How To Create a Brand

create a brand

Many business owners don’t know how to create a brand and don’t have money to hire a professional. But when setting foot in the world of marketing and business, the first thing you will encounter is the concept of the brand. A brand is essentially the identity and lifeblood of your business. It is what consumers will come to know you by. Without a brand, you will have a hard time putting your creation out into the world.

Through this step-by-step process, you will become familiar with how to form your brand. By utilizing these tips, your high-quality business will start seeing excellent results in a short amount of time. For a more in-depth look at each of these tips and more, check out Active Marketing’s information here.

Here are 10 Easy Tips to Create a Brand

Establish Where You Came From

Your establishment’s history plays a big part in defining who you are. Through defining the way that you got here, you can come to terms with who you are and what your company exists to do. Knowing this factor can help you to better serve any customers that come your way.

Some items that you should know include when you create a brand:

  • Information about the creation of the company, including how and why it was made
  • Content about the founders
  • Items that happened along the way that posed as steppingstones and hurdles
  • The status of the business

Once you have these, you have created a foundation for your business. From here, you can build up your brand with more information based on what your company is, does, and wants to be.

Find Your Vision

Your vision is a statement that tells everybody what your plans are for the company going forward. It should show where everyone should strive to be as you serve customers and employees.

Creating a vision statement might seem daunting, but it is not that difficult now that you’ve laid your foundation.  When writing, you can take into mind:

  • Both big and small picture goals
  • Your present situation and how you can get to a future goal
  • The successes you have had and plan to have
  • That it needs to be brief to get your point across
  • That you should declare, avoiding words that raise a question such as “desire”

Your vision statement will be a part of the brand you create as it grows. It lets customers and employees see the kind of brand that you have created and encourages them to stick around for what is to come.

Moreover, it is a statement of hope for even the newest of brands that you created.

Create a Brand that Aligns With Your Mission

Your mission might sound like your vision statement, but it is different in a few critical ways. Your mission statement lets the world know who you are. It tells them what you do and where you do it.

To create your mission statement, you should consider:

  • Your company’s purpose
  • The business ventures that you embark on
  • The values that you hold near and dear every single day

You can combine all these items into one powerful sentence to create your very own mission statement. It will help drive your values in the business that you conduct, and even increase morale among those that work for you.

Formulate Your Values

What are the values that your company holds at its core? Having a set of values will assist your company in making relationships with clients and employees alike. Values can set your company apart from others and help people to be clear on who and what you are.

When making up your values, you should consider:

  • The way that you want to be perceived
  • The needs of your clients or customers
  • The competition you have in your field
  • Unique services you may have those others lack

By taking into consideration all these items, you will be able to discover your values without issue. All it takes is knowing what you stand for as a company.

Shape Your Brand Personality

A personality is what will draw people to your brand. It gives a human voice to an otherwise faceless company, creating a way for your customers to react and relate to the products that you provide.

A brand personality can be something such as:

  • Trendy
  • Honest
  • Tough
  • Intelligent

It is up to you to pick a brand personality based on your clients, your product, and who you intend to attract. Don’t pick a personality that is the sole opposite of your values and what you stand for.

Define Your Voice of the Brand You Create

Your voice goes along with the personality of your brand. You want to find a way to speak to the customers you attract in a way that is genuine and personable. It should set you apart from those that are trying to compete with you.

Find your voice by answering basic questions in a way that you believe sounds right for your company. Decide whether you are formal or informal, funny or serious, bold or emotional. There’s a whole world of options that you can choose from to make your brand unique.

Take Note of Typography

Believe it or not, typography can impact the way that your brand is perceived. It often affects the subconscious of the viewer, pushing them to either take in the message that you are trying to give or convincing them to walk away.

