Think Global, Act Locally

Think global, act locally.

It’s not a new catch-cry, but it is definitely one that is gaining momentum as the squeeze on businesses gets tighter. The need to encourage buying local is very real when everything is but a mouse click away.

Defining locally

My “local” consists of two distinct areas – the local area where I am physically located – currently Bribie Island in Queensland, Australia.

Then there is my “local” online community.

My “local” online community consists of my clients and other businesses I use regularly.

They are  “local” to me because we have a relationship built over time.  So even though we are not physically in the same location, they are my go-to people for certain services.

We support the community and environment for a number of reasons. Some of the main ones being that the community grows stronger.  Local businesses support local initiatives in a wide variety of ways including offering pro-bono services, donating to fundraisers, sponsoring events and much more.

The flip side of this is that as a business owner we need to remember that alternatives are just a mouse-click away, delivery is often overnight and prices are often cheaper.

Service makes a difference

There are those who will always go for a cheaper price, and there is not a lot you can do about that.

BUT, there are many who are happy to pay a little more for excellent service and to keep their funds local.

Price Points

It all comes down to educating our community and taking that educative approach to our business.

I’ll give you an example. I recently needed to make an expensive purchase for my office and a local business had mentioned to me last year that when I was in the market to please come to them first as they would, likely as not, be able to price match.

I contacted them earlier this year, only to receive the very terse answer that I’d better go buy from the multi-national.

No explanation. Nothing.

Lost Opportunity

Here’s the thing…if the answer I received had spelt out that sadly on this occasion they could not price match, or something along the lines of that by buying local they were readily available to help troubleshoot etc, I would have very willingly paid the extra $100.

Instead, I received a short, unenthusiastic answer that did not inspire me to part with my extra $100.

The damage done is actually worse than the loss of this one sale from me; not only does it not inspire me to ever go back again, it has also meant I have shared my negative experience with my business network here in the local area.

By contrast, I never question the prices that the local electrical store quotes. I know they are sometimes a bit more expensive, but their service is stellar so it’s a no brainer to go there for all my electrical needs.

Recommendations & Referrals

Similarly, when it comes to the butcher, pharmacy, bottle shop, restaurants and more, I enthusiastically recommend the businesses I love.

I actively encourage everyone to act locally and support local businesses in the community that I know provide a wonderful service.

If there isn’t a business that is physically close, then I refer to my online “local” community.

Act Locally

When it comes down to acting locally, there are 3 key points that business owners need to keep in mind in order to maintain and build a client base.

1) No one can afford to be complacent.

Just because a business is a local one does not mean that people will automatically patronise it.

Customers are savvy. It must be meeting all their needs.

The businesses that thrive and grow are always those which are prepared to go the extra mile.

2) Genuine service and courtesy go a very long way.

Taking a genuine interest, active listening and being courteous and honest play a large role in converting a prospect into a sale.

3) Maintain a database and utilise it to stay in touch 

When you’re local it’s all about building a relationship. A buyer has many choices.

By maintaining regular communication (and there are lots of different ways to do this) you stay front of mind.

Avoiding complacency, being on the lookout for opportunities to value add.

Offering good old fashioned service with a smile (even if it’s on the phone, smiling is important!) is what keeps customers coming back, more importantly, it’s what gets referrals for your business.

At the end of the day, referrals are frequently the deciding factor for customers on whether they will shop locally.

Fly like a dragonFly like a Dragon

Michelle

PS – Love you to share your views in the comments on what are the deciding factors for you to act locally or go further afield.

Enjoyed this article? Join my newsletter every Wednesday – direct to your Inbox – to help you connect, convert and sell!





5 Simple Tips to Improve Your Writing

Do you love to write?

If you do, then you’re just like me!

If you don’t…. you’re not alone.

Whichever category you fall into, these 5 simple tips will help.

Before you take to writing that next piece of yours, whether it be a blog post or a business report, here are some quick tips to help you shine.

1) The Daily Habit

Get in the habit of writing each and every day; start a journal or a diary, write to a pen pal, just get yourself in the habit of writing.

It might seem like a lot of work but it isn’t.

*A really good way to practise this is to write 2 pages in a notebook each morning. Even though I am a writer,  I’ve just started utilising this tip that I learnt from a LinkedIn post and it is working wonders for me.

If you’re in business, chances are you’re already writing every day. You might not think of it as writing, but no doubt you send off countless emails each day?

2) Broadening your vocabulary

Get a word calendar or download an app on your phone like Dictionary.com.

Putting new words into your vocabulary is a great way to make your writing more powerful.

Often, when expanding your vocabulary you’ll also improve your knowledge on spelling and the correct use of words already in your vocabulary.

*I personally love learning new words and use them often to improve my personal writing.

3) Keep using those tough words.

Everyone has words they struggle to spell.  Don’t let that stop you.

I recently found a recipe book and I’d written one of the simplest words wrong.

I was mortified, but you know what? That’s just proof of how reliant we’re getting on the computer spell checking for us.

If you struggle with certain words keep pushing yourself to use them. Eventually, you’ll spell them so often that you’ll learn to spell them correctly.

*Whenever I misspell something on my computer before looking for the correct spelling I go back and try to spell it again. Nine times out of ten I’ll spell it right on the second try.

4) Don’t always listen to the computer

Microsoft Word is great, don’t get me wrong.

I’m always looking out for those red and green squiggly lines, but it isn’t always right.

Sometimes computers don’t understand the context of how a particular sentence should work, so it’ll underline the whole thing with a green line. This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the sentence.

Before taking on board the computer’s recommended changes always give it a second or third read over.

See if it flows.

If it flows and you don’t detect anything wrong there probably isn’t an issue.

Also, bear in mind that not every word is registered in the Microsoft Word dictionary. If a word is really old or comes from another language Word will just keep on telling you it’s spelt wrong, even when it isn’t.

5) Write it ALL down first.

I used to always edit as I went, so if I misspelt a word I would immediately change it and if a sentence didn’t flow I’d spend ages re-writing it.

However, that isn’t the most efficient way to write and edit.

The most efficient process is to write everything out and then do a re-read for editing.

Trust me it saves time.

A helping hand

If you need a helping hand with any aspects of writing or editing…

Simple emails, sales funnels, website content reviews through to book manuscripts, blogs and ghost writing are all in a days work for us at Dragon Sisters.

Need some help…..reach out to us.

To your success,

Sasha

Sasha Hanton – a graduate of Bond University with a Bachelor in Journalism. Sasha possesses high caliber skills across a wide genre of writing, editing and multi-media content creation. Sasha’s achievements include the Sally A White Award for Investigative Journalism 2013.

 

The 5 Types of Goal Setters & Goal Getters

Everyone has goals. Fitness goals, diet goals, past-time based goals, and career goals. These are just a few types of goals you might have.

At Dragon Sisters, we have our own special set of business goals and each member of our team has their own personal goals. My goal is to become a published author.

Of course, I’ve had other goals, and I’ve had to make changes to my life accordingly as certain things changed. Which got me thinking about some of my old school mates, from high school and from university. Amongst them are some truly inspirational people and looking at all of them, I’d have to say there’s at least 5 types of goal setters & goal getters.

The Unwavering

This type sets themselves a goal and pursues it till accomplished; nothing seems able to deter them.

My friend Dayna is one of these types. I’ve known her since primary school and she’s always been super artistic. When we were in high school she decided she wanted to work in graphic design, and pushed herself above and beyond. She set her heart on RMIT University in Melbourne and poured everything she had into her grades.

I remember watching her work endlessly on her final assessments for year 12, and you know what? She did it, she got into RMIT and got her degree in graphic design, now she’s working in the industry and putting her skills to use.

The Realistic Dreamer

You probably know one of these yourself. They’ve got ambitions, but they’ve also got grounding.

These are the people who plot out a course and consider what’s happening in their life before shooting off after the impossible. Instead they pursue the possible knowing that it is the first stepping stone to the impossible.

Michelle Gately is one of these types, she’s a reporter for the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin at the moment and she’s also a book blogger, but one day who knows she might be working at Dolly or Bride to Be (she’s definitely got the writing chops for it).

I met Michelle when studying at Bond University. We were both journalism students, and we each wanted to focus towards magazines. As avid book lovers and writers, we bonded. Back then I still felt pretty confident in pursuing journalism, but unlike Michelle, that didn’t really pan out for me.

Michelle had wanted to work at her hometown’s paper straight from the get go so that she could help out her Dad. Yes, she wanted to eventually work at the magazines she adores, but no she was going to do things in a realistic fashion and start at home.

The Achiever

Some people seem to effortlessly achieve their goals. They set them and then next thing you know they’re achieving them. Of course, they do put in the effort, you can’t reach your goals without a little hard work, but it’s not always something we see.

My good friend Geordi Avila is one of these achievers, she works hard, but it also just seems like her goals fall into her palm (I know it isn’t so). I think the big reason for this is her amazingly positive attitude.

She’s always got a smile ready and a can do spirit. Geordi lived in the same campus dormitory as me when I was studying at Bond University. We lived in the same hall with just a few rooms between us, she became one of my closest friends at university, and I’m so happy to see her working at SKY News. Though I’m a little jealous how smoothly she transitioned from studying to real life (I’m still getting the hang of it all).

I fit Geordi in this category because even when we were at Bond she was an achiever, and yet she always seemed to have time for friends and social activities. I know she puts in the hours and the hard work, but it just looks easy for her.

The Procrastinator

A few of my closest friends fall into this category, they’ve got goals and they’ve got talent, but they just don’t seem to be getting there.

The people in this type can set goals anywhere from realistic to ambitious, but they always seem to still be reaching when you next check up on them.

Sometimes there are hurdles that seem to put kinks in their plans.  A friend of mine wants to be an actress but after just barely missing out with her first National Institute of Dramatic Art audition and then being looked over the next two times she’s spiralled off the path. Her goal is still the same, but she hasn’t made any strong efforts to try and reach it lately.

Another friend wants to work in graphic design (yes, I have multiple friends that are the artistic creative types). This particular friend took a hit to her goal as even though she was pouring everything she had into course work, failed one of her university classes, so she put her degree on hold and spent some time (a year or two) trying to figure things out. Now she’s finally getting back to her degree. Here’s hoping she gets to the finish line this time around.

The Ever Changing

Here is the category that I fall into. I’ve had a lot of goals and not all of them reached fruition.

Don’t get me wrong my life goal has been to be a published author since I was just a little girl having her Daddy read her books, but my career goals now, they are ever changing.

I’m the type that thinks they know exactly what they want and then later realises that isn’t quite right. I originally wanted to study teaching but was told by my high school teachers to study something else first, so I switched goals to journalism.

In university during my second year of study, it suddenly came to me, I wasn’t doing something that I wanted to do… of course, I was halfway through and could still use everything I was learning, so I persevered and got my degree.

After university, I really wasn’t sure where I was going in life. I did a stint as a tutor at my former high school (one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever done) and tried my hand doing some filler writing for a local magazine before deciding to go back to university and study teaching. That didn’t pan out as I quickly realised I’d finally reached my school quota, I couldn’t bear to read any more textbooks or do any more assignments.

That’s when I decided I wanted to really get into editing. I had all the necessary skills from my journalism degree, and I enjoyed going through other people’s work and correcting it. So finally, by joining the Dragon Sisters team, I was able to achieve one of my career goals. Now I just need to conquer my life goal.

What type of goal setter & goal getter are you?

Sasha

PS If you enjoy reading fiction, check out my short stories to feed the mind.

Goal Getting- International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is an important day for us at Dragon Sisters as our core team is women. The day marks a time for reflecting on ourselves and our goals as well as for reflecting on the many great women in this world and how they reached their goals.

Achieving Your Goals

Goals are easy to create, but not always so easy to reach. Sometimes, it can seem nigh impossible to achieve a goal.

I often find myself staring into the abyss, contemplating how far away my goals are. But when I start to take action, even just baby steps towards my goals, everything becomes so much clearer.

So as we are marking a day to celebrate women’s achievements, I thought it would be the perfect time to talk about sticking to your goals and reflecting on how some great women of history have reached theirs and the challenges that they overcame.

Looking Back Through History

In our modern day and age more and more women are making strides into greatness, but there is still a great deal to achieve.  It’s also important to remember the women who have long passed into the history books who paved the way for our generation.

A couple years ago, my mother, the brilliant Michelle Hanton, and I went to see the movie “Suffragette”. It was inspirational to watch.  I loved how at the end the credits rolled a list of when women had obtained the right to vote in various countries. The whole movie was not only empowering,  it was emotional and a reminder of the many struggles women faced to get to where we are today.

As an Australian I’ve always been proud of the fact that in 1902 we became the first country in the world to allow women both the right to vote in federal elections and the right to be elected to parliament on a national basis (though New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women the right to vote back in 1893!).

Also, as someone with English heritage; my grandmother was born and raised in Yorkshire, I’m also extremely proud of the women in England who worked tirelessly for the right to vote.  Which brings me to looking at one of the most famous women in the suffragette movement, Emmeline Pankhurst; the founder of the Women’s Franchise League and also one of the founders of the Women’s Social and Political Union.

Emmeline fought for her goals, through protest and strikes, no matter the cost. Unfortunately, the full extent of her goals was not achieved until after her death in June 1928.

The pages of history hold countless tales of strong willed women. Women who followed their dreams. Women who  fought for their goals.

However,  in  2017 there are still gender equality issues, especially in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine), which is why for this post on the eve of International Women’s Day I’d like to reflect on one of the greatest scientist in history, Marie Curie.

Women have never had it easy when it comes to being accepted in scientific fields of study. However, that didn’t stop Marie Curie in her pursuit of knowledge. Receiving a general education and some scientific training from her father, she went on to become involved in a students’ revolutionary organisation, and in 1891 entered the  Sorbonne in Paris where she received her licentiateships (a licence to practise an art or profession) in physics and mathematical studies.

Marie went on to the School of Physics where she met and married Professor Pierre Curie. When Pierre passed away in 1906 she took his place as Professor of General Physics in the Faculty of Sciences, becoming the first woman to hold this position.

Most notably, she was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and the only woman to have been honoured twice with the Nobel Prize (the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics and the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry).

Including Marie Curie, 48 women have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 17 of those in STEMM fields (awarded for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine).

As we can see from the history books, women have made leaps and bounds towards equality, and yet we still have more to accomplish.

Inspirational Women of the Present

Growing up in the 1990s and early 2000s I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by inspirational women. From school teachers who helped me pursue my passion and cultivate my writing skills to family and friends who are constantly amazing me with their accomplishments.

Back when I was just a little girl I remember really looking up to Cathy Freeman. I wasn’t an athletic kid, but I just found her to be so amazing.

Now, as a young adult I still find her an amazing source of inspiration, an Australian Aboriginal who went on to be one of our country’s greatest sporting legends. Cathy was the first Australian Aboriginal woman to win gold at an international athletics event (1990), the first Australian Aboriginal to compete at the Olympics (1992), first person to win both Young Australian of the Year (1991) and Australian of the Year (1998). And all the way back in 2000 at the Sydney Olympic Games was the first competing athlete in history to light the Olympic flame.  Pretty remarkable!

The way she pushed past everything to win the gold medal for the 400m at the 2000 Olympic Games was breathtaking. In an interview about the win, she recounted how she told herself “just do what I know”; these simple, yet powerful words propelled Cathy towards her goal of becoming an Olympic gold medallist.

Aside from Cathy Freeman,  Australia has produced a range of inspirational women from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Among the great Australian women I’d like to shout out Darwin’s current Lord Mayor, Katrina Fong Lim. Katrina’s an outstanding lady and a great Lord Mayor.

Having grown up in Darwin it’s important to me that our City Council has such a strong, female, leader – she’s a fantastic role model for the young girls in Australia’s Northern Territory and is dedicated to her community.

I could go on and on about all the amazing women in the world who have set the path for gender equality, and who are serving as modern day role models. However, I won’t. Instead I’m commending all of the women out there who are working hard every day.

Whether you are a home maker or a business women, each of you is an inspiration in your own special way.

At Dragon Sisters we are very blessed to be working with a variety of inspirational Australian clients, as well as fantastic women (and some men too) from other parts of the world (we love our international clients).

Remember, all goals are achievable. You just need the determination to reach them and to take action.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Sasha Hanton

PS – if you need support with creating and maximising opportunities to reach your goals, Dragon Sisters can often help.