Should your business grow horizontally or vertically?

photo credit: Raphael Goetter When I see a business focused solely on a horizontal or vertical market, it’s hard not to wonder if that focus is what’s really best for them. What do I mean by “vertical” and “horizontal” markets? A vertical market serves a certain type of customer, even if the work performed for […]

How to segment your customer list

photo credit: artist in doing nothing Have you heard that you should “segment” your customers before marketing to them? Ever wondered what that means, much less how you’d do that? We’re going to talk about that today in simple terms, but before we do that, you might be wondering … Why should I segment my […]

Things a software vendor should never say

photo credit: Simone Lovati Are you damaging the relationship with your customers when you respond to their requests for help? If the staff receiving feedback reacts to bug reports and questions as if they’re a personal insult, you probably are. Snarky remarks, veiled insults and/or disdain have no place in the feedback loop, yet they […]

The most expensive minute of your life

Sometimes you just have to know when it’s time to move on. To that end, a quote from James Altucher: My first business I sold for $15 million. We built websites for entertainment companies. Bad Boy Records, Miramax, Time Warner, HBO, Sony, Disney, Loud Records, Interscope, on and on. Oh, and Con Edison. Mobb Deep […]

Can you predict future revenue?

Lightning arrives before thunder. In the book, “The Go-Giver”, Bob Burg uses thunder and lightning to illustrate the before/after of delivering value and receiving revenue. It’s a good analogy to explain that relationship – particularly for first-time clientele. There’s another revenue relationship that you need to have under control: You should generally be able to […]

Loose lips raise communities

It’s Saturday morning, so the ritual of before-anyone-else-rises reading, writing and coffee is, as no one ever really says to anyone else, “on like Donkey Kong”. After closing out a couple of chapters and heading to the laptop to write, I happen to see a piece in the news about a local who is heading […]

How to give MORE refunds and love doing it

Last time, we discussed steps you could take to reduce the number of refunds or “lost” sales you have. The idea is that every refund or lost sale costs you money, but if you think about this in the big picture, it’s entirely possible that you want to give MORE refunds. And of course, I […]

Christians, Lions and Wives of New Jersey

During the run-up to the fall of Rome, entertainment in that civilization became more violent and what many people these days would probably call immoral. If you look back to Rome, you might not see the parallel to today but I’m sure you’re familiar with the words “Those who forget / ignore history are doomed […]

Be indispensable

Are you indispensable to your customers? The question that you have to ask yourself – daily, rather than once – is “What can you do to make yourself indispensable to your customers?” A few examples to get the juices flowing: If you sell coffee, how can you help your customers wade through the coffee buzzword […]

Do you scale?

We humans don’t scale well. We have to automate or delegate, either to another staffer, an assistant (virtual or otherwise), a contractor or whatever – or just not get some things done (which is OK, depending on the thing). No matter how much effort you put into scheduling your time, managing your time, protecting yourself […]