Public Speaking, Presentation Skills & Media Training

 

Watch as I share how I received some of the best business experience in the world and grew to love business.

In my dad’s dry cleaning business I was able to work in production, sales, and management. Each role took time to learn and get good at, and each led me to the next step. All of it gave me my foundation of loving business.

Public Speaking, Presentation Skills & Media Training

 

Why does big business like small business? Here are several reasons I gave at a speaking event in La Jolla, CA. They include:

• Small businesses are easy to work with.

• Small businesses don’t have teams of people or lawyer after lawyer analyzing every line of a contract.

• Small businesses are fast to respond.

• Small businesses are available.

• Small businesses can change course and can create new ideas.

These are just some of the reasons I give on why big businesses like small businesses. Watch the video to hear more reasons and the stories behind these reasons.

Public Speaking, Presentation Skills & Media Training

Business workshops could be a great value to your team, or not.

How do you energize your team? Help them develop personally and professionally? Create a bond with your company? 

One way is to invest in them. Business workshops and seminars are a proven way to do that. To show employees that you care enough to offer them an opportunity to learn new skills and connect with others. There are lots of reasons why some companies don’t want to offer them, and employees don’t take advantage of the opportunity. 

It’s a Disruption 

Taking time out of the workday can be a disruption. Employers worry about the loss of productivity. Employees are afraid to step out and try something new. And if the workshop is mandatory, there can be resentment. I once did a communication workshop for a group of salespeople from around the country who were told by their boss that they were “terrible communicators.” It was by far the toughest workshop I ever conducted. Fortunately, they got past the resentment and understood the value. 

Content is Not Relevant 

Some workshops are one-size-fits-all. The presenter has a body of content and does the same thing over and over again without regard for the audience. As a result, participants lose interest or can’t see how to apply what they learned quickly and effectively.  

No Way to Measure Results 

How do you know if someone truly benefitted from a business workshop or seminar? If you are spending time and money, you need results. Will an employee come away with new tools, skills, and perspectives that have an impact? How do you measure it?  

All of these are valid arguments. But if you choose the best workshops and presenters, the arguments disappear. Here are some tips to help you make good choices. 

Look for Experts, not Speakers 

Some workshop presenters are just that- presenters. They have a great speech as long as they can stick to the script. What you want is a subject matter expert that works in the field and has a depth of knowledge. These professionals will be better versed in current best practices, trends, and issues. Ask to see a video sample of the presenter. There is nothing worse than great content presented by a boring speaker.  

Ask for Customization  

I never do the same workshop the same way. Companies’ needs vary, as do the skill levels of the participants. I will do a fact-finding session with key company stakeholders to get a handle on the content needed. I also do an assessment of participants. It is a simple but effective survey that helps me get to know the participants and from there I can plan the additional content that they might want to be included. 

Get Interactive 

People are more engaged when there is interaction. This can be in the form of hands-on exercises, on-the-spot surveys, video streaming, demonstrations or small group discussion. Ask to see how interaction is incorporated into a workshop you are considering for your team. I design workshops with interaction sprinkled throughout to keep people engaged so that they absorb the content.  

I have conducted business workshops on communication, presentation skills and media training throughout the country. A number of my clients use workshops to give up-and-comers the skills they need for promotion. Others see it as a way to motivate individuals to be better performers in their current position. In some cases, the workshops are designed to improve destructive communication patterns. Whatever the reason, a workshop can be a cost-effective way to provide continuous learning- and who doesn’t need that?   

Looking to hire someone to run a workshop for your team? Let’s chat.

Public Speaking, Presentation Skills & Media Training

 

If your customers are other businesses, then this is for you. There are several buying trends I’ve seen within my own company that you need to be ready for. The buying trends include consolidation, pricing, and stability.

Remember happy customers recommend you to their network!

Public Speaking, Presentation Skills & Media Training

 

As a small business owner, how do you know when you’re ready to go after big customers?

“I think you have to be really honest with yourself because if you’re expecting to hit a home run right away it’s just not going to happen,”

That quote above is from me when I was featured on the Welsh Wire podcast. On the podcast, I was interviewed by President and CEO of Welsh & Associates, Sheri Welsh. Welsh & Associates is an executive search and professional recruiting services company. 

The Welsh Wire Podcast is one of their resources they offer employers and job seekers

Give the Welsh Wire Podcast a listen as leaders from a wide array of small to mid-size West Michigan companies weigh in and share their experience and insight on a variety of business topics. These topics include employee retention challenges and recruitment success stories.

