SMART AF

How to get you and your business from where you are to where to want to be.

 

Ep. 118 Put Down Those Red Flags: Let’s Go Pro

by | Smart AF Podcast

go pro

Ep. 118 Put Down Those Red Flags: Let’s Go Pro

Are you putting your business at risk with these red flag mistakes? Especially in today’s world where trust is a deciding factor when people are nervous about getting ripped off. If customers aren’t sure they can trust you, they aren’t going to hand over their cash. You could be sabotaging your profits by making these easy-to-fix mistakes.

In this episode, Torie Mathis and her cohost Sean go over ways you can up your professionalism with simple corrections that can easily boost your bottom line. Let’s put down those red flags and go pro!

Listen or watch the full episode below:

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION –

(transcription is auto-generated)

SAF 118

[00:00:00] Torie: There are some really big dead giveaways that just really lower the professionalism of a business and really make you wonder if they’re even in business or if they’re even a business. Some of these, like, it’s such an easy fix.

Hey, what’s up? It’s Torie Mathis, your host, and I’m here with the one and only Sean Mathis founder of Miles Through Time Automotive Museum. 

[00:00:30] Sean: That’s me. So because of that title, I get a shitload of emails. All the time, too, Miles Through Time email address. And a lot of them are them trying to sell me stuff that we do already, which is why Miles Through Time is so successful. And it’s really easy for me to differentiate 

[00:00:55] Torie: In case people don’t know. We have a marketing agency. So we do branding and we do marketing. We do web design. So SEO, like, so people contact Sean all the time. 

[00:01:05] Sean: All the time trying to get yes. And I would say at least 90% of those emails, I get come from a Gmail account. They are not a professional email whatsoever. And because of that, I would say. 90% of those aren’t even real companies currently, they’re probably just some random person that may or may not provide any kind of service, but you know, out there poking to try to get some money from some stuff or from people that don’t know any better, but that email is a dead giveaway and it’s very common.

[00:01:46] Torie: There are some really big dead giveaways that just really lower the professionalism of a business and really make you wonder if they’re even in business or if they’re even a business. And some of these, like it’s such an easy fix. And so obviously it’s good that like, these are red flags that we need to watch out for it. And it’s easy to be like, ignore that one. But like when it’s legit businesses that are doing these mistakes, like you guys you got to fix this stuff. 

[00:02:12] Sean: Yeah. Even like it’s a real business. Right. But their business card is so terrible. It makes me wonder, are you like, are you really into it? You know, are they, is this, is this what they’re really wanting to do?

Or is this something they’re doing while they’re not working somewhere else? You know, whatever the, the case may be. And actually just talk to somebody about the business cards that they had gotten. And she, she drew, she drew the whole business card up for her husband which is a handyman type business, right, drew a ruler along the bottom and the logo and put all this stuff on there. And it was, you know, decent for an amateur. And she gave it to a company that was supposed to print the business cards for that company completely changed the card other than the ruler on the bottom, but she wanted a black card and the text to be white.

From what I can tell. This lady didn’t have that capability, the printer, the printer. So she didn’t even give her an option to print it that way. And she completely changed the layout and you’ll love this centered everything. 

[00:03:22] Torie: Well, some designs can be centered, but yeah, some things that makes it very, very difficult, you know, if, if you use Comic Sans or if you center everything and if you shove everything along the edge, yeah, it definitely is a clear sign centered.

[00:03:37] Sean: It’s not, it’s not printed how she wanted it. Things are very close to the edge and it is printed on such a thin card stock that it instantly bends increases and just does not look good. And the incorrupt soft on these cards that she paid for a hundred of them. She didn’t pay very much, but she definitely got what she paid for.

[00:04:01] Torie: And I don’t think that people need to spend a whole lot of money on business cards. However, if you, because a lot of people don’t really use them. Like they, they don’t send it. They ended up in a box on a shelf forever. But if you do have a business that, like, that’s your thing that you need to send out, that you hand out a lot of business cards.

Can you make it like you care, you know? That means don’t make it look like you printed it in, you know, your printer in your office because good business cards aren’t really that expensive at all. We’ve been printing business cards for clients for a bazillion years. And you can, you can get a set of business cards for Sean does our business card pricing.

