How to Add a User to a Google Analytics Account

google analytics add user[information accurate as of: 4/7/2014]

As a small business, there are several reasons you may want to give someone access to your Google Analytics account.

  • You may hire an SEO specialist to evaluate your website statistics
  • You might want a staff person to manage your analytics account without giving them the passcodes to your Google Apps account.
  • Your web designer will need to copy the analytics installation code from your account to install on your website
  • An advertising company, like Hanapin Marketing, may need access to setup conversion tracking for ad campaigns

Follow these simple steps to add a user or administrator to your Google Analytics account while still maintaining the confidentiality of your Google Apps login passwords.

  1. Log into Google Analytics: https://www.google.com/analytics
  2. Click the “Admin” navigation button in the top middle navigation area of the page
    google-analytics setup
  3. In the middle “Property” section that appears, there is a row of options. Click on the “User Management” button.
    google-analytics setup
  4. Then, click on the “+New user” button
  5. On the next page add the new person’s email address in the section titled, “Add permissions for:” and select the level of access they need to assist with Analytics management.  Usually “Edit” level is sufficient.
  6. Click the “Add” button. (An “Edit” access level is required to obtain access to the tracking code section and other functions needed to fully manage the account. “User” level access provides access to all the primary analytics data, but does not allow a user to manage the account)
    google-analytics setup
  7. It is a good idea to check the “notify user by email” item so they know they have been given access.
  8. Done!

Visit our “How To..” directory of technology articles for more time saving tips!

Posted in How To... | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SEO Trends for 2014

seo 2014 trendsSEO Trends in 2014 have made some important shifts since the previous year. Press releases as a way to increase high PR backlinks, have decreased in importance and Google has down ranked links from the major Internet PR sites (See Marketing Prof’s article…). However, the wider distribution of press releases from affiliated news sites is still creating good good linking results for business. In early 2014, Craigslist changed its platform and now disallows external hyperlinks to websites. As a result, the value of Craigslist for generating organic traffic and leads will definitely be negatively affected. (See Bigger Pocket’s Blog…)

In 2014, I believe the focus for SEO will be on quality, customer-focused, content that is leveraged through social sharing and relevant backlinks from high PR-ranked websites.

There will need to be tighter integration of websites to social media, press releases and mobile applications. Optimizing for search engines will be congruent with optimizing web content for target customer groups. If the content you are creating and distributing is highly useful and relevant for your target market, it will likely be favored by the search engines.

2014 SEO Trends

  • Reliance on original content will continue to expand
  • Internet advertising and SEO will be more closely coordinated
  • Online press releases are less important
  • Google Places for Business, Google Authorship and Google Plus Business pages will help maximize SEO efforts on Google.
  • Targeted, top local directory listings will be important for page one Google results
  • Linkedin company pages will continue to increase in relevance and use
  • Craigslist will decrease in importance as a source of top level organic search results
  • Social media advertising will be as important as search engine advertising, but targeting and engaging the right audience will take research and testing.
  • Video content will continue to expand and will become key to business SEO rankings.

2014 SEO Recommendations

  • Use a business blog and publish customer-centric articles at least monthly; twice a month is optimal, weekly even better!
  • Use Internet advertising in coordination with onpage SEO optimization efforts for maximum leads. Google Adwords quality scores are dependent upon a good website landing page experience.
  • Use online press releases sparingly and focus on truly newsworthy content.  PRweb.com, PR.com and PRNewswire remain worthy resources
  • Select the top five to ten local directories where people are finding, or likely to find, your type of business and fully develop and maintain those listings. Search your analytics to see which directories are currently being used by people to find your site.
  • Develop, expand and regularly update your business company page on Linkedin.
  • Test social media marketing possibilities to find which platform results in the best sources of traffic and engagement for your business.
  • Develop a video creation strategy and use YouTube to distribute the content. Embed videos on your website, social media channels, newsletters and other places to maximize distribution.

Review other articles on SEO topics…

Posted in SEO, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Best Practice for Business Facebook Page Design

Facebook Under ConstructionDesigning a Facebook page for a company, cause, brand or local business should involve as much attention to detail as the corresponding professional website. Too often companies create a Facebook page with little forethought or advanced planning. What’s worse is that some businesses create it and then leave it alone. Aligning the company brand and business strategy with a professional Facebook presence will leverage this important medium for maximum effectiveness.

