FleetBoss GPS Newsletter April 2010

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In This Issue
Top 7 Things to Grow Your Business
Tech Question
Cultivating an Attitude of Ownership
GPS In The News
Top 7 Things You Have to Know to Market and Grow Your Small Business Effectively

Is word of mouth and referrals enough to grow your business, especially with the economy headed south? My experience working with hundreds of small business owners has shown that while you might get by for awhile solely on referrals and word of mouth, typically that's not going to be enough over the long haul.

That means you're going to have to do some marketing and/or advertising.

Sadly, most of the entrepreneurs I've run into spend almost all their time and energy creating, and then working in, their business. To the point that they forget to even think about growing it until after they get established and realize people aren't just rolling through their doors or making the phone ring off the hook.

Then, when the do decide to start marketing they don't know what to do. So they waste tons of time and money on tactics and materials that don't create results. Something you probably can't afford.

With the economy on the downslide, and people tightening their purse strings, making sure your marketing is effective becomes even more important. Because suddenly you aren't just up against your competitors...You also have to convince people to spend their hard-earned cash at all.

And just running an ad here or there, throwing up a brochure Website, or sending out an occasional postcard or letter isn't going to do it. If you want your marketing to get results (IE leads, sales, new clients, etc.) you have to think it through and plan it out. Then market on a consistent basis.

Otherwise you'll just end up flushing hours and dollars down the toilet, getting frustrated, and possibly even closing your doors (Ahhh!). To help you out, here's...

7 Things You Have to Know to Market and Grow Your Small Business Effectively

1) Your Target Market
So many entrepreneurs go out in to the world trying to sell to everyone and anyone who might buy what they're selling. But this is an expensive and ineffective way to market a business.

It's like cold-calling by starting with the 'A's in the phone book. Most of the folks you call either aren't going to be interested, willing, or able to buy your product or service. Instead you need to focus on the people who most want what you sell, and have the ability to buy.

2) What They Care About
Everyone has different wants, needs, goals, pains and problems. And we're all looking for solutions to help us fix a problem, achieve a goal, or meet a need. So once you know who is most likely to buy what you are selling, you need to understand why they would want to.

Once you understand how your products and services can help them, you can speak directly to what matters most to them (instead of what you think is most important). And you can create headlines that grab their attention, ads that make them want to know more, and offers they can't refuse.

3) Your USP
USP stands for Unique Selling Proposition. This is what makes your business, products, services or results different from the competition. And it has to make what you offer seem so different its clear prospects can only get this from you.

Think of it this way...If you don't give people a good reason to buy from you instead of the guy down the street, they probably won't.

4) The Benefits
Most business owners focus their marketing on selling the features of their product or service (the size, shape, speed, power, time commitment, process, etc). But they forget to explain why they prospect should care.

It's easy to think everyone can see exactly why what you are selling is so great. But oftentimes they can't. And you can't expect anyone to take the time to think it through.

Rather than saying: "This computer has a dual core processor" (which means nothing to the average consumer)...Say "The lightening fast dual core processor lets you run more programs and applications at the same time without crashing your computer. So you save time and reduce the frustration that goes with losing files."

5) The Purpose of the Piece
It's not enough use marketing and advertising just to let people know about your business or what you're selling. You need to know what each piece of marketing should do...And what the reader should do after reading it. Only then can you create a compelling "call to action" ("Call A to get B", "Click here to learn more" etc.) telling them exactly what to do next.

This is key, because if you don't tell them what to do next, there's no telling what they might do. They might answer the phone, click away from your site, or go fold laundry instead of buying, calling you, or signing up for your free report online.

6) What Happens Next
Very few things can be sold effectively to all people on the first shot. Studies show people have to see your name, ad or promotion a minimum of 7 times just to notice it. Then likely another 7 or more times before they take action (assuming they're even interested in what you're selling in the first place).

Why? Because these days we are bombarded with information. Not only that, people are skeptical. So you have to get in front of them over and over to establish familiarity, then rapport, then desire, then trust, and finally get them to take action (which may not even be making a purchase).

This means you need to know what should happen next in the sales cycle to keep people moving down the path towards buying. Otherwise they probably won't.

7) How to Get Your Message Read-and Responded to
How much junk mail or email do you get that you never even open? And even when you do open it, how much of it do you actually read?

What about Websites? How often do you go to a Website then click away because you can't find what you're looking for quickly and easily?

One of the biggest problems small business owners have with promoting their products and services is their marketing materials don't get read. And even when they do get read, the reader doesn't get what you do or offer, what makes it so great, and why they need it NOW.

This is usually because you try to write it yourself (and writing copy is completely different from how most of us were taught to write in school). Or you hire the wrong person to write it for you.

You see, there are lots of people who hang out their shingle as a copywriter, but couldn't sell their way out of a paper bag. And even a great writer can't help you make sales if you don't know enough about your target market, USP, the purpose of the piece, etc. to give them the info they need to do the job.

