02
Sep
2011

Been busy – which I know is no excuse for not blogging…

  It’s been almost 6 weeks since I wrote anything out to the world, so I guess that makes me a bad blogger…  I have to say it’s been a good 6 weeks filled with all kinds of wonderful working “On my business rather than IN my business”  type stuff.  Hence the lack of blogging, but in a good cause.

  What have I been up to you ask?

  Oh – All that jazz that SCORE and INSBDC tell you to do, like business plans, marketing plans, etc.  Plus a few things they OUGHT to tell you to do like building a picture of what I want my life to be like with the business up and running, defining very clearly what my ideal client looks like, putting a team in place to do the “IN the business” stuff, along with some other more woo-woo kinds of things that my business coach recommends and I’m reserving judgement on for the moment.

  I’ve got say that the most game changing thing to date has been getting my team in place.  I had not realized how limiting working IN my business had been.  Nor had I realized what a huge chunk of time I was spending on things that maintained the day to day, but did nothing significant to move the business on to greater heights.

  Was it a magic wand solution? No. definitely not.  It has taken additional time and focus to put my team in place.  And discipline.  I spent a fair amount (OK – a LOT) of effort fighting my workaholic tendencies to fall back to working IN the business instead of defining job roles, and posting want ads…

  Did my workload immediately get lighter?  Heck no. It actually got much heavier for a bit, because as anyone whose done it can tell you – delegation takes more time initially, but I just keep reminding myself that it will pay off eventually.  It will take another couple of months for my folks to really be trained up and performing at full strength.

  But, I’m reaping benefits already that have nothing to do with time saved.

  What a game changer getting some help has been!  I now look at my business now from a totally different perspective.  I strategize and plan now instead of just putting my head down and plowing through an infinitely long and ever lengthening to-do list.

  Also I can see light at the end of the 17-hour-work-day tunnel now, in fact after just 3 weeks with my team, my work day has dropped to more like 14 hours, and declining, so yeah, I’m seeing some time savings too.  I may just survive this startup!

20
Jul
2011

Business credit blue print

Yes, I know this is not directly a marketing topic, but since capitalization (MONEY) stands in the way of new business owners properly marketing themselves I’m going to talk about it.

So many folks tell me that they don’t want to use their personal credit as they start up their businesses and are frustrated by the visit with the small business banker who tells them that they won’t qualify for an SBA loan or even a credit card until they have a 2 year track record of success.

This is usually part of a discussion around how they know they should spend money on marketing to bring in more business, but can’t seem to find the money to properly prime the pump…

Having spent many years in banking and counseled many people on what they need to do the build, repair and maintain their personal credit, I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I was at a loss on how I should go about building up my business credit.

Then I got a recommendation from a good friend of mine on an affordable resource to get the business credit going that I needed. I must say – it’s been worth the money and I’m really impressed.

It’s a step by step program to take you through everything you need to do to build a great business credit profile and leverage that into actual credit lines/loans. In less than 24 hours, I have 4 lines of credit and have laid the ground work for $100K more over the next 12 months. I dare almost say – fool proof.

In the event you are struggling with the business credit issue, I have included the information my friend sent me:
_______________________________

Hi Renee,

Could your business use up to $100K in business credit?

Do you know how important your business credit profile is?
The ability for a business to stand on its own credit, totally
disassociated from your personal credit,
is one of the most crucial aspects of your company’s success.

The folks at The Business Credit Spot can help you provide this foundation,
regardless of your own personal financial history.

Click here to check them out.

As an entity with its own credit profile, your business can access trade credit, credit lines and a variety of funding resources.
Again, regardless of your own personal financial situation!

My friend Maria Simone, co-Founder of The Business Credit Spot, has been helping entrepreneurs for years access millions in funding.

There’s a process that every business must follow in order to access lines of credit yet many don’t know the steps
OR take the time to do it.

Her program has been years in the making and they walk you step-by-step through the exact process you’ll need.
PLUS there’s ongoing support and education every step of the way.

