We’ve all heard the common statistic that is often cited about the huge number of small businesses that fail in their first year. For many, this serves to put them off embarking in the amazing, inspiring and often crazy path to becoming an entrepreneur. But it really shouldn’t be that way.

With the amazing technology available at our fingertips, the laptop lifestyle is fast becoming the norm for many, and it lends itself well to coaches who are looking to spread their word to others around the world. But it’s also very easy to fall into some common traps which will prevent your entrepreneurial dreams from becoming a reality. So I’m shining a light on the 3 most common reasons why start-ups fail, and the simple strategies you can put in place to ensure this doesn’t happen to you too.

  1. Lack of focus

This is really common with new entrepreneurs, and one I’ve been partial too as well. When you’re just starting out, it’s such a new and exciting time, and it’s very easy to get swept along by the tide of ideas, and not actually get anything DONE.

The solution

Concentrate on one project at a time, and make sure you finish it before you move onto the next big thing. Keep a notepad with you so that you can jot down new ideas as they come up, but try not to fall into the trap of having to instigate everything straight away. Give your ideas the time they need to develop before you make a start – you’ll find that over time some will start to lose their shiny lustre, whilst others will shine even brighter – these are the ones you should follow, they are the ideas which have real value, and most importantly the ones you’ll be able to see through to the end.

  1. Not asking for help when you need it

Think you can do it all on your own, right? Wrong, my friend. Whilst I fully understand that as bootstrapping start-ups we take on many roles in our businesses, from CEO to accountant to graphic designer, the average entrepreneur has tried their hand at them all. But there comes a point in your business when it’s really important to ask for help, whether that be from a VA, an accountant or a marketing coach, in order to see your business grow.

The solution

Start small by outsourcing a one-off task, so that you get used to employing people to work in your business. Then you can make sure you have all the systems and processes in place to ensure a smooth transition when you bring in regular help.

  1. Not devoting enough time to marketing

This is a real biggie for small business owners. The dreaded ‘m’ word! You’ve got a fantastic idea and you’ve put together some awesome packages that you KNOW will be transformational for your clients, and yet you don’t put the time and effort into getting them out there and in front of your ideal client.

Growing your presence takes time. I know social media, blogs, newsletters and the like can seem like a massive time suck when you’ve got the important work of your ACTUAL business to get on with.

And as for PR? So many entrepreneurs I work with think they’re not ready to get featured in the press, and they wouldn’t know where to start even if they wanted to. This couldn’t be further from the truth – when you’re in the start-up phase, you don’t need to invest thousands on a PR agency to get featured, so long as you follow the right process. And you don’t need to be one of the big guns to get featured – your unique story is far more important than the size of your business, and it’s one that readers will find fascinating.

The solution

Spend some time each week & month planning out your marketing so that it doesn’t become overwhelming. Start with a year planner and plot out all the important dates as they come up during the year, then work backwards. Each month, jot down the key dates for the month, then on a weekly basis you can think about the inspired action you will take that week. Focus on one key topic and activity each week, so that you save yourself time and keep ahead of the game. And if you want to get featured in magazines and blog sites, take the bull by the horns and draft a pitch email to their editor, you may just be surprised by the outcome!

Bio

RM1Rebecca Miller works with inspiring entrepreneurs to help them grow their business through soulful marketing and creative PR. She founded her business, Write & Reach, in 2013, and has created The Publicity Programme ™ where she shows entrepreneurs step-by-step how to make their business famous and get featured in top magazines and blogs. Becs is passionate about creativity and believes entrepreneurs can build it into everything they do, whatever their business.

Website: http://writeandreach.com/

The Publicity Program: http://www.thepublicityprogram.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WriteAndReach/

 

 

We work with many Coaches that are launching events, programs or webinars.  This post is designed to give tips to those wanting to carry out a winning event launch.

Plan Ahead: There is nothing more important that a clear plan. It is important that you have on a calendar all of the stage activities for your pre-launch, launch and post launch.  Make sure you give adequate time to have all of the tasks complete and most importantly have time to test everything BEFORE the launch. Make sure you have a circle of friends or sub-contractors that you test everything for you and make sure all of the browsers are working as well as the mobile devices.

