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Why Are We Promoting Joint Venture Insider Circle?

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We have been recently sharing an excellent video by Milana Leshinsky promoting the JV Insider Circle. (If you missed the video – check it out here). A few of you asked why I was promoting something that seemed very similar to Time Traders Club.

There are three reasons – the first is that JVIC isn’t exactly like Time Traders. Their focus is to help you create promotional partnerships. Time Traders Club gets you ready to take part in those partnerships by allowing you to swap time with other members to get all the bits and pieces done before you launch.

The second reason is that if you (eventually) join JVIC, we’ll get a referral fee – and that fee goes toward improving the Time Traders Club experience.

And finally, we really liked the videos 🙂

Here are some suggestions of ways to take part in a big affiliate (or referral) launch and stand out above the noise.

Develop a product that complements the product being sold. Create something that enhances the use or enjoyment of the launch product, which means you can basically piggyback on the buzz of a big product launch.

Let me give you an example…

We’ve been members of JV Insider Circle for 2 years now, we know that you’ll get much more out of your membership if you have something that is “ready to sell”. JVIC provides plenty of guidance on how to get there – but not a lot of hands on help. Our “bonus” for JVIC buyers from our referral link will help you get everything in place. We can’t spill the beans on the whole package yet, but you’ll love it. You’ll get our product for free for signing up for JVIC. It’s a 2 for 1. We are hoping our bonus helps us stand out.

That’s how we are doing it. Here are two other ideas:

Launch your product separately. Then you can approach all of the affiliates who are selling the other product and let them know how they can make even more money by promoting your product at the same time.

Approach the person with the big product directly with a proposal. You might work out a deal where they gives your product away as a bonus. Another idea is for the vendor to offer your product as an upsell. Still another way to work it is to have the vendor promote your product on the backend to his customer mailing list.

So as you can see, there are at least three really good ways to make money with a product that complements an upcoming product launch. The best part of this strategy is that you can literally piggyback on the buzz and promotions put out by another entrepreneur, especially if you work directly with them r to get your product into the hands of his customers.

So take a look around your niche today to see what is launching soon, and then start brainstorming ideas for complementing products you can use to piggyback on the buzz!

So, that’s a quick behind the scenes look at why you might be hearing talk about JVIC a bit in April. We’ve been happy members for two years, so feel free to hit us up if you have ANY questions.

If you would like to find out more – click here.

What “Joy” Gets Wrong About Entrepreneurship

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Last week, I went to go see “Joy” with my 12 year old daughter. It was a great movie to see with her and a nice break from the Marvel multiverse we normally inhabit when we go to the movies.

Joy, starring Jennifer Lawrence, is all about an inventor who overcomes her circumstances to become a QVC queen worth millions. It is a story of family, triumph, and most importantly about mothers and daughters. I loved the movie – I cried. But… it gets entrepreneurship ALL wrong.

The movie starts out with Joy’s grandmother waxing poetic about how Joy has special talent and that she knew that Joy would be the one to bring the family to success. Joy is spending time making elaborate paper cuttings. She doesn’t need a prince – she has art!

The theme of the movie is that Joy was a special snowflake destined to succeed. Yes, she was an inventor with good ideas – but as anyone who has been in business for more than a week knows, ideas are a dime a dozen.

The reason why Joy succeeded is that she was a very hard worker and she didn’t give up. She quickly learned the skills that she needed to learn. But, she also spent a lot of time being overwhelmed. Her business would have grown a lot faster with a team both to help her with legwork, but also to give her the information she was missing.

What if you could gather that team to launch your dream quickly and easily? Would it make a difference? Yep, you bet!

Well, luckily, you can.. We created the Time Traders Club to help entrepreneurs, like you, to quickly build your team, so you can spend time working in your “zone of brilliance”.  It’s free to join – learn more here.

Pick The Right People to Help You (via Time Traders Club)

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In today’s Solo Biz Bite Meredith and Jasper discuss the importance of picking good people to have on your team, who can give you good advice. They also discuss Time Traders Club as a way of finding those people and using the platform to be able to try out different people until you find the right person for you, as a solopreneur.

Do You Have To Do’s Flying Everywhere?

Are you a member of more than one team? If you are, you probably are getting your to do’s from more than one “collaborative workspace”.  I have tasks in Asana, Basecamp, Trello, and ToDoIst.

With all of those lists, it is really hard to figure out what you actually have to do. And, it is even harder to remember to check the tasks off when you are done.

Making a Taco of Your Tasks

Enter Taco 🙂 Taco is a free app that puts all of your tasks from all of your different to do lists in one place. You can check it out here: https://tacoapp.com/

The thing that I really like about Taco is it has filters so that you can see exactly the tasks that you want to see. Leaving the tasks unfiltered in one giant list can get a bit overwhelming.

Taco also allows you to embed our own links and widgets. I have a widget with my calendar on my taco app page as well as links to pages that I visit often. Taco creates a mini-Kanban for you where you can pull tasks across as you are working on them.

sbh-taco

Watching the Sunrise

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If you are less of a list person, and like calendars better – Sunrise – http://sunrise.am will also put in all of your tasks and add them to your calendar (but they need to be due on a specific day to show up).

Sunrise helpfully creates links back to each of the tasks on the calendar so that you can go back to the original task list when when finished and check off the task. And, unlike taco.app, Sunrise is available across platforms. There is a desktop app, and ios app, a Facebook app and of course, it integrates with all things Windows (Sunrise was recently acquired by Microsoft).

Do you work on multiple teams? How do you wrangle your tasks? Leave your answer in the comments section and let us know.

Biz Hack Manual

Writing Your Solo Biz Hacking “Field Manual”

A question we always ask our guest on the Paycheck to Passion podcast, is “if you were to travel back in time and tell your past self something that would help them, what would it be?” The answer 90% of the time is “chill out – it will all be OK” sometimes it is “don’t wait to get a coach”. My answer is a bit different. I would tell myself to start documenting my systems from day one and create a “field manual” for my business.

What is a field manual?

A field manual is basically an operations manual for your business. It is a document that lays out what you do in your business and how it is done. Theoretically, if something happened to you, they could pick up the manual and run the business. They wouldn’t be tweaking or improving, but they could get the basic day to day work done.

Why do you need a field manual?

The primary reason to create a field manual is to save yourself time. Instead of trying to figure out how to do the same task again and again, you can simply pull out your checklist and get it done. A good field manual will also make it easier for you to delegate since you already have written out the steps that need to be taken. Your training time will be cut in half with a good set of directions. You will get better results because your team won’t have to read your mind. Finally, having your procedures laid out in a checklist gives you something to improve upon. If you do a task a different way each time, there is no way to tweak it to make it work better.

Creating Your Field Manual

A field manual is simply a set of checklists for your business. Here are the steps for easily creating each process document:

  • Record yourself doing the task using a screencasting tool. I like snagit for short screencasts.
  • Watch the video and write down the steps. Pause during important steps and get a screenshot.
  • Give the process to someone else to try using your instructions. This is really important – it helps you discover the steps that are missing.
  • Revise the steps each time you do the task and see improvements or tweaks that can be made.

 

Have your Team Help

If you have a team, they can help you create procedures for your business. The person writing the initial procedure should always be the person who does the task on a regular basis.

  • Have the team member responsible for the task create the checklist.
  • The person doing the checklist should give it to another team member to review.
  • Once the process is documented and checked, have the team members give you a draft to review.

Keeping the procedures fresh

Creating a field manual is not a “one and done” task. For it to be useful, it needs to be updated as you try more experiments and find out what works on your business. Put a date on your calendar to review the procedures quarterly. Also, each team member should be responsible for suggesting improvements to all processes.

Staff

Why the answer isn’t always more staff

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One of the first pieces of advice you’ll hear as an entrepreneur is “you need a team”. While I am a big advocate of operating in your zone of brilliance right from the start, battling your overwhelm with more team members is not always the answer. Adding people to your team costs money (and time). You want to make sure that you are getting the most from your investment.

Here are three questions to ask before you add someone to your team.

  1. Are you clear on what your company does? OK, I know that sounds like a really dumb question, but unless you are hiring a business coach, you can’t expect your team members to create your vision right from the beginning. You can invest a lot of time and money into work that you end up not using. I had a client once who changed her entire business 8 times. I had lots of work putting up new web sites, writing new copy, but all of that effort was wasted.
  2. Are you clear on what you want the team member to do for you? Lack of clarity and communication are two things that cause failed contractor relationships. Your team member is not a mind reader. Ideally, before you hire them, you’ll have clear tasks and performance goals for them. If you just need “help” and are “drowning”, you need to take the time to get yourself out of the crisis before you bring new people on to the team. Sometimes the answer is simply to stop doing so much – especially if all the activity is not bringing you the results you desire.
  3. Do you really need the help? When you are totally overwhelmed, it can seem like hiring someone will stop the bleeding now. But, a lot of times, the answer is a better system, not more people. Take a step back and look at the process you want to hire someone to do for you. Ask yourself:
  • Is this something that I could automate? Is it worth paying someone a bit more up front to automate the process than getting someone to do it manually?
  • Is there a more creative way of getting this done? Can I trade with someone else? (We created Time Traders Club to make this easy for you)

Staffing is one of the biggest expenses of a solo business. If you can get this right, you can get more done, decrease your overwhelm and increase your profits.