Who do I collaborate with?

Collaborations are all the rave now. Why? Because we are realizing more and more that you do not have to grow your business alone. According to the Business Dictionary, a collaboration is ‘Cooperative arrangement in which two or more parties (which may or may not have any previous relationship) work jointly towards a common goal.’

There are millions of people who want to buy from you  and a great way to get in front of them is to collaborate with somebody who has the same ideal client but is offering a complimentary service. Examples include hairdressers and nail techs, bakers and event planners to name just a few, but many times it does not work out as we expected. There is a reason we are getting collaborations wrong and I want to walk you through how to make it work

1. When you are not clear about what the collaborations looks like

This is the most common mistake. Time and time again I see entrepreneurs announce that they want to collaborate with other business owners but they are not clear about how the collaboration will look or feel. They do not have a clear understanding of who will be doing the work and the expected outcome.

There is the belief that once the next entrepreneur has clients and is offering a complimentary service then they are the best persons to collaborate with. The truth is, if you are looking for someone to collaborate with, you need to do your homework. Some questions to consider are

  • who are their ideal clients
  • how successful and busy are their own businesses
  • have they collaborated with anybody before
  • how visible are they
  • do their vision, mission and ethics in alignment with your business

Because so many entrepreneurs do not think about these questions they end up in disastrous collaborations and loose a ton of money, time and resources in the process.

contracts- olu-eletu-15018

2. You have no contract

One of the biggest mis-steps entrepreneurs make when going into any collaborative agreement. Even if it is a one page contract which identifies

  • what is the overall goal of the collaboration
  • each persons role in the collaboration,
  • how money will be spent and distributed,
  • how long the collaboration will be engaged,
  • how the success of the collaboration will be measured and
  • how will the collaboration be promoted!

Having no contract leaves your collaboration open to failure because expectations are not clearly defined.

3. Lack of communication

This is when the collaboration is finalised. Entrepreneurs tend to just walk away and expect things to fall into place. But actually this is when you have to keep in contact with your collaborator because as you start to promote the collaboration, things may have to be tweaked, twisted and turned to make sure you are really hitting your targets. It is not a drop it and they will come scenario. Keep lines of communication open throughout the life of the collaboration and decide what day and time of the week you will be checking in to give updates etc.

Collaborations are a great way to grow your business fast but like with anything else in business, it must be done with a strategic plan in mind and not willy nilly.

Do you have any successful collaboration stories? Or do you want help in deciding how to find someone to collaborate with? Post your comments below and let’s keep this conversation going!

Ready to quit your job? Do these 10 things

I have written about this before (5 things you need to do before you start a business), but it is always nice to remind you about some of the things to consider when you are ready to quit your job. Many of my clients are still working full time while building their business and they are overwhelmed and anxious about making the leap. Issues of time management and fear abound and so many seem to be drowning while trying to decide what is the next step.

I also made this huge leap just over 1 year ago, so I wanted to share some things to consider before you did the same.

Choose a date/Set a goal

This is the thing most people skip over and then 5 years later are still planning to leave their job. Setting a date or a deadline for when you want to make the leap not only keeps you accountable but will help you develop strategies specifically to making this dream a reality. A deadline gives you something to work towards. So instead of I want to leave my job soon, get specific about the date. I want to leave my job and be running my own business successfully by January 5th, 2018! Get that specific so you can visualize it and then get into action to make it happen

Do your research

Research, research and research some more. Not because it sounds like a nice idea to you means it will work. Ask questions; read up about your industry; reach out to experts in your industry; conduct surveys and polls; sample your products and services. Research is key to the launch and development of your business because you do not want to waste time when yo finally go public. You want to get most of it right (not saying to be perfect!), but you want to be clear of who you are selling to, how  much they are willing to pay, where they can be found and exactly what they want. That happens with research! Research is a continuous process in your business even after you have launched. Listen to ‘Why Market Research is so important’ in one of my videos.

