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…]


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…]


3 Must-Ask Questions Before Choosing a Marketing Campaign

Your business is growing and you are ready to take it to that elusive “next level,” so you’ve selected a couple of different marketing agencies to develop plans that will extend your unique message. They have presented their Integrated Marketing Communications plans to you, both look good and you can’t quite decide which one you want to go with. Although there are plenty of times in life (and business) you should go with your gut, frankly, this is not one of them. [Read more…]