Kingsbury Service: The Better Choice

Kingsbury Service: 2015 Kansas SBDC at FHSU Emerging Business of the Year

Sometimes the first opportunity is not always the right opportunity.

When the father/son team of Marty and Rhett Kingsbury were presented with an opportunity to buy a small business they were excited about the prospect of striking out on their own. Both had years of experience working in a larger company but still wanted to direct their own destinies.

To get help, they reached out to Pam Barton, Smith Center economic development director. She referred them to Ron Newman, director and consultant at the Kansas SBDC at FSHU.

Ron helped the Kingsburys evaluate the business opportunity. Predominantly he and the Kingsburys focused on the performance of the business that was being offered for sale. Together they realized that the business wouldn’t help the Kingsburys reach their personal and business goals in the short or long-term.

But all wasn’t lost. Both Marty and Rhett learned a great deal in the process including a more in-depth understanding of the financial aspects of owning and operating a successful small business. They were able to refocus and develop a clearer picture of what they were looking for in their future business.

Shortly after they were approached with the first opportunity a second opportunity presented itself that was a more ideal fit. With a stronger knowledge of financials and still working with Newman, the team developed a solid business plan and financials. “We were able to formulate a projected business plan to see if it was a plan that we were able to be comfortable with.”

The father/son duo obtained funding and in 2009 Marty and Rhett opened Kingsbury Service in Smith Center, Kansas.

Not unlike many small businesses they have changed their focus as they’ve found how to best serve customers in their local market. Initially, their thought process was to focus on agriculture equipment service. Over time they’ve expanded their service to work on a variety of motors from weed eaters to electric scooters to cars and trucks. “Knowing the needs of the community and to be able to focus on those needs to strengthen your business plan to provide for your community” is key, shared Rhett.

Kingsbury Service has grown the family business to now employ five full-time and one part-time family members through a shared interest and commitment to the business.

Marty and Rhett both credit the work they did with the Kansas SBDC to making their business a reality.

When we asked them what advice they’d give someone thinking about starting a business today, they had some
great suggestions:

“Definitely don’t be afraid of taking a risk and talk to the Kansas SBDC.” – Rhett and Marty

“Make sure you have a bank that is willing to work and grow with you.” – Marty

“Don’t get discouraged when the first person you turn to for help turns down your idea of opening your business – keep your dream in focus!” – Rhett

Learn more about Kingsbury Service visit them on Facebook or call  785-686-4199.

Assisted by
Ron Newman, regional director and consultant
Kansas SBDC at FHSU
Hays. FHSU KSBDC | 785.628.5615
fhsu.edu/ksbdc | ksbdc@fhsu.edu

Small Business Success: On Being Nimble

Art in Iron: 2015 Kansas SBDC at PSU Emerging Business of the Year

Mike Hill has a love for metal art which he developed into a business idea— Art In Iron.

As he began his ornamental ironwork business in 2012 in Garnett he realized he needed assistance in getting pointed in the right direction from the beginning. That’s when he contacted the Kansas SBDC at Pittsburg State University and began working with consultant Tom Byler. With Tom’s help, Mike developed a business plan which he admits resulted in starting an entirely different business than he originally envisioned, but found the process very educational. In addition to assisting with the business plan, Tom assisted with obtaining financing for the startup, equipment purchasing decisions, and most recently UPC barcode licensing.

Today Mike has a growing business in a tough economic environment. One of the challenges he continually faces is creating products efficiently with a decent margin. When he “gets it right” he considers this a great success. Because of the outside support he has utilized, he has been able to avoid certain pitfalls with Art In Iron by anticipating problems before they happen.

Mike also attributes the success of his small business, Art In Iron, to finding something that the large companies cannot do. Small businesses such as his can be nimble, creative and quick to adapt to changing markets and the business environment.

As for his advice to other potential small business owners, Mike shares:

“Don’t be afraid to change the business plan radically if needed since it is just a guide.”

“Be incredibly careful with startup capital as it will be gone quicker than expected. If every penny is not watched carefully, the business can be in trouble before the owner realizes it.”

“View every new person met as an opportunity to do business, and to actively expand their network daily.”

Learn more about Art in Iron on Facebook, at hillforge.com, or by calling 785-304-0825.

Assisted by
Tom Byler, KSBDC Consultant
Kansas SBDC at PSU
Chanute. PSU KSBDC NCCC Outreach
620.431.2820×285 | pittstate.edu/bti/sbdc
tbyler@pittstate.edu

Kansas SBDC to recognize 16 successful Kansas small businesses

[Press Release]

HAYS, Kansas — The Kansas Small Business Development Center (Kansas SBDC) statewide network has announced the 2015 Existing and Emerging Businesses of the Year. Each of the eight Kansas SBDC regional centers have selected one emerging and one existing business for the award.

In total, 16 Kansas small businesses will be recognized at a ceremony in Topeka on Tuesday, March 10. The businesses were selected from more than 2,392 businesses that received Kansas SBDC services in 2014.

“The selected businesses were given careful consideration by our Kansas SBDC regional directors and consultants,” said Greg Panichello, Kansas SBDC state director.” Collectively, the Kansas SBDC team feels these 16 small businesses are excellent examples of small business innovation, growth, and success in the midst of economic recovery.”

For the evening celebration, Jared Broyles, KSNT News Anchor/Reporter, will serve as this year’s Master of Ceremonies.

 

Existing Businesses of the Year

Garden City Propane, Dennis and Risa DeVaney, Garden City

CS Gas, Inc., Karen Horinek, Atwood

Leading Edge Aerospace, LLC, Stan Unruh, Wichita

The Merchant, Lisa Boyd, Topeka

The Walter’s Farm, Becky and Carroll Walters, Burns

McDonald Marketing, Brad McDonald, Bonner Springs

Enhanced HomeCare, LLC, Randy Block and Cindy Singer, Overland Park

Advanced Systems Homes, Inc., Darin Luebbering, Chanute

 

Emerging Businesses of the Year

Women’s Specialists of Liberal, PA, Dr. Lamberto Flores, Liberal

Kingsbury Service, Marty and Rhett Kingsbury, Smith Center

ReJuvv’ Spa, Tracie Gordon, Winfield

Kansas Regenerative Medicine Center, LLC, John Farley, Manhattan

Flint Hills Music, Thomas Silkman, Emporia

Cat Clinic of Lawrence, Dr. Jennifer O’Driscoll

Velo+ Maps Coffee, Vincent Rodriguez, Lenexa

Art in Iron, Mike Hill, Garnett

About Kansas Small Business Development Center

The Kansas SBDC network provides existing Kansas small businesses, start-ups, and pre-venture entrepreneurs with no-cost business consulting, low- and no-cost training, and resources for every stage of the business life cycle.

The Kansas SBDC network is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the state of Kansas. The network receives funding from and partners with higher education and economic development organizations. The Kansas SBDC is nationally accredited through America’s Small Business Development Centers. The statewide host for Kansas SBDC is Fort Hays State University.

For more information on the Kansas SBDC Network, visit kansassbdc.net or call 877-625-7232.

 

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If you’d like more information about this event, please contact Lisa Roberts at 785-296-6514 or lsroberts@ksbdc.net

Program facilitators in Kansas needed

searching for facilitators

Good facilitation is like beauty or even leadership, hard to describe but you know it when you see it. – Tim Fulton, nationally recognized consultant and advocate for small business

 

The Kansas Small Business Development Center (Kansas SBDC) network is actively seeking program facilitators for small business education programs delivered throughout the year. Some programs are one day or less in length; others involve a series of programs delivered over several weeks.

At the Kansas SBDC our focus is on growing Kansas entrepreneurs. Our program attendees will be entrepreneurs, small business owners and decision makers, as well as other individuals that work within the small business and entrepreneurship ecosystems in Kansas.

