Category: Small Business


5 Useful Decision-Making Steps to Buying Your Next Business Program Sold at an Event

January 10, 2018

Small Business

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How to Avoid Making Impulsive Purchases from Success-Promising Gurus

I recently attended a 3-day business conference in Vancouver. There were about 500 people in attendance, all business owners and entrepreneurs who where there to network, learn and be inspired.

All in all, it was a great event that resulted in my meeting new people and gaining valuable insights that I brought home with me to infuse into my business.

The conference boasted nine high-profile speakers including thought leaders like Jack Canfield, Dr. John Gray and James Malinchak. Their talks were entertaining, insightful, informative and motivating.

They certainly learned the craft of being an influential presence on the stage well.

But make no mistake, each of these speakers were there with the sole purpose of promoting their wares and influencing the audience to purchase their key strategies, programs and courses that promised business success.

And they succeeded.

The volume of people that ran to the back of the room to grab their limited-time, extraordinary low-cost offering before it was sold out was mind boggling.

As a member of that audience, I was fascinated by what I was witnessing. Perhaps it was my state of mind or the confidence I already felt in my capabilities of achieving further business success, but I was not at all tempted to be a part of the crowd to run to the back of the room and grab a purchase.

I looked around and saw men and women who were involved in a variety of different businesses and industries. Many of whom where desperate to get that SECRET FORMULA that would transform their struggles into riches.

And the speakers on the stage knew this and played right into their hands.

Throughout the 3 days, the audience was presented with lots of solutions, advanced systems and formulas on how to achieve success in their business. But the problem is, not all proposed solutions were ideal for everyone.

But what is a business owner and entrepreneur to do?

They are attending such events to help them with their business so are naturally attracted to the offers made up on the stage.

So to help avoid make irrational and emotionally-based decisions when faced with the pressure of live event and even free webinar offers, here’s 5 steps on what to think about first before jumping in with the crowd and grabbing your purchase:

1. Think things through first. Ask yourself if this opportunity is truly going to get you the return on your investment if you make the purchase. What are you willing to commit to in order to get the most out of that investment?

The key here is to understanding success is not just going to happen by signing up, but to actually do the work. Are you realistically willing to do the work? Are you going to be 100% committed to this or will you get home, set it aside, and promise to get to it when you get a chance?

None of these programs will get you the results these presenters are talking about if you’re not committed enough to follow through on every single step provided.

2. Be objectively critical. When these speakers are on the stage, they are sharing the best success stories possible – the cream of the crop. Often this reflects only a minor percentage of those who have taken the program.

Analyze. Be objective. And don’t make emotionally-based decisions that compel you run to the back of the room and purchase. This is exactly what they are counting on.

3. Decide if your business can truly benefit from what you will learn. Just because they are telling you this on stage doesn’t mean it’s a perfect fit for you, your business model and your goals.

As an example, if you have the gift of service and support, then more than likely will not do well learning to be a speaker on stage, despite that presenter saying “anyone can do this using my system and processes”.

If you have the gift of, say, music, then being a published author is probably not something you should pursue, despite being provided with a “fool-proof, iron-clad method that will get you on the Amazon best seller list”.

Ask yourself if what this presenter is offering exactly what you need to learn in order to reach your business goals or is there something better suited for you available elsewhere? Do you really need to learn all of this yourself or is hiring someone who is an expert in that area a better decision that will help reach your goals quicker without having to become an expert in that field first?

4. Recognize the emotional manipulation that’s happening. We see this all the time. Whether you’re attending conferences or online webinars, there’s always a “limited time offer” that makes it irresistible to pass up.

Don’t let these “One-time-only offers” lead you into thinking this is the only chance you’ll ever get to take advantage of what’s being offered. It simply isn’t true. It’s a sales tactic that preys on people who make emotional decisions and don’t want to be left out or miss out on an incredible opportunity.

These programs will all still be offered after the hype ends. Even if that means paying $50 more, so be it. Give yourself time to objectively work through the pros and cons and decide whether it’s worth your investment or not.

Don’t let your emotions be triggered by the slick sales speech or written sales copy on a page.

5. Do your research. This may not necessarily be the case for headliner speakers we see on the stage, but sadly, there are a lot of very smooth-talking “gurus” out there who are nothing but smoke and mirrors. They offer a lot of hype but little substance.

Do your pocketbook a favour; before investing in any kind of program or product, research the person selling it first. Do a Google search and see if any bad reviews come up. Ask people in your social media groups if they’ve had any experience with that person and what were the results.

