Category Archive: Sales

How to Build an Amazing Facebook Group

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

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I’ve built my Facebook Group the Women’s Entrepreneur Network on Facebook up from 0 to over 60,000 members in just over 2 years.  It has been an amazing experience in a lot of ways, and I’ve learned so much while growing the group.

Building a Facebook Group for networking purposes can be a fantastic proposal and idea for your business. Think of it this way: you build a group filled with your ideal clients while providing amazing content for them to engage with, and ultimately you bring them into your business. It’s a win-win because you’re giving people a fun, safe place to hang out that supports their wants, needs or desires. And you’re getting lots of really great clients.

I decided to share the lessons that I learned while building my group, as well as growing my clients’ groups.  I’ve followed these rules many times.  I have found that these are the key lessons that I learned while growing my group, broken down into some fairly simple to follow lessons. 

So if Facebook Groups are so great, what do you need to look for and what do you need to do to build a great group?

1. Limit or restrict promotion in the group. If you allow too much promotion, then it can become a drive-by post and dump kind of group with no interaction whatsoever.  That’s no fun for anyone, and it’ll turn your group into something like a zombie apocalypse. Instead, institute rules on how often people can post promotional content, and then be sure to strictly enforce the rules. You may choose to allow promotions on a single thread one day of the week, or never, or one post per so many non-promotional posts. Unrestricted promotion is not usually a good idea beyond the first few people.  

2. Post in the group several times a day at a variety of different times. This will give the new people in your group an opportunity to engage with you. If you don’t have any idea of what to post, try this list of 100 conversation starters.

How to Build an Amazing Facebook Group3. Like and Comment. When people post good stuff in your group, make sure you like and comment on their posts. This encourages them to post good content, and you’ll actually be giving them positive feedback for doing what you want them to do. This helps generate the kinds of content and engagement you want while also building your following.

4. Let your family, friends and business network know about your group, and ask them to join if it’s appropriate. It is never appropriate, however, to add people to a group without their permission. If they remove themselves, then do not re-add them. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen get unfriended on Facebook over this particular faux pas.

5. Create posts on your Twitter account and post them regularly. Also create a pinned tweet that advertises your group on Twitter.  Twitter is a great traffic driver, and it can help you find the right people easily, without having to pay for expensive ads, if you provide great, interesting content.  Not into Twitter?  Try this list of ways to grow your following.

6. Thank followers. When someone follows you on almost any social media account, thank them and ask them to join your Facebook Group.  

7. Add a pin to Pinterest for your Facebook group.  This one is pretty easy to do.  Create different graphics- 5, 10, 20 different graphics, and put them out there on Pinterest on different boards, and give people an idea that your group exists, and invite them to join.  

8. Add posts to LinkedIn that tell your connections about your group.  You can also private message your connections, and invite them to join.  Make sure you are inviting people who would be interested, but this can be super effective.

9. Schedule time daily to spend in your group so that you can interact with your groupies. The more energy you put into them, the more energy that will flow back.

10. Follow your own rules. Whatever rules you set, be sure to follow them – just as you expect other members of the group to. This will help give you more credibility as the group Admin and as a business person.

The more time and energy you put into your group, the better it will do, and the more people will join and engage. It is almost “magic” once it starts to grow on its own.  the more engagement you have, the more the group will grow- Try it!

I wrote this ebook- How to build and Grow a Facebook Group, when the group hit 10,000 members, on the exact steps it took to get to 10,000 members. Grab your copy today.

 


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/how-build-killer-facebook-group/

Why Every Business Needs a Good PR Campaign

~by Lizzie Weakley~

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Entrepreneurs often think their company is too small to worry about creating a public relations (PR) campaign, but the truth is, every business should have one. Big or small, PR opportunities are advantageous for all businesses. Here are some reasons why.

It’s Often Free

Why Every Business Needs a Good PR CampaignYou may not have the advertising budget that some of your competitors enjoy, but many PR opportunities come in the from of volunteering at a charity or encouraging employees to generate donations for them. This costs your company nothing, but can get you mentioned in the local newspaper, on the radio and at other advertising venues who are promoting the event you’ll be participating in. Wearing company logos while at the event is also a great way to be seen and noticed within your community

Size Doesn’t Matter

Large corporations are always donating to charities and participating in charitable events. They also tell customers about their environmental protection initiatives and other good deeds they do. Customers have grown to expect these things from large companies. If you do the same, potential customers will associate your name with good works and may assume you’re a bigger company than you are. In the minds of many consumers, bigger companies are assumed to be more established and reliable, so do what you can to be viewed as one of the big dogs.

Traditional Marketing is Losing

Direct mail marketing was always a bit of a crap shoot, but that is even more true today. Anything consumers view as junk mail goes right into the trash can, and that is happening more and more. Television and radio ads are also declining in effectiveness. Consumers are distrusting traditional marketing media more and more. PR is a way for you to use press releases, community events and charitable giving to get your name everywhere without relying on traditional advertising. Instead, you can generate hundreds of feel-good stories about your company and the way it supports employees, the community and charities. More and more students are finding that a master’s in public relations now goes much farther than one in advertising.

Social Media

A good, organized PR campaign involves quite a bit of planning. This gives you the opportunity to recognize potential social media missteps before you make them. Ire and rage spread like wildfire on social media. You need a good PR campaign that includes planned and carefully reviewed social media posts checked before they go live. Bad news spreads faster than good online, so one false move on social media and you could have a PR nightmare on your hands. Plan carefully and know what to do to combat a PR problem before you’re in the midst of one.


Meet the Author: Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky, Snowball.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/every-business-needs-good-pr-campaign/

What’s the Secret to Getting People to Buy What You’re Selling?

On the subject of selling, one of my favorite sales gurus, Kendrick Shope, says “All things being equal, friends buy from friends. All things being unequal, friends still buy from friends”.  There is one little secret to getting people to buy what you’re selling.  

selling

Truth: People buy with their emotions.  

Think about it this way. Why the heck would people line up for days to buy the next version of the iPhone if they weren’t buying with their emotions?

They feel a deep desire for this THING. Because it’s sexy. It’s cool. It’s awesome. They have DESIRE.  

When you think about someone buying from you, they desire what you have and what you’re selling.  

People buy YOU first, then they buy your product or service.

So, when selling, how do you sell “you” first.

selling1. First, if you’re selling online, you need to have a great profile and and you need to be someone that people want to connect with in the first place.

2. Next, you need to build relationships with people. You know, like perhaps actually interact with them, have a phone call, wish them a happy birthday, or meet for coffee. Crazy things that would involve having an actual, real, live, human relationship.

3. Then, once you have a relationship going, they might consider buying from you — if you have something that they want to buy. Honestly though, many people will never buy from you, and that’s okay. What you really want is for people to recommend you to all of their friends.

Another truth: People come online to be social, and they MAY decide to buy. But they decidedly do NOT come online to be sold to.

I know that it’s probably not what you want to hear. And you don’t want to believe that it is going to take people, on average, about 17 impressions before they even remember you online. Nor do you want to hear that you need to be messaging people wishing them a happy birthday, and learning their kids’ names, what their hobbies are, and just generally making friends. But like Kendrick said, all things being equal, friends buy from friends.  

Your job is to go be a friend.  

I’d love to invite you to come make some new friends at the Leadership Girl Live Summit, September 22 – 24. Join us for an event-filled weekend of networking, relationship building, and the possibility of meeting some new friends!

Learn more about the Leadership Girl Live Summit


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?
Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?
Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/getting-people-buy-what-youre-selling/

How to Get Clients? It’s Not a Deep Dark Secret

Leads! I need leads! I need clients! How do I get clients?

get clientsIt’s a desperate cry I hear every day in my Facebook group, the Women’s Entrepreneur Network. Inevitably, when people approach me, they ask if they can pick my brain or ask me for some “tips”.  

I explain that I don’t coach for free and I don’t give “tips” for free because I’d hate to tell them the wrong things that may set them back in their businesses. Also, this is my livelihood, and I live by helping people grow their businesses – for a fee. I’m a professional with a ton of training, and while I may like you, I’m not going to starve my own family to feed yours.  

But what I really see when I watch and lurk in the background is people sitting on their proverbial behinds waiting for clients to come to them.  

It doesn’t work that way. I don’t care how good your mindset is, if you’re sitting on your couch or bed or wherever in your home, and you’re not interacting with anyone, then you’re not taking that inspired action to get clients.  

