Referrals Can Work for Your Business

5 In an effort to jump start small businesses – and remind them of the power of a single referral – John Jantsch (author of Duct Tape Marketing) launched Make a Referral Week in March of 2009. The goal of the event was simple: To provide 1,000 referrals to 1,000 deserving small businesses across the country. Referral based businesses can either take a passive role or an active role in generating referrals. Those that take a passive role, create satisfied customers and spend their marketing time and dollars trying to get their message in front of as many potential customers as possible, then they are relegated to waiting and hoping that the phone rings. Those that take an active role, do things a little differently. 1. Give awesome service that creates ‘raving fans’ instead of just satisfied customers. The only reason people talk about a service or product is because it was extremely good or extremely bad – make yours exceptional. 2. Make sure you thank your customers and ask them to tell your friends about you. Think back to the last time you were personally thanked for your business. It doesn’t happen often, so when it does we remember it. 3. Let your customers know up front that you will be asking for referrals later on. Don’t hit them cold – let them know that you are a referral based business and give them the chance to think about whom they want to refer. 4. Making giving a few referrals a condition of doing business with you. If you really want a business that runs on referrals than make it a rule that for people to do business with you, they have to give you referrals. 5. Ask for a referral when people buy from you (or even when they don’t). During the sale customers’ emotions are running high and they are happiest to give them. When customers don’t buy they usually feel a little awkward, and may feel obliged to help you out in a situation like this because they have just said ‘no’ to making a purchase from you. PJ's PicActionCoach-logo
  YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK:  Consider your business approach to referrals and make the commitment to take an active strategy. And remember givers gain. If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079. For your complimentary business coaching session visit www.bestchicagobusinesscoach.com. To register for our complimentary workshop, 6 Steps to a Great Business, visit www.workingonthebusiness.com.  Let’s work together to help your business grow.

Top Technology Picks for Small Business

If you are like most business owners I work with – you are always looking for how to do more with less.  One of the easiest ways to create leverage in your business is through technology.  There are many tools available to the small businesses – it can be difficult to navigate all the choices and how to prioritize. As a business coach and a fellow business owner here are my top picks: FOR ONLINE ANALYTICS.  Google Analytics This go to tool – is FREE, easy to setup and a MUST have for every business with a website and plans for growth.  The information collected is priceless in evaluating your marketing efforts. FOR CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT:  ZohoThere are many choices when it comes to CRM’s, this is my favorite for businesses new to managing a customer database.  It is popular among business owners because of Zoho’s simplicity to get started and its opportunity to add functionality as a business grows. FOR EMAIL MARKETING:  Constant Contact.  This is an effective tool for communicating with your connections, prospects and customers.  It allows you to segment your database to email just the right people, with a meaningful message just for them and schedule for just the right time.  The support team is top notch and the reporting of open rates, click through rates, etc. is both meaningful and easy to understand.  Monthly pricing is based on the size of your database with additional features as add-ons. FOR FINANCE:  QuickBooks.  This tool is a must for every business to help track, budget, and plan their success.  The desktop version is worth the moderate investment or an online version is available for shared and remote access for a monthly charge. FOR MANAGING SOCIAL MEDIAHootsuite.   A platform that schedules post to multiple social media sites at the same time.  This is a real time saver as well as a way to stay disciplined in posting at appropriate times and with regular frequency.  The free version offers a good starting point for most small business owners. And the list of tools just keeps going….
  • Dropbox – Securely share, sync, and collaborate files with team members or customers.
  • Evernote – Remember everything.  Manage it all.  Simplify it with Evernote.
  • Google Mail – Get branded email.  Work from anywhere. Includes calendar, docs, & video meetings.
  • LinkedIn – Communicate with a variety of business owners and engage them professionally.
  • Twitter – Find community, conversation, and inspiration about the things you love.
  • Facebook – Drive online sales, increase local sales, promote your app, & raise brand awareness.
Technology is so important for a small business to run smoothly, efficiently, and productively.  The ability to save them time, energy and ultimately money while adding value to the company and the overall professionalism offering peace of mind because tasks get done professionally and consistently.
YOUR CHALLENGE:  What small business tools are you currently using?  Review your list and ask yourself if there’s something that could work better.  Then look for those tools. If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079. For your complimentary business coaching session visit www.bestchicagobusinesscoach.com. To register for our complimentary workshop, 6 Steps to a Great Business, visit www.workingonthebusiness.com.  Let’s work together to help your business grow.  

CHOOSE to show up 100%

TREE Have you ever felt like you are just going through the motions?  Ever wonder if you could have a satisfying professional life?  Trying to figure out how you’re going to get through an upcoming event? You’re concerned about your business.  You’re apprehensive, fearful, and unhappy. You’re bored. Sound like YOU? If you are human, you have probably felt like this at one time or another.  Perhaps you feel like this right now.  Do you ride it out or throw in the towel and quit?  Are you up to trying something different? I want you to try this:  It’s not easy, but it’s simple.  You will have to CHOOSE to show up and participate 100%, no matter the task or the event.  You will learn how to get “from” a situation by full participation, not just get “through” it.  It’s about giving your all (not coasting by).  It’s about understanding that you are a verb (not a noun). It’s about being the professional you choose to be, no matter where you are or what you are doing. Who creates your happiness?  YOU Who creates your fulfillment?  YOU Who creates your satisfaction?  YOU You create these by CHOOSING to be happy, fulfilled, and satisfied. Think about it.  You are going to a networking luncheon.  You are going to take a course. You are going to meet a client.  You are going to an important event.  Since you are going to do it anyway…then CHOOSE to show up 100%.  Show up full of gratitude and joy, and create a way to make it a great experience! Choose who YOU want to be, and be that person.  It’s amazing how it will make you feel and what will happen.  Are you smiling because you are happy, or happy because you are smiling?  Are you full of gratitude because you have so much of it, or are you rich with blessings because you are thankful?  Are you kind because you feel loved, or do you feel loved when you CHOOSE to be kind? CHOOSE to BE what you want to see, and watch it come to pass!  You are headed for an amazing experience! By Action Coach PJ Weiland ActionCoach-logo