About Me

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First things first, I like to have fun with people and what I do. I am a personal business coach. Yes, I have received training and been coaching since 1983. I have gone through and continue to happily go through more personal development. Personal development and its quest for personal growth, more often than not, are the missing links in the chain of business and personal success.As Warren Buffett once said, "Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get." For more information please visit- Self Improvement Coach in Houston Texas

Monday, December 17, 2012

Keys To Success Matching Marketing With Client Expectations

Marketing is one of the most important keys to business success.  It is essential to have a good marketing business plan.  But all the wonderful marketing strategies in the world are nothing and even worse, counterproductive, if your clients expectations are not met or exceeded in their experience with your company.

Marketing Strategy Without Implementation Is Nothing

In my personal business coaching practice I have a client whose business requires a high occupancy rate in order to be profitable and successful.  When we started collaborating together occupancy was at 60% which was breakeven.

In going through his marketing business plan he had all the components to take his occupancy to a higher level.  The problem was that very little was being implemented.  To him, in running a small business, there was too much to do.  It was enough just to keep up with what he had, let alone have more clients.

Our first step was to bolster his internal processes to be able to handle increased business. Our second step focused on prioritizing his marketing strategy points and to start implementing them.  After all, strategy without implementation is nothing.

Marketing Strategy Without A Great Client Experience Is Nothing

As a marketing business coach my primary concern after we have come up with a strategy is in the implementation.  Too often, the self-employed business owner, entrepreneur or solo professional makes a fatal mistake.

He focuses on his business treating him like a first class passenger on his airline.  When this happens the client experience falls short and there is no amount of good marketing, which includes advertising, that will overcome it in the long run.

The focus has to be creating a great client experience.  Their experience has to be that of a first class passenger on your airline.  It has to be all about them.  You may say, duh, of course.  But it is surprising how many small business owners miss this critical point.

Your marketing to be effective must deliver a great client experience.

Marketing Strategy—The Right Priority

In marketing the right priority is to create a desire in your prospect to participate in your business because of the value you bring.  The value you bring is the benefit.  Too often businesses provide features but not benefits in their marketing.

Benefits and features are tied together.  But the benefit is the priority.  For example, a business states that it is open 24/7.  The benefit is that you can shop when it is convenient to you.  This is a simple example but when you start thinking of your marketing from the perspective of benefit statements to your potential clients it elevates your potential impact.

My client started to implement his marketing strategy.  His internal systems were ready.  His people were ready.  With every new client he solicited feedback which improved the client experience.  He and his people continually marketed the benefits of participating with and supporting his business.

The results were phenomenal.  Within 8 months occupancy was steadily between 90% and 95%.  Profitability was at record levels.  And, my client was now able to enjoy life outside of business.  He made everyone a first class passenger on his airline.  And as a result he got to go along in first class.

The power of a marketing business plan is in the implementation and meeting or exceeding clients needs and expectations.  Have a marketing business plan, know your priorities and implement it and watch your business and life rise to new levels.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Business Keys To Success: Confrontation

Confrontation is very challenging for most self-employed business owners.  As a personal business coach, and having owned several successful small businesses I found myself in a state of dread about confrontation with employees.

I had many fears about confrontation.  How do I handle it?  What if the employee gets very angry?  What if I lose it and embarrass myself?  In one of my businesses I reached a point with an employee where I knew the confrontation was going to be bad.  And, it was.

Confrontation Is Good

After that very bad experience I knew I had to find a better way to approach confrontation.  As I thought about it, I realized that my small business success and small business growth were a result of my confronting problems, situations and need for improvement every day.

I could do it with customers.  I could do it with processes.  But with employees I, to put it mildly, had trouble.  I looked for all types of  business courses, online training, business skills training and even self-development courses to help me break through my barrier to confrontation.

One day I was reading and came across the idea that confrontation was about clarity.  When you confront someone you are trying to clarify an issue or situation.  Yes, confrontation, in my mind, was now good.

Confrontation—How To Go About It

John Maxwell in “Developing The Leader Within You” has ten commandments for confrontation.  As a personal business coach and small business owner I can tell you that taking Maxwell as a guide, you can turn most confrontational situations into positives.

1.      Do it privately, not publicly.

2.      Do it as soon as possible.  That is more natural than waiting a long time.  And, I might add, the more you think about it, the more energy it takes from you to move forward in other areas of your business and life.

3.      Speak to one issue at a time.  If you overload someone with multiple issues your point will be lost.

4.      Once you’ve made a point, don’t keep repeating it.  This was definitely a weakness of mine.
5.      Deal only with actions a person can change.  If you ask someone to do something that they are unable to do, all it does is ramp up the frustration.

6.      Avoid sarcasm.  This was a big problem for me.  Why?  Sarcasm shows that I am angry with others, not their actions and this can cause them to resent me.

7.      Avoid words like always or never.  This was a problem of mine.  First of all, always and never are seldom true.  Deal in the truth.

8.      Present criticisms as suggestions or questions if possible.  This was difficult for me but I learned how to do this and it helps.

