Stage Your Business – Nine Ways to Improve the Value of Your Company NOW

Uncategorized Sep 11, 2018

By Cal Heseman

We often hear the term “stage your home” in the residential real estate market. Realtors use this tactic to get top dollar for a client’s listing and to sell the property faster.

The process does not come without a commitment of time and money, yet it produces results that benefit all parties.

The same concept applies to your business, though you’ll almost always hear brokers and advisors refer to it as “preparing your business for sale.”

In both situations, the seller must adapt his/her perspective to that of the buyer. Ask yourself, “If I didn’t own this business, would I want to buy it?”

Then use the following checklist of nine ways to improve the value of your business now;

Grow revenue – It doesn’t matter what you have for sale, if sales are in decline this is a red flag to buyers. They want to know why, and is the trend reversible? The buyer’s inclination is to say “no” and...

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Being Overwhelmed as a Small Business Owner

Uncategorized Sep 05, 2018

Are you a small business owner that finds marketing completely overwhelming?

If so, you are not alone.

We started The Reputation Factory after speaking with small business owners and conducting market research studies. Our findings concluded that:

  • Nearly 100% of small business owners surveyed are completely overwhelmed by marketing tactics
  • These feelings of being overwhelmed lead to inaction on the part of the business owner
  • Many small business owners feel trapped on a hamster wheel and unable to move in any direction
  • A majority of small business owners are terrified of spending any money on marketing for fear that they will make a mistake

Does this sound like you?

We took this information and we created our very first online course specifically for small businesses.

We consciously decided that we would focus on the very beginnings of basic reputation management and branding management hence we came up with “Reputation Management/ Branding Management 101.”

Having...

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Why Grammar Matters

Uncategorized Aug 01, 2018

As small business owners, we’ve all heard the adage content is king. I respectfully disagree. Most of the content floating around the world is useless garbage.

If you are going to implement a content strategy into your marketing efforts, then that content must be valuable to your audience. It’s not necessarily what you want to produce, it is what your audience is willing to receive.

We’ve been on a kick over here at The Reputation Factory for the last few weeks on Reputation and Communication. We recently launched a free mini-course on the subject which we encourage you to check out here.

However, in that course, we did not cover the written word, which we will rectify now.

I have come across several self-published business books (in print and e-books) by so-called industry experts. I am continually shocked at how poor the grammar is in these books. How can I focus on your message if I am constantly distracted and confused by the writing?

Now I’m not talking...

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Reputation Management

Uncategorized Jun 14, 2018

What is a reputation and why do you need to manage it?

This is a question every small business owner needs to ask themselves. Do you want your customers to hold you in high esteem or regard?

When your customers talk about you, do you want them to use positive, glowing adjectives like reliable, trustworthy, respectable, and dependable?

We’ve said it before and we will say it again: Everything your mother ever told you about reputation is true and it carries over into your business.

Recently I received an email from a consulting blog to which I subscribe. In this blog, the author relayed a story. He was at a charity event where it was understood that attendees were going to be asked to write a check to a support a worthy non-profit organization.

However, an incident at this event put the non-profit’s ability to fundraise in jeopardy. One of the speakers decided to use the event as an opportunity to dive into a political diatribe while she had a captive audience and access...

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The Flake Factor

Uncategorized Jun 07, 2018

Do you know that there is such a thing as business etiquette?

In business, manners matter.

Reputation management is extremely important for your small business because your reputation is how the public regards you.

Why do we cultivate a positive reputation? Because a positive reputation in the long run, helps our businesses grow.

Many small business owners want to garner a positive reputation. Unfortunately, some of them end up shooting themselves in the foot from what I like to refer to as “The Flake Factor.”

What is the Flake Factor?

The Flake Factor occurs when business owners act like complete flakes in their business dealings.

One of the tenets of marketing management is that people want to work with companies that they like trust and respect.  If you want to work with large companies, they expect you to be reliable.

Heck, even small companies are going to want you to be reliable. Reliability generally tends to be a major thing for most people you want as your...

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What is Marketing?

Uncategorized May 21, 2018

Everyone knows that they need marketing for their business but what exactly is marketing?

According to the American Marketing Association “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large." (Definition approved by the American Marketing Association Board of Directors, July 2013.)

At The Reputation Factory, our definition is a bit more direct.

We define marketing as:

  1. Psychological warfare
  2. Relationship building

Why psychological warfare?

In an article that appeared on AMA.org in 2017, it was stated that the average person is exposed to over 10,000 brand messages a day. In our “Reputation Management/ Brand Management 101” course we cited a 2014 study that pegged the number at 5,000.

How is this possible? Well, brand messaging is all around you. Driving to work you see billboards, signs and listen to the...

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CRM Systems

Uncategorized May 20, 2018

Awhile back I was having a conversation with a small business owner and I asked about her CRM system. She didn’t know what I was talking about. So, I elaborated…a customer relationship management system. She still didn’t know what I was talking about. Finally, I asked her are you using a database?

Now we were speaking the same language!

This is a common conversation that I frequently have with small business owners, so if you don’t know what a CRM system is you are not alone.

CRM systems are important for small businesses to know about. Unfortunately, most have never come across the term before.

It’s not limited to small business owners. I’m willing to bet that most students who have graduated from a four-year business school have never come across the term either. I know because I was one of those students.

Four years of business college and another year of grad school and I didn’t know what a CRM system was when I joined the workforce. I...

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5 Pre-steps to Launching a Business

Uncategorized May 16, 2018

You’re getting ready to launch a small business! Congratulations.

Here are a couple of things you need to do before you actually launch:

Step1: Have an idea for a product or service that you want to sell.

It seems pretty basic but, there are some folks out there who open up shop and haven’t defined exactly what they are offering. If you can’t articulate to me the value of what you’re selling then why on earth would I give you my hard-earned money?

So, figure out what you are selling and be able to articulate it in a clear and concise way.

Step 2: Define your target market.

Are you selling to individual customers or are you selling to other businesses? Are you providing a service to millennials or to seniors?

You need to have a vague idea of who you are targeting before you get to the next step.

Step 3: Validate your idea!

I am convinced that the reason that most small businesses fail is that their owners don’t properly validate their idea.

(Actually,...

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8 Reasons Your Content Marketing Doesn’t Work

Uncategorized May 16, 2018

 

Do you find that you are constantly creating content that no one ever reads?

Are you spinning your wheels trying to keep up with an aggressive editorial calendar?

Are your readers unsubscribing from your distribution lists?

You keep hearing “content is king,” but a lot of content is just bad. It doesn’t resonate and doesn’t convert.

We are here to help! We’ve put together a list of 8 reasons why your content sucks so you can know what to avoid when creating content pieces for your business.

1. You don’t know your target audience.

- Marketing is all about the market.

2. You are not providing value.

-Ask yourself, “why does my reader care about this?”

3. It’s a love fest.

Don’t let content be part of a “thought leadership” strategy designed to make you look important. It’s not about you; it’s about the audience.

4. Editorial calendar is holding you hostage.

-You’re publishing to meet...

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