By k | August 31, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When a business is sold,
the intelligent buyer
puts in some sort of non-compete clause.
The seller can’t open
a similar business
in a similar geographical area
for a certain amount of time
after the sale.

Like price,
this clause can be
an emotional stumbling block
for many business owners
so it is often beneficial to think of solutions
before offers are made.

For writers,
dealing with this clause is easy
(we utilize the same tactic
we use to deal with
the right of first refusal clause
found in most publishing contracts).
We write in another genre.
Instead of writing paranormal erotic romances,
we write sci-fi erotic romances.

We can use many of the same skills
and we can benefit from our experience,
ramping up our businesses quickly,
yet we’re not directly ‘competing.’

Of course,
if we don’t sell our companies,
this alternative business
can be a great business to expand into.

What business would you build
if you had to exit your current business?

By k | August 30, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Yesterday,
we talked about how
we should always be open to selling.

But how do we know
an offer is worth considering?

We compare the $ offer
to the price of our business.
We need to know this price NOW
(updated regularly).

Why now?

Because when we get an offer,
the knee-jerk reaction is
“If he’s offering this price,
the business must be worth much more.”

Not necessarily.
Buyers overpay for businesses
all of the time
and knowing our price
allows us to cut out this emotion.

I start pricing at
the resale cost of the assets
plus 10 year accumulated discounted cash flow.
Then I tweak for any special considerations.

Know the price of your business
NOW.
Be ready for that offer.

By k | August 29, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I mentioned to a buddy
that one of the reasons
I write under a pen name
is because I can easily sell that pen name
(and yes,
pen names are sold
all of the time
- writers build businesses
and businesses can be sold),
that buddy said
“I’d NEVER sell my pen name”.

That’s bullshit
and I called her on it.

I asked her
if she’d sell
if someone offered her a million dollars.
She pushed back with
“But I love writing.”
My reply was
“Then write under a new pen name.”
(i.e. build another business)

Her ‘never’ became ‘yes.’

Selling should always be a possibility.
Design your business
so you can sell
if the price is right.

By k | August 28, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

There are readers who read short works
(short stories and novellas),
there are readers who read long works
(novels),
and there are a small group
of readers who read both.

Under one pen name,
I write short stories and novellas
exclusively.
As this pen name grows
in popularity,
I get more and more pressure
from the novel reading group
to write longer.

If only I’d add more world-building,
more description,
more love scenes,
the story would be perfect

… for them.

But I’m not writing for them.
I’m very clear about
the readers I’m writing for.
That market is big enough
for me to focus on
and be profitable.

Be very careful
when you’re asked to change your product.
Ensure that the folks asking
ARE your target market.

By k | August 27, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

You are at the beginning
of your career.
You have the latest knowledge.
You get the most out of the newest technology.
You learned all of that in school.

But you’re not in school anymore
and that advantage doesn’t last long,
not without some work on your part.

As Bill Lane,
in his book
Losing It,
shares

““You need to ask yourself
every day of your career,
‘Am I up to speed?
Am I pushing the envelope,
or am I stagnating and falling behind?’”
Are you still living off
the same achievement
you had 20 years ago?

The ultimate sustainable advantage
in your career
is the ability to learn.”

Continue learning.
This isn’t a choice.
This is a necessity.

By k | August 26, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of the best experiences I had
during my recent Alaskan cruise
was visiting the Hammer Museum
in Haines.

Yes, a Hammer Museum.
The entrance fee was $3
but the experience was priceless.

I didn’t have a passion for hammers.
Heck, before visiting the museum,
I didn’t even know
there was more than one kind of hammer.
(The Hammer Museum has thousands)

But I was immediately swept up
in the owners’ passion for hammers.
Each hammer was carefully displayed,
with a card sharing its (often humorous) history.
Many hammers had copies of the patents.

There were hammers all over the world
including a hammer that was used
to build the pyramids in Giza.

I felt the love of hammers
and by the end of the tour,
I shared that love.
I’ll never look at hammers the same way again.

Passion sells.
Remember that
when you talk about your own products.

BTW…
The Hammer Museum will soon expand
into Mallets and Nails
which the owners are as passionate about.

By k | August 25, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Yes, I know it is only August
and Black Friday is a long way off,
but as John Jantsch reminds us
“The time to prepare your business
for these mega-shopping days is
right now.
You don’t want to put your planning off
until October or November.
Other businesses,
especially the big box and mall stores,
have begun planning
for the upcoming holiday shopping season
at the beginning of the year
(if not sooner).
So don’t let yourself get left behind.”

If you think you’re too busy
to plan for Black Friday now,
during the usually slower summer,
how do you think
you’ll manage planning for these sales
when business gets busy?

Do a little bit extra every day
and you’ll be prepared by Black Friday.

Prepare for Black Friday now.

By k | August 24, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The road to success
is covered with potholes
and speed bumps.

It is tempting when we hit a pothole,
to swerve off that road
and try another,
only to find the new road is as bumpy.

It isn’t a good idea to revisit strategy
when we’re hitting a pothole
or undergoing disappointment.
We aren’t thinking rationally.
We’re thinking with our emotions.

Wait a week or two or three.
Better yet,
plan a date for re-evaluating strategy
at the beginning of the journey.

Stick to the same road
until that designated time.

(This post is written more for me,
than for you,
as I face more frustration
over a slower than expected
sales build)

By k | August 23, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I took an Alaskan cruise last week
and the female officers on the cruise
were talking about a recent brush with fame,
the celebrity being a fellow romance writer.

I’ve never met this romance writer
but I took a minute and sent her an email.

Why?
Because it is a nice thing to do
but also because praise relayed from a third party
is often the most valued praise.
It feels pure,
as though the person relaying the praise
has nothing to gain.

Of course, we all have something to gain.
I ‘met’ someone new,
someone who could help me
with my own writing career.
But the perception of purity is there.

If you hear something nice
being said about another person or business,
pass along the kudos.
It is a free and easy way
to make the world a better place.

By k | August 22, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Under one pen name,
I have 41 stories released.
That’s 41 heroines
with 41 unique names.

Some writers have issues
coming up with heroine names,
especially after so many stories.

I don’t.
I name my heroines after readers.

Readers love it,
not only the readers with heroines named after them
but many of my other readers
because it shows that I really do write for them.
They see that my readers come first.

I’ve eaten in restaurants
where certain dishes
are named after guests who frequently ordered them.
A stir fry might be called The Alice
and waitresses will mix the story of Alice
into their table side romance.
It turns a meal into an experience.

If you have an opportunity
to pay homage to one of your best customers,
consider taking it.