Test the market

jessica-guzik-125883- food samplesThis ties into your research. After you have done the research, test out what you have learnt to see if it meets your clients expectations. Sample your products; do beta testing of your courses and as you test, keep asking for feedback so that you can fine tune your offering.

 Invest in yourself and your business

You HAVE to invest in your business. This looks different for different people. It may mean taking an online course or buying books to read, or attending workshops. Whatever method works for you is fine. The most important thing to note is that you should be investing in your education if you truly want to excel in business. Because technology is making everything so accessible and the buying habits are always evolving you need to be on top of what is going on. Invest in your education. Invest in your business by hiring people to do what you cannot do like graphic work, website development and accounting. As you are still in a full time job, use part of your salary to invest in your business to help it grow quicker. Take baby steps but please take some steps to get it done.

Build your audience

Who said you had to wait to ‘launch’ before you build your audience? You can start building your audience from day one just by talking about your business and doing sampling for example. In fact it is from this audience that you will get information about if your product or service is really needed. Start with people in your circle who you know need your services and ask for referrals after every ‘job’ that you do. Keep building your audience as you do research and test your products so when you are ready to make your big launch you already have income coming in and a steady flow of customers who know about you and can recommend you to others

Understand your money

You and your money should be best friends. Too many entrepreneurs start off by just wanting to make some money. Even if you are simply trying to earn $2000 extra a month, you need to know the exact figure you want to make. Create a budget of all your expenses presently to determine how much you need to make in your own business so that you can continue or improve the life you are currently living. Know your figures, understand how a budget works and track how you are spending money on a daily/weekly basis so that you can take charge of your finances. Money Management is essential for the success of your business. Knowing how much you need to set aside as a cushion to keep you steady until you business takes off is so very important.

Know your legal requirements

This is something that many overlook especially when now starting out. There are stark differences if you are registering as a sole trader or an llc; whether you are VAT registered or not. There are many legal requirements you should know about as you start and grow your business. Reach out to the relevant authorities and get educated on this. Even simple things like the images you use on your posts or blogs come with legal requirements. In order to protect your business, you need to understand how these things affect your own business.

Surround yourself with like minded people

group photoNot everyone will understand your dream. They do not have to…it is your dream not theirs. But it always helps when you are surrounded by like minded people right? Spend more time or find more people who are in business or are starting their own business to hang around. This way you can feed off each others energy, lean on each other and hold each other accountable. Most times people do not understand the late nights, your refusal to go out for drinks or your obsession with your business because they themselves are not in business.

Create a schedule

I hate to say time management but I know that is what most entrepreneurs understand. It is about managing yourself! You have 24 hours in the day, so use it wisely by creating a schedule that allows you to still build your business. Especially if you are still working a full time job, then give your boss your full attention during work hours (wouldn’t you want your staff to do the same?) and then decide what you are going to do with the next 18 hours. How many hours to sleep, spend time with family and friends, relax, study, do research etc. You are in control so you create a written schedule that makes sense to your lifestyle. No 2 schedules will ever look alike. Your schedule should be flexible to allow ‘life’ to happen but you should have an idea of what each day would look like for you and what you would be actively working on each day in your business.

If you have not found that space as yet, then come on over to Dynamic Business Strategist where we have over 2000 entrepreneurs from around the world growing their business.

Stay focused/consistent

Finally, stay focused and consistent. There will be days you feel frustrated and overwhelmed. That is part of the journey. But after you have picked yourself up, get back on the saddle and keep going. You need to understand WHY you started this journey and be very clear of where you want to be. Keep your eye on the prize and keep at it until you get your prize!

 

It is not about being perfect but about being prepared. I know this can seem daunting and scary but that is why you have me, your business coach. If you are ready to put these things in place, then let’s work together to make sure you are doing it right, then contact me and let’s get started. 

