This past weekend I conducted my last BYOB2011 Workshop in my national tour. I held the last one in Philadelphia, my hometown. The focus of the tour was on three things; How to Become Your Own Boss, How to Develop a Killer Marketing Plan and How to build a Social Media Brand. For the last year I have travelling the country teaching small business owners and would-be entrepreneurs the Emerson Planning System, How to align their marketing and sales activities and how to leverage social media to grow their businesses. I thought it would be helpful to highlight what I have been teaching. Here are 7 tips to finish the 2011 with a bang, and go into 2012 with a plan for success.
It’s Time to Update Your life plan. The cornerstone of the Emerson Planning System is to develop a life plan and a vision board. Your business goals and your personal goals must align or you could lose your business and your family. Once you have a life plan create a vision board. You can use the board as personal motivation to remind you why your work so hard. My life plan is taped on the wall near my computer monitor so that I have a daily reminder of my big picture goals.
BYOB also stands for Be Your Own Bank. Your ability to save has everything to do with your ability to start a business. The nature of business has changed and you will need to fund your own enterprise. The most you can borrow is a microloan for $25K, most people can life off that and launch a business, so the money needs to come from somewhere. I suggest you look in the right or left pocket.
90 percent of Success is Self-confidence. If you don’t believe in your business no one else will. Fake it until you make it! Look yourself in the mirror (like I do sometimes), and say Girl, you are doing IT!!! Most business problems are not so well hidden personal problems. Learn to compartmentalize your drama and stress and get your work done. You must stay focused.
Be an Agent of Convenience. Small businesses who are still getting big business in this economy are making it easy for their customers to say yes. They solve problems before the customers can say ouch. They understand industry trends. They use metrics heavily. They know the value they bring to the table. They can accept all forms of currency. They brainstorm with their clients for free because they care. What kind of agent are you?
Plan Sales in 30 day Increments. Your biggest concern should be how much money you need to make in the next 30 days. Once you breakdown your sales goals by month, you can easily breakdown how much you need to generate each week. Doing this, will help you get more aggressive about your sales process. You can also plan your marketing activities around lead generation.
Done is Good Enough. Your small business brand will evolve over time. Don’t be one of these people who have not released your new website or newsletter because you are still messing with your logo or layout. No one cares about your logo but you, and you can always revise it later. Just get it out there. Get feedback, and adjust your branded as needed. You are supposed to cringe at the original art work years later.
Harness The Power of Social Media. As a walking social media brand, trust me when I say that social media is the best thing that has happened to small business owners. You must Listen + Engage + Add Value + Promote Others in order to be an Influencer in social media. You must build trust and credibility in order for social media to really work for you. Use social media to speak directly to your target customer.
I am looking forward to teaching more entrepreneurs next year with the BYOB2012 National Tour. The schedule of cities I’ll be coming too in 2012 will be released in December. Stay Tuned. Special Thanks for Corpnet.com and ConstantContact.com for sponsoring this year’s tour.
Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is one of America’s leading small business experts. As a seasoned entrepreneur, professional speaker, and small business coach, she develops audio, video and written content to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. As CEO of Quintessence Multimedia, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing. Forbes Magazine named her #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9pm ET for emerging entrepreneurs. She also publishes a resource blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com Melinda is also bestseller author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works.