December 31, 2017

Resolutions

Here we are again, at that point where many of us create a list of changes that we want to make in our lives this coming year. We have these great intentions of “cleaning up the mess” that we may have made during the past year. If we didn’t “make a mess”, we want to do better and correct some flaws in our lifestyles and improve what we do, say, or think. Do you really believe that it is this easy?

Then there are people who do not make any resolutions. Some do not believe that they need to change anything about themselves; some believe that they are incapable of making any changes, no matter how much those changes may be needed. Some people make resolutions, never believing that they will keep any of them; others make resolutions under the guise of humor, never planning to keep them or because their family members pressure them to at least try to make changes in their lives.

Of course, there are people who make the same resolutions every year, never accomplishing anything towards changing any part of their lives. They may be certain that they will fail to change their lives for the better when they make the resolutions, or they may have the best intentions, but they never take the steps necessary to fulfill these changes. Maybe they don’t have the support of their families, friends, or others in their lives, but the ultimate fault rests on their shoulders.

Where do you belong in this listing of people; who do you closely resemble? Maybe you agonize over this process each year, striving to improve your life, but knowing that you will default to your old ways of living, and finding the same results. The stress does no one any good, and the process is not worth that agony. Maybe you believe that you don’t need that anxiety and want to get on with things as normal. Whatever your belief or intention or actions of the past, this year why not try something new and different?

This year recognize your faults, including the non-ability to make and keep resolutions. However, this year try to make resolutions that resemble baby steps. The longest journey starts with a single step; make the resolution to take that single step. Then resolve to take another, and then another, until you have made the transition to where you want to be. Who says that resolutions have to be made at the first of the year? Make them anytime that you want. Then adjust them as you go along, making the next steps as new resolutions.

This sounds just like goal setting doesn’t it? It is goal setting under another name. When you make goals, whether in your personal or your business life, you need to adjust them as you accomplish stages, or small steps, always raising the bar so you have a new goal to which to strive. Resolutions are no different than goals. Make small resolutions, and then adjust them so that you are always growing. The stress is less than striving for some difficult or perhaps looming goal. The reward will be self fulfilling, and you will anticipate the next step.

Make your resolutions simple, attainable, and rewarding. Include Gratitude Marketing in your resolutions, making it your way of life, in both your business and personal lives, and you will benefit from all that great karma that you will be spreading to others. Please leave me your comments about your thoughts on this, or call me at 360-314-8691, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com. I challenge you to express your gratitude to others for everything that they do, for you or everyone else. It will make your new year that much better, and more profitable.

December 24, 2017

Holiday Season

Gratitude Marketing means many things. Sometimes it means that we need to pay attention to our friends and family and not chase our business opportunities. Remember the phrase, “Stop and smell the roses”? We need to follow that advice more and more to make us grateful for what we have, who we know, and what is possible.

During the holiday season we have opportunities to do different things. That may mean buying gifts for family, visiting with people that we don’t often see, going places which we don’t always visit, and attending holiday events which only occur during this portion of the year. We are reminded of friendship, the joys of sharing, and remembrances of past occasions and happy times, as well as some not so happy times.

This period can be a wonderful break from the hustle and bustle of the work week that we all normally experience. We spend every day running from meetings to other meetings, trying to sign customers to orders for our products or services, and looking for the next target to pursue.

Our current clients, who have been loyal and true to us, should be appreciated for their loyalty, and we should actually let them know that we appreciate them. We should show our friends and family our appreciation for their support, their advice, and even their business.

This is a marvelous time of the year. However, it is also the time when we strive to “make our numbers”, those targets that we need to achieve to be considered successful. We run from post to pillar trying to sign the next customer or make the next sale, which will put us over the top, whatever that level is.

Do we appreciate ourselves, rewarding ourselves with a moment of reflection on life and all that it means to us? Just calm down and stop for a moment and look around you. Take in the joy of this time of the year and let it engulf you, soothe you, and wash over you. Let the smells, the sounds, and the music play over you and then just smile.

This is a time of remembrance, sometimes remembering the good, sometimes the bad. Try to remember what was good, what was funny, and what made you happy. Don’t think of what should, or could have been, or what you may have lost; think of the good that you have, what you had, and the pleasant times that you have shared.

Remember those who made you happy, and let them know, if possible, that you are grateful for them. If they are not still present, honor them by letting someone else know their story and your caring thoughts.

Gratitude Marketing is a way of life, not just in business, but in your personal life also. Make it work for you both in your business life and in your personal life. Please leave me your comments, or call me at 360-314-8691, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, if you wish.

Remember that one of the greatest gifts that you can give someone can be re-gifted or even returned. That gift is the gratitude expressed in a “Thank You”, perhaps accompanied by a hug. Until we speak, have a happy holiday season and consider yourself hugged.

December 17, 2017

Holiday Greetings

This is the holiday season. I know that there are other holidays and special occasions that we all celebrate. Many of my readers know and understand my feelings towards the celebration of all holidays, not just at the end of a year. It is time again to address the holiday greetings that we all give to others at this time of the year, and also at other special times.

As business people we should send holiday greetings to our prospects, customers, clients, and networking partners. We also should include those who are former customers, unless we have agreed to never contact them for some reason.

Those holiday greetings should be ones offering our warm feelings towards the recipient, thanks for their friendship, appreciation for their business, gratitude for their referrals, and/or wishes for their health and success in the New Year. This is Gratitude Marketing at its finest.

Your greetings should not include an offer to buy something, or anything, at a discount. It should never state that for the holidays you will provide a reduced price for a gift. A required purchase is not a gift. A gift is something that is given to another person without any strings attached. It does not require anything from the recipient but for them to accept it.

If you want to offer a holiday discount, offer it. Offer it in a marketing piece that is a marketing piece of communication, not a holiday greeting. If you want to add a short holiday wish for the recipient’s good health, do so, but only as a closure. A marketing piece of communication should never be disguised as a holiday greeting, no matter what the occasion.

We should recognize the special occasions of our partners, no matter the level of partnership. They may be close relationships or not. They may be friends or not. We may have actually met face to face, or not. We must stay in communications with them; we must express our gratitude for their association with us. We do not have to constantly have to try to sell to them.

Gratitude Marketing means that we express our appreciation and gratitude for the people and what they mean to us. It does not mean that we have to try to sell whatever we have to them at every occasion. The holidays are not the occasion to greet others with one hand and try to gain their money with the other.

Let me know what you believe and if you agree or disagree. Please email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691. Have a great holiday season and be safe and well. We can always chat about whatever you want or need at our mutual convenience.

December 10, 2017

Are You Too Small to Market?

Often I hear at least one person who believes that their company is too small to market who they are and what they do. They say: “I don’t have enough customers.” “We aren’t big enough.” “Marketing is for big companies.” Marketing is for companies with more money.”

Have you used these excuses? Perhaps your best friend is hiding behind these excuses. If you do not have a marketing plan, you are committing business suicide. Practicing some Gratitude Marketing should fit into your business plan and budget.

If you do not let people know who you are, what your product or service is, how to get in touch with you, or how to order from you, you will never get the business that you should. I do not care what your website looks like, how your telephone number spells out your name, or what color your business card is. If people do not know that your business exists, they will not be your customers. We all must market our businesses and keep marketing every day.

Assuming that you were intelligent in the forming of your business, with a business plan, picking a name, having a logo designed, and even having a website designed, next comes your marketing. Otherwise you will sit in your chair and wait for customers to magically find you and for business to fall out the sky. That does not work.

You must get out into the world and market your business. It may begin with telling your neighbors and family that you have started a business and what it is. (If you don’t want those two groups to know what you do, why are you ashamed of your business?)

The next step is to tell more people and expand the ring of persons who know about you. The more people who know you, the more people exist who will tell others about you. Maybe you don’t have any customers yet, but you do have prospects, some that you have not even met.

The cheapest, or most frugal, form of marketing is networking. Get out of your initial sphere and tell others who you are and what you do. People do business with people that they know, like, and trust. More important, they will refer customers to those same people. Therefore, go to networking groups and let others get to know you.

Meet them afterwards one-on-one and get to know each other better. Get comfortable and establish a networking relationship and try to mutually help each other grow your businesses. Just be yourself and treat each other as human beings, not prospects or potential sources of business. Practice Gratitude Marketing.

As you build your network of relationships, you will gain customers and referrals as people get to know you, what you offer, and how you do business. Remember the principles of karma. You will receive back whatever karma you put forth, not directly but you will receive it back. Let your karma be positive and supportive of others, and what you receive back will be the same. As a result, your business will grow and prosper.

Do you still believe that you are too small to market your business? Still believe that you cannot afford or should not try to market your business? Let me know what you believe and if you agree or disagree. Email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

We can always discuss means of marketing that will help grow your business. We can also discuss how to work smarter, not harder, to keep your customers as you gain them.

December 3, 2017

Employees

When you think of the most valuable assets of your business, do you think of your employees? If you do, great; if you don’t, shame on you. Your employees are vital to the success of your business. Doesn’t it make sense to make them feel as appreciated as much as all your customers do? Gratitude Marketing principles should be applied to them as well as to customers.

Employees may be the first contact that a prospect has with your business and can either make or break a successful transition from prospect to customer. Your employees must “buy into” the vision that you have for your business, and they must believe that their part in the operation of your business is important to its continued success. They must know that they are appreciated for their efforts.

Employees should believe that their contributions are welcome, valued, and respected by their superiors. If you are the direct manager of your staff, you must show your appreciation directly to your employees for their work. If there are levels of management between you and your staff, you must still show your appreciation, but you must be sure that your subordinate managers do the same.

Words are very important in this appreciation effort, but they must be matched by actions. You should look for occasions to show appreciation and respect, immediately taking advantage of each occasion. Your subordinate managers should also be rewarded for their efforts in addition to showing that they appreciate their staff also.

The fact that everyone likes to be noticed and thanked for what they do provides opportunity to promote better employee-employer morale and a happier environment for all involved. Environments where everyone is happier and feeling appreciated are where new ideas are born and businesses thrive. Appreciate your employees, and they will go the extra step in being worthwhile assets in your business.

Of course, appreciation for your employees must include the business owner. You must appreciate yourself for what you do and accomplish. Rewarding yourself for your efforts should not take a backseat to the daily workings of your business. You must take a moment and “smell the roses” once in a while, celebrating what you have accomplished.

A business includes a team of personnel, either employees or contractors or associates. No matter what the titles, we do not operate alone. That knowledge allows all of us to continue in the face of adversity and enjoy the benefits of success. Remember that no one operates alone, even the sole proprietor. We all have help from somewhere; sometimes it comes from our customers, but often it is from our networking partners.

Gratitude Marketing applies equally to customers and employees. It is a corporate culture that brings success if practiced throughout the structure of any business. It must be practiced by all levels of management and staff, and rewards all levels with continued success. Remember all your employees as well as your clients. Then, do not forget to appreciate the efforts of yourself and enjoy that appreciation.

Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691. Gratitude Marketing is a culture that impacts businesses of all sizes and levels of management to achieve success. Employee appreciation, like customer appreciation, can make your business operate like you wanted it to do so. Make it your mantra and your culture. It will pay off for everyone with continued success.