In this episode, we talk with David Dowdy, small business expert, who teaches entrepreneurs how to expand their profit and market their business for optimal results.
Alec: What’s up listeners, and thank you for tuning into the B2U Podcast brought to you by CBRbiz.com. It’s our goal to bring business resources directly to you. As always, I’m your host, Alec Mangum and today we’re talking about the number one thing that business owners want, profit. Here to give us advice on all things profit and marketing business coach David Dowdy. Welcome, David.
David: Thank you.
Alec: Thanks for joining us. How are you doing?
David: I am doing well. Excited to be here.
Alec: Yeah. Yeah. Good to see you. So before we get started, why don’t you tell our listeners a little bit about yourself, tell us a bit about you, how you became a business expert and coach and what you do on a daily basis?
David: All right. Well, thank you again for having me here. I’m excited about being able to share a few tidbits here to help small business owners grow. You referenced me as a business expert and I’ve dialed in a little bit more to a small business expert.
Alec: I like it.
David: A lot of the principles and strategies are the same, but it’s a little bit different world being in a small business. You know, I’m one that is constantly learning and growing myself and you know, a lot of that comes from, I was raised in a small business myself. Dad was a drug dealer.
Alec: Wow. There you go. That’s a small business.
David: Yeah. Well, I love saying it in that way. It was a legal drug dealer. He owned a pharmacy in Greensboro.
Alec: I should’ve let you finish.
David: Yeah. But it’s always amusing the reactions I get when I share that. But the reality is I saw him, the discipline that he had and the time and effort he put into play. But you know, a little bit of the background, not only just being raised in that environment, but a chemistry degree from NC State, worked as an analytical chemist for Proctor and Gamble for a few years, earned an MBA at the same time. And all that’s fine and dandy. But aside from those few years with P&G, everything else in my working career has been in small business. You know, 15 employees or less. And actually, I’ve owned five myself. So allows me to look in the eyes of the small business owners and I get…
Alec: You have that insight.
David: …the good, bad and ugly.
Alec: So how do you exercise that expertise on a daily basis?
David: Well, it’s a matter of taking a lot of those learnings that I had personally, both again, good, bad and ugly. The ugly side was as a general contractor, started building back in 2000 and bought the plumbing company that was doing the work for me. And ultimately gave up a six-figure sales income and went into construction full time in 2006. Great decision, great strategy.
Alec: In 2006, though.
David: Terrible timing in the market. So I got to endure that bloodbath of the downturn in the construction and the overall economy. A lot of that is just taking the learnings and experiences and pushing through, aligning those experiences with the strategies and principles that the company I’m with now, Action Coach. And now it’s just a matter of working side by side with business owners to help them push through. They’re great at what they do, their skill sets, the trade. They just in many, many situations don’t have the business education or the discipline to do what it takes from the business side to…
Alec: They’re passionate about what they do and they’re even knowledgeable about what they do. But the business side of it is where it’s lost.
David: That’s right. That’s right. And interestingly, you know, for most career paths, be it real estate or architecture or engineering or legal, CPAs. Everybody gets continuing education in their skill or trade. But very rarely does anybody focus on the continuing education of the profession of business ownership. Entirely different skillset and the resources are not available out there for most small business owners to take on the business education, if you will.
Alec: Yeah. And so when you talk about business education that stretches from sales to marketing to the legal stuff behind owning a business.
David: Right. The HR, the planning.
Alec: I think I’ve seen that in my own life where I’ve joined businesses or worked with businesses and they have, you know, owners, small businesses in particular who are, you know, in the older demographic. And it’s interesting to see how, you know, they’re using old practices that they used when they started their business. And so that continued education you can tell is not happening all the time.
David: That’s right. That’s right. And you know, it has to evolve and unfortunately we get in those ruts of doing the same thing and, you know, the like the book, ”What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and to the Next Level.”
Alec: Exactly. It’s super important. All right, well I think we’ll get to some questions…
Alec: …just continue the conversation.
David: It sounds great.
Alec: All right, so the first question here, when it comes to being a business owner, I guess the number one thing you want is more profit, right? That’s one of the most important things of running a business. But I’d also think you’d want more profit, you just need to increase sales, right? Is that how you get more profit?
David: Not necessarily. Everybody always, I mean, yeah, profit is…
Alec: Increase sales, more sales.
David: Yeah. Yeah. But how many businesses do you know that went out of business with plenty of sales?
Alec: Right. Right.
David: It is about being profitable and you know, we lose sight of that a lot of times just to what really generates profits. Matter of fact, I’m working with a relatively new client now that has over the course of the last month or so really dug in and started understanding the financials. And although sales is good, profits are not what he thought they were because they’re not in, they’re not aligned on his profit and loss statement the way that it should be. So there’s some things that were masked and hidden and he just wasn’t paying attention. And he’s in actually in some deep trouble right now and very frustrated because of the lifetime of work. And over the last year or two, he’s made some bad business decisions. And so the profitability that he thought he was incurring is not there.
Alec: Yeah. Number of customers served or clients serve doesn’t always equal the amount of profit, right?
David: That’s exactly right. Yeah, that’s exactly right. So just to take a step back and, and you know, the 10,000-foot view profits are all about, you know, that’s the money coming in. You take out the bills, you know, the cost of goods, which is labor and the material, and that gets you what we call gross profit margin, the gross profit dollars, then you take out the overhead and expenses. And what’s leftover is generally what the small business owner gets to keep. That’s what he considers profit. Unfortunately, a lot of times the small business owner isn’t even building his or her own salary into that calculation. So their income is, “Hey, what’s left over after everybody else gets paid?”
Alec: Well, yeah. That’s the life of a small business owner, right?
David: That’s right.
Alec: Whatever’s leftover.
David: Ideally you build that in though so that your business strategies and planning takes that into account. So where you’re not only making money for the company, but you’re intentionally making money for yourself. If you’re not…
Alec: Yeah. What’s the point?
David: Yeah. What’s the point? That’s right.
Alec: Yeah. That’s super important. Anything else to say on that front?
David: I wanna talk a little bit further about the profitability.
David: When we look at profits, you know, the revenues are assuming for now that profitability is there, that you’re making a respectable percentage profit, the next step up, you know, prior to profit, is the revenues. You got to look at the overall sales revenues. And that’s a function of a number of different things. One is certainly you’ve got to have customers that are buying, looking at the factor of how much are they spending when they are in your place of business and doing transactions and then how often are they coming back. You know, over the course of a year when you look at, you know, you’ve got a certain number of customers or clients and they’re coming in once a month or once a year, every six months, whatever the case may be. But then also how much are they actually spending when they are doing business with you? You can impact overall sales revenue and profits by impacting those factors.
So you can’t really go out and get more profit. You can’t go out and get more sales for that matter or more customers. Those are results of other activities. So as a business coach, I help business owners focus on the leading indicators or the leading activities, not the end result. You know, we certainly look at the end result to see how we’re doing. That’s the scorecard. But to pay attention to the things that are creating those opportunities, creating the profits, creating the revenues, and even… I kind of went through a lot right there. But what’s creating the revenue is the customer. They’re coming in once, twice, a dozen times and then how much they’re spending each time creates that overall sales revenue.
Alec: I think about a business like a coffee shop and you may serve, you know, 200 customers in a day, but maybe some of them just came in to get a cup of coffee. You know, you didn’t market to them the pastries or the more fancy coffee. And how did you lead them to those, to those better purchases? You know, if they’re just coming in and buying a dollar coffee, you’re still serving 100. I mean 200 customers in a day. But if they come in and, “I’ll get a latte and a pastry,” then that one customer has now spent quadruple amount and you’re increasing your profit.
David: That’s exactly right. Well said. And we all see that at the grocery store or the drugstore or whatever because they stack all those other little things up at the counter for that last minute purchase to increase the average dollar sale for that transaction. While they’re standing there with their wallet out, what else would be of benefit to them? That’s what we’re trying to do.
Alec: Grab a magazine, some gum.
David: Yeah. There you go. And then to talk about the number of transactions they are, that customer is coming in for a cup of coffee. What can we do to ask them back? Either via text or email, newsletters…
Alec: Rewards programs.
David: …rewards programs. Just something encouraged them to come back more frequently than they would otherwise.
Alec: Right, right. That’s really good. I think a lot of new small business owners aren’t necessarily, they’re not thinking about that on the front end I think. I think they’re just thinking about how can we get people into the door, but especially getting people to come back, you know, that’s gonna be a really important thing for new business owners.
