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Meditation for a Better Business and a Happier You

by Bria Leave a comment

In addition to a regular yoga practice, another way to center yourself, think clearer, and enjoy more energy, is through meditation.  Meditation is essentially quieting your mind, to the best of your ability, and focusing on your breath.  As thoughts come, the goal is to let them pass on by and shift your focus back to your breath.  It’s about taking a break from outward activity, cultivating stillness, and staying rooted in the present moment.  Some people prefer to meditate on a mantra, words of meaning, and some just focus on their breath. 

Dr. Andrew Weil, a world-renowned expert, says that even 10-15 minutes a day of meditation has a phenomenal impact on your ability to stay calm and centered. 

Whatever you choose, yoga, meditation, or some combination, make time for mindfulness and a connection to deeper wisdom.  You will become calmer.  You will become closer to your higher power.  You will quiet your soul and be able to hear its insight.  You become more at peace with yourself and the world around you.  Guidance appears.  Wisdom deepens.  You are able to see the truth.  As you can see, the benefits for your life and your business are enormous. 

Entrepreneurs- Remember to Track Your Results

by Bria Leave a comment

For optimal results, track how well your business is delivering an experience at each step. 

Once the customer care and daily operation systems are in place, you or a team member needs to monitor them.  Are you and your team consistently doing what you’ve set out to do with your systems?  Unfortunately, if systems aren’t monitored, they often fall back to human variability and the consistency is lost.  Once you’ve lost consistency, you’ve lost your key to bringing customers back again and again. 

The thing is- to keep customers coming back for more- certain things must happen in a certain way every time for people to feel like they are getting the best possible experience and for them to trust that they will get that same optimal experience the next time.  Your attention needs to be focused on creating and monitoring the systems to produce that outcome. 

Entrepreneurs – 5 Keys to An Exit Strategy That Works

by Bria Leave a comment

Whether you want to pass on your business to a family member, sell it to an individual, or sell it to another company- keep these 5 strategies in mind as you grow your business:

Key #1- Create Your Operations Manual.  Develop your  Operation Manual that describes all the processes and systems in your business.  Think about new potential customer systems, client care systems, daily operations, and team communication- to name a few.  With an Operations Manual in place, you are able to run a much more efficient, effective business and it is much easier for a future buyer to replicate and improve upon your company if you have an up-to-date Operations Manual.  It is often the difference between a chaotic, unorganized business and one that runs like a well-oiled machine.

Key #2 – Document increased profits each year.  If you don’t have a book-keeper who documents your income, expenses, and profits, hire one.  If your profits are minimal, work with a business coach to determine what needs to change.  A better team? Improved low-cost marketing strategies? Better systems? More incentive-based pay for your team?  Creative ways to lower your expenses? And so on. 

Key #3 – Maintain a happy, highly productive team.  Even if your entire team is one assistant, s/he needs to be very good at what she does and enjoy doing it.   Be sure to give a clear description of your expectations for each employee/contractor.  If a team member is not doing an excellent job, work to help them improve and fire them if they don’t.  You can’t afford the multiple negative effects of a dysfunctional or unproductive team.  And your business will be much more attractive to a prospective buyer when it is supported with an awesome team.

Key #4 – Be prepared to demonstrate growth potential.  Prospective buyers want to know that your business has excellent potential for growth.  Does your business have “horizontal scalability”- the ability to sell more products or services to your existing customer base?  Does it have “vertical scalability”?  Can you add a lot more customers without adding much to your costs?  How is its “geographic scalability”? Can it work in another location or a different city?  Think through the various measures and ways that you can increase the scalability of your business.

Key #5 – Don’t wait until after the sale to live life on your own terms!  Are you exhausting yourself with your work? You are not alone.  It’s the #1 complaint I hear from entrepreneurs.  Thinking of the good life after your business ends?  Stop that!  Ditch the archaic belief that long hours creates a better business.  Efficiency and productivity is what creates a better business.  With the right focus,  effective systems, and an excellent team, you can enjoy a profitable, efficient business without the long hours. 

And let’s face it…life is short.  The relationships you care about are the one you have now and the memories you will have later are the memories you make now.  So don’t put it off any longer, develop the efficiency you need in your business to enjoy the life you want now!

3 Keys to Keep Your Customers Coming Back for More

by Bria Leave a comment

Want to know one of the easiest ways to grow your business?  

Consistently create a memorable experience so your ideal customers will come back to you again and again and they will refer other ideal customers to you.  Whatever you are offering, people are paying for an experience. It’s your job to make it the best experience possible.   Follow these 3 steps to make that happen: 

Step #1- Make No Assumptions.  Don’t assume that you know what your customers want.  Ask them!  You can use surveymonkey.com, at no charge, to survey your customers about what they have liked about your business and what they think could be improved.  Ask every customer who buys from you the same questions. Clients and customers are generally more than happy to tell you the truth about their experience with you once they know you care. 

Step #2- Create a System of Customer Care that is Unparalleled in Your Industry.  From the time a customer calls you or finds you on the internet or walks into your store, to the time they buy from you, their experience needs to be awesome.  From what you’ve learned from your customers/clients, create a step-by-step plan to make sure every level of their interaction with your business is the best it can be.  What extra perks or warm experiences can you add along the way?  It’s critical that every customer touch point, from the very beginning to the end of a transaction, is phenomenal.   The ONLY way to do that is to carefully systematize your customer care. 

Consider one of my clients who own a wine store.  The basic sales flow for a wine shop is as follows: 

  1. Customer walks in the store. 
  2. Customer looks around for wines that look interesting.  Team member approaches and asks if s/he can help. 
  3. Customer may have some questions about the wines which are cheerfully answered by the team member. Customer is told about the wine tasting in the back of the store. 
  4. Customer chooses wines s/he wants to buy and purchases them.  Customer is asked if s/he wants wine notes printed. 
  5. Team member puts wine into a bag and offers to carry to the car. 

 

Excellent customer service needs to occur at each step so the overall experience is optimal. 

It doesn’t matter if you sell products or services; the outcome you want is the same- a top-notch customer experience, at every step, every single time.  Look at your steps from your customer’s eyes.  How can you make them better? 

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