Do you have what it takes to facilitate some great events? We need program facilitators with the following qualifications:

 * extensive small business/entrepreneurial experience

* experience leading business teams

* a belief that the smartest people in the room are the participants

* an ability to be very flexible with the structure of the learning process

* a willingness to challenge participants in the programs

* a comfort level with being vulnerable

*desire to make a profound difference through entrepreneurship

We need program facilitators with the following skills:

*active listening

*guiding focused discussion

*guiding groups toward an agreed-upon set of outcomes

*helping groups define outcomes – set priorities

*people management

If this sounds like you, please contact Lisa Roberts at 785.296.6514 or email lsroberts@ksbdc.net.

 

Entrepreneurship at work in Garnett

Kansas SBDC client success story: HayesBrand Molding in Garnett, Kansas

With experience working in the plastics business most of his life, Gary Hayes decided to start a business of his own using his knowledge and expertise.

As HayesBrand Molding, his dream was, and continues to be, for his family to carry on his legacy in this field. HayesBrand growth has led to full family involvement in the business and continues to fuel its successful growth. Gary’s daughter Marci, and son-in-law Shane, have helped Gary realize his dream while Gary’s wife Cheryl, and youngest daughter Jessi, have joined HayesBrand as the business has expanded to its current level of 12 full-time employees.

Entrepreneurship at Work

HayesBrand was drawn to the KSBDC with the purpose of gaining additional knowledge and recommendations on methods to improve the business. The Kansas SBDC at PSU in Chanute provided expert consulting and connected the team with other resources that could identify, analyze, and evaluate potential business opportunities. Economic Gardening and Innovation Engineering were two key tools that provided help. As a result of in-depth market research, HayesBrand added a new packing and shipping business to their company’s service offers.

HayesBrand stays current on changes in their industry, seeks guidance from peer companies that been successful in their fields, and keeps an open mind to expanding outside their core. This Garnett, Kansas, company stays active in the community and raises the level of awareness of other businesses in the area to promote and support entrepreneurship in Kansas.

HAYESBRAND SECRET TO SUCCESS

“Retain pride, yet allow downfalls; remain humble and appreciate your upraising. Who we are today came from the growth we went through yesterday. And with honest integrity, success is inevitable in this life. We call this our family business.”

Regulatory Fairness Forum for Small Business

Regulatory Fairness Forum for Small Business
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 | Wichita, Kansas

A forum for small business owners to discuss federal regulations, compliance audits, regulatory fines, and enforcement actions impacting small businesses.
This Small Business Forum will facilitate a dialogue on federal regulatory issues impacting small businesses and highlight resources available to small business owners from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the SBA’s Office of the National Ombudsman.

WHO: National Ombudsman Brian Castro will host a conversation with Wichita area small business owners, and other representatives of the small business community.

WHAT: The National Ombudsman holds Regulatory Fairness roundtables and forums across the country to give small business owners a means to comment on unfair enforcement actions, government audits, and excessive fines or regulations. The Ombudsman directs specific issues raised by participants to the appropriate federal agency for a high-level fairness review, and works across government to address those concerns, reduce regulatory burdens, and help small businesses grow.

WHEN: Wednesday, August 13, 2014
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Kansas Leadership Center
325 E Douglas Avenue
Wichita, KS 67202

All members of the small business community, trade organizations, chambers of commerce, and media are invited to attend. Those wishing to report a federal regulatory concern confidentially will have the opportunity to do so privately at the forum.

RSVP (encouraged but not required) to Michael Aumack at 316-269-6275 or by email to michael.aumack@sba.gov by Friday, August 1, 2014.

SBA logo

 

 

 

SBA’s programs and services are provided to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least 1 week in advance. Contact: Ms. Keshia Ezerendu, Tele: 316-712-4961,
Email: kezerendu@kansasleadershipcenter.org

Small business news delivered weekly to your inbox

Feel like taking the time to stay up on all the news you can use for your small business interferes with actually running your business? Wish that you could have one resource that gives you some quick news and information in one place? Look no further.

Save yourself time searching for small business news by tapping into of a variety of news and educational pieces we gather each week. Stay up on #allthingssmallbusiness with our weekly paper delivered every Monday morning at 8 am CT to your inbox.

Subscribe to Kansas SBDC on the paper.li newsstand.

Business Plan Alternatives

Not a fan of the business plan that I talked about last week? As promised, this week we’re providing some business plan alternatives that may work well for your business model.

If you remember from our last post, three things you’ll still need to include a more streamlined approach are the business concept, marketing, and financials. The three approaches we’re sharing in this post don’t include the financials you’ll need, but they help you lay the foundation to move to that next step.

 

#1 Business Model Canvas with an expanded Value Proposition Design

The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool that allows you to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business model. It can be used online as a web app or you can download a pdf of the canvas free of charge.

This web app is like a huge drawing board where you can manipulate your ideas into realities into a business model that you can test. You have options to use sticky notes, draw, use colors, sketch alternatives, tell a story, and even learn from the best within the canvas community. If you’re a book reader, there is a book that explains not only the method behind the canvas, but also shares valuable examples.

The building blocks provide a simple and easy way to create this canvas by giving you a unique way of viewing your business plan other than the typical blank piece of paper or a template. The tools isn’t for everyone, but can provide an insightful alternative to the traditional business model.

After the Business Model Canvas was released in 2009, a valuable add on, the Value Proposition Canvas was created to enable entrepreneurs to dig deeper and gain insight into this key element of the Business Model Canvas. A book is forthcoming, but the pdf can be downloaded now.

 

#2 GrowthWheel®

GrowthWheel® is a tool designed to give a 360 degree perspective that helps an entrepreneur identify and prioritize key challenges in their business – creating a business concept, building customer relations, maintaining profitable operations, and creating a viable organization.

Each tool in GrowthWheel® can be usedindependently as well as together. Unlike the Business Model Generation Canvas, GrowthWheel® is a product licensed to partners like the Kansas SBDC. We in turn have consultants across the network use the model to assist when consulting with your business. If this interests you, we invite you to download the Product Assortment worksheet and Product Value Pricing worksheet examples from GrowthWheel® .

growthwheel model overview graphic

 

 

#3 How It Works mapping

When searching for alternatives to the traditional business plan we found a simplified “how it works” approach on the website The Fresh Tilled Soil. The site suggests creatingsomething similar to a ‘how it works’ demo or tour you’ve seen on tons of application websites. It doesn’t need to be big or complicated. One page or a simple diagram often suffices.

For example if we were selling a 3D printer we might use this video as our talking points for a written on page diagram. Or, since Kansas is in the midst of summer mosquito season, we might use these talking points to build a business around selling a better mosquito trap. Pay special attention to the mosquito trap, the narrator does an excellent job using a human persona to explain the core premise of the product.

The key, according to the website, and honestly for any business plan is that the explanation must be so clear that a stranger, having seen your “how it works” model, could describe what you do to another stranger. Sound familiar? We know this is key with your elevator pitch and any time you are talking with a prospect or another individual that can refer business to you.

While neither video we’ve shared provides a full picture of how the product will result in building a business, both serve a good starting points. Working from the product, service, or technology your business has or is creating, using the How It Works approach you then will link these ideas to your customer development process (See diagram below).

how it works graphic

 

According to How It Works process, by drawing a simple initial diagram you’ll be able to show how your team will need to be aligned to get the product out the door.

The rest involves additional detailed steps of your marketing and sales process. Use simple step-by-step diagrams to show how your customer will be introduced to your business or product and what the various interactions would be along the funnel from stranger to customer (or even repeat customer).

How It Works then suggests showing these diagrams to 5 – 10 of your prospective customers and ask them to explain it back to you. If there are disconnects, fix them and redraw the diagrams. Don’t have any customers yet? Then use friends, family, or our consulting team members at any of our Kansas SBDC centers around the state.

 

One of our core areas of expertise in the Kansas SBDC network is business planning. Existing businesses turn to us for guidance when expanding their business, identifying new markets, re-organizing to improve profitability, and more. We work with a variety of businesses from manufacturing to professional services, from wholesalers to retailers, through every stage of the business life from start up to final sales. Search “success stories” on our site to hear from our clients.

Contact your local Kansas SBDC to access business planning assistance today.

 

About our Authors

Logan Hildebrand is an aspiring intern at the Kansas SBDC and is currently attending Washburn University in pursuit of three degrees: business marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. She has a passion for capturing the awes of consumers through social media and marketing, and has been interning at the state office and the Kansas SBDC at WU for the past 2 years in order to develop her experiences. Adapting to the ever-changing field of marketing and social media is a strength of hers, as well as making a delicious cup of coffee. Her dream is to one day open her own coffee shop and continue her marketing aspirations through that venture. Until then, she will be providing this blog with insightful, interesting, and useful posts to help aid in the development of marketing in businesses that need assistance.

Lisa Roberts is the associate state director/marketing and product manager with the Kansas SBDC statewide network. Lisa brings a background of marketing, sales, and media with a Masters in Integrated Marketing Communication to the Kansas SBDC network. She’s been with the team since February 2013. She believes that entrepreneurship is the lifeblood and small business is the backbone of an economy built on free enterprise.

 

Social Media Analytics Made Easy

measureNow that a lot of your work has been put into developing your social media accounts/profiles and you’re beginning to get the hang of things, I bet you’re wondering how you’ll know if and how it’s helping your business, or your boss is trying to figure this out.

So, to help you get your hands around how this, we’ve pulled together some steps you can take in order to see how your social media can be measured.

But before we measure anything we need to know what we’re measuring it against. Before you get started set goals.

What do you want your social media to do for you? Raise awareness? Increase sales? Show who you support and who supports you? That answer will be the basis of the goal you set. For example, if you set as a goal to use social media to increase awareness, you would want to measure likes on Facebook over a period of time, traffic to your website through social media sites, hashtags from twitter, etc. Those items would show the increase in awareness that you were hoping for from your social media presence.

The next item that you might focus on is the channel, or platform, that you’re utilizing. As we shared in one of last week’s posts, determining your channel based on your target market is crucial. More than one is ok, but measurements will be different for each one. Facebook measurements may consist of likes, shares, and contest entries. Twitter can be measured in followers, favorites, re-tweets, and hashtag use. Pinterest metric can be re-pins and followers while Instagram metrics can include hashtags, hearts, and comments. The list for each goes on and on. Knowing where the majority of your audience is, and confirming that through measurement, can help your small business maximize ROI.

Tracking, tracking, tracking…..can you guess what the next step is? Yes, tracking. Tracking is key when measuring the resources (your time, money, etc.) that go into and the return that comes out of contests, campaigns, and giveaways on social media. While online tools can’t track your time, social media provides tools to track and measure your activity. Google Analytics is a frequently used tool, but not the only game online. You can also use these other platform analytic tools to help measure your return from social media.

Finally, if the boss is trying to figure out how social media is impacting your business, it may be worth your time to write a report on your findings. Try these 5 Top Google Analytics Reports for Social Media Marketers by Chris Sietsema or check out these tips and tricks.

Now REVIEW! The final step in any goal-setting process is the review what you’ve done. Based on your findings is it time to find a new channel or approach? Or is your approach on Facebook working, but Instagram not so much? Tweak, test, and keep moving forward. If you need additional help, here are 11 free tools for measuring social media success. And don’t forget, our team of consultants is available to you free of charge as well.

You can find last week’s post HERE.

Contact one of our centers for more assistance.

About our Author

Logan Hildebrand is an aspiring intern at the Kansas SBDC and is currently attending Washburn University in pursuit of three degrees: business marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. She has a passion for capturing the awes of consumers through social media and marketing, and has been interning at the state office and the Kansas SBDC at WU for the past 2 years in order to develop her experiences. Adapting to the ever-changing field of marketing and social media is a strength of hers, as well as making a delicious cup of coffee. Her dream is to one day open her own coffee shop and continue her marketing aspirations through that venture. Until then, she will be providing this blog with insightful, interesting, and useful posts to help aid in the development of marketing in businesses that need assistance.

 

Social Media ABC’s

social media abc building blocks

A social media alphabet for small business

As a small business owner you know that social media is no longer just a way to connect with friends and relatives. It’s a tool, a resource, a series of channels that have transformed into a worldwide marketing and advertising tool for businesses.

On any given day you’ll find a plethora of advice for businesses on how to, when to, and why to use social media. You could spend hours on learning about Facebook or Twitter alone. So, we thought to ourselves, wouldn’t it be nice to have a short list of the basics all in one place. Thus, we’ve created the Social Media ABC’s – an alphabet for small business. Enjoy!

A-   Authentic Behavior: Be authentic to your brand, your business, and yourself. Do not let social media change the way that you do business. Personal feelings to a bad review or other negative things can ruin a response to a post, message, or review. Be genuine to who you are as a company and how you run typically.

B-    Brevity: Any post on any social media site should be short and to the point. Long messages will get ignored and passed by. Tell the consumer what they need to know in about 140 characters.

C-    Communicate and Create Content: Communicate with consumers, create a call to action by asking them to respond, share, like, etc. This will increase interaction with content. Content itself should be constantly created. Try not to copy from others, but create raw content through your company. Consumers like to see new things and uniqueness can help your business stand out among competitors.

D-   Disclosure: Disclose only information that is appropriate to be shared among consumers everywhere. Do not go in depth on items personal about the business or leak information that could harm the business or offend other businesses.

E-     Evaluate and Measure: Use analytics provided by the page, analytic measurement pages, or hire a measurement and evaluation team to complete your analytics for you. Watch how customers react, what is popular, how many like there are on posts, how many new likes have been generated as well as views on posts. Base posting techniques on these results as well as compare them to sales increase in your product or service.

F-     Feed Their Curiosity: Show your customers what is going on behind the scenes and bring them into your business. Help them relate and show them that you want them to be a part of your business and not just another customer. They want to see what is going on in order to create the product or service they are purchasing. What is normal work for you, may be something that intrigues and entices consumers.

G-   Generosity and Giving: Giveaways, contests, deals, and specials bring in new customers. When used wisely, these offerings of generosity will bring in new customers that can be maintained for repeat purchases. Too many will lose you money, so be careful. If possible show the behind the scenes of how winners are picked so that consumers better trust that someone wins fairly. Before you begin, however; you must know the rules.

H-   Humor vs Harm: Use humor as you see fit, but watch the type of humor you are using. The jokes and funny posts that you share could be offensive to some. Taking risks is ok as long as you are willing to take the judgment. Beware of appropriateness and the image/voice you are portraying for your business.

I-       Interaction & Influence: By interacting with your market through social media you have another advantage when it comes to influence on their interest and their purchases. The relationship that you create through social media sites will remind those possible customers that you care and they will remember the experience. The better the experience, the more influence you have among interaction with consumers.

J-      Join In: Join in on the fun and show consumers that you are up for the new and innovative. Get them to join in by asking for ideas, comments, and reviews. Ask them what they would like to see, new products or services they would like to have offered, and even what is the most popular things in their life when it comes to choosing products/services like yours.

K-    Know Your Stuff: Know what is appropriate, what is currently trending, and what social media sites attract what customers. Know the type of social media to use in your industry or to reach a certain objective. Know how to answer consumer questions and persuade them to buy via your business.

L-     LISTEN: Pay attention to feedback and what other companies are doing. Listen for your company being mentioned and for other companies /products similar to yours making the headlines. Listen to the changes in social media policies and stay up to date. Listen to what new social media is entering the market and how it is being perceived by consumers. Here are some free tools that can help!

M- Maintain: Maintaining your social media sites is just as important as content and interaction. Maintenance must be constant both with simple posting as well as information updates. As the business changes, the sites should change to match. Hours should be up to date as well as links; pictures should be current and relevant to the company. Keep content appropriate and accurate, keep up-to-date ownership of the site to ensure correct and honest posting, keep privacy as privacy and don’t allow too much personal information out. Bad maintenance can lead to failure or worse, the damaging of your brand.

