Posts Tagged ‘Clovia Hamilton’

15 Lead Scoring Points to Use

September 4, 2011

via Google Images

We are in the process of revamping our contacts database to include a new Lead Scoring system. It’s “very” time consuming. But, we are certain it will pay off in the end. I have read quite a bit about various lead scoring systems. I am convinced that it is a must do for organizations.

The idea is that you give folks a point for various activities and facts that you value about them. Folks with higher scores should get more of your attention with respect to prospecting for sales; and promotional and other outreach. I am tickled by the concept because many, many years ago my brother had a scoring system for his personal contacts. He was an accountant and he kept an accounting ledger about people. He gave folks points for helping him out, remembering his birthday, hanging out with him, etc. One year he bought me a new tv set because I was so good to him. I thought it was weird to be so anal. But, you really should treat your advocates best.

We are painstakingly checking out every single one of our contacts online. So much changes over time – and especially due to the down economy. Some folks have moved on to new positions. So far, two of our contacts got in trouble with the law. Yikes! So, needless to say, they were removed from our list!

Here are 15 items that get points in our lead scoring system:

1. Connected on Linked
2. Connected on Twitter
3. Connected on Facebook
4. Has LIKED our Facebook business page
5. Located in our Target geographic markets
6. An INC 1000 firm
7. Opened our emails
8. Luv’d our business on Intuit’s LUV a business page
9. Commented on our wordpress blog
10. Subscribes to our wordpress blog
11. We have talked or corresponded online
12. Registered for a Seminar
13. Downloaded our ebook or other documents from our website
14. Subscribes to our Newsletter
15. Current or past customer

As you can see, conversation and dialogue is very important to what we do. Social interaction expands our scope and reach.

What items would you add to the list?

 

By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.
Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with nearly 30 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans, intellectual property, social media marketing strategic plans, and other services. Contact Clovia at:
■ Web: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com/
■ Blog: https://cloviahamilton.wordpress.com/
■ LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/cloviahamilton
■ Twitter: http://twitter.com/lemongrassplans
■ Email: chamilton@lemongrassplanning.com

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5 Ways to Exercise and Increase your Energy

August 17, 2011

My latest quest is to lose weight. I lost 30 lbs a few years ago and it returned home with some friends. I am a task oriented creative. So, I read a lot and come up with great ideas for business development. I then write my ideas on Q cards and try to implement my new plans and strategies. What I have learned is that I simply need more energy to get it done. This is especially true since, like most small business owners, I cannot afford to hire a team to delegate it all to.

Exercise is not all bad if you develop the right attitude toward it and view it from a perspective that makes sense to you. For me, everything is pretty cerebral. So, that has to be my approach to getting right about exercising.

A few years ago, a business coach Gretchen Sutherland encouraged me to teach my 10 year old daughter better eating and exercise habits and serve as a role model to her. Of course, at the time, I did not listen. But, we are now pursuing it as a quality of life issue and I am viewing myself as a role model to my daughter. As I get older and really begin to combat the adverse impacts of aging, this is becoming more and more important to me.

Well, here are 5 ways we get our exercise in despite my busy schedule:

1. We walk. We actually walk and swing on a swing set. Swinging has always been one of my favorite things to do. So, we will walk around the parking lot of our local park and our end of walk treat is time on the swings.
2. We bike ride. This has been a bit of a challenge recently. My daughter has a flat tire. Also, I borrowed my son’s bike and took his bike back. Well, he’s now in the military. So, I plan to take my daughter’s bike to Sports Authority for the repair; and I am going to confiscate my son’s bike back (to save money).
3. We attend dancercise and step classes. I am most excited about these classes. I see my daughter getting stronger and coming into her own space. We go to my Health Management Organization (HMO) Kaiser Permanente. The classes are free. You cannot beat free; and they play hip hop music which is fun. My daughter wants to eat junk after the workout. So, I prep apple slices and a little caramel dip for her as a post class treat.
4. We follow aerobic instruction on DVDs. I found a great cardio workout DVD for just ten bucks at Walmart. My business coach told me that my sit ups, leg lifts and stretches were fine for toning. But, I did not break a sweat. I had to rev it up in order to burn calories. The DVD is not as excited as being around other motivated folks in live dance class.
5. I love to dance. I recently joined a local ladies club for divas in my community. We get together for activities like plays, movies, horse back riding, and dancing. I decided to really get out there and create a work-life balance – and just “plain ole have” fun! Although many of the activities are not really exercise. I think the mental downtime from work is important. Most importantly, networking and getting outside of your own head is priceless.

