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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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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Understanding Accrual Accounting

cash accrual accounting

Credit: Dreamstime

You all get a treat today, a guest blog by financial executive, Charles Seeman.  He wrote a great case study previously on this blog that get a lot of attention.  So, without further ado…

When I was a young junior staff accountant for a large regional CPA firm I, like all other junior staff people, were assigned to do “write up” work for some of our clients. Some of the older business people would play a game with junior staff accountants like me where they would tell us that they can guess the final net income number and be within a couple of thousand dollars of what is calculated by accrual accounting. At their skill at this amazed me, but after a while, I understood completely how this was done.

The purpose of this blog entry is to help young entrepreneurs understand and thus be able to predict how their business is doing. I want to help young entrepreneurs avoid the trials and tribulations that those older business owners endured to learn the skills necessary to be able to truly understand their business and how revenues and costs work. Read more of this post

Are You Betting The Odds With Your Business?

PowerballI know I have used the expression lots of times in the past “Rather be lucky than good any day”.  And considering that there is an expected record in the number of people who played for a chance at last nights $500 million. (Yes, Virginia, that is $.5 billion!)

And I am sure we have heard all the different statistics.  The chances of winning the Powerball jackpot are about one in 175.2 million.  Yet, you’re more likely to die from a bee string (one in 6.1 million), be struck by lightning (one in 3 million) or have conjoined twins (one in 200,000) or being attacked by a shark (one in 11.5 million).

Even though you may have been betting to win the Powerball jackpot last night, are you betting the odds on your business?  Some business owners are acting like they are  going to be to be lucky than good. Read more of this post

Which Is America’s Best City? Raleigh (Again)

Downtown RaleighThe Raleigh-Cary area is consistently getting top rankings in it seems every ranking by every newspaper, magazine, or study. Again, this week is no different. In a Bloomberg-BusinessWeek article, the Raleigh area ranked #1 for the Best City In America. The article goes into detail in why Raleigh got the top ranking.

For the past 20 months, the Raleigh area has been at or near the top of over 114 list, including more than 10 so far this year. The types of lists ranges from quality of life to residential market quality to various employment clusters to being one of the top funniest cities.

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A Big Week for (Current & Wannabe) Entrepreneurs And Startups In The Triangle

Downtown RaleighIt has been a big week in the Triangle area for those in and around startups, or those thinking about a new entrepreneurial venture.

In any given week, there are always good events to network and get re-acquainted with those you may not have seen around. This is true for the Triangle area too. However, this week we saw three different great events to not only network, but learn and understand hoe innovative and entrepreneurial the area really is. Read more of this post

Public Speaking Necessary For Business (And Personal) Success

Public SpeakingIt is commonly stated that people have a greater fear of speaking in public than dying. However, in most professional’s life, doing a public speech or discussion will occur first.

I know that there have been several times where I have been in an open forum and one of the people speaking was literally terrified of speaking in group of more than just a few people. Now, I am not just talking about being extremely introverted and not being comfortable. I am talking about an extreme level of discomfort that is visable to the other participants and observers. Read more of this post

Looking Back At Our Nation’s Founders…Small Business Owners

"Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776", by  John Trumbull

Copy of painting by John Trumbull, 1817-18

Most of the readers of this blog live in the United States and, as you know, yesterday was the 4th of July, Independence Day.

As I was going through my typical morning readings of emails, blogs, newsletters, tweets, etc., there were a number of Independence Day references.  One of the emails that was from a micro-business/small-business forum talked directly about Declaration of Independence itself.  A question was posed regarding how many of the signers could be considered micro-business/small-business owners.  The forum posting’s originator stated “they would have ALL been micro business owners – every last one regardless of occupation”.

I could not agree with him more. Read more of this post

Why Business Owners Should Hire Market Researchers

American FlagNote: Regular readers of this blog know I post on Monday’s.  However, to honor those who have died for my country (I do get international readers), I rested and remembered their sacrifice.

Last week, I wrote about why business owners don’t hire market researchers for their business.  It all comes down to a great line from the movie Jerry McGuire, “Show me the money!”  Well, ok it is really “Show me the value!”  It just does not seem right to see Cuba Gooding Jr. shouting that. Read more of this post

Why Business Owners Don’t Hire Market Researchers

New BusinessWhen I get the change to talk with small business owners or those thinking about starting a business, I regularly get push back from them asking why they need to hire someone to do market research.  Before I answer them, I ask them why they are asking me.  The typical answer is that they know who their customer is.  So I ask them who their typical customer is.  Frequently, I get two types of answers: either so broad you would never be able to efficiently promote to them, or so specific, that there would not be enough of them to make your business successful.  In my mind, this provides me an opportunity to show how I can help them succeed. Read more of this post

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