Archive for June, 2014

Is Your Business Leaking Money?

You worked hard to earn the money.  Are you needlessly letting gold coins leak out of your money bag as you travel to the bank? 

Does your money bag have a hole?

Does your money bag have a hole?

How thoroughly and how often do you review your regular spending?
Frequent Financial Review
A staff brainstorming session is an excellent source of great ideas.  Each quarter hold a meeting with key personnel.  Each person will be responsible for generating two cost-cutting ideas and two revenue-generating ideas.  Compile all of the ideas and pick the best two cost-cutters and best two money-makers.  Reward the individuals who contributed the winners; it encourages them to prepare more diligently before the meeting.
Keep your finger on your financial pulse.  Even though it was a pain in the schedule to reconcile numerous bank accounts every month and match the data carefully with multiple reports, it kept me informed of the exact status of every segment of the company.  As CEO of Mountain Castles, Inc. this policy also caught an embezzler within one week.  As much as you want to believe in the trustworthiness of every employee, it never hurts to trust but verify.
“Little expense leaks spring up all the time. Many are the result of seemingly minor choices made in the day-to-day frenzy, but they can add up to a lot of lost cash.  Even if you think you have all your expenses under control, do a quick check for some of the top cash drips.”
Drip, Drip, Drip
 
Shipping.  Plan ahead and avoid the necessity or impulse to “overnight it.”  Standard shipping is far less expensive and frequently only a couple of days difference in delivery time.
Credit-card processing – Review your monthly fee as well as the processing percentage for various cards and the rates for different transaction types. There are as many credit card processors as types of snacks on the grocery shelves.  Be certain you have the best plan for your credit-card volume and average amount charged.
Insurance costs – Business insurance and health insurance are now changing drastically.  ObamaCare has necessitated a thorough review of health insurance policies. Be certain you know your options and have the most cost effective policies.
Marketing should generate a measurable return.  Personal networking, websites, and business cards are more difficult to quantify but all are necessary.  Postcard campaign results are easier to measure.  Include a code on the postcard, sales sheet, calendar and brochure which can be entered for a discount at the time of purchase.
Analyze ROI by individual marketing method, individual campaign and overall marketing expense.  Break it down per month, quarter and year.
Utilize the new design templates at PrintPlace.com to reduce the cost of designing top quality print marketing pieces.  Professional results without the professional price both saves money on creation and makes money by having more quality marketing pieces available.
Monthly fees – Did you sign up for a free trial and forget to cancel before the monthly fees started?  YouSendIt, DropBox, GotoMeeting are just a few potential free to fee companies.
Audit expense accounts and credit card accounts for unauthorized charges.  Scammers are known for entering small charges on your credit card to be certain it is a legitimate card and then increasing the charge amounts.  QuickbooksPro has the ability to enter all credit card charges and reconcile the statement.  If you don’t recognize a charge, take the time to check it.  $20 charges may seem too small to bother but they can add up to hundreds or thousands over a few months.
Establish a clear policy of what expenses will and will not be reimbursed.  Expense account charges for hotel gym fees, airport lounges and personal cell phone bills can be major financial leaks.
Bank charges for check writing, wire transfer fees, monthly service fees and minimum balance fees can all be reduced or avoided; many banks now have free checking,  Using online bill payment services not only saves time, envelopes and stamps but allows you to schedule payments to avoid ever paying late fees.
Web hosting is another rarely reviewed expense where significant savings may be possible.
Company supply closets can be more of a garden hose than a small leak. Television commercials even tout this as “a great place to score free batteries.”  Pens, reams of paper and staplers could be flying off the shelves.  I once caught a housekeeper walking out with a large bag supplies.
Each of these items may seem small, only $50 to $100 a month each, but add up all ten and multiply by twelve months and the number can be staggering.
Just think what you could do if you applied all of those savings from plugging leaks into your marketing.  Marketing would generate more revenue.  Less wasted cost and more revenue would make a delightful change in your company bottom line.
Contact Elaine Love as your business coach to stop your profit from draining away.

Start with the Sizzle

Your presentations can make or break a new relationship immediately.

Think with passion

Focus on clarity

I met a lovely lady today.  When I asked her what she did for her business, she said, “I sell cars.”  That statement was true, but it was also a question stopper.

Avoid being a question stopper

We all meet new people on a regular basis.  Being asked what we do for a living/business/career is a common and expected question.  Ideally your reply will cause the questioner to say, “How do you do that?” or “Tell me more.”  The object of your opening line is to generate enough curiosity that the person will start asking you a few questions.

When you say, “I sell cars” there is little room for questions.  They know exactly what you do.  The next step is quite frequently for them to start telling you about what they do for a living.

We changed her presentation to focus more on the benefit to the customer rather than the vehicle itself.  When she focused more on the image created by the vehicle than the specific features of the vehicle, her audience perked up.  She became a “vehicle image consultant.”  A young man does not buy a car for transportation as much as he buys it for the impression he makes when others see him driving his vehicle.  Frankly, how many men and women do you know who purchase more for image than pure transportation?  Your “ride” says a great deal about how you see yourself and how you want others to see you.

This impression factor applies to your wardrobe as well.  We don’t wear just anything to cover our bodies; we select styles to reflect our personality.  Don’t sell the clothes, sell the sizzle.

Create Curiosity and Questions

One of my clients owns a pest control company.  We changed her line to “I eliminate what’s bugging you.”  There is just enough fun in the line that people what to know more.  At that point she can say my business is pest control.  Of course the frequent response is “Does that include my ex?”  No, it doesn’t; however it is a conversation starter.

Have fun with your opening line.

Another coaching client owns and insurance company.  To answer, “I sell insurance” is another conversation stopper.  We changed her opening line to “I solve the ‘what if’ in your life.”

My personal opening line is “I help you attract and engage your ideal client.”  Really isn’t that what creating a conversation starting opening line is all about?  We all want to attract and engage our ideal client whether that is the person in front of you at the moment or someone they know and will refer to you.

When you have fun with your opening line and your business, others will find you more desirable as a person they want to know.  Why be boring or bland when you can create fun?

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