Explode Your Business by Co-branding.

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At Master Networks we talk a lot about the power of co-branding and of leverage. Businesses who leverage one another can stay ahead of the competition by leveraging their marketing dollars and their time.  With an economy full of ups and downs, this skill is more important than ever.

One example of this on the highest level is the joint efforts of Nike and  Apple to bring exercise and music together. Together they developed the Sports, a wireless system that has iPod’s receiving communication from the shoes.

If two powerhouses with pretty much unlimited marketing dollars see the benefits of co-branding it seems logical for small and medium sized businesses as well. But how does one find a good match?

Brands that have a commonality or audience can start there. For example a Realtor and a mortgage broker might host an information session on the housing market for new home owners. A massage therapist and a chiropractor might find ways to share office space and marketing dollars. The first step is really looking within your sphere of influence to find a compatible business to partner with.

In some cases a group of businesses can join together if they are all trying to reach the same demographic. One of our chapters in Naples, Florida has decided to launch a group website featuring all of their businesses. This site will be paid for equally by everyone in the group and all will be contributing one blog or story once a quarter about Naples, Florida.

Chapter president Lee Blackston had the idea when his Prudential Realty office landed a substantial relocation account. He asked the group if they would be interested in joining to create a relocation to Naples website. The site will feature the best places to dine, see a movie, or catch the theater.  The website will be designed to take off the sales blinders by sharing what each business on the site loves about Naples. The idea occurred because of the ongoing training that Master Networks provides regarding the power of co-branding. (The website however is an independent group effort open to those who wish to participate. It is not designed or hosted by Master Networks).

As an added bonus, the group has a web developer who has agreed to build the site at a much lower rate than current market value because they will benefit from the group exposure.  By co-branding this marketing effort on  a group website, everyone in the chapter will exponentially gain exposure for a low dollar amount per business. Win-win for everyone!

Leveraging what you have whether it be time or money is the start towards exponential growth. For more information and training on co-branding, check out the training’s in your Master Networks University and please share with us how you have co-branded successfully so we can share and talk about it on social media.

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Colorado has launched!! Laurie Hathorn raises the bar for regional growth.

We are pleased to announce that Laurie Hathorn has joined us as the new Regional Entrepreneurial Partner for the Colorado Region.  Laurie has been building successful businesses for several decades. Her most recent venture was the highly successful launch of a Keller Williams Realty office in White Plains, NY. That office quickly rose to the top of all real estate offices in the area and continues to grow under her leadership.

Laurie and Chas Wilson met while on a trip to Rochester, MN. Chas was immediately struck by her attention to detail and her aggressive pursuit of new business,  “She came to Rochester to meet with the Master Networks team to learn about how we started, what makes us unique and how our business model works.  We built a solid connection right away.”

 We knew Laurie would be a natural fit for our team because of her understanding of our culture of business growth, development and training. Laurie has invested as our partner in the Colorado area with a targeted population of 5 million. She will be aggressively opening local chapters throughout the region and is currently vetting and recruiting her team of success coaches for the Colorado region.

As Regional Entrepreneurial Partner, Laurie will lead and develop chapters with a strategic and targeted plan for full capacity and growth by the year 2018.

We are pleased to have Laurie partner with us and truly look forward to seeing new members in the Colorado region.  If you have any questions for Laurie please email laurie@lauriehathorn.com or call 914-450-0496.  www.masternetworks.net.

lauriehathorn

Maximize your Membership with the 1-3-5 GPS Business Plan

A few weeks ago at my chapter meeting in Naples, Florida we covered the 1-3-5 GPS business plan. The concept is pretty simple; you write out a plan that will fit on one page. Now, of course this doesn’t have space for every little detail, but it is structured to map out your #1 Goal followed by 3 Priorities that will impact the goal as well as 5 steps for each priority.

Here’s a clip from the actual Master Networks Training Tidbit:

The number 1 represents the primary Goal of the plan.  This is the single measurable outcome that would indicate things had worked as desired.  The key is that this number is easy to track and that its achievement means the venture has succeeded.
 
The number 3 represents the Priorities that will most impact and determine the achievement of the goal.  They are the three key strategies that will focus all the businesses’ energies, resources and creativity toward the goal.
 
The number 5 represents the key STEPS for each priority.  These are the actions that will be taken, the execution of the plan, the things that will get done in order to accomplish each of the three Priorities that will lead to the Goal.
 
So, use the magic of the one-page business plan formula, the 1-3-5 GPS in all your ventures. It’s simple, it’s clear, it WORKS!!!

As a brand  new business owner, this was both pragmatic and helpful. My partner and I had general ideas and goals, but we’d never had the time to really map out an overall business plan and had been somewhat faltering in our focus. I think we, like most, thought a business plan was supposed to be this huge thesis-like document with many complicated pages!

My chapter president Lee Blackston challenged our group to take the 1-3-5 GPS home and come back with it personalized to our individual businesses the following week. A couple of members groaned…oh no HOMEWORK but all in good spirits.

