Cornelius

Dec 152011
 

How to make your adverts really work for you

Regardless of where your ad is – newspaper, magazine, website – they say you have about 3-5 seconds to make an impact on the reader before they move on to something else.  There are lots of ways to attract a reader’s attention (through the use of color, photos etc) but the thing that will grab their attention and keep it is your advert headline.  Here are a few ideas you should keep in mind when you’re advertising your business with an advert. Continue reading »

Dec 152011
 

It’s cheaper to keep present customers than to find new ones

Someone has done studies to look at how/why customers stop using a business and the results are startling.  A few percent move, another few percent move because they get a better offer, some die (literally) but by far the biggest percentage – around 69% – move on because of indifference from the business they were using.  That sounds like bad news but in fact for you, if you’re going to run your business properly, it’s going to be good news.  If 69% of companies don’t have a good customer service program the it’s not going to take much from you to become one of the 31% who do.  Let’s look at a few ways to keep those customers. Continue reading »

Dec 152011
 

If you ask the average business owner what their sales conversion rate is the chances are you will get a blank look in response to the question or you will get a figure about 4-5 times higher than what it really is.  Why is that?  Because most small business owners don’t measure it or use a sales funnel to help them identify where they’re going right or wrong in the sales process. Continue reading »

Dec 152011
 

How to maximize your productivity

If you were given $86,400 and told you had to spend it today or lose it, the chances are you would spend it all on things you wanted.  However, translate that $86,400 into seconds (that equates to the number of seconds in a day) and the chances are that you either spend a lot of those seconds doing stuff you don’t want to do or you waste them by not doing anything at all. Continue reading »

Dec 152011
 

Subtle differences can make a big difference to your advertising success

Have a look at these two advert headlines and think about what makes them different:

“Ten reasons why you need to buy a new car”.

“Ten reasons why you should buy your new car from Jim’s Autos”.

In the first headline your advert is not targeting anyone in particular, you are just trying to put the idea into people’s minds that they need a new car.  In the second headline you are much more specific because you are targeting only those people who have already decided to buy a new car – all they need to do now is decide where from, and you’re helping provide that answer. Continue reading »

Dec 152011
 

Every business needs to make a profit to survive and, generally speaking, the more profit we make then the better the business is, the more likely it is to survive a recession and the more likely it is to grow and flourish.  There are five fundamental ways to increase profits that you need to know when starting a small business and they are as follows: Continue reading »

Dec 152011
 

When you first start out there’s often the worry that no-one will take you seriously because of your size.  Although that’s not always the case there is some truth in it and it usually doesn’t harm your likelihood of success to make yourself look bigger than you are (that’s one of the advantages of buying a franchise – you may just be starting out but you have the franchise name behind you so people consider you to be something bigger).  I’ve put together here a few things that me and some of my past clients have done to give the impression of being a bigger business. Continue reading »

Dec 152011
 

1. Don’t panic.  2 Follow this advice

One of the biggest causes of business failure is a lack of cashflow.  It might seem strange but many profitable businesses fail.  Why?  Because they didn’t manage the flow of cash into and out of the business.  This is especially acute when a business is going through a period of growth.  Here are a few ways to avoid becoming another statistic. Continue reading »

Dec 152011
 

Want to be successful in business?  Read on…

Speak to most people and they will say that the most important things for a business are to make a profit and keep the cashflow positive.  True, but they are second order effects stemming from more strategic level actions.  Here are the three higher level factors that are needed for a successful business. Continue reading »

Dec 152011
 

Is your small business starting to drift?

Sometimes, a year or two after you start your small business, you suddenly find that you’re not actually doing what you expected, or the business seems to have drifted away from what you thought it should be.  If that’s the case then it’s probably time you did a quick re-set of your ‘business compass’ to get you back to the right track.  When I’m working with small business owners I usually recommend they take time out of the business at least once a year and, to do it properly, to take a few days off and away from the office to concentrate on it properly.  Here are a few questions I usually ask them to ask themselves. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Beware of growing pains as your business takes off

It’s a great feeling as business improves and your business starts to grow; you think the struggle for survival is behind you, that everything is fine from here on in and you start to relax.  The next thing you know you’re back to where you started thinking “what happened?”  Running a small business that’s expanding can be complicated but it’s not impossible. Here are a couple of things you need to keep an eye out for: Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

How to set up a host beneficiary

First of all, what is a host beneficiary?  It’s a relationship between two businesses that helps each one make more profit by working together in a non-competitive manner.  For example, a hairdresser might do something to help out a beauty salon – it works because ladies getting their hair styled will probably want beauty treatments too.  Host beneficiary relationships are also a great way to advertise your business because someone else is promoting your company and people see that as a referral.  So how do you go about it? Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

A business dashboard lets you know what’s going on in your company

When you’re driving along in your car how do you know that everything is ok with the car?  You look at the dashboard – speed ok, enough fuel for the journey, engine temperature in the green.  At a glance you can see everything is fine and then turn your attention back to the road ahead. How do you think your business might benefit from a similar dashboard so that you could see at a glance that all was ok and then concentrate again on building profit?  If you want to run a good business then developing a dashboard is a key requirement. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Is it better that your small business has a loan or has shareholders?

Starting a small business can be expensive.  There may be a requirement for office space, stock will usually be required and there are ‘hidden’ costs such as fuel for the car to go out marketing the business.  Many business owners will use savings to cover some of the early costs but most businesses will need quite a large lump of cash to keep them going for the first 6-12 months while they become established.  The two main ways of getting this cash is through debt or equity.  Let’s look at the good and bad points of each. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

The DISC profile is your friend in a sales situation

In the 1920s an American psychologist developed a way of looking at the human character that can still be used today by sales people aiming to boost their conversion rate.  The system is called DISC profiling, which stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance.  Understanding where your prospect sits within the DISC profile can make a huge difference to you being able to ‘connect’ with their way of thinking and, as a result, make the sale. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Top tips to increase your average sale value

Do you know what the average sale value is for each customer who buys from you? It’s a simple calculation to make – just make a note of what every customer buys, add up the total and then divide by the number of customers. Then, once once you know what the figure is, you can work on increasing it. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

The best person to buy from you today was the person who bought from you yesterday…

It costs about 7 times more to sell to a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, therefore, to realize that if you can keep your existing customers for the long term then your profits are going to be much higher – plus you won’t have to spend a huge amount of time and effort wondering how to get business in through the door. Below are a few strategies to help you keep hold of the customers you have. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Top tips for making the sale

Getting people through the door of your shop or on to your website is only half the battle; getting them to buy – converting them from prospects to customers is what adds money to our bottom line.

There are hundreds of ways of improving your conversion rates but I’ve chosen just three here to give you an idea of the sort of thing you can do to get you started. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

You need to get people in the door to be able to sell to them!

Before you can make any sales you need to attract leads to your business. Leads are not customers, they are only potential buyers, or prospects, because they haven’t bought from you yet. What we’re going to look at here are a few examples of how you can attract prospects through your door. Some of the ideas will be better for people selling products, others for those selling services. Regardless, they are all tried and tested methods that will improve your business. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Sales is a game – make sure you know the rules

Regardless of the type of business you’re in or the product or service you provide, everyone has to sell. Some people are born to sell but the majority of people have to work at it a little before success comes their way. From my experience as a salesman and also from watching people as a business coach here are a few things that I see all successful sales people doing when making a sale. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

A referral strategy can be a great way to advertise your business – because there is a personal connection

When you’re building a business, a referral strategy is a great way of building up customers and spreading the word about your company. If you’re just starting a small business it can also be a great way of getting your name out there in a cheap and effective fashion. A referral strategy is usually used in conjunction with other marketing ideas but can be used successfully on its own. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Do you know what your customers really think about you?

When you’re starting a small business one of the best ways to get feedback is to ask questions of your customers. Not only does this make the customers feel they are valued and being listened to but it also provides you with a huge amount of data that can be very useful for improving your business in many ways. For example, if you know who your customers view as your main competitor then you can target your marketing effort to showing people how or why you’re better than the opposition. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Done properly, networking can be a great way to advertise you and your business

Networking is a great way to get you and your business known in the local area. It’s also a relatively cheap way to advertise too which is good because the cost to start a small business can be high and you will need to be fairly tight with the money until the customers start rolling in.

However, don’t think that networking is just turning up, eating the snacks, having a few glasses of wine and then leaving. Here are a few things to keep in mind when networking. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Learn how to advertise your business successfully

A lot of people spend a lot of time and money advertising their business. But only a few know how well their advertising is working for them because most of them don’t take the vital action of testing and measuring. Testing and measuring performance is vital across many areas of business but with advertising it’s really important because this is all about you spending money to get customers through the door. Get it wrong and you’ve made a loss before you even start selling. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Some top tips on working out your true costs.

When you’re running a small business money is often tight so you need to make sure that every penny counts and that you’re making profit on every sale.  But sometimes keeping track of your profit/loss on a sale can be difficult or confusing.  Here are some ideas to help keep on top of things. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Is now really the right time for you to start a small business?

When you’re thinking of starting a business there is a huge amount of information available on the net to explain the technical aspects of setting up a business. But there’s one crucial area of starting up that isn’t covered in quite so much detail and that is the timing of the start up when should you go live with your small business? Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Question: how should you run a small business?

Answer: like a big one.

Most small business that are started don’t get beyond the 3-5 year point.  Many of those that do are still struggling along with only one or two employees and not making much profit.  Why does this happen?  Because the business owner hasn’t started and run the business with the right mentality and goal. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

The alternatives to starting a small business from scratch

Ok, so you’re planning on leaving the world of working for someone else and you’re going to set up on your own. The next question is what are you going to do and how?

There are two main alternatives to starting a business from scratch and here they are. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

Knowing how to advertise your business properly can make a real difference to your sales

One of the keys to success when advertising your small business is the power of your offer. When someone turns the page of the paper or magazine, or sees your flyer you have about 5-10 seconds to make an impression. If you don’t grab their attention in that time then your advert may as well not exist. So, how do you grab their attention and make them stop and read it properly? Continue reading »