Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Still Eating the Frog

I have only read two chapters of the book by Brian Tracy but it has helped motivate me to accomplish the necessary tasks and EAT MY FROGS DAILY (get them out of the way). The other side of it though is that I seem to have many tasks that are due all at once.

The present task that is hanging over my head at the moment is making a flyer for advertisement of a new CEO Roundtable I am starting. An accountant has approached me and asked if I would facilitate such a group in her office. She is going to send this flyer out to all her customers.

What an opportunity but just not for me. I believe that in any tasks many hands make light work. The future group should be thrilled at the prospect of having many minds and hands to make light work of their situations.

I am also excited about the possibility. It is an honor to have an accountant ask you to facilitate when this person does not know me fully. I look forward to our future together in 2008, as well as, the future of the members of the group.

I'm going back to eating my frog. When I finish this book I will share with all the main points I took away from it.

Until then,

Carole DeJarnatt
Alliance Advisors, Inc.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Eat that Frog

Have you ever heard of the book by Brian Tracy called Eat That Frog? If not, it is an excellent read that gives you insight on how to become a better time manager. If you haven't guessed it, the frog is the project or problem you are putting off or facing at the time.

Today, I am working on my frog--the presentation material for tomorrow. So instead of writing my own material for this blog I will share one more article I thought was worthy.

Carole DeJarnatt

Copywriting Selling Secret #3 - Slash Your Expenses
Copyright © 2007 Scott Bywater

A few years ago, I analysed the statistics of where one of my clients, M & M Pest Control in Sydney, generated all their leads from. As a result of this, Ray Milton, the director of the company said:

"Scott measured the results we were getting from our advertising, and as a result, this confirmed my decision to eliminate over $42,000.00 in unnecessary expenses --- because it wasn't paying it's way."

$42,000 is a lot of money, in anyone's language!

What did I do? I simply analysed his advertising expenses, and identified whether or not the ads were generating a strong yield for his investment.

And I'm willing to bet you could do the same for your business.

Right now, you're probably thinking... in the words of Pauline Hanson...

"Please Explain"

Listen. I've met with hundreds of businesses that advertise in the Yellow Pages. And most of the time, I ask them "What return on investment do you receive as a result of your advertisement?"

To which 9 times out of 10, the answer is as good as a blank stare!

How much money are they burning? Investing $20,000 on an ad (or $1,000 or $5,000, or $100,000 --- the same principle applies) and not even know what their returns are!

Would you hire a salesperson and not "give a toss" about how much income he was generating.

No! No! No!

So why on earth would you do it with your advertising dollar?

Some people say it's too hard. Their staff won't find out for them. My advice. Fire those staff, because they are costing you BIG money!

Listen, all you need to do is:

1.Code all your ads with a reference code to identify the source of the inquiry
2.Train your staff to ask one simple question: "Where did you hear about us?"
3.Enter the details into your computer.
4.Analyse the statistics.

And you need to be as specific as possible. One of my clients, a spit-roast caterer in Sydney measured the results of a series of ads in the local yellow pages directory. You know what he discovered? Only one of the directories was generating a strong return on investment --- the rest were losing money!

Priceless knowledge. And in the world of advertising...


So unless you want to be like John Wannamaker, the "father of the modern department store" who once said "I know that half of my advertising is wasted, I just don't know which half it is" then grab the bull by the horns and start measuring the results of every ad you run. right now!

P.S. going to be really excited when you see property tip #4 because I'm going to explain the one fatal mistake that will instantly ruin your response, even before you place the ad or send the letter, no matter how powerful the copy is!

About The Author:

Scott Bywater is well known for getting results as a professional direct mail copywriter. And also the author of Cash-Flow Advertising. To get a free subscription to his "Copywriting Selling Secrets" newsletter where you'll discover the truth about why most ads and sales letters don't work (And how to make yours different) scamper over to his web site at:

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Marketing Your Small Business

Marketing Your Small Business
By David Mason

Small business marketing may be the most important part inowning and maintaining a successful small business. A good portion of the marketing effort is determining the needs of your target market and then explaining that you provide solutions to meet those needs. Contrary to popular belief, it is a lot more than posting a sign or handing out flyers. Though many of the philosophies and tactics may be similar, small business marketing is an entirely different discipline than marketing of large companies. Successful marketing is not just a tactic or strategy; it is an entire process and you are sure to fail if you are not enthusiastic about your small business.

Done properly, marketing can and will attract all the clients your small business can handle. But I would suggest you get to a place where you work only with clients who value what you haveto offer. If you commit to following simple small business marketing systems, strategies and ideas you can significantly increase what you charge for your services. Unfortunately though, most small business promotions focus only on how great their products and services are. But you need to stay focused on what products and services your ideal clients want and need.

Here’s another big no-no to avoid. Instead of marketing only when you need money or cash flow, commit to marketing your products and services all of the time. It is very important to consistently market your products and services because as I have been saying for years, success is based on persistency and consistency, not magic.

Planning is also a key ingredient to the success of any small business. Developing a small business marketing plan will be one of the most crucial elements to your success. By creating your marketing plan you will eliminate the panic and need for an instant solution to financial problems because you can avoid many of the ups and downs that result from the all to common stop and start marketing. Your plan does not have to be set in stone, it can evolve as you and your business grow. The important thing is your dedication to consistency with your marketing.

The lack of persistency and consistency will lead to an unused marketing plan. This in turn will lead to spits and starts in your cash flow. Successful entrepreneurs who have a small business marketing plan make more money in less time. When you start to think of who your ideal client is and what products and services they want or need, and then combine that with your marketing tools and techniques, an effective marketing plan is not far behind.

As you are probably starting to see small business marketing is an entire process, a synergy of the individual tactics and strategies. That's right, small business marketing is a system where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Another common misconception is that small business marketing is just common sense. Nothing could be further from the truth. An understanding of how small business marketing is conducted is essential for you if success is your goal. You do want results and success don’t you?

It’s all about determining the needs of your target market and then providing solutions to meet those needs. So many people believe that marketing their small business is all about running advertisements, but it isn’t. If you are serious about your success in business, then make understanding marketing an on-going priority.

The ultimate result of small business marketing is to attract more new customers and persuade existing customers to purchase your products or services in higher quantities and more frequently. The successful can attribute their success to having a strategic plan and following it consistently. When you create a marketing plan you will be able to compete at a higher level. Your odds of winning the game significantly improve when you take the time to create a plan.
To your success!

About the Author: David Mason is President of Mason Performance Development Inc., and author of Marketing Your Small Businessfor Big Profits. Visit and sign-up for The Performance Development News, a weekly ezinewith free marketing tips.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Five Essential Entrepreneurial Skills

Harold S. Geneen, the President and CEO of ITT from 1959 to 1971, said that the five essential entrepreneurial skills for success are: Concentration, Discrimination, Organization, Innovation, and Communication. In this article, I will discuss each of these skills and give you some tips for using them to make your practice more successful.

Concentration: To concentrate is to focus. If you aren't focused on starting your practice, to the exclusion of just about everything else, it won't get done. It's easy to get distracted, by a current job, or financial worries, or fear, or just busyness. You must put all of your energy on getting your practice started and keeping it going. Taking your eyes off the ball causes you to waiver, and wavering means failure. Each day plan the three most important things you need to do that day. If a crisis comes up (personal or business), deal with it only if you determine it's more important than those three things. Concentrating on getting your practice started or on keeping it moving forward will pay big dividends in creating a wildly successful business.

Discriminate. To discriminate, you must differentiate between the important and the unimportant. This is the 80/20 principle: 20 percent of anything will bring 80 percent of the results. For example, 20 percent of your clients will bring in 80 percent of your sales. By looking at sales figures, you should be able to figure out which is the 20% in any situation; by discriminating between the 20 and the 80, you can concentrate your energies on the important, where they will be most productive. Here are some ways to apply this principle: If you have an employee who is in the 20 percent and causing problems, let the person go. If you have a client or patient who is just not productive and is draining your energy, let that person go. If you have a patient who is bringing in lots of referrals, focus on that person. In other words, discriminate, by focusing on the standouts. If the standout is positive, encourage this. If the standout is negative, ignore or dispense with it. Once you can do this, you will see a dramatic difference in your energy and in your practice growth.

Organize. Organizing is keeping track of all the tasks involved in managing your practice, and systematizing these tasks for efficiency. Here's an example: Collecting money. Set up an organized systematic process for assuring that you collect the money owed to you by patients or clients. Determine how often you will bill (every two weeks). Determine how and when you will contact non-payers (by phone? by letter?). Determine how and when you will take someone to collections. To organize means to assure that you have a system. Otherwise, you will let events take control of you, instead of you taking control of them.

Innovate. Never stop thinking about how to make things better. This relates to areas like marketing and promotion. How can you promote your practice to gain new clients? Some people call this "thinking outside the box." I'd call it "new ideas for changing times." A wise doctor I know said, "You have to re-invent yourself every six months." Your patient or client base never stops changing; you can't rest on your past successes. You must keep changing and adapting. If you don't think you're clever, find people who can help you with these new ideas. Call an advertising agency and have them give you an hour to toss around new ideas. Or go to your local Small Business Development Center and see if they have a marketing person who can help. Use your powers of creativity and innovation to adapt to changing times.

Communicate. This one is most important of all. To be a successful practitioner, you must be a great communicator - with your patients or clients, with your staff, with vendors, with everyone. This means you must be able to connect immediately with people one-on-one and in groups. If you don't think you're good at this, then you need to learn how. Take a Dale Carnegie course. Practice looking people in the eye. Go to Toastmasters to learn how to do public speaking. Join a networking group, like BNI. In other words, practice communicating and you'll become a better communicator.

So, to be successful in your practice, you need to concentrate, discriminate, organize, innovate, and communicate. That's all. Whoever said it was easy? That's why they call it "practice."

Copyright 2007 Jean Wilson Murray, MBA, PhD.
Dr. Jean Murray has been advising small business owners since 1974. As the founder of Planning for Practice Success, she specializes in assisting health care professionals with business plan construction and startup details. She can help you gain the knowledge to act and the confidence to begin. Learn more at

Saturday, November 10, 2007

It's Cruise Time!

I'm going on vacation! By the lack of posts recently, I would say I in need of some time off. I may be able to post while on my cruise but if you do not hear from me until Thanksgiving week, just know I am on vacation.

Carole DeJarnatt
Alliance Advisors, Inc.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Business Growth Comes from Within

I am working on a presentation for a group of business owners and my topic is Growth Comes from Within. What I am talking about? What could cause businesses to grow from within?

Perhaps it could be employee morale, upselling of products, or what about customer service? My presentation is going to be about customer service and how getting the customer is one task but to keep the customer is a totally different task. I believe one of the most effective ways to grow your business comes from the current customer base through excellent customer service techniques and skills.

Some of the areas I will speak about is: customer evangelism, a happy customer is a referral base. The golden rule--Treat others as you would want to be treated. Repeat sales from happy customers. I will also give suggestions on techniques to use, such as information sharing through newsletters and ezines. Follow up skills of your sales people and customer service reps.

These are just some of the areas I will touch upon. Do you have any suggestions that would be good to share with my clients? My presentation is on the 27th, so please comment and share your opinions.

Carole DeJarnatt
Alliance Advisors, Inc.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Ten Things I like About My Business

I have been slacking this week with the blog entries. I could make all kinds of excuses but let me make my last entry (only other entry) concerning Top 10 and then hopefully do better this coming week.

My last entry I wrote about what I did not like about my business, now I am going to write what I do like about my business as a business coach/advisor:

  1. The freedom to choose with whom you work. When you work for others you have no choice but to work with the people who are put before you. Not as an independent professional--you choose to work with whom you want.
  2. Setting your own hours.--This is another one of those possible love/hate relationships. Even though I set my own hours, sometimes I work late in the night and all weekend. It takes time-management to ensure you do not get burned out.
  3. The ability to network freely. This meaning I go when and where I want to meet the people I need to meet to grow my business.
  4. The sky is the limit on income. I am not on someone's payroll waiting for the next salary increase.
  5. The ability to serve others freely. I am on my own timeclock so if I want to volunteer for events, mentoring, whatever I choose; I do it.
  6. Helping others to reach their goals. When working with my clients, I have enjoyed seeing them meet and exceed their goals. That is what my business is all about.
  7. Learning. I am utilizing many more effective tools to promote my business and myself; email marketing, SEO, blogs, and more.
  8. Building a network and giving referrals. I am surrounded by an excellent network to enable me to help my clients when working with them. I enjoy giving referrals for business to others I know that will take care of my clients.
  9. Receiving referrals. When I receive a referral from a friend, a client, or a person in my network, it is the ultimate compliment.
  10. The relationships I have built. Since starting my business last year, I have built many great relationships and plan on building more. It is great to know and give back to your community.

Carole DeJarnatt
Alliance Advisors, Inc.