Posts by bcAdmin

How to buy a business on Bartercard

March 8th, 2017 Posted by Bartercard, Smart business tips No Comment yet

Showing just how many great ways there are to spend trade dollars, one Bartercard member in Australia got his start in a new business with a franchise he purchased on Bartercard.

When Sydney businessman Claude Spinelli left the restaurant industry, he started looking for his next venture. He had successfully used Bartercard while managing his restaurant, and wanted to use his trade dollars and Bartercard interest-free line of credit to make the most of his capital. 

As a part-time DJ, he was attracted to a Sydney-based audio visual franchise called Light Sound that was advertised for sale on Bartercard. After purchasing the franchise, he moved the business to Wollongong and rebranded it to Pro Sound and Lighting. 

He’s since used Bartercard to maximize cash flow, attract new customers and minimize expenses – a triple boost to his new business.

Reducing business costs
Claude said purchasing a business on Bartercard and using trade dollars to partly or fully cover the cost (he paid used trade dollars to cover 80 per cent of the peripheral costs) can assist business owners to reduce their cash borrowings from the bank, reduce interest and invest more money into their venture.

“Using Bartercard to purchase my business was a no-brainer,” said Claude. “It was the right fit and meant I didn’t need to take out a bank loan for working capital which relieved a lot of stress in start-up. It allowed me to focus on building a client base without having to worry about cash flow.”


The many ways to use Bartercard
Claude’s expertise in hospitality gave him experience in using Bartercard to boost customers. Yet, Claude believes that many members have yet to discover what they can do with the card.

“Bartercard is a great fit in the restaurant industry,” he said. “Members would book during slower periods which would fill the restaurant. I would always seat Bartercard customers near the windows and at the front of the restaurant so it looked full in quiet times – and a crowd attracts a crowd.  If I go to a restaurant on a Thursday night and ask how business is and they say it’s tough, I point out that if they have empty tables they could be filling them up through Bartercard.”

To maximize cash flow and reduce waste in his current business, Claude trades stock that he has accumulated or discontinued.

“Bartercard is business you wouldn’t have in the cash world,” he points out. “For example, a member may ring me looking for a data projector. I explain to that customer that I don’t sell brand new projectors, but that I do have ex-rentals which I replace every 12 months.”

He said he also wins a lot of installation contracts by having Bartercard.

“Schools, churches and nightclubs may ring when they’re doing a refurbish and have a lot of stage lighting and speakers that they want to upgrade. I’ll provide a quote, and it might be $10,000. But then I take all their pre-used equipment and deduct $2,000 from the bill. I sell all this equipment on Bartercard’s trading website MYBC.”

Claude admits that his outgoing and friendly personality makes Bartercard a natural fit, just like his business.

“I’m easy-going, I’m very streetwise and I think I’m a good negotiator,” he laughs. “Ever since I was a kid I’ve worked in retail – Harvey Norman, Retravision – plus I love trading; I’m the go-to-guy in my family whenever anyone’s looking for a deal. My wife doesn’t pay cash for her haircuts and nail treatments – I cut her credit card in half and gave her a Bartercard instead. If she wants to go out to dinner, we find a restaurant on Bartercard and go there.”

He added that before he pays cash, he always looks at options on Bartercard first. “Why use cash or credit when you can pay with your products or services instead?”
Adapted from a blogpost Written by Bartercard Australia.

Five Habits to Make You More Efficient Today

March 1st, 2017 Posted by Smart business tips No Comment yet

From time to time, we find ourselves on a virtual treadmill of progress.  As we may appear to be traveling 20 miles an hour, we continue to find ourselves in the same place.  There are several ways to improve your efficiency, leaving more time for what’s important.

  1. WRITE A REALISTIC DAILY TASK LIST:  Drivers typically have their daily travel route mapped out in advance of any departure.  A task list is a great way to accomplish this very important first step to being productive.  Write a list of three things that you absolutely need to accomplish today, and the steps you must take today to meet these goals.  Keep the task list realistic.  Stay away from including items on your task list that take several days to accomplish.  The task list is simply the “parts” to the whole goal.  If you meet a few of your tasks today, you will meet the ultimate goal in no time at all.
  1. MAKE TIME FOR DISTRACTIONS: Distractions are just as the word suggests…. unscheduled and unannounced situations that typically prevent us from doing the task at hand.  If something comes up that takes you away from what you must accomplish today, don’t be afraid to delegate to another qualified associate or employee, making way for you to focus on what is most important.
  1. COMMUNICATE VERY CLEARLY:  Whether it’s giving instructions or pitching a potential customer, one of the best ways to ensure that you will have to “redo” what you have already done is to fail to communicate clearly.  Make it a habit of writing down and rehearsing what you wish to communicate.  The more accurate and consistent your communication is, the less you will be forced to have to repeat it.  Let people know exactly what to expect and you’ll take less time out of your busy schedule to readdress issues.
  1. KEEP YOUR EMOTIONS IN CHECK: No matter what you do for a living, one of the best ways to avoid distractions and breaks in efficient productivity is to be overly emotional.  Things come up every day that will surely make your blood boil.  Likewise, you may be having a slow sales week which will inevitably deplete your spirits if you let it.  No matter what action comes your way, if you practice strong coping mechanisms like taking a deep breath before you react, you will spend more time being productive and less time working your emotions back to a manageable level.  Having a moderate disposition when adversity strikes will go a long way in maintaining your level of efficiency.
  1. TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF:  Often, we sit down to the start of a workday without having taken care of our most basic needs.  Exercise of any kind is pivotal to physical health, which lends to efficiency in work.  In addition, taking the time to eat lunch at the same time (if possible) goes a long way in staying efficient.  Working these important personal items into your daily routine will make you much more productive, because the body feeds the mind.

None of these habits require major life adjustments.  These simple steps are just a few habits to work into your schedule today to make you a happier, and more efficient person.

How to Revive Your Business with Bartercard

February 22nd, 2017 Posted by Bartercard, Smart business tips No Comment yet

There’s always room for improvement, and smart business owners embrace this value by constantly examining how to improve profitability.  For most business owners, simple adjustments can be the difference between success and failure.  For business owners looking for ways to revive their profitability, Bartercard has solutions.

  1. YOU’VE GOT SPARE CAPACITY…..WE’VE GOT CUSTOMERS FOR YOU.  Perhaps you own a restaurant with a booming dinner crowd, but a slow lunch clientele.  Bartercard will market your establishment among its business members, bringing in new customers who will pay you in trade dollars.  Think of it as money in your “trade bank”.  These customers will not take away from your cash paying customers because they are dining at a time when you otherwise would be looking at empty tables.  The amount of trade dollars generated from these customers can then be used to pay for expenses that you otherwise would have spent cash on.
  2. GAIN NEW CASH CUSTOMERS.
    Regardless of what services or products you are providing, if you are providing quality, Bartercard customers will patron your business. If a Bartercard member has a great lunch using trade dollars, the potential of him referring others to your business is greater. Every time a Bartercard member does business with you on trade, it is an opportunity to gain additional cash referral business.
  3. TURN YOUR UNCOLLECTED DEBTS INTO DOLLARS: Perhaps you are an attorney or accountant who has a list of former business clients with outstanding balances. By encouraging these businesses to join the Bartercard network, you can settle their debts that otherwise would stay in an uncollected status. With Bartercard, you can revive your long-standing accounts receivables and get them off your books once and for all.
  4. LIQUIDATE UNUSED INVENTORY: Many businesses possess inventories and items that are of no use to the business. Whether it is surplus goods, equipment, or property, Bartercard’s vast network of members may have an immediate need for what you don’t need. By offering these items for sale on Bartercard, you will not only free up space for needed inventory, you will also instantly earn trade dollars which you can spend with any of our members.
  5. PROMOTE NEW PRODUCTS AND SERVICES:  Marketing and Advertising are sadly the last expenses taken on by business owners.  As vital as it is to get your name out there, it is equally expensive to do it effectively.  When you are a member of the Bartercard network, you have an instant clientele of thousands of business who may be looking for your products and services.  Likewise, if you are looking to promote a new line of products of services, Bartercard can be a great launching mechanism for promoting them.

Cash is always going to be “King”, and Bartercard embraces this core business value by assisting you to save cash in your business. When your business has spare capacity that otherwise would go unused, Bartercard provides an exceptional mechanism by which spare capacity can be monetized. Realizing profits by using only the spare capacity of your business could be just the boost your business needs to soar into this new year.

Three Ways Strong Leaders Solve Problems Before They Happen

February 15th, 2017 Posted by Smart business tips No Comment yet

No matter how well we prepare in business, problems happen.  Whether they stem from within the structure of your business, or they come from an outside force, there are ways to act preemptively in an effort to mitigate the impact.

  1. Know your Environment:  If you are in a seasonally-reliant business, be prepared for slow months before they sneak upon you.  Likewise, be prepared for the rigors of very busy months by having adequately trained staff in place prior to the sudden influx of business.  If you’re in the tax preparation business, don’t wait until January to prepare your staff for the busy season.  Even if you are not in a truly “seasonal” business, there are always times that are busier than others.  Being aware of these unique factors in advance will help you better prepare to serve your customers, avoid problems with service delivery, and ultimately improve your bottom line.
  1. Empower your Staff:  Strong leaders need not only prepare their staff members with adequate training and supervision.  The cornerstone of effective leadership is “Empowerment”.  Equipping your staff with core business knowledge is certainly a key component, but empowering your staff to deal with issues on the spot is an exceptional way to avoid long-standing problems.  Perhaps you own a service-based business and one of your employees could have handled a basic issue “on the spot”, yet lacked the authority to make the decision.  Even a short delay in decision making can make the customer lose confidence entirely.  Empowering your staff to make sensible decisions will not only avoid the problem from escalating, it will also improve employee morale and the overall delivery of customer service…..both of which will lead to less problems.
  1. Plan before Implementing:  Often problems arise from the implementation of new systems and policies.  In food service, problems can arise from the simple introduction of a new menu item.  Many businesses overhaul computer systems without adequate preparation.  No matter what is being introduced or updated, an effective leader should always plan thoroughly prior to implementing anything new.  Make sure everyone on your staff is privy to the details of any new business plan.  With proper planning, testing, and overall logistical review, a strong leader can avoid any problems from arising by simply planning before implementing.

8 ways to grow your small B2Bs with content

January 3rd, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

The digital shift is in full swing, so disseminating valuable content to grow a business and attract and nurture leads should be part of every marketing strategy. In this blog we discuss the topic, and look at 8 ways to use content online to boost brand awareness.

There’s a vital step in growing a business that I notice many B2B business owners miss when they start out – creating brand awareness. Instead, they jump straight into sales mode, run marketing campaigns, and wonder why the work isn’t pouring in. Now you’re probably thinking ‘but don’t marketing campaigns create that awareness?’ Yes, they do, but it’s a very expensive and slow way to get there if you’re a small business and your budget for marketing campaigns is closer to $0 than to the annual salary you had before you started your business. So let’s delve into the problem and the solution.

What do we mean by brand awareness?

You’ve no doubt heard the term ‘brand recognition’ often enough, but we tend to associate this term with big brands and it’s tempting to ignore it on the assumption that as a small business, we’re a very long way from being a ‘recognized brand’. That might be true but so is this: as a small B2B, you need to put a monumental effort into creating initial brand awareness – getting people to know you exist at all! That’s because:

  • The obvious: if prospective clients don’t know you exist, they can’t make an enquiry.
  • As consumers, we feel safer dealing with a name we recognize – and we can only ‘recognize’ something the second and subsequent times we see it.
  • You aren’t going to be stampeded by consumers the first time they see your brand – they’re more likely to go with a competitor who’s spent more time establishing their brand in the market, who they know and trust.
  • Prospective clients who’ve seen your brand several times are more likely to enquire, and more likely to convert.
  • You’re going to have to work hard to pull in business.

So how do you create brand awareness without selling your house?

There’s no getting around the fact that you’ll have to invest time and money, but by making clever choices, you can keep the cost to a minimum.

There are some simple strategies – like having eye catching signage at your business premises and on a vehicle – that can work wonders and will be an initial investment that keeps giving. You can also increase your personal and brand profile locally via speaking engagements, active participation in a chamber of commerce, or sponsoring a local charity or sports team. But there’s another strategy that can reach well past your local audience and put your business name in front of thousands of people very quickly, and that’s using content to spread the word online.

8 ways to use content online to boost brand awareness

1. Use your blog

Post regularly on your website blog – but first develop a strategy that will work. Merely writing about topics that might interest potential clients is hit and miss. Get serious and undertake topic and trend research. Armed with information about how many people are searching for information on related topics, you’ll be well placed to create specific blog topic ideas that are likely to attract interest and therefore traffic to your site. Then you need to keep at it consistently and be sure to promote your blog posts on social media channels. If writing, researching and using social media aren’t your all-time favorite activities, you can engage a content marketing agency to take you from content strategy creation to posting and promoting your blog on social media channels.

2. Be a guest blogger on someone else’s site

How many people currently visit your website? If you’ve just started out the numbers are probably low. Look to leverage your reach off someone else’s traffic!

The key to this strategy is to a) ensure you share a target market with the site you will be posting on; b) before you even ask about guest blogging, use a free site traffic estimator to get an idea of how many site visitors they have monthly. Aim for a site with over 10,000 visitors and the more the better. It’s not an exact science, but a good indicator of a website’s traffic is its social media following, so check its pages as a start (keep in mind that some platforms are better suited to certain industries than others, for example Instagram is image-centric platform will always appeal to the retail sector). You’ll also want to ensure they are happy to have you listed as the post author and include a link to your website, or at the very least, an author bio.

3. Get on LinkedIn

For B2B and professional services, there’s no better social platform than LinkedIn, but most of us simply don’t make the most of it. You can publish on LinkedIn Pulse, share updates, seek new connections, join groups, share content and contribute to discussions on relevant topics. And don’t forget the most basic strategy of all – spend some time viewing the profiles of people who might be interested in your services. Many LinkedIn members regularly check to see who’s been viewing their profile, so at least some will take a look at your profile to see who you are in return.

And every time someone does that, hey presto – you’ve just made another person or company ‘aware’ of your brand.

4. Create exceptionally helpful content

Consider creating a downloadable white paper or eBook, or a template or checklist that your prospective clients will value. You can set up your website to capture email addresses and grow your database as people sign up to receive each item.

5. Stay in touch

Once you’ve grown your database, stay in touch – send regular newsletters filled with interesting or helpful snippets. The arrival of a newsletter often prompts or reminds people to place an order, and at the very least, you’re keeping your brand name alive in their mind, making it more likely they’ll think of you when they do need your services, or even forward your details to someone else they know.

6. Create press releases

Done something newsworthy? If you win a business award or secure an important contract, there’s no harm in getting the word out. Stories about your business create brand awareness. The key is to a) ensure that your announcement is truly newsworthy, even if that’s only on a local level, b) create a professional press release and c) arrange for it to be distributed to an appropriate media list.

Many business owners create a press release and then don’t know what to do with it. However, you can join a subscription site like Medianet and pay for your own distribution, or you can engage a professional writing or content marketing service to write the release and distribute it for you. Releases sent out via sites like Medianet can reach major television networks and newspapers, local papers, radio and magazines.

7. Contribute to industry publications

Can you think of any digital publications that sections of your target market might read regularly? Some industry specific and business related digital magazines reach tens of thousands of subscribers. What would it do for your brand awareness if you were a regular contributor? Again, you don’t need to be a polished writer to do this – you can pay a service to come up with the idea and create the articles for you.

8. Create branded videos or infographics

Videos and infographics are very shareable and can keep working for you long after you’ve created them. The key as with all other content is to present a solution to a common problem your market has, to establish credibility and gain trust.

 

Whatever strategies you adopt to create brand awareness one thing should apply to everything you do – be generous! Don’t be frightened to share your expertise to help others. You’ll be remembered favorably for it and it can go a long way to making you a ‘go-to’ person when someone has a question or a problem that relates to your business activities.

For Bartercard members, utilizing member services that can help you to build brand awareness and market your business is one of the most effective ways to spend your trade dollars.

 

Log on to MYBC and view our online directory or contact your local franchise to see how you can use your Bartercard trade dollars to grow your business in 2017!

 

Author: Leonie Seysan
Leonie is the founder and director of Article Writers Australia and manages content arrangements for the company’s Sydney, Australia based clients.
www.articlewriters.com.au   |   1300.880.543

Bartercard USA Experiences Record Breaking Month!

September 12th, 2016 Posted by Bartercard No Comment yet

Bartercard USA is pleased to announce 6 new franchises in a record breaking month of signings. The new franchises are Concord, California; Richmond, Virginia; Atlanta North, Georgia; Los Angeles West, California; Laguna Beach, California; and San Diego West, California. This takes the total number of franchises in the US to 18. Bartercard USA President & CEO Paul Bolte commented “we are delighted to be moving into a phase of growth and momentum, this is truly an exciting time for the US market. The current franchise growth in the US is on track with our forecasts and the membership growth and trade volume are expected to follow.”  The month of August saw a record in new membership sales and trade volume exceeded monthly targets.

The current US franchise locations are:

  • Alabama
    • Mobile
  • California
    • Concord
    • Irvine
    • Laguna Beach
    • Los Angeles West
    • San Diego West
  • Georgia
    • Atlanta North
    • North Georgia
    • Savannah
  • New Hampshire
    • Portsmouth
  • North Carolina
    • Charlotte South
  • Oregon
    • Portland East
  • South Carolina
    • Charleston
    • Columbia
    • Myrtle Beach
  • Tennessee
    • Chattanooga
  • Virginia
    • Hampton Roads
    • Richmond

You can keep track of the franchise growth in the US on the map at franchise.bartercardusa.com/opportunities/  as more new franchises are expected in the coming months.

BARTERCARD USA EXPANDS OPERATIONS IN NORTH AMERICA

June 30th, 2016 Posted by Bartercard No Comment yet

World’s Largest Retail Trade Exchange Adds Three New Franchises

JUNE 30, CHARLESTON, SC- Bartercard’s operation in North America has expanded its reach with the sale of three new franchises, covering Chattanooga in Tennessee, Irvine in California, and North Georgia in the state of Georgia.  Paul Bolte, President and CEO of Bartercard USA, headquarted in Charleston is thrilled about the new growth. “William Resides, Eric Stinnett and Shane Fossett, the Franchisees who will manage and operate the three new markets are highly experienced entrepreneurial business veterans.  The enthusiasm they have displayed for the industry is exciting and we look forward to working with them to grow Bartercard in these new markets.” Mr. Bolte said.

With a diverse business background including 18 years working in a large corporation managing upward of 350 staff, more than 20 years operating his own businesses in the auto industry and more recently establishing a financial services business, Shane Fossett is delighted to be joining Bartercard.  “I am a passionate entrepreneur and believe Bartercard will assist business owners to achieve their goals. I look forward to connecting and working with businesses in the North Georgia area, assisting them to utilize Bartercard to take their business to the next level,” said Mr. Fossett.  “As a business owner I can see the incredible opportunity Bartercard provides for businesses to maximize their profitability and connect with each other. After 25 years of operation in other countries, I am excited to be a part of Bartercard as it commences its expansion across the US.” Mr. Fossett concluded.

William Resides has been an entrepreneur from the word go, self-employed as the CEO of his companies for the past 25 years.  Coming from a background of small business Mr. Resides has a very good sense of what small business owners are facing on a daily basis. He is looking forward to assisting business owners in the areas that he feels are the most critical, customer acquisition and monetizing expenses and payables through the power of Bartercard. “I truly believe with my background and understanding coupled with the offerings of our Bartercard USA membership platform that I will bring a definite value to my community of businesses from small mom and pop’s to Fortune 500.” Mr. Resides said. “I am most excited about the ability to work with such a great team of individuals and be part of the culture and mission of Bartercard. I feel blessed to be at the beginning of what will be a massive expansion into the United States of America.”

A lifelong entrepreneur, Eric Stinnett’s business career started while still in college, owning and managing a successful newsstand operation in a prestigious Atlanta, GA executive office tower.   After a few corporate B2B sales positions in the technology industry, Eric started a real estate development company in Northwest Georgia.  For almost two decades he personally developed multimillion dollar commercial, residential and multi-family projects.  Now residing in Orange County, California, Mr. Stinnett is looking forward to being the first Bartercard USA franchise owner in California.  “What I love most about Bartercard USA is that you are in business for yourself but not by yourself.” Mr. Stinnett explained.  “From the corporate leadership team to franchise owners around the globe, we are all vested in each other’s success.  At Bartercard USA, we have a multi-billion-dollar market combined with a ground floor opportunity that leverages a 25-year-old proven model for growth.  For the entrepreneur, it’s the perfect storm.  The fact that we are now able to bring Bartercard to the USA, the greatest marketplace in the world, is truly something special.” Mr. Stinnett concluded.

The new franchises bring the number of representative regions in North America to ten, which is consistent with Bartercard’s stated plans of expanding across the country through the sale of franchises in key strategic areas.

Established in 1991 in Australia, Bartercard operates the world’s largest trade exchange actively facilitating more than $40,000,000 in business-to-business barter transactions monthly in 8 countries throughout the globe. Its state-of-the-art technology and worldwide member network of more than 24,000 businesses has set the standard in the industry.

 

Local businesses that are interested in learning more about Bartercard are encouraged to contact
Mr. Resides (Bartercard Chattanooga, TN) at bill.resides@bartercardusa.com,
Mr. Stinnett (Bartercard Irvine, CA) eric.stinnett@bartercardusa.com or
Mr. Fossett (Bartercard North Georgia, GA) shane.fossett@bartercardusa.com.

Bartercard Helps B2B Trade, Payments Go Virtual

June 1st, 2016 Posted by Bartercard No Comment yet

BPS Technology is introducing a unique B2B trade and payments solution to more companies in the U.S., the company said late last week.

Reports on Friday (May 27) said the company is rolling out its Bartercard tool to new markets Tennessee, California and Georgia. The solution provides a way for business owners to barter and trade their goods and services without using cash and instead using virtual payment technology.

It may seem novel, but the company said it has been operating the solution for more than a quarter century. The solution was first available to businesses in Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., the U.A.E., South Africa and others and achieves an annual trading value of $600 million.

Bartercard provides its own digital currency so businesses don’t have to use cash reserves, the company explains.

News of the expansion across the U.S. coincided with BPS Technology’s latest financial report. The company recorded a post-tax net profit of $3.5 million, a 7.3 percent increase from the same time a year prior. BPS is expected to continue its focus on the U.S. market, the company said, but will also grow its recently announced partnership with SmartTrans to facilitate B2B trade on the Alibaba wholesale eCommerce platform, 1688.com.

BPS Technology also pointed to recent collaborations with firms in Australia to facilitate cross-border trade with China and streamline cross-border payments through the SmartTrans platform.

Source: PYMNTS.com.  May 31, 2016

Bartercard Helps B2B Trade, Payments Go Virtual

 

 

 

Why you should always stay on brand

April 6th, 2016 Posted by Marketing, Smart business tips No Comment yet

Branding is essential because it is how you are presented and perceived in the marketplace.  In a nutshell branding is the quickest way for your business to convey what it is, and what it offers.  This is why communicating your brand consistently is conveying the best service to the market.  Conversely, communicating your brand inconsistently implies uncertainty and will compromise the hard work you have poured into building it.

Logo
Your logo is at the core of your brand.  Your website, packaging and promotional materials should all incorporate your logo to communicate your brand to the marketplace.  Think of some of the most successful brands in the world, and you will find their logo is always consistently presented.  This is especially important for brands in the airline and automotive industries that are built on safety and trust, and for technology brands built on precision and reliability – using their logo inconsistently wouldn’t be conducive to the care they promise, and would have disastrous effects on their brand.

Branding Tips
Three tips for using your brand responsibly:

  1. Always use the right logo.
    If you have refreshed your logo and branding recently, complete a brand ‘stocktake’ and discard anything with the old logo including templates, clothing and accessories.
  2. Never alter or change your logo.
    While it’s not uncommon to change or appropriate logos in special instances or to run special campaigns, in every other instance a logo is set in stone.
  3. Always ensure you are conveying the right brand in your communication.
    Everything you put out to the marketplace should include the right logo, design, fonts and colors which constitute your brand. Your brand also encompasses the wording, look and style of communication you use.Whether your brand is playful, dark, eccentric, or off-beat, it should resonate with the market you want to reach, so ensure you establish your style early on to keep communication consistent.

According to theguardian.com, the average person is exposed to approximately 3,500 marketing messages each day. You are already competing against an ocean of messages, so make sure your target market is getting the right one!

Bartercard houses a wide range of marketing, communication and graphic design experts to help you create and convey your best brand to the marketplace whilst conserving cash flow.  Visit mybc.bartercard.com to discover businesses you can do business with this year.

Edited from original post on bartercard.com.au.

The secret to stamping out fear

March 6th, 2016 Posted by Smart business tips No Comment yet

Fear. We are told to embrace it. We are told to endure and overcome it. It is a part of life so why not try to become one with it, they say.  We can all live with some fears; such as the fear of spiders, public speaking or watching ‘The Conjuring’.  But for an entrepreneur, it’s an entirely different kind of fear.

My biggest fear has always been whether or not I was capable of not only running a business, but whether I’d even amount to any level of success.  I guess all entrepreneurs measure their success by comparing their journey to other successful entrepreneurs. We are taught and conditioned to believe that if they can do it, we can too. But, human nature brings us crashing back down with niggling wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-with-cold-sweat questions of whether we actually have what it takes.  In some instances, this fear of failure can actually hinder our progress and cloud our decision making process. The best we can do is to deal with this emotion when it arises and focus on the work at hand.  Research has found that through acceptance, gaining clarity and heightening our sense of focus; we lessen fear. It’ll never go away but by practicing simple daily steps, it’ll be manageable. Because what is life without a little fear?

Here are my top 4 tips on overcoming fear:

  1. What’s the worst that could happen? – Most times, our anxieties are born out of fear of the unknown. Rather than assume and be consumed by the ‘worst’, why not sit down and write out everything that’s bothering you and ask yourself “What’s the worst that could happen if this happens?”
    Reflect on this and then consider a solution or an alternative course of action. Always remember that we can only control what is within our ‘locus of control’ – anything else is out of our hands and is not worth worrying or wasting time over.
  2. Give yourself generous time limits to complete your ‘To-Dos’ – Often in small business, the owner or entrepreneur wears all or most of the hats; from receptionist to cleaner to delivery guy to counsellor/psychologist. We tend to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work that needs to be done to keep the business moving. This where the feelings of inadequacy can creep in.
    Instead of looking at all the tasks as one big hurdle, chunk them down into easier manageable sub-tasks. This will then allow your brain to work on small tasks and create a sense of gratification when you’ve actually accomplished something. More and more, little by little the task gets done.
  3. Plan everything (well at least try to plan for everything) – Make sure you have everything planned ahead and written or noted down. It’s easy to get distracted and forget things that we ought to do but when you have them in front of you in black and white it becomes much easier.
    Once you plan for the now and have at least considered all the ‘unforeseeables’; you will be more prepared if something arises and less likely fear losing control of the situation.
  4. Exercise – I know it’s sometimes hard to find the time or sometimes really, really hard to actually get up out of bed at 5am for a training session, but it’s a well-known fact that physical activity helps to cure anxieties.
    A morning jog, a peaceful yoga session or an hour at the gym – all contribute to getting your heart pumping and your blood flowing. To be able to function at an optimal level, it’s not just the mind you have to train but equally so your body. As the saying goes, “Healthy body, healthy mind”, because then no matter what life throws at us, our individual beings will be primed to take on the challenge.

 

I’ll leave you with a quote by Marianne Williamson:  “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’

Actually, who are you not to be? You’re playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to manifest the glory that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  “As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Bartercard has a range of members available to help you overcome your fears, from business mentors to personal coaches.  Visit our members directory for further information.

What are some of your fears and how do you deal with it in your life?

 

Written by Yohann Azlee, National Administration Manager at Bartercard Australia
Yohann Azlee specializes in creating and implementing organizational change through human development. He has presented and facilitated workshops for clients on mindfulness, resilience and emotional intelligence. He has mentored entrepreneurs for the Richard Branson Institute of Entrepreneurship, Salvation Army Employment Plus and other non-profit organizations. His extensive experiences in countries such as Germany, Romania, Spain, the US, Iran and South East Asia have given him a deep understanding of culture and international business.