These best practices are well known to social media marketers who often charge hundreds and even thousands of dollars a month to professionally develop business Facebook pages. Small businesses are wise to learn what elements of social media they can develop themselves and where they can use additional assistance.

  1. Create a Custom URL
    1. This simple task will help brand your Facebook page for easy sharing of your page URL. A Facebook URL such as www.facebook.com/exactlydat is much more memorable than www.facebook.com/pages/ExactlyDatcom/201005983250229
    2. Find out how to change a facebook page address here…
  2. Maximize the use of Graphics and Images
    1. Design a timeline profile image that uses the maximum allowable image dimensions , i.e. 850w x 315h pixels.
      1. Good example: www.facebook.com/loebigink
    2. Choose a thumbnail image that best represents your logo and maximizes the allowable image dimension of 180 x180 pixles. It mus also be recognizable on wall posts when it gets reduced to 32 x32 pixels.
    3. Be selective about the wall tabs you publish and/or allow to be shown. For example, if you don’t have any events, remove that tab. If you only have a few fans, move that tab to the end of the list.
      1. Good example: www.facebook.com/volvorichmond
  3. Add your page URL to the “About” section of your page

    1. Facebook pages that are setup as “company” pages will allow the ‘about’ section of the page description to appear on the front page of the site. As a result, it is a best practice to use this prime real estate as an opportunity to link back to your website. Put the URL at the beginning of the short description so that it will appear on the front page of your Facebook page.
      1. Good examples:
      2. https://www.facebook.com/loebigink
      3. https://www.facebook.com/forcpr
      4. https://www.facebook.com/criminalthinking
  4. Use Free Social Apps
    1. Integrate other important social media into page tabs. YouTube, ConstantContact and other social media sites offer free apps that will integrate their content directly into your Facebook Page.
    2. Good example: www.facebook.com/volvorichmond
  5. Drive Traffic to Your Website
    1. Completely develop the ‘Info” section of your Facebook page with website links, phone numbers, product descriptions, etc.
      1. Good example: https://www.facebook.com/careeressentials?sk=info
    2. When posting photos of products or service related info, make sure the images are also available on your website. One good strategy is to post several sample pics on your Facebook page with a note in the photo description to view more or higher resolution images on your website.
    3. Change the ‘About Us’ section of your page so that is shows your web address. This is the only place on your FB wall that you can provide visitors with a link to your website. For example: “Find out more at: http://www.TheInkBlog.net”;
      1. Good example: www.facebook.com/careeressentials
  6. Use Custom Apps
    1. There are a plethora of social media services that provide custom apps that can drive traffic to your inventory of products and encourage visitors to ‘like’ your page. WildfireApps, Constant Contact, MyTab, PageModo and others will provide the technology you need to create social media campaigns, contests, sweepstakes, quizzes and more. Prices, features and usability vary widely between these services so research the ones that will best meet your needs and budget.
  7. Create a Reveal Tab
    1. One of the single most useful page apps is a reveal tab with mandatory ‘likes.’ Visit my blog article on how to setup a reveal tab using the “My Tab” app. A reveal tab with mandatory “likes” is a Facebook page that invites visitors to see additional content by requiring that they “like” the page. This strategy is being used by many organizations to give away coupons, offer free e-books, enter drawings and sweepstakes as well as numerous other uses.
      1. Good example: www.facebook.com/anotherwaydriver?sk=app_14167664298
      2. How to create a reveal tab: http://theinkblog.net/2012/01/22/how-to-create-a-facebook-reveal-page/
Posted in Social Media | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Increase Visibility Using The Top Small Business Directories

business Internet directoriesSmall business owners are always on the lookout for the lowest cost, highest value promotional opportunities on the Internet. Creating or claiming local business directory listings is a great way to expand ones digital footprint.

Many Internet service providers have identified the value of local directories which has spawned a bevy of mass listing services such as Yext.com, CityGrid and others. These services make it easy to claim a large list of directories that may or may not be relevant to a business. The listing provider’s monthly fees tie a business into a relationship with them for life since discontinuing their service will remove your business information from the listing enmasse.  A more time intensive, but lower cost, approach is to claim ones business listings by hand with the top directories relevant for your industry.

The following list of directories are recommended for a wide variety of businesses and industries. Links to the business listing page of the directory will make it easier to begin creating or claiming your business listings.

  1. Google Places for Business (http://www.google.com/business/placesforbusiness)
    1. This is often the first and arguably the most important location a local business should list their business. Google Places for Business is key to ensuring you can be found by your customers on Google Maps.
    2. Your first step will be to sign in using an email account associated with Google. If you don’t have one that is connected to Google, you will need to set one up. A Gmail account is an easy choice, but you can also associate a non-Gmail account with Google.
    3. A post card verification process is usually required and will take up to two weeks to process.
      .
  2. Yelp.com (https://biz.yelp.com/claiming)
    1. Yelp has become one of the most popular and important directory and review sites for a business due in part to the rigid system of controlled reviews on the site. Yelp works tirelessly to ensure reviews submitted are by real people and customers through a series of algorithmic controls that filters questionable reviews out of site.
    2. Like most directory sites, you will be guided through a search process to see if your business is already listed. If it is, you will “claim” the listing. If not, you will be able to create a new Yelp listing.
      .
  3. SuperPages.com (https://yellowpages.superpages.com/profiler/login_import.jsp)
    1. Super Pages is the Internet version of the traditional yellow pages phone book. Similar to Google Places, many existing businesses are already listed in the Super Pages directory. If you business is listed you just need to “claim” your business and update the listing.
    2. Free listings include address, phone, website link, embedded Bing map, customer reviews, and the ability for visitors to share the listing via email, Facebook, Twitter, and mobile phone.
    3. Paid listings include a business description, listing categories, specialties, payment options, products/services, hours of operation, large thumbnail image of website, embedded video, etc. Prices are not published, but can reach several hundred dollars a month.
      .
  4. Yahoo Local (http://listings.local.yahoo.com/)
    1. Yahoo Local is an important site to list a business since it is connected to one of the largest search engines on the web. Basic/free listings include phone, address, website, store hours, products and services.
    2. An enhanced/paid listing is $9.95/mo and includes a company logo, tagline, up to 10 photos and a detailed business description.
      .
  5. AngiesList.com (https://business.angieslist.com/Registration/SimpleRegistration.aspx)
    1. Angie’s List is a popular directory and review site of service companies and health care professionals in over 550 categories. Angie’s List customers pay an annual subscription fee to access business listings and reviews from their local area.
    2. Categories include business description, service area, operating hours, services, payment options, 24 hour emergency service designation,
      .
  6. Manta (http://www.manta.com/member/register/?rl=join_free)
    1. Manta claims to be the largest online community dedicated to small business. Owners can list their business in the Manta directory for free and take advantage of networking, articles and numerous small business resources.
    2. Free listings include contact information, website link, business description, 3 business categories, products/services, years in business, state of incorporation, NAICS and SIC codes, etc.
    3. Enhance listings range in price from $29 to $49/mo and include more prominent listings, competitor add removal, multiple search keywords, etc. Compare plans here: http://www.manta.com/claim/upgrade?sub_driver=pbl-home-drawer
      .
  7. Local.com (https://advertise.local.com/?CID=710)
    1. Local.com is a leading nationally positioned local business search site. It’s mission is “to be the leader at enabling local businesses an consumers to find each other and connect.”  Major search categories include: Businesses, Deals, Events and Activities.
    2. Free listings include business name, address, link to an embedded Bing map of the business location, phone number and website link.
    3. Premium listings start at $49.95/mo and include listing at the top of search results, company logo, special offers to customers, web page, 5 photos, two category listings and color in the business listing.
      .
  8. Local City Directories (e.g. http://directory.richmond.com/VA-Richmond)
    1. Most midsize and larger cities have popular city directories that promote local business. Richmond.com is a directory operated by the city’s largest daily paper, the Richmond Times Dispatch. Free business listings on this site allow users to add phone numbers, business hours, types of payments accepted and categories associated with the business.
    2. Like most free directory listings, enhanced listings can be purchased for a fee. Here is an example of a paid listing on Richmond.com: http://directory.richmond.com/2689893/Ace-Glass-Repair-Inc-Richmond-VA
      .
  9. Merchant Circle (http://www.merchantcircle.com/corporate/)
    1. Merchant Circle claims to be “the largest online network of local business owners, combining social networking features with customizable web listings that allow local merchants to attract new customers.”
    2. Free listings include address, phone, embedded Google Map, up to three categories for listing the business, customer reviews and compliments as well as the ability of Merchant Circle members to “follow” your business on Merchant Circle.
    3. Paid listings include top search result positioning, business logo thumbnail image, social sharing buttons, website link, payment types, hours of operation, a simple blog, product descriptions, offers and recent news updates.
Posted in Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Eric Toussaint | Jett Training, Fitness Founder

