'A Holiday Worth Celebrating

A Holiday Worth Celebrating

April 27, 2022

 

Whew!  April has been a full month!  We’ve had April Fool’s Day, Passover, Easter, National Siblings Day and Earth Day. And, though it probably was not cause for much celebration, Tax Day. And we’re not done yet.

There’s one more holiday I’m celebrating this month. One that’s near and dear to my heart. It’s TODAY and just in case it’s not on your calendar I wanted to give you a heads-up. Don’t worry…you don’t have to go shopping for presents, a special outfit or elaborate decorations. It’s not that kind of holiday.

So, what is this mysterious holiday and why am I inviting you to celebrate with me?

It’s NATIONAL TELL A STORY DAY!

That’s right…National Tell a Story Day!

Most of our lives we have been hearing – and telling – stories. It’s one of the ways we connect to each other. We tell stories of our families, our culture, our faith, our lives, and our loves.

We also tell stories about our businesses, whether we intend to or not. Our potential customers and clients hear our story in our marketing copy, they experience our story in each sales or service encounter, and they believe our story when we deliver the solutions we promise them.

Being conscious and intentional in telling our business story can set us apart from others in our niche. A great business story–like any great story–is engaging, relatable, persuasive, and compelling.

And, of course, a good business story has a happy ending – the ultimate success your client will experience after purchasing your product, service, or program.

When you know your business story, you’ll be able to tell it –or parts of it – to your team and to your customers.

A good business story has these six key elements:

  • A clear connection – Your customer must be able to see themselves in your story. After all, it’s about them as much as it’s about you
  • A clear point -Know exactly what your potential customer needs to know about your business so they can say yes.
  • A solid structure – The customer needs to be able to clearly follow the story from beginning to end.
  • Emotional appeal – Conventional wisdom tells us that people make buying decisions based on emotion and support those decisions based on logic. Make sure you connect with their emotions, the pain they are currently feeling and the relief that you are offering them.
  • Vivid detail – Don’t just tell your prospects what they can expect…show them! Give examples of the success others have experienced in working with you. The more your audience feels, sees, tastes what you’re describing, the more they’re hooked.
  • A clear call to action – Make sure that your customer knows the next right step they need to take with you to solve their problem. This call to action is the way that the connection is firmly established, and your story becomes their story.

When you become an expert at telling your story, you will attract your ideal customers and keep them coming back.

Go celebrate National Storytelling Day. Tell your business story – there are people out there just waiting to hear it.

Blessings,

Chris

'Top Investment Strategies for Your Business

Top Investment Strategies for Your Business

April 20, 2022

 

Do you know your IQ?

No, not your Intelligence Quotient…your Investment Quotient.

One of the pillars of financial literacy is investing and it can be very complicated. Luckily, there are many highly skilled and trustworthy professionals who can advise you about your monetary investments. But your business requires other kinds of investments, too.

Here are three areas where your business can realize tremendous return on investment.

Invest in People – Recruiting and retaining the right team makes a tremendous difference in how successful your business can be. It is more efficient to retain a quality employee than to recruit, train and orient a replacement employee of the same quality.

Getting the right people into the right jobs involves more than choosing the person with the best skills. It’s important to find the person who will be the best fit for your company culture and for the rest of your team. Skills can be taught, but attitude and character cannot.

Once you have the right people, invest in keeping them happy. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the leading factors in job satisfaction are:

  • Respectful treatment of all employees at all levels
  • Fair and equitable compensation
  • Trust between employees and senior management
  • Job security
  • Opportunities to use their skills and abilities at work

Make sure to pay as much attention to the other factors as you do to compensation. It will pay off many times over.

Invest in Growth – In today’s competitive business environment, it is essential to go beyond maintaining your current position. Truly successful leaders operate from a growth mindset and instill that mindset in their team. The growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic skills and knowledge can be cultivated through focused efforts. Although your team may vary widely in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments, everyone can change and grow through application and experience. In companies that foster a growth mindset, employees report feeling far more empowered and committed; they also receive far greater organizational support for collaboration and innovation.

Invest in Yourself – Any business is only as healthy and successful as its leader. Many times, business owners, particularly solopreneurs, invest so much time and energy in their business that they leave little for themselves. This is not sustainable over the long term and is one of the reasons why so many businesses fail in the first few years. Neglecting your personal health and well-being can lead to burnout, and the effects can trickle down to your team, compounding the damage.

In addition to the investment in your health and wellness, it’s essential to make an investment in your personal and professional development. Honing your communication and leadership skills will help to ensure that you are creating the best environment for your team to succeed.

During this Financial Literacy Month, consult your financial advisor about where you are investing your money. And boost your IQ by investing in yourself, your team, and your growth.

May all your investments yield great returns.

Blessings,

Chris

'When Things Don’t Add Up

When Things Don’t Add Up

April 13, 2022

 

Are you one of those people who balance your checkbook down to the penny or somebody who thinks “in the ballpark” is close enough? Do you want to know where every single penny went, or do you only track the big expenses?

Before you tell me that these questions are crazy –that all business owners must be the “down to the last penny” type — consider this.

According to a survey conducted by Intuit, 40% of small business owners consider themselves to be financially illiterate. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

What’s even more surprising is that, at the same time, 81% of them are doing their business’ finances themselves.

Something just doesn’t add up.

And it makes you understand why roughly one-third of all small businesses fail within the first two years. Sure, the climate is tough, and competition is high, but a great many of these failures are the result of poor financial literacy.

Janet Attard of Zen Business says that small business owners who are not as financially savvy as they should be most frequently make these mistakes:

  • Maintaining insufficient cash reserves – Many small business owners underestimate how long it will take to achieve positive cash flow or what the impact of a large unanticipated success will be. Cash is essential to keeping a business running, so make sure you always have adequate reserves.
  • Waiting too long to seek credit – The best time to seek credit is, ironically, when you don’t need it. If you wait until the situation is desperate, lenders are not likely to see your business as a good risk. Any credit that is available may come with less than favorable terms or interest rates.
  • Underpricing their good or services – In a competitive climate, it can be tempting to think that low pricing will lead to more customers. While this may be true in the short term, if your low-price strategy does not take the cost of goods or services into consideration, it can be a losing proposition over time.
  • Mixing business and personal finances – This can be especially hazardous for solo business owners. It’s essential to make a clear distinction between personal and business expenses and to have separate accounts to handle each one. That way, there is no question when it comes time to pay taxes and reconcile business accounts.

During Financial Literacy Month, conduct an audit of your financial practices as well as of your bank balance. Make sure you avoid making the mistakes that can land you in hot water so that you can keep your business afloat beyond the time when most businesses fail.

Want to be more successful in business? Improve your financial literacy.

It all adds up.