Your goal is to make an informed decision, not an emotional one based on the promises of the sales copy. And if you do encounter negative reviews – listen to your gut. So many times wrong decisions are still made because, as human beings, we’re highly influenced by emotions and we can easily justify our actions based on those promises despite finding evidence to the contrary.

After reading this, you might think I’m against purchasing programs and courses all together but that’s not the case at all. I’m not saying not to invest in business growth strategies, but instead to make informed, objective decisions on which investments to make in the first place.

The sad fact is that marketing can be a very manipulative process that is meant to create fear- and lack-based, emotional responses. The people we see on stage, as well as those that do highly visible free webinars, are masters at pulling these emotional triggers.

Simply be aware of that manipulation and follow the guide I outlined above to help you decide whether or not your business can truly benefit from that investment you’re being asked to make.

4 Useful Tips To Manage Your Small Business Finances

January 10, 2018

Small Business

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A small business can fail for a variety of reasons, but money related issues are one of the main concerns. Even with a high-quality service or product, you will find it difficult to achieve success without a healthy cash flow to cover business expenses. Here are a few tips to help manage the finances:

Clear targets

A simple strategy is to set the clear financial goals for the future. This should relate to both the short-term and long-term. It can be difficult to know if a small business is reaching its targets and being successful if the financial goals aren’t determined at an early point of getting setup. In the process of setting the targets, it is useful to set a worst case and best case scenario. This will give a complete picture of how successful a business is and gives more time to take appropriate action if the desired income is not achieved.

Accountancy software

The ability to maintain the finances is made that much easier with the right accountancy software in place. This type of software has a wide range of features and can help with tracking your financial picture, running reports on key metrics, and staying in touch with day-to-day expenses. The more advanced software can help to prepare tax forms or similar financial records. Plus, the accountancy software can significantly speed up the ability to manage the accounts, which means more time is available to work on other areas of the business.

Issuing invoices

A small business is certain to benefit from a system that prepares and delivers invoices as soon as a service or product is delivered. Staying on top of issuing the invoices means payments are regularly received for the work done without any extended delays. It can help to use software to speed up the process and automatically issue the invoices. Also, it is essential to chase up on any late payments to make sure a regular cash flow is maintained.

Control spending

It helps to be ruthless with spending to avoid letting the finances get out of control. It is quite easy to spend more than intended on expensive equipment or taking on too many staff being you are really ready. The best course of action is to carefully manage the growth of the business and make sure it is reaching its targets before spending high sums on purchases or extra staff.

5 Tips For Remote Tech Support for a Small Business

January 10, 2018

Small Business

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You may be the CEO of a new business with a lot of requests from clients or you may be an IT professional at a small firm where new infrastructure is required. No matter what position you are on right now, you need advanced technology solutions. However, you may want to keep in mind that installing and maintaining new systems can pose a challenge. So, you have to be ready to deal with this challenge. One way is to hire a dedicated employee or outsource the tasks to a good team of professionals. Given below are a few tips that can be used to organize remote tech support.

Identifying the results

First of all, what you need to do is identify your desired results. It’s important to keep in mind that each small business has its own requirements as far as tech support is concerned. So, it’s a good idea to decide on what you want to achieve. Moreover, you may want to find out about the technical issues that you may encounter. For instance, your requirements may be different if your area gets regular power outages.

Your next step is to make a list of your main IT tasks and the desired results that you want to achieve. This will help you get a better idea of your needs and choose the right type of technical support.

Choosing the provider

It’s not a good idea to take this decision without thinking a lot. You should take your time to do the research and look for the right company. The provider should have good reputation and a support plan that won’t break the bank.

Considering in-house tech support

A dedicated IT staff can help a lot provided you take into account all the important factors, such as the company size, tech challenges, and your internal and external needs related to your customers.

Considering hybrid solutions is also a great idea where you can bring a professional to handle critical issues. For other projects, you can use a remote IT support team. For instance, you can use this team to take care of emergency issues.

Investing in good software

Your business may have more than one location. Your commitments may be time-sensitive and your deliverables may be complex. Your customers or clients may be diverse with needs that keep on changing.

To meet these needs, you need to buy a reliable remote app in order to offer support to each of your client. The same app can be used by your staff to get access to important data as needed.

Consulting IT pros

If your business experiences small issues on a route basis, you can get advice from the pros whose job is to fix those issues on a daily basis. For instance, you can head to tech support forums where many pros offer advice for free of charge to those who need it. You may be amazed to know that even complicated issues can be solved with simple tricks.