Episode #112 – Make Money Now! Today is Powerful for Small Businesses!

Do you like where you are right now?  Then don’t do anything different.

Yeah, it doesn’t work like that.  If it did we would all still be enjoying CD’s and toting around the 100 envelope carrier that you didn’t dare leave in your car because someone would break in and steal it.  You realize that I left mine in the bathroom of the Midway Airport… right on the floor against the wall of the stall.  This was back in 1996.  I was on the plane, realized I forgot it, ran off the plane, struggled past people boarding on the jetway, got to the bathroom, discovered it no longer there, and got back on the plane… no questions asked.  Things were much different 20 years ago.

Some people would argue they’d rather have CD’s or even vinyl.  But the point is, even if you want to do things as you’ve always done them, life happens and so does change.

We cannot go back to a morning and evening newspaper and three TV channels.  Here’s the deal, today is better.  Although the finale of M*A*S*H had a 60.2% US household viewership.  WAIT! Ponder that for a moment… 60% of all the households in the United States doing the exact same thing at the exact same time… we just don’t get that anymore!  Now, that’s a loss.  Sure, we do get “viral” things where we watch “bear cubs on a slide”, but we never watch it at the EXACT same same time.

So why do I say today is better?  Because for a small business you can make money right now!  While the 60% of households is great for advertisers of major companies, it’s not good for small businesses. In fact, it would blow out your advertising budget.

But today… if you decided you wanted to make money NOW, you can go onto Facebook, right now and create an ad targeted to people 10 miles from your business and promote your product for less than $20/day. Again, you can do this now.  You don’t have to wait for next week’s newspaper deadline. You can do it now.  You’ve also got Google and Craigslist!

If you want to create a new product and not carry inventory you can do that too!  Here… buy an American Flag Hat, I made this a couple years ago, if you buy it, I make money.  My point is, there’s no inventory.  Hummmmmm with the 4th right around the corner, maybe I should create a Facebook ad to promote it??!!?

See what you can do today!

Imagine using the American Hat formula and creating shirts for your business… you can sell them online, and you don’t carry inventory.  You can utilize the power of “your list” or buy traffic (ads on Facebook), and make money now.

Again, it seemed simpler when small businesses could place one an ad in the Sunday Newspaper… but today, when you understand the different ways people shop and communicate, you can make more money.   But you need to remain open to learning.

PS: if you like my post … give it a “like” (thanks ahead of time)!

Action Step
1- Make Money Now
2- Create a new product or a new ad!  Use the advantages of “today”!
3- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Listen to Episode #112 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

Love this saying?  Buy it on a 12″ x 12″ Canvas “Social Square” wall hanging!

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Episode #111 – Focus on the Basics for Small Business Success Now and in Ten Years

It’s hard to get out of your own way.  But it’s nearly impossible to look to your future without taking the baggage of your past with you.  This is why we rarely notice a technological improvement because the improvement really is just a modification of what we’ve been using… that is until it’s a great leap forward.

I remember the first time I used wireless internet.  It was the most freakish experience.  I walked around my living room hovering my hand over and under my laptop computer.  Seriously, I am the biggest geek!  I can’t believe I wrote that.  But I really did.  The internet is magical enough, I mean… going from dial up to DSL… that was a big deal.  Then… OMG!  No wires!   I’ll spare you my excitement when I walked outside with my smart phone and printed a document to my printer inside my house.  Serious geek moment.

Other than showing my geek off… I have a point.  What has changed?  I can stand outside and print instead of being next to my computer and print.  I still have to go to the printer and pick up a physical piece of paper.  What has stayed the same?  It’s white paper, black ink, and Times New Roman font.

Wrong question.

What did I want ten years ago that I still want today?
I want fast printing that is clean, clear, and crisp.

What will I want in 10 years?
I will still want fast printing that is clean, clear, and crisp.

Maybe in 10 years I’ll be able to sit on a raft in the middle of a tropical lagoon and just “think” print and won’t need a smart phone because the internet will just be in my head… but guess what, I’m still going to need a printer.

So this is your ultimate business success philosophy modified from Amazon.  Don’t be concerned with the changes that will happen to your business in ten years, focus on the things that will be the same.

Whew!
That eliminates a whole bunch of stress.

For example, if you run an online store.  Your customers currently like fast shipping with innovative products.  In ten years they’ll still want fast shipping and innovative products.  If you run a gymnastics club and the parents want an environment that promotes a positive and competitive environment… guess what… in ten years they’ll still want that.  If you currently own a doggy daycare that has a safe/clean atmosphere with extended hours, again… in ten years you’ll probably offer a similar product.

So, in ten years, gymnastics will evolve and new tricks will be developed, the doggy daycare may include drones that walk the dogs, and your online store might teleport products to homes, however, your basics will still remain.  Discover and focus on these basics.

PS: if you like my post … give it a “like” (thanks ahead of time)!

Action Step
1- What are the four to five things you do as a business now that you did 5, 10, maybe 20 years ago?  What are the core values?  Have they changed or are they the same?
2- How likely is it that these four to five things will still be the core of your business in ten years?
3- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Listen to Episode #111 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

Love this saying?  Buy it on a 12″ x 12″ Canvas “Social Square” wall hanging!

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Episode #110 – Doggy Paddle to Marketing is THE Profit Center.

Can you learn to swim by reading it in a book?  Haha!  NO way.  Eventually you need to get wet and if you start by jumping in the deep end, well that’s a bad idea.  We’re not dogs.  Dogs typically can “just swim” you don’t need to help them float by holding them under their belly chanting “kick kick kick” they can just swim.  They’ve even got their own swim stroke, it’s called the doggy paddle.

Are dogs smarter than us?  I know my dog thinks he’s smarter than me… until dinner, he still hasn’t figured out how to open the can of food… yet.  But at swimming he’s a natural.  However, here’s the deal, have you ever seen a dog do a back stroke, butterfly, or synchronized swimming?  No.  They’ve got that doggy paddle and they’re really happy with it.

So is self education better than formal education?

In a lot of ways, yes.

Let’s look at swimming.  It’s important to learn to swim and the younger the better.  If you never learn a how to butterfly, that’s ok.  But if you do learn to swim you can snorkel at the coral reef which is out of this world amazing.

If you learn that maintaining a database for your business will help you organize your customers information in one location you’ll make a living.  If you switch your view of the database from a “tool” to a profit center and you target products and services to segments within your database, you will achieve an entirely new level of success.

You need the formal education to learn how to create and maintain a database, because like swimming, we are not born with the gift. And just like swimming we can get away with a simple doggy paddle and be happy cruising around the pool.  But if you really want to see some magic, create a database that will turn your marketing a profit center (marketingistheprofitcenter.com).  To do this, you’ll need some self-education mixed with your formal education.  You’ll need trial and error.

Your customers are unique to your business because of your relationship.  Your value system has attracted your customers to you.  Therefore a “one size fits all” type of database and message system will not show results in the same way as crafting your message to fit your audience.  This is a tough hurdle to get past because there are other businesses that will try to sell you their miracle product for posting or email communication.  It seems like a great solution, but most of the time you should run.  You’ll spend a lot of money for mediocre results.

Start practicing message crafting today. Get that self education going.  When you discover what speaks to your customers you will be unstoppable in your marketing.  It will translate to other areas of your business.  Will it make you a fortune?  Maybe.

PS: if you love my post … give it a “like”!

Action Step
1- Start a database (collect the contact information from your customers and if you don’t know how to create a database, at least have the information and pay someone else to set it up for you)
2-Collect email and mailing information – there are times you’ll want to do both types of contacts.
3- Start communicating!  Take note of what works and what does not.
4- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Listen to Episode #110 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

Love this saying?  Buy it on a 12″ x 12″ Canvas “Social Square” wall hanging!

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Episode #109 – Practice Your Social Media Marketing and the Difficult Will Become Easy!

What is really easy for you?  I look at something so obvious as typing that question and think of how difficult it once was to type.  I type fast.  But that didn’t “just happen”.  I took a typing class in high school and practiced.  However, until I looked back at all of the years of continued usage of my typing skills, I never really thought about the difficulty it was to type “stupid” things like “the quick brown fox…”

Take your morning routine for an example, how many things do you do before you even start working, that were once difficult tasks, now made easy?  It’s possibly hundreds.

Social Media and the use of it for marketing have only been around for 10 years.  You may have just “jumped in” to it this past year.  Why are you so frustrated?  There’s no reason to be so hard on yourself.  This is something that is easy only after it’s difficult.

The learning curve is big. But it’s not entirely new. There are many aspects that are familiar to marketing that you’ve used for years.  You take photos, craft messages, and build an audience.  Let’s compare email marketing and direct mail.  To send a message via email you need to have a database.  The same is true of sending a post card… you need a database.  Next is your message… you need it for email just the same as a postcard.  Finally visuals, both need something to catch the eye, one twist is with email you can use video.  Essentially they are very similar.

If you are creating a post on Facebook, you also need three things, a visual, a message and an audience. So what is making this so difficult?  Rules.  You just need to know the rules.  Learn the demographics, for example if you were targeting 60 year olds, Snapchat is not the most useful social media tool due to the demographics.  If you create beautiful photos or visuals at your business, then Instagram or Pinterest might be the better platforms for you.

The only way things get easy is to practice…  So take a moment and decide if the reason you “have difficulty” with social media is because you don’t have time… or have trouble with creating messages (content) or if you simply don’t understand the rules (logistics) – then craft your plan to over come with either practice or education… Hint: there are lots of online education mini-courses on YouTube to start with.

 

Finally, you’ve just got to get out there, develop a plan, and just “do”. Jump in.  Go for it!

PS: if you love my post … give it a “like”!

Action Step
1- List three things you’ve done today that were once difficult.
2- Write down the most difficult part of your social media plan… is it time, content, or logistics.
3- Decide if  you need education or practice to overcome #2?  Then just “do”.
3- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Listen to Episode #109 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

Love this saying?  Buy it on a 12″ x 12″ Canvas “Social Square” wall hanging!

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Episode #108 – GTFON – Thank You Gen Z

I think I’m going to make today’s inspiration into a button and wear it at work.  Because it has inspired me in two different thoughts but both occurred this weekend at our marina.

The first example is in how people leave jobs.  Unfortunately in today’s society the concept of “two week’s notice” is nearly non-existent.   I specialize in the high school / college crowd, so I cannot speak to middle managers at Fortune 500’s.  I simply have 28 years of experience supervising the “first job” crowd.

In the recent 8 years, parents have overwhelming influenced decisions (in a very bad way) over the first job experience.  The parents, with 15-20 years of work experience under their belt and are prepared to make the “all about me” decisions concerning their free spirit thinking, have put this into the head of their darling 15 year old.  The 15 year old that has no job skills and no work experience AND expects $15 an hour.  (I’m not kidding).

So where does that leave a small business?

With an overpaid and under skilled work force, that thinks they can take time off for their “dog’s birthday party” – (Seriously, I’m not kidding).

Now.  Let’s get back to my original observation.  I had an employee that put in a “two week’s notice” which… silly me… I believed.  So I scheduled the person.  When I noticed the schedule had not been picked up, I contacted the person, who replied texted (15 hours later) that “I’m working at my new job” – ahhhhhh, isn’t that charming.  Although this person is #1 in the class, had been responsible, I cannot wait for a request for a job reference.  Because it will come… they always do.  And you know what.  While employers are so “gagged” as to what they can/can’t say… on an employment referral you sure can say… “still waiting for them to show up for their shift on 6/17 and 6/18.”  Do you think that a potential employer might understand what that means?

When I was covering the shifts for “employee actions not matching words”, another employee said… “Oh she GTFON’d it”  I just looked at him, I knew what the F meant…  and I figured out the rest in about 20 seconds.  But here’s the sad part.  There’s a hashtag/acronym for it!!!  So corporate America… just you wait.  Five years from now when you hear it on the news that no one puts in notice they just GTFON you are prepared and heard it here first.  Again, 28 years of experience on the front line of supervising the first job has some perks, I know what the trends are long before I hear them on the news.  I had mommies calling in for kids at least 7 years before I heard the news story about it happening to HR at General Mills.  It just made me laugh.  So be prepared… GTFON is coming!

My second observation is that if you’re not on a contract quit complaining to me.  We rent boats.  Because boats are seen as “fun” the rules/regulations/contracts are sometimes viewed as “optional” by our guests.  When the boat leaves we inspect the condition, when the boat returns we inspect the condition.  If something breaks we charge for it.

Now here’s the ironic part.  The people who are most upset are NEVER the contract holder.  It’s always the “friend”.  This person will scream at me, threaten me, and call me nasty words.  My remedy now is to simply look them and say “I only work with the contract holder”.  Why???  Because there is absolutely nothing I can say to someone that is hostile and intoxicated that has not read and initialed the 13 point contract (twice), watched a video, and signed their name to the visual check-out/check-in process.

Nothing.

Again, 28 years of experience of learning, tweaking policies, and creating customer service “confrontation management” skills has allows me to now say, that this creepy angry troll “friend” needs to simply GTFON.

Thank you Gen Z.

PS: if you love my post … give it a “like”!

Action Step
1- Develop an exit plan with your employees when they start. Instill the importance of leaving on good terms with the appropriate amount of notice.
2- Understand as an employer and as a business owner, you may think you have no power, but ultimately you do.  Look at where you get the most complaints and change something… most likely it’s before the transaction even occurs.  About 3 weeks ago we added a video explaining the most common damage issue on our boats, and it’s reduced the damage/confrontation by 85% (so far…)
3- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Listen to Episode #108 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

Love this saying?  Buy it on a 12″ x 12″ Canvas “Social Square” wall hanging!

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Episode #107 – Dream Big! Wait, Don’t. Plan BIG Instead.

I’m not a big believer in dreams.  People that sit around and dream have a lot of time on their hands.  Now a couple of you might think… “that’s kinda sad.  We all need dreams.”

NO.

We all need plans.

If you want to lollygag in the wishful thinking of life, fine.  But this inspiration is over the top awesome.  You are given dreams.  AND you are given a way to make the dream a reality, but you need to discover the “way” and often that’s work…  Dreams do come to you spontaneously.  Sometimes it’s that flash of inspiration on how to finally solve the problem or how to make more money.  What ever the topic, you are given the answer.  Dreams are answers.

So now what?

This is the great divide!  There are people that sit around on their rear ends and talk about how “great” things would be if only the big boss would notice them or if only they’d be discovered.  They talk, talk, talk.  If they spend that energy “doing”…  gosh, they’d be one step closer to “it” happening.  But they don’t.   So they sit.  Which side of the divide are you on?  Are you the talker or doer?

Don’t waste a dream, simply dreaming about it – go out there and make it a reality.  That is “scary part one”… However, not for small business owners, you’re already doing a lot of “put yourself out there scary things” – let’s go to “scary part two” for small business owners, and that is not dreaming big enough.

Remember if you can dream it, the way to make it come true will exist.  So let’s get scary and dream big.  I mean big!  If you were dropped on this planet, what would the ultimate goal for your small business be?  7 figures, 8 figures,10 figures, speaking tour, book deal, vacation homes in 12 different locations, new pair of socks every day so you never had to match them up out of dryer, franchise your business, it’s time to dream big.   Personally, I like the sock goal… then again, I’m waiting for my dryer to buzzzzzzz… ugh. Roll eyes.

Next, plan.  There is a way to break your goal down into manageable chunks.  Take the big, divide it down.

Realize if you want to make a million dollars and you make $25 profit on your current product.  You only need to sell 40,000 products.  Well, divide by 12 months and that’s 3,333 a month… or only 120 a day.  That’s pretty exciting!  Grab my free book on this topic called littlemillionaire.com

PS: if you love my post … give it a “like”!

Action Step
1- Dream Big.  Go to that scary place, and discover that one super big thing you want your small business do to or become.
2- Write it down
3- Divide it out and make your plan
2- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Listen to Episode #107 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

Love this saying?  Buy it on a 12″ x 12″ Canvas “Social Square” wall hanging!

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Episode #106 – What Is Your One Great Goal?

What do you want?  This is the hardest part of running your business.  Because, just when you feel comfortable with your sales, you relax.  But, what do you really want?

The reason I ask this is because now is the time to set goals.  There’s a great quote out there to help you through struggle.  I used it way back on Episode #51 “Don’t Quit, Focus on Why”, it has to do with at the time you start you wish you were at the point you are now.

“If I quit now, I’ll be back to where I started
and when I started I desperately wanted to be where I am now.”

That is an important perspective.

Because, what do you really want?

The reason a lot of businesses fail is because people “stop”.  They get comfortable with sales and assume they will always continue, so they lose their fire to continue the grind.  Or something new they try just “doesn’t work”.  It’s not that they quit, but the competition keeps going.  So the gap widens.

It’s no different from wanting to lose 20 pounds and getting to 12 pounds lost, feeling much better and resuming bad habits, never losing the full 20…

If you “stop” it’s because you are choosing what you want now instead of what you want the most.  This means you like the sales you have so you take a little time off.  Well, that “little time off” felt great, and since you run your own business and you’re the boss you mentally believe that philosophy and take a “little more time off”.

Again, that’s fine.  If that is what you really want, PERFECT!

However, if you have a vision of a lifestyle, home, car, family, vacation, retirement… whatever IT is, you must continue onto that one great goal. Don’t let your “stop” become permanent.

Sales will not “always be there” – clients will not “always be there” – do not get lulled into a false sense of security in these areas.  Take the time to recharge, enjoy the climb, but create your big goal so you know you when you’ve achieved it and when must keep going!  Otherwise, you’ll be back to Episode #51 and wondering why you’re so frustrated!

PS: if you love my post … give it a “like”!

Action Step
1- Take a minute to write your one great goal.
2- Tape this goal on the wall under where you hang your coat.  It will be the first thing you see when you leave and the first thing you see when you arrive!
2- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Listen to Episode #106 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

Love this saying?  Buy it on a 12″ x 12″ Canvas “Social Square” wall hanging!

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com