurs Who Want to Get It Done Right, Right Now

Using these project management concepts will increase your chances of success

Entrepreneurs, by their very nature, are big thinkers with big plans who want to make a big impact in the world. As an entrepreneur / small business owner, I get it – I do too. I also understand how many distractions there can be vying for your time every day.

After a long career with large corporations and earning my Six Sigma Green Belt, I realized that many of the things that worked well for me work equally as well in small businesses. 

Investing the time upfront to prepare your project plan and get everyone onboard is time well-spent.Click To Tweet

Project management is one of those critical skills that I believe every business owner should learn to do well.  I know how many distractions come up that could easily derail your goals if you don’t focus on doing the important things first.

Let me explain how you can utilize this skill to grow your business.

  1. Decide on your next big project goal

    Write down the name of the project and create a charter. The charter describes briefly what results you expect to accomplish.
     
    One of the many advantages of preparing a charter is that it forces you to clearly articulate what you really want. Once you know what your goal is, plan the steps to get there rather than just “winging” it and hoping for the best.

    For instance, is your project designed to:

    • Save money?
    • Increase sales?
    • Increase the number of email addresses you have in your management software?
    • Get more speaking gigs?
    • Write a book?
    • Increase the number of high-paying clients?
    • Create a new group or online program?
  2. Identify the scope of this project

    Keep the project small, focused and manageable. If it’s too big, chances of success are lower because there are so many moving parts that might compete for your time or resources. When you write your scope, list what you will do — and what you will not do.
     
    For instance, if you are working on increasing your visibility to your target audience you might consider a project around Facebook or LinkedIn. I recommend that you pick just one of them and knock it out of the park. In this case, if you picked Facebook, then state that this project does not include LinkedIn.
     
    Then you can do a separate project to work on LinkedIn with its own timeline and deliverables when you are ready.

  3. Define your baseline and your goal

    This will help you know where you are today and where you plan to be upon completion of this project. For instance, say you want to increase the number of people whom you can send marketing emails to.  
    You need to know the number of contacts today as well as the number you want to have at the end of the project. If it’s annual sales, then it’s easy to look at the past 12 months to get your actual sales. Then just set your goal as a dollar or percentage above the baseline.

  4. List each major step of the project.

    Include the name of the person responsible for completing each major step, and when each step will be accomplished.
     
    Oftentimes, one person cannot complete their step until someone else finishes theirs, so it’s important to understand the interdependencies.

  5. Determine the start and completion dates.

    Once you will have the start and completion dates, you will be able to identify milestones along the way.
     
    This will help you stay on track and accomplish your goal without a lot of stress, wasted time or forgotten steps.

  6. Prepare a budget

    The budget will define how much you will spend to accomplish the goal and when the money needs to be available. Your project may be designed to save money, such as taking on the marketing of your program yourself or changing vendors.
     
    In this case you would list when the savings will start showing up and how much more you will have in your bank account at the end of the project.

  7. Make a list of resources

    These are the resources you will need to accomplish the project. Are you going to do everything yourself or will you have a virtual assistant?
     
    Will you hire someone to prepare marketing materials, or to create your website, Facebook posts or a LinkedIn profile?

  8. Communicate clearly to everyone involved in the project

    And by clear, I mean precise, with no room for guessing or individual interpretations about what others think you want. Draw pictures, share examples and learn to speak their language if you are talking to technical people.
     
    Once you know who’s on your team, make sure they have an opportunity to provide input. One of them could hold that one big idea that will take your project from good to great.
     
    Have a brainstorming meeting – it’s is a great way to get everyone’s ideas and come up with a plan better than you could ever do on your own. After all, that’s why you invited the best & brightest to join your team in the first place, right?
     
    This process also guarantees that you have buy-in on the project and that everyone knows the objectives and their role in accomplishing them.

  9. Set up regularly scheduled meetings on your calendar

    This schedule will help you review progress, clear up any confusion, remove any barriers and provide direction.
     
    There is nothing worse than getting close to your project completion deadline only to realize that what you are getting is not at all what you expected! Especially if it all could have been avoided if you had set up the time to check in on the progress. Inspect what you expect!

  10. Set up team ground rules

    The ground rules can include frequency/length of meetings, notifying you in advance if they are going to miss the meeting, how conflicts will be handled and agreement by all that they will show up to the meetings prepared with their deliverables or notifying you well in advance if they are at risk of missing any critical milestones.

  11. Sign your charter

    I know – this might sound cheesy. But it really isn’t. This is a commitment you are making to yourself and the simple act of dating it, signing it and putting it up on your wall where it is literally in front of you all the time will make it much more likely that you will follow through and reap the benefits.

  12. Celebrate your wins along the way

    This doesn’t have to be at a high cost – it can be a simple “Thank You” card to one of your resources who delivers on schedule or a group dinner or pizza or a Starbucks gift card.
     
