Evolutionary Business Design

How to work smarter not harder this year

I walked into a hardware store one day.

There were 3 or 4 people standing behind the long counter and another 3 or 4 people in front of the counter waiting to be served. One bloke behind the counter looked like he was running rings around all the other guys– he was serving all the customers while the others stood idly by.

“He must be the guru.” I thought.

“Can I help you?” asked one employee.

“Yes, can I see the boss please?” I asked.

“Yes, that’s him” he said pointing to the guy doing all the work (without even asking what I needed and if he could help instead)

What’s wrong with this picture?

Can you see yourself in this scenario?

Business owners shoot themselves in the foot all the time by trying to do everything in their business. I’ve heard business owners variously describe themselves as “Chief Cook and Bottle-washer, “Trouble-shooter” and even “Dogsbody”. Some business owners even clean their own premises to save a few dollars – please tell me that’s not you!

If you feel like your business is dragging you down and you never seem to be getting to the good stuff it’s probably because you take on too much. For whatever reason, you’ve justified putting yourself in a position of power then undermined it by attempting to do everything yourself.

So, how are you going to get to the good stuff you want to do?

First of all, do you know what the “Good stuff” is? Have you actually defined what it is? You know there’s something … you just can’t quite put your finger on it, but other people seem to be having more fun and getting better results than you.

Or maybe you do know what you want but not the steps to get there – it seems too hard. Maybe there’s some fear and doubt and financial issues you have to tackle first, so it’s just easier to keep looking and being busy, (although it’s not very fulfilling) and every day is Groundhog Day. .

In order to work smarter you’ll need to know what it is you’re aiming for and what your particular role is in making it happen. This might take some courage and deep thinking – and delegation!

First of all – there is no such thing as a “good all-rounder”, so stop trying to be one.

You have natural talents and strengths you probably haven’t even tapped into yet.

Find the NICHE that suits your talents and makes you happy.

If you’re good at the technical work of your business like being the designer, accountant, mechanic or brain surgeon, then do that thing, but don’t keep it to yourself, hire and train other people to do it even better than you so you can expand the business.

OR – if you don’t want a large team and you are happy to be the technical person, focus on being the best brain surgeon you can be and get other people to do everything else; all the admin, marketing, sales, management and other parts of your business. Your hourly rate will be much higher than these people. Hire a great business manager or practice manager. Hire a great Personal Assistant – do whatever makes your job easier.

Remember to keep it simple and streamlined.

Find a MARKET that suits your talents and makes you happy.

When you work with clients or customers you like and you’re doing work that is your pure genius, then work doesn’t seem so hard, you’ll enjoy it more. Work becomes more harmonious – you have better capacity to deliver and the clients are less demanding, more flexible and understanding.

All clients are not created equal. It’s absolutely NOT true that “any client will do, as long as they pay.” Working smarter means choosing your clients; you’ll get paid on time, have fewer complaints, less re-work, fewer price shoppers and happier employees.

Be self focussed

The smart thing to do is look after yourself first, be a little selfish. If you fell over what would happen to your business?

There’s nothing wrong with drive and determination unless it becomes obsessive. Check your level of obsessiveness about your business. If it’s making you tired and sick it’s time to back it off a few notches.

Take a break, breathe. Not everything is urgent and important. Read Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People”. Apply what you learn, especially the part about sharpening the saw.

Seth Godin says “Do work worth doing”. Are you doing just enough to get by or are you really making a contribution? Do you need to change a few things? Stop being efficient – start being effective.

Work in your genius – Roger Hamilton’s Wealth Dynamics Wealth Profiling will help you discover your personal genius so you can work in flow.

Above all, give yourself time to do things. Set goals, break them down to small manageable bites, determine what your genius contribution towards achieving the goal will be, then work out who will help you.


7 Client-getting strategies even if you think you’re no good at marketing

Let’s get rid of the head –trash first. Marketing is not difficult. Stop thinking of it as “Marketing”, start thinking “Getting to know the people you’d like as customers”.

Here are just 7 ideas – there are a million more, I’m sure.

The trick is to IMPLEMENT a strategy or two, don’t just passively read this then let yourself off the hook. Marketing only works if you work it.

1. Collaborate

Gone are the days of thinking you have to do everything yourself. There are plenty of ways to collaborate with friends and colleagues in business.

Organise a brainstorming session to work out what you could offer each other’s customers. Share your databases ethically – no spamming. How about putting together an irresistible offer as a package of products or services.

2. Work your network

Join a Meetup group, a business networking group or your local Chamber of Commerce. Immerse yourself in a group of proactive business owners to swap stories, strategies and ideas and give each other encouragement.

Get to know your peers and GIVE referrals before you expect them back.

3. Offer a freebie

You have information or product and services that other people want, otherwise you wouldn’t be in business.  While you’re out networking and brainstorming come up with ideas for “freebies” you could give to potential customers.

Can you give the equivalent of samples, taste tests, try-before-you-buy offers? Can you give simple yet desirable information in the form of checklists, guides, reports, whitepapers, PDF downloads, videos. The list is endless and it won’t cost you a fortune.

It could be a 1 page document printed from your office printer and posted or emailed out. Develop a library of useful freebies and every time you’re talking to someone listen carefully and offer to send them something irresistibly good that will help them solve a problem.

4. Co work

If you work in a home office on your own, find out what co-working spaces are available in your local area. Hire some desk space for a day or two a week and get to know the other business owners. You’ll soon build up your network of friends and colleagues.

Apply the Collaboration strategy with your new network.

5. Get your work out there

If you never had a stand at an expo, now is the time to give it a go.

Google what’s coming up, there are often national, international and local expos you can participate in. The big expos can cost several thousand dollars to participate but if you sell a high end product it can be very lucrative.

If at the lower end, often business networking groups and chambers of commerce will run business expos .

The secret with expos is not to stay behind a barrier in your stand. Go out and meet people, have a chat. If you’re on the shy side, get a friend to help you, someone who loves talking to people.

It’s also a great way to do a survey.  Make sure you have a way to capture prospective customer’s details – make an offer and put them in a draw for a prize or two.

6. Get some publicity

Make your business newsworthy. Find a way to link your products or services to something topical and send a press release to your local journalists in the press, radio and TV.

The media are always hungry for stories. Get to know journalists who are looking for stories like yours and consistently send them good newsworthy material. Always be ready to comment on an issue to be seen as an expert in that area.

7. Speak wherever you can

One of the best ways to get noticed and therefore get customers is to develop your speaking skills.

When you join a networking group you will be expected to speak at every meeting to introduce yourself and your business. You’ll get better with practice.

If you know how to do something others don’t then offer to teach them – preferably in a group setting. Use your networks, co-working space, chambers of commerce, meetup groups – anywhere you can think of to get more experience.

If you’re already an experienced speaker, try getting a little publicity and connect with people who need speakers. If you think about the thousands of conferences, industry expos, networking events and boardroom “lunch and learn” meetings you’re sure to find something that fits well with you.

Good luck, let us know how you go and feel free to share your own ideas on ways to get customers.

If you’re not using a 5 step follow up process, you’re leaving thousands of dollars on the table

Marketing is like a game of tennis; you hit the ball, the other person hits it back.

But what if they don’t hit it back? Do you abandon the game, take your racquet and ball and slouch off home?

Well you could give up, but where’s the fun in that?

So, why do business owners get dejected when they put out ONE piece of marketing and they don’t get a response? The game has just begun – get back in there and hit a few more balls!

The 5 Step Follow-up Process will capture your prospective clients and encourage them to play the game with you.

But, if you keep hitting the same shot at them and they’re not responding then you’ve got to question the shot. Is it what they’re ready for? Is it what they want? Is the timing right or are they metaphorically tying their shoe laces?

Nothing is more annoying for a prospective client to keep getting the same “Are you ready yet? Are your ready yet? Are you ready yet?” message from you. They stop listening – and you waste money!

You’ve gotta get more creative and mix it up a bit. Entertain them at least so they look forward to hearing from you.

Here are the 5 Steps:

Assuming that you’ve done your homework and you know your Ideal Customer INTIMATELY – (you have done that haven’t you? If not back up a step and get the Target Market worksheet) you’ll be sending the messages over a period of time, increasing the urgency each time.

The messages will be sent to specific people via online media, emails, direct mail in their letterbox – whatever your ideal customers’ favourite media is – it MUST be something they regularly pay attention to.

Anyway, I digress…

The steps…


Send all 5 messages to the SAME group of Ideal Customers. Once you’ve tested and refined it you can gather another group, perhaps in a different location.

