Posts tagged #marketing

Where Have All The Salespeople Gone?

Business is getting better. The fabrication shop has been very busy for the majority of the year. Yes, some of the production can be attributed to our new CNC plasma table, but not all. The business environment seems to be on the steady.

Where does my optimism come from?

Posted on September 26, 2013 and filed under Business, Marketing, Micro-Business, Manufacturing.

Have You Tried Vine Yet?

I love technology and all it can bring to life or business. A few days ago Twitter ( By far my favorite social network ) introduced Vine, a service that lets you take 6 second video's easily and share them in your twitter feed. The video can them be viewed inside each tweet like so:

This was my first ever vine video tweet, whatcha think? Honestly, I haven't really gotten a chance to really play with or think about the ways we can use Vine to help promote the business. However, as more people get their hands on the app more ideas will come out.

There have been some interesting ideas vaguely floating around, but they have been more creative and centered around the technology. The coat is still fresh and tacky, not ready to hang the pictures and finish the wall.

I will be interested to see how we or other micro and small businesses use this interesting new addition to the Twitter family.

Check out the post about Vine on the Twitter blog or directly at the Vine site.

 

New K & E Company Folders From Hot Lunch Press

The new customer folders are here and they came out better than I had originally thought. Hot Lunch Press did a fantastic job screen printing our folders, which will be given to customers in the quoting process for installations and bigger sheet metal fabrication jobs. The Hot Lunch screen printing method and my simplistic design combine to give them a nice vintage style look. A big thanks to Hot lunch Press for the great work! Check out Hot Lunch Press and give a follow on Twitter @HOTTTLUNCH.

 

Posted on December 3, 2012 and filed under Company News.

5 Reasons Your Micro-Business Should Have a Linkedin Company Page

Our teeny tiny little company could be the poster child for local, micro, niche business. So why should a company so diminutive in size make it a priority to focus on their Linkedin company page?

Here are five reasons why any micro business should have a presence on Linkedin:

1. Don't Judge a Micro-Business by it's Cover

Nobody really knows the size of your micro-business and most could really care less. The customer wants the job done right, for a good price. That's it, that's the list. They don't care about the number of employees or how colorful your trucks are. Most customers want the project done properly, on time, by good people and priced fairly in accordance with the market.

Your Linkedin company page is a great place to make those connections, to show and promote the products and services that make your company special, no matter how big or small you might be.

Just because Linkedin seems like only a place for big business and financial or law firms, doesn't mean that local, micro-businesses can't flourish and learn from the site. Many business employees on the site and in groups are very gracious with their time and insights about business best practice.

You have knowledge as well, make your voice heard no matter what size company you currently have.

2. Budget Should Not Be an Issue

Anyone running a micro-business knows that sweat equity is the only way to get things done. You have to put in the hours to move the company forward. Yes, budget is a concern, but the internet is a never ending, low cost business tool that every owner should be using. Linkedin company pages should be one place you focus to grow relationships for no dollars.

The page is free.

It's your job to put the time and effort into making it a powerful tool to help grow your micro-business. Believe me, I'm still learning and updating my pages to get our name and what we do out into the world. However, I am the one putting in the time to save the money. No one knows my business better than I do. Don't feel like everything has to be subbed out just because you don't understand it. Not only is the web a powerful business tool, it's also a free education on any subject you choose to learn about.

Learn something new, create these micro-business advantages yourself and save money in the process.

3. Networking is Important for Micro-Business Too

I did not want to believe this a few years ago when our company was struggling to find good partners and contractors who we could trust. My anxieties got in the way, making it difficult to put our company out there, working to find new business connections and innovate at the same time.

Our micro-business is very niche and boring, not on the minds of customers until their furnace quits or a contractor informs them new ductwork is a must. My job is to make sure that not only customers know who we are and what we do, but also business owners who can promote or use our services as well.

Linkedin and Linkedin company pages is 24 hour networking service, finding the business owners in your industry who can help promote your business and find customers, even for micro-business owners. Sometimes the hardest thing is locating good partners and people that can help your business to grow and prosper. Linkedin promotes this process and Linkedin company pages make it easy to inform those connections about what your doing daily.

Good relationships is what keeps our micro-business afloat when times get tough. My father always preached to never burn bridges. I hated the cliche when I started working here 15 years ago, but it's completely true and has worked in our favor more than once over that time period.

4. Keep Your Linkedin Company Page Current

We are still working to update and make our web presence as pleasing to our customers as possible. Again, sweat equity to keep costs down. I do the designing and updating myself of all our pages and the website, making the process slow and tedious, but necessary for our micro-business to flourish in a world moving feverishly toward the web and the cloud.

There is nothing more annoying than searching for a local business and seeing the stock avatar and business name only. We get it, you signed up and have never been back to update, you're too busy. However, this makes any connection via that platform meaningless and worthless for your micro-business or potential networking opportunity. Focus to take any and every business relationship you can get.

Keep those Linkedin company pages current

5. Don't Sell Yourself Short

I struggle with this on a daily basis and it's something a micro-business owner should never do, whether in person or on the web. I'm still working to sell our company properly whether on our Linkedin company page or any other. The thing is, I know we do a great job and it's not egotistical to let our customers and business partners know that.

This doesn't mean telling everybody your company can produce anything under the sun for the cheapest price possible because truth is, that is completely false. You know what your micro-business can do and it's more than likely small scale, but the quality is probably bar none. You know your pricing is good and you do everything you can to make the customer happy. Do what your micro-business does well, to the best of your ability and promote the hell out of it.

Our company makes sheet metal boxes for residential heating and cooling systems. My whole business life that's how I thought of our business. However, those tin boxes have a function and we fabricate each of them custom to the customers needs, locally and at a great price. My job is to make sure people in my community and on the web know this about our company.

My business may be small, but we do fantastic work and care about customers. Our business partners are important to us and making sure we are accessible any way possible and on a budget is key to growing and promoting our micro-business into the future.

This is what you should be focusing on in your business, getting the word out and making connections in your industry and a properly setup Linkedin company page is a great way to start.

 Follow the K & E Sheet Metal Company Page

 

Leveraging Our Local Business Web Presence to Grow Customers

I may be a little crazy. Well, maybe not crazy, just stupid. I have been working on our local business web presence and company website for some time now and positive as the experience has been, there are days when it seems like an insurmountable task, relegating me to suffer through for the rest of my life. I'm not a cheapskate when it comes to investing in the business, but I do try not to waste where I can. The company website and our local business web presence is one of these not waste kind of investments due to my love of technology and interest in the internet as a business and marketing tool. I'll be honest, I've had my stint in the make money quick affiliate marketing scene once before, which came to an abrupt, money burning ending. However, I did receive an education on some good practices when it comes to building and running a successful website. By no means am I an expert, but a little SEO, HTML and CSS goes a long way when trying to save money with creation and promotion of a website.

Products_Page_Screenshot

Products_Page_Screenshot

Today I began creating the pages for products we fabricate here at K & E Sheet Metal. Nothing too major, mostly pages with our more common sheet metal fabrication to start. Things like:

The hope is that these new pages will give the customer more of a detailed view of what we are capable of fabricating and also giving the engines like Google and Bing the fuel they need to pop us up when a potential customer searches for, as an example "cold air boot".

One thing I am trying to accomplish as a business owner is figuring out how we can leverage the internet and our website to help be a better functioning local business web presence on a budget. Our overhead is costly, so anywhere we can save is a major benefit.

Even though I wear many hats for this company, they are all important and must be cared for individually. Our main products and company revenue are custom sheet metal boxes and fittings, but there are other ways to find streams of income and having a quality website, where customers can find you easily and become more informed on your products is paramount (imho). This is why I am more focused more than ever on creating a higher quality web space.

Obviously, this comes at a time cost, which is valuable, but will ultimately bring solid growth to our local business web presence and customer base. So I trudge through the dashboard of Wordpress and tap away on the keys trying to find the best wording and content for each page, hoping to bring our new and old customers closer to us on the internet.

The challenge continues...

My Attempt at Gaining New, Local Twitter Followers

Recently I have been trying to gain a more local twitter following and figured it was time to go gorilla style. Because my sheet metal shop is located in a giant building, off the road and coupled with 50 or so other renting businesses, it's not like I can just throw a sign in the window for passers by to see. So today I came up with the economical idea to throw a sign on the back of my truck toolbox with our twitter handle and see if we get any (in the know) local twitter users. I have noticed that some local businesses follow us on twitter, but not individuals who would actually use our services and become customers.

Our business base is very local and the newspaper in the area is losing readership daily, so finding new ways to reach out and advertise is becoming difficult. I figure if we can get some people following, we can show them what we do via the twitter feed, website or blog and find those younger couples and individuals that need new furnaces, duct work and/or custom sheet metal work for their homes or offices.

We shall see if anyone actually gives us a follow or if I need to tweak my idea a bit further. Only time will tell.

Feedback is always welcome. So if you have any suggestions on how I can better my local twitter following idea, please comment and let me know.

Follow Us on Twitter @kesheetmetal

 

Posted on September 21, 2011 and filed under Micro-Business.