A good friend of mine, Leslie Flowers, once said “What you want to manifest is moving towards you at the same velocity with which you are moving towards it. If you are sitting on the couch, so is it. If you’re running towards it, it is moving towards you at the same speed.”  

The real cure for “I’m broke”, “I don’t have money” or “I don’t have customers” is to do the work and deliver the goods. I’m not talking about working yourself into the ground, but rather focusing on doing the right things to get clients in your business instead of whining.  I swear, the whining is going to drive me to drink… Okay, maybe only Dr. Pepper.. But still, drinking.

Don’t get me started on the numerous people online who will take your money and half- deliver what they promised. That’s a whole ‘nother rant, but you need to deliver what you promised. Preferably OVER-deliver what you’ve promised to your customers, because no one likes to be stiffed. Unfortunately, I’ve had way too many experiences where people are quick to take your money and then slow to deliver on their promises. That’s not a good look for anyone! No wonder people are hesitant to trust!

how to get clientsIn the famous words of Yoda, “Do or do not, there is no ‘try’”. Whining never got anyone any clients. Sitting around hoping for clients to magically find you or people to fall from the sky to join your team just isn’t going to happen. You know it.  

You either really want something to happen and are going to make sure it happens, or you don’t. There really isn’t any in-between. You don’t “sort of” want something to happen. If you complain that “nothing” is working, most times I can point to what you’re not doing.  That is – not talking to people, not engaging, not being consistent. I know this because, well, I’ve been there, done that. When I’m not talking to people, not engaging and not being consistent, I’m not getting clients either. Funny how that works.  

Oh, and the whining thing? Everyone of us has situations that we’ve had to overcome, and some of us have faced tremendous adversity. It is just life. You either decide you’re going to think positively… or think negatively. Like when I was driving a few weeks ago, and the wheel came off of my car while I was driving. Yes, that sucked, but the good news is that the damage was minimal to my car, and it was easily fixed and no-one was hurt. I have good guardian angels!

So, my challenge to you is this: What steps can you take today to go out and find yourself some clients? How can you start getting leads consistently in your business? Chances are, I could give you 50 ways to do it, but unless you decide to take action and actually do the work, you’re not going to see the results.


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?
Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?
Schedule a consult with me today.


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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/how-get-clients-not-deep-dark-secret/

Building a Pipeline: 5 Ways to Get a Consistent Supply of Customers

Building a Pipeline: 5 Ways to Get a Consistent Supply of CustomersImagine this – May was your best month ever in business. By July 1st, you are trying to figure out where all of the customers went. I’ve heard it, seen it and lived it – over and over again. Feast and Famine. What happened to that consistent supply of customers?

What if you could change things up a bit? Change things so that you have a more consistent supply of customers in your business?  

That’s where building a pipeline comes in for your business. Sure, you can turn on ads and get leads that way, but that can take time and tweaking to get just right. It can also be extremely costly, and depending on the value of a client to you, it may not be worth it.

So, what is this mysterious pipeline, and how do we get one?

Funny you should ask that question. Pipelines can come several ways.  

Here are 5 ways to build a pipeline with a consistent supply of customers:

1. Affiliate Programs

With this type of program, you can get people to help market your products or services in exchange for a percentage of the revenue.

2. Referral Partners

By building partnerships and a strong network, you can feed your business. This works well for certain types of businesses such as realtors, insurance agents and mortgage brokers, but also for other types of service based businesses, like non-medical home care.

3. Facebook Groups

Done correctly, a Facebook group can be one of the best pipelines for your business, but it can be somewhat tricky to manage. With a Facebook group, you are constantly balancing engagement with time commitment, investment and more. This is something that I love helping clients with because it can be incredibly fun and rewarding.

4. Your Website

With proper SEO, backlinks and the like, you can turn your website into a fantastic lead generation pipeline for your business. It takes time, energy and a really good strategy to grow, but over time you WILL see great improvements.

5. Pinterest

Yes. Pinterest. By using a few techniques to create pins and drive traffic back to your website, you will generate a LOT more traffic and leads. You can also drive traffic back to a landing page or opt-in and get tremendous traction that way.

Building a pipeline doesn’t have to be super painful, but it does require consistent effort and building to make it work to the best of its ability.

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?
Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?
Schedule a consult with me today.


Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/building-pipeline-5-ways-supply-of-customers/

What’s All the Hubbub About a Sales Funnel? How Do They Work?

Okay, so what is a sales funnel anyway? Sales funnels are just about the hottest thing in marketing these days. People throw around words such as lead pages, landing pages, drip campaigns, webinars, and email blasts like they’re candy or something.  

Mostly they are really interesting sounding buzz words, but until you start to understand what all the components are, how they go together and why what you really need is a good strategy, all these words are just going to be alphabet soup.  

sales funnel 

First, let’s start with some terminology typically associated with a Sales Funnel.

1. Autoresponder

This is email marketing software that automatically sends out emails after someone opts in or buys a product from you. It can be smart or relatively simple. Smarter software would include platforms like Ontraport. Less sophisticated software would be something like MailChimp. If you have multiple lists, multiple opt-ins, etc, you need to get and implement something like Ontraport. That will allow you the more sophisticated “If-Then-Else” coding to make sure that no one ends up getting multiple copies of the same emails.

2. Video Conferencing Software

There are SO many video conferencing software options out there. My current favorite is Zoom because I can get the Pro version and do webinars. With the Webinar version I can have up to 100 people on the call, or I can do Facebook Live to my business page or Facebook Group. The opportunities for this are endless.

3. Drip Campaign

This is typically a set of emails that are delivered over a period of 7-21 days that encourage contacts to buy. They come with delivering an opt-in or product. You might sometimes see  the terms “autoresponder” and “drip campaign” used interchangeably.

4. Email Blast

I’ll confess, I don’t like this term. It leaves the impression that you are just throwing stuff out at your list to get them to buy. Of course you do want people to buy from you, but blasting it in their face is not necessarily the best way to nurture your list so they’ll want to continue receiving emails from you. So, I avoid the term “blast” as it has negative connotations to me.

5. Newsletter

Companies often send out newsletters anywhere between once a day to once a week, or even once a month or quarter. Sending out fewer than one email per month will make it difficult to maintain contact with your list. Emails should be simple and include relatively few graphics. In fact, most businesses with larger lists tend towards very short teasers, with the rest of the information on their website. They may not have any graphics at all in their newsletter either! All of that lives on the website.

Content is an integral part to a good newsletter. Be helpful, interesting and informative, and you’ll have clients for life!

Types of Funnels

There are many different kinds of sales funnels. They can range from building a large Facebook Group and doing regular Facebook Live sessions for your group to building a large email list and sending emails to your list. I agree that these are useful, but they are also fairly simple to use and implement.

You can also build more formal sales funnels. There are two main types of funnels I see used extensively in the online world.  

1. Webinar-Based Sales Funnel

sales funnelThese funnels are typically implemented by running Facebook Ads, Banner Ads and Google Ads. They traffic users to a sign-up for a webinar or free training. You get people to sign up for your free training, then you sell them your product. Once you’ve perfected the process, you can set it up so that it is fully automated. Then the webinar will run on its own with minimal human intervention. 

In the beginning, you will have to hold webinars on a regular basis. One reason I was able to grow my Facebook group so quickly in the beginning was because I held webinars on a weekly basis for months. When people registered for the webinar, I invited them to join my Facebook group on the ‘Thank You’ page. Then, at the end of the webinar, I again invited those who attended to join my Facebook group.

2. Freebie to Product-Based Sales Funnel

These are fabulous funnels because you can put so many pieces together. You will need a much more sophisticated email marketing service for this, such as Ontraport. If you have a single product, it isn’t an issue, but the point at which you have a multi-tiered sales funnel, you must have one of these services. It works like this: you run traffic to an opt-in (ad traffic, Pinterest traffic, etc). Then, when someone opts in to receive your product, on the ‘Thank You’ page you can offer them a low-cost product. I like $7 as my low-end product.

By adding in a series of emails through your autoresponder and your landing pages, you can get up-sells, down-sells and cross-sells, depending on the prospect’s behavior and what actions they take. It requires some programming of the conditions so that you don’t end up going in a circle or having other programming related issues.

There is, unfortunately, no single right way to build your business. I’ve seen people spend too much time trying to develop the “perfect” sales funnel, and freaking out because it wasn’t all perfect.

Don’t spend too much time driving yourself crazy on this point. Build your sales funnel or give us a call to help you out. And know that it is a process that requires setup, sales copy and testing to get to a completed state and ready to launch.


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/whats-sales-funnel-how-work/

Never Neglect These 8 Top Elements of an Effective E-Commerce Website

When your company is offering products and services on your website, then it is very likely that you have entered into the lucrative, challenging world of e-commerce.

You might think that all your efforts and time are worth it because your business is getting enough sales. However, experts say that even with just a simple improvement, you can actually double or triple your monthly sales.

Your e-commerce website is the outlet that customers use to purchase your products and services. But when it is not properly set up, it becomes useless – potential customers won’t be attracted to visit your online store. Without having the essential elements that an e-commerce site needs, you will surely be losing sales opportunities.

E-Commerce Website

Essential Elements an E-Commerce Website Must Have

1. User-Friendly Navigation

Make sure that your e-commerce website is very easy to navigate. After all, a fulfilling experience will attract visitors to your site and keep them coming back. Menus or links to product categories must be positioned in a prominent place. Most importantly, every page must provide users with an easy way of getting back to the home page, choosing another category, going directly to the shopping cart, or finding contact information.

2. Complete Yet Concise Product Information

Visitors must know the facts about what they are about to buy. They won’t surely buy when the product information is either lacking or confusing. Examining your product pages is very important. Browse your product pages as if you are a customer. Is there enough information for you to make a well-informed buying decision? However, this does not necessarily mean that the description must be long; rather, it must be detailed enough to emphasize the specific and unique qualities of the product. Consider using effective keywords to make your products easier to find.

3. High Quality Product Videos

Since “seeing is believing,” a video marketing strategy can be very beneficial. Adding videos describing the products and services will intrigue customers who want a visual touch when buying online. According to HubSpot, including videos can actually increase conversion rates by 80%.

4. Superb CTA Buttons

Your call to action (CTA) buttons are a vital part of your website. A creative, enticing CTA button can direct customers to take a desired action and to boost conversion rates. Ultimately, this enhances your lead generation. Allow your customers to take action if they are happy with the pieces of information they read by providing them CTAs. When creating a successful CTA button, make it simple yet colourful to match your site’s theme. You must position it strategically on the website and make it mobile-friendly.

5. Easy Checkout Process

Customers do not want to go through a lot of pages to buy a product. The checkout process must be contained on a single page whenever possible, and then let them confirm their order on the following page. A lengthy checkout process will result in unsatisfied customers – they will either leave your site and look for another online store or make their purchase but never come back.

E-Commerce Website6. Effective Shopping Cart Design

The layout of your shopping cart must be simple. It should include prominent checkout buttons and all the necessary elements your customer needs like the ability to select shipping options, change quantities, enter promo codes, continue shopping, and select a payment option.

7. Customer Reviews

These are very important to your e-commerce website because they can help potential customers decide if you are indeed a reputable business offering high-quality products and services from other consumers’ point of view. Studies have shown that plenty of consumers are reading online reviews to check a business’s reliability and quality.

It is highly recommended that you send an email to consumers who bought your offerings for feedback about what they’ve purchased. Most customers are aware that this feedback request is a part of the buying process, so they are more likely to fill it out to make sure that your review section is full.

8. Social Media Integration

Finally, this is one of the most crucial elements of an effective e-commerce website because social media is taking over the online world these days. Position the social media icons at the top of the page. Social media buttons will give friends and followers social proof. In turn, this can result in an increase in purchases of similar items and traffic to your website. Invest in professional social media services if you must.

By incorporating all of these essential elements in your e-commerce website, you will definitely increase user sign-ups, purchases and retention whilst enhancing brand reliability and trust.


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Philip MazloumianMeet the Author: Philip Mazloumian

Philip Mazloumian understands that creativity heavily depends on human insight, and as such, his knowledge forms an invaluable part of what React Digital does. With over 10 years of leadership in the field of strategic brand development and marketing communication, he has positioned himself as a leading executive for organizations that require effective and timely achievement of their brand and marketing objectives.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/top-elements-effective-e-commerce-website/

4 Signs Your New Business Needs a Major Overhaul

~by Anica Oaks~

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Statistics show that 50 percent of fledgling businesses within the United States die during their first five years. This is a sobering fact, but it is also enlightening. Fledgling businesses don’t just fail overnight. It is a gradual process. If a new business owner notices signs that their business is not going in the right direction, they need to take steps to overhaul their company. Some indicators of a failing business include:

  • Slowing Growth
  • Lack of Innovation
  • Low Cash Flow
  • Poor Cash Management

If you notice any of these signs, you need to be proactive about addressing these issues as soon as possible.

new business

Responding to Slow Business Growth

A business may have an amazing product, stellar customer service and a vision for the future. However, if it’s not making its numbers or growth has stalled, the time has come to re-examine and reevaluate the situation. All businesses have space to improve, but not all business owners have the vision to know where to look for improvement strategies. Some strategies for an overhaul may include:

  • Improving an underdeveloped brand
  • Improving team collaboration
  • Identifying and eliminating inefficient or impractical business practices
  • Creating long-term and short-term goals

Don’t be afraid to critically assess your core business principles, strategies and organization if you think your business is beginning to flounder.

Encouraging Innovation

A business that is not innovating is dying. Many mistakenly equate a lack of innovation within a company to a failure to execute innovative ideas provided by employees or by executives. In most cases, the problem is deeper and is connected to the lack of an innovation strategy.

Innovation strategies are a set of coherent, mutually reinforcing policies designed to achieve a goal. Overhauling the way a business innovates may require hiring individuals who are trained to think in an innovative way. This includes those who have received the proper education, such as an online bachelor’s of business administration.

Low Cash Flow

new businessMany failing businesses have cash flow problems because they wait too long to look at their financial statements. When they do, their financial problems have reached a point where they become too big to handle. Fledgling businesses often have this problem because they have not yet built up a cash reserve. One option could be to take out a business loan.

Poor Cash Management is a Systemic Problem

Just about every business has some cash flow problems. Failing businesses have a persistent cash flow problem connected to structural issues in the way that cash is managed. The worst thing a new business can do is ignore the situation. Instead, develop a solution by contacting a financial group, developing a good relationship with banks and creating an invoice system. Your invoice system should have clear pay dates as well as punishments for late payments and incentives for early payments.

It can seem discouraging to hear that 50 percent of businesses fail within five years. But this also means that 50 percent of businesses succeed for longer than five years. Recognizing problems and taking steps to correct the wrong is a key part of making a fledgling business successful for the long haul.


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Anica Oaks


Meet the Author: Anica Oaks

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean and anything outdoor related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/signs-new-business-needs-major-overhaul/

Understanding the Science of Attracting Customers to Your Business

~by Hannah Whittenly~

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attracting customersDiscovering exactly what customers find most appealing has always been a challenge for business marketers. This is especially true today when major headlines and digital reach can rapidly transform consumer expectations. A glimpse into behavioral psychology, however, has offered some insights into why customers choose one business over another.

Here are a few things for you to take into consideration for attracting customers:

Pricing vs Value

If consumers think that your prices are high, they look elsewhere. “Discount” prices can give a perception of poor quality or service. A $2,000 designer handbag isn’t really a hundred times better than the $20 department store knockoff, but people prize it much more.

The prices you advertise should reflect the reputation of your brand relative to the competition. If people want your product badly enough, they’ll pay more for it. When you establish higher value, higher prices follow.

Innovation and Outreach

One trend in today’s business is a stress on innovation. Customers are attracted to something that seems bolder and better. Yet, constantly generating new products is difficult to maintain for smaller businesses.

Instead, you should apply your creativity in cost-efficient marketing campaigns like email and social media. People are still receptive to personalized outreach. In one study done by

Brigham Young University, hundreds of random strangers were sent Christmas cards, and fully one-third reciprocated.

Service

People are social by nature. Most people will abandon a purchase even where there’s definite value if they feel frustrated or insulted. Sales and floor staff, as well as customer service teams, should be prompt, friendly and informed. Rude, slow, neglectful, or ineffective service is bad service.

attracting customersSavvy consumers recognize when they’re being pressured, patronized or hearing scripted sales pitches. Be sure your staff is customer-centric in their responsibilities and well-trained in the “soft skills” of human interaction. Never forget human ego and self-esteem. Customers will react negatively if you’re bashing theirs’.

Business Premises

For offline businesses like shops and restaurants, a customer’s reaction depends on the visual picture they get at your location. Dirty and poorly maintained premises automatically lower perceptions of your quality and service.

