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Small Biz Life

YOU STARTED A BUSINESS! YOU ARE AMAZING AT WHAT YOU DO. But there is a lot more to running a successful business: accounting, marketing, IT, sales, management. You wear so many hats. Add family, friends, health, home…no wonder you are tired! WE GET IT! We have been small business owners for the past seven years and have worked with small business owners for the last fourteen years. We know the challenges of finding the right solutions and juggling all the responsibilities. We know how hard it is to put YOURSELF on the to-do-list. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. COME JOIN THE COMMUNITY. TOGETHER WE CAN GROW AND THRIVE.
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Apr 30, 2017

Being a small business owner can be stressful. Sometimes, our businesses can add conflict in our relationships with significant others. In this episode, Jeff and Kristin discuss ways to minimize this conflict so you can start building dreams together. 

Even if your significant other does not work in your business, conflicts can exist. These conflicts usually stem from a lack of understanding between the business owner and non-business owner significant other. Creating more understanding between the two of you will allow for more joy and less stress. 

Understanding yourself

Conflicts often arise because the business owner does not have a clear vision for her business and how it will affect her life. Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you are in this position:

  1. What are your dreams?
  2. How will your business help you achieve these dreams?
  3. What steps are you taking to achieve those dreams?
  4. Are you setting deadlines?

We also recommend that you take the 5 love languages assessment. This will give you some interesting insight into what acts make you feel loved. We recommend that you also ask your significant other to take the assessment. For more in-depth information about the 5 love languages, consider purchasing the book

Listening and learning

Now that you've gotten some clarity on your own life, it's time to get some clarity on your significant other. Often, we complain that our significant other does not understand our point of view, especially when it pertains to our business. However, how often do we ask if we really understand our significant other's perspective?

We often assume that those around us understand our business and our plan. Is that really true? Do we know our loved one's goals and dreams? Here are some tips to start the conversation:

  1. How will your business benefit your loved one?
  2. How will your business affect your loved one?
  3. Does my significant other understand my business and my dreams?
  4. What are my significant other's desires and dreams?
  5. How can we find connections between our goals and dreams?

Understanding your loved one's drives and concerns can help open a dialog to aid in building your dreams together. 

Minimizing conflict

When conflicts do arise, we need to step back from the emotion and look for valid concerns. Opening up a dialog makes it easier for your significant other to voice concerns. Unless we are willing and able to hear those concerns in a rational manner, your loved one will not be willing to share. This causes resentment and small things blow up into huge arguments. 

It is difficult to hear criticism; however, if we are not open to our loved one sharing honest concerns, this will lead to conflict. Don't let your first response be defensiveness. Ask yourself if there are valid points in those concerns. 

Holding yourself accountable

Over the past 15 years working with small business owners and mediating conflicts between couples, many conflicts stem from delayed or broken promises. We often set deadlines for ourselves and watch those deadlines pass. When this happens repeatedly, your significant other will lose confidence in you, especially if you are not sharing reasons why these deadlines are being missed. 

Sometimes we don't like to share what is going on in our business because we are disappointed in our own progress. We shut our significant other out because we don't want them to see our mess or our failure. This will just cause further conflict down the road. Would you treat your customers this way? We should never treat our partner worse than our own customers. 

Holding yourself accountable, not only to yourself but also to your partner may help you achieve more. Ask your partner for insight in some areas of your business. If you are struggling with something, ask if you can run the problem past your partner. It may give your partner some important insight into how hard you are working. 

Don't use this as an opportunity to have a complain-a-thon.  Allow this to be a conversation that can help you complete something constructive. 

If your conflicts involve money, check out Melissa the Coach. She teaches a money management system which is very similar to the one we used to pay off over $220,000 in debt. Without getting our financial house in order, we would have never been able to get Jeff out of his 9 to 5 and working full-time for Ingram Digital Media

 

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links

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https://www.smallbizlife.com/blog/episode-85-building-dreams-together

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5 Love Languages Free Assessment http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/

Melissa The Coach http://www.gochangethat.com/

Ingram Digital Media https://ingramdigitalmedia.com/

Dream Catcher Assessment https://www.smallbizlife.com/dreambig D Free for a limited time

Small Biz HQ https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/5CQukiiy

 

 

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The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts http://amzn.to/2pjOmDU

Apr 23, 2017

Do you have an advertising plan? Do you have an advertising budget? Are you just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks? In this episode, we discuss steps for putting together an advertising plan and some of the best options for advertising no matter how big or small your budget is.

Most small businesses do not have an advertising strategy; they just throw ads out into the world hoping that something will work. If you want to stop throwing money out the window, you need to have a plan.

Five things you need to know before you start running ads

What is the purpose of the ads?

Why are you running ads in the first place? Don't automatically say it is because you want to sell people things. Depending on your price point, you may need to develop a relationship with your potential customers first. Not all ads are designed to sell. Some introduce you to a new client, while others start building a relationship. You can even run ads that provide value as a service to potential customers.

What is your budget?

It's important to know how much you will spend on advertising each year. Businesses should budget 10 - 20% of their revenue on marketing and advertising, depending on the cost of providing their product or service. If your profit margin (price - cost of the product) is high, you can afford to spend a bit more on advertising. If your profit margin is lower, spend a smaller percentage of sales.

We always caution small business owners against spending money they do not have in the bank to run ads, hoping that lots of revenue will come in before the credit card bill arrives. That's an awesome way to go broke! Especially if you are new to running ads, there is going to be a lot of trial and error. Don't bank on your first few ad campaigns bringing in a ton of money, especially if you are running ads to build awareness or relationships or if you have a higher priced product. Spend smaller amounts to learn what works and perfect your message.

What do you want your leads to do?

