Tuesday, October 8, 2013

We Are All Survivors!

"Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. John Maxwell  "Tweet This"!
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and once again I share my own story in honor of all those who continue to fight to the fight.....  

As many of you may know, I am a breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed in 1997 at the age of 35. With no family history, two young children, and having recently started my business - it was a time of shock, confusion, and yes ~ fear.

But here I am, years later, and I can say I not only survived, I have thrived. My children are now grown, my marriage is strong, and I am the sole owner of a Background Check business for which I have a passion and sense of purpose.

And I am certainly not alone!
A couple years ago I came across an article that tells the story of  7 Cancer survivors who used what they learned from their journey about themselves and the world to launched their own businesses!  Each found a new direction for their lives and their work through their fight with cancer.

Their stories both amazed and inspired me. Read them here!

Many of us have been faced with challenges that threaten to derail or stop us in our tracks. We are continually bombarded with life ~ family obligations, health issues, and concerns about our work.

But I believe in our resiliency. I see this ability to keep going in many of my small business friends too.

Our Ability to Survive Makes Us Strong!  "Tweet This"

Each time we, as entrepreneurs, are confronted with struggles, we fight them head on, and have not simply survived but emerged stronger for it.

That is not to say it isn’t difficult. There were times during my own cancer fight, and many times after, that I thought of just chucking it all and taking an easier road. But I didn’t.

Instead I dealt with it. 
I made a conscious decision to get up each day with a positive attitude, focus on the tasks at hand, and move on. And slowly things became easier. This strategy served me well and I still use it today.

The reality is that every one of us are never free from the obstacles life throws at us. Each time things are running smoothly, something else is almost certain jump in our path. 
It is not giving up and distancing ourselves from the negative that makes all the difference.

That is what defines a Survivor.  
Someone who refuses to let anything stand in the way of their dreams. We are all survivors in our own way, and I am proud of us!

If You have a Story of Your Own ~ Please Share it Here & Inspire Us! Also we invite you to Pay it Forward and post this article on your favorite social sites. Thanks!

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Are Too Many Choices Confusing Your Customers?

Are You Offering Your Clients too many Choices?

I recently took my mom to a local hardware store to pick paint for her kitchen. She had just finished having a new backsplash installed and wanted to paint the wall behind her cabinets with a coordinating accent color.

We had been at this particular store many times over the last few weeks. We would look through the paint swatches, compare them against the tile she had chosen, then take them home to look at them in natural light.

She finally thought she had made her decision. The shade of blue looked perfect against the backsplash and her cabinets. So we headed to the store to get what we needed.

Of course when we got there we took a final look at the paint colors on the display wall, and once again, confusion set in. My mother began second guessing herself. I explained that she should stick with the color we had all liked at home. Her response...... “but there are just so many choices”!

Have you ever felt like this? When confronted by too many possibilities, you start to shut down. You suddenly find yourself unable to come to any kind of decision.
Too many choices can confuse our customers too.  
If we offer too many products, packages, or services, our clients can be overwhelmed. They can also question whether the quality of our products suffers to the quantity.

When it comes to Your Services ~ Less is More!  "Tweet This"

What should You do? 
Hone in on what You do best!  
Don’t be drawn into the notion that you need to be a “one stop shop” for everything under the sun.

By focusing your efforts, you can give your clients what they deserve ~ something stellar! You should focus your talents towards providing products and services that will truly make you stand out.

This focus will also help you to be seen as an expert in your field.  

You be able to excel by limiting your customers' options. They will recognize that you are providing them with exactly what they need, not trying to confuse them by trying to sell them on more.
At API, we know our own clients appreciate that.

What Should You Do Now to Avoid Confusing Your Customers? These 3 tips will help!
  • Eliminate the Clutter - Take a good look at what you are offering now and streamline your list.
  • Focus On What You Do Best - Spotlight products and services in which you excel. Your clients will discover that this helps you provide them with your highest quality work!
  • Listen to Your Clients, then Suggest What They Really Need - Listen to their problems and concerns. Find out what it is they need to solve or what will make their lives easier. Then, help them by focusing your services on being the solution. This is what all clients are really looking for!  
Focusing on Your Clients' Needs is Good Business!
Following these 3 steps will you avoid the “customer confusion” that comes from having too many choices.  
You will also find yourself with a very loyal and satisfied client.

You may wonder what happened with my mother’s predicament. Well, all is well that ends well. We stuck with the color we had set out to buy, and it looks wonderful! There simply came a time that we had to shut out the other possibilities and own our decision.

As savvy Small Business owners, our goal should be to keep our own clients from having to question their choices - and by offering less, but better, options, we can!
Please share this article on your favorite social sites! Thanks!

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