Have you ever spent your precious time developing content for Instagram thinking your audience will find it irresistible only for you to sleep then wake up to find out that only a handful of your followers actually read it? It sure is not a good place to be.

Time is your most limited resource as an entrepreneur and it’s highly important that whatever you spend time on gives you return on investment. Investing time on developing content that only a handful read or pay attention to means that your investment did not yield any return.

Why People are Not Reading

Over the years and with the rapid growth of the internet, people are constantly bombarded with too much information which has led to a sharp decline in their attention span.  

In addition to the sharp decline in attention span is also the “instanta” syndrome. This means people want information now in a way that they can easily absorb.  

Creating Content That People Will Read

As an entrepreneur who wants to succeed in business and prosper in life, you must not only develop content that people will read, you must also find ways to create content that will help your bottom line. Never allow the need to be seen to override the need to build a profitable brand. If you are looking for specific tips that can guide you in writing content that your audience will read on Instagram, here are 6 tips especially for you.

[Great Read: How to Use Storytelling to Build a Profitable Brand]

1.Interactive Infographics

As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth more than a thousand words”, so also an interactive infographic is worth more than a thousand words. Interactive Infographics helps to present information in a way that is not only visually appealing but also helps with the absorption of information.

As you create Instagram content for your audience, always look for ways in which you can present that information in a concise way. The use of interactive infographics will keep your audience engaged and they will even yearn for more.

2. Storytelling

Everyone including you loves a good story. If people know that you incorporate stories and events into your content, they will find it more enjoyable.

When people find your content enjoyable, they will be engaged and they will keep coming back. Do you have to be a storyteller to tell stories? No, you don’t have to be a storyteller to tell stories.

All you need is the willingness to share your everyday stories or even the stories of other people as it relates to your brand.

[Great Read: 3 Ways to Generate Passive Income]

3. Pop-Up Quizzes/Opinion Polls

People love to make their opinions known and if you want to get their attention on Instagram, try asking them for their opinion. Incorporate pop-up quizzes and opinion poll into your content on Instagram and watch people who would normally scroll by your posts stop to lend their voice to the conversation.

4. Instagram Story/IG TV

Have you been slacking on using your Instagram Story feature? Think again! Your audience will rather catch up with you from “watching” your stories or IG TV than visiting your profile. If you are strategic about what you post on your Instagram Story and IG TV, you have a greater chance of grabbing the attention of your target audience.

The content you share on your Instagram Story disappears after 24 hours. This creates a sense of urgency and it might be the reason why your audience engages with it better.

On the other hand, IG TV allows viewers to watch videos for a longer time. You can post longer videos that are highly engaging to your IG TV. This serves as a free advertisement for your business.

[Great Read: How to Recharge Yourself and Come Up with Great Ideas to Grow Your Business]

5. Answer Questions

If you truly want your audience to read your content, always let them know that you are open to answering their questions. When people ask you questions, be responsive and you can even collate the questions and the answers you provide and then package them as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

6. Solve Problems

The marketplace is filled with people who are looking for solutions to their everyday problem. Before you develop Instagram content, ask yourself, how can I develop this content such that it will help solve the problem that my average follower might have?” Asking this question will guide your writing.

Writing for the fun of it won’t lead you anywhere. Other than the fact that your audience won’t read, writing content that is not helpful will ensure that your brand moves closer to extinction. Your audience has multiple options. Make them stick by creating content that not only addresses their problems but also solves them.

[Great Read: How to Attract Quality Customers When You are New to the Marketplace]

If you implement these tips, you’ll notice a difference in how your audience interacts with your Instagram content and more importantly, you’ll notice a difference in your lead conversion rate.

Thank you for reading.

Enjoying Onpoint Success’s posts? Be generous! Leave a feedback and share with a friend.

Need business mentoring? Join our business mentoring platform, #OSBSElite. The next open enrollment starts September 1 – 14, 2019. To get on the waitlist, click HERE.

