Category Archives: Zoho

3 Ways Restaurants and Breweries Can Boost Marketing During COVID-19

3 Ways Restaurants and Breweries Can Boost Marketing During COVID-19

The restaurant and brewery industries are ones that COVID-19 has hit hardest as customers have literally been ordered to stay away from these establishments for months now. However, this does not mean that it is impossible to find ways to profit. Here are 3 ways to boost your restaurant and brewery marketing during COVID-19.

Update Your Online Assets

Your customers still want to eat your food and by now, they are most likely tired of cooking from home. They’re wondering whether you’re open and how they might benefit from one of your meals. Let your audience know how they can order from you by updating the following assets:

  • Website
  • Social media platforms
  • Google My Business

We have seen various methods of still serving customers, including curbside pickup, carryout, and home delivery. Update your website so it’s immediately clear that you’re open and offering one of these solutions. Provide your new hours and any specials that may be offered to help families in need during the pandemic.

Social media accounts can help highlight any new specials that you may be offering. Provide encouraging stories that point followers to the easiest way to get your food. In the “About” tab, make sure to reflect these added specials, new hours, and delivery methods.

Update these same changes on your Google My Business page so anyone looking you up online or in Google Maps discovers your new ways of doing business.

Be Empathetic About COVID-19

You know where every single one of your customers is right now. You know what each person is thinking because you are going through the same thing. You understand their fears and concerns about the future. Provide them empathy and comfort by personifying your business as much more than a business, but as people too. Marketing is not simply advertising; it is sharing your story with customers about why you are a business they should align themselves with.

You may fear that you’re taking advantage of a negative situation, but if you show value, customers will come. If you do it correctly, then you can become a shining light of hope for you customers.

Help customers understand that it’s acceptable to celebrate even during a pandemic. They simply should do so safely by social distancing. Help them understand that you’re here to provide comfort food and celebratory food to brighten their day a bit.

Offer Something Other Than Food & Beverages

We already know that margins are small in the food and beverage, so focus efforts on developing other avenues for revenue. Get creative and ask yourself what else you can offer. For example, how can you use gift cards or merchandise to increase overall profit during COVID-19?

Offer incentives for customers to purchase gift cards to give away to friends and family. It helps increase your revenue immediately and gets more awareness into the community that you’re open for business. In addition to giftcards, you can sell merchandise via an online store on your website.

There’s no need to see your restaurant or brewery suffer during COVID-19 if you get creative and proactive about your marketing. Don’t go on the defensive. Get on offense and become an inspiration for your local community.  

WIMS Client Spotlight Close Off Market

WIMS Client Spotlight: Close Off Market

Charlotte-Based Real Estate Tech Startup Close Off Market, Inc. Launches New (Beta) Platform
Close Off Market is a unique technology platform that offers subscription-based access to off market commercial real estate deals in an efficient and user-tailored manner.

Close Off Market, Inc. and its team has been working tirelessly to solve a major problem facing the real estate community, tighter margins because of slowly moving deals and antiquated business practices. The platform leverages pre-existing technology, such as e-signature, CRM, ecommerce, etc. and then added its own proprietary algorithm on top to bring it all together. The business is built off the hypothesis that further enabling technology to add another layer of efficiency will help streamline the entire sales cycle and will make a tremendous impact on their users’ business.

If you’re in the commercial real estate industry you know how important getting access to the best possible deals at the best possible time can be to help increase the ROI on a potential transaction. Whether you’re a developer, investor, property manager, or otherwise having access to the best information, operating an efficient business, maintaining great relationships, and making timely decisions can make or break your organization.

Close Off Market has completely systematized the process to streamline the entire cycle and present its users with off market deals that are fully customized to their specific desired criteria.

Close Off Market’s co-founders are Clifford Blanquicet, Jr. and his wife Anna Blanquicet. Clifford is an entrepreneur and CEO of Blanq Real Estate, he’s also a commercial real estate broker, investor, and property manager. This problem is something he experiences daily and is extremely familiar with. Finding a way to solve it became a passion project of his that eventually led to the spin off and creation of the new entity.

He wanted a simple, automated, yet functional platform that expedited the commercial real estate acquisition process, while also providing invaluable insight into what his clients needed and wanted in their respective businesses. After searching unsuccessfully for such a platform, he noticed a void, and a potential opportunity. This led him on the path of creating Close Off Market.

