Sunday, December 21, 2008

How do I know when its time to sell my company?

If you start spending a lot of time thinking about doing things other than running your business, if you’re oversleeping a lot and you dread the thought of having to keep going to work every day and if you’re day dreaming about what you would do if you didn’t go to work anymore….it might be getting time to sell.

Keep in mind there are lots of people who could never see themselves starting a new business but they can see themselves buying a business that’s already up and running and making money.

There are plenty of people that really enjoy the excitement and passion of starting a company and growing it but they get bored with the day to day of running of it. If you are the type of person who has built a successful business but you don’t enjoy managing and running a company on a day to day basis, it may be time for you to sell your company.

© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Should I exhibit at a trade show or just attend?

This is a question that every business owner asks themselves at one time or another. If you have never been to the type of trade show you thinking about exhibiting, then take the time to attend the show you find out the real value in showing. Why? Tradeshows can be an expensive means to advertise and you may be able to attend a show, spend minimal costs to obtain the same amount of exposure. Also, it may be tough to determine your return on investment at first glance.

If the trade show is not local you can safely assume your company will incur these costs:
Travel costs (i.e. Airfare, Car Rental, Gasoline, etc.)
Hotel Expenses
Exhibiting fees including but not limited to:
Booth costs (average 10 x 10 $1,000 or more)
Internet fees
Shipping and freight fees
Higher food costs at the event and
Personnel cost because you will need more than one person to staff the booth for breaks, etc.

By attending an event you will meet other attendees who would have been potential visitors to your booth and can interact with them by exchanging business cards and telling them about your business all the while, test the waters in terms of interest.

Typically, there is a designated area to for breaks, take several coffee or soda breaks and sit at tables where people are congregating. Talk with them; ask them how they like the event and what they do. They will undoubtedly ask you what you do and you can test out your product’s offering by discussing it with the groups. Take their input and generate from there solutions to best reach your target audience. Spend as much time as you can meeting and talking to people at this show and stay at a hotel where attendees or exhibitors are and network with as many people as possible.

Lastly, while at the show, talk to exhibitors with similar type products/ services that you offer. Before you tell them that you are contemplating getting a booth next time, casually ask if they are having good luck at the show and if it is prompting sales.

By taking all these steps you can decide if you want to exhibit the next time around with “eyes wide open” to all of the costs and the potential benefits.

Tell us how your visit to the next show goes!

© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

Monday, September 8, 2008

What is a PEO?

A PEO is a Professional Employer Organization. Companies who do not want to manage all of the employee related human resource aspects of running a company, often align themselves with one of these types of companies. A PEO provides a cost-effective alternative to outsource the management of HR, employee benefits, payroll and workers compensation which allows the business owner to focus on their core competencies of running and building their company.

By aligning yourself with a PEO you become a Co-Employer with them. For the most part everything stays the same with this arrangement, you still run the day-to-day management of the company and your people, but your PEO Company makes sure you do it within all of the State and Federal guidelines. They in essence become your in-house consulting firm to consult with to make sure you do everything right with your compliance, administration, procedures and interaction as it relates to your employees.

Another big benefit to aligning yourself with one of these PEO’s is that you can typically offer big Company benefits even though you are a smaller company. How? Because PEO’s usually have hundreds if not thousands of people in their Co-Employment relationships you are able to leverage these big numbers of employees to provide your employees more comprehensive benefits at what are usually lower prices than you could get on your own.

The fees for a PEO are usually a percentage of your payroll. The fees you pay them can sometimes be offset by the savings you might have with workers compensation, payroll administration and benefits cost reductions. Often times companies can compete better for new recruits with more comprehensive benefits and a more coordinated HR process.

© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

Friday, August 15, 2008

What is the difference between an email address and a domain name?

A domain name is the address where a web site typically resides. For example: is our domain name. If we want to have an email address associated with our domain name we could use

It’s kind of like your physical home address where you live. Your home address is 123 Main Street (Domain name) and your address for mail at your home is John Doe @ 123 Main Street (email address).

Hopefully this is making sense to you. If someone gives you their email address and its: most people that want to know about your company will go to their web browser and put in your domain name of to see more information about your company. If they want to contact you directly they will use your email address at:

Hopefully all this is starting to make sense to you now. The other most commonly used terms for domain names are: URL, Web Address or Web site address.

It’s best to try and keep your domain name as short as you can and as easy to remember as possible.

© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How do I get on a No Call list?

