relaxation-techniques

Sunday is a day of rest and relaxation.  Be sure to find ways to relieve stress.  Running a small business can be intense.  Its important that you find ways to separate your business life and personal life.  Here are a few pointers.

Turn off your business phone – this can be a little tough to do. (especially when you first start your busness).  But its important to have that separation of your business and personal self.  Clearly have your hours of operation posted on your website and business storefront.  You can always accept emails on Sundays and answer them first thing Monday morning.  You need to take time for yourself, family, and friends.

Find an outlet or activity to take you away from your business week.  This can range from golfing, bike riding, or any type of activity which you enjoy.  You can even involve family and friends to enjoy your time away from the workplace.

Make time for your personal or religious beliefs.  Without getting into too much about different denominations, beliefs, or preference, its important to engage in a community environment of like-minded people.  Follow through and dive into giving, helping, and making the world a better place!

Happy Sunday and thanks for reading…

communicationWhen you are building your business, its important to keep in contact with ALL of your customers.  Here are some FREE ways to do so.

Direct Email – Email Blasts:  This is an excellent way to keep in touch with your customers of the past and present.  Customers can sign up on your website and choose to receive emails sent by your company.  You can include information such as updates, specials, and company accomplishments.  To learn more about email blasting, check out the past blog below:

http://blog.promarketme.com/keep-in-touch-with-your-customers-email-blasts/

Social Media – Keeping your customers in the loop on Social Media is a super way to showcase your business.  Pages on sites like Facebook are FREE and you can track various information about traffic, likes, and suggestions on your page.  Keep your posts fresh and unique so that your customers will want to follow you and see your posts.  If you become too redundant, customers may not choose to receive your postings.

Phone Call –  This is a strategy that works well in the service field.  When you finish a job, document the finish date.  A follow up call a week or two after the jobs completion will go a long way.  Keep that information handy and make a six month call followed by a one year call.  Showing that you are willing to take time for your business schedule to check up on work which you completed long in the past will show your customers that you care and are thinking about them.  That one on one communication in the long-run will give you a positive reputation in the community as well as create more business for you!

These are 3 ways which you can stay in touch with your customers for FREE.  Ideally, you can use all three of these techniques to stay connected to your customers in the long run!  Remember, your business reputation will follow you for the life of your company!  Stand out from the rest with strong ethics and values!

 

Reuse-Reduce-RecycleSimply stated, green up your business by following these simple words.  Reuse, Reduce, & Recycle.  But in what ways can you accomplish this?  Here are a few pointers:

  • Plastic is one of the human races inventions.  Its cheap, easy to make,  and long lasting.  So long lasting that it takes over 1000 years to break down and decompose!  Think of how many generations will go but until that gallon milk container you drank is no longer an environmental issue.  If you have plastic products which can be used again, do so!  I can’t even begin to tell you how many plumbing and sprinkler companies I see just cut and throw out left over materials on a job-site.  If you don’t want to save the material for the next job, sell it to someone who will use it or give it away for FREE!  It will prevent the landfills from filling up with long lasting material.
  • Sometimes you can even re-purpose products.  Just the other day, I ate the last pickle in the glass pickle jar.  I finished a job repairing a lanai and had many left over bolts which I bought in bulk.  I cleaned out the pickle jar, labeled it “Lanai Bolts,” and stored the combination away in my workshop.  Now I have  a nifty container to hold my supplies!
  • The best tip I can give regarding recycling is separating your precious metals and scrapping them.  And by precious metals, I don’t mean gold, silver, or platinum. (Though these metals can be recycled as well)…  I am talking about aluminum, brass, copper, stainless steel, etc.  All of these different types of metals offer a price/pound ranging on the overall market price for each individual product.  Don’t keep multiple metals together and recycle them as such or you will be paid at a lower rate classified as “white goods.”  You will be surprised how the little items you use and materials you pull out of jobs will add up to big bucks!

And if you can’t sell, give away, scrap, or re-purpose your material, recycle it through the county and green up your company!  Customers like a company that is Eco-Friendly and it will make your business more profitable!

 

Photo by D. Wildermuth of Pro Market Me Inc.
Photo by D. Wildermuth of Pro Market Me Inc.

You finally started up your own business!  The initial moves you made got you to this point.  You begin to notice that you are not making as much money as you anticipated.  This happens often with new businesses.  New owners believe that as the doors open, the people will just come pouring through.  Once the realization of negative cash flow comes into play, panic can set in.  Here are a few tips to get your business on the right track.

  • Look into the mirror and take responsibility.  This is YOUR BUSINESS. You can choose to do whatever you want.  Make a detailed list of your monthly expenses and your monthly income.  If you are using software like Quickbooks, this is easy to achieve.  If you do not know this information, start recording it now!  Use your bills against your bank account for a ballpark for the first analysis until the next 30 days when you properly record your information.
  • Cut back expenses.  This may sound difficult; however, as an entrepreneur starting out, you must be smart and thrifty!  Go over your expenses and see where you can make adjustments.  Call your insurance company and ask for a better rate.  Call other insurance companies and find one that’s hungry. (believe me there are alot out there)  Switch your cell phone carrier.  Companies like Verizon and Sprint charge top dollar for phone service. (Most people pay around $100/month which isn’t even unlimited service) Metro PCS runs an unlimited talk, text, and web, for $30/month which will save you at least $70/month… $840/year!  Go green with documentation.  Why use a stamp when you can email.  All invoices and information which you would normally mail, email.  The prices of stamps will add up! Raise your Air Conditioner to 78 F or even 80 F.  If its a breezy day, open the windows and enjoy the fresh air.  Its sounds silly, but electric is getting more expensive by the day!  The little bit of temperature change will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year!.    There are just a few areas where you can easily cut costs.  Go through your business with a fine tooth and comb.
  • Hustle.  Don’t sit back and feel sorry for yourself.  Get up in the morning and start off strong!  And when I mean morning, I don’t mean 9 or 10 A.M.  Get up at 6:00 AM and utilize the early part of the day.  In fact, its a good idea to do a morning workout for an hour as a stress reliever.  After you are done with your exercise, start focusing on your business and the areas you need to zero in on.  If you need more sales, bring a stack of business cards with you and leave them at the post office, shipping stores, and any area where you see business cards posted.  If you are a service industry and you already have a route, make door hangers and leave them on the doors of the neighbors where you work.  If you need to get supplies and are at a big box store, strike up a few conversations with the customers around you.  You will be surprised how many of them are looking for a qualified company to take care of their needs!  Spend an extra 10 minutes in each neighborhood and get your name out there!

Starting a business is not an easy task.  That is why 8 out of 10 businesses fail in the first 2 years.  Most business owners aren’t willing to make those small changes and sacrifices to get over the initial hump.  Remember you started a business to be independent, do something you love, and take control of your life!  Stay positive and passionate about what you do and ALWAYS be willing to tweak your game plan.  With enough time, you will find the right combination that will work for you and your company!

In today’s tech savvy world majority of people have profiles on a variety of websites, such as: LinkedIn, Google, twitter and or Facebook. While establishing a presence on these sites is important for networking, many people neglect the significance of owning a personal website. Handing out business cards or providing a resume with www.YourName.com on it provides a location to view exactly what you want them to see. Having a website provides less restrictions, more customization, better search engine optimization , and an overall more professional appearance. It is important to link your website to your existing profiles online so people can easily find it.