3 Reasons You’re Not Making Business Profits (and How to Avoid Them)

Tales from the Online Marketing Crypt #17

Stop Doing These 3 Wasteful Things in Your Business to Start Making Net Profits!

“Waste not, want not.”
”Don’t waste your breath.”
”What a waste of time/space/energy.”

The list goes on and I’m sure you’ve either heard or said any number of these idioms over the years.

Being the system type of personality that I am, wasting time is a big pet peeve of mine.

Growing up on the farm my Dad decided he wanted to control the thistles that were starting to take over the back pasture. I guess pesticides weren’t a thing back then, but child labour was!

One summer he put me to work pulling out every single thistle stock… by hand. Armed with adult-sized leather gloves, I sat on the field grabbing the large prickly stalks at the base and tugged with all my might to free those suckers from their clutches. I had to ensure every bit of root was captured; otherwise, the weed would grow right back again.

I laboured all summer on that project (or so my childhood memory has deemed this to be true). It was a big patch of nettles with thick stocks firmly implanted into the hard ground, so they weren’t all that easy to pull out for this 10 year old.

Of course the next summer they all came back to continue their dominance of the field.

What a colossal waste of time that was.

Have you ever felt like you’ve wasted too much of something in your business? When marketing the services that we provide, you’ll often hear me encourage business owners to stop wasting three things:

1. Wasting Time

2. Wasting Money

3. Wasting Energy

Let’s explore each of these areas and see if anything resonates with you.

Wasting time

One of the biggest problems I see entrepreneurs have is wasting their time trying to learn and do something that’s outside their area of expertise.

Somewhere along the way, especially us women, we got it into our heads that we should know how to do everything that involves building a business.

How is that even possible?

Even if one had a Masters degree in Business, would they know HOW to do everything? Certainly they would know WHAT needs to be done, but I argue not how.

That’s why businesses can’t be built with just one person. They need a team.

Businesses need to delegate to people who have expertise in areas the founder doesn’t.. And no, the DIY tools that are available don’t cut the mustard. Just because I know how to use a calculator, doesn’t make me a mathematician.

Ultimately, you don’t know what you don’t know and that’s OK. There’s nothing wrong with you. You simply need to learn to delegate!

I asked fellow business owners in a Facebook group I belong to what they found wasteful in their business and throughout this piece you will hear their responses.

This one from Christine Awram, founder of Woman of Worth, shares her valuable lesson on trying to do everything herself:

“Wearing too many hats and not staying focused on what I’m most brilliant at, letting others shine their specific brilliance on areas I’m not as strong in. Doing everything and/or micromanaging comes with a price tag, primarily burnout and unintentionally pissing people off LOL. This was a hard lesson for me many years ago, when I thought I was Superwoman and could do everything.”

Another waste of time that I certainly fell into the trap of is attending countless webinars and seminars. And I’m not the only one! NLP Trainer and Master Coach Teri Holland wrote:

“I wasted a lot of time and money on weekend seminars that offered no value, but I felt a sense of “FOMO” if I didn’t attend. Each time I left feeling deflated the seminar didn’t provide what was promised and was just a sales pitch for a bigger program.

And there are some good ones out there too! I’m just more discerning about where I spend my time and money now and I stopped chasing the next shiny offer.”

Jenn Biddlecombe with Inner City Flooring in Coquitlam mentioned a waste of time you may have also experienced:

“I wasted energy on trying to get family to support my business at the beginning. You and you alone are the only one who cares about your success.”

Wasting Money

I mean, who hasn’t wasted money while pursuing their dream business? I sure have!

Similar to Teri, I spent a lot of money on courses and programs that didn’t deliver anywhere near what was promised. Heck, I could have taught those courses myself and added even more value while at it!

Aside from spending money on courses and programs, there are other areas that could be sucking your money out of your net profits.

One of them I have experienced is hiring the wrong people for our team. Whether hiring an employee, contractor or sub-contractor, this can be a very costly mistake if the proper due diligence isn’t done to ensure the right person is chosen.

And I’m not the only one! Martin Jongejan, owner of ZOOM Home Cleaning Experts expressed his frustrations in this area:

“Spending too much time and effort on members of my team that I wanted to succeed in their role, more than they wanted to succeed in their role. Was like trying to push a rope. I can’t underestimate the importance of having people on your team who get it, who want it, and who are capable of doing it.”

And Renata Kobek with Kobek Immigrations has a similar experience:

“Paying for professional services that were subpar and spending too much time trying to make sure everything is perfect.”

Business Management Consultant at Black Sheep Business Consulting, Kevin Foreman shared a valuable lesson he learned about wasting money:

“I have wasted the most in business by means of capital. It underlines the need to have ample financial resources, as not every investment in your business will pay off. Some people like to say ‘you don’t need money to start or grow a business’, but they couldn’t be more wrong. You need lots of money, because even the strongest businesses waste lots of capital. The loss in opportunity of not wasting capital is lesser than the chance to gain market share, which comes by wasting some capital.”

Ultimately, to grow a business, it’s important to ensure whatever you are investing money in has an ROI (Return on Investment). If that investment, such as a fancy new phone, a program teaching you skills outside of your area of expertise, or state-of-the-art camera, can’t make you money, then reconsider and use those funds for something that will.

Wasting Effort

Sometimes we don’t realize just how valuable effort is. It’s not tangible or measurable, but when push comes to shove, it’s extremely valuable.

Effort is a resource we need to hold onto dearly and ensure it’s being used with the right intentions.

Achieving our goals is one such intention. Do you have your business goals mapped out? What do you want to achieve in the next 6 months? By next year? 5 years from now?

If you haven’t mapped out your goals then you could be wasting a lot of effort chasing unachievable pipe dreams.

Or maybe you do have goals in mind, but have you mapped out how to achieve them? What needs to take place to realize those goals?

This is where knowing your numbers is also imperative. If you don’t know your numbers, then you are wasting a lot of effort playing in your business.

This example from Marcel Barker with Tammi Anne Barker wasted a lot of effort trying to sell before truly understanding what they were selling:

“Our biggest waste of time, energy, and money comes from not fully understanding our product life cycle and when we should be doing what. We’d generate a bunch of hype on social media long before we had figured out what we were selling and how it would be produced. When I finally sat down to write a proper business plan I researched and wrote up a full, highly detailed end-to-end walkthrough, taking a collection through high concept -> design -> development -> launch -> selling -> production. It revealed a lot of what we had been doing wrong.”

Chasing those shiny objects that inundate us Every. Single. Day. can be so tempting when we don’t know our numbers and have a business and marketing plan in place to follow.

And thus we go full circle.

Wasting valuable time, money and effort trying to build a successful and sustainable business.

Does any of this resonate with you?

Do you need help getting on track and following a solid plan for your business as opposed to playing in it? I offer free 30-minute consultations for business owners just like you and invite you to book an appointment so I can help you get on the right track to building your dream business.

To your business success,

Susan

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES ON OUR WEBSITE:

1. Read: The Entrepreneurial Bright and Shiny Object Syndrome Exposed. There’s an insidious travesty happening to entrepreneurs w/ Bright and Shiny Object Syndrome. What you need to know before signing up for another program.

2. Read: Why Focus is the #1 Factor in Your Business Success. Do you get distracted by shiny objects? If you are busy doing different projects seeking business success, you should always ask yourself these questions posed by guest author Cheryl Bishop.

3. Watch: Why Business Plans are a Must-Have. You’ve heard about the importance of business plans but do you know why they are so essential? My guest Pamela Chatry shares valuable business plan insights.

4. Watch: Simplifying & Demystifying the Business Plan. Creating a business plan doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. My guest Pamela Chatry covers the important components that go into a business plan.

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

The Impact of Technology in the Classroom

How has the use of technology impacted teaching and learning in the PK-16 classroom?When is comes to behaviorism technology has made it even easier. It used to be just like Pavlov’s dog, when the student does something right they get praised verbally or with a good grade versus a treat or a scratch behind the ear. Shaping behavior is important and we need to ensure there is a baseline. Technology almost guarantees that specific learning will take place as the objectives are determined by the teacher. Teachers can set specific goals and the students will know what they need to do to get there. Benjamin Bloom first came up with the idea that the student will succeed in learning the task if they are given a specific time to do it. Technology allows for you to more easily chunk lessons into specific times. Students will perform better, especially when they succeed and get the praise of the teacher. Although the stimulus is provided by the teacher, it will do no good if the students do not receive it equally. (Snowman & Biehler, 2003)
Other ways computers assist is that they offer the ability for repetition and feedback to the student. Teachers can also incorporate the appropriate enforcer’s to the lesson whether it is text, video or audio. The student does the task right they can get a smiley face , text telling them they are “Correct” or audio saying “Good Job!”. (Parkay & Stanford 2004)Social Learning is learning occurs when students learn from each other whether it be through modeling, imitation or observing within the social context. How can you do that with technology? Normally the students work on their own computer, but you can have them do a group project. When students do a project together they will observe how other groups are proceeding and imitate them if it is working well. The teacher usually also models what they are requiring the students to accomplish. Even when working individually the students will assist each other as one knows more than another.There are cognitive factors in social learning as well as behaviorism. There is a clear line between learning by observation and student imitation. The cognitive process maintains that the attention of the student is the critical factor in the learning process. The expectations and consequences that are reinforced will bring about similar future behavior. (Ornstien & Lasley 2000)
Cognitive learning is learning that occurs when a learner process information. This is similar to behaviorism but the student has more input to accomplish how they reach the planned outcome. The teacher can model a project but the student may have other information that will aid them in accomplishing the outcome. An example would be how I instructed my students how to set up an Excel spreadsheet. I had them set up a basic spreadsheet showing how much their parents spent on them in a month. This was relevant to the students and caught their interest. They went beyond the initial project and had boarders, colors, etc. on their spreadsheets. The students who did this were praised aloud and the other students wanted to know what they did and how. This tied in the social learning as well as the behaviorism theory (Didn’t even realize it at the time).When is comes to designing and developing lessons to incorporate technology the constructionist have the nod. Seymour Papert of the MIT Media Lab stated,”Constructionism holds that children learn best when they are in the active role of the designer and constructor.” When the student is actively involved they have the buy-in to the success of the project or assignment. The students will be more apt to complete and learn more from it when they have some ownership. The students in turn will share their new found information when doing the assignment with the other students allowing for the constructionist learning. This form of teaching eliminates the grade and goes more with a go, no go process. Teachers assess the students by the completion of the assignment or lack of completion. This is better because of students being able to play a greater role in the process and assessing their own progress.We teach ourselves how to learn. This is the constructivism theory on how we learn. With technology this couldn’t be truer. Most students have a basic understanding of the computer. They can download songs, play games and set up Myspace web page. What they can not do is build a spreadsheet or power point presentation. The teacher will give them a basic understanding but the students will learn from trial and error and construct their own learning.History of the computer use in the classroom started off slow. Saloman and Globerson (1987) suggested that underachievement in schools is because of the lower expectations on the part of the teachers, parents, and society. That was because the teachers themselves really hadn’t been exposed to the marvels of what a computer and the associated software could do for them. The Commodore 64, Apple II along with the Macintosh began their strong emergence in the early 80′s. Software programmers had a vision about the computer and how it could be used in the classroom. They developed software that teachers could use along with their instruction. Apple began teaching the teachers and Macintosh soon followed suit. This was the beginning of incorporating the use of computers in the classroom. (Jonassen 2000)Using computers in the classroom allows for all the learning theories to come to fruition. A computer allows for the cognitive process to bloom and brings about the social learning as well. When a student is given an assignment or project on the computer they will strive to complete it. The different things they learn they will share with other students especially if they think it is the bomb, cool or whack. On the flip side it can inhibit learning if the student is completely computer illiterate as frustration sets in as they cannot proceed as well as others. The computer also allows the teacher to develop lessons for all the multiple intelligences.With the advances computers and programs are taking on a daily basis, it is allowing for more interaction in the classroom(s). It is even allowing students from different schools to interact. Technology also allows for time to be better utilized, the outcomes of the objectives to be more easily determined and goals easy to implement and automate.

Add Fun to Your Gaming by Playing Social Games Online

People all around the world play games online or have interest in playing different games while sitting online in front of the computer screens. Usually the online games people play is through Facebook apps or other social networking web sites. Playing online game is a very interesting and entertaining time pass and helps kill the boredom when there is nothing to do.Online gaming websites are the best platforms for people who enjoy playing online games. It is not a few games that you will get to play every day but there is a vast variety of quality online games such as action, adventure, and strategy. If you think to add more fun to it then you will be glad to know that you can socialize with your friends while playing these games as well. People are looking to socialize with each other through every way possible there have been a lot of social networking sites made to keep people all around the world connected. Usually this every day interaction and dull chats someday get dry and boring and start to fade out.Therefore, just to keep the fun and charm alive in the socializing, these networking channels started adding applications and online social games so that the users can interact with each other through online social games, too. Now playing games together is much more fun than just sitting in front of a wall post or messenger box and posting silly lines. It adds some sort of charm to the socializing and keeps the fun alive between users.The social game online site usually includes about more than a thousands of games, categorized under different tabs. There are action games, which include many games like shooting and war, etc. There are role-playing games and puzzle games and a lot more games under one web channel.Most popular social games are the Farmville on Facebook and the Poker. People from all around the world play games like that, build their own farm, and add neighbors. It is a very interesting and entertaining way to interact with your friends through a game like that when you ask if they could visit your farm once so you can get experience points.New the interesting part about the social game online site is that you can connect to your Facebook account and play with your friends or invite them to the game and get them started as well. If you are looking free games then this platform is one of the best to find free games online. The site includes lots and many games and free with a vast variety of categories to play in as well.If you are new to sites like that and have never played before then you can get started without any registration or entry. You will not have to pay from your credit card to start playing games because they are free and you can open your page, connect from your Facebook account, and start playing whenever you want to.