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Miriam Miles

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Member Since September 2015

Pretoria, GP, 0081

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I am a writer, pontificator and poet and have recently founded Christian Mental Wellnes Australia, a not for profit supporting Christians looking for Biblical and Faith based strategies, support and advice for mental health wellness. Other topics include lifestyle, family, relationships, mental health, everyday fashion and food. Personal site: www.miriammiles.com . Visit CMWA at www.christianmentalwellness.com.au

Lifestyle and Health

Can Stress Help Us Determine if Our Direction Needs Auditing?

The past few months have been stressful. I tend to underestimate the amount of stress I am going through, but if I was assessing the circumstances, I would tell that person they're under a lot of stress! So I've been stressed. And it's had a significant impact on my direction for my business services and goals moving forward. Can we see stress as an indicator that things need to change? Stress c...

Miriam Miles answered this question

Jef Lippiatt
Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Business Planning

What is your biggest business goal for 2016?

Great question Jeff. I've spent the past few weeks mind mapping, asking myself loaded questions and doing a lot of thinking. I've come to an impasse with the services I've been offering and feel a sense that it's time to shift gears.With that said, my goal is simple: be intentional. In whatever I chose to do as a service provider, I want it to be done with intention. Whatever I write, as a writer, I want it to be written with intention.On a practical note:Finish my first draft for my first novel (eeeek!) I'm up to 26K and want to write about 60K. Still slogging throughCompile my poetry into an eBook to sellWrite for at least 3 major publications this year.The last one is a big one for me, well and truly out of my comfort zone. It's the fear of rejection in the way, so the real goal is to overcome that fear and just keep pitching, submitting and offering my writing to the world. Cheers!

Miriam Miles answered this question

Mary Mai
Mary Mai, Business Intelligence Analyst at Savvysme

Customer Retention

What are some issues smaller businesses have with trying to reach potential customers?

Many small businesses struggle with gaining valuable exposure. Many begin with a small circle of friends and contacts who are happy to support their fledgeling efforts when starting their business but when the work is done, the contacts can run dry. There is only so much work any one business or customer may need done, and this can mean the circle closes up leaving the small business wihtout further contacts to connect with.Networking, being positive and consistent on social media, participating in community events - these activities can all contribute to extending the new business network but the work to get people interested still needs to be done. In my experience, there are at least three particular problems a smaller business may face when trying to reach customers:Small network that doesn't realise or want to share the new business details with their larger network (sad, but this does happen!)Inadequate funds for marketing. Yes, much can be done on a shoestring budget but there comes a point where you have to move past that into more substantial advertising to entice new clienteleLack of sales skills. Even if you're presenting a service to customers, your ability to sell comes into play. If you're not good at it yourself, and you don't' have the funds to hire a great sales gun, you may find that this area is the one that you struggle in the most. There are many more struggles of course, but these are the things that I have struggled with and found to be areas that really need to be carefully monitored in order to maintain a growing network of potential cleints.

Miriam Miles answered this question

Mary Mai
Mary Mai, Business Intelligence Analyst at Savvysme

Market Trend

How important is client feedback and follow up for small to medium businesses?

I think that client feedback is vital to small to medium business - the problem is managing to acquire the feedback in the first place! The most important types of feedback for me are:Testimonials - these are like gold and can be used all over your marketing materials, on your website and in face to face networking. Not to mention that they make you feel rather good!Case Studies - another really special kind of feedback, the case study has a win-win effect. Both the business and the client receive a decent amount of exposure to their potential customers and I've used these on my website and in marketing material to encourage new clientele. Surveys - I have found these the hardest type of feedback to get but when customers do them, they provide incredible insight into what you might be doing well and not so well. Because you can let your clients provide an anonymous response, you often receive a more precise and unbiased opinion and this can be integral especially if you are looking at changing your product or services. If small to medium businesses - and even big ones, for that matter - don't listen for, ask for and receive feedback, they can't stay ahead of the curve when change comes, can't work out what to focus on and what to innovate for the future. It is the lifeblood of any business wanting to not only stay afloat, but make an impact in their field.

Digital Marketing

Don't you just hate all the hype?

Don't you just hate all the hype? I do. I get so sick of the shouting and hollering that happens in the virtual world. It's just too much but everyone keeps telling everyone that everyone needs to be seen, heard and exposed to their audience online in order to make a buck. And in some ways, I understand that the message is valid but if you're anything like me, you might be feeling a little satura...

Miriam Miles answered this question

How and where do you get leads?

As a fairly new business owner I have been finding that word of mouth is my best resource for new clients. I've received better feedback from people who meet and speak with me and am coming to terms with this being my most viable way to connect with new prospects. Having said that, I am also finding that connecting with others online through social media is growing and the more invested I am in the group community the more likely I am to receive enquiries. No completed projects through this yet but it's developing. I really agree with what Roland said too: this answer depends so much on what kind of business we run and both Roland and Jeff bring up the number one issue - if the customer doesn't trust you it does not matter a bit if you've got the best product or service on the planet. Build the trust one to one and trust that your reputation will grow and the queries will come. Well, at least that's my plan for now.

Business Coaching

Stop Making Excuses

I'm full of them...excuses, that is. I have medals for procrastination lining my virtual walls and files full of good intentions cluttering up my cyber life and yet somehow I still find myself getting things done. How is it possible that on one hand I can tick off my list like a school principal and on the other get to the end of a day and have no idea what I've done with it? My theory is that t...

Miriam Miles answered this question

What did you do to market yourself and your business?

When I was just starting out I was totally clueless and used internet searches to find work. Unfortunately, this meant that the freelancing websites I joined were mostly content mills (which took me a few months to really understand!) and the work being booked was not high quality in return.The best thing I think I did then was to start researching, building my knowledge base and learning about the best ways to write, rather than spending all my time trying to secure more jobs - which really was just me trying to feel like I was succeeding. The less I focussed on trying to secure work, the more work came. Perhaps it was about trusting that the work would come? Since that time, I have worked toward getting to know locals and really becoming the go-to person for my exisiting clients. I have one client who has spent over $30,000 in 12 months with me to achieve his goals. His tenacity is motivating and so I work harder to help him get to his destination and he seems to think it's fitting to keep hiring me to do more projects :D So, best advice? 1. LEARN. Absorb as much information and advice as you can. Let it saturate you so that eventually the information comes to you when you really need it. 2. TRUST. Trust your gut and let the work come to you. The more you chase something that you need, the more elusive it seems to become. Develop your skills and let them speak for you.3. BUILD. Focus on the clients you have. If it's just one, then they become your primary focus - make them feel like they are your most valuable client. If you have 3, then make each one feel valuable. Build your reputation with the clients you have NOW and let them become your ambassadors for new clients. Word of Mouth is still the most powerful business networking tool!4. DEVELOP. It's great to build your client list and get enough work to make a sustainable business, but you have to keep growing, learning, developing and engaging with new ideas. Become an innovator and use your own skill set and business to practice the process of innovation. The more you stretch yourself, the quicker you'll be able to carry a larger client list, workload and match the reputation you are building.Look, you can spend thousands of dollars on a marketing plan, can develop a great social media strategy and pay someone to build your Twitter list, but none of that really matters if the clients don't come back. In my honest opinion, build YOU first, the BRAND second.

Business Coaching

7 Steps to Managing a Work-Free Weekend

What are your weekends like? Are they filled with fluffy clouds, pool splashing friends and family and long evenings of inspirational debate to fuel your mind? Or are they often like mine, where for some bizarre reason, I think it's quite acceptable to put all my "rest up for the week ahead" plans on hold and dive in for one or two more days of work related tasks?               ...

Business Coaching

My Story: Learning to Get Over Myself and Wake Up to The Opportunities Ahead

I never really thought of myself as a business woman. It didn't really occur to me that I was becoming one throughout my adult years either -- until recently. Until then, I had spent my entire adult life raising two amazing sons (who now both tower above me!), supporting my equally statuesque (and gorgeous) hubby in his career goals and shifting between jobs, doing ministry service as a musicia...

Lifestyle and Health

Can Stress Help Us Determine if Our Direction Needs Auditing?

The past few months have been stressful. I tend to underestimate the amount of stress I am going through, but if I was assessing the circumstances, I would tell that person they're under a lot of stress! So I've been stressed. And it's had a significant impact on my direction for my business services and goals moving forward. Can we see stress as an indicator that things need to change? Stress c...

Digital Marketing

Don't you just hate all the hype?

Don't you just hate all the hype? I do. I get so sick of the shouting and hollering that happens in the virtual world. It's just too much but everyone keeps telling everyone that everyone needs to be seen, heard and exposed to their audience online in order to make a buck. And in some ways, I understand that the message is valid but if you're anything like me, you might be feeling a little satura...

Business Coaching

7 Steps to Managing a Work-Free Weekend

What are your weekends like? Are they filled with fluffy clouds, pool splashing friends and family and long evenings of inspirational debate to fuel your mind? Or are they often like mine, where for some bizarre reason, I think it's quite acceptable to put all my "rest up for the week ahead" plans on hold and dive in for one or two more days of work related tasks?               ...

Business Coaching

My Story: Learning to Get Over Myself and Wake Up to The Opportunities Ahead

I never really thought of myself as a business woman. It didn't really occur to me that I was becoming one throughout my adult years either -- until recently. Until then, I had spent my entire adult life raising two amazing sons (who now both tower above me!), supporting my equally statuesque (and gorgeous) hubby in his career goals and shifting between jobs, doing ministry service as a musicia...

Business Coaching

Stop Making Excuses

I'm full of them...excuses, that is. I have medals for procrastination lining my virtual walls and files full of good intentions cluttering up my cyber life and yet somehow I still find myself getting things done. How is it possible that on one hand I can tick off my list like a school principal and on the other get to the end of a day and have no idea what I've done with it? My theory is that t...

Miriam Miles answered this question

Jef Lippiatt
Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Business Planning

What is your biggest business goal for 2016?

Great question Jeff. I've spent the past few weeks mind mapping, asking myself loaded questions and doing a lot of thinking. I've come to an impasse with the services I've been offering and feel a sense that it's time to shift gears.With that said, my goal is simple: be intentional. In whatever I chose to do as a service provider, I want it to be done with intention. Whatever I write, as a writer, I want it to be written with intention.On a practical note:Finish my first draft for my first novel (eeeek!) I'm up to 26K and want to write about 60K. Still slogging throughCompile my poetry into an eBook to sellWrite for at least 3 major publications this year.The last one is a big one for me, well and truly out of my comfort zone. It's the fear of rejection in the way, so the real goal is to overcome that fear and just keep pitching, submitting and offering my writing to the world. Cheers!

Miriam Miles answered this question

Mary Mai
Mary Mai, Business Intelligence Analyst at Savvysme

Customer Retention

What are some issues smaller businesses have with trying to reach potential customers?

Many small businesses struggle with gaining valuable exposure. Many begin with a small circle of friends and contacts who are happy to support their fledgeling efforts when starting their business but when the work is done, the contacts can run dry. There is only so much work any one business or customer may need done, and this can mean the circle closes up leaving the small business wihtout further contacts to connect with.Networking, being positive and consistent on social media, participating in community events - these activities can all contribute to extending the new business network but the work to get people interested still needs to be done. In my experience, there are at least three particular problems a smaller business may face when trying to reach customers:Small network that doesn't realise or want to share the new business details with their larger network (sad, but this does happen!)Inadequate funds for marketing. Yes, much can be done on a shoestring budget but there comes a point where you have to move past that into more substantial advertising to entice new clienteleLack of sales skills. Even if you're presenting a service to customers, your ability to sell comes into play. If you're not good at it yourself, and you don't' have the funds to hire a great sales gun, you may find that this area is the one that you struggle in the most. There are many more struggles of course, but these are the things that I have struggled with and found to be areas that really need to be carefully monitored in order to maintain a growing network of potential cleints.

Miriam Miles answered this question

Mary Mai
Mary Mai, Business Intelligence Analyst at Savvysme

Market Trend

How important is client feedback and follow up for small to medium businesses?

I think that client feedback is vital to small to medium business - the problem is managing to acquire the feedback in the first place! The most important types of feedback for me are:Testimonials - these are like gold and can be used all over your marketing materials, on your website and in face to face networking. Not to mention that they make you feel rather good!Case Studies - another really special kind of feedback, the case study has a win-win effect. Both the business and the client receive a decent amount of exposure to their potential customers and I've used these on my website and in marketing material to encourage new clientele. Surveys - I have found these the hardest type of feedback to get but when customers do them, they provide incredible insight into what you might be doing well and not so well. Because you can let your clients provide an anonymous response, you often receive a more precise and unbiased opinion and this can be integral especially if you are looking at changing your product or services. If small to medium businesses - and even big ones, for that matter - don't listen for, ask for and receive feedback, they can't stay ahead of the curve when change comes, can't work out what to focus on and what to innovate for the future. It is the lifeblood of any business wanting to not only stay afloat, but make an impact in their field.

Miriam Miles answered this question

How and where do you get leads?

As a fairly new business owner I have been finding that word of mouth is my best resource for new clients. I've received better feedback from people who meet and speak with me and am coming to terms with this being my most viable way to connect with new prospects. Having said that, I am also finding that connecting with others online through social media is growing and the more invested I am in the group community the more likely I am to receive enquiries. No completed projects through this yet but it's developing. I really agree with what Roland said too: this answer depends so much on what kind of business we run and both Roland and Jeff bring up the number one issue - if the customer doesn't trust you it does not matter a bit if you've got the best product or service on the planet. Build the trust one to one and trust that your reputation will grow and the queries will come. Well, at least that's my plan for now.

Miriam Miles answered this question

What did you do to market yourself and your business?

When I was just starting out I was totally clueless and used internet searches to find work. Unfortunately, this meant that the freelancing websites I joined were mostly content mills (which took me a few months to really understand!) and the work being booked was not high quality in return.The best thing I think I did then was to start researching, building my knowledge base and learning about the best ways to write, rather than spending all my time trying to secure more jobs - which really was just me trying to feel like I was succeeding. The less I focussed on trying to secure work, the more work came. Perhaps it was about trusting that the work would come? Since that time, I have worked toward getting to know locals and really becoming the go-to person for my exisiting clients. I have one client who has spent over $30,000 in 12 months with me to achieve his goals. His tenacity is motivating and so I work harder to help him get to his destination and he seems to think it's fitting to keep hiring me to do more projects :D So, best advice? 1. LEARN. Absorb as much information and advice as you can. Let it saturate you so that eventually the information comes to you when you really need it. 2. TRUST. Trust your gut and let the work come to you. The more you chase something that you need, the more elusive it seems to become. Develop your skills and let them speak for you.3. BUILD. Focus on the clients you have. If it's just one, then they become your primary focus - make them feel like they are your most valuable client. If you have 3, then make each one feel valuable. Build your reputation with the clients you have NOW and let them become your ambassadors for new clients. Word of Mouth is still the most powerful business networking tool!4. DEVELOP. It's great to build your client list and get enough work to make a sustainable business, but you have to keep growing, learning, developing and engaging with new ideas. Become an innovator and use your own skill set and business to practice the process of innovation. The more you stretch yourself, the quicker you'll be able to carry a larger client list, workload and match the reputation you are building.Look, you can spend thousands of dollars on a marketing plan, can develop a great social media strategy and pay someone to build your Twitter list, but none of that really matters if the clients don't come back. In my honest opinion, build YOU first, the BRAND second.

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