This is an update on what I have been up to. Includes franchising my lawn care business, getting awards, and the importance of creating a team culture.
Joseph is 20 years old and in his second year of college. He wants to drop out and run his business full time. His parents still want him to attend college, graduate, and get a corporate job. There is a mindset and process that you should follow if you want to drop out of college.
Aaron lives in Vancouver and emailed a question about starting a mobile fitness business for HR departments. Mike gives advice on creating a minimum viable product, and making real businesses out the ideas you have!
Kristian called in today and talks about his journey as a young business owner. He is looking to scale his business quickly and is able to do so because he puts his money back into the business (instead of buying the fancy car, watch, house, etc). This is a valuable lesson for all entrepreneurs wanting to scale their business.... LIVE ON LITTLE!
If you are selling you products you should sell services... and vice versa. This is a great opportunity to upset existing clients and reach a whole new demographic of prospects. Also, Mike takes a question from a pharmacist that is trying to grow his business.
Ben is a farmer and we talk about how he can disrupt an industry that has been around for thousands of years using modern marketing methods and techniques.
Sanjeev called in today and is the owner of a physical therapist business called Fyzical in Florida. Mike talks about the ways that Sanjeev can target his audience of 40+ year old market and advertise to them.
Trump won the election a couple months ago... I really could care less from a political standpoint but from a marketing an business side I think there are some takeaways and things to learn that will help you advertise and promote your small business!
If you get one bit of information out of the entire podcast and all the episodes on Business Bootcamp Podcast, it is this: you MUST build your business on systems... not personality, talent, or your skills. Short and sweet rant that I just had to give... listen to it twice and let it be the spark that gets you to do something about it!
This is a follow up episode one creating a hiring system. There are four steps: online application, job fair, interview, hiring and training.
Sam asked a question in episode 148 and today he calls in and gets more advice on ramping up his audio production business. Marketing and advertising tips on the house!
Eric, a former Marine, called in this week and wants to start a lawn care and landscaping business. Mike talks about the infant stages of the business, getting on the same page as your spouse, and specific numbers Eric should be hitting.
Sam is a recording artist and wants to expand his business. The problem is he doesn't want the music (his passion) to suffer. How do you make a profitable business without sacrificing doing the thing you love?
Ever had a LÄRABAR? They are all-natural energy bars sold in thousands of stores around the country. Ever wondered who started Larabar or how it became the company it is today? The founder of LÄRABAR, Lara Merriken, joins Mike for an exclusive interview on how she started the business in her kitchen and eventually got acquired by General Mills in 2008.
Vince called in today. He is in his 50's and is having a hard time hiring young guys to work in the landscaping industry. Learn how to deal with millennials that are looking for work and whether or not you should offer salary or by-the-hour pay.
Have a business idea or hobby trend side hustle? Wondering who you should be targeting your marketing too? Focus on the niche! Start on one small customer category and then dominate it. Once that is done use expansion into other categories as a way to propel your business growth.
The million dollar revenue marker has become a milestone for many small businesses. The idea that 7 figures worth of sales is processed from a company shows that it is a real business and not just a hobby. It shows that the proprietor (founder) figured out how to create a team around their idea and make a profitable enterprise.
Here are 4 things you must do to take your business from $100K per year to the elusive $1,000,000 marker. Essentially this is how you 10X your company.
You are a sales organization. Don't forget it!
You must have a system in place to attract good people. Your equipment can be great, your storefront and company vehicles pristine but the real value of a business is in the people that work there. Once you have found good people it is important to get them involved in the mission of the business. Until your employees are SOLD on the business succeeding, your customers and clients won't be. Get your people on-board and involved and watch how much more efficient your company becomes -- let alone the company culture boost it will offer.
Notice, I didn't say that you need to hire great people in #1. Great people cost a lot. Great people are in high demand. You have got to have the training in place and the management style implemented that will foster growth and experiential learning.
You are a sales organization. Don't forget it! Treat your sales staff like they are the kings of the universe. You will never save yourself to success and exponential growth. Top line revenue should be a constant focus and not expenses. Spend 80% of your time on revenue generation (sales) and 20% on conservation (budgeting). I find too many people that focus on their annual budget and forget to have a sales system and process in place to achieve their revenue goals.
What would happen if your manager got hurt tomorrow and couldn't work for a year? Or if you got hit by a truck tonight? Gruesome, yes, but it happens... and most small businesses fail at that moment or shut their doors soon after. The reason they fail is the positions of the company are upheld by strong personality and people and not the systems and procedures those people follow. You should have an operations manual that outlines the processes of every function within your organization. How do you create an invoice? When do you advertise certain services? How is the shop supposed to be organized? How are the books reconciled? If you create standard operations procedures for all the positions within your company it is much easier to find and train new people to fill those spots if they become empty.
A former classmate of mine called me on Skype with his friend. They are thinking of starting a trucking business and wanted another perspective on how to start the business (without spending a million dollars).
Because of the response from Episode 140 (2 Ways to Dominate Facebook Marketing) I wanted to put together another show on Instagram Marketing. Remember, these are just 2 of the MANY ways to get more sales using Instagram; however, I have used these no-cost methods to help business owners get more people walking in the door and calling them for their products/services. In other words, this isn't just about brand building -- it affects the bottom line... something most small business owners deem important.
