Archive for the ‘high ROI’ Tag

New way to outsource…here at home

Virtual Receptionist

Domestic Outsourcing just makes sense

Small and medium sized business owners are starting to hit a wall with the way the economy is going. It’s not easy to hire employees at the drop of a hat that can be specialists, or even non specialists and bring value to the business for wages that make sense.

In comes the thought of outsourcing; send what you can overseas…or should you? The Big guys do it, why not us? Isn’t that how to keep costs down? Isn’t that the way to control my business without having to pay out of my profits so heavily?

I know of a couple people that have Virtual Assistants overseas and love it, and I’ve heard a few horror stories about how inefficient they are, comprehension issues, etc.

So where budgets no longer allow for the hiring of new employees there’s an age old challenge that allows businesses to holds its owners down; make them work in the business until they really make it big or they finally fail simply because they are overwhelmed with the work, become too busy to deal with the daily operations and can’t get out to make the cash register ring, or they just give up.

So what about outsourcing…Domestic?

As many small businesses are opening there are just as many business owners that are trying to figure out if it’s still worth the stress and the strain of having to build it from scratch only to get held up because they can’t afford to hire that employee they need, or just shut it down.

Numbers alone already show that even with 25% profitability that someone would have to gross thousands to employ one employee

What's my profit margin?

for 8 hours. (Essentially 10K+ gross to justify a $2100-$2500/mo employee at or around minimum wage)

So what to do then? Outsource? As far back as 2004 Inc.com already had an article that said States were rewarding companies that DIDN’T outsource offshore.

The reasons to do outsource are many. Ease of focusing on core functions, lower operational cost, (huge one) Access to global knowledge base for creative and strategic planning, possibly freeing up resources for projects that need capital infusion etc.

However, when your local and state government are giving you reasons to NOT do it, even with incentives to not outsource, how can you bear having to do all the work yourself? How do you justify the cost of having an employee? I’ve known family businesses with families that have this false sense of pride in having a “family business” when they are actually drowning in it losing time together, losing time to themselves, losing their own identities and becoming the business in a way that is just not fulfilling.

So what’s the solution? Outsourcing…domestic, on shore, at home.

But that’s insane! No company that is a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) will work with a small or medium sized business right? Wrong.

New Niche, new way for the little guys to get out there and compete with the big guys.

Keeping in touch with your customers Live is what keeps your business growing

The secret is using a “Shared” model where numerous companies can share in the talents of one seat rather than having to buy a dedicated agent. (or five to ten as most BPOs would require) Being able to participate in the marketplace with a means to cut costs on virtual reception, Live Chat interaction, Email interaction, Text SMS services, etc can really help to increase revenue by having the menial tasks cared for while you concentrate on what’s important…making the cash register ring.

You don’t have to sacrifice your business’ identity, and you get to keep control over your company’s brand identity and brand affinity. There is a new breed of outsourcing that will help you keep things local, efficient, accurate, and definitely out there available for your market. You just need to search them out and make sure they will do it according to your parameters or that there can be a viable work around to get the job done.

The obvious benefit to the economy here at home is that more jobs are created and more people can work for a living that makes sense to them and their families.

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Top Five Reasons to Outsource…Domestic

There’s talk of how outsourcing would make sense. It’s not huge, but it’s out there and it’s gaining a bit of steam.

So what would the top five reasons to outsource domestic be? The same as doing it offshore, it’s just that now you can afford it.

Here’s a short list as to what the benefits are to using an on shore solution.

BPO

BPOs are big honkin call centers meant for the big boys

1. Lower cost for operations – Face it, hiring an employee will cost you thousands even if they are minimum wage. The load pushes it up even higher and that just doesn’t cut it for 8 hours. Especially if you need the coverage for more than that. Having someone sit around that is only 8 hours and not necessarily producing that whole time is just not justified.

2. Able to focus on core functions – Virtual Assistants are great for one person operations, virtual reception, Live Chat and email interactions are great for small businesses that want to continue to focus on doing what they do best. (Doctors, Lawyers, Service providers, I even know a guy that uses outsourcing to sell his cigarette alternatives) Think about this if you’re tied to your phones right now, this is a way to get away from them and not be tied to our business, but it can be tied to you. You deal with the intel at your discretion, not the prospect or suspect.

3. Freeing up internal resources – Instead of having the receptionist tied to a desk and hiring another office person, why not have a virtual receptionist take care of the appointment setting and other non-core functions of the office (things that can be handled outside the immediate office) while the receptionist focuses on customer care, and assisting with other office functions. (Filing, follow up, proactive response rather than reactive)

4. Some companies can realize the benefit of re-engineering their processes while having a service like this in place; Even the little guys need breathing space to really see what’s going on. So, why not have an outsourcing company do some of the work for you, when the time comes to take that particular process back there will be other processes still needing to be covered.

5. Convenience – Do you really like having to answer your phone 24/7? Do you like missing your chat and missing a sale? Is it worth the lack of customer service when you’re sick that no one ever gets to them and interacts with them live? Why would you sacrifice that? I know a lot of people that have already told me that their customers know sometimes if the phone isn’t answered they’re busy…really? You will settle for that when there are opportunities to have someone else that you teach how to answer for you, how to work as if your actual employee, and can give that personalized service that normally only you can provide? You will settle for that?

If you have, you’ve given up your life for a business that owns you. Reminder: The American Dream isn’t to be owned by your business, (or anyone or anything else for that matter) but to own a business and succeed it. Find an onshore solution that can help you with some of your processes and get them off your shoulders. There are more benefits to doing this than I’ve outlined, but these five should get you thinking about doing something different, or we live out the definition of our friend Albert Einstein when he spoke on the subject of insanity.

PP what?

So I have been having a conversation with a new friend on facebook that related to how PPC and online marketing works. With how fast everything is moving and how much innovators are getting ahead, there are a lot that are being left behind.

He chooses attraction marketing for his online business and I have to admit it has its merits to a certain degree. I have had that conversation with a few marketers. The conventional ones like the new stuff and want to figure out the latest and greatest. Seemingly though the rest of the world is slowly catching up and certain “outdated” methods are just now beginning to take effect. (it boggles me that it takes so long for many to realize and accept what marketing is bringing to the table and then to respond to it taking even longer…oh well, human kind)

Here’s an excerpt from that conversation:

Media buying in the “Google” realm can be a bit daunting to some. I am certified with my company in PPC, and it works well provided you take the time to learn the intricacies of it and then use it creatively. It’s truly the only way you can get ahead, and if you do it right, it can turn out a real profit.

SEM / SEO is a different beast even though they are keyword driven as well. They can prove to do some real justice to a business owners bottom line, but can get really pricey. Together they work hand in hand to create relevancy and freshness in Google’s realm and it can really help drive traffic…again, IF you take the time to learn it right.

There are some good tricks that you can use that the attraction and affiliate marketers use to get into the right spots on the content networks that have proven on more than one occasion that Google is still the way to go.(this is a given by most that Google is the only way to go, heck they created this whole PPC thing right?)

Attraction marketing is the “long funnel” marketing model that can be really effective when done with diligence and persistence. As you have found, it can be a great help in generating the kind of traffic you may be looking for. As for the honesty of pics, be assured you will run into a few that are not so open about who they really are, even business owners sometimes are a bit shy to let out their identities on facebook, linkedIn, etc.

Don’t want to get into a long drawn out blah blah about online marketing, but this is where everything has headed, and will continue to head until someone comes up with something else.

What do you think?

The three “R”s…

Recently Cory Treffiletti, president and managing partner for Catalyst SF, wrote a quick article on the three “R”s of marketing, and got things back to basics.

To go over them real quick they are; recency, resonance and relevance.

Recency is the amount of time that passed since the last time your particular target market saw or heard from you. Resonance is how you rang in their ear…did you make an impressino? Did you get their attention?

And then relevance…were you what they were looking for? If not at that time, now? Do you still have relevance in their mind?

A lot of times we think everyone should have what we’ve got to offer, and forget that a return on customer is a constant changing or adapting to what your customer or client needs at that time.

I was asked once what my definition of Quality was, after a bit of thought, I answered, “The best possible product or service given to the customer at that moment in time.” It could have been by most terms described as a cowardly answer as it seems to take no solid stance or no real posture to relevancy. I beg to differ though, if you have a mind set to adapt to what your customer wants when they want it, your competitor however strong a brand they may be, may lose that customer or client to you simply because you resonated in their ears a lot more than the familiar brand they are used to and with a product or service that is the one niche they are loking for, Can this be a curse too? yes, let’s be honest you have to have something that everyone will associate you with as far as a brand they can recognize or identify with.

An advantage to being that type of “quality” though, is the ability to adapt to your suctomers needs through constant metrics and testing to see what your market is looking for and giving it to them at that moment in time, There are some Business Intelligence tools that can help with that, and then sometimes it will take a bit more of just watching and listening to the marketplace to see what everyone wants or needs. Get in front of them and make your offering.

All in all though making sure your three “R”s are in order and continual, your business stands to profit the most when everyone knows you have what they want. Driving behavior is the key. If you can effect mass re-programming, you stand to profit well!

Find yours and Keep it Rolling!

Business Development…what is it?

Ok. So ‘ve had this presentation for a bit and felt it was time to put it out there both as a refresher course and a “newbie” course for those that don’t quite get what Biz Dev is.

Here isa link to a presentation that is fairly simple to understand, once I get audio put to it we will do more to get it out to everyone in the business world.

Many think this is elementary stuff, but I’ve been running into too many people that just don’t understand that when times are slow that is when you make your best investments in your marketing, and TRACK THEM! Then you follow your sales through and make sure your conversion ratios make sense, then you do it again. (you know; wash, rinse, repeat as necessary)

Here’s the link: Click here

Once you’ve gotten here,  comment and give me your thoughts on what you think are necessary steps to making business deveelopment really work in our now economy…and be careful, there are a lot of emotions running right now, be critical in your thinking, find facts not feelings.

Lesson in e-Marketing

Wanted to share a recent experience with you as I think it’s real important e-Marketing stuff. I recently had the distinct pleasure of meeting with one of the e-Marketing Gurus of our time; Jim Lillig. By the way that was today at the RIO Hotel. He’s in town for the Affiliate Marketing Summit to be held next week.

It was an interesting meeting as I had pictured meeting with someone that was a younger guy with a lot of interesting fresh ideas about e-Marketing and perhaps some insight as to how to promote our e-Book, “Power Marketing on a Budget Guide”. What I got was a good education on performance marketing!

First off, Jim was a great guy that is a veteran of the e-Marketing genre. (no he’s not old, just quite experienced, in fact he looks really young for his age…and no I’m not telling) He’s been around since the days when people like Yanick Silver and others were taking the e-Marketing courses in Boulder. In fact, Yanick was in the seat in front of him, along with many others If you go to his blog at www.jimlillig.com you’ll see what awesome info he offers his readers!

His latest invention is Offeratti, a CPA network dedicated to helping many gain more out of their ideas and monetize biz opps much easier. He is in the mix with this right now doing business development.

When Jim got a hold of our e-Book, he immediately wanted to meet with us to discuss what we need to do to present this as a B2C product, versus a B2B product.We thought it a good idea to inivestigate and see what he was thinking.

As I sat and listened to him explain what is needed (which is quite a bit let me tell you) to make something like this be worth while to a consumer that is looking to make money NOW not later (which is business thinking) I began to rack up the hours necessary to make this work…hmmm this is going to take about 3-5 weeks once we get concept in place and then programming which is the real pain in the rear.

He agreed. It is an undertaking that can prove to be really profitable, as it follows my favorite business financial model, ROC (Return On Customer).You begin with something that you’re most likely not going to make anything on. (this follows affiliate style marketing at first) then you work on “conditioning” your new customer on buying continually from you. It begins a step by step process of products you provide to a consumer. It eventually ends up having them buy much larger ticket items from you.

With what Jim saw happening, I could see a great implication of growing a business community from a consumer community and even greater still a whole new database of clients that would need our help in getting trained on how to market both on and off line. (gee idn’t it convenient that we happen to be marketing consultants?)

The point I’m getting so far from Performance marketing is that it’s a killer way to monetize an idea much further into an elongated process of marketing continually to a database that you can monetize over and over. Without having to create a new marketing campaign to re-enliven your database!

Think of it this way; if you have an idea that can be developed into a step by step process, or a stage by stage implemented idea, that flows with ease, and can make money well within minutes, performance marketing can help you do the list build, (database) the continual marketing, (This means e newsletters or auto responders) and then the next thing in line to continue making the consumer money, you have then a formula for success!

Add this to Offeratti.com, and you now have a portal to place that idea into, have it watched over by a company that has the M.O.N.K.S (Monetizing, Optimizing, New idea, Keepers) working for you to make sure your idea gets the attention and distribution it needs to their internal network and a whole bunch more. This means your deal gets out to a whole bunch of publishing marketers online that will definitely get your product or service out there so you can get the money flowing! They’re doing it to make money anyway, If your idea rocks, so will your bank account!

I was very thankful to meet Jim, and am very much looking forward to creating this first step to get our e-Book out to a whole new bunch of home based entrepreneurs. The point is, there are many ways to market your idea, product or service. Question is which is right, and are you willing to develop it enough to make it worth while to your customers? Stuff to think about.

oh yeah

Keep it rolling!

If you’re not ready….they will be!

Well this was posted around Facebook and a few other places today, so why not here?

 

Look here’s the skinny…year’s end is upon us…so what have you done to plan for the next round? Your competition is trying to squash you so they can corner the market(even if it never happens the point is).

 

You have to have something in place so you can get ahead and leave “them” behind. If you can’t do that, you might as well close your doors.

 

So what is below is a toolkit my friend created for small business owners to fend off the big dawgs trying to out advertise you. Heck in some cases you could get some better prices for your marketing if you do it right. You might even get some free publicity…but you won’t get anything if you don’t start planning NOW.

 

But to do it, you’ll need to get this stuff in your hot little hands or on your computer so you can absorb the info and start the planning process….Don’t let the rest of the year go by with,”It was seasons…” as an excuse.

 

Keep it rolling!

When was the last time a prospect called YOU with money in hand to do business?  Did you know that, with just one minor change to your marketing message, you can double or even triple your responses?

 

For a limited time Facebook users can receive a special discount for an amazing new marketing tool-kit designed for business owners and marketing professionals.  Called the Power Marketing on a Budget Guide, this resource will steer you through the myriad of marketing options and create a “buzz” that is GUARANTEED to make your phone and cash register ring!

 

Check this out: www.CorporateRainMakers.com/PowerMarketing/Facebook.htm and start marketing like a pro today!