Global Marketing Plus

Tips and Tricks for Small Business Success

Archive for January, 2011

Running A Business - The Production Hat

January 12, 2011 By: Ron Coleman Category: Uncategorized

If you don’t have a product or service, you have no business.  How you produce your product or deliver your service will determine the succes of your business. 

How is your product or service different and better than your competition?  what do  you do that makes your product or service better?

Today we will work on the production column of your business hats form.  All other columns on your form exist because of this column.

List all the tasks you personally perform each week dealing with production.  Include anything about manufacturing your product or producing your service.  Include shipping, travel time … everything.  If you have employees doing your production, include the time you deal with employees.

Again, after you finsih your list, estimate the hours your spend each week on each task, then total all tasks and write the total at the bottom of the column and circle it.

Tomorrow, we deal with Marketing & Sales!

Running A Business - The Financial Hat

January 11, 2011 By: Ron Coleman Category: Getting business to come to you

Failing to watch and take care of your finances can kill your business!  Whether it is accounts payable,  accounts receivable, taxes, or day to day bookkeeping, small mistakes can hurt!

Yet if you do it right, you can produce reports that help guide you and make correct decisions about your business.  Forms like profit & loss, income projections and balance sheets.

This information can help if you ever need to go to a bank or other souce and borrow money. 

This is one area I dislike the most.  I find that doing financial tasks take a lot of my time away from actually doing business.  And when I am done, I worry it was done correctly!

Usually at tax time, I find I did do some things wrong! 

I have always done my own taxes using some of the popular tax software choices from the local office supply store.  This is the first year I decided to use a professional bookkeeper and tax man.  One reason why I chose to not do my own is that I have heard that, especially this year, the IRS is auditing a higher percentage of returns on those who do thier own.  I guess the IRS thinks the do-it-yourselfers will probably make the most mistakes!

Today, take your form you downloaded last week (business hats) and work in the column called “Financial”.  List all the things you personally do on a weekly basis in your business that deals with financial tasks.

Items could be accounts payable, accounts receivable, taxes, banking, bookkeeping, or payroll.  There are dozens more!

If you hire someone to do this, you still have lots of tasks you personnally do.  Or traveling to and from the bookkeeper.  But list all the things you personally do.

When you have your list completed, put the hours to the right of each item that you spend each week.  Then total the items and write that in the bottom corner and circle it.

Tomorrow we will work on Production.

Running A Business - The Communicating Hat

January 10, 2011 By: Ron Coleman Category: General Business

Who does the communicating with your customers and employees in your company?

This is a very important part of the business, yet many business owners think it is a necessary evil!

Do you feel that way?  If so, you may be communicating to customers and/or employees that they are just a pain and an interruption.

Have you ever kept track of how many potential customers call you but end  up going to your competition?  Could it be that the competition made them feel more wanted?

Today, take your form you downloaded last week (business hats) and work in the column called “Communication”.  List all the things you personally do on a weekly basis in your business that deals with communicating with employees and/or customers.

Ideas could be answer the phone, newsletters, writitng your policies, customer service, etc.  I bet you can come up with a lot more!

If you have hired someone to do this for you, what functions do you perform to oversee that employee?

When you finish, to the left of the items, write the number of hours each week you perform each item.  Then total up all the weekly times for each item and write it at the bottom of the communication column and circle it.

Good, we are well on our way with this task.  Tomorrow we will work on the next item, money!

A Day of Rest

January 09, 2011 By: Ron Coleman Category: Uncategorized

Today I am going to take a break from my daily tasks!  Today is my day of rest!  So this morning as I sat in my pajamas (My church didn’t start until 1:00pm) why did my wife tell me to get dressed and go shovel the 4 inches of snow from last night?  Her answer was her usual when I try to be lazy… There is no rest for the wicked!

So now I am home from church and the driveway is all shoveled and I am back in comfortable cloths….. I am taking my rest!

Running A Business - The CEO Hat

January 08, 2011 By: Ron Coleman Category: General Business

The first thing I notice with most companies that are in trouble and failing is a lack of planning and leadership!

If it is your company, it is your dreams and sweat and financial well being at stake.

The most important role you have is CEO of your company! You cannot afford to pass this off to someone else.

As CEO, you should listen to other’s ideas and take feedback and suggestions, but the final decision must be yours. If you allow others to make the decisions and take the lead, you are giving up your role and prove you as an ineffective leader. You then work for them!

One of the most important job you have as CEO is to plan. Do you have a written business and marketing plan for your company?

Many people think a business plan is only needed if you are preparing to qualify for a business loan from a bank. But in reality, at SCORE we tell business owners that it is needed as a road map for your business. Something that you should refer to often to get back on your original track!

To look at a sample business plan with instructions, go to

In my study and research of business, I have found that of the businesses I studied, 96% of those that succeeded had a written business plan. 82% of the businesses that failed did not have a business plan! Why fight the odds?

Today your assignment is to write in the “business hat” form you downloaded yesterday.

Find the “Leadership” box in the top right and list all the activities you do weekly in your role as CEO and Leader.

This could be activities such as meetings with managers, training employees and/or managers. It could also include training if you are taking training, courses and college classes that will improve your leadership and management skills.

Spend some time and see how many items you can come up with that you do on a weekly basis.

Then next to each item you have listed, put the number of hours you spend each week on each item. Then, total up the hours per week you spend in the leadership area of your company and place it in or near the box and circle it.

Tomorrow we will work on our communicating tasks.

Running A Business, the start!

January 07, 2011 By: Ron Coleman Category: General Business

When I find a business that is in trouble, it is almost always a result of one of the critical areas of the business failing!  If you are having trouble with your business, read this post carefully!

What is important is what I do with the company after I buy it to turn it around!

These tactics can work for any company and if you have a viable product and follow these tactics, no matter how small your company, you can see success.

Every business I have bought have certain tasks or departments that must be taken care of to make the company run properly.  Some small business owners may refer to these as hats.  A small business owner may wear different hats during these tasks.

The departments or “hats” that I find in every company are as follows:

  • Communicating hat ( Customers and policies).  What happens in your company that involves communicating with the customer?  This includes answering your company phone, but how else do you communicate with your customers, such as newsletters, etc.
  • Bookkeeping hat.  this involves anything dealing with money.  Taxes, accounts payable, accounts receivable and day to day bookkeeping chores are some samples
  • Producing your product or service hat.   All the things you do to manufacture a product, resell a produce or provide a service.  It may include meeting with the customer to setup the order that has already been place (if it is meeting with the customer BEFORE the order is placed, then that would fall under marketing), packaging a product, and even shipping a product are included.
  • Marketing and sales hat.  Anything you have to do to find customers and sell to them.  This could also be designing a brochure, building a website, meeting with potential customers, attending networking meetings (like the chamber networking meetings), and a host of other duties and tasks.
  • CEO hat.  This is running the company.  This is the hat that in almost every case, you should wear and be the only one to wear it. What do you do that only you can do to run the company.  This involves leadership!

Over the next few days we are going to look at each of the above in detail and find out how to do it better!  We will start with the CEO hat.

But first, download a form called business hats.  Put your company name in the top box.  Put your name where it says CEO.  Now at the bottom in the box marked “Your Reality”, write how many hours a week you actually spend working your business.  Include everything you personally do in all the above functions (and other functions if your particular business has more).  Include time on facebook if you are using facebook as a business tool.  EVERYTHING YOU DO!

Now in the box marked “dream”, write how many hours you would like to be working in your business.  For most of us, I am sure that will be less than your actual time, but for some, you may be working another full time job and long for the day you can quit and spend more time in the business.

For me, I have most of my businesses that I only need to spend 4 or 5 hours a week and make a full time income from them (we are not talking about multi-level marketing business, but real businesses).  My goal is to only work 2 or 3 hours per week for every one of my businesses.  So write down your goal.

Keep this form handy, as we will be using it for the next week or so.  Also, use this form for just one business.  If you have more than one business, do this process for each business on a seperate form.

Tomorrow we will look at the CEO hat most small business owners wear in detail.

Running a Business!

January 06, 2011 By: Ron Coleman Category: General Business

Last night I was asked how I run several businesses at a time.

Currently I own 5 businesses:

  1. A printing company (
  2. A website design and Internet marketing company (
  3. A marketing company (
  4. A Search Engine Optimization Company (www. &
  5. And a website hosting company (

So how do I run 5 companies at the same time and keep my sanity?

Over the next few days, I will be sharing different techniques that makes it simpler.

But today, I want to share my background to show how I arrived to this point.

My background is finding companies that are on the verge of bankruptcy and buying them. Then I run the business and correct
the companies problems. I cut expenses, develop marketing plans and when the company is profitable, I usually sell it for a large profit.

In 2002, when I served a year as Executive Director of a local chamber of commerce, the local newspaper ran this article entitled “Ron Coleman heads Lehi Chamber“.

A current Bio is located at: Ron Coleman’s Bio.

Why do I share my bio? To let you know that I really do have the experience to
share with you during the next few days.

Your 2011 Business Goals

January 05, 2011 By: Ron Coleman Category: General Business

What goals have you set for your business for the coming year?  You do have goals, don’t you?

Are your goals concise and measurable?  Are they written down or just in your head? Can you tell when you reach them?

Recently I had the opportunity to listen to several business owners relate the goals they have for their business.

Here are some examples:

  • Increase Market share
  • More referrals
  • Be more involved
  • Get more customers

 If I just want more referrals, and I had 100 last year, then when I reach 101 I have reached my goal.  Is that enough?  It is only 1% increase in business!  I can say almost the same thing in all the above goals.

Now look at some other examples I heard:

  • 10 deals a month
  • 10 sales a week
  • 2 new accounts a week
  • Get my MBA degree

Now, those guys with those goals will know when they meet their goals.

Make sure your goals are concise enough that you know when you meet your goals or how much more you have to do.

Can’t I let my calls go to voice mail?

January 04, 2011 By: Ron Coleman Category: General Business, Getting business to come to you, Marketing

How often when you are on the phone with a receptionist at a real company does she say “That’s ok, I’ll just let it ring”?

I bet never!  That call from a potential customer is too valuable!

However, if she says, “Could you wait a moment while I put that other call on hold?” I understand and it is no big deal.

Our focus groups results showed that once you missed the call, your odds of creating a good first impression with the caller are nill.

Plus, what is the caller doing? He has gone to the next call to find his information! We found that many times when you call back the call you missed, you get a busy signal because he is talking with your competitor!

When you do reach him, we found he has already found the information he needs and is satisfied with the information and will probably buy from the first person he talked to!

The best thing to do is be the first one to talk with the customer by taking the call!

Does your phone loose your customers?

January 03, 2011 By: Ron Coleman Category: General Business, Marketing

What does your phone tell your customers about you or your business?  When someone searching for your services call you the first time, are they impressed or scared away?

Do you have your phone set up so that it is answered by a recording or with music?  Over the past couple of years it seemed to my team that more and more companies were trying to look “LARGE” by have the phone answered by a recorded message to allow the caller choose from 3 or 4 departments.

The team wondered how much phone made a difference to new customers.  During the last 3 focus group we held, we spent time testing this phone practice with 3 different groups of people. 

What we found amazed us!

We tested regular customers calling for estimates from companies.  We chose an equal number of companies that used automated phone messages and those who answered the phone with a live person.  The focus groups did not know what we were testing for.  Their instructions were to call from a list of businesses we provided to find the best price on a product.

By the end of the test, over 60% of the companies that used the messages resulted in hang-ups when the customer called those numbers.

Later, when asked, most callers thought that it was an answering machine telling them that the line was busy.  They didn’t stay on the line long enough to know that they would be connected to a live person nor did they wait to leave a message.  They quickly hung up to go to the the next number to get the information they wanted.

(This also tells us that if you only have one line and are using it when a call comes in, you may loose a potential customer).

We even had one recorded message that started right off explainingnot to hang up, someone would be with them within 5 seconds.  That recorded message also received over 60% hang ups.

The bottom line is avoid using automated phone messages.  I personally use Vonage for my phone system because I get a second number for $5.00.  If I am on the phone, instead of receiving a voice mail message, my other phone rings and I can put the first call on hold and answer the second call.

Unfortunalty this does not work the way I like when I am out of my home office and using my cell phone.  All my calls forward to my cell phone, but if I am on a call, it goes to voice mail.  But I minimize voice mail as much as I can!