40 tips to transform your business

I attended the Small Business Summit 2008 yesterday. There was a great turnout and I did a lot of networking and met a lot of great people. This year the Summit’s focus was “Business & Technology: It’s Time to Reinvent Your Business”.

One of my favorite sessions was “How to transform your business in 40 minutes”. Four experts presented on 4 different topics, each offering 10 tips.

Laura Allen of 15secondpitch.com went first, offering these 10 tips on How to Pitch Yourself:

  1. Ask what what they do first
  2. Skip the kitchen sink pitch – as in you can do everything for everyone
  3. Do the 3rd party pitch with your friends/colleagues. Most people are more comfortable pitching others than themselves.
  4. Know the 4 key steps of developing your pitch
    1. Who you are
    2. What you do
    3. Why you are the best
    4. Call to action
  5. Use the 15secondpitch.com website to create your pitch.
  6. “Pitch as if…” be clear, concise, and compelling when pitching yourself.
  7. Create an avatar to pitch for you
  8. Don’t just pitch to the person directly in front of you, pitch to their whole network
  9. Skip the hard sell.
  10. Create a pitch for every niche.

Then Marshall Makstein of eslide.com presented 10 tips on How to Create a Winning Presentation:

  1. Plan your meeting
  2. Practice thy presentation
  3. Present bigger (than you really are)
  4. Use POWER tools to your advantage – PowerPoint slides should enhance your message
  5. Visual is important, audio is critical – make sure that the mike system is working well and everyone can hear you
  6. More visuals = Less Words
  7. Simplify, summarize, and repeat often
  8. Use Presentation and Meeting Resources
    1. Read books on Meeting Facilitation
    2. Use camtasia studio to record PowerPoint slides to video. You can also use this tool to practice your presentations.
  9. Always have a backup
  10. Always present your best, because you only have ONE chance.

Then Adrian Miller of adrianmiller.com presented 10 tips on “How I Use Tech to Boost Sales

  1. Touch point management – stay on the grid of your customer
  2. Use a cellphone or Treo/Blackberry – The biggest competitive advantage of a small business is the ability to respond quickly to clients. If you text message your clients, don’t use abbreviated words or slang…the same quality standards should apply to your communication over email.
  3. Voice mail – Very few people answer their phones nowadays. The trick to getting your message heard is to leave your message
  4. Use searchfreeapps.com to find free applications you can use in your business
  5. Use PowerPoint in your presentations
  6. Find relevant articles/info on Google and send the links to your clients.
  7. Use Constant Contact for your email newsletters…it’s simple and easy.
  8. Get remote access help for your computer
  9. Use podcasts…attach them to your emails, e-newsletters, and use them on your websites
  10. Use Facebook to make contacts
    1. Make sure your profile is professional. Don’t put anything in your profile you would not put on your website
    2. Be selective about about the applications that you add to your profile. For example, avoid the “Love Buddy” app :)
    3. Connect with your professional friend’s friends…these usually end up great contacts

Next, Jennifer Shaheen of technologytherapy.com gave 10 tips on How to tame your technology.

  1. Clarify your company goals
  2. Access your Needs vs. Wants
  3. Keeping up with the growth – realize the importance of maintaining the changes
  4. Create a test group for your applications
  5. Consider time for integration
  6. Prepare for productivity changes as you introduce new applications
  7. Avoid jumping on “First Generation” application releases
  8. Keep things Homogeneous to avoid management of too many devices and applications
  9. Look outside the box. Mainstream tools are not necessarily the best for your business.

I hope you put these tips to good use.

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