After allocating the necessary resources and assembling a team, he and the company recently finished their internal development and testing phases and have now launched the initial beta platform to the public. While there is an extensive product road map in place that will continue to be rolled out in the near future, the existing iteration of the Close Off Market platform is ready for further user testing.

ABOUT CLOSE OFF MARKET
Charlotte-based Close Off Market, Inc. is a real estate tech startup focused on streamlining the process of commercial real estate acquisitions. The company offers a secure, cloud-based technology platform that provides subscription-based access to off market commercial real estate deals in an efficient and user-tailored manner. For more information, please visit: https://www.closeoffmarket.com/.

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LDR BRD Level Up Your Business

Level Up Your Business: Introducing the Launch of LDR BRD

The LDR BRD Mission:

We help your business understand and connect with your customers by providing actionable intelligence on consumer behavior. We want you to really know your customers and your market. We give you the power to increase revenue, brand exposure, and increase market penetration by deepening your relationships with your customers.

Whether you’re in the early stages of the concept, have been around for a while, or are currently experiencing a wave of growth, we understand each business has its own unique set of challenges and opportunities and customize our approach accordingly.

We work with you to help reach your destination, while keeping in line with your unique brand, mission, and everything else that makes your restaurant, brewery, coffee shop, winery, retail location, etc. stand out!

What sets LDR BRD apart?

  • Created for the food, beverage, brewery, winery, hospitality, and retail industries.

  • Integrates with your existing systems (or we can help you create them).

    • Data collected from Web, Email, POS, Social Media, CRM, referrals, etc.

  • Tracks customer activity on-site and off-site.

    • ​Financial, Online, In-Person, etc.​

  • Data is then measured, run through filters, and used to identify your most valuable and loyal customers, how they interact with your business, and keeping them engaged with your brand long-term.

 

We have much more to come, but if you’re interested in learning more please visit our website and reach out to discuss!

The WIMS Guide Video Ep. 8 Call to Action Friday

The WIMS Guide Video Ep. 8 – Call to Action Friday

Getting this in a little last minute today but keeping the streak alive nonetheless! Still in the mountains of Banner Elk, NC and wrapping up Day 14 of the fitness streak (only 90 more to go yet to meet my goal).

Again taking a bit of a detour with something that I make more of a thing going forward: Call to Action Friday. Wanted to shout out that I’ll be back down in Miami all next week. The schedule is already packed with client meetings, prospect meetings, networking events, and much more. I’ve said many times I’m ALL IN on growing the business more and more down there and this is another major step in the right direction. I still have some availability left but even if we’re not able to meet in person this trip please reach out and let’s at least set up a call and make a plan for the next time as I’ll certainly be back often!

Also, I’m still continuing to seek more and more content from entrepreneurs and professionals who are looking to create more whether written or video. If that’s a part of your strategy for the year please reach out and we’ll get something going.

Thanks for the attention while I keep getting these reps in and have a great weekend!

-Mike

The WIMS Guide Video Edition will focus on business topics such as Entrepreneurship, CRM, Marketing, Sales, B2B, Business Development, Web Design, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and much much more. To learn more about Mike Simmons and his company WIMS Consulting, click here. 

The WIMS Guide Video Ep. 7 CRM

The WIMS Guide Ep. 7 – CRM: Gone Mobile

Today we’ve gone mobile, shooting from the mountains of Banner Elk, NC! It’s appropriate for today’s theme (we’re still drilling deeper into CRMs) about the mobile side of CRM.

Ideally, whatever platform you decide (or chose) will have a great mobile application as well. It can truly make a major difference with not only efficiency, but also with maximizing the program’s value. My go-to’s have great mobile apps of course (Zoho, Salesforce.com, HubSpot) but plenty of others do too.

It helps to be able to add notes/updates immediately after a coffee or lunch meeting, or after discussing an actual deal. I haven’t always been great at it either, but getting all the pertinent and timely data in the system ASAP really helps to ensure you don’t forget any of the crucial, and sometimes subtle details and information gleaned from those meetings. Further, being able to pull out your phone (when appropriate) to recall a key piece of intel can be valuable as well.

