Category Archives: Small Business Marketing Strategies

Market right and small business can be easy

In January, to celebrate 10 years in business and a brand refresh, I offered free one hour business strategy sessions. These were taken up in their droves by ambitious business owners determined to get 2018 off to a best start. Speaking to business owners across many industries, it was easy to start seeing patterns in the gaps to business development, which of course, all small business owners go through. Here’s how to combat them…

Ideal Client Clarity

In business we love to think we can help everybody, and no doubt, in lots of service led businesses we can. However, by believing we can service all people, the marketing message your business puts out is far and wide and generic in content. Instead of appealing to the masses as you may hope and plan for, the message is relatable to no one.

It’s a common misconception amongst small business owners by narrowing down your ideal client this will drive away other potential business. It won’t. Those potential clients want to become that person you’re marketing at and will still be attracted to your marketing message. So, time to get crystal clear on your ideal client – create an avatar of everything you know about them.

Feeling stuck for ways to move your small business forward?

It’s easy to feel all avenues to find new business have been tried and tested that any new ideas and inspiration have long since dried up. Working with a business coach means getting asked lots of questions, sometimes challenging, to open up new ways of thinking and approaching a problem.

The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, offers a different solution that any small business owner can undertake. She suggests to unlock creativity try something called ‘The Morning Pages’. A strangely ingenious way of getting your brain to behave more productively when otherwise it would feel closed. You spend time writing down, long hand (for 3 pages) your thoughts, even if these thoughts are complete nonsense, it doesn’t matter. They are for your eyes only. Cameron, suggest that they will change you. Having done The Morning Pages just twice since picking up the book a week before this blog post I can also see how powerful they are at unlocking creativity.

Try it.

Make the most of opportunities around you!

It’s no secret that running a small business can be a lonely business! Being able to ask for help and having the foresight to recognise that there is help, support and more often than not people around you who want to see you and your business succeed. It makes for a well oiled local and thriving community.

Be more open to what is going on in your local area; whether this is in person or through social media platforms, although the former will work better for your basic human needs. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce networking events and local community events and see where you and your business can fit in and establish how you can make of the opportunities on offer. There’s plenty out there once you start to look for them.

If you would like to gain more clarity, focus and direction for the best start to 2018, book in for your free one hour business strategy session here.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

How to rebrand and refresh your small business

Why it’s important for small businesses to keep your branding fresh

A few small business owners fail to think about their business as a brand, and that brand being a reflection of their and their business personality, core values and customer experiences.

My knowledge and experience has developed massively since the start of my business – I’m not who I was in 2007 and of course my business has evolved as a result; my brand no longer reflects the experiences my clients have and the exceptional results they achieve. The courses I’ve attended and money I’ve invested in myself and my business has meant that my values have now developed into: leadership, balance and results.

So, having celebrated 10 years in business back in July 2017, I accepted the *ahem* nudges from a valued graphic design contact, Kate, Curry Design Studio that my business was overdue a brand refresh. After all, the only constant is change…

Even with 10 years experience of running a small business, a core network of trusted small business professionals and the resources to invest, I was still filled with apprehension, nervousness and a huge leap outside of my comfort zone; however having the right team around me has been key to the success of my relaunch…

Where to start with a new or brand refresh

Get clarity around what your customer or client experiences are when they choose to work with you and how do you want your ideal client to feel when they interact with your brand?

We buy according to our emotions, how do I feel now and how do I want to feel when I’ve got this product or service. It’s as simple as that really.

How my brand looks and feels now

From outdated, broad and confusing to bold, sharp and intriguing – The Power of Business Coaching feels truly reflective of the ambitious small business owners my small business is working with helping small businesses to reduce effort and simplify and building motivation to achieve financial freedom.

A Free One hour Business Strategy Session

To celebrate the re-brand of Meta4 Business Coaching, owner Clare is opening up 3 days in January for small business owners to book in for a free one hour strategy call to get you and your business off to a flying start in 2018.  The business strategy session will give you clarity, direction, focus and a plan for your next steps to achieving.

You can select a time that works for you by booking your one hour strategy session here.  Look out for an email with a few questions to get you focused on achieving the most from our time together.

