Making the change….

Slowly I am making the move into social media consulting. I’m not trying to make the change to rapidly, as this is a key move for my business. I do have the marketing plan just about done, thankfully. Then comes the REAL fun! Making revenue projections….YAY!

But, I have to admit that I am excited about this new direction I am going in. It is an exciting area that I enjoy working in. I have managed to raise my Klout score from a 12 to a 24 in a little over a week. I am getting more and more engagement on my Twitter account. And my LinkedIn network is getting larger.

Hoping to start actually fully promote the new service in February. Going to start some Beta testing next week to get some feedback on what business owners are actually looking for from their social media. Fingers crossed I get some great feedback.

Advertisements

What the holidays mean to me.

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays!

 

It is so easy to get caught up in the holiday hype of Christmas shopping, getting the decorations up, cooking the dinners, and all the other things we do to prepare for the holiday season. And don’t get me wrong, I enjoy all that also.

But how often to we stop and look around at what we do have this year compared to those who may not have it as good as we do?

Like most of the people in the world, I have my financial struggles. The job market is overrun with qualified people looking for work, loans are still difficult to get, and we are forced to do more with less.

But I also have much to be thankful for. A wonderful family that supports me as I face the challenges of running a small business. The fact that I HAVE a small business to own. Even the more simple things like a roof over my head and food on my table. There are people who do not even have that much.

So I urge you to take a moment this year to stop and look around at what you do have…. then look to see what you can do to help someone less fortunate than yourself. Something as simple as volunteering at a soup kitchen this holiday can mean so much to someone else.

Be thankful for what you do have and share it with someone who may not this year.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Some suggestions:

Donate to a local food bank – Find one at Feeding America

Donate a toy to Toys For Tots

Donate a Stocking to a Soldier

Send A Christmas Card to a Soldier.

And please pass this message along. Together we can make a difference this holiday season!

 

Navigating A Pivot Point

Pivot Points In Small Business

Making the choice to change direction

That critical time in every business has come for me. Do I stay on the path that I have been going or make a change in direction? This decision is always a very important one that should not be made on a whim. My old mantra holds true here: DO YOUR RESEARCH.

With my business, I started out just providing virtual assistant services which then expanded into customer service which expanded into marketing which expanded into social media management. All this expansion was done without really looking at whether or not it would benefit my business cause I was just happy to have work coming through the door. But, I have realized I have lost focus of what my business stands for. Is this where I want my business to go?

Than answer was a loud and resonating “NO”. This was not the direction I wanted my business to go when I started it, nor is it where I want to continue on going. So time for a major pivot point. The question then became “Which way?”. This was a bit more difficult to answer and took some major consideration.

I have decided to keep to the basis of the name RI Business Solutions. I’m changing my target market to a more local geographic region and plan on working with very small businesses (less than 25 employees). I understand their needs and have the experience to help them.

The services will be internet marketing including website development (including mobile sites), social media management, search engine optimization, and content development. This is the direction that the world is moving and it can be an overwhelming experience for the typical small business owner to undertake on their own.

The major difference this time for me, I am doing my due diligence in creating a business plan for this pivot change. I’m doing the research to make sure I understand exactly where I want to go, how to get there, and what I will need for the trip.  I have even contacted the local SCORE chapter for some guidance and input.

So hopefully this new plan will work out.

 

Networking Event – Success or Failure?

Success or Failure?

Last Wednesday I attended a Network After Work event in Providence, RI. It was my first networking event and I didn’t know what to expect. Now I am not sure if it was a success or failure.

It wasn’t really what I expected. The other attendees were not what I would call my “target market“. Small business owners were few and far between. I was hoping to increase the awareness of my business in my local area as I am trying to transfer from using Elance to attracting clients directly.

Here is the “But”, I did meet some key people who could compliment my services. Hopefully by developing this new connections I can build a mutually beneficial relationship with this other service providers as we share a similar target market.

Question is: Would that be a good idea? Hence my dilemma. These key decisions are so important to a business. There are both Pros and Cons to this. Trying to weigh them out will prove to be difficult.

Overall though, I feel my first event was a success. I got a chance to practice my networking skills and find my tactic to start conversations. I did meet some interesting people and heard how others are handling their various jobs and businesses. So the learning experience was worth it.

I have already started looking for other events in my area. But I will be a little more particular of which events I will attend. Networking is definitely an important part of building a successful business, but you have to pay attention to which events you are attending. If the event is not going to meet your overall goals, then the time spent there will not be productive. And unproductive time spent is a loss for your business.

Where I am at…..

So past couple of weeks have been hectic. Business has really been picking up (to where I even hired someone part-time), so apparently I am doing things right. I am now involved with marketing, call center support, and general assistant work. Most of my work comes through on Elance, which has gotten me thinking that I need to get more aggressive with my own personal marketing.

Which, to me, means really getting active with my social networking and starting to attend some local networking events. I’ve begun laying the plans for my growth going into the new year. Mostly setting goals of where I hope to be by the end of next year. From there I can develop plans to reach those goals (or even surpass them!).

So my question to everyone out there in the blog world….. where do you see yourself at the end of next year and how do YOU plan on reaching those goals? And of course…. do you need help with reaching those goals?

Learning new skills…..quickly

 

I have a client that needed a video edited for posting on YouTube. Now, I have never edited or created a video in my life. So not only did I have to learn a new skill……but had to learn it quickly. Was not an easy task at all.

I went through several programs trying to find the right one to edit the audio….then several more to edit the video…..then several more to add text to the video. Google was a good friend of mine throughout all this.

Luckily it came out pretty good and the client is happy. But I’m thinking the next time I run into this sort of problem I may just call in an expert….lol.

Marketing To A Local Audience

Image

I have begun the task of marketing my computer repair business to my local community. I have a Google+, Facebook, and Pinterest account. I have a blog dedicated to computer repair. I’ve managed to get listed on Google Places, Yahoo Local, Yelp, SuperPages, and WhitePages. Amazing enough my pages rank on page 2 & 3 for my local keywords.

And for the first time I tried Facebook ads. Mostly because I started to create an ad and then changed my mind. But Facebook was kind enough to give me a coupon for $50 of free ads, so I went forward with it. Ad wording seems to be key here. My first day I got a lousy CTR, but changed up my ad copy and the past 2 days my CTR improved. I haven’t gained any new customers yet, but I am getting traffic through my website. That will at least help with my rankings on the search engines.

I have also done the old school ways of marketing……flyers. So far though…..no help whatsoever. I’m going to change up the flyer design to see if I can’t get a better response through that.

I’m also planning on running an ad in the local newspaper. That will be a story for another day. I’ll keep you all posted and if anybody has any tips for me, please share!

Differences in business culture…how does it affect you?

Sending an email campaign

Bombs Away!

As most of my followers should know, I have talked about putting together an email campaign for the company that I sell mobile marketing solutions for (see Launching An Email Campaign & Launching An Email Campaign 2). Well…after much debate and research it should finally go out this week.

Part of the problem with getting this email campaign off the ground was the differences between the main companies business culture and our culture here in the United States. When I first started offering virtual assistance services, I did not take into account how different cultures conduct business.

Especially when it comes to marketing a product or service. What may work here in the U.S. does not necessarily work in the U.K. Or in Asia. And not knowing that coming into this project made it that much more difficult to get this campaign off the ground. Neither of us understood the business culture of the other.

Now that we are on the same page, I think future marketing endeavors will go much smoother. But for those of you who are planning to move your product service to the global market, do your research. Cause the differences can be staggering.

Falling into a new start-up….

Not sure if this has ever happened to anybody else… but I sort of fell into a new start-up this past week. A friend of mine was having problems with his PC and I offered to help him out. Then he called and said a friend that needed help with his laptop, which in turn he had some friends that needed help. Next thing I know I am opening up a computer repair business called Artic Computer Repair, hence the lack of a post for a few days.

I can not really complain cause my original company (RI Business Solutions) is staying afloat, but that is about it. Past couple of weeks I haven’t been able to gain any traction on getting new clients. So having this new source of income is a welcome addition.

Now though comes the hard part. Do I keep both companies running and split my time 50/50? Do I focus more on doing the computer repair and let the virtual assisting business just stay afloat the way it is? Or do I just put RI Business Solutions on hold for now?

I’m going to try and run both for a little while cause I do have some up with the Artic Computer Repair, but if it gets too busy I will have to make some tough decisions. I put a lot of hard work into RI Business Solution over these past 6 months and I would hate to have to let it go. But, in a sense, I guess I am at a pivot point in my life. I’ll have to choose a direction to focus on and go with it.

Why volunteer?

I really liked this post. It helps explain why some people volunteer. People do it for all different reasons and this is just one view, but its a good one.

Haphazard observations

Recently I was asked to write down a few words on why I volunteer.  I have struggled with this question for a few weeks as my initial reasons to volunteer were extremely selfish.   I volunteer at two “places”.  One is a committee within my professional body for which I have just announced I am leaving after 6 years.  The other is for “Movies by Burswood”.  For those who don’t know who they are, it is an outdoor cinema where all profit is donated to charity partners.  It’s an extremely interesting concept and if you want to know more, check out their webpage http://www.moviesbyburswood.com/Page/About-Us

Funnily enough I joined both of these in 2007.  I had just finished another gruelling university degree while working full time and was looking for something to do with all that free time I had.

I have always felt that it was important to contribute to…

View original post 535 more words

%d bloggers like this: