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Foundations of Success

What to Look For in Your First Office

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What to Look For in Your First Office

When starting off a business everyone needs a location work out from, but most bootstrap startups are unsure what options they have and what does it look like? Today we’ll discuss the best move for your bootstrap startup.

Working from home vs. office is a debate that nobody has mastered, but both provide their own advantages and disadvantages. Firstly, your main concern should be to keep costs down. Working from home gives you that freedom and space to move in a space which you’re comfortable and avoid having to sign leases. However, it may come at the disadvantage of not establishing the company culture and collaborate on ideas with others.

Working in an office is much easier today than its ever been. Things such as shared offices, small rental units, and collaborative spaces/software all help with growing a business. Staff get the chance to discuss ideas, build relationships and collaborate together. Although, this might require longer commute times to work, and additional costs for the renal space.

Ultimately, the decision will be based on the type of business you are conducting, and if the home/office culture is where you will thrive the most. For example, tech-based companies may be interested in an open concept area with lounge and relaxation space because staff want an area away from their computers. Contrarily, a sales culture where staff are working independently speaking to clients and want to be in a home environment or have a dedicated desk. Some companies are exploring the option of a hybrid office, which has both features, so they can cater to all personality types and working styles.

Finally, the hardest part is determining how much space you will need as a startup. As s bootstrap startup its hopeful to expect your business to grow as the years go by, but there is never a guarantee. Most rentals are 3-5 years so the best way to determine what to do is take a realistic approach to your business and assess if a larger office contributes to the growth of your business and the bottom line. A bad office lease or too expensive office can cripple your business quicker than anything else.

Always Be Selling Pt 2 – A Brave New World

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Always Be Selling Pt 2 - A Brave New World

The sales industry has changed from the old school, knock on your door days, and referrals. People pick up the phones less, buyers are more educated, and sellers now need to take a modernized approach it customers. Understanding how to run a formalized BDR/SDR (Business Development Rep/Sale Development Rep) program is essential to staying active in the sales industry, including sending out emails and other touchpoints to prospective clients to make a sale.

Exhausting every option to gain a customer’s interest is now industry standard. The amount of activity and resources spent to make a sale has increased because the amount of relationship building with customers in the pre-sale stage has decreased. Sales are now primarily driven by campaign data, so business owners can start to understand where sales call drop-offs will be, expected responses, and bookings.

Hiring sales staff that are able to quickly understand the different types of personalities when speaking to people and adjust to them will bring in more sales every time. Using a combination of a call, voicemail, email, and backed up by marketing messaging (documents) provides the highest rate of success. Ultimately, coming up with a sales strategy, including script, target market, and campaign (based on data) will give your business the best opportunity to succeed in the sales field.

The Power of Positive Thinking

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The Power of Positive thinking is quite real. In fact, it’s all that gets me by, especially on bad days. Let’s be frank. There were days when I began my journey where I thought to myself “Am I on the right path?”, or when I was studying for an important test and thought to myself “I think I’m going to fail”.

One thing that’s always helped me while continuing on this journey called life, is that when the going gets tough, maintaining positivity has always pushed me through. Especially in sales. Sales can be a very hard task, especially if you’ve just started.

Optimism

Good selling requires that you understand the product well and work as hard as you can to meet the customer’s need. But before everything, the secret of a good salesperson is about what goes on inside their head. Selling is an attitude. It’s how you think and feel. It’s about your whole approach to yourself, your company, your products and of course your customers. All of this can be summed up in three words: Confidence, pride and care.

A positive person anticipates happiness, health and success, and believes he or she can overcome any obstacle and difficulty.Please note that positive thinking is not accepted by everyone. Some, consider it as nonsense, and discourage people who follow it, but there is a growing number of people, who accept positive thinking as a fact, and believe in its effectiveness.

To use it in your life, you need more than just to be aware of its existence. You need to adopt the attitude of positive thinking in everything you do. Trust me, it will only steer you in the right direction.

Frank.

The Power of NOW.

By | Foundations of Success | 2 Comments

Have you ever seen those Everest College commercials on TV? If you haven’t, you must be living under a rock (just kidding). As we’re now in the second month of the new year I have a question for you. Have you been living up to those New Years Resolutions you set forth on New Years Eve?

I hope so! If not, it’s OK. We all have made empty promises to ourselves. But you have to ask yourself, when will you commit to making a change? There are tons of self-help videos you can watch and books you can read but it all starts with YOU. There are billions of people in the world and each of us have fears and past experiences good and bad. We’ve all dwelled on the past, wishing and hoping we could go back in the vault and make some change. Why waste your time? You can’t change the past, you can’t predict the future. The only time you can control is NOW.

The choices you make today is totally up to you. As Eckhart Tolle stated in the “Power of Now,” — which I highly recommend everyone read at least once in a lifetime: “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”

I have been through this and I’m sure you have too. I am speaking from experience. There will be so many moments where you won’t have the answers, but that’s fine. It’s completely normal. Do not allow anyone to let you think otherwise.

Get rid of the fear. You will have bad moments and good ones. Embrace all of this and move forward in your life. None of us are meant to control everything. All we can do is live our lives and navigate the best way we know how.

So if you’re reading this make a pact with yourself. Don’t wait any longer, start now! From this day forward, live in the now and navigate your life moment by moment. I’m sure you’ll end up where you want and deserve to be!

StartNow

Frank.

Stopping Yourself Before You Even Try

By | Sales Advice, Business Health, Foundations of Success, Personal Accountability | No Comments

Stopping-Yourself-Before-You-TryHow many times have you wanted to try something, only to stop yourself before you even attempt it? Travel to a country where you don’t know the language, jumping into a cave with a pool at the bottom, asking someone on a date… or perhaps more relatable, asking for the close when fear has the nasty habit of making you say “I can’t do that” before you even attempt it.

I’m not going to go into the psychology or anything too heavy about fear, but what I am going to try and do is convince you that you’re you own worst enemy. Thinking about it logically, the reason that you think that you can’t do something is because you’re afraid of the negative outcome. If you’re scared about jumping into the cave with the pool at the bottom, you’re most likely scared that you’ll hit something on the way down. If you’re afraid of asking for the close, you’re most likely afraid that they’ll turn down your offer and all your hard work will be for nothing.

When it comes to fear holding you back when you’re selling, I can offer you two points of advice based on my own experience:

You Won’t Know Until You Try – Why would you put in all the work of building a connection with a prospect, getting to know them and realizing that your service can genuinely help them, only to stop yourself before asking for a close? Getting cold feet near the end of the sales process can be tricky, but the absolute worst case scenario is that they’ll say no. Afterwards, the solution is simple…

Worst Case Scenario: Move On – So you do the big ask and they say no. Was it as bad as you imaged? The reality is that it probably stung a bit, perhaps it was a tad frustrating and threw off your day, but you moved on right? Even if we don’t admit that we can, moving on is just something that people do naturally. Of course, it comes easier to some than others, but no matter what it’s important to simply deal with whatever outcome has happened and grow from it, instead of dwelling on it and letting it prevent future opportunities.

It’s better to cope with failure than live with the “what-ifs”, both in life and in sales. Trust me, once you get rid of all fear when selling, you’ll excel further than you thought possible and soon enough be sitting on that cash throne.

What Does Professionalism Mean To You?

By | Entrepreneurial, Achieving Wealth, Business Health, Foundations of Success, Planning for the future | No Comments

logo-subheadingThis past weekend was the annual Wish Group Kickoff event, where we meet up with all of our employees to discuss what we accomplished in 2014, where we met our goals and, more importantly, where we didn’t meet our goals. I truly believe that in order to move forward, you need to take an honest look at your shortcomings and use those to get a better understanding of where you need to improve.

We always tie in a theme with these events to drive home our focus to the team. This year our theme was professionalism, and what that means to us. To communicate this better, we compared the professionalism of pro athletes and the incredible lengths they go through to achieve success. These were the most important comparisons that we made:

Visualize It – One of the biggest differences that you’ll notice when pro athletes get interviewed is that they mention that they have been dreaming of playing at the pro level since they were a kid. They would visualize hoisting the Stanley Cup over their head, along with the feeling of immense pride that comes with it. Visualisation is a powerful thing, especially when setting personal or professional goals. If you can picture your company doubling their sales or experiencing immense growth in a year, then that image will be a powerful motivator to continue pushing forward.

Cool Down Time – Once a big game is over and done with, athletes generally take some downtime to cool off both physically and mentally. This is a time for them to figure out what worked during a game and what needs improvement. Cooling down is critical for any profession, as it gives you a chance to take re-evaluate. Let’s say you had a really good client pitch – why did it go so well? Is there a chance that you can replicate it? On the flipside, if something didn’t go well in a meeting with a potential client, why didn’t it go well? Always try to analyze things when you have time to do so, as you’ll be able to look at things free from all the pressure that you were facing at the time.

Have A Coach – Natural talent is certainly beneficial, but that will only get you so far. All of the best athletes have enthusiastic mentors behind them, pushing them to their physical brink and helping them improve their techniques along the way. Without these coaches behind them, it’s debatable to see how far these athletes would have gone on their own. I’ve discussed the importance of mentorship in the past, and how having someone who can offer you advice is a crucial asset. A seasoned professional can offer you many insights to help guide towards better running your business, as well as avoiding any pitfalls that they’re encountered in their career.

This kickoff event is important for the Wish Group, and a tradition we’ve had for 11 years now. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend gathering together with your team to discuss the direction that you want to go in 2015.

Adapt When Your Plans Fall Through

By | Comments & Opinion, Achieving Wealth, Business Growth, Foundations of Success, Planning for the future, Personal Accountability | No Comments

If you went to the mall this past weekend (or anytime this month really) then you’ve been elbow to elbow trying to get some last minute shopping done. This could have all been easily avoided of course if you had just made a plan beforehand and then tackled it strategically.

The interesting part is that not everyone leaves all of their shopping to the last minute on purpose. I know many people who make detailed shopping plans that list everything from who the gift is for, to where they’ll buy the gift and even the exact price. With such a detailed plan, you would assume that getting everything done would be simple since all you have to do is tackle each piece one at a time. Things don’t always go as planned though, and even the most detailed plan can fall apart due to unforeseen circumstances…. See what I’m getting at?

Most entrepreneurs easily recognize this scenario, as a detailed business plan or planned acquisition can fall apart, leaving you scrambling to find alternatives if you’re ill prepared. Cases like this is where you need to be adaptable enough to find other solutions, instead of staying stuck on what could have been. But how?

Always Have A Contingency Plan – No matter how bullet proof a plan may appear to be, you always always need to have an ace up your sleeve. There have been many instances where an organization has been brought to their knees because they had all their hopes on a major acquisition or something similar, only to have it fall through. In essence, since these organizations thought that this one particular action item in a plan would pan out and essentially set them up for success, enough to the point where they don’t even attempt to get new business. Once things fall through, there’s a period of time where everything slows down because you need to build up momentum again and get over the failure – which not everyone does. This is where the contingency plan is useful, because you’ve already detailed what you need to do in the worst case scenario. All that’s left afterwards is to follow that plan.

Don’t “Fall In Love” And Rush In – An old Elvis song says “Only fools rush in”, and I think this ties in nicely with the previous point because the reason a lot of companies don’t have a back-up plan is because they’re completely in love with the potential ROI one of their created plans has to offer, and blindly chase it without considering the downsides. I’m not saying that being determined on a certain item is a bad thing, but I am saying that you need to be realistic about certain things. Get your team together and objectively assess whether or not this plan can come to fruition, and if you’ll have to change details that you might have been “in love” with.

At the end of the day, you can’t depend on anything realistically working out for you. Even those who work their tails off can have things blow up on them. It’s in these moments though that true leadership shines, as how you navigate these stormy seas can sometimes determine your organization’s success.

Holiday Homestretch

By | Comments & Opinion, Entrepreneurial, Business Insights, Business Health, Foundations of Success, Planning for the future, Personal Accountability | No Comments

With 37 days left in 2014, families and organizations are undoubtedly feeling the pressure of holiday crunch time. I’m pretty guilty of waiting last minute to buy all of my Christmas presents, but when it comes to prepping for the next year I try hard not to lose my focus and keep it going.

This time of year it really does feel like everything is working against you, though. The dreary weather sometimes makes it impossible for you to even get into the office, unexpected family visiting, hysteria at every store you visit regardless of what you want to buy…. It seems endless. During this chaos though is when you need to carve time to review how the year has been, since you’ll be busy the next couple of weeks preparing for 2015.

Revisit Your Earlier Goals – Hopefully you made a list of goals at the beginning of the year to guide your business. With so little time left in the year, you shouldn’t be looking at your list and attempt a mad dash to the finish. Rather, it’s a time to look at your list and see what has worked well for you. Hopefully you’ll find that you not only surpassed some goals, but that you also surpassed goals you added on a little later in the year. You’re bound to find something that was meant to be your focus that you may have let slip through the cracks…

Tie Up Lose Ends – If you do see a few loose ends that you were supposed to focus on for the year, you should do one of two things: (a) see why you weren’t able to meet this goal and attempt it next year or (b) decide if you should make it a priority for the coming year or if it’s actually a critical goal. Losing sight of a particular goal isn’t always a bad thing. Perhaps you subconsciously realized that this goal wasn’t essential to growing your business – especially if you’ve experienced tremendous growth in the year without it. On the flip side, if your business didn’t grow as quickly as you expected, then you should probably make it a priority in 2015.

