Client Spotlight: How Debbie Koenig Quadrupled Her Business By Focusing on Private Swimming Lessons for Adults

Debbie Koenig is a entrepreneur who has dramatically expanded her swim school business in the San Francisco Bay Area by focusing on one segment of the market – private swimming lessons for adults.Debbie Koenig, Debbies Swim School, Swim School Business, private swimming lessons for adults, swim business, swimming business,

As she explains below, when Debbie was four years old, she watched her younger sister crawl into a pool. Debbie jumped in and pulled her sister out and was inspired by the experience to devote her life to training others how to swim.

Her interview answers provide a good lesson – when there is a larger and more significant purpose behind the business, it is much easier to grow it. In Debbie’s case, she’s on a mission to prevent accidental drowning deaths motivated by almost losing her sister to drowning, and that is so much more powerful than simply trying to increase your bottom line.

As you can imagine, it has been personally very satisfying working with Debbie as a client, given how wonderful her work is.

Debbie’s business also focuses in particular on training adults with lifelong fear of the water (aquaphobia), which is a good lesson for other businesses in finding a niche, even within the already-narrow world of swim school instruction.

With Debbie’s Swim School going through its major expansion right now, with new locations and staff being added over the next few months, I thought it would be instructive to check in with her to see what lessons she has to share.

How Debbie Koenig Quadrupled Her Swim School Business

 

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004: Peter Shankman of Help A Reporter Out (HARO) | How Businesses Can Get Started Using Social Media

For centuries, reporters needed sources to provide quotes for their stories, and experts who wanted to be quoted in the media had no easy way to get matched up with those reporters.

Peter Shankman solved that age-old problem.

In this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, I interview Peter Shankman, who created the Help A Reporter Out website, which matches up reporters and sources. He is also an author, keynote speaker, PR strategist, and one of the most widely quoted experts on social media.

If you haven’t checked out Help A Reporter Out (HARO), you really should (after listening to the podcast, of course).  I’ve used it a number of times  – both to get interview subjects for this blog and podcast, and to be quoted in the press.

It’s no wonder Peter said that within six months, HARO started generating substantial revenue (so much so that he eventually sold it, though he remains involved).

Peter is also the author of Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World and Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work–And Why Your Company Needs Them (affiliate links) and was the founder of The Geek Factory, a PR firm based in New York city with clients from American Express to Disney.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • why Peter created Help a Reporter Out, even though the website undermined (in a sense) his value for reporters who had previously depended on him to provide sources for quotes in their news stories.
  • the number one reason he tells new new clients they need to have a social media strategy.
  • why he advises clients to get started in social media by just listening
  • how services like Twitter have changed the landscape for businesses
  • easy tips for businesses just dipping their toes in the water with social media, whether it is with Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other social media sites.
  • why Peter follows the theory “if you do something great, the universe will reward you.”

 

Right Click here to download the MP3

 

Enjoy the show!

Photo credit

 

003: Kevin Waldron | How He Built a $24M/year Disaster Restoration Company from Scratch

In this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, I speak with Kevin Waldron, a successful entrepreneur, business coach, and exit plan consultant.

Kevin has a great life story. He arrived in the U.S. from Scotland in the early 1980s, and stumbled upon working in disaster restoration, which is the general term for companies that go in to clean up the mess after a restaurant or other business has a fire, flood, or other messy disaster.

It’s dirty work, but turned out to be quite lucrative. Over the course of 17 years, Kevin studied other successful entrepreneurs and methodically put in place their methods and techniques, slowly growing his company organically and through acquisition.

At its peak, he took in $24 million/year in revenue, and had over 230 employees and 5 offices.

After selling his business in 2005, Kevin decided to go help other entrepreneurs use the techniques he had studied and used to build their own businesses.

He is currently the CEO of Waldron Consulting Group, where he coaches and trains a wide range of small to medium size clients – mostly go-getting, driven entrepreneurs like Kevin.

I recorded this interview with Kevin a number of months ago, and since then he has become a good friend and my partner on the Business Profit Academy. There was so much good advice in this original interview that I knew I wanted to use it on the Podcast.

In spite of all his success, Kevin is still an incredibly modest, down-to-earth guy who just happens to really know his stuff. That’s why I like him so much. I bet you can’t help liking him either.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • how Kevin built his company up to $24M/year in revenue with 230 employees and 5 offices.
  • why he ran the company like he was going to sell it, even years before he ever decided to sell
  • how he burnt out once margins went down and insurance companies started fighting over payments
  • how he created a plan to sell his business
  • why it’s important to make sure your employees have relationships with your key customers
  • why he says “if you have to be there every day to turn on the lights, that’s not a business, that’s a job.”

 

Right Click here to download the MP3

 

Enjoy the show!

Client Spotlight: Interview with Entrepreneur George Holmes of LogMeIn, Inanovate and ColdWave Systems

Today I am really excited to present the first in series of short Q&A interviews with a few of my entrepreneur clients.

I realized recently that it would be really interesting to do quick Q&A’s with a few of my clients, in part because many of them have great stories about the up’s and down’s successful entrepreneurs experience, and partly because my clients probably have far greater advice and tips about how to build successful businesses than I could ever have.

Our first interview will definitely not disappoint.

George Holmes is a serial entrepreneur who was one of the early investors and managers of LogMeIn, a NASDAQ-listed public company that allows you to easily access your computer remotely.

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How to Use Email to Double Business Revenue: An Interview with Email Marketing Specialist Ben

Call me crazy, but any business that wants more business right now needs to look to email marketing. Ben Settle, email marketing. email

I know what you’re thinking. Email is sooooo…. 2001.

But there’s a reason email works for such a range of businesses.

It’s cheap. It’s easy. People read it (sometimes). And it’s effective.

The good news is you don’t have to take my word for it – because on Thursday, May 10th, from 3-4pm PST, we are going to be holding a teleconference with nationally recognized email marketing expert Ben Settle who will share everything he knows (OK, maybe not everything) about how your business can make more money by using email.

You can sign up right here (limited seats available):

http://bensettle.eventbrite.com/

After you sign up, you will be emailed the conference call phone number and password.

Here’s a few highlights of what we’ll be talking about:

  • How to write engaging, interesting emails that recipients want to receive
  • The #1 most important tip for creating “must open” emails
  • How to get your email list to be responsive

Ben makes a lot of money teaching people how to write smart, effective, and engaging emails that help create a profitable business. So this is a great opportunity to hear from someone who knows what he’s talking about.

Here’s that sign up link again:

http://bensettle.eventbrite.com/

Hope to see you on the call!

 

 

How Erin Blaskie Built a Virtual Assistant Empire: A Teleconference on Thursday April 19th

Erin BlaskieErin Blaskie has impeccable timing.

Erin opened the doors of her virtual assistant business in 2003, just as this new industry was taking off and businesses were starting to embrace the idea of using an assistant who works hundreds or thousands of miles away from them.

After building up her own team of virtual assistants serving businesses around the globe, Erin then moved into creating highly profitable online group coaching programs, on topics such as how to launch a website or a blog, how to create a virtual assistant business, and how to boost business revenue by selling information products.

She continues to work with numerous businesses around the globe, teaching them how to take advantage of time-saving technology and to leverage group coaching to increase business revenue.

We’re going to be holding a teleconference with Erin Blaskie on Thursday, April 19th, from 12noon-1pm, where we’ll be asking Erin all about how she built her business and specifically how entrepreneurs and business owners can use virtual assistants.

In this teleconference, Erin is going to talk about:

  • How to use virtual assistants to streamline your business, keep costs down, and leverage outsourced expertise
  • How she boosted her business revenues by creating and selling information products
  • Why “one to many” coaching and training is far more profitable than “one to one”
  • How she launched her first virtual group coaching program
  • How virtual assistants can give business owners peace of mind when life gets in the way of business
  • How Erin discovered she could dramatically boost her business revenue by creating information products

Hope to see you all on the call!  Here’s that registration link again:

Register for How Erin Blaskie Built a Virtual Assistant Empire: A Teleconference on Thursday April 19th.