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The future of small business marketing

The Future & Your Small Business

The future of small business marketingThe Future…

The year is 2018.

Where is your business? Underwater struggling to the surface to get some air?

Or is your business just above the surface on a sinking boat due to many cracks that haven’t been repaired and a failing engine that hasn’t been maintained?

Or maybe your business is on its last legs in the desert with no water or foodand a case of sunstroke.

Quite possibly your business may be thriving, but a sudden unforeseen catastrophe lands a blow on your doorstep, and this blow hits you where you are weakest.

In any one of the above scenarios, it’s readily apparent that your business is about to expire. Yes – the time has come and your business, your baby, your life’s work is about to breath it’s last and you just cannot believe it.

For all those years you worked so hard and did whatever it took, sacrificing day after day, week after week, month after month. To build and live your dream.

Rewind ( press the button on your DVD) and go to the present day. Your business is doing well, you’re trucking along on the freeway.

The future looks bright. You are having an increase in sales month after month, but there are signs on the road that you ignore and you almost run out of gas.

At the same time you also notice that the tires are pretty worn and there’s a squeaking sound when you press the brake pedal. Yet, you fill up your tank and keep on keeping’ on. After all, it’s only the tires and the squeak can be fixed, right?

Is this your attitude when it comes to marketing your business? Do you really know what you are doing or are you just guessing? Is it mud thrown up on the wall or a targeted focused series of campaigns?

Well, I’m sad to be the bearer of bad news today(late 2013)…

Many small business owners are like the ones I listed above; struggling for air, over exposure to the sun or just staying afloat. If this is you or someone you know, it may not be too late. There may still be time.

Where am I leading with all this Mr., Mrs. or Miss Small Business Owner?

Well – quite frankly it has to do with the web, email and mobile.

And the importance these three play in the future of your small business.

You see I lived through the first wave of the web and email and we embraced both of these channels for six years and successfully sold our small business in the fall of 2001. Today, two of the industries we were involved in are not in good shape. One has been decimated and the other is struggling on all fronts.

All because they didn’t adapt and change when they had the chance. Yes, they didn’t adapt and change, so many have gone by the wayside, many are hanging on by a thread and few are groping around in the dark.


Don’t be one of the thousands of small businesses that have to close their doors in the next five years. Do something now. Take action now and keep your business alive.

Make the changes and embrace the web, email and mobile, now – before it’s too late and you have to shut your doors forever. 🙁

To your continued small business success,

Dave Krygier

PS – If anything in this article got through to you and you’re thinking – “what do I do next…”  – Contact The Small Biz Mechanic by Clicking Here Now.



The Ever Changing Dex

I‘ll never forget the time I was at a tradeshow in 1996 or 1997 and ran across the USWest “yellow pages” directory folks.  I approached them about the Internet and they all looked at me like I was talking jibberish.

For those of you who don’t know who USWest is, it’s now Dexone or Dex or Dex something without the phone companies attached.

Over the years they’ve morphed and changed from one of the Baby Bells to a separate phone company with a yellow page division; to also include a cellular company – US West Cellular. This is an altogether separate story seeing that USWest Cellular changed its name to Airtouch and then some time later to Qwest.

Qwestdex was the brand that I remember when it took Qwest and added this Dex character to their name. A little later Dexonline came around and Dexknows was brought into the picture and today it’s Dex One, I think.

The only reason I say, I think, is because I see different variations of Dex and get confused.

As you can see this once Baby Bell has not only changed operationally over the years but also in the front end as their identity has gone from pretty obvious (yellow pages) to offering a large list of services, just like everyone else.

So why even bring up the past of this aging behemoth? Because it was this directory company that first approached me about online listings in 1999 and was charging $19.95 per listing, per category.

You see, I was utilizing SEO since 1995 and doing great with our business (Secrets of the Tiny Store) but was looking for additional ways to get the word out and focus more on local business. During that year I also approached DoubleClick about banner ads and searched for other directories to see what we could do about gaining exposure in our local community. Google was still very new and in the early stages of growth.

Now back to Dex…

Dex, or what was USWest at the time, had proven to be the leader for us when it came to local yellow pages. I had diligently surveyed, tracked and tested our advertising and marketing which showed them as the leader when it came to the offline yellow books.

They had a proven track record offline but when it came to online, there was no proof or easy way to track unless we did it manually, with phone numbers or relied on their tracking system.

The real problem was that their $19.95 charge was per month, per listing and when you added up our listings, it was a good chunk of change. When you compare the listings to my previous four years of SEO and there was no comparison when it came to return on investment and results.

Today, it seems that they have not changed the pricing and even added a few hoops for us small biz folk to jump through. Claiming my free listing they automatically put me in an auto-responder and had a sales rep emailing and calling.

Not that I asked for any of the above, it was just their process and way of doing business. And was the ‘rep’ flexible or even open to helping me? No, all he wanted to do was sell another package and yet here I sit still not sure about my free listing.

The funny thing about ‘Dex’ is that in my recent research for clients and prospects, I barely found them on any of the page one listings on Google or Yahoo. Yet I saw Yelp, Merchant Circle, Kudzu, Yellowpages.com, Superpages and a handful of other directories and citation sites. Dex was there in some cases, but not as visible as the other guys.

Yet here he(it or they) is again asking for my $19.95 per month, per listing, per category. 13 years later and history is repeating itself.

So, my loyal reader, when it comes to growing your small business, do business with people and companies that can help you plus will add value.  And always be on the look out for the marketing that supplies the best results and ROI. Because in the end your bottom line is what counts, not what the other guys think.

To your small business success,

Dave Krygier

Increase Sales – The Soft Sell Way

In part one How to Increase Sales in small business I wrote about the existing customer side of the increasing sales equation. In this post I want to cover how you can increase sales using what I call the soft sell way.

This soft sell process is one that I started implementing many, many years ago, prior to the world wide web. You see, I was never really interested in sales per say, but it seemed that no matter what I did in small business, I always ended up being in sales and thrust into the biz dev role. So the soft selling process evolved over the years and I really believe that it contributed to my ability to increase sales and develop new business.

The thing is, there are many different ways that you can increase sales including hard driving tactics that many businesses still use today and maybe you’ll even see results and maybe you won’t.

It’s a sad state of affairs to see so many small businesses with no clue as to how they can drive more traffic and increase sales. They think they need to reinvent the wheel with some new ‘salesy’ tactic that will bring droves of prospects through the door, yet they continue to struggle and fail not knowing what to do next.

How did I increase sales using this so called soft sell approach? I simply worked hard and studied from the greats like Dale Carnegie, Frank Bettger and Og Mandino. I also attended live seminars and trainings and then I implemented, tweaked and adjusted over the years.

Notice I wrote implemented, which means action was taken and the information put to good use in my various businesses. If you study and learn but do not put the information to good use, then it’s wasted time and money.

One other thing to mention here – I still research, study and learn as much as I can about the topics that have to do with sales and marketing. I am continually in the hunt and keeping my eyes and ears open for anything that can help further my business and my client’s businesses.

Let’s get down to it:

The bottom line is that you have to sell something in order to have sales revenue come your way. Whether you are selling on the internet or selling offline, you are still selling.

To increase sales in your small business you don’t need to be pushy. A matter of fact, pushy will usually get you less sales and more un-subscribes, if you use email.

Think about it – do you like sales people who are pushy and over the top or the
sales person who takes the offer off the table or even let’s you make the decision when the time is right?

Maybe you’ve been subscribed to some marketer’s email lists that are all about sell, sell, sell and not a lot of content? Maybe you’ve been approached too many times by salespeople who are pushy, overly talkative or just plain rude?

You see most people will put up a wall and turn the opposite direction when these kind of salespeople enter their world. It’s a turn off and they feel kind of dirty.

By the way – what I’m writing about here also applies to online marketing and list building. Because the sales/persuasion tactics you use to attract people to your squeeze and landing pages directly reflect on you even though you’re not there in person.

Here’s my suggestion to you; instead of the hard sell, sell, sell – you take the soft sell approach, throw out the bait and then let the person warm up to you. This keeps them in your world until he or she decides to purchase, stay around or just plain exit at their leisure.

This way you have a higher retention rate and in the long-run you maintain credibility and close more business.

This is the way we did it at The TIny Store and how I still work with clients at SmallBiz Mechanix.

To your small business success,

Dave Krygier

Business Ethics & Online Marketing

When it comes to Business ethics & online marketing there seems to be a big disconnect for some people and I’ve been seeing this for well over two years.

Recently I received an email from an online marketer that I have followed for the last couple of years. This email was his message to us, his subscribers, about business ethics. This message lead to his blog where he went on and on about business ethics and how he had marketed offers that were supposed to have limited time frames to order, but in actuality there were no limited times. And he readily admitted that he had done this.

I was a bit surprised by this email and the blog post that dug into the topic, but I took a tact  that I normally don’t take. I replied to him through email to let him know that there are no business ethics. There are only ethics.

I first heard the saying from John Maxwell when he said, “there are no business ethics, just plain ethics…”

You are either ethical or you are not. It’s pretty simple, wouldn’t you agree? Well, I never heard back from this marketer and hence I unsubscribed from his list. He broke my #3 rule about being available and when marketers do this or break any of my other rules – I just don’t put up with it, no matter how much I have enjoyed their past information and offers.

Ethics and integrity go side by side, and in online as well as off line marketing we as business people need to hold a high standard, versus taking short cuts and not being truthful.

For those online marketers who utilize email marketing, you need to stay connected with your clients and subscribers, along with being real and adding value whenever you can.

If you are building a list of subscribers – Build up the trust and never break it.

Build relationships and be available.

Be ethical in all that you do and go the extra mile both on and offline.

Dave Krygier



Reality & Gut Checks

Today is one of those days that I’m going to step away from the norm and talk turkey about business and marketing online. It’s not my usual post and some might even call it a bit of a rant.

Here goes…

Do you get tired of the cheesy pitches and phony baloney
classless marketing? I know I sure do and I see this kind
of stuff all the time.

It’s the marketing that reminds of the spa or car salesperson
who will do anything to close the transaction, including
altering the truth. It’s the marketing that just makes me turn
away and shake my head.

In several of my previous posts I mentioned being real.
It’s actually my Rule #1. But being real is what seems to
be missing in many online marketers’ campaigns and websites.

It’s like they threw out the morals and scruples with the trash
and just don’t give a you know what.

Well you know what…be real. Tell your story. Tell it like it is.
Your subscribers and customers (or clients) will respect you
and you’ll sleep better at night.

Now if you happen to be reading this and your online business
doesn’t have to do anything with building a list of subscribers,
then you already know or should already know that it takes
money to make money online.

That’s Reality. You have to market, even if it’s not through ppc, banners
classifieds, and what is referred to as paid advertising.

Oh and for the crowd that is into natural organic search and content marketing…
Your time is worth something so don’t give me the line that SEO and blogging are free and you don’t pay anything for either. Because I got news for you! You are either paying someone to do it for you or you are doing it yourself and take the time to do the work.

If you consider the work that you do is free, because there’s not any cashola changing hands, then I think you need a GUT CHECK! Because your time is worth something! It’s not free!

I see the word FREE everywhere. Lots of searches for FREE this and FREE that. Get this for FREE, that for FREE, etc…

I mean – you work at a job or business offline where free is a rare commodity these days, but when it comes to online – it’s gotta be free?

The new person asks, “Where do I find free traffic, free advice, free ads
and free websites?” It’s like they’re at the Internet food bank!

Let me put it to you this way:

You are building a business online and that means you need to
work and you will need to pay the price.

That price is different for everyone, but everyone pays it.

Now the work may only be one to two hours a day part-time or it may
be more than that. Either way – you need to do the work.

So go build your business and be real, so you can stay in the land of the self-employed.



What is Affiliate Marketing and How does it Work?

What is affiliate marketing and how does it work? And is it the right online business model for you? These are two questions that I will answer in today’s article.

There are many different ways to make money online and one of them is affiliate marketing. This model has been around for years and basically there are two side to the affiliate coin. One is the affiliate(you), who markets the product or service and second is the merchant or who provides the product or service for you to market.

When marketing as an affiliate you receive commissions when a transaction takes place. The amount of commission can vary depending on the merchant and kind of product or service.

One of the ways of utilizing affiliate products is through building a list of your own and then marketing to your list of subscribers. The biggest benefit here is that instead of you sending the searcher to the merchant’s site directly, they opt-in and subscribe to your site first. This way you maintain the relationship with the subscriber

As an affiliate the merchant will provide you advertising and promotional materials like banner and text link ads that can be used to promote the products or services. You can then use these ads on your websites, in signatures and on other people’s websites to generate traffic to the offer or your subscriber lead capture page.

So how do you the online marketer promote affiliate products and services so you can make commissions on the sales that occur?

1. Find affiliate products and services that are directly related to your niche or business and promote them on your niche based website. You will need to find an affiliate network so be prepared to research and have your sites ready so you can be approved.

2. Promote the affiliate products through content that you write and post on different websites and blogs.

3. Promote the mix of products and services to your list of subscribers in an automated email campaign. This way you can control what is sent to the subscriber and when it is sent.

Hopefully you can see that affiliate marketing can be a workable web-based business model and in some cases be just the right fit for list building online.

For more information on how you can build a list of subscribers – check out The List Building Guide for tips, tactics and strategies.

Dave Krygier

List Building Online

Have you been searching for the ideal online business but are not sure which opportunity or venture is best suited for you?

With all the opportunities to make an income online how does one choose which type of business is the right fit? Which online business really works and can you make money, if you put the time and energy into developing the business?

The questions you need to ask are:

Do you want to create and market your own products and services?

Do you just prefer to market someone else’s products or services?

Or maybe you would like to combine the two and mix it up?

After you have determined which of the options I listed out above works for you then maybe, just maybe, there’s one option you might consider…

Building a list of subscribers or what is referred to as list building online.

List building online is just one of the many ways that you develop a web based business.

The great thing is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home, on the beach, at the lake – all you need is a computer and Internet connection.

It has its plusses and minuses, positives and negatives, just like any business.

But if you are a specialist or have a talent or already know about a particular subject or topic, then list building may be just what you are looking for.

Here are the basics:

1. Find a niche (market) that has a need. This is called research. Maybe you already know what this is and maybe you don’t.

2. Once you determine the niche and market you are going to go into, then you set up a dedicated landing page called a squeeze page along with an email auto-responder account.

3. Then you drive traffic to the page and if the searcher/visitor is really interested in what you have to offer, they will subscribe and opt-in to your list.

4. Once they are subscribed, you offer them quality content along with quality products and/or services.

5. Some subscribers convert into buyers and the list owner makes a sale.

Simple concept but it takes work. And don’t let anyone tell you that it doesn’t.

Yes, list building takes work but this work is work that can pay off in the long run, if you know how to set everything up properly and put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

If you want more information about building a list online – check out The List Building Guide here.

To your online success,

Dave Krygier


Online List Building Basics

Why build a subscriber list versus other methods of online marketing?

If you’ve been around online marketing for any length of time you’ve heard that the money is in the list. The truth of the matter is that the money (or profit) is in the product or service that the person (buyer) on the list purchases.

As a list builder you only make money when subscribers purchase products and/or services.

Other methods of online marketing or online businesses are more or less transaction related and may or may not have a list component included in the business model. These models can work really great but if there’s no subscriber list then you are not able to resell the buyer.

When it comes to building and developing a list, the one thing to remember is that you are in business and the list is the vehicle to connecting with the buyer.

If you connect with the buyer then they will most likely stay on your list and continue to purchase. But only if you continue to further the relationship and then offer something of value that the buyer is in need of.

Here are three things to consider when it comes to building your subscriber list:

  1. First you must develop your own email list of subscribers. In other words this is your own list, not one that you purchase or barter or trade for. The subscribers are ones that you attract and cultivate.
  2. Second – you must have an email auto-responder account. If you don’t already have an auto-responder and you are serious about building a list, then I recommend that you set one up as soon as possible.
  3. Third – you must have something to offer the searcher/visitor when they arrive at your website. Whatever it is you decide to offer (an e-book, report, guide, audio, video, etc…), make sure it is quality and offers value.

You need to have patience because you won’t build a list in a day. It takes time.

With all that said, list building isn’t for everyone and it might not be for you.

If you want to learn more about how to build an online subscriber and client list, check out the list building guide.

Dave Krygier