By Maria | May 20, 2013
©2013 123RF Stock Photos
Short-Cut to Technology Insights
Because of my years on Wall Street, I’ve operated a computer since 1973. It as fun, when in 1998, I took a website development from scratch class.
These days, I can’t keep up with all the emerging technology. So, I read Bill Winterberg’s newsletter to learn about the new and neat technology that financial advisors may want to use for productivity and profit growth.
Have your IT Team Member register for Bill’s newsletter AND get your copy of 7 Essential Tips for the Productive Advisor now at http://fppad.com/ If you are a business owner and your IT Team person, too, it may be time to hire IT consulting help.
©2013 Maria Marsala guides independent financial advisors to reach their 5-year business and personal goals in 24 months. She is a business coach, speaker, and a former Wall Street Trader. Named one of the Top 30 International Coaching Gurus in 2011, Maria has been recognized as a thought leader whose ideas have been published in Financial Planning Magazine, RIA Biz, Advisor Max, Dow Jones, The Street, Entrepreneur Magazine, and numerous books, trade journals, and magazines. She has authored four business-building workbooks including, Attracting Clients You Love Working With: 6 Steps to a Profitable Client Base. Did you find this article thought provoking? Get more delivered directly to your inbox every two weeks by signing up at Register here
By Maria | May 18, 2013
Article marketing is the best way to market on a limited budget. Write articles directed to your niche. Place them on your blog and share them on social networking sites where your ideal clients hand out in masses. With a subscription box on your website, gather emails and create a newsletter using your articles. You can put your articles on your stationary and give them out at networking events. You can turn groups of articles into an ebook that you can give away, too.
(c) 2013 Maria Marsala, Elevating Your Business
Read more tips on this subject from a variety of business owners at
By Maria | May 17, 2013
You never know what great things social networking will bring to your doorstep.
Often, the time I spend (mostly) on LinkedIn brings prospects to my newsletter and some great clients to my website. However, every now and then something different happens.
Like this month, when I was asked by Staples to write an article that will help business owners be more successful. The article will be featured on their Small Business website starting Monday. But because you’re a subscriber to my newsletter, you get to see it and use my suggestions first!
Top 5 Ways to Grow Your Customer Base with Raving Fans
Everybody finds success in different ways. Integrate these 5 tips and no matter what kind of business you’re in or for how long, your business will grow with clients you love to serve!
Way #1: Nurture a Niche and Create an Ideal Client Profile
A niche is a general category based on a population, passion, or product/service. For example: high-net-worth individuals, small-business owners, divorced executives and health enthusiasts. While an Ideal Client Profile may contain demographics such as gender and income, it also includes geographics, psychographics, and their values.
How do you spot your ideal client? They:
- Easily pay you on time and don’t ask you to lower your prices.
- Understand and value what your services can help them accomplish.
- Refer you to others without even being asked.
- Return to you whenever they have additional needs for your services.
- Give you energy – emotionally and financially!
Serving a niche and an ideal client brings consistency and focus to all of your marketing messages; saving you time and money. You’ll attract great clients because your marketing material shows that you understand their specific wants and needs.
Go directly to the complete article on the Staples Small Business website “Top Five Tips to Grow a Customer Base” here
Download the article as a PDF file, that’s easy to print here: http://www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com/Staples/
The resources page that goes with the article is right here
Pass it on!
By Maria | May 15, 2013
Poulsbo, WA—May 14, 2013—Maria Marsala, a Kitsap-area based consultant and executive coach, has been chosen as one of four experts featured during Staples’ Small Business Month promotion, “Moving Your Business Forward”.
Staples is showing appreciation for its small business customers by featuring helpful articles by the top four contributors to its LinkedIn group, named SUCCEED: Small Business Network. Staples is also hosting a “Push It Forward” contest, which will award three businesses $50,000 in free digital marketing.
Staples’ Small Business Month promotion began on May 1st and will continue through May 31st. Marsala’s contribution will be featured on the SUCCEED group and the Staples website May 19th through May 25th. Her article offers small business members “Top Five Tips to Grow a Customer Base”.
“I’m honored to have been the first small business owner contacted to be a part of Staples’ small business appreciation month,” says Marsala. “Staples’ SUCCEED group on LinkedIn has 18,000+ members and is an extremely engaged group. I enjoy reading, posting, and answering questions each week. One of my questions received more than 225 responses—the group is a great resource for me and the other members.”
