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3 Strategies to Finish Your Day Strong

Ever notice that you remember best the parting words of a conversation? The last sentence your spouse says in the morning as you walk out the door. The concluding words of the team meeting.

A song that sticks in your head is most likely the last one you heard on your commute.

The identical principle applies to your work day. The concluding actions of yesterday ring loudly as you greet tomorrow-becoming-today.

Here are three strategies for you to finish your day strong so you prepare for a productive tomorrow:

Complete a Task

Interruptions are a given, an expected, regular occurrence. You grab the hose and put out fires daily.

The byproduct of these chronic productivity hiccups is incompleteness. You struggle to complete a task and that’s an emotional drain.

Find a task, even a small one, to complete before you leave for home. Arrange your desk. File papers or documents. Make tomorrow’s to-do list. Anything.

Completing one task at the end of your day creates a positive sense of satisfaction that greets you the next morning. It’s refreshing to walk in and re-experience yesterday’s success. It launches your confidence for completion in a new day.

Commit to fun with family and friends

You read a lot about work/life balance which looks great from 50,000 feet. Yet from where your feet hit the ground, it’s a tough act to balance.

Do this one thing: commit to fun with your family and friends. Define fun with them. Playing “Pretty, Pretty Princess” with your daughter. Tossing football with your son. A romantic meal you cook at home for your honey. Shooting hoops with the guys. A spa trip with the sisterhood. It’s all fun!

Commit to fun. Schedule it. Budget it. Do it.

Increase your productivity with it.

Cut off the TV

If you go to sleep immediately following the evening news or an episode of The Walking Dead, guess what your subconscious works on overnight? Fixing the national deficit. Catching a murderer. Running from zombies.

Instead, cut the TV off at least 10 minutes before you go to sleep. Write in your Work Positive Gratitude Diary. Give your mind something positive to process overnight. Wake up more refreshed.

Finish your day strong and create a better tomorrow. Do more in an hour than most business professionals do in a month so you can leave the office earlier to do what you love with those you love as you Work Positive in a negative world.

About the Author

Dr. Joey Faucette is the #1 Amazon best-selling author of Work Positive in a Negative World (Entrepreneur Press), coach, and speaker who helps business professionals increase sales with greater productivity so they get out of the office earlier. Discover more at www.ListentoLife.org.



 
  


4 Steps to Handle the Emotion You Don’t Want

At 4.30am when I woke up with pre-performance nerves, it seemed like a good idea.

To start by telling a personal story about my son. A story I’ve told a million times. An easy story to tell. ??What unfolded was not quite what I had expected. When the moment came and I was mid-telling of this little introductory story, I felt so emotional. It was difficult to get through it.

It’s like the confrontational conversation with my boss.

I remember she called me in to her office to tell me that she was worried about my performance. My direct reports were a little too friendly and not getting all their projects finished. It was my fault, she said, I was not on the ball.

It sounds like I conversation I could handle well, but I was paralyzed by the criticism and the emotions I felt as she spoke. I wanted to run away and I felt like crying.

As I prepared for this conversation, I knew exactly what to say. When I thought about it afterwards, there were a million things I should have said.

In the moment, in both situations, the telling out of a story can be more challenging than we anticipate.

And often we don’t plan for the emotional reaction, though it is our natural response, it surprises us every time!

Here are some tips in handling that emotional story in a more empowered way:

  1. Plan to feel emotional – think about what emotion the situation could and does bring up for us. Work out what that means and why the story may be a trigger for other issues. Once you’ve anticipated the emotional fall-out, it’s effect may be lessened.
  2. Don’t fight it – your feelings about any situation are just that – you’re feelings, it’s okay, you don’t have to change them, you don’t have to be different. It is not a weakness, it’s actually a strength! Thank your emotional response for keeping you human and reminding you what is important in your life.
  3. Use the emotion – no, I don’t mean as manipulation, I mean as a way to access what you need to do to heal the situation. Listen to the lessons that the emotional response bring and take action.
  4. Don’t try to suppress or control your reaction – it’s a bad strategy to try and hold back your feelings, simply because it doesn’t work! What you try to ignore will grow and then become overwhelming. Instead, envision yourself as a space that can expand to contain the emotion. With that expansion you can express the emotion in a gentle and manageable way. If it’s held tight and contained, it will ultimately EXPLODE (and that can cause much more damage!).

