February 2018 - Kara Lambert

Monthly Archives: February 2018

What I don’t teach about aligning motivators

I talk about aligning what motivates people when teaching businesses about social media. I use it because at the end of the day, social media is about influencing a person to take action through a form of technology. It’s not about the technology first and foremost.

Aligning motivators helps you talk to the people you want to work with and to inspire them to take action, but there’s another thing it does is telling you who not to work with. I’ve seen in the past weeks that people are worried about difficult clients and how to work with them.

The thing is that aligning motivators makes you distinctly aware of what your motivators are, one of which is your values. So there is strength there. When we get clear on what our values are and what motivates us, not only do our most aligned clients appear, but something else happens.

We repel those we don’t want to work with.

Imagine this, you’re talking about what motivates you, you’re clear, you’re out there with your message. You will draw people to you who resonate with this. The brilliant thing is that you will also push away those who don’t. They might think it’s all crap. They may think that you’re woo woo and wishy washy. They might think that you’re not a serious business owner (I was called that once, meh). Brilliant! Perfect!

Don’t waste your time.

Move on to those people who are drawn to work with you, who align with your motivators. Why? They will light you up. They will remind you why you do what you do. They will be easy to work with. In fact, working with them won’t feel like work at all!

Don’t you deserve that? Doesn’t that sound nicer than dealing with difficult clients?

Now if you’re tempted to take anyone because funds are tight…. DON’T! They will take twice as long and end up costing you. Stick to your motivators and your message and magic will happen.

Growing your business

So often I speak to business owners about their ideal business, their dream business. They know exactly where they want to be but they’re stuck. They think it’s an all or nothing thing. Life isn’t black and white nor is it all or nothing. So what is the most common issue I see with this thinking and how do you get around it?

More often than not, business owners want to grow their business, put on new staff, open a new premises, but they’re worried that they won’t have the continuing income to achieve it.

Many businesses think that they need to save up or otherwise have the money/work behind them before they can expand. That’s just not the case.

Outsourcing

This is probably the easiest one to do.

Looking to put a staff member on? Try outsourcing various jobs rather than putting one person on. This way you will also learn what you are prepared to have someone else do and it will teach you, incrementally, what it’s like to have someone else do the work for you.

The most common barrier put up to outsourcing is the cost. I encourage business owners to focus more on what they can get done with that time they’ve ‘bought’ for themselves by outsourcing rather than the cost of the job itself. Look at what you will earn in that time. Think about how long a task would have taken and look at what you could earn in that time. Now how does outsourcing feel?

Contracting

Similar to outsourcing, is using a contracting company to ‘outsource’ the work.

Many business owners I know are looking to put on another staffer and so using a contractor can be a great way to increase staff on an ad-hoc basis until your business grows to the point where you can put someone on more permanently.

Using a contracting company can mean that you’re not responsible for a person’s entitlements, like you would staff, but you generally pay a higher rate in lieu.

Part-time/temporary work

The next stage up from a contractor would be to put someone on temporarily or part-time. Using a temporary position can mean getting you through the busy periods without worrying about what you’re going to do when things slow down. Using part-time staff means that you have more flexibility of knowing that they’re staff but that they will work for a minimum number of hours in a period, which can be increased under negotiation.

The great thing is that this incremental upgrading approach can also be used for expanding premises.

You might look at hiring a room on an ad-hoc basis, then move to a set time/day each week/month/quarter, and then expand that time. You can then consider a more permanent or larger lease as your business grows.

The thing to remember is that this is all incremental, can be expanded, and there’s no cut or dry approach to expansion. Every business is different, you have different circumstances, what worked for your competitor may not work for you (may not have worked for them either and they could be hiding it).

In the end, look at your numbers, consider these options, and realise that even these decisions aren’t set in concrete and you can change them. As awful as it sounds you can let staff go or break a lease, there are always ways to change.

Why I track my finances and you should too

So you may or may not know that when I was certain that consulting & coaching was the way I was headed, I projected my income out 10 years. Bit of a pipe dream? Maybe but that wasn’t my intention.

I looked at my numbers over a six month period and saw that I had almost doubled my business in that period, so I took the number and multiplied it out – year on year.

So yes, I know it’s ambitious but hey there’s nothing wrong with ambition!

So why did I do it?

Where am I headed financially?

