Originally published July 18, 2013

Whether it is just you and a VA or you have a team of many – it is a good biz management practice to do a check-in with the team at least once a week.

Here is a list of the 4 questions that each person on the team needs to answer (including you!). I recommend having everyone post their answers to a team discussion board (like the one in Central Desktop) at the end of each week.

  1. What did I accomplish this week? – easy peasy, just share what you got done this week.
  2. What did I not accomplish and why? - if there was something on your plate that didn’t get done, let the team know why (shifting priorities, didn’t get what you needed from someone else, etc.).
  3. What do I want to accomplish next week? - share what is on your plate for the coming week.
  4. What I need to do so is… – you may have a question, or perhaps you need something from someone else before you can do your part.

Bam! Just that easy – and so very important for 3 reasons:

  • You and the team get to celebrate! – it is easy to get so caught up in the craziness of our day and everything that we still have to do that sometimes we forget to celebrate what was accomplished. Doing this exercise allows you and the team to see how much was actually done each week.
  • Keeping each other accountable - having each person on the team make a public declaration as to what they want to accomplish each week can really lend the extra “ooomph” that is needed to get stuff done. This goes for you too as the leader of your biz. ;)
  • Peace of mind for YOU – this is a biggie, and is especially important as your business grows. You need to be able to keep your finger on the pulse of what is going on each week in the business, and this weekly check-in provides a consistent update in that regard without your having to chase people down.

And it’s worth noting that this can be used as a daily check-in as well if you run a super busy crew and/or if you are in the middle of a busy launch.

Enjoy!

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How I Talk Myself Out of Clients

by Tina on July 11, 2014

There are times when people want to work with me but I talk them out of it – say what?!! There are 3 reasons why I do this.

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team appreciationIn my role I constantly receive feedback from folks on all sorts of things, but perhaps one of the most disheartening things I hear is when I’m approached by a support professional who says they feel unappreciated in their role.

I know that in the throes of a growing business and the two-stepping, double-time pace that that growth can require, the simple “thank you” can get lost in the shuffle.  But those two words hold great power, and when that power is untapped and unused, the wealth behind them lays in waste.

I like to use the example of a new dating relationship to illustrate my point a little.  In that beginning “courtship” phase, we’re so quick to lavish our partner with compliments and praise on everything they do, but then over time we settle into routines and those once praise-worthy traits become the expected norm and we take each other for granted.

The same is true in our business relationships.  When we first bring on a new team member and they’re just rocking out everything they touch, we’re quick to throw out lines like “I couldn’t do this without your help” or “your contribution is vital to our success,” etc., but then, just like in dating, over time we take our team members and their hard work for granted.

People want to know that they’re doing good work for you.  They need to hear those words of gratitude and appreciation.  For some people, a word of thanks can mean more than any dollar amount they receive in their paychecks.  I find this especially to be true with support professionals.  The need to be told that the work they do is of value.

So stop right now in the midst of reading this blog and take a mental inventory of the last time you said thank you to your team… If you can’t remember when that was, IT’S BEEN TOO LONG!

Pick up the phone, send an email, but get those “thank yous” out to your team, stat! Set yourself a reminder if need be.  If you’re pleased with what they’re doing, make sure they know, and if money and circumstances permit, throw in something extra for them! It doesn’t have to be grandiose, maybe a gift certificate to a spa day or maybe a restaurant certificate for them and their spouse, but tokens of appreciation are invaluable.

Of all the things that could get lost in the hustle and bustle of this business world we live in, don’t let your gratitude for the team that serves and supports you be one of them!

(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

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80/20 ruleHow do you take your expertise, your services and the skills you provide and offer them in bigger and better ways?  How can you continue to serve your clients and make more money without necessarily taking up more of YOUR time and energy?

To get the juices flowing in the right direction, I want to start with a simple exercise here. (Although, truth be told, sometimes the seemingly simplest exercises can prove to be the hardest ones for some of us.)

I want you to take a mental look at your business and I want you to kill off one of your revenue streams.

GASP?!!

Yes, you read that right, I want you to kill off, pull the plug and discontinue at least 1 of the things you’re currently offering right now.

Now before you hyperventilate, quit reading the remainder of the blog and go into panic mode at the thought of tampering with your revenue, let me explain why I want you to do this.

In order to grow and expand, sometimes we have to sever some things that aren’t thriving as well as others.

