By Dr. Jeffrey Lant
Author’s program note. In 1949, America’s darling, Judy Garland, starred in a big budget MGM musical called “In the Good Old Summertime”. It was all twirling parasols, Sunday at the gazebo in the park with the grandly uniformed band playing Sousa marches, and, of course, innocent romances. The word “tootsie-wootsie” was coined… and we all wanted to know one we could take to the church ice-cream social.
But before you get all gussied up in your best bib and tucker, there’s work to do, very important work… making headway on the most important task of all: preparing for that absolutely crucial fall sales season, relentlessly on its way; the season starting just after Labor Day in early September… and concluding the minute you lock up and go home to celebrate Christmas with your family.
Successfully handling the fall sales season, the highlight of your business, is a must… for, after all, you’re going to need a lot of extra cash this year… “tootsie-wootsie’s” (of either the female or male variety) are never cheap. So, don’t stint on the planning…
To help you get into the mood, go to any search engine. Find Judy Garland’s tune and play it a couple of times. Then, while the lilt of the music washes over you, begin what needs to be done for the most successful fall of your life. And don’t dilly-dally either, or all the lemon sorbet will be gone before you put on your straw boater and head for that social where you, known to be an up-and-coming business wiz, will make. such a good impression…
Here’s a helpful check-list to get you on your way:
1 ) Start today.
As I write (July 19, 2011) a blistering heat wave is causing large parts of America to swoon. You need to rise above the shimmering heat and FOCUS. He (or she) who hesitates is lost. Remember, you plan in the summer… and implement your plan in the fall. If you don’t plan until fall, you will find yourself in the impossible situation of planning and executing your plan at the same time. And that’s a killer.
2 ) Conclude all training programs as soon as possible.
Summer is and always has been a superb time to learn new business skills. But learning them means exactly that; not a time for dawdling and procrastinating, which you can easily do if the course is self-paced, as so many are these days. Put yourself on a strict deadline for completion… and stick to it.
3 ) Set up your blog and begin to stockpile articles for it.
Summer’s a great time to bulk-up on articles so that you’re not scrambling for copy, when you need to be circulating it.
You should always have at least half a dozen such articles readily at hand, punchy, well-written articles that will get your customers to stop what they’re doing and read your latest effusion.
4 ) Work on creating and testing offers that pull the best.
You need offers that pull in maximum business, and the summer is the perfect time to create — and test — them. This testing is a must. The worst thing you can do is amble into the fall without knowing you’ve got offers that sell on hand and ready to go.
Review the top offers you’ve already made this year. Can you reprise any, editing, tweaking, improving for the best possible results? And be sure to check the offers you made last fall. You did keep good statistics on results, didn’t you? That’s crucial, so you invest your always limited ad budget where it’ll do you the most good.
5 ) Work on increasing your traffic.
For years I have said “The list is the business, the business is the list.” On the Internet, the operative word for list is “traffic”. With it, you’re lord of all you survey; without it, you’re just a schlepper without a prayer.
Every successful Internet entrepreneur I know (and few people in the world know more) has a daily traffic plan, which they are rightly obsessed with creating, improving and implementing. These people know how to create the solid-gold lists that deliver ever improving results and how to present offers so that the people on these lists just cannot resist responding — and buying.
Still more tips!
6 ) Review your website.
Are you happy with the way it looks, or is it time for some refurbishment and remodeling?
The website that looked so good and eye-catching yesterday may well be in need of some overdue improvements today. If you can make them, fine; if you can’t contact your web designer at once. Remember, as the fall approaches these talented folks are very in demand. Book your time as soon as possible.
7 ) Add new products to your website.
Every business in the world adds new products to its line in time for the fall sales season, and you must do the same.
Now’s the moment to review your product line and add the hot new products you’ve found.
Don’t have any such products? Then you’ve got to shake a leg and get down to the important business of finding them… and making the necessary arrangements with their suppliers. And don’t wait to do this… you should spend a part of every day discovering, reviewing and adding new products to your website.
8 ) Check all your business supplies.
Have you got toner and paper aplenty for your printer? What about business cards, stationery, envelopes, checks, pens and file folders? (I am always running out of these).
Review everything you need. You don’t want to be caught short, scrambling to re-up when you should be focusing, always focusing, on SALES.
9 ) Let your customers know your fall availability is dwindling.
If you provide a specialized service where you can only handle so many customers at a time, notify your prospects and established customers at once that your availability is shrinking and that they need to book time for your service now.
Send a reminder to these folks every other week or so until you have no further appointments left and are in waiting list mode. Always make it clear just how little time remains; scarcity motivates even the worst procrastinators to act.
10 ) Review your personnel requirements.
Remember you can’t do everything yourself… too much to do, way too little time in which to do it. Make sure you have the help you need and that you and they are both clear on what needs to be done and whether your help will be available to assist.
Remember, if you need extra help, advertise early to find and train it, so everything moves smoothly when you need it to do so.
Every successful person I know is a planning fanatic. I’m one myself. Planning (and this includes reviewing and updating your plan as necessary) is a must… especially before the crucial fall sales season.
After you’ve advanced your plan today, by all means spruce yourself up, put on that poplin jacket and the eye-catching chapeau and white duck trousers or navy blue skirt and blouse with mutton sleeves. It’s time for you to mix and mingle for you have places to go and people to meet… After all, everyone wants to make the acquaintance of a likely comer like you, always so organized, efficient, and productive. And that’s a very good sign…. in the good old summertime… or any other time!
About the Author
Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc. providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Dr. Lant is also the author of 18 best-selling business books.
Republished with author’s permission by Graham Lee – The Income Zone
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