How to Get Your Groove on in Your Small Biz in 2012

Have you had the chance to reflect back on 2011? If not, take the time to look back. What did you accomplish and how did you do it? For all of your successes, honor yourself.

Now, where did you stop yourself in your business because you were afraid or you can plug in any other excuses here? This list is going to separate the men from the boys, the women from the girls in 2012.

That is my personal prediction. In 2012, the big winners in small business will be the entrepreneurs who are UNSTOPPABLE. We will win BIG if we begin each day with gratitude and then take a deep breath and face our fears by going out and doing the things in business that terrify us. We will help more people, spread our message, and make more money because we will remove each barrier that stands in the way of our success.

And the truth is, WE are what stands in the way of our success: our fears, our playing small, our lack of confidence, our not wanting to be seen and judged, etc. In 2012, we MUST be willing to step forward and do whatever it takes to reach our goals.

If you want to get your 2012 groove on in your business, here is your Action Plan:

1.Make the Decision – You must decide first that you are willing to do whatever it takes (within ethical boundaries) to make your business succeed.

2.Make the Avoidance List – Write down all of the things you have been avoiding in your business. Have you been avoiding getting out there and speaking live? Have you been avoiding sales? Have you been avoiding reaching out to your network to generate more leads? Have you been avoiding networking because you don’t want to start conversations with strangers? Have you been avoiding hiring a mentor because you fear being held accountable? Be honest with yourself.

3. Transform that Avoidance List into an Opportunity List – Where are the opportunities on that list that you have been neglecting? In your mind and heart, shift your perspective on all of those items from negative to positive. They are the keys to moving your business forward.

4. Charge Towards All Those Fears with Fortitude and Faith and You Will Surprise Yourself! – Take each of those items and go out and do them.

I guarantee you if you do this, your business will grow and you will experience a powerful shift in who you are in this world. The Universe will shift to support you and you will find doors opening up for you in ways you never imagined.

Marketing Strategy – Getting the Marketing Groove

Wouldn’t it be great to have a year where your marketing efforts were streamlined and got the results you were after? None of us want to struggle with marketing, and yet this is the one topic that continues to be highest in the minds of small business professionals.

Let’s really consider some of the reasons that can sabotage our marketing efforts, and how we can turn that around.

Lack of a marketing mindset

We don’t see ourselves as in the marketing game. The truth is, if you are out there running a business, thinking like a marketer has to become your priority. It’s no use having a great service if nobody knows about it, or you.

Lack of knowledge is your enemy. Start by reading whatever you can. Speak to successful people in your field and ask them what strategies they use. The information you need is out there for you to take.

Lack of investment

For many small business owners, the focus on cost control prohibits them from ever investing enough money into marketing and promotion. These activities are seen as costs rather than as an investment. So this year I encourage you to reframe your attitude towards marketing. Once you know what marketing activity to do, and have confidence that it will bring results, spend the money enthusiastically.

Lack of focus

Perhaps you do spend time and money on marketing, but you aren’t happy with the results. Or your efforts are ad-hoc rather than carefully planned. Whatever it is, 2005 is the year to take charge. If what you are doing isn’t working – stop doing it! Ask a professional for help (not your friends or associates!). Or put yourself in your customers shoes and work out what’s going to attract them to your business. If an ad-hoc approach is the problem, take the time to complete the marketing plan in the ‘How to…’ section and become ruthlessly systematic this year.

Lack of over-riding marketing strategy

Marketing activity and tactics are all well and good but it is like driving a rudderless ship if there is no grander plan. Part of creating a marketing strategy is to clearly understand exactly where you are right now, and where you want to be. Your goal may be to have sales of $1,$5 or $50 million. Or you may want to revolutionise your industry. Or you may want your company to be acquired within 5 years. What matters most is that you have a clear, precise vision of where you are, where you want to be in 1year, and where you want to be in 5 years.

Not surrounding ourselves with the right people

All of the great books on success advocate spending time with people who are already successful at what you want to do. Why? By surrounding yourself with people several steps ahead of you, you can absorb the attitudes and values that made them successful, as well as picking up new strategies and ideas. So If you are hanging out with people who also lack a marketing mindset then it’s time to think about expanding your professional network to include those who are already down the track to success.

Marketing is more of an art than a science. Often times you learn by systematically trying different activities and approaches. The experts don’t always have all the answers . . . and this is exactly why you need to give plenty of personal attention to make sure your marketing is working as hard as it possibly can. If you want to get serious about success in business, then understanding marketing is an ongoing priority.

Here’s a quick list of 10 ideas to get you into the marketing groove:

1. Commit to reading one new marketing book per month

2. Start learning about how to market online

3. Make a list of people whose businesses inspire you, and carefully study their marketing techniques. How many of these are you using?

4. Make a list of successful people in your industry and check out their marketing strategy. Why not offer to take one of them out for coffee to learn more about how they got where they are (what’s the worst that could happen?)

5. Revise your marketing budget. Look at your previous investment in marketing, and ask yourself if this is the amount a truly successful business would be spending

6. Review all of last year’s marketing activities. Work out which ones brought new business in the door, or were successful in some other way (building credibility for example). If you can’t quantify how successful the outcome was, stop spending the money!

7. Implement an ongoing ‘keep in touch’ program with existing customers

8. Ask 10 or more of your most loyal customers for a referral

9. Stop doing those marketing activities that you know don’t work, but you do them anyway

10. Market research – ask 20 of your customers what value you provide to them. Use what they say in your own marketing materials

How To Get Started in the Home Based Business of Internet Marketing

How does a person go about starting their own Home Business? What are the successful entrepreneurs doing to make the big money. As you have seen, I am sure, there is an abundance of programs out there that promise Riches. But after you weed through them and find one that you think is legitimate and sign up, then what. What do I have to do to succeed in this program?

Well from my years of experience and reading stories from the successful people the big thing is work everyday. Yes it kind of is that easy. The harder you work,the longer you work and the smarter you work the sooner you get rich. If you think about it, it makes it easier to have that thing called momentum. And I will tell you nothing is as important as momentum. Something in motion tends to stay in motion and something stagnant tends to stay stagnant. To change your life you will have to start moving and keep moving in the right direction.

No matter what your choice of Home Business and what kind of internet marketing is involved, you need some momentum and to get into a groove. There just is no way to keep up with the changes happening on the internet if you work two days a week. You have to constantly do advertising and promotion of both yourself and your business. Not to mention the hours you have to spend on research to keep up on how to market your business and products with the most efficient method.

Spending more money does not equate to more success, your marketing is about strategy and continued pushing of your business forward toward your goals. You have to build your own personal brand over time so your name is found on the Internet. You need to have your name pop up when prospective customers are googling home businesses, or making money, or categories like that. You can not buy name branding, you have to work for it, and work hard.

I still work everyday doing something for my business or my name recognition and I am sure there are others out there that have outworked me. But, I work hard and smart and I am constantly reading and researching to get better and more efficient. But I do not work 8 hours a day ever anymore, and although I have a home business does not mean I always work from home. I can work where ever I have Internet access, and today that is almost anywhere. Internet marketing can be a very good job.

Consistent action is the key, building momentum, but a common marketing mistake is that the inexperienced new person places a few ads all over the place and throw everything at the wall hoping something will stick. Then they think the world will fall in their lap, that is not going to happen. If you have an entitlement mentality and think traffic and success will happen on its own you will get killed in this business.

Hard work and working every day will go a long way to you being successful in any business. That is any business, brick and mortar business or Internet business they all respond to hard work. Now go to work, and tomorrow, go to work, then keep repeating every day. Build your business by building your own branding on the internet so everyone can see exactly who you are and see that you are indeed a legitimate business person.