The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. If they do, you can file a complaint on the Do Not Call Website. You can register your home or mobile phone for free. Here is the link:

© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Adding up other people’s money…

Everybody does it. You know what I’m talking about…..You’re sitting in a restaurant and you start adding up how much your bill will be and then you divide it by the number of people in your party and then you multiply by the number of people in the room. But you’re not done yet, now you figure out how many “turns” of the tables there will be that night, maybe 2 or 3 and then you’ve figured it all out, you know how much the owners made. There is some small talk and then everyone at your table thinks about how glamorous it would be to open your own restaurant and make all that money. Don’t take that thought too far!

You did figure out what the restaurant brought in (gross), but not what they made (net). There is a big difference between the two.

Look at your own small business, what percentage of your gross is going to pay your expenses? If you look at restaurants more than 50% of their cost is typically food and drink and put in another 40% or so for employees and when you add rent, utilities plus some other expenses you don’t have a whole lot left over.

The grass isn’t always as green as your quick calculations would have you think! It’s fun to play with numbers but make sure you focus on growing your revenues and keeping your expenses under control while calculating how much YOUR business makes. Make it happen!
© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

Monday, May 12, 2008

Will a slowing economy hurt my business?

Assume that it might. By assuming that it might hurt your business you’ll do things differently, spend differently and pay attention differently. Start out by looking at all your expenses.

• How many of them are absolutely necessary and bring you a return? Make sure the expense is something you need, something that helps you do more business.

• Can you reduce expenses in any area? Do you really need all those post-its or could you get by with stapling a note to something? Every little bit helps and as you start to look around for ways to save, you’ll find them!

• Can you put off buying any new equipment? If you’ve got an old printer that works fine, keep it. If your computer still works well, than there’s no reason to get a new one just because your current one is a couple years old. Save the money clean up the old computer, eliminate old programs and defrag if you haven’t done it in a long time.

• If your business has slowed down you may have to look at reducing staff. This is the one that nobody likes to think about but if your business is down and you can’t seem to raise it back up, something’s gotta give. Keeping a person too long when you can’t justify the expense can end up costing you more than your piece of mind and your pride, it might cost you your business.

By taking a closer look at your business “in case” it is affected by the economy, your proactiveness might minimize the effects of a business slow down. We know the economy goes through cycles and if you are prepared for a bit of slowdown, all the things you are doing now to reduce expenses and make your company more efficient will compound your success when the economy bounces back. Make it happen!

© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

Friday, May 2, 2008

How do I handle stupid customers?

I hear people say that indirectly in many ways….."That person that just called was so dumb", or "WOW, what an idiot", or "I can't believe they don't understand what we're doing", or ... and the list goes on, you know what I'm talking about. Every time I hear people say that or complain about customers I have to wonder "does this company really run right, do they get it?"

Let's say a customer calls and says they don't know how to do something on your web site. The easy thing to do is just say that customer is a "dummy" and they just don't understand. The smart thing to do is to go to your web site and try to do what they just tried to do. See what may have tripped them up or caused them to pause or caused them to hit the wrong button.

When you do this, chances are you might just find what that "dummy" was saying was really happening and the input they gave you, the call they made will actually save you money in the long run. Look at the call as favor and quite possibly a wakeup call to get you off of autopilot and get you back engaged in the marketing and purchasing of your products or services.

Keep in mind insurance policies and other public information that people really want people to understand is written at an 8th grade level. I can't tell you how many times I see people use words in their marketing or the directions for buying or describing things that people just don't understand. That's either going to cause them to call you or leave without buying.

Do you want the call or a lost sale? For sure the goal is to get a sale without a call, but I'll take the call over a lost sale a million times a year! The next time you or someone at your place of business labels a customer question or call as stupid or dumb, take a minute and look for the "smartness" of the information they are telling you with their questions. When you start to look at your customer calls with this mindset, you'll not only get fewer calls but you'll get more sales! Make it happen!
© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Should I try to get an intern for my job opening or hire an employee?

That depends, how long does the position need to be filled for? If you bring on an intern you may still have to pay them so it really depends on how long the position will be open. If the position is permanent rather than part time, you might want to try to find a part time person who wants to work part time and plan on keeping them in that position on a permanent basis.

The biggest challenge with bringing on interns when you have a permanent part time position you are try to fill is you will have to train each new intern you bring aboard. Most interns are trying to get different types of job experience so they won’t plan on staying with your company too long, they want to get that experience, master it, and then move on to another company for different experiences.

The permanent part time worker is not interested in working full time so your goals in this case probably align better.

Either way you go, be sure you are up front with the people so they know exactly what your plans are for the position. You might also find the article “How do I get an intern for my business?” to be helpful too.

© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Are you being realistic?