9.      Don’t apologize for meeting and having confrontation.  This only makes you appear to be coming from a position of weakness.  I used to do this and it never helped.

10.  Don’t forget the compliments.  Where possible, compliment, confront then compliment.

Confrontation Is Part Of The Business Keys To Success

Regardless of whether you are a self-employed business owner, entrepreneur or solo professional, starting your own business or running a small business is a continual challenge.  Start looking at confrontation as a step to clarity.  When you do, confrontation will allow you to you and your business to a better level.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Business Keys To Success Become More Solution Oriented

Coming up with a solution, as any self-employed businessowner, entrepreneur or solo professional knows is the key to advancing in small business.  Small business by its very nature is about successful problem solving.
Yet, as a personal business coach I see clients from time to time get an answer confused with a solution.

An Answer Is Not A Solution

Whether you are starting your own business or running a smallbusiness your small business success will depend on coming up with a solution when a problem presents itself.

First of all, problems are inescapable.  Having said that, very often when confronted with a problem, most business owners know the answer.  Unfortunately, that is where they stop.

An answer to a problem is the first step to a solution.  To see if the answer is valid to solve the problem we must be able to come up with the process, or solution, to make sure that the problem doesn’t reoccur or at least is minimized.

Be Solution Oriented

Most of us at one time or another have taken businesscourses, business training, business skills training or online training.  The goal is not only to learn but to be able to apply what you learn to come up with a solution when you face a problem.

As pointed out earlier, many people come up with an answer to a problem  An answer comes first but a process or solution comes next.  Too often, it is easy to keep learning about a problem without taking action.
Learning without application is nothing.  Learning without application is a form of procrastination.  And procrastination means that not much is going on to come up with a solution.

A Solution Only Comes Action

To have a solution you must take action.  Thinking about it is a necessary step.  Talking about it with those to be affected is necessary.  But, until your thinking and talking is implemented into a process there is no action and therefore, no solution.

But, many will hesitate taking the action for fear that the solution they have come up with is wrong.  When we understand that making mistakes in coming up with the solution is part of the process then we are more open to take action.  If we fail with our solution then we have not only found a way things don’t work but we are one step closer to finding a solution that will work.

Steps For A Solution:  From John Maxwell’s “The 17 Essential Qualities Of A Team Player

Refuse to give up
1.      Refuse to give up
2.      Refocus your thinking
3.      Rethink Your Strategy
4.      Repeat the Process

To move forward, keep this question in mind.  Do you see a problem in every circumstance or a solution in every challenge?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Who’s In Charge The Case For A Job Description

A job description can be the tipping point to having a successful smallbusiness.  Too often,the self-employed business owner becomes immersed in performing the business and really doesn’t know what his employees are doing and how they are doing it.

This is a recipe for disaster or a near disaster as one of my personal business coaching clients discovered.  He had a small company of four employees and was ready to add a fifth.  When I first started collaborating with him I asked him for a job description for each employee as well as himself.

As with most business owners he balked at having to create them.  His response was, “We’re doing great.  Everyone knows what they are doing.”  I replied that “Yes, everyone knows what they are doing.  But do you know what they are doing and are they doing it right?”

Job Description—What Are You Doing?

For those of you who have taken online training, business training or business courses you understand the importance of a job description.  A job description not only defines a job but how the job is being done.  A job description brings accountability to measure performance.

This last part, measuring performance is critical.  Without accurate measurements, most businesses will ultimately drift into failure.  Running a small business is part art or feel and part logic, the thinking.

When my client said his people knew what they were doing he was correct in one sense.  They did know what they were doing.  The first question was whether or not what they were doing was positioning the company to grow.  Were they doing things the right way?

It turned out much to his surprise and disgust, they certainly did know what they were doing.  The problem was that much of it was related to making their positions as easy as possible and they were actually detracting from the performance of the company.

Job Description—Know What You And Your Employees Are Doing

Without a job description it is hard to have any meaningful accountability.  Why?  The job becomes whatever and however the employee chooses to define it.  And, that definition can change to suit the circumstances.

The scattered self-employed business owner is focused on everything at once which means that much gets overlooked.  And, when it comes to trusting employees without a job description you are writing the formula for failure.  Failure and ignorance go hand in hand.

 Job Description To The Rescue

After discovering a multitude of problems because each employee had no job description this self-employed business owner embraced the process.  Within two weeks each employee and himself had a job description.  Yes, there was some resentment with some of the employees and ultimately two of them were let go.

But, the result was everyone knew their responsibilities, a chain of command was established freeing up the self-employed business owner's time.  Each job description brought accountability and improved performance.  Also, a definitive work flow was established.  Things calmed down.

And, where this business had been stuck for two years it was able to grow significantly with a solid foundation in place.  The key as this owner found out is not to hire the best people.  The key is to have the best process.  When you have the best process you will increase the odds of having people do their best.

And, the center of the best process is to have a written job description for each employee.  It created standards.  Without a job description in place for each team member it is not possible to have a vibrant and long-term team.