As a small business owner, you may not be able to afford to bring on a full time marketing person. And you are too busy running the business so for many of you the smart choice is to outsource.
The challenge is there are a lot of players in the marketing space that think because they post on social media, they are a digital marketing business. I know several owners that met someone with a good story at a networking event and now they have spent thousands of dollars and are wondering what happened.
Here are some thoughts to help you be successful:
First, own your marketing strategy yourself. DO NOT outsource this. You must own your message. No one will understand your business, or your market better than you will. (If they do that’s a problem). Do this, invest time in creating your Market Dominating Message (MDM). This is the message that is client facing and completely differentiates you from the competition so that you are the obvious choice.
Second, determine where your ideal market is. Some are on Facebook and others are still reading the hard cover newsletter. I know of a Homeowners Association that sells ads starting at $50/mo. For a home improvement business or Real Estate professional this is WAY better than Facebook or Twitter. The demographics in this community are people retired and or downsizing and new people are moving in. So, there is a lot of opportunity for a refresh of the property. And there are approximately 1,500 homes in the community. This is very cost effective.
Third, when you decide to outsource get references and check the references. You can’t afford not to. Like I said, I have seen countless people choose someone with a good story at a networking event only to be disappointed.
Finally, if you choose to use Fivver or another source like this, hire two or three people for your project and then pick the best one. At the prices they offer you can afford. It. Your business needs the best.
When you take the time to slow down and own your marketing and then you are clear in how and what to outsource, your business can scale. For more resources you can checkout Https://ras-squared.com
Many of the small business owners I speak to want to grow but they are struggling to find staff. The story they are telling themselves is what the media tells them about employees:
- They are afraid
- They like unemployment
- They’ll never go back to work
- No Talent
So, Owner’s panic and they hire the first warm body that they like, that shows up. And 90 days later they are lamenting about how there is not any talent.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Before you even run an ad, determine what you need from the new employee. That’s why they write job descriptions. This is where you define duties, expected skills, and attitudes that an ideal employee will have. This will help you to screen for the right candidate.
Next ask yourself some questions:
- Do they really need 5 years of experience? I promise you, my first several jobs I had zero experience. I did not know how to operate a lift to put a car in the air to change the oil. I did not know how to drive the forklift. I needed to, in order to unload trailers. Nor was I a professional salesperson until I was. Someone taught me those skills. Yes, training employees takes time but then you get the employee that is ideal because you taught them.
- If you need experience, ask yourself what might frustrate them about the current place of employment? How can you provide a better place of employment? Yup, you are going to have to market to employees just like you market to clients and customers. Employees right now have more choices. So how can you become the employer of choice?
- Can you offer Benefits
- Can you give them Time
- Can you offer them Flexibility
- Can you give them Autonomy
- Or provide Professional Development
Right there, are five ways you can differentiate.
- What have you tried that’s different? Indeed, Monster and the other job boards don’t really get to the market. Have you asked your Facebook and LinkedIn Communities? People know people who are looking for jobs. And if you really want someone, you can hire them.
We are not going back to the good old days. This is one of those periods of change and decision.
- Are you willing to adapt?
- Are you willing to grow into the new future?
If so, you need a team. So, take the time to think (TTT) and really get clear on the kind of people you want. What the minimum skill and experience really is. Consider someone with different experience that you can start training and then how can you provide a path to professional development. How can YOU become the employer of choice?
If you would like some help with this let’s schedule a chat. http://ras-squared.com
There are a couple of big mistakes you can make that will kill a deal with a big fish. They are:
- Not meeting the client’s expectations
- Mishandling a client crisis
Chasing a big deal is a lot of work. And when you do you want to pay close attention to your process. There are mistakes you don’t want to make. They can cost you the deal and, in some cases, the survival of your company.
Not Meeting Client’s Expectations
Be careful what you promise in a negotiation. I have seen too many sales people and business owners get enthused and over promise. And then later when they under-deliver, they wonder why they lost the deal.
These expectations are not only about the negotiations though. They are also about how your potential client expects you to show up. They expect you to be professional, to have a clear understanding of the problem they want to solve AND to have a solution map started.
To avoid these mistakes, you need a clear plan of action put into place.
- Think before you speak.
- Take a breath.
- Practice and perfect your process.
- Stay involved throughout the entire process.
- Make sure both parties define success.
Mishandling a Client Crisis
Things go wrong. The way you deal with this can set you up for long term success or kill the relationship. You want to respond quickly and effectively. More importantly, you want to solve the client’s problem.
