IS YOUR BUSINESS SURVIVING OR THRIVING?

Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

In New Zealand, we are known for our ‘number 8 wire’ mentality. We are great at survival. “She’ll be right, I can do that”.

What we tend to be is poor at thriving. Knowledge, as we all know, is a powerful thing. Unfortunately, a little knowledge can leave us vulnerable especially to competitors who use their smart thinking to engage people with exceptional knowledge to do tasks that are not “core business”.

The investment return of this approach is simple. Having smart people to call on in areas you are not exceptional is the entrepreneurial skill used by business owners to ensure their business thrives rather than just survives.

Yes, gain knowledge so at least you have the baseline to understand great from the good.

However, invest in knowledge and skills from specialists and significantly increase your business’s chances of thriving.

Spend your time learning your craft, and learning how to manage these assets, that is how to ensure you have the essential skills that build your personal brand and respect from your customers and staff. Forget about the ‘number 8 wire’ attitude and get great at what you do. hire resources that add to your skills and practice the same approach as you i.e. they focus on being great at what they do.

By adopting this tactic anyone who really wants to thrive will.

 

I hope you found this helpful.

Tony C
Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist
e. hello@tonycuttingdigital.co.nz
m. https://m.me/tonycuttingdigital w. tonycuttingdigital.com
w. tonycutting.com

Want to grow your business?

Whether you are starting out or have an established business you are wanting to grow there are some actions you need to take if you want to succeed quickly.

Be Great 

The first step to finding success is to make sure you be the best business you can.  If you sell products you are better selling great products than cheap knock-offs.  Businesses who sell poor products and services might con the marketplace for a short time, but in general, you will be found out and as much as word of mouth can grow a business it is very quick at killing those who fail to deliver what they promise.

This means you keep developing your skills, and developing your staffs’ skills if you offer a service and you check and if possible test any products you represent.

My grandfather was a cobbler and owned a very successful Shoe Store, and while I was growing up often I would visit and sit in the back room and observe him at work.  I was there a few times when salesmen would arrive with shoes they were trying to promote for my grandad to sell in his store.  The first thing grandad would do is test the quality by bending the shoes often from toe to heal.  On one occasion I watched in awe as he bent the shoe and it totally fell apart.  Needless to say, that brand never made his shelves.

Grandad sold a variety of shoes with a range of prices from the very affordable to the upmarket shoes many of the wealthier customers would buy – they all had to pass his test.  He also repaired shoes at a time when many shoe shops did not offer this service.  I use to play with the scraps of leather and he would even watch over me when the shop was quiet and let me use the sewing machine. He would talk to me about the different leathers and quality, he was an expert at what he did.  He used this knowledge to help customers (Especially families on a budget) and his reputation for providing a great customer service and great products had customers travelling to his store from miles away. He had built himself a great brand not only for his store but for himself.

This would not have happened if he did not have all three elements, provide a great service, sell great products and give great customer service.

Network

Most successful business people understand the importance of networking and knowledge sharing.  Networking is possibly the greatest way to create champions for your business.  For people to trust you they need to get to know you and your personal brand is as important as the business you run.  When you join a network, you must work it, attend meetings and present who you are and what your business is.  Over time as people grow comfortable with you, they may try your products or services, and often they will recommend you just because you are that person they know from that network, that does that.

In today’s digital world you can also network with people thousands of miles away using online forums and social media groups.

Smart business owners do not just attend conferences for the information but get there because of the value of the networks they can establish, these can turn your local business into something much bigger if you build contacts, then relationships well enough.

Marketing

All businesses need to market themselves, whether you have your logo on your car or you have invested in business cards, signs, or leased a building in a high traffic area.  The key to marketing is to find out where your prospective customers hang out and make sure you are present.  This may be the local radio station (TIP. listen to who is advertising and if they are prospective customers there is a good chance they will hear your advert while listening out for theirs). A well-read local newspaper (becoming rarer each year), it may be an industry magazine or an online community.

Going digital is almost a must these days that means having a MODERN responsive website (over 70% of first-time visitors will be with a mobile device) that people can find you on.

TIP: People trust a business with a great website and will try you before your competition, also, social media sites use websites as an indicator of a legitimate business.  So don’t try and cut corners and just build a FREE Facebook page, invest in your website.

Before you go spending all your money on a website remember you will need some budget to help people find your website.  Failure to do this is very common and can really hurt a new business.  Luckily there are plenty of affordable options these days to build a high-quality web presence.

Cutting to the chase, if you own a business as well as registering your website as a ‘business’ on the major search engines like ‘Google My Business’ you should be building your social media presence, most likely on Facebook or Instagram. This is the most cost-effective way to promote your business and website.

You should also be building your personal brand and depending on what your business is that means thinking about using platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and whatever else comes out that attracts the people you want to sell to.

Don’t expect results overnight, you need to build trust and with marketing that is producing good quality content that explains the benefits of your business consistently and persistently.  Once you are established with a great brand in your marketplace then the magic will start to happen.

 

I hope you found this information useful.

 

 

Nga mihi
Tony Cutting
Personal Coach & Digital Marketing Consultant

 

 

 

 

The importance of networking

Whether you are building your business or developing a career there is one essential skill that you must put time into – networking.

Developing a network is one of the most beneficial things everyone can do. Having a community around helps make running your business or developing your career so much easier for many reasons.

  1. You have a network of people that you can ask advice from.
  2. You have other businesses/people that you can partner or collaborate with.
  3. You have the ability to develop relationships with people and gain insight on a different perspective that you can use to innovate.
  4. Overtime you will build relationships where you help each other, share ideas, help solve challenges – within your network everyone will have something to offer each other.
  5. Businesses will increase sales (through network referrals) and individuals will be thought of when job opportunities match their skills.

However, many people struggle with building up their professional network; after all, when you are taking care of all of your other responsibilities how can you also have time to socialise?

So, yes we have to take time to build our network.  I am not talking about turning up to meetings but, consciously making time each week to develop your personal network.  Joining networking groups is a great way to start, however it is just that, a start.  Developing YOUR network is what I am talking about here, when you meet people through network groups, industry functions, training etc actively look for people who you could network with.

The best way to start is to think about how you can help others in your network, what can you offer them? Once you get started you will find over time your network will naturally sort it self out.

I have a number of ways I manage my personal network/s.

  • Coffee meetings (you do not necessarily have to meet with everyone at the same time)
  • Build my own network groups online (usually I will identify people in these groups I want to work with face to face)
  • I manage my own network group/s which meet either monthly or quarterly.

If you are new to networking join a group, work with others who you identify as great networkers, or ask your colleagues and contacts if they know of a great group.

I am a fan of starting your own network, nurturing it by looking at what you can offer those you meet with and working on this activity every week.

I hope this article inspires you to either start networking or refresh your approach to this skill.  I have no doubt it is the single most successful way to build your business or develop your career.

“People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world – often do”

Making Quantum Leaps

In your personal life or business life, you may need to change the way you are approaching things if you want to take big steps forward.  In fact, if you are not making progress in leaps and bounds then it is time to embrace the science of the quantum leap.

Simply you can achieve more if you really want too, but it may mean taking a very different approach to things, even if you think your approach is working you will find exploring how to make a quantum leap is the answer to accelerating your success well beyond what you can imagine.

We have all heard of the saying “If you don’t change what you are doing, your results will remain the same” – and in most cases, this is the same no matter how hard you work.  In fact taking quantum leaps get you there quicker and easier than putting in more hours and working harder – brain power rather than burning energy.

Don’t be happy with small advances,  truly if you are not making great gains then it is time to think about how you can make a quantum leap.

So what is a Quantum Leap?

A Quantum Leap in the terms of this blog is a change that makes a significant difference to a person or business that accelerates your success.  And believe it or not often quantum leaps are small adjustments that create massive moves forward.

It is highly likely you already have a quantum leap in your mind, however, for some reason you are holding yourself back in exploring taking the action.  Your ‘gut’ is to make a change, however, you sabotage yourself by either listening to someone else who tells you to stick with the status quo ‘it is safe’ or worst than that, you prevent yourself from taking action on an idea simply because you fear failure.

Changing the way you think

The first thing you can change that will help you find a quantum leap is to embrace failure, for it is often an essential part of this journey.  Looking at and sometimes exploring a variety of different options on a regular basis can help you find that sudden solution that catapults you and/or your business forward.

Let’s apply basic logic to this – the more options you try whether they succeed or fail, the more likely you are to find that once action that jumps you forward.  All you need to get started is to understand where you want to be – and dream big.

The solution could be changing the way you approach things, or fundamentally understanding how important it is for you to strive to be a better all round person. Just making the decision to start on a more positive path is guaranteed to make a difference.

Starting to look out for potential quantum leaps each and every day is the approach to take.  In many cases, people actually have an idea in their head that may provide a quantum leap but for what ever reason they never get around to taking action.  These are the people that look at other very successful people and say “I had the very same idea” or “they stole my idea” the only difference between them and the other person is the other person acted upon the idea.

In sport they call this process ‘lifting your head’ making sure you look around to understand all your options and taking the best one – so adopt this strategy lift your head explore more and find great options – then take them!  The top football clubs around the world actually measure how often a player lifts their head, it is the measure of a great player.

The top football clubs around the world actually measure how often a player lifts their head, it is the measure of a great player.

So OK is not just good enough for you, finding a better way becomes your norm.

Personal Growth

This is where you start.  Let’s face it we all know of things we could do that would possibly help us personally take a leap forward, whether that be joining the gym, taking a course, reading more positive books, being more grateful, changing bad habits to good habits.  The trick is to keep pursuing these throughout your life and strive to become a ‘great’ person.  It really is as simple as that.

Before anything else, know what you want to achieve with your life and write it down.

Business Growth

You need a written plan of where you want to get to, how you get there is not as important if each day you look for ways to move positively towards your goal/s.  By keeping an eye out for quantum leaps and taking more chances with the ideas that ‘in your gut’ could help you take a giant leap forward you have set yourself in the right direction.

NIKE came up with the saying ‘Just do it’ for a very good reason.

In summary

I am very lucky that in my life I have experienced a number of quantum leaps which have included stepping into unchartered territory, applying for and successfully securing senior positions in companies I worked for in my younger days, building a multi-million dollar business from a simple idea which changed the way people recruited people.

I was lucky when I was young that people encouraged me to push forward.  As we age we have fewer supporters encouraging us and it is our own job to mature and make this a positive habit.  The risks seem too dangerous.  The reality is for many not making a change can be more fatal, we were not designed to stand still.

Searching for my own quantum leap to become a better person, I am now working on projects which focus on helping those who sincerely want to embark on the same journey.

Hope this was helpful
Tony C

 

 

 

 

Personal development on a budget #3

The next book I recommend you invest in if you are truly interested in developing your personal skills – The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.

How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference …

Malcolm has written a great guide on ‘how little things can make a big difference’.  In this book, you understand more about the degrees of separation and learn that there is a process that at first can feel quite hard but with consistency, persistence, a focus on quality, and by engaging your mind you will reach that point where life takes off and your hard work pays off.

Turn your ideas into action and let ‘The Tipping Point’ guide you to success.

 

The Tipping Point

 

This book can help transform your thinking and push you in the right direction.

This is one of my favourite business books, I personally recommend it to everyone who wants to build a business or a better life.  I have experienced the ‘magical moment’ when an idea took off like wildfire, and still enjoy using that experience to motivate myself to create more.

Tony Cutting – Coach
tonycutting.com

 

Use Collective Marketing to grow your business

Collective Marketing is the commitment of a group of businesses with a common agenda to build a marketplace, using a structured form of collaboration.

In New Zealand we see collective principles at play all the time, we use it to negotiate pay, create co-operatives that provide the collective of businesses buying power and we see it in many professions where a group of doctors, accountants, lawyers etc. work together to achieve more.  Farmers in our country own the most successful collective ‘Fonterra’ our number one business.

We see collectives forming with organisations that would normally be seen as competitors i.e. Why does a McDonalds sit next to a KFC who is beside the Pizza Hut?  Simple they create a marketplace where people looking for fast food can come.  By attracting people collectively to one place each has a better chance of securing more customers.  It is also handy when you have fussy kids like mine who refuse to eat the same things.

Large businesses have the buying power due to their size, but through leadership and sensible management, a group of small businesses have as much chance to create buying power but even more powerful than that, they can also use the power of collective marketing to help them build their business.

My Projects
In Kapiti (My home) we are building a marketing collective ‘Kapiti Now’ using the internet (website) and social media (Facebook and Twitter).  We have grown to 40+ businesses in a year and we meet monthly to discuss marketing using the mastermind approach.  We have a good core group of people who are really starting to understand how being in the collective works.  By using Facebook there is a simple way of helping each other that takes but a few minutes a day.  Midway through last year we also set up a regional collective Wellington Today which has added something different.  The Wellington Today Facebook marketing site is rocketing along but we struggle to get more than a half a dozen people along to each meeting.  I have no doubt the regional project will be very successful but it does seem that small local area projects are important to get the ‘networking and marketing meetings’ to a level where people really value them.  These local groups will also be helpful in educating business people to why they should make the effort to travel to the regional group meetings.

The Wellington Today Facebook marketing site is rocketing along which gives great value to the members of the group regardless of the lower turnout to meetings, it seems by being involved in both my clients get the best of both worlds.  I have no doubt the regional project will be very successful but it does seem that small local area projects are important to get the ‘networking and marketing meetings’ to a level where people really value them.

Everyone learns from each other and we are lucky to have attracted a number of coaches who really help to add value to our groups.

Business is being done through the relationships and our businesses are really starting to understand what marketing is all about.  We teach modern marketing approaches at the meetings and compare with each other what seems to work well.

Longer term we will look at collective bargaining to buy marketing to really push the group expanding to other forms of media.I am keen to here from other business people who are interested in starting up a collective in their community, the benefits are great and the opportunity for establishing mastermind groups creates a wonderful personal development framework that is affordable and just as importantly FUN.

Your invitation to work with us
I am keen to here from other business people who are interested in starting up a collective in their community, the benefits are great and the opportunity for establishing mastermind groups creates a wonderful personal development framework that is affordable and just as importantly – its FUN.

In New Zealand I am in the process of establishing the Kiwi Business Network which basically is the collection of collectives, enabling a national approach to collective marketing.

Becoming Great – Part 4 “Getting noticed and making impact”

In part 4 of my series for becoming great I would like to share my tips for you on how to get noticed, that does not mean getting noticed by everyone, but getting noticed and appreciated by those who matter.  Whether those people be, our family (kids), bosses, work colleagues or customers.

Engage your ears, not your mouth.
In any situation you find yourself in whether it be at home, at work or on the sports field.  Try and be in the moment ‘Be Here Now’ take in the conversations, arguments and ideas of those around you.  Do not let other activities distract your focus on the topic, or situation at hand. If you have been asked to contribute thoughts, provide some comment initially but use questions to dig deeper into what those around you are thinking. Speak less and ask questions more.

By talking less and listening more, often the ‘more impact’ you will have when you do speak. People will start to listen to your ideas more.  However, be smart, find out all the facts, and become the person known for wanting to explore all the options and details. You do not have to be the smartest person in the room, but you can be the most impactful, simply by being the better listener.

Timing is everything.  Wait, until all the thoughts, arguments and ideas are in the room, then speak for the first time from a different viewpoint.

Do your Research
Simple, but the more you prepare the better equipped you will be to make meaningful contributions when you need to.  When you share your ideas, back it up with fact, and if possible great stats or data.  Don’t just come up with a view, or you maybe setting yourself up for a hiding.

Explore different views
Smart people around the world understand that a diverse approach is the most effective and most likely to come up with more ideas and different solutions.  Be the person who seeks out different views from different cultures, people with differing stances, approaches.  Try and think outside the box by exploring more.  If you are an employer hire different people from different cultures, ages and backgrounds and build a business that is based on quality information from different sources.  Find out how ‘it’ impacts everyone not just what it means for someone like you.

If you do not have different views in a meeting, then be the one to suggest seeking out those views, take charge of gathering the information and you will become known as the person who finds the best results.

Never repeat
People only hear it the first time; after that, it’s diluted and they switch off and forget the point you made. You may think you are making a point but your silence will be more powerful after you have shared your thought …

Take notes
Have your journal and pen with you at all times, take notes and arm yourself with the information being shared in the room.  You will be forced to listen more as you write down what others are saying and your notes will provide you with ammunition when it comes time to think, analyse then speak.

Tone and volume
Don’t yell, don’t whisper, don’t screech. The greatest speakers in the world all take lessons so don’t be afraid to follow in their footsteps.

Speak from your heart not your head
Be careful with this, make sure before you speak from your heart that your head is full of different ideas and facts.  Only then are you ready to give a passionate viewpoint.

You don’t have to have the last word
In fact if you have said what you think (for now) then leave it there, let others argue, you end as you begun – the best listener in the room.

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