Are you Harnessing Social Media for your Business?

 

Social media is constantly changing and so is the way that we use each different platform. Despite its ever-evolving nature, social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and your business should be jumping on board to see where it could take you.

Different social media platforms work well for different businesses, so it’s important to take the time to consider each platform carefully to decide which one will work the best for your business.

Facebook

Many of us have our businesses listed on Google – after all, it is one of the first places potential customers will look. Facebook allows you to provide all the usual information – business hours, location, descriptions, reviews and images of premises etc – with the added bonus of interactivity.

Facebook lets your customers interact with you through events, photos, uploading their own reviews and messaging you directly to get their answers. Facebook is a great hub for interactivity and, after Google and your website, it’s one of the first places your potential customers will go to find out more about your business.

Instagram

Instagram is especially useful if your business is product-based. A well-shot photo of your product may just catch the eye of a potential customer. The platform relies heavily on hashtags, which means that your image has the potential to make a big splash in the Instagram world.

Out of all the popular social media platforms, Instagram provides the most scope for creativity, which means that you can let your business personality shine through visually.

Instagram also offers business pages which means you can gain insight into how your followers are responding to your content and it provides an option for your followers to easily send you an email to find out more.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is useful for building your professional network and sharing news about your business. The platform is perfect when you’re looking to grow your business and find new staff and it’s also a great tool to check up on your competitors!

LinkedIn also provides rooms for articles – formerly known as Pulse – an extension of the platform which allows you to write your own long-form content and share with your network – this is perfect, especially if your own website doesn’t support a blog.

There are plenty of other platforms out there that could be right for your business. Snapchat and Twitter have been useful for businesses that like to update immediately or show behind the scenes information, while YouTube is great for sharing videos highlighting events or even create ‘how-to’ videos for your products.

Using social media is all about getting your name out there, growing both your professional network and your customer network and, most of all, having a bit of fun with your business.

At Bx, we’d love to know how you’re using social media to boost your business – if you’re still unconvinced on the topic of social media, try talking it over with some like-minded peers at one of our networking groups to see how others are harnessing social media. Visit http://bxbusinessnetworking.com.au/

How To Make 2017 Your Best Year In Business

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The New Year is well and truly underway now and those resolutions we made on the brink of 2017 are still fresh in our minds. Whether we’re feeling the sting after failing three days in or we’re still going strong, there’s no doubt that a new year is a time to be thinking about how we can be better versions of ourselves in the coming year. It doesn’t just apply to our personal lives – have you considered making resolutions to better your business this year? It’s not too late! Here are three easy steps to make your business the best that it can be.

Get a Vision

What does the best year in business look like to you? This is a time to let your imagination run wild. What do you dream for your business, where would you like to be at the end of the year, what do you wish you could do with unlimited resources? Dream big! No two visions are the same, but by thinking radically about your business, you’re pin-pointing all the possibilities and laying them on the table.

Daring to imagine all those possibilities might seem a little wishy-washy to you, but gather all those possibilities and shape them into a sentence or two that sum up your hopes for your business this year. Now, you have a clear statement of where you want to go, you can lead your business forward.

Set Goals

Those few sentences that hold your business vision might seem a little daunting but there’s no reason to feel overwhelmed!

Your vision is very closely linked to your goals but your goals are allowed to be a little more specific – in fact, it often helps when your goals are as small as they can be. Your vision is never going to be fulfilled overnight; it’s those small, specific goals that will keep your business moving towards the vision throughout the year.

Take apart your vision until you get it down to bit-sized pieces that can be ticked off during the year. Think about what you can be doing every day, week, month, quarter and year to be moving closer to your vision. The best way to make sure you’re doing this is by setting aside time to plan, create, manage and adjust these goals during the year.

Take apart your vision until you get it down into bite-sized pieces that can be ticked off throughout the year. What can you be doing every day, week, month, quarter and year to be moving closer to that goal? The best way to make sure you’re doing this is by setting aside time to plan, make, manage and adjust these goals throughout the year. Here’s a handy guide for you – make it your own and start smashing through your goals:

Seize Every Opportunity

You might have dreamed up the best year possible for your business, but what will you do when little unexpected things pop up throughout the year? We can plan all we like but unfortunately; we can never plan for the unexpected.

Whether it’s a setback or a wonderful opportunity, you need to be ready for anything. Be ready to see the best in a bad situation and use it to your advantage. When it comes to amazing opportunities, you might be in the right place at the right time, but if you haven’t prepared yourself, you could find yourself watching the opportunity sail right past you.

Success is when preparation and opportunity collide – don’t miss out on success for lack of preparation.
With these three easy steps, you’re on track for the best year in business you’ve ever had. Here’s to a new year of business!

In business, it’s important to start the year strong. Through our Business for Life program, we help business owners from across Australia build a toolbox of skills that they can use to grow their success. We’d love to chat about how we could help you. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program here.

Behind The Scenes At October’s BxPonential 2016

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This year BxPonential gathered together a wealth of speakers, and October was no exception.  Here’s a quick wrap of the BxPonential ideas our speakers shared with the audience:

Luke S Kennedy

Luke S Kennedy was an obese alcoholic and drug addict leading a street fighting crew, constantly on the verge of death through his risk-taking and substance abuse. Not only was Luke close to death himself, he was also putting others in the line of fire through street battles.

In 2007, Luke began his journey to regaining his life for himself – he lost 47 kilos and started his own business, Punchy’s Training & Nutrition, Oatley. In the time since, Luke has become an award-winning businessman, speaker, mentor and international best-selling author.

Particularly passionate about empowering others to take back their lives and live life positively and to the full, Luke travels all over Australia speaking to troubled youth as well as visiting high schools, prisons and corporations to share his experiences, low and high.

At BxPonential, Luke compared his experiences in street fighting to his experiences in business noting the similarities between the two when it came to becoming established: he needed a big idea to motivate him, it was important to make a strong early impression, and to hustle for what he was after.

Luke shared on stage the missing ingredient during his time leading a street fighting gang was his willingness to receive feedback. “If anyone in the gang gave me ‘feedback’, I was likely to stab them,” he said. Yet what he learnt was this: Anything led by ego eventually self destructs. “I had to learn to be open to change, open to criticism. “It was only realising the importance of feedback and welcoming it from customers, family members and employees alike, that allowed me to move my business forward.”

Meet: Matt Alderton

If you’ve been doing business in Sydney over the last 20 years, you might recognise Matt – the founder and a shareholder in IWS, Australia’s largest cloud-based rostering and payroll company, as well as Bx, Aldterton Enterprises and Orderfast.

Wanting success from a young age, Matt’s passion is to share his knowledge and experience to help others achieve success through growth and development, specialising in leadership.

Matt has trained and mentored with John C. Maxwell, Les Brown and Terry Hawkins. Matt is proud to teach with John Maxwell and be a part of the John Maxwell Leadership Team.  He loves delivering an enjoyable, funny and high-energy learning experience to make sure that everyone gets as much as they can to start growing both professionally and personally.

On the BxPonential stage, Matt spoke about the difference your attitude can make in your day and in your business. Throughout his business journey, Matt has had many days where he has swung his legs out of bed and wanted to swing them right back in again; through his many ups and downs, he knows that having a positive attitude is not always possible, but it is always possible to fake it until you make it.

“Having a positive attitude can turn problems into blessings and learning experiences, it can change and define our approach to life and it can open up opportunities in business that might never have come our way before,” said Matt.

He also shared the value of taking the time to remember someone’s name. “It may not seem much, but it gives you a wonderful connection,” said Matt. “It shows how you notice and value someone. There’s no secret trick, you have to find out what work for you as a memory aid.” It may help if you think of yourself as an aural or visual learner. “One colleague will remember someone’s name as soon as it’s printed in front of her. Another uses verbal word association more successfully.”

Naomi Simson

With a hand-me-down computer and $25,000 of personal investment, Naomi Simson started RedBalloon in the front room of her house in 2001 with the goal of selling experiences and memories rather than gifts. By 2011, RedBalloon had 46 employees and today, they’ve sold over 3 million experiences and cemented themselves as one of Australia’s biggest online business success stories.

Naomi has learned a lot in her time as the founder of RedBalloon and she shares her experiences and insights through public speaking engagements, her blogs, books and LinkedIn, where she has over 1.2 million followers.

Recognisable now as the ‘Red Shark’ on Shark Tank, Naomi is a keen investor and a big supporter of the start-up community. At BxPonential, Naomi took the audience through her journey of being a business owner – through unexpected surprises (both good and bad), she knows that the learning never stops.

Naomi also has found that her two biggest choices are the decisions that revolve around how she spends her time and what she does to invest in relationships. When it comes to relationships in her business, she knows that her staff want to “belong, to be healthy, to learn, to be noticed and, perhaps most of all, they want to know that they can contribute to the lives of others.”

Naomi also reminded those of us at BxPonential that we need to be willing to ask for help when we need it – everyone wants to offer help, in their own unique ways, so by asking for help we are empowering other to serve. She also reminded the audience not to take themselves too seriously: you need a strong wishbone (your plan), backbone (resilience) and a funny bone.

John McGrath

In a small office in Paddington, Sydney, John McGrath quietly launched McGrath Estate Agents, now one of the loudest voices in the real estate industry. Armed with a philosophy based upon integrity, transparency and delivering great results to every single client, the McGrath network grew until it became the force it is today. With 87 offices spanning the length of the Australian East Coast, the network has a strong market presence and it’s only growing as it breaks into the Victorian market.

At Bxponential, John shared his passion for real estate along with his experiences and insights into the world of business. For anyone worried about being too young to go into business, he encouraged them with, “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.” He was adamant about the responsibility every individual has to take for themselves, saying “there is only one person who holds you back and prevents you from doing something and they’re in the room right now…you!”

John also offered a great exercise on self-assessment, asking the audience to rate themselves on a scale of 1-10 where 10 is world’s best in regards to planning, time management, health etc. “If you’re not rating yourself at an 8 or above, you need to make changes.”

In John’s opinion the best real estate is between our ears, and we all have to work on our “inner market” a concept he learnt from his own mentor in regards to overcoming the negative internal voices of self-doubt and becoming “a black belt of the mind.”

 

Is Networking Worth Your Time?

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Is Networking Worth Your Time?

Networking sounds great, in theory, but is it really worth carving time out from your already busy week? Here at Bx (and Bx Networking for Business), we believe business owners stand to gain a lot from it, but what is it about networking that keeps us pencilling events into our diary all the time? Let us convince you with 5 key words.

Expertise

At networking events, you can find people who have worked in your industry for much longer than you. Through them you can hear about the progress that has been made, the mistakes not to make and insights regarding the future of your industry. It’s not all about what you can gain however, networking also calls on you to impart your own knowledge. At some point, you will meet someone else who is only starting out, then it’s your turn to impart your knowledge.

Opportunities

The more people you know in your industry and outside of it, the more likely it is that opportunities will be thrown in your direction. If you’re known as a trustworthy contact, no one will hesitate to throw you an opportunity – anything from joint ventures to partnerships and client leads could start to pop up after great networking.

Communication

Many people tend to veer away from networking events because they consider themselves to be shy or introverted, but let’s flip that perspective on its head. Being shy or a bit of an introvert is not a negative when it comes to networking, instead, the events are great opportunities to practice. It can be daunting but giving it a try and enhancing your communication skills while making great connections can hardly leave you at a disadvantage.

Reputation

After a few events, you’ll find yourself recommending your new connections to the people in your world. Suddenly, you’ve been made aware of great, trustworthy, hard-working individuals and you have no qualms about recommending them to friends and colleagues. Fortunately for you, you’re not the only one who is spreading the word; your new connections have now begun to recommend you to their people too.

Support

All of the previous benefits can be measured through the sales in your business, but there is one benefit that cannot – support. Networking can deliver you like-minded business colleagues who understand the challenge of business ownership.

Regardless of whether you benefit in one, two or all five of these areas, it’s extremely unlikely you will miss out on any of the perks. Set aside some time on your calendar for the next networking event that crosses your path, give it a try and see how your business starts to pick up pace – remember, you have nothing to lose.

Need a great place to network? Then come along to Bxponential in October. At this free event you’ll hear from John McGrath and Naomi Simson from RedBalloon, make new business connections and walk away with key resources and strategies you can implement immediately. Book your free tickets here.