December 31, 2016

New Year, New Ideas

Here we are again; the New Year is here and millions will be making resolutions to change the ways that their businesses operate. On the surface, this appears to be a good thing. However, are we making changes just for the sake of change or based on ideas that actually will improve our operations?

First, there are many business owners that will never change anything about their operations because they see themselves as perfect no matter the results of their business performance. They just keep working as they always have and accepting the same results that they always have received. This might be the definition of insanity.

Second, there are business people who will never embrace a different or new idea because they are afraid of change. Are they dumb or afraid, or a combination of the two? With a new idea we must research it and see how it should help us. We cannot allow our fear or ignorance to stop us from trying something new. If the new idea does not work, we must stop doing it and try something else.

Third, if we determine that we should be obtaining better results from our businesses, and we see new ideas that should help us improve those results, we must never allow our doubt, or that of naysayers that fall into the first two areas above, to impede the implementation of those ideas. We must devote our full support to the implementation of changes and allow them to build the results expected. If they don’t, we should perform more study to provide us the reasons.

New ideas can enable our businesses to grow and prosper. They can be very meaningful to the continued success that we may already enjoy, but on an expanded level. They also could have a negative impact on our business and impede the success that we already had. We must thoroughly implement the new ideas that we have researched and monitor closely the results that we obtain after implementation so that we can take immediate action if necessary.

Maybe we should try ideas such as appeared in The Costco Connection magazine this month. Michael Parrish Dudell, in his article “Stand Out in 2017”, suggests that businesses attempt to sell more to less people by concentrating on more specific niches. He also offers that businesses should improve their customer service by personalizing their operation at every point of service. Finally, he states that businesses need to refresh their digital marketing, making it more up-to-date and easier to use. See his article for more details.

A new year brings to us the belief that we must implement new ideas that should change our business results for the better. There are all types of pitfalls involved in this philosophy, and we must perform the correct research, both inside our operations and outside, to determine what we need and how it should provide results. Then we must control and monitor the implementation of these new ideas, keeping a close watch on the situation and any need for more change.

If we do not do anything new in our businesses for the new year, we must recommit to Gratitude Marketing, making our prospects, customers, clients, employees, former customers, and anyone else know in their hearts that we appreciate those with whom we have any relationship, or not, and will continue to do so. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

December 24, 2016

The Entrepreneur Mindset, Part 3

The entrepreneur must have a different mindset from that of a normal employee. An employee of a business usually does not have to think of the operation of the business, the marketing of services or products offered, and other agenda items. Granted, employees may have a direct impact on the success or lack of success of a business, but the entrepreneur has a more influential effect in what they do or think.

Entrepreneurs must consider various traits of business operation and keep on track in order to maintain the success of their business. They must think of the P’s of Business. The P’s of Business offers guidance to anyone who is getting their business off the ground or to someone else whose business may need a boost. For others, they might get the mind of an entrepreneur thinking which is always a good thing.

Operate your business as a professional. A business must be run as a business, and in a professional manner. The entrepreneur is a business person, not someone with a hobby. While the business may be one of love, perhaps even an offshoot of a fad, it is a business. Therefore, it deserves an attention to detail, a devotion to its operation, and a dedication to everyday needs. To be considered as a professional, act like a professional.

The second P is to operate a business with passion for it, and its services and/or products. Be a product of the business products or services. If the entrepreneur does not utilize the business offerings to market its services, why not? What type of example is set for customers or clients? If what is offered is good enough for prospects, it should be great for the entrepreneur. Credibility is a foundation of prosperity.

The third P means that the entrepreneur treats everyone as a person, not as a prospect or customer number. Everyone is a human being, with feelings, thoughts, and needs. If the entrepreneur cannot solve someone’s needs or wants, help them find someone who can. Help others get the assistance that they need to prosper and succeed. Karma will reward the entrepreneur in the long run. Personal contact and assistance is a lost art, and the entrepreneur will gain a great reputation, and new business, through practicing it.

A fourth P of business is persistence. This does not mean to keep hammering away at prospects until they buy just to shut the entrepreneur up. It means to keep working the business through thick and thin, on good days and bad ones, never quitting on a bad day. Maintain an adherence to the P’s of Business and other great customer service traits no matter the naysayers who proclaim negative thoughts.

Gratitude Marketing reflects these P’s of Business at their best, and they dovetail with every point that can be made about Gratitude Marketing. They are the basis for a successful business. Does a business need a pick-me-up? Does it seem to have gotten dull and boring? Do sales seem to be lagging?

Why not try to emphasize the P’s of Business and see if they make a business operation better. Happy clients make a business better; happy business owners make it even better. The P’s of Business will make us all proud of what we do and even more proud of our business accomplishments. That will make everyone happier. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

December 18, 2016

The Entrepreneur Mindset, Part 2

Everyone in business has relationships with others who are not our customers. These people may not have ever been our customers, or they may have been customers but for some reason, severed that customer association. It is imperative that entrepreneurs do not ignore either of these two types of people. Information is power for an entrepreneur, and these people have information that can greatly benefit a business.

First, let us examine the person who has not ever been our customer. Do we know why; have we ever asked the other person why they do not see themselves ever buying our product or service? What do they need to further their business, or what may they need that can make them more successful? Is it a matter of misunderstanding, financial means, the wrong time, or is there not ever a possibility of a customer relationship?

We must never put the prospect on the defensive when attempting to discover why they are not our customer. We must make them understand that we are not trying to make them justify their position. We must reassure them that we are just curious and need the information to refine our marketing and our offering to others. They can be an immense help to us, as we should be for them.

Second, there is someone who was a customer at one time, but they ceased doing business with us for some reason. We all lose customers; everyone may eventually stop doing business with us. They may die, go out of business, retire, change their business, or sell their business. There may even be financial reasons that others stop ordering from us. It will happen and does so every day to the best of operations.

Again, we must discover what information we can from this former customer. As always, we must do so without the other business person believing that we have put them on the defensive. We must make them understand that their information is valuable to us in becoming better partners in business for the future and that we support their decision making. Our networking relationship and partnership must continue to flourish so that we may both succeed.

We must contact the lost customer to discover why they stopped being our customer, asking them what changed. Did we do something wrong, did we not do something that we should have done, what could we have done differently, or did their situation just change? Sometimes someone ceases doing business with us for no reason that we can rectify. No matter what happened, we still need to know. Our future depends on our marketing and our performance, and all information is valuable for our future.

If we did something wrong, we must fix it, assure them that the problem is fixed, and apologize. Then, thank them for their business and guarantee that the partnership in networking should continue. Then make sure it does.

In either situation, Gratitude Marketing efforts can make the relationships flourish and all partners thrive. Just because someone doesn’t become or stay our customer, we still can have a great relationship and partnership with them. The karma from Gratitude Marketing will bring success to everyone. Again, if you have questions or comments, please email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691, so we can discuss them.

December 11, 2016

“Everybody’s In, Nobody’s Out” – Sam Brooks

Located in Portland, Oregon, the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs (OAME) provides a structure for all types of entrepreneurs to network with, learn from, and counsel each other. While the name of the organization includes the word “minority”, everyone in business is welcome to learn and contribute. One of the organization’s descriptive phrases is “Everybody’s In, Nobody’s Out”, repeated often by Sam Brooks.

OAME considers everyone worthy with whom to build relationships and partnerships. The organization knows that each person has value that should benefit someone else. Through building networking relationships and partnerships all parties can enhance their status and find success in their businesses.

Whenever we attend networking meetings we must never, ever disregard anyone whom we meet. We must never prejudge anyone as not “good enough” with whom to meet and attempt to build a networking relationship. We all are looking for that next prospect who we want to turn into a customer. However, not everyone will be a prospect who will become our customer, but we should not ignore the opportunity to network with them.

When we meet someone new in a networking meeting, we should consider that they will become one of four types of contacts. They will become either a prospect to be a customer, or a possible networking partner, or both. The fourth type of contact is one who cannot fit into any of the former three. They may be someone whom we cannot trust, who has business habits that we cannot support, or is just not ready to become one of the former three contacts with us. If they are not ready now, perhaps they will be soon

We cannot anticipate in which of these categories the people we meet will be a member. We must take the time to meet one-on-one with them and determine which type of contact they will be. Obviously someone might start out as one category but may move to be one of the other ones as time passes. As our relationship matures, the networking partner may become a customer as well. In addition, a customer may become a client.

Clients are customers who have escalated their relationship with us. They may have a recurring order with us, or they may initiate orders themselves. They may be ready to try additional products or services before we even market them, reacting to the news of some new offering from us. They trust us, refer others to us, and always have our mutual interests at heart. They are our partners in more ways than one.

When we practice Gratitude Marketing we show everyone how much we appreciate others and have gratitude for whatever these others do, whether those actions are directed towards us or other persons. Our Gratitude Marketing must apply to everyone, without any exceptions. In other words, “Everybody’d In, Nobody’s Out”.

Gratitude Marketing is the one trait that all business people can utilize and that will enhance their business success. Business people must reach out to everyone and join a revolution of kindness. The resulting karma will overwhelm them with prosperity and make them the type of people with whom others want to associate and build partnerships. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

December 4, 2016

The Entrepreneur Mindset

When we decide to start our own business, we must understand that the mindset of an entrepreneur must be very different from that of an employee. It does not matter if we are starting a business from scratch, opening a franchise of an established business operation, or assuming the ownership of a functioning business. We must think like a business owner, not an employee.

An entrepreneur must realize that if the business is to be successful, his decisions and actions will be the basis for that success. If it fails to be successful, he will be the reason that that failure. He might not be the person who is directly responsible, but his actions will lead to either success or failure. There is no one else. If he hires the wrong employee, he is at fault; if he buys the raw materials that make a product successful, he is the reason for that decision. That is the way of the entrepreneur.

Will the entrepreneur be right every time a decision is made? Will every choice be correct? Of course not, but the mindset of the entrepreneur must be that there will be success and there will be failures. Not every prospect will become a customer; and not every customer will stay a customer forever. Not every employee will be a great one, and not every product or service will be a winner in the market.

A major league baseball player is considered a great batter if they get a hit 3 out of every 10 at bats. NFL quarterbacks will not complete every pass they throw. The entrepreneur must understand that they will not be successful in everything they try to do, whether it be hiring employee, marketing to prospects, developing new products, expanding their business locations, or anything else.

The entrepreneur must understand that even though they research a problem before they take action, that they study how to market their services or products, or that they look for the advice of others, they will make mistakes. Show me a business which does not make mistakes, and I will show you a dull, boring business, which takes no chances, tries nothing new and different, and may not be a very rewarding place to work. A business must learn from its mistakes, and how they recover from mistakes may be their greatest form of marketing.

The entrepreneur must be able to believe in their own judgement, and their ability to base their judgement on research and study. Sooner or later they must be able to make decisions and take action, for inaction will usually lead to failure. Entrepreneurs must be leaders and examples for their employees. They must be people who do not let doubt rule their judgement and management. They must be able to manage their business, employees, prospects, customers, clients, and themselves.

Entrepreneurs must understand their relationships with everyone with whom they interface. This includes prospects, customers, clients, networking partners, employees, former customers, and total strangers. Practicing Gratitude Marketing means touching everyone in a positive manner, which will result in business success.

Gratitude Marketing is the habit that entrepreneurs must add to their mindset. It makes entrepreneurs better business owners, and the resulting great karma doesn’t hurt the bottom line either. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.