Tag Archives: action

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!

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Time for a Big Push!

Time for a Big Push!
By Talmar Anderson

How is business?  Are you looking at your goals? If you are like most business owners, end of the year is when you start to consider how you will finish your fiscal year.  While you can start planning for the new year, don’t be so quick to call this year done! Have you broken down each specific goal item to see where you can create a push?   Not just the big money goal.  Let’s look at your history. Here are three areas you can look at to find some cash flow and prospect opportunities to smash your goals!

  • Is one service or product more popular with your market at this time of year?
    • If you have been in business for a few years you can look back to understand what specific product or service is in demand this time of year. Spend focused energy there with the prospects that need/want your offering. Consider a new marketing outreach to educate others of the reason for the current demand and how they could benefit too.
  • Is one service / product trending up in your business right now?
    • Let’s look at the last 3-6 months and consider blowing up that trend even more! Look to see what piece initiated that upward tick.  Was it one specific product / service benefit that you newly highlighted?  Was it new pricing?  Maybe a new referral source? You could create a promotion to ramp that trend even higher.  Maybe some educational marketing on the benefits of buying your service or product?
  • Have a piece of your offerings that needs a shot in the arm?
    • If you are missing your goals in one specific area, now is the time to refocus resources. Can you pull a small bite out of the product /service and offer it at a special price for a limited time?  It could be a “try this” offering that can easily lead into the full engagement.  Setting limits on time is especially critical if this is structured as a loss leader to a larger sale. SPECIAL NOTE: Develop a strong and consistent follow up process for the upsell into the full product.

This is where all that work you have been doing all year can quickly pay off.  All the tracking, measuring and data recording you have built into your company.  This structure allows for agile actions and specific decisions that can save your company from “throwing money after bad”.

Last thought. If you are going to put these specific pushes for more business in place, don’t forget to plan for success! Make sure you consider how you will fulfill each new order and track what “Sold out” could be very specifically. This will protect your reputation, quality of deliverables and sanity!…It is NOT too late to effect change.  This is a great moment to look at your goals and metrics to take action.  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. Or reach out to chat with Talmar for structure and process to grow your business HERE

What to Do BEFORE your Hire, Part 3

What to Do BEFORE your Hire, Part 3
By Talmar Anderson

Today we discuss the last piece in this 3 part series addressing some of the actions you can take BEFORE you spend your dollars on employment ads, block out time to review resumes and weed out the unqualified people that would rather work in a cave than in a culture like the one you have built in your company. Over the last month we discussed:

  • Creating the transitional work list – and helping you play catch up HERE
  • Considering where they fit and who they talk with operationally HERE

This third piece, on actions you can do before you even start the employment ad, can keep a business owner stalled in the hiring process especially if this will be a newly created or defined role. “Where I am getting the initial cash outlay to bring this position on?” Don’t get stalledI say take action.

Hopefully you are hiring because your deliverables are trending up and growth is knocking on your door.  But sometimes the next leap in your business growth is a position that may not be 100% billable or billable at all!  From Assistants to Project Managers to operational point people, investing in the structural staff to allow your organization the space and process required for real growth is pushed out because the ROI (return on investment) is not a direct cash payout on the income line.

What can you do to help ease the increase in your payroll? Start a new sales effort. I know it seems crazy to suggest MORE work but action creates the opportunity for cash to flow and more clients to come in your business’ door.  So roll out a strategic marketing campaign to get a new push of cash rolling in over the next 90 days. Can you incentive additional work that pulls in deposits, partial payments or even pre-orders? Focus on either your highest profit margin products and services or deliverables that will be specific to the new employees work load. This can give your payroll a real chance to be covered more quickly. Not to mention that with that added work you will best be able to enjoy the benefit of an extra pair of hands meeting those deadlines more easily than ever before.

The key is to start this sales push WHILE planning your hiring needs.  Make a plan. Develop your hiring process.  This is an operational need that will be used throughout your whole career.  There is a reason that everyone can relate to all the HR horror stories.  We have all been there.

Regardless of your industry.

Regardless of your specialty.

Regardless of whether you run a brick and mortar operation or a professional services firm.

Even if you are an ecommerce or technology solution company.

If you are committed to growing your business then you are committing to the hiring process. Growth is the same for all business.  Growth = More people.

Now GO! Grow!

 

P.S. Make sure you are on the list to be first to know about Hiring resources for your business as they become available and I’ll send you a FREE Test you can use to see if you need to hire an employee or can work with Independent Contractors! Click HERE

Time Flying? Let’s Discuss “Who” IS the Boss of You.

Time flying by? Let’s Discuss “Who IS” the Boss of You.
By Talmar Anderson

When I ask clients and contacts how their companies are growing, I hear a familiar response.  “Phew…it’s been busy”. Yeah, I get it. Are you getting what you want done?   I can relate to wanting more hours in the day but today I am calling you out on your busy day. In fact, I call B**S**T. Yep.  I’m looking at you. Today we are talking about something that I consistently review with clients and yet it always elicits an “I know, I know.…”

No. It’s not about numbers but it will make your eyes roll.  Look, I get that your days are busy.  I even recognize that what you are spending your time on is valuable and purposeful. However, I will challenge that most of you are not being consistent. And that this lack of consistency is actually keeping your business stuck right where you are today.  Are you are talking about and obsessing over “getting ahead”, getting “further down the line”, or up to the “next level”? What are YOU DOING about it?  There is one thing that will actually ensure you get it done.

The best part is that it is easy to do. This act itself does not even take any real time from your day. It is also easily the most frequently seen self-limiting behavior across the boards for business owners trying to grow. You MUST put anything you value or truly intend to do ON YOUR CALENDAR!

Now, if you are putting these on your calendar but keeping pushing, moving or cancelling, well then you have found the hard part. Stop flat out lying to yourself.  You are not valuing the commitment to your company to effect change that likely can ONLY come from you. And this is no one else’s fault.

  • Not the 10 new clients.
  • Not the sick kid.
  • Not the assistant that quit.
  • Not the vendor that will only deliver on Monday.

You are in control.  You can move an appointment once but I challenge you to MOVE it, not cancel.  You must take time from somewhere else.  YOU are the decider. And while a week can go wonky, having this time calendared out for a full 12 months can get you back on schedule.

Last rule, you may not move these for client needs. If you are careful and considerate you will strategically pick operational and planning days and times that are less demanding.  That means that client work can be scheduled into an available calendar time. Whether customer service issues, invoicing and accounting or missed opportunities, your clients will work on the timeframes you teach them to expect.  In the end, your clients will likely suffer if you do not take care of what your business needs first and foremost.

Giving yourself set time on the calendar will allow you to feel truly in control of your company.  Remember; put your own oxygen mask on before you help others.  It is the only way to survive and thrive.

I’d love to know what tricks you use to keep your commitments to your own company.  Please share them in the comments or you can reach out to me at TAnderson@TalmarItUp.com.

Didn’t Close the Sale Yet? Did you ASK for the Business?

By Talmar AndersonDoes this sound familiar?  Prep work for a meeting with or talking to prospects takes a lot of focus and intent. You must take time to consider the benefits and values of your business.  Then you make sure to see and be seen in the right place for your target market.  You will plan to follow up and set the phone call/ proposal/ meeting.  After presenting all the carefully crafted marketing items and answering all of the prospect’s questions did you walk away thinking, “They are going to call for sure…or at least, I think they will call to hire me.”

Did you even ask them to hire you?  Did you ask them to commit to the engagement agreement?  Did you ask them for a date your company could start the project?  Did you confirm the agreed upon pricing structure and how the payment could be handled?

I know it is crazy to be focusing on the sales side of business going in to the business year end season, but I found myself in need of a reminder.  (Ask me the silly story the next time you see me.) Then as I went through with some of my clients, I found they were in need of a reminder too!  Which leads us here today…with you.   Plan for a hugely successful next year but we must still always be closing!

Remember, waiting for your prospect to run out of questions IS NOT a commitment of a sale. You have to actually say words and ASK the question…Are you ready to move forward? Can I sign you up? Should I ring this up? Do I have the sale?  Do you have a need for which you will allow my company to provide the solution?

You can do the assumptive approach. ”Can we start the project this Monday?”  “Do you want to pay by credit card or check?” “Can I have my team member swing by your office for the signed documents and deposit this afternoon?”

But whatever you do, you must do it in THIS moment.  The one right here.  This moment- where you have proved your expertise and built credibility.  This moment- when you have answered the questions that may have been used as objections.  THIS MOMENT- where you are sharing a smile and conversation.  It is possible that you will not get the close in this momentbut not asking GUARANTEES you leave without a new client.

Part of your prep work for any and all prospect work must include when and how you will be asking for their business.

P.S.  If this sounds like something you would like to work more on for your business growth, let’s work together. I’d love it if you were a client.

 Check out How you can start working with Talmar NOW!

Is ANYTHING getting done? Ideas and Your Implementation Method

By Talmar Anderson
Originally published Apr. 3, 2014

Are you so busy planning that action gets away from you?  There are three ways that people approach new ideas and the implementation.  The first are those that get an idea and step directly into it.  They will start painting the walls and handing out flyers about their new as- yet-undeveloped product.  They get so wound up at the idea that they have to get out there and start “doing”.  This is the predominant amount of people. Rather than think through the whole process and make a plan for how it will be handled they set themselves up for days reacting to the items that come across their desk to deliver on the intent of the idea.  This is where I usually start talking about process and planning in an effort to get ahead of the stress and allow for growth and success. However, today we are really talking about the opposite approach. The planning that goes on.  And on.  And on…until there is another idea upon which to focus. How much of your day are you planning and how much are you really creating???

You KNEW it was going to be about measuring and reviewing, right? Are you even considering this metric? This is a real personal productivity assessment.  You need to understand your role in the company and how much of your role is about planning.  Is it 20%? Is it 1 day a week?  2 days a month? Is research and development of the strategic planning really your core responsibility, then great!  Your company’s operations are able to be managed and produced by your staff.  Even if it is their jobs to implement your plans, then you will still HAVE TO LET GO at some point.  We must start taking action to allow for the exciting opportunity to come to fruition.

Certainly there is benefit to planning.  There is benefit to action.  Too much of either can severely impeded your growth. It is very easy to get sucked into the busy work that can distract from actually delivering.  This planning and researching allows us an excuse to avoid the work.  We can reward ourselves as “progressing” with each new fact we uncover or possible market segment we define. We tell everyone how the project is taking lots of time but the figures are projecting a SUPER load of cash once it is rolled out. Then when we get to the end of the week, or the month, or the quarter we wonder why we didn’t reach our goals.

Setting aside pre-determined planning time will ensure that you are still creating in your business.  If you preset the days and hours you will work on strategic planning you can be assured to notice when the actual deliverables of your company start to suffer.  Are you filling in your extra time with going to check out another possible venue for your next launch party?  Are able to spend 4 hours instead of the 2 hours calendared for researching competitors for your new product? PANIC!  Seriously, you originally expected to have the “extra” times filled with other functions for your business.   What is being neglected by you allowing yourself to keep going down the “planning” path?  Within this planning path there certainly is no risk of failure but neither is their risk of success.

For each new idea or product make the initial effort of giving it your scheduled time.  Progressing and growing new ideas is a major function in any business.  Don’t pretend it can magically be fit in around all of the other responsibilities currently filling your days. Now also plan for a roll out date and minimum required developed process to allow you to ACT! You can start earlier if your minimums are met and you have the momentum.  You can take the time to research more as your roll out date is still 3 weeks.  It depends upon on your comfort and your implementation method.  Setting this all in your calendar lets you notice when items are off course. Ideally this happens before your profits are affected.

You can act without planning. You can plan without acting.  But to grow your business you must make a plan AND take action. Then repeat. Then repeat again. And again….

Action Required! Even if you have to plan for it.

By Talmar Anderson
Originally published Oct. 24, 2013

Growth and strategies can be some of the most exciting parts of running a business.  Picturing the big “DREAM” and what life will look like on that other side. Maybe you met with your advisory board.  Maybe you and your partner split a half day and a whole bottle of wine.  Maybe you and a consultant devised an action plan (shameless plug).  However you accomplish your planning; the goal is set. You have decided to double your sales.  And then you leave that planning meeting and get back to everyday work.  A client has a valid complaint.  Your vendor for janitorial services is going out of business.  Not to mention the accounts receivable seem to be slowing down.  So do you take those plans and put them on the shelf until things “slow down” or you “catch up”?  I think you know what will happen then…

Nothing will happen if you just go back to your day to day operations.  It takes ACTION to turn your VISION into reality. Strategic planning or identification of opportunities for growth requires action as the follow up.  Not just the action of fulfilling the details of process and procedure.  The action must be timely.  Maybe you identified a possible revenue diversification.  Perhaps there is an opportunity for business partnership that could benefit your company.  Maybe it is just time to scale up what your company is offering to be able to support more clients and more of the marketplace.  The loss of momentum and motivation to grow can be further exacerbated by losing the timeliness of the decisions thus creating a higher probability of failure.  What was relevant to the marketplace and economies of the company when you planned can very easily be obsolete 6 months or 2 years later when you finally dust off the binder, cocktail napkin or action plan documents. If you find that you have had a series of great ideas that do not progress then you need to look to yourself and your calendar.

To ensure success from your strategic meetings and goal setting efforts, follow these 3 steps.  After all, we don’t want those meeting to result only in hot air. It is helpful to have the ideas in the back of your mind helping to skew a decision one way or the other as they are presented to you but that puts you in the reactionary role. Reactionary roles will not really progress your business.  Commit the time to reaching your goals.  That means it has to go on your calendar!  Creating time in your schedule to create process, assign responsibilities, and meet with others that can help progress your company towards those goals will be a recipe for success.  It can also be the light at the end of long days.  When you know that movement towards the bigger goals are progressing simultaneously, you can motivate yourself to deal with the daily items like staffing issues that come up but aren’t fun.

The next step occurs within each consecutive meeting for your strategic plans. To make sure that each of the next progress sessions is successful you need to end your meetings with a calendar of events tied to the action plan and a specific follow up date. Do you see the pattern here?  Even if you are only planning each meeting one at a time you still need to commit the time to create an item list of what should occur before the next meeting and what the next meeting will need to accomplish.

Lastly, prioritize these calendared events.   You can bump the next event a little if you have to but ONLY if you set a new date within a week of the original date.  You must progress to effect change.  You must take steps to reach goals.  You must take action to grow. Yes, your current business needs will still be calling upon you for more time and energy but won’t getting to the goal you have set have even greater rewards?  It is your job as the leader of your company to keep progressing with purpose.