Charity: Not Just a Tax Deduction

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at a networking luncheon where the subject of charitable event participation came up. One of the attendees, the leader of a non-profit organization, asked the question “how can we obtain greater participation and support from large corporations for our charitable activities and events?” My initial response was, don’t start the conversation with “and it is fully tax-deductible”, it sends the wrong message.

Charity is about the giving of your time, talents and gifts to help others – it should not be about a tax write-off. Charitable contributions should be about active participation and involvement in doing the right things the right way to help others in need. Most of what we need to be charitable and care-givers we learned by the time we were four years old. The Golden Rule principles we were all taught early in life still apply today. The most fundamental of those things we learned – “treat people the way you want to be treated” should be at the center of it all. Continue reading…

How to Get Moving When You’re Stuck

I’m stuck …

It’s more difficult than I expected …

I can’t get over the hump …

Things just aren’t working out …

I’m lost …

Tell me what to do!

These are a few of the typical comments I hear during the initial discovery meetings with many of my new clients. Being an entrepreneur or small business owner is difficult, particularly in the first 1-3 years, and you can get frustrated when things aren’t going your way or there aren’t a lot of people around to turn to for advice and counsel. Continue reading…

Success – Are You There Yet?

Success, particularly in these uncertain times can be as elusive as finding your exit when you’re lost on the highway in an unfamiliar city. What does success look like and feel like? Can you define it? And how do you know when you are there?

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate® Dictionary defines success as “a favorable or desired outcome; also the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence”. If you’re an athlete, success is about winning – the race, the game, the match, etc., and performing at a high level. The vast majority of us are not great athletes, so how do we define success?  Continue reading…

Creating a Winning Story

by Dale R. Schmeltzle, CPA

We are witnessing an amazing explosion of communication options. Countless telecommunication and Internet-based vehicles that did not exist a few years ago are now the norm. Who, save a small group of billionaire visionaries, foresaw the impact of Facebook, eBay and smart phones on today’s business community?

One thing has not changed. Marketing is still about communicating your message. Businesses must explain their value proposition to ever-widening and geographically dispersed audiences. It logically follows that whether you are drafting a newsletter, placing a newspaper ad or writing a short article, the message itself is the primary determinant of your success.
Continue reading…

Social Media – What Is It?

Matt Krautstrunk wrote an article on social media recently titled “Where Is The ROI In Social Media?”. In the article he makes a great point that tracking ROI depends on your goals, and this certainly can apply  to almost anything in business. However, before you can establish clear-cut goals and track the ROI of social media, you first need to define it.

Social Media – what is it? It’s hard to talk about tracking the ROI of social media until you know what “it” is.

To help you define what social media is so it does not end up being “Golden Vaporware” where your business is concerned, start out with some limited trials and experimentation first, before launching any large-scale projects. From the initial trial results, you can make a determination on how to proceed and then develop specific goals and plans, before committing a lot of additional time, resources and budget.

Below are several questions to consider. The answers should help you define social media in the context of your business. Is “it” a (an) … Continue reading…

Are You Speaking To Me?

Three important elements that lead to success in a typical networking setting when positioning yourself, your business and your value proposition to other group members include:

  1. Preparation and planning,
  2. Tailoring the message to your audience, and
  3. Follow-up.

This article will address #2 “Tailoring the message to your audience”, and I will provide you with some ideas and an example that should help you raise your profile, obtain more quality referrals and effectively promote your business through networking. Continue reading…

3 Easy Ways to Improve Your 2nd Half Results

“In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson”- Tom Bodett quote.

 

So, what lessons have you learned in the first half of this year that will prepare you for success in the future?

It’s hard to believe that we are well into the final month of the first half of 2011 – but we’re here. And if the first half has not shaped up the way you would have liked it to, or you’re just looking for some ideas to improve your 2nd half business results, then it’s time for action.

There are three basic ways to grow any business – increase prices, sell more to existing customers and sell to new customers.  Your primary goal as a business owner should be to get more customers to buy more from you, and more often. So, start with the basic building blocks and go from there to determine what actions to take to improve your 2nd half results. Continue reading…

What Differentiated Value Is Really About

Recently, I had the privilege to moderate a Focus Small Business Roundtable: Strategies to Achieve Business Success. The Focus Expert Roundtable members included Mirna Bard, Jill Konrath and John Spence who all offered their insights on a variety of relevant subjects that I have summarized into a single topic for the purposes of this 5+ minute video.

 

 

 

I sincerely hope that you find this video to be informative and useful in addressing some of the daily challenges you encounter in successfully growing your business or practice. If so, please feel free to share this information with others.

Enjoy the journey!

John

 

COPYRIGHT © 2011 John Carroll

Getting To ‘Yes’ Is Where It Starts

Do you let your guard down after the prospect has said ‘Yes’?

Far too often sales people, particularly those new to sales, have a tendency to relax after they have received a verbal ‘Yes’ from the prospect and assume that the sale is nearing completion. BIG MISTAKE!

 

What many sales people fail to recognize is that an impending sale is most vulnerable after the prospect has said OK, and that getting to ‘yes’ is where it starts.  There is still a lot of work ahead to finalize the sale, and a few hurdles to overcome, before you break out the champagne.

Let’s talk about what’s headed your way, so you can address these challenges before they derail the sales celebration. Continue reading…

Networking: Building Intentional Relationships

Networking is an integral part of growing a profitable business for solo entrepreneurs and small business owners alike, particularly in the early stages. However, most small business owners put far too little forethought and planning into determining what is required to build ‘intentional’ relationships that can deliver positive returns to their businesses.

Now what is meant by building intentional relationships?

As its definition depicts, intentional is something that is done by conscious design or purpose, something planned. Likewise in networking, building intentional relationships should by design have an intended purpose that produces positive results. How should you develop intentional relationships that can help you achieve your business goals? Continue reading…