Friday, May 28, 2021

Every business has an ideal or dream client in their mind when they start. Do you know who your dream client is? How will knowing them help you grow your business?

When I first heard about profiling my dream client, the first thought that came to my mind was - okay, but I have just started and I want to sell to as many people as I can; so how can I narrow down to just one person as my dream client?
But then gradually I realized, I can sell to as many people as I want to, but I will design for my dream client. I will speak their language. I will be at the places where they are. I will appeal to them. And that helped me grown my business manyfold. I went from zero customers to being the busiest booth at the local craft fair. I went from being an unknown quilter in a quaint little town in India to a Brand Ambassador for three leading companies in the Quilting world!
How did I do that? I created my dream client profile and started speaking to them.
Do you want to create your Dream Client profile? Take a piece of paper and imagine who is it that you want to buy your products. You might have made thousands of sales by now or maybe this is your first product. It does not matter. When you made your product, who was in your mind as the end user? You can even use an existing customer if you think they are the ideal customer for you. Now answer the following questions about them.
What is their gender?
How old are they?
Where do they live?
Are they single or married?
Do they have a family?
What does their family look like?
What is their occupation?
What is their yearly income?
How does their regular day look like?
How do they best like to stay in touch?
What are the places that they frequent regularly?
What are their hobbies?
Are they a part of any groups or social circles?
Where do they hang out with family?
Where do they hang out with friends?
What are their favorite magazines?
What is their favorite social media platform?
What are their top 10 favorite accounts on that social media?
Do they read blogs? Write their 5 favorite ones.
What are their favorite shopping places?
What are their favorite online shopping places?
Who do they idolize?
Where do they spend their vacations?
What do they consider or think about before they buy anything?
What do they consider or think about before they buy from you?
What is the most important thing for them in life?
What is the most important criteria for them when they are buying products that you make?
You can add as many question to this as you want to make the picture so clear that you can go into a crowded space and pick your ideal client just by looking at them.
How will this help you in your business?
1. It will help you design better products. Now that you know what your dream client wants, it will be easier to design products by taking their needs and likes into consideration.
2. It will help you write product descriptions. Knowing what they consider before buying your product, will help you word your product descriptions so that their requirements are addressed and communicated.
3. It will help you to directly talk to your dream client. You know what they read and enjoy, so you can also read what they are reading and make sure that your language is similar so that your products will appeal to them.
4. It will help you be in the right places. It will help you be in the places that they frequent so that your product gets the maximum visibility.
5. It will help you target ads. If you have ever used targeted ads on social media you will know how much knowing in detail about your ideal client will help you target the ads to a smaller percentage and increasing the conversion rate.
5. It will help your business grow. An ideal customer profile can do wonderful for your business. As you start speaking to them, your following will gradually start filling with people who roughly match that profile. So every product you make will look like it is custom-made for them. Customer satisfaction will skyrocket and so will your business.
Remember that by creating your ideal client profile you are not excluding those who do not fit it, but you are attracting those clients that make you happy to serve.
Do you already have a client that fits in your ideal client profile? Or are you working on an imaginary one. Do let me know how ideal client profiling helps you in your business.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Creating your routine

We all know the importance of creating a routine and sticking to it helps us increase our productivity.  I myself have benefited from it immensely. So today I am going to help you create a routine.

 Before I teach you how to create a routine for yourself, I want to first highlight why having a routine is essential to me.

  1. It gives me a sense of security. When I have a set routine that I follow every day, I am not stressed with the fear of the unknown. Knowing that the day is not going to bring any (big) surprises helps me stay calm and focused on my tasks.
  2. I get more done. I know that I have a limited time allotted to the  task on hand and that helps me focus my complete attention on it without giving any scope for distractions. The end result is that I get a lot more done in a lot less time.
  3. My work is better. I don’t multi-task. I am not sending out email as I prepare breakfast while also getting my son’s homework done while I catch up with my husband. This keeps my mind sane and the people around me get my complete attention when they are with me. 
  4. I don’t put off tasks. I find it easier to just go with the flow and complete the task than put it off. It restricts my procrastination (though it does creep into some other parts of my day) and I get most of my important tasks done. It feels really good to be ticking off stuff from my list!
Now that you know why I love having a routine, let me tell you what mine looks like. I am a morning person and so my day begins very early. I love those couple of hours to myself, while the rest of the house is fast asleep!
04.15 am to 04.30 am : Wake up, brush & freshen up
04.30 am to 05.30 am : Exercise & Meditate
05.30 am to 06.00 am : Tea and journaling
06.00 am to 07.30 am : Work – Client work.
07.30 am to 08.30 am : Work - Blogs, emails etc
08.30 am to 09.00 am : Personal grooming
09.00 am to 10.15 am : Breakfast with the boys and quick chores around the house.
10.15 am to 10.30 am : Get desk ready.
10.30 am to 02.00 pm : Office Work (my day job)
02.00 pm to 03.00 pm : Lunch
02.00 pm to 06.00 pm : Office Work (my day job)
06.00 pm to 08.00 pm : Chores around house, Errands etc
08.00 pm to 08.30 pm : Prep table for Dinner, bath etc 
08.30 pm to 09.00 pm : Dinner
09.00 pm to 10.00 pm : Winding down, TV, catching up with my boys etc.
10.00 pm – Time for BED! (though on some days I’m crawling into bed by 9.30 itself)
When you glance at it, it does not look like too much. And believe me, it is not. I have maids who do the cleaning around the house and cook food. I get a good six  to seven hours of sleep which works really well for me. I do not set an alarm on Sundays and wake up whenever I feel like. Even then, I’m usually up by 6 to 7 am.
How did I come up with this routine? It has evolved over years and keeps on changing along with my phase of life. It varies on Saturdays and days that my son does not go to school because we like to spend more time together on those days. In the lockdown, when I did not have maids, it looked drastically different.
Now let me tell you how you can build your own routine!
Make a list. Actually, make 3.
  • First, the non-negotiables. These are things that have to be get done around the house every day.
  • Next, the add-ons, things that would be extras but you would like  them to get done in the day, preferably everyday or maybe weekly or even less frequently to keep your house running smoothly. Do not forget to write the frequency you would like to do them.
  • And last, but not the least, your dreams, things that will make you happy when they are done! I know this list is going to be a long one.
The first time I made mine, it was about seven pages long! Include tasks that are being done by someone else at the moment. This is your master list of tasks that need to be done to help your house run smoothly. I prefer making a separate list for work and home. I feel it becomes easier to handle it that way.
Allot time. How much time does it take to complete each task? Just take a pen and write against the list. If there is someone else doing the task, write their name and strike-through the task (you should be able to read it). At the end of this step, you should have a list with just the tasks that need to be done by you!
Delegate. Look at your list and mark the tasks that are for you that you can further delegate to someone else.
  • Maybe your son is old enough to sort the laundry – go right ahead and delegate it to him.
  • Maybe your husband will be able get your children ready for school while you take care of breakfast. Ask them.
  • There might be tasks on the list that might look like a total waste of your time. See if you can hire help for those. In India, we have household help in most of the houses. So most of the cleaning chores like sweeping, mopping and usually the dishes too are done by the maids. See if you can hire someone to do these tasks for you.
