Your Business Foundation – Where the Right Results Start

As a solo business owner, you are like one of those specialty performers: A plate spinner keeping a whole row of dishes on sticks whirling like tops. You get lots of things in motion at the same time, and then spend a lot of time and energy making sure everything keeps spinning.

If you are like most solopreneurs, your plates started spinning on Day 1 and you’ve been keeping them going ever since. You have had very little opportunity to step back and consider the strategic foundation upon which your business needs to stand. Unfortunately, this means that you are probably wasting a lot of your resources spinning the wrong plates; in other words, you are not making the progress that you should.

“What do you do?” So many of the solopreneurs I work with have a problem answering this question with elegance. They stutter and stammer, talk on and on, leave the listener confused and nodding politely. They find it hard to answer this question because they haven’t spent the time needed to lay the foundation for their businesses. Without this foundation business growth can’t reach the levels they seek.

Your business foundation also supports marketing and sales activities. A clear understanding of your target market and what you do to serve its members allows you to create on-target marketing messages and to sell offerings that fit their needs and objectives. If you aren’t clear on the foundational elements of your business, you risk overspending, putting energy in the wrong places, and having the sensation of wheel spinning.

As soon as possible, sit down at your computer or with a pen and paper and go through these three exercises:

  • Fine tune your target market. This may be counterintuitive – as solo business owners, we should spread our nets wide, right? Wrong. The more specific you are in defining your target market, the more focused and effective your sales sphere and marketing will be.
  • Walk in your customers’ shoes. What keeps them up at night? What challenges or obstacles do they face that you can help them with? What are their goals and objectives? What are the right results that they need to produce?
  • List the benefits customers get from working with you. What issues, challenges, or problems do you help them solve? What goals or objectives do you help them achieve? Be specific; the more specific you can be with this list, the better focused your marketing message will be.

The results of these exercises will give you the “raw material” you need to create the right offerings and build the right marketing program for your market. The sooner you stand back from those spinning plates, the sooner you can get rid of the ones that you don’t need.

Business Foundations – Setting Strong Foundations for More Business

Before you start making those calls and seeing more clients, you must be fully prepared to get the business. Although you may be eager to close more sales, there are several things to take care of before you’re on your way to achieving your sales goals.

Imagine building your dream house. The first thing you would do is pour cement into the ground to create a solid foundation on which to rest the house. Once the foundation is in place, you’ll be ready to build a dream house that will last forever. It’s the same with growing your sales and building your client list. When you have a strong foundation in place, you’re powerfully prepared and confident to call on prospects, and go after new business.

The foundation to bringing in more sales is made up of the following 4 key qualities:

  1. Acting from Integrity
  2. Taking Responsibility
  3. Keeping Promises
  4. Creating a Plan

Successful people embody these 4 qualities consistently in their lives. Let’s take a look at each of these qualities and how it works.

  1. Acting from Integrity. When you’re a person of integrity, you value and honor the word you give to do something. You are someone who is being accountable, trustworthy and honest. If you say you’re going to deliver your product by a certain date, you deliver it by that date. If you say you’re going to make 30 calls a day, you make those calls each day. You never step over anything with anyone including yourself. When you live your life from integrity, you experience freedom and power that impacts all areas of your life. Success begins with integrity.
  2. Taking Responsibility. When you take responsibility for your actions, you give up any reasons or justifications not to do something. As Brian Tracey, well-known author and speaker says, “The mark of excellent people is that they refuse to make excuses, blame others, or complain about their situations. Instead, they say, over and over, I am responsible!” When you’re being responsible, you know you’re the one to get the job done and expect no one to do it but yourself.
  3. Keeping Promises. When you make a promise, you are stating your commitment to the result. Your word becomes action. Your promise supports your commitment rather than your mood. It engages you as a player in life, and you cease to be a spectator watching from the stands. When you give your promise to another person, you are holding yourself accountable to that person. It’s now out in the world and becomes more real for you. This is true for all aspects of your life. You will see your sales increase when you keep your promises.
  4. Creating a Plan. When you create a sales plan, you are designing the steps that will lead to achieving your goals and keeping your promises. With a clear and specific plan in place, you have a road map to follow that will get you where you want to go with an end in sight. A well thought-out plan helps you to be organized, focused, and on track to reach your sales goals.

I invite you to start putting these qualities into your day-to-day business and see the results that will follow. You will be surprised at how much success you will achieve.

ASSIGNMENT

Your assignment this week is to answer the following questions and fill in the blanks:

  • Acting from Integrity. What did you say you would do this week to grow your business? Was it making sales calls? Was it getting out there and networking? Are you doing what you said you would do?
  • Taking Responsibility. Are you taking responsibility for doing what it takes to increase your sales and close more business, or do you make excuses or blame others?
  • Keeping Promises. What promises are you going to make today to call more prospects, meet with more clients, and close more sales? Think of 3 promises you are willing to make this week to sell your services, and write them down.
  • Creating a Plan. What 3 steps can you outline that will help you achieve your sales goals? Write down: “I will do the following action steps that will help me grow my business. They are (you fill in the blank).”

By implementing these 4 key qualities in your life and your work, your foundation is firmly in place and you’re clearly on track for producing breakthrough sales results!

Have a great Sales Breakthrough week!

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Building a Bullet Proof Business Foundation Online

Developing a strong online business foundation is the difference between long term marketing success or constantly ‘hustling’ to simply make a few sales! The core of any successful business starts with your online reputation and if it is not favorable it will make all your efforts much more difficult! So how do you develop and maintain the online reputation you need to enjoy the marketing success you seek on the internet? Here are 3 quick suggestions!

Be a Resource

Circulating content along with blogging is a great way to serve up plenty of useful and free information to readers! By making this an ongoing part of your normal business activities you will be able to increase both your exposure and credibility! The more credible you are the more your online reputation will grow as an asset that serves to increase your marketing success! Always keep in mind in order to ‘receive’ you must first demonstrate the willingness to ‘give’ in a way that benefits others!

Do Not Be an Annoyance

The use of pop ups, opt ins or continually promoting will only serve to diminish your ‘value’ in the eyes of others! Always ‘asking’ and never ‘giving’ is one sure way to get yourself ignored! In order to have a successful business you must develop a relationship with your target audience in which they will be more receptive to any messages you send out! If people feel they are being continually ‘hammered’ with promotional offerings and little else, they will eventually just tune you out completely!

Brag Less Produce More

Shameless self-promoting will get you labeled as a braggart. Try instead to ‘fly under the radar’ by consistently creating and/or representing quality and without the hype! Exercising a little humility as a general rule never hurts in terms of the way people may perceive you! Developing an online reputation like this makes others more inclined to listen to what you have to say helping you build a large following! When you do decide to make product offers others will tend to be more receptive which is what you want and need to have a successful business online!

Building a strong business foundation takes time since it involves establishing a credible online reputation! People must be made to feel comfortable with you if you have any hopes of building a successful business on the internet. The 3 suggestions discussed above aim to project a generous, humble and helpful image people are more incline to trust! As this reputation grows and expands online it will only serve to position you for long term marketing success! The customer loyalty you are able to establish will lead to an ever increasing rate of repeat sales and a flood of referrals as well!