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Visions TV

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Visions TV featuring Mayor Todd Strange Part 1

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Visions TV featuring Mayor Todd Strange Part 2

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Business Networking – 12 Great Reasons to Get Started

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Are you thinking of quitting your job and going self-employed or of starting up your own business? Then if you are you must include Business Networking in your plans. In fact better than that you should start networking now and here are 12 very good reasons why.

  1. Useful Stress That’s right, a little bit of stress is known to stimulate the brain cells, improve connectivity and so sharpen up your awareness and thinking. It goes back to the origins of man and our need to think to survive. So if engaging with a room full of strangers makes you anxious then be pleased – it is natural and it is doing you good.
  2. Research your Idea You have got a good idea that needs checking out so start explaining it and selling it to other business newbies. Networkers love to say what they think and arguably there is no better qualified panel of experts than those that have been there and done it.
  3. Learn from Others As you talk and explain your idea and your plans to succeed absorb all the knowledge of people who have gone through the same experience. Ask them about the things they are good at that can help you. You will find they love to share.
  4. Practice and Improve The more you meet and share business plans with networkers the better you become. You will refine your proposition into a powerful pitch that quickly nails your all important point of difference. You can also work on one or two case studies that illustrate what you do and show how it benefited a particular client or customer. Stories are always more compelling than a general sales pitch.
  5. Self-Confidence Whatever idea you have, its commercial success will be determined by your ability to persuade others to buy into both your idea and you. The more you improve as a networker the more self-confident you will become. That will translate into good rapport building qualities, which then lead on to good influence and persuasion capabilities.
  6. Momentum Starting on a weekly or monthly networking programme will give you a sense of rhythm and monitoring cycle. The meetings provide a regular deadline to plan and work towards and prompt review of your progress.
  7. Accountability to others Working alone can also mean working unsupervised, a possibly fatal attraction! As you establish regular contacts at networking groups you will develop a sense of responsibility to the group. You will not want to let them or yourself down and want to do well and make progress.
  8. Encouragement and Recognition Nearly all of us need a bit of encouragement. Both in the form of help when things are not going well and as congratulations when we achieve a big result. For some of us the recognition is as important as anything else, and that recognition can be no more valid or meaningful than when it comes from your informed and trusted network buddies.
  9. Altruism We all have it to some degreeHelping a colleague to find new business can uncover surprising degrees of selflessness and satisfaction. The most successful networkers will also quickly point out thatpaying it forward is the essence of good networking, and reciprocity is its energy source. It is also something you can quickly learn to do well, and so early on you begin to feel you are a useful contributor to the network.
  10. Reputation and Trust Word of mouth advertising or personal recommendation is generally cited as the most effective marketing method. Through consistent active participation in networks you will build a reputation as a service provider who can be trusted to deliver and so will be recommended by others. Equally you will have acquired your own team of trusted specialists that can collaborate with you in delivering a broader service to your clients.
  11. Friendship Selflessness, common interest, shared achievement, trust are all pretty awesome qualities in a relationship so it is no surprise that network colleagues become great friends. A good enough reason in itself.
  12. Reward Yes as well as enjoying all these wonderful benefits, business networking will also bring you business success together with all the personal goals that success makes available.

So there we are – 12 very good reasons why even if you’re merely thinking about working for yourself, you should start networking now.

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Phone Numbers on Business Cards – Landline or Cellphone?

Phone Numbers on Business Cards - Landline or Cellphone?

The question of what contact information to put on a business card used to be simple: name phone number, address. Now we have many more options and it’s easy to fill up a business card with several alternatives. This can be confusing to potential clients: should they call your cell or your landline, or maybe Skype, or perhaps they should email? It also clutters up a card with too much information making it harder to achieve a clean and professional design.

The solution is to select the methods of communication you put on your cards, to tell your potential customers the best way of getting in touch. So should you choose your landline number or your cellphone?

The best number to choose is the one that you are most available on during business hours. While a landline number used to be considered essential, to show that you were a solid, reputable business with an office, that is no longer the case as more and more people work from their cellphones and can be out and about during working hours. So if you are often away from your desk and your landline, don’t put that number on your cards. Use your cell number instead.

Freelancers who work from home, may prefer not to give out their landline number to clients, unless they have a separate work phone line, in case of out of hours calls disturbing the family. A cellphone number can be more convenient, as it can be switched off at night or turned to voicemail. If you use the same cellphone for work and personal calls, see if your phone will allow you to allocate a different ring tone to friends and family, so that you can choose whether or not to answer after hours.

If you are office based it makes more sense to give out your landline number on your business cards, keeping your cellphone number back. You can then choose whether or not to share your cell number with clients. Then you can write your cellphone number on your card before giving it out to them, making a more personal connection with them, as if it is privileged information.

If you decide to use only your cellphone number on your card, find another way of giving a sense of place. A physical address is no longer essential, unless you expect your clients to visit your office or business, but you could add the name of the city, or suburb and city, where you are based. People do like to know whether they are talking to someone local or to someone on the other side of the country.


Tips to Help Get Your Business Off the Ground


Perhaps it’s been your “pie in the sky” dream for years, and you’re finally taking that leap and starting your own small business. If that’s the case, you likely understand how many challenges you’ll face as you launch, but you may be unsure of how to meet them. Fortunately, with a little preparation, you can help avoid some of the common pitfalls experienced by businesses.

Before you start honing the details of your business or your product, it’s essential to take a step back and see the larger picture. Although it may seem like a waste of time to develop a thoroughly researched written business plan, it will be a boon in the long term. Instead of blindly entering the market, you’ll have to ask yourself tough questions and be prepared for the answers. To start, you need to ensure that your business will fill a particular need or eliminate a pain point for your customers. This information can help you determine how large of a market you can aim for, and then you can begin crunching the numbers. Investigate whether your revenue sources will help you recoup your spending, and look into the costs of expanding the business beyond its original scope, be it by expanding the geographical areas you serve or adding additional products and services. A deep examination of your proposed business should include all of the overarching questions you’ll need to answer, even the exit strategy. Will you want to sell your business at some point in its life, or are you looking to establish a company to pass on to your children?

With all of these issues settled, you can begin the important task of choosing an appropriate name for your business. You should always have your company’s brand in mind as you brainstorm, and it may even be helpful to place yourself in a potential customer’s shoes. For example, an unestablished fashion boutique might catch your eye or even attract your business with an interesting or even edgy name. Other businesses, however, such as a restaurant supply company or an accounting firm, need to earn a customer’s trust and should probably opt for a more conservative name.

Although merely selecting a suitable name can be a monumental task, it isn’t over once you have a good idea. You also have to check if another business already goes by that name. It may burst your bubble, but a quick search with your state’s department of state can help ensure that you won’t be accidentally embroiled in a trademark dispute. If you plan to expand your business beyond state borders you should also complete a free trademark search to see if your name is available in all 50 states.

Another item to address during your planning phase is assigning prices to your products or services. This can be a particularly trying part of launching a business, because companies that are just starting out often offer steeply discounted prices in order to attract more customers. However, this approach is a losing proposition for virtually every business. Instead of undercutting your bottom line from the start, focus on building relationships and trust with your customers to ensure they’ll return the next time they can use your services. If you’re still concerned about getting new customers to turn to you, there are many ways to reach out to them through marketing strategies.

This planning may take a long time to complete with accurate information, but you’ll have a way to keep the big picture in mind even as the details of your business dominate your day-to-day thoughts.

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