Archive for October, 2009

Stop Reinventing The Wheel! – Show #3

One of my favorite people to watch is Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame.  I spent an hour or so this morning looking around the internet for any interviews that I could find.  I love the way he is quite humble about his success – even though he is obviously quite intelligent and has taken more than a few business risks to get where he is in life.  One quote I saw from him is “Dirty Jobs and I are simply respectfully riding the coat tails of hard work”

I see so many business people trying hard to be a lone ranger – paying for high dollar marketing instead of partnering with someone else, carving out a brand new path instead of asking colleagues for advice or stubbornly following a path to bankruptcy just because they were ashamed to ask for help or change a strategy they had already committed to.

Yes, there are times that it pays to innovate and be the first guy to the top of the mountain, but let me challenge you to not always try to reinvent the wheel.  Use other successful people and businesses to partner with either in product design or marketing.

Let me give you an example in the online world.

I have several hundred customers in my web hosting business – the average site pulls in about 300 unique visitors a month so that will be our baseline.  I had the chance to catch up with an acquaintance yesterday and found out he has a web site that is less than a year old and is attracting 4 Million unique visitors every month.  Can you imagine the income potential of 4 million new people visiting your site each month?  Rotating a couple affiliate ads for insurance or mortgage leads could easily pull in 5-10 thousand dollars a month – not a bad passive income.

He used the power of two huge online players – youtube and facebook.  Created a couple of funny videos using animoto, funny enough that people told their friends about them – all of them linking back to his site and he came up with a catchy name for a fan page on facebook and in two months attracted over a million fans.

How can you leverage someone else’s success?

  • Partner with a popular restaurant to collect business cards and the attached email addresses, then once a month pick a winner and use the restaurant to cater an office party for them.
  • If you’re an electrician, partner with a plumber, excavator, landscaper and remodeling contractor and give each others contact information to everyone you work for.
  • Have an online product and can’t afford advertising?  Find someone with a huge mailing list and offer them a percentage of every sale they make when they tell their list about your product.

I guarantee there are several ways you haven’t used yet to leverage other people’s success.

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Lessons From The Colonel – Show#2

What can you learn from KFC?  We share what is probably an urban legend but the lessons are still there.

Everyone says they are customer focussed but are you truly?  It’s not an easy thing to filter all your decisions through what is best for your customer.  It’s too easy for us to have blinders in place whether it’s just your particular world view that you see things through or just because you’ve always done things a certain way and are unable to step back and see any other creative options.

What is your unique selling proposition…  The one thing (or several) that makes you truly better and unique in your marketplace?  If you don’t have something or can’t think of anything you need to develop it.  Think of ways you can inject your personality or some added value item that others are not willing or able to do.

Some ideas:

  1. Monthly snail mail newsletter
  2. Weekly email tips and tricks to save your customer money or time.
  3. Free group cooking lessons for your restaurant or food service patrons.
  4. Fashion tips and color match tips for your clothing store clientele.
  5. Book reviews and book-of-the-week pics for your bookstore.
  6. Free safety training for your insurance business customers.
  7. Be creative – inject something with your personality into added value for your customers.

Have fun!

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