Offer open until Wednesday 31st January 2018.  Limited availability so book your session today.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

Immediate Increase and Easy Growth to the Next Level

September being a month of new beginnings and the need to make fresh starts, for business owners a summer of both busyness and / or quiet, mean that by the time October arrives we can often be in a state of overwhelm, frustration and even an intense dislike towards what our business has become. Continuing in this vein will lead you into wanting to throw in the towel mixed with thoughts around not wanting to fail either. Hence major resentments towards what you’ve created and confusion around what steps to take next…

There are always solutions. When you’re in the midst of thick fog it’s little wonder you cannot see a way out. Here’s to tackling your top challenges to take your small business to the next level and get out of overwhelm.

Upskill your staff members

Your team / staff members are not working as efficiently and effectively as you believe they could be. You feel they are taking advantage of your good nature and not taking your business seriously. You know you are overpaying them for the work they are doing and could be making their roles work more for your business.

You have probably spent hours reflecting on this, thinking this way and that, bemoaning their behaviour and attitude. Let’s be more effective than this. Write down all the aspects of their behaviour and role that you want to improve (and later in the process, how) and then create an opportunity to discuss and communicate with them focusing solely on the areas that will have the most positive impact on you and your business.

Reevaluate your current processes

A dramatic change in your industry, local demographics, government policy, client contracts or political shift (Brexit) has massively impacted your customer base and their buying decisions. It’s dramatically changed your small business and impacted your usual way of operating. Something needs to change within your business otherwise you will get left behind your competition, being unable to fulfil your client contracts and working harder to deliver against less profitability.

It can be easy in our businesses to overlook the everyday activities, the ones we are doing over and over again, because we have been completing tasks this way for months and years and they work doesn’t mean they will always work best in that way, times, technology, experience changes. Go through your processes and see what can be streamlined, what’s working, what’s not working.

Recently, working with a business owner who runs a business with over 20 staff members, he went through this ‘Reevaluating Processes’ exercise and found he was losing business (and resource efficiencies) due to the fact they were mostly quoting for work whilst on site at the end of the day. He now has changed his process so all ‘quoting jobs’ are started and completed first thing in the morning. This has meant when jobs go ahead (and are now more likely to go ahead) the work can be actioned that very day, making the work more profitable; no need for return visits, making the customer happier too.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

 

Learn the powerful secret to unlocking business growth

Aside from getting a business coach; talking things through, writing plans down, reflecting on the output and then taking the right kind of action are key steps to generate business growth.  All this need only take an hour or two, but what a valuable amount of time you will have spent on your business development. Coaching needn’t be a myth, it’s about all of the above, so set aside some time and create the space to unlock your most powerful secret; you.

What do you do best?

So, the most important asset in your small business is you. In your business what is your unique brilliance, that rationally thinking about means that no one else you know is doing what you do in the way that you do it?

This is worth spending 20 minutes focusing on and jotting down what you do best in your small business. This usually goes hand in hand with what you are really happy doing too. So, if you could spend all day every day doing those tasks you love to do and are pretty darn good at doing what would they be? This is your starting point…

Hopefully you have a list of around 5-8 aspects here that reflect what you love to do the most and what you feel you’re best at. Once you have this list, this will help you to develop and cement a clear message for your business; what you offer, how it’s delivered and what results and benefits your product and service offers. It can underpin your marketing message, your elevator speech (for when you’re out at networking events) and your website homepage. It sounds simple to do and remember most aspects of business can be developed from small ideas…small acorns…

I really don’t want to know!

Once you have nailed down your unique brilliance, spend some time in the opposite space – think about the tasks in your small business you are not good at and do not enjoy doing. Treat this as a cathartic exercise. Compiling this list will show you how much time you spend on the jobs you hate or that take too long because you don’t have the right skills, resources or desire to learn them. This, too, will help you to unlock a mass of business growth. If you really want to grow your small business delegate those tasks to a more skilled business owner to free your time up so you can focus on the tasks you love to do. Change your mindset around the ‘catch 22’ of needing more business growth before you can delegate the jobs you don’t like to do. Be proactive and force the change you and your business needs.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programmes click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

Is there a formula for running a successful small business?

Confession – I used to think no; hard work, dedication and passion were all that were required. However, as any small business owner will know, whilst these attributes are key to small business success following certain formulas and actions will also reap you your just rewards too. Keep repeating them and voila! What a lot of business owners do is find something that works and then promptly stop doing it. We seem to be more inclined to keep plugging away at what doesn’t work!? 

