3 COMMUNICATION MISTAKES THAT ENRAGE YOUR CUSTOMERS

3-communication-mistakes-that-enrage-your-customers

 

How many times have you contacted a business for a quote and they didn’t get back to you?

Or you waited an hour at the doctor’s practice for your appointment? Or your supplier forgot to tell you that your order won’t be there on time.

Poor communication is one of the main reasons businesses and relationships fail.

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“Unmet expectations and poor communication will sink your business.”  
~ ALICIA MENKVELD

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HOW I WAS DRIVEN CRAZY

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I finally arrived just after 8am at the hotel in Singapore. I’d been travelling for 17 hours, my flight had been delayed and I was tired, hungry, grumpy and hot. Not my best combination…

All I wanted was a hot shower, a dark room and crisp white linen to take me off to dreamland for a few hours. I checked in…

Only to be told that the room I had specifically booked as an early check-in, wasn’t ready!

I patiently explained that when I confirmed an early check-in the day before with Michelle (I always ask for names), she assured me that it wouldn’t be a problem.

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“Why isn’t the room ready?” 

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The receptionist on duty clearly also wasn’t happy to be there that morning.

She gave me an incoherent excuse, a half-hearted apology and I was informed with a dismissive look that the room won’t be ready for another two hours.

I know myself when I’m hungry, tired and hot so I took a few deep breaths and decided to make the best of a worst situation.

It was my first time in Singapore, so I decided to explore the area and get a decent breakfast to shorten my wait.

Back at the hotel two hours later at 10am, I was informed that the room now won’t be ready till noon.

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I have to admit… I made a scene.  I demanded to see the manager (which I should have done in the first place) and a room magically became available 20 minutes later.

As I gathered my bags, I heard a nearby couple complain that their room wasn’t ready either and I saw at least two other groups of people hanging around in the lobby playing the waiting game.

It seemed that whoever put up the biggest fight got the next room.

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The message was loud and clear. Customers are NOT important in this hotel.”  

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Think about it… How would this experience make you feel?

// Would you use this hotel again?

// Would you recommend it to friends, family, colleagues or clients?

// Would you feel that this hotel took pride in their operations + valued their customers?

I think not…
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Businesses need to remember that customers have more choice than ever before and they’re not afraid to vote with their feet, their wallets or their social media reviews.

It’s a death knell to your business when you or your under-trained staff communicate poorly with your customers.

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THE MESSAGE IS CLEAR

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Whether it’s in person or via email, effective communication serves as the very bedrock of business.

It can sway public opinion, give teams a sense of purpose, persuade shareholders to invest and boost your project success rates.

According to PMI’s Pulse of the Profession™ In-Depth Report: The Essential Role of Communications companies that communicate more effectively have more successful projects.

pmi-successful-communication-statsOf the companies that are considered to be highly effective communicators:

  • 80% met their original project goals
  • 71% delivered their projects on time and
  • 76% delivered their projects within budget.

The companies with poor communication skills trailed dismally behind, with only 52% meeting their goals.

Only 37% delivered on time while 48% delivered within budget.

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“1 in 5 projects are unsuccessful due to ineffective communications.”
~ PROJECT MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE, INC

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Bad communication has a domino effect that very few business owners consider when they choose not to update their customers in terms of timeline changes, delays or bottlenecks.

The long terms benefits of a happy, loyal customer will always outweigh the short term discomfort of having the uncomfortable conversation.

Your business’s livelihood depends on you and your team getting it right.

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3 COMMUNICATION MISTAKES THAT ENRAGE YOUR CUSTOMERS

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OVER PROMISE + UNDER-DELIVER

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SOLUTION:

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At the hotel in Singapore, I was promised an early check-in when I phoned the day before arrival.

Now perhaps Michelle (in the office) honestly thought that the room will be ready or maybe she felt too uncomfortable saying No while having me on the phone.