The key for me is to mix it all up so that I do not get bored.

How do you get your work out in?
By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.
Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with nearly 30 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans, intellectual property, social media marketing strategic plans, and other services. Contact Clovia at:
■ Web: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com/
■ Blog: https://cloviahamilton.wordpress.com/
■ LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/cloviahamilton
■ Twitter: http://twitter.com/lemongrassplans
■ Email: chamilton@lemongrassplanning.com

5 Elements of a Sales System

August 2, 2011

via Google Images

I recently bought the book entitled “Harvard Business Review on Sales and Selling”. I just read the chapter called “Manage the Customer, not just the Sales Force” by Benson P. Shapiro. He wrote about a sales management team that decided to “step back and take a fresh look at the entire selling effort” when a dress line failed to increase in spite of know appeal.

Reading Shapiro motivated me to take a step back and reflected on my firm’s sales system. There are a lot of online sales options. I call it noise. It was high time to step back and get organized.

I am a very analytical, organized, task oriented task master! I believe in checklists and outlines.

So first, I drafted a sales system outline which included: (1) Product Policy and Pricing; (2) Distribution Channels for Online Training Content Sales; (3) Communication Methods; (4) Qualifying Prospects and (5) Managing Customers.

Distribution Channels include an ejunkie shopping cart on our firm’s website; a Facebook storefront; an Amazon store; a Scribd Store; Clickbank; Ebay; Lulu; Moontoast; Zazzle store; Blog for Pay via Media Bistro and the Examiner; and training videos for pay via Demand Media.

Communication methods include the 3-A’s – Advertising PULL; Appointments for personal selling PUSH; and Attending Networking Events.

Advertising PULL include Facebook ads; Google adwords; Youtube videos; direct mail marketing; email marketing; and social media posts via Hootesuite and Ping fm.  Our social media posts are distributed to Twitter, Facebook, Facebook business page, Linkedin, Myspace, Google Buzz, Tumblr, Friendfeed, Identi.ca, Brightkite, and Yahoo Profile.

Appointments can be set with Facebook friends, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and Linkedin connections using online tools like Tungle.

Networking events include Meetups; professional trade organization meetings; vendor outreach sessions; and trade conferences.

Qualifying prospects involves having a Contact Relationship Management (CRM) system that includes lead scoring.  Prospects get higher scores if they are warmly engaged with us open our newsletter; comment on our blog; LIKE us on Facebook; or otherwise communicate with us.

The Customer Management component includes Opening New Account Relationships; Closing Deals; Servicing Accounts; and Maintaining Account Relationships.                                              

Second, I created a e-file folder for each component of our sales system. The idea is to use this outline as our strategic plan.

Third, there is nothing left to do but to deploy. You have to be motivated to launch and consistently deploy!

What would you add to this system? What works for your organization?

By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with nearly 30 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans, intellectual property, social media marketing strategic plans, and other services. Contact Clovia at:
■ Web: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com/
■ Blog: https://cloviahamilton.wordpress.com/
■ LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/cloviahamilton
■ Twitter: http://twitter.com/lemongrassplans
■ Email: chamilton@lemongrassplanning.com

Sales Women versus Sales Men – Empathy and Ego-Drive

July 24, 2011

Image via Google Images money.cnn.com

I recently bought the book entitled “Harvard Business Review on Sales and Selling”. I just read the selection called “What Makes a Good Salesman” by David Mayer and Herbert M. Greenberg. The authors advocate that great salesmen have both empathy and ego drive. The authors stated that the ego-driven salesmen see closing a deal as a conquest.

The article had me wondering how empathy and ego drive varies between women who sell versus men. I am active in many women small business advocacy groups. I am forever on a quest to find out how women business owners can increase their sales. On the face of it, I believe that we may lack the ego drive. Of course, I needed the scientific evidence to prove it.

