We have all met extraordinary people that are out to forward things in the world and have created great games with amazing results. Today I bring you some great information from George Moen. He proudly describes himself as a Serial Entrepreneur. With more than 30 years of experience in food and franchising, he specializes in transitioning small businesses into big business success stories. He is one of the country’s most followed CEO’s in social mediaand speaks as a keynote or on numerous panels at a variety of events about franchising, entrepreneurship, business and social media.
His newest venture is Rapid Time Networks, a paid for performance business referral network. RTN helps entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes (vendors) sell their products and services through a motivated network of business professionals (affiliates) who earn a commission for each sale. By combining the use of technology and live meetings, RTN is growing across the Lower Mainland and beyond in a few short months with hundreds of members and deals already secured.
When I find interesting things I will pass them on...
I got an email the other day from someone who had started a new business wishing to join one of our Networking organizations but had simply ran out of funds and would need to seek employment. I found myself saying to myself "don't do it" "just keep going". It drives me crazy to see so many people lower their expectations to meet their income. I see great businesses get stuck on the startup stage because they can not meet their basic needs as a business person to see their venture through to a profitable and sustainable enterprise. I get the need for food, rent and debts and family responsibility, I really do. But you can do both. You can lift any new business assuming there is a market for it if you follow and deploy the following five simple strategies I have outlined below.
I will write more about each of these strategies in future Rapid CEO Chronicles but here is a brief overview of each one:
Strategy #1: Network Without Expectations
Networking without expectations is one of my favourite sayings and it is a strategy I have used for years. It is about showing up consistently and building relationships and doing more listening than you do selling. You will find people will usually ask you "what you do" after you ask about them. My greatest finds come from the unlikeliest of places. Never walk into a room with the attitude that your customer is there. Your customer is usually in the "rolodex" of the people in the room. When someone says to me at an event "I am not sure this is my market" all it tells me is that person still does not get what networking is all about.
There are many great "free" or "almost free" places you can network. It is an investment of time but sales will come later. It is the best marketing you will do.
Strategy #2: Social Media - You Are Now A Media Company
Social Media is a gift to the small business person. Today you can begin building you own "media company". I have actually began the process with a growing footprint on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and my Blog. All with the exception of my Blog, these are all free (and the blog can be free also). Social media has become a key element of my overall marketing strategy. You can teach yourself - I did!
If you want to get a head start, follow some of the more successful folks in your area that have a handle on anyone one of those platforms. Start with one platform, master it and master the next one. I started with Twitter, moved to LinkedIn then started working my Facebook and finally the Blog. It really does not matter where you start, it just matters that you do.
Strategy #3: Speaking Pays Huge Dividends
I love to speak at events. I speak a great deal and it is a great way to meet new people. I have developed a steady stream of new business from it. Some people like it and some people fear it. It takes time (everything does) but you can eventually get paid for it. I accept most requests to speak. It will always start off with small groups but look at that as your training ground. It is also the place where others in the audience will want you to come and speak for their groups. If you do not feel comfortable yet in front of an audience and you feel you need some training track down your local chapter of International Toastmasters. They are a great place to start for those who want some training and need that extra little help in embarking on speaking to groups.
Strategy #4: Strategic Alliances - 1 Plus 1 Is More
In the 21st century with all this cool technology, the ground is set to see an explosion of various forms of relationships forming between one or more people or companies in business. I do it all the time. I find over time as I build relationships I come across people who I want to do business with. It can and does take many forms. It can be a simple "Affiliate" relationship. It can be in the form of project specific type relationships that continue to develop into more formal business relationships. We are entering (if we are not there already) the "Virtual Companies" era of business. I find this new development exciting on so many levels. I will be writing more on this topic but as a start I suggest being open to work with others or groups and stay open minded about the various ways this can be structured.
Strategy #5: Write About What You Know.
First, just by reading this piece in the series of the "Rapid CEO Chronicles" you can see the benefits. I have and continue to develop a readership that is now a constant stream of new business and developing relationships. By writing you can find different platforms to connect with your readers. It can be on your own blog, collaborative blogs, online article sites, newsletters and even traditional newspapers and magazines. These are all opportunities to get your brand out there. These are usually free to participate and you won't directly get paid to do it and it does take time. You have to develop the discipline to keep at it and it will eventually pay off.
The objective is to find ways you can afford to build your business or to find more effective means to increase revenue within your existing budget. My experience is that the budget conscious strategies are often times more creative and more effective than more expensive alternatives. The old saying "that you have to have money to make money" is simply not true any longer. You have to have some time and be creative. The capital of the future is between your ears and not in your pocketbook.
We suffer one of two pains in life. You either suffer the pain of regret or the pain of discipline. Which path will you take? The five strategies take some time to develop before you see the results in increased sales. If you are consistent and develop your skills in these areas you will find them all very profitable. Even now that I have developed a number of successful businesses I use these programs each and everyday as I build out my various new businesses. You can to!
Check Out useful links below that showcase some of the above strategies:
Join A Meetup-For both virtual networking and face to face networking:
Collaborative Blog: To experience the power of group blogging - Free To Join http://rapidtimenews.com/
Check Out My Social Media Footprint: This took time but everyone can do it http://social-media.georgemoen.tel/
Speaking: Again this took time. I have done a lot more speaking but here's a small sample http://speaking.georgemoen.tel/
Toastmasters International: http://www.toastmasters.org/
Strategic Alliances: This is a project between Rapid Time Networks & a Web Design Firm http://rapidtimedottel.com/wordpress/
George Moen - The Rapid CEO
P.O Box 48644, 595 Burrard St., Vancouver, BC V7X 1A3, CANADA