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HouseTalk – 5 Steps to Rekindle Lost Opportunities

“5 Steps to ReKindle Missed Opportunities” a repost by Coree Silveri and thanks to Laura Sultan for suggesting it.  Both are members of the Women 2 Women LinkedIn Group.  This is excellent and I wanted to pass it on to all of you!

How many times have you let an opportunity fall off your radar, or worse, completely missed an opportunity because you didn’t take the time to ponder the possibilities with a contact?

Don’t write those off as lost opportunities so fast. Like the smoldering wood of a once burning fire, what appears to be a missed opportunity cold from neglect may just need a little attention to rekindle into your next hot business idea.

No one enjoys being forgotten or neglected, yet at one point, we’ve all either had it happen to us or we’ve been the one that has forgotten to follow up.  While it is unfortunate circumstance, it doesn’t have to be a permanent one.  Since we’ve all done it there’s no reason to be embarrassed or uncomfortable about reestablishing a business conversation that fell wayside.

Every business owner wants more business.  So, don’t feel weird.

Here are my top 5 steps for rekindling missed opportunities into new business:

1.  Search Your Calendar, Day Planner, or Journal

Spend  some quality time looking back over the past few months.  How far you go back depends on how long it’s been since you’ve done this exercise.  If this is the first time you may want to look over the last 12 months, otherwise go back at least 3 months.

Take notice of where you spent your time and which appointments you had that did not produce results.

Try to remember the people you met and the conversations you had. Did you follow up as effectively as you might? Did you explore all the possibilities?

2.  Clear Out The Clutter

Go through and clear out all the places you stick your miscellaneous papers and notes:  Your Rolodex, business card file, smart phone, purse, wallet, briefcase, or car.

Don’t throw away or delete anything until you have thought about potential opportunities.  Look particularly for people who’ve slipped off your radar. Which business relationships may benefit from some rekindling?

See that pile of business cards that you set on your desk when you came home all pumped up from your last networking event?  Rekindle that great sense of achievement and gusto you had and go back through the cards now with a fresh outlook.  What was it that was so interesting back then? Did you write any notes on the backs of the cards?

If you use a Poken to exchange social media contact info instantly at events, go back through and check out the profiles of those you spoke with.  Has anything changed?  New jobs? New products?  Find a reason to reach out.

3. Clean Up Your Inbox

I am admittedly one of the worst at returning emails and am making a public apology right now to everyone that I have not gotten back to.  I don’t mean to do this, but I am a confessed multi-tasker that has fallen off the wagon.  Great intentions, lots of ideas (too many ideas…maybe that’s my problem), and joint venture opportunities lie dormant because of lost focus or dizzying distractions.

Regularly clearing your email inbox is a major accomplishment and quite a liberating experience.  Sort, take action and get rid of the rest.

A bit of my own advice:

Don’t leave email sitting in your in box. Organize in folders, when you check your email take action immediately by scheduling to calendar, replying, or moving to your to-do list if it needs more thought.

4.  Get Through Those Files

Ugh, the dreaded deed.  Papers shoved inside slightly corresponding folders, folders sitting in piles on the desk waiting to be organized, mail and notes kept with some intention of follow up still staring at you with guilty eyes.

make moneyPicture the stack of money with eyeballs atop from the Geico commercial.  “Hey, this is the money you could be making if you called this contact”

Chances are amongst that junky looking mess there are some golden opportunities waiting for you.  After all, you kept some of that paperwork for a good reason.  Now go find it, take it out of the file, and take action on it.

5. Make An Announcement

Post an article on your blog or and update to your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn profile inviting your friends, followers, and customers to point out missed opportunities.  Write and send out an email or bulletin to contacts or staff asking them their thoughts on opportunities you may not have seen or inviting them to kick you in the pants for not following up on what they saw as a great business idea.

Male and female alike, we sometimes underestimate ourselves or fail to see a natural talent we have that could be our profitable passion. So often others see things in us that we cannot see ourselves. Ask for outside opinions, listen to suggestions, and be willing to accept a compliment.

Act on the suggestions and opportunities that feel right.

By taking these 5 steps and applying them on a quarterly basis you’ll have a system to keep you fanning the flames of still smoldering opportunities.  You may never be the super follow-through genius that never misses a beat…but, you don’t ever have to miss an opportunity again.

What are your best tips for rekindling missed opportunities?  Have you ever experienced a business success from sorting through old information or contacts?  Share your thoughts and stories with us below.

To Your Success,

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P.S. –> Have I missed an opportunity?  Do you have a business idea, joint venture, or marketing opportunity you’d like to share with me?  Did I flake out and not return your email?  Forgive me…and please contact me to rekindle our business opportunity!  You can email me directly at coree[at]marketlikeachick[dot]com.
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March 31, 2010 Posted by | 1st Time Buyers, Community Information, Investors, Real Estate Tips, Repeat Buyers, Seniors on the Move | , , | Leave a comment

HouseTalk – IL Cell Phone Law Changes

HouseTalk (literally) I am always using my cell phone.  Along with all Illinois cell phone users – on January 1 – we will all need to make adjustments.  The law changes are below.
Laws that Affect Your Mobile Businessby Kara Kienzler on December 28, 2009

37033948Text Messaging Ban

Effective January 1, 2010, text messaging while driving becomes an illegal act in the State of Illinois, with fines starting at $75. The law (Public Act 096-0130) says: A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device to compose, send or read an electronic message. Electronic message includes, but is not limited to electronic mail, a text message, an instant message or a command or request to access an Internet site. A stop sign or stop light does NOT waive this restriction.

This new law does have certain exceptions. They are:

  • a law enforcement officer or operator of an emergency vehicle while performing his or her official duties;
  • a driver using an electronic communication device for the sole purpose of reporting an emergency situation and continued communication with emergency personnel during the emergency situation;
  • a driver using an electronic communication device in hands-free or voice-activated mode;
  • a driver using an electronic communication device while parked on the shoulder of a roadway; or
  • a driver using an electronic communication device when the vehicle is stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed and the driver has the motor vehicle transmission in neutral or park.

No Cell Phones in School Zone

busstopAnother new law that will take effect January 1, 2010 is vehicular phone use in school zones. According to the law (Public Act 096-0131) a person, regardless of age, may not use a wireless telephone at any time while operating a motor vehicle on a roadway in a school speed zone or on a highway in a construction or maintenance speed zone. There are a few exceptions such as a person engaged in a highway construction or maintenance project for which the speed zone is established, a person using the wireless telephone for emergencies, or a person using a phone in voice-activated mode.

Reminder on Other Miscellaneous Cell-Phone Restrictions

Illinois has current statutes governing cell phone use by teen drivers and operators of a school bus. Drivers under the age of 19 are prohibited from using a cellular device or any type of hand-held communication device wile operating a motor vehicle.

Additionally, Illinois is one of six states that allow municipalities to establish their own laws regarding cellular phone use while driving. Chicago’s hands-free ordinance went into effect on July 1, 2005.  The Chicago law makes it illegal for drivers to talk on cell phones while operating a motor vehicle without a hands-free device.

Be sure to investigate similar municipal regulations before your travel.

(source: http://www.drivinglaws.org/ill.php)

December 30, 2009 Posted by | 1st Time Buyers, Community Information, Investors, Real Estate Tips, Repeat Buyers, Seniors on the Move, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

HouseTalk – Rainy Season-Eliminate Leaks

In my HouseTalk series, I want to provide valuable tips that will improve the condition of your home.  Whether you are considering selling your home or not – it is important to maintain it’s condition and thus the value of your home.

Typically, we don’t think of Chicago as having a rainy season, but I think we can all agree that this spring could be categorized as that.  Because of the amount of rain we have had – I want to address leaks that can occur in a home.  Buyers love to look at homes during or immediately after a rain.  It’s is a perfect time to identify any problem areas.  As a homeowner, you should take advantage of that time also.  If you catch leaks in the early stages, they will not become “big” problems and you eliminate or decrease the damage they can cause if left unattended.

Let’s start at the top of your house!  I am not an “attic” person and you will never catch me going into an attic.  But, at least annually, you or someone you hire, should go into the attic and check the roof for leaks.  Most people do not know they have roof leaks until they see stains on the walls or ceiling in a living room or bedroom.  Then not only do you have a roof repair, you also have to repair and repaint the interior of one of your rooms.

Next, it is essential to  keep your gutters and down spouts clear of debris.  This is a major source of leaks, yet it is an easy task to schedule once or twice a year.  Spring and fall are ideal.  If you live in a very wooded area, you may want to consider installing leaf guards.  Make sure your down spouts are directed away from your home’s foundation.

Your windows and doors can also be a source of leaks.  Check them on a regular basis to make sure they are caulked.  This will also help you save on your utility bills.

The last thing I want to mention today, is you want to make sure your sump pump is in good working condition.  If you are in an area that has a lot of power failures, you may want to add a battery back – up for your sump pump. 

An annual check list of  “Home Maintenance Items” will help you stay on top of these tasks.  If you are unable to complete them yourself, contact a local handyman or carpenter.  The cost you pay to have the jobs completed will be far less than if you have to correct a leak.  For more home improvement ideas, check out http://www.bobvila.com and my web site at http://www.CLSHomes.net

 My wish for you is that you live in a “leak free” home!  Summer is here and hopefully we will all enjoy warm, sunny and “dry” days!

 

 

 

June 22, 2009 Posted by | Real Estate Tips | , , | 1 Comment

HouseTalk – Mother’s Day & Curb Appeal

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and it is one of my favorite times of the year!  Not only is it a great day to pay tribute to our Mothers – but it is a sign that spring is here to stay. Living in the Chicago area – we have long winters and Mother’s Day is a time when we can be assured if we plant flowers they are not going to “freeze”.  If you are selecting a Mother’s Day gift today – the most popular choice is flowers.  And if Mom has a green thumb or enjoys spending time outdoors – the floral gift is usually one that is potted or can be planted rather than fresh flowers. 

There is something about being able to see those flowers bloom daily as spring turns into summer.  It is a gift for Mom that continues every day. Mom is not the only one that gets to enjoy the floral gifts.  I love driving down the street and looking at the flowers as they change the landscape of each home.  Flowers add to your home’s curb appeal and make people pause as they walk by and admire the blooms.  Of course, everyones choices are different — I love seeing the variety of colors and flowers that are chosen. 

When I am purchasing my flowers each year, I think back to my Mom’s favorites and always try to include them in my selections.  Her favorites differed depending on where they were planted.  Geraniums always were in pots by the front door.  The petunias were usually planted in the flower beds.  Hens and chicks are also a family favorite and one that Mom always treasured. 

Whether you are buying flowers for Mom or yourself – keep in mind it is one the most beautiful and long lasting gifts you can give to Mom, yourself, your neighbors and those that drive or walk by your home.  Great “Curb Appeal” is a gift that increases the appeal of your home!

“Happy Mother’s Day!”

May 9, 2009 Posted by | Community Information, Real Estate Tips | , , | Leave a comment

Increase Home Value by Improving Curb Appeal – Exterior Spruce Up Tips

This week has been a glorious week with the spring weather!  After our long-hard winter, we are all ready for spring!  I wanted to share with you ways to Increase Your Home’s Value by Improving the Curb Appeal of your home.  I think you will agree that these Exterior Spruce Up Tips are easy to do and will make a tremendous difference in your “curb appeal”!

Whether you are staying in your home for 10 years or wanting to sell within the next few months – we can all benefit from some spring “spruce-up tips”. 

Most of us drive home everyday and click on the garage door opener and drive into the garage without really looking at the front of our house.  I want you to walk across the street and look at your home.  This is the 1st impression a “potential buyer” has of your home.  Buyers make a decision when they drive by either on the street or the web whether they want to see more. Take a photo!  This is going to be your “before” photo.  Now create a plan for what you want to spruce up to improve your curb appeal.

Here are some ideas to get you started.  They are easy for you or a family member to do.  Or if you wish, check out my web site for a list of service providers that can help.  www.CLSHomes.net

Lets start with the front door, garage door and shutters.  Are they in good repair?  Do they need a fresh coat of paint?  A new garage door gives your home an entirely new look!  ( I replaced my garage door a few years ago and I couldn’t believe the difference – it’s also the first thing most people see when they pull in your drive.)

Next – look at your windows – again are repairs needed to the windows or the trim?  Does the trim need to be painted

Spring is the perfect time to fertilize the lawn.  Time it a day or two before they are forecasting rain.  You will enjoy a green and lush lawn all summer. 

Your sidewalks, porch and driveway will sparkle after being powerwashed. 

Winter came early and many people were unable to remove all the leaves.  Spend an afternoon raking your flower beds and around your trees.  It’s a perfect time to add some flower bulbs and “cool weather” flowers for a touch of color.

To enhance the appearance and for safety reasons – check out your house numbers, porch lights and mailbox.  Your house number should be large enough that it is visible from the street.  Does your mailbox need painting or replaced?  A new exterior light fixture can be relatively inexpensive and give you the the “punch” you want to spruce up the front.

Your entry should be welcoming!  If you are planning to sell – you will want to add flowers or home decor that will entice the visitor into your home.  And if you are not selling – the flowers will look great!

Your curb appeal should say to your visitors that you are proud of your home.  Whether selling or staying – you will be glad you took the time to spruce up the exterior!  Your home will look better!  The neighborhood will look better!  By taking care of your home on a regular basis – your home will maintain it’s value and hopefully increase the value and the curb appeal.

Don’t forget — walk across the street and take that “after” photo for comparison! 

Have a great spring and take time to enjoy your home everyday!

April 10, 2009 Posted by | Real Estate Tips, Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

HouseTalk

Homeowners Tax Credit!

All homeowners have an opportunity to take advantage of the 2009 Stimulus package.  One of the components that you do not hear much about is the “Home Improvement” credit. If you upgraded your appliances to “Energy Star” rated appliances or replaced windows or added insulation – one or all of these items may meet the requirements for a tax credit.  A homeowner may receive a credit up to $1500 for their home improvements.  Be sure to check with your accountant or CPA to see if your improvements qualify.  If you have already filed your 2008 taxes, you can take the deduction when you file 2009 returns, or you may choose to amend  your tax returns for 2008.

March 23, 2009 Posted by | 1st Time Buyers, Real Estate Tips | , , , , | Leave a comment