Why does community matter to businesses success?
There are several reasons but the biggest one relates to trust. We trust experts. We trust friends. We trust those who are in our circles of influence. And our circles are communities.
Have you observed that communities who experience a common event – an earthquake, a riot, a parade or a festival, react in a similar way for a time. The event brings people together in either joy or misery. While most events are only for a short time, a community attitude grows over time.
There are many studies that look at how a community attitude affects a workplace and success and how the way we perceive community affects our business
The other day I was working with a unique business whose owners were very tired. Their business was flagging and systems and processes that they once had in place were no longer being used. One of the two owners was concerned that they would miss out on opportunities if they made a statement about who they were. Now in the same community, another business owner was thriving because their attitude was to lead the pack and create something different.
How to use Community for your business
Every marketing book says find a need but if you only look at the individual you miss the real need – the community need. NLP teaches about our need for connection and separation but my perceptions says that separation is only comfortable if first you are connected. When you belong to a community, you can then afford to be different.
To succeed in business find the community need and then you can find the personal need.
For example, in education, the community needs certain skills – doctors, lawyers, social workers, political scientists, engineers, scientists, poets, IT specialists, refuse collectors etc. But on an individual level, the schools appeal to the nature of a person to study a certain set of subjects.
In health care, the community needs healthy people – accident free, disease free and mentally alert and yet everything the conventional and alternate medical fields deal with is problems, dis-ease, disaster, cancers and other growths that consume communities of people. Allergies, autism, depression, stress are identified every day by professionals and patients and the need that each “medical professional” attempts to meet is to cure or circumvent the “problem”.
The experts talk about building lists and affiliates to help you spread the word through their community. But the other day a colleague told me that engaged community was the secret to his success. And engaged communities mean people interacting with each other and the practitioner or business owner.
It means that collaboration and co-operation are becoming more essential for business survival.
We all know the saying - birds of a feather flock together but have you thought about who you have in your community?
And what are the community needs where your business is operating?
Are you trying to meet individual needs or the community needs?
Are you hanging out in a community of your peers or the community of your prospects?
Sometimes your peers will become clients but often your peers will see you as competition first and then only later as the source of assistance.
One last word on Community (for today)
Let me know in the comments about the communities you belong to and please share this blog with your community and see what they think.
Thanks for communing
What you want to earn and what you earn are often very different for many people.
effort = income
There will be times when the income may seem disproportional to the effort you put in though.
There will be many times when you work very hard and seem to achieve nothing. Oh and before you tell me that winning a lottery or another game of chance, think – you have to buy the ticket or enter the contest.
So let’s look at what you want to earn in your business.
You need to do some research and you also need to do some personal mindset work.
- Look at what other similar businesses earn. Keep in mind that the revenue in must also cover the cost of the goods you sold, some of your expenses and the related taxes.
- Look at how comfortable you are at charging that rate. If you feel that the norm in industry is comfortable for you to charge than see what happens if you increase that by 10%. Unless you believe that the rates are too high for your target niche, try never to charge less.
- Look at what you were earning as an employee and how that income supported your lifestyle. In your own business will this be adequate for you or do you need to earn more? If you need to earn more, what more will you deliver to your clients?
- And finally, look at what your clients can afford to pay. If the people you want to deal with can afford what you want to earn, then charge them that price but unless you can find clients who are able to pay you what you want to earn then you will never earn it.
- And finally, figure out if there are enough hours in the day to deliver what you want to earn. If you are the sole deliverer of your service and your service delivery model requires you to produce the goods, then you are limited by the time you have available to deliver. For example – If you get paid $20.00 per hour and can only work 5 hours per day 4 days per week, you can only earn 20*5*4= 400 per week out of which you will have to pay costs and tax.
Take some time to figure out what you want to earn and then create a sales forecast and a cashflow forecast to see if you are VIABLE. It always surprises people when they do the numbers how hard it is to earn what they want.
In the comments let me know if you are earning what you want and what you are doing about changing the situation.
To your well-being
When you are in business, it is important that you keep track of many things.
What things are important to your success?
- People – who buys from you, who are you talking to who might buy from you, who bought from you and who could you possibly talk to next.
- Time – how did you spend your time, what did you accomplish in that time and what did you learn. And then figure out what is important to do next.
- Money – what did you spend and earn and what will you need to spend and earn next.
Keep your tracking simple – diaries, files and folders. Make notes and backup EVERYTHING.
The evidence you can produce tomorrow can make all the difference to your ability to gain the day, win the deal, make a difference or save you money.
Time is the one commodity we are totally unable to recover. So often in business and life, we feel overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the time we need to spend doing tasks. Overwhelmed by the people who want us to spend time with them. Overwhelmed by what we need to learn yet. Overwhelmed because many of the tasks we undertake, take three times as long as we allowed for.
And money needs to be tracked. You need to know what you have invested in your business, spent on items and assets and owe in loans and bills as well as what is owed to you.
Here are three tools I believe are essential for business
- A database to manage your contacts, their details and all the other aspects around doing business with them including purchases, when contacted, met and what comes next. There are many tools to help with this some as simple as Outlook and others like GEM, and many other CRM systems go beyond the simple email programs that handle your promotional messages.
- A good diary or manual system where you PLAN your days and then track the time taken. Even Outlook has both a diary and task system to help you track jobs but online there are hundreds of programs that manage group projects.
- A good money management program. Programs like Xero allow integration with your bank and credit card which means that you can have daily financial updates of money in and money out. You still need to monitor your cashflow. Your cashflow is CRITICAL to your business. Cashflow monitoring is more important than statements of financial performance and position because without cashflow you have NO business