My new format…

Well here we go!  Since I have launched my Sadler Business Coaching newsletter (sign up at  http://scottsadlercoach.com)  and it will focus on coaching and other business tips.  I decided to write my random thoughts on all the good that is as my topic for my blog.

Posts could be daily, weekly or monthly.  The idea is to write from “inspired action” as my coach Jennifer suggests we do with everything.  This is interactive, so if you would like to share your good things please do as often as you would like!  This is to serve as a place to be with the good even if you are in a negative situation now, you can come here to fill yourself on the good that is always present in out lives.

The Good: Today I get to go to work at the Small Business Development Center.  I am there only one day a week, but I am always excited to go.  The work is stimulating, the clients are great, and my co-workers and Director of the center are awesome.

Where is your good today?

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Imagine your business serving you, instead of you serving your business!

You plan for your business concept, plan your cash flow needs, your marketing needs, your staffing needs, licensing, insurance, location, inventory, equipment, and a myriad of other logistics that may apply to your specific business or industry.


As Entrepreneurs this is not only our nature, but it is how we are taught. It cannot be understated how important it is to plan in a business for your future or there may be no future! There is one thing the majority of Entrepreneurs miss in the planning of a new business or improving an existing business, themselves. How do the dreams and goals of what the owner coincide with the goals of the business? Do they match? How will the business serve your personal goals, dreams and desires?
This is, in my humble opinion, the most overlooked aspect of planning for a business. This is akin to getting ready for a cross country road trip. You wash your car, change the oil, rotate your tires, pack your bags, plan your trip on a map, and then leaving with only a gallon of fuel in the car. You will make some progress, but without a Vision (fuel), your business may not be as appealing or fulfilling as you originally had hoped.
I have been an Entrepreneur since 1989. I have had huge successes and miserable failures. When I was successful the business served me and my personal life I desired. When I have failed my personal life was not being served by my business and so there was no sustainability for the life of the business. If you try to succeed without aligning your Vision with the business, then your personal life will have to adapt to the business. There is, in the beginning of any business, a certain amount of misalignment between the business direction and Vision. This should be temporary! There should be a point when the business comes into alignment with your overall Vision that provides what I call Holistic Happiness. This is the place where your business vision and your personal vision intersect. This is the place of joyous, calm, confidence that makes going into your business, not like working at all.
I discovered this for me quite by accident. I have been very systems oriented in my businesses over the years. People would ask me how I managed so many people so well, had such high customer retention, or was able to market and grow my business so quickly. I, believing there are really no secrets in running a business, would happily share what I was doing in my business thus helping others. Little did I realize at the time that the act of helping others as humans first and other roles second was my true calling.
A few businesses later, I wrote what I really wanted for my life. I spent as much time planning and thinking that through as I would a well thought out marketing plan or financial plan for my business that I would own a business that was on purpose. My concept would bring me and my customers’ fulfillment and value every day.

