Tag Archives: Small Businesses

Episode 51: Explore Your Options by Zeb Welborn

Explore your options! Business decisions can be the difference between failure and success.  It is critical to the success of any business to make informed decisions.  Taking action as an entrepreneur is great, but making informed decisions is even greater.

Many people have hired us for web design, because they did not know anyone else who did it.  However, in some of those cases we were not the best option for them, because we were either too expensive for what they wanted, or we did not cater to the type of website design they were looking for.

Small businesses do not have time or funds to hire people.  They do not spend the time interviewing multiple people; they will often hire the first person that comes through their door.  But it is vital to have options and to make informed decisions.

At the beginning phases of my business I did not make many informed decisions.  I chose the first option that came to me.  However, I was lucky with the first person I hired because he worked out great.  Nonetheless, I wasn’t able to pay him very well, so he did not stick around.  I continued following that same hiring process, but I ended up with a bunch of losers, which cost valuable time, energy, and effort.  Had I taken the time to do the interview process fully and completely, I would have saved myself a lot of time in the long run and I would have been much happier.

White Chocolate Mint Cake by Daisy Cakes.

White Chocolate Mint Cake by Daisy Cakes.

In Episode 2 of the Defining Success Podcast, I spoke with Kim Nelson of Daisy Cakes.  When Kim began her Daisy Cakes business, she was shipping her cakes across the country for more than double what she currently pays.  Because she decided to explore her options, Kim went from paying $45 per shipment to $20 per shipment just by switching shipping companies.

That one business decision allowed her to lower her price point so she could reach more customers and increased her profit margin so she could make more money on the cakes she was selling.

An added bonus of exploring your options and talking to other people is that you become a more informed decision maker, you get a better understanding of what you are looking for, what you are not looking for, what fits best for your business, you get ideas on ways to improve and enhance your business, and you get to see what your competition is doing.

Another added bonus are negotiating points, not only will it help you a better understanding but it will also give you very valuable negotiating techniques with the companies you are doing business with, because you will understand what it costs, what it takes, so it will help your bottom line as a business.

It is important to explore your options.  With major business decisions it is always important to give yourself an opportunity to analyze the effectiveness each option will bring you.  In the long run, making effective business decisions from the options available to you could save you thousands of dollars and even save your business.  Never overlook the importance of making informed business decisions.

If you explore your options when making important business decisions you can have your cake . . . and eat it too!

Zeb Welborn eating a Daisy Cake from Kim Nelson Explore Your Options

Zeb Welborn Eating a Daisy Cake

 

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Episode 42: Engagement vs. Automation | Rick Mulready from the Inside Social Media Podcast

In Episode 42 of the Defining Success Podcast, Rick Mulready shares his thoughts and ideas on social media for small and medium-sized businesses.  During our conversation we discuss the pros and cons of engagement and automation.  We also discuss the power of social media and how building genuine, authentic relationships can help grow any business.

Rick Mulready from the Inside Social Media Podcast discussing Engagement vs. Social Media

Rick Mulready

Rick Mulready is the host of the Inside Social Media Podcast.  His podcast is a place to learn secrets, insights and strategies from heads of social media for some of the most powerful brands in the world.

Rick has been in the Internet marketing world for 12 years.  He spent 5 years at AOL in Virginia.  He moved to the West Coast after that and spent 2 years at Yahoo as an advertiser.  After Yahoo, he went to Vibrant Media and then he went to Funny or Die and went back to Vibrant.  While Rick was at Funny or Die, he saw that there was a minimum spend that people had to invest in order to advertise, but it left a lot of small businesses out.  At that time Rick saw Facebook starting to grow and he began to see the opportunities that small business could have in Facebook.  He jumped into Facebook advertising and taught himself everything he could about it.

During a flight, Rick was listening to a podcast with Gary Vaynerchuk who recommended two publications, Advertising Age, so you can get the big brand perspective and TechMe.com so you can get the perspective of what’s going on in the tech world.  Rick then saw that there was an opportunity to reach out to big brand companies and help share what big brands were doing in social media with small businesses.

Rick Mulready Automation vs. Engagement

Rick Mulready

The whole purpose of Rick’s podcast comes from a Tony Robbins quote where he finds someone who’s doing something successful and then copy what they’re doing.  Rick has been able to show his listeners what big brands are doing and how they can apply that to their small business.

Rick built up a large safety net, and had a lot of planning.  The job that Rick was doing paid really well, but he wasn’t happy, so he saved up a lot of money and made the jump to running the podcast.  He is working with clients showing them how they can achieve their business goals through social media.

As an advertiser, Rick didn’t like the way the advertising industry was set up because no matter how hard you worked you always were striving to meet new goals which Rick found very taxing.

Rick loves Twitter because it allows Rick to have quick conversations with people he wants to have conversations with.  It also allows Rick to listen to conversations that are going on in the social media world where he can jump in, engage and add value wherever he can.  Rick does enjoy Facebook advertising more than he loves Facebook itself.

Too many people don’t understand Facebook advertising and there is a great opportunity to reach out to highly targeted customers if you can understand and grasp how Facebook advertising works.

A common mistake many people make in social media is that they go out there and they start yelling.  Another common mistake is that people spread themselves too thin, get overwhelmed and then say social media doesn’t work.

Rick recommends finding one or two platforms that you love using and then stick with those and really dive in and engage deeply.  If you can do that you’ll soon see immense benefits in your business.

Rick says that some businesses may not even need social media and it may not be the best platform for them to get their business goals.  He recommends that businesses first establish goals and then determining the best course of action to reach their goals.  The explanation starts with what is your goal and then work backwards.

There are two trends that are really important.  Listening and engaging with you customers and using social media as an opportunity to serve your customers.  A lot of brands get it really well and many do not.  Rick says that in the future, location based social media marketing will take place, meaning that when you arrive at a destination, deals and discounts will be sent to people’s smart phones in an attempt to drive business.  Another trends that Rick sees is these short videos which can be used to tell a story for a business.

Rick says that the people who are automating their message are missing the point of social media.  One of the big problems people who jump onto social media face is dealing with automation vs. engagement.  The point of social media is to develop genuine relationships designed to lead to sales, and not to continually blast your sales message.  People do business with people they know, like and trust.  Show them they can know, like and trust you by authentically engaging with them.

When working with a business, Rick starts to figure out their goals and if social media can help them achieve their goals, you have to know what social media platform would be the best for them.  Learn your target market, figure out their goal and then learn how to be there.

The podcast has been working very well for Rick Mulready and the podcast was something he never thought he would be doing.  He’s always loved interviewing people and he still doesn’t know much about it, but a lot of people pushed him to start it.  And Rick understands that the podcast is a great way to connect with people.

The first episodes Rick launched were with the social media managers of Ford, McDonald’s and City.  He loves doing interviews and gets pumped up after he has an interview with people.

Rick Mulready Inside Social Media Podcast Zeb Welborn Defining Success Podcast Engagement vs. Automation

Rick Mulready

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • What is your favorite social media platform?
  • What do you think of Vine and Instagram videos?
  • What is the best way to connect with potential customers on social media?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Inside Social Media Podcast – “Through this blog and my podcast Inside Social Media, I give you inside access to heads of social media from the most successful brands in the world, as well as the smartest social media influencers around.”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is having control of your time and being able to set how you spend that time.”
  • “If you’re automating your message and not really having that personalized conversation with people, they pick up on that very quickly.”
  • “Remember that it’s just as easy to unfollow someone in social media as it is to follow them and to remember that.”
  • “I like Twitter because it allows me to engage with my target audience and my customers the best.”
  • “Too many people get on social media and just start shouting.”
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