Back to business!

Business and career advice with Neil Franklin

After three months or so of being in lockdown, the first thing that I simply had to do, along with my two boys, was to get a haircut.

I had grown a very nice 1980s “mullet” over the period and I simply couldn’t wait to hear the sound of the clippers buzzing over my head, or more appropriately, what should be the sound of a hedge trimmer!

Driving to the barbers at around 9:00am on a Tuesday morning, felt like 6:00am on a Sunday and there was no problem parking outside the shop, which would be a nightmare on any other “normal” weekday.

Inside there were some changes – there were sheets of protective plastic between the chairs and Erish the barber, was dressed in full protective gear, ready to work some magic on three people who looked like they had samples from the local garden centre on their heads.

But enough about hair, now on to the more serious issue of business.

Where do we go from here and what does the future look like?

 Well, there is no question that we are still in a time of uncertainty, but given the resolve of the many people I have spoken to both in Wales and across the globe, there will be no surrender to the current or any other circumstances and there is only a strong will to continue in whatever shape or form.

It has been great to see the amount of businesses who have adapted their models and changed to operating online – this for me is critical as we are moving rapidly into a digital workplace.

Still, there is no point in me stressing the import-ance of being online in the business world, because now it is mainstream news, but I can give you some tips as to how to make sure you are on the right track and in a position to maximize your online opportunity.

The first thing to understand is the importance of your own online “real estate.”

Here, I am talking about your website and if you don’t already have one, then get one right now.

It doesn’t matter if you are an individual or a company, because by 2030, it is estimated that 90% of the population will be online, so be proactive!

If you are an individual, then at the very least, you will have your “online CV/resume,” so you may have companies looking to hire you and if you are a company, you can start to specifically engage your target customers.

And by the way, if you are dependent on social media platforms for your business, then please understand that you do not have full control – a good friend of mine in Fort Worth, Texas, had a very lucrative business which earned him around $60K per year, in Google AdSense revenue, back in the day…then suddenly, the rules of the game changed and literally overnight, it dropped to $20K.

Your own website is the closest you can get to having as much control as you can in the Internet world, and this is because you have the maximum amount of control possible…but I must stress and particularly in light of recent times, there is nothing to stop any government shutting down the internet as a whole tomorrow.

Next, you have to make sure that your site is functional – it should be your hardest working sales-person and as it operates 24/7 and 365 days of the year, there should be no excuse for poor performance…unless it is down to you.

Make sure your site is engaging and it actually serves to help your customers…which brings me to the next point: You have to engage your audience.

So many sites are simply showcasing themselves and they are little more than expensive shop wind-ows – make sure to tell your audience exactly who you are, what you stand for and more importantly…

what you can do for them.

Now, it comes down to how you engage with your audience.

You can educate, you can inform…but in any  event, it is a very good idea not to try to sell at this point.

Way back in 2008, there was a golfing instructor in Canada who literally gave all of his golf “secrets” away in a series of monthly golf videos on YouTube.

If I remember correctly, his was the first golf channel to get 1m views – and this was exceptional at the time as almost everyone else was hell-bent on selling the “ultimate golf system” or another miracle golf cure for the dedicated audience of extremely frustrated golfers.

Eventually, he produced a DVD, which hit record sales.

This was simply because people trusted him and wanted to have a physical product.

At the time, people thought he was a lunatic…

because it was normal to produce and sell products for premium prices and restrict content to those who were prepared to part with their hard-earned cash.

Don’t be afraid to educate your audience and give some secrets away.

In my recruiting and staffing business, I would frequently write articles that would talk about the negative aspects of our industry and how to avoid them, just as much as I would talk about the positive… and that was because I knew my customers would have a multitude of questions whirling around in their heads and I wanted to answer them before I met them!

The final and most important part is to determine how you generate some income for your troubles!

If you have created the right message, then you’re well on the way to being able to engage your aud-ience with valuable content and then the conclusion should be automatic!

But…

It all depends on the type of content you have created and how well you have educated your customer how to buy from you…which is the real issue.

There is so much free information out there concerning everything I have talked about in this short article, but if you need any further help, then please get in touch!

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