Friday, April 15, 2011

Guest Post: Avoiding the Hit or Miss In Your Business

Guest blog post from Monica Shah.

Recently, I wrote a blog post on the three numbers that you must track in your business.

I received this comment:

“Hey Monica, any advice for someone who’s already tracking revenue and expenses numbers, but it’s still hit or miss all the time? I used to avoid it, but now I’m avid about tracking it, yet my consistency doesn’t seem to be yielding the results I’d like .” – Angela Minelli

What an amazing question. This used to happen to me all the time. I would make clear goals, keep track of money and know my numbers, but I just wasn’t filling my practice, selling enough products, or filling my groups. Furthermore, bringing in consistent income was also incredibly hard. I found the whole thing royally frustrating. Now that my business has matured, I can clearly see what was causing these results. If you’re out there, creating your goals and dutifully following your numbers, but you still seem to be missing the mark, then I’d like to offer a 5-step clear action plan that will bring you more money and more clients.

1. Avoid “magical money thinking.” 
Figure Out Your Numbers. Let’s say you want to fill your practice with 10 new clients by the start of July. That means you need to get about 3 new clients every month. Please avoid assuming that if you think about that number hard enough or clear your emotional blocks long enough, the clients will just flow in – that is what I call “magical money thinking.” The first step is to make a clear action plan around how you are going to meet 3 new clients this month. It’s all a numbers game. Let’s assume for every 2 sales conversations, you sign one client. Let’s also assume that for every 3 people that you ASK to do a sales conversation with, 1 says YES. That means you need to get yourself out and about so that you can meet or interact with at least 18 people this month who you’ll ask to do a sales conversation with you. And you will do six sales conversations in order to hit your 3 client goal.

2. Create an action plan to connect with new people. 
Ok, now you need to decide how you are going to meet at least 18 people new people this month. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it seems. First start with follow-up from your own list and other business events that you haven’t done yet. This is what I call a low-hanging fruit list. Make a list of people that you can contact that you’ve already met or who have expressed working with you in the past. Ask them to do a free meeting or initial session with you. Let’s say you find 3 people to ASK.

Second, plan your networking events. Let’s say you meet on average 4 people at each networking event. That means you’ll need to go to at least 3 networking events this month. That is 12 new people to ASK.

Third, plan a workshop. Let’s say you get an average of 3 free initial sessions after you do a workshop. That means you’ll do 1 workshop this month. That is 3 new people to ASK.

Now you know how you are going to meet your 18 new people to connect with this month.

3. Calender Your Events. 
This is the most important step. Now find 3 real networking events and put them on calender ahead of time. It may be helpful to put six on the calender, just in case you can’t make some of them. Also, locate a place to do a workshop on your topic area and get that on the calender. Commit to these events. No getting tired or shy when the day comes to put yourself out there. The more consistent you get about doing this kind of plan and actually following through on it, the more consistent your income will be.

4. Follow this Plan, no matter how advanced you are in your business. 
For those of you out there that are planning group program launches, product launches and the like. You can use this same plan. Here are the differences. For a launch, you want to start planning 8 weeks out from the launch. That way you can get your copy written and get the pages up on time. Next, use the same steps to determine your numbers. In this case, you want to add some online joint ventures, social media marketing and teleseminars to your connecting efforts. I think it is important, especially for new business owners with small lists, to combine offline marketing like networking and workshops with online marketing like teleseminars and joint ventures. You’ll connect with more people that way. Put everything on the calender and stick with it.

5. Stick to the plan. 
Please realize that consistency is important. The first time you create an action plan like this, it may not work so well the first month, even though you follow it to a T. However, by the third month, seeds that you planted in the first month will start to sprout. This is even true with your first launch of a group program or product. Sometimes it takes two times through before people start to notice you. Just stick with it – consistently making action plans and following through on them. When I do a VIP day with my clients, where I work intensely with them for 6 hours, we create a 12 month action plan so that they know exactly what to do each day, each week and each month. I highly suggest everyone has a plan that they are following that goes out at least 60 days.

As you can see, knowing the numbers is only 50% of getting results. The other 50% is creating a smart action plan and sticking to it. I hope this helps you to see specifically HOW you start to create such a plan. Leave me a comment and let me now how this lands with you.

Monica Shah, MBA, is the Breakthrough Business Specialist. Her M.O.R.E M.O.N.E.Y system effectively teaches women to take their passion-based business to six figures and beyond. Would you like to learn how to run a business that you love while creating the lifestyle you deserve? Check out her website, for free articles and resources and to sign up for her free report "5 Simple Steps to Double Your Income in 60 Days or Less."

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