Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Inspire, Instill, Ignite: Be an Example in 2014

In December 2013 I took time to review the past year and set personal and business goals for 2014.  I soon discovered 3 simple words that would become my inspiration for 2014.

Many times as entrepreneurs we try to separate our personal life from our business life.  I've learned over the last 10 years this is virtually impossible.  Whether you are a solopreneur, mompreneur, or entrepreneur with a large staff, embrace the gift that comes with entrepreneurship, melting your two worlds together.  Use this gift to leverage the opportunities that arise to better yourself and those around you.

Because of this I have decided to find ways to:

  1. INSPIRE Others to be Better
  2. INSTILL Values in Others that I Display, and
  3. IGNITE in Others a Passion for Excellence
By doing this one can not only improve who they are personally, but also improve how they handle customers, and this allows for building strong relationships.

What will you do in 2014 to be a better person, better business owner, and better member of your community?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

3 Ways Google+ Has Surprised Me

I love social media but I'm not one to jump on the bandwagon of the "next big thing". When Google+ was introduced, needless to say I was skeptical. Over the last few months I've read articles about Google+ and the benefits of using this social network for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  I've slowly put more effort into my Google+ profile. Here are the  3 ways that Google+ has surprised me so far.

  1. SEO for Your Brand

    We constantly hear about SEO for your website.  As the Internet changes I am finding that emphasis also needs to be placed not only on SEO for your website, but also on SEO for your entire brand.  If you are utilizing the Internet correctly a potential customer or client should be able to find information about your company throughout the Internet and not just on your website.

    I have found that posting on Google+, using targeted keywords, can increase your brand recognition in Google search organic results.  The results will link to the related post that you shared via your Google+ profile.  The benefit to you is that your name and profile photo are linked to the post.  If what you have shared is interesting enough it could very well prompt the web surfer to want to get to know more about you and the brand you represent.

  2. Easy to Share Content

    I stay up to date on most news, industry related topics, and general Internet trends by means of popular media websites.  Because of the great benefits of SEO for my brand I have found that clicking the "G+" button next to an article allows me to share relevant content with my circles.  I take advantage of the comment box that appears above the actual post information in the Google+ pop up. Using strategic hashtags can help your posts to place well in the organic search results.

  3. Google+ Took Over My Smartphone

    I added my business related Google+ account to my Android Smartphone and was baffled that the contact list on my phone was now "enhanced".  Imagine my surprise when I received a phone call from a potential client, one I never added as a contact on my phone list, and my phone had him saved in my contacts.  His listing was complete with his profile picture and other contact information he shared on his Google+ profile.

    When I finished the phone call I scrolled through my "People" app.  I soon realized that most of the people I added in my Google+ circles that have shared their contact details are now nice and cozy in my phone contact list.  It was a definite surprise to go to my contact list and see some of my Google+ circle mates now smiling back at me with their lovely Google+ profile photos.   I'm still trying to decide if I like this or not.
I will continue to post updates and new discoveries that I find while I continue to navigate the world of Google+.

Monday, November 25, 2013

How @Target Made My Monday Better

 It was 26°F when I woke up this morning.  Some reading this post would love to see a 26°F morning at the end of November, but for this California girl living in South Carolina it was a brutal morning to have to get out of bed and take the kids to school.

Work went fairly well for a Monday, and then we got the brilliant idea to visit a fast food restaurant where kids eat free....during peak dinner time.  An hour later I had dealt with tears because the 4 year old couldn't go to the playground.  The 9 year old was torn between keeping her book from her kids meal or getting ice cream; so I was happy to be heading home.

While I waited for the kids to finish brushing their teeth I checked my Pinterest account and was overjoyed when I saw the message "Target Pinned to Brunch for Mommy Friends". I was like a nerdy school girl getting asked to go to prom by the most popular guy in school.  Who knew such a simple message could make this Mommy's day.

How I Got Target to Pin to My Board

I can't recall if it was from a Facebook post or a tweet on Twitter that I learned about Target's latest promotion "Best.Party.Ever. with David Stark".  I quickly followed the steps on the board to participate (promotion ends 11/27/2013). After many anxious hours of wondering 1) would Target really follow me on Pinterest? 2) would they really pin to my board? and  3) would they really offer me great party suggestions catered to my tastes? My wait was over.

By Sunday afternoon I received the answer to my first question, and at the end of a frustrating Monday my last 2 questions were answered.  All with a resounding, "YES".  I simply followed the directions, to the letter, that Target gave participants.  Target delivered on their promise to provide "personalized inspiration to help (me) create (my) Best.Party.Ever."

I LOVE the great suggestions Target & David Stark pinned to my board.  While it is still secret, follow me on Pinterest, and soon I will make the board public for everyone to enjoy great party planning inspiration.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Client Shout Outs (aka A Great Big Thank You) #2

I had to say thank you to some of my latest clients.  As always I appreciate their business and loved working with them on their projects.

Dent's Adult Daycare


Eric & Bertha Dent were great to work with, and they offer such a needed service to the Columbia, SC community.

  • Updated their template based website (last update was in 2008)
  • Corrected layout issues
  • Added YouTube video
  • Fixed issues with contact form

Double Eagle Fine Handcrafted Gifts, LLC 

I have really enjoyed with the owner, Chris Pittman.  I admire his skill as a woodworker, and am amazed at the products he offers.

  • Assisted with migrating his Wordpress website to a new host
  • Correct JQuery conflicts with plugins
  • Correct image layout issues
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social Media Optimization 
  • Social Media Marketing

Doug Giesler, REALTOR

Doug has jumped full force into marketing his business and I was definitely glad to assist.

  • Custom graphic design an image to be used for marketing online & print
  • Correct website layout issues
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social Media Optimization 
  • Social Media Marketing


Friday, September 6, 2013

Mud Princess Pottery Online Store Now Open

JMB Designs, LLC is happy to announce the launch of Mud Princess Pottery's new website and online store at www.MudPrincess.net.

Mud Princess Pottery is owned by Eleanor Billian. Her hand-made, museum quality pottery is unique and made for everyday use. We developed the website in a way to showcase the detail of Eleanor's great work and allow each piece to be personalized by her customers.

 You can visit her website at: http://www.mudprincess.net/

Monday, September 2, 2013

10 Great Small Businesses to Check Out

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being one of the 23 million small businesses that exist in America.  As an #entrepreneur I have met great small business owners over the years that have been a great source of encouragement and motivation.  I wanted to take the time to mention a few small businesses that are near and dear to me for one reason or another.  The owners are either close friends of mine or beloved family.  Enjoy the list and, whenever possible, support their businesses.

(Listed alphabetically)
  1. Alicia Bailey for Chloe + Isabel - Fashion Jewelry

    Merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel.  A fashion jewelry lifestyle brand.  "Chloe" stands for the daring trendsetter, while "Isabel” is classic and refined.Whether you're a Chloe, an Isabel, or a Chloe-bel; we should talk!

  2. Carolina Soap Company - Handcrafted Bath and Body products

    Handcrafted bath and body products. Including Artisian Soaps, Lip Balm, Goat's Milk Lotion, Shea Butter, Solid Colognes, Bath Teas, Olive Oil Glycerin Soaps, Sugar Scrub Cubes, Facial Serum, Dead Sea Mud Mask, Mani Pedi Scrub, Organic Oils, Liquid Soap

  3. CC Canvas - Family owned printer


    Located in Tracy, CA.

    "Our goal is to provide excellent customer service and beautiful memories on canvas to last a lifetime.  We use 400gsm canvas paper unless requested otherwise. Our banners are printed on either heavyweight scrim vinyl, heavyweight water resistant polyester fabric, or polypropylene film. Posters and/or banners are printed on heavyweight 190, 240 and 300gsm - glossy or satin finish.  Canvas pictures, banners, posters, car magnets."
  4. Fit3D - 3D-imaging technology for health and body evaluation

    3D-imaging technology designed to help users lose (and gain) weight, evaluate body health, and stay motivated! Fit3D has created a simple non-invasive kiosk, which generates 3D images of the human body in less than 30 seconds. These images are then used as a tool for health and body evaluation, including visual tracking, full body measurements, body volume, and more. Users will have access to all data via the Fit3D.com web application, where they can measure, track and evaluate over time with a variety of intuitive features. For individuals and fitness facilities.
  5. Haute Interiors - Full-Service Residential Interior Decorator based in Columbia, SCSpace Planning, Room Redesign, Room Makeovers & Staging
    "Good Design IS Affordable!"
    My specialty is a hand-applied Old World Style wall finish
    Etsy Shop: Visit Shop
    Find us on Facebook
    Location: Inside Ivy House 10511 Two Notch Road, Elgin, South Carolina 29045

    The Boutique of South Carolina Artisan-Crafted works:  Designer Napkin Cuffs, Floral Arrangements & Home Decor

    "I've presented my works at the 2011 One of a Kind Show at Merchandise Mart in Chicago, IL, the design mecca of the Midwest."

    Vintage Housewares, Home Decor & Gifts
    Ever see items that instantly bring back memories from childhood & growing up?  This shop has a little of everything:  glassware, barware, linens, hardware and furniture just to mention a few.
    Etsy Shop: Visit Shop
    Find us on Facebook
  6. MiKel Thompson Rumsey - Hair Stylist and Make-up Artist
    Location: Bombshelll Beauty Studio - 910 Harden Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29205


    Full time, licensed professional hairstylist and makeup artist at Bombshell Beauty Studio. MiKel's area of expertise is event hair and makeup for fashion shows, photo shoots, weddings, and other special occasions.

    "I follow hair and make-up trends religiously, whether on celebrities or in wedding magazines. I enjoy experimenting with a lot of different looks such as modern, classic, bohemian, and retro. My goal is to help you create the perfect style to make you look and feel beautiful!"
  7. MoJo City Salon - Beauty Salon · Barber Shop
    Location: 601 Lady Street Columbia, SC 29201

    MoJo City Salon is located in Columbia's Vista. It is a small, intimate salon with a Big City feel and view. You will find we have a warm and friendly atmosphere. Come in and meet all of our stylists today. Ask your friends....they all come here!
  8. Nanna's Naturals - Natural Skin Care Products
    Etsy Shop: Visit Shop

    The focus at Nanna's Naturals is to produce and make available the purist natural skin products possible.

    "We never use dyes or artificial perfumes that can upset your skins delicate balance. Our skin is the largest and undeniably most complex organ of our body and is exposed daily to a very harsh environment both inside and outside the home, from the release of chemicals to the very atmosphere itself. Nanna's Naturals is designed to soothe, hydrate and calm the skin as it preserves its sensitive characteristics."
  9. Rumsey Construction & Renovations -  Custom Residential Building and Renovations

    Rumsey Construction & Renovations specializes in custom residential building and renovations and also are a full restoration company for emergency water, fire, wind, and hail damage.
  10. Tucker Travels - Travel Agency

    Tucker Travels is a family owned agency that provides the personalized customer service needed to make your vacation unforgettable!  We specialize in cruises (groups and individual), Disney vacations, and honeymoons.  Call us to plan your next getaway.  At Tucker Travels we make travel easy!

#Entrpreneur to Watch (up and coming)

CrochetByDante - Joyful Crochet Creations
Visit Shop

An online shop dedicated to the LOVE of #crochet.  Handmade headgear, footwear, Bags, Totes, and Purses, Baby items and gifts.

"My newest venture is the barefoot sandals. I have a few patterns available with more to come! Contact me about special requests."

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What Can a One Page Website Do for You?

I have designed and developed one page websites since the mid '90s.  Those websites usually involved taking a printed flyer and migrating the information from the flyer to a very basic brochure style web page.  Times have changed and so have the type of one page websites that I design for my clients.  They range from full graphic websites such as www.eddiemilton.com to basic "flyer" web pages that allow a small business to have an Internet presence, get indexed by search engines, and be found by the 78% of shoppers who use the Internet to research and purchase products and services.* (see an example of a "flyer" one page website at www.eandwcleaning.com)

Why One Page?

  1.  A one page websites can allow your business or organization to have a fast, professional web presence.
  2. One page websites promote your business, organization, and products by providing potential customers and clients with the most relevant information they need to be motivated to contact you.
  3. Are you a start-up company? Home based business? New to promoting your business online?  Your one page website allows you to advertise just like larger companies and it can grow to more pages as your business grows.
  4. Many one page websites can be setup in an easy to use website builder to allow you to maintain the website in-house.
  5. If you have already purchased web hosting, but have yet to publish a website, a one page website can be easily uploaded to your current web host.
  6. One page websites are budget friendly.
Click on the infographic above for information about JMB Designs, LLC One Page Website Design Services or visit www.jmbdesigns.net

*Statistic used with the permission of http://thenetwork.cisco.com/

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Top 5 Repinned Pins In Pinterest

(Say that title fast 5 times)

***This post originally appeared in my other blog (mymommyblog2.blogspot.com).***

I thought it would be fun to take a moment and see what pins on Pinterest have been the most popular of all my 2,014 Pins.  I didn't join the world of Pinterest until mid-March 2013, and I admit that I am "mildly" addicted.

  1. Board: JMB Designs, LLC Web Design & Marketing
    Copyright belongs to original owner

    Music/Internet related graphic  Sometimes people just want to read something that makes them smile and is light-hearted. This is my most repinned pin and most of those pinners did so within hours of this pin being added to my company board.

  2. Board: Ideas for a Suburban Garden

    Copyright belongs to original owner
    Companion Planting Strawberries This popular pin surprised me.  I pinned it after I bought strawberry seeds for my oldest daughter.  I thought it would be a great way to start learning about container gardening.  I had also taken an interest in growing green peppers, and I wanted to know how compatible the two seeds are if grown together.  The website I pinned is full of great information.

  3. Board: Why I Love the West Coast

    Copyright belongs to original owner
    132 Things to Do in Sacramento  I was raised on the West Coast of the United States and still love it after being away for almost 20 years.  I lived most of the time in Sacramento and found this great page on tripadvisor's website.  This pin gets repinned just about every day.

  4. Board: Wheat Free, Corn Free, Soy Free Cooking

    Copyright belongs to original owner
    Cooking & Baking Gluten-Free: Xanthum Gum Substitutes This pin takes you to a great website with Gluten-Free cooking and baking tips.  The specific page I pinned discusses substitutes for xanthum gum, a popular ingredient used in GF baking.  My daughter has a corn allergy and xanthum gum is derived from corn so I wanted to learn if I could substitute that ingredient in my baking. You can!  This website explains how.
  5. Board: Kid's Hair Styles

    Copyright belongs to original owner
    Beads, Braids and Beyond: Updo Hairstyle I have 2 girls and I am always looking for cute hairstyles.  This updo is the 5th most popular pin of all my pins.  I have several pins from this website.  They have great photos and tutorials for doing various hairstyles.

  6. PSSST!  Look Down.  Don't forget to pin this page.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Client Shout Outs (aka A Great Big Thank You)

I decided to take a moment to start a post that I hope to do more often, give a quick thank you to new clients.

E & W Cleaning Services, LLC ( http://www.eandwcleaning.com )

Thank you to a great new member of the JMB Designs family . We provided logo and web design services to E & W Cleaning Services, LLC.  It's a family owned, small business who needed a basic web presence to support their new business.

Motorcycle Awareness Day ( http://motorcycleawarenessdaysc.com )

Thank you to Mr. Lloyd who hired us to help create a one page website to help promote motorcycle safety in honor of his friends Jeremy Phillips and Danielle Hazelrigg . Learn more and support his cause by visiting his website.

Does your business need a one page website? Why one page? New or small businesses need a website presence in order to be found by potential customers.  Those same businesses may have budget restrictions because they are start-ups.  Our One Page Websites fill that need.  Visit www.jmbdesigns.net

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Home Office Versus Workspace

Work from home? Find ways to love your workspace.
A few months ago I realized something very special.  I sat at my kitchen table looking out at the tall Pine trees and young Oak trees in the backyard, admiring how the sun filters through the fresh green leaves.  I had my laptop in front of me, steaming cup of dark roast coffee with hazelnut creamer on the left, and smartphone on the right.  I was ready to start my work day.  This is not going to be a blog entry about how wonderful I think it is to be able to work from home.  Instead it’s going to be a blog entry about how to enjoy working from home.

I have a home office.  The traditional desk, desktop PC, all in one multifunction printer, file cabinets, and office supplies.  You know, the same equipment that someone who works in a traditional office is surrounded by, expect it takes up part of my daily living space.  My home office is in a room with one window, a not-so-great view, and not much else that is inspiring.  When you are in an industry that relies on creativity this type of home office doesn’t always help the creative juices flow.  The beach scene on the mouse pad and inspirational quotes hanging around the PC monitor help, but it’s not the same.

The “something very special” I realized a few months ago is that I can have a home office in one location in my home, but I can have my workspace anywhere.

I do not have the luxury of going to work at the beach, or even a local coffee shop.  I do have the luxury of having a great home network.  This allows me to work anywhere in my home and, within range, outside of my home.

So I now have a traveling workspace.  Whether it’s the kitchen table, living room couch, garage, backyard, or even the front seat of the SUV (yes, some days that is the only quiet place to be); I have learned to love my workspace.

Your Home Network

If you want to try out a workspace in your home away from the home office, but you want to avoid the constant up and down of having to get up and retrieve items and information from your main work area then network your home electronics.  I have my laptop networked so that I can access my PC and external drives at my main desk.  I can work with files and print paperwork from whatever workspace I am in at the moment.

Google Drive

I have been using Google Drive before it was ever called Google Drive.  I can create documents, spreadsheets, etc. on one device (i.e. my laptop) and instantly they are in the cloud to be accessed by my other devices (PC, or Android smartphone).  My reach is extended because I can also share those documents with anyone who uses Google Drive.  As a result, collaboration and productivity is increased beyond my workspace.

If you’re like me and love what you do, why not love the space you do it in.  Working from home doesn’t mean you have to be tied to a desk in your home office.  If another area in, or outside, your home inspires you and makes you more productive, make that your new workspace.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Negative Words That Will Kill Your Sales Pitch

Can Negative Words Loose You Sales?
Early in my sales career I attended a sales training class that talked about how words can have a negative effect on your customers and turn them off from making a decision about your service, or product.

Cheap Versus Inexpensive

“I’m looking for a cheap car.”

A customer may say that to you. As a salesperson you know the customer is talking about price and not quality.  

“We have plenty of cheap cars”, says the eager salesperson.

Are you guilty of telling a potential customer that you have just what they need at a cheap price? Always remember cheap is a reflection of quality.  As soon as you say the word “cheap”, even if you are referencing a 2013 BMW 740Li, you have just told the customer’s mind that this product is sub-par and inferior.

The dictionary definition of inexpensive may tell you that the word “cheap” is a synonym that can be used interchangeably.   This is not the case when selling.  The word “inexpensive” references price, not quality. When you tell a potential customer that your service or item is “inexpensive” you have let them know that they can expect a reasonable price for a quality product or service.   As you give the customer your list of features and benefits they can truly focus on the excellent quality you are offering them at such a great price.

Remember: Cheap is a reflection of quality.  Lower priced items are simply “inexpensive”.

Don't say “But”?

In a sentence the word “but” immediately takes what has started as a positive sentence and turns it negative.  If you don’t believe me, the next time a woman asks you how her new outfit looks tell her, “It looks good, but..."

The word “but” is a stop word with negative connotations. It tells the brain to stop going in the positive direction the conversation was headed in and prepare to change thoughts in a negative way.  We do not want our customer’s mind to stop in the middle of our great sales pitch and be inadvertently told to now look at our conversation in a negative way.

Many times we use the word “but” as a “word whisker” more than a necessary conjunction. It replaces, “um” or “you know”.  Try this during your next sales pitch or presentation.  Do not use the word “but”.  

For example, turn the sentence, “We can customize the website to fit your needs, but we also want it to be easy for the end user to navigate” to “We can customize the website to fit your needs, AND we also want it to be easy for the end user to navigate”. 

An even better exercise is to go through the day in ordinary conversation without using the word “but”.  I do this constantly in order to remind myself not to use the word “but” when talking to potential clients.

Small, simple words can make or break your sales pitch.  If you believe in the product or service you are selling you should want to be positive about it at all times.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Selling Your Web Design Services

Truth #1: As a web design company owner you are a sales person FIRST!

If you don’t want to sell your company’s services and you only want to build websites you need to go work for a great company or hire yourself an awesome salesperson.

Before I became a web designer I told my husband my only skill was selling. It was true.  I had been in sales since I was 18. It wasn’t my passion, but it was my gift.  I came by it naturally.  My gift was enhanced by sales training from some of the top sales people in America
: Zig Ziglar, John Lawhon, and Floyd Wickman.

Today I want to share the #1 tool that took me from good to great in retail sales and that has only enhanced my ability to sell web design services.

Selling is: Giving people the information they need to make the best buying decision. -John Lawhon

I memorized that quote from John Lawhon’s book Selling Retail.  Most salespeople don’t give a potential customer or client the information they need to make the best buying decision.  Instead a salesperson usually gives the customer irrelevant information they feel the customer needs to hear as they try to convince the customer
that “you need to buy today and you need to buy from me”.

As a web design salesperson how do you give the potential client the information they need to make the best buying decision?

Qualify Your Potential Client. This is the process of asking questions to find out the needs of the potential client. Before you can tell the
lead what you can do for them, you need to know what they want.

Ask questions such as:

What type of business/project do you need the website
What pages did you have in mind for the website?
Do you want a brochure website that is more informational or do you want the website to be dynamic?
Do you have a budget for the project?

The Lesson: The more you know
the potential client’s needs and wants the better you will be able to give them the information they need to make the best buying decision when it comes to hiring a web designer. 

You will get hired if you stand out as a different salesperson. The type that really cares and will do their best to make sure to meet the client's needs.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Is Your Small Business Stuck in a Rut? 6 Tips to Help You Get Out

Dictionary.com defines a rut as: A long deep track made by the repeated passage of the wheels of vehicles.

How deep is the rut your business is in?  Have you been passing over the same track everyday with your small or home based business and you have now come to a stand still?

Do not feel it’s time to figuratively “close shop” or turn that business into a hobby.  It’s time to step outside of your front door, look at the world around you, and start fresh.  

Treat TODAY as the opening day of your business.  Rekindle the love, excitement, and joy you had when you started your business.

  1. Commit. No matter how long you have been in business.  Commit yourself again to being a success. Create a new mission statement for your business.  What is your purpose?  What is your goal?  Why are you offering your service or product?
  2. Write Down the Positives. Make a list of the top 10 great things about your business.  Have you successfully served many clients?  Do you offer a quality product people recommend to others?  Remind yourself about the good your business has accomplished.
  3. Be Honest.  Write down the top 3 reasons you feel business is not what it used to be.  Have you experienced personal challenges? Have you slipped in customer service?  Have you just gotten lazy?  Be honest with yourself and identify the real issues.
  4. Be Proactive. Once you have acknowledged the top 3 reasons your business has suffered, write down how you plan to change those negatives into positives.  Do you need to redo your schedule to be more realistic?  Does your work area need to be away from distractions so you can work more focused?
  5. Listen. Ask those around you who understand you and your business what they would do to promote the business if it was their own.  Hold your own “board meeting”. Fresh ideas can come from a great brainstorming session with people you trust.
  6. Be a future thinker.  Think about how your business will benefit you, your family, and community in the years to come.  Will it provide your sole means of financial support?  Will it allow your family to go on a great vacation every year?  Can you help your loved ones in their time of need?  Will you be the “next big thing” that has the Internet buzzing?

Now is the time to climb out of that rut.  Don’t allow yourself to get stuck. Find the love you had at first for your business and you will find the way to success.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

How to Pronounce Meme

I saw a funny meme the other day and was excited to share it with my husband.  As I was getting ready to call him over to the computer to look at the meme I asked myself,

"Am I pronouncing the word "meme" correctly?"

So I consulted Google.  Needless to say I was surprised by all the detailed dissertations people have posted online about how to pronounce this word.  Then I found this great YouTube video that sums up the answer in 8 seconds. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

10 Sayings of Wisdom from Zig Ziglar

Years ago I worked for a company that used Zig Ziglar training to train sales staff.  I never forgot the lessons learned from that training.  I wanted to share 10 jewels from a great motivational speaker and salesman, Zig Ziglar.

  1. "Remember that failure is an event, not a person."
  2. "It's not how far you fall, but how high you bounce that counts."
  3. "You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want."
  4. "Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis."
  5. "People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons."
  6. "Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days."
  7. "A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could."
  8. "When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there."
  9. "Never judge the day by the weather."
  10. "If you can dream it, you can achieve it."
(photo copyright of original owner)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Simple Plan of Action

In my last blog I mentioned creating a Plan of Action.  This can be a list or chart that you write down or manage on a spreadsheet. I thought I would share my Plan of Action for those who may feel it's too intimidating to create one, or for those who have never written anything down and need a starting point.


When I say simple, I mean simple. Your Plan of Action doesn't have to be elaborate, fancy, or intricate. It is a guide for your daily, weekly, and monthly plan to steer your business to success. It allows you to put down your goals, track your progress in working towards them, and then evaluate how well you executed your plan.

The Layout

I have 5 columns on my spreadsheet: Date, Action, Goal , Actual, and Notes.

  1. Date – Ideally you want to fill out your Plan of Action the week before you want to implement it. I put the dates in that I plan on working on the goal.

  2. Action – This is the breakdown of what it is I want to do ( i.e. Call leads, Follow up with Jane Doe).

  3. Goal – I place the number or desired outcome to the action I listed. So if my action was to call leads then my goal would be how many I plan to contact that day, such as 5. If my goal was to follow up with Jane Doe then my goal would be to get her to sign a contract and pay the retainer.

  4. Actual – This is where I put the actual results I obtained from my action. If my goal was to call 5 leads what actually happened? Did I call 5 leads? Or did I only call 3 leads? Did I get to send Jane Doe a contract? Did she ask me to call back next week?

  5. Notes – I use this column to add details about my actual results. If I was supposed to call 5 leads and only called 3 I need to be accountable as to why I fell short. Since Jane Doe asked me to send the contract what additional notes about the conversation do I need to document?  Adding details about your results will help you in preparing your Plan of Action for the following week and allow you to reflect on why a particular course worked or didn't work.

That is it. Simple and straight forward. What does your Plan of Action include? Share it with us.

A Sample Spreadsheet Layout for a Plan of Action