Minute by minute

my thoughts on making the most out of all of life's minutes…


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Word Up Wednesday – Brick and Mortar & Click and Brick

If you operate a little store from which you sell your products or offer your services in a physical location…you are operating a Brick and Mortar.  Likewise, if you have a physical location where your clients can meet with you, you are a Brick and Mortar.

A doctor would have a B&M location where he sees patients.  A gift shop or coffee-house is a B&M; customers physically go to the location to buy the products.

A Click and Brick is a combination of a physical location and also does business online.  If you operate a little art gallery where people can come in and purchase pieces of art but you also offer sales via the internet from your website or blog….you are a Click and Brick.

Many times you can enhance your presence if you offer an online option to your customers to purchase your products and goods.  Just be careful not to overextend yourself with online sales that distract from your physical location – by either taking away your attention from your walk-in customers or deplete  your inventory too much that your shelves are bare.  On the flip side, don’t forget about the online customers by having slow response times and shipping delays.

Are you a brick and mortar business that can add some “clicks” too?   This doesn’t have to be just a store….if you offer a service oriented business, you can extend your offerings to online customers or clients as well.  Let’s chat if you’re thinking of how to implement this option to your current business.  Shoot me an email or leave a comment below.

Happy Wednesday!

~Amy

PS – we’re going strong on my challenge this month to buy 100 copies of my eBook…Making Time for Dinner.  Have you purchased yours yet?  If so, send me your thoughts!

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Word Up Wednesday – – Delegate

It is interesting when I looked up the official definition to this word….all I found were links to the upcoming elections.  Well – DUH – Amy – we are in an election year and there is lots of talk about delegates.

But I’m looking at this word as in – delegate – – like to assign part of your workload to someone else.

Delegate: v;  to send or appoint (a person) as deputy or representative.

I think one of life’s most valuable lessons to learn how to delegate.  Yet, I feel , for small business owners, this is probably one of the hardest things to learn and to do.

For me, when I was running my own business I had a couple of issues that set up hurdles for me to delegate:

  1. I was very independent and felt as most small business owners, that I was able to perform every task needed for my company.
  2. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to afford delegating my workload to others.

Both of these situations are very common lines of thinking when I talk with other small business owners.  And one of the things I like about being a small business owner myself and now consulting with small business owners is the “I can do it” mentality.  But careful to not let this get in your way of yourself.   Yes, it is probably true that you can do “it” – whatever it may be.  But too many “its” and the service or product that you offer will begin to suffer.

It is important to take stock in the things in which you excel, the things  you with which you struggle and the things which you don’t like doing very much.

For example: when I wanted to convert my business from a sole-proprietor to a Corporation, I know in my heart and my mind that I would have been able to figure all that was needed to do this.  I mean, I have a BA in Business.  Surely, that should give me a leg up on knowing what to do.  But, I also admitted to myself that:

  1. I am not a lawyer, and
  2. I didn’t have the time to learn what was needed. Even from all I learned in college, I didn’t learn the intricacies of setting up a corporation.

So I allowed myself to hire a lawyer to handle this part of my company.  That was probably the best idea I ever had.  Not the becoming incorporated part (although that was pretty smart too), but the hiring a lawyer part.  He told me things about what was required that I didn’t even know I didn’t know.

A client of mine hates to do invoicing for her company.  I suggested she hire a bookkeeper to come in and do all her financials once or twice a month.  She did so and now she doesn’t put invoicing her clients off until the last-minute.  She saves herself many minutes each month not to mention the headache she doesn’t get anymore.

For personal or home management, it is important to realize where you can delegate certain tasks too.  Delegating household task can be to hired help, like a babysitter or a house cleaner.  But it can also roll into your kids.  Heck I’ve even delegated mouse patrol to my cat – – I mean – there are just some things I won’t do!

Seriously, there is no reason our kids can’t do household chores these days and I’m always amazed at parents whom I talk with that say “Junior can’t do that”.  And I ask…”have you had him try?”  I think kids as young as three should be delegated things to do.

WORD OF CAUTION!  I have learned it is best not to “delegate” household chores to your spouse or partner.  This gives the wrong impression that you are really in charge and/or have some superiority over your significant other.  It is best to use words like “share” or “let’s combine our efforts”.

One last thought – – trust.  It is important to trust the person to whom you delegate jobs.  Whether it is a co-worker you are asking for help on a project, an employee or a contractor…if you don’t trust them, they will fail.  And – it is oh so important to be specific in what you are looking for and when giving the details of the assignment.

Did you know I can help you with finding ways to delegate some of your tasks  – – and we’ll find more minutes in your day!  Give me a call…I’d love to chat and get things rolling.

Happy Wednesday!

~Amy

PS – we had a pretty good day, yesterday,  on our 100 for May challenge….will you help me sell 100 copies of my eBook, Making Time for Dinner this month?  Buy your copy today and ask your friends to do the same.  And thanks!


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Not Me Monday – Sign you work

Hi Everyone!

Happy Monday!