The typography that you use should match your voice. Some of the most critical elements include:

  • The font styles
  • The size
  • The color
  • The capitalization used
  • Anything that is bolded or italicized

Take care to make sure that the typography you use matches the voice you have chosen. A mismatched set can confuse customers on what your brand voice is.

create a brand

Remember the Colors

Colors can be a vital part of giving a brand to your company. The more attractive they are, the more likely a potential customer will investigate your company further. If you choose bad colors, they won’t be as intrigued to keep clicking or reading.

Like the typography, your colors should match your voice and tone. Look at an established brand to see how they incorporate emotion into their use of color to target their audience and make use of their company values.

Incorporate Good Photography

If you use photography for your company, you should make sure that it is of high quality. Nothing says unexperienced like grainy images on the front page of a website. For your brand to come off as professional, you should take the time to gather great images.

When picking them, you should examine:

  • The emotion that they produce
  • If they show what your company does
  • If they show your goods and services

If they fit all these criteria, they’re good for your brand. Pick photos in a similar style to give a sense of cohesion to the company you own.

Use a Memorable Logo

A logo is a critical part of your brand. It needs to be created in a way that is effective enough for people to recognize it instantly without any description. As your brand grows, the logo will gain more and more power in the marketing world.

A great logo should have a few important features. Some of these include:

  • Timelessness, so that your logo does not become outdated as time continues to press forward
  • Personification, as it should bring your brand to life with the personality it demonstrates
  • Versatility, as it should be able to be displayed in multiple formats
  • Simplicity, as this makes it easy to remember

The logo should come last so that you can incorporate your values and other items into its construction. The finished product should be a powerful image of your brand. Once you have that, you are set to put yourself out into the world. You know exactly who you and your company are. Here’s another post about questions to ask when you’re developing your brand.

 

small business coach

Personal vs. Business Finance: How to Keep Separate and Manage Them

business vs personal finances

Guest Writer Ken Boyd
Accounting & Finance Expert
Content manager at AIS-CPA
w: https://www.ais-cpa.com/

Do you keep your personal vs business finances separate … or is everything mixed together in a single account?

Many small business owners, excited by their new start-up idea, give their first clients their personal checking account details for payments.

Similarly, many small business owners mix other finances, such as using the same PayPal account for both business and personal purposes, or putting all expenses on one credit card.

Personal vs. Business Finance: How to Set a Clear Line Between the Two and Manage Them Properly

This might seem like no big deal if you’re just getting started. However, as time goes by, having your personal vs business finances separated will make things much easier for you.

Why Separate Your Personal vs Business Finances?

If you’re an independent contractor, rather than the owner of an LLC, then the money you make from your business is your personal income.

You might think this means it’s fine to just use your personal bank account to receive your freelancing income and to pay for expenses. After all, it’s all your money.

But it’s important to keep your personal vs business finances separate for several key reasons:

  • It’s hard to tell how your business is doing when your business income and expenditure is mixed with personal income and expenses.
  • You’ll struggle to do your accounts when your business spending is mixed in with your grocery shopping — and you might miss out on legitimate expenses.
  • When you need to pay your tax as a freelancer, it’s much easier to figure out what you owe if your personal and business finances are separate. Plus, you can more easily put aside money for taxes if you keep your business account separate from your personal one.
  • If you want to take out a loan to grow your business, you’ll likely need to provide proof of how the business is currently doing. It’s easier (and more professional) to be able to show your business bank statement rather than having to pull the relevant details out of a personal bank statement.
  • Similarly, if you want to sell your business, you may need to show your bank statements to prove how much the business is currently bringing in.

How to Clearly Distinguish Between Personal vs Business Finances

The good news is that it’s relatively straightforward to draw a clear line between your personal finances and your business finances.

Here are three crucial things to do:

#1: Open a Separate Bank Account for Your Business

You don’t necessarily need a business bank account: a regular checking account may work fine for you. What matters is that you have a separate bank account for payments to come into and go out of for your business. Eventually you or your accountant will likely use an accounting tool such as Quickbooks online and your business bank information can be easily integrated with Quickbooks. You may find it easiest to use a different bank. You’ll also want to set up separate accounts for PayPal or other payment services you use.