First message: The intro. Make an offer: something interesting, just a little taste perhaps, not the whole box of doughnuts. This is not all about you – it’s about them, their problems, desires and what keeps them awake at night.

“Get inside your prospective customer’s head. Show them you know them!”Pauline Bright [Tweet This]

Step # 2

If they’ve responded, get back to them as soon as you can.

If they’ve ignored you don’t get despondent, try another ball…

Send them another message – make sure they know it is from you – it has to have the look and feel of your business.

Approach the problem or desire from a different perspective – hit them something they can return. Ask them to take some action. “Perhaps you’d like one of these… [insert solution] they’re great for fixing [insert problem to be solved]”

Step #3

Rinse and repeat but don’t punish them.

I see some very sleazy marketing out there that says the equivalent of “hey, you didn’t respond to X are you crazy, why not?” Might work for some but it’s not my favourite approach.

Send them something else they can respond to.

By this time you should start to see some response.

Step # 4

YEP – rinse and repeat again. But vary your message. Educate them a little, tease them a little, if your offer has a genuine “use-by” date let them know that time is running out or that you have limited places or whatever the real reason is that you are making this offer at this time.

Step #5

Send Piece # 5. Do not let this slide – send the 5 pieces of contact, keep increasing the value to them of what you do and asking for a response.

Those who don’t need you yet will remember you but if you don’t keep up some momentum someone will come along and eat your lunch! Everything you have so carefully prepared can be lost in a moment if you don’t stay top of their mind.

I’ve had clients who have been on my contact list for TEN YEARS before they are ready to buy. NEVER give up.

After the first 5 contacts, keep the people who have not responded on your long term nurture list. Don’t forget them – keep in touch at least a few times a year or monthly or whatever your marketing budget allows.

Always give them great value and never pester them just to buy. Be useful or be gone. You are building a long-term relationship with them.

Coming Soon: Bright Business Academy launches in 2017

We’ll dive into your marketing in more depth and help you map out not only the plan but write the exact pieces of content you need.

Email support@brightbusiness.net.au to get on the Bright Business Academy list.

“Thank You and Hello” – How to Keep More Customers

helloHow many times have you

  • eaten in a restaurant
  • bought new clothes
  • stayed in a hotel
  • bought a magazine
  • gone 10 pin bowling
  • bought a gift for a friend
  • gone to the movies
  • bought take-away food…

 …and felt like a valued customer?

Not just in the moment (it’s fairly easy for a business to deliver that, although often quite rare) but in a long term relationship with that business.

As a customer how do you like to be treated? I’m always delighted when someone recognises me as a customer or prospective customer. I’m even more delighted when they call me by name and remember something about me.

Sure every business owner pays lip service to providing “excellent customer service” but if you don’t know your customer’s name when they shop with you again or never get in touch with them to add value or offer something else, then you’ve made the fatal mistake of saying “thank you and goodbye” instead of “thank you and hello”

What does this mean for your business?

You might be spending way too much money on trying to get new customers instead of serving the customers you already have. Thinking about how you could get even better at customer service and keeping your customers will significantly boost your profit.

If you have an invoice book or some kind of sales system to record customer details then you might be sitting on a gold mine and not even realising it.

If you keep a record of your customer’s name and phone number or email address then you have the start of some very effective low cost marketing.

How many times have you put your business card in a bowl at a restaurant to win a free dinner – and NEVER heard from them again? If you collect business cards from your customers and prospects you have an amazing resource for specific effective targeted marketing

If you offer a product or service that requires you to collect their home or business address then you have everything you need to send targeted direct mail marketing; the kind they’ll like receiving because it’s tailor made for them

Now, before you get hung up on privacy and spam issues –

OF COURSE you will let your customer know that you’ll be in touch with them again, get their permission to send them only things of value like reminders, special offers, invitations, VIP programs and helpful information about the product or service they bought and more.


Enjoy! You are creating customers for life 🙂


My Gift to You

If you suspect you might be a closet WORKAHOLIC…

…squeezing in just one more task, one more little “nightcap” before you shut down and turn off…

…working weekends again when you promised yourself you wouldn’t…

If the deadly cocktail of broken sleep, problem clients, and money stress is making you doubt your ability to run a successful business…

and you’d really much rather have more…

Confidence,.. Money… Passion… and Freedom…

Then this is my Gift to You…

Click the image below to open my gift…


Pauline Bright