All posts by bigbear

Don’t Leave Out the Middle Man

You see and hear it all the time when big companies want to talk about savings for the customer by “cutting out the middle man”.

Who exactly is this “Middle man” anyway and why do they want to cut him out?

I am the middle man and I can tell you exactly why we are here.

There are many businesses in this country, especially businesses that are focused on making things or providing a particular service.

One of the things about a production or service based business is that the operator is usually going to be interested in doing that particular job more than anything else.

Yes, you have entrepreneurs who will start a business not because they love doing something in particular and want a chance to do it the way they think would be best, but because it is a profitable endeavor.  There will always be entrepreneurs and that is OK too.

But for the business people who have a passion for what they do,  they find that they cannot do everything at the same time.

They cannot make their products and be out selling them at the same time.  One activity takes time away from the other.  Also, many people are more comfortable doing what they do but are not very comfortable or successful, at sales.

I know some brilliant, talented and hard working people who make things or provide services that, sad to say, just can’t sell.  It is not one of their main talents.

So, what do these great many types of businesses do to sell their services and products while they are busy making and doing them?

They hire someone to do it for them.  Some can afford to hire an “inside” sales person which means the sales person is in a storefront or at a counter taking the customers order.  Sometimes they hire an “outside” sales person to go out and present their product or service to others.

Hiring a sales person might be out of the budget for many of these businesses, especially a small business.  What do they do then?

Insert the “Middle Man” here.  The middle man specializes on sales and sometimes marketing and customer service.  While the business owners and operators are busy doing what they are best at, the middle man is out there doing what he or she is best at doing on their clients behalf.

Frequently, someone like me isn’t “hired” to be an employee of the business and all of the costs that go with hiring an employee.  We are business people in our own right and take care of our own business costs and expenses.

We provide an extremely valuable service to producers and service providers by operating in their best interests.  We work to make our client’s business profitable and successful.

Because we work on commission and flat fees, if our client isn’t making money, neither are we.  This ensures our clients that we will always be working hard to send them business and increase their profitability.

The middle man brings products and services to the public that they otherwise wouldn’t know about and they provide a key service to the businesses we represent allowing them to focus on the quality of what they make and do.

 

Sales Rep Tip

Here’s an opportunity for me to give folks an idea of things to look for, to do and not to do when representing your business or client.

Today I’ll mention a couple of things.  First, if you are going to go out “Prospecting”, make sure to do it in the morning.  It’s the cooler part of the day and you won’t sweat as much or get as “worn” looking when walking into a prospective customers location.

Secondly, make sure you are being a good example and minding the details when visiting a client or prospective client.

For example, if you pull into the parking lot, don’t park taking up two or more parking spaces.  People will look poorly on you and your business and they will also look down on the customer you are visiting purely by association.  Far too often we are unfairly judged by the company we keep.

Don’t set your customer up for a fall because you were to careless or oblivious to do things the right way.

More than credit card transactions

On first look, people might think, “Oh, here is yet another salesman trying to get me to switch to his service.”

Luckily for them, there is SO much more to BBE-Tech Business Solutions than credit card transactions.

Ultimately, I am here to be YOUR rep.  Yes, I most certainly can get you great rates for your credit card transactions.  I can also get you the very best credit card equipment.  I can get you top quality and state of the art Point of Sale machines as well.  Receipt printers, cash drawers, touchscreen monitors and all.

That’s not what you need right now?  OK, I can help get you the very best in office computer support services.  Office networking services and support.   I also have Web site creation.  All of these done by local professionals.

What about your workplace conditions?  Do you need to make sure your employees know how to properly maintain the workspace to prevent pests, keep illness down and create a safe and productive environment?

I provide Business IPM training and certification so that you know for a fact that your workplace is being taken care of properly.  This is especially important for those businesses who are restaurants, bars, caterers, coffee shops and more.

Do you work outside?  I carry a line of proven non-toxic pest spray products to keep the bugs off of you, allowing you to be more productive and less bothered by outdoor pests.

As you can see, BBE-Tech is about total business solutions.  My biggest goal is to help your business to be successful, productive and profitable.  Take a look through the website here and see all of the things I can do for you.

It just begins with credit card processing.

Is having the technology enough?

The Internet.  The World Wide Web.  The Digital Jungle.

Creating and maintaining a successful presence online is an interesting cross between technology and marketing.

Sadly, there are thousands of service providers out there who have oodles of knowledge and access to the technology but lack any real understanding of marketing.

This is because, at it’s heart, marketing is about the one thing that folks in the tech business know little about.  People.

You can have the most technologically advanced software and equipment in the world and have a bombed web presence because it lacks “presence”.

Marketing is about people.  It’s about knowing people.  Knowing what they want, what they need, what they like and don’t like.  It’s not just knowing the statistics of many people.  It’s about knowing a person.  That person who you are targeting and trying to build a sale with.

Marketing is about building experiences for people.  A website can convey information and images but if it doesn’t express an experience the customer is looking for, it’s not much more than a digital paperweight.

When you are setting up your business’s web presence, whether on your own or with an experienced partner who understands both the technology AND the marketing sides, like I do.  Do it  with your thoughts on “The” customer.  Focus in on people who you know that you have done business with and are just who you think of when you think of doing business.

What do you know about that person?  What interests them or motivates them to come to you and to purchase your products and services?

Then you will be on the right track to build a successful and profitable web site.

IPM saves money and makes you more profitable

There are a lot of business people who do not fully appreciate the importance and value of staying on top of their workplace environmental management (WEM).  WEM  boils down to structuring your workplace, cleaning your workplace and keeping your workplace clear of threats and hazards.

Cleaning and pest control are the two top issues in most business workplaces.

Here’s how it works…  Pests are looking for two main things; Harborage (a place to live) and Forage (stuff to eat and drink).

When a workplace is not properly maintained and cleaned, it is a source of both forage and harborage.  It gives them food that is left out in the open and harborage behind and beneath cluttered areas.

Pests bring bacteria and diseases  with them.  Uncleaned workplaces increase the amounts of dust and dirt in the air that are also covered in bacteria and pathogens.

When you and your staff breathe that air and are exposed to those conditions, people tend to get sick and absent more frequently and/or become less productive because they are “turned off” by the conditions.  Morale goes through the floor and people are just lees motivated.

Lower productivity hits you right in the wallet.  You can’t be profitable if you aren’t productive, plain and simple.

When you set up a proper IPM plan, you address the workplace conditions.  How things are laid out and maintained.  By ensuring that people know where to clean, what to clean and how to clean properly, conditions will improve and morale picks up almost immediately.  Attendance improves because people are not sick as frequently and missing days.

You have improved productivity and profitability simply by having an IPM plan and taking action on it.

Why are you in business if not to be profitable and get the most out of what you love doing for a living?

The Target Market

If you’ve read much of the information posted here so far, you might deduce that I have a soft spot for small business. It’s not that I don’t plan to or want to work with mid to large businesses. I do, I can and I will. Having said that, everyone and their brother is chasing “the big boys” and to be honest, I don’t like crowds.

However, the small business person is close to my heart. We have a shared bond. I am a small business person and they are small business people. There is something unique about the small business. Us little guys though, we don’t get the love or attention that the big boys with deep pockets get.

The small business person wants to be successful though, just like any other business. The small business often has to limit how much they can spend on equipment, resources and services due to having pockets that are not quite so deep.

The small business person has to rely most on what separates them from the big boys. The ability to provide superior customer service. The small business person fully understands and appreciates the difference knowing your customers and being able to use that knowledge about them to give them a more unique and personal experience.

I love that. I don’t like to go through drive though areas of restaurants, banks or anywhere else. I’d rather park and go inside to talk to a person, face to face. You can look the customer in the eye and see the things that a phone call, an intercom or a web site jusst can’t give.

You can see frustration, excitement, concern, joy, sadness and everything else. Even when they are trying to keep a calm and controlled voice, the eyes don’t lie. It’s a part of the small business experience that simply can’t be captured in a bigger business environment.

I get that. I live the small business experience every day. I want to help other small business people to be able to do what they love to do and be successful at it. I want to bring them the resources, equipment and services that might otherwise have thought to be out of reach for them.

I want to be there with them as they start their business in their house or garage then follow along with them as they move into a retail space. I want to be there with those who expand to multiple locations. I am ready to help them grow and adapt to each new stage of their business as it grows. I want to help them plan and prepare in the garage so that they can make that transition into a retail space easier and faster there and beyond.

I want to grow our businesses together, in our community, in our time and in our way.

Are you ready for this?

After having spent the past nearly 30 years in sales and marketing in some form or function,  I have arrived at a place where I can do it how I want and with the people I want to work with.

Four years ago, I started the Omaha Bee Club, a new group to help local beekeepers to be more successful in their endeavors.  Not just other beekeepers, but myself as well.  By using my accumulated skills and knowledge, I have been able to put together on of the best beekeeping clubs around.

As of 2014, that’s four years time, the group has gathered together a great number of resources and materials that member beekeepers can make use of to make their beekeeping experience more successful and more enjoyable at the same time.

The group now has nearly 120 dues paying members with more joining every month.  We are talking about a group of people that is notorious for “going it alone” and bringing them together successfully over a long term.

Not only am I a local beekeeper but I am a local small business person as well.  I know what it is to open a local service based business and struggle to build it up and get the most from the resources I have.

I am here now, again as a local small business person but now I have the opportunity to to take on the same role I enjoy so much with my beekeepers and employ it with other local small business people in the Omaha/metro area.

I want to help you be more successful in your business.  I want to help you get the most out of your tools and resources and I want you to enjoy being a local, successful small business person.

Helping you to be successful will help me to be successful and by succeeding at helping you to be profitable and enjoy what you do gives the same to me at the same time.  It’s a win-win situation for both of us.

Let’s do this.