5 Simple Steps To Achieve Amazing Results In Your Business

I participated in a duathlon last week. It was a 2-mile run followed by a 10-mile bike ride and finally a 2-mile run. After 64 minutes and 35 seconds I was done. I was sweaty and tired. I got a medal (we all did). I know it was an accomplishment. I trained for it. Now here’s the part that’s hard to admit… it wasn’t that difficult.

I’m going to be brutally honest here. I could have done A LOT better. I could have prepared better. I could have been in better shape. If I had, my times would have been a lot faster. I would have been able to go further. I would have felt better when I finished.

Here’s more brutal honesty. I did it. I accomplished my goal. I did something that most people don’t (note… I didn’t say can’t). I did it by doing just a little bit more. And despite my success it is absolutely true that my results would have been better had I done more than a little bit more.

What does this have to do with you and your business? All you need to do to produce better results than you are getting today is to do a little bit more. Here are the FIVE things that I did to put in a bit more effort. See what they can do for you and your business.

1. Commit to a bit more time. It doesn’t matter where you start from, a little bit more time focused on one thing will bring results. In total I put in an extra 2-hours a week over eight weeks to get ready for the race. Yes, I’ve been working out regularly for years and yes, I technically knew how to run although hadn’t run for about a year. All I added to my routine was about 2-hours a week.

2. Make a commitment and make yourself accountable. My gym was sponsoring a duathlon. I decided to do it, signed up for it and had a deadline handed to me. When you decide to do something for real it gets done.

3. Get support. Build a support team around you that encourages you to do things out of your comfort zone and then supports you as you are working towards your goals. I never would have even signed up for this if one of the instructors at the gym hadn’t pushed me. Once I was on board what kept me motivated were partially the extra training sessions they made available and training tips. Even more important were my “workout friends” who I compared notes with along the way.

4. Challenge yourself. I knew that adding this to my schedule (and to my body) would be a challenge. I also knew that it was well within my reach.

5. Do it even when you don’t want to. There were days when I had absolutely no desire to get up and run or ride the bike at the gym. I did it anyway.

And here’s a bonus one! Take advantage of opportunities when they are presented to you. Sure I could have said, the timing isn’t good or maybe next time. If you see an opportunity in your business go for it. Who knows if there will be a next time and even if there is, next time isn’t now.

Imagine what would happen if you put in an extra two hours of dedicated work over the next eight weeks. Imagine if you make a commitment to someone. Imagine if you got support. Imagine if you created a challenge for yourself that was within your reach. Imagine if you just did it.

Would you achieve extraordinary results? Honestly, probably not. However, they would be better results than most people get and certainly better results than you’re getting today. Where do you want to put in a little extra effort?

Carrie Greene is a speaker, trainer, coach and author of Chaos to Cash. She helps entrepreneurs cut through the confusion and chaos surrounding them so they make decisions, stop spinning and procrastinating and make more money.

Business Networking 101 – Effective Networking Strategies

There is really no secret to building your network of contacts. There are a lot of resources out there giving tips and tricks on building business networks and expanding your realm of influence, but there are some basic principals to follow that can have a significant impact on how successful your networking events and strategies are. Paying attention to the basic details is often a more effective approach than using any “secrets.”

What is the point of business networking? It is the process of building relationships with complementary businesses, business owners, and business managers to increase your influence and position within a specific market or industry. There are two points to take away here – building relationships and increasing influence and position. Relationships will naturally increase your influence, and influence creates opportunity and improved market position.

The most important value in business is the relationships that are built. Customers, clients, vendors, and colleagues all shape the relationships within a business. Like any other area in life, the quality of the relationships can have a huge impact on the outcome of your interactions with existing and potential clients, vendor/reseller relations, and every other aspect of your daily operations. Focus on building and maintaining positive relationships with your contacts (both within and outside of your company) you will quickly begin to increase your influence with your contacts.

How do you practically build good relationships with new contacts? There is balance and communication to work on. All relationships tend to follow a similar tract: introduction, follow-up, acquaintance, interaction, commitment. There is room between each stage for varying degrees of influence, but most relationships in business tend to fall somewhere in these five categories.

In the introduction stage, you first meet the contact, give some overviews about yourself, find out who they are, exchange contact info, and independently decide whether or not the person is worth a follow-up action. If there is the potential to have a mutually beneficial relationship, or the new contact can possibly benefit you, request permission to follow-up with that person. If you can benefit them, let them know that you would be open to a follow-up communication.

The follow-up communication is where most individuals drop the ball. It is difficult to make time in a busy schedule to get in front of your computer with the intent to follow-up on potential leads or new contacts. If you don’t follow up correctly, a few things can happen:

1) you can loose out on a potential referral,
2) you could loose out on a potential client,
3) you loose out on a opportunity to get connected to a whole different network of contacts, and
4) you can loose credibility by not following up when you expressed an interest to.

If networking for increasing influence and position within a market is important to you, then follow-up opportunities should be created, not missed.

If you can get through the follow-up process, your hope is for a favorable response from the people you contact. When favorable replies are made (either by phone or email), you gain an opportunity to create an acquaintance with the contact. This is the real first step in developing a relationship. At this stage, you have made a favorable enough first impression to engage someone a second time, so use this opportunity to win them over. This third step is usually the opportunity to give out some usable information, such as potential leads for each of you, or a request for proposal (or a request to offer a proposal) for services.

Once you have had a few interactions with your contacts, you begin to develop an acquaintance with them. At this point, you both know each other and each others businesses, but you aren’t close with them yet. You may or may not have had any business dealings with them, but they are at least on your radar for future deals, or as someone who you can send referrals to. Most business relationships don’t grow past this phase, but if you continue to follow up with them and remain in contact, often times you will either get a lead or be able to give a lead to someone you stay in contact with.

The final step in the business relationship process is developing a commitment with the new contact. This doesn’t have to be any formal commitment, but typically means that you both agree to continue interacting with one another. Hopefully the commitment comes in the form of a new customer or a referral that turns into a client, but either way, you have built a new business relationship that will only grow from here. It is important to not loose contact with individuals in this stage of the business relationship because they can often be the most influential people in your growing network.

Most business-savvy individuals are always looking to grow their network, which means that follow-up and continued interactions are welcomed. It is your responsibility to bring value to the relationships that you build – don’t just look to your own interest, but to the interest of your new contacts. In doing so, you will begin to increase your influence and position within your industry.

Online Business 101

More and more businesses are using the Internet as a medium to reach potential customers and to make their companies known to target groups. This is because of the popularity of the medium all over the world and how it has become accessible to practically everyone. This also explains the emergence of many web hosting sites that offer cheap domain registration to online businesses.

Venturing into online businesses offers more benefits than starting normal ones. First, it lets you save a huge deal of money. When you put up a business on the Internet and make use of its advantages, you will no longer worry about monthly bills and rent that can make business owners stressed out. Also, you will not need a large amount of capital, since all you have to pay for is the domain registration and there are a lot of web hosting sites that offer this service for reasonable rates. You will not be required to spend a huge amount of money just to advertise your business outdoors; putting your business online is, somehow, a form of advertising already.

Time and effort will be saved, as well, if you put up your business on the Internet. Web hosting sites that offer cheap domain registration will provide the system tools and applications that you will need for your domain; they will help you make and design your websites easily. You will not need to hire several people to do particular tasks for your businesses, too.

The state of the global economy suggests that it will be a good idea for businessmen to venture online. More and more people are trying to tighten their belts, so that they will be able to cope with the ever-changing world. They try to remove obsolete things out of their lives and let the most important ones remain; that includes the Internet. The Internet has become a necessity among people and this is one of the things in life that they are not ready to give up. Because of people’s attachment to the Internet, business owners are sure to reach any kind of target group that they need for their businesses to flourish. They would not have any problems of getting people to patronize their products and services, as these will surely reach people not only within the nation, but even around the world.

Because the Internet has now become involved in business marketing, many business strategies are constantly being developed to attract potential customers. Because of these techniques, online businesses will find it easier to sell their goods and services, provided that they use the right kind of strategy to promote their products.

Businesses will surely earn huge profits once they are put online. The Internet is a very powerful medium; it can attract groups of people that seem impossible to reach and appeal to, at first. This is why business owners must avail of cheap domain registration as early as possible to reap the benefits that online businesses have to offer.

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