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7 Ways to Cheer Up About Summer Ending

7 Ways to Cheer Up About Summer Ending

7 Ways to Cheer Up About Summer Ending

Beat the End of Summer Blues

The official last day of the 2015 summer season is September 23rd, but for most of us Labor Day signals the end of summer. Does the thought of summer ending leave you feeling blue? Let's enjoy these last days of summer so that we can head into the fall season recharged and ready to perform our best for our businesses. Here are 7 ways to cheer yourself up at the end of summer!

  1. Take one last trip to the pool, lake or beach. Pack a picnic and enjoy the day.
  2. Go on a long bike ride or walk in a park. Breathe in the fresh air.
  3. Have an outdoor movie night or camp out in the backyard.
  4. Make homemade smoothies or ice cream.
  5. Go barefoot and read a book.
  6. Shop some end of season summer sales.
  7. Go to an amusement park.

Maybe your favorite seasons are fall or winter? In any case, with a little rest and relaxation, we can head back to work energized to market and grow our businesses!

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Why You Must Have a Vision Board for Your Business (and How to Create One)

Why You Must Have a Vision Board for Your Business (and How to Create One)

What is a Vision Board?

The general idea behind a vision board is that you create a visual collage of inspirational words and images that represent your dreams, desires and goals in life – they can be either personal or business based. It is a visualization tool that helps you focus and affirm the dreams that make you happy in life and business. Focusing on your vision board activates an energy which attracts the things on which you are focusing. Without getting into quantum physics, this is simply based upon the principle, "Like attracts like." When you surround yourself with positive images, your life changes to match your desires and goals.

Why You Must Have a Vision Board for Your Business

A vision board is a tool to create and manifest very specific goals for your business. What do you want your business to look like in one year, or in five years? What will your dream office look like and how many employees will you have? Who are your ideal customers? How will your business improve your personal, spiritual and family life? Are you involved with volunteer projects? How many hours are you working per week? Maybe you created a business plan that includes all of these details, but it's sitting on your shelf where you hardly ever see it. A vision board is a different approach to set goals for your business in a new way – a visual one that you can look at every day so that you can stay focused on achieving your dreams.

4 Simple Steps to Create a Personal or Business Vision Board

  1. Gather materials: a poster board, markers, magazines, drawings, and glue or a glue stick.
  2. Go through the magazines and tear out pictures and words, imagining things that you want and staying focused on the positive. Try to find images that reflect the outcomes that you desire and not necessarily the material result. For instance, instead of focusing on a pile of cash, focus on what the money will bring you. Be relaxed and open minded as you brainstorm imagery. You may even have epiphanies about things that you didn't even realize that you wanted. Maybe it's not even what you want for yourself, but ways that you can help others.
  3. Go through all of the images and words, and lay them out on your poster board. Get rid of the ones you don't really want. You must have a firm belief in the ideas that you place on the board. If you have any doubt in your images, they probably won't work. Once you have them laid out, glue them in place. Use markers to add more words and colors. Draw in words and pictures for the things for which you couldn't find an image. Make it bright and colorful. Don't get hung up on it being perfect. Have fun with it!
  4. When you are done, hang the vision board in a place where you will see it often. Look at it before you go to bed and when you wake up in the morning. See yourself achieving the things on your vision board. Be grateful and thankful for all of the blessings in your life. Acknowledge the changes that have taken place and the goals that have come true thus far. Your business will grow and prosper as you see it coming true.

It's the start of a new year – the perfect time to create a Vision Board for your business. Get started today!

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How to Create an Effective Business Website

How to Create an Effective Business Website

Here are the elements a business website should have to be most effective. An effective business website should be a win for the visitor and a win for the owner. The visitor wants a solution and the owner wants more business.

When someone visits a website they are looking for information, a solution, or a product or service. They are at a site to satisfy their needs. We call this being tuned into “WII-FM” What’s In It For Me?”   The site must immediately begin to provide a “WII-FM” value to the visitor or they will go away.

A lot of websites showcase the company, their mission, their knowledge, client list, their staff, the staff’s experience and then offer a contact us button. Most visitors who find the site through search engines are visiting for  “WII-FM”. This disconnect from the audience causes the website to be ineffective. An effective business website connects with its audience because it delivers “WII-FM”.

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Generate Selling Power with Testimonials

Generate Selling Power with Testimonials

Testimonials are a powerful way to bring in new business. They help generate sales in your printed marketing materials, and adding a testimonials page is one of the easiest way to improve your website. Testimonials from happy customers builds trust, offers unbiased opinions, and has the power to persuade a customer who is on the fence about a sale.

Testimonial Formats

What are some of the common formats for testimonials? Written testimonials are excellent. They are full of rich keywords (both long and short) which will improve your website's SEO. Written testimonials are also a great addition to all of your printed materials.

Video testimonials are great too. They are more personal and people connect with them. They can also be embedded or linked from a You Tube channel, which helps build your company's social media presence. Even better, the video could even showcase your product or service in use.

What Makes an Effective Testimonial?

There are many great testimonials, but some are much better than others. How can you tell the difference between a good one and a great one? A great testimonial has actual facts and figures, and is very specific about what your product or service can do for others. It would be even better if the testimonial were written by a happy customer who is in your target market (or buyer's persona) that your potential customers could relate to. A great testimonial also endorses the exact selling points that you highlight in your marketing, driving home the benefits and impact of using your service or product.

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SMART Goals: How to Bracket Your Business for Success

SMART Goals: How to Bracket Your Business for Success

Business Goals: A Formula For Success

A critical part of business strategy is planning goals for your business. When we write down our goals, we have more confidence, are more motivated to reach results, and have more success in meeting our goals. But sometimes the biggest hurdle is simply getting started. Breaking large goals into smaller milestones helps us get closer to our big goal one step at a time, building confidence and momentum along the way.

What are SMART Goals?

SMART goals help us clarify our goal so that it is actionable and achievable. What is a SMART goal? It is a goal that is:

  • S:  Specific. It is well-defined and focused. Once we focus on a goal, it becomes a magnet, and all your energy is focused on this goal.
  • M:  Measurable. Put concrete numbers on your goal. It is a way to see if you are on track so that you can adjust your course if needed.
  • A:  Attainable. Dreaming big is good. But your goals must be attainable for you to make progress. Do you believe that you can realistically reach your goal?
  • R:  Relevant. Choose a goal that is relevant to your business and its success. Don't choose a goal because someone else thinks you should do it. Choose one because YOU want to do it.
  • T:  Timely. Write down a specific date to reach your goal. Having a deadline helps you set a pace to reach your goal to stay on track and keep you accountable.

March Madness: Bracketing Your Business Goals

We have created a fun analogy to help you get started planning your first SMART business goal. Every year in March, fans eagerly choose teams and follow basketball games in the hopes that their favorite will win the NCAA Championship. We're going to bracket a few goal ideas. Set your business up for success by picking a few different ways to build your business. Then narrow it down to ONE goal, and follow through to meet your goal (of course, they will ALL be winners!)

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