Ms. Marsala is a former Wall Street trader who trained as a coach in 1998 and was named one of the Top 30 International Coaching Gurus in 2011 by Coaching Gurus International. She has been a speaker since 1981, has been published in several business magazines, and presents numerous workshops, including Business Growth Planning on Steroids.
Staples, headquartered outside of Boston, is the world’s largest office product company and the second largest internet retailer. Area stores are located in Silverdale and Port Orchard. Visit the Staples Hub page or join the Succeed LinkedIn Group to find new content that helps small businesses with topics like Social Media, Networking, and Email Marketing.
For easy-to-find links to the Staples Small Business Month, the Push Contest, and Staples’ Succeed LinkedIn Group, go to www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com/Staples
Contact Maria Marsala at (360) 271-8418 or visit www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com
By Maria | April 29, 2013
This was a question asked by Ashley Poulter of HearPreneur. Read my answer below. So…what’s your answer? How did you choose the name of your company?
Read how I choose the name of my company and how other business owners choose theirs. Read:http://hear.ceoblognation.com/2013/04/26/how-did-you-come-up-with-your-business-name-14/
Nothing to do with the company
The first name for my company had nothing to do with the company or what I did. Instead it was a name I had always wanted to name a company. I spent more time explaining what I did, then doing what I did! At the same time I owned the website CoachMaria.com but still didn’t have a name for my company that fit. Yes, I do coaching and my name is Maria.. but I do more.
So I did what I recommend that my clients do (I now help them rename their companies, their blogs and newsletters.
I created a spreadsheet and in column 1 I put all the words that describe the services I provide (the features). In column 2 I put all the words that describe the results that my clients get. Then I asked my clients why they continued to work with me. The result were the words growing my business. I didn’t like that phrase, I didn’t feel that my company would stand out if it had chosen that name and after reviewing the thesaurus, I choose “Elevating Your Business”. I no longer have to explain what I do. Instead I’m asked “so how do you do that”.. a conversation I much rather have. Visit my website at www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com
By Maria | April 27, 2013
This unique S.Y.S.T.E.M., the One Page Business Plan® is being used by over 250,000 businesses to grow their businesses and is taught in 15 universities.
This S.Y.S.T.E.M. has helped many business owners (I’ve worked with founders, owners, etc. in over 40 industries) to double their incomes in a around two years. It’s amazing what happens when someone who has no plan, gets really focused on the Golden Ring. (Alas, something that even Coney Island, Brooklyn NY has decided to stop offering on their carousel).
This free webinar presents a streamlined process that puts business growth planning on steroids! It has been designed to reveal specific ways you can become more profitable in the next 12 months by creating a simple 6-step business plan.
Short-term planning builds long-term results, but it doesn’t have to be difficult or require lots of writing. Join us to learn how to transform your ideas into actions with this dynamic and focused one-page planning approach.
Comments from attendees: Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars!
- I really liked this! Very interesting how she has simplified the planning process. Very good.
- Much of the information I have seen before, but I really liked the way you put it together and made it simple. It’s a good reminder and allows me to refous on the important vs. the urgent.
- Excellent! Concise and actionable. Time well spent. Thank you.
Register Now/Listen Now:
- The #1 marketing strategy most companies fail to execute
- A simple 6-part planning process that focuses on business growth and defines daily priorities (say “goodbye” to overwhelm!)
- The 6 simple questions you’ll answer in your plan that automatically save you time and money (especially in the areas of new client acquisition and MARKETING)
- How to design objectives that are MOTIVATING and PRODUCE the RESULTS you desire
- The formulas to construct a vision statement, objectives, strategies, and action items (and leave the webinar having created at least one of each)
Originally held on May 8, 2013 @ 1:00pm PT/ 4:00pm ET
It’s available online, 24/7
Register & Receive the Notes!
About The Speaker
Maria Marsala guides independent financial advisors to reach their 5-year business and personal goals in 24 months. She is a business coach, speaker, and a former Wall Street Trader. Named one of the Top 30 International Coaching Gurus in 2011, Maria has been recognized as a thought leader whose ideas have been published in Financial Planning Magazine, RIA Biz, Advisor Max, Dow Jones, The Street, Entrepreneur Magazine, and numerous books, trade journals, and magazines. She has authored four business-building workbooks including, Attracting Clients You Love Working With: 6 Steps to a Profitable Client Base.
BrightTALK provides online events for professionals and their communities. Every day thousands of thought leaders are actively sharing their insights, their ideas and their most up-to-date knowledge with professionals all over the globe through the online event technologies that BrightTALK has created.
You can join BrightTALK’s vibrant exchange of ideas as either a viewer or a presenter. BrightTALK offer presenters the ability to create powerful online events using our easy-to-use webcast platform. Read more about how BrightTALK can help you grow your business here https://www.brighttalk.com/r/mqZ
By Maria | April 18, 2013
Benjamin Franklin had a procedure for changing habits and bringing about positive change in his life. Who would have thought that Ben Franklin would be so insightful as to know that he could be a better human being and then create a system for it to happen that is still relevant today. So many of the concepts Franklin lived are concepts taught in coaching schools and personal development programs world-wide.
I enjoyed reading this article written by Pat Brans, who writes about time management and productivity on the Forbes website. I think you will, too!
Talk about one of the concepts and how you are using it in your life (or plan to)
In general, what is your favorite time management tip? Talk about a time management concept you’ve used in your advisory business and how it’s helped boost your productivity or free time.
By Maria | March 30, 2013
Did you really go into business to manage the daily nitty-gritty details of your entire practice? Or is your real mission to help your clients create and safeguard their wealth — to assist them in reaching their life goals? In fulfilling your mission, are you creating your dream business — one that makes a big difference in your life and in the lives of those you love? Way too often, the “busy-ness” of business gets in the way of our best intentions. The secret is to catch ourselves when we begin to wear too many hats.
Those who still use the word “practice” to describe their firm have effectively created a paycheck and some extra tax deductions for themselves. Being self-employed often translates into doing all the work. “The Boss” handles the production, administration, marketing, sales, bookkeeping, data entry and everything else!
Most financial advisors are slaves to their practices because they have very few people working with them. They’ll tell you they have help—they have a team. Sometimes they do, but more often they have one administrative assistant who isn’t busy enough; it’s “easier” for The Boss to handle tasks than to delegate them.
Alternatively, the assistant is too busy learning new skill sets by the seat of his or her pants. You’ll often hear self-employed people say, “I’m overwhelmed, tired, and I have no time for that.” You’ll never hear them say, “I’m taking the day off!” or “I’m going on vacation for two weeks,” because when they take any time off, their firm makes no money. Nada, not a penny.
If you’ve been in business for a while, you might think that you’re no longer self-employed. Think again. In 12 years, maybe 1% of my clients were business owners when they hired me; the majority were captaining a burning ship — running a business stuck in “practice mode” and frantically putting out fires.
As the owner of a company, your ideal activities should be focused on production and building the company so it can run without you. Take a look at the list below and you will see that it is impossible do every task yourself, even with an assistant.
• Purchasing manager
• Office manager
• Event planner
• Technology specialist
• Social networking/Internet guru • Human services manager
• Marketing director
• Accounting/finance manager
• Compliance/legal manager
• Desktop publisher/designer
• Customer service rep
• Inventory manager
• Quality control manager
• Assistant to you
• And at a minimum, assistants to all the managers/specialists above
Make the shift in more ways than one
Transitioning from merely self-employed to business owner requires two shifts: the first is in mindset and the second is in business structure. In order to shift your mindset, you must begin to see your business as an investment, as a way to build a nest egg for retirement, a valuable asset to sell later or a legacy to leave behind. Changing your perspective in this way forces you to ask yourself the same questions you ask your clients. Keeping the end goal in mind makes it easier to determine the best use of your time. It’s also helpful if you give up being the Lone Ranger and find a mastermind group or hire an advisor. Either method provides a confidential sounding board for airing and solving your business challenges.
From this change in mindset, you begin to see that hiring employees who share in your vision creates a team of producers who can run your office without you. Business owners give themselves the gift of time and others the gift of a paycheck (and the pleasant experience of working with a well-rested boss). Business owners know the importance of planning, especially breaking down all the activities of a business and gradually hiring a team to take care of them. General categories to have on your team include:
• Human resources
• Internet technology
Once all busy-ness activities are reassigned, the business operates like a well-oiled machine—even when “The Boss” takes time off.
Take steps today
Today, take steps to shift into the full-fledged owner of a business investment. Get rid of the many hats you’re wearing and create a business model based on living your ideal life and running your ideal business.
If you aren’t yet able to hire additional employees or consultants to help build your business, create a plan to do so. We recommend — and all of our clients create — a One Page Business Plan for Financial Professionals®, because it creates focus and accountability, and makes achieving results easier to monitor. Plus it’s an easy read for your support team, which will be helping you execute it. One of your goals should be “Hire (number of new members of your support team) by (a date between now and 12 months from now)”.
