Impeach Is A Verb

Impeach. It tends to be viewed as an ugly word, and in this day/age/country, incredibly polarizing. But I want to take a step back from that polarization for a second and look at the most basic definition of the word.

If we consider the most basic definition, removing it from the political or legal nuances that we tend to attach it to, it becomes an incredibly valuable, albeit difficult, action that can be internally applied to a business.

There are mountains of data, both industry provided, and internally for your specific business, that deserve a certain level of scrutiny. One of the values DBM Grow brings to businesses is a the ability to analyze and scrutinize the “facts” and data that you assume to be true. Here are a couple of examples to better illustrate what we have done, and perhaps what you should be doing internally with your business to maximize profit and see growth.

The first example, a client in the southwest with a robust marketing budget and a lack of understanding as to what those marketing dollars were actually doing for him. The client was spending thousands of dollars with local radio and television stations. And with each passing month, he would receive reports showing how many people had heard or seen his ads on tv, radio, and the stations respective websites. Growing frustrated by the thousands of dollars being spent and the seemingly small return on that money, DBM Grow took a look at what actually happened when a consumer saw or heard an ad. The end result was rather simple. The media stations were accurately reporting how many times our client was visible to the public, but they were providing no measurement as to how many people acted on those ads. Essentially, everybody was seeing the ads, but nobody was picking up the phone or visiting the clients website. The radio and TV stations were saying “look at all the people seeing your ad”, but upon closer scrutiny, those views and listeners didn’t create business.

A second scenario emerged for us with a client that employed us to generate leads for their business. Doing the job we were contracted to do, we built a campaign and drove traffic to a website on behalf of our clients, but several months into the process we were met with a complaint that “this isn’t working”. Knowing that there were plenty of leads coming in but there wasn’t an increase in business, somebody needed to be impeached, right?

Upon further scrutiny, it was discovered that a number of the leads generated weren’t being contacted or followed up at all. So, while the client spent money and we generated leads, the staff at this particular business was doing very little with the leads that were being provided. The end result was that DBM Grow built the client a nifty KPI dashboard to give them the ability to scrutinize staff and, “impeach” those that weren’t doing their job following up with leads.

In the end, no person, product or process is above impeachment. Challenging the credibility of the facts and people in your organization can lead you to positive change. In truth, it can also prove that you are doing things the right way and your employees are performing at a high standard.

If you’re looking for growth, challenge the status quo. Play devil’s advocate. Impeach. Scrutinize. And if you need an outside set of eyes to help you take a fresh look or you need a system built to keep a closer eye on those Key indicators, Contact DBM Grow…we’re always willing to take closer a look.

Dustin Fickbohm
We’re looking for a few good men and women!

Plain and simple…if you’re a Realtor, we should probably talk…because we’re looking for a few good men and women in the real estate industry.

Generating leads is one of the things that DBM Grow (formerly Direct Business Marketing) has done very well over the past decade. Originally cutting our teeth in the Real Estate industry, DBM Grow has been helping real estate agents and Realtors generate leads and close more transactions at an alarming rate.

With that in mind, answer these three questions to see if you’re the right fit to join our client list…

Are you a real estate agent looking for more listings?

Seems like a simple question with an obvious answer, but there are two million active real estate licenses in the United States. Let’s be honest and say that not all 2 million are looking for more business.

Do you have the time, energy, desire to work leads for a handful of minutes per day?

Some people just don’t have a good grip on their schedule. Some can’t time block well. Some don’t want to cold call prospects.

Do you have the budget to run a marketing program?

This is my LEAST favorite question, simply because the average agent doesn’t even THINK about a marketing budget. The next transaction closing determines how much they can spend.

So, honestly, we’re looking for a few good men and women… from one agent to a handful of agents in any given area. We don’t provide our seller leads to listings program to anybody who wants it. It’s successful for our clients. So, we’re not going to saturate any given market with our clients competing against our clients.

If you answered “YES” to the 3 questions above. Let’s talk. Here’s my calendar. You find a time that works for you. Calendly – Dustin Fickbohm

Dustin Fickbohm
For Business Owners: Protect Your Most Valuable Asset

As a business owners, you might find yourselves wearing a dozen different hats during any given day. You’ve got sales calls or customer service or employee management or marketing or brand management or product development or inventory control or any number of other things that need to be taken care of.

So, among those things, what is your most important asset? You could certainly make a case for your Brand or your products or your employees or your customers. Depending on your perspective at any given moment, each of those things could be categorized as your “MOST IMPORTANT” asset.

But I want to challenge you to think a bit more abstractly about this. While all of the things listed above are critical to your business, it’s important to consider another thing that business owners value immensely…


Your time is likely your most valuable asset. You have a finite amount of it. You can’t get more than 24 hours out of any day. But you CAN use your time more efficiently and effectively. And that’s one of the many ways that DBMGrow helps businesses and business owners.

Over the past decade, DBM Grow has worked with companies to automate the process of doing business. This has manifested itself in a number of ways. And, as a business owner who values time, I’d encourage you to reflect on these.

  • Automating interactions via social media
  • Creating templates and standards for employees, staff or colleagues to follow
  • Standardizing processes and procedures for HOW you conduct business
  • Automating lead follow-up processes
  • Connecting multiple pieces of information and data to better understand your business and it’s bottom line

These are just a few examples. But hopefully they get you to look at what and how you are doing things on a daily basis. More importantly, where can you save time, effort and energy in automating or standardizing a process? What are some things that you MUST do in your business, but hate doing? What are things that need to be done, but they feel like a waste of YOUR time? What are the things that you avoid doing until the last minute? What are the things that frustrate you because of their monotonous, repetitive nature?

