Newspaper ad revenue vs Facebook ad revenue

This graph comparing Facebook ad revenue vs newspaper ad revenue appeared over the Thanksgiving weekend. As a small business owner, here are a few things to factor into your reaction to this data: 1) Graphs like this can be misleading when there is one media (Facebook) in serious growth mode vs. an entire market. We’re talking […]

Pricing custom work well is a strategic advantage

How good is your business at pricing custom work? If you don’t have a way of pricing custom work that consistently accounts for your costs and labor, how do you know if you’re making any profit on these deals? How would it feel to find that you’re losing money on half your custom work? Do […]

Where does new business hide?

In every town, there’s a place where new business hides. If you can’t find its hiding place, your business is likely to struggle. Most of the time, that struggle is rooted in the inability to dependably produce predictable, month to month revenue. Without predictable month to month revenue, businesses close, scale down or at the […]

What are your customers doing online?

I mentioned the Meeker internet / technology trends report last week on Facebook, but I thought I should summarize a few important nuggets from it for small businesses, particularly small software businesses. 30 percent growth in mobile users in the last year. 50% growth in bandwidth use by mobile devices. Specifically, 15% of all internet […]

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 […]

What Godzilla does before buying a car

photo credit: In part two of the growth series, we arrived a place where we figured out that the buying signals customers (and prospects) send us are sometimes subtle, if not almost invisible. One good example is the sometimes joyous, sometimes annoying as all get out process of buying a car. Q: How does […]

Habits and Heatmaps

photo credit: opensourceway Here’s your sign. While it is a well-known “redneck” comedian punch line, it’s also something you should be looking for. Some signs you must seek out, while others have been right in front of you all year long. Many of those signs are buried in your existing business data. Habits Your business data illustrates your customers’ […]

Checkmate on the Fridge

photo credit: frankblacknoir My favorite story about setting expectations comes from a really smart real estate agent. When you decide to buy or sell a house with her, she gives you a pre-printed list of all the things that can happen during the process of buying or selling. A list of 20 or 30 things […]

Learn, unlearn, relearn.

photo credit: kaibara87 “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” â?? Alvin Toffler Are you doing the same things in the same ways that you did when *everything* worked? If so, is that still working for you? If it […]

A gift for Bobby?

photo credit: aloshbennett Yesterday, I was reading a comment from Bobby Rich about this small business (whaaaaa?) post on Hildy’s blog. Bobby took Hildy’s idea, smooshed it around a little and decided to see if it would work for his business. I like the idea, but I think we can put a cherry on top […]