Monthly Archives: July 2009

This Restaurant Industry Headline Is No Surprise

“The Restaurant Industry suffered Its Worst Quarterly Decline In Customer Traffic In 28 years In the Second Quarter 2009”

I love the retail industry and I consider restaurants part of that overall industry. I recognize restaurants are distinguished in the financial press for reporting purposes.  I also recognize that if you are a restaurant then you should be studying how you are doing in comparison to others.

The business of retail is so much fun because there is a tremendous amount of valuable information available and generally with the volume of customer traffic, you can test just about anything and receive feedback quickly as to whether it is working or not.  In retail the most energy should be devoted to marketing and in all fairness it usually is.  No whether that marketing is effective or not is a topic of debate. My view is that it isn’t and the view of the people dong it is that it is.

That brings us back to the overall results reported for the Second Quarter of 2009.  I wrote that the decline is written in a headline like it is a surprise.  Many may be thinking my view was based on the state of the economy with unemployment still running high and consumer confidence still running low. But actually my view is based on dismal failure of restaurants to pay close attention to the details of what is important to customers.

To support my view, I look at the exceptions. Here is one reported on by Fare Magazine. That exception is Panera Bread. They  have not cut prices, they have not gone promotional and the company continues to grow profitably. Click Here for the complete article.

There is always value in studying what is working for others and, for that matter what isn’t. Look within your industry and outside of your industry.  I forget what bank was the first, but I remember the story of a bank president looking at the success of drive thru windows in the fast food industry.  He tried in banking and it rapidly became very successful.

In any economy there are always companies that do well and those that fail.  The ones that do well are those who consistently pay attention to the details important to their customers.  This is the value exchange principle.  The more value I give you the more you are willing to pay for it.

Sharing with all my readers the energy of peace, happiness and abundance

Steve Pohlit, Expert Business Consulting

Email Me, Steve Pohlit to schedule A No Obligation Consultation On Building Your Business Profits.Need more customers? Let’s discuss how to use cutting edge Social Media Marketing in the revenue building cycle of your business to drive your profits sky high. If  your company is not growing revenue and profits,  if your company is not cash flow positive Click Here for more information about Turnaround Consulting Services for Business In Crisis

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About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is business owner and an expert business consultant, direct response and social media marketing  and social networking security expert . Steve is  focused on helping companies improve their business performance. All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

WSJ Reports Twitter Success Stories and Misses The Mark

The WSJ reports Moonfruit went from 400 followers to 47,000 followers in about a week using a contest that became popular and viral fast.  Other similar success stories were reported.  When you read this article Click Here  For The Story I suggest you consider the missing link. Now in all fairness the link may not be missing in the examples reported. However, this key success factor was not addressed in the article.

The Missing Link

Think of a funnel. This story is about using the incentive of a contest to reach out into the cloud of a very popular social media site which of course is Twitter. This strategy was very successful in that the number of followers increased rapidly. However, followers have no value unless they are people interested in your offer – the offer for products and services that earns you money.

Followers need to be converted to a contact data base where you have their name and email contact information.  That step is moving followers through the marketing funnel. Now that step can be bypassed if a follower goes directly to your offer and buys. At that point you also have their contact information.  Again the goal is to develop this contact data base so you can communicate with these people who have said they are interested in who you are and what you offer. That communication then is intended to further cement the relationship and when the person is ready they will buy. You have not idea when they will be ready so building the relationship is the key.

In the current environment there is an opportunity to move people from followers to a contact data base where you can message them and by pass the email system. That option is to move them into a group on Facebook. There is an inherent limitation to that in that Facebook limits group size for sending messages to 5,000 people. Many people are setting up fan pages which do not have the limitations of  a group. However, messages to fans currently are not sent to their Facebook inbox which is not as effective as groups.

My advice is to use the assets of social media with the goal of developing your own asset which is your customer list and prospect list.  Then there is one more thing: communicate with them.

