Host Philip Michael fields our viewers’ questions to help them understand complex money, investment, economic and personal-finance topics. In this segment, he discusses marketing strategies and much more.
Q. Any advice for small-business owners on marketing strategies? I’ve been open for about a year-and-a-half and looking for new, cost-effective ways to reach new customers.
A. Generally speaking, one of the things that you can do is as a small business is, of course, content marketing. Put out stuff that’s valuable. If you have a health-oriented product, talk about things that give health tips. For instance, my business is that I’m a real estate developer and a FinTech CEO, meaning that I have an app that allows people to invest in what we do. I never actually sell my real estate; I just give advice. And through that, honestly, from scratch (friends and families of followers), we did over $1 million. That was just from putting out value every day, not selling anything, just doing that. That’s one way.
Another way you can get in front of customers is you can use influencer marketing. Go on Instagram pages and buy promotional posts; it’s like $30/$20. A lot of people will find you, follow you and see what you’re about. But just look to always add value first, second and third, and everything else seems to fall into place.
Q. Why shouldn’t workers own the business that they create wealth for? Shouldn’t workers have a say in how a business is run?
A. I’m trying to be really nice in how I answer this question, but the short answer is no. You should, of course, have some say. You should bring your intellectual capacity and your feedback and your thoughts. Of course, it’s teamwork. But in terms of how the business is run, you have to understand that if you have a job, it’s the employer’s responsibility to pay you each month, no matter what happens with the business; so he takes on the risk. He’s the one who goes out there and creates the market and brings in the money and then hires people in that position to do the work that he wants them to do. For that reason alone, no, your job is to create a return on the investment for the employer, not to get a piece of the business. Or if you disagree, you can start your own business and team up with the business that you felt you created wealth for. No, you really shouldn’t think that because you’re doing a job you should automatically get equity. This is just not how life works.
Q. Do you think malls and retail stores are dead?
A. It doesn’t really matter what I think. The reality of the situation is that most of them aren’t really open, and people aren’t really shopping. So the idea of a mall was already sort of transforming at best. Some think the malls were dying. Retail as an asset class in real estate is totally crushed along with hospitality for obvious reasons. People like to shop, right? Now people are starting to enjoy shopping online as much. But I think there’s a way to merge the two, such as having smaller showrooms, letting people shop online or integrating the two. But malls and retail as we know it are definitely not what they used to be, and I’m not sure they ever will be again.
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