Those are great questions to ask yourself as you look at protecting your most valuable asset…your TIME.

Dustin Fickbohm
5 Tips to Ensure Your Website is Secure

Security is a currently huge hot button issue with all of our clients.  It used to be that if you weren’t “selling” anything on your website you didn’t really have to worry about website security.  But those days are long gone!

As recent news reports have shown us, no system is 100% secure.  We have seen Fortune 500 companies that spend millions on security breached. So what can a small business owner do to protect themselves?

1. Ensure your site has an secure socket layer (SSL) certificate installed

I’m sure you have see the little lock icon next to the web address in your browser, but do you know what it means?  The lock icon means that all the data sent to and from your computer (laptop, smartphone, tablet, whatever…) is encrypted.  Therefore, if a “hacker” is able to look at your data stream, it would be gibberish.

This is not only important to protect your user’s data, as it is sent to your website, but most websites have an “admin” or “management” portal that is accessed using a username and password.  Having an SSL protected site will protect others from gaining access to your website.

The cost of an SSL certificate can vary from $0 – $800 per year.  Most hosting plans will provide you a basic SSL certificate at no cost.

2. Use a web application firewall (WAF)

How many movies have you seen where somebody yells out: “they’ve breached the firewall!” Do you really know what a firewall is? Basically, a firewall is a piece of code that looks at network traffic and stops “bad” traffic and allows “good” traffic.  A web application firewall (WAF) is specific kind of firewall that looks at visitors to your website and stops visitors from doing bad things.  They may be accessing your website through a legitimate means, but what they are doing on your site isn’t.

The cost of a WAF is around $20 per month, but normally WAF providers will also include other services (like a CDN) for no additional charge.

3. Back-up your site daily

Knowing your website is backed up is like a “warm blanket” that removes stress!  If your site is compromised, you can restore from your last back and be back up and running in no time.  Let’s be honest, if your site is down, the only question you want answered is – “when will it be back up again?!?!”

The cost of daily back-ups vary from $0 – $5 / month.  I would first check with your hosting company on how often your site is backed up.  How many back-ups are kept? (If you don’t notice the error for a couple days and you only keep one day of back-up… You are out of luck!) Cost and timeline to restore a back-up.  If your host doesn’t have a clear and quick method for you to see your back-ups and restore them; I would recommend getting an off-site back-up service.  An extra $5 / month is well worth the peace of mind!

4. Update your content management system (CMS) monthly

Almost every modern website is built using a content management system (CMS).  The most common are WordPress and Joomla, but you may know it just as the “admin” or “management” portal.  If your website has login where you can edit the content of your website, then you have a CMS.

A majority of security breaches occur because your CMS was compromised.  Either through a bug in the CMS code or through the “hacker” gaining knowledge of your login credentials.  In the SSL section I covered how your CMS credentials could be compromised, so we won’t review that issue.  The second potential problem is a security hole (or “bug”) in the CMS code.  If you are using a current CMS then the code will get updated monthly, and you should update your server’s version of the CMS when new updates are released.

There are paid tools that can help you track and update your CMS, but generally you simply have to login and click “update.” Of course, do a back-up before you do any updates!

5. Monitor your site daily

This seems like a “no brainer” but check on your website daily.  A simple and easy way to avoid your clients seeing a compromised website is to check it daily and revert to back-up quickly.  This will also ensure you site never lands on a “blacklist” – because once your site is on a blacklist it can take weeks or months to get it removed.

There are 3rd party tools that will “ping” or check your site for you, but you can easily make it part of your daily or weekly processes.


There is no guarantee that your site won’t get “hacked” but there are simple steps you can take to avoid a compromised site or to be back up and running quickly after a compromise.

If you are a client of ours and have our “customer care” plan, these are all things we automatically do for you.

Let us know if you want to learn more.

Andrew Houglum
Can I Afford an App?

When talking with our clients, one topic that comes up regularly is: “I wish I could get an app for that!”

Now they aren’t talking about an app to walk their dog or take out the trash.  For years business owners and senior managers have lamented the fact that only enterprise organizations with VERY deep pockets have been able to afford an app specifically for their business.

But, that time is gone!

And nobody knows!

Companies have been told that simple apps cost $100k+ to develop and release, and so they quit asking the question…

“Can we build and app for that?”

In 2015 Facebook released a programming framework called “React Native.”  React Native is used to develop applications for Android, iOS and UWP by enabling developers to use React (JavaScript library) along with native platform capabilities.

This has brought feasibility of a small business to have an app of their own.

So, if you have ever thought… “I wish we had an app…”  It may no longer be wishful thinking!

Andrew Houglum
What Does Cost Effective Image Recognition Mean for Small Businesses?

Covert Mission Games (CMG) is a unique entertainment company that offers their clients with real-life spy missions.  Players have to visit real-world locations, like a restaurant or bar, and accomplish a task to help stop The Foundation from a global take over.  Players love having a fun and unique night out, but due to its utter uniqueness the company was looking for another way to attract players.

CMG partnered with us to develop an app that would promote their unique service and give players a real-life spy mission they could play at anytime.

Our first task was to analyze how their human mission controllers progressed users through a mission, and we noticed that a common process:

  1. Go to location X
  2. Send me a photo to prove you are there

Or another common process:

  1. We’ve hidden a clue
  2. Here is a photo of what you are looking for

It was clear to us that we needed to find an enterprise level image recognition platform, but on a small business budget.

Clarifai was our life saver!

Their API has both general (dog, cat, grass, etc) image recognition built in, but also offers the ability to “train” the system to look for specific objects.

If you think your business could benefit from an app with image recognition – let us know!


Andrew Houglum