Why rely on your memory when you have a supercomputer in your pocket?

The WIMS Guide Video Edition will focus on business topics such as Entrepreneurship, CRM, Marketing, Sales, B2B, Business Development, Web Design, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and much much more. To learn more about Mike Simmons and his company WIMS Consulting, click here. 

The WIMS Guide Video Ep. 6 CRM

The WIMS Guide Ep. 6 – CRM: The A-Team

If you’re following along (if not that’s ok too) today we’re talking about what you do as the next step in launching or redeploying your CRM. You’re going to focus solely on the A players for now. The main thing that is going to create momentum and keep you using the system is achieving ROI as quickly as possible. That’s the main benefit you want out of this and thus its the primary goal.

The quickest way to get there is prioritizing the A players first, aka your best clients and prospects. So after you’ve got the data, context, and all the other appropriate information about them in there you’re then going to focus on doing something about it.

You’re going to pick these people and go through them and schedule/pre-plan your out reach and follow up strategy. You’re going to leverage the task list, the calendar, reminders, etc. to layout the timing and content with which you’re going to conduct your outreach. And you’re going to leverage the CRM to systematize/automate it and take out the human element (somewhat, but not entirely).

By now you should have some sort of script that articulates your value proposition well along with a deck or brochure. Pre-schedule your follow up, and do between 3-7 touch points to make sure you see it through. Once you close the deal you can eliminate the subsequent steps as they’re convert. Put the email script in there, add some customized talking points, context, recall a funny joke or something they care about and set the entire campaign up in one shot.

The feeling you’ll get knowing this has been accomplished is going to propel you forward and create an invaluable supplement to your day to day activities. Give it a shot and let me know if you need any assistance.

-Mike

The WIMS Guide Video Edition will focus on business topics such as Entrepreneurship, CRM, Marketing, Sales, B2B, Business Development, Web Design, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and much much more. To learn more about Mike Simmons and his company WIMS Consulting, click here. 

The WIMS Guide Video Ep. 5 CRM

The WIMS Guide Ep. 5 (CRM ABC’s) – For Entrepreneurs and Professionals Focused on the Journey

Wow! You’d be surprised how fast you can get a solid streak going. Seems like just yesterday I started on this (ok so it wasn’t THAT long ago but still) and already we’re on the 5th video. I also completed day 11 of my fitness streak today too. There’s definitely something to be said for just starting where you are, and taking massive action. Before you know it you’ll have some serious momentum to continue building off of.

Today we talk about the CRM ABC’s. This is the next step you want to take whether you’re just starting out or have an existing database. It can be overwhelming trying to clean up a massive database of thousands of contact records. So we’re going to start with your A players. As they say 80% of your business is generated from 20% of your clients (I’m paraphrasing to make a point). Rather than trying to maintain the whole database right off the bat we’re going to focus on your top clients and prospects and making sure that their records are dialed in, up to date, accurate, and that all appropriate context is in the system.

The number of A’s is going to vary based on your situation. It could be 10, 25, 50, 100, etc. It’s mostly arbitrary but you want it to be the people who really matter. Whether they’re existing clients, or companies on your “wish/hit list” that’s up to you to decide.

After you make that decision, get to work making sure the necessary and relevant data is in the system. This will include contact information for the specific people/decision makers you want to track, prior communications (if applicable), potential referral sources or champions who can help, insight into their problems/needs that you can help solve, etc. Anything that might be helpful with continuing to serve them well, or to help you close the deal should be included.

Once you get these done you’ll have some serious momentum to continue charging through the rest. But no matter what, these should always remain your priority.

The WIMS Guide Video Edition will focus on business topics such as Entrepreneurship, CRM, Marketing, Sales, B2B, Business Development, Web Design, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and much much more. To learn more about Mike Simmons and his company WIMS Consulting, click here. 

The WIMS Guide Video Edition

The WIMS Guide Video Edition Ep. 1

Happy New Year and welcome to the new decade! After about 50 takes I figured what the heck, let’s just launch this thing. It’s raw and vulnerable, warts and all. Clearly I need a media training refresher from my wife who is a former TV reporter. But that’s ok, the polish will come later with practice and reps.