But it starts with you creating your activity audit to note where you spend your time, because business will work much better for you when you stop giving away your time to initiatives someone else could and should be handling. Transform your business model into one that serves your life and allows you to help as many people as possible, fulfilling many dreams in the process—which is the real reason you started your business to begin with.
Create an Activity Audit to record all business activities you perform that take place in a three-month time span, including quarterly tasks. Don’t duplicate tasks as this is not a daily task list but instead is a list of accumulated tasks. You’ll use it to delegate fairly across your support team, determine more accurate job descriptions, cross-train team members, plan for future hires, and get your life back. To download a copy of our Activity Audit click here
Maria Marsala founded Elevating Your Business in 1998 as an international coaching and speaking company offering innovative solutions, practical tools and ongoing support to business owners who choose to create their ideal lives and businesses. Marsala brings more than 35 years’ business experience to the independent financial advisor, agent and accounting sectors using a mixture of coaching, advising and training that she calls EduCoachingTM. Often quoted in the media, Marsala has written a number of workbooks and hundreds of articles. She speaks at conferences and company events. To book her as a speaker your attendees will thank you for, call (360) 271-8418. Better yet, have your assistant call! Request complimentary business growth tips, marketing articles, audios and a Breakthrough Session at http://www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com.
By Maria | March 24, 2013
Hello fellow local LinkedIn connections…
I have a few local events that I wanted to make sure that you knew about… Below is the Press Release that’s going out tomorrow. Go straight to the links for all our upcoming events here http://www.ActNowSeminars.com/businessclasses/
Poulsbo, March 21,2013
Maria Marsala, a Kitsap-area based consultant and executive coach will speak to business leaders at the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce on April 11, 2013 and the South Puget Sound Business and Professional Women’s chapter meeting in Fife on May 1, 2013.
Ms. Marsala is a former Wall Street trader who trained as a coach in 1998 and was named one of the Top 30 International Coaching Gurus in 2011. She has been a speaker since 1981, has been published in numerous business magazines, and is author of 4 business-building workbooks including, Attracting Clients You Love Working With: How to Stop Working with Clients from Hell.
“I used to think planning was the most important practice of a successful business, but I was wrong. Defining and knowing how to find ideal clients makes the biggest difference in peace of mind and profitability. Many business owners end up frustrated by what I call ‘spaghetti marketing’–they’re throwing their message out into the world (and their money out the window), hoping that something will stick.” Business owners overwhelmed by the time and effort it takes to bring in new, perfect-fit customers will want to attend one of these events. Ms. Marsala’s presentation, Marketing Smarter: 6 Steps to Sustainable Growth & A Profitable Client Base, outlines a powerful system that gives your team the keys to attracting more profitable clients with less effort–clients who actually tell you how to market to and network with them! The most successful participants take notes during this talk and take action immediately. For more information, contact Maria Marsala at (360) 271-8418 or GoTo@ElevatingYourBusiness.com. Visit Maria’s speaker website at http://www.ActNowSeminars.com/businessclasses/
Let me know if you’ll be attending.
By Maria | March 20, 2013
©2013 123RF Stock Photos
|Today’s tip is an excellent article, The Legendary Time-Management Tip That’s Worth $550,000. The author talks about a simple process used by Charles Schwab to grow his business. Best of all this entire tip takes less than 10 minutes to complete. As I read the article, I thought about the recent brouhaha in the news surrounding the “new economy” and the “new world” we live in. Occasionally, changing times reveal that some older principles are safer, sounder, and deliver steadier success.|
Follow the instructions in the article and create a top-priority to do list for tomorrow. Prioritize each item by placing a number near it. Then get to work! Try out this tip for 7 days and see how much you accomplish. If it helped Charles Schwab, it could help you! http://www.inc.com/erik-sherman/the-legendary-time-management-tip-thats-worth-$550000.html
If there is a topic you would like me to create a tip or article around, contact me here. If you need a speaker for your firm or organization start here. Our tips may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.
©2013 Elevating Your Business. Maria Marsala is a Business Coach to Financial Advisors and a former Wall Street Trader. She helps independent and fee-based financial advisors reach their 5-year business and personal goals in 24 months. Maria has been recognized as a thought leader whose ideas have been published in Financial Planning Magazine, RIA Biz, Advisor Max, Dow Jones, The Street, Entrepreneur Magazine, and numerous other books, trade journals, and magazines. If you liked this article, get them delivered to your Inbox every two weeks. Register here