The Free Agent Revolution
Small business ownership and entrepreneurship are at an all-time high and show no sign of slowing down. Never at any other time in history have so many people launched independent success campaigns designed to get themselves out of the nine to five grind that was once an acceptable way to make a decent living.
The problem with our historic, nine to five jobs is that there is an income cap that SOMEONE ELSE decides to place on our worth. Someone else decides what we are worth as we toil, slave, and work our way up the corporate ladder. Millions have already been kicked to the curb after forty years and informed that our productive time has now ended, and we must now retire to golden years pasture to hope that our government, and our savings, can care for us.
Many of us have now grown discontented with this picture of the future, and we are now branching out into the world of small business entrepreneurship. We refuse to let someone else decide what our worth is, or when our productivity is over. We are the wave of the future.
We are as Dr. Mark Skovron wrote in his book, The Free Agent Revolution:
"Where Did They All Go? The Executive Vice President for Century 21 Real Estate abruptly resigns after many years. A hairstylist walks out of her salon after 27 years, never to return. A supervisor for one of the largest package delivery companies steps away and doesn’t look back.
A teacher, a corporate sales rep for a leading airline, an executive for one of the country's largest banks, an I.T. systems expert with a major corporation, and millions of others are walking away from top careers at an unprecedented rate.
Some are being forced out; some are just opting out. Either way, they are choosing new unchartered territory for themselves. And life is becoming the best it has ever been for them and their families.
They are your co-workers, relatives, friends, neighbors, and those you never met.
What are these people doing, where are they going, and what caused their sudden departure from their previous 40-year plan?
They’ve all joined the ranks of the Free Agent Revolution."
Stepping off that ledge and taking control of our financial destiny is an intimidating process. Those of us lucky enough to have tools and experience needed for small business growth have a clear advantage over others that are starting with little. Fortunately for all of us, there is a wealth of information out there for our pioneering spirits to glean from; pay attention to these tools we are insisting you learn more about or acquire during your growth journey; they will be tools that are vital to your expansion and success.
Let’s Get Digital…..Digital…..
If you haven’t been hovering under a rock in the last twenty years, you know that it is imperative for all business owners that they join the digital age.
Get a website up and running! There are currently over one billion websites in cyberspace right now, vying for customer business, so it is essential that you maintain a kicking website to set yourself apart from your competition.
It is no longer acceptable to merely have a couple of simple pages explaining your business, your products, and forms of payment accepted. The gold standard for today’s savvy business website includes video content, educational material, and an up to date blog that introduces new products and services on a regular basis.
A website is an instant connection between you and customers in Singapore, London, and New York. It literally brings your products into your customer’s homes--shopping has never been easier for today’s consumer, and bringing that convenience to them via your website will benefit everyone involved.
While we’re on the subject of being internet-friendly with a great business website, let’s take things a step further--mobile optimization. Mobile optimization is the process of providing a satisfactory customer experience for all types of devices. With people accessing the internet via all kinds of devices such as tablets, phones, and laptops, it is essential that we provide them with an internet experience that is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and that gets the job done.
Take into account things such as bandwidth and download speed as well as mobile-friendly code when optimizing your content to be displayed. With your content now reaching everyone owning a mobile device, you have just increased your customer base exponentially. Get ready for the sales to come pouring in!
Text marketing opens the door to personal communication between you and your customers. Unless you are intentionally spamming clients through texts, your messages are solicited, and therefore well received.
Once the initial work is done to obtain information, text messaging is cost-effective, easy to set up and relatively easy to manage. Also, SMS-Text-Marketing messaging forces you to be succinct and effective in your communication, so sizzling messages bring results. With an “opt-out” option for potential clients, you can be sure that the customers who are texting back or responding in other ways are people that want more information; use this info to increase your customer base and expand your marketing to include these new prospects.
Email marketing has one of the highest returns on investment of any other marketing strategy. With email marketing being so cost-effective, it is perplexing that only half of the small-businesses use this marketing tool to increase their customer base and sales. When a potential customer subscribes to your email list, they are giving you a glimpse into their world. You can tailor messages and present your products in ways that cater to specific customer groups. Email marketing makes you even more visible than social media marketing, as messages remain in a customer’s mailbox until they are checked, dealt with, or deleted. Newsletters and other email-centric advertising is a very cost-effective marketing tool that you can use to expand your potential client base with minimal maintenance.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Anyone reading this article knows that SEO is a vital and necessary part of online strategies to gain more market share. According to recent polls, it is inexperience, lack of knowledge and fear that prevent businesses from making use of the most effective and proven method available to increase online traffic.
The jury is in! Search Engine Optimization has revolutionized the world of small business, literally bringing customers to you with a few strategies and well-chosen keywords that make you VISIBLE. Eighty percent of all purchases made nowadays start with an online search for the “best” products available, and if your business website is not listed in a top position with search engines like Bing, Google, and Yahoo, you will likely lose out to a competitor that is sitting in a premium spot. Using unique combinations of relevant content and algorithms that place you in high-ranking spots on search engines, you can measure your increased exposure, traffic and conversions to increased sales and revenue.
Press releases offer you the chance to publicize upcoming events and special promotions for your business and services. They draw customers in, enticing them with new and exciting offerings and information as to why your products are superior to all others. Because press releases can go out over all types of text, email, and social media outlets, you have the potential to reach existing customers and potential clients with one grand gesture.
Starting a business is an exciting, yet time-consuming, adventure. Maximizing your effectiveness in marketing while keeping day to day operations afloat is challenging for even the most seasoned tycoon. It might be a wise idea to budget in some professional help in setting up some of your marketing pieces and allowing someone else to manage them for you. While money is usually a bit tight with any startup, investing your advertising dollars wisely in the right marketing tools will create consistent returns as your customer base grows exponentially.
Marketing professionals with experience in creating web and mobile marketing packages would love the opportunity to promote your business, as it is a win-win situation for all involved. You can use the extra time you have freed up to focus on sales, customer satisfaction and retention, and the development and expansion of your products and services.
Enjoy Your Exciting Ride
What a joy and a thrill it is to watch your financial dreams become a reality! Remember that as you start your business that it is a process and that there will be potential pitfalls and curve balls along with successes that you encounter along the way. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people, always look for opportunities to learn and grow yourself, and remember the passion that drives you to seek a different financial dream in the first place.
Companies like MaxGroup Business Solutions started ten years ago, were done so because the founders knew that with the incredible surge in businesses online, that entrepreneurs would appear with great ideas, products, and services, but not have a clue how to market them. Partnering with the right company for your success can most often be the most critical factor in the success of your business and dreams.
Solopreneurs need not go it alone. Consider that Mark Skovron, Ph.D., and Jeff Peltin the founders of MaxGroup have been starting up businesses, keeping some, selling some and teaching many for almost 30 years.
Now that's a team to get some coaching from and recommendations on tools to get you where you want to be.
Henry Ford astutely said of those wishing to create their dreams, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.” Seize your dreams, conquer your market, and enjoy the ride!