Thought of the Day - Mastermind

Uncategorized May 24, 2019

Is anyone else tired of the word “Mastermind?” Here at The Reputation Factory, we are totally over it. Every time we turn around, we are getting another email about some “Mastermind” group, program, course or networking event.

Participation in one of these “Mastermind” groups generally requires a huge outlay of cash with foggy returns that will not work for over 90% of the small business owning public. At what point do we as small business owners collectively say “enough is enough?”.

It’s not that we are opposed to webinars, networking events, online classes or workshops (have you checked out The 7 Steps to Profitability yet?). It’s the dearth of creativity when it comes to the English language that relatively intelligent people can’t find another adjective.

A word that was supposed to contain an inherent value is fast losing its cache due to overuse and misuse by the small business community.

And that’s our...

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Negative Commentary

Uncategorized May 16, 2019

To paraphrase Jane Austen, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a person who experiences a negative situation is two times more likely to talk about it than a positive experience.”

Here’s a personal story proving this point.

I have multiple food allergies, including wheat and wheat gluten. For those people who are gluten-intolerant, the ingestion of products such as many breads, pasta, rice, crackers, etc., can cause reactions ranging from migraines to potentially life-threatening breathing problems. And yes, while I always carry an epinephrine autoinjector for emergency treatment, I remain hypervigilant when eating out, grocery shopping and attending events where food is served.

Recently, I was at a local grocery store where I do most of my shopping.  I was on a quest for Boars Head pepperoni. Boars Head cold cuts are gluten-free. Having a severe wheat allergy, gluten-free products are a necessity.

At the deli counter, a clerk asked what I wanted. I...

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Finding the Balance

Uncategorized May 08, 2019

Has this ever happened to you? You randomly purchase something online and all of a sudden you are inundated by emails from the company that you purchased from.

The emails you receive have an air of desperation clinging to them as they are begging you to review the product or service.  We’ve actually encountered emails that say “we are literally begging you for a review.” Not cool.

As consumers we find these types of communications to be very annoying. If the product was delivered on a Tuesday and we are being begged for a review on Wednesday before we even have a chance to use the product, how are we supposed to honestly review it? Especially if it’s something like skincare which takes a few weeks, or shoes that require you walk around in them for a day or so before making a judgment.

Being hit with a new email every other day that ratchets up the level of pleading for reviews is just irritating. At this point, you are no longer providing value to your...

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The Small Business Conundrum:

Uncategorized Mar 14, 2019

Do you ever get tired of waiting for something to break in your small business? Do you feel like you are right on the edge of greatness just waiting for that big push to send you over the edge?

Well, my friend, you have come to the right place.

The problem that many small business owners experience is that they are trying to do everything piecemeal. They read an article here, or see an interesting blog post over there and then they try to implement all of these different pieces of advice from the so-called experts. Does this sound like you?

When you try to run your business this way, you end up with a hodgepodge of tactics that never really get you anywhere. You end up spending a lot of time, money and energy without any rewards.

But that is about to change. Here at The Reputation Factory, we have just launched a brand-new course called the 7 Steps to Profitability. This online course is a total gamechanger. This course is an accelerator program designed to save small business...

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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.”


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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 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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