There’s nothing wrong with aiming high – but striving for perfection could be hindering your success, If you can relate to any of these 5 signs, you need to get out of your own way, and stop being a perfectionist:
Sign #1 – Success is black and white
A lot of perfectionists can be characterized by their black or white approach to success and failure. Instead of appreciating a spectrum of success, with some business ideas achieving moderate, or even mixed results, perfectionists will view everything they do as either a complete success, or a total failure. This can be severely hindering to a business, as it encourages an attitude of ‘all-or-nothing’ – with entrepreneurs unable to see the good in their ideas, and unable to achieve satisfaction in anything they do.
Tip to get out of your own way:
Remind yourself that even bad ideas can offer value; and a failure is one step closer to success.
Sign #2 – You won’t take risks
This tendency to view all failures as completely catastrophic encourages an attitude of risk-adverseness – a desire to avoid any and all risk. An element of risk is part-and-parcel of being an entrepreneur (‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’), and being a perfectionist can reduce the growth of your business, and your willingness to adopt new ideas.
I knew a small business owner, a friend of mine, that was offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – to pitch their products to one of the market-leading giants of their industry. My friend was relatively successful, with a small but established customer base; and the perceived risk of scaling up their business was too much for them. They declined the offer, and missed out on the chance to sell their products internationally. Why? Because they didn’t want to risk failing – no matter how small the risk, or how big the reward.
Tip to get out of your own way:
Try and identify a spectrum of risk; ranging from small, harmless risks, to huge, life-altering ones. Make a conscious effort to take a small risk on a regular basis.
Sign #3 – You take criticism personally
Criticism is crucial to the development of a business, and the advice of our peers can provide some of the best insights into successful business development. Perfectionists have a tendency to take this criticism very personally – and they’re unable to separate business criticism from personal criticism. This happens because perfectionists invest themselves into their ideas, and take professional criticism as an attack upon their abilities. This can prevent businesses from making vital changes, and can severely limit growth.
Tip to get out of your own way:
Critique your own ideas, and try to identify an aspect of your business that could do with improving.
Sign #4 – You never reach your goals
Perfectionists are renowned for setting unreachable goals; and even rationalizing away their success when they do reach them. Perfection is rarely attainable, especially for real-world businesses and people. There are always limits and problems that arise from government legislation, employees and sheer logistics – and striving for the perfect business will prevent an entrepreneur from ever reaching their goal. Even successful entrepreneurs might never be satisfied – because they believe that their business could always be improved.
Tip to get out of your own way:
Analyze your ambitions – are they realistic? Could they ever be achieved? Set goals that are aspirational, but still founded in reality.
Sign #5 – You think unhappiness is the price of success
The end-result? Unhappiness. Most perfectionists believe unhappiness to be part-and-parcel of achieving success, and live unfulfilling lives because they think it’s vital to achieving their goals. In reality though, happiness should be a goal in its own right – and success at the expense of your own happiness isn’t really success at all.
Tip to get out of your own way:
Make happiness an ambition, and don’t strive for success at the expense of your own happiness.
QUESTION: What tips do you use to get out of your own way? How do you prevent yourself from being overly-perfectionist? Let me know in the comments!
5 Ways to Maintain Cash Flow For Your Struggling Business in 2021
On top of everything else, 2020 has been a tough year financially for most individuals and businesses around the world. Many small businesses have lost the fight to stay open amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and several larger organizations have had to make serious budget and staff cuts to survive. This has all led to many companies leaning heavily on their emergency funds and perhaps you as well running extremely low on your line of credit.
It all started off simple enough—stay at home, operate as best you can, or take a brief break while we flatten the curve. However, as the months have drawn on and life has not returned to normal, it’s become harder and harder for many businesses to keep their doors open. The second wave of the pandemic certainly hasn’t helped.
However, it’s not the end of the world if you’ve reached the end of your credit. There are many ways for you to maintain cash flow for your struggling business in 2021, and even fund it’s growth!
#1: Make Strategic Budget Cuts For Your Line of Credit
If you haven’t started tightening your belt, it’s time to do so now. You need to see how your company can survive on less money each month.
The first step is to draw up an extensive list of regular expenses so you can see where your money goes, and where you can cut costs.
