Improving Your Business 3 minutes at a time
(sometimes 4 or 5 minutes)
Working through 3 simple things…
- The Problem
- The Solution
- ...And the Result
In every episode, we’ll share a case study of a particular problem that a business owner was having. Then we’ll get into the solution that was discovered and the results. Every episode will offer you a strategy or solution that you can implement in your business immediately. We know you’ll find it educational, inspirational, & entertaining. Enjoy!
To watch a video, click on one of the pictures below.
**Thank you John Freed, for your help in naming the show
I’m Looking for a Better Marketing Strategy
My Employees Refuse to Sell
I am Surrounded by Idiots
Should I hire a friend or family member?
How Many Hours Should I Be Working?
When is the right time to pursue somethng new in your business?
Are your customers making you money or costing you money?
How to keep marketing and selling when you are busy
How do I keep a good new habit going?
I Hate Change
How to get more referrals
It's Not Your Passion if You Need a Reminder
Are you Polite or Trustworthy?
Why would anyone ever hire a business coach?
What’s the best way to organize my time?
The best way to beat your competition and stand out from the crowd
Why isn't my marketing plan working?
Less conflict and more productivity with employees
Make it easy for your customers to do business with you
How to interview a job candidate
How to pre-qualify Job Candidates to interview
Getting their Attention (from Prospects)
Sell them what they want
Life is a Perspective
Get out there and Sell Some Sh*t
Don't be Afraid to Fail
Pay Attention to Your Goals
One Better Decision
I’m Looking for a Better Marketing StrategyI’m Looking for a Better Marketing Strategy At The Entrepreneur Circle we often hear “I need a better marketing strategy” from our clients. But before we get to discussing specific strategies, there’s a few important questions we need to address first: - Is everything else in your business functioning as it should be? - Are you providing great service? - Is your offering something that people want? - Do people believe that you are capable of providing what they need? If you answer yes to all of these, then it may be time to look at your messaging. Is your message crystal clear and compelling to the right target audience? If not, that’s the place to start. Once you have a clear message and clear offering for the right audience, there’s a number of potential marketing strategies that will work. In this episode we will share a case study of a client that improved their marketing response by 300%. Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other marketing solutions http://mentalcompass.com
My Employees Refuse to Sell"How do I get my employees engaged in the selling process?" is a frequent question asked by business owners working with The Entrepreneur Circle. Today's episode talks about this issue and what can be done about it. Consider this: Was your employee hired to sell? Or did they get hired to perform another role? However, everyone in the company should be part of business development. - Educate the team on how to be great at customer service. - Teach them how to talk about the business - Teach them how to recommend and share - Teach them how to spot opportunity - Teach them how to talk about it - Teach them how to gather info and pass it on to sales Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
I am Surrounded by IdiotsWe can't tell you how may times we have heard statements like "If it wasn’t for customers, vendors, and employees, being in business would be so easy." "I feel like I am surrounded by idiots, How can I get less idiots around me?" From coaching clients at The Entrepreneur Circle. We can all feel a level of frustration from time to time with the way things are going in our businesses. However, if you are continuously feeling this way, it's time to look at why. Below are some of the potential reasons why this may be the case. - You are probably the problem (this is always hard and confronting to admit) - Stress induces this feeling - Lack of clear roles and responsibilities for yourself and your employees - Lack of training - Your communication style - Maybe there are some people in your organization that shouldn’t be there - Whatever the reason, it’s your responsibility to fix. You don't have to be a victim. Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
Should I hire a friend or family member?It’s always our goal, whether it’s with our clients, with this show, or any other content we put out, to provide you with useful, practical stuff you can apply right away to improve your business. Today is no different. We’re going to discuss with you a question we’ve gotten a million times. Should I hire a friend or family member? Identifying the right candidate to hire is a frequent topic brought up in coaching sessions and roundtable meetings by clients of The Entrepreneur Circle. It’s an uncomfortable topic, and business owners usually just want to get it done in the shortest most painless way available. Initially, it may seem like a good idea to hire someone you know. In this video we will share some of the pitfalls to making such a decision. Things to pay attention to: - We tend to put a lot of trust in friends/family. Maybe more than we should - We probably don’t vet friends/family the way we should. We may be tempted to shortcut our process. - We may let them slide more, at least for a while. Harder to express concerns, or correct behaviors - Reluctant to fire - We often fail to set clear expectations and stick to them - Puts the relationship at risk Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
