Friday, July 9, 2010

Why my time on Facebook is worth more than my daughter's time?

My daughter says that I am too old to be on Facebook. When I am using the laptop computer, she makes comments that I am on it too long and waste time on Facebook. Most of these comments are made so that she can spend an equally long time on the internet and facebook too.

I figured I'd write a quick article that's a little tongue in cheek about time management and wasting time. Two people can use the same tool and one is managing time and the other is wasting time.

This brings us to the story of my daughter and I. My daughter goes on the computer and spends hours making and reading updates on Facebook, posting pictures, watching videos on Youtube, etc.

I do the same thing. I make updates on Facebook, watch YouTube videos, and write blog posts.

So how is my time worth more than hers?

Well, I use these things as a fantastic way to market for free. My Facebook status updates have to do with my activities in my karate school. I post and watch YouTube videos to add value for my student by getting new ideas for my classes or posting videos that are useful to my students.

This activity on-line has brought me 5 new students within the last few months that will create about $10,000 in additional income and I had fun while doing it.

My daughter managed to have fun while just wasting time.

I digress.

So, What are you doing on-line? Wasting time or furthering your goals.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Handling delinquency

It's a reality that every business needs to face. We all have to handle delinquency. I am luck that the number of delinquencies are fairly low but they do come up and every time seem to cause problems and wasted times.

Recently, I had to cancel my business credit card and wait for a new one because of some unauthorized usage. This caused some of my vendor accounts with automatic transactions to become delinquent. I found that one association that I was a member of had a particularly effective, hand off approach to handling delinquency. Since then, I created my own hands off system that consists of multiple e-mails, letters, and voice broadcasts.

Here's the keys to handling delinquency
1. Be nice - I wrote letters that convey a kind image and politely tell them that we realize it must have been an accident. As I get to 60 days past due, the letters are still nice but that it may effect their credit score.
2. Hit them often - If you pace it write, you should be able to hit them every five days.
3. Use as many methods as possible - Some people respond to different sources. You can use e-mail, fax, mail, and voice broadcasts. I will give a sample of our schedule.
4. Give solutions - In our case, we allow them to mail, e-mail, or stop at our front desk. You could also offer a secure website to go to pay off the deliquency.

Creating a schedule is fairly simple, we basically use the same letter for all sources. For example, we send an e-mail on day 1. Day 5, we send the same letter by mail with a membership change form. By Day 10, we do a voice broadcast reading the same letter. On day 15, the letter's tone changes slightly and the process is repeated like above.

We created this system so that we let the client know that we didn't forget and hit them enough that they take action.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Saying "No" is a positive thing in business

The ability to say "No" is a great technique that has many positive benefits in your business. Your ability to say "No" will contribute directly to your bottom line.

Some benefits of saying "No"
1. Defending yourself against paying for unnecessary services - I have let some convincing salesman get me to accept their services only to find later that the service wasn't worth it or I didn't need it. If I had said "No" to begin with I would have saved money and the time it took to cancel the service.
2. Save money on service you want - Sometime, saying "No" can lead into discounts and other favorable desperate measures. This works great for getting discounts on advertisements and some services.
3. Saves time - Many times, I want to say "No" but deferred making a decision, by saying that I'll think about it. This just opens the door for more time wasted. It's easier in the long run to say "no" right away.

Have standards and criteria for say "Yes". Here's mine criteria.
1. If it doesn't save time or money, the answer is "no".
2. If it doesn't help increase revenues, the answer is "yes".

Now, we must be careful because it's easy for some coaching program to say they will increase your revenues or some advertisement to bring in clients. You can test these out but before starting, decide on methods and measure their performance. Fire them, if they don't perform.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Lawn Mower Story

I have an interesting story about my neighbor and his lawn mower. I feel this is a great analogy on personal effective and time management.

Our neighbor's lawn mower hasn't worked correctly for over a year. It sounds like it needs a tune up and constantly stalls. We have about the same size lawn that takes me less than an hour to mow. Because of the problems with his mower for the last year, he spends over 4 hours trying to finish his mowing.

He also spends additional time tinkering with the mower to get it to work. I joked with him, "It sounds like it's time to take the mower for service." He said, "Oh, it's old and I tried to fix it. We need a new mower."

My wife talked to his wife. We found that mowing the lawn and fixing the mower was a great accuse to get out of the performing more important activities around the house.

So how does this apply to our business and our lives?

  • How many times to we waste extra time because of ineffective habits or poorly thought out business processes? This is a killer on time. I run my business through checklists and prepared presentations. Since I know exactly what needs to be accomplished and I can do it right away without hesitation, I save tremendous amounts of time. Also, Never let an easily fixed problem create extra work.
  • What things are we wasting money on? My neighbor jumped to a conclusion that getting a new mower was the answer with finding out the extent of the problem. This mistake could have cost him an extra few hundred dollars. Get the mower properly tuned up by a professional is very inexpensive. If the professional tell you that you need a new mower then you know it's time.
  • How many times do we pick unimportant activities over important activities? This is a killer in business. Most business owners experience the E-myth's "entrepreneur seizure" and work in the business instead of working on the business.
  • How many times do we let poor motives undermine our success process? I find this is the number one reason that most people spin their wheels in life. They focus on wrong things. They let their self-limiting beliefs guide them. They defend their right to going nowhere and living poorly.
Don't let you life become like my neighbor and his lawn mower.

Friday, May 22, 2009

What do you do for a living?

What do you do for a living? This is a common question someone you just meet will pose to you. Most people will answer back with a job title or their business name, but this is a perfect opportunity for you marketing yourself or your business.

Every business and employee on the fast track to success should have answer to this question that serves three purposes. First, create a positive image in the person's mind. Second, describe our jobs or business's benefit to a potential client. Third, be specifically targeted towards your best customer. If you're a business owner, we could add a four point which is make an offer.

Here's an example of what I say to people in they asked me what I do for a living.

"Well, have you every met a child with that gleam of confidence in their eyes? You know, that child that seems to have it all together – they’re able to communicate well, they are disciplined and responsible enough to get things done without being told, other seem to follow them because they are natural leaders. Just looking at them, you know, they’re bound for great success in college and their future career. Do you know a child like that?

Well, I teach at Maximum Impact Karate and that’s the type of student that we create at our school. We teach the success skills through karate that you don’t learn in school. Would you like to hear more about it?"

This pitch needs to be practiced to the point that you say it naturally and automatically. So what's your pitch?