How to Create Your Business Bucket List for 2019

How to Create Your Business Bucket List for 2019

As I’m sure you know, goals are incredibly important to set, not only in your personal life but also for your business.

When you specifically identify where you want to be in the future and how you’d like to grow, you’re able to create plans for achieving success. A bucket list of sorts is an enjoyable way to set goals, meet them, and also have a lot of fun along the way, all while keeping track of your progress.

So, if you’ve been looking for some New Year’s resolutions to get your business booming or even some fun accomplishments to add to your experience, then check out these tips! Here are 6 things to add to your Business Bucket List for 2019, as well as some suggestions on how to build your own personalized list.

Business Bucket List Making For 2019

First things first when creating your business bucket list: you have to undergo a combined time of dreaming and brainstorming. Take out a physical piece of paper or open a new word document on your computer and start writing down all of your ideas for the new year. Remove all limitations and focus on allowing your mind to be as free as possible, jotting down every idea that comes to you as a good goal for your business in this coming year. You’re allowed to edit for feasibility and reasonability later. For now, though, just write down a bunch of ideas!

If you’re having trouble coming up with your own fresh ideas, then consider these six ideas for inspiration:

Start a blog.

But not just any blog about random facts that halfway apply to you and your business. Start one that your desired customers want to read, will read and will want to do business with you because they enjoy the content you create. Make sure to provide good, helpful content. Present yourself as an expert and write about what kindles your passions and what fuels your business (if you already have a blog, then focus on creating better content that will help instigate {fill in the blank} amount of sales per month)!

Get (fill in the blank) new clients!

Look at how many customers you have now and pick a number that’s a lot bigger than that, then work for it! In order for your business to grow, you have to find more clients who will pay for your services, so set your desired number and start building up to it (if you already have the max number of clients you can handle, then start brainstorming ways to make your services even better)!

Beat last year’s profits.

Again, look at the revenue you made last year (you can even break it down month by month if that’s easier) and then beat last year’s numbers! You can do this a variety of ways, but increasing your client base will certainly help (so good thing that’s also on your bucket list).

Revamp your business.

Actually, do that website/branding/logo/etc. revamping you’ve been planning on doing for forever. All the to-do lists that have been piling up in your office and desk drawers actually need to be done, so pull them out and set goals for them! Figure out which tasks are priorities and determine a time they should be accomplished.

Go to a seminar or conference, learn more about your field, and be challenged.

Being a professional takes a lot of effort, especially when it comes to learning the latest trends, gaining new knowledge, and educating yourself in order to remain the professional. Learn from people who are better than you or who have different ideas and never stop challenging yourself to learn more.

Write a book.

Maybe you’re not a writer, but maybe you have a lot of good information to share with others anyway. While a book might sound daunting to write, remember that you have an entire year to accomplish this and that’s a lot of time to get things accomplished when handled correctly!

Once you’ve created a long, beautiful bucket list, it’s time to condense it, edit it, and narrow it down to items that are actually necessary for you to accomplish or beneficial for your business. You should create a timetable for completing these items, determining which of them need to be done by the end of the first month, by the beginning of the summer, by the start of the fall, and so on until you have your priorities and aiming straight for the new year.

For instance, “beating last year’s profits” should definitely have a role in every month’s earnings, but you won’t likely beat the entire goal until the end of the year, so break that huge goal down into manageable pieces and start creating a plan for conquering it. Additionally, if you have decided to initiate “X New Marketing Strategies” for the new year, then you should be sure to plan what they are and when to begin each campaign in order to get them all done at appropriate times

Once you’ve determined your bucket list items and also your timeframes, it might be helpful for you to partner with one of your business buddies in order to

a)) inspire goal-setting, and

b) get some accountability.

We all know how easy it is to completely forget about any and all of our New Year’s resolutions by the time March rolls around, but when it’s your business at stake, it’s important to do better.

After that, plan and start to implement!

If you are looking for ways to streamline and automate your business and add more hours to your day…let’s talk. >Claim your spot here.

Have a great week.
Robyn Bennett

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How to become a more profitable small business owner

How to become a more profitable small business owner

As a small business owner, turning a profit is paramount to keeping your business above ground and feeling comfortable and satisfied as an entrepreneur. If profits drop, it leads to stress, overtime, and a depleting savings account.

Today I’ve pulled some tips together for you on how to make your small business more money! It’s not about what you bring in, but what you keep. Take a look these strategies for increasing your profit without increasing your effort.

#1 Connect With Inactive Customers

Your inactive customer base is a goldmine. They already know your product, many of them like your product, and they are familiar with your brand. It is much easier (and cheaper!!) to sell to an inactive client than a completely new client. Find creative ways to connect with your inactive customers. Send them a message letting them know you noticed they’ve been absent, and you would love to see them again. Send them a special, rockin’ discount. Shoot them a newsletter detailing new products/services you are now offering that they might not know about.

You’ll likely find several people who need your service/product but needed a nudge or reminder that you’re there. You’ll find others who thought you might have gone out of business because they haven’t heard from you. Get connected with your list!

#2 Organize & Know Your Numbers

For some business owners, numbers are scary or overwhelming. But it is important to have an organized spreadsheet of your company budget, income, and expenses. You should be updating this monthly or even weekly. You want to budget SMARTand EFFECTIVELY so that you are not losing profit. Every employee, expense, contractor, etc. should fit nicely into the budget OR be cut loose. Know your profit!!

#3 Have A Referral Program

Referrals are one of the absolute best ways to grow your business. Referrals save you hundreds or even thousands on marketing efforts. Don’t be shy to approach your loyal customers about referrals. Make it a win-win for them by offering a nice discount or something for free if they refer a paying customer to you. Put reminders at the ends of emails or in product packaging encouraging buyers to share with their friends. It’s important that they also know you want them to be 100% happy with your service/product and have an open line for anyone who is dissatisfied. An unhappy customer who is heard, validated, and accommodated can become your greatest advocate and long-term buyer.

#4 Be An Active Learner/Evolver

One of my favorite books about turning a long-term profit as a small business owner is called Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. If you’ve never read it, I highly recommend it. He teaches you a fantastic method for ensuring your business is always profitable and stable while also making your customers/clients/employees happy.

They say millionaires are reading all the time. Having a book on audible or kindle every month/week is a great way to expand your knowledge, learn new skills, see what other people are doing and just become a more well-rounded business owner. If you make this a habit, you’ll likely come across new ideas or skills that seriously improve your profits!

#5 Surround Yourself With Smart People

It’s hard to admit but sometimes, you don’t know everything! Running a business is hard work and it’s important to surround yourself with smart, skilled people. Find mentors, employees or contractors who have strengths in areas you are weak. Network and make friends with entrepreneurs with whom you can share ideas and brainstorm. Don’t be afraid to outsource projects to someone who can do them better than you or find a mentor to help you learn to do them. Be humble enough to ask for help.

BONUS TIP

A key element to your long-term success as an entrepreneur and business owner is effective PLANNING! We are almost at the end of 2018…did you reach your goals? Did you stick to a consistent plan? Are you pumping your fists in the air or wiping away tears??

It’s not too late to set up your next year for success. Using my 12 month marketing plan, you can create a personalized short and long-term business plan to keep you focused, increase profitability and build your business the way you want!

I know how important planning is and I want to make this very accessible for you. For the price of a fancy dinner, you can get my complete 12 Month Marketing Plan!!

>YES, I want to optimize my business and have a killer 2019 for $97!!

This affordable course includes 4 straight-forward modules to help you:

  • Work smarter, not harder
  • Plan effective, profitable programs
  • Create successful promotions on social media and other platforms
  • Plan early in order to maximize earnings
  • Fix any leaks in your current marketing strategy
  • Free up your time by increasing efficiency
  • Decrease stress and overwhelm
  • Increase empowerment
  • …and more!

Sometimes to achieve results you’ve never reached, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done. Use my ultra-affordable marketing plan to create the best year yet for your business.

