By k | November 26, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

I’ve been pushing it,
writing my March release
(developing product).
I’ve also been busy
with marketing
and sales.

It is easy to forget
that the ability
to build a business
is a privilege.

Naa-Sakle Akuete,
Founder of
Eu’Genia Shea,
shares

“They [her parents] couldn’t find
the same socioeconomic level
of jobs here
that they had there,
so [they] were starting from scratch.

They did everything that they could
to make sure
that we all went to good schools,
so I could have the ability to say,
‘I don’t want to work [here].
I want to start my own business.’”

Having the ability
to start a business
is a gift
not everyone is given.
Don’t squander it.

By k | October 25, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

Yesterday, a writing buddy
asked me for my “brutally honest opinion”
about her cover.

My brutally honest opinion was…
the cover isn’t as good
as the story is.
It won’t help sell books
(the main purpose of a cover).
I gave her suggestions for improvements,
including examples of covers
from bestselling books in her niche.

My writing buddy replied with
a long list of reasons
why the cover was good enough
for that series.

She was irritated
because I didn’t love her cover.

I was irritated
because I spent time and effort
evaluating her cover
and giving her suggestions.

She likely won’t ask again.
If she does ask,
I certainly won’t give her
my honest opinion.

Honest opinions take
time, effort,
and trust.

Don’t ask for an honest opinion
unless you truly want one
and are prepared to incorporate
the feedback.

By k | October 28, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

I’ve published over 100 stories.
Do I still have stories
that don’t work?

Yes, definitely.
However, it used to take me
a month’s worth of writing
to figure out a story didn’t work.
Now, it takes me
a day’s worth of writing.

I fail faster
and that makes a huge difference
to my success rate.

You’ll continue to fail also.
That’s part of trying new things.

Learn how to fail faster.

By k | May 30, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

I recently took a mini-seminar
on the different levels
of customer/salesperson relationships.

The first level is
when the salesperson is considered a vendor.
This is when you find out about
a new RFP (request for proposal)
on the day
the general public is informed.
Basically you don’t have any special relationship.
If you deal only with procurement,
this is likely the relationship
you have with your customer.

The second level is supplier/provider.
You know the RFP is coming,
and can prepare a bit for it in advance,
but you’re not involved in the process.
You may be asked questions.

The third and final level
is a value creating partner.
You not only know the RFP is coming,
but you helped draft it up.
You provide information
without being asked.
You deal with the end users,
and many departments within the organization.

It is much easier to replace
a vendor than a value creating partner,
and if a value creating partner
continues to create value,
that action wouldn’t ever be considered.

By k | February 28, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

A study done by
Avi Goldfarb at the University of Toronto
and
Catherine Tucker at the MIT Sloan School of Management
shows that complementary ads
(i.e. ads that tie closely to the blog post or site topic)
are three times as effective as regular online ads.
Highly visible ads
(i.e. ads like pop ups or full screen ads)
are twice as effective.

Do not do both though.
Their study states
that doing one OR the other
is more effective
than combining the two.

The researchers believe
that combining the two tactics
causes concerns about privacy.

That makes sense.
When I see a pop up,
I think the ad is addressing me,
as a prospect,
directly.
If that ad was too specific to my needs,
it would raise concerns.

By k | March 18, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

After her bakery For Heaven’s Cakes
was featured on a reality show,
owner Lisa Donahue saw business triple

How did she take full advantage
of the national exposure
when bakeries are traditionally a local business?

“Because Peter Perfect airs nationwide,
I knew people across the country
couldn’t come to my cake shop,
so I really wanted my online business to prosper.”

“After the show,
we received 95,000 hits on our website.
We had to make sure
our online business could handle the increased traffic.
To do this
you have to have a very sophisticated website.
I spent a little more money
and designed a second website
that was data-based driven
and could handle the increased volume.
If your product is shipping nationwide,
that’s what I would recommend.”

With the internet,
it is possible to make every local business national
or even international.

By k | February 4, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

Master salesman and former heavyweight
George Foreman
shared some gems with Success Magazine.

“The greatest asset,
even in this country,
is not oil and gas.
It’s integrity.
Everyone is searching for it, asking,
‘Who can I do business with that I can trust?’ ”

Why?

“You don’t want to lie about anything.
And it’s something that people will be happy about
once they get to know you.
Because people count on you.
You know, a contract you can easily break.
I’ve found in business,
everyone signs a contract to make a business deal,
and they always leave a loophole
so they can break them. ”

Having integrity is a great long term business asset.

By k | February 9, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

Small Business Trends has gathered
top marketing tips from dozens of experts. 

My favorite was from Drew McClellan
of Drew’s Marketing Minute
He advises to limit the number of marketing techniques. 

“Pick 3-4 marketing tactics that you think
are really going to be valued by your audience
and drive the behavior/action you’re looking for.
Then, figure out how you can do them
in an extraordinary way. 

100% consistency.
100% relevancy.
Do less. But do them better.”

By k | September 23, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

From my recent adventures
in blogging partnerships,
I’ve learned that,
as with marriages,
its often best to decide
how the partnership will end
before the partnership starts. 

This “prenup” is needed even for
the most informal partnerships
(as my blogging relationships were). 

Launching a new venture is a tough, tough business. 
To expect all partners to survive is unreasonable. 

By k | September 15, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

Recently I was being pitched by a financial advisor. 
He assured me that managing my money
would be a priority for him. 
That he would give me 100% of his attention. 

Then… he got a message on his Blackberry. 
Instead of ignoring it or excusing himself,
he suggested that I “keep on talking”
while he answered it. 

I considered sending him an email
(which obviously he gave higher priority to). 
Instead I left his office. 

Louise Fox, owner of The Etiquette Ladies,
says the number one etiquette blunder
is the improper use of technology. 
She reminds people that the person they are with
should be most important. 

I agree.