When the smoke clears, will your reputation?

No one in the Pacific Northwest has to be reminded that this is the worst fire season since 2003. Depending on what you do a bad fire season could be a boon, a bust or a non-issue to your business. Over the last couple of weeks, we had communications and marketing oriented conversations focused on the […]

Filling cracks with automation and metrics

How many emails did you send last Tuesday? How many phone calls did you make last Thursday? How many things fell through the cracks last week or last month? The first two are trivia until you start thinking about the time they consume compared to the return they produce. The last one is the big one: tasks […]

18 questions to increase sales

This week, I’ve been working on metrics because I can’t have my fingers in every pie at once – at least not once the number of pies grows beyond my ability to manage them all in my head at the same time. Even if you can do that, it’s very difficult to sense where changes […]

Shadow Everything

Warning: I’m about to discuss some technology things (yes, again), with good reason: Information Technology (IT) is a leading indicator with parallels in every business niche, including yours. This isn’t about IT. It’s about everything. Control Historically, a company’s staff has had a love / hate relationship with IT. IT’s all powerful control was easy in the mainframe […]

Winning against the chain store

Yesterday, I sat down in a store that’s part of a Montana-based coffee shop chain. I wanted a quick cup and I had about an hour to write before a young man’s Eagle Board that was down the street, so this location was a perfect fit. I drove past Starbucks to reach this place. I try […]

How to build a follow up system

Last time, we discussed why it’s important to consistently follow up with your clients. Consistency requires a system to manage the process, track the follow ups and remind you when they need to be done. Without a system, daily challenges can take over your day. Result: follow ups are forgotten. After I posted, @BeckyMcCray suggested that I […]

A simple, high value tactic many miss

When people know that you help small businesses and you’ve had a newspaper column since 2007, everyone who has a bad (or even mildly annoying) experience at a business wants to tell you about their latest adventure in commerce. Sometimes I hear about situations that really aren’t the fault of the business. Other times, the […]

Desperate for business?

Recently, I drove past a local shop advertising everything they sell at 50% off. While I don’t like to assume, it’s hard not to wonder if such a radical price cut is anything else but a desperate move to make sales that aren’t happening for the “normal” reasons. When an owner is desperate for business, (at […]

Planning for a strategic trade show

Last week, we discussed why you shouldn’t skip a trade show. During that conversation, I mentioned that you need to work trade shows strategically and with a plan. This week, I’d like to elaborate on what that means. In order to do that, let’s break down what happens at a trade show. Who attends a […]

Exhibiting at trade shows – Why do it?

“Should we go to every trade show every year? Some of these shows cost us well over $7000. The one show that we want to skip this year is part of an association. They have about 300 members. We know just about all of them and know what they are using. Of course, a bunch […]