Plan Your Time Off Accordingly – You’re not seriously planning on neglecting your family over the holidays, are you? No matter what holiday you observe, this time of year is important to spend with your family. I’ve talked about balance before, but I can’t stress how important it is to actually put your phone and computer down for a bit and spend time with loved ones. I can completely sympathize if a 100% disconnect is impossible, but don’t completely neglect your family either!

I’m very interested to know what your game plan is for the final weeks of the year. Please share your thoughts with me in the comments!

Mastering Efficiency For Better Business

By | Success & Inspiration, Entrepreneurial, Business Growth, Foundations of Success, Leadership, Personal Accountability | No Comments

2594377_origThis past week I had the pleasure of taking part of an internal strategy summit with all of the Presidents of the different Wish Group companies, as well as attending our quarterly meeting with all of the companies. Admittedly, one of the challenges that we face with having so many different companies under one umbrella is a unified focus. While I’m perfectly happy with the success of each company all they have achieved, I adamantly believe that if all of the companies combine our synergies, we can become a much more efficient unit.

In fact, the heavy focus of this quarterly meeting was on efficiency. As with all of our meetings, we pick one theme and message to drive home to the team and our leaders felt that efficiency was certainly something that any company can always improve on. As such, from both our strategy summit and our quarterly meeting, here is what we are doing to increase our efficiency that can be applied to any company.

Re-examine How Things Currently Work – The first step towards making anything more efficient is taking an honest look at how things are currently working. I say honest because if you keep telling yourself that everything is perfect, nothing will ever improve. Examine some of your shortcomings and try to assess what mechanics you can put in place to streamline processes that will make you work smarter.

Assembly Line Principle – One of the analogies that we used to drive home efficiency is one of the most successful business efficiency success stories of all time – the assembly line. Henry Ford was famous for taking a long, complex process and turning it into something that made it significantly easier to produce more cars in less time. The main idea behind this was to have staff focus on using their strengths, instead of spreading them thin by trying to do everything. This is incredibly difficult at a start up company as everyone is always wearing multiple hats, but try and discover what tasks your team members excel at and whenever possible give them those tasks.

Trust Your Team – Tying into the previous point, once you’ve discovered what areas your team members are adept at, trust them to complete their task. If you’re constantly worrying about the kind of work your team is doing, it’ll leave less time for you to focus on running your business. Have faith that your team will always produce the best work possible.

I’m certain that efficiency is always top of mind for your company, so I’m curious to know what tasks you think you could be doing more efficiently, and what you want to improve on in your company.

“Thanks For All Your Hard Work”

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86539528When you’re sucked into the day to day of running your business, it becomes far too easy to let some things slip through the crack. Administrative tasks, maybe a deadline on a project…but these things you can recover from. What you should NEVER let fall through the cracks is how much you appreciate your employees.

Your employees are the backbone of your company. Whether they’re in sales or operations, you wouldn’t have a business without them. You might be shaking your head in agreement, but I challenge you to remember the last time that you truly appreciated a stand out employee of yours. Taking the time out of your day to praise your employees can make the world of difference to them. Here’s why I think that appreciating your employees will work wonders for your company:

They’ll Work Harder – This should be an obvious point. If you never appreciate how hard your staff member’s work, they’ll eventually stop working hard for you. Everyone works hard for different reasons. Some work hard because they want to shine better than everyone else, while others truly believe in the growth of the company. It’s critical that you get to know your employees and what motivates them. Everyone takes appreciation in a different way, so you can’t assume that just telling one person “good work” will suffice. Take the time to examine how exactly their work has helped the business, and explain the positive impact to them. Doing this will make your appreciation towards them seem much more sincere.

They’ll Feel Needed – Have you ever worked at a company where you felt expendable? Those are the worst possible conditions to stay motivated in because you’ll feel that no matter how hard you work, it won’t make a bit of difference since you don’t think that your employer needs you. This is easily the most important reason to take the time to praise your employees, because they will understand exactly how all of those long hours are helping the company and having a positive impact. This is also the time where you can work in some mentorship with your staff, as they’ll not only be looking at your for guidance when they do things right, but also for some advice on how to always do things right.

If your staff feels needed at your company, they’ll want to stay at your company AND work hard to ensure successful business growth. It may look like these points can stand on their own, but it’s when you do a combination of all this appreciation towards your employees that you’ll really see your business grow and prosper.