Years ago, I had trouble with a client in Fort Worth. The firm I was with was struggling to meet the clients’ expectations. After three hand-on attempts, I offered to help him find our replacement. The upshot? A few years later when the buyer was at another account, he reached out to me to help him solve the problem because he knew how I would deal with the problems that are inherent in any relationship.
Here are some tips that can help you deal with any client crisis:
- Take responsibility and apologize no matter who is at fault.
- Act swiftly and effectively.
- Step in and take control of the situation.
- Never point fingers or place blame.
- Stay in constant communication with your client.
- Stay calm throughout the situation.
- Keep your eye on the ball.
The way you manage expectations and crisis will be a major factor in your success. If you would like more resources, look at our resource page https://ras-squared.com/products or reach out and let’s chat. John.email@example.com
Dedicated to Your success
Think you don’t have enough time? You just have to get smart about how you use it.
What I have observed as I work with small business owners is that they often feel overwhelmed and feel like they are racing just to keep up. When I ask them how they are using their time, they cannot answer. When I ask them to keep a time log, they often resist as they are “Too Busy”.
The sad news is they will remain too busy until they take the time (there is that word again) to learn how they are actually using their time. And this does not have to be hard. It can be as simple as a day broken into 15- or 30-minute increments (link). Then as you work through your day, jot down what you were doing from 8:00 – 8:30 and then from 8:30 to 9:00.
As you identify what you have been doing and how long it takes, it will become clear what is taking up all of your time. And perhaps, more importantly, what you can let go of.
Now it’s time to gain control over your calendar so you can master your business. Here are some tips:
- Schedule daily Time To Think (TTT) this is strategic thinking about your business. Stepping back from working “IN” your business.
- Where can additional training, or process development now, ease the time for tasks later?
- Block time for important tasks. The time log you just developed will help you better estimate how long you need for your various projects.
- Delegate. This is important. You need to learn how to help other people help you to grow your business. If you do not, you are the bottleneck on your success.
- Learn to say “no”, or at least “not right now”.
- Learn to group similar things together. For example, block out an hour to return phone calls at one time versus writing an email, reviewing the numbers and then making a call. Give your brain a break.
As a small business owner your task lists probably says “Everything.” You want to learn how to find the Big Rocks, the most important priorities, and schedule them and then keep your schedule. Don’t break the appointments you set with yourself.
Learn to use what Tony Robbins calls “Net Time”.
– Listen to audiobooks during the commute.
– Read the article or journal to keep up on your industry while waiting for an appointment.
– Listen to podcasts while exercising.
– Leverage walking meetings with your team. Take a walk and cover their goals and tasks.
Finally, commit to yourself, your team, and your business. When you learn to control your calendar, you will be one step closer to mastering your business.
Most professional services want to land the big clients,
that will sustain and grow your business over the long run. Let’s learn to understand and think like a big company and how that can help you plan your approach and find success.
Before you can start landing big clients, you have to ensure that your team is onboard with your approach and vision. There are some steps to big client success. They are:
- Your First Impression: You have one shot to land a big client. If you make a mistake, you are out. Don’t give them a reason to doubt you or your abilities.
- They Are A Priority: The Big Client should always feel like they are your first priority. Returns their calls and emails immediately.
- Be Flexible: You need to be flexible in your negotiations. If they want a special service or for you to customize a solution, say yes. A little hassle now will be a big pay off later.
- Think Long-term: This goes along with the last one a bit. As you are approaching and negotiating with big clients you need to think about the long-term benefits for your business. If you go for a one-time big score, you will lose their interest. This requires nurturing.
- Have Fun: Clients like working with people that are having fun. You are sharing your vision with new people and including them in your future success and likewise. You are contagious and your enthusiasm and confidence will attract the big clients.
- Think of Ways to Help Them: If you invest time and offer your clients ways to save money or time by introducing them to potential business partners, this will demonstrate that you are invested and interested them and in their business..
Here are a few tactics you can use to bring in a big company vision to the people on your team. You can:
- Post these keys for all to see.
- Put together a performance-based incentive program.
- Conduct frequent team meetings.
- Put together a training and certification program based on the keys above.
These ideas should help you instill a big-company mindset throughout your company which will help you be more prepared and more likely to land your big clients. When your team is thinking this way, you’ll be unstoppable.
If you would like some help crafting an incentive program or other way to push your team toward the big company mindset, try our GUIDED TOUR to work with one of our coaches or check out our resources and tools.