Category Archives: Business Owner Tips

But I Don’t Wanna! Growth is MORE than What YOU Would Do.

But I Don’t Wanna!
Growth is MORE than What YOU Would Do.
By Talmar Anderson

When considering what is best for your business, are you careful to only accept projects or opportunities that YOU would like to complete? Of course! We all want to work with clients we like. And we want to only work on projects we enjoy (after all, this is not about changing your foundational income source.). As a solopreneur this is especially true as it is likely that you will be working long hours doing those very things to deliver on your own. However, if your business has (or is building) a team, how well does turning down diversification or expansion opportunities serve your company? Because a growing company is the one that builds a team AND acknowledges that other staff may enjoy the VERY thing you would rather not even consider.

If you have built a strong staff, remember that their challenge and enjoyment from work may be based upon stimuli and environments that you would rather kick a puppy than deal with in your own work. As a business owner and manager, recognizing when opportunity for revenue growth meets with skill, preference and happy factors for your staff usually requires you to take your own personal preferences out of it.

I hear you. This could create chaos too. But that is why you get paid the big bucks! You must decide which opportunities and new offerings can be sustained outside the specific staff member you have right now. Will you be able to attract that skill set again? Does it enhance your team to have a member with the specific skill, preference, happy factors as this opportunity will present? It is important to give serious consideration here. If your clients and market are asking for it, they will look for it somewhere else. The risk is that the somewhere else may be a competitor that offers the additional service or product.

What are you limiting in your business when you assume everyone wants / thinks /does what you do? The possibilities of working not just from your own preferences is probably not entirely new to you. I find that most new business owners went through this when they learned to market the way the target audience preferred as opposed to how YOU liked to see marketing. Two different perspectives! You learned that it’s not about how you like to be marketed to but about how your target audience likes to receive their marketing!

I challenge you to be open to possibilities in structuring and growing your business outside of what would be comfortable for you. Your business likely has needs that you are not acting upon because of your perspective or past bad experiences. Your experiences may suggest it would be unpleasant.

Talmar’s Truth: The world is big, and you can attract someone that is different than you. Someone that will ENJOY what you do not enjoy enhancing your business’ success.

That is how a successful company can expand and scale. Growth doesn’t just mean more of the same. It can mean different types of projects, expanded locations, new products or complimentary services. These can all be considered with a new eye if the only thing holding you back is that YOU wouldn’t want to do it.

Structure the position and write the job description to be responsible and accountable for the piece. Understand how you can manage and evaluate performance for the new deliverable even if you never want top do it. If not currently a staff member then the next step is to write the employment ad to attract, with full transparency of the piece that would not be attractive to you, or people like you. Maybe even write a line that would rule you out if applying

  • “Road warriors need not apply.’
  • “This is not the same cubicle everyday type of position.”
  • “Boredom is not an issue in this fast moving, multi-tasking role. (Not for the person who loves to complete one project before moving onto the next!!)”

If we can attract staff with different skills, experiences and diverse definitions of an enjoyable position…well, NOW you are growing a team that can easily take on all kinds of challenges AND opportunities coming into your business. This is an integral part of scaling a business on purpose!

Now GO! Grow!

If you are looking for the answers to building YOUR dream team, Talmar It Up would love to work with you! Reach out NOW to TAnderson@TalmarItUp.com.

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Why Fight it? 4 Steps to Get Your Business Owner Mind Right!

Why Fight it? 4 Steps to Get Your Business Owner Mind Right!
By Talmar Anderson

What do you loooove to do? I mean makes you get geeked-out nerdy excited about details others would glaze over and check Facebook when discussed? Have you built a business doing that yet? Why not? Let’s discuss a couple of things if this is on your periphery.

First, nope. No, you do NOT have to be a business owner just because you are good at something.  There are risks and stress that employee based careers do not have to deal with on a regular basis. Even if you can fix a car’s engine block just by looking at  it or your bacon honey cupcakes are the world’s best. You DO NOT HAVE TO DO THIS. Even if you best friend, neighbor and your mother’s boss LOVES what you do.  Truthfully that does not mean they will pay for it!

However, if you are thinking that running your own business could set you up to have control of how you live, earn money and work in your life, then what is holding you back? Honestly, what you need to know to build and grow a business can be learned.  There are ways to mitigate risks and protect you and your family.

Are you hesitating because you see others struggling?  Those folks may be saying how busy or overwhelmed they feel.  They feel like they are not making the money they want and seem to have no joy in what they are doing. Blurg!  THAT does not seem attractive. What could you do differently to find success if you launch your company?

Here are 4 universal truths on how people sabotage the success of the business which I have observed. Male or female.  Experienced or newby. Service or products.  Today I am going to have you embrace these 4 before you even start! These are “MUSTS”, not optional, for business owners of successfully profitable companies.

  1. You MUST come to terms for charging a business fee for something you love and may even be…easy for you!
    • Pricing must be set up to reflect industry standards, combined with market demand (Are you a specialist with few competitors? FEES should be higher!) AND with consideration of a budget that covers the expenses to run your company. Because your talent or genius comes naturally or easily to you does NOT mean it has no value! Easy is GOOD!
  1. Pricing MUST be based on the VALUE TO YOUR MARKET!
    • You would not buy this service or product so you cannot assess how much you would personally choose to pay. YOU are not your target market. And before you let your neighbor, mother or Significant Other weigh in, be sure that they are in the demographics of your ideal market. Sample the people that actually would BUY and be sure to sell what THEY WANT.
  1. Start planning your hires NOW with Hiring Triggers!
    • If you are planning to be a business owner to have more freedom, you MUST build a company that is larger than just you and your singular efforts. Set out an organizational structure with the roles you will need in your company and the order that you would ideally like to have them come on. I suggest that you add vendors to this structure. Then assign milestones that will trigger the hiring. This helps beat the emotions and stress that come with uncertainty. Is this the right time to hire? How will this affect the cash flow? You can rest assured that it is part of your plan and keep moving forward.
  1. You MUST be comfortable selling your solution. Yep, YOU!
    • Yes, we can hire a business development employee eventually but you will be educating people on the solution your company provides AND asking for the business for the life of your company. That is what sales is about in reality! Inform a prospect, build the value and ask for the business. This is a MUST. No sales = no business. It does not have to be forced or icky. There are training, coaches and other places to help you improve and excel at this but you should prioritize this piece!

You thought I was going to say business plan, right?  Well I hope that was already part of your “to do” list.

If you are hearing the call of a new business, I say run to it. I do believe that we can build a business model and company that will let you succeed, have fun and earn the money that lets you live the life you dream about IF you can walk into these 4 steps and deal with them head on.  The sooner you do this in the business building process the sooner you get to do what you love every day! Why fight it?

Now GO! Grow!

If you are looking to set up Hiring Triggers, a new business or work on any of these steps, Talmar It Up would love to work with you! Reach out NOW to TAnderson@TalmarItUp.com.

Create Your Own Renewable Energy Source!

Create Your Own Source of Renewable Energy!
By Talmar Anderson
Talmar It Up, LLC

People ask me how I get my high energy and positive attitude all the time. I genuinely LOVE what I do. Creating the workflows, organizational structures and developing the “How” of any business is my happy factor.

My joy comes from helping people understand how their own business works, what options they have and how much control they actually do have over what can be done. This allows those people to go on and be profitable after me! Letting myself get excited for them, with them, even about them if they can’t see it yet is how I stay energized. What I do feeds my own personal energy bank.

Stepping into what makes me happy absolutely has led to my successes. I get excited to learn about different business and you can physically see the wheels turning in my brain while I jump out of my skin to give you insight and ideas on how to resolve issues or challenges in your company’s growth. Being in that moment of my personal joy is infectious. People talk about how they enjoy working with my company not just because of the results but because they can feel the genuine excitement for the possibilities in their future. This makes THEM excited.

Then they tell referrals that they know someone that can both offer solutions AND help connect them to the excitement of their own company growing. So I get to start all over with a new business client creating more process and developing organizational structures that can deliver on more dreams and happiness. And I don’t hide my joy.

That might be the secret. I literally mock myself because I KNOW most business owners don’t clap their hands with excitement about reviewing data on task completion times or metrics on referral sources. I get the humor and am in on my own nerd loving joke. I DO love the numbers (the Power is in the numbers my friends!).

Have you ever been with someone that is so excited by what they are talking about they make you care? From car mechanics to atttorneys, find a person that loves what they do and you will listen intently to details on how engine pistons work or why we should negotiate for the extra space. We listen because we want that energy and engagement for ourselves!

Reality check. My energy and positive attitude is NOT “on” all the time. Ask my loving (and mercifully patient) family! However, I find that making the choice to purposefully tap into the happy factor of why I do, what I do propels me into more situations where I can do MORE of what I do…do you follow my meaning?

What makes you happy? This is SELDOM something that will suck your energy dry or leave you feeling unfulfilled. If you are a business owner, you have every reason to tie your role around the actions that make you happy. This will energize you and allow you to continue to lead a team and grow a client base that wants to tap into your joy. Then you will have your own source of renewable energy!

I’d love to know what you personally get energized doing within your own business. Let me know!

Affiliates can be your Valued Sales Team

Affiliates can be your Valued Sales Team
By Talmar Anderson

On the rise with ecommerce and online products are the opportunities to grow your sales team. Or on the flip side, a way to increase your income through recommending people, brands and products for compensation. Do either of these options really sound like a bad idea for your business? This incentive creates questions and worry for both the entrepreneur considering this “cut” into their profits and the referral source. I do believe that this can work for a variety of industries so let’s talk a little bit about affiliations!

As a potential commissioned referral source, a common argument stems from the concern that you do not want to be perceived as solely incentivized by being paid to recommend something or someone.  That it could appear as self-serving as opposed to prioritizing the needs of your contact. I get it. I too walked the line for many years and turned down offers of compensation from great providers and vendors that I 100% believed in and to whom I continually referred. I wanted to be able to point to my referrals and say that I was only recommending them as a great solution for prospects.

After several years and establishing a reputation for referring the best possible referrals for each individual need, I realized that I was literally leaving money on the table.  Yep. I was going to refer those people anyway. Yes, I could genuinely and honestly look prospects in the eye to assure them that my expertise, education and experience led to any recommendation. Not the check book! I do have a few affiliates (from tools like Lead Pages or ConvertKit to trusted business owners that can offer a benefit to my clients and audience like The Lucky Bitch) that I recommend when it fits.

Now what if you are thinking of paying affiliates or commissions to other referral sources? I know, they SHOULD be referring to you because you are amazing and no one can solve your clients issues as well. However, sometimes the marketing campaign to be in front of your referral sources can get lost in your company’s outreach to new lead generation or current prospects.  It is true…there are only so many hours in a day.

By monetizing those referrals, you allow the source to be incentivized and rewarded for sales.  The first time that income comes back to them, your company WILL be top of mind.

What about doing the numbers to decide?  In our example, we are offering a 25% affiliate fee on a $100 product. Imagine you could average 10 sales a month of your $100 product through your own company. Boom! $1,000

Now imagine if one of your best strategic partners could get you in front of another 10 people but maybe only 3 bought through them.  $300 – $75 = $225 income for YOUR company.  This came off someone else’s marketing and sales efforts (AND expense!). Your referral source was already planning on being in front of this market.  They qualified the need for your solution and completed the sale for you! This effort exposed your company and services to a wider market and grew your revenue by 22% thus expanding your credibility AND cash flow!

Plus, it is TOTALLY FUN to cut a check to those referral sources with a big, fat THANK YOU written on it.  The referral source is excited because they just made another $75 off conversations they were going to be having anyway.

Could you operate profitably and scale your business by having a stronger pool of pre-qualified prospects? While this example is based off a client’s experience, consider that we developed a specific and strategic operational plan to support the intake, payment tracking and communications with these referral sources. For success, this is will require creating another operational layer. However, with the right affiliates you gain access to new markets and qualified sales.  This can be especially beneficial during new launches or product offerings.

It may not be right for every company but in the on-demand market of small businesses, sales forces are much smaller than the larger corporations had access to in the past.  Is it worth it to your company’s bottom line to find a way to reward those strategic partners that are already working on creating income themselves?  It is something to consider when looking for new ways to grow your revenues.

Now GO! Grow!

Check out more of the latest blog posts from Talmar It Up HERE.

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Story of a WORKING strategic plan!

Story of a WORKING strategic plan!
(it has a surprise ending…)

By Talmar Anderson

Today we will look at a part of the Talmar It Up strategic plan in an effort to share possible outcomes in your own strategic plan! Having spoken as a part of many business retreats and conferences, Talmar It Up had created The Takeoff Series in 2016. A limited number of clients learn a focused agenda on specific, yet varied, business topics over 2 days in a small group setting. I had been approached about growing this segment of my firm. Retreats/conferences specifically. Part of the current TIU strategic plan was to research and develop the Takeoff series on a larger scale. Scaling, right? That is my thing!

Many concepts were considered and structures evaluated of how to build a consistent and appealing business education based vacation that delivered all that clients would expect. As part of my plan, several months ago, I scheduled to attend a 3 day conference out of town in an industry adjacent to mine that was being offered by a peer and woman I admire. The benefit of attending for the results offered was doubled because I was going with an eye to observe and consider, from the operational stand point, all the moving parts.

Phew! Hats off to the event planners of the world. Those conferences are, well, a lot! The conference I attended was amazing. Well-staffed with top notch and accessible people at every level throughout the entire event. The site chosen worked to allow for community building and attendee privacy. The speakers and presenters truly came from a place of education and were open to interact with the attendees consistently. The company that offered the conference was prepared and professional. There were no lines or long waits for any of the transitional moments of the entire group. This was a beautiful orchestra in motion.

And in that experience I saw that it could be done. Scaling this was a real opportunity for my company. I could surround myself with the right people to get this done for my clients and business.

And then in THAT moment I did the secret to success and happiness check. Do you know what I am talking about? A huge part of strategic planning is considering what could be, planning out what it would take to deliver…truly deliver the plan to your audience, and then ask yourself “Do I really want to do this?”

Do you want to commit your company’s time to offer this regularly? Do you want to commit X% of your company’s money and resources to making this happen? When you think of the work involved…do you get excited for the challenge or tired from the energy it will require? Heck, will it be any fun delivering for your clients in this way?

As I participated and enjoyed the benefits of the wonderful event, I looked at the host and thought, she is brilliant at this. I also knew that I was not interested in growing the Takeoff series into the bigger offering. I apply for myself the same insight I use for others. Because I could, doesn’t me I have to do it.

I will, of course, still speak at conferences and retreats, however Talmar It Up will continue to only offer the limited retreats series.The scaling of the event would require several days of general help to the clients. Beneficial yes but I know that my one on one connection of delivering specifically for each client’s business model needs is my true happy dance inciting work. Both for me and for them.

Strategically, that is not me playing small. My podcast allows me to influence more and more people throughout the globe. Conferences I attend as a speaker allow me to reach hundreds. However, the time and energy to plan, organize and manage those kind of events will take me too far from how I like to deliver in my work.

And so the strategic plan worked! By working the steps of my own strategic plan I can confidently let go of the time, money and resources I was allocating for that expansion. I will review my strategy to see if this leaves a hole or where Talmar It Up can further diversify and grow. It was not a failure or wasted resources to spend money, time and research efforts on something Talmar It Up will not move forward upon at this time. I know where I don’t want to take Talmar It Up and that in itself creates focus. Can’t wait to see what the future is bringing now that I let go of that goal to create new space! Now GO! Grow!

Are you on the Talmar It Up mailing list yet? Join now to be sure to directly receive insights, clarity and business operation answers. Check it out in the latest blog post HERE.

Social Media Engagement is More Than a Thumbs Up!

Social Media Engagement is More Than a Thumbs UP!
By Talmar Anderson
Talmar It Up, LLC

 

“Social media is THE way to economically and organically grow a business.” That is what a lot of entrepreneurs are being told by well-meaning friends, vendors and other business owners.  And it certainly can be. However, please be aware that engagement is REALLY how social media works for helping significant leaps happen for your company.  Clients sometimes list social media under their marketing plans with a line item expense of little to minimum costs.  I challenge that because your social media plans need to include engaging with your audience to take full advantage.  Engaging certainly costs more (whether more of a commitment of your and your team’s time or by hiring an outside marketing vendor) but WOW, that is where that exciting and exponential growth can come from for your company.  Whether growing to a billion dollar company like Chobani or developing a raving and true following like Chubbies Shorts (clothing line with marketing content that is real AND funny), engagement can help a company sell products/services, grow market share, build brand awareness and even improve operations. (You know I love the last part!) …. Consider focusing on this piece if social media is in your marketing plan or a part of your strategy for the year.

Pushing out posts, messages and pictures can provide true value when engagement is a part of the plan.  Your social media plan must include assigning not just the content creation and the management of the posting schedule, but also who is authorized to respond to your audience. How are they allowed to position your company through responses? also cover how to capture and track the engagement data that your audience is giving you with every “thumbs up”, share or comment.

As you start spending time and energy for engagement consider that it is more than going through to “like” posts. Your process should include thoughtful consideration on how you handle the good and bad comments. Want a great response? Choose an area that you think you are doing well and ask that loaded question. “What could we do better with…?” Boy howdy, strap into your seat and get ready. Continually encouraging feedback (good AND bad) will help your company define and improve on what your clients really want. We all know that social media lets the public they you what they really think about any given subject.

What can engagement do for YOUR company?

  • PR (stands for public RELATIONS people!)
    • building a larger market opportunity through awareness and education
  • Build your brand and reputation
    • Here is where your company’s responsive, timeliness and topical relevance can shine
  • Improve customer satisfaction and operations
    • Gathering data on what clients like, want, don’t like and LOVE. See below for a great example!

I love this one excellent example that could EASILY be applied by any small business. Recently, Elon Musk and his company Tesla took a social media post complaining about how cars were parking in the charging stations and within eight days created an entirely new company wide- process. It is well thought out. (Check out this Inc. article for more details HERE). This whiplash-speed operational change not only resolved the issue to incentivize people to get out of those spots and free them up for other customers who need to charge their electric cars but allowed that it could also create a new revenue stream.

I do recommend developing your social media plan to include a thorough engagement commitment and policy. Certainly, an outward push is helpful but incoming information and your team consistently monitoring to allow responsive, considerate engagement and ensure there are no great opportunities missed is where the bigger “bang for your dollar” comes in.  The right engagement in the right moment will enhance your reputation, build a more loyal fan base and potentially grow more of the market share. Engagement can help you deliver exactly what your clients want AND operational follow up can build immediate brand loyalty and strengthen your company’s reputation. Now Go! Grow!

Are you on the Talmar It Up mailing list yet? Join now to be sure to directly receive insights, clarity and business operation answers. Check it out in the latest blog post HERE.

 

 

 

Feel the Power! It is in the Choice.

It is easy to feel like we have no control. No control over our time, No control over our clients. No control over our dogs chewing your brand new slippers! This feeling builds into overwhelm. Overwhelm builds into stress, bad health, low quality of life and satisfaction. “Thanks Talmar for bringing me down…” I really don’t want to bring you down but it is important to remind you that ONLY your choices can bring a different result.

Change is a result of action. Action is a result of decision. Decisions come from acknowledging that there are choices that you can make to start the change. Yep…You have all the power even in those moments of overwhelm and stress. You can effect change by making a choice.

Feeling stuck, like you don’t see a choice other than a glass of bourbon or sleep less? Not sure where to turn or which direction to drive your business? One of my superpowers is helping clients clarify their decision points and focus on an actionable decision so let me offer you the starter 3 choices that can help in any situation. I want to help you because I hope that we can move bourbon back into your “reward” column instead of the “medicine” column, poor mis-used bourbon! Start with a pause. Take a breath. Now consider…

  • Choose what to prioritize. Set a priority list of actions based on the most immediate need (profitability, cash flow, staff, time). Let your full focus be on one item at a time.
  • Choose to let go. Items that continually need to be moved down your “priority” list probably do not really need to be a priority. Give your self a break and let it go! (Ya. I’m humming it too. Damn song gets in my head EVERYtime!)
  • Choose to ASK FOR HELP!!! This is the one that is really self flagellation. Hire more staff. Outsource to vendors. Hire an expert to move you along faster. Your business is NOT growing by you insisting to do it all yourself. Stop it! NOW!

It happens to everyone. That feeling of drowning in “to do” lists. Looking at your calendar trying to imagine what it must be like to have time to sit still or be spontaneous with your company’s time.

It can happen but it takes a choice to prioritize your business’ needs, a choice to let go of doing business the same as you always have and the choice to surround you and your business with experts, influencers and staff that will get you to your ideal role within your company. Chief Change Agent and Master of Choice. Most people call the position CEO.

Choose wisely. Buy your next bottle of bourbon and write the most immediate goal you want to celebrate on it. I can hear the clinking of the glasses as you toast with your reward. You got this!

Are you on the Talmar It Up mailing list yet? Join now to be sure to directly receive insights, clarity and business operation answers.