Do remember when you were in school and your teacher would have to remind everyone to “sign your work.”  Nothing’s changed now that we’re all grown up.

My friend Dan writes about it today on his blog and I thought I’d share his “points” with you.  Check it out here Extra Points – Sign your work.

(now that’s a signature!)

Along the same lines….do you have a signature on your email?  You should!  This little area hold space that is vital for people to contact you for future needs.  Don’t forget to include things like your name, your title, your phone numbers, a link to your website, Linkedin page, and  your Facebook page.  I always like people who include a little quote or tagline that helps me connect with them even more.  Here’s what my email signature looks like:

Amy Munns

Time Saver/Time Management Guru
            Finding more minutes in your day

office/cell: 360.440.8800

Blog: https://amymunns.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amy-Munns-Consulting/114214346504

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/amymunns

Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’ is to say ‘I don’t want to.'”  – Lao Tzu


Share with me your email signatures.  Paste them below in the comments section.

~Amy


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Word Up Wednesday – Marketing

Good Morning All!

This week’s word – Marketing!

Marketing as defined by the AMA as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

I think many people think that marketing and advertising are the same thing.  There is, in fact, a very distinct difference between the two.  Advertising is the selling of your product and it is just one section in your overall Marketing Plan.

This is a perfect diagram to show all the facets of a Marketing Plan as found at http://www.learnmarketing.net..

This is simply a visual of the definition from above:

 creating = product

communicating = promotion

 delivering = place

exchanging offerings = price

It is always good to remember the different ways to market your product or service.  And every product or service needs some sort of marketing plan.

Today’s Questions:  What does your Marketing Plan look like?  Does it include all the different aspects?

Happy Day!

~Amy


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Tips on Tuesdays – When it comes to advertising….ask!

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Here’s a question for all my small business owner readers.

Do you advertise? 

Here are a couple follow up questions:

  • If not, why not?
  • If so, do you know what works for you and what doesn’t?

One of the questions I ask whenever I am conducting a Time and Energy Audit with someone is about advertising and how it is working for them.  I’m always so surprised to learn that:

 

  • Yes – poeple do advertise.  But no – they don’t know which advertising practice is working best for them.

It is really very simple…ASK!  Anytime you are contacted by a new client or customer, ask them where did they hear about you?  Same thing goes anytime you run a specail or host an event, ask every person “how did you hear about this event?”

That’s step one.  The next step is to keep track of the answers.  This can be as simple as keeping a tick chart – – for every advertising option given, that one gets a little tick.  Then it is just a matter of tallying up the totals over a set period of time.

If you different advertising but in the same genre – like you are running an ad in the different newspapers in your area, dig deeper.  Ask “which paper did you find my ad?”

Finally, if you get a referral from a named customer, a handwritten thank you goes a long way.

Advertising takes money and effort.  Make sure yours is working correctly for you.  Analyze your data after a set amount of time to determine what works.  Those that don’t generate a lot of leads, stop using them.  Those that do bring in the business, increase your efforts there.

I’m available to help audit your advertising stragety  – give me a call if you’d like to chat.  (This phone conversation is 100% free – leave me a comment with your email address so we can connect.)

Happy Tuesday!

~Amy


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Not Me Monday – Pinterest and business

Good Monday Morning!

I hope you are doing well with the time change.  I’m feeling pretty sleepy this morning.  Hoping the tea kicks in soon.

Today’s Not Me Monday is all about Pinterest and how it can work to drive traffic to your website.  But I think these tips can also be used to drive traffic to your blog.

Check out this article to read on: Why Pinterest Should Be of Interest to Brands and Small Businesses

I certainly don’t think that you should rely solely on Pinterest to drive traffic.  But I do feel finding new and different ways to link to your site or blog are good things.  Not to mention, Pinterest is pretty darn easy to use.

Just be careful, like most social sites, it is a bit of a time suck.  And with all those photos, it is really easy to get swept away.

Happy Monday!

~Amy

PS – I’m looking for guest bloggers to cover me while I’m on vacation later this month.  Shoot me an email if you are interested in sending me your thoughts.

 


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Not Me Monday – Branding with no budget

It’s been a little over ten years ago when I started my first company and even though I have a degree in Business Administration, I felt I needed any help I could get.  So I took a class offered through our local Parks and Rec Department on “Marketing for Your Small Business”

I didn’t learn anything new or jaw dropping, many of the things I learned were consistent and served as a reminder of the topics I learned while in college.

This week’s Not Me Monday is written by the man who taught that class so many years ago.  And his message is consistent with techniques that can be applied to today’s market just as they worked many years ago.

You can read the article here:

Branding Your Business or Organization When You Have No Money.

What I really like about Mr. Hoke’s message is basic: find what works for you, what separates you from your competition and be consistent in that.

 

 

Let’s answer his question that he mentions in the article:  name one successful brand that is built on anything other than a better idea and world-class customer service.  

I’m not sure I can….

Happy Monday Everyone!

~Amy

PS – did you watch Shark Tank on Friday?  Wasn’t that last guy crazy????