When developing your ad campaign, how do you want your potential customers to respond? Do you want them to sign up for a newsletter, visit your website, call you, watch a video, attend a webinar, or buy a product? Do you have a funnel in place to guide them through that process? When leads arrive at your website, will it guide them where you want them to go or as there so many options, they will leave your site quickly?

Making sure you have a clear call to action and a website that encourages them to respond the way you want them to is essential to your ability to convert potential customers into paying customers. Do not start running ads until you have a clear funnel in place to get the response you want.

Who are you targeting?

Recently, Kristin was scrolling through her Facebook feed and saw an ad related to child behavior. If she saw this ad, clearly the targeting was poor (we don't have any children). Once of the awesome things about Facebook ads is that you can specifically target people based on geographic area, demographics, and interests. However, to do this, you must know who you want to target.

We have said many times that you need to know who your ideal customer is, especially if you are running ads online. If you don't know who your ideal customer is, you can't target them.

Do you know how to track your progress and improvise?

When placing ads, especially on the web, you need to track how your ads are performing and make changes as needed. Even if you are running traditional advertising and you aren't getting the response you want, you should make changes to your ads.

Tracking performance is very easy on the web. All good advertising venues will give you statistics on clicks and your website stats can show you conversions. If you don't know how to do this, YouTube and Google are magnificent teachers. Also, most advertising platforms have great training programs (because they want you to spend money with them).

With traditional advertising, this becomes a bit more complicated, but it's still possible. You can purchase custom domains that you use in your ads or ask people to mention a code when interacting with you, allowing you to see how effective your ad is.

When making changes, change one thing at a time. Do not completely revamp the ad. Making a small change to the headline or image can sometimes cause a huge difference in response rates. We have even found that changing your font can make a difference.

Six types of advertising

In this episode, we discuss six types of advertising and marketing that small business owners can consider. This is in addition to other forms of marketing you can do, like speaking, webinars, and free content.

 

Traditional advertising (print, broadcast, radio)

Online advertising (Facebook, YouTube, Adwords, Geofencing)

Affiliates

Guerilla (Gamification, flyers, giveaways)

Product placement

Referrals

We discuss each of these in the episode, including why some are better options than others and what to look for if you engage in any of these types of advertising.

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links

Links

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https://www.smallbizlife.com/blog/episode-84-your-small-biz-advertising-guide

 

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https://www.smallbizlife.com/dreambig D Free for a limited time

https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/5CQukiiy Small Biz HQ

https://smallbizlife.mykajabi.com/blog/episode-4-who-is-your-ideal-customer Episode 4

https://www.smallbizlife.com/blog/episode-79-the-4x4x3-insight-guide-for-sales The 4x4x3 Insight Guide for Sales

 

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https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/small-biz-life/id1039595496 Small Biz HQ

 

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Apr 16, 2017

Have you cut out hobbies to get more done, think again!

In today’s episode, we will be talking a lot about the benefits of hobbies, and they are real.  You can promote the increase of eustress, and decrease your distress.  Essentially, help remove the bad stress and try and replace them with positive stress.

As this happens you will see less of that horrific morning and work fatigue.  So much like sleep, hobbies are a great way to promote increases in productivity, improved social supports, and do it while having fun.

 

Want to be successful like Warren Buffet, try the ukulele

After all, don’t all the gurus tell us to model successful people before they sell us a complex system on helping improve our productivity?  And how many of them told us to spend more time having fun with hobbies.

 

I am still looking for that guru.  I am so sick of trying to work smarter practicing systems that might help my productivity in about a month of intense practice. I have been looking for magic bullets for years which lead to more work, less fun, worse relationships, and finally burnout.

 

Do not look for productivity systems that ignore basic human needs

And at the same time, I had less time doing the thing that all humans need living life.  It is the relationships that lead us to push to improve ourselves. It is fun and movement that give us the energy to not just get crap done, but live life to the fullest.

 

Put the credit card down today, stand up and scream with me, “I will not spend another dollar on productivity systems until I have some fun, sleep, and love my life.”

 

Okay now if you have forgotten how to have fun, where should I start

Now, we have very similar views on this. However, our view might be work for you.  If not check out what other people do that would interest you. Or check out this list of hobbies.  Just be careful and seek out professional help when needed before starting out hobbies that might be dangerous for you. If they are really dangerous, it might also cause problems getting insurance. And for Pete’s sake, have fun but be safe.

 

Kristin choice for people looking for hobbies is reading

It works the brain, and can educate and entertain you. If you can get a physical book, ebooks are great for backup access to reading, but there is nothing like an old fashion book in your hand.

However, do not read books to make you better at your business for a hobby. You need to keep it separated.

 

Jeff closes his eyes and suggest fantasy worldbuilding

Okay, this might be a bit self-serving since he also host’s the Worldbuilder’s Anvil podcast.  However, there is more to it than the selfless self-promotion.

 

Worldbuilding is the portion of storytelling that builds the setting for stories. It ranges from interesting characters in any story, entire fiction world’s like Gardul, or universes like in Star Wars. The can be strange, futuristic, or realistic.

 

The reason worldbuilding is a great hobby is it feed curiosity. It prompts people to learn more about how the real world works and exercise our creativity.

 

Join Kristin and Jeff as they look at the using fun to increase productivity.

 

Mentions

Dream catcher assessment (Free until

Gardul and the Worldbuilder’s Anvil Podcast http://gardul.com/category/worldbuilders-anvil/

Famous people hobbies http://www.businessinsider.com/hobbies-of-successful-people-2015-11/#actress-angelina-jolie-collects-daggers-2

Hobbies that make you smarter

List of hobbies https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hobbies

Don’t cause your loved ones to write letters http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/dear-gt/help-my-husband-is-putting-his-hobby-before-our-marriage

Links

((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Visit Show notes )))))))))))))))))))))))))

 

((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Mentions links )))))))))))))))))))))))))

https://www.smallbizlife.com/dreambig Dream catcher assessment Free for a limited time

https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/5CQukiiy Small Biz HQ

http://www.businessinsider.com/hobbies-of-successful-people-2015-11/#actress-angelina-jolie-collects-daggers-2

Eustress Study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26227991

http://www.cofcogroup.com/want-more-productivity-get-a-hobby/

Finding Hobbies

http://www.lifespan.com/7-hobbies-will-make-smarter/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hobbies

http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/dear-gt/help-my-husband-is-putting-his-hobby-before-our-marriage

 

 

 

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https://twitter.com/JefferyWIngram

https://twitter.com/KristinLIngram

https://twitter.com/SBLPodcast

 

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Apr 9, 2017

Hi my name is Jeff, and I spent years burned out. If I was ever going to start a self-help group. It would start off saying that statement.

About a couple of years ago, I started breaking out of nearly permanent burnout. My work was suffering, my relationships were suffering, and I was just not happy.

I question my ability to be a proper husband. Maybe, I was a total failure.  I believed it was only a matter of time before every else knew the level of failure that I had achieved.

I even spent several long afternoons with a therapist trying to figure out why I felt guilty not getting killed in a war.

The therapy helped some. I knew part of why I felt so guilty. However, I did not break out of my funk. I was stuck. I was burned out, and to defend my therapist, I never asked for help with burnout. I just wanted to get past my survivor’s guilt.  

Then I finally recognized that was burned out.

My wife, Kristin shared with me Jon Acuff’s book call “Start”. I read it, I loved it.  It woke me up. It made me question myself. I realized that I had hopes and dreams. I had buried them so far, I was started to cripple myself.

I knew that I had to change, I needed to start sharing.  I jumped on my first love, fantasy fiction. I wrote my first novel and then I got stuck again.

Thank Jon, Things started to change. I made some changes. I would get a great burst of energy and knock out work, however I would end up getting frustrated and burning out.

The burnout was no longer sticking.

It would set in, I would lose a weekend or a week.  However, I would pick up the pieces and keep moving. I launched my fist podcast, the Worldbuilder’s Anvil. I started sharing.  I would pick up momentum, however I would still get frustrated and burn out and lose all of the momenta that I build up.

 

Finally, I had my aha moment

I was in San Diego, I had escaped the cold days of early march in 2017.  I went to the Brendon Burchard's High Performance Academy Live. You heard me, I was in one of the best places in the world for weather and I spent 10 hours a day inside a conference room.

 

I had given in when he talked about the idea of high performance versus peak performance. My skeptical mind said, give this all a chance.  I knew what I had to keep changing.  I liked the way I was moving, I wanted more.  And thankfully, he backs up many of his ideas with the science and research to keep my cynical side at bay.

 

If you are not familiar with Brendon, I would suggest reading “The Charge”. I had been trapped in the caged life, I broke myself out and moved in the comfortable life. 

Comfort might work for lots of people.  However, when I was at HPA 2017 I was introduced to a friend I had not seen in years, I understood why even comfort lead to my burnout.

 

I stood in front of my old friend and waved into the mirror

I am a scout, explorer, podcaster, and author. I have a burning desire to entertain, educate, and empower people.  I cannot do that if I am living a comfortable life.  So, I invite you to join Kristin and I as we look at our stages of breaking through burnout. Escaping the burn out cycle does not have to take you years like it did for me. Once I understood that the root cause of my burnout was grief. I wasted so much time grieving. DO NOT DO THIS. Understand your burn out and break through it and start living a life that you love.

 

And yes, they are based on the stages of grief.  Because, I realized that I was trapped in grief. I was grieving for my dreams never achieved.

 

However, we learned that it is crazy to grief for yourself. If you breathe, you can and should increment changes to get you moving towards your dreams, do it now before you regret it.

 

Here are our 4 stages of the burnout cycle and the 3 steps you need to take to escape it now:

  • 4 stages of burnout!
    • Denial
    • Guilt
    • Anger
    • Hopelessness
  • 3 Steps to escaping burnout
    • Recognition
    • Reconstruction
    • Hope

Mentions:

7 STAGES OF GRIEF Through the Process and Back to Life http://www.recover-from-grief.com/7-stages-of-grief.html

23 of the Most Amazingly Successful Introverts in History

https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/23-amazingly-successful-introverts-throughout-history.html

16 Super Successful Introverts http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/08/15/famous-introverts_n_3733400.html

https://www.smallbizlife.com/dreambig  Dream Catcher Assessment (Free until the end of April 2017)

https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/5CQukiiy Small Biz HQ

High Performance Live http://brendon.com/hpalive/

Start.: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters http://amzn.to/2nu1iI4

The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive http://amzn.to/2odMdHL

Links

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((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Mentions links )))))))))))))))))))))))))

7 STAGES OF GRIEF Through the Process and Back to Life http://www.recover-from-grief.com/7-stages-of-grief.html

23 of the Most Amazingly Successful Introverts in History

https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/23-amazingly-successful-introverts-throughout-history.html

16 Super Successful Introverts http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/08/15/famous-introverts_n_3733400.html

https://www.smallbizlife.com/dreambig  Dream Catcher Assessment (Free until the end of April 2017)

https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/5CQukiiy Small Biz HQ

High Performance Live http://brendon.com/hpalive/

 

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https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/small-biz-life/id1039595496 Small Biz HQ

 

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https://www.facebook.com/smallbizlifepodcast/

 

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/SmallBizLife/

  

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https://twitter.com/JefferyWIngram

https://twitter.com/KristinLIngram

https://twitter.com/SBLPodcast

 

((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Affiliate Mentions links )))))))))))))))))))))))))

Start.: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters http://amzn.to/2nu1iI4

The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive http://amzn.to/2odMdHL

Apr 2, 2017

Episode 81 – Sleep: Your greatest productivity tool

What!!! I cannot sleep, I have too much work

Hey we understand. Jeff resisted this notion for years. Because, the idea that if you sleep more you can get more work done in less time is truly counter-intuitive. However, when Jeff was researching content on the basics of improving performance. We found lots of evidence that sleep is really the foundation of performing at a higher level.

