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Small Business Growth Tips to Overcome a Slow Economy

Is your business feeling the crunch of a slow economy?

Last week a client of mine, Kim (name changed to protect the innocent) told me that her business had slowed almost 40% over the past 18 months. As we talked, she explained that she’s doing nothing different with her advertising and marketing – “what worked 18 months ago just isn’t working as well now,” she said.

The reason, Kim felt, is that people have less money to spend.

That certainly makes sense. All our living expenses are on the rise. Groceries cost more, utility bills have increased – in some places dramatically – and the price of a gallon of gas is through the roof. So it only makes sense that consumers have less to spend on what they may perceive as ‘non-essential’ services.

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Three Questions That Will Change Your Business

So much of the branding, strategy and marketing advice I see around the web answers two questions – what and why. What do you need to do and why do you need to do it.

But there’s a third question that I see rarely answered. That question…how! How do you actually do what and why?

For instance, if you have a business, you need to market your business. Perhaps you learn what types of marketing would work best for your business. You even learn why those types of marketing can help you be successful. [Read more…]

The Single, Most Important Question You Can Answer About Your Business

why.jpgWhy?

Really, that’s it.

Why?

It’s the most important question to ask yourself about your business. It’s also the most important question to answer.

Why?

Simple – you have to know the reasons…the motivations…the rationelle for everything you do.

Nothing you do, say, create, experience, generate, design, produce, promote, develop or decide upon should go without you asking, “why!

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Why You Want Your Business To Forever Be Unfinished

workinprogress.jpgI want to share a business secret with you. It’s a secret that you may know already – a least mentally. Yet it’s a secret that often separates highly successful businesses from the less successful ones.

Are you ready? Okay…

No matter how well developed your business is; no matter how many years you’ve been doing it, how many customers you’ve served, how much money you’re making – your business will forever be a work in progress.

I heard this years ago from a colleague and fluffed it off with the usual, “yeah, of course!” But I was missing the juice of it. Only recently have I gotten a clear understanding of what it means. And only recently have I taken a close look at how having an unfinished business is the secret to success. [Read more…]

Small Business Owner: Do You Know When To Ask For Help?

I’ve always been a do-it-yourselfer. I’ve taught myself a great many things by taking this attitude.

When I bought my first house, I completely gutted it – down to the timbers in most rooms. In other places, we removed and moved walls. For instance, I created a large, walk-in closet in our huge bedroom where there was once a little coat room.

When it came to moving plumbing, rerouting and adding electrical, drywall, replacing subfloor, moving my toilets and bathtub drains – I basically did it all. And in most cases, I took to each project never having done it before.

But at some point, you have to live in   your house. And that means it has to get done – as my wife might say, “be livable.”

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Small Business Advice: Are You Enlightened?

lao-tzu.jpg

I was reading from Lao-tzu’s Tao Te Ching last night when I ran across an interesting quote:

He who knows others is wise;
He who knows himself is enlightened.

The passage made me stop and contemplate my own life. How well do I know myself? I went down that path for a bit of time; looking at my aspects and considering what I might be blind about.

Naturally, I soon turned to business. I thought about how much of marketing is focused on the consumer or the client. I wondered what I might learn about my business if I applied Lao-tzu’s words to marketing. So I rewrote the passage to say:

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