Tip: Make sure you have easy access to online banking for your new account. This makes it quick and easy for you to check what’s in your account, to send payments, to confirm that a client payment has arrived, and so on.

#2: Consider Setting Yourself Up as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)

As a limited business, you’re required by law to keep your business vs personal finances separate. This also protects you from any liabilities of your business. For instance, if your business goes bankrupt, you won’t be personally liable for the debt. It can also give you more credibility with clients, in certain sectors.

Tip: There are pros and cons to being an independent contractor versus running a limited business. You may want to get expert advice to help you decide which is best for your situation.

#3: Pay Yourself a Regular Salary

Most small businesses find that income goes up and down from month to month. You might find that it helps to pay yourself a regular salary, either monthly or every two weeks, so that you can more easily budget in your personal life. Make sure you keep enough reserves in your business account to allow for the inevitable ups and downs in income.

Tip: It’s sometimes tempting to focus on business growth instead of taking out enough money for yourself and your family. But it’s going to be tough to grow your business if you’re exhausted, overstretched, and worrying about putting food on the table. Take out your salary before figuring out how much you have to invest in things like website design or running ads.

Summary

Managing your personal vs business finances can be tricky. It may take a while to get things right. The best first step to take is to have separate bank accounts for your business and personal finances: everything else should follow on from there.

 

small business coach

51 Best Start-up Ideas to Try

start-up

Creating an excellent idea for a small business to start-up can prove a daunting task, especially with the apparent feeling that all the great ideas for business are already taken. However, it’s still possible to expand on a current set-up or build on a much older idea. One thing is sure; being self-employed presents far more benefits than the challenges that come with it, and it is, thus, completely worth the effort. Over the years I have done 12 business startups, and that really adds spice to my life.

As a business coach I work with many business owners including entrepreneurs who are doing startups. For the most part these amazing clients are successful. All it takes is a good idea and a willingness to learn, learn, learn and work, work, work!

That said, here are some start-up ideas to inspire you, which you could implement this year!

business startup

51 Small Business Ideas to Try in 2022

Let’s get creative. Find inspiration as you explore this exhaustive list of ideas from varied fields like nutrition-based, travel, writing, etc., and take up what works for you.

  1. Specialty Travel Tour Organizer

For a travel-based start-up, consider a specialized travel tour company. This company would offer the service of catering for travelers’ individual lifestyle preferences, taking into consideration varied aspects as travel preferences of travelers, diet-preferences, or even age of travelers. Such a company will specialize in attending to a well-defined set of preferences travelers have and would exist to meet those needs.

  1. Develop an Airport-Centric App

Consider setting up an all-inclusive app that enables travelers to navigate through airport information and make informed decisions in real-time. This is seemingly non-fallowed ground when it comes to start-up ideas and could be quite lucrative. While it is apparent various travel apps exist, an all-in-one app that shows information like amenities, TSA line wait times, ground transportation options, and airport maps could be quite useful to travelers.

  1. Wedding Destination Planner

If you’ve ever been close to someone who did a wedding, then you know planning such events isn’t as seamless as the event may seem to unfold, and you could step in to relieve the hosts of weddings of the stress as a wedding venue planner. This would also allow you to explore various parts of the globe as you pick out suitable venues for weddings based on the couple’s preferences. Though working hours for this start-up may be extended and pressure ever great, yet if you love exploring new places, then you’d do great with this option.

  1. Creating Local Guides

If you’ve ever been a tourist in a place you’ve never been to before, then you know having a local guide could mean the difference between life and death, and that could be an excellent start-up option – making local guides. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re versed with the locality or not. You could help tourists enjoy off-the-beaten-path experiences in your locality with themed guides and highlight attractions. And it doesn’t need to end there; you could get in touch with companies in your area and land advertising gigs as well.

