Marketing & Consulting for Your Business

Our wide array of services are built around your needs!

Click on each title to read more information about our marketing services and consulting services.

CONSULTINGTEAMs & GOALSPUBLIC RELATIONSWEBSITEEMAIL MARKETINGSEMINARSPUBLIC SPEAKING

BUSINESS CONSULTING

Our process includes a thorough review of everything that keeps you up at night.

Business owners often find they are so busy working IN their business that they have little time to work ON their business. As a result, many things get overlooked and can become critical roadblocks to success. Things such as proper hiring practices, financial analysis, employee training, succession/disaster planning, marketing (including marketing plans and strategies), revenue generation and growth, increasing profits, and much, much more. Individually, each of these items are critical. Collectively, if they are not addressed and managed, they will spell big trouble for your business.

When consulting for your business, we begin with an in-depth consultation to determine where the critical problems are within your operation. In discussion with you, we determine a course of action to begin clearing away these problem areas to help you begin maximizing the performance of your business.

We will work together to identify outside sources of advice and help.

Frequently we find there are needs within your business that require specialized attention. Whether it’s legal advice, accounting/tax help, website redesign, or training, we have access to professionals who have a wide variety of experience to help provide guidance. We will help you contact the right ones, or work with your own attorney, accountant, or other professionals to accomplish your goals.

Financial Review: Where is your money going?

This can be one of the most frustrating areas for the owner of a business. You see sales coming in. Money is going into your bank account. However, as fast as it goes in, it seems to go out even faster. One client described it as, getting a million paper cuts all at once and bleeding to death. While graphic, the agony is real.

Sometimes, the problems are hidden:

→ An aging computer system that may be costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a day in unproductive time as employees wrestle with malfunctions, crashes, and reboots.
→ Telephones that are outdated, drop calls, and lose customers.
→ Improperly trained employees who are wasting time and YOUR money.
→ Lazy habits with regard to purchasing office supplies, lack of routine maintenance on equipment and vehicles.

The list goes on and on. Of course, an examination of your profit and loss statement will reveal the large expenditures and may help cut some costs. It’s usually the buried costs that eat up a business’s profit.

Business and Marketing Plans: Do you know where YOU are going?

Studies indicate 50% of businesses operate without a marketing plan or business plan. Our experience reveals it is way more than that. Many businesses start from the owner’s passion or interest. They have an idea; they begin making money and they do it with no written plan of action. Let’s face it, you can get in business easily. Staying in business is the challenge. It’s like jumping in your car, starting the engine, putting it in gear and driving down the road, randomly turning up unfamiliar roads with no idea where you’re going. Eventually you’re going to end up somewhere interesting, or more likely you’re going to get completely lost.

A properly written business plan includes a well-researched marketing plan. Any endeavor demands we have a way to measure progress, measure movement, and measure success. You cannot rely on your feelings. “I feel like we’re making headway.” “I feel like we’re making money.” You must be able to measure your efforts and determine if you are reaching the goals needed to be successful.

Advertising including engagement marketing and social media.

Decades ago, getting your business involved in print and media advertising was expensive (it still is!), and the results were unmeasurable. The world of digital marketing has opened new pathways to engage existing customers and build referral business with new customers. Email, social media, and apps – all provide ways to connect on a personal level with every one of your customers or prospects. However, it’s not a matter of “spray and pray." A properly planned and executed digital strategy is critical to achieving the desired results. We can provide the guidance you need, or even work for you planning and implementing an array of digital platforms to help grow your business.

Sales efforts, sales meetings, motivating sales staff

Sales training is critical in getting the “front line” in the right mode to propel your sales. Identifying the roadblocks, then helping to overcome the challenges will result in greater success for your salespeople. Regular sales meetings, regular training, and proper tracking will hone the skills of your sales team. We can help! From conducting regular sales meetings to specialized training, we can assess your needs and then tailor a plan to strengthen your sales efforts.

TEAM BUILDING / FOCUS GROUPS

The “culture” within a company often sets the tone for how employees interact and serve your customers. One business owner observed, “I can’t understand it. I’m in the same business as a friend, but he seems to get extraordinary results from his staff but I can’t get it from mine.” This is not uncommon. However, when you do business with a company that achieves excellence and even outperforms customers’ expectations, it’s a phenomenal experience. It is not “luck”. It is intentional, and the result of focused training.

We can assist your company to build your organization into a high-performing, results-driven team.

Uncover the keys to making your team work together.

 

Job descriptions

Written job descriptions are one of those areas most business owners hate to deal with. We LOVE to deal with them. It’s the first part of defining each employee’s role in the company. You will discover potential duplications of effort. You will learn what your employees THINK their job involves, as opposed to what you hired them for. We have a simple format and process for getting this done easily and efficiently.

Periodic performance reviews

This is also a potential for problems if reviews are not held regularly. Employee frustration is reduced dramatically when one-on-one, open discussions are held. You can give proper commendation, express your concerns, and your employees can likewise give you valuable feedback. Many times, employees see problems and have solutions but they are never asked to express them. Periodic reviews allow for that to happen.

Identify common concerns and solve them

This is one of the areas where an independent third-party can be invaluable. Employees may be reluctant to speak up to a business owner but will readily express their thoughts and concerns to an “outsider.” Our format includes open forum discussions to help find the areas of concern and then empower employees to suggest the solutions and plan how to implement them. The result is a feeling of having “ownership” of the problem and solution. Not only are employees empowered to get better results, they also can determine accountability. When everyone knows who is responsible for what portions of the outcome, they will have a sense of achievement and greater satisfaction in their jobs.

In a one- or two-day program, we can work together to help your staff set goals and work toward achieving your business success.

Focus group discussions

Getting a group to begin talking is a challenge. Our format enables open discussion. Unnecessary “peripheral” issues are kept to a minimum and the group is helped to put their attention on the “big picture.” This is done by first consulting with the business owner, reviewing financials, and discussing goals they have set for their business. The anticipated direction from those discussions will be used in focus group discussions with employees to begin participating in the business owner’s vision.

Goals/problems identification

As in sales, the first objection is usually not the REAL objection. Initially, a discussion of a “problem” may not be targeting the REAL problem. Lack of cooperation among employees is definitely a problem. But what is the REAL problem that causes it? Sometimes the simple things may be the root of the problems in a workplace, and we can find them. You would be very surprised to know, for example, that where you park your car, or the kind of car you drive, could be fueling employee dissatisfaction. The same holds true for almost all problems in a business. Acknowledging a problem is the first step, but finding out what causes it is the real challenge.

Plan of action

Once you know what you are going to do, how are you going to do it? What resources do you have available? Which of your staff is most qualified to carry the ball? A careful consideration of all aspects is critical and then a WRITTEN plan of action is needed to ensure everything goes according to the vision.

Implementation

Following through, charting progress, and identifying sticking points becomes critical. Often, adjustments to the original plan of action may be necessary. Assessing accountability, keeping all stakeholders responsible, and moving everyone toward the realization of the goal will provide satisfaction and a sense of pride in the outcome.

PUBLIC RELATIONS

Having a sale? Opening a new service or product line? Did one of your employees attain an important certification? Has your company won an award? There are many newsworthy events that happen in a business. A solid public relations representation will help you identify what you should publicize, how to prepare the press releases, and distribute them.

Managing your image is important! We have the expertise to do it!

 

Press Releases

Properly written press releases will make the best impression for your company. These must be done according to a standard format with all the right details included. We can provide you with outstanding success when you use us to prepare your press releases.

Media Representation

If you are like most people, you don’t feel comfortable talking to a crowd. We love doing it! We can be the voice and face of your company when you need us.

Trade Shows and Public Appearances

Trade shows and public appearances are important ways for you to meet your customers and locate new potential customers. Working a trade show properly takes careful planning, with many critical details. Equally important is proper, timely follow up – something many companies fail to do. We can help train your staff, or assist with working your trade show booth with your team.

Speaking Engagements

Public speaking is daunting to many. A well-prepared speech and skillful presentation are vital to give the best impression of your company. We can assist with speechwriting, coaching, and even speaking on behalf of your company. Our principal, Karl Stearns, has more than 30 years of experience in professional speaking before groups of a few up to thousands of attendees. Additionally, he has trained and coached hundreds of speakers in organizing outlines, preparation and correct speaking techniques. Don’t leave this to chance! Your business reputation can be enhanced with excellent coaching or representation.

Blogging

Blogging is part education, part public relations. It can fit well into your marketing plan when you write content about subjects related to your business. Your customers and potential customers will identify you as an expert in your field. Additionally, your articles can form the nucleus around which your email and social media marketing are built upon. We have a format we follow with our clients that repurposes content and presents it via many different channels. The effect has a big impact without a large expenditure of time. Created content can be used multiple times saving you work, time, and money.

Website Content

In a perfect world, we could just put a bunch of stuff on a website. People would flock to the site to look at it, and we would get more and more business. That’s where the fairy tale ends.

The fact is your website content is scoured constantly by website search engines. Putting together website content is successful when it incorporates the things search engines are looking for. It must be lengthy enough, but not overly so. It must incorporate key phrases, and it must cause search engine rankings to rise. The effect is more and more people will come to your website seeking information. What you supply, if properly done, will keep them there long enough for you to provide an appropriate call to action. You want existing customers to do more business with you. You want new potential customers to engage with you so you can tell your story, answer their questions, and ultimately get their business.

Our team includes an exceptional website company. They stay in touch with the latest developments in the digital world and we will help you refresh your website; build better, compelling content; help you get “found”; and build more business.

Social Media Postings

Social media can be a powerful tool if used correctly. Consistency, a carefully planned posting schedule, along with planned campaigns of content will help you engage with your customers and potential customers.

Often the objection we hear is “I’ve tried those things. They don’t work”. Actually, they DO work, but they must be done properly, and enough time must be committed to achieve results. We can help you plan, produce, and execute your website content, digital presence via email marketing and social media marketing, as well as your public relations efforts.

In a dream world, we would simply get merchandise, put up a sign and then spend our days at the cash register ringing up sales. As ridiculous as that sounds, most business owners secretly think that’s what will happen. It doesn’t. Customers don’t buy from you if they don’t know you’re there. They won’t keep coming back if they don’t like the experience.

We can manage everything related to your image!

WEBSITE REVIEW & DESIGN

Your Website Tells the World Who You Are

It does more than that, though. Customers come looking for information. They want to know a LOT of different things. Your website can help accomplish that. It can also present possibilities your customers didn’t think about, and it can encourage them to call you, come into your business, engage your services, or buy your product.

It also does much more:

Up-to-date content and design are important for your business well-being. Website search engines crawl through your site periodically looking for new content.

We can:

Review your site and make suggestions
It always helps to have another pair of eyes, with expertise, look at your website. As a visitor travels through your site, are they able to navigate easily? Can they find what they're looking for? Is the site laid out in a logical manner, and is it designed to funnel customers to a call to action?

Write content
Content writing is an art. For your site to be effective your content must be written in such a way that your visitors are motivated to search for more information, or contact you because they are interested in doing business with you. Content must be compelling, convey that you are knowledgeable in your field, and supply the answers your customers need.

It should go without saying, but it must be mentioned, you must have proper grammar, no misspellings, and proper sentence structure. If you are missing these things your content is going to look unprofessional and unappealing.

Remember your content is what compels your customers or potential customers to do business with you. If you do not know how to write compelling content, then you must have it done professionally for your website to be most effective.

Rework your site
One thing is certain and that is that technology always changes. As a result, features built into your site may need to be updated or changed out to work correctly with changes that have taken place in technology. For example, the use of smartphones has multiplied to the point that most people access websites and other digital content on smartphones. The problem of course is that if your site has not been designed to be read properly on a mobile device then content will not be displayed the way it should be. The whole point of having a website is lost because customers or potential customers become frustrated at the inability to navigate your site and will leave.

Other things can happen that change the use of your website. You may add product lines or drop product lines. You may begin offering different services. As a result the content of your site is not up-to-date. Therefore, reworking the site periodically is extremely important.

Design a new site
Websites have a lifecycle. Changes in technology, as well as visual impact and design, change the look and feel of websites. It is actually possible to determine the age of a website by someone who is relatively familiar with website design just by looking at the components that are displayed. They can tell a website has become outdated just by the visual content, the type of navigation used, and the layout of the site.

The big problem as a business owner is that when your website becomes outdated, search engines see it that way as well. What does that mean? It means that your site stops being recognized by search engines because they determine your site is too old. The obvious consequence of this is that traffic on your site will drop and so will the potential for new or increased business.

Often business owners feel they have invested initially in a website and don't want to spend more money on a new one. This is as short sighted as allowing your storefront and store fixtures to become outdated and worn looking. You may still have products to sell but customers may find your store has become unattractive and not a pleasing place to visit. The same will happen with an outdated website.

Having a new site developed from the ground up is the best solution. Cost is often a reason for avoiding this important decision. In reality, much of the content of your website can be reused in developing a new site. There are cost effective ways to produce a modern, up-to-date website without it costing you a fortune. We have searched over the years to find the best solution for our clients. As a result we have partnered with an excellent US based website company. They are extremely creative, effective, and technologically adept. They do not use offshore companies, so your website is not being developed in some far off place in Asia. Timeliness is extremely important in getting this work done. Website development is much like a major construction project, so having a company that knows what they're doing can work with you to develop a proper schedule and then get the work done in a timely manner is extremely important. With your participation, and our guidance, you will be assisted to get your website developed and working within the matter of just a few months.

EMAIL MARKETING & ENGAGEMENT MARKETING

Email/engagement marketing is one of the most effective ways of reaching customers and potential customers.

Statistics show that the return on investment for email marketing is the highest of any form of advertising.

Why is this?

Email is targeted. By federal law you cannot, as a business, send a email, through email marketing, unless someone requests they be put on your list. That is a good thing! When a customer gives you their email address, it indicates an interest in your company, your products, and services. This helps you reach people who truly have the potential for doing business with you.

Other forms of advertising such as radio, TV, and print are very expensive. Results are often unmeasurable. They may be useful for getting an initial message out so people know who you are, because one of the first rules of marketing is that people have to find you. However, once your company and name are known, the challenge becomes attracting people who know you to do business with you. Email marketing, as part of a strategic plan, will result in greater awareness of you and your business for your email recipients. We understand the strategies and what needs to be done to utilize this effective tool and can provide you the best assistance possible to produce the greatest results.

A critical part of the process is placing tools in effect that will allow you to accumulate a database of email addresses. You may already have some of this information from past client transactions. If a client has given you their email address they have already provided implied permission to send them emails. So, we start there with clients and then we put in place other tools and processes to help them keep growing their email database. In time, that database can be segmented into specific areas of interest. Your email marketing efforts can then be targeted to specific groups of customers based on their interests.

Email marketing is not just a matter of sending out email blasts like promotional flyers. There is a science behind getting anticipated responses. We work, using a specific and very effective format, for developing ways to keep people interested in the emails that you send out. The result shows when your name and business become the first one they think of when they need what you sell or the service you provide.

KMS Marketing Solutions works with you to be able to work with a variety of email marketing platforms such as Constant Contact, MailChimp, Send In Blue, etc. We provide a competitive analysis to help you determine which one works best for your needs.

What is engagement marketing?

In short, creating the “community” and the “conversation” about your business.

Email marketing can be a powerful tool for businesses, but for it to be most effective, it must be taken to a different level called engagement marketing. We can help! When email is used in combination with social media along with information posting (some call it blogging) on your website, an environment is created in which customers and potential customers begin to see you and your business as an expert in your field. This is critically important if you are going to stand out among your competitors. When customers understand the value of what you do, it is not hard to understand why they would be willing to pay a premium price to do business with you. The mistake many business owners make is that they feel the only way to compete is with price. The reality, based on extensive research, is that people may say price is important, but actually price becomes secondary to other things such as quality and service.

We can provide everything necessary to help your business build successful campaigns utilizing engagement marketing.

Social network sites require careful management. Businesses make the mistake of turning this important marketing tool over to just anyone within their organization. With random posting, no forethought, and no planning, the results are poor and haphazard. We formulate a plan of action along with an appropriate media calendar so that social media postings stay ahead of your business cycle. As specific selling seasons approach, or you are going into a down cycle, your social media postings must stay ahead of those things so your customers are aware of what advantages there are to do business with you. You cannot expect an inexperienced employee to handle this vital part of your business. That is why we recommend our services to produce the optimum results for you.

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BUSINESS BUILDING SEMINARS

Attend our seminars and get your business moving.

We have presented programs nationwide for a wide array of industries. These include the automotive industry, retail appliance, flooring, pet supplies and grooming, landscaping and hardscaping, patio and hearth, automotive detailing, tire retailers, and many others. We provide programs that are developed and customized for each industry. With consultation from individuals within your organization, we develop program content that will address the needs and concerns of your members and attendees.

We cover a wide array of marketing, sales and management topics. As markets change, ways of reaching people change. We stay on top of trends and help you with the latest information available to help you utilize it and help your business grow. If your advertising and promotions are stuck in a 20 year old mode, you are not going to get the same results as you will if you learn how to update what you do.

Need a facilitator to make your seminar happen? We can do it! We have the ability to produce outstanding programs. Whether you want a stand up presenter on specific topics, a panel discussion, or round table group discussions, we can provide all of it. With over 40 years of professional speaking experience, Karl Stearns has done all of these formats for audiences of a few up to multiple thousands of attendees.

All of our programs can be presented in-person at trade shows or sales meetings. We also can present our programs via webinar format virtually to any location that has Internet access.

 

GROW YOUR BUSINESS WITH OUR POWERFUL SEMINARS

Businesses can’t rely on small thinkers if they’re going to succeed. Many businesses begin with good ideas but no forethought to planning or strategy. Our seminars are designed to help you focus on different aspects of your business to help you bring order to your pathway.

Whether it’s email marketing, social media, writing a marketing plan, writing a business plan, branding your business, team building, or cost-cutting… we can help! Register for our seminars to learn all you need to know to grow and thrive as a business!


BUSINESS MARKETING:

WILL THEY STILL LOVE YOU TOMORROW?

Business Success Doesn’t Happen By Chance

You spend a lot of money and effort to bring them through the door. How do you keep the love going? What can you do to create “the buzz” around you that will keep them connected to you, and bring referrals and recommendations your way? With electronic media, and our increasingly “connected” world, the traditional methods are changing rapidly. Find out how to “flip the funnel” and grow your business.

This is a four-part seminar/workshop series. Each part builds from the one previous, to enable participants to learn a simple process for marketing their business that is effective, measurable, and easy to do.

Contact us to discuss your needs and together we’ll determine how best to strategize with you to put your team to work!

Seminar #1: THE POWER OF EMAIL MARKETING

Seminar #1: THE POWER OF EMAIL MARKETING

Why Your Email Doesn’t Get Read.

This seminar explores the process of email marketing by addressing all the how’s and why’s. Ensuring delivery and reading of your email is critical to your marketing efforts, but it’s not just a matter of sending out blast emails. There are certain key elements to successful email marketing that you MUST follow. From timing, to subject lines, to content, and “calls to actions.” Learn what they are in this seminar, and begin putting this powerful, cost-effective, high return-on-investment tool to work in your business or organization.

Seminar #2: SOCIAL MEDIA MADE SIMPLE

Seminar #2: SOCIAL MEDIA MADE SIMPLE

It’s not about stupid cat videos. Really.

Social media has transformed the landscape of communication. This is true for both social contact and business contact. Huge corporations use social media as part of their media mix, but you have something way more powerful than huge corporations. Find out what it is in this seminar.

We’ll explore proper usage of social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram—to name a few. How can you get your message out to your audience? How can you get them to “share” and “like” you? Is there a strategy to using social media? Did you know there is something you can do that will make your social media work 180% better for you? Follow this one simple tip you’ll learn and you’ll see results!

This two-hour seminar will teach you the framework for positioning your company or organization in social media so you can start generating “the buzz” about what you do.

Seminar #3: GROW YOUR BUSINESS WITH EMAIL & SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Seminar #3: GROW YOUR BUSINESS WITH EMAIL & SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Put it all together with a PLAN.

There are various opinions about who said it, but the truth remains: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Trying to market your business without a plan is like trying to swim in a pond full of alligators. You never know what’s going to bite you.

In this two hour workshop, we review the highlights of the previous two seminars, then talk about how to have a marketing strategy, then how to develop a simple marketing plan for your first campaign. Once you step through the process, you’ll follow the same steps every time you put your marketing together.

This workshop includes a simple, 4-page workbook that will form the basis for your strategic plan and your marketing plan. We’ll even supply you with a pdf of the workbook so you can keep using it in the future for your campaign planning.

Seminar #4: GET YOUR HANDS ON IT!

Seminar #4: GET YOUR HANDS ON IT!

Put together your email newsletter, and optimize your Facebook Company Page

This is a true hands-on 2-hour training session. Depending on our location, we will either have a computer lab or you can bring your own laptop. We’ll step through the basics of utilizing an email template: how to set up all the preferences, how to add text and graphics, and how to send it out.

With Facebook, it’s important to know how to set up your company page so you can begin collecting data from it. Why do some posts receive more attention than others? How can you add a “Join My Email List” button to your page? How can you use Constant Contact’s Social Media function to get more contacts for your email list?

A prerequisite for this final workshop is a Constant Contact account, and a Facebook account.

BRANDING YOUR BUSINESS

Think branding is having a logo? Think again. From the moment you connect with a potential customer, all the way through every phase of your relationship with them, branding is at work.

Find out how to create and maintain consistent branding in your business. Yes, even businesses need branding.

Our two hour program will help you take an objective look at your business or organization and help you develop your brand, then implement it throughout your company.

TEAM BUILDING/FOCUS GROUPS

At times, businesses need an outside pair of eyes and a new voice to help bring cohesiveness to the enterprise. Find out what your roadblocks are, and how to formulate a plan to start moving ahead.

These programs are customized to your individual organization. As facilitators, we step your group through the process of identifying needs, problems, and opportunities. Then we help you brainstorm a plan.

PUBLIC SPEAKING

With over 40 years of experience as a public speaker, and public speaking instructor, I can deliver!

Public speaking, speeches, coaching, we have the experience to do it all.

Keynote Addresses

Need a special program to kick off your event? Consulting with you, we will develop a presentation that is custom made for your group and deliver it flawlessly.

Seminar Presentations

We have a wide array of seminar programs that can be tailored to suit the needs of your group. Whether you need help with team building, employee development, financial analysis, marketing, sales training, or business management, we can supply the programs that will help your attendees achieve success. We have formed many long term relationships with many attendees who continue to come back to us for coaching and assistance and we're always glad to help.

Motivational

At times an organization needs the boost to reach their next level. Our seminars, panel discussions, and roundtable format are designed to help identify what holds people or organizations back and then helps them find a pathway to create success.

Event Supplied Topics

While we have an extensive catalog of programs, sometimes what you need is something different. Through consultation with you, we will help define the topics you would like presented. Through extensive research and careful review with you, we will develop a program specific to your needs.

Speech Writing

Have you been asked to speak at an important event? Rather than flounder around, now is the moment for you to make your presentation shine. With over 40 years of public speaking, along with coaching and speech writing, we will help you develop your topic and present it in a way that will leave your audience with a clear an memorable message.

Public Speaking Coaching and Development

Would you like to increase your ability to get up in front of an audience and express your thoughts clearly? The ability to do this is what sets people apart in business. A poorly written and poorly presented speech leaves an audience uncomfortable and with no sense of direction. We can help you learn the techniques professional speakers use to present their program effectively, clearly, and in a way that will leave an audience remembering your important points way into the future.

CONSULTING

BUSINESS CONSULTING

Our process includes a thorough review of everything that keeps you up at night.

Business owners often find they are so busy working IN their business that they have little time to work ON their business. As a result, many things get overlooked and can become critical roadblocks to success. Things such as proper hiring practices, financial analysis, employee training, succession/disaster planning, marketing (including marketing plans and strategies), revenue generation and growth, increasing profits, and much, much more. Individually, each of these items are critical. Collectively, if they are not addressed and managed, they will spell big trouble for your business.

When working with our clients, we begin with an in-depth consultation to determine where the critical problems are within your operation. In discussion with you, we determine a course of action to begin clearing away these problem areas to help you begin maximizing the performance of your business.

We will work together to identify outside sources of advice and help.

Frequently we find there are needs within your business that require specialized attention. Whether it’s legal advice, accounting/tax help, website redesign, or training, we have access to professionals who have a wide variety of experience to help provide guidance. We will help you contact the right ones, or work with your own attorney, accountant, or other professionals to accomplish your goals.

Financial Review: Where is your money going?

This can be one of the most frustrating areas for the owner of a business. You see sales coming in. Money is going into your bank account. However, as fast as it goes in, it seems to go out even faster. One client described it as, getting a million paper cuts all at once and bleeding to death. While graphic, the agony is real.

Sometimes, the problems are hidden:

→ An aging computer system that may be costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a day in unproductive time as employees wrestle with malfunctions, crashes, and reboots.
→ Telephones that are outdated, drop calls, and lose customers.
→ Improperly trained employees who are wasting time and YOUR money.
→ Lazy habits with regard to purchasing office supplies, lack of routine maintenance on equipment and vehicles.

The list goes on and on. Of course, an examination of your profit and loss statement will reveal the large expenditures and may help cut some costs. It’s usually the buried costs that eat up a business’s profit.

Business and Marketing Plans: Do you know where YOU are going?

Studies indicate 50% of businesses operate without a marketing plan or business plan. Our experience reveals it is way more than that. Many businesses start from the owner’s passion or interest. They have an idea; they begin making money and they do it with no written plan of action. Let’s face it, you can get in business easily. Staying in business is the challenge. It’s like jumping in your car, starting the engine, putting it in gear and driving down the road, randomly turning up unfamiliar roads with no idea where you’re going. Eventually you’re going to end up somewhere interesting, or more likely you’re going to get completely lost.

A properly written business plan includes a well-researched marketing plan. Any endeavor demands we have a way to measure progress, measure movement, and measure success. You cannot rely on your feelings. “I feel like we’re making headway”. “I feel like we’re making money”. You must be able to measure your efforts and determine if you are reaching the goals needed to be successful.

Advertising including engagement marketing and social media.

Decades ago, getting your business involved in print and media advertising was expensive (it still is!), and the results were unmeasurable. The world of digital marketing has opened new pathways to engage existing customers and build referral business with new customers. Email, social media, and apps – all provide ways to connect on a personal level with every one of your customers or prospects. However, it’s not a matter of “spray and pray.” A properly planned and executed digital strategy is critical to achieving the desired results. We can provide the guidance you need, or even work for you planning and implementing an array of digital platforms to help grow your business.

Sales efforts, sales meetings, motivating sales staff

Sales training is critical in getting the “front line” in the right mode to propel your sales. Identifying the roadblocks, then helping to overcome the challenges will result in greater success for your salespeople. Regular sales meetings, regular training, and proper tracking will hone the skills of your sales team. We can help! From conducting regular sales meetings to specialized training, we can assess your needs and then tailor a plan to strengthen your sales efforts.

TEAMS & GOALS

TEAM BUILDING / FOCUS GROUPS

The “culture” within a company often sets the tone for how employees interact and serve your customers. One business owner observed, “I can’t understand it. I’m in the same business as a friend, but he seems to get extraordinary results from his staff but I can’t get it from mine.” This is not uncommon. However, when you do business with a company that achieves excellence and even outperforms customers’ expectations, it’s a phenomenal experience. It is not “luck”. It is intentional, and the result of focused training.

We can assist your company to build your organization into a high-performing, results-driven team.

Uncover the keys to making your team work together.

 

Job descriptions

Written job descriptions are one of those areas most business owners hate to deal with. We LOVE to deal with them. It’s the first part of defining each employee’s role in the company. You will discover potential duplications of effort. You will learn what your employees THINK their job involves, as opposed to what you hired them for. We have a simple format and process for getting this done easily and efficiently.

Periodic performance reviews

This is also a potential for problems if reviews are not held regularly. Employee frustration is reduced dramatically when one-on-one, open discussions are held. You can give proper commendation, express your concerns, and your employees can likewise give you valuable feedback. Many times, employees see problems and have solutions but they are never asked to express them. Periodic reviews allow for that to happen.

Identify common concerns and solve them

This is one of the areas where an independent third-party can be invaluable. Employees may be reluctant to speak up to a business owner but will readily express their thoughts and concerns to an “outsider.” Our format includes open forum discussions to help find the areas of concern and then empower employees to suggest the solutions and plan how to implement them. The result is a feeling of having “ownership” of the problem and solution. Not only are employees empowered to get better results, they also can determine accountability. When everyone knows who is responsible for what portions of the outcome, they will have a sense of achievement and greater satisfaction in their jobs.

In a one- or two-day program, we can work together to help your staff set goals and work toward achieving your business success.

Focus group discussions

Getting a group to begin talking is a challenge. Our format enables open discussion. Unnecessary “peripheral” issues are kept to a minimum and the group is helped to put their attention on the “big picture.” This is done by first consulting with the business owner, reviewing financials, and discussing goals they have set for their business. The anticipated direction from those discussions will be used in focus group discussions with employees to begin participating in the business owner’s vision.

Goals/problems identification

As in sales, the first objection is usually not the REAL objection. Initially, a discussion of a “problem” may not be targeting the REAL problem. Lack of cooperation among employees is definitely a problem. But what is the REAL problem that causes it? Sometimes the simple things may be the root of the problems in a workplace, and we can find them. You would be very surprised to know, for example, that where you park your car, or the kind of car you drive, could be fueling employee dissatisfaction. The same holds true for almost all problems in a business. Acknowledging a problem is the first step, but finding out what causes it is the real challenge.

Plan of action

Once you know what you are going to do, how are you going to do it? What resources do you have available? Which of your staff is most qualified to carry the ball? A careful consideration of all aspects is critical and then a WRITTEN plan of action is needed to ensure everything goes according to the vision.

Implementation

Following through, charting progress, and identifying sticking points becomes critical. Often, adjustments to the original plan of action may be necessary. Assessing accountability, keeping all stakeholders responsible, and moving everyone toward the realization of the goal will provide satisfaction and a sense of pride in the outcome.

PUBLIC RELATIONS

PUBLIC RELATIONS

Having a sale? Opening a new service or product line? Did one of your employees attain an important certification? Has your company won an award? There are many newsworthy events that happen in a business. A solid public relations representation will help you identify what you should publicize, how to prepare the press releases, and distribute them.

Managing your image is important! We have the expertise to do it!

 

Press Releases

Properly written press releases will make the best impression for your company. These must be done according to a standard format with all the right details included. We can provide you with outstanding success when you use us to prepare your press releases.

Media Representation

If you are like most people, you don’t feel comfortable talking to a crowd. We love doing it! We can be the voice and face of your company when you need us.

Trade Shows and Public Appearances

Trade shows and public appearances are important ways for you to meet your customers and locate new potential customers. Working a trade show properly takes careful planning, with many critical details. Equally important is proper, timely follow up – something many companies fail to do. We can help train your staff, or assist with working your trade show booth with your team.

Speaking Engagements

Public speaking is daunting to many. A well-prepared speech and skillful presentation are vital to give the best impression of your company. We can assist with speechwriting, coaching, and even speaking on behalf of your company. Our principal, Karl Stearns, has more than 30 years of experience in professional speaking before groups of a few up to thousands of attendees. Additionally, he has trained and coached hundreds of speakers in organizing outlines, preparation and correct speaking techniques. Don’t leave this to chance! Your business reputation can be enhanced with excellent coaching or representation.

Blogging

Blogging is part education, part public relations. It can fit well into your marketing plan when you write content about subjects related to your business. Your customers and potential customers will identify you as an expert in your field. Additionally, your articles can form the nucleus around which your email and social media marketing are built upon. We have a format we follow with our clients that repurposes content and presents it via many different channels. The effect has a big impact without a large expenditure of time. Created content can be used multiple times saving you work, time, and money.

Website Content

In a perfect world, we could just put a bunch of stuff on a website. People would flock to the site to look at it, and we would get more and more business. That’s where the fairy tale ends.

The fact is your website content is scoured constantly by website search engines. Putting together website content is successful when it incorporates the things search engines are looking for. It must be lengthy enough, but not overly so. It must incorporate key phrases, and it must cause search engine rankings to rise. The effect is more and more people will come to your website seeking information. What you supply, if properly done, will keep them there long enough for you to provide an appropriate call to action. You want existing customers to do more business with you. You want new potential customers to engage with you so you can tell your story, answer their questions, and ultimately get their business.

Our team includes an exceptional website company. They stay in touch with the latest developments in the digital world and we will help you refresh your website; build better, compelling content; help you get “found”; and build more business.

Social Media Postings

Social media can be a powerful tool if used correctly. Consistency, a carefully planned posting schedule, along with planned campaigns of content will help you engage with your customers and potential customers.

Often the objection we hear is “I’ve tried those things. They don’t work”. Actually, they DO work, but they must be done properly, and enough time must be committed to achieve results. We can help you plan, produce, and execute your website content, digital presence via email marketing and social media marketing, as well as your public relations efforts.

In a dream world, we would simply get merchandise, put up a sign and then spend our days at the cash register ringing up sales. As ridiculous as that sounds, most business owners secretly think that’s what will happen. It doesn’t. Customers don’t buy from you if they don’t know you’re there. They won’t keep coming back if they don’t like the experience.

We can manage everything related to your image!

WEBSITE

WEBSITE REVIEW & DESIGN

Your Website Tells the World Who You Are

It does more than that, though. Customers come looking for information. They want to know a LOT of different things. Your website can help accomplish that. It can also present possibilities your customers didn’t think about, and it can encourage them to call you, come into your business, engage your services, or buy your product.

It also does much more:

Up-to-date content and design are important for your business well-being. Website search engines crawl through your site periodically looking for new content.

We can:

Review your site and make suggestions
It always helps to have another pair of eyes, with expertise, look at your website. As a visitor travels through your site, are they able to navigate easily? Can they find what they’re looking for? Is the site laid out in a logical manner, and is it designed to funnel customers to a call to action?

Write content
Content writing is an art. For your site to be effective your content must be written in such a way that your visitors are motivated to search for more information, or contact you because they are interested in doing business with you. Content must be compelling, convey that you are knowledgeable in your field, and supply the answers your customers need.

It should go without saying, but it must be mentioned, you must have proper grammar, no misspellings, and proper sentence structure. If you are missing these things your content is going to look unprofessional and unappealing.

Remember your content is what compels your customers or potential customers to do business with you. If you do not know how to write compelling content, then you must have it done professionally for your website to be most effective.

Rework your site
One thing is certain and that is that technology always changes. As a result, features built into your site may need to be updated or changed out to work correctly with changes that have taken place in technology. For example, the use of smartphones has multiplied to the point that most people access websites and other digital content on smartphones. The problem of course is that if your site has not been designed to be read properly on a mobile device then content will not be displayed the way it should be. The whole point of having a website is lost because customers or potential customers become frustrated at the inability to navigate your site and will leave.

Other things can happen that change the use of your website. You may add product lines or drop product lines. You may begin offering different services. As a result the content of your site is not up-to-date. Therefore, reworking the site periodically is extremely important.

Design a new site
Websites have a lifecycle. Changes in technology, as well as visual impact and design, change the look and feel of websites. It is actually possible to determine the age of a website by someone who is relatively familiar with website design just by looking at the components that are displayed. They can tell a website has become outdated just by the visual content, the type of navigation used, and the layout of the site.

The big problem as a business owner is that when your website becomes outdated, search engines see it that way as well. What does that mean? It means that your site stops being recognized by search engines because they determine your site is too old. The obvious consequence of this is that traffic on your site will drop and so will the potential for new or increased business.

Often business owners feel they have invested initially in a website and don’t want to spend more money on a new one. This is as short sighted as allowing your storefront and store fixtures to become outdated and worn looking. You may still have products to sell but customers may find your store has become unattractive and not a pleasing place to visit. The same will happen with an outdated website.

Having a new site developed from the ground up is the best solution. Cost is often a reason for avoiding this important decision. In reality, much of the content of your website can be reused in developing a new site. There are cost effective ways to produce a modern, up-to-date website without it costing you a fortune. We have searched over the years to find the best solution for our clients. As a result we have partnered with an excellent US based website company. They are extremely creative, effective, and technologically adept. They do not use offshore companies, so your website is not being developed in some far off place in Asia. Timeliness is extremely important in getting this work done. Website development is much like a major construction project, so having a company that knows what they’re doing can work with you to develop a proper schedule and then get the work done in a timely manner is extremely important. With your participation, and our guidance, you will be assisted to get your website developed and working within the matter of just a few months.

EMAIL MARKETING

EMAIL MARKETING & ENGAGEMENT MARKETING

Email/engagement marketing is one of the most effective ways of reaching customers and potential customers.

Statistics show that the return on investment for email marketing is the highest of any form of advertising.

Why is this?

Email is targeted. By federal law you cannot, as a business, send a email, through email marketing, unless someone requests they be put on your list. That is a good thing! When a customer gives you their email address, it indicates an interest in your company, your products, and services. This helps you reach people who truly have the potential for doing business with you.

Other forms of advertising such as radio, TV, and print are very expensive. Results are often unmeasurable. They may be useful for getting an initial message out so people know who you are, because one of the first rules of marketing is that people have to find you. However, once your company and name are known, the challenge becomes attracting people who know you to do business with you. Email marketing, as part of a strategic plan, will result in greater awareness of you and your business for your email recipients. We understand the strategies and what needs to be done to utilize this effective tool and can provide you the best assistance possible to produce the greatest results.

A critical part of the process is placing tools in effect that will allow you to accumulate a database of email addresses. You may already have some of this information from past client transactions. If a client has given you their email address they have already provided implied permission to send them emails. So, we start there with clients and then we put in place other tools and processes to help them keep growing their email database. In time, that database can be segmented into specific areas of interest. Your email marketing efforts can then be targeted to specific groups of customers based on their interests.

Email marketing is not just a matter of sending out email blasts like promotional flyers. There is a science behind getting anticipated responses. We work, using a specific and very effective format, for developing ways to keep people interested in the emails that you send out. The result shows when your name and business become the first one they think of when they need what you sell or the service you provide.

KMS Marketing Solutions works with you to be able to work with a variety of email marketing platforms such as Constant Contact, MailChimp, Send In Blue, etc. We provide a competitive analysis to help you determine which one works best for your needs.

What is engagement marketing?

In short, creating the “community” and the “conversation” about your business.

Email marketing can be a powerful tool for businesses, but for it to be most effective, it must be taken to a different level called engagement marketing. We can help! When email is used in combination with social media along with information posting (some call it blogging) on your website, an environment is created in which customers and potential customers begin to see you and your business as an expert in your field. This is critically important if you are going to stand out among your competitors. When customers understand the value of what you do, it is not hard to understand why they would be willing to pay a premium price to do business with you. The mistake many business owners make is that they feel the only way to compete is with price. The reality, based on extensive research, is that people may say price is important, but actually price becomes secondary to other things such as quality and service.

We can provide everything necessary to help your business build successful campaigns utilizing engagement marketing.

Social network sites require careful management. Businesses make the mistake of turning this important marketing tool over to just anyone within their organization. With random posting, no forethought, and no planning, the results are poor and haphazard. We formulate a plan of action along with an appropriate media calendar so that social media postings stay ahead of your business cycle. As specific selling seasons approach, or you are going into a down cycle, your social media postings must stay ahead of those things so your customers are aware of what advantages there are to do business with you. You cannot expect an inexperienced employee to handle this vital part of your business. That is why we recommend our services to produce the optimum results for you.

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SEMINARS

BUSINESS BUILDING SEMINARS

Attend our seminars and get your business moving.

We have presented programs nationwide for a wide array of industries. These include the automotive industry, retail appliance, flooring, pet supplies and grooming, landscaping and hardscaping, patio and hearth, automotive detailing, tire retailers, and many others. We provide programs that are developed and customized for each industry. With consultation from individuals within your organization, we develop program content that will address the needs and concerns of your members and attendees.

We cover a wide array of marketing, sales and management topics. As markets change, ways of reaching people change. We stay on top of trends and help you with the latest information available to help you utilize it and help your business grow. If your advertising and promotions are stuck in a 20 year old mode, you are not going to get the same results as you will if you learn how to update what you do.

Need a facilitator to make your seminar happen? We can do it! We have the ability to produce outstanding programs. Whether you want a stand up presenter on specific topics, a panel discussion, or round table group discussions, we can provide all of it. With over 40 years of professional speaking experience, Karl Stearns has done all of these formats for audiences of a few up to multiple thousands of attendees.

All of our programs can be presented in-person at trade shows or sales meetings. We also can present our programs via webinar format virtually to any location that has Internet access.

 

GROW YOUR BUSINESS WITH OUR POWERFUL SEMINARS

Businesses can’t rely on small thinkers if they’re going to succeed. Many businesses begin with good ideas but no forethought to planning or strategy. Our seminars are designed to help you focus on different aspects of your business to help you bring order to your pathway.

Whether it’s email marketing, social media, writing a marketing plan, writing a business plan, branding your business, team building, or cost-cutting… we can help! Register for our seminars to learn all you need to know to grow and thrive as a business!

 

BUSINESS MARKETING:

WILL THEY STILL LOVE YOU TOMORROW?

Business Success Doesn’t Happen By Chance

You spend a lot of money and effort to bring them through the door. How do you keep the love going? What can you do to create “the buzz” around you that will keep them connected to you, and bring referrals and recommendations your way? With electronic media, and our increasingly “connected” world, the traditional methods are changing rapidly. Find out how to “flip the funnel” and grow your business.

This is a four-part seminar/workshop series. Each part builds from the one previous, to enable participants to learn a simple process for marketing their business that is effective, measurable, and easy to do.

Contact us to discuss your needs and together we’ll determine how best to strategize with you to put your team to work!

Seminar #1: THE POWER OF EMAIL MARKETING

Seminar #1: THE POWER OF EMAIL MARKETING

Why Your Email Doesn’t Get Read.

This seminar explores the process of email marketing by addressing all the how’s and why’s. Ensuring delivery and reading of your email is critical to your marketing efforts, but it’s not just a matter of sending out blast emails. There are certain key elements to successful email marketing that you MUST follow. From timing, to subject lines, to content, and “calls to actions.” Learn what they are in this seminar, and begin putting this powerful, cost-effective, high return-on-investment tool to work in your business or organization.

Seminar #2: SOCIAL MEDIA MADE SIMPLE

Seminar #2: SOCIAL MEDIA MADE SIMPLE

It’s not about stupid cat videos. Really.

Social media has transformed the landscape of communication. This is true for both social contact and business contact. Huge corporations use social media as part of their media mix, but you have something way more powerful than huge corporations. Find out what it is in this seminar.

We’ll explore proper usage of social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram—to name a few. How can you get your message out to your audience? How can you get them to “share” and “like” you? Is there a strategy to using social media? Did you know there is something you can do that will make your social media work 180% better for you? Follow this one simple tip you’ll learn and you’ll see results!

This two-hour seminar will teach you the framework for positioning your company or organization in social media so you can start generating “the buzz” about what you do.

Seminar #3: GROW YOUR BUSINESS WITH EMAIL & SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Seminar #3: GROW YOUR BUSINESS WITH EMAIL & SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Put it all together with a PLAN.

There are various opinions about who said it, but the truth remains: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Trying to market your business without a plan is like trying to swim in a pond full of alligators. You never know what’s going to bite you.

In this two hour workshop, we review the highlights of the previous two seminars, then talk about how to have a marketing strategy, then how to develop a simple marketing plan for your first campaign. Once you step through the process, you’ll follow the same steps every time you put your marketing together.

This workshop includes a simple, 4-page workbook that will form the basis for your strategic plan and your marketing plan. We’ll even supply you with a pdf of the workbook so you can keep using it in the future for your campaign planning.

Seminar #4: GET YOUR HANDS ON IT!

Seminar #4: GET YOUR HANDS ON IT!

Put together your email newsletter, and optimize your Facebook Company Page

This is a true hands-on 2-hour training session. Depending on our location, we will either have a computer lab or you can bring your own laptop. We’ll step through the basics of utilizing an email template: how to set up all the preferences, how to add text and graphics, and how to send it out.

With Facebook, it’s important to know how to set up your company page so you can begin collecting data from it. Why do some posts receive more attention than others? How can you add a “Join My Email List” button to your page? How can you use Constant Contact’s Social Media function to get more contacts for your email list?

A prerequisite for this final workshop is a Constant Contact account, and a Facebook account.

MORE ON OUR SEMINARS

BRANDING YOUR BUSINESS

Think branding is having a logo? Think again. From the moment you connect with a potential customer, all the way through every phase of your relationship with them, branding is at work.

Find out how to create and maintain consistent branding in your business. Yes, even businesses need branding.

Our two hour program will help you take an objective look at your business or organization and help you develop your brand, then implement it throughout your company.

TEAM BUILDING/FOCUS GROUPS

At times, businesses need an outside pair of eyes and a new voice to help bring cohesiveness to the enterprise. Find out what your roadblocks are, and how to formulate a plan to start moving ahead.

These programs are customized to your individual organization. As facilitators, we step your group through the process of identifying needs, problems, and opportunities. Then we help you brainstorm a plan.

PUBLIC SPEAKING

PUBLIC SPEAKING

With over 40 years of experience as a public speaker, and public speaking instructor, I can deliver!

Public speaking, speeches, coaching, we have the experience to do it all.

Keynote Addresses

Need a special program to kick off your event? Consulting with you, we will develop a presentation that is custom made for your group and deliver it flawlessly.

Seminar Presentations

We have a wide array of seminar programs that can be tailored to suit the needs of your group. Whether you need help with team building, employee development, financial analysis, marketing, sales training, or business management, we can supply the programs that will help your attendees achieve success. We have formed many long term relationships with many attendees who continue to come back to us for coaching and assistance and we’re always glad to help.

Motivational

At times an organization needs the boost to reach their next level. Our seminars, panel discussions, and roundtable format are designed to help identify what holds people or organizations back and then helps them find a pathway to create success.

Event Supplied Topics

While we have an extensive catalog of programs, sometimes what you need is something different. Through consultation with you, we will help define the topics you would like presented. Through extensive research and careful review with you, we will develop a program specific to your needs.

Speech Writing

Have you been asked to speak at an important event? Rather than flounder around, now is the moment for you to make your presentation shine. With over 40 years of public speaking, along with coaching and speech writing, we will help you develop your topic and present it in a way that will leave your audience with a clear an memorable message.

Public Speaking Coaching and Development

Would you like to increase your ability to get up in front of an audience and express your thoughts clearly? The ability to do this is what sets people apart in business. A poorly written and poorly presented speech leaves an audience uncomfortable and with no sense of direction. We can help you learn the techniques professional speakers use to present their program effectively, clearly, and in a way that will leave an audience remembering your important points way into the future.

For questions or interests in any of our services, fill out the form below, or call us at (570) 595-9011.


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