Why It’s Good To Be Bad

by TheBossyRedhead on May 31, 2013

No this post isn't about bad behavior!!!  It's about why you don't need or want to be good at everything when you are running your own business.

As we all know, there are only so many hours to go around.  When you run your own business, it is easy to see how you can get caught up in the minutiae of running the business.  Let's face it, you can't be good at everything.  And quite frankly, it pays to be bad at some stuff. 

Why is it good to be bad?  Well, if you try to do EVERYTHING for your business, you will simply spread yourself too thin.  You will start missing important details and some things just won't be done well.  If you have a coffee shop or a bike shop, for example, you need to be focused on getting the best products to your customers and providing good and friendly service.  Should you be worrying about your internet marketing efforts?  Probably not.

You are far better off hiring someone who is really good at internet marketing and social media campaigns than trying to figure it out and not do a good job with it.

Outsourcing

 

Outsourcing

out·source

 [out-sawrs, ‐sohrs]  Show IPA verb, out·sourced, out·sourc·ing.

verb (used with object)

1.

(of a company or organization) to purchase (goods) 
or subcontract (services) from an outsidesupplier or source.

2.

to contract out (jobs, services, etc.): a small business that 
outsources bookkeeping to an accounting firm.

This is the dictionary.com definition of outsource. Keep it close by. The best businesses owners are those who understand exactly what they are good at and what they need and want help with.

So, how do you know what to outsource?

The best place to start is to know what you are good at.  Typically you started a business because something about it appealed to you.  If you own a bike shop, perhaps you are an avid cyclist.  That means you probably need to be the person who greets customers and teaches classes, runs cycling events and helps people who need repairs.  Does that mean you are the bike mechanic?  Probably not.  Does that mean you are your own web developer?  Not likely.

Focus on what you are good at first.  

Next, decide what you WANT to do.  Sometimes, in the beginning of your business endeavor, you simply don't have much of a budget to outsource.  You may have to do a few things you really don't want to do.  But after you start pulling in some revenue, it is time to start outsourcing the things you really don't want to do.  When you  own your own business, you want to find as much happiness as possible and not be dragged down by the stuff you really don't like.  I've seen far too many business owners burn out because they were doing so many tasks they hated.

This where finding a good virtual assistant comes in.  How can you find a good virtual assistant?  

There are several places to start:  

HireMyMom.com & Elance.com are two really great sources for finding contract workers.  Odesk is another one of my favorites, but I tend to think it is more for technical jobs…web design, sales pages etc.  I have hired transcriptionists and custom theme developers at Odesk and have been really happy.

You can start small then give your contractors more responsibilities as they prove themselves.

Of course if you need WordPress set up services or anything with Social Media Set Up and Content Management, The Bossy Team knows exactly what to do!  Check out our services based on the menu items above.  We love our customers and take very good care of them!

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Are You Nuts?

by TheBossyRedhead on May 27, 2012

listenDo you know people that talk to themselves a lot?  Perhaps you are one of them?  I know my kids ask me all the time who I'm talking to and I have to laugh because I tend to run through my to-do list out loud a lot during the day.  Things like "Oh yeah! I have to do such and such" are heard often as I run through my day.

Well that leads me to my next question, do you talk to yourself on Social Media?  On your blog?  On YouTube?  If you are not getting the engagement on your online communications, it might be time to revisit what you are saying. 

Let's face it, everyone and their brother have become bloggers now.  There are over 70 Million Blogs on the internet now.  So that means there are a lot of people talking…and not so many listening.  WordPress has made it easy for anyone to run a website and market their businesses. 

The reality is that now, more than ever, you have to engage in a meaningful and unique way.   If you are not a great writer, it might be time to invest in a copywriting class or improve your presentation skills on video.  But more than anything, you want to make sure you are reaching out to people and building a relationship.

It isn't enough any more to slap a bunch of tweets into your HootSuite account and let them run.  If you are announcing all of the time, people will just stop reading what you have to say.

I believe Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest especially have to go back to being relationship connection tools they began as rather than that eternal newsfeed about what products you are using and what you are eating today.  Remember when you first started using MySpace or Facebook?  Were you taking half naked photos of yourself and announcing what shake you drank?  My guess is no – you weren't.

There are times I really think about those early days – especially when MySpace was the big thing.  It was so much fun!  We engaged with people about their interests and jokes…and there was really not a lot of spamming.  People connected with people they really knew IRL (in real life).  I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that we need to regress a lot and approach our social media relationships much more personally going forward.  There is just too much noise out there.

So how about you?  Are you talking to yourself?  Try taking a step back and engaging people one to one on social media.  Build those relationships first.  Care first.  Give first.  Listen first. 

That my friends, is how to build an audience of loyal customers.

 

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Time is Money

by TheBossyRedhead on May 26, 2012

When you are trying to grow your business, remember that time is money.

One of the biggest challenges for an entrepreneur, is covering all the bases of tasks that need to get done.

Whether you are exclusively an online business or you also have a brick and mortar business, you want to stay in touch and provide regular top quality value to your customers right?

How do you find the time to do all of your social media, blog posts, video, emails, pr and more?  Hire a social media content manager!

Social Media Content Manager

What does a social media content manager do?  A good social media content manager will take your content and provide scheduled updates to your social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.   This is a game changer for many business owners who do not have the time or desire to engage in social media all day long, yet want to have a strong relationship with their customers and make sure value is always given.

Another important reason a content manager is a great asset, is that they can ensure that your message is consistent across all your online platforms, truly energizing your brand and making your engagement more relevant.

If you don't have a consistent strategy and action plan to use social media, your social media savvy competition will outpace you and attract your current and potential customers.  Having a knowledgeable and experienced social media content manager can help you create effective campaigns to drive traffic and set the stage for your online reputation and buzz.

A Social Media Content Manager manages your social media updates, blog posts, sales letters, new product releases, public relations, public events, contests, keyword research and tags, headlines, personal interaction and message replies and more!

Ready to grow your business?  See our packages here today!
 

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10 Tips for Productivity Challenged Parents

by TheBossyRedhead on April 2, 2012

I had a little snafu today.  Monday morning started fresh and new, the sun rising over the Sonoran Desert for another gorgeous spring day.  I was certain it was going to be a great one!  When I wake up each morning, I reflect on things I’m grateful for, followed by a quick rundown in my mind of what key things I need to accomplish.  I was about half way through the Vegetarian Chili recipe I am making for dinner tonight and thinking what items I still needed to get at the store when a sniffly coughing kindergartener woke up and immediately started coughing her head off.

Do you hear the sound of the screeching halt my plans came to?  Right.

Poor Baby

The difference between now and 17 years ago when my first born was a little one is that  now, I immediately take the challenge of a poor sick child into stride and go into Plan B mode.

So in honor of today being a Plan B schedule, I’m going to share with you my top 10 tips for productivity challenged parents – maybe this will save you from the years of struggle I faced until I finally got the routine down.

1.        Have your  To Do List Done the day before.  If you are waiting until morning to do your to do list, when you have a schedule change like a sick child or a forgotten teacher conference, you already know what you need to get done and you don’t have to try and remember everything when you are worried about your little one or otherwise distracted.

2.       Don’t panic.  Very often it can be tempting to throw the baby out with the bath water.  You can feel like your schedule is ruined so today is a wash and just go completely awol from your business for the day.  Take your schedule change in stride.  And realize that you DO have a plan B!

3.       Immediately identify the top three things you absolutely must get done for the day.  If you need to just write those three things on a post it note and keep it with you.  Forget about the rest until you see if you can get to it after you accomplish the top three priorities.

4.       Don’t allow yourself to feel torn.  When you need to spend time with your kids, spend time with your kids.  Turn off the phone, don’t answer email, don’t text colleagues, just be with your kids.  Granted, sometimes you are at a lengthy event and there is lots of waiting time where you don’t interact directly with your child, so that is a good time to check in with your email and texts.

5.       When you need to work, work.  One of the absolute best tips came from my mentor Craig Holiday who said talk to your kids about your goals.  Come up with family goals, like …a trip to Disney World…. Or a smaller goal like going to park or movies.  Then when one of the kids is asking you for something and you really need to work, remind them, “Do you want to go to Disney?  Do you want to go to the movies today?” and then they say yes… now they know that means Mommy or Daddy needs to focus for a while to get work done.  Give the kids a time frame.  I will tell them “At 4 o’clock I can sit with you and read.”  This way it is clear how much more time you need to work and when they can expect you to be ready to spend quality time.

6.       Have a mobile working option.  If you don’t have a laptop or at least an iPad, I highly recommend you get one!!!!  Today, I have my laptop on my couch as I sit with my little sick child while she watches Curious George.   If you don’t have a laptop, then you can simply get a notebook to do your writing in and then bring it back to your computer to type up later (or better yet, scan in to have your VA type up for you!)

7.       Stay off email and social media.  I learned this initially from Timothy Ferris in his “Four Hour Work Week” – Email and Social media should only be checked one to two times daily in chunks.  So for me, I stay off email until 11AM.  Then I spend 20-25 minutes catching up, replying and sending new emails to request information from clients and people I mentor.

8.       NNTR – This is a super nugget I learned at Underground 8 this year – get your emails to be super concise and eliminate the constant back and forth of unnecessary replies by typing NNTR (No need to reply)at the end of your emails if you are just providing information.  This will keep you from getting those emails that have just “thanks” or “see you soon…”

9.       Plan out chunks of work time….  Work for a couple of hours, then focus on family for a couple of hours, rinse and repeat.  Everyone has their own times that work for them, but here is what works for me.   I generally take the first couple of hours of my day getting the kids ready, fed, and driven to school. 

Then I get home, immediately start working and I work steadily for an hour.  Then, I take a 10-15 minute break where usually I might throw a load of laundry in, clean out the kitchen sink, just stretch my legs, get some coffee etc.  I work again for another hour and finish at least two tasks on my list.  At lunch I will do my ride (I’m an avid cyclist) and grab a quick healthy meal.  I get back, work for another couple of hours and then I’m out the door for pick ups.  Late afternoon is kid time followed by dinner prep.   

I work for another hour or so after dinner ( I bring my laptop to basketball practice since I’m off the hook for coaching now that my son is in competitive basketball – that is way out of my coaching abilities).  I get home, do homework with my kindergartener, bath time, reading, bed for her.  I then get back on the computer and get some solid work time in for about 2-4 hours.  I am super productive at this point since it is quiet and I have no distractions.  By chunking my time like that  I feel like I haven’t missed anything and I’ve been available to my kids. 

So plan out chunks of work time. You will be more focused and also make sure you have your time with your kids.

10.   Keep other distractions to a minimum.  You only have so much of you to go around.  TV and internet surfing simply have to go by the wayside if you want to be productive and grow your business.  There will be time enough for adding more recreation later.  Right now, the life of a parent entrepreneur is such that you have to guard your time fiercely.  Keep the volunteering to a minimum, this is not the time to be a scout leader or running your PTO.  Once your business is thriving you can add in a project here and there.  Otherwise your priority is your family and your business.

So there you have it.  Its not magic, but just taking the time to think through your schedule and having a realistic set of hours that you work will make a world of difference in your productivity and success.  From one busy parent to another, you can live the best of both worlds of family and work time.

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Pay Your Dues

by TheBossyRedhead on March 24, 2012

Pay your dues

 

This is an old concept that has been around for ages.  When you want to accomplish something, you have to “pay your dues” in order to achieve that goal.  This is an idiom meaning:  “to have earned one's right to something through hard work or overcoming challenges.”   We hear it all the time, yet I think it has lost some of its meaning over the years.

Let me take you back…ohhh about 20 years.  I know that seems so far away to some of you, to others it will be a walk down memory lane that seems like yesterday.  But here’s the thing.  It used to be that if you wanted to start a business, you would have to come up with an idea or a product, you would have to create a business plan and it would have to be very well written.  Then you would have to find funding.  In order to get that funding you would have to explore many options because it would be difficult to get a regular small business loan from a bank.  Then you would get a loan for $100,000 or $250,000 to start your brick and mortar business and come from a place of being in the red, deeply in the red and not even have a cash flow to speak of yet.

After you found the perfect building and got your products ordered and delivered, you would merchandise them, create some sort of enticing signs to get people into your store and THEN you would have to advertise so that people even knew your store existed.  You would start out slow and then you would have to work day and night for 2-3 years, sometimes 5 just to turn a profit. You wouldn’t see your family or friends, you would be glued to your store to get it off the ground or your minimum wage workers might not treat the customers the same way you would.

All the while, you had to stay on top of your competition and be innovative, creative, and clever to stay one step ahead until a big super store came and wiped out all of your hard work.

I know that sounded very depressing but I think people don’t have a good understanding of what it means to be in business for themselves.  I see a lot of people enter the online business arena, throw a bad website up and think that all of a sudden money is going to start flowing.

One of the single most important things I teach people in online marketing is that you have to PAY YOUR DUES.  Just like every other business person that is successful, you have to put in the blood, sweat and tears in order to achieve the success you desire.

If you think about anyone you know or have heard of that is very successful in online marketing, you will know that they didn’t just wake up one day and have money pouring into the bank.  No, in fact, most people don’t realize how many failures and challenges successful people have had before they reach the pinnacle of success that makes them so well known.

Pay Your Dues

So here is the timeline I always give people:  Your first year – you may make some money – and that is great.  A lot depends on if you have cash to put into ads and other important tools.  But chances are your first year will be a building year where you just have to put your head down and work.  The second year, you should start seeing the fruits of your labor start to pay off with more cash flow, more interest and then some momentum will come.

Of course this will all depend on how consistent your efforts are and how smart you work.  I’m not about working 24/7 (although I have had times in my life where I have done that.)  I’m about working hard at the RIGHT things to get the momentum going for your business.

The bottom line is, you simply still have to pay your dues.  The people who realize that and don’t quit after their first few months of little or no money will go on to make money.  The people who quit will never know what they missed.  Don’t be one of those people.

Pay Your Dues.

Michelle DeMarco

Email: michelle@thebossyredhead.com

Work With The Bossy Redhead! – Michelle DeMarco's Personal Blog

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Underground 9 | Best Online Marketing Seminar | Invest in You

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Invest in YOU | Yanik Silver’s Underground 8

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