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Small Business Survival Conversations
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Small Business Survival Conversations

Author: Anna Steinfest

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It is hard to run your business and keep up with new trends and resources to help you build a profitable company. Each Tuesday, join Anna Steinfest and Dr. Michael Troyer will share with you business tools, insights, and ideas. If you are a business owner or thinking about starting a new company or just want to hear some business advice this podcast is for you.
94 Episodes
Sales - Small Business Survival GuideToday’s sales environment is hyper-competitive! Fine-tune your SBSG sales strategies for attracting and retaining customers that truly fit your mission and vision within your community. Improve your sales know-how with these real-world tips and lessons learned from the pros.
Knowing how to prioritize work affects the success of your business.  Today Dr. Michael Troyer and Anna Steinfest will share some tips on how to be more efficient in doing so. 
Michael Troyer and Anna Steinfest will explain in detail the questions your banker will ask you when you apply for a loan. Here are questions your banker will ask you:1. What is your financial strength?2. What will your project’s financial impact be?3. What is your investment or collateral?4. What’s your overall business plan?  5. What’s your personal financial situation? 6. Have you done your due diligence?
Today Dr. Michael Troyer and Anna Steinfest will give a tool that you should use to accelerate your business success. The main takeaways are:1. Shorten your feedback loop on the goals that you set2. Prioritize your time3. Measure your execution regularly 
Solutions-Focused Customer Relationshipsas a Means to Earning Business Opportunities  With the consumer of today being much more aware, more knowing, and much wiser to sales tactics, there is a better way to approach a prospective customer/client. It is to think of it as collaboration around solving the other person’s problem or helping them to complete a job that is important to them. It is creating a value proposition of support for the other person – sharing ideas and knowledge and working together in a common effort. It shifts the focus from selling a product or a service (and the features they represent) to creating value by collaborating together to solve the person’s or company’s problem or job. It is especially appropriate to situations where the solution or tool has a degree of sophistication in its function and value or when the cost of acquisition is significant to the potential buyer.  To begin, put your mind and the conversation into a collaborative perspective – how can we solve the problem together or complete the job in a better way together? How can this be a focus on the buyer rather than the seller (questions that drive a discussion versus statements to drive a sale)? 1.    Diagnose and frame the problem together; 2.    Generate solutions together, including what you are able to provide;  3.    Cultivate a peer-to-peer relationship in the process of working together;  4.    Identify achievable objectives/outcomes that can be realized;  Keep in mind throughout the process that you are creating value together.  Notice that this is not a pressure sales approach or a search for their pain, but a very natural process of working together, creating value and shared success for both parties, and building a relationship for the long term.   Adapted from “Is Your Sales Team Struggling to Sell Solutions” by Scott Edinger, HBR Online Blog, January 04, 2022
There are two key points that every entrepreneur needs to understand about the new world of sales - persuasion and moving others.  We as entrepreneurs spend a huge portion of our time not only selling in the traditional sense our product, our service,  but selling in a broader sense; persuading and convincing people to do something different. That is a big portion of what we do as an entrepreneur is selling, persuading, and influencing. It’s the essence of our job. So listen to our new episode and learn how you can be more effective. 
The overwhelming workload can be huge for small business owners. That is why, entrepreneurs need to work smarter, not harder. Today Dr. Michael Troyer and Anna Steinfest will share 3 ways to manage your business workload.
In order for your business to survive you need to find a mentor. Because of their own entrepreneurial experience and their objective perspective, the mentor can see where you may be draining cash, or spark ideas for new business models or initiatives to contribute to your business business growth. Listen to our new episode to learn more how the mentor can help you and your business. 
Anna Steinfest and Dr. Michael Troyer are sharing with you their new podcast name and logo. You will learn why you need to do this in your own business.
When we build a business or purchase one, we often start with close friends or family to help get our idea off the ground or help operate the business.As we improve and grow the business, the time comes when we will need additional people to help manage it. Choosing them will be very critical when cashflow and profits are tight.  We want to make the right choice given the urgency of the need and the cost of a mistake. How should we approach this challenge?This is what you learn today from Dr. Michael Troyer and Anna Steinfest at Lessons in Success
Today Dr. Michael Troyer and Anna Steinfest will teach you how to get better in the middle of a crisis. 