Really, sleep is the foundation of better performance?

Yes, since adopting a few new strategies. May of which we learned at Brendon Burchard’s live High Performance Academy, not an affiliate. We have both found an increased level of energy, to get rid of time loss to low energy and increased focus for the entire day.

 

The results have been so astounding we have rescheduled our entire content plan at Small Biz HQ to dedicate April 2017 to help our friends and peers.

 

While researching, why we had the improvement. The true importance of sleep became apparent.

 

If you do not know, Jeff is a skeptic.  So, he follows up success with research. He looked at all the things we did to improve.  He found that without the sleep, nothing else would have worked as well. So Really, sleep is the foundation of better performance? Join us as we look at the science of sleep. The benefits of 7 – 9 hours of sleep a night. We also invite you to some of the links below

 

We challenge you to find a system, trick, or technique that could help you become more productive than a good night of sleep.  If you do share it in the comments below. Jeff would love to research that as well.

 

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links

Links

((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Visit Show notes )))))))))))))))))))))))))

https://www.smallbizlife.com/blog/episode-81-sleep-your-greatest-productivity-tool

 

((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Mentions links )))))))))))))))))))))))))

http://brendon.com/hpalive/

Small Biz HQ https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/5CQukiiy

 

https://www.smallbizlife.com/dreambig D Free for a limited time

What happens during sleep

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/28/brain-sleep-_n_5863736.html

https://sleep.org/articles/brain-during-sleep/

 

Get better sleep

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/17/better-sleep-tips-best_n_4958036.html

 

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Mar 26, 2017

Why is listening to customers still important online?

A business online is moving the way of the dinosaurs.  Even in the smallest businesses, 73% are expected to have websites by the end of 2017. As the move to online happens, it becomes more difficult to perform the most important task of a business owner. We do not know how to listen to people we never meet.

 

Why is it difficult?

Clutch looked into this in 2016.

Even if we interact with some people in social media.  How many of those move to the website? How many of those buy from us or ever purchase one of our products?

 

We completely understand the problems of feeling lost when you interact with only a small portion of your online traffic.  Across out platforms we served people a little more than 990,000 times, and from that we had under 10,000 interactions with people in social media.

 

So, we looked to better listen to the people we educate online. We knew we needed to up our listening skills.  We knew we need to find a new way to listen.

 

We started looking to Web Analytics to allow us to listen

Really, we knew web analytics were always where there. We even had times we obsessed with the numbers of downloads, views, sessions, and users. And there is no better way to increase your dopamine like seeing these numbers increase.

 

The dirty secret is total reach means very little.  If I walk into a bar with a megaphone and get more people to hear me.  It would not benefit me. Heck, it might get me punched in the face.

 

So, it is high time to stop screaming online and start listening.

 

Using web analytics for listening

Join Kristin and Jeff as we look at what we have started looking at to stop screaming and start listening to the people we reached online:

  • Total Reach (Okay we still love the dopamine)
  • Bounce Rate and Drop offs
  • User Flow
  • Facebook Pixels
  • Conversion Rates for opt-ins, contacts, sales pages
  • ROI of tools

Mentions

Clutch https://clutch.co/web-designers/resources/small-business-websites-2016-survey

Wicked Reports http://www.wickedreports.com

Google Analytics  https://analytics.google.com/

Facebook Pixel https://www.facebook.com/business/help/200000840044554

Facebook conversion pixel plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/facebook-conversion-pixel/

Google Analytics Plugin for WordPress https://wordpress.org/plugins/googleanalytics/

Search Engine Land http://searchengineland.com/7-conversion-rate-truths-will-change-landing-page-optimization-strategy-191083

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Clutch https://clutch.co/web-designers/resources/small-business-websites-2016-survey

Wicked Reports http://www.wickedreports.com

Google Analytics  https://analytics.google.com/

Facebook Pixel https://www.facebook.com/business/help/200000840044554

Facebook conversion pixel plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/facebook-conversion-pixel/

Google Analytics Plugin for WordPress https://wordpress.org/plugins/googleanalytics/

Search Engine Land http://searchengineland.com/7-conversion-rate-truths-will-change-landing-page-optimization-strategy-191083

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Mar 19, 2017

How where your sales today?

Ever wonder why those other businesses seem confident when the make an advertising buy for their business. Heck are you too scared to even try to buy and add because you think it will just waste your money?

It can be scary to create a funnel or a process for converting prospective clients into sales. We are looking will have to measure what we are doing.  We will see all of our mistakes.  Just follow me for a moment as we start to look at the benefits of a funnel and learn to make your business start working for you.

 

Stop being scared, invest your time creating a sales funnel

                If I asked you how many sales would you get if I could introduce you to 100 people, how many people would buy your product or service? Ten? One? Thirty? Could you even answer? 

I have not met many small businesses that can some do not even what a sales funnel is. And many who do think that is something big businesses do to create sales, or a thing that online marketers talk about, and it will not work for them.

 

Here is why you need a funnel today

You need a way to predict how many people you need to meet, to make the money needed to run your business and feed your family. Check out the benefits and learn 4x4x3 of sales funnels.

And ultimately, if you knew that you would convert 20 of the next 100 people that walked into your store.  Would it be easier to grow or maintenance your business?

You could spend less time stressed out about the next sale and more time about getting to meet more people. Because you know if you can just get another 100 people to your store, you should double your sales.

 

The 6 Benefits of having a sales funnel

  • Helps reduce negative stress?
  • If results are tracked, you can quickly fix problems in new funnels
  • Helps you find more people to serve.
  • Helps you maximize sales revenue
  • Opens up the possibility of creating evergreen or subscription services.

The 4x4x3 Insight Guide to Sales Funnels

Join Kristin and Jeff in this podcast episode. We will go through the 4x4x3 of a sales funnel and a bonus tip for stabilizing your revenue.

The 4 phases are part of the sales funnel. The 4 needs are the skills or items you will need to create a funnel, And finally we will look at the 3 most common approaches to sales that we see today.

The 4 Phases

  1. The Introduction Phase
  2. The Relationship Phase
  3. The Decision Phase
  4. The Service Stage

The 4 Needs

  1. Plan
  2. Products
  3. Platform
  4. Psychology

The 3 Approaches

  1. Direct Sales
    1. Walk-ins
    2. Value 2 Sale
  2. Networking
    1. Live Launch
    2. Events
  3. The Value^3 Launch

Links

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Mar 13, 2017

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https://www.smallbizlife.com/blog/episode-78-the-best-social-media-platform-for-your-audience

 

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Amy Campbell

Pew Social Media Stats http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media-update-2016/

Snap Chat https://www.statista.com/statistics/326452/snapchat-age-group-usa/

YouTube https://fortunelords.com/youtube-statistics/

Use our framework to dream big and start moving towards your dream visions for free https://www.smallbizlife.com/dreambig

https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/5CQukiiy Small Biz HQ Car Crash Flash Sale code MARCHFOR5 expires on March 31, 2017.

 

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Mar 5, 2017

In our journeys in real live and networking with people we keep running into the problem of perfectionism.  And yes it is a problem.  We know and love improving processes.  We also know that the sooner we can identify and correct errors the easier they are to correct. However, we have noticed that most incarnations of perfectionism are holding back many of the people that we have met. They approach the problem of perfectionism with good intentions.  However, as they fill up their life with more and more task they end up with hurting themselves. They trap themselves in a loop that makes it impossible to move forward in life.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Do not let your perfectionism be the pavement

In order to better address the issue. We found a wonderful series of articles over at the website Personal Excellence. Celes put together three wonderful articles on the subject on these topics.

Join Kristin and I as we look at the problem of perfectionism and how it can infect all of us causing pain and trouble in our small biz life.  And please go check out these articles for more information.

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https://personalexcellence.co/blog/overcome-perfectionism/

https://personalexcellence.co/blog/perfectionism/

https://personalexcellence.co/blog/perfectionism-downsides/

Use our framework to dream big and start moving towards your dream visions for free https://www.smallbizlife.com/dreambig

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Feb 26, 2017

Whether you are planning your first day working full-time for your business or you had your first day ten years ago, this episode is for you. We discuss Jeff's plans for his first day working for Ingram Digital Media, Inc. and the three pillars of success for our business.

 

Your first day

If your first day in your business was tomorrow, what would that day look like? If you've been running your business for years, how would your first day and first week be different if you restarted today? 

Jeff has spent a lot of time working on his time budget and master schedule (get our Mastering your Time course free and try Small Biz HQ for 30 days for just $5 with coupon code MARCHFOR5) to ensure that he can hit the ground running. We've also spent a lot of time planning what we want the next few months to look like. 

You may not know this, but we actually have three active brands in our business: Small Biz Life, Accounting In Focus, and Gardul/Worldbuilder's Anvil. We've got a lot of ideas floating out there for each of these brands. We could sit down, plan for weeks, and still not get all of our ideas on paper. At some point, the long-range planning needs to be set aside and action needs to take over. 

All of this planning can cause overload. I'm sure you have felt this before and are maybe are in this place right now. Unless you have a focus on your priorities, the overwhelming feelings you have will stop your momentum. Jeff plans to focus on three pillars for success.

Our 3 pillars of success

We have said multiple times on the show that revenue generation and product development should be priorities in your business. Those are two of your pillars. The third is customer experience. 

Jeff is most excited about increasing his role in customer experience for our brands. He loves interacting with people and helping them achieve their goals. This is one thing he has not had much time to do because of his limited schedule. Customer experience creates raving fans and happy paying customers. How much time are you devoting to customer experience?

The second pillar Jeff will focus on is increased revenue generation from our existing offerings. Customer experience is an important part of this but we also know we must improve our sales funnels and marketing practices. Taking potential customers through a defined sales funnel will help increase our revenue. Do you have a defined sales funnel? What does your sales process look like? 

Our third pillar is product development. This includes a few new products and adding content to our existing products. It is our goal to add one new major product per brand per year. We could develop lots of new products but that would take time away from the other two pillars. If you are only developing new products, don't be surprised when those products don't sell as well as you hoped. Unless you spend time marketing, all the products in the world are not going to make you the kind of income you want. Are you spending too much time on product development? Are your products and services well defined?

It's not all lollipops and unicorns

Since we announced that Jeff was leaving his job, we have had many trials and tribulations. Every week, something popped up that made us question our decision. Every time, we recommitted to Jeff coming to work with the business full-time. We knew we were making the right decision even though there were many personal challenges.

We could really use some lollipops and unicorns in March, though. 

Other mentions

Ronei Harden - Jeff's book editor

Episode 75, where we discuss Recurpost

Episode 74, where we discuss priorities

Episode 69, where we discuss how we were able to have Jeff come work for the business full-time

Listen to the show on iTunesStitcherYouTubeGoogle Play MusiciHeart Radio, or with the player below

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https://www.facebook.com/RoneiHarden

https://www.smallbizlife.com/blog/episode-75-social-media-scheduling-update

https://www.smallbizlife.com/blog/episode-74-prioritizing-all-the-things

https://www.smallbizlife.com/blog/episode-69-making-the-leap

https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/5CQukiiy Small Biz HQ Car Crash Flash Sale code MARCHFOR5 expires on March 31, 2017.

https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/X5iVpMtD time budget and master schedule

http://gardul.com/

http://accountinginfocus.com/

 

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Feb 19, 2017

There are always new players in the social media marketing world. In this episode, Jeff and Kristin look at two new players in the market: Tailwind and Recurpost. We also discuss our requirements for social media scheduling apps.

Our social media scheduling requirements

There are a few key items we always look for in social media scheduling apps:

  1. Library building for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn - we want a social media scheduling tool that will allow us to build libraries of content which will automatically repost. We can load content to manually or via RSS feeds and reuse the content. 
  2. Ease of setup - we want something that is easy to setup and use.
  3. Ease of scheduling - scheduling your libraries should be easy.

Bonus items we look for are good analytics and finding the best times to post our content. 

This week, we look at two new players in the marketplace, Tailwind and Recurpost.

Tailwind

Tailwind is a social media scheduling app for Pinterest and Instagram. The software does allow you to repost content but not automatically. Frankly, this was not very important because we don't often recycle content on Pinterest and Instagram. Jeff found it easy to set up his account during the free trial although scheduling content was a bit confusing. We were disappointed that it does not automatically post to Instagram for you. It sends you a text message similar to the way Buffer handles Instagram. 

The navigation was a bit complicated if you are only using it for one or two accounts, but we could see the value for larger businesses. The small business market seems to be a bit of an afterthought with this app. The pricing confirmed this for us. There are two pricing options listed on the website: Plus and Professional. The Plus option is for one account (Pinterest or Instagram, but you can add more accounts. The pricing is $15 per month or approximately $120 per year if you pay annually. At $9.99 per month on an annual plan, it is a bit expensive for one social media platform; but if you are all in with Instagram or Pinterest, it might be worth looking at.

For Instagram, we will be sticking with Grum. It is very easy to use, automatically posts to Instagram and is $9.95 per month for up to two Instagram accounts. Plus, you don't have to pay annually to get that pricing.

If you are looking to schedule things to Pinterest, Buffer allows it for paid accounts. Plus, you can use Buffer for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Recurpost

Recurpost is a social media scheduling tool for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The creator states that they are also working to add Pinterest. The app allows you to build libraries and reuse the content. 

Recurpost is a strong competitor for Edgar. We loved how easy it was to schedule posts and the app will find the best times to post your content. You can bulk upload URLs or use an RSS feed to add posts. There is a hashtag insert tool to suggest replacing terms in your post with hashtags you set. 

The biggest advantage is the pricing. Edgar is $79 per month or $588 per year ($49 per month) for up to 25 accounts. Recurpost has a free option for three social media accounts and up to 100 scheduled posts. For $25 per month or $250 per year (two months free), you get up to 10 social media accounts and 1000 scheduled posts. For $49 per month or $490 per year, you get unlimited accounts and posts. 

We were very impressed with Recurpost and are looking into it for our own scheduling needs. We think it is a viable alternative to Edgar. 

Try Small Biz HQ for $5 and help us with some unexpected car expenses

On February 17th, Jeff and I were driving to an event and were hit by another driver. Luckily, we are both okay but there was extensive damage to my car. There is also some question about whether the other driver has car insurance. We will need to advance the deductible and pay for a rental car while our insurance figures everything out.

Therefore, we thought it would be a great time to offer a deal on your first month of Small Biz HQ. Use code MARCHFOR5 to get your first month of Small Biz HQ for only $5. This code expires on March 31, 2017.

Small Biz HQ is our monthly subscription experience. Each month we deliver content on a new topic. In March, we will be covering content creation options like video, podcasting, and blogging in order to get your message out to the world. You'll also get access to all of our previous content and our Mastering Your Time course.

Listen to the show on iTunesStitcherYouTubeGoogle Play MusiciHeart Radio, or with the player below.

 Links

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https://www.tailwindapp.com/blogger-small-business

https://recurpost.com/

https://meetedgar.com/

https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/5CQukiiy Small Biz HQ Car Crash Flash Sale code MARCHFOR5 expires on March 31, 2017.

 

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Feb 12, 2017

We all have way too much on our to-do-lists. Trying to determine what takes priority can be difficult. In this episode, Jeff and Kristin discuss how to prioritize all the things you need to get done. 

Often, we try to get everything done at the same time and end up getting nothing meaningful done. Knowing your priorities is an important step to finding the meaningful tasks in your business. Your top priorities should always be products and people. 

Products include everything you sell. If you don't have something that will generate income, you won't be in business for long. 

People are those who will assist your business and those who will become customers. Focusing on relationship building is an important part of your business. How much time are you focusing on it?

Don't get caught up in perfection. Don't get caught up in the technology. There are always ways to simplify the process so you can get started easily. If you are getting bogged down in the details, tells us about it in the Facebook group. Jeff and I are always here to help. 

Mentioned in this episode

The Thank You Economy by Gary V

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

Episode 31 - Networking

Episode 50 - YouTube Basics

Dream Catcher Assessment

 

Listen to the show on iTunesStitcherYouTubeGoogle Play MusiciHeart Radio, or with the player below

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https://smallbizlife.com/dreambig Dream Catcher Assessment

https://smallbizlife.mykajabi.com/blog/episode-31-networking Episode 31 - Networking

https://smallbizlife.mykajabi.com/blog/episode-50-youtube-basics Episode 50 - YouTube Basics

 

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http://amzn.to/2kIkorb The Thank You Economy by Gary V

http://amzn.to/2kA1nVo Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

Feb 5, 2017

In this episode, Jeff and Kristin discuss the basics of affiliate marketing and how to get started if you wish to add affiliate income to your revenue sources.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is an arrangement between an online business and a website owner, that pays a commission to a website owner for traffic or sales referrals. The website owner can place links or ads on their website, social media, and in emails (depending on the terms and conditions with the online business). In simple terms as an affiliate, you promote other business's products and receive money from those businesses for doing so. 

Affiliate marketing is not just for bloggers anymore. Many businesses with an online presence are using it to supplement their income with products and services they do not provide or wish to provide to a larger audience. Affiliate marketing does not require you to place ads on your website. Many people just use links to the products in content, on resources pages, on social media, or in emails. Make sure you read the terms and conditions with each affiliate program to see how you can use your affiliate links. For example, Amazon's terms state that you cannot place affiliate links in emails because they are considered offline content. 

Who can participate?

Many states have passed affiliate tax laws aimed at large online retailers, like Amazon, which could limit some of the programs you can participate in. Currently, residents from Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont are not eligible for Amazon's affiliate program because Amazon does not have physical presence in those states. You may find that you will not be able to join other affiliate programs for the same reason. 

All affiliate programs have different requirements for acceptance. Some programs accept most applicants. Some are more selective, wanting to know current website or social media traffic. Others will ask you questions about how you plan to promote their products. 

Which companies should you work with?

When you use affiliate links, you are recommending products and services to your audience and customers. Just like any recommendations you make, you must be able to stand behind them. If you refer products you do not believe in, you are risking your reputation. 

Typically, we only refer products we use. In our business, we often look for affiliate programs after we have worked with a company and we have already determined that we will be recommending it to our audience and customers. 

How can you find out if a company has an affiliate program?

Most businesses use an affiliate network to host their affiliate program. An affiliate network is a website that allows you to apply for multiple affiliate programs within one site. You are also paid for all affiliate sales hosted by that network in one payment. Some popular networks are:

Amazon hosts its own affiliate program.

The best way to figure out if a brand has an affiliate program is to search for the name of the company and "affiliate program". This will help you find out if the company has a program and how to apply. 

Questions about affiliate marketing? Head over to the Facebook Group.

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http://linkshare.com

http://cj.com

http://clickbank.com

http://shareasale.com

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Jan 30, 2017

According to a 2012 survey in the U.K. Daily Mail, most people give up on their New Year's resolutions by January 10. If you are still working on your goals and your dreams, well done! In this episode, we discuss how to keep your goals and dreams alive into February and how to keep going for the rest of the year.

 If you haven't done the Dream Catcher Assessment yet, we highly recommend you download it. It will help you keep your dreams and goals close. Even if you are using another method to create your goals, reviewing them on a regular basis is important for your success. 

When reviewing your dreams and goals, it is important to see if they need to be modified. Do you need to dream bigger? Are any of your goals no longer relevant? 

Take a look at your monthly contract sheet on the last page of the Assessment. You will want to print a blank copy of the page so you can do your contract for February. If you need to download the Dream Catcher Assessment, just click the link and enter your email again. 

First, review last month's contract. How did you do with your action items? We both completed at least a portion of each of the items. Having the contract taped to the wall really helped keep them front and center. Some of them were completed just a few days ago but reviewing them often helped keep us on track. Note any action items that may need to be worked on again next month.

In the Dream Catcher Assessment, look at your dream for each category to make sure that you don't need to increase the scope of your dreams. Are these all items that you still want to accomplish? Are you still passionate about them? If not, go back in the Assessment and reset your dream for that area. 

Now, look at your areas of improvement indicated in the contract. How are you doing in those areas? Have you mastered them or should you devote more time? When we completed our February contract, some of our areas of improvement stayed the same, some changed to another area listed in the second section of the assessment, and some were completely new areas of improvement that were not previously considered. The beauty of the Dream Catcher Assessment is that it allows you to change course while still working on your big dreams. 

Finally, set your action for the next month. What will you work on in February to help you strengthen your area of improvement? In January, Kristin wanted to visit four new restaurants in the Lifestyle Category. That was actually much harder than we thought it would be because in order to find new and interesting restaurants, we would need to travel a fair distance from our house. That actually made us a feel better about our previous adventures because we realized we have tried a lot more restaurants than we had thought. This month, Kristin's goal is to go on a "walk-about" in a city she has not explored before.

The purpose of the Dream Catcher Assessment is to help you expand your boundaries and enjoy life. We hope that you will continue your work with the Assessment. 

One more tip: Keep your old contracts. Use them to look back and see how much progress you've made. This will help inspire you to keep dreaming big.

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Jan 22, 2017

Your task list can say a lot about your business and your mindset. In this episode, we discuss what your task list says about your business and how to design a task list for success. 

Types of Task Lists

We believe there are three types of task lists: the nonexistent, the mundane, and the dream vision task list. Each of these types of task lists tells us something about your business. 

The nonexistent task list

As the name suggests, this is not having an organized task list. You may have scattered pieces of paper or no list of any kind. These businesses are reactive and operate without a plan. These business owners may have created goals but these goals are often not achieved because there is no plan to achieve them.  

These business owners may believe they have a level of freedom but are often frustrated by their lack of progress. They may have a slow start each morning trying to decide what to do or may get lost in email or social media due to not knowing what the next step should be.  

The mundane task list

This is where most small business owners exist. They have the list but it is full of mundane tasks that bring no excitement and little progress to their business. The tasks are administrative and routine. 