Coaching/Consulting was the obvious answer for me. I recognized my other businesses had been just a front for doing what I really was drawn to do, helping other business people. So I started working as an Adjunct Faculty member as a business advisor and instructor for the Small Business Development Center at the local community college, and a short time later started Sadler Business Coaching. There has not been one day I have not been excited to go to work at either place. I feel exhausted at the end of everyday but it is a really fulfilling kind of tired. My personal life is more fulfilling as well. I am able to do the things I want to do when I want to do them through working the systems I have implemented, but it all starts with the Vision.
There are four components to get you working on your own Holistic system for your life and business. Vision, Mission, Goals, and Time Management.
For the Vision, write down how your life would look if you had no concerns about relationships, time, or money. Just write, don’t over think! Than pare it down to a two or three sentence statement that reflects what you want from life. Will your business get your there? When? What will you have to do to make that happen in your business?
Next write your Mission for your business. The Mission is how your business serves your customers. What would you ideally like for your customers say about your product or service? This should support your Vision. Most of us get these backward and that leads to burnout and disillusion in your business. You cannot serve your customer and put your own needs second. It simply is not sustainable to do so.
Following this is a goal system that supports your Mission and Vision. These should be very specific, measurable, timely, and list who will be responsible. The key is if the goal does not serve your Vision and Mission it is not a worthy goal and should be replaced.
The foundation for all of this is time management. There are a many systems to choose from. Be sure to schedule days away from all business activities on a weekly basis to be at your best while in your business.
Your days should be structured in a way to ensure you are working on the important tasks that support your Mission and Vision. This may require delegating some things you had done in the past or restructuring your organization as a whole. Remember the old adage: It takes 21 days to become a habit. Changing daily task/time management habits will be important to propel you toward your ideal life.
If I can do this so can you. You can have it all! It requires asking what you really want out of life. Talk to somebody you trust and respect and ask their opinion. Don’t isolate yourself in this process. It is important to be supported. It can be sometimes lonely as and Entrepreneur, but it does not have to be that way. If you always work toward your ultimate Joy, everything else will fall into place. It comes down to focusing on, Personal Growth, Business Management, and Holistic Happiness. Just imagine, your business serving you, instead of you serving your business.
Contact me for more information about having me speak to your organization, or one on one coaching for your purpose, goals, and balance. http://www.scottsadlercoach.com/
Published in: on November 14, 2009 at 11:14 pm  Comments (3)  

What’s Your Purpose?

After a much needed break from my routine I am back! (See next month’s blog, Balancing Your Schedule)

I do a lot of work with businesses and the Vision of a business is something I always ask about in the beginning. Without a clear Vision the business is somewhat aimless on its journey and day to day operations become monotonous exercises in boredom. After a Vision is established suddenly what the business does has new meaning. It allows a reason to come to work, to be working toward something grander than just “making the widgets”.

The Life Purpose Statement works the same in your personal life. Many times I have been working with a client on a business issue and it has come down to whether or not the business was serving the owner, or the owner was serving the business. After some pondering, it becomes clear that your business should serve the Life Purpose Statement first for maximum impact for your happiness and effectiveness in your operation and life.

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it”
-MICHELANGELO

I believe Jack Canfield has the best exercise for creating your Life Purpose Statement in his excellent book “The Success Principles”. He credits Spiritual Coach Arnold M. Patent for this exercise.

1) List two of your unique personal qualities, such as enthusiasm and happiness.
2) List one or two ways you enjoy expressing those qualities when interacting with others, such as to inspire.
3) Assume the world is perfect right now. What does this world look like? How is everyone interacting with everyone else? What does it feel like? Write your answer in a statement, in the present tense, describing the ultimate condition, the perfect world as you see it and feel it. Remember, a perfect world is a fun place to be!
Everyone is enthusiastic about their lives and the lives of others. Everyone is prosperous, in every way. Everyone is experiencing love and happiness in abundance.

4) Combine the three prior subdivisions of this paragraph into a single statement.
Scott’s Life Purpose:
Use my enthusiasm to inspire others toward prosperity, love and happiness.

Now that you have your statement it is important to use it to stay on purpose. Carry it with you, read it often. I review mine every morning to start my day. This is my barometer. When things are challenging I can check in to see that I am living my Purpose in that moment and make the necessary adjustments. The next step is to share it with your inner circle of friends and ask them to share their thoughts and support on Purposeful Living.

This is a foundational step for creating success in your life. It is a very important step since everything else you do from here on out will be tested against your statement. So go forth with confidence and start living your Life’s Purpose today!
Please share yours with me after it is complete and if you have any questions let me know. I enjoy seeing the different exciting statements, in action out in the world.

