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25 Super-Practical Steps to Build Your Business!

For the past several weeks, we have focused on some wonderful but (to my way of thinking) rather fancy ideas about life. I wrote about motivation (I don't believe in it). I wrote about sorting out priorities (I do believe in that!). And I wrote about the 4 traits of highly successful people. I love that stuff! But I believe most of you subscribe to TIP's for help in actually running your office from day to day. Most of you have told me you're professionals in private practice, or owners of small businesses, or a manager. And that means you must attract clients or customers, serve them very well, and earn their return business - and do it every single day.

So. Let's talk about some practical steps that my clients have used to build their referral business quickly and systematically. I call it the "5-by-5" process. Let's walk through it.

Monday:   Take care of, clean up, and get rid of 5 tolerations in your office or work. Make a list! Look around your space, your car, your desk or office, and commit to spending an hour taking care of at least 5 small, daily annoyances that have been bugging you, robbing your energy, or making life difficult. Do that filing! Repair that broken light, or throw out those old magazines. Buy a new desk chair, or a whole new desk! You can't afford to be distracted by these things. Fix them. Do it on Monday!

Tuesday:  Contact 5 former clients or customers. Send them a letter, call them, even send them flowers or a small gift in cases where that might be appropriate. Invite them back, offer them a free follow-up or consultation. Ask them to help you evaluate your service by completing a questionnaire or ask them to come in for an interview. Tell them you value them as customers and want them to come back - and refer their friends! You can do this! Schedule an hour and do it on Tuesday.

Wednesday:  Contact 5 current clients. Follow a similar routine from yesterday. Call them up, or send a card or letter telling them they are valued customers. Invite their comments on how you can improve your service or expand your business. Let them know you appreciate their trust and value their ideas. Do it nicely, with tact and sincerity, but ask them to help you build your business. You practiced on Tuesday, so you know you can do this. Schedule an hour and do it on Wednesday!

Thursday:   Contact 5 potential customers or clients who have never used your services, and make them an offer they have to respect. Go through your rolodex, your list of friends, colleagues, associates and members of organizations you belong to - use the Yellow Pages if you have to - but pick up that phone and invite 5 people to check you out! If it's appropriate, tell them you want to grow your business and offer them a free sample (who could turn down a free massage or a free oil change, or….?) If that's not appropriate, tell them you want to grow your business and you'd love to meet with them, buy them lunch, whatever it takes. You've been practicing for two days, so you know you can do this. Schedule an hour and do it on Thursday!

Friday:   This is the hardest one of all: Do 5 wonderful things for yourself! You've worked hard all week, taken risks, put the word out that you are ready and eager to handle more business. That means you need to be healthy, energized, relaxed and ready. So, go for a walk. Take a long lunch and visit a friend. Read a great novel - or a trashy one, your choice! Enjoy the sunshine, or relax and listen to the rain. Spoil a neighbor's kids, then give them back! Schedule TWO hours, and do it on Friday!

This week, take 25 specific, measured steps to create more room and build your business. If you wanted practical, this is it. Now, it's your choice. My advice? Go get 'em!

Have a wonderful, productive and delightful week!

Phil, Mary, and the Staff at
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Copyright 2003 by Philip E. Humbert. All Rights Reserved. This article may be copied and used in your own newsletter or on your website as long as you include  the following information:  "Written by Dr. Philip E. Humbert, writer, speaker and success coach. Dr. Humbert has over 300 free articles, tools and resources for your success, including a great newsletter! It's all on his website at: "