Today Dr. Michael Troyer and Anna Steinfest will help you manage your emotions. You will learn to answer these questions:How big is this issue in the larger scheme of things?How much personal, relationship capital is it worth investing to make you feel better?What other battles can you anticipate with this person in the future?What is the big picture – what is the outcome that you most want to achieve?Is this the war you want to win?What is the big strategic outcome that you seek? Keep that in front of you. The question they would like you to answer is: What is the war and what are the battles you must win, and what battles will just slow you down from getting to the Big Win?E-mail us at
Dr. Micheal Troyer will share today his own experiences as they relate to drafting a mentor in the Green Bay Packers Mentor-Protege Program. He will teach you how to use your time most effectively recruiting potential mentor.  
Dr. Micheal Troyer and Anna Steinfest will share what to do when you make mistake. Some of their tips: Admit your mistake – right away Acknowledge itHumble yourself Then explain how the mistake happened Now develop a strategy to rebuild the trust that you have lostInclude everyone affected by the mistake, but especially the person most directly affected You must work to recover trust What can you do to demonstrate that you can be trusted in the future?Is there a compensating behavior you can offer?An apology in writingA callA messageA giftAn extra task  
Dr. Michael Troyer and Anna Steinfest will help you answer the question of how do you make money?By investing the least amount of time, resources, and expertise for each of the dollars of profit we make Constantly think through (monthly – set a date):  Who should be doing what?Does what they are doing fit them?Do they fit the “what” you are asking of them?Do you know what resources, time, value of skills and expertise are going in?Do you know what value is coming out for the customer or end-user? If you can’t answer both of these, do you realize that you are operating without a Business Model?  And your employees don’t know what they or you are doing either.How can we serve the customer better than anyone else is thinking to do?Customers pay for valueThat is why it should be called the “Customer Value Proposition”But the customer must be helped to see or experience the value!
One of the most difficult parts of starting a new business is successfully executing on the idea. So today Dr. Michael Troyer and Anna Steinfest will share with you how do you move your product idea forward.  If you’re misunderstood, your idea will fail. Practice – make sure you are clear in your thoughts If you’re boring, your idea will failShare your passion If you’re uninspiring, your idea will fail. Explain, in simple terms, how great the idea is to solve or correct the challenge on which everyone is focused What’s at stake if your idea doesn’t reach the right people? Who suffers? What fails? Make sure that everyone listening understands the impact of your idea on others – name who they are Be committed and persuasive 
Today Dr. Michael Troyer and Anna Steinfest will explain what is a tagline and simple steps on how to create one an amazing tagline for your business.  The elevator pitch compels customers to think of and want your product or services. When you are asked what is your business – your response should be an intriguing “tag line” or sentence that should always lead to an immediate question: “Tell me more. It sounds interesting.” It should be a short phrase or sentence – nothing more. Just let the reaction you need, for a longer conversation that should follow.
Today Dr. Micael Troyer and Anna Steinfest will teach you how to protect your business from surprises and be resilient (they will occur):Know your business inside and out – be an intense student of it (feel it in your bones)Be ready for surprises What are the metrics you need to keep an eye on What other topics you would like to hear? Email us at
Today Dr. Michael Troyer and Anna Steinfest will teach you the following:1. What is an organizational drag?2. And how to fix it so your business does not lose money.Organizational drag: Organizational drag is familiar to anyone who has worked in organizations. Essentially, organizational drag is the cumulative effect of “needless internal interactions, unproductive or inconsequential meetings, and unnecessary e-communications.” Organizational drag wastes time and saps the energy of the workforce.
Today Dr. Michael Troyer and Anna Steinfest will explain how to manage your small business as a team. In 10 minutes you will learn:What makes a Team important and valuable?Benefits of Teamwork Higher productivity Better alignment of tasks and focus A company that grows offers more opportunities for team members to grow as well A more satisfying place to work A place where on Monday your excited to get back to work and on Friday your happy to have the weekend ahead Strategies to Achieve Teamwork Engage – treat everyone as having value to you How to: Ask, Invite, Listen, Respond  Make the Purpose of the Business Clear – Help everyone to see their role and their fit in the team Recognition  Being in on Things  Be a willing role model to team members“Leaders eat last”“Leaders clean up first”Build a Team to support the Small Business – even more important when resources are limited Differentiate between a group versus a Team
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