Apr 152013
 

education, simple, einstein, leadership, teaching, understanding

 

7 Powerful Ways to Achieve Results through Personal Discipline

4 Leadership tips for your Service Business

 

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 April 15, 2013  Posted by at 5:00 AM Visual Quote Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
Apr 032013
 

can't do it all, delegate, 80/20 rule, focus, prioritization

My first year at business school, I thought my professors were trying to kill me. Each night, I had more reading and homework than could possibly get done in one evening even if I stayed up all night. I quickly realized that one of the key lessons of survival was prioritization–figuring out what portion of the work was most important and what just was not going to get done.

I remember one night, working on a term paper with a group of students. We had worked hard on the paper and we all thought it was in good shape. We had other work to complete that night and were not anxious to pull an all-nighter so we were ready to move on. One of the team members, however, felt it was not “A” material and wanted to keep working on it. I remember thinking even back then that this guy did not “get it.”

My life building businesses has been the same experience as business school. To survive and flourish, you have to quickly figure out what is “important” and what is “noise.” You can’t do it all… Click here for more tips on getting more done.

At both of my current companies Window Brothers & Vance Properties, we have a saying: follow the 80/20 rule, technically known as the Pareto principle. The Pareto principle tells us that 20 percent of the inputs account for 80 percent of the results. You have to cut through the noise, figure out what tasks represent the 20 percent with the greatest leverage and focus on those tasks. Find those projects that make a big impact and ignore EVERYTHING else.

Is it difficult to step away from fire drills and turn away from the mounting volume in your inbox? Absolutely. But if you don’t, your days–and your team’s days–will slip away without having addressed the projects that will really drive your business.

The sooner you figure out how to apply the 80/20 rule and run with it, the better off you’ll be. There are 100 things you can focus on each day, and it’s up to you to parse the data, decide what projects or features have the greatest leverage, focus, and get it done.

Don’t forget, you can’t do it all….

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 April 3, 2013  Posted by at 5:00 AM Time Tagged with: , , ,  1 Response »
Apr 012013
 

motivation, daily diet, education, information, cashflow, consistency.

 

Learn more about how a steady diet of motivaton helps your business grow.

Click here to find out why slow growth is better than fast.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 

 April 1, 2013  Posted by at 5:00 AM Visual Quote Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Mar 042013
 

education, learn to earn, trial and error, positive mistakes, learning to run a small business, student of business

Click here to learn the key to your small business success.

Click here to find out how “Learning more” will help you with “Earning more”.

 

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 March 4, 2013  Posted by at 5:00 AM Visual Quote Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Jan 232013
 

planning, achievable goals, destiny, personal growth,

1. Plan a Preferred Future

As Lewis Carroll said: “If you don’t know where you are going, then any road will get you there.”  In 2013 take time to examine and discuss the details of every aspect of your lives, personal and professional, to achieve integrated success and happiness.

2. Be Pragmatic

In most of our near future, few of us will be playing for the NBA. The future has to reflect what is physically possible with available resources and limitations. We all need to create filters to keep us from wasting time and energy on what’s unachievable or irrelevant. See S.M.A.R.T. goals. Continue reading »

 January 23, 2013  Posted by at 6:00 AM Happiness, Visual Quote Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Jul 232012
 

sales, sales people, conversion rate, follow-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 ways to boost your sales right now, this week …

  1. Get your salesperson with the best conversion rate to train everybody else for a day or two.
  2. Script your sales process. Use a lot of questions in the script (it’s NOT a sales pitch) and learn from what the best sales people are doing.
  3. Break your sales process down into each and every critical step and work on one step at a time.
  4. Measure your conversion from one step to the next and work on improving each step by just 10% more than it was.
  5. Work on the letters, brochures, other written or audio/video material you use during each step of the sales process.
  6. Use my magic question for phone selling, “Thanks for your call, just so I can help you best would it be OK if I asked you a couple of questions?”
  7. Run a competition among your sales people for a week or two around the one area you need to see the most improvement in.
  8. Learn the critical buying step in your sale, for example in female fashion stores, it’s trying the clothes on, with it you have more than a 50% chance at making a sale, without it, less than 10%.
  9. Follow up and follow through, too many sales are lost by salespeople who can’t be bothered to follow-up again and again and again … at least 7 times …
  10. Make an offer that is either limited or a bonus offer or something to get customers to act now and to give sales people some ammunition …
  11. Just plain ask people to buy, usually in sales training the one biggest reason sales people are not getting the sale is that they don’t ask for it …
  12. Bonus: Stay focused on your conversion rate for 3 months and watch the dramatic effect it has on your bottom line.

Once you’ve got it right, or at least much better than it is today, then and only then is it time to go to work getting more prospects and investing more money into your marketing and fixing the marketing you are doing now.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 July 23, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Growth Tagged with: , ,  1 Response »
Jun 252012
 

 

case study, aspiring entrepreneur, build a better business, team, trust, team building, learning from small business mistakes

 

 

 

1. How it all started. How you got into the cleaning business?
Cleaning and business in general has been in our family for a while now. My father runs several successful businesses, passed down from his father. My grandmother held several private office cleaning contracts and used to complete the services in the early hours of the morning each day. As a child, my sister and I would tag along and help out. I remember emptying bins and pushing the vacuum around as young as six. It was always fun and we loved to help out.

Moving forward, my sister started her own cleaning company around 2005 – I would often assist her with services, learning how to cleaning professionally. After education, I ventured into other things myself such as office management, accounts assistant, recruitment consultancy, sales associate, etc. All of my roles gave me the skills required to go into business myself. Cleanique is not my first business and has not been my last, I run several other companies, some working out and some not. In 2011 I officially started Cleanique, with only a mop and some products with around £75.00 to spend on Google Ads. I built the website, designed some leaflets and invested in some online ad campaigns. And from there, it just grew and grew into what it is today!

It took time to develop the first bulk of clients. After the relocation to Watford, Cleanique essentially had to start from scratch, which was a big blow to the hard work I’d invested in the business however it turned out to be an excellent choice as the client opportunity base was much larger and although that meant more competitors, we worked to rise above them and have so far been successful.

To this current day, Cleanique are now hiring self-employed contractors and developing a team of staff to allocate services and clients to. Cleanique started from absolutely nothing with very little money to invest (less than £100) and today are turning over a large profit and have huge plans for the future ahead. It’s been a very exciting whirlwind of a journey and has of course had many snags along the way. But each difficulty can only be used as a lesson learnt and we embrace each challenge we face.

2. What challenges did you face along the way?
Cleanique has encountered many, many issues – mainly when first starting out. However without problems, you cannot find a solution that you know will work.

The first problem we faced was the relocation to Watford. I moved to the area myself and as the business was still at its starting point, made a difficult decision to release all clients from their contracts in the previous area and start fresh. It didn’t make sense to attempt to franchise or employ a manager of the area so early in with only a few clients on the book. The move was difficult as I suddenly lost the entire income from the company, but it was also exciting. A whole new county to find clients in! I redesigned the website, created new leaflets and marketing plans, upgraded my equipment with the profits made so far and went back to work finding new leads! Overall it’s paid off massively and the new area is much higher populated, therefore has much more to offer than previously.

Our second issue has been with employing the right staff. It can be very difficult to find a staff member who performs to a high, professional standard and is also reliable and loyal to the company. We choose to contract self-employed cleaners and ensure our contracts insist they must not approach our clients or poach business from Cleanique for up to 12 months after contract ends. We also ensure there is a two-week notice period (or wages with-held) to cover our losses if they suddenly decide to leave. Contracting rather than payroll has it’s downsides, but is much easier from my perspective as if the cleaner is not up to standard you can easily replace them. The other upside being that they do not get paid for sickness or holiday time, therefore are motivated to work to a high standard and hold dedication to the company. After all, no working = no pay.

We have trained staff for weeks to months and still not found that when out alone, they are performing to the standard we expect. Some may be lazy, trying to cut down time (not staying at the client for as long as they should be) or perhaps just genuinely do not have the correct level of attention to detail. Some may be rude or unable to socialize with clients in the correct manner and others might not get on with others when in a team. One issue I faced on two occasions was getting too friendly with particular staff members. Befriending your staff is a bad idea as they’ll start to take advantage, and I experienced this myself. Keeping a professional, friendly working relationship is important and allowing your staff to walk all over you can lead to a lot of problems down the line.

Another problem we’ve faced and many others will find is choosing the wrong type of client, putting trust into people too early and struggling to cancel a client you know is not good for the company. We sent staff to clients who were rude or aggressive and those staff no longer enjoyed their roles. We have also had clients who seemed lovely on initial meeting and put trust into them, but they soon changed their tunes when it came to invoices and contracts (not paying, paying far too late, refusing to sign a contract or pay for a large service booked). We had to find ways to cover ourselves by implementing payment procedures into the contracts, saying no to clients who didn’t want to sign one and making sure we had separate contracts for deep cleans (to be signed before and after service, agreeing to pay the amount quoted).

3. What did you and your company do to overcome those challenges?
Every challenge has a solution. If it doesn’t work one way, try another. I can only say you have to attempt a new method before you can write it off. Seeking advice from other perspectives always helps too. Even if the person is not a business owner, they may still have a great idea that could work. Never give up when something goes wrong, always find a way to overcome the issue and make sure you’re covered if it’s ever to happen again.

Cleanique has had to change contract wording, implement entirely new contracts, create new systems for tracking and expenses, find new ways of stock control and search for suppliers who offer the same products and equipment but at lower costs. I’ve had to change our advertising methods due to losing money on “useless” schemes, adapt our selling skills to different clients and learn more about staff management to ensure the issues I’ve faced do not happen again. It’s all about adapting your approach to things. If you can’t change the way you do business to create a safer route, it’s not worth running a business at all.

4. What was the result that you achieved after you overcame these challenges?
As a whole, we’ve managed to prove to our clients that even when things go wrong, we face them head on and resolve the problem. We’ve built trust with clients, knowing they’ll always be able to talk to us about issues and knowing we will do everything in our power to fix things. We’ve built a stronger and much more reliable team of professional cleaners as we now know who we want and who to avoid, from past experiences. We hold contracts with excellent suppliers who are saving us money overall, rather than spending ridiculous amounts of cash on the wrong type of brand (or worse, supermarket-bought products!)

It’s overall created a stronger relationship with all parts of the company from the clients to the staff and suppliers. I feel much more in control and no longer panic about what could go wrong, because I know everything in place is safe and has a backup plan in case something should go wrong. In turn, it’s made a much smoother ride on the road to success!

5. Any tips for aspiring Entrepreneurs looking to build a business and take their one man/woman shop and turn it into a business.
I can summarise this into just a few bullet points. Starting a business is not easy no matter what sector it’s in. Whether you’re cleaning or running a blue chip corporation, every business will succeed only with a never-ending amount of hard work and dedication. Don’t ever expect that just because it’s “only cleaning houses”, this is what it will be when you expand from a solo self-employed role to a company hiring staff and handling all sides of business.

1. Make sure you’re ready. Create a business plan and make sure you have clear, set ways to reach your goals.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask. We all start somewhere and if you genuinely don’t have an answer for a problem, research or talk to someone who does know.
3. Always get involved in groups and business events. Whether it’s person to person or using social networking such as LinkedIn & Facebook. Market your business wherever you can.
4. Don’t underestimate the power of a website. If your website is badly designed, you’re doing more damage than good to your company. Employ a web designer if you need to and make sure you have excellent web presence.
5. Never employ the first person who applies for a job. Carry out interviews, checks, trial runs, train them hard and keep a close eye on any new employees. It can take just one person to wreck your business & name for good.
6. Learn about business. Learn about marketing. Learn about bookkeeping. Don’t think that just because you know how to clean (to a professional standard), you can do it. You need all of these skills to run a company.
7. Stay strong and committed, never give up! If this is truly your dream, you will achieve the results you hope for with hard work and determination. Don’t let anything defer you from achieving your business goals.

 

Laura Winterbourne

Watford, UK

www.cleaniqueuk.com

 

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 June 25, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Case Study Tagged with: ,  3 Responses »
May 142012
 

education, learn to earn, trial and error, positive mistakes, learning to run a small business, student of business

Education: “Education is the most powerful weapon”

What you EARN is equal to what your LEARN. Your  earning will never exceed your learning. 

Education NOT procrastination. Invest your time into Learning.  The key to your success is to always be in motion, continuing to improve yourself and your business. If your name is Jackson, your nickname needs to be Action Jackson.

A few ideas to help unlock to “Education” key: Continue reading »

 May 14, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Leadership Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
May 092012
 

For starters this book ranks #64 as an all-time best seller on amazon.com. It also ranks #1 on amazon under the category of time management. Not only is this book a Service Coach best seller,  it’s a best seller period.

