Monthly Archives: June 2013

3 Tips to Breaking Through Your Business Plateau

There are few things more frustrating than being stuck at a plateau — whether it’s a losing-weight plateau, a business-growth plateau or any other plateaus.

So what do when you ARE stuck at a plateau, more specifically a business-growth one? Well the below 3 keys should put you on the right track to busting through.

1. Are you ready to grow? The first thing you need to look at is your mindset. A lot of times the reason why you’re stuck is because you’re just not ready to grow. It could be any number of things. You’re hiding out. You don’t want to be more successful than your spouse and/or parents. You’re afraid people won’t like you if you’re too successful. Only evil capitalist pigs are successful. You get the idea.

If you have a block like that standing in your way, it really doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do you’re not going to bust through your plateau.

So how do you know if you have a block? Well if you haven’t done any self growth work, I suspect you probably have a block or 2 lurking around. It’s nothing to feel ashamed about — it’s very common. In fact, I would venture to say every entrepreneur, even the most successful ones, encountered a block or 2 in their business growth. It’s just the successful ones had a way to get around it.

One place to start is by doing a little journaling. Take a piece a paper and draw a line down the middle so you have 2 columns. In one column, write down all the reasons why you want to break through this plateau and reach your goal. Then in the second column, write down all the reasons why you DON’T want to reach your goal. Yes, something will bubble to the surface if you don’t brush this off as being silly. And whatever bubbles to the surface will give you the next clue as to what you have to do to get rid of the obstacle.

The other thing you can do (which is my fave) is to hire a coach. Coaches are great for helping you get past your blocks.

2. Do you know what you need to do to grow? You can get past all the blocks you have, but if you have no idea what you need to be doing to be successful, then you’re not going to get very far.

Some of my most successful partnerships are with clients who have their mindset in order and they’re looking for copywriting and marketing expertise. When that happens, look out! Their businesses end up taking off in a really big way.

So how can you tell if you’re in this camp or if your mindset is blocking you? Well, I agree, it can be a little tough to do on your own — there are clues (which I can spot when I’m talking to people but it’s more difficult to explain). One clue is you’re ready to do what it takes to make your investment back. You might be really worried or scared about making this investment in yourself, but you feel confident you’re going to follow through and do what needs to be done. If you feel like you won’t do it, or it doesn’t matter what you do, you’re only going to get X people buying because that’s all you ever get, then you have a mindset block.

Another way to know is if you feel like you’re ready to step out in a big way and this is the next step.

3. You’re in that “uncomfortable” space right before you’re going to breakthrough your plateau and you just need to go a little further. What happens to water at 212 degrees F? It’s turning to steam. What happens at 211 degrees? It’s still liquid.

If you know you’re doing what you need to do to be successful and you haven’t broken through your business plateau yet, it could be you’re about to and you just have to keep doing what you’re doing. You’re at 211 degrees and you just need a little more umph to make it to 212.  (This one is probably the most frustrating of all. I was here so I know what you’re going through. It’s like you’re at Mile 23 of a marathon — which is 26.2 miles — you’ve done all this work to get to mile 23, you just need to walk 3.2 more miles and it’s some of the hardest miles you’ll ever walk. But keep going, you really are almost there.)

3 Keys to Enjoying Summer AND Growing Your Biz

Who says you can´t do it at all?

Now that summer is here, the lure of playing hooky is warring with the responsibility of getting something done in your business.

But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if you could do it ALL — make money, grow your business AND have time to play?

Here are 3 keys to having your cake and eating it too:

1. Plan your time off. Now I’m sure you already have your vacations blocked off, but what about afternoons off? Long weekends? Go ahead and plan those as well and get them on the calendar (because you know if you don’t plan your time off it’s not going to happen). Plus if you have time blocked off in your calendar then you can relax and focus during work time because you know you have your “play” dates already accounted for.

Not sure how much time off to block off? Well, there are a couple of things you can do. Do you have a big launch coming up this summer? You may not be able to take as much time off as you’d like, but schedule what you can and see what happens. Have you decided you’re going to “coast” this summer? Then definitely block off more time.

Or just ask your gut. How much time is your gut telling you to take off? That might be the easiest and more reliable way to figure it out.

2. Plan to WORK on your work days. No screwing around here. You have your time off planned, so on the days where you’re scheduled to get things done, get things done. Because if you don’t, you’re going to be tempted to not take your time off, which means you’ve in effect “lied” to yourself, the Universe, etc. And how much time off are you really going to end up with if the message you’re sending is you’re not honoring your time off?

