By k | October 21, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Publishers and publicists
often email me sales sheets
for their upcoming releases.
If I’m interested in the romance novel,
they’ll send it to me
and I review it.

Sometimes the sales sheet is designed to trick.
I say I don’t review paranormals
so it will neglect to mention the hero is a vampire
(although it is obvious first page
that he is).

That’s fine.
Usually I’ll review the novel.
Then I never, ever accept a book
from that contact again.

Customers aren’t dumb
and no one likes being lied to.
Save the tricks for Halloween.

By k | October 20, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Want the expert status
publishing a book gets you
but don’t have time to write
300 pages?

Susan Friedmann
in Riches In Niches
suggests publishing an anthology.

An anthology is a collection of works
by (usually) different authors.

The best authors to team with
are not direct competitors.
A divorce lawyer
could team with a financial advisor
and a tax accountant,
both specializing in divorce.

The work is shared.
Any publishing or promotion expense
can be shared.
Client bases can be shared.

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

Ray Silverstein in
The Best Secrets Of Great Small Businesses
outlines some creative ways
to collect money from delinquent customers.

They include
Bartering - taking goods or services instead of cash
Transferring to a credit card
Recovering the product
Not honoring warranties or guarantees
until the payment is made

Waiting too long to get paid
may mean not getting paid at all.

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

Some companies are pulling back
on marketing
during the recession.

That creates an opportunity for the rest of us.
I’ve contacted prime advertising outlets,
telling them
if an advertiser bails,
I have creative ready.
Pending price, I’ll step in.

It is allowing me to advertise
on sites I couldn’t afford prior to this.

Note:
To take advantage of this,
you have to be ready to go,
your creative in the proper format
and your cash ready.

By k | October 17, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Short answer:
If you see an opportunity,
yes.

However, keep in mind
it will be even more challenging to get financing
(so bootstrapping often necessary)
and customers are less likely to
take a chance on a brand new product or service
UNLESS they are pretty darn sure
it’ll improve their lives
or there’s some sort of satisfaction guarantee.

As with any business started,
regardless of economic conditions,
expect it to take more time
and more money
than you budget.
Have a buffer for both.

By k | October 16, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’ve managed a lot of projects
and I’ve heard a lot of excuses.

I’d rather not.

Hear the excuses, that is.
We all have problems, I understand that.
I don’t need to know your particular one
(especially if it is embarrassing or a private matter).

As a project manager,
all I need to know is
when you’ll get your task done.

So say a simple
“I’m sorry I missed the deadline.
I’ll have it to you by ___”
and let us busy project managers get back
to project managing.

By k | October 15, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One day last week,
after losing thousands in the markets,
I walked into a business
and they gave me a free pen.

Normally, I wouldn’t have thought twice
about that free pen
but that day, wow,
I told everyone about it.

People like to be in their natural state.
I’m a happy person.
I was looking for a reason to be happy.
I’ll remember for years
that company with their free pen
helped put me there.

Do you have a little extra
you can add to orders?

By k | October 14, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Some experts are advising
small business owners
simply ignore
the stock and credit market turmoil.

The only thing you should ignore
is that advice.

If your company is doing well,
turn your focus to your key customers.
Call them up.
If they comment on the economy,
ask them if there is anything you can do to help
(and have a few good ideas of what you can do
if they say yes).

Even if they are doing wonderfully,
you’ve strengthened your relationship by asking.
You’ve become a true partner,
someone they can count on
and trust.

We all like to do business with people we trust.

By k | October 13, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

On one of the writing loops,
a writer accused another writer
of a serious faux pas.
The thing was…
the accuser was wrong, clearly wrong.
The accused was nice about it,
classy yet firm.

I waited and waited and waited.

The accuser never apologized.
At least not in public.

Yes, I know it is embarrassing.
Yes, I know it is hard to do.
But if you make a mistake in public,
you admit to it in public.
If you falsely accuse someone in public
(not a bright thing to do),
you apologize in public.

Do that and you’ll retain some integrity.
Don’t do that and you’ll look like a complete ass.

By k | October 12, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

With a down economy
comes downsizing.
Downsizing means more work for remaining employees.
How to ensure some of their precious time
is spent on your projects?

Send thank you’s.

I’m working on an implementation right now.
After each milestone is reached,
I send out thank you emails.
I make them personal.
I place them in an isolated email
(nothing other than the thank you).
I cc the person’s boss.

Thank you’s in this company are rare.
The receipients appreciate them
(especially with lay offs looming).
Their bosses appreciate them
(everyone wants to manage superstars).
My project has suddenly become a priority.

Send a thank you today
(they are even better sent on a Sunday).