Saturday, February 28, 2009

...And the Winner Is

I would like to extend special Congratulations and Thanks, not to mention 1000 EC credits to Dallas Marketing Services for winning my contest for most drops to this blog for February. The 1000 EC credits have been sent . Special Recognition also goes out to Raging Rev and Moshi and Kibo's Dog Blog who also did not miss a drop all month.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Invest In Yourself

Recently a friend of mine called me up asking me to lend a few minutes of my time to another area small business owner. I agreed simply because I saw it as another potential contact so a meeting was arranged at a local restaurant.

Upon arriving I saw that this gentleman had arrived 20 minutes early.Introductions were made and the conversation quickly turned to business or more to his lack of business. He had purchased an already built business with the understanding that the seller would be turning over all contracts and clients to him. The seller had quickly disappeared before the client information was ever exchanged leaving this man trying to tread water in the deep end of the pool where the big boys swim.

He was ready to give up completely after having tried cold calling had led to no sales. I quickly started explaining to him techniques such as the importance of having professional business cards and a website and explaining to him techniques I had used when I first started out, what had worked and what didn't. I explained to him the importance of having insurance, being bonded, and carrying workmans compensation insurance. The following is briefly how our conversation went from that point.

Him: A lot of what you are suggesting costs money

Me: Let me ask you this, can you do the job ?

Him: Yes

Me : are others making money in this area doing the same job?

Him: Yes

Me: Whats the difference between you and them?

Him: They have customers

Me: If you were to hire a company to do the same job for you, would you go with the one that had all his insurances and bonding or with the other guy that didn't?

Him: I suppose I would want the insured guy in case something happened

Me: Do you see where I'm going with this?

In the business world you have to be willing to invest in yourself, business is not exactly rocket science in most cases. If spending a few extra hundred dollars a month will enable you to make a few thousand extra that you would have not been able to had you not spent it, the worth outweighs the cost. If the cost does not outweigh the worth then by all means pass on it. See not rocket science at all, just common sense.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Quit Wasting Money On E-Books

Awhile back, I posted a list of Successful Men That Didn't Complete College and I had hoped it would inspire many of my readers to chase their dreams and to realize that anything in life is possible if you believe in yourself and your idea,vision,whatever you decide to call it.

Watching my own small business grow larger each day has been great and I still have no college degree. That is not to say that I don't believe in education. Knowledge truly is power, I just choose to get my knowledge from books and real world experience. I am not talking about those make $10,000 a day by doing nothing ebooks that are always for sale, as long as you beat the deadline, either.

I choose to read the books written by the men that can truly inspire you to success and do not promise you anything but hard work and the knowledge that it can be done.These books can be bought at any bookstore or found in most any library so there also is no $49.95 fee associated with them either. That money is best used for your business.

Some Books I recommend are below:

Losing My Virginity - Richard Branson (or any book by him for that matter)
Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill
Way to the Top - Donald Trump

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Great Minds Think Alike - Tips on Building Your Dream Team

"Great minds think alike"...We have all heard these words but how exactly do they pertain to business?

In the business world it is very important to surround yourself with like minded individuals, what good is a plan if the people working for you do not understand it enough to see the big picture? If you have built your business with a solid foundation of people that can not only see the bigger picture but are also as hungry as you are for success, your odds of survival increase drastically.

The hiring process is where building that strong foundation starts. Not every person you know will be cut out to be a part of your team and recognizing this early in is key. If you hire anyone and everyone that needs a job, you will get what you pay for. Seek out qualified people to work for you just as you would seek out a qualified doctor to heal you.

Positive energy creates positive results, unfortunately anyone can fake positive energy for a 30 minute job interview. As a business owner you must learn to recognize when that 30 minutes is up and must also learn how to cut the slackers from your team before they infect not only your other workers but your clients as well.

Listen to your employees ideas on how to better the business, if you don't feel as if they are capable of coming up with some really great ideas, perhaps their 30 minutes have already expired because you just can't fix stupid.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Initiating Contact With a Prospective Client

Today I spoke with another small business owner friend of mine and the recession and how it was affecting sales came up. He was complaining that he had no idea why his salespeople just couldn't seal the deal so I asked him what their method of making contacts was. I was not very surprised to hear him say that they were making initial contact via telephone and then actively pursuing all interested potential clients with a face to face meeting.

Let's stop and think about that for a second...who are some of the most hated people anyplace? Telemarketers...With that being known, I would never attempt to make initial contact with a potential client over the phone.

I initiate contact with a visit to the clients office where I request a meeting with the person that makes the decisions. If I have done my homework beforehand, I already know this individuals name. I may or may not get the meeting depending on how much of a power trip the secretary (henceforth known as the gatekeeper) is on.

Quick Tip on bypassing the gatekeepers: Dress for success and carry yourself in a professional manner. Gatekeepers are less likely to turn you away if they think you are somebody important.

Once you have managed to get a meeting, keep your business presentation between 3 and 5 minutes. If after your meeting, you are met with a "No" do not accept that as a final answer. Ask what the objection to doing business with your company is, perhaps it is something as minute as the price isn't right. Look for a viable solution to satisfy the objection and still land the deal but...and here is the important not agree to any deal that puts your company in a situation you do not feel comfortable with. If you have to make a certain amount of money per job just to turn a profit, refuse to negotiate yourself into a bad deal. You will save yourself a lot of trouble later by standing your ground.

This method will not magically help you seal every deal but I guarantee you will get further through face to face meetings than you ever will over the phone.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Quote of the Day

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas A. Edison

Monday, February 2, 2009

My Feel Bad Hurts

It's official... I am sick.I won't go into details but will instead use this post to address a problem many small businesses fail to prepare for. If you are like me, in the early days you structured your business to run long as you were at the helm. What happens when you are incapable of being there? Do you have a back-up chain of command ready to step in and get the job done?

The last thing a customer or client wants to hear is that your illness delays their plans, an illness that inconveniences you for a few days could potentially cost your company tens of thousands in future sales. I learned this lesson awhile back and have since put together a contingency plan that allows my business to continue running without me.

Today's lesson is that nobody is invincible, build your business to withstand the unexpected.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Win 1000 Entrecard Credits

This month I will be holding a contest, participation is very easy. To enter to win 1000 Entrecard credits you have to simply drop your card on my site. On February 28th, the dropper with the most cards dropped on my site will be awarded 1000 Entrecard credits.

In the event of a tie, the winner will be chosen through a random drawing.