Why Are Small Businesses Important to the Economy?

No matter where in the world you live, small businesses are the backbone of the economy. According to a 2017 statistics, 97.9 percent or around 1.15 million of the country’s businesses are in fact small businesses while only a mere 0.2 percent or less than 3,000 are considered big businesses.

With that in mind, what implications does a long, drawn-out lockdown have on the economy and why should governments spend every effort to spare millions of small businesses during these difficult times?

Small Businesses Create More Jobs than Big Businesses

Small businesses have a significant impact in terms of GDP and curbing unemployment rates among well-developed economies. They pool together skills, resources, and capital into creating something useful and worthwhile to the economy – jobs, income, quality goods and services – things which couldn’t be attained otherwise.

More and more people are attracted to the idea of running their own businesses because it promises greater opportunities and it enables them to work at their own pace without having to live off from paycheck to paycheck. It’s not uncommon to see former employees building an empire for themselves. Steve Jobs worked (no pun intended) as a game console technician for two years before rising as co-founder and CEO of Apple.

However, most people aren’t built for entrepreneurial roles or they don’t have the right mindset to begin with. Hence, the vast majority will actually end up working for a job instead of being at the helm of things. This takes us back to the 80-20 rule. As a business owner, you may well be among the 20 percent in the world who has other people in the 80 percent working for you (also known as Pareto principle).

Small Businesses Spark Innovations and Industry Leaders

As we gain more experience, we also get better at things like differentiation and avoiding market saturation. So we try different things. We find clever ways to stand out from the crowd. We make it a point to satisfy, or as Warren puts it, to delight our customers, whether it’s better products, top-notch service, frictionless transactions, online services, and so on.

Small businesses have the ability to change things at will – little by little, one small step at a time. These are the ones who eventually strike gold and become a dominant force in the market. Amazon started off as an online bookstore in a small garage in Washington.  Furthermore, small businesses are much closer to home and thus better at getting feedback on how they might improve their product or service.

Compare this with big businesses where creativity and innovation is often hampered by office politics and excessive bureaucracy. It’s especially important for fast-changing industries such as tech, finance, consumer goods, and transportation.

Small businesses that rise to become household names add yet another benefit to the economy – the export of high-quality goods and services not previously available in the market. Yeti Coolers is a textbook case of a two-man business which morphed into a multimillion-dollar, publicly-traded company in as little as 6 years. Other notable examples include Uber and Airbnb.

Small Businesses Breeds Healthy Competition

There’s no getting away with competition. Pretty soon you’ll have to deal with other businesses when they start showing up at your doorstep. Over the years we’ve learned to adapt to these challenges by being better at certain aspects in our businesses and by standing out from the competition.

Competition might actually be good for business and the economy as a whole. Competition vastly improved our goods and services. New products and technologies continue to emerge. Businesses move faster, becoming more efficient than ever. Production goes into overdrive, providing customers with a myriad of options from budget to high-ticket items, feeding small businesses with a steady stream of cash, stimulating economic growth.

Competition would also mean consumers have less to worry about when it comes to monopoly and price-gouging. Antitrust laws ensure all businesses stay within the limits of fair competition and refrain from unethical practices such as undercutting the competition or by offering goods and services at cutthroat prices (forcing competing businesses to capitulate).

Interesting enough, small businesses can take on other businesses, even the big ones, if they just put more time working on their strengths. Unlike the big ones, small businesses are more agile. They can go mobile, implement one small change at a time, test out a new product or service or switch to a different strategy at a moment’s notice. In fact, you can implement some of them yourself by learning CRM and sales and marketing automation.

We’ve spent years and years perfecting our unique system after working with more than 700 clients and came up with our 5-step Rapid Sales Growth Blueprint designed especially for small business owners like you.

Small Businesses Keep Our Economy in Good Shape – and Why Our Governments Should Step in

Small businesses have been the engine that drives our economy for so many decades. They ushered the golden age of consumerism, providing people with quality goods and services and improving our way of life. We owe these a lot to the millions of small businesses who are now at risk of losing the battle against COVID-19.

