Strategy – How To Keep Your Service Business Focused On The Most Productive Business Activities

One of the prevalent problems most service business owners experience is difficulty with focus, loss of focus, and having no focus for their business. Instead, they conduct business from the “putting out fires” position. They aren’t staying focused at all times on the most productive business activities (bringing in clients, increasing revenue, increasing profit). They’re letting other demands pull them away. Often, these demands are not important or even relevant. If you’re having trouble keeping your focus on the right business activities, here are a few ideas for you.

1. Keep it simple.

You don’t have to do four million things at once. Eliminate 95% of the stuff you’re currently doing, and get it down to just a handful of activities. Put everything else “on the back burner” – at least temporarily. You can still do these activities. You don’t have to do them now.

2. Create a written strategy.

Know exactly what you want to accomplish with your business, the tactics to do that, and all the action steps that each tactic requires. Work from this strategy. Put a time-line to this strategy. Follow the time-line, and keep your focus on the top priority activity (as identified by your time-line).

3. Ask yourself at all times, “Is this the most productive business activity I could be doing?”

If not, make some changes. Make this reminder habitual and you’ll discover how much of your business activity is not focused on your most productive activities.

4. Execute your strategy consistently.

Use your written strategy as your business roadmap, making it clear what is next, and where your focus should be. Resist all the sales spiels and time demands, or delay them into future strategic behavior. You can add new things into your strategy at any time. Just make sure that they really are valuable and not distractions to your strategic objectives. It is challenging to stay focused and to resist distractions, but try using as a “filter” the primary objective of your strategy. Ask yourself if any new activities Will truly advance that objective.

5. Be clear in your strategic planning about any information or training you need, and work on getting it before you need it.

One sure way to stop your business momentum is to neglect to educate yourself in advance of the need to know. Figure out what you do not know and where to learn it. Stay ahead of your need to know and you will maintain the momentum of your business.

6. Recognize and reject distractions.

When new ideas or time demands arise, see if they fit the context of your current strategy. Explore whether or not they fit somewhere into your longer-term strategy. Are they simply distractions? Stay clear on this, and be willing to place these new potential activities where they belong in relation to your strategy.

7. Keep your focus on the concept of focus.

Modern life has unlimited potential to distract us with “important” activities that are essentially time wasters. It’s way too easy to get sucked into following the crowd with the “latest greatest” technologies, methods, and ideas. They are so seductive and play on our fear of being “left behind” in a rush to the new. We don’t question whether or not they are effective, fit our personality, or advance our strategy. Instead, we just jump in and follow the herd. Decide you will behave differently, and it will really pay off for your business.

These ideas will help you keep your service business focused on the most productive activities. Stay focused on attracting more clients, and increasing your revenue and profit. Don’t get distracted by off-track activities.

Video Production Business Tips – The Future of Video Production Businesses

I typically try not to spend a lot of time looking into a crystal ball, but a coaching client of mine asked what I thought the video production business will look like in 5, 10 and 20 years. My insight is based on how I perceive the industry with regard to society, multimedia and technology. Here’s what I have to say.

Regarding the video business in the next 5 years, I think video overall is coming back full-force. Corporate video was very popular in the 80’s but started to die down pretty significantly in the 90’s due to the emergence of CD-ROM authoring and distribution capabilities. This is also when PowerPoint hit the scene heavily in the corporate presentation environment. In my opinion, now is a great time to start a video business and with proper marketing and sales strategies, you’ll be able to really flourish in the coming 5 years.

In 10 years, I believe that bandwidth will finally catch up with High-Definition (HD) camera quality (probably before then but definitely by 10 years). Full-resolution HD videos/films will be accessible on your laptop, phones, in your cars, everywhere! The thing to always remember though is that no matter what the technology is doing, you want to remain highly focused on content creation, or storytelling. There will always be a new technology and a new group of investors willing to dump millions or even billions into the technology.

Let the big boys spend all their money on the technology. Just get real proficient at learning new technologies as they come available. Then, teach your clients how you can help them adapt the new technologies in their communications strategies. I believe that no matter how much technology changes, there will still be a need for good video producers/storytellers. In 10 years, there will be more channels than compelling content.

It will be much easier to start your own television/web network and advertisers will have an unlimited supply of choices on where to run their advertisements. Niche markets/audiences will be the key to success in a decade. If you command a high percentage of a particular market segment, you’ll be able to develop channels with content that serves that market and make a nice income selling advertising space or member subscriptions.

Note:The tools to produce videos will get cheaper and cheaper every year so it is vitally important that you position your video production business and yourself as a producer who understands business/marketing/training communications… not just video production. You will need to focus heavily on the consultation part of the video business instead of just cameras and software. There will be people who buy gear and call themselves “pros” on a daily basis but the companies that stay focused on the “strategy level of thinking” when dealing with clients will prevail.

This has worked for me so I continue to stay positioned in this manner.

In 20 years… who knows? I’m sure that video will still be a profitable business but the technology will probably be out of this world in terms of what it can do. As I’ve stated before, no matter what the technology does, their will only be a small percentage of the population that will understand how to craft a compelling and effective message. Study the technologies over the years and figure out quickly how they apply to the video business and how your clients can use them to improve their communications.

I think in 20 years, video WILL be as common and necessary as having a website or email address is today. Instead of business cards, you’ll have a video card. Instead of a brochure, you’ll have a brochure with tiny chips that can show videos right on the paper.

The above comments were all related to the corporate video industry. How will the consumer video industry fare?

The short and probably best answer is that people will always get married, have birthday parties, and need family history videos. The point is that consumer video needs will never go away. Unlike business, video needs that ebb and flow with the economy, personal video needs are ALWAYS there. There isn’t as much money to be made serving consumers but the demand will always be there.

In fact, I can’t seem to shake the thought process of developing several consumer- related video businesses that serve this unending need. (Weddings, birthdays, college sports reels, etc.) There is a lot more competition in the consumer video industry because the videos are easier to produce and the client doesn’t have the same expectations as to quality as the business customer does. The key is to develop branded products that are easy for the customer to understand and afford. Then, promote them like there is no tomorrow!

I recommend looking at two parallel plans going forward.

Focus primarily on building a video service that develops business videos but also look at serving consumer needs. In the early years of your video production business, the consumer needs often pay the bills when the video business clients go missing in action. Plus, the consumer jobs pay faster.

Information Products Business – Why Selling Short Reports Should Be the Focus of Your Business

One of the biggest hurdles people face when trying to start their information products business is creating their own information products to sell. The prospect of writing a 90 page ebooks can be really intimidating when you are not an expert in a topic. There is a simple way to get over this fear that very few marketers are taking advantage of, which is a shame. That way is creating short reports. In this article I’ll introduce you to some of the benefits of using short reports as a basis for your information marketing business.

1.You can write a short report in a few hours. This means that slaving over a product for weeks at a time won’t be an issue anymore. How long would it take you to write 7-20 pages? If you have a clear niche and outline to start with, you can easily do it in a few hours or less.

2. The low price point means higher conversions. You can sell a 10 page report for $7 pretty easily. The price is so low that you don’t need a fancy sales letter, and you will have higher conversions because there is such a low bar to entry. Many people will buy these products on impulse because it is such a low financial commitment.

3. The supply of topics is endless. You can break down a large topic into many smaller topics to use as the basis for short reports in your information products business. For example, look in a non fiction book and notice the chapters. Each chapter can be a short report. So you can easily make 20 products out of one book! Similarly, look at a sales letters and notice the bullet points. Each one of those can be a short report. Now, think of all of the books and sales letters our there, not to mention various other sources for topics such as magazines. The topic can be very specific since the product is so short, and this results in expanding the number of potential ideas for products far beyond what you’d have for a more substantial product.

4. When other marketers are having success with their product, you can profit from their success by producing a complementary report on a similar topic. If a market has a successful product on link building techniques for example, you can product a short report on actual places where you can get high PR links. Use your imagination and piggyback on the success of others.

5. You can maximize the lifetime value of a customer. If you give your reports a theme, you can position them so that customers feel compelled to buy each report in your series. So you can have a 5 Minute Guide to Traffic, and a 5 Minute Guide to Product Creation, and a 5 Minute Guide to List Building, for example. In order to not feel as if they are missing part of the series, many customers will automatically buy all of the products in the series. This is a sure fire way to get tons of repeat sales for your information products business.

How to Start Your Own Baby Products Business

There are no absolute steps to ensure success in any kind of small business, but with the right guidance and planning, one can become a good entrepreneur. One of the small business ideas that never runs out of style is the baby industry. Here are some tips to start off on the right foot in the baby market.

First of all, decide whether you will be a reseller or a direct seller. Do you prefer to buy pre-packaged baby products on wholesale and sell them at a retail price, or will you make your own products, or perhaps both? Making your own merchandise can go anywhere from having your own factory to a smaller scale production including yourself and maybe a few friends sewing clothes, quilting, to constructing baby-proof furniture. The possibilities are almost endless. Whichever of these options appeal most to you, it is important to put into mind the practicality and efficiency that parents, especially mothers, can get from the baby products that you are selling. You can start off on a single item to a few, but as your small business becomes big, a lot more variety can help expand your market and consumer base, not to mention your profit. Soon enough, you can even own your own company.

With these ideas in check, choosing an appropriate and eye-catching name for your small business is the next crucial step. Advertising businesses and products these days can be done on so many levels. Website promotion is one of the more contemporary approaches, together with business branding efforts on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, even on YouTube. Aside from this, you can manually make entries of your baby products to be posted for sale on online auction sites or shopping platforms like eBay or Craigslist. If you prefer the more direct and traditional marketing methods, word of mouth still works faster than most advertising techniques. Spread the word with family and friends, and soon enough, a whole neighborhood will hear of the news.

Learn about your competition, because sure enough, there will be a lot in the baby industry. Research the products and services that other companies have to offer. Compare their prices and features with your own baby products and make the necessary adjustments if need be. It’s a stiff market out there, especially in a quite unstable economic state as that of today. People – especially mothers – are always on the lookout for the best deals in terms of price and product quality. To be able to deliver both of these will guarantee you a spot in the formidable baby industry.

As soon as you start earning money, be sure not to spend all of it immediately. This may be tempting, but putting priorities in your expenditures is very important. Make it a point to put aside money dedicated to keep the business running – maintenance costs, taxes, budget for new products, replenishing resources, among many others.

With all these in mind, starting your own baby products business will be easier to kick off.