Whether you are yet to hire your first employee or you have employees that are underperforming or you’ve found it extremely hard to hire employees, one thing is sure – The success of your brand depends on your ability to find, work with and retain great team members. However, finding a great team can be an onerous task and you might find out that as you try to start growing your business, you will have to learn and handle multiple parts of your business.  What then do you do if you have a business you are trying to grow but you have no employees to help you share the workload?

Do you put your business on hold or hire incompetent people or give up? None of these three choices are options if you truly want to build something meaningful in life.

The best approach is to think of it as a phase that will pass while adopting strategies that will help you get through that phase. As an entrepreneur trying to run a business without employees, here are five (5) strategies you can adopt until you are able to get the additional hands on board.

Plan your Work Ahead

Planning ahead of time is the super power of anyone who wants to succeed in life. Without planning, all efforts are a waste of time, resources and energy.

Planning ahead not only gives you a clear sense of direction but it gives you the leverage to attain greater heights while also easing you of everyday stress. With proper planning in place, it is possible for you not to feel the brunt of working to build your business without employees.

[Great Read: 3 Free eCommerce Platforms to List your Products and Grow your Business]

Use Project Management Tools

Working alone in multiple roles makes you prone to allowing things to fall through the cracks. For example, if you are the Sales Personnel, the Marketing Specialist, Chief Operating Officer, Facility Manager, etc., chances are you will begin to lag behind on some projects or even have a pile of uncompleted projects. How do you solve this problem when you do not have employees?

First, you do not fall for the trap of thinking you can get too many things done at a time. Instead, list your projects in the order of priority and use project management tools like Asana, Trello and Zapier to help you keep track of your projects and to ensure completion of many if not all of your projects.

Invest in Automation

Automation is an entrepreneur’s best friend. As an entrepreneur, you never can predict how a day will unfold but if you invest in and use automation for a lot of your daily task, you are rest assured that whatever happens, many parts of your business will continue to function without much interruption. In today’s world, it is possible to automate most tasks.

From lead generation to landing pages to sales, automation can help you get things done faster than you would if you tried doing those things yourself.

[Great Read: How to Handle People Who Belittle Your Dreams]

Narrow your offering

When you have no employees, it’s important to serve your clients in your area of strength. You do not want to offer them the services for which you are not excellently built. If you do, you are creating an opportunity for your clients to dump you for your competitors.

Narrowing your offering will help you serve your target audience with your best foot forward. Putting your best foot forward will help you maintain your current customers, attract new ones and even increasing your prices. Consumers patronize small businesses because they believe small businesses are specialists.

Unlike corporations which tend to have the solid human and financial capital to offer a wide range of options, small businesses don’t have the financial muscle to pull many things off. Therefore, if you do not want to lose your clients, serve them where you know you can win.

[Great Read: Practical Ways of Reducing your Overhead Costs and Increasing Your Profit Margin]

Keep Searching for Quality Employees

If you must truly grow a profitable brand, you need team members and employees to help you grow. Quality employees are extremely hard to find but that does not mean you should stop searching.

Give it your best and don’t stop searching. Make your search of quality employees a top priority. The more people you ask, the higher the likelihood you’ll get referrals to quality employees.

Thank you for reading.

Enjoying Onpoint Success’s posts? Be generous! Leave a feedback and share with a friend.

Need business mentoring? Join our business mentoring platform, #OSBSElite. The next open enrollment starts September 1 – 14, 2019. To get on the waitlist, click HERE

This is 2019. It is the year of building profitable brands and how do profitable brands come to be? It is by putting strategies in place that will help you attract customers and reach your revenue goals. As a business strategist, one of the trends I have noticed about most business owners is that they have no real strategy for attracting customers. Most people have a great idea of what is they intend to or are offering, however when it comes to the real strategy of attracting customers, they are found wanting.

As a business owner, do you have ways of attracting customers and reaching your revenue goals? Or are you operating on hope and wishes? If you are the type that only depend on hope to build a profitable brand, I am afraid your dreams will only remain what it is – a dream. However, if you are the type that take the time to develop a real strategy on how to attract customers and reach your revenue goals, you are the real deal.

