11 Ways to Bring Cash in TODAY for Your Business

Money To GoGuest Blog by Adam Urbanski of The Marketing Mentors

This past weekend I received a disturbing message from a dear friend. His business wasn’t generating all the income he needed. He’s exhausted all savings, started depleting credit card reserves and badly needed money to pay this month’s mortgage… Ouch! I wish I knew sooner…

Whether it’s pride or just human nature that keeps professionals from asking for help sooner, it’s just plain silly to keep “toughing it out” when there are so many strategies for generating new business fast.

You see, there is really no shortage of new business, there is only a shortage of knowledge how to get this business.

So if you are one of those professional folks who could use a few hundred bucks to help out with this month’s mortgage, here are a few strategies to get your business buzzing with new customers or clients:

1.  Get on the phone!

Pick up the phone and call everyone you know. Contact all clients, prospects, friends and family. Make sure they all know what you do, who you are looking for as a client, and how to “give you away.”

2.  Get out and meet people!

Sitting in the office, shuffling paperwork and piddling around with emails will not take you far enough fast enough. You need to be talking to people who can buy your product or service. Set a goal of how many people you want to see in person every day and find ways to meet that goal!

3.  Stop competing and start leveraging!

Instead of being mad at your competitors for stealing all your business, approach them and offer to help out. At times we all get projects that are too big, too small, or too “whatever” for us to take on.

Contact your competitors and ask if they would be willing to outsource their “too whatever” jobs to you – so that you can both make some dough. (Yeah, I know, it sounds like eating some humble bread – but hey, I think it beats living under a bridge.)

4.  Ask for referrals!

You should be doing this anyway. Have a conversation with all clients (past and current) and help them think of people they can introduce you to right away. Oh, and don’t forget – just because a prospect says “no”, it doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t know someone who would gladly say “yes”.

5.  Crank up your follow-up!

Do you have a stack of cards from people who turned you down once before? Maybe it’s time to resurrect them. Reach out to your “old” prospects – even if you previously gave up on them. Give them a call, send them a postcard or an article, and give them a special reason to say “yes” now!

6.  Forgive your ex-clients!

Frequently ex-clients realize they made a mistake by getting involved with another vendor – but they are too embarrassed to admit it. Give them a way to gracefully come back to you and many will do it.

7.  Catch a COI!

Form an alliance with Centers of Influence who can introduce to a large number of prospects at once and give you instant credibility. Well thought out and carefully executed strategic alliances with COI can infuse your business with all the new sales you can handle.

8.  Educate, educate, educate!

Regardless of what business you are in you can always find things your clients and prospects would appreciate learning from you. How-to tips, informative case studies, industry reports – those are all great tools that can easily attract prospects hungry for your “stuff.”

9.  Start thinking strategically!

If you are having trouble attracting enough new business, the marketing tactics above should help you get things hopping, but to achieve a long-term sustainable success you’ll need to address your marketing on a strategic level.

Identify or re-evaluate your ideal target market, clearly describe the benefits your product or service provides, create a compelling marketing message, re-evaluate your business model and re-define your methods of delivering your product or service, etc., etc.

10.  Stop getting and start giving!

When you are in the “how I can GET a client” mode, you are focused on you – and that doesn’t make you very attractive. Shift your thinking to “how I can GIVE clients more VALUE” and you’ll become an irresistible client magnet!

11.  GET HELP!

When you are in the midst of a demanding situation you cannot always have the clarity needed to creating solutions. Collaborate with a successful associate, start your own board of advisors or a mastermind group, or hire a marketing mentor to pull you out of the quicksand. Remember, when time and money count – you can’t afford the expensive “trial and error” learning curve!

With the tough economy and outdated marketing strategies, more and more small businesses are struggling. But Adam Urbanski of The Marketing Mentors has a vision. He’s determined to end entrepreneurial failure worldwide. As part of this personal mission, Adam has opened up a limited number of scholarships to his upcoming Business Growth Breakthrough event for entrepreneurs who are ready to play a bigger game.

Don’t miss this opportunity! Claim your scholarship at http://businessgrowthbreakthrough.com/michelle

Join Adam Urbanski, The Millionaire Marketing Mentor, and entrepreneurs from all around the world, in San Diego, California October 21-25, 2014 for the Business Growth Breakthrough event. Find out more at http://businessgrowthbreakthrough.com/michelle

Swipe This From the “Big Guys” to Amp Up Your Motivation and Results #sponsored

This post is sponsored by Visa Business.  Thoughts shared are my own.

As entrepreneurs we’ve got a lot of advantages over the “big guys” – for example, we can quickly respond and adapt our businesses to the needs of our clients and shift our marketing strategies to capitalize on trends.

But it’s often easy to overlook what we can learn from some of the big companies who are doing things right.

When I say “Apple” what comes to mind?  How about “Tom’s Shoes”?  Or “Zappos”?  Or “Amazon”?

One of the things they’re all doing right is creating company culture that defines their big goals, supports their branding and the customer experience they want to create, and motivates their employees.

CompanyCulture

What IS company culture?

Organizational culture is the behavior of humans who are part of an organization and the meanings that the people attach to their actions. Culture includes the organization values, visions, norms, working language, systems, symbols, beliefs and habits. It is also the pattern of such collective behaviors and assumptions that are taught to new organizational members as a way of perceiving, and even thinking and feeling. Organizational culture affects the way people and groups interact with each other, with clients, and with stakeholders.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Company_culture

How does company culture apply to businesses like ours, when we’re the only “employee” or our “employees” are actually virtual independent contractors?  Does culture matter for us?  How does it show up in our businesses?

1) Culture is the predominant beliefs and behaviors within a group or organization. Culture is NOT the posters on the wall or the fancy words or slogans espoused by leaders. Culture is the unspoken rules that most people understand. It’s “how-we-do-things-around-here.”

2) Culture can also be understood as the sum of What Leaders Create and What Leaders Allow. Leaders almost always deserve their organization’s culture – good or bad. If they don’t like it they simply need to reflect on, “What am I creating?” (proactive actions that send a message) and “What am I allowing?” (passive/non-actions that send a message).

Rob Mullins

How do you define your company culture?

I reached out to a few entrepreneur friends to get their thoughts on the topic:

The Brand Therapist has a culture of collaboration and respect between members of the team and with our clients.

We like to listen closely to people in order to help them move toward their business goals. We like to teach in a way that makes learning surprising and enjoyable. We believe that creativity happens in a relaxed and playful environment and find ways to inject fun whenever possible.

This culture makes it possible to get the best out of our team and our clients. The results are a relaxed, productive workplace and happy clients.

-Kathy Swiderski, The Brand Therapist

Diane Cunningham of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs shared her culture & guidelines statement which reads (excerpted):

The National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs (NACWE) is committed to sharing its connections, resources, and knowledge with an entrepreneurial tribe of women leaders and visionary thinkers.

The National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs was born out of a passion to connect women who are ready to create, collaborate, and contribute to changing the world. We gather people and ideas together through online content, tele-courses, individual/group coaching and retreats.

At NACWE, we think big. We have lofty but attainable goals. Together, we can change the world.  And as we creatively leverage our presence in the business world we learn to not only survive in a changing economy, but to thrive in the midst of it.

Do you need a company culture statement?

Rob Mullins asked the perfect questions in his response above: what are you creating and what are you allowing?

Does the shape your company is taking and the brand your clients see line up with your vision?

A culture statement allows you to clearly share your big focus, top priorities and ultimate vision for your entrepreneurial venture.  It’s an easy to share a statement that allows others to see the vision in your head so they know how they’re expected to show up when representing your company, how to interact with your clients, and what the real vision is behind the daily tasks and work.  It also helps YOU stay focused on what matters in your business.

Close your eyes and think about your big vision for a moment.  What is it about your business that’s making a difference in the world or for your clients?  Focusing on that, do you feel more motivated right now and fired up to get to work?

Imagine how much more engaged and interested in supporting the growth of your company your employees, independent contractors, affiliates and others could be if they saw the big picture vision you see for your business.

That’s why we as entrepreneurs need company culture statements, too!

Your turn to talk back…

Do you have a culture statement?

What would you include in yours as important for the big vision you have?  What’s your mission?  What are your core values?

Visa Business_August Infographic_081413

I am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Visit http://facebook.com/visasmallbiz to take a look at the reinvented Facebook Page: Well Sourced by Visa Business. The Page serves as a space where small business owners can access educational resources, read success stories from other business owners, engage with peers, and find tips to help businesses run more efficiently. Every month, the Page will introduce a new theme that will focus on a topic important to a small business owner’s success. For additional tips and advice, and information about Visa’s small business solutions, follow @VisaSmallBiz and visit http://visa.com/business.

Do You Have What it Takes to Be an Authority?


Do you have what it takes to be an “Authority”?

Check out this very free cool quiz to test your “Authority Factor” (just click the image to go to the quiz):

Your turn! Are you actively working to position yourself as an authority in your business? Have you found it helps to create the 7 benefits above for you?

What Makes You Come Alive?

I hold a personal belief that we’re all designed to create amazing things.  We’re all creative in unique ways and we each have our own mission here on earth.

Two of my favorite quotes lately are:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  Howard Thurman

“There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than to follow your passions in a way that serves the world and you…”  Sir Richard Branson

So my question for you today is, what makes you come alive?  And how can you do more of that?

Are You in Love With Your Business?

Today’s about love… so let’s celebrate the businesses and entrepreneurial pursuits we love!

Here’s some of what I love about my business:

I get to work from home and be here for my family, while supporting other entrepreneurs in their businesses.  I get to work with amazing people who are making a difference in the world.

Your turn!

Post a comment with a link to your website and what you love about your business.

Image Credit: D. Sharon Pruitt/Flickr Creative Commons License