eric toussaintEric Toussaint was the first person who greeted me when I arrived at a new Business Networking International (BNI) group at the end of 2013. I heard about the worldwide BNI organization in a webinar and wanted to see it for myself. I scheduled a visit with one of the membership chair people and showed up not knowing at all what to expect. Eric greeted me with a firm handshake and a vibrant sense of energy that I would later understand is the natural charisma that has propelled his personal training business. Eric’s approach to his clientèle is the same approach he has to business. He is energetic, humorous, generous, razor-focused and results oriented. It has been a joy getting to know him at our weekly BNI meetings and I look forward to seeing his Jett Training business soar to new heights.

1. Career influences

As far as overall work ethic I would have to point Tammy Darvish from Darcars as my best influence, I just have never seen such a tireless work ethic, not to mention very well run business.

As to my peers that I look up in my industry I would have to mention Alan Stein from Stronger Team, Robert Taylor from Smarter Team Training. There contributions to the health and fitness industry are ineurable and there work ethics are second to none especially in the area of social media.

2. Biggest Career Success

One of biggest career success (ongoing) was winning “Best of Bethesda” award for personal training while simultaneously marketing that accomplishment through a strong social media push, coupled with a grass roots campaign to distribute as much JETT company literature to other local health care professionals.

3. Recent Lessons Learned

Always look to improve your business, never stand still. I am going through a whole round of improvements in my ability to increase the exposure of my personal training business as well my nutrition business.

4. What Inspires and Motivates

I think what inspires and motivate me is mainly the success of others, being able to feed off of the positive energy and happiness that they feel when their businesses’ are doing well. And of course my twin boys Lucas and Oliver. :)

5. Share a Leadership Story

My approach to leadership, is very simple. Lead by example and help as many people as I can. My best trainers are the ones that I have helped to grow, both professionally and personally. I truly believe if you apply a “givers” philosophy with those around you, you will always find success.

Another principle I like to apply to my business and my life is consistency and persistence. I just landed a client, after a two-year “courtship”. We spoke of training very little, but always made sure to stay in touch and I did my best to befriend her. I knew deep down she always had the intention to start training with me, so I did my best to stay in contact with her and offer advice and help wherever possible. My care and attention created a situation that when she was ready to start personal training, it was a foregone conclusion that it would be with me due to the personal relationship we had developed over the two year “courtship.” Our relationship was such that not only did she start training with me but she brought a friend to train with her and now I have two new clients. When the BNI “givers gain” philosophy is combined with consistency and persistence there are not limits.

6. Your Top Two

  • Study the industry and understand every aspect of it.
  • Make as many contacts you can with your industry peers and learn from them.

7. About Eric Toussaint

Eric Toussaint is the owner and founder of Jett Training in Bethesda, MD.

JETT Training custom tailors workouts for individuals based on their specific needs and goals. Jett provides the most comprehensive and intense training available to all populations, ranging from pre-teens to the geriatric, in a fun and professional manner. JETT Training specializes in athletes, rehabilitation, martial arts, sprint work, and cycling.

Follow them everywhere!

Check out other featured “Entrepreneurs in Action”!

Posted in Entrepreneurs in Action | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Angela Martinez | Small Biz Graphics Pro

angela martinezAngela Martinez is one of those people you run into randomly on the web searching for low cost freelancers. Our random chance meeting in the summer of 2012 has grown into a professional business partnership.

I first encountered Angela through eLance.com when I needed help with regular inspirational posts for my criminalthinking.net facebook page. Angela was highly professional and very skilled so our partnership expanded beyond the CriminalThinking.net site to small business projects for logo development and beyond. I encouraged Angela to setup shop on a professional website and begin marketing her vast collection of graphics beyond the paid lead sites and her diligence has paid off ten-fold. I am happy to present Ms. Martinez in this Entrepreneur in Action article series since I believe her growing graphic design business will continue to propel her towards the full-time entrepreneurial path!

1. Career influences

Its hard to say who my career influences have been. There has only a person or two who has influenced my career. I find it important to listen to advice and take guidance from others who are knowledgeable and willing to share their experience with me. I really like the idea of being able to support others no matter where you are in your career path.

2. Biggest career success

Gaining over fifty-five clients over the past 8 months. Determination helps drive your business!

3. Recent lessons learned

Hard lessons should not be dwellt on. Don’t get discouraged when you hit a bump in the road. Everyone has to learn from mistakes sometimes. The best thing I have found to do is think positive and try to correct the issue.

4. What inspires and motivates

Nothing motivates me more, then seeing a client get excited by their design in the final stages. Also, listening to music while designing is when I feel most  in tune with the design that I am working on.

5. Share a leadership story

In 1996 Mike Hollander established Kidstown Romania. The mission of Kidstown is to help abandoned children living in indigenously-operated Christian orphanages in developing countries so that they may be alleviated of their suffering, have hope for the future, and become productive adults who love the Lord and who will contribute positively to their society. As of 2011, Kidstown is helping to care for 625 children living in 26 orphanages in Romania, India, and Nepal.

This story reminds me that it may be hard to give to others but it is worth the drive. Hard work pays off, in all aspects of life.

6. Your Top Two

Stay open and Honest to each client you work with. It builds trust and their loyalty to you.

Stay motivated..no one but you can achieve your goals.

7. About Angela Martinez

Hi there! I’m a graphic designer from the state of Washington. I’ve been doing graphic design for the past 4 years. My goal is to meet the needs of every client I work with. Designing is a passion for me. I specialize in logos, banners, Facebook ads, brochures and much more.

Angela Martinez, Graphic Designer
www.digitaldesignsam.net
http://about.me/angela.Martinez
https://twitter.com/Digitaldesignsa
www.facebook.com/AMDigitalDesigns

Check out other featured “Entrepreneurs in Action”!

Posted in Entrepreneurs in Action | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Twitter Territory ReTaken

Business Twitter Account InaccessibleHaving worked on several full scale, business social media marketing projects, I often face the unhappy task of helping a company regain control of an orphaned Twitter or Facebook page, or two or three! Well meaning or unknowing staff persons often set up social media pages for a company not really understanding or appreciating exactly what they are doing.

Many orphaned pages were set up during the early days of Facebook and Twitter when people were experimenting with personal and business fan pages.  Sadly, the experimental business page is often forgotten and due to the rapid attrition of an average email address (18 months according to Constant Contact) the business page often lays dormant, inaccurate, incomplete and inaccessible to the company that it claims to represent.  The business Facebook or Twitter page is left haunting a company like an unresponsive doppelganger daring you to try and purge him from the Internet!

One of the first steps in any social media strategy is to discover how the company is currently represented on the internet. A quick Google search will give general results and also uncover customer comments on business rating sites, but searching specific social media sites is also necessary. The exact spelling of the name and close variants will help uncover the lifeless content of orphaned pages. In the case of Mooers Volvo, the Twitter page in question was named @mooersvolvo or http://www.twitter.com/mooersvolvo.  There was no mistaking that this Twitter page belonged to the company!

The following timeline is a brief case study of a successful attempt to reclaim the business Twitter account for Mooers Volvo of Richmond. Virginia’s first and Central Virginia’s largest Volvo dealership.  :)

  • 6/5 Discovered inactive business Twitter account that was set up in 2008. There was only one post on the page over the two year span of its existence.
  • 6/6 Tweeted a message to the account asking for the owner to contact me so that we could gain access to it for the business. Waited for a week with no response.
  • 6/13 Read Twitter policies to find any reference to abandoned accounts.  Finding no such policy, decided to make a claim that the owner of the account was impersonating our business and submitted an online ‘impersonation’ form to obtain access to @mooersvolvo. (screenshot1) https://support.twitter.com/articles/20170142-reporting-impersonation-accounts
  • 6/13 Immediately received an auto response confirming submission of the form and explaining their impersonation-related policies. (screenshot2)
  • 6/17 Received an email from Twitter explaining that they removed the ‘reported profile’ from circulation due to violation of their Terms of Service. (screenshot3)
  • 6/17 Asked Twitter if we could gain control over the @mooersvolvo name.
  • 6/20 Twitter responded asking us if we want to replace an existing Twitter account name with this one or if we didn’t have one, they instructed us to create an account with a placeholder name, i.e. mooersvolvo123 (screenshot4)
  • 6/22 Created new placeholder account using mooersvolvo123 and emailed Twitter that it was created.
  • 6/27 Twitter moved new account to mooersvolvo

In summary, compared to the duplicate Facebook page elimination process, this experience was a dream! Here are the positives:

  1. Twitter had a policy and simple form that was able to deal with the issue
  2. An automated response provided a link to the related policy and informed us what we could expect to happen next
  3. Followup emails from a Twitter staff person provided clear and concise information about each step in the process
  4. The Twitter staff responded by email to direct questions about the account
  5. The same contact person at Twitter followed the process through to resolution

Here are the OFI’s (Baldrige Performance Improvement Program terminology for “Opportunities For Improvement”)

  1. A policy dealing explicitly with duplicate or abandoned Twitter pages would seem more appropriate than claiming someone is impersonating the business.
  2. An actual Twitter staff name or pseudonym would more user friendly. The contact person, “kielyMKP” is a bit cryptic.
  3. Response time, of several days between emails, was a bit long, but was still lightning speed compared to the ‘fall flat on your Facebook’ process. :-)
Posted in Social Media | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Free Social Media Icons in PNG format

got social iconsSocial media icons are abundant, but every time I design a new website I wind up needing to find a new set or a different size to add to the design. Over the past few years as a web designer I have accumulated a wealth of icons and a recent blog comment on the article, “How to create a professional email signature in Gmail,” motivated me to create a new post to share the wealth!

These icons were developed in PNG format so the edges are transparent and will blend nicely into any website background color. If you need an icon that you don’t see in this list, drop me a note so I can add it to this social media icon directory!

Select the icons you need and save them to your computer or digital device!

16×16 social media icons

stumbleupon  google-plus  pinterest  instagram  etsy  aboutme  soundcloud  spotify  twitter-2  wikepedia  foursquare  paypal  podcast  yelp  bing  blogger  ebay  social-rss  wordpress  wordpress-2  amazon  aol  google  tumblr  vimeo  facebook  flickr  linkedin  skype  twitter  youtube apple

24×24 social media icons

stumbleupon  twitter  google-plus  aboutme  etsy  instagram  pinterest  yelp  youtube  wordpress  wordpress-2  vimeo  twitter-2  tumblr  soundcloud  skype  slideshare  rss  podcast  paypal  linkedin  google flickr  foursquare  facebook  ebay  digg  delicious  blogger apple

32×32 social media icons

aboutme  apple  blogger  delicious  digg  ebay  email  facebook  flickr  foursquare  google  instagam  itune  linkedin  paypal  pinterest  podcast  rss  skype  slideshare  soundcloud  stumbleupon  tumblr  twitter  twitter-2  vimeo  wordpress  wordpress-2  yelp  youtube

Was this list of icons useful? Share it with a friend! Copy and paste this short URL and send it to your friends:

http://bit.ly/social_media_buttons

Posted in Social Media, Web Design | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Jim Haertel | BrewCity Redevelopment Group, Chief Steward

Jim HaertelI have had the unique pleasure of getting to know Jim during our tenure at Marquette University’s inaugural Executive MBA program. Our group was the first graduating class of the new program and our small class of 30 allowed for intense business discussions and long lasting relationships to be developed. Jim was probably our most vocal classmate and provided endless opportunities for laughter and camaraderie. I have learned about what it takes to make big calculated risks by watching Jim’s passionate pursuit of his Milwaukee brewery dream. I am proud to call him a friend and former classmate and excited to finally feature him as a passionate ‘Entrepreneur in Action.’

1. Career influences

My best friend Tom Erd influenced me in my entrepreneurial pursuits by giving me a book about investing in real estate.  Tom was determined to be successful, as was I.  I followed him in newspaper delivery, golf caddying and working at a friend’s Dad’s box company (luckily I passed on selling encyclopedias).  I bought my first piece of real estate because of Tom and then we were partners in my fourth acquisition, a bar with five apartments.  This and a few other life experiences are what led to my big purchase of the Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery.  Tom and I are still best friends and run successful businesses with our wives playing integral roles in our companies.

