Archive for the ‘new business’ Tag

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.

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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!

Consumers are in control…you just figured this out when?

Just read in Yahoo Business News today that Wall Street is finally acknowledging that consumers, not capitalists, not republicans, not democrats, not international business, not anything other than “CONSUMERS” are in control of things. Right here, right now, we are standing in the midst of a transference of wealth. What shall we do to make it effective so we, the “market consumers” can benefit?

Many will see an opportunity and will find a need and fill it. The economy is about to return to a service base rather than a product or “latest advanced toy” basis. We have become so comfortable with ourselves, that our innovative nature took a back seat to comfort creature mentality and has set us back about ten years.

Here’s the point; if Wall Street is finally acknowledging that consumers are in control and many of the “big boys” are the ones that are the most affected, we have a chance to say, “Ok. No more crap. Let’s get this country back on the road by making sure you’re producing things that are smart. Not just the latest toy, but the latest innovations that prove we can produce just as well just as inexpensively, and let’s make sure we support the ones that do.”

Enough of being led like blind sheep as consumers we have a choice in where the money flows, let’s make wiser choices and effect the right change.

Here’s an example; Hyundai came to this country with a product that was cheap and built pretty cheaply by my standards. They banked…quite well. They turned around and took that and now produce a luxury vehicle that rivals our old friends BMW and Mercedes, and are competing. We as consumers told the other two that rest on their reputations and history, it no longer matters about your name, I want a car I can enjoy and I’m not paying huge bucks for it. I mean really, $400 for a brake job? and only the fronts? Sorry, I’ll go with a well developed smart car that gets major mileage and is light on my wallet.

Since the consumer market is holding a lot of its discretionary income close to home, businesses have to find new ways to market to us to get us to come spend. Else not we will continue to watch the downward spiral of the economy til well into the next decade.

We have Wall Street’s attention, I say we keep it and make something of it by showing them through our voice…our wallets…that we will only support those that will support us wuth better services and products. Now is the time, make it count.

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.

Where’s the money flowing…

Seth Godin makes a real interesting point on his latest blog; where the money is there you’ll find the people working.

Interesting to me that it starts as an end still and then the means justifies it. (almost sounds like the torture debate going on right now)

Here’s a tag to Mr. Godin’s point; if there is money to be made you can well believe that someone is going to be searching for it.

He wrote that things change around once there’s money to be made in any particluar field. He related it to writers becoming publishers which is the reverse of what was. (When the Writer Becomes the Publisher / Seth Godin – 05/2009)

It would seem pretty logical that once the public wants something, they are willing to pay for it, so what is it that you have that they are willing to pay for? What message can you get across to them to tell them what you have is what they need? Many times I see “the best blah blah” or “Number 1 blah blah in the state” C’mon, do you really think that is going to attract attention? If it does, I’d be pretty surprised. Nowadays it’s just not enough. Mr. Godin back in 2003 made refernece to being remarkable(the purple cow). If you have a pizz,a shop fine, so does almost every other coner strip mall, what makes yours so different?

Here in Las Vegas, NV , a local pizza chain by the name of Metro pizza decided to become the “purple cow” of the valley by holding pizza making classes. Their pizza is great, but now they are the teachers of pizza making, and it’s doing very well. People are paying for classes and more are hearing by word of mouth how great their pizzas are. Do you think they can charge a bit more because of that?

Here’s the bottom line: You have to find the flow of money where it is moving and get in front of it. It’s the one time you want to get run over by the flood. Even if you can’t handle it you’ll have known what is was like and can most likey prepare for it better next time. Pizza makers to pizza making teachers,writers becoming publishers, what else can you think of that would set you apart and find you more income for your business through the right marketing message?

Keep it rolling!

The Power of Green Marketing

Green marketing is no longer just for the “deep Eco aware” kids that only buy green anyway. (which by the way is less than 15% of the populace in the US). It’s become an awareness that is definitely growing but has its limitations due to lack of creativity. This is where the marketers come in. That is by the way you and I. It takes all of us to really come up with new ideas to drive this new awareness. So consider yourself a part of the marketing crew now.

Marketers have the creativity to produce new and exciting concepts that excite the consumer, and ultimately get an Eco friendly product out to market that everyone will at least be interested in. Example: http://tinyurl.com/ak9kqt

Read through this (http://tinyurl.com/czq8tl) article and you will see the process that has to occur in order for a truly “eco friendly” product can emerge. Then to think that a chemist is creative enough to come up with what is necessary to market that product is pretty far fetched.

In come the young creatve types that are ready to put a good spin on everything that is “green”. Here’s an example of one company going green with its product line. (no fillers no artificial this and that etc.):

www.ogilife.com

By returning to the ocean, and utilizing ingredients that are proven through scientific study and have approvals by the FDA, (you know how they get when you start talking about anything healthy) they have come up with some really good Eco friendly products that are also packaged Eco friendly and of course they have a non profit that contributes to the ecology.

Point: they have taken a “whole approach” to green marketing and have simply cut out a niche market that is not overly specialized, and yet not over diluted either. One way or another they will drive the “Green” awareness through their efforts to promote a healthier lifestyle.

Bottom line, Green marketing is in its growth phase and is on the grow and yet it will need us the public to continue driving the economy towards more Eco friendly awareness as well as buying green. After all, we are the marketers…

…and by all means, Keep It Rollling!

Financial help

I was looking at my financial statement earlier this evening and I was thinking…” what the? I’ve got a LOT of empty spaces here…where the heck is my 401 I had from IAB? Why didn’t that get rolled over when I left? Who’s got my money now? CRAP! I have no idea where my money is!! How  does this thing tell me where that…WHAAAT?!?! UGH! SOMEONE HELP PLEEEAAASSEE!!”

Well, I just learned that an unsuspected financial expert has emerged and is going to be blogging on playboy’s site giving the layman a fair shot at making things work, and taking down the man.

Duff McKagan is Playboy’s new Financial Guru, and I for one believe after reading his story about why he was chosen, and a believer that he will be worth more than his weight in gold nuggets!

He comes from a background that most would think he doesn’t know squat. Well, he knows squat and a hell of a lot more.

Keep up on his blog at:

http://www.playboy.com/mt-tb.cgi/20942

Definitely a place to learn more about finances, what works what doesn’t and one of his objectives is to expose the BS in the industry that loves to confound and confuse. I LOVE IT! Finally some straight talk on how to keep it together!

Now where’d I put that last bank statement…..

Open mic..speak up!

Hey gang! So much has been goin on lately that I’ve kinda fallen behind. I apologize for that, and promise to keep up a bit better.

In fact, I’m going to have some guest writers posting about sales and marketing.

They will be young in some cases, some will be veterans…just keep an eye out. Every bit can be of benefit to you whether from  the seasoned vet or from the college intern. (Yeeeess I’ve learned some stuff from them too)

Today though, I wanted to do an ‘open mic’ talk about sales and marketing.

I’d like to know:

What do you do when you approach  a new concept? Where do you take it from there?

How do you formulate a ‘position’ on a new product? Once formulated, how long does it take to get it to market? Does your marketing plan introduce the product as it is ready or do you ‘pre-launch’?

What experiencecs have you had? Successes? Failures?

How did you recover from the hard ones?

Did the good ones last? How long?

This is really a means for you to ‘discuss’ what you found as good and not so good in your experience. I’m not asking for company names or product specifics. You can be vague and general to protect the innocent…lol

I would like some honest input though and perhaps I can take one or two of the examples and stretch them for everyone to see how those experiences can benefit their profession or business.

Keep it rollin!

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!