Without further ado, coming to you from the WIMS, Inc. War Room it’s The WIMS Guide video edition! I’ve procrastinated for years now on doing video content as surprisingly, it may be the one area I’m a little self-conscious. But that’s also why I needed to just put myself out there and DO it already. So here we are.

I definitely cringed a little (ok a lot) watching the play back, but I will absolutely get better. I’ll begin conveying my thoughts my clearly and concisely. But if you could give your boy a little grace here in the beginning, I’d appreciate it. Or don’t, feel free to roast me too I can take it.

As the blog this is meant to be about the never ending/ongoing journey of business, entrepreneurship, professional development and much more. I’m going to try to provide you with as much value as I can through the insights gained from running my companies, WIMS Consulting, EolianVR, and ARRE (along with perspective and experience gleaned from dozens of clients across a variety of industries and sizes). But I also want to learn more from you too, and even build a community around our shared insights and experiences.

My goal isn’t to build a Gary V or Grant Cardone or Ed Mylett style vlog. It’s to just force myself to get better, get out of my comfort zone, and try to serve my community in any way I can. That’s really all I can hope for. It could last a week, or a decade, we’ll see…

Here goes nothing!

 

The WIMS Guide Video Edition will focus on business topics such as Entrepreneurship, CRM, Marketing, Sales, B2B, Business Development, Web Design, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and much much more. To learn more about Mike Simmons and his company WIMS Consulting, click here. 

LDR BRD

Leveling-Up the Loyalty Game – Welcome to LDR BRD By: Tom Schaefer, Jr.

What are those letters? We’ll get to that later, I promise it’s worth the wait. In my previous post, I went on and on about how Loyalty systems don’t work.  At the end of that piece, I explained that loyalty does work, it just seems the retail application was broken. They’re rewarding existing loyalty (which reduces the Lifetime Value, or LTV, of a customer that wasn’t going anywhere) but failing to convert new customers to loyal ones. If there’s something we’ve learned from Star Trek/Wars, Marvel, and even the gaming community, its that consumers crave something they can connect with. The obstacle here is translating what other mediums do well, into a retail or B2C environment.

Janet Robinson, former CEO of the New York Times Company, said it best –

“Repeat business or behavior can be bribed, Loyalty has to be earned”

But what inspires loyalty with your customers? First, we need to separate Customer Loyalty from Brand Loyalty. Customer loyalty comes from the buyer’s power on their own personal spending. They’re likely motivated by lower prices and competitive deals. The loyalty Ms. Robinson is talking about is Brand Loyalty, which is based on perception of the Brand and its value. Brands that focus on excellent quality in product, service, and a cohesive message, are much more likely to inspire loyalty in their customer base.

After all of this research into loyalty/reward programs, I went and did something about it. I created a loyalty platform that ties into the basic fundamentals of building strong brand loyalty. I could tell you all about Aristotle’s 7 causes of human action, defining the 7 ways we make decisions and take actions, or go through some other psychological triggers, but the answer is much simpler than that. Create a quality product or service, provide excellent customer experience, and unify under a strong message. Once that is in place, the rest is as easy as paint by numbers.

My system plays into 4 areas that help grow customer loyalty: Trust, Character, Excitement, and Community. First, we extend the excellent customer experience outside of the standard financial transactions. Using a common platform like a CRM program, helps us stay in touch with our customers, understand their actions, and allows them to provide us with feedback to make their next visit that much better!

 

Enter LDR BRD (but where’d the vowels go?)

I’ve been so excited to share this with everyone! I’ve spent most of my professional life in Sales and Marketing, and leaned on quantitative data for most of my decision making. We use tools like Lead Scoring to determine which people are more likely to buy, and which are just window shopping. Then it hit me…what if we could do the same with loyalty? It’s a messy, qualitative, emotional category that isn’t easy to track. So how do we do it? I took a sample group of people who self-identify as “Brand Loyal” and interviewed them over a couple weeks.  Turns out their actions oftentimes spoke louder than their words. They were more likely to make large purchases from their preferred brand, share with friends and family through word of mouth/social media/online reviews, and fall into the habit of making regular purchases. Loyal customers should make up at least 20% of your base, but will account for 80% of future profits. It’s time to find out who they are (and what they care deeply about)!

 

Ready Player

We took the traditional lead scoring model, and made is public facing. This effectively turns loyalty into a game that adds a competition component to a system that doesn’t separate the loyal customers from passive return business. We have a system in place to track activity both inside and outside the traditional financial transaction. Did someone share a post on social media and tag your business? Get Points! Did someone invite their coworkers or friends to your bar for happy hour? Reward them! Did someone make a large purchase? Don’t let it go unnoticed! Our system also incorporates Feedback Loops (similar to popular games like Fortnite, with each new season giving players a reason to re-engage), so everyone gets a chance to shine, regardless of the previous activity. This allows new customers to feel like they have a chance to benefit in the system, while longer tenured customers continue to benefit from past activities. The purpose of this system is to identify and reward loyal business, all while turning your customer base into your own personal marketing army!

What about the name? I was inspired by the classic video game displays that list the current high scores. The leader board gives new players a number to beat, driving competitive behavior. At the end, you can only use three initials to describe what you are.

Leader Board became LDR BRD.

Are you ready to play?

If you have any questions about LDR BRD or would like to discuss how this platform can transform your business and drive revenues, fill out the form here or email me and let’s talk: tschaefer@wims-consulting.com.

 

CRM Call to Action 2020

Your Annual CRM Call to Action for 2020

I’ve been harping on the importance of CRM programs for about a decade now (here’s the last time), yet it still hasn’t caught on the way it should. This is the year that changes. Like with most technology, competition, economies of scale, and innovation have driven costs down significantly. Not only are they cheaper, but the functionality and value has simultaneously increased dramatically. Now, you can even get basic versions of a CRM program for free. It’s why acquiring and implementing a CRM program is my #1 recommendation for every business, regardless of industry or target market, if you’re looking to increase revenue.

Whether you work for a large and complex company, or if you’re an independent freelancer, or if you’re a sales mercenary who is compensated by getting to “eat what you kill,” there is a CRM program out there for you. Regardless of your budget (or lack thereof), you can customize the level of sophistication of your CRM program, as they all have various subscription levels. Further, there was recently an absolutely game changing announcement from one of my CRM platform preferences (and the one I personally use for my business).

Zoho One – An Operating System for Business

“Zoho One is a broad and cohesive set of applications that work collectively to run an entire business on the cloud. It includes more than 40 web applications and an equal number of mobile apps—under a single sign-on, with centralized administration and provisioning—making it a true operating system for any business. While each application punches above its weight against the competition, collectively they deliver a knockout punch.

With Zoho One, we’ve put together all the applications a company needs to acquire and serve its customers (marketing, sales, automation, and support apps); run its operations (finance, recruiting, and HR apps); and provide all the tools for its employees to work collaboratively and get their work done (office suite, mail, personal productivity, and collaboration apps). Almost any company has these same needs. With Creator, our drag-and-drop app builder, customers can even build custom apps for unique business needs—like logistics scheduling—and put them under the same umbrella that forms the single operating system for their business.

Zoho One is available at $30 a month—or just about a dollar a day, per employee. ($35 if you pay on a month-to-month basis).”

While WIMS, Inc. is platform agnostic (we work with all of them, including SalesforceHubSpotMicrosoft Dynamics, and Insightly among others) it’s getting more difficult not to refer my clients and prospects straight to Zoho right now. There are of course exceptions, but they’ve built something special, particularly for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Now, back to the more general CRM theme.

They all integrate with your email provider of choice, along with most social media channels, so tracking communications is easy (and automated). There are an incredible number of third-party add-ons you can incorporate depending on how robust your operations processes are to add additional functionality too.

Most importantly however, is that the ROI (return on investment) will more than make up for the expense.

CRMs help you automate your sales process. The more automated your sales cycle and follow up efforts can be, the greater volume of deals your business will be able to close. Further, the more accurate data you have about your sales cycle, the more deeply you can analyze it to gain insight that will not only help increase revenue, but ultimately help you improve:

  • Close rates,
  • Customer service and retention,
  • Length of sales cycle, and
  • Forecasting efforts and projections.

While implementing a CRM program can be a significant commitment initially, if you do it right, the benefit to your business is invaluable. With just under two months left in 2019, now is the perfect time to start planning and conduct your due diligence to start 2020 with yet another New Year’s resolution.

We’re here to help if you need it!