Your Core: Wow Your Customers. Transform Your Employees. Know Your Data. Close The Sale. Transform Your Company. These are the core strategies for business excellence. There is a possibility that once your core is solid, you will increase your bottom line exponentially and maybe the only marketing needed will be ‘after the sale marketing,’ such as: affiliate marketing, cross marketing and bartering.
Some of the links listed below are affiliate links and are no additional cost to you. We will earn a small commission, if you decide to make a purchase. We or our connections have had a great experience with these companies, and we hope you do as well, but please only use them if they will benefit you. You will see our tagline is ‘You Don’t Need Marketing to Increase Sales.’ We all need marketing, but we only want you to spend marketing dollars/additional marketing dollars when your core is in tact. Please do not stop your current marketing!
Below you will find our resource page of those products/services we have used and those that we will be using in the future. Some of those listed are catered to other industries. We know a lot of companies who have different needs. Find the ones that suit your needs. We have categories created so you can find what you need.
We have decided not to create ‘how to steps’ for each area below, as we ourselves search for the most recent tutorials out there, and these tutorials are always changing because the steps are always changing.
How Do I Do That? There are going to be a lot of things that come your way and you will have no idea how to do it. The following will save you from paying your web designer and prevent you from bothering your affiliates / cross-marketing peers for steps to complete these small tasks. Go here first:
Those We Followed Before We Even Started This Blog
We used the following resources, in order, to get How Not To Run A Business going. We followed their steps and processes, as we are not a fan of reinventing the wheel.
- Start With Why – Simon Sinek TED talk (Ted talk)
- 10 Mistakes That Bloggers Make And How To Fix Them eBook (free eBook)
- Blog Profits Blueprint eBook (free eBook)
- Entrepreneur On Fire (blog)
- Entrepreneur.com (website)
- Shark Tank (tv show)
- The Profit (tv show)
- Undercover Boss (tv show)
- ZigZiglar (facebook business account)
- Pinch of Yum (blog)
- Cookie Rookie (blog)
- Shopify -Build your website on Shopify.
- Bluehost – Domain and hosting with over 850,000 trusted bloggers
- StudioPress Themes for WordPress – All themes
- StudioPress Foodie Pro Theme for WordPress – How Not To Run A Business theme
- Genesis Framework Theme -This theme goes with our theme
- WordPress Plugins – Yoast / WooCommerce / Genesis / MOJO Marketplace
Behind the Scenes
- Google Drive – Online documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. Access your documents from anywhere and share with anyone.
- Zamzar – Online file conversion
- Trello – We use this to communicate with our employees, partners and web designer. I love how it tracks the history. Also my time is valuable and I find it exhausting to work with people on a business level with email, phone calls and texts. It is cumbersome and it is hard to keep track of the history. This data covers your tracks and you can see the trail of the conversation. It holds everyone accountable. We used Trello to keep all conversations, ideas, plans and layouts in one place. We also loved how there is an app on your phone, so if one of us is working on a project we can always be accessible to each other. Projects were never on hold.
- PayPal – This is an option and there are a lot out there. Allow people to pay you via PayPal. There is a 6-month, no interest and no fees offered to your customers with PayPal. Their fees are a bit higher, but in 10 years of using PayPal, I have had one issue. It was the customer’s credit card issue and their account, but I was on the phone with someone within minutes and the problem was resolved. It is a global company and people can pay you immediately. Also, I can pull up a yearly report for my accountant. All of my income and expenses are in one area. I don’t allow checks, etc. If PayPal charged more…I would stay with them!!!!
- PO Box – get a PO Box / suite so your personal information is private. Your business address will be needed for your e-newsletter (every e-newsletter has to have an address that is actually shown on e-newsletters that go out), tax forms, affiliate programs, etc.
- Acquire a mentorship team – financial adviser, accountant, marketing, industry-related business owner, entrepreneur, IT, life coach, and health coach–all free. Barter and exchange ideas. One of my mentors told me, “never stop marketing”. We believe in marketing and know it is needed. Just make sure your foundation is solid and you are ready for the increase in business.
- Acquire core key partners- this is your core group where you cross market and barter. Our core key partners are our lawyer, accountant and web designer, as we are showing others how to create their own business. Find your core partners for your industry.
- Reddit —we joined https://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/ Find those that can help support you. You are only one person. It takes a village to create and maintain a successful business.
Remember you are creating a brand. You want people to see that you are nice, engaging, helpful, and that you really love your product/service. If anyone is unhappy, you must do everything in your power to make them happy. On your Q & A page have facts and details. Have disclaimers. This page should be ongoing and growing. You want people to know what they are getting. It is up to them to read the fine print.
- Zopim – Chat messaging on your website
- AWeber – Email marketing with e-newsletters.
- AWeber – Free guide to grow your business with email marketing.
- WiseStamp – Customize your email signature so others can engage with you social media links.
- Survey Monkey – World’s number 1 survey platform (seen on the Today show)
- Social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and GoogleMyBusiness to name a few. TIP: Instagram is a cell phone site, so you can only add images from your cell phone and not from a computer.
We really believe that marketing is needed. We know our tagline says ‘You Don’t Need Marketing To Increase Sales.” And it’s true because so many businesses can increase their sales exponentially just by improving their customer service, knowing how to close the sale, knowing what their closing ratio is, capturing data and making sure their employees are happy and truly love the company’s bottom line. PLEASE do not stop your current marketing! We believe your current marketing is very important. View our blog, eBooks and resource manual to learn tips on how to increase sales without additional marketing, by focusing on your core foundation. Once your core foundation is in place and you are ready to take it to the next level you are ready for additional marketing.
There are two types of businesses: Start-up business and seasoned business.
If you are a start-up business spend very little on marketing. We believe when you spend dollars on marketing to get the sale, it is ‘brand marketing.’ When you spend money on marketing after the sale, it is ‘smart marketing.’ We believe in cross marketing, bartering, networking and affiliate marketing. We spend money after we get the sale. We would love someone to click on our ad that is placed on someone else’s site, purchase one of our eBooks, and THEN we pay a small fee to that blog after the order. a.k.a. smart marketing.
If you are a seasoned business and you are spending on marketing, DON’T STOP. You have data showing where your business comes from, you can then eliminate wasted marketing dollars and increase in areas that are actually effective.
- Mike Weber – web designer.
- Social Media
- Danny Hill – Instagram rebranding, Shopify, Google Merchant and Amazon Products expert.
- Jacob Stuttgen – Clickfunnels, Facebook ads & AWeber expert.
- Marisa Lather – Digital Marketing Strategist
- Upwork – We go here to hire those that are skilled in certain subjects.
- ClickFunnels – We use ClickFunnels landing page with Facebook and AWeber for our funnel system.
- ShareASale – advertise your business to their listed merchants; they place your ads on their site; someone orders; you pay the merchant after the sale ($500). Find advertisers to put their ads on your website (free).
- Google Ads – google ads will assist you in finding what your keywords are. If you get sales from the ads, that is a bonus. But at first, the goal is to get the data, EVEN if your budget is at $2-$5 per day. The first goal is to see what people are really searching for. The ads will show you location, words they are using, time of day, etc. You want to look at your Quality Score / Dimensions – search words / Negative Keywords.
- Facebook Ads
- Etsy Ads
- Google Merchant Ads
- Pinterest Buyable Pins Ads
- Amazon Products
- Google Analytics – data is your greatest asset.
- Yodle – Record phone calls. Click here Record Calls to Learn About Your Employees and Record Calls to Learn About Your Customers.
- HARO – sign up and receive emails from those that are searching for contributors to their blog.
- Google Alerts – Go to google and search your keyword. In the top banner click on ‘news’. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to ‘create alert’. These alerts will be sent to your email.
- Google News – use your keywords, competitors, etc to engage with those that are talking about what you sell.
- Roundup Post – A roundup post is compiled of high quality content of outbound links. It is made up of responses from industry experts. Use HARO to find experts who want to answer your question.
- Your Expertise Post – This is a blog post you have created to share your expertise.
- External Expertise Post (aggregating) This is a blog post you have created with outbound links of those that you find to be an expert.
- www.boardreader.com and www.clearvoice.com Research your keywords, competitors and you. You can also target the most influential and relevant bloggers -influencer marketing. You can get access to huge groups of people who are completely in line with your target audience. Research to learn about your competitors, your keywords and what is trending in your industry. This allows you to to find relevant topics written by bloggers you can reach out to.
- MeetEdgar – the online program allows you to post to your social media sites and keep a library of posts you have made.
- HootSuite – manage all your social networks and schedule messages for future publishing.
- Cleeng – sell your videos online.
- Networking group
- This is a great way to get leads, but if you are going to attend a networking group go to the same one over and over again. You will not benefit from a group if you do not get to see the same people over and over again. The goal is for you to build a relationship. People buy from those they like. So they have to see you over and over again. What we are saying is: go over and over again.
- Post it note designs are created by us for each blog. We have a lot to say and will be posting blogs quite often. We didn’t want to spend money for a specific image, so we are using our amazing talent (wink wink).
- Canva – Create design pieces ($0-.99 per piece created) I (Nikki) use this for all my design pieces on my own website and we used this for most of our design pieces for this site.
- Photoshop– create design pieces (monthly fee of $19.99- single app PhotoShop), but try Canva first
- Fiverr – Logo design.
- Fiverr – eBook layout.
- Kizoa – Create videos.
- 99Designs – Logo, brand identity, packaging design, etc
- Pic Collage and Pic-it Collage cell phone app – create pieces from your phone to make social media site posts
- Giant Square cell phone app – Create large design piece for Instagram.
- Pic Monkey – We use this to create our ‘post it notes’ in our blog.
- Vista Print – Printing company – business cards, inserts, banners, etc.
- Pixabay – Free images (used for our eBooks)
- CreativeMarket – Clipart available.
- Etsy.com – Clipart available.
- Removebackground Shopping Cart Ready Photos – Online shops who want to display their products for ebay, amazon, etc.
Affiliates We Have Used
Our blog, manuals and ebooks contain affiliate links. We will earn a small commission if you shop through the link we provide on the site. This is a cool way for a blog to make money. There is no cost to you. We have had a great experience with these companies or those we network closely with have had a great experience.
- ShareASale – Advertise your business to their listed merchants; they place your ads on their site; someone orders; you pay the merchant after the sale. Find advertisers to put their ads on your website (free).
- StudioPress Themes for WordPress – Foodie Pro Theme used for How Not To Run A Business.
- StudioPress Themes for WordPress – All themes.
- Genesis Framework theme tutorial – (must be logged in to your StudioPress account)
- Bluehost – Domain and hosting with over 850,000 trusted bloggers.
- Yodle – Record phone calls.
- AWeber – Email marketing with e-newsletters.
Core Key Partners
Thomas Busken & Assoc., P.C.
11430 Gravois Road, Suite 300
St. Louis, MO 63126
Phone: (314) 842-7581
Email: tbusken (@) tmbcpa.com
We used Tom to file our State ID and S-Corporation.
The Hodges Law Firm, LLC
Phone: (314) 329-8460
Email: m_hodges (@) StlStartUpLawyer.com
We used Mary to create our Operating Agreement and to file our LLC and EIN.
Need help forming your business, preparing legal contracts, or creating employment policies? Offering practical business legal solutions. Mary prides herself on creating plain English legal agreements that her clients can understand and using flat fee billing with her clients know exactly how much her services cost.
- WEB DESIGN & Development
Owner/Designer | Three16 Design, LLC
www.three16design.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Extra Random Tips To Help You
- Control U – html code to find out what plugins your competitors are using
- Control C – copy
- Control V – paste
- Control F – Find anything on a web page, document, spreadsheet, etc.
- Great Suspender – Allows you to put web pages you have open to sleep.
- RoboForm -Saves passwords for your most used sites.
- Web Archive – If you website crashes you can retrieve pages.