If there’s one thing we know about goals, they have to be SMART, right?
After all, that’s what we’ve been told for years. The only thing that matters is that your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
While that looks great on paper—and clearly it’s easy to remember—it doesn’t go far enough for those who want to achieve big things. Think about it. Do you want to be stuck with “attainable” and “realistic” goals when what you really dream about is a 3-day workweek, frequent international travel, and enough money to fund a mission trip (or three)? Seems pretty clear that those safe, smart goals aren’t going to get you there. In fact, they might even do worse than simply “not get you there.” They may actively hold you back.
Consider what happens when you set an “attainable” goal of earning 10% more than you did last year. You might work 10% more. You might spend 10% more on ads or product creation. You might even reach out to 10% more potential clients.
And you’ll likely earn about 10% more. “Not bad!” you say. After all, that was your goal.
But did that 10% goal inspire you to work harder? Or did it create a subconscious ceiling on your earning potential that you’re unable to break through? Rather than focusing on goals that are attainable and realistic, savvy entrepreneurs know that the key to incredible success lies in creating lofty goals that feel out of reach—maybe even UN-attainable.
They don’t strive to earn 10% more than last year. They want 50% or even 100% more. They stretch themselves. They find new—and better—ways to do things, (like outsourcing bookkeeping or other administrative tasks) so they don’t have to work twice as hard, but they remain open to the possibility of doing so—at least in the short term—when it’s necessary.
Of course, you cannot simply declare crazy goals and expect the universe to hand them to you. And that’s exactly why putting aside those smart goals is so…smart. When you shun the attainable in favor of the “holy cow, how will I ever do THAT?” goal, you push yourself beyond those self-imposed limits and reach for the stars.
Sure, you might not double your income, but you’re almost guaranteed to do better than a mere 10% increase. So push your boundaries. Set big, audacious goals. Even if you fail, you’ll be much further ahead than those smart goals would leave you.
The Bean Counter Bookkeeping team loves helping our clients reach unprecedented levels of success by saving them untold hours and thousands of dollars. Give us a call if you're ready to get a head start on your goals for 2018.
People are finally waking up to realize that multitasking is not really a thing. The human brain does not have the ability to truly focus on more than one thing at a time and do it well. Outside of the automatic functions of your brain (such as walking, talking, and breathing), you cannot do serious work or even play with your kids right if you’re trying to do more than one thing at a time.
The human brain cannot multitask. That’s a fact born out by studies conducted by many scientific organizations and educational institutions like Stanford University. Accept that fact so that you can learn to be more productive and break the multitasking habit.
Turn Off the Noise
Noise is anything that distracts you from the thing that you’re currently doing. Turn off your cell phone, turn off your email, turn off the TV and truly focus on that book you’re trying to read. Turn it all off and truly focus on that work you’re doing for your clients. Turn it off and really focus on playing with your son for fifteen minutes. And for goodness sake, turn it all off while you’re enjoying dinner with your family.
Create To-Do Lists
When it comes to stopping yourself from multitasking, the best friend you have is your to-do list. Include everything you need and should do in a day on your to-do list so that you can know what you’re facing. You may find you do not have time to watch that rerun of Friends or spend all that “networking” time on Facebook.
Prioritize the Lists
Once you create a to-do list it’s important to put it in order of priority. Anything with a due date is easier to put into priority but remember to put yourself up at the top of the list. Your health, your family, and your life are more important than anything else. It’s important to understand this as you set up your avoidance systems to multitasking.
Set up Schedules and Systems to Avoid Multitasking
Use your list to set up a calendar and task reminder system that will help you see how productive you are. You want to actually track the time you spend on each thing so that you can get really good at saying yes or no to new things because you know how much time you really have.
Learn the Most Effective Way to Use Your Calendar
Your calendar isn’t just for work or doctor appointments. Your calendar can be used as a to-do list. Use something like Google Calendar so that you can easily see everything at a glance for any given day. You can even set up reminders for yourself. Schedule personal and business items on the same calendar, remembering how important it is to put yourself first.
First Things First
When you look at your calendar, make sure you set things up by time. Always give yourself more time for each thing than you think you need. A good rule of thumb is to work out how long you think it will take and multiply it by 1.5 to get a better time. If you finish before your time is up, that’s great. Take some time out to walk around, read a book, and clear your mind.
Practice Makes Perfect
The more you learn to tune out interruptions and stop trying to do everything at once, the more you’ll like focusing on one thing at a time. You’ll find that you get more done, have more free time, and improve your outlook exponentially.
Multitasking is not something you want to do. You cannot become good at it. Don’t tell people you’re a good multitasker; you’re not. No one is. You just think you are. Try putting the things in place that are on this list and track your progress, and you’ll see that you are far more productive when you break the multitasking habit than you were before.
When people search for information online, they look for about the same things that a search engine does. They do the search and then evaluate whether or not the information is authentic and useful to them. If you always seek to provide high-value information to your customers and new visitors, you’ll be a lot more likely to not only attract a high quality of customer to your business, but also to keep them. Here are some great ways you can provide that high value that people are looking for.
Develop White Papers
Many e-commerce (and especially brick and mortar) businesses overlook the benefits of a white paper. A white paper is an authoritative paper that either persuades a consumer toward a particular product using facts or describes problems and offers multiple solutions to the consumer. You can provide white papers on a variety of topics for your audience that will be seen as high value to your audience, whether they’re free or not.
A great way to provide high value to your audience is to make videos for them. You can create “how to” videos, explainer videos, and other types of demonstration videos, or even just informational videos about topics that your audience cares about. Make them short, no more than three to five minutes. The value will be perceived as very high when it’s information they want.
Another way to provide high value to your customers and website visitors is to offer eBooks about the topics they care about. In this way that they can read the information on their Kindle or another reading device away from the website. How can you showcase your products and services in a way your customers can use for reference? Brainstorm how you can provide value and then give your eBook away as an opt-in freebie to sign up for your email list.
Form an Inner Circle
One really great way to provide a super high value to your audience is to create a members-only group, paid or free, where people have to be approved to join. You can now do this via Facebook private and secret groups. Or even in person with exclusive discounts and incentives like punch cards. People like feeling exclusive, and this is a good way to do it.
Host Monthly Webinars or Facebook Live Videos
Offer periodic webinars, teleseminars, or Facebook live videos for your customers. If you offer them monthly, based on various topics of importance to your audience, you’ll up your authority quotient with your audience exponentially. If you manufacture a product on site, show them the process. Distribute goods already produced? Show off your team in action and their personal touch when packing and shipping. Even if you offer services only, show potential and current clients helpful tutorials and insight into what makes your offerings unique.
Conduct Case Studies
Once you’ve been around long enough, you likely have some success stories that can be shared. Collect case studies about people who have used methods you describe. You can even collect studies about people who have succeeded using methods like yours. This will make the audience feel like they’re truly getting a lot of value out of the information provided.
Your audience will absolutely love it if you interview movers and shakers within your niche. What’s more, the more you interview experts, the more people will view you as an expert. That’s how Oprah became the guru we now know today. Not only has she learned from those she’s interviewed, but her audience sees her as an expert in a variety of fields.
Most business owners don’t really understand the power in providing value to their visitors, so they miss out. But now you know that providing high value through the various types of content you offer can increase the traffic to your website or your store and even improve loyalty with your fans. As a business owner, you should be focusing on bringing in more business with the tactics above. You shouldn't be doing your own bookkeeping, because that's wasting precious time (and money) you could be spending on nurturing customer relationships.
Our bookkeeping team are not only current on constantly changing software and tax codes, we hold accounting degrees giving us a firm foundation for providing value to you. Contact us for a free quote at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As many consumers gear up to spend big bucks the next few weeks on Christmas gifts, huge corporations and small business owners are preparing for some of the biggest shopping days of the year. Next Saturday, November 25th, is Small Business Saturday, and a day for consumers to show support of locally owned small businesses. A little preparation can help small businesses kick off this profitable holiday shopping season with big sales. Below are tips that will help your business stand out and watch customers discover your value.
1. Your business is a work of art
Business is a form of art, so why not hire a local artist and commission him or her to create artwork in chalk around your shop. Have a large brick wall? Create a mural! Whether your artwork is holiday-themed or not, the idea is to capture the attention of passers-by. You can even use your sidewalk to encourage shoppers to text or sign up for your email list for special offers. Let consumers know what’s special about your shop, and they’ll want to know more. If you don't have a brick and mortar shop, consider hiring a graphic design pro to create custom banners that will last from Small Business Saturday throughout the new year. Be creative!
2. Decorate your town and social media platforms
Leave sticky notes around town with discount offers for your shop, or create flyers with special deals for your big promotions. This tactic requires little investment and can yield big results. Consider teaming up with another local business to promote each other as a joint venture, and don't neglect the power of social media reminders!
3. Good Things Come in Small Customers
Children may not be spending their own money, but they have enormous influence over the people who are. Dinosaur footprints that lead to the store, or pictorial displays at eye level for children can help bring in grown ups as well. If it’s easy and pleasant for parents to shop with their children they’ll be able to comfortably spend more time and money in your store. Stock up on giveaways, prizes, and promotional gear that showcases your logo and contact information and hand them out as treat bags to anyone under the age of 16.
4. Who doesn't love FREE stuff?!?
Studies have repeatedly shown that if customers actually hold an item in their hands, they’re less likely to walk out of a store without making a purchase. Put your products in your customers’ hands. Whether it’s a steaming cup of gourmet coffee or a homemade bath bomb, your customers will develop an attachment to your merchandise and want to make it theirs. Find a product that you can afford to hand out for free (even if it means smaller free samples) and promote them across social media and around town.
5. Build a Display That Moves Toward Your Door
If you have window display space, use it purposefully. Build your display so the most interesting pieces are positioned near the door. Bonus points if you can build from left to right, which mirrors the way we read, and have your display lead customers right to your door. Point mannequins towards the door with their arms positioned in a welcoming, open pose that conveys a "Welcome" message. If you're a virtual business, take special notice of all call to action messages and buttons. Consider outsourcing your holiday copywriting to someone who can convey your brand's message. Make your "Shop Now" or "Book Now" buttons stand out whether on desktop or mobile. View your site as a new customer with lots of questions and be sure that the answers and solutions you provide are crystal clear.
6. Show the Before, After, and After Holiday Sale Price
Mark your items with the regular price, your discounted price, and finally your special Small Business Saturday (or holiday) extra special price. Don’t hide your amazing deals; show them off! Convey the urgency in locking in the special deal so your products and services are irresistible.
Bean Counters Bookkeeping (BCB) is a virtual bookkeeping and accounting small business. Our mission is to assist other small businesses who are trying to grow, become more profitable, and save money. www.thebeancountersbookkeeping.com