Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Yeah, It IS Lonely At the Top

Sometimes when you run a business you feel as lonely as the Maytag repairman. Loneliness and isolation are very common problems for business owners. You sit at your desk wondering if you are steering your business in the right direction. When faced with a decision, you worry that you may be making a mistake or missing an opportunity. You get frustrated because you have no one to talk to about all the problems and decisions you have to make everyday. When you have a confidential matter you can’t discuss with employees, family members, or friends you suffer in silence because you don’t have an advisor to turn to. And unless your spouse is an MBA, he or she probably doesn’t have the answers you need either.

Finding people you can trust to help you with your business is tough. You need someone knowledgeable. You want someone you feel comfortable with. Someone you can really take into your confidence.

Often business owners turn to their bankers or accountants for business advice. But, do you really want to tell your banker that you need guidance running your company? Does your accountant encourage you to sit down and chat about your business over a cup of coffee? Absolutely not. First of all, you don’t want to look like a dope in front of other professionals. You want to be seen as the competent professional that you are.

In my early days of running my business, I felt very lonely and isolated. Who could I talk to about my business? Not my customers certainly. They were looking to me for business advice. Not my family. They weren’t really sure what I do, and I deal with a lot of technical stuff that they’ve never even heard of. So, I spent an awful lot of time struggling. Struggling to learn. Struggling to make the right decisions. Struggling to choose directions for my business. And all the while, feeling like I needed someone to advise me but I just didn’t know WHO!

But over the years, I have found the resources I need to help me move my business forward. I know who I can trust. I know who has the answers to my questions. Now it’s a matter of picking up the phone or sending an email to the right professional. And almost magically my questions are answered and my business moves forward. Sometimes just getting a second opinion or a new perspective clears the fog and the confusion.

The moral of the story is that no one (even business consultants with MBA’s) has all the information and knowledge needed to build a successful business. We all do better when we can “get by with a little help from our friends.”

And here’s an invitation for you: If you’re a self employed professional struggling with decisions and challenges in your business, I invite you to pour yourself a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and spend an hour talking with me about your business. Just the two of us, brain to brain, business owner to business owner, professional to professional.

Here are some business decisions and challenges you may be struggling with:

*You’re at a plateau and you just can’t get your business to the next level.
*You’re considering taking your business in a new direction but you’re not sure if it’s the right thing to do or how to get started.
*You’re struggling to find clients and you can’t figure out why.
*You want to escape the Billable Hours Trap that limits your income.
*You’re feeling burnt out and overwhelmed.
*Your life and business feel chaotic and out of whack.
*You need a sanity check.
*All of the above.

This tax-deductible, business-transforming, stress-relieving, clarity-producing, completely-confidential conversation is available to you for only $195. Click here to order now.

http://www.1shoppingcart.com/app/javanof.asp?MerchantID=52219&ProductID=2030035

Then send me an email at TheJordanResult@adelphia.net giving me some times you’ll be available in the next week or so and give me a brief synopsis of the topics you’d like to discuss. I’ll get back to you by email to set up a time. That’s all there is to it. Discover how one conversation can move your business light years ahead

What others are saying:

“I’d pay $4000 just so I could talk to you!”
Dave S., Self Employed Consultant

“You’re a life saver!”
Jim S., Owner, Professional Practice

“You never make me feel dumb when I ask questions.”
Karen C., Accountant

“You just saved me from making a huge mistake.”
Tom P., Self Employed Professional

“She’s doesn’t come cheap and she’s worth every penny.”
Jeff B., Business Owner

Until next time,

Caroline Jordan
Get Knowledge. Get Focus. Get Results.
The Jordan Result
www.TheJordanResult.com

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Article Writing Made Simple

A great way for self employed professionals to enhance their reputations is to write articles. But for many, the thought of writing an article calls to mind your school days of struggling to write a composition, trapped indoors while your friends played baseball without you.

Article writing doesn’t have to be difficult and the rewards are great. Since I started writing articles, my website traffic increased, signups for my newsletters increased, the media has sought me out, and I’ve become what Stephen Van Yoder calls “slightly famous”.

Here is the formula I use to write articles:

First of all, I do not see myself as a writer. You will not find me starving in a garret, suffering for my art. I see myself as a communicator. I have important and useful information to impart that can help people build successful businesses. When you look at it that way, it really takes a lot of pressure off you.

Secondly, your articles do not have to be Pulitzer Prize quality. They need to communicate information in a way your customer can relate to. If your customer is put off by high-falutin’ language, don’t use it. Speak in language that resonates with your customer. Remember, your intent is to communicate, not to win prizes or bludgeon others with your knowledge of polysyllabic words.

Next, start out by writing out a sentence or two (no more) that explains what you want to accomplish with your article. Your purpose is two fold: you want to establish your expertise in the eyes of your potential customers and you want those customers to do something. Here is an example for an article I am writing about how self employed professionals can enhance their reputations:

“I will write an article to give self employed professionals ideas on how to enhance their reputations which will result in more traffic to my website.”

That statement causes me to focus on achieving a specific result—more traffic…by providing specific information—reputation enhancing ideas. It really is the most important part of writing an article. Without that focus I am likely to head off on a tangent.

From there, develop a main thought and support it with three or four points. Add a brief story, a website to visit for more information, or a quote from an expert (that expert can be you) and you’ve got your article.

Sometimes when I get writer’s—I mean communicator’s block. I grab my microphone and “talk” my article. This also ensures that my articles have a conversational tone instead of a boring professor monologue.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Until next time,

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

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

You've Got Personality, Use It!

For the self employed professional, nothing is more important than the image you project to your clients and potential clients. Napoleon Hill put it best when he said, “People buy your personality and ideas long before they buy your products and services.”

Your image may be projected by the clothes you wear, the car you drive, and your posture. But, your image is also projected by the marketing contact points you make. What does your website say about you? What do your brochures or office sign say about you? Are you communicating the image you want to communicate?

I worked with one self employed professional whose target market was other small business owners. Yet his website had a very corporate feel about it. It wasn’t designed to attract the kinds of customers he was interested in attracting. The language he used on the website was formal and stripped of all “person-ality”. But in talking to him, I really “got” how much he loved working with small business owners and helping them become more successful.

Statistics overwhelmingly support that when people are shopping for a professional they buy the person first, the company second, the product or service third, and the price last. Your personality is a major competitive advantage. It’s what sets you apart from all the other people who do the same work you do.

Think about you favorite professionals. Why do you like working with them? My dentist is always jovial, laughing and telling stories during my visits. His personality carries throughout his practice and makes going to the dentist actually enjoyable. If he stripped away the personality, he would be just another dentist.

Let’s say you’re a real estate agent who loves golf and you communicate that to potential customers. You’ll find that you attract customers who also enjoy golf. It establishes a point of connection between the two of you. Your potential client starts out feeling like they know something about you. You’re not a stranger. You’re a fellow golfer. That builds rapport and trust.

Don’t be shy about letting people know who you are and what you stand for. If you’re an eye doctor who travels to Guatemala once a year to provide eye care for children, post a picture on your website or in your office. Send a press release to the local paper about your trip. Not only does it encourage others to support worthy causes, it establishes you as a caring person and a dedicated professional.

Give clients and potential clients multiple opportunities to get to know you by carrying your image and personality throughout your business.

Until next time,

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

P.S Stay tuned over the next couple weeks as I introduce new products and services to help you enhance your reputation, increase your revenue, improve your cash flow, and attract customers you enjoy.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Free Cash Flow Management Resources

Focus is a vital element of small business success
and helping my clients “get focus” has always been
a key focus of my consulting practice.

Each week I send out The Jordan Result, an ezine of
practical tips and creative solutions for small business
owners, particularly self employed professionals. This
week I have added a new resource for my clients who
want more focus on cash flow issues.

Introducing…

Cash Flow Quick Tips, a new ezine focusing on
the critical issue of cash flow management.

According to a study done by the National Federation
of Independent Businesses, 66% of small businesses
experience cash flow problems either constantly or
occasionally. Another study shows that 82% of small
businesses that fail have owners who don’t understand
cash flow management.

Cash Flow Quick Tips is designed to combat that
problem. I guess you could call me a Cash Flow
Crusader. I want every business owner to discover
the secrets of successful Cash Flow Mastery. It is my
personal and business goal to help 50,000 small business
owners learn the skills they need to master the art
and science of cash flow management.

To achieve that goal, I have added several free resources
to your Cash Flow Arsenal:

Cash Flow Quick Tips:
Get it here:
TheJordanResult-115101@autocontactor.com

Cash Flow Mini Course—discover the 4 reasons
businesses have cash flow problems:
Get it here:
TheJordanResult-91058@autocontactor.com

Cash Master Checklist—helps you find the leaky
spots in your Cash Flow Boat:
Get it here:
TheJordanResult-110571@autocontactor.com

Come join me in my crusade to help small
business owners “Get Cash Flow Knowledge.
Get Cash Flow Focus. And Get Cash Flow
Results.

To your success!
Caroline Jordan
Get Knowledge. Get Focus. Get Results.
The Jordan Result

P.S. To subscribe to The Jordan Result for Small Business Success click here:
TheJordanResult-65236@autocontactor.com