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How to Increase Sales: 17 Tips for Boosting Your Bottom Line

If you’re looking for ways to increase sales, this blog post will help you! We’ll cover 17 proven tips to boost your bottom line. Read on to learn how to sell more products and services!

Above all else, always prioritize real connections.

The first tip is to stop thinking about selling and start thinking about connecting. Regarding existing customers, call them up and check in. It doesn’t always have to be about a sales pitch. I promise you’re not bothering them!

Regarding potential customers who have shown interest, don’t pressure them. Stay on their radar, so you’re right there in the first row. You need to create a relationship with your potential customer before they even consider buying from you. Try focusing on providing value instead of pushing your product or service.

Increase sales with current customers

Approach satisfied customers for referrals

When customers are happy with a purchase, they’re more likely to refer colleagues, friends, and family. In fact, according to research from Nielsen, 92 percent of consumers trust referrals from people they know. This makes satisfied customers one of the most powerful resources for increasing sales.

There are a few things you can do to encourage your customers to refer others:

-Call and check in with them. I know all businesses are different, but in my experience, working for a mid-sized company, it was more than OK to talk to my buyers as people. When you form a friendly relationship beyond sales, you create a space where it’s OK to ask for. With a friendly scenario, asking your existing customers for sales leads is entirely comfortable.

-Make it easy for them by providing referral cards or links that they can share with their contacts.

-Include a note thanking them for their referral when someone purchases using their link or card.

-Send follow-up emails after a sale thanking the customer for their business and letting them know that you appreciate their referral.

-Collect customer testimonials you can share on your website and social media platforms.  This promotional copy can be used over and over again.

Prioritize customer service

Customer service is one of the most important aspects of any business. By providing excellent customer service, companies can increase sales and boost their bottom line. Here are ten tips to improve sales through better customer service:

01. Respond to inquiries quickly

02. Be polite and friendly

03. Offer superior customer service

04. Be transparent with how you improve your business to serve them

05. Solve problems promptly

06. Anticipate customers’ needs. Use this tip in conversation and strengthen your relationship with them. 

07. Make it easy for the existing customer to buy from you

08. Keep your promises

09. Train your staff well

Last but not least, 10. Treat every customer like a VIP customer. It doesn’t matter if they buy $2000 worth of your product or service or $200,000. Word gets around. When a small business caters more to large customers versus their smaller customers, that leads to creating a bad reputation.

Approach satisfied customers with opportunities to quote new jobs

When you’ve completed a project for a customer, and they’re happy with the results, don’t be afraid to ask them if they need any other work done. Capture that satisfaction at the moment. Jump on it! Don’t wait for a week or two to ask. It’s OK to go for it. Mention that you’d be glad to quote on additional projects, and be sure to follow up if they don’t immediately respond. Offering your services can help increase sales while strengthening a positive relationship with customers.

Keep track of customer spending patterns.

It’s unnecessary to keep track of every penny that the existing customer spends, but it is helpful. Using bookkeeping software and a Google Sheet can undoubtedly help. I liked to track my customer’s purchases in a spreadsheet.   I created auto filters to track each order, delivery date, and ship quantity. When I noticed a pattern, I’d call ahead and see if they wanted to place an order. 

For example, one customer ordered 50,000 parts every November for their cosmetics line. We made powder metal weights for luxury lipstick containers. They placed the same order each year so around August, I’d call to see if they want to place an order or up the quantity slightly.  Customer needs can vary by the buyer’s personality.  So make sure that you use creative ways to bring added value thoughtfully, for each buyer.

Maintain your  list and frequently check-in

Email marketing is an effective way to keep in touch with your customers and remind them about your product or service. It can also help you boost your bottom line by driving traffic to your website or landing pages. Frequency is critical – be sure to check in frequently enough that your subscribers don’t forget about you, but not so often that they get annoyed.

Now, I’m not the best with email marketing, so if you aren’t either, don’t worry. It’s the frequency that matters! Follow up the old-school way with a phone call. Or follow up on LinkedIn. I have an “inner circle” on LinkedIn I like to scroll through at least once a week. I message them, like, and share their posts. It’s an excellent way to stay on each other’s radar.

As a bonus, you can offer special deals, free samples, answer questions, and build interest in your new product or service.  People love being in the know.

Now, let’s talk about current and prospective new customers

Reconsider Your Sales Strategy

As a business coach, I help my clients analyze their financial data to find opportunities to make and save money. I also look closely at their sales strategy, aka framework. 

When I say sales framework, I refer to their communication path within the sales process from “here’s who I am and what I offer” to “thank you for choosing us,” aka closing the sale. 

The framework I speak of includes:

Branding

Niche

Unique Selling Proposition (and creation of a Signature Program/Offer)

Packaging of offers

Pricing

Increase sales with strategic messaging

Strengthen your branding to boost sales

A brand is not just a part of your marketing plan.  You must create a solid and authentic brand and lead with it.   It’s essential to know who you are and what you stand for. Take the time to develop a mission statement and values that represent you and your company. Be sure to stay true to these throughout all of your branding efforts. Also, make sure your website, social media profiles, and marketing materials are consistent with each other and accurately reflect your brand.

Are you not a “techy person?”  Do you detest social media advertising? That’s OK. You can outsource the tech! However, make sure that the messaging reflects who you are and why you do what you do. 

To create a robust and lasting relationship with your customers, you need to have a recognizable and trustworthy reputation. Branding is one of the most critical factors when you want to increase sales. New customers need to identify your company quickly and efficiently to feel comfortable doing business with you.

For example, red means stop, and green means go. We know automatically what the colors mean. That’s how I clear I want your branding to be. They know you are you, and this is what you do. New customers won’t spend money when they’re confused.  Therefore, you need to have a super clear brand and marketing strategy to attract potential business.

Make sure you’re aiming toward a more lucrative niche

To choose a niche, you should first assess your strengths and passions. Once you’ve identified that, do market research and look for industries or a target audience that aligns with those qualities. You’ll also want to make sure the niche is profitable; luckily, many online tools and resources can help you determine whether or not a niche is lucrative.

I’ve had plenty of solopreneur start-up clients start their businesses because of a heart-centered purpose. Others might consider it a calling. That’s wonderful! However, make sure that the clients you intend to serve can afford you. If they can’t afford you, you don’t need to drop them. As a mentor of mine used to say, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”  I like to help my clients expand and create a broader range of their niche to boost sales. Surprisingly, the new target market brings in fresh energy and creativity.  That’s what makes what I do fun!

Lead with your unique selling proposition

Your unique selling proposition (USP) makes you different from your competition. It makes people want to do business with you instead of them. To find out what your USP is, ask yourself these questions:

-What do I offer that my competitors don’t?  What’s my competitive advantage?

-How am I better than my competitors?

-What can I do for my customers that nobody else can?

Once you know your USP, make sure to design a signature system around it.

One book that I love is Start Where You Are by Chris Gardner. There was a time when I thought my 17-year manufacturing background didn’t apply to my training-turned-coaching business. However, after reading the book, I realized my unique selling proposition. It made me confident that I know my stuff as a financial business coach. A brown-skinned Asian lady working and leading a manufacturing company? In powder metal? Talk about unique!

Create packages to increase sales

Signature Systems and packaged offerings are an excellent tactic for building interest and helping you increase sales. They conveniently allow more customers to buy multiple items. When you package related multiple products together, it makes the purchase decision easier for your customers and enables them to get more value for their money. In addition, packaging can help create excitement around your new product or service. Using packaging to your advantage can increase sales and boost your bottom line.

Offer bonuses

Customer bonuses are a great way to increase sales because they incentivize customers to buy more products. Offering bonus items on additional purchases is a great way to boost sales and get your customers excited about your products. In addition, customer bonuses can help you build loyalty among your customer base and encourage them to return to buy from you. You want them to feel great about getting a good deal.

Utilize FOMO sparingly and wisely

Yes, using FOMO (fear of missing out) is a great way to increase sales. When new customers feel like they might miss out on a good opportunity or an exciting product, it can motivate them to buy sooner than later. Fear of missing out is a powerful motivator and can be used to your advantage when selling your product or service.

One thing about FOMO, I must say, is to not abuse it simply for increasing sales.  Many businesses have been burned when they see other businesses buy the same product or service they purchased from you at a lower price than they did.  The best salespeople know to stay authentic.  Change up the offer with bonuses or new package offers so that the FOMO makes sense and existing customers and new customers win.

Make sure your pricing strategy is competitive.

One of the most important things you can do to boost your bottom line is to ensure a competitive pricing strategy. But, be careful never to undercharge!

When you charge too little for your product or service, you tell potential customers that your offering is not worth much. This can damage your business in several ways. For example, it can make it difficult to cover costs, meet deadlines, lead to lower margins, and give new customers the impression that your company is not credible. Plenty of small businesses that play this pricing war confuse cash-in with profit. Sure, you can cover your costs and payroll, but what do you have to show for it at the end of the year?

As a business coach, pricing is my forte! I love this subject! Prioritize attention to the expenses you need to cover in your business over what your competitors are charging. I help my clients construct their packages and offerings to command an investment that covers expenses and much more. 

Cultivate a positive money mindset

Visit my course today!

A positive money mindset is when you view money in a way that empowers you. You think positively about it and see it as a tool to help you create the life you want. When you have a positive money mindset, you are more likely to take actions that will increase income and wealth.

If you avoid raising prices, creating packages, leading with your unique selling proposition, or procrastinating on a re-brand, please reach out. I’d love to show you how you can erase your doubt and help your business grow.

Let’s Concentrate on the Bottom Line

While this article is about more sales, I want to take you back to the bottom line. 

The bottom line isn’t what you take in in new sales. It’s profit. 

Sales and profit are two fundamental aspects of any business. Profit is the amount of money left over after subtracting all expenses from your revenue. This number is significant because it shows how successful your company is at making a profit.

On the other hand, sales show how much revenue your company has generated. This number is substantial because it indicates how well you perform in generating more sales.

While both numbers are essential, profit should be the ultimate goal for any business owner – it’s what allows businesses to stay afloat and grow!

Let’s connect.

Here’s the pressing situation.

You’re working hard in your business, but you’re not seeing the profits you want. You know something is holding you back, but you don’t know what it is or how to fix it.

I get you!

It’s frustrating when you’re putting in all the work but not seeing the results. And it can be tough to figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it on your own.

Here’s how I help!

That’s where I come in. As a certified small business coach, I can help identify what’s holding you back and give you a plan to boost your new profit today. Contact me for a free consultation, and let’s get started!

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Easily Cut Business Expenses

Are you looking for ways to save money on business expenses? If so, you’re in luck! This blog post will discuss various strategies that small business owners and new entrepreneurs can use to reduce their spending. We’ll cover everything from reducing your energy costs to finding cheaper office space. So whether you’re just starting or running your business for a while, read on for some valuable money-saving tips!

First, consider, where are you now?

If you’re stuck in business in a downward spiral of out-of-control costs, don’t delay. Start interviewing coaches. Mainly, find a business coach.

A small business coach is a professional who can help you save money and improve your overall financial stability. When interviewing coaches, make sure that they have a very particulate skillset for helping you

1) first, cut expenses

2) second, increase sales

3) and finally, help you change your money mindset for the better

Analyze your profit and loss statement monthly to find more opportunities for saving money

The profit and loss statement, also known as an income statement, shows a business’s financial performance over a specific period. It lists revenue and expenses for the month, which can help you identify areas for saving money. Analyze your profit and loss statement every month to make and save money. Look for opportunities to reduce business costs in marketing, rent, payroll, and other operating expenses. You may also be able to negotiate better rates with your suppliers or increase sales to boost profits. Above all, keep in mind that small businesses should continuously track their spending carefully – every dollar counts!

After analyzing your monthly profit and loss statement, take action to improve your bottom line. Implement some of the money-saving tips mentioned in this article, and you’ll be on your way to reducing your expenses.

First, Pay attention to the cost of goods sold to avoid sharp cost increases.

Lowering costs can be tricky, but entrepreneurs must do everything to keep costs down. By being mindful of your cost of goods sold, you can avoid sharp increases in expenses. By getting organized and using technology wisely, you can reduce your spending on services and other overhead costs. Additionally, negotiating better rates with vendors and service providers can save you a lot of money in the long run.

In addition, a small business’s budget can help.

There are a few different things that you can do to create a budget for your small business. The first thing you need to do is track your expenses for the past month or two. This will give you an idea of where your money is and what areas you can cut back on. Once you understand your spending habits, you can start creating a budget that works for your business. Many online resources are available to help you get started, so don’t be afraid to do some research.

Consider hiring independent contractors.

There are a few ways to help reduce your labor expenses by hiring independent contractors. You won’t have to pay as many benefits since independent contractors have their businesses and aren’t considered employees. Additionally, you may be able to save on taxes by classifying some of your contractors as self-employed. Finally, independent contractors can often be more cost-effective than hiring full-time employees. You won’t need as much office space! Remote workers are great!

Do your research, though, because there are also a few things to watch out for when using independent contractors. Sometimes it backfires when we want to cut back on employee costs. For example, make sure that they are qualified for the job and will be able to complete the work.

Many businesses ask me this, should I hire local college students?

There is no definitive answer, as it depends on various factors. But here are three pros and cons to consider:

Pros:

– College students can be an affordable resource for your business.

– They may have fresh ideas and be eager to learn.

– They can help you with business tasks such as data entry, customer service, or social media marketing.

Cons:

– College students may not have the experience or skills you need.

– If they’re not available during the summer months, you’ll have to find someone else to cover those hours.

– There’s always the potential that they will leave your company after a short time.

Apply the Lean 5S method to save time and money

The Lean methodology is a system that helps companies become more efficient and effective by identifying and eliminating waste. Time is money, right? The Lean philosophy is based on continuous improvement or kaizen. There are five steps in the Lean process:

Sort – Separate what’s needed from what’s not.

Straighten – Organize what’s left to be easily accessed and used.

Shine – Keep everything clean and neat. Be proud!

Standardize – Make sure the new process is followed every time.

Sustain – Maintain the improvements you’ve made.

Apply Value Stream Mapping to find wasted time in your processes

Lean is a philosophy and methodology for the continuous improvement of processes. I loved my Lean Tools Certification Class! I’d suggest learning more and applying it to your business. Lean has five core principles: identify value, create flow, standardize work, optimize the sequence, and sustain the gains. The Lean philosophy is based on the idea that if you can see what creates value for your customers, you can eliminate everything else. This means that you focus on creating value for your customer and removing waste from the process.

Discover what your customers want, and don’t overdeliver

Scope creep can kill a small business. If you’re not careful, those little add-ons and changes to your project can quickly turn into significant expenses that you didn’t plan for. This can ruin your budget, but it can also delay your project and cause quality problems.

To avoid scope creep, set clear boundaries for your project from the beginning. Make sure everyone involved understands what’s expected of them and what’s off-limits. Be prepared to say no to requests beyond the project’s original scope. Charge the customer for the additional work. And, don’t take action until you have a signed agreement. If something changes partway through, update everyone involved so they don’t start working on something already done.

Cut Business Costs to Help with Cash Flow

Reducing expenses can help with cash flow by freeing up funds used elsewhere in the business. It’s important to remember that not all reductions will immediately impact the bottom line – some may take time to realize savings. But careful planning and execution can lead to significant cost savings over time.

For example, installing solar panels might save you $20,000 over three years. So don’t count on that $20K worth of cash next month. Keep looking for opportunities to cut costs that can give you money today versus tomorrow.

Ensure all your expenses are labeled and not coded in a miscellaneous account.

One of the most prominent problems entrepreneurs face is how to keep expenses low. This becomes even more difficult when you have miscellaneous expenses that are not easily categorized.

You may think you’d remember what you swiped your card for, but I guarantee you will forget. Recode your expenses monthly when you’re reconciling your accounts.

Mismanagement of these expenses can lead to more considerable losses in the long run, so it’s essential to take some time to understand and address this issue.

Renegotiate overhead costs such as telephone and internet

A small business owner might hesitate to negotiate for a lower rate with their service providers, but there’s no need to feel bad! You should see it as an opportunity to save your business money.

Here are a few tips for renegotiating overhead costs:

– Renegotiate your telephone and internet bills. Many service providers will give you a discounted rate if you ask for one.

– Ask about group rates for services like shipping and mailing. Often, businesses can receive discounts if they band together and purchase services in bulk.

– Compare prices on office supplies and equipment. It never hurts to shop around before making a purchase, especially if you can find a better deal elsewhere. Your local office supply store likely has more freedom to offer you discounts based on your usage.

Negotiate discounts with frequently used vendors. I liked to estimate my raw material orders based on signed contracts and upcoming jobs. That’s why order trend analysis is critical.

Look for discounts and group rates on insurance policies.

Look for discounts and group rates on insurance policies. Insurance is a necessary expense for any business, but there are ways to save costs on premiums. Ask your broker about discounts for members of professional organizations or if you can bundle your policies with other businesses.