10 Proven Ways to Attract Customers

If you want to succeed in life, you need a strategy and since your business is part of life, you need a sound strategy to attract the right customer and reach your revenue goals. Below are 10 proven ways you can use in attracting customers and reach or even exceed your revenue goals.

  • Cold calling: It doesn’t matter the stage you are in your business, cold calling can help you attract new customers and reach your revenue goals. Cold calling is when you create a list of people or other businesses who match the description of your brand persona or target audience but are yet to know about your business. The key to a successful cold calling campaign is to be sure that the names of people or businesses that make up your list are those who truly need your products. One important thing to note about cold calling is that you must not take a “NO” answer personally.
  • Host an event: A well-planned event hosted by you is a great way for people to experience your brand before they commit to doing business with you. There’s so much power in one-on-one interactions and

[Read: Here are the Top 3 Reasons Why You Don’t Have Repeat Customers]

  • Build a ommunity: One of the best decisions I ever made in my business was to build a community (insert link). Building an online community at that time helped me attract more customers than I could have ever dreamed of or imagined. Today, the community that started with just four people has grown to over 13k+ people. This helped me to consistently attract new customers to my brand while also retaining the old ones and reaching my revenue goals.
  • Write a book: Writing a book is one of the ways to get people interested in your brand and in the process if your message resonates with your readers, you can then convert them from prospects into customers. I’ve heard a lot of entrepreneurs tell me how hard it is to write a book and I wanted to share that writing a book does not necessarily mean that it must be lengthy or that you have to go through the rigors of print publishing. Prior to publishing my print book, I already published four (4) e-books and tons of content.

 [Read: How to Retain Customers in 5 Easy Steps]

  • Create a course: Like what a book does, creating a free course or even a low-end course is a surefire way of attracting new customers. The idea of creating a free course is to get people who would ordinarily ignore your brand out of no tolerance for risk to experience what you can offer. Many people who know about your business do not patronize you because they fear to take the risk.
  • Form strategic partnerships: Identify other entrepreneurs with whom you can form strategic partnerships with. For example, you can form a strategic partnership with a brand such that when customers purchase from them, they are referred to your brand and vice versa.

[Read: 3 ways to Generate Passive Income]

  • Step up your content marketing game: Content marketing can come in the form of your status updates, email marketing and chatbots. The most important thing to have at the back of your mind is that your content must be helpful to your target audience.

[Read: 5 Ways to Create Content Your Audience Will Engage With]

  • Build a website: Your website is a tool that can be used to attract new customers. Many people go online to look up your brand long before they patronize you. Now, having website is the beginning. You must also find ways to drive traffic to your website. One way to drive traffic to your website is by using search engine optimization such that your website is found in search results.
  • Set up a reff system: Referrals are great ways of encouraging current customers to refer new one. Your current customers are mostly more than happy to send you new ones if you do an exceptional job and you appreciate them for it. Don’t expect your current customers to go all out for you. Instead, think of ways in which you can set up a referral system such that they can earn a token or reward for referring people to you.

[Read: How to Get More Referrals for Your Small Business]

  • Volunteer to speak at a local event: Any opportunity for you to get in front of an audience that matches the description of your target audience is something you should take advantage of. This act will help you get noticed and can do wonders for your business.

Thank you for reading. Enjoying Onpoint Success’s posts? Be generous! Leave a feedback and share with a friend.

2019 will be no different than previous years if you do not manage your time and redirect your focus on things that are truly important. As an entrepreneur who wants to build a profitable brand, how do you know what to focus on and what to let go? The answer is not set in stone, however, in this article, I share 5 things you should focus on if you want to build a profitable brand in 2019.

[Read: How to Stand Out in the Marketplace in 2019]

Focus on Your WHY

The number one thing that determines whether a business will stand the test of time is the “WHY?” Your “why” is the reason you started your business and ideally, it should be your driving force. However, if you are not deep-rooted in your “why”, it is very easy to fall off the tracks and start chasing shadows. As a business strategist and coach, I have found many instances in which business owners have completely forgotten their “why” and are daily focusing their attention on things that do not matter. For example, I have seen many entrepreneurs who worry so much about their competitors such that they completely forget why they are in business.

If you want to build a profitable brand, you must never lose the sight of your “why” so you can always stay on track.

Focus on Building Strategic Relationships

As a business owner who desires to build a profitable brand, building strategic relationships must be in the core of your focus. The success of your business rises and falls on the quality of the relationships you build over time. How do you build strategic relationships? You start by showing genuine interest in people and brainstorm on ways in which you can be of help. For example, when you attend networking events, do not let your conversation be centered around what others can do for you, let it be centered around what you can do for them. Offering to help is a powerful relationship-building technique that can help you and your business go from barely surviving to greatly thriving in no time.

[Read: How to Use Storytelling to Build a Profitable Brand]

Focus on Learning

One of my best quotes about learning is “if you are too big to learn, you are too small to earn.”

What you know has a direct influence on how much you earn. I have met many business owners who either show apathy toward learning or show no interest in updating their knowledge. If you truly want to build a profitable brand in 2019, you must focus your attention on learning as much as you can. Learn everything about the products (goods/services) you sell and the people you serve and watch how big of a difference these will make in your business.

Focus on Providing Exceptional Customer Service

Any business that lacks loyal customers will find out sooner or later that it is a bird without wings. What is the beauty in a bird without wings? The answer is, nothing! One way to gain loyal customers in a crowded marketplace is by providing exceptional customer service. Providing an exceptional customer service can be time-consuming but if you focus on it, it will yield unquantifiable returns for you and your business.

[Read: 3 Ways to Generate Passive Income]

Focus on Active Listening

One of the reasons why 70% of all small business fails within one year of start is because the owner lacks “listening skills.” If your goal is to build a profitable brand in 2019, you must focus on listening actively. Who should you listen to? You listen to your customers, employees or team members, coaches or mentors and even your peers. Active listening is a requirement for success. Active listening means that you listen to what others have to say with an open heart. It also means letting go of unconscious bias and giving others the opportunity to share with you from their perspective. Active listening is such a powerful technique that lets you hear not only what is being said, but more importantly what is not being said. It helps you with your strategy and simply positions you for success. Start practicing active listening today and watch your brand grow profitably!

Thank you for reading! Enjoying Onpoint Success’s posts? Be generous and share with others.

In the world of today, it is becoming increasingly hard to retain customers because the marketplace is extremely crowded. Back in the days, brands could boast of doing nothing all year round to retain their customers yet have their profits shoot off the roof. That trend has drastically reduced these days. Now, brands work around the clock designing and implementing strategies to make customers stick with them.  

As a business owner who wants to build a profitable brand, you must also work hard like the big brands to ensure you do all you can to make your customers stick with you.

When I started my brand 5 years ago, one of the metrics I focused on was and is still my churn rate. Churn rate is defined as the percentage of your customers or subscribers who cancel or do not renew their subscriptions during a given time period. This is a critically important metric for companies whose customers pay on a recurring basis. Regardless of your monthly revenue, if your typical customer does not stick around long enough for you to at least recoup your average customer acquisition cost, you are in trouble.

[Read: Here are the Top 3 Reasons Why You Don’t Have Repeat Customers

Making Customers Stick with You

Many business owners I have interacted with erroneously think it is an uphill battle when it comes to making customers stick with them. While that might be true to a certain extent, I can also ascertain that making customers stick with your business is not as hard as it sounds.

[Read: New to Blogging? Here are 10 Steps to Launching a Successful Blog]

 In order to make your customers stick with your brand, you must:

  • Ensure that you exceed the level of excellence you started with or at least maintain it: If you start on a good note and over time you begin to “water down” the quality of your goods or services, be sure that your customers will find the next available brand to do business with.
  • Care greatly about your customers: The one thing many of your customers are looking for is your care and genuine interest in them. Whether it’s helping them save money, offering them quality advice that can help them advance their lives or even getting to know them personally, you will go a long way to earning their trust and ultimately loyalty.
  • Admit it when you are wrong: This is one of the hardest things to do ever yet when you humble yourself and not only admit it when you are wrong but also take it a step further to apologize, you will find out that most of your customers will stick with you for a long period.
  • Grow with the trend: It is important as a business owner not to lag behind when it comes to trends and updates in your industry. If your customers know they can get firsthand information about your industry from you, they will be willing to stick with you for a long time.
  • Communicate effectively: One of the things that your customers wish you could do more of is communicating effectively. Each time you need to make changes in your business or you have new updates, be sure to communicate it promptly and watch your customers stick with you.

[Read: Practical Ways of Reducing Your Overhead Costs and Increasing Your Profit Margins]

Making your customers stick with you is not rocket science. It only requires that you are intentional about it. Implementing these steps one day at a time will lead you closer to your dream of making your customers stick with you despite a crowded a marketplace.

Thank you for reading. What other strategies can a business owner adopt to allow customers stick with them? Your opinion matters. Leave a comment or ask a question below.

There is nothing as exasperating as spending time creating content that people end up not reading. If you have not been in those shoes in your business journey, congratulations, you are one of the 1%. However, if you are among the 99% of business owners who daily struggle with getting their audience to engage with their content, you are on your way to joining the 1%.

Why You Should Care About Getting Your Audience to Engage with Your Content

Your content is the channel through which you can sell your brand to your audience. If you produce great content but hardly find people to read, then it simply means you are losing money. Getting your audience to engage with your content is a way of ensuring that your message is being heard. You can double and even triple your revenue just by getting your audience to engage with your content.

[Read: How to Get Started with Content Marketing]

What Does “Engage with Your Content” Mean?

Engagement when it comes to content mean that your audience are open to actually reading and understanding your content. The number of “likes” or “comments” on your posts does not directly mean your audience are engaging with your content. What determines engagement is the amount of calls, emails or chats you get after your audience reads your content.

If people are just “liking” and saying words like “beautiful”, “nice”, “lovely”, it’s an indication that your audience are not engaging with your content.

Getting Your Audience to Engage with Your Content

If I told you that there is a set formula in getting your audience to engage with your content, I’ll be far from the truth. However, there are lots of ways you can get your audience to engage with your content and increase your revenue from such. I’ll share five (5) of such ways

[Read: 5 Time-Management Tips to Help You Reach Your Business Goals]

  • Establish Your Authority: if your audience perceive that you have no authority in your field, it will be hard to get them engaged with your content. Authority is everything. Establish it with your audience by providing value 100% of the times.
  • Use attention-grabbing headlines: If you want your audience to engage with your content, make your headline attention-grabbing. One of the reasons you are probably reading this post is because the title attracted you. Use that same tactic when writing your content and watch your audience increase their engagement with your posts.
  • Address the pain point of your audience: It is important that you highlight the pain point of your audience in your content. This is one of the ways to get them engaged with your content. Each time you produce content, picture your audience, think about their pain points and then go ahead and address it in your content.
  • Provide solutions: It is not enough to address a pain point neither is it enough to know what the problem is. If you address the pain point, do not forget to provide solutions. Give your audience the reason to believe that you are the messiah to their problems.
  • Include a call-to-action: This is the part a lot of people miss out when it comes to content creation. Today’s audience is already stressed and highly distracted, make them focus by giving specific instructions on how you want them to proceed. It’s called “call-to-action”.

[Read: Here are the Top 3 Reasons Why You Do Not Have Repeat Customers]

Getting your audience to engage with your content is not something you can master overnight. However, as with most things in life, consistent efforts over time is what counts. Continue to hone in on your skills and pay attention to the types of content your audience loves. In no time, you’ll be on top of your game and your efforts will translate into big revenues.

Thank you for reading. Do you have other tips for content engagement? Please leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend

For two (2) years straight, I noticed a trend on social media where people were talking about creating vision boards. I was expecting the same trend this year but I didn’t see as much. It made me wonder whether people got tired of creating vision boards because they didn’t get the results or it’s just the normal human reaction of following the trend without having a deep understanding of what it is to have a vision board.

