By Susan Kim | July 17, 2009
One of the great things about volunteering with the Maui SCORE chapter is that I meet wonderful business owners and people involved in the business community. As a Maui Business Coach and the host of the SCORE monthly radio show, “Akamai Business” (akamai means smart or clever in Hawaiian), I have an opportunity to share these resources to the listening public.
In July, I talked with Bob Sommers of Internet Marketing Association of Hawaii about internet marketing, what it is and how it could help your business. Bob is the host of Recognized Expert Marketing show on Maui and is a full time Internet Marketer and Podcaster. If you’d like to listen to the audio, listen to it at (click on the date July 6, 2009): http://susankimcoaching.com/blog/score-radio-show/
Here are the highlights:
Internet marketing is also known as web marketing, e-marketing, online marketing, etc. It is not hard or difficult and many resources for internet marketing are free - you just have to know how to use them properly to drive traffic back to your site. The first and main step is to make sure there is great content on your site. Whether you are trying to promote ads, a product or service, people want to see value from your site - otherwise they won’t be interested and will not return to your site.
A couple of internet marketing techniques that you can do right away are article marketing and google’s local search.
1. Article marketing starts by simply writing a great article. Make sure it is not self serving. This one article can be submitted to thousands of sites which will either refer to your article or publish it themselves. The key is to create and attach an author block which has your information and a link back to your site.
2. Google’s local search is an online directory. Simply go to www.google.com/local/add and enter your information. It is important to include ALL information they ask for.
There are a lot more ways to promote your website online. However, don’t get overwhelmed with the choices. Pick one strategy and focus on that one to make it work, then move onto a second strategy.
To listen to this full audio and all other “Akamai Business” archived shows, go to - http://susankimcoaching.com/blog/score-radio-show/
To Your Success!
Maui Business Coach
By Susan Kim | February 14, 2009
I don’t have to tell you the state of the economic world today.
Unemployment is increasing, consumer spending is decreasing and credit is harder and harder to come by. If you’re a business owner, I’m sure you’re feeling the effects of this as well.
Here are three tips that will help get you through the recession.
1. Cut expenses - This may sound like a no brainer, but I’m not talking about a little here or a little there. What needs to be done right now is a major assessment of your expenses and then cutting it by at least 10-20 percent. Take your time with your calculations and projects, but do it NOW and do it early, before everything hits the fan.
2. Use your team - You don’t have to do it alone. Tap into the wealth of knowledge around you. Whether it’s your staff, your colleagues and/or your board of directors, share the specifics of what is going on with your business and invite your team to support you by offering feedback and suggestions. They may offer a perspective that opens up a whole variety of options for your company.
3. Tweak your products and services - Talk to your clients and find out what their needs are RIGHT NOW. As the market changes and the economy shifts, your clients may not need the same kind of services you have been providing. At the same time, YOUR needs may have changed as well. If you can tweak your products and services to be more beneficial now and in the long run, it’s the perfect time to do a little market research and change it.
To your Success!
“If you’re in Hell, don’t stop!” Winston Churchill
By Susan Kim | September 2, 2008
Or, what I mean actually is how to transition smoothly back into work mode after being on vacation.
Too many times I have seen my business owner friends and clients come back from a wonderful vacation only to immediately get overwhelmed again. Once they turn off their auto-responder and delete their alternate outgoing message, the avalanche begins; first with a small rumble and then a huge CRASH!
One of the methods that I have found invaluable is to build a buffer - schedule a 24 hour transition period between returning from vacation and the start of work. During this transition you might want to sift through emails while your auto-responder is still on; this way you do not feel compelled to reply. Or you might want to check your voicemail and prioritize so that you can address the most important items first.
The point is that during that 24 hour buffer zone, you can ease back into your business instead of being overcome with an onslaught of issues.
It makes going back to work more pleasant and prolongs the benefits of your vacation.
To Your Success!
Susan Kim Coaching
By Susan Kim | August 23, 2008
First let me apologize for the long absence. To be honest, things have been pretty hectic outside of this BizBuilderBlog.