You know, as the youngest child in my family, I was always teased for being so emotional. To this day my siblings laugh at how easy I cry. I’m talking ‘Little House on the Prairie’ crying and of course every movie you can imagine!

It’s only as an adult, a storyteller and a story coach that I understand the power of my emotions and my sensitivity. It’s not always an easy path to be this emotional, but it’s a rich one.

Lisa Bloom

About Our GE Network Expert - Lisa Bloom

Lisa Bloom is a highly professional and accomplished Storyteller, Professional Certified Coach (ICF) and Training & Development Expert with more than 20 years experience working in public and private sectors, high-tech and financial services environments. Lisa helps entrepreneurs de-stress the marketing, build their business with confidence by finding their success story at http://story-coach.com.


video-marketing

Article Contributed by Kate Wilson

Today, it’s cheap and accessible to film something and throw it on the web, with a chance it will become viral and be viewed by millions. The benefits of a business creating and uploading such a video are obvious; a popular video online can drive thousands of new customers to a business, as well as maintain the interest of current customers.

Of course, a video can only go viral if it’s entertaining in some way, whether it’s side-splittingly funny or extremely informative. Typically, viral videos either teach viewers something interesting in an engaging way or they make them laugh. Since most businesses aren’t in the comedic realm, businesses can most prudently expect growth out of videos that inform in some way.

Here are methods you can use to help your business grow with video.

  1. Customer Testimonials

Consumer confidence is a big part of driving sales. If consumers have no confidence or are somewhat wary of doing business with you, then it’s not realistic to expect growth. Customer testimonials will convince consumers someone just like them is so passionate about your business that they agreed to talk about it. These videos usually range from 15 seconds to a minute and are typically inserted into commercials or used as a standalone on YouTube or in social media marketing. Here’s an example of a customer testimonial for Verizon Fios.

  1. Video Case Study

Customer testimonials are useful, but some will still be wary of them, since they’ll be assuming that the customers are actually actors being paid to spew compliments. Even if that’s not the case, it’s tough convincing them otherwise.

Something more objective and inarguable is a video case study, which shows through objective data the benefits of your product or service. Often video case studies feature a narrator and a customer voice visually demonstrating the “problem, solution, benefit” order of events found in traditional case studies. Here’s a video case study for Nike’s Considered Design initiative to learn from.

  1. Product Demonstrations

Showcasing your products via video, like CJ Pony Parts does here with its sound clips and installation guides for 2015 Mustang exhaust parts, has a number of benefits.

First, it provides interested consumers with a chance to see their product in action from the convenience of home. Also, it can bring in new customers who stumble across the video by searching for the product or service name via YouTube or Google. Since they’re searching for it in the first place, there’s a decent chance they may end up a customer if the video is informative.

  1. Corporate Overview

A corporate overview can serve as a very informative piece of content that can help a variety of people, from interested investors to potential future employees. It can provide either of them a better understanding of the business by teaching about company history, key products and figures and other data that paints a favorable picture of wanting to do business in some capacity. Here Thomson Reuters offers an example of a polished corporate overview video.

  1. Troubleshooting Videos

It’s easy to find troubleshooting videos that have hundreds of thousands or even millions of plays on YouTube. This is because when people need an answer to a question or want to learn some sort of process step-by-step in today’s day and age, they consult a search engine or YouTube.

By publishing videos that somehow answer a question or provide a helpful step-by-step overview of a process relevant to your business, you have the potential to bring in new customers, who will be impressed and confident in your knowledge and abilities in that particular field, consequently resulting in consumer confidence in your business. Here’s an example of Car and Driver Magazine utilizing a troubleshooting video to increase visibility for their brand.

Videos like the types above can result in enormous growth for any business type. There are few modern strategies that raise awareness of a business as quickly and effective as creating a successful video for your brand.


02Mar

How To Host A Successful Webinar

Posted by Marcel Sim in How-To Guides

Webinars1

Image Credit

Webinars are becoming more and more popular as business owners are beginning to realize the power they have with regard to client retention and acquisition. As a matter of fact, online presentations have proven to be so effective that even the United States Government uses them. A well-prepared webinar can not only cause new customers to want to purchase products and services, but cause existing customers to want to upgrade the products or services they’re already paying for. With that said, today we’re going to discuss things that you can do to ensure that any webinar you host proves to be a success.

Chose a Quality Webinar Hosting Service

When searching for a webinar hosting service, you’ll quickly realize that there are thousands of options to choose from. However, only a handfull are highly trusted by the business community around the globe. As an example, ClickWebinar stands out in the sense that it offers a variety of features such as webinar recorder or live language translation. Another alternative which is trending recently is Google Hangouts On Air which is free and has a Google + integration. The bottom line is that the last thing that you want is to have technical issues during a live webinar that’s streaming to hundreds or even thousands of potential and current customers. So researching and choosing a provider that’s known for quality visuals, sound, and constant up-time is well worth the effort.

Speak With a Purpose

In most cases, the ultimate goal behind a webinar is to sell a product or service. With that said, your audience is not only listening to what you have to say, they’re listening to how you say what you have to say. Studies show that consumers are more likely to buy products from sales people that seem to be more confident in conversation. Therefore, by portraying confidence through how you speak, you can increase the ultimate conversion rate of your online presentation! Here are a few tips to keep in mind when speaking to a crowd…

  • Don’t Be Afraid To Be Loud – You know the old saying, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. Well, that saying is true in more than just problem solving. People who are louder when demonstrating the power of a product or service tend to exude confidence in everything they do. So, if you’re soft spoken, it may be a good idea to practice speaking louder than you normally would an hour or two before your webinar starts.
  • Speak Slowly And Clearly – When hosting a seminar online, you have to imagine that your audience will be all around the world. In each demographic, consumers are used to a different dialect. So, to ensure that everyone joining you can easily digest everything you have to say, make a conscious effort to speak slowly and clearly. This involves avoiding the use of slang.
  • Don’t Get Stuck On A Stumble – Studies show that the average webinar lasts about 45 minutes. In that amount of time in a live meeting, you may stumble on your words. However, it’s important to move back into the conversation quickly. Believe it or not, most people may not even notice the fumble if your recovery is quick enough.

Planning Is Important

No matter what we do in life, planning tends to be the key to ensuring that what we’re doing goes smoothly. When planning your webinar, it’s best to make what I like to call a 15 minute plan. With the average webinar lasting 45 minutes, this plan gives you the ability to set up a beginning, middle, and end. When doing so, keep these tips in mind…

  • The Beginning Is The Hook – The vast majority of your audience will either become enamored with what you have to say or lose interest within 15 minutes. So, when planning the beginning of your presentation, make sure to do something that will hook your audience. This part of the presentation should be high impact, hard facts, and high energy!
  • The Important Information Comes In The Middle – In the middle of your presentation, you want to go over the technical side of your message. Answer the basic who, what, when, where, and why questions revolving around your topic. Essentially, the middle 15 minutes of your presentation will be the “meat”.
  • End With The Sale – When closing your webinar, you want to move back into high energy, high impact mode. It’s time to get your audience excited again because if you don’t, as soon as the webinar is over, they’ll never think of you again. So, find an exciting way to close your presentation that will make consumers want to buy into what you have to offer!

Final Thoughts

Client acquisition and retention are the most important aspects of any company. After all, without clients, companies have nothing. While there are several ways to go about acquiring clients, recently, webinars are proving to be more and more successful at the task. By using the tips above, you can ensure that your next webinar is a big hit.


cash-flow-statement-156

Some strategies can help entrepreneurs accurately plan and predict their business growth and spending, while also compensating for unknown factors and mistakes.

One powerful strategy is cash forecasting. According to a definition in an Oracle article entitled About Cash Forecasting, “Cash forecasting is a planning tool that helps you anticipate the flow of cash in and out of your business, allowing you to project your cash needs and evaluate your company’s liquidity position.”

Suitable for Business of All Sizes

Cash forecasting is a tool that can be used effectively by an entrepreneur or a corporate treasurer. The size of the business does not matter when trying to anticipate the business level you hope to achieve from one month to the next.

An Art and Science

Cash forecasting is the art and science of building a cash plan to manage your work, your team, your assets, and your resources by taking into account past results, current circumstances, and future probabilities. Cash forecasting is both an art and a science, because it takes ingenuity to expect the unexpected, but also the statistical expertise to combine past performance data and current information to get a good handle on probabilities.

Important vs. Urgent

Another benefit of cash forecasting is that it allows you more time to do what’s important rather than only focus on what’s urgent. You can plan ahead instead of reacting to daily events.

3 Core Ideas

Here are 3 core ideas to begin cash forecasting:

1. Determine the basis for your forecasts.

To clarify your assumptions, you have to figure out the average number of customers gained and lost throughout the year. You also have to work out the average number of sales per customer. Also, determine the cost of your customer acquisition. Notice if certain months are more profitable than others. In retail, for example, customers increase before big holidays and decrease after them as a natural part of the seasonal cycle.

2. Make some reasonable assumptions.

Sometimes, it’s possible to anticipate buying cycles which will help you determine inventory costs and revenue generation. To figure this out, you have to look at industry trends, your financial resources, possible sales barriers, and your current line of products. For instance, if you’re in the mobile phones business, you could take advantage of the current popularity for wellness devices. Taking action on this industry trend, might involve spending your money on improving your line of products by adding fitness trackers. One possible sales barrier might be that people may be reluctant to spend money on something they don’t understand. Consequently, your best strategy is not only to add fitness trackers to your inventory but also to spend money to educate your sales team on why fitness trackers are beneficial for someone looking to get back in shape. Moreover, it’s reasonable to anticipate that these devices will probably sell well at the end of the year when people are making New Year’s resolutions; so, it may be best to stock up then. When making your reasonable assumptions, do market research to put some numbers on your forecasts, as well as outline a list of reasons for making your forecasts. This will help you next year when you are reviewing what forecasts worked out for you.

3. Avoid cognitive biases.

When forecasting, it’s easy enough to have blind spots known as cognitive biases. For instance, accountants have a cognitive bias toward pessimism while salespeople have one for overoptimism. It’s just an aspect of their natures and profession. The way to spot cognitive biases and avoid the pitfalls of unrealistic financial projections is through retrospection. Instead of trying to figure out the levels of sales you need to make for your business to be viable, look at what did last year. This retrospection will allow you to identify what worked and pinpoint what did not work. You will know when to play defense and when to play offense.

Why Link Cash Forecasting with Sales Forecasting?

Think of cash forecasting as collecting data and sales forecasting as applying the data to promote business growth. You can’t do one without the other. Cash forecasting and sales forecasting work like team players. Cash data will give you an idea of some reasonable cash management objectives while sales data will give you a clear goal in mind so that you can start to create steps to move your business plan forward. A holistic plan of action for an entrepreneur is understanding both your operating costs and what progressive steps you need to take to achieve your revenue goal? A caveat: although both cash forecasting and sales forecasting work when applied, we all tend to put off things we don’t like doing, and both types of forecasting are often get thrown into a “do it late” file folder.



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