Getting Your Business Unstuck with Barry Moltz
|If you have the passion and the drive for entrepreneurship, there is no other profession that is a better ride!|
|Why do you have to be “a little crazy” to start a business?|
|If many start-up entrepreneurs knew what it was really like to run a business, they would never move forward with it. The failure rate is so high and the chances of success are low so you do have to be crazy. However, if you have the passion and the drive for entrepreneurship, there is no other profession that is a better ride!|
|What are the main reasons small businesses “get stuck”?|
|Small business owners have been running their company with just enough success. Most have created just a job for themselves and not much else. Since they are on the inside, it is hard for them to see how to get unstuck and grow their business. Most owners get stuck, because they don’t have consistent sales and a marketing plan that establishes their presence when customers are ready to buy. They are unable to grow and retain an excellent team. They also struggle with being busy as opposed to being productive.|
|Strong companies are not about their owners, but their team leaders.|
|What factors should entrepreneurs look at when assessing the health of their business?|
| The biggest factors are:
Having a cash flow positive company is critical for success. This means the business has more cash at the end of the month than the beginning.
2. Quick Ratio
3. Customer Annuities
4. Fixed Overhead Expenses
5. Management Team
6. Employee Turnover
|What are some common ways that businesses might be wasting money?|
1. Pay per click Advertising
It seems simple and cheap, but tons of money gets wasted on this type of online advertising due to a lack of expertise on how to run an effective campaign.
Solution: Copywriting, demographic targeting, and choosing the right keywords can trip up the novice. Get help from a search engine marketing professional like Hubspot and Dex One before launching a campaign.
2. Travel expenses
Solution: Look at public transportation from the airport. Many times, this can cost 10 percent of a taxi or rental car. Ensure that the hotel is near planned appointments so there's less costly commuting to and from those locations. Book hotels that have kitchens in the room or pack food for the trip.
3. Wrong Smartphone Data Plan
Solution: Check your company’s plan and negotiate with the provider to get one that matches usage. Telephone bills are also ripe for renegotiation, or you can move to using a voice over IP solution (VoIP) from companies like Nextiva that offer a flat rate per phone per month.
4. No Follow-up Procedures in Place
Solution: Have a process in place that tracks every lead, not just for the initial contact, but on a monthly basis. Having a customer relationship management system (CRM) like Salesforce or Infusionsoft is critical for success.
5. Non-retail Office Space
Solution: Can the company be virtual? What is lost if everyone works form home? Determine what investments need to be made for a virtual office to work and compare those figures to the current cost of office space.
6. Website Design
Solution: Pick a template for an open sourced Web tool like WordPress. Focus investments in keeping content updated, reviewing website analytics, using CRM and e-commerce.
7. Bad Hires
Solution: Be slow to hire and quick to fire. Make sure prospective employees match the company culture before testing their skills.
8. Large Investments in Technology
Solution: Use applications in the cloud that charge a monthly fee. This technique matches a variable cost model more closely. Reputable vendors will constantly innovate their technology, and their small-business customers will benefit with little cost.
|When you give these people a great process to follow, it’s like they are doing their work with the aid of a jet pack!|
|Your formula for increasing profits at any company is PxP=P. Could you explain this formula for us?|
|People times Process Equals Profit. Businesses are not about ideas, but the execution of those ideas. Therefore, the best team always wins. When you give these people a great process to follow, it’s like they are doing their work with the aid of a jet pack! People and process will always produce the most profit!|
|Drawing from your experience, what advice do you have when it comes to hiring and firing the right people?|
|Slow to hire and quick to fire. Too many small business owners are too quick to hire anyone just so the position is filled. This results in many poor matches for new employees. In addition, when one person is not a good fit for the company, they delay firing them even though they know they are not helping the business.|
|What are some actions leaders can take to revitalize employee energy when business seems to be at a plateau?|
|Employees band together to form a team when they believe in achieving a mission that is greater than themselves. The leader needs to get others to buy in to this vision and have them add to it! This happens with roundtable discussions and participating in activities that get them closer to the goal.|
|Healthy and less stressed employees are productive ones. Business owners need to find a way to provide access to reasonable health insurance for their team members.|
|An article in Inc. magazine listed providing health insurance to employees as one of the biggest issues hampering small businesses in 2016. What are your thoughts on how business owners can manage this challenge?|
|Healthy and less stressed employees are productive ones. Business owners need to find a way to provide access to reasonable health insurance for their team members. At the same time, it does not mean that they need to bear the entire cost. Alternately, they can work with independent contractors and outside consultants to avoid the health insurance issues, but risk a higher fee and the consistent availability of the resources they need.|
|You’ve said businesses often only worry about marketing when things get slow. How do you recommend then that small businesses approach marketing?|
|Set up a marketing system that gets your company’s message of expertise out there consistently. This can be done by using a content management system for social media like Meet Edgar or a customer relationship management system (CRM) like Infusionsoft for email campaigns. These tools are used to load all the marketing content at the beginning of the week, so no matter how busy things get, the message still gets out there to attract and retain customers.|
|How can small businesses leverage social media for marketing without overusing it?|
| Find out which tool your customers are using the most and focus on that one. Listen to the conversations on problems they are having and offer expert advice. Use a content management system as described in #9 to consistently participate on the platform. Don’t use social media to directly sell products; instead, use it to attract customers that are good prospects.