Pitfalls and Solution for SMEs in Export
This article highlights various pitfalls that SMEs face when exporting. The articles also provides solutions to each of the pitfall. The various pitfalls include not connecting with ideal clients, under-utilizing GIFTS, agonizing over administrative activities, toiling away at tech projects, fuzzy goal setting and lack of planning.
Not Connecting with Your Ideal Clients
Many entrepreneurs who are overwhelmed, overworked, and underpaid are struggling with finding enough clients or the right clients.  Often, this is because they haven't actually defined who their ideal clients are.  If you don't know who you are looking for, it makes it a lot harder to find them.

As a result, you end up trying to market to and enroll everyone who has a pulse.  This is a huge time and money drain.  Being a small business owner, it's highly unlikely that you have the marketing budget or manpower to market to the masses.  You have to be more focused in your approach.
Figure out who your ideal clients are and narrow down your niche.  This will allow you to tailor your products and services to meet your clients' and customers' most pressing needs and ensure better sales and customer satisfaction.

It's also a better use of your resources to reach out to a highly targeted group of your ideal clients versus casting a wide net out to everyone under the sun.  Not only do you find clients more easily, but they can also find you. And when they do, they know that you are the one for them.
•Grab a notebook that you can use as your "More Money, More Time" journal.  At the top of the first page, write, "I am committed to creating change within myself that supports me in creating seamless success in my business and my personal life."

•Begin to narrow down your niche.  Think about who your ideal client or customer is and then answer the following questions in your journal:
*What are 5 characteristics you want your ideal client to have?
*What is their most pressing problem?
Under-Utilizing Your GIFTSSo many heart-centered entrepreneurs are struggling in business not only because they don't know who their ideal clients are, but because they keep their GIFTS under wraps.   They either aren't clear on the benefits that their services provide, or they can't effectively convey the benefits in a way that makes sense to the people they are meant to serve.Build your business around the intersection of your GIFTS (Genius, Interests, Fire [Passion], Talents and Strengths)and your ideal clients' most pressing problems. Ask yourself the following questions and write the answers in your journal:
*What am I good at?
*What types of things am I interested in?
*What am I passionate about?
*How might I use these GIFTS to help my clients solve their most pressing problem?
Agonizing over administrative activitiesSolo entrepreneurs often struggle with time and money issues because they're spending way too much time on administrative activities that are not truly income-producing.  They may be critical to your business, but they don't directly bring in revenue.  Some examples of non-income-producing tasks are bookkeeping, weeding through your email, and bill paying.  It's important that these things get done but they don't increase your cash flow.Focus on income-generation as much as possible.   Automate, Delegate, Hire out, or Delete (ADHD) as much as possible.  As the CEO and owner of your own business you have to turn your time into money.  You can't afford to spend time doing administrative tasks that another professional or a computer could do more cost-effectively, and probably better.What to do right now to move forward: Ask yourself the following questions and write the answers in your "More Money, More Time" journal:
*What are 2 things that you could Automate, Delegate, Hire out, or Delete right now?
*What are 2 things that you do that are income-producing?
* What 2 things are your biggest time drains?
Toiling away at tech projectsSolopreneurs spend countless hours working on things like setting up shopping carts, building their own websites, and who knows what else.Unless you are really tech savvy and enjoy doing this kind of thing in your spare time, or this is what you do for a living--you need to delegate your tech projects to a professional who can do it faster and better than you can.

It's one thing to upload a video or even a newsletter every now and then, but don't get carried away. Remember your role is income generation.
 What you can do right now to move forward:  Answer the following question and write the answer in your journal:
*What 2 tech projects do you need to get off your plate ASAP?
Fuzzy goal setting and lack of planningDo you know what your overall business goals are? Do you know what your yearly, monthly, or weekly goals are?
If you can't say what you want to accomplish through your efforts, how will you know when you've achieved success?  Lacking clear goals is one of the most devastating mistakes you can make.
Set clear, measurable goals and make sure you have thoughtfully planned out how you intend to generate consistent cash flow in your business.What you can do right now to move forward:  Take a moment to ask yourself the following questions and write down your answers in your journal:
*What's your yearly income goal?
*What's your monthly income goal?
*How many clients do you need to work with each month to meet your goals?
 Adopted from Tiffany deSilva, Seamless Success Strategist
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