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  • Aspire »

    25 Jan

    pam-office  Pam from The Office

    There’s an important aspect of marketing that often gets overlooked.  The tendency is to think about marketing as advertising or branding, but marketing is also all about the little things. 

    Marketing is every interaction that you (and your employees) have with your customers and prospective customers.  Are they greeted with a friendly smile?  Do they hear a somewhat formal “How can I help you today?” or an informal “What do you need?”.  It’s those details, the little touches, that create what your business is all about, that create the ‘wow’ moments people will talk about.

    Do you look at your marketing as all of the little things that make a difference (and add credibility and power to any advertising you do)?  Do you start thinking of the small touches your clients would appreciate that are unusual in your industry?.  Maybe it’s time to upgrade your marketing – start with a smile…and here are some other ideas that might get you started:

    Read More…

    20 Jan

    photo by mikejmartelli

    It’s the start of a new year and the possibilities are endless!  Although that sounds like a great situation, the problem is that the possibilities are endless, and if you’re like most business owners (or most people for that matter) it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you have that many things you could focus on.

    What tends to happen is you get distracted with all of those possibilities and you ultimately don’t make all that much progress.  Your efforts are diluted, you get distracted before things really get done and there’s not a serious push behind any one effort.

    If you really want to hit what you’re aiming for in the long run, you will be a lot better off limiting the number of targets you have at any given time.  In fact I’d recommend thinking of it like an old fashioned revolver – you only get 6 bullets at any given time and you have to make it count!

    Read More…

    16 Jan

    gavel  photo by Sam Howzit

    I had the ‘opportunity’ to participate in Jury duty last week.  It was the 3rd time in the last 10 months that I had been called, but the first one that actually went to selection.  If you haven’t gone through the process before, you receive a notice in the mail and they have you call in the Friday before your date to find out if you need to show up that following Monday at the courthouse. 

    Because my previous experience had been a non-event, I didn’t really clear my schedule other than that Monday…and unfortunately I had a pretty full week planned.  At least until I actually got selected for a jury!  Everyone will tell you their theory or favorite way to get out of being selected (including wearing red because it implies you are assertive, which attorneys don’t like).  In this particular situation, I’m not sure it would have mattered – the court was very aggressive with reasons why jurors should be excused, and even most that were excused were sent to another courtroom that was still short of jury candidates.  End result -  I was on a live jury for the first time.

    Here’s what I learned from the ordeal overall:

    Read More…

    11 Jan

    herdingcats_thumb[2]  photo by dregsplod

    I had a great question come up from the post I used in my newsletter last week:  Who Needs Sleep?  8 Things to Watch Out For.  The question was in reference to point #3 – Constantly fighting fires (living in Quadrant 1) and brought up an issue that I think almost everyone can relate to.  The stuff in Quadrant 1 is IMPORTANT and urgent, so you can’t blow it off without serious impacts, so when things are crazy, how can you find the time to work in Quadrant 2?

    Jason did a better job than I did with the question – here’s the actual text:

    “In the small business environment where there is only one employee, the owner, what practical ways can we focus on quadrant II and yet keep quadrant I from failing?  I’m sure it’s about balance, but that’s easier said than done.”

    So if you’re spending all of your time herding cats and you don’t have  a lot of help, how do you make things better?

    Read More…

    07 Jan

    hoosiers

    I had the chance to watch Hoosiers over the holidays – it had been a long time since I’d seen it (and the rest of the family hadn’t seen it!).  Great movie – I’d highly recommend catching it again!

    If you’re not familiar with the movie – it was made in 1986 and it’s the story about a basketball coach (Gene Hackman) who gets a final chance at redemption by coaching at a very small rural Indiana school.

    Although it’s a very small school they have some talented players and reasons to believe they can compete but they’re undisciplined and raw when the coach makes it to town.

    One of the things that stood out to me is the coach’s approach to bringing the team around – early on he tells the team:

    “I’ve seen you guys can shoot but there’s more to the game than shooting. There’s fundamentals and defense.”

    There’s more to the game than shooting…now how would that apply to small business owners? (you knew I was going to tie this into business somehow didn’t you…?)

    Read More…