Sunday, March 27, 2005

Cash Flow and Other Madness

Answers for All Your Cash Flow Questions

Well, I’ve finally done it. I’ve been hard at work developing
a Cash Flow Mastery Success System that answers every
question you ever had about small business cash flow. It’s in
final production and starts shipping April 11th. It includes
Mastering Cash Flow: A How To Guide for Solving Small
Business Cash Flow Problems, an enhanced tutorial workbook
with exercises to help you pinpoint the specific cash flow
problems you face in your own business, real world solutions
and strategies, CD’s I recorded full of real world examples of
what works and doesn’t work, all packaged up so you can
complete them at your own pace and on your own schedule.

Find out more: www.TheJordanResult.com/mastering.html .

But, that’s not all I’ve been up to…I also have some new
teleclasses on Cash Flow. The courses are offered through:

http://www.my1stbusiness.com/finance.php
http://www.smallbiz-bootcamp.com/cashflowpuzzle.html

Each class costs only $20 so they’re definitely affordable.
Both sites have a wide array of classes for small business
owners to help them: Get Knowledge. Get Focus. Get Results.

The Method to My Madness

Now, here’s the small business tip of the week…Did you
notice what I’m up to? All the great resources I listed above
are examples of how a small business owner can do work
once and get paid multiple times for it. It’s all a part of my
business model which you’re seeing develop before your
very eyes. Exciting, huh? Find ways to do the same in your
business and see how awesome it feels to have residual
income sources. It’s good stuff!

Until next time,

Caroline Jordan
Get Knowledge. Get Focus. Get Results.
The Jordan Result

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

A Tale of Two Customer Experiences

If you ever want to see me lose my cool, just give me
some really bad customer service. That usually does it.
If you want to make me sing your praises give me good
customer service and you’ll have an advocate for life.

Here are two customer service stories (abbreviated because
I know you have other things to do today and reliving one
of the stories would get me all wound up again :-).

Story #1 An office supply company who I usually have only
good experiences with…

I was in charge of ordering new tables and chairs for my
church. I placed the order only to find out that they had a
cable guy delivery schedule. Someone needed to be at the
church between the hours of 9 and 5.

On the day they wanted to deliver, a huge snowstorm was
predicted and it was doubtful that anyone would be able to
make it to the church. The company was not able to schedule
the delivery any other day or time, even though I called and
asked. I actually had to cancel the order and reorder the
next day to get a better delivery date.

When I called to voice my concerns about the 9 to 5 delivery
time frame, I was given a “company policy” explanation. So I
called the corporate headquarters and had a frank discussion
about the importance of good customer service. Naturally, they
agreed that my concerns were valid, it was a problem, but they
still didn’t do anything about it.

Story #2 A computer company who I always have good
experiences with…

The most important tool in my business, besides my brain, is
my computer. Without it I’m dead in the water. My computer
has developed some progressively worsening issues. Namely,
the poor thing is overloaded with all the stuff I’ve got in it. As
such, it is slower than molasses in January. It is costing me
severely in productivity as I wait, and wait, and wait, and wait
for it to catch up with me.

So, the time has come to bring a new member into the family.
Without hesitation I headed to the Dell website to do my
shopping. Why Dell? My last two computers were from Dell.
I got a good product at a good price and excellent customer
service. (As a consultant, I’m also fascinated by the company
and its business model.) I did my shopping and product
comparing and placed my order on March 22. I was given an
estimated ship date of March 28.

This morning I received an email notification that my computer
shipped the same day I ordered it. WOW!! They gave me a
reasonable time frame for delivery and then got the job done
immediately. All the while they provided me with excellent
communication. How’s that for service? Dude, I’m getting a Dell!

Delight your customers. It is the best way to get more business
from them and from their friends and colleagues. I have said it
before and I’ll say it again. Your customer is your most valuable
asset and a dedicated, loyal customer has value far beyond the
first sale.

Until next time,
Caroline Jordan

Get Knowledge. Get Focus. Get Results.
The Jordan Result

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

6 of 1, Half Dozen of the Other

Motivational author and speaker Jim Rohn says
that for a business to succeed it takes about a
half dozen things. Of all the millions of things
you do, it’s really that half dozen that count.

Of course, the trick is figuring out which half
dozen things to do to help your business succeed.
A while back, I sat down and did some thinking
about the half dozen things I need to do consistently
to take my business to the next level.

One of my half dozen is establishing and nurturing
relationships. Relationships are crucial for every
small business. Not only do those relationships
lead to new business opportunities (and believe
me, it’s a wonderful thing to have so many
opportunities that you can chose who you work
with and what kind of work you do), but relation-
ships are a fantastic way to limit the isolation
of small business ownership.

Isolation takes two forms. One is the isolation we
all feel from time to time being self employed. That’s
the “it’s lonely at the top” feeling we all get. Reaching
out to others relieves some of that loneliness and gives
us other points of view on how we’re running our
businesses.

The other isolation is cutting ourselves off from our
customers. When you have a strong relationship with
your customers, you know what their problems and
challenges are. You can use that information to fine
tune your products and services or create new ones
to help them solve their problems.

Case in point. I’m working on a new service for
solo professionals. Some time ago, I took a really
fantastic Marketing for More seminar with Marcia
Yudkin http://www.marketingformore.com/seminars.htm

At the seminar I met a couple of executive
coaches. We struck up a friendship and have stayed
in touch. Last week, I asked them about the kinds of
services they most needed at each stage of their growing
businesses.

Their input is priceless. The value will drive my business
forward for years. And it meant so much to me that
they took the time to answer my questions and that they
spent so much time thinking about things for me.

Now, we didn’t approach each other with a “what
can this person do for me?” attitude. We met, enjoyed
each others viewpoints and personalities, kept in
touch, and helped each other out. It’s that simple.

What are your “half dozen things”? What do you
need to focus on to move your business forward?
Once you figure out the half dozen, focus on them
relentlessly and watch your business grow.

Until next time,

Caroline Jordan
Get Knowledge. Get Focus. Get Results.
The Jordan Result

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

I could have prevented WorldCom's demise!

I was reading last week about poor Bernard
Ebbers, beleaguered CEO of the now bankrupt
WorldCom. Bernie took the witness stand in
his own defense. He offered the following as
his explanation of his role in creating the
largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Bernie reports that his “marks weren’t too
good” in school. He said he’d never had an
accounting class and didn’t know anything
about finance and accounting.

Oh, Bernie. Bernie, Bernie, Bernie. If only
you had taken my “Strength in Numbers”
class or read my cash flow book. We could
have avoided all this mess. Or, if only your
defense team could have come up with
a better defense than, “I’m just plain dumb.”

But, poor old Bernie’s demise brings home
a very important point. When you own a
business, regardless of the size or complexity,
you have to understand accounting and cash
flow. It’s not an optional business skill.

Jessie Hagen of U.S. Bank did a study of
failed businesses and here are a couple of
sad statistics:

82% of businesses that failed had owners
who had poor cash flow management skills
or a poor understanding of cash flow.

70% of businesses that failed had owners
who didn’t recognize (or ignored) what they
didn’t do well and didn’t seek expert help.

The good news is poor Bernie won’t have
to eat lunch all by himself. He’ll have lots of
friends with him who didn’t understand
accounting.

The even better news is small business
owners have a shining example of the
importance of learning the numbers side
of their businesses.

And here’s a great way to get that knowledge.
I will be teaching a series of cash flow and
accounting teleclasses for a great small
business resource site. The classes start
March 30. These classes are for members
of www.my1stbusiness.com only. I encourage
you to check out their website. It is chock
full of excellent resources for every aspect
of running your small business.

And if anyone sees Bernie Ebbers on the street,
let him know about the classes. His future
depends on it.

Until next time,
Caroline Jordan
Get Knowledge. Get Focus. Get Results.
The Jordan Result

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Small Business Marketing Resources

Small Business Resources

People often ask me for resources to help them
with marketing their businesses. For many small
business owners, marketing is a big mystery. They
know they need to market but they don’t think they
have time. And even if they did have time, they
wouldn’t know where to start.

I have two marketing experts, David Frey and Marcia
Yudkin from whom I have learned a tremendous amount.
In fact, their books and information products are fast
at hand on my desk and I refer to them often. They are
part of the reason my business has survived and thrived.
Let me introduce you.

David Frey has dominated a niche that many of us
wouldn't ever think of. He is THE marketing guy for
the spa and pool industry. He writes for the trade
journals, speaks at the conventions, and is very much
in demand.

He has three products for small businesses
that I think are great. The Small Business Marketing
Bible for all small businesses. Very in depth and an
excellent resource. The Coaches and Consultant’s
Marketing Bootcamp for anyone in a knowledge
based business. I have used this to build my business
and have had great results from his program. And his
latest product, Instant Referral Systems, where he
details more referral techniques than you can even
imagine existed.

He also has some great no cost resources at his websites.
Stop by my website to find out how to reach him.
www.TheJordanResult.com/Resources.html

My other favorite marketing expert is Marcia Yudkin.
She has written a ton of books, special reports, and
articles on two topics: writing and marketing. She
really shines on subjects where writing and marketing
intersect like web copy, sales letters, press
releases, etc. I took a Marketing for More seminar
with Marcia last year that totally redefined my business.
this woman is one sharp cookie and she really knows
her stuff.

She also publishes a great weekly Ezine called the
Marketing Minute. I highly recommend that you
subscribe. I have listed her contact information
at www.TheJordanResult.com/resources.html .

Let me know what resources you have used to
succeed. My goal is to make my website a one
stop total resource for small business success.

Until next time,
Caroline Jordan

Get Knowledge. Get Focus. Get Results.
The Jordan Result