Modern entrepreneurship comes with so many new challenges that were not prevalent decades ago. Technology has revolutionized almost every industry. Aspiring entrepreneurs must recognize these modern challenges and include them in their plans for success.

The journey from concept to launch is filled with excitement, anticipation and a healthy dose of uncertainty. Yet, amidst the thrill of pursuing one’s passion and building something from the ground up, it’s essential to recognize the importance of thorough preparation and strategic planning.

Marketing is a Must

First Direct Marketing ( that marketing is one essential area that business owners need to plan carefully. they’ve based their whole business around it. Marketing can make or break a business in the crucial first years. Often businesses try various marketing initiatives such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Direct Mail and other advertising channels. However, they don’t get the results from these for several reasons. Some of the reasons come down to some key areas that many businesses underestimate the importance of and or don’t implement correctly.

The good news is these things are some of the easiest to fix and have some of the largest impact on generating new leads for any business.

What are some of those gaps?

Joel Buhr
First Direct

“We see most new businesses have five marketing gaps which are easy to fix. Every business needs leads, appointments, sales, reviews and repeat buyers,” said Joel Buhr, Chief Data Disruptor (aka President), First Direct.

Here is a breakdown of these gaps:

SMS Capability: SMS is growing as the most preferred method of communication. In fact, SMS open rates are on average 98% compared to email at 16%. This is easy to solve though by using SMS enabled numbers and automations to help with responses.

Missed Call Text Back: This closely follows number one. Nearly 64% of inbound calls to SMB’s go unanswered every day. The good news is that modern technology enables us to automate back a text message saying “Sorry we missed your call- how can we help” to anyone who calls in but doesn’t get an answer. Imagine how much money in lost revenue this one tactic would bring back!

Google Chat: This is an option that most businesses don’t know is even available. An average business receives 1000 visits per month to their Google Business Profile. People don’t want to have to call so as soon as they see there’s a chat option, they jump on it.

Not to be the bearer of bad news, but if you haven’t figured it out yet, Google doesn’t want anyone leaving the search results to go to a website, so they’re going to start pushing this feature hard. Best to get ahead of your competitors while they’re still in the dark about this one.

Online listings: These are one last way to generate leads without paid ads. Now, this one does have a recurring cost, but it can be powerful because having your business listed correctly across the top directories around the internet correlates pretty strongly with businesses that tend to rank well in search results. With Listings, you can input all your business’s important info like name, address, phone number etc. and have that info automatically published across all the top directories around the web- nearly 100 in total.

Listings then locks that data, so no third party can change it, which is common and leads to inconsistencies over time. It’s hard to get someone to claim your lead offer if they don’t even know you exist and Listings can be a great way to get yourself in front of a lot more people online.

Response time: When it comes to nurturing leads into sales, the number one issue local businesses face is speed. Studies show that there’s basically a five-minute shot clock. If you can get a new lead to engage within five minutes, the odds of closing that lead skyrocket. The problem is most small businesses are too busy with their day- to- day operations to reply that quickly. One thing that helps with this is having your lead channels funnel into a consolidated mobile app, so you can quickly reply to everything in one place whenever your pocket buzzes.

There are many other areas that are critical as well, asking for reviews, responding to those reviews, making payment options easy, database reactivation, landing pages, planning the right strategy around advertising channels, and a key part is staying consistent. The nice part of this is with a simple audit First Direct can uncover most of these and start building a plan to fix and improve each and every one.

Customized Staffing Solutions

Heidi Isley
Associated Staffing Inc.

Associated Staffing Inc. ( is dedicated to the success of their clients and customizes their staffing solutions to meet their needs.  Associated Staffing plays a crucial role in helping clients overcome various challenges related to workforce management.  As the economy fluctuates, the unemployment rate remains low and with a high number of job openings, they are here to assist their clients to find the candidates that fit their expectations.

In manufacturing, the production needs can change quickly requiring the need for immediate staff.  The Associated Staffing team is actively recruiting on a daily basis. They have a database of candidates who have been interviewed and screened to present to their clients.  This assists them in minimizing disruptions to their business saving them time, the cost of advertising and sifting through unqualified candidates.

Talent shortages are happening in a variety of areas. Associated Staffing is ready to assist in closing the gap utilizing their networks and resources to recruit quality talent which helps clients have access to a larger pool of talent.  Unexpected vacancies create a loss of revenue and by utilizing their services the time the position is open is significantly reduced due to the pool of candidates that they can provide.

Associated Staffing also has specialized divisions that allow them to have a high level of expertise and connections within the field. By partnering with Associated Staffing Inc., these unexpected challenges will be promptly addressed and your workforce management strategies will be optimized so your business can be the most productive it has ever been.  Reach out at