Marketing and Business Blog

Marketing and Business Blog

5 Stages of the Small Business Lifecycle

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Yesterday I led a Strategic Retreat for business owners where we talked through this topic. These retreats take place every 90 days. It’s a full day away from your business to work “on” the business instead of “in” the business.

Every quarter we assess where our businesses are and where we are as strategic business owners. We set goals and we hold each other accountable to our goals and vision. We create a written plan of action for the next 90 days, and then we come back in 90 days and do it again. Each quarter we also work on some strategic system in our business. Yesterday this group had great accomplishments to share and they engaged our process with passion.

Everyone assessed where their business was in the small business lifecycle. Good business management is essential as small businesses move through the cycle. Here are the 5 stages that small businesses go through.

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The Most Important Work of Leadership

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Too many small business owners are by default small leaders, and this costs them dearly! However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Too many of us excel in “doer-ship” instead of “leadership,” and unfortunately, it shows in our businesses and our lives.

Too many owners of small businesses are micro-managers who like to touch and control everything. They trust no one but themselves. They believe “no one does it as well as me.” As a result, they seldom delegate, if they delegate at all. They mistake such busyness for business leadership.

Instead of thinking and leading like “owners,” many (if not most) of us think and behave like employees.

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How to Create a Marketing Plan

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Every small business needs a current and actionable marketing plan! However, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the task of writing one. Most software programs designed to help you are often too comprehensive; to the point that many business owners give up, or never even start.

Marketing plan software can be very helpful, but I want to offer you a quick, simple way to create an actionable plan that will get you results! After all, results are what we’re after!

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How Does a Sale Happen?

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It’s extremely gratifying for a business owner or sales professional to close a sale. For me it’s not just a “win.” It’s the awareness that I have satisfied a sincere want or need for another human being. I have helped them in some way. I have provided so much value that they willingly compensate me for what they are receiving.

I just completed 2 days of sales coaching and training with a local franchise owner. I shared with them my belief that traditional sales training does not work.

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3 Ways to Improve Your Selling Conversation

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In the past, I’ve given seminars and workshops to salespeople and business owners called, “How to Improve Your Selling Conversation.” Every business owner should be thinking about ways to improve their own sales effectiveness and the effectiveness of their employees. This seminar was also extremely beneficial to the veteran sales professionals present (based on their feedback.)

At the heart of direct sales is the conversation. We can increase our sales by simply improving the selling conversation. The best salespeople are always working to improve their sales effectiveness. I can’t share the entire seminar with you in this blog post but let me offer you 3 tips that will enable you to improve your selling conversation.

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2 Qualities That Make a Marketing Message Work

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On June 12th, 1987, Ronald Reagan made his famous speech at the Brandenburg Gate near the Berlin Wall where he issued that historic challenge to Mikhail Gorbachev, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” The rest is history.

This speech was actually loaded with powerful lines, but they are all overshadowed by this emphatic message. Two reasons this statement was so powerful is because it was concrete (not abstract) and emotional (not just intellectual). Geoffrey James in his book How to Say It: Business to Business Selling uses this line as an example of how we as business owners and sales professionals can and should craft our selling messages.

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