By k | November 20, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I spent the past week
with a couple of entrepreneurial families.
Both families are in the process
of passing their very successful businesses
from the founding generation
to the second.

One of these founders
stressed that he gave his two children
the option of NOT joining the family business.

He actively encouraged both sons
to obtain degrees
in other fields.
The sons worked in these other fields
before deciding to join the family business.

When they made the transition,
they were given choices
about which department
they’d be working in.

When they decided to take
leadership roles,
the parents stepped back,
filling the role of consultants,
often working out of home,
not in the office.

These sons are more engaged
and enthusiastic about their fate
than I’ve ever seen a second generation be.

Why?

Because they were given
and know they still have
options.

Considering giving the heirs
to your business
options also.
No one likes to feel trapped
even if that cage is made of gold.

By k | November 19, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I am one of the dinosaurs
who still has a landline.
I receive phone calls from telemarketers
at four o’clock in the morning.

The assumption is
that people will turn off their phones
when they sleep.
If I answer,
I must be awake.

What does this mean?

The landline will die completely.

People, concerned about emergency calls,
will screen their calls,
sending unknown callers
straight to voicemail.

People, unconcerned about emergency calls,
will simply turn their phones off.

Telemarketers will either adapt,
or this marketing will be become less effective.

If your business relies on telemarketing,
you should be prepared
for changes.

By k | November 18, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Seth Godin has a great post
on the perils
of going public

“Here’s a Wall Street analyst
with Needham & Company
speaking her truth, about Facebook:

“Wall Street cares about the business model.
We care less about changing the world.”

The reality of being a senior executive
at a fast-growing public internet company
is that you’re surrounded by
thousands (or tens of thousands)
of people who make
millions of dollars every single time
the stock price goes up a dollar.

And that’s where
the seeds of demise are sown.”

This change starts well
before the company goes public.
Accountants usually come in
and ‘craft’ the story,
pressuring executives to make changes
to ensure the IPO goes well.

Going public is more than
a funding decision.
It will change your company.
Consider the other impacts
when making your decision.

By k | November 17, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I first started blogging,
there were
very few female business bloggers.
Unfortunately,
almost 10 years later,
there are STILL very few female business bloggers.
There are even fewer female social CEOs.

Andrea Learned
shares

“The related study,
conducted by Refresh and
discussed by Zach Taiji
in Social Media Today,
found that the average CEO
who uses social media is,
…wait for it…
a 38 year old male.
Though I guess
it is “A Refreshing Look…,”
(as goes the infographic’s title)
in that there now ARE social CEOs to point to,
the gender disparity therein
is far from refreshing:
of the social CEOs studied,
89 percent were male
and 11 percent were female.”

A blog can open doors.
I’ve been invited to
events I wouldn’t otherwise
have attended.
I’ve met influential people
I otherwise wouldn’t have.
This is with me being semi-anonymous.

Consider being more active
on social media.
Share your expertise
and experiences
with others.
More importantly,
show the world
that you’re there,
you have a voice.

By k | November 16, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

One of my salesman buddies
was ranting about
a client having it in for him,
deliberately blocking his deals.

That might be true
but most people are selfish.
They don’t have it in for someone else.
They’re looking out
for their best interests.

Paul V. Weinstein
shares

“In order to turn
deal blockers into advocates
(or silent agnostics, worst case),
we need to understand their motivations
— and we do that
by considering their position
at the table.

Blockers nix the deal
because, from where they sit,
it is in their best interest to do so.
The job of the dealmaker
is to turn that around.”

Find out WHY this person
is blocking your deal
and
then deal with their issues.

By k | November 15, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In the writing world,
we have two types of writers

- the hobbyist,
the writer who writes
whenever she feels like it,
not caring about deadlines
or building her readership

and

- the professional,
the writer who treats writing
like a job or a profession.
She is on a constant deadline,
either editor or self inflicted.
She’s concerned about
having too long between releases,
worries about readership build.

Many entrepreneurs fall into
one of these two categories also.
If you’re reading client k,
you’re likely a professional.

Because we are the masters
of our own schedules,
it is tempting to fall into
hobbyist habits.

The question I ask myself
is
“If I were on the corporate fast track,
would I take this action?”
Would I take three vacations
in three months?
Would I spend an entire day
baking cookies?
Would I volunteer my time
to petsit the neighbor’s new puppy?

Decide which type of entrepreneur
you are.

By k | November 14, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Many newer writers
believe that hitting the
New York Times Best Seller list
is the ultimate goal,
selling a sh*tload of books
in one week.

Professional writers know
that a best seller today
doesn’t mean a best seller tomorrow,
that one hit rarely makes a career
(unless it is a 50 Shades size of hit).

The TRUE benefit of
having a best seller
is having access to those readers,
converting them
into newsletter subscribers,
ensuring future access to them.

As Seth Godin
shares

“Today, the smart money
is investing in digital assets,
and legions of entrepreneurs
are trying to build long-term value online,
where it just seems so easy.
100,000 downloads of your new app,
or a quick rise to #1 for your new ebook
or a million ‘hits’ to a new website.

Easy come, easy go.

The digital asset that matters
is trust.
Awareness first, then interaction,
and maybe a habit,
but all three mean nothing
if they don’t lead to permission and trust.
The privilege of connection.”

Ensure you have a means
of converting your one-time hit
into a lifetime of sales
BEFORE you achieve this hit.

By k | November 13, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Yes, definitely offer
big ticket items to customers
during the holiday season
but don’t forget to stock
the small, lower-priced holiday gift items
also.

These little presents,
including Christmas ornaments
and stationery,
are products
shoppers might pick up
as stocking stuffers
or as small host gifts.

Leah Spurrier
co-owner of
HighStreet Cincinnati,

shares

“The holiday season is really interesting
because so much of your numbers
are done with little things.
We just went really deep
into little things last year.”

Don’t forget the little presents.

By k | November 12, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Having a product recommended
in a holiday gift guide
usually doesn’t happen by accident.
Retailers reach out
to magazines and newspapers
to have their products featured.

You can do the same thing
… but not for the 2014 holiday season.

As Kelly Spors
shares

“For one thing,
the timing of the pitches
couldn’t have been better
—because most magazines’ holiday gift guides,
which are featured in their December issues,
are usually wrapped up by early fall,
editors look for holiday gift item pitches
in the summer months.

Moreover, small retailers and business owners
would be wise to subscribe to databases
sold by companies like Gift List Media
to get current names
and contact information for
the holiday gift guide editors
at major publications,
as well as details about
what the editors are looking for
in product pitches.”

Mark your calendars next year
to reach out to publications.

By k | November 11, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We often equate
adding value to adding features
but in this cluttered world,
simplicity appeals to many customers.

Glen Stansberry
asks

“Have you added extra features
to your product over the years
that nobody uses anymore?
Usually these changes come about
because competing often means
blindly copying the same features
as your top competitor,
without ever really asking why.

It’s important to
pinpoint these unnecessary features
for a few reasons.
Extra features that nobody really needs
are often costly from a development standpoint.
Eliminating these usually means
you’ll save money on development and support.
Unnecessary features also make
your product more cluttered
and harder to use,
which diminishes its value.”

Are all of the features
on your product
adding value?
Are they still relevant?