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Little Bessie learns the importance of listening

The Owl sat down with his favorite client, Little Bessie. She was the best business owner in the county and she was a true rags to riches story. Like most greats she would continue to meet weekly with the Owl since she began her business and go over a different business lesson. “Today” said the Owl “it’s about listening. To be successful in sales, the lifeblood of and arguably the most important part of business you have to listen to your clients.”

Lesson: This lesson is inspired by the Rescue a CEO post “Entrepreneurs and Business Owners Divulge Their Best Sales Tips – Even Without the Secret Password” by Jenny Finke of Red Jeweled Media.

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Work hard and opportunities will emerge

Every morning before he gets out of bed, the Owl grabs his iPad and posts a quick quote for inspiration to his followers. Today it was “We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.” He thought this is perfect, my clients must remember that the when they work hard things open up and that things don’t come easy without hard work.

Lesson: This tip is from a post on Hearpreneur called “Entrepreneurs Reveal their Favorite Business Quotes to Live by“. The quote is mentioned by JP Jones of Collipsis Web Solutions.

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Social Media can help your business grow

“I don’t tweet and I don’t have any friends on Facebook. That stuff is a waste of time. I’m trying to run a business” roared the Lion. “While all that might be true said the Owl. The reality is that social media is increasingly becoming important in business. Look at how your customers interact and check-in when they come to your restaurant on Foursquare or look at how they post feedback on your competition’s Facebook page. Don’t miss out on the trend.”

Lesson: This tip is from “Why Social Media is a Big Factor for the Growth of Your Business” by Sheine Austria. It is featured on Rescue a CEO. “The trend of today’s business world is being social. Reaching out to your potential market is something that any business owner should strive for. This brings about awareness towards your company, and innovation within your products.”

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Choose a business that’s your passion

“Are you passionate about it?” This was the first question that the Owl asked the Zebra about his idea to launch a funnel cake business. “Well kind of” replied the Zebra. The Owl leaned back and said, “Kind of isn’t enough. When you’re working 24/7 on your business and dreaming about funnel cake you will wish that you chose something you truly love.

Lesson: This tip is from “18 Reasons Why Businesses Fail” by Nick Psaila. It was featured on Rescue a CEO. “If you’re running a business or are inheriting one passed down from a family member and you’re not passionate about it, do your self a favor and just sell it. Life is too short to live everyday with something that you just don’t love. The litmus test I like to share with my clients is ask yourself these 2 questions (1) Would I do this for free? (2) Am I happy to dedicate the next 10 years to?”

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Your business is failing because you’re scared

‘I’m scared” the Zebra told the Owl in their weekly business consultation. “Well, fear is natural but don’t all it to affect you and your business. Remember, we worked together on a thorough business plan for 6 months and we continually study the industry so have done our homework now we just have to be patient and have faith that it will work out.

Lesson: This tip is from “18 Reasons Why Businesses Fail” by Nick Psaila. It was featured on Rescue a CEO. “Fear is eliminated through high levels of certainty. This is achieved through a combination of diligent research and faith. You need to tell yourself that rather than being a hostage to the outcome you can either: (1) Prosper from it or (2) Learn from it. There is nothing written in stone that will guarantee success.”

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If your business is failing, maybe you shouldn’t be in business

The Zebra always wondered why he couldn’t get it right. He started business after business and he just couldn’t stay committed enough to sell his products and services. Finally the Owl came by the shop and said, “Maybe owning your own business just isn’t for you. Even though you’re good at creating excellent products and services, at the end of the day you have to sell your services. If you know that’s a weakness at least partner with an exceptional sale person.”

Lesson: This tip is from “18 Reasons Why Businesses Fail” by Nick Psaila. It was featured on Rescue a CEO. “If you’re finding it difficult to market or sell your business to everyone that you meet and you believe belief that they need to have whatever it is you’re selling, you need to reconsider being in business. Business is about selling period!”

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When rebranding think of your customers first

The Flamingo always prided herself on branding, but she understood that after being in business  for 15 years it was important for her business to rebrand. As always when she made changes she asked her customers for feedback. While her customers dined she dropped off a survey to tell them that they were thinking of rebranding the restaurant and what things they would like to see.

Lesson: This tip is from “Entrepreneurs Offer Tips on How to Begin Rebranding Your Business” on Rescue a CEO.

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Incorporate your business right away

The first time that the Owl meets with business owners he always asks the same thing, “Did you incorporate?” The Owl knew that he wanted each of his clients to truly be in business and that means protection that only incorporation could provide.

Lesson: This tips is from Elle Kaplan on the post Tips for the When’s and How’s of Incorporating Your Business.

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Guest post to promote your business

The Owl offered monthly seminars for entrepreneurs and business owners. One of the segments of these seminars was free ways that entrepreneurs and business owners could promote their business. For the each month the Owl focused on a specific aspect. This month was on business blogging. He counseled the business owners and said “Business blogging is the future so make sure that you get started. The beauty of guest posts is that you don’t even have to have a blog. You can blog on sites that get traffic and you can show your expertise.

Lesson: This tip is from the guest post “Four Free Ways to Generate New Business” by Tasha Mayberry of Social Media 22. “Content-driven marketing is extremely effective and is a way to show your expertise…. Make sure your guest blog is informative/helpful/interesting. The most successful blogs are short and concise (400 – 600 words) offering tips of some sort or steps on how to accomplish something (bullet points or lists). At the end of your blog, make sure to add a short bio.”

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Decide if you want a business partner or an employeee

In one of the weekly business consultations the Bear scheduled with the Owl, the Bear said “I’m not sure if I should partner with the Lion. He’s a close friend, but I’m just not sure if he’s as committed as I am.” The Bear listened intently and said, “you have to make the decision of whether you want a business partner or an employee. If you are questioning whether your co-founder is going to match your work ethic, but you know he can do well with your finances or sales then maybe you are seeking more of an employee.”

Lesson: This tip is from the guest post “7 Tips on How to Find a Co-Founder for your Venture” by Stephany Zoo of the BUNDSHOP.COM. “On one hand, through the couple of businesses I have helped cofound, I know I could never have done it on my own, as my business partners inspire and motivate me even in the darkest of days.  On the other hand, you will be likely to spend more than 9-5 with this person, as well as splitting your equity and trusting them with your vision.  That is putting a lot of faith into someone else!”

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