“A Quality BLOG over Quantity BLOG”
Another full week of small business Webinars – Reviews, Hits and Misses, and Maybe Just a Plain Waste of TIME
I rate this webinar 4/5 stars,- very good , great speakers, with real examples including a break out session!
PowerUp DC 2020 Small Business Forum hosted by DC HealthLink – June 30, 2020
On the last day to apply for the PPP (the date has now subsequently been extended) – the information provided in this webinar proved to be essential for small business owners. The welcome hosts were from the SBA and other government agencies in the DC area. They were very knowledgeable, and the beginning part of the webinar was spent on thoughts about retooling, revamping, and revitalizing your business during a period of time that has devastated so many small businesses:
Summary thoughts that came from the webinar panelists:
- Recalibrate – what is our new “normal” and how do businesses get to a new normal?
- Look for ways for partnerships – we are in new era and our resilience will bring back our businesses to being profitable.
A virtual breakout session literally bounced you into a room full of others attendees based on a previously selected breakout session option. Karima Woods, Acting Commissioner of the Department of Insurance and Banking was the moderator of this particular session. Resources and tools for small businesses during the pandemic was the focus of this workshop. Panelists were introduced – sharing insights on their experiences during the Cov-ID19 Pandemic. Denise Rolark Barnes, Owner of the Washington Informer, a DC newspaper spoke quite openly about financial scenarios that were necessary to reduce business expenses during the pandemic. She states that her business had partnered with another media organization through the current reduced economic turmoil. Her newspaper had to go through a DIGITAL transformation. Her example was REAL: Think about this – stores were closed, so the business could not deliver newspapers, boxes where newspapers were normally displayed were missing due to the DC riots. The DC Informer had also decided to start WEN-tv. Both the DC Informer and AFRO DC have decided to collaborate and work together. Staff is working virtually.
“Stores were closed, so my business could not deliver newspapers, and the news boxes were missing due to the DC riots”Denise Rolark Barnes, Washington informer
Elizabeth Sara of the National Women’s Business Council stated that many women owner’s don’t have more than one employee, and typically are not in the tech field. Women owned businesses must be larger than their footprints. They are currently an important role in their community (i.e. nail salons, bakeries, restaurants) – however, these businesses will never participate in anything outside of their communities. Many women business owners simply need capital.
Lindy Campbell a small business owner of Music on the Hill spoke about what her business did in the last couple of months to simply stay alive. She had 13 independent contractors/2 full time employees/3 part time employees – she started to move some of her teachers (13 independent contractors) to w-2 employees. These employees now are getting health care insurance through the store. All employees that were hired now have health care insurance. Lindy faced other challenges as well: Approximately 200 music lessons had to go online. Lindy states that she had to think fast, –24 hours to try to figure out how to do virtual music lessons. She lost about 5 percent of the students when she switched to a virtual business. The brick and mortar store had to be reconfigured as far as opening and social distancing. She also stated that she is a millennial, and social media is baffling. Almost like a black hole.
“I am a millennial, and social media is baffling, almost like a black hole”Lindy Campbell – Owner Music on the Hill
It was a great panel discussion, well worth my time.
National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO Lunch and Learn)
I rate this webinar Good – 3/5 stars – packed with a lot of information at a very quick pace.
National Association of Woman Business Owners (NAWBO) presented its last webinar before summer break. This virtual lunch and learn with Lizzy Forzley – Small Business Community Engagement at FaceBook was very informative and helpful. Over 1.6 billion people on FB say that they are engaged with a business page on FB. As this is NAWBOs 45th anniversary, it was a high-powered session where your attention was needed to get all the details for the set-up of a FB business page.
Over 1.6 billion people on FB say that they are engage with a business on FBLizzy Forzley, Small Business Community Engagement, FaceBook
Lizzy provided step by step instructions regarding the creation of a FB business page – starting with the profile and engagement of groups – you can create both the page and groups from your profile page. You can add events to a group, and add as a calendar. Also make sure you have your business address updated – and if it is a home address, you can keep this private. Other must do’s are to make sure you add your website to your business page – this will make your business authentic. Of course, add a profile picture and cover photo. Logos are suggested as cover photos. Profile picture should be a picture associated with your business. Pages with profile picture and cover photo tend to get more likes.
