In the ever-changing dog eat dog world of business, small upstart business owners are constantly put to the test in fighting for the almighty dollar. Why? Because more and more consumers are gun-shy in dealing with a small company, for fear that they may not be around in six months.
As a small business owner, there is a way for you to combat that fear: PERCEPTION.
It was the late American political consultant, Lee Atwater – strategist to the Republican Party, chairman of the Republican National Committee and an advisor for U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush – who coined the phrase “perception is reality.” The phrase not only holds true for politics, but it holds true for upstart businesses, as well.
A growing trend for small business owners to combat this fear is by creating the perception that their business is bigger than it is. They do this by establishing a central office through one of the many shared or virtual office companies that have multiple locations (like Da Vinci and Regus, for example) and then use that company’s network of locations to establish satellite offices. So, for example, for less money than it would cost you to have a single, standalone office in Los Angeles to provide your product or service to the area, you could have a main office in L.A., with satellite offices in Beverly Hills, Pasadena and Burbank. Not only would you now provide a “Wow” factor to your potential customer base because you have prestigious addresses, but depending on where you have to be and who you have to meet, you have the ability of literally meeting in your client’s backyard. While this business model obviously wouldn’t apply to small business retailers, for the service industry it’s an ideal solution.
Popular coffee houses like Tim Hortons, The Coffee Bean and Starbucks might be okay for some, but for the long haul, they are not business-friendly environments when it comes to sharing confidential information. Remember, walls have ears. Plus, it can get pretty expensive buying $4 cups of coffee all day, with the biggest cost being the customers who are lost because your company has no brick and mortar presence.
Working from home isn’t the answer either. While it may be a short-term solution or a temporary stop-gap, in the long run, there are simply too many distractions at home. Unless you are the type who can simply tune out everything around you, distractions like the TV, the kids (if you have any), the family pet, the refrigerator, and any one of a hundred other things that are simply alternatives to focusing on what you need to do to get your work done.
So, next time you are meeting that all-important potential client at Starbucks and the guy next to you makes an inappropriate comment about a female at the register, don’t scratch your head wondering why you weren’t able to land the big fish that could turn your business around.
Howard T. Brody is the Vice President & Director of Operations for the Las Vegas office of Louis Mamo & Company, a business solutions firm that has been servicing clients for more than 30 years. For more information on Howard or the company, visit: lmc123nv.com or call: 702-931-2022.
ARE BUSINESS BOOKS AN OVERLOOKED KEY TO SUCCESS?
Innovation is the marrow that keeps an organization thriving, says Adam Witty, who has blazed a path in recent years as one of “America’s coolest young entrepreneurs,” according to INC. Magazine.
“Sometimes, a term is used so often that you have to wonder whether it still retains meaning, but I think innovation describes something that’s essential for business-minded dreamers who live in the real world,” says Adam Witty, the founder and CEO of Advantage Media Group, The Business Growth Publisher. “We know that books empower readers, but what many overlook is how books empower authors – it gives experts further say as the ultimate authority in their space,” says Witty, whose company helps busy entrepreneurs, business leaders and professionals create, publish, and market a book to grow their business. Entrepreneurs, small business owners, professional speakers, attorneys, doctors, financial advisors, coaches, philanthropists and many more all either ascend or descend based on their credibility. A book is an innovative way to leverage one’s expertise and tip the scales in a favorable direction.
• Turn clients into fans. The most profitable companies in the world boast the most fanatical clients and customers. Think about Apple, which does many things very, very well. One of them is servicing the customer first. And Apple excels in communicating its mission to its audience. A book does both of those things. Profiting from book sales is not the point; you will have serviced readers with information, which may be free, and gotten across your messaging simply by having a book available.
• Expand your gravitas. Positioning yourself as the go-to person in your field may seem like a hopeless task considering the sheer amount of competition there is vying for everyone’s attention. Work, school, children, TV, social media and the endless sea of websites keep most people engaged at nearly every turn. Published authors, however, are part of .04 percent of the global population, which is a nice differentiation rate considering most professionals today have websites.
• Earn quantity and quality. A goldmine of new customers come from referrals, which spend an average of five times more with businesses than a customer acquired through general marketing or advertising. Most profitable businesses report that much more than 70 percent of new clients result from referrals made by current customers. Referrals involve a trusted recommendation from a family member or friend who validates a business with the currency of trust. “Nearly every expert I’ve worked with has seen a dramatic increase in their referrals,” Witty says. “Books are an investment. If someone reads your book – or simply knows you have one – you become part of that currency of trust.”
Adam Witty is founder and CEO of Advantage Media Group, The Business Growth Publisher (advantagefamily.com), working with hundreds of entrepreneurs and business leaders to help them Create, Publish, and Market a book to Grow Their Business. Featured on ABC and Fox, he was selected for INC. Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list of “America’s coolest young entrepreneurs” in 2011. Witty is an in-demand speaker, teacher and consultant on marketing and business development techniques and is a frequent guest on the acclaimed Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour. He is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Youth Entrepreneurship South Carolina.
CEA BRINGS SERIES OF INNOVATION EVENTS TO NEW YORK – NOV. 8-10
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced registration is open for the second annual CEA Innovate! From disruptors and startups to the most established brands, CEA Innovate! connects the industry around the theme of fostering innovation in companies of all sizes and will be held Sun. Nov. 8th to 10th at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. The event will feature a luncheon keynote address from David Pogue, founding editor-in-chief of Yahoo Tech and host of PBS’ “NOVA ScienceNow.” This year, the CE Hall of Fame Dinner will be held in conjunction with CEA Innovate! The dinner will recognize eight inductees for their contributions to the consumer electronics industry and is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 9 at Gotham Hall. Admission to the dinner is included with full conference registration for CEA Innovate!. On Tues. Nov. 10, CES Unveiled New York returns to the Big Apple for its eleventh year. This half-day event features dozens of exhibitors and provides a sneak peek at this year’s most innovative products and technologies to more than 400 media two months before CES 2016. Registration for CES Unveiled New York opens Wed., Sept. 9. Visit: ce.org/innovate
For 13 years, David Pogue was the weekly personal technology columnist for The New York Times. In 2013 he moved to Yahoo, where he founded a new website for non-techies called Yahoo Tech. He is a monthly columnist for Scientific American, an Emmy Award-winning technology correspondent for “CBS Sunday Morning” and the current host of “NOVA ScienceNow”. Pogue is also one of the world’s best-selling “how-to” authors having written or co-written seven books in the For Dummies series.