Pandemic Business

Pivoting Your Small Business During COVID-19

While 1 out of 5 small businesses have sadly closed their doors during this global pandemic, there are many small business owners who have found ways to successfully use these trying times to build bigger and better. Are you one of them?

Here are 3 ways several of my small business clients have pivoted during COVID-19 and continued to sustain their operations.

  1. Go online. If you don’t have a website dedicated to your business then it will be very difficult to survive in the marketplace. Consumers are by and large stuck at home so they are turning to the internet to get their news, stay in touch with friends and family, and to get all their products and services. Even doctors have turned to e-medical visits using services like Zoom. Find ways to transfer what you do to an ecommerce or other online platform.
  2. Repurpose. Take the products and services you already offer and find new ways to make them useful to your customers. Several new markets have emerged as a result of this pandemic. Can you find an unmet need in the marketplace and use your existing offers to fill it? Take note of how some breweries have used their alcohol reserves to mass produce hand sanitizer and similar cleaning products.
  3. Increase communications. This is the perfect time to get more visible among your target market. They are looking for you so make it easy. Expand your efforts on social media, your blog, and even offline communications like direct mail. Reach out and ask customers what they want to see from you.

How are you finding ways to pivot during this difficult time? Simply hit reply to this email and let me know!

Need help pivoting?

No problem! Request your FREE Business Breakthrough Strategy Session and let’s talk about it.

Google Voice Typist

Google Voice Typist – Easily Transcribe Your Book

Many of our small business clients desire to write a book; however, they worry about not being great typists. Google Voice Typist is a 100% FREE tool you can use to write your book even if you don’t know how to type. All you need is a computer with internet access and a Google account (like Gmail).

How to Write a Book with Google Voice Typist

  1. Open Google Drive in your web browser at
  2. Sign in with your Google account if you haven’t signed in already, or register if you don’t have an account. Again, FREE!
  3. Create a new Google Docs document, click on Tools in the Menu, then navigate to Voice Typist in the drop-down menu.Google Docs Voice Typist
  4. Make sure your desired microphone is selected. You may be prompted by a pop-up or you may need to click on the video camera icon that may appear in the browser search bar.
  5. Click the microphone button that appears on the left-hand side of your screen to start recording.
  6. Speak naturally and watch in awe as your words appear in the document.
  7. You can speak commands like “new line” or “period” to control punctuation.
  8. You can even speak in other languages and Google Voice Typist will transcribe that too! Results are complete with appropriate accents and other special characters.Google Voice Typist
  9. You will need to review and edit your document for accuracy but at least the hard part, getting your story down, will be done.
  10. Go write!

Now you have no excuses!

Writing a book is a great method to build your business. Business owners with published books under their belt benefit from increased credibility, increased brand recognition, increased sales, and the ability to create alternative income streams.

Writing a book also sets you apart from the competition. Your published book not only establishes you as a subject matter expert but also increases your perceived value in the marketplace. If you need additional help getting started or don’t know what to write about, you’re encouraged to seek a writing coach.

Google Voice Typist is a great tool to get your book done. You can also use it to write your blog posts, articles, eBooks, and even social media posts. Just copy/paste your edited work from Google Docs into the application of your choice.

Do you use Voice Typist? Do you know of any other transcription tools small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can use to write their books? Please let us know in the comments and if you found value in this post, please do share it with your networks.

What is a Sales Funnel?

A sales funnel, although an imperfect model, is a visual depiction of the actual process your business uses to convert prospects into paying customers. It is the steps you take to move your target market from the point that they learn your business exists to the point that they become raving fans of your brand. Unlike a real funnel, your customers never actually fall out the bottom but instead filter back through the top over and over again, hopefully bringing along a few friends in the process.

Analyzing and understanding your sales funnel is a critical step toward maximizing your profit potential. The more you know about how your particular customers behave and make buying decisions, the easier and faster it will be to move them through your sales process; thereby, increasing sales revenue and bottom-line profitability.