In this episode, I discuss with Sheri that small businesses have to be ready for their big break. “One of the things I say to people is have you built out a really good infrastructure for your business? Do you have really good processes in place? Because if you haven’t, it will be chaos.”

I also discuss how small business owners have to be willing to adapt to whatever billing and reporting procedures are required by a big client.

Listen to Sheri’s entire interview with me.

 

Subscribe to The Welsh Wire podcast on iTunes for additional informative, entertaining interviews with West Michigan business leaders.

 

Interested in having me as a guest on your podcast? Contact me here.

Public Speaking, Presentation Skills & Media Training

 

Price is not always the defining factor. In fact, people are willing to pay more if you can show the value of the higher price.

As a small business supporter, I create content to help small businesses thrive in a competitive world.

In this video, I give a specific example from my business of how not being a commodity worked out in the long run.

Public Speaking, Presentation Skills & Media Training

Take advantage of the social media features that exist, like Facebook Business Page cover videos.

Facebook is arguably the “most social” of the social media platforms when it comes to sharing content. Mark Zuckerburg has this purpose for his creation: “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” It got me thinking…what will this new purpose do for companies and why are some still hesitant to use the site as a marketing tool?

Log On!

According to a 2017 Clutch survey, 24% of small businesses have zero social media presence. You can speculate that some simply loath technology, don’t have the right resources to keep up with posts or have some preconceived notions about the value. It’s important to realize today’s economy runs online, whether you like it or not, and free, easy to use resources, like Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, can help promote your business.

Take the example of Coconut Bliss, a small dairy-free ice cream company out of Eugene, Oregon who has made a big scoop in the ice cream market primarily due to the appeal of their Facebook business page. By posting interesting and friendly posts they were able to expand knowledge of their products and grow subsequently in sales. Today, they are one of the nation’s leading producers of organic, dairy-free desserts. It’s all about getting started, staying persistent, and finding a way to connect with your audience.

Facebook Cover Videos

Facebook is known for regularly adding new features to their site and have done so with “Cover Videos” for business pages. This feature gives organizations the opportunity to create a 20-90 second video rather than your typical cover photo. It’s a great chance to highlight your company and boost your brand.

A client of ours, the Association for Advancing Automation, got an early start on this new feature. They posted a cover video on the Facebook page for their Annual show, Automate. The video takes viewers to the show floor, past booths and into the crowds. We love the endless options for cover videos. Imagine drone video of your facility or product demonstrations you can now post directly on your Facebook business page. It’s one more way to attract customers, but like any other marketing effort, Facebook business page cover videos need to be thoughtfully conceived and well-executed. Let us know if we can help!

 

Public Speaking, Presentation Skills & Media Training

eCommerce Business article by Jock Purtle of Digital Exists

If you’re like any other entrepreneur that wants to sell their business, you want to get the highest price possible.

To get the maximum value for the sale of your eCommerce store, you need to pay close attention to the timing of the sale.  Perfect timing can mean the difference of tens of thousands of extra dollars in your pocket.

For some entrepreneurs, they may get the best result by selling during the peak season for their business.  For others, though, getting maximum value could mean introducing a new product to your catalog to provide a quick growth trend.

Regardless of this information, the multiples you can get when you sell your business can be substantially higher if you time the sale and hold off until that time is right.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest factors that affect how much you can ask for your business. 

content provided by Jock Purtle.

#1 – The Lifecycle Of A Business

Every business in existence has a life cycle, regardless where the business is located or what products and services they sell.

There are 4 different stages businesses go through: idea, growth, maturing, and declining.  The declining phase can be slowed or even halted by diversifying.

By understanding exactly where your business is at in the declining phase, you can figure out whether or not now is the right time to sell, or if you’re going to need to put in more work to increase your asking price.

Let’s take a look at 2 different businesses to give you a better idea of the possibilities.

One of the businesses is 5 years old, and the other is 3 years old.  They’re both in the eCommerce sector, and both turnover $500,000 per year.  This delivers a net profit of $150,000 for each business, both of which have 1 employee.

The first business has 5 years of established revenue history and shows linear growth, with annual compound growth of 50% over the course of its life.

The second business has a 3-year history and shows linear growth with an annual compound growth of 400%.

Which business is worth more, in your opinion?

Looking at the information we’ve given you, you would assume that the first business has reached the mature stage, while the second one is still likely to be in the startup or growth phases.

Given that their turnover and net profits are equal, the second business should easily outperform the first business over the course of those same 5 years, assuming everything else remains the same.

This means that even if your business has reached the maturity phase, it isn’t necessarily worth less.

If your business is considered mature, like the first one in our example, you don’t necessarily want to start panicking.  There are far more risks associated with buying a younger business that hasn’t already reached the mature phase.

If you have placed a fair value on the business, you don’t want to rush and drop the price because it doesn’t look as good on paper as the second business in the example.

The fact that your business has proven to be stable over a longer period of time and has the history of growth to back it up will make it far more likely that you’ll get a higher price when you find an investor.

Knowing which phase your business is in will make it a lot easier to figure out whether now is the right time for you to sell, or not.  If you are peaking in your growth phase, or have already reached the mature phase, the time is perfect for you to sell.

However, if your business is starting to decline, it may be worth it for you to hold off and attempt to stimulate growth by launching a new product or renewing a big contract.

#2 – Launching New Products

Adding a new product to your eCommerce business catalog can be a great way to make sure you’re extending the life of your business.  As older products become saturated in your market, introducing new products can provide a quick influx of sales.

Investors are always going to look at your business in a favorable light if they see that there is still potential, even if the business has reached the maturity phase.

You can display clear ROI information after you’ve launched new products to justify the potential that is still left in the business.

Knowing this, however, doesn’t necessarily mean you should be launching products right before the sale just to bump up your asking price.  Sometimes, it may be even more profitable for you to save the new product launch for your investor, and work that launch into the asking price.

Let’s look at one example so you get a better understanding.

Let’s assume that a business is generating mid six-figures and they want to sell.  The business is focused on selling digital products inside of the health industry.

They have a large amount of data to back up their asking price, their traffic sources are sustainable, and growth is headed upwards.

The owner went back and forth on their decision to launch a new product while their business was listed for sale.  They considered saving the launch for their investor after the deal had gone through.

Launching a new product during the sale of the business would have increased their profits and diversified their revenue, while also extending the lifecycle of their business — all factors that increase the value and asking price of the business.

Based on their own estimations, launching the new product would have added an additional $50,000 to $100,000 in revenue, along with another $5,000 per month in recurring income.

The owner viewed the launch as a way to say “farewell” to their business and create increased revenues for their new investor after they took over control of the business.

In this example, it makes sense to launch the product, right?  You are right by saying yes, but launching a new product isn’t always so simple and straightforward.

Although, in this example, it seemed like a no-brainer to launch the new product, most times it’s actually better to hold off, for a couple different reasons.

First, the income generated by the launch isn’t going to affect the sale price.  It’s only going to help the seller and not give any benefits to the investor.  Even though it may seem like you would benefit from the launch, you put your investor in a bad spot.

Not only are they taking ownership of your business, but they’re also going to be forced to simultaneously manage a new product launch.

Also, your knowledge and expertise are going away.  Launching the product before selling it could leave your investor wondering whether you attempted to pump and dump it.

The odds are high that the launch will actually do more damage than solve problems.

It’s always advisable to hold off on the product launch because you can show the history of other launches and use that information to help justify a higher asking price. And, your investor will know that they have a new product ready to go whenever they’re prepared.

If you want to profit from the launch, negotiate an earnout with the investor to get a piece of the pie after they have successfully transitioned into the business and decide to launch the product. This is the ultimate win-win situation for you and your investor.

#3 – The Time Of Year

Quite a few businesses go through ebbs and flows, based on the time of year

As an eCommerce business owner, you have probably already noticed this with a massive spike in your sales between October through January.  Consider that most investors are not going to want to purchase your business when it’s coming off the back of a busy season.

If you do have to sell, you’re going to want to delay the sale until you’re around halfway through the season to help your investor sustain the momentum after they take over the business.

You’ll also want to think about your tax implications and how to minimize the liabilities from the sale.  You’ll need to plan ahead and talk to an accountant about what you’re responsible for when you finalize the sale.

#4 – Trends In Your Industry

Once you’ve figured out the best time to sell based on your product’s lifecycles and the potential seasonality of your business, you should look at any industry data that is available to ensure you are choosing a time to sell that is favorable for you.

Like any other asset, there are forces in play, like supply and demand. Understanding how you can take advantage of those forces could help you get higher offers from investors.

Selling while the market is considered to be “hot” means that investors will have a large number of businesses from which to choose and it could be hard for you to get the highest value out of the sale of your own business.

To figure out whether the market is favorable, speak with a business broker who has a bird’s eye view and can help you learn about the different trends and investor activity.

