By k | June 30, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A client k reader
emailed me
asking why I thought
folks are resisting
the move to renewable energy.

I don’t think
they’re resisting
the move to renewable energy.

I think
they’re resisting
change.

It is human nature
to resist change.
Change is scary.
Change is risky.
Change is hard work.
Change requires thinking
and
crafting new systems.

As we grow older,
that resistance grows stronger.
If we just delay the inevitable
for X years,
we won’t have to deal
with the change at all.
We’ll be dead.

As business builders,
we can’t afford
to think that way.
We’re building businesses
that will, hopefully, last
long after we’re dead.
These businesses
will have to deal with the changes.
As their founders,
it is best if we’re the people
who make the changes,
who build these changes
into our plans.

If you know a change is coming,
embrace it.

By k | June 29, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Yesterday,
I told a loved one
I was going to visit a friend.
She thought I had said
I was going to visit her
and she bubbled over with excitement.

That miscommunication
told me what she secretly wanted
- a visit from me.

A salesman buddy
organized a meeting
with some of his up and coming clients.
He thought these clients
would benefit from attending the same meeting,
could learn from folks
in similar positions.

One of the clients
interpreted the group meeting
as a signal
their company wasn’t important enough
to warrant a solo meeting.

My salesman buddy
realized this client wanted more attention
from him.
He has arranged more solo meetings
and the client seems happy.

We never WANT miscommunication
but often miscommunication
reveals what the other party
is truly thinking or feeling.

Listen to that miscommunication.

By k | June 28, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We’re fortunate.
Many of us are starting from zero
with our businesses.

That means
we don’t have the burden
of what was done in the past.
We can design our business systems
to suit our customers
right now.

Seth Godin
shares

“Today, though,
when more and more
of our engagements are
digital,
it doesn’t take
an endless, ongoing budget
to delight people.
All an organization needs to do
is care enough (once)
to design it properly.

To make a process
that is easy to use,
clearly labeled and well designed.

To build a phone system
that doesn’t torture you
and then delete everything
you typed in.

To put care
into every digital interaction,
even if it’s easier
to waste the user’s time.”

Design your systems
the way
they SHOULD be designed.
Make your future customers
happy.

By k | June 27, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

There was a VP
at a large beverage company
I worked at
who would push back
every time someone used
a personal anecdote
to try to sway a decision.

“When I’m in a grocery store,
my eye is drawn
to the orange juice bottles
with blue caps.”

“I find the product
too sweet.”

“I don’t like pop up ads
on a landing page.”

He would always ask,
“Are you the target customer?”

Often,
the person speaking
wasn’t the target customer.

Does this mean
we should ignore
our own dislikes
and only do what the target customer
wants?

No.
If we launch a product
we don’t like,
we are unlikely
to spend every extra moment
of our lives
promoting it, talking about it,
working on it.
These extra moments
often separate success from failure.

Ideally,
we compromise.
We find products
both we and the target customer
like.
We make decisions
that make both groups happy
or, at the very least,
not one group sad.

You are NOT your customer
but your thoughts are important also.

By k | June 26, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of the things
I always do
when I’m making a decision
is look at worst case.

Take global warming,
for example.

There are two very different assumptions
we can make about global warming.

Assumption #1:
Global Warming is real.
Decision:
We take action now,
switching from non-renewable energy
to clean renewable energy.
Worst Case Scenario:
Global Warming is a hoax.
Results of Decision
Under Worst Case Scenario
:
We incur costs early
as we switch to renewable energy
now
vs switching when
oil, coal, and gas reserves run out.
Clean air.

Vs

Assumption #2:
Global Warming is a hoax.
Decision:
We do nothing differently.
Worst Case Scenario:
Global Warming is real.
Results of Decision
Under Worst Case Scenario
:
We all die.

When we look at
the worst case scenarios
for this example,
the right decision is clear.

Some business decisions
are as clear.
Some aren’t.
All benefit
from this type of examination.

Before finalizing a decision,
ask yourself,
‘What is the worst case scenario?’

By k | June 25, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Every month,
I get calls
from a dozen or so
real estate agents.

The same agents
call me
again and again.

I only remember one of them.

Why do I remember him?

Because he makes me feel happy
when he calls me.
He’s always upbeat.
He’s polite.
He’s full of optimism.

He’s the only agent
I spend time
listening to,
the only person
who gets past
those first couple of sentences.

If I ever sell my house,
he’ll be the agent I list with.

People will remember
how you made them feel
long after
they forget what you’ve said.

Make prospects and customers
feel good.

By k | June 24, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I first started
my Romance Novel Business,
I thought,
for certain,
there were things
I would NEVER do.

These NEVERs
were part of my branding.
I told readers (customers)
I DIDN’T do these things
and that was a selling point.

I was tempted to
go one step farther
and tell readers (customers)
they could count on me
to NEVER do these things.

Thank goodness
I resisted that temptation.
Because years later,
the market changed
and I am now doing
those things
I thought I would NEVER do.

My readers (customers)
would have remembered that vow.
It would have decreased
their trust in me
and my words.

Use NEVER very sparingly.
Your customers WILL remember
and hold you to it.

By k | June 23, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

In the Romance Novel Industry,
writers are often told
to stay away from clichés.

A cliché
is a phrase that has
“become overused to the point
of losing its original meaning
or effect,
even to the point of
being trite or irritating.”

The last thing
writers and marketers
want to do
is be irritating.

On the other hand,
the reason people use clichés
is because they are familiar.
They can express an idea quickly
and easily.

How to use them correctly?

Update them.
Modernize them.
Make them current.

I recently watched an interview
and the expert said,
“It is not like
we’re trying to
land a woman on the moon.
This is easy to do.”

Bam!
This tiny twist got my attention.
The phrase was semi-familiar
yet it was fresh and different.

If you’re tempted to use
a cliché,
consider updating it.

By k | June 22, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I like having
the TV blasting
in the background
when I complete menial tasks.

Some people listen
to music.
I listen to the business channel.

Do I become
an expert
on all things business
by doing this?

No.

But I know more
than I would have
if I hadn’t listened to it.

While I’m filing
or shredding paper,
some of the information
seeps into my brain.

Every little bit helps.
Consider having useful information
as background noise.

By k | June 21, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I look at two things
when I price products.
The first is
the current market price.
The second is
my costs to produce
the product.

When I first start
my business building,
I am usually
a one-woman business.
I’m producing the product.

It is tempting to price
my labor costs at zero.
Do NOT do this!
Why?
Because your time
is worth something
and
pricing it at zero
means you’ll never grow
your business
past a one woman shop.
You are limiting your business.

I cost my time,
at the minimum,
at the living wage
for my city.
Thankfully,
there are plenty
of resources
to tell us the living wage.

Why a living wage
and not minimum wage?

Because
the possible negative press
over paying less
isn’t worth the savings.

Ensure your pricing
can cover
employees making a living wage.