Stay connected to get more sales

I know the one thing most entrepreneurs have in common is the need to increase sales. That is the number 1 request I get when I start to work with a new client. And many of them expect me to advise them to do a big sale, create a flier and post it all over the place and then they are very disappointed when I give them my simple answer. To get more sales you need to stay connected. Simply put, it means that you have to be at the heart beat of the action and become part of the conversation. Here are some simple ways to stay connected to get more sales:

1. Respond to others.

Spend at least 45 minutes every morning and evening responding to other people’s questions. I know this may be challenging so some but it is very effective to get eyes on your profile. You see every time, you comment or add your opinion to some one else’s post, if they don’t know you they will check your profile. Others will start to respond under your respond and more than likely also check your profile.

 

2. Ask relevant questions.

This forms part of your market research (something we spoke about in an earlier post- Are you doing your research). Asking questions will help you get a better understanding of your audience and allow you to interact with them even more. Make sure that you also respond to their responses so the conversation continues to flow and you build rapport. Research is a key component of building your business as I discussed here in my video- Why market research is so important  

 

3. Share valuable information on your social media platforms

that you know your ideal clients want. It may be an article, a video or some training. But you are not just dropping a link and running…oh no…you are sharing and telling them why you are sharing it and asking for their opinion about what you are sharing.

 

4. Give them a reason to connect.

This is where a great opt-in comes into play. An ebook, training programme, swipe file or cheat sheet etc are some great ways to connect and get more sales. By giving them what they want through an opt-in you add them to your email list and then you can continue the conversation after they have received it. Just make sure what you are sharing is what they really want and continue sharing more after they have opt-in. I am ready to Crush my Email

 

5. Speak at events or host an event.

This is the tried and true way to stay connected. Speaking to an audience is going back to basics before we had the internet and it is still one of the best ways to stay connected. People remember what you say and the feeling they had when they hear you share your story. Connecting with clients on this level is a great way to get more sales because it increases your level of authenticity. group photo

 

6. Reach out to clients

New and old. Make it a habit to stay connected to clients even after they have bought from you because there is a higher chance that once they were satisfied they would buy from you again. Whether by phone, email, text etc, staying connected with people who have already done business with you always leads to sales, referrals and more

 

Connecting should be a way of life for any entrepreneur because it is part of the life blood of your business. It is tied to your visibility and your sales. It is tied to your marketing and promotions. As an entrepreneur you have to stay connected, continue to build more connections and stay relevant to your audience as you continue to grow your business. Connecting is the long game to your own success.

 

Still looking for a great way to connect? We are waiting for you in here.

private fb group- DBS

 

Carlos Muza

4 ways to increase your revenue

Everybody wants to make money in their business right? Either that or they are running a charity. But making the money always seems to be the hard part for many entrepreneurs because we do not talk about money or understand how money works (but that is for another blog post!). There are some tried and tested ways to make more money in your business. I want to share with you just 4 ways:

1. Look at what you are offering and determine if the prices need to be raised. (Yes you will lose a few clients but you will gain better clients in the long run!) Do that immediately. Raising your prices means that you will attract higher paying clients who value what you are selling them. Do not get caught into the thinking that charging less will give you more clients. In fact the opposite is true. Raising your prices also means you may be able to work with less people and still earn the money you want.

2. What product or service are you presently offering that sells the most? Sell more of it by talking about it more, give your clients more info about it and get more people to buy it. It is your number 1 seller for a reason. This means you have to be very intune with your clientele and your inventory. The product that sells the most and flies off the shelf fastest is the one you should be producing the most of. If you make 100 soaps and they all sell out in 1 week and you have a line of people trying to buy more, then you need to make more soaps and sell more of it every week (raise your prices!)

3. Are you offering enough things? Meaning, are you selling more than 1 thing at a time? It is a myth that you should be selling 1 thing at a time. Sell as much as 2 or 3 things at a time so you have multiple streams coming in and you are not depending on just 1 sales. When you are running ads, sending out emails or doing videos, it is okay to sell more than 1 thing because your clients are at different stages of the buying process with you. Some need a low end product, some a mid range and some a high end. You should be selling all of them. They key is to know where to sell each one of these things. Once can be sold in your fb group, another via your email list and still another in collaboration with another entrepreneur. Do not depend on the sale of 1 thing to give you the revenue you desire.

4. Offer weekly or monthly package deals. So instead of a month by month sale, offer a 3 month package which they can pay over a period of time. That way you can guarantee money is coming in even 90 days from now. This works well especially for service providers like consultants. For hair dressers and nail techs for example ensure that your clients book their next appointments in advance so you are guaranteeing that you are always booked. If you sell a product, you know how long it lasts on average, so ensure that your strategy includes a follow up system so they buy another item from you before their last bottle is completed. And combine services or products. This way you get a larger revenue jump than if you were trying to sell each item individually.

Now that you have these 4 steps to take, let’s commit to implementing them in your business today!

Leave a comment below and tell me which one you plan to implement.

5 things

5 things your clients are saying about you

You know how no matter how we try we are always concerned about what ‘people’ think about us? Well the only person who should be focused on is what your client thinks about you and what they are saying. As entrepreneurs it is very easy to just focus on ourselves and whine and complain about why people are not buying from us, but let me share with you 5 things your clients (potential clients) are saying about you. Hopefully this will help you get clearer about what you should be doing in business

  1. I am not sure of exactly how you can help me. Why? Because your message is not clear and how you can help is not clear. Your ads or posts are vague and leaves clients more confused than when they first encountered you
  2. I do not know anyone who has ever tried your services or products. Why? Because you have not asked for reviews or testimonials so that your ideal clients have proof from other people that you do what you say you do. Yes the opinions of others is super important to them.
  3. I do not know who that is. Why? Because you hide behind a logo or some meme and people do not trust who they do not know. As a new entrepreneur you should let people, know, like and trust you and that means putting your face out there sometimes. Being visible and sharing valuable information consistently.
  4. They never respond to messages or questions. Why? Because for some reason you think every question they ask is annoying and instead of being patient and responding to them and giving excellent customer service you ignore them and thus they ignore you can buy from the person who answers them in a timely manner.
  5. I already know someone who sells that. Why? Because we all know someone who sells something but you need to let them see and understand the value that you bring to them when they buy from you. You need to let them know what makes you UNIQUE. Do not assume they know and do not assume it is the price.

 

So I chose to only list 5 but there are quite a few other things your clients are saying about you which you should be aware of. These are things that you can easily adjust in your messaging and your strategy so that you do no lose sales or even lose clients unnecessarily. Do you think any of your clients say these things about you and how can you fix it today so that the conversation about your business changes?

If you are still not sure how, then book a FREE 30 minute discovery call with me today and let’s keep the conversation going.

Stop making excuses!

As a coach I have heard it all, trust me. From:

  • I have no time
  • The kids were awake
  • I got sick
  • My laptop stopped working
  • I have no support
  • I just don’t know what to do
  • I feel overwhelmed
  • The dog ate my assignment

I have heard them all and while I know sometimes we have legitimate reasons why things cannot get done, many times, if we are totally honest with ourselves we know that we are making excuses.

Why do we make excuses?

Most times it is out of fear! We do not know what will happen if we actually do the work. We are afraid that if we put in the work and we do not get the outcome we want then we will be disappointed. Fear cripples you into not just making excuses but not doing anything at all. But my question is- What is the worst that could happen if you do nothing? You end in the exact same spot and nothing gets done and your business dream just withers away

Other times it is out of laziness! Yes laziness. People are lazy. Sometimes you are extremely lazy. Some days you feel like doing nothing at all, but if you feel like that every day then Houston we have a problem! Running a business is not for the faint of heart and neither is it for someone who chooses to be lazy because yes it is a choice.

What do excuses do to our business?

Excuses keep you back. They hold you back from success and it kills your motivation, drive and momentum. An excuse is any barrier you put up physically, mentally or emotionally that keeps you from completing what you set out to do.

What is the truth?

The truth is that you have more control than you think or more than you allow yourself to have. As humans, it is easy for us to complain and make excuses because that is where we are most comfortable. How do you combat your excuses?

  1. You set a plan or a goal and you stick to it, even when you are feeling lazy, down, demotivated or whatever you want to call it this week. The point is that you give yourself no excuses.
  2.  You get an accountability partner who will take no excuses what so ever
  3. You hire a coach ( Yes I am available!) who will help you develop the tools to keep you focused
  4. You develop daily practices like affirmations and journalling which get you in the best mindset everyday
  5. You commit to get things done no matter what!

Parents know the drill all too well with their kids. They have a million excuses why they should not go to bed on time; or do homework; or clean their rooms and as a strong parent you let them know that the rules are the rules and they have to do it no matter what. No excuses!!! So why don’t the same rules apply to you and your business?

Excuses are the things that hold us back. It is our comfort zone and in coach I always tell my clients get uncomfortable until you are comfortable…and then get uncomfortable again! Business is about growth and learning and going beyond where you thought possible for your business. That definitely will not happen if you keep coming up with excuses for why you are not

  • posting on your page
  • doing videos
  • making phone calls
  • attending networking events
  • collaborating
  • selling everyday
  • investing in new
  • writing your blog

So, tell me what excuse you are NOT going to make today and how we can work together to keep your momentum as you grow your business with NO excuses.

Let’s schedule a FREE discovery call to get started talking.

Why you should hire a coach

Coaching seems to be ‘in’ thing now. Everywhere you turn somebody is calling themselves a coach. Whether this is good or bad is up for debate but what is most important is why you should hire a coach. Let’s start off by distinguishing what a coach is and is not. A coach is a qualified person who guides you through a process to help you reach to an end goal. Whether it is personal or business, your coach should help you go through a process of analysis for you to get clarity on where you want to be and how you plan to get there and then work with you as you move closer to your end goal.

A coach is not a psychologist or a therapist and does not treat with personal or mental health issues and should in fact recommend you seek professional help if these are your underlying issues. Your coach also does not focus on your past but instead stares you forward into the future and gets you into action to get what you desire. A good coach will help you unleash the great potential that is lying asleep inside of you so that you can become a better version of yourself. Your coach does not and should not have all the answers but is there to ask you some hard burning and sometimes tough questions to allow you to seek out the answers and get the transformation that you are craving. Your coach should be your cheerleader and team support but should also know when to give you a solid shake up or wake up call when you are falling down a slippery slope.

Not all coaches are made equal and some of the best coaches have coaches because they understand the importance of continuous growth and transformation.

Why should you hire a coach?

Because if you are serious about building a business that you truly love, you know and understand that it cannot be done alone. You know that you need a team and support system so you can work smarter not harder and that having this team will allow you to grow even faster than if you were doing it alone.

I can attest to the fact that I have grown  my own coaching business so rapidly because I have had many coaches and mentors to guide me along the way. They have been able to share valuable information which allowed me to avoid many of the traps of entrepreneurship. My own coach helped me find my rhythm and my momentum and it is because of this support I am where I am today. But more than that, I also understand that the coaching relationship would not have worked if I did not put in the work we discussed or get uncomfortable until I got comfortable with all that I needed to do to become a successful coach in my niche. I spoke about this in one of my blogs in July 2016- How hiring a coach changed my life.

In your quest to find a coach, look for someone who resonates with your own value system. Someone who has experienced and surpassed where you are presently and someone who has proof that they have accomplished what they say they are trying to help you achieve. A true coach will be honest, open and authentic and will be in a constant state of learning right along with you. (Just maybe I am the right fit for you!)

You should hire a coach because the world of business is competitive and having someone in your corner who has already accomplished what you are now trying to achieve will help you avoid many pitfalls. A coach is not a friend or a ‘yes’ man but is a no none sense supporter who will show up and give you the low down when you most need it. Your coach is not an advisor but your like your sub conscious brain helping you to  uncover all the innate skills and talents you already have.

If you still have questions about how a coach can change your life and your business, feel free to hop on a FREE 30 minute discovery call and let’s discuss how coaching really works.