busienss development

Your Business is a System

In this week’s Moment of Clarity I share my thoughts on how seeing your business as a system can help you improve and grow your business.

About ten years ago I completely disassembled an old Corvette I bought in a fit of bad judgment at a swap meet. Every bolt. Every washer. Every piece of wire.

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Replicating Your Ideal Customers

In this Moment of Clarity I show you how to create an Ideal Customer Profile with a downloadable worksheet.

Everybody knows that 20% of customers provide the lion’s share of revenue.

The real question is how to replicate this 20%.

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Web video done right.

A few weeks ago, I worked with my friend Amy Hardin to create a series of short web videos. Here’s the result. It got me thinking about web video since I get asked at least once a week about how to do it or why. So here’s my easy guide to on-line video. But first, see how it’s done. [youtube wdfoDtBUClM]

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#occuppy Wallstreet. Classic Ready, Fire, Aim Strategy.

Regular readers may or may not have noticed I stay away from politics. I also don’t mention religion. And I sure don’t write about the place of religion in politics. But the #occupy protests over the last few weeks are just too juicy for me to ignore. Yummy, juicy, deliciously stupid. Uh oh. I said it. Stupid. “But, Pete…” you might say. “You live in Austin, TX. You’re gonna get fried for that comment”. Bring it people. I call it as I see it and I see stupidity. Here’s why.

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Don’t be a Saleshole. The Five Attributes of Poor Salesmanship.

The last few weeks I have been subjected to a lot of bad salesmanship. It got me thinking. Surely people don’t mean to be rude, pushy or full of proverbial bovine excrement. But somehow, they still excel at being a total saleshole. So, in the interest of enlightenment and relieving my frustration, I share my top five saleshole attributes. 1. If you never take no for an answer and instead resort to stalking prospects with repeated calls, unannounced visits, hanging out at the bar next to the prospect’s office, lurking around his yard at night – you might be a Saleshole.

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Tell me brands don’t matter.

While you may not care about Walmart or how it does business, there is something to be gained from watching them learn marketing and merchandising lessons – especially when they learn the hard way. Think about it. Walmart is huge. Regardless of how you feel about the company, they represent a giant consumer laboratory – when Walmart makes a move, the cause and effect can be clearly seen in statistically significant numbers. Case in point: Over the last year or so Walmart has been reducing the number of “branded” projects they carry (little names like Kraft, General Mills and Heinz) and increasing placement of in-house brand “Great Value” products.

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Rule #5 of Marketing: Capitalization

Ok, this is where I break your heart. Effective marketing takes money. That’s just the truth. Take a deep breath now and accept it. it’s not just a question of “how much” – it’s more a question of “how fast”.  The more money you invest, the faster you realize a return. When it comes to investing in marketing and getting a return the trick is to know your ROI Threshold.  

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Rule #3 of Marketing: Consistency

In the buyer’s mind, consistency = quality. The rule of consistency can be applied to many functional areas in a business. When it comes to marketing a consistent message, consistently delivered to the right people will pay dividends. Think of it this way. Drip marketing works because it delivers multiple “touches” over time. Consistent, high quality touches repeated over time. The medium might change (email, printed, on-line, publicity, advertising, etc.) but the net effect is the perception of omnipresence.  

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