What Business Can Learn from the Titanic

ABC’s Shark Tank is arguably one of the top-rated shows on TV, outperforming NBC’s Dateline by double-digits across the board, according to Friday Ratings. Maybe it’s because so many of us are watching TV as COVID-19 stubbornly refuses to let us get back to “business as usual.”

Shark original Robert Herjavec is author of The Will to Win: Leading, Competing, Succeeding, a #1 National Bestseller on why good enough is never good enough in business and in life. In Chapter 27, entitled Let’s Wait and See What Happens,” Said the Captain of the Titanic, Robert addresses what happens when businesses fail to face challenges — and there’s been no other time in recent history that has been as challenging for many businesses.

While we may define a recession as lower demand during a pandemic, Herjavec points out that while economists define recession as two consecutive quarters of economic decline, in the book he defines it as two consecutive months of declining sales. Today, it’s called worldwide pandemic and business lockdown.

He goes on to say “I don’t believe in waiting and seeing what happens. I believe in making things happen.” Some of his advice is impossible during a pandemic, for example, #2 is to visit customers yourself, in person.  

More advice from Robert…

  • Forget sales messages: deliver buying messages. Talk about the reasons your customer wants to buy your produce or service.
  • Don’t ask the customer questions you can answer yourself. Go online, find out everything you can about your customer or prospect. Invest the time you have to engage and build rapport.
  • Focus on value, not price. Buyers are expecting deals during these trying times, so selling value has never been as important.

He also says that problems are opportunities…later. For many of us small business owners, we can’t wait for “later.” But we can use these times to disrupt our priorities in order to spend quality time on mapping a more prosperous comeback.

If you’re a Shark Tank fan, click over to CNBC to see what advice the Sharks have to financially survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

Small Business Can SCORE!

Small businesses in and around Cincinnati were hit hard by COVID-19, but we Ohioans are neither easily discouraged nor defeated. Our Midwestern values respect the hard work that goes into making an honest living. We enjoy the simple things, like family, friends, good food (especially beer, goetta, chili, and beer!), opening day with the Reds, football weekends,  Graeter’s ice cream, and asking someone we meet where they went to (high) school. 

We are a great city with an illustrious past and everything we need for a bright future. Being home to eight of the Fortune 500 companies makes Cincinnati a rich source of business know-how and experience. Some of these great business minds, both working and retired, volunteer to help local business owners to start a new business or make an existing business more efficient, productive, creative, and profitable. These business veterans serve as the backbone of an often-overlooked business resource in Cincinnati — SCORE.

SCORE is a partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 11 million entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops and educational resources. 

SCORE mentors typically meet their mentees one-on-one in person, but during these times of social distancing are meeting remotely. SCORE online offers advice on Coronavirus SBA Loans and other business assistance and can help you regain momentum with free online courses covering digital marketing, launching a website, and leveraging social media.

We expect the demand for this free mentoring to be higher than usual now and for the coming months, so don’t delay. If you can benefit from the wisdom of others that have gone before you, there’s no better time than now to sign up. Small business owners can get daily updates on the Cincinnati COVID-19 Dashboard.

Regarding small business accounting matters, we’re here to help you to plan now and for the future in order to avoid a cash crisis and keep your business strong. Call us (513) 322-1036.

Small Business Report 2019

Every year around this time we deliver business news that we think our small business owners and entrepreneurs care about. 2019 has been a good year for those willing to stay on top of trends and charge headlong into the competitive landscape of the dot-com world.

In Ohio, small businesses employ over 2.2 million people, almost half of the State’s full employment. Our growth was slightly under the national average, but up from the previous year. The average small business owner that’s incorporated makes around $52,000; if unincorporated, the figure is around $23,000.

One of the fastest growing segments is the small business startup. For those startups to survive, they must be aware of and participate in today’s business trends:

  1. Automation Software: Successful business owners do more with less using automation for accounting, data entry, email marketing, customer service and customer relationship management.
  2. Smart Technology: Smaller business infrastructures, from smarter systems and manufacturing methods, the success small business owners learns how to reduce the cost of goods and services using technology.
  3. Smaller Brick & Mortar: Remote work environments give small business owners the freedom to have more hands on deck without the expense of increased office space, phone systems, utility bills, and amenities like larger break rooms and parking passes. Work-from-home employees stay in jammies and save on their commute time. They are happy, and this makes for greater productivity.
  4. Digital Access: In 2018, over 70% of small businesses used social media, websites, and email marketing to grow their business, find leads, solve problems, and deliver customer service. When the 2019 numbers come out, we expect them to have increased to 90% or above. According to Nextiva, 57% of customers would rather contact companies online than call a help desk, expect when it’s a payment issues.

In this connected world, consumers expect information at their fingertips, quick response to problems, and ease of purchase. 

Employees want casual work environments with state-of-the art technology that is fast, consistently updated, and available from almost any device.

We believe that small businesses who can best define their brand online and deliver great customer service through the use of digital marketing will be viewed most favorably and grow the fastest in 2020. We love to write about small business in our home town of Cincinnati. If you haven’t read past blogs, we invite you to visit us here or on Facebook.