Networking Tip: How to Do Less Networking for More Results

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Here’s some unexpected advice from a business networking expert: you could spend less time on your business networking.

Yes, really! You might expect to get encouragement that you should get out there and do more. Go to more events. Send more emails. Meet more people. More, more, more!!

But unless you’re doing nothing to build professional business relationships, you can probably do less random “networking” and still get the results you need.

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Social Media Guide For Small Business

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There has been an explosive growth of businesses using social media networking sites over the past few years. Businesses use social media for 5 main reasons:

  • To improve awareness about their products/services
  • To build their brand and their online presence
  • To reach out to new cliental
  • To engage with existing customers

What are the benefits of social media?

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10 Startup Advice Blogs You Must Follow in 2016

Blogs are an excellent way to enhance knowledge in a particular sector; they provide all the useful insights and also give a peek into the latest happenings in that area. As a budding entrepreneur, you will do yourself a great favour if you can keep a close tab on some of the best startup advice blogs on the Internet.

They will add immense value to your business by helping you understand how the world of startups is shaping up, sharing tips on running your startup efficiently and leading you to a great future. So here I give you a quick listing of the ten best startup advice blogs you must follow in 2016.

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10 Books That Offer Best Startup Advice

Books are the perfect guide for us in all walks of life. Be it spiritual advice, some new art to be learnt, or an excellent informative guide on a subject, a book is a man’s best friend indeed.

Today I am going to share with you a list of books that are meant to kindle the entrepreneurial spirit in you. These are the perfect choice when it comes to the best startup advice. Read on to know what you should be reading; here we go!

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3 Hacks to Run Your Facebook Page Like a Pro

Is your business using Facebook for promotion? Is your business getting the most out of marketing on Facebook?

With more than 1.44 billion monthly active users (In quarter 1, 2015), Facebook has become the favorite platform for advertisers. Almost all the brands are placing their bets on Facebook. A large part of their online marketing budget is spent on this social media platform and the fact that this platform is still growing makes it even more lucrative.

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Building a business on repeat customers

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Sometimes business owners focus far too much on attracting new business, when often the easiest customer to attract is someone who has already been a customer. If you have a quality product or service and can incentivise repeat business strategically then attracting business becomes a lot easier.

This week we’re talking to Sandra Gray from Sand Dunes Resort on the Sunshine Coast, Sandra has been running Sand Dunes Resort for over 10 years now and has built a strong business based mostly off repeat customers. Every year her resort is packed full and the large majority of them are customers who return each and every year for their holiday.

This makes her marketing efforts so much easier… after all, attracting new business can be hard in a competitive landscape.

Sandra has implemented a great rewards program rewarding people who come back time and time again to stay at the resort, giving them healthy discounts when they return for another stay. This coupled with a great resort, awesome beachfront location and amazing staff makes the customers not even think twice about their next holiday accommodation, they’re going straight back to Sand Dunes.

This is possible with a lot of businesses and far too often I see businesses spending big money and lots of time trying to attract new business when they have a huge database of customers who have previously experienced their product/service who would be easy to get them to come back for more with the right offer.

Think about this next time you’re trying to attract new business and you’re getting out your wallet to do so…

In saying that, this is not always possible for every business. For example working with Future Blinds on the Sunshine Coast, who manufacture the highest quality blinds Sunshine Coast has to offer. They get some repeat business but it’s very few and far between since they’re products last for so long and customers don’t need to come back for a long time once they’ve purchased off them. So although it should be investigated for all businesses, it will be more relevant to some more than others.

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Changing your revenue model to be more passive

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There are a lot of businesses who charge an hourly rate for a service, working this way will enable you to make money and sometimes very good money as professionals charge quite high hourly rates, but at the end of the day you’re still exchanging time for money.

There’s an old saying, you’re never going to be rich until you can make money in your sleep, and it’s very true. Sure you might earn a lot charging an hourly rate and if you’re smart with your money you might become wealthy, or affluent, but never rich.

In order to make a lot of money you will have to work a lot of hours, losing work life balance, increasing stress and lowering your quality of life. So I want to talk to you today about a client I’m working with in order to help him stop exchanging time for money and instead working on creating more passive income streams.

Danny Kennedy is a personal trainer in Melbourne, for a long time he’s trained clients out of Albert Park and gotten them amazing results. He’s very good at what he does and works with some pretty high profile athletes.

But as a local personal trainer he is only ever exchanging time for money and he has to be present in order to train his clients. So what we’re doing is helping him create an online presence so that he can have a global exposure and create products where his time is not necessary. Products where the time is invested in creating the product but after that it doesn’t really matter whether we sell 1 or 1,000 it won’t require any extra time on his behalf. We’re also working on developing online personal training programs so that he can reach a larger audience and sell lower cost programs to more people that requires less of his time, enabling him to train more clients at once.

In order to do this Danny has set up a blog and is working on building his audience and his profile online. He’s doing this through creating in depth content resources aimed at helping people make changes in their life and teaching them about his philosophies. This increases his audience and exposure, impressing them enough to sign up to his mailing list where he can then provide more value and continue to promote his different products.

So far he has created some amazing content around how to lose weight, how to build muscle, DUP training, carb cycling and how to lose weight and drink alcohol. All of the information he provides gives a lot of value to the reader, which encourages them to follow him and eventually buy his products.

This change to his revenue model allows for Danny to stop exchanging time for money and to grow a business worth much more than a typical personal trainer. Sure it’s hard going at the start but in the long run it will be well worth it.

This type of thinking is appropriate to many types of businesses who charge by the hour, have a think about your business – how can you get out of the rat race and start making money while you sleep?

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How VolP Phones Can Save Your Business Money

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The internet has triggered a rapid change in the communication industry and the trend has gained momentum and, there is no pointer that this inclination is going to slow down anytime soon. The inception of Voice over Internet Protocol (VolP) has left many businesses to stem from their former telephone methodology. This new framework is offering business with lucre features besides having financial savings that come with VolP.

How VolP Works

Diverse from habitual telephone companies, with VolP you’ll not rely on telephone lines to make a link and disseminate. A broadband internet tie-in such as DSL, cable or satellite is used as an avenue to channel calls electronically over the internet. The recipient of the call is not a must should have a VolP connection simply because calls placed in this modus can reach any cell phone or telephone. This has made it easier to make calls around the globe for at a customary rate instead of extra amount. This also gives an opportunity for service providers to offer a linear rate monthly rate fee regardless of the service that is actually used (local or long-distance).

Although many businesses are now using VolP, there are some which still have the big question of whether VolP will save money or increase cost? The answer is yes, VolP help saves money and, there are sundry ways that this happens. Take a look

No International Calling Fee

Call cost is a prime consideration for many businesses especially if you make calls overseas to speak to manufacturers and distributors. With traditional phone lines, it is easier to accrue expensive cost but with VolP, you will reduce the cost because you will be wielding an internet connection to make calls. The best part is that many providers offer video conference and conferencing allowing you to communicate to a number of blocs at the same time. This can help you save some serious dollars besides enjoying a streamlined communication.

Call Stalking and Monitoring

VolP has features such as call tracking and calls recording which will help you increase your business coherence. With these features, you will be able to track he output of your sales team, inclusive of the metrics like a number of calls made each day and time spent on each call, assure quality control with regular reviews and improve staff tuition using good or bad call examples. You will able to keep your sales team on track and hit their targets each month.

Aerodynamic Employee Communication

A VolP system comes with workflow features such as Company-focused instant messaging, instant see where you can view colleagues and staff that is online and when, and peer to peer chat for an efficient and easier conference calls. With all these, your teams will communicate in time thus helping everyone gets work done in less time.

Operating a business is an extortionate affair; therefore, cutting back expenses is important. Getting your business setup with a business VolP phone system and plan is not only a business asset but it will reduce your communication costs substantially. You will have everything you need at the same time; you’d have reduced your overhead costs.

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How To Keep A Positive Cash Flow

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Placing other business goals ahead of your company cash flow is a big blunder as a business owner, and for many start-up businesses, this is a common norm. It is critical that you spend the time to establish your trademark and sales leads, at the same time, it is vital to develop a ceaseless cash flow (amount of cash coming into your business). Cash flow is the lifeblood of every business and if you can retain 10% or 20% of your monthly revenue, you will be able to pump the cash back into your business.

To have a consistent cash flow in your business, here are ways how to

Be Familiar with your Expenses

Several businesses offer discounts to attract and possibly retain a customer, right? We’ve have seen before haven’t we? Some have harnessed the use of a site like Scoopon and Groupon while others have done this on their own. Despite all this, you should offer a discount if you know the cost and the hit of hat you are offering, if not, prepare yourself for reverberations.  As a business person who would like to see your merchandise grow, you should be aware of your comprehensive cost basis, how much you’d theoretically charge, the cost of what you’re offering and the profit gap on your products and services.

Pay bills when You have to

In regards to bills, the idea is that you try and get your outgoing invoices paid as soon as possible and pay your bills when you have to. However, it has to be said that there is an effect of paying your bills on time that builds a positive relationship with your suppliers. If you’re having trouble recouping bad debts then it’s always wise to get a debt collector to help, I always recommend Network Debt Collection.

Combat the Urge to Offer Immense Discount

There are 2 buttons that many business owners seem to battle with “panic and discount”. When discount overwhelms panic, the next step is to drop prices which are the biggest mistake you can ever do. Although it’s good to offer discounts once in a while, make sure you’re still being profitable when you offer discounts. Say after every three months you have a big sale, customers are not fools, they’ll just wait until that time you have a big sale and then will show up.

Encourage Repeat Business

If you can be able to land and retain customers (continuous) and especially if you’re in a volume-driven business like retail, you’d have cemented your cash flow, profit, and growth. In this case, what you need to do is consecrate yourself to see your customers coming back again and again.

Think about how you can make good use of loyalty programs, VIP offers and other frequent shopper programs. They are some of the best tools to systematize continual business.

What else are you waiting for? You have the tips, go for it!

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If not systems, then what?

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I hear it all the time from people who want to grow their business. “I know I need to do some work ON my business, but I just don’t have the time – how can I find the time?”
And you know what? You don’t have the time. So the question is, what are you going to do about it? And if you don’t address this issue now, is anything ever going to change?
We all know we need systems and that they will improve our business, but when we’re working 70 hours a week, we’re thinking how am I ever going to find the time to design and then implement systems on top of this workload?

As a business owner your challenge is that it is your business and you are the only person who can make things change. The questions to ask yourself are: what are the ramifications of you not implementing the systems you know you need? And, what will be the benefits of those systems once implemented?

The problem is not that you are doing too much work – you are simply doing the wrong kind of work. Start by listing all of the things you do in a week and how much time you spend on them. Categorise them: client relations, office administration, administrative support, bookkeeping and so on. Ask yourself what you would pay someone to do each category of work. Chances are a lot of it will be between $12 and $20 per hour. Add up the hours. Consider what you value you put on your time as the owner of the business.

Now work out how much you are costing the business by spending so much time working in the lowest paid area of the business. It is only when you can get a picture of what you are costing the business that you can come to terms with what needs to be done.

Start working on the systems in those areas and then get someone in on a part-time basis to follow them, freeing up some of your valuable time. When you have that extra time, don’t just throw yourself into more of the same. Remember why you did it – and use the time wisely to develop some more systems that will free up more of your time, which you can then spend on activities that have significantly more value to the business. A business is going to take a very long time fulfilling its objective if the owner is its most expensive clerical worker.

A client of mine Glenn came to me recently with an interesting dilemma. He owns SprayIt Solutions ( if you ever need residential or commercial insulation go and say hello!) and he has a great salesperson working for him, who looks after the majority of his clients. However, Paul feels as though he is losing personal contact with them due to his stellar salesman. He is worried that if the salesman leaves, he could very easily take some of the clients with him. So how does Paul reconnect with clients without overstepping what his salesperson is doing?

My answer to Paul went along the following lines:
It would seem that the current client loyalty is with the salesperson rather than the business. Therefore, the task is twofold: build customer loyalty to the business (rather than you personally – because that will inhibit your growth) and get everything that happens in the sales area onto paper in the form of a system.
It’s not so much that you need to reconnect with the clients, more that you need to connect the clients with the business so that they associate the service they are receiving with the business name, not just the salesperson.

There are several ways in which you can reconnect and also value-add service:
o Set up a regular form of communication with clients, such as an electronic newsletter
o Institute a biannual or annual review of their portfolios at which you can be involved together with the salesperson
o Develop a status report on the property market, both locally and interstate, for the previous and coming six months and discuss their ramifications for market trends
o Offer seminars on the property market and/or similar topics.

In this way, you are letting them know who you are and affirming your credibility and that of your company, and giving them more reasons to stay with the business, not just the salesperson.
You may have a great sales person, but what happens when they leave? When you have great systems, you have a great business.

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