The pathway to your first big client

Posted by gillbailey on February 9, 2018

imageWhen you realise your goal to get in front of the largest clients that you’ll ever work with you will need to be prepared.

Let’s start by looking at the three paths every business faces and show you which one is the path to success. Then we’ll talk about the mindset it takes to attract ‘the Big Fish’.

Here are three major paths we’ve named that a business can take:

  • Snail Speed
  • Shooting Star
  • Catch the Big Fish

Snail Speed

Most business owners end up working themselves into the ground without much reward or success. This is what happens when you fool yourself into thinking you will find quick success. You may also find yourself following this path when you are afraid of change.

Shooting Star

This describes a business that shoots to the top so fast you are overwhelmed and don’t have the right resources in place to adapt. This can also happen from being overwhelmed by small clients and not taking the time to find large clients, which will sustain your business after the small client sales slow.

Catch the Big Fish

This is the path that allows you to build at a steady pace that you can manage by not allowing your customers to outpace you. You can do this by putting these tips to work:

  1. Attract, keep and lock in big clients.
  2. Integrate “big business” culture into your company and employees.
  3. Acquire the expertise you need to grow.
  4. Have the courage to make changes as you grow.

So let’s talk about the “big fish” mindset. It may sound easy to just find and catch that big fish, but if you are stuck in the small business mindset, you may find it harder than you think.

Think of all the benefits of aiming at bigger clients:

  • Inexpensive
  • Highly Profitable
  • Longevity
  • Security

In order to catch the big fish, you need to believe your company can make a difference with theirs. It’s easy to get into the thought that a large company doesn’t need anything from a small business like yours, but this is entirely wrong!  How do you think small companies make the big time?

Once you take a look at how big companies operate, it’s important to know which ones are the best fit with your company. One of the best ways to get in the door is by knowing someone on the inside who can put in a good word for you.

If you’re not sure where to start and feel a little intimidated about catching your big fish, try our FREE test drive to get help from our amazing business coaches.

Turning your customers into fans

Posted by gillbailey on January 22, 2018
Customer service

Customer service

To continue our last post on customer service let us look more deeply at your customers.  If you want to turn your satisfied customers into your fans you must know what your customers want.

To start with you need to know more about who your customers are.  If you have this information you will know better how to serve them. This is when their demographics are really important. As a high flying career woman in her 30’s is going to have completely different expectations than a working man in his 50’s.

There are four main areas you need to consider and plan when figuring out what your customers want:

  • Listen to Your Customers
  • Ask Your Customers Sincerely
  • Offer More than Just a Product or Service
  • Know When to Ignore Them

These are all important when deciding what your customers want out of their shopping experience.

Listen to Your Customers

You need to listen to both what they say and what they don’t say. Customers may say they want one thing and really mean something else. For example, if you customers are begging for lower prices, you may find out their real priority is quick delivery.

Also, listen to your “silent” customers. These are the customers don’t bother to complain because the service is so bad they’ve just given up and don’t feel like their voice matters. They feel unwanted and when a competitor shows up, they’ll be gone.

Lastly, you need to listen to customers who only reply with “fine”. These customers are similar to the “silent” customers in that they are so used to bad customer service they only give a monotone response.

Ask Your Customers Sincerely

If you aren’t sincere when you ask their opinion, they are going to see right through you. You may be thinking, “What about the customers who aren’t saying anything?” You need to ask them sincere questions that get them thinking about their experiences. Make them feel like you really care, and you should!

Offer More than Just a Product or Service

Your customers are looking for much more than a simple product or service, they are looking for an experience that makes them feel good. They gauge every step of the process with a value. When you take this into consideration and treat them like people, they will feel like they belong.

Know When to Ignore Them

You may think this goes beyond providing good customer service, but in reality you can’t give them everything and someone people you will never make happy. You have to set limits and stick to them. If your vision and company don’t meet the needs of the customer, they will be best suited somewhere else.

These are the steps and tricks to figuring out what your customers want and how you can use them to work on your customer service vision and plan.

If you get stuck, try our FREE test drive and let us help you through the process.

News of business funding to create six figure growth

Posted by gillbailey on November 12, 2017
Business growth funding for 6-figure profit

Business growth funding for 6-figure profit

We’ve been informed of a new phase of Lancashire funding for business growth support for local, mainly business to business customer focused, small to medium sized businesses.

This is £5,000 of ERDF funding which will end next year. So you can be looking to develop your strategy, improvement processes, HR, competitive advantage, leadership, marketing and sales, new products or resource effectiveness with the support of professional consultancy.

The Funding

Phase 1 is FREE and delivered by the Funder to provide £2,000 worth of business analysis.

Phase 2 enables the business to access up to of 50% funding for a consultancy business growth project to the value of £6,000. So you get up to £5k of business support

Funding for Strategic planning, Leadership and Marketing

LinQs have been working with funded business growth projects since we established our consultancy in 2001. We pride ourselves in working with the latest easy to use resources to plan and enable SME business owners and their managers to execute profit making strategies. Our expertise is in small to medium sized business development developing business owners and their leadership teams to undertake strategic planning, leadership, marketing, project planning and map their processes and quality systems to establish priorities in resource management. Geared to generate 6-figure profit increase.

Funding For Senior Leadership Development

LinQs coach senior managers, one to one, to an accredited postgraduate development standard covering over 18 management areas. This latest funding ceiling enables the business to have up to 2 senior managers coached at 50% of our cost. The senior managers on our programme execute a strategic business plan for their area of responsibility, reflecting competence matched to an international management development standard. This has proven an asset to the business leadership team, the CV, and business profiles when tendering for new contracts.

Access the funding

This ERDF Lancashire funding is subject to the organisation and agreed programme meeting the eligibility criteria of the funding terms. So we work closely with the funders management team and the business. It’s also important that businesses move quickly to deliver their project using this ERDF funding which will end next year.

If you are interested in growing your business just contact us for a free chat and we can look at prospective business projects with you. With our 25 years experience in business growth development, we are experts at positioning a business for growth projects that deliver 6-figure profits.

Gill Bailey

Business Coach and Mentor

Author of ‘How to Build the Passion & the Profit For Your Business’

Franchising – the ready made business opportunity

Posted by gillbailey on November 6, 2017

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The biggest area for aspiring business owners to get a ready made business, known as ‘turnkey’, is franchises. There is a franchise for ever industry in the world and they are fairly easy to acquire and come with practically a pop out of the box pre-assembled system. McDonald’s is a prime example. In fact, it’s a $40 billion, 28,707 strong example.

Franchising is an on-going business growth area, and we coach both new Franchisors and Franchisees. Each is entering new territory and their goal is to be a successful entrepreneur.

To help those of you new to franchising, there are a few things we are going to talk about:

• Business Format Franchise
• The Franchise Prototype
• Franchise Prototype Standards

Business Format Franchise

The business format franchise came from an earlier model call the “trade name” franchise. The big change was in the rights. During the “trade name” days the franchise owner only had marketing right’s, now franchise owners have owning rights to the entire business including systems. This has allowed for a shift in focus to go from the quality and name recognition of the products carrying the business to sales techniques that carry the business.

The Franchise Prototype

It was really the franchise prototypes that allowed for the changes to be made that help today’s franchises really shine with the techniques developed by the owners instead of the corporation. This can make a significant difference in the success of the franchise as the owner can custom tailor their marketing and promotions to the direct needs of their local target customers.

Franchise Prototype Standards

Now, the above being said, no one in their right mind would purchase a franchise if the parent company didn’t have a solid plan of action set up to ensure the prospective success of the business. So, there are a few standards that are put into place that helps jump start the process of opening a successful franchise.

Building a model of prospective customers/clients, suppliers, creditors and employees who will consistently offer high quality work.

1. Build a user-friendly model that can be used by individuals of any skill set.
2. Build a defect-free model.
3. Build a model with Operations Manuals.
4. Build a model that will provide guaranteed, consistent results.
5. Build a model that encompasses the same branding in color, dress and facilities codes.

These are all ways the parent corporation makes sure their brand stays the same and in the front of the minds of customers. When you are purchasing a widely-known brand you will attract customers just for being you.

If you are considering purchasing a franchise, talk with one of our experienced business coaches on our Free Call

Team Business

Posted by gillbailey on October 24, 2017

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Let’s look at the different types of support staff you need in business and what makes them so important.

There are essentially three key roles that need to be filled to set your business up for success. So we’ll refer to them as:

• The Technician
• The Manager
• The Entrepreneur

All of these roles need to be played simultaneously by different people with the right talents. It’s all about getting balance the balance.

The Technician

This person represents the present and all that needs to be done for the physical aspects of the business building process. They are the “doer”. This is usually the most visible person of the entire operation.

The Manager

This person represents the past and works to fix problems through learning from past mistakes. They are the practical side of the business and is in charge of putting together the business and overseeing the planning.

The Entrepreneur

This person represents the future and the vision for the business. They are responsible for the creative side of the business and are always considering ways to enhance products/service, business image, branding and more.

All three of these roles are essential in the success of any business and to build a solid foundation from the start, you need to work harder to find the right people to put in these roles. Obviously, you need to be one of these key people, but ensure you find the role that fits your skills and talents, not necessarily what you THINK you should be doing.

This may be a hard process for you as you will need to relinquish some control over the business and put your trust in people to allow them to do their jobs.

Remember, our business coaches can help you through this entire process and teach you how to avoid falling victim to e-myths when you try our FREE test drive.