Creating client loyalty = dependability

What’s the easiest way of creating client loyalty? The “easiest” way will differ by business. The key is to keep using it once you determine what’s easiest for yours. I can’t promise that one way is easier than others but one of the ways I’ve found is to be the business your clients depend on […]

Doing ahead, not just thinking ahead

Quite often, I talk with business owners about thinking ahead. Something that happened yesterday tells me that I need to change my terminology to “Doing ahead.” Why the change? Primarily, I’m concerned that small businesses are thinking ahead, but stopping there. Thinking ahead discussions often include strategic thoughts of putting yourself out of business by […]

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 […]

The Amazon Prime Directive

photo credit: mendhak What did you learn from – and change in your business – after Amazon launched Amazon Prime? If you aren’t aware, Amazon Prime is a membership-based service that provides access to Amazon video-on-demand and free Kindle books from the Kindle lending library – but more importantly, it upgrades all purchases to from […]

The unexpected message clients get from you

photo credit: Nicholas_T Have you ever received a new-customers-only offer from someone that you already do business with? In particular – Have you received one and found that the “new customer deal” in the ad is better than what you’re paying? As an existing customer of that business, how does that make you feel? To […]

When is $5000 like $100000?

photo credit: ground.zero One of the first questions I ask business owners when we start working on their company is “What will it take to transform your business?” I’m asking for several reasons – each of which are critical to knowing where you are with your business. I want to find out what is top […]

Giving away what you do – strategically

While looking for new post fodder in my drafts folder, I found this unpublished post from 2009. I hope you enjoy looking back over it, while considering how things have changed with “free” since that time and how those things affect your business today. Note that four years later, the Beacon is bigger and stronger […]

How to do strategic business planning that actually matters

photo credit: Evil Erin Go ahead, admit it – if it fits. Your business plan doesn’t really reflect your real business. You may not even use it. Ask yourself these questions: “Do you use it to run your business day to day?” “Does it bear any resemblance to what really happens at your business?” “Did […]