#Smallbizchat Podcast LIVE is a monthly video interview show where small business owners can get answers to their questions. The focus of #Smallbizchat is to end small business failure by helping participants succeed as your own boss. Please join us live every third Wednesday of the month from 8-9 pm ET Live on my SmallBizLady Facebook Page, YouTube Channel and LIVE on Twitter.
The Ultimate Marketing Engine
John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker, and author of Duct Tape Marketing, The Referral Engine, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur, and The Ultimate Marketing Engine. He is also the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network, which trains and licenses independent consultants and agencies to use the Duct Tape Methodology. For more information: https://theultimatemarketingengine.com
SmallBizLady: You advise small businesses to call Customers as Members – explain what you mean by that.
John Jantsch: I’m not talking about membership programs or subscription programs – I’m talking more about a point of view – about how you think about your customers. The idea is that customers buy from you while members want to join your business and stay with your business because of the transformation you can offer.
SmallBizLady: Why do suggest that business owners should narrow their focus to the top 20% of their clients?
John Jantsch: In my experience, the top 20% of the customers in most businesses account for nearly 80% of the revenue and profit because they were the right fit or had the right problem. And yet, we waste a large amount of time trying to serve others who we think need what we sell. By focusing on ideal customers you can not only attract more of the same, you can also learn how to scale your business with those customers.
SmallBizLady: You somewhat emphatically claim that people don’t want what we sell, but isn’t that really the point of marketing?
John Jantsch: They want what we sell only if they can connect what we sell to solving a problem they want to solve. As marketers, we must first understand the real problem we solve for our best customers and make that our leading message.
How to Find the Money to Fund Your Small Business
From a credit score of 450 to 820, Kedma Ough has helped thousands of small business owners and inventors to find business funding. As one of today’s most respected authorities on small business funding, Ough has advised more than 10,000 businesses leveraging $100 million in funding. For two decades, Ough worked in SBA leadership roles with the Women’s Business Center Program and Small Business Development Centers. Her best-selling book, Target Funding ® is a navigation system to identify targeted grants and funds for business owners. Ough is a proud fifth-generation entrepreneur and her great-great grandfather peddled various products throughout Ireland. For more information www.kedmaough.com
SmallBizLady: Many business owners understand the need for target marketing to cater to our ideal customers. However, how does it benefit us to consider target funding?
Kedma Ough: The idea behind target marketing is to focus on segmenting your customers by their buying habits, interests, price comfort, and other aspects that can help target their decision to consider investing in a product or service. Yet, in the funding world, it is still an anarchy system. When I ask an entrepreneur their funding strategy, almost always the response is, “I applied for a business loan with my bank or borrowed from my credit cards.”. That is not a funding strategy. At best, that is a strategy that puts all your eggs in one or two baskets. Target funding is a strategy that identifies unique variables for each business and, through a systematic process, targets the right funding options. For example, a Hispanic-owned company based in New York that owns a restaurant may have access to different funding resources than a Women-owned company based in California that provides online training for single mothers. Through my company, Target Funding, we consider grants, loans, crowdfunding, licensing, investment, asset-based lending, and more. Stop putting all your eggs in one basket. Diversification is the key to funding positioning.
SmallBizLady: There are a lot of different theories on debt management. What is your philosophy?
Kedma Ough: Having gone from a credit score of 420 to 820, I believe that it is essential to manage your debt and be extraordinarily prudent in how you build your financial wealth. I have always shared that one of the best decisions I ever made was to file bankruptcy. While it was highly challenging, it forced me to research every potential funding source available in my situation. It took 15 years to crack the code and reverse engineer the funding game and get out of debt completely. I have helped more than 10,000 businesses leverage close to $100 million in funds and resources.
SmallBizLady: Does it serve a small business to consider applying for funding through the EIDL loan program offered by the Small Business Administration for companies impacted by the pandemic?
Kedma Ough; In the strategy of debt, there is good debt and bad debt. The EIDL is considered good debt on your balance sheet because it is offered at a very low-interest rate of 3.75% with a 30-year term. If you are eligible, you can use the funds to build your company. Imagine having an additional $ 50,000 or $ 100,000 available to you? How would you benefit from more capital? Mitigating debt is always a priority, but you have to invest in your company for it to become more profitable. Choosing opportunities such as the EIDL affords you the chance to get debt at a very low cost so you can structure your business with more resources.
I am always open to providing education because that is one of the best weapons towards building economic wealth.
How to Unlock Untapped Markets
Pamela Slim is an award-winner author, speaker and business coach who works with small business owners ready to scale their businesses and IP. She is the author of Escape from Cubicle Nation, Body of Work and the latest book The Widest Net (McGraw Hill, November, 2021). Pam and her husband Darryl co-founded the K’é Main Street Learning Lab in Mesa, Arizona, where they host scores of diverse community leaders and regular small business programming. For more information https://pamelaslim.com/the-widest-net/
SmallBizLady: How do you know the best places to focus your marketing efforts?
Pamela Slim: There are so many potential places to reach your ideal customer, so in order to have a manageable marketing scope, you need to do some analysis. In The Widest Net method, we center our ideal customer inside an ecosystem of other service providers, organizations, technology partners, media hubs and more who share our mission of solving a particular problem for our ideal customer. Looking at the whole picture, you then narrow the potential “watering holes” where you can find many potential clients for looking for partners who 1) share similar values 2) offer an essential and highly complementary service or product 3) see you as the perfect strategic partner. With this narrowed focus, you now have a clear and manageable scope of marketing activities to share content and build relationships with these partners.
SmallBizLady: Why should you collaborate with, instead of compete with, other experts in your space?
Pamela Slim: Most customer problems are complex enough that you cannot solely solve the entire problem yourself. If you collaborate with smart experts in your space, you will do three things: 1) learn more about your craft 2) expand your capability to take on bigger projects, with multiple partners 3) find some perfect referral partners who will think of you first when asked for referrals in your area of expertise.
SmallBizLady: What can Main Streets everywhere learn about supporting small business from our online entrepreneurs?
Pamela Slim: There are some core tools online businesses use, like email newsletters and social media launch sequences, that will increase the likelihood that customers who visit your brick and mortar shop will return, buy more, and tell their friends. If you have not already started an email newsletter, do so right away! When people come through the store, find ways to graciously invite them to join your email list. Then with social media launch sequences, find regular ways to create fun and useful content that you can share, with the purpose of inviting folks back to your stores at different times of the season.
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