sale funnel graphicIn business we try to focus on the bottom line.  In all reality, the bottom line is the people behind the money that is spent.  If you can learn how to better serve those customers, you will get more money and have a better satisfied customer base.

One of the best ways to care for customers is to offer them more of what you already do or complimentary services that will help them get more out of your product or services.  You must start with a clear understanding of a sales funnel.

What is a sales funnel?

I can explain a sales funnel in four words: Want fries with that?

Fast food is one of the best examples of using sales funnels.  You go in for a burger.  They suggest fries.  Then, they tell you can you have a meal deal for just a little bit more.  They ask you if you want to upsize the meal and top it off by suggesting a hot apple pie or an ice cream cone.

Let’s look at the money: (these are rounded figures from a burger place near my home)

  • $5 Burger
  • $3 Fries/drink
  • $1 Upsize (or cheese added)
  • $2 Ice Cream or Shake
  • = DOUBLE the money for the same customer!

And I won’t even go into margins of those items which are huge for the latter part of the sales funnel.

I don’t sell burgers how can I use a sales funnel?

One of the ladies I work with does resume counseling.  She helps students and those who are transitioning jobs to tweak their resume so it will be more likely to get an interview.  She could stop there and just offer resume services, however, if she offers interview preparation, which she does, she will give more value and get more profit from the same client.

It is really easy to see how a sales funnel can be used in any business. Just find something that your customer will naturally use after using your main product.

  • A pool cleaner, can sell pool cleaning supplies.
  • A plumber can offer a maintenance contract.
  • A resume writer can offer interview preparation.
  • A car sales can offer maintenance, car washes, etc.

You know your business well enough to know what else you can offer.  Find something that is valuable and will help your customer get more out of your product.  If customers see that you are trying to help them and not just trying to get the next buck, then you will have a customer for life.

Remember, as Christian business owners, we must care for our customers as if they are part of our family.  We are all children of God!

Be blessed and be a blessing!

-Rev. H.

Christian bloggingThis morning my heat did not come on like I expected it.  I was getting chilly so I went to check the thermostat to find out my batteries were low.  Even though it was plugged into the wall, the air conditioning system still needed to have batteries to keep it working.

We have been talking about blogging, but we forgot to mention the power behind what you do.  We are all plugged into the awe inspiring power of God.  Yet, we have to keep our batteries charged up on a regular basis.

Every system in your business, including your blog, should start with prayer.  Ask God, “How can I use this blog post to honor you?”

The true power of any Christian business comes from God and starts with prayer. Click To Tweet

Prayer is the power behind your business.  Prayer is the power that gives the words you use on your blog the energy to connect to people’s lives.

Remember, your blog can show up as a breath of love in a world that is full of negativity.  You don’t have to preach to show the love of Christ, you just have to show how much you care.

Think about this quick instance, Jesus was walking down the road and told Zacheus to come out of the tree so he can go eat with him.  Jesus did not have to preach to show how much he cared.  No one else would dare talk to this ‘sinner,’ but Jesus stepped out of the norm to care for him. (see Luke 19:1-10)

We should all be willing to step out of the norm to care for those around us.  That is what makes Christians different and what makes Christian businesses great.  It may include going somewhere we don’t usually go, writing a blog to help someone or talking to someone in a tree.

Whatever we do, when we start with prayer, we know we are starting right!
Amen and amen!

how to create a GREAT blog postIn our last article we talked about why it is important for a Christian to create a blog to let their voice be hear(Click here to read that article).  Now I want to give you simple steps to create a great blog post for your page.  We should always do our best to honor God with all we do, so I want to help you get a good start.

One thing I have learned is a regular format, call it a template, make writing your blog much easier and the writing goes much quicker.  If you know what format works for you and your readers, you will have a winning formula that can take you far.

How to write a GREAT blog post

Start with a good headline

Make your headline relevant to your reader and include your key idea.  Don’t try to be too catchy or cute.  Just tell them what the article is about and why they should read it.

Create a compelling first sentence

The first sentence is where people decide if they will read the rest of the article or not.  Use this sentence to engage the reader. Ask a question.  Issue a statement that draws them in.  Use your key idea and expand that idea as it unfolds in your writing.

Have a single focus

I mentioned having a key idea.  Each post you write should have one focus message. Create a single sentence that tells what your entire post is about.  If you can’t get it in one sentence, create a mini series of posts.

Speak to one person

When you write, always have your reader in your mind.  Write as if you are talking to a friend.  The more personable your writing is, the more likely it is to be read and shared.

Make it easily digestible

Break up long paragraphs, use lists, use bullets, and definitely use images.  The more information we can see by glancing through the article, the more likely we are to stay and go through the entire article.

Have a call to action

We write to cause people to take action.  Have a challenge or an action item at the end of your post so that your reader knows what they should be now that they have read your post.  Your call to action should tie directly into your key idea.


Take Action: Write a blog post and share it with us on Facebook.

We should do our best to honor God with excellence in everything we do. Click To Tweet

Here’s a basic outline (template) to get you started:

  • Start with an interesting title.
  • Share an image that relates to your key idea.
  • Write your first sentence to make people want to read the rest.
  • Break up your writing into chunks (I suggest three big chunks: idea, problem, solution.)
  • Conclude with a call to action.

 

Here’s a couple of articles if you want to dig in and learn more about blog templates and outlines:

 

Christian Entrepreneurs Can Be Heard Online Through Blogs

Christian entrepreneur blogI work with many entrepreneurs as a business coach.  I am amazed at how many people do not see the value of creating a blog on their webpage.

No longer are blogs are simple rambling of some lone person typing words from a basement.  Blogs are an integrated part of many successful businesses and almost all online marketing plans.  You can look at them as a platform for the world to be a better place.

Christians need their voice to be heard. Christian business owners are the leaders that need to be heard the loudest. Click To Tweet

I am tired of seeing all the people ranting about stupid things online.  All the little squeaky voices are being heard, but the only time you hear about Christians is when they mess up.

Isn’t it time that honest, intelligent Christian leaders take responsibility to be heard?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we all need to go out and post our soap box sermons online.  I think we need our professionalism and intelligence to shine with the light of Christ. When we have a message of hope but it is hidden behind judgement and hate, we miss the mark.

(Ok, I will get off my soap box.)

Aside from the fact that your business is more likely to be noticed when you have fresh content (a blog) on your website, it is important to have the Christian worldview online.  We can’t just hide in our Christian bubbles and wait for Christ to come back. We must engage the world, especially if we are in business.  Remember, we are to be ‘in the world and not of the world.’

  • Christian business owners need to blog to show Christians can be intelligent.
  • Christian business owners need to blog to share their wisdom about business.
  • Christian business owners need to blog to show other Christians they are not alone.
  • Christian business owners need to blog to show faith.
  • Christian business owners need to blog to show hope.
  • Christian business owners need to blog to show love.

“. . . and the greatest of these is love.”

blog questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Blogging

“What if I can’t write well?” 

You can only get better by writing.  Just do the best you can and as you grow, so will your writing.

“What if I don’t know what to write?”

Start with your own Frequently Asked Questions and go from there.  Here is a handy blog post that may help.

“What if I don’t know how to create a blog?”

There are literally thousands, of Youtube videos about blog posting.  Take twenty minutes a day and learn what you need.  There are plenty of free blog platforms.  I suggest WordPress.  (We will be doing a training on that in our members area soon. Join now and get a tremendous deal.)

“What if I am not sure people will listen to me?”

Write it anyway.  Just get your voice out there and let God do the work.  If more Christians let their voices be heard, we will see the world can be a better place.

 

Quick Wrap up:

The Christian voice needs to be heard more online.  We live in a world that readily and willingly promotes sinful ways that hurt society.  When Christians let their voice be heard with love, there will be a revolution that brings people back to Christ and away from sin.

The plan for a blog is simple:

  1. Pray about what to write.

  2. Write it.

  3. Let God use it.

You can figure out the details as you go.

When Christians let their voice be heard with love, there will be a revolution that brings people to Christ. Click To Tweet

 

 

 

Can Christians Set Goals?

Christian New year's ResolutionI heard a Christian business man say that it is not good to set New Year’s resolutions.  I even heard one person say Christians should not set goals, but should just rely on God each day.  Some of those well-meaning friends quote James 4:13-14:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

That is only half the truth.  Let’s read the very next verse, James 4:15:

Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

It is not a matter of not making New Year’s resolutions or setting goals at any time of the year.  It is a matter of where those goals come from: self or God.

Christian business goals start with God

When we start setting goals at any time of the year, we should put God at the center of our goal setting process.  You may need to get alone for a little while and really dig into prayer before setting any goals for your life and/or your business.

Start with the question: “What does God want from me?”

Then, ask “What does God want from my business?”

When we start with ourselves it helps us to listen to God because we open ourselves up to hear from Him.

Remember, prayer is a two way communication.  It is not about listing all the things we want.  It is about connecting with an Almighty, Creator God who knows what is best for us.  It is about learning to listen to Him for direction.

Here are some verses to help you focus on God’s will when you set out to make your goals.

  • Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
  • Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
  • Proverbs 21:5 “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”
  • Isaiah 32:8 “But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand.”
  • Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
  • Luke 14: 28-30 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

 

A simple plan for Christian business goal setting

  1. Keep God at the center of your goals: Read one of the verses above and meditate on it before you set your New Year’s resolution or when you set goals at any time of the year.  Take time to pray and really become clear about what you feel God wants for you and your business this year.
  2. Focus on one goal:  God is not a God of confusion.  Find one goal, one purpose God wants you to focus on.  Set your goal with something that is specific that you can measure and track: i.e. specific amount of revenue, number of new customers, specific amount of charitable donations, etc.
  3. Divide the goal into monthly goals: Break your yearly goal into monthly steps.  What do you need to happen each month in order to accomplish your yearly goal?
  4. Create action steps for each week and every day: Take the first couple of months and jot down weekly and daily actions. Four successful weeks and you should reach your monthly goals. What do you need to do each day in order to make your week a success?
  5. Take small steps each day: Take small steps towards your goal every day.  Each day make small steps towards your overall goal and if you miss a day, don’t focus on what you missed, focus on what you want to accomplish overall.  Pick yourself up and make each new day a day to Glorify God.

If we set goals that glorify God, we will have the right intention for our business: a God-honoring business.

If we set goals that glorify God, we will have a God-honoring business that impacts lives. Click To Tweet

Go ahead and set some goals, whether it is the beginning of the year, the beginning of the month, or just the beginning of the day.

Remember: God will be glorified in your business when you turn to Him first.

 

Christian business hope

christian-business-hopeSunday when I left church I saw a man looking for his dog.  As he walked around the corner of the church, I got in the car and heard the name of the dog: Hope!

Picture it!  I walk out of church to find a guy wandering in the parking lot looking for hope.

I wonder how many people are out in the world looking for hope, but are afraid to go into the church.  Where do they go?

They go to businesses, like yours and mine.  They go to businesses run by Christians who become the bridge that takes them to the cross.

It is only by understanding the grace and love found in the cross that someone can truly find hope.

Is your business a place where someone can find that bridge to hope?

Businesses run by Christians can be the bridge that helps hopeless people find the cross. Click To Tweet

Be a blessing and be blessed!

-Rev. H

How do you represent God in your business?

representing-God-in-Christian-businessOne Christian owned business got this message, “Keep your religion out of business.”  What would you think if you got this message?

It was really hard to hear something like that because it makes you wonder if your business is turning away customers that you could be helping.  Let’s look at the practicality of representing God in your business and how it can make a difference in the lives of the customers you serve.

Understand Your Customer

First, let’s look at what this person is saying.  They don’t want to hear about Jesus or God, but they cared enough to leave a comment for you.  They may have been hurt by another Christian, or they may be of a totally different religion.

It’s not that they don’t want you to run your business based on Christian values, they just don’t want to know where you got those values.  It is hard to represent God in your business without mentioning Him.

Representing God in your Business

Representing God means that you are His Ambassador.  You represent God with your ACTIONS.

There are too many companies using the fish logo or Bible verses, whose actions don’t represent God.  It is not a matter of where you place a cross, a fish or a Bible verse, it is a matter of how you treat people.

Honestly, non-Christian people don’t care if you are a Christian or not, as long as you take care of them and treat them as a person with value. They want to know that you care about them and want to help them.

If you want to use Bible verses on your marketing materials, that is a personal decision, but make sure you and everyone in your company is acting according to that verse.

A Quick Story About Christian Symbols

I was in traffic in Houston.  The traffic was horribly busy.  People were whizzing by me even though I was unintentionally speeding.  One guy cut me off and flashed the ‘one finger wave.’  On the back of his car was a Christian fish symbol and a cross.  You can imagine my thoughts about the driver as a Christian, but imagine what non-Christians think when they see something like that.

Represent Christ in your business by words and deeds, not just crosses and verses. Click To Tweet