Is Your Business Giving You the Cash Flow You Desire?

Have you started to make the income in your business you desire?  Are you actually making any sales at all?  I know how frustrating it can be to try to get a business moving on the Internet.   A lot of online business advisers will lead you to believe that it is very easy to be successful working on the Internet.  While some people can find fast success, most businesses take hard work and a decent period of time to make real money.

This is similar to what it takes to get a business started offline.  I worked with the Small Business Administration (SBA) for many years helping entrepreneurs to get their business going.  The major document required for business start-up was the business plan.  Not only did I help entrepreneurs prepare their plan through the SBA but I also taught business students how to create these real-life documents.  So I really understand how important it is to create a business plan to forecast the potential success of a business.

But after years of working with others and with my own companies I realize that there are a few steps that need to be taken even before writing the business plan to be sure you have the best potential for real success in business.  Doing these steps will also give you the best potential to generate cash flow as quickly as possible in the business.

I’ll fill you in on some of those first steps in the upcoming teleseminar scheduled for this Tuesday, May 21, at 10 a.m. PST.  We’ll only have 30 minutes at this time so be sure to get on the line on time.

Register for the call on the FREE Teleseminar page.  If you can’t make, I’ll send you the link to the recording afterwards and you’ll have a week to listen in.  After that, the recording will be in the NACWIB members area.

 

 

Why Christian Business Women Need to Increase Referrals

I recently visited a new restaurant that had great food and exceptional service.  Before leaving I was looking for their card so I could start referring people to them.  Getting referrals is imperative to every self-employed business owner.  Referrals can mean the difference between not having new clients and having a thriving business. Christian business women need to get know how to inspire customers to give them referrals on an ongoing basis to improve business.

One of the best features of a customer who comes as a referral is that they come with a mindset to make a purchase.  Therefore, you have to do very little if any selling.   What you have to do is have consistent service and products that make that new person want to buy based on the referral and to become another person that does effective referrals for you. That leaves you more time to run your business and make money.  So what are some secret to getting better, and more frequent referrals?

Referrals Come by Word of Mouth Marketing – So Encourage People to Talk 

People make a referral by talking about you.  This might be one of the only times when you want to encourage people to make you the target of their conversation.  Word of mouth marketing seems like a natural thing but it really doesn’t always just happen.  Just think about how many great places you’re been to that you don’t talk about with others?  With so many places to visit and so much on your mind, you probably just don’t think about different business you’ve enjoyed or even more simply, you just forget.  That is why the ability to get good referrals is an art as well as a marketing skill.  You need to control the thinking of your customers to make them want to pass the word along about how great you are.

Know Your Referral Sources and Track Them

Hopefully you can tell the people who have referred others to you in the past. Consider creating a special plan to keep track of these referral sources and keep them talking.  For example, you might send them a coupon for your products or services just to let them know how much you appreciate them. That means you need to set up some type of system to start tracking your customers and the people they refer. Do this by getting them on an email mailing list and sending them a notice of specials, sales, discounts, or special events.  Offer them something special when a referral drops their name, and then get the new referral on your mailing list too!

Be Great at Saying Thanks

As soon as you receive a referral, connect with the source and thank them. You can automate the process to make it easier. For example, when you receive a referral, generate an automatic email response to the referral source to thank them for spreading the word.  Come up with some type of gift such as a discount code to thank them. Depending on your niche and your business model, offering a discount can be a great way to motivate repeat referrals.

Apply the 10 x 10 Rule

The 10×10 rule works like this. Make a list of 10 complimentary industries to yours. For example, if you make health food for dogs, complimentary industries could be dog trainers, groomers, and pet retailers. Once you have your list of ten industries, do a bit of research and find 10 professionals from each of those industries that you can connect with for referrals. You now have 100 potential referral sources. Get busy and find ways to connect with these people. Introduce yourself, learn more about their business and educate them about yours. Suggest a mutual system of referring business to each other.

Be Sure to Ask for Referrals 

When a client says she enjoyed your service or product, or that you do a wonderful job for them, thank them and ask for a referral.  The best time to do this is when the good service or product is in the mind of the customer.  Asking for the referral helps to solidifies you in that person’s mind.  Ask the customer if she has a business card and say you want to put them on your business email list or special mailings. Be sure to send a thank-you card to that customer. It never hurts to include something special such as a discount or gift card as appropriate.

As a Christian woman in business, you really need to make the person who referred you feel glad that they did. Now, they will be more likely to do it again. Referrals are a wonderful business builder. Create a strategy to build your referral business; then you can focus more on providing spectacular products and services while satisfied customers help to drum up new business.

Let Fiverr Help Your Business Grow

Have you wondered what the Fiverr site is all about?  Well, it is one of the very first and largest microservice sites on the internet.  It is a site where people with skills offer services for only $5.   The idea is simple, but the results are huge.  You can literally find any type of services you might need for your business and contract with someone to provide that service for you.  It can be very helpful for basic services you need without having to put out a lot of money up front.

I’ve used Fiverr to purchase a cover graphic for a Kindle book and to get some articles written in a pinch.  As with any type of service site you have to carefully select a service provider even if you are only spending $5.  The reason you connect with someone at Fiverr or any other type of service site is because you have a business need.  So you expect to get good services.  Some of the providers will be excellent while others  will not.

Spend some time at the site getting to know the type of work any person can provide.  Look at their portfolios and see how many times they have been used by other business people.  You can also correspond with the person asking questions about their experience.  At least Fiverr is only $5 and if you find someone who does a great job it’s possible to be able to to work with them again.

Here are some of the different kinds of services you can contract on Fiverr.

Attention Getting Publicity Stunts

People on Fiverr can offer to do really unique things to help you get publicity for your business.  For instance, you can get someone to temporarily tattoo their arm with your brand’s logo and take a photo of it.  Someone could offer to walk around carrying a sign advertising your business.  Other will create original lyrics about your business and sing them for you on a YouTube video.

Proofreading and Publishing

You can have your document proofread for $5. You can have a book cover designed for $5. You can have a book converted into Kindle format for $5. You can have an electronic book cover rendered for $5.  A lot of the more menial tasks in the writing and publishing process for both web and print content can be outsourced to Fiverr.

Website Building Tasks

Find someone to help solve a WordPress configuration error.  Get another person to build .edu and .gov backlinks to your website.  Need help moving your website from one host to another? You can pay $5 for it instead of several hundred by going to a system admin.

Random Things

There are all kinds of random services you can find on Fiverr.  You can find people who’ll sign up for Dropbox using your referral link, so you can get extra storage space.  Someone will provide coaching to help you get through a tough problem with your business or another problem.  You can find even find someone to write articles and create blog posts on your niche topic.

Video and Audio Services

Need someone to read your video script out loud in an exciting voice? Fiverr is a fantastic resource.   Want to add a cool animated intro to your videos? Someone will gladly create it for you for $5.  The list of things you can find on Fiverr goes on and on and on and on.

Get in the habit of checking Fiverr whenever you find yourself wishing you could hand off a task. If you ever find yourself taking a long time on a task that’s outside your expertise, try checking Fiverr to see if someone would do it for $5. If it’s work that can be delegated online, chances are someone will.

Make Your Site iPad Ready

Getting your website ready to show up on iPads and tablet devices is the new thing for today. For businesses that are either online or offline with a just a web presence, this is another great marketing opportunity. Because it makes to present your website in the best way possible, here are a few tips to optimize your website for the iPad.

1. Get Rid of Flash Elements

IPad doesn’t support Flash so any Flash graphics you have on your website will not be viewed. Additionally, they can cause your entire webpage to be inaccessible. If your website is Flash heavy, this may require a significant overhaul to make it iPad ready. Consider the pros and cons. If your audience is young and technology savvy, chances are they are using iPads and other tablets. It may make financial sense to modify your website to fit their browsing needs.

2. Update Your HTML

Apple strongly recommends website developers upgrade sites to HTML5. If your site is using old HTML code, you might consider following this advice. The Apple iPod can read HTML5 without any hiccups or glitches. And it’s a simple enough process that you may be able to manage it yourself or outsource the task to a contractor.

3. Manage Your Content

Depending on how you currently manage your content, you may want to look for any new upgrades or plug-ins. For example, if you currently have a Joomla site, you might be pleased to learn that Joomla has a recently developed plug-in to manage content. There are also some pretty functional plug-ins for WordPress platform blogs or websites.

4. Keep It Simple

This is a given, particularly when it comes to navigation. You want to make sure your navigation structure is a simple and intuitive as possible. Remember that an iPad screen is smaller than a standard computer monitor. This means small drop-down navigation menus are difficult to see. Additionally, the iPad is a touch screen which means if users have to touch a tiny space on your navigation bar they may get frustrated by the process.

5. Test Your Site

In addition to testing your site on a variety of browsers including Safari, also test your site on the iPad. Make sure that your site appears functional and complete whichever direction you rotate the iPad. Make sure that the navigation structure makes sense and is easy to use. Also test loading times. If your site has been upgraded to HTML5 it’ll load quickly and cleanly.

Finally, remember that if your website is mobile ready that doesn’t mean it is iPad ready. In fact, the “mobile” distinction may cause loading problems for your visitors. Optimizing your website for the iPad isn’t difficult. Apple is definitely committed to helping website owners and developers. If you have questions, visit the Safari website and the Apple development webpage for help. Technology will continue to develop in this direction. It makes sense to ensure you’re present online regardless of the device your prospects use to find you.