Archive for March, 2011|
Monday, March 21st, 2011
Ahhhhh! The joys of self-employment. No demanding bosses, office politics, or snooze-inducing meetings. You can dress how you want, go to the gym midday, and do business on YOUR terms. The flip side—you’re working16-hour days, trying to please everyone (especially clients), continuously running the hamster wheel, and ingesting the bad food that fuels it all. After all, you’re the President, the owner, the visionary and the worker at your company. You haven’t got time to slow down, right? Wrong. While research shows that self-employment has risen by 68% since 2008 (that’s a good thing!), the consequences for some entrepreneurs aren’t good–exhaustion, migraines, heart disease, depression, or worse. So if stress has become a 24/7 routine for you, it’s time to implement some of these strategies, courtesy of Entrepreneur magazine:
Step #1: Create a schedule. Enforce structure and stick to it.
Step #2: Implement daily rituals. Create signals for when it’s time to work (ie. end breakfast at 9am or eat lunch at the same time every day).
Step #3: Stay in the zone. Keep distractions at bay by separating home and work time.
Step #4: Define your workspace. Set yourself up in an office area that says “work.”
According to Fawn Fitter from Entrepreneur magazine, “starting a business is a little like having a baby: at the beginning, your life revolves around figuring out how to help it survive. Everything else–family, friends, health, hobbies, even sleep–takes second place. For first-time entrepreneurs with no previous practice in raising a business to maturity, the experience can be even more overwhelming.” She says, even if you are passionate about the company, don’t be afraid to step away for a break. You’ll be more productive, healthy, and proactive when you return.
This Holiday season, let go of business matters that rob you of joyous moments with family, friends, or relaxing time by yourself. Don’t be tied to your to-do list or demanding clients. Reclaim your boundaries and balance…..And take time to celebrate!
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011
Was your company on fire last year? Did you make record-breaking sales and take on new clients who reallyunderstood your product or service? Or did business fizzle out, slow down, or go into hibernation? Were you tired, blank, or financially concerned?
Some good news came last week from a survey (released by the Bank of Canada), of senior loan officers at the chartered banks. According to Diane Buckner, Small Business reporter for CBC News online, previous tight lending practices of the recession have loosened up. It’s now cheaper and easier for small companies to get financed. That’s one option. Another is to ramp things up and set aside some time (even an hour!) for 2011strategic planning.
Whether you warm up those leads that have gone cold, leverage your current client projects for new ones, or solicit new business, it’s time to kick-start the company! 2011could be YOUR year to break loose from the doldrums of being hit with the entrepreneurial “I NEED TO MAKE MORE MONEY!” virus!
Tips for getting YOUR business in shape for 2011:
- Get focussed. Review, analyze, and improve your product or service before you sell it. Make your company message clear and valuable for potential clients.
- Organize your leads: Make a list of your BOSS Connections, contacts from your social media networks (LinkedIn or Facebook), friends, and family who may need your service or product. Contact people you know first because the relationship is already there and there’s a good chance the trust is too.
- Budget your time. Schedule phone, Skype or in-person meetings no more than once or twice a week. Getting conversations started prepares you to fill up your client pipeline. Remember, all clients are ready to do business at different times.
- Be a marketer. Polish up and freshen up your marketing materials. Be a pumped up ambassador for your company. Potential clients latch onto business leaders who are passionate about what they do and usually do a great job.
Business always goes in cycles. But with some thought, planning, and proactive legwork, you’ll heat things up and once again celebrate the warmth of being your own boss.