Thursday, July 23, 2020

Martie's short bio

Martie is an experienced executive-level administrative assistant professional providing administrative support to various federal government agencies, and oil and gas company. 

In those industries, she gained experience as an administrative assistant to department leaders, personnel directors, attorneys, and CFOs.  

After gaining that experience, she began working at the executive level with Chief Operating Officers, Chief Personnel Officers, CEO, and Presidents of small to mid-size businesses.  

She managed the executive’s calendars, travel arrangements, email management, and worked with most Microsoft, Google, and other misc. platforms.

She brings a total of 50 years of executive/administrative level support.  It has always been her goal to provide exceptional support to everyone with whom she has worked.

David's short bio

Here is a summary of my skill set stack I have acquired over 50 years of being in the business world. I am a jack-of-all-trades: "the original quote is, "jack-of-all-trades master of BUT not one." 

Over the course of my 50+year career, I've been successful in starting, turning around, and running businesses in the retail, wholesale, and service industries. 

As an avid lifelong learner,  I never went to college and am obsessed with giving myself an MBA in real-world skills. I have acquired skills in management, sales, business development, IT, social media marketing, and training.

As a result of this accumulated experience, I have a seasoned perspective on how to build, grow, and run small businesses. So I created to offer my expertise to a solopreneur who needs to free themselves to focus on the core strengths of their business. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Virtual Business

After I retired, I was asked by the guy who provided our company's I.T. services to become a sales rep for him. Sure, I could do that I had sold the rental software that we integrated his service.  

In selling managed I.T. services, I went to networking groups. Quite a few of the group meeting where help in coworking venues. I saw people working there on the back-end of their business who should hire someone to do the back-office tasks and other things that were not part of the revenue-generating necessities. 

After retirement, my wife and I had to split time going back and forth from DFW to KCMO to tend to aging relatives. I had to leave selling managed I.T. services. 

I found that my lifetime skillsets lent itself to being that part of the office that a solopreneur would need to generate revenue and bring in and deal with customers and clients. I am a lifelong "rainmaker." 

My wife is a career administrative assistant. Together, we can provide the complete office remotely that bridges the solo stage to the small business stage. 

Your Office S.O.S.was are born. Click here to see our website

 My elevator speech: 

My company is Your Office S.O.S. S.O.S. stands for supported outsourced services.
We offer a variety of remote solutions such as business development to make you profitable and administrative assistant services to make you productive.
My ideal client is a solopreneur you know who is going under in the waves of the details surrounding their business. 
We bring 100 years of professional experience to the rescue and help you recover your life and time. 
We let you do what you do best: we handle the rest.
If you are drowning in a sea of stress: call Your Office S.O.S. We take your life from crappy to happy.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Service industry

My next opportunity came when I was offered a job in the tent and event rental business. I was to bring in business. I was outside sales. The had calls coming in from adds and the like,  but they did not know how to reach out and generate sales. That would be my job.

I had a leg up because I sold the software platform they used. The company had no CRM, so I went out and found a free one to use, They were unwilling to pay for one. I had to learn where the business was coming from and get them to let us have their business—hardcore prospecting.

I had five different divisions within the company that I sold prospected for each of them in different cities.

I had to think creatively; I went to where events were posted on the internet Places like community calendars, radio and T.V. station promo pages, charity, and chamber of commerce events, I would research anything that was tent related and follow that trail.

I went to bridal, catering, and event trade shows. I was again using that skillset from my days in the book business.

In making bids and RFP's one had to know how to price our services and understand what the best business was, we could acquire.

We ran short of personnel, and because of my management background, I was pressed into being and on-site project manager. I had to oversee the delivery and construction of our products. No easy task because 80% of our business was in 20% of the year. Everything was stretched to the limit of personal, equipment, and systems.

I learned a lot for project management and was able to institute pricing and cost adjustments because of what I saw in the field that management wasn't aware of.

I helped reinvent the company logo, became the social media manager, and the I.T. department.  I helped institute operations and branding changes as well as a total overhaul in the organization.

We started into another venture, and I kicked off another spin-off company selling some of the equipment we were already importing for our use.

I also became the go-to person to acquire permits for our tents. Working with many different cities getting the required paperwork and regulatory information was no small task. Getting bureaucrats to facilitate and approve the permits in a timely manner took every sales skill I ever had.

I enjoyed this business and wished I would have liked to have found it sooner. But as it was, I turned 66, and it was time to retire. We needed to take care of aging relatives in another city.

Bridge jobs

After my failed business venture, I had to scramble. Boke in every sense of the word, and with national depression looming, I was suicidal. It took every ounce of faith I had to get up in the morning.

I finally landed a job selling software. I was selling high-end software because I had the sales and technical skills needed for that job. I was the first salesman this compony ever had. One of the founders had functioned as the sales roles and was ready to retire. I was to be his replacement.

In order to sell this high-end software, you needed to have tech skills, business knowledge, and sales skills. Our software was the highest priced in the industry. I had to sell this by demonstration. They gave me the worst territory to start with. My job was to cold call and set up a demo.  I learned Salesforce CRM to accomplish this.

I would get one demo in an area or state and then fly out to the site present a demo and then drive around for the next week, dropping in on every potential client in the are and try to secure another demo. I must have logged ten thousand miles of windshield time.

They wouldn't relinquish any better territory, so we ended our relationship.

I then went to work for Radio Shack and then Time Warner Cable inbound sales. At T.W. I was their during the digital switchover, and I made great money because of that.  I landed a job back in the book business. I went to work for a legal and law book publishing company.  I sold legal, business, medical, and other printed publications. My territory was the odd zip codes of N.Y. City. I called on The N.Y. Yankee's, The U.N., and other high profile companies.

I had to learn two different CRM's and sales techniques to be able to know at least enough to pitch these high-end publications to sophisticated customers. It was like drinking water from a fire hose.

In the middle of my career there, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed, and we had the first book out on the legislation.  I cleaned up again.

The company realized a division selling only hard-bound book publications was a dying proposition. They shut us down and consolidated the book with the online subscription and digital departments.

Once again, it was back to the career search for me.

All good things must end.

I knew there was little room for growth. I started looking for a new career. My choices were limited. I did diligent research, and I decided to buy a franchise. I went through a company that helped one decide on which franchise was right for them. After accessing my skills and financial situation, it was recommended I go with a leadership and management training company.

So, after due diligence, I left the book business and started on my own. On my own, I found out that the franchisee was of very little help. They were more in the business of selling franchises than making them successful.

Added to this, it was 2006, and companies were cutting back on training. The geographic market I was in was not conducive for what we offered. Many franchisees failed in my area before and after me. I lost m 401k in investing in this business. Needless to say, I was devastated.

I was 57 years old with only soft skills, no college education, or specific credentials to my name. The recession of 2008 was upon us, and I was struggling to survive spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Wholesale continued

As we grew our wholesale business, we began to explore the latest technology. In the mid-nineties, things were happening so fast it looked like a blur. We got on the internet with A.O.L. and started a company called "Books from Cyberspace." We were way before Amazon. A.O.L. wasn't even a portal to the web at that time; it was its own community like Prodigy and CompuServe. We were selling N.Y.Times bestsellers.

I was getting just a smattering of orders, but they were formed all over the world. I soon figured out they were from busy early adaptors who were traveling. A lot of them were for gifts because these travelers were able to do there shopping online. We were out front on this new trend. After all, it was the mid-nineties.

I though a brilliant way to compete was not by discounting our prices to compete with the few other booksellers online was to offer those gift buyers a way to conveniently take care of the gifts giving while they were remote. So we offered them a book a card relevant to the occasion and a small present. They could choose a book from the N.Y. Times best sellers and occasion card, like a birthday card, and say a box of chocolates. We called this "Book Bundles from Cyberspace."

Well, we moved on with these ventures and were early pioneers. I also suggested that since we were distributing books, we could start distributing other merchandise as well. There was still no "Amazon." But, the owners were happy and content to stay in their lane.