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Time Management

Rabbit in the Headlights of Social Media (And the secret you need to know)

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Social media – you either understand it and embrace it, know you have to do it so do it anyway, or stick your head in the sand and wait for it to go away.

It’s not going away – unless you believe the plot of The World’s End (2013) which cumulates: “…the Network (Bill Nighy), reveals that the limited android invasion has been responsible for all of humanity’s advances in telecommunications in recent decades, bringing humanity closer together as a first step to joining the galaxy’s community of planets…The destruction of Newton Haven triggered a worldwide chain reaction that wiped out modern technology and set humanity back to the Dark Ages.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_World%27s_End_(film)

But I digress. So for the foreseeable future, social media is here to stay. But when I talk about social media we need to be clear, in business it starts with your own website. It progresses to your own blog, encompasses your newsletter, then takes you down the dark path that is facebook, twitter, instagram, pintrest, you tube, linked in and the more recent periscope; just to name a few. Yes these are only a few of the platforms that are yours to sign up to and explore!

So how do you sort it all out?

How do you know which ones you should be on?

What should you post?

How often?


Yes, as a small business owner I got to that stage. A rabbit in headlights. Stock still, doing nothing. Doing nothing is not an option. Your customers are out there, they are on social media. If you are not and your competitors are (and they are) your customers will be buying from them not you.

So to the secret.

There is help out there. It wears a human face, she understands this social media thingy, she can explain it to you, clearly and easily. She can look at your business, your message and help you locate the best platforms for you. She takes the stress away and shows you HOW.

Who is this wonderful lady? She walks among us! Contact Angel (yes that really is her name) at Small Black Cat Media.  She really knows how to help us all, and for a half-day strategy session that clears your fears and gets you ready to plan and implement – what would you pay?

Remember this lady GETS YOU RESULTS. I know, I’ve done the session.

$3000? $1000? $5000? God no!

After all she really does understand small business owners. So for just $495+GST, you can access her and her skills, one on one, face to face or over skype, and get out of the headlights and into the social media space with confidence! Ready?

For your FREE guide to boosting your Communications go to our FREE STUFF (its at the bottom)!

Why we love to be Ordinary (and why thats okay)

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How often in business do you need to look at your competitors? Be better than them to attract clients and business? How often do you look online and see the “success” of those travelling to exotic destinations, clients all over the world, big money workshops and speaking? How often do you hear about products being sold in China, America, and Europe? And, considering those, how often do you wonder are you good enough? Will your business be that “successful”?

Well STOP.

If you aren’t happy with what you have now, how will you be happy when you have more?

I work with lots of small successful businesses. They don’t trade globally, they don’t have big money workshops and few are on the speaking circle, international or national. Yet, they are successful. They know they are successful. Yet they are ordinary, nothing special or standout in the global population. Just ordinary people like you and me. They make money and profits. They have competitors, but they still make sales.

So what makes the ordinary successful? They are living the lifestyle THEY want. Not what someone else has, not what people tell them they SHOULD have, but the exact lifestyle they WANT.

Often, in business, you are asked about your goal, your end point, and the reason you are in business in the first place. There will be a big hairy audacious goal in there somewhere. However, when working with clients on goals, the first “end point” is usually the goal that they think they should have. It’s a goal based upon their perception of the businesses around them and their perception of success, based upon the media that they have seen/read/watched.

After six months in business I usually sit down with the client and ask about their dreams. This is where we get to revealing the true goals, the true wants, based upon the person and business in front of me not the perception they had. When the ordinary person is revealed, their journey towards their own success begins. It’s not a long process but it is an essential one.

Next time you are looking at your competitors “success” just ask yourself, if that was me, would I really want it? Sometimes, being ordinary and you is the best success you’ll ever have.

3 Tips For Breaking Business Blocks

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Three tips for breaking business block

As a full time writer and blogger I am on very close personal terms with Writer’s Block. The Dreaded Block (cue sinister music) is not confined to the business of writing and blogging. Most business owners fact it at some stage. You have to come up with new, fresh ideas – services, products, articles, posts – regularly, you have to create and implement those ideas (services, products, articles, post, and you have to promote those ideas (services, prod … oh you get the picture) and your business and yourself. There days of self-doubt. Monumental self-doubt. You sulk. You wail. You bury yourself in chocolate, coffee, and champagne until all anyone can see is the tip of your ears – well – okay that might only be me – but point remains: it’s not always easy. In an effort to keep my sanity – not to mention to keep my chocolate, coffee, and champagne consumption to a minimum – I’ve come up with three tips for breaking through the business block.


Yes, you heard me. Almost without fail, the times I have really felt like giving up have been preceded by a long stretch in front of my computer screen. Researching, reading, writing, tweeting, liking, following, pinning – and that’s just blogging. Let’s throw in some study, some fiction writing, or pitching for clients. And all of that has to be fitted in around family, faith, felines, and Springsteen. It’s a wonder I can write my name some days – let alone a blog post – and usually it’s a sign I need to *cue thundery voice* TAKE A BREAK.

It’s no different in business, especially a small business. Chances are high you fill most, if not all, of the Chief Executive roles in your business – so you are constantly working. Even when you’re not. If you are suddenly staring at your computer screen or whiteboard (whiteboards by the way are probably even more important than your computer, but that’s a different post) and thinking “actually I’d just like to get on a plane, fly to Peru and never come home”, you need to unplug.

Stand up. Stretch. Go for a walk. No, don’t get on the next plane for Peru – call a friend and meet for coffee. In other words – do something different. Whatever your business is – whether it’s entirely online or face to face, sometimes you need to do something different for a while. More often than not, switching focus gives our brain the opportunity to unfreeze – and in my experience, it doesn’t take long. Which brings me to a word of warning: don’t drop everything and rush off immediately, or you’ll be back at square one. If you get an idea, note it down on your phone or in a notebook, but don’t race straight back to your office. Trust me, your family, your business, and yes, your sanity will thank you for the break.

Keep your eye on the prize

So, you’re probably muttering “didn’t she just say take a break?’ Yes I did and I promise it will make perfect sense in a moment. Sometimes when you think you’re going nowhere, it helps to look at how far you’ve come. Go back and look at where you were a month ago – better yet, a year ago. Even if you’re not entirely where you want to be yet – look at how far you’ve come and how much closer to your goals you are now. And if you’re not making progress – call Sarah now, she can help you with that. Just remember this is a marathon, not a sprint – for want of a better cliché – so hang in there. Don’t worry about everyone else, just keep going. Nobody knows better than me how hard this one is – remember my business is writing and everyone in this industry is watching everyone else. But no matter how far away the prize (whatever the prize is for you) may seem, you are so much closer than you were when you started. Hang in there.

You are not alone

I’ve come to the conclusion this is the most important thing of all. Even if your business is like mine and the only company you get day in and day out is five demented cats or if you are seeing new people every day, it is really easy to feel isolated and as if nobody else understands. Join a business group. It can be a formal business networking group or an informal Friday night drinks group for local business owners – or a Facebook community: but join. Talk to other business owners, ask them questions, listen to their struggles. You’ll soon realise – you are not alone. They are facing the same struggles you are. They have the same fears and the same challenges. Not sure what to do next? Ask someone. Nearly every good business person I have met has been more than willing to offer advice and lend a helping hand – so for the love of Pete: take it.


Part of a successful network is opening your business to partners that have the skills to help – I am proud to say Angelique is a trusted contact of mine and I LOVE her skills in writing and blogging


About Angelique Jurd

Angelique Jurd is a writer and blogger, consumer of champagne, coffee, and chocolate, social media junky, and lover of cats. In her former life as a print journalist and newspaper editor, she specialized in business journalism and interviewed many leading business people and was thrilled to discover they were really quite normal and not scary (well some of them were) after all. These days she can usually be found in cyber space either writing her story or helping entrepreneurs find their story.



10 Rules For Sales Calls

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10 Rules For Sales Calls

sign up


As a small business owner you are often the top sales person in your company. You need a result every time and need to maximise your sales approaches to prodcue the best results.

  1. Do your homework

Anything you can do to learn about the person or people that you are meeting, the company, their products, their competition, and their customers can make a huge difference. It will help you understand how your product or service can fit into what they are trying to do. Remember it’s always addressing the whats in it for me (WIFM) that gets the sales across the line. Try Linkedin or facebook or Google+, also don’t forget looking up their own website and how you may be connected to them for some real inside information.

  1. You and Your Offering

Do you know your stuff? Does your product and service do what you say it does? Its important tp have belief in yourself and your business. People can spot the fakers really quickly. Belief and knowing your stuff gives you the confidence to approach for sales.

Put your prospect at ease. You know what you do and you know how it helps – scripts DON’T work.

  1. Manage your time

Do you know how long your prospect has to discuss this call? Have you checked? It is comon courtesy to do this and they feel respected and will be totally present in your call.

Often I have said, if I may have 15 minutes of your time to explain what I do? If you’d like to know more then, as long as you have time, we can continue. Is that okay with you? This often opens the conversation with more reluctant buyers. If you know your stuff and the benefit to them them often the appointment/call lasts longer.

  1. Rapport

Building rapport quickly can make the meeting. If you found in your research that the person you’re meeting was featured in a recent article or has a hobby or interest that you can relate to, ask them about it. Or just look around for information that could start a conversation–think about family pictures, sports memorabilia, awards.

People love to talk about themselves and this puts them at ease and iopens them up to more of what you are going to say.

  1. WIFM

Why have you contacted them? Whats in it for them? How does what you are going to say align with their plans?

Have you set yourself a goal or outcome for the meeting? If not how will you know you have been successful? It could be the next step in the sales process, it could be an outright sale, it could simply be an agreement ot continue.

  1. 2 Ears and 1 mouth

You are given these bits of your body in this proportion to understand that to effectively sell you need to understand your clients needs and wants. The ONLY way to do this (besdies research) is to ask questions and LISTEN to the answers. The respond to the asnwers NOT to your pitch.

  1. Qualifying

Your questions should all the while qualify you rcustomer. How do they buy? What is their budget? What is their need? How are you adding value?

If you don’t find out this information, you may lose the deal or have to follow up multiple times.

  1. Presenting a Solution

While you were listening to the customer, you should have been thinking about how to adjust your presentation, so you have the best possible impact when presenting your solution.

When recapping on the sale refer back to their answers. Ensure they fit with what you are selling. Telling them what they told you will have them nodding in agreement. When they get down this “yes” path its difficult to then say no.

  1. Asking for the Sale

So you’ve followed all the steps so far. Often business owners wonder why people don’t buy. Simply put its because they didn’t ask for the sale!

If there are more stages to the sales process then clarify then next step and book the next stage.

  1. Follow Up, follow up again

One final thought: Be sure to follow up with your customer. It’s that follow-through that can make all the difference. That’s how a customer can really see your service in action.

Put the customer into your database, add them on Linkedin.

Make diary entries to remind yourself to do a follow up.

This is also a great strategy once they have bought to keep them engaged and sellmore product to them with ease.


Want to improve your sales? Contact ME


Do you need that MBA? Really???

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blog MBA2

Well actually all qualifications have value and some may help you secure a job, but what I’m talking about is that they aren’t always necessary to have to develop certain skills.


So here’s what I’m talking about. I was away, in my hotel, reading the standard hotel magazine thingys they leave out for you. Not because it looked interesting but Id dismally failed to pack anything to read. I though I’d have enough to do facilitating this course and perhaps re writing some of it as the participants gave feedback (they were the first to try the course).

I found an article on MBAs and specifically this page (see the photo).

So I read through the learning’s that you get from an MBA and my immediate reaction was one of incredulous laughter. Remember getting an MBA can cost upwards of $30,000!

I, as a humble business coach, who has lived in both hemispheres, haven’t gains an MBA. I have other degrees and qualifications but actually started and rejected my MBA course early on.

So the learnings:

There is never only one answer – now if you have children you don’t need a MBA to learn this fact. If you have siblings you’ll know. If you’ve been to school and argued with a teacher, you’ll know. So I’m wondering how sheltered does your life have to be if you have failed to register this fact until you spent a considerable sum of money and a considerable space of time to get your MBA? Bearing in mind the typical age range of an MBA student is 28-45.

Think multi-discipline – Maybe I’m oversimplifying but most problems have a source that requires resolving as well as the original problem. If your light bulb flickers, to resolve the problem you can turn it off, but unless you resolve the fluctuating power supply or replace the light bulb, chances are when you turn it on again it’s still flickering? Your business could be running short of cash, to resolve this you could inject money, borrow money and/or make more sales. But unless you tackle the budgeting issues, the seasonal fluctuations, the expenses and/or poor sales and marketing, chances are the initial problem will repeat.

Approach the problem from many angles – really? There’s more than one way to skin a cat you say? To illustrate this think medically – my back is sore, I can take a pill, see a chiropractor, go to a health shop. I may have faster success if I attempt all three.

Learn to ask the right questions (ah as an MBA still stuck on problems I see). Of course learn to ask the right questions. Firstly you need to understand what it is you need to know. Maybe you wonder whether this new product or service you are developing will sell? The right questions would be asking directly if someone would buy your new product/service; how will they use it? what would it be compatible with? Or do you really want to know how much to sell it for? If so you need to ask how much would you pay for this!

Attitude trumps ability. SO if you’ve studied and got your MBA but your attitude sucks……..just saying! I have seen many small businesses succeed because they have believed and persevered; two traits in your attitude. Abilities can mostly be taught and learnt – remember that

Business is still all about people. You needed a qualification to tell you that? Look at a BNI, a business networking group, a rotary, and a club. These things already tell you that. In school you had cliques and groups that all “bought into” the same things. Things and values in common. A famous bank had a saying “Customers (people) are our business, without customers (people) we have no business”. And without staff (people) you have no one to run it either.

EQ over IQ – this article

Watch out for business cliché traps. People use excuses to cover up poor decisions. They always will. This leads back to asking the right questions and then solving problems

One size does not fit all. Hey coaching firms with tick box lists – can you hear me? Every business is different; every owner of every business is different. They have different goals, dreams, personal agendas and beliefs. Coach the individual owner and business, not apply one brush to an industry segment.


I’m not belittling the MBA I’m just pointing out that there must be more “wow” learnings from such a course?

Never stop learning and challenging yourself.

Feel the Fear of CHALLENGE

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success is action





Sometimes you cant see the wood for the trees – meaning you cant see the obvious until someone else can take another look for you.

A while back (in a galaxy far far away……….nope doesn’t work) I created some simple courses designed to allow business owners to learn online. They were based around the basic foundations of business and created so that they were EASY. I thought they were perfect and ready for market.

However, better walk the talk! So before releasing them into the unsuspecting world I asked a few trusted contacts if they would test them and give me raw, honest feedback.

So they did.

On most of the courses:

  • I had forgotten page numbers on the workbook
  • I had forgotten to tell them the video needs to be played whilst using the workbook
  • Some content was completely irrelevant
  • Some content was muddled and in the wrong order
  • Spelling and grammar not my strongest points

But by doing this, by getting these people to test and challenge my thinking, I have now a much-improved product and I have shrunk the courses from 7 to 3.

It’s the same when picking your business mentor.

You have one because you cannot effectively challenge yourself. You often are so far into your business you have difficulty actually seeing what is going on and what can be changed. You need an unemotional perspective. You need someone you can’t make excuses to.

You pick a mentor that is committed to growing your business and achieving YOUR goals, committed as much as you are. You want a person that can give it to you straight and clearly and help you move onwards. Some one that makes you stop and think…..HARD.

Lastly your mentor should deliver.

They should add more value to your business in terms of improved processes, systems, sales and profits. More than they cost.

If you are looking for the challenge to get your business to the next level and need a straight talking, arse kicking mentor then purchase one of my business success programs now! I promise you ore value added than fees charged. Unsure, check out what my clients’ say.

Make Shit Happen

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the now





Seriously MAKE SHIT HAPPEN and if you are offended by this then I’m not the business mentor for you.

So what am I talking about here? I’m going to discuss your NOT TO DO list. You all have one.

The key to MSH in your business is to value your time and understand what you are doing that fulfils the following criteria:

  • It wastes your valuable time
  • It doesn’t add value
  • It doesn’t move you closer to your end goal
  • You know deep down its a distraction

If it fits these bin it!

I was meeting with a client a while ago and we had created quite the list of actions that needed to be done to push the business to the next level. The client asked me “how do I know which one to do first?” SO how do you prioritize the stuff that should be done?

Which of the items will generate business and cash? They’re first.

Look at your to do list now.

If sales are consistent, costs are minimalised and profits good, and then you can afford to do some of the administrative tasks and structure work.

If you need to grow, add more clients/sell more product and make more money you need to attack the CASH GENERATING tasks first then the administrative ones.

Using the criteria mentioned, any tasks that fit that criteria take off your to do list.

Lets look at a for instance:

You have a website which is okay but you think it needs a complete revamp.

  1. DO you really need to revamp the site? If you have good traffic and are generating a good level of sales and enquiries from it; it’s an indication the site works so don’t fiddle with it just because a “social media guru” thinks you should.
  2. Do YOU need to revamp the site? If it is your responsibility to generate and service clients and you can achieve that profitably, and you have decided that the site needs updating, it may be more cost effective to outsource that work. Say you can charge $100 per hour; to do the site may take you 20 hours, but an expert 5 hours. SO as long as the expert is charging less than $2000, it’s a good investment. You can continue to generate cash whilst the upgrade is completed.

Sometimes my clients feel unchallenged. The start up of the business was new and exciting and scary. But in time, the business has grown and its doing well but stagnant and they think, “lets diversify”.

Diversification can be exciting but it can also be costly and minimize any profits the business enjoys as you develop and research this new project.

So before diversification, can you drive more revenue from your existing clients? Can you gain more repeat business? Can you get testimonials into your marketing to generate word of mouth business? Can you adapt your core offering to add on extras that can be bought? Do you need to review your prices? ALL of these should be considered BEFORE you diversify. And diversification takes time, a lot of it.

So what are you taking OFF the to do list today?

If you are unsure on how to define your to do list an unsure what items you can safely not do, contact me for your session so you get some time back and take your business to the next level and MAKE SHIT HAPPEN.

Confidence – Use the magic

By | Business, make money, profit, Time Management | One Comment






I’ve talked in the past about the power of 5. (Contact me if you want to know more!)

This is about how 5 clients in one week can often be the catalyst to the growth of the small business

Now I want to talk to a smaller number – the number three

When you start up your small business, often getting clients can be very difficult and the volume of rejection can drain your self-belief and your confidence in your ability to turn your idea into a profitable, viable business.

So, how can we build that confidence? How can we maintain that confidence?

I believe that whilst 5 clients in a week will help, you grow with speed, 3 clients in a week is all you need to help your confidence.

Just gaining those 3 clients, 3 buyers of your product or service, in the same week gives you permission to say “YES!” this will work.

SO how do you get those magical 3?

You tap into your known network on a consistent basis; you add value to your network. You ask existing clients who love you and rave about you and your network, which love you and rave about you, for strong specific referrals.

You promote yourself at group networking, business meetings; use your social media channels and occasionally advertising.

Consistent marketing

Consistent networking

Will bring those magical 3 clients.

 If you are consistent in this plan you will start to get more clients, you will quickly hit the magic 5 at once and NOTHING will stand in your way. You may even shed less profitable clients and therefore work smarter and not harder. If this is something you want to do then sign up for the business success-mentoring package today and mention this blog to receive your free gift!

Getting Excited to Set Goals!

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The Mount

I decided to feel the fear and do it anyway!

I booked and paid for accommodation and space in Mount Maunganui to take away entrepreneurs who were ready to plan for their best year yet. THEN I advertised it – it filled up!

When I talk to my clients they tell me about their business and what they want for themselves and their business. I can see that business clearly (if they are passionate about it) and can often show them how to get their but also extend their sight way beyond their dream so they can truly see what is possible. I then work with them to plot out the EXACT roadmap on HOW to get there.

It’s getting close and I’m already setting up another for May so if you are ready to really concentrate on your business email me NOW sarah@slmgroup.co.nz

DOWNLOAD the brochure if you want to see what we do.

Helping small business make money and lifestyle dreams come true. I have a client launching nationally, one about to go international and yet they still fall into the employing 1 – 5 people category!