Quality Archives - Small business consultant

Category Archives for "Quality"

How your mindset around your point of difference is hurting your business

Your point of difference has to be more that quality, price or service.

It has been a few years now since I first heard that quality is a standard point of difference in the market place and in fact has lost its importance. You can imagine my shock, I mean I used to manage a QA function for the Australian Government – quality was my thang. Nope, smashed down … it’s not good enough.

The thing is, as the marketplace gets smaller with the internet expanding, they’re right. Quality is just expected by your customers. Here’s the thing, so is timeliness & service and in some arenas the ability to customise. So what is now the point of difference?

I keep coming back to a quote:

‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’

Maya Angelou

This isn’t any different in business, in fact this is a point of difference where others can not compete. Your competition can TRY to replicate how you make your customers feel, but it will never quite be the same. This is how businesses develop a tribe following – think Coke vs Pepsi, Mac vs PC, iPhone vs Android. They all function the same but it’s how the person feels when using and being part of that community that has them coming back.

So how do you engender & foster a good feeling around your business as a point of difference?

The first thing is to know where your core values and beliefs rest. Then you need to find out the same for your ideal client. Here’s the hard thing…

You then need to draw a line between them and constantly and consistently communicate this to your customers. You need to reinforce it on and offline and through all media.

I know it sounds warm, fuzzy, and tree huggy but in an age of growing competition it’s these things that will have your business standing head and shoulders above others. Why?

You see, in business we are actually trying to change someone’s behaviour. You are trying to get them to part with their hard earnt money. You want them to dig deep & cough up. How is this achieved. You need to dig deep into them.

Talking to their core

Ever heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, where we need physical needs met and then we can move up to the higher needs? Ok, so when you are trying to influence behaviour you need to meet these needs. Sometimes you will be meeting the lower ones “Got a hunger?”, “Need to warm up this winter?” and other times you will be meeting the higher needs “Want to do more with your life?”, “Want to impact on others?”. The higher they are it doesn’t mean that they are harder to meet. You just need to know what they are for your client and hit them head on. It’s all about making people feel and connecting to them on a deeper level, they won’t forget that.

You see, if you connect at this level you remove the guess work for them. You’ve told them exactly why they need you or your product. They don’t need to work that out from a list of features. Why is this important? Well in the overabundance of businesses competing for your customer, you are telling them why, you aren’t wasting their time by having to compare feature X over Y, you’re saving them time & energy and THAT is important to all of us. Don’t waste their time. Tell them how it meets their needs, their deep core, pressing, fire in the belly needs. That’s a strong point of difference.

Showing empathy/understanding

We have this strong need to feel part of something, to be understood. When you show your customers that you actually understand what their needs are & that you truly aren’t all about pressing your stuff on them, they will appreciate it. Do you get overwhelmed by the constant advertising around you? It’s all ‘buy, buy, buy’, ‘limited time only’, ‘special discounted price’. How does it make you feel? Anxious? These are fear tactics and use scarcity to motivate. Don’t get me wrong, it works, but it doesn’t make your customer feel good. They feel stressed, anxious, and pressured. Do you like feeling like that in a world when the majority of us already have enough stress and feel pressed for time?

So why add to it? When your competition is relying solely on scare tactics, try empathy & understanding as your point of difference. It adds a human element, creating connection. The good thing is that genuine connection and understanding builds connections. Customers will see that there is a real person behind the business. This can make conflict harder as it’s no longer about the exchange of money for goods/services. They understand that there is a person on the other side, one who understands them.

Showing they matter/important

Who doesn’t like their five minutes of fame! We all like to feel special to someone and most of us like to have that publicly recognised. So why not do it. Now it doesn’t have to be a ‘super star customer’, or changing out your Facebook Header Image for their profile picture. Even acknowledging their time in writing a review or sharing their purchase makes a difference. There’s a skill to this though & the biggest mistake you don’t want to make is NOT including a photo of them. Why? If you include their photo in their review or share you not only acknowledge them directly and give them direct bragging rights, you also use one of the most powerful influencers in reviews – a face to a name. You can read more on this article, but in short by using their photo you give others a point to relate with. You see, others will see the image and think, “Wow, they look like a nice, honest person & remind me of xyz, if they use this then I should to! Don’t think you can do this on your social media or website? Try a newsletter, try personalising your newsletter.