To Sum It Up…

When it comes to selling your eCommerce business, there are many factors to consider.  “It’s critical that you sell at the right time, and for the right reasons.” – Jock Purtle

If you think that selling your business quickly, or selling because you’re burnt out are good decisions, you’re almost always going to end up getting reduced offers because you didn’t properly prepare for the sale.

In general, the more time you give yourself to implement your exit strategy and focus on hitting the right timing, the higher your chances of selling for the maximum value.

 

This guest post was written by Jock Purtle of Digital Exits. To learn more about Jock Purtle and his company, visit Digital Exists.

 

 

Public Speaking, Presentation Skills & Media Training

Email Marketing Cheats for Your Business is a Guest Post by Eric Bullen

The art of communicating with your customers has evolved over the years, but despite the advent of social media and other forms of online interaction, the humble email remains the number one medium for communication between customers and businesses, 46 years after the very first email was sent in 1971 – Yes, 1971!

With 4 billion (and counting) email accounts around the world, smart marketers have developed strategies and tools to unlock the huge potential of email marketing. Automation, personalization, and testing are all key parts of any email marketing strategy. Utilizing each of these elements can lead your emails to directly generating revenue for your business.

We’ve put together an infographic showing you how you can grow your business through email. The Email Marketing Cheats infographic focuses on the following areas:

  • Personalization – The benefits of making your email personal, and how to do it.
  • Trigger emails – What they are and what they can do for your business.
  • Recovery – How you can win your customers back using email marketing.
  • Mobile friendly – Why your business needs to ensure your emails are mobile friendly.
  • Testing – Explaining the importance of testing your emails and how to set them up.

As you will discover, it’s not rocket science. Setting up a winning email marketing strategy doesn’t have to be over-complicated or expensive. Following these steps, you can make emails generate revenue for your business with an ROI of $44 for every $1 spent – no other communication tool can generate a return like this.

Email Marketing Cheat SheetNow that you have read through the steps, you will notice it comes down to three things:

Monitor: Observe and analyze the open and click through rates, deliverability and revenue.

Relevance: Use the data to ensure you are sending the right content to the right audience.

Engage: Try to come up with interact with your market with CTAs in your email.

 

 

 

About the Author:

Erik is CEO of MageMail. He also mentors startups using programs such as MassChallenge and Techstars. He often geeks out and writes about innovation, ecommerce, emerging tech, leadership, and SaaS.

Email: ebullen@magemail.co

Twitter: @ErikBullen

 

 

Public Speaking, Presentation Skills & Media Training

Any entrepreneur can tell you that when they were starting a business, financing was a major component.

Starting a business? One of the most critical decisions is the approach. Do you quit your job? Wade into a new venture while still employed full-time? Do you work part-time for someone else to help ease the budget crunch? If you have lost your job, do you just make the leap?

The answer comes down to one word – MONEY.

Financing a start-up is not easy. According to the National Small Business Association, “64 percent of small businesses used financing in 2017, 29% used credit cards. Almost 30 percent were not able to obtain adequate financing.” That is telling because small businesses usually take out starter loans to buy equipment, open an office or purchase some type of inventory.

When I started my business, I had lost a job. (Actually, I got fired … but that’s a whole different story.) This was the job I moved back home to take. My father told me at the time there was no kitchen big enough for two Greek women, so I bought a starter house. Now I was single, unemployed and had a mortgage.

I always knew I wanted to start my own business. I just did not think it would be that soon. It was time to decide. What I did next is what many entrepreneurs do – I got a job to help finance my start-up. That might not sound very entrepreneurial – but for me, it worked! I took a position as an adjunct faculty member for a University. For two years, I taught full-time while getting the business up and running. I took out a small loan and put my house up as collateral. I worked out of my home to market the fledgling company, secure clients and set up systems. When asked to teach for a third year, I declined. For the business to go to the next level it needed more of my time and attention.

I know that many would say this was the safe way to start out. Some might question if I was an effective teacher. I would argue that I was being responsible. And, students got the benefit of instruction from a working professional. Of course, there is a downside to working during a start-up.

The hours can be overwhelming.

You must not “short” your employer. You must give the job your full attention while you are there. And it goes without saying, you should not work on your business while someone else is paying for your time. Clearly define a plan to make the big leap to working full-time in your own business. Otherwise, it simply won’t happen. Set a deadline and stick to it.

There are many different paths to starting a business. Use your savings and take the leap. Go for a loan or crowdfunding. Work during your start-up. The important thing is not how you start, but that you build a foundation so the business will last.

Let’s connect on Instagram.

Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash