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3 Questions to Make Your Business Better

question As business owners, we often hear that we have to work on our business, not just in it. It’s a concept that sounds simple when you say it, but how do you get started?

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A lot of entrepreneurs thrive on bending the rules so the starting point isn’t always obvious. You have to create the rules – the operating system – so you will have time to work on your business in the future.

So, early in your business, you work on your business by working in your business!

You begin to develop those systems that will make delegation to your future employees more effective. To do that, ask yourself three questions:

  • What is your vision of the perfect transaction?
    Map out a transaction from beginning to end. Think about what you want your customers to experience during each step of the process. This will include: your advertising, the first interaction, and the closing of the transaction. But don’t forget to include what happens internally to support the transaction and follow-up with the customer.

But here’s the interesting thing when you bring your customers’ perspective in – every customer probably has one or two little things that they really like. If you can gear your organization to make that one customer happy on that one point, you’ll probably thrill the rest of your customers by doing it! They probably want it, too. They just haven’t vocalized it.

  • How can you improve one thing one percent?
    Take your bigg picture and bring in all the things that your customers have told you and begin working on one at a time.

We have a confession to make … these three questions aren’t ours. They come straight out of Ken Blanchard’s Raving Fans. It highlights these three questions through a great story and we highly recommend that you read his great book.

So these three questions will improve your performance, help you develop your operating systems, and keep you focused on the most important people in your business – your customers.

Putting it to work

Now you want to improve one thing one percent. We saw a great example of this in action. A company had their entire process mapped out on the wall of their conference room.

They had all these sticky notes up on the wall. Each sticky note represented something they wanted to test – something that represented a potential one percent improvement. These suggestions had been made by customers and by employees.

That’s what makes this concept so useful. It’s a great tool to get employee buy-in.

They get on board because they can see that their suggestions are being considered. More than that, they may get tested. The test results may call for full implementation!

It makes your employees feel like they’re a significant part of something bigger. They are valued. That leads to bigg success with your employees. 

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Thanks for checking in on us today. Join us next time as we make a special announcement – a new beginning for Bigg Success. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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Close Encounters of the Rude Kind

rude Does anything bring out rude behavior more than the holiday shopping season? People cutting you off in traffic, stealing your parking spot, talking on their cell phone while being checked out, leaving their garbage in stores, and even being physically aggressive on Black Friday!

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Oprah recently did a show on rude behavior where she highlighted these statistics:

  • Eighty percent of Americans think rudeness is a serious national problem.
  • Yet ninety-nine percent say that they themselves are not rude.

So we can only conclude from these results that all of the rudeness must stem from one percent of all the people! Evidently, most of us think that almost everyone else is rude, but we’re not.

Test yourself

To see how you stack up, she provides a quiz. Here are a few of the questions:

Are you chronically late? 

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georgeI would have to say n…yes. I want to say “no”, but there may be some people who would disagree with me! Too often I think I can squeeze in one more call or answer one more e-mail before heading off to that next appointment.

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marylynnOprah answered the same way. I know I need to work on this … I tend to be five minutes late to meetings.

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Have you ever interrupted a face-to-face conversation to take a non-urgent cell phone call?

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george
I can’t ever recall a time when I’ve done this. Hey, that means I got one right!

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marylynn
I’m good at ignoring the phone when I’m talking to someone face-to-face.

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Have you gone through a supermarket 10-item express lane with more than 10 items?

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georgeWell, that depends on how you define the word “item”. If I have multiples of a single item that does only count as one, doesn’t it?

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marylynn
I’m guilty by association because I go to the store with you, George.

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george
Oh thanks, Mary-Lynn, for blaming it all on me! That’s rude!

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These questions made us think – things that we don’t necessarily think are rude may be perceived as rude by others.

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georgeI get annoyed with oblivious shoppers. When it’s December 24th and I’m starting to shop for Christmas, it’s just rude for people to wander around like they don’t have anything to do. They get in the way of us serious shoppers!

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marylynnFor me, it’s rude drivers – they don’t use their turn signal. They don’t get over when I’m trying to merge even though there’s plenty of room. Drivers who don’t pay attention are inconsiderate!

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What rude behavior is a pet peeve for you?

3 rules of civil behavior

During her show, Oprah talked with Dr. P.M. Forni, author of Choosing Civility: The 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct.

