Category Archives: Profit

Your Fourth Quarter Game Plan

10.14.15We are beginning our fourth quarter of the year.  This is the time of the year to assess the factors that have influenced the success of your business in 2015.

Yes, it probably seems too early for this type of assessment but really it’s not.  When you look at the calendar and realize that we are entering in the busiest time of the year: Halloween! Thanksgiving! Holiday Season! New Year’s Eve!  Egad, it’s a good thing we are beginning now.

Let’s begin by doing an honest and in depth analysis of what has been working for you in your business this year. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What offering has created the most profit in your business this year?
  • Which segments of your target market responded to your marketing?
  • Which new offers stimulated the most business this year?
  • What parts of your marketing hit home runs for you?

It is also beneficial to take a look at what didn’t work for you this year.  Ask what actions you could change to make them more successful, or if you want, stop those facets of your business that your target market doesn’t relate to.  Of course, you do not use what didn’t work in your business as a way to beat yourself up.

I am talking about a process that is designed to help you make the best decisions for your business.  It is the intention of this conversation to give you a game plan that is robust so you end the year on the highest note possible.  The best possible scenario is for you to end the year totally satisfied about what you accomplished this year.  By doing this type of analysis you will be able to plan for the advent of 2016 fully informed about what direction to take.

This is also a good time to put your marketing plan in sharp focus.  And of course, continue to market your business.  This is not the time to lean back and relax—this is the time to be present and clear in the market place.

 

If Profit Isn’t Your Business Purpose…What Is?

4.29.15Profit isn’t a purpose, it’s a result.  To have purpose means the things we do are of real value to others. 

-Simon Sinek

The most important contribution that a business coach can make is to keep the client in touch with their purpose.  When a client has lost touch with his purpose he usually has a meltdown, begins frothing at the mouth, mad with desire for more and more profit.

I am not exaggerating.  Think about it.  When you lose touch with your purpose in life, you go adrift; you begin to flop about like a fish out of water.  You say you’re out of touch with yourself.  You may display it in various ways: eating too much or too little, over drinking, over shopping, or finding that you gleefully hate everyone around you and the horse that they rode in on as well.

I have worked with people who do not know why they are starting their business since making pots of money seems like the best purpose in the world to them.  It takes some time and detective work for us to coax out the real purpose of their business, and once we find their purpose, hidden under plots and schemes to make money, it’s as if the world shifts and implementing their business plan becomes easy, effortless, and triumphant.

I have also worked with people who have lost touch with their purpose.  They are listless, not creative, and generally think that anything and everything is too much to handle.  They end up being a big “no” to suggestions and good ideas.  When this occurs in a coaching session, it is my signal to question their purpose.  What I mean by that is: Why did you start this business?  Usually, the response is to make money.  The tone of their voice indicates to me that everyone knows that.

Of course, that is not why they are in business.  They started their business with a vision and mission that had nothing to do with money.  Money, as Simon Sinek says, is the result of fulfilling the purpose.

To me, the most important conversation I can have with someone is “what is your purpose?”  Try it out for yourself.  Have a conversation with someone about their purpose and watch them light up with enthusiasm.

I offer a free consultation to anyone who is interested in discussing their purpose and how to make it real.  Call me.

 

What Are You Doing for Q4? Don’t Know? Do These 3 Steps

10.1.14Welcome to the last business quarter of the year!  This quarter is commonly known as Q4 in business terms.  Are you greeting it with glee and joy?  Probably not.

This is a very dangerous time of the year for you because all the best holidays are coming up: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve.  It is our human tendency to figuratively, take off our “Spanx” and relax into the holidays.  However, if you do so without taking some steps to insure that your business continues to grow, you may be setting yourself up for more work in marketing your business and creating sales occurring for next year and this final quarter.

Do these steps before the holidays begin and you can set up a plan that will take you forward to next year.

1. Look at what worked for you this year.  Please list each item that worked and why it worked.  We are doing an analysis here.  This is a paper and pen analysis.  Not a mental analysis.  What caused the most profit in your business?  What segment of your target market responded to your marketing?  Was it your marketing plan?  Your new offers?  Your outreach to your target market?  These are just a few examples of looking at what worked.  Each business is unique and you will have unique answers to what worked.

2. Look at what didn’t work for you this year.  Perhaps, writing down what didn’t work will be harder for you.  We do like to look where we succeed not at where we fail.  It is so important to list the failures too.  Without looking at them purely from an analytic point of view, we cannot see what we should stop doing or change.  Both steps are important.  You will have your unique responses to this step.  Note to Self: This is not a step that you use to beat yourself up with.  No, it’s an approach to having your business thrive.

3. Keep your marketing going during Q4.  Our tendency to stop causing business through effective marketing also damages sales for the next year.  If you are “out of sight” during the Q4, you are setting yourself up for business disappointment in the next year.  Keep your business marketing present and valuable to your clients and potential clients.

By doing these simple steps, you will be far ahead of most businesses.  And of course, it will be much easier to enjoy the holidays with business success standing there glittering away.

I look forward to hearing your comments.  Please tell me what you will do as you go forward to Q4.

 

If Profit Isn’t the Purpose, What Is Its Cause?

mapProfit isn’t a purpose, it’s a result.  To have purpose means the things we do are of real value to others.

-Simon Sinek

The passing of Labor Day has signaled the end to summer and perhaps, for most, the end of summer holidays, leisurely passing time in the vacation mode.  It is time to ease our way back into the business of our business.  September allows us to transition to a more focused back to work mode.  It is a time to consider what it is that we have accomplished so far this year in our work and what it is that we still want to or will accomplish before the end of the year.

It is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the quote from Simon Sinek about purpose and the place profit has in examining our purpose.  For some entrepreneurs, profit is the all-encompassing measurement of our entrepreneurial success.  For some it is as if profit is synonymous with purpose.  However, as Sinek points out: “Profit isn’t purpose, it’s a result.”

If what Sinek says is true then it is best to look at what your purpose is in business.  Is it, as he says, to provide “real value” to others?  If so, what is real value?  Only our specific target market can speak to what they see as valuable.  That is why it is very important to get to know your target market to the point where you see that market not as a group but as a person, who, at least to you, has a name, gender, marital status, a specific income, certain worries, concerns, and lives in a specific place.  If you pass over this step in doing your target market research, and developing the target market profile, your intention to be of service or to provide real value will be diminished.  And mostly likely, since profit is a result not a purpose, your profit will also be smaller than you had hoped.

Fortunately, we have the time now in early September to make changes in our business that can impact our bottom line for the year.  If you find that your target market isn’t defined enough, now is the time to do that.  There is plenty of information about doing so on the internet.

What is your response to the Sinek quote?  And what exactly is he pointing to, from your point of view?  I look forward to reading your comments about this topic.