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I expect you have heard the saying “the customer is always right”, but is it true in all cases?

Obviously, if you tell a client they are wrong you run the risk of them taking their business elsewhere. However, there are instances when if you do not point out your client’s errors you could be harming not only your business but also theirs.

Here are a couple of examples from my own business of marketing:

• A client wants a brochure produced but provides a complicated brief that is bound to result in an ugly end result. It won’t help sell the product and it won’t reflect well on the designer.

I am going to take a backseat this month and let you do the thinking for a change. Below are six seeds to help your business grow to success but you have to come up with the actual examples.

Once you do, make sure you blog about them, tweet, make them articles in your email newsletter or put them on your Facebook page. Just make sure you get them out there for people to see, read and pass on.

I know the feeling. Your business has completely taken over your life, you find yourself working every waking hour and your health and home life are suffering.

Take a deep breath and consider these six ways of taking back control of your life while still managing your business effectively.

1. It’s not all about ‘You’. You may have started out on your own and built the business up from scratch so that you think it cannot possibly survive without you. Yes, you may possess a unique skill or talent that the business revolves around but there are still plenty of things you personally don’t need to take a hands-on approach to.

I went to the supermarket yesterday and saw something that really made me think.

I parked up next to an estate car which had the logo and contact details of a local cleaning company on the side. All well and good, you might think, taking an opportunity for some highly visible marketing.

I know that we’d all like more new clients and customers. However, there are two other quick and easy ways to make more money using the customers you already have.

Firstly, look at increasing the value of your transactions. This doesn’t necessarily mean increasing your prices or fees, although you should always ensure you are not selling them too cheaply. I am talking about confirming the needs of your customers and ensuring you are meeting those needs with products they actually want.

I understand that some people find it really difficult to say “No”, especially if it means turning down work. On the other hand, if you say “Yes” to everyone you leave yourself wide open to all sorts of problems.

You can soon find yourself bogged down with too many tasks to do, not able to prioritise them and ending up making a poor job of most of them. In the short term you may make plenty of money that month but longer term your clients and customers will be taking their business elsewhere.

I think we all experience this at some stage – I know I have. You reach a certain point and think that it is just too painful to go on.

Have a moment’s reflection and think about what you are doing. Are you doing it because:

• Everybody else is doing it so it must be right?
• You feel you ought to?
• Just for the money?

I have no doubt you understand what SEO is – it stands for Search Engine Optimization and if you get it right you will improve your search engine ratings.

So the theory is that if you use the right words you will appear higher placed in the popular search engines and so attract more people to your website.

You might tell me that you want more customers. I will reply, “How many?” If you in turn say “I don’t know”, then you’ve got a problem.

You can’t hit a target unless you have a target to aim for!

Just saying you want more customers is ineffectual because it doesn’t really mean anything without an actual number attached to it. Tell me instead that you want twenty new customers in the next year.

GDPR? Why, it’s only the single most important piece of legislation likely to affect your business this year, that’s all.

Seriously, if you are not aware of the impact the General Data Protection Regulations will have when they come into force on 25th May this year then you need to take action quickly.

Put simply, businesses will need to obtain explicit consent from all their clients to use their personal data in any way at all. In addition they will be required to provide clear information about what their data is being used for and how it is processed and stored.

So you’ve carried out your latest email campaign to your mailing list and are looking at the results. If you are getting few responses or your call to action is not being answered then there is the possibility that the email has not even been opened.

Put yourself in the shoes of your prospective reader. Was your email subject line “Our Newsletter Issue 12”? Not very inspiring is it?

Your reader wants to know what’s in it for him so you need a subject line that interests him enough to want know more. You need to give him something to pique his interest.

Lord Sugar shocked viewers and contestants alike at the end of the latest series of The Apprentice by appointing both finalists as winners for the first time ever. James White and Sarah Lynn shared the prize but one of them only scraped into the final after harsh criticism at the interview stage.

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