    A little goes a long way in motivating yourself and those on your team when appreciation is shown.

Your chances of reaching and most likely hitting it out of the park increase dramatically. And remember, the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

About the Author, Katherine Hartvickson

Kathryn Wilking

Katherine Hartvickson is the founder and president of Hartvickson & Associates, Inc. dba Quantum Ascendance. She is an experienced business consultant and success coach. Since leaving the corporate world in 2009, her clients include business owners and other seriously committed professionals and entrepreneurs who want to gain the confidence and skills to break through the barriers of success and achieve their ideal life.

What separates her service from others is her experience in leading large teams and developing top performers in corporate environments and because of this, clients achieve individual & financial rewards and the recognition they earned without sacrificing their personal life. If you are interested in knowing more, she can be reached at www.QuantumAscendance.com.


Is Jealousy the Biggest Culprit in Thwarting Your Business Growth?

Why Gratitude is One of the Biggest Keys to Success

Jealously the Biggest Culprit in Thwarting Your Business Growth

No magic pill, wand or formula was applied in creating this success story.

While Social Media can have many benefits to business growth, there’s an underlying, negative-based energy many people experience that could very well be contributing to the lack of their business growth.

And that energy is jealousy…

For us on the West Coast of Canada, we only get to enjoy a few months of summer warmth and sun each year. This is the time we make plans to get out and enjoy the weather as much as possible.

So it stands to reason many of the posts shared on Social Media are fun-related. After all, who wants to share posts about the hours they spend behind their computer working 15 hours a day?

Relaxing at Kingfisher SpaWhile away on holidays recently, it occurred to me there may be some who would look upon my holiday-infused Facebook posts thinking this is my life – doing nothing but having fun and going on holidays.

And when I thought about it, I’ve given them no reason to think otherwise. If a new Facebook business-owner “friend” only saw holiday-related posts, then that’s the impression they would have of me – I never seem to work!

For those that know me, this assumption is far from the truth but nonetheless, for those that don’t, I can see how they would come to that conclusion.

And the interesting thing is, that kind of conclusion has a far-reaching result that could very well be affecting their business success.

That’s because instead of being happy for me, they are feeling a twinge of jealousy.

Jealous they can’t take holidays…
Jealous they can’t go for spa treatments…
Jealous they can’t relax poolside at a resort…

And so on.

Jealousy is a very insidious thing that can sneak up and snare the most unsuspecting person.

Jealousy is a very insidious thing that can sneak up and snare the most unsuspecting personClick To Tweet

How many times have you looked at someone’s success or witnessed all of the wonderful travels they’ve been on and secretly wished it were you instead of them?

When this happens we nosedive into a lack and scarcity mindset. Our ego kicks into high gear and we get into competition mode. Comparing what WE DON’T have to what THEY DO have.

And when that happens, we’re not in an expansive, abundant state of mind. Instead, we’re stifling all energies needed for growth, which can ultimately result in a lack of success.

I did it too. I would see people like Mari Smith travel the world doing keynote speeches or private consulting gigs and think how lucky she is to live such a magical life!

But then I realized magic has absolutely nothing to do with it!

When we see people like Mari, or me for that matter, reaping the rewards of our labour, we fail to realize the labour part of that equation.

The ability to take time off, travel, go to spa appointments or relax at resorts is a product of hard work. It didn’t all happen magically, or effortlessly for that matter.

What does gratitude have to do with success?

I’ve talked before about my keys to success and aside from working long hours, having a team and building a business wisely, the biggest key to my success is gratitude.

I’m thankful every single day even if a client is upset with me.  Gratitude can still be found in the lessons learned to avoid that incident from happening again.

I’m thankful for the hard-working, integral employee giving their notice.  Gratitude can still be found because I was able to have them on my team as long as I did and look forward to how that person’s replacement will make a positive impact on my business.

I’m thankful for the deadbeat, non-paying client.  Gratitude can still be found knowing what kind of client to turn down in the future, seeing the signs ahead of time they will be a challenge to collect from.

This is what I do every day where it’s well documented in my gratitude journal I write in every night.

Success is what you want it to be. You are in control.

Despite the one-sided impression Social Media provides, there is no magic program, product or formula that will create success for you.

But with having an attitude of gratitude, a strong commitment to success and not letting jealously prevent you from thinking you can have that too, you can be successful.

I’ll let you in on a little secret…. many don’t know that not long ago Daniel and I were quite destitute. We were on the verge of losing our home and had a $24,000 credit card debt (due to identity theft but that’s another story). So I know what it feels like to be on the other side of the pasture thinking everything was so green over there and completely unattainable.

However, what got us through to the other side is we never gave in to victimhood. We believed things will get better, focused on being grateful for what we had, and worked towards what we did want.

