Friday, July 10, 2009

Small Business Coach - Announcing 6 Proven Steps to Explode Your Company in Coaching Small Business

By: Sean Mize

As a business coach, you can help businesses struggling in this lagging economy improve the way they run their business. Businesses hire consultants on a regular basis. When businesses really need to know how to solve a business problem, they will hire a coach. You can use this idea and others to improve your incidence of getting more customers. Announcing 6 proven steps to explode your small business coach company.

1. Build a trusting relationship with your customer. Provide them with quality content in your coaching programs, information products and services. They will be your friends and customers for life.

2. Recommend to your customers products, programs and services you believe in. This includes affiliates and business from which you get no revenue for referrals.

3. When you are wrong in your approach or have made some kind of a mistake with your training, admit it. Do what you can to make it right instead of stalling and digging yourself in deeper. Just correct the error and move on.

4. As applicable, when suggesting a solution to a client's problem, tell the advantages and disadvantages of using that solution. They can then make a more informed decision for their situation.

5. Don't patronize your client. There is nothing worse than patronizing another. Your clients dislike it and it leaves a black mark on your reputation. Treat clients respectfully and professionally.

6. Keep using different sales approaches for your various types of clients. Use the one that works best for each individual so they can successfully benefit from your quality training.

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Business Consulting - 10 Qualities of a Successful Consultant

What Sets Successful Consultants Apart? Are you part of a Management Team that is considering engaging a Business Consultant? Are you a Consultant who is considering a Consulting Job? This Article Covers 10 Qualities of a Successful Consultant.

1. Know the Client. It is not enough to know about the client's business or industry, or to offer up boilerplate solutions. Consultants must understand the history, mission and goals as relates to their tasking and, any relevant information about competitors and stakeholders. In essence, they are being paid to be an extension of the organization's team by helping to carry out key objectives through successful execution. In order to do that, it is critical that consultants understand the client's business.

2. They Listen. Consultants need to be expert listeners in order to accurately assess, advise and apply their expertise and acquired discovery for the benefit of the client. It's important to note that there is a substantial difference between hearing and listening. Listening gives us the ability to formulate the right questions and deduce accurate information from which to base our solutions.

3. Proper Connections. The sooner a consultant connects with the right people in the organization, the better. Too often, consultants misread the inner workings of an organization or miss important elements that may be key to their decision-making by catering exclusively to the top level. Successful consultants will pro-actively engage and connect with all of the key people who in any way, relate to their objectives.

4. Customization. When it comes to processes, people, communications, strategies and solutions--one size does not fit all. Great consultants put their experience and intuition into practice while analyzing, discovering and rendering solutions, and looking to best practices as a companion guide, but not as an exacting science.

5. Discernment. Critically, they must see the whole picture--that includes processes and people. Once they have identified all relevant components and dynamics, they will be able to start outlining how things fit together and begin to work toward formulating successful solutions. They also have a knack for not only seeing what is there, but what's not there--discernment can be pivotal.

6. They Deliver. Perfectly crafted proposals, shining referrals and resumes do not guarantee success. When a business pays for expert analysis, skill and advice from outside of their internal pool of expertise, consultants need to deliver-and deliver to the client's satisfaction.

7. Best Alignment. Not all consultants are cross--functional. Oftentimes, at the point a consultant is hired, the organization is desperate for help in building, making an important correction or securing a very specific skill set. They cannot afford to lose time or money. A consultant can hold multiple degrees or have decades of experience under their belt and still not be a good fit. Both the organization and the consultant need to be sure that they are the best alignment for one another.

8. Communication Excellence. Apart from possessing excellent verbal skills, the consultant should also have excellent listening skills and the ability to articulate. They need to be able to articulate pain points, goals and solutions. They should also keep all stakeholders informed, be prompt and clear with reports, and issue relevant feedback throughout the process.

9. On Their Game. Detail-oriented preparation, process and delivery are all important. They are also prompt, professional, organized, responsive and reliable. Staying on top of the latest trends and intelligence and being able to apply anything of relevance will also set them apart.

10. Create Value. Successful consultants create value by demonstrating business acumen and have the ability to lead and manage both processes and people. They are pro-active in understanding what the client needs, act as trusted advisors who bring the best solutions to the table in an effective and profitable manner, and they produce on their deliverables.

By author April McCallum -- who is passionate about Communications, Strategic Process, Innovation, and People. Her experience spans from International Global 500 and privately held companies, to Non-Profit and solo professional sectors, in the global high-tech, healthcare and media industries. Contact Info: http://www.linkedin.com/in/AprilOtisMcCallum

Is your small business losing thousands of dollars a month due to marketing failures?

By Brent Brien

Even the top marketing experts make many fatal mistakes in their marketing campaigns. However, when they are working for the huge corporations and Fortune 500 Companies, a massive marketing mistake can be fixed. But for the small business on a small budget, a marketing mistake of similar size may cause the failure of your business and spirits. So find out what you can do to prevent these disastrous errors.

Small business consultants often excel at marketing for small businesses because that is there specialty. Even if you have the capital, spending more does not always lead to better results because small business consultants know what kinds of errors the business can handle and what kinds will end up taking the business down.

What can you as a small business executive do?

• Surprisingly, the most prominent error we have seen with regard to marketing, is that the small business simply doesn't have a marketing campaign. The executives take the, "If you build it, they will come" approach which fails miserably, except in some very unique instances that do not apply to 99.9% of business executives. You have to develop a marketing campaign, and you have to implement it, whether it's developed by you or a consultant.

• Many businesses fail to combine online and offline marketing into their efforts. They pick one and neglect the other. In today's highly competitive marketplace, that simply won't work. You need to take advantage of every opportunity you have to sign clients and pick up customers. Neglecting half of the potential marketplace is simply not smart business. So make sure your marketing campaign encompasses both of these arenas.

• Another fatal error is the failure to track marketing efforts. Some ideas, no matter how well planned out, and how forcefully implemented, simply don't work. Either because it's not the right method for your industry, or the timing isn't right. You need to know which ones are working and which aren't so you can pursue the successful ones with more effort, and slow down or stop the unsuccessful ones. That's not to say that you should stop an ineffective campaign. Some just require small changes which can result in a drastic inflow of traffic. Or maybe, the first month it wasn't implemented forcefully enough, but in months after it picked up steam. Don't completely give up on ideas, but don't follow them into the ground. At some point, you need to know when to stop.

• Finally, you must follow up with your prospective clients or customers. If you get information about a prospective client, the worst thing you can do is send one email and forget about them. They have already requested information from you, so you know they are interested in your services or products. With the amount of time and money put in to attract new clients, you simply cannot afford to give up on someone who has already made an effort to contact you. Make sure you follow up enough times to let them know you care about their business. But remember, don't push too far; if they say they aren't interested, ask why, maybe try once more, and then leave it at that. They may be interested at a later time, and you don't want them to be so angry with you that they don't give you a chance.

If you plan on hiring a small business consultant to do your marketing, make sure they know that you want increased business. Ask them questions, and make sure they are doing everything they can to help you and that they are not committing any of the fatal flaws.

Brent Brien is the CEO of Brien Private Finance. Brien Private Finance is a small business consulting and personal finance consulting company based in Pennsylvania with services both online and offline. They specialize in working with small businesses as they are starting out and through the initial months.