  1. Setting up a Local Grocery Delivery Service

With very minimal start-up cost, needing virtually just a cell phone and a vehicle, to begin with, a grocery delivery service is a great option to consider. You could stand in the gap to aid senior citizens or people who are just too busy to pick up their groceries themselves and make a living while doing it. You could set up partnership agreements with local grocery stores in your area and get to work.

  1. Become an Event Planner

Consider setting up an event planning company in your community. To achieve such a feat, networking and careful research are necessary to succeed. It is also interesting to note that you could set up and run such a company remotely for ultimate flexibility.

  1. Open a Coworking Space

With the rising popularity of remote working, you could capitalize on this by setting up modern coworking spaces. Simply select a suitable location, incorporate necessary and sought-after amenities, and reach out to the community for primarily local impact.

  1. Meal Preparation Business

The world has gotten a lot busier than it used to be, and people no longer have the time to cook their food all the time, and where there’s a problem like this, you could provide the solution with a meal preparation business like restaurants. You could focus on generally ordered foods or diet-specific options, all depending on the community you find yourself in.

  1. Devise a Food Waste Solution

Developing a solution to deal with food waste would not only make you a lot richer. Still, it would significantly impact the food industry, helping grocery stores and restaurants save a lot of money.

  1. Capitalize on Veganism

Veganism has been on the rise in the past decade, and being able to provide plant-based food options can be a great business idea to consider. Setting up a vegan supermarket, restaurant and rolling out vegan alternatives of traditional foods are great places to start.

  1. Start a Dropshipping Business

The e-commerce dropshipping model is quite fascinating because you don’t have to purchase inventory upfront. Selling high-end products with low shipping costs would prove quite lucrative and could become profitable quickly if you do thorough competition research.

  1. Deal in Zero-Waste Products

Not only is this a smart option, but it is eco-friendly and an ethical thing to do. Zero-waste products include reusable and recyclable products like reusable bags, bamboo toothbrushes, and even zero-waste packaging materials. Such products would appeal to a world plagued by climate change.

  1. Curate Subscription Boxes

Subscription boxes have become quite popular and a lucrative business venture. Simply identify a niche and curate this specific set of items to modern customers.

  1. Produce Pet Products

Over 85 million U.S. households have at least a pet, and you could tailor your business to meet the needs of these companion animals. Consider making toys, clothing, and accessories for pets.

  1. Deal in Phone Accessories

The average person owns a mobile phone, and dealing in phone accessories has the potential to flourish in almost any setting. Though there is apparent saturation in the field, there is always room for one-of-a-kind smartphone add-ons.

  1. Engage in Electronics and Mobile Phone repairs

You could consider engaging in electronic equipment repairs and, especially, mobile phones, helping people get their electronics working again.

business startup is hard

  1. Create Custom Clothing

If fashion is your thing and you feel drawn to it, then you can consider becoming a custom clothier, dealing in custom clothing, or rendering tailoring services. You know what they say, “looking good is good business.”

  1. Sell Vintage Goods Online

Like it’s said, “one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure (or something like that)!” you could consider dealing in used merchandise, selling thrifted, vintage, or upcycled items online, and there are tons of sites to make that possible.

  1. Become a blogger

The key here is to identify a comfortable niche like sports, technology, lifestyle, etc., and create engaging content on the subject. With time, as the audience expands, you could make money via advertising, affiliate links, and even sell products.

  1. Write E-book

Perhaps you’ve got a way with words and know-how to present stories in ways that captivate and arouse the desired emotional response in the readers. You could put those skills to use by becoming a self-published e-book writer and selling your work on virtual platforms.

  1. Consider Ghost-writing

Perhaps you have the skill to write, are good with words but don’t mind always attaching your name to your work, then consider becoming a ghostwriter for other busier professionals. It’s a great option to consider with minimal start-up cost.

  1. Become a Resume Writer

Everyone needs a resume, but not everyone can write out a great resume, and if you’re good at something, then you don’t have to do it for free. You consider resume writing as a great start-up, with little start-up cost attached.

