By k | March 21, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

The Cheating Culture written by David Callahan
discusses how more and more people are cheating
and how easy it is to do.

Maybe it’s easy for the average person
but I doubt it is for the rich or famous.

But why would that be when Callahan writes
“Government regulators don’t have the resources
to crack down on cheating,
especially by the super wealthy”?

Because while government regulators don’t have the resources,
the blogosphere and other media types do.
If I can prove Warren Buffett
(or any other successful person)
cheated on his taxes,
I can make myself a million bucks.
That’s a huge incentive.

Think about that the next time
you’re tempted to trade ethics for success.

By k | March 20, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Seth Godin,
in a recent post about the music industry,
talks about the power of subscribers.

“Magazines make 10x return on equity of books,
you know why?
Because magazines have subscribers and
books don’t.
So every time a book comes out
they gotta run around looking for someone to buy it.
Where as the magazine people just look
for the next author to write the next article
in the next magazine.”

Subscribers are a must now
even in the book world.
There are publishers with subscribers
(Harlequin).
There are authors with subscribers
(Nora Roberts with her 11 new novels out in 2008).

Customers are too precious to let walk away.

By k | March 19, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

For the past few years, I’ve worked contract gigs.
I sign long term contracts for the companies.
I drive multi-year projects.

I am supposedly to be held accountable
for actions and investments
happening years after my contract ends.
Supposedly because everyone involved
knows darn well I won’t be.
I’ll have long since left the company.
It is a sham,
a way to shelter permanent employees
from possible mistakes.

If you’re a business owner or shareholder,
take a serious look at the sign offs
on big projects.
If the sign offs are
by contract or leaving employees,
they are meaningless.

By k | March 18, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

An executive
on a past product launch
asked for a response rate on a magazine ad
the week after it launched.

He came from the direct mailing world.
With a direct mailer,
you can expect 80-90% of responses
between one to two weeks of mailing.
Calculating a response to an ad
in a magazine
might take the month or more.

If we had given him the extremely low numbers
we had after that first week,
he would have declared the marketing compaign a failure.

Marketing plans are important.
They lay out not only the marketing techniques and budget
but the response timelines.

By k | March 17, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

There are two general ways of incenting your employees.
You can bribe them with a carrot or
you can beat them with a stick.

If you can find the right carrot,
that technique always works.

The stick has decreasing effectiveness
with the skill of the workforce.
With skilled labor shortages,
employees prefer to move rather
than suffer the beats.

Forget about using it in volunteer situations.
I was recently on the board of a charity.
The President would talk to us under only two situations.
The first was when she wanted something done.
The second was when she wished to reprimand us.
When I realized that I dreaded talking to the President,
I resigned.

I was working for carrots
and those carrots were scarce.

By k | March 16, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Donald Trump Jr recently told BNN that
“Sometimes tumultuous times
are the best times to make a deal.”

These are tumultuous times.
Whether the U.S. is officially or unofficially
in a recession doesn’t really matter.
The average person is facing challenges.

The average person is.
Donald Trump Jr is not average.
I am not average.
I would bet you’re not average either.

We should be the ones looking to make deals.
Keep your eyes open for them.

By k | March 15, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A fear of any CEO
is heading a company
whose complete product line becomes obsolete.
That happened to Cris Ashworth
of United Record Pressing
yet the company and his leadership survived.
Survived the mass consumer move
from vinyl records to CD’s to digital.
Survived with a core business still in vinyl.

How did they do it?
They embraced going niche.
They targeted DJ’s
(avid users of vinyl).
They played up the novelty,
the quality,
the colors,
the artwork.
And now, they offer hosting of digital downloads
driven by special codes on the records.

By k | March 14, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Darren at Problogger in his post about advertising
reminds us that when we promote online
to link to a landing page,
not necessarily a front page.

So say I was advertising my writing site
in the Romantic Times eNewsletter.
I wouldn’t send them to
http://businessromance.com/,
I’d send them to a page specifically set up
for Romantic Times readers.
This page would introduce visitors to the site,
talk about my latest novel, and
suggest some starting posts to read.

This automated response
is easy to do
and
makes the reader feel special.

By k | March 13, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

For some unknown reason,
client k got on a ranking of top Health blogs
(must be all that talk about selling more M&M’s
and how sleep is overrated).
I promptly contacted the listmakers and
got it taken off.

Why?
Because not all prospects are good prospects.
Calming down readers
who are never going to return
is a waste of energy.

As is trying to sell a beef burger
to a vegetarian.
Or marketing a romance novel
in a car magazine.

Concentrate on talking to the prospects
interested in the product first.

By k | March 12, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A loved one is looking at a layoff. 
He doesn’t know when it’ll happen
but it will happen.  
That’s a sure thing
(the company is bleeding red ink uncontrollably). 

Until then,
he’s living on borrowed time. 
That isn’t a sad thing. 
It is a rare opportunity to plan for change
before it happens. 

If you are in the same situation, 
use this gift wisely. 
Plan and prepare…
and be thankful.