“Tell Me Again What It Is You Do?”

I was at a trade show a few weeks back, doing some work for a client…

Met a really cool guy who does marketing work for another company in that space. We had a nice chat, hosted him on our remote broadcast radio show, and we promised to talk again.

The goal of that next conversation was to explore some ways we might be of service to him and his company down the road…

So, following the show, I sent an email to this gentleman to follow-up and schedule a phone conversation.

I heard nothing back.

Next, I left a voicemail to reach out to him.

Nothing.

Sent another follow-up email late yesterday to this fellow, wishing him a warm holiday, and hoping we could schedule a phone conversation the week following Thanksgiving.

I heard back.

“Tell me again what it is you do?”

Sigh…

But you know what? That’s life. That’s life in 2010. There is a lot going on out there. A lot of noise. A lot of distractions. In this guy’s world, I am just someone else trying to interrupt his day.

And that’s the point of this message. Just because you have a promising interaction with someone, doesn’t mean they are going to go home and dream about the opportunity to do business with you.

You have to earn that right. And you have to make your interaction with that person memorable. And that’s the lesson I continue to learn day in and day out.

Three things are going to happen now:

1. He will block me and ignore me forever.
2. He will call me first thing this morning and we’ll begin exploring.
3. Or, he and I will work over a period of time to establish a relationship, where each of us will slowly learn about the other…

And it doesn’t happen overnight, and you have to put your “new” relationships into the incubator to foster and grow. This is why it so important to have activity on the social web, where this gentleman can learn about me, interact with me, question me, and advance the relationship.

All the while, I am doing the same thing. Learning about him, learning what’s important to him. And discovering ways (if any) that I can be of service.

Ultimately, hopefully, there will be trust, confidence and enough faith that I might be of some use to this company, and this fellow will formally reach out to seek counsel.

Just don’t assume that you are top of mind from day one. Trust me, most good guys in good companies have dozens and dozens of things more important on their mind than the guy they met in Orlando a few weeks back.

Shift your paradigm – shift your thinking – learn to foster these relationships over time – and then and only then they will lead to something meaningful…

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[cartoon by @gapingvoid]

j j j

50 Things All Entrepreneurs Need

1. Patience.

2. Belief in transparency.

3. Thick skin.

4. Cash flow.

5. No fear.

6. Preparation for success.

7. Preparation for failure.

8. The next idea.

9. The desire to kill complacency dead. dead. dead.

10. Speed.

11. Love of people.

12. Love of conversation.

13. Love of workshifting.

14. Did I say cash flow?

15. Willingness to adapt.

16. Willingness to evolve.

17. Willingness to ask for help.

18. Willingness to say “I have no frickin’ idea…”

19. Willingness to listen.

20. Willingness to research. A lot.

21. Appreciation of others.

22. Appreciation of learning.

23. Love of reading.

24. Willingness to serve their competition.

25. Willingness to learn from their competition.

26. Ability to say they were wrong.

27. Friends.

28. And yes, enemies.

29. A business plan…

30. …that they are willing to change.

31. A marketing plan…

32. …that they are willing to change.

33. Hatred of meetings.

34. Hatred of conference calls.

35. Hatred of fine tuners (people who delay shipping).

36. Love of freedom. And no structure…

37. No set working hours. 9 to 5? What is that?

38. Love of networking (well, the right kind of networking…).

39. Always looking to improve the customer experience.

40. Always asking why.

41. Always looking to make improvements. Never settling.

42. Craves feedback.

43. Acts on feedback.

44. Keeps things simple…

45. …but keeps eyes open for new ways to grow and improve.

46. Good communication skills.

47. Good storyteller.

48. Willingness to refer clients/customers to a better solution.

49. More patience.

50. And yes, cash flow.

So…what did I miss? Are there any you agree…or disagree with?

[cartoon by @gapingvoid - as suggested by @StephanieALloyd]

j j j

12 Ways to WOW Your Customers, Inside and Out…

cartoon by @gapingvoid

cartoon by @gapingvoid

OK, so on the road to Birmingham tomorrow. Another day of filming for a client project there.

But whilst engaging in some pre-trip planning with my traveling colleagues, we got to discussing some additional tactics that are in the works long-term for this client/project.

One of those is setting up and helping this client execute their very own radio show…

As you know, my business partner Stone Payton and I co-host the High Velocity Radio Show. It has been an amazingly successful show that has helped connect us to a lot of talented people, and given us a lot of wonderful content and stories to share with our audience.

Now hosting a radio show isn’t for everyone. But I’d be hard pressed to find a business, large or small, that couldn’t benefit from hosting something like this.

But in doing some preparatory work in laying out the future steps for this client, my partners-in-crime and I brainstormed on how best to leverage a radio show. Here are a few things we came up with:

1. Podcasts. SEO pop. Enough said. I don’t have to tell you about the strength of the content generated by producing relevant podcasts, blogging about it, and achieving some powerful SEO oomph from it. Nothing new here – you already knew this…

2. Gravitas. Our client had NO IDEA what a radio show would look like for him and his company. But was aroused by the idea. Why? Because in his space? It was uncommon. And that made the idea rock.

3. Plus it makes you look cool. I mean look at Stone and I for goodness sakes…

4. Cross-Pollination. It is amazing how RIDICULOUSLY EASY it is to take content generated on the radio show and use it as an endless stream of specific content for your blog…

5. Content generator. Duh. Get some people on the radio talking about things that matter in the organization? And poof, you get some great sharable content!

6. Spotlight Veteran Rock Stars. Got some All-Star Veteran talent in the organization? Feature them. Let them teach. Demonstrate. Motivate the others who need to see leadership…

7. Make New Rock Stars. Got young up and coming talent? Feature them on your radio show. Make them push the envelope. Make them push their limits. Make them realize what they really can do.

8. Training | Education. If you need to teach a sector of your world something, whether they be internal members of your organization and/or your prospects and customers, setting up a radio show is BRILLIANT. They can learn from their peers, the members they respects and admire. I am thinking call-in radio show here…

9. Inspire buy-in on new ideas. Do you have a constituency within your organization that needs to buy-in to a new program? Well, they don’t want to read white papers. They don’t want to be force-fed lectures. Or be told to read boring brochures. But if you can get them engaged in a radio show dialog with their peers, engage them in a medium where they can revel – and shine – in that interaction? Well, you tell me…

10. Passion. Tell me a better way for your customers to see your passion about what you do, what you sell, and what you care about most…

11. Come on. I am waiting…

12. Simple. Now the cool thing about radio shows and podcasts? The tools are easy to set up and execute. A workable strategy to make it work for you and your organization? Well, that requires a little thinking, execution and some work. But, in this day and age, don’t let technology be your excuse.

What did we miss? Any other ideas that make sense?

j j j

Minimalist Marketing: A Good Lead For Me Is The Planet Earth…

cartoon by @gapingvoid

cartoon by @gapingvoid

Have you ever attended a networking session, and encountered this scenario? Say a mechanic gets up to speak, and he says “A good lead for me today is anyone you know who owns a car or truck.”

What the?

Hearing this is like nails on a chalkboard for me. I have a feeling this guy is thinking this is good for him, in that he is casting a wide net to catch ALL fish.

But sadly, this is a sign of a completely LAZY marketer. Someone taking the easy way out. And my guess is his business is struggling. I mean, seriously. What does he think I am going to do, give him my entire rolodex?

In fact, this mechanic is doing the exact opposite of what he should do to grow his business, and find MORE customers. He needs to do what will feel quite counter-intuitive to him – laser focus on one specific niche.

What happens when you cast too wide a net? You find very few clients.  And what happens then? You take on TOO MANY of the wrong clients. And then you are overwhelmed with too much “bad” work, and probably for too small a fee.

Either way, applying some minimalist principles to your targeting process will pay big dividends to your marketing program.

Focus on ONE type of prospect. Just one. In the case of the mechanic? Don’t narrow your focus to Fords. Narrow your focus to Ford pick-ups.

[This doesn't mean the mechanic can't help fix a Chevy should it pull into the garage - it just means his marketing focus should be on Ford pick-ups...ONLY.]

But this only works under two conditions:

One, that you become the best in the market at fixing Ford pick-ups. You should become known as the go-to guy in the event anyone’s Ford pick-up needs servicing. I mean it…the best in your market.

And two, you are going to have to adjust your marketing program to target owners of Ford pick-ups. This is easier than casting a large net, I promise. But it does require some creative thinking, some strategy, and a sustained effort over time to reach out and build real relationships with owners of Ford pick-ups.

The other minimalist impact on your marketing as a result of narrowing your focus? You then also simplify your marketing message. What you say to Ford pick-up owners is different than if you had to speak to ALL car and truck owners. [And if you don't understand this concept...call me. We need to talk.] But if you are targeting too many people, you probably have too many marketing messages. As a result, your message is muddled, and your marketing suffers…

Narrowing your focus to a specific niche simplifies your marketing, and makes it less complicated. Selling is hard enough. Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be.

What do you think?

[See the original post that inspired the Minimalist Marketing series]
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j j j

99 Ways To Be An Intrepid Marketer

Intrepid-Logo-1So, what exactly is an intrepid marketer? And why have I built a business – and started this blog – around the idea of making people intrepid marketers?

The definition of intrepid from the Wiktionary is fearless, bold, and brave. It’s etymology is the Latin intrepidus, meaning “not nervous.” Here is a more detailed explanation for why I named the company HERE.

Fear is something that always holds us back. Fear of being rejected, so you never submit that project on time. Fear of never achieving a goal, so you never set out to do it. Fear of taking that leap to do something you love and are passionate about, so you stay in a job you hate. Fear of being truly innovative and taking your small business in an exciting new direction, so you just do the same old tired things…

I want to make intrepid marketers out of all of us. So, here is a partial list of attributes that make people intrepid marketers:

  1. Intrepid marketers take decisive action.
  2. They are bold.
  3. They are fearless.
  4. They do not fear making important decisions.
  5. They create a serious marketing plan…
  6. …but aren’t afraid to make mid-course corrections on their plan.
  7. They read voraciously.
  8. They have a blog.
  9. Their web presence engages. It is NOT static.
  10. They embrace the social web.
  11. The celebrate transparency.
  12. They give back to their community.
  13. They serve others…
  14. …and they even serve their competition.
  15. They don’t hide behind traditional media.
  16. They teach.
  17. They tell stories.
  18. They listen.
  19. They embrace new technology…
  20. …but only new technology that advances their goals.
  21. They don’t tear down others…
  22. …but they learn lessons from the mistakes of others.
  23. They love joint venturing.
  24. They love collaborating.
  25. They love learning. And never stop learning.
  26. They engage with others…
  27. …even with people they disagree with.
  28. They focus only on the customer experience.
  29. They recognize that every employee is in the marketing department. From the CEO to the cleaning crew.
  30. They see every conceivable customer interaction as something that can and should be continuously improved.
  31. They see that automation is a bad word, most of the time.
  32. They worry about communicating well.
  33. They welcome customer feedback…
  34. …especially negative customer feedback. It helps them improve.
  35. They thoughtfully comment on the blogs of others.
  36. They share. Freely.
  37. They only upsell if they are truly benefiting the customer.
  38. They ask a lot of questions…
  39. …but only to really hear and learn from the answers.
  40. They don’t gloat or show-off.
  41. They believe in quality over quantity.
  42. They admire courage.
  43. They know that marketing is a two-way conversation, not a one-way push.
  44. They sense that interruption marketing is evil, and should be mercilessly destroyed.
  45. They don’t compete on price…
  46. …and they won’t. Ever.
  47. They have no fear walking away from prospects who aren’t the right fit.
  48. They love what they do.
  49. They are minimalist marketers.
  50. They don’t “work.”
  51. They don’t take credit. For anything.
  52. They demonstrate value. With ease.
  53. They know you earn your brand. Not hire a consultant to “create” your brand.
  54. They test and measure. Everything.
  55. They are always improving. Everything.
  56. They understand the power of video, even if the medium isn’t right for them.
  57. They understand the power of podcasts, even if the medium isn’t right for them.
  58. They love networking…
  59. …by which I mean they love learning how to help others.
  60. The relish the chance to connect people.
  61. They know what they don’t know.
  62. They are trust agents.
  63. 2210598414_19ec1f32be_oThey understand the power of images.
  64. They respect differing opinions.
  65. They push themselves, even when there are obstacles.
  66. They aren’t afraid of improvisation.
  67. They know there is no such thing as an overnight success.
  68. When they identify a problem, they fix it. They don’t wait and let it fester.
  69. They don’t spam.
  70. They hustle.
  71. They are creative.
  72. They have patience…
  73. …but they don’t sit around and wait.
  74. They respect the A-listers…
  75. …but they help and push the little guys.
  76. They are innovative…
  77. …and actually know what innovation really means.
  78. They don’t have too many products or services. They focus only on what they do very well.
  79. They are continually trying to improve themselves in every way. Personal development never ends.
  80. They are good problem solvers.
  81. They are NOT afraid to adapt to an ever-changing environment.
  82. They see themselves as artists.
  83. They don’t multi-task. They focus.
  84. They are in the moment.
  85. They are deep thinkers. And they make time to do serious thinking.
  86. They sweat the small stuff.
  87. But spend time focusing on the big stuff.
  88. They know how to apply the 80/20 principle to their situation.
  89. They honor and celebrate referral partners.
  90. They are not conformists.
  91. They aren’t afraid of sharing what they know. They aren’t held back by this notion of “people need to pay me for my knowledge…”
  92. …but they charge a premium for their services.
  93. They embrace relationships.
  94. They live by “serving first, selling second.”
  95. They don’t have time management problems, because they are always focused on the important stuff.
  96. They have balance, and enjoy things outside of business that drive them.
  97. There is nothing fake about them. They are real.
  98. They apologize when they need to. And work hard to fix the problem.
  99. And they are honest. Always.

OK. So what else am I missing? Remember, this is a partial list. And it is always changing. What do you think?

[photo by ~jjjohn~]

j j j

Marketing Lessons, by way of The Graduate

The Graduate

The Graduate

Just last night, I watched the classic film The Graduate, starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft. Truly one of the coolest films ever made, it is one of my top 10 favs. And not just because Simon and Garfunkel did the music.

You recall the film. It tells the tale of Ben Braddock, fresh out of school, but clueless as to what to do with his life. In his confusion and quest to find answers, he falls for an older woman, the wife of his father’s business partner.

Being the marketing guy with a permanent thirst to learn as much as I can about marketing, I look for lessons and answers every where I can. So, watching the film last night, I looked for marketing lessons while watching the film. And damn, if I don’t think I found some profound lessons we all can benefit from. Thanks Ben, Mrs. Robinson, and Elaine. Enjoy.

  1. Don’t conform. Don’t fall prey to the expectations of others. Ben’s father had much different aspirations for Ben’s future. Go your own way. The way your instincts guide you.
  2. Don’t always say yes. Remember the family friend who suggests that Ben should get into “plastics?” You don’t always have to say yes. Make smart decisions. [see below]
  3. Don’t be timid. Remember when Ben was checking in to the hotel for his first rendezvous with Mrs. Robinson, and he was very timid with the desk clerk? Funniest scene in the film. Don’t worry what people think about simple, mundane stuff. Live life to the full. It will make you a better marketer.
  4. Celebrate conversation. Deep into the affair, Ben got more comfortable with Mrs. Robinson, and he tried to engage her in more conversation in an attempt to get to know her. She obviously had no desire. It probably drove Ben off, off on to a path she wasn’t happy about. Don’t avoid conversation.
  5. Don’t be who you are not. Remember when he took Elaine out on their first date, and he tried to scare her off by being someone he is not? It didn’t work for Ben. He was better off when he went back to being himself. Be real. Be sincere.
  6. Know what your goals are. Remember when Ben declared to his parents that he was marrying Elaine, but then shared that he actually hadn’t asked her yet? Classic moment. Turned the tide of the film. Take a lesson from this – don’t be afraid to declare what you want.
  7. Don’t let a “NO” dissuade you. Remember when Elaine was still mad at Ben for having an affair with her mother? Most would walk away. You will hear “no” a lot in life. It doesn’t mean the quest is over.
  8. Don’t fear obstacles. Remember when Ben was on the way to stop the wedding and his car ran out of gas? He kept going. Kept going until he got what he wanted.
  9. Be persistent. Remember how Ben kept after Elaine even when she went back to school at Berkeley? He kept after her.
  10. Try new things. Hell, if Mrs. Robinson tried to seduce me, I’d have done the same thing too… Celebrate opportunities. You will learn a lot…
j j j

Just Take The First Step. However It May Be.

cartoon by @gapingvoid

cartoon by @gapingvoid

I’ve been thinking a lot about this over the last few days.

I have a new client who is very methodically constructing a business plan to grow a new consulting practice. I am engaged with the project to think creatively on the marketing side, but I have been very impressed with is thoughtfulness in building his new company. Slowly, and carefully.

I have also been talking with a colleague over the last several weeks, and the two of us are strategizing over a potential new business idea. We aren’t in any hurry. But it has been fun to take our time with it and really think through every tiny element of what it might take to pull this little business together.

And then I look back to when I formed Intrepid, just about three years ago. And wow – what a difference. I slammed this thing together and dove head first into the water and never looked back. These days, citing the first two examples above, I would never go about forming, or helping form, a new business without careful thought, methodical planning, and taking things step-by-careful-step.

But that doesn’t mean I regret how I launched Intrepid.

The goals of my business then are so very different from where they are today. But that’s ok. That happens. In fact, if you are NOT going to spend time carefully planning your new business, I’d rather you jump right in and learn from mistakes – then never start to begin with. I hate seeing would-be entrepreneurs who never take the first step out of fear of the unknown.

So what are you going to do? How are you going to launch? Think it through and prepare carefully if you can. But if not, dive in anyway. Learn. Experiment. The water is fine…

j j j

Mediocrity Sucks

cartoon by @gapingvoid

cartoon by @gapingvoid

Here is something I am taking action on as I launch some new projects in 2010. Not by any real design, but turns out I am starting the year with three new clients – just this week alone. And I am chatting soon with a former client, and we are about to engage on a brand new project.

So, while it is a fluke that all this new activity is happening in January 2010, I am using the new year to take a new approach with these new client projects.

What am I doing differently? I am making a bigger push than ever before on my vendor engagement. In fact, I have released a few past vendors, and have engaged some fresh faces.

This is really exciting to me, as this will give me some new souls to bounce ideas off, and a fresh perspective on some things. This has done a lot to recharge my batteries.

And in the end, I think it will serve my clients very well. I am NOT suggesting that my work prior to this point was mediocre, but I am looking at these refreshing new partners as if I was striving to up my game. And make it better. As if I was telling “mediocrity” to kiss my fanny.

And you can’t imagine how this is firing up my creativity!

So, the simple point of this post is to remind you to think about doing something like this in your business. Take things you have been doing, whether they are standard protocol, routine, comfortable – and shake things up a bit. Be like John Keating in Dead Poets Society, and stand on a desk and look at your world a little differently.

Pick something that needs a little shaking up, such as how you interact on social media, how you present your company while networking, how you shape your customer experience, or how you deal with your vendors – and make it a point to seriously question how you can do those things better.

Don’t settle for anything mediocre – make your business lives extraordinary!

Be Intrepid.

j j j

My Intrepid Goals for 2010. What Are Yours?

cartoon by @gapingvoid

cartoon by @gapingvoid

This is the time of year when you should be laying out your goals for 2010. It should be a very serious part of your year-end routine. And it should be something with which you invest a lot of thought, energy, and time.

What I find is that most small business folks and entrepreneurs don’t do this. And this is a mistake. The main reason to decide upon some goals? Well, gives you something to shoot for and plan around. Without a destination, you cannot plot the course to get there.

And like me, I think it is a good idea to jot them down on your blog. Make it public. You know, we’ve all been told a thousand times to not only set goals, but to WRITE THEM DOWN. This makes them real. Better yet, publish them to your blog so that others know your plans. They will help hold you accountable. And maybe even offer to help you achieve them.

And once you do this, THEN you can generate the step-by-step plan to achieve them.

So, here are my initial FIVE main business and personal goals for 2010. I will add more as the year progresses. Let me know what you think!

2010 BUSINESS GOALS:

  1. Double subscriptions to this blog. I made some progress this year, but I really want to kick it into a higher gear. Problem is, I currently don’t have a plan to do this. But now that I have made it a goal, I will research and develop a strategy to get it done.
  2. Double the listening audience to my radio show. To be honest, we have not done a very good job tracking our current listening audience for the High Velocity Radio Show. That will change. And once I set the bar, my goal is to double the audience in 2010.
  3. Add five long-term clients to my roster. My plan for 2009 was to evolve from a business with LOTS of clients doing small projects, to a business with fewer clients doing more comprehensive projects. I am still on this journey. My goal is to add five of these, which should get me to capacity.
  4. Achieve a rolling enrollment of at least 100 members to my online school. Stone Payton and I have just launched Speed School a week or two ago. We haven’t formally made any large announcements, more or less testing and collecting feedback. And although we have more ambitious long-term goals, 100 to start would be a great first step.
  5. Successfully launch Top Chefs Atlanta. Having done some marketing work for a local restaurant – and then featuring them and a few other chefs and owners on the radio show, fueled this idea. The first draft of the new website is up. Will be launching officially and going to market in January!

 

2010 PERSONAL GOALS

  1. Run two half-marathons. I am already deep into my training. You can follow my progress RIGHT HERE!
  2. Write a book. I already have plans to write a book with my business partner Stone Payton. It will center on this idea, CircleNomics. We had ideas to get it done last year, but didn’t. That won’t happen in 2010…
  3. Get my passport and travel out of the country. I have no idea what the heck I want to do, or where I want to go. Maybe I will find some cool conference out of the country, and go to that…
  4. Launch an online fundraising effort for my non-profit. I have the pleasure of serving on the Board of the Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta. I had good intentions to launch this effort in 2009. Didn’t happen. My plan doesn’t call for raising one million dollars. Just want to launch a creative idea that starts building a community around what we do and helps raise a little cash to serve some people.
  5. Improve my skills and knowledge on WordPress. I currently blog on a total of six wordpress blogs. And I know more than the average bloke. But I still have A LOT to learn. First step? Attending this

 

For additional reference and guidance, I am a fan of Chris Guillebeau. On his blog, he does a superior job of laying out his year-end review process and goal-setting and planning process for the upcoming year. I’d recommend checking it out. Here is a good starting point.

j j j

Don't Be A Part Of This 2010 Marketing Conversation…

cartoon by @gapingvoid

cartoon by @gapingvoid

Consultant: “How did you do in meeting the goals of your 2009 marketing plan? Did you stay on budget?

Typical small business person: “Wait, what? Marketing plan did you say? Budget? I was supposed to have a budget?

Consultant: “Let’s review your social media plan. Did you accomplish your goals?”

Typical small business person: “What? Social media strategy? You can do that?

Consultant: “How did the call to action on your marketing collateral work? Did prospects and customers take the steps you wanted to advance the sales process?”

Typical small business person: “I am not sure what you are talking about, but man, my brochures are sure pretty!”

cartoon by @gapingvoid

cartoon by @gapingvoid

Consultant: “How did your keywords perform on your website and blog?”

Typical small business person: “I have no idea, but my cousin who designed the site says her friends think the site looks bitchin’!”

Consultant: “So, with your email marketing campaign, did your prospects contact you to learn more or advance the sales process?”

Typical small business person: “No clue, but most of the people I blindly added to my database unsubscribed and gave me lip about ‘spam’.”

Consultant: “So, did you try some new things with your marketing? Try any new tactics, new messaging, any new social media tools?”

Typical small business person: “No. I stuck to the same stuff that hasn’t really worked too well before, but you know, I didn’t have any money to try something new that might work.”

cartoon by @gapingvoid

cartoon by @gapingvoid

Consultant: “What good marketing books did you read this year? Did you find any great marketing blogs to help you learn new things?”

Typical small business person: “No, but I think I learned some cool advertising stuff watching Mad Men…”

Consultant: “Did you hone your skills at building community and establishing relationships on tools like Twitter and Facebook?”

Typical small business person: “Huh? No, but I passed along my free e-book, the results of my IQ test, an invite to join my mafia family, and the link to my blog to all new followers and friends!”

Consultant: “Have you narrowed your marketing focus down to a highly specific, easily targeted niche?”

Typical small business owner: “Are you nuts? I am not missing out on hitting all those darn people…”

cartoon by @gapingvoid

cartoon by @gapingvoid

Consultant: “Have you narrowed your focus to the right networking groups that are in your target market?”

Typical small business person: “Are you nuts? I am not getting many leads from the bunch of groups I am visiting, so clearly I just need to hit as many darn networking groups as I can…”

Consultant: “Tell me about your lead generation and lead incubation system? How do you feed good solid prospects into your pre-purchase experience?”

Typical small business person: “Huh?”

cartoon by @gapingvoid

cartoon by @gapingvoid

The point here? Thinking strategically and putting a plan on paper is too important NOT to do. Yet, too many small business people jump into their daily routine without so much as a plan on how to proceed. The questions [by no means a complete list of pertinent questions] above serve one purpose: if you can personally identify with even one of those mini scenarios, you need to pull back, take advantage of the quieter holiday season, and think some things through as you prepare for 2010.

Good luck!

j j j