Ep. 127 – Melinda F. Emerson, “SmallBizLady”, America’s #1 Small Business Expert, shares her 12 P’s of ruling a successful business
Melinda F. Emerson Show Notes
Melinda F. Emerson, “SmallBizLady” is America’s #1 Small Business Expert. She is an international expert on small business development and social media marketing.
Melinda is also the president of the Quintessence Group, a marketing consulting firm based in Philadelphia, PA serving Fortune 500 clients who target small businesses.
She has published over 5000 articles on small business on her blog. Her advice is widely read, reaching more than 3 million entrepreneurs each week online. She is a former columnist for The New York Times and Entrepreneur. She is the bestselling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months, 2nd Edition, and her latest book is Fix Your Business.
Most passionate about
The thing that I’m most passionate about is to stop small businesses failures. That what keeps me up at night and keeps me going every day.
I love entrepreneurs; we are the bravest, strongest, most committed people in the world. But a lot of us struggle to run a business. So my mission, my magical power, is fixing businesses. That’s what I do. It’s my special gift, and everything I do is about that mission.
What I’m most passionate about at the moment: For ten years, I’ve been running The Small Business Twitter Chat, every week. On this September we are launching The Small Business Chat Podcast.
How do I fix businesses? One business at a time.
Melinda’s 12 Ps of running a successful business
12 P’s of Running a Successful Business: Preparation, Purpose, People, Profit, Processes, Productivity, Performance, Product, Promotion, Prospects, Planning, and Perseverance.
On my website, I lay out some of the tools that I like. To help any small business owner to find some help while implementing the 12 Ps.
Biggest failure with a customer
I had so many…
My first business about 15 years ago was a video production company. I worked there with who was then my husband. We use to do a ton of work in the pharmaceutical and healthcare space. One of our biggest clients then was GSK; they hired us to do a video in a very important health fair with a well-known speaker. We shot the video, they didn’t want any editing, and we gave it to them.
Six months later, they were looking to consolidate their entire video production projects, and they invited us among the three agencies they considered. We were very excited, but once we got in, I felt something was wrong. They head of video started the meeting by showing the video that we shoot six months earlier at that health fair – and it was all blue. So not only that we had to do another video for them for free, we never got any order from them again.
Biggest success due to the right customer approach
I have a lot of amazing customers. One of my favorite projects was when I worked with Wells Fargo Bank (prior to the huge scandal of course). They hired me to show up basically unannounced, and they had a special project at one of their small business customers. We had to do a surprising ambush makeover, and at the end of the project, they surprised them and gave them a 10 thousand dollars makeover to the retail store of their business.
It was so awesome I got to be somebody’s fairy godmother. It was a pet grooming business, and they had no idea why I was there. I showed up with this camera crew, and we had told them a story about they were going to be featured on Wells Fargo website. We interviewed them about how they started their business and their money management.
It was a husband and wife business with a unique story, and they created a great business. It was so awesome to surprise them at the end of these two days with this fantastic gift. It was absolutely fabulous. To this day I don’t know if I ever had such a fun couching an entrepreneur.
Melinda’s key success factor
I think that my key success factor is consistency. When I made the decision that I want to be Americas number one small business expert; I also had to make a decision that there are many other things I’m going to do to reach that goal. Like doing a Twitter Chat every Wednesday evening for ten years, like going to write one or two blog post every week, 5000 posts, not to mention the articles I wrote for The NewYork Times, Entrepreneurs and Inc.
That what it took to become known as the small biz lady and as the international small business expert and I don’t think most people are willing to work that hard.
For me, once I made that decision, I executed, and I never didn’t deliver. I think that to deliver quality content for ten years you need to be very consistent.
Since we believe that the best way for entrepreneurs to get a fast, big, and sustainable success is by leading your (new) market category, and the entire entrepreneurial journey reminds me of mountaineering, or conquering the mountain; I want to ask you if there is a mountain you dream of climbing or a mountain you have already climbed.
I’ve done a few rock climbing but I’ve never climbed a real mountain. My brother did; he climbed mount Kilimanjaro with some friends, and when he told me about that I said ‘you know what?’ One day I’m going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
All I’ve got to do is to be invited to Tanzania or Kenia to speak and I’ll go there.
I’ve made a decision in my life that I’m not going to be afraid of the things I’ve never done before.