Business Cards And The Personal Touch–These Things Still Matter

business cards

Almost all things are digital now in business–marketing, mail and everything else. It is possible to even hold meetings, interview candidates for employment and close deals through Skype and other means of digital communication. In many ways, this makes life easier. It’s faster and simpler to do things like stay in contact with prospective customers and employ new marketing strategies on social media. Yet, despite the many benefits of the internet, digital marketing and social media, there is still much to be said for the personal touch—like old school business cards.

Business cards are a great example of how a little bit of the old school plus a small personal touch can be a powerful tool to help you make better connections and build stronger business relationships. Not that long ago, people exchanged contact information by swapping business cards. Most business relationships were built on handshakes and eye contact, not a Facebook message or an email. This is still incredibly important. In fact, making the effort to see people face to face instead of solely relying on digital contact methods can mean stronger organic growth for your business.

When you hand someone a business card, you are not only looking him or her in the eye and potentially making a strong impression, you are showing initiative and demonstrating that you are prepared. You do not have to hand someone your card to do these things, but it is certainly much harder to show when your only means of communication are online. Business cards are only one example of how important it is to employ a personal touch whenever possible. Handshakes, phone calls and meeting people in person is still incredibly powerful–don’t set these things aside for the sake of convenience.

In today’s constantly connected digital world, people are starving for real and authentic connections. The personal touch still matters, so don’t underestimate how effective it can be to initiate business relationships face to face, in person and with an old-fashioned handshake.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

What They Won’t Tell You About Owning A Small Business

small business

Most people start their own business because they dream of being their own boss and controlling their own career path. These are fantastic reasons to jump into entrepreneurship, but owning a small business does not guarantee your success, nor does it mean that you will make a lot of money. (Very sorry) There are many misconceptions about entrepreneurship, and whether you are already years into your business-ownership journey or you haven’t quite decided to make the plunge, it’s always good to have a healthy perspective on your plans, your future and what owning a small business could mean for you.

Many entrepreneurs start out with a romanticized conception of what it will be like to own a small business. In reality, it is often a long, arduous road to success. Anything worthwhile takes hard work, and not everyone is designed to deal with the proverbial roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship. Despite what many people think, it’s not easy, and success rarely comes overnight. It can take months or even years for hard work to pay off in terms of growth and profit.

One common misconception about owning a small business is that it requires one big and brilliant idea to make it work. A big idea is a good reason to start a business, but it is not the only one. Even the best and seemingly novel concept can fail, and success often has more to do with hard work and consistency than one single sexy idea. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel or invent a breakthrough technology in order to have a successful business.

Entrepreneurship is not an easy path, and you have to be the one to decide if it’s worth it. If you are willing to put in the hard work, practice patience and adapt and learn as you go, it could be the right choice for you. Before you launch your small business idea, think carefully about the road ahead and do whatever possible to be prepared for your entrepreneurial adventure.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

Is Your Follow-up Scaring Customers Away?


Good sales techniques are key to growth in business. You must be able to convince someone that you are offering a product or service that he or she needs, which is not always possible on your first contact with the prospective client or customer. The right follow-up technique is a critical part of your success and sustainable profits, but there is an art to doing this in a way that is both effective and easy.

No one likes to be pestered. Outside of a cowbell at a college football game, constant badgering from someone trying to make a sale is one of the most annoying things on the planet. While you certainly don’t want the contact to forget about you, too much follow-up is a sure-fire way to make sure you never see that person’s money. On the other side of that coin, a certain amount of follow-up can be the difference between making a sale and allowing that contact to float away. When done the right way, a second (or third or fourth) contact can be what drives your sales in a positive direction.

The amount of contact you may need to make should be determined by the product you are selling and by any deals or deadlines. Contacting a prospect once per week is generally safe, but you could bump it up a bit if you are running a special that will expire soon. After a certain amount of time has passed, usually after three tries, you can archive the information for that contact for another rotation in the next quarter.

Choosing the right format is another key to a successful follow-up. Email is a great communication tool, but that is not always the most effective way to contact a prospective customer. In today’s text-and-go society, fewer sales calls are actually made by phone. People still appreciate a personal touch, so pick up the phone for your next follow-up attempt. You never know when someone may actually answer and you will have opportunity to employ your personality and in-depth knowledge to close a sale.

If you aren’t getting anywhere with your current sales attempts, the problem may be in your follow-up. Rethink how and when you are reaching out to your prospects, and that may be all you need to drive new sales and gain even more contacts for future potential sales.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

Sole Proprietor? How To Do It All And Not Lose Your Mind.

sole proprietor

Sole proprietors represent a huge majority of small businesses in America. That means many successful, even widely known business are run by one person—just one. If you have your own business or dream of jumping into an entrepreneurial endeavor someday, you may be a sole proprietor. Chances are, at least in the beginning, you will have to do it all on your own—from marketing to vacuuming, as there will be no one else available to help you get the job done.

There are many benefits to being a sole proprietor. You get to make all of decisions without debate. You can control when you work and how to go about your daily business. But, despite the many benefits to being on your own, you still have to find a way to get all the things done. Literally, all. the. things. How can you effectively run a business, have a personal life and still manage to not lose your mind? It’s hard, but you can take back control and regain some sanity by establishing a system and implementing a good bit of personal discipline. Here are the primary areas you may need to address:

  • Financial management
  • Communication
  • Scheduling and calendar
  • Project tracking
  • Email management
  • Time management
  • Social media marketing

This seems like a long list, but if you can tame the above seven items, you can corral many of the business-related areas that tend to get out of control. Careful management of your time as it relates to your business will give you more opportunity to spend being fully engaged in the time that you spend away from work. You may be the captain, deck hand, crew and play every other role that pertains to the success of your small business, but it does not have to come in exchange of your sanity, friends or family.

Sole proprietors must find a way to make their businesses work for them, and not spend their entire lives working. Find a way to reign in the areas that tend to steal most of your time, making it a point not to work more, but to work more productively.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC