Skip to main content

Articles in Category: Business Strategy


Forget old-school, dried up advertising methods!

Andrew Davis, best-selling author and former television producer, believes he has a better way for you to spend your advertising or marketing budget.

His idea is quite simple: create great content and engage your audience. Then use that content to leverage sales. Content brands build relationships. Relationships build trust. Trust drives revenue. It’s an approach Sesame Street and Walt Disney have used for years to drive millions in product sales, and Andrew believes it can work for small businesses too.

He has a five-step approach that’s already producing some great results for small online businesses.

4 Step System to WOW Your Customers

4 Step System to WOW Your Customers

In a competitive market, sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference between merely satisfying a customer’s needs and thrilling them so much that they’re bragging to their friends about your products. In other words, you want them to say: “Wow!”

According to Scott Martineau, Senior Vice President of Product Strategy at Infusionsoft and author of Conquer the Chaos: How to Grow a Small Business without Growing Crazy, there are four steps to wowing your customers.

  • Step 1 - Create a culture of Wow! Customer service starts at ground zero. You need to talk about it from day one. You need to emphasize and teach it to your employees at every opportunity, and when you’re evaluating new employees, you should look for people who love to serve. Wherever possible add incentives for employees to go above and beyond. In a crowded field of competing companies, people will remember the small, personal touches far more than they will another advertising campaign.

Planning and Strategizing

Planning and Strategizing

What's your business plan?

In 1845, a British expedition commanded by Sir John Franklin boldly set out in search of the Northwest Passage, a fabled sea route around the top of North America. The expedition was plagued by logistical problems from the very start.

The crew had little experience with the arctic. Other than Franklin, few among the officers were arctic veterans. Disregarding the advice of the native Inuit, crewmen were outfitted in uniforms far better suited to winters in Southern England. 

In May, the expedition set sail from England never to return. Studies over the years have concluded that hypothermia, starvation and lead poisoning, along with inadequate clothing and supplies, lead to its demise.

While few of us have our hearts set on being arctic explorers, the fate of the Franklin Expedition serves of a poignant example of the importance of proper planning. It has been said that if you don’t know how to get there, it doesn’t matter what road you take.

Systematize Routine Processes Inefficiency Gremlins

Inefficiency Gremlins

For many creative people, ‘process’is almost a dirty word. Flexibility and spontaneity are swept into a mindless void of dull and boring routine. Do the same thing over and over again, all day, every day. 

An organized process doesn’t have to be some gremlin lurking in the dark. In fact, it can keep the gremlins from knocking at the door of your business. By developing a system, routine tasks can be done quickly and smoothly, freeing up valuable time and energy for more important things. It can also save your business some money.

Consider the case of a major film production. Expensive actors are already on the set, props and scenery have been built, and the production crew is ready to shoot. Time is money, and every second counts. One of the major reasons films go over budget is inefficient use of time on the set. Since a skilled production crew is often paid by the hour, the last thing a director wants is a costly delay or even worse, having to shoot the scene again months later. 

How are your Q4 goals?

How are your Q4 goals?

It is just about the middle of November as I look my office window at the turning and falling leaves realizing that the first half of the second month of the last quarter of 2013 is just about history and that got me to thinking: how have I been doing on my Q4 plan?

How are you doing on your Q4 plan?

The first question is “Did you make a Q4 plan?” That is, did you sit down and look at your 2013 goals and see how you measure up to those goals?



It’s time to step up on my soapbox and rant a little about a topic that keeps rearing its ugly head lately. Maybe you’ve tripped over it too?

Business etiquette. I know, I know, you’re probably groaning and thinking - Really?? Yes really.

Here are a few examples of what I mean:

Do you answer an email or call from a prospect or client or vendor in a timely way? Or put it off and ignore it for whatever reason?

Do they respond to you or do they ignore you?

Ever contact a prospect after a lengthy valuable consultation only to have them vanish into the ether?

Niche Anyone? What's Your Niche?

What's Your Niche?

If you think you don’t need a niche for your product or service, think again. In a recent Wall Street Journal article about the fashion industry, I read about a couple of guys who started a very, very niched business. No, they aren’t fashion designers. Previously in jobs that were peripheral to the fashion industry, they saw a need that fashion brands had and figured out a pretty slick way to meet that need.

James Nord and Rich Tong founded Fohr Card and launched it in January 2013. It’s a database of fashion bloggers who have successfully engaged their readers (see my earlier blog post about engagement) to the point where they have significant and measurable influence in their market. These bloggers sign up to be included in Fohr Card’s database, signing over the login information so Fohr Card can collect actual, real time data on their influence using social media and other statistics.

Brand companies like Juicy Couture, Samsung, and Kate Spade pay handsomely ($1000/month) for access to this measurable data. Prior to Fohr Card, they had to rely on bloggers volunteering their stats, and trust that the bloggers stats were true.


Let’s get engaged! Engagement


As a young girl, I was always attracted to stories. If an article in a book, magazine, newspaper, or mail piece began with a story, I was immediately engaged. If I was engaged enough, I would keep reading that article after the introductory story ended.

I’m not so young anymore but I’m still more likely to be engaged by a story in something I’m reading than something that just jumps in from the get-go. If I’m engaged, I’m more likely to buy. And as a business owner, that’s the bottom line, isn’t it?

Blogging is rampant. Many blogs are treated by the bloggers as a visible place to spill their opinions. But sprinkled in amongst the gazillion bloggers out there are a relative few really good bloggers.