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.

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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

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

Work smart not hard

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

Are you average, average or … just average?

Bell Curve

How SME’s Use Social Media

This is a misleading headline because I’m not going to tell you how SME’s use social media. I use it because its the title of an infographic produced by a well known accounts software company.

It has been widely shared.

I don’t know why because it is utterly useless.

There is no source information to say how many companies took part in the research. It could have been five hundred –  it could have been five.

SME is a catch all for companies with up to 250 employees with a turnover of less than 40 million euros. There is no indication of the spread between small, medium and micro businesses, the split between B2B and B2C, sector, geographical spread, age of the business or any other crucial factors that could affect or skew the results.

Worst of all, the inforgraphic blithely states the percentages for time spent, sites used and the reasons the businesses surveyed use social media, without any indication that any of them measure their results or achieve their purpose.  

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

What is the point of knowing that 69% use social media for the purpose of getting brand awareness unless you also know the percentage that achieved this purpose?

What is the point of knowing that Facebook is the most popular network used by the businesses in the survey unless you also know the percentage that got positive results?

Without knowing the raw data and how the questions are formulated and asked, surveys like this are worse than useless. They deliberately mislead.

There are three different ways to calculate an average and more ways to present data than there are bad infographics on social media.

That’s why the phrase “lies, damned lies and statistics” was coined.

Don’t believe anything until you see the data.

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The Power of Twitter

Lego man and woman

How to Really Connect on Twitter

I tweeted a link to one of my blog posts.

One of my followers commented and re-tweeted it.

One of her followers commented and re-tweeted it.

I said thank you and looked at his profile.

I discovered a great guy called Dom Garrett.

I really liked what I saw in his Twitter stream.

I started a conversation.

I saw that, despite a huge gap in age, culture, experience and interests, we shared a lot of the same values about life, people and business.

We talked about why its important to know your “why” and that purpose and beliefs shine through and are more important than slick sales or marketing messages. We shared the importance of being personal and not trying to tweet as a brand or a logo, that wearing your knowledge on your sleeve makes you do better work and that nothing is better than a genuine connection.

The rest is in this video. We had a ball.

Best quote: “Twitter is like a dinner party on crack and you’re the host.”

  • When someone looks at your Twitter bio does it encourage them to follow you?
  • Do they see a smiling face with great eye contact that makes them feel they can trust you?
  • Do they read tweets that are so transparent, genuine and authentic they know immediately that they’re going to get along with you?
  • Do they see you making an effort to connect people and to share your best work?

That’s what makes it easy to make real connections on Twitter and, while it may not be immediately obvious, those connections are going to help you to grow your business.

In the best traditions of “its not what you know but who you know” that makes a difference, influencers and amplifiers help to spread your message to a wider audience than you could ever reach on your own.

As Dom says at the end of video:

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

— Dale Carnegie How to Win Friends and Influence People

Find Dom and his app development on Twitter.

Dom Garrett

The Gathering App

Have you made any great really great connections on Twitter? What works for you?

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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