Tuesday, May 28, 2013

10 Keys To Accelerating Success In Any Business

Photo by office.microsoft.com
1.  Think like a millionaire. Brian Tracy, author of Million Dollar Habits, coaches entrepreneurs to think BIG! He says, “We become what we think about most of the time.” If you want financial independence, it must be top of mind. Set goals and make sacrifices. Develop a mindset of saving, investing, and growing your money.

2.  Be frugal. Stop spending! Never pay full price, negotiate everything (e.g., lower price, lower rates, better terms, deferred payments). Save something from every cheque. For lasting results, “Get rich slowly.”

3.  Do the work you love. Use your natural talents and abilities and arrange your day to spend more time on the things you do best. Find the “thing” that is easy to learn AND easy to do for optimal alignment. Still searching? How long will you stay in a situation when you know it is not right for you?

4.  Be a top performer. Stand out and get noticed (take on more responsibility, act fast, be thorough, be the go-to person, take initiative, be action/results-oriented). Work the whole time you work. Don’t “major in minors”; instead, work on high priority tasks that contribute to your earning potential.

5.  Learn what you need to learn to earn what you need to earn. You are the “architect of your own future.” What you do today will determine the quality of your tomorrows. Benchmark your skills, learn, and realize that you get hired for what you know. As a knowledge worker, value is determined by the results you get.

6.  Be a visionary and provide leadership. Create Vision, Mission, Goals, & Values Statements for yourself and your business. Involve others and share your passion. Remember the Biblical adage, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” The best leadership is when the people say, “We have done it ourselves” (Tzu).

7.  Act like an entrepreneur. Make money work for you. Act fast on opportunities and problems. Delegate, don’t abdicate. Join or create a “mastermind group” and recruit the best when you need a team. Remain open to feedback and new ideas and never consider the possibility of failure. Navigate setbacks.

8.  Be customer-oriented. Businesses succeed and fail because of customers. According to Brian Tracy, customers buy only one thing – improvement. Do everything you can to understand your customer’s wants/needs and focus on ways to satisfy those needs. Cultivate customer relationships and accept that you must sow before you can reap. Go the extra mile as this brings better opportunities in the future.

9.  Market like a pro and focus on sales. You must, without any doubt, know what you are selling (Specialization), how you are better than your competition (Differentiation), and who buys from you (Segmentation), and then maintain focus as you generate sales. Apply Tracy’s 7 key habits to sales success and the 7 P’s of marketing to grow your business.

10.  Choose to be a person of good character. You have two paths laid out before you. You will choose to be a person of character or not. You will do the right thing in every situation or not. You will leave a legacy or not. You will live with courage or with fear. If you act as if success is completely possible, it will be.

This tip sheet was adapted by Jayne Barron, CHRP, CCDP,  from Brian Tracy’s (2004) "Million Dollar Habits".  Jayne Barron is a Career Management Consultant & HR Professional.  To learn more about Jayne visit her LinkedIn profile: ca.linkedin.com/in/jaynebarron. This tip sheet is also available in pdf format http://lifestrategies.ca/docs/10-Keys-to-Accelerating-Success-in-Any-Business.pdf.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

10 Tips For A Great Website

1.  Provide good navigation. Clear headings that get readers to the information they’re looking for quickly and easily are imperative. Search bars are great, but even something as simple as a site map listing all links in one place can help. For more tips on good navigation, click here.

2.  Use a clear, consistent, and clutter-free layout. Headers, sidebars, navigation, and footers should be clear and concise, remaining in the same place on every page. Consistency is key to making a professional-looking website. De-clutter your pages using a simple layout to relieve visual stress.

3.  Pay attention to fonts. Keep with the same font for all paragraphs with a separate one for headings to provide emphasis. Classic fonts, such as Times and Cambria, are always in style. Feel free to get creative but avoid over-used and difficult to read fonts such as Papyrus or Comic Sans.

4.  Plan out your colour scheme carefully. Think of the emotions and symbolism behind your colours and make sure they reflect what your company or service is offering. Stick to two or three complementary bold colours. Use subtle tones in the same colour families for backgrounds and sidebars.

5.  Keep it short, but not too short. On the Internet, patience is not easily found. If it takes too long to read, people won’t read it. Use subheadings, indentations, and bullet points. Alternatively, try linking to a new page that reinforces your ideas.

6.  Ensure browser compatibility. Making sure your website looks great on other browsers is a must. There are five main browsers competing for users: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and Opera. While it may be difficult to work with all of them, making a webpage with at least three in mind should please readers.

7.  Keep links current. Nothing is more frustrating than clicking on a dead link. Be sure to check your website at least once a year to update links and resources. Adding new links regularly keeps content fresh and demonstrates that the company takes time to research their resources.

8.  Integrate with social media. Take advantage of the huge communities behind networking sites, where media can go viral overnight. Facebook fan pages are one way to attract new customers, but other great social media can also show off your company’s best qualities; Twitter, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn are just a few.

9.  Add a comments section. Allowing readers to instantly respond to what they’ve read not only increases the connection between your company and your client, but shows you what works and what doesn’t.

10. Remember speed is key. Not everyone has access to a fast Internet connection, so keep flash files, video clips, and intensive graphics to a minimum. The decision to exit out of a page is a quick click away if visitors get frustrated waiting for your page to load.

This post was written by Life Strategies and is available in a pdf tips sheet: http://lifestrategies.ca/docs/10-Tips-for-A-Great-Website.pdf.