Keys to Successfully Engaging in Conversations

How many engaging conversations will you have this month with those successful entrepreneurs in your top 200 (or top 20%)? What we’re talking about is making a simple commitment to identify your top clients and get in front of them. Drink a cup of coffee with them. I would strongly suggest to not setting an … Continue reading “Keys to Successfully Engaging in Conversations”

How many engaging conversations will you have this month with those successful entrepreneurs in your top 200 (or top 20%)?

What we’re talking about is making a simple commitment to identify your top clients and get in front of them. Drink a cup of coffee with them. I would strongly suggest to not setting an unrealistic goal. If you haven’t been terribly engaged, start with one person in your top 200 (20%) every day. Just one person. You’ll end up with 20 customers that you’ve seen by the end of the month because the average month only had about 20 business days in it anyhow.

Conversations make a very important element in making effective business agreements. Every transaction or business contract can only be reached through a conversation. Many corporations make business communication a requisite training to all their employees. Sales people and insurance agents are professionals who are involved constantly in negotiations or making business deals. Business meetings could be quite disastrous if not adequately planned. When planning to meet a potential client or partner, one has to adequately prepare. There are a number of things that should be considered. Having a checklist would be an effective way to ensure crucial insights are discussed.

Having a good conversation requires careful planning. Following simple guidelines can be an effective way to ensure your target is well engaged and you get the best out of the meeting. Most business leaders, insurance agents, and entrepreneurs have to develop great business communication skills to enable them to build relationships, attract new customers, and access funding.

Understand your target

To develop a good and engaging communication one should clearly understand the audience. The audience can be a single individual or a group of many people. Having a clear picture of what such a target would need is very necessary. Key questions that will reveal if a person or entity is a qualified prospect for your product or service offering is always well worth the time spent.

Ask many questions

These are very important because they give the other person an opportunity to talk about him or herself. This can be a very effective way of getting to understand and know the other party. Listen attentively as the person answers such questions and continue probing if necessary. It is important that you remain polite and direct. Most people would love to talk about their interests, goals, and passions. The rule of thumb dictates that the initial questions be very generic and light then one can continue inquiring about issues that are more specific. Your interests should be as genuine as possible. This can be done by maintaining eye contact and appropriate body language.

Active listening

Listening is an aspect that is often forgotten in many conversations. It is important that one should listen when the other person is talking. Listening helps one develop the appropriate questions and other relevant issues about the conversation. Active listening can help one paraphrase some ideas or issues. Such aspect sends important insights to the other party that one is actually listening. It also encourages the other person to talk more.

Business Financial Planning

Businesses often find financial planning a hassle. At the same time, it is critical to plan your finances well through the entire business cycle, be it before commencing, or after folding up (if you decide to merge or sell etc.) In truth, creating a financial strategy isn’t as tough as it seems to be. There are some steps which need to be kept in mind while planning your finances. Some of these steps are as listed below:

Establishing and defining the financial planner – client relationship
Gathering client data, goal – setting and expectation – defining
Analysis and evaluation of the existing financial status
Development and presentation of recommendations / alternatives
Implementation
Monitoring

It is important to note here that some of these steps will determine and influence the other ones. At the same time, some of these steps need to be carried out simultaneously. To understand these steps better let’s look into how each of these steps work.

Establishing and defining the financial planner – client relationship

In this step the financial planner, explains his / her services to the client. This means that they explain or document their responsibilities towards the project. Further in the same step he / she also chalks out the responsibilities of the client. The payment and terms and conditions are also negotiated in the same step and the time frames are negotiated as well. Decision making processes, SOPs, Specific Points of contact etc. are also decided at the same time.

Gathering client data, goal – setting and expectation – defining

In this stage the data related to the financial state of the client’s business is collected. The personal and financial goals are defined. A thorough SWOT analysis will also give an insight into the risk taking capacity and the estimated productivity of the business. This stage is actually where planner gathers all necessary information before advising the client anything.