Consider a gardener –  in order for a rose bush to bloom and flourish, the dead and weaker branches must be pruned and removed.  If this doesn’t happen, the weak branches choke the life out of the healthy ones.

The same goes for your business.  You need to prune off the services, programs, etc. that no longer serve you and no longer serve your clients.

You’re likely familiar with the 80/20 Rule that says that 80% of your results are determined by 20% of your efforts. Or maybe 80% of your income is determined by 20% of your clients…and the principle can appear over and over in various business scenarios.  I want you to write out a very specific list of all the services you offer within your business right now and how much money they have brought in over the past 12 months.  We’re working on creating your own 80/20 list

Now brace yourself for a surprise or two when you really look at what’s generating what.  Sometimes the things you thought were your big money makers may not be and vice versa.  I know I’ve personally had a good enlightenment or two when I’ve made this list in my own business.  With everything all written out, I want you to focus in on the 1-3 things at the bottom of your money-making list.

Nitty gritty decision time.  You need to take an earnest look at those bottom revenue items and decide if it’s really worth the time, effort and energy to continue offering them in the next year.  Now you may have the scenario where one of your bottom items is a new launch and there hasn’t really been time to get it off the ground, but you know in the next year it will be operating at maximum potential and the numbers will be there the next time you make this list.  So leave that one alone for now.  But on the whole, those low revenue items are going to warrant an “Eh…not really cutting it” response.

It’s time to let go of the money-losing, and often headache-inducing revenue streams and make the space and energy you’re going to want for the new stuff on your business’ horizon.

(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

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In today’s video I share my 4 part check-in process to assess the year to date and prepare for the next 6 months. Put on your CEO hat and join me!

 

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Don’t Be Cheap With Your Team

by Tina on June 25, 2014

investment in hiring peopleIn a business, particularly in a service-based business, be it virtual or brick and mortar, the lifeblood of that business is your people.  The team that supports the business literally becomes the legs that you, as the business owner, stand on.

When I say “team”, I’m talking about the implementers, the doers, the copywriters, etc., If you’re not willing to pay for the level of support you need in your business, you may run into some problems with long-term ramifications.

I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage “you get what you pay for.”   There’s a reason that saying has maintained its relevance through the years, it is simple truth! If you’re in the space in your business where you’re ready to kick it up another notch, branch out and grow, then you need to be willing to pay for the people who can keep up with your growth spurt.  You need to foot the bill for the higher level of skill and expertise of a team that can support you in expansion, because you will pay for the support you choose in one of 3 ways.

#1 Time

You can pay for your support team with time.  What I mean here is that if you don’t have the right caliber of support lined up for your business, things that could have been passed along to someone else for resolution, will land back on your plate.  You could lose your time, an invaluable asset, training, correcting and re-doing things that, had you pursued the next level of support professional, could have been taken care of for you, which would allow you more time to focus on the new things coming up in your business.

#2 Lost Opportunities

When you skimp on the cost of your team members, you miss out on those upper level players and that can cost you potential growth opportunities.  For example; you decide not to hire that top-notch marketing manager who could have developed a mind-blowing website to generate higher traffic and leads for your business.  Instead you’re functioning in the realm of DIY (do-it-yourself) and you’re missing opportunities because you’re stuck doing things your hired marketing manager would have done for you and possibly done even better than what you’re doing on your own

#3 Cost of Payroll

This is where I want you to focus.  If you start here and recognize that the cost of the right support team is not a loss, but an investment in your business, then you are miles ahead in the race.

Take a step back and look at your game plan and know who you need on your team in order to reach your end goals.  If you need that copywriter to give life to your thoughts, then spend the extra money to ensure you get the quality copywriter that you want.  If you need the highest level systems manager in order to help you take that next step of business growth, then be willing to invest in the cost of that team member.

At the end of the day, the work has to be done.  Either you do it and lose time that could’ve been spent focusing on growth, the work doesn’t get done at all and you miss opportunities, or you can hire someone that is the perfect fit and they get the work done for you.

Consider the gauntlet thrown and the challenge issued here – Don’t be cheap with your team!  By pinching pennies in the area of the right support team, you risk pinching off the air supply to the growth potential in your business.

(Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

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If you aren’t making enough money in your business, it’s easy to think it’s a sales issue right? Maybe not… as I share in this week’s video.

Sign up here for our webinar: The 7 Best Business Models

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Don’t Create Info Products

by Tina on June 18, 2014

passive revenue sourceI’m conducting my own myth-busters scenario and the myth I want to tackle today is that of info products leading to a lucrative future where you create the product once and then pull your chair up by the ocean and watch the dollars from your smart phone just rolling in…

People often approach me  wanting to create an info product – be it writing a book or creating a series and they imagine that from creating this passive revenue source,  people flock en masse to purchase forever and ever.

Insert reality check here! Unfortunately for most people, info products are NOT big money makers, if they in fact bring in any money at all.

If you find yourself being lured down the path of “I want to create an info product,” I want you to be very aware of some things

#1 What do your clients want and expect from you?

Let’s say you’re an implementer of some kind or you do web design or copywriting.  Most of the time people want to hire you to perform your services or do this type of work for them.  They may not want to purchase and read your book telling them how to do it themselves.

Be very aware of your market.  I stress this because if you create an info product and your current market doesn’t want it- 1 of 2 things are going to happen.  First, you will have to find a new market to sell your info product to, which could result in an entire business shift altogether.  Or second, and a little harder to swallow, you’re going to have poured all your heart, soul, time and energy into creating something that no one is interested in – and that is not only very costly, but very disheartening.

#2 What do you want yourself?

If you do not like writing or do not enjoy teaching, you will have a hard time creating an info product.  If you don’t love the idea of formulating your expertise and filling up the space of a book, an info product is not likely going to be for you.

If you don’t enjoy speaking and teaching, an info product, again, is not for you.  Because once you create that info product, your job becomes a marketer and you’ll continually be speaking about and marketing that product over and over.

Keep in mind also that the fastest way to cash for your business is an active revenue stream.  If you find your business in need of that quick injection of money, an info product is not the way to go If you’re toying with the idea of creating an info product, make sure you’re going into it with eyes wide open, realistic expectations, a passion for writing and teaching and accepting that it may not be the easy and fast cash crop you’re fantasizing about.

(Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

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3 Tips for When You Want to Quit

by Tina on June 13, 2014

Being in business isn’t easy – we all have those days when we think we just can’t do it any more. Here are my top 3 tips for how to get through those days and come out motivated on the other side.

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3 Paths to Create New Revenue Streams

by Tina on June 11, 2014

reach more clients

I am a HUGE FAN of leverage – of taking who you are, your talents, area of expertise, your experience and what you’ve already created and finding ways to leverage that to build a revenue stream.

Creating new revenue doesn’t necessarily have to be about a new you or a new business.   Here are 3 different paths to leverage new revenue, working from where you are right now.

#1 – Do It Differently

What I mean here is taking what you’re doing already, but doing it differently.  Do it in a way that provides more services and reaches more clients.

Here’s an example  – say you currently charge by the hour or by the session for the service you provide.  Instead of marketing it this way, think about how you could turn your services into a package or program.  Your target audience will still be the same, you’re still offering the same services and the end result will be the same, but you’re DOING IT DIFFERENTLY.

Bundling your services or creating programs for your services, open up the potential for more revenue.

#2 Do Something New With What You Already Have

How can you take what you already know and what you already do and create a certification or training program from that.

This particular path is one I chose for my own business.  I worked as an OBM for years and years, and finally about 5 years ago, I decided to create a certification program to train others to become an OBM.  I took what I already knew and had experience and expertise in and I DID SOMETHING NEW WITH IT.

Here’s another example .  Say you provide copywriting services to your clients and you then create a training program to market to others who want to learn to do their own copywriting…Voila!  You’ve just generated another revenue stream doing something new with what you already have.

#3 Train Someone To Do What You Do (AKA Cloning Yourself)

If you currently run a business where you provide marketing solutions for your clients and you also have a full coaching program too, at some point you are going to find yourself stretched too thin.  A great solution here is to bring other people onto your team and train them to do what you do!  (We also call this creating a team based business.)

As a business owner, there are only so many hours in one day for you to do only so much, but by bringing in someone to do what you do, your business can then reach more clients at a greater capacity and thus generate more revenue.

If you are growing your business and looking ahead to what’s next for you, I hope this has given you some food for thought.  Any one of these 3 ideas or a combination of them can take you down the path of leveraging who you are and what you already know to generate that new revenue stream.

( Image courtesy of scottchan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

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