So spend some time focusing on these 7 things and incorporating into all the marketing you do. If you do it right, and you have something of value to sell, your marketing is sure to start drawing new customers to your business like bees to honey.

Tech Question
Q. Does it matter where I place an external GPS antenna on my fleet vehicle?
A. It matters greatly how your GPS antenna is installed.  
GPS signals will penetrate upholstery, carpet, plastic dashboards, fiberglass, and glass
GPS signals will not penetrate glass windows with metallic tint, metallic painted surfaces, metal panels or brackets.
Radio Antenna or defrost wires embedded in the glass may degrade signal.
Optimum performance is achieved by mounting the GPS antenna with a clear view of the sky directly on the inside of the windshield. As with all self adhesive GPS antennas, it is applied sticky side up facing the sky.

How to Cultivate an Attitude of Ownership Among Your Employees

HAPPY PEOPLE Have you ever done business with a company and dealt directly with the owner? What kind of experience did you have? Did you feel valued and appreciated and treated as if you were their only customer? If so, how did that make you feel?

What kind of experience do you have if you are dealing with an employee of a company? Do you get that same "royal treatment" you get when you're dealing with the owner, or is it sometimes indifferent or even horrible treatment?

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine if every time your customers dealt with your company they felt valued, appreciated and treated as if they were your company's only customer. I'll bet they would not only continue doing business with your company but they would also tell their family and friends about your company as well.

Unfortunately, many employees see themselves as one-dimensional in relation to their company-as a salesperson, or an engineer, or a supervisor. What would it be like if everyone in your organization started thinking and acting like owners of the business? What if your employees shared the same beliefs, both in their abilities and in the purpose of your business? What if they focused all their energy on making your business successful-knowing that they, in turn, would become successful as well? That is the power of an ownership culture and you can have it in your organization.

If employees acted like owners, customers would never again hear the words, "That's not my job, it's not my department, and they don't pay me to do that." These words are the sign of a person who not only doesn't love his work, but also doesn't have an owner mentality.

So without giving actual stock certificates to your employees, how do you get them to think and act like owners?

The first place to look is in the mirror. Look at the way you are treating your employees. They way you treat them is the way they will treat your customers. You model the behavior you want them to demonstrate. Treat your employees well and they will do the same to your customers. Yell and scream at your employees and you can almost guarantee that your employees will do the same to your customers.

Empower your employees. Give them the knowledge, skills and tools they need to not only do their job, but also to go above and beyond, especially when it comes to dealing with your customers. When people are empowered they don't look up the hierarchy for answers, they take responsibility to solve problems where they occur. They have the freedom to act and are also accountable for the results. When a mistake is made, they do whatever it takes to recover.

Eliminate the "policies" and "procedures" that get in the way of them thinking and acting like an owner. Oftentimes when a customer is upset and they ask to speak with the owner, the customer winds up getting exactly what they wanted in the first place. Why put your customer (and your employee) through that exercise in the first place? Tell your employees, "I want you to handle it like you own the business. You're a smart person. You'll do the right thing." Just watch what happens with performance when you express sincere confidence in this way to your employees. They will soon become owners. Watch how efficient and effective things become when we push decisions down to their lowest possible level and cut the tape required to get everything but the major decisions done.

Talk about what's going on in your organization with your employees: the good, the bad and the ugly. There's nothing worse than an employee to hear it secondhand or worse yet, from a customer. Your employees are the front-line and have the most interaction with your customers. It's important for them to have the information they need to respond appropriately to your customers. Prepare them for everything. Make them look good and they'll make the company look good.

Ask your employees for their feedback: what's working, what's not, what customers like, what customers are complaining about. Pick your employees' brains. They have the inside scoop on what your customers are saying. Imagine if you tapped your employees for their insider knowledge. You could transform your business and give customers what they really want. And in the process, you are engaging your employees in the process and making them feel valued that they are an important part of the team.

You have to carefully breed a culture where employees feel they can take risks, implement their ideas without discouraging amounts of bureaucracy, and benefit personally from the outcome of their actions. Your employees are the most important asset your company has. Treat them that way and you will create a culture that has everyone acting like an owner of the company.

Who do YOU want to deal with when you do business with a company? I'll bet it's an owner. Now you can have them working for your company too. Your customers will be glad you do!

GPS In The News

NCAA Hoops Tourney Down To The Final ... Five
Investor's Business Daily (blog)
Each vehicle is fitted with a GPS tracking device and are tracked on computerized maps. So, security remains a priority for the NCAA tournament, ...

Vehicle Tracking Helps To Catch Child Kidnappers
In this case vehicle tracking helped the police to catch some very dangerous men and it is not the first time vehicle tracking has helped to catch criminals of one sort or another. More often than not it helps to catch thieves. ...

Holly Barlow: GPS takes mystery, terror out of family vacation travel
Heading into heavy traffic she looked from map to road and from road to map relaying vital tracking information to my diligent father behind the wheel. ...
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