Why You’re Screwed If You Work A Job

There has never been a better time to start your own business. In fact, in the next decade, being an entrepreneur will bring more security than being an employee. We are in the middle of a great entrepreneurial boom with the number of entrepreneurs in the United States and Canada rising slowly in the 20th century.

For example, baby boomers, age 50 and above, have started an average of 3.5 companies but with millennials that figure more than doubles at 7.7 companies. This is an incredible stat that’s only going to increase to unprecedented levels in the near future.

While running your own business may not be your dream, if you’ve ever considered it, hopefully this blog article will help you take the next step. Because there are no more cushy jobs anymore. No more pensions. I guarantee if you don’t start your own business, you’ll be left behind.

It’s great to be your own boss. You don’t have some higher power telling you what to do. Your future is in your own hands, and not at the whim of somebody else.

The internet and online shopping is becoming more popular – and isn’t even close to being at its peak yet. In the not too distant future, most purchases will be online, and shopping malls will be a thing of the past. People, especially non-entrepreneurs are going to have to move with the shifting times. Many people will lose their jobs, and forced into entrepreneurial roles.

Today, you can start your own online business for very little capital, unlike a couple of decades ago when you needed huge amounts of money to open a storefront, and to market yourself, and to hire employees. Now you just need an internet connection and you can sell to anybody and hire anybody.

Small business is growing more rapidly than ever before and it’s only going to become a bigger part of the overall economy. Conglomerate will still have their place but as soon as small business realize their power and band together, the better.

During the 2008 recession, many people were laid off or fired and as a result they became entrepreneurs. Getting downsized became a jumping off point for those who always had dreams of doing something different.

A lot of companies don’t want employees any more, especially those started by millennials. They don’t have to pay benefits. They don’t have to worry about slow markets. It has gotten a lot easier to just hire consultants and freelancers. Just look online where jobs and job sites are in abundance. Hiring a freelancer is only a click away. And why wouldn’t companies do that instead of invest in training and managing them?

Businesses are also being coming more automated than ever before. For example, you can order your Starbucks beverage through your mobile phone and pick it up at the counter, eliminating the need for cashiers. Low skilled jobs are you getting get fewer and fewer as it is becoming easier to automate more systems.

And soon robots and computer programs will be taking over for people. Robots don’t need lunch breaks or vacations and they don’t need feeding. They won’t quit and moved to another job that is higher paid self-driving cars will soon eliminate the need for drivers.

Young people are seeing the necessity of being a small business owner in this rapidly changing world’s. Hopefully else will see it as well.

How An Obscure Restaurant Became A Massively PROFITABLE Downtown Vancouver Sensation

It all started in Vancouver a few years ago. A restaurant owner opened a Japanese-style Korean barbecue franchise from Japan location in Vancouver.

The small business restaurant owner selected the location, a space that was way too big in the eyes of all the restaurant owners and professionals in Vancouver, and a place where time after time, restaurants had failed to succeed in the very same space.

You see, the space was much too big for such an obscure chain restaurant doing food and drinks that “normal” Vancouver people may not be able to relate to. Or so the “experts” said.

The location was bad, impossible to see, and too far back from the road, almost subterranean. Parking all around the area was also v e r y expensive.

You see, it just couldn’t work. Unless the small business owner had some kind of a secret weapon.

You could almost hear the little train saying, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can”.

Now a secret weapon the small business owner surely did have! So secret that they could hide it right in plain sight and have no other restaurant owners copy them.

It was so simple that most restaurant owners would actually argue that is not only unnecessary, but possibly even not to be tolerated by restaurant patrons.

Genius, yes. But … frowned upon? Maybe?

The secret weapon was not really a hard thing to do, but it would take some time, some training, some effort, and a possibly even have a small cost.

You see, it would be hard according to most restaurant owners, as someone would have to be made responsible to do it right. One of your already overworked restaurant staff, who has no time at all when it is busy, may have to add a step to their job.

Of course as a restaurant or small business owner, this is always difficult, as you wouldn’t want to put your staff out with a work task they might not like or feel comfortable with. Or worse yet, pay some money to outsource it. You see it just won’t work, so most restaurants never even bother.

Let’s also not forget the fact that almost nobody in the restaurant industry uses this very simple secret weapon, so it must be a bad idea. You as a entrepreneur, restaurant and small business owner should probably stop reason as the Secret Weapon is something really simple and silly and you likely won’t’ like it or believe it.