For more information about success planning and implementing your life’s purpose contact me at scott@scottsadlercoach.com or visit our website at http://scottsadlercoach.com/
Published in: on September 15, 2009 at 3:11 pm  Comments (1)  

Three Rules for Better Strategic Partnering

What is a strategic partnership? It is many things including yet another business cliché. Why do I need them? It is not a good strategy to act as though you need no help in your business (or life for that matter). We all need help in our lives and in business. The key is to know where to go for that particular thing you need when you need it. This is the how. It works because it is based, for the most part, on trust and results. I have many strategic partnerships which enhance my practice and allows me to be more far reaching into the market instead of just sticking to my specialty in the industry.

Typically a client or a customer needs more than you can offer; I keep a stash of business cards so I have them handy as an example, when someone asks about needing an attorney. I relate the prior experience with him and what kind of work he has done for me. I than dig into me briefcase and give them a card and ask them to mention I referred them to him. This is win-win for me since I get to be the connection maker. My attorney, Mark Rutkowski, 503-399-2341 (shameless plug), gets a qualified lead, and my client, gets a highly experienced professional who has been a proven track record with me over the last ten years.

I have a large selection of partners to choose from in virtually all fields. If you are just starting in business or a new geographical area you have to be able to connect into others to share in their partnerships. The most important thing to remember is you are essentially referring yourself when you refer others. You have to know to the best of your ability that it is a good firm, person, or service. It will come back to haunt you if you refer bad service to your clients, friends, and family! Make sure an interview your partners from time to time to make sure you are sending them qualified leads. You do not want to keep them busy on potential customers that are not the target market. At the same time you will want to inform them about what you are looking for in a partnership. They may not be as good at referring as you are, but I do not get too hung up on this. I know if I keep referring, my clients get good service it will come back to me. I always thank referrals from my partners or after a job well done and follow up with the client after to see how they were treated by my partners.

Another great aspect of strategic partnerships is working together on projects. I have a few experts on things I can bring in at anytime to advise me or my clients on different topics as I see the need. It sends a strong message to my clients that I am not afraid to say I do not know. The important thing is to take care of what the client needs, period. Some other ways to use these partnerships: Marketing, advertising, fundraising, professional services, business services, and contracting work, that complement each other. Artist, retail, food or other type of co-op store. Manufacturing, distribution, import/export, retailer supply line partnerships.

The three most important things you can do to utilize these for the highest results.

1. Be a constant connector for your alliance, and clients/customers. Gain a reputation of someone who can help.
2. Know your strategic partners strengths, and target market. Switch partners if things are not going well.
3. Say thank you and encourage repeat behavior from your strategic partners. Deepen the relationship at every opportunity.
I would like to hear from you about how your strategic partnerships are, or are not working. Post your comments here.

All the Best,

P.S.

I have been doing a lot of planning sessions lately due to the economy. If your business or non-profit, needs to revisit why and how you are doing business shoot me an email for a complimentary initial session. I will provide you with a list of recently satisfied clients to talk to as well!

Mentors, The Generational Impact

I had many mentors before I met Ron. They all had an influence on me in different ways. Most of it was as a kid, in sports, outdoors, in school, or as an aspiring young chef. When I went into business for myself I did not have any mentors. I just did what I thought I should do through trial and error. In fact many of us have similar stories. “I was not sure what to do and then all of a sudden I met _______ and with her advice everything changed!” Sound familiar?

I want to tell you about Ron LeBlanc my first real business mentor. I recently had lunch with him after not having seen him for years, yet his influence is experienced daily in my life by me, and through me toward others. It was early 1990 and I was trying to find a way to grow business in our janitorial company geared to the professional office market. I saw an article on Ron and his company talking about his move into a burned building near Bush Park and restoring it to its historical status. On a whim, I cut out the article and mailed it to him along with a business card and a cheesy letter about Clean Sweep, our company. I never gave it another thought until a week later I get the article mailed back to me with a handwritten note on the article that said “I appreciate clever marketing, call me for an appointment, and let’s talk.” Clever? Ok, I called and made an appointment. What has come from that is a relationship from which I learned how to be in business, deal with people, how to dress, where to market, how to network, community service, how to handle a business lunch, he introduced me to people, and on and on.