My wife Karen has influenced me with her support, “As long as we can pay the bills!”  She has been my sounding board and has saved me from many a dumb idea and has been adept at seeing when one of my cockamamie ideas has a shred of possibility.  She also lets me be me – which is a little different – but always trying to help others.

2. Biggest career success

After graduating Marquette’s Executive MBA Program in 1997, I was inspired to go for my Passion! Mine was historic real estate.  Specifically, the Pabst Corporate Offices.  The catch: Pabst people required I purchase the entire Brewery for $11 million! I risked losing $50,000 if we failed.  We moved forward on 9-11-2001. With two weeks until we fail, we raised the money and received the Pabst Corporate Office Building for our $50,000 downpayment.  Follow YOUR Passion!

3. Recent lessons learned

Be patient with people and they will come around or you might see the wisdom in their thoughts and ideas.

4. What inspires and motivates

Making a difference.  Saving history.  Helping the less fortunate in ways that give them a fish when they are hungry but also helps to teach them how to fish so they can be independent and free.

5. Share a leadership story

So many of us are brought up to excel in school and sports, fine arts and such.  In school, you are generally preparing for college.  In college, it is typical to prepare you for work at a job.  We are taught to be good, hard-working soldiers.  But those that do not fit in or see another way, often become derelicts or entrepreneurs.  Good entrepreneurs can become very successful.  Bad ones can become very good workers (soldiers) or derelicts.  I would encourage everyone to go for their dream and be a good entrepreneur.  Be a Leader, not a Follower! Be Happy!

6. Your Top Two

I told my wife Karen I wanted to do “Dick Tracy-like” telephones, that look like wristwatches.  They’re coming out now.

Put your family first and encourage your managers and all employees to put their family first, too.

Examples of doing this are allowing flexible schedules so parents can take care or be present for important things that happen at unusual times-like during work.  Allow telecommuting whenever and wherever possible-trust your employees to give you an honest day’s work.  The good ones will work harder and peer pressure will weed out offenders.  Give rewards and recognition that can be taken home, even if it is a certificate that makes it onto the fridge. Have family-centered company events like picnics.  Have kids decorate pumpkins and such for prizes, where every entry wins something.

7. About Jim Haertel

My name is James C. Haertel and go by Jim Haertel, Chief Steward of BrewCity Redevelopment Group, LLC d/b/a Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery.

I am a Milwaukee born and raised guy who loves his City!  I met my wife Karen in high school and we have a married daughter who blessed us with two granddaughters.  Our son is engaged to be married August 23, 2014 at our Banquet Hall.  I have a UW-Milwaukee BS and a Marquette Executive MBA.  I was a CPA, too.

Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery (Facebook) is currently four ideas (some would call these ‘profit centers’ or something like that) with a few more forthcoming:

  • The Retro Pabst Gift Shop – With a treasure trove of vintage and new retro beer EVERYTHING!
  • The Best Beer History Tour – A one-hour and 15 minute fun and entertaining “Tour” all about Pabst.
  • The Best Place Tavern – selling ten, local, fresh, delicious cold beers, retros like PBR and new micros, too.
  • Blue Ribbon Banquet Hall – a 17th century European Beer Hall used for weddings and milestone events.

We are planning Beer, Bed & Breakfast rooms, upstairs, with beer ON TAP in every room! We also want to give home brew demonstrations, to brew beer again and again at the Pabst and sell home brew kits. We are currently renovating an 1880 and 1892 piece of our Buildings as another Banquet Hall, formerly and again to be known as “The Great Room.”  The 1892 piece includes Captain Pabst’s Office, replete with his roll-top desk.  The space is ornate with 1880 original woodwork, seven, original stained glass pieces, the original 12 x 23 foot skylight and more.  This is where my son Joshua will be marrying Lanae.

We give back by giving out over 20 certificates a month for 6 free tours that charities use as raffle items.  We have donated Banquet Hall rentals.  We give non-profits 50% off of our room rental fees. We give free use at times so worthy charities can raise funds and aspiring artists can display their art or perform – especially bands and DJs.

Check out other featured “Entrepreneurs in Action”!

Posted in Entrepreneurs in Action | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment