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Entrepreneurs Win the Game with Social Media and Forward Passes

With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend, we’re thinking about football. We found something interesting about the history of the forward pass. It offers entrepreneurs valuable insights about social media.

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From size and strength …
The year was 1905. Football was a low-scoring, violent game. You often heard scores like 7 – 6 or 13 – 12. The offense charged as a single mass into the defense, hoping to gain just a few yards.

Size and strength ruled – the team with the biggest players usually won.

How dangerous was it? Eighteen players were killed on the gridiron during the 1905 season. The seriously injured numbered 159.

It was so bad that President Theodore Roosevelt called. He said the game either had to be modified or he would take action to make it illegal.

… to speed and skill
Before the 1906 season began, the rules committee met to try to make the game safer. This was the beginning of the NCAA. They made the forward pass legal for the first time.

During the 1906 season, most teams stuck with the status quo. They threw an occasional forward pass – usually only one or two a game.

One coach caught the vision. Eddie Cochems, the coach at St. Louis University, made the forward pass an integral part of his team’s offense.
St. Louis University outscored its opponents 402 – 11 that season.

Now speed and skill trumped size and strength.

The forward pass in business today

Speed and skill rule in business today. Advantage: entrepreneurs!

But neither will do you much good if nobody knows how good you are.

Entrepreneurs need the forward pass!

The forward pass is word of mouth. Word of mouth has always been a part of building a business. Now it’s more crucial than ever.

Consumers rely on the forward pass to make their buying decisions. They listen to what people they know say about you and your business.

Entrepreneurs win the game by using social media to get more forward passes. Here’s how:

1. Huddle up with your customers
When’s the last time you really talked with your best customers? Not just a hello. Not to get an order. A real conversation.

A conversation where you learn where your customer wants to go. Where you discover things you’re doing that you don’t need to do. You find out little things that drive your customer crazy. Where you uncover things you should be doing but aren’t.

Huddle up with your best customers to see how you can serve them better.

2. Push for extra yards
On the next play, don’t settle for the status quo. Push for extra yards.

Mediocre service is better than inconsistent service. But neither will get you the forward passes you want.

You can’t just satisfy your customers, either. You have to thrill them if you want them to make forward passes on your behalf.

3. Encourage them to play along
We hate seeing players on the field motioning for applause. In our opinion, they should focus on playing the game. The fans will applaud if they play well.

However, in business, you can make it easy for your fans to make forward passes. Make sure you have “social buttons” on your site to make it easy to “like” you on your Facebook Fan Page or follow you on Twitter.

Then engage with them. Don’t stand there asking for their applause. Go out and earn it!

How do you get more forward passes?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
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The Less Money You Have the Better!

penny We were talking with one of our banker friends recently about start-ups. He said that people often look for money when they should ask if there’s a better way to run their business. Money isn’t always the best solution.

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In fact, sometimes not having a lot of money to get started is a good thing because it forces you to be innovative and look for ways to save money. Obviously, it is possible to have too little money. Most of us have probably experienced that a time or two.

The baker

He told us about a person who wanted to start a bakery. She thought she needed a storefront. Our banker friend asked her who her customers would be. She said it would be friends and family at first. Then she expected word-of-mouth to take it from there. So he suggested that she just use her own kitchen or find a way to use a commercial kitchen part-time, instead of spending money on rent, utilities and all the other costs of maintaining a store. She didn’t need much money if she used this operating strategy.

An internet business

A friend of ours is putting together a really cool web site. They want to have an active community. They were going to pay a developer quite a bit of money to put together the forum area. We talked him into using open-source software and having it custom designed after his community starts building. He cuts his start-up costs drastically!

A chiropractor

Our banker friend knew a chiropractor who thought he needed to rent office space so he had a place for his patients. Instead, he found a fellow chiropractor who had extra space. He rented from this chiropractor for five years. Then he secured his own location – one he knew he could afford based on the income stream he had established.

He reduced his risk and conserved money by finding a better solution to get started. Because if you build it, they may not come. Test it out first!

The average entrepreneur starts his or her business with around $25,000. Sometimes the less money you have the better, because it forces you to think creatively and spend every penny wisely. Here are two entrepreneurs who did just that …

Bear Naked

Kelly Flatley is the co-owner of the all-natural snack food business, Bear Naked.
When her business was young, she didn’t go out and rent a large space to manufacture her product. No, she negotiated to use the commercial kitchen at a local market after they closed. She manufactured at night and made deliveries to her retail customers during the day. 

Sure, she worked some crazy hours. Don’t most entrepreneurs? That’s a concession for not having money. If you’re undercapitalized, you may have to get creative and make it up with “sweat equity”.

Newman’s Own

Years ago, we heard the story of how one of our favorites, Paul Newman, started Newman’s Own – his food products company that has donated millions to charity. The details here probably aren’t fully correct, but that’s not as important as understanding what he did.

He invested a small amount of money to start his business. He contracted with one company to manufacture the product. Another company sold it to grocery stores. He outsourced almost everything. His business was bringing in millions a year in sales, yet it only had one or two employees!

He did all this with very little money, but a whole lot of creativity! You can do it too!

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Next time, we’ll discuss how something as simple as the font you choose can get people to do what you want. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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I Want to Supplement My Retirement Income. Any Suggestions?

Bigg Challenge
Dorothy is preparing to retire. She was recently presented with an opportunity by a network marketing company. She says she is a people person, but not a sales person. It makes her nervous, asking people she knows to buy something. She would, however, like to supplement her pension and social security checks somehow. She wants to know if we could offer some suggestions.

Bigg Advice
We followed up with Dorothy to find out what she really likes to do. She said there are a lot of things she likes to do, but most of them don’t pay. For example, she’s an animal lover, often volunteering at the local animal shelter.

Our first suggestion is to go with what you love – what you’ll do even without pay.

Before we get to that, though, let’s look at the sales opportunity you have. Do some market research by talking to five people you know. Tell them about the idea you’re considering and see what they say. You’re not selling them … you’re asking their opinion.

See how that goes before you invest any money upfront or commit to any ongoing fees. Then make a decision.

Now let’s explore some other options.


Pet sitting service

Why not start a business that fits your love of animals?

Many people think of their pets as part of the family. When they’re away, they want their pets to be well cared for at home. They need a trustworthy, pet-loving person to take care of their pets.

Start a pet sitting service to meet this need. It’s a simple little side business that’s in great demand. Print up some cards that promote your service. Contact veterinarians you know that don’t offer boarding to see if they would allow you to leave your cards on their counter or bulletin board.

It’s definitely a word-of-mouth business so you won’t have to spend a lot of money to get work.

Related links

Pet Business Startup Guide

Start Your Own Pet-Sitting Business

The Professional Pet Sitter 

Pet Sitting for Profit 

 

House sitting service
Here’s a way to double down on the pet sitting idea. Make more money by combining your pet sitting service with a house sitting service. People who travel want to know someone they trust is watching their homes. You can market this service to the same people whose pets you care for.

Errand service

There’s a growing demand for errand services (sometimes referred to as a concierge service). People just don’t have the time to get everything done. That’s where you come in – run their errands for them. You may drop off and pick up their dry cleaning, shop for gifts, and any number of other things.

Market your service at the same places where people are running errands. Once again, start-up costs are low and word-of-mouth is key.

Related links

Personal Concierge / Shopper Business Startup Guide

The Concierge Manual 

Start Your Own Personal Concierge Service 

 

Thanks, Dorothy for sending us your bigg challenge. We wish you bigg success!

Our bigg quote today comes from Francoise De Motteville:

“The true way to render ourselves happy is
to love our work and find it in our pleasure.”

So find pleasure in your work, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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5 Laws of Stratospheric Success

The Go-Giver is a great story about Joe, an ambitious, young go-getter who desperately needs to make a sale before the end of the quarter. So he goes to Pindar, the wise consultant, for mentoring. Pindar doesn’t help Joe make a sale.

Today, we were fortunate to have Bob Burg, one of the authors of The Go-Giver on The Bigg Success Show. Here are the highlights of the conversation:

Mary-Lynn: So Bob, your character Joe learns the 5 laws of stratospheric success. What are they?

Bob: #1 – Law of Value. Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.

Now that sounds counterproductive. How do you give more in value than you accept in payment and still prosper? We need to understand the difference between price and value. Price is a dollar figure; value is the relative worth to the end user.

For example – You hired an accountant to do your returns, and they charged you a fee of $500, but through their diligence, hard work, and knowledge, they were able to save you $2,000. They provided you $2,000 in value while charging you a $500 price. They made a profit, but you felt great about the transaction. That’s the kind of transaction that we want to have with our customers.

Mary-Lynn:
Alright, #2.

Bob: #2 – Law of Compensation. Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.

Law #2 tell us that the greater the number of people we provide exceptional value to, the more money with which we’ll be rewarded. So Law #1 talks about the value; Law #2 talks about the reach.

Mary-Lynn: The word-of-mouth, right?

Bob: Exactly. And when you provide great value to people, you have all of these people who feel so good about you that you develop an army of, what I call, personal walking ambassadors.

George: What’s #3, Bob?

Bob: #3 – Law of Influence. Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people's interests first.

Now again, this sounds polyanna, at best, but it’s actually quite practical. Because all things being equal, people will do business with (and refer business to) people they know, like, and trust.

And as you guys know, there’s no faster, no more effective, no more powerful way to elicit those feelings toward you in others, than by finding ways to put the other’s person’s interests first. Always thinking – How can I add value to this person? How can I help this person in their life?

George: Boy, it seems like you see people do the opposite. They think – What can I get from this person, rather than what can I give them?

Bob: Well, and that’s why a lot of people are broke!

Mary-Lynn: Alright, Law #4.

Bob: #4 – Law of Authenticity. The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.

All the techniques and all the skills are all for naught, if you’re not authentic and if you don’t come across as authentic. However, when you are your true self, then what happens is it takes those skills, those techniques, and it multiplies them geometrically.

So please understand, skills are necessary, the knowledge is necessary, it’s all necessary, but without the authenticity, the power just isn’t there.

Mary-Lynn: Yeah, people are pretty smart. They can see a fake when one’s out there.

Bob:
Exactly.

George: Bob, what’s the fifth law?

Bob: #5 – Law of Receptivity. The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

Pindar, the mentor, says to Joe, “Joe, I want you to breathe out and don’t breathe in.” So Joe tries. After eight seconds – he’s gasping … ten seconds – gasping … twelve seconds … he cannot do it any longer.

He finally starts coughing, He says, “Pindar, I have to breathe in. I can’t just breathe out.”

Pindar says, “Well, Joe, what if I told you it’s been scientifically proven that it’s healthier to breathe out than it is to breathe in?”

“That’s crazy! You have to do both.”

You must breathe out, which is giving, and you must breathe in, which is receiving.”

George:
Bob, it seems like sometimes we give and give, but we run into those people who do nothing but take. What’s the advice for that?

Bob: You know, you’re right. There are some people who have really mastered the art of giving, but haven’t mastered the art of receiving, which is one thing we really show you how to do in the book. We’ve had some nice feedback on that.

Regarding your excellent question, I think we have to be careful, because being a go-giver should never be confused with being a martyr or being self-sacrificial. We need to make sure we’re associating with, and attracting, the type of people into our lives who are go-givers themselves, or can learn to be go-givers.

Mary-Lynn:
Thanks, Bob for visiting with us!

Get the book to see all that Joe learns about being a go-giver.

Just to show you that Bob believes what he says …

you can get a free chapter of The Go-Giver by visiting his site.

Our bigg quote today is by Taisen Deshimaru:

“To receive everything, one must open one’s hands and give.”

So give unselfishly and receive abundantly.

Next time, we’ll discuss 5 success factors. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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