Open Enrollment Starts

MAY 15th -through- JUNE 30th

NO INVITATION -or- RECOMMENDATION REQUIRED

Twice a year (mid-May to end-Jun; mid-Nov to end-Dec) PMcommunity.org‘s intake staff get to relax. All screening, qualifying & vetting of member-candidates fall to third-party resources like Lexis-Nexis, Trudiligence, etc.

All other times, our intake staff must do the heavy lifting themselves. Only candidates that are not licensed (because they’re not required) may be farmed out for examination. The purpose is to ensure no bad apples are allowed in! (more…)

Marketing Expense or Investment?

Serious Small Business Dilemma


MARKETING locallyTRUSTED ADVISORS KNOW THE DIFFERENCE

File Under: Marketing & Sales:  Entrepreneurs are great at building businesses from scratch.They know their products (services) as well as their chosen markets. They understand operations and market timing. Today’s entrepreneur’s have the advantage of the internet and all the business intelligence and competitive data immediately at hand. While RISK remains a four-letter word, it surely is a lot smaller than their father’s and his previous generations. And, start-up & seed money is a lot easy to find, if and as needed.

Starting a business is one thing BUT it often takes an entirely different skill set to make the company grow into profitability. In our 4 decades of service to the SMB community, we have witnessed thousands of successful stories. (FYI, as an independent consultant, we personally orchestrated hundreds of them transition into glory & greatness.) But, we’ve also seen many more failures. Forensic pathology often traced root causes back to lack of capitalization and/or lack of management.  This brief blog is actually about both reasons.

When marketing becomes an expense that “must be” cut back or even eliminated from one’s operating budget, the owner inadvertently may be strangling ‘his baby’ and even accelerating its demise. Slow selling periods, whether due to the economy or not, are a fact of business life. But, such times aren’t the right time to cut variable line-items like marketing. Often one’s marketing plan (if one exists) should mention INVESTING MORE in marketing (advertising & promotion) as appropriate.

Sometimes the best course of action is to consult with your accountant or trade consultant. Ironically, this could be viewed another dreaded variable expense—so it won’t likely wind up on any entrepreneur’s radar. 

Sadly, one’s perspective usually determines his/her destiny.

When under fire or experiencing difficulties it frequently is not easily corrected, that is, without seeking outside support. Since entrepreneurs are a stubborn lot, they often get in their own ways. Thankfully, more trusted advisors are standing by than at any other time in history!


NO, HENRY, YOU DON’T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS

Independents CollaboratingHenry could be the finest chef, widget manufacturer, programmer, candlestick maker, etc. in his marketplace. His talent is renowned locally and his company has more business than it can handle. Sadly, however, Henry is old-school and doesn’t listen to criticism or advice.

He secure in his craft and feels he has all the answers. He has no conception of the Peter Principle. If he did, he would know that delegation really wasn’t a four-letter word. Somewhere between $1-2 million sales every entrepreneur messes up. The sooner he realizes he can’t control ‘everything,’ the better. Left uncorrected, profitability can plummet…and worse!

Outsourcing is not offshoring or onboarding. It’s definitely not something that only BIG business does. Local outsourcing—as simple as hiring a close-by subject matter expert (SME)—can be the best answer [solution] possible. The only question is one of timing. If brought in too late, all the right actions can be the very expense that becomes the tipping point! Untold Henrys exist in every marketplace. Only the lucky ones survive, i.e. have a trusted advisor available with timely accessibility to the right SME.

Candidly, PMcommunity.org was formed more to SAVE all the Henrys rather than to HELP Henry’s consultants & advisors. But, the two go hand-in-hand. Detractors might say this is the proverbial cart leading the horse. Nota bene: We are not a B2C service, rather, we are expressly/exclusively a B2B organization. To us, SMBs can’t be helped except through their most trusted advisorswho all happen to be members of PMcommunity. We know firsthand that Henrys are literally all over the place in every market. 

For the record, we’re not talking about Henry as a struggling Mom & Pop. We are speaking only about Henrys that are running businesses that’ve attained critical mass. They are pushing the limits of their talents with revenues now exceeding seven figures. Our members’ “sweet spot” is SMB’s between $2-25 million. But, this means “more or less” as some companies are rich with accumulated assets but without commensurate revenues and others are well beyond $25+ million.

Once again the issue isn’t size of assets or revenues. It’s simply the entity’s legal form: closely-held (privately owned) companies…run by Henrys in trouble or imminent transition.


IF YOU AREN’T “IN,” WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Okay, we get it. Some of you can’t/didn’t qualify because you are not an independent service provider. But, please check us out again! After the new year (during the first quarter of 2016) our Community will finally be “accepting” certain professionals who do not make-the-cut as “members.” However, these folks could be now “partners” instead! While too early to make a pronouncement, it’s PROBABLE that Preferred Members will be voting in October to allow “partners” to join our ranks!

Heretofore, many rejected professionals (usually due to size or national franchise affiliation) will be welcomed as long as they promise to “keep our playing field level.” This will be explained in due course. The issue boils down to “adding value” to the membership at large–and especially within one’s own immediate marketplace. Local County Coordinators will likely have the final say. Stay tuned!


Please note that all PM Community Blogs & FAQ sessions are strictly for informational purposes. They are intended for independent service professionals serving Small & Midsize Business (SMB) clients throughout North America. PM Community is no affiliated with Project Management Institute (PMI) although we wholeheartedly endorse their principles & practices. | © Copyright 2014 pmCommunity.org. Other trademarks are the exclusive property of their respective owners, as applicable. 

See more at: http://pmcommunity.org/2014/10/alternative-to-prospecting/#sthash.UplXHfvB.dpuf