Follow the clear signs

In the last 3 to 4 years of running my coaching business there have been a number of activities that have been followed with consistency that clearly point to ‘yes’ there are formulas which followed will equal business success. Sometimes running a small business can feel like an uphill battle, a struggle, a complete roller coaster ride… But it doesn’t have to be this mysterious cryptic puzzle. Stop ignoring all the signs, be brave – you’ve already taken the leap into running your own small business, so follow through on your original plans and start running the business you set out for.  What have you done in the past which has got your business results? Pick it up again and schedule the time to always do/practice that thing.

What results do your customers want?

Think about what your ideal customers really want from you. How do they want to feel, what results do they want and how do they want to receive those lovely results? Ask them, do a survey and once you’ve really found the answers to those questions put together 3 choices of how your customer can buy from you with 3 different levels of investment and commitment. Remember the confused mind never buys; so think about the last service you purchased – perhaps a new phone, TV package – were you given choices of which would suit you best? Do the same for your customers, make it easy for them to choose your small business services.

Keep Connected

When did you last speak or reconnect with the good people you used to work with? As an ex BT employee – ‘It’s good to talk’. Lots of people are getting tired or shut down from digital media and whilst it’s a huge growth market, it’s good to remember as human beings we like physical contact and to be thought of by others – grab a coffee, network, send a letter to your good contacts, people you’ve enjoyed working with or being connected to…Generally find more human ways of connecting with new and reconnecting with old or existing customers stick with them, with consistency and integrity. It will provide much needed motivation and keep you in love with your small business and your customers!


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

60 minute business boostersClare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

A Business Coach’s Guide to Getting more Business Success

We all want and strive for more business success; spending the precious time we have, on the business stuff we love to do, getting rewarded accordingly. Working smarter not harder is a hackneyed phrase for a reason! The following exercises are all strategies I, as a Business Coach, practice myself and with clients who are working towards more business success. If you’re spending a lot of energy and not seeing the fruits of your labour and want to gain direction and clarity for more business success then follow these steps:

Your Ideal Client

So many business owners are working with people they don’t like, delivering services they don’t want to deliver. While you’re busy doing that you haven’t got time to deliver what you want to who you want. That’s what you do in a job! Spare some time to really drill down on who you would love to work with: what do you know about them, what are their problems, what do you solve for them, how do you make them feel, where do they hangout? Once you have a clear profile, this forms the basis for your marketing material and you’re able to spot each other a mile off.

Stop doing things you don’t like

Being a business owner means you can often be marketing, accounting, administration, advertising, etc as well as working in your business. Some of those tasks can feel onerous and sometimes down right boring. So, stop doing them. Write down all the tasks you really dislike doing and work out how much time you spend on them on a weekly or monthly basis, then work out how much it costs you, in your time, to get them done. You will soon see your time is better spent on other elements of your business. So get an expert in their field in to take over those tasks and you can spend the time more efficiently on tasks you love.

Package up your Offering

Customers like choice and they like their decisions to be made easy. You are the expert in your field and because you understand your customers (see ideal client profile) you know exactly what products/services will solve their problem. Develop three packages that reflect what your clients want from you, how you will deliver it and the investment to them. All three options should be what they want from you and what you want to deliver to them to meet their needs and requirements. Incorporate options around payment plans and this will help you to run your business more sustainably as well as successfully.


About Clare

Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.

60 minute business boostersClare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.

Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.

To find out more about my small business coaching programs click to download here or to have a chat with Clare to find out more about how coaching can help you and your business get in touch.

How to Sell more Easily to the People you Love Working With

Get Really Clear on your Perfect Client

This sounds so obvious, but still needs highlighting right at the top, your ideal client can often get lost, forgotten and you can easily get off track with and is essential to your business growth. They must be at the forefront of your mind and every message that you put out there. Time to get really clear. What do you know about them, age, gender, demographic, geographics, children, job? Where would you be most likely to find them? What challenges do they have? What problems are they looking for you to solve for them? Once you have all this information, it’s so much easier to be talking directly to them in your marketing and once you find one another so much easier to sell and for them to buy from you.

Find your perfect fit networking group

75% of business in the UK last year was done through business networking! With so many varied networking groups out there, go out and try them all on, find out which group suits you best. The formats vary enormously and what works for my business may not work for you and yours. As a results driven business coach working with clients on a 1-1 basis, I enjoy a more formal format, one with an agenda, an opportunity to do a 60 second business presentation and hear from all the other businesses too. As an added bonus it’s also useful to hear from a speaker on a topic useful to me in terms of business growth; something that’s going to inspire and motivate. The attendees are also key, people who you are going to see on a regular basis and are like-minded in their business approach.

Develop your Marketing with your Perfect Client at the Heart of Everything

Once you know who your perfect client is (see above) it’s really easy to develop your marketing so it’s completely in line with how they think, talk and it gets in front of them too. Whether it’s social media posts, e-newsletter, webinar or at networking events all of your marketing should be directly related to solving your customer's’ challenges. Use the language they use and provide a clear call to action on how they can easily buy from you or work with you.

Package Up Your Offering

The biggest key to small business success is threefold; understand what your customer wants from you, make it easy for people to buy what they want from you, offer them choices. With a service led small business this is easy, package up what you offer into three choices; entry level, mid-range and your all singing all dancing offering; add value, be clear on what problems you will solve for them and what benefits they will gain as a result.

Clare at Meta4 has been running her own coaching and training business since 2007. Clare offers loads of great freebie resources to help you grow your business; they’re easy to implement, engaging and most of all they get you your business growth results!

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Keeping in Touch (with your customers)

6 Easy to action ideas to Keep in Touch with your existing clients. Show them some love and let them know you’re still around and being fabulous!

Before going on holiday – 5 small business owner tips

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1)      Get updates on any outstanding opportunItIes that are bubbling away in the background and make contact with any potential businesses where you think issues are likely to rise whilst you’re away. This will ensure everybody is happy that you’re aware and in control.

2)      Enlist a Personal Assistant. If you’re a sole trader, micro or small business owner without a PA services, enlist their help! If you don’t know of anyone, peopleperhour is a great place to start. Transferring your emails across to a capable and trusted PA is worth its weight in gold – it will give you complete peace at mind that everything important is being dealt with or at the very least being acknowledged and it ensures you won’t miss any arising opportunities. I can recommend Nikki Radvanyi of The Solihull Concierge

3)      Get your social media up and running in your absence by using one of the many social media scheduling tools: Tweetdeck, Hootsuite etc. It’s easy to set up and means your business can be working hard for you and still keeping your online presence while you’re relaxing by the pool. Follow tip no. 2 and your virtual PA can also be managing any responses, so you don’t miss a thing.

4)      Plan for your return to work. Any tasks that need doing in the first couple of days when you return from your holiday get done before you go away. This will keep your mind from wandering of stuff to do as soon as you return and will leave you completely stress free whilst enjoying your well deserved break.

5)      Leave your phone at home! (Make sure your holiday companion takes theirs for peace of mind). This will stop you having sneaky peaks at emails or social media platforms. Take a notebook for any business type thoughts, idea’s, to-do’s that spring to mind – jot them down – this will keep them out of your head giving you the chance to relax and forget about the trials and tribulations of business back home.

More Business Growth

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There are always tasks you can be doing to sustain and grow your business. I think the key here is not to rest on your laurels. So, let me share three successful pointers that will help you strategise for some short and medium term business growth.

Three simple business growth strategies to build the correct foundations for your business, so it can grow successfully: working when you want, where you want, with who you want.

Firstly, ‘Know your Customer’ – Develop a broad description of one of your Ideal Customers – think about someone, or a company that you’ve worked with in the past who ticked all of your perfect business growth boxes. Being self-employed means you should be able to pick and choose who you want to work with! Let’s go ahead and create the ideal. Once you have this description, think about 1) what their end-goal is, what language would this customer use to identify their current issue 2) What is their greatest hesitation in trying out your offering and 3) What is the best way to engage with this customer? Once you’ve answered all these questions you thoroughly understand your ideal customer which in turn means you can relate all of your marketing material (namely web content) to talking directly to them and answer all their questions before they even arise.

Leading us very nicely into ‘Marketing’ – as a growing business you should be spending at least 40% of your time on marketing activities, that’s 15 hours in an average 37 hour week. Even if you’re not actively looking for business growth keep your existing customer’s happy, make sure they are not going to leave you for your competition; so, focus your time and energy on them. There are so many routes to your existing and new customers, which ones work best for you and more importantly your customers? Brace yourself for a lovely, long list: networking, blogs, website, social media: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc, speaker slots, newsletters, flyers, exhibitions, business cards, video promotions, door-to-door, surveys, editorials, direct mail (making a come-back!) and let’s not forget the good old-fashioned telephone. So, take your pick, select around 8 potential marketing methods, plan and implement over the next 3 months, ensuring you have your objective in mind; your most wanted response and your customers’ call to action.

Final step: ‘Give your Customers Choice’ this has had a profound business growth effect on my business and the business coaching clients I work with. Package up what you have to offer. For example, my Life and Business coaching service is offered in 3 different packages (4 if you include pay as you go) Breakthrough, Mastery and Utopia all tiered in pricing, whilst also offering discounts on each package. As consumers, whether it’s domestic or commercial we all want choice and options. This creates a real clear picture for a customer what is on offer and what will be achieved or gained from the option. Your customer is so much more likely to buy from you if you’re offering choice. Here’s to more business growth…

Contact me to find out more about working with a Business Coach

Winning more Business

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I’ve recently secured a training contract working out in Dubai once a month; everyone I tell (rightly so!) says ‘how did you do that!?’ So, thought it worth putting pen to paper to share how I did it. I feel the need to warn you in advance it wasn’t rocket science; however I’m not sure winning business ever is. I think the winning of this business opportunity can be broken into 3 achievements: networking, perseverance and delivery.

Networking

I was at a networking event in August of last year and bumped into a contact I’d made several years earlier and had previously done some training work for, again through networking coming to fruition. My contact Paul, said he knew someone looking for trainers out in Saudi Arabia, would I be interested? My initial thought was not overly keen. This aside I’m always one to embrace any new opportunity – if it sounds interesting and worth pursuing I say yes and establish the hows and ifs later. So Paul connected us up.

Perseverance and Tenacity

Perseverance and tenacity: two words often associated with attributes of an entrepreneur, self-employment, being your own boss etc are so true. To get to a point of making an initial connection took several months and to take that step any further took a further 2 months of deafening silence. But, I knew that this opportunity was worth investigating and being patient. I later found out that the silence was down to ‘finding trainer’s’ not being a priority for them at that time. Sometimes, we can interpret this silence as ‘disinterest’ and therefore abandon the business opportunity completely. Once it became the right timing I was invited to present and train them on a business related topic of my choice.

Delivery

When you find yourself presented with an opportunity that ignites your passion, delivery becomes the easy bit. I was able to deliver a 30 minute workshop that showcased my skills, got them excited about my capabilities and helped me understand more about what I could offer. I have since written 9 business development courses for them and am now awaiting dates for delivery in Dubai, likely start June – all this from a casual remark at a business networking event.

Attend networking events, follow up any leads with tenacity and deliver enthusiastically and passionately.

If you want to learn more tips that you can implement for further business growth check out my upcoming workshop: Grow your business with Dazzling Results.

Springboard your Business with Dazzling Results

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Never one to run out of ideas on how to grow and keep growing my coaching business, here’s the top 5 actions I have taken this year that have reaped the most success. In no particular order:

1) Give your customers choice – The rule of 3. I have always advertised that i offer coaching in three different options; however, that’s not to say this has always been shared and proffered within a coaching consultation. Something was clearly holding me back; lack of confidence in the packages. This year I have re-branded my three coaching packages: Breakthrough, Mastery and Utopia, all showing what can be achieved via each program including a clear and transparent pricing structure. What product or service can you package up and offer so that your customer is given choices?

2) Gratitude Ritual – Don’t think me strange, just always open to new ways of thinking. I read a short excerpt in Red magazine two weeks ago and have been practicing it ever since with great results! Here’s how it works:

  • Spend 5 minutes last thing at night or 1st thing in the morning, (I do it in bed) lie back and close your eyes, bring your attention inward and upward to your third eye centre, the meditation point on the brow between your eyes.
  • List 5 things you are grateful for.
  • Next, tell yourself, ‘tomorrow (or today) will be a great day. I can feel it.’ List the things you want to happen, then turn the possibility over to the universe.

Since, I’ve been practising this, some amazing things have been happening. I’ll share them with you once you share yours with me! Go on; what are your grateful for and what do you want to happen?

3) Website Focus – Invest time focussing on your website and its content. For the past 3 months, having set a goal in January in increase the coaching enquiries I received through my website this is what I’ve done, with the results now being realised:

  • Create and add a promotional video showcasing what results and benefits your customers can expect to receive by using your products and services. Phil Arkinstall at Ark Media comes highly recommended for Promotional Videos. Check out his work.
  • Add a few case studies about what difference your customers have experienced through using your products and services
  • Check Google Analytics – the information provided via Google about what your website has been up to month to month.

What changes, updates and refreshes does your website need? Take a look at your website from your customer’s point of view.

4)  New Product Offering Being a business owner is today’s fast-paced, technologically and innovative market means you have to keep your products and services fresh, ahead of the competition and deliverable in an efficient, timely and fresh way too. Think about the current market, is there anything going on associated with your offering that you could enhance and deliver to help your customers further. For me it was developing an ‘Outplacement Services’ Career Coaching Program, to companies who are making redundancies or down-sizing or want to offer coaching to managers and directors to help them achieve more in the company. What new product of service offering can you develop to keep evolving your business?

5) Networking – anyone who knows me, knows that I love networking. Networking DOES work! Find the right networking group for you and it’ll work wonders for your personal development and should bring you a great return for your business too. There are loads out there and more groups and events opening up near you each month. Good sign eh!? If done right, networking will keep you on your toes, keep you ahead of your competition, keep your growing your business and instil you with focus, motivation and inspiration and keep you loving your work. What new networking event can you attend this month?

Want to discuss any of the business growth areas above get in touch with Clare.

 

Spreading February Love

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February will see me giving away; yes, giving away, a 5 session Coaching Break-through block!! All you have to do to win is contact me, tweet me, facebook me in 140 characters or less, by February 26th, as to why you should win. So, what do you win and why would you want to win it? The what: Breakthrough Blocks are designed to do just that: ensure you have a major breakthrough on solving a Life or Business issue. Whether it’s changing your career, finding career direction, starting up in business or developing an existing business. Maybe you’re asking yourself the question ‘what should I do with my life?’ or you ‘need to make more money, gain more clients’. The why: Coaching will help you achieve your goals by questionning what it is you want to achieve and why, and by getting you to put the steps in place to getting you closer. Coaching gives you accountability.

The coaching sessions are designed to challenge your thinking, get you the results you’re aiming for, and overall be a fun and engaging experience. You can expect the sessions to take place every 3-4 weeks and be very action orientated. You will be the one taking action! So, if coaching appeals to you, get in touch with me, describing in 140 characters or less why you should win this fantastic coaching prize worth over £600! Be bold, be daring, be risky, be intriguing, be surprising. Most of all GRAB my attention!

Closing date for your chance to win a 5 Session Coaching Break-through Block is Wednesday 26th February 5pm.

Business Networking Awards 2014

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This is the second year running I will be a Judge and Sponsor for the Business Networking Awards.
Being a judge is a great accolade; imagine being a Business Award Winner!?
The award ceremony celebrates businesses that network across Sutton Coldfield, Tamworth and Lichfield in the West Midlands.

There are 10 Award categories:
Professional Business of the Year – Sponsored by Roar Marketing
Trades Business of the Year – Sponsored by Pickerings Solicitors
Promotions/Events Business of the Year – Sponsored by Kimberley-Jane Designs
Networker of the Year – Sponsored by DK Electrical
Service Business of the Year – Sponsored by April UK
Best Employer of the Year – Sponsored by Northwood Lettings
Best Start-Up Business (under 2 years old) – Sponsored by Design Pit
Best Established Business of the Year – Sponsored by Meta4 Coaching & Training
Entrepreneur of the Year – Sponsored by Q&A Quality Management
Special Recognition of the Year – Sponsored by Four Oaks Financial Services

If you would like to see your Business name up in lights on Saturday March 1st at Drayton Manor, and you network in the 3 local West Midlands areas;
speak to your customers, clients, suppliers and ask them to nominate your business.

Last year’s winners have seen their businesses grow from the ceremony, through: great PR, confidence, credibility and great social media and publicity ‘fodder’.

So, what are you waiting for, get nominated and get nominating!

www.businessnetworkingawards.co.uk/nominations

Top ten tips for running a sustainable and successful business

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Sometimes you can be so busy working IN your business – doing all those hands-on, practical day-to-day tasks – that you forget the importance of working ON your business. To have a successful and sustainable business you need to keep the clients you have already AND find new ones. This means that you can't just be 'the do-er' – you need to be your own sales and marketing specialist too. Getting and keeping customers is the most important role at any company – without customers there's obviously no business. That's why a lot of my top ten tips for running a successful and sustainable business are about reminding your customers to do business with you while reaching out to the new clients who will secure the future of your business.

1. Keep in touch with your customers – Ask them if you can add their email to an occasional newsletter where you provide special offers, showcase your expertise and highlight success stories; offer a free six-monthly check-up; connect and interact with them on social media.

2. Find, and stay in touch with, the influencers who can help you build your business – Local face-to-face networking and online networking are both ways to meet people who can evangelise about your business; establish a trusted coaching group with other business owners where you can give and take advice and support each other.

3. Offer something for nothing – Giving out top tips via your website or blog, offering free consultation and perhaps an open surgery wins trust and showcases your expertise and experience making potential customers more likely to choose YOU.

4. Make sure your customer service is better than your competition – Whatever your product or service there's always another business your customer could choose. Make sure your exceptional customer service is the reason they come back to you.

5. Reward customers and clients for referrals – If someone wins business for you offer them a gift or a discount off your products/services as a tangible way of saying 'thank you'. What others say about you is many times more powerful than what you say about yourself.

6. Spend at least 10% of your working week on developing your business – Diary regular slots when you ignore emails and other jobs and work on some of these tips. If your business is still in its early stages you need to devote more hours to growing your client base, planning for future growth and measuring the success of things you try.

7. Ensure your promotional material is professional and compelling – Review the content and images on your website, business cards, brochures, leaflets and social media platforms regularly. Is everything consistent and conveying the image you want to project?

8. ALWAYS set business goals for the next 12 months – They should be SMART – Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Targeted. Don't put them away in a drawer. Keep them in sight, adding images to fix them in your mind; measure your progress towards your goals.

9. Understand how your customers find you now – You should always know how every part of your marketing is working. A spreadsheet can be tagged or colour coded to show how customers found you; measure the return on any investment (time as well as money) that you have made; identify where you want your customers to come from and adjust your plans accordingly.

10. Your enthusiasm for what you do is infectious – If you still have pride and passion in what you do, your customers will be impressed and confident in your ability to deliver. If you have fallen out of love a little bit with what you do it might be time to invest in some coaching to get you back on track – or to help you decide to make changes.

If you want any more information about bringing about positive change in your life and your business, contact me for a free initial consultation on 07739 196896.

Are You Ready For Change?

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Ideal coaching clients are those ready for change
The other day I began working with someone who is my perfect client for coaching and mentoring.

This person has reached mid-life and is dissatisfied with aspects of both the business they run and their life outside work too.

They understand what business and life coaching services can deliver and they are ready to make changes and excited about discovering how to get the future they want and deserve.
It’s a real joy when I meet potential coaching clients who are enthusiastic about making changes and ready to start that voyage of discovery with me.

Perfect coaching clients know that their life and work can be improved and they can be happier. They may have some ideas already about what their ideal future would look like – but they are also open-minded and ready to look at their current situation with fresh eyes.
Many people do fall out of love with the businesses they have established – but that doesn’t always mean that a career change IS the answer. Sometimes it is – but sometimes mentoring and coaching can help them rediscover their purpose and find a new way of running their business that re-ignites their passion.

Ironically, many business owners hit a slump and get despondent because they haven’t got enough perfect clients of their own.

Let’s think for a minute about A, B, C and D clients – where A clients are the ideal, B are really good clients, C are average clients and D are the clients from hell. We should all be aiming to work for just A and B clients. We can waste lots of time trying to please the Cs and Ds – and never succeeding. They can be far more trouble than they are worth. If we are able to stop working with the Cs and Ds we can enjoy our work with the As and Bs more. It’s also the case that any potential new customers that the As and Bs refer to you are more likely to be As and Bs themselves.

I know that I can’t deliver effective coaching services to everyone. If people don’t want to commit to the changes in thought and action that will get them on the path to a happier, more balanced and successful life – all the coaching and mentoring in the world can’t help them. But if you think you could be my next ideal coaching client then I’d be really excited to help you shape your life and business around the things that matter to you and help you get as much joy out of your work as I do.