Saturday, November 26, 2016

They keys to growth

So if like me you own a small business, one of the things you think about is how to make your business grow. The answer is both simple and complex. It is simple because you just need more customers. It is complex because depending on the type of business there are many ways you can make your business grow. 

So what are the keys that can unlock growth?

It is a cliche for restaurants "There are three keys to growth, location, location and location". So the first key is location. The easier it is for customers to find you, the more likely they will patronize your business. A restaurant with a lot of passers by, will simply get more business than that same restaurant hidden on a back street. That is simple, but that also carries start up costs. A good location will cost you more, sometimes a lot more and the return on that investment is determined by many other factors including the quality if your products and services. 

So is location the key?  NO! Location is just one way to help your potential customers to find you and like amole parking, make it easier for them to patronize you. 

Let me expand on this concept.  Recently I was looking for a dry cleaning shop near my condo. I did a search on google maps, and found three within 1km and one was located on the main street that I use to walk to work and home every day during the week. I did not know it was there before. I must have walked by many thousands of times given my daily walk for more than 4 years. Even after seeing where it was on google maps, I did not find it. I thought it might be a stale listing and may have closed or moved. Then just by chance I saw the sign. Hooray!  Well not so fast, I saw the sign but it was only about 24"x 36" and faded. Then I went in or tried to and they were closed, there was no "Hours" posted, no phone number. I asked the clerk at the store next door and she didn't know the hours but thought they opened at 9:00 am. The next day after 9:00 am I returned with my cleaning. Nope not open. Their location on the main drag did NOTHING 
I did find a dry cleaner that was actually closer to my condo but did not have a google map location, but only by asking around. Their location was on a back street. 

The keys to growth, that I will be talking about further in future blogs include:

  • Location - physical address, digital address, social media address
  • Business Networking - meetings, blogging and more. 
  • Affiliate Marketing - help others grow as they help you grow. 
  • Promotions - Events, actions, methods. 
  • Consulting - who can help you and why this works. 
  • Side Hustles - other things you can do to get additional revenue to help you grow. 
Next Post will be on Business Networking. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Wow Technology is great

Yesterday I was lamenting my bank because I wanted to register one of my credit cards so I could pay my bill online. Oh no, you must fill out a form and take to a branch, really?  So in this digital Universe the bank needs paper.  Hmmm what do they do with that paper?  A data entry clerk inputs the data from the form and scans the paper, then puts the paper in a file. 

I am writing a book and online course right now on Digital Transformation for the Enterprises, because of experiences like this. The bank spends a lot of money to do this when it is not necessary because I could fill out the online form and scan my signature or digitally sign a pdf, all online and save that bank all that effort, same result. 

On the other hand I wanted to print the form but when I went to print there were no printers online, so I printed to my DropBox My Documents folder on my laptop at the office. 

This morning I turned on my Network Printer, went to my Dropbox app on my iphone, that pdf I printed to dropbox yesteday showed in my recents list in the dropbox app. I opened that document in the dropbox app and selected print, my network printer (wifi) was showing and I printed it from the app. How cool is that?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Great news lower prices and better value

Yes great news for our subscribers!  We have completed several initiatives to reduce our costs while improving out service and we are passing those savings on to our subscribers.

Check  out the latest prices.

I also recorded a Video Log that describes the news.

Our existing subscribers can take advantage of the new prices by executing a new contract starting next month.

We have also increased the number of Support Hours at each paid level, so that increases the value even more.

Thank you to all our subscribers that have supported us and given us the ability to grow our business and improve our value.


Mike Oliver, Founder



Friday, September 2, 2016

Business Networking

"Business networking is an effective low-cost marketing method for developing sales opportunities and contacts, based on referrals and introductions - either face-to-face at meetings and gatherings, or by other contact methods such as phone, email, and increasingly social and Business networking web sites"

Local Chambers of Commerce used to be the best examples for this phenomenon however the luster of Chambers of Commerce and the number of active CoC members has dwindled. 

I am sure part of that decline has to do with the growth of social media and a perception that there is no need. 

The problems with Chambers of Commerce and Business Networking initiatives has more to do with instant gratification. CoC simply does not yield the instat gratification in terms of increased customer traffic because you typically cannot measure word of mouth referrals. 

Business Networking does work and there used to be a Chamber of Commerce member discount, which gives a way to track the effectiveness by tracking the discounts. 

We at do a combination of business networking events, our regional and national business listing sites as well as an active social media management service combined to help our subscribers grow. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Do you blog?

In the O4BO.COM How to Grow Your Small Business Blog we offer tips on how to do just that.

One of them is about having your own Blog like this one, that you can use to talk to your customers and prospective customers or investors.

If you couple your blog to a mailing list managed by AWeber or GetResponse you can amplify your Blog's reach.

If you reflect your latest Blog posting on your Web Site or Social Media Page you get even more exposure.

If all that sounds like a lot of work, it is, but that's where we come in.  We can set all that up for you in such a way that it is all automatic.  If you see below we track our traffic and can see what blog posts work to generate traffic and what blog posts do not.  That helps us fine tune our message.

Additionally you can earn extra revenue by enabling Google AdSense on your Blog and your Web Site or we can do that for you.  So as your traffic builds and you get more followers and more people on your email list, you generate more revenue over and above the revenue from sales of your goods or services.

All you have to do is talk about your favorite subjects, and they should be personal and not focused solely on sales pitches.  Make it personal is one of our Tips we published for our subscribers.

Let us know, we will be happy to show you what we can do for you or show you how you can do it for yourself.

Monday, August 1, 2016

World Championns

So how many World Champions do you know?  How many have you ever met?  I had the good fortune to not only have met two but to have spent time with them.  Dan Severn, is a former World Champion Heavyweight Mixed Martial Arts fighter he graduated from Arizona State University and had a very successful career as a wrestler in College and then in MMA after that.  We met at an MMA Seminar where I was sponsoring Jujeath Nagaowa, then a new MMA Fighter from the Philippines.  She won that bout and then took a year off from MMA and won the World Championship for Woman's Boxing (yes under achiever) and now has returned to MMA and just won her third MMA bout with no losses.

So what has this to do with Open 4 Business Online other than my bragging that I know them?  Well a sponsorship like the one we did for Jujeath "Bad Girl" Nagaowa, is a great way to advertise your business if you think your target market will see your brand by watching the fight.  As fighters move up the fame ladder they will both require more money to get a sponsorship but get more exposure for your brand as well.

Now that our "Bad Girl" is World Champion Boxer and has started MMA fighting again, now would be a good time to sponsor her.  If she becomes a World Champion MMA fighter she will be THE FIRST figher of either sex to be both a world champion boxer and world champion MMA fighter...after that her sponsorship minimum will be much higher. 👍👍👍

Let us know if you are interested in Sponsoring Jujeath and we will introduce you.  If you have a small business then we can help you in other ways get more eyes on your brand including Social Media, Web Presence and more.

Me and Jujeath.

Me and Dan (Dan is the big guy)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The math of O4BO and Explorer 4

In a recent conversation with one of our subscribers we discussed the math of things like reach and engagements.

For some reason I had never considered these numbers until that conversation.  It wasn't that I didn't know the numbers, I just didn't think and talk about them in this way.  Here is the conversation we had.

M: is Me
P: is the subscriber

Picking up the conversation in the middle...

P: I am considering printing a brochure and paying someone to hand them out.
M: Yes that may be valid, especially in high traffic areas nearby.  I have read the effectiveness of that and I think it is quite low.  Perhaps our model is better.
P: You mean our subscription to ?
M: Yes.  So let's say you print a good brochure in color that shows where you are and some of your menu items.  Let's say you give out 1,000 of those in Makati, how many of those would visit your restaurant?
P: I don't know, maybe 5 or 10.
M: Ok how much would each of those buy in one visit?
P: Well they would likely not come alone so they might spend P1,000
M: Great so those 1,000 brochures given out in Makati might give you P5,000 to P10,000 right?
P: Yes
M:  So how much would that cost you?  To Print and pay someone to hand them out?
P: I don't know, maybe P2,000 to P3,000
M:  Ok so if your estimate of 5 or 10 visits as a result seems profitable.  What if it is 1 or 2?  What if the costs is P4,000, then not so profitable?
P: True
M: Ok you are on a P1,000 subscription to right?
P: Yes
M: Recently we did an ad that was a Facebook post we boosted in the Manila, NCR region. Here is a screen shot on my Facebook pages screen for that ad...

M: This ad cost P360 and it reached 2,639 people and 474 clicked through to your site. We did all the work for you, we created the page with your images and did the boost all as part of your subscription, we created the ad post and we collected the names and email addresses of those that clicked through and added them to your mailing list.
P: Yes, ok.  I get it, my money is better spent all it would take is 1 person coming to visit to make a profit and only my cost is P1,000/mo.
M:  The more you spend with us the more exposure you get, 10% of your subscription fee goes to Social media boost ads.

Pretty good math compared to printed brochure handouts, yes?

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Reach Explained

We at O4BO.COM are in the business of helping Small Business Grow.  We that in a number of ways, one of those ways is to tie your web site with your Social Media.

Reach is a term used to describe how many people you can get eyes on your ad/post.  When you post on your FaceBook timeline typically your "Reach" is the number of friends you have.  If you have a FaceBook page, then you can get more reach by people that have liked your page or follow your page plus your friends.

So when you boost a post to make it into an ad, you can reach your friends plus your page likers plus your page followers, plus the target for your boost.

The conversion rate on Facebook ads is much greater for the people that have previously liked a post of yours, your page, etc. than those reached with the boost.

So you can boost anything you want, but if you don't have a page or don't have a lot of friends or followers, your conversion rate into action is going to be much lower.

Now here is where we can help.

If you go to you will see all our subscribers listed there and if you go to Facebook/explorer4manila you will see each of those subscribers have ads that we have boosted.

Why is that better than just boosting your own ad?

The Reach and Conversion rate is MUCH higher for our subscribers because we have thousands of followers, friends and likes from all our subscribers and the friends and followers of our subscribers.

So when we boost a post on our Facebook page, the reach is expanded to not only our subscribers but all the friends and followers for all our subscribers pages PLUS the people in the Boost.

That means you get for more for your money with us.  We use 10% of our subscriber's fees, to boost ads every month.  We can get thousands more in our Reach and more likes on your ads when we post them on our explorer4* pages.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Now in Tagalog

Our business is helping small businesses grow.  Most of our subscribers are in the Philippines. So it only makes sense to offer our help and services in the two most common languages in the Philippines, English and Tagalog.

Ang aming negosyo ay ang pagtulong sa mga maliliit na negosyo na lumago. Kaya ito lamang ay akma upang ialok ang aming tulong at serbisyo sa dalawang pinaka-karaniwang mga wika sa Pilipinas, Ingles at Filipino.

Many provinces have their own dialects and even significantly unique languages, but most business owners speak read and write in English and/or Tagalog.

Maraming mga lalawigan ang may kanya-kanyang dayalekto at ibang makabuluhang walang kaparehong wika, ngunit karamihan sa mga may-ari ng negosyo ay nagsasalita, nagsusulat at nagbabasa ng Ingles at/o Filipino.

So our web site has new link

Just click the Philippine Flag icon to learn more in Tagalog.

Our YouTube Channel How to Grow Your Small Business has selected Videos from our subscriber course that is free in total to our O4BO.COM and Explorer4*.com subscribers.  We are also including a Tagalog Translation for Closed Captions on all our videos.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Nick Loper on his Bucket of Crabs Theory

I just got this email from Nick Loper from Side Hustle. I wanted to share this with our subscribers because it is on point regarding ways you can grow your small business. The links below will also let you subscribe to his podcast channel. Enjoy!

Hey Mike, 

You know the feeling you get when you're surrounded by your friends and family?

Or when you're in a big crowd of fans cheering on the same team?

It's a sort of happiness, comfort, support, and understanding, right?

When you're with your people, there's a collective energy that's hard to describe. Your worries are temporarily out of mind.  Your stresses take a backseat.

I've been fortunate enough to experience this feeling several times, including:

  • At my Eagle Scout project. 30 people showed up to volunteer their weekend to dig trenches, plant shrubs, and lay concrete. The support was tremendous, and the project couldn't have been completed without it. And yes, I'm ready for the nerdy Boy Scout jokes.

  • At our wedding. An exceptional crew of family and friends traveled all the way to Mexico to share a weekend of sun, fun, fiesta, and love. It was awesome.

  • At World Domination Summit. Being surrounded by 3000 like-minded peers was pretty euphoric. A friend described it as "almost spiritual." It sounds cultish, but I actually agree.

It's an addicting feeling.

When was the last time you were with your people?

This week?

Last month?

Last year? Or longer?

Do you feel like you're with your people when you go to work? Do your coworkers understand you and your goals?

Would they support your side hustle aspirations, or would they crab-barrel you?

Have you heard of the bucket of crabs theory?

It states that if there are several crabs in a bucket, and one tries to climb out, the others will pull him back down.

Not having access to a team of live crabs to test this on, I had to rely on wikipedia. The "crab mentality" is summed up as:

"If I can't have it, neither can you."

If the crabs worked together, they could escape. But instead, their selfishness and distrust maintains the status quo.

It's used as a metaphor to describe human behavior.

Let's say the bucket is your job, and you want to leave to try something new. Do your friends and co-workers encourage that leap of faith, or do they try and pull you back down to reality?

What's your gut reaction when one of your peers takes a risk and is genuinely happy and successful? I know it isn't the right answer, but a lot of the time for me at least, it's jealousy.

We can be better than the crabs. Smarter. More cooperative. More encouraging.

If you want to climb out of your "bucket," whatever it may be, don't let the other crabs pull you down.

And if you're happy in your bucket but see someone else making a break for it, go ahead and give 'em a boost!

You never know, maybe they'll turn around and offer a hand up.

If you're looking to join a more supportive "bucket," consider the Side Hustle Nation Inner Circle Mastermind

A mastermind is an opportunity to get honest and helpful business feedback - without the high price of individual coaching.

Ready to Hustle?

If you're not already active in a mastermind group and are ready to take positive action on your side hustle in the next 3 months, I'm taking applications for the Side Hustle Nation Inner Circle mastermind.

What it is:

  • 3 months of action-packed weekly meetings w/ me and a small (dare I say intimate?) group of fellow side hustlers (limited to 6 members)
  • $97 per month
  • 100% money-back guarantee

This is for people who:

  • Feel some entrepreneurial / side hustle loneliness and want to find their people.
  • Are ready to invest in their business growth and personal development.
  • Want to make meaningful progress toward their financial freedom in the next 90 days.

If that's you, I encourage you to apply.

We'll set up a quick Skype call for introductions and to chat about your goals and challenges, and to see if this is a good fit. 

Find your people and make something happen!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

How IBM Cloud is building a rich ecosystem for developers and startups - Thoughts On Cloud

The following article describes the IBM Cloud ecosystem.  We have been on the IBM Cloud for reliability and low cost since the beginning.

Now we know that most of our customers are small business owners and we help them grow, and to them this is not a big deal.  But it is a big deal to us.  We simply could not offer our customers the same level of service if we hosted everything ourselves and our performance would not be nearly as good with a local data center as we get on the IBM Cloud.

How IBM Cloud is building a rich ecosystem for developers and startups - Thoughts On Cloud

As you can see in the article the IBM Cloud ecosystem is aimed largely at developers and startups (Like Us and our Customers) and that is significant.

We are looking at the following Initiatives that will add more services to our packages and those will also enlarge our base to provide services to larger customers as well.

  1. Integration Platform as a Service (IPaas) where we will be running an Enterprise Service Bus with connectors to ALL 325 of our Applications.  No small task, but when we are done, we will literally be able to integrate and inter-operate between all our solutions and most Software as a Service Solutions such as
  2. Event Processing using which will bring all our applications up a notch so events on your phone or social media can initiate a workflow that interacts with and inter-operates with all our applications using the IPaaS above.
  3. All of this will be done on a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) that will be agile and cost effective, giving our subscribers the ability to define their own solutions as compositions from any of the integrated applications in our suite or on the web.
Pretty exciting times ahead if I do say so myself.  Stay tuned for more details.