Position Yourself As a Home Staging Expert

Believe it or not, anyone can call themselves an ‘expert’ in any area of business. You don’t really have to ask anyone’s permission to call yourself an expert – do you? You can claim that you are the ‘Number 1 Home Staging Company’ and no one is really going to ask you how you came up with that – are they?

You do however need to ‘be an expert’ and ‘feel like an expert’ as most realtors and sellers would prefer to deal with a ‘home staging expert’ versus someone who doesn’t see themselves the same way.

Definition of an Expert:

Someone recognized as a reliable source… An expert is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study… A person can become an expert by virtue of training, education, professional, publication or experience believed to have special knowledge of a subject beyond that of the average person…

So why do you need to be a ‘home staging & redesign expert’?

Expert SealOnce you consider yourself a home staging expert you can charge higher rates than others who are not yet experts in their field. Your growing reputation in the field attracts home owners and realtors who want to work with you. Other industry professionals may start to ask for advice about something they are having a challenge with or want to explore.

In my experience over the years because I positioned myself as a home staging expert I was often contact by libraries and private organizations to speak at their functions. Real estate companies look for speakers at their conferences. The media likes to profile experts and you may be contacted for television and radio shows. My magazine articles attract other publications and I get requests to write for other publications.

And, if I can do this so can you!

These are my suggestions on some of the things you can do to become an expert in home staging:

  1. Gain Experience - if you have already started your home staging and redesign business then by the very nature of you getting out and gaining experience you are on your way to becoming an expert. If someone asks you to help them with a job – just do it!
  2. Write Articles and eArticles - determine where you will get great exposure to start promoting yourself as an expert; contact local editors and if you get rejected just move on to the next contact; write an article once a week and send it out to as many places as you can think of; repeat…
  3. Write a Book or eBook – you may not think you have much to write about but I believe you can write an ebook about home staging and even a book if you are a good writer. You can always hire a copy writer if this is not one of your skills.
  4. Get Social Media Exposure – Create blog posts that provide TIPS to your target market. If you don’t have ideas of your own look at other peoples’ blogs and make an expert comment about the post. People will start to notice you.
  5. ‘Free’ Talks - find out where you can do some free talks about home staging. Libraries or community centers need to provide interesting talks to their patrons. Consider doing a talk with a realtor, mortgage broker and an inspector. With the stats on baby boomers and zoomers – downsizing is pretty topical right now.
  6. Network - get out an mingle with your target market and other like-minded professionals; join a BNI, a Meetup group, so many new networking groups keep popping up so check out new ones rather than staying with the same ones; keep your same story for all the networking groups you go to – don’t be one thing one week, and other thing the next week; stay focused on presenting yourself as the home staging expert in your area.
  7. Brand Recognition – create a strong brand with a strong message that you are the home staging expert your sellers and realtors need to connect with. Keep your brand consistent in all your marketing materials.
  8. Seek Knowledge - if you have not taken a professional course in home staging then consider getting certified. Continue to take courses or workshops that increase your knowledge base about running your business.

Regardless of what your training is or what your background it is important to decide what you want your future in the home staging industry to look like. Spend some time thinking about it so that you are truly passionate about delivering the services that you provide to your clients. Focusing on what you love to do attracts more clients!

For more great Marketing Ideas check out my ‘Free Savvy Marketing Tips for Stagers‘.

Getting Your Customers ‘Over The Moon’ About You!

If your sales haven’t been exactly what you were expecting last year, is it possible that your customer service practices may have something to do with sales? You might think you are providing an acceptable level of customer service but what if you went above your standard level – could that be a game changer for you?

Under promise and over deliver…

Satisfy CustomersThis is a great philosophy to live by when you are providing home staging services whether it’s a consultation, client consultation, recommendations or the actual hands-on home staging work, you want to give your clients MORE than they paid for! By giving them MORE you are going to attract MORE clients like them and you are going to get some fantastic testimonials and they are MORE likely to refer you!

Understand I am not suggesting not to charge what the project/job is worth, I am saying throw in ‘a little something extra’ that would make them feel ‘Over the Moon’ about you.

Assessing Your Customer Service Level

Take an assessment of some of the ideas here and see how you would rate yourself. How many can you say “YES I DO THAT” to.

  1. If a prospect/client has left you a message on your phone do you get back to them within 24 hours? I mean pick up the phone and phone them? If a prospect/client has sent you an email do you get back to them within 24 hours?
  2. If you do not return phone calls or emails on the weekend do you let your prospects/clients know that by putting this in your message? (Staging isn’t often just a Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm business so you might need to revisit this)
  3. If you are not going to be able to return emails or phone calls while you are on vacation or sick, do you have someone in place who can do that for you? Is everyone on your team someone you are proud of that can deal competently with your clients when you are not available?
  4. If you say/promise that you are going to do something for your client, do you do it on time and on budget? If things are off-budget do you take the time to consult with your client rather than surprising them at the end with an extra charge or do you absorb the extra charges?
  5. Do you always arrive just a few minutes early to your appointments and look professional? If you are going to be late do you let your clients know? Is your portfolio up to date with great ‘before and after’ photos that you will impress your client?
  6. When you do your hands-on home staging work do you do a little extra for your client and let them know what you did? Perhaps you staged a small area for them that you hadn’t agreed you would do? Brought in a small accessory that you knew would work well at no charge for them?
  7. Do you have a Follow Up system in place that allows you to keep in touch with your clients? Are you sending out a fabulous monthly newsletter that gives them great tips on what they need to do to get their property ready for selling? Do you let them know about your awesome Special Promotions you have coming up? If you know when their birthdays are and you have a close relationship with them – send them a card!
  8. Are your clients really aware of how much you enjoyed working with them and how much you appreciate having the opportunity to stage their property? Perhaps you give them a small branded gift that you leave behind after the job. Send Out Cards (or something similar) are great for saying ‘Thank You’ and you can enclose a small gift with your card.
  9. Do you take the time to phone your client to check in with how the sale of their home is progressing? If you staged a vacant home you will know when it has sold but it’s a great idea to touch base with your clients and if need be, do a little coaching to keep them positive and hopeful that a sale is just around the corner.
  10. Even if you did not get the home staging job you bid on, did you follow up with the realtor and/or client to find out what you could have done differently, better, etc.? Did you send them a ‘Thank You’ card and not an email?

Having said all of the above will improve your Customer Service it is a given that your home staging designs and talents are exceptional already! You may have been able to get a 100% on these Customer Service questions – that’s just great. If not, you can make the choice to change some of the ways you are doing business. Only you can determine your level of customer service but to really excel in today’s home staging marketplace, I think you need to pick up the phone more, meet more people in person and deliver on all your promises

Action Assignment

Take a close look at what systems you have in place as part of your Customer Service program. Is it time to revisit this and/or add some new services? What are 3 new things you could do to show your clients/prospects that you actually ‘personally’ care about them? Get inside your client’s head and think what would put a smile on their face!

**************************************************************

Want to use this article in your next ezine or on your website? Please do! Here’s what you need to include:

Dana Smithers is founder and creative director of the PRES Staging Resource Centre, a company devoted to teaching entrepreneurial women how to start and run their home staging business. Through her workshops, courses, mentoring programs, and products, Dana shows her students how to live their dream of becoming a home stager whether part time or full time. She is committed to her students’ on-going success.

Setting Your Intentions for 2014 — Your PRES Top 10!

In your business there are many universal laws at work. One of them is the ‘Law of Intention’ which is based on the fact that…

there is always an infinite amount of energy and information
present to create whatever you want.

This law of intention works hand-in-hand with the Law of Attraction. One of the first things you need to do as a home staging entrepreneur is to decide WHAT YOU WANT your business to look like.

What might some of your intentions be this year? Take a look at this list for home staging entrepreneurs and feel what resonates with you. Use the following phrase in front of each one below and you will know whether or not it’s something you really ‘intend’ to do or not. If you don’t get a good feeling from it, decide if it is something you don’t need to do at this time or is there some resistance coming up around it that you might want to examine more closely?

