Tuesday, November 26, 2013

You Talkin' to Me? (How are you treating your potential clients?)

Original picture and Article from Mashable:http://mashable.com/2013/11/25/customer-relationships/?utm_cid=mash-com-fb-bus-link

By: Stan Washington
Date: November 26, 2013

What Sales Approach Works?

I recently spoke to a number of small business owners and they had different ways to approach sales. One person was very bold and direct and another was shy and timid. Both had sagging sales and both need to consider rethinking how they handle their potential client

Pressure Cooker Approach
"What would it take to get you in one of these?" seems like the cheesiest line from the used car salesman. The pressure sales tactic leaves a terrible taste in everyone's mouth. After a while you get a reputation that you are only there to sell your house with the leaky roof built on a graveyard.

Whisper and Run Approach
"I have a product to try" whispered the shy person. When people said "No!" they ran for cover! This shows a lack of confidence in your own product. People will try to test to see if you believe in your own product. If you don't then they will run away from you and your scary service.

Bad Mouthing the Opponent Approach
"They don't have what I have! They are bad and I am good" makes the potential client ask "How can I trust you?" This approach seems slimy and uncomfortable. It seems like you will do and say anything to get my cash.

All the approaches listed above use one common style. They talk "AT" the potential client.

Build the Relationship Approach
"Let's address your problem together" is the statement that resonates with your potential client.  By understanding your clients' needs, you can provide a great solution to even the simplest problems they face.  This requires keeping notes on each potential client and client.

Yes it's easy to remember facts about 10 or 12 clients but when you get over 50 forget it! Some small business owners had 2,000 and 3,000 people they had to keep track of and there was no way to do it without software!

Try keeping powerful notes on each potential client to land the deal with at http://www.careercoachoffice.com. Try it FREE today!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Is a BOOK in your future in 2014?

By: Stan Washington
Date: November 22,2013

Continuing on trends for 2014, one that seems to be emerging is picturesque cookbooks with easy to follow steps.  I remember the cookbooks of old... full of words and expectations that I had knowledge of how to turn on the stove.  Today this could be further from the truth. People want pictures.

Check out this article from Entrepreneur Magazine

Publishing Trend for 2014: A New Demand for Eye-Catching Cookbooks

Technology Relating to Book Publishing
What does this have to do with technology you ask? I decided to investigate and found some interesting sites that you may use to self-publish your book. In fact with a few clicks, you are a published author on Amazon!

I looked up some sources for you

Kindle Direct Publishing
This relatively easy process takes minutes to set up and you can publish any book any subject.  Please keep it professional! I suggest hiring an editor.

25 things you need to know about self publishing

CNET has some great tips regarding self publishing.


Yes this is Amazon again!  They are going to own the world one day. They aspire to be all things "books" and they purchased BookSurge and CreatSpace and merged them under the CreateSpace brand.  Again, very easy to publish!

Lulu has been around for a while.  They have great resources regarding writing that book and self-publishing. They even challenge you to think e-book!

In all cases the first thing for you to do is start!  You have had the idea cooking for a number of years, so why not write it down and publish it?

Career Coach Office

When you self publish your book why not let everyone know about it using E-Mail marketing?  This is the most cost effective way to directly tell them about your great book.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Smaller is Bigger for Marketing in 2014

By: Stan Washington
Date November 21, 2013

Original Article: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229806

What is your primary message? Whatever it is you have to get to the point these days! With smaller devices and access from anywhere, people expect small slivers of advertising versus the dying ONE minute segment. If you can't wow the consumer in 160 characters (Text) or 140 characters (Twitter) or 6 seconds (Instagram / Vine) you're being too verbose!

Here is how you should prepare:

Reduce your message - Practice tweeting your message today.  Twitter forces you into a 140 character concise message. Reference material is not good for this format.

A picture is worth a 1000 words - Can you say your message with pictures? The trend is to be able to post a picture related to your material for the ever growing visual community.

