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How to Keep Your Business Current

Have your business and your life felt out of synch lately? What used to bring you joy may feel like swimming uphill now. You could just push ahead, but that would simply perpetuate the mismatch. Instead, consider proactively stopping and assessing to keep your business aligned with your own natural evolution.

Two areas I’d recommend looking at right now are your business evolution and your business systems.

If your business is healthy, it will naturally evolve over time by staying in synch with outer and inner factors. The growth of social media launched new marketing methods, and every industry has its own emerging trends. Your own personal transformation contributes the inner evolutionary factor.

Here are some traps to watch out for:

  1. Your target audience or the challenges you solve with them start to feel routine. It can be tempting to let your business drift, but if you’re not excited about your work, your clients won’t be either. Schedule an hour to envision what’s needed to realign your work with what you’re passionate about now.
  2. You’ve gotten too comfortable depending on just one or two familiar marketing methods. I’ve had several clients call when businesses that had been successful for decades took a steep decline as their word-of-mouth dried up. Ultimately we got things back on track by creating a full set of marketing approaches, but you can save a lot of stress by evolving your strategies as the outer environment changes.

Another key area to assess at year end is your business systems, which are often neglected and taken for granted. Your systems are inseparable from your business evolution because you can’t break new ground if you’re held back by “time creep” from inefficient or missing systems.

Here are a few indications that your business systems need updating:

  1. You’re spending a lot of time solving miscommunication issues with clients because they have unrealistic expectations. One client came to me struggling with long hours and burnout from unrealistic expectations and project scope creep. She felt she didn’t have time to sit down and standardize her client orientation process, but once she realized the number of hours she spend handling misunderstandings and unrealistic expectations, she was happy to invest the time up front and now enjoys many less unbillable hours.
  2. An employee is underperforming, but you avoid having a corrective conversation because you don’t know how to proceed. It is much easier to set policies beforehand and then orient new hires to what’s expected in their responsibilities and performance reviews. If you don’t have a new employee orientation process, a welcoming document that highlights your vision, mission and values as well as roles and responsibilities is any easy way to start.

Other areas to assess include your financial health, client relations, work environment, and collaborative partnerships.

What’s the health of your business right now?

Who Do You Need to Be in Your Business?

Many women entrepreneurs I meet are NOT playing their bigger game. They’re not fully claiming ownership of all their wonderful gifts and skills, and they’re not fully sharing those gifts with the world.

When you’re not claiming or sharing your true gifts, you may feel tentative in conversations, or you spend more time wondering what people want to hear instead of focusing on what you want to say, or you try to guess the effect you’re having on someone vs. putting your message straight out there. You may be uncomfortable when people compliment you, so you immediately shift the conversation away from you.

When you’re not being fully you, you are uncomfortable plus you don’t connect with your ideal client or team member as deeply and strongly as you can.

There are two questions to ask yourself:

1. Who do I need to be, in order to connect with (and inspire, educate, and change the lives of) many?

2. What’s getting in the way of me being that person? Of truly embodying all that passion, excitement, and purpose that I already feel?

I encourage you to reflect on those questions and come up with your own answers.
The answer to #1 is: You just need to be the more authentic, more relaxed, more present you. It’s who you already are; you’re just keeping your light under a bushel.

A common answer to #2 is that it doesn’t feel safe for you to be the authentic you.

What holds you back from being your very best, most empowered and authentic YOU in your business is very often the feeling that you will not be safe if you change. Your conscious mind can be 100% committed to a specific goal in your business, and also know what you need to do to achieve that goal. But if taking that action feels unsafe to your subconscious, you are either going to be totally stuck, or you’ll be moving in fits and starts; occasionally you’ll take weak action and you’ll immediately have problems taking the next step.

Remember: in your business, They will hear the message you bring more clearly than that same message delivered by anyone else, because they are a version of you. What you say and do connects with them more deeply than anyone else. Until you show up, they will remain stuck with their current problem – the problem that only YOU can help them with!
To move forward into your glory, put more of your energy into your big WHY (why you’re in business). The more you connect with your deepest reason for being in your business, which is the desire to improve people’s lives in your unique and specific way, the more energy you are investing in growth vs. stagnation.

Next, consider the issue of safety. Lack of safety and business growth do not go together. When you feel unsafe, you either don’t take action or you take the WRONG action. Whenever you feel stuck in your business, when you’re not taking the action that part of you WANTS to take, ask yourself: “Does it feel safe for me to take that action?” If the answer is No, then you’ll want to pull the string on that – what outcome do you fear? What does it remind you of from your past? You’ll want to become conscious of WHY you feel insecure, so you can start providing your own security.

Your people are waiting for YOU to show up and help them. There are more of your people waiting than you might have imagined. What’s holding you back from showing up to help them?

CALL TO ACTION

1. How many people are you directly serving in your business? These are your clients or your team members. Write this number down; I’m going to call this number X.
Take that number and add a zero to the end, so it’s 10 times X. What will you need to change in your business to serve that new 10X number?

2. What needs to change in the way you’re showing up in the world: the way you’re thinking, speaking and feeling, in order to change the lives of 10X?

3. What feels unsafe or scary about being that person?

4. What steps can I take to make it safe and feasible for me to expand into my own fullness and authenticity?

© 2011 Marcy Stahl

Search Engine Optimization – How to Write an Article for Your Business

It is generally believed that the ability to write articles is necessary for building up your own web business. You can certainly order the writing of various articles: PR, informational, SEO and so on. But if we talk about building a business from the very beginning (including the zero-budget), it is important not to slow down, but just to be able to write by yourself.

For some people this task would be very simple, for some – too difficult. But still, if you want to succeed in the internet-business, and just be present at this activity, you need to learn about the Search Engine Optimization and the search optimized articles. It develops your knowledge and skills, brings new customers and partners to your business and finally, brings money.

I will not advise you to start from the articles with a clear advertisement purpose. People nowadays are so tired of advertisement that they do not pay attention to it anymore. Besides, you should not forget, that this business is the business of recommendations. And recommendation differs a lot from the traditional advertisement, that we face each day in quite a big amount. That is why, the articles that we are going to write need to have a certain character of information value and pieces of advice or recommendations. It means that it should simply be a useful interesting article for the reader, where in the context you recommend something (for example – your business). It is not right to write that your company/ business/ service are «cool» and to ask the visitors to join you – this is not the solution. Such an article would not work.

Notice: while writing the articles you need to concentrate not over the amount of money and the number of customers it could bring, but over the fact of how interesting will this article be for the reader. The main criteria – the usefulness of the information.

To begin with, let’s clarify the topic of our article. The business is so many-sided that you have a real freedom for the imagination. You can afford quite a lot. You can write really a lot. For example:

- the peculiarities of the business marketing;

- the advantages of carrying on the business online and from home;

- human interrelations on the basis manager-customer;

- human interrelations on the basis manager-manager;

- the advantages and disadvantages of on-line education;

- working in a team and the abilities of the discussion group;

- the tools of the web marketing;

- the differences between the web marketing business and direct online business;

- investment concerning web business;

- the sale basis of the business;

- the main criteria for the online products;

- passive income;

- advertisement technologies and many other.

Thus, to determine the subject area of your article. You should not try to cover a lot, better to focus on a narrow topic and completely work it out.

Next comes the creation of the structure of the article. It should be a consistent and logical plan, which reveals the entire subject. There you need to identify those basics, using which you will write an article.

After that, you have to work on the disclosure of each topic of the plan and writing the introduction to the topic. The more fully you expand each topic; the better will be your story.

Having written all this, read, identifies the errors and corrects them and clear all the doubtful moments.

If everything is done correctly – the article is ready for the publication. The next step is the publication of your article on the Internet for the wide audience.