2011 ~ A Friendship Begins
A beautiful friendship was started this year. We (Nikki and Nancy) shared stories of our very similar lives in the world of business and marketing. We started to see our ideas and concepts aligning. We learned very quickly that it was not marketing that companies needed, but more focus on customer service, capturing data, knowing their closing ratio, knowing how to close the sale, as well as having very happy employees. Mostly, they needed to be humble. We also discovered that companies and clients didn’t like us very much. Why? Because we speak our minds and ask owners and managers to hold themselves accountable. We ask them to step up and actually manage. We ask for humility. Guess what? We never got it! Either we walked in and they were already humble or we got the boot. Usually, it was the latter.
2012 – 2014 ~ To Be or Not To Be
I (Nikki) would tell Nancy a lot, “We should start our own company. I wish I could work for a company and not see the flaws. I want to fix their flaws and show them how these improvements will impact their bottom line. How do other people work for flawed companies? I am so not employable.” I (Nancy) would tell Nikki a lot, “I’m too busy to start a company focusing on flawed issues within companies. I’m tired of trying to help business owners and entrepreneurs by caring more for their business than they do.” Read more of Nancy’s story here. (click here)
2014 ~ Words Into Action
I (Nikki) jumped in fully with my own side business in April 2014. I went through every file, every pad of paper and every post it note that I made about former companies with whom I worked. I started to see a theme–I worked with some crummy companies. The ideas we are sharing on How Not To Run A Business were fully implemented in my side businesses in 2014. These ideas changed my business dramatically for the better, and I know that these ideas really work. My accountant was astonished that I increased my sales by 880% from 2013 to 2014, as well as remaining cash flow positive every month and being debt free. He asked me how I did this. I told him, “I have worked with some really crummy clients and I have learned how NOT to run a business. I took all their mistakes and did the opposite.” Once I started getting reviews like this google review below I knew that marketing wasn’t needed to increase sales and that Nancy and I had to show others how not to run a business. Read more of Nikki’s story here. (click here)
2015 ~ How Not To Run A Business is Created
Without boring you with the details, we both had had it. We were fed up. We joined forces and decided in the summer of 2015 that we would start this journey together. We started creating ebooks, blogs, content and found other successful people to help us round out this business. One disclaimer: You will read a lot of our blogs and eBooks that will say a company should never create a product or service without knowing exactly what your customer’s needs are. How conceited of us to create these eBooks and blogs not knowing what you need! But they are created from all of our experiences over the decades with the companies and clients we have worked for, as well as experiences we have faced as customers–those that know how to run a business and those that do not know how to run a business. (Company names and identifying details have been completely changed to protect the privacy of clients and/or businesses.) For example: Bob sells nuts and bolts > changed to > Gary sells computer parts. The story line will always be accurate and not fabricated or changed.
What We Created….
- We created a business essentially for therapeutic purposes–to help us explain what we have faced, how we so desperately wanted to help and what obstacles stood in our way!
- We created a business targeting people who are like all of those clients and businesses who were not humble: those who were unwilling to face the truth of the situation at hand which often was their own shortcomings, so they did not improve their bottom line by our suggestions.
- We created a business showcasing those businesses that know what it takes to be successful. Click here to see People Who Wow Us.
Start Up Expenses Before We Launched
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 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 marketing! We believe your current marketing is very important. See our blog, eBooks and resource manual to learn tips on how to increase sales without additional marketing.
Website (click on the product to learn more about them)
- Blue Host and Domain (HowNotToRunABusiness.com)- $71.40
- Blue Host Domain (HowNotToRunABiz.com) – $11.99
- Bluehost upgraded hosting to wordpress – $106.52
- Genesis Framework and Foodie ProTheme – $129.95
- Woocommerce / AWeber Plugin – $29.00
- Fiverr Logo and Upgrade – $11.00 – www.Fiverr.com —searched for ‘logo design’
- Fiverr Web Design – $52.50 (This was a waste of money as we had a wordpress template edited that could not be manipulated to fit our needs. Boo! We should have consulted with a web designer before we made this poor decision. Lesson learned: Ignorance + Pride = Poor Results)
- Fiverr Ebook Layout – $36.75 www.Fiverr.com —-searched for ‘ebook layout’
- Vista Print Business Cards- $31.15 www.VistaPrint.com
Legal – click here and scroll down to the bottom to find our core key partners and request a quote.
- Employee Identification Number Fee – $51.25
- S-Corporation filing + LLC filing + Operating Agreement – $0 (in exchange we cross marketed with one of our core key partners)
- Web Design – $0 (in exchange we cross marketed with one of our core key partners)
- Chamber of Commerce Yearly Fee $240
- Official business address at UPS $134.50
Total Start Up Expenses: $906.01
We launched March 1st and shared How Not To Run A Business – our eBooks with the world. We shared them with our mentors, friends and strangers via email and social media. We created a game plan to engage with others. We are unsure who our target market is and what our keywords are. Time will tell.
Response was flat and visitors were lacking. Even though our eBooks are amazing (well we think they are) and we feel many businesses need our eBooks over marketing we decided to share what marketing has worked for our other successful business. It is hard to pitch it, because the marketing was only working because our foundation was solid; customer service, capturing data, knowing how to close the sale, knowing the closing ratio and having very happy employees was so very solid. Stay tuned.
Since April we have been researching other online businesses and how they manage their marketing and social media campaign. I (Nikki) tested out some marketing tactics with my business before trying them out on HNTRAB. All is going well with that! I (Nikki) had a job interview with a bridal hair salon. I wanted to get a little more traction within the wedding industry and the product I had to offer. I had a great interview and had so much to offer to them in regards to wedding marketing. After speaking with Nancy I was shocked at how little they were doing in regards to my efforts I was doing online. Nancy was shocked that there is not really a company offering wedding marketing plans. Finally…our light bulb moment. Within hours we decided to target wedding professionals who need a solid marketing plan, as well as HNTRAB tips. We have worked for so many different industries that once we get the wedding industry knocked out of the park we are going to tackle the other industries that we know inside and out. Patience is a true virtue and this is why you must continually move forward with your business, but never rush into anything. Everything will fall into place when it is meant to.