Don’t Just Reverse the Sales Risk – Remove It

In 1993, Christopher Hart wrote a great book called Extraordinary Guarantees. In the book he outlines the extraordinary power that guarantees have to help you build market share. In the book he details the results of his research into guarantees and their power to also create quite extraordinary organizations. We’ve been...

The Value of Discovering Key Frustrations

Some people we know refer to this as the "grand-daddy" of all great marketing ideas, and it certainly is a great one — one that, when you understand it and implement what it means, will reap you significant rewards. This concept is, in fact, central to many of the ideas in these articles — ideas like Unique Core...

Avoid Changing Horses in Mid-Stream

There is a wonderful campaign run by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in the UK. I first noticed it in January 1995. I’d just arrived in London to help launch Results Accountants’ Systems in the UK.   Here I am being driven from Heathrow Airport to Central London when I see a huge (and I do mean H U G E) Yellow...

Lowering the Barriers to Doing Business

We all learn a lot from other people’s experiences and from stories. Let me combine the two. I’m in Miami about to return to Boston. I've been on a boat scuba diving for a week. My hair is burnt and fried. I'm at the Airport with about 90 minutes to spare. Looking around, I notice a hairdresser shop. I need a haircut. But...

Learning to Look for a Second Dimension

You’ve all seen those 3D posters (you’ll recall the posters that apparently are flat collections of dots. But when you look at them in a different way — we would say with a broader, less-focused way — you see glorious new pictures revealed). Here we want to bring that concept together in a new way for you — a way that we...

Understanding the True Purpose of Any Advertisement

We’ve already said to tattoo one thing on your forehead — remember, what you can measure, you can manage. Here’s another: the real purpose of any advertisement is simply to get a response. Notice, we didn’t say “to make a sale”. Nor did we say “to make an impression”. Nor did we say “to keep your name before the public”....

There are Just Four Ways to Grow Any Business

The understanding that there are basically just four ways to create a better business can play a crucial part in the philosophy of the entire business development process. The four ways are: 1. Increase the number of customers of the type you want to have 2. Increase the number of times customers come back 3. Increase the...

Small Business Best Practice Benchmarking

How to Effectively Borrow Ideas, Strategies and Tactics Today’s small business owner is confronted with new business problems and opportunities on a regular basis. Running a company requires the ability to look outside the business for solutions, ideas, and best practices. However, borrowing ideas and best practices can...

Recommended Reading List for Business Owners

ENTREPRENEURSHIP   The Customer Service Zoo — Catherine DeVrye Here is a light-hearted approach to the perennial challenges of customer service, told with the charm and experience of Australia's most innovative expert, Catherine Devrye. It's a parable about making the most of your situation, about looking after yourself,...

Pricing Strategies for Small Business

The pricing strategy of a small business can ultimately determine its fate. Small business owners can ensure profitability and longevity by paying close attention to their pricing strategy.   Commonly, in business plans I’ve reviewed, the pricing strategy has been to be the lowest price provider in the market. This...

Plan and Clarify Your Marketing Direction

The 5 P’s of Professional Service Business Marketing is a model to help you plan and clarify your marketing direction  Source: Action Plan Marketing for about.com   Each P below has a list of questions to consider when you develop your marketing strategy. Use this page to help develop your marketing strategy.  ...

Every Employee Is In Sales

You can make the sale. You know your core message. You know your target market inside out, right? But if you have even one employee, then you've got another sales job to do. Everyone in your organization must also be sold on the dream you have. Everyone who answers the phone, walks the sales floor, attends that Chamber...

The E-Myth Revisited

“[The E-Myth] is the mistaken belief that the vast majority of people who go into business in this country are entrepreneurs . . . [In fact] they are technicians suffering from entrepreneurial seizures, and that’s the problem with their businesses.”...

The Power of One

Australian author (and former advertising man) Bryce Courtney wrote a brilliant book called “The Power of One” about the experiences of a young boy growing up in South Africa. The book became a film. Bryce was the only Australian author to be paid $1 million for the rights to the film before the book was completed. It’s a...

The More Specific You Tell – The More You Sell!

This is a leverage point you need to be very careful with indeed. Whatever you do, read this segment well. Understand its context AND its position.   Let’s start with the context — here we are talking PRIMARILY about the written word. Please don’t take the heading here to mean that when you’re face to face with a...

Maximize Your Unique Core Differentiators

You’re hungry. You’re walking down Main Street in Portland, Maine. All around you are fast food outlets effectively screaming, “Come and eat here!” Then you notice a sandwich bar that you’ve never seen before. It’s packed with people. On the window you see a big sign: We're Passionate About Food Elsewhere on the window,...

What You Can Measure, You Can Manage

Measure and Compare Everything That Moves A key element of our business development program is measurement. With each business development initiative we implement, we always measure and compare results. Always test one idea against another.   It is amazing how few companies do this. Few test any aspect of their marketing...

Survival of the Family Business

The strengths of a family business are also its weaknesses. If those weaknesses are managed well and turned into advantages, the business may survive and prosper - perhaps even to the second generation (a feat that is achieved by only 30 percent of family businesses). Working in a family firm can have distinct advantages....

Problem Solving: How to Do It Effectively

Problem-solving is a part of life, especially in our businesses. How you go about it is often the most important determinant of the outcome you get. Here’s a step-by-step management process for problem-solving that you can use the next time something goes wrong and you have to fix it. 1. Be sure you know what the problem...

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

Would you work for an arrogant and cold boss who aloofly keeps his or her distance? Of course not – and neither will your employees, at least not for long, and never at top effectiveness.   Are you that boss? Don’t be too quick to scoff. “Most entrepreneurs dramatically overestimate their people skills,” says Frank...

Listen and Hear: 10 Tips for Good Listening

One common complaint about management in any organization is that they don’t listen to what their subordinates have to say. And it’s probably a valid complaint, too.   How often do we have to ask people to repeat themselves, or find we’ve had the wrong idea about what’s been said to us? In business this can result in work...

Accessibility