Observations from a small business owner.
October 2011 - Blog Archive
31 October 2011 ~ So much for blogging.
Never got caught up with blogging this month. Between volunteering for the Buckeye Lions Club, helping Ben and Terri open their Bikram Yoga Studio, seeing Bikram speak and tons of work; the month got away. On to November.
How busy have you been this last week of October?
19 October 2011 ~ 60 second pitch.
Came across a new blog and an interesting article by Victor Lombardi. Great website name. Victor discusses how successful startups really work to polish (and perfect) their 60-Second Startup Pitch. Please give it a read.
I will admit, my basic pitch needs some work. I tend to forget key details and I often forget what problems we can solve. I have never even written my 'elevator' pitch down as I often wing it. Time to write this puppy down, grind off the rough edges and polish. We will post a copy when we get it done. Thanks for the advice Victor.(I am way behind in blogging. I expect to be caught up by Halloween.)
How many times have your rehearsed your basic sales pitch?
17 October 2011 ~ Call or email?
How often do your check your email? It seems that the busier we get running a business, the less often we check our email. Indeed, I have worked for several folks that have bragged that "I don't check email." How much good communication gets lost into those email boxes?
At the same time, phone calls can be invasive. You finally settle down for a creative work session and the damn phone rings. Ugh! It can sometimes take hours to restart those creative juices.
Texting seems to work for most of us Gen X'rs. To me, it is a happy medium between the interruption of calling and the delays (or black holes) that are inherit to email.
However, it seems if you want something done, you still need to use the phone. Dial* them up, hope they answer, connect and get to work. It might be interruptive, but it works.
Too many times I hear folks say, "Oh, I'll send him/her an email." I wonder if that is the best way to do business these days. Is an email the easy way out? Less stress, less chance of disappointment, less chance of success? I seem to get an email offer a day from perspective vendors. All too easy to click 'delete' rather than read their sales pitch. Perhaps folks should pick up the phone and actually talk?
*Do we still use the term 'dial' when we use a touchscreen iPhone? I haven't dialed a phone since the 1980s. (I'll save my voicemail rant for another day.)
What is the best way for your customer's to reach you?
15 October 2011 ~ Free Hot Yoga.
Our friend Ben, the owner of Bikram Yoga Peoria, is offering a month of free Bikram Yoga if you sign up to see Bikram Choudbury on 29 October. Ben has helped pull together most of the details for Bikram's visit. Ben's studio, near Arrowhead at 75th Ave and Bell, is our favourite place to practice. Please come join us.
More information on Bikram's visit can be found at Bikram Comes to Phoenix.com>. This will probably sell out.
How often does one of your gurus come to town to lecture?
13 October 2011 ~ Store Front Banners.
I was at another of our vendors this week. He runs a franchise and his national marketing director was in town for a visit. As always I asked, "How is business?" The response was "It has been slow and getting slower."
While I was waiting I spoke with the national marketing director. He had a interesting observation. This franchise did not have its (POP) banners out and flying on the sides of the building. Turns out that not having one's banners visible from the street causes a traffic drop of some 30% or more. You end up loosing most of your drive-by/drop-in customers.
I never knew how important it is to have those red or yellow banners hanging from your storefront. Most franchises do receive some sort of POP in the form of banners, window clings, etc. Best to deploy those forms of advertising to corporate provides.
How do you attract the attention of a potential customer who drives by your location?
11 October 2011 ~ A new ad campaign?
Stopped in last week to give some money to one of my vendors. As usual I asked, "How is business?" The response was "bad." I asked what they were doing to change that.
My vendor decided to restart an ad campaign by providing inserts for our local newspaper, the West Valley View. My vendor had made more than 25,000 inserts printed.
I asked if he could afford a new ad campaign right now. His response was along the lines of "how can I afford NOT to advertise." Seems his competitors have all been running some form of A&P and new business has been falling off. My vendor was betting the last of his retained earnings on generating some new business. I am curious to see what his response rate and ROI will be. I hope it works out well.
Can you afford a new ad campaign right now? Can you afford not to?
09 October 2011 ~ License Information.
Something that is a little more difficult to back up (and restore) are your software licenses. We often buy a piece of software. Key in all those numbers to register it. File the license away and then forget about it.
Roll forward a few years. Your computer finally gives up the ghost or you simply want to upgrade you machine. Kinda hard to reload your software if you don't have the license information.
We try to document our licenses here at Copper State. If the license arrived via email, we copy that information to a folder on Dropbox. If there is physical media and a 'paper' license, we scan that license into our Dropbox account. I had an application crash last week. I had backed up the data, but I needed to reload the application itself. Lucky for me I had retained the license info. Sure beats paying another $80.
Do you know where your software licenses are?
07 October 2011 ~ WiFi Password.
Visited Urban Beans for an espresso. Great coffee and a great atmosphere. Located on the west side of 7th Street, just north of Osborn. They'll bring your coffee out to where you are seated. No writing names on your cup and/or yelling your order across the lobby.
Urban Beans has a great WiFi password. It is thankyou. I love how they tell folks, “Thank You. One word, no caps.” A subtle way to way to show their appreciation for their customer. No handing out small pieces of paper with a complex password. Just a smile and a Thank You.
What is your guest password? It is easy to type and remember?
05 October 2011 ~ Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs changed just about everything that I see in the IT field. His products have completely revolutionized how we do our work. Not too long ago, I might carry a BlackBerry, a HP financial calculator, a MP3 player, a laptop, and sometime even a portable DVD player. Now, I can take just my iPhone with Dropbox and get the majority of my work done. Simply amazing the vision that Steve Jobs had. Best wishes for your journey.
How will you be remembered?
01 October 2011 ~ Happy Anniversary!
Copper State Technology celebrates its two year anniversary today.
Many, many thanks to our clients, vendors and friends for an incredible two years!