The thing is if you just speak to their core needs, beliefs and values they will feel important and that they matter. Your customers will feel that you have spent the time and effort to get to know them and that you value that time you spent doing so and that they matter. A trite ‘your call is important to us’ really doesn’t cut the mustard any more, it’s not a point of difference. A point of difference is offering a call back service, using Facebook Messenger, monitoring Twitter, or using a chat facility on your website. They are different, they are points of difference. They show that you understand that they like to have options, that they may not be able to call during 9-5, that they might not like being on the phone, that they be on a computer all day and having online chat is convenient for them. You show them that you understand we are all different and your time is important to us & we want to be heard.

Apply this in your business

Spring clean your business

It’s Spring here in the Southern Hemisphere and I know I am clearing out the clutter around the house. But have you ever thought to Spring clean your business? Clear out the cobwebs, peak under the couch, and shake out the rugs. But why & how?

You make New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, save money, exercise more, and you track those goals. If you go off course many will jump back on and work out what went wrong so it doesn’t happen again. How many of us do it with our businesses? We are often so busy looking at the end goal or caught in the daily grind to look back at what did or didn’t go well.

September is the start of the Spring selling season here in Australia. It leads in to the holiday selling season and as such it’s a good time for businesses to take a quick check of where they are and where they are headed.

Watch the following video to learn how to spring clean your business and then following the specific links in the remaining blog to dig deeper or kickstart your clean.

I’m a bit of a traditionalist with this. I’m a first principles kind of gal. I look at what has happened, look at my goals, review my client avatar, and plan my activities.

Let’s start with your why and what.
Look at your goals. Did you set them at the start of the year? Are you on track? Are they still relevant? Are they still realistic? Do you have non-financial goals in there too? I had to do a lot of soul-searching through the Telstra Businesswoman of the Year awards. This process cemented my belief in the necessity of not just a financial, but also an operational review of business. You can read more about the questions I was asked and the process in the following blog post.  If you would like some more solid direction on reviewing and goal setting, I do have a workbook available for instant download.

Looking at the big ticket goals, let’s talk financial. Do you know how many products, clients, hours you need to achieve your financial goals? Alternatively, have you been putting off reviewing/reducing your costs to increase your profits? When did you last raise your prices? Do you have any wholesale customers you can approach? What about new leads? Let’s get analytical on your finances and serious about achieving these goals. You should be able to answer these questions. If you need help, please message the page and we can discuss options for you.

Speaking of analytical, do you know who your ideal client is? (Please don’t say ‘anyone’) Knowing who you are targeting will give you the ‘what’ to your discussions. It will direct your media presence (social & traditional), it will help build & guide your relationship, but best of all … knowing your ideal client will remove your overwhelm. See, if you know who you are aiming at you remove any guess work. You will always hit your mark & you will get results. Yes, you can have different ones for different arms or products, but I recommend one overarching definition. If you want to read more about ideal clients, have a look at this blog post.  If you would like to know why they are important, you then grab a cuppa because this one’s a long one.  If you would like to read about how my client benefited from knowing their ideal client, then this post is for you. If you’re more action and cut to the chase oriented, then you can download the ebook now.

I hope this has left you feeling more on track, empowered, and educated on how you will move forward in to the major selling season. If you would like to chat further about your goals, you can always book a free initial consult. (I get a buzz out of seeing businesses succeed)

How to maintain your social influence after going viral

Congratulations! You’ve got your social media channel hooting along. You’re gaining followers, you’re getting great feedback, you’re interacting, and you’re closing sales. Now keep it up! You’ve got to keep paddling to stay on the wave. You’ve got to maintain your social influence.

Businesses will hit gold and get a spike of social influence. The thing is, unless you maintain it, you will head back into social obscurity. Perhaps your business received a fantastic shout out, or one of your posts/tweets went viral. Sadly, you can’t rest on your laurels and coast. In fact, this is when you have to paddle hard.

Social media has a lifespan on its content. Some it’s instant, others it is 24 hours, some never expires. Regardless of how long it lasts, it won’t be long before the next best thing is breathing down your neck, wrestling you for the top perch.

Riding the top of the wave comes with perks:
– increased visability
– growth of brand recognition
– increased sales, and
– increased expert status.
Rightly so though! This is where you benefit from your great content. On some platforms, your influence will continue for a week or so.