20 years ago when she started her first business, she knew nothing about obtaining business lines of credit.
She used her own personal finances and credit to start and grow the business.
Eventually it became profitable but she was determined not to go through that trauma again.

DON’T use your Social Security Number anymore to access financing!!!
The sooner you begin, the quicker you’ll get the credit you need to
build your company.

Look at some of their recent approvals

HERE ARE SOME OF THE RESULTS YOU CAN EXPECT:

* Complete full compliance check to ensure the company is set up to
maximize credit building results
* Set up your DUN & BRADSTREET number
* Get your first business credit accounts set up, even without having a
business credit history
* Procure thousands of dollars in business credit accounts within a few
days

…And so much more!

Click on the link to get started today. She even offers a guarantee:

Business Credit Spot

SBA statistics state that the majority of businesses fail within the
first few years due to lack of funding.
Give your business a chance to succeed by accessing the business credit you deserve!

11
Jul
2011

BAD NEWS – JV Expo

———-
BAD NEWS – JV Expo
———-

The early-bird special is GONE,
but I was able to get my buddy JP
Maroney to give me a “backdoor”
link so you can still grab one of
the two tickets he’s letting me
offer at the early-bird price.

When they’re gone… they’re gone.

http://www.jvexpo.com/viponly?AFFID=62197

———-
WARNING…
———-

This event is like NOTHING you’ve
ever experienced.

There are no seminar speakers.

No “pitch-fests.”

Nothing to buy.

Instead, about 100-150 of THE top
online and offline marketers and
their clients are coming together
with one goal in mind.

Network and set up joint venture
(JV) deals where we’ll send each
other more traffic, more leads,
and more buyers.

Watch the video about the event
and let me know what you think.

http://www.jvexpo.com/viponly?AFFID=62197

Hope you can make it.

Renee

PS: In just the last 30-days this
event has come out of NOWHERE and
quickly become the “Who’s Who and
Who’s Up & Coming” in the online
and offline marketing world.

Whatever you have to do to shift
your schedule … DO IT so you can
be there.

http://www.jvexpo.com/viponly?AFFID=62197

05
Jul
2011

“Mind Control” Marketing

This cool new 10-minute video teaches you a little-known 3-step “mind control” marketing technique.

http://www.jvexpo.com?AFFID=62197

It will help you get more people to…

- Partner with you…

- Promote for you…

- Do Joint Ventures (JVs) with you…

http://www.jvexpo.com?AFFID=62197

It’s short.

And, to the point.

My buddy JP does a great job of breaking this down for you.

Watch it now.

http://www.jvexpo.com?AFFID=62197

Enjoy!

Renee

PS: I have YET ANOTHER video that’ll teach you “5 Power Strategies” for using JV’s to
double or triple your existing business … or even get a business off the ground if you
have no list, no product, and no customers.

PPS: Watch today’s “3-Step Mind Control Marketing” video now…

http://www.jvexpo.com?AFFID=62197

PPPS: JP’s put together this cool new video series to help get the word out about JV Expo.

04
Jul
2011

Happy Independence Day!

I hope y’all are having a wonderful 4th of July holiday!

Enjoy your time with your family and friends, but take a moment to reflect on how and why we are a free and democratic society today.

The root of the revolution (that made us Americans rather than Brits) was a 2% tax hike that we had no say in.  It pissed us off enough that we told England what they could do with their tax hike and their tea too!  (Starbucks anyone?)

On days like today it sorrows me that we have given up so many of our civil liberties in recent years that we fought so hard for over the ages.  It sorrows me more that we don’t seem to recognize that each time we ask the government to step in and take care of us, we give up a bit more of ourselves and what made us a great people.

That is a large reason I enjoy hanging out with entrepreneurs – They get it.  We make our own destiny.  When we take responsibility (for ourselves, our actions, our incomes) in both hands, we shape our destiny, firmly molding it into our dreams.  (That pursuit of happiness mentioned in the constitution.)

Pursuit of happiness is an active thing.  Something that you create, that takes effort and determination, not something that happens to you on the sofa watching American Idol, or that comes along with a paycheck or an entitlement.  It’s your activities, your striving for a worthwhile goal that you reap the results of, such as they are.  Sometimes good, sometimes not so good, but always the fruits of your own efforts and the satisfaction in those fruits.

Raise a glass to the good ole US of A and give a hearty hooray for the rugged individuals in this fine country still willing to unplug from virtual life and make great things happen in real life.  Long may they live and may more people follow in their footsteps!

03
Jul
2011

Joint Venture

Here are some tips for setting the foundation for a successful joint venture:

Shared Vision – Everyone involved needs to have had the discussion about where we will be going and what our shared objectives are.  Once agreement is reached there this all needs to be formalized in a (yes I’m going to say it) – business plan.

Defined Roles – Everyone knows what they are to do and the areas they are to be responsible for.  It also VERY important to make sure all the bases have been covered and assigned to someone, so things don’t fall between the cracks or just as bad – end up with duplication of effort.  I thought Joe was doing that and Joe thought I was…

Legalities -As enthusiastic and positive as it is starting out, it’s important to discuss the legalities.

What form will the company take?

How will partnership shares be determined?

How will proceeds be paid out – when and in what proportions?

Who can commit the company to debts, expenses, and how much?

And -when life happens and a partner needs to withdraw, how can that be accomplished?

It’s much easier to have a sensible, measured discussion and settle these issues up front – before the heat of the moment arrives and (god help us) someone calls in the lawyers.

Communication – You have to be able to communicate on a regular basis and it’s best if you have records of all communications, written and verbal.  So record your conference calls and use a project management system, like basecamp to track project communications.  Be religious about this, and it can help settle disputes before they get out of hand.

Motivation/enthusiasm/dedication – It’s also important the have relatively similar levels of these qualities.  Wide disparities in the traits can lead to significant friction in the future, leading to the need for those exit clauses mentioned earlier, or worse yet failure of the entire venture.  So make sure you have the right fit between the principles, and hold out for the right fit.

 

_______________________

Another shameless plug:

A wise man once told me to very important things.

First, if you have a big goal, you will never accomplish it all on your own - it always takes a team to get you there.

Second, if you want to take your business to the next level, you have to change what you’re doing, since that was only good enough to get you to where you are.

I have news for you – The team you need will NOT find you sitting on your butt in front of your computer, AND sitting on your butt in front of your computer may have been what got you to where you’re at, but it won’t be enough to get you to that next level.

But Renee, you say, I can find JV partners on a forum.  I’ll say true.  I’ll also say it’s a lot like ordering a mail order bride.

You don’t know for sure what you’re getting until you’re married to them.  And I’ve got to say – having had a practice husband myself and the divorce that went with him – better to do due diligence up front, it’s much cheaper in the long run!

So here’s your opportunity to gain some leverage using a thoughtfully chosen JV.  Hurry or your opportunity will pass you by.  Early Bird registration closes July 4, 2011!

02
Jul
2011

Leverage for the 1 (Wo)Man Business

I promised to talk more about marketing – And I will.  But the topic foremost on my mind currently in my business are ways to gain leverage to get stuff done.

Two choices typically are money or time.  Well, since most of my startup funds are now committed, time is what I have left.  And not too much of that – since I’m still holding down a full-time (plus) day job.

Encouraged by my business coach, I’m working through a process of brutal prioritization (as mentioned previously).  Now that I have that list, I’m working on ways to get the work done that don’t involve my time on an ongoing basis and that are low-cost or, better yet – free.

Here are some of the ways that I have identified as possibilities for me:

Barter - an exchange of relatively equal value services. 

Advantages of this are I get a more experienced deliverer of services who can do things faster than I ever could have.   It’s also a relationship that is fairly easy to end.  

Disadvantages are I have to find someone who wants what I have to offer and frequently these deals can end up a bit unbalanced to one side or the other.   I will have to provide some service with my time.  It’s also typically not a long term solution.

JV – Joint Venture – sort of like barter only better.  The parties involved each bring their expertise to bear on a common project to the shared value of all.

Advantages - everyone plays to their strengths and it’s a long term solution.  

Disadvantages - everyone needs to get along in some fashion and it’s a long term commitment that can be harder to exit.

Interns - I have relationships with several business professors in the area, and so am planning to pitch my project to them as a real life, hands-on class project or failing that option, doing some formal internships.

Advantages - completely free assistance with all that youthful enthusiasm.

Disadvantages - Lots of training, hand-holding, management and it has a high turnover.

Looking at my plan and my resources, I believe the answer is going to be a combination of all three.  I have a JV going for my main project for this year.  This is the same project that I will pitch to the universities.   What I can’t do, and what I can’t have the interns do, then I’ll need to figure out a barter arrangement for.

I’m feeling more in control already!

 

_______________________

Shameless pitch warning:

A wise man once told me to very important things.

First, if you have a big goal, you will never accomplish it all on your own – it always takes a team to get you there.

Second, if you want to take your business to the next level, you have to change what you’re currently doing, since that was only good enough to get you to where you are.

Like to know how to leverage yourself  to get more traffic, more leads and more money – Click on the video training. It’s free.

30
Jun
2011

Activity Prioritization

– continued

Wow – this prioritization thing is Challenging!

Having tracked how I spent my time over the last 2 days, it becomes clear – I spend 2-3 times the amount of time on things that are Urgent versus those that are Important (meaning they move me towards a worthwhile goal, like launching my own agency). Talk about the tyranny of the urgent.

Some of it is unavoidable, since the time I spent on my day-time employment is currently not optional. (And categorized as urgent, since the mortgage does still need to be paid.) However, if I can shift the balance of the time/effort towards the important, eventually that scale will tip well and truly towards the “important”.

It’s clear that more outsourcing is in order, of these pesky urgent things, so I’m doing more client acquisition, marketing for myself, and other business building activities.

29
Jun
2011

Marketing – dealing with overwhelm

Have you ever actually sat down to work on your marketing plan and been at a complete impasse?

Feeling surrounded by questions and uncertainty, with no good answers.

  • What does make us special?
  • The one surefire method we’ve been using to get clients has stopped working like it used to – now what?
  • Our website just lays there in virtual space like a door stop.
  • Sure, I’ve been getting client email addresses, but have nothing to say to them.

Employees are little to no help, your spouse is sick of hearing about the business, and the last agency you talked to wanted your first born.

We can help with the impasse, whether what you need is fresh set of eyes on the problem, perspective on where your business is at and what it’s all about, a plan to jump start your online efforts, or someone to pretty-please-just-get-it-done for you.

The “its”, we can get done for you are: 

  • making your website actually do work for you (getting leads/orders, delivering information, customer support, etc.)
  • improve the odds that your website is found in Google
  • get more qualified customers to your website
  • analyze where your best business is coming from, which efforts to redouble and which to dial down to more effectively use your cash

It’s your choice – you can sit in the mess or you can get an expert to cut through the gordian knot and set you on the right path. With free website competitive analysis, you get started without paying a dime and the assessment is yours to work from whether you decide to continue with Rain Dance or not.

Can’t beat that with a stick. -just sayin’ – seems like a no brainer -  click the link and submit the free analysis form today.

28
Jun
2011

Talk about marketing

Or if I were my own client, I’d be slapping myself silly…

There are several standard pieces of advice, guidance as it is, that I give clients, and one of them is to blog about your area of expertise regularly.

Well, so far 2 blog posts, and not a word about marketing, positioning your business in the search engines, or the finer points of setting up a pay per click (PPC) campaign so it doesn’t bankrupt you.

Yes, if I were my client, I’d be trying really hard not to shake some sense into me.  So here today I recommit to provide you (not quite daily) installments of  marketing pearls of wisdom and pithy words on SERP positioning.