What Business Owners Want

Total Broadcasting's Picture/Quote Service is great at improving interactivity between businesses and their customers.

Total Broadcasting’s Picture/Quote Service is great at improving interactivity between businesses and their customers.

My personal habits, likes and dislikes provide for some interesting contradictions. One that I admit to is the fact that I like quality service and products for myself and for my customers. In the eyes of many my other more overriding quality is that I am quite thrifty. Not cheap. I just don’t like spending money unnecessarily.

As with many I have translated my personality and preferences into what is offered my clients through Total Broadcasting Service, my video and audio production company in Seattle. I could get into great detail, but I won’t. Simply put, business owners want quality and lots of money-spending customers…but they don’t want to pay for it. Business owners want marketing exposure and the results good marketing and branding provides…but they don’t want to do a darn thing to facilitate this marketing. They want you to do it for them.  And far too many don’t want to pay you for the work you provide.

Hmmm….so as an owner of a business-to-business company with a goal of pleasing our customers and helping those business owners achieve their business and personal goals how do we overcome this clear contradiction in business owners wants?

Here is our personal example. Total Broadcasting Service was a pioneer in the video-marketing for the web services that are growing exponentially now. When we added video to our menu of services nearly 5 years ago our primary goal was to provide the service inexpensively, thus complying with this authors personal beliefs and desire to be thrifty. We worked hard to get early customers in a field for which we had nearly no experience. Upon reflexion I can say our videos weren’t very good. But they were cheap. Our practice was to get a customer, take their money, produce their video and provide it to them and then thank them, hoping they would use their videos well and call us again in the future with orders for more work.

You can probably guess what happened. The business owners took the videos and (presumably) stored them in their computers never to be seen again…by anyone…most notably their customers or potential customers. The business owners didn’t have the acumen or the time to acquire it to post their own marketing videos anywhere on the internet including their Social Media (“What’s that? Oh you mean Facebook and Tweeter or whatever its called?”) or their websites. As a result few of them called us back for more work and some looked at their time and money invested in the creation of the video as a waste.

Graphic Facebook Insights shows tremendous improvement in customer interactivity while employing added services, and a decrease when not.

Graphic Facebook Insights shows tremendous improvement in customer interactivity while employing added services, and a decrease when not.

So, we had some work to do. We chose to improve our services. Going forward, anyone we sold a video was going to have us post that video onto their own YouTube Channel, and if they didn’t have one we would create one for them; and we would post that YouTube video onto their Facebook business page, and if they didn’t have one we would create one for them.

Simultaneously while assuring that the videos we produced for our customers would at least have a chance of being seen or found we worked diligently at improving the quality of our videos. We learned better editing and production techniques and programs. We learned better methods and got better equipment for when we shot video.

The results were wonderful. As expected our customers benefited from the changes we implemented and didn’t mind the slight increases in pricing these changes required. And they showed their pleasure by routinely renewing their orders with us and keeping us growing as a company.

Skip forward a couple of years to 2014. The internet, marketing, search engines and social media are all constantly changing. What worked yesterday may no longer be a best practice. So it was with our video, social media, and internet marketing service. We added services since it became apparent our customers needed those added services to best market themselves and grow their business. With the added services our prices increased.

The good news is we made more money with a few customers who added these extra services and we were quickly able to graphically show results for our customers. The added services and expenses were proving to be worth it. The bad news…not enough business owners wanted or could afford to pay for the added services we felt would be necessary in today’s world of internet advertising. So we lost out on too many customers we otherwise might have been able to sign-up had we been offering them the earlier diminished services at lower prices.

The lesson learned; a lesson that is an age-old lesson in business, don’t give the customers what you think they need. Give the customers what they want. But we don’t have to be so cold about it. There is good news on the other side of this seemingly dark lesson. Once you give the customer what they want, you earn their trust. Upon earning their trust…you can add to the services you provide and grow your business with the customers you already have. After all, it’s an age-old business adage that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. In following this method everybody wins. And isn’t that what you were shooting for to begin with?

Make providing your customer what they want your top priority, work your butt off to make it serve them as best possible. Upon earning their trust and serving their wants…approach them again…give them what they need…and subsequently serve them better.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

 

Obama: If youre “lucky enough”? He’s Still at It!

As long as our President is moronic enough to continue to claim that successful people in business were merely lucky or blessed and that hard work, guts, persistence, ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit were the driving force…I’ll be hear to keep sharing it with you.

