What? No Real Blog Post?

tropical-beach-wallpaper-1920x1200

I know, I know.  How are you going to live with yourself?  Well, I have a good reason.  I am (hopefully) looking at something like this scene here.  I got married a few days ago and I am enjoying some time with my new beautiful bride in a place almost as beautiful as she is.

(Now say awwwwwww.)

But never fear, as I will be back next week with some more great blogs about market research and business.

Have a great week!

Triangle Construction’s Good News

Housing ConstructionHousing and construction has been in the news a lot over the past few days.  And this news has been positive.

The news substantiates discussions I have been having with those I know in the construction industry, both residential and commercial, that construction is on the upswing.  Now, I am not saying it is on the late 1990′s, early 2000′s upswing.  But then again, look at what ended up happening.

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The Value Of Market Research In Business, Part 2

Quirks Marketing Research Review, January 2013

Several weeks ago, I wrote “Part 1″ of this blog.  It’s a little misleading as I often times blog about the value of market research.  However, this series of blogs are inspired by an article I read in January’s Quirk’s Marketing Research Review with the article Research as a profit center? It’s closer than you think, written by Kathryn Korostoff, president of Research Rockstar LLC, a Marlborough, Mass., provider of market research training.

Now in the article, Kathryn Korostoff talks about one path, Market research online communities (MROCs) as sales incubators.  In that portion of the article, she writes about the fact that many MROCs are already blur the line between pure market research and sales.  The example she references is a company that test the effectiveness of coupons, bundling and discount offers by testing them with their MROC.  She continues on indicating that these MROCs could be claimed as revenue for the company.

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Are Intrapreneurs Just Like Entrepreneurs, But Just In Large Companies?

Intrapreneur Superman

Last week, I wrote a blog wondering if entrepreneurs really ever satisfied?  Within that blog, albeit briefly, I mentioned intrapreneurs and that large Fortune 500 type companies were promoting this idea within their organization.

So that got me thinking, are intrapreneurs just like entrepreneurs, but just in large companies?  Well, just like last week, lets define what an intrapreneur is.  The website thefreedictionary.com defines intrapreneur as “A person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation.”  The same site defines entrepreneur as “A person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk for a business venture.”

So are they the same?

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4 Questions To Ask Yourself When Starting Market Research

Market ResearchI am a big promoter of market research in all forms and in all types of businesses.  Research can help in start-ups, small companies and large Fortune 500 type companies.  Although I am a big proponent of using market research, I am a bigger proponent of using market research wisely.

Why?  Because I have seen money wasted in the name of market research when the company did not know what they were truly trying to understand.

Here are 4 tips to think about when starting about market research in your business.

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Are Entrepreneurs Ever Satisfied?

entrepreneur

In today’s business world, being an entrepreneur seems to be all the rage.  It seems like a lot of people out there is either one, wants to be one, or wishes they could be one.  However, not everyone truly is an entrepreneur, even if they call themselves one.

A lot is written today about entrepreneurship.  Heck, yesterday I saw at least four articles across various LinkedIn groups about entrepreneurship including different methods of  generating new ideas and why successful entrepreneurs move quickly.  In fact, entrepreneurship is so en vogue that now there is a push for intrapreneurs in large Fortune 500 like companies (But that is a different post all together).  But in order to understand if a true entrepreneur is ever satisfied, we need to define what an entrepreneur really is.

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Merging Website Design and Market Research

Website DesignSo you have a business or, maybe, you are working for a new company or start-up.  What’s the first thing you know you need to promote the new organization?  A website!  True, every company really needs a website.

But, before it gets designed and developed, how should you go about making sure it is as good as it can be?  Research!

It is estimated that right now there are 644 million active websites on the Internet according to Netcraft.  So how do you make sure that your website will be appealing to readers and search engines?  Research!

Search engine optimization (SEO) is such a critical component in website development.  How do you make sure the keywords are the right ones?  (I think you know where I am going with this.)  Research!

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Don’t Forget To Evaluate Marketing

MarketingMost of the business I talk to, they each worry, consciously or unconsciously, about two things, sales and marketing.  Now, they may worry about other things within their business, as well.  However, they all seem to worry about these two.  Nearly a year ago, I wrote two blogs about using market research to improve marketing (you can check them out here and here).

In these two blogs, I wrote about about using market research to evaluate your marketing program.  However, in those discussions, there was an assumption that companies are actually evaluating their marketing.  It is said that companies know that 50% of their marketing budget is ineffective, however, they do not know which 50%.

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Evaluating Your SWOT Through Competitive Shops

mystery shopper

Every good business plan has a SWOT analysis, a honest evaluation of the company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  Without an evaluation of these elements of your business, whether it is a new business or one that has been around for several years, the plan is really not complete.

While developing or revising a company’s SWOT analysis, a complete look of the competition is necessary.  By preforming competitive shops you can make sure that you are taking into account the companies that are trying to take your customers and your sales.  Now, I have blogged before about competitive shops before (take a look here and here), and I have specifically mentioned developing a in-depth SWOT analysis.  However, you cannot have one without the other.

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An Open Letter To All 200+ Million LinkedIn Users: Correctly Invite Someone To Your Network

LinkedInDear LinkedIn and All LinkedIn Users,

I am writing to you today because of a problem that I am seeing occur more and more.  For me, the problem has become more pervasive, and more of a nuisance, over the past 24 months as I have tried to proactively grow my network, not only in size, but also in quality of people both inside and outside of the industries I am involved in.

I am concerned as now that LinkedIn has grown to over 200 million users, the problem is going to be more of an issue as more people get on LinkedIn and start to use it on a regular basis.  Maybe it is because no one has educated the masses of users.  Maybe it is because some have lost any sense of off line networking and do nothing but online social media based networking.  Maybe it is because some people are just plain rude.

The issue is simple: Sending a generic request to connect on LinkedIn.

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