On Monday Lee called me to talk about a golf tournament and casually asked if I remembered to do my business plan. Of course, I hadn’t. So I took lunch break to map things out thinking it would take me an hour. I was pleased to see how quickly and easily this plan honed my focus. I was truly amazed at the clarity this simple plan brought to my business. I knew that I wanted to grow in a particular way but it was all ambiguous until I mapped things out with the 1-3-5 GPS.

Each day I look at this and work on the steps and priorities.

Here’s my plan for my new start up:

My Goal is to grow our yearly business income to $250,000 by June of 2014.

Priority 1: Take my products National by building relationships in five urban areas

5 Steps:
A.. Portland, OR
B. Napa Valley, CA
C. NYC
D. Raleigh, NC
E. Chicago

I chose five cities in which my partner and I have connections and contacts.

Priority 2: Leverage our reach by Co-Branding

5 Steps
A. Start a Lean In Circle for women in Business
B. Co-Brand with local shared work space Venture X
C. Build and duplicate brand within brand platforms for key direct selling markets
D. Packaging our services with other brands
E. White labeling our services for other companies

I chose 1 brand that is recognizable nationally; 1 that is recognized locally and three smaller website companies.

Priority 3:  Build Residual Income

5 Steps
A. Generate 4 new monthly billing clients per week
B. Build my Master Networks Regional Partnership
C. Create ongoing webinar series that can be recorded and duplicated
D. Build a social media reputation management package
E. Package and sell monthly services with a few key partners

I have put a focus on creating things that are easy to duplicate and can roll year round with residual income once the upfront work is done.

And that’s it! Now of course, there’s much more that goes into each of these steps, but the true beauty is in the simplicity and clarity of this plan. I have it printed on one sheet of paper and each day work on growing my business with the 1-3-5 GPS.

For more information on how you can be a member of Master Networks to be a part of our weekly meetings and training please visit Master Networks.

Eat Your Wheaties! AKA Tracking is the Breakfast of Champions!

Tracking and reports. Boring! Right?
 
They will change your business. Exciting? Right!
 
For most of us tracking and reporting are things we often procrastinate about. Why do you think that is? We know it’s important; yet we avoid this task. Well, it’s simple…there’s nothing glamorous or fun about tracking. Who in their right mind wants to sit down and get excited about a report? Sigh…Groan…
 
We’d like to encourage you to change that way of thinking. It can truly be invigorating when you realize that tracking will get you where you want to go.
 
Well, money talks doesn’t it? What if you tracked three key areas in your business with the intention of creating more cash flow? What could you do with that extra money? Go to Disney? Hire a key employee? Purchase a new office space? Maybe you want to save the extra money for a rainy day. Whatever it is…use your “why” as the driving force that will make you sit down and track finances, marketing and sales.
 
Reports, statistics and metrics are the straightest and best path to our growth goals. So, let’s shift our thinking about this. First thing to do is to truly understand that tracking and targeting are crucial. The question is why?
 
It’s simple, what you measure and pay attention to improves. Great business leaders are trackers. They know what is working and what is not. This applies to everything from sales and finances to performance and marketing campaigns.
 
Imagine the power in tracking so well that you were able to eliminate everything that is not working. Think about how your business would look as a streamlined and lean machine that utilizes only systems that you have been tracked and proven effective?
 
This is where tracking becomes incredibly powerful. Now take it to the next step and consider applying tracking to your marketing efforts. A quick and easy way to start using tracking immediately and on a small scale is to utilize your social media insights. What messages resonate with your fans and followers? What do they share? What do they talk about? What age group and gender pay attention to what you’re saying and what do they do with that information?
 
Tools like Social Mention can tell you how often your brand shows up and is mentioned. Think about this: would you be happy to track and find that your brand is mentioned in an average of 20 tweets per day? Sure, who wouldn’t? But what if your competitor is being mentioned 1,000 times per day. Hmmm…this tracking shows that something isn’t quite working. Tracking social media is just one way to highlight the power within the tools.
 
At Master Networks we track and target referrals within each chapter. In this way we can share and know the exact monetary return each member gains from their participation in their Master Networks team. For more information you can go to Master Networks. Have a great week and please share with us what is working for you.

 

Step Out of the Chaos

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With the new economy it seems like the rules of business change from minute to minute. As entrepreneurs and business people we scramble to stay ahead of the pack. With ever changing technology and fiercer competition we sometimes lose sight of what matters most. What is our Mission? What is our passion?
 
We get jumbled up in social chatter about what might grow our business. Twitter? Pinterest? Reddit? LinkedIn? Facebook? Tumblr?  CRM’s? Data management? Content creation? Balancing the books? Payroll is Friday? Is it Friday? Is it Monday?  Think about it all and pretty soon your head is spinning. One day blurs into the next. Monday. Thursday. Sunday. Start over. 
 
Run in place. 
 
Run a marathon. 
 
Try to breathe! 
 
Entrepreneurs and business leaders wear all of the hats. We juggle too many things. The beginning of the week can be mentally exhausting. One glance shows an inbox full of questions and a calendar way short of the hours needed to complete all of our tasks. It can be daunting. 
 
This is the path of a warrior. It requires epic endurance and consistent mental concentration.
 
And so the question becomes this:  “Who motivates the motivator?”
 
When do you get to refuel and recharge? 
 
Maybe it’s time to switch gears once a week. Step into our circle. Pull up a chair in any Master Networks Chapter around the Nation. Share a cup of coffee and words of wisdom and support from your colleagues and peers. Settle in to the best hour of the week as you fuel up on the training, development and motivational tools that will get you through the week. 
 
Join Vince Panipinto from Naples, Florida as he shares an uplifting training on how to master the skill of Missioning. He encourages you to “work ON your business, not just IN your business.” He motivates you to set aside time each week to sit in a quiet space to truly explore and imagine new options and better ways of doing business. 
 
And as he gives this training tidbit you take a sip of warm coffee and relax into your chair. This is where it all begins; this moment of sharing and growth. Someone who truly cares about your business is up there motivating you to remember what it is that drives you. 
 
You look around the room and see that others just like you breathe a sigh of relief as they absorb the real and tangible thing that they can take from today’s training to grow and improve their business.  
 
The trainer goes further and speaks to everyone in the room. “Imagine, invent and plan ways to expand and improve YOUR business.” He’s not trying to sell you a thing. He’s simply putting out a hand to say “join me as we dream and grow together”. 
 
And so the meetings go from Minnesota to Colorado to Florida to Rhode Island. The trainer may be different in each chapter, but the message remains the same. Around the country, business leaders inspire and motivate one another. This one hour a week can change everything. 
 
If motivation and support are things you find missing in your business life please join us in one of our weekly Master Networks chapter meetings. We’d love to hear your story and help you grow both personally and professionally.
 
For more information you can go to Master Networks or find us on Facebook

Interning At Master Networks South Florida by Savanna Leigh

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Editors Note: Savanna Leigh interned for several months in the very first Florida Chapter meeting. She was still in college and learned how to start a chapter from the ground up. She wrote a brief blog on her experiences as an intern. It is focused towards college age readers but we wanted to share it with you on this venue. Thanks Savanna! It has been our pleasure!

Going into the job world, they always tell you that you need three things: a degree, an amazing resume, and rock star networking skills. Learning this, and also being told I had to have an internship to graduate, made me come to the conclusion that I should just intern for one of the top networking organizations in the nation… Master Networks.

 My Master Networks internship was very unconventional and I think that is what helped me the most. I would learn first hand how to network and also get real life examples on what to do and what definitely not to do. You find out that most people aren’t the best networkers and that you can also learn from their mistakes.

 I should mention that my degree is in Public Relations and, if you are familiar with this career path, networking is one of the only ways to be successful in public relations. You have to know how to communicate properly and network, network, NETWORK!

 With this internship, I really didn’t know what to expect. I had briefly been given information on what my duties would be; however, you never can be prepared for live networking events.

We would meet once a week, either at lunch, and we would go through the recommended Master Networks meeting criteria. My job was to get everything set up for the meetings and also to work on gaining new members and, overall, learning how to network. My main supervisor was Nikki Bechtol, and it did help that I was also her employee, because she would give me various assignments for MN that would include cold calling possible attendees, pitching MN to various clients, even a few press releases and social media tactics.

 Overall, I was very pleased with my Master Networks internship. I learned valuable information that I definitely would not of had the chance to gain in a classroom setting. For any current college student looking to gain internship credit or networking skills, I highly recommend looking into interning for Master Networks.

 If you would like more tips about career and life, you can follow me at www.SavannaDLeigh.com

Interning At Master Networks South Florida by Savanna Leigh

Going into the job world, they always tell you that you need three things: a degree, anamazing resume, and rockstar networking skills. Learning this, and also being told I had to have an internship to graduate, made me come to the conclusion that I should intern for one of the top networking organizations in the nation… Master Networks.

 My Master Networks internship was very unconventional and I think that is what helped me the most. I would learn first hand how to network and also get real life examples on what to do and what definitely not to do. You find out that most people aren’t the best networkers and that you can also learn from their mistakes.

I should mention that my degree is in Public Relations and, if you are familiar with this career path, networking is one of the only ways to be successful in public relations. You have to know how to communicate properly and network, network, NETWORK!

With this internship, I really didn’t know what to expect. I had briefly been given information on what my duties would be; however, you never can be prepared for live networking events.

We would meet once a week, either at breakfast or lunch, and we would go through the recommended Master Networks meeting criteria. My job was to get everything set up for the meetings and also to work on gaining new members and, overall, learning how to network. My main supervisor was Nikki Bechtol, and it did help that I was also her employee, because she would give me various assignments for MN that would include cold calling possible attendees, pitching MN to various clients, even a few press releases and social media tactics.

Overall, I was very pleased with my Master Networks internship. I learned valuable information that I definitely would not of had the chance to gain in a classroom setting. For any current college student looking to gain internship credit or networking skills, I highly recommend looking into interning for Master Networks.

If you would like more tips about career and life, you can follow me at www.SavannaDLeigh.com.