Want a simple, cheap and easy way to increase profit? Increase how often people buy from you!

It is very common for business owners to be so caught up in trying to find the best ways to gain more customers, that no one is thinking hard enough about how to increase their current customers’ average number of transactions. Yes, gaining new customers will most definitely increase profit, but think about this… your existing customers clearly already like what you do, which makes it about six times easier (and cheaper) to get a past customer to buy again than to acquire a new one.

Now, I want you to ask yourself this question…

How many times a year do your clients buy from you? How can you increase this frequency? And what will you increase this average to? It’s time to start devising the ways you can encourage past clients to buy from your more often. Get brainstorming!

Need a few ideas? Consider these…

Hairdressers often end their appointments with asking their client when they would like their next appointment to be. Not only does this lock in their next sale, but it also gives the hairdresser a great opportunity to build a relationship with their client and to get to know them more.  When you’re with a customer, be sure to position their next purchase as well.

Boost Juice is a company which any business owner could learn from. They have a very simple and easy-to-use membership program which gives their customers a free boost for every 10th visit. As well as that, they make sure to say thank you to their client by using the name that comes up on their membership card. This is a great incentive to encourage clients to come back and buy, as well as making them feel good by knowing their name.

Imagine how much your cash flow would improve if all your customers bought once more from you each year or quarter. You would be steps closer to your financial goals!

So here’s a note to leave you with… Have a good think about creating products and services that encourage clients to buy off you more often. Then be sure to proactively trigger more purchases.  It is a great way to build your business more quickly.

Need help brainstorming some ideas? Click here or call me today on (02) 9146 4439 to book an appointment with one of our coaches.

Till next time…

“Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back…”

cash flow

Take your cash flow on a date and get to know it a bit better

Now that you have set your goals and are planning out your days, weeks, months and years to achieve those goals, it is time you become a master of your money. Money mastery is not necessarily about making a lot of money. It’s about knowing where your cash flow comes from and where it’s going.

In the end, your financials will tell the story of your business, just like reading a novel…. what sort of novel would yours be?  A drama?  A comedy?  A horror???

To discover your level of Money Mastery, consider these questions:

  1. Do you have a monthly profit and loss statement that you review? Is it understandable?
  2. Do you have a weekly cash flow forecast that looks at least 3 months ahead?
  3. Is your balance sheet up to date?
  4. Do you know what your breakeven point is each month, week or day?
  5. Is your cash gap under control?
  6. Do you issue invoices quickly? And follow them up quickly?

If you answered anything other than yes to any one of those questions, then you don’t know your money well enough. It is easy to form bad money habits early on in business, when there isn’t much money to deal with. Business owners often learn that managing cash flow and income only gets harder as the business grows…and, unfortunately, they often learn it the hard way – when they have a money disaster! But larger cash flow is not the cause of your money problems. It is purely due to the way you approach your finances.

Many business owners are mistakenly under the belief that more money means more headaches, but they’re the business owners who haven’t set the right foundations in place or mastered their money activity early on. But it’s simple!

It personally takes me a total of 10 minutes per Monday morning to update my weekly cash flow forecast. This means that I only invest 10 minutes per week to update and understand what my cash flow in the business will look like for the next 3 months, allowing me to identify possible issues and to make the most of my cash balances too! Do you have a spare 10 minutes to spend a week?

According to American Psychological Association, more than 70% of Americans consider themselves financially stressed.

Join the minority and become a Master of your Money by booking a FREE 1-on-1 consultation with one of our very own Business Coaches who have helped several businesses gain complete control of the money flowing in and out of their business.

My next blog will be posted in 2 weeks, and will teach you the secrets to how to get raving fans, but till then, here is a thought to take with you…

…“If you expect your money to take care of you, you must take care of your money.”

Creating the perfect Corporate Synergy in your business, easier said than done!

When your enterprise reaches a certain point in its evolution you will have reached the synergy stage. However, it’s a process and creating the perfect corporate synergy in your business is easier said than done but by no means impossible!

So what is corporate synergy? It’s when you reach a point where your business is firing on all cylinders and therefore running efficiently and smoothly at a profitable level and needs little to no involvement from you on a day-to-day basis. In other words, it’s making money without you having to be there. With the right staff and systems having been established, everything is ticking along nicely.

This is no overnight evolution; to get here you have already gone through various steps and stages. You ought to be very pleased with yourself, though it is critical that you do not rest on your laurels.

Now is the time to step up and take “your baby” to the next level. This will be a different vision for different people. But, as we’ve suggested, it’s a process and there is a lot you can do to move it forward and make it happen.  In fact, offering exponential growth, this is one of the most enjoyable phases of growth for any business!

It requires a new energy and direction from you so that you can focus on developing greater drive, ambition, vision and so forth.

However, the beauty of the synergy step is you have more time to step back, gain some perspective and can therefore focus on this step. Corporate synergy is very much about contemplating how to grow your business and in what way. This can take numerous paths; do you want to add new products, have offices in new regions, franchise the business, or even start a complementary business to the one in place?  Perhaps you want to buy other businesses to merge with yours?

As your company evolves in the synergy stage, so, too, must you as its leader. Something to keep very much in mind; you need to adapt as you grow from being a manager and business owner to being an investor, and then on to being a pure entrepreneur. To do this, you’ll need to develop or enhance your skills and mindset. This is a key challenge for you in the synergy stage, and you need to master this before you can take your business to the level you want. It can require a shift to longer term thinking as well as being prepared to have less certain outcomes than in the day-to-day management of the business.

You will need new skills. They include: a wider understanding of different business models, developing investment strategies and being on top of financial management. As well, you will need to focus on areas such as return on capital, enterprise value and portfolio mix.  As you continue to embrace corporate synergy, your two biggest constraints of time and capital will become less so. As we’ve said, it’s easier said than done but the rewards are worth it!

Do you want to have your best year in business in 2017?  Check out this eBook on Synergy here or speak with one of our business coaches here.

Unique-Selling-Point

USP – not just another acronym – how to make your business stand up and be noticed

As you start the New Year have you thought about what your Unique Selling Point (USP) is? Remember USP isn’t just another acronym, it’s how to make your business stand up and be noticed.

You need to find a way to be unique and for others, particularly customers, to recognise that at once. Your product or service won’t be truly unique but your customer offering must have a unique approach that instantly makes your business stand up and be noticed. This will give you an edge over your competition.

Take for example a pizza company. Many years ago in the US, a family-run pizza joint in Michigan was looking to find a way to make it stand out from the crowd in the 1960s as one of the family members took over the business. This new owner, Tom Monaghan, was living rough in the store. So he desperately wanted to boost revenue and if things went well, create a franchise. So he came up with a USP – pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free. Bingo! He had found a unique way to make the business – which most of us would now recognise as Domino’s Pizza – stand up and be noticed.

Other companies who have done similar USPs include FedEx (“When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight”) or Woolworths (“The Fresh Food People”). The message from each is that if you really want your business to be successful, you have to have a clear USP.  The alternative is to compete primarily on price and that really only leads to one outcome…..and it’s not a pretty one!

Here are a number of questions you might consider to develop a strong USP. They are:

  • What are the most important customer problems, challenges and needs that you solve?
  • What would you say are your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is the reason repeat clients and customers like your business?
  • Name the distinguishing feature that puts you ahead of your competition?

If you can answers these with clarity, you are on your way to developing your own USP.

A USP can be a few words or it can be whole paragraph.Defining then encapsulating what makes you different, unique, and desirable is more important than the word count.

Remember, a successful USP answers this question: why should a potential client or customer buy from you? When answering this question, promise something special your competitors cannot deliver. You will need to crystallise and communicate your Unique Selling Proposition and it might be grouped under: price, service, speed, selection, quality or guarantee to name a few.

If you examine all these points, you will be well on your way to understanding that a USP isn’t just an acronym – it’sthe way to make your business stand up and be noticed.  If yours is clear, compelling, specific and speaks to how it makes your customers lives or business better, you’ll also be well on your way to winning!

Including all of the right elements into your business plan this year, can make this your best year yet. Check out these free business planning resources for more help.

Business-planning

Success is inevitable – how to ensure you hit the ground running for 2017. Sub Title: Business planning for the New Year

There is something invigorating and exciting about the start of a new year. You can put behind the previous 12 months and wipe the slate clean with the promise of fresh opportunities and new horizons. This is never truer when thinking about your business. You know that success is possible and waiting for you – so we want to share with you how to ensure you hit the ground running for 2017 with the right business planning for the New Year.

Setting goals and establishing a plan on how to achieve them could be one of the best things you do this year. It may sound like common sense but the mere act of sitting down and setting out a plan is in itself one of the stepping stones to success – and it’s one of the ways to ensure you hit the ground running for 2017.

Here are a number of the specific areas to look at in your business planning for the New Year:

In the area of money mastery, what are your financial goals for 2017? What are your revenue and profit targets? What are your reporting goals and how will your forecast look?  A great exercise to do in relation to your business plan is write down your three main objectives in connection to these.

Next you need to consider delivery mastery. How will you deliver your products or services to meet your financial goals?  How would you be able to improve on your customer service? What will you put in place to make it easier for customers to buy from you?  What’s going to make them say “WOW!”?

