2013: A New Small Business Path

010313 New Business PathA New Year, 2013. Welcome to a new time, new energy, new way of being for small business owners everywhere. 

A big question many have today is: "Where can I find my 2013 business path? What can I do today to make my small business pop, hum, run like it never has before?" 

Here's some ideas to get you started:

1. Don't dwell on the downside.

Create what you want to see happen in your thoughts and energy first. Your imagination is your most powerful "reality creation" tool. All of your outcomes start with your thoughts and the energy you put into them.

2. Focus on what will work and not what has not worked before.

If you don't know what will work, do something completely different than what you've done in the past. Remember: new energy = new results.

3. Realize that YOU create your own reality.

As a result, decide what you want in your life. Then go out and create it with joy in your heart and passion in your actions.

4. Set a specific time to do the work that moves you forward.

Commit. Decide what you want. Follow your inner guidance in knowing what to do. Trust that voice inside and act, do, take action. Miracles happen when you take ACTION.

5. STOP trying. Either do or decide not to do.

Try is the killer of dreams, the destroyer of fortunes and the limiter of life-long joy.

The business growth drill of 2013 is to:

  • Decide
  • Commit
  • Take ACTION

Works every time.

The only challenge is, it's different than what you've done in the past; making our final bit of advice:

Live for right now, not the past that has already occured or a future that is dependent on your thoughts, energy and action TOday.

TOday is where miracles, success, abundance, freedom and joy occur. They are never found in SOMEday or the dreaded "Soon".

Image Courtesy of: Steve Jurvetson 


How to Create a DIY CRM System with Google Docs

image from bit.lyToday, I'm featuring great CRM advice from Derek Singleton, of Software Advice. Any small business owner can use Derek's idea to manage the CRM cycle effectively. 

Many small businesses need a better way to manage prospects, especially during periods of growth.

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a great tool for doing that. At the Software Advice website, we review and compare most of the major CRM systems on the market.

But the truth is that many of the most popular systems on the market are beyond the budget of many small business owners.

 If you're running a small business, it may be more effective to take the do it yourself (DIY) approach and build your own CRM system. Building your own CRM systems offers several benefits:

  • It's cost-efficient (free)
  • Flexibility
  • Customization
  • Easy to use

A great tool for building out a CRM system is Google Docs. Already used as a management tool, it is fairly easy to extend the power of this group of applications to the customer management space.

Google Docs also allows all users to collaborate across any document, thanks to a same-time editing feature. So, if one person changes a contact's information, that is automatically synced across the system, allowing all users to see the change immediately.

You can also monitor privilege settings, ensuring that all users have access to the right information. Chris Keller of Profitworks Small Business Services outlines a step-by-step process for setting up a CRM system within Google Docs.

He shows how with Google Docs, you can track and manage:

  • Demographics
  • Prospect source
  • Next actions
  • Contact log
  • Lead nurturing stage
  • Estimated opportunity size

For a more detailed outline of how to set up a Google Docs CRM system, you can check out his post here. Who knows? It might not be long before they step up to the development plate and create their own CRM.

Derek Singleton is an analyst for the Austin, Texas based research firm Software Advice. He reports on technologies, topics and trends related to marketing and sales, with a focus on B2B strategy. His writing has been featured in various tech publications including Sandhill, ZDNet and Sys-Con. He's particularly interested in covering how technology can improve business operations.


Election 2012: The Best Marketing Platform Wins

Mitt-Romney-with-Barack-Obama14-forbesIn my humble personal option, President Barack Obama is the best political marketer in history. His marketing platform incorporates all the elements of marketing sensationally and his brand message resonates in the hearts (not the minds) of many.

As a result, my prediction for the election of 2012 is President Barack Obama will win a second term in office.

Here is my personal marketing scorecard

Personal Brand Winner Barack Obama

Marketing Story (brand narrative): Winner Barack Obama

Personal Appeal Winner Barack Obama (though some may argue with me)

Use of online marketing tactics (including social media): Winner Barack Obama

In Election 2012, the Best Marketing Platform Wins.

Not that Governor Mitt Romney is a slouch. In fact he is even a more aggressive email marketer than the president.

But his personal brand is seen as “corporate” when compared to President Barack Obama.

The emotional connection the president gained with his constituents, through marketing, is clearly a winner. 

The president hits our emotional buttons. Mitt Romney speaks to our mind.

Heart wins every time

Let the voting continue throughout the United States.

Let the mass consciousness of the American people be heard worldwide.

Then give deep, heart-felt thanks.

Be grateful that you live in a country where the mass consciousness of the people can select the path for our nation going forward.

I am always so proud to be an American.

I am also very grateful to the marketing lessons I’ve learned in this election.

I am so appreciative to ALL those who voted, who are open take part in this process; no matter which marketing platform you chose. 

Photograph courtesy Forbes


Why is Cold Calling a Hot Topic

People who are into the sales conversation often say that cold calling is dead.

I agree. Cold calling, in the way it has been practiced  in the past, is not very effective. 

Getting on the phone, approaching a stranger and barfing company features on them is not going to turn strangers into friends and friends into clients. 

Yet, today, business owners are looking for a way to initiate contact with new people they don't know, aren't connected to in networking or through their close network. 

So can you do to initiate contact with potential buyers?

Social media is a long-term strategy that takes time to develop. You cannot control the reach.

In-person business networking is all about building relationships. That takes time. 6 months to a year of  attending the same networking group tends to be a time line I hear often.

Direct outreach solves common sales challenges.

You control the number of people reached. 

You control the message understanding. You're not dependent on a listeners worldview to interpret what you're saying. 

That's  why hundreds of thousands of people search for terms relating to cold calling; like cold call, cold calling, how to cold call and more.

 

Cold Call Reach
Select image to see results


And why over 1,500 people tuned in to my call with Connie Kadansky showing people a cold calling process that works.

 

Most business owners  are looking for answers. That's why cold calling is  a hot topic.