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What 7 things have I learned about business in 2014?

AM Total Business Solutions Ltd - www.angelarmorris.com

By Angela Morris

What 7 things have I learned about business in 2014?

What have I learned in 2014 

If I could give this year a name I would call it the “year of the rollercoaster!” Full of up and downs, highs and lows and for this reason as it is the end of year, on personal note I would like to share a few of my experiences in the form of  this blog titled….

“What 7 things have I learned about business in 2014?”

  1. D0 not engage in any services without a contract!- Don’t let your heart rule your head in business. Your relationship with Mr or Missus Nice can turn very quickly into a relationship Mr or Missus Nasty when you don’t put things to paper.
  2. Review your business plan at least once a quarter- Is it doing what it said on the tin? It’s your plan (if you have one!) you can revisit, amend or redo until if reflects what you are doing
  3. Calculate the time you spend delivering services before you confirm- This way you are less likely to end up undercharging– Believe me nothing worse than finding out this is the case and you are stuck with the job!
  4. Go to quality networking meetings – Find out beforehand (if you can) who else is going and whether that group will fit into your niche of business.
  5. Remain the driving force behind your business – If you are not making money then you are running a charity! (But even charities need to cover basic costs!)
  6. Don’t spend fruitless hours talking to people who are not actually going to engage you for services– start discussing payment and they will quickly disappear!
  7. Work out the difference between a floating balloon and an iron one! – Just because it is a grand idea in your own eyes doesn’t mean that it can work in the real world, city or town. If you discover that it is indeed iron then calmly walk away with no regrets!

 

This are just some of my lessons but as neither you or I have all day!!! I thought I would pick out a few just to encourage you to keep it moving with less baggage in 2015. Why? Because…

 

“Life’s Too short!”

Life's Too Short - by Angela R Morris

Life’s Too Short (So handle your business) –  an ebook £2.99 by Angela R Morris

 

Wishing all my readers a very Happy Christmas

and Prosperous New Year in 2015!

 

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Business gems from an award-winning Content Curator!

AM Total Business Solutions Ltd - www.angelarmorris.com

By Angela Morris

   Business gems from an award-winning Content Curator!

Juanita (Jay) Johnson is an award winning content strategist and marketing coach renowned for her ability to connect businesses with the right audience ensuring that they are bringing the right products and services to their chosen markets. This week she is my guest blogger and she shares some of her business gems with us!

The Chicken & the Egg

by Juanita (Jay) Johnson

chicken and egg

The start-up entrepreneurs journey is by no means an easy road. Big ideas teamed with swelled egos, whilst learning how to do practically what you have dreamed of so theoretically. Your debut into the marketplace can be a treacherous one.

So you’re ready!

You have been waiting for this moment for as long as you can remember. Then it hits you.

“I have to test this out on people”

 Unpredictable people, people who may love it or people who may hate it and then tell everybody about it! Its nerve wracking and downright unsettling but despite the fear you pluck up the courage to burst out on the scene and show them what your company is made of.

Your better than your competitors and your smarter than your saboteurs but for some reason the very audience you have come to save with your outstanding products and services doesn’t seem to notice how great you are!

Your logo is perfect and your website copy is to die for. Yet it is still a tumbleweed festival every time you put your product and services out there!

I hear you; I had this very same experience starting out. Then it hit me. I had only been talking about how great I was. I didn’t give my customers the room to tell me or confirm whether or not that was true!

You do have to hit out in this game confidently but when you begin to do this consistently without evidence from your customers that this is happening by show of

Repeat Business 

You see this client again and again,

(They make up reasons why they need to hire you, its personal for them you are just that good!)

Word of Mouth Referral

If they can’t hire you they find someone who will.

(They’re committed to your success)

Consumer Endorsement

They celebrate you with their local and international network via social media and digital channels including friends and family.

(Your brand is part of them and your products and services support and enable their personal lifestyles, values & goals)

You will find that by default your business will be dead in the water, no matter how snazzy your sale copy is. You need to love your business but you also need to fall in love with your customer. Or the very thing you created for them will pass them by without even leaving a memory of its goodness or your gorgeous tag line.

 

Here are three tips to avoid a narcissistic mindset on your start up journey

1. Anticipate your customer’s needs 

 Study and interact with your customers. Gone are the days of  “I made it, so buy it!”. Without an audience you have no business so get over yourself and build something they need and will pay for because it offers value.

2. Know your Limits 

You may be great at hosting but not so good at promoting, trust your gut and work with others that can help you deliver the best service to your customer. Collaborate openly and often when first starting out. It helps you build trust in your industry and allow you to have a plethora of people who have a good experience of working with you. Let your customer, know your there, ready to help and ready to solve their problem with the best professionals the market has to offer!

3. Little Things mean a lot 

Say thank you often and listen to your customer’s thoughts. So often the customer service goes out the window once the vital exchange of currency has taken place. Reward consistent attendees at events and repeat customers with discounted rates or early bird offers.

Extend an ear to that reoccurring complaint and fix it openly and transparently. Nobody expects perfect they just want to know that the person they have trusted with their time and money cares enough to get it right.

You can’t make money until you have a fab idea (The Chicken) but it won’t be a success if you haven’t done your research (The Egg)

Think About It ?

J LaughingJuanita works with organisations to help them communicate their solutions to their chosen customers. Working internationally supporting entrepreneurs across the globe including digital giant Google to create more meaningful and profitable relationships with the people that need and wish to buy their products/services. Often referred to as The Content Coach her reputation of creating content that takes the guesswork out of marketing yourself and your business most certainly precedes her.

check this out

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3 reasons why hackers won’t stop me blogging!

AM Total Business Solutions Ltd - www.angelarmorris.com

By Angela Morris

3 Reasons why hackers won’t stop me blogging!

I love blogging and refuse to stop sharing helpful information to my fellow entrepreneurs and start-ups. Just getting the message out there!

“Angela for some reason your  website is constantly under attack” (that’s what my tech guy keeps telling me!) On this occasion they were successful and took down all my blogs for the year and we were only able to restore up to August. However am I going to let this stop me? I cannot lie for about 60 seconds I thought “what a waste of time” BUT then I picked my self up and remembered 3 things:

 

1) I love blogging! It’s my way of sharing what I have learned and am still learning.

2) I have saved my previous writings elsewhere (so there!)

3) No-one other than you should drive your decision-making processes (we can all take a leaf out of that book!)

It will take more than a hacker to wipe the smile of my face!!!! So entrepreneurs and start-ups let’s have an end of year refresher…..

 

Are you a Specialist or a Generalist in business?  distractions

 

As an entrepreneur it can be a confusing world when you consider how you are going to manage your talents in business. So this week’s big question is: Are you a Specialist or a Generalist in business?

What is the definition of a specialist?: “a person who concentrates primarily on a particular subject or activity; a person highly skilled in a specific and restricted field”

As with all things in business there are advantages and disadvantages of both types.

specialist

 

Let’s cover a few points for the specialist: 

Advantages:

  • You an expert in your chosen specialty, what you don’t know isn’t worth knowing
  • Once you find your market sales may be easier
  • Using the title “specialist” means you can charge more

Disadvantages:

  • May be difficult to generate regular income due to niche skills
  • You may have to turn down jobs or pass work on because you have only one
  • Expansion of your business may be difficult

 

What is the definition of a generalist?: “a person competent in several different fields or activities”

Here comes the generalist:  Generalist

Advantages:

  • You can promote your business to a wider audience.
  • You can go back to previous clients and offer additional services.
  • You can approach clients with alternative solutions which you could deliver.

Disadvantages:

  • You are likely to have to turn down jobs or referred specialised work
  • You have more to manage in terms of project management
  • You may have charge lower rates than a specialist

 

There are no wrongs or rights in business however it does help if you know which category you fall into. This will help you with your marketing strategy and how to describe yourself to others when they ask you who you are and what you do!

The clearer you are about your services the better. Why? Because….

“Life’s Too Short!”

 

 

Life's Too Short - by Angela R Morris

Life’s Too Short (So handle your business!) – by Angela R Morris £2.99 ebook

On that note have you purchased my game-changing e-book? You don’t need a paypal account to purchase it from my shop at https://angelarmorris.com/shop

Useful links:

This is how you decide to generalise or specialise

To specialise or to generalise?

Are you a generalist or specialist?