Think now about Time mastery. Define important and urgent tasks and learn to delegate appropriately to ensure that you’re spending more than half your time on the truly important tasks – those that will have a meaningful impact on the value of your business.

What about your niche? How clearly and compellingly is it articulated?  Can you get more detailed and specific about who you target?  How can you increase the frequency of purchase? Is there room to adjust your margins?

Another focus ought to be leverage.  Are you confident your team knows and understands your company’s vision and purpose? Is it clear to all who you are and what you do? How do you measure your staff’s performance?Are they empowered to do their jobs, is it clear what those jobs are and are you all accountable for your respective contributions?

It’s not always easy to turn the spotlight on yourself but how would you rate your management and leadership? This is an important key to business success. How would you want to improve on your management and leadership skills?  What else can you do to get the best out of your team?

Last but by no means least are two areas: synergy and results. With synergy, will you be factoring in time to launch a new product in 2017 or expand geographically? As for results, well, that’s the Holy Grail, isn’t it? What are your personal goals for your business? Make sure you factor in time for health and wellbeing as well. There is no point running a business if you are not well enough to do it!

Check out these great resources on business planning on our resources page here, you can download these for free. Happy planning!

how-to-sell-my-business

How to sell my business and retire early

Those who read ActionCOACH eBooks or blog posts regularly will know how critical it is to spend more and more time away from your business, so that the money you make is not merely a reflection of how many hours you’ve put in. That’s the power of passive income.

One great step to becoming a financially-free entrepreneur is selling the business. You may have googled ‘how to sell my business’ and found tips from all kinds of sources, credible or not! That’s why ActionCOACH, the World’s Number 1 Business Coaching Firm, has developed the following 5 steps to help you sell your business for the best possible figure.

The prospect of selling a business is exciting, because it means the possibility of you taking a break, retiring early, or starting a new venture all together. But there’s quite a bit of work involved if you want to sell your business to the right investor at the right price. For example, be aware that to get the best sale value, it takes a good year of preparation before you even put your company on the market.

Here are 5 tips that really work when selling a business:

1. Sell your business the way you’d sell a house.

Selling a business and selling a house are similar in a lot of ways; most people wouldn’t let people tour their home without making some cosmetic changes and cleaning up before offering it for sale. The same is true for your business.

So, run the next year with good financials, keep your paperwork up-to-date and document everything. Outline each and every responsibility of each job and include key performance indicators that clearly establish what is expected of each player and group. Next, get your “house” in order. Over the next 12 months, give your business a fresh coat of paint and get it tidy.

2. Decide on your game plan.

Speak with professional advisors to seek guidance on the best plan for selling your business. Those might be Coaches, Accountants or the like; they can add immeasurably to your chance of successfully selling your business.
In your initial discussion, you’ll get a better idea of who your potential buyer could be, and how to best position your company to get the most value in the marketplace.

3. Learn valuations for your industry or category

During these discussions, you should get some solid information about the valuation models buyers will use for your company in your particular industry or category.

Different industries and different businesses use different multiples. Some use multiples of profit, some revenues, and others cash flow. You’ll also learn where the goodwill value in your business is going to come from.

You may be in a business where stock and inventory levels will figure into the equation, or one where your database is your most valuable asset. Perhaps you own some particularly valuable intellectual property. Or is it simply the earning power of the business that you’ll sell? Knowing what you have to work with, or need to focus on, will give you confidence in putting together a solid informational and sales package for prospective buyers.

4. Plan your information and sales kits

During the process, you will be putting together all of your materials in an overall information and sales package. Buyers will want to access information as part of their own due diligence, and the more information you can provide in a ‘kit’ the better and easier the sales process will be. Include these items:

● Samples of all of your marketing materials

● An overview of your financials

● Contracts for your team

● Inventory of your assets

5. Prep your team

Create and then implement a good communications plan with your team and management about your goals and objectives, your desired outcome and your reasons for the sale.

You may also want to seek outside guidance on this process as well, as communicating a sale can be tricky. The last thing you want is panic in your organisation before you’ve even got the sale. For help with this part of the process call ActionCOACH on <PHONE>.

Meet with your accountant or lawyer to make sure what kind of sale is right for you so you don’t pay more taxes than you need to as a result of the sale.

Finally, try to be patient. Around 30% of deals fall through in the due-diligence phase of the process. While all of the prep work can be exhausting, the more work you can put into positioning and ‘packaging’ your business, the quicker and easier the sales process will be, and the more value you’ll get in return. For more information on any of the details in this article, read our eBook Selling your Business here.

ActionCOACH can get you on track to sell your business for the best possible value. Contact us 02 9146 4439.

creating a plan

3 strategies for executing on the plan for your business

So, you’ve done the groundwork by creating your business plan – great effort! Now comes the exciting part of executing on the plan and seeing the goals get closer and closer.

We understand it can be hard to keep going week to week to implement your business plan, but with our 3 tips below, you’ll find it a whole lot easier to successfully execute on the plan and keep your motivation running high.

Strategy 1: Plan your time weekly

Business owners often tell us that managing their time is one of the hardest things about being the boss. A good habit to get into is to sit down at the end of each week and plan what you’ll do for the next week. It won’t take you long, and is a way of identifying days with gaps, or days that are potentially too crowded to achieve your bigger goal-oriented tasks. It’s much easier to fix the weekly calendar in advance, than arrive at Thursday and realise the weekly task list simply won’t get done. A weekly plan will also help you avoid those mid-week mornings of “Hmm, what was I meant to do today?”

Remember that each activity to be completed in the next week must have actual time booked in to complete it. Don’t just have a never-ending list!

When you implement weekly planning, you will start to see a ripple effect on your business momentum. Your tasks will get ticked off, and you will see the results that come from your weekly actions.

To break it down further, each day should consist of 1-3 absolute ‘must-do’s’. You can then build in meetings, appointments and other tasks around them. That way you won’t feel defeated at the end of the day when the crucial business tasks were not addressed.

Strategy 2: Set rewards and consequences

As the owner of your business, only you are responsible for executing on the plan. For this reason, you have to become your own boss, and set the rules for achievements and misses (plus, its great practice for when you have a big team to motivate!).

The reward you choose should represent a sense of achievement for completing all your tasks and growing the business. What will it mean to you? More motivation? A chance to take a few hours to reflect on what you’ve achieved so far? The reward doesn’t have to cost a cent.

Consequences should be put in place so you can re-gather yourself in the event that financial or time goals are not met. When these ‘setbacks’ occur (and, inevitably they will) they can cause you stress or ‘entrepreneurial anxiety’, so do take some time to look after yourself and remind yourself of your ultimate end goal for the business when it does happen.

Strategy 3: Have an accountability coach

Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to cost you anything! Simply think of someone who cares about what you do and is willing to help you. Simply communicate your plan to this person, and schedule an accountability catch-up with them on an agreed day (monthly or bi-monthly is good). Just as a child will work fastidiously towards a goal if they know you have a treat waiting for them at the end – you are more likely to be more productive when someone else knows about your plan and is holding you accountable to it.

If you need more advice on executing on your business plan, time management, and motivation or need someone to hold you accountable, ActionCOACH can help you. To build the right plan for your business download a copy of this eBook Planning for a Successful New Financial Year here.

How to create a business plan that delivers what you want, as well as what you need!

Do you know whether your business plan only covers what’s needed, or will it deliver on what you really want from your business? There is a difference. The difference is YOU. Have you considered yourself in your business plan? Below ActionCOACH lists two considerations for creating a plan for your business, to ensure you are in the plan and that it is effective from start to finish.

Consideration 1: Plan for your own development.
You are central to your business’ success, and no doubt your ultimate business goals are beyond what you’ve already achieved. This means you will need to learn new skills, gain new knowledge, new habits, new values and/or new beliefs to reach these goals. In some cases you may even have to re-develop your core identity. Think about all the personal changes you need to make to achieve each step in your business plan, and include all the courses, mentors, training and reading required. All this is part of a winning business plan!

Consideration 2: Plan holistically.
A business plan should include more than just business-related goals and steps. This is because there is much more to you than just work, so inevitably other things in life will (and should) require your time and attention. Best to factor some ‘life’ into the plan now than resent overworking in the future. Plus, there is no reason that a good old plan can’t extend to other parts of your life too. If you want success in family life, sport, charity or anything else – you need a solid plan. Honesty is a great thing in business, so take a good honest look at how you will maintain your sanity and happiness once the business starts.
Most people forget this step and just plan their business. Then they end up working too much and not having the great life they could have – partly because they ‘accidentally’ built a plan that told them to!

After considering these two vital steps, take one step back!
Everyone has a choice when creating a plan for business. Are you planning to have a successful and exciting year, or not? What 5 things are you going to do in the next year that will still be memorable 20 years from now? What exciting things could you add to your plan right now? Start the year with a few of those ‘what will I tell my grandkids’ kind of goals, and you’ll be inspired to create a winning business plan and enjoy a successful financial year ahead.

Need more help creating a plan for your business? ActionCOACH are business planning experts and can help you plan every part of your business plan. Visit www.actioncoach.com and book in a free first meeting to discuss the possibilities for your business this year. Or you can download the new eBook called Planning for a successful new financial year here.