Analysis and evaluation of the existing financial status

In this step, the client information is assessed and analyzed. This gives a clear idea about the current status and also helps in deciding what to do in order to achieve client’s business goals. Further, on the basis of the requested services, this stage may include the assessment of liabilities, assets, cash flow, tax strategy, investments, current insurance covers etc.

Welcome to Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a famous American city situated in the state of Nevada. It’s the largest city in the state and it’s widely known for its fine dining, shopping and gambling. Las Vegas was named the ‘World’s Entertainment Capital’ because of the numerous casino resorts. Other nicknames that this city got are the World’s Marriage Capital, the Second Chances Capital, Sin City and the World’s Gambling Capital.The fantasy-like atmosphere in Las Vegas is created by the giant and glamorous casino hotels. Their names evoke exotic destinations, mystery and romance.

Besides many casinos, Las Vegas also features numerous other attractions and sights. Go to the Fremont Street Experience. This is a pedestrian mall situated near the casinos. Every night you can see amazing multimedia shows on the canopy placed over the street. Another landmark is the Fountain Show from Bellagio. During the evenings, for 15 minutes, you can admire the ‘dance’ of these beautiful fountains. On Sunday and Saturday afternoons, the show lasts for an hour.

Las Vegas is known for their mega hotels…not just for casino play but also to stay and relax while you gamble and have fun! The question is not where do you stay but how do you get the best rates? Well, that is where HotelHut comes in. Booking online can be a tedious job because all those big popular online travel agencies are of no use. Their rates are basically the same and trying to find a discount can be a pain…unless you book thru HotelHut.com. HotelHut is a private membership hotel booking site offering their members deep discounted “unpublished” rates you’ll find nowhere else! Their Members can save up to 71% off retail!

Trolling Lake Michigan

There is no doubt that the Great Lakes are incredible fisheries. Thousands of people take to those lakes every year for a variety of fish. Lake Michigan is no different. There are many ways to catch fish on Lake Michigan. One of the best ways, though, is to always hire a guide.

There are many guides on the lake who specialise in different types of fishing. Look for a reputable guide who’s been working on the lake for a while and who can provide you with some references. Fishing Lake Michigan for the first time can be a daunting task. It can also be dangerous, if you have never fished big water before. Even the most seasoned of anglers pick up tips and trick from experienced guides. They understand which fishing lures are catching fish and where and how to use the most effectively.

Trolling is one way to catch fish on Lake Michigan. This requires knowing the depths at which the fish are holding and also the speed at which the fishing lures will work the best. The speed and depth of the fish will depend on the recent weather, the time of year, and the water temperature at various depths, among other factors. The fishing lures that worked on Lake Michigan in the spring may not be the same ones that will put fish in the boat in the fall.

Top Networking Mistakes

If you are an active player in the game of networking, you are going to make a few mistakes here and there. The key is to quickly identify the faux-pas, correct it and move forward. Whether you are in social or business settings, be aware of these common blunders and act appropriately.

Listed below are common networking errors which can be easily corrected to achieve big success.

Talking Too Much

It is always important to make good conversation and relevant dialogue at networking events. Sometimes, you may catch yourself dominating the conversation and not giving your counterpart a chance to speak. Unfortunately, this can lead to unwanted solicitations, over selling or over marketing/promoting. To alleviate this problem, ask open ended questions in your talks. Make eye contact and be conscious of the other person’s behaviors and gestures. If you feel their attention is drifting, change the subject or give them an opportunity to speak.

Over Exaggerating

Once again, it is always important to make a good first impression when meeting people at functions. You want to be as credible, trust worthy and professional as possible. Try not to get caught in a lie or over embellishing your conversation. Do not give a false impression about your company, business, career, contacts or network. Be direct and as accurate as possible. Showing integrity and honesty will win you more points.

