[FUEL] 5 Pillars of Enhanced Employee Engagement

For many of us small business owners and entrepreneurs, we started our business from a deep core and purpose. Heck, even companies that are huge today started out small, and probably from some spark of passion. That spark, that purpose, is what I call the Deeper Why. We all have it personally, even if some of us search to clarify exactly what that it is. And companies have it (or they should, in my opinion). While I could maintain that most business owners and CEOs know their Deeper Why, what about all the employees and team members. Do they know the company’s Deeper Why? I contend that when everyone on board understand the Deeper Why of a company and their particular part in it, they’ll be more engaged, more inspired, and more likely to root for the company they’re working for, and not be some mopey employee who just shows
Read More

[FUEL] How to Create an Amazing New Customer Experience

By Dawn Shuler You know what the most important thing about a new sale is? What happens AFTER the sale. Whether you sell flowers, watches, subscription boxes, coaching, healing services, or anything else in between, you need a strong onboarding process and new customer nurture campaign. Why? Well, because it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. Here’s another statistic: the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. (Source: http://www.invespcro.com/blog/customer-acquisition-retention/) What that means is that loyal customers are more likely to buy again and again, and it’s cheaper to sell to them than to try to sell to a brand-new person. The best way to make a customer a loyal one is to start out strong from the get-go with a clear onboarding process and a delightful customer
Read More

[FUEL] Top 10 Duties of a CEO (Are you doing these?)

By Dawn Shuler Nowadays, it’s easy to start your business, find resources to help you, attend networking events in all shapes and sizes, and use online tools to market and run your business. The drawback is that there are a lot of small business owners out there who are really glorified service providers or hobbyists. And they’re missing out on running and growing a true business. They need to be CEOs, not worker bees. How does that land for you? Do you consider yourself a CEO, or does that word seem too big to describe you? Do you run your business consciously and intentionally, or do you let it run you? A CEO of a business runs the business, whether it’s for a company of 1 or 1000. Here are the top 10 duties of a CEO. 1. The CEO knows the Deeper Why. More than likely, she started her
Read More

[FUEL] Top 10 Things Entrepreneurs Are Grateful For

By Dawn Shuler Owning your own business is a gift and sometimes a challenge. Well, maybe more often a challenge than not. There are plenty of things that you have to work around, take into account, plan for, and adapt to. And… there are many things for which entrepreneurs have to be grateful. Here are a handful. 1. Ideas. Yes, so many ideas, possibilities, lovely potential can be the bane of an entreprenur’s existence, but it’s also the beautiful conundrum. Bright shiny object can actually turn into THE idea. 2. Teams. As an entrepreneur, we tend to be off and running with all those ideas (see #1), and since we have to do a little due diligence, it’s awfully easy to fall into I-can-do-it-myself mode. Hence, teams are our saving grace. They keep us sane, profitable (no more doing our non-genius and non-excellence work), and from being the bottleneck. 3.
Read More

[FUEL] How to Get People to Open Your Emails

By Dawn Shuler The Internet is a wonderful thing. It allows us to connect with people all over the world, get great information and resources, and do business. And in so many venues: social media, email, online communities… But our inboxes fill up with email after email after email. Typically, we open non-family emails (okay, maybe we automatically delete some family emails, too. I mean, how often can we really hear about Aunt Martha’s trials and tribulations with the neighborhood dog?) for two reasons: 1. We love the person and are avid followers or 2. The subject line is so compelling that we have to open. Here’s a little test: which ones do you automatically delete? Why? Which ones do you automatically open? Why? We’re talking about big picture/long term strategy vs. short-term tactics to employ right here right now. First, big picture. To get people to love you and
Read More

[FUEL] 8 Tips to Make the Time to Work ON Your Business

By Dawn Shuler No matter how much you love your business and what you offer, unless you’re terribly disciplined or have deadlines, your default activity is rarely to do what you “should” do: work ON the business, make those follow-up calls, rewrite the copy for the website, apply for the keynote speech, etc. Heck, you “should” be scheduling that time and blocking it to get those big tasks done. By “big,” I mean the stuff that’s going to move your business ahead, establish you as an expert at a bigger level, bring in more money. What I’ve seen many a client and business owner do (and I’m guilty of it myself at times) is to actually schedule that time (yay!), but then quickly and almost gleefully give away that time to something else: a client who calls with an emergency, the email that just landed in the inbox two seconds
Read More

[FUEL] Vantage Point – Your Ideal Client’s Point of View

By Dawn Shuler Some time ago, a former client explained to me what happens when some relationships end. She said it’s like walking with someone along a path. You both can see the same thing because you’re looking at the landscape from the same vantage point. You have a commonality. Then, the two of you come to a river and stop. The paths diverge. You can either cross the river or continue along the river on this side. Your path takes you across the river. The other person, though…. her path is different. She can’t or won’t or doesn’t need to cross the river to the other side. So, there you are… on one side of the river, while your former companion on the journey is on the other side. And she can’t see what you see, because her vantage point is different. The problem is when the person who
Read More

[FUEL] The Difference Between Wants, Needs, and Immediate Needs

By Dawn Shuler As a business owner, your job is to meet the needs of your target market. Easy peasy. Well, the problem comes into play when you have to deal with what your target market wants – what they believe they need. That’s key… what they believe they need and want. Sometimes what your market wants and what you know they need may not be the same. To be a smart business owner, you need to find the intersection between what your target market believes they need with what you offer. That intersection is the product or service you sell that solves their problems and meets their needs. Here’s an example. I have a colleague whose business is providing financial foundation for children so that they grow up to be savvy financial adults. Her market is parents: “Hey, wouldn’t it be good if you could teach your child some
Read More

[FUEL] What the No’s are really telling you

By Dawn Shuler If you’re doing your job as a business owner, then you’re constantly prospecting. You meet people at networking events; you follow up. People sign up for Discovery Sessions through your website; you hold those Discovery Sessions. You meet people for face-to-face meetings; you follow up. You make phone calls. You send personal emails. You create an online marketing campaign. And sometimes you get No’s. I won’t kid you. No’s suck. They can make you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, that you’re not good enough, that you’re not worthy. You might even start rethinking your entire business model and life as an entrepreneur. I invite you to think about any No’s you’re getting a bit differently. No’s can be a gift. Actually, I’ll state that differently: They ARE a gift, and here’s why. No’s help you get clarity around your ideal client. If you really
Read More

[FUEL] Lifecycle of a Project – Four Phases and Challenges of Each Phase

By Dawn Shuler We all have projects, and as creative entrepreneurs, boy-oh-boy, do the project possibilities multiply! (I’ll talk later about all those unfinished projects. 🙂 If you’re getting that itch again to create something new, take a look at the four phases of a project to see what it is that really jazzes you. It may be that you love one phase over another, and THAT is what has you starting new projects again and again. Phase 1: Design – For most entrepreneurs, this is the fun part. This is the whole reason you probably have dozens if not hundreds of project ideas. It’s that idea of possibility… what can you create? What’s needed? How can you bring your amazingness into the world through this specific thing? Oh, it’s a wonderful thing to dream of creation! Think of the Design phase as the asking questions phase: What is it?
Read More