More customers isn’t always the answer

Free Hugs v Luxury HugsGetting new customers is the most expensive way to grow your business.

Seven times more expensive than keeping the ones you’ve got, according to many sources.
Before setting off to find more customers, think about doing these things instead:

  • Add value to what you sell; do it better, quicker or more quirkily than anyone else (never cheaper).
  • Make your customers feel special; celebrate their anniversaries, birthdays and other special occasions (use a CRM to keep track).
  • Sell them more things; solve more problems or create more delight for them. Do they know about everything you offer?
  • Sell them things more often; offer great deals for repeat business that you don’t have to work hard for, so long as it’s still profitable.
  • Put up your prices (most good customers buy on value not price).
  • Make it easy for new customers to find YOU. Are you easy to find on-line?
  • If they visit your website, is it easy for them to work out if you’re the perfect supplier for them? Do you have great testimonials that make them want what your other customers get?
  • Do you tell your story well? The most visited page on a website is the “About” page. People want to know who they’re buying from, what your values are and what they’ve got in common with you. (Even one tenuous link like a shared birthday, school, pet or taste in music makes a sale more likely.)

All of these steps cost a lot less than finding new customers and can make a big difference to your profits. Try them!

Ann Hawkins can help you grow your business and achieve the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. To find out more, simply click here!

Why passion isn’t enough

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Success in business is not about passion.

Of course it’s great if you love what you do.

Of course it’s great if you work for a purpose other than to make money.

These are bonuses.

What makes a business work is the boring stuff  you need to do before you start.

Does anyone want to buy what you produce, for the price you can produce it – that includes making a profit?

How long will it be before the profits come in?

Do you have enough money to invest in the business until the profits kick in?

Don’t be sucked in by sentimental, simplistic statements like “Do what you love and the money will follow”.

It’s just not true.

Start a business without doing the basics and you’ll end up with broken dreams and a pile a debt.

Get the basics right then proceed with passion and the results will be very different.

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Ann Hawkins is a business growth specialist who will help you to make more profit, keep you accountable for your success and introduce you to a support network of your peers. Ann is the author of New Business: Next Steps, founder of The Inspired Group, founding presenter of The Business Hub radio show and owner of The Social Media Show. If you’d like to talk to Ann about how to work smart, not hard, call her on 07711 705038

You can’t change in isolation

Adam Hawkins wearing raybans Sometimes we want to change and others don’t want us to.

Sometimes others want us to change and we don’t want to.

Whatever the reason – we can’t change in isolation.

As soon as we make changes others have to change to accommodate the new version of “us”.

So before you consider making changes, make sure the people around you know about it otherwise you could find you have more obstacles to overcome than you bargained for – and maybe the thing you need to change first is the people you hang out with.

(To get new posts delivered to your in box as they’re published, add your name to my subscriber list)

Ann Hawkins is a business growth specialist who will help you to make more profit, keep you accountable for your success and introduce you to a support network of your peers. Ann is the author of New Business: Next Steps, founder of The Inspired Group, founding presenter of The Business Hub radio show and owner of The Social Media Show. If you’d like to talk to Ann about how to work smart, not hard, call her on 07711 705038

How to market your small business on-line

Book cover of New Business: Next Steps, the all in-one guide to managing, marketing and growing your small business

Most small businesses fail before they get to 5 years old.

 

Some studies put this figure as high as 80%.
The book I wrote with Ed Goodman (published by Pearson on 8th Jan 2015) is designed to help owners of small business to avoid the dangers and grow a thriving, profitable business.

If you can’t wait that long, here are some ideas that may help you to start marketing your small business on-line. I’m being interviewed by Anne Hornsblow of the on-line booking system 10 to 8 Ltd

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Ann Hawkins is a business growth specialist who will help you to make more profit, keep you accountable for your success and introduce you to a support network of your peers. Ann is the founder of The Inspired Group, co-presenter of The Business Hub radio show and owner of The Social Media Show. If you’d like to talk to Ann about how to take your business from OK to Excellent call her on 07711 705038

Stop working hard, start working smart

Yoga by the sea

Another day, another dollar?

Its seven o’clock on a Monday morning and you’ve decided that this is the week that is really going to make a difference.
You’ve got your to do list and a goal to get more clients, more orders and more money in the bank.
It’s too early to start calling people so you decide to check out your social networking channels – a few new followers on Twitter, that’s good; a couple of likes on your Facebook Page, hmmm, and who are all these people writing posts on Linkedin? Where do they find the time?
Then you wonder how your competitors are doing and check them out. How come their website always looks so much slicker than yours? Maybe you should make a few tweaks.
Before you know it its lunch time and you still haven’t made any calls, haven’t followed up those hot leads or even checked that your existing clients are happy.
No problem – you’ll get to it after lunch.
Except that you won’t.

Here’s the to do list that works:

1) Check your cash flow – nothing focuses the mind like knowing what’s due in, and especially out.
2) Send out reminders to get your money in. Remember its YOUR money and you’ve got no obligation to be lending it to your customers until they feel ready to part with it.
3) Figure out your most profitable activity and how you can do more of it. 

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4) List the things you do that don’t make money and make a decision to either stop doing them or make them profitable.
5) Work out all the things you could delegate or outsource and do it.
6) If you need to put your prices up to cover the cost of outsourcing, do it.
7) Check to see if your marketing is actually generating leads. If not stop it.
8) If you have leads follow them up (it must be after 9 by now).
9) Call your favourite customers and see if there’s anything more you can do for them.
10) Now you can have lunch.
Repeat steps 1, 2 8 and 9 every day and by the end of the month you’ll have a very different business.

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Ann Hawkins is a business growth specialist who will help you to make more profit, keep you accountable for your success and introduce you to a support network of your peers. Ann is the founder of The Inspired Group, co-presenter of The Business Hub radio show and owner of The Social Media Show. If you’d like to talk to Ann about how to take your business from OK to Excellent call her on 07711 705038