So just what is the Secret Weapon?

Sorry, not so fast.

This obscure restaurant, did the hard work of setting up this Secret Weapon for only about the first 3 months of their existence.

Then they reaped the rewards of its awesome power for YEARS to come…

They were busy, well, actually lined up almost constantly for the following two years and even to this day, just by utilizing OVER and OVER this very simple secret weapon they took the time and care to set up.

It likely cost them less than $250 to set up. It likely costs them under $100 a month to maintain.

They have now opened another location in Vancouver, and they implemented the same secret weapon they started building in location 1 for location 2. Now the 2nd location has been packed since opening day.

Ok, enough of the suspense. What is the Secret Weapon this restaurant has so successfully employed?

DATA! Yep, simple data.

Well, I guess it’s not just data, it is data that they collected, and now utilize almost once a week.

So let’s take a look at how they implemented and utilized this secret weapon called “data”.

They collected their data in an old school fashion, and we suggest this is always at least one of your data collection components to all of our clients.

Yes we know there are iPads, and Surfaces, and tablets, and iPhones and Android devices and all this smart technology, but sometimes OLD SCHOOL is better for many of your restaurant guests.

YES you should have a QR code that sits on a tent card on the table and offers people to join your mailing list by filling in a simple survey from their smart phone, and some will. You could also do Coasters! Coasters are just like business cards that can be pondered at the table and even taken home.

YES you should have a very short url to redirect to your same survey/data collection landing page for those who prefer this way.

YES you could suggest they just give their twitter name, name and email address by twitter.

YES you should ask them to follow you on Facebook.

BUT…

This company didn’t do ANY of those things for the first 3 months.

They simply gave out a small 1/8 of a page mini survey/feedback paper to each person at the table with the bill.

They offered that all who joined the newsletter would be in a monthly draw for a $100 gift certificate.

They started with just a random pen left at the table to fill in this overly photocopied UGLY piece of paper, that wasn’t even cut straight (darn hard to get good help in a restaurant!).

Then they ‘upped their game’ and gave out a golf pencil that was branded with the restaurant name. Customers were even encouraged to take it home if they liked.

Then the magic happened.

They actually did something with the information!

Someone was responsible to actually entered a into a CRM type sales automation system like Small Business Dream

They likely used the simplest one around, or who knows, maybe they simply used Outlook.

All that matters is, they took action. They made it someone’s job to enter this data nightly, or who knows, maybe the paid a subcontractor to do it. And yep, I’m sure many of the surveys had hard to read email addresses, and I’d bet the bounce rate was out of this world. By the third month, I bet ½ or more were duplicates so they were wasting time. But they kept entering.

Right from the first week of collecting this data, they sent out the first email. Showing off specials during certain times of day, or that Monday was all day Happy Hour with $9.99 pitchers of beer at the time, ALL day Monday. Within weeks Mondays were packed and pretty soon, every day was full to capacity.

They didn’t sweat that many of the emails couldn’t be used because they were illegible. They didn’t worry that their survey paper looked awful. They didn’t worry that their staff didn’t feel comfortable handing out the survey. They didn’t worry that their pencils were taken home more often than not. They just continued to TWEAK their secret weapon! They continued to u s e their secret weapon and they continued to be full to capacity, night after night.

They opened another location, rinse and repeat. Imagine if they had an even more robust secret weapon. One that would have taken away some of the cost and time by giving patrons options like mentioned above:

  1. An iPad at the bar or front desk to have people join the mailing list while they waited for a table.
  2. Taking the survey by QR code
  3. Taking the survey by simple URL
  4. Taking the survey by submitting a direct message on Twitter, or a mention on twitter.

They continue to be a booming success, month after month, year after year, while restaurants in better locations, with better themes and menus with better parking, continued to fail. Not one of the failures employed the ‘secret weapon’.

Now the story gets better! This great Korean Barbecue Japanese restaurant went a step further.

They started a loyalty program with an actual member card. Customers got points for eating there, and they could then redeem the points to get $25 OFF their meals once they had enough points.

Again, back in the day, the waiter/waitress had to take your card, disappear into the back, likely login to some system that allowed them to track your purchase, and how many points you had, and notify you manually when you had enough.

