Articles

How Can You Expand Your Business?

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

How Can You Expand Your Business?

Some business people state that they would like to expand their business but have not defined the word "expand" or put a plan in place to do this. Are you interested in adding more clients, increasing your inventory, realizing a larger profit or hiring more staff. You see, sometimes people work at building the business but end up being disappointed or stressed or exhausted because "expanding" just places more demands on their time and energy. I know many people who invest most of their waking hours into enterprises that do not give them the rewards and results that they want....

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How to Expand Your Business by Adding a New Product or Service

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

How to Expand Your Business by Adding a New Product or Service

Expanding your business by adding a product or service requires considerable thought and planning - even before you make a firm decision to do that. The first thing that you need to do is do an evaluation of the business that you are operating right now. Is it sound? Are there areas that need work before you can expand? Do you have enough time and staff to do the work now or will you need to add manpower just to grow as a business with the products or services that you already have? Did you survey your clients so that...

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How to Expand Your Staff

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

How to Expand Your Staff

When I first started my business I would hire people who I liked to do specific jobs for me. Then I would be surprised that they didn't have the skills needed to do this. They would be pleasant but didn't think the way that I did or approach things in the same manner. They couldn't read my mind! Now I had another problem. I didn't want to fire someone who I liked. So I would buy a piece of crystal and give it to the individual stating that I was very thankful for the work that they had done indicating...

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How to Expand Your Business Without Expanding The Hours That You Work

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

How to Expand Your Business Without Expanding The Hours That You Work

Some business people have a dream to expand their business but then become disappointed by the way that they have to invest more time and energy to do that. Unless you are a workaholic, you likely want to have more freedom and more money but, in order for this to happen you will need to do several things: 1. Be very clear with yourself about what you want out of the business (time, money, activity, celebrity). Expanding a business does not necessarily mean that you will have any of these. In fact, they might steal your freedom and reputation or...

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How To Expand Your Business By Expanding Your Mind

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

How To Expand Your Business By Expanding Your Mind

There are advantages and disadvantages to being a solo professional who owns and operates their own business. One of the disadvantages is that you might become so involved in the work that you don't consider the ways that you can grow or expand the business. Do not fret, however. There are many ways that you can expand your vision and your mind: 1. Attend conferences and workshops - Make sure that you have a creative Professional Development plan that you can enjoy each year. You might want to register for events that are sponsored by the organizations where you have...

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How to Expand Your Marketing Without Spending Any Money

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

How to Expand Your Marketing Without Spending Any Money

Most of the time we think that marketing involves spend advertising dollars. There are many things, however, that you can do that will not cost you money as follows: 1. Provide excellent service - Word of mouth is an extremely strong way to bring new clients into your business. Every week I have people tell me that a friend or family member has recommended that they see me to help them with a problem. If clients are happy with your work they will tell others about it and, even if the others do not need you at the time, they...

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Ten Productive Things To Do When Your Client Doesn't Show For An Appointment

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Ten Productive Things To Do When Your Client Doesn't Show For An Appointment

I remember when I first started working as a therapist. When a client did not show up for their scheduled appointment, I would take it personally and wonder what I had done "wrong". Now, when a client doesn't come to their appointment I treat the time like a gift! There are so many things that you can do during a "no show" time slot: 1. Arrange to have the client contacted to reschedule. Sometimes they forget, get lost or have an emergency that prevents them from attending. If you ignore them, they might be too embarrassed to ask for another...

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Paperwork: The Thing That Can Kill Your Time and Destroy Your Income

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Paperwork: The Thing That Can Kill Your Time and Destroy Your Income

If you are operating a business you might feel at times that the paperwork is taking over your life! Some of the time you invest in completing it might be billable but other documents might not. There are several things that you can do that will make you feel like you are more in control. 1. Make sure that you are clear about what paperwork needs to be done and what is unnecessary. You do need to have a record of every single contact that you have with your client, for example, but likely will not be able to bill...

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Professional Development Portfolios

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Professional Development Portfolios

Because professional bodies are becoming more concerned about professional development, it is important that you can not only plan specific ways to meet the requirements but also ways that you can keep track of your learning. There are three things that you need to know when it comes to professional development: 1. Choose learning opportunities that will qualify for credit and also meet your own specific needs. Many regulatory bodies have identified categories for different types of professional development. You need to make sure that you understand what is required and choose appropriate opportunities that will meet the criteria. At...

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Inventory - The Thing That Can Steal Your Money

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Inventory - The Thing That Can Steal Your Money

Often people in the "helping professions" do not have inventory to the same degree as retail stores. But, it you are a professional who also produces and sells information products, it won't take long for you to realize that their cashflow is limited by the amount that they have in unsold goods. Let's think for a minute about what happens if you write a book and then decide to place a large order so that you will have a good volume discount. You might decide to have 2,000 or 3,000 books printed and, because of this quantity, will receive a...

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Past Failure - The Thing That Stops You From Building a Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Past Failure - The Thing That Stops You From Building a Business

Everyone fails at something. Many of us fail at several things. But that isn't a reason to stop trying. I remember when I started my first job. I was working in a government agency and at the young age of sixteen years, thought I had it made! There was a posting for a senior position on the job board and I was bold enough to apply for it. Human Resources told me that I couldn't apply because I hadn't finished my three-month probationary period yet. But the Union Representative found out and my application was honoured based on the fact...

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Lack of Time - The Thing That Stops You From Building a Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Lack of Time - The Thing That Stops You From Building a Business

Everyone seems to be complaining that they are too busy. They state that they do not have enough time in the day or week and, in all their busyness, the years fly by! If you were notified that you had just won an all-expense paid trip for three weeks do you think that you could find the time to go? Of course you would. It's all about setting priorities and making a plan. What are the things that are stealing your time? Do you find yourself driving a lot? Many parents think that they are taxi drivers for their children...

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FEAR - The Thing That Stops You From Building a Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

FEAR - The Thing That Stops You From Building a Business

Often people tell me that they would love to have their own business but do not believe that this could ever happen. When questioned further, they explain that they are just too afraid to start. Well, fear forms the bars of our own cages. Often the thing that we fear the most is something that we have never tried. In other words, we have a fear of the unknown. We let our minds imagine all the horrible things that MIGHT go wrong - and then let these ideas fester for years and years, all the while immobilizing us. The result is...

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AGE - The Excuse That Stops You From Building a Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

AGE - The Excuse That Stops You From Building a Business

Sometimes people talk about how they would like to do certain things but then quickly follow-up with a statement that they are not able to do this because of their age. This seems rather silly as I know many individuals who have had a number of birthdays but are lively, vibrant, positive and open to opportunity. At the same time, others who are the same age present as feeble, dependent, helpless and scared. This is also true of younger people. If you take two individuals of the same age, you might find that one is mature and responsible while the...

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LACK OF MONEY - The Barrier That Stops You From Building a Business

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

LACK OF MONEY - The Barrier That Stops You From Building a Business

I have heard people say over the years that they cannot have a child because of lack of money. Some state that they cannot travel, build a house or purchase an education plan for their children because they cannot afford it. I have even heard individuals state that they cannot afford to start a business because they do not have the funds. Well, it really doesn't take as much money as you might think to start a wonderful enterprise. I remember when my young children decided to start delivering newspapers. They began with one small route. They didn't have any...

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Christmas: Census, Taxes, and Health Care

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Christmas: Census, Taxes, and Health Care

I remember a time when the census taker would come to the house and fill out a form to record information about each person who lived in that residence. During the last census I instead received a card on my door asking me to call a lady who gathered the data over the telephone. My taxes are done each year by an accountant who sends everything electronically over the internet to the right computer by the deadline given. Health issues are easily taken care of with a short drive to my physician's office or by asking for direction from my...

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Holidays: Thresholds

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Holidays: Thresholds

There are a number of interesting theories about the origin of the word "threshold". In ancient times houses were built at ground level. Families who were poor therefore had dirt floors. Sometimes they used straw which some term as "thresh" to prevent slippage when walking. If the straw was trampled, it might move. Households would therefore put a divider or "threshold" in the doorway to prevent the straw from moving to places where it didn't belong. Other theories argue that the threshold was built high enough to keep water and animals from entering under the door of the house. Both...

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Self-Improvement: Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Self-Improvement: Are You Lonesome Tonight?

"I'm bored". I used to think that this meant that there wasn't enough to do. Now I know that the person who makes the statement actually wants to be entertained or have someone else pay attention to them. "I'm lonely" is a similar statement. People who claim that they are lonely often are sad that others do not visit or contact them. Bored and lonely are dangerous conditions. They can bring sadness, vulnerability and lead to poor choices. Depression, addiction and entering inappropriate relationships can result. If you are feeling bored or lonely consider the many options that you have....

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Book Review: Ford Country Stories

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Ford Country Stories

John Grisham has done it again! His latest book was so captivating that I read it in one sitting! Clanton Mississippi is the scene for seven separate stories that each deal with topics that are often difficult for individuals to think about. The first deals with young men who make immature choices on their journey to give blood for a resident who has had a work-related injury. Chapter two describes the horrible situation that a family faces when they take their mother to prison where their brother is scheduled for execution. "Fish Files" involves lawyers who plan a settlement for...

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Book Review: All Roads Lead to Manyberries

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: All Roads Lead to Manyberries

If you've every sat in a small-town bar and discussed politics, you will enjoy this book. Manyberries is a farming community in southern Alberta with a population of nearly one hundred residents. The six main characters of the book have built relationships with each other through their daily loyalty to the "happy hour" at the "Just One More Saloon" in their town. Each day, except Sunday when the establishment is closed, the five men meet to discuss news events and share the alcoholic beverages that are dispensed by Hazel who is the inn's owner/operator. The rule is that the person...

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Book Review: Robin Killer

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Robin Killer

Jana Pruden was a newspaper reporter and columnist in Medicine Hat Alberta. When she was in that employment she wrote "Robin Killer" which is a collection of twenty-four articles. This short book of eighty-four pages is rather unconventional. It doesn't have a Foreward, Introduction or standard formatting that you might expect in a book. Even the cover is non-traditional in that all the quotes seem to be from the author's family members. The whole time I was reading, my mind seemed to be searching for connection between the stories and even when I had finished the final page I was...

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Holidays: The Most Expensive Month of the Year

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Holidays: The Most Expensive Month of the Year

Year after year I hear people talk about how much money they spent, how they over-ate and how exhausted they are following their December "celebrations". The glow of the holidays can fade quickly and anxiety might replace it as the January credit card statements arrive if you aren't careful. Right now, we are sitting on the threshold of the month that can be the most demanding - of our time, our money and our energy. This year can be different, however, with a little bit of planning and a commitment to follow through. There are ten things that you can...

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Self-Improvement: Hoarding

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Self-Improvement: Hoarding

Television has recently opened the public's eyes with their weekly series entitled "Hoarding". Many had no idea that others live like those portrayed in the show. Mind you, the producers likely search for the most dramatic situations in order to draw a viewing audience through sensationalism. But hoarding does occur in varying degrees - and not just in "other locations". People who hoard might be your family members, friends or neighbours. There are several things that the people who hoard have in common:   Usually they have experienced a traumatic incident or situation which triggers the hoarding. A death, career...

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Self-Improvement - Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Self-Improvement - Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

Tonight I was watching the popular television show "Who wants to be a Millionaire?" and began thinking that it would be great if life was like this. Imagine what it would be like to have everyone at home or work clap and cheer when you answer a simple question. The lights would flash and the music rise in a crescendo. You would smile, wave and bow to the audience knowing that you were appreciated and that everyone truly wanted you to succeed. Then, when there is a question that you aren't sure about, you would merely poll those in the...

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Holidays - Canada Day - God Keep Our Land

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Holidays - Canada Day - God Keep Our Land

Recently I decided to visit my sister and her family who live about 800 kilometres from my home. I didn't have to get permission from anyone to make the trip. I was able to fill the tank of my car with gas using money that I had earned myself. My start time was one that I chose on my own. As I drove, I was able to enjoy the countryside that had not been ravaged by war or weather disturbances. In fact, the natural beauty was enhanced by the sight of farmers who were diligently planting the spring crops with...

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