Have a great week!

Robyn Bennett

 

PS: Imagine having the next 12 months mapped out >Click here to get the 12 month marketing calendar and optimize your business for $97!!

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How To Create An Effective Quarterly Action Plan On One Page

How To Create An Effective Quarterly Action Plan On One Page

Are you stepping back every quarter to examine your business from a bird’s eye view and creating a revised, intentional action plan?

If not, implementing this could be a MASSIVE game changer for your company!

If you are, good work! Let’s dive in and make sure your quarterly planning meetings are as effective as possible.

If you want to scale your company and become a long-term, profitable business, it is paramount to keep everyone focused, balanced and committed to the same big goals.

The quarter is an excellent spot to step back and re-evaluate everything you’ve done to gauge effectiveness and efficiency. If you fail to do so, you will easily lose money to projects or people who are simply not providing value to your company.

A quarter is a long enough to accomplish meaningful work and measure marketing strategy but short enough that you can course correct and make important adjustments as needed if things are headed in the wrong direction.

I’ve seen fellow entrepreneurs go a full year without really digging into the details of their long-term goals, marketing efforts, budget, employee tasks and projects, etc…only to realize they were making some major mistakes as a company and losing thousands of dollars because they never sat down to go over the numbers and properly or review/revise strategy.

Don’t let this be you!!

So what is the best way to go about making an effective quarterly action plan?

After running my own business for over 5 years and working with hundreds of clients, I’ve come to the conclusion that an action plan needs to be:

  • Short- I prefer having everything visible on ONE PAGE
  • Focused- Keep everything pointing towards you MAIN goals
  • Clear - What is success? What is failure?
  • Actionable- Action items should be listed

Here are some detailed steps to help you build your quarterly, one-page action plan:

#1 Top 3 Priorities For The Quarter

Pick 2-3 main focuses for the quarter. What do you most want to accomplish in the next three months? Some ideas may include:

  • Increasing daily number of new leads
  • Increasing sales by %
  • Selling/moving X number of products
  • Hiring someone for a specific roll
  • Acquiring X new paying clients
  • Building a new product/service
  • Writing a book or content piece
  • Launch new marketing project/campaign

Whatever you choose should bring you closer to your ANNUAL goals. Although you will likely be doing day-to-day tasks that don’t relate directly to these priorities, most of your energy, time and budget should be focused on these three top priorities.

#2 Set Clear Goals & Expectations/Criteria For Your Priorities

Now that you have your 2-3 priorities, create criteria for determining success/failure. What numbers/accomplishments will satisfy you on a weekly and monthly basis? Where do you want to sit at the next quarterly meeting/review? Be realistic but also optimistic. Set OBTAINABLE goals, but ones that also make you and your company stretch.

Choose criteria that is measurable and somewhat controllable. They should be objective. If you set vague, subjective goals, at the end of the quarter you will likely question whether or not you actually achieved them.

#3 Action Items

This should be the biggest section of your action plan. One your priorities and criteria are clear, start brainstorming action items. What needs to change in order to reach your goals? What marketing strategies will you need to implement? Do you need to hire someone? Let someone go? Shift the budget around? Start new projects? Create new content? Be specific and clear.

It is also important to put down WHO is responsible for which priorities and action items. If you are a one-man-show, it’s all you! But if you have employees and contractors, they should be crystal clear on the expectations you have for their work in the upcoming quarter.

Why only one page??

The biggest problem with creating a multi-page quarterly action plan is that you are less likely to look at on a regular basis. When I first got started, I would make detailed action plans that were several pages long…and then never look at them again. You want something you can see and check in with it every day. Keeping everything focused on one page make it easy for you to glance through it and stay on track.

Are you losing sleep because of the marketing aspects of your business? Are you someone who does NOT like to plan in advance? Have you run your business in a “by the seat of your pants” style? I have good news! I’ve created a 12 Month Marketing Plan to help you build a profitable business while not getting overwhelmed by the details!

