By k | January 27, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Gillian Anderson was offered
half the salary
David Duchovny was offered
for the X-Files reboot.

She is equally important to the show.
She negotiated for equal pay.

She was able to do this
because she KNEW
she was being lowballed,
that she was being treated
as ‘less than’
(likely because she’s female).

Some companies encourage employees
to keep their salaries secret.
They do this because
an employee is being treated
unfairly.
That’s the ONLY reason
to do this.

Thankfully in this information age,
this happens less and less.
Employees talk.
They might realize
they’re being lowballed.
They negotiate for more.

If you’re asked
to keep information secret,
think about why
you’re being asked this.
What are you being asked
to support?
Ask yourself
if that’s the legacy
you wish to leave in this world.

By k | January 24, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Your online business is growing.
You’re considering a bricks and mortar store
but you’re not certain about the location
or the investment
or if you’re ready.

Consider a pop-up store.

Gord Woodward,
in January/February 2016
The Costco Connection,
shares

“Welcome to
the world of pop-up shops.

Also known as flash stores,
these temporary outlets “pop up”
at different venues,
enticing buyers
with the promise of
something surprising and exciting.
They usually shut down
almost as quickly as they opened.
But the merchants behind them
are finding the results they achieve
are anything but temporary.”

Yes, a bricks and mortar store
doesn’t have to be a long term investment.

Consider testing
with a pop-up store.

By k | January 23, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Fifty Shades of Grey
had a multitude of grammar, spelling
and research problems.

Readers didn’t care.
The emotion was intense
and that more than compensated
for these errors.

For many writers,
this was eye-opening.
We’d been told by publishers,
editors, reviewers,
that these factors were important
to readers,
only to find out
that they didn’t truly matter.

Right now,
in your industry,
professionals are also focused
on factors that don’t truly matter
to customers and prospects.

Don’t assume that these factors
are necessary or key.
Talk to customers and prospects.
Find out what THEY think is important.

By k | January 22, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Yesterday, I talked about 
how we need to do something different
to break out.

We need one big idea.
ONE.

Not fifteen.
Not five.
ONE.

The biggest challenge I have
as a writer
is focusing on this ONE idea
and ignoring the zillion other ideas
I get (almost every day).

Romance readers love series.
They like a bunch of stories
(five, ten, fifteen)
centered around the ONE big idea.
Sales usually don’t build
until after the third story.
If a writer switches ideas
before then,
she’ll never gain a huge readership.

For other businesses,
the length of time spent on
that ONE idea is also key.
Sales come with time
and with constant sales and marketing.

Focus on your ONE idea.

By k | January 21, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

“If you want something
you have never had,
you must be willing to do something
you have never done.”

If what you want
is to break out,
you must be willing to do something
NO ONE has ever done.

It could be a small something
like crafting copy no one has read
but it has to be something.

I listen to writers
talk every day
about breaking out
yet they don’t write
ground breaking, different stories.
They write stories
they feel are safe,
stories they already know
how to craft,
stories others are already writing.

I hear aspiring entrepreneurs
talk about creating the next hot business
yet they copy existing ideas
or buy franchises
or look for magic ‘formulas.’

To break out,
you have to do something different.
This is risky.
That something different could fail.
But it is necessary.

By k | January 19, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Seth Godin
shares

“Most brands, most careers…
they’re not linear.
Doing what you did, again and again,
grinding it forward,
that’s a good way
to finish a marathon,
but it’s not the way
that most organizations grow.

Sooner or later,
we need to leap.”

These ‘leap’ opportunities
vary by industry.
It might be getting product
on the shelves at Walmart.
Or partnering with a giant
in our field.
Or taking out an expensive banner ad
in our target market’s #1 newsletter.

The impulse is to take these leaps
as soon as they present themselves
but that could be a mistake.

A buddy of mine was accepted
for a pricey BookBub ad.
It required that the featured book
be offered for free.
The ad went out.
Downloads of her free book
went through the roof.

The only issue was…
she didn’t have a second book.
She also didn’t have her newsletter information
in the back of her free book.

If she had waited a week or two,
swapped out her book
to add a newsletter link,
she would have a list of thousands of readers
to sell her next story to.

Take leaps
but only when you’re ready for them.

By k | January 18, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I have a story
available for pre-order
at booksellers.
The financial reason for pre-orders
is a certain sale today
is worth more than
a maybe sale tomorrow.
I know approximately how many units
I’ll sell
and the money I’ll earn
from the book.

But there’s a non-financial reason
for promoting pre-orders.
Every romance story
should have a few twists.
Waiting to buy the story
might mean readers see spoilers.
Their enjoyment of the story
decreases.

This non-financial reason
is the one I talk about.
Readers understand it.
They appreciate how
pre-ordering helps them.

There are non-financial reasons
for almost every decision
you make,
reasons that benefit your customers.
State those reasons.

By k | January 17, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When you first start a business,
you’re likely to be
one of your supplier’s smallest customers.
You might worry that
this supplier will put you last.

This might not happen
if you pay this supplier first.

My cover artist,
my editor,
my formatter,
all have payment upon delivery terms.

I pay promptly.
Unfortunately,
many of their clients don’t.
My editor works for a large publisher.
They pay her in 60 days.

She puts my projects first.
Always.
She knows she can earn cash fast,
that she won’t have to chase me
to collect her cash.

There’s a cost attached
to this promptness.
I can’t use the money for other things,
can’t invest it.
But having my projects looked at first
is worth the cost.

Paying promptly can be an advantage
you, as a small business,
have over a larger business.
Consider it one of your tools.

By k | January 15, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We’re entrepreneurs.
We work long hours.
That’s part of the gig.

Release weeks are very busy times
for me.
I work until 11 pm every night.
I can’t spend much time
with my hubby,
with friends,
with family.
The week is all about the book releasing.

In 2016, I will have at least 8 release weeks.
I’m self publishing these 8 stories.
I control when my release weeks happen.

So I asked my hubby
to set my release dates.
No, this won’t change
the sacrifices he will make.
He won’t spend much time with me
during these weeks.
But it gives him some control.
He has decided
when he’ll be handling household tasks solo.

If you can allow loved ones
to set your overtime schedule,
consider doing so.
Give them some control
over when they won’t see you.

By k | January 14, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I belong to
some professional chat groups.
Most of the participants
are busy professionals.
They stay on topic,
ask questions,
supply answers,
and get back to work.

There are some participants
who chatter about anything and everything.

The moderators have to balance
being social
vs
wasting time.
No small talk creates a tense environment.
Too much small talk results
in busy professionals unsubscribing.

When I host meetings,
I decide
before the meetings start
how much time I’ll allow for small talk.
Once the time is up,
we get to work.

Be proactive.
Decide how much small talk
you’ll allow
before the event
or the sales call
or the chat group starts.