I wanted to share a resource that is available for EVERYONE!
I host a 30 minute monthly radio show on Maui called “Talk Story with SCORE.” It is a show sponsored by the SCORE Counseling chapter on Maui. I am one of its business counseling volunteers and have been having a great time hosting the show.
Each month I have one or two guests on the show. I try to highlight some information about SCORE, talk about some events happening around Maui for small business and talk with a small business owner or expert about sound business practices.
Unfortunately the Maui Chapter of SCORE does not have its own website at this time, so I decided to “host” the recordings on my website so that people can access the audio at their convenience.
Check out the recordings of the SCORE Radio Show
Much Joy and Success to You!
Susan Kim Coaching
By Donna Saul | August 9, 2007
I’ve been thinking about two things lately. The first is this: What is it I respect MOST in people? My answer:
Strength of character. As I dissect what that really means, I think of those I know and for me it is this: A strength of character that comes from taking on difficult responsibilities and tough issues that have the potential to buckle the strongest of us, and living through them to tell the tale on the back end (of what that hardship really meant).
What is it for you? What do you respect most in your clients and others you know and love?
And here’s the second: Stop lying to your consultant if you want results. It’s human nature to want to present oneself in the best light, but it is counterproductive if you want to maximize the results of your investment in your or your company’s growth. Lies cost you big money.
There. I said it out loud. Finally. Feel free to skewer me at your convenience. All thoughts and comments are welcome.
By Denise Kirk-Murray, MBA | August 7, 2007
Where can I find money for my business? That is the number one question I am asked by business owners.
The first place I tell them to look is at their own resources. Lenders want to see that you have invested in your business before they will give you their money. Your own savings, investments and credit cards are the first places where you may go.
Besides using your own money, other places you can look for financing your business are:
This is one of the first places business owners look when financing their business. Bankers look at the 5 C’s of credit when considering loan approval. These are capacity, capital, collateral, character and conditions.
Your suppliers can provide credit to you through invoice payments due 30 to 60 days from purchase.
A factor buys your accounts receivables at a discounted rate, and then the factor collects the money. You get your money for your invoices immediately without having to wait for the customer to pay.
Lease your equipment, rather than buying it to avoid spending a lot of money initially on equipment.
By Denise Kirk-Murray, MBA | July 24, 2007
1. Remind yourself of the payoff of a completed business plan
2. Work with someone to keep you accountable –like a business coach
3. Break down the task into small pieces
4. Start with a section of the business plan that is easiest for you
5. Reward yourself as you go
By Susan Kim | July 9, 2007
Oftentimes when I sit out in the ocean to surf, I wait. Wait for the sets, wait for the right wave, wait my turn in the lineup. It certainly takes an element of patience out there - sometimes a LOT of patience.
Business is a similar practice in patience, especially when we are floating in the sea of prospects.
Perhaps you meet someone at a networking event. There is a nice conversation and an exchange of business cards. You’re feeling good - you made a strong connection, you’re sure that this is certainly going to lead to a great business relationship. That evening, you decide to pop a quick email to follow up on your earlier discussion before you go to bed. In the morning you run to your computer in anticipation. You’re thinking the networking is going to pay off! You turn your computer on. . . no email. You hit “Get Mail” again, . . nothing. Your computer screen is silently staring you in the face, thinking, “Now what?” You feel a little let down, but you’re still pretty sure that you will soon get a response.
A day goes by. Nothing.
Two days go by. Nothing.
As each day goes on, you’re feeling more and more dejected. And then after about a week, you start thinking, “Should I call?” “Should I send another email? Maybe they didn’t get my first one.”
Certainly waiting in anticipation can be a true test of one’s patience. But it can also be frustrating and paralyzing to your business.
Business is a practice in patience. But once you master the art of patience, it pays off . . .
I have the pleasure of being the guest speaker at professional and community organizations, like Rotary club. A couple of years ago, after a Rotary meeting, I had a really great conversation with a woman who expressed interest in coaching. We exchanged business cards and she left the meeting telling me, “I’m definitely going to call you.” When I got home I followed up with an email. No response. . . In a couple of weeks I published my newsletter and thought she might like it, so I sent it to her. She didn’t respond. But a month later she wound up signing up for my newsletter. Then after that I didn’t hear from her for 1 whole year . . . when she called to hire me as her coach!