Stephen Covey first talks about the difference between character ethics and personality ethics. Prior to WWI most of the literature was based on character ethics as a foundation for success. Things like integrity, humility, fidelity, temperance, courage, justice, patience, industry, simplicity, modesty, and the Golden rule. These were the basic principles of effective living, and that people can only experience true success and enduring happiness as they learn and integrate these principles into their basic character.

Shortly after WWII the idea of  success shifted from character ethics to personality ethics. Success become more of a function of personality, of public image, of attitudes and behaviors, skills, and techniques. Success became a symbol without substance. It’s the “get rich quick” scheme promising “wealth without work.” We look for shortcuts, expecting to be able to skip these vital steps in order to save time and effort and still reap the desired result.

Seven habits of highly effective people is about a new line of thinking. It’s principle-centered, and character-based approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness. Steven Discusses how this done with an “inside out” method of change. “Inside out” means to start with self; to start with most “inside” part of self -with your motives, principles, and your character.

The “inside out” process is a continuing process of renewal based on the natural laws that govern human growth and progress. It’s an upward spiral of growth that leads to progressively higher forms of responsible independence and effective interdependence.

Wow, Coach Jason. What exactly does this mean? Simply put, it means that this book is for the business owner who understands that for things to change, first THEY must change.  And your first step to changing is buying and reading this awesome book.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 May 9, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Leadership, Time Tagged with: , , ,  1 Response »
Mar 262012
 

.facts, opinions, beliefs, self limiting beliefs, passive income, goals,

 

Part 1.

Facts and Opinions:

One of the most powerful questions you can ask an “opinionated” person that is driving you crazy is:

Is that a fact or opinion?

I love this question. It is the clear way for you to tell the person you are talking to that what they are saying is just their opinion. People seem to throw opinions around more and more these days. And often they are talking as if what they are saying is a fact, when in fact it is just their opinion.

Another statement that you can say that is not so polite and a little more blunt is:

Opinions are like A/.>,<holes. Everyone’s got one, and some are bigger than others.

This statement you may find useful in a more personal environment.

 

Beliefs

The dictionary defines Beliefs as:

beliefsplural of be·lief (Noun)

Noun:
  1. An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
  2. Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.

Your belief system is a powerful tool that affects business owners from achieving their goals.  What I am referring to is not a religious, spiritual, or political belief.  It is an internal beliefs that we have developed over the years, that affects the way we lead our Service businesses. The reason that many of us are stuck in a rut or unable to achieve our business goals is because of our belief system.

The number one reason that many business owners are not able to achieve their goals is because their beliefs are getting the way. Their beliefs are in fact the opposite of their goals.

An example of this would be the business owner whose primary goal is to create passive income from his/her business.  Are you burned out with nowhere to go? Does this sound familiar? Some of the beliefs that might be getting in your way are:

  • the belief that they have to work in the business because they are the owner.
  • the belief that they are the only one that can do the technical part of the job properly.
  • their personal identity is strongly tied to their day-to-day activities within the business.
  • some owners may even feel that they don’t deserve to have a passive income stream(this belief goes deep into their limiting beliefs around money).

If you believe something to be true how can it be any different. In the picture above you see a great example of a belief. The baby turtle truly believes that it can eat that strawberry in one bite. Don’t let your beliefs get in the way of you achieving your goals.

Part 2 : 5 ways to change your current belief system.

There is nothing easy about over coming your current belief system. Below you will see some ideas on how you can overcome your current belief system.

  1.  Keep your eyes open, living fully, and welcoming everything that the world and people around you can teach you.
  2.  Avoid the 2 most dangerous words in the English language, “I know”. These words shut off any additional learning opportunities.
  3. Develop clear goals, write them down, post them in a visible place, and work relentlessly towards achieving them.
  4. Surround yourself around other leaders that have the belief system that you want. Not sure how to find out what others beliefs systems are? All you have to do is look at the results. If you want to find a business owner that doesn’t have self-limiting beliefs around money or passive income. Then look for the owner that is enjoying those results.
  5. Start fresh and forget what you know. Approach all new situations like a wide-eyed high school senior on your first day at college.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you helped spread the word by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

 March 26, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Leadership Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »