Episode #131 – There’s a Point Where You Have to Run! Go Drink the Vegetable Stuff.

Are you ready?  In order to make a change you have to be willing to leave your comfort zone.

So I’ll ask again, “Are you ready?”

The reason we attend conferences and seminars is to make us feel good about “doing something”.  It’s the same reason we go to the store to buy healthy foods, like vegetable drinks, only to let them spoil.  Yes, you guess it… I open my fridge and see the vegetable drink sitting there!  So, we want to make a change, we do something, but we don’t actually do the right thing which is:  Use the information or drink the vegetable stuff.

It’s true!

Think about the last conference or seminar you attended… I’m guessing you have a packet of information from it, including a bunch of notes.  Are you using it?  How about reading things on the internet… Do you use the ideas you find?  I mean, after you read this post, will you decide to take action and run to second???  (I hope so…)

We live in such an exciting time.  I remember doing research papers for school and spending hours in a library looking up articles, first you had to start with a giant “topic” book that listed all sorts of articles by topic, then you had to pull microfiche or archives, then you had to actually find the article, then read the article… but now in minutes the answer is simply a Google away!   You can search for the solution to your problem and get the answer almost instantly… and yet, that’s where we leave it.  Yes, I’m guilty of it too.

I don’t even think it’s “analysis paralysis” anymore… I just think there’s an element of comfort, and dare I say laziness. I’m not being mean.  But when you’re comfortable you are lazy.  And although second base looks nice, stealing it is, well, risky.  If you just wait for the next batter you’ll most likely get there… so it’s comfortable to wait. It’s like the vegetable stuff you buy to drink, you bought it and it’s there in your fridge, but if you just wait until you’re hungry or thirsty or how ever is appropriate to consume it… you’ll most likely get there.

Why wait until “most likely” take your foot off first and run.  You went into business so you’ve got a risky side…

So what the heck?!?!  Today, right now, run.  Second is in front of you… go, drink the vegetable stuff.  Implement that idea you got from the conference you attended 6 months ago.

The reason I mention this is because two months ago I started implementing ideas from two conferences I attended earlier this spring (Icon and Social Media Marketing World) and here’s the unintended consequence, our business has received more positive reviews from customers in the last five weeks than we have received in the previous two years…  so, go though those notes and implement a few ideas. 🙂

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

Action Step
1- Review your notes from the last conference you attended OR from a “think” you’ve been researching to improve your business…
2- GO.  START.  IMPLEMENT IT!
3- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Listen to Episode #131 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

Love this inspirational quote?  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 #130 – Day 100, In a Row… Now it’s Your Turn

So here I am at Day 100, in a row, of my project to create a blog.  Today’s inspiration was found on a Linked In post yesterday…

“A lot of us go through life carrying around things, ideas, mistakes, regrets, and habits – all of which no longer serve us. It’s time to let some of that just go. Clear out your life’s “closet” and make room for new.” CPodesta

I found it fitting because for so many months, and even about a year, I didn’t think I could create a consistent blog.  I’ve read the information about how important it is and I believed it was important.  But just as the inspiration implies we have a lot of baggage we carry around with us and that holds true as we venture into a social media marketing plan.

You’ve heard the advice of creating a consistent posting plan along a general theme that will be relevant to your readers.

But have you started?

OR have you figured that you have things to ship, places to go, items to create, and in general (be honest) just don’t see the relevance of posting consistently?

In the past three months I’ve had 286 visitors and 60 likes… PS: Thank you on the likes!!!

I’m certain there are people that post who have 286 visitors and 60 likes within the first one minute they post one thing… and I had a post earlier this week that said you cannot compare your “behind the scenes” with someone else’s “highlight reel” – I share my numbers with you to give you the opportunity to see what real life is like!  This is real.  I posted for one hundred days in a row and I’m thrilled with my numbers… I cannot compare myself with someone that began posting 5 years ago, unless I compare my first 100 days with their first 100 days.

I make this point to encourage you all to start on your social media marketing venture, now.  I like to refer back to my other post about “when is the best time to plant a tree, 20 years ago… when is the second best time, now” – you have to choose to start without the regret of not starting earlier.  Look toward the future. Where do you want to be in 30 or 100 days.  If you start today, and write twice a week, you will have 8 posts by the end of the month.

It is that simple!

Here are two other fun things that happened along the way… I started without a name of the podcast and my original “social squares” did not have episode numbers, so as you go along your journey, it’s OK to start and figure it out as you go along!

PS:   Thanks to my podcast followers, I’ve had over 1,400 listens in my first 100 days… Let’s see where we’ll be at the end of the next 100 days.

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

Action Step
1- Start your daily blogging adventure!
2- Pick your theme and start
3- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Listen to Episode #130 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 #129 – Focus for Success – Especially with Social Media Marketing

Do you know what your really want? Cool that’s one part of achieving it!

When you really know what you want you can implement your plan for goal achievement and achieve success.  Let’s look at your social media marketing plan… do you know what you really want there?

Probably not.

If you are like most small businesses you have a general idea of what you want to do, but an actual plan escapes you.  This isn’t bad.  It gives you lots of room to improve.  If you feel overwhelmed by your social media, it’s possible that you need to develop a plan of attack.

Start with your content mission statement.  This is the one concise umbrella statement that combines your general marketing mission with your desire to communicate with your audience. If you interested in increasing sales and want to be recognized for helpful tips within your 15 mile radius, than every post you create will enhance or support your goal just stated.

Next plot it on a calendar.  Take the next month and write all of your business “important dates”.  These could be a big special event or a small festival in your town.  Seeing when these real world activities are taking place will help you “backward build” to give you topics to talk about and promote!  Other dates on your calendar can be filled in with topics that support your content mission statement.

ALSO — big tip coming… make sure to plot on the calendar ANY deadlines you write on your web pages… for example if you put a special offer “expires” June 17… you better make sure that June 18 that old date is not still showing!

Finally, start.  You need to be consistent.  However, it’s hard to be consistent if you do not start.  So make the leap and understand this small bit of information… often your customer visits your website or social media posts first… and often for a small business it’s the last place you update!  YIKES!

That should give you a little motivation!

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

Action Step
1- Develop a content mission statement
2- Create a calendar of important dates for the next month
3- Add your targeted goal for posts on the calendar
4- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Listen to Episode #129 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 #128 – Look at a Problem from a Different Angle and the Solution Might Appear!

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.”

A long time ago, I set up the first database at our marina.  It’s the one we use to this day.  I had experience with “My Mail List” so I understood the basic concept of how data entry worked, for example I understood what fields were, but I really didn’t know much more than that. It was 1989.  The thing that drove me crazy was when I set up the database I couldn’t figure out how to get around one particular problem.  The problem was when someone owned more than one boat.

The database system is created from records and you can assign each record a unique number.  This typically becomes a customer ID.

The reason this was such a hurdle was when I tried to create an invoice or work order using the information in the database via the Customer ID, and the customer had more than one boat, I couldn’t.  The features of the 1989 program would not allow it.  It had the ability to create a complex relationship where two databases “talked” to each other; one based on humans, one based on boats. The two databases integrated allowing you to you could see that one customer had multiple boats, but again, you could not use that detailed information like boat license on the invoice.

So what to do…

It took several weeks of “playing” with the system.  Then it dawned on me.  The human is not the customer, the boat is the customer!  I could create multiple records for each boat’s individual information and just mark the additional records as “no mailing” so the customer would only receive one flier in the event I did a mass mailing.

It was simple, brilliant, and took an entirely different way of looking at the situation.  Just because the manual kept calling the “human” the customer didn’t mean in all cases of creating a database the human would be the customer!  For example, at a vet clinic people have multiple pets and the pet would be a customer.

I have refereed to this problem many times over the years when trying to solve other problems.  Sometimes you have to stop and align your business goals with the goals and outcomes of the problem you face.  With my database creation problem, it’s like there were two different languages being spoken, but once the common ground was found, we understood each other!

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

Action Step
1- If you have a seemingly unsolveable problem – try looking at it from a different angle – it might not be today, but keep my database example in mind.  Remember try to align your business goals with the main issue of the problem… the solution is right there!
2- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Listen to Episode #128 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 #127 – Speak to Your Customers Online..

“If you don’t go after what you want, you will never have it.”

There’s a reason you started your business.  There’s a reason you continue to work at it.  There’s a reason you do social media to support it.  What?  That third reason just tripped you up.

There is a reason you participate in social media… because your customers do!

The magic of social media is it builds the personality of your business. Each post you create gives you the opportunity to speak with character and build a bond of trust with your clients.

It helps to consider this angle as you create your social media plan.  Instead of looking at the calendar for the next month as a chore or worse a bunch of squares that need to be filled with tasks, start to consider your responsibility of building the spirit of your company.  Now, this voice is going to be your voice, and as such, you need to speak with sincerity.  Don’t mask your own personality, if you do, your “speak” will become forced.

This is the most complicated struggle that small business face with their social media plan.  They worry about saying the wrong thing.  For so many decades businesses didn’t have a personality.  They had advertising and sold products, but they didn’t have a personality.  Now you get to decide how your message is delivered and that is what you are doing every time you post on your social media outlets.

It’s time to have fun!  If you have fun with your “voice” your will enjoy sharing the good news about your business via social media turning it from chore to joy.  Social media is important to your business success so relax, create a plan, and trust yourself.  You can do this… but you have to go after what you want.

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

Action Step
1- Create a plan for your next months social media opportunities.  Get a calendar and start to fill it in considering the special events you are hosting and days on calendar important to your business or industry.    Then just start “talking” to your customers.
2- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Listen to Episode #127 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 #126 – Quit Competing and Get Creative for Maximum Success.

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” SFurtick

Have you ever felt like you’re going nowhere?  You try but seem like you don’t get the results you really want. Then you look at your competitors and they seem to do something really easy.  Are you comparing yourself to the right business?  If someone has been in business for 50 years, they will have many competitive advantages over a business that hasn’t been around very long, including time and name recognition.  Now, the reverse is true too… the new business also has several advantages including time and name recognition.

How can the two business have the same competitive advantages?

If your business has been in operation for 50 years you will have customers that return year after year just the same as you’ll have those that leave for something new.  So both “time and name recognition” mean different things to each individual customer.  Some may want the familiar, and some will want new.  It’s easy to fall into “your” mindset or “your” insecurity of a per-conceived notion that your competitor has a huge advantage because they’ve been in business longer.  If you had the opportunity to look at their history and struggle timeline, you’d probably find that your business is in a similar situation as they were at the same time in their history.   The keyword is same.

Comparing yourself creates unnecessary stress.  This quote really does a good job of highlighting the “behind-the-scenes” footage with a “highlight reel” – the long standing business now operates on a “highlight reel”.  The funny thing is, they probably only see your “highlight reel”, too.

I’ve said it before, quit competing.  The competitive mindset puts you at a disadvantage, you are constantly chasing someone else.  If you move to a creative mindset it will allow you to focus on your advantages, seek areas where your product/service are needed, and bring success.  Again, great book by Wallace Wattles… The Science of Getting Rich… check it out!

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

Action Step
1- Read the book “The Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace Wattles (it’s also available in audio format… it’s just a great way to flip your mindset.
2- Focus on one of your profit centers and view it from a creative mindset to find one new advantage you can market.
3- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Listen to Episode #126 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