Ever since Henry Ford invented the assembly line, there has been a battle between those who embrace innovation and those who prefer the status quo – sometimes referred to as the good old-fashioned way of doing things.
I contend that the best of both worlds lies somewhere in the middle of the two and embraces technology and automation without forgetting that behind every machine is a warm-blooded operator and an end user with a beating heart.
Using technological tools to enhance connection and communication with other people is a great application. Using them to replace human interaction – not so good.
Let me give you a couple of examples:
Good: Sending a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly newsletter packed with useful information and a small amount of promotional stuff.
Not so good: Sending lots of “buy this from me” promotional messages with no attempt to provide information that the reader finds useful.
Good: Asking for permission to send email by using an opt-in process.
Not so good: SPAM-ing people by buying a list or adding them to your database without their permission.
Good: Scheduling 10-15% of your tweets to go out automatically but tweeting “in person” the rest of the time.
Not so good: Scheduling most or all of your tweets and almost never showing up “in person” to interact with your Tweeple.
The question I get asked most often about technology tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email marketing or blogging is, “Can these things help …Read more
As a network engineer, I love technology tools. You know, the cool stuff that helps you do your job? Virtualization, SAN’s, Remote monitoring and management, new deployment methods, better ways of managing video, voice, and email, etc. You get the point. You love the tools that allow you to do your job better, faster, more efficient at less cost to your bottom line.
Question: Do you share the same passion for marketing tools?
Your marketing tools are what you use to get new clients and it’s more than just a direct mailer or a cold call or even networking (the human kind). It’s about real benefits that matter to the client!
Now – I’m not saying that direct mailers, letters, cold calls, and other marketing methods don’t work – they do for sure – but when it comes to selling benefits, make sure you are selling the right benefits. The ones that truly matter to potential clients.
It’s pretty easy to tell a client that you will help them save money and avoid disasters by being proactive. It’s also pretty easy to tell them they can focus on their core business while you take care of “IT”. And it’s really easy to tell them that “managed IT Services” is far superior to “break/fix”. Generally, these are all true!
What isn’t so easy, however, is to sell real business benefits that are disassociated with the tools you love.
Before continuing on, you might want to grab a cup of …Read more
Before you embark on your journey towards starting and operating a successful business, there are a few things you should consider. Investors and lenders want to see in your Business Plan that there is something about your company that differentiates it from other established businesses within its particular market. The distinction could be in the form of a new product or service in the area, a new design for an existing product, or a diminishing product or service with a new “twist” aimed at revitalizing its profit margins.
A substantial amount of research should be done on existing companies within the market to inquire as to whether or not they have product lines in place that far exceed the manufacturing capacity and creativeness of those that you intend to establish. Unfavorable outcomes obtained from research should not serve to deter business owners from pursuing their goals, but rather as awareness as to the pitfalls that they could encounter in doing business in that particular market. Ultimately, the research will enable the company management team to make the appropriate adjustments.
Another characteristic of a company that has the potential to separate it from its competition is how the company incorporates community involvement into its culture. In order to do business effectively within a community, employees and management personnel must recognize that the organization has a responsibility to the community to give back in an agreed upon fashion.
Not only does community involvement provide a means of establishing relationships, it …Read more
Whether one is running a small business baking cakes, repairing computers or keeping books, one must grasp and apply financial principles and practices to sustain the business. Accounting services the majority of background activity in any business as it manages the lifeline. As money makes the world go round, the same effect pulsates through the business cycle. Establishments which function on a non-profit generating basis still need to see some cash in their bank accounts for another day of business. Despite the best of motivation to persuade staff to stay, absence of pay checks tend to result in empty offices. It is also practically impossible for the lone proprietor to survive on air and sunshine.
Upon establishing clear need for the upkeep of the business’s financial goings-on, the owner has to understand the subject. Unless one is planning to hire trained staff or round a band of volunteers from family and friends, it may be best to hit the books. Coupled with ever present technology, the task of maintaining one’s company accounts is alleviated by friendly accounting software. One can then derive an informed decision on whether to handle the job on his own, hire a staff or outsource to providers of accounting services.
Grounded with the fundamentals in financial principles and practices, one proceeds to take a step further. Although running a business seems like a dream, it can often turn into a nightmare. Understanding what one’s business is worth is the storyline for the balance sheet. …Read more
These days, online businesses are one of the fastest growing business models all over the world. The low cost of establishing and running an online business makes it very attractive and its wide reach makes it an essential business model for even well established businesses. Techniques and methods for attaining success for an online business have therefore become very much sought after. One of the more successful of these methods is opt in email services.
The main purpose of an opt in email service is to maintain a continuous connection between your business and your customers. Like most businesses, high traffic is a major ingredient in an online business. However, it is not the only thing that matters. It is also very important that your business retains a high rate of customer return. Generally, returning customers value your business more than prospective customers. Since returning customers have already experienced taking part of your product or service, when they return to your business, they are more likely to buy your product or hire your services again. Returning customers also indirectly recruit more customers for you by encouraging their friends, family and acquaintances to try your products or services. Obviously, the more you build up your returning customer base, the higher the likelihood that your business will succeed.
A very powerful tool to retain and grow your returning customer base is through the use of this type of service. An opt in email service is essentially a service that you …Read more