GOAL SETTING LESSONS I LEARNED FROM MY DAUGHTER

I bought my daughter a set of markers that are meant for writing on windows. I figured she’d have fun drawing flowers and cute stick people. To my surprise, when I walked in her room I saw there were no drawings on her windows. Instead, the first thing she used her new markers for was to write down her goals.

Wow. I didn’t expect that at all from a 9 year old.

In case you can’t see the photos I took she wrote that her goal was to:

  • Get an iPod
  • Allowed to get in 5th grade.
  • My Goal is $225
  • I have money!

Don’t spend anything. In 5 simple lines I realized that my daughter Carissa articulated the S.M.A.R.T. formula for goal setting. (ok, this was a proud parent moment 🙂

SPECIFIC –           She wants an iPod.
MEASURABLEShe knows how much more she needs to save to hit her goal of $225.
ACTIONABLEHer action is to commit to not spending anything.
REALISTIC –      She only has to save $18.75 each month which she expressed to me
                              “I can do that”.
TIMELY –          She was shooting to achieve this goal by 5th grade, which is another
                          12 months away.

Goal setting works wonders in helping us obtain those things that we are saving for. My daughter’s iPod goal taught me a lesson on just how powerful it is to not only write down our goals but to have them visible in places we will see everyday.

What about you? 

What is the big prize that you are saving for?  A new car, a family vacation, a dream house or perhaps an ivy league college education for your student?

Knowing what you’re saving for and articulating how you will get there through the S.M.A.R.T. formula will help you stay focused and intense in your business for short term periods.

Knowing what you’re working for will supply the passion, energy, joy and fulfillment to carry you in your business for the long term.

So, what are you working for? What is your business a vehicle for?

  • achieving greater freedom in your life?
  • providing security for your family?
  • changing people’s lives by sharing your expertise?
  • making a lasting difference in your community?

    Can you articulate what you are working for in a S.M.A.R.T. response?

    ________________________________________________________

    It’s tough to grow your business without setting specific goals.

    And, it’s easy to forget to implement those S.M.A.R.T. goal setting tips.

    If you are clear what your specific goals are in your business, but need some help and guidance and how to get there I invite you to call me for a complimentary discovery session. No better time than NOW to decide to play big and finish the year off strong!

    PS. I’ve heard you improve your chances at reaching your goals when you write it down and then improve those chances even more when you share your goal with others.  

     Please share your goals here.

     Here’s to Your Success!

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    About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at https://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: YoonCannon@ParamountBusinessCoach.com To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 

 

© Copyright 2016

5 Inexpensive Ways to Market Your Small Business

 

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Note from Yoon:

Setting your own hours, working from the comfort of your home (in your pajamas?) and being your own boss are some of the big perks of being a small business owner. As a business coach my clients are throughout the United States and even overseas, but it’s all headquartered right in my own home. This is me in my home office (ok, so I don’t always take the Richard Branson approach and work sitting in a hammock).

A major drawback, however, is the cost that it takes to get everything up and running. In today’s article I wanted to share with you my tips for one of the most common questions I receive from small business owners and solopreneurs who are trying to market their businesses on a small budget. Read below and make sure you share your comments and questions.

Blessings!

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The Small Business Administration says that the average business owner invests $30,000 into their new business. If you’re dreaming of starting a business, or already have, and are strapped for cash; here are five low cost marketing tips to help you gain and retain customers:

Donate to local fundraisers and charity events.

Doing things like giving $50 to a charity to help victims of a natural disaster or donating some of your products to the school’s annual carnival — and getting your name printed on their handouts — is likely to be worth every penny you invest, says Entrepreneur. Aim to support any cause as a business that you would personally, and try to support events that are mid- to large-scale so that you get the most visibility for your dollar. As a bonus, your donation may be tax deductible.

Work with other small business owners to cross promote.

Nothing helps ramp up business better than by teaming up with others. Find businesses that have a natural connection to yours and hand out their sales fliers and business cards to your customers. And ask them to reciprocate. If you’re a dog groomer, it would be natural for you to work with people who specialize in walking dogs, baking organic doggie snacks, crafting dog sweaters and the local pet shop owner. In this way, you’re creating value, not competition, since each one of your offer unique goods and services.

Remember your customers’ special days

Collect info on your customers as part of your loyalty program, create and order postcards from OvernightPrints.com and then send the cards to customers on their birthday, anniversary, birth of a child or other special event that you know about. The cards can do double-duty by offering a discount or free gift when the customer comes in with the card.

Start a blog and be active in social media

Internet users are pretty savvy and are adept at finding free information. Businesspeople who hand out loads of useful info are often rewarded with the sale or contract, simply because they go above and beyond the average person’s expectations. An article from PC Mag says that providing tips, suggestions, hints or reviews of your product or service makes great web content. Also be sure to join relevant groups and be active in the conversations taking place on Twitter and Facebook.

Set up a booth or table at community events.

Dropping $100 for a booth at a local festival where thousands of people will be exposed to your products or services can offer a great ROI. Be liberal in handing out business cards, brochures, samples, pencils, magnets or whatever fun item that you have personalized with your name, phone number and website URL. Within a few days your name and phone number will be in the hands of hundreds or thousands of households in your city, where they’ll repeatedly be reminded of you and likely give you a call when the time is right.

There are actually hundreds of ways to market your small business inexpensively. I just shared 5. Please share your best ideas on other inexpensive ways to market your small business.

 

About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at https://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: YoonCannon@ParamountBusinessCoach.com To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 

© Copyright 2016

 

Take Inspiration from 3 Fortune 500 Men

!cid_06B63769-2E1B-442E-9F28-BBCBC94247AE@westellNote From Yoon:

I’ve been taking Richard Branson’s advice. While I don’t have a hammock, my favorite relaxed spot to work is on my front porch chaise lounge. 

This is where I usually take my coaching calls. I follow the sun, so I end up moving to the side porch, then to my back porch.  Being outdoors is definitely a more fun place to work! Thanks for the tip Richard! 

What about you? Share your best success tips you’ve learned and implemented below.

Blessings ~ 

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There is no such thing as a black and white path to success. The road to a successful future is bumpy along the way, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to achieve great things. Sometimes the most unlikely advice is all it takes to catapult you towards greatness. Follow the unlikely advice of these Fortune 500 men, and you can take a step on the path towards your dreams.

Richard Branson: Virgin King

Sir Richard Branson in Vancouver

Photo by Shinsuke Ikegame via Flickr

Richard Branson has it all: a multibillion-dollar empire, his own private island and a great head of hair, but what’s his secret? Branson told Askmen.com that one of his secrets of success is to work from home whenever possible. A hammock is a much more fun place to work than a stuffy office desk, and working from home allows Branson to minimize distractions and focus on the task at hand.

Bill Gates: The Ruler of PC Land

Bill Gates

Photo by Choice Isy via Flickr

Bill Gates pretty much runs Silicon Valley these days, and he owes much of his leadership ability to his parents. They forced him to participate in activities that don’t come naturally to him. He tells CNN Money Magazine that one of the most important parts of his childhood was learning to stretch out of his comfort zone. He may not have been the best athlete, but he sure made some important memories trying.

Steve Wynn: Big Winner

Steve Wynn at the Milken Institute Summit-London

Photo by MilkenInstitute via Flickr

Steve Wynn isn’t just a hotelier, he is “the” hotelier, and he owes it all to the way he treats people. In his seminars, Steve Wynn explains that his business motto is anything that brings immediate gratification will be repeated, and he uses it to ensure his employees and guests feel taken care of. This way, he builds a loyal fan and employee base that has his back.

What about you? Share your best success tips you’ve learned and implemented below.

 

About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at https://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: YoonCannon@ParamountBusinessCoach.com To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 

 

© Copyright 2016

How Do You Develop a Winning Brand Strategy for Your Small Business?

There is a great misconception that spectacular company branding is reserved for large companies that achieve instant recognition from a single image. Although your business may not sell soda in red cans in over 200 countries worldwide, branding is a vital part of your business’s success. In fact, developing and implementing an effective branding strategy is essential for businesses of any size that want to stick it to their competitors and increase their client base.

Here are four steps to help you develop a winning branding strategy:

Step 1) Evaluate your business and consider your competition. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What aspect of your business are you most proud of? Now think about your competitors. What are their strengths and weaknesses? How do you stack up compared to the competition? Determine what makes your business stand out.

Step 2) Uncover your clients’ perceptions of your business. You may consider your business’s knack for understanding and addressing the needs and goals of your individual clients to be a strength of your business, but do your clients agree? Understanding your clients’ assessment of your business is crucial to the development of an effective branding strategy. Market research will allow you to gain insight into your clients’ perceptions and to begin to develop a strategy that addresses these views. Take advantage of social media – the use of Facebook, Twitter, and other online social exchange sites can be an excellent method of obtaining customer feedback. Offer incentives to clients who respond to surveys on Facebook and tweet questions about your business to encourage discussion of your business’s strengths and opportunities.

Step 3) Develop a branding strategy. Compare your evaluation of the business to client evaluations. Did you both agree that your business’s employees develop relationships with clients that help the business to understand its clients’ needs and to assist clients in achieving their personal goals? Congratulations – you’ve just found your WOW factor! You have exposed your business’s competitive edge and discovered that your clients are taking notice. Now consider your WOW factor in relation to your overall strategic goals. Create a branding strategy that is aligned with the business’s strategic goals and that enhances your WOW factor. Be sure that the personality of your business and images used in branding are congruent.

Step 4) Communicate your brand. You have already defined your business’s brand, so now it’s time to convey the brand message to your clients. Your brand is communicated to clients through personal contact as well as through media and advertising, and ensuring that the business is portrayed consistently throughout all forms of interaction with clients is the key to successful brand implementation.

By developing a branding strategy centered on consistent representation of the business’s WOW factor, businesses of any size can effectively influence public perception of their brand and become memorable in the marketplace.

If marketing feels like you’re stumbling through this process, you’re not alone! Most business owners are great at their business, but not necessarily great at marketing their businesses.  If you’re ready to win the game of marketing once and for all, then take a look at my marketing training program here: https://www.paramountbusinesscoach.com/business-marketing-training

QUESTION: What does developing a brand mean to you? Please share your comments below.

About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at https://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: YoonCannon@ParamountBusinessCoach.com To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 

 

© Copyright 2016

How Small Businesses Can Gain Competitive Edge

One of the questions I hear most often from SMB’s is “how can I gain business among so much competition?” I say don’t focus on gaining the business. Focus on gaining competitive edge, and it will lead to gaining more business.  How does one do that?

Well, I believe we all have an edge. Some of ours are just more dull than others. So, gaining a competitive edge begins with staying sharp.

Let me share a story I heard years ago. Two men were splitting wood. One of the men was tall and muscular and in excellent physical shape. The other man was shorter and much less muscular and appeared to be no match for the larger man.

The two men began chopping wood at the same time. When the first coffee break rolled around, the smaller man took a break while the larger man continued to split the wood. The larger man did not join the smaller man during their lunch break or afternoon break either. Instead, he continued to split wood all day long.
In the evening the smaller man went home, but the larger man continued working late into the night.
Their routine continued for nearly two weeks.

The larger man did not understand how the smaller man’s pile of chopped wood was roughly the same size as his when he was clearly stronger and had worked longer hours than the smaller man.

After about three weeks the smaller man’s wood pile was even with the larger man’s wood pile. After four weeks, the smaller man’s wood pile had surpassed the size of the larger man’s wood pile. The larger man was astonished and confused.

One day, as the smaller man was about to take another break, the larger man said to him “I cannot understand why you have more wood split than I do. You are smaller than I am, and you don’t have the strength that I have”. The smaller man replied “Ah yes, my friend, but you never stop to sharpen your axe”.

When it comes to getting the job done, your greatest tool is your own mind. Here are 4 tips to help you keep your mind sharp as a small business owner:

1) Make the most of your peak performance time Figure out the time of day when you are most energized and focused. Are you at the top of your game first thing in the morning, or are you ready to go after your second cup of coffee? Whatever your peak performance time may be, make sure that you schedule your most complicated tasks during this time of the day. The extra brain power will bring clarity and concentration.

2) Make a to-do list A to-do list lets you focus on the task at hand instead of trying to remember your mental list of the tasks to be done. Writing down your objectives for the day helps you stay focused on your key result areas. It also keeps you from feeling unproductive. One of my clients recently took a trip to NYC with his team to explore opportunities to expand his fast growing food and hospitality business. He later told me how disappointed he was that didn’t feel they accomplished much after a 12 hour day together. I asked him, “What were the key objectives you planned for the day?”  He replied, “I didn’t have any clear, set objectives.” His to-do list stopped with a decision to go to NYC which wasn’t clear enough. Make sure to-do list items like this also include what your most important goals are to accomplish.

3) Always be learning. If you want to gain the competitive edge you need to be willing to continue to up-level your skills and knowledge. I’m not talking about trying to be the “Jack-of-all-trades” type of person. I’m also not referring to setting yourself up for complete information overwhelm where you end up not being able to focus on your core competencies.  What I am saying is to choose one new important trend to learn more about or skill to hone that is effecting your industry. Those aha moments often occur when you’re in the midst of delving into new subjects, skills and technology.

4) Leave Work at Work I find that business owners tend to be type “A” personalities. You’re character trait to keep on pushing yourself is a large reason why you’ve succeeded thus far. But, be careful because your “strength” can also prove to be a double edged sword which is when we end up hitting the point of diminishing returns. You send in your car for regular maintenance checks. You power down your computers because even a piece of machine needs to rest to reboot. When you go home at the end of the day, it’s time to give yourself permission to leae the work on your desk. Spend time with family or friends and allow your mind to be present, not drifting back to thoughts about work.

I have always found that it’s much more exhausting thinking about work, than the energy it takes to actually get that work done. Your mind needs time to rest, re-energize and refuel — part of the process of sharpening your axe. So, commit to start each day refreshed, ready and re-sharpened to get the job done!

QUESTION: What do you do to keep your skills and your mind sharp as a small business owner?  Please share your ideas in the comment box below.

About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at https://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: YoonCannon@ParamountBusinessCoach.com To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 

© Copyright 2016

Strategic Planning Tip – Staging Your Business to Succeed!

Stage Your Business to Succeed!

“If you keep on doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep on getting what you’re getting. If you want to get something different, then you need to do something different”

Strategic Planning Tip - Staging Your Business to Succeed!Profound quote isn’t it? …. So, of course, the translation to your business is, if you want to achieve different results by this time next year, you need to take a different approach from how you’ve currently been doing things in your business.

This is the key reason why it is critical for you to do a strategic plan each year for your business regardless if you are a Fortune 500 company, a small family run business, or even a solopreneur. Your strategic plan is your written road map that will help keep you from falling into the same ineffective patterns of behavior and from repeating out dated systems that are no longer worth your time and investment.

Better than that, your strategic plan is your road map that keeps you focused on what things you will now commit to doing differently this year — designed to getting you greater results than ever before.

You know, every time I share the opening quote with business owners and Entrepreneurs I find that 100% of them agree with the truth of this principle. But, you know what? I find that less than 10% of the small business owner audiences I speak to actually have a strategic plan each year.

The 3 biggest reasons I hear all the time from small business owners and Entrepreneurs on why they do not do strategic plans each year is:

1. It seems like an exercise in futility for me to set goals and milestones on paper when things in the past never went according to plan anyway.

2. Doing a strategic plan seems like a large daunting project that I frankly don’t have those large chunks of time to be doing.

3. I don’t know where to start in creating an effective strategic plan

Alright, so let me try to de-bunk some of these limiting beliefs, so that I can help you to accelerate your business growth in 2012.

 

First, think of your strategic plan as a staging plan.

 
Strategic planning is not just a piece of paper that shows you’ve written down a bunch of numbers and dates on when you would theoretically like to see those numbers and figures achieved by.
So, if you could have a do-over of this past year (knowing the cause and effects of each of your decisions)…
     1.) What would you put on your short list of things you want to do the same?
    2.) What would you put on your short list of things you would do differently?
That said, you don’t want to be answering those 2 questions for your business as a whole, you want to segment your post-mortem thoughts as you would address a house room by room.Take the analogy of selling a house. In today’s difficult economy, there are an awful lot of homes on the market.

So, if you’re the seller, you’re going to need to maximize the staging of your home to stand out from all your competition. There are so many other homes your buyers have to choose from!Your realtor or your staging consultant will walk you through room by room with their recommended list of changes you should make to maximize your home’s appeal to the type of buyer you are targeting. The homeowner typically, will have 2 common responses to the staging plan:a) Yes, I’ve been meaning to do that for years, but just haven’t gotten around to fixing that yet.

b) No, I never noticed that was a problem (because I live here I just get used to it and have grown immune to noticing that horrible wallpaper throughout the house)

When the homeowner follows the staging plan, he/she watches their home magically transform from drab to becoming the next coveted hot seller.

That’s what your strategic plan does for your business. It should serve as your room-by-room improvement list that will help you to attract more targeted buyers.

It can do even more than that. Your strategic plan is there not just to achieve your sales goals, but all your other business-related goals — like, here’s one I help small business owners with a lot: I want to work 10-20 hours less per week this year but still increase my profits.

Yes, I can help you formulate what you roadmap should look like in your 2012 Strategic Plan to help you achieve that goal of working less while still growing the business so you’re earning even more.

Now, as for the other 2 objections for not doing a strategic plan:

  • Not thinking you have the time
  • Not knowing where to start

You give me 1 hour a month and I’ll show you how to stage your business to have your best year ever!

If you truly want to achieve better results this year in growing your business and you are ready to commit even just one hour a week, I have a simple 1-page strategic plan system that I can hold your hand step-by-step and guide you to do.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can invest 1 hour a week using my 1-page strategic plan system, I invite you to call me for a no-charge 30-minute discovery session to explore what that could mean for you.

But, hurry on calling me. Because good intentions often turn into wasting years from procrastinating on what you could have easily and quickly done today.

Why not call me now? My direct line is 215-292-4947 EST.

QUESTION: What is the most challenging part of working on your strategic plan to help you grow your business? Please share your comments in the box below.

About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at https://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: YoonCannon@ParamountBusinessCoach.com To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 

 

© Copyright 2016