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Sheffie Robinson with Metric Mate; Set 1 – Rep 9

Sheffie Robinson with Metric Mate; Set 1 – Rep 9

Sheffie Robinson with Metric Mate; Set 1 – Rep 9

SET 1 REP 9 WITH SHEFFIE ROBINSON Rectangle
Welcome to the new wave of fitness tracking. Metric Mate, an Atlanta-based small-business, is revolutionizing using a virtual personal assistant to help people with their fitness journey. As a small business in a boomtown like Atlanta, founders Braxton Davis and Marcus-Tor Strickland know what it means to pour your blood, sweat, and tears into your passion. Out of their efforts came Metric Mate. A patented virtual personal assistant with an advanced AI system. 

Metric Mate also hosts a weekly podcast that recognizes leaders from all over the spectrum. Brother M-T brings in extraordinary individuals to share their stories about how they shaped their fields. This week, he brought in Sheffie for a great interview. 

 

The Origin

One of the most prominent themes Sheffie refers back to is business owners’ needs to save time. Over and over, we hear about how DIY websites are inexpensive, but the time-suck destroys productivity. Where can companies go to consolidate all of their tools? 

Sheffie talks about the costs incurred by using various tools spread over several other services. Sites like GoDaddy give very cheap website options, but start adding in email services like Mailchimp. Add in Asana, Analytics, Security plugins, etc., and the costs go through the roof. 

Shamrck brings together everything onto one platform at one cost. Most importantly, Shamrck lets business owners outsource vital tasks that would typically take entire days. 

 

You Don’t Have to Do It All.

If there’s anything that we can learn from the pandemic is companies big and small need help sometimes. For many entrepreneurs and solopreneurs, the biggest realization is that outsourcing is not only possible but required for specific tasks. 

As Sheffie recounts, it’s easy for business owners to look past self-care and focus only on work. The idea that you have to do it all is wrong, plain and simple.Brother M-T puts it best when he talks about the Gates and Zuckerbergs out there that sit in a room 24/7 and grind out a product are the exceptions, not the rule. We have spouses, children, hobbies…a life! At some point, we have to bring in help. 

 

 

Going Beyond Business

The most important thing entrepreneurs can do is take care of themselves. A sound body and mind are the only way to maintain a successful business. Without the right mindset, the quality of your work and the work of your employees can suffer. Taking time to understand what you need is every bit as valuable as what the business needs, even if that means 30 minutes with some Chick-Fil-A fries and a lemonade.

There is life outside of work. Services like Shamrck help you realize opportunities you can miss when you’re too wrapped up in researching the best third-party applications to put on the homepage of your website. Give yourself every chance to experience life outside the office. Take it from Sheffie, burning yourself out is the quickest way to dramatically affect your business in the worst way. 

 

 

Shamrck Recipient Of United For America Luminary Fellowship

Shamrck Software has been selected for the United for America Luminary Fellowship dedicated to working with female owned enterprises. United for America, a movement led by Unilever joined with Luminary to provide resources to emerging small businesses. Luminary works...

She Flipped It – Entrepreneur to MBA: Unpolished MBA Podcast

She Flipped It – Entrepreneur to MBA: Unpolished MBA Podcast

She Flipped It – Entrepreneur to MBA: Unpolished MBA Podcast

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Recently, our very own Sheffie Robinson made an appearance on Unpolished MBA. Unpolished MBA is a podcast dedicated to looking at the value of startup experience instead of corporate experience. The idea isn’t that one is better than the other, but instead, they explore the value in both. 

Sheffie went on to discuss her experience with entrepreneurship and how it relates to her MBA program. The idea that someone needs to complete an MBA program to have the knowledge and skills to start a business is completely flipped on its head when Sheffie talks about her accomplished career as an entrepreneur before going through the program. 

 

How It Began

Sheffie talks about her start as a small business owner at age 6 when she started reselling candy at a markup. At age 6! Being self-taught in coding, Sheffie showed her entrepreneurial spirit by creating intricate tools for game currency. In 2015, she opened her first software development firm called Touco Direct. In 2019, Sheffie launched WPClover as a development and hosting platform, and in 2020, she merged it all to make Shamrck Software, a full website and business management suite. 

 

Why Get an MBA Now as an Entrepreneur?

Sheffie explains that despite already being an entrepreneur, getting an MBA is validating. Starting as a self-taught coder, there is a stigma as a one-trick pony. Are you really a coder, or did you just learn one little trick? Being a black woman in tech, especially, presents a unique challenge where people don’t want to believe that you accomplished something on your own. She recalls having people look her up on LinkedIn right on the spot just to make sure she’s not just putting her name on someone else’s work. The MBA speaks volumes to a particular crowd who want to know you have the “credentials” to back up your words.

There’s also the idea that people expect you to have an MBA. For Sheffie, people assumed that because she’s an entrepreneur, she already completed the program. Graduating an MBA program is self-validating too. You know you have the skills to run a business, but now you have the proof. 

 

The Pros and Cons

MBAs have a lot to offer. Learning about things like corporate finance and understanding how to be a better financial steward for her company. Sheffie talks about working with ideas like differentiating fundraising tactics when you have physical products versus software. 

Conversely, Sheffie discusses the gaps between higher education curriculum and real-world cases. These curriculums don’t necessarily keep up with the times and can leave students lacking in certain areas. Since her program is done in cohorts, she’s able to share some of her real-world knowledge with classmates who otherwise might miss out. 

 

Listen In

You can listen to the whole conversation here on Unpolished MBA’s website or other platforms.

 

 

 

Shamrck Recipient Of United For America Luminary Fellowship

Shamrck Software has been selected for the United for America Luminary Fellowship dedicated to working with female owned enterprises. United for America, a movement led by Unilever joined with Luminary to provide resources to emerging small businesses. Luminary works...

How to Use Content Curation to Grow Your Audience

How to Use Content Curation to Grow Your Audience

How to Use Content Curation to Grow Your Audience

 

What is content curation, and why is it helpful? At its most basic, curation is scouring other content sources to bring in new content for your audience. We all know content drives SEO. Whether we’re focused on keywords, relevance, or recent posts, content curation can help immensely. We can look at it another way. You and your team can only produce so much content. You have too many other things to do, and creating new material all day every day is impossible. However, staying relevant in searches depends on posting a lot. 

How do you meet the demand?

The solution is more straightforward than you think. For a website, content curation services allow you to pick and choose keywords that fit your field, website, topics, etc. You can pull blog posts and articles from all over the web to bring into your website, and voila! You have new content. The marketing team may be able to create engaging material, but readers want variety. They want to see what you think is interesting. After all, they’re on your website because you’re the expert.

Best of all, content creation is easy. You and your team don’t have to comb through other websites all by yourself. Integrated systems can do that for you and even post content directly to your site or social media.

 

Start with what you know.

The first goal for any website is to create an audience. Using original posts and blogs is a step in the right direction, and a massive social media campaign can help. Write about your field, product, and things that make you an expert. Over time, customers and other traffic will look to you for guidance and expertise. 

Make sure to cover a wide range of topics still while you build your content machine. Don’t pigeonhole yourself by focusing on one or two aspects of your field. You can quickly get stuck in a rut, and customers will lose interest. You can always find new topics to write about, so start creating your library with plenty of variety.

 

Start curating content. 

One of the more significant challenges of curation is finding the best strategy. You don’t have the resources to create new content continually. Randomly using a Google search is like throwing darts blindfolded. You need something efficient to help. 

Where do you start?

Content curation is not new. The benefits of posting fresh, new content are immeasurable, and the most remedial understanding of SEO tells us this strategy helps your rankings. Content curation software does everything for you. Getting started is as easy as choosing a keyword or phrase and letting the software go to work. These services scour every corner of the web for articles and posts fitting your description. 

Be sure you know what to do with the content when you get it, though. Curating content and leaving it to rot on the back-end isn’t doing you any good. Displaying your content is where these services provide more value. 

 

Validate your content.

How many times have you heard, “don’t just read the headline?” It’s natural for us to see some buzzwords and immediately think the article is a perfect fit. Sometimes, it’s not. The essential thing you can do when curating content is to read the content! Read for style and accuracy. Someone slapping a good headline on a terrible article doesn’t do you any good. 

Check to see if the post is articulate and thought out. Does it convey the same message or theme you want to present on your site? You are trusting someone else with your traffic, so don’t do it lightly.

 

Where to put your content

Most websites have a page dedicated to blog posts, but nothing says you have to stop there. Your homepage is the face of your website. Why not add your curated content there as well? You’re adding outbound links to your pages and showing that your business stays apprised of all the developments and news in your field. 

 

Growing your audience with curation.

The end game for content creation is growing your audience. More content means your score higher in search results, and giving your readers a little more variety helps retain what you already have. More of a crowd means more eyes on your products and more opportunities for sales. 

Plus, growing your audience can mean growing an email list. Email drip campaigns are incredibly useful for things like sales and marketing. Content curation helps get you there just by adding a few new words. The best part is there’s no reason to overthink anything. Use a content creation tool, do a quick quality check, and post it on your site. 

Growing the prospect and lead audience for a small business is a matter of survival. The best way to do it is by reaching out and staying in touch with internet browsers. Content curation is a way to get more eyes on your website without creating more work for you or your team. 

 

Shamrck is a complete website and business management suite, helping you stay organized and save time. Our content curation feature focuses on the end-user to make life easy and get results. Start your free trial of Shamrck to see the advantages of having all your tools in one place. 

 

Shamrck Recipient Of United For America Luminary Fellowship

Shamrck Software has been selected for the United for America Luminary Fellowship dedicated to working with female owned enterprises. United for America, a movement led by Unilever joined with Luminary to provide resources to emerging small businesses. Luminary works...

Benefits of Appointment Scheduling for Small Businesses

Benefits of Appointment Scheduling for Small Businesses

Benefits of Appointment Scheduling for Small Businesses

Small business owners don’t have enough hours in the day. Full Stop. It feels like there is always too much work and not enough time, but realistically, some organization can free up time. Most owners have issues with organization and time management. That’s not to say they’re bad with organization or time management, but everyone can use a little help. One of the easiest ways to get back on a schedule is to add appointment scheduling to your website. 

Planning out your day is chaotic at best, and things pop up left and right to derail everything, but scheduling appointments and sticking to them can help bring a little calm to the storm. Streamlining your operations is vital for any small business owner. Shouldn’t that include organizing your schedule?

Are you already scheduling appointments? How? Using an integrated appointment scheduler on your website helps customers set up times to talk, and it keeps them on your site. Win-win! Stop using post-its or scrap paper to “put something on the books.” Using an online scheduling system can help with creating events on your calendar and automatically sending out reminders. 

It turns out there are a lot of benefits to appointment scheduling for small businesses.

 

They’re dependable.

Do you have that one flakey friend in your life that always says they’ll come to dinner but cancels at the last minute? The business world is no different. Customers can say “call me” and never answer. Or worse, you forget to call them! 

Appointments help to make sure everyone has a set time and place to meet. Whether you’re on a conference call or out to lunch, setting a defined appointment increases the likelihood of avoiding no-shows. Using a scheduler directly on your website makes it difficult for a customer to say “I forgot” since they pick the time and get appointment reminders. 

 

Appointments are more organized.

Everyone has meetings with no structure. Those meetings are like herding cats. Nothing gets done, and there’s an email chain cracking jokes about how inefficient it was. For a small business owner, wasting an hour on a meeting where nothing gets done is money down the drain.

Instead, schedule meetings with a clear outline of what you plan to cover. Allow time at the beginning and end for pleasantries, but make sure the discussion is substantive and valuable. Writing down topics and agendas is a good start, but using an online appointment scheduler lets you create a detailed plan that can be shared with all invitees before the meeting starts. 

Streamlining how you spend your time is difficult any day, but having structured meeting time is a massive step in the right direction. 

 

Online scheduling saves time.

Imagine every phone call that leads to an appointment. It probably takes a few minutes to actually get to set up the time, then a few more discussing the meeting’s content, and then a few more if the customer likes to talk a lot. You could be spending 10 minutes or more on the phone to schedule one appointment. Multiply that by the number of meetings you schedule, and you could spend half your day on the phone just talking to customers or vendors about spending even more time with them. 

Online scheduling gives you all of that time back. Now you can direct customers to the online appointment scheduling system and move on to more essential items on your to-do list. Streamlining operations is the best way to become more efficient as a business. The key component is time management. 

 

You make more appointments and money.

Did we mention time is critical for an efficient business? Well, with more time, you can add more business. More appointments mean more chances to interact with customers and vendors, leading to more revenue. Queuing up times on an online calendar lets your customers fill your schedule for you. Booking free consultations is an incredibly effective way to get potential customers in the door. 

An often overlooked aspect of setting appointments is taking deposits or payments directly from customers. Capture customers’ card information to hold their spots. This tactic will significantly decrease the likelihood of no-shows making your schedule more reliable. 

 

Online scheduling is popular for a reason. 

More and more businesses are employing online scheduling on their website. Most services make it straightforward to link social media pages directly to the calendar. Larger companies with multiple locations find it easier to centralize a scheduling process to avoid confusion. Customers select whichever area they need to meet and at what time. 

As small businesses grow, the process doesn’t change. You can maintain that same sense of centralization, whether you’re organizing multiple locations or multiple users. Most appointment setting software allows owners to create multiple users with individual usernames to receive notifications when a customer books an appointment without notifying everyone else. They can also control their availability, which may be different from the rest of the team. 

 

Conclusion

Most small business owners haven’t given online scheduling a second thought. In fact, many small businesses don’t think of a website as more than a logo and a phone number online. Integrated features like email campaigns and online calendars fly under the radar either by ignorance or not wanting to go through the trouble of setting them up. 

Maybe you have a trusty day planner where you keep all of your notes. Perhaps you prefer the organized chaos of sticky notes swamping your office. Regardless of how you do things now, this is a digital world. It’s time to go online. Drop the pen and paper, and start organizing your schedule online. The operational benefits far outweigh any added “trouble” of integrating systems. 

Shamrck is a complete website and business management suite designed to simplify sales and marketing for small businesses. Online scheduling is one of the many organizational tools at your disposal to help your business operate more efficiently. There are several benefits to appointment scheduling on your website. Maybe it’s time you started reaping the benefits for yourself. 

 

Start your free demo today to see if Shamrck is right for your business. 

 

Shamrck Recipient Of United For America Luminary Fellowship

Shamrck Software has been selected for the United for America Luminary Fellowship dedicated to working with female owned enterprises. United for America, a movement led by Unilever joined with Luminary to provide resources to emerging small businesses. Luminary works...

How to Retain Customers with Product Services

How to Retain Customers with Product Services

How to Retain Customers with Product Services

So many companies only focus on signing new customers. They offer special rates and sign-up discounts or spend thousands on marketing. However, the real profit comes from customer retention. Why pay more money to focus on new clients when you already have a customer base. Useful tools like product services and simply building brand loyalty go a long way to retain customers. 

Let’s look at it this way. Is it easier to ask a friend out to lunch or grab someone off the street? Obviously, you have a better chance of bringing your friend. Customers are no different. You have a much better chance of making a sale to someone you already know than qualifying a new lead.

Think of the work going into new clients. You have to market the product, generate leads, move through a sales funnel, and negotiate the sale. Each step costs time and money. Retaining current clients costs much less, and the more effort you put into retention, the more likely you are to gain referral business.

Fortunately, there are several ways to focus on customer retention without sacrificing your efforts to sign new customers. 

 

Build Loyalty

First and foremost, sell an excellent product. A good salesperson can sell almost anything, but customers jump to another company with a better offering if the product is sub-par. Selling a premier product builds trust with your brand. Loyalty is incredibly powerful for businesses. It’s what keeps customers with you even if there’s a cheaper option. 

Part of building loyalty is creating a relationship with your customers. Coupons and occasional discounts go a long way to remind your client base you care about their business. Newsletters and updates let them know what you’re up to and what they can expect in the future. 

Newsletters and coupons can only go so far. No matter how good your relationship is with your customers, they have to be happy with the product.

 

Product Services

Product services, or product service system, is a way to reshape a product and turn it into a service. Here’s an example: in the past, you could rent a movie and have to return it two days later. You paid a fee for those two days, and then you were done with the rental store. Along comes Netflix. Like with the rental store, Netflix retained ownership of the “product” but offered unlimited rentals for a monthly service fee. Sorry, Blockbuster. 

Let’s try another one. Spotify knows that selling a CD is a one-time purchase, and the seller loses ownership of the CD. Instead, Spotify provides access to the same CD any time a user wants to listen to it for one monthly fee of roughly the same price. However, users get access to that CD and millions of other songs. Which is better, 12 CDs per year or unlimited music all the time for the same price? Sorry, SamGoody.

The core idea of a product service is to retain ownership of the product while still providing the same outcome. You can mimic the same strategy. For example, you can create a database of online courses and sell a subscription allowing users to take as many as they want. Now, rather than buying the one-time class (product), customers can have unlimited access to all of your classes (service), and they’re more likely to stay with you. Turning an end product into an ongoing service can be a vital stepping stone to a successful company.

 

Customer Service

Customer service is how your clients stay happy. Provide excellent service, and your clientele will remain content and loyal. Think of all the times you’ve been frustrated with a product, so you call or email the business for help, and no one answers. Poor service is one of the top reasons customers leave. Hopefully, your customers aren’t calling in too often to complain, but if they do, have an effective system in place to handle issues.

Customer service is more than just reacting to issues, however. Businesses who can be proactive with their customers tend to build more loyalty and create more long-lasting relationships. Rather than waiting on a problem to come up, companies can reach out and offer new products and services at an intimate level.

Excellent service starts with taking the time to put a plan in place and find the right people to work with your customers. Strategies on proactive customer service include things like personal phone calls or weekly newsletters. Luckily, you can automate these strategies, so you get to set up shop and go back to progressing your business.

 

Relationship Equals Retention

From building loyalty to providing customer service to utilizing technical tools, retention requires hard work. Retention strategies come in many different shapes, and each business needs a different plan. You know your business better than anyone, so figure out how best to build your relationships. Do your customers expect a friendly, personal phone call? Does your enterprise rely on online communication to touch as many customers as possible? What strategy makes the most financial sense for you (keep labor costs in mind!)? 

There is no single right answer, but you can get some help. A significant part of utilizing a business and marketing suite is creating a strategy to generate contact lists and reach your current customers. Their professional expertise helps map out strategies that work in your industry, and as a team, they can build your solution for you. 

Building relationships with your customers is crucial to your company’s success, but it doesn’t have to be a full-time job. Understand the strategies and tools in front of you, so you can become more productive without sacrificing your need to generate new customers.

 

Hang on to your customers.

Product services and brand loyalty are incredibly effective ways to retain customers, but you need to take the care and effort to make them quality aspects of your business. Anyone can make a sale, but it doesn’t mean anything if you can’t get repeat customers. 

Your website can handle everything for you. Staying in touch with customers is vital, but email marketing services on your site can help by sending coupons or newsletters. Automated appointment features let your customers pick times to meet, so you never have scheduling conflicts. build a database of online courses establishing your expertise in the market and creating a new subscription-based product.

Shamrck lets you do it all in one place. It’s a complete website and business management suite to give you everything you need to retain customers, create new products, and work new leads. Maintaining a successful business goes well beyond making sales. You need to keep current customers, but you don’t have to do it alone. Use Shamrck to help make your company succeed. 

 

Shamrck Recipient Of United For America Luminary Fellowship

Shamrck Software has been selected for the United for America Luminary Fellowship dedicated to working with female owned enterprises. United for America, a movement led by Unilever joined with Luminary to provide resources to emerging small businesses. Luminary works...