Mr. President if you had EVER worked in the private sector you’d know LUCK has very little to do with it. Why any business owner would give this man directions, let alone their vote, is a mystery to me.

via Obama: If youre “lucky enough”… To Be in the Upper 2% – YouTube.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Individual Achievement is What Made this Country Great

Portrait of Henry Ford (ca. 1919)

Henry Ford (ca. 1919)

Ford Motor Company was started by a man named Henry Ford. In 1891 Ford was an engineer working for Thomas Edison at the Edison Illuminating Co. This position gave him enough time and money to independently work on his hobby, the gasoline powered engine. After developing to prototype motor cars Ford created the Detroit Automobile Company in 1898. His effort failed. The company closed in 1899 due to poor quality vehicles that were too expensive.

Not deterred Henry Ford created and raced a 26-horse power vehicle which he used as a prototype for opening yet another company, Henry Ford Company in 1901. But after bringing in investor Henry M. Leland, Ford left the company bearing his name. The company was renamed The Cadillac Automobile Company.

1903 cadillac: runabout with tonneau

1903 cadillac: runabout with tonneau

Showing the grit and determination of all successful American entrepreneurs Ford took a third swing at corporate success when he took a $28,000 investment from Jim and Horace Dodge to form the Ford Motor Company. It grew into America’s most successful car making company. Of the three remaining American-originated car companies, Ford is the only one not to take, or need a government bail out in 2009. Ford solicited his investors, then put their money to work in a way that made them all exceptionally rich. Did he have help along the way. Only the help he sought and curated.

Andrew Carnegie, American businessman and phil...

Andrew Carnegie, American businessman and philanthropist.

Andrew Carnegie started working for Ohio Telegraph Company as a messenger boy in 1850 at the age of 15. He made $2.50 per week. In 1855 his mother provided him $500 from mortgaging her $700 home. He invested that money in a freight and cargo company called Adams Express, a company still in existence today. Carnegie continually took dividends and profits and re-invested them in several different companies. In 1864 he had $40,000 which he invested in in Story Farm in Venango County, Pennsylvania. That investment turned a $1,000,000 profit within the year through dividends and oil sold from the property.

Carnegie made his greatest fortune in the steel industry. Like Ford (and many successful entrepreneurs) he did so by figuring out how to make a desirable product more cheaply. At his Pittsburg plant Carnegie employed the Henry Bessemer Process in which the high carbon content of pig iron was burnt away in a furnace in a controlled and rapid fashion. The price of steel dropped, and Carnegie reaped the benefits.

As wealthy as Carnegie became the longevity of his name comes more from the giving-away of his money, than the accumulating of it. This hard-core capitalist, who used brutal methods to fight unionization efforts at his mills is believed to have given away more money on an inflation adjusted basis than any single individual ever. Carnegie’s money was used to build libraries, schools, performance halls and so much more. Like so many successful American 1%-ers Carnegie individually, without the help of government, made the lives of average Americans better through his charitable giving. In doing so he also maintained his wealth, throughout.

These are but two examples of a nearly infinite number of American entrepreneurs who used their own courage, daring, money, and effort to build wealth. In more modern times Apple Computer is now the worlds richest company. Apple was nearly bankrupt and out of business twenty years ago. Their resurrection began in 1996 when Steve Jobs, who had left Apple in 1985, a company he founded in 1976 while working out of his parents garage,  was brought back as company CEO.

In 2004 three college friends had an idea for a video sharing website and secured a capital investment of $11.5-million dollars to develop and launch their startup. Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawid Karim uploaded the first video to YouTube.com in April 2005. Less than 2 years later they sold the company to Google for $1.65-BILLION.

John D. Rockefeller became the world’s richest man at the turn of the 20th Century by creating Standard Oil and the first ever private trust in the U.S. In building his company Rockefeller transformed how the world lit their lamps and lanterns from the ever increasingly expensive whale oil, to gas or kerosene. He saved the whales before it was fashionable to do so.

Image representing Bill Gates as depicted in C...

Bill Gates, Sam Walton, Ray Kroc, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John Jacob Astor,

Ben Franklin DSC_0591

Ben Franklin statue

Benjamin Franklin, Lucille Ball…and on and on. The list of American businessmen, and increasingly women, who either invented a new devise, or method of doing business is long and luminous. They, as well as all of us, stand on the shoulders of giants. We are all the beneficiaries of those who came before us.

But to insult the memory of these great businessmen and those struggling to exist today by questioning how smart they are, or how hard they work relative to others as President Obama has done is to completely misunderstand that which makes a person great. And it isn’t done just by making great speeches. Greatness in business as with all things in life, comes from trying and failing, and then trying again…and again if necessary.

Mr. President I think the average business person/entrepreneur is smarter or works harder or both than the average person. Even if that assumption is wrong, there is no denying that they are more daring and more capable of facing risk and overcoming failure. Aren’t these qualities laudable?

To say, “You didn’t build that” or “You got help along the way”, and to then point to teachers and bridge and road builders as “helpers” in the construction of a successful business is just plain silly. I’m pretty confident there are roads, bridges, and teachers in Cuba, North Korea, Myanmar and everywhere else in the world. It doesn’t help people in those countries lift themselves out of pathetic poverty their socialist dictator governments impose on them. Furthermore, everybody else in America has roads, and bridges, and teachers too. Yet, only the few daring, smart, and hard working BEST of us take that leap into business ownership or entrepreneurism. They should be held up high and honored; not referenced in a snarky, arrogant defilement of their efforts and success.

President Obama revealed himself with this and other recent comments. Remember- “The private sector is doing fine”? But neither Obama nor his White House have walked-back away from these unAmerican comments yet, and at this point I don’t think they will. His whole re-election effort rests on class warfare and fomenting resentment among the masses of those successful individuals who dared stick their heads up above the crowd and try to overcome the many hurdles imposed by government, and start their own business. He rejects individualism in favor of collectivism. He rejects the concept of Liberty; a concept in which this nation was founded.

Adam Smith

Adam Smith statue

Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations wrote of the economy’s “invisible hand”, “By pursuing his own interest he (the merchant/business owner) frequently promotes that (the interests) of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it (the interests of society).” Which is to say a business person helps society best by pursuing his or her own selfish profit motives. The Wealth of Nations has been the smart economists bible for over 2 centuries. It’s a book Obama would benefit from reading. I was personally insulted and enraged when I first learned of Obama’s bitch-slap to me and other business owners. But, I am now grateful. His true beliefs and nature are showing much more than they did during the celebrity-carnival that was the 2008 campaign. And while our nation is full of his left-thinking supporters who believe it is better to force people to think their way than to allow them to think as they wish, I believe far more Americans believe in the respect of every individual, as I do.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

For video & audio production call us.

Indefensible Comments From Obama are Being Defended.

Astounding that the comments made in the above video are being spun and defended by bias, entrenched liberal warriors who don’t want their champion to fall. The problem is the words used in this video are completely indefensible. There is no explaining away the fact that our President Barack Obama believes government comes before private industry, private industry wouldn’t succeed without government, and entrepreneurs owe all their succes to government. As a private business owner I can say without equivocation government has posed more of a hinderance to my company’s growth than it has an asset.

Defenders of this speech last Friday in Roanoke, Virginia have repeatedly pointed to the text of the speech as evidence that the President was taken out of context. For the life of me I can’t imagine why we need the text when we have the full video showing the entire statement in full throated socialist roar. But to placate those deaf, and blind who seem intent on calling that which is up, down, and calling that which is dark, light…we post here the full text of what Obama said:

“If you were successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think ‘Well it must be because I am just so smart’. There are a lot of smart people out there. ‘It must be because I worked harder than anyone else.’ Let me tell you something. There are a whole bunch of hard working people out there. If you were successful somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.’

The opening lines of the statement is said in mockery of business owners. Our President is belittling the very people who are the engine AND the wheels of this economy.

To make the argument that the President is right; every entrepreneur got help along the way from teachers, road builders, etc is an inane and silly argument. All of the American people receive the benefits of road building and public education. Every American has the opportunity to strike-out on their own and create commerce and create jobs by building a business. Very few do. Very few put their own money into a business and risk losing it all. Very few work mornings, afternoons, evening, and weekends when the going for their business gets tough. Few are interested in reading the books, watching the videos, attending the classes and the seminars needed to learn how to start and grow a business. Almost none are faced with using and abusing their credit cards when necessary purchases have to be made and cash flow isn’t there.

When payment of the world’s highest federal corporate tax rates come due it isn’t the employees the IRS comes after. Hard working company employees and government employees are not held legally liable when something goes wrong with a business. No. It’s the business owners who face the repercussions; legal and otherwise. And when a business fails the employees lose their jobs, but the business owner loses their job, their dreams, their way of life, often their house and much much more.  

I want to give credit to a friend, Bradley Kelley, who wrote the following:

“All of the discussion on the role of government sounds great as to all the benefits to society in general as long as you acknowledge one critical point; government was formed to do these functions by people already engaged in trade with each other and employing others, who were willing to give to public coffers to fund these functions. Get the story straight, that government was formed and survives at the behest of the governed. It does not exist without the benevolence of the governed and those that fund it. Everyone may use roads, attend public schools and enjoy police protection. Not everyone risks everything they have and their family’s future to start a business. When you get hired for a job some one owns that business and provided the capital to fund it (before there was any revenue). The same is true in the public sector. Our property, business, B & O, sales, income, gas taxes etc. fund those jobs. The horse is the private sector. Carts don’t pull horse and you better make sure you have enough horses and they are well fed or the carts don’t move.”

The President believes that people and businesses don’t succeed without government. He doesn’t understand that “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed…”. It’s not the other way around, Mr. President.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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