By k | July 22, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I thought I knew what it was like
to work hard
before I started my own business.
I had been on the executive track
at large corporations,
helping them launch new products
and new systems.
I was working 70 hour weeks,
every week.

Starting up a company
makes those weeks seem
like a holiday.

Nena Chaletzos,
founder and CEO
of Luxtripper,
shares

“Starting up a company is 24/7.

It can be stressful at times
and sometimes you will have
some very dark days
along the way.

But if you go into it
with your eyes open
and plan for the potential future risks,
it should be smoother sailing.”

Prepare for the hard work.
Changing the world
isn’t a part time gig.

By k | July 21, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I write in two subgenres
of romance.
I have an active series
(product line)
in each of them.

This week,
I decided to stop writing
in one of the subgenres.
It hurt.
I had invested quite a bit
of time and money
in that product line
but, for the health
of my total business,
it had to be done

Why?

Because sales were really bad.
I won’t recoup launch costs
for well over a decade.
And these sales weren’t increasing.

The sales of the other series
(product line),
in contrast,
are very high.
I recoup launch costs first day.
And sales are increasing.

My decision was clear.
I have limited resources.
It makes sense to dump
the failing product line
and concentrate on the successful one.

Your decision might be more challenging.
Look at trends,
both for your product line
and for the industry.
Listen to buzz.
Are people talking about the product line
or is it quiet, too quiet?
Are there substantial improvements
or changes
you can make
that might revive the product line?

Evaluate
and then make the tough decision.
If it makes sense
for the total business,
don’t be afraid
to dump a product line.

By k | July 20, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I was interested in
working with a marketing company
for a specific promotion.

The marketing company
would be responsible for one part
of the promotion.
I would be responsible for the rest.

According to the marketing company,
they had provided this program
to many other writers.
I had never participated in one.
I didn’t know what would be involved.

So I asked what the estimate
of my total costs would be,
suggesting they use another writer’s costs
to base this estimate on.

They came back
with merely the list of things
I’d be responsible for,
something that had already been
communicated.
No price estimates were attached.

Which told me what I needed to know.
They didn’t know
what they were doing.

Even if your company isn’t responsible
for all of the costs,
you should know what the total costs
of the previous projects you sold are.

If a prospective client asks,
you should be able to give them an estimate
(noting exactly that
- it is an estimate
based on the previous client’s numbers).

Know the total costs
of any project you’re selling.

By k | July 19, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I was working
with a publisher,
I would take courses
on marketing and sales.
When the topic changed
to pricing,
I wouldn’t pay attention.

Why?

Because pricing was
my publisher’s responsibility
and I assumed she knew
all of the information presented.

When I started self-publishing,
I paid attention
because it was now
my responsibility.

And I found out
my publisher wasn’t as savvy
as I thought she was.
If I had learned from the courses
and pushed back
on some of the decisions,
both of us would have been
much more successful.

When you’re running your own business,
EVERYTHING is your responsibility.
You might delegate the task
but you’re responsible
for evaluating
whether or not
that task is completed correctly.
You’re the person
who will be financially punished
if you accept shoddy work.

That responsibility is
a powerful incentive
to learn every aspect of your business
and continue learning.
That knowledge
will increase the odds
of you and your business
being successful.

Take responsibility for everything.

By k | July 18, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

You might have done
a great job
of communicating
your company’s mission.
Everyone,
when asked,
can repeat it.

When asked.

That’s key.
When they’re reminded,
they know it.
When they aren’t reminded,
it might not be top of mind.

I tend to try to do something
for the good of others
everyday.
Today, I read a post
about doing three good things.
I needed that post.
Other things were creeping
into the time
I normally use
to do good.

This blog is also a reminder.
You likely know
all of this information.
Hell, you know you need to
remind people about your mission.
But you might need that reminder also.

Remind people
about your mission.

By k | July 17, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I never plan to retire.

It isn’t about money.
It is about having a purpose
(that DOES allow me
to earn a living).
I want to change the world.
I want to add value.

I do this
with my romance novels.
I spread love, hope and optimism.

Alf Catalano,
a 93 year old
entrepreneur,

does this by
buying and restoring
earth-moving equipment.

Anna Patty,
the article’s writer,
claims he ‘lives to work.’

He doesn’t.

As Alf’s daughter says,
“Up until a few years ago,
dad would walk faster than me.
Always with a purpose,
always with a mission.”

He lives
not to work
but to fulfill his personal mission.

If you have a personal mission,
a purpose in life,
why would you ever stop
pursuing it?

By k | July 16, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Thank you
are two very powerful words.
When I thank people
for sharing my Facebook posts,
they almost always
share my next Facebook post.

Bam!
My marketing efforts
are multiplied
with two simple words.

Leader Tribe
shares
the result of an experiment.

“Once again,
those who had been thanked
in a significant way
were more than twice as likely
to help a stranger
than those who weren’t thanked properly.”

Change the world.
Increase your sales.
Thank someone today.

By k | July 15, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

As both a writer
and a businesswoman,
I’m very conscious
of the power of word choice.

One wrong word
can change the entire tone
of a paragraph,
a page,
an idea.
It can change the way
a reader
perceives the character
for the ENTIRE book.

An example…

Ally and friend
might be suggested
by a thesaurus as synonyms
but they hold VERY different meanings.

Ally has war connotations.
Allies are aligned
against a common enemy.
It is a colder word,
hints at a lack of personal engagement.

Friend is warmer, friendlier, loving.
It is personal
and emotional.
When we say friend,
we envision a table,
not a battlefield.

Using ally escalates
tense situations.
Using friend calms
the situation down.

Be conscious of word choices.
Words will change your message.

By k | July 14, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

My newsletter is,
hands down,
my best marketing tool.
The goal is,
of course,
to have as many subscribers
as possible
open the newsletter.

A great subject line
is key for this.

John Orlando,
Chief Marketing Officer
of
Constant Contact,
shares

“Effective subject lines use
fewer than 50 characters,
accurately describe the content
that follows
and inspire customers
to open or click immediately.

Going a little deeper into subject lines,
you may want to avoid generic ones
such as “June newsletter”
or “Monthly news from XYZ Company.”

You may also want to avoid language
that attracts spam filters.
Some of the words and phrases
that often get stuck in spam filters
are “free” and “guaranteed,”
along with “act now” and “call now.”
Two other things to consider
avoiding in subject lines
is the use of symbols
such as $$ and %,
and, of course, ALL CAPS.”

Take time
crafting your newsletter’s subject line.
It will be well worth
the extra effort.

By k | July 13, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

In the writing community
we have a saying–
“Show. Don’t Tell.”

Most of our communications
are nonverbal.

The Nonverbal Group
shares

“Dr. Albert Mehrabian,
author of Silent Messages,
conducted several studies
on nonverbal communication.
He found that 7% of any message
is conveyed through words,
38% through certain vocal elements,
and
55% through nonverbal elements
(facial expressions,
gestures, posture, etc).”

What this means
is
even when we’re not speaking,
we’re sending messages.

Seth Godin
shares

“What we choose to do
(and what we choose not to do)
turns into a signal
to the people around us.

These signals aren’t universal,
they are interpreted in different ways
by people with different worldviews.”

Your actions,
your facial expressions,
your body language
are sending signals.
Make certain they are the signals
you want to send.