Category Archives: Best Practices

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.

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

#market4profit

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

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.

How to Succeed in Multi-Level Marketing

Many of my clients get their first taste of business ownership in multi-level marketing companies. Unfortunately, this type of business model often gets a bad rap because so many aspiring entrepreneurs have absolutely no idea how to succeed in multi-level marketing and fail miserably. You can absolutely succeed in a multi-level marketing (MLM) business and do so pretty quickly as long as you have the 4 P’s of Profit in place, which I often discuss in my training programs for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Succeed in Multi-Level Marketing with the 4 P’s of Profit

  1. Passion – This is the number one reason why multi-level marketers fail. You sign upsucceed in multi-level marketing because you see the glitz and the glam of the promised wealthy lifestyle rather than actually being passionate about the products and services you offer. You have to have passion to start any business, multi-level marketing included. 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 multi-level marketing 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 nor processes 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 multi-level marketing if you have a purpose to focus you.
  3. Partners – These are the people who will support you and your business. This is everyone including your upline, downline, 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. This also includes 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 multi-level marketing without a solid team around you.
  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 earn money. 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 multi-level marketing. For more information about how to succeed in multi-level marketing businesses, check out my book, Why YOU SUCK at Network Marketing. You will find out how to avoid many of the pitfalls most multi-level marketers make that keep them broke and broken.

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.

Build Your Tribe in 7 Simple Steps

Creating a successful business requires that you first build your tribe. A tribe is a group of Build Your Tribe in 7 Simple Stepslike-minded individuals who come together for a common cause. In terms of business, your tribe is made up of your dream customers – the prospects with whom your vision, message and mission resonates and who are both willing and able to pay your prices.

In our popular JumpStart Virtual Business Boot Camp, we hone in on the importance of using your tribe to trigger an increase in sales. The program walks aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners step-by-step on how to easily build your tribe. This is a brief overview of the steps covered in-depth throughout the training.

How to Build Your Tribe in 7 Simple Steps

  1. Identify your dream customers. Before you can even begin to build a tribe, you first have to decide who they are. Your business success primarily hinges upon this important step. Your dream customers are often a reflection of who you are and what experiences you have come through in life. Determine who you most want to work with. What do they look like? What is important to them? Where can you find them?
  2. Create your Signature Solution. What products or services will you offer your dream customers? What is the best solution to either increase pleasure or decrease the pain associated with a particular need or desire affecting your dream customers? What knowledge, skills and expertise do you possess that can help your dream customers fulfill their needs? Build a value-packed solution to serve your dream customers.
  3. Differentiate yourself from alternatives. What are your dream customers already doing to fulfill their needs? What other products or services are being offered in the marketplace? Determine how you can develop a competitive advantage so that your dream customers will choose you over the other available options.
  4. Build an online community. In this day and age, everybody is online. This means the number one place you will find your dream customers is also online. Create a Facebook group, or even a LinkedIn group, that will serve as a community for your dream customers. This is where you will really build your tribe. Give it a benefits-focused name that easily explains to your dream customer what the group is for and why they should join. Check out the Design Your Dream Biz Training & Accountability group we created for the JumpStart program.
  5. Engage followers with quality content. Use your online community to share relevant resources, blog posts, free eBooks or webinars, tips and advice your dream customers can use to address their needs. Give authentically to position yourself as an expert in your field. You will build your tribe really fast if members of your community get to know, like and trust your opinions.
  6. Promote a powerful call-to-action. Seek always to motivate your community members to deepen their connection with you by instructing them to take specific, strategic actions. Regularly promote your Signature Solution among your tribe to move them quickly through your sales funnel. Use your group to convert prospects into paying customers. Ask for sales!
  7. Focus on growing your group. Continue to invite new prospects into your online community to build your tribe. Create ads and send out requests to your dream customers to also invite other like-minded individuals. The more value you provide to your current members, the more likely they will invite others to join. Offer referral incentives whenever possible.

Once your tribe is in place, everything you do should be promoted within your online community. You can build your tribe in as little as thirty days. The most important thing to remember is to provide consistent, relevant value so you can attract and retain your dream customers.

How did you build your tribe? Did you find this post useful? Please let us know in the comments below and if you found value in this post, please do share it with your networks.

What Kind of Public Speaker Are You?

Public speakers come in all varieties of shapes and sizes. Depending on the audience and goals of a particular event, speakers can serve one or more important purposes. Public speakers may educate, motivate, fuel change and growth, promote awareness, inform or even entertain. Regardless of the purpose of the public speaker, one thing is for certain – the speaker can make or break the event.

Event planners and organizations that host events seek speakers who can not only serve up their goals and objectives but also be highly engaging and interactive subject matter experts. This makes for a lucrative business among the most talented public speakers. If you are an aspiring public speaker, one of the first steps to marketing yourself to meeting organizers and others who seek you out is to determine just what type of speaker you are. Depending on your expertise and skill, you might fall into one or more of the following categories.

Types of Public Speakers

  • Motivational/Inspirational Speakers – These types of public speakers either motivate or encourage individuals and groups to think or do something different. Motivational and inspirational speakers give positive “pep talks” to their audiences to encourage them to overcome obstacles, think bigger and reach beyond their normal way of doing things. Examples of these types of public speakers are Les Brown and Tony Robbins.
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  • Corporate Speakers –  This type of public speaker teaches soft or technical skills to individuals and groups within a business environment. Corporate speakers, or corporate trainers as they’re usually referred, instruct employees to acquire skills that help them do their jobs more effectively. Topics such as team building and conflict resolution are taught by corporate speakers.
  • Marketing Speakers – These public speakers are sales and marketing professionals who are experts at the top of their game. Marketing speakers usually have excelled in their industries by knocking sales quotas out of the park. Sales and marketing speakers often develop duplicable systems and share these systems within their talks. Dale Carnegie is a famous marketing speaker who turned his skill into a major public speaking brand.
  • Futurists and Trend Experts – These types of public speakers watch trends and make predictions of how the market will flow or a particular industry will respond based on their observations. They then put together informative talks to convey their projections to specialized audiences. Some futurists, or futurologists, are scientists who practice philosophizing about possibilities and then assemble research to support their forecasts. Futurists and trend experts have been instrumental in raising awareness of the global warming phenomenon.

So what type of public speaker are you? Let us know in the comments below. Remember, you can fall into one or more categories depending on the audience and purpose of the event. Tailor your style and presentation to meet the needs of the market you serve. Want to further expand your public speaking platform? Check out our Speakers Bureau for an opportunity to market yourself at upcoming events.

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