  • Now take your final task list and categorise it according to frequency.
  • Daily, Weekly, Bi-weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Half-yearly and Yearly.
  • Once again, put the time required for each task against it so you know exactly how much time you need to allot to it.
  • Take each category and further sub-categorise it according to the areas of work. Eg. Household Chores, Cooking, Errands, Maintenance and Planning could be your sub-categories for your home. This sub-categorisation will help you club like tasks together so that you save time hopping between them.
Mark it in your Calendar. 
  • Download the blank calendar I have created for you.
  • Print it out and start marking your tasks in it. I use a pencil so that I can make changes necessary. If you do not want to use a calendar, just make a post-it for each task and move it around.
  • Start with the Yearly tasks. Divide them equally among all months. Make sure it is possible to do what you want to do in that month. For now, don't assign a date. Just assign a month.
  • Similarly, add the Half-yearly & the quarterly tasks. Make sure that they are all spaced out evenly so that you are not too burdened with them at a time. Remember the time it takes to complete them too. “Wash all curtains” and “Flip the Mattress” are not going to be equal, time-wise.
  • Now take the monthly and bi-weekly tasks and start marking them into the calendar (in the next month). Once again, make sure you space them out evenly. Just mark out the weeks you want to do them in.
  • Then take the weekly tasks.Take your calendar and open it to the current month, start writing the tasks onto the relevant day starting from the next week. Try to space them out evenly so that you spend roughly the same time doing weekly and bi-weekly tasks everyday.
  • After you are done, its now time to  deal with the daily tasks. Take a piece of paper and start writing the tasks from tomorrow that need to be done in the morning. Write the ‘evening’ tasks separately. Other tasks that might be needed to be done in the middle of the day go into a third list. Now you are ready to build your routine.
Build your routine. Take a good hard look at your list of daily tasks divided into morning, afternoon and evening lists.
  • Add up the times that you will need to spend in each slot (morning, afternoon & evening). Don’t forget the weekly tasks. You need time for them too.
  • Now check your current routine to see if you have that time available to do those tasks. If you have, cool! Mark it in!
  • But if you find that the time you have in hand is shorter than the time you need to finish them, think about how to accommodate them. Could you have a shower instead of soaking in the tub? Can you leave for work half an hour late? Or maybe you can move some of the tasks to the evening slot (provided you have time there).
  • Pencil in your tentative plan on the daily planner. I keep my daily planner sheet in a plastic sheet protector and any changes I made I can write using a dry erase marker! Sometimes, I write everything using a Frixion (heat reactive ink) pen, so that when I want to change something, I just use an iron or a hair dryer to get rid of all the writing on the paper!
Try out your routine. Try out the routine for at least a week.
  • Keep observing how things are working out for you. Do not make any changes in the routine right away. May be it is something that requires getting used to. Just give it time.
  • If you cannot keep up with any task for more than three out of seven days, you need to change it.
  • Anything less, deserves another chance. Keep making changes to your routine, till you no longer have to look at the sheet everyday.
  • Do keep glancing at it once in a while though, so that you do not forget any weekly or monthly or any less frequent tasks.
I usually build up my work routine first, so I know how much time I have to give to it. And then build my personal routine around it. I find that building a routine is something that you need to revisit every few months, especially if there has been a major change in your life - like the lockdown, an illness, change of schedule of the kids etc.
Having a routine helps me go on autopilot without missing the essential tasks that need to be done. It takes out the 'tension' from everyday.
I am sure that building your routine is going to help you in your productivity immensely. Do you have a routine that is working awesome for you? Do you have a tip for our readers that worked for you? 
Saturday, May 22, 2021