I (insert your first name) intend to:

  1. Review my 2013 Revenue Streams to determine where my sales came from. Once I do this I can decide what areas I need to focus on more or let go. My main source of revenues is from (fill in the blank) and I plan on increasing this by x%.
  2. Put systems into place that allow my business to flow more easily and free up time for work I need to do. I intend to delegate where it makes sense to pay someone to do things I do not do well and/or no longer want to do because I make more money doing other work I love.
  3. Have more balance in my life – create time for family and friends – my business is part of a healthy life but not my whole life focus. Take good care of myself having ‘me time’ so that I feel refreshed and am happy and productive doing the work I love.
  4. Complete a 90 day marketing plan (click this link for my ‘Free’ Savvy Marketing Webinar) that I can easily follow so that my ‘sales funnel’ is never empty and I am always attracting more new clients. One of my key tactics will be to (fill in the blank – network more, do more social media, secure some speaking engagements, have more ‘get to know me’ meetings, etc).
  5. Create more strategic alliances this year so that others (my unpaid sales force) can refer me. I will focus on having excellent relations with my alliances so we can both cross promote.
  6. Follow up with past clients to build stronger relationships this year and let go of relationships that drain me energetically and financially. Use more stay-in-touch tactics that are more personal than just emails/blogs/posts.
  7. Revisit my ‘ideal client list’ so that I am totally clear on who my target audience is and how to market and attract them. With new clarity I can find more opportunities and inject some new interest in my work and do some out-of-the-box marketing.
  8. Continue taking professional development courses, reading books, attending trade shows and conferences that help me grow personally and professionally. (My new ‘Free Law of Attraction’ teleseminar is great!)
  9. Pick up the phone more and meet with more potential clients and clients in person – and limit the number of texts and emails I am a slave to. These actions will allow me to be more engaging and sustain longer term relationships.
  10. Determine when the time is right to hire a coach/mentor who can help me take my business to the next level.

If you do not set your intentions someone else will, so try and do this on a daily basis
and you will be absolutely amazed at the results. They will change your life.

Action Assignment

Go through the list above ‘Setting Your Intentions for 2014 – the PRES Top 10′ and see which ones resonate with you AND add/delete/change whichever intentions do not work for you. It’s your thoughts that lead to actions, that ultimately lead to results so the best place to start is by becoming aware of what you are thinking.

**************************************************************

Want to use this article in your next ezine or on your website? Please do! Here’s what you need to include:

Dana Smithers is founder and creative director of the PRES Staging Resource Centre, a company devoted to teaching entrepreneurial women how to start and run their home staging business. Through her workshops, courses, mentoring programs, and products, Dana shows her students how to live their dream of becoming a home stager whether part time or full time. She is committed to her students’ on-going success.

Understanding What Your Client is Going Through is Critical to Your Success as Home Stager and Redesigner…

When I teach the 5 day PRES home staging and redesign course I take the students into real clients’ homes so they can apply the 10 Step Formula theory that they learn in the classroom. In this home we did a ‘redesign’ which is technically a one-day home makeover for living, using the client’s existing furnishings. It is all about capturing the client’s personal tastes and validating what they have in their home does work – it just doesn’t quite work the way they had things set up.

Our training home client’s roller coaster of emotions went from excitement, to hesitation, to despair, to jumping in with both feet, to excitement, to angst of ‘what if it looks like how they like it and not how we like it’ to – finally JOY at the final outcome!

