Everything You Need to Know About Industrial Design

As stated in the Dictionary, ” Industrial design is the art that deals with the design problems of manufactured objects, including problems of designing such objects with consideration for available materials and means of production, of designing packages, bottles, etc., for manufactured goods , and of graphic design for manufactured objects, packages, etc. ” It…

As stated in the Dictionary, ” Industrial design is the art that deals with the design problems of manufactured objects, including problems of designing such objects with consideration for available materials and means of production, of designing packages, bottles, etc., for manufactured goods , and of graphic design for manufactured objects, packages, etc. ”

It is thus apparent that industrial design is the process to develop concepts for manufactured products through techniques and designs. The principal aspect is that design is kept apart from manufacture; the creative act of developing the concept and defining the form of a product takes place in advance of the manufacturing of the product. Indeed, it is an act of creative and artistic individual which incorporates the aesthetic aspect of design and development of product. The engineers work upon three dimensional features – shape, pattern and ornamentation, while keeping in mind its accessibility, functionality and marketability.

Although the process involves a great deal of creativity, many methodological approaches also take place. In fact, the professionals often incorporate various design methodologies to complement their creative process. The processes used by the professionals are user interface, drafting, sketching, model making, product research, testing and prototyping. The designers utilize latest software, computer aided designs and CAD programs to give their concept a final shape.

Industrial design also throws light on other side of the process- technical conceptualization, products and processes. Including considering the aesthetics and ornamentation of the product, it also covers engineering, expediency, production and other concerns including psychology, users' state of mind and emotional attachment. These aspects of industrial design may vary among different designers and various schools of thoughts.

Designers should be multitalented to deal with diverse field of art, marketing and engineering. Moreover, they must have sound creative knowledge, clear sense of product design, and proficiency in practicality and aesthetics. Using these skills, professionals have to create design and carry out a strategy for giving a final touch to the product. It requires a thorough market research from a designer to make any product successful in the market. Therefore, every time when there is a production of new product or service, designers have to undertake a thorough market analysis and research. There are other factors that an industrial designer takes into consideration, and to create branding solutions for brand reputation is one among the most important tasks. To achieve this feat, he / she must have exceptional creative skills and the ability to think different from the rest of the world. If they are not capable of coming up with a right solution, it may be possible that anything worst will happen with the product.

As we see that the role of a designer is tough and complicated, they must combine the skill of an engineer, artist, and marketing expert and all rolled into one to have a perfect balance of the sense of aesthetics and strong practicality.

Booklet Tips – Associations: Buyers and Marketers

If you have ever been a member or a leader in a professional association or society in your field, you know there can be an “up” side, a “down” side and just about everything in between. Like so many other experiences in life, the “down” side can often be re-framed into something positive once you…

If you have ever been a member or a leader in a professional association or society in your field, you know there can be an “up” side, a “down” side and just about everything in between. Like so many other experiences in life, the “down” side can often be re-framed into something positive once you look through different filters.

In fact, associations can be fertile ground for your bite size brilliance, in whatever forms you have it, in hard copy or as downloads. Plus the association can be both your buyer and your marketer, extending your reach in the process with many more people benefiting than other sales you make.

Imagine this – you wrote a tips booklet about ways to improve sales skills. Who does not welcome ideas about improving their sales skills, even if already feeling pretty confident in that area? You approach the membership chairman of an association which members are all sales professionals, who encounter a wide spectrum of industries among their business-to-business clients and prospects.

The association likes your materials and realizes your booklet or other product formats would make an excellent gift to provide their members when joining or renewing their membership. The product can be hard copy, downloadable, or both.

Once the member receives it, they find it appealing and decide they would like to use that same product as a way to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, and they want to know how they can invest in a quantity of the product for their purposes. And it keeps on going like that. Who ever receives it wants to know how they can get copies to use as a promotional tool for their company's marketing activities.

Thinking back, it all started with the membership department of the association of sales professionals giving a copy as a bonus for joining or renewing a membership.

Each rung of the ladder, starting with the association and going on to individual member companies and the companies that they reach are likely to want at least their business name and website address on the cover, while your contact information stays inside, continuing to market you and your business, too.

A viable answer for any membership department's price objection is to suggest they may also have a corporate member who would like to directly benefit by subsidizing the initial print run. That immediately can become a direct revenue stream for the association when the association adds some no-cost benefits to offer the sponsor and the sponsorship is then priced higher than you are charging the association for the booklets.

A similar arrangement can occur with an association and a sponsor connected to a conference or other association-based event. Your tips booklet, audio, card deck, or calendar can be added into an existing conference sponsorship package or can be created as a new stand-alone sponsorship opportunity.

ACTION – Look at the associations where you already know someone in elected leadership or on their staff. That can be associations in which you are a member or where someone you know is active and can make an introduction on your behalf. You may want to start at the local or regional chapter level or go right to the national or international headquarters if you can readily access a decision maker. Keep in mind that the associations are both your buyer and your marketer and are often worth whatever time it takes to navigate their organizational path.

© 2015

Why You Want to Leverage the Power of Pissed Off People

Aristotle once wrote that to avoid criticism you must “say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” In other words, the only way not to get on the wrong side of those human beings crowded around you is to sit in a strong box and hope no one notices you. In purely business terms we can change…

Aristotle once wrote that to avoid criticism you must “say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” In other words, the only way not to get on the wrong side of those human beings crowded around you is to sit in a strong box and hope no one notices you.

In purely business terms we can change Aristotle's musing to define how to avoid being an entrepreneur: change nothing, challenge nothing, dare not to be different . After all you really do not want to piss off your customers, do you? You want to keep those regular sales coming in, do not you? You do not want to find a new solution to their problems … hell, it just might not work?

And if you're starting up a business, you want to do what everyone else is doing, do not you?

Dare to be different

Well, that depends whenever you want a GREAT business or one that just plods along, meeting half-hearted targets, keeping its head above water … existing. Sure, you can turn round to your friends and say: Look, I'm still going, still making a bit of money here and there, still keeping the wolf from the door.

The true entrepreneur has a different mind-set. If you want to succeed in the competitive, dog eat dog world of today, you have to learn how to embrace innovation. The world of bright ideas. The world of problem solving. Your brilliant solution may well piss off half the world, but the other half are going to really love it.

Why you can not please all of the people

Select any global brand – Nike, MacDonald's, Apple or Microsoft. If you pick someone from a crowd of mall shoppers during the next Black Friday Sale and ask for their opinion, you're just as likely to find someone who likes one of these brands as hates them.

Why?

Each company stands for a set of clearly defined values ​​that may or may not meet the expectations or agree with the person you are asking. Just as importantly, each business continues to innovate, to change and bring something new and exciting things to the table. Some people do not much like change whatever it is. Others are not going to like the particular changes that are being made. Still more are probably going to love what's been done.

The success of any brand depends on it being true to its values. You can not be all things to all people and if you have a defined set of values ​​then, along the line, you are going to make part of the population cranky without even trying. If you run a fast food restaurant you are not going to attract love letters and fan blogs from vegetarians who can not eat anything that has not grown organic, preferably in their own garden using compost developed from the discontinued remains of their own lost hopes .

What we're saying is: Do not ever think that you are going to appeal to everyone from your next door neighbor to the King of Siam, because you're not. Make your brand bold and different, stay loyal to your values ​​and walk quickly past those who would shout that what you are doing everything wrong.

Why pissed off people are actually good

When there's a problem, some people see a problem. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, see a possibility. Do you think the taxi app Uber would have come about if people were actually happy with the way they got a taxicab? It was created because someone listened to the pissed off people and decided to find a solution for their problem. Of course they were helped that Wi-Fi and smart phones had come along (otherwise they might have been using flares and smoke signals), but they knew the kind of thing that they wanted to see and were prepared to develop it from the idea stage, right through to innovation and development.

If someone is pissed off, then there is a problem. If there are enough POPs, then you have an entrepreneurial opportunity.

Look Ma, I cured squeaky doors!

Not all Uber ideas lead to a marketable product or service. Ask any entrepreneur worth their salt and you'll find a long list of ideas that hit the fan at the speed of light and were never seen again. If any entrepreneur tells you that their current business was a first idea you should sit back and wait for their nose to grow.

Entrepreneurs go through several stages before they get to the 'big one'.

· They have to find pissed off people with a problem that needs to be solved.

· They need to talk to as many POPs as possible to come up with a clear idea of ​​the central problem.

· They need a lightbulb moment when they come up with a solution.

· They have to test said solution and make sure it works (in truth, this is where many a business idea hits the floor like a sack of potatoes in a chipping factory).

· They adjust and rethink but finally bring the true nature of the problem in line with the right solution – the product that their pissed off people are going to just love.

The problem any solution is that it may well then piss off the people who liked the status quo, those who did not want things to change, who thought they could count on things staying the same until they went belly up and left this world.

First of all, these people are forever and always. If you invented a way to teleport to China in a millisecond you'd still find plenty of naysayers lauding the benefits of plane travel and weather promises. And if you invented a way for people to socialize and interact with each other online you'd still find other people who wonder what happened to the art of conversation. Secondly, you actually do not need them at all because there are going to be plenty enough people who really, really love your idea.

Entrepreneurs as truth seekers

That may make entrepreneurs sound like late day prophets, but actually it's not that far from reality. They look at the truth of a problem, however big or small, and devise a solution that sets it right. The good ones do this by often stepping outside their comfort zone, pushing into areas which are not comfortable. As Captain Kirk put it: Boldly going where no man has been before.

There will be brick walls to run into, there will people who laugh and scorn as you will happily drop into the commercial abyss with a product they can not see the point of and there will be times when you wonder if you should not give up the entrepreneurial life for something more sedate.

But then there will be times when you solve that damn problem, see the light of hope in your customers eyes, and may even be those few times of pure gold when your solution catches on and changes the world you live in.

Stay true to your values, dear entrepreneur. Who else is there to help assuage the anger of your average consumer?

Don’t Become a Small Business Owner “Statistic”

If you are or have been, a small business owner, I'm sure you are aware of the abysmal failure rate. 50%, 80%, (more?) … overall failure rate within 5 years to 10 years … Whatever the true statistical figure or exact percentage is … you, the start-up or small business owner, do not have to…

If you are or have been, a small business owner, I'm sure you are aware of the abysmal failure rate. 50%, 80%, (more?) … overall failure rate within 5 years to 10 years … Whatever the true statistical figure or exact percentage is … you, the start-up or small business owner, do not have to fall prey to the 'statistic'.

There is a pathway to not only stay alive but thrive as a small business owner. If you possess the road-map and have the help and resources by your side to take the steps necessary, in the proper sequence and order , it can be done. This has been positively proven by many business owners who have been able to turn the corner and begin to reach the original ideal, the reason that they went into the venture in the first place. Their all important “why” … Do you remember your “why?” … Why did you decide to take the challenging step in the first place?

Most begin with a strong “why” … Doing what they love, releasing their creative passions, bringing valuable solutions to problems, achieving financial goals, taking care of others, independence, freedom, … and other just as valid “whys “He said.

Then at some point, often very soon in the journey, the grind takes over, the daily urgencies begin to take control. These are the real and constant activities, problems, emergencies, and tasks that must be done. It's all part and parcel of running daily necessary activities that is a part of any and every business.

The business owner find him or herself just treading water, spending all their energy just to stay afloat, instead of soaring and enjoying the expected fruit of their dream in starting the business.

And so, to use that of a quoted phrase, they end up in the never ending cycle of always “working in the business – instead of on the business “.

In practical reality, more often than not, the person fired their previous boss of regular employment and went to work for a new boss … the unforgiving, coldly practical boss of the business's unlending constant claims.

The very reason the business has some real success is the passion and skills of the owner, … who saw a need to be filled, a problem to be fixed, a want to be actualized. But what now, how does the next step of growing the business and getting to the all important “why” achieved?

Here is the good news. There is hope. The owner can not move forward by neglecting what is working now. But there is more to be done. What is needed is a proven “paint by the numbers” strategic and tactical system and the resources needed to help and point the way. step by step, … by proven step. Fortunately, there are such systems available, as well as the resources and people needed.

Most business owners love the idea of ​​independence, yet paradoxically, that independence can only be achieved by interdependence with others. No one can do it all. All business operates in community. The community of partners, family, employees, vendors, end users, clients, customers.

So, what to do to not become “a statistic”? … Well, let me ask: Have you ever seen an athlete, at whatever level, without a coach? Or an actor without a teacher and agent? … The business owner as well needs consultants and coaching to help them take the steps needed to move forward in the correct direction with guidance and accountability . Fortunately, there are quality people and resources in these categories available to fit each person and situation.

Consider seeking out the help you need to expedite, often in a surprising exponential way, the efficiencies and growth your business needs, as well as the opportunity for you, the business owner, to reach the “why” you began on your journey in the first place. Together, we can get there.
-Jerry Zak

Bottle Labellers Are Available for All Sizes of Manufacturing Units

Labels contain a lot of information other than the brand name or any other eye catching designs. This information is a lot more important than the brand marketing itself and gives the customer a basic idea on its ingredients, expiration date, etc. All these information means that labels are an absolutely integral part of the…

Labels contain a lot of information other than the brand name or any other eye catching designs. This information is a lot more important than the brand marketing itself and gives the customer a basic idea on its ingredients, expiration date, etc. All these information means that labels are an absolutely integral part of the package or bottle. As such the labeling machine or label applicator is the final and most critical part of the whole assembly process of packaging or bottling liquids.

The packaging automation most often keeps the label applicator or label dispenser machine near the end. This comes as a separate unit although some of the more expensive automations include it in the whole assembly line package. The choice to buy the whole assembly including the labeling machine or buying the bottle labeller separately is left wholly to the buyer and his budget.

Even then it is a good idea to buy the label dispenser or bottle labeller as a separate unit in order to lower the investment. There are huge varieties of label dispenser to be found in the market and making the decision would depend on a few major factors such as:

1 – Manufacturer: Check the manufacturer and the reputation that it enjoys. Reputation is the yardstick that measures the quality of the product. Therefore make sure you go for a reputed brand.

2 – Customer reviews: What do the former customers have to say about the manufacturer that you have selected? Is it good or bad? Depending on that, make your decision.

3 – Specifications: Does the machine have all the required specifications that you or your technical staffs demand? If yes then only go for it.

4 – Speed ​​/ efficiency: Does the machine have the required speed or efficiency to answer all your demands for production? If it ticks all the right boxes then only go for it.

Bottle labellers come in a wide range of sizes that could accommodate all production standards. But one thing that stays common is its efficiency and how cleanly it it attach labels. The last requirement is the most important factor which dwarves all the other ones.

Generally labeling machines come in 3 major types or sizes:

1 – Manual labeling machine: Manual labeling machines are usually for small establishment or for general backyard type labeling. The accuracy or neatness in such machines is suspect and the waste levels are high. The reason behind its inaccuracy and waste is general human frailties.

2 – Semi-automatic labeling machine: The semi-automatic labeling machine is the first choice for both large as well as small scale industries. It occupations one of those in between places where it has the advantages of both manual machines as well as automatic machines. Plus it also offers a wide range of options and customizations for the user.

3 – Industrial labeling machine: These machines are used only in heavy industries where the volume of labeling is huge and can not be performed manually without wasting a lot of time and resources. These machines also need a minimum number of operators to make it work.

Bottle labellers are not as monotonous as liquid filling machine they come in a lot of varieties and save a lot of time, money, resources and man power which is a blessing for any business or industry.

Your Network Health Assessment Checklist

Conducting a network health assessment is a must for any company that heavily relays on its information system. In this day and age, almost every business makes use of computers and other gadgets to perform a variety of functions – from recording data to analyzing inputs, to producing information in hard copy. Thus, it is…

Conducting a network health assessment is a must for any company that heavily relays on its information system. In this day and age, almost every business makes use of computers and other gadgets to perform a variety of functions – from recording data to analyzing inputs, to producing information in hard copy.

Thus, it is likewise necessary for you to assess the health of your network through a simple checklist. This ensures that your computer systems will work smoothly and will be functional for a long time. When done regularly, the assessment will help you determine whether something must be replaced or fixed.

Four factors are looked into a network health assessment: 1) security, to ensure that the IT systems are accessed only by authorized individuals; 2) competitiveness, to make sure that the network provides a competitive edge to the business; 3) availability, to determine whether the systems are available for use at any time of the day to avoid delays in information processing or other functions; and 4) capability, to check whether the system still works effectively and efficiently, and addresses the needs of the company.

Aside from these four factors, there are also sub-categories that must be checked for total quality control. Be guided by the questions and descriptions that follow:

Network Infrastructure. This section identifies possible problems regarding cables, the Internet firewall, class network switches, and the cable modem. Furthermore evaluates the need to improve the following:

Network Management and Equipment: Do the switches work correctly? Are there “unmanageable” switches that must be replaced? Are there issues on workstation performance? What issues are revealed in the network traffic?

Internet Security: Is there a system that filters outbound traffic? Has the system been attacked by malware or other viruses which are difficult to eradicate? Should a firewall be enhanced? Does the firewall allow only desirable Internet traffic?

Cabling: Is there an established main communications room? Are there equipment racks that indicate proper cable management? Are the cables labeled?

Wireless Networking: Is there electromagnetic interference that hinders the employees from using the wireless network? Where should the wireless access point be best installed? Does the network allow guest access?

Remote Access: Is there a Virtual Private Network in the area? Is the network used for other purposes away from accommodating customer service information?
Physical Environment. This also figures in how well systems run in a business. For example, assessing physical space is important in gauging if the IT equipment would work efficiently.

Temperature: Is the room too hot or cool? How does the temperature and humidity affect the system? Are the vents on the servers clean or are they clogged by dust? Does air flow properly in front of and behind equipment?

Physical Security: Are there loose cables and switches which employees might trip? Are the servers placed properly without the danger of being disrupted?

Automatic Server Shutdown: Should network shutdown software be installed? Are batteries or servers monitored and tested regularly?

These are just some of the questions that need to be answered during a network health assessment. These may be technical, but rest assured that the questions direct you to the heart of the problem. With a regular network assessment, you can be confident that your business's IT system will run smoothly and deliver.

Booklet Tips – License Your Course

Once you expand your bite size brilliance into a course of some kind, not only do you have an additional way to deliver your knowledge to those who are eager to learn from you in whatever formats you deliver the course; you also have new revenue streams that others want to help you create. Your…

Once you expand your bite size brilliance into a course of some kind, not only do you have an additional way to deliver your knowledge to those who are eager to learn from you in whatever formats you deliver the course; you also have new revenue streams that others want to help you create.

Your new course, whether online, by phone, in-person, scheduled live, self-guided, or on-demand can bring you new income way beyond simply offering it to those who will pay you a registration fee to take it. In fact there are people who are thrilled to find well-constructed programs that someone else labored to develop – and pay you a licensing fee to be able to deliver it themselves to audiences which attract.

Licensing is “renting” your content to someone else, for them to use in specific ways you allow, in exchange for payment to you. You will always own the content to use in any ways you want. The situation is similar to your owning a rental property where you issue a lease that includes the terms that someone can live there, in exchange for payment. And when they move out, you still own the property.

This is true especially when you have taken some time to test-drive your presentation, have figured out ways to successfully attract audiences for your expertise, and have related products and services that you already developed or plan to create. For as many topics as tips booklets are written, so, too, are there people interested in learning through courses among the various ways they are delivered. It may be because of their particular learning style or life style or because a course goes into greater depth or because there is interaction with the instructor or they are generally lifelong learners.

Whether you are a consultant, coach, book author, small business owner, education professional or an at-home parent, your experiences are valuable to other people. Starting with a tips booklet and expanding it from there gives you a solid basis to license a course you design. It lets you get your message further and help more people, including yourself!

ACTION – Look at all the speaking engagements you've done, consulting sessions you've delivered, teleclasses and webinars you've developed, or ideas that have been rattling around in your head for way too long. Now may be the very best time for you to craft a course that you can deliver in ways you never considered, and find others who are eager to pay you for specific rights to deliver it, too. Their expertise and their delivery style may be different than yours, which can often enhance rather than detract from the recipients' experience. Consider the terms you're willing to offer – length of time for a license, what you will and will not allow in arrears from the course you created, how much to charge for the initial license and for its renewal, any course materials that can only come from you, and other elements that are unique or that you want to make unique for your situation.

“Turn Your Tips Into Products, Your Tips Products Into Moneymakers.TM”

© 2015

The First Time Business Buyer – Using a Leverage Buyout

Business Buyers come in all sizes and shapes. There can corporate Buyers, individual buyers, partner Buyers, management buyers and most commonly first time buyers. First time buyers do not usually know what kind of business they are looking for nor how to go about the process of finding, evaluating, negotiating and closing a purchase of…

Business Buyers come in all sizes and shapes. There can corporate Buyers, individual buyers, partner Buyers, management buyers and most commonly first time buyers. First time buyers do not usually know what kind of business they are looking for nor how to go about the process of finding, evaluating, negotiating and closing a purchase of a business.

Assuming the buyer knows himself and knows what kind of career and salary he is looking for, an efficient determination of the type of business he should target can be a quick decision. But it is not as simple as picking a storefront, a gas station or a restaurant. True entrepreneurs that can handle long days and constant micro-management may well be qualified to the smallest of small businesses to buy.

But a major segment of business buyers can not see themselves running local main street businesses. I sure could not when I started out buying businesses. So what is it we are looking for in a business?

The next level up from main street is what I call a “real” business or one with enough staff and sales to take care of itself should any one employee leave or otherwise become unavailable. In effect, can the business “run itself” without the owner being involved? If the answer is yes then it is not only a real business but it can be classified other ways, such as an investment, or absente business, or even my favorite term, leveraged buyout or LBO.

An LBO is simply a buyout that uses financing of any sort based on the strength of the balance sheet and asset base. It can include one form of financing or many, and use lenders, investors and the seller. This puts many main street and service businesses out of that category as they have no strength in their balance sheets. But if a business can be bought using an LBO structure then this by itself would qualify the business as a viable candidate for most small business buyers to consider. Indeed it may be easier for the business buyer to complete and LBO on a slightly larger company than try to scrape up money for a smaller one without the benefit of any financing.

To provide some real world examples on this framework, I would establish a reasonable sales and profit range of a typical LBO candidate that would be a level up from main street but well underneath the radar of larger buyers and private equity. This range could be in the $ 2 Million plus in sales and $ 250,000 plus in profits range which is arguably the minimum size of a leveraged buyout.

This lowest range includes the largest universe of businesses to buy without dipping into a business size which is too small to allow the buyer to breathe or too weak to be funded. The perfect LBO candidate will have sufficient assets retained in the business to approximately cover the down payment for the purchase. This is when the buyer will know the deal is the right size. However there is no magic deal size and even sales of as low as $ 1.0 Million or below can generate substantial cash flow and great salaries for most buyers.

At the other end of the spectrum, companies with well over $ 1.0 Million if profits will be typically out of reach for the first time buyer since the deal will likely require a lot of invested capital. There is, however, a sweet spot at the lower end where small buyers can do some quick math and determine that the capital needed for the deal will not break their budget.

As first time buyers go through a buyout or two the deal size can easily change. They may well be able to get to the next level and be able to structure larger buyouts and raise substantial amounts of capital to complete subsequent deals.

Meet Sally And Jeff And Their Grandiose Idea To Start A Business On A Shoestring

I like stories, either hearing them or sharing my own. The following is of the creative, theoretical type on how a vision can turn into a business in flash. Let me introduce you to a fictional company called Small Big Dreams, Inc. Small Big Dreams, Inc., like many companies, started out as a small business,…

I like stories, either hearing them or sharing my own. The following is of the creative, theoretical type on how a vision can turn into a business in flash.

Let me introduce you to a fictional company called Small Big Dreams, Inc. Small Big Dreams, Inc., like many companies, started out as a small business, a mom and pop you might call it. Its core business is to help others, for a fee, with their seemingly small ideas or dreams, turn into thriving and successful ventures. Small Big Dreams offers consulting work to those who have the vision, but lack the strategies to turn it into a viable venture.

When Small Big Dreams, Inc. was started, many family and friends of the proprietors laughed at the idea. They figured, who on earth would financially invest in hiring a consultant of sorts, to help them crystallize their dreams? Many thought it would certainly make it as a nonprofit organization, but that was it. However, the owners Sally and Jeff knew better. They had a vision and a healthy dose of passion to go along with it.

What made Small Big Dreams a success was a very simple formula. It is known to many, but few have the patience, tenacity or the grit to see their vision come to fruition. Here is the formula used by the husband and wife duo and owners of Small Big Dreams, Inc. .:

1. The vision – It started with a vision. On a Saturday morning over coffee at their favorite cafe, Sally and Jeff came up with the idea to start their business. Immediately they wrote it down. Not intending for their quiet morning to turn into a business meeting, Sally borrowed a pen from a nearby patron and began to write on the closest thing she could find, a napkin. Unlike Jeff, Sally was a big dreamer. It was easy to scribble away the beginning of what would become their ticket to early retirement. Even though the vision was a bit hazy, it was clear enough to Sally and Jeff to pursue. The key take away from this first step is while the vision for your business idea my not be crystal clear, it is important to document it as quickly as you can. Jeff, the more practical type, connected the next step.

2. Action Planning – Most would excuse, and for good reason due to the many formulas for creating goals calling for specificity, that this step, action planning, should come well after the creation of a vision. But Sally and Jeff were both of the “unconventional type” so tradition was not in their DNA. Jeff grabbed another napkin and expanded on his wife's simply written yet short vision. Even in this exercise of action planning, their unconventional approach is seen through. Jeff wrote long-term action steps, not goals, but actions. One of them was that in five years they would use the profits from Small Big Dreams, Inc., and create a nonprofit organization. It was something they had dreamt about for years. Wait? What about the how? Is this more of a goal rather than a vision? For Jeff and Sally, it was a long-term plan that was actionable. You see, they decided that while short and long-term goals must be specific and action plans are essential, they wanted to look beyond today or even the next year, and focus many years ahead. They wanted to start with the end result in mind.

3. Going against the grain – Sally had a knack for creativity. When she creates a vision, they are grandiose. Unapologetically, she thinks big. Borders or barriers are nonexistent as far as she is concerned. The world was her oyster therefore the act of thinking small was as foreign as meeting a Martian from the moon. So the vision she had created, although initially not clearly defined, did not lack the flare and loftiness typical of Sally. Small Big Dreams was to become an empire, one that would create millionaires. This coming from a couple who barely had enough money to cover their existing financial responsibilities! Here is when the long-term vision came into play. Once the long vision was set, three napkins later, they feverishly wrote the short-term rewards for each action or milestone achieved. For example, next to Jeff's action of creating a nonprofit organization, the feelings of satisfaction conjured from just accomplishing that goal alone needed to be documented. Writing their feelings fueled their passions. Just the thought of what short-term rewards that they would gain as they embarked upon their journey was enough to ignite passion. The take away from this; think long-term and build into that action plan the short-term rewards. For example, when creating that business plan, which is a critical action step for any business idea, the reward upon completion might just be the feeling derived from completing that first step! Celebrate the small wins.

4. Evidence procedure – Once Sally and Jeff had before them their vision, action steps and strategically placed rewards / milestones as they moved towards realizing their vision, as skeleton as they were, they began listing their evidence procedure. You see, the road to realizing any vision, especially that of owning a business, is not a smooth one. There are sure to be obstacles, many of which may discourage and even cause one to give it. Jeff knew this to be the case and to mitigate this eventuality, he documented through the plan, what their process of staying motivated would be. Evidence was the key. When the going gets rough, remember the short wins, the ones that say, hey, look at what we've done! We certainly can do this. When those discouraging thoughts that are sure to linger in the shadows of their minds begin to peek out, with much intention, Jeff wrote in detail, what their evidence procedure would look like. An example of this was around the lack of capital. The how had not yet discovered only the desired outcome. And because they focused on long instead of short-term goals, it was even more critical that this step needed to be detailed. So for each action he wrote what the possible self-doubt would be. Then he listed a few questions to validate their fears. The fear of having insufficient capital is a prime example. Jeff wrote next to that concern how they were able to move into their new home five years ago having had faced with the same obstacle, money. All the things they did to accomplish that goal was the evidence that they can accomplish getting capital for their business. It was the evidence which debunked their fear of not being able to start Small Big Dreams. Where was the fear coming from? What was the evidence that they could not do it? Getting their home on a shoestring was the evidence! This proved to be a tremendous tool. They mapped it out, listed the fears and doubts in advance, they wrote questions to ask themselves and to reflect on why the fear even exists? The take away from this is, we already know that at some point or another self-doubt will emerge, but if there is no evidence to substantiate these fears or “can not dos”, then proceed. Know the difference between what is real or imagined fears of doubt.

In closing, Sally and Jeff, two persons with very little but with big dreams made a choice to think long-term. There are may books and quotes I can probably fill this page with about how small steps lead to reaching an end goal, I challenge you to take this even further. Create the long-term vision, create long-term actions, reward and celebrate when short-term goals are reached, and finally cut doubt off at the head by pre-determining how you will keep motivated by reflecting on what you have done as opposed to what you think you can not do. Let passion fuel your vision and watch miracles happen.

Small Business Owners: Improving Profits in Daily Operations

When you own a small business, there are dozens of people and projects vying for your time and attention. It can get hard to figure out where to focus your resources and easy to become overwhelmed. Furthermore, in my years of consulting what I have found to be the difference in success or failure of…

When you own a small business, there are dozens of people and projects vying for your time and attention. It can get hard to figure out where to focus your resources and easy to become overwhelmed.

Furthermore, in my years of consulting what I have found to be the difference in success or failure of a business was not the amount of money, a business owner had on hand, nor the education level of the management team. It was his or her daily habits and beliefs, that determined success or the lack there of.

What is profit? It is simply, how much money the business makes after transaction and paying taxes is over.

Traditional thinking about profit says, Revenue – Expenses = Profit. However, this method fails to measure lost opportunity.

What is lost opportunity?

First, business has people performing activities each day. The lost opportunity is in not measuring, managing and leveraging those activities on a real-time basis.

Management fact, your company profitability depends on how well your people consistently perform specific activities minimizing errors.

The following are 12 tips to help your business increase operational efficiency, reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction, and stay ahead of the competition.

1 – Living a balanced life

A. Work and business are not the be-all and end-all of your life. Learn to have fun! Spend more time with your family. Take a vacation once in a while. Engage in activities that will rejuvenate your spirit and your life. Take care of yourself, and your health, exercise and eat fruits and vegetables. Your productivity and focus will improve if you are stress-free and healthy. Bad health and divorces has destroyed more businesses than I have room to write about in this article.

2 – The Destination: Goals, Themes and Vision

A. Go find your business plans and update it. Since your business'ception, a number of factors must have changed – from the overall business climate to your product line. Take all those changes into consideration, consider the business and economic climate, factor in your and your family's goals, and get a clear assessment of the direction of your business. Get in touch with your business coaches, if any. What is your overall vision of your business? What are your goals 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now? What is your business theme and brand to your customers? Is it relevant to your business and memorable and fun for your customers?

B. Setting Team Expectations

1. Small business owners need to insure all managers and employees are on the 'same page' daily. Setting proper team expectations and accountability, is the most impactful thing you can do to insure the success of your business. Have weekly meetings with management teams to discuss accomplishes and challenges.

3 – The System: Starting your day off with motivations

A. Take a notebook (or a laptop or tablet) and jot down your thoughts and plans for the day. Whether you prefer doing this in the morning or in the evening, it is always best to take a step back, review what happened during the day (or the day before), and think of ways how you can do better. Take time to review your profit scorecard, in order to find quick hits and losses. Send out an email where you see outstanding work, done the previous day.

B. Figure out the 20% of activities that are producing 80% of desired results. Eliminate activities that are keeping you busy but not producing results, daily.

4 – Understand Customer Needs

A. Write down ideas, whether for your marketing strategies, product lines, or new projects that you want to take on. List your ideas on how to expand and energize your business. Only through innovation and continuing adoption of relevant new products and ideas can your business improve its competitiveness and profitability.

B. Take time to tap into your customer database and get in touch with your existing customers. Whether by phone, email or letter, contact your customers to greet them and remind them that your business is ready to serve them again. Get their opinions about what they think about your business (and make getting customer feedback a part of your business processes). You need to constantly look for ways to encourage repeat business. Although marketing and advertising are important to get more customers, quality, service and customer satisfaction are what keep a business successful in the long run.

5 – Understand the Profit Formula in your day to day operations

A. What are the critical success factors in your business, daily and monthly targets to meet or exceed annual profitability?

B. Develop an executive dashboard for monitoring operational progress on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

C. Compare the employee time documentation with information gathered from your operational monitoring process. If productivity is not meeting or exceeding goals, look at employee time logs where time is not being used as effectively as possible and make adjustments to that employee's job role. If operations are running on track with goals, consider increasing goals by small increments until you reach a point of break-even.

6. Keep employees involved, motivated and trained

A. Good employees are hard to find; yet they are an important element in your business. It all comes down to choosing the right person and personality type for each role so that no one is doing tasks that they resent. Forget coaching weaknesses (too time consuming), focus on leveraging strengths and passions. Check to see if they are getting what they need and make them part of the team. Help them understand the importance of their role in your business and how their job impacts the business as a whole. Review your relationship with your employees and find ways to keep your relationship happy and avoid costly attrition.

B. Hiring the right leader, someone who owns the operation from start to finish.

1. The small business owner needs to hire a operations leader to own the operation from start to finish. This person should be obsessed with the details, the metrics, and the numbers. They should be elated to hit their goals, inspired by business coaching to do better when they miss it. They love the success of your company; It's not a job but an adventure to them.

7. Keep an eye on new opportunities, markets and products

A. Start the year by exploring new markets for your business. Whether you are looking at targeting a new demographic or getting your business up on the web, take time to plan how you can expand your existing market. Look for ways to improve your marketing, whether by winning easy publicity, arranging an open house or preparing direct mails.

8 – Find Ways to Operate efficiently with lower cost

A. Motivate employees with production goals and ask employees and managers what they need to improve workplace operations. If suggestions seem practical and are within budget, consider implementing them. Example, only scheduling 30 minute meetings without subject requires extra attention.

B. Documenting your Processes

1. Document the workflow of every operation within the business, with policy and procedures and special customer instructions. Yes, this is a time-consuming, tedious, boring exercise, initially. However, if you are able to provide clear and concise documentation to your team, it leaves very little room for things to be miscommunicated. Documentation makes it easier to onboard new employees, saves business from being reliant on any one person and allows the business to continue improve and innovate operations, without having to waste months and money, researching and gathering workflow procedures from inexperience contract workers. Documenting helps to avoid 'lost opportunity' of being slow to change operations in the marketplace.

9. Use Process Improvement initiatives to your competitive advantage

Six Sigma methodologies is a tool that can be utilized to improve process, people and profits. By establishing performance measures for key processes, asking the following questions.

• What is the purpose of the key process?

• What is the expected deliverable?

• How will the process owner know if there process has succeeded?

Six sigma benefits for small businesses are

1. Provide a road map and tools to determine root causes and solve problems

2. Reliable facts for decision making, improved metrics and measurements

3. Improvement in order accuracies and on time delivery

4. Improvement in labor efficiencies enterprise wide

5. Increased customer confidence and profitability (customer buy more better quality)

As a business owner, it is vital that you understand how 'technology' helps me to make more money by eliminating errors, overhead expenses and attracting more customers.

Invest in new technology that will help streamline operations and improve productivity, after processes have been documented. This could include new computers or equipment related to your industry or designing more efficient work stations and telephone systems. Provide training for new hires to ensure that they are aware of how to effectively perform the functions of their job. If seasoned employees are underperforming, send them for training refresher courses.

Documenting processes, installing six sigma and implementing technology improves the customer experience with your business, making your profit planning measurements more transparent to employees through the enterprise.

Implementing an employee recognition system and recommendation process, continuously improvements operations aligned performance with corporate vision, mission, performance measurements and corporate profit scorecard. Quality improves your customer emotional attachment to your business. Loyal customers are repeat customers which will recruit others to your business, increasing profits.

10 – Identify and Resolve Weak Spots in the System

A. Take stock of all aspects of your business operation and list down the areas that you want to improve. If your list of delinquent receivables is longer than Santa's list, find out how you can improve your billing and collection process. Perhaps you need to improve your record keeping to help flag you on delinquent accounts

11 – Keep an eye on your competition

A way to get the inside edge on your competitors is by asking your customers for help. This need not be especially difficult or complex. Simply ask your customers (in the form of a survey or follow-up call) if there's anything a competitor does (or sells) that they wish you did. Now, the idea is not that you'll needlessly turn on a dime and honor every request that comes in.

Own a share of stock in their publicly-traded competitors. This alone entitles you to detailed financial information about the company each and every year. But what if you and your competitors are not public companies? The basic idea is the same: any financial data you can get your hands on is worth having. You want to know as much as possible about what their costs are, who their suppliers are and how you stack up in comparison.

If there is a trade journal or research study about your industry, now is the time to subscribe – and digest what it contains.

In addition to using your competitor's products, you should go through and closely study their sales funnel. Every successful business has a system for attracting, educating, selling and following up with customers. Whether it's via direct mail, Internet marketing or the telephone, this is the infrastructure that actually turns their prospects into buyers. How do you know if your sales funnel is performing at max capacity if you do not compare it to the competition?

12. Go Play Golf: Network, Network, Network

Effective business networking is the linking together individuals who, through trust and relationship building, become walking, talking advertisements for your business.

Join business associations to meet other business owners, you might be surprised at who will assist you towards your success or what ideas you hear that can solve your current dilemma.

Join your areas Chamber of Commerce and participate in community service events. Get involved in your community by volunteering, donating to and / or sponsor local events. It gives you the opportunity to network with other business owners and maybe cross promote with others. These monthly meetings let you know what going on economically in your area.

Anticipating Trouble for Your Lawn Care Business

When a person is in the planning stages of a new business, it is like preparation for vacation or a wedding because sometimes the process is full of idealism and optimism. And that is healthy because when you set out to start your own lawn care business, it is up to you to show that…

When a person is in the planning stages of a new business, it is like preparation for vacation or a wedding because sometimes the process is full of idealism and optimism. And that is healthy because when you set out to start your own lawn care business, it is up to you to show that confidence and optimism that you know how to make this new business spring to life and how to make it a success every step of the way.

So when you read this article, you may have thought it was unnecessarily pessimistic. It is not. You can expect trouble that may come to your lawn care business and still have an ambitious, aggressive and optimistic plan for growth and success. In fact, making plans for when trouble comes is part of your success plan because you are acknowledging that trouble will come but you are getting ready for it so it does not derail your plan for success.

Insurance is a good example of planning for trouble even though you are living your life with a plan for success. We live in a world where things go wrong. It takes maturity and experience to start a new lawn care business and that maturity and experience things go wrong. By having a contingency plan to go to when there are problems, you take the teeth out of trouble because it is anticipated. When problems arise, you simply execute your plan and accommodate the trouble so your ability to give service to your customers is undisturbed.

After all, lawn care is a very physical business. You have workers and machines at work and things can go wrong. You work out-of-doors where weather can get in the way. You work with nature and just about anything can happen even when working on the yard of the most civilized yard in town. Nature does not care how refined the grounds are so you should be ready if nature decides to get underfoot.

Equipment failure is not something that might happen in the life of any lawn care business. It will happen. So be ready to do emergency repairs while on a job site. It is also a good idea to go to each job site with back up equipment. That may mean having a reserve lawn mower and other tools so that if a breakdown threatens the crew's ability to complete the job, you can pull the damaged equipment off of the job and put your reserve equipment in to finish the project.

Being prepared for weather interruptions is a matter of knowing your schedule and being ready if you have to bring crews in during a sudden rain storm. You should have a contingency plan with your customers so if you can not do their yard care on a specific day, you can make adjustments to the schedule to get the job done as soon as the weather clears up.

You can even be ready for injury to a worker. First of all, hire experienced workers who know how to work with the equipment so the chances of injury are small. But keep proper first aid equipment on hand and either you become knowledgeable in first aid and CPR or make sure someone is so if there is a medical need on the job, you can respond to it. You should even go over emergency preparedness with your crews so, God forbid, if someone is injured so badly that they need to go to the clinic or hospital, you have someone delegated to care for the injured worker while the rest of the crew finishes the job. It's all part of being prepared for when trouble comes so trouble can come and go and not disturb the ongoing success of your business.

Managing Your Small Business Budget

Smart Budgeting Tips for Savvy Small Business Owners Not unexpectedly, small businesses often operate on relatively limited budgets. Regardless of the financial situation the business may be in, it is always important to conserve money whenever and wherever feasibly possible. While this may seem simple, it is often very difficult to track and manage business…

Smart Budgeting Tips for Savvy Small Business Owners

Not unexpectedly, small businesses often operate on relatively limited budgets. Regardless of the financial situation the business may be in, it is always important to conserve money whenever and wherever feasibly possible. While this may seem simple, it is often very difficult to track and manage business expenses without having a well-thought-out business budget. This is definitely true for those expenses that may be unexpected, which happens within a small business more often than not.

For those small business owners who want to keep their business operating in the black, they will need to account for both expected and unexpected costs. With this in mind, it is important to create – and stick with – a well-planned business budget. If you are a business owner who is struggling with managing your small business's finances, here are some tip to help you better manager your business's money.

Know and Understand Your Risks

Regardless of what type of business you run, there is always some amount of risk. The risks associated with your line of work always have the potential to have a major financial impact on the business. In order to have a secure budget plan, it is important to take both short-term and long-term risks into consideration. Think about how these factors may affect your business: changes in minimum wage, changes in healthcare requirements, the likelihood of a natural disaster, or the need for seasonal help.

Take Note of Sales Cycles

Almost every business goes through an ebb and flow of sales through the year – ice cream shops are generally busier in the summer where snowboard and ski shops do more business in the winter. Small business owners should take a close look at the seasons of their sales and incorporate that information into their budget. During the business's slow season, you may need to incorporate more wiggle room for overhead or increase the budget for marketing when you have a need to bring in business.

Plan for Large Expenses

Some of the largest purchases a small business makes often happen without warning – equipment breaking down and needing to be replaced right away or a company vehicle needing important repairs in order to make deliveries. Even though you can not plan for these types of expenses, you can plan for large projects that you know about ahead of time, such as store renovations, technology upgrades, or hiring more employees. Carefully planning and timing these purchases can be very helpful.

Always Review Your Budget

Budgages are never static – they are always changing based on the needs of the business. Revisiting your budget on a regular basis can help ensure the business stays on track and that the budget is growing, changing, and evolving along with the business. Compare profit patterns, changing sales cycles, and other factors with your budget on a regular basis in order to make sure it fits the business's needs, the expenses you have can be transported by your income and to have an up to date picture of the finances .

5 Things to Avoid When Choosing a Courier Service

1. But, they're the cheapest! As the old adage goes, the cheapest is the most expensive. I mean, it's old, and an adage for a reason, it's true! The cheapest companies often have a revolving door of unsatisfied contractor employees- not the guys you want to trust with your precious paperwork, critical items or anything…

1. But, they're the cheapest!

As the old adage goes, the cheapest is the most expensive. I mean, it's old, and an adage for a reason, it's true! The cheapest companies often have a revolving door of unsatisfied contractor employees- not the guys you want to trust with your precious paperwork, critical items or anything else. More reputable services are usually priced accordingly. Some extra spending is worth its weight in gold when your critical items and reputation are on the line.

2. They answer the phone with a “yeah, hold on.”

This is not your local pizza place. Being dismissed before you even get to “hello” is probably a sign of the direction of your future business relationship. Phone skills are just one aspect of customer service. But you can be sure if talking on the phone is a chore for them, they will not treat the delivery of your item much differently.

3. Their idea of ​​a half hour is really 3 hours.

Nobody likes lip service, well, of the business kind at least. Do not you wish more companies would realize that a little honesty goes a long way? Sure, not many will complain when a half hour is actually 45 minutes, but any more than that and they're pushing it. Time is money- a well-worn cliche for a reason.

4. The car they pull up in looks like it came back from the future after barely surviving World War III.

Reliability is a big deal here. And if they do not care enough to run a decently operating vehicle, they probably do not care much at all. Some people run their businesses and vehicles by a thread and hire contractors that do the same. Their lack of vehicle maintenance can wind up costing you money, time, or an important client that you just can not afford to lose. Make sure your courier runs updated and varied vehicles.

5. Their name starts with “A” or even better yet, “AAA.”

This is not the early 70s anymore, when sticking an “A” in front of your name was a bona fide promotional tactic to get in the front of the Yellow Pages. Okay, attacking a generic business name choice is not the be all end all of arguments, but not caring to even try to update to something that shows a modicum of effort just shows laziness and lack of creativity. Couriers may be called many things, but “lazy” should never be one of them.

A courier service is an extension of your company, and choosing the right one is an important choice. By heeding these tips from the inside, you'll have a head start in knowing what to avoid, and less heads next time you order a rush delivery.

5 Tips for Keeping Your Small Business Viable

Small businesses have their work cut out for them in this era of economic and financial volatility. It's a daily challenge to keep their businesses competitive while building sales and generating profits. Sticking with traditional marketing models that work and operating efficiently are two ways to stay competitive. So is embracing new ways of thinking…

Small businesses have their work cut out for them in this era of economic and financial volatility. It's a daily challenge to keep their businesses competitive while building sales and generating profits. Sticking with traditional marketing models that work and operating efficiently are two ways to stay competitive. So is embracing new ways of thinking when planning marketing strategies.

The key to small business success in the 21st century is to have a vision and strategy. The following are 5 tips for keeping your small business viable in today's ever-changing business environment:

1. Listen to your customers always

You're in business to make money by providing for customers' needs and desires. Business 101 texts state this ad infinitum . That's because it's true and businesses must keep this focus. It's not about you, it's about your customers. You would not be in business at all if it was not for the people who visit your place of business or access it online.

Research what your customers are thinking and asking. Consider as an example the new paradigm in food manufacturing. People are now very concerned with ingredients and are always investigating what is going into packaged and prepared foods. If you're in this industry you must pay attention to this and align your business accordingly. No matter your industry, you can only give your customers what they want by attentively listening to them when they do communicate with you.

2. Stay abreast of trends

This is a tie-in to the first point. Consumers' tastes are always changing. People like “new” and search out places that offer new products and services. They often consider enterprises that stay current on trendy product and service developments as worthy of their business. Therefore, it's important that you stay knowledgeable on these new trends.

Add 'new' to your product and service line-up no matter what niche you're in. Study industry reports for news on contemporary trends. Engage with your target market on social networking sites to learn what they're now interested in.

3. Invest to operate resourcefully

You want to effectively serve your customers and do it in a cost-efficient manner. In this way, you satisfy customers' needs and minimizeize expenses. Consider your labor costs. Are you staffing too many employees in non-peak customer traffic hours?

Moreover, consider capital spending for equipment and machinery if you produce goods. Energy costs are consistently increasing. Look for energy-saving solutions that can less your costs of operating and helping you maintain a healthy bottom line.

4. Make your e-commerce comfortable

More businesses are online than ever. If you have a website with an e-commerce offering, take it very seriously. Customers want ultra-secure and seamless interaction with your shopping portal. Employ the latest and highest-quality secure transaction technology available. This is a major concern with consumers in this age of identity and financial information theft.

Additionally, make your e-commerce portal attractive. Have first-rate photos and information relating to product family and services. Make the actual ordering and checkout process user-friendly. Perform regular checks on this process to ensure it's effortless for your customers when they shop.

5. Get a handle on inventory

If you're a retailer, your goal is to offer an array of products while always having enough on hand. The temptation is to keep your back room stocked to avoid out-of-stocks . The caution is having too much on hand. It's a case of tying up excessive amounts of financial resources on inventory. This is money that can be used for other pressing needs or for investments.

Keep accurate records of sales trends for each month, every year. This gives you information on when your inventory needs to be increased. It also gives information on when you can typically carry less inventory. Allow for a safety net of stock without going overboard on stocking up your shelves and back room.

Inventory control contributions to managing your working capital (current assets-current liabilities) properly. Working capital is an evaluation of your company's short-term monetary health. It's also a way to check your business efficiency.

Think of what you want your enterprise to accomplish in the next five years and beyond. Then, put in place some or all of the above tips as is appropriate for your business. Monitor your progress diligently. Do not be afraid to make the necessary changes to foster greater return on investment (ROI) to make your business sustainable.

Booklet Tips – Create a Course

You enjoy teaching people new skills and new perspectives. Knowing there are endless ways to deliver your knowledge, you have been concerned about how little you provide to your audience in a tips booklet. That concern may even keep you from creating one. What if that were the starting point rather than the finish line,…

You enjoy teaching people new skills and new perspectives. Knowing there are endless ways to deliver your knowledge, you have been concerned about how little you provide to your audience in a tips booklet. That concern may even keep you from creating one. What if that were the starting point rather than the finish line, and what if publishing a tips booklet let you help even more people directly and indirectly?

Your bite size brilliance is that starting point, for you and for your audience who is eager to learn from you. Plus the tips booklet serves as a teaching tool and a marketing tool simultaneously. The information in your booklet is new ideas, or reminders of things people already knew and forgot, or confirmation that their knowledge is accurate according to you, an expert.

The booklet prompts your students to want more from you once they absorb the information in the booklet. Those people want more in-depth, more advanced, more expanded ideas and processes that a tips booklet does not provide. They want it delivered in ways that suit their learning style, their lifestyle, and their budget of time and money.

You created the ideal skeleton and overview to easily expand to a course, a workshop, a self-guided program, or any one of a number of delivery methods that provide your booklet readers that deeper experience. The content can be attributed into categories that you deliver on a particular frequency, as a video, audio, or written lesson. It can be fully automated and self-guided or can be a live interactive session or series of sessions by phone or online.

Expanding the booklet content may be the basis for a speaking engagement you do at a conference, for a lunch-and-learn or in-house corporate session, or as a public workshop. The booklet itself may be part of the course material you distribute to your participants.

As a direct marketing tool, a meeting planner or corporate decision maker can get a good overview of your expertise by looking at your booklet. That prompts a level of confidence in your ability to deliver a valuable living program for their members or employees. More than a few booklet authors have been invited to speak that way, and gone on to develop long lasting professional relationships and new income streams.

ACTION – Write one booklet if you have yet to do so, or consider reviewing one that you already have that is a good overview of your expertise. Thinking strategically about the content from the outset is planting a seed that grows into what you and your market want it to be. That includes the topics to expand and the delivery methods that are the best match for you and your students. Doing multiple formats gives your people choices that reinforce their learning as repetition is such a key element to the educational process. Do one course or program now and respond to other requests later.

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