Not all social media outlets are the same…
I’ve recently notice something that I have been guilty of…posting the same things on Instagram and Facebook. I realized my mistake when I looked Gary Vaynerchuk’s Instagram and Facebook pages. He doesn’t duplicate, but rather uses the two different platforms in very different ways.
Go look and tell me what differences you are seeing.
No two platforms are the same.
Business is no different than two gladiators fighting.
Business is not polite.
Like any sport or competition, there is a winner and a loser.
What separates the winners from the losers, is strategy and an edge.
Do you have an edge?
Do you have business strategy?
It’s all in how we think. “Oh, I hate my job. I don’t like my boss. I would rather be doing something else.” You have heard it before, if not in your own head, from someone else.
The reason for this negative self-talk is because most people don’t have a plan to get to the place they want to be. We live in a country where we can obtain knowledge and change paths all in an afternoon.
Here are some things to do:
- Become self-aware – accept your weaknesses and recognize your strengths.
- Read – read something each day that helps you gain knowledge and get to where you want to be.
- Build a plan –write down the steps you need to take in order to get to what you truly want to do.
- Implement your plan – work your plan at night between the end of family time and 1 AM. If you want something, time is not a factor.
Quit wanting to fail and become the success you see in your soul.
It’s so common. I always ask the question to our prospects who are realtors, ‘”How do you receive your commissions?” Most come back to me with a simple , “I receive them in my checking account.” And most pay ordinary income tax on their earnings.
Here is a secret…you’re a business, so structure your “Business” as a business, not a sole proprietorship. The following should be confirmed by your CPA.
- Set up an LLC that files as a S-corp. Ever heard of Warren Buffet? He once said that he paid, percentage wise, less taxes than his secretary. How is that possible? It’s all in how receives his income. How do you receive your income?
- Deductions. Depending how your “business” is structured, deductions can be a big savings. Mileage, advertising, entertainment.
- Set up a retirement plan. As a small business, you have the opportunity to set up a 401(k), SEP or a Simple IRA. Great way to save for the future.
With 2015 tax’s due this month, begin to plan for 2016 tax season now. For more information on this and other financial planning strategies, contact me, Trent Grinkmeyer, at 205-266-7509 or email me at email@example.com
Donald Trump has our attention!
I recently spoke to a retired CPA friend of mine. I told him I was writing some blog posts pertaining to CPAs and expanding their practices. I wanted to know from him what some of the challenges he and other CPAs run into. His immediate first response was growing the business.
He then told me that the majority of his colleagues were floating in a safety boat in the abyss. I looked at him puzzled. “What the hell does that mean???, I asked. He explained by asking me, “When I say politics, who do you think of today?” I said, “Trump…Donald Trump”. He went on to discuss why he thought that Trump’s variant, outlandish personality was the reason he is the front runner for the GOP.
Ever seen a black swan? They are rare. But when you see them, you don’t forget about them. To stand out in a sea of CPA’s, you have to be a black swan…a Donald Trump. (but with better hair)
Three things that will get you noticed:
- Be LOUD!!! Tell the world that you exist and what you do.
- Have a position and stand by it. Being everything to everyone achieves mediocrity. Have a purpose and be proud of it.
- Be yourself. Build your image on who you are, not who your industry is. You do not have to be clone of the others.
Define your purpose and be you!
The Difference Between What You Say and What Your Client or Customer Hears
How many times a month does your spouse misinterpret what you said? How many situations have you been in when somebody says something and you know good and well that they meant something else entirely?
The power of words has become so overlooked that what we are saying or meaning to say is being translated in completely different ways. I will give you an example:
Which of the following do you think is the more effective way of stating these ideas?
Long-term strategy or Recovery strategy?
Knowledgeable or Experienced
Straightforward fees or Transparent fees ?
Here’s what my research has shown to be more appealing to the customer/client.
Long-term strategy or Recovery strategy ?
– Long-term strategy
Knowledgeable or Experienced
Straightforward fees or Transparent fees ?
– Straightforward fees
In the end, choosing our words wisely can influence a client/customer to buy or to leave empty-handed….Choose your words wisely, young Jedis.
Do we ask our employees to collect dots or to connect dots?
Recently I heard Seth Godin speak to an education conference about how education is taught and what it is for. He said something that I thought was pretty significant, “Do we teach them to collect dots or to connect dots?”.
As an employer I asked myself the same question. Is what I’m asking my employees to do collecting or connecting? The ideal is connecting the dots whereas collecting the dots causes us to become stagnant and not grow as a company.
Of course, connecting the dots is what I want our company to be. But how does it apply specifically to my company and my employees? What kind of environment does it take to encourage people to be dot connectors? And for you guys, what does connecting dots mean to your company? What does that even look like? Each company is different. Each company has to dig deep to see how we can encourage employees to be connectors instead of collectors. So I came up with the following exercise to encourage people to connect those dots:
1) Designate 30 minutes each day on areas of interest pertaining to the business. It may be on efficiencies in production/management or product placement in the marketplace. Whatever it is, set aside time to better understand something that doesn’t presently exists in the business. Work on an issue that could take the business to the next level and could be beneficial to the growth of the company.
2) Create an award system for new, innovative ideas that are implemented in the business.
3) Restructure your business processes to encourage a better outcome. Seth Godin suggests this is how we teach kids in school. For example, instead of having kids hearing a lecture all through the day and going home and doing homework; instead have the kids listen to lectures after school and then during the day doing discussions, practice problems, and hands-on learning activities about those lectures.
Encouraging business innovation in your company will separate you from the competition. Accepting the idea of “but that’s how it’s always been done” and continuing to grow mediocrity within your company will eventually end your business. Keep that from happening and innovate a way to connect dots.
Have you ever gone car shopping with no idea what kind of car/truck you want to buy? If you have, it is a very long frustrating process where you usually end up with something you don’t want.
When you go into a sales meeting, have you taken the time to know who you’re selling against, what the customers concern is, and what you’re going to position your company offering as?
Jim Cramer of Mad Money on CNBC always says before buying a stock, do your homework. It is no different when selling a product or service to a prospect. Know who you’re selling to, what their pain points are and who you’re selling against. Knowing these items will get you a leg up over your competition. Remember nobody likes to do homework, but those who do usually ace the test.
Recently we had to write a business plan for a plumbing company. It has got me thinking about who this plumbing company will be competing against for more business. That made me think and ask myself the question, “Who am I competing against and what do I know about them? “
What to do to stay competitive? Within your specific market:
- Find out who else sells what you do to the same client base.
- Know who they are, not just their names but what they offer, and who their clients are.
Ask yourself: What would Nick Saban do to prepare for his next game?
He, along with all successful coaches, spends hours upon hours researching opponents’ statistics, watching their game footage and figuring out exactly what their biggest weaknesses are. From that information, he formulates his game day plan.
- Take 15 minutes each day this week, look up who your competition is, read their websites, find out who their clients are and start finding ways to sell against them.
The more you know about your competitors, the more ammunition you have to win against them. The more we know about their clients, the more we can sell against our competitors’ weaknesses.