Without a connection to dreams and goals, these task lists often lack any growth items. The list looks the same each week, because of repetitive tasks or tasks not completed in previous weeks. Tasks are boring, and the business owner typically lacks focus and desire.

Businesses run on this type of task list is not growth focused. There may be a lack of concern for customer experience. These businesses are in survival mode or worse desperation mode. Customers pick up on this vibe, negatively affecting the business.

The dream vision task list

When business owners align their dreams and goals with their task list, something magical happens. Productivity increases and businesses grow. Why does this make such a difference?

When we create dreams and goals, we get excited. That excitement tends to fade as we get stuck in the day-to-day operations of our businesses. We forget to make the connection between our dreams and our tasks. We tend to think that the mundane tasks must be completed before we can focus on goals but we take extra time on those mundane tasks because we are not excited by them. At the end of the week, there is no time for goal-focused tasks because we procrastinated, got distracted, or tuned out. 

The key is to get excited about all of the tasks. That may seem impossible. Some tasks just suck. However, when you can connect your tasks to your dreams and goals, you can get excited about every task. When you look at a task on your list, ask yourself which of your dreams or goals this task relates. Even mundane tasks, like updating your accounting transactions, give you valuable information to achieve your business and financial dreams. Billing brings in money which also helps with these dreams. 

When you become excited about mundane tasks, you can get them done more efficiently which creates time for the needle moving tasks. Bringing emotion to your tasks creates momentum. 

This month in Small Biz HQ, we are covering task and project management, plus weekly and daily planning. If you join Small Biz HQ before January 30, 2017, you can get all of our Founder's bonuses including special pricing for life. 

For more information about dreaming bigger, check out our free Dream Catcher Assessment.

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Jan 15, 2017

In this episode, Jeff and Kristin discuss limiting beliefs and how they might stop you from reaching your potential. We also discuss a way to eliminate your limiting belief.

What are limiting beliefs?

A limiting belief is an internal belief you have about yourself that limits your potential and ability to dream. Unlike fears, limiting beliefs are generally focused on you and your abilities. These are the voices in your head that tell you you aren't good enough, smart enough, or worthy enough. Often, these are voices from our past and you will hear them in other people's voices. Sometimes, these voices are our own voice from the past. These moments in our life have cemented a belief about ourself, very often a negative one.

Identifying and eliminating limiting beliefs

Typically, limiting beliefs pop up when we challenge ourselves and unknowingly challenge the limiting belief we hold. Many people encountered this when taking the Dream Catcher Assessment. If this was the case for you, we challenge you to go back to the assessment. When you hear the limiting beliefs and fears, write them down. If the voice is not your own and you can identify the person who said it, write that down as well.

 

Once you have started to identify your limiting beliefs, it's time to start assessing them. Think back to when you first heard that voice. You may be able to identify the specific memory. Think about the circumstances where you or someone you know made that statement. Have you changed since that comment was made? If someone else said it, should you have taken it so deeply to heart? Process your feelings and determine if this limiting belief from your past should have so much impact on your present and future.

 

Journaling is a great way to get our thoughts down and works well for  identifying fears and limiting beliefs. We recommend that every time you write in your journal, you identify three things that you are grateful for in addition to refuting your fears and limiting beliefs.

 

Another way to eliminate your limiting beliefs is to be a continual student. Have a budget for education and learn something new, even if it is something small every day. The more you expand your mind, the less room you have for limiting beliefs.

 

Look for ways to hold yourself accountable and be willing to seek help if needed. None of us are on this journey alone. Find an accountability partner, mastermind group, or coach to walk the journey with you. Check out our Facebook group for more accountability on your journey.

 

In this episode, we mentioned Life's Golden Ticket. It's one of the best books Kristin read in 2016. It's fiction but it teaches us a valuable lesson about limiting beliefs.

 

If you are ready to invest in some business education, check out Small Biz HQ, our monthly service to help you take your business to the next level.

 

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Jan 9, 2017

On January 3rd, Jeff gave his notice at his job to come work for the business full-time. In this episode, we discuss why we decided that now was the time, the planning we have done to get here, and why we gave up half our income to create our dream. 

Jan 2, 2017

Are you having trouble with sticking to your goals? You may be thinking too small. 

Why is dreaming big better for success?

When we dream big, we get excited about our lives again. We see an amazing vision for ourselves and that vision allows us to push beyond those goals we made in prior years.

If you want to start dreaming bigger, check out the Dream Catcher Assessment we have developed to help you dream bigger in six key areas of your life and create an action plan to move in the directions of your dream vision. 

Dec 18, 2016

Every business has a peak season, whether it is a natural part of your industry or because you are doing a launch. In this episode, we discuss strategies for having a more productive and profitable peak season.

Dec 12, 2016

Starting a podcast can seem very overwhelming, but it's actually easier than it appears. In this episode, we discuss how to start a podcast, what equipment you'll need, and how to get it out to the world.

Dec 5, 2016

We are often so excited about creating new goals we reflect on previous ones. In this episode, we discuss how to review old goals before setting new ones. We also discuss a few things you should add to your goals this year.

Nov 28, 2016

We have a simple choice to make each morning: do I want to live my life full of negativity or do I want to be a positive person? In this episode, we discuss how to change your attitude to allow more joy and prosperity in your life.

Nov 21, 2016

Are you displaying gratitude in your life? Do you take time each day to reflect on the things you are grateful for? In this episode, we discuss why gratitude is important and how you can show more of it in your daily life.

Nov 14, 2016

When you can't focus, everything takes more time. Since we can't create more time, we need to create more focus. In this episode, we discuss how to improve your focus so you can get more done in less time.

Nov 7, 2016

How often do you check out what your competition is doing? How often do you look at leaders in your industry to see how they are innovating? In this episode, we discuss how to do market research to strengthen your competitive advantage.

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