Using Base CRM for a Seasonal Business

Posted by | Cool Software, Small Business Solutions | No Comments

This fall (2014), I helped a seasonal Christmas lighting company setup and manage a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) that I use and like: Base CRM. I have been working with them since 2008. In previous years, the company used several different methods to manage leads and sales ranging from Google Apps, Dropbox, Highrise CRM, Zoho and a few others. Yet there was really nothing that really quite worked well until we implemented Base. Each year the company’s leads have grown making it that much more crucial to track and manage the sales process. Here are a couple of the highlights of how a seasonal business is using a CRM and why it is working so well. Read More

Why Do I Blog?

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The first business blog I wrote for a business was from May 31, 2006. I was working for my father’s painting company, Chism Brothers Painting, at the time. I really did not know much about blogging when I wrote my first post. I knew enough to know it was a good thing to do, and I was one of the first painters to give it a try. I had not heard of content marketing or best practices in blogging or really anything. I just knew I had to start putting quality and helpful information on my website and hope consumers would agree that they liked my post.  Read More

Taking Your Online Reputation Seriously

Posted by | Marketing Advice | One Comment

I Am Impressed with My Clients

bad review

The review above has another side of the story to this too!

There are a lot of negative vibes online these days, and I believe we largely have review sites to thank for this. Companies today are plagued with 1 and 2-star ratings, typically from people who have overly demanding expectations. If you forget to return a phone call, chances are, sooner or later, you’ll be receiving a low-star rating on a site like Yelp. Yet, if you do a good job and serve the customer well, it is very difficult to get consumers to write a positive review on their own. Typically, they will only do this if a company went above and beyond their high expectations. If you have a reliable and quality service company, you are likely going to receive a few good reviews and a couple of poor ones just for being human. Read More

A Few of My Favorite Apps for My iPhone

Posted by | Marketing Advice | 4 Comments

I thought it was time to share a screenshot of my iPhone to help those of you who are wondering what apps I use and why. I use my iPhone and iPad primarily for business and a little pleasure. I rarely play any games, so you’ll notice my main screen is mostly for business with a few personal apps sprinkled in too. The most-used apps you’ll find at the very bottom. The ones at the very top are the second most-used, with the ones in the middle getting used a little less. All other apps are on the second screen, which I’ve not included in this blog. Those are all misc. apps that I use from time to time or am testing out. I can easily access them through the iOS Spotlight menu when I need them.  Read More

Should You Fire Your Business Coach?

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Business-ConsultingWorking Out

Note: Last November, I joined a 3-day a week intense workout program (12 weeks) at a BJJ & MMA studio called Clinch Academy. I sort of went into it thinking I’d do the 3 month challenge and go back to my old routine of light exercise when I had the time! One of the reasons I had to do something is that I was not doing much physical exercise. I was playing basketball 1-2 times a week and that was about it. It was around that time, just before I joined, that my blood pressure was quite a bit higher than normal. I was told by the doc, “You’ve got to do a bit more exercise.”

As I write this, I am finishing my 10th month at Clinch and still enjoying every class, 3 days a week. It did not take me very long to realize that for me, I had to stay at Clinch. I could not quit and go back to my old way of life. I knew that without my coach following up on how I was doing, I would not be successful. Oh, maybe for a time, but I know myself. I knew where I’d head after a few weeks. I am the type of guy who needs a coach. It has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done, and it  has helped me in more ways than just staying fit. I am more alert and focused in my business too. Read More

Early Thoughts on iPhone 6 and Software Updates

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ios-adcAs I write this, we are awaiting the arrival of Apple’s latest and greatest iOS 8 upgrade. This will happen in about 1 week (September 17th or 19th). I’ve been testing iOS 8 for the past 3 months and really like it. The best part about iOS 8 over the current version is yet to come. What I mean is that iOS 8 is supposed to be the best update for iOS developers. Apple has supposedly made it much easier for developers to create far greater features than ever before. If this is true, business users of the iPhone and iPad can expect some updates as early as this fall that will hopefully blow you all away! I’m keeping my fingers crossed! Read More

Will Having a Nicer Looking Website Bring Me More Leads?

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Responsive Websites

If I told you my website was based on Responsive Design, some of you might actually know what I was talking about more this year than last year. It is a fairly new way to design a website. Those of you who do not know what Responsive Website Design is just yet, I’ll explain. In short, a responsive website basically means the website can be displayed on most computers, tablets and mobile device screens. In other words, it responds and adapts to the screen of the end user. Before responsive coding, most websites had at least two web designs: one for the desktop and a mobile site. The more companies find out about a responsive design, the more they want their own websites redesigned. Why not! It is new. It is hip. It is cool and it just looks better! So the question I’ll answer in this post is this: “If I create a brand new, top of the line website today, does this mean I can expect more leads to come pouring in soon?” Read More

30 Year Employees Don’t Exist Anymore

Posted by | Small Biz Talk, The Obvious | No Comments

always-growing-blogAlways Be Recruiting

The number one problem I have been hearing about from clients this year is not a lack of leads. No, leads have been strong across the U.S. The problem has been a lack of good people. I have actually been asked if I can provide recruiting services, not marketing! If you do need help finding good help, I would recommend contacting my friends at Summit Services. They provide headhunting services for estimators, office staff and, I believe, help with hiring field employees too. Read More

Are You Too Busy For Referrals?

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The Referral Mastermind: Brian Buffini


Used by Buffini & Company on Stationary.

Ask just about any realtor in the country if he or she has heard of Brian Buffini and you will hear a resounding YES. Brian came to the U.S. from Ireland in his early twenties to live the American dream. He became a real estate agent in San Diego. Brian quickly became a very successful and highly recognized agent not only in San Diego but also across the U.S. for his unique way of growing his business by referrals. Read More

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