The ego is our concept of self. So, if we are ego-driven, we see how our actions and accomplishments reflect on our concept of self. If we have high sales, then that is a direct reflection on our concept of self – i.e. we are winners.

Well, I did some digging and found a 2008 Newsweek article entitled “He’s Not as Smart as He Thinks”. The article reported the results of a study by British researcher Adrian Furnham, a professor of psychology at University College London. The study focused on how women and men perceive intelligence versus real IQ scores. Men had greater egos and thought they were smarter than their IQs indicated. Women perceived men to be smarter than women. Furnham attributed it to the “male hubris and female humility effect”. Men are more confident about their IQ; while on average, women underestimated their IQ scores by about five points.

If the male’s ego or self concept were the same in the sales arena, the men would be more confident and more ego-driven and would sell more. Women on the other hand tend to be more empathetic – but need to be more ego-driven and confident. Furnham wrote, “I think that many of the self-help gurus argue incorrectly that improved self-esteem increases performance. Helping people to perform better increases their self esteem.” In sales, besides the need for both empathy and the ego-drive, Mayer and Greenberg also advocated the importance of training.

A Sport Journal article entitled “Gender Differential in the Goal Setting, Motivation, Perceived Ability, and Confidence Sources of Basketball Players” noted results of a study of male and female players. The researchers studied the differences in goal orientation, perceived motivational climate, perceived ability, and sources of sport confidence. Male participants in the study recorded higher scores than female participants did for the sport-related confidence variables perceived ego climate, perfection of skills, and physical performance. Men had higher confidence in their skills and performance perceived prior to competition.

Similarly, I believe that women business owners can increase their confidence for sales competition with sales training in order to couple the motivational force of an ego drive with our empathetic, nurturing tendencies. Women simply need to want and need to persuade others and make the sale in every personal way. I still hear many women business owners state that they’ll do the work for free because they love the work so much and they want to help customers so much. These women are motivated by service. To be successful in sales, they need to be motivated by persuading others to buy their products and services. Perhaps women business owners with low sales should reprogram themselves and set aside child hood or other experiences that socialize them to be humble servants; and to not be assertive and persuasive. They have to change the way they perceive themselves.

By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.
Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans, intellectual property, and social media marketing strategic plans.

Connect with Clovia :
■ Phone: direct – 678.235.5901
■ Web: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com/
■ Blog: https://cloviahamilton.wordpress.com/
■ LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/cloviahamilton
■ Twitter: http://twitter.com/lemongrassplans
■ Email: chamilton@lemongrassplanning.com

5 Ways to have more Self-Discipline

July 7, 2011

Sky is the Limit with Self DisciplineDuring the July 4th weekend, I traveled to Lackland Texas to see my son graduate from the Air Force Basic Military Training. I was proud of him. He stood tall and was squeaky clean. He marched in a graduation parade and carried a flag. While in training, he wrote me and stated that his decision to enlist after two years of college was good for him because he no longer procrastinates. He was not allowed to. The drill instructors seemed to put the fear of God in my son. During the graduation, the leadership spoke about the fact that the purpose of basic military training is to discipline the trainees in how conduct themselves and behave.

On the way home from Lackland, I took a few photos of the sky from the airplane. I thought about how peaceful it was up there. I thought about how, with discipline, the sky is truly the limit.

During the trip, I finally read Nell Merlino’s book Stepping out of Line. She is one of my favorite advocates for the growth and development of women business owners. Well, interestingly, Nell wrote “making change requires commitment, focus and discipline”. So, I began to think more about what business owners could do to increase their self discipline. We should not have to rely on a drill instructor. We should be able to achieve our goals and as Nell puts it – save ourselves.

Webster’s dictionary defines self-discipline as the ability to “regulate yourself” to achieve improvement.

Here are five (5) ways to improve your self discipline:

1. Pray for it

I am no holy roller. But, I do find that what I pray to a Higher Spirit for, I usually get. When I am not consistent with prayer or do not pray for discipline, I usually lose consistency in my exercise, marketing, and sales routines. These are three areas I strive to improve.

