Archive for Excuses
Advertisement Ideas: Do You Have Plans?
I am always amazed when I ask a business owner what their marketing plan is and they say I don’t really have on. I am amazed because when you begin a business you must be prepared to advertise and market your business. Once you make your plan and you implement the plan you also have to evaluate the plan. So many business owners are missing opportunities and leaving money on the table because of their failure to plan. I recently encountered a business who hired a sign spinner to direct people to their location but did not have a physical sign visible from the parking lot on the building and wondered why the foot traffic was not as much as he anticipated. If you are going to effectively market your brick and mortar business you must make proper signage a priority so people can find you. In all you do in your business especially when it comes to marketing you must plan your work, work your plan, and make adjustments along the way. In my 25 years of working with businesses I have seen many owners who did not plan and as a result did not succeed. As you open your business daily ask yourself what will I do today to let people know who I am and what I do and why they should do business with me today.
When you open up your business daily ask yourself how am I going to build brand awareness and how will I increase revenue. In today’s evolving market where the consumer is more and more educated you need to have a plan for them to do business with you instead of with your competitor. It is when you create brand awareness and stay on top of the consumers mind that you increase your revenue. The more you know about your target audience and the area you do business in the more successful you will be. The key is to stay one step ahead of everyone else so that when people here your name they do business with you instead of with your competitor. Having brand awareness and good visibility in the market place is crucial to driving business. There are many elements to plan for in order to be profitable in business.
Advertisement Ideas: I Like It In Top!!!
I have always believed that it is important to be proactive in all you do and to be on top of events that can positively impact your business. If you are to get to the top in your chosen field you must stay up with the current events that affect that field. As the regular readers of this blog know I work with Celebrity Sports, The Ultimate Gift Store, located at 1825 N. Pine Island Road in Plantation, FL. We sell sports and non-sports memorabilia. We rely heavily on walk in traffic and our Facebook promotions to make sales. Each day I look for something industry related that we can capitalize on so as to create a buzz about the store and drive traffic. Today Peyton Manning is announcing his retirement thus I took pictures of some of The Peyton Manning Memorabilia and began to post it on our Facebook Page and on my personal Facebook Page. I am working on convincing the manager and owner to put up a website as I was very surprised that it today’s market where more and more people are going to the internet to look for goods and services that they did not have one. In order to get to the top in your industry and get a nice piece of the monetary pie you must keep up with technology. If you are to reach your desired target audience and be on the top you must be ahead of everyone else and do things that are unique and different. If you are going to drive business to you it is imperative to have innovative advertisement ideas and promote them. I had come up with an idea to put 50 balloons around the store and when some spent at least $25 have them pick a balloon to pop and inside would be some type of award such as a 10% discount or a FREE Wax Pack. I suggested we put out fliers in the community, send out emails, and promote this concept. I was told no we don’t have customers and nothing is working by my manager. I have always believed that to be the best you must stay a step ahead of everyone else and say yes to new innovative marketing ideas. If you are going to be on top you must have a vision and a strategy to get to the top.
If you create traffic you will have a chance to be of service and value to those who walk through your doors and as a result you have it all and be on top in your industry. In delivering outstanding customer service and understanding what value you deliver you will see your sales increase. I have this method I greet the customer with in 10 seconds of them entering the store, I ask questions, I show them some items and then I allow the to look around. In doing this I have been successful in every retail position that I have ever held. When I first started working retail I worked for The Oaktree Men’s Clothing Store and within 3 weeks I became the top sales person in the country. I was asked how I did this by the regional manager. My answer was I set goals and I took action to exceed those goals, one way to make sure I interacted with every customer and gave them a great shopping experience. As I continued to do this word got around that Jonathan at Oaktree is the man to see if you need men’s clothing. I left Oaktree and went to work for Merle Harmon’s Fan Fair, which specialized in sports apparel and collectibles. I took the store from a $400 a day store to a $2500 a day store. I was asked how and I simply said I went out and told people about the store and invited them to shop. When they came to shop again I made sure they had a good experience. The key to being on top is to make sure you are sharing your business with others and insuring that they have a good experience. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Always Make Time!!!
Today’s entry is inspired by Ah Snagg CPA located at 460 N. University Drive in Lauderhill whose phone number is 954-749-9722 as he taught the lesson of how not to treat someone when they are cold calling. I walked in unannounced as I often do when out collecting donations for The American Cancer Society Relay For Life. I saw he was with a client so I apologized for interrupting and asked if I could leave a flier about Relay For Life and he immediately got irate called me rude said he couldn’t help and that he was with a client. I fully understood this and thanked him for his time. he continued to go on and tell me that the work I was doing was meaningless and then threatened to call the police. I understand I interrupted his flow of business however I was polite. All he saw was someone in jeans and a tee shirt and a ball cap and didn’t realize that I could have been of service and value to him. This encounter really got me to thinking about how many so-called professionals are struggling because of making judgments and not giving people time. I have always said that I may be a solicitor today however in the future I could be a client or be someone who recommends potential clients to you. Ask yourself what type of feeling am I leaving when I interact with others and how is that interaction affecting my business.
In business today it is imperative to understand the importance of making people feel good and leaving them with what I call a warm fuzzy about their encounter with you. When Ah Snagg said my work was meaningless this upset me and I thought wow I won’t be recommending him to any of my business associates. I had a great idea about how he could have helped The American Cancer Society and also strengthened his brand. It was a simply host a FREE Workshop on Charitable Giving for the volunteers. As a result of doing the workshop he may have picked up a few clients. I guess Ah Snagg didn’t realize that he had an opportunity to tap into volunteers simply by making time and being kind. Instead everyone who reads this entry will now think twice before they do business with him. The important thing to remember is to be kind to everyone for the people you see on the way up will be the same people you see on the way down. I would recommend that Ah Snagg and all those who aren’t making time for people grab a copy of Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements and apply the principles.
In adopting these four agreements you will see a dramatic change in your ability to make time for people and your image in the community. How many times have you ignored someone who came into your business or your office because of the way they looked or the way they were dressed. How many times did you lose out on opportunities that would have enhanced your image because you were quick to judge. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Turning Browsers Into Buyers!!!
If you have worked in retail you have heard oh I am just looking. When I hear this I ask what are you looking for? By doing this I get an idea if the customer is truly interested or is wasting my time. In not asking yes or no questions you open up the dialogue and thus you increase your chance of turning a browser into a buyer. I work with Celebrity Sports in Plantation, FL and I believe that everyone who walks into the store can be made into a customer. When I am in the store I make it a point to start conversations that will lead me to show the customer something that will peak their interest and as a result they will make a purchase. In knowing the merchandise and being able to show the customer what we have increase the opportunity to turn them from a browser to a buyer.
When I graduated from Hofstra University in 1987 I went to work for The Oaktree Men’s Clothing Store in Boca Raton, FL as a management trainee. With in 3 weeks I was the #1 salesperson in the country for this division of Edison Brothers Stores. I was asked by The Regional Vice President How I managed to be #1 in the country in a short period of time. I simply replied I turned the browsers into buyers. He then asked how did I do that. I said I greeted everyone within 5-10 seconds of coming into the store and asking them what brought them to Oaktree today. In doing so I began to build relationships with customers who then became regular customers. I remember a businessman from Chicago came in and was seeking casual wear for meetings he was attending and I helped him and he said he came into town every 3-5 weeks. I told him stop in when you are here and see our new arrivals. It turned out that he did just that and on average spent $300 with me. In getting to know your customers you can turn them from browsers to buyers.
I am asked by people all the time JDOGG what of you do not have a brick and mortar business and you aren’t selling tangible items then how do you turn browsers into buyers? My answer is by having a service that they seek and building their trust after all people like to work with people they know, like, and trust. If you have a website make sure you have a page where they can book your services and pay for them ahead of time. If you have merchandise like CDS, DVD’S. Books, and other materials make sure they can order hem and pay for them. In having a strong call to action you will be able to turn browsers into buyers.
Many of us spend an inordinate amount of time networking and we find ourselves dealing with many browsers. The question is how do we turn these browsers into buyers. The answer is to have something they desire, something that solves a problem, something that is relevant and resonating. It is important to follow-up with everyone who you get a business card from within 24-48 hours with a clear and consistent message that has a strong call to action at the end. I strongly suggest setting up a one on one and finding out what they are looking for and letting them know how you can be of service and value to them.
As many of you that read this blog you know I host a TV Show, The Anything Bucket, which airs on WRPBiTV. I invite many people to be on the show and give them the option of buying a fully edited clip of their appearance on my show for $200, which is a great deal to have a very useful tool to turn browsers into buyers. I explain the value of having the clip and how it can be used on their website, across social media platforms, and in all their marketing materials. I have found that those who purchase the clip and use it effectively increase their brand awareness and their cash flow. I have seen many of the people who came into the studio as browsers become buyers because my producer and I explain the value and how if they follow our suggestions they will have some success. I do not sell everyone the clip and I understand not everyone will be a buyer. The key is to have the mindset to always be closing in order to turn browsers into buyers.
Use your platforms to turn browsers into buyers!!! Stay Positive!!!
Advertisement Ideas: Doing It and Doing It Well!!!
Have you ever noticed how doing business is much like satisfying a partner while making love. If you don’t hit the right spot and pay attention to your lover’s needs and desires while making love that lover may go elsewhere. It is the same in business if you don’t know what your customer/clients needs or desires are and you do not satisfy them they will go elsewhere. The key is know what you are doing and to do it well. In business like in turning on your lover you have to advertise in the love making game it might mean dressing sexy or playing some soft music to get in the mood to entice your lover. It is the same in business you must advertise to entice the consumer/client and get them to do business with you. Look at the ways you are marketing and how you are reaching your customers/clients. The process starts with knowing who to pursue and how to court the people that you desire to have as clients/customers, then creating a brand so when people hear the brand or see the logo it is easily accessible, then you must do things to create a buzz.
Advertisement Ideas: People Who Are Doing It and Doing It Well!!!
If you were to show this picture to 10 people I believe 7 would know who it is. Despite his perceived arrogance the man in the picture has built a reputation as a great ball player and a savvy business man.
If I showed this photo to 10 people I can almost guarantee that 9 people would know who this soulful singer is. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Go Fund Yourself!!!
Many people want to be entrepreneurs but they forget the one fundamental principle needed to succeed and that is you must have funding for all aspects of you business. So many people open the doors and don’t have a marketing plan and then wonder why they have no traffic to their brick and mortar business. Part of the reason is that they didn’t adhere to the idea of funding themselves. I have watched countless businesses open only to close their doors with 3-5 months of opening. Those that closed all shared one common thread they did not set aside funds for marketing and advertising. Yes people there is a difference Marketing is primarily done to build brand recognition to put your brand on the top of the consumer’s mind while advertising is done to not only build your brand but to also drive traffic to your business. It is important to fund yourself so that you can have a solid marketing/advertising mix so that you don’t end up shuttering your doors. The key is to set aside money strictly to fund your marketing and advertising campaigns.
As someone who has been involved in some form of advertising and marketing for over 30 years I can tell you that I am always amazed when a business owner tells me they do not advertise and I ask what to you do to let people know who you are, what you do, and why they should use your products or services. I usually hear oh I do word of mouth. Word of mouth is a good start but should not be the form of advertising you do. If you are a local business you should be involved with activities in the community that attract your target demographic. It is important to fund yourself to reach your desired target audience as you do not want to be dog walker advertising in a cat magazine though some cat owners do own dogs. I asked a shoe store owner who his desired audience was and his answer was anyone who needs shoes. My answer was that this is to broad of a statement and that perhaps finding his niche market and planning to fund himself to reach that niche market might be helpful. I remember working for Footlocker and knowing the lay of land of the Wellington area and the surrounding communities. I asked the district manager if my store could have funding for 144 white tall tees in XL and XXL because one of the biggest football games of the year was being played in the area, The Muck Bowl, and the kids from both high schools shopped at The Footlocker where I was an assistant manager and had a tradition of decorating their own shirts. At first he hesitated and made excuses why not to do it and then I said well as a district manager you can fund yourself and he said what and I said you have a district marketing budget why not take the expense for the 144 shirts from there and make a sign for the window Prepare For the Muck Bowl Tall Tees available here. He finally agreed and my store received the 144 tee-shirts and in 2 days sold out. The key is know your audience and deliver what they want and to always find a way to fund yourself. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Get With The Program!!!
When I was kid I would here this phrase quite often as many of the activities that I was involved in were very structured. As I got older and started to venture into the world of marketing, advertising, media relations, and public relations I began to realize that many business people did not understand the importance of these areas and as a result struggled and eventually closed their doors because they did not get with the program. Today as I present opportunities to businesses and non-profit I hear many programmed responses like I don’t have a budget or I am not interested. There have been many times that I wanted to reach through the phone grab the person on the other end and simply yell GET WITH THE PROGRAM!!! I have encountered many people in positions of authority who simply do not get it and then wonder why their sales are down. Such was the case yesterday as I called the sales manager at Lou Bachrodt Chevrolet in Coconut Creek who I had been leaving messages for about The South Florida Gold, a professional basketball team that plays in The American Basketball Association. When I left messages I explained the relationship I had with the dealership and he didn’t return the call. He picked up the phone yesterday and after I introduced myself his answer was I am not interested. I replied sorry to hear that I can really be of service and value to you and I have been a customer of Lou Bachrodt for many years. He then said I don’t have a budget as I allocated all my advertising dollars. I replied I just want to meet with you to see how we can be of service and value to one another. His reply was I told you I don’t have a budget.I said okay I’ll call someone else. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Spread ‘Em Wide!!!
When you read the headline of this entry what was your first thought? Many probably went right to the image of the police officer getting ready to put the cuffs on someone and pat them down. Most conjured up this image as we have been programmed to react in a certain way through media manipulation and the repetition of many so-called norms of our society. When I think of the headline spread ’em wide I think about marketing a frequent and consistent message so that when someone thinks of me they know who I am and what I do and feel comfortable about doing business with me. just as this phrase spread ’em wide conjures up a certain image or picture ask yourself what image or picture does my brand conjure up when people see it or hear it.
Well established brands like McDonald’s and Allstate share one common thread and that is a frequent and consistent presence in the marketplace. A few years back Allstate partnered with The NCAA to sponsor the goal post nets that are put up for field goals and extra points and as a result has increased their brand awareness while also donating to scholarship funds thus creating a picture that they area company that cares about the community. McDonald’s has sponsored many sporting events including The Olympics.
Now you may not have the budget of a McDonald’s or Allstate but you should have a budget to spread your message wide. How many times have you been approached with an opportunity to spread your message and you have found all the reason why not to take advantage of the opportunity and the you see your competition did. As a result clients/consumers may be going to the competition. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Stop Missing Opportunities!!!
This blog entry was prompted by a phone call I had this morning (7/31/2015) where I was introducing myself as The PA Announcer and Team Ambassador for The South Florida Gold, a professional basketball team that plays in The American Basketball Association. In this role I am responsible for community outreach and giving businesses and non-profit organizations a chance to form strategic partnerships. As I called a real estate broker whose card was given to me by a colleague I introduced myself and then was told I do not have a budget for marketing to which I replied I just wanted to offer you free tickets to our home opener to which the reply was I am not interested. I hung up the phone and thought wow this is a so called successful business person who just missed out on what could have been a great opportunity as players need housing, staff may be looking for real estate, and our fans may use his services. I run into this type of mentality all the time those who do not see the opportunities and can not see beyond what is considered the normal way to market. The fact is if you are doing what everyone else is doing you will not stand out and you will continue to struggle. You can avoid the struggle by simply listening to people who are presenting unique opportunities and being open to explore a different way of doing things. In being aligned with a professional basketball team you build awareness while having frequency and consistency in the market place.
Think about it you as a business owner can pay $250 and select a game for you and your staff and clients to attend, set up a table at the game to speak to fans, hang a banner, and receive PA Announcements. This is an affordable opportunity and is a form of direct marketing where you can obtain qualified leads. There are many opportunities to advertise and market and you as as a business owner must seek some unique and different forms of marketing and advertising that will help you to stand out in a crowd,
Imagine your name on 250 mini basketballs to be given out at a home game for The South Florida Gold. Your fee to do this $500. All you do is supply the artwork and The Gold gives the basketballs away to its fans. Again a different way to strengthen your brand and create a buzz about your business.
Advertisement Ideas: Don’t Miss This Opportunity To Brand Yourself!!!
In August of 2013 I launched an Internet TV Show, The Anything Bucket, which airs on www.wrpbitv.com. I give business people and non-profit organizations and opportunity to come to The WRPBiTV Studios in Boca Raton, FL to do a 10 minute interview to reach my over 50,000 viewers. I give my guests an opportunity to purchase their clip for $175 that is fully edited with their contact information for them to use across all their marketing platforms. In today’s marketplace video content is very important. I am always amazed when a business person says no or they can not afford it. Again a missed opportunity to which I say stop missing opportunities.
Now the question is what will you do the next time someone approaches you with an opportunity. Will you consider that the person you are speaking with may be selling you today but may be a customer in the future or tat the person you are speaking with may know people that can benefit from your products or services. Remember every interaction is an opportunity to build a relationship and thus create business as people like to do business with those they know, like, and trust. Before you go into your programmed responses think how listening to an opportunity might benefit you. Each time you engage with someone it is an opportunity to share information and possibly attract new business.
Advertisement Ideas: Stop The Madness!!!
While American Citizens worried about this flag our government managed to fast track The Trans Pacific Partnership, which makes The North America Free Trade Agreement look tame. While Walmart banned the selling of this flag they didn’t stop importing goods from China. This is ironic for if you are going to stand against slavery and hatred but not stop using what is considered slave labor used to make the goods you are importing from China you are part of the problem and contributing to the madness. Now municipalities are taking down statues, renaming schools, and digging up graves in an attempt to rewrite history. So many of our American Citizens have become sheep and are being driven by the controversy of the day instead of looking at the real issues and understanding you can take down as many flags and statues but until you stop the madness brought on by the hate that is in some people’s hearts the real issues will not be resolved. It is time to stop the madness and stop majoring in the minor.
Another ironic twist is that while amazon and other e-commerce sites were busy banning The Confederate Battle Flag they were still selling Nazi Flags and Isis Flags. Heck a Walmart employee refused to make a Confederate Flag Decorated Cake but gladly made an ISIS Flag Cake, a great example of just how uneducated our workers in America truly are.
Now the question is how do we STOP THE MADNESS. The answer is simple educate the working population and train them so that they can be an asset to your business. The idea is to bring back a manufacturing and agricultural base to America and to eliminate the greed factor that is hurting our country. We must also eliminate the entitlement mentality and get back to the concept of hard work and being of service and value. If you have a talent you must find a way to utilize it and monetize it and to take action to build your personal brand so it attracts the people who you want to do business with so that you can thrive. How about you do a campaign that say we serve all people with our products and services. Instead of using the concept of I am (an insert nationality here) – American just start to say I am an American with a business designed to help my clients/customers who can benefit from my products and services. Then make it a point not to judge people when they come to your business. I have learned that we may not be able to attract everyone to our business but those that resonate with our message will choose to do business with us.
The best way to solve these issue sis to adopt Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements and do your best to adhere to them. The Four Agreements are….
If you can convey this is your advertising you will begin to create more brand awareness and recognition while also creating a buzz about your business and thus helping to stop the madness. The key is to create customer loyalty by being of service and value by enhancing the customer experience by looking at solutions for the real issues and making sure you become a problem solver.
The issues mentioned above affect us all because there will be current customers and potential customers that will not agree with the principles we stand for and may get offended so we must do our best to target customers who will resonate with our message. The nest way to stop the madness is to remember some will, some won’t, so what, some waiting, next. The greatest thing we can hope for is that our business will help to unify a community instead of divide the community. If we are truly going to stop the madness we must tackle the real issues and walk in our truth and thus have a message that is relevant and resonates with our desired target audience. It is time for you to become a problem solver and ask how are my opinions on these issues affecting my business.
By now you have heard of the couple who refused to bake a same sex wedding cake and how they have been sued and ordered to pay damages. My take is that this story only led to more madness. It is their right to refuse business from anyone and I am sure the couple ordering the cake could have found another bakery. This is another example of the media choosing to create madness and division. Personally of it were my company I would have made the cake taken great care of the couple as money on my pocket is better that in someone else’s pocket. The cake company owners stated it was against their moral values and that it went against the teachings of Jesus. Hello, wasn’t it Jesus who was teaching us to be kind to all people and not to sit in judgement. It is your right to refuse a customer and it is my right as a customer to go elsewhere. Again it is time to stop the madness.
Sometimes it is not about being right or wrong it is about doing the right thing so stop the madness.