Saturday, June 20, 2015

Losing My Job Wasn’t As Bad As I Expected

As I come upon my 4th year business anniversary, I reflect back to the day I launched my business and the road I took to get here.

Back 5 years ago, I was working full time in the marketing department of a computer company. I had just started a marketing blog as a side project to showcase my marketing ability. This was of course just near the start of the big social media boom, when many marketers were being encouraged to create their own Twitter accounts as a means of growing their own personal brand online. I had half expected to one day move up in the corporate world to a higher level marketing position, and figured this would be a great opportunity to grow my personal brand. I launched my marketing blog, and started engaging with people on Twitter as a marketing person.

Social media tip: I get a lot of people saying to me, “I just don`t get Twitter.” The best thing you can do to truly understand platforms like Twitter is to jump onboard and learn from trial and error.
I eventually started growing a loyal following base, with regular retweeters and engagers. I was making great connections, and driving lots of traffic to my website.

The day I got laid off

The day finally came. I was laid off from my full time job as a marketing coordinator. The company had chosen to consolidate their marketing department, and I was no longer needed.

By the time I made it home, I had an email waiting for me. This was a business opportunity from a lady who was looking for help with her marketing. She had reached out to me wondering if I’d be interested in some contract work. Being unemployed for only a few hours, I figured I’d take on the contract while looking for work and just see what would happen. I eventually landed another contract while still looking for work. After my 3rd contract came in, I figured this could really go somewhere. I began to work on rebranding my marketing blog into a business website, created a logo and even naming my business. Soon enough I was full blown into running a business. I spent quite a bit of time online, learning how to run a business, while also promoting myself and my new business.

It really only took a few months before I was full into contracts with my business, and soon I was making more than I was when I worked full time.

It’s been a wonderful 4 years as an entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur is a lot of fun. Sure you work long hours, and really have to put a lot of work into your business to get it going, but the benefits you get from being self-employed outway all the hard work any day. I have had an amazing opportunity to work with such talented business owners across North America; teaching them how to use social media for their business, writing business and marketing plans, implementing marketing campaigns, teaching about general business management and managing social media contracts.

I’ve had a wonderful run these past 4 years, and I’m excited to see what the business world has in store for me over the next 4 years.


Michelle Bucher

MBucher Consulting.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Social Media Training from MBucher Consulting

Social media training has become a really popular service that we offer. This is the perfect opportunity for small business owners who are wanting to keep a handle on their social media channels, but are looking for a little guidance and training to better understand social media and how they can effectively use these channels to promote their business/service/product.

Here’s how it works:

Our social media training sessions are 2 hours long, and cover whichever social channels your business needs help with, or are looking to start using. The training sessions are tailored to your specific needs, based on your company/industry/products/strategy/vision.

Social media training can be done in person if you’re located around the Vancouver area. Otherwise, it’s very common that we conduct training sessions online. We do a lot of training sessions with companies and individuals across North America.

If you’re looking for some help with your social media, sign up for a training session today.

Other service that we offer:
We also help build social media strategies, plans, goals, and ROI training.

Client Testimonial:

"I would highly recommend M Bucher Consulting. Michelle is professional, reliable and perceptive to her clients needs. As a realtor I rely heavily on social media marketing to promote my listings and myself. Always lacking in time, as so many of us are, it was such a relief to know Michelle was taking care of a crucial aspect of my business." Bonnie R - Real Estate Agent

Monday, June 15, 2015

Should You Outsource Your Social Media or Keep It In-House

This is a question I get asked quite often by other small business owners. As entrepreneurs, time is a valuable asset, and the best way to run your business in an efficient manner is to allocate your time in the most efficient means possible. 

I work with a lot of small business owners, many who are experts in their field of business, but are new to managing a business. These would be small business owners who have just launched into the wonderful world of being an entrepreneur. Taking on your marketing department, as well as running your business, can take up a lot of your valuable time.

When I first started my business, I was eager to do it all. My background of course is in marketing, so the marketing side of my business was not a problem. I delved in a bit of web design and even graphic design within my first year of business. I also did all of my own accounting and bookkeeping up until last year. But I’ve learned over the years that my area of expertise is social media and online marketing, and I’ve learned to focus my time in the areas that I do best.

Should you outsource?

Outsourcing your social media works great for many, but not all companies. Some companies do really well having the first person/human touch to their social media. It’s great to see companies tweeting about client meetings, product launches, or even live on location at an event. But not all entrepreneurs have time or know how to do these things.

One of the most common things I hear from small business owners is “I just don’t have time to run my own social media.” Aside from the tweeting aspect of social platforms, there is also the communication side of things that is often overlooked. Many small business owners schedule messages in platforms like Hootsuite, but forget to engage with their followers. This is a great strategy to help build brand awareness and make meaningful connections with their followers.

If you’re going to be active on social media, make sure it’s not a one-sided sales funnel, otherwise you’re essentially talking about yourself or your business the whole time.

The idea of outsourcing your social media essentially comes down to you, time management, and where your business sees value – ie social customer service, communication and brand awareness.

If you need help managing your social channels, or are looking for some general social media training, contact us. You can schedule a social media training session here.

What’s your biggest downfall when it comes to social media? Leave a comment below.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Why Target Failed in the Canadian Market

Target is abuzz online today as the store officially announces its decision to pull out of the Canadian market after 2 short years. With the recently announcement, many on Twitter are calling from Zellers stores to reopen. No word from Zellers officials yet if there is any consideration to open even a small amount of new stores in 2015.

It’s been clear since day one that Target didn’t do it’s homework before entering the Canadian market. Only a few short months after Target Canada opened its doors, many shoppers began complaining about the noticeable higher prices. It seems, it’s still cheaper to head south to shop at Target. Another big complaint from shoppers was the lack of product offering in Canada. 

When a customer gets used to certain products in the US stores, then often expect the same from the Canadian division of the store. Many customers were complaining that, even if they wanted to shop in one of the Canadian stores, these stores didn’t offer certain products that they were looking for, thus leading them across the border once again. 

Another large complain Target has been receiving is their lack of online shopping ability in Canada. The online Target store offers online shopping, but no shipping to Canada. With the move into the Canadian market, many Canadian shoppers were looking forward to this feature. This past Christmas was a great example of where Target missed their mark with the online shopping ability. A great example that a shopper gave online this past week, when doing price comparisons online with competing retail stores, they were able to find prices and product information from stores like Wal-Mart and London Drugs, but nothing from Target Canada, which meant Target Canada was essentially left of the list of possible stores for certain online savvy shopping to do their Christmas shopping at. 

Sadly, Target struggled with many things that led to their demise, including higher cost of importing products into the Canadian market, mismanagement within the company, higher employee wages in Canada, along with the fluctuating dollar, and higher product labeling costs due to Canadian labeling regulations. This combined with customers still hitting the border for better product selection and lower prices, lead to lower than expected Canadian sales. 

This week, with Sony, Target and Mexx announcing the closure of several hundred stores across Canada, the Canadian economy will surly feel the impact this spring/summer.

Will you continue to shop at Target across the border?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

20 Creative Uses for the Phone Book

While chatting on Twitter yesterday, we stumbled on some rather fascinating news. Someone in Los Angeles had a phone book delivered to their home. Yes, an actual phone book, listing all the business information that you would normally just Google to find out.

When we learned phone books were still being delivered, it made us wonder ... how can we make these phone books just as valuable today as they were in the past? Brainstorming began and ideas starting flowing. We had a fun time joking about all the different ways one can still use a phone book.

Before we begin to share the many creative uses for phone books, we’d like to point out that this isn’t our typical marketing related blog post. That’s because we’re taking Throwback Thursday quite seriously, by featuring one of the first marketing tools around: the phone book!

The idea of using a phone book is quite silly to us now, especially since we work in the digital age. But there were many companies that used phone books for advertising. In fact, today some companies still find great value in using phonebooks as an advertising tool.

For those that don’t use phone books regularly, here are 20 other creative uses:
  1. Sit on it for extra height. Ever feel short at the dinner table? Use the phone book as a booster seat.
  2. Protect your bathroom vanity from heating products. Do you like to curl or straighten your hair? Avoid placing the heated styling tool directly on the vanity by placing it on the phone book instead.
  3. Use it as wrapping paper. Birthday coming up? There’s no need for you to BUY wrapping paper. The phone book will do.
  4. Keep bugs away. Don’t have a fly swatter or bug repellent? Throw your phone book on it. That does the trick.
  5. Soak up messes. Did you spill something? Clean that right up with a page from the phone book.
  6. Make a Halloween costume. Still looking for that perfect costume? Don’t fret. The phone book makes for a creative costume with two simple steps. Stick the pages to your body and carry a phone book in your hand.
  7. Build muscle. Who needs weights when a phone book is just as heavy?!
  8. Prep in the Kitchen. Need a cutting board? The phone book is sturdy for it.
  9. Use it as an extra step. Need to reach something that is above your height? Use the phone book as a stepping stool.
  10. Get cozy with it. Making campfires just got easier. Use the paper to get the fire started.
  11. Leave one in the car. Going on a road trip? If you end up in a sticky situation (getting lost/flat tire) you’ll need some important contact information!
  12. Build a fort. Who needs cardboard when you have phone books? Try building a fort that won’t fall apart. We dare you.
  13. Press flowers or leaves. Don’t use just any book, use a phone book to make those pretty pressed flowers or leaves.
  14. Get those windows shiny. The paper in the phone book, like newspapers, can be used to clean windows.
  15. Make some art. Whether you like scrapbooking or d├ęcollage, feel free to use the pages to make something fancy!
  16. Wrap and pack. Moving anytime soon? Use the paper to wrap up fragile items.
  17. Stop leaks. Has the rain caused a few leaks? Soak up the water up with the phone book.
  18. Increase your steps. Do you have multiple phone books lying around? Place them one on top of another, and you’ve got your own stair master.
  19. Impress with origami. There’s no need to use expensive paper, the phone book pages will do. 
  20. Use it for emergencies. Ever run out of toilet paper? That’s all that’s left to say.

Let's hear from you. Leave your comment below and let us know what you usually do with your phone book. Can't think of anything? Choose which of our creative ideas you like best.