Law of attraction expert Dana Smithers has a great solution to when things are not going perfect and that’s to ask yourself, “what do I really want?” (Watch this quick video where she explains how this works.)

So the next time you feel a pang of jealousy when you see someone post about their wonderful cruise, their world-wide adventure or their spa treatment, remember there was no magic involved in that person’s success.

Only hard work, commitment and a whole lot of gratitude for hills and valleys that was overcome along the way to that success.

Take a moment now and no matter how shitty of a day you’re having, what can you be grateful for? Ask yourself what is it that you really want? Share below, let’s all celebrate with you.

Are you willing to make a commitment to celebrate everyone’s success? Take responsibility for your actions and do what it takes so you can reap similar rewards of success?

Don’t let jealousy be the biggest culprit in the lack of your business growth. Show it who’s boss instead!

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Is Jealously the Biggest Culprit in Thwarting Your Business Growth?Click To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

How to Overcome Fear and Resistance towards Selling…

medium_6829496615Are you putting your business success at risk?

Anyone with a desire to succeed in business must face the truth about a common obstacle, their own personal fear and resistance toward selling.

It’s a critical issue of extreme magnitude that requires a solution because “Selling” is a huge part of what drives business success. Overcoming your fear and resistance toward selling or Not… can make or break your business success!

Whether you are building a new business, expanding one, or representing a product or service, it’s likely you are already struggling with fear and resistance toward on some level. It may not be obvious but it IS holding you back, keeping you from reaching the next level of success.

Ignoring the problem doesn’t work.

Even when you think the fear and resistance is buried deep down inside… your “secret” thoughts and feelings about selling still limit your ability to network effectively, leverage opportunities, and fully maximize your potential.

Seriously, being saddled with any degree of fear and resistance creates undue stress, diminishes quality of life, and threatens the long term survival of any business venture.

Awareness, Understanding, and New Perspectives are essential to overcoming fear and resistance.             

Fear stems from a lack of understanding, the unknown, or a false perception of the results or outcome.  Resistance is a defensive reaction, to avoid the consequences of a perceived negative result or outcome.

One exercise may shed some light on what “triggers” fear and resistance in you:

Close your eyes, clear your mind, and say the word “Selling” out loud. Note the words, images, and thoughts that come to mind, plus any feelings you experience, both positive and negative.

Typical responses are; slight physical discomfort, visual images of “undesirable” sales people or negative words like “pushy” and “aggressive”, and hearing negative phrases like “it’s not polite to ask questions” or “sales people take advantage”, just to name a few.

Pay attention any thoughts, images, and impressions you experience. They are all subliminal messages that you’ve already internalized as your “personal beliefs” about selling. Unfortunately these “personal beliefs” are based on layers of incorrect assumptions and misinformation, compounded by personal interpretation and bias, resulting in an over abundance of deeply held personal beliefs about selling that are largely False.

Wow, did you catch that? The majority of what you believe about selling is Not true!

These subliminal false beliefs “trigger” your attitude and approach. Fear influences your “selling” behavior. Resistance challenges you to avoid “selling” all together.

No wonder it feels overwhelming!

New perspectives in place of false beliefs instantly “triggers” desired selling results ….

Simply stated, “New Perspectives” are the “truth” buried beneath our false beliefs. Uncovering the truth behind “false beliefs” allows you to eliminate “triggers” and overcome fear and resistance toward selling.

For example, “Don’t Impose” is a false belief that commonly “triggers” the “Fear of Rejection”.

It’s based on the “false belief” that selling is synonymous with imposing on a prospect. You only feel rejected if you falsely believe the sale is about you.

In reality clients are not focused on you, they are struggling with their own internal argument…Can I really justify this purchase? Is it worth it? Does it out weight or rank higher than my other priorities?

Your responsibility is to guide a prospect through a decision-making process, not force them to buy something they don’t want.

Selling is a series of questions designed to help them reach a conclusion. It is Not an imposition, they appreciate the assistance.

If they don’t buy, it’s about them, not you.

So be aware of “triggers”, understand the truth behind “false beliefs”, and discover new perspectives. This is the winning formula for overcoming fear and resistance and creating extraordinary business success!

About the Author, Anne D. Johnson

Anne Johnson

Anne Johnson, the Bold and Classy Selling Consultant has a genuine passion and natural talent for teaching everyone how to overcome their personal fear and resistance toward selling, close sales quickly without feeling pushy or aggressive, and truly thrive during challenging economic times.

Her compassion and interest in people from all walks of life, coupled with her experience working in a variety of business settings with entrepreneurs, business owners, executive leadership and sales teams from numerous industries has given her a keen insight, an ability to understand people, to know what they need to succeed, and the skills to provide Bold & Classy Selling Systems that really work!

Increase results and boost personal wealth by signing up for Anne's free MP3 download, "The 3 Secrets to Selling More Than You've Ever Sold Before".