Archive for January, 2009

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30 Business people tell what one thing they will do in the next 30 days to grow their business

January 25, 2009

The other day I asked my networks for business people to respond to the question: “What is one thing you will do in the next 30 days to grow your business?” Here are 30 responses that came back.  If this is the one thing, imagine what you can do for your business if you can accomplish more than just one? 

1.       Clean up my customer database and revisit those that have done business with me in the past but I have fallen out of touch with.

2.       I will start blogging for my business.

3.       I will learn about and engage in Social Media platforms.

4.       I will audit and trim waste in my purchasing where possible.

5.       I will hire an assistant.

6.       I will update my website and publish more content that will create more conversions on my site.

7.       I will find a strategic partner to partner with and team up on business development.

8.       I will audit my service providers and terminate relationships where I am not getting my ROI.

9.       I will hire another salesperson.

10.   I will spend personal time training and working alongside my employees.

11.   I will launch a second business that has developed through my first business.

12.   I will launch an e-commerce platform to sell our products online (we currently only take phone orders).

13.   I will free up my time from production to focus on sales and customer service.

14.   I will host an open house event to reconnect with customers and vendors and allow them to see the growth we achieved in 2008.

15.   I will clean up my desk.

16.   I will upgrade my office technology to streamline operations and minimize downtime.

17.   I will attend industry training classes to improve my skills and knowledge and continue my own education and improvement in my industry.

18.   I will fire a dead-weight salesperson.

19.   I will consolidate and streamline my IT department.

20.   I will hire a consultant to accelerate my company’s growth into a new market.

21.   I will attend a networking event once a week.

22.   I will stop responding to these requests for info from Chris.

23.   I will consolidate our offices and sublet the extra space to a friend with a startup business.

24.   I will join my sales professionals on one sales call a week to assess any opportunities for growth or improvement.

25.   I will upgrade my CRM software.

26.   I will audit our insurance policies and see if there are savings to be had.

27.   I will make Chris and his firm work harder on promoting my business this month.

28.   I will contact ten new customers in each of my verticals to secure new business wins.

29.   I will start selling into Europe (new markets).

30.   I will learn how to use my Blackberry.

So, did you see anything on the list that might make sense for your business?  Do you have any to add to the list?  Leave a comment and let me know.

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The Cost of Not Entering into Social Media – How it Hurts Your Company (Part Three)

January 3, 2009

At the beginning of this conversation, we entered into a discussion of the fact that several companies have been questioning the “benefits” of entering into social media, and that many were still going to take a “wait and see” approach before delving in.  Many of the objections being raised were based on false assumptions. Social Media is too new. No one is really using these platforms. My customers aren’t using these platforms. Throughout this series, we’ve been dispelling these myths, and shaping the discussion around the following – What will it actually cost you and your company if you don’t engage in social media?  The answers are these so far: market share and sales, new business acquisition, your existing customers, and now we come to the next cost – loss of your internal talent, and the ability to recruit employees in the future.

Maybe this isn’t a worry for you if you are one of those companies that are laying-off staff this year. Why did you get to that point?   Is it truly just the panic of the economy? Why are other companies thriving and surviving? Are your marketing and sales teams allowed to utilize the best possible tools to achieve their goals?  Are you still clinging to traditional media and the cost it entails? Social media tools are very cost-effective and can turn that around for you, yet I digress, that will be covered fully in part four.

So back to the topic at hand – loss of your existing talent and your ability to recruit new talent. In the much quoted book, First, Break all the Rules, there was an extensive survey citing the top reasons good employees leave their employers. Three of those top reasons include the lack of their company to innovate, communicate, and empowering & incorporating these employees in the running and growth of the business.  How do your employees feel about your company? What is their perception of your ability to innovate, etc?

Will your company be able to attract talent in the future?  Over 64 million workers will exit from the workforce by the year 2010; this puts employers in a talent deficit dilemma. The pools they have to dip from are young men and women from ages 22-30. These employees operate on principles of openness, participation and interactivity. If a company’s technology infrastructures, including the intranet and technology platforms, do not encourage free communication, innovation, interaction and collaboration, it misses a big opportunity. Worse, it alienates these younger, internet-savvy employees.

Can your company afford this side-effect of not entering into social media?

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