Newsletter - 2010 08
Brought to You By BMA Marketing
Business Owners: Get the Most out of Your Time
You can't manage time, but you can manage yourself and make good use of the time you have.
Time management skills are especially important for solopreneurs and small-business owners who often perform many different jobs during the course of a day.
A key to managing your time is identifying where your time is going and pinpointing personal time-wasters.
Make a list of what you do during the day and how much time you spend on each activity. Then list the most valuable activities - those that generate the greatest revenue for your business and constitute the highest, best use of your time.
Once you've identified these activities, make sure you allocate sufficient time to them.
A time management tool, such as Outlook or a day planner, can help you organize and plan so that you spend your time productively.
Begin every day by prioritizing tasks and setting goals for that day. Establish routines and stick to them as much as possible. Limit time spent on mundane tasks such as running errands and making personal calls.
Take time to organize and set up systems for filing, data management, record-keeping, scheduling and the like. Be sure these systems are efficient, transparent and easy to use - and then make use of them.
Avoid overscheduling yourself. Set time limits for meetings, calls and interruptions.
Delegate or outsource where you can. Always have something with you to occupy dead time or time spent waiting.
How to Use Postcards to Promote Your Business
- Holiday Parties
- New Bowler visits
- Birthday sales
Click link below for a short VIDEO on why centers are RE-ORDERING a program that can triple their marketing dollars and....
- Drive in $6k to $24k of new bowler income in 90 days
- Promote Holiday Parties to local Office Managers
- Create a hot list of New Bowlers to fill Leagues
- Grow Birthday Party sales
- Advertise your center locally over 24,000 times per day
Each month I’ll give you a new question.
Just reply to this email for the answer.
Which bandleader was known as the "King of Swing"?
Postcard marketing is easy, cheap, highly targeted and effective. Postcards are often the first things noticed when the mail arrives, and virtually 100% of postcards get read. Why? Because they don't have to be opened. People may glance at an envelope, decide they're not interested and toss it out unopened. Not so with postcards.
- Postcards are also a great way to:
- Prospect for new customers
- Promote sales, discounts or promotions
- Launch new products or services
- Connect with existing or lapsed customers
- Drive traffic to your website
Besides being the least expensive form of direct mail, postcards are easy to create and can generate a high rate of response. If you're considering a postcard marketing campaign, here are some tips:
- Review your mailing list carefully to target the best possible prospects.
- Send a series of postcards to help build name recognition and credibility.
- Use simple language and short sentences or bullet points.
- Focus on a single key message per card.
- Provide contact information.
- Spell out the call to action, such as visiting a website to download a coupon.
- If possible, use stamps rather than imprinted postage. Stamps cost a little more, but they generate greater response.
- Time mailings so that your postcards drop on Tuesday or Wednesday, as the volume of mail is lightest on these days.
Essential Tips to Make Your Vendor Relationships Succeed
Why Not Pass Me On?
If you've enjoyed this newsletter and found its information useful, please pass it to another businsses owner or a co-worker.
Selections from the best articles seen online this month.
How to Run a One-Person Business
Starting and running a business alone isn't for everyone. If you're up to the challenge, here are a few tips to make it work.
Five Leadership Lessons From the BP Oil Spill
In this crisis, some basic elements of leadership have been flouted or misunderstood by the key players.
Invincible Apple: 10 Lessons From the Coolest Company Anywhere
Everyone wants to be like Steve Jobs and his powerhouse company. It's not as easy as it looks.
Conquer the Chaos, by Clate Mask and Scott Martineau
It's refreshing to read a business book that's from "the trenches." After all, many are created from ivory towers.
Clate Mask and Scott Martineau tell their own entrepreneurial story and, in doing so, pull out lessons for every business owner.
You can tell this is a "real" business book because a large chunk is devoted to the stuff that goes on inside your head. It's a topic that’s sadly neglected, but fixing your mindset is crucial for business success. Mask and Martineau don’t go all "self-help" on us however - what they say is truthful and actionable, based on real experiences.
The final part of the book talks about business process, particularly the automation of tasks such as client and prospect follow-up.
This choice of focus could be considered self-serving (the authors' company provides business automation software), but that doesn't make the advice any less valuable.
Maintaining good vendor relationships is essential to running a successful business. Vendors and suppliers are vested partners in your enterprise, and they can be vital sources of information, ideas, referrals and training. They can also provide you with valuable market insights and information about competitive trends.Vendors include servicers, manufacturers, resellers and other providers with which you have a business-to-business (B2B) relationship. These B2B associations are long-term in nature, and it's incumbent on all parties to ensure cordial relations and open communication.
Following are some tips that will help you maintain good rapport with your providers:
- Work with reputable providers.
- Treat your vendors and suppliers with respect and civility.
- Know your service requirements and expectations.
- Communicate clearly the scope of what you expect from a provider.
- Pay your bills or invoices on time. If late payments are unavoidable, contact your vendors promptly and explain the circumstances to them.
- Document any problems, errors or issues that arise.
When a problem occurs, discuss it with the provider before resorting to other methods of redress.
Resist any temptation to nickel-and-dime your suppliers. Once the terms of a transaction have been spelled out to the satisfaction of both parties, live with it.
Threatening to withhold payments; switch suppliers; or constantly request discounts, concessions and price breaks after terms have been established is a surefire way to poison a vendor relationship.
It's important to remember that the vendor-client relationship is symbiotic. It will exist only as long as both parties are satisfied and are benefiting from the relationship.
Secrets to Maintaining a Healthy Cash Flow
To keep your cash flow healthy, you should try to minimize the number of days between making a sale or delivering a service and getting paid for what you provide.
First, consider whether you actually need to offer credit. Many customers are willing to pay in advance or at the time goods or services are provided - if you just ask. If you do need to extend credit, follow these simple measures to help reduce your days sales outstanding (DSO):
- Make sure your terms and conditions are clear and understood before you provide any goods or services.
- Credit check all new customers to be sure they are creditworthy.
- Set up direct debits for customers.
- Issue invoices on a weekly or biweekly basis rather than monthly.
- Make sure your invoices are accurate and easy to read.
- Provide clear instructions on how to pay.
- State clearly on your invoices when payment is due.
- Offer incentives or discounts for early payments.
- Do not hesitate to follow up on late payments.
Getting paid on time should be viewed as an integral part of your marketing plan. Maintaining open communication and good relationships with your customers often helps reduce your DSO.
If a regular customer has an occasional cash flow problem, try to set up a payment schedule and maintain a good relationship as they work through the situation. This will help build loyalty and support, and you may end up with a devoted customer for life.
Quotes by...Michael Gerber
"Why is it that with all the information available today on how to be successful in small business, so few people really are?"
"If your thinking is sloppy, your business will be sloppy. If you are disorganized, your business will be disorganized. If you are greedy, your employees will be greedy, giving you less and less of themselves and always asking for more."
"The entrepreneur in us sees opportunities everywhere we look, but many people see only problems everywhere they look. The entrepreneur in us is more concerned with discriminating between opportunities than he or she is with failing to see the opportunities."