This affordable course includes 4 straight-forward modules to help you:

  • Work smarter, not harder
  • Plan effective, profitable programs
  • Create successful promotions on social media and other platforms
  • Plan early in order to maximize earnings
  • Fix any leaks in your current marketing strategy
  • Free up your time by increasing efficiency
  • Decrease stress and overwhelm
  • Increase empowerment
  • …and more!

YES! I Want To Optimize My Business With A 12 Month Marketing Strategy!

Have a great week!

Robyn

PS: This course includes every step you need to take to make this year your best business year, click here to enroll now

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4 Ways To Encourage Cross Collaboration In Your Business

4 Ways To Encourage Cross Collaboration In Your Business

***Contributed Post

Every single department in your company has a very specific role to play. All of those roles build toward the common goal of the business and when one department isn’t working effectively, the whole company suffers. But a lot of business owners fail to see that and they think of all of the departments as separate entities, rather than parts of a larger whole. If you think of your business like that, you’ll end up with departments striving for different goals and working against one another rather than pulling together to push the business forward. The key is to encourage cross collaboration between all of the different departments in your company. If you’re worried that they’re not working well together, here are some simple ways you can change that.

Pxhere

An Open Plan Office

One of the reasons that departments don’t work well together is that they’re stuck on opposite sides of the building. They can still collaborate over email but it’s a lot easier if you bring everybody together. That’s why a lot of companies are moving toward an open plan office instead of separate ones. It’s a lot easier for people from different departments to work together if they’re all in one big office. You should also create some group working areas to encourage people to collaborate on projects.

Share Information

Knowing what other departments are working on and having access to information makes it a lot easier for employees to make suggestions about projects outside their department and suggest collaborations with other people. Implementing a knowledge transfer program is the best way to share information between departments. You can learn more information on how to put one in place. Click here for more information on how to put one in place. When your employees have more access to information about other departments, they’ll find it easier to identify coworkers that they can work with.

Cross-Department Projects

Finding ways to encourage your departments to collaborate is important, but sometimes, you might want to give them a bit of a push. That’s why you should launch projects that draw from the skillsets of multiple departments. Once you’ve overseen a few projects yourself, you’ll find that employees will start to suggest their own. When you’re launching these projects, it’s important that you give your employees some context. If they don’t have any idea why they’re working with another department, they won’t commit to the project. But if you give them an insight into your thinking, they’ll have a lot more direction.

Scrap Business Jargon

Business jargon is a big problem when you’re trying to cultivate a culture of cross collaboration. If each department has their own different terms for things, they’ll struggle to understand one another properly. Create a common language that all departments can use so when they’re trying to work together, there isn’t any confusion. There is going to be an adjustment period while everybody gets used to the new way of doing things but once everybody is familiar with the new language, things will run a lot smoother.

Cross collaboration between all of your departments is the only way to ensure that your business is a success.   

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4 Ways For Small Businesses To Protect Their Profit Margins

4 Ways For Small Businesses To Protect Their Profit Margins

***Contributed Post

It’s a truly wonderful thing to be able to go into business for yourself. To see an idea that began life as a sketch in your notebook slowly blossom into a living, breathing and fully functioning enterprise. To develop a product that could change the world or at least shake up your chosen industry. To give up the rat race and carve out a niche for yourself in your chosen market, making a living on your own terms and taking your career into your own hands. But while this can be extremely liberating, it’s not without its risks. Benefits and paid vacations become a thing of the past and your personal fortunes are tied inextricably to those of your business. In order to make your enterprise viable in the long term you need to be able to invest sufficiently for stability and growth while still ensuring that your profit margins are healthy enough to facilitate easy cash flow.

Image by Pixabay

And that’s much easier said than done. Here are some ways in which new startups can protect their profits and reduce the risk of cash flow problems that could see them sink in a quagmire of debt…

Outsource your IT support

IT provision is likely an essential facet of your business, no matter what industry or field you choose to apply your skills to. But investing heavily in IT infrastructure not only represents a significant overhead, it can become a black hole as you constantly upgrade and renovate your systems. Using Outsourced IT Support is often far more cost effective. You will be afforded proactive monitoring to stop any issues in their tracks, expert advice on how best to tailor your tech to your business’ needs and regular auditing to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth.

Encourage customer retention

While a business with growth on its mind will always be on the lookout for ways to attract new customers it’s worth remembering that it costs up to 6 or 7 times more to attract new customers than it does to retain those who’ve already used your business. While a potent marketing strategy is a no-brainer, this shouldn’t come at the expense of implementing customer retention strategies. Here are a few you may wish to consider;

  • Rewards schemes.
  • Introduction incentives (giving the customer a little something every time they introduce someone to your business).
  • Customer satisfaction surveys.
  • Follow up or ‘thank you’ messages.
  • Email shoots.

Use CRM to check your progress

Whatever the nature of your business, you need to ensure that your customer relationships are manages successfully. A Customer Relationship Management software solution like Salesforce is a great way to track which customers are engaging with you regularly and which are not. This will enable you to double down on retention techniques that encourage repeat custom while enabling you to come up with new strategies to bring lapsed customers back into the fold.

Always question your processes

Finally, it’s important for any small business finding its feet to keep an eye on its processes and ensure that they are as efficient and productive as possible. Keep in constant contact with your employees on the ground and encourage them to share their insights. If they can identify ways to make your processes more efficient they could help your profits to skyrocket.

It’s a truly wonderful thing to be able to go into business for yourself. To see an idea that began life as a sketch in your notebook slowly blossom into a living, breathing and fully functioning enterprise. To develop a product that could change the world or at least shake up your chosen industry. To give up the rat race and carve out a niche for yourself in your chosen market, making a living on your own terms and taking your career into your own hands. But while this can be extremely liberating, it’s not without its risks. Benefits and paid vacations become a thing of the past and your personal fortunes are tied inextricably to those of your business. In order to make your enterprise viable in the long term you need to be able to invest sufficiently for stability and growth while still ensuring that your profit margins are healthy enough to facilitate easy cash flow.

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Just What Does It Take To Grow A Company?

Just What Does It Take To Grow A Company?


Whether you are interested in growing your blog to start to make some money off it, or whether you already have a small business and want to try and increase its profits, it will take some similar steps to grow and develop. Of course, growing a blog will be a lot easier and quicker than developing an entire company, but both of these are great examples of growing businesses.

Do you already have a small business or organization that you are interested in developing and improving? You might be worried that it could entail a very complicated process, but that isn’t always the case. Here are a few things that can help you grow your company - you might be surprised at how simple some of them are!

Streamlined IT Services

First of all, you need to check on your tech and IT. No matter the type of company you run, I’m sure that you will be using a variety of tech devices and processes. In fact, you might even have a complete computer network. Before you start to grow your business, you need to make sure that you have all the latest tech and that all online and network processes are streamlined. If you aren’t sure how to do this, you can always discuss it with Refresh Technologies or a similar IT firm. If required, they’ll be able to help you update your whole network so that it’s ready for increased usage.

A Customer Loyalty Program

You might find that it is easy to attract customers to your company, but getting them to return can be quite challenging. One way around this is to offer a customer loyalty program, so that everyone is rewarded for their return visits to your business. For instance, many coffee shops will give their customers a card that gets stamped every time they buy a drink. Once they receive a certain number of stamps, they can usually trade in the card for a free drink. So, why not think of a similar scheme for your company?

Knowledgeable Employees

If you have any employees working for you, you will need to make sure that they are all prepared for the growth of the company. After all, they will probably get an increased workload or need to take on new roles and responsibilities. So, you might want to offer them some new training courses. This can ensure that their knowledge is all up to date and they are able to take on anything that is thrown at them once your company expands.

A Wide Range Of Products

Maybe it’s worth checking your range of products as well. Adding an extra product to the range could help you entice some new customers to your business or it might even help you persuade some old customers to return to you. It’s worth always mixing up your product range as this gives your customers more reason to be loyal to you.

I’m sure you will be able to expand your company once you start to use all of these tips!

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