N-   Network and Niche: Network with the right people and create your niche market to hit. The more people you can connect with, both personal and business-to-business, become connections that can be used later when needed. You can get referred, provide referrals, or even suggest a partnership for something that you both need.

O-   Own the Offline Opportunity: Use social media, but also incorporate it into offline events involving social media through consumers’ eyes. A tweetup for example.

P-    Publish, Publish, Publish: Create a publishing schedule for media to be added and updated. Manually publish everything and do it on a schedule that is constant so that consumers never miss a beat and lose track of you. Daily post, have a weekly update for events and coupon deals, create at least one giveaway or special a month, have a quarterly re-vamp of pictures and content, bi-annually hold a large contest, and annually measure the sites to check posting progress. Most of all know when to post, tweet, and e-mail!

Q-   Quality Questions: Hold Q&A sessions or Tweet events, etc. in order to get response from consumers. Create questions with a purpose to discover more about what your customers want and hope for.

R-    Response: Respond to all inquiries, posts, messages, etc. in a timely manner so that customers recognize that the business cares about their involvement as well as get customers will be happy to get a reply.

S-     Share: Share posts from other businesses that you support, interesting topics, and posts from related to the business social media site.

T-     Trust: Trust is trust; just like in life you must create a means for the consumer to trust you. Make sure that your site is free of bugs, viruses, and infected posts. Make sure that links are secure and that your website locks the customers’ information so that nothing can be stolen. Also show them that they can trust your product or service by providing testimonials, warranties, and stories through social media. Be open with the good and bad to show them how you take care of a problem.

U-   Understand Ubiquity: Social Media is 24-7! Everything is everywhere all of the time. Your business is available to consumers every second of every day, there is not break or shut down period. Businesses must maintain their social media presence and make certain that the business social sites run the same from morning till night.

V-    Value: Create value with posts and other items shared on social media. Do not post just to post or share just so that you have activity that day. Provide a value with your posts that customers can perceive and understand. If there is a value to them, then they will be more willing to click through the post. Value can be created in many ways, but here are some lessons.

W- Work: Social media is no easy task, it takes work, work, and more work. Content needs to be made, posts shared, customers analyzed, information received, questions answered, deals given, contests held, options given, information updated, and much much more! It is a full-time job, not just something that many can handle in the background once the business is on its feet.

X-    Xerox: Copy from anywhere and everywhere, but make sure to give credit as needed.

Y-    You: Be you, be personable. Customers are not robots and hate being treated as such. Be the person behind the social media, but maintain a personable and professional stance when it comes to running social media. You are what connects the consumer to the product/service you offer. You drive the passion and fuel the fire behind what customers are looking for so keep the “you” behind the media. Stay true to who you are.

Z-     Zero Excuses and Catch Your ZZZs: Do not provide excuses to customers or yourself for not keeping up with social media. If social media cannot be up kept then do not take on the challenge of that opportunity yet. No social media is better than a social media that is not present, out-of-date, or taken over by fake and spam accounts. Also catching ZZZ’s when it comes to social media means to take breaks. When social media getting on the nerves or long hours are causing trouble to you, then take a break. Get sleep at night and set scheduled times to post and work on social media for both you and/or the employee in charge of the paged. Don’t let social media run anyone’s life.

 

About the author

Logan Hildebrand is an active intern at the Kansas Small Business Development Center and is currently attending Washburn University in pursuit of 3 degrees: business marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. She has a passion for capturing the awes of consumers through social media and marking and has been interning both here and elsewhere for the past 2 years in order to develop her experiences. Adapting to the ever changing field of marketing and social media is a strong point of hers, as well as making a delicious cup of coffee. Her dream is to one day open her own coffee shop and continue her marketing aspirations through that venture. Until then, she will be providing this blog with insightful, interesting, and useful posts to aid in the development of marketing in businesses that need assistance.