3. Change up your energy if you’re really feeling stuck or sluggish. I get it. Just because the calendar says you must work doesn’t mean you’ll actually feel like working. So what do you do on those days where you find that pure willpower isn’t enough?

On those days take a break. Go for a walk. Visit a Starbucks. Blast a song on your iPod and dance around the house. Go outside and lay in the sun for 10 minutes.

The best thing you can do is move your energy around, either by exercising or a change of location or both. It doesn’t have to last long — even 10 minutes is enough. Just do SOMETHING.
Chances are when you sit back down you’ll be able to focus on your work.

Above all, keep in mind why you have a business in the first place. Yes there will be times you have to put in long hours but you also need to balance that with time off. Chances are you didn’t start a business so you could work all the time but so you could work when you CHOSE to.
Summer is a great time to remind yourself you have the power to arrange your work schedule to suit yourself, your family and your life.

5 Ways To Get a Steady Stream Of Customers in The Door

Pretty much every business owner knows how important it is to continually get new leads into a business.  However, much of the effort spent getting those leads would be wasted without doing this very important next step.

And I would wager that most business owners who are reading this know the secret I’m going to share about making the most of those leads.

However, very few actually DO this.

Why? Because it’s not terribly exciting to do.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about follow up.

If you don’t have a system and plan in place to regularly follow up with leads, then you’re pretty much wasting your time generating leads in the first place.

Consider this — it takes most prospects 7-10 touches (or more) before they decide to do business with you. Most business owners stop following up after 3 times. So, in essence, what you’re doing is educating your prospect so when they’re ready to buy they’ll end up buying from your competition.

Following up is the absolute KEY to creating a steady stream of new clients and customers coming in the door. However, it does take time and effort — time and effort that busy business people don’t typically have. Worse, it doesn’t always feel good to do. In fact, for some people it’s just plain uncomfortable — you may feel like you’re bugging your prospects when the reality is very different.

Because of this, it’s very important to make following up as easy and effortless as possible (not to mention comfortable). How can we do this? Here are 5 ways to get started:

1. Start an ezine or email newsletter. This is hands down one of the best ways to follow up because a newsletter by definition is content-driven. And, if you’re providing good, solid content to your prospects, they’ll not only tolerate you following up with them but they’ll welcome it. Why wouldn’t they? You’re giving them information they’re interested in and can use, so of course they’re going to look forward to getting your emails.

A drawback to ezines is they do take time to come up with content, so many business owners either don’t publish one at all or publish it sporadically, which leads me to tip 2.

2. Create an email tip list. Shorter than an ezine, it’s just a quick email that does contain content, but it doesn’t take nearly so long to create. It can be a small list of tips or maybe just one tip with some explanation. It still should be considered valuable to your prospects, just make it a lot shorter.  And a variation of this is to create a video tip and send that to your list instead of a written tip.

3. Send a hard copy newsletter. Now this does cost more money because you have printing and postage, but the results are typically worth it. I personally have a hard copy newsletter I send to my clients, and they absolutely love it. The rule of thumb is if you get a good response via email, you’ll get a better response if you print it out, put it in an envelope and mail it. It’s definitely worth it to collect addresses and mail to your prospects, even if you don’t want to put the time, energy or money into a regular printed newsletter. Which leads me to tip 4.

4. Send postcards. Postcards are quick and easy to produce and mail out, plus they can cost less then a hard copy newsletter. I send postcards out fairly regularly, and what I’ve done is create a postcard template so it’s easy to adjust the copy and pop it in the mail. Again, you’re getting the benefit of regularly mailing your prospects without putting in quite as much time, energy and money.

5. Create an ecourse or autoresponder series. The idea behind this is you create a series of emails that are content driven and you send them to your prospects. There are software programs out there, such as Constant Contact and 1ShoppingCart, which will send the emails out automatically for you. The benefit of this is you create the ecourse once, load it up in the software program once, then the rest is completely automated.

Now, as far as I’m concerned, the best follow up system is one where you use both email and direct mail. Email because it’s fast and cheap, and direct mail because you’ll get a better conversion rate. And the more often you contact your prospects the better. The best case scenario is to contact your list at least once a week, but if that gives you a headache to even contemplate, do something at least once a month.

If you have done one or more of these tips, for instance maybe you had an ezine for awhile but you haven’t published anything in months, I strongly encourage you to pick it back up, dust it off, and get it back out there. If it’s just too much work, then simplify what you’re sending out. Create an ecourse or a tip list instead of an ezine. Just do something, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you start seeing a steady stream of customers coming in the door.