Sharing with all my readers the energy of peace, happiness and abundance

Steve Pohlit, Expert Business Consulting

Email Me, Steve Pohlit to schedule A No Obligation Consultation On Building Your Business Profits.Need more customers? Let’s discuss how to use cutting edge Social Media Marketing in the revenue building cycle of your business to drive your profits sky high. If  your company is not growing revenue and profits,  if your company is not cash flow positive Click Here for more information about Turnaround Consulting Services for Business In Crisis

Follow Me and I Follow You http://Twitter.com/BuildProfits

FREE Report:
How To Increase Business Profits by 30% or More in 90 Days or Less

Connect with me on Facebook Click Here

About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is business owner and an expert business consultant, direct response and social media marketing  and social networking security expert . Steve is  focused on helping companies improve their business performance. All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

Alexis Martin Neely: For the Record

Alexis Martin Neely you have accused me  of:

Being a scammer

Using my spiritual belief system as a cover for an intended scam

Using my expanded network and business of Manifest Mastermind as a cover for intended scams

Scamming Brian Campbell out of a partnership

Alexis Martin Neely,  you represent yourself to be a professional attorney, a lawyer who teaches other lawyers.  Every professional attorney I ever worked with has demonstrated they learned proper due diligence before finalizing  their position.  Had you used even an ounce of your legal training for  fact finding in this situation, I am certain you would have concluded your feelings of what you have accused me of to be totally without merit.

The Facts:

This is the link to the report I filed on what Brian Campbell has done.   http://manifestmastermindblog.com/2009/07/hackedcomrpromised/

In that report you will see that he hacked into my main email account and deleted four years of personal and business communication. Part of that record was a detailed history of my communication with him regarding situations that as a partner I was not comfortable being associated with.  It also contained communication regarding the work I started because of Brian not doing what he promised.  Part of that work was the detail related to your account.  What was not destroyed are emails to you from another person requesting assistance so we could resume building value  for you.  We never received the requested information from you so we could continue.

An  email  that was deleted by Brian but which you have was  sent directly to you from me.  Of course this one  you didn’t reproduce in your article. It is the one  where I wrote  to you that I would continue working until you told me you have received the value for what you paid.

I am a currently licensed CPA. I have held positions in very large companies with significant fiduciary responsibility. I have the trust of many clients because I earned it for doing what I say and being authentic.  I say to  you now  Alexis Martin Neely all of your accusations are false.  I have the facts and those facts are readily available to you or anyone.

I stand by my word and stand firmly in the foundation of Manifest Mastermind.  It appears to me that  you are not the professional you represent.  There is one item where we have no disagreement: what comes around goes around.

In Unity we believe in Oneness and so I do love the essence of  God in all life and the essence of God in you.

Steve Pohlit

Google Launching A New Operating System and You Say So!!! I Recommend Paying Very Close Attention

In the same week I received a message on a special report from the Motley Fool on what Microsoft is worried about and a message from Chris Lang on the new Google operating system that looks like will be launched in 2010. Chris does a great job summarizing the major benefits to this and now I understand what Microsoft may be a bit nervous about.

I have not seen Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer discussing this but I am sure they will soon as their shareholders will want to understand their plans considering this move by Google. Just think of this: $200 will operate very fast and efficiently. I wonder what the equipment and chip manufactures think of the pending development?

Watch the video, then pay close attention to my brief closing comments. These points are what you should be doing today to take advantage of what is available right now and to take advantage of this OS when it is released.

Notice how important Chris feels the Google Friend Connect feature is to the Google strategy.  If you look to the right you will notice I use the Google Friend Connect application.  How do you install this.  Well I am happy you asked.  It just so happens I did a video on this a while back and here it is. Wait before you watch it, make sure you read every word of this article as I close with some mission critical advice.

Now what is the one common element to all these features and benefits? Have you ever tried using an Google application that you have set up without your Gmail user name and password. Do you think that information might be very important to have very secure? I do and I recently paid a very heavy price for inadequate security and trusting this information to another. You now know what to do.

Sharing with all my readers the energy of peace, happiness and abundance

Steve Pohlit, Expert Business Consulting

Email Me, Steve Pohlit to schedule A No Obligation Consultation On Building Your Business Profits.Need more customers? Let’s discuss how to use cutting edge Social Media Marketing in the revenue building cycle of your business to drive your profits sky high. If  your company is not growing revenue and profits,  if your company is not cash flow positive Click Here for more information about Turnaround Consulting Services for Business In Crisis

Follow Me and I Follow You http://Twitter.com/BuildProfits

FREE Report:
How To Increase Business Profits by 30% or More in 90 Days or Less

Connect with me on Facebook Click Here

About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is business owner and an expert business consultant, direct response and social media marketing  and social networking security expert . Steve is  focused on helping companies improve their business performance. All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

How To Use Visualization and The Law of Attraction To Build Business Profits

What does visualization and  The Law of Attraction have to do with
Building Business Profits which is the focus of my business consulting
practice.?  Visualization of results.

I became aware of all this when I saw this interview of a guy from
Australia  that shows the tool he and Frank and many others use
including myself now. You really do have to see this:

Visulization of Success With Mind Movies

You see, he figured out this powerful way to tap into the
Law of Attraction that practically guarantees
you’ll get whatever you want.

And the surprising thing about it is it is SUPER easy to do,
you can start doing it right now…and here’s the really cool
part…

*****************************
He’s GIVING it away! ForFREE
*****************************

He obviously understands abundance, because he’s
practicing it in a very big way here:

Visulization of Success With Mind Movies

So what is it about Aussies anyway? They seem to totally
have this figured out, especially when you consider that
the land down under is where we got…

***********************
The Secret
***********************

I’m sure you’ll agree that was life changing all by itself.

And now, this guy has added another dimension to the
Law of Attraction that ramps up how fast you can manifest
anything you want into your life.

************************************************
This makes the Universe say YES even faster!
************************************************

He even got marketing expert Frank Kern excited about it.
If you haven’t heard of Frank, well, he’s a marketing genius
who makes millions of dollars online. Everything he does
seems to turn to gold.

But he’s not exactly what you’d expect when it comes to using
The Law of Attraction to manifest your goals and desires.

You’ll hear his personal experience with this when you
watch the video:

Visulization of Success With Mind Movies

So, if even HE is doing this, what does that tell you about
how effective this is? Bad news for the naysayers who think
it isn’t for “regular” people, or the Law of Attraction is
some kind of mumbo jumbo.

Only thing is I’m not sure how long this will be available
at NoCost.

So if you’re really serious about increasing your power to
manifest anything you want into your life super fast,
you need to check this out right now:

Visulization of Success With Mind Movies

I’ve already started using this, and I strongly recommend
you do too.

All the best,

Steve

P.S. I’m extremely excited about this, because it could
literally transform your life. So be sure you share your story
with me when you start doing this, OK?

Connect with me on Facebook Click Here

About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is business owner and an expert business consultant, direct response and social media marketing  and social networking security expert . Steve is  focused on helping companies improve their business performance. All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

How Successful Retailers Earn Customer Loyalty

Mark Albright, staff writer for the St. Petersburg Times published an article in the Sunday paper a while back on retailers struggling to win back customers. He does an excellent job at identifying the key issues customers face when shopping in many stores. In summary, customers know what they want from their shopping experience and they don’t get what they want most of the time.

Two charts were provided in the article. One showed that 68.4% of those responding to a recent poll said knowledgeable, helpful, friendly staff was the most important criteria for a positive shopping experience. The other chart reported that 50% of the people surveyed reported retail service has gotten worse.

Shoppers have always wanted a friendly environment with knowledgeable staff. What is most alarming is how poorly retailers continue to meet the expectations of their customers. With almost 70% of the customers ranking knowledgeable, friendly staff as most important, why is it that so many retailers continue to be obsessed with having compelling price? Studies have consistently shown and Mark points this out in his article as well, that less than 10% of the shoppers name price as the most important reason they shop a store.

Let’s examine pricing and promotion a bit deeper. The paper that Mark Albright writes for has a daily circulation of about 1 million. On Sunday, like all large metropolitan areas, the paper is thick. Most of it is advertising circulars. Most have between 4 – 20 or more color glossy pages and this format is used by most of the major retail chains. Stores attempt to show items attractive to the largest number of people and offer special buys or sale pricing. The goal is to drive traffic to the stores.

Normally on a store by store basis, retailers are able to tell how effective a particular circular was by measuring customer count (customers that actually buy), average sale and items sold. Most retailers have these statistics, but there is one critical piece of information they do not have. They do not know who it was that purchased something. They do not know their physical address, they do not know their email address and do not know their customer’s phone number. There are exceptions and I will address those shortly. However, in general, large and small retailers spend huge amounts of money on print advertising to drive customers into their stores and they don’t even know who their customer is. Consequently, they are unable to thank the buyers, hear their comments and suggestions and they are not able to personally invite them back.

Even more serious: with the development of preferred buying programs, membership programs like those used by Sam’s Club and Costco and even those retailers that have captured customer information, the way that data is used is pathetic.

Here is a brief summary of the issues so far: consumers want knowledgeable and friendly sales staff and over 90% of them place importance on knowledge and friendliness over price. On the other hand, retailers spend a lot of resources developing promotions based on price to drive traffic to their stores. When the customer gets there, not just the price shopper but the loyal customers as well, the retailer is not properly staffed and the staff that is working is not properly trained and managed. I call this a mismatch in expectations and delivery. The result of that formula is a high rate of retail business failure with stores that fail being replaced by new ones that operate the same way. You know what you get when you keep doing things the same way. What is the solution? Keep reading.

When the subject of price in retailing is mentioned, Wal-Mart’s name always comes up. Here are just a couple of things I noticed about Wal-Mart recently. First they are increasing the number of more upscale items offered. Why are they doing this? It is because they understand that appealing just to the low price crowd long term is a risky business model. No retail chain founded on the low price model has ever survived long term. None. What else have I noticed? The other day I noticed a Wal-Mart banner on the front page of Yahoo.com This particular ad was what is known in the Internet Marketing circles and Direct Response Marketing circles as a lead generation ad. I followed it through and noticed interesting “bribes” to get you to register for on line information. You could even categorize the information you were interested in receiving. Wal-Mart promised to give you advance notice of their best deals for the store closest to you. Notice I said store closest to you. When you entered your information they asked for your zip code so they could match you with relevant regional promotion.

Wal-Mart is taking the lead again in building their customer data base. I don’t think they have taken this to the store level, which where it really needs to be implemented. But they are headed in the right direction.

Do you need to have Wal-Mart’s system to implement a similar program? Last September I was testing the implementation of program with a small retailer in a small market. We used incentives as a motivator to provide their contact information. This program was hugely successful in a short period of time and confirmed the value of capturing the contact information of your customers and communicating with them. That is the first step in bridging the gap between what customers want and what retailers deliver. Note: if you are a grocery store, restaurant, nightclub, shoe repair store, dry cleaner or any business that has customers, this applies to you.

If you are a local or regional chain of stores, outsourcing this customer contact program is the most cost effective approach. If you are not sure that is a true statement Email Me and I will prove it to you. National Chains should outsource this program in the test phase and then it is likely that in-house technology will be needed long term. Regardless, it is easy to build your customer list, easy to communicate with them and this communication builds loyalty and value. This communication process is the critical link that breaks down when this process is managed internally. In summary, outsource this entire program initially; bring the technology piece in house if and when that makes sense but keep the communication program outsourced. Does this sound like Direct Response Marketing 101? Yes ..well that is because it is and you know what…basic blocking and tackling work all the time.

Does all of this solve the problem of bridging the gap of what the customer wants and what the retailer delivers? Absolutely not! All of the fundamentals successful retailers are paying attention to today must continue. Having the right product in the right place at the right time is a good goal. Having staff properly trained and managed is a great goal.

But this is the planet earth folks. When all the best logistical systems and human resource development processes fail .. and they will from time to time, a strong binding relationship with your customer will overcome any isolated execution failures.

Are there any examples of anyone doing this more right than wrong? I remember in 1996 when I was in my second year of operating an Internet Service Provider company that I founded. I was focusing on industries likely to benefit a lot quickly from using the tools of the Internet. One of them was mail order. I knew there would be huge benefits to catalog retailers from using the internet. Of course when I contacted many of them and they had no idea in 1996 what I was talking about. So I let it slide instead of pursuing that idea along with a number of other billion dollar ideas I had in the early days of the commercial Internet.

Today there are numerous examples of catalog retailers doing a great job of communicating with their customer base. Now the big gains are coming from the “brick and mortar” companies who are communicating like catalog retailers. Who are they? Circuit City gets a vote. Circuit City sends me wonderful emails in addition to their weekly print advertising circulars. Wal-Mart used to do a good job now that I am on their list but not any longer. In the catalog retail business, one of the best is Fredericks of Hollywood. There are other catalog retailers that have an effective communication program in place. In fact if you order on line from any catalog company and give them your email address, I would bet you start getting information from them. Even if you don’t order, sign up for some of these lists to see what they send you.

The biggest mistake made by companies that have you in their data base, is dropping your contact information when you have not purchased for awhile. I know of one very popular retailer with a huge mail order division that sends me tons of catalogs but not one email. When asked about this I was told I no longer receive emails because I am not a current buyer. But they continue sending me expensive to print and mail catalogs. Go figure! Recently.

In summary, study the companies that are doing this well. Look at your own business. If you are not sure what I am advising you to do will work, call or email me and let’s “kick it around”.  All contact information is at the end of the article.

Sharing with all my readers the energy of peace, happiness and abundance

Steve Pohlit, Expert Business Consulting

Email Me, Steve Pohlit to schedule A No Obligation Consultation On Building Your Business Profits.Need more customers? Let’s discuss how to use cutting edge Social Media Marketing in the revenue building cycle of your business to drive your profits sky high. If  your company is not growing revenue and profits,  if your company is not cash flow positive Click Here for more information about Turnaround Consulting Services for Business In Crisis

Follow Me and I Follow You http://Twitter.com/BuildProfits

FREE Report:
How To Increase Business Profits by 30% or More in 90 Days or Less

Connect with me on Facebook Click Here

About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is business owner and an expert business consultant, direct response and social media marketing  and social networking security expert . Steve is  focused on helping companies improve their business performance. All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

If Your Twitter Account Has Been Suspended – Read This Now

Sunday, July 5th, 2009: A lot of people with legitimate Twitter accounts are currently suffering from having their accounts suspended (late Sunday afternoon).

It is not TweetLater’s doing or fault. So, please do not submit a TweetLater support request about it.

We just heard back from Twitter via email, and they said : “Spamcloud hit. We’re working on restoring accounts.

We just need to be patient. The suspended accounts will be restored.

Update: We have no idea exactly what a “spam cloud” means. It is probably Twitter staff lingo for a massive spam attack.

Update: We have seen during previous spam attacks that Twitter tends to shoot first and ask questions later and indiscriminately lay down carpet bombing when their system comes under a spam attack. A lot of innocent-bystander accounts get massacred in the process, which they then have to restore afterwards. This is most likely what has happened again.

Sharing with all my readers the energy of peace, happiness and abundance

Steve Pohlit, Expert Business Consulting

Email Me, Steve Pohlit to schedule A No Obligation Consultation On Building Your Business Profits.Need more customers? Let’s discuss how to use cutting edge Social Media Marketing in the revenue building cycle of your business to drive your profits sky high. If  your company is not growing revenue and profits,  if your company is not cash flow positive Click Here for more information about Turnaround Consulting Services for Business In Crisis

Follow Me and I Follow You http://Twitter.com/BuildProfits

FREE Report:
How To Increase Business Profits by 30% or More in 90 Days or Less

Connect with me on Facebook Click Here

About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is business owner and an expert business consultant, direct response and social media marketing  and social networking security expert . Steve is  focused on helping companies improve their business performance. All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

Gangster Government

I hope you understand this is not an Republican vs. Democrat issue. This is our government playing a role where it doesn’t belong and when it does the consequences we experience.

Sharing with all my readers the energy of peace, happiness and abundance

Steve Pohlit, Expert Business Consulting

Email Me, Steve Pohlit to schedule A No Obligation Consultation On Building Your Business Profits.Need more customers? Let’s discuss how to use cutting edge Social Media Marketing in the revenue building cycle of your business to drive your profits sky high. If  your company is not growing revenue and profits,  if your company is not cash flow positive Click Here for more information about Turnaround Consulting Services for Business In Crisis

Follow Me and I Follow You http://Twitter.com/BuildProfits

FREE Report:
How To Increase Business Profits by 30% or More in 90 Days or Less

Connect with me on Facebook Click Here

BONUS

Did you watch the entire video?

You didn’t ?  I honor your love for accepting all in this country as is and the direction it is moving.

You did? How cool is that? Did you notice the song at the end of the video. Here is a video of that song. Click Here

DOUBLE  BONUS

Did you notice the information on the organziation who published this video?  It is from The Kick Them All Out initiative and I am now a card carrying member. Decide how you feel about it and Listen To Your Heart. There are 761 people who have paid attention and pledged to vote so all incumbants are fired.