Task Assignment: Now that you have a plan, it is time to assign out the tasks. Have a team meeting and go over the plan with everyone. Make sure everyone is on the same page and they clearly know who is doing what part of the launch. Also make sure you have a BACK UP person in place. This is often forgotten and can cause great stress during a launch. Avoid the headache and have each team member know who their back up will be.

Task Tracking: All the tasks are now assigned, but how are you going to know if the work is done? A project manager or even a simple shared excel spreadsheet is perfect for this. If you are using a project manager, have someone enter all of the tasks and assign them to the appropriate people. These people will mark the tasks complete as they finish them. Reminders as well as late notices will be emailed on a daily basis. This allow you to quickly view what is done and what is pending. Also notes can be made if a team member is waiting on material or another team member to finish. Team Meetings can also be helpful when the team is behind or not progressing the way you were hoping. If you are using an Excel sheet- make sure there is a place to add notes for the team members should the require something or are having an issue.  If may also be helpful to have 1 person assigned to check the progress and report to you what is happening on the work.

Testing: Make sure you have a circle of friends or sub-contractors that can test everything for you and make sure all of the browsers are working as well as the mobile devices.  Set up discount codes so that purchases can be made to test the cart. Make sure you bump delay email times to 1 day or 1 hour so that the series can run in its entirety before it goes live. Proofread everything 1 more time. All are the colors right? Themes right? Cart theme right? Tags Applied? Emails Sent? Website seen on Firefox? Chrome? Safari? Explorer? IPad? IPhone? Android? If there is an error- fix and restart the test on the failed item. We suggest giving yourself at least 1 week to test everything.

Promotion: Testing complete and working? Great! Now you are ready to being the hard part- promotion. Now is the time you want to look at the different ways you want to promote. Make sure you give at least 2 weeks’ notice for your social media promotion and 1 Week minimum for Facebook ads. You should try to send to your list at least 2 times. If you are setting up affiliates, make sure you have given them adequate time to promote your event as well.  Also remember to make sure you have all of the materials available for them to promote your event (solo email copy, Facebook posts, hashtags, Tweets, banners, price, and anything else they will need)

Analyzing and Tweaking- Make sure you spend time analyzing your Facebook Ad numbers, Google Analytics numbers and Sales numbers.  Make sure that you leave time to be able to make tweaks and reanalyze your results.  This will give you a much more successful event.

Follow up– Sending out reminders, replay links and sales information after the event is vital. Make sure that you plan on at least 3 touch follow up emails after any launch or event. Make sure you add some personal messages as well. It is important that people are buying YOU! Make sure they know why.

Final Review– now that everything is done- go over the numbers one more time. Hold a team meeting. Did you meet your goal? If yes, do you know why? If not, why not? What worked and what did not? Who on your team made a difference? What changes can be made to make the next event better? Spend time with the team and find out their thoughts and opinions.

Ask for the Testimonial- This is the most important thing. Make sure you have scheduled in the future to ask all buyers (or even attendees) for their testimonial. Try to ask for a photo or better yet, try to get them on video. Video is a great way of proving the testimonial is the real thing.

We hope these tips will help you in the future with your next event launch. If you are looking for more ideas, help, or just have a few questions, we are here to help. Have a great weekend!

Richard Branson said it best when he boldly declared that time is the new money. For many years, management has declared that those who work long hours are deemed more productive. But today, it just isn’t so: time is the new standard with which people are judged and the more hours of it spent on working, the worst it is for a person’s well-being and reputation.

For entrepreneurs, even more so. As the captain of their respective ships, they should be the ones at the forefront of espousing work life balance and showing the right way by being out the door by 5pm. Of course, this is easier said than done. With responsibilities ranging from business development to marketing to operations, what is a consummate business owner to do?

Here are some ways to help you fight the workaholism plague and get back your hours:

1. Hire people correctly.
No aspect of a business is affected by the concept of opportunity cost than human resources. As a prized commodity, people in a business can derail or fast track its progress. For the business owner, hiring correctly makes the big difference from sleeping eight hours a day to literally being hospitalized every two months due to exhaustion. It is not just about choosing the right people, but more so, hiring the people and putting them in the right places in the company where they can be most productive and effective. Also, the number of people to hire counts a lot.
In the end, the bucket stops at the top and if the owner cannot hire right, he or she will end up doing all the tasks needed to keep the business going. The best way to mitigate this problem is by opting for outsourcing. This does not place a big strain on the company budget but at the same time, it quickly fills the spots needed. Hiring a virtual assistant allows business owners to focus on conceptualizing strategies and other tasks that require high level decision-making.

2. Stop multitasking and know one’s strengths.
For one, it is not effective, and two, studies have shown that multitasking can successfully do just one thing: shrink one’s brain.
Instead, set a timeline for each task and delegate. This frees up the hands of the entrepreneur to focus on the things they do best. As much as control is the name of the game, it does not do anyone any good.

3. Rest.
It’s easy for people to run on adrenaline, but what good does it make a person? Exhaustion simply leads to bad decisions, which then lead to more wasted time rectifying mistakes whether big or small.
Instead, rest. Sleep the right amount of hours and wake up refreshed and ready to go. Have time for leisure and other pursuits as these will help fuel creativity. The time it took to take a nap or to go for a quick swim may save you from signing a wrong contract.

4. Know what matters and tackle them during peak performance hours.
As Robin Sharma, a leading motivational speaker and consultant for many CEO’s, says: what gets written down gets done. A list that’s filled to the brim is not a good list. Priorities are few or else, they’re not really what it’s supposed to be.

The best way to solve problems is by first knowing what time one is at the most optimum level of productivity. Then, begin with the hardest tasks. Eat thy frogs first and the rest shall be peanuts—with a few minutes to spare after.

A group coaching program can be really difficult to implement, or really easy to implement. Some of the common reasons that are  given not to start:

1) I don’t have time to talk with dozens of clients each week

2) I don’t have time to spend 5-10 hours a week writing lesson plans

3) I can’t be available 24-7 on email

4) It just takes too much time.

5) It’s a lot of work technically to do it.

And the thing is, those are all valid – because in so many of the older models, that’s how it might have worked.

In fact, maybe as you read that list, you are thinking, yeah, that’s me – I want to start a coaching program, but it just seems like too much work.

So let me ask you this:

What if I were to show you a way you could coach 100 – 1000 clients in just 2 hours a week, and they get almost the same results as working with you 1-1?

If that would be cool, if that would feel like, “yeah, I could do that,” then read on!

Because I’m going to show you a super-simple coaching model that really works.

Before I get into it, I want to go over one concept: and that is the idea that group coaching doesn’t get the same results as 1-1 coaching.

The thing is, the coaching itself isn’t what gets results.

Your clients’ ACTION and implementation gets them results.

The biggest reason that 1-1 coaching generally gets better results than group coaching is because with 1-1 coaching, the client feels obligated to finish his work before your next scheduled call.

How many times has your client told you, “yesterday I remembered I hadn’t finished the assignment you gave me, and I thought about cancelling today’s session, but decided to work a late night to complete the work instead,” or something similar?

The thing is, if that client had been in group coaching, he probably wouldn’t have done the work.

But is it really the group coaching or the clients’ motivation that gets the work done?

Your client needs to step up and do the work on his own. You are a coach, not a babysitter. You are a coach, not a high school teacher. It is your clients responsibility to do the work. He needs to learn how to manage his time, and learn to focus. You can teach him those things, but he has to do it.

You are a coach, not a personal assistant, personal planner, or daytimer.

Now, here’s the thing, if you are willing to limit yourself to helping only 20 clients at a time, when you have inside of you the ability to change possibly millions of lives (I mean, how many people NEED what you help with?), then you shouldn’t probably do group coaching.

But what if you knew there were 1000 people RIGHT NOW in your circles whom you could significantly help – as long as THEY would be personally responsible for their results?

So yes, 1-1 coaching gets better results. But it’s not because of the teaching (think about it, if you have 20 clients, over time you work with all of your clients on the same 95% of the material you work with everyone else on, right?) So that means that only 5% of your individually – coached material is unique.

So why are you doing 1-1 coaching for the 5% difference? Why not just do a group coaching session instead that teaches the 95%, then open the call up for group questions and answers, and anyone that needs a unique 5% solution, can speak with you personally?

When you do that, you open yourself to being able to genuinely HELP 100-1000 people instead of being limited to your own ability to deliver 20 hours (or less) of quality 1-1 each week?

(And before I give you the model – let me say this – maybe you have 100 -1000 group coaching clients, PLUS 1-1 clients who really need the personal attention because they want to do much, much more than you teach most clients, and they genuinely need more personal attention to go over and above your average client. They are willing to pay more for your time. And you are willing to coach 2-5 1-1 clients at one time. And that’s fine. My belief, though, is that the bulk of your coaching can – and should – be done in a group environment. Read on to see how easy it is.)

Here’s the model:

–> One group coaching call 60-90 minutes per week.

On this call, you teach a topic for 45 minutes. The rest of the time is spent coaching, answering questions, etc. The clients learn EXACTLY what they need to learn, and they get to talk with you just like it were 1-1 – but you aren’t doing the teaching 1-1.

–> After the call, you send a recording of the call to your clients via autoresponder. This takes 5 minutes.

Each week, you record the 45 minutes of training you do, and add it to the autoresponder campaign you have created for new clients, so all new clients sequentially get exposed to every lesson you have ever taught.

This allows you to literally duplicate yourself, as you only ever teach one topic once, and anytime a client needs instruction on an already-taught topic you just send them to that recording.

And they can always come onto the call live.

This total coaching program, with 100-1000 clients only takes 60-90 minutes per week for the actual delivery, plus about 10 minutes per week queuing the emails into your autoresponder delivery for coaching clients.

That is less than 2 hours a week.

You can help hundreds of clients instead of 20.

It only takes you 2 hours a week instead of 20.

And if you REALLY want to work with 2-5 1-1 clients, you can.

Can you see how easy this can be?

It really can be this easy!

It’s what I do.

It’s what my clients do!

And you can too!

Now, maybe you have questions, like these:

1) Well, do I have to offer email access?

Answer: you can if you want. But you don’t have to (and with 1000 clients, you can’t possibly answer all your emails, so with a lot of clients, no, if they want to get a question answered, they simply have to come to the call [which they should come to anyway, right?]) Fair enough?

2) Do I offer skype access? I don’t. Skype is highly distracting to me. Skype is only useful to me for pre-planned specific conversations, where skype would be faster than telephone. But if you are looking at your skype box 24-7, can you say DISTRAAAAACTION!

3) Do you do a webinar or a teleseminar for delivery?

Answer: here’s the thing: I often find that new coaches want to offer webinars for their coaching. They think it is more personal. Then they spend 5 hours a week preparing a powerpoint and realize that 99% of everything they teach could be spoken instead of shown. If you REALLY have to show something, record what you want to show, and send the recording out before the call in an email. Have your clients watch the video before the live call. They can ask questions about anything they want to on the call.

Plus, webinar means you HAVE to be online for the call. It means you have to have a good internet signal. It means you have to transcode the recording, upload a bulky mp4 file, and let’s face it, that can take hours of your time or your assistant’s time. PLUS your client has to WATCH the video each week.

Instead, I use teleseminars. Many reasons.

1) I don’t have to prepare a powerpoint.

2) I don’t have to be online (I have done coaching calls from Costa Rica, on the road, in my car, walking in a neighborhood when I was out of town traveling and my car was in a shop, from a ski resort, and many other places). With a teleseminar, I just call in the dial in number, and presto, I am on the call.

3) The recording is done automatically by my teleseminar provider. That means within 5 minutes of the coaching call being over, I can send an email to my coaching clients with the recording.

I don’t have to upload, download, transcode, deal with 400 MB, nothing.

If I don’t want to, I don’t have to think about my coaching call until next week.

The system is easy, when implemented the way I have just described.

You can easily coach 100 – 1000 clients in a productive group coaching call, 2 hours a week total involvement from you, the entire program runs almost completely on autopilot, except for 2 hours a week from you.

And you have the rest of your week to live, to focus on getting new clients, and to truly enjoy the entreprenuerial life you thought you would have by now!