Lesson Learned: Have an Exit Strategy

The COSE Strategic Planning Course offers small business owners invaluable advice on a range of subjects to help them grow their business. We asked some recent graduates of the program what their takeaways from the course were and during the next several weeks, we’ll be relating to you their insights. Today’s “lesson learned” comes from Tony Skerski of Transaction Realty, who talked about the benefit of having an exit strategy for your business. 

The COSE Strategic Planning Course offers small business owners invaluable advice on a range of subjects to help them grow their business. We asked some recent graduates of the program what their takeaways from the course were and during the next several weeks, we’ll be relating to you their insights. Today’s “lesson learned” comes from Tony Skerski of Transaction Realty, who talked about the benefit of having an exit strategy for your business.

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    Q: If someone were on the fence about enrolling in the COSE Strategic Planning Course, what would you say to encourage them to enroll in the program? 

    Tony Skerski of Transaction Realty

    I think the most important thing is when you start a business, you’re just worried about making money on an annual basis and not thinking of the future of the business. What the COSE Strategic Planning Course brought to me is there needs to be an exit strategy. If I had known how to structure the business with an exit strategy in mind from the beginning, I would have done things differently. Instead, now I’m in the latter part of my business years and have to restructure and figure out how to set up my exit strategy.

     

    Learn more about how the COSE Strategic Planning Course can help your business grow. 

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    Next up: Leveraging LinkedIn

    Leveraging LinkedIn

    We hosted Jamie Nikosey from LinkedIn on May 7 for our Tech Growth session: Leveraging LinkedIn to Grow Sales. She shared some great insights into managing one’s profile and using different tools to prospect for clients.

    We hosted Jamie Nikosey from LinkedIn on May 7 for our Tech Growth session: Leveraging LinkedIn to Grow Sales. She shared some great insights into managing one’s profile and using different tools to prospect for clients.

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    Our podcast from the session can be found here.

    Pictures from the event can be found here.


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    Next up: Leveraging Mobile Technology to Increase Sales

    Leveraging Mobile Technology to Increase Sales

    It’s no secret that sales of mobile devices continue to explode, but apps and other tools are exploding too. Your customers are deploying mobile technology to manage their businesses and you probably are too. But are you considering how to use mobile technology to actually grow sales? 

    It’s no secret that sales of mobile devices continue to explode, but apps and other tools are exploding too. Your customers are deploying mobile technology to manage their businesses and you probably are too. But are you considering how to use mobile technology to actually grow sales? 

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    Tools like tablet computers, smart phones and more are apparent and a variety of applications are available to enhance sales force productivity. But new apps and tools are being introduced constantly that can help your company’s marketing efforts too. Join us for an enlightening session featuring peer tech companies sharing their inside story on how they’ve leveraged emerging mobile technology to grow sales. 

    Listen here.


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    Next up: Lt. Governor Taylor, COSE/GCP Announces Small Business Toolkit

    Lt. Governor Taylor, COSE/GCP Announces Small Business Toolkit

    Toledo – Lt. Governor Mary Taylor announced today the launch of a new electronic toolkit that is designed to help Ohio’s small businesses navigate regulatory issues and other matters. The new business asset - available at www.governor.ohio.gov/csitoolkit - is part of Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative (CSI), which was created by Governor John Kasich in 2011 to help create a more jobs-friendly regulatory climate in Ohio.  Taylor oversees the CSI program.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    June 22, 2016

    CONTACT:
    Michael Duchesne, (614) 644-9570, or
    Michael.Duchesne@governor.ohio.gov

    Toledo – Lt. Governor Mary Taylor announced today the launch of a new electronic toolkit that is designed to help Ohio’s small businesses navigate regulatory issues and other matters.

    The new business asset - available at www.governor.ohio.gov/csitoolkit - is part of Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative (CSI), which was created by Governor John Kasich in 2011 to help create a more jobs-friendly regulatory climate in Ohio.  Taylor oversees the CSI program.

    The concept of the toolkit was conceived by business members of the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), the small business division of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP).

    “We have made great progress reforming Ohio’s regulatory environment through CSI,” Taylor said. “But our progress is enhanced when small business owners take part in the CSI process. The CSI Small Business Toolkit gives them the information they need in a simple, accessible way and I hope it leads to even more business participation.”

    The CSI Small Business Toolkit gives Ohio’s businesses information on how to participate in the rule review process, how to use CSI to resolve specific regulatory challenges, and shares some of the successes CSI has had in helping the business community since the office was created in 2011.  COSE/GCP has also dedicated a portion of its own state regulatory website - which is also being unveiled today and available at www.cose.org/regulatorytoolkit - to CSI’s Toolkit.

    “Most business owners understand regulations are a necessity, but the degree to which they are regulated must be continually evaluated,” said Kevin Johnson, COSE/GCP Board Member and President of Glenwood Management Company in Cleveland. “Improved communication and understanding between state government and the business community is critical and the implementation of a state regulatory resource like this one will only enhance a business owner’s ability to navigate complex rules and regulations that impact them.”

    For more information, “like” Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative on Facebook, or follow @CSI_Ohio on Twitter.

    ###

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    Next up: Webinar: Marketing on a Budget

    Webinar: Marketing on a Budget

    Do you have a solid understanding of your digital marketing strategy? This webinar will show you how to create a budget-friendly, trackable, well-defined plan that will generate a return for your business.


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    Next up: Marketing Isn't Selling: Here's How to Understand the Difference

    Marketing Isn't Selling: Here's How to Understand the Difference

    Sales and marketing are not the same thing, and they should be strategized and tackled differently. Understand the difference and make sure your tactics, especially on social media, follow suit.

    Marketing and prospecting often overlap. For example, networking can be considered marketing and prospecting. You are building relationships, gaining exposure, having the opportunity to talk about your company. Networking isn’t, however, selling.

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    Following the premise that marketing is about gaining exposure and awareness for our product or service, we can include public speaking, writing and podcasting to more traditional activities.

    RELATED: The value of podcast marketing.

    Many of us think of print, TV and radio advertising when we think about marketing. We also think about direct mail, newsletters and billboards. But, what about social media? Well, it’s a valuable avenue for marketing as long as it’s handled appropriately. And this is an area where people blur the lines.

    Social media allows us to share our knowledge, our value, our expertise so that others can decide if we have something they’d be interested in. We also have the opportunity to connect with people so we can build meaningful business relationships. That’s it. Period.

    RELATED: When it comes to your business, keep your social professional.

    Unfortunately, some people use social media to try to sell their product or service to total strangers. That’s not what anyone should be doing. So, let’s talk about what selling is.

    What is selling, really?

    Selling is about connecting your offering to someone’s need. To do that, you first must learn about them and their situation. While marketing is about awareness, selling is about discovery.

    Those are two sides of the same coin. When determining where and how to market, decide who you want to build relationships with, who you should be getting in front of, and where your target audience will best hear your message. Remembering that the message is not, “Buy my stuff,” focus on what you want them to know. How can you position your company so it is attractive to your potential client or colleague? That’s the question to be answered. Then you execute your plan.

    Once you are in a conversation with someone who has interest in learning more about what you have to offer, your first task is to learn about them. Yep, it isn’t to go ahead and tell them about your product or service. That’s not effective. Frankly, they aren’t listening to everything you are telling them. Ask them enough questions to get to the core of their situation and their values. Then, and only then, can you determine if you should be pursuing a business relationship with them.

    RELATED: Secret to selling: Don’t spill your candy in the lobby.

    Sales and marketing aren’t the same thing and they don’t intersect. Think of it as a relay. You market to create awareness about the value of your offering. You discover whether the prospect is really a potential customer through the sales process. When it makes sense, you connect your product or service to their situation.

    Diane Helbig is owner of Seize This Day Coaching.


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