Common Pitfalls That Are Killing Your Business (Despite Your Best Efforts)

Love it or hate it, marketing is a necessary part of creating a successful business. If you happen to reside in the “hate it” camp, it could be because you feel like marketing means you have to be pushy, sales-y or fake. We’ve all had the experience of having someone try to “sell” us and it doesn’t feel good.

Fortunately, such tactics are not necessary to enjoy a profitable business. And that is certainly NOT the Smart Simple Marketing way. To me, marketing is simply a matter of sharing solutions with people who are already looking for them.

You and I both face a number of problems each day, both in our personal and professional lives. And of course, we are always on the lookout for solutions to those problems. We seek solutions that are simple, easy and provide a return on our investment.

So as long as you’re showing up when and where your ideal clients are looking for the solutions you offer (aka marketing), you will have a never-ending stream of great clients to work with.

What you don’t want to do is shoot yourself in the foot by making common mistakes that will undermine your efforts. Take a moment to take stock of what you’re doing to grow your business and make sure that you aren’t making one of these critical errors:

1. Spending too little time on your marketing - Focusing on your marketing only when you remember to do so (or worse yet, when you need more clients) is a really bad way to approach growing your business. Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Commit to doing something specific EVERY day to grow your business and achieve your goals. All of all the effort you put forth will add up to BIG results.

2. Not choosing a target market - Marketing to “everyone” because “everyone” needs what you have to offer is going to exhaust and frustrate you. Even IF everyone needs what you offer (which I don’t think is really true), you don’t have the time, budget or energy to market to them, let alone work with them all. So, FOCUS your energy on marketing ONLY to your target audience. You’ll get much better results and take a lot of pressure off yourself.

3. Trying to do too much - You don’t have to pursue 19 different marketing strategies to be successful. And you shouldn’t because you can’t juggle that many projects anyway. Choose 2-3 strategies that really fit your audience and your goals, and stick with them.

4. Giving up too soon - You can’t try something for one day or one week and then throw it aside because you didn’t get the results you wanted. There is no magic wand you can wave to instantly transform your business. If you choose a particular strategy, stick with it for at least 3 months and see it through. THEN you can make an informed decision about whether to continue with it, tweak it or ditch it.

5. Not following up promptly - All the effort you put forth to market your business is for naught if you don’t follow-up on the leads you get. Make it a point to follow-up on ALL interest promptly (within 24-48 hours). This shows your prospect that you are diligent, committed and serious, which significantly boosts your credibility.

If you find that you are making one of these mistakes (or all of them), don’t beat yourself up. At one point or another every entrepreneur, even those you admire greatly, have fallen victim to these pitfalls.

Instead, be honest about where you’re falling short and make the decision to do something about it. All of these problem areas we’ve highlighted can easily be addressed with a simple mindset shift, a commitment to change and a focus on follow through.

Tips for Investing in Commercial Property

Whether you are interested in starting your own business or simply buying commercial property as an investment to rent, it is important to know what you’re getting into. It is much different than residential; the rules are different and therefore the buying process is different as well. As someone new to this industry it is always advised to start off with small commercial property until you get the feel for the market and then expand to larger properties as your confidence and track record grows. Below are a few tips to get you started on the right track.

Hiring a commercial real estate broker is the first and most important step you need to take. Not only can they help you learn the ropes of the industry but they can help save you from making mistakes if you were to venture out on your own. A broker is familiar with the market of your area, they know the pricing, they know what to look for in terms of location and size and these are all factors you may not be 100% sure of and this is why you’ve hired your broker. When you deal with a seller they know your broker is taking charge but you are the one with the final decision and they will try and “sell” to you so beware and trust in your broker to help you make the right decision for what you’re looking for.

As a newcomer, you certainly won’t be able to find space within the already established commercial areas of your community but your broker should be able to steer you towards an upcoming boom. There are always secondary commercial areas to consider that get nearly as much traffic as the main center and these areas are your target locations. Also, these up and coming locations will be much more affordable than the main commercial center that has already been driven up to prices only the multimillion dollar corporations can afford. Always keep your budget in mind. It is important to find a great location but if you can’t afford it, move to the next best option to avoid unnecessary real estate debt.

No matter what the reason is you are looking into commercial real estate you want to look at the property and decide how and if it can be quickly turned over if necessary. Real estate professionals always talk about inflation income potential and this can be possible in the up and coming commercial areas just as within the main commercial areas. Inflation income means that the property you’ve purchased is in a desirable location that within a year or two, the rest of the community will realize and more and more people will want in. It always helps to be the first one in on a new development and a good real estate broker can help find these locations for you. Commercial real estate is all about investment when it comes to the bottom line so always make sure you are going to get your money back and then some when the sale is made.

Global Knives – Not Inexpensive, But Might Be A Superb Investment

It’s difficult to ignore these knives at the moment – you see them on TV cookery shows, being promoted by celebrity chefs and increasingly in the kitchens of keen amateur cooks. Global knives seem to have been overwhelmingly well-received by all knowledgeable sections of the cooking world. What is it that appeals so much? Why are they seen as so appealing?

Well first of all it’s as well to say that there’s absolutely nothing genuinely new about making sharp knives. The abilities needed to produce a fine blade have been known about for centuries. In fact the producers of Global knives quote the Samurai tradition of sword and blade craftsmanship. So blades can be made sharp – but the issue is keeping them that way.

What Global have managed to do is to use advanced stainless steel alloys, making use of rare metals to produce a blade that is strong enough to be honed to a very sharp profile and at the very same time be resistant to the wear and tear which destroys the sharpness.

If you grind the blade to a very steep, acute angle you can get a blade that is extremely sharp indeed, and which can keep its keenness even when the initial part of the edge is removed through wear. The dilemma of course is that unless you use a material that is extremely tough, the fine edge is very vulnerable and quickly wears or chips away.

Weaker steel has to be ground to a much less acute angle in order to preserve its strength, so as a consequence promptly loses its edge as it wears down.

As well as the alloy technology, Global have utilized Japanese and other oriental design to inspire their knives, which from one look at the collection is quickly apparent. On top of this, many of the Global ranges are designed with hollow handles, which are filled in the course of manufacture with just the right quantity of sand to create the perfect balance in the hand.

Taken with each other, these twin features – state-of-the-art alloy and balance – are what I would suppose give rise to the appeal of these knives. The range is also incredibly extensive with each and every knife that an amateur cook may possibly want together with specialist items that appeal to the expert.

This gives rise to a dilemma though – the choice can be overpowering, particularly if you are new to the range. The question is, where exactly to start?

The preferred strategy could well be to go for a Global knife set – usually 3 or 7 pieces which will give you the basic everyday knives you need. You can then choose to add to the basics as and when you like. It’s probably the wisest strategy to begin with.

Whichever way you choose to obtain them, separately or as a Global knife set, they are not cheap. They represent a significant investment. But they are not all about marketing-speak – there’s real quality there. The investment ought to be worthwhile – just mind your fingers.