Today’s guest post is by Zane Safrit, CEO and small business expert.
Look at those words in the title. Do they appear as an anagram? Find the word or phrase hidden in these letters…
Maybe. Maybe the problem is my reading list. I never see them used together in sentences.
Never say never someone’s dad always said. So, let’s say rarely. Rarely do I see them in a sentence together. Rarely do I see them together in an article or blog post.
Why is that? Who is afraid of using them together?
The client? I’ve been a client as a CEO of a small company. Cash-flow was my Holy Grail. Cash-flows kept me and all small businesses king of our domain.
And marketing agencies would never, ever, (no, really…NEVER) mention cash-flow. I even helped their prospects when I told them my Holy Grail. Cash-flow is my Holy Grail. Find me more and I’m yours forever.
The silence was deafening after I said that. In that silence, I was reminded of another similarly awkward silence.
I dropped the F-bomb in polite company. I was in my backyard on a summer afternoon. Early ’70’s. North Carolina. I used it in a sentence with a neighbor. With, not at him. And, that was a key difference, I thought. Still, the silence before the storm previously known as my mom, was…deafening.
There was no difference with the client. The only difference was my F-word then was replaced with the C-word. Cash-flow. Equally as obscene to the agencies that approached me.
The storm that had been the agency was predictable. There were cries of conversation and clicks, page views and forward-to-a-friend, we can only send you traffic, we can only do so much…
That was The Holy Grail if you will of their services. Ironically, their cash-flow needs were addressed with an upfront payment. I say ironically, because their Holy Grail of ‘the conversation’ and ‘community’ was pre-eminent in all its freeemium purity. My crass cash-flow Holy Grail was sufferable only with held noses and plugged ears.
Has much changed? No. Maybe it’s worse. Google the phrase “cash-flow + Social Media”. You’ll find 1.3 million results. But look closer. Here’s what you find in the first two pages with 20 results:
- 8 were about Facebook finally reaching cash-flow positive
- 1 about Mashable doing the same
- 1 about Hi5 and their game that helped improve cash-flow (theirs)
- 3-4 general articles that include cash-flow as a keyword only
- a few with broken links or unrelated content.
- 1. Mine. A guest post at SmallBizTrends…same topic.
The point here, and there is one, is this: Why? A HUGE opportunity exists for social media agencies, social media as a resource/strategy/tactic to work with small business to create the growth that creates the jobs that create our economic recovery. No. I’m not overstating the opportunity.
Social media is the ultimate playing-field leveler, ideally suited for small businesses. Social media and its minions are filled with creative, passionate, brilliant people dedicated to the power of social media to connect and inspire with its transparent, open, personalized tools and resources.
Small business is a target-rich environment of clients with unique and personal purposes, communicated through the dedicated efforts of its stakeholders who sustain a personal connection to the company. There is no better resource to accelerate the spread of a company’s message than social media tools and resources. Oh. And these tools are easy-to-use, very affordable, easy to personalize, easy to scale, and easy to adapt. Even interns can do it. Though, don’t use them.
This appears to be a jobless economic recovery. Data points to job losses continuing with small businesses. Historically, every economic recovery to-date, an economy emerges from a recession when small businesses begin to…ADD jobs. Small businesses can do this with cost-effective (cash-flow positive) strategies, tools and tactics to spread their message.
So…social media agencies. You want more clients, right? You want more word-of-mouth, right? Talk to your clients in their language. Translate your world, conversations and clicks and community, into language your clients (their decision-makers) will understand: cash-flow, from lower advertising costs and greater results with more qualified referrals and higher customer loyalty scores with more upselling and cross-selling.
So…clients. Insist your social media maven/agency understand your need for more cash-flow. If they cannot or will not…keep looking. Oh. And, do not wait.
- Start a blog.
- Get on Twitter.
- Get a Facebook page.
- Subscribe to Google Alerts.
- Read a few blogs.
- Use RSS feeds to read them.
- Any of the above.
- Not sure what these are? Ask your intern. They can get you started.
But the key word is YOU. You get started today. Then you will know the right questions to ask. Your questions will help those agencies better understand your needs.
Together, we can meet our companies’ respective needs, grow our companies, add jobs, find more customers for our businesses…add jobs and drive our economy out of this recession.
Let’s start using social media and cash-flows in the same sentence. Here’s a start. Social media’s reach and acceleration of a brand’s message can translate into positive cash-flows for that brand’s owner. Here’s how: …
How ’bout it?
About the author: Zane Safrit’s passion is small business and the operations excellence required to deliver a product that creates word-of-mouth, customer referrals and instills pride in those whose passion created it. He previously served as CEO of a small business. Zane’s blog can be found at Zane Safrit.