Why do some small businesses succeed wildly while others fail?
(Inland Empire Marketing Association) – Ron Burgess presented his views on how small businesses should view their position in the market. His presentation comes as a precursor to the release of his marketing book for small business “Finding your Crack in the Market.”
Ron has three decades of marketing experience, is a Past-President of the AMA-IE, and has a passion for small business marketing. His book is a capstone to a career working with businesses under 250 employees and sheds a unique light on the challenges and opportunities that small businesses experience.
Some key points you will learn from Finding your Crack in the Market?
- Learn how to determine if your company fills a market niche!
- Find out about how your company can create market leadership in your crack.
- Build defenses for your market niche with “Market Emplacement”
Finding Your Crack in the Market is scheduled for released in the first days of 2013. For more information, visit: www.findingyourcrack.com.
The conclusion may not please some consultants and marketing professionals. The answer is not stellar management skills or financial prowess or a knack for marketing promotion. It’s the market niche that the business plays in. The common factors are really more about limiting competition and finding new small cracks in your market to exploit. With five years of research on the book, which is scheduled to be released January 1, 2013, and thirty years as a successful consultant whose clients collectively, substantially beat their competition and the national economy’s growth, Ron’s ideas may just be worth listening to.
It is common knowledge that good brand management and product differentiation are part of the strategic mantra, but Burgess illustrates lots of successful businesses that thrive without either. Instead, many wealthy small business owners look for an open niche, or more likely fall into an empty crack in the economy, and figure out how to deliver what their customers want with laser like intent.
Once a company takes market leadership in their crack, their customers reward them with higher margins. In his book, Burgess reveals obscure but critical market information that proves this to be axiomatic. Those extra margins allow rapid growth, cover up mistakes, and provide the eventual wealth creation that the leadership position provides. Jack Welch former Chairman of GE knows this too. Now you can know what he and other Fortune 500 Companies know, because Burgess breaks it down for small business.
Ron Burgess presented his views on how small businesses should view their position in the market. His presentation comes as a precursor to the release of his marketing book for small business“Finding your Crack in the Market.”
The Inland Empire has always had challenges with its small media market, even though we have a large media population. The Inland Empire would be in top 20 DMA’s in America, but it isn’t considered DMA (Designated Market Area ). Inland Empire advertising has been primarily relegated to print, radio, outdoor, and cable. The IE, and Orange County are the children of Los Angeles, and thus, we don’t even have our own local TV stations.
Scott Welsh, the Director of Sales for Clear Channel Media in the Inland Empire pointed out that while our market may be limited, “it still is a great advertising value, because our media coverage is still reaches the population.” I think what he was alluding to, was that because of our small media market, we don’t have the competition among media outlets that you may see in other standalone DMAs, thus our media is consumed fairly well.
It was also interesting to hear from Matt Strohfus of Lamar Advertising in the Inland Empire about “Outdoor” and “Billboards”. We all know that with all the miles of roads, there is a lot of opportunity for Inland Empire advertising. Matt reminded us about changes in billboard digital advertising. He said, “We are finding that digital billboards are more viewed because the viewer does not want to miss the next ad.” So, I tried it on the drive home, and he is right, I think people are focusing more on the digital billboards than printed billboards.
The other Inland Empire advertising growth area is online. You see growth coming from the downside of having a small media market, we don’t have enough public relations outlets. We have seen a lot of new “hyper-local” websites popping up to provide the missing content. Sites like InlandEmpire.US, where it will publish any Inland Empire content, or like IEShineOn.com, who has built a following around providing events and things to do with in the Inland Empire. Advertising on the online channels is far less expensive, and with Google continuing to increase its search effectiveness, much more targeted advertising.
The American Marketing Association-Inland Empire (AMA-IE), the marketing authority in the region, is offering this final event of the luncheon series — Big Ideas for Small Business: Marketing Strategies & Tactics for the New Economy. The AMA-IE’s goal is to help Inland Empire businesses understand the most effective marketing and communications strategies to be successful in this volatile economy.
Ron has been a long time member of the American Marketing Association-Inland Empire (AMA-IE), and is currently the clubs “Past President”. The AMA-IE is part of the American Marketing Association, the largest marketing association in North America. The AMA-IE mission is to help our members develop professionally through educational programs and networking events, as well as providing opportunities to businesses to grow their businesses through educational programs and obtaining highly qualified marketing professionals for their staffs. For more information please visit www.ama-ie.com.
301 Redirect – Redirecting old pages to new pages with an “.htaccess” file
Google wants to see quality content on your pages, so when you are changing your site and are forced to move pages and change their name, you’ll need to use a 301 redirect. A 301 redirect is the preferred practice to preserve your search engine rankings and page rank.
What is a 301 redirect?
The 301 redirect is way to tell the search engine spiders that you have presently moved a file. There are a number of ways to create a 301 redirect; I prefer using the .htaccess file, because it is nice and tidy. You can write the redirect in PHP, ASP, JSP, or ColdFusion, but you’ll end up with all the files still needing to be hosted on your server.
The .htaccess File
The htaccess file only works on Linux servers that use the Apache Mod-Rewrite.
The file is really a .txt file, so you can edit it in notepad if needed.
*Note, the spacing needs to be exact, and as long as you are in the same site, you can use the relative path of your folders.
Each additional page that needs to be moved can be added to the next line.
Posting the .htaccess File
The .htaccess file needs to be posted to the main (root) html folder of your site. Sometimes the file may be hidden from view, so if you are using cloaking, make sure you un-cloak your settings.
Immediately test the file. Simply type in all of your old pages URLs into the browser, and make sure they re-direct to the new page. If you see a major error, like the site has blown up, take the .htaccess folder down! Check you syntax for errors.
We also have some great educational programming coming up in the next few weeks with AAF. The first event is a “Media Buying Panel” with traditional media vendors; Radio, TV, Print and Outdoor. You can find tickets here http://aaf-inlandempire.com/.
Next month, we’re having a social media panel, details to come.
Jon Burgess will be speaking Friday August 24th, at the Riverside Chamber. Jon will be speaking on Integrated Marketing, and how you can take advantage those principles even if you are “Marketing on a Shoestring Budget.”
This seminar provides business owners with information they need in targeting potential customers/clients and increasing business exposure. Read more at the Inland Empire press release.
The seminar costs $35.00 for Chamber members and $75.00 for non-members and includes a complimentary light breakfast and parking. Contact the chamber today to register at 951-683-7100 or go to www.riverside-chamber.com. The Chamber is located at 3985 University Avenue, Riverside, CA, 92501.
In the simplest terms, LinkedIn is a Web 3.0 Rolodex, meaning it is a living document with social interaction. It is a great place to keep your business contacts, so that when they move to a new job, you’re still connected. Of the social media platforms, LinkedIn is the most important for Business to Business (B2B), sales, industrial or niche market organizations.
In addition, LinkedIn is a great place to follow authoritative people in your industry. Knowing what leaders and even your competitors are doing can sometimes be more valuable than the connectivity that LinkedIn gives you. As you become more comfortable with social media, you too should focus on being a authoritative person, or “thought leader” in your industry.
What you SHOULD do in LinkedIn
Only connect with people you have met. I call this the handshake rule. There are two reasons: first you want to build relationships and connections, second, you don’t want to get spammed from strangers.
Your profile needs to be up-to-date. Executives and board members have lifetimes of experience. You should put it in your profile. The more content within your profile, the higher your chances of being found by people searching within LinkedIn and you’ll build more personal authority.
Professional Headshot. Don’t just put up any photo; but use one that is professional, that is consistent with your work or industry. This isn’t Facebook, so no dogs, babies or booze photos.
Spend Time in LinkedIn. Most business leaders start their day before breakfast, so make a point to spend 5 to 15 minutes a week looking at your LinkedIn. You’ll find it is a great source for news and industry interaction while growing in your social media comfort level.
Give People Recommendations. Employees and colleagues love getting a pat on the back, and by giving out recommendations, not only do you increase your connection with that person, but you build your own authority.
Link to your profile. If you have public profiles or blog pages on the Internet, it is a great place to link to your “LinkedIn Profile”. You should do the same for Twitter and Google+ profiles, so you can build your reach and public authority.
Share your PR, News, Thoughts into LinkedIn. If you are creating content, leverage its value by making sure to link from your Social Media networks to your content.
What NOT to do within LinkedIn
Do not SPAM. Like all social networks, you should not spam your connections or send them unwanted emails. SPAM is bad enough when you get it in your email box, but when you get it within the confines of LinkedIn, there is more offense taken. SPAM will cause people to disconnect from you and lower your public perception.
Don’t ask ALL your connections for recommendations. While you need recommendations on your profile, don’t have a cattle call. If you’re a business executive, you may not enjoy all the comments employees or ex-colleagues may have for you, and you surely don’t want them public. Ask a few key relationships for recommendations, but in general, natural recommendations are the best.
Proof your Writing. Make sure your secretary or PR person proofs your content. I’m horrible at proofreading so I always have 2 pairs of eyes on anything I write.
Growing your Social Media Savvy
Jumping into Social Media can be an education process for anyone, let alone executives who have to weigh the value of their time. Social Media is the real world, and you it is time to accept that it will not go away, and Google has said it will start emphasising social results in their algorithms. This means social interactions will effect your website search results. Often Social Media doesn’t appear that valuable, but trust me, anyone who wants to be in business in five or ten years will have to accept Social Media as a tool in the marketing tool belt.
So, I suggest a growth and educational approach to adopting Social Media.
Set up your accounts and start “Listening” to what others say.
Start to create a “Strategy” for what you and your organization should be doing.
Start “Socializing” within the platforms.
Start “Measuring” the stats that matter within your goals?
Start “Organizing” your social efforts and those efforts within your organization.