[00:04:41] Sean: Okay. Oh 16 points like $67 delivered for it’s a thousand cards. 

[00:04:47] Torie: Most people don’t need a thousand cards points only 56 bucks, but that’s still for it. And like a lot of people don’t need a thousand cards, but you, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. You just, you gotta be careful on these little things that you’re not coming across as not being professional, because when you do come across as not being professional, then It’s really easy for people to discount your view and to want to pay you less and to not treat you seriously.

And so beginner or not like you need to go pro from the very beginning. And if you’re going to send out business cards, like make sure that they’re a decent one. If you are going to be emailing which everybody in businesses, then you need to get a professional email and not email people from your Gmail. 

[00:05:28] Sean: Which means you should probably have a professional.

[00:05:29] Torie: Well, yes, absolutely. And I think these days it’s really easy to get a website. You could probably even build one yourself. It is not that bad with some of the templates that are out there. I think a bigger thing that makes people look unprofessional is having a really old website that they haven’t updated. That’s like falling apart. It’s got flash on the top. It doesn’t work on phones. Like that’s a really big sign that. Maybe you don’t care, maybe you’re not in business anymore. And it’s, it can be a really easy fix. Yeah. 

[00:05:54] Sean: I was looking at for, for something else that we’re doing various software is out there and I was Googling. Whatever software is available out there. And almost every website I found that was offering these, these different softwares. And I was searching on my phone, first of all. So none of them were mobile and they all looked like they were from the early two thousands. 

[00:06:17] Torie: And if you’re using software, you want something?

[00:06:21] Sean: No. Yeah. Yeah. There’s the things I was looking for. Like email integration, all that, some of these websites. It was like a toll free number. And that was the only way I can get ahold of him. I don’t want this dinosaur software. Right? 

[00:06:35] Torie: What year is this? Right? It’s 1982. I’d have to call. Yeah. 

[00:06:40] Sean: And so then it makes me wonder, I’m like, is this a residual website from decades ago or is this really what they’re pushing right now?

[00:06:48] Torie: Yeah, that’s kind of a little bit like art. If you’re not going to update your website, are you really going to update your software to make it like work properly these days? 

[00:06:58] Sean: I know you like, you can buy a domain for. Yeah. X amount of dollars per year for $10, or, you know, some of these people are, they purchasing the domain for 10 plus years. And what happens on that is, you know, the website, you know, the business fails in a year or so that domain doesn’t go away because they paid for it still. Right. So it just becomes this really old website that’s out there and. You know, it, you never really know what to expect. 

[00:07:28] Torie: Yeah. Another thing that really shows that, you know, you may not be in business anymore, or maybe people are going to doubt your professionalism is a lack of consistency.

And this lack of consistency. Oh my goodness can go across. It can be like social media posts, like somebody that maybe posted a whole bunch and then never posted again or people that post very sporadically. So just being a little bit consistent in your marketing and things that you do is really gonna bump up your your professionalism.

One thing that people do, that’s very inconsistent and we see this all the time is that they don’t actually have a logo. I am a true believer that you do not need some crazy expensive, super fancy logo. If you just want to use a piece of clip art to it, I have no problem with it. Make sure that it is a big enough file that it like works for everything.

So it doesn’t get all pixelated or funky looking. Right. Because that does happen a lot, but just go with whatever you pick. Because we go a lot of people that we, they have a lot of people that we, we start to work with and we start looking at their things and they’re like, business card has one logo and then their website has one logo.

And then on social media, their logo is like cut off because it’s a square space for their profile pic, but it doesn’t fit in there. So they just chopped it off at the side. You know what I mean? 

[00:08:46] Sean: Like it might be whoever they have doing it is going and pulling some sort of. Clip art type thing for whatever specifically it is that they’re working on. Like, if it’s their business card, they’re putting an image in there for their business and calling it good that way. And then they have somebody else doing, you know, their website or something, and they’re pulling some other image in there because they, they didn’t go and create some sort of consistent, right. 

[00:09:14] Torie: If somebody designed something for you, you need to get the raw file of whatever that is. Whether it’s a piece of clip art or it’s a little logo that they made, like they have the artwork that they printed. It doesn’t mean that you take a picture of it with your phone or, you know, or you clip it off the, your website.

Like it doesn’t work that way. You have to have the actual file, like an actual nice large file that so that you can work with it. I don’t do a lot of logos. It is not my favorite thing in the world to do, but when I do do logos for people, I make sure that there are various versions of logos because it is like a requirement now that like, you need these logos in different ways, for example for your social media profiles and things like that, you need to square up. Something that fits into the N is readable very, very small because if you take your phone and look at a profile picture on like Facebook or something, it’s very small. So you need to make sure that it works at that size. Now, a square logo, like that is not going to work very well at the top of a website.

It’s generally. Horizontal. So whenever I do a logo for somebody, I make sure that I design them a square version and a horizontal version. Now you may be thinking, well, I can’t afford to have you design me a logo. There are designers out there that want to design things. They love designing logos. You can go to Fiverr and probably get a decent little logo. A hundred bucks for 50 bucks. I don’t know, not that much, but whoever is doing this for you, just make sure you get the things that you need for them. So that way you have what you need to use. So you’re not trying to pull these random things all over because being consistent across your marketing is going to build trust and make you more professional across everything that you do.

[00:10:57] Sean: That’s same with like a one color logo is most likely going to be your most cost-effective way. If you wanted to do t-shirts or any other kind of a. 

[00:11:06] Torie: So we do, this is a normal shirt. So we do shirts for miles, for time for the car shows. And you should see some of the crazy shit that people email us there because we would need their logo to put on the shirts.

And so people will like photocopy their logo from their like business card and send it to us. 

[00:11:23] Sean: Yeah. I got, I’ve been given business cards. There’s my logo. How do you want me to do it? 

[00:11:29] Torie: Luckily, I am the master of recreation and I can recreate anything. And so every time I do this, I have to recreate these people’s logo in one color so that we can use it on, on the t-shirts.

[00:11:43] Sean: And to be honest, I don’t think some of them, they’re not their logo. I mean, they, they don’t have a logo. 

[00:11:49] Torie: And again, you don’t have to have a logo, but then just pick, pick one font and that’s going to be your font that you use. And it’s always going to be, you know, done a little bit the same, like same kind of size, whatever, whatever it is, just be consistent at what you’re doing. 

[00:12:03] Sean: That font should be an, a, a JPEG format or something that they can, they can put it as an image. Otherwise, if you typing stuff, it’s going to be times new Roman. 

[00:12:17] Torie: Right right. Well, and if you’re using it on social, like you need a picture, a JPEG, you know, of an image of your logo to, for you to be able to use on places. So if you have a designer or if you have somebody that’s designed you anything. Just ask for these things. And most people are really cool that they’ll give you what you need. It’s just, if you don’t ask for them and if they’re not somebody, like if they’re a freelancer or somebody that’s a kid or something, whatever that’s doing it, and all sudden they’re gone and then you don’t have the artwork files, like get your artwork files, ask get various versions.

And then it’s gonna make your life a lot easier as a business owner, trying to market yourself and trying to make yourself look professional. What other things do you see that. 

[00:12:56] Sean: Email websites huge. 

[00:12:59] Torie: One thing that I noticed is that if people don’t respond to their reviews, especially bad ones, anywhere like that, to me, is a red flag on how they conducted themselves. Or if there’s a crazy response of somebody going off and we’ve seen these, like the business owner, like retaliating and getting very defensive, you kind of have to wonder like, Hmm, 

[00:13:22] Sean: What’s that all about? 

[00:13:23] Torie: What’s that going on? You know, to me, that’s assigned to that. It might not be as professional as you want, and if you’re letting, if you are somebody that’s coming into someone’s house, or if you are dealing with someone’s children, like you really need to put your professional pants on because nobody wants some shitty person with their kids or in their house.

[00:13:44] Sean: Yeah. I would say with that point, customer service is huge. So if you own that business and it’s either you running it or you’ve got employees running it, their customer service has to be top notch. You know, you go into a grocery store and you’ve got the cashier that looks like you’re inconveniencing them there.

When you’re trying to just, you know, buy your groceries. You got people that don’t want it. It looks like they’re absolutely miserable serving you their food or your, your food. And granted, it might not be their favorite job in the world, but you know, they, they got to put that face on and at least make it seem like customers are appreciated. Cause I can promise you if you’ve ever gone into a, an establishment and the people working there made you feel welcome. You want to buy something from them. I’ve bought so many damn cars and gone into so many different car dealerships. Again, I’m at that 90% of them are absolutely terrible. They have been the worst places to go into because they suck, you know, they, they don’t want to deal with me.

They’ve they see my age, they see the car I pull up in whatever the scenario is. It hasn’t been good most of the time that at car dealerships and, you know, you compound that by a bunch of customers and how much money have they lost because of that crap. And you can look at YouTube and watch there’s all kinds of videos out there. If people. Go on I, this dealership doesn’t think they can buy a car and then like it, even if they can’t or can like treat them all the time. 

[00:15:19] Torie: The best dealership ones that we had, we showed up in a Ford focus and we bought Alexis and we were young as hell. It’s true now. And that was, they were so fricking nice like that.

I would want to buy Alexis all the time, because it was definitely different than when we went and bought any other car and they could have easily been like that these people are wasting my time. 

[00:15:41] Sean: And they would have lost out on a pretty pricey sale. 

[00:15:45] Torie: Because we had people tell us that we didn’t deserve that car. We were too young to deserve a car like that. It was too nice for us. 

[00:15:52] Sean: No reason to be a turd about interacting with your customer. 

[00:15:59] Torie: I agree. I think that that is, I wonder though, if some business owners and things don’t realize how their customers really are, how their employees are really trusting treating their customers.

[00:16:09] Sean: I’m just the dam owner. I had a Truett who’s one of the executive directors at the museum. He was going to a local hardware store to buy some bag of manure or something. I don’t know what the hell it was. But he, he, he did the old school call and talk to this guy about the prices of this bag. These bags of maneuver we’ll call it. I don’t remember what the hell it was. It was something like that. And the guy was a Dick about it and he told him, and apparently this was not the price that these things used to be. And the guy’s like, well, that’s the price it is now. And, and like, Truett is a super nice guy and he can, he can deal with changes in, in various, you know, atmospheres of, you know, this is the economy now, so the price has to go up. But this guy was such a Dick about it. He wound up going to home Depot instead. So it’s, and that’s not something he does. Like he, he would prefer to go to the smaller local hardware type store.

And this guy was that that’s owner that was running the front counter was such an ass. He lost his business and we’re talking not a bag he needed to buy like a pallet worth of these things. 

[00:17:23] Torie: And he probably won’t go back there again. He’s telling me the story, never telling you, don’t go see him. He’s a jerk, you know, Riley. And I went, Bella had to go to a birthday party. And so Riley and I went and hung out. So we grabbed our computers and we went to a little local coffee shop that we hadn’t been to. And you know, worked on some stuff. Riley did some video games and we had lunch and we had some, you know, some Chi lattes and hung out and.

The guys that were running the thing and that were like getting the coffees and everything to me, they may have been the owners and maybe they’re understaffed. And so it seemed like they were not usually the ones to do it. Now. They could have easily. Being kind of rude about it or whatever, but they were so like, they were a little apologetic.

They were very nice about it, even though they were very scattered and everything, but because they kind of let us know kind of what was going. He’s like, I’m not the one that normally does this. I’m sorry. You know, we’re like, like, it’s fine. Like if you just come, even if you don’t know what you’re doing, or even if you’re having a hard time, because prices are increasing, like there’s a way to do it in a way not to do it.

If they would have been all scattered like that, but have been like the poopoo guy, like we wouldn’t have wanted to come really was like wanting to go back there yesterday. Let’s go back there. They’re really nice. I liked that place, you know? So it, it, it can be a bad situation or an inconvenient situation that you can easily flip with some decent customer service.

And it really does make a difference on if people want to come back or not. Absolutely. So all of these things are, you know, a lot of them really, really quick fixes that you can do to your business that will make you look a lot more professional. Not very hard to get an email, not very hard to be a little bit more consistent.

So sometimes you just need to, to think about these things and maybe check yourself, you know, look down some of these things and see where you actually are stacking up with them. And it could be just a couple of little changes that are going to get you more clients or get you more customers. And long-term customers, people that want to come back rather than run away from your business.

Absolutely.

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SMART AF SHOW

Best Small Business Marketing PodcastWhere underdog entrepreneurs go to get SMART AF about growing their business without wasting time, money, or sanity hosted by Torie Mathis.