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The Price is Right

Here Joanne Stevens from Business Growth Academy shares a top tip to helping you grow your business and a pet hate when it comes to people setting their prices.

One of the most powerful exercise we do on our introductory workshop is to look at what you want your business to do for you and work out what your price needs to be based on this. It’s the biggest AH-HA moment for so many. And I cannot help but be frustrated when I see so many people set prices by looking at what their competitors charge, then knock a bit off!

Virgin takes a tried and tested product or service, finds out how to do it better than anyone else then works out what the price point needs to be to make this work for the company. Take Virgin Airlines – they select only certain routes, they negotiate good contracts with the airports and then they stamp their brand all over it, advertising to their target market in the right way. Far more focussed than a budget airline selling tickets low cost to anyone that will put up with a less than satisfying experience.

So how do Virgin charge a price that suits them rather than the price their competitors dictate?

  • First they know their ideal customer inside out. They know what appeals to them, set their expectations and over perform every time (well enough times to have a built a great reputation).
  • They offer alternatives – economy, premium and first class. Most people will go for economy but they have enough choice to satisfy everyone in their target audience.
  • They up sell – even to those buying economy they give the customer plenty of opportunity to upgrade if they want to. They use discounts and other incentives to make this look really attractive.
  • They deliver on their promises and ensure they provide a great customer experience.
  • They follow up – using loyalty cards and relevant offers that match the customer experience.

To apply this to your business and ensure you are in control of your business rather than it controlling you:

  1. Work out what you need to earn to fund your lifestyle – pre tax. Look at how many hours you want to earn and price your service or product to match these 2.
  2. Based on where you are pricing yourself, decide who is your ideal client and work out what the benefits are TO THEM of you product or service
  3. Get these benefits in front of them in the right way – making sure your promotion matches their profile
  4. Convert them into paying customers. Engage them in conversation, give them the opportunity to buy and when they show they want to make it easy for them to do so.
  5. Deliver on the products or services at a level that exceeds expectation
  6. Follow up – for another le, a recommendation, or just simply a thank you. Show your customers you appreciate them too.

To explore this and other ideas to grow and control your business join me at my last Free workshop on Saturday 26th March – for full details and to book click here: How to hit your100000 fast – not Turnover, Profit

Jo attends our North Essex events. You can learn more about Jo and here business here;

TEL:       08456 788 825

EMAIL:  joanne@business-growth-academy.co.uk

WEB:     www.business-growth-academy.co.uk

  • March 10, 2015

Is your business making you sacks of cash?

It’s a serious questions every business woman reading this should be prepared to ask themselves. Because if your business is not making sacks of cash, it’s not a business it’s a hobby, and let’s be honest most hobbies are rather expensive. And businesses are supposed to generate money not consume it!

So if you feel like your being a consumer rather than a generator here’s a wham bam Thank you Mam, quick tip guide to checking you’re on the right track to sacks of cash;

1.       Ask the question “Is My business making sacks of cash?”

To do this you will need to know your accounts inside out, and every accountant on the planet will tell you how important that is. It will highlight good weeks/months, bad ones, opportunities, weaknesses and help you look out for tell tale patterns to be aware of. Assessing where you are allows you to move forward – forget this at your peril!  So become best friend with your numbers.

 2.       Next ask yourself “What am I going to Do about it?”

Note the capital D on Do. You see procrastination is highly likely to attack your business progress if you don’t have an action plan. Remember Procrastination is destroyed by action! So what action do you intend to take? Ask yourself what has worked in the past, what has not worked in the past. And a word of caution here – if it didn’t work in the past, will it miraculously work this time, unless you make changes?

 3.       Say good bye to Ron

Have you met Ron? He lurks in every business woman’s psyche – “I will do it Lateron” “This is more important, I will have to leave that to lateron” Ron just loves to  hear you say this. So take action on Ron. Knowing what action you intend to take is nothing without working out WHEN you are going to do it. You have probably heard the saying “working ON your business and not IN it” Every successful business needs the space to implement the new ways to ensure success.

 4.       Get out there!

It’s a biggy! And a pet hate of mine to hear that a wonderful business is relying on business cards and a website and maybe a spot of networking to ensure a wonderful stream of new enquiries, leads, contacts and most of all new happy customers. Even if you are mega busy you still need a multi level approach to your marketing. If you can’t list off at least 8 different things you are doing to engage with customers right now – then somewhere down the line you are going to have trouble – and highly likely to not have sacks of cash!

Okay so there are a ton of other things I could be telling you about right now, including your current customers, up-selling, side selling, multi sales, dangers of special offers, underpricing nightmares, confidence issues, your relationship with money, wrong products, wrong customers, Wow! This list truly could be endless, but you see right now nail these 4 and you WILL see results, you WILL see more of what you want in your business and less of what you don’t. So no more reading, chuck Ron out and take action!

  • October 1, 2012

Angry Birds and Einstein – Business Women can learn from both

Have you played Angry Birds? Do you realise what a great lesson it teaches you about business? (Are you now beginning to think I’ve lost the plot?!)

Angry Birds, for those of you who haven’t come across it, is a game where you fire birds with different powers out of a catapult at green pig creatures that are seeking shelter in a variety of structures. Quite what the back story is to explain why the birds are so angry and why the pig creatures must be destroyed eludes me. The game started on the iphone, spread to other touch screen phones and is now playable on Facebook. If you want an in-depth description pop over to this wikipedia article 

Now what can it teach you about business? No, it’s not that you can waste a lot of time playing it. True, but not the point I want to make. There are two things you can learn.

In Angry Birds you have a limited number of birds and you can’t change the order the birds are fired. This can be frustrating if you want a bomber bird and all you have is the ones that split into three. So lesson one is that sometimes you just have to work with you what with you’ve got. No good saying “if only…” If only isn’t going to happen.

Lesson two is that plans sometimes need to be changed.

When you start a new level in Angry Birds, you quickly form a plan of how you are going to attack the structure. I was playing yesterday and I was convinced that I knew how to do it. As I failed on the first time I thought, oh maybe I just need to aim a smidge higher. Or maybe I need to zap the speed on a bit sooner. So I keep on trying, doing pretty much the same thing and not really accomplishing anything. Then I remembered what Einstein said.

Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.

So so true, and I wonder why I forgot this. As soon as I took a different approach, my results improved DRAMATICALLY.

Doing the same thing and expecting different results is something that I sadly see too many people repeating in business. It can be hard to get out of rut – if you’ve been doing something that used to work and no longer does it can be hard to accept that you need to change tact. Taking that leap can be scary. After all, it’s not attacking computer generated green pigs we’re tallking here, it could be the survival of your business that’s at stake.

But if what you’re doing isn’t working then you need to do something else. Ask an expert for advice. Try in small scale. If you have our Premier Pack, use the Focus and Feedback slot to test your idea so you get get confidential feedback. Sealed box that everyone is able to place their feedback in & only you get to see it (not even the events organiser if you wish!) (See BPP for more details)

Don’t be afraid of change

As Isaac Asimov said (though he himself took part of the quote from Heraclitus a 500BC, Greek philosopher.)

The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.

So that’s Angry Bird, Eistein, Isaac Asimov and Greek Philospher Heraclitus teaching us about business. Talk about a stellar line up.

What lessons do you have to share?

  • May 15, 2012

Why Twitter is good for your business

Are you one of the group of sceptics who thinks that social media is a waste of time and that it has no place in business?

If so, you are going to get left behind. Using social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can help you find new customers in a low cost way and new customers means more money.

(Note I don’t suggest it is free as there is of course a time consideration but using the tools that are out there mean that your time expense is minimised)

In my role as The IT Fairy I’ve written two articles that illustrate how two quite different businesses used Twitter to find new clients.

One is an UK based insurance company and the other is tourist attraction in the US. 

So take a read of Social Media – Good for Business! and Twitter – Yes it can bring you new clients 

And if you’d like to take your social media to the next level, then let us know as it’s something we use a lot and we’d love to teach you how you can too.

  • April 17, 2012

Likes Like Likes

 

Like likes like.

This is the core of sales: people buy from people who they like, who they feel understand them and their needs.

Previously this used to be about making a good impression when you knocked on someone’s door, or served them in your shop. A little later having a great phone manner and nattering away on a sales call was the skill everyone wanted to have.

Getting people to buy your product has never been a hard sell: it’s always been a social sell.

And now, thanks to the Internet, our social sell has just got more demanding. Now we have to show our customers what our ethos is through our website, woo them with our newsletters and tell the world what we’re like as people through blogs like these!

Social networking doesn’t have to be a demand though: it can be a key to finding out what your customers are like, and what they want. It can help you to anticipate their demands and give them what they want.

As an active twitter user, facebooker, blogger and general social media geek I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with what makes people ‘like’ you, how to communicate with your clients and how to tap into the most powerful piece of market research you can get.

If you have a following through social media, or just through a regular stream of client phone calls/ email enquiries; you’ve already got all the tools you need to find out what your clients want and how to sell it to them. People tell us what they want through their ‘trance’ words: the words that they use when they’re really expressing themselves. 

Trance words are the words that make people buy.

They are the words that your clients always mention in their email enquiries, they’re the words they mention during your sales calls; and now they’re the key words from your conversations via social media.

Let me give you two examples:

Fred calls up Human Resources Ltd and Bonnie answers. Fred doesn’t get to his point immediately: he tells Bonnie about his day, the trouble he’s had finding staff, what happened to the last person he employed… Bonnie sticks with it though and eventually gets Fred to open up. Fred explains that he really needs staff that are reliable and that have a sense of responsibility. Jotting these words down, Bonnie allows Fred to talk some more before calmly and concisely explaining that Human Resources Ltd pride themselves on having staff that are reliable and responsible. Fred quickly agrees to use Human Resources Ltd.

Rachel is skimming through her company, Cookie’s Inc, Facebook friends. She is pretty sure that there’s room in the market for a skinny double choc chip cookie for professional women in their twenties. She writes a status update about this and gets a great response. Clicking on her inbox she sees a message from Katy who is enquiring about when the cookie is going to launch. Checking out Katy’s profile page she notes down that Katy is in her mid twenties and works for a PR company in London, she likes new restaurants, yoga and music festivals. She collates this data as and when Cookie Inc’s facebook friends interact with their company’s page: and before long sees trends developing between what different customers interests are and what type of cookies they prefer. She decides that doing a product stand at Glastonbury would be a great chance to trial run the double choc chip cookie; and also contacts yoga companies about whether they’d be willing to endorse its health benefits. The skinny choc chip cookie is a huge success: and Rachel gets promoted.

Knowing what your customers want has always been key to effective sales and marketing. Now social media has opened a door for us to build on our ability to listen to what our customers really want (their trance words), make better products, sell more, and know what business ventures make sense for us to take.

To get to a place where you can use these trance words effectively; you can’t just be a great communicator, you need to be a purposeful communicator.

You need to know how to get Fred to open up, how to encourage a conversation on your social media, how to close down that opportunity to network, to create business, become more confident.

And this is where I come in. It’s been my pleasure to speak and work with the BWN on numerous occasions and now I want to teach you the true secrets to negotiating low prices, effective networking, doubling your sales (or just winning an argument with your partner!) so I’m going to host an exclusive coffee morning event for the Business Womans Network.

I usually only work on events in central London but to give you this fully interactive (that means some audience participation and real learning) seminar I’m going to come to the Five Lakes Crowne Plaza Hotel in Colchester Essex on Tuesday the 24th of April 10.30am-1.30pm.

Not only will I be hosting the event in your local area, I’ll also be offering tickets at a fraction of their normal cost: with none of the hassle of travelling into London.

So if you want to continue to improve your communication tactics, make more sales, learn negotiation tactics taught at the best Business Schools, by top NLP practitioners and have fun! Please send a paypal payment of £50 to hq.hayleyquinn@gmail.com by Friday 20th of April. Just click on the button below and a new window will open to take you to paypal



 Registration now extended. You may turn up on the day, but booking is advised.

I’ll look forward to seeing you again soon

Best wishes

Hayley Whittle

  • April 11, 2012

WooHoo – I wrote a blog! Now what?

Okay you finally wrote a blog, you finally appreciate that the world and his wife is writing blogs not just because they have a passion for writing as I do) but because it actually is a little god send of a free marketing tool for your business, but now what?

The fact is the world and his wife ARE writing blogs, so how is yours going to stand out?

How are you going to ensure yours does not languish in Never Read Land?

How are you going to ensure that people sign up to read it again and again?

Well let’s start with the reasons why you write a blog and they include;

To share advice, ideas and opportunities with people – it’s not about selling, it’s not about resplurging your website – it’s about giving away just the right level of advice and information (a word of caution to follow here*) that makes you useful. That gets you known as the thought leader which means you are the expert that they are going to trust, know and love – remember you can’t dictate when someone buys but you can have a say from who they choose to buy from.)

To showcase what you can do for people – again this is not a resplurge of your website – this is about sharing. Think about your favourite customer right now – the problems they talked about, the issues they faced, the solutions they needed. If they have that issues stands to reason other potential customer will have the same issue) so share posts that solve problems.

This very blog came about because a brilliantly talented makeup artist to Italian Vogue and London Fashion Week (you know who you are Michelle Court!) asked me how to get her blog seen – she actually called me Queen of Blogging – I like that!

And here’s that word of caution* don’t give everything away. Don’t write mighty long tomes of a blog that bore the pants of people. In this hyper fast world everyone wants answers fast and easy – so deliver easy to read content that answers the question succinctly – better to write 2 blog posts with a lot of material than one long one – finish the first blog with “and in our next blog we will be sharing with you…….”

People often make the mistake of not sharing really useful advice and ideas because they assume that the person reading it will go off and do it all for themselves and not need what they have to offer. Just because I know in theory how to play snooker it does not mean I can, just because I know how to paint a car it does not mean that I have any intention of actually doing it. If someone can learn from you something useful that makes their life easier they will come back for more. If you help them, they will want to work with you.

A great blog gets you known as the expert, it raises your profile and promotes your brand – and that leads to free PR, great marketing, more customers, new opportunities, speaking engagements, and so much more – I speak from experience here.

And lastly the written word is not the only kind of blog to produce. If your business is visual why are you writing 300 words? You know what they say about a picture painting a thousand words? What about a short video too? By the way anything longer than 3 minutes is not short.

Get visual, introduce sound, let people feel like they know you, so that your blog quietly answers their questions, get’s them out of tricky spots and shares some great ideas and stories and guess what? The next time they need what you do, for some inexplicable reason your name will be on the tip of their tongue. One of the most read recent blogs we produced was a 5 minute video showing you how to set up MailChimp!

In my next blog I will share with you how to ensure your blog doesn’t languish in Never Read Land. (see what I did there?)

 

  • March 11, 2012

How To Set Up An Email Campaign With Mail Chimp

Hi Guys,

So yesterday a client says to me thats its hard work sending out individual emails to everyone and what results do they get anyway? Thus I mentioned Mailchimp – its free, I can keep in touch with clients/potential clients/ and business women looking to grow their business effectively, knowing who reads it, how often and if they open the links I included and even automatically share on my social media too – great right?

Here’s a taster 5 minute video to help you get going;

The How to Set Up An Email Campaign With Mail Chimp

Get started, pause the video as you and do send us your finished results.

  • February 4, 2012

What The BWN does for Business Women – FACT

As Essex Coordinator I often get told “There are so many networks to chose from, how do I know yours is any good?”

And its a fair point. There is a ton of choice out there – which is great for the consumer…..and the network. You see we never placed ourselves as a rival, on the contrary we regularly promote other networks and business groups, why? Because if its good for business we want to be telling you about it.

A different approach you may say, well yes, but then it works. You see we are here to do the hard work for you. Try out the networks, the seminars and workshops and we share with you the good stuff. You can expect to hear about those ideas at every event in the business ops slot at 10.30.

But lets get down to the nitty gritty – you network because ultimately it leads to leads and sales and profit and success. On top of those things at the BWN you can expect support (it can be a lonely world for a business woman – and its great to know what you are experiencing or finding tough someone else has the answers to – probably because they have been through it too!)

You get motivated into action – so often women say to me, thanks to coming to The BWN last week, I picked up the phone/got in touch/changed my website/got up and spoke about my company/challenged their decision/went for it/took my business to the next level. And that results in even more success.

The BWN blogs and “What Business Women Say” pages of our website are packed with testimonials of how we have helped business women get what they want for their business and their success – all in an environment that is always welcoming (never clicky!) motivational and business focussed – we may mention what gorgeous heels you are wearing but then its straight back to business. Because we know that’s what matters to you.

 

  • January 29, 2012

Why Jill Poet backs Richard Branson’s Answer for Good Business.

 

If you missed our most recent newsletter then you missed Jill Poet from Organisation for Responsible Business Owners talking about how to stand out from the crowd and care for your community, the environment and it all be good for your business (that includes your bottom line.)

Thanks for sharing Jill…..

Jill Poet

Will you stand out from the crowd in 2012?

Richard Branson has the answer! As he says: “Screw Business as Usual – Doing Good is Good for Business!”

The Organisation for Responsible Businesses is delighted to announce that Certified ORB Auditors across the UK are able to take businesses through The Responsible Business Standard. This auditable certification, validated by Anglia Ruskin University, is designed specifically for small businesses who want to demonstrate they are socially and environmentally responsible.

If you want to stand out from the crowd by demonstrating that you operate a “Good Business,” visit www.ResponsibleBusinessstandard.org.uk for more information.

Would you like your business showcased here?

Got some great news to share? A great idea?  A solution that all women in business should know about?

If you have the Business Premier Pack then send us your blog articles anytime – lovely pictures to support your story are always great – and we will be happy to share with The Business Womans Network world.

  • January 7, 2012

Aaaaa The Procrastinators are coming!

There seems to be this new breed of people – the procrastinators (sounds like something out of Star Trek doesn’t it?) A lot of business women describe themselves as procrastinators and search for ideas and ways to deal with what they procrastinate about because of the impact it can have on their business success.

If you find yourself exploring the realms of “procrastinator” what can you do to ensure it doesn’t get in the way of what you wish to achieve?

Firstly even procrastinators do not procrastinate about everything. They successfully get up and get dressed and drive a car to arrive at meetings, shops etc. This proves that they do not procrastinate about everything, just certain areas of their life.

What areas of your life do you procrastinate about?

What areas of your life do you always get on and achieve what you wish to?

If you can become aware of this you can start to address the obstacles that are there.

Be aware of the way you think. When we procrastinate we constantly reinforce what our mind has already said to us. “That job is going to take ages and is going to be a real headache” our mind tells us, and we allow it to increase these feelings by reinforcing them. So be aware of this and stop them in their tracks.

Do you even want it? Another reason that we put things off is because in actual fact it’s something that we do not even want. There are many external influences on our lives, from friends and family to media and the internet, it can be hard to listen to our internal voice. How many times have you thought something would be great and you have been shot down by someone and then gone on to dismiss it all together? Before you ask other people what they think debate the pros and cons with yourself and find out what you really want.

Are you procrastinating or are you subconsciously listening to your gut instinct?

Remember the sticker charts you gave your kids, or were given yourself? Ever thought about why they are so successful and popular? They work!

Visual stimulation works a treat with procrastination. If you know the area that you procrastinate in create your own sticker chart. (You don’t need to show anyone. You can stick it to the inside of your wardrobe.) Make it fun, if it makes you laugh when you stick a smiley face sticker (or our personal favourite the all hallowed Gold Star) on your chart when you actually do it, you are more likely to do it again. You are creating a subconscious link to being happy with getting the job done, and every sticker reinforces that.

Lastly when you succeed over the procrastinator in you, however small the accomplishment acknowledge it. Revel in your successes. These will reinforce that you can beat procrastination and achieve what you wish to.

Let us know how you get on and if you wish to discuss more ways to help you beat the procrastinators get in touch.

  • December 30, 2011