  1. Become an Online Coach

If you desire to see others achieve success and attain their desired goals in whatever aspects of their lives, online coaching is a great start-up option to consider. You could set-up a YouTube channel with niche-tailored resources to help people reach their goals as you reach yours.

  1. Engage in Website Flipping

Website flipping involves buying a website, making alterations to the site, and then selling it to make a profit. Such a start-up would require some starting capital as well as some tech skills in web development but could quickly pay off.

  1. Engage in Web Development

As the world increasingly becomes digital, the need for custom websites continually increases. As such, skills like mastering programming languages and working with WordPress could really come in handy and open doors for a lucrative start-up.

  1. Start a Podcast

A podcast could be a great start-up, especially if you find that you’re knowledgeable or passionate about a particular subject matter.

  1. Be a Social Media Influencer

If you can successfully build a following large community on social media platforms like Instagram or YouTube, you could create a stable income source through influencer marketing.

  1. Create Online Courses

If you have hobbies that people could be interested in mastering, then you could set-up online courses to teach these skills. This is entirely dissimilar to coaching as it’s more passive but will still yield a meaningful income.

  1. Become a Marketing Consultant

If you have digital marketing skills, then consider becoming a marketing consultant helping small businesses engage their audiences by providing SEO, social media, or copywriting services. Even without the necessary experience, you could take online courses to get you started.

  1. Engage in App Development

Your big break could be in creating an app. All it takes is the right skills and a great idea, and you could get the jackpot. And what’s interesting is, you don’t need a lot of coding skills nowadays to build a great app.

  1. Make a Smart Appliance

In an incredibly digital world, developing a healthy and needful appliance could be the big break you desire. All it takes is a great idea. To be inspired, carefully consider the average person’s daily life and figure out what tasks at home or at work would be significantly facilitated using an appliance.

  1. Look to Virtual Reality Experiences

VR is the future, and that future has already begun. Join the community making VR by creating virtual reality experiences or accessories.

  1. Develop a Dating Site

While it is true there are tins of dating websites and apps out there, you could stand out from the crowd by presenting a niche-tailored dating website targeted to meet the needs of a rather specific group of people.

  1. Develop a Chatbot

Even with really knowing much about coding, you could create a chat box that uses artificial intelligence to communicate with people—to help businesses improve their communication.

business startup

  1. Offer Matchmaking Services

This is a step further from just setting up a dating website; it requires a more active role in accessing, based on the users’ provided info, who is best matched and most suited for who. Matchmaking could be completed online or in person, helping you make money and develop relationships simultaneously.

  1. Become a Virtual Assistant

Online assisting is quite a promising start-up alternative, as it can help in administrative tasks in both professional and personal lives.

  1. Reinvent Exercising

Exercise is essential for healthy living, but it can get boring, especially when it comes to following the exact same routine daily. So then, how can people exercise but still find ways to have fun while doing it?

  1. Eco-Friendly, Health-Friendly Makeup and Beauty Products

Yeah, that’s quite specific. As more people become aware of the environment and the need for eco-friendly products, even makeup and beauty products should align to such standards. Creating safe and eco-friendly beauty products could be an excellent start-up option and one that hasn’t got a lot of congestion.

  1. Try a Food Truck

Perhaps, starting a restaurant may have been the idea, but you could consider a food truck instead. Even though you’d most likely need the qualification and background in food handling, a food truck may be more feasible a start-up idea compared to a restaurant as it would require less workforce and fewer resources to pull off.

  1. Start an Organizing Company

Some persons have a knack for organization – keeping things neat and tidy, where everything has its place, and others do not. If this is your thing, you could engage the start-up idea of organizing homes, offices, kitchen utensils, bookshelves, etc., for people who are clearly not gifted or less busy doing it themselves.

  1. Interior Design for Your Professionals

Everyone (or almost everyone) will appreciate a well-designed house, one that feels like home, but not everyone can achieve that. It requires picking out the right furniture, setting up with the right design, decoration, paint color, and even smell of the house. And if you have an eye for decorating, then interior designs could be a great start-up to consider.

  1. Become a Freelance graphic designer

It’s all about pictures in a social media age, and you can capitalize on that as a great start-up option. Decide the projects you work on, apportion your time and build a portfolio. You could consider graphic content for websites or blogs to company specifications for all manner of projects.

  1. Start up a Translation Gig

Do you speak more than one language? Then you could offer translation services. For optimum results, you should identify a particular domain or specialize in, like medical, transportation, finance, etc. You could expose yourself to tourists and get paid to aid in communication.

  1. Engage in Photography

Photography is arguably more of an art than science, and you may just have what it takes to excel in it. You can test yourself with small family events and build a portfolio with referrals. As you get known in the community, more gigs would come your way, which is progress. Also, use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc., to make your rade known.

  1. Set-up a Handyman Service

Perhaps you may be good at fixing things and improvising solutions when things fail. Or maybe, people around you always need your attention when things need fixing; then consider becoming a handyman. Find a domain that works for you and grow by asking for referrals.

  1. Become a Woodworker

If you’re good with wood and delight in crafting out beautiful furniture, you could set up a woodworking business. You can start out with a local base, meeting locals’ needs in the community while building an online following as you showcase what you can do.

  1. Become a Videographer

Though videography is a start-up that would require some capital upfront to invest in the right equipment, its demand will never run out. So, give it a shot. Create samples and advertise online, and have interested viewers queue up to demand your services.

  1. Car-detailing specialist

Cars – who doesn’t love ’em? Car dealing specialists are in demand highly, and if you can pay attention to intricate details, then this may be your big break. You may also need to be mobile, and you should have the necessary flexibility, transportation, and equipment for the job.

  1. Home inspector

This is a more formal start-up option and may require certification and a great deal of expertise. You can supply services like confirming licensing requirements and inspecting land assets for sale or purchase. You may need to take a few courses on the subject for this start-up and expand your knowledge and expertise.

  1. Housecleaner

With almost no qualification whatsoever, you could start-up a house cleaning gig. To succeed at this, you should consider making your services known through the community to get more bookings, clients, and, of course, more bucks.

  1. Personal chef

We all need to eat, but not everyone has the time to cook and are comfortable eating out. As such, you could provide the service of becoming a personal chef. This is especially needful for special-diet individuals like vegetarians or patients. And as an added hack, you could group clients with similar feeding preferences and cook for them in bulk.

How to Choose the Best Start-up Idea

As much as these ideas are all great and you’re feeling anxious to jump on that idea, there are a few things you must consider. First, there must be a need you’re meeting in choosing that start-up; there should be demand for what you’re considering in the locality you’re envisaging. No matter how appealing the idea on this list is, you’d be setting up for failure if there isn’t a demand for it in the community you desire to start up.

Secondly, you should have a well-articulated business plan. Where there’s no plan, there’s ample room for failure. The business plan will help your business stay on track, so it’s a must-have.

You should also take into consideration your skillset, what you can do, and choose wisely. Even if you desire to learn the new skill, you should still assess whether it’s a feasible route to take.

To wrap things up

The opportunities for start-ups are limitless; all it takes is an opportunistic vision to jump on every demand and start-up a business. Whether or not you choose from this list, stay motivated and strive to succeed. Read this article to view a Business Startup Checklist.

Here’s an article about Deciding on the Right Business Structure.

 

small business coach

Using a Revenue and Profit Budget: Pest Control Business

revenue and profit budget

Revenue and Profit Budget: Pest Control Business

This week I’m writing about using a Revenue and Profit Budget in a Pest Control Business. Your budget should forecast discretionary cash-flow, identify your required working capital, and demonstrate your ability to service debts and deliver a return to investors(which may be you).