If you don’t want customers to move on immediately, it’s important to keep paint fresh, windows clean, debris removed, and parking lots in good repair. If your parking lot has tons of potholes in it, then it can become quite an irritating place to be. That is why you should consider hiring a professional paving company to fill them up. The same goes for interior spaces and floors. If the first impression of your business isn’t positive, you’re losing customers.

An understanding of how your customers respond to every aspect of your business is important. Marketing tricks and trends may come and go, but basic human psychology isn’t going to change.


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Hannah WhittenlyMeet the Author: Hannah Whittenly

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She graduated from the University of California-Sacramento with a degree in Journalism.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/understanding-science-attracting-customers/

My Comprehensive Guide for Finding New Clients on Facebook

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

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I’ve written general articles in the past on how to get clients using Facebook, but this will be a more comprehensive guide.

finding new clients

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Let me preface this by saying that there are several general ways to get clients. But if you aren’t careful about how you approach people on social media, you may end up getting put into Facebook jail. So exercise a bit of caution when using some of these techniques. I will tell you which techniques tend to be abused and which ones can land you in hot water.

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1. Personal Facebook Pages. This is by far the most common approach used to get clients and customers. It’s worth noting that this is a violation of Facebook’s terms and conditions. If you are using your personal page heavily for business, Facebook can and will put your account into purgatory.

The way you can get around this is to post only “occasionally” about your business, or to post a wide variety of non-promotional content on your personal page. That means you may have to schedule content to appear on your personal page in addition to the promotional content you publish. It is important that your promotional content is less than 30% or so of your total posts.

You can promote your business, but for best results, you will want to make sure you take time to build relationships. I encourage you to make friends in Facebook groups, and then send them friend requests to continue the discussion.

2. Facebook Business Pages. This is the official way to run ads and get clients and customers via Facebook. They are designed to be the public face of your business. The problem is that Facebook has made it harder and harder for your content to be seen by anyone, and organic reach is nearly dead.

Or is it?  

What I’ve learned is that you have to post interesting, engaging content that your clients and customers want to see. That means posting videos, graphics and questions — and taking the time to post interesting and valuable content. The more you focus on drawing people into your conversation, the better your results will likely be.

The other thing you should do is comment on other people’s business pages as your page. This helps generate more visibility for your business page. Unfortunately, you can’t join a Facebook group as a business page, so any businesses you see as users in groups are actually people who have named their profile after their business. This also is a violation of Facebook’s terms and conditions. Facebook can and will close down your account for doing this.

3. Facebook Groups can be a fantastic way to grow your business. There are a many different types of groups, such as social groups, special interest groups and business groups. Some groups are focused on Buying/Selling/Trading. Just be sure you read, understand and abide by the rules for each group as they do vary.

Too often people try to be involved in about 25 or 30 different Facebook groups. That can be  utterly overwhelming. The point of many of the social, special interest or business groups is to build relationships, and of course, engagement. By building relationships, you increase your chances of growing your business. By going into groups, posting and engaging with people every day, you will build a flock of raving fans. It is funny how even when you can’t promote your business, if people know what you do, they will refer to you.

So what ratio do I recommend?

finding new clientsFor every one promotional post, engage with others on their threads at least five times on a daily basis. I’ve seen and experienced significant growth and engagement in my own business when I do this.

A word of caution: do not spam groups. You should never only post without ever engaging with others. There are a number of group owners who take offense to this, and they will remove and block you from their groups.

4. Private Messaging can be a great way to find clients on Facebook. By building relationships with people and messaging them via private messenger on Facebook, you can invite them to shop with you even in situations where you can’t post in a group or on your personal page.

A few rules, though.. Make sure that you’re taking time to actually engage with people before pitching them your “opportunity”. I blocked one chick who kept messaging about how much I “needed” her for her services. She wanted to charge me $500 to turn my life around and lose weight, because hey, if I lose weight I’ll be more successful.

If you get blocked too many times and reported, Facebook will shut down your account.  That won’t help your business at all!

Getting clients on Facebook isn’t hard; it’s about building relationships. Ultimately, the more successful you are at building relationships with people and cultivating those relationships, the more successful your business will be. It is far more effective to build solid relationships with a few people than to spread yourself too thin. I’ve been very successful at building a huge following, but it started with focusing on each individual in front of me, and treating each person as if they’re special, and like, well, they’re real people with real feelings.  


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/guide-finding-new-clients-facebook/

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