Building your online presence – get your about section completed. Add all information requested. Select map-pin location. Now select your template associated with your business. Go to templates and tabs – this will shape your customer call to action.
Messenger is another way to engage with customers. Have direct one on one customer contact. You can do this by call to action and send message. Customize your response to give an instant reply. This is great tool for outside your business hours. You can even select a message as an “away message”. You can schedule a post for the future and set a duration for the post as well – Publishing To – Create-and use then publish on the drop down arrow.
Other helpful FB Tips and Tricks:
- Insights offer key metrics regarding the performance of your page. View and see the ‘local’ tab to see when people are near or around your business. You can figure out your target customer around your geographical area.
- Use Call to Action buttons – if a service business – “book now” is a good call to action button. Or Shop now for a boutique or dress business. You can delegate the management of the FB page by selecting page roles to multiple people on your team. There are different roles such as Admin, Editor, Advertiser, etc.
- Use the three dots button to invite friends to like your FB page. Make sure to also share any updates to your personal FB page. You can add a link and an email signature as well. Look at page tips and tricks to grow your page. This is located in a box on the lower right hand page.
- Create an event is also described. Add a visual component or video to the event. Location or virtual online FB event. You can schedule and interview potential applicants.
- Text post vs video post vs photo post – Visual components are better! Text posts are not that engaging – so only use those in a pinch.
For questions regarding additional FB training go to FB.com/blueprint for training modules and curriculums. Go to Boost with FaceBook to join the FB group to stay up to date with the latest FB projects.
Verizon Small Business Webinar Series featuring Carl Gould, author of the 7 Stages of Small Business Success with host Ramon Ray of Smart Hustle Media
I give this Webinar 5/5 Stars! It was Excellent!
Carl Gould – Author of “7 stages of small business success” gave a very informative webinar that was understandable and made a whole lot of sense. Mr. Gould started with the following advice: ” You must go in sequence – if you are not, things will not go as planned.” Makes sense to me. The sequence outlined in his presentation was as follows: 1. Strategic, 2. Expert, 3.Synergy, 4.Systems, 5.Sustainability, 6. Saleability, and 7. Succession stages. He went into detail and gave an example of each stage. He also clarified that it is ok to decide to stay at particular stage – Once you get to stages 4-7, no difference. It depends on the type of business you are. If you didn’t know -Apple is a stage 4 business model.
The webinar then shifted to the “BOLD” promise. How do you price your bold promise? This is normally done in Stage 2 – the Specialty stage or Expert stage. How do you judge that? Highest quality may be a differentiator. Or pricing. Bold price and Bold promise at Stage 2. Consumers want to have what they can’t afford. The promise has to be top of mind – take the top 5 complaints about your industry — those will be your top of mind. And if you can change any of those problems, that is what you should concentrate on. Example – Netflix and Blockbuster. Late fees and going to the brick and mortar to return the video. Modern day mall is asking the same question. What are the needs RIGHT Now. Look at BOLD promises – innovative companies look at those problems and address those needs. Pricing – priced among the highest or among the lowest. A business will enhance its value by giving premium services and leverage features and services with quickness to pivot faster.
“Take the top 5 complaints about your industry and make change”Carl Gould
Here is how you price your service. Write down what you normally charge for your core price or core service. Cross that out and double it. Cross out that price and double it again. How many of these would you sell? – not many, because it is more expensive, but because there hasn’t been a value price attached to the offer. How many people do you know have purchased a luxury item and complained about it? Stack complaints, value added services and double and double again, your price will upside your increase in value. What are the pain points? Obnoxious price and obnoxious offer. Make the offer that no one in your niche can make. This is the cheapest easiest way any company can level the playing field. The bold promise comes with it showing that you are the expert. Be firm in your pricing, but be flexible in your value (payment price). If customer does not want to value either, they are not your customer! Bold promises come in different formats – especially in volatile times. If stock market goes up – market for convenience – premium offering. Market going sideways – offer customers something free or risk free. Late night marketing (wait there’s more). Market going down – go to clubs, subscription-based services, etc. You need 3 versions of your bold promise. Think custom service!
Mr. Gould was chock full of information. Full disclosure: I purchased Mr. Gould’s book – and will review the book in a future blog. Stay Tuned!