Melinda Emerson Shares Small Business Advice to Succeed as Your Own Boss
In today’s episode, we have the SmallBizLady herself, Melinda Emerson, America’s #1 Small Business Expert. She is an internationally known keynote speaker and is founder and president of Quintessence Group, an award-winning marketing consulting firm based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Melinda is an expert on small business startups, business development, and social media marketing, and her small business advice is widely read, reaching more than three million entrepreneurs every week online.
She is frequently quoted by media organizations including The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, MSNBC, CNBC and Fox News. Melinda hosts #Smallbizchat, the longest running live chat on Twitter for small business owners; Forbes Magazine named her the #1 Woman for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter. She publishes her resource blog at succeedasyourownboss.com which is syndicated by the Huffington Post.
Melinda is the author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months which is in its second edition, and the e-book, How to Become a Social Media Ninja.
[00:03:13] Start with a Life Plan before a Business Plan
It takes 18-24 months for a small business to break even, and in the first few years, there is a lot of sacrifices involved. Without proper planning, people quit good jobs to start a business and then end up hating it because they didn’t think it through.
[00:08:34] Being Successful in Business Requires Discipline
You must use financial information to make business decisions. Have proper discipline and focus, in setting up structures, systems, processes, and plans for your business. Melinda explains how to avoid being a conference junkie; be disciplined about the events you attend and use a networking strategy.
[00:19:31] The 6 C’s of Social Media Communication
- Connect: Find out where your target is online
- Communicate: Decide what you will communicate
- Content: communicate with helpful content
- Consistency: communicate consistently
- Community: become a trusted member of the community
- Commerce: after you gain trust, you can turn the relationship into commerce
[00:23:38] Tips for Starting Your Own Business in 12 Months
Make sure that you have something to offer the marketplace and then plan your transition from having a job to starting a business. Know how you will fund your business and come up with your own marketing plan.
[00:31:27] Some Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail
The number one reason is that people don’t think about how hard it is to run a business. Secondly, people often don’t have a network to sell to. Third, people fail to nurture their existing customers. Fourth, people don’t save enough money before starting a business. Fifth, they fail to manage their business on a budget.
[00:45:26] A Crash Course in Social Media
Start by having your website ready and a way of capturing email addresses of the people who visit. Next, identify your niche target customers and where they hang out online. Then have a content strategy and an editorial calendar. Be patient because when you start a blog, it takes anywhere from 6-12 months to get a comment.
[00:57:20] Every Successful Person Needs a Coach
Oprah has three coaches. If you can’t afford to hire a coach, pull together a kitchen cabinet of advisors, people you trust to be your confidential sounding board. Your kitchen cabinet should include an entrepreneur, a potential customer, a mentor, and someone with professional skills like a lawyer or accountant.
[01:04:38] Tap into the Real Power Source
Your power source is in talking to the one who knows us all. If God put it in you, He’s already put all the things around you to execute it. But you have to activate it.
[01:10:47] Final Word
Now is still a great time to be in business. The world is still waiting for a better mousetrap.
Quotables from Melinda Emerson
- An unsupportive spouse can kill a business faster than a bad marketing plan. – Melinda Emerson
- You have to friend-raise, you have to engage people with information. – Melinda Emerson
- No longer is your competition down the street from you. Your competition is global. – Melinda Emerson
- Content is everything. Content is currency. – Melinda Emerson
- You never lose in business. Either you win, or you learn. – Melinda Emerson
Links for More Melinda Emerson
- Quintessence Group
- Twitter @smallbizlady
- Facebook @smallbizlady
- Melinda’s tour schedule and a new book
- Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months
- How to become a social Media Ninja