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How To Connect To Small Businesses

The Small Business Connection – Are you missing this?

The Small Business Connection - How To Connect To Small Businesses Are you missing the small business connection and don’t even know it?

Maybe sales are declining or starting to wobble yet the corporate exec’s still don’t want to listen.

I used to bang my head against the wall dealing with corporate exec’s who would try to fit us into their boxed mold of marketing, promotions and outdated sales strategies.

What does a corporate manager know about running a small business if he’s never worked in one? Yet do the muckety mucks send their people into the field to see what goes on in their customer’s business? Maybe the field sales guy or gal, but that’s their job!

I have experienced and truly believe that there is a disconnect in Corporate America today where companies owned by public and private stock holders are not in tune with their small business customer. They think they know, but they don’t know. Not a clue!

They think they got it all figured out, yet they grope around in the dark like everything’s hunky dory and business will grow. Hey Frank – sales were up 10% this last month – Yahoo!

It’s so funny how corporate executives and their managers can run around playing business games while their customer, Mr. or Mrs. Small Biz Owner struggles to increase sales and maintain profitability with revenue models that have not changed in years.

You see my loyal reader, the small business owner doesn’t care if their vendor’s sales numbers are off. What they want to know is this – what is that vendor or supplier going to do today to help them in their business.

And this is where the small business connection comes in.

The bottom line is that running and operating a small business is a lot different than working at a corporation. It’s like comparing a cruise ship to a 21’ speed boat.

And this leads me to my whole reason for writing this article today. I can honestly tell you that the three best Field Sales Executives I ever worked with understood this whole concept of small business.

Greg came from a big corporation but had worked with small businesses for years.

Dave worked at a big corporation but had run a small company and so he understood what we had to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Doug worked for small and large manufacturers but had also worked in a small business for over 15 years.

All three had really good people skills and were great at connecting with us.

Of the 50 or so manufacturers and suppliers we dealt with, these three were at the top when it came to sales and working with us in the trenches.


If you happen to be reading this and you come from the corporate landscape or are looking to increase your sales with small business clients, here are a few suggestions for you to consider:

1. Connect and find out what really makes a small business.

2. Read up and study books about Small Business & Entrepreneurialism.

3. Learn what makes the small business owner tick and click.

4. Become interested in the small businesses you work with on a daily basis.

5. Research, Research, Research – bring added value to the small business. And once you start to digest this information, take action and make a difference.

To your continued success,

Dave Krygier

PS – If you’re currently in a retail or service based business then head on over to Secrets of The Tiny Store to find out what we really did.

Soccer and Small Business

The sport of soccer has absolutely gone bonkers in the last five years and I mean this in a good way. Our kids love to play it, we love to watch it, plus it’s a healthy, competitive environment that allows them to stay fit.

With two of my three kids actively playing soccer and one playing 10 or so months of the year, it has become part of our life. No doubt about it. Many weekends we find ourselves absorbed and traveling to and from the fields until late in the evening hours.

So why am I writing about soccer and small business ?

  Very good question – Dr. Jones…(Indiana Jones that is).

You see, business development is where I’m leading to in today’s post about the world’s largest sport. Business development can occur while you are standing in line for a youth soccer match or any other sport for that matter.

Business development for your small business may be right in front of you at your child’s soccer, hockey, baseball or volleyball game. Or whatever sport you and your children have chosen to participate in.

Business development can be done while chatting with other parents, club directors,  coaches, referees and even bystanders.

Now back to our topic of soccer…(not that I ever got off topic)

#1 – If you have kids – chances are they’ll be playing soccer, even if it’s just with friends.

#2 – If you have a small business or are thinking about a small business – this is a niche that is growing. Hint, hint, hint…

#3 – If you are a small business owner and your little enterprise needs targeted traffic and your biz happens to fit in with the soccer demographic…NEED I SAY MORE!?

Now maybe soccer isn’t your thing, your kids thing or maybe you don’t even have kids. But you are a small business owner and desire to diversify and/or expand.

Opportunities for business development in the youth sports arena are popping up all over. All you need to do is open your eyes and look for them.

Soccer and small business might be the right mix for your small business’ future so look for opportunities within sports like soccer. They may be right around the corner and could bring forth your next big client, service or product launch.

To your small business success,

Dave Krygier
Publisher & Soccer Enthusiast

PS – How is your Biz Dev going? If it needs a little push let me know at SmallBizMechanix.com

Tales of Click – In the Beginning

In the summer of 1995 my wife and I attended a street fair held in a little known city located east of Seattle. It was an annual event and one I normally didn’t even bother to put in the calendar.

But this year would be life changing, because of a man and his computer on the side- walk.

As we strolled through the booths and exhibits we came across this gentleman who was demonstrating how businesses could show their products and services on what he called the World Wide Web.

This was very intriguing to us as we were marketing to Alaska and maybe, just maybe, we could use what he was talking about to develop more business in this region.

Little did I know how much this man and his demonstration would change our world and the course of our businesses forever.

This introduction to the land of clicks, modems, and html was the beginning of our journey on the Internet.

What began as a simple way to market to Alaskans turned into a feverish race to stay on top of the search engines at that time. Search Engines like Web Crawler, Lycos, Excite, Infoseek, and Yahoo!

I imagine it could be compared to the early days of computer technology coming on the scene during the 1950’s.

Anyway you look at it, we had a hold of a tiger and boy was it a wild ride that kept me on my toes, on the phone and typing emails like a man with his hair on fire.

Those were the days and the beginnings of click for the little known company located just north of the Big M and Big B.

There’s more to come as we continue with the Tales of Click. Much, much more…

Do you want to learn how this tiny store flourished and grew leaps and bounds?               Go to:  www.secretsofthetinystore.com

Tales of Mortar Part I

Years ago before the dotcom boom there was a small niche business located in the backyard of ‘The Big M’ in Redmond, Washington. What started out as a brick mortar model with one full time employee, one phone line and one product, bloomed into a thriving diverse enterprise. This small business had its ups and downs just like all businesses that get started on a shoestring. Eventually things started to gel and opportunities opened up that the local competition didn’t see or care to see. When most startups are starting to falter and fade, this one started to pickup steam and capture new customers.

Over the years this little brick and mortar business grew and grew along with the surrounding community until the arrival of the web in August of 1995. Thus they entered the world of click and mortar and started on a new journey that would increase sales and over all revenues. The Internet brought on a totally new dimension that enabled the little enterprise to expand its horizons and reach out to the far corners of the globe. With clients from all over the world, calls and emails would make their way from far away places like Australia, The Netherlands, and even a research outpost in Antarctica.

And so business continued on until the fall of 2001 when it finally changed hands. Some will say that the timing was impeccable and I’d have to agree. But what really made this small business a success were the people that worked there and their dedication and hard work.

Tales like these are abundant in the land of small business and we’ll be sharing more as time goes on.

Dave Krygier

Tests, Surveys, and Ma Bell

Have you been testing all your advertising and marketing or just throwing mud up on the wall like most small business owners? Maybe you’ve wanted to test but it always seems that time and/or money get in the way?

Many years ago, back in the days of retail and rentals, we tested and tracked it the good ol’ fashioned way with the telephone and personal questionnaires. Testing was very slow and archaic back in the early to mid 1990’s. It took time to gather enough information but it enabled us to see which yellow page directories, radio stations and newspapers pulled the most, but it also allowed us to see which search engines were driving traffic. At one point, USWest (now Qwestdex) actually did an interview with me to find out what we did to track and research. Before we tested and surveyed, I thought that GTE was pulling all the traffic, but it turned out that USWest was the winner, and we were wasting quite a bit of money with GTE. Had we not tested and surveyed I would have kept placing the same old ads in the same old places. With testing and surveying we were able to better define our target markets, shift more dollars towards marketing that would bring better ROI, plus serve our customers better.

My recommendation is that you test all your marketing, online and offline. This can be done by split testing and surveying. It’s much easier and faster to split test online ads today with so many online resources. AWeber’s auto-responders are a great way to keep in touch with your PSC (prospects, subscribers, and clients). By using the autoresponder, you can test and survey as much as you think is necessary. I would also pay close attention to your search engine traffic, and check the reports frequently. Another option in today’s online environment is to utilize surveys.

Working offline? Then test all your marketing to see what works and is bringing in new prospects and existing customers. If you are using offline media such as radio, you might mention your website in your ads with a special promo code. Split-test ads to see which ones pull by producing two radio commercials with two different offers. Maybe one directs the listener to your website and then the other sends people to your physical location.

Remember, test everything; track as much as you can and survey periodically to see how you’re doing with your customers and prospects. In the long run you’ll be glad you did and you might be surprised at which ads really work.

If you want to learn more about how you can use testing, tracking and surveying in your small business, checkout My New Guide Here .

Dave K


Decisions and Gut Feelings

As a small business owner you have to make countless decisions every day that not only impact your life but those around you. Ever heard that life is about the decisions we make and actions we take? Does your gut ever tell you to do something and you decide to go a different direction? Gut feelings come into play all the time and you might take notice of them or ignore them.

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Welcome to OOB Thinking

During a recent exchange of emails with a colleague of mine, he mentioned "out of the box thinking." His comments came along at an opportune time since we were preparing for an event in the fall. Some of his ideas will hopefully be implemented as they are out of the box and really great. “Out of the box” (OOB) pretty much sums up what I did with one of my small businesses for many years

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