I have been writing about some of my hero clients and how we are achieving significant results. We have 36 Coaching Modules which are areas within your business under the categories of growth, profits, and freedom. So, when we improve your performance, your business will run better.

Jonathan’s Pest Control Business

After reading one of our social media posts about budgeting, Jonathan contacted me. As the owner and founder of the business, he had been able to grow it steadily. Yet, Jonathan wanted to learn about budgeting and how to put in place a Revenue and Profit Budget in his business. He had had some financial setbacks throughout the years. At that moment, his daughter would soon be leaving for college. So, he wanted to take his large family to Hawaii for several weeks. Additionally, he planned to travel frequently with his daughter to her volleyball tournaments.

The Revenue and Profit Budget Implementation

We took Jonathan through a coaching module and provide a revenue and profit budget template for him to fill out. After a couple of iterations, we had the budget finished, which included sales, gross profit, expenses, net profit, and cash flow.  This is a great tool to set goals for all the above and then monitor your actual performance against your goals. It also serves as a great check and balance for surprise sales and expenses. It helps you to “know the story” of your business’ financial performance.

Other Coaching Modules for Jonathan

As we began to review his business, we saw an opportunity to put in place some of our other Coaching Modules in his business. At first, we decided that a Tactical Marketing Plan and a Break-Even Plan could help Jonathan. But we also decided to increase his pricing and standardize his billing. We were able to develop his Strategic Plan and then held a plan deployment meeting with his team. We worked weekly on deploying these strategies.

The Results for Jonathan’s Pest Control Business

As a result of these strategies, we saw a significant increase in Jonathan’s sales and profits. Here’s what Jonathan said:

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“Using Small Business Coach Associates has been a real benefit to my company. Alan has the perfect combination of business knowledge and real world experience. His willingness to help and hold me accountable have helped me in positive ways that I couldn’t have anticipated. After only working together for 3 months we have deployed 3 strategies that will increase my small business profits by 90% in the next 12 months.”

Conclusion

Congratulations Jonathan on growing your sales and profits using a revenue and profit budget in your pest control business. You are a business hero and an inspiration to all of us!

 

small business coach

Using a Team Meeting System for an Electrical Distributor

Team Meeting System

This week I will be writing about using a Team Meeting System. This is a disciplined rhythm of recurring team meetings focused on goal-setting, alignment, reporting, and accountability that occur on an annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily basis.

I have been writing about some of my hero clients and how we are achieving significant results. We have 36 Coaching Modules, which are areas within your business under the categories of growth, profits and freedom. So, when we improve your performance, your business will run better.

Randy’s Electrical Distribution Company

Randy is our business hero of the week. He was referred to me by another client. When he got in touch, he had experienced a theft in his business that cost him more than $100,000. Randy is near retirement and we are working to prepare his business for new leadership.

Coaching Modules For Randy’s Electrical Distribution Company

As we began working on his business, we recognized the need for several of our Coaching Modules. These included a Strategic Plan, Key Performance Indicators, a Break-Even Plan, a Comprehensive Exit Strategy and a Team Meeting System. We focused on the need to improve Randy’s gross margin which was below industry norms.

There are two ways to increase your gross margins: 1. Increase your profit on your products or services and/or 2. Decrease the cost of your products and services.

The Implementation Of The Team Meeting Rhythm

In Randy’s business, there were some employees who had great ideas about how to buy inventory low and sell it for a higher profit. So, we wanted to increase teamwork and information share within the team. After developing Randy’s Strategic Plan we met with the team to share the direction of the business and to get team buy-in. Then we decided to put in place a Team Meeting Rhythm with his team.

Results For Randy’s Electrical Distribution Company

As Randy met with his team they began to brainstorm on ways to improve profits. This new focus improved morale and they were able to celebrate a number of successes. The result was almost immediate; his margins began to increase month over month. At this point, their gross profits have increased more than $100,000 per year.

“Alan Melton as helped me see and discuss things that I wouldn’t see otherwise. We have set goals to improve profitability and productivity. Alan helped us with our team concept including communications and regular meetings. The areas that you have helped us implement have improved our Gross Margins by more than 2.5%.”

Congratulations Randy for implementing a Team Meeting System and for seeing your business and employees prosper! You are a true business hero and an inspiration to us. You can view a bus company using a break-even plan here.

small business coach

Develop an Effective Thirty Second Commercial

Thirty Second Commercial

There is a reason to develop a thirty second commercial. Have you ever felt like you were caught off guard when someone asked you what you do for a living? Perhaps you responded with one sentence that included your title and your business name. The person who asked the question may have moved on to someone else, quickly dismissing you in their mind. Or perhaps you went to the other extreme and rambled on and on, providing way too much detail until their eyes glazed over. Every business owner has experiences such as this.

Develop an Effective Thirty Second Commercial

Making a positive first impression is an important key to establishing credibility with contacts, referral sources, and prospective clients. Being able to confidently deliver a short, compelling self-introduction can lead you to follow up appointments, referrals, and new customers. Below are some tips to develop a compelling thirty-second commercial:

Be strategic.

Rather than just “winging it,” take some time to develop your thirty-second commercial. Aim for impact, effectiveness, and results in your message.

Practice until you know it well.

Practice your short presentation until you can deliver it at a moment’s notice. You will have many opportunities each day to use your thirty-second commercial with people you meet.

Talk about benefits, not features.

Your features are what you do in your business: your services or products. Your benefits are how your products/services impact your clients’ lives: you help them make more money, give them more time with family and friends, etc. List some frustrations (client pain) that your clients experience and which your service/products eliminate. Below are examples of our business coaching benefits:

Client Pain

  • Tight cash flow
  • Missing family events
  • Can’t find good employees

Coaching Benefits

  • Owner making more money
  • Getting dates with spouse
  • Excellent, loyal employees

Develop some short stories that illustrate your benefits.

These stories are one of the ways that you educate your contacts and move them to a level of trust in you. Think about how you have helped your customers in the past. Write down four to five sentences to describe how you impacted their life. You may begin with one story. But keep in mind that if you cultivate your contacts, you will communicate with them on multiple occasions and you will need to demonstrate your expertise with multiple stories.

1. First five to ten seconds: introduction.

Say your name, your company name and a brief summary of the benefits your company provides to clients. For example, here’s my introduction: “””My name is Alan Melton. I’m with Small Business Coach Associates. We help business owners earn more income while working fewer hours.””

Next twenty to twenty-five seconds: tell a short story illustrating your introduction.

We were working with an HVAC company owner who had a large bad debt that was forcing him into bankruptcy. He was working 70 hour weeks and told me the number one thing he wanted was a date with his wife. We identified 12 areas of improvement that immediately increased his profits by more than $176,000 per year. Now he is working 50 hours per week and he has enjoyed a number of dates with his wife.”

Be flexible upon completion of your story.

At that point, your contact may ask you a question about your service. If not, shift the focus to them. “Joe, tell me about what you do…” or “Tell me more about what you do…” Remember to focus on your contact for approximately 2/3 of the time. Ask good questions and listen!

Discuss your Unique Selling Propositions.

Know what makes you unique and better than your competition. A couple of the USP’s for SBCA is the fact that our coaches have all been business owners themselves and we collaborate with one another to provide the best solutions to our clients. Some examples of that are our weekly coaching calls and the assistance we give to one another on coaching assignments. Recently Craig Reimer who formerly owned a construction company joined me on a business assessment with the owner of a construction company.

Expand your commercial to five minutes and twenty minutes.

From time to time you may have the opportunity to deliver a longer presentation to a networking group or other organization. You can easily expand your presentation by telling more stories to illustrate your expertise.

Give “thirty-second commercials” within any speaking or writing topic.

People are drawn to stories. Include your short stories any time you are communicating, and this will add to your credibility.

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