Session Notes - 21st March 2019

 

Introduction and Format of Sessions

 Cherie welcomed everyone to the session confirming an 8.00 a.m. start to the workshops was essential for all members to catch up with each other and network with a prompt 8.30 a.m. start to the learning session due to the amount of work to be done and a presentation.  There would be a break at 9.30 a.m. followed by a presentation by Mr Kym Ellington (slides would be emailed to members) – “Profit and Cash flow”.

There were 3 guests today, a Tax Consultant, a VA and a Web Designer present.  The purpose of the Business Workshop session was to develop the community of business owners with turnovers ranging from zero to £500,000.  The workshops had been running for 18 months and members were showing a marked growth in their businesses.

Cherie explained how the structure would change for today with interactive, group sessions when members would network and support each other with the tasks.

WHAT NUMBER ARE YOU? (round the room exercise)

An exercise followed with Cherie asking members to give a number from 1 – 10   (with 10 equal to ecstatic) - indicating how they were feeling, taking into consideration both business and personal situations and issues.   A second stage followed with members who had given lower scores (up to 7), commenting on what would have to happen to get them to the next, higher number.  Higher scores (8, 9, 10) were asked to explain why they felt this way.

Summary of comments as follows:

  • Business improvement needs

  • Marketing skills needed

  • The need to become a “sales person” in their business

  • Balance needed – trying to grow a sole-trader business

  • Personal situations impacting on life

  • Finance – it they could become financially comfortable

  • An 8 score  - One to ones had been held with members and progress made

  • A 9 score– had acquired 90 franchises

  • Impatience with speed of growth, wanting to reach targets more quickly

  • Clarity of targets and sales training needed

  • Time management issues

  • A 9 score - Income increasing

  • Balance needed – very successful but had been trying for several years to achieve this but needed to feel in control and balanced.

  • Trying to keep clients happy and delivering 100% to people

  • Delegating work to others


NEXT CONCANNON CONNECTION EVENT – 5 APRIL 2019 – COSBY GOLF CLUB

Cherie confirmed there would be about 100 people plus at the next event with guest speakers.  The learning theme would be “How to perform well under pressure”.  Speakers would be Emma Hyslop-Webb and Linda Neville.

Cherie would trial a new format at the event designed to introduce members to the audience and explained to members how this would work.  Two groups of 5 were chosen and the format explained to them. 

Two groups were chosen:

Group 1 – Sandra, Ken, Sebastien, Crouper (spelling)? (as deputy for Deanna), John

Group 2 – David, Sophie, Richard, Sue, Jean- Marie     

First Group would be asked by Cherie - “what puts you under the greatest pressure in your life”?  Answers would need to be interesting to make the audience empathetic.  All 5 answers need be different. 

Second Group would be asked “what does your business do”? – this needed to be the individual elevator pitch.  A second question would then be asked - “give me one strategy you have for personally managing yourself under pressure”?

MEMBERS - Please note!

(a)        Group 1 - PLEASE SEND COPIES OF YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH TO CHERIE BY NEXT WEEK

(b)        Group 2 - PLEASE EMAIL TWO ANSWERS YOU ARE GOING TO GIVE TO CHERIE BY NEXT WEEK

Learning points

  • Elevator pitches needed to make prospective clients think to themselves whilst listening, “ME TOO”!  This would increase their need to buy what members were offering.

  • Audience must gain something from you – a “wow”!  They should be thinking “these are the issues I need solving” – “how does it work”? –“I need to buy this”!

  • “ME TOO”! – This is subconscious thinking and a very useful selling technique – make the prospective client clear about what they will gain from working with you. What issues can you solve for them?  How can you make their life better?

  • Read blogs on Concannon Connection web site i.e. “How to Avoid Boring Presentations” and “Performing Under Pressure”

  • Magazine exposure (Cherie developing more of this) for all members would increase exposure for them and raise aware about Business Club membership.


SOCIAL MEDIA

Anna Price had given a presentation at a previous session on how to make social media work for business and members found this very useful.  Engagement and sharing posts on social media were two different things.  Members needed to put something out on Linked which would then create a response.  Sharing posts produced less interaction from readers, however, people became aware of branding, colour and logo.  This conditioning leads to people becoming more aware of your brand.

Learning Points

  • Branding of posts – this was important for people who scrolled through LinkedIn because they became conditioned to identify your business – this is very valuable.  People recognised  colours or “branding”

  • WhatsApp Group – Please use this and follow BLUE links given – support each other’s posts!

  • Share each other’s posts on LinkedIn

  • Daily posting of meetings and discussions you are involved in – please post with a photo, this again created business exposure – it was time-consuming but it worked!  Members commented that already their posts had been noticed by other businesses and also the increased activity was also noticed by others.

  • Sharing posts is time-dependent and catching up during the day was not always easy so evening catch up sessions on LinkedIn helped to increase business exposure.

  • Decide on the “purpose” of your social media posts – do you want to sell and / or increase brand awareness?

  • Busy people are admired by prospects – they want to buy from successful, busy people.  You need to let people see how busy you are in order to become a “desirable supplier of solutions”.  You want to sell more – become publicly “busy” via social media! You will get more business.

  • Don’t write just text posts – include photos etc.  This is selling and marketing your business.

  • You have to use social media for business – make yourself like it - if you don’t want to do it yourself – get someone to do it for you but post daily.  It is selling and that is how you will gain business.

  • Posts should be a mixture of “technical” and “personal” content.  Your expertise and your personality.

  • Tell a story – people like stories! They all help people understand you and your branding. Don’t make it too “salesy” but inject humour.  Make readers subconsciously think “ME TOO”! – you need to help readers empathise with your story and with you.  This is SELLING.

  • Put quality posts onto the members WhatsApp group for others to share.  So far – all interesting posts – please share them and support each other’s businesses.


MEMBERSHIP REPORTS

Only 6 received to date.  Cherie requested “year to date” figures from all members and advised how to do this by keeping a running total and adding to current month.  The graph will then show performance.  Figures were need by Cherie in order for her to help and support business growth for members.  Year to date was calendar year – January 1 to December 31.

Learning Points

  • You all need to know your financial numbers as this is very important to solve any problems before they arise and relieves pressure because you can see what you need to do.

  • Kym Ellington would present on this subject next (slides to be provided) along with a template for all members to use to enable figures to illustrate past, present and future possible situations and help overcome them.

  • Cherie needed figures in order to help Business Club members – only then could she see what you have and what you want to achieve.  Only then can realistic support and advice be given.  Figures are necessary!

  • Reciprocity is the fundamental platform for this – it is the foundation and basis of Cherie facilitating success for everyone.

  • Support – this is the purpose of the Business Club.  Members needed to organise “One to one” meetings with group members and also their outside networks.  This was paramount in discovering where to get more business from, support and encouragement.  Work together and encourage each other – it’s better working with a buddy!

  • Notes including Learning Points, summaries of activities and discussions, will be circulated to you – please ask someone else in the group if you feel you haven’t understood something today.   Go to lunch and seek help and advice from each other.


BUSINESS FOCUS - (group work)

Members were divided into groups and given forms with questions to work on.  One business in each group was the focus with the remainder of the group working with them. 

MEMBERS – PLEASE COMPLETE THE FORMS FOR YOUR OWN BUSINESS AS HOME WORK AND BRING WITH YOU TO THE NEXT BUSINESS WORKSHOP SESSION. 

LEARNING POINTS

What am I selling?

  • Cherie asked each table for their answers and then trained the businesses on how these could be improved to ensure that prospective clients and customers got the message and knew exactly what the business could do to help them – make them want to buy and have their problems solved!

  • People buy a solution to their “pain” – be this physical, mental or an issue they have – make them subconsciously think to themselves “yes!  - this is exactly my problem” – “I want to buy this solution”.

  • You are experts in what you do but you have to learn to “sell” the solution to a prospect’s problem – they don’t want to know about you at that point – they are looking for help – give it to them – make it clear on your web site and social media posts and branding what you are solving or selling to them!

  • People buy want they want to have – happiness, peace of mind etc. – they will pay for this and only this – not your expertise.

  • Get over to people exactly what you are selling.  Promote that clearly in your business – people only want the solution – this is what you are selling.

  •   Paint a picture of what your customer will get when they give you their money.

Who do I want to buy what I am selling?  Who is your ideal client?

  • Must be a specific list of who you want to buy what you are selling – you can then give this to a data company who will provide you with exactly these sort of ideal clients.

  • Sell people what they want to buy.

  • Be specific – if you are aiming at parents – then which parents? Which categories? Parents feeling stressed or overwhelmed and anxious about their children.

  • Always remember “ME TOO”! – This encourages customers to read the next line of your content – say how you will help that child.  They will read on – give a Call to Action.  The prospect realises this is their situation and want the solutions you are clearly giving them.  Call to Action –“Come to my Open Day” – they will attend because you have the answer to their problem.  They have read this and think subconsciously -  “this is my problem – I want that solution – this business can give it to me if I give them my money”

Why will people buy what I am selling?

  • “ME TOO”? – This is the answer!

  • Target a market – not everyone can be your client – you have to be specific.

  • I only want to see specifics on your posts and website and posts please.

  • Yes – you can be as specific as “I am selling happy families” “happy ever after” – put these phrases into inverted commas as shown.

  • Comments given round the room included: selling peace of mind, free of charge services, improved cash flow, selling happy effect, saving money, wealth

MEMBERS – PLEASE DO THIS EXERCISE FOR YOUR OWN BUSINESSES BY COMPLETING FORMS AT HOME – THIS IS IMPORTANT!

My price points are …..?  How much do you charge?

  • We have established exactly what you are selling – you sell this before you even mention price!

  • Say to customers when asked this question - “If you like the price – would you buy it?  YOU NEED A “YES” BEFORE YOU TALK PRICE.

  • Never talk price – talk “affordability”.  Work out if they can afford it.

  • Ask – “is it right for you and do you want it?  I will make it affordable”

  • You ned to know that a customer wants it before you talk price – DO NOT SELL PRICE – THIS DOES NOT SELL YOUR SERVICE!

How am I going to reach my customers?  How am I going to “hook” them?  How am I going to “land” them?

(Brief discussion held and comments given by members – this would be continued at the next session along with selling techniques due to time constraint).

How and when and how much of this will I do?  What will the outcome look like?

(Final Page – time constraints dictated that members complete this for homework and bring with them along with all other requested forms to the next session).

Cherie told members that good results had already been achieved in the session.  They had now honed down into exactly what they are selling.  Cherie concluded by explaining that once they understood what it was they were selling and to whom you are selling and how to sell and at what price you are selling for – then – YOU HAVE A PROCESS to work to.

Over the course of the next two sessions, all members will have a very specific sales and marketing plan.

SUMMARY AND REMINDERS!

  1. Cherie asked members to actually WRITE answers to the questions onto the sheets.  Take          home to work on and develop answers and bring back to the next session – PARTICULARLY   THE FINAL PAGE!

  2. Cherie wanted to see ACTIONS and NUMBERS that she could measure including networking     plans, which social media you are using, how may posts you do and your targets.   Only you          can do this although it may be difficult initially.

  3. REMINDER TO CHERIE – Members will bring completed forms (final page) back to the next session for work to continue on these.


PRESENTATION BY KYM ELLINGTON – “Profit and Cash flow”

(slides to be circulated to members for reference)

Main learning points from presentation:

  • Both profit and cash flow are completely different and you need to track both as they will inform you of different aspects of your business.  You need the data to paint a picture of your business for you.  PROFIT does not equal CASH FLOW – important to know this.

  • 60% of businesses were profitable when they went under – this is important – you must know where you are on your business journey.

  • Profit and Loss Account – this does not reflect how cash moves

  • Cash Flow - this is how cash behaves in your business – how it comes in and goes out.  Do not borrow money on the strength of waiting for money to come in!

  • Invoice regularly – you have to make time for this

  • Debt Collection – this has to be done regularly

  • Budget – you have to stick with a structured budget.  Discipline is important here and prioritisation of tasks – you have to work on your budget and know where you are at in your business.

  • Cash Conversion Cycle – slides illustrate example of a manufacturing business – as a service provider, your “stock” is your time.  Cherie confirmed members must remember to look at their time as “stock” and charge for it accordingly

  • Looking back is important – review where the funds have gone – this is crucial for control and forecasting of a budget.

  • Source and Application of Funds – this is cash flow

  • Look at your figures monthly, quarterly or yearly – depending on how your business is performing.

  • Cash flow forecast – this is telling our money where it needs to go.  Needs to be done according to how business is performing and paints a picture of survival.  Daily monitoring of the forecast will allow you to know how your business is behaving and tell you what you have to do in your business.  It is a key tool.

  • Long and medium term budgets tend to blur together but a short-term forecast is ideal if you need to plan daily or if cash is tight.  This will alert you before a situation happens.

  • Longer term forecasting – Kym will present again at a future Business Club Session on this. 

ACTIONS FOR MEMBERS

  • MEMBERS PLEASE NOTE – you need to input your own figures into the model that Kym has provided and use it for your own business.  This will also generate the graph.

  • Kym is a resource during the Business Club sessions – please utilise him as his expertise is part of your membership fee.  He will present again in June 2019.  Members – please do the home work and input your figures – and bring your budget along to the sessions.


CLOSING COMMENTS and REMINDERS TO MEMBERS

  • Please provide Cherie with your year to date figures – (input end of month figures and total).

  • Other presentations at Business Club will include; Cherie on selling and Anna’s presentation on marketing

  • Social Media – get on the programme!  This is selling.  Remember to use a picture in your posts.  This lets the world know what you are doing – take advantage of this.

  • Workshops – you need to complete the forms even though it may be difficult.  Think about what you have learned in these sessions – time spent thinking is important for your business!

  • Kym’s presentation – please do the homework – it need not be perfect at this stage but writing it down is!  Bring with you to Business Club.

  • Cherie asked members to complete the Business Focus forms (final page particularly) for next session.

Cherie reminded them that if they are successful in their own business, then this is also her success.  Cheri’s strapline is “Your Success is My Success”.  Members’ businesses are now moving forward and original members are doing well but everyone needed to do the work. 

Cherie thanked guests for attending and hoped they had enjoyed the session.  Cherie explained that there were 3 levels of membership of the Business Workshop and asked them to go onto the Concannon Connection website for details.  If guests decided to join – please contact Julie Armstrong, Cherie’s PA, who would book them in for a one to one meeting with Cherie.

Cherie thanked Kym Ellington for his presentation and members for attending.