2018 Business Sprint Webinars

There are just over 80 days left on the calendar for 2018.

It has been a year of water focus, mayor disputes, petrol price hikes.

Now we have rain, the winter cold has gone and the end of the year is just over the next hump. Shops already have Christmas puddings and decorations for sale. Yikes.

But the next few weeks could be the most important of your year. It is a time to focus and finish with a sprint, not a whimper. So why not create a sprint plan for your business to get you to the desired end point before you shut down for the holidays and enjoy a rest.

We have 10 working weeks left in the year. Each week we will focus on a different aspect of your business and help you focus and get things done. Each of these will be done via an online live webinar broadcast every Wednesday for the next 10 weeks, starting this week on 10th Oct at 12:00 Noon.

The topics we will cover, not necessarily in this order, are:

1. Business compliance

2. Products and services

3. Customers

4. Internal processes

5. Financial management

6. Marketing internal

7. Marketing external

8. Branding

9. Risk Register

10. Year-end tips

Join us each week from 12:00for a 45 minute live webinar as we unpack your business to help you stay in business and be ready for2019.

The link to the webinar each week will be: https://zoom.us/j/723567165

By |2018-10-08T16:27:33+02:00October 8th, 2018|90 Day Sprint, Entrepreneurship|0 Comments

Are you Planning to Fail?

The old saying: “Failing to plan is planning to fail” is never truer than it is in these busy, fast moving times in the economy.
If you and your business do not have clear-cut plans for at least the next 12 months, the chances of still being in business this time next year are drastically reduced. Your team should all be on the same page with clear objectives and strategies for the near and far future.
Plans bring ideas and people together into a focused laser beam strategy that will coordinate effort and energies into a single destination. This obviously starts with a clear Vision, mission and purpose for the business. Then breaks down into long term goals and short term plans, sprints and accountability.
But remember that setting goals is like a budget: you need to measure your actual against it on a regular basis. Goals need to be timelined with critical paths and actual progress mapped against each activity. This gives you, the manager, a clear understanding of where you are and what may be any issues or obstacles that need managing around. This, when communicated to all team members build momentum and results in forward driven progress.
So, is it not time to sit down and map out a plan for 2017?

By |2016-12-05T10:09:47+02:00December 5th, 2016|90 Day Sprint|0 Comments

Do you manage your business based on your financial information?

Financial management is, for most business owners, something that is never done well or at all. Knowing your numbers has been the take home lesson for a lot of the contestants on the Mnet Shark Tank programme. You can read some of my comments on the various presentations.
There are many business owners, who just do not know their numbers and if they do, do not know how to use them effectively to make management decisions based on their interpretation.
Here is a short check list for you to do a self-assessment:

  1. Do you know your turn-over figures for the last 6 months?
  2. Do you know the comparison to last year actual and this year budget figures?
  3. Do you know your break even points per product category?
  4. Do you have a budget for the New Year that reflects actual trends and seasonality variations?
  5. Do you know your; net profit ratio, working capital ratio, stock turnover rate, debtors turnover rate or your cost of sales values?

If any of these are foreign or even vague to you, please add financial management to your personal development plan for 2017 and get in the driving seat of your business. It could just be the thing you and your business needs to survive the next 12 months.

By |2016-11-28T11:39:50+02:00November 28th, 2016|90 Day Sprint|0 Comments

Do you have an effective sales funnel?

This is week 8 in the 90-day business sprint and this week we speak all things sales and marketing. Last week we chatted a bit about the internal marketing and getting the message right inside your business before going outside to customers. So let’s go out and see what you need to create a solid offering to your potential customers.

Your Sales funnel is key: this is the defined and refined process that drives people from initial interest down to that all important first invoice stage. We will define this in more detail later in the week, but it all starts with having Captivating Content on your website, blog and social media platforms. This is what initially attracts your clients.

All marketing processes need to follow the sales cycle of Inform, Educated and then Sell in order to not lose people along the way. But one aspect of selling that a lot of people fall short on is the ability to close the deal and get that all important confirmation from the customer. We opt out and look for discounts and other ways to close because we lack the confidence in our product and self-ability. We will chat about this one too.

We have an awesome web assessment tool that we use and we have 10 vouchers on offer this week for free. If you want your website assessed for how effective it is as a marketing tool, then email us to claim one of the 10 vouchers.

By |2016-11-01T10:20:04+02:00October 31st, 2016|90 Day Sprint, Marketing|0 Comments

Internal Marketing

What do you do to market your business internally?

Marketing your business always starts from the internal. It always starts with how you view yourself and how you view your business. Your business starts with you and then it flow onto your staff. If you market your business well to your staff they would be the best and most effective people to start building brand awareness for your business. The idea is to treat your staff as though they were your first customers. Internal marketing sells your business to your employees.

Internal marketing will help you find out where you are as a business. Why don’t you do some research. How is your business doing? Is everything you are doing still in line with your vision and goals of your business? Are your office staff members aware of your goals and vision for your business?

How effective is your internal marketing? Why don’t you do some internal marketing research within your business and find out how much your staff knows about what the vision of the business is, the products you have and all the service you offer. If you have a website, what is your website like? How do does your offices look and do they represent you brand well? Do you use social media to market you business? If you do, how are your ratings like? All questions will help your business get ready and geared up for marketing.

 

Spend some time this week analyzing your internal marketing and use the about questions as a starting point.

By |2016-11-01T10:20:04+02:00October 25th, 2016|90 Day Sprint, Marketing|0 Comments

Building your Strategic Network

We are not able to run and rule the world alone: not even our own lives. We do need others who offer support, counsel, and services to areas that we are not proficient at.
These areas can be separated into three different networks, we call then our Strategic Networks. Each offer a different type of support or serves and function to both our own lives and that of our business.
Our Foundation network group people who are there to offer services and products to enable your business to grow.
Our Support network includes people who are there to offer support to you without the need to fix or find a solution other than just listen.
Our Expansion network contains people who know the people you need to sell to. They are also equipped with enough information about your business and products to share this with others.

This week we will begin to map each of these out and assist you in developing a strategic network for your future.

By |2016-11-01T10:20:04+02:00October 17th, 2016|90 Day Sprint|0 Comments

Defining Your Business for Success

Creating a business is not just about products and customers. Like any good thing it needs a name: a name that will represent what your business stands for and can be recognised in the market as a leader in its field.

But what is in a name? The first sentence we ask of our clients is to define the Purpose of the business. This is so much more than just making money and paying the bills. We will expand more on this in tomorrow’s post.

We also need to add to our business with a good name and logo. This is always one of the hardest issues when starting a business. Not only do you have to find a good name, but then to register this in the CIPC but also find a good URL for your website and then to register the same on all the required social media platforms all becomes a huge undertaking.

Having a good name and purpose is still not enough. These all need to be backed up by a well defines Vision, Mission and a set of defined company values.

Once all these have been written and edited to completion your business will begin to develop a live of its own guided by all of the above. Staff, suppliers and customers will begin to develop their own interaction behaviours with your business based on how it is defined and so your business will develop. Without one or more of the above, your business will have to rely on you at all times to define it with each interaction you have with others and as your mood changes, so will the perception of your business.

 

Spend some time this week defining your business for success. We will expand on each of these during the week on our blog and related social media platforms.

By |2016-11-01T10:20:04+02:00October 10th, 2016|90 Day Sprint|0 Comments

Product Features and Benefits

Product Features and Benefits

Too often we get this wrong. We do not distinguish between the product features and benefits in our marketing materials. Technical focused business owners and product developers seem to be so focused on the design on the product (and rightly so) that we forget to focus on the benefits to the customers.
So what need to be done about this? What can we do to improve our communication to the customer and get the balance right. The simple answer is to hire a marketing consultant or staff member who will help draft product specification sheets and web copy with all the right words and terms.
But actually, all that is required is to listen o your customers. Ask the right questions and begin to understand their needs and wants. Then just be addressing these, you automatically begin to talk product benefits and not features.
Remember that the customers do not care about how much you know, they need to know how much you care first.

#90DayBizSprint

By |2016-11-01T10:20:04+02:00October 5th, 2016|90 Day Sprint|0 Comments

Finding new customers for your business made easy

Finding new customers is one of those activities that should occupy 80% of a business’s time and effort. But retaining customers is just as important and should also occupy 80% of resources. This short video in an extract from Geoff Ramm’s keynote speech on Customer Service that he delivers across the globe each year. (Video courtesy of Unique Speakers Bureau)

Keeping customers is key, but finding them is priority. There are three types of customers: existing, new and conversion. Each group needs to be treated differently and each will need a new set of processes and strategies to cope with their needs.
New clients are the hardest to attract. They will require the full sales cycle of processes. This will include a series of Inform sessions where you need to create an awareness of their problems and potential solutions (including your product). This is followed by a series of educational interactions. This converts the initial need into a want for the potential clients and will lead them, to the next step: the purchase.
Following this, they need to be looked after and channelled to the up-sell and re-sell processes. Simple, yet most businesses get this so wrong and make it too complicated that not only do the customers not understand it but the staff are just as confused.
Get this right and your business will grow. #90DayBizSprint

By |2016-11-01T10:20:05+02:00September 30th, 2016|90 Day Sprint|0 Comments

Who are your Customers?

This week in the 90 Day Business Sprint we look at our Customers. This word should always be spelt with a capital ‘C’ to show how important they are to our business. They are, after all, the ones who pay our salaries.
We have 3 types of customers:
Existing Customers: the people or businesses who are already an existing customer and who purchase from us on a regular basis.
New Customers: the people or businesses who do not yet spend money with us. These are the ones we need to attract and develop new relationships with.
Conversion customers: These people or businesses who shop at other businesses for the same or similar product offers as yours. These are the ones we need to attract and convert.
Each customer base needs a different strategy and set of marketing materials in order to build and deepen that relationship.
This week, we will begin to explore this and look at some tools to build solid, long term and profitable relationships with our customers.

By |2016-11-01T10:20:05+02:00September 26th, 2016|90 Day Sprint|0 Comments