He says our society is structured to encourage rudeness. We’re stressed, fatigued, and in environments with a lot of people we don’t know. For example, we may be one of hundreds of people in a store or traffic jam. His book points out three rules to behave more civilly:

Pay Attention
Without attention, no meaningful interaction is possible. When we relate to the world as if we were on automatic pilot, we can hardly be at our best in our encounters with our fellow human beings.

Acknowledge Others

Acknowledge others' existence, their importance to you, their feelings, and the things they do for you. A simple "Good morning" as you walk past a co-worker in the hallway is a perfect example.

Think The Best
When we approach others assuming that they are good, honest, and sensitive, we often encourage them to be just that. Yet from the results of this study, it appears that we assume the worst in others while thinking the best of ourselves. Sometimes it is dissatisfaction with ourselves that makes us judge others unfairly.

Finally, Dr. Forni also says being polite is a healthier way to live. Going through life behaving rudely can make you physically sick. 

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Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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We really appreciate that you took the time to read our post today. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the U.S. We’re going to put a different spin on it and talk about thanksgetting. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00273-112608.mp3

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Engaging Your Employees

expert_sessions We have an exciting announcement – we have our first product! After many months, we have a digital download available to help you find and keep great employees. It’s our first installment (but there will be more) in The Bigg Success Show Expert Sessions.

In this session, our experts are Karen Evenson and Larry Kammien, the owners of Leadership and Organization Solutions, a consulting firm that focuses on strategic leadership and organizational development for both small and large businesses, nationally and internationally. Karen is also the author of Redefining F.E.A.R., Maximizing Limited Resources with Unlimited Ideas.

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The three “R’s” of employee engagement

#1 – Recruitment

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larryThe whole recruitment process is often disengaged. It’s a very rote process that we turn people through. What Karen and I talk about is that the engagement process starts at the very beginning – from the very first interaction with your candidate. It works from both sides – the company engages the candidate and the candidate is engaged by the company. We do that by being honest upfront about job requirements and expectations. So the job is exactly what we told them it was in the interview process because we’re really looking for a fit for both parties.

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In the full session, you’ll get a great tip from Larry and Karen to get your candidates involved in your organization before you make the hiring decision.

#2 – Retention

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karenSome people will be long-term; others will be short-term. We want the best from that person for whatever time we have. So ask your employees what they’re looking for, listen to it, and then respond. You can’t give them everything all the time, but you’re not going to keep highly productive employees if you don’t know what is meaningful to them, what motivates them, and what skills and talents they have. You have to utilize those talents and skills effectively, get input, and empower them to do their jobs.

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Karen and Larry have talked to thousands of employees. Check out the digital download to find out what they have learned from these conversations that will help you keep your valuable employees longer.

#3 – Recognition & reward

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larryThe first key thing to understand is that one size doesn’t fit all. We see many companies put recognition and reward programs in place with one, two, or three methods to reward employees. We know that we don’t all like the same things – the same things don’t make us want to do more or better work. We need to ask people what motivates them, how they define reward and recognition. Then we can start to tailor that for them.

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Karen and Larry discuss how to set up these reward programs to meet your goals without busting your budget in the full session. You’ll also hear the most powerful motivator in recognition. It’s an intangible that’s surprisingly inexpensive!

Business owners and executives often cite finding and keeping great employees as one of their biggest challenges. Karen and Larry offer some invaluable thought starters on how to get it done. It will require less than twenty minutes of your time to listen to the full session!

Find out more about Karen and Larry, including how to get them to present to your company or consult with your organization, by visiting betterlos.com.

Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

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9 Presentation Tips to Make You a Star

rockstar

Performing live didn’t bother Dean Martin at all. On the other hand, Frank Sinatra got quite nervous before shows. One night, right before a show, Dean noticed Frank’s anxiety again. Dean said, “Why are you so nervous, Frank? It’s just singing!”

Some people would rather walk on a bed of hot coals than make a public presentation. But it’s just speaking! Getting good at presentations is a sure-fire career builder. Just be prepared going in! 

#1 – Define your purpose.
What is the desired outcome of your presentation? Know this before you do anything else. You’ll make a lot of choices as you build a great presentation; know your purpose so you make better decisions.

#2 – Know your audience.
What’s their background? What are their preferences? What has worked well for people who have made presentations to them before? What didn’t work? Design your presentation for their needs and wants.

#3 – Develop the appropriate collateral materials.

With your purpose, audience, and content in mind, develop needed support materials.  For example, believe it or not, some people hate PowerPoint presentations. If you know that in advance, you might use flip charts or some other tool instead.

#4 – Develop a back-up plan.

Ask yourself, “What could go wrong?” For example, we’ve all witnessed technical difficulties. Prepare for it in advance. Your show must go on!

#5 – Plan for interaction.
Think about questions and comments that might arise. In some cases, you’ll respond on-the-spot. In others, you may defer to a follow-up discussion. Some questions or comments may not be relevant. In all cases, know how you’ll stay on track.

#6 – Put yourself in the role.

Refer to our blog, The Role of Role Playing. Rehearse by yourself, but also find someone who will listen to your presentation and follow-up with questions.

#7 – Focus on making a connection.
Seek to build trust. Make eye contact. Relax. Just plan on having a conversation so the real you shines through.

#8 – Don’t waste time.
A little small talk goes a long way. Get to your points early. Stay on point. Allow us to elaborate …

Whoops! We just about went against our own advice!

#9 – Call for action.
You started by determining your purpose. Now we’ve come full circle. Fulfill your mission by asking your audience to do what you set out to accomplish.

So keep these points handy. The next time you’re asked to present, review them, apply them, and you’ll be a star!

Our bigg quote today is by Philip Crosby.

“No one can remember more than three points.”

Wow, we just did nine points. Good thing our readers are three times smarter than no one!

Next time, we’ll talk about how to be rich today. Except we guess it will actually be tomorrow! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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(Image by greekgod, CC 2.0)

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These Presentation Pointers Pack A Powerful Punch

By Big

By Bigg Success Staff
12-27-07 

Career Builders

thank_you_sign_jpg

Just like public speaking, many people are frightened by the thought of making a presentation. Yet learning how to present your ideas well is a sure-fire way to advance in your career. Here are nine tips to make your next presentation unforgettable:

  • Define your purpose.
  • What is the desired outcome of your presentation? Once you know the answer to this question, you can start preparing for it. You’ll make a lot of choices as you get ready for your presentation. You’ll make better decisions with your purpose firmly in your mind.

  • Do your research.
  • Find out all you can about the person or persons to whom you will be presenting. What’s their background? What are their preferences? What has worked well for people who have made presentations to them before? What didn’t work? By knowing your audience, you’ll be more successful in designing your presentation for their needs.

  • Develop the appropriate collateral materials.
  • What are the right materials for your audience? What materials fit your content? For example, believe it or not, some people hate PowerPoint presentations. If you know that in advance, you might use flip charts or some other tool instead. Of course, your supporting documentation needs to fit your content as well.

  • Develop a back-up plan.
  • Ask yourself, “What if …?” For example, what if your computer crashes?

    We’re reminded of the entrepreneur who was scheduled to make a presentation to a venture capital firm. When he tried to start his computer, it wouldn’t come on. Which meant no PowerPoint presentation. Which meant no presentation at all.

    The financiers were put off by this because they felt that he should have prepared for such a possibility. They reasoned that, if he wasn’t prepared for something as simple as this, how could he be trusted to prepare for complex market situations?

    What could go wrong? Prepare for it in advance. Your show must go on!

  • Plan for interaction.
  • Think about questions or comments that might arise during your presentation. Prepare for questions that you want to answer then and there. Plan for questions that you may not want to answer (e.g. price discussions). Know how you’ll get back on track when a comment is made that strays from your focus.

  • Put yourself in the role.
  • Find someone who knows your audience and practice on them. By rehearsing your presentation beforehand, you’ll be better prepared when you’re doing it for real. You’ll be in familiar territory. For more information, see The Role of Role Playing.

  • Focus on making a connection.
  • With most people, what you say and how you say it are less important than the perception they form of you during your presentation. Seek, most of all, to develop and build trust as you present. Relax. Let the real you shine through.

  • Don’t waste time.
  • Depending on the formality of the situation, a little small talk (no redundancy intended) may be appropriate. Then, get to your points. Don’t waste their time, or yours. Getting to your key points early in the presentation insures you get the most attention for them.

  • Call for action.
  • You started planning for your presentation by determining its purpose. Close by asking the person or persons to whom you’re presenting to do what you want them to do.

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