Business Financial Planning and Budgeting Seminar Summary

DSCN0302Jack Gottlieb, President of the Total Solutions Group, Inc., recently held part two of his interactive and inspirational business seminar series to help attendees put their business ideas on paper and start thinking about the long-term goals they have not only for their businesses, but for themselves. Jack further explained the importance of identifying your business values and goals as well as how you can start digging deeper into the logistics and analytics of your company. It is important to look at the big picture of where money is going, what is profitable and what isn’t – is key in the success of your business.

Check out some of the important information that was covered during the business financial planning and budgeting session of this series:

  • It is imperative that you answer the following questions in order to understand the core of your business. So grab a piece of paper and put your thinking cap on:
    • What is the value you want to create and how are you going to create it?
    • What are your needs vs. your wants?
    • Where is your money coming from and who will make that decision?
    • How are you best utilizing your money?
    • What is your business really about and do you know if you are succeeding?
    • What you insanely passionate about when it comes to your company?
    • What does your business all boil down to? Where is it going and where do you want it to go?
  • Don’t just look at the numbers, look beneath them to see what they mean for your business. Numbers aren’t only associated with money, they mean much more – i.e. customers, sales, marketing, engagement, time, etc.
  • Be SMART when it comes to setting goals: Specific Measure Attainable Relevant Time-Bound
  • There are 5 Cornerstones to every business:
    • 1. Living your core
    • 2. Being relevant
    • 3. Being sustainable
    • 4. Being replicable
    • 5. Being scalable
  • Ask yourself, “What is the REALLY most important goal I’d like to achieve by the end of 2014?”
  • 9 Core Areas of your plan:

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  • You can learn more about a business from what it spends money on, not how much it makes. Great businesses don’t work for money, they have their money working for them. Funding our business and life is the main purpose of money.
  • It’s not about the budget, it’s about the value that money can bring vs. how much it will cost. If it’s worth doing it’s worth measuring!
  • The 5 Levels of Change:
    • 1. Lack of Understanding
    • 2. Creates Uncertainty
    • 3. Leading to Perception
    • 4. Shift in Behavior
    • 5. Performance

Ultimately, in order to truly succeed in business you need to find bigger problems to solve. It’s about making better decisions and mastering your capabilities, not about making money.

DSCN0305Jack Gottlieb is the President of The Total Solutions Group, Inc. a strategic consulting, training and coaching firm committed to driving a sustainable increase to an organization’s results, value proposition and culture. Jack brings 14 years of proven high level success along with the collective capability of his team and advisory board. Jack has also been one of the highest ranked speakers at various state wide SHRM (Society of Human Resource Managers) Annual Conferences as well as the New Jersey Organizational Development Annual Conferences for the past 7 years. Jack also serves on the Executive Board Collegiate Empowerment which is an educational firm committed to driving systemic change and impact for Colleges and Universities. Jack also is actively involved with two universities. The first is Kutztown University where he is one of the key leaders of the College of Business Advisory Board to support their efforts in further development and expansion. The second is with Rider University with their Center for the Development of Leadership Skills.

Marketing and Sales for Business Tips

DSCN0292Recently, Jack Gottlieb – President of The Total Solutions Group, Inc. presented an information packed seminar, which covered significant marketing and sales for business tips.  If you missed the session but would still like to gain some useful insight in marketing or sales for your business, keep reading!

  • The core of a business is the identity of it, its purpose and values.
  • Two important keys for great service are follow through and follow up. If you are doing these two things, it’s not about large quantities of customers – just stay the course and you’ll see results from your follow up.
  • How you deliver your product or service and the way in which it’s used becomes the customer’s experience – this is very important!
  • Create a sense of community with your business – it forms a connection, sense of pride, and refer-ability for your customers.
  • Marketing at its best is fulfilling a need customers didn’t know they had, or answering a question before it is even asked.
  • Marketing is also about creating value for your service and that unique customer experience.
  • It’s not about how much money you make in your business, it’s about how much you keep and re-invest back into it (literally and figuratively).
  • People open their wallets for your service due to the impact it will have on their lives, so be conscious of this at all times.
  • In order to focus on your results – be clear about what you are really providing, not what you are promoting.
  • As a business, you need to market internally to your staff – the same way in which you do outwardly to your customers.
  • Don’t solve a problem, validate a concern! Key sales tactic: If someone says your product is too expensive, validate their concern and ask them what kind of value they are truly looking for.

DSCN0295Here are some important questions you need to ask yourself as a business owner in regard to marketing and sales:

  • How do you connect the value to your customers outside of your products and services?
  • What are customers thinking when looking at all aspects of my business? This includes website, marketing collateral pieces, articles written about the company, etc.
  • How do I gear my website in a way in which I can extend the customer’s experience and still grow sales?

Always remember – don’t just work in your business, work ON it. 

For any business owners out there reading this article – what are some of the key marketing or sales tactics that have worked (or not worked) for your business?  If your strategies were not initially successful – how did you change them into success stories? Comment below – we’d love to hear from you!

Click on the image below to see a highlight video from this seminar!

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Jack Gottlieb is the President of The Total Solutions Group, Inc. a strategic consulting, training and coaching firm committed to driving a sustainable increase to an organization’s results, value proposition and culture. Jack brings 14 years of proven high level success along with the collective capability of his team and advisory board. Jack has also been one of the highest ranked speakers at various state wide SHRM (Society of Human Resource Managers) Annual Conferences as well as the New Jersey Organizational Development Annual Conferences for the past 7 years. Jack also serves on the Executive Board Collegiate Empowerment which is an educational firm committed to driving systemic change and impact for Colleges and Universities. Jack also is actively involved with two universities. The first is Kutztown University where he is one of the key leaders of the College of Business Advisory Board to support their efforts in further development and expansion. The second is with Rider University with their Center for the Development of Leadership Skills.

“Part 1: Create a Plan to Start Your Dream Business” Seminar Summary

DSCN0267Jack Gottlieb, President of the Total Solutions Group, Inc., recently held an interactive and inspirational business seminar to help attendees put their business ideas on paper and start thinking about the long-term goals they have not only for their businesses, but for themselves. Jack explained that there is more to planning a business than just your business proposal, and it starts with you – what you want to accomplish as an entrepreneur and how you can stand out from other business owners.

Check out some of the important information that was covered during part one of this series:

  • One of the first questions you should ask yourself is – “What is your business reallyabout?” If you don’t know, think about it then write it down – you will constantly refer back to this.
  • The core of a business: purpose and value, what need is being resolved and what value is your business offering?

  • Your ultimate goal: Getting your business to work for you and not you working for your business.

  • Establish the product(s) that you want to offer and what will it do. Figure out what your key products are.
  • Establish the service you want to provide — how you support it and ensure it.
  • Establish the type of experience you want for your customers — how you deliver it and how they use it. Everything is an experience. Build your community around your business.DSCN0269
  • Establish your community – the connection, pride and referrability is imperative to your business. In the long run, you want to have your company grow, impact people and expand.
  • Create a real passion – see it, feel it and live it.
  • If you’re spending money that isn’t helping your business grow, you must re-evaluate your spending patterns.
  • The 3 cornerstones of having a successful business are: want vs. need, value you offer and making a profit.
  • Jack recommended this book for all entrepreneurs: “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki.
  • Another question to ask yourself: How does your business attract money, and how are you spending the money coming in?
  • An effective business plan: The way you think, should be the same way you plan, build, and communicate your business.
  • For inspiration, research successful companies such as Disney, Microsoft and Apple and see how they got started.

Click on the image below to see a highlight video from this seminar!

Business Series Part One

Don’t miss out on part-two of this “Building Your Business Dreams” seminar series! “Business Financial Planning and Budgeting” will be held this Thursday, February 13th from 8:30am-10:30am at our Wall Office located at 1800 Route 34 North, Building 3 Suite 302. Time is running out – register here!

Jack Gottlieb is the President of The Total Solutions Group, Inc. a strategic consulting, training and coaching firm committed to driving a sustainable increase to an organization’s results, value proposition and culture. Jack brings 14 years of proven high level success along with the collective capability of his team and advisory board. Jack has also been one of the highest ranked speakers at various state wide SHRM (Society of Human Resource Managers) Annual Conferences as well as the New Jersey Organizational Development Annual Conferences for the past 7 years. Jack also serves on the Executive Board Collegiate Empowerment which is an educational firm committed to driving systemic change and impact for Colleges and Universities. Jack also is actively involved with two universities. The first is Kutztown University where he is one of the key leaders of the College of Business Advisory Board to support their efforts in further development and expansion. The second is with Rider University with their Center for the Development of Leadership Skills.

Effective Webinar & Video Marketing for Business Seminar Summary

00_ENTRE_shutterstock_70581142_VideoMarketing_659px_0We recently had founder and owner of Coleman Communications, Cortland Coleman, present an informative seminar with an in-depth look into virtual world of marketing. Many business owners are looking for another outlet to promote and reach the community in order to gain new clients and leads, and videos are quickly becoming a “must” in today’s business market. Creating customized, unique videos is not only just a creative and appealing way to publicize your brand, but a great way to stand out against your competitors.

Check out some of the key points you might have missed from this seminar:

  • Why use video? It’s a personal, powerful and persuasive way to get your business noticed and in today’s society, people would rather press play than read!
  • Using videos and webinars you can out-position, out-perform, and out-rank your competition with video that matters. Remember to educate and inspire — 2 key elements when filming. It’s also crucial to include meta data, descriptions, tags, titles and keywords with your videos so you can be found using search engines and build your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  • Make sure you distribute and promote your video using YouTube, Vine, Vimeo, Instagram, etc. so you can get yourself out there to drive new prospects and deepen relationships with current clients utilizing the newest video platforms.
  • It’s crucial that you remain consistent with all your videos and follow other common businesses to network and gain ideas. It’s a good idea to use offers, discounts, and incentives within your videos to get people in your door.
  • For locational based businesses, online marketing must drive offline or in-store visits and sales in order to see a success in your tactics. You can measure ROI by closed deals, lead generation, and growing your list (emails, marketing lists, media relations & prospects).
  • Don’t know what to record? Well, start with yourself & your business, show why you help others, and what you do for the community and use enthusiasm!
  • You’ll also eventually want to film your clients and the community — testimonials are so powerful for your business and make a difference in driving traffic. Record your moments of success and brilliance including awards, recognitions, new products/services, milestones, etc. people love to hear positive, local news.
  • Wondering how to start recording? You can use devices such as HD cameras, smart phones, and webcams. YYou also want to make sure you alternate your recording devices so your videos do not have the same setting and backdrop every time. Keep in mind your website is your “hub” of your online video & marketing efforts, therefore make sure all videos are optimized and easily accessible.
  • Expand your sales & reach with webinars – they are a great way to invite people to learn about you and your business. Set aside time each month to create a regular schedule of webinars (be consistent and frequent) and build a list of people to invite to join. Don’t forget once your videos are complete to upload them to YouTube (#2 search engine — and it’s not even a search engine!), post to your site, and share to your social media pages.

Now that you have a good idea on how you can start getting “visual” for your business, it’s time to get out there and start filming!

Cortland Coleman – founder and owner of Coleman Communications – is the Jersey Shore’s Social Media Leader.  He began his public relations career in Arizona during the 90’s by running political campaigns.  When he and his wife had their son, he moved back to New Jersey to be near family, and continued his political public relations on the east coast.  Cortland decided to take his knowledge to the private sector and founded Coleman Communications, where he uses his expertise on reaching the public by helping companies with their marketing campaigns.  Coleman Communications helps businesses, non-profits, and government agencies with social media, search-engine optimization, and all electronic marketing to reach their consumer.

Social Media & E-Tools for the Small Business Owner Seminar Summary

Hand holding a Social Media 3d SphereWe recently held a business seminar presented by Bill Mirkin, counselor at SCORE and guest speaker Stephanie Shaffery, president of Flair Marketing. Our presenters discussed important strategies to get your business out there on the web and the do’s and don’ts of social media marketing. Here is some important information you may have missed out on that could be key to helping your business succeed:

• Some great free websites for your business to take advantage of are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Blogging.

• There are many advantages when it comes to using social media. It helps you build relationships with your consumers, establishes your business as a resource, and helps build your brand and show personality.

Blogging – This allows you to share customized information with everyone while humanizing your brand and sharing your expertise on various topics relating to your business. When blogging, make sure you integrate your blog with your website because you never want to have your blog stand alone, you always want it to link back to your main website. You may find it hard to set aside time to write for your blog, but if you try to post at least once a week or every other week to stay active with your audience, you will be in great shape. Don’t be afraid to schedule blog posts ahead of time for each month so you can stay organized and less stressed. Also, make sure the layout and design of your blog is consistent with your webpage to maintain your branding.

Facebook – By using this free tool you are reaching over 1.15 billion users (and that number grows each day). Not only does it give you access to a wide range of consumers, but it allows you to create polls, post events, encourage participation, advertise your website/products/services, and so much more. Try to respond to a wall post within 24 hours – this shows tenacity and punctuality which are great qualities to possess as a business-owner. Remember to keep content fresh and up-to-date, add a cover photo and profile photo (preferably with your logo) and include hyperlinks to boost SEO.

Twitter – You can gain immediate feedback when using Twitter. You can also engage in conversations, promote offers and discounts, and establish your brand. Make sure you do your research before engaging consumers, let everyone on Twitter know who they are talking to (aka that you’re not a robot), and build your Twitter equity and credibility up. Don’t be afraid to follow other companies in your industry and see what they are doing in their businesses – you can use ideas and information from others that could be very valuable.

YouTube – This website can help keep the costs of video production down while providing entertainment and educational value. This also creates another channel for your brand but make sure to keep videos short and concise, and don’t be afraid to experiment with new things. Learn what works and what doesn’t work with your business and take constructive criticism from friends, family, and consumers.

Pinterest – This is a great option for any visual business to share images of your work, products, and/or services. Pinterest is essentially a virtual bulletin board where you can “pin” photos onto various “boards”. For example, if you opened a new restaurant you may want to upload pictures of some of your specialty dishes with an embedded link to your website therefore, when users click on the photo it will automatically bring them to your page. It’s the latest hype right now with over 50 million users and the number three most-popular social network in the U.S behind Facebook and Twitter.

The most important thing to always remember is to thank all of your fans on any social media platform. This lets them know that you appreciate them and their business and gives them a “feel-good-feeling” knowing that you personally recognized them!

For more information visit our Twitter page to view the seminar’s live Twitterfeed and search #MediaToolsSem.

The SCORE Association is a national nonprofit organization with a public service mission to maximize the success of America’s existing and emerging small businesses. SCORE’s 10,500 members provide client counseling and training through a network of 389 chapters, 800 branches, and a national as well as individual chapter Web sites. SCORE has been a resource partner with the Small Business Administration (SBA) since 1964. Their volunteer members, who are both retired, or actively engaged in their business or profession, have many years of experience to bring to bear on helping to create stronger more profitable businesses.

Flair Marketing Group is an award winning marketing firm, specializing in a unique blend of online and traditional marketing to help our clients achieve their sales and marketing goals. They offer marketing consultation and solutions that help your company stand out from the competition.  By focusing on personalized service and customized marketing programs that capture the attention of your target audience, your company is sure to stand out. Their hands-on personalized service encourages client input and makes the client first priority in designing award winning logos, corporate branding and identity, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) friendly website design, development and maintenance.  Along with their highly qualified professional resources, they have decades of knowledge and experience in graphic design, websites, blogging, compelling content creation, social media marketing and SEO. 

Franchise Opportunities for Business Seminar Summary

franchise

We recently held a free business seminar, “How the Right Franchise Opportunity Can Accelerate Your Movement Up the Entrepreneurial Ladder”, presented by Ed Kozemchak of ActionCOACH and Neil Sullivan of the Entrepreneur Authority of New Jersey. Neil and Ed were able to give real-life experiences and personal testimonials for our attendees. Here is some important information you missed:

Ed discussed the 6 Rungs of the Entrepreneurial Ladder, which includes employee, self-employed, manager, owner, investor, and entrepreneur.

  1. Reasons to be an Employee: As an employee, you build practical knowledge and experience. You also want to pay close attention and learn from others, and be sure to ask a lot of questions (very handy for future endeavors). You earn your money by what you “do” in order to maximize your earning potential.
  2. Reasons to be Self-Employed: During this time you learn a lot about the company structure including sales and marketing, accounting, the true meaning of hard work, networking and making contacts, responsibility and accountability. Being self-employed you can make your own money and also pay less in taxes.
  3. Reasons to be a Manager: This is where you create a team, hire employees and conduct training. This is where you are designated to have “many hats” and also build relationships, learn to make quick decisions, and gain trust. As a manager, you manage the making of money and encourage your team to work hard in order to have a large return.
  4. Reasons to be an Owner: As an owner, you have more time for yourself socially and personally. This is a time where you can invest, start more businesses and start a new career. You will have a passive income stream where you receive the profits as you lead your team to maximize those profits.
  5. Reasons to be an Investor: You should master investment strategies in businesses, real estate and the stock market and live by the motto, “Learn, Buy, Build, Sell” or “Learn, Buy, Renovate, Sell”. As an investor, you invest in capital and get a “return on investment”.
  6. Reasons to be an Entrepreneur: Everything you buy is a business expense because you are “business”. Entrepreneurs have influence and bring information and opportunity while achieving their dreams. As an entrepreneur, you don’t have to work for your money because your money is working for you!

Do you know where you are on the Entrepreneurial Ladder? Remember, focus on the highest priorities, execute at the highest level, and accountability increases urgency and frequency. Always test for effectiveness, efficiency, productivity and leverage.

Neil explained the 5 Keys to Evaluating a Franchise:

  1. Level of investment and potential ROI: When looking at a franchise the initial investment should be something to consider but the investment versus the ROI (return on investment) should be the main focus. Many franchises are “low cost” but also produce very little in the way of profit. There is a direct correlation between the cost of the franchise and the revenue generated. Though not absolute it is not a good idea to pick something just because it has a small price tag.
  2. Strong Training and Support System: Picking a franchise that has a strong training program will help the business get off the ground from the start. The first several months will help determine how successful the business will be in the long run and it is always a good idea to make those months as productive and positive as possible. Determining whether the franchise has adequate and easy to obtain support going forward will also make the business easier to run when difficulties arise.
  3. Territory Assignment: Does the franchise offer any sort of territory protection? If the franchise is a physical location then having protection from another franchisee locating too close is something that needs to be considered. If it is a consulting type business or not location dependent, does the franchise limit the number of franchisees in an area?
  4. Success of the Franchise:  Checking into how well the franchise is doing will help to better understand if the business model has been successful up to this point.  That includes talking to as many existing franchisees as possible to see if they are happy and would purchase the franchise again. Understanding how many locations have closed or changed hands and why that has happened is always a good idea.
  5. Are they Future Thinking?: Some franchises get caught up in past successes and do not look forward to make sure that they do not wind up behind the curve. The franchisor should always be working on something new whether it is a new product or new service. Even hamburger companies are coming up with new products on a constant basis to make sure customers do not become tired of their product and go somewhere else.

Ed Kozemchak mentors business owners and their leadership teams, executives, sales professionals, and professional services providers.  He coaches them to take the actions they must take to overcome or eliminate their greatest challenges so they reach their true potential. Over the last 30 years, he served as a successful business executive, business owner, and business/executive coach. He has personally coached more than 250 business owners and leaders. As the leader of a professional services business, he doubled revenues every year over a 5-year period and grew the professional services team from 10 to 250 people over that same 5-year period. He breaks down business challenges into smaller, more manageable pieces to create successful solutions and provides his clients with knowledge, focus, and accountability.

Neil Sullivan is the owner of Franchise to Win, LLC, an independent affiliate with The Entrepreneur Authority (TEA). TEA is the only franchise consulting service that has the endorsement of the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers (AAFD). Neil has a great deal of first hand experience with the franchise industry.  Prior to joining TEA he was a multi store Franchisee of Data Doctors Computer Services franchise for over 8 years.  Neil has also started and ran 2 independent companies before Data Doctors.  He has extensive knowledge of running companies day to day and the challenges that face both independent and franchised businesses.