Four strategies for a strong small business growth plan

Four strategies for a strong small business growth plan

Every small business owner knows that planning ahead has its advantages.

Every small business owner knows that planning ahead has its advantages.

Every small business owner knows that there are advantages to planning ahead. Whether crafting a plan to recruit better employees, developing a solid marketing strategy or improving delivery of products and services, having a plan in place benefits companies of all sizes.

One of the most important aspects for smaller enterprises is creating a strong business growth plan. As an owner, if you don’t have a roadmap in place to outline where and how you want your operation to grow, things can quickly fall out of place. Therefore, it’s essential to develop a growth plan that puts you, your employees and your organization on the path to small business success.

By following these strategies and incorporating them into your plan, you can ensure that your company has the tools and methods it needs to grow strong.

  1. Outline what’s most important – One of the first steps to creating a solid business growth plan is to write down what is is most important to you and your operations. Business 2 Community suggests mapping out these points and consider where they belong in your growth plan. Additionally, write down any goals you want to achieve along the way before moving forward.
  2. Don’t be an overachiever – As an owner, you already have ambition and motivation, which are two great qualities for growing your small business. However, don’t let that drive overtake overtake your ability to be reasonable. Small Business Trends suggests that you have to let go of trying to do everything when it comes to overseeing important aspects of your company. Let your employees manage daily operational tasks while you focus on what’s in front of you.
  3. Look toward your company’s future – You’ve heard the old adage that says, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” The same rings true for your enterprise. Small Business Trends recommends that when coming up with a growth plan, think about the company you want, not the one you have now. This will give you a better glimpse into what you and your employees need to do to get where you want to go as an organization.

You can also invest in professional business coaching to hash out your ideas for the future and learn how to implement them.

  1. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help – Although you are in charge of your small business, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for help when you need it. B2C suggests connecting with other owners and networking with professionals in your industry to gain more insight into how you can grow your company. Also, using business coaching services can provide you with a better view into what your enterprise needs to do to realize the success you want.

Every small business wants to grow, and with these methods, you can see your operations flourish.

Maximize Your Online Presence:  Increase Sales While Adding Value To Your Prospects

Maximize Your Online Presence: Increase Sales While Adding Value To Your Prospects

By Amanda Holmes

There are over ONE BILLION websites currently active online. That means you are competing with ONE BILLION other sites for visitors attention. And to make it more difficult, even if you finally get them to visit,

 

55% of visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on your website. (Hubspot 2014).

That means for all the money you spend to host it, maintain it, market it, pay for ads to advertise it… More than HALF leave without a chance to read even one whole sentence. So the QUESTION is… How are you going to GRAB the attention of your potential buyers, and KEEP them longer than 15 seconds?

The answer: focus on THEM, not on YOU. Most businesses talk about themselves. Their products. Their services. Who THEY are. If visitors are leaving your site in 15 seconds, the only way you’re going to grab them is talking about their pains, their needs, and their desires. This concept is the KEY to building a website that will unseat your competition.

STOP SELLING, START EDUCATING.

Take this example, if you went to a coaching company’s website and the page started by saying:


“Our coaching team is made of professional, executive coaches that focus on generating results for clients. Our coaches are highly trained, often running successful businesses of their own, have experience and have proven themselves to be the best at creating a context for results.

If you want to learn more, schedule a free talk here.”


How interested are you? Has anything caught your eye? Would you stop to read more? Did you even read the few sentences that were there or did you already skip over it?

Now what if you saw this instead:


Why is Coaching Important?

Michael Phelps is arguably the greatest Olympians to ever live.  He has 22 Olympic medals, 18 of them GOLD.  In fact, he has DOUBLE the number of gold medals than his closest competitors.

So WHY does someone who has mastered his trade ranking in the top .001% in the WORLD, have 3 coaches to help him? Why? Because top performance requires a strategic edge, and his own eyes can’t provide the perspective of an outsider. That’s why 75% of Fortune 500 CEOs have an outside expert to guide them in their businesses.

So What are the 4 Things that a Coach Does for You?

  1. ACCOUNTABILITY: Having someone hold your feet to the fire to make sure you’re executing, progressing, and meeting your goals. Do you do a good job already? Wait until you experience the progress achievable with a true master at your side.
  2. EXPERTISE:Knowing that someone else has already had success in what you’re trying to accomplish, of course it’s going to be an easier process if you have someone with experience to guide you. 
  3. GIVES FEEDBACK:A true coach doesn’t tell you what you want to hear.  A coach is there to tell you what you NEED to hear, to improve. Period.
  4. SEE THE BLIND SPOTS:As long as you are working in your business, there will ALWAYS be blind spots –things you don’t know that you don’t know. You need an outside observer who has been there before to look over your shoulder and bring your attention to what you DON’T see.

Want someone to revolutionize your world? Metrix Global concluded that executive coaching typically has an ROI of 500-700%. We employ and train the World’s BEST business coaches to: 

  • Keep you and your organization working ON your business, not just IN it
  • Dramatically increase your marketing results to create massive new opportunities
  • Develop your businesses Core Story™ to stop just selling and start solving your prospects needs
  • Create a Superstar sales team, processes and tools to ignite revenue growth
  • Achieve massive results in any business impact area you can think of! 

Schedule a No Obligation Consultation TODAY


What’s different about this example from the previous one?

  1. It’s engaging from the beginning.
  2. It educates the buyer on why they would want coaching even if they didn’t know they needed it in the first place.
  3. It adds credibility by referencing third party data.

We switch this conversation for business owners CONSTANTLY. We incorporate this principle into webinars, websites, and sales scripts. Talk about your buyer, not you. Education based marketing is an unbelievably powerful tool at it’s finest and your website is a great place to start wielding it!

 MORE EXAMPLES

Here are some business owners and clients who have incorporated this key technique:

  • http://www.earthkind.com/ -Click on the Learning Center to see Kari’s education portion, have you ever seen a rodent repellant company be so thorough in their education? This is one of the techniques they used to go from $800,000 to $2.4 million in 8 months. That’s TRIPLE her revenue in less than a year! Educating the major distributors in the market made her Dream 100 strategy highly successful in a very short amount of time.
  • http://medicaloptics.ie/ -Look at the links to the left, a wonderful array of Free reports that add VALUE unlike any other Optician. Doug said his sales increased last year by 20% which is a much better growth than the Irish economy which was only 3.4%. He credits his new online ad campaign using his free reports to provide value for his visitors, entice them to come to his site, and read further, instead of talking solely about his business’ product and services. No other Opticians are this advanced in their marketing efforts.
  • http://sorensenwealth.com/ Sorenson is a great example of someone who has really mastered this distinction. GREAT education. Financial planners do not normally provide this kind of value. Because of that he has a competitive edge above his competition and truly sees results from his website.

FURTHER EDUCATION

If you’re the type of business owner that likes to take the fast track and have an expert guide you, contact us to see where we can assist you to master this distinction and increase your sales. If you want to read more about education based marketing, and the power of a Core Story, you can purchase our New York Times Best Seller “The Ultimate Sales Machine.” Or download some more of our free education in our Training and Tools tab on our website.

If it’s not your product or service they’re buying, then what is it?

If it’s not your product or service they’re buying, then what is it?

Which has a better burger, your local burger spot or McDonald’s?

If it was just about the product or service, your favorite hamburger joint would be a mega franchise and McDonald’s would have stayed as one location. But we all know that the world doesn’t work that way, and Joe’s Burgers won’t be competing with McDonald’s any time soon. My father, Chet Holmes, taught that having a successful business is not solely based on your product or service, it’s about the 12 key areas you need to master for growth.

My mastery training in the Chet Holmes Method started with Chet Holmes as a Dad. I remember my first lemonade stand. It wasn’t just a sign saying “Lemonade.” It was a sign saying, “The Best Lemonade You’ve Ever Had.” I remember asking my father why it would be the best ever, and all he said was, “Trust me.” He was right. The amount of people who stopped to get my lemonade quadrupled. They stopped because they were either:

A. hot and thirsty (they probably would have stopped regardless)

B. impressed that a nine-year-old had the gumption to sell “The Best Lemonade Ever” on the side of the road.

There were instances in my life where learning from my father resulted in unusual success. Within the music industry there are many similarities between artists and CEOs of companies. As a previous singer songwriter, I traveled from gig to gig playing my songs everywhere and anywhere I could (Pig Headed Discipline™). Sometimes I worked just for tips and CD sales. Many artists frowned on working for tips, but there was a point where I knew that at every gig I played, I would close 90% of the room to buy my CD. I was the only artist in my network that actually made significant money that way. Of course, we are all aware that the life of an artist is a difficult one, rarely filled with financial rewards, but you might be surprised to hear that it’s not too different in the business world. A recent survey by The Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that 66% of firms operate at a loss. (Small business credit survey, The Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

So why did I see monetary success unlike many of my fellow musicians? And how does it relate to your business? Let me explain.

Amanda Holmes musician

Amanda Holmes- Playing a gig.

I used to tour with a girl that was a far greater musician than me. She played the piano like an angel from heaven. Her songs were clever and catchy. We went from gig to gig together, and when we first started out, she would get up on stage and her set was just song after song after song. Her songs were beautiful, but they didn’t result in many tips. Then I would get up on stage. I couldn’t help myself. A lifetime of Chet Holmes’s personal instruction came out. The first thing I would do was get the names of random people in the crowd. I would learn as many names as possible, and then the rest of my set would be a full dialogue back and forth with the audience— a.k.a. my potential buyers. Then, not only would I build rapport with the people, I would introduce everyone to the one and only – my tip jar. I would actively talk about my love affair with the tip jar throughout the entire set. In the end, they bought my CD. AND they left a tip.

Now I look back trying to understand what I did that naturally brought me success, and I realize that so much wasn’t my product or service, it was the creativity of my delivery, the rapport with the prospect, and my sheer Pig Headed Discipline to get the sale. We know that 80% of sales come after the 5th or 12th contact. How are you implementing this in your business? What are you doing to keep your buyer entertained through all those contacts?

For me, within a 2 hour set I asked for tips in between every song. Sometimes I randomly sang a lyric about my tip jar in the midst of a song. I would crack joke after joke about the tip jar. It all became part of the act. In the hundreds of shows, only one person come to me and say it was obnoxious how much I talked about my tip jar. Otherwise, thousands more laugh along entertained by my charming persistence. Sometimes I would even add extra incentives for filling my tip jar. If they filled the jar to the top, I would walk on my hands. (If you can get salespeople that will walk on their hands, that’s an added bonus.)

Doing shows with this other singer made it obvious just how superior my sales methods were. I knew that people liked her music more, but she had little to no rapport with the audience, and so it was harder for her to make money at the end of her set. She thought that HAVING a tip jar was enough of a reminder and that the audience would know when they wanted to buy. Whereas I MADE SURE they didn’t leave the premise until they’d taken a CD home with them to memorialize this profound experience they just had with us that day. I made sure that everyone was involved, and they truly got something out of the experience. Because of my entertainment, I was closing everyone in the room on my album AND hers. Don’t get me wrong, we had to have the talent to back up the sales or nobody was going to buy our albums, but it was the years of training, ingrained in me by my father, which got the crowd to buy. It wasn’t just the music.

I tell you this story today to remind you to keep practicing thinking strategically. Come up with more ways to build rapport, increase the level of satisfaction of your buyer, create up-sells that serve your client. What can you do to creatively invite them to pull out their pocketbook and buy? Because often times the reason they buy has nothing to do with the product itself. Mastery isn’t about doing 4,000 things. It’s about doing twelve things 4,000 times. Joe’s Hamburgers has mastered the twelve ways to make a delicious hamburger, but those aren’t the twelve areas of mastery Joe needs to make his company outrageously profitable. Are you mastering the right skills in you business?

After writing this I feel more inclined than ever to show off the talents here at my company, Chet Holmes International. I eagerly look forward to filling your metaphorical tip jar, and walking on my hands (which I can still do) to celebrate your success. You can speak to one of our experts here: 855-244-1990. Or by email support@ChetHolmes.com.

Until we meet again,

Amanda Holmes

CEO, Chet Holmes International

 

Bad Behavior in Your Company Stops Here

Bad Behavior in Your Company Stops Here

Written by Chet Holmes, Business Application by Amanda Holmes

By some sort of miracle I found this article my father, Chet Holmes, wrote about “How to Raise Near Perfect Children.”

Chet Holmes’ Children: Jordan and Amanda

Chet Holmes’ Children: Jordan and Amanda

I’d never read it before, and being one of his children it was truly delightful to find it, for my own selfish reasons, but then as the article came to life in my hands there was something insightful buried within that had to be shared with you all.

Why? Well there are three reasons:

  1. If you’re a parent this is a SIMPLE yet BRILLIANT article about how to be a GREAT parent so your children can grow up to be well adjusted and pleasant human beings.
  2. This article is a perfect explanation that can also be applied to how to be a great LEADER within your organization and build impenetrable relationships throughout your career.
  3. Because I had one of the most loving, wonderful fathers on the planet; the only way I know how to show my love for him is by spreading his knowledge. And, it’s not surprising that all of his teachings tie effortlessly back into business.

In this article he starts with,

When they are pleasant, treat them pleasantly. When they are unpleasant, treat them unpleasantly. If you reward unpleasant behavior, you will create an unpleasant child. The solution is simple. So simple.”

I read these first few sentences and watched the last year and a half of being a business executive flash before my eyes. When I first stepped into a leadership role in the company nagging requests littered my days. I began to realize quickly that this behavior wasn’t producing the kind of results I required in our business. According to my all-too-wise father, this sends the message that “when they behave badly they get what they want in life.” My father’s advice couldn’t have come sooner.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. You have to care enough about your children to intentionally and deliberately train them that it does not pay to sulk, brood, pout, scream, or cry unnecessarily.”

You owe it to not only your children, but the people in your organization, to be consistent. Use that Pig Headed Discipline to create a system of checks and balances so everyone knows what to expect. In this article he gives the example of when a child misbehaves, send them to their room. Now that might be harder to do with your employees, I would suggest finding another simple standard that ensures they know immediately that their behavior is not acceptable and won’t be tolerated.

An example of a real world application:

There was a point in which, my father and CHI, were having problems qualifying leads from the radio. So, Chet enforced a policy that if you don’t qualify the client appropriately with these four scripted questions, you will be penalized and have to pay your commission BACK to the company. Why sell someone if they’re unqualified? Proving that he meant what he said, Chet eliminated any uncertainty among the employees and provided them with the exact questions to help qualify the client. That was the last day we had unqualified leads come through that division. Chet was smart enough to script out exactly what questions qualify the client, then the policy was enforced with results following close on its heels. Your employees will RESPECT what you INSPECT. 

My takeaway: Create the system for how you’re going to manage your kids (organization), put the framework in place, then manage that framework consistently. Most children will resist at first, but they will ultimately understand and appreciate the new framework –or they may just go along with it. Either way, your life will be much easier, because they now have a framework to abide by. Work SMARTER, not harder.

This article didn’t just turn on a light bulb for me, it sent electricity throughout my office. Every day I am striving to become a stronger leader, and if this inspired me, there has to be other people that have that same thirst for growth that will be inspired too.

Keep learning. Keep growing. And shoot us a line every once in a while to let us know if anything we are teaching to you sticks. 😉

Love and respect,

Amanda Holmes, CEO of Chet Holmes International

What characteristics create a successful business executive?

What characteristics create a successful business executive?

PR111111-image1What kind of executive do you want to be?

What are your morals, and how hard are you willing to fight for them?

Having the honor and challenge of walking into my father’s company over the last year, it’s been like getting to know the businessman behind the father. I understood what the company stood for and it’s core, because I knew my father.

I see the business model’s success mirror the way he lived his life.

A gem of advice my father always shared that contributed to much of his success in business was, “Always give away your best stuff for free. That’s the only way they’re going to come back for more.” (#Chetism)

That one concept made The Ultimate Sales Machine a NY Times bestseller, keeping his book on the top of Amazon for years and ultimately catapulted his career to a whole new playing field.  All because he did three things:

  1. Gave value.
  2. Gave more value.
  3. Thought he’d given enough value, and decided to give even more.

He held nothing back writing that book. Concepts that he had refined over decades of work, that clients spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get from him, all readily available in a twelve dollar book holding the keys to business success wrapped in his 12 Core Competencies. To give or not to give, for my father that was never the question, he always gave and it worked out quite nicely for him and his clients.

Since it’s the holiday season and giving is in the air, I thought this would be a great topic to touch on for our blog this week. Giving was not just a business strategy for Chet Holmes. Giving was a way of life, a way of being. Giving truly was my father’s very own Core Story.

Christmas at my home started in July with the music, in October with catalog buying, and ended in February when we finally took down the tree. Why? Because my father found no more joy than to give to those around him. Whether it was giving a lift to a homeless guy, buying iPods for all the nursing staff at the hospital, or hiring the star of a Vegas show to come to Grandma’s house because she was too ill to go to the Stratosphere.

I can see his giving nature run parallel with how he built this business here at Chet Holmes® International™. The most wide known gift running the lines of radio for years is a FREE report on the “4 Ways to Double your Sales in 12 Months.” Over the last 10 years, Chet Holmes radio ads have had record-breaking response rates comparative to majority of B2B advertisers on the radio. What’s our secret formula?Giving.

Once business owners get the report, they’re offered to attend a 2.5 hour educational webinar where we do nothing but give them gem, after gem, after gem, revealing how they can generate at least $50,000-$300,000 in income immediately. What are we doing?Giving. Because of that initial gift of giving, followed up with value and even more value, Chet Holmes and his company as a whole built relationships that last years upon years, attracting business owners WORLDWIDE, cross-selling and upselling into 8 different divisions of products hitting all the pains of the our clients with services that solve. Giving may seem like too much work in the beginning, but it’s not about the small sale, it’s about the lifetime value.

Giving first will reward you later. Chet Holmes and Chet Holmes International are living proof of that methodology. #ChetCulture

What does giving create?

Do you trust a company more if in your first experience with them they’re giving? Giving of knowledge and giving of time. Earning the right to serve. As Chet teaches, your clients will respect you more as an expert in your field, trust you as an advisor, and closing will be that much easier if you educate –give.

We attract abundance into our lives because when we give, we have more than enough, creating a feeling of abundance.

Point being, if you want to be successful, pay it forward. Give your best stuff for free. (Upsell them later ;).

Maybe if you focus on giving, this world could be just a bit brighter.

To the gift of giving-

Happy Holidays,

Amanda Holmes, Chairman of the Board at Chet Holmes International

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