As one of the major borrowers of capital, they’ve turned small towns into bustling cities, creating jobs and income for millions of people across the country. They stimulate people’s spending and provide our governments with additional revenue in the form of taxes. They help raise GDP and thus a stronger currency.

It doesn’t take an economist to see how the failure of small businesses may very well mean the failure of the whole economy. No income means small businesses will have to lay off most of their employees. The U.S. Bureau of Labour reported a record high of 3.238 million people filing for jobless claims, eclipsing the unemployment record of 695,000 in October of 1982. 

People’s spending will reach an all-time low as the general populace is now strapped for cash. More businesses close. More people lose jobs. Less people spending, less income, more closures – it’s a downward spiral. But this won’t have to be the case if our governments would respond to the call with a sense of urgency by saving small businesses who have been hit hard by this malady.

Need Small Business Advice During COVID-19?

We want to reach out and talk with you through our FREE 45-minute business consultation where we can discuss some solutions to get you through the pandemic.

We lay out every possible means to keep you in business, whether it’s through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, email series, sales funnels, landing pages or business directories.

Can’t go to the office? Download SBD Sales and Marketing Automation App for your mobile and keep tabs on your business in the comfort of your homes.

How Can Small Businesses Survive COVID-19

COVID-19 has started taking its toll on millions of small businesses. Doors are closing and people are losing jobs. Luckily, some countries are finding ways to buy business owners some time with mortgage deferrals, wage subsidies,  and low-interest loans.

Other businesses are looking into other options like branching out to serve immediate needs of customers like health, food, online selling, and delivery services. Let’s look at some ways to get you through the lull during COVID-19 lockdown.

Make Good Use of Your Time

Remember when businesses were bustling with activity and you didn’t have time honing your craft or learning something new? COVID-19 came about, and suddenly you’re left with very few customers, not enough cash, and too much time in your hands. Time well-spent can turn things around for your business even in difficult times. You can still be productive by learning some skills to tide you over until you’re up and running again.

Learn New Skills

Skills that make you money are worth its weight in gold. Think of it like storing up assets or training for an Olympic event. Here are a few things you can learn at home during COVID-19 lockdown:

1. Copywriting. Instead of reading about the doom and gloom in social media, why not learn something that would actually make you more money, or at least save you hundreds of dollars in marketing budget?  Copywriting is a multi-million dollar industry and it’s not going away anytime. Hint: you don’t need an A+ in grammar school to become a successful copywriter. You can find dozens of free copywriting tutorials online so you can put that extra time of yours into good use while waiting for the pandemic to die out.

2. Vlogging & Podcasting. Big media companies used to have the monopoly in broadcast. But with YouTube and podcast’s growing popularity, that may no longer be the case. YouTube has made it easier for average users to create professional videos at home with a stable internet and a decent smartphone. Take a look at some examples on YouTube with around a thousand to 10,000 views. You’ll be surprised to see how even the simplest setup (home studio, green screen, whiteboard and pen, etc.) can rack up more than a thousand views on YouTube. So it’s definitely worth looking into with so much time to go around.

3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM). If you’ve never heard of CRMs and sales and marketing automation, now’s the perfect time digging into it. Check out our comparison blog post on Infusionsoft vs. Hubspot vs. Small Business Dream if you want to have a good grasp on how CRM and sales and marketing automation works for small businesses. We created a system that can take your small businesses from zero customers to getting hundreds of leads, customers, and referrals. However, it’s not a silver bullet so you need to put in some hours learning on how to make it work for your business. If you need help learning about CRM, don’t hesitate to schedule a FREE 45-minute consultation with us and we’ll reach out to you in every way we can.

Build a Following Online

Most people are glued to their monitors and smartphones, so you might want to put out some good content your audience would appreciate during these long periods of isolation. It doesn’t always have to do with what you’re selling. It can be anything from keeping yourself fit during lockdown, e.g. cardio and bodyweight exercises, to indoor games to keep your kids from going out.

You’re not concerned about selling anything at this point, but it’s more about adding value and building an audience while your business goes into hibernation. Ideally, you’d go for the ones that are more likely to give you traffic, i.e. YouTube and social media. After some time, you can slowly work on your newsletters and autoresponders for your CRM and sales and marketing automation.

1. YouTube posts. Video tutorials, walkthroughs, and customer reviews are some of the most popular videos on YouTube right now. Think of any tutorial related to your business. Do a cooking demo. Walk them through your car tune-ups. What’s your take on a certain product, and would you recommend it to your viewers? Keep them interested and be as creative as you can be. Look for examples in YouTube if you’re a bit camera-shy to give you an idea on how it’s done without focusing much on you.

2. Social media posts. Curate some good content over the internet and share it on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Find something positive and uplifting, useful or informative. However, just be mindful about your posts from other sources. Always fact-check for veracity and credibility. Better yet, you can share your own blog and YouTube posts. Try repurposing some of your old blog posts or do some of the things mentioned above (no.1). Create a business page for your posts so you have something to go back into when you’re ready to build a list, i.e. getting contacts for your CRM. We’ve created our proven and tested LinkedIn strategy to help you build connections on LinkedIn using Small Business Dream CRM.

3. Email Newsletters. People rarely read emails these days. Good news is, it’s not going away and it can still be an effective follow-up tool even if it takes you three to five years before making the sale. You don’t have to rush on this one since you won’t be sending too frequently (anti-spamming laws won’t let you anyway). Just one newsletter per week and setting your autoresponder to send one for each month goes a long way to keep you in touch and top-of-mind during the lull. Here’s a quick tip: you don’t have to start from scratch. Look up your inbox for old newsletters from your previous subscriptions and make it your own. Improve on it. Customize it for your own business. Play around with your CRM’s email builder and autoresponder and create email campaigns for your subscribers. Ask us if you need help setting up and we’ll spend 45-minutes of our time with you – no strings attached.

Get Everyone On Board

You don’t have to do all these things on your own. In fact, if you can get everyone involved, you probably won’t have to lay off your employees who are counting on you for their survival. (If it’s possible, borrow some capital for your running expenses and try to recoup them when business goes back to normal. This might also mean cutting their working hours in half.)

Get them to learn CRM with you and help you with some marketing stuff. We’ve come up with a LinkedIn marketing strategy and put it down in book form, “LinkedIn 5-Step System: Generate 10 fresh qualified leads in 10 minutes for you small business,” which you can download here for FREE.

Think of it like training your employees on a payroll. You might not get as many sales as before but you’re investing on skills which will pay off eventually. Just hold on to it. You’ve invested a lot of your time and resources building up your small business and you can’t let a few weeks or months of inactivity take it all away from you.

Struggling to Keep Your Business Afloat?

Why not spend some time with us? Schedule a FREE 45-minute business consultation with us and we’ll reach out to you in every way we can to help you with your small business.

Take a look at our 5-step Rapid Sales Growth Blueprint where we lay out every possible means to rapidly grow your business, whether it’s through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, email series, sales funnels, landing pages or business directories.

Want to stay mobile? Get our SBD Sales and Marketing Automation App for your mobile and keep tabs on your business everywhere you go.

Infusionsoft vs. Hubspot vs. Small Business Dream

CRM and sales and marketing automation have been game-changers in the small business sector. Thousands of small businesses use them on a daily basis. But with so many options, how do we choose the best ones and where can we find the perfect balance between versatility and ease of use?

In this article we’re going to take a look at two of the most popular small business software and compare it with Small Business Dream sales and marketing automation.

Comparing Apples to Apples

We’ve chosen Infusionsoft, Hubspot, and Small Business Dream for our side-by-side comparison because they all feature a combination of CRM and sales and marketing automation geared towards small business owners with a basic knowledge about business software.

We’ll be focusing on the 3 key areas, namely user experience (UX), CRM tools, and sales and marketing automation.

  • User experience – We’ll take a look at the software in terms of how easy it is to navigate with minimal training (ease of use). The more intuitive and agile, the better.
  • CRM tools – These include contact management, categorization (sorting), lead scoring, and the ability to keep track of conversations and interactions between software users and customers.
  • Sales and Marketing Automation – Methods used for lead generation and sales conversion such as landing pages, social media outreach, campaign builders, and email autoresponders.

Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft is a popular small business software that’s been around for nearly two decades. It has been re-branded as Keap in 2019. If you’ve never been around CRMs or sales and marketing automation, you can fast-track your learning curve by going through their kickstarter coaching package to make full use of its features and functionalities within a few weeks.

Infusionsoft’s no-frills menu makes it easier to navigate through the CRM and Marketing tools. We always prefer a simple layout with just the essential elements for a more streamlined user experience.

The layout is quite intuitive for an average CRM user. It also has a My Day feature (similar to Small Business Dream’s Action List) which allows users to see all their current tasks at a glance.

Infusionsoft’s CRM tools are pretty straightforward. Users can tag their contacts, assign lead scores which can be tied to specific information about the client or predetermined rules set by the user, and track all customer interactions including completed tasks, notes, recent email history, and so on.

These CRM features are intertwined with its sales and marketing automation. The idea is to make going from one section to the other as seamless as possible. We see this mostly with business software which blends the two into one (including Small Business Dream).

Sales and marketing automation is somewhat more advanced for the average user. But to be fair, Infusionsoft has made considerable effort to simplify the tasks by using graphical, drag-and-drop style menus for its Campaign Builder and email automation.

In the Campaign Builder, for example, email sequences and triggers (called “Goals”) are laid out on a virtual “drawing board” instead of the typical user form or page with text fields. Some find it easier to work with while others prefer just the basic GUI. It depends on which side you lean on. We prefer a more minimalistic approach while retaining all the great features in the Campaign Builder.

Email and Broadcast features are similar to other sales and marketing automation software. Landing pages, on the other hand, are integrated in the Campaign Builder instead of being just a standalone feature.

Lead generation is done via Web Tracking and Lead Sources. With web tracking, users embed Infusionsoft’s tracking code into any of their webpage HTML. The other method involves assigning lead sources to contacts manually (these are contacts you’ve uploaded via CSV file or typed into the system from a business card, etc.)

This is where things begin to look a little complicated for most people and why we think Small Business Dream is far more superior when it comes to lead generation. Users have limited options as most leads would come from Infusionsoft’s own database and the process of assigning lead sources to contacts is quite challenging to wrap our heads around. We’ve designed a more elegant solution which not only simplifies the task, but also target specific clients with almost surgical precision.

Hubspot

Another popular small business software, Hubspot puts a lot of emphasis on inbound marketing. It even has its own Blog section which is not very common for this type of software. However, compared to Infusionsoft, we found Hubspot to be a little bit less intuitive for average users, and therefore require a lot of familiarization of how each individual piece work in a cohesive way.

Upon exploring, we noticed similar features, but Hubspot seems to have moved things a little bit. It’s interesting how some features aren’t grouped the same way as with most typical business software that combines CRM and sales and marketing automation. This could be from the fact that Hubspot is a 3-tiered, modular software where each upgrade unlocks some of its premium features. For instance, in order to use Campaigns, Landing Pages and Automation, you need to upgrade to Professional.

Hubspot allows you to do certain things on how you want data is presented for you. In Contacts, for example, you can instantly filter which contacts to show by clicking Actions on the top right corner or a particular category on the left menu.

To see which contacts you need to be contacting with or following up, you need to go to Tasks on the Sales dropdown menu. We found it rather tedious creating all these tasks manually. We prefer a CRM that gives us all current tasks like what we do with Small Business Dream instead of us figuring out whom to follow up or call next.

Categorizing is a little bit different, since users have to create a list first and fill it up manually by going to each individual contact. Another way to do this is with automation (creating an Active List as opposed to a Static List) where contacts who met a certain criteria are added automatically (or removed from it if they no longer meet the criteria).

Lead scoring is also a bit different. Using an Active List, contacts can be moved from one stage to the next via automation. Hubspot uses Lifecycle stage to determine whether a contact is a Subscriber, Lead, Marketing Qualified, etc. and move them to their appropriate lists. We found these to be nothing more than just creative ways of accomplishing pretty much the same tasks with most typical CRMs.

When it comes to sales and marketing automation, the concept is no different from Infusionsoft except that Hubspot named some stuff differently and moved things a little bit. Also, the process is somewhat more complex for the average user.