"Word of Mouth" got a name change... it's called Social Media!
DM stands for Direct Message, in case you didn't know. This is a way of sending a text message privately to an Instagram user. First thing to do is search in "Tags" for a keyword that is used by your target audience. For this example, let's pretend you are trying to sell a trampoline safety product. The business owner would simply go to Instagram and search "trampoline" on Tags. The results will show all the posts that used #trampoline. Then go through the pictures and tap one. This will take you to the user's profile. In the top right hand corner of the screen there are 3 little dots. Click that icon and then click "Send Message." In the message itself DO NOT try and sell them right away. Maybe just comment on their trampoline, the pic they had posted (perhaps it was funny or there was an injury). The reason you don't need to sell is that the person will almost always reply and then tap on your profile link. They will then be able to see your posts, and most importantly, the website address link at the top of your page. Don't sell using direct messages. Create a relationship, comment, and warm up to people.
This works great for businesses that can only serve clients in their local area... perhaps they have a brick and mortar store. For this example, let's pretend you are a hair stylist. You should spend the 5-10 minutes between clients using this tactic. Go to the Search function on Instagram (bottom of screen, second button from the left). Search by "Places". Then select "Near Current Location" (or whatever city you are targeting). Then you will be able to see all the most recent posts that are created in your area. The hair stylist should then scroll through the pictures and try and pick out the people that look like they are interested in beauty, hair, style, modelling, etc. Then use tactic #1 and send them a direct message... telling them they look great and you would love to give them 2 or 3 free haircuts at your store. Guess what they are going to do after you style/cut their hair?? Post another picture of themselves and mention your business. Word of mouth marketing at it's best: that is social media in a nutshell.
Too many people try to push products and Sell, Sell, Sell on social media. That technique doesn't work as effectively on Facebook and Instagram. Remember if you try and start a conversation online with "I want" or "Could you please?" or "Check out my page" you will be categorized as Spam in the minds of consumers. Don't be thinking "What can I get from so-and-so?" You should be asking, "How can I add value to this individual?" Take the time to personalize your messages and take interest in what the individual is involved in by looking around on their profile. Show that you care about them and their interests and soon you will create a friendship... Which MAY or MAY NOT lead to a sale.
This episode was sponsored by Freshbooks. Track all of your marketing dollars and other expenses from your smartphone. Use FreshBooks.com/Bootcamp for a free trial. No credit card required!
Are you trying to find good people to hire? Seem like an impossible feat? Perhaps, it isn't the people or prospective hires... maybe it's your hiring SYSTEM. I am testing a new model of hiring people and I think it can help you find better quality employees that will be long-term, high-quality assets to your organization.
I believe that Facebook ads are CURRENTLY the most underpriced ad product in the world. Yes, this will undoubtedly change. Eventually, the clicks will costs more and something newer and better will come up. However, today I share two tips for using Facebook to drive sales for your small business. These are tangible, tested, and simple ways to make the phone ring more often, get more web traffic, or whatever means you need to increase revenue!
I got a little creative today=) After recording a standard Q&A episode I decided to take a couple line out it and make a 2 minute rant! You might not like it... if not, please forgive me=)
Here are the 5 things that will help you DOUBLE your personal and/or business income in 2017
1.) Hire Someone to do EVERYTHING in Your Business Besides Sales
You've gotta focus on the key drivers of growth and the #1 item you must pay attention to is sales and revenue generation. Yes, payroll, expense tracking, web design, office organization etc are all important but having a clean desk or perfectly design Profit/Loss Statement won't double your business in one year. Outsource clerical/admin tasks or hire someone to do them for you.
2.) Call Your 10 Dream Clients/Customers
Which companies or persons would blow your business up if they became paying customers? Write them down -- call them. Better yet, walk into their office and show them you mean business about doing business with them
3.) Track Your Time and Work 8% More Per Day
8% is just 2 hours per day. That might mean cutting out some TV time or mindlessly fingering through magazines or watching sports highlights on YouTube, but the results of this ultra productivity will pay big dividends -- not just financial ones either. Get your focus on time, it' the one thing you got!
4.) Cut Your Monthly Expenses by 25%
That might mean selling the big house in the nice neighborhood or downsizing from the Mercedes E-Class to a Honda Accord. Or it might just mean not eating out and going to the movies 3-4 times/week. Decrease your expenses, limit you junk, live a more fulfilling life.
5.) Know You Numbers and Set Bench Marks
If you want to go from $30K / year to $60K per year you will need to increase your income by $2500 per month. Set benchmarks. In the next 6 months you need to increase your monthly income by $1250. Seem hard? That just means you need to make $42 more each day. Know your numbers, break it down, set benchmarks.
If you are willing to grind and work hard while being creative you don't need a billion dollar digital marketing ad budget. Sometimes a "boots on the ground" person-to-person marketing approach is the key to building your brand recognition and sales.
Kathryn was one of today's 20 lucky winners of a LIVE phone advising call with Mike. This was one of Mike's favs because Christmas is just around the corner... How to scale and market a gift wrapping business!