GUEST POST: Entrepreneur tips - Overcoming business challenges: 5 Ways to Get Back Your Business

Diana Ennen
Running your business definitely has its challenges.  It’s how you deal with them that makes the difference.
Here are a few tips to overcome your business challenges:
·         Letting others know your value.  So many business owners just don’t understand fully what all you do because they aren’t doing the work.  You need to let them know.  It’s not bragging, it’s good business sense.  For example, with PR and marketing, it’s important to be able to explain to clients exactly what they are getting.  Let’s say you land them in major media.  Not only should you let them know that it happened, but also provide the stats on that site so they see how great it is and what they can expect.  Also, to get more out of each media mention, provide additional information on how they can utilize their social media (people they already know them) to showcase this media attention.  So whatever your business, find ways to do the follow-up showing all you accomplish for your clients and why it benefits them.
·         Keeping consistent income.  Here again, many business owners suffer from this and the feast or famine of their business.  One month you are rock’n and can barely keep up, and then the next month crickets.  You often crave the stability of a regular paycheck.  Well, you can make that happen. One way is to offer retainer services whereby every month clients will retain your services.  Even though it’s at a slight lower rate, depending on how many hours they secure, it’s beneficial as it provides regular income.  Another method might be to offer programs that are set up on a monthly basis.  This differs for so many businesses and how they can set it up, but the bottom line remains the same – keep income coming in regularly.
·         Overcoming a Bad Experience.  Have you ever had something happen in your business that well didn’t go according to plan?  Say you spoke and no one ended up buying your book or becoming clients.  Your new program that you spent months on, didn’t fly. Perhaps a client wasn’t 100% satisfied with your services.  Believe it or not, this happens to most of us at one time or another.  Yes, you could sit back and never speak again, or mope and settle for less income by not going after new clients, or you can reboot and start fresh.  That’s the one to go with.  We know that loss of confidence can really hurt.  However, the real pros know to move on.  First, take a few minutes and examine your role.  Could you have done something different?  If so, next time do it.  (That was easy!).  Next build your confidence back.  Read your client testimonials or talk with associates. Do anything and everything to rebuild your confidence because honestly even saying it doesn’t bother you, more than likely it does.  Then get back on the horse again only this time with renewed confidence and perhaps a few changes in how you do things.  Will you fall again?  Of course you will at some time.  But will you always grow learning from your experiences, absolutely!
·         Not Pricing Correctly.  If I had a nickel for every time that I did this, well I could make up for my pricing mistakes.  Seriously though, this happens.  You underbid on a project finding out it takes five times longer than you anticipated.  You price a course and then realize that you are giving away the farm.  Or you simply discover your hourly rate is way below what it should be.  Not to fear.  It’s fixable. The most important thing you can do is to learn from this and correct the situation.  You might not be able to up your rate with the current client, just you can learn from your mistake and never do it again.  Also, don’t disregard talking with your client about it.  Sometimes they understand.  However, know that if its your mistake, you shouldn’t make them pay unless they are willing to. 
·         Time Management – Pricing mistakes often are made because you didn’t realize the time involvement.  So get used to timing yourself.  Yes, get the timer out and work for a specific amount of time on that task and see how long it takes.  Simple!  Also, get a day planner and write down your day for a week or two (or forever!) or get used to using some of the many valuable time management programs available today.  Time is money and if you are not keeping track of it and utilizing your time in the best possible way, well there it goes, clunk clunk … down the drain.
Business challenges are a part of business.  So get used to dealing with them and also get used to learning methods of rising above them.  Be great at what you do, do what you are passionate about, and finally seek help when needed.  Your business thrives when you do.

Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, offers PR and Marketing services and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She’s the co-author of Virtual Assistant - The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA. Follow her on social media at and

Sign up for Living Social Restaurant Plus

Sign up for Living Social Restaurant Plus and receive cashback for purchases at participating restaurants. Activate any credit and/or debit (not including cards requiring use of PIN) cards you plan to use at restaurants, bars, or clubs. Make a qualifying purchase at any participating restaurant in your market to take advantage of Restaurants Plus. Sign your signature to authorize your purchase using an activated card (and don’t enter a PIN). Click here for exceptions.   No special cards are issued, and there are no membership numbers to remember. 

Participation is free and there’s no activation fee. You don’t have to pay separately for any offers associated with Restaurants Plus. Just make purchases as you normally would at participating restaurants. If your purchase qualifies, you’ll receive the corresponding cashback on your monthly card statement. The entire process is easy and automatic.

