Tag Archives | business

Business success: the one simple secret

Business success is determined by one key concept. When you understand and use it, you will be able to face and overcome challenges and continually improve, in both your business and personal life. This simple concept is called above and below the line.

business success, life success, above the line

 

Picture an imaginary horizontal line. Above the line is a way of living in which you take ownership, accountability and responsibility for everything in your life. In business this may be the amount of money in your bank account, the type of clients you are working with, or the quality of your relationships. Up here you’ll find solutions and results. You’ll have the mentality of a successful victor over your circumstances.

Living below the line is using blame, excuses and denial to avoid responsibility for improving your life. Here you play the victim, come up with reasons you don’t have what you want, and focus on problems.

Playing above the line is a decision

It’s human nature to go below the line daily. Science shows that we have a negativity bias – an inbuilt protection mechanism to look for threats and weaknesses over opportunities, to ensure our survival. The challenge arises when we live below the line on a regular or permanent basis.

There are many things we can’t control in life. To live above the line, we must focus only on what we can control and influence. We can’t control Australia’s economy, but we can choose our financial decisions on a daily basis. We can’t determine which political party will get into office, but we can have our say by voting and contributing positively to politicial discussion.

No matter what life throws at us, we can always choose our thoughts, attitudes and behaviour. It’s important that we don’t ignore problems and challenges, as they don’t usually go away on their own. Dealing with them when they first appear is key.

It’s also vital to deal with stress by venting when needed. If we find it hard to be above the line in our office, we give each other a 3-minute time limit.  We have fun and blame everyone, make every possible excuse, and deny any responsibility for our situation!  Then we ask, “now what’s the outcome we want, and what are we going to do to get it?”.

 

 

(Thanks to Justin Maybury, team member of a great business we work with, for creating this image of his progress one day trying to stay above the line. We call it “One foot over!”)

How do you live above the line to ensure business success?

When things are not how you want them to be, focus on the solution, not the problem.

Instead of complaining that there’s not enough money to pay the BAS, ask “how do I find the money to pay what’s due, then ensure there is enough in time for each future instalment?”

Rather than blaming the economy or your competitors for a lack of leads, ask “who are the clients I want, and where can I find them? What can I offer that’s valuable to them?”

Replace “why is this employee continually needing supervision?” with “how can I be a better manager?”

Success guru Tony Robbins says the quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask. When you make a mistake, don’t ask “why does this always happen to me?” but “how can I ensure I get the result I want next time?”

We all have challenges in life. Leadership and personal development expert Brian Tracy describes business as: Problem – problem – problem – problem – CRISIS! Imagine business challenges as waves on the ocean (which means every seventh one is likely to be a dumper…). You can choose to get out of the water, or learn to surf.

The secret to life and business success is to focus on solutions rather than problems.

Are you living above the line?

If you’d like to achieve greater success in your business, whether it be more money, a stronger team, or greater freedom – contact Yellow Coaching to see if you’re eligible for a complimentary 90 minute consultation on your business. We work with businesses and organisations throughout Australia. We look forward to hearing from you.

Time Management: Get More Done in Less Time

Is time management important in your role?

Are you too busy in your work and personal life?

Do you put out fires all day and never get to your to-do list? 

Are you bombarded by emails, phone calls and interruptions that stop you focusing on what’s most important? 

If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Business owners, executives, managers, supervisors and staff are all feeling the pressure, not only at work but in their personal lives. While everyone is busy, they are wondering why that doesn’t translate into achieving the things that are most important to them. Health, business growth, and relationships are suffering. The following time management tips will help you get back on track.

Time Management Tips

To help them get structure into their work and personal lives, we teach our clients and their staff a time management concept devised by the 34th President of the United States. It’s called The Eisenhower Matrix. Here’s our interpretation:

time management

When you learn to recognise which of your tasks fit into each category, you can spend the appropriate amount of time on each.

Do Now: Urgent and important tasks

These tasks are the key parts of your day-to-day role. They are the main tasks listed in your job description, and what makes the business ‘tick’. This is the technical part of your job, such as a barista making coffee for customers, or a welder welding machinery parts. This is the zone of demand, as these tasks are responding to the needs of your customers and providing the product or service of your business.

Delegate: Urgent but not important tasks

Urgent but not important tasks are those you feel you have to do right away, but which are actually not important to the growth and mastery of your business. If you often find yourself overwhelmed as you switch from taking phone calls, responding to emails, handling interruptions from staff and meeting with unexpected visitors to your office, you’ll know what we mean! We call this the zone of delusion.

If you have people working for you, delegate some tasks to them. A team member could screen your calls and make appointments for you (rather than allowing drop-ins). You could also delegate tasks to a system or device – allow your calls to go to voicemail; turn off email notifications and check emails only twice a day; have interruption-free blocks of time in your diary; and use an automated CRM to facilitate some regular communication.

Delete: Not important and not urgent tasks

Not important and not urgent tasks are diversions to avoid at all costs. We call this the zone of distraction. Examples include talking at length to colleagues about non-work-related matters; taking long breaks, or internet shopping and Facebook use during work hours. Implement a social media/phone/internet use policy for staff, as hours can be wasted in this quadrant if left unchecked! If you find yourself procrastinating and slowing down at a certain time each day (eg. the 3pm slump), schedule 10 minutes to get out in the sunshine, take a quick walk, or do whatever will help you get back in the zone.

Decide when to do: Not urgent but important tasks

Important but not urgent tasks are those which help you and the business grow and develop. To build a high-performing business you must identify and prioritise these. Schedule these tasks or they will be postponed to accommodate more urgent things, leading to mistakes and delays.

When the barista orders stock and services the coffee machine, or the welder ensures his tools are cleaned and maintained regularly, they are in this zone. For business leaders, communicating with the team and clients, and making time for business development are not urgent but important tasks. In your personal life it may be taking time to nurture your personal relationships, or making time for exercise. We call this preparing rather than repairing as time spent here up front will save time down the track. This quadrant is simply called The Zone. Schedule time in your calendar to ensure these important tasks are done on a regular basis.

Priority management is just one of the ways Yellow Coaching helps business leaders and their teams achieve success. To find out more, get in touch. 

“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The 3 Pillars of Business Growth

No matter how well your business did last year (and we hope it was a brilliant year for you), there are 3 fundamental things you need for continued business growth and mastery.

The new year is the perfect time to reassess where you are now, and where you want to be when Christmas rolls around again – and trust us, this will seem sooner rather than later!

Over the last 15 years we’ve helped business owners and teams achieve everything they want. We focus on the 3 things that are essential for continual business growth and mastery. We call these the three pillars of business success. Here’s more about them, and how to get them to support you and your business in 2018…

business growth, business success, business advice, business mastery,

1  Mindset

If there’s one thing we’re sure of, it’s that successful people have positive mindsets. They look for solutions rather than problems, and focus on the end goal rather than obstacles. Knowing that challenges will continually appear, they face them directly and quickly to ensure they get back on track with minimal detour.

As Brian Tracy says in his talk The Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires (get it here on audible.com), problems in business are like waves on the ocean that come in sets, with one towering above the others: “Problem, problem, problem, problem, CRISIS!” Successful people understand that as they learn to deal with challenges they grow as business leaders.

Successful business leaders learn the skill of goal-setting. They challenge themselves constantly by pushing outside their comfort zones. Familiar with perturbation – that uncomfortable feeling of tension when you’re moving past your previous limits – they have learned to think big and dream bigger.

They acknowledge that they can’t do it all on their own. Their support team includes a proactive accountant, responsive business banker, trusted legal advisor, and qualified and experienced business coach to help them reach their goals.

 

Business growth, business goals, business success

2  Knowledge and Education

Successful business leaders know what they don’t know. They commit to continually improving their knowledge, and rely on experts to assist them to achieve business growth. Instead of stretching themselves too thin by trying to be the best at everything, they work with their skills and talents. They focus on their core strengths, while learning what it takes to achieve business growth and mastery.

Clear on the difference between being the technician and the business owner (as defined in Micheal Gerber’s classic business book The E-Myth Revisited), they are free enough from daily business operations to work on business growth. Rather than learning from their own mistakes, they use a business advisor or mentor to fast-track their success. They learn and grow from the mistakes and success of others.

3  Accountability

Taking responsibility and being accountable for your own business success is critical for business growth. When you accept that your past, current situation and future are all a result of your own actions, your can truly make improvements. Yes, the unexpected will happen. Challenges will occur (refer to point number one above). But with resilience, grit, and taking charge of your own destiny, you will hold the keys to everything you want.

