Category: Business

Time to Rethink Marketing

Marketing

We are in a new era. We are all trying to succeed, spread our message, sell our services and products.

It’s time to start rethinking how we approach marketing.
Snail mail, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Emails, Instagram and the list goes on.

There are companies that are starting to engage in a more respectful and less invasive way, which allows them success.
Who doesn’t receive at least 30 emails daily that sell something? A ton of emojis, exclamation points, proclamations and promises.

Who doesn’t open their mailbox to find coupons, catalogs, and envelopes with offers?
All this goes straight to the recycling bins unopened and unread.

1. We are wasting trees, paper and are inundating the recycling industry.

2. Prospective customers are closing their eyes and ears, because their space is invaded 24/7

3. You can’t scroll down your Facebook or Instagram account without seeing ads.

 

So let’s rethink all that and implement some much needed innovation. Some ideas I have been thinking of are:

  1. Act professionally. Too many claims that can be debated are not a good way to approach customers. Imagine someone you have never seen before in your life, to come straight to your face and start hugging you and pushing you around. How would you feel? This is EXACTLY what I am trying to convey here.
  2. Be 100% honest about what it is you are trying to sell!
  3. Rethink your written message. One approach. EMAIL header: ABCD product/service we would appreciate your time to read this email. Email Body: Dear …., I/we are offering XYZ product/service and have been successful in 1,2,3. Would you be interested in finding out more? If yes please reply to this email. If not, we will respect your decision and not bother you again.

We have jumped in a war to be first, to make more, more, more…… Let’s take a step back and think!
Isn’t any brand’s or Company’s trustworthiness more important?
Once you establish your name in a respectful way, you can only succeed!

 

Forget Intimidation Go Toward Success

Any day a client says “WOW this was easier than I thought and I can’t thank you enough”, I know I have done something right.

I think of what I offer as the Robin Hood of small businesses and also the consumer who is so perplexed with operations, scams, fraud etc.

My clients are super happy, because all the trendy so called coaches/consultants have a different target and go for the big earnings.
So I decided to be the advocate of the small guy, (hair stylists, landscapers, plumbers, electricians and the list goes on), because EVERYONE forgets these people exist as businesses, are trying to survive and attract customers, but don’t have the technical knowledge to spread their message, or do their own bookings and bookkeeping.

Today was a good day. One of my clients, a great local electrician sat with me for literally 15 minutes, we created his invoice template, his booking calendar and his price-list. When we were done, I saw a gleam in his eyes, and a huge smile. This is worth all the time and effort.

Helping others with what we perceive as common knowledge without making them feel as they have no clue, is our mission.

Everyone has their talents. I could never do electric work. This doesn’t make me feel dumb or less than.
I help talented people by adding my talents to theirs and making them successful by feeling great about what they do and how they do it.

Here for anyone who needs help. Success in numbers. It takes a village!

Complacency is your decline

Today’s business world is driven by competition, innovation, sales and marketing.

It is really bizarre that companies out there still communicate with their customers by mailing letters and expecting customers to reply via another letter.
Nobody will do this anymore. Write a reply to your request on a letter, then spend time and money to drive to the Post Office and mail you a response?

Your brand will decline faster than you think.

Unless you adjust your business model to what the market requires today, you might as well close your doors.

20-30 years ago, this was how businesses were ran. NOT TODAY!

Respect that there is a huge consumer piece of the pie that wants and demands convenience, fast service, modern practices.

If you want to keep existing and thriving, don;t be complacent.

  1. Update your websites
  2. Accept Emails
  3. Accept communication via your website
  4. Stop demanding customers to send you a “FAX” or actually mail you a letter. Not happening anymore.
  5. Learn from what the market is doing around you.
  6. Modernize the way you operate

You will be amazed that modernizing your brand will actually reduce your overhead and bring you new business.

Adapt, keep an open mind, learn and protect your brand from unnecessary risk that comes from complacency!

Your Competition will not wait!

Educate yourself to train your employees

You are a business owner and this is great!
There are a few rules to this game though. You cannot demand excellence from your employees, if you don’t educate yourself about the business you own.

Example that happened:
Local coffee shop.
A phone order is placed for 2 sandwiches.
15 minutes later customer arrives to pick up the order.
Order is not ready, employee starts the order.
Using bare hands without gloves to touch food. Big NO NO.
Bending over the counter to pick up mustard and other condiments, and her t-shirt and belly touch the meal being prepared.
Customer mentions it. The reply: Oh my t-shirt is clean.
Management nowhere around.

How would you feel if this happened to you?
Each business is different.
So do yourself a huge favor and learn about the rules of your specific business.
Then, sit and train your employees properly, so that obvious faux pas never happen.
This is what Business Consultants do. Teach you how to run your business properly.
Never Risk your reputation or business by thinking that you know everything.

 

Replies that make your day!

We have all been there at some point in our career or life.

You reach out to connections, friends and colleagues to ask for help to find a job.

The typical replies you receive:

  1. I’ll see what I can do
  2. Let me ask around
  3. Will let you know if anything comes up
  4. OR you never get a response at all

And then you receive one reply that makes your day, gives you hope and empowers you to keep going.
Here it is:

Thanks for sending me your resume…I’m going to share it with a group of people. Strength in numbers…we’ll see what we can get going for you!

Never give up! There is always someone who is genuinely interested and actually wants to help!

 

 

 

 

Social Media Behavior Rules

Yes, there are Social Media Behavior Rules!
Don’t expect shares, re-posts, commenting etc, if you never reciprocate.
Social Media needs interaction. Unless you pay the same respect and attention to others who follow you or are members of your pages, they will never return the favor.
Especially professionals you have worked with. If you don;t care, nobody else will. Show you are respectful, show you know how to follow requests for sharing posts or information. By sitting idle and just posting your own stuff, nobody will care.
It takes a village. The more visibility you want, the more effort you have to put in by actually reading posts by others, commenting, sharing etc. And this goes for EVERY Social Media Outlet.
Having a lot of followers that you never interact with, tells the world that you are only in it for yourself.
So, in order to gain momentum and get where you want, show RESPECT to receive respect!

Small Business & Success

You are a small business owner and want to make a difference in your community.
You want to attract and retain clients.
Here are the top WHY, WHAT and HOW questions to ask yourself:
WHY did I choose the specific business? Does it represent who I am and what I really want to do?
WHY should customers prefer my services?
WHY can’t I get more clients?
WHAT could I implement to be a better local business?
WHAT do customers think about my services?
WHAT tools do I need to succeed?
HOW am I different than my competition?
HOW can I retain satisfied customers?
HOW can I get above the competition?
HOW can I get better and be more efficient?
Once you answer all those questions honestly, you will have your plan.
Know that you cannot do everything alone. Hire some help to fine-tune your business model.

Hire the proper help

GET ORGANIZED!!!
It doesn’t matter at all how small or big your business is.
You cannot have 2, 3 or 4 different Facebook pages, LinkedIn pages and Twitter accounts.
Your presence has to be cohesive, uniform throughout all Social Media channels.
I have seen clients who are trying really hard and the response online is zero! WHY? Because the person or company dealing with their Social Media Marketing is NOT paying attention, or is completely disorganized.
You are trying hard to land new clients, to retain business and to grow. How can you accomplish all that when any prospective client searches for you online and finds outdated profiles, pages and links? When you have more than one live profiles and non are properly set up to portray who you really are and what you really do?
BASIC RULES:
  1. 1. Place your Logo on your website and ALL Social Media pages and profiles. Shows who you are and your brand starts getting recognized.
  2. 2. Have ONLY ONE Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc Page.
  3. 3. Link your website to ALL your Social Media pages, so that whenever you post an article, news, etc the content can be automatically shared throughout Social Media immediately.
  4. 4. Keep active on your Social Media profiles. Interact with others, like posts, comment, share. This is how you get traction.
  5. 5. If you are not sure about the person/company that deals with your social media marketing, don’t waste your hard earned money. ASK questions, follow up with them, make sure they represent your brand professionally, and do your company good.
  6. 6. Posting once every few months just to show you that they are working for you, will never get you results.
So I say it again! GET ORGANIZED!! Hire only the ones that are result driven, that will not put you in the back burner if you are not the multi millionaire company.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Force Authorization Scam

From the Santa Barbara Police Department

Information Bulletin
Santa Barbara, CA – 08/21/19
Force Authorization Scam
An authorization code is an alphanumeric password that authorizes a purchase. A force authorization may be required for times when a merchant’s payment terminal cannot connect to the network or the amount of the sale is above a predetermined amount. The authorization code allows a merchant to bypass the process by manually entering a previously obtained authorization code.
Recently, two Santa Barbara downtown businesses fell victim to a credit card authorization fraud scheme. Based on the recent events, we would like to inform businesses of the scheme presented and ways in which to defend your business from such incidents.
Common scams include both over the phone and in person transactions.
Example 1: The suspect/customer enters the store and attempts to make an expensive purchase. When their credit card is denied, he or she will likely pretend to be upset and act as if he or she is contacting the bank. The suspect(s) will hand you their personal phone and have you speak with the (fake) bank representative, who will provide you a force authorization code. A later chargeback will result and the merchant will be at a loss.
Example 2: The suspect/customer will arrange for a transaction and provide the credit card number and an alias. The customer will provide the authorization code once the card declines to force the fraudulent transaction through. A rapport is usually generated prior to the actual transaction to cause the employee to further believe the transaction is legitimate.
Best Practices:
* Never enter an authorization code given by a cardholder to force a transaction. Always contact the cardholder’s issuing bank yourself to obtain the valid code.
*  Ask for identification, especially for expensive transactions made over the phone to verify the identity of the caller. This can be sent to you (the merchant) via fax, email, or text.
* Do not hand your payment terminal to the customer as the customer may enter the fraudulent authorization code themselves without your knowledge.