For instance, if you want to create a Campaign, you’ll have to jump from one spot to the other to get the job done. You need all the assets first (emails, landing pages, social posts, etc.) and then start building your campaign, or, create one first and start working on the different pieces and assigning each of them to the campaign you’ve just created. We think it best to have Marketing and Automation together instead of having them in different silos. The simpler, the better.

Lead generation is also quite a challenge. They offer three ways to get people to their landing page for lead generation, namely email, social, and blog. This diagram sums up Hubspot’s lead generation strategy.

Getting leads via email is somewhat like catch-22. You need to get them to your landing page to capture their email address, but first you need their email address. It only works when they’re already in the system, and landing pages are actually used to nurture your prospects. So the only real options are social media and blog.

There’s really not much when it comes to their social media strategy aside from usual scheduled posts, ads, etc. It used to be great, until everyone that has a pulse started using the same strategy. So unless you take an active role in finding these leads on social networking sites and following up on them on a regular basis, your social media campaign will amount to nothing. We’ve found a way to do hundreds of social media communications by designing a CRM and sales and automation software that puts emphasis on speed, efficiency and effective use of automation.  

Blogging is also a part of their lead generation strategy which, unless paired with a good SEO/SEM and social media strategy, isn’t really worth anything. You can write some of the most compelling blog posts but people might not even know they exist. You’ll either have to hire an SEO in order to rank on Google or take it upon yourself to promote your blog content in every possible way.

Small Business Dream

So how does Small Business Dream compare to Infusionsoft and Hubspot? In essence, all three of them are capable of achieving what they’re designed to do, but there is one deciding factor which we think makes Small Business Dream a better choice – speed and efficiency.

We’ve stripped off all the non-essentials and simplified certain tasks so that even first-time users will get a sense of what to do when they get on board. One of the biggest drawbacks with most CRMs is that sales people are overwhelmed with too many features and business owners had a hard time getting their employees to use the system.

It comes pre-loaded with templates and digital assets for many types of businesses. But if you want one that’s already set up for your specific kind of business, you can also avail of our turnkey solution – the Small Business Dream “done-for-you” (DFY) package – where we set up everything for you, ready to use.

One thing you’ll notice when using the system is how all the pieces fit together seamlessly allowing you to approach your tasks in a variety of ways. In this example, you can adjust the follow up date, set the priority, view notes about recent activities, and tweak your message before sending them out – all in one go. Once again, speed and efficiency.

The CRM is the simplest that you can get in a small business software that contains all the vital information about your contact – everything from email and social media subscriptions, recent communications, priority (lead scoring), categorization (tags), next follow up date, and so on.

Another important feature which we found very useful with CRMs is the ability to see all your current tasks in one place. We’ve set the Action List as the default screen when you log in to the system so you know which tasks you need to be doing first before moving on to the next.

Sales and marketing automation is noticeably simpler and easier to deploy compared to the other two we’ve just looked into. In fact, you can just spend an hour or two training your employees and they’ll be able to find their way around much quicker. It also comes with the standard landing page builder (with templates), sales funnel, survey builder, swipe copy, email series, social series, etc.

The Secret of Getting Unlimited Leads

Lead generation is the Achilles heel even amongst popular CRMs sales and marketing automation software. Infusionsoft and Hubspot is our case in point. If it couldn’t generate enough leads for your business, nothing else would matter. This is the concept behind our Small Business Dream CRM and Sales and Marketing Automation suite.

We’ve created a 360° solution for all kinds of businesses from health, restaurants, auto, real estate, etc. to help them get more customers in a number of ways.

These include:

  • LinkedIn marketing using SBD sales and marketing automation
  • SBD Virtual Business Card Button App
  • SBD Business Finder and Joint Venture Mobile App and Business Directory
  • Mobile Sales and Marketing Automation App

LinkedIn + Small Business Dream

Our LinkedIn strategy is designed to get thousands of qualified leads using highly targeted searches and SBD automation. We’ve written an entire blog article on this LinkedIn strategy that helped our clients grow and build successful businesses.

This involves:

  • Creating a professional-looking Linked profile
  • Connecting with clients using Small Business Dream; and
  • Following-up after establishing that connection

Now you might think, “Okay, so I’ll just make thousands of connection requests,” and start clicking the ‘Connect’ button for hours. It turns out this method is not only ineffective; it’s the easiest way people wind up in “LinkedIn jail.”  We’ve developed a LinkedIn strategy which allows small businesses to get thousands of qualified leads with the power of Small Business Dream.

small business dream

To learn more about our proven technique, you can download a FREE copy of our book, “LinkedIn 5-step System: Generate 10 fresh qualified leads in 10 minutes for your small business, where we reveal everything from setting up an all-star LinkedIn profile to turning your connections into brand advocates. Note: LinkedIn profile update is included in our done-for-you (DFY) version of Small Business Dream.

Need Help Finding the Right CRM?

Why not spend some time with us? Schedule a FREE 45-minute business consultation with us and we’ll reach out to you in every way we can to help you with your real estate business.

Take a look at our 5-step Rapid Sales Growth Blueprint where we lay out every possible means to rapidly grow your business, whether it’s through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, email series, sales funnels, landing pages or business directories.

Want to stay mobile? Get our SBD Sales and Marketing Automation App for your mobile and keep tabs on your business everywhere you go.

How to Build a Successful Brand with a Joint Venture Partner

We covered the importance of joint ventures in one of our previous blog and how they work wonders for a lot of small businesses. We also talked about the different types of joint ventures and showed you how to set up yours using Small Business Dream’s Joint Venture (JV) module.

Today, we’ll be focusing on building your brand through joint venture partners, particularly those who have already gained considerable success or have built a massive following as influencers and experts in their own field. So we’re not just looking for random leads but potential business partners that would allow us to target a specific audience on a greater scale.

The stakes are higher for these types of connections. We’re looking at high-volume sales, repeat customers, and brand awareness. With the right strategy and the right tools in place, you’ll be able to build your brand much sooner using joint ventures than spending thousands of dollars on traditional ads.

Key Points to Remember

Since we’re looking for business partners with potentially large lists, we want to make sure our partnership is worth their time and effort (mutually beneficial). It should answer the question, what’s in it for them or why they should bother partnering with us.

1. You offer something of great value to people on their list (your target audience). There are two ways your business partner can benefit from a joint venture. Aside from additional income streams, you provide their clientele quality goods, products, and services which in turn attracts more customers. One example is a fitness expert who partners up with a nutritionist that offers 5-10% on supplements to boost performance, speed up recovery, etc. The gym owner gets his share on every product sold, but he could also grow his client base for offering great products customers love – it’s a win-win situation for both.

2. You’ve established a sizeable network. Your prospective partner wants to know if you’re the real deal. One way to prove your credibility is the size of your network. Most business owners go to LinkedIn, considered as the most trusted business-oriented social networking site to date. Typically, they’d look for someone north of 500+ connections. You might already have a LinkedIn account, which is great. However, if you’ve had problems bumping up your connections (e.g. you get thrown into LinkedIn “jail” or you get a lot of rejections), we highly suggest downloading our FREE ebook, “LinkedIn 5-step System: Generate 10 fresh qualified leads in 10 minutes for your small business.”

Where to Find Your Potential JV Partners

Technology makes it so much easier to find your ideal business partners. In our experience, a combination of online and offline research proved more effective than just relying on one type of engagement.

1. LinkedIn. Compared to other social networking sites, the barrier to entry is higher in terms of building your own network on LinkedIn (you could easily wind up into LinkedIn “jail” if you’re not careful). So when you find someone with more than 500 connections, you know for sure they took pains building that network. Research your potential JV partner by narrowing it down to a specific industry and location. Take some time reading through their profile. Get a CRM or sales and marketing automation software to help you with your initial contacts and follow-ups (it’s easy to get lost once you’ve reached 100 to 500 invites).

2. Conferences and networking events. There’s nothing quite like meeting up with successful business people and getting to know some of the industry leaders in trade shows, business conferences, and networking events. We meet with a lot of business owners each week on our Vancouver Business Network (VBN) events where we get to know their interests and how we can be of help. We’ve been to a lot of conferences and associated with some of the industry greats like Kevin Harrington, Matt Astifan, and Trevor Linden.

We’ve dedicated an entire blog article on how to get the most out of business networking events where we talk about the dos and don’ts, and how to stay top of mind after making that initial contact with a potential business partner.

3. Educational sites offering free content. Ever wondered how content creators make good money without spending anything on a physical store or product? It’s because they’ve got something every business owner has always wanted – a huge list of highly targeted audiences. Blogs and YouTube content per se don’t make money, but they’re able to attract huge crowds of people looking for a particular topic on the internet, also known as “inbound marketing.” This makes them extremely valuable. Kind of like affiliate marketing, but we’re partnering up with them to get commissions on every sale. We gain access to their list; they get their share – pretty simple. Think of it as spending your marketing budget on a JV partner instead of squandering it away on traditional ads.

How to Make and Maintain a Successful Joint Venture

Going on a joint venture with big time business partners is probably one of the best investments you’ll ever make. After finding a potential JV partner, take some time warming up. Strive to build trust first with the goal of becoming business partners. Make friends, go to their events, comment on blogs and YouTube video, and so on. Once you’re able to build rapport, the rest should come easy.

1. Prepare your swipe copy ahead of time. How do you start a conversation with a potential JV partner? Do you go straightaway and throw up all over them and tell how great your business is and why they should be partnering up with you? That’s probably not going to work. You need to have your swipe copy that’s been tested and re-tested multiple times ready at your disposal. After many years of creating and curating thousands of swipe copy we’re able to come up with some of the most effective email and social media series across multiple industries from real estate, restaurants, hair salons, auto industry, etc. in our Small Business Dream sales and marketing automation software.

2. Keep those follow-ups rolling. Follow-up seems a bit like a chore, but you cannot underestimate the importance of follow-ups when trying to land a joint venture with successful business owners, industry experts, and influencers. Strive to keep their interest. After making that initial contact on LinkedIn or email, offer some of your free content such as e-books, blogs, YouTube posts, or video recording of your recent webinars. Time your follow-ups appropriately. Just because they haven’t replied to you in a week or month doesn’t mean they’re not interested. You might not believe this, but we had a client once whom we’ve followed up for more than 10 years before finally buying our software. The gold is in the follow-up.

3. Always keep your JV partner happy. You’ve spent a lot of time and energy finding your JV partner so it’s in your best interest to keep your relationship strong. It’s especially important if you’re aiming for high-volume sales, repeat customers, or if you’re dealing with high-ticket purchases like auto and real-estate from your JV’s long list of potential customers. Be clear on your terms and conditions. Don’t overdo it. In most cases, a simple agreement between you and your JV partner will suffice.

Need more advice on joint ventures?

We’d like to spend a moment with you. Check out our 5-step Rapid Sales Growth Blueprint where we lay out every possible means to rapidly grow your business, whether it’s through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, email series, sales funnels, landing pages or business directories. Or, you can schedule a FREE 45-minute business consultation with us and we’ll reach out to you in every way we can.

Want to stay mobile? Get our SBD Sales and Marketing Automation App for your mobile and keep tabs on your business everywhere you go.

Create Your First Joint Venture in Less Than 30 Minutes Using This App

Many small businesses think twice about getting into a joint venture. They think it’s hard, complicated, and risky. But the truth is joint ventures are some of the easiest and cost-effective ways to rapidly grow almost any kind of business. In this article, we’ll show you how to create your first joint ventures using Small Business Dream in just 30 minutes or less.

Most Small Businesses Don’t Understand Joint Ventures

Most people think of joint ventures as being locked into a room with their lawyers and business partners, long drawn out meetings, and doing a ton of paperwork. They’re often mixed up with things like mergers and joint-ownership (though technically a partnership, joint ventures have a different set of rules and are much easier to implement).

According to some surveys, less than 5% of all business owners know how to joint venture while the vast majority of small businesses didn’t even know it exists. They didn’t quite understand how it works or why they should be doing it. Some of the common misconceptions are that joint ventures are only good for big businesses and that they cost a lot of money.

How Joint Ventures Work

We’ve asked several small business owners and one of the reasons they don’t do joint ventures is they want their business all to themselves (“be their own boss”). While not necessarily a bad thing, it might not be the fastest, most efficient way to grow your business, especially on a low budget.

In fact, the reason why many small businesses fail is they rely too much on their own limited resources when they could have easily partnered up with other businesses whom they can benefit from and vice versa.

To illustrate, let’s say you’re running a small flower shop business and you need to have more exposure. You can strike a deal with complementary businesses like event planners (preferably businesses with a sizeable customer base) to promote your business instead of spending a ton of money on ads. They get their cut in exchange for new clients, and you become more popular as being part of their service.

This is known as the “piggyback” effect and it applies to almost any kind of business. You see, you don’t need to acquire a huge list on your own if a complementary business somewhere within your city already has it. Notice we said “complementary.” You’re not competing with the same type of businesses but you’re trying to establish a mutually beneficial relationship. One of our Small Business Dream clients is a doctor who is a manufacturer and supplier of weighted blankets. Using our system, she was able to partner up with other businesses that deal with anxiety problems (e.g. psychologists and sleep specialists).

The reverse can also be true. You don’t have the product or service but you have a fairly large network and you can easily take your cut through customer referrals and commissions. This type of joint venture is popular among direct sales and multi-level marketing (MLM) companies. In fact, we’re going to show you how to use this method in our Small Business Dream Joint Venture module later in this article.

The challenge comes from finding your ideal business partners. You can try your luck on Google or the Yellow Pages, but this approach can take forever. We came up with a very neat solution that eliminates a lot of guesswork using a combination of highly targeted marketing strategy and sales and marketing automation.

If you want to learn more about this hybrid approach, you can read our blog article on how we help our clients build successful six-figure businesses using LinkedIn or you can download a free copy of our book, LinkedIn 5-step System: Generate 10 fresh qualified leads in 10 minutes for your small business.

The Small Business Dream Joint Venture Module

We’ve made joint ventures a lot easier for small businesses by incorporating our Joint Venture module into our Small Business Dream sales and marketing automation app. This goes hand in hand with our free Smallbizdream business directory app available on Apple Store and Google Play.

Basically what this JV module does is it allows you to create deals and referral programs through your Small Business Dream sales and marketing back office. App users will then be able to view your JV on the Smallbizdream business directory app and choose to join by tapping on it. (Note: app users need to have your code, i.e. your Small Business Dream username, to use the business directory app.)

Their names along with their contact information will show up in your Small Business Dream sales and marketing automation back office where you have the option to accept or reject their request. The good thing with this Joint Venture module is that you control everything – availability, joint venture name, description, terms and conditions, mode of payment, commission payout, and the start and end date.

This video shows you how to setup your business in the Smallbizdream business directory app through your Small Business Dream back office and how to create your joint venture in much greater detail.

Our tracking system allows you to manage all your JV partners so you know exactly who gets what and you can pay them in cash or in-store credit (Loyalty Credits). You can also choose between business-to-customer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B), so you can either have a customer, business partner, or both in the business finder app.

To get the most from the Joint Venture module, you may offer in-store credit for every customer who refers your business to their friends and have them download and install the free Smallbizdream business directory using the code you’ve provided them. Or, if you’re into direct sales and other similar type of businesses, you can use the Joint Venture module as an automated tracking system for your distributors.

You get all of these along with our amazing sales and marketing automation tools, including push notifications, in one complete package with Small Business Dream. It comes in two versions: do-it-yourself (DIY) and done-for-you (DFY) where we take care of everything.

So, Have You Decided to Do A Joint Venture?

If this article has been an eye-opener for you, don’t hesitate to seek help on how to make successful joint ventures for your small business. We’d like to spend a moment with you through our FREE 45-minute business consultation where we help identify ways to increase your sales whether it’s through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, email series, sales funnels, landing pages, business directories – every possible way you can think of.  Visit us at Smallbizdream.com and take a closer look at our 5-step Rapid Sales Growth Blueprint.

Want to stay on the move? Get our SBD Sales and Marketing Automation App for your mobile and keep tabs on your business everywhere you go.