If You Want To Be A BIG Business, Start Acting Like One

By Sabrina Risley

As a business owner, you are intimately aware of the hard work that goes into growing, building and expanding a business… month after month, year after year.  What do you see when you look back on the previous year and compare it to where you are now.  If you’d like to see expansive growth over the coming year, it might be time to switch things up.  After all, you cannot continue doing what you are currently doing and expect to see different results, one year from now. 

If you want to be a BIG business, you have to start acting like one.  Below are a few strategies you might consider to step up your game.  After reading, I’d love your feedback and any ideas you have.

Public Relations – Raise community awareness of your business by a number of means including distributing press releases, getting involved in professional networking organizations (not just attending), increasing your community involvement, volunteering for charities and non-profits, sponsoring community and other programs, and joining service organizations  such as Rotary,  Kiwanis, Optimist, and Soroptimist.  A great resource for finding volunteer opportunities in your area is www.Serve.gov.  Having read all this, if you are overwhelmed with formulating a strategic PR plan, consider hiring a PR firm for professional guidance and assistance.

Outsource or Hire Staff – Business owners often wear hats belonging to bookkeeping, sales, marketing, advertising, social media, administrative assistants, customer service, plus more.  Outsource what you can or hire experts to handle what you don’t enjoy, can’t manage effectively or is preventing you from focusing on strategy and nurturing important relationships.

License Your or Their Products/Services – If you’ve got a great brand, consider licensing your product to partners, an extended sales force, adding revenue to your bottom line.  You can receive upfront payment and then royalties for each sale.  Or, if adding products/services to your repertoire makes sense, find a company offering complementary products and look into a licensing partnership with them.  Either option can bring great value and revenue to your business.  However, it may be best to hire a consulting firm and/or intellectual property attorney to protect your interests.  I thought these articles were helpful:  How to License Someone Else’s Product and How to Successfully License a New Product or Invention.

Document, Implement & Automate Processes –Free yourself up by investing in CRM software, auto-responders, card sending programs, customer service processes, sales from your website, and… what else?  What are you doing that a system or a person can be doing for you once the process has been defined and documented?   Documentation is crucial to minimize time spent training new or retraining existing employees.   Automate with caution… do not automate what you feel requires a personal touch or interaction.

These are just a few ideas that, with consistent effort, can take your business to the next level.  Keep in mind that results may not show up immediately as it can take time to achieve measurable results.  But once you start seeing that upward curve in your revenue, you’ll see that it was worth the wait.  What ideas can you share with us that have worked for you or what are you switching up to take your business to the next level?

(c) 2011 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Collabora-Preneurship May Be Your Next Step

By Sabrina Risley

While many professionals I meet are solo-preneurs, they are not necessarily flying solo.  Ditto with regard to employees building a portfolio or book of business for a small, mid or large sized organization.  In fact, many professionals are recognizing the power of collaborating with others to leverage resources they may not have at their fingertips.  They are becoming what I like to refer to as “collabora-preneurs.” 

A collabora-preneur is someone who collaborates with others in business to meet a common goal.  You see, you can’t do everything on your own and still give 100% of your attention where it is needed most.  Whether working for yourself or someone else, collaboration is one of the golden tickets to your success.  If something stops you from meeting your goal(s) or from expanding, find someone who or a company that can fill the space.  Do not make the mistake of thinking you and your company have to deliver what the market demands when you can leverage expertise that already exists. 

Some of the benefits to collaborating include:

(1)  Making use of someone else’s expertise

(2)  Leveraging manpower and resources

(3)  Cross-promoting and co-marketing

(4)  Brainstorming ideas and masterminding

(5)  Expanding without losing focus of core competency

(6)  Offering more to existing customers.

Allow me to offer up my company as an example of collabora-preneurship.  Since 2004, Behind The Moon (BTM) has offered networking events to Colorado professionals.  After five years, I thought it was time to expand our services and in 2009, BTM ventured into offering referral groups to the professional community, known better as leads groups.  It was not my forte but, with the proper due diligence, would be a nice complement and stepping stone to further our success.  Instead of additional success, what I found was that developing and operating leads groups was a distraction and took me away from the forward progress of BTM’s core competency, networking events and educating professionals on effective networking techniques.  I found myself overworked and under great self-inflicted pressure, attempting to over-deliver on a service with which I had very little experience and expertise.

After 18 months of reinventing the wheel (which I highly discourage), I realized I lacked the available time to dedicate to fully developing and delivering an outstanding leads group service.  However, rather than discard my efforts, I decided this would be an ideal opportunity to collaborate with another company.  It is June 2011 and I am thrilled to announce that BTM has joined forces with Mark Hiatt of Business Leads of America (BLA).  As long as BTM has been offering networking events to professionals, BLA been offering leads groups, and has done so very successfully.  BLA operates 12 leads groups throughout Colorado and 5 in Arizona.

BTM and BLA form a strong partnership as, among other reasons, both our organizations can now leverage services of the other without distraction from our core competency.   As a result, BTM and BLA members gain greater value, a stronger community, plus tools and resources now available to impact their personal and professional growth.  This is an alliance that benefits both communities.

If you are itching to venture into a new market or offer a new product or service, collaborating or collabora-preneurship may be the next step to consider.

See Tips For A Successful Joint Venture for information about what to look for in a partner.

(c) 2011 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information above along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Do Not Get Depressed At Your Job

By Stanley Popovich
 
Some people can get depressed at their job and they do not know what to do about it.  As a result, here is a list of techniques that a person can use to make their job more satisfying.
 
One of the ways to manage your depression at your job is to challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make your fearful or depressed, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense. For example, you are afraid that if you do not get that job promotion then you will be stuck at your job forever. This depresses you, however your thinking in this situation is unrealistic. The fact of the matter is that there all are kinds of jobs available and just because you don’t get this job promotion doesn’t mean that you will never get one. In addition, people change jobs all the time, and you always have that option of going elsewhere if you are unhappy at your present location.
 
Some people get depressed for a few minutes and do not know what to do.  When this happens, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do to get their mind off of the problem.   A person could take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. Doing something will get your mind off of the problem and give you confidence to do other things.
 
Sometimes, we can get depressed over a task that we will have to perform in the near future. When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you and your team have to play in the championship volleyball game in front of a large group of people in the next few days. Before the big day comes, imagine yourself playing the game in your mind. Imagine that your playing in front of a large audience. By playing the game in your mind, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Self-Visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation.
 
Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that makes you feel good. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you in your pocket.  Whenever you feel depressed, open up your small notebook and read those statements.
 
Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your fears and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem.  By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future. Managing your fears and anxieties takes practice.  The more you practice, the better you will become.
 
BIOGRAPHY:
 
Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” – an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com/

How to Deal with the Stresses and Anxieties at Your Job

By Stanley Popovich

Stress and anxiety are very common in today’s business world.  As a result, here is a list of techniques that a person can use to help manage their daily stresses and anxieties at their job and in the business world.

Sometimes, we get stressed when everything happens all at once. When this happens, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get their mind off of the problem. A person could take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things.

When facing a current or upcoming task at your job or business that overwhelms you with a lot of anxiety, divide the task into a series of smaller steps and then complete each of the smaller tasks one at a time. Completing these smaller tasks will make the stress more manageable and increases your chances of success.

Challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make your fearful or depressed, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense. For example, you are afraid that if you do not get that job promotion then you will be stuck at your job forever. This depresses you, however your thinking in this situation is unrealistic. The fact of the matter is that there all are kinds of jobs available and just because you don’t get this job promotion doesn’t mean that you will never get one. In addition, people change jobs all the time, and you always have that option of going elsewhere if you are unhappy at your present location.

Remember that no one can predict the future with one hundred percent certainty. Even if the thing that you feared does happen there are circumstances and factors that you can’t predict which can be used to your advantage. For instance, you are at your place of work and you miss the deadline for a project you have been working on for the last few months. Everything you feared is coming true. Suddenly, your boss comes to your office and tells you that the deadline is extended and that he forgot to tell you the day before. This unknown factor changes everything. Remember: We may be ninety-nine percent correct in predicting the future, but all it takes is for that one percent to make a world of difference.

In dealing with your anxieties at your job, learn to take it one day at a time. While the consequences of a particular fear may seem real, there are usually other factors that cannot be anticipated and can affect the results of any situation. Get all of the facts of the situation and use them to your advantage.

Our anxieties and stresses can be difficult to manage at our place of work and in the business world. The more control you have over your stresses and anxieties, the better off you will be in the long run at your job and other business endeavors.

BIOGRAPHY:

Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” – an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com/

Keeping F.O.C.U.S.

By Andrea Costantine

In this day and age when we are receiving over 10,000 messages daily through the radio, Internet, email, television, blackberries, iPhone’s and more, the term “focus” seems like something of the past.  

Adults seem to be riddled with their own ADHD-like tendencies by checking emails incessantly throughout the day, answering midday unexpected phone calls, and getting interrupted every so often by co-workers, urgent emails, instant messages and texts.  

With all that interruption, no wonder we feel scattered, disorganized, and have complete lack of control.

I have created FIVE keys to help you keep the F.O.C.U.S.

F: Finish what you start  –  make time to finish anything that you start. If you are checking emails, respond to the emails right away. If you get your mail, go through it right then and there. Finish whatever project you are working on before moving on to the next item. Finishing what you start will leave you feeling like you accomplished a lot more in each day than half-heartedly doing multiple tasks.

O – Organize your life –  a clear office and workspace will keep you on task and less distracted. Keep up with administrative tasks by scheduling one day monthly to file, type up, organize, tie  up loose ends. When you are organized you will be more productive and will have a clear head to start every day. Clean your desk at the end of every workday, never leave with a stack of papers or anything messy that can start off the next day in a frenzy.

C-  Create the top six – Know the six most important items for you to work on, plan your day the night before and do those six items before you do anything else. Planning your day the night before gives your subconscious mind time to figure out how to complete those tasks you want to finish. Some people don’t even allow themselves to check emails or anything else until their top six items are completed. (These are highly productive, successful people!) Start with the top three if six is too much. 

U – Use time blocks – Use blocks or chunks of time for specific activities and tasks. Perhaps Monday is creation day, Tuesday’s are networking meetings, Wednesday’s are marketing days, etc. Even within those days you can block your time out even more narrowing down each task throughout the day and then having only a limited number of time to work on an ongoing project.  When you block your time and don’t allow interruptions, you can be more focused to get work done more timely.

S – Schedule wisely – schedule appointments according to your schedule, not everyone else’s.  If someone wants to see you on a Tuesday, but you only do appointments on Monday, wait until the following week to make that appointment.  Schedule everything including email time, working out, lunch, etc. Keep to a schedule and move along from task to task easily and effortlessly.

Consider this… when you are scattered and jumping from one thing to another, you can actually feel dissatisfaction at the end of your workday.  True focus is tough. I am surely not perfect at it but getting better and better. I do know how great I feel when I have had a truly focused day.

Sometimes focused work may only be an hour or two, but that hour or two could be leading you to a more prosperous life and business

(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Andrea Costantine is a writer, speaker, and wanna-be artist, focusing on the good things in life.  She is a perpetual optimist, lover of nature, yoga, travel, and new experiences.  Learn more about Andrea at www.andreacostantine.com.

Managing The Fear And Anxieties of Finding Another Job

By: Stanley Popovich

Layoffs in today’s business world are common and with it comes the fear and anxiety of finding another job. With this in mind, here is a list of techniques that a person can use to help manage their stresses and anxieties in finding a new job.

A technique that can be used to reduce the stress of finding another job is to divide the task into a series of smaller steps and then complete each of the smaller tasks one at a time. For instance, the first thing you should do is to determine what kind of job you want. Once you know what you are looking for, the next step is to update and prepare your resume. Once that is finished, you should then concentrate on finding the companies that interest you and send your resume to them. Once you submit your resume, the next step is to prepare for the job interview. By completing these smaller tasks, you will reduce your stress and anxiety and increase your chances of finding another job.

Sometimes you may get depressed during your job search. Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that make us feel good. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you in your pocket. Whenever you feel depressed, open up your small notebook and read those statements.

In addition, it also helps to write down a list of things you are thankful for in this world. For instance:  good health, a good marriage, lots of friends, being smart and resourceful, and a good education are things that any person can be thankful for. Whenever you get discouraged in finding another job, take out your list and focus on the things that make you happy. This technique will make you feel better and give you more encouragement to continue with the job search.

Sometimes, we may be nervous doing a certain task that may be scary. When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you have an interview in a few days. Before the big day comes, imagine that you are in the interview. Imagine that you are talking to the manager about your qualifications. By practicing the interview using your mind, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Self-Visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation.

Finding a new job can be tough, however remember to take it one day at a time. While the consequences of a particular fear may seem real, there are usually other factors that can’t be anticipated and can affect the results of any situation. Focus on the present and do your best each day.

Our anxieties and stresses can be difficult to manage when finding a new job. Managing your stress during a job search takes practice. Be patient and in time you will become better in dealing with your anxieties.

Contributed by:

Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” – an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com/.

Dealing With The Anxieties And Stresses Of Managing Your Own Business

By Stanley Popovich

Many business owners have to deal with a lot of stress and anxiety nowadays. It can be tough to own your own business and to be successful in what you do. As a result, here are some suggestions on how you can reduce the stress of owning your own business.

The first step is to manage your expenses and pay your bills on time. Develop a budget, do not spend more than what you make, and learn to reduce your expenses when you can.

Learn to manage your responsibilities by assigning certain tasks to others. If you do not have time to do the accounting, then let your assistant do it. You are only one person and can only do so much on a given day. Do what is most important and delegate the rest.

Talk with your customers and employees on a regular basis. Find out what is on their minds. Ask for any suggestions on how to improve business productivity and morale. Communicating with your workers and clients will help prevent future problems and conflicts.

Most importantly, develop a business plan and follow it. Being organized and goal oriented is very important in managing a business. Following a plan or set of goals will prevent you from a lot of stress and anxiety. It is much easier to accomplish anything once you have a plan.

Learn to take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week or coming month, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your business problems. Hopefully, when the time comes, you will have learned the skills to deal with your situation.

Be smart in how you deal with your business problems. Do not try to tackle everything all at once. When facing a current or upcoming task that overwhelms you with a lot of anxiety, break the task into a series of smaller steps. Completing these smaller tasks one at a time will make the stress more manageable and increase your chances of success.

Managing a business can be stressful, but the key is knowing how to manage your anxieties. There is a right way and wrong way to manage a business. Continue to learn effective techniques in managing your business and improve your bottom line. This will go a long way in getting rid of your stress and other business problems.

Contributed By:

Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” – an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com/ 
 

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