They continued to evolve, they continued to add power to their secret weapon.

The loyalty program became connected up to their POS (point of sale terminal). The customer receipt now told you where you were at for your point balance each visit. The customer could email in a picture of their receipt if they forgot their card, and it was someone’s job to match it up and credit the customer. Goodness me, what a terrible thing to make a staff member do when they are so busy!

By now I think you are starting to see that this company had a bigger secret weapon than just their data, they had the determination to make it happen instead of making excuses for why it may be too hard, or that the staff may not like it.

Then they upgraded their secret weapon again!

They invested in a simple mobile app.

This now allowed people to join them for the purpose of getting updates as an app, and of course we all know a mobile app sends out push notifications instantly vs. the email mailing list that can take some time to send once it gets large. This allowed their message to be received in real time, and not end up in a spam folder, or ignored by a millennial who only looks at their email once a week, if that.

Then they upgraded the weapon again. The entire loyalty program was now contained in the mobile application! You could literally redeem your points for something free in front of the waitress and it was brought to you. Now instead of waiting till you had $25 built up, you could redeem for even a $5 item. The patrons responded, and continue to respond, packed full night after night, and even have a very healthy lunch crowd.

With Small Business Dream you can dramatically increase your sales.  With our tool, you can build sales funnels, email marketing campaigns, automated, and semi-automated social media follow-up campaigns and much more. You get 2,000 credits per month which you can use to customize your marketing with the most flexible tool on the planet. Sign up today!

How To Increase Sales by 100% With Almost No Effort At All

There once was a little carpet store in Richmond, BC (Canada) that hired a family member, (let’s call him John, name is changed to protect the awesome!) to come in and try to help with the carpet store’s sagging sales.

The carpet store was one of the smallest in a larger carpet store franchise, and things just weren’t going well for it. A much larger sister carpet store in the same franchise kept bringing in the big sales numbers, but his poor little carpet store just kept plodding along with very little sales growth, or improvement in profits.

Now, John joined the carpet store to help out, and he had extensive sales experience. The rumour was that he could sell refrigerators to Eskimos. (Canadian joke eh!)

For months and months John tried and tried, but just couldn’t change the carpet store’s pitiful sales numbers.

He had a friend named Dennis who owned a small business consulting company, that offered to provide John with a “secret weapon” to turn sales growth ON and increase profitability FAST!

During the conversation, Dennis told John that he could save him time in the sales process during his day as well.

Low on belief, but trusting of Dennis, John agreed to learn more. He didn’t tell his family he was doing this, just in case the “secret weapon” didn’t work.

So what was the secret weapon he was offered? Sorry, not so fast! Let me start by telling you about the magic that happened to sales as a result of this “secret weapon”!

The carpet store franchise is quite organized as far as giving recognition for both the stores, and to their salespeople for being outstanding.

John went from nearly a year of obscurity in the carpet store franchise sales rankings, never once making the top of anything, working in a carpet store in the smallest category that also never made it to any of the top performer lists, even against the carpet stores of the same small category, to accomplish some truly amazing things.

John became the top selling sales rep in all the top level carpet stores, and the other salesperson in the carpet store who also secretly used the ‘secret weapon’ became 2nd! This was within 60 days of employing it on the retail floor of their carpet store!

The store became one of the TOP 3 performing carpet stores in the chain! NOT just in their weight group!

How?

What was this secret weapon?

It’s much simpler than you might think.

It comes from thinking outside the box, and doing something that many would say is NOT recommended as a carpet store sales strategy!

The “secret weapon” was Small Business Dream, a mobile and web app. Not just any old mobile or web app, but a mobile app AND a web app. Quite a simple yet comprehensive sales and marketing automation and mobile CRM software suite.

John set about to secretly increase the carpet store’s sales using Small Business Dream. He spent a few days tweaking and playing to establish a good sales method, funnel, flow, and follow up that included comfortably getting carpet store customers to take a short survey and agree to give their email address to get more information and stay in touch with John and the carpet store.

He had configured a number of email auto-responder follow up series to follow up with people interested in particular items like Carpet, or Hardwood Flooring, or Linoleum etc.

A week later, John had about 35 contacts who had gone through his simple survey. He had automated emails based on their chosen flooring interests that were triggered based on what they indicated their interest was in the survey questions.

John did NOT give his mobile phone to the prospect, he filled in the Survey for them to keep it frictionless. When the carpet store was too busy, he had them fill in a small 1/8 size piece of paper asking the same things and collecting their data to enter into the mobile CRM later.

The following week he had made 3 sales he knew he never would have chased or followed up with without the sales automation due to the small order size or feeling the person wasn’t serious about purchasing. (This is a critical error of any salesperson, NEVER prejudge, we ALL know it as sales professionals, but we all still do it!)

More exciting, was that suddenly a lot of communication had opened up by email vs. needing to try to contact each other on the phone. Quick AND efficient.

He started to use Small Business Dream to follow up on in store visits, measures, installations, and the whole 9 yards of the carpet business. Suddenly John was the “Go To” guy in the carpet store for anything, as the carpet store’s paper based systems were so impossible to use, and finding quotes or previous paperwork was close to impossible.

Due to the Small Business Dream mini CRM that John was using, all of that info was at his fingertips, in real time. He even got calls on his days off to answer carpet store questions as only he could get the answer quickly in his mobile app!

His carpet store sales were up year on year and month on month, from the very first month that the app was secretly employed. The carpet store owner couldn’t figure it out.

Fun things started to happen!

A guy walked into the carpet store on John’s day off and says to the other rep on the floor that day…”I don’t remember who I talked to over a month ago when I got a quote for $2900 worth of flooring from your store, but he has followed up with me by email constantly to see where I am at. Please sell me that flooring!!” So cha ching… John on his day off closes a $2900 deal at 9% for an unexpected extra commission of $261 and decides to have steak and lobster for dinner!

As things progressed, John kept talking to Dennis, and Dennis suggested John push the email follow ups further than the few weeks that John had done so far. Dennis suggested a 3 month and a 6 month follow up email to be sent on each category.

John wasn’t sure, and put up some resistance, saying nobody in Carpet or Flooring waits 3 or 6 months to buy, so it’s a waste of time. Dennis suggested to add a few emails which would only take 20 minutes to write and upload, so what did John have to lose?

Dennis also knew that in Vancouver, a building permit could take 4 to 6 months in some cases, so if the renovation that needed the carpet or flooring was delayed due to the permit process, it was logical that a 6 month later follow up could possibly yield results. And guess what?

IT DID!

Within a week of adding the 3 and 6 month automated follow up emails to the series, a customer came into the store asking where the guy that kept emailing him was. John felt like hiding, the guy seemed angry. The other sales rep, not wanting to be mistakenly singled out immediately pointed at John and said, it must have been John!

The guy walked up to John, re-introduced himself, and said he was ready to go, that the permits had finally come in on that $14000 carpet job. Almost ½ of John’s monthly quota for the very slow month that the sale came in! $14,000 x 9% = $1260!

He then also said very clearly that John was not the cheapest carpet store he got a quote from, but he was the only salesperson still following up, and he felt if the service before the sale was so great, the service after must be excellent.

So, John simply took a little time to get prospect and customer data and put it into a mobile CRM, by actually taking the customer’s time to do it right in front of them. Many say you shouldn’t do that.

John’s experience? Customers loved the follow up, they loved that they got emails from John which reminded them of questions they had to ask, and could easily ask vs. having to phone John.

They had a “Truckload Sale” on area carpets, imagine the family’s surprise when by they time they got in, the truck was empty as John had sold every single one by sending out a simple email blast to the 620 or so previous customers, and existing prospects with a time limited sale offer for that truckload of area rugs.

Now John’s carpet store is rabidly awaiting the Small Business Dream add on app called myCarpetStore to allow their customers and prospects to connect directly to them, and receive updates, specials, and follow up directly to their mobile device by push notification in addition to email!

DATA = POWER

DATA in a usable format, and the creativity on how to use it = Sales and PROFIT GROWTH.

What do you have to lose?

Furniture Stores, Industrial Supply, Electronics stores, Shoe Stores, Hair Salons, Spa’s, Financial Planners, Real Estate agents, and the list goes on and on who could benefit with similar simple strategies and the app called Small Business Dream.

With Small Business Dreams you can dramatically increase your sales.  With our tool, you can build sales funnels, email marketing campaigns, automated, and semi-automated social media follow-up campaigns and much more. You get 2,000 credits per month which you can use to customize your marketing with the most flexible tool on the planet. Sign up today!