In this time you need to be putting out some great offers, showing your benefits, and growing further. It’s not a time to coast. You need to be developing relationships, showing behind the scenes, driving people to your offers and opt-ins.

More importantly, you need to be watching, listening, & analysing. Take this time to test your market & ask questions about their needs/wants/plans/likes. Watch their responses. Look at how they react to new offers or content. If you thought something was going to work and you heard crickets, then try a different time, a different day, or a different benefit. You need to use this time of high visibility to test, grow, & learn.

Once you start seeing trends, this is your time to find more content that your followers will enjoy. This is your opportunity to keep that wave going. This is where you can keep riding high, learning, honing, developing, growing. This time is where you make your gold and you keep looking for more. You can’t rest, this is when you need to grow the most.

To find out more on how I grow Facebook pages without advertising, subscribe to my newsletter. If you are ready to take the next step, then download my Facebook Reach workbook or book in for a live workshop. If you can’t wait or you need to be able to grow across a number of social media platforms, then your best decision is to move to my one-on-one coaching and business development package.


Developing a connection with your client – a business perspective

Warning, this post is not only long, but it also points the mirror directly at you – the business owner. Unless you put yourself out there you can not expect a connection with your client, they don’t know where you’re coming from. If they don’t know where you are, at your heart, then they can’t find you to connect. Relationships have two sides, both need to be open for it to work.

This is where my goal setting workshop and workbook came from. To look at who you are personally, what you want to achieve personally and as a business. But it goes deeper than this. It’s about drivers, it’s about belief, it’s about what warms your heart and makes your blood boil. It’s about what you would stand up for no matter what.

You see, all of these things you bring into your business. You might not use them, but as business owners they can be what keeps us getting out of bed. For me, it’s about helping others to be the best they possibly can be and reaching their potential. It’s all I want for my children and it’s why I love ‘empowering businesses online’.

But if I don’t tell you that, how will you know? You will have to guess that is where I am starting from. You will have to assume that I have your best intentions at heart. You will have to trust that I am in your corner pushing and pulling and urging you on. But if I am vulnerable and let you in what happens?

Sure I run a risk. I risk that I will alienate people. I run a risk that I will be judged. I run a risk that people will shy away from me. But what if that doesn’t happen? What if by opening up to you , I actually touch you where your heart resides? What if that is exactly what you need to hear? What if instead of focusing on how to get to my ideal client, I open my arms and show you my heart and you like it?

It’s a scary place. It’s a vulnerable place. It’s a place where I run the risk of being hurt. But if I don’t do it then I am not being a good example. I am not living to my potential. I am not holding my tenet of being open and honest.

But is this what I should do? Surely as a business owner it’s about products and services and making money. Really? Is that what it’s all about? It’s not for me. It’s about freedom and connection and choice. It’s about being able to help more people. Now that is not to say that money isn’t important and I am going to give away my services. I used to do that. The thing I learnt was that by not valuing myself and the value I bring to others I was teaching them not to value me and to devalue what I had done for them. That’s not empowering, that’s the exact opposite.

How can I expect to connect with you if we are only working on half of the relationship; you? I teach my clients that you get a lot further with a customer when you speak from the heart, when you speak to their why. It allows you to connect. The thing is, and Tony Hsieh from Zappos knows this, that if you tell people what drives you – massive things happen.

You see, I studied this in my Masters. (I did one subject in of a Masters in Public Sector Management and stopped, I had proven I could study at that level) I studied how in the Public Service, if you recruit and motivate based on an alignment of staff and organisational goals, behaviours and drivers – you can have change. I even showed it in an underperforming team. I inherited a group with a 12 month backlog, by aligning their personal beliefs with those of the organisation I was able to get them to work through the backlog in 3 months. This is where I come from when I say this to you, to my coaching clients, and to my Mastermind Group. It works. It seriously stinking works. But you have to be open. You have to not just know your customer’s perspective, they have to know yours. It’s freaking scary, but if you open up – wonderful things happen.

So from me to you – I want you to be your very best. I am open and honest. I value transparency. I believe that speaking from your heart to your ideal client is the best way to build a relationship. I believe in research and facts and how psychology and human behaviour influence sales. I know that if you trust your message, then others will too. I believe that experts quoting big business results doesn’t always relate and translate to action small business can take. I believe that if you set an intention and work towards it, things will happen. I believe in woo woo. I believe!

