Small Business

Rachel Beider on Small Business Trends

"Keeping employees happy and healthy is good for business: You get more tasks completed (and with more creativity) if the people doing the work aren’t ill or tired. Some people love having a company-funded chance for personal development, while others prefer the options for flexible hours or 401(k)s. To narrow down what job perks resonate the strongest, we asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council:

“What company perk (bus pass, outside learning opportunities, etc.) do your employees find most helpful/useful and why?”

Best Employee Perks

Here’s what they have to say:

1. Continuing Education

“I will happily pay for my employees to develop new skills on their own time and bill me for the hours if it’s something they can bring to their role at the business. If you like to hire self-starters in the first place, you want to keep them at the top of their game by encouraging them to learn as much as they can.” ~ Adam SteeleThe Magistrate

2. Working Remotely With Flexible Hours

“Empowering our employees with the ability to manage their own schedule and work remotely has been a huge advantage for us. By allowing them to self-manage, they feel more invested in getting the work done as efficiently as possible, something we weren’t achieving by making sure they were in their chairs by 9 a.m. For us, it’s about the work getting done on time, not about where or when it’s completed.” ~ Kim KaupeZinePak

3. Team-Led Exercise

“Most teams seem to have a yoga enthusiast, a couple of runners, a cycling guy, couple ballers, and so on. We’ve had a ton of fun as a team allowing different employees to “lead” workouts during, or right before or after work. Not only does it empower the teacher and allow them to show off their passion, but it promotes a healthy work environment and usually involves a few laughs after the fact.” ~ Matt MurphyKids in the Game LLC

4. Personal Development

“We are planning on bringing our leadership team of 12 to the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland three times this year for intense personal development. In addition to learning new communication tools for their roles at work, they are working on marriage issues, identity issues, parenting issues and more. Supporting our staff in their lives impacts their work, while deepening loyalty to the company and one other.” ~ Corey BlakeRound Table Companies

5. Access to Entertainment

“Our company sits at the intersection of entertainment, technology, and the ultimate fan experience, so we stay at the forefront of new trends. Our employees get to try all the latest gadgets (such as Snapchat Spectacles and hover boards), go to the hottest shows, and enjoy exclusive experiences as part of their job. This ultimately helps them stay in touch with trends and excel at their position.” ~ Justin LefkovitchMirrored Media

6. Free Monthly Massages

“My front desk staff love getting the perk of free monthly massages at my massage studio. Sitting at a desk can take its physical toll, and regular massage therapy can make a huge difference in lowering blood pressure, alleviating headaches, reducing stress and tension, and decreasing anxiety. By providing them with regular massage therapy, they feel valued, and are happier and more productive.” ~ Rachel BeiderMassage Greenpoint

7. Health and Wellness

“My team takes advantage of a health and wellness perk that subsidizes things like gym memberships. Obvious benefits include a healthier, happier and consequently more productive work environment. Providing ample space and resources for employees to take great care of themselves is also a good way to illustrate the extent to which the company values them beyond their ability to drive revenue.” ~ Ryan WilsonFiveFifty

8. Annual Trip

“We do an annual, three-day trip that acts as several different things. It is a reward for another great year of work; an amazing team-building experience, as our entire team gets out of the office to hang together; exposure to something new, as we always pick a new place; and a recruiting tool. The trip has consistently proven to be one of the most valuable things that we do.” ~ Erik HubermanHawke Media

9. 401(k)

“I’m biased, but we hear over and over from employees at all types of companies that a tax-advantaged way to save for retirement is a valuable perk that gets both the employer and the employee a lot of “bang for your buck.” It also shows a strong sense of thoughtfulness and fiscal responsibility in a way that a bonus or a ping pong table does not.” ~ Roger LeeCaptain401
Bus Pass Photo via Shutterstock"

 

As seen in Small Business Trends

Interview with Rachel Beider for Business Collective

Image by Ben Chasteen for Epoch Times

Image by Ben Chasteen for Epoch Times

Meet Rachel Beider, CEO of Massage Williamsburg + Massage Greenpoint

Rachel Beider is an entrepreneur, educator, speaker and mentor. She is the proud owner and CEO of two Brooklyn-based clinical massage studios, Massage Williamsburg and Massage Greenpoint. She has made her career about empowering women to start and grow their own practices, via her company Wellness Business Consulting. Follow her @rachelbeider.