2. Focus on the end results

I believe that self discipline requires a great deal of motivation. You have to be a motivated person. I use a vision board. I tack up visual depictions of what I want to achieve. I keep my vision board close to my bed and I look at it daily.

It helps to visualize yourself as a highly motivated self disciplined person who gets things done. It also helps to visualize the cash flowing into your bank account if you deal with sales and marketing and close deals and increase your cash flow. In fact, I need more visual aids of women making sales calls, getting sales copy written and emailed out, and marketing their businesses. For exercise, I have a visual aid of a woman who lost more than 100 pounds; a woman walking; a woman jogging; and a 60 year old woman who looks half my age.

3. Focus on Self Control in your Decision Making

As I raised my son, I often told him to exercise self control. I have been a bit of a drill sergeant. I would explain to him the importance of deciding to behave one way rather than another.

I believe that if business owners want to see real results in their sales, perhaps they need to improve their self control. I meet frustrated business owners that are in awful physical shape. They lack energy. I meet business owners that are looking for folks to save them and give them work. They get angry when the folks they approach do not help them. But, they are not working on their own sales and marketing.

You can lose self control if you get depressed and unmotivated. So, it is very important to be careful about who you spend time with. Do not spend time around unsupportive, judgmental people.

4. Exercise

Think about it, the military trainees ran, ran, ran. My son told me they ran all the time. In the article entitled “Why Do You Have More Energy After Running”, Chris Barber wrote that “[a]lcohol is a depressant and should make you tired, but it also releases endorphins, giving you the feeling of more energy.” Barber writes that a runner’s high results from the release of endorphins in the brain.

5. Eat anti depressant foods

The military trainees at Lackland also ate a strict diet. We are what we eat. If we want to feel motivated and energetic, then we need to eat anti depressant foods.

According to Amanda Schupak and Matthew Herper Forbes article entitled “Antidepressant Foods”, eat foods high in both Omega-3s and uridine. Omega-3s clear the buildup of dietary fats and cholestrols in our cell membranes, allowing those chemicals to get where they’re going easier. Further, the mitochondria are organs within cells that produce energy. Uridine fuels mitochondria, and paired with the lubricating effect of the Omega-3s, helps the mitochondria make more energy more efficiently. Food containing uridine include sugar cane extract, tomatoes, broccoli and liver. A dietary source for Omega-3s is fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines).

By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.
Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans, intellectual property, and social media marketing strategic plans.

Connect with Clovia :
■ Phone: direct – 678.235.5901
■ Web: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com/
■ Blog: https://cloviahamilton.wordpress.com/
■ LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/cloviahamilton
■ Twitter: http://twitter.com/lemongrassplans
■ Email: chamilton@lemongrassplanning.com

9 Business Lessons from the Green Lantern

June 19, 2011

This weekend, I watched the Green Lantern movie. It was awesome! Here are nine (9) business lessons I learned from the movie:

1. Green Lantern operates on green energy and the color green represents a species’ will. Our will allows us to create what we imagine. Anything the Green Lantern could see in his mind, he could create. He just needed to focus. We are only as strong as our will. The business lesson here is that every business leader needs to utilize laser focused creativity and imagination to develop a vision for what the business needs to look like and for strategies the business can use to overcome barriers. This is where a sound business plan and strategic planning comes into play. To stay creative, business leaders also have to overcome getting into ruts and feeling burned out.

Scott Gerber, founder of the Young Entrepreneur’s Council recently wrote a Huffington Post article on how entrepreneurs can get back to being creative and productive. The answers included: 1) taking on a hobby other than the startup; 2) delegate and outsource certain functions; 3) take time to recharge and get away; 4) focus on activity that gives you energy; 5) find a business partner; 6) read about art, literature, history; 7) mentor others;  8) work out; 9) pick a company that is getting it right to emulate and track; 10) conquer a fear with sky diving, mountain climbing or some other adventure; 11) invest in something creative or different for your business; 12) turn to your mentors; 13) network with folks in other fields; 14) take up creative writing; and 15) change your routine.

2. Your will is what makes you take action.
3. The Green Lantern Corps is only as strong as its weakest link.
4. In the movie, the villain Parallax had the color yellow and fed on the fear of others. This is actually the color I associate with cowardice. Fear stops you and makes you weak. Ignore your fear. Last year, Karen Klein wrote a BusinessWeek article about Nell Merlino and what holds women business owners back. Nell Merlino advocates that women business owners need to hire. However, Nell acknowledged that many feared doing so because they were afraid they would not be able to make payroll or would cede and lose control and management of their brand. In Nell Merlino’s self help memoir entitled “Stepping out of Line”, she advocates that whatever you can imagine for yourself, you can achieve – and imagination and dedication are the keys.
5. The Green Lantern ring chose the character Hal to be the Green Lantern. In the movie, it was stated that the “ring” chose Hal; and the ring never makes a mistake. I think the ring is symbolic of a higher spirit or God. Just as Hal was chosen to serve as the Green Lantern, I think God chooses individuals to be business leaders.
6. In the movie, the villain was an evil power of darkness that fed on fear. In business, our enemies are naysayers or competitors that block the market entry of newcomers. It was stated in the movie that the will is the sole weapon against the enemy of fear.
7. One of the Green Lantern Corps members wanted to fight fear with fear. The Green Lantern disagreed. The business leadership lesson here is that we do not have to become like our enemies in order to succeed. I have observed this time and time again. When I first opened my business in 2005, several competitors wanted to meet and talk. Some wanted to find out my weaknesses and fears. Some were really ugly about blocking me from entering their arena or space. I thought this was awful – they were fighting fear with fear – trying to make me be afraid about moving forward with my plans. I also encountered loved ones (friends and family members) that really did not want me to be “that” successful. So, they tried to play on my fears by telling me how hard it would be; how costly; how foolish.
8. Parallax is generally defined as the displacement of an observed object due to the change in the position of the observer. In the movie, the villain Parallax could see your memories and read minds. This is how it could feed on the fears of others. In business, you have to be careful sharing certain memories, thoughts, and fears to prevent enemies from preying on your fears. Guarding the business position is important.
9. The Green Lantern had to recharge his ring; i.e. recharge his will. I think this is analogous to prayer and having faith. I think we need to take time to pray, meditate to recharge and gain strength to overcome barriers.

By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.
Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans, intellectual property, and social media marketing strategic plans.

Connect with Clovia :
■ Phone: direct – 678.235.5901
■ Web: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com/
■ Blog: https://cloviahamilton.wordpress.com/
■ LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/cloviahamilton
■ Twitter: http://twitter.com/lemongrassplans
■ Email: chamilton@lemongrassplanning.com

Do you Tweet? Part Two.

May 15, 2011

This time last year, I wrote an article called Do you Tweet? I completed two Social Media classes in 2009 and decided to use social media online marketing as an affordable way to build my network. It’s working. My network has steadily grown. I went to a trade conference recently and folks recognized me when in many cases, I did not recognize them. Online marketing increases your visibility and helps you achieve “presence of mind” when it comes to getting referrals. This article serves to update you the new tools and techniques I am trying.
Last year I wrote how I spend a minimum (and usually maximum) of 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night each day. Now, I spend more time. I usually devote a few hours on Saturday or Sunday. Here’s what I do with Twitter now:
You get followers by following others. If someone does not follow me in about a week or so, I stop following them.
How do I find followers and get folks to follow me?
1) I still get great twitter connections from my linkedin and facebook groups.
2) I upload a *.csv (comma separated value) file from linkedin into twitter to make sure I am following my Linkedin connections out on Twitter – and to encourage them to follow me back.
3) I look at every new Facebook connections’ information page to find out if they have a twitter account – if so, I follow them and email them to request that they follow me back. I also check out their website. I always do my due diligence to find out whether a Facebook invite or recommended connection is a good fit in my circle or space.
Why do I love Twitter?
1) It helps me direct traffic to my website. We have had an increase of website visitors as per our Google Analytics reports. I review our analytics monthly.
a. With each twitter follow, I use the Twitter Direct mail feature to send them an email:
i. thanks 4 the follow! I look forward to getting to know u! Free ebook gift for u: 25 Small Biz Tips: http://tinyurl.com/35rtl7e
ii. please support our Facebook biz page by clicking on the Like link & Join My List link – http://tinyurl.com/6cuu28o
b. Each week I usually post a blog post and convert the post into articles. I then tweet the new arrival of a blog post and use auto notifiers to post the articles. This helps drive traffic to my website.
c. I have begun to post videos via YouTube, and photos using Twitpic.
How do I save time?