Some TIPS on Conducting the Client Interview/Consultation:

  • As soon as you meet the client acknowledge something attractive about their personal home décor items
  • Ask to take a tour of their home so you can ask them about things – I like to use the expression ‘Tell me about this’ so that way I know whether or not they are emotionally tied to a particular item
  • Continue to reassure them that they have lots to work with and how much you are looking forward to creating a new look for them – this builds their need to know, like and trust you
  • Ease their ‘fear of change’ by letting them know you offer a ‘Redesigners Guarantee’ which is to live with the changes for 2 weeks and if you still don’t like them you will come back and change things (in over 10 years I have never been called back to change anything)
  • Gain their trust and confidence by letting them know that they can always bring something back in and rotate the things we didn’t use
  • Really listen in the consultation to what their answers are to your questions – probe more if you feel they are hesitating about something and acknowledge the pieces of furniture or art that they really get excited about
  • If they start to ‘tell you’ where things should be placed and what should be moved into a certain space or room, they may not be a good client for a redesign. Tell them the more ‘open’ they are with allowing you to make changes the better the end result will be
  • Never tell your client exactly what you will do but make generalizations such as ‘we can move some of the furniture so the room flows more, and rehang some of the art so it works better together, showcase your gorgeous collections, etc.
  • Throughout the entire interview/consultation you are being very positive with your comments regardless of what you are thinking in your head!
  • In redesign as in staging, you do not need to ‘love’ the look of your client’s home nor their personal belongings or style – your job is to give them the best that you can and know that it will be so much better than what they could ever do
  • Listen for this commonly heard statement when you do the reveal “How clever, I never would have thought of that” and celebrate your success!

How to Charge What You Are Worth and Get it!

You are not alone if you are struggling with charging what you think you are worth and/or raising your rates. Your ‘money story’ is directly related to your relationship to yourself. You are energy and your money is energy and all energy has a certain vibration to it. It is a scientific’ Law of Attraction’ fact that when you are ‘feeling’ worthy and valued you will attract more money. In this enewsletter I’m sharing with you my 7 Steps on How to Charge What You Are Worth & Get It! and I know that if you follow these 7 steps you will attract more money because you will see your true value.

7 STEPS ON HOW TO CHARGE WHAT YOU ARE WORTH & GET IT!

  1. CHANGE YOUR NEGATIVE THINKING
    Every result that you achieve starts with a single thought in your head. Your thoughts are energy and negative thoughts carry a very low vibration — keep thinking those thoughts and you will continue to attract clients you don’t want and people around you who also have a negative mindset. Every time a negative thought enters your consciousness — STOP IT! and look for evidence in your life where you can turn that into a positive thought. Showing gratitude for what is working in your business carries one of the highest vibrations so practice that on a daily basis. Keep your thoughts positive and reread your client testimonials if you need a reminder about how much of a difference you made to someone!
  2. RESET YOUR PROSPERITY METER
    Have you determined how much money you want to make? We all have our unique definition of success and money is usually one of those measurements. With my coaching clients one of the key questions I ask them is how much money they want to make, and is this a part time or full time endeavor. Believe it or not, most people do not have a set goal of what they want to earn in the year. You need to set a monetary goal so that you can plan on how you can attain that goal. Your prosperity meter is entirely your choice – you decide is $10,000 or $100,000 your annual goal, or is it more. Set your monthly goal and your weekly goal. Take a look at how much time in the year you want to take off and factor that in. Be realistic and set your prosperity meter.
  3. FOCUS ON YOUR VALUE
    If you are new to home staging you may not yet realize what HUGE value you bring to the table. If you have been in the business a while you may not be acknowledging just how fantastic your services are. Look at the monetary and emotional gain your clients achieve by the work that you do. Every home you stage is getting your best designs and creativity. Every seller is having the stress removed by working with a competent professional like yourself. Every realtor is having his reputation enhanced because his properties are selling because of the work you have done. Every buyer is rewarded by seeing the potential in a home that otherwise may have been overlooked. Surely you can see the VALUE of what you are bringing to the table to the seller, realtor and buyer!
  4. DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT
    The most important thought for you to have is to know what you want and focus on this and quit grumbling about what you don’t want! This is Law of Attraction 101 – you attract into your life whatever you put your attention, energy and focus on whether wanted or unwanted. Your thoughts lead to your feelings and your feelings lead to your actions and your actions lead to your results. Take some time and set some goals about the number of clients you want to have, the money you want to make, the number of hours you want to work in a week and the time off you want to have for your family or just for yourself. Be very specific and realistic and then ‘allow’ this to come into your life. Notice every single time you get the smallest evidence that you are getting what you want and you will get more of it.
  5. CREATE PACKAGE OFFERS
    It is good to start with an hourly rate but you can make more money by creating packages – usually 3 and start with your basic package and expand from here. It’s a good idea to make a list of your ‘Standard Services’ and then create a list for you ‘Value Added Services’. Give each package a memorable name and keep your client groups in mind. For example you may do a consultation and give some recommendations for the seller who wants to do most of the work themselves and call it ‘Do-It-Yourself Home Staging’ starting at $199 (or whatever works in your market). Each package will have more services added to it and go up in price because the ‘value’ has gone up too. It’s good to ‘throw in’ some extras from your ‘Value Added’ list. Value is all about perception so make sure you know what is ‘valued’ in your market by asking your clients.’
  6. OFFER A GUARANTEE
    As a home stager we cannot guarantee that a house will sell more quickly or sooner than a property that is not staged. However, we can claim that the newly staged property will look infinitely better than it did before you offered your professional services. You can guarantee that you will stay on budget and deliver on time (and ensure you do this!). There are many statistic available about the success of staging a property but the best statistics will be your own. When you are doing your sales call with the seller or realtor show them your portfolio and include the client testimonials with it. Prompt your client’s testimonial by asking them to comment on areas that show the ‘value’ of your work. Ask the client to include the emotional support you gave them as well as they end product results of your staging design work.
  7. RAISE YOUR RATES 
    Now that you have a better understanding of how your own thoughts were holding you back, take some time to set your new rates. Start with how much you want to make annually and work backwards from that to your monthly and weekly sales targets. For you to raise your rates you need to look at the evidence that you have about the value that you have been giving your clients. You also need to give your clients a reason that you are raising your rates so think about what ‘extra value’ you can give them. Is it that because you now have more experience you can get the job done quicker? your staging designs are the best? you blog on several social media sites about their listing? your reputation has increased in the market place and you are seen as the expert? your stagings are being featured in magazines now? Whatever the evidence is, let your clients know that you will be raising your rates to reflect this. You may decide to leave some of your ‘preferred’ client rates that you have with a realtor as they are. Let them know that and when they can expect their rates to increase.

Does the thought of picking up the phone or meeting with a realtor to ‘sell your services’ make you sick? It doesn’t have to if you put into practice a few of the simple Laws of Attraction …

The majority of home stagers and stylists are what are called ‘right brain thinkers’ meaning that they prefer to be in their creative, artistic mind rather than the ‘left brain’ of linear, logical thinking. I get that, but I also know the only way to grow your business consistently is by having both a marketing and sales system in place.

Having been a sales manager for a billion dollar service company, I was responsible for training branch managers and account reps. Some people are naturally good at sales and some are not – you may not have the personality for it. However, you still have to make sales to grow your business. So you have two choices that will grow your business:

  1. Learn how to attract more clients through applying the Law of Attraction
  2. Hire someone to make your initial sales call for you and then put into practice the Law of Attraction

Here are some facts about sales you may or may not know:

  • You will have some people that you only make one sale with and other clients may use your home staging services more often. In both cases you are ‘relationship building’, so treat each person with the goal in mind of referrals or future business.
  • Your future sales are based on your relationship with your client – keep in touch with them often so they continue to ‘know, like and trust’ you.
  • The more leads you have, the more opportunities you have for converting prospects into clients. You constantly and consistently need to market your business so you are not the best kept secret (networking is one of the best ways to do this).
  • There is a sales cycle that typically goes like this:
    • Identify a prospect and qualify to see if they are your ideal client.
    • Make an appointment with them.
    • Introduce the ‘features and benefits’ of your business using your amazing portfolio and raving fan testimonials.
    • Handle their objections.
    • Go through a series of ‘trial closes’ where they are getting closer to saying YES.
    • Convert them from a prospect to your ideal client.
  • When meeting with your prospect, do your homework and know something about them – find out what they ‘need’. Ask yourself why would they hire you, and be prepared to answer that question with authority and proof.
  • Many sales people start out by making calls to people they have met, i.e. warm calls, and they often have a script that they can follow if they need to. ‘Warm’ calls are easier to make than ‘cold’ calls and will take away that ‘sick’ feeling.
  • Very few personalities respond to ‘call center’ calls to get business, so make your calls personal even with your script – set your intention to get the appointment and then prepare for that initial meeting.
  • The more sales calls you make, the more sales you will have. Your confidence in being able to successfully make sales calls will come with each success – celebrate it!
  • You need to find ‘quality’ leads and be sure to ‘qualify’ them, before you spend your precious time meeting with them.
  • Understand that each buyer has his/her own buying style and you may need to adjust your selling style to connect with their buying style. There are many articles and books written on sales personality types, so take the time to find out what yours is, and how to sell to your type and to other types.
  • You need to have a ‘funnel system’ to get followers into your database and you need to have a ‘follow up’ system to stay in touch with prospects – even after you have converted them to the status of ‘client.’

And this is a short version of how you can change that ‘sick feeling’ of having to pick up the phone and make an appointment, to ‘I love making sales calls and I am in the process of attracting more clients every single day’ …

LAW OF ATTRACTION SALES PROCESS & EXERCISES:

  1. IDENTIFY WHAT YOU DESIRE - Be very clear on who you want to attract – that’s all about your ideal client. Create a ‘Contrast/Clarity’ List of about 50 characteristics or actions. On the CONTRAST side, have a list of WHAT YOU DO NOT WANT and then write on the opposite side, a list of WHAT YOU DO WANT. Then, cross out everything on the Contrast side, and you have your Clarity list. Focus only on your CLARITY list.
  2. GIVE THIS DESIRE ATTENTION - Spend time thinking about what your meeting will look like – in their office, in a coffee shop; visualize the scenario or create a vision board showing you connecting with all types of potential clients. Since networking is one of the key ways to grow your business, make sure you are attending enough networking events where you will meet your ideal client. Then follow up.
  3. ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN – the Law of Attraction requires that you know what you want and take action to make it happen. But MOST IMPORTANTLY, you MUST BELIEVE – really feel – that this is possible. Every day, you need to look at the evidence of you getting one step closer to making a sale. Every time someone says ‘no’, this opens up space for someone to say ‘YES’. The way to ‘allow sales to come to you’ is to think about how many people have already been successful in making home staging sales. Make a list of ways they have been successful and write that down in 3rd person. If you really do believe and feel you will make a sale by using this ‘allowing’, your energy will start to shift into a positive state.

P.S. - ‘Hoping’ that prospects call you is not really a good sales strategy …

P.P.S. - The Law of Attraction states that whatever you put your attention, energy and focus on, whether wanted or unwanted, is what you will attract!

Do you have the passion, persistence and patience needed to be a successful home staging entrepreneur?

I don’t know when you decided that you wanted to become a home staging entrepreneur or why you did but I do know that the ‘life of an entrepreneur’ is not necessarily an easy, steady climb to success. You may have thought it was going to be because you wanted it so badly and you are really good at it so naturally it ‘should’ be easy to succeed. Well the truth is that the entrepreneurial road is the ‘road less travelled’ because it isn’t easy. It tests your character and your belief in yourself (and perhaps even the Universe). But the rewards are great if you are willing to go the distance.

So when you find yourself coming up against roadblocks, challenges, sales not happening the way you planned, projects going sideways, clients not buying when you need them to – it’s time to examine what it’s going to take to get you through the rough spots.

There is of course a flip side to this – things do go smoothly, you achieve your sales targets, you love your clients, your clients love you and you get to do what you love! And for me this is why I am still doing what I started doing 10 years ago. And honestly I have gone through more roadblocks, bumps and hurdles than I ever thought possible. And yet, look where it has taken me — down the ‘road less travelled’ and the journey just keeps getting more interesting. I think it’s a road well worth travelling and I hope you do too!

So here are 3 things that will help take you through the ‘ups and downs’ of being a home staging entrepreneur …

PASSION:

  • Without being passionate about your work you will soon come to resent what you are doing especially if you get to the stage of doing it only for ‘the money’.
  • If you had passion for it at one time, what’s changed? Are you doing too many of the things you don’t love to do? Delegate them — look at what it’s costing you not to delegate.
  • Perhaps it’s time to just take a break from what you are doing. Take some time to reflect and ask yourself “If I could do anything in the world would I be doing home staging?” Depending on the answer what is it that you need to change to get where you want to go?
  • If you are not passionate about your work your clients can easily see this and in the process you become very unauthentic and unattractive to them and to yourself.

PERSISTENCE:

  • Without you being persistent in taking ‘consistent action’ to create a successful home staging business nothing will happen to move you forward.
  • Being persistent means that no matter what your little voice is telling you to do – like throw in the towel and go do something else – do not buy into this – call your coach or a supporter who can help you see the situation in a positive light.
  • Your obstacles are only temporary and everyone has them – it goes with the territory – it’s how you respond to them and the solutions that you find that build your character on your journey.
  • It might just happen that by your persistence you reach a new level and make new connections that open up some new revenue streams you had never thought. You will never know if you don’t persist …

PATIENCE:

  • When I’m coaching home stagers I hear this a lot: How can I be patient when I see my expenses exceed my revenues? Every new business faces this scenario. So plan for this. You have to have some faith that everything happens for a reason and that reason is there to serve you. Calm down and decide what is it that you can do to get some business coming your way. Perhaps you haven’t been doing the marketing that you need to be doing. What can you do to attract some new clients?
  • I can also tell you that if you are not patient you will never know what you could have accomplished. Do you want the ‘What if’ scenario? What if I would have been patient just a bit longer for my business to take off. What could I have accomplished? Without patience you will never know …
  • The ‘timing’ of the Universe is not necessarily your timing is it? While many of us would like to be able to control more things in our life, timing is something we can never control. The ‘life happens’ stuff happens to all entrepreneurs so be patient and stay focused only on what you want to attract.

The Art of Balancing Your Work and Personal Life is a Choice!

Many coaches, including myself, use this type of ‘balance wheel’ to have our clients check in with themselves when they are feeling overwhelmed and cranky! When any of us as home stagers, stylists, decorators, etc. feel undervalued it might just be because we are trying to ‘be all things to all people’ and that will never work.

Whether you are just starting your home staging or styling business, or have been in business much longer, there are going to be times when your life will be out of balance and one aspect of your life will take over. We all know that the ‘life happens’ stuff can get us off balance but it’s when we are back to a more normal life that we can make choices about how to balance our work and personal time.

If you are just starting out then I suspect you will be spending a great deal of time in growing your business/career. During this time of excitement you might not notice that other areas of your life are being neglected. It’s great to set goals for your business and you might just need to explain to your family that there will be some changes while you set up routines for your new business. For more seasoned professional stagers and stylists, you may have slipped into some bad habits that aren’t really satisfying for you any longer. Is it time you delegated more of your work that you really don’t have to be doing? We all have the same number of hours in the day and week so why not take some time to set up a schedule with a plan that allows you to focus on what you want your day/week to look like.

balance wheel

 

Over the years I have learned this to be true:

Change your thoughts ~ Change your actions ~ and your results Change.
Do nothing and nothing changes.

Here are a few tips that might help you change your habits that are not working for you to create a more balanced life:

  • Know that you do have enough time to get done ‘what matters most’
  • Nothing is perfect in life so strive for your ‘good enough’
  • Be patient when things don’t go your way in your business or personal life – when we sometimes try and force things to happen – they don’t!
  • You decide what balance looks like for you – set new boundaries if you need to
  • Know that at times one area of your life may require more time – do it – then but get back to your normal
  • Take lots of ‘me time’ to just be – breathe slowly and get focused on one task only
  • Remember to ‘high five’ yourself or acknowledge your achievements with ‘good job’ (first name)

 

Setting Your Intentions — Your PRES Top 10!

In your business there are many universal laws at work. One of them is the ‘Law of Intention’ which is based on the fact that…

there is always an infinite amount of energy and information
present to create whatever you want.

What this means for you as a home staging entrepreneur is that first you need to decide ‘what’ you want, take some ‘action steps’ to create it, and ‘believe by feeling’ that you can create it. Spend some time visualizing what you want and ‘acting as if’ you already had achieved what you want. Another little twist on this type of thinking, is that you also have to let your idea of exactly how this has to show up in your life – go.

What might some of your intentions be at this time of year? Take a look at this list for home staging entrepreneurs and feel what resonates with you. Use the following phrase in front of each one below and you will know whether or not it’s something you really ‘intend’ to do or not. If you don’t get a good feeling from it, decide if it is something you don’t need to do at this time or is there some resistance coming up around it that you might want to examine more closely?

I (insert your first name) intend to:

1.     Review my 2013 Revenue Streams to date to determine where my sales came from. Once I do this I can decide what areas I need to focus on more or let go. My main source of revenues is from (fill in the blank) and I plan on increasing this by x%.

2.     Put systems into place that allow my business to flow more easily and free up time for work I need to do. I intend to delegate where it makes sense to pay someone to do things I do not do well and/or no longer want to do because I make more money doing other work I love.

3.     Have more balance in my life – create time for family and friends – my business is part of a healthy life but not my whole life focus. Take good care of myself having ‘me time’ so that I feel refreshed and am happy and productive doing the work I love.

4.     Complete a 90 day marketing plan that I can easily follow so that my ‘sales funnel’ is never empty and I am always attracting more new clients. One of my key tactics will be to (fill in the blank – network more, do more social media, secure some speaking engagements, have more ‘get to know me’ meetings, etc).

5.     Create more strategic alliances this year so that others (my unpaid sales force) can refer me. I will focus on having excellent relations with my alliances so we can both cross promote.

6.     Follow up with past clients to build stronger relationships this year and let go of relationships that drain me energetically and financially. Use more stay-in-touch tactics that are more personal than just emails/blogs/posts.

7.     Revisit my ‘ideal client list’ so that I am totally clear on who my target audience is and how to market and attract them. With new clarity I can find more opportunities and inject some new interest in my work and do some out-of-the-box marketing.

8.     Continue taking professional development courses, reading books, attending trade shows and conferences that help me grow personally and professionally.

9.     Pick up the phone more and meet with more potential clients and clients in person – and limit the number of texts and emails I am a slave to. These actions will allow me to be more engaging and sustain longer term relationships.

10. Determine when the time is right to hire a coach/mentor who can help me take my business to the next level.

If you do not set your intentions someone else will, so try and do this on a daily basis and you will be absolutely amazed at the results. They will change your life.

The Importance of Celebrating Your Success

It is a well-known fact that women are such major multi-taskers that they rarely take time to celebrate what they have accomplished because they are already saying ‘Okay, what’s next on my list?’ We live in a very stress-filled world that focuses on the negative news and rarely on the positive so, you need to be vigilant and focus on the positive achievements in your life. When you feel more positive energy it affects your mind, body and soul in a healthy way.

CELEBRATING is the action of marking one’s pleasure at an important event or occasion by engaging in enjoyable, typically social activity.

And that event can be as small as finally learning how to upload a photo in Facebook or finally getting your business cards printed. For a home stager something larger to celebrate in the beginning is that ‘first client’ – whooooooooo hooooooooo on that one. When you finally land that sale with a realtor who you have been trying to get on board for the last six months – that’s worth celebrating in a big way!

SUCCESS – no one can define this for you except you.
For some people success is about the relationships they have attained over the year, for others knowing that they created a fantastic looking property with not much to work with is a great feeling of success. For some home stagers creating a 90 day marketing plan for 2013 can be very satisfying and rewarding. For most home stagers seeing positive cash flow with more growth expected in 2013 is pretty awesome. Finally using social media to increase brand awareness might just be the marketing tactic that made your year.

I resonate with this one published and written by Bessie Stanley in 1905. (Another adaptation is often and wrongly attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson).

note

Older Posts »