Thursday, October 29, 2015

Success Stories - Meet Steve Abshier!

I just love how the internet brings people together.  I met today's Success Story through an introduction from Sue Blumenfeld, another Success Story subject.  I first met Sue on Twitter.  Since then, Steve and I have become quite the Twitter peeps!  What is amazing is that both of these wonderful folks live right here in my neighborhood and yet I would probably never have met either of them if not for being an active Tweeter!  Now I get to share him with you.  Meet Steve Abshier!.
1.  Steve, tell us about yourself.
I am a native of NWA, born in Springdale and went to high school in Rogers. After working in security for a while I worked at the Benton County Sheriff’s Office as a jailer then I moved to Gentry, AR and became a police officer. Then, in 1985 I went to work for my father building custom homes in the Rocky Branch area of Benton County.
2. Tell us about Abshier Construction
Abshier Construction is a third generation business. We have been in business for over 50 years and are very proud that we are still able to serve Northwest Arkansas. We only do custom work, building custom homes, custom remodeling and additions. We also build decks and do renovations as requested by homeowners.
3. Why did you start your own business?
I took over the business when my dad retired and was given the task of continuing the same  quality, honesty and professional standards that my grandfather and father had established since the early 60s.
4. Why did you decide to go into construction?  Isn’t that somewhat seasonal?
When I first got out of school, construction was not in my plans. But as it turned out, I think that is where I was meant to be. I enjoy the people I meet, the projects we work on and the outcome of a project we can all be proud of.  There are times when the work is slow due to weather, but normally we are not slowed down too much.
5. What do you like most and least about being your own boss?
I read somewhere that being you own boss meant you only had to work a half day, you just have to decide what part of the day you want to put in your 12 hours. I do like some of the flexibility of scheduling and the opportunity’s that arise. Being the one to work with the customers and help them realize their dream on a new project or the changes made on a remodel is very rewarding.
6. What personality traits and skills are needed to run a business?
In this business it is important to be able to listen to your customer and make sure you both have the same understanding of what is to be done. I also think being able to react to a situation in a calm and thoughtful way can make all the difference in the relationship between you, your customer, employees, and sub-contractors. Things will go wrong at times and as business owner it is up to you to get things worked out to everyone’s satisfaction.
7. What has been the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur?
When I first took over the business, my father and grandfather had never done any type of advertisement. Word of mouth and our referrals from our customers had always been enough. When the economy crashed there was a lot less work to go around and I had to learn a lot real fast about getting our name and message out to the public. Since that time, things have improved greatly, with the help of the advertising and the continued referrals work has steadily increased.
8.  Do you have any resources that you have used to build your business that you would recommend?  
Some of my greatest resources are my employees and sub-contractors. We all work together to make sure our projects are completed properly. Most contractors are not licensed in all the fields and it is not feasible to keep up with all the changes. Everyone working together using their knowledge and experience to complete a project is what it takes to build your business and reputation.
I have found a lot of help through the Home Builders Association, local chambers, and from my peers.
9. Do you have any tips to share on promoting yourself?

When I was scrambling to get our name out I joined the Rogers and Bentonville Chambers and attended as many functions as I could. I also got more involved with the Northwest Arkansas Home Builders Association. We have always built custom homes and did custom remodels and additions. With the slowdown in the industry more people were doing remodels and addition. During this time I was a founding member and president for 3 years of the NWA Homebuilders remodeling council.
10. What other advice would like to share with someone starting their own business?
Join and be involved with groups that represent your industry. Always seek more education opportunities in your profession. In my case I have received certifications from the National Association of Home builders for: Certified Graduate Builder, Certified Graduate Remodeler, Certified Aging in Place Specialist (ADA) and Certified Green Professional. Do not forget the internet and social media platforms, they are cheap and a good way to get information about yourself and your company to people who are looking for your service.
11. How can we contact you to learn more about your products and services?  
Cell 479-640-0518

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Instagram Engagement Formula

Guest post by network marketer and Instagram expert, Robin Smith
Instagram is HOT! There are over 400 million people from around the world on Instagram. 49% of users log in daily. 28% of users log in multiple times a day. And on average 70 million images are posted daily.

So if you think you’re ideal customer or client isn’t just waiting for your picture to show up on their feed, you are dead wrong!

Last year I started marketing on Instagram. And now it accounts for about 90% of my leads and sales for my business.

I have created what I call the 5-5-5 Instagram Engagement Formula. Here it is:

Grab yourself a timer…

Spend 5 minutes going through your followers and engaging on their pictures. Simply like 3 images and leave 1 relevant comment (and be sure to tag their username by using @username so they get a notification) for each follower. Just be random. Think of this step as a warm up. Plus the benefit is, if they haven’t checked out your profile recently, now they will.

Spend the next 5 minutes by doing a search for a hashtag your ideal client or customer would use in their post. Then quickly scroll down the results and click like for each image. You will be shocked how many images you can like in 5 minutes.

Finally, spend the last 5 minutes by doing a search for a different hashtag your ideal client or customer would use in their posts. Then like 3 of their images and leave 1 relevant comment (with their username acknowledged) on people you do not follow. They will see this, check our your profile, interact on your images and follow you.

Simple right?

If you have more time, you can always repeat.

If you do this daily, (it only takes 15 minutes) you’ll be amazed how quickly your following and engagement will go up on each post.

If you liked this tip, and want to know the secrets to Instagram Marketing success? Come join the #NovInstaParty for 14 days full of Instagram trainings.

Hi, I’m Robin Smith. I started in Network Marketing back in 2007. I had absolutely no experience at marketing. My background was in biology. I tried everything, cold calling people who have never heard of me, buying leads thinking that they would all sign up, posting fliers about my local event, even spamming Facebook and Twitter with my opportunity. I found successes, but it just never felt right with me. That was until last year when I started marketing on Instagram. Suddenly my introverted and my creative sides felt in harmony. So now just a year later, 90% of my daily leads and sales come from Instagram. I can be found @RobinSmith2007 on Instagram, and my blog is

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Take a Tip from the Grocery Store

Every week, thousands of grocery stores across the country send out their store flyers with some unbelievable deals. Toothpaste for $.99. Cleaning supplies for a fraction of their value. Tuna for pennies. When you see these unbelievable sales, you may be asking yourself, “How do they make money selling at these prices?”

The answer is, they don’t. These items are called “loss leaders.” The store actually loses money on the sale of these particular items. They sell them at these ridiculous prices as a lure to pull shoppers into the store, knowing that once they’re there, they won’t just buy four cans of tuna for $1; they’ll pick up mayonnaise, pickles, relish, and a dozen other items that will allow the store to more than make up for the deficit from the tuna. 
As mentioned earlier, the first “yes” is the toughest. Once someone’s going through the hassle of driving to the store, standing in line, and paying, they may as well pick up a few more things to make the trip worthwhile. The same is true for your business. If you can get a customer to open his or her wallet with an unbelievable deal, you have a good chance of expanding the order.

This is different from an add-on sale, because you’re using a really low price initially to get the customer into your “store.” So the related products you present don’t need to follow the same guidelines they would for an add-on sale. Instead, keep these hints in mind:

  1. The initial “loss leader” needs to be jaw-droppingly great. 10% or even 25% off is not going to cut it, unless the total cost reduction is huge, or it’s on an item that NEVER goes on sale. Reductions of at least 50% are usually the strongest lure.
  2. Choose an item that might be better used in conjunction with something else. For instance, reduce the price of a particular shade of foundation to 50%, and then encourage the purchase of a set of brushes or the compact to hold it in.
  3. Use add-on sales for loss-leaders. The principles you learned in the previous section on add-on sales can be used for loss leaders, too! The hot dogs are half off, but of course you need buns to go with them…
  4. Select a loss leader that ensures you repeat business. Refillable items are great because once the customer has invested in the original package, they’ve got it sitting their in their garage, bathroom, or kitchen counter, just begging to be refilled.
  5. Don’t do it too often. A monthly special is great, as are seasonal items. But if you offer too many loss leaders, or put things on sale too often, people will just wait for it to go to half off before they buy.
Grocery stores spend millions on analyzing customer behavior. Piggy-back on their research and use some of their hard-won strategies for your own.