Tap Into Your Inner Business Wisdom

As a holistic entrepreneur, you know how important it is to listen to your heart. You wouldn’t be in business if you hadn’t taken the leap to listen to your heart and follow your dreams.

But I’ve noticed a funny thing happens to wellness professionals and holistic practitioners after they’ve been in business for awhile.

You forget how to listen to your heart!

I know, how sad.

Something strange happens to holistic entrepreneurs sometimes….

Once you go into business for yourself, you suddenly find yourself wearing many hats. You’re not just a practitioner or a coach, you’re also Owner, CEO, Decision-Maker and most likely when you start out your also Bookkeeper, Scheduler, Client Followup, Web Editor, Head of Marketing….the list goes on and on.

And all of this “role playing” can become exhausting. So exhausting that you don’t feel that passion anymore for your business. Or you feel discouraged and confused. Or even if you still have hope, you’re not sure which way to go to change your current state of affairs. And let’s face it, it’s sometimes hard to listen to your heart on what you should do next when you feel tired, worn-out, alone or frustrated.

I know that every holistic entrepreneur has the power to re-ignite their passion by tapping into what I call Inner Business Wisdom.

Be 100% Confident

I define Inner Business Wisdom as being able to stop at any moment during your day to check in with yourself and your business and find out if you are headed in the right direction. It’s a habit that you start to practice so that you can feel 100% confident about everyday business decisions and big business decisions, too.

Allow your Inner Business Wisdom to guide you to:

  1. Make decisions about what to focus on each day
  2. Take a step back from your busy work and make sure you are leading your business where you want it to go
  3. Ask yourself any business question and know the right answer (because you’re so clear about your business and your direction)
  4. Know when you don’t know the answer and need support (we all need mentors to show us the way)
  5. Trust big decisions that you want to make to grow, even if your “head” is trying to talk you out of it

Here’s the thing: You already have Inner Business Wisdom…even if you don’t consider yourself a business expert. I know this because I coach my clients weekly on tapping into what feels right for them as they build their business. Sure, you have to use proven business tools and have someone to guide you to implement them, but as soon as you realize you can trust that inner “Yes!”, then you move gracefully forward everyday in creating the business of your dreams.

I also know this experience firsthand because I made a decision several years ago to “Go For It” and listen to my Inner Business Wisdom. It meant not playing small, not surrounding myself with people who didn’t get it and committing to my Big Vision no matter what.

Remember, as an entrepreneur, you have something very special at your fingertips: A literal pen in your hand to write your own story. Writing it how you want it to go means following your heart everyday and committing to your own big vision. Tapping into your Inner Business Wisdom will guide you in this process.

Keep in mind, following your heart means taking leaps into the unknown sometimes (or even daily if you’re on the fast track to a thriving business!) because your head might be saying “How?!”. You have to come back to your Inner Business Wisdom which is telling you to Trust and Grow to the next level.

If you’re struggling to trust your Inner Business Wisdom, then check in with yourself on the following:

  • Ask yourself if you are truly open to the possibilities in your business and your life – Are you committed to the dream you have for your holistic business?
  • Check in with who you surrounded yourself with, including people, things, and energy (even television) – Are they examples of how you want your life and business to be?
  • Do you have mentors and models around you who are committed to big visions and if not, where can you find some?
  • Are you caught up in the day-to-day stressors of your business rather than working toward something greater?
  • Do you have team members to support you so you can focus on taking steps forward toward your bigger goals?

Checking in with yourself will tell you if you are on the track to developing your Inner Business Wisdom.

Five Problems to Watch for When Starting a Business

With the economy currently in a state of decline and unemployment on the rise, the business world is filled with young entrepreneurs creating their own jobs by creating their own businesses. As the number of start-ups in each industry increases, however, the competition in those industries becomes even fiercer.

No one wants their new business to fail- every new business owner believes that it is their will to succeed and their drive to work that will keep the doors open. In reality, scores of new businesses across the country close their doors after only months of operation. No matter how strong your desire to succeed, success is only possible if you have all of the necessary tools to keep your business running.

This article will point out five problem areas typical of new businesses, and how to make sure that your business does not fall prey to these issues.

1: Lack of Business Knowledge or Management Skills

Ultimately, a business’ greatest strength or weakness is the owner’s ability to make canny decisions and appropriate judgement calls. Gut instincts are good, but nothing replaces a working knowledge of the different aspects of a business, and how each aspect should be managed and organized. If you don’t understand your business inside and out, you won’t be able to run your business for maximum efficiency, and that will endanger your profit margins.

2: Setting Overly-Ambitious Goals

People who are new to running their own business often over-estimate their initial profits, sales, and market penetration. It’s easy to say “Only 10% of my market would need to buy my product in order for me to become a millionaire!” because the percentage sounds so small- but only a thorough and accurate feasibility study can tell you what you can expect in terms of sales and market penetration in any given period of time. Market data is key, especially in the early days of a start-up, without previous numbers to use in projecting future earnings.

3: A Poor (or Non-Existent) Business Plan

Though it sounds hard to believe, many people start a new business without first creating a business plan! That’s like beginning construction of a house without a blueprint. The business plan provides a solid guide for many years to come, reminding you of your business’ goals, plans, and structure. A good business plan doesn’t just cover the nature and size of your endeavour- it includes goals for the future and the objectives for success.

4: Lack of Support

No matter how “small” your small business is, you can’t do it all on your own. A healthy business needs support of all kinds: financial reserves, equipment backup and repair, and people to help should business get overwhelming or you fall ill. Not all of these types of support are created equal: capital is the most important type of support your business can have. Capital can help you afford the other resources you don’t have, and also give you the ability to purchase prototyping, research, and equipment. That doesn’t mean you have to be rich already to be an entrepreneur: raising capital through investors can be difficult, but it’s never impossible for the go-getter with a great idea and an airtight business plan.

5: Lack of Ambition and Drive

Many people who dream of owning their own business dream of setting their own hours and enjoying the good life once success is theirs. That dream can be a reality, but only after an incredible amount of hard-work and determination. Owning a business is easy: running a successful business is hard. Look deep inside yourself and see if you really have the determination and the faith in yourself to keep going, no matter how hard it gets or how many obstacles stand in your way. Knowing yourself, your strengths and shortcomings, and what it is you truly want will take you a long way in business as well as in life.

Despite the difficulties in the economy, now is a great time to be a young entrepreneur. There is always room in the marketplace for another brilliant idea, sharp mind, and useful product. By avoiding these five problems, you can be sure you’re giving your business, your investors, and yourself every opportunity for success.

5 Easy Steps to Use the Power of Online Business Directories

Online business directories are fast becoming the information hub of local customers searching for local businesses. Local customers are resigning their old, brittle print directories to the storage bin and turning to their computer and Smartphone to locate the best local business in town that caters to their needs.

A survey in the United Kingdom shows that approximately 20 million local customers each month is turning to online business directories to search for local products, services, or businesses. The behavior of local consumers is changing. Clearly print directories are no longer working for local consumers; they’re switching to an online business directory for faster, better, and detailed search result. The limited information on a yellow page is fast becoming obsolete against the more detailed local search engine marketing tools like local business directories. These directories can list not just the description of your business but also your business’ opening hours, price listings, location map, and even your photo or your office or store photo.

Online business directories, including the hundreds of free business directories, permit for these extra details to be added to your business directory listing. It’s the local businesses who make the most of this chance that are inviting new customers.

There are literally hundreds of paid-for and free online business directories out there. But how do you know which ones are the best and what’s the key to perfecting your listing so you stand out from your rival businesses without having to dish some amount of money?

5 Quick Steps to perfecting your online business directory listing

1. Pick the most popular and relevant directories for your business

The best online directories are those that have the most number of online visitors or those that are industry-specific. But a word of caution-not all niche or free directory listing fit the bill; some have few to nonexistent user base. A quick search on Google will tell you which ones are worth your time and ones to ditch entirely. Search on Google your “business type” plus “your location”: e.g., “accountant in Leeds”. Those local business directories that appear on the first 3 search results pages are the ones to focus. (Check the online business directory comparison chart to see which directories have the most number of audiences: comparison of top UK online business directories.)

2. Add your business to all directories

From the list you got on step one, add or claim your business to all of them. Many local business directories buy their listing data from a provider, so don’t be surprised if you find your business already listed on some of them. For future success, it’s very important to list the correct name of your business, address, and phone number-review your business’ existing list if the information is accurate.

Note: check for a confirmation email from each directory in your inbox; follow the steps on the confirmation email to complete your registration.

3. List as much information on your local business directory listing as allowed

The beauty of online business directory listings is that you can list not just the name, address, and phone number of your business, you can enrich your listing with more details like business description, clickable website URL, facilities, list of services, logos, opening hours, pictures, etc. Use this opportunity fully to personalize your listing to make it more relatable to your customers. Review the information you entered to make sure it’s 100% correct and true to each local directories.

4. Make or use a local Special Offer Voucher

Nothing can be faster to convert browsers into actual buyers than offering vouchers or coupons on your local business directory listing. Local consumers are paying attention to the word “free” or “special offer”; your business listing will stand out against your rivals if you have these words added. You don’t have to offer heaven and earth to your customers; any form of offer is good enough to get customers to walk into the door than nothing at all.

Tip: use different voucher codes on each directory so that you can monitor which directories are giving you the most number of walk in visits.

5. Interact with the communities on these directories

Online directories are dynamic websites with vibrant, active community of users. These users or local customers are actively rating and reviewing the listed local businesses they use, and these ratings and reviews are visible to other directory users. In fact, 70% of consumers trust online business reviews-business directories know this so that they’re pushing up local businesses with positive reviews higher on search results. This is yet another small business marketing strategy you can use. Do either of these to rank your business listing:

  1. Ask your existing, loyal customers to go online and leave a positive review about your business;
  2. Participate with communities on directories and encourage them to visit and test your business or organize an ‘event’ at your office, shop, or store just for them.

Never try to ‘bribe’ people to review your business, though, as this can backfire on you and can generate lots of negative comments which you don’t want (obviously!).

Online business directories offer a great opportunity for all types of local businesses to win new customers. The process of updating and managing your business listings across multiple online directories is very time consuming. In business, time is money and you can save both using a multi-directory listing service such as DirectoryRunner from BrightLocal.com. DirectoryRunner allows you to manage and update all your online directory listings and local search engine marketing tools in 1-place.