By k | March 8, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

At the end of the year,
a big romance novel bookseller
went out of business.
I had a book releasing
in February.
Readers had pre-ordered it
but the bookseller didn’t give them
a refund.

If I had published that book
at a big New York publisher
and that reader had contacted the publisher,
the publisher would have told her
there was nothing they could do.
Their issue was with the bookseller.

But I self-published that book.
Readers contacted me.
Normally, I don’t give readers
free copies of books either.
But this wasn’t a normal situation.
I gave them a copy of the book
and kept those readers as customers.

Robert M. Galford
and
Cary Greene,
share*

“When small businesses
start to grow,
owners often find
they need to establish
formal rules and procedures
so things will be done correctly
even if they’re unable
to supervise in person.

That’s smart policy.

But those rules invite sabotage
- instantly -
when they prevent
employees’ personal judgment
from overriding processes that,
for whatever reason,
are not working in the moment.”

Consider giving your employees
permission
in some cases to take short cuts,
to bend the rules
to make the customer happy.

*March/April 2017
The Costco Connection

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

One wrong word
can ruin a 100,000 word book.
It can destroy the experience
for the reader.

One wrong word
can also change
how your team acts.

Dave Wilk,
Founder of
Four Day Weekend,
suggests
saying “Yes, and”,
rather than
“Yes, but.”

He
shares*

“Saying “yes, and”
to something
does not always imply agreement.

It is accepting the reality
of a situation or information,
and building upon it.

Be aware of
how you acknowledge
the other person’s ideas.

Saying “yes, but”
is really just saying “no”
while wasting time
and creating confusion.
Word choice matters.”

Be aware of which words
you use.

*March/April 2017
The Costco Connection

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

Everyone is born with disadvantages.
I have a terrible memory.
If you offered me one million dollars
to tell you what 7 X 8 was,
unassisted,
I couldn’t do it.

But, as fiction writers know,
every disadvantage is also an advantage.
Not having a great memory
forced me,
as a young age,
to develop systems.
That talent made me very successful.

Look for the positives.
They are usually there.

Actress Lisa Berry,
in the March/April
Cineplex Magazine,
shares

“I feel like
if I put my best foot forward
and love the hand
that I was dealt
rather than
be upset at the hand
that I got,
appreciate
rather than
expect,
then everything falls into place
in a wonderful way.”

Appreciate what advantages you have
and you DO have quite a few advantages.

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

Things don’t always
go as planned.
Disasters happen
while we’re building our businesses.
These incidents
have to be communicated.

Bruna Martinuzzi,
Founder of
Clarion Enterprises Ltd.,
shares

“If you are delivering bad news
to an executive audience,
don’t waste time in preambles.

When an audience hears bad news
in midstream,
it may have a negative emotional effect.
The audience may feel that
they have been set up,
and no one likes to be
caught by surprise.

Get to the point quickly.
Follow up with
a recommended solution.”

Odds are
people know
about the disaster.

Address it quickly.

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

When Fifty Shades Of Grey
started earning huge dollars,
the romance writing industry
was swamped with profit seeking writers.

Many of these writers
didn’t read romance novels.
They didn’t understand the genre.
They didn’t know the nuances
of what readers wanted,
how they bought,
why they read romance,
and a gazillion other variables.

Most of these writers failed.

I’ve seen this same thing happen
in many different industries.
A complete outsider sweeps in
and usually fails.
Why?
Because she doesn’t understand
the nuances of the industry.

Learn about your niche.
Play in it.
Buy from the competition.
Spend time with prospects.
Be part of the community
you wish to sell to.

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

In an earlier post,
I talked about learning
about history.

Learning about history
isn’t living in history.

Every day,
I hear someone say
something like

‘When I started in publishing,
publishers did all of the marketing.’
or
‘In the 1970s,
I could afford a house.’
or
‘If it weren’t for retailers like Walmart,
I could make a profit.’

Who the f*ck cares?
That isn’t the current reality.

Writers have to market.
Housing prices are higher.
Walmart exists.

Deal with it.
Stop moaning and groaning,
wishing about how the world used to be,
and
figure out a way to be successful
in this current business environment.
(And there ARE ways
- there are opportunities
in every environment.)

Learn about the past.
Focus on the present.
Plan for the future.

By k | March 2, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

On January 27th,
the U.S. put the travel ban
into effect.

I’m Canadian.
Usually the major travel sites
send me promos
focusing on travel to the U.S.

Within days,
those travel sites
had changed their promos
to focus on Europe.

The world is changing quickly.
Ensure your business is able
to change quickly also.

By k | March 1, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

As regular client k readers know,
I’m a big fan
of continuous learning.
I believe if we learn a little bit
every day,
eventually we become unstoppable.

One of the things
we should consider learning
is history.
History of our industry.
History of business.
History of our country,
our world.

Because history
often repeats itself.

For example,
the US is considering deregulating
their financial markets.
That has been done before.

Will today’s results
be identical
to the results in the past?

The results likely won’t be
100% identical
but they should be similar
and, as a result,
we can plan for those similar results.

History repeats itself.
Learn it.
Use it while building your business.

By k | February 25, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

There are two main groups
of people
- people who are motivated
by praise
and people who are motivated
by threats.

A salesman loved one
is motivated by praise.
If he’s told
he’s doing a great job,
he works extra hard.

His manager leads
by threats.
His feedback to his sales team
is they could do better.
They aren’t working hard enough.
They could be doing more.

Which works for some people
but doesn’t work
for my salesman loved one.
He stops working
after every meeting with his manager.

One of the keys to success
is knowing how
the people around us
are motivated.

If the stick doesn’t work,
use the carrot.
Be skilled in both methods.

By k | February 23, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

It is very easy
as a business builder
to schedule work
for all seven days of the week.

I deliberately leave
Saturday and Sunday free.

When I’m on schedule,
I take these two days off.
When I’m behind on my schedule,
I use these two days
to catch up.

If I had booked tasks
for all seven days,
I would never catch up.
I’d miss deadlines.

Don’t schedule tasks
for your weekends
(whichever days of the week
you assign as your weekend).
Give yourself that buffer.