Who is your hero? (In business, life, or both.)

My hero in business is Paul Newman. He was the ultimate multipotentialite, who excelled in multiple areas and committed himself and his life to philanthropy and political and social activism. He was an incredible entrepreneur, actor, race-car driver, investor, environmentalist and philanthropist.

What’s the single best piece of business advice (unorthodox tips welcome!) that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?

The single best piece of advice that I followed that shaped my career was to get out of my own way. I often found that I was so nervous or critical of myself and my ideas that I’d spend more time worrying about doing something than actually doing it. It was challenging, but I learned to address the things that I dreaded first to get them out of the way. What I’ve discovered is that the task I was fearful of was typically not nearly as bad as I thought, and it felt like such a major relief to get done.

What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?

The biggest mistake that I’ve made in business was not delegating daily tasks soon enough and feeling burned out. I had to learn to ask others for help and truly depend on their strength, skills and wisdom, so that I could fully commit myself to the bigger picture. It can be scary at first to depend on others, especially when you’re used to doing everything a certain way at a certain standard of quality, but it is absolutely necessary for a business to grow and scale. If all information must pass through you as a business owner, you can never truly scale up.

Another important mistake that I see business owners making is being so nurturing of others: their clients, family and friends. They often forget to nurture their business, which should be taken care of as its own entity.

What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?

People typically don’t answer this truthfully, so I will tell you my honest answer. I spend the first hour of my day in bed, snuggling my dog, and eventually stretching out and catching up on emails on my cell phone. In the morning, I like the coziness and indulgence of working from bed and I cherish the warmth of spending time with the sweetest dog ever, my Cavalier King Charles, Winston.

What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?

Don’t spend money on anything that doesn’t directly lead to income at the beginning. It can also be helpful to get a 0% interest credit card, or a low interest line of credit. When starting a small business, don’t get yourself into more debt than you can pay off yourself within a year.

Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?

To take your business to the next level, consider what your major values are — what you want to make your life about. Think about what kind of world you want to leave for the future. When you want to get to the next level, do so with that ultimate goal in mind. This will help you stay true to your vision.

What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?

I define success by having an abundance of life, love, joy and experiences. Success for me is a balance of feeling satisfied by the challenges of my work and fulfilled by the contributions that I can make in other’s lives. It’s about leaving work with enough energy to enjoy the time I spend with my family and friends, and often with more energy because I love my job and career. I feel the most successful when I watch my business grow and when I help other small business owners, via consulting, feel empowered and proud of their work, and achieve their dreams.

Article and Interview by YEC for Business Collective

Rachel Beider in Huffington Post!

"You can brag about follower counts but likes alone —don’t translate into purchases.

These 17 small businesses have figured out a Social Media strategy. Minus the marketing Oz behind the emerald curtain. (Wizard of Oz reference, FYI). Social Media is one of those “the best things in life are free“ for small businesses. It doesn’t cost much but time & creativity to start seeing results. And captivating your ideal clients like Dorothy’s ruby red shoes. 

You can create an online presence, locally, globally or even worldwide in a few clicks. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We first, must draw in the people who need your service. And that takes more than hopping on an app and posting, “I’m open for business”

 

How do you sell an intangible product online?

 

These service-based businesses have uncovered a strategy that works for their brand and sanity. In return, they’ve closed more deals and exploded their online/offline influence. Pay attention to what’s said here, they’ve given up their best-kept Social Media secret to help more businesses (like you) score the same results. 

 

They’ve discovered how to promote, grow the brand and engage with their audience because another FYI profits happen more often when you’re NOT selling at all. 

 

You won’t be hearing from me until the end, I’ll let these 17 service-based businesses tell you for themselves. 

“You can use social media to turn strangers into friends, friends into customers and customers into salespeople.”— Seth Godin

 

PROMOTE LE BRAND

 

GIPHY

“Social media can be tricky, if you’re just going to post random pictures and the same ole-same ole do not waste your time there’s too much noise out there.” - Bryan Clayton

 

1. 

 

“Social media can be tricky, if you’re just going to post random pictures and the same ole-same ole do not waste your time there’s too much noise out there. However, if you’re going to invest time to make something new, funny, or informative people will pay attention to it. We created a meme account specifically focused for the lawn care industry on our Instagram. It’s one of the only accounts dedicated to poking fun at the lawn care industry and the nuances that go along with it. We have grown our following base to over 10,000 and people love the funny memes we make related to the lawn care industry. It’s a good way to build awareness about GreenPal and our community of lawn care services that are ready to hire at the touch of a button.” Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal the Uber for Lawn Care

 

2.

 

“Instagram has been such a useful marketing tool for us. We’ve been using high-end photographers with thousands of followers and tagging them in our posts and have seen results with more followers and likes on certain photos. Instagram is one powerful, free tool. All you need is the manpower behind it to make it succeed!” Carly Moore, PR Manager, Bond Collective

“A huge part of my brand revolves around promoting my versatile personality, energy, and style.” - Jam Gamble

 

3.

 

Be Y.O.U. All Of The Time:

“A huge part of my brand revolves around promoting my versatile personality, energy, and style. Being a self proclaimed #S layerofTheMic it’s imperative that I use Twitter and Instagram to post videos of me in action: public speaking, performing at events, and connecting with my audience/potential clients.  I’m getting BOOKED! The amount of booking requests I’ve received when my potential client says, “Honestly, your energy is off the charts! I’ve heard you’re the woman for the job —just from what I’ve seen via social media.” They’ve even started to use my hashtag! #SlayerofTheMic. Now that’s success. “ - Jam Gamble #SlayerofTheMic and Connector of People, Ideas, and Energy

 

4.

 

“Currently, Twitter is the number one platform I’m using. Not only is it great for reaching new audiences, but it has also proven useful for building relationships with media and influencers, which has helped get my site’s name out there more. As for growing my audience, I’ve recently found offering relevant giveaways to be a great means of reaching new followers. Last month, we did a gift card giveaway that ran a month long. One of the ways to enter was to follow us on Twitter (@CutCableToday), which netted us 200 new followers. I plan on continuing our giveaway strategy and eventually expanding to Facebook.” - Chris Brantner, founder of CutCableToday.com

 

5.

 

Find Your Place In The Social World:

“I find podcasting on BlogTalkRadio, and putting out an e-newsletter through Constant Contact are the most powerful social media tools for my business. LinkedIn gives me the chance to connect with my target audience and position myself as a thought leader. Podcasting allows me a greater reach and connects me to leaders around the world. It also helps me build relationships with other gurus around the world. These relationships have led to my inclusion in online webinars, summits, and programs.” - Diane Helbig, Growth Accelerator

 

GROW LE BRAND

 

Giphy

“Many friends and colleagues told me I shouldn’t bother using paid advertising and I should just ‘hustle’ in online forums, groups and communities to find paying clients. But I made the decision early on that I didn’t have time for that.” - Amanda Davies

 

6.

 

“Facebook is without doubt the most powerful marketing tool around. I have grown my business as a solopreneur to multiple 6-figures in just over 12 months by using Facebook advertising alone. Many friends and colleagues told me I shouldn’t bother using paid advertising and I should just ‘hustle’ in online forums, groups and communities to find paying clients. But I made the decision early on that I didn’t have time for that (I was still working in my 9-5 job at that stage) and it’s unsustainable if you want to grow and scale your business to mighty levels. Using highly targeted ads that are put in front of the right people at the right time, has grown my list by thousands of customers and sold out my programs. The financial results speak for themselves. You also have the ability to re-target potential customers who have already shown an interest in your business, which puts you ahead of the game to an even greater scale. The power is in the targeting.” - Amanda Davies, Psychologist + Coach at lightpurposeliving.com

“There are 40 million active small business pages but only 2 million of those businesses pay for advertising.” 

 

7.

 

Give The People What They Want:

“Facebook is successful for us because of the visual nature of photos and videos. It allows us to engage with a target audience of Disney and travel lovers across the country. Our main Facebook page has 120,000 organic likes and well over 1,000,000 post likes. The interaction that occurs helps us build a relationship with our “fans” thus creating a virtual bond. One of the things we do that is showing results is being relevant. We’re one of the first on the web to announce any BIG Disney theme park news. It gives us credibility and our Facebook page becomes the place to be to find out the latest and greatest news. Additionally, we ask our fans what they want more of. Catering to them is important as opposed to merely guessing what they want.” Greg Antonelle, Mickey Travels LLC

“A high click-through rate is often more valuable than “likes” or comments. Tips, FAQs, and informational articles that are of incredible value to families everywhere are posted on our Facebook fan page.” - Simplify Experts

 

8.

 

“Over the past year, over 15% of their web traffic has come from Facebook, where we post regularly. Although engagement and followership on Facebook isn’t huge, a lot of Facebook users that see the content click through to the website. A high click-through rate is often more valuable than “likes” or comments. Tips, FAQs, and informational articles that are of incredible value to families everywhere are posted on the fan page. So our general strategy is: write relevant, quality blog content, share that content through social media channels where your customers already live, and get them to want to visit your website to read on.” Simplify Experts, Professional Organizers

“We regularly ask our clients to post reviews and this practice has produced measurably results.” - Matthew Weiss

 

9.

 

“Many prospective clients will use Google/Yelp/Facebook to find and vet our services. Having many positive reviews stationed there gives us a competitive advantage. The most powerful word in the English language is “ask? We regularly ask our clients to post reviews and this practice has produced measurably results. We “push” our reviews URL to prospective clients that are considering retaining us.” Matthew Weiss, President of Weiss & Associates, PC

 

10. 

 

Twitter is the only completely open platform where anyone can see my posts. To grow my reach, credibility, and mailing list, I use key hashtags on tweets of my blog articles and I run the weekly #PeopleSkills global Twitter chat which trends every Sunday. Hosting a Twitter chat has helped to show my expertise. I leverage the chat and all my Twitter activity for workshop announcements and for my upcoming book and associated workshops on leadership and morale. The open design of Twitter is the greatest no cost neon sign ever invented.“ - Kate Nasser, President, CAS, Inc., The People Skills Coach™

“Posting consistently has been key to engagement growth.” - Kunle Bristow

 

11.

 

Instagram is by far my favorite platform. I create memes that relay news that will happen 5 years into the future or forecasts what will happen within 20 years. Instead of what’s in the news today. In addition to providing commentary on our human future —I also re-purpose these memes on Twitter and that has increased my engagement on both platforms. Posting consistently has been key to engagement growth and I have seen an increase in my (website) opt-ins as we continue to tape episodes of our web television series Futurism Weekly.” - Kunle Bristow, Managing Director / Anchor Futurism Weekly

 

ENGAGE LE AUDIENCE

 

 

12.

 

Networking Social After-Party:

“We have a ruthless social media connection policy. As a busy networking professional attending daily real-life events, we insist on connecting with a new contact on ALL their social media platforms WITHIN TWELVE HOURS. Why? We’ve identified this as the ideal window for facial recognition leading to smooth professional connections. Using this approach, we’ve been able to massively boost our outreach, particularly on LinkedIn, with demonstrable and quantifiable successes coming out of this approach. Continuing the conversation on Social Media within this time span, we’ve struck while the iron is hot. So far, I can think of four deals that have come out of this. Sometimes, it’s difficult to come home from a networking event and have to spend time connecting - but I’ve seen the results. They’re real. This policy is bearing fruit.” Sarah Sajedi, Director of Research & Development at ERA Environmental Solutions

“Breaking the post length rules.” - Janis Isaman 

 

13.

 

“On my Facebook page, I can post articles and lengthier opinions that accentuate a point of view and my voice. Breaking the post length rules as most of my posts are “too long”. But the longer they are, the more engagement improves.” - Janis Isaman, My Body Couture movement specialist & coach

“Rather than using the machine gun approach, spamming hundreds of people and hoping a small percentage reply, the one thing we do is contact directly, with a thoughtful and very personalized message.” - Steve Acho

 

14.

 

“LinkedIn has by far been the best social platform for our B2B technology staffing company. Like all good social platforms, it allows one to get deep context for other professionals, including showing mutual connections. Rather than using the machine gun approach, spamming hundreds of people and hoping a small percentage reply, the one thing we do that has shown the best results is take the time to target specific people, and contact directly, with a thoughtful and very personalized message. It’s extremely time-consuming to do well, but last month I went from cold email to contract with a $4B company in 24 hours.” Steve Acho, Founder & CEO of a technology staffing tool company

 

Another LinkedIn Maneuver... 

 

 

15. 

 

“LinkedIn is the best means ever created to help OTHER people look good in the context of business. Instead of lauding my own accomplishments, I use LinkedIn to highlight those who book me to speak at their conferences or events, as well as friends and colleagues in business who are accomplishing great things. Start highlighting other people (be sure you tag them to let them know) via LinkedIn, and watch your likes, shares, and comments grow.” - Spencer X Smith, Speaker

 

16.

 

“I primarily use Instagram to promote my massage therapy studios in Brooklyn. Instagram is awesome because you can geolocate new potential clients by searching for nearby images recently (publicly) posted. It has become a great place for us to look for clients including: local gyms, yoga studios, Pilates studios, etc. We know these are our ideal clients because they care about their health, active, local, and likely sore from working out so hard. We reach out by writing words of encouragement and support on their gym selfies or progress pics. Which feel personal and at the same time let them know that we are here for them if they need us! This has resulted in tons of new clients for my studios (we only opened a few months ago).” Rachel Beider, Massage Expert CEO of Massage Williamsburg

“I get new followers all the time that are actually organically interested in my brand.” - Luna Matatas

 

17.

 

Organic Reach Is Not Dead:

“My brand is colourful and friendly - Instagram allows me to project these flavours through my photos on the platform. It keeps the visual attraction of my brand and content in tact. The followers on Instagram seem to be more responsive then other platforms, so I get new followers all the time that are actually organically interested in my brand. While my follower count is low, each of those followers are meaningful. I use the platform with customer service principles in mind. If someone sees a workshop they want to take and comments “omg I want to go to this”, I respond directly to their comment on the page and invite them to DM me to order. Instead of sending them to the registration form on my website. This interaction feels personal. The fact that I’m offering a service that is sensitive and shame-prone, building a personal connection encourages people to feel safer. The PR part of my marketing is more important to me at this stage than solely basing my marketing decisions on reach.” - Luna Matatas, Sexpert

 

Follow The Yellow Brick Road... 

 

After hearing from over 100 business owners (in the making of this article) confess their favorite platform of tried & true strategies, I am exhausted but most importantly —thankful for those who shared their online marketing secrets. THE RESULTS ARE IN Social Media is your best chance at reaching the people who need YOU, my precious." From Tennile Cooper for Huffington Post

Rachel Beider in Forbes Magazine

How Small Businesses can Capitalize on the Growing Wellness Trend

Rachel Beider in Forbes Magazine

Stress has always been a driving force in the wellness industry, but we seem to have moved past just personal stress to a collective, politically-induced stress. No longer are people simply seeking to remedy relationship or financial troubles; stress about politics and the security of the future is becoming more and more common. As a business consultant for wellness practices and the owner of two massage studios in New York City, I have seen this trend unfold firsthand.

