Every month we send subscribers our basically business newsletter. Each newsletter contains easily implemented business tips and advice as well as an interview with a small business owner. To ensure you receive your copy first sign up here
Are you getting smashed by goal setting emails at the moment?
The more emails I receive the bigger the failure I feel.
I even took time out to spend on identifying the things I want to do, be and have in 2018, and I still feel inadequate.
So, I decided enough is enough. It’s time for goal setting on my terms.
And that’s what it should be. YOUR TERMS!
All those free downloads and the checklists are someone else’s process for goal setting and sure you might find one that works for you among the multitude of web pages but ultimately you have to trust yourself to know what is right for you.
Last week I spent some time reflecting on a year that was, in simple terms, uncomfortable. Further pondering has led me to accept that there were positive times and that if I didn’t learn the lessons thrust upon me, I can at least acknowledge the awareness of them. I read an article that reminded me not to dwell on the mistakes I had made during the course of the year as I had probably already beat myself up enough at the time and that there was no point in doing so again. That was freeing!! So, I give you permission to dump it all too – RIGHT NOW!
I acknowledge that the scientific facts and the blind tests and whatever other mind-altering experiments all prove that goal setting works and the clearer you are in determining your goals the more likely the chance that they will come to fruition. But like most things in life it doesn’t have to be complicated. Unfortunately we have been led to believe that the more complex and convoluted it is the better the outcome. And while SIMPLIFY is not my word for 2018, simplifying should be a process we all undertake, daily. (By the way my word for 2018 is CONNECT)
The entire process can be as simple as 1 – 2 – 3.
1 – Start with an idea – something better for ourselves.
2 – Choose to have it make an impact on our lives.
3 – Create the plan.
Ideas will never come to pass without us taking some action towards their implementation.
We write it, we read it, we take steps to make it happen. The more we write it and read it and take steps the more likely it will happen. Logical and simple!
And then comes the kicker!!
It’s here where we start to get ahead of ourselves – if it’s that simple why not create 10, 15 or more goals.
All of a sudden our journey is hijacked, we get overwhelmed and nothing is achieved. I know I’ve been here before, I have the templates and guidelines to prove it.
So this year, along with my word of the year, I created simple statements for the major areas of my life where I am looking to improve. And upon review, these statements already included specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely actions – who would have thought?!
The final step for me now is to set reminders in my calendar (and phone) to check in and review both my plans and myself to keep on the right track.
Enjoy the journey, and if goal setting just becomes all too hard – keep in mind that you are enough, just as you are, right now.
Let me know your successful goal setting processes.
Branding is more than just a logo – when people hear your name they conjure up a set of impressions that influence how they think and buy.
What are people saying about you?
Branding is everything!
It’s the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product or service in the consumers’ mind that signifies and differentiates itself from others.
Branding is a perception.
And in the words of Darryl Kerrigan – it’s the vibe.
Many businesses assume that putting together a logo and a tagline is enough to encourage customers to come running but it is SO much more! When done right your brand is your promise to your customers.
Defining your brand story is the first step towards creating the impression that you wish your customer to perceive. It’s your why that becomes the starting (and ending) point and it is from here that taglines, logos and colours are created.
Graphic designers will use your story to create a mood that will resonate with potential clients. Knowing what colours stirs which emotions helps in the process but choosing 3-5 colours will avoid confusing customers. Research now also shows that fonts can create certain moods.
Foe example, using pale pink colours with a curly script for a defined target market of 40-50 year old males is not a good branding decision even if, as the brand owner that is your favourite. Or using dark browns and blues with block font for 14-16 year old girls.
Additionally creating a logo that quickly identifies your brand is not always easy. It should be able to be replicated in all print formats including screen and embroidery. A logo doesn’t have to define your business name – that is what a tagline is for.
Your logo, font and colours make up your design pallet and by sticking to this pallet across the various social media and online platforms you display consistency with your messaging. If you choose to use traditional forms of print advertising/marketing these same details come into play.
The aim is to protect and project your brand through every representation of your business in the marketplace. Eg emails, voice messages, website. This also applies to members of your team.
Branding is also how you dress when meeting (potential) customers/clients. If you are a professional brand or relaxed and casual will determine the choices you make in presenting you and your brand. If you make and sell surfboards meeting a client in thongs is acceptable, not so if you are presenting to a Board of Directors.
It’s how and what you say in public and online. Are you well-spoken or is slang a part of you and your brand?
Branding can be about the value you add in every exchange. Some brands include notes or samples when posting orders to customers. It can be as simple as “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”
A well-managed brand will create a strong emotional connection within the marketplace, and a strong emotional connection attracts and fosters loyal customer behaviour.
Make sure that at every moment your brand conveys the message you want to be sending.
Contact us for a free 15 minute consultation to discuss ways of conveying your brand message to your customers. Book now
Every month we send our subscribers our basically business newsletter. Each newsletter contains easily implemented business tips and advice as well as an interview with a small business owner. To ensure you receive your copy first sign up here
In order to maintain cash flow in your business it is important to invoice your customers promptly and ensure that the payment process is easy.
This process should begin from the first customer transaction by including your terms and conditions at the proposal/quotation stage.
You should take steps to obtain all your customers business (and if necessary personal) information to set up their account.
Your invoice should have all the information your customer needs to know to pay you on time and as well as details for your own bookkeeping.
Business details to include
Customer details to include
There are many paid and free accounting software packages that will generate invoices from the business information that you completed in the set-up process. Ensure that all customer information is recorded correctly.
To encourage your customers to pay your invoices on time your business should:
It is not necessary that you pay for or use online software accounting packages. Many businesses can and do operate on sending invoices from templated word documents and updating their record keeping on spreadsheets. What is necessary is ensuring that the correct information is recorded on all documentation.
If you need assistance with your bookkeeping or would like a basic spreadsheet to keep your records out of an old shoebox, contact Baillie Admin Services
I recently connected with another virtual assistant – virtually of course – and our discussion led to the mindset of business owners and their outlook on virtual assistants. We each have clients that swear by using a virtual assistant for their business but there are plenty of others that don’t see the value.
In my last post (Are you running your business) I covered some occasions that indicate when it might be time to consider using a VA but it is time business owners see a virtual assistant as an asset to their business.
EXPENSE — An expense is a cost to the business
Stop seeing the $ per hour
ASSET — An asset is a cost that will add value to the business
Start seeing the bottom line $
Utilising the services of a virtual assistant is a great way of streamlining your costs without seriously impacting your budget – it is estimated that through using a VA costs can be streamlined by up to 40%. By managing their own business they are accountable for all expenses related to the VA business so by hiring a virtual assistant you avoid all the costs of meeting staff employment.
A VA is only paid for hours worked and not all the down time that occurs with having staff.
Your productivity increases immediately when you outsource to a VA. With the tasks delegated to a Virtual Assistant you can focus on the important core tasks that drive your business. No more procrastinating on the tasks you don’t want to do.
You become more efficient and because your VA is effectively a “Mini Me’ more tasks can be completed in the same timeframe.
If you are an asset within your business then so is your Virtual Assistant.
Masters of their Trade
In today’s online world VAs can offer a large variety of skills and have knowledge of tools and programs across many industries. They are working with many platforms that can assist you and your business processes to be more efficient.
Due to the nature of their work they can also educate themselves on new products quicker than most.
As they are undertaking these skills for multiple businesses they are masters of their trade.
A Virtual Assistant loves running a business – it’s what they are good at. What are you good at?
Time away from your business can lead to missed opportunities and on the flip side being overworked can lead to fatigue that can be detrimental to your business and your physical well-being. All work and no play ….
Having a Virtual Assistant on-board will afford you what you can’t afford for yourself: time.
A virtual assistant makes it possible to establish flexibility in your business. This can enable you to create the ideal business environment for you. It can also allow you to deal with unpredictable business conditions.
A virtual assistant is the secret weapon that many businesses are including in their business plans.
Remember a skilled VA will anticipate, collaborate and manage your business as if it was their own – – because it is!
Baillie Admin Services offers Virtual Assistant Services and we would love to be that highly valuable ASSET to your business.