To this day I am not sure why Ron chose to stick with me. He was very busy, a family man, community leader, and avid traveler. He told me how someone had helped him, and it would be up to me to do the same for others and pass it along. At the time I did not know what I did not know. I did not give it any more thought to how that may work into my future. Watching Ron over the years gave me something to shoot for. I wanted to be well dressed like him, make people feel special the way he does, be fierce in defending my code of ethics and those of others, overcome adversity, and achieve set goals and adapt to change and I wanted to help others.

I am proud to say I am very much like him today. I am not him, but I am me with his influence. We should all be ourselves with others influence affecting us for the better, and we are always affecting others with our influence. It is important to remember this point. How you interact with your fellow humans is one of your legacies. These traits can get passed down from generation to generation. What do you want your legacy to be? Treat everyone with fairness and respect and your legacy will be positive and strong moving into generations beyond your years. You may never know the reach of your influence. Be kind to your co-workers, your family, the waiter, the gas station attendant and cashier. Sometimes the smallest overture can have the largest impact on some one’s life.

Recently, while driving home from mentoring a class of potential business owners, I got the following email from Ron who had just gotten word I started my Business Coaching practice. I had not seen him in three or four years.
“Hey Good Buddy,

Nineteen years ago, only two people in the world knew that you would make a great business coach. You and me. I saw your new member notice in the Chamber Business News. Get back to me and let’s get caught up. Lots of water under the bridge.”

Best,
Ron
This message took me back to being in my early twenties and feeling proud when he was proud. I am blessed to have Ron as a mentor in my life and I am grateful to be a part of his legacy. It is my hope to pass it along to many others.

Do you have a mentor or mentee story? I would like to hear about it and the impact it has had on your personal, and/or your professional life. Email me at scott@scottsadlercoach.com or share it here as part of the conversation.
Published in: on June 1, 2009 at 9:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Failure is an Option

Let’s be real. Failure is always haunting us, circling overhead like a buzzard waiting for the prey to stumble. I have, like all of you, had my share of failures. Check these out, relationship, education, family, previous marriage, business, financial, hobby, and career and more I probably am not thinking of.

Where would you be without failure? Still in the womb! Friends, we need to fail from time to time to be able to expand our lives. If we did not fall when we learned to walk, how could we ever learn to run? Failure likes to pretend it is out of our control and there is nothing we can do about it. These are the times we must look to what our own accountability in the situation is or was. For me I can go through the list above and accept my part in the events and the lesson in all of my failures. It is the only way to truly move on from it and experience the success in waiting. Success cannot live simultaneously with failure. In order for us to get back on track and start creating success again we must nullify failures (fear) effects. I have listed six steps below to guide you through the process. It takes some work and time in most cases to work through some failure, so be prepared but keep moving to your next success.

1. Accept the situation is real, do not ignore it.
2. Accept your percentage of responsibility for the failure. This must happen to truly move on.
3. Show gratitude for the good in your life. There is always good in your life.
4. Believe deeply that this too, shall pass. Use it as an affirmation several times a day if needed.
5. Action cures fear, create a plan. Get advice, be open to suggestion, tackle issues, keep moving.
6. Plan for your next success, what good will come from this failure, what were the lessons I learned for my future? There is good and bad in failure. Give the power to the good!
What would have happened if Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Dave Ramsey and millions of others would have given up after failing? They were only unique because they followed the steps, or something similar to the ones above. You can start training yourself now by practicing these on small failures that happen organically everyday in your life. Car won’t start, meeting starts late, deals do not get closed, etc. How do you react to these things? However you react is an indicator on how you will deal with a major failure in your life. Apply the six principles above and feel the difference when you do not give failure power. As leaders it is critical to set the tone when failures occur. How will people react to your reaction? It always comes down to you. At the end of the day it is our action or inaction that defines who we are.
I know my failures intimately. I can recite each one to you if you ask me to and there are people in my life who can tell you about them too. But I would also tell you about how I overcame them, and succeeded. It all starts with the principles listed above. Life is about happiness, and there is no room in happiness for failure to exist as a lifestyle.

For more information visit my resource page http://www.scottsadlercoach.com/resources.html for reading material on this topic. Every one of the books here addresses overcoming failure. You can also contact me direct with any questions by phone or email. 503-364-2575 or scott@scottsadlercoach.com

Published in: on May 9, 2009 at 2:07 pm  Comments (2)  

Put Yourself Out There, and Always be Ready

What is the proper way to market your business? I hear that several times a week, though my work as a Business Coach, Consultant and Instructor. We all want more customers! By now you know I am about keeping it simple. There is no magic bullet, contrary to what some marketing sales people will tell you. Personal contact is the number one way people get to know you and then they are more willing to do business with you. The problem is that if no business comes from that initial meeting than we do not understand why. I recently was reminded about the difference in the average sales person, and the best sales person. The average sales person makes one or maybe two contacts with a potential customer. The top ten percent of the best sales people make at least five contacts up to twelve! Years ago I was the owner of a small but slowly growing janitorial firm. Once I figured out our system of contacts, and frequency and systemized it, we grew from a hundred thousand per year in sales to over one million in ten years!

Let’s say you meet someone at networking event and chat (1). You get his/her business card and follow up with a note saying how nice it was to meet them (2). Maybe you follow that up with a phone call and ask to get together to learn more about their business (3). After that email them an article they may appreciate (4). See them at the networking event again, light chat (5). Include them in your social networking system, Face book, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. (6). If you do this you have just added more four touches than your competitors will do! Overtime this winning formula will pay off big time. You are not average! Think Big!

Here are some examples of people I have met over the last few weeks who are working this system to success. Little did they know they would be a part of this experiment!

Bob Cegon, State Farm Insurance (S. Commercial) Kelsey Fuentes, Pre-Paid Legal, Suzie Bjork, Life Coach, Rosemary Morrison, IRIS International, Danielle Hamilton, Wealth Builders University, Jennifer Hoffman, Inspired Home Office, and Toni Dassance CTFA, ToDo Money Management. Each of these folks have called me, sent a note, or made an effort to come up to me when they see me and thank me for that initial meeting. You can bet when I have a need for any one of their services, they will be on my short list to call.

This is a learned skill, and must be systematic, and become automatic. If you would like more information on how to implement this in a winning six step system, customized to your business give me a call for a Complimentary Coaching Consultation. A few things you will learn.

1) How to use time to focus on what makes you money.

2) How to plan your days to have IMPACT!

3) How to get your business to serve you, instead of you serving your business।

The first three who sign up (sorry, current clients excluded) will get a bonus. Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business. This is a no nonsense book for growing your business now, from me to you.

Always Keep Moving Toward Your Dreams,

Published in: on April 28, 2009 at 3:22 am  Leave a Comment  

What you Focus on Expands

I have always known about having a good attitude, positive thinking, creating your own happiness etc. It is abundantly clear however that whatever we focus on grows and grows. Just look around at the people you know. We all know people who complain about everything from the weather to the person in the car next to them out of habit more than anything. What about the people who always focus on the good around them? They are the ones who seem to glide effortlessly through life, experiencing things that come along as a wonder of life. It is amazing when you see the difference from focusing on the negative to the positive, I am living proof. When I was a teenager, and into my early twenties, I saw the world as a place that did things to me. Anytime anything happened I saw it as a problem, another issue to overcome, or someone being stupid, but never my fault. I got very tired of always being tired, drained by my outlook on life. I came to the conclusion; on my own I really did not like me. I did not like the people I was hanging around, my co-workers, or my neighbors. For the first time in my life I saw a pattern. I was focused on the attitudes that brought me to those, or brought those to me that mirrored my life outlook! I had to change.

Once I started refocusing my energy to find the good in everything, no matter what, guess what happened? Bad stuff still found me! The difference was I found the lesson, the goodness, in almost each and everything that happened. My “friends” at the time started to distance themselves from me because I had “changed”. I was no longer one of them. A few of those friends however noticed the transition and started refocusing at the same time I did. We are all best of friends today.

