Archive for January, 2014

2014 Business Trends

Take your cue from sled dogs.  Unless you are the lead dog, the scenery never changes.significance

 

You can spend your days following the lead of others or step out and create a success plan with a new path.  Being aware of trends is the first step.  Taking action to establish your business as a trend leader is significant.  Forbes made some interesting statements for 2014 trends.

 

“The economy is showing no signs of getting better and now with Obamacare next year, there are going to be some major changes.  2014 will be a slow period, where a lot of major workplace issues will surface and executives will be scrambling.  As more boomers retire and more people work from home, the idea of “work” will start to change. Hiring processes are going to start to shift as more recruiters rely on the Internet and the word “reputation” will become even more important to professionals and companies.”

 

Action – Reaction

 

Obamacare – The word on the street, both Wall Street and main street, is that companies may not only be holding off hiring but may be laying off full time workers.  This action could help the company avoid paying the penalty for not providing health insurance or being forced to provide health insurance.

 

Negative – Cutting back on staff will potentially overload the remaining employees or force the company to downsize.  When businesses are afraid to grow, the economy stalls for a prolonged period of time.  When businesses run in place or stop running and start to walk, the economy matches the pace.

 

Suggested solutions – Seriously analyze your current services and products.  When something seemingly bad happens, it allows your business to focus on your profit centers and eliminate the loss leaders.  Focus your success plan on your profit centers.

 

Return to the merit system.  Instead of automatically trimming off the highest compensation employees, analyze the productivity.  A good cheerleader, morale booster, employee can serve a vital role in keeping the company spirit healthy during transitions.  Both the financial and the emotional factors are significant in the company success plan.

 

Freelancers – 17 Million people are now working as freelance consultants and contractors.  If this trend continues as it is expected to do, freelancers will outnumber full time workers within six years.

 

Negative –Employees who work offsite, freelancers, are more difficult to supervise.

 

Positive – Employers do not pay benefits such as work compensation, health insurance, vacations, sick days, or payroll taxes for most freelance employees.  The freelance employee does not have a long commute to work, office wardrobe expenses, restaurant expenses for lunches, or the temptation to gossip in the break room.

 

Suggested solutions – Frequently companies can hire more experienced and highly qualified workers for lower rates.  As long as the cost/value ratio is commensurate with the task, it can be an excellent solution in your company success plan.  Elance, Odesk and Hire My Mom are potential sources for freelance employees.

 

Boomers may be retiring; however, they may still be available on a freelance basis.  With unemployment at 15.9% for millennials and 28 to 36% of millennials either moving back home or delaying moving away from home to start life on their own, it is further evidence of a slow economy.  Awareness of the employment situation of boomers and millennials must be a consideration in the company success plan.

 

It is absolutely an employer’s market as more and more applicants are available for fewer positions.  Whether you call it the black hole of resumes or the Wall Street Journal term of “resume oblivion,” the fact remains.  There are more applicants than positions available.

 

Your company success plan must be written to consider employee numbers, costs and availability.  A wealth of talent is available and the options to employers are vast.

Are you seeking more success in your life and career?  Inquire about hiring Elaine Love as a business communications professional – presentations coach/trainer and content writer.  Go to

www.Elaine4Success.com/about or www.Elaine4Success.com/Contact.

 

Become a Valuable Resource

There comes a time in every entrepreneur’s life when they say, “I have had enough of making

Think with passion

Focus on a truth you can accept and heal

someone else rich and following the dictates of someone else.”

 

Are you tired of working as an employee?  Are you tired of giving someone else control of your life and your future?  Me too.  The truth is “I am psychologically unemployable.  I am an entrepreneur!”

 

Follow Your Own Dreams

 

Decide what you really want for yourself and start taking steps to get it.  You have a finite number of days on this earth.  As far as I know, you can’t have a “do over.”  Decide what makes you happy and reach for it.  If it is having your own business part-time, full-time or playing the air guitar rocking out in the produce aisle of Whole Foods.

 

Is it scary to step out of the comfort of a paycheck – salary or commission check?  Maybe.  What is the upside?  Stop right here.  I am NOT promoting a network marketing business. 

 

If you do want a business of your own, you need to know the facts.

 

You have control of your income.

 

You make all of the decisions.

 

You have unlimited potential.

 

And. . .

 

You will invest time and effort to promote your business.

 

You will invest advertising dollars consistently over a long period of time.

 

If you decide to start a business, you must dedicate positive thoughts and efforts in order to succeed.  (As a matter of fact, this even applies to your job.)

 

Whether you are working as a representative for a network marketing company, your own brick and mortar business or an independent agent selling socks from your basement, you need to promote yourself.  Yes, you do need to market yourself and your business.

 

People can’t buy from you until they know about you.

 

There are multiple ways of marketing.  To maximize the value from your marketing investment, create high value over a sustained period of time.  Your marketing is an investment.  It reflects your image in the marketplace.  Your marketing reflects the level of quality you bring to the marketplace.  Become a resource for valuable information.

 

When you become a resource for valuable information, potential clients are pulled to you.  Potential clients who seek you and your information are far more likely to buy from you.

 

Posting informative, timely articles on your website frequently keeps your current clients and potential clients coming to your web site on a regular basis.  Give them a reason to come to your web site.

 

Strictly sales pitch articles will not pull them to your web site.  Become a resource for valuable information.  Keep refreshing that information with new articles.  If they want fluff, they will go pet a bunny rabbit.  They want value.

 

Don’t have time to consistently write high quality content?  Hire a communications professional.  Hire someone who has published numerous high quality articles and has a reputation for delivering quality.

 

As a published book author with over 500 articles published online and a masters degree in communication, I understand how to deliver high quality.

 

Hire a quality professional writer and you receive high quality.  You choose the key words you wish to emphasize, the frequency of the articles, and the focus topics.

 

People can’t buy from you until they know about you.  Become a valuable resource.

 

Decide on your dream and reach for it.  If you choose to be an employee, be the best employee.  If you choose to have a business, build a good one.  As an employee or a business owner, become a valuable resource.  Become a person of value and a resource for valuable information..

 

Are you seeking more success in your life and career?  Inquire about hiring Elaine Love as a business communications professional – presentations coach/trainer and content writer.  Go to

www.Elaine4Success.com/about or www.Elaine4Success.com/Contact.

Push or Pull Marketing

People can’t buy from you until they know about you.

Believe in your vision of the future and take action to make it great.

Believe in your vision of the future and take action to make it great.

 

How do they get to know you?

 

  1.  Go to networking events.  This is an excellent way to gain face recognition.  It does take time, vehicle expense and a meeting fee or beverage expense during the event.  You may or may not meet anyone who is interested in your services.

 

  1. Leads groups also known as referral groups.  This may or may not be a source of valid leads depending on the members of the group and your business specialty.

 

  1. Web site.  You probably spent extensive time, effort and money developing your web site.  You can have the most marvelous web site in the industry, but until people visit it, it is an expensive picture in a dark closet.

 

People can’t buy from you until they know about you.

 

How do people get to know about your web site?  Push marketing or pull marketing.

 

  1. Online marketing.  This can be expensive and may or may not produce results.  Social media costs time and is relationship building more than immediate sales.  Marketing costs time, money or both.  Online marketing is push marketing.

 

  1. QR code on your business card or marketing materials.  Snail mail marketing costs postage and printing of marketing materials.  If they have your marketing materials and if they scan the code, it could drive potential clients to your web site.  QR code marketing is push marketing.

 

  1. Push marketing pushes people toward your web site.  Pull marketing is when your website has information they need and want; you are pulling highly interested potential buyers to you.

 

Why use pull marketing?  Bringing more people to your web site frequently increases your ranking with the search engines and increases your potential for sales.

 

How do you use pull marketing?  You wrote your web site to contain valuable information.  The information can’t help them until they know about it and read it.

 

Frequently refreshed informative, helpful and timely information on your web site pulls people to you.  Writing and posting timely, informative articles to your website on a frequent basis increases the traffic to your website.  The articles pull potential clients to you.

 

Become a source of value. Become a resource for timely, accurate, helpful articles which are available when they are seeking the information. 

 

Writing valuable information articles takes time and skill.  You can write the articles or you can hire someone to write the articles for you.  Hire low quality for a cheap price and your web site will reflect low quality.  Hire a quality professional writer and you receive high quality.  You choose the key words you wish to emphasize, the frequency of the articles, and the focus topics.

 

People can’t buy from you until they know about you.  Become a valuable resource.

Are you seeking more success in your life and career?  Inquire about hiring Elaine Love as a business communications professional – presentations coach/trainer and content writer.  Go to

www.Elaine4Success.com/about or www.Elaine4Success.com/Contact.

Effective Leadership Essentials

Think with passion

Focus on a truth you can accept and heal

Who is your most challenging person to lead?  Could it be your children, your employees or yourself?

 

An important element of effective leadership is empowering those you are leading to reach their goals.  How can you encourage, inspire, and empower others to reach their goals until you know your own specific goal?

 

Personal Goals

 

Can you describe your goal in specific words so clearly that you will recognize it when you have achieved it?  Can you verbalize it so clearly that others will know where you are heading and what it will look like when you achieve it?  Many self-acclaimed gurus and seminar leaders use the SMART system as their success plan guide.

 

Specific           Know exactly what you want so much that you are obsessed with achieving it

Measurable      Can it be measured quantitatively i.e. dollars, pounds, specific achievement

Attainable       Is it a stretch but still vaguely possible

Relevant          Consistent with your other goals – Not – Lose 40 pounds and open a candy shop

Timely             Most say set a specific time for the goal to be achieved

 

Personally, I believe that setting a specific time to begin is more urgent than the time to reach the ultimate goal.  Until you begin, you cannot possibly reach the ultimate objective.  Beginning and remaining consistent on the path to the goal are more important than the ultimate destination day.  Once you create a success plan, begin the process and forge ahead consistently following that success plan, you will ultimately reach your goal.

 

Leadership to Goals

 

Would you take advice on eating a healthy diet or losing weight from someone who weighed 250 pounds?  Would you take advice on quitting smoking from a doctor who still smoked?  Probably not.  Would you take advice on making millions of dollars from a guru who was still living hand to mouth?  Part of an effective leadership success plan is paying close attention to whose words you are giving free rent in your head.  Listen to someone who has achieved their goals before you take their advice on how to achieve your goals.

 

Walk the Talk

 

In order to effectively lead others to reach their goals, be the person who has achieved their goals before your tell others how to achieve their goals.  Have the integrity to have achieved your goals first before telling others how to do what you have not done yourself.  Maintain integrity.  Lead yourself first.  Just as you want to take advice from someone who has integrity, extend the same to those to whom you give leadership.  Your first task in effective leadership is to lead yourself.

 

Feeling of Achievement

 

How will you feel when you achieve your goal?  Another element of your goal achievement success plan is to know exactly how you will feel when you reach your goal.  If you are uncertain about how you will feel or ambivalent, the goal does not have enough excitement to motivate you to follow through.

 

Effective leadership recommends that those you lead feel enthused, excited, and happy about the achievement of their goals.

 

Effective Leadership Essentials

 

The essentials of effective leadership are

  1. Lead yourself first.  Articulate the specifics of your goal.
  2. Create a success plan and follow it consistently
  3. Have integrity – achieve your goals before telling others how to achieve their goals
  4. Know how you will feel when you achieve your goal
  5. Demonstrate effective leadership

 

Are you seeking more success in your life and career, www.Elaine4Success.com? Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation.  Go to www.Elaine4Success.com/aboutwww.Elaine4Success.com/Contact

Note of Appreciation

Beauty of a rose

Symbol of beauty and appreciation.

Writing notes of appreciation and encouragement is almost a lost courtesy. It is certainly far less frequent than it was a generation ago.  I am showing my age.  We all type a fast email or a text message now rather than sending a hand written note.  Not so long ago, it was considered very poor manners not to write a note of appreciation for a kind gesture, a gift or even a special dinner invitation.  Rarely do we take the time in our busy lives to compose a handwritten note.  Perhaps we dash a quick email, text or intend to “get around to typing a short message” response; frequently the thought of acknowledging the kindness is little more than a fleeting thought.  This is the season for thank-you notes for holiday gifts and invitations.  How many notes will you send?  Hint: the longer you procrastinate, the less likely you are to write to demonstrate your appreciation.

I wonder how many even know the names Amy Vanderbilt or Emily Post let alone have read and studied their books.  A decade or two ago, these names represented the standard in socially desirable behavior.  A generation ago every lady and many men possessed personalized thank-you notes; these personalized note cards were considered necessities.  Do you own thank-you note cards?

These little notes of appreciation are so important that most of us have saved them in a scrapbook or a drawer or even a box. The point is that we saved them. I know I did. They are even more valuable when they were unexpected.

Who is it who would love a note of appreciation from you?  A little two line note would only take you a few minutes to write, address the envelope and mail. It is easy to do. The problem is that as the noted business philosopher, Jim Rohn, says, “It is easy to do, but it is also easy not to do.”

Walt Whitman, American poet, essayist, humanist, and journalist was struggling to receive recognition for his work when he received a note. The note read, “I am not blind to the wit and wisdom of the Leaves of Grass. I greet you at the beginning of a great career,” signed Ralph Waldo Emerson. I will bet Whitman kept that note. Not only was it a note of encouragement but it was from Emerson, the man who inspired Walt to write Leaves of Grass. Whitman spent his entire life writing and rewriting Leaves of Grass. It was first published in 1855 when Whitman was 36, the beginning of his great career.

Little notes of encouragement and inspiration to keep moving forward are sometimes the fine line that provides one more burst of energy. How would you feel if you knew your little two line note was the extra spark which propelled someone to achieve their dreams instead of giving up? Far too many give up just moments before they crest the summit of an obstacle and revel in the glory of all of their hard work. Sometimes all it takes is one person to believe in them and take the time to let them know.

Who is it in your life right now who needs a little two line note of encouragement or appreciation from you?  Write down the names of three people who deserve a note from you and then commit to writing those three little notes.

You may never know how much it meant to them. That little ray of sunshine you poured into their life may inspire them to do the same for three others. Think how much joy we could spread in this world by taking the time to write three little notes? Look what it did for Whitman.

Are you seeking more success in your life and career, www.Elaine4Success.com? Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation.  Go to www.Elaine4Success.com/aboutwww.Elaine4Success.com/Contact

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”Elaine spoke to our top leaders from 8 states, she gave us new and positive ways to connect with people
which is EXACTLY what we wanted. Thanks Elaine”
-Tom Fajardo, State Farm