Archive for October, 2008

 

How Small Business Owners Can Blog for Profits

Welcome to the CaptureProfits blog. A Blog (a contraction of the term “Web log”) is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.

Here’s what’s great about blogging:

  1. Anyone can blog - No technical skills are required.
  2. Blogs are a very inexpensive way to publish to the web – You don’t need to pay a programmer, webmaster, intern, printer, or employee to publish. Once you’ve written, just cut and paste into your blog site. Most blog software packages are free.
  3. Blogging is fast – You simply type and submit. New ideas can make it online just as soon as you can create them, in seconds.
  4. Blogs get your site rapid notice by search engines – Right now search engines favor blog entries. Search engines currently index new blogs in hours where traditional site pages sometimes take weeks.
  5. Blogs allow a broad list of topics – You can write a short bit of information without being wordy, exhaustive, or spending enormous amounts of time writing. That way you can share a long list of topics.
  6. You can have multiple blogs – Once you’ve set up your first blog, it’s very simple to add a new one on a different topic. This is great for trying out new business ideas, new marketing ideas, or even prospecting into a new community.
  7. Blogs allow you to create your brand in the eyes of your customers, industry, and press – Your blog can be used to demonstrate your expertise, your quality, your innovation, your community involvement, or whatever your company and products stand for.
  8. Blogs are a great way to build internet traffic – When you have an interesting topic, people will come back for more, generating more visits.
  9. Blogs get people to stay on your site longer -The average length of visit for a blog site is currently 96 seconds. This is informal research done by How Long Do Your Readers Stay at Your Blog – Length of Stay . While that may seem like a short time, it is two or three times the length of a commercial.
  10. Blogs convert visitors into prospects into customers into profits – Using blogs as part of your marketing program brings more visitors to your website. If your website was effective before at getting those people interested in your product and becoming customers, the trend will increase.

 So, welcome to the Capture Profits blog.  I’ll share about what my small business owners are doing right now to capture profits in their businesses. Let me know what you want me to write about by sending me comments.

Profitability coach Merra Lee Moffitt, CFP®, can help you blog for profit.  She spends all day, everyday helping business owners reach their financial dreams and goals by capturing business profits. She can be found at, 888-920-2030 or by email at merralee@captureprofits.com.

Posted by Merra Lee Moffitt, CFP under Business Owner Mindset Tags: ,  •  No Comments

Big Mistake: Not Billing for all your Consulting Time

Thank your CPA next time you even suspect she worked longer than your invoice showed. But ask yourself: Can your business afford to miss billing for ALL your project consulting time at this point in its development? How much are you missing each month by not billing for all your entitled time? Today, we’ll talk about taking action.

After reading my April newsletter, a CPA friend of mine made the remark that “Every CPA should hire you; they are the worst at billing for all their consulting time”. My point is not to disparage a well deserved, respected industry, but to state – there’s KNOWING what you should do and there’s DOING what you should do. Morpheus says it best in my favorite movie, The Matrix, “There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”

If you don’t have all your processes in place to achieve maximum billings each week, don’t berate yourself. Unless you were trained in savvy business methods, attained a business degree, and practice business process reengineering daily; how could you expect perfection?

Time is the Enemy

Change takes time. Changing your method of accounting for hours in your business will take time to redesign. You may need to design new daily/weekly tracking forms. You may need to rethink which day of the week works best for consistently setting aside time for invoicing. You’ll need to mentally walk through the new procedure to ensure it introduces no other gaps. Putting your self in your customer’s place is also necessary to ensure easy acceptance. The best processes have a cross-check so that when something does get missed, it’s identified by some other telltale signal. Finally, putting any new system into place takes reinforcement, repetition, and resolve until it finally becomes ingrained.

It’s too easy to put changes into the background of good intentions. After all, you already had a full-time job before undertaking this change. But if you’re serious about becoming a true success at your business, this is the point to make headway. Find a way to change your business while you run your business. Dogged determination works for a while. Most entrepreneurs believe that getting help will yield faster, more reliable, and happier results. Think about using a business coach, a business consultant, or an accountability partner to help you move forward.

Finding an accountability partner

An accountability partner is someone who helps you focus on the short list of things you want to hold yourself accountable to accomplish. By meeting regularly and focusing on a short list of small measurable action items, those items are highly likely to be completed. Replacing completed items with the next steps in the series helps propel you to consistent progress. Natural prioritization results because you focus on actions you “promise” your accountability partner.

How do you find one? You can hire one. Many business coaches serve that purpose well, business consultants too. You can also find another business owner and support each other. Make sure they understand billing and consulting time and agree you should get paid what you’re worth. But don’t do this with a good friend because it’s too easy to tell stories why something didn’t happen. You’re more likely to follow through with someone who’s not a close friend.
 
That’s one more tool in your arsenal against talking about it versus getting it done. Find an accountability partner to help keep you on track along with a well designed series of stepwise improvements and you could not only be walking the walk but positively running!

For a free no-obligation chat on charging for billing and consulting time and getting paid for every hour you work, call Merra Lee Moffitt, profitability coach and CFP®. She spends all day, everyday guiding business owners reaching their financial dreams and goals by capturing small business profits. She can be reached at, 888-920-2030 or by email at merralee@captureprofits.com.