Your Business in 2013 – Top Tips

Fed up with just getting by in your business? Fed up with working too hard for too little return? Time to make some changes and approach your business in a different way.

Time to get your business working for you and time to start making a profit from your business.

To achieve this, you do not need to make massive changes in your business starting tomorrow. You probably just need to make small changes but an important thing is to make the changes permanent and stick to them. Work consistently utilising these small changes in your business every day.

Attracting new business or generating leads…

Do you need to have a consistent number of letters being sent out promoting your business, followed by consistent telemarketing to generate appointments. If so, start with creating your list of prospects, cleaning it up and sending the letters. Only send out as many as you can actually follow up each week. Sending any more is a waste of money.

How is your online presence? What does it say about you? Have you embraced technology and are you using the web to generate business for you. At the very minimum, you need to have an online presence that represents you well.

There are about 50 different strategies to attract new customers to your business. Have 3-4 working well at any point for you.

Once a potential customer contacts you, how well do react to their requirements. How well do your team react. How many of these prospects do you actually convert to customers. This is the single biggest improvement area that every business owner should concentrate on in 2013. Reason: Its free to improve and you get a double benefit in that any improvement you make here improves your return from any marketing investment you make.

The single biggest improvement you can make in 2013 will be in how your team work in your business. How well could they do their jobs if they received some training. How much better able to converse with customers if they were shown the correct way. How well can they sell versus take orders from customers?

Simple sales training for 30 minutes per week will improve your sales and profits. Can you plan this training and deliver it on a consistent basis for 1 year? If you knew that just by doing this you could grow your business by 20% would you do it?

This is what business is about – planning and doing small things on a consistent basis throughout the year and measuring the effectiveness of each approach every week.

Start with your list of improvements today. If you need help, call me.

Do You Have Plans?

I have always found the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas a great time to get your plans in place for the New Year! When I used to work in corporate and our fiscal year ended on December 31st, we were always spending September and October doing strategic planning for the upcoming year. It always felt too early and sometimes difficult to come up with tactical plans for the following year, particularly when you were looking out over a year in advance at the fourth quarter of the New Year.

But I always appreciated, when I got to January 2nd and was back to work-I could hit the ground running, because I already knew EXACTLY what I had to do! So, what are your plans for 2013? How much money do you want to make? How much is that broken down month by month, or week by week? What programs and products do you want to introduce?

Do yourself a favor. Today, take a couple of minutes to look at your calendar, schedule at least a half day with yourself, and a full day if you can. Block it off in your calendar. If you have a team you work with, you might want to consider taking your team with you for this time, if you’re by yourself, then plan to go to a quiet place where you can think, dream and be inspired.

Take the time to answer these questions as they pertain to your business in 2013:

  1. How much money do you want to make in the New Year?
  2. What are three risks you are going to take in the next 90 days?
  3. Where is the low-hanging fruit in your business or organization and what is your plan to immediately go after it?
  4. What new product or services will you be introducing in Quarter 1, 2, 3 and 4?
  5. How can you serve even more people than you are currently serving?
  6. What’s the one thing you need to STOP doing?
  7. Where are the areas that need to be systematized in your business?
  8. What are the specific programs, products or services you will be offering in Jan, Feb and Mar?
  9. What one self-care practice will you commit to doing weekly?
  10. Where will you play bigger in your business in 2013?

Please let me know how you did with this exercise! It’s so important to take the time to PLAN and strategize in your business.

The Right Cosmetic Dentistry Practice Can Give Your Smile New Life

As much as you pride yourself on keeping a pristine appearance, there is more to looking good than wearing the finest clothes. In order to have the best appearance possible, you need to also take a good look at your health. Just like you go to a plastic surgeon when you grow tired of looking older than you feel, you should make it your business to go to a cosmetic dentistry practice to make sure that your teeth are also looking their best.

There is no other profession in the world capable of sculpting and polishing teeth so that they are as white as possible and suit your face. Thanks to cosmetic dentistry, you don’t have to walk around unhappy about the appearance of your teeth. It is understandable that there are times in life when you might encounter situations that can affect the appearance of your smile. You may have been involved in a few scuffles when you were younger, lost a few teeth to infections or have some discolorations as a result of your lifestyle habits. No matter what type of cosmetic issues your teeth have, you can always see a specialist to correct them.

In order to improve your chances of finding the right specialist for your smile, you should do some research. Gather the names and contact information of several dentists that specialize in cosmetic dentistry. Go online and verify their credentials on the American Dental Association’s website. Find out what some of their current and past patients think about the services they have received from these professionals.