The sales funnel has four stages: awareness, demonstration, conversion, and recruitment. Let’s take a closer look at each stage and what you can do to increase profitability as your target market gets pushed through each one of them.

The Sales Funnel

  1. Awareness. In this stage, prospective customers first learn that your brand exists. AwarenessThey become aware of you, your company, and the products and services you offer. This stage is all about getting on your customer’s radar so you can begin a conversation. In order for the Awareness stage to be effective, you have to know exactly who your target market is and then go where they go and be where they be. Once your target market has been identified, narrowed, and found, you then must use various tools to attract them. These tools are often referred to as lead generators and may include one or more of the following customer attraction strategies:
    • networking and other live events
    • exhibitor booths (trade shows, expos, etc.)
    • direct mail (snail mail)
    • email marketing
    • commercial ads (tv, radio, social media)
    • flyers
    • billboards
    • social media posts
    • hashtags
    • blogs
  2. Demonstration. In this stage, prospects start to realize your value. This stage is all Demonstrationabout establishing trust and rapport. People buy from those whom they know, like, and trust. You will need to show potential customers the benefits of your product or service offerings. What makes you the expert in your field? What sets your brand apart from others providing similar products and services? Tools you will use in the Demonstration stage may overlap with those you may use in the Awareness stage as prospects can often be moved through both of these stages at the same time.
    • infomercials
    • training events
    • information sessions
    • product demonstrations
    • blogs
    • books
    • articles
    • social media posts
  3. Conversion. In this stage, prospects have seen the value of your products and Conversionservices and are ready to make a buying decision. Your job here is to simply ask for the sale. This is the most important aspect of customer acquisition; however, too many entrepreneurs fail to do this to close the actual sale. Here you will utilize tools that shift prospects into paying customers.
    • call-to-actions
    • buy now buttons
    • free trials
    • free quotes
    • free consultations
    • introductory sessions
    • sales calls
  4. Recruitment. In this stage, existing customers are groomed, cultivated,  and Recruitmentactivated to become a voluntary marketing team for your business. This stage requires high levels of engagement to continue delivering value to paying customers time and time again. The idea here is that customers will be so satisfied with your business that they not only repeat purchases for themselves but also share their excitement with others who also become paying customers. Tools implemented in this stage help transition existing customers into evangelists who recruit new prospects into your sales funnel for you.
    • brand ambassadors
    • loyalty programs
    • incentive clubs
    • coupons
    • discounts
    • referral programs
    • customer appreciation sales
    • customer spotlights
    • birthday, holiday, and anniversary mailers

An effective sales funnel is vital to the financial health of your business. Your sales funnel should move prospects through the most efficient and fastest route to becoming a paying customer and raving fan of your brand. Take a moment to build, review, and/or revise this important business process now. Download our SALES FUNNEL WORKSHEET to fix your funnel today.

Did you find value in this post? Please comment below and share with your networks.

Should I List My Prices on My Website?

We get this question a lot! There really is no right or wrong answer here. Whether or not to list your prices on your website simply depends on your personal choice and marketing strategy.

There are both pros and cons to publicly publishing your prices. What you choose has a lot to do with the relationships you have built or are seeking to build with your dream customers. When making this decision, it is important to consider who your customers are and what are their expectations. Not every target market will respond in the same way to your choice to list or not to list your prices. Here are a few reasons why or why not to list your prices on your website.

Reasons to List Your Prices on Your Website

  • Truth & Transparency. Many business owners want to make sure that there are nopricelist secrets between themselves and their customers. These companies place high value on honesty and disclose as much information as possible to prevent their customers from feeling like the wool has been pulled over their eyes with hidden costs.
  • Positioning. If your competitive advantage is based on pricing (low-cost leader, high-end provider, etc.), publishing your prices on your website will help solidify your place within the market.
  • Increase conversions. Prospective customers are more likely to buy on the spot or submit inquiries when they already know they can afford your prices.
  • Filter out lookie-loos. Listing your prices is a great way to avoid site visitors who are just window-shopping with no intent on buying. It also allows you a way to target only those who can actually afford your offerings.

Reasons NOT to List Your Prices on Your Website

  • Build value. When you market products or services that require education and training as part of your customer acquisition strategy, it is best to not list your prices on your website. Many info products, coaching and consulting services, and live events follow this train of thought. Businesses in these fields educate consumers on the value of their offerings to justify their prices.
  • Specialized product. If your products or services include a high level of customization, it may be difficult to list prices as your prices will fluctuate from one customer to the next.
  • Strict competition. In highly competitive industries, you could literally find yourself caught up in the middle of a pricing war. By not disclosing your prices, you can avoid the possibility of someone using your prices to undercut your business.
  • Flexibility. It’s easier to increase prices over time when there is no published record of what prices were before. Those who do publish their prices usually do so with a disclaimer that prices are subject to change; however, it can be a headache to explain to existing customers why they are no longer receiving last year’s prices.
  • Test pricing. Many startups and aspiring entrepreneurs have no idea what to charge. You may be introducing an entirely new product or service into the marketplace, be targeting a new or unknown customer profile, or simply may not know your worth just yet.

Do you publish your prices on your website? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments below and if you have found value in this post, please do share it with your networks. Get answers to more questions like this by joining us in our free online training and accountability group.

How to Maximize Your Profit Potential

So many of my clients think that their number one problem in business is that they aren’t turning a profit. I totally get that. You need money to fund your operations, grow, hire good people, fire bad people, purchase inventory, and maintain equipment. Having good cash flow is necessary to your long-term success and sustainability but what if you’re not making any sales? What if you have no clue how to make any significant money to turn a profit?

 You can absolutely make money and succeed in entrepreneurship as long as you have the 4 P’s of Profit in place. I discuss this topic in great detail in my training programs for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners; however, here is a brief overview to get you started.

Maximize Your Profit Potential with the 4 P’s of Profit

  1. Passion – This is “what” you do. Missing the mark on this is the number one reason why small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs fail to turn a profit. You Profitthink you can startup a get-rich quick company because you see the glitz and the glam of a potentially wealthy lifestyle rather than actually being passionate about the products and services you offer. You have to have passion to start any business, even those that are considered multi-level marketing. The bottom line is entrepreneurship is difficult and especially in the very beginning while you’re building your business. There is no magic bullet that will make you rich quick but there are proven steps that you can implement to help you succeed in business faster. Make sure that whatever venture you are embarking on is driven by your passion for the products and services you offer or no amount of education, wishing nor hoping will help you succeed.
  2. Purpose – You have to have a why, whether this is a personal mission or a business mission. Your passion is the “what” you do but your purpose is the “why” you do it. What do you hope to accomplish as a result of your hard work. What is the end game? What is your vision? What impact do you want to have? Starting a business without a clear purpose in mind, even an already set-up business such as multi-level marketing, will leave you drowning in mindless activity. It’s like getting in a car without knowing where you want to go. If you don’t have a clue where you’re going, how can you plan for gas, driving time, budget needed, rest stops, etc.? You will succeed in turning a profit if you have a purpose (end goal) to focus you.
  3. People – These are your customers who not only buy your products and services but also clue you in on their needs and interests so you can serve them better. You cannot succeed in entrepreneurship without a solid team around you. This also includes those who will support you and your business. This is everyone including your partners, vendors, immediate family and best friends (who by the way are not always your customers), business consultants and coaches like myself, accountants, attorneys and other service providers.
  4. Processes – These are the tried and true, proven best practices, automated tools and duplicable activities that you strategically and intentionally implement to build and sustain your business. The more efficient your operations, the easier and faster you will generate a profit. I also sometimes refer to this P as “Productivity” because with adequate processes in place, you will be more productive.

Incorporate the 4 P’s of Profit into your marketing plan and you absolutely will be successful in turning a profit. For additional support on how to succeed in maximizing your profit potential, request a free Business Breakthrough Strategy Session. During the session, you will gain more clarity, identify goals, uncover hidden challenges, and leave feeling confident in your next steps.

Have you found success in network marketing? If so, tell us how you did it in the comments below and, if you found this post helpful, please share it to your networks.

We Forgot How to Have Conversations

As a business owner and avid social media user, I have noticed a really disturbing trend – people no longer have conversations. Everyone seems to be rushing through their daily interactions with very little value exchange. If a message can’t be boiled down to 140 characters or less, it’s abandoned altogether. What happened to talking to one another?

Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagrams, and Snapchats have replaced authentic customer connections. This is especially troublesome for small business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, and marketing professionals who need to find creative ways to engage their target market.

People buy from those whom they know, like, and trust. It used to be that one could walk into their local mom-and-pop shop and be approached by a caring person who wanted nothing more than to meet their needs. The warmth and sincere desire to help emanating from the store owners is what made you want to get to know, like, and eventually trust them with your business. There was time and attention devoted toward establishing rapport, building a real relationship. In those simpler times, this was how customer loyalty was created.

These days, very few people seem to understand the value of relationship building. It’s more than a monthly scheduled email, a reply to a social media post, or an automated robocall reminder of upcoming events. We need to get back to showing true interest in people. What do they like or dislike? What are their goals and dreams? What are their challenges and obstacles? To actually learn these things one must engage others in conversation then actively listen.

Take a moment to think about how you are interacting with people. Are you delivering value? Are you building authentic relationships? Or are you hurdling through life without taking the time to enjoy those with whom you are connected?

I challenge you to actively seek out opportunities to create new and build on existing relationships. Turn those 5000 friends on Facebook into 5000 valuable connections. You will find that your relationships will be much more fruitful and fulfilling. All it takes is a willingness to care.

If you are a business owner, aspiring entrepreneur, or even a marketing professional, I want to invite you to further explore this topic in a 100% free webinar, 3 Major Mistakes Marketers Make that Ruin Revenue. In this 1-hour training, I will uncover the biggest challenges standing in the way of marketing success and how you can avoid them. Hint – the biggest mistake is not focusing on people!

Let’s connect and build together.

~Coach Niquenya


3 Major Mistakes Marketers Make that Ruin Revenue
100% FREE Webinar Training

10 Traits of the Entrepreneurial Mindset

Do you have an entrepreneurial mindset? Entrepreneurs are some of the coolest entrepreneurial mindsetpeople on the planet. Entrepreneurship, on the other hand, can be a difficult journey. It takes a certain type of person to become a successful entrepreneur.

After over 20 years of partnering with small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, we have observed many of the common traits shared by the entrepreneurial mindsets of the clients we serve. We have outlined the top ten traits of the entrepreneurial mindset below for you to determine if you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.

10 Traits of the Entrepreneurial Mindset

  1. Unique – Entrepreneurs have a different perspective of looking at the world around them. They tend to march to the beat of their own drummer. For this reason, many entrepreneurs may feel alone and like most people don’t get them. Successful entrepreneurs make sure they seek out like-minded individuals who will celebrate their uniqueness.
  2. Creative – Entrepreneurs are highly imaginative and often get inspired by even the most minute things. Often, entrepreneurial pursuits are an artistic expression of the ideas flooding one’s thoughts. Entrepreneurship serves as a creative outlet for these overflowing thoughts.
  3. Innovative – Due to their massive creativity, entrepreneurs are responsible for many of the ground-breaking concepts that have emerged throughout time. They are pioneers of their craft often discovering new ways to tackle everyday problems.
  4. Bold – Entrepreneurs are some of the bravest people you will ever encounter. Their courageousness emboldens them to face challenges head on despite the negative noise of naysayers.
  5. Visionary – Entrepreneurs are big-picture thinkers. They can see beyond what’s readily visible by most people. Entrepreneurs dream constantly, day and night. If you have an entrepreneurial mindset, you may be regularly accused of always having your head in the clouds.
  6. Curious – Entrepreneurs possess a natural interest in everything around them. They question societal norms and the traditional way of doing things. This curiosity often leads to a new understanding of complex concepts, patterns and much more.
  7. Flexible – The most successful entrepreneurs understand that they have to be willing to change at a moment’s notice. The world is constantly evolving all around us, especially in terms of technological advances. Entrepreneurs must be willing to adapt to sudden shifts in their industry, political climate or even in themselves as they learn and grow as a business owner.
  8. Resilient – Entrepreneurs must be able to bounce back from failures quickly. Fail fast and often is a reoccurring them in the successful entrepreneurial mindset. Successful entrepreneurs not only face obstacles head-on, but overcome them through perseverance.
  9. Servant Leader – The number one reason most businesses are started is because an entrepreneur had a vision to serve or help others to address a particular problem or concern. Successful entrepreneurs are natural leaders who inspire and motivate through their service.
  10. Coachable – The most successful entrepreneurs don’t waste time trying to reinvent the wheel. They recruit partners, consultants and coaches who can help them become better decision-makers and direct their time on mission-critical, income-producing activities. These entrepreneurs understand how important it is to be open to different perspectives, best practices and industry trends to sustain and grow their businesses.

Do you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur? Tell us in the comments below if you agree with these top ten traits of the entrepreneurial mindset or if there are other characteristics that should be included. Should you have found value in this post, please do share it with your networks to help others learn if they have an entrepreneurial mindset too.

3 Dirty Little Secrets for Fast Content Creation

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard it before. Content is king! You absolutely have to have Dirty Little Secrets for FAST CONTENT CREATIONquality content, not only to attract and engage your dream customers, but also to perform higher in search engine results for your targeted keywords and phrases. This content can be blogs, social media posts, articles, video or even books and eBooks.

Let’s face the facts – most aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners have very little time nor energy to create quality content on a consistent basis. How then do you create a content schedule that will allow you to take advantage of content creation without spending a whole lot of time trying to create content? No worries! We’re revealing our top 3 dirty little secrets for fast content creation.

Our Dirty Little Secrets for Fast Content Creation

  1. Reuse content. This is the golden rule of fast content creation. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. Take something you have already created and put a different spin on it. You do the real work one time, then transform that one piece of content into multiple different new pieces. At Building Bridges Consulting, we do this all the time! We write a Facebook post that gets high levels of interest and engagement. Then that Facebook post gets expounded on and becomes a blog post. That blog post might garner additional interest from other websites who will request that this same blog post be revised and published on their own sites for their audiences. If you ever attend any of our live training and networking events, you may hear our CEO, Coach Niquenya speak about the same content. One time creation, multiple formats and delivery methods!
  2. Use PLR. PLR stands for Private Label Rights. This method allows for super fast content creation because you don’t even have to come up with any of the material on your own. PLR refers to articles, eBooks and even full-length books that have already been researched and written by authors who are willing to share this content through special licensing with publishers who can then call the works their own. Although the content is written for you, a best practice is to make sure that the PLR comes from a reputable sources and is truthful in its research and conclusions. You should also put your own special spin on the material and revise it to read like your voice. Using PLR is a great way to develop a quick lead generator for your mailing list!
  3. Outsource. If you really don’t have time to create your own content, why not have someone else write it for you? Hire guest bloggers, ghost writers and other freelancers who specialize in fast content creation. Seek out content creators who are reputable, easy to work with and who are experts in the topics relevant to your niche and target market. You can utilize websites such as Fiverr and Upwork to find freelancers willing to write on your behalf. Outsourcing is something we stress as a must-do to our JumpStart members who are seeking to build their businesses to profitability as fast as possible.

Easy, right? You can become a master of super fast content creation when you incorporate one or more of the above strategies. Just remember above all else that your content should always be relevant, quality and engaging to your target market and niche.

Have you used any of these strategies to create quality content quickly? Do you have any other fast content creation methods that you would like to share? Please tell us in the comments below and if you found this post valuable, please do post it to your networks.


Make the Best Use of Your Startup Investment

Aspiring entrepreneurs often ask our consulting firm how to make the best use of their startup investment. During the startup phase while budgets are tight and there are many unknowns, your best use of available funding will always be wherever you will receive the highest return on your investment (ROI). You have to ask yourself which strategy(ies) will yield the most bang for your buck and lead you to generating revenue the fastest.

I recommend completing a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis before you spend a dime of your startup investment.startup investment A cost-benefit analysis is a systematic, quantitative approach that helps you to weigh the pros and cons (benefits vs. costs) of a particular transaction. In your case, I would create a chart with at least 3 columns.

How to Evaluate the Best Use of Your Startup Investment

  1. The first column of each row will indicate the action being evaluated. You would list your options – website, SEO, packaging/branding
  2. The second column lists the costs of the action as close to the actual dollar amount as is possible to achieve. Request quotes from vendors or perform a little research if you aren’t sure of exact costs. Make sure to consider resources available for successful implementation of the intended action as there are costs associated with this as well.
  3. The third column should identify the expected results or outcomes (the benefits) of implementing the action. Again, it is important to be as concise and specific here as possible. Focus on how much revenue will be generated (or even costs reduced if that’s a factor) as a result of taking this action. Create a sum total of all benefits associated with any action taken.

Now, review your completed chart and determine which solution will be a) cost the least to implement yet b) generate the most benefits in terms of revenue earned. Since every business model is a little different, without knowing more about your specific situation, performing a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis is my best recommendation to determine the best use of any startup investment. If you want additional assistance with this process, I highly recommend requesting an Emergency Biz Boom Session via Skype to really tackle this decision head-on.

How did you decide how to make the best use of your startup investment? Did you have a plan? Let us know in the comments below and if you found value in this post, please share it with your networks.

How to Find Time to Blog

Many bloggers struggle with how they can find time to blog. This is because bloggers are often juggling full-time jobs, kids and other priorities that make it difficult to add blogging to the top of their priority list. Having raised two children of my own, both with special needs, as a full-time student with a full-time job, I totally get it!

My small business clients, especially those participating in my JumpStart program,  understand how important it is to blog in order to showcase your expertise, build a relationship with your dream customers and to positively impact SEO. Still, they ask me time and again how it is possible to fit creating quality, engaging content into their already packed schedules. In order to find time to blog, let’s take it back to the basics.

5 Ways to Find Time to Blog

  1. First, set boundaries between time you work and time you blog and time for personalfind time to blogstuff. Say “no” to things that don’t fall under the category scheduled during the time you’ve set aside for them. Schedule the time accordingly using technology like Google Calendar alerts or even your smartphone alarm.
  2. Second, determine how much time is required to realistically research, write and publish each post. It used to take me hours but now it takes me only a half hour to publish a solid post. How? I reuse content! I also don’t worry about making mistakes along the way because I can always go back and correct them later, even AFTER the post has been published.
  3. Third, set a goal for how often you realistically need/want to post to stay engaged with your audience. At a minimum, you most likely will want to post at least once a week to keep fresh content on your site to feed the search engines as well as interest among your readers.
  4. Fourth, take advantage of scheduled posts features if you have time to write multiple posts in one sitting. For instance, say I want to post once each week but I find myself engrossed in a topic and whip out 3 posts in one sitting. I schedule those 3 to publish each in its own week but maintain my original schedule so I’m actually ahead. Also, using PLR as a starting point can reduce writing time, just be sure to communicate and tweak in your own voice suitable to your audience.
  5. Lastly, hire a coach who can help hold you accountable to your writing goals. Sometimes we just can’t do it alone. Until you have the discipline in place, it is beneficial to have an impartial, nonjudgmental person help rear you in and identify any time wasters. You would be surprised at home much time you’re probably allowing to get away.

That’s all you have to do to find time to blog. Do you have any other helpful tips you want to add? Drop them in the comments below and if you found value in this post, please share with your networks.