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Swapping gets you better deals than shopping this holiday season!  Join Yerdle and swap your stuff for new treasures you'll love.  Sign up today to get $35 Yerdle Dollars + Free shipping on your first purchase.  Choose from over 70,000+ items--from dresses to shoes, purses to kid's toys, home decor and more.

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HuffPost's Candidate Confessional: Michele Bachmann On The Sexist Crap Hillary Clinton Has To Endure

Last week, HuffPost' Senior Politics Editor Sam Stein and Investigative Reporter Jason Cherkis launched "Candidate Confessional" a one-of-a-kind podcast interviewing those who ran for political office...and lost. 

In this week's episode former Rep. Michele Bachmann details the challenges posed by her gender during her whirlwind run for the White House in 2012. Her experience gave her an unexpectedly empathetic take on Hillary Clinton's current presidential campaign. Despite their diametrically different politics, as Bachmann put it, "I really do have great empathy for what Mrs. Clinton is going through, because the hill that she has to climb on -- appearance -- it's just a different hill than men have to climb. I'm not whining about it. It's just reality. It is what it is."

To hear more from Bachmann about the sexism female politicians face check out "Candidate Confessional" here

HuffPost Live Conversation: John Ridley Won't Call Himself A Feminist Out Of Respect For True Activists

"American Crime" creator John Ridley joined HuffPost Live on Wednesday explained that he doesn't call himself a feminist, but it's not because he doesn't believe in gender equality. Rather, he thinks that claiming the label for himself would diminish the work of activists who tirelessly fight for their causes every day.

 Ridley: "It's not like I'm out on a daily basis advocating. I don't want to adopt some kind of a mantle when the reality is, on a daily basis, I'm not an advocate and I'm not doing the things that people do where they put their lives or themselves or their livelihoods at risk, because there are people who are doing that."

 The Oscar winner said true feminist activists "deserve to have a label that says they're doing something," but he doesn't feel his work as a writer for film and television is enough to merit the title.

 Ridley: "I'm not anti-label for people who are actually doing the things that move society forward. I'm not that guy, and I don't do enough. So for someone to come along and say, 'Hey, John, you're a really big feminist...' I hope that I write quality characters just because that's what one should do. I just want to be careful when someone is out advocating on a daily basis and they go, 'Oh, so John gets to sit in his apartment in New York and he gets to be called a feminist.'"

 Ridley: "There are people out there who are, on a daily basis, fighting the fight for the things they believe in. And those individuals, based on the fact that they are engaged on a regular basis, they deserve to have a label that says that they're doing something. I don't want the headline ['John Ridley Isn't A Feminist'] ... I realize how bad that may sound. But I also don't want to take the spotlight from people who are out there fighting."

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with John Ridley here.

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The Customer is King and Chicago is the Crown Jewel

Auto shows have always excelled in bringing vehicles and buyers together. As early as 1901, auto shows helped change the way the nation traveled by introducing the horseless carriage to a wary consumer. Today, cars, trucks and crossovers are more complicated than ever. Safety and connectivity technologies only dreamed about few years ago are commonplace on mainstream automobiles. Once again, the auto show plays a critical role in helping educate buyers as the industry embraces new technologies.

The Chicago Auto Show, the nation’s largest, shines as a perfect example of the modern-day auto show. Chicago welcomes traditional and digital journalists, social influencers and broadcast media in a way that engages with its large consumer audience to create the perfect storm that helps jump-start sales.

Last year, Foresight Research, recognized by the industry for its auto show marketing research, measured major auto shows across the nation. In its most recent immersion study, Foresight held up Chicago as the leading consumer show in the nation. In fact, Chicago came out on top in every measurable metric including having a higher number of purchasers and providing more influence on the purchasing decision than any other show in the nation.

Indeed, Chicago is the nation’s consumer show. This February, every mainstream automaker will participate -- each building some of the largest auto show displays in the world. In addition, a spacious venue like McCormick Place provides show goers the opportunity to sample from three indoor test tracks and six outdoor test drives.

Finally, the Chicago Auto Show activates its huge consumer attendance with effective social media campaigns and an industry-leading beacon program allowing consumers to interact with exhibitors electronically, providing an enhanced and engaging experience.

When it comes down to it, auto shows have always been about selling cars. In this way, Chicago continues to be perfectly positioned to be the voice of the consumer for an industry on track to sell 17 million vehicles in 2015.  


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