How fast things can happen in business? Or maybe better put how fast we can make things happen in business. What a game changing year this has been for mng. Business is all about learning and learning from mistakes is crucial and I want to share what I've learned this year. A modest sole trader business which began mid 2013 creating unique events with local services here in West Donegal has grown to 'mng Ventures Ltd. We continue to create bespoke experience tours in Ireland but now we also directly help other small business owners. I've found that most businesses are usually missing 3 or 4 big things that could help them have more successful businesses and find a lot more customers. mng helps identify those and grow their businesses.
Here's 5 of the biggest mistakes I made in 2015 and how I turned each of them into more customers - making this the toughest but best year in business yet.
1 - Planning for 3 years not 3 months:
Ever get caught up in the business plan? I was so caught up in the long term plan I wasn't paying attention to the daily and monthly planning that would bring me closer to my goals. In the last year I've become meticulous in planning my daily activity right down to the hour and its worked wonders. I’m helping more people, I feel in control and have more customers now than ever before both for the tours and coaching. Focusing on a short term plan and renewing that plan every 90 days has turned my business around from some customers to lots of customers from all over the world in a short space of time. I now know exactly how many customers I need and how to attract them. Total game changer. How are you planning for your business for the next 90 days?
2 - Talking in the third person:
We forget that people buy from people - I've learned that the human connection is everything in business, even more so nowadays in this globalised world. Talking in the third person is both impersonal and it sounds corporate. Being a small business owner is a good thing, be proud of it and don't pretend to be a massive company that doesn't have the time to speak directly to your customers. Sometimes I read BIO’s/About pages and wonder who are they speaking to? It can look as though you couldn’t be bothered to write it yourself. I find with my clients that 9 times out of ten there's an amazing personal story thats not being told, a story that will connect with customers instantly. Nobody likes to be spoken at, being yourself communicates directly with your customers and you wouldn't talk about yourself in the third person over a coffee would you? "So how are things going Moira? Yes Moira is doing fine she's working hard these days and ..... lol - you would never do that so don't do it when communicating online either. I bet you've an amazing story that you're not using in your business. A wise woman once told me, if you tell enough stories in business you never have to sell, imagine never having to sell?
3 - Talking about the process not the outcome the process delivers:
As business owners we're all amazing at talking about the process of what we do, we could talk about it all day long, problem is our clients don’t care about the process they care about the results - the outcomes - what’s in it for them basically. For example one of my clients, a tourism business that offers a helpful booking system for hiring bikes, aimed at holiday makers – the booking system is the process – the outcome is “Worry free travel" – how much more interesting does that sound over 'reserve your bike? Talking about outcomes attracts more customers and ultimately grows your business YEAY! When you get your head around outcomes over process customers start appearing everywhere. And this can be as simple as changing the way you talk about your business. Imagine if you were turning business away in 2016 all because you were being more authentic about what your business makes possible? Its that easy.
4 - Not being consistent:
Have you ever felt like you're running around doing everything but feel like nothing was getting done and it was stressing your out? Lack of consistency was huge for me, I was doing the headless chicken. In the last quarter of this year I've trebled my customer base through consistent activity. The trick was working out what my business building activities were and breaking that down into clusters. Then I was consistent daily and I promise you the results speak for themselves. The sense of relief when you figure this out is amazing, so simple but so powerful. What key activities do you need to focus on to move your business forward?
5 - Not being selective:
We're all guilty of saying yes to everyone who wants to work with us, especially starting out, if they're willing, they're a client. In my experience not being selective is a recipe for disaster. Finding 'just anyone' to work with is a difficult task. Think about it for a second - 'excuse me, can you tell me where I can find anyone please? It's mind bogglingly impossible yet we do it all the time. Now that I've I started finding my ideal clients everything has become easier, marketing, what to say, where to find them and furthermore I'm now learning on a deeper level what makes them tick so I can have a bigger impact. Don't get me wrong, this is challenging but it's worth it. I'm kind of kicking myself for not working it out sooner. I've stopped wasting time and money on trying to speak to everybody and won't work with everybody. "You can help anybody in the world, but you can't help everybody. You need to pick who you want to work with and who can pay you" - Suzanne Evans
So … would YOU like to start serving more people and creating a better lifestyle while you're at it? Some of the results in just the past few months include a motivational speaker who got clearer on her goals and secured her first paying client as a result of our work together. I've helped an entrepreneur with a business idea he has been struggling with for years remove the obstacles that were preventing progress and create a plan of action to get things moving now. A therapist learned about talking about less about their process and focused the outcomes their therapy provides which has resulted in a massive influx of bookings.
If this sounds like something you’d love to explore, and be considered for the few available openings, just go to the link below to fill out the short questionnaire. After that, if I feel that we might be a fit, I will send a link to my calendar and we can get on the phone for a short chat to talk about how this will work. I have several great options to work with me depending on where you are and where you want to go with your business. And I would love for 2016 to be the turning point for your business you always remember.
Go raibh míle maith agat.