I have a lot of clients, family and friends ask me about my office. Being a time management, organization and productivity coach, many people are interested to know if I actually live it. The answer is YES!!
For those that don't know me, I run a few different businesses out of my home. A property management company, my business coaching and I assist with my husband's business. One of the most important aspects of working from home is having an office where I can close the door at anytime and be done for the day. Here are 6 simple steps that help me stay organized and productive:
Having a beautiful, organized and clean office daily helps me to be more productive. I hope these 6 simple steps will help you in your office. Need help in your office? Send me an email and I would be glad to help you. In the meantime, let me hear your feedback. How do you stay organized and productive working from home?
As always, here's to your success!
Doreen Dilger, The Home Based Business Coach
The Home Based Business Coach: The Importance of Following Up with Your Clients
Once you have a client, whether it's a short-term project or a long-term one, it's important to follow up with them. Your former and current clients are likely one of the best sources for future clients, and it doesn't take much to please a former client when you follow up with them. A nice short note, a birthday card, or a congratulatory tweet, can all go far in keeping you in the forefront of their mind for future projects.
The Little Things Matter
People are touched more than you realize by the little things. A handwritten note and a newspaper clipping from an article you read, a quick email regarding a new product or service you are offering, a link to new software that you thought might work for them, a small note telling them they're awesome, will mean a lot if it's done in an authentic way.
Clients Are Referral Generators
Current clients can be great sources of new referrals. This is because they are happy. Keep your current clients informed about all the different types of work that you do outside of the work you do for them. Offer incentives for referrals too, as keeping connected will result in more clients.
Stay on Their Mind
This is most especially true if the client was a short-term project based client. By sharing information with the former client, and sending them periodic information about what you're doing, things you've achieved, as well as congratulating them on their achievements and life milestones, you'll stay on their mind. When they think of a project that involves the work you do, you'll be the first one they think about.
People Get Busy
The client may have been meaning to contact you to talk about a new project but life just keeps getting in the way. If you are the one who reaches out, they're much more likely to follow through with a new project. They just got busy and kept putting the idea of the new project on the back burner. You can help move new projects to the front burner by proactively contacting your clients on a regular basis.
Take It Easy
It's important to follow up without being irritating. Don't bombard your client or past client with continuous streams of emails. As a service provider, you're in a different place than an email marketer, and while you do want to grow and develop your prospects list, once someone is or has been a paying client, if you bother them daily with marketing messages they're just going to tune you out.
Remember to segment your audience. Short-term project clients should be on a different email list than current paying clients. Both should be on a different list than prospects.
Prospects you want to contact at least weekly, if not daily. Current clients you can get away with contacting at least monthly. Past clients you may only want to contact every 30 to 90 days. It depends on your audience, but one thing is for sure - following up with style and class will convert them all over again.
How do you follow up with your clients? Do you have a unique way of keeping in contact with them? Please share your thoughts, I would love to hear them!
I hope this blog post was helpful. Here's to your business lifestyle success!
Doreen Dilger, The Home Based Business Coach
Common Money Management Mistakes for Entrepreneurs - Written by: The Home Based Business Coach
Many entrepreneurs start out in business kind of wet behind the ears. They are full of expectations, excitement, and dreams but little else. They don't take the time to look at the data surrounding their niche so that they can understand what is truly possible if they work toward it. Some will ignore all the facts that present themselves and walk right into failure. Others succeed seemingly against all odds.
Common money management mistakes for entrepreneurs are:
* Not Having Enough Start-Up Capital - Many business owners fail to realize how much it will take them to get their business started. They don't raise enough starting cash and hit roadblocks before they even get off the ground. This is true for micro businesses and big businesses alike. Every business needs some start-up capital; you can't really start free, and if you think you can it's unrealistic. At the very least you'll need to invest time and resources that you already have.
* Spending Too Much Money at Start-Up - Conversely, may people overinvest in their start-up. They haven't really looked at the big picture and start throwing money at the business without any budget at all. If you are starting a really small business that you believe you can earn a few hundred dollars a week doing, you don't throw 20K at a website right off the bat. Be realistic about the type of tools you need to experience the success you desire.
* Not Paying Yourself - Many entrepreneurs start a business, start earning money, and either do not formally pay themselves, or they simply spend what they want out of the business account with no differentiation of what belongs to them and what belongs to the business. Until you can formally pay yourself, it all belongs to the business.
* Not Looking at the Data - All of the above can be avoided by looking at the real data about your business start-up. Don't spend more money than the data dictates. The things that you study - competition, your audience and so forth, will help you determine the price of your product or service. And how many people are in the audience will dictate how many people spend their money. Most of this can be determined before you even open your doors by asking the right questions and collecting the right data.
* Waiting for Perfection - This is the one area that took me some time to get over. It took me awhile to get my coaching program off the ground because of perfection. Whether it's a website, a book, or other type of product or service, don't wait for perfection. First of all, perfection does not exist. There is always room for improvement. Due to this fact, if you try to wait for perfection you'll never launch. Remember, if something is truly wrong you can work on it with future releases of your product.
* Not Knowing When to Walk Away - The concept of sunk costs is often lost on new entrepreneurs. A sunk cost is the money you spent starting the business. When determining whether or not to walk away from a business, you never include sunk costs in your decision. That is money that is gone, that you will never get back no matter how hard you work if the idea turned out to be poor. Learn how to look at the data so that you know when to say when.
* Reinventing the Wheel - If it's not broke, don't fix it. Time and again consumers show that they don't want something they already love made better. (Think about Coke versus New Coke, for example.) The same can be said for online businesses. Many companies have already done studies on what colors of sites work best with various audiences, what type of websites work best with a particular subset of an audience and so forth. Go with the numbers, test small changes, but don't try to be radical when so much already works fine.
* Not Understanding That Customer Service Is Vital to the Bottom Line - Your customer service ability can make or break you. You may wonder how customer service has anything to do with money management mistakes, but if you haven't pleased the customer and you offer no customer care, you'll soon find out that it costs a lot more to keep acquiring new customers than to make the ones you have happy.
* Under-Anticipating Response - Nothing is worse than doing a marketing blitz and then finding out that your website has crashed. Be prepared for any major spike in traffic, whether by foot, website, or telephone when you do any type of marketing. Test your websites continuously and ensure that you have the right hosting for the type of traffic you need to make the kind of money you believe you can make.
* Spending before Receiving - Another money management mistake entrepreneurs make is spending money before they actually get it. Just because someone owes you money doesn't mean they will really give it to you. Be prepared with good billing procedures that your clients understand and respect. Then, never spend a single dime until you have it in your bank account.
Making money management mistakes is pretty much par for the course for any new entrepreneur, but you can avoid huge issues by paying attention to the numbers from day one in a realistic data-driven manner.
How do you avoid money management mistakes? Is there something I didn't cover in this blog post? I would love to hear from you. Please add your comments below or ask a question.
Looking for affordable home based coaching? I am currently offering a Reduced Scholarship 6 Month Coaching Program for those who qualify. Set up a FREE Power Up Productivity Call to find out if you qualify. I will at least be able to share with you 2-3 tips that you can immediately use in your business.
About the Author: Doreen Dilger is a Certified Manifest Method Coach, Certified Life Coach, Author and Founder of Women Empowering Women Now.