Archive for November, 2013

3 Insider Tips To Make Sure Your Business Thrives Even During The Holidays

Going into the holiday season can often be a challenge for an entrepreneur like yourself, especially if your business isn’t organized with systems and processes.  You see the holiday season is a time to be with family and friends and those that are closest to you.  At the same time we still need our businesses to work on our behalf, even if we’re enjoying Thanksgiving turkey, spending time with family during Hanukkah or traveling for Christmas.

Over the next 6-8 weeks you will be spending time with your family and not as much time on your business.  So I thought I’d share 3 Insider Tips to automate your marketing and streamline your business even during the holidays:

Tip #1: Automate your newsletters for December & January. That’s right. Go ahead and create them NOW before the holidays even begin. Create your December newsletter and schedule it using your Console system for the future send date (if you haven’t already sent it by the time you read this newsletter). And go ahead and create your January newsletter as well and schedule it for a future send date in January.

That way, while you’re traveling, napping from too much turkey or opening your gifts your business is still working on your behalf!

Tip #2:  Schedule any coaching sessions through the month of January. Many coaches make the mistake of backing off from scheduling sessions until after the holidays.  Instead of waiting, go ahead and make sure you have December & January coaching sessions already confirmed and scheduled on your calendar with any existing clients. Be sure to choose the option to send an automated appointment reminder prior to the session.

So even if there is a big gap of time between the next time you see your clients (or you return from your holiday travels) the reminders will keep you and your clients current and ready!

Tip #3:  Create a holiday autoresponder series of 3 messages to send to all your current and inactive clients. Use this time to share your wisdom with your database.

In message #1 share with your recipients one awesome tradition you have in your own life that helps you stay on track with your goals during the holidays. Then include a “Coaching Challenge” in that message and invite them to try the same tradition in their lives and report what they experienced in the client log.  Schedule that message to be sent out immediately upon subscribing your active and inactive client groups to the autoresponder series.

In message #2 share your top 3 goals you’ve set for yourself for 2014. Include a “Coaching Challenge” in the message and ask them to share their goals with you. Schedule this to be sent out the week in between Christmas and News Years Eve.

In message #3 ask them what their greatest challenge is in their life. In the “Coaching Challenge” ask them to reply to you with one commitment they’re willing to make to move away from that challenge.  Schedule that to be sent out 1 week later (the beginning of January).

You see, by setting up a holiday autoresponder series to communicate with both your active clients and your inactive Clients you keep your current clients engaged throughout the holidays even if they don’t have an actual coaching session with you during that time. And you reconnect with former clients. Often that can create a spark for former clients to re-engage with your coaching services to help them kick off 2014 in an amazing way!

One of the reasons we all got into the coaching business is because it is a deeply rooted passion and a calling. During these holidays don’t let the necessary tasks of that passion overshadow the connections with your family, friends and loved ones. Set up your holiday systems in advance so your business can be working for you… even while you’re enjoying your holiday traditions!

Posted in: Time Management

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The Power That Connection & Collaboration Has On Your Vision

That’s our team!  Kate, myself (Melinda) and as they call themselves, our “Geeks Overseas.”  Kate and I spent a second week in Italy making a HUGE dream come true. We flew our programming and development team for a week of connection, masterminding, business and pleasure (a.k.a. Rejuvenation) to Tuscany.  You see, having a web-based business means that our entire team is virtual. Sure we meet each week via email, phone and Skype. But never before have we all met, in person at the same time.

After 6 years of working together it was long overdue.  So we gathered in Tuscany (because of course that was a central location to us all, why not?!) to be inspired and connect with one another.  During our business sessions we were able to talk, directly with our development team and hear from them their visions for the Console System and improvements they want to make so the System is more efficient and effective for you.

We heard the challenges they face so we can put things into place to make it even easier for us to provide a stellar System to you and all of our members.  These few business sessions, in person, provided us with mountains of information that could never be collected via Skype.  And being in person for an entire week we were able to insert fun and adventures into the mix of business. This allowed us to really get to know one another on a personal level outside of work.  Here’s what Magic Marius said after we returned home from the trip:

“Melinda, the 8 of us there, in the Tuscan forested hills and on the alleys of the ancient cities, felt like a family to me, the small tribe where I was at home, accepted for who I am. Thank you very much for including me in the trip and for making it all possible, financially and logistically. It was very beneficial in many ways for me that our paths crossed. You and Kate are not only providing jobs, but also shaping people’s lives for the better.”

Beyond the impact that you are making on your client’s lives you are also making an impact on all those you work with.  The vision of your coaching is bigger than just the clients you serve.  How are you connecting and collaborating with your team?  You may not fly your team to Italy (yet), but connecting with your team however big or small it may be can have profound impacts on your vision.

Here are 3 effective ways to leverage connection and collaboration with your team.

1.  Ask them “when you aren’t working, what are you involved in?”
Get to know the members of your team and what makes them “tick” by finding out their outside interests. We have a tendency to get so caught up in work activities, deadlines, project details that we forget the person-to-person connection. Find out their hobbies, favorite books, favorite movies and other interests. The deeper the relationship, the better service they are likely to provide you. Plus when you do hit major milestones in your business vision you know what they love and can reward them accordingly.

2.  Schedule a once a year gathering, virtual or in-person to get everyone together to discuss your vision.
Ask your team members the highlights they’ve had in working with you/your business during the past year. And ask them what challenges they’ve faced in working on your projects. This takes a great deal of courage to ask both of these questions. In doing so you’ll gather vital information that will help streamline your business, leadership and team efficiency.

3. Create an event for your biggest referral partners. Even if it’s just a lunch.
Remember that your team is not only made up of your accountant, book keeper, Virtual Assistant, etc.  Your team also includes your biggest referral sources (they act as your marketing and sales department).  At least once a year do something nice for those who have sent you a large number of referrals consistently.  Spotlight them and let them know that what they did help you in your business and in accomplishing your larger vision.  Deepening relationships, in fun and inspiring ways, with your referral partners can cause this area of your business to expand. Making it easier and more fun to get new clients more quickly.

Having good systems in place to ensure your business is a well oiled machine working on your behalf is part of the equation to your success.  A good team, making sure your systems run efficiently, is the other part. How well do you know your team? Get to know them during these holiday seasons so you can be prepared for the 2014 year!  It’s gonna be a big one!

Posted in: Professional Development

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