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

One of the things
business builders look at
when deciding upon
a physical location
is foot traffic.

The key to this,
however,
isn’t the QUANTITY
of foot traffic.
It is the QUALITY.

If you own a boutique store
and the foot traffic
is all bargain hunters,
that’s not going to help your business.

Lori Ford,
co-founder of
Gum Tree,
shares

“We wouldn’t have been able
to compete in that kind
of an environment
[amidst big retailers
who were willing
to discount products
all year round],
and that’s what drove us
to realize that
we have to be surrounded by
a bunch of small businesses
in a quaint downtown
where people go for
that type of customer service
and experience.”

Consider a location
with businesses
that have a similar target market.

Before developing any product,
I like to know
who my target customer is.
That target customer
will influence many of my decisions.

For example,
my target customer
for my romance novels
is a female
of a certain demographic.
The most popular hair color
in that demographic?
Brown.

When I am deciding
on the hair color
for my heroines,
I often choose brown.

“Ness
[Joshua Ness,
co-founder of
StrategyHack]
says that

your value-driven statement
should look something
like the following:

My product is a:
Explain what the product is.

that helps:
Who is the specific target audience?

solve:
What problem
does the target audience have
that this product solves?

by:
How does the product
provide that solution?

with:
What is the secret sauce?”

Consider answering these questions
before investing a lot of resources
in the product
you’re developing.

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

I took two weeks off
writing.
It was a mini
stay-at-home vacation.

Then I went ‘back to work.’
It was challenging,
extremely challenging.

Working hard is a habit
and I had to relearn it.

My buddy’s kid
finished his first year of university.
He landed his very first summer job.

He’s struggling,
complaining,
resisting,
trying to get out of it.

Working hard is
a brand new habit for him.

Entrepreneurs work hard.
It is a part of this wonderful
lifestyle choice.

If you have recently started
on this journey,
you haven’t yet gained this habit.

It will be tough at first
but it WILL get easier.

Stick with it.

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

There are huge benefits
to being part
of standards setting
in your industry.

It gives you advanced knowledge
of the standards.
That allows you
to ensure your products/services
adhere to these standards.

It allows you
to have your issues
and your solutions heard.
That can be extremely powerful.

You might be saying…
I’m a small business.
How can I
be part of standards settings?

The way I do this
is by being part of
industry organizations.
In the writing business,
for example,
I’m part of Romance Writers Of America.
When they ask for input,
I speak up.
Even if they don’t ask,
I let them know my preferences.

Very few members contribute
their insights.
This means my insights
are given an even greater weighting.

Yes, there are fees
to belong to these organizations
but I’ve found the money
I make and save
having this ‘insider information’
more than offsets the fees.

If you can sit
at the table
during standards setting,
do it.

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

Every day,
we make hundreds of decisions
as business builders.

Success of our business
is, of course, one factor
in these decisions.
Earning enough cash flow
to make it to the next day
is important.

But I also ask myself,
“When my business changes the world,
and people are examining every detail
of its history,
will I be proud of this decision?
Will I want this decision
to be part of my legacy?”

Because people WILL uncover
these decisions.

Today, no one might notice
I didn’t buy
that stock photo,
saving my business a dollar.

But some day
they WILL know.

How will it look
that a writer
stole
from another creative person?

What we do today
will be part of our legacy.
Make it a legacy
to be proud of.

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

One of my buddies
posted investing advice
for her nephew on Facebook.
The kid is 17 years old.

The advice was a no-brainer
- Invest a portion of everything
you earn,
starting as soon as
you graduate.

I was the first to comment,
telling him, ‘Yes, I did this
and it works.’

Then there was comment
after comment
of grown a$$ people
telling a teenage boy
not to follow this advice.

Had any of them
followed it?
Nope.
Were any of them
wealthy?
Nope.

Yet they were telling
a TEENAGER
that no matter what he did,
he’d be doomed financially,
he’d be poor.

You’re going to get
this same shitty response
when you tell
folks you plan to
build a business.

Folks who have never built a business,
who have never been successful
in business,
will tell you advice
given by successful business builders
is wrong.
They won’t have tried that advice.
They ‘just know.’

Ignore them.
They don’t ‘just know’ shit.

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

We’re heading into summer
in North America
and this is the time of year,
many business builders
consider
building a business
that focuses on the outdoors.

Liking to eat
isn’t the right reason
to open a restaurant
and liking to be outdoors
isn’t the right reason
to open an outdoor business.

Bear Baker,
Co-founder of
Wildhorse Ranch,
shares*

“Before you start
an outdoor business,
do your research,
because it’s very challenging,
with hard physical work,
but the rewards are worth it.
You must be a jack of all trades,
very self-sufficient,
and be prepared
for the unexpected.”

Do your research
before starting
any business.

*May/June 2017
The Costco Connection

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

I have a vision
for each of my writing (brand) names.

Readers will ask me to write
something different,
something outside my vision,
because that’s
what other writers are writing,
that’s what is popular right now.

I resist this.
I’ve been in the business long enough
to know that what is popular
constantly changes.
If my writing (brand) names
constantly change,
they will stand for nothing.

Andrew Keyt,
in the
May/June 2017
The Costco Connection,
shares

“In order to
establish true credibility,
you must learn to do
what’s right,
not what’s popular.”
“…doing what’s right
means having a vision
and sticking to it.
When it comes time
to make a critical decision,
lean on this vision;
it will point you down
the right path.”

Stick to your vision
(unless you KNOW
this vision isn’t working).

I write different stories,
romances that are
out of the box,
unusual.

When I built my team
(my editor, my cover artist,
my formatter),
I looked for people
who embraced different,
who were excited by the unusual.

Seth Godin
shares

“If you want to build
an organization
that thrives in change
(and on change),
hire and train people
to do the paradoxical:
To discover that
the unfamiliar is
the comfortable familiar
they seek.”

It is challenging
to inspire folks to embrace change.
It is much easier
to simply surround yourself
with people
who already embrace it.

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

Writers change
business names
quite often.
If a series flops
or the market changes,
we re-invent ourselves.

Often we don’t want
our readers to follow us.
We’re looking for different readers.

But sometimes we do.
In that case,
we’ll often forward
the old websites
or social media accounts
to the new one.

For months or longer.

I’ve been forwarding one
for well over three years.

Aaron Price,
CEO of
Propelify,
shares

“Have clear and consistent
messaging on email,
social and web channels
for at least several months
prior to the change
so that people don’t get confused.

We changed our name
from Propeller,
and even though
it’s only three letters different,
some people were confused
by our new name.”

You’ve spent time
building your previous business name.
It will take time
for customers to become
accustomed to the new one.

Give them that time.