Are You Prepared For What Lies Ahead?

The start of a New Year always brings with it a lot of energy and excitement. There are new calendar year business and prosperity plans, New Year’s resolutions, and a renewed level of enthusiasm and anticipation about the prospects for the future.

Generally, the initial wave of excitement about the New Year outlook does not start to die down until the first part of February. Most of the month of January is consumed with after the holidays planning, kick-off meetings and launch activities, the roll out of new staffing and compensation plans, etc. Then reality starts to hit.

At some point, those little voices in your head will start to ask those tough questions. What is really different today from 2011? Are you prepared for what lies ahead? Continue reading…

Before You Say Good-Bye to 2011 …

Yes it’s true, another year is winding down. We are almost into single digits and counting. And for some business owners, the end of the year can’t come fast enough.

But hold on just a minute!

Before you say good-bye to 2011 … here are a few “To Do” list items you should consider to help get the New Year off to a fresh start: Continue reading…

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?

There are three important elements that lead to success in a typical networking setting when positioning yourself, your business and your value proposition to group members:

  1. Preparation and planning,
  2. Tailoring the message to your audience.
  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.

Far too often, I see people just going through the motions when it comes to networking activities. You know what I’m talking about. When it’s time for 30-second introductions they start with their name and business name, and then offer little additional information to enable them to connect with the audience. What a waste of time! 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