Like many, I was exhausted by last year’s tumultuous election, so imagine my surprise when I learned that it was actually great for business. I first noticed an uptick in client bookings in the fall of 2016 and my sessions -- which are typically pretty quiet — became more lively as clients voiced their worries and concerns about politics. Stress and anxiety commonly manifest themselves in physical ailments like muscle tension, TMJ (jaw tension from teeth clenching), headaches, insomnia and fatigue, which are problems we treat frequently.

I had a feeling that trying to deduce electoral math and being glued to Facebook, cable news and Twitter were physically impacting my clients and the demand for my business. The numbers proved me right: We saw a 20% increase in new clients in Q4 of last year and in the week after the inauguration, we saw an additional 50% surge in bookings —and there’s no sign of it slowing down. The demand has been so high that we’re adding additional employees to our roster.

 

ADVERTISING

 

At the same time, I saw a growing trend in the corporate world as blue chip companies like Aetna and Facebook adopted progressive workplace wellness programs, and media mogul Arianna Huffington launched Thrive Global, a wellness company dedicated to helping companies and employees reduce burnout. At a time when people were dealing with a new kind of post-election stress, I felt wellness was reaching an audience that hadn’t previously been tuned in.

Growing a business isn’t without trial and error, and there are specific challenges that small practices should keep in mind when catering to stressed out clients. Keep these tips in mind to capitalize on the latest wellness trend:

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Big Fish

Just because your business is small, that doesn’t mean you can’t work with a large company or corporation. Small businesses can reach new audiences and build partnerships by offering services to large companies and coordinating office wellness events. We have partnered with Red Bull, WeWork and Whole Foods to offer chair massages to employees for on-site stress relief.

Companies are interested in the benefits of having wellness services at work, which can keep insurance costs down and boost employee productivity. With just a few practitioners, your business can reach a new customer base that wouldn’t otherwise discover your practice. When approaching a new partner, make sure to tailor your approach and market the specific benefits that they can expect from working with you.

Diversify, Diversify, Diversify

At a time when customers are becoming savvier in the wellness space, it’s important to diversify your services. Consider including massage, reflexology, acupuncture, aromatherapy, reiki and alternative wellness treatments. Before seeking new talent, look at the expertise you already have in house: Many practitioners are trained in multiple disciplines but don’t always promote all of their areas of expertise.

You Absolutely Cannot Skimp On Talent

This is imperative. For small businesses to stand out in the wellness space, it’s critical to hire excellent staff members who can provide high-quality care. This is important for all service-based industries, but even more so for practitioners who have close relationships with their clients. This is the easiest way to keep retention rates up and your clients coming back.

To make sure that your guests are getting the most out of their experience, consider using client feedback software or post-treatment surveys. A great practitioner will have a consistently high client retention rate.

 

ADVERTISING

 

Focus On Consistency

One of the biggest challenges small businesses will face as they grow in the wellness space is maintaining consistency and a high caliber of customer service. Our clients know exactly what to expect from each visit, so we are confident they will want to return. Having a clear manual of operations goes a long way in helping keep things running smoothly, and I always encourage clients to speak up if they are unhappy with their service.

Aim To Exceed Client Expectations

When your goal is to help your clients cope with pain and stress, I encourage my team to aim to exceed a client’s expectations. Just because you provide excellent service, that doesn’t mean their ailment will vanish, so we provide clients with additional information and therapy for self-care at home. I’ll frequently recommend specific stretches or strengthening exercises that become integral to a client’s daily routine. We also collaborate with other practitioners, such as acupuncturists, chiropractors, physical therapists and pilates instructors. It’s important to create an atmosphere where practitioners feel like they can and should go the extra mile for their clients.

Though there is uncertainty about the future, it appears that the trend toward wellness is here to stay.

Article By: Rachel Beider as seen in Forbes