As a new business owner I had no idea where I was headed financially. I knew I needed to bring in more money. I knew that I wanted sustainable growth. But I had no idea what that looked like for my business. So I went back to the numbers I had and used those. Let’s face it, the past is a good indicator for the future.

By projecting my income out 10 years I also knew that there were going to be points where I was going to have to change and perhaps bring new offers into the business – just to achieve the desired growth.  It gives me time to train and develop, things which take time.

To acclimatise to the financial position

Ever think of a dollar figure and get a little scared by the enormity of the number? What if you looked at it every day and you could see how you were progressing towards it and how far you’d come?

So you dream of hitting 5-figures, 6-figures, or 7-figures with your income, right? Because I’ve projected out my income (and I track my progress against it), I can see exactly when I’m set to achieve that figure. I look at my chart most days and I can see those multiple figure incomes coming. I can also see that I’m set to achieve some earlier than anticipate and that is an incredible feeling. I remember when a number seemed unachievable and now I’m shooting past it.

Repeated exposure to your goals creates a more concrete imprint in your mind making it more likely to be achieved.

To keep myself on track

Yep, there are times where I get in a rut. Bills are coming in or forecasted and the income is just not going to cut it. Tracking my income I can see where these things are and I can see with relative certainty where the horizon is for a surplus. It’s nice to see a way out knowing the money is coming.

The other way it keeps me on track is that it pushes me to achieve more, to reach next year’s goal this year, to innovate and grow my business sooner, to stop procrastinating on an idea, to try. Seeing my goals and watching them draw near motivates me to achieve more.

To anticipate business changes.

Projecting and tracking my finances means that I can see where I am likely to need to bring in an accountant or to outsource other functions of my business. By having a financial plan, I can see where I need to make business changes in the future  or if I need to make them sooner.

To celebrate

This is my favourite thing. I am keen to celebrate success. I enjoy knowing that my hard work has paid off and I recognise that. Let’s face it, not many of us are in the business of making money for money’s sake. So having and tracking my finances means that I can also see that I am achieving and therefore I can celebrate. How I celebrate differs, but it’s never extravagant. And don’t worry, sometimes celebrations are put off on account of a lack of finances that month, but because I track and project, I know when I will be able to celebrate and with what.

So I encourage all business owners to project and track their income. Project out a number of years and track at least weekly. ”Keep an eye on the pennies and the pounds will follow.”

If you’d like a copy of the financial tracker I use, you can

So you may or may not know that when I was certain that consulting & coaching was the way I was headed, I projected my income out 10 years. Bit of a pipe dream? Maybe but that wasn’t my intention.

I looked at my numbers over a six month period and saw that I had almost doubled my business in that period, so I took the number and multiplied it out – year on year.

So yes, I know it’s ambitious but hey there’s nothing wrong with ambition!

So why did I do it?

Where am I headed financially?

As a new business owner I had no idea where I was headed financially. I knew I needed to bring in more money. I knew that I wanted sustainable growth. But I had no idea what that looked like for my business. So I went back to the numbers I had and used those. Let’s face it, the past is a good indicator for the future.

By projecting my income out 10 years I also knew that there were going to be points where I was going to have to change and perhaps bring new offers into the business – just to achieve the desired growth.  It gives me time to train and develop, things which take time.

To acclimatise to the financial position

Ever think of a dollar figure and get a little scared by the enormity of the number? What if you looked at it every day and you could see how you were progressing towards it and how far you’d come?

So you dream of hitting 5-figures, 6-figures, or 7-figures with your income, right? Because I’ve projected out my income (and I track my progress against it), I can see exactly when I’m set to achieve that figure. I look at my chart most days and I can see those multiple figure incomes coming. I can also see that I’m set to achieve some earlier than anticipate and that is an incredible feeling. I remember when a number seemed unachievable and now I’m shooting past it.

Repeated exposure to your goals creates a more concrete imprint in your mind making it more likely to be achieved.

To keep myself on track

Yep, there are times where I get in a rut. Bills are coming in or forecasted and the income is just not going to cut it. Tracking my income I can see where these things are and I can see with relative certainty where the horizon is for a surplus. It’s nice to see a way out knowing the money is coming.

The other way it keeps me on track is that it pushes me to achieve more, to reach next year’s goal this year, to innovate and grow my business sooner, to stop procrastinating on an idea, to try. Seeing my goals and watching them draw near motivates me to achieve more.

To anticipate business changes.

Projecting and tracking my finances means that I can see where I am likely to need to bring in an accountant or to outsource other functions of my business. By having a financial plan, I can see where I need to make business changes in the future  or if I need to make them sooner.

To celebrate

This is my favourite thing. I am keen to celebrate success. I enjoy knowing that my hard work has paid off and I recognise that. Let’s face it, not many of us are in the business of making money for money’s sake. So having and tracking my finances means that I can also see that I am achieving and therefore I can celebrate. How I celebrate differs, but it’s never extravagant. And don’t worry, sometimes celebrations are put off on account of a lack of finances that month, but because I track and project, I know when I will be able to celebrate and with what.

So I encourage all business owners to project and track their income. Project out a number of years and track at least weekly. ”Keep an eye on the pennies and the pounds will follow.”

If you’d like a copy of the financial tracker I use, you can download it here.

Lies we’re told about running a Facebook Page

So often I hear business owners, especially women, saying that they feel lost marketing their business online. They feel overwhelmed by all of the information out there, especially if they have a Facebook presence for their business (and this is where I will focus).

Perhaps it’s the benefit of having had some time off over Christmas/New Year and that they have had time away from social media and realised that there’s more to life out there. Perhaps they’ve made a resolution to spend less time online, or to model the behaviour for their children. Perhaps they feel like it doesn’t work. Perhaps they feel like it’s always changing. Perhaps it’s none of these. Perhaps it’s something else. Perhaps it’s all of these and then some. Regardless, people are realising that something is wrong with how they manage their social media for their business and it’s not working for them.

In the main, the biggest complaint I hear is not wanting to be online 24/7 and not knowing how to market to their clients without feeling salesy & ‘slimey’. I seriously believe that this is a sad gap in the messaging that’s out there about social media. So much information is out there about the options. There’s also the overt hustle mentality along with how the vast majority of successful business owners portray their laptop lifestyle. It’s hurting small business.

Here’s the thing about social media. We show people what we want them to see. We curate our lives for online. While FOMO might be real, what is driving it generally isn’t. I admit, I curate what people see of my life & that’s because I don’t want to show my family to the world, but I also want to ensure that those who see behind the scenes are in the trenches working with me. But my methods are left of centre and I’m not afraid to show how hard things are, this blog is testament to that.

There’s a sentence in the last paragraph that stands out and it’s for a reason other than what it actually means, a deeper insight.

We show people what we want them to see.

But what I want to point out isn’t the message on curating what we post, it’s about ‘we’ and ‘people’. Instinctively we post on social media, particularly on Facebook knowing that a person will see it and they might even react to it. And that, although intuitive can seem at odds with all the other information out there.

That’s where there’s tension in their minds, especially with women who are more likely to want connection to their clients. Most of the information out there is about the technology and sizes and buttons and video and platforms and websites. It’s all depersonalised and so far away from what they crave instinctively.

Then when I tell them that they actually need to focus on their customers and people it seems too easy. Especially when terms like algorithm and engagement are bandied around. The thing is that these exact terms actually rely on people to make them happen.

Think back to the corner store of your childhood or the local baker/butcher/grocery store. What do you remember most? It’s probably more about the person and how they made you feel than the store itself. In our rush to curate our lives, we’ve removed our personability or even our personality. We crave connection as humans, it’s necessary. It’s why premmie babies thrive when touched. We need connection and business success is just as needy of this.

So lately I’ve spent a lot of time with business page owners who are feeling overwhelmed and disconnected teaching them how to reconnect with their client on Facebook. It saddens me that the marketing industry and marketers have swung the pendulum so far that businesses feel out of touch. The other thing this does is that they are given too many options and feel lost about not only who to connect with but how.

The thing is that if you put the right thing in front of the right person at the right time, you will win. So how do you do it? It’s a matter of knowing where they hang out (Facebook in this instance), when they hang out, how you fix their problem and selling your solution.

Some will call this whole-hearted or heart-centered selling. I call it smart marketing and understanding your target market.

If you understand these things you can then target (schedule) your efforts and forget about feeling utterly overwhelmed.

I’ve created a little book that outlines the keys to how to kick some of this overwhelm & I invite you to download it over here (in exchange for an email address).