Category Archives: Uncategorized

5 Top Time Management Tips for Business Owners

time-is-money

We’ll keep this short. The biggest key in time management is prioritisation. By dividing your to-do list into urgent tasks, short and long-term goals, you’ll be able to allocate your time more effectively. Here are five of our favourite time management tips for business owners. Enjoy!

1. Prioritise communication

Email is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it’s a great time management tool to avoid the need for meetings, but can also be one of the biggest time sucks if you’re checking it every 10 minutes. Set aside a specific time to review emails. Not only will this keep you in the know, but allow you to knock out the tasks you need to throughout the day.

2. Block off focused time

One of the aspects of managerial roles involves being pulled in all sorts of directions. You’ll find yourself spending so much time on everyone else’s projects, with none left to complete your own. Block off portions of your daily or weekly schedule and dedicate it solely to your work. Make sure you don’t get booked for other engagements during this time and fully concentrate on the tasks at hand.

3. Put a value on your time

We’ve all heard that time is money, but have you really thought about it? How much money can you make in a month? What then is the value of each day in a month? How much is an hour of your time worth? What about a minute? How many tasks to do you have which are actually quite low value but where only you know how to do them, or jealously guard them for a variety of reasons – confidentiality perhaps, or because they are enjoyable, or because you’ve always done it and you haven’t gotten around to training someone else how to do it? Make sure that every single task you are doing yourself is worth your valuable time.

4. Re-prioritize on demand

When you’re a business owner or manager, you need to be flexible. Each day presents a different challenge and prioritization is key if you want to keep your ship afloat. To organize yourself, determine which tasks are urgent and others that can remain on the back burner. From there, build your list based on importance, time involved, or resources needed. You may have one project you can knock out in 15 minutes and another that will involve several days. For the projects that are drawn out, create checkpoints to keep yourself on track.

5. Use your focus effectively

Don’t waste time reading, watching or focusing on what doesn’t help you reach your goals. Modern technology and media is designed to get your attention, so it’s easy to get distracted by things that other people want to show you. Humans are attracted to novelty, and we are all looking for the newest, best knowledge out there, often without taking the time out to implement what we know needs to be done. Knowledge is useless without implementation.

To learn how to implement these and other valuable techniques into your day, join us at our upcoming Time Management Workshop , Friday 21st October in in the Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport. Click here for more information and to register your place or call us on 01 891 6220.

Or if you would like to avail of a complimentary Business Review with one of our top Coaches to uncover ways to grow and improve your business, please fill in your details below and we will be in touch to arrange your appointment:

Interesting Image

7 Tips For A Flawless Sales Pitch

7 Tips For A Flawless Sales Pitch

Developing a winning sales pitch is not easy. What you may believe to be a good sale pitch on paper, doesn’t guarantee it will be effective in practice….

When presenting to a potential new client, it’s really important to remember that your prospect’s needs are central to your sales pitch – it’s not all about the product or service. Your sales pitch MUST be a two-way conversation, whereby you listen to the buyer, they have the opportunity to ask questions, and as a result you offer them a solution to a real challenge they are experiencing.

This allow’s your prospect will develop a much more personalized relationship with you and your product or service.  

The devil is in the detail when it comes to really captivating your audience. From relevant buyer information to interaction and negotiation, these seven tips will help you nail your next sales pitch:

1. Preparation

Successfully connecting with your audience involves preparing yourself with relevant buyer information. Prior to the presentation / sales meeting conduct in-depth research on the buyer’s company, industry, and competitors. This will allow you to tailor your message, better communicating how you can meet their specific needs.

2. Emotion

Catering to emotion is the strongest form of strategy in sales. Highlight the unique challenges of the business you’re pitching to and allow them to visualise how your product or service is placed as the solution. Most often people react emotionally first then rationalise. Having a compelling story backed by facts is a force to be reckoned with.

3. Confidence

Not only is it important to be prepared and leverage emotion, but also to bring confidence to the presentation. Promoting yourself as an industry leader or savvy entrepreneur subconsciously builds credibility with your audience. You can achieve this by sharing stories about your dedication and vision for their initiatives.

4. Interaction

It never hurts to check in with your audience during the sales pitch. After all, it’s a two-way conversation. Gone are the days of PowerPoint slides and bullet points. Today’s most successful pitches include choices, audience interaction with products and services, and being prepared for any questions the buyer may have.

5. Objection

As mentioned, the buyer will most likely have questions. The most common objections during sales pitches fall under budget, authority, need, and time. Be prepared to go into your presentation with responses to all four. The goal is to have answers prepared, making you appear more knowledgeable while increasing your product or service’s value.

6. Negotiation

The negotiation portion of a business pitch can be intimidating. Before pitching, have a plan in place for negotiation. Not only should you be familiar with what you’re offering, but research how your audience members have invested in the past. Have a plan for the best case, the second best, and the worst. This will help you approach your presentation prepared for any response.

7. Confirmation

Always end your sales pitch with a call to action. If a negotiation isn’t instantaneous, be sure to include a follow-up. That communication touch point in the sales funnel will keep you on the radar, placing you in a good position for future prospecting. Follow-up meetings and trials are great ways to keep your audience engaged going forward.

Now that you’ve journeyed through our seven steps for a flawless sales pitch, we hope you feel more confident in putting your skills to the test. Knowing your buyer, product or service, showing a genuine interest in providing a solution, and being prepared for any objections will allow you to present your next business initiative with ease.

If you are interested in further Sales Training or yourself or your team, why not join us at our upcoming Sales Success Workshop Friday 9th September in the Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport. Click here for more information and to register your place or call us on 01 891 6220.

Or if you would like to avail of a complimentary Business Review with one of our top Coaches to uncover ways to grow and improve your business, please fill in your details below and we will be in touch to arrange your appointment:

Interesting Image

We Asked, You Answered: BCI Spring 2016 Business Sentiment Survey Results Are Out…

Blog - BCI Business Sentiment Results

 

 

 

Nearly half of Irish SME Business Owners believe Fine Gael to be the most pro-business party.

The main barriers to growth for 2016 have been identified as: Rising Labour Costs; Access to Credit; Availability of Suitable Premises and Suitability Qualified Staff.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our BCI Spring 2016 Business Sentiment Survey. We are delighted to share with you the broad views of the Irish Business Community about the things that matter most to you…In the run up to the general election, what does a pro-Irish SME business government look like? Is the outlook for the trading year ahead positive among businesses across the country? What are the main inhibitors to growth and how do we address these?

So here’s what you said:

Political Views…

Your views may well have changed following Monday night’s live debate but in a comprehensive survey of 127 SME’s from a cross-section of industries across 21 counties, a staggering 61% of Irish SME Business Owners stated they would like to see Fine Gael lead the next government, while fewer than one in five opted for Fianna Fáil and just over 7% for Labour.

Lead government

 

 

 

 

 

Nearly half of the Irish Business Owners polled also believe Fine Gael to be the friendliest party to Irish Businesses, with Sinn Fein and the Social Democrats polling lowest in this regard.

In terms of a coalition, over 42% believe that our country and economy should be left in the safe hands of the current Fine Gael / Labour government to keep the recovery going, with the second most popular choice being a Fine Gael / Fianna Fáil coalition at 22% – an option supposedly ruled out by both party  leaders.

These results highlight the somewhat contrasting views of Ireland’s SME Business community compared with the general population. While support for Fine Gael has dropped 2 percentage points to 26% in the latest general Red C opinion poll conducted on behalf of the Irish Sun, our results highlight the fact Business owners have much more confidence that the traditional parties, and Fine Gael in particular, will best serve the needs of our SME’s, who employ 68% of the workforce.

More than half of those surveyed, 52%, also worry about the damage a Brexit could do to business, fearing increased prices, damage to exports, cross-border trade, currency fluctuations and a negative impact for tourism.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, we are big fans of the Clinton’s with 70% favouring Hilary as the next US president, while just 5% favoured the controversial Mr Trump.

Business Outlook for 2016….

Some 65% of Businesses were profitable last year. The outlook for 2016 is looking positive with 91% expecting to be at least as or more profitable in 2016, with half of those surveyed also expecting to hire more staff this year.

outlook 2016

 

 

Rising labour costs, access to credit, VAT and availability of suitable premises and staff are named as the biggest barriers to growth among our SME business community.

A majority 57% of companies had to wait over 30 days to get paid by customers and clients which led to a massive 69% of owners calling on Government to introduce legislation for mandatory payment within 30 days across the private sector, similar to what is already in place for semi-states.

It’s clear that in an increasingly competitive and demanding market Irish SMEs need help to remain competitive and profitable. Our survey shows there are still numerous barriers to growth and we need Government thinking to reflect this – including keeping a close eye on the potential of rising labour costs which will hit the bottom line, affect ability to trade and ultimately cost jobs. Banks are still slow to give credit and finance to companies according to our survey and there’s the ongoing problem for companies in getting paid – we need to look at legislation to counteract this.

The Value of Social Media in Business…

Social media usage for business is high at 69%, but confidence in its powers is low. Almost a quarter don’t use it at all, and 58% said it was overrated compared to traditional lead generation and marketing methods.

We are slow to adopt the newer social media platforms, with Facebook still the most favoured tool among the business community at 61% followed by LinkedIn (22%) and Twitter (7.4%).

What is worth noting is that half of those polled stated that less than 10% of their business comes from social media.

social media

This reiterates the point that while social media can be a hugely important strategy for many businesses, particularly B2C, it’s not necessarily relevant for all. It’s important to understand your target market and how best to reach them. Even more importantly, know your numbers! How good are your sales team at dealing with the enquiries social media and other methods of marketing generate? Are they converting? Could your sales process be better? While we are not ruling social media out, there are lots of easy ways to increase your sales and generate healthier profits before going down the line of investing a huge amount time and resources in social media marketing. Get the basics right first.

So, has your opinion being reflected above? Please comment to let us know your views…

Business coaching from the world's #1 business consulting firm: ActionCOACH. Professional Coaching and Training for Irish SME's, Executives and Corporates