We did the complaint free world exercise at work last year. This is where you get the rubber bracelet from http://www.acomplaintfreeworld.org/ and attempt to get through three weeks without complaining. It was not easy but I finally did it! Every time you complain you must move the bracelet to the other wrist and your clock starts over. If you want to humble yourself, or just test yourself I highly recommend this. It is a lot of fun when you do it in a group, or in your family.

There is a lot of negativity in our world. I choose not to participate. This does not mean I am not aware of all that is going on, I just adjust my filter when it reaches me and keep what I choose is good for me and those around me. Reverend Mary, a mentor and insightful person said to me recently, “When people complain about everything going wrong, the economy, their health, the boss etc. They are right.” You are right too. What are you expanding in your life?

Sign up a free 30 minute coaching session! I will be giving away a ninety day coaching package to one lucky winner after you sign up. I can only take on 10 people so sign up right away! Send me an email with coaching in the subject line and I will respond first come first serve to schedule your free session.

Published in: on March 23, 2009 at 8:31 pm  Comments (2)  

How do you feel about your Circle?

We are all surrounded daily by people. How do feel at the end of the day? Do you dread going to work or going home or do you look forward to it? Sometimes we get so much into our habit and routines we do not see that one or two people who are close to us can drain us of our passion for life. This is assuming of course you are not one of those people! For the most part you get to pick and choose your circle. Why not then surround yourself with the most supportive, positive people you can? Although it may seem daunting on the surface to remove yourself from a person’s influence it is really quite simple, and very empowering. You deserve it, and so do those you support as part of their circle on influence. It truly is what goes around comes around. This is nothing new to some of you.

Stephen Covey, one of the early influences in people and business on my life, talked about this in his book “The Seven Habits for Highly Effective People”. In it he states “Proactive people focus their efforts on the circle of influence. The nature of their energy is positive, enlarging, and magnifying, causing their Circle of Influence to increase. Reactive people on the other hand, focus their efforts on the Circle of Concern. They focus on the weakness of other people, the problems in the environment, and circumstance over which they have no control.”

It goes on from there on page 83 if you want to read the rest. It is a good time to revisit the old classic.

Here is what I ask my clients to look at.

  1. Am I a positive influence to others throughout the day regardless, of how they behave?
  2. Am I a reflection to others on how I want to be viewed?
  3. Am I purposefully associated with supportive positive people whenever possible?
  4. When negativity or drama happens do I partake or step aside and let it pass on its own?
  5. Am I able to tell the truth to those in my circle when I am not supported in the way I deserved to be?

If you answer to any of those questions is less than your highest expectations than you will need to address those issues with yourself first before you can deal with the others you want to attract or remove from your circle. This took a long time for me personally. I did not want to let down the “friends” who were actually very bad for me and my outlook on life. Once I transitioned the last negative person out of my circle, the kind of people I wanted to know started coming to me right away. We only have some much time to spend with the people we truly care about and want to associate with. Don’t you want it to be an uplifting experience? I know I did and do. I have had to disassociate, break up with, and limit my time with business associates, childhood friends, girlfriends, family members, and neighbors. My circle of friends is as big, in fact bigger, so I am not short on relationships or friendships.

This is a process and it can take a little time so be prepared to work at it. You are probably not going to go tomorrow and announce you will not be dealing with the entire staff because they do not fit into your circle any longer. Family members present a different dynamic, but it can be done. I have spoken to youth in different talks about this for years including several visits to juvenile facilities. I had a young man tell me years later how this topic changed the way he saw the world when he realized he may be surrounded by negativity, but he did not have to participate. That changed his life and his relationship, over time, with his family to a good one. He chose not to participate in the negative, simple. This led to good feelings, which led to a higher self esteem, was very contagious to those around him.
It is a choice who we surround ourselves with and we should think carefully about it. We should serve ourselves by promoting positive thoughts and supporting those around you. The choice is yours, do it because you deserve it.
For more information and some self assessment tools, contact me for a free thirty minute confidential coaching session scott@scottsadlercoach.com

Published in: on February 23, 2009 at 11:10 pm  Comments (1)  

Marketing systems with IMPACT= Increased revenue

“Let’s assume for a minute, we are in this to make money.”

Ok look, the economy sucks we all get it. But that does not mean you get to use that as an excuse. Get out there and sell your product or service!

But wait…let’s look at our plan first, not a 200 page marketing plan that collects dust on a shelf, but a real world, simple plan that works. I have been asked to speak about this twice over the last week, met with four clients who have asked for assistance with this over the last two weeks so I decided to address the topic here to help answer some of those questions. I want to make this as simple as possible but have maximum impact for your efforts. These are guidelines only and may need to be adjusted based on your business model. I have also listed some resources that I know and trust to help you along with the different aspects. Ok, enough of that let’s begin.


Rethink your business model
Why am I in business?

Sounds simple doesn’t it? It may be the toughest thing a business owner can ask themselves. It has so many determining factors. Income, no income, lifestyle, no life, freedom, no freedom, employees, customers, etc. etc. I would take a few days to really think on this one. If you can answer this question to your satisfaction, and the answer is to keep moving in your business, then you are ready to put everything you’ve got into marketing. If not then maybe selling, closing, or implementing your exit strategy is in order. It is not a bad thing if it means moving on to a better life as you see it. Having recently gone through this process myself I feel more than qualified to speak on this topic, but that story remains as a subject for another entry.

Your strategies and approach to customers is crucial

Let’s face it as entrepreneurs when sales are good, we are too busy to take a real in depth look at value added service, different marketing tools, or doing the simple things that brings in more sales. It is human nature to get into the mindset that the good times will never end. Then when it does end, or slow, it is a mad rush to get customers to buy. By reconsidering what you offer and how you offer it you may find some value added service or products you may not have otherwise thought of. Get creative!

Rethink your current marketing efforts
In a slow economy the time is right to analyze everything you do in your marketing to see if has the return on investment you deserve. If it does not, quit it! Quantify all results. Figure out on a pie chart all of you marketing efforts. Not just the ones you trade cash for but also the ones you spend your time doing (your time is valuable). Now seeing it in the pie which slice is the largest? Which one takes the most time? How expensive is each slice?

In person networking:
I am amazed at the number of businesses showing up at networking events all over Salem because it is a slow economy. It seems they never thought they needed to do that before because sales were so good, those of you who have always done that as part of your marketing are in a much better position to pick up business. You have been working the relationships for months or years where as they have to start building them from the bottom up. So when the economy picks up speed again you will be in a power position from your established relationships to build quickly. Having had businesses in other cities, Salem is very good with networking, while other cities it was not worth the effort for me.

Quantify: Make sure you identify one to three people you can approach about your business. It may be to ask about their business if you have a need of the service or product offered or it may be to offer yours. Either way make a note of who you talked to and get a business card. Then follow up, more on this later. There tends to be a lot of socializing at events, this is good and bad. You want to get to know people but you also want to do business. It is up to you where you find the happy medium. If you are in Salem, Kyle Sexton will be doing a business seminar on best practices for networking. He is a marketing guru and I encourage you to attend. You will not be disappointed. See the Salem Chamber website below for details.

Social networking and web presence:

It is time to get with the program. If you are not on the internet you will not be as successful! Now you may be successful, but without the partner of the web working 24/7 you will be behind your competitors. I am no expert, but I watch trends and keep my finger on the pulse of business. For expertise in this area visit my friend and colleague Tim Fandrich at his company’s website http://www.thethirdriver.com/members/thirdriver to see more details than I can go into here. Give him a call and he can talk about your particular business and how to maximize your return. I will tell you I use Plaxo, LinkedIn, Facebook and the Salem Chamber face2face. I am currently building my website http://www.scottsadlercoach.com/ and this is all enough for me right now. I am open to increasing my presence as I grow. Right now these, along with this blog are enough for me to manage myself.

Quantify: Make sure your tracking where you get results from each place on the internet. This can be a bit tricky sometimes but a guy like Tim can help you with this. I know for example I have picked up two clients in four weeks from facebook. I know because they contacted me directly through my page. Other times if someone sees your page or website they may call you later and you would need to ask them how they found you, and then write it on your tracking sheet.

Old school basics:
After the high tech internet talk, this is going to sound boring. Please trust me it works. I owned Clean Sweep a commercial cleaning company for 16 years. We struggled with how best to market our company. The first and best thing we did was join the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, http://www.salemchamber.org/ , the second best thing we did was systemize the way we got in contact with potential new customers. Are you ready? From a sales list phone book or whatever,

1) Send a short introduction letter and testimonials.

2) One week later follow up with a phone call. Example below.

You: “Hello this is Scott Sadler and I sent you some information about our company, Clean Sweep last week and wanted to know if you had received that.”

Prospect: “Why yes Scott we did, but we are very happy with our current service right now.”

Scott: “Excellent, do you mind if I check back with you in a few months?”

Prospect: “No, that would be fine.”

Scott: “Thanks so much for your time, what was your name?”

Prospect: “Janice.”

Scott: “Ok Janice, have a great day and if you have a need before I talk to you again keep my information handy and give us a call.”

Janice: Will do Scott, take care now.

Scott: “You too, goodbye.”

  1. Write a short note on what you talked about, when, who, etc. File it in a file folder marked for the month; let’s say three months out May. Than at the beginning of each month at the designated time you have scheduled, you pull out the list and call all of them again. “Hi Janice, just checking back with you” call. I may even send them a little gift, like a magnet with my contact info and a thank you note after six or nine months.
  2. Repeat steps 2 and 3.

I picked up customers 4 years later by working this system over and over. When they had an issue with the current service we had top of mind awareness and we got the jobs. This system was the most crucial element in reaching 1.2 million in sales when we sold the company in 2003. The buyer after looking at several companies like ours, said they were impressed with our systems, from employees (we managed 120), to growth, but especially our marketing. They knew they could step in and continue the system and it would keep the hopper full.

Quantify: You are quantifying every step of the way here. You will know your return when you have worked this for at least a year. This all depends on you and your discipline.

Advertisements:
A short summary of suggestions as this can get very in depth depending on your type of business. Quantify everything! Not using the companies, or salespersons numbers, use your own.

Yellow page ads – Get a tracking line and have them provide reports showing your incoming calls. Divide the calls into the jobs you received and then you know your true costs you are paying for the advertisement.

Coupons, flyers, door hangers etc. – Put a phrase of some sort to track only to that piece. Record your results over a period of time and determine the usefulness of continuing that form of advertising.

Radio, TV – Same as coupons, flyers, door hangers, etc. Make sure your message is slightly different so you know how to track it separately from the other ads and efforts.

To sum it up, here come the analogies. Planning your marketing needs to be taken slowly and done thoughtfully, as it is done in nature. A farmer does not just say find a piece of land, and throw seeds out, hoping to harvest the next day. Give this some serious thought over a week or so and devise your plan. Surround yourself with people who can help you, and believe in you. Then prepare the soil, plant the seed, weed, till, water add fertilizer, repeat. You will be harvesting before you know it!

I do have a lot more to share, but have made a promise to you that this blog be short and have an effect. If you want more information please let me know. scott@scottsadlercoach.com I would be happy to meet you for a no obligation 30 minute coaching session in person or by phone to discuss this or any other business/life issues. For testimonials see my website.

Ask me about creating a winning Value Proposition. Win the hearts and minds of your target market, stop wasting time and effort.

Published in: on February 17, 2009 at 8:33 pm  Leave a Comment