People say it all the time; “Come on, be realistic.” Whose reality are we talking about anyway? I’ve found over the years that the people who say things like “you aren’t being realistic” are usually people who aren’t doers. Nine times out of ten they are talkers. The people who don’t set goals, who don’t write anything down and don’t step outside of their little boundaries they have set for themselves.

Hey, I’m not knocking people that live that way, if it works for them more power to them, but don’t push your lack of stepping outside your comfort zone on me or other champions out there working hard to make things happen just because you don’t see our actions necessary!

That being said, you must ask yourself every now and then; am I being realistic? The best way to check yourself on this is to take a look at the last 3 or 4 goals you set, you know the ones, where others may have said were unrealistic and ask yourself, did I hit them? Were they realistic? If they were, keep setting those stretch goals and keep hitting them!

If they weren’t, you’ll want to make some adjustments. That doesn’t mean you stop setting tougher goals, it just means you may need to adjust them so they are more reachable. Believe me, if you’re setting goals and hitting them you’re building a goal achievement muscle that not many other people have. People that think your goals are unrealistic probably don’t even know there is actually a goal setting muscle to develop! Many times people don’t want you setting and achieving goals because it makes them feel guilty that they don’t do it.

Don’t stop! Keep setting goals and achieving them even if it means being “unrealistic” in the eyes of some people. It’s that kind of goal setting and dreaming that will keep you moving forward and enjoying the journey more! Make it happen!

© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Should I hire friends or family members to work for me?

As a matter of practice, no. There are special circumstances sometimes, usually tied to confidentially or trust regarding sensitive issues or it may be a family business. If you must do it, lay things out in writing and be very clear about expectations, responsibilities, accountability, work hours, compensation, results and the time period for the job. Whether you’re sure about bringing on a family member or not, do it on a part time basis for a specified period of time and DO IT IN WRITING and both of you sign it.

If you have it in writing and you want to extend the time, you can. If you don’t put it in writing it’s going to be tough to let that person go. Even the second time around put everything in writing and do it for a specified period of time again. If it worked the first time in writing why mess with a good thing!

Keep in mind if you have job openings and you hire one friend or family member you’ll run the risk of others asking “why can’t you hire me, you hired Billy/Suzie?” That’s why it’s best to keep family personal and hire other people to work at your business. If you’re going to do it, put it in writing and make for a specified period of time! Either way you go, make it happen!

© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

Friday, April 4, 2008

Do I need to send out thank you cards?

This one is more about personal preference than anything else. Some people I know will swear by them and they send out a thank you card with each sale. Other business professionals will send out thank you emails versus cards.

If your business sends email receipts/invoices to your customers then take this time to say thank you. Not only with this will save on postage but it will eliminate the extra step of sending out an actual thank you card.

If you feel compelled to send them out something in the future, send a birthday note, reorder reminder or holiday card. Whatever you decide to do, keep consistent. Make it happen!

© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Always get the door.

I don’t know about you but I’m the type of person who holds the door open for people, takes the extra second to let people in the elevator, and helps people with store their bags on airplanes. If this doesn’t sound like you, try putting yourself in check and becoming more “neighborly” with people. If not for any other reason, you should do it because the next door you hold open may be for the person you are attempting to do business with.

Recently, I was walking into large office building about 8 floors high, and stopped to hold the door for the person behind me. They were struggling to carry an armload of files, so I stood patiently holding the door open for what felt like an eternity (but probably no more than 30 seconds), because they looked like they were having a rough time and I was running early for my meeting. As they walked through the door I offered them a hand, but they replied they could manage and continued on their way.

Once, I reached my meeting there was a brief conference the clients I was aiming to work with requested I meet their CEO. As he entered the room, he looked vaguely familiar and I recognized him as the gentleman I held the door open for early that day. Case in point? Always get the door! Make it happen!

© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I feel like I’ve known you my whole life…

Ever had someone say that to you? I have, and the last time it happened I was on a two hour flight with someone I didn’t know. I felt like talking and the person seemed interesting enough. The more I talked to them the more interesting I found them…so I just kept asking questions. Questions about where they were from, what they did for work, family, hobbies, relationships, home, vacations and a few other topics.

I found myself digging a little deeper on each topic and asking “interested type” questions. Mostly because I was interested, it was almost like I was writing a book about that person and the more I asked the more they unfolded and the more interested I became. When we got off the plane I said “I enjoyed talking to you and getting to know you, have a great week” and they said “It seems like I’ve known you my whole life.”

When I told my ride about that conversation they said; why do you think they felt that way and I said I know why. Because I have known them their whole life and the reason is….we only talked about them and their life, nothing about me. I was asking them questions and talking to them about things that they were totally comfortable with, things that they knew everything about, things they knew all the answers too. I focused on them and talking about them, not me.

What’s the point of the story? If you want people to feel comfortable with you, start out talking about them, not yourself. If they ask you about you later on that’s fine but don’t lead with you. People do business with people they feel comfortable with, people that they feel like they know. Make it happen!

© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

Monday, February 25, 2008

How to shorten the cab line in Vegas?

I just flew into Vegas and although someone picked me up, I know of a way to get in a cab faster on busy nights. All you do is go down to baggage claim and when you see one of the sky caps walking around asking people if they want help with their bags, wave one of them over. Even if you only have a small bag, once they come over ask them if they can get you in a “shorter cab line.”
When they say yes, ask them if $10 will cover it? If you have more that one person and a couple of bags it probably won’t be enough. Don’t be surprised if it takes a $20 to do it, especially on a busy night. Believe me on a busy night it’s worth it! Enjoy your trip!

© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

Friday, February 22, 2008

Should I get a MySpace page for my company?

For most businesses the answer is no. If you’re target market and current customers are all under 30 it may be a good idea but chances are most businesses will not benefit from a MySpace page.

Why not? If your business creates a MySpace page, most likely you are doing this to expose your products & services to the public and eventually obtain new customers. To generate interest in your site you’ll need to invite people to be your “friends”. As you invite people to be a part of your page any searches for your company will now start to appear with the “quotes or notes” that your new friends have left on your site.

Imagine someone searching out your company online, they enter “ACME Pluming Supply Denver, CO” and here is what comes up:

· “Acme plumbing supply…..Me and Suzy wanna party and we like staying up all night long texting our friends in Amarillo.”

· “Acme plumbing …..Party at Pure Saturday night and bring all the fine women you can find!!!!

You get the picture. When you have a MySpace page the crawlers from search engines pick up your company name and you have no control what else they pick up with it. Be very clear who your audience is and who you are trying to get as customers before you decide to get a MySpace page. Whichever way you decide to go, Make it happen!

© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

Friday, February 8, 2008

Is your phone voice running off customers?

Most people answer no right off the bat.

Have you ever spoken to anyone on the phone and their voice was so loud that you had to pull your phone away from your head? Did you say something to them about how loud their voice was? Probably not. Most people don’t know how to ask someone to “pull away from the phone a bit” or “can you move your headset a little further from your head?”

Instead you just irritatingly complete the call as fast as possible and hope the person doesn’t call you back again any time soon. If they do, you just try to get off the phone as soon as possible. If your potential customers feel this way about talking to you, you’ll end up losing business over it. Call someone you know that will really tell you the truth about something like this and ask them how your voice sounds both on your cell phone and on your office/home phone. Is it too loud? Can you always hear background noise?

Take the time to find out how your voice is coming across on the phone and make any modifications you need to. Most phones and headsets have adjustments that can be made to reduce background noise and the volume of your voice. Eliminate a loud phone voice from being a potential customer-runner-offer. Make it happen!

© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

Monday, January 28, 2008

Do you look like a winner?

You can fight it all you want but people do judge a book by its cover. How is your cover doing? Are you putting your best foot forward or do you need a little freshening? This may be a tough question to answer but one you need to answer about yourself.

Here’s a quick way to get some insight into your public persona. Next time you go to the store, a restaurant, the dry cleaner, a bus stop or any public business or service ask this question: “Would you do me a big favor? If you had to guess what I do for a living, what you would guess? And please be honest, I’m just very curious.” Their answers will give you a general idea of how outsiders view your outer shell.

Below are basic questions you can ask yourself to keep your appearance in check:

  • Do you dress a step above what people would normally wear in your industry?
  • Are your clothes pressed and clean or wrinkled?
  • Are your shoes clean?
  • Is your hair neat and stylish?
  • If you smoke, do your breath and clothes smell like smoke?
  • Are your fingernails cut and clean?
  • Is your nose and ear hair clipped?
  • Eyebrows trimmed?

Small business owners tend to think these ideas are frivolous because “they’re not trying to win a beauty contest” so does it really matter to potential customers? What if it does? Are you losing business because they can’t get past your “look?” Eliminate that as a potential reason for someone not doing business with you, and nip any appearance issues in the bud. We all get an “instant” impression of people, so focus on influencing people positively by putting your best foot (or shoe in this case) forward.

Giving a solid amount of effort towards your appearance ensures people can focus on your great services/products, all the while eliminating the potential of losing business for “other reasons.” Make it happen!

© 2008 eMarketing 4 Business LLC