Goals or Dreams?


When we start a business we all have these aspirations. We all tend to imagine what  it would feel to crush our goals and wear the crown of success. But are your aspirations goals that you can achieve or are you just dreaming?

It is easy to think that something that you aspire for is your goal, but in reality, sometimes, it is just a dream. For it to be a goal that you can achieve and get the exhilaration of success, it needs to be a lot more evolved. How can you know whether it is a goal or are you dreaming?
Here are five questions that will answer that :
  1. Is it generalised? Something like “I want to earn a lot of money” is generalised. If that is how your aspiration is, it is a dream. For it to be a goal, you should be very specific. “I want to earn a six-figure income every month” is a specific  goal.
  2. Are you able to determine its value? Can you measure it? Is there any scale that you can use to measure how far you have come? No? then it is a dream. “I want to loose weight” is a dream but “I want to loose fifty pounds” is a measurable goal.
  3. Is it realistically possible to achieve? You know yourself better than anyone else. Is you goal practically achievable? This is an essential but frequently overlooked question. Think about your limits – inner as well as outer – and then decide whether it is a practically achievable goal. “I want to climb Mount Everest” is not a goal for a couch potato, but “I want to go hiking on that local mountain trail” is an achievable goal.
  4. Is it in line with your big picture? You should not have a dream just because everyone else is trying to do it. If you want to help the underprivileged, “Introducing costly courses” would be a dream, whereas “Offering freebies” would be a relatable goal.
  5. Does it have a timeline? Do you have a fixed end date in sight to achieve what you want to achieve? “Some day I will travel to Europe” would be a dream, but “I will visit London in the next 3 years” will be a time-bound goal.
The questions that I asked above are nothing but determining if your aspirations are SMART goals.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Relatable
T – Time-bound
Once you have asked yourself the above questions, it will be easy to modify your dream into a SMART goal and create a road map to work towards achieving it. 
What does your dream look like now that you have made it into a SMART goal?
Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Changing directions in your career

Do you feel stuck in your career? Do you feel like you need a change of direction? Do you want to do something new but are scared that you might not be able to go through with it? Today’s article will help you take that decision. 

If you feel like you are stuck or tied up, believe me, I can understand. I have seen many people facing that situation when it comes to the careers they have chosen. 
I have been there myself too. I was working as an architect, when I discovered quilting on a sabbatical. but it took me five years to be sure that I wanted to actually make it into a career. Since then I have grown as a quilter. But recently I discovered that my main passion was to help others find their passion. And that led me to starting dobedobedo!!!
I help people to convert their passions to their careers. And being stuck is a very common situation that I see in the process. You feel you want to do something other than what they are doing at the time. But you are afraid to take the leap. And rightfully so. Sometimes, it might not be the most ideal situation. Especially if your career is helping you take up important financial responsibilities at home. 
So how do you know if you are ready? And what should you do to make the change smooth?
1. Step back and look again. The first thing you need to do is to step back and look at it from a different perspective. Sometimes the solution to your problem is not a change in career but something else within your life. Sometimes you are just plain bored. And a change of direction in career will not help you deal with it for a long time. You will get bored again. I highly recommend consulting a career coach (me!) at this time. I can help you analyse your strengths and come up with the decision. Changing a career is a big deal. So think it through before you take the leap. And once you are ready, give it all you have.
2. Be prepared for change. A lot is going to change when you change careers. Your income, your lifestyle, your routine even your stress levels. Be ready for the changes that this is going to bring. If it means leaving a well-paying job to start a business, get used to saving more money even before you actually put in your notice. If it means getting up early, start getting up early right now! Be prepared to feel rotten for a while. Our mind and body does not accept change easily. Give it enough time to adjust.
3. Visualise what you want. Create a picture of what you want your career to be like. Close your eyes at least once every day and imagine. Run a movie before your eyes of the life that could be yours after you make the change. Observe your reactions and feelings. Do you feel scared? Terrified? Feeling a little scared is okay, its even good – it helps you stay alert. Btu if you are downright terrified and that feeling in your stomach is not going away, you need to rethink your decision.
4. Do a trial run. If you are planning on starting a new business, I would highly recommend doing a trial run. You can work weekends on your new business while you still work your 9-to-5. If you plan on starting an online shop, I recommend making a few items and trying to sell them on Etsy first. Think of this like trying on clothes when you are shopping. You want to make sure that not just it fits, but it does not pinch you anywhere and that you are comfortable in it. 
5. Define your goals. Now that you’re sure what you want. Define your goals clearly. Be precise in your goal setting. Make sure you know clearly what you expect – only then can you start making it happen. Look at the big picture. Make sure all your intermediate goals are in alignment with your big picture.
6. Create a plan of action. Now that you have defined your goals, make an extensive list of things that will help you achieve them. Write every little one that you can think of. Make the plan as detailed as you can – it will make things easier for you. This, again, is a wonderful time to consult a career coach. Just drop me an email if you want me to help you do it. 
I hope my ideas will help you take your decision and make the change in your careers smooth!