She told me later that I was always in the back of her mind, but she just didn’t get around to calling. BUT she said that she got my newsletters and always appreciated them and then one day it triggered something in her - which is when she called me.
In business, having a system of follow up promotes patience - you know you’re getting in front of your prospect and that they are being exposed to your message, so you don’t have to TRY so hard.
Practicing patience is instrumental in business.
Remember, business is a process - it takes time.
Hang back and wait for THE wave.
When the “wave of the day” comes your way, just ride it . .
By Denise Kirk-Murray, MBA | July 8, 2007
I was traveling for business recently and realized I couldn’t access all of my different email accounts since I was on the road. How many email accounts do I have, you ask. Well, there are the several accounts I have for my business. I operate two websites, www.growthsuccess.com and www.EntrepreneurTraining.com and of course I need email addresses for both. I have an AOL account for family and friends. Yahoo comes in handy for the online groups which I participate. There is the email to handle booking my speaking engagements. Oh, I volunteer as the coach for my daughter’s basketball team. (Champs 2 out of 4 years, YEAH!) I need to keep the team updated on game schedule changes. That’s another email.
Some might say that is a little much, but it was working for a while at least. My business emails are forwarded to my smartphone, but I am limited to three email accounts forwarded to the phone. I think I can only reply under one email address.
What to do? Go back to the days when email didn’t exist. (There was a time when email DIDN’T exist?) Use one email address for everything and scrap all the others. Stop living. None of those options work for me.
I am waiting for the technology to catch up. Now I know you can forward email but the problem comes in when you want to reply. If email is forwarded, your reply is from the forwarded address. You can also access the web based email option, but in that case you have to remember all of the different passwords and log into each individual account. I want all of my emails addresses accessible in one place and when I reply to an email, it shows it is coming from the correct email account.
I am sure an affordable option to do this exists already but I am too consumed responding to email that I haven’t had the time to research it. If anyone knows of a way to do it or if you feel my pain, send a comment on this post.
Email Overload, Business Productivity, Business Resources, Get Organized, Entrepreneur
By Susan Kim | April 30, 2007
Would you like to stand up in a meeting and make your points effectively?
How about getting rid of those butterflies in your stomach before each presentation?
Or perhaps you want to just be able to walk up to a total stranger at a networking event and make conversation.
In business, the ability to speak and get your message across is a marketing asset that is free but worth millions in value. Being able to express yourself clearly and effectively not only gets you “heard,” but it also helps to create credibility and respect.
Who is not impressed with someone who is direct and articulate?
Developing your speaking ability is one of the lowest cost investments you can make with a high rate of return! I am a long time member of Toastmasters, a non-profit organization that provides a safe, supportive and educational environment where people learn both communication and leadership skills. They have weekly meetings where you get an opportunity to practice your speaking and leadership. For me, my involvement with Toastmasters has been invaluable - not only for the personal growth and development, but also for the friendships, the learning and support from other members. Every time I hear a speech, I learn something new - they’re like 3 mini seminars within a one hour meeting!
If you want to get rid of those butterflies and be more effective as a speaker, I would recommend Toastmasters or any other speech improvement program. Here are a couple tips to get you started for presentations:
1. Prepare - First get your message really clear by writing it down. Writing things down also helps to prevent “ramblings” that can be distracting to your presentation.
2. Highlight Main Points - Pick 2-3 main points that you want to highlight and emphasize. This helps the listener pick up on specifics.
3. Practice, Practice, Practice, OUTLOUD - Each time you read outloud what you have to say, you will probably modify your tone, pace, perhaps even your words. Each of these tweaks will enhance your delivery AND your message. Also, practicing helps to clear those butterflies from your stomach and enables you to speak with confidence.
In business, communication is the key to reaching out and building credibility and respect.
Doesn’t it make sense to invest in your communication skills?