Are you starting out or rebranding and need to name a business? Coming up with a name for your business is something that can seem incredibly difficult. We all have those aspirational businesses in mind with super-cool names and hope to come up with something like that – thinking that it will help make our business an instant […]
When you love business but hate selling, that’s a problem. Sales skills don’t come easily to me and I am not a natural salesperson. In fact I’ve realised that I have a distinct disdain for the stereotypical smarmy car salesperson or real estate agent types. These behaviours send prickles up my spine and I’d loathe to think that I […]
Most people will trust word-of-mouth recommendations above anything you might say about your own business. But, do you know what the next best thing is? Customer testimonials or customer reviews. We’ll talk about reviews another time but it’s easy to collect customer testimonials – and here we’ve got the exact steps on how to do […]
A Simple Prioritisation Matrix Tool Prioritising different projects is extremely difficult and causes no end of frustration that often results in a lack of decision-making and progress. You know you need to focus your energies, but how can you decide between so many things that all seem so important? Well, here’s a prioritisation method that might help […]
When I started WOMO, I was pregnant with my first child. I could add that I was delusional in that I expected life to go on as it had previously, except that’s really a given! Of course I expected to be able to work and have a baby or two gurgling calmly beside me and […]
Want a way to inject new ideas into your business, clarify the direction forward, motivate and get buy-in from staff, and have a bonding experience with your team? Running a strategic retreat can achieve all of that! At the IT support business I was involved with, we ran an annual “Strategic Retreat”. This was never intended […]
One of the books I was assigned as part of my MBA course was “The Goal”, by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox. For a business book it is highly unusual – mainly because it’s actually written as a novel. The scene is a manufacturing factory and the main character is the plant manager who has been hired to turn […]
I was recently listening to one of my favourite podcasts – The Tim Ferris Show – and heard this episode with Derek Sivers, the founder of CD Baby. There are a lot of gems in it and I highly recommend you listen to the full podcast, but one part that struck me was a story Derek told about how he decided to inject some personality into his business.
Did he create a new brand, get new logos and graphics created, hire or retrain his team on a new company philosophy? No, initially he simply sat down and re-wrote the “order confirmation” email so that it was personal, full of flair, and really ‘spoke’ to his customers. It took all of about 20 minutes and made all the difference to how customers thought about the business. Here’s an extract from it;
Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.
A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.
Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.
We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Friday, June 6th.
I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year”. We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!
People LOVED this email – so much so that many of them shared it with friends and posted it on their websites.
Suddenly, his business became remarkable. He had given customers something to “Remark” about. Something specific to tell their friends about.
There is lots of talk right now about people setting goals and getting fired up for a great year. But the methods many people use set them up for failure instead of success. The Problem with Goal-Setting In my case, I know I have a tendency to set way too many goals – many of which […]
I recently had a startup contact me for advice. In a nutshell, they had spent the last 8 months building a slick platform for an online marketplace (which happens to be a very good idea), and now all they need is customers. Wait – all they need is customers? But that’s (pretty much) all any […]
Can’t figure out the next step for your business? Stuck in a rut? Losing market-share? Working harder but getting nowhere? Don’t worry, it happens to all of us at one point or another. Whether it’s too many options, you’ve tried everything, or nothing’s changed but sales are dwindling… you can potentially solve all of these […]
One of the easiest ways to avoid some of the many hiring mistakes I’ve made is to do a thorough (but quick!) reference check. This doesn’t need to be complicated and can save you from A LOT of problems down the line. Here’s the casual, but effective, approach I’ve found works…
For myself, and many of the other business owners I know, it seems that ‘the people’ are the hardest part of business. On the other hand, the right people can really set a business on fire. It goes to show that one of the most important tasks is recruiting the right people. But it’s easier […]
Of all the documents you write, for many businesses, there’s nothing more important than your sales proposal. This is your gateway to more work. Many businesses hate the thought of putting together another quote or sales proposal, but if you design them well, you can have a format that will bring in new customers and revenues, […]
Finding ways to introduce recurring revenue into the businesses I’ve been involved with has been one of the best lessons I’ve learned. Automated, recurring revenue really is the holy grail, and if there’s any way you can introduce at least a component of recurring revenue to your business, then you should make this a priority. In […]
A crowd attracts a crowd – and just like most people will prefer the restaurant that is already busy than the empty restaurant, people are also more likely to choose your business if you can demonstrate that you’re popular. But it’s a chicken and egg thing, isn’t it? How do you look popular so that you […]
The businesses I’ve been involved with each had many turning points, but one I remember clearly was with the IT service business (Invizage Technology). At one point, we had a small team and seemed to be getting busier and busier. In fact, it seemed that we needed to hire more staff to fill demand. And yet […]