Have you created your vision board for 2019? I don’t know about you but for me creating my vision board is a non-negotiable exercise I go through every year. It’s non-negotiable because it is not something I give a thought and let it slide. It’s something I commit to creating whether I feel like it or not.

[Read: 3 Free e-Commerce Platforms to List Your Products and Grow Your Business]

What is a Vision Board?

A vision board is simply a board that contains your vision for a given period. It could be made with a foam board, paper or wooden board. Other items you need to create a vision board are markers/pen, sticky notes/paper, glue (optional) and magazine clippings (optional). The most important thing about a vision board is that it must reflect your vision, must be placed in a visible spot and must be straight to the point. Think of it as a guide that leads you to your destination.

Why Creating a Vision Board a Non-negotiable Exercise

Creating a vision board is a non-negotiable exercise because writing down one’s goals is the first step to achieving them. Once you create a vision board that you see daily, it stirs you into action. As you achieve major milestones, you are even encouraged to do more. Living life without a sense of direction is a disaster and one of the ways you can stay on track is by creating a vision board. When I started getting results with my own vision boards, I started teaching others how to do the same. The testimonials I receive from the people I teach are confirmations as to how powerful it is to create vision boards.

[Read: How to Standout in the Marketplace in 2019]

How to Create a Vision Board

Now that you know the importance of creating a vision board, it’s time to learn how to create one. Please note, there is no right or wrong way. The most important thing about a vision board is that the things you post on it reflect your end goals. Also, do not put too many things on your vision board. It is better to have six (6) goals that you can achieve than to have fifty (50) goals that you can’t achieve.

Here’s how I recommend that you create your vision board as a business owner. You do not have to follow it. You can come up with your own way. The most important thing is getting the vision board done.

  • Write down four (4) major goals you want to achieve in your business in 2019. Each one to be achieved by the end of every quarter.
  • Once you have those (4) major goals, create three (3) minor goals for each month of the quarter. You should have a total of twelve (12) minor goals for the entire year.
  • Each month has four (4) weeks, write down the steps you need to take per week to help you reach your minor goals for the month and then for the quarter.
  • Post your sticky notes or glue your cut-out paper on the board
  • Hang your board where you can see it daily
  • Bingo! You are done.

[Read: How to Use the Power of Mirroring for Retaining Customers]

The vision board is a simple exercise. It will give you a sense of purpose and even confidence. As the year goes by and you are able to see concrete ways in which you are making progress, it makes you want to achieve more. Please note, vision board though great, does not absolve you of the need to have solid plans of implementation. You need to have a detailed plan on how you plan to achieve your goals. Without a detailed plan, your vision board will be just another item that gathers dust n your space. If you create your vision board after reading this piece, you can send a picture of your board to info@theonpointsuccess.com

Thank you for reading? Have you created your vision board? What’s your experience like? Kindly leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend.

Happy New Year!! At the beginning of each year, I come up with a list of the things every entrepreneur should stop doing. 2019 will not be any different but before I share the list, I will like to share the reason why I started creating the list of things every entrepreneur should stop doing.

As an entrepreneur who have worked with thousands of entrepreneurs over the years, I found out that what holds many people back are inherent habits. Many entrepreneurs do not attain the heights they truly desire not because they lack resources but because of the things they repeatedly do that impedes their growth.

The New Year is a perfect time to start on a new slate. It is a time to go inward. It is a great time I recommend that entrepreneurs think about the things theydo that have not allowed them to soar. The twist however is, sometimes, thethings that prevent most people from soaring are usually hard to notice. That means, you might be engaged in a behavioral pattern that is impeding your business growth, but you might not realize it. As you go through this list, be open minded so you can know which one applies to you and then adjust where necessary.

[Read: How to Standout in theMarketplace in 2019]

  • Worrying about those who cannot afford your products: The people you should focus on are those who love and can afford your products
  • Being an information junkie: If you are the type that always learns but never implements, you are no better than someone who detests learning but always complains. Put your knowledge to use in 2019 
  • Ignoring wise counsel: If you seek counsel from a wise person, consider it even if it does not make sense to you.
  • Following every movement: Trends are transient and cyclic in nature. What counts are your ideas and your ability to sell them to others.
  • Complaining about low sales without having a sales strategy: If you don’t have a sales strategy, you might as well not complain about low sales.
  • Serving customers shabbily: The only reason you can qualify to be a business is when you have paying customers. In 2019, start treating your customers like they are the best thing that ever happened to you.
  • Being ungrateful: Ungratefulness is a repellant no matter how great you or your products are. Consumers will rather buy a mediocre item for a higher price when the seller is grateful than to remain a customer with an ungrateful person who sells for cheaper.
  • Having a sense of entitlement to everything: Nobody owes you anything – not even your most loyal customers. To move forward in 2019, you may need to drop your sense of entitlement.
  • Selling something people don’t need: No matter how great your product is, if no one needs it, you are bound to run your business at a loss. In 2019, think deep, conduct surveys and research to know if your customers need your product.
  • Focusing on popularity over profit: The only way to pay your bills is when you make a profit from your business. Popularity will only earn you plenty of likes on social media. Choose your side
  • Running a business you’re not skilled for: The fastest way to become irrelevant as a brand is to offer a service for which you are half-baked or not skilled for. Beware of being a quack!
  • Ignoring customer feedback: Customers who provide feedback are your greatest source of learning. In 2019, ignore customers’feedback and watch your business go down the drain.

Thank you for reading.What do you plan to stop doing in 2019? Leavea comment below and remember to share this post with a friend.

Wow! You made it to the last day of the year 2018 and you are just a few hours to the New Year 2019. As a business owner, you might be wondering what are the things to do before the New Year? This time of the year is when many people are talking about NewYear resolutions, but the real question is, what are the things you need to do? In this article, I share 5 things you need to do to make 2019 the best year ever.

Develop a Vision Board

In order to make 2019 your best year ever, you must first start with a vision. A vision is required before you can gain clarity about how to navigate the waters to get to your desired destination. Have you developed your vision board? Congratulations!

If you are yet to create yours, there is still plenty of time to create one before the end of today. Why is it important to create a vision board?

It is important to create a vision board for many reasons, however, the most important reason why you should create a vision board is that the human memory, no matter how “sharp” it is, mostly fail. This means, if you only think about things in your head without transferring them to where you have daily access, you will eventually forget those things.

A vision board is a visual representation of your ideas and goals. The more you see the board, the higher the tendency that you’ll work hard toward ensuring that you fulfill your vision. A vision board helps you stay on track by keeping your eyes and heart fixed on your goals. 

Revise your Business Plan

As you prepare for the New Year, it’s important that you revise your business plan. Your business plan is a living document that must be frequently updated so that its content matches the overall vision you have for your brand. If you did not develop a business plan before you started your business, this is also a great time to develop a formidable business plan that can help you move your business in the right direction. 

[Read: How to Use the Power of Mirroring for Retaining Customers]

Develop a Concrete Marketing Strategy

In order to guarantee your success and make the New Year your best year ever, you must have a solid marketing strategy. During the course of my journey as an entrepreneur, I have met many business owners who lack real strategies to market their business.

Marketing is one of the most important parts of a business. It does not matter how great your products (goods/services) are, if you do not have a marketing strategy, you will be working hard and have nothing to show for it.

Develop a Concrete Sales Strategy

In addition to a marketing strategy, you need a concrete sales strategy to make the New Year the best year ever. Sales and marketing are often used interchangeably even though the two terms mean completely different things. Marketing is a web of activities that a business must engage in, to consistently place (position) a brand/business in proximity to the target audience in order to generate sales and ultimately make a profit.

On the other hand, “sales” is defined as the steps taken in order to convert a target audience from being a lead into a paying customer. Your sales strategy may include how you plan on interacting with the customer, how to handle objections, how to highlight the benefit of your products to the customers and how to get the customer to pay you. 

[Read: How to Use Storytelling to Build a Profitable Brand]

Join a Mastermind Ground

If you want to soar higher than you have ever imagined and then turn 2019 as the best year ever, it is time to join a mastermind group. If I’m asked what the success formula of business is, I will only mention tow things are these are what you know and who you know. Every human achievement is tied to these two things and your business won’t be an exception. A mastermind group offers you an incredible hand of fellowship, support and encourage. With a mastermind group that truly cares about your success, nothing will stop you from making 2019 your best year ever. Join one today!

Thank you for reading? What are some other things a business owner needs to do before the New Year? Leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend.

Any business that does not make a profit will die. Any business that does not make a profit will die. Any business that does not make a profit will die. Did you notice that the three preceding sentences are the same? You are right and no, that’s not a typo. It’s my way of drawing your attention to how important it is for you to ensure that your brand is profitable.

A lot of businesses die pre-maturely not because of location, products/offerings or even lack of customers. Rather, many businesses die because their owners ormanagers do not understand how to calculate a profit.

Do you know how to calculate a profit? Is your business profitable? Hold that thought.

[Read: 5 Time-Management Tips to Help You Reach Your Business Goals]

Sales is not Profit

My experience as a business person started with my mom. She taught me the essentials of running a profitable business. She used to manage a gift store in the center area of our town and at that time, there were about five other gift store owners. The inventory in these stores was similar but my mom’s store prices were the highest. I just couldn’t wrap my head around why the stores sold similar items yet my mom’s store prices were considerably high.

On some occasions, we lost some prospects for the other stores because of high prices but my mom seemed not to be bothered. To me, she seemed to prefer to lose her customers to the other businesses. I wondered why she let go of the opportunity to make a sale instead of taking advantage.

One day, I asked her why that was. She explained to me that most of the other store owners were running at a loss. Why? The reason was that they weren’t calculating their profit the way they should. By the time she broke things down to me, I understood the difference between sales and profits.

High Sales Don’t Guarantee a Profit

One of the indices that a lot of businesses use in determining whether they are making a profit is sales. However, just because you are making high sales is not a guarantee that you are making a profit. You can have high sales and still be running at a loss. When I say this to some business owners, they look at me confused. This is because they are yet to understand that sales is not equivalent to making a profit. You can clear your inventory in the shortest amount of time but if you struggle from month to month to pay your bills, you already know that there is a problem.

 [Read:Follow These 7 Proven Steps and Watch Your Christmas Soar]

How Not to Calculate a Profit

Most people calculate profit using the cost price only. They add a percentage to the cost price and then arrive at a selling price. This way of calculating profit is what tricks many business owners into thinking they are making a profit when in fact they are running at a loss. The no-profit business model is usually not immediately noticeable because business owners might still be able to restock. However, over time, the real deal will begin to uncover itself. Unpaid salaries, unpaid debts, and inability to restock will begin to hit and the business will eventually die. To build a profitable brand, you need to learn how to properly calculate profits.

[Read: How to Attract Quality Customers When You are New to the Marketplace]

How to Calculate a Profit

As a small business owner, your business success is not determined by how many customers you have or how much sales you make. It is determined by how much profit you make.

The key to pricing an item right is to go beyond just considering the cost price but by also considering your overhead costs. Overhead costs may include transportation costs, telecommunications, electricity, office supplies, salary, rent and every other thing that might not be directly related to the item you intend to sell but have a connection to it. 

Once you determine the overhead costs, you then add that to the face value for a new value called adjusted cost price. Your profit margin on your adjusted cost price should be between 25% and 30%. 

(CostPrice + Overhead cost ) = Adjusted Cost Price

Adjusted Cost Price * 30% = Selling Price

I used 25% – 30% as a standard but that does not necessarily mean you cannot add a profit margin of 50%, 100%, 200% etc. to your cost price. You are free to add whatever margin makes sense to you and your brand. What is most important is that you are not ripping off your customers. You must always provide value that is commensurate with the type of service you are providing your customers. 

Thank you for reading. Do you struggle with calculating profits for your business? Leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend.