BOTS are nothing new, they would usually have the word google or bing in front of them, along with spiders meaning they crawl your website to see what it can offer to listings. Over the last year though, they are becoming more and more prevalent and more people know what they are and are beginning to understand how useful they are.
You might notice one on this website – its the home page left hand side – the blue circle – if you click on it, you can schedule a physical or online meeting with me to have a chat etc. I suppose you could call it my networking introducer bot.
This particular on is courtesy of SnatchBot – were you can take their templates and alter them to suit your wishes.
I only have one set up at the moment, but do intend putting on my Facebook page to encourage people to sign up for my newsletter.
So yes, go and search and look and see how easy they are to set up and integrate where you want them.
I think of BOTS as being your VA – Virtual Assistant – they can remind people, have set conversations and encourage various to do what you want, so with mine, you can have a chat about meetings, either online or in person, what time and date and even have it confirmed to you there and then. None of that to-ing and fro-ing trying to organise diaries.
You can use them to answer questions, set up meetings, sign up for newsletters, anything really, although the more you want it to do, be prepared to take a while mapping out the what ifs and where tos, but its actually a most rewarding activity – or it is for those of us with a tech geek bent!
Go enjoy, but if you struggle – speak to my BOT and set up an online meeting with me to go through it.
Its scary the amount of new business’s I come in to contact with who honestly have no idea of how much money they are making, haven’t they heard cashflow is king!
They have a diary in which they write down their takings, or a quick spreadsheet which lists ‘some’ figures.
If you mention the scary words of ‘break even figure’ they just stare blankly at you.
Ok so lets just forget its a business we are running – do you look after your own accounts like that and constantly pay charges to the bank? Ok so some might – its at this point I would scream out for them to get immediate help if they wish to be in business for any length of time – but for those that do know whats happening in their personal accounts, why do you not know whats happening in your business?
Its not difficult – there is a myriad of online accounts software, both free and paid for that helps you do the most basic of of accounts. You can run off reports each week and check, you can even get your bank account to automatically feed in to it, thus giving you totally up to date figures.
But if you are really not that interested or are scared, you have some options – get a bookkeeper to do it for you, or take a course and find out how it all works.
End of the day, its your business, your life, you need to assert control over what is happening, money in and out, so yes cashflow is king.
End of rant!!
Have you manged to work out work life balance yet?
If so, let me in to the secret.
I was at The Business Growth Hub Mentoring Dinner last week, sat among some very knowledgeable people, when one of them asked me why I was so conscientious.
Work ethic was my reply – I work until something has been done to my satisfaction, and that I didn’t stand fools glady either – yes I know, I need to be more tolerant.
So the next question was, why was my work ethic so important to me – now that seemed obvious to me, but I explained it.
First of all, necessity, as in being sole provider for three brats meaning no one else was going to put food on the table, but secondly was also pride. I take pride in my work, my ability and also liked to ensure I did what was asked of me.
Again, to me, this was simple to understand and follow through.
Again, I need to understand though, that others don’t always feel this way and that perhaps they have other things they consider more important, and that they are not actually lazy (its the first excuse I think of for them!) just have different priorities.
So, anyone out there who knows how to achieve work life balance, it might be me that needs to listen out to something else.
I have often heard that a marketing plan is something you need to have in your business plan …. what utter tosh!
Your business plan can make reference to it but the details needed for a marketing plan would surely bulk out the business plan so much that no one would ever pick the dammed thing up!
A marketing plan simply needs to ask certain questions and then provide answers.
So, firstly define your target market – who are they, where are they, and how do I get to them, then the rest just follows on from that.
So you are clock shop – do you have a physical shop or is it online? What ages are you appealing to? It is children (ie their parents), old world ones, modern ones, novelty ones? All these things need to be considered.
So having defined who you want to attract – where are they to be found? Do they sit on parents forums? Facebook? Clock forums? Pages?
What is the best way of getting their attention?
So simple really!
Oh and one thing to remember – just because you know about the goods/service – doesn’t mean your target market will – remember – go ask someone to test your answers that doesn’t know much.
Have fun with your marketing plans!