David: Absolutely. You know, the lifetime value of a customer is huge. Unfortunately, well, I say fortunately, many, many business owners understand the lifetime value concept that one customer can you know come back again and again and again and with a great experience, they will talk about you with their friends and family and refer you. What we don’t do a good job of, you know, transferring that approach, that perspective is with our employees and our team members. They see each customer coming in the door as a one-off transaction. They don’t really see it as a lifetime value experience where, “If we treat this one individual great, they will come back and they will speak for us and spread the word.”
Alec: So, right. You’re so right. Especially, you know, to stay with the coffee shop analogy if we can for a minute, you know, teaching the Baristas and the cashiers, you know,”This person, the way you treat them, the way you talk to them is gonna affect whether or not they come back.” And you know, with new business owners, that’s when they’re… you know, a place like Starbucks constantly has people walking through the door. Like, if there… They can count on that now. But if you’re starting a coffee shop, you know, having someone who’s gonna come back the next day is vital to making sure you have customers flowing through that door.
David: Absolutely. There’s a lot of competition out there. And in a situation like a coffee shop, you just have to be a little bit better than the competition. A little bit different experience to where you know you’re creating a wow factor, if you will, call it critical nonessentials. Do you have to do that little extra touch? Do you have to greet them by name? Do you have to, you know, provide them with a mint on the way out, you know, whatever those little things are, do you have to do that? Certainly not. But customers come in and do business with you expecting they’re paying for satisfaction. We hear that term customer satisfaction. They’re expecting that and they pay for that. What they’re not expecting is that wow, that amazing experience, that over the top, a critical nonessential, something you do above and beyond what is expected. Those are the things that people talk about and tell their friends and family and that’s why they come back to see what you’re gonna do next time.
Alec: Exactly. Yeah. And that changes from business to business. What works for coffee shop doesn’t work for, you know, a CPA office or you know, you have to think about what are they coming here to get? What is the experience they expect to get or maybe hope to get and how can we beat that and exceed it to make them come back?
David: It’s different for every business, but it can be different for many different customers as well. As you get to know these customers coming in and again and again, you start learning what’s a value to them. And you know, one size doesn’t fit all situation.
Alec: Yeah. Sales aren’t everything.
David: That’s right. That’s right.
Alec: So marketing, let’s focus on that for a second because it seems really important,you know we’re talking about this right now. You know, that lead into the sale. The sale is the end goal. That stuff that leads into the sales. There’s a lot of marketing options out there. What should business owners try to focus on or should they try to do everything?
David: Well, there’s a mix out there. Unfortunately, some put too many eggs in one basket and then some just spread themselves too thin. The reason we, for example, the reason we sit in a chair with four legs is because it’s more stable than a chair with three legs or two legs or one leg. You know, it’s the same principle of diversifying our investments. So we practice a policy of 10 marketing strategies, call it eight, 10, 12, but to diversify what we’re doing and in that diversification it, the reality is 80% of marketing doesn’t work or at least not at this time or in this place.
So to diversify, it spreads that burden or the need for success time and time again. If we run through a little bit of math, if you, let’s just say you need 10 or say you need a hundred new customers, you can have one strategy that will produce 100 customers. It’s got to be firing on all cylinders, be hitting it 100% efficiency, right? Okay. So if you have two strategies running and you need a hundred, each one could produce 50, so 50% effectiveness. Carry that math all the way through. If you have 10 running, each strategy only really needs to be producing 10 so 10% effectiveness if you will. So although, you know, a few will be producing above and beyond right now, there’s others, the seasonality in the business, things going on in the market, the mood of the economy, the mood of people, the weather will affect those strategies. And so as some are not producing quite as much, others we’ll be producing more and vice versa.
Alec: And there’s a lot of learning in that. The diversifying space, you know, trying out different methods and seeing what works. You know, if social media is not working for you, then stop doing it. You know, that’s something that we see a lot is it’s social media just, you know, Twitter in particular, it’s just not working for your business, so don’t worry about it.
David: That’s right. It’s okay. There’s so many different strategies. Identify your target.
David: And know who you’re talking to and talking with and go where they are.
David: Know your target and use the strategies that work with them. That makes the most sense. You know, it’s fascinating that people will spend… another client comes to mind where spending a lot of money over $30,000 a year in marketing, in a small business. And after diving in we realized about 10,000 of that is producing zero or negative results.
So you know, it’s real simple to say stop doing that and take that same $10,000, put it back into something that’s working and so then the results just come that much more. But, you made reference to paying attention. You know, marketing is an investment. With every investment, we expect a return on that investment, right? To do that in your other investments, your stocks or retirement funds, you get a report that shows this is where you are…
Alec: And you pay attention to that.
David: … this is where you are. You pay attention. So equally important is your marketing dollars and your marketing spend, pay attention, set it up where if you can’t measure it, don’t do it. You should be able to measure every marketing strategy and the results you’re getting and the return on that investment.
Alec: That’s great advice because there are a lot of, you know, marketing agencies who will help you out there or you know, methods out there that that just say, “Hey, just,” you know, “give us this amount of money and we’ll produce you results,” and they can’t report anything back to you. It’s super important to be able to turn that dollar you’re spending into leads, into actual money back to you, return of investment.
David: Absolutely. And as we’re talking about that, I wanna bring up a term called acquisition cost. And you may be familiar with that term.
Alec: I’m not.
David: We apply it to two different things. The acquisition cost is basically the cost it takes to get a lead or the cost to get a customer. And you look at it two different ways and it’s pretty simple math. If you look back at 2018 even last month, how much money did you spend in marketing divided by the number of leads? So that’s your lead acquisition cost. Take that same marketing spend, how many customers did you get? That’s your customer acquisition cost. Relatively easy math.
Alec: Yeah. It’s a good way to ask yourself, is this worth it?
David: Right. How much are you spending to get a customer?
Alec: Right. You spent, you know, you know, $1,200 in Facebook posts boosting last year and it got you three customers, right? You’re willing to spend $400 per customer. Is that what they’re spending? You know, it depends on your business…
David: That’s right.
Alec: …but I would think probably not in most cases. I’m still in the coffee shop mentality here as we’re talking about each of these concepts and like kind of a $400 a cup of coffee, I don’t think that’s worth it.
David: It’s not likely. When you throw in the lifetime value of that customer coming back over the course of the year.
Alec: Oh, that’s true, the lifetime value, because what if they come back every day…
David: You have to keep them coming back. Serve them well and create that experience and they will keep coming back. So, you know, they will continue to come back and so yeah, you’re not gonna make money off of that one customer buying a cup of coffee for the first few weeks, perhaps few months. But eventually, they will really be great for your business. To carry that fault a little bit further if, you know, we pick the numbers, but in essence if your sales goal is to grow by $10,000 this year and each customer is worth $1,000 to you, how many customers do you need? 10 customers. Right?
David: So then based on the other calculation we ran, the acquisition cost of customers to get 10 customers, you can say, “I need to spend that much money, whatever that acquisition cost is in my marketing spend to get the 10 customers.” So not sure if that fully made sense, but what I see is people wanting to grow by some crazy number. “I wanna grow my business $100,000 this year.” The numbers say that you need to spend $20,000 in marketing based on acquisition cost to get to that $100,000 growth.
Alec: That was gonna be my next question is how do you budget out on how much should be spending on marketing? That is how.
David: That’s the budget.
Alec: You’re looking at your acquisition cost. And you just apply it forward. So you were looking at it backwards and now you’re gonna lay it forward and say, “Okay, if this is how much it costs, then this is how much it’s gonna cost to grow by this amount.”
David: Right. Right. I talk with business owners that, you know, they set that $100,000 goal and they don’t come anywhere close to it. And in this example you ask him and they spent $8,000 in marketing. Well, of course, they fell short of their goal. Your business math is already telling you what you need to do to reach your goal and yet you didn’t do it. So the business is math. If you get into the numbers, it’ll tell you everything you need to do to move forward.
Alec: Yeah, no, that’s really good advice. I’m just like, thinking of the applications of that in my mind right now. It’s relatively simple. It’s relatively simple. I mean, obviously there’s a lot of layers to it, but that math in particular to come up with a rough plan is simple. Figure out what your acquisition cost is, figure out how much you wanna grow and then spend that amount on marketing to grow.
David: Yeah. Sounds great. It sounds easy, right?
Alec: It’s blowing my mind.
David: But I do wanna emphasize it’s important to look at both of those numbers. The acquisition cost for leads and acquisition costs for customers. If you stay with the leads… Yeah, you’ve been around marketing enough to know that leads are great. You can have all the leads in the world. But if they’re not opening their wallets and engaging with you in a transaction, then you know, then it’s a moot point. What we want to do is look at the efficiency of the leads. The tricky aspect is once leads come in, either somebody walks in the door, they engage online or over the phone, that there is a process of converting them into an actual customer. That’s sales. Once a lead raises their hand and expresses interest and engages, marketing is over, now it’s a sales process.
Alec: So what are ways that businesses can engage better with leads?
David: There is a process. I think first and foremost is to understand it’s a process. And sure there are some businesses where it’s you have one opportunity and you have to close the deal right then and there. Others are longer sale cycle. And to respect that and that people buy from people that they know and that they like and that they trust. And to build that rapport and that trust takes a little bit of time. So I encourage every business owner to step back and think about, “What is going on in the customer or in the prospect’s mind? What are their fears and frustrations that we need to address?”
Alec: Why fears and frustrations in particular?
David: Well, a purchasing decision is emotional. So, you know, statistically 80% of buying decisions are emotional. 20% are logical. So if we tap into the emotions of people and understand what’s going on in their heads and in their hearts, we’re just better able to communicate with them and create movement towards the sales and through the sales process.
David: Does that make sense?
David: So most people are resistant to change, to trying something new. So you know, that is based on uncertainty and fears. So if we can address those things and put some of these things, those concerns at bay, overcome those objections earlier, then the defensive walls have come down. We’ve built a better relationship. By no means am I suggesting that we are coercing somebody or tricking somebody into purchasing. But it’s a matter of connecting with them where they are. And understand what those fears or frustrations and concerns are so that I can show them statistics or testimonials or pictures or you know, introduce them to other clients or customers, discuss the experience, discuss the successes and benefits. It’s not me telling you, “Let me help put those things at bay for you in whatever manner makes sense for you and your business.”
Alec: Yeah. And that’s a huge part of the process. So we’ve got the marketing and then we’ve got the converting of leads into sales. And then it’s only at that point that you can look at, you know, as you said earlier, this scorecard really of the sales themselves. There’s a lot that leads up into that point. What about businesses that don’t have the budget to invest into marketing? What are the things that they can do to increase the success of that lead generation process?
David: Well, if we look at the three areas that we’ve kind of touched on real quickly of growing profits, one is the lead generation. One is the sales process, the conversion process, the number of transactions. That’s a customer service function. Then the average dollar sale, how much did they sell? How much are they buying when they’re there in your place of business? And the overall profit margin, which is kind of a management function. So out of those five ways, four of them are internal to your business. Marketing, the lead generation, is the only one that’s external to your business.
Alec: What do you mean by internal and external?
David: Well, sales, customer service, management of the business, all of that is we’re doing things with people that are already in our pipeline that already know us. And so it makes sense because marketing is generally the most expensive component out of those five ways. Let’s fix things or take advantage of things that are already in place, relationships we already have. Yeah, so that’s a matter of looking at your database, looking at people that are already coming in. The marketing is already brought them to you. Let’s do more with the ones that are already in-house, both from a number of transactions to standpoint and an average dollar sale and even profitability wise, we can generate some more profits and then in turn, turn those profits back into the marketing strategies. There’s just no sense in pouring more money into a leaking bucket.
Alec: Right, exactly. Because if they come through the door and they hate their experience, then what’s the point?
David: That’s exactly right.
Alec: There’s a lot of, you know, ”free marketing” you can do on the internal side. You know, like you said, the lifetime of the customer. They tell their friends about their experience. Making sure that they have a spectacular experience once they’re in your pipeline, is like marketing as well because once they walk out, they’re smiling, then that’s, you know, that’s just as effective as a really good ad on social media…
Alec: …or TV, local TV commercial or something.
Alec: Probably more valuable.
David: Build your raving fans, let them go be your advocates out there in the marketplace and sell for you. Give them something to talk about in a good way.
Alec: Right. Online reviews, that kind of stuff, that stuff is becoming more and more valuable as well. The way people talk about your business and their experience with you online is incredibly valuable.
David: And that channel did not exist previously. All a prospect had to go off of is what I told him as the salesperson. So now they have so much more access to information and other customer’s experiences and we got to capitalize on that. Make the most of it.
Alec: Yeah. I can say as an online shopper, you know, one of the first things I’ll do when I arrive on a product page as I scroll down to the bottom to look at the reviews. You know, and I don’t think I’m the only one who does that.
David: No, you’re not.
Alec: And search engine, you know, Google, Bing, Yahoo, those are often optimized for businesses that have strong online reviews as well. So what people say about your business after they leave is super important.
David: Absolutely. And frankly, good or bad, you know, they will talk.
Alec: Yeah, they will.
David: If people do not talk about a satisfactory experience. They will talk about a negative experience and they will talk about a positive experience.
Alec: Just go to Yelp. Yelp is a funny place because it’s like mostly negative reviews. But then when you think about it in that context, it’s like, yeah, people really just talk about their negative experiences anyway. But if you can snag some, some Five Stars or positive reviews or, and I’m talking about online, but you know, face to face… when a friend tells me, you know, it’s tax season and my friend told me the other day, he had an amazing experience with a CPA. And you know, I was just planning to do it over TurboTax. I was like, well, you know, maybe I’ll do that. I mean, he said it was awesome. He said, it’s so easy, you know. And that was because he had a great experience you know and so they just gained another customer.
David: Great example. Couple of other things. We talked about from the sales aspect, it being a emotional decision. So recognizing that from the other side of the sales, statistically it takes six to eight times touching, communicating with a prospect before they will actually buy from you. So if we recognize that and be intentional about the process to build in those number of touches, those number of communications to where somebody becomes more comfortable and familiar with me and my way, my personality, my business, my product, my service, those number of touches go a long way in sealing the deal if you will.
So build those number of touches in intentionally and strategically and don’t stop following up until they tell you to stop. That’s kind of the longstanding joke about it. Salespeople, they’ll ask one time for the sale and if they get a no, they’re done, they move on. But so much marketing has been the dollars and time have been spent to get the lead and some effort and time goes into that first one or two sales calls and then we stop. I mean, we’re halfway through. We need to continue on.
Alec: Develop a relationship.
David: That’s right. That’s right.
Alec: Business is all about relationships. So build that.
David: Yeah. And tell me, Alec, do you wake up and everyday is a great day?
Alec: Yeah. No.
David: No, no. So the reality is many of our prospects and when we engage with them the first time, you know, it’s just bad timing. They’ve had a busy morning or something, you know, they don’t feel great, whatever the case may be. So we need to give them those, you know, two, three, four, five touches to, you know, it’s not a one and done process. Sales is an ongoing process.
Alec: You’re not there to ambush them with a sale. You’re there to suggest it and then okay, well when you’re ready and then reach back out to them. Yeah much more effective than the, “Right now. This is a one time deal.”
David: And one other thing on a great strategy for increasing number of transactions, the customers, customer service kind of function how often people come back to buy from. It’s amazing too how we get sort of in one lane and stay there with a product or service. Our customers that are already engaging with us oftentimes don’t know everything else we do within our business. So make sure you’re constantly educating your customers and clients about the other services you provide under that one roof.
Alec: Because you may have a first impression idea as to what they need, but there may be something else in your line of products or whatever that actually interest them more.
David: I mean, how many times have we heard, “Oh, I didn’t know you did that? I thought all you did was this?” So you know there’s a lot of plumbing companies that are just plumbing companies, but there are many out there that receive a lot of plumbing repair calls that also do electrical services and also do heating and air services. And you know, the response for a customer may be, “I just associate you as a plumbing company. I didn’t know you did this and that.” So constantly educating the full range of products and services that we offer to the market.
Alec: Sure. It increases the lifetime of the customer. You know, they’re taking advantage of more of your services.
David: Absolutely. And be in touch with them. Part of that, you know, educational process explaining the full range can be done in newsletters or emails and that kind of thing. But to certainly be in touch with your database every 90 days. Statistically, after 90 days, the value of the relationship that you’ve built up diminishes significantly.
David: Yes. In 90 days that you go 180 days and it drops another huge chunk. So you know, eight, 10, 12 months down the road, it’s like you never had a relationship to start with. So every 90 days if not sooner, you should be in touch with a database.
Alec: So methods for that could be newsletters…
David: Emails, direct mail. You know, there’s a trend, it seems coming back where email…I mean, those inboxes are just flooded now and social media has taken a life of its own. To be unique, end up in somebody’s mailbox, you know, that old fashioned thing that sits out by the road, something, you know, a direct mail piece or something of that nature that is just different from the crowd.
Alec: Right, right. No, I’ve actually seen that a little bit recently. I think it was Trader Joe’s sends out basically it’s like this little miniature newspaper that has like, you know, health news and stuff like that in it as well as some like coupons in there for Trader Joe’s products. And I thought that was really, I mean it looked like a vintage newspaper, which is very trader Joe’s on brand. But I thought that was a really interesting idea and it was, we live right next to one. And so, you know, I asked him about it when I went in, you know, because I’m a marketing guy and they said, ”Yeah, we send that to the people, you know, in the neighborhoods around this grocery store.” And it’s kind of like the neighborhood, you know, Trader Joe’s newspaper. And I thought that was so unique and cool and, you know, it got me back in there to ask about it, but also, you know, shop there anyway. That’s interesting you say that is coming back.
David: So, you know, just to clearly call out the benefit or the method that they are using is it’s a newspaper with some value-add content, health news and that kind of things. And then there’s also the offer, of course. So just sending out offers, you know, people want to see some value. Educate.
Alec: They want to know why they should take a second to look at that piece of collateral or email or newsletter, whatever to read it rather than just throw it away. It’s like, yeah, “I don’t really need coupons.” You know, but if you actually offer them something valuable, you know, an article or something like that or blog post, if you send out an email, you know, that’s gonna increase their attention span.
David: Absolutely. And that’s what we want is their attention because then we can create the interest and desire for them to come and do business with us. Well said.
Alec: Yeah. This is all really awesome information. Do you have anything else to share before we wrap up?
David: Yeah. This has been awesome to get with you here today. I do wanna call out that with technology, what it is, knowledge content is not the issue these days. I mean, you can Google anything, right? And learn as much as you want. The challenge is really how to apply those learnings, apply that content. The reality is every successful CEO has some kind of board of directors, some accountability partners, some folks influencing them, helping them stay on track. You know, as humans, especially as business owners, we all have business scotomas and you know, a Scotoma is a blind spot. We all have our blind spots. And like Tiger Woods said, you know, and somebody asked him about, you know, “Why do you have so many coaches?” “I can’t see my own swing.” I need somebody else watching an objective opinion that can see what’s going on. See what I do not see and hold me accountable, create some disciplines in the process.
And you know, resources, are available all over. Like business, the business resources, the Charlotte business resources is available. The small business centers, you know, there’s a small business center every community college across the state. Phenomenal resources, CPCC lot of classes, opportunities to learn and get better at this profession of business ownership. And certainly there’s people, there’s coaches or mentors out there that people can engage.
Alec: Like you?
David: Like me of course. But the point is we all need somebody. I’ve got a couple of coaches myself and we all need a coach and you’re taking it full circle. The thing that, one of the main reasons I got back into this business, got into this business to start with, is watching my dad put a lifetime of effort into his pharmacy. When CVS bought him out, they bought the fixtures and inventory and everything, but he just did not get what he should have gotten at the end of a lifetime of investment. Six days a week, seven days a week, year after year after year. And the reality is he went into business, made a decent living. But the real payoff for business owners is when they sell the business.
And if you want to make the most of that, get somebody around you to help build that business. The actual value, not just the income that is coming, doing the work of the business, but to build the value of the business so that it can operate without you being present. So you take a vacation, know you can come back and it’s in better shape and more profitable than when you left. And then when the time comes to retire or to sell, that it is of great value. That’s where the payoff comes. I just encourage everyone to surround themselves with a great team of people to get those resources and accountability and discipline they need to be truly, truly successful and build the business they said they wanted to build when they opened the doors.
Alec: Don’t do it alone.
David: Don’t do it alone.
Alec: And there’s a great community of small business owners in Charlotte too. There’s, if you go to CBRbiz.com there’s a ton of events going on. Get involved with other small business owners because yeah, there’s no reason to do it alone.
David: Find a place to plug in.
David: Great job, Alec.
Alec: Thank you so much, David.
David: Thank you.
Alec: All right, listeners, there you have it. I certainly hope you found this episode of the B2U Podcast as informative as I have. David, thank you so much for joining us today and sharing this stuff. It’s been super insightful and I hope we can have you back in the near future.
Listeners, if you have any questions about today’s podcast or have any topic suggestions, please feel free to tweet us @CBRbiz on Twitter. This concludes today’s episode of the B2U Podcast. Once again, I am your host, Alec Mangum and thanks for tuning in to the B2U Podcast brought to you by CBRbiz.com.
Until next time, we mean business.