Declassified from Frager Factor VIP November 13, 2012
Good Morning Folks,
When your company needs additional capital, "going public" may be the right choice, but to be honest, this is an option for only a tiny fraction of businesses. If your company is in the early stages of development, you are limited to obtaining loans from financial institutions or the Small Business Administration. Another alternative is to raise money by selling securities in transactions.
But for those businesses which are one-in-an-hundred thousand, there are benefits and new obligations that come from raising capital through a public offering registered with the SEC. While the benefits are attractive, be sure you are ready to assume these new obligations. They do cost a lot of money!
==> Your access to capital will increase, since you can contact more potential investors.
==> Your company may become more widely known.
==> You may obtain financing more easily in the future if investor interest in your company grows enough to sustain a secondary trading market in your securities.
==> Controlling shareholders, such as the company's officers or directors, may have a ready market for their shares, which means that they can more easily sell their interests at retirement, for diversification, or for some other reason.
==> Your company may be able to attract and retain more highly qualified personnel if it can offer stock options, bonuses, or other incentives with a known market value.
==> The image of your company may be improved.
With additional money and access to money comes greater headaches as well. If your business goes public, you must continue to keep shareholders informed about the company's business operations, financial condition, and management, all of which includes additional costs and new legal obligations. And you may be liable, both civilly and criminally, if you do not fulfill these new legal obligations.
Also, you will lose some flexibility in managing your company's affairs, particularly because shareholders and their representatives must now approve your actions.
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"Before long, the calls, leads, emails and sales started pouring in.
The results were phenomenal."
Being able to stay in touch with customers and connecting to them in a personal way makes a difference. One of our clients has retained most of their customers for over 20 years, and heavily relies on that repeat business.
Social media and the Internet have leveled the playing field for business owners, helping them foster closer relationships with clients and identify potential customers.
Although business owners are under much pressure to generate new customers, they should spend time nurturing and maintaining their existing clients.
It's more important than ever for business owners to bridge the gap because they are facing more competition, and this can differentiate them and have them stay relevant with existing customers.
One mistake is when businesses use social media only to promote themselves. That does nothing. Customers don't want to hear about promotions. They want to be talked with and cared about.
Another mistake is when business owners try to venture into several social- media tools all at once. They're likely to feel overwhelmed and discouraged when they don't quickly build client relationships.
Instead, she says, the most natural tool for those who deal with business professionals is LinkedIn. Small mom-and-pop restaurants are likely to benefit most by using Twitter or Facebook to connect to customers.
LinkedIn is a social network with over 116 million users that enables you to network professionally, post and find jobs, answer questions, and build thought leadership-while simultaneously helping the people you trust.
A user can easily discover the people employed by a certain business, or the various businesses a certain person has worked for.
But what makes LinkedIn truly different from other social media sites? Let's try this analogy: As you most likely already know, every social media tool has its own personality. Facebook is a lot like the local pub. A pub is a place where you can go in, chat with friends, tell a few jokes and relax a bit.
LinkedIn is more like a trade show-a place where you'd keep things pretty buttoned-up and formal. No need to mention your vacation in Las Vegas on LinkedIn.
It's important for small-business owners to smartly use social media to personalize their business and build trust. Technology now makes it easy for them to keep track of facts about clients such as birthdays and buying habits.
But that's not enough. They have to act on it. It is the high-tech equivalent of the old barbershop or local bar where they greet you by name when you walk in the door.
For these reasons, LinkedIn should be an integral part of your social media marketing. It's time to get started.