Believe trust connect build

Who’d a thunk it, I have belief and trust issues. Me, the psych graduate! Me, the one who teaches you to set goals, know your ideal client. Me!

Oh my god! Boy did I get pushed on this in a group coaching session I had last weekend.

I didn’t trust that I could run my own business my way. I had bought into the BS and hype as to how I should run my business. I thought I had to make cold phone calls and lead pages. Here’s the thing, I don’t like them and I now trust myself not to do them. That’s it, I DON’T HAVE TO! God that realisation feels good. Oooh, the other thing, I don’t like it when other businesses hide their prices. Guess what? Again, not me and I’m not going to do it. Just because someone else does it, it doesn’t make it right for me; especially if it doesn’t sit well with me.

Here’s the other trust shift I had.

Niche. I LOVE working with businesses who create. They could be creating health, art, memories. Whatever it is they create, I love the energy which goes into these things and I love the stories behind them. So, I will now trust and honour that. My ideal client associates themselves with being creative.

So this trust has created a sense of belief; belief that I truly am where I am meant to be and headed in the right direction. I know that sounds woowoo, guess what – that’s me too.

But belief is amazingly important. It’s important to believe in yourself, your business, and your path. Guess what, when you own those beliefs then you have somewhere where you and your customers align.

What do you believe? What is true? Have you told your customers that? Have you let them in to your life a little? You know that it doesn’t matter what you do or sell, with every purchase your customers buy a piece of you. You are given this opportunity to connect with them, not just as a transaction level, but a deeper level. They are buying a little piece of you and you need to trust that is part of the transaction. Guess what, when you connect to your client and align your and their beliefs magic happens. You speak their language, you touch their soul, you bring them on your journey. That’s a powerful place to be.

A case study on how businesses benefit from knowing their ideal client.

Do you know who your ideal client is? Do you know why you should know them? Do you think it’s something else you need to do? Let me show you how your business can benefit from defining your ideal client.

I first became aware of having a definition of an ideal client in the second year of my other business. I had just launched my website and within one week, I had my largest order come through. It was a new customer, they hadn’t ordered through Facebook or seen me at the markets and they ordered hundreds of dollars of hair accessories (yup, that’s my other business). Over time I have chatted with this customer and come to realise that when I focus on her and fixing her needs, I make more sales (not necessarily to her, but other women like her). I found it! I had found my ideal client! I started thinking more about other customers who had made sales easy. Be warned, affluent people aren’t necessarily your ideal client – so don’t just say that you want a rich ‘sugar daddy’ client.

It was eye opening!

I then used this information to build a profile and to use it when talking to customers online and at the markets. I could tell who was ‘just looking’ and who was going to buy from me. I could also then talk to their needs, show them the benefits, and use these to drive sales. It makes things so easy when you know when you are targeting. It also means that you can focus your energy AND you can make bigger sales to fewer clients.

So when I do a website audit, I ask, ‘who is your ideal customer’. Could you answer that question if I were to audit your website? I am yet to find a customer who can. Why? Most people say that they just want to sell to anyone. Well that’s fine, but then who are you writing for when you are writing your website or Facebook or newsletter or any communication you have with your customers?

You’re writing for your customers.

So who are they? How do you know that you aren’t wasting your time? Or, what are you missing out on because you haven’t defined and aren’t targeting your ideal client?

Here’s another example.
A client comes to me for a website audit. They want to increase the number of corporate clients coming through their site. I help them by auditing their site, suggesting keywords to include throughout the site, and then they asked me to make the changes. Guess what?! They are now getting new corporate clients saying they found them via the website. Better still, their ideal client (one they have admired for years) recently placed an order with them. Imagine their excitement when it came through. How did it happen? We added a focus to their site for their ideal client. It would normally take them days of normal trade to make the same money as they did from that one corporate customer.

So, have you defined your ideal client?
Is your website targeting your ideal client?
Is your Facebook page meeting their needs?
Or do you need help?

Contact Write to Right now for a free 30 minute call on how you can improve your online presence.
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Beliefs, Benefits, and Behaviours

So you want more clients, more sales, help more people, reach more businesses …
That’s the behaviour you are after. It’s what you need to get people to do for you. You need to convince them how. You need to know the psychology of selling.

Very early on in my psychology degree, we learnt that beliefs underpin behaviours. Want someone to come on board (rather than just comply) then you need to speak to their underlying belief structure. But hang on, can’t I just have people comply and give me money? Nope. The handing over of money is one of the most emotionally and logic driven acts we can do. Tweet this And there are no prizes for guessing just what underpins our emotions and logic – beliefs.

So what underpins my customer’s beliefs?
There are a few things which underpin beliefs. Those who have studied Maslow will know Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This is where people’s beliefs and actions step through an ever evolving hierarchy from the most basic physical needs (food, shelter) to the top of self-fulfilment.
There are other drivers. These beliefs are determined by outside influences such as: education, religion, family, and personal experiences.


Well, if you understand the ‘why’ that drives your customers, then you are one step closer to the win. Don’t we all like to feel understood? Don’t you like to know that a business ‘gets you’? Isn’t it easier to buy something when it feels ‘just right’ or ‘meant to be’?

That’s great, but how do I determine their beliefs?
Ok, this is when you are going to have to focus on just one person. Let’s face it, try as we might we just can’t be all things to all people. Focus on the person you love to service or sell to, the one that makes your work easy, the one who gets you and your business. (See, the one who gets your belief structure) Focus on them and head on over, read this blog for more insights and you can also download this handy guide which will step you through the whole client definition process.

Step Two: Benefits

Please, do not confuse this with what the thing does – that’s its features. Remember, that your customer is driven by their beliefs (and needs are beliefs as they think they need it) and features are a thing not a ‘why’. So what are you doing by speaking to your customer with the benefits of your product or service?

You are matching your ‘why’ to their ‘why’.

Go back and read that last sentence again.

You need to align your why and their why, because when they match up, then you have your customer on board. When you have your customer on board, then you are 90% of the way there.

So how do I determine my ‘why’?

Just quickly, it’s a two part thing. You need to list the features of the item you are trying to sell, then you need to ask yourself, ‘So what!’ I know it sounds harsh, but it gets to the core. When you ask the question you are digging into the why that feature is important, what change it will make, what need it will fix.

Want to learn more? Read this blog post, which digs deeper into the how to. Want to step through the program? Register now for the workbook.

So show me the money, or the behaviour

Ok, so I have defined my customer beliefs, I know what my benefits are, what next? Keep at it. In the current environment it takes around 10 interactions with a client before they commit to purchase. Now I don’t mean that it is them seeing your name 10 times in their Facebook Newsfeed, or spamming them with 10 newsletters. You need to speak to them at their core. You need to align your beliefs and theirs. When you do that, you have touched them where it counts.

So keep at it. I know it can be disheartening, tiring, and frustrating. I promise, you get it right and you will get those customers. What I will say is don’t rest on your laurels, tweak it, play with it, review and revise it. Seriously, remember how I said about Maslow? Your customer will mature and you need to keep stepping up with them. Don’t forget that this needs to be done with any new product or service you developed, or new client base you are targeting.

If you are still uncertain, I am happy to work with you one on one to determine how to align your business and your clients. If you are ready to take that step closer to your clients, you can book your place now. Alternatively, if you are uncertain just how it will benefit, contact me for a free half hour session to discuss your needs and how we can empower your business.

Three simple ways your business can avoid the missed opportunity

Oh my word, talk about missed opportunity!

This week I went to my scheduled (6 months ago) dental hygienist appointment and was shocked with what greeted me on the reception desk. You see, I have been a patient at this lucrative dental practice for 10 years and had the same health fund for half of that time.

The practice had become a preferred provider of my health fund! Now this is a big deal, because I have had some pretty lousy luck with dental work over time and this practice came highly recommended and has the most amazing staff. Thing is, that doesn’t come cheaply. I honestly never did mind paying top dollar to see a top dentist and hygienist. My peace of mind is worth as much as I pay to them. But I had to find out that they were now preferred providers (meaning my check-ups are now gap-free) by actually going in to my appointment.

This business has my mailing address, my health insurance details, and I follow them on Facebook. Why didn’t they see it necessary to tell me of the change? (They told me of their renovations) Let’s face it, most of us don’t go into or past our dentist on a weekly basis, and having this knowledge sooner would have swayed my decision on where my husband went for his dental work before Christmas.

So what is the point I am trying to make to you?

Firstly, gather customer details into a database by all means, but use it AND use it to their benefit. (Tweet this) Don’t underestimate the power of a letter or card in the mail or a personalised email in their inbox. Keeping up the lines of communication fosters trust, builds relationships, and (done correctly) moves you closer to a sale.

Secondly, never EVER assume that your client know what is going on in your business. (Tweet this) Let them know! Let them know of changes, holidays, even if you are running late. Talk to them, again, it builds trust and relationships.

Finally, share your talents with the world. (Tweet this) What might be small to you, can be significant in the lives of others.


Style guide

style guide Write to Right business solutions

I believe that a classic style never dates and consistency is key to delivering to your customers. But how does it apply to business and why is it important? Consider official letters from Government. They can be sent from anywhere in a country, not necessarily where you reside, but it will not matter where it is they will all have a similar look and feel. The easiest way to combine the two is to develop a business style guide.

Why is this important? People like consistency, we are generally adverse to change. If you were reading an official letter and it used terms interchangeably, changed its logo throughout, and referred to you or the representative in different ways you would start to question. You would question if they knew what they were doing, if it was actually an official letter, and how you would be treated face-to-face or on your next encounter.

So how does this apply to your business? Firstly, I could almost guarantee that there are other businesses around with a similar name and or function to yours. A consistent look to your communication (website, emails, Facebook, etc.) will save them any confusion as to which business they are talking with. Secondly, it is easier for a business owner to use one style for their communication, rather than feeling the need to make it up as they go along. It is also helpful if you have staff who write for the business. Thirdly, it can save you money when employing a consultant to undertake any communication tasks (developing a pamphlet, building a website, managing social media etc.).

Using a style guide has certainly helped me when writing for different media and clients. While working in government, there were guides for press releases, ministerials, client letters, and an overarching guide. Unless you are a business with a few hundred staff who communicate across many media and stakeholders, you are unlikely to need this many guides. However, a document that outlines your mission, vision, ideal client, benefits, key adjectives, and preferred tone is a worthy addition to your business. From here it can evolve to including which messages are distributed over particular media. You can even detail how minutes will be taken and distributed.

Consistent look

If you have been following the blog, you should now go back and revise the adjectives where your
goals/mission/vision and the needs/fears of your ideal customer cross. This will give you some grounding to develop the style guide.

Business name
You will need to consider how you will refer to your business. Will you use the name in full all the time, for the first time on a page or use, will you use a shortened version?

Business owner/s
Have you thought about how you will refer to yourself as the business owner or owners? Will you use ‘I’, ‘we’, ‘they’, or your name or names? Although you will need to consider the tense of the text you are writing, this is one topic where I see a lot of inconsistency. Something you might wish to consider if you are struggling with this is if your customers would prefer to be spoken to in a formal or informal/conversational tone. An informal/conversational tone will use ‘I’ and the formal tone will use ‘we’ or ‘they’.

Probably one of the easier aspects to settle on, except if you consider how it will be used online, in black and white, or if there is some instance where you will prefer a shortened version.

Something I had previously overlooked was how I used colour through my communication. I underestimated how the use of consistent colours can reassure customers and develop your brand image. Consider the background colours to images or posters you develop and font colours for any communication. There is a simple rule of thumb applied to the use of colour online: There should be a high contrast between the background and the text colour, and avoid yellow text (many people find it difficult to read online).
Here is something I learnt as a manager, don’t refer people to a particular coloured text, it will be meaningless if they are colour blind.

Some businesses will consistently use one font for all communication. Others will use the font from their logo. This is a matter of style. Branding experts recommend using no more than three font styles in one image or document. Additionally, research indicates that people find text with serifs easier to read, something to consider if you are writing a larger document.

The tense you use will generally depend on the topic or how the document is to be used. My word of advice is to be consistent. While there can be a need to jump between past, present, and future tenses; doing so can make your document harder to read and can cause confusion.

Ease of use

So, if you have detailed how your business will meet the above points, it will give you a handy guide when writing. Better still, if you and another person write for the business it will assist in having consistent look to your communication. I have found having a ready reference also helps me to quickly put together supporting images and documents (and I’m all for saving time).

Saving money

Employing a consultant to manage your social media, develop a website, or develop a document can be a costly, though worthwhile, venture. Having a document that outlines how you will refer to yourself, your business, how you want your logo used, and your business colours will save having this conversation with the consultant. It allows us an insight into the back end of your business and means that we can easily support you and help you to achieve your outcomes. Let’s face it, in anyone’s business time IS money.

Work smarter

work smarter with Write to Right

Working on over working in. Work smarter, not harder. Have you heard either of these in business? They are not cliché and are actually related.

When you choose to work on your business, you are dedicating your time to working smarter. (Tweet this) Working smarter doesn’t mean lowering prices, increasing profits, or churning out more widgets. It’s not about doing more with less, either.

Working on, similarly isn’t about working out how to increase sales, profits or decreasing costs. These things are all about working in your business.

So what’s my point?
As an owner of two businesses, I have had to establish some clear systems to allow me to meet my obligations. With a family to go with these business obligations, I like some flexibility. This is where I have started to work smarter. This doesn’t mean that, at times, I have to work hard.

What have I done?
In the past year I have implemented a number of changes in how I run my businesses, which allow me to grow my income, reduce the time I spend working in my business, and increase the time I can spend with my family. (And I haven’t increased prices or decreased costs)

Last year, I implemented six-monthly reviews of my business goals and broader activity. I track my income and expenses as they occur (but this is working in), however, I also monitor them against the broader goals I set. This review allows me to see where I am meeting (or exceeding my aims) and also where I need to change.

In my business, ‘working on’ has two arms: education and systems.

As a business owner, I find it difficult to put work aside and spend time on myself. However, it is exactly when I spend time developing my knowledge that I receive the greatest benefit in my business. (Tweet this) When I read, I am either developing myself or I am developing my business knowledge. In the past 12 months I have read and learnt from: Get Rich Lucky Bitch (Denise Duffield-Thomas), The Big Leap (Gay Hendricks), Thrive (Arianna Huffington), and Tribes (Seth Godin). I also read a number of blogs, including, Make it Look Easy, Leonie Dawson, and Marie Forleo (plus those whose books I have read).

Grow your business with Write to Right

I have learnt more about goal setting, planning, self-assurance, self-care, and self-love. All of these have helped me grow as a person and as a business owner, but not one of them has directly resulted in an increase in cash flow. They have all been about working ‘on’ me and my business and it is how I have implemented the learning which has resulted in financial growth.

The thing I love most about this growth is that I can then apply it to my business. If I feel more self-confident then I am more likely to make the system changes my business needs.

When I change the systems in my business, I gain time that I can then spend on myself, my business, or my family. There are large system changes and small system changes. Here are a few that I have made and profited from over the past year.

Reverse engineering my time
As I said earlier, running two businesses is taxing. The biggest system change I have made is to reverse engineer my week. I used to be reactionary or first in first out before I started Write to Right (my second business). As a result of starting Write to Right I had to make drastic changes to how I handled my time. I work backwards from when work is due, include other obligations, free time, and some contingency time (because let’s face it we get sick). Now, this does not mean I take all of this time to do the work; in fact, I am more likely to finish the work earlier. What reverse engineering allows is for me to feel less pressured when things go wrong and for me to value my time for myself and my family.

Accounting systems
A recent review of my accounts and time input into the business lead me to change my accounting systems. This has meant a simpler way for customers to pay invoices and a more automated accounting process on my end. So not am I not working harder, I am no longer busy working in my business collecting debts.

I recently needed to update my website, but realised that I needed to change the entire platform on which it was built. So I outsourced it! There is a misconception in small business that:
– we must do everything we are capable of (and I certainly was)
– outsourcing is expensive, and
– outsourcing is a luxury.

They’re all wrong. While I knew how to change the platforms, I also knew that by outsourcing it, it would be faster and allow me more time for other activities.

So, how will you work on your business in 2015? What will you do to work smarter? 2015 is my year of growth, so I will continue to learn. Growth isn’t always inwards, so I will be growing and sharing what I know with all of you. The first is a series of facilitated courses with practical tasks that will give you knowledge you can implement (straight away). After this I will be working towards my ebooks/workbooks and videos; these will push my boundaries, help me to grow, and allow me to meet my goal of helping you to grow your business.