Well, last year I was using ping fim to post each morning. Now I use Hootesuite and schedule about 50 posts each week. I post about 7 times per day. I set up 2 or 3 posts in the morning, noon, and night. I use the ping fm feature in Hootesuite to distribute my posts to a number of social media outlets – myspace, linkedin, my personal facebook page, my company’s facebook like page, and other pages. I love the schedule ahead feature in Hootesuite.
Last year, in my Do you Tweet article I listed a number of news outlets that I subscribe to in order to read and cull out content to share online. This year, I have finally graduated to using Twitterfeed to share posts from my favorite blogs. At first I used their default of posting every 30 minutes. One of my cousins advised me that it seemed like I was posting on Twitter every minute and that was annoying. I went from about 7 posts per day to who knows what. So, I had to go back into Twitterfeed and adjust the settings.
I signed up for Gist and have begun to see dossiers on folks in my network. This helps me decide who to conversate with. But, I honestly lean more toward the Hootesuite mention feature to see who retweets my post or asks me questions. I can then easily respond. Gist is more comprehensive since it will show me my online connections’ posts in several outlets. But I will have to hire someone to help me make the most of that. It would be neat if all of this could be rolled into Hootesuite so that I could see everything on one website. If you know of a way, please let me know.
The key is to continue to try new marketing tactics. Post diverse things and use a variety of tools to stay fresh and interesting. No matter how much we small business owners do, we can always do more. You cannot get frustrated and quit. You simply build the empire one stone at a time with patience and persistence.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Visit us at: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com – Follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans and LIKE Lemongrass on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/6cuu28o

Dispel the Noise and Develop Strategies

January 17, 2011

We small business owners get a lot of advice from a lot of sources. We have friends, family members, mentors, coaches, trade articles, and blog posts. A friend of mine said that all she is hearing is “noise”.

Small business owners can choose to get stuck in the quagmire or sort out the bits and pieces and develop a Strategy.

I believe that every business owner should have a Strategic Marketing Plan, an Intellectual Property Protection Strategy, and a Sales Plan with clear sales goals. This article describes how to develop a Strategic Marketing Plan in 5 easy steps.

1. Decide on your geographic markets – which states, which cities
– target the familiar
o consider your past history – pull out the photo albums, scrap books, year books, resumes
 Education: elementary, high school, college,
 Family: where your family resides
 Work: where you’ve lived and worked
o Consider your travel budget

2. Conduct Research to Develop a Network of people in your geographic market
– Go after fans – develop a fan base of folks to cheer you on
o alums from elementary, high school, college, past jobs
o past co-workers
o family members
o close friends

– Go after prospects with budget
o Inc 5000 or better
o Government agencies that have historically bought the products and/or services you sell
 Research what these agencies call the products and/or services – learn “government speak”
 Research who the small business advocates and buyers are

– Go after teaming partners
o folks with extensive networks
 established business coaches, mentors, counselors
 clergy
o media
 journalists, writers
 radio
 magazines

3. Develop a List – all organizations should have a list of prospects. If you own a nonprofit, the prospects are philanthropic agencies and individuals. If you own a for profit business, the list contains potential clients.

– Who to include in your List
o include alums from elementary school, highschool, college
o include Inc 5000 or better firms
o government buyers
o teaming partners
– What to include in your list – set up fields
o Contact’ s name, organization, profession, email address, birth date, trade organizations you share, whether you are connected online (Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook), mailing address
o Any other helpful information you can gather

4. Develop ad copy

There is a lot of sample sales copy and ad copy online. New copywriters can use the samples, go it alone, or hire professionals.

5. Distribute ad copy

Let the folks on your list know what you are trying to sell or about your fundraising efforts. The worse thing to do is to not work the list and let folks know what you are in business doing. Small business owners can let prospects know by email marketing; microblogging (posting information in Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter); blogging; and using direct mail.

Yes, this may all be painstaking. But, it will save time and energy in the end. Years ago when I first started my business, two small business counselors told me not to shotgun it. It is easy to fall into the error of going into a lot of different directions seeking sales. So, kindly dispel the noise by having a strategic plan and implementing the plan. No one has a magic pill to give you to alleviate the pain of building a business, or a magic seed that will instantly grow your business.

Madam C.J. Walker wrote that “There is no royal, flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it. For if I have accomplished anything in life, it is because I have been willing to work hard.” Henry Ford wrote “The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.”

So, work hard and go on to make your business better. You can do it yourself or hire help.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Visit us at: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com – Follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans and LIKE Lemongrass on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/6cuu28o

Go out there and Catch the Ball in 2011!

January 2, 2011

I watched the movie “The Replacements” starring Gene Hackman and Keanu Reeves over the holidays for the millionth time. Gene played a football coach and Keanu Reeves played the scab quarterback leading a group of replacement football players during a strike. I do not watch much football, but I love this movie! I jotted down ten (10) things the coach shouted. These are all cheers leaders of organizations can use to rally the troops into the New Year.

1. “Go out there and catch the ball”
2. “Go wide – gotta have it – gotta have it”
3. “Leaders want the ball”
4. “Winners always want the ball”
5. “For leadership to work, the team must believe in each other”
6. “The Quarterback leads with heart”
7. “Play to win!”
8. “Put together a winning team”
9. “Play like there’s no tomorrow…that will make you very dangerous”
10. “Be part of something great….[because] greatness stays with you”

To succeed in business, you have to be able to catch deals – not fumble and drop them. To lead and win, you have to actually want deals and aggressively go after the work. I counsel small businesses in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center and I have met several business owners that do not submit bid proposals; do not go to networking events; and do not ask for appointments with buyers to pitch their products and services. Many expect that since they are start ups and small, or woman owned, or minority owned, then someone has an obligation to give them work. No, you have to get out into the field, run, jump, tackle and catch the ball.

Go wide is when a player moves to the outside edge of the field. In business, this would be analogous to going out of your way to avoid the competition to close a deal.

One rallying call that the coach made really ticked me off. He said “[losers] can’t shake off repercussions – that’s why girls don’t play the game….”what separates the winners from losers is getting back on that horse”.

I’m active in Nell Merlino’s Count Me In organization for Women’s Economic Independence and its Make Mine a Million (M3) program. I urge every small business woman owner who has not made it to the $1 Million mark yet to write $1Million on a sticky note and slap the sticky onto a football. Resolve to look at that football every day this year. Focus on that ball! Shake it off! This year is your year, so get back on that horse!

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Visit us at: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com – Follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans and LIKE Lemongrass on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/6cuu28o

New Years Resolutions – How to Self SWOT

November 7, 2010

New Years Resolutions are due in less than two (2) months.  The strategic planner in me urges you to conduct a quick Self SWOT to list your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  The key is to be honest.  I cannot tell you how many small business owners and other professionals that remain in denial for years.  It is painful to list your weaknesses and there may be even more pain to actually do something about it.

My Self SWOT revealed the following:

Strengths:

*I write well;

*I enjoy coaching and mentoring others;

*I am very organized; and

*I am very productive.

Weaknesses:

*I have a youthful voice;

*I have debt due to the down economy;

*I have low income due to the down economy;

*I need assistants to help with sales; and

*I need to lose weight.

Opportunities

*I can hire a speech therapist;

*I can pay creditors via a debt management plan;

*I can improve sales and increase income;

*I can hire student assistants and volunteer interns;

*I can exercise and eat right.

Threats

*I am my only threat!

The real threat is how we may get in our own way.

Once you have completed your Self SWOT list, the results can become your New Years Resolutions for 2011.  Take your list of Weaknesses and resolve to do something about them to convert them into Strengths.  Plan implementation is crucial to achieving success.  Commit to viewing your Opportunities as means to convert each Weakness into Strengths.  The key is to approach this exercise with zeal, discipline and commitment.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Visit us at: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com – Follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans and LIKE Lemongrass on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/6cuu28o