Hire a Payroll Company

Employing a payroll company can save you time and money and avoid what could be costly mistakes. Time-consuming administrative tasks are outsourced to an expert specializing in the payroll process. This frees up your business’s staff to focus on revenue activities instead of spending valuable hours processing employment forms.

Employing a payroll company can save you time and money and avoid what could be costly mistakes. Time-consuming administrative tasks are outsourced to an expert specializing in the payroll process. This frees up your business’s staff to focus on revenue activities instead of spending valuable hours processing employment forms. ~Sean McGinn, ADP

Research different energy sources

Research different energy sources and providers to find the best rates. Some energy companies offer lower rates for businesses that switch from traditional energy sources to renewable ones. Look into solar energy if you have a sunny location and a big roof. 

“Commercial solar projects can be cash positive day 1! With Federal, State, and Utility incentives, plus the ability to deprecate the entire project in year one, your company will see real savings and tax benefits. There are programs from a simple reduction in your current electric rate to building a sub-metered system for you and your tenets, if applicable, that will pay you back for years to come.” ~George Smith, Rightway Energy Group

Downsize your space

Downsizing your office space is a great way to reduce your expenses. You can save business costs on rent, utilities, and even office furniture by scaling down to a smaller space. If you’re currently in the market for a new office, ask about discounts for signing a longer lease or prepaid rent. And don’t forget to negotiate with your current landlord – you may be able to get a lower rate if you agree to stay put for another year or two.

Use technology to reduce costs.

There are many ways that you can use technology to reduce expenses. However, I don’t recommend buying used computer equipment. Consider investing in new computer equipment if you have old, unreliable computers. And make sure to have a cyber security expert on board.

“You’re saving money in the long run by avoiding potentially dangerous mistakes. To combat the constantly evolving threats from cyberattacks, businesses need to implement a plan involving all stakeholders, from c-level executives to entry-level employees and all departments in between. It will take education, participation, and collaboration to ensure your business is protected from the bad guys behind the computer.” ~Scott Gombar, Nwaj Tech

Also, using cloud-based storage and software programs can help reduce the amount of office space and equipment you need, lowering your rent or utility bills. By utilizing technology in these ways, small business owners can significantly reduce their operating costs and improve their bottom line.

Revisit your traditional advertising methods

Traditional advertising costs include printing materials, postage, and trade show expenses. But there are a lot of creative ways to cut conventional advertising costs. For example, you could print your marketing materials yourself or use an online printer to get a lower price. You could also save on postage by sending email newsletters instead of printed mailings. And if you’re going to participate in a trade show, make sure to plan and choose one within driving distance to avoid travel costs.

With this said, you should never skimp on your promotional materials. Quality materials will help you stand out from the competition and reach more potential customers. However, there are ways to cut back or reconsider your promotional expenses. Here are a few tips:

-Work with an expert who can help you choose suitable materials for your specific need. Don’t just aim for a low-cost tchotchke salesperson. 

– Invest in high-quality products that will last longer. This will ensure that you get the most for your money.

– Look for deals and discounts online or through local suppliers.

– Consider using recycled or eco-friendly materials whenever possible.

– Be creative! There are many affordable ways to promote your business without breaking the bank.

Time management should never be overlooked.

When you’re looking to cut corners, time is always an essential factor. Ensure that you are looking to be more efficient with your time in the office and out of it! There’s no need for overtime if you or an employee can accomplish the work within a 40-hour week. Utilize technology to take care of simple tasks, so you don’t have to spend extra hours on something menial. This will save on costs.

Technology has done wonders for small businesses everywhere – make sure to use it wisely! You might also want to look into automating some processes in your business; this could free up time (and money) for other endeavors.

Utilize Credit Wisely

Credit card companies offer a variety of benefits to small businesses, including cash back rewards on certain purchases and 0% introductory APR rates. If your business is looking for ways to save money, using a credit card can be a great way to do so. Before signing up, read the terms and conditions carefully, as some cards have annual fees or other charges. But overall, using a credit card can be a helpful way to reduce your expenses.

Another great way to save money on business costs is by taking advantage of business credit card discounts offered by various organizations. For example, the American Express OPEN program provides exclusive discounts on products and services for small businesses.

Invest in your employees

Lower your healthcare expenses by implementing a corporate wellness program. This will improve the health and well-being of your employees, but it can also lead to cost savings. According to a study conducted by the National Business Group on Health, companies that offer comprehensive wellness programs see an average reduction in healthcare costs of $522 per employee per year. That’s a significant saving!

You can implement many different types of corporate wellness programs, so be sure to choose one that best suits your company’s needs. Popular options include health screenings, smoking cessation programs, weight loss challenges, and stress management workshops.

Consider Life Insurance

Life insurance for business succession keeps the business running and provides family access to necessary funds, even if your assets are tied up in the company. … As a small business owner, taking out life insurance on a partner or other key employee can also help support long-term security for your company and family.

Life insurance helps attract new employees: When an insurance company issues a policy, they do so because it is determined that the policy owner will incur a financial loss when the insured passes away. The insurance industry calls it “insurable interest.” Because a business owner may incur a financial loss if a key employee dies, insurance companies generally let business owners have insurable interests over their employees.

Life Insurance provides unique tax benefits to business owners: There are several tax benefits associated with whole life insurance, extending to the cash value growth while the insured lives. The death benefit after the insured has passed away. Business owners need whole life insurance because it provides a place to grow wealth tax-free. With careful planning, distributions can also be taken tax-free. ~Ihssane Khatib, CYP

Join a business networking group

Business networking groups are a great way to connect with other entrepreneurs in your area. You will be able to share ideas and resources, but you can also get discounts on goods and services. As a bonus, many networking groups offer free or discounted rates for their members. So if you’re looking for ways to save money, joining a networking group is a great place to start.

Work with Financial Professionals

CPAs do much more than your taxes!

CPAs provide valuable services to businesses, including tax preparation, bookkeeping, and financial consulting. Working with a CPA allows small business owners to save money on their taxes and make sound financial decisions that will help them grow their businesses. In addition to providing essential services, CPAs are also excellent sources of advice and support. If you’re looking for ways to lower your business costs, working with a CPA is a wise decision.

If your CPA says, “I’m too busy”!, Runaway!

Most CPAs would be happy to help you if you give them enough notice. You don’t always need an appointment; send them an email or call them up. They’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

Hire a tax planner to help you save money on taxes

If you’re like most small business owners, you’re always looking for ways to save business costs. One of the best ways to do this is to hire a tax planner. Not all CPAs are tax planners, so do your homework! A good tax planner can help you take advantage of all the deductions and credits available to you, saving you a lot of money on your taxes.

Why should I invest in a bookkeeper?

One of the best ways to lower your costs is to work with a bookkeeper. A good bookkeeper can help you ensure that your financial records are accurate and up-to-date. This can help you avoid any costly mistakes down the road. Additionally, a bookkeeper can provide valuable insights into how your business performs financially. A bookkeeper can help you make more informed decisions about allocating your resources by tracking your expenses and income. If you’re looking for ways to reduce your business costs, hiring a qualified bookkeeper is one of the best steps.

Where do I find a great bookkeeper?

There are many places to find a great bookkeeper, but one of the best is through referrals. Ask your friends and family if they know anyone who does bookkeeping well. You can also check online directories or classified ads. Just be sure to interview several candidates before making a decision.

Another option is to use an accounting firm. This can be more expensive, but it may be worth it if you don’t have the time or knowledge to do the bookkeeping yourself.

Financial Advisors work with many businesses too.

Financial advisors use investment, savings, and tax strategies to help business owners achieve their financial goals. Their professional expertise can assist owners in executing their business plans, designing retirement plans for themselves and their employees, and putting a succession plan in place. The financial advisor will track progress toward achieving their goals and make suggestions along the way if needed. Most importantly, partnering with a financial advisor frees up time and energy so that business owners can focus on activities that will grow and strengthen their business, such as hiring new employees or trying out new marketing tactics. “~Bosmat Cohen, Edward Jones

Consider a Retirement Plan

When it comes to retirement plans, there is quite a list to pick from 401k, SIMPLE IRA, SEP, Owner only, Traditional IRA, or Roth IRA. Some plans allow the contributions to be tax-deductible to the business, while others to the employee. In some plans, contributions are pretax, and in others, after-tax. Deciding which plan is best for your business can be overwhelming. It’s important to understand the needs of your business and the primary reason for having a retirement plan. Is it to save taxes for the business? Is it to attract high-quality employees? or is it to provide retirement income to the business owner? Or is it a combination of reasons? A financial advisor can help you identify the best plan to suit your needs and set it up for you.” ~Bosmat Cohen, Edward Jones

Hire a Business Coach

Business Coach versus Financial Business Coach

As a business owner, it’s preferable to have a coach who has a hands-on skill set so they can shortcut your way out of a messy situation. And, what kind of training and education do they have in business coaching?

It’s essential to contact the coach and talk to them about your specific needs. Some business coaches focus on a money mindset and building confidence. Do you need this? Or do you need more? It all depends on your current situation. Make sure they are qualified and match your needs.

Here are some interview questions I recommend.

Can they help you develop a plan for reducing expenses and increasing sales?

How did they become a business coach? Are they certified?

Do they have professional business insurance?

Are they experienced working with companies of your size?

Did they ever own or lead a small business?

Have they ever been an employer before?

Question and Observe

Listen closely to their answers to ensure they are qualified for your needs. If they don’t come from a small business background, for example, corporate, they likely are great with goal setting but might struggle with small business problem-solving.  

You can vet a business coach when they visit your place of business. Do they ask for your profit and loss report? Will they gladly tour your facility? Are they great listeners? And does this person as high-quality questions?

And, are they nurturing? Coaching is a nurturing profession. This person must be open, encouraging, and focused on building your capabilities. They teach you the skillset you need rather than having them rely on them to do it for you. Run away if they discourage, judge, criticize, or blame others!

Most importantly, work with a small business coach.

Here’s what’s going on.

You’re working hard, but your business isn’t where you want it to be. You’re not sure what’s holding you back, perhaps it’s so expensive to be in business now, but you know that something needs to change.

I’ve been in your shoes.

Deciding to get help is tough, but it’s the first step to success. What expenses can you negotiate down? Or, what costs can you cut altogether? Most small business owners never reach their full potential because they don’t have access to the right advice and support.

Solution:

Let’s see if I can help.

I am a certified small business coach with over 26 years of experience helping businesses like yours achieve their goals. Our free consultation will discuss what’s holding you back and your most troublesome costs to do business and give you a roadmap for boosting your net profit. Apply for a free consultation today!

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What a Business Coach Needs to Have

An experienced business coach understands the challenges and struggles of running a small company best when they previously ran or led a small company. This blog post will explore why experienced business coaches are typically expert entrepreneurs who can provide valuable insight and advice based on their incidents.

A Business Coach Needs Experience Working for a Small Business

I had the privilege of working for my family’s factory for about 17 years in my background. When my parents moved back to the Philippines, I ran it as the vice president from 2001 to 2008.

I started my own business (training-turned-coaching) in 2010. And for seven years, I had contracts with the State of Connecticut and the Small Business Administration. I had business coaching clients and taught companies about financial management and Lean office efficiency. What was surprising to me were all the stories I heard,

“What?! My coach never told me that.”

“Janet, my coach couldn’t specifically tell me how to make more money.”

“He (my coach) won’t read my financial statements with me.”

Is Strategic Planning Enough

Often, a strategic coach who has never run their own business or has authentic small business experience offers generic advice or solutions that may not apply to your business growth. They may also have trouble relating to the unique challenges you face daily. With this knowledge gap, I made sure to tell my clients, “Ask me anything. If I don’t know, I’ll say so.”

A Valuable Resource

As a federal and state government independent contractor, I took my personalized advice and most frequently asked questions and started writing articles throughout my seven years. Here, I’ll do my best to include links to the most popular questions.

Personalized Guidance for Administrators

First, let me address the office administrator’s questions.

The administrator is often overlooked when a coach comes from corporate or any other profession that doesn’t include running a company. Little does this corporate coach know; that this person is the company’s heart. Administrators are business leaders too. The business suffers when they aren’t offered continual education, soft skills training, and updated resources.

Also, when this person is overworked or feels unappreciated, they are likely to leave. Here are some articles I wrote specifically for the administrator.

Championing the Admin

If not for the admin

It’s OK to say no.

Daily Self-Care Actions

And here are some office-related how-to’s I wrote for the frustrated office administrator. You know who you are!

Daily Agenda

Work interruptions from the co-workers

Work interruptions from the boss

Pet Peeve: Random Stuff on your Desk

Follow-ups Attract More Clients

The business owner and administrator typically ask me about my follow-up procedure. They know they need to improve their follow-up system, but they’re unsure how. The first step is understanding why you should have a follow-up system in the first place.

Creating or improving your follow-up system can increase sales and support company growth. Here’s a link to my article that teaches you more about follow-up systems.

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How a bookkeeper can achieve tremendous success

Depending on the size of the business, the office administrator is often the bookkeeper too. When you have one person combining this work, it is difficult for them to get the workload done. As a result, some tasks keep getting deprioritized. And the more “not-fun” the job, the more likely those tasks won’t get done.

One such task is doing the collect calls. This is one of the most-hated jobs a bookkeeper must do!

When making collect calls, you can do a few things to make the experience more favorable for you and the person on the other end of the line. For starters, try to remain upbeat during your conversation. This will help keep the other person’s spirits up, even if they cannot respond. Secondly, make sure you have the contact information of the person you’re calling in advance. This will help ensure that the call goes through smoothly and without delays. Finally, be prepared to answer any questions the other person may have about your collect call. Here’s a link to my article that teaches you more about collections.

Profitable Team Building

If you have a salesperson and a bookkeeper, ensure they frequently meet regarding new quotes and proposals. This is potentially the most profitable team in your business.

While we’re here in bookkeeping land, a business owner might employ a salesperson and a bookkeeper. I’ve witnessed countless times when the salesperson doesn’t connect with the bookkeeper. They aren’t reviewing their costing sheets with the bookkeeper to ensure the estimated costs are actual and updated. The bookkeeper knows the financials like the back of their hand. They are the highly experienced partner in this equation. Keep this in mind. The bookkeeper is a business leader. Successful businesses understand this.

Successful Entrepreneurs Say NO sometimes.

I’ve had so many frustrated clients complain to me about this. Plenty has asked me, “Janet, how do we decide not to compete for a big job?”

This is a question that comes up often for business owners, and the answer isn’t always straightforward. First, you’ll need to look at your business’ overall financial picture and cash flow. There often isn’t much of a margin for error regarding the bottom line. My article teaches you to decide if you should pass or go for it.

Now, let’s talk about competing for jobs. You must have a signed proposal and contract before starting work to protect yourself. It doesn’t matter how quickly the customer needs you to start. It’s up to them to speed up their signature process so you can get work scheduled.

This means you’ll need a great business lawyer.

Don’t opt out of hiring a business lawyer.

A business lawyer can help you with the many legal issues when owning and operating a business. This includes reviewing contracts, helping to establish LLCs or corporations, and representing your business in court if necessary. Successful companies make sure to have an operating agreement. If you have a business partner, make sure you flush out the operating agreement details ASAP to avoid unnecessary conflict.

When it comes to customers, you have to protect yourself because it’s your cash on the line. You may have to deal with non-paying customers and an expensive raw materials inventory. Who eats that cost? You do! The customer isn’t going to “get mad” at you for protecting yourself. Surprisingly, I’ve met many business owners afraid of “lawyering up.” Don’t be scared. This is what expert entrepreneurs do! Here’s my advice on how to find a great business lawyer.

Now that you have found a business lawyer, it’s time to build strong partnerships.

Personal Development with Others

It would be best if you always looked to collaborate with others to get ahead. This could mean collaborating with other businesses in your area, collaborating with other business owners on joint ventures, or collaborating with professionals like a talented business coach, accountant, and lawyer. I have a weekly mastermind, and I learn something new each week. I love it! With a team of trusted individuals, you can improve your leadership and interpersonal skills, understand your core values, and even find an accountability partner. Here’s a link to my article that teaches you more about how to build strong partnerships.

Businesses Expand our Creativity

Through the years, I’ve coached countless start-up businesses where the owner had experience in his industry for 20+ years, and then he decided to go out independently. Talk about stress! It’s hard to navigate a new business when you’re not used to everything being on your shoulders.

Business Owners Need Flexibility

People have asked me, “Janet, what am I missing here?” I say you need to be more flexible! With time, successful business owners acquire the ability to be more creative when solving problems.

There are many things entrepreneurs need to be flexible about, but I think the most important is their mindset. They need to be open to change and new ideas and not get too attached to their original plan. Usually, business revenue doesn’t come from where you think it will come from. Scary, right?

Entrepreneurs also have to be flexible with their time. They often have to work long hours, and sometimes they have to do tasks that aren’t very glamorous. Plenty of times, business owners reach breaking point. When entrepreneurs hit this wall, we prioritize creating systems and installing Lean methods to cut waste.

Finally, entrepreneurs need to be flexible with their finances. This means being able to adjust their spending when necessary and not being afraid of risk. If they can stick to these three things, they’ll be successful no matter what industry.

Flexibility is a skill all people need to develop.

Corporate employees are not as flexible as those who have worked in a small company. They are used to having their job title and responsibilities clearly defined and may not be able to adapt quickly to changes. Suppose this sounds like you; give yourself some grace and some time. And, don’t compare yourself to others. Instead, watch how they do it and experiment with what works for you.

Those who have worked in small businesses know how to wear many hats and are more likely to be able to help clients achieve business success

Many Business Owners Get Distracted

I say this because I get distracted too. This is a normal part of the business world we need to tame. If you’re an entrepreneur in a highly stressful situation, you can be easily convinced to go for a solution that’s not quite right for what you need.

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Is Sales the Problem

We may jump to a business coaching program focused on marketing strategies if sales are increasingly hard to attract. It seems like a reasonable jump but before you invest in a new signature program, check with your marketing manager to ensure you’re not losing out on a return on investment for your traditional marketing efforts.

Should you hire an executive business coach?

Again, this is a solution that you need to consider thoughtfully. To help you make this decision, please know that many great coaches are out there. However, I’d first recommend checking in with an experienced mentor. Your staff members have unique motivations and needs. A quick chat with your mentor can help you solve business problems and help motivate your staff.

So, you want to hire a business coach.

If this sounds like you, I’m excited for you! There are many benefits when it comes to hiring a business coach. To find a great coach, I would recommend companies first write down the business owner’s vision. The best business coaches know how to listen closely to your needs. Specifically, they would need to understand how to save money on business expenses. Secondly, they need to know how to increase sales and maximize your sales framework. And, if they can’t help you reach your vision, they either know how to find you resources or direct you to another coach who can. If you’d like to apply a complimentary discovery call with me, please click here.

What kind of business coach do you need to hire?

Please know that life coaching is quite different than business coaching. An executive coach and a personal business coach can be great options. They can help you navigate many business problems regarding leadership and organization.

However, if you aim to build business growth within the next year or two, I highly recommend working with a certified business coach with experience running a business. My specialty as a certified financial business coach is working with established companies with two or more years in business. If this sounds like you, please click here to apply for a complimentary discovery call.

Self-Awareness is key

Be wary of the coach who says they’re the jack of all trades and they can coach anybody. Not so! A great business coach serves a narrow niche. For me, I love helping businesses grow financially. I love teaching small business owners the skills required to find and make more money in their business. We go beyond business goals because goals are such a blanket statement. I enjoy reviewing financials with my clients quite frequently. We do this to assure that the growth plans we execute are reality-based and give them a return on their investment when choosing to work with me.

Work with an Experienced Certified Business Coach

Janet Johnson is an experienced business coach with over 26 years of experience leading and training small companies.

Here’s the problem.

You’re not making as much money as you want in your business.

I’ve been in your shoes.

It’s frustrating when you’re putting in all the hard work but don’t see the expected profits. You may feel stuck and don’t know how to move forward.

Let’s see how I can help.

As a certified small business coach, I’ve helped entrepreneurs just like you increase their profits by hundreds of dollars per day. In just one free consultation, I can help identify what’s holding you back and give you a roadmap to boosting your new profit today.

Social Justice Entrepreneurs

Regarding social justice, entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in the world. As business owners, we have more control over our operations and can often implement social justice causes into our activities. Doing so is not only beneficial for society but can also be beneficial to the entrepreneur’s business as well. Let’s examine why social justice should be part of your business plan and what that entails.

The Benefits of Incorporating Social Justice

Incorporating social justice into your business activities has numerous benefits. Firstly, it helps foster an intentional environment for customers, employees, partners, and other stakeholders. You want to highlight what your company stands for and lead with this. Doing so can help attract other people/organizations with similar passion projects.

Additionally, being socially responsible improves customer loyalty – customers are likelier to stick with companies that take a stand for what they believe in. It also strengthens relationships between businesses and the community – people will trust and support your efforts when you demonstrate that you care about making the world better.

Finally, incorporating social justice into your business activities can help improve employee morale – seeing that their employer is doing something good for society can make them proud to work there.

How To Fold Social Justice Causes Into Your Business Activities

There are several ways you can incorporate social justice causes into your business activities. One way is through corporate philanthropy – donating money or resources to organizations or initiatives that are doing good in the world.

I think it’s great when a company announces who they’re donating to after the big sales launch instead of before the big sales launch. When they talk about it before the launch, that donation appears to be part of the sales pitch instead of donating from a purely no-strings-attached place.

Another way is by implementing policies within your organization that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). This means creating an environment where everyone is treated fairly regardless of gender identity, race, religion, or other factors.

You could consider partnering with organizations or initiatives focused on making a positive impact in the world – this would give you access to valuable resources and additional ways to reach potential customers or investors who share the same values.

Please don’t do it for the Brownie Points!

People can see right through superficial marketing campaigns. Hence, when I say incorporate social justice, do it from a place of generosity instead of thinking of what’s “marketable” or “good PR.”

A big platform can help you raise awareness about the causes you care about. Perhaps you can co-host fundraisers or collaborations that draw attention to social justice causes.

Are you big on Diversity and Inclusion? Don’t make a marketing splash about this topic because this looks false. Your transparent actions, offerings, content, hiring trends, etc., will demonstrate your commitment to DEI.

Conclusion

Incorporating social justice causes into business activities has many benefits – from strengthening relationships between businesses and communities to improving customer loyalty and employee morale – all of which can ultimately lead to tremendous success for entrepreneurs in the short and long term. So if you’re looking for ways to make a positive impact while growing your business, consider folding some social justice causes into your activities today!

Would you like to talk about your favorite social justice causes? Please reach out. Let’s have a free consulting session soon.

MLK Inspiration for Entrepreneurs

Martin Luther King Jr. was a leader, a visionary, and an advocate who fought tirelessly to ensure justice, freedom, and equality for all. He was someone who worked to bring about social change in America. His work, leadership, and commitment to his cause have inspired all people, including aspirational entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, microbusiness entrepreneurs, and beyond. But what lessons can we take from Dr. King’s legacy? Let’s explore this further.

Know Your Worth

Dr. King refused to accept anything less than what he believed he was entitled to, even when it meant going against powerful forces that opposed him and his mission.

As an entrepreneur, you, too, should remember your worth and never settle for less than you deserve when negotiating with clients or charging prices for your services that reflect the value you bring to the table. It is essential to stay mindful of your capabilities so that you don’t undersell yourself or let fear get in the way of success.

Be Fearless

Fear can be paralyzing, but like Dr. King proved time and time again throughout his career as a leader of the civil rights movement, fearlessness is essential when striving towards any goal – big or small.

As an entrepreneur working on projects independently can be scary because there is no one around to help support or encourage you if things get tough. Finding your entrepreneurial community is one of the first steps in addressing this fear. Network and collaborate. Once you know that you’re “not the only one” struggling with doubt or overwhelm (which stems from fear) will help propel you to move on, regardless of those worries.

Lead by Example

Dr. King showed us how far we could go when we lead by example, something all entrepreneurs should strive for in their businesses and personal lives.

For example, if you want your team members or employees to adhere to specific standards, then ensure that you set an example by doing the same thing first – this will hold everyone accountable, which is essential for any successful business venture.

Embrace Diversity & Inclusion

Another lesson from Dr. King’s legacy is the importance of diversity & inclusion in the workplace. As a first-generation BIPOC Filipina American, DEI is always top of mind for me. It’s essential to surround myself with people of all backgrounds. I want to learn from and embrace varying ideas and beliefs. Mainly, I want to honor people as people and stimulate my mind and life.

If your community comprises mostly one race, I’d recommend intentionally seeking out diversity.

Incorporating diversity & inclusion into your life is essential because it makes good business sense and helps foster an environment where everyone feels respected regardless of race/ethnicity/gender/sexual orientation etc. In business, this ultimately leads to more productive teams willing and able to put forth their best efforts!

Conclusion

Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy inspires entrepreneurs everywhere – especially solopreneurs who often work independently without anyone else’s support or encouragement along the way.

By remembering our worth, being fearless in our actions, and leading by example, we can truly honor Dr. King’s memory by embodying some of his most important lessons, such as knowing our worth, being fearless leaders, and fostering diversity & inclusion within our businesses! By following these principles, we can make meaningful progress towards success with our ventures while always remaining true to ourselves.

If you are an entrepreneur who embraces inclusion and intentionally seeks out diversity in all aspects of your life, perhaps we’re meant to coach together. Please reach out for a free consultation, and I’m happy to talk with you.

Goals your Business in January

New Year’s goals and resolutions are a time-honored tradition; they don’t have to be limited to personal goals. Whether you’re a solopreneur or have a small team, this is the time of year when you can take stock of your business and make changes to help it grow and thrive over the next 12 months. So what should your business’s New Year’s resolution look like? Here are some ideas.

Set Goals & Make Plans

The most important thing is to set yourself up for success by setting clear goals for the upcoming year. This can be anything from increasing revenue by 10% to launching a new product or service line. You should also create action plans that will help you achieve those goals. Think about specific activities you can do each month and assign deadlines for each. This will give you something concrete to work on throughout the year so you don’t get overwhelmed and lose focus halfway through.

Delegation helps big time!

One of my first goals is to delegate. I like to brainstorm all that I do and categorize it. Mainly, I like highlighting the admin tasks that take me a long time. Once I’ve identified them, I create a process, a training video, or a step-by-step process and share them with Luz, my virtual assistant.

Once I get a ton of admin off my plate, I can refocus my time on current and prospective clients. I love this time! And boosting my sales goal is always a win.

Review Your Finances

It’s also important to review your finances for last year at the start of the new year. Take a look at your income and expenses and any debts or investments you may have made during the previous 12 months. This will help you understand where your money is going and where it could be better spent. It’s also a good idea to assess whether any changes need to be made to ensure your finances remain healthy throughout 2023.

Uplevel this with Boss Friday

I always have my clients prioritize reconciling their bank statements at the end of each month and then block off lunch on Boss Friday. What’s Boss Friday? Boss Friday is the Friday of the first whole week of a month. For example, on January 6th, 2023, at noon (your time), you should analyze your P&L and find ways to make/save money. Do this each month. Trust me; you don’t want to wait until the end of the year! Doing so leads to so many missed opportunities.

Retool Your Marketing Strategy

Finally, take some time at the beginning of 2021 to reassess your marketing strategy and make any necessary changes or improvements. Are there new platforms or systems that could help you reach more people? Are there old strategies that no longer work? Have there been any significant developments in digital marketing over the past year that could benefit your business? Answering these questions now will help ensure that your business remains competitive throughout 2023 and beyond.

Investigate ROI

Look at each of your marketing tools and track their ROI. For example, BNI costs $700/year to join. Did my BNI group help me attract $700 worth of business? If yes, stay! If not, it’s OK to consider moving on. Before making a drastic decision, I’d first talk to your mentor and see what you can do to increase sales through your group.

Conclusion

With all these tips in mind, January is an ideal time for solopreneurs to review their businesses and set themselves up for success in 2023—and beyond! By taking stock of their finances, setting realistic goals, creating action plans, and retooling their marketing strategies, they can ensure their businesses remain competitive while helping them reach even greater heights this coming year!

Would you like help with any of this? Feel free to apply for a free consultation to see if I can help.

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