Did you know pictures increase the likelihood of your message being read by 75%?

Trash the old - Your website is one of your most powerful web tools and if you have old, stale information on it, then your potential client will question your business.

in 2014, brevity will be key!  Create a marketing plan that includes smaller bursts more frequently!


Visit us at http://www.careercoachoffice.com and start your e-mail marketing campaign today!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It's almost year end, do you know where your finances are?

By: Stan Washington
Date: November 19, 2013

Here are some great tips from the Examiner
Reference http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Career-Coach-Office-4668076?trk=groups_network_updates-h-dsc

In the current economic climate, effectively managing your business finances is more important than ever. Below are ten useful tips to help you manage your business finances:
Keep a record of your transactions
Always keep an accurate record of your transactions. Whether it’s for an annual tax payment, a yearly audit, or just assessing your balance sheet, keeping a record of your debit and credits can prove to be very important further on down the line.
Keep personal and business accounts separate
Separating your personal accounts from your business accounts will save you from confusion and protect your business in case of a tax audit. By keeping everything separate, you will be able to manage bills and taxes more efficiently.
Protect your personal assets
It’s important that you take action to protect your personal assets, failure to do so may give creditors access to personal assets such as your house car etc. to pay for any debts. Many entrepreneurs put all of their assets on the line, and if their business fails, they don’t recover anything. But there are a number of ways to minimize any risk; you can do this by formal a legal business entity that will provide you with liability protection.
Save as much as possible
You should try to save as much money as possible each month, whether it’s in a bank or assets to recoup any unfortunate liabilities which may arise in the future. Investing in assets that will provide a return will also make your money work for your business.
Plan your finances
Financial planning is more important than ever. It will determine how much money you will need to meet your financial goals and objectives.Accountants are your closest allies when it comes to strategically planning and managing your finances. If you don’t have the budget to hire the services of an accountant, consider using online accountancy software.
Know your financial situation
You should monitor the financial progress of your business on a weekly basis. You should also know exactly how much money you have in the bank, the amount of sales your making and how much stock you have left. At the end of every month you should review your financial position against the targets that were set in your business plan.
Find a reliable bank to partner your business
If you have a limited amount of capital, you should find a reliable bank that are able to provide you with the right financial help without paying high interest rates. It’s also recommended that you open a checking account. But only use the checking account for business purposes.
Charge what your worth
This can be tough for some businesses. Don’t try to undercut other businesses just to get extra work in, charge what you feel your products or services are worth.
Meet tax deadlines
Failure to submit tax returns and payments on time can be very costly as you’ll incur hefty fines and daily charges. These are unnecessary costs that you can avoid via forward planning. There are a number of ways that you can reduce your tax reliabilities and it’s important that you get the correct tax advice to ensure you take full advantage of them.
Chase any unpaid debts
If you have any unpaid debts, don’t just leave them. It’s your money that’s tied up in someone else’s business and it’s likely that you’re not in business to finance theirs. You can write your own first reminder and final demand letters, but if this doesn’t get you anywhere you may need to use a debt collection service.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Beware: Phone Scammers Impersonating IRS according to NBC Today

By: Stan Washington
Date November 07, 2013

The IRS has alerted taxpayers that the bad guys are pretending to be the IRS and are using a phone system to display the correct IRS phone number, according to NBC Today.

Avoid Phone Scammers by screening your calls
Pick up or not to pick up, that is the question. Do you have a sophisticated phone routing system? If not then you may need to screen your calls.  I have noticed an uptick in robot calls and scammers in recent months.

Take Down a Number and Verify
According the the IRS, the scammers can become belligerent and threaten to send the call recipient to jail. Remain calm, take down their number and contact the IRS or the agency they are impersonating.

How Broad is this?
There has been a report of a scam in every state. It takes a while to catch criminals like this so be on guard and be prepared. 

Here is the link to the IRS:
Please visit http://www.careercoachoffice.com if you desire safe and secure online payments, e-mail marketing and Client management all in one! Try it today!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Can your personality dictate how much you earn?

By: Stan Washington
Date: 11/06/13

According to Time Magazine, your income is dictated by your personality type. Wait a minute!?? You mean if I'm on the far side of being a shy introvert I would earn less than the boisterous windbag extrovert? Yes, that's what this article says.

Do you agree?

Career Coach Office helps you market you business no matter what style you have. Visit http://www.careercoachoffice.com and try it today!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Do I need cash to start my Start-Up?

By: Stan Washington
Date: 11/05/2013

On a recent radio program I was asked the question "where do I get money to start my business?" My answer to him was "start your business before you get the cash!"  This shocked the audience and the radio host! She paused and regrouped and asked me the question "Start your business before you get funding? What do you mean?"

Here is what was behind my answer... Too many people jump into business for the wrong reason or without having a plan or by thinking it's an escape from corporate.  They think of a nice business idea without thinking through the financials of what it will truly take to operate their business on a larger scale. Here are my thoughts

Before investing a large amount prototype your concept!
Take your concept before a very small audience on a much smaller scale to see if the concept works.  It is worth the investment to understand all aspects of your business concept before you send your concept out to a large audience.

Work out the kinks before you ask for money
There is nothing worse than making a lot of noise about your product or service and having it fail the day you open the doors. By starting small, you can work out the bugs in your processes while understanding the landscape.

Fully understand your spend
What is the true total cost of ownership?  Have you looked at all costs of your business or have you only figured up how things will work in a perfect world? You may need help here to determine all costs you may run into for your business.

Consider crowdfunding
Many people are raising capital through grass roots efforts and bartering.  Sites like Kickstarter have become a way of raising capital from many sources.  Make sure you know all terms and conditions before jumping in.

How will you pay your investors?
Once you raise money, remember... It's NOT yours! Yes you now have room to breathe but you must track all investors and determine a way to pay dividends in your company.  They invested in order to make money off of your concept so make sure you factor this in before you seek cash!

Listen to the full broadcast on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpsG2viMA7I

Please visit us at http://www.careercoachoffice.com as a low cost investment to running your small business! Instantly start growing your business today!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Business Over the Phone

By: Stan Washington
Date: November 1, 2013

I laughed as I tripped over a piece of archaeology in my driveway last month.  I picked up the relic and removed it from its bag. It was a phone book! It brought forth memories of when gas was 50 cents and travel agents existed.

This relic reminded me that the use of phone has changed over the years.

 I actually had a conversation about home line versus cell phone versus business lines and here is what we ran into.

Are Toll Free Numbers still a viable option?
I would say it depends on the business. In the 80's, 800 numbers were a must for businesses, but so were the yellow pages. Ask yourself, does it save my customers money? Vanity numbers could be a draw and it depends on the size of your business whether you need to have a toll free number these days.

Should I get rid of my land line?
I have seen more of a movement to drop the expense of a land line and move to cell phone only business.  Again, it depends on how many people are in your business and do you need to share the phone number?

How do I get on the No Call List?
visit https://www.donotcall.gov/ and register your number.  Please note that you can only register so many numbers and there may be other limits.

How do you communicate with global clients?
Global reach can be expensive.  Many people are trading in their phones for web conference communication, but the meeting has to be set up in advance.  Voice over IP (VoIP) has many groups that offer free service as well as paid. I like VoIP but do you have to speak to the person? Can you go to web technology instead?

Should I use a virtual number?
Virtual numbers are nice especially when you don't have a brick and mortar business. They offer messaging services that can send the voice mail as an audio file to your e-mail. Is your business ready for multiple numbers? Do you have sales, support and other departments?

How should I use call routers and voice-mail?
Brevity is key!  It's annoying to call a business with a long message with twenty routing  options.  Keep messaging and routing options simple. Please drop the temptation to oversell while your client is on hold but mention upcoming products.