I don’t know why, but all of a sudden I have been inundated with robocalls on my office phone. And the absolutely weird thing — no one is there!
If I answer the phone, it clicks and no person answers me back. Sometimes, I am across the room or want to just finish a sentence I’m writing. These calls don’t even go for three rings
. Because I’m very lucky with my phone system, as soon as a call comes in, I get to choose “Answer” or “Send to Voicemail” from my computer. If I’m on the other line — or quite frankly, if the caller ID says something like “Unknown” — I immediately send the call to my voice mail. And when I go to listen to the voicemail, this saga gets just a little more strange. There is no message left! So my day has been interrupted and I don’t even know by whom! Two days ago, I had twelve of these calls in a three hour period. Four of them were from the same number, so were repeat calls.
So guess what? Yep — you guessed it. I now block those numbers (again, thanks to that great phone system I have).
The real Grinch about this story, however, is that some business owner is out there thinking their calls are being made and getting through. And I’ll bet they are paying for these calls. Think about it — everyone is trying to find the right way to get new clients. Every business is trying all kinds of calling, mailings, emails, social media, public relations — how do each of us find new business? And someone is sitting in his/her office, wondering why the message they carefully crafted isn’t really working. Do they need to do more split testing? Hire a professional voice-over person?
Nope — they need to figure out why the Grinch who stole a large chunk of their marketing budget has a heart that is many times too small to even leave a message.
We all need to make sure our marketing efforts are working; we need to have a clear message and a target audience. And we need to carefully monitor our vendors. And we all need to have a great 2017!
This week begins the Small Business Administrations’ National Veterans Small Business Week.
There are local events you can check out.
The SBA has resources that can help start or grow a business.
And even some training! Check out the Learning Center for Contracting Opportunities for Veteran Entrepreneurs. A Self-Paced Introduction to federal contracting opportunities for veterans, this module includes include basic information about veteran-owned businesses and opportunities, services available to small veteran-owned businesses, small business incentives, and government procurement methods.
Sometimes, it feels like this is another day in my work week. One that may not be as active with in-bound emails as the other days. However, one that sometimes becomes bogged down with writing, developing, responding, emailing, etc. etc. etc.
It’s easy for me to get “down in the weeds” with the same things, trying to get ready for the phone calls, the questions, the meetings, the webinars that make up my week.
Anyone can get writers block when faced with the concept of writing a business plan.
The SBA can help!
On Tuesday, September 20, 2016, the SBA will offer a Webinar entitled
Start Your Business; Start with a Plan!
Every good endeavor starts with a plan. Make sure your small business has one, too–ideally, before you start! The business plan helps to clarify your idea, identifies your customer, get financing and investors, and plots a course toward success.
Join Althea A. Harris from the SBA South Florida District Office as she explains the component parts of Business Plans, how to develop one, how to use it to track your progress, and attract funding.
The event is free, however, registration is required: click here.
Affinity Franchise Partners helps America’s entrepreneurs! For additional information, check us out!
About Althea Harris
Althea A. Harris has been helping small businesses for over 20 years when she started her federal career at the U.S. Department of Commerce under the late Secretary Ronald H. Brown; from there, she helped small companies compete for federal contracts at the U.S. General Services Administration. Having held several positions within the SBA office in Miami, Harris now serves as the Assistant District Director for Marketing & Outreach for Area 1. She coordinates and conducts marketing and outreach in 6 of the District’s 24-county territory and advocates on behalf of the half-million small business owners in those counties. She is a graduate of Howard University and the University of Miami School of Law.
My first boss always encouraged us to continually keep reading business books. “Even if you don’t agree with the premise, you’ll learn something.”
Through the years, I’ve found that to be true. The difficulty has been to figure out WHICH book to read? Bookstores and on-line booksellers have so many opportunities to learn through books. If I indulged myself, I’d never get anything business-related done.
So I have relied on my fellow readers — other entrepreneurs, friends in management positions, people I know from the community — to make recommendations.
And I ran across this list today. TheAlternative Board is an organization for entrepreneurs who join together with other entrepreneurs to give each other advice. On their site is an article about the “7 Best Business Books.” I found that I had read 4 of them, and 2 of them I got introduced to from this article. Guess I have more on my “next up” reading list!