Can Your Infrastructure Sustain Business Growth?

Shelagh Cummins
August 25, 2015
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About 90% of the entrepreneurs who contact me for help want to increase their sales and profits. Most want to double their revenue from the previous year. Of that 90%, only about 20% are actually READY to increase revenue.   Why? Doubling sales puts double the stress on the infrastructure of your business. And very few have the infrastructure in place to sustain that level of growth. So, together, we start doubling your sales by working on the infrastructure of your business. Signs Your Infrastructure Is Not Ready For Growth: You are working around the clock You are working around the clock – and not getting paid for it You are always scrambling and putting out fires You are late on order fulfillment You have no profit Your revenue is mostly going to outsourcing You are not working in your Zone of Genius There are more, but these are the ones I come … Continued

How To Shake The Summer Business Blues

Shelagh Cummins
August 12, 2015
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I just hung up with another client who is struggling this month. What is it about summer and business? The sun is shining, the ice cream is flowing, the pool is calling and so are your kids. All day. Every day. Loudly. All the time. Summer is associated with fun, parties and play … so why are so many of you struggling at this supposed amazing time of year? And what on earth can we do about it? The three most common culprits of the Summer Business Blues seem to be: 1. Loss of Routine If you are anything like me, you are a creature of habit and routine. During the school year, my days are very predictable and it’s easy to put boundaries around my time to ensure I get everything done. Summer however, put a wrench in those plans. The routine seems to change week by week, and sometimes … Continued

Summer Marketing Strategies To Grow Your Business

Shelagh Cummins
August 3, 2015
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  Last week, I wrote about How to Survive Summer While Your Grow Your Business. We did a pinky swear that you would focus on, if nothing else, your marketing. I must have struck a chord because many of you wrote back asking about the marketing – How do I market, What do I market, When do I market and Why is it so important?? Let’s answer the easiest question first. Why is marketing so important?   The How, What and When has more complexity to the answer. Your marketing strategy will have one of three goals: 1. Generate more leads 2. Convert those leads into buyers 3. Sell to your current customers Once you know your end focus – that will dictate what you are sharing and to whom. Regardless of your desired outcome – your marketing goals are related to two things: 1. Maintain and grow visibility to your target audience. … Continued

Surviving Summer While You Grow Your Business

Shelagh Cummins
July 27, 2015
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Are you Surviving Summer While You Grow Your Business?  Summer = sunshine, play, trips, cold drinks and kids. In my house, that means kids around pretty much ALL of the time. Let’s face it – the minute our kids’ schedules change, our schedules change too. How can we keep our businesses humming and continuing to grow as our schedules change and focus shifts? How can we continue to bring in income without having to be as connected and as hands-on as we are throughout the rest of the year? Here are three key strategies to help you earn more, work less and stay sane this summer.  1.  One word: Marketing If you do nothing else this summer, the one and only non-negotiable aspect that must happen is marketing. Why? Because even if you’re not selling, even if you’re not creating, even if you’re not available – you can’t afford to lose visibility within … Continued

How To Fire A Client

Shelagh Cummins
May 11, 2015
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You are selling to people. Having an unhappy customer or a non-ideal client is just part of business. Is the customer always right? Hell no! But in their world, their perception is right – and that is what needs to be handled quickly, efficiently and positively. There is nothing pleasant, nor fun, about letting a client go, but it is necessary. You don’t have the time, money or energy to waste and pour into someone who will drag you down, who will never be satisfied, who doesn’t like your product or who doesn’t pay you. In a nutshell, you can’t afford to do business with them. 5 Steps To Firing A Client 1. Prevention Jennifer from Therapy and Learning Services says it best If you sell a product: Ensure you deliver a top notch experience and product. Ensure timely delivery Ensure personable and appreciative communications Deliver a high quality item Develop a … Continued

Is The Customer Always Right?

Shelagh Cummins
May 6, 2015
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Raise your hand if you are selling to people.   Thought so. All of you. Now, hands up if you have ever had a customer who was… well… less than happy. Disgruntled, demanding, unhappy, someone who complained to you. Mmmhmmm, I hear you. When you deal with people, it’s not always daisies and butterflies. And if you HAVE had a complaining customer – CONGRATULATIONS! That means you are officially in business! My question is… Is the Customer Always Right? I was curious to know what you thought… so I posted this question to my Facebook page. Here’s what you said: Christa hit the nail on the head when she claimed that not everyone is the right fit for her business. And I love that! Not all people are your customers and conversely, you are not the business for everyone. When you stop selling and trying to market to everyone, and you attract your … Continued

How would signing +1 additional premium client change your month?

Shelagh Cummins
April 28, 2015
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  One new premium client a month. How much revenue would that mean for you? Hundreds more dollar a month? Thousands more dollars a month? What would you do with that revenue? What impact would it have on both your business and your family? Yesterday, I asked that very question on my Facebook Page. The answers were right on the mark. Increased revenue would help Janis from Rad Kat Natural and Organic Soaps continue to innovate new products so she had great new offerings for her loyal customers. Maria from Budding Artists, Jen from Social Dragon Marketing and Susan from Watkin Small Business Services would be able to hire and outsource. By liberating their time from doing tasks that are not revenue generating… they could all increase their monthly revenue significantly. More time + more revenue = win. Others messaged me privately. They said increased income would mean a vacation or – the most … Continued

When You Flounder As You Grow Your Business

Shelagh Cummins
April 14, 2015
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No, not this Flounder. This Flounder. More specifically, this flounder. The flounder that happens when things don’t go smoothly, when your sales fall off, when you plateau, when you lose clients… when you lose your confidence. I hate to be Captain Obvious – but growing your business isn’t always smooth. And owning your own business is not for the faint of heart. Even when you experience huge success, there will always be dips. There isn’t a successful entrepreneur out there who hasn’t experienced moments of stalled growth, or low confidence, or been on the verge of closing their doors. It’s normal. Welcome to the club. The difference between successful entrepreneurs and those who close their doors – is successful entrepreneurs know to expect the dips and are prepared when they arrive. What do you notice happens after each dip? That’s right amigo… look at the direction of the curve. Up. You have … Continued

The 5Ws of Outsourcing to Grow Your Business

Shelagh Cummins
April 7, 2015
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We all have varying amounts of time available to dedicate to our business. When we start experiencing success, we hit a plateau in terms of how many customers we can servce – since we are limited by our availability and by the fact our days only consist of 24 hours. Bummer, I know. But thems the breaks. This is why, when we shift from being a Business Runner (she who runs every single facet of her business) to a Business Owner (she who Shakes Her MoneymakerTM and manages a team so she can serve more people), hiring and outsourcing are a non-negotiable part of business growth. Here are the 5Ws of Outsourcing To Grow Your Business Who We hire for skill, but fire for attitude. Bring the right people onto your team – people who will help raise you up, and support you while you do more of the work you love. … Continued

5 Ways To Turn Up The Heat In Your Business

Shelagh Cummins
March 27, 2015
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We are nearing the end of Q1. How are your sales to date? Are you hitting your numbers? Are you building the infrastructure you need to sustain business growth? Are you building your community on a daily basis? Are you owning your time? If you answered NO to any of the above questions – it’s time to Turn Up The Heat In Your Business. How? Easy. Here are 5 Ways To Turn Up The Heat In Your Business 1. Set Your Goal If you are still flying by the seat of your pants, please land. Your pants aren’t going to hold you up much longer. You need a plan. And a plan starts with definitive goals. If you don’t know how, or are struggling to set your goals – go back and read Goal Setting for Success in 2015. Once you are clear on WHAT you are working towards, or how … Continued