How Many Hours Should I Be Working?How Many Hours Should I Be Working? This is another topic often brought up in coaching sessions and roundtable meetings by clients of The Entrepreneur Circle. Making sure you are getting everything done is a big concern for business owners. There is always something to do, and there is sometimes a disconnect between dedication to work, family, and self. Plus, we can get mired down by what we think others are doing. In this episode, we're going to share an example of how to determine if you are in fact working enough hours. Questions to ask yourself… - What needs to be done? - What do you want to accomplish? - Is your growth satisfactory? Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
When is the right time to pursue somethng new in your business?How do you tell the difference between a real opportunity and something shiny that will end up being an expensive distraction? This is another topic often brought up in coaching sessions and roundtable meetings by clients of The Entrepreneur Circle. Changing direction or adding a new product line, can be risky for business owners, but at the same time, you don't want to miss the boat and regret not making a move. Today’s topic is not really a black & white sort of topic. It’s more nuanced but we’ll do our best to help you understand the best direction you should take. Our viewers have heard us talk about shiny objects and not getting lost in chasing them. But there’s also sometimes a real reason to change direction or pursue something new. We have a client who’s facing that situation and trying to decide how to pursue a new direction or if it’s even a good idea It’s a challenge sometimes to tell the difference between opportunities and shiny objects. Some key points: - Recognize that sometimes needs and goals change - Does your market place keep asking for this? - What are your clients asking for? What do they need from you? - Create a real picture/vision - Research and plan - You don’t have to be drastic, change subtly - Create a strategy Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
Are your customers making you money or costing you money?Are you charging enough for your services? This is a question we often bring up to clients in coaching sessions and roundtable meetings at The Entrepreneur Circle. We typically ask this question when looking at revenue goals of a company. It’s often quite surprising to the client when they discover they are leaving money on the table. On today’s show we discuss taking a look at your customer base to make sure that the customers you are spending your time on are making you money. This is not just an issue for new businesses One of our clients made a very disturbing discovery when asked to look at this. He found... - He wasn’t making the kind of money he thought they should, even though they were very busy - After analysis of revenue he found that an entire segment of customers were borderline losing him money. Action: - Worked on converting those clients into a model that worked financially Result: - Some left but most stayed Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
How to keep marketing and selling when you are busyI'm so busy this year, that I don't have "time" to market, so next year is going to be slow It’s hard for me to market and sell when I am busy. Being consistent with Marketing and sales is often brought up in coaching sessions and roundtable meetings by clients working with The Entrepreneur Circle. This vicious cycle leads to feast or famine, the business owner feels like they are a hamster on a wheel, never quite getting that balance of marketing, selling and doing the work. Solo practitioners – consultants, lawyers, financial advisors, marketers, etc... are the business owners that most often fall into this trap of endless stress and worry. Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
How do I keep a good new habit going?"I started doing this new thing, it's working, and want to make sure I keep doing it." Imagine if we stuck to every good thing we started? This show idea was brought to us by a loyal fan of the show. About 7 weeks ago we were talking about a new practice he had started the week prior. He went on to say how it was really making a difference in his day and was wondering how he could insure he stuck to the daily task. He thought it would be a good show topic to explore the concept of sticking to something. Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
I Hate ChangeSomebody once said, I love progress. It’s change I can’t stand. For better or worse, it is imperative to embracing change. Sometimes when I start working with someone at The Entrepreneur Circle, they say, “Just don’t try to get me to do any of that technology stuff”. My response is always the same. I am not here to teach you about technology, I am here to help you work on the things that you think aren’t working in your business. I promise that I will only introduce “technology stuff” If we find a technology solution that will help you solve your problem. This seems to be a reasonable response, and they accept. As a technology immigrant (Anyone born before1980) we can sometimes try to hold on to the old ways of doing things. - We develop habits - We hate change - it’s not comfortable However, if we can look at change as - a solution to a problem - a way to get things done cheaper and faster - a way to create a better customer experience - a way to generate more leads Change becomes more palatable and helps us - Embrace a culture of forward thinking - Be open with yourself about changes in your market and industry - Continually learn - Stay on top of it - Don't get left behind Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
How to get more referralsHow do I get more referrals? is a frequent question asked in coaching sessions and roundtable meetings by clients of The Entrepreneur Circle. Oftentimes we will hear that my networking group is a waste of time and doesn’t give me anything. Or, I am always introducing people, and nobody ever introduces anyone to me. What do you say when someone asks, "Who is your ideal client?" Are you clear about who you want to be introduced to? Are people clear about the problems you solve? In this episode, we talk about some simple mistakes business owners make when asking for referrals and introductions. We also discuss more effective ways to ask for referrals and introductions. Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
It's Not Your Passion if You Need a ReminderDo you find that you are telling people/staff that the company is going in this direction on a monthly basis? Have you been working on something for a long time, and yet you still don’t have any traction? Are you the person that is always telling someone it’s almost ready, we just need to do this one last thing? Do you always have big plans, but can never seem to get them done? Sometimes at The Entrepreneur Circle we run into this client. They have shinyobjectitis. In truth, they have made a career of changing plans. They just think they are trying to grow their business. Today we want to share the story of that someone who for years, talked about all the big things they were going to accomplish, the big new direction their business is going to go, etc. We will also share how he turned it around and started to see real measurable results. Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
Are you Polite or Trustworthy?Small business owners pride themselves on their trustworthiness. So much so that it becomes their compass to their behavior. In my experience working with Small Business owners at The Entrepreneur Circle, I find that most business owners are the most trustworthy people you will find, except when they aren’t. Watch the video below to see where your politeness may be affecting your trustworthiness. It could mean the difference between being one of the crowd, or the 1 percent that stand out. Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
Why would anyone ever hire a business coach?I’m pretty sure nobody has ever woken up and said, I need a business coach. Often times when you meet someone that says they are a coach, you might think “you are unemployed”, “you are a know it all”, “I don’t care, you are annoying”, “who the heck would ever hire you?”, or something along the lines that makes you think it’s a waste of time and money or something someone else buys. The term business coach is generic. People are often surprised to find out that a coach is really someone who allows you to think out loud. Someone who helps you solve your everyday/daunting issues that make you feel isolated, frustrated, or afraid. They give you a place to talk about the things you can’t talk about anywhere but need to talk about. A good coach does more than talk and listen, they will also help you find and implement the solution on your terms. Business owners need to show the persona that they are in control and have it figured out to their employees, clients, prospects, at networking events. But let’s face it, sometimes you don’t feel in control, sometimes you don’t have the answer, and sometimes you just want someone to help you. That’s why someone would hire a coach. When was the last time someone listened intently without judgement to what you had to say for an hour? Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
What’s the best way to organize my time?What’s the best way to organize my time? Time Management is a frequent topic brought up in coaching sessions and roundtable meetings by clients of The Entrepreneur Circle. It's so frustrating for business owners who are just trying to grow their business and get everything done. Do you always feel like you are putting out fires? Do you have problem employees? Do you have problem clients? Do you always seem to have something come up that prevents you from getting things done? Today we want to share a powerful concept with you. It’s a strategy that a lot of our clients have tried. It’s a very simple concept but not always very easy to implement. But when you do try it, you feel a lot more free and productive. Actually, those that have successfully implemented "eliminating the unacceptable" report having more energy, more time, and more productivity. Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
The best way to beat your competition and stand out from the crowdThe topic of competitors comes up in coaching sessions or Roundtable meetings at The Entrepreneur Circle. Today we are going to share a story about a client that became fixated on a competitor. So much so, that it started to stunt his own progress, and prevented him from pursuing his business in his way. We will also share how to avoid this trap, and some things that successful businesses do to stand out from the crowd. Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
Why isn't my marketing plan working?My marketing plan isn’t working. I need help with Marketing I need better marketing? Can you help me get more clients? Are some of the most frequently asked questions/statements we get from clients and prospective clients at The Entrepreneur Circle. Marketing/new client acquisition/prospecting, seems to be one of the most mysterious aspects of owning a business. It doesn't have to be. In this episode, we're going to share an example of how marketing plans can take you down the rabbit hole of disappointment. We’ve seen it a thousand times, small business owners implementing marketing strategies and not getting the results they want. leaving the business owner feeling frustrated, deflated, and hopeless. Today, we are going to share with you one of the big reasons why this happens, and some simple techniques to help you get clearer, so you can create a plan that works for you. Marketing doesn't have to be mysterious, there is a right plan you can put into action. And it doesn't even need to be complicated or expensive. Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
Less conflict and more productivity with employeesLess Conflict and more productivity is a frequent topic brought up in coaching sessions and roundtable meetings by clients of The Entrepreneur Circle. It's so frustrating for business owners who are just trying to grow their business. In this episode, we're going to share an example of how effective communication can improve a business relationship and how poor communication can tear them apart. You're going to hear about one of our clients who almost fired a key employee because their communications always ended in conflict. You'll also learn that when you can take the time to understand how you're communicating and how it's being interpreted, you can dramatically improve relationships and increase productivity. Before you blame it all on your employees, ask yourself... Am I being too aggressive? Am I being too passive? Am I clearly stating what I want? Am I contradictory? Exercise to test your communication style http://mentalcompass.com/wp-content/u... Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
Make it easy for your customers to do business with youUnfortunately, we can only do so much for clients, there are times when we need them to either gather information, take an assessment, make a call, grant permission, etc…. It often leads to business owners asking the question “Why is that when I ask a prospect or client to gather information or do something, it either holds up the sale or I lose them all together?” Completing the sales cycle or getting prospects and clients to comply is a frequent topic brought up in coaching sessions and roundtable meetings by clients of The Entrepreneur Circle. This is a frustrating and deflating experience for business owners and can often make them lose confidence in themselves. This episode of Duct Tape and Popsicle Sticks will show you the importance of making it as easy as possible for your prospects/clients to do business with you. We'll share the story of how one of our clients was able to dramatically improve his percentage of closing sales simply by making the process of doing business with him much more simple and easy to follow. Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
How to interview a job candidateA big fear business owners have when interviewing is that a candidate will show up shiny for an interview and prepared to answer questions. Clients of The Entrepreneur Circle often talk about how to best interview job candidates in their coaching sessions and roundtable groups. They have been burned in the past by a candidate who shows up, knows how to answer the questions, but at the end of the day is a bad fit for the job. Today we want to continue with the subject of finding, vetting, and hiring key staff. In the last episode, we talked a lot about finding and vetting them. Today we are going to talk more about what to do with them once you’ve decided they’re a good fit for an interview. We find it’s best to Interrupt their pattern of what to expect so you can get an idea of their overall personality. Pattern interrupt techniques - Take them to lunch to see how they interact in that environment with you, wait staff, ordering, eating - If they are going to be working with someone on a team, have that person sit in on the interview - Go out to their car. See if it’s messy or clean. See how they take care of things - Walk while you ask them questions…inside or outside - If certain skills are required, have them demonstrate their knowledge – give them a project or have them do a presentation. - Have them come in for a shadow day - References – Ask them to give you a specific reference to someone who can testify to their work performance - Look at their resume to see if you know anyone from places the candidate has worked in the past. Call them and ask about the individual Find out more about The Entrepreneur Circle, and other small business solutions http://mentalcompass.com
How to pre-qualify Job Candidates to interviewThis video is longer than most. We wanted to make sure you got the information you came for. The topic that seems to stress business owners out more than any other is the thought of making a hire. They not only dread the whole process, but they usually feel unqualified to do it, or don’t have the time to spend on this task. I hear many business owners say, “I’m getting better, 50% of my hires are good”. Below are some tips to help increase the odds of making better hiring decisions. This video covers the initial part of finding a good employee. The initial vetting process. Don’t waste your time bringing folks in for an interview if they haven’t passed an initial sniff test. - Create a Job description – be very clear on what you want this person to do. - Qualifications – Identify the skills you need this person to possess. If a college degree is necessary, then make it a qualification. If not, you could be missing out on some good candidates. - Make every step with an applicant is the vetting process o Ask them to apply in a specific way – email, cover letter, etc o When contacted, how do they answer the phone? o How long do they take to call back? o What’s their email address? You can tell a lot about someone’s by how their email looks - What’s their voicemail message? Once again, this is a bird’s eye view into the person you are about to consider for the job. - Do they follow instructions for meeting time? o Do they answer the phone when you call? o Did they plan accordingly for the call? Or are they driving, in a loud chaotic area, etc.? - Have they visited your website? Do they know who you are when you contact them? Or do they say, “what job is this?” - If they are currently in a job, are they taking calls during work time? Do they say things like, “I’ll be at work, but I can take the call.” - During the interview a candidate will say the things that sound good, paying attention to all the details that lead up to a call or face to face interview will really tell you who the person is. We will cover tips for interviewing in future videos. For more episodes, or to take our business assessment go to mentalcompass.com
Getting their Attention (from Prospects)Breaking through the noise is hard. Not sounding like everyone else is hard. But before people buy from you, they need to know about you and feel confidence in you. First, get their attention. There are 4 primary ways to get people’s attention: buy it , ask for it , approach directly , earn it. Which one(s) are right for you?
Sell them what they wantTake our complimentary business assessment http://mentalcompass.com/business-blueprint-assessment/ We always want the idealistic outcomes for our clients. But what our clients want is something much more practical and useful. They want us to show them practical solutions they can implement. . To make a real difference in your clients’ lives, don’t sell them on the big idea, the grandiose outcome. Instead, find out what their real problems are, build a strategy around solving it and help them solve it. It’s that simple. More questions give us a call 866-627-6753
Life is a PerspectiveThanks for watching our first Daytona Beach Shores version of Duct Tape and Popsicle Sticks. I’m so excited. We’re living a dream come true and spending an extended period of time working remotely from the beach in Florida. While Maria was walking on the beach today and thinking about our business, she had an interesting idea to share with you.
Get out there and Sell Some Sh*tI was talking to a friend and good friend of the show recently about the importance of knowing how to sell, and being willing to sell. There’s no amount of marketing that will work for you if you’re not willing to get out there and sell. We have an old friend who likes to say, “you know the best way to grow your business? Get out there and sell some sh*t”.
Don't be Afraid to FailToday we want to talk to you about something so simple but so important. It’s the fear of failure. We know someone who, for years, has been talking about all the things they’re going to do. He uses a lot of words and shares big, grand plans but nothing ever comes of them. Truly, nothing has talked about since we’ve known him has come to fruition. Why?? Because he’s afraid to fail.
Pay Attention to Your GoalsToday we want to talk to you about a subject that I’m sure you’ve talked about 100 times before. But we want to present it to you today in a way that will actually make a difference in the performance of your business. We know you’ve heard all about goals…stretch goals, big hairy audacious goals, call them whatever you want. And they usually don’t come to pass. Today we’re going to share the story of one of our clients and how she makes goals setting work very well.
One Better DecisionHere’s a concept Maria came up with several years ago. Like most of the things we talk about on this show, it’s so simple but can make a huge difference in your business and life. She calls it one better decision.