Business Financial Analysis

Planning and Control are the two most important ingredients to a Successful Business. A Business Plan takes most of the guess work out of Business Strategy and Control through solid Financial analysis. Financial Data provides a way to gauge where you are in your Strategic Plan, telling you where changes in your Plan are necessary. Because of this, Financial Data Analysis and Management are vitally important to running a successful business.

It is extremely important to have a suitable Accounting System installed throughout your business so data acquisition is easy. You cannot manage your Business for Profitability without a good Accounting System. My CPA has a bookkeeper who comes out to the business to help install the Accounting System and show us how to work it. All of this is done with the guidance of the CPA but at a fraction of the cost. A good Bookkeeper is invaluable in helping capture Financial Data. Having an established working Accounting System in place will minimize the fees a CPA charges to analyze your tax liability and prepare your tax returns.

An Accounting System is typically built around the following key Financial Management tools:

– Income Statement (Profit & Loss Statement)
– Cash Flow Statement
– Balance Sheet
– Budget
– Breakeven Analysis

By having a Financial Management system in place, you can easily identify early warning signs or spot particularly profitable areas. Not having a system in place to analyze and organize Financial Data makes it impossible to effectively manage, grow and control a business. It makes it impossible to gauge the success (or lack there-of) of your Planning and Strategy. Moreover, used incorrectly, inaccurate Financial Data can be disastrous for a company’s livelihood.

An Accounting and Financial Management System is only as useful as it is used systematically throughout an entire business. It is extremely important to implement the system into the very fabric of the business and be used systematically. The Accounting System is a reflection of the health, or lack thereof, of a business and from which business decisions are made. Make sure to set it up right, train your people on it and most importantly, use it!

Two principal objectives of any business are to be Profitable and have Cash Flow to pay obligations. The Income Statement and Cash Flow Statement figure prominently in this area. The Income Statement represents how well a Company is operating, and the Cash Flow Statement shows how well a business is managing its Cash. Profit or Loss on one side and Liquidity on the other.

Business Coaching

When you hire a business coach and develop a program or product, the first marketing instructions you get will probably be something like this: “Contact your friends, send them a warm letter, offer them your services or product, and ask them if they know people who would be interested.” Bingo! You’re on your way with a marketing list, sure to grow as your friends enthusiastically spread the word.

Oh.

A typical introvert, I have spent my life making a few very deep friendships. Not for me the inclusion in the circle of giggling young women who took coffee breaks and lunch together every day, celebrating life events. When they were discussing a shower for one of their members, I was drinking coffee and reading a book. Their lunchtime group shopping tours were a far cry from my lunchtime exploratory (and solitary) walks.

I’ve had four deep friendships in my life. Let’s see, there was Polly, whom I met in the first grade. As two brown-haired, pig-tailed petite girls in a sea of blonde Scandinavians, we bonded instantly. We’re still friends, decades later, despite a 40-year hiatus when we moved apart, a gap that was bridged instantly when we met again.

Then there was an adventurous, brilliant but troubled girl in junior high school, whom I had to let go out of my life because I sensed her habit of living on the edge would lead me into trouble and deflect me from my path. And finally, the vibrant, charismatic friend of my middle years who suffered a head and brain injury, and died this year, after years of suffering, leaving me bereft.

And of course, hosts of acquaintances and colleagues, with whom I exchanged brief but pleasant conversations over the years.

Uh-oh. Not an auspicious start to my marketing list.

Luckily, there was the fourth: a serene and wise introvert who had early on mastered the art of being connected to a wide variety of supportive people while maintaining her privacy and serenity.

Studying her and listening to her brought about profound changes in my life and techniques I now share with others.

Here is some of the wisdom I have gathered:

Be a Person of Interest, not a Person of Mystery

People are curious; they want to know something about people around them in order to feel safe, to know how to respond and what to say and do – or not say or do. In short, they need to know, like and trust you (essential for business), but in order to do that they need to flesh out that vague outline of you that you may be presenting to them. If they have no idea who you are, what you stand for, and what delights you or not, they will make something up. In fact, they will write a whole life story for you that would astound you if you knew it. And you probably won’t like it.

I listen to introverts, I know the complaints – “Why do they want to know what I did over the weekend? It’s nobody’s business but my own.” And I get it; I have spent many a weekend alone, happily listening to music, reading, gardening, reluctant to disclose that to anyone in a world that deems that solo behavior is peculiar.

But I also know that you risk being thought of as “aloof,” “snobbish,” or even “arrogant.”

So take a deep breath and learn to say something like, “I had a great time relaxing, getting caught up, and even finding time to read. How about you?” Over to the other person, who probably really wanted to talk about what he or she did, anyway. Use your great listening skills to convince people that you are a great conversationalist.

Business of Financial Planning

We have learned from the economic crisis of 2008, to take care of where we invest or what we do with our money. It also taught us that in times of doubt, consult your advisor. The economic downfall in 2008 also opened opportunities for expert financial planners and newbies who wants to help people and business maximize their resources.

If you are wondering why you or your business needs financial planning, we have enlisted the perks here.

Financial planning enables businesses or individuals to allocate the right amount to the right area that needs improvement or more investment in a timely manner. This minimizes risk-taking and bad investments. Efficient financial planning would then eventually lead to better revenue and effective cost management.

Financial planning presents the costs and gains of a company or individual in numbers, giving them a clearer view of what they will be investing in. This makes it easier for decision makers to go or stop a contract or project.

A financial plan is prepared annually. This financial forecast explains how much the business or individual should expect and when to expect it. This not only shows how long the wait is going to be, but also the quantity of its profitability. Every month, a financial plan is also done to compare the annual plan prepared earlier to see if the target is being met, exceeded or otherwise. This warns the business owner or individual of possibilities and posed threats in the investment, and if it’s time to give up or not yet. Although it is not always correct, as there are so many things that could affect the business’ financial status, financial planning and management makes it easier to see what is and what can be.

While some people or business owners would want or need a financial planner as they can do this on their own, there are some who would need a planner’s help to get the load off their backs. Either way, when looking for a financial planning company to handle this hefty job, here are the things you have to consider.

License – find a licensed or certified financial planner, which signifies their abilities and credibility. Do not just jump on the first firm that comes your way in a desperate move to find one.

Pay structure – there are two major pay structures your planner may be a part of: fee-based and commission-based. Nothing of the two is better than the other; it is really up to the company or person what he/she prefers. There are also planner who, like free-lancers, can be paid by the hour or when you only need them

Financial Health of Your Business

A business must enter all its financial transactions in its books of account. It helps the accountants in tracking the incoming and the outgoing flow of cash through the business. Nowadays, the cloud based accounting systems maintain and process the books of account.

The corporate environment of every country is bound by certain statutory obligations. ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) of Singapore governs the corporate sector in Singapore. This agency has the duty to ensure all industries, irrespective of their size or niche, comply with the amended set of statutory requirements. Updated books of account, filing of financial statements, and paying taxes in time are the essential factors of these obligations.

The act of recording each financial transaction of the business and then, periodically checking the books of account has a far-reaching meaning to the business owners. The accounting software reduces the amount of manual work involved in the task. Each time, it processes the business data accurately and unfailingly. The software takes only a few seconds to process the data. The results obtained denote the financial health of the business.

On-the-Go Access

A cloud based accounting system saves and processes the business’ financial data on the cloud servers. It transmits the results to the business owner’s device, which can be an internet capable mobile or tablet. The software can also transmit the reports to the laptops, net books, and desktop computer.

The accounting software systems generate financial documents like cash flow, balance sheets, and profit and loss accounts for the inspection of the owners. They get a detailed info about the working and the financial standing of their businesses. The software also updates them about the financial position of their businesses with respect to their suppliers, customers, and creditors of their businesses.

The accounting software allows the owners to know about the fluctuations in their bank balances. It allows the owners to keep a firm control on their credit and debit situation. It ensures that they do have a chance to take appropriate actions before the commencement of a financial disaster or a broken commitment.