Social Media: I paid $25 for an educational class on how to use social media effectively in a small business. The ad was well written and promised a lot of “how to” instruction. The bottom line, it was a class sponsored by a marketing company and the two hours were dedicated on telling us “how” they can help us for a fee. Several interesting facts: first there were over 100 people who paid their $25, proving that there is a lot of interest and need for an educational session in social media. Second, this company would have obtained more new clients if they had delivered what they advertised and then offered help for a fee. Bait and switch firms don’t make my referral list.
Either the construction business is booming in the Phoenix area or there are some construction companies that need help with their marketing. Friends shared today that they called a recommended contractor to give an estimate on a home remodel and addition. Their budget was $310,000. After only an hour of discussion, the contractor said it would probably cost in the area of $375,000 to $400,000. My friends said that that was slightly more than what they had budgeted. They thank the contractor and he left. As of today, two week later, the contractor did not even make a follow up call.
This afternoon I had an informal visit with a mid-size business. They shared some issues that were critical to them, which in their opinion, was hindering their growth. I asked what they were doing to solve their problems and received the answer “we are working on solutions”. My next question was to ask which one of the issues was the most critical and how long have they known about it. After a half hour dissertation, the answer was “two years and we are working on it”. I probed a little further and found out that they had no written strategy as to how to go about solving the problem. I offered a free one-hour consultation on problem solving, their answer was, “We will let you know, have to think about it first.”
Some days are frustrating, like today, but I still received some valuables tips on how to not run a business.
Lessons can always be learned if you look for them.