By k | December 17, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of the businesses
I’ve partnered with
all year
usually knocks it out of the park.
I reserve my spot
and then they turn it around
in two weeks or less.

This month,
they’ve told me
it will be two MONTHS
to turn around my request.
They told me this
after having reserved the spot
for months.

It is too late
to find a replacement.
I have to suck it up
and endure the delay
(which will, in turn,
delay my product release).

But that year end bonus
I had planned to pay
this business?
That isn’t happening.

And recommending this business
to others?
That’s not happening either.
If they get busier,
my wait will be even longer.

Messing up always costs
but messing up at year end
will likely cost even more.

By k | December 15, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

This is the time of year
during which
many of us are looking backward
and reviewing what has happened.

This can be a worthwhile activity.
We can revisit lessons learned,
good and bad,
and carry that knowledge
forward with us.

The less positive aspect
is the temptation
to muse forever about
the way things used to be,
the good ol’ days,
when sales were easy
and there was no competition.

Those days only exist
in our heads.
Sales have never been easy.
Ever.
When there was less competition,
we had prospects
who didn’t realize they needed
our products and services.

Thinking about it
for a long time
changes nothing.
We have to work
with the environment
we’re now in,
not some fantasy past.

Don’t get stuck
looking backward.
There are opportunities
in front of us.

By k | December 13, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I listen to the competition.
I often learn
what is working
and what isn’t working
from listening.

For example,
I give readers (customers)
a short story
every December.

These stories
only make sense to readers
who have read
the other books (products)
in the series.

Writers will contact me,
telling me I’m devaluing my work,
that readers won’t pay for my stories
if I give these short stories away.

Of course, they will.
The readers who pay
for my other stories
are the ONLY people
who enjoy the short stories.

Writers aren’t happy
because they fear
it raises expectations
for them

Which tells me
my strategy is working.
Readers like it so much;
the competition is afraid
it will become the norm.

Listen to competitor complaints.
They might tell you
you’re on the right track.

By k | December 12, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

It is midway
through December,
the last month
of the year.
Now, more than at
any other time,
it is damn easy
to wait.

Wait to get started.
Wait to change.
Wait to make that big push.

It is so very tempting
to ’start’ on January 1st,
the first day
of a new year.

Resist this.
Start NOW.

If you start today,
you’ll be half a month
ahead of your timelines.
You’ll roll into 2018
with some momentum.
You won’t waste
half a precious month.

As Zachary Pousman,
founder of
Helpfully,
shares

“When you get to December 31,
you’re already feeling
a bit of momentum on the goal
and you’re not starting
from scratch
while on vacation
or consumed with the holidays”

Start NOW.

By k | December 11, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Yet another romance publisher
(business)
is closing.

Some of the writers
(raw material vendors)
for this publisher
said they’d like to go Indie
(start their own writing businesses)
but the costs of producing
a book (finished product)
were too high.
Their sales
would never offset
those costs.

Yep, the only reason
they aren’t selling
their books (finished products)
themselves
is because the books cost
more than they earn

And they wonder why
their publishers
go out of business.

If THAT’s the reason
you’re partnering with someone,
know that this situation isn’t
sustainable.
Something has to change.

It is better that you make this change
than wait for others
to force this change upon you.

By k | December 9, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

If I can’t figure out
how someone is making money
from a business partnership,
I run far, far away.

Often, I can guess.
For example,
writers are currently up in arms
because Goodreads is starting to charge
for contests held on their site.

I expected that.
They were spending resources
on improving how contests
were run.
They were doing that
for a business reason.
Goodreads couldn’t charge
the readers entering the contests.
The other choice
was charging
the hosts of the contests
(writers).

Figure out how
your business partner
is making money
from the association.

By k | December 7, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Some writers,
even new writers,
have personal assistants.
These assistants
promote on social media,
contact book bloggers,
handle the email.

The issue is…
for some things,
direct contact
from the writer (business owner)
gets bigger results.

And when you’re in start up mode,
the dollars saved
are precious.

Most business builders
start out
doing everything.

Jessica Iclisoy,
Founder of
California Baby,
shares

“For the first eight years,
I was a demo girl
— you know the girl
who stands
at the end of the aisle
and says,
‘Could you try my product?’”

Prepare to do everything
when you first start your business.

By k | December 5, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my least favorite covers
in one of my best selling series
is the readers’ hands down favorite.
They love the cover model.
I think he’s hideous.

But my cover artist,
someone who has spent years
figuring out
what images romance readers love
on covers,
chose him
and I trusted her.

I also knew I wasn’t
necessarily my target customer.

Yes, I would buy my books
if they weren’t written by me
but I’m not the ideal reader,
the super fan
who convinces everyone around her
to read the same books she does.

You are likely not your target customer either.
We’re business builders.
We have unique personalities.
That automatically makes us
‘different’ customers.

Remember that
when you’re making decisions.

By k | December 4, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The white guy’s network
is still alive
and well
and very strong
in the US.

Seth Godin
has a great post
on how to compete
with folks
having that advantage.

As a business builder,
I prefer not to compete.

Women are 50.8 percent
of the population in the US,
157 million people.
That’s a big enough market for me.

(The main market for Romance Novels,
the industry I’m building a business in,
is women.)

Over 121 million Americans
are non-white.

Again, that’s a huge market.

Small businesses can’t sell to everyone.
We simply don’t have the resources.

Consider playing in a space
where you’re not disadvantaged.

By k | December 3, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I grew up dirt poor.
We struggled
to put food on the table.
All of us worked hard
and had to find creative solutions
for problems
others simply threw money at.

When I hit adversity now,
I know I can handle it
because I handled it in the past.
I know what I can do
with no money
and a whole lot of willpower.

The competition quits.
I keep going.

Joey Rivera,
founder of
Rivera Group,
shares

“If you have known
the extent of extreme struggle,
running a small business is easy.

Hard is relative.

When you have to kick into high gear
and dig deep,
it’s easy,
because you’ve been there before.

It’s an exercise in
outlasting the competition.”

Extreme struggle makes you
MORE qualified
to build businesses,
not less.