by Summer Alexander on March 16,2014. 0 Comments
Have you ever visited Chipotle, the fast casual Mexican grill food chain? They recently opened a new location in my neighborhood and people can’t seem to get enough of their burritos, tacos and burrito bowls.
There is not a day or time that I drive by the restaurant and the line is not almost out the door. I only recently learned of the them and I now enjoy it so much I find myself there 1-2 times per week!
So what makes them so special?
Chipotle has a few important fundamental ideals that we as entrepreneurs can all learn from and implement into our own businesses.
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by Summer Alexander on January 9,2014. 4 Comments
Today's post is a guest post written by Andrea Conway of Successful Self Employment.
Confession: as a woman entrepreneur with 21 years of 6-figure business success behind me, I still don’t take self-confidence for granted. I carefully cultivate it.
It’s harder to maintain confidence as a woman business owner today than it was a decade ago. I’ve identified the 3 factors responsible – and tell you exactly how to respond so you consistently cultivate your confidence.
1. Business today is conducted in a glass fishbowl called “social proof.”
Like it or not, you don’t have a legitimate business today unless you also have visibility and social interaction online. Even as recently as five years ago, none of this mattered; today it can easily make or break your success.
Because our business[click to continue...]
by Summer Alexander on December 12,2013. 2 Comments
Entrepreneurship ain't easy. Sales can soar one month and the next the phone seems to stop ringing all together. Some customers love your products, others ask for refunds. Everyone else in your industry seems to always, always have it all together. So the question then becomes how do you navigate the entrepreneurial journey without going completely insane?
Here's a 3 step plan to help you define and realize success on your own terms.
#1 - Define Success for Yourself
Have you ever really taken the time to identify what it is you want from your business? How many hours do you want to work per week? Do you really want to hire staff or do you like having a virtual team? How much money would you like to take home per month - specifically? Which products, programs and services do you love and which are you holding onto only for the money?
Your definition of success is just that - yours. When I think about success for myself I know it's important for me to be finished with client appointments and meetings by 3pm each day so that I can pick my son up from school.[click to continue...]
by Summer Alexander on December 5,2013. 7 Comments
There are many reasons why a small business might fail but in my opinion many of these reasons can be fixed. If no one is buying what you are selling perhaps you are selling to the wrong market or your pricing needs to be adjusted. It could be that you are not marketing effectively or you've picked a bad location.
All things that can be fixed.
Ahh but there is one deadly, impossible to return from fatal flaw that I unfortunately see over and over again with small business owners. It's so bad in fact I have now officially labeled it an entrepreneur epidemic.
You meet a potential client at a networking event and really hit it off. It turns out they just so happen to need exactly what it is you sell. So you hand them your business card, wish them well and walk off into the sunset.
You're feeling pretty good about yourself at this point. Blowing the smoke off of your imaginary gun you give it a good spin before tucking it away in the holster. New client, new revenue - done.
You never hear from them. A week goes by - no call, no email. Two weeks go by and you panic. Unwilling to look at what really happene[click to continue...]
by Summer Alexander on November 14,2013. 0 Comments
I know we probably say this every year around this time but geez this year went by fast! As we prepare to embark upon yet another year it is inherent in the process that we look back over what we've accomplished, neglected or abandoned in 2013.
The reason it is so important to reflect (notice I say reflect, not beat ourselves up) on which goals in our business we achieved and what the plan needs to be for next year is to ensure we succeed more than we fail. In order to help you, I've put together a simple 3 step process to help you develop your 2014 marketing plan and as a bonus I've included a few free downloads to help you along with the process.
Before preparing your 2014 marketing plan you need to first make a list of the programs, products and services that you implemented in 2013. You need to know who bought them, how much they paid, and what it cost you to produce them - in time or money. This will give you a birds eye view as to which products and services make sense to bring back next year and which you should scrap.
To make this easy for you, here is an income tracker you can download for free: [click to continue...]
by Summer Alexander on October 3,2013. 2 Comments
We all know that customers are the heartbeat of every company. However, "customers" feels like such a generic term. Who are these people that are directly responsible for providing revenue to the businesses we've put so much energy into building?
Let's dig into the 7 Things You Must Know About Your Customers:
1. Their most urgent problem or desire.
At least as it relates to the solution your business provides. Through informal surveys (one-on-one conversations) with people who are your target market you can gain valuable insight into why this problem (or desire) is so urgent and what they are looking for in a solution. Once you've got this information your job is to communicate to them via marketing in their language.
2. What motivates them to buy?
In other words you want to find out what the trigger is that causes them to make the purchase. It is typically when their most urgent problem or desire has reached a point where they refuse to go another minute without[click to continue...]