Check with your dental insurer and find out what services are covered. When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, many insurers provide medium to no coverage for many procedures. However, since dental insurers differ, some of the services you are seeking may be covered at a certain percentage. That way you can learn if you are going to have any out of pocket expenses. Find out if the specialist you choose is affordable for you.

Visit their offices for a consultation. When it comes to having any type of work done on your body and smile, it is very important for you to find a professional that you are completely comfortable with. This will help to reduce the amount of anxiety you feel and will make things much easier for you and your dentist. When you take advantage of the services a cosmetic dentistry offers, you are improving the quality of your life. People who have attractive smiles are more likely to get ahead. So, if you are looking for ways to advance in your career or in your personal life, you need to make sure your smile is in great shape. Visit a credible practice and learn more about what your options are for transforming your smile from being mediocre into a spectacular and dazzling smile.

Internet MLM Tactics Explained

Are you interested to learn internet MLM tactics? Well, you have come to the right place, because today, I will be sharing some with you. By the end of this article I hope you will have a better understanding of these tactics so without further ado, let me get started!

Back in the day, when the internet was fairly new to the world, network marketers would probably have to spend hours doing their daily activities, such as finding leads, training downlines and following up with their current prospects. Later on, marketers decided to take advantage of the internet and use it for their business. The results were amazing. They could accomplish so much more within a given timeframe. Many things became easier for them as well. Here are a few of their tactics.

Firstly, internet MLM allows marketers to reach out to a global audience. No longer would you be limited to people within your given demographics. One way people take advantage of this is by having a lead-capturing form on a website. After promoting this website to their target audience, the latter will have a chance to opt into their mailing list. From there, the marketer can follow up with the leads through email. This is where the former sends out offers regarding his or her network marketing company, and if he or she is lucky, there will be conversions into sales or even downlines.

Having a mailing list with leads is really useful. However, having a mailing list with your customers and downlines is even better. This is because they are the people whom you know have taken out their wallets or purses and have bought something. Now for another internet MLM tactic. Marketers who have their own list of buyers (that is, people who have bought their company’s products or service but did not sign up as downlines) can continue to send more offers to them to inform them of upcoming offers, or even to persuade them to join their network.

What about those people who converted into downlines for the network marketer? Well, he or she can follow up and liaise with the downlines online. Email could be the medium used here, although since these people signed up under him or her, it would be a good idea to create a personal and private community just for them. Examples of these include Facebook groups, Skype groups or forums. There, the downlines can get to know each other, network together and receive training in MLM all at once. No longer does the upline have to conduct physical classes because all that can be conducted online.

With that I hope you have a better idea of how internet MLM works and I hope you have benefitted from these tactics. I wish you success in your endeavors.

Starting an Ecommerce Website? Choosing Your Payment Gateway

When starting off in the world of ecommerce, one of the most important things you need to do when developing your website is to choose an appropriate payment gateway.

A payment gateway is the facility connected to your website that allows you to take credit cards as payment methods. Credit cards are a necessary payment option on successful ecommerce websites so you should never consider not having this facility on your website.

Some ecommerce websites may offer a downloadable form to print and send with credit card information or have a statement saying that the customer will be contacted for payment once the order has been placed. Although this can save money in the short term by not utilising a payment gateway, our research has found that this severely limits the number of customers who will place an order on your website.

Online customers want to know exactly what they are up for (including freight) and will want to pay and complete the order there and then. If you place hurdles to this (such as a downloadable order form or saying you will ring them for credit card details) you will usually find the customer will just go elsewhere.

When it comes to payment gateways, there are three common types of payment gateway.

  1. Manual Payment Gateway A manual payment gateway is a facility that securely takes the customers credit card details and stores them for you to access and process manually through a facility such as an eftpos machine. Manual payment gateways are generally the most inexpensive form of gateway but do require you to manually process each payment which can become an overhead if you are performing many transactions a day. To utilise a manual payment gateway, you will need a merchant account with your bank and also permission from the bank to process credit cards without a signature. You will also need access to a facility such as an eftpos machine or online processing system to process the payments through. You will need to speak to your bank to organise this and then utilise a manual payment gateway such as E-Gateway.
  2. Paypal Paypal is often the payment gateway of choice for people starting out in Ecommerce. Paypal can be easily integrated with your website to act as the payment gateway. Transactions are processed in ‘real time’ which means that when a customer enters their details, you automatically receive the funds. A drawback with Paypal is that in order for Paypal to work properly with an ecommerce site, your customers are required to either be a paypal member or go through the paypal sign up process before they can order from your website. Another drawback is that you need to transfer funds from paypal to your bank account manually when you need access to them which can incur extra fees.
  3. Real Time Payment Gateway The real time payment gateway is the most professional and efficient gateway solution available. Payments are processed at the point of the sale on your website and you tend to receive funds within a couple of days. A real time payment gateway is perfect for sites experiencing high volumes of sales or for those people who can not access the facilities needed for a manual payment gateway. You can access a real time payment gateway solution from many banks and also third party companies such as Eway or Worldpay.

When developing your ecommerce website, it is important to choose the gateway that suits your needs. Remember that if you are not using the Paypal method, you will also need to organise your merchant facility with your bank. This can often take a few weeks so it is always best to get started on this before your website is ready for launch. Also shop around with different banks as you can often get good deals on fees and interest charges if you do this.

Merrow Sewing Machines: Merrow 18E Review

Merrow specializes in overlock sewing machines for technical, fashion, and end-to-end seaming. Established in 1838, the company has capitalized on the trademarks “merrowing” and “merrowed,” working with manufacturers who use its machines to market “merrow” stitching. In 2010, a new line of custom built industrial sewing machines has been released on the market. The sewing machines designed by this company are handcrafted and handbuilt, and can operate continuously between 2200 and 5500 RPM.

The Merrow 18E is considered to be the best crochet sewing machine in the world. This model was built in 1899 and improved over time. Its stitch rivals those made by hand. This sewing machine can be used to edge pillows, wool blankets, mittens, hats, shawls, shag fleece play mats, and baby outfits. The Merrow 18E runs at speeds up to 1400 SPM. Whether you want to sew quilts, blankets, or heavy fabrics, this powerful machine is a great choice.

Like all Merrow sewing machines, this single needle machine is built to last for decades. The Merrow 18E creates a flat crochet that looks exactly like the hand sewn stitch. Merrow is the only manufacturer in the world that uses cams not pistons. Its Cam-driven machines stand up to heavy use and produce superior quality stitch. The Merrow 18E operates faster and quieter than other sewing machines.

This model is suitable for both residential and industrial use. Small businesses and large production facilities use this machine on a regular basis. The Merrow 18E is ideal for small to medium production of standard “whip stitch” applications. The machine is built by hand and utilizes the latch hook system pioneered by Merrow. Users can adjust this model to sew at a remarkable 10 SPI.

The Merrow 18E is perfect for any sewing room. With this machine, you can easily create professional-quality seam finishing and rolled hem. The crochet stitch produces a beautiful edge finish on a vast array of fabrics. This machine can be configured to a single- or double-course edge, a special stitch for additional contrast and color, and a rolled or flat edge.

Sewers can use this machine on a wide range of materials, including nonwovens, technical textiles, terry towel, knit fabrics, woven fabrics, fiberglass, vulcanized rubber, insulation, and denim. If you need extra features Merrow will build you a custom machine at no additional cost and sew your material off on the 18E. Customers can also order spare parts and receive them immediately.

What Does Success Look Like in 2013?

Have you decided what success will look like for your business in 2013? The way business works is changing rapidly and no one can predict if the crazy roller coaster known as “the economy” has settled into more of a kiddie ride than a thrill ride. Given that, the way we see and measure success has necessarily changed for some businesses.

Last month, I talked about how we define success and whether that definition is a true measure of success. Is it the number of followers/likes/connections you have? Is it the number of times your phone rings with inquiries? Does our definition of success and the achievement thereof have any measurable impact on our business?

Remember that, to truly define success, there must be a measurement unit by which to compare actual achievement to desired outcome. You can say, “My goal is to have higher revenues in 2013 than in 2012.” Would you define 2013 as a successful year in terms of that goal if your revenues were only $10 higher than in 2012? Probably not. If, however, your stated goal is to have revenues that are 10% higher, or a specific dollar amount more, then you can determine if you’ve achieved success, surpassed success, or fallen a bit short.

Don’t forget that business success for you doesn’t necessarily have to mean some type of revenue growth. Perhaps you’ve achieved the level you wanted to be at and know that efforts towards non-organic growth will probably require actions or sacrifices that you simply don’t want to make. At that point, you may decide that success looks like the ability to take an actual vacation (no contact with the office or clients) while your trusted employee(s) run(s) the business for a week or more. Maybe it’s the ability to start working “business hours” instead of 10+ hours per day five+ days a week with no time off.

However you decide to define success, make a plan for it. Set goals which are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-specific. Make a roadmap (i.e. marketing plan) with the action steps you need to take to achieve your goals. Make the necessary actions you’ve outlined. Set a timetable to review your plan at least on a quarterly basis and tweak it as needed to adjust to new developments and changing circumstances. This recipe will bring you success in 2013.