Masters of business growth rely on a business coach to keep them accountable to their goals. Just like a sports coach, a business coach will push you to work harder than you would on your own, and ensure you’re operating in top form to reach your desired results.

 

Business Growth, Business goals, business success, business mastery

The Next Steps For Your Business Growth

Have you achieved a certain level of business success but are ready for more?

Are you not only interested, but committed to business growth and mastery?

Are you are ready to take the action needed to get the results you want from your business?

Yellow Coaching will help.

Discover if you’re eligible for a free 90 minute consultation to discuss the future of your business.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Difficult Customers: How to deal with them effectively

Dealing with difficult customers is a common part of most businesses.

You’ve no doubt heard the adage The Customer Is Always Right. But if you’ve ever dealt with a difficult customer, you’ll know for a fact that’s not true!

Difficult customers are often simply disappointed because their expectations haven’t been met. If they complain and don’t feel heard, they can become angry, disrespectful, or even continue to argue their point when they’re clearly in the wrong!

So how do you deal with a difficult customer while maintaining your professionalism?

Difficult Customer, Customer Service, Small Business

Apologise

The first thing to do for difficult customers is to apologise to them. You don’t necessarily need to take responsibility for what’s been done or not done, but you can apologise that they feel the way they do.

Difficult customers are usually feeling frustrated because they didn’t get the product or service they expected. So here’s something you can always say:

“I apologise that your expectations haven’t been met.”

This applies whether or not your customer’s expecations are fair or downright ludicrous!

Your customer may have realistic expecations, for example that their coffee is hot, that their goods will be delivered intact, or that their tradesman will turn up on time. If you establish that their expectations were reasonable and should have been met, offer to fix things straight away. For example:

“Do you have time to wait while I make you a fresh hot coffee? I’ll throw in a pastry of your choice to make it up to you.”

In this instance all your customer wants is fair exchange for the product or service they purchased.

Be Effective Rather Than Right

If your customer’s expectations aren’t reasonable, it’s important to be effective rather than right.

Just say you’d arranged your tradesman to be at your customer’s premises between 10am and 12pm. The tradesman turned up at 11am, but your customer has called to complain that they were an hour late.

You remember your discussion with the customer that the tradesman would arrive sometime in that two hour window. Clearly you are in the right, but arguing with your customer will not help at all. In this instance you could say:

“I apologise that you were expecting the tradesman at 10am. I take full responsibility for our miscommunication about his arrival time. Has the work been completed to your satisfaction?”

Apologising for the miscommunication might seem unfair, as you remember what you said. But true communication isn’t what you say, it’s what’s been understood. You may be tempted to remind them of your conversation about the arrival time window, or that it clearly states on your website that job start times can’t be guaranteed. All this will do is frustrate your customer further!

Make them feel valued

What your customer really wants is to feel valued and important. If you can choose to be effective rather than right you can win the customer over rather than driving them away.

Please note that you don’t always need to offer compensation when your customer is dissatisfied. If it’s easy to do, go ahead – such as the free pastry, or free coffee next visit. If the customer demands unrealistic compensation you may need to see what your legal obligations are before discussing it with them. You could say:

“I agree that you deserve to receive quality products and service. Please allow me to look into this matter further. May I call you back at 5pm to discuss a solution?”

(And for goodness sake, make sure you call back at the time you agreed, even if you don’t have a solution yet! If you don’t you’ll be adding fuel to the fire).

What to do if your difficult customers complain online …

If you read online reviews, the sub-text behind every customer complaint is clear: “I just didn’t feel valued”. Whether the complaint is about phone calls not being returned, having to wait for service, or problems not being well-handled, the customer didn’t feel that their issue was resolved.

Often they feel upset enough to take their complaint to a larger online audience in the hope of receiving some empathy. Getting sympathy from friends and even complete strangers over the web justifies their frustration and makes them feel that someone cares about them and their experience.

If you need to respond to a negative online review, refer to our guide to dealing with customer complaints here.

When you give your customer the understanding and care they need at the initial moment of frustration, this escalation can be avoided.

If you’d like to improve customer service in your business, talk to us about our business coaching services and customer service training.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Do you still want a dream team of employees in your business?

Do you want a team of high-performing employees in your business? 

Have you got some star players, but a few stragglers bringing the team down? 

Do you want to stop “oiling the squeaky wheel” so you can spend time developing your key staff?

When you started out in business you dreamed of having a team of passionate people working with you to build the best business in your field. If you’re like most business leaders, sadly after a few years you’ve found the reality falls short of what you’d hoped for.

Some business owners resign themselves to the notion that having a great team just isn’t possible.

Better employees, better business

But we believe having a great team isn’t only possible, but a certainty when you implement the right systems and manage your team in an effective way.

The team you’ve got today is a result of the standards you’ve set until now. Are you ready to stop settling for second-rate performance from your staff?

To get a different outcome you’ll need to do different things. Are you ready to do what it takes to get your team to either step up or step out?

Follow our tips below to get them moving in the right direction …

Leadership, employees

How to create a high-performing team …

The first step is to ensure each team member knows what great performance looks like. You can ensure this by providing them with the following:

1. Team Culture Statement

Every team has a culture, whether it’s defined or not. Unfortunately sometimes it’s a toxic one! The behaviour you’ve settled for means that the original standards of performance you set may have slipped. As new employees join your business, they follow the ‘norm’ of how everyone else is behaving rather than performing at the level you’d like.

It’s important that you create a culture statement in your business that outlines expected behaviour. We call this the Rules of the Game.

Our culture statement includes our non-negotiable values, including excellence and fun. Each team meeting we assess how we’ve lived up to those standards, and how we’ve observed it in each other.

A culture statement isn’t merely a laminated piece of paper on your office wall, or a statement on your website! It must be the ingrained way of ‘how we do things around here’.

2. Position Descriptions

As your business has grown, you may not have taken the time to record what each person’s position involves. Even if someone has been doing a role for years, it’s essential that their duties and main areas of responsibility are visible to them and their team-mates. This avoids the notion that ‘someone should ….’ and lets everyone know who is responsible for what.

As well as a position description, an updated organisation chart should be provided to each employee so they can clearly see where their role fits within the business, and their reporting lines.

3. Key Performance Indicators

In addition to knowing the rules of the game, key responsibilities and where they fit in the organisation, it’s essential that employees know how and when how they will be assessed on their performance.

A document outlining key performance indicators for their role should be provided to each employee and reviewed at regular intervals.

KPIs should include not only the technical aspects of their role, but also categories such as customer service, admin and systems, WHS, and team membership.

Most business owners hire for skills but fire for behaviour. Have you ever employed a brilliant technician who despite their great technical skills was terrible at customer service, who your other team members didn’t like, or who rarely completed time sheets or followed systems?

Ensuring each team member knows the expectation of them in each of these categories means that you can manage them up or out based on any area of their performance.

Download our e-book “How To Get A Great Team Culture: Bringing Out The Best In Your Team” 

Leadership, teamwork, employees

 

Keeping standards high
How to ensure they stay on track

When you set guidelines for your team by providing a team culture statement, position descriptions and KPIs, you’ll find that your team members either rise to the challenge or deselect themselves.

It’s not unusual for a few changes to occur in your team when standards are raised and enforced.

This is a positive step forward, as now you can recruit new people who will perform from the outset according to your high standards and expectations.

To ensure continued excellence, you can then:

  • Maintain standards using regular communication
  • Give feedback to adjust or encourage performance
  • Coach your team members to improve their performance, and
  • Delegate effectively to grow your employees’ abilities.

Find out how by downloading our e-book: The 4 Essential Habits of Effective Managers.

 

Is It Time To Get The Employees You Deserve?
Yellow Coaching will help
Yellow Coaching assists established businesses and organisations of every size to improve their team culture, business efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability.

We do this through business coaching, executive mentoring, team training, and workshops for owners and staff at all levels within organisations.

We’ve helped hundreds of businesses improve their profitability, provide outstanding customer service, and get happier and more productive employees.

Want to take your business from good to great? Get in touch to see if you’re eligible for a free 90 minute consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Andrew Masi & Julianne Schwenke

Two Business Secrets You Need To Know

(one your competitors won’t tell you, and one everyone should be told!)

Do you sometimes feel that your competitors have a secret that’s allowing their business to do better than yours?

Do you look at other businesses and think they are smooth sailing, while yours is weathering rough seas?

If you’re like most business owners, at some stage you’ll be comparing yourself to your competitors and wondering what their secret is to getting ahead.

There are many secrets in today’s competitive world, and keeping your important information confidential is essential.

Details about your finances, marketing, and team concerns should be shared only with trusted professionals – such as your business coach, accountant and banker.

While privacy is important, this secrecy among business owners can lead to misconceptions. No-one wants their competition to know they have challenges, so you’ll usually hear business owners say “we’re flat out!” and keep up the facade that business is always great.

Without knowing what other businesses go through, you may think you are the only one struggling with team issues, tight cashflow, customer complaints, or a lack of leads.

You may fall for the psychological trap of ‘comparing and despairing’. Just like on social media, where it’s easy to contrast your own behind-the-scenes with others’ highlight reels, you can start to believe that everyone else’s business is doing better than yours.

As business coaches, we are in the privileged position of seeing the truth behind the outward image. We don’t work with broken businesses, but rather those that want to go from good to great. No matter how successful a business is, one thing is constant – challenges, frustrations, and worries are a part of every business.

As Brian Tracy says, problems are like waves on the ocean which just keep coming (with the inevitable dumpers mixed in) … problem, problem, problem, problem, CRISIS!

subway

So are you ready for the two secrets?

The secret other business owners don’t want you to know:

They all face challenges.

The secret everyone in business should be told:

Challenges are inevitable. To get ahead you need to tackle them early while they are still small, by growing your own ability to overcome them.

It’s not the business without challenges that comes out in front, but the business which overcomes its challenges the fastest.

So if business challenges are inevitable, how do you ensure that you deal with them effectively?

When faced with challenges in life and in business, you have three options.

  1. Turn around and run as fast as you can in the other direction

It may sound comical, but this is a common response to challenges. Some think that if they flee in the other direction, they can outrun any problem. Ever known someone to change their situation but end up facing similar problems down the track? Even when you run, some problems follow you wherever you go. As you haven’t learned to deal with them, you’ll be in the same position next time they appear.

  1. Stand still, ignore them, and hope they go away

Just like running away, this choice does nothing to defeat your challenges or grow your own ability to deal with them. In fact, ignoring your problems and hoping they go away often makes them grow larger. It’s almost as though they increase in size to demand your attention!

  1. Face them and tackle them head on

This is always the choice made by the most successful business leaders we know. When you choose to confront your challenges, you are forced to grow to overcome them. When you do this, instead of your problems growing, YOU grow. Next time you face a similar situation you’ll overcome it easily, and be ready to jump the next hurdle that appears.

Let’s see how choosing to ignore or face your challenges can result in very different outcomes.

Hoping it goes away …

A business owner meets with us to discuss his challenges. He started his business nearly three years ago, and it has now grown to a team of 7. His staff turnover has been high, and customer satisfaction is low.

He tells us that his staff members are the problem. After initial training, they stop following procedures and start doing things their own way. Their inconsistent service results in customer complaints, and loss of profits due to inefficiencies and wastage. One or two employees started out okay – but they’ve lost their motivation and just don’t try anymore. His newest team member in particular, Tom, is dragging the rest of the team down.

He tells us that he doesn’t know how to deal with this problem, that he just wants them to shape up, and that he’s angry and frustrated. He is reacting rather than responding to situations, and is losing his cool often at home and at work.

His comments include:

  • My staff never do what I ask them to do
  • I have to tell them again and again how to do things and they still don’t get it right
  • I always have stay back at work to fix their mistakes
  • The team doesn’t like Tom, and I don’t want Tom to stay, but it’s easier than having to replace him. I don’t have time to train anyone else – it’s coming up to our busiest season
  • I earned more money and had fewer headaches when I was working on my own.

He complains that he can’t believe the bad luck he’s had with employees. “You just can’t get good staff these days”, he says.

We explain a few things to help him. As he’s not giving the team direction and guidelines for performance, they are setting their own bar. When poor performance is ignored, it’s condoned. He needs to give Tom feedback and an opportunity to improve, or standards throughout the team will slide. We suggest that he learns some new communication and management skills and ways of dealing with business challenges.

Unfortunately he decides that he is too busy to make changes right now. Besides, he tells us, it’s the staff that’s the problem, not him!

Three months later we heard from him that Tom’s performance had deteriorated even further, and other team members got more and more frustrated at having to pick up Tom’s slack. They started leaving one by one. As the business became under-staffed, standards slipped further, and the business lost more customers and profits. The owner had since recruited a new team member, but he wasn’t happy with that person’s performance either.

By ignoring the problems, the problems had grown, but the business owner’s ability to deal with challenges hadn’t. As he was finding out, ignoring problems and hoping they go away doesn’t work.

Tackling it head-on …

In our second scenario, let’s imagine the same business owner comes to see us to discuss his challenges. Just like before, he tells us that he doesn’t know how to manage his staff. They are not following procedures, are losing motivation, and it’s impacting business results. In particular his newest employee Tom needs a lot of direction.

His outlook this time is one of finding a solution, rather than focusing on the problem. He tells us he doesn’t want his frustration to impact his enjoyment of work, the service he can provide his customers, his business profits, or his home life.

His comments include:

  • I need to learn how to communicate more effectively with my team so they do what I ask
  • I want to learn how to hold my employees accountable
  • I want advice on how to improve their skills and behaviour
  • I want a strong team throughout our busiest season
  • I want to grow my business and team, so the team can work without me there every day.

The business owner has clear goals for his business, and doesn’t have time for distractions. He knows he needs to deal with this problem before it grows.

He decides to learn some new management skills, knowing that to get a different result he needs to change his own actions. As he puts into practice what he’s learned, team morale improves. The team creates a company culture or ‘rules of the game’. The standards rise, and he finds the team members holding each other accountable to perform to their best.

He gives Tom feedback, support, and extra training, but unfortunately Tom’s performance doesn’t change. After receiving a written warning, Tom chooses to resign. The other employees are relieved that they no longer have to take up Tom’s slack.

This business owner has a new problem – he now has to replace Tom as they enter their busiest season. But now he has skills and experience in dealing with underperforming employees, and can focus on a solution and move forward. The team help recruit a new employee in line with their new company culture.

Instead of the problem growing, the owner’s skills, ability, and confidence to deal with team issues has grown.

Three months later this business has employed another two team members, and is looking forward to a year of record growth.

As this business owner found out, business is a journey of constant and never-ending improvement, and problems are often the push we need to grow.

Challenges are inevitable in business and in life. To be successful, we need to focus on what we can control, which is the way we deal with them. Having a solutions-focused approach and choosing to grow – rather than allowing our problems to grow –  is the secret.

3 Things You Need To Know About Business Success

Think of the successful business people you know. What makes them successful? Is it their wealth, management ability, respect they get from others, perseverance, determination, or character? People you perceive as successful have something you admire. Perhaps you see similar characteristics in yourself, aspire to have what they have, or want to be like them in some way.

Whatever it is you aspire to, if you want to be successful, there are 3 things you need to know about business success:

  1. Success means something different to everyone
  2. You need to know your values in order to achieve success
  3. Success is a result of the actions you take and choices you make each and every day.

pablo-22

What is success?

Each person has their own unique set of values and their own definition of success. For some people success means a happy and healthy family; for others it means financial independence; for some it’s quality relationships; and for others it’s about accomplishments.

Achieving what you want in areas you value essentially equates to what success means to you. 

Philosopher Dr John Demartini says to help work out your values, think about what you’d like written on your tombstone – known as your epitaph – a short statement summarising your life. It could be:

  • Loved life
  • Bloomed where he was planted
  • Never gave up
  • Made the best of everything
  • Dedicated her life to others

Interestingly, what you’d like written on your tombstone may not have anything to do with the ideas you have of what success means, such as wealth or health. But having the things you believe define your success, like money and health, allow you to live a life that’s meaningful to you and that’s in line with your values. Financial independence, for example, allows you to give to others when contribution is high on your values list. Health allows you to appreciate the beauty in everything when gratitude is one of your values.

How do you achieve success? 

You achieve success by living your life according to your own values.

Success is a by-product of the actions you take and the choices you make. When you know your values you can prioritise the many possible things that compete for your time. At each and every moment you can identify what is most important to you to do, and define and accept the cost of doing that (yes, there is a trade-off for every choice you make).

Want to train for a half marathon? You may need to go to bed early instead of staying up late watching tv, so you can be up at 5am to run before work.

Want to get a qualification? You may need to enrol in a course and reduce your work hours and income until it’s complete.

Want a more productive team? You might need to learn how to be a better manager. You could choose to read management books instead of novels, meet a mentor instead of a friend for coffee, and attend seminars instead of sporting events.

Those that say business success requires sacrifice usually follow it with a story of someone who achieved it at the expense of their family, friends, or health. Yes, we’ve seen this happen. And we agree that anything you want in life takes effort and involves some sacrifice. The simple fact that there are only 24 hours in each day means that you need to make choices about what’s important to you, and make time for it at the expense of other things you could do.

There’s never enough time to do everything, but when you know your values and stop doing things that aren’t important to you, you make time for things that are.

Does success mean having it all?

Many people believe that balance is the key to living a good life. The idea that you can have equal amounts of time for exercise, relaxation, family, business, spiritual pursuits, innovation, contribution, friends, and fun is wonderful – but not plausible!

At Yellow Coaching, we don’t believe in helping people find balance – but we do believe in helping them understand their values and be at peace with their choices. There is no right or wrong when it comes to values, just choices and consequences.

We ask our clients to list their hierarchy of values from options such as family, health, wealth, lifestyle, life partner, and contribution. We then ask them to assess if how they are currently spending their time is a reflection of those values.

An unfit business owner might list health as number 1, but has not exercised in the last 3 months. An executive may say her children are her main priority, but she doesn’t see them Monday to Friday as she’s at work early each day and home after they are in bed. There is no right or wrong, and no judgement from us! But we do ask them to decide what needs to change – their behaviour so it’s in line with their true values, or how they rank their values at this particular time of their life.

The unfit business owner might choose to prioritise exercise and commit to a program and a goal, or alternatively acknowledge that exercise is not that important to him right now, and he’s okay with the consequences of that.

The executive may choose to commit to a couple of nights a week being home earlier to put the kids to bed, or she could accept that work is her focus right now, and admit that she’s happy with the consequence of that decision.

Whatever they choose, if it’s line with their true values, it will lead them closer to their definition of success and a fulfilling life for them.

At Yellow Coaching, we work holistically with business owners and their teams, and executives and their team members, to find meaning in their work and achieve their goals, both personal and professional. Call us to find out how we can help you and your team.

Don’t roll the dice with your marketing!

As a business owner, are you spending time and money on advertising and marketing but seeing little result?

Are you advertising in the same publication month after month, wondering if anyone sees it?

Attending networking functions but not getting bookings or sales?

Distributing flyers but not hearing the phone ring?

 

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It’s time to ask yourself what marketing is really all about. Many people define it as ‘getting your name out there’, because people need to know about you to buy from you, right? While that’s definitely true, we believe marketing has a far more important purpose. Marketing is ultimately about getting money in your bank account.

A question we were often asked several years ago is “Should I renew my Yellow Pages advertisement? It’s a lot of money and I’m not sure whether it’s worth it.” These days it’s more like, “I’m spending $1,000 a month on SEO and I’m not sure if it’s working.” Our answer is always a simple question: “How much money have you spent, and how much money has it brought to your business?” Surprisingly, many business owners don’t know the answer.

If you don’t plan your marketing and measure its results, you may as well be rolling the dice. Sometimes it’ll pay off and sometimes it won’t, but why leave it to chance?

Marketing expenditure needs to be assessed against the results it gets. Here’s an example:

A service business spends one hour a week meeting with potential clients for free. This hour could otherwise be billed to an existing client at a rate of $250. One in two of these complimentary meetings results in business worth $1,000. That means for every $500 opportunity cost, $1,000 is gained.

As another example, the owner of a trade business spends two hours per week at a networking function, time which he could otherwise charge out at $300. From this activity, the business gets an average of one new enquiry each week, with a conversion rate of 50% (ie. from two enquiries, on average one person books a service). The average service is $1,000. That means for every $600 spent (two weeks of $300) he earns $1,000.

Now of course we understand that overheads need to be factored in, but this is a good place to start. When doing your calculations, also remember the potential long term business each client can bring (their initial $1,000 service may turn into returning purchases and referrals).

Of course, there are times when you want to try a new marketing tactic, and are not sure how effective it will be. It’s a good idea to start small and low-cost, measuring the success of the campaign as you go. Ensure you maintain a long-term focus (membership of a networking group may take some time to pay off, for instance) but have a date in mind to try a new tactic if you don’t see results. Occasionally you may make no money from your marketing investment, and the only benefit will be that you learned what doesn’t work for your business! For this reason, always ask yourself “am I willing to risk this money if it doesn’t work?”. If the answer is yes, by all means give it a go.

Want to find out the best marketing strategy for your business? We offer eligible businesses a complimentary 90 minute consultation to discuss their marketing needs. Call Julianne Schwenke on (02) 4933 6622 to see if you qualify.