Marketing Entrepreneurship Business Blog for SMB's

Marketing Entrepreneurship Business Blog for SMB's

Date: December 2012

Monday, 31 December 2012

What I have learnt from 2012.

Happy New Year to my dear friends both old and new,
It's been a mammoth year for so many reasons, but I don't need to bore you with too much disclosure on this subject - after all you do read my blogs from time to time.

2012 has come and gone, and with it came ups and downs and few side-way turns - but what is a year, without steering left or right from what could possibly be a boring straight road ahead?

I started 2012, in the worse possible fashion. I was in another country, at a celebration that was marred by a relationship that was not meant to be and ensured that there was no celebrating the new year coming in. For someone who is somewhat superstitious about bringing in a new year, that was a less than perfect situation.  Nevertheless, it gave me an experience in life and a new appreciation for the fact that "everyone has their own shit to deal with" - and sometimes you just have to let people learn from their own mistakes and continue on their own journey without trying to advertly change them.

It's a great realisation to come to when you can look back at the year, and see how much you have grown as a person and how much more understanding, accomodating and less selfish you can become. I have watched others live their lives and occasionally fall down,  and its refreshing to see it from a different perspective. Positivity has been key and has been an underlying theme to everything that has gone on throughout the year. Sure, there have been moments and sometimes days, where it was hard to be positive, but this theme kept creeping back and let me assure you, it worked wonders.

While the start was not the best, it was a year that I became a better employer and business person. Business, as you know, is important to me. Every year, if you spend time taking in feedback and re-educating yourself, you will always improve and become a better version of yourself. I am sure my employees and friends have seen the journey more closely and can see a positive change that will take our company to a whole new level. It's not often a business person shares such insights, because everyone is out there trying to spruik how great they are at business or how much success they have achieved. I just tell it how it is and hope that some aspects of my life, relates back to the people I share it with.

I always feel that by sharing my inner most thoughts on a business blog, people that can relate to the fact that you don't have to be "on" 24/7 nor do you have to pretend to be "fine" with everything. You can show that you have feelings, that sometimes you get hurt by someone else's actions or that you make mistakes and sometimes you just take things the wrong way. I never wanted this blog to not tell the truth or how it really is. On that note, this blog has been a remarkable achievement and something that I am proud of for so many reasons. The hundreds of emails I receive weekly regarding this blog is something that I treasure dearly.

In 2012, I travelled and met some of the most interesting people imaginable. I have taken risks, climbed mountains, and hopped on flights just because there was a good party or an opportunity too good to miss. I have challenged my own sanctum by not doing things that were expected - over and over again. I have been continually grateful for the people around me and for the experiences I have had and that I know I will continue to have.

I sat on a plane only months ago, next to a gentleman who after 3 hours, decided to start a conversation. I don't really talk to people on planes, but on this particular occasion, it seemed right. We have since become firm friends and met up a few times even though we live in opposite ends of the world. His commentary on life and business is completely mesmerizing and his notes with words of wisdom and unabated kindness, are something I will treasure long after we lose contact.

I love to write, and often write notes to people and have been continually pleasantly surprised by others doing the same. In the past week, I have received more than a dozen letters, emails, and text messages with heartfelt notes from people that have been in my life or that are in my life, giving me insight into what I actually mean to them or an appreciation for a moment in time. To those people, thank you. Those messages mean more to me than you can ever imagine.

Everyone comes into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime. We always hope for a lifetime, but just because they don't, doesn't mean that it doesn't have just as much meaning. 

I feel privileged to live the life I do, to have what I have and to be able to share my thoughts and opinions with people like yourselves. I can't imagine my life any way other than how it is, but I wouldn't care if it all changed. We are all on a journey and life isn't about what possessions you have, or how many friends you have on facebook. It's about being free to live your own life and being able to experience things that make you happy, sometimes sad or indifferent.

My niece said to me today "everyone's perception of the meaning of life is different and no-one can tell you that one way is right or wrong". Wise words Ashleigh. 

For me, this new year is different. It's about new beginnings and an openness to business and life. My theme for 2013 is "kindness and understanding" and with that, I wish you all a very happy new year. May this year, be the best one ever.

Published in Mellissah Smith
It's the last day of work for the year and I am exhausted. I have had a Christmas party or dinner every night for 2 weeks and on top of that, I have been literally working my arse off. Excuse the language, but I think we are 'friends' now so we can really say it how it really is. Feel free to throw expletives back at your own discretion or fire at me a "watch your language!" precursor.

I digress - but who wouldn't when you have lived on 4 or 5 hours sleep for a week and there is still a 'to do list' sitting beside your computer that is pages long, with big fluro marks on every single entity reminding you that these things are very urgent. 
Who out there is looking deeply into their sales performance over the past 12 months to help model a sales process for 2013?

As we look back at Salesforce records and reports and ascertain who made the decision to buy, postpone or sit on their hands, it's alarming how many people are doing the latter.

What happens in marketing and sales for that matter is that people don't make decisions. Many businesses are underperforming because they are unable to attach performance goals with real business needs. 
Published in Marketing
Like many small business owners, I have been totally caught up in finalising work for the year. For the first time ever, I have not bought a single gift. I am totally behind schedule.

But like millions of others, there are many options: shopping online, late night shopping or battling through the crowds in the lead-up to Christmas.
Wednesday, 12 December 2012

How to 'Pick Up Your Game': Marketing

Yesterday, I picked up my game. No longer walking around with the weight of the world on my shoulders, I changed the outcomes of the week, the month and possibly my life - all in a day.

Simply by getting 8 hours sleep (a blessing!), having a dynamic new recruit from Atlanta in the Melbourne office, seeing the team excited about life and their work and watching everyone and everything grow in so many ways - I had an a-ha moment (think Oprah).

It was almost like an outer-body experience. Here I was, looking from the outside in and all I saw was highly motivated, excited people that were all ready to tackle the world head-on and believed so strongly in what they were doing and how they were doing it - that they sent some type of magical energy to every person they came into contact with - including me!
Successfully revitalising a brand is every marketer’s dream but is no easy task, requiring persistence and hard work. Changing customer perceptions and providing clarity of the brand’s values is difficult, especially when it comes to transforming the target public’s entrenched mindset.

Marketing Eye wanted to change the way consumers perceived American Property Partners (APP). Was the APP brand clearly projecting the message it wanted to put forward to the general public? It is essential for portfolio managers to present themselves as reliable. After all, customers must trust them with their investments.
Published in Website Development
Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Is your sales process automated?

While content management is 'all the rage' right now, smart marketers are not forgetting that while content may drive sales, visitors to your website or generate leads - it's sales process automation that keeps the sales pipeline full to the brim.

All small business owners are thinking about how they can attract more sales in the most cost-effective way possible without sacrificing the integrity of their brand.
When in doubt, ask an expert.

Yesterday, I put in a phone call to Bond Street 180 business turnaround guru Daryl Wright and asked what he considered to be the most important things for small business owners to consider ahead of 2013. Here is what he had to say.

Here are the three things I think SME's should consider for 2013:
Tuesday, 04 December 2012

How to get the best start to 2013

“If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.” Jack Dixon.

I woke up this morning feeling a little bit down.

The year has gone so fast – yet, I feel as though I have done so little. I have been chasing my tail trying to accomplish so much – yet, my ‘to do list’ seems to be getting longer and longer. There is so much more to be achieved, but with only 27 days left to the year, it looks as though I have literally run out of time.

Apparently, I am not alone.

Small business owners the world over struggle to fit everything in to their daily schedule – with this time of year marking a time where the scoreboard comes out and crosses begin to appear, with thick red markers firmly reminding entrepreneurs that they have not done enough hard work or scored the goals they needed to win the game.

But do entrepreneurs ever really ‘win’ the game? If you are anything like me, you keep changing the goal posts and every time you get close, you shift the posts just that little bit further. 
Published in Mellissah Smith
Selecting the correct Christmas gift for clients can often be fraught with danger - while a thoughtful, heartfelt gift can strenghten and enhance your professional relationships, a poorly-executed and inappropriate present will have the opposite effect.

These days, selecting corporate gifts can often feel like a competition, with companies attempting to outdo each other in a extravagant battle of the budgets. That said, money can't buy class or creativity, so make sure you give from the heart and tailor each gift to your clients' interests. It is the thought that counts, after all.
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