There is a Forest Around Those Trees

I have to admit, sometimes I get into the minutiae like  a curler sweeping the stone toward the bullseye on the last slide of the gold medal match. It’s not my fault, I am a natural researcher, *shrugs* but I also realize that I can do this to my own detriment. I have a mantra, in business and writing, when this happens. “There is a forest around those trees” is my nomo rang ge kyo.  If I imagine a forest, sometimes it even works!

Though I’m not qualified to teach meditation, I swear by this technique.  What happens next, is I usually take a look at all those very specific parts and start reviewing it against the main point of my mission, or big idea. Step one is to ask the question, “does this have anything to do with the central theme”? If it does I can then attempt to ascertain, “does this enhance, confuse, or detract from my big idea”? If I’m honest with myself, I usually find that I’ve gone off track and am not creating a stronger business case or story. [Read more…]


Are Your Project Goals Clearly Defined? Part 1

What would you think is the number one thing effecting the success of your next campaign or product release? Well, ifTake time to think you read the title and guessed clearly defined goals, please continue reading. If not, back up and read another blog, as these communications are not going to be helpful for you. The issue is so obvious but so often overlooked that it deserves some attention. Quite simply, if one cannot clearly articulate the project requirements then the project is most likely doomed to fail; come in over budget; or become something not originally intended.

Failing can happen because human assets will usually deliver when called upon.  Unfortunately, what they can often deliver is an unfocused mess, if they are not given clear objectives. There are some typical things that a company needs to do to direct their people and/or their firm to make this happen. [Read more…]


Building for the Future: Top Ten Research Sites for Small Businesses

Deciding how to begin the broadcast of your message should be a measured and researched process. This process, can unfortunately, be arduous and tedious sometimes. Motivation to continue on can be like a weight loss program – if you don’t see results you’re likely to go for the immediate gratification of the equivalent of a business doughnut.  But if you stick to it, over time, the results can be enlightening and wildly profitable.

Therefore, I have outlined ten research sites that can be useful for any small businesses’ quest for increased recognition, and ultimately, sales. [Read more…]


Say it With Me: Res-O-Nate

Everyone wants repeat purchasers. They are less expensive on a cost- per-sale basis, and it makes the job of learning customer’s wants and needs much easier. Other than speaking to people on their terms, what else can a small business with a smaller budget, and man-hours in the day, do to accomplish this? My solution is to resonate on a deeper level. Often people buy from small businesses because of the personal touches. Using a quality Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is often the best way to accomplish this end. You can fill it with all kinds of facts, like birthdays, anniversaries, date of first purchase, favorite likes/dislikes and whatever else you think is pertinent.

[Read more…]


A Co-Mingling of Expertise

Spatula Tim and I have felt as though we received so much benefit from the community and collaborative nature of the contestants, judges, and blog responders from Blog Off 2, that we would share some excerpts from the multiple conversations that we have engaged in, about branding and going to market with a new product, for a combined final post. The following (edited for your reading enjoyment) rhetoric outlines some of the finer points of our conversations… [Read more…]