Either way, the promise was a room on arrival (over-promise on their side) and the reality was no room when I got there (under-deliver).
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This makes customers hopping mad

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It’s the same when starting a new project with a client.

Set out and agree project timelines and milestones with your client right at the start, and be realistic in your expectations of yourself and your suppliers.

Don’t be over ambitious as it’s best to deliver a project on time or even early, rather than letting it run over.

If there are any delays or bottlenecks communicate it early + often.

Here a mapped out business processes will help you save face and save you a great deal of frustration.

Manage your customers’ expectations by being open + clear about what can and can’t be done in certain time frames or what the situation is really like, rather than over promise and under-deliver.

They might be disappointed today but they will respect you + your business in the long run.

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TREATING CUSTOMERS WITH DISDAIN

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SOLUTION:

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It leaves a bad taste in your customers’ mouths when they feel that they or their business is not important to you.

This goes back to business processes and good staff training especially for your front office staff.

Everyone has a bad day, but it should never be taken out on your customers.

The receptionist at the hotel was in a bad mood and that’s possibly because she had to deal with several angry customers before me who were also promised a room on arrival and then didn’t get one.
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The problem is two-fold:

  1. a promise by a back-office person who either doesn’t know the hotel procedures well, didn’t check the system correctly or simply can’t say no
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  2. insufficient training for the receptionist in how to effectively deal with customers and not having a process mapped out to follow when dealing with disgruntled customers.

But getting angry at the customers and treating them with disdain is NOT the answer.

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Business reviews + testimonials are the lifeblood of your business, and customers want to feel valued + respected before they’ll give a glowing business review or choose to remain loyal to a business.

Everything you do in your business from the amount of training you give staff to how well they can communicate or manage expectations have a huge impact on customer relationships and whether customers will sing your praises or not.

Show your customers that you take their needs and expectations seriously and appreciate their business from the get-go.

That way in the event that things go wrong (and they do tend to go wrong), you’ll have a strong foundation to work from.

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NOT COMMUNICATING EFFECTIVELY OR OFTEN ENOUGH

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SOLUTION:

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At 8am I was told that the hotel room will be ready in two hours but when I went back at 10am, the goal posts have been moved again to noon. I’m sure you can see just how infuriating this will be for any customer.

Given that we started off on a bad foot you would think that the hotel would now do everything in their power to rectify the situation + try and wow the customer.

Well not this one!

The moment they realized that the room won’t be ready on time (the promise), they should have called me or sent me a text to communicate this.
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This would’ve given me two options

// I could carry on exploring the area (and cool down) or

// I could choose to go back to the hotel but my expectations were managed.

Instead they did nothing, which meant I got back to the hotel to be angered + disappointed again.
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Can you blame any customer for making a scene at this point?

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On client projects
, you might feel that you don’t want to send updates or clutter up inboxes before you have ‘good news to offer’ but in my experience when it comes to updates, customers always want more communication than less.

At the start of a project, schedule project milestones + regular updates so everyone knows what to expect.

The hardest part might be sticking those agreed updates when things fall behind or setbacks need to be communicated.

It’s also important to document any changes (good or bad) in writing and then follow it up with a phone call.

A paper trial can come in very handy when there are disputes about services and what has or hasn’t been delivered by when.

Friendly check-in calls every couple of months are also welcomed and will keep your front of mind.

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Effective communication instills trust, loyalty and respect.

It builds strong relationships between parties and shows that you value your customers and put them first, and we all know happy customers = better business, so make your customers happy.

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“Happy Customers = Better Business.”
~ ALICIA MENKVELD

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QUESTION:
What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to bad business communication? Leave your comment below.

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#businessconfidence

Alicia-MenkveldAuthor: ALICIA MENKVELD  Creator of: BUSINESS CONFIDENCE ACADEMY Alicia Menkveld, an award-winning entrepreneur for the last 16 years, loves to travel and lived on three continents to date. She is an international speaker, author and a trusted adviser to successful business owners and leaders. Alicia is an authority on business strategy, mindset and effectiveness for individuals and teams. Design your business to live the life YOU want.

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ON A SCALE OF 1-10* HOW HAPPY ARE YOU WITH YOUR BUSINESS RESULTS?

(* 1 = lowest, 10 = highest)

Score your business against the 7 Signs of a High Performing Business to pinpoint problem areas.

Learn how to optimize your business to improve your revenue + results this quarter.

.

GRAB YOUR SCORECARD NOW.

3 REASONS BUSY PEOPLE DON’T STOP.

 

3-reasons-busy-people-dont-stop

Don’t you just love being busy?

You might say No when I ask you and you might even complain about it, but you won’t fool me!

The reality is that you’ll freak out if the fairy godmother pitches up at your doorstep this very second to take your busyness away.

How can I be so sure? I’ve been an addict myself and still fall off the wagon often.

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We’re all addicted to the Cult of Being Busy!!

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Here’s why I say so.

We love being busy because it makes us feel in demand and important. It became some sort of delusional measure of success to the outside world, especially among (busy) business professionals.

Listen to what people around you say over the next few days… or make that hours!

  • “I’ve pulled an all-nighter to get this done.”
  • “You have time to sleep 6 hours a night?! I operate on 2-3 hours a night.” (chest puffed out)
  • “Hustle is what it’s all about baby!”
  • “Who have time to eat? There are so much to do.”
  • “Sleep when you’re dead.”
  • ” I don’t know how I’m going to get through this week with everything I have to do.”
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Apparently the more we have to do in as little time as possible, the more important we are.

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Instead of bragging about being efficient + planning ahead to be more productive, we brag about our chaos and firefighting skills instead.

Not you? Listen closely when your phone rings or when you get an invite via email.

If you hear yourself say, “Sure, I’ll be there.” or “I can do that.” (and it won’t bring in money or is critical to your business’ success) and your calendar is already bursting at its seams, it’s time to stop.

You have a case of FOMO (fear of missing out) on your hands.

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3 REASONS BUSY PEOPLE DON’T STOP

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YOUR EGO


It took me forever to learn this lesson and my ego still trips me up.

Deep down we all want to be wanted, like the Chris Isaak song “I Want You To Want Me”.

We like to feel important and included in events. We love being needed by others + we love to “save the day”.

That’s why we keep on saying Yes when we’re already overflowing with other commitments.

There’s a huge difference between your ego and being confident. The ego gives us an illusion of importance + superiority while confidence is about knowing your worth.

Confidence says: “I’m valuable.” while Ego says: “I’m invaluable.” ~ 99u.com


The ego is also responsible when we play the victim or when we easily get offended, but more about this in a future post.

SAY NO.

In the beginning, I felt like a junkie deprived of her next fix every time I said No to a meeting, a coffee or a networking event.

I thought the world would come to an end without me being there… and the surprising reality was, it didn’t!

I started asking myself 3 questions when I felt a case of FOMO coming on.

HOW TO CHANGE

CLARIFYING QUESTIONS:

#1 On a scale of 1-10*how much do I really want to do this thing?  (* 1 = lowest 10 = highest)

I realized that there were very few things that scored a 7 or above… interesting.

#2 How will this thing move me personally forward or move my business forward?
Is this the most important thing I can do for my business right now? How will it help me grow as a person?

#3 Will money be generated (within 1-3 months) as a result of saying Yes to this thing?

Unless the answers were crystal clear, I said No, no matter how awesome I thought it would be and how hard it was to say No + possibly disappoint people.

Remember, when we say Yes to something, we always say No to someone or something else.
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Who Gets The Short End of The Stick Every Time You Say Yes to Something?

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Are you saying No to your:

  • self by not booking “me-time” to look after your health, fitness, energy levels + mental well-being?
  • partner or family because you’re always on the go and never have time to be with them?
  • business by not giving yourself a chance to work on important, but not urgent, tasks like planning + marketing?
  • clients when you have to extend a deadline… again because you have too much on your plate?

An overflowing calendar has a cost, either to yourself, your clients, your family or your team. It’s your choice.

Being busy is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.
~ ALICIA MENKVELD

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alicia-menkveld-point-2

GUILT + JOY


How many times have you dreamed about your holiday for months and when you get there, completely exhausted after you’ve done three weeks’ work in a week to ‘make up for the time you’ll be away’, you struggle to unwind or enjoy yourself?

I’ve been there many times myself.

We feel guilty when we take a much-deserved break. We feel guilty for stopping and wanting to do nothing. We feel lazy. And we feel most guilty when we start to enjoy doing nothing.

Normally this is after more than half your holiday is over and you finally dared to step away from your laptop!

“Joy is the most vulnerable emotion we experience, and if you cannot tolerate joy, you start dress rehearsing tragedy.” ~ Dr. BRENé BROWN


Have you ever thought,“This is too good to be true.” or “This can’t last.” just after you’ve realized how happy or loved you feel?

It’s called “foreboding joy” and Dr. Brené Brown explains it as anticipating bad things to happen when in reality nothing is wrong.

Brené is an American researcher + speaker who has done very interesting research on vulnerability and she wrote an amazing book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead  that certainly changed my life and millions of other people’s lives.

The truth is, a break allows us to revitalize ourselves, be more creative + be a lot more productive.

Alleviate guilt + enhance your joy by implementing processes and systems that allow your business to run while you’re away.

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alicia-menkveld-point-3

SCARED OF FACING FEARS


Are you keeping busy to avoid facing fears? When was the last time you sat by yourself for 30 minutes with nothing but your own thoughts?

I love spending time on my own… being, dreaming or thinking. But we all know people who would rather be thrown in a glass box filled with their biggest phobias than spend 15 minutes alone with themselves.

Constant busyness could be a way of validating our own worth, not dealing with unresolved feelings or not having to face difficult confrontations.

Reflection is the answer to be stronger and smarter in yourself + better in business.

Once we press pause we can:

  • gain insight + learn from the past by seeing the full impact of our decisions.
  • deal with messy feelings + difficult confrontations (not nice but necessary for a happy, fulfilled life)
  • see new possibilities because we look with fresh eyes.

alicia-menkveld-key-ideas

HOW TO CHANGE

  • Stop saying Yes to things that keep you busy + distracted.
  • Stop saying Yes to things that don’t add any value to your life or business.
  • Give yourself time to reflect + figure out what you’re running from.
  • Get help if you struggle to face feelings, issues + fears.
  • Schedule daily quiet time in your diary to improve productivity + problem solving.
  • Try yoga or go for a walk if you struggle to sit still and think.
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Nothing ever stops unless you make it stop.

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Embrace the sound of silence. A study from Duke University suggests that it’s your brain’s best productivity hack, will improve your memory and enhance your awareness – all essential qualities in business.

QUESTION:
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What have you done to break free from the ‘cult of busy’? Leave your comment below.
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#businessconfidence

 

Alicia-MenkveldAuthor: ALICIA MENKVELD  Creator of: BUSINESS CONFIDENCE ACADEMY Alicia Menkveld, an award-winning entrepreneur for the last 16 years, loves to travel and lived on three continents to date. She is an international speaker, author and a trusted adviser to successful business owners and leaders. Alicia is an authority on business strategy, mindset and effectiveness for individuals and teams. Design your business to live the life YOU want.

business-performance-scorecard-preview

ON A SCALE OF 1-10* HOW HAPPY ARE YOU WITH YOUR BUSINESS RESULTS?

(* 1 = lowest, 10 = highest)

Score your business against the 7 Signs of a High Performing Business to pinpoint problem areas.

Learn how to optimize your business to improve your revenue + results this quarter.

.

GRAB YOUR SCORECARD NOW.

5 WAYS TO GET MORE CONFIDENCE

5-ways-to-get-more-confidence

 

Have you ever failed at something in life or business? Perhaps you failed at securing an important contract for your business, maybe you didn’t get the job you interviewed for, perhaps your relationship failed or you ate junk food on the second day of your diet.

We all fail, every day at various things in life + business.

The problem isn’t the failure but the meaning we attach to the failure – regret, anger, disappointment, shame or frustration – and the consequence is a blow to our confidence.

You might think that you either have confidence or not, but it’s not true. All of us operate on a sliding scale of confidence depending on the activity we do.

If you do something you’ve done before, your confidence will be higher in that activity. When you try something new, your confidence will initially be lower and you might even feel terrified to do it.

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HERE’S MY STORY
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I wanted to start making videos for my business as part of my marketing plan…

It took me about a year to pluck up the courage to record my first video from the first time I thought about it. Then it took me at least another six months before I actually posted one of the videos I recorded on Facebook.

You see, I didn’t feel confident that they were “good enough” and I worried about not looking polished enough in the videos I shot while I was on holiday.

For some people it’s the easiest thing in the world to record and post their videos or do Facebook Live sessions. I break out in cold sweat and look like a deer caught in the headlights when I make videos.

Here’s a photo of me recording video on green screen for the first time.
Alicia Menkveld recording videos

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What would YOU attempt to do if you had more confidence?

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When we don’t feel very confident about ourselves we might wonder…

Can I really do this?”  orWho am I to dream this big?”

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You’re not alone. Whenever I speak with business leaders about their greatest struggles in business or life, confidence always comes up as an issue in various activities.

So how do the confident people we admire like Richard Branson or Oprah accomplish bigger and better feats than most people?

They consistently face their doubts and fears head on, they take risks and they put themselves through anxiety-provoking situations to stretch their comfort zone and grow their confidence.

Luckily, studies proved that confidence is a skill that can be learned and practiced like any other.

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HERE ARE 5 STRATEGIES TO HELP YOU GET MORE CONFIDENCE 

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First off you need to identify where in your life or business you need more confidence.

Ask: “Where am I holding myself back because of a lack of confidence?”  or  “What would I do if I had more confidence in this area?”
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GET CLEAR

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Get clear about the outcome you would like to achieve and what’s at stake.

Outline the milestones, identify the people + resources you’ll need to achieve your goal.

Preparation is key and it will give you focus and ultimately the confidence to continue forward and win.

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GET A GROWTH MINDSET

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Many people have created a false belief that they are just not good enough.

Whether you’re asking for someone’s business or asking someone on a date there’s always a chance you could be rejected.

If we don’t actively control our thoughts and the critical voices in our heads, we could say:

I’m so bad at sales, I’ll never make it.” or “What does it help to go on a date, my relationships always fail.”

Confident people take the risk of being rejected, they focus on how far they’ve come instead of judging themselves for not being further along and they are kinder to themselves when things don’t work out as planned.

Every day, they choose to focus on what they want to achieve because they know that where attention goes, energy flows.

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GET INTO ACTION

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When you face what scares you most and stay the course, you’ll grow your skills and capabilities.

Most people wait to feel confident before they take action, but ironically it’s taking the action and getting through the experience, that gives you confidence and a belief in yourself that you can do it again.

Everyone wants to quit at some point but successful people never give up and the reward is confidence and a life and business most people only imagine.

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GET SUPPORT

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Leaders might feel that they need to have all the answers or can’t admit a weakness or vulnerability.

Confident leaders know they need others to help them reach their goals and they’re not ashamed to ask for help or admit when they were wrong.

Getting the right support will keep you motivated, help you get better results, keep you accountable and help you stay clear and focused.

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alicia-menkveld-point-5

GET SUCCESSFUL

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The more often we try new things and succeed at it, the more confident we become in our ability to pursue bigger goals.

As we achieve our goals, it’s important to stop and celebrate our wins.

Confident people use the positive feelings and sense of pride they experience because of their win, to spur them on to reach new heights of success.

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Use these five strategies to get more confidence and start believing in yourself and your ability to turn your dreams into a reality.

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QUESTION:

Tell us about something you’ve achieved once you’ve improved your confidence? Leave your comment below.

 

#businessconfidence

Alicia-MenkveldAuthor: ALICIA MENKVELD  Creator of: BUSINESS CONFIDENCE ACADEMY Alicia Menkveld, an award-winning entrepreneur for the last 16 years, loves to travel and lived on three continents to date. She is an international speaker, author and a trusted adviser to successful business owners and leaders. Alicia is an authority on business strategy, mindset and effectiveness for individuals and teams. Design your business to live the life YOU want.

business-performance-scorecard-preview

ON A SCALE OF 1-10* HOW HAPPY ARE YOU WITH YOUR BUSINESS RESULTS?

(* 1 = lowest, 10 = highest)

Score your business against the 7 Signs of a High Performing Business to pinpoint problem areas.

Learn how to optimize your business to improve your revenue + results this quarter.

.

GRAB YOUR SCORECARD NOW.

Bad Business Habits (Part 1) Multi-Tasking

multi-tasking-is-killing-your-business.

We went into business to be our own boss, earn more money and have the lifestyle we only dreamed about while working for someone else. However, most business owners I speak to complain about:

  • working longer hours than they ever imagined
  • always having a fire to fight
  • worrying where the next customer and dollar will come from
  • missing out on events and having very little to no free time.
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I find that it’s our bad business habits that get in the way of having a successful business and one of these bad habits is multi-tasking – a huge business and productivity killer.
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CHASING TOO MANY RABBITS 

Does this sound familiar? You’re on a client call and it’s been going on for a while so you text your next appointment to let them know you might be 5 min late.

Then an email notification pops up so you decide to quickly check it that out before you need to wrap up this call and go….

But there’s silence on line… because the client is waiting for you to respond to their question. Oops! Has this or something similar ever happened to you… because it has certainly happened to me!

More frightening… studies have shown that people distracted by incoming emails or text messages (multi-tasking) have seen a 10-point drop in their IQ, which is more than twice the effect of smoking weed!

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“You can do two things at once, but you can’t focus effectively on two things at once.” 

~ GARY KELLER (Book: The ONE Thing)

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THE COST OF MULTI-TASKING TO YOUR BUSINESS
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The problem is, that by doing several things at once, we trick ourselves into thinking that we’re getting more done when in reality, study upon study has shown that our productivity decreases by at least 40% or more while we’re switching tasks.

That’s because we’re not actually multi-tasking – we are simply switching tasks – and while we’re shifting from one thing to another we lose time in the process.

After many studies, researchers have concluded that on average it takes 12 minutes before you get back into a state of flow once you stopped working on something. For more complex tasks, it can take up to 24 minutes to get back to your state of flow.

Let’s put this in perspective… if you switched tasks 5 times in an hour, and on average it takes 12 minutes to get back into a state of flow, you wouldn’t have done any productive work in that hour because you were multi-tasking! e.g.

  • you work on a client project (task 1)
  • an email notification catches your eye so you check your email (task 2)
  • while you’re doing that the phone rings, so you take the call (task 3)
  • you get back to answering that email (task 4)
  • you decide to get a coffee or check your social media before getting back into the client work (task 5)

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Poof! One hour of potential productive work gone… Can you business afford these distractions?

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HOW TO DO IT DIFFERENTLY

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As business owners, we’ll always be juggling various roles, tasks, projects, deadlines and ideas at the same time… perhaps it’s lots of client calls, employees interrupting you or maybe you have various client projects on the go.

But unless you find a better way to work, you’ll end another day, week or month disappointed with your results. 

You’ll wonder why you haven’t reached your goals and why there wasn’t any time for marketing or making more sales… again!

Luckily all isn’t lost! Here are a few ways to stop multi-tasking and be more productive.
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FOCUS

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Many business owners are stuck in their busyness instead of getting on with business.

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A lot of business owners aren’t very productive or highly leveraged in what they do in a day. If you want to reach your goals, stop multi-tasking and start focusing on the high-impact activities that will bring in money and create leverage in your business.
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NEXT STEPS
  1. Decide on the quarterly goal that will drive the biggest growth in your business
  2. Break the main quarterly goal down into monthly + weekly tasks and activities
  3. Schedule daily/ weekly progress check-ins with yourself and/or your team to ensure milestones are reached
  4. Say No to every invite, activity or distraction that won’t help you to achieve this goal
  5. Stop being reactive – do the work that will grow your business first before you do anything else – and stop multi-tasking.
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CLARIFYING QUESTIONS:blog-image-key-ideas1

  • Where is my biggest opportunity for growth right now?
  • What is my ONE main goal for this quarter?
  • Which activities can I do today and this week to help me achieve that ONE goal?
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e.g. a Product Launch

  • Annual Goal: A main goal could be to generate $50k from a new product this year
  • Quarterly Goal: Launch the product in 3 months’ time
  • Main Activities: Finish the product >> market the product >> launch the product
  • Tasks for the Month: Create Module 1 + 2, create a sales landing page + shopping cart, create ads, post on social media, etc.
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In this example, the main rabbit is to launch the product, but there are many moving parts (activities + tasks) that need to be completed for the launch to actually happen.

The example above is only a glimpse of what needs to be done for a product launch.

That’s why it’s crucial to stay focused, stop multi-tasking and say No to any other distractions like new marketing tactics or revamping your website while you’re working on catching that ONE rabbit.

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KNOW YOUR DISTRACTIONS

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Over the next 30 days
, identify when and how you tend to keep yourself busy and distracted when you’re trying to do important work.

Come up with a few simple steps you can take when you catch yourself being distracted or multi-taking, so you can quickly get back to the tasks that will make the biggest difference in your business and to your bottom line.

Work on developing your self-discipline and the habit of catching only one rabbit at a time. It’s not easy, as I know so well, but I promise you it will make a world of difference to your business!

You’ll stress less about missing deadlines and start making consistent income because you’ll focus weekly on income-producing activities and not only when you run out of business.

You’ll feel more organised and in control of your days, and you’ll make things happen in your business at a pace you’ve never experienced before – you’ll experience tremendous growth and satisfaction not only in your business but also in your life.

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Starve your distractions. Feed your Focus.

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QUESTION:
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What is your Top Tip for staying focused during the day on one task? Leave your comment below.
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#smallbusinesssuccessskills

Alicia-MenkveldAuthor: ALICIA MENKVELD  Creator of: BUSINESS CONFIDENCE ACADEMY Alicia Menkveld is an award-winning entrepreneur for the last 17 years who loves to travel and lived on three continents to date. She is an international speaker, author and a trusted adviser to small business owners and leaders. Alicia is an authority on business strategy, mindset and productivity for individuals and teams. Streamline your business to support your lifestyle.

Avoid These 5 Common Marketing Mistakes

avoid-these-5-common-marketing-mistakes

[Article originally published in Business News]

The key to success is planning and consistency, so reassess your marketing strategy today to avoid these five common marketing mistakes that can stand in your way of success.

In general, business owners know they need to do marketing but it’s often coupled with urgency and no plan. In most cases, many marketing activities have been attempted but not on a consistent basis and results have not been tracked.

Enthusiasm without a plan will put any business at risk and result in thousands of dollars spent on marketing that doesn’t deliver results.

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NOT KNOWING YOUR POSITION 

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Knowledge really is power because you can’t improve what you haven’t measured.

Not taking stock of what you’ve done or knowing what results you got means you’re throwing darts in the dark. Start by knowing your position.
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WHAT TO DO NEXT:
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  • Make a list of all the marketing activities you’ve done in the past 6 months.
  • Decide what worked well and why it worked well.
  • Do the same for all the activities that didn’t work well.
  • Use your current results as a benchmark to judge future marketing performance against
  • Set realistic goals for the next quarter for each marketing activity.

With the right knowledge, smart decisions can be made and you won’t be caught off guard by the latest trends or bright shiny objects.
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NOT HAVING A MARKETING BUDGET

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Most business owners believe that creating a marketing budget is “too hard to do” and that it will limit you, so they don’t have one. The reality is that a budget will empower you and help you make smarter decisions.

If you’re clear on which marketing activities performed best and what needs to improve over the next 90 days, you can budget for the training and implementation needed to improve your results.

Allocate a percentage of the budget to activities according to its performance.

You’ll also be less prone to bright shiny object syndrome when you know what delivers results and you’ll know how much is available to spend in the next quarter.

Having a budget will give you peace of mind, lower your stress levels and keep the business on track to reach its goals.
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 NOT KNOWING YOUR TARGET MARKET 

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If you’re not super clear on who your target market is, what their biggest pain points are and where to find them, how will you be able to target them effectively with your marketing?

Get clear on the media your target market uses, both online and offline, and gain an understanding of when and how they search for businesses like yours.

A good way to get this information is by phoning existing clients and asking them a few questions or creating an online survey with SurveyMonkey* and posting it in Facebook Groups or directly to your email list. (*It’s a free online survey tool where you can create and publish surveys in minutes and view results graphically and in real time.)

By knowing your target market and where to find them, you can fine-tune your marketing message in a way that will really speak to your ideal customers and compel them to interact with your brand, products and services.
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 NOT REVIEWING YOUR MARKETING PLAN 

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A 90-day marketing plan encourages you to sit down and review your business and marketing numbers in a formal manner at least once a quarter.

This simple habit will put you streets ahead of the competition and anyone else who only think about doing marketing when the business dries up.

Reviewing the marketing plan with your team or an outside consultant will help you: blog-image-key-ideas1

  • be more effective in your business
  • focus your efforts to achieve specific goals
  • be more diligent about how you spend your marketing dollars
  • track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, and
  • create a road map of where to tweak and improve for the next quarter.

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NOT BEING CONSISTENT 

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Every marketing strategy has several key components that need to be executed successfully to ensure overall marketing success and reaching your sales goals.

Although this is a simple and logical concept, it seems to be human nature to get side tracked by everyday life in the execution of our strategies.

We tend to start with enthusiasm, a great idea and a plan but then before we know it, we find ourselves working on something else. We forget our aim and we lose our direction.

Stay consistent and on track this year by writing down your plan and using it as a blueprint for all your marketing activities.

Schedule time on a weekly basis to work ON your marketing, and use outside support and accountability like this business community to stay on track and combat procrastination.
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Small steps every day win the game, and marketing success is simply a collection of small steps.

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It’s never too late. Make a decision today to start spending time every day on marketing and other income-producing activities and you’ll achieve all the goals you set for yourself each quarter. It can be done.

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QUESTION:
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Which one of these marketing mistakes are tripping you up most often? Leave your comment below.
#smallbusinesssuccessskills

Alicia-MenkveldAuthor: ALICIA MENKVELD  Creator of: BUSINESS CONFIDENCE ACADEMY Alicia Menkveld is an award-winning entrepreneur for the last 17 years who loves to travel and lived on three continents to date. She is an international speaker, author and a trusted adviser to small business owners and leaders. Alicia is an authority on business strategy, mindset and productivity for individuals and teams. Streamline your business to support your lifestyle.

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