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What I’ve Learned About Putting Profits First

profitsFirst

I’ve written a bunch of blog posts about why profits are more important than growth.  It’s funny how the people who respond negatively to these posts are advisors or people who used to be in business.  Business owners who have successful companies seem to get this principle.  

If you own a business you’ve been down this road.

If you own a business you know that you need to put profits first.  If you’ve been around for any period of time you’ve had lean times in your business.  You might even have had times where you couldn’t afford to pay the bills and had to stop paying yourself.

Business owners who have been in this position never want to be there again.  We are often paranoid about running out of cash.  It’s one of the reasons that many business owners are so risk adverse.  They just don’t want to take chances about whether they’re business will be around if the economy heads south.

Advisors think they know what it’s all about.

On the other hand, advisors many of whom have MBA degrees have been taught about the theory of growth versus profits.  In many schools advisors have been taught that it’s all about growth and then profits will follow.

If you were around during the dot.com bust in the early part of the century you know how that worked out.  Eye balls didn’t make any money and without a real model for producing positive cash flow there wasn’t going to be any way these businesses could sustain themselves.

There’s the myth of Amazon.

We’ve all read the interviews with Jeff Bezos where he talks about growth being the mantra and he’ll worry about profits later.  What no one seems to ever ask him is what about cash flow.  If they did Mr. Bezos would have to let the interviewer know that Amazon has amazing cash flow.  

There’s a difference between generally accepted accounting principles and positive cash.  They often are at odds with each other.  No one, including Amazon could exist for a long time if they ran out of cash.  Generally profits go with cash.  Without positive cash there is no business success!

I’m probably repeating myself.

I’ve written about this topic a lot.  I would like to add one thing.  It’s not just about having a little bit of extra cash, it’s about having enough to fund a retirement plan, a decent standard of living and a fair return for your shareholders, having a safety fund and money for expanding your business.  If you’re the only shareholder, then it’s a fair return to you.

Too many private business owners don’t understand return on capital.  You might be surprised what is required for a decent return on capital.  It’s usually a pretty big number.  Understand the four cash needs for your business and you’ll come out ahead of the pack.

Make your business sustainable.

Businesses that fill the four buckets of cash needs are sustainable.  They’ll have enough cash that when the inevitable business downturn comes along and they’ll be able to survive the downturn.  When times are good these owners will be able to put away money that will allow them the option of leaving their business at some point in the future.

Sustainable businesses are fun to run.  They create happy customers who appreciate doing business with you.  They create enough money to pay your employees fairly.  They allow you to pay your bills on time.  If you’ve ever had to delay paying bills, holding raises or not be able to re-invest in your business you know what I’m talking about.

Be smart…..create a sustainable business that focuses on cash.  You’ll be glad you did.

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About the author:

Josh PatrickJosh Patrick is a certified Book Yourself Solid® coach and serial entrepreneur who lives in Vermont with his wife Suzanne, their two dogs and a cat. You can read his blog posts, listen to his podcasts and view his videos at www.askjoshpatrick.com.

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LinkedIn: 4 Simple Upgrades to Enroll More Clients

linkedinMarketing

Most people think LinkedIn is a resume dump (and thus use it that way). They don’t realize it could be a powerful place to be self-expressed and actually attract ideal clients.

If you’re a reading this, you’re likely a service professional, a coach, consultant, freelancer, or someone who doesn’t just want to have recruiters sending you messages. You spend time on social media so you can find ideal clients, position yourself to have successful sales conversations, and ultimately generate profits!

Without further ado…

Here are the 4 simple upgrades you can do NOW to change up your Linked In game today:

1. Claim Your Customized LinkedIn URL

JHurl-linkedin

Your URL should read nicely as such:

>> http://linkedin.com/in/joannehenein

It looks professional, and it reads practically like your own website. You could even tell it to someone over the phone!

If you haven’t taken the time to adjust this, you’ve probably got a “gobbledygook mess of letters and numbers,” instead of a clean ending such as your name.

As in the above image, hover over the URL bar under your profile photo to see a gear appear. Click on it, and you’ll the see right sidebar appear as this below. Click on the pencil icon to edit your URL!

JHurledit-linkedin

2. Upload A Professional-Looking Photo For Your LinkedIn Profile

And we say “professional-looking” because you can start with what you have, as long as it’s a clean headshot with a great smile. Look into the camera. Avoid busy backgrounds; best is a solid or out-of-focus backdrop. If you have a great professionally taken headshot, use it. If not, make one with your smartphone – let’s not wait for perfection. You can make incremental improvements.

AMphoto-linkedin

This is the first thing people see next to your name when you appear in notifications, comments, the news feed, etc. Coupled with your headline (see #3) that prime “real estate” is your critical first impression to a viewer on Linked In.

3. Insert a Powerful LinkedIn Headline That Connects With Your Target Market

Your LinkedIn Headline should answer this question for potential clients: “Can this person help me get what I want?”

PMliWADWS-linkedin

I help [insert target market] [the #1 big result].

It’s pretty straightforward, yet many complicate this. Since this headline follows you wherever you comment, post or appear in the LinkedIn space, make sure it’s concise and clear.

JHliHeadline-linkedin

4. Write Your Summary with a Call-To-Action (CTA)

While the headline makes a logical connection, the Summary should create a genuine emotional connection with your ideal client.

Besides reiterating your headline (who and do what statement), you should be using this open space to declare what you stand for. What kind of person you are you. The ones who your Summary resonates with are your ideal clients! Some people may say, hey that’s not for me – and that’s fine because there are some you’re meant to serve and others not so much. This is where you get to filter out YOUR IDEAL CLIENTS – those who energize and inspire you, and allow you to do your best work!

Thus, speak to them in such a way that resonates, as Ana Melikian has done:

AMsummary-linkedin

NOTE: Your word count is limited in the summary section, so it will “force you” to only say what matters and not ramble on. Start writing and it’ll tell you how many words you have remaining.

Here is an anatomy of an effective linked in summary:

  • [speak to your IDEAL CLIENT AVATAR, state their qualities and characteristics that make them energizing & inspiring to work with]
  • [what are some of their URGENT NEEDS AND COMPELLING DESIRES // what is the PROBLEM THEY HAVE (e.g. HATE MARKETING & SELLING)] – e.g. example below by Clementina Esposito

CEsummary-linkedin

  • [NOW ENTER YOU]
  • [WHAT YOU DO FOR THEM] — e.g. example below by Gary Johnson

GJsummary-linkedin

TO END WITH, MAKE AN…

  • [INVITATION / CTA or “call to action.” Include a link to a freebie if you have one. Tell them what it is, and then you’ll have to paste a link there to your website or landing page to opt-in and get it delivered to their inbox] For instance, here’s mine!

JHcta-linkedin

Once you do these 4 Simple Upgrades, note the response you’ll start to get:

JHresults-linkedin

And that is just the beginning of a stream of inbound leads who are ready to hear more about how you can help them through your valuable services.

So… why are we sharing this info?

Because we are on a mission to REVOLUTIONIZE people’s understanding of how they can leverage LinkedIn to get booked solid faster than they thought possible, while LOVING every minute of the process!!

(And perhaps NEVER attend another BORING networking event again…unless you want to.)

How does that sound? More Clients? More Fun?

Want to be one of those peeps?

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JoAnne Henein is a marketing strategist & brand consultant who helps wellness coaches get more ideal clients, and create a brand they truly love. She is a Book Yourself Solid® Certified Coach motivated to prioritize what matters most, so you can avoid being commoditized, and do your best work. Learn more at More Clients More Fun.

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The Coach’s Strategic Guide To Blogging on LinkedIn

blogLinked

LinkedIn bought Pulse in 2013 for $90 million, and it was then that it became LinkedIn Pulse, a powerful blogging platform specially designed for professionals.

Initially only big names – what LinkedIn called the Influencers – could publish on it. People such as  Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington, and Guy Kawasaki. But since the beginning of 2015 LinkedIn Pulse has opened the doors to all LinkedIn users to publish.

So how do we grow our coaching business by publishing on Pulse?

Let me give you an example.

You go to a networking event and meet 5 potential clients. However, you met them as peers in a social setting so they don’t know yet that you can help them with their urgent needs and compelling desires.

You cannot just add them to your e-mail subscriber list because that would be SPAM.

You don’t want to talk about how your services could potentially help them specifically because that would be unattractive at this point.

They haven’t expressed interest in your services YET.

People buy from those they know and like; but people also hate being sold to, especially when they haven’t asked to be.

So what do you do? Read more >

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7 Reasons You Need A Personal Management System

personalManagement

I’ve been a big fan of David Allen’s Getting Things Done system for many years.  I believe that without this system I would likely be lost.  You see, I’m a really big fan of bright shiny objects.  For me, a bright shiny object is anything that gets my attention and manages to move me away from what’s important in my life.

I find that when I use a personal management system I get three or four times more accomplished than if I just wing it.  What about you, do you have a personal management system?  Does it help it make you more effective or is it just too much of a hassle to use?

Here are 7 things that I’ve found make a difference in my life by using a personal management system:

I don’t have to think about what I’m supposed to do, it’s written down.  For me this is a big one.  If I don’t write it down, I spend lots of time and energy trying to remember what I’m supposed to do and whether I’ve let things fall through the cracks. Read more >

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How To Find New Clients

findClients

Where do your clients come from?

Well, we know that marketing doesn’t get you the clients! Marketing just creates awareness of who you are and what you do. When a potential client becomes aware of you, he or she will go to your Foundation and check you out and ask just one question: “Can this person (you!) help me solve my problem?”

So, having a firm business Foundation is critically important to getting clients.

We also know that having a system for building trust & credibility, knowing how to price your offers, and knowing how to have super simple sales conversations are also necessary.

Finding new clients can be challenging. But it’s kind of an important part of business. Even when you’re doing great, you need to make sure you’re getting new leads and securing more work for the future.

To ‘do” marketing, we practice the 6 Core Self-Promotion Strategies: Networking, Direct Outreach, Referral, Speaking, Writing and Web Strategies.

Check out the list below for some additional tips and methods for finding new clients and growing your business.

  • Your network
  • Social media
  • Networking events
  • Recommendations
  • Content
  • Guest blogging
  • Lead magnet
  • Run events
  • Advertising

Read more >

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