The biggest damage to a company’s profit margins doesn’t come from once-off expensive items—it comes from the regular payments that could be reduced. Look at items you can remove entirely, such as subscriptions to services that are nice to have but not essential. These can always be reinstated when cash flow improves. Then look at where you can reduce costs; for example, switching to more affordable coffee and cleaning products. It’s time to make concessions, and this means pinching pennies.
#2: Put A Spending Structure In Place
This is the kind of policy that a business should have in place regardless, but it may need to be tightened up a little bit if your credit has run dry. You need to be very strict with what can be expensed to the company, and what is for personal expenses. However, explain to your employees why you’re making these changes, how making them will help them keep the company alive, and how they contribute to ensuring their jobs stay intact. Without employee’s support and understanding, your efforts will probably look draconian and very demanding.
When changing your spending structure, focus heavily on why the changes are being made, and how you hope they’ll only be temporary. Then make sure that the changes are clearly spelled out so that there are no mistakes that could cost money you don’t have. This step will also help to give you clarity on your monthly budget for expenses, giving you a better understanding of what you’re dealing with.
#3: Clarify Your Payment Policy With Clients
Again, this is a policy that should already be in place. However, it’s well worth reviewing and ensuring that you, your employees, and your clients are up to speed–and that your payment policies are suitable for the current economic climate. This way, the people expected to pay you know what to do, and those who are following up on payments will have a straightforward procedure to follow.
When you are in a situation where businesses are operating on a knife-edge, it’s even more essential to ensure that invoices don’t go unpaid, or payment gets delayed. Having no line of credit as a backup means that each payment coming in on time is crucial.
Your payment policy should cover:
Payment deadlines–you should always follow the same deadlines for each invoice. They should be on a specific date or by a specific length of time. Having the same conditions for each client across your company makes tracking invoices much easier.
Penalties and fees–it’s essential that you spell out what the penalty is for late payments and how it will impact the invoice.
Terms and conditions–this shows that the deadlines and penalties are something you’ve instituted company wide, and not just for a specific client. Using the right language here will also illustrate that your policy is non-negotiable, and that you will not give any client special treatment.
In addition to reviewing your policy regarding payment terms and penalties for late payments, you can look at offering incentives for early payment. If you know you need to get cash into your business because you have no credit left, you can offer customers the option of a small discount for quick settlement terms. This is a great way to help keep your cash flow looking good, it encourages loyalty with existing clients, and may even earn you some new ones. Customers may well need the break of the reduced rate as much as you need the income in trying times.
#4: Investigate Business Loans And Investors
A line of credit is not your only source of extra income for a business. You can look at getting a loan from a bank or some of the less traditional (but still safe) lenders. Crowdfunding is another great way to bring in income if you’re struggling with cash flow, as is looking for investors to help you stay afloat.
Credit running dry doesn’t have to be the end of your business. It’s all about finding the right way to bring in extra funds. Ensure your business plan is watertight, your financial records are in order, and your business is a solid investment, then approach lenders for assistance. Even a short-term loan could be enough to see you through a rough patch, or to facilitate the growth you need to keep pivot your business and keep generating profits.
Remember, a lack of credit isn’t the end of your business. It’s a push you need to investigate new ways to cut costs, streamline expenses, reaffirm payment policies, and seek alternative avenues of funding.
SOLUTION: Shift your focus from credit to getting creative with what you’ve got.
#5: Try Bartering to Reduce Out of Pocket Spending
One creative solution for your struggling business when cash flow and credit runs dry is the age old currency of bartering. Coming up with new ideas is one way to think outside the box, but sometimes you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
You can simply do what our forefathers perfected and trade your services for goods and services you need. There are various bartering networks you can google. One we recommend is Better Business Barter Club. You can contact the member chairperson at BucksContractors@gmail.com.
QUESTION: Which of these tips could you implement IMMEDIATLEY to maintain cash flow for your struggling business? Share with us in the comments below!
If you don’t know how to create high performing teams then managing a staff will quickly feel like a burden and drain your time, energy and money. But, the alternative is just not acceptable either.
You don’t want to resort to wearing all the hats in your business or you’ll quickly burn out and so will your sales. Trying to grow your business all by yourself is definitely the LONG, SLOW way to go. Even if you are running a solo practice you’ll grow your business much faster with a small team of just you and one other person.
When you create high performing teams you no longer have to “babysit” your staff or waste precious hours each week chasing after them to meet deadlines.
If you want to know the secret to creating high performing teams — onsite employees or a virtual team, then don’t miss this week’s Q&A episode.
This might sounds like a simple question, but it is definitely not a one answer solution.
In this week’s Q&A episode you’ll discover:
* Strategies for holding your virtual assistant (and onsite team) accountable, so you don’t have to constantly follow up with them. * How to build team morale even when everyone is living thousands of miles away from each other. * Plus! I have a special free 11-point checklist you can download to help you create your very own high performing team!
Click the audio or video below.
Then, be sure to share your questions and comments below. I’d love to know what your biggest challenges are when it comes to managing your team.
PS. Ok, I gotta tell you … I am loving recording these Q&A episodes for you!
This feels so much more interactive for me to hear your questions directly from your voice messages. The feedback I’ve gotten so far is that you love being able to listen on the go. And, many of you shared you like that I do a much deeper dive on the audio than I can typically cover in a text only blog.
I have to say, it’s definitely a win-win because these audio and video sessions are so much faster for me to record than writing everything out on a regular blog. (Believe it or not, I am a painfully slow writer!)
So, as long as you guys keep sending me questions I will keep sending you the mini lessons through the audio blog and vlog format.
For a team to be successful, its members need to have confidence in their abilities and know that they are making a positive contribution to the effort. That confidence may come from being allowed to make mistakes and learn from them, without fearing career-ending consequences.
Enabling people to spread their wings not only builds self-confidence, but the courage to take on new challenges and share their ideas. These strengths will serve them well throughout their careers. Thus creating a stronger leadership for business owners
Support and Development
A good leader will recognize the potential in others. They will see beyond the tasks on a person’s job description, provide the opportunity to develop their skills and support their career growth. In return, they will have gained a lifelong ally.
Though it’s easier to limit a person to the role you hired them for, a good leader will nurture an employee’s growth, even if it means that they might eventually move on. Interacting with people as individuals and trying to accommodate
their unique personalities and styles of communication is an essential skill for an effective leader.
They must possess the necessary people skills to handle any situation professionally. Developing effectiveleadership habits takes commitment. It also takes time, effort, and real-life experience. Building a leadership for business owners
will not be easy and will take perseverance.
Empower and Encourage
Mutual trust is critical within a successful team. Effective leaders demonstrate that trust by allowing people to do their jobs without micromanaging them, which encourages them to take ownership of their work and responsibility for it.
They empower people by giving them the latitude to make decisions and thentrusting their judgment. Successful leaders are as transparent and honest as possible with their people and stand behind them.
Vision and Purpose
Leadership for business owners is great, but when a team that is led by someone who is committed to their life’s purpose, it can bring about positive change in both its members and society in general.
Effective leaders inspire people toshare their vision and a sense of purpose. As a result, they will strive to achieve your mutual goal because they want to.
People who learn to approach their work in this way are more likely to become future leaders who will have the opportunity to bring about positive change.
Strength and Honesty
Leadership for business owners know adversity requires both strength and honesty. If a company has hit a rough patch, the employees usually know it, so telling them everything is just fine may result in a lack of trust.
If a situation is dire, an effective leader will be as honest as possible about what it could mean to the team and how leadership plans to reach a solution. Armed with the truth, people will usually help to put things right, and they’ll do it out of loyalty.
Effective leadership for business owners can make life better for those who follow them by providing opportunities to learn and grow. Showing confidence in people will help them to have more confidence in themselves and encourage them to keep striving for more knowledge and improved skills.
If people understand a leader’s vision, values and purpose, they will be more likely to follow willingly. And with a common goal, the journey can be a lot more rewarding.
Leadership for business owners skills are not always innate and may require some additional study. Whether through instructor-led courses, books or with a mentor, acquiring these skills is an important part of effective leadership. The tools are available. It just takes some practice and commitment.
Sigh! It can be incredibly frustrating to feel like the vision you have for your business is moving excruciatingly slow.
You have zillions of brilliant marketing strategies. The problem is there is never enough time in your day to execute or manage it all, especially without a marketing team.
I have found the biggest cause is from something called the Marketing Strategy Execution Gap. You need more soldiers on the ground to deploy multiple marketing strategies to free you up to shine as Chief Visionary. You need a marketing team.
You probably already tried outsourcing to a marketing agency only to be disappointed with the results. According to digital.com, 76% percent of small business owners report facing marketing challenges.
The core challenges of marketing fall into these 5 areas:
Generating traffic and leads
Training your team to generate traffic and leads
Lack of resources (budget / people / time)
Hiring talented people
I mean, starting a business is hard enough. Can’t these leads just come to you? You have a great business idea, right? You should be overwhelmed with leads, right?
After All, There are amazing musicians who, based on their genius of talent, should be worldwide superstars. But instead, they starve and struggle for decades because they were never ‘discovered’ by record labels who can market the heck out of them.
Your genius business idea is no different. Doing all the marketing yourself should no longer be an option.
As the visionary, how will you close that ‘Marketing Strategy Execution Gap’?
Option 1: Outsource your marketing to a bunch of freelancers or to a marketing agency.
Option 2: Hire your own in-house marketing team.
Which is better for you? …
Hear From 11 Entrepreneurs On Outsourcing or Hiring In-House Marketing Team
I’ve rounded up 10 small business entrepreneurs to weigh in with their opinion on this decision. Find out the pros and cons they have experienced with outsourcing vs hiring an in house marketing team. At the end I will also share my own experience from everything I have tried over 26 years of being an entrepreneur to help you make a more informed decision for yourself.
Ambroise de La Gorce, CEO/Founder Of Openinno shares, “Outsourcing and in-house marketing both have their pros and cons. Each option can be better than the other in different situations depending on numerous factors, including type of management, marketing tools used, sprints management, business stage.
In my opinion, outsourcing at the very beginning of the business can offer more flexibility. Recruiting in-house is necessary when the product/market fit is validated, to give more stability to the business. Then outsourcing 20% of the team or so when scaling the business can be interesting to gather the resources we can hardly find on-site.”
Kerry Maybank shares, “I mostly do my own marketing, but I have team members that are great at marketing and create more of the significant pitch documents for us. I also have gotten free advertising by doing interviews with the media.
My company does not have employees. We have team members. People come onboard with exceptional talents in particular areas of the business that significant interest at the time. Sometimes we provide equity if the need is that great or we barter and provide their companies something in return based on our expertise. It keeps costs down, and creates mutually beneficial relationships, while increasing the exposure of our firm.”
David Shares, “We keep our marketing in-house because it allows us to harness our own data and learn to understand how our customers interact with our business. Combining marketing customer data, building segments, and then activating those segments in your communication is something that really draws growth.”
Hiring in-house marketing employees is a lot to manage.
Peter Shares, “You need both. You need in house because no matter how much you pay an outside agency or group of freelancers, no one will care about your business or know your products/services better than you and your staff. However, there is so much to manage and oversee that you need outside agencies that specialize in the various verticals.
How we balance both outsourcing and in-house marketing team
Mark Walerysiak Jr. shares, “I’m early stage, and do all the marketing myself (at the moment). I could see the benefit of outsourcing particular tasks related to content / SEO. The more weedy stuff. But when it comes to telling compelling on-brand stories I would prefer to have someone inside the team and as close to the product as I am. When you eat, sleep, and breathe a product (and not worrying about other clients), you can communicate much more passionately about it in just about any form, and I think the audience can pick up on that. So the preference would be in-house if it’s doable.”
Laurie shares, “Our marketing needs are managed with both internal and external resources. Our internal team has a great deal of experience in marketing and PR – so we can typically tap into our own knowledge and experience for basic initiatives like drafting corporate communications and pitches, social media posts, email marketing, etc.
We outsource for marketing tactics outside of our areas of expertise, or if our bandwidth is tight – such as more complex social media campaigns, SEO and digital advertising.
Gary Shares, “I’ve always done my marketing in-house. I’ve only worked in or ran marketing companies, so outsourcing my marketing would be really weird, lol.The one piece of advice I would give entrepreneurs that feel weary about or otherwise unable to fully carry out marketing duties, still be involved. As a consultant, part of my job is to learn as much about my client’s brand as possible because the person or people leading the business know the most about their brand. I can help a client focus. I can help a client develop. However, no one can create someone else’s brand on their own.”
Staci shares, “As a new one-woman consultancy, I’m doing it all right now — marketing and business development as well as everything else involved in the business!
Honestly, while that requires more time and effort from me, I think it actually helps build trust and is part of my business values. With me, it’s personal, and my clients know that they can trust Blue Moss for personal dedication and utmost quality.
We do all the outreach to prospects. Keith Kirkpatrick Principal & Founder of 4K Research & Consulting
I have done all three options throughout my 26 year journey owning 4 different businesses. I once did all the marketing myself. But I quickly found that not to be the best use of my time as the Chief Visionary and Strategist. Just because I know how to do the marketing, doesn’t mean I should be the primary person executing it all. So, then I spent many years outsourcing to freelancers.
While it’s a good choice for one time projects, the danger is you end up spending way too much time vetting and project managing freelancers, which prevents you from acting as the Chief Visionary and Strategist. The other common pitfall with outsourcing is the temptation to hire the lowest priced freelancer. Like with anything else … you get what you pay for.
You risk super sloppy mistakes and oversights that cost you your brand’s reputation. Here’s an example a realtor friend of mine forwarded me. She subscribed to be on an email list from a marketing provider in her industry … to her surprise here’s what the email read:
My realtor friend was so confused! …. Here she thought she was signing up to let this marketing company do her social media posts and email marketing for her. Instead of getting info about the done for you marketing services she was expecting, an email template and an email from a weight loss company came instead. Certainly people do make mistakes. But, when you outsource to the cheapest provider, sloppy mistakes just seem to occur in high frequency.
Marketing is not a mindless task any monkey can do.
When I exhausted my patience for chronic sloppy mistakes from outsourced VA’s and freelancers I decided to let go the reigns and hired a marketing agency to take care of it all A-Z. I hoped outsourcing the majority of my marketing to an agency would remove the project managing off my plate.
I hired Several different agencies, but in each experience I didn’t see the ROI to renew. Instead, I discovered the project managers who were assigned to me were skilled at project managing (which is a good thing), but so many critical details got missed because they weren’t skilled enough in all things marketing. [CONTEXT] There are many great marketing agencies out there who have highly skilled marketers as project managers, but these agencies are often geared to Enterprise size clients, not so much for the SMB community.
What I do now, and my advice to other SMB’s (small-medium business owners) is the 70-20-10 mix.
70% of our core marketing is done in-house
20% is outsourced (one time projects or a specialty area we don’t have in house yet)
10% still is done by me (like recording videos, giving interviews)
I finally found the key to taking project managing off your plate as a small business owner is to make sure the project manager is a well-trained Full Stack Marketer.
Ok … there you have it. You just heard from 11 of us about our experiences and opinions on whether it’s better to outsource your marketing or hire your own in-house marketing team.
Whether you decide to outsource or hire in house, the next set of decisions you’ll need to make are things like:
Who should you hire first?
What’s the going rate for this and that?
What is the best marketing strategy they should be implementing for your business?
Where can you go to find marketers who know what they’re doing?
What should you look for when hiring your marketing person/team?
My answer to all of the above questions is this:
I would answer all of these questions differently depending on each unique business owner, bandwidth, budget and brand. If you want to get clarity on best way for you to eliminate the marketing strategy execution gap in your business why not take me up on my free offer? For a limited time, I am offering a FREE 45 Minute Strategy Call to help you work through this.
FREE THE WIZARD
Click the link below and Eliminate Your Marketing Strategy Execution Gap!
QUESTION: What other questions would you add to the list of 5 above? Share your comments and questions below.
It’s a scary time for everyone during Covid-19. We all know this pandemic has forced a lot of business owners to go out of business. 😢😧
If you are blessed to be among the lucky group who are NOT facing going out of business here’s a short video that shares 5 free effective ways to build your digital presence, so you can boost more visibility for your business during and after covid.
We are also offering free help, guidance, feedback, support for business owners on Tuesdays from 12noon-1pm EST on Zoom through the end of April.
Just comment below “Business Owner Public Service” and we’ll message you the link to join.