Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths For Winning At Business Without Losing Your Self by Alan M. Webber

My notes on “Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths For Winning At Business Without Losing Your Self” – by Alan M. Webber.51Ei+GQ7PnL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

What business are you in?

  • If you’re a journalist and you think you’re in the news business, chances are good you’re going to go out of business. News today is a commodity. But there’s a good market for the opinion business or event he funny business (eg Jon Stewart whom recently finished forth in the voting for America’s most trusted source of… news). None of them are in the news business; they’re successful because they are in the ideas-behind-the-news business.
  • Learn to see with fresh eyes so you can differentiate your business from the competition.

  • Change the way your business sees the market and the way your customers see your business.
  • How? Start by asking a different question. Not “what is our product or service?” but “What does our product or service stand for?”
  • Eg a supermarket chain could stand for healthier life for customers who are willing to pay more for organic food.
  • Eg2 a coffee shop could stand for neighbourliness for the people in its surrounding community who use it as an informal gathering place

Continue reading “Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths For Winning At Business Without Losing Your Self by Alan M. Webber”

The Knack – How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn To Handle Whatever Comes Up by Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham

My notes on “The Knack – How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn To Handle Whatever Comes Up” by Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham4891811

Why are you better off starting a business from scratch rather than buying one?

  • It’s harder to learn a business if you haven’t been with it from the start
  • You miss out on all the trial-and-error education that happens in the early stages
  • You don’t understand key relationships in the business
  • You don’t know what to do in emergencies
  • You make mistakes that are much costlier than they would have been back when the company was smaller and struggling to get off the ground

Continue reading “The Knack – How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn To Handle Whatever Comes Up by Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham”

Crowdsourcing: How the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business by Jeff Howe

31Ab-eLDZAL._AC_UL320_SR208,320_My notes on “Crowdsourcing: How the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business” by Jeff Howe

8 Very Successful Crowdsourcing Examples

1. Threadless

  • Threadless receives thousands of designs each week
  • The Threadless community of millions votes
  • The company selects nine from the top hundred to print
  • Each design sells out
  • Hardly surprising given the fact Threadless has a fine-tuned sense of consumer demand before they ever send the design to the printer
  • Threadless isn’t really in the T-shirt business. It sells community

Continue reading “Crowdsourcing: How the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business by Jeff Howe”

Demographic Segmentation: Are You Still Segmenting Your Customers With Demographics Like Age, Gender, Address Etc? Stop.

If you’ve looking into buying mailing lists you’ll know that those lists are all about demographics.

Typical demographic are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Address
  • Job Title
  • Income
  • Education

Do you like being put in these boxes and having assumptions made about you regarding your buying preferences?


Neither do I.

Let’s pretend for a moment that you and I are exactly the same on the 6 attributes listed above. (33 years old, men, live in Tauranga New Zealand, work in Marketing, earn $200k/year, have a Bachelor Degree, a Post Grad Cert, and will both finish our MBA in May 2011).

Does that mean we are likely to choose the same toothpaste? Same car? Same restaurants? Same insurance policy?

Hell no!

Because there are more choices in the market place you and I are more different than each other than ever before.

For this reason, demographics are out.

Behaviour is in.

This year it’s about segmenting based on the action that people take.

As an example let’s use a web hosting company.  For all the people that sign up for your free trial you can put these people in your “only-want-free-trial” segment.

For all those who upgrade to your basic paid plan because your welcome email was particularly persuasive, you can call this segment the “responded-to-upsell-in-welcome-email-within-a-week” segment.

Do you see how demographics mean nothing in this context? But you can definately make sound business decisions when you have action-segments like the 2 examples I’ve just provided.

Decisions like “what changes can we make to our offer to convert more people from group #1 to group #2?”

This post was inspired by “For Your Eyes Only – the three levels of customer behavior based data

Who Owns The Tauranga Domain Names?

I love lists.

(And Google loves lists – there’s a free SEO tip for you!)

So here is my list of Tauranga domain names, who owns them, and which ones are still for sale:

New Zealand (.nz) Domain Names

  1. – Official website of Tauranga City Council
  2. – Official website of Tauranga Chamber of Commerce
  3. – Official website of Tauranga Primary School
  4. – Privately owned directory of Tauranga businesses
  5. – Owned by EOL, redirects to EOL website
  6. – Available
  7. – Available
  8. – Available
  9. – Available

International Domain Names

  1. – Owned by local man Glen Cooney who likes fishing
  2. – Official website of a local Korean church (thanks to Justin for clearing that up)
  3. – No website, just ads
  4. – No website, just ads
  5. – Available
  6. – Available
  7. – Available
  8. – Available
  9. – Available

More People Play Farmville Than Are On Twitter? The Future of Gaming

Did you know the video game industry pulls in US$14 BILLION a year?

It’s huge.

And it will get bigger.

Questions addressed in this video:

  • Why are corny games like Farmville & Mafia Wars  so popular?
  • How do games like that generate millions of dollars in revenue when it’s free to play?
  • Does technology converge or diverge?
  • Why is the Ipad retarded?

While you watch the following 28 minute video, ask yourself “what can I learn from the psychology behind these successes to apply to my business?”

The First 4 Questions You Must Always Ask When Planning A New Website

  1. Who are the audience groups?
  2. What information do they want?
  3. What action do we want each audience group to take?
  4. How do we arrange the main navigation to give them access to that information and to take that action? (this is where we plan the sitemap)

Need More Help To Plan Your Website?

The task of planning a new website is one of my favourites, call me on (07) 575 8799 and we can brainstorm together.

– Sheldon.

What Do You Do When You Need A Businesses Phone Number?

When I need a businesses phone number I go to Google Maps, and search for the business name there. 95% of the time the business appears with their phone number.

What method do you use?

Hardcopy white pages? Google Search? Google Maps?

Add your method to the comments below.

1001 Ways To Make More Money As A Speaker, Consultant or Trainer by Lilly Walters

My notes on “1001 Ways To Make More Money As A Speaker, Consultant or Trainer” by Lilly Walters:51SDqSEjmEL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

    1. Have business cards sized versions of flyers. They are easier for prospects to keep (flyers get binned)
    2. Goals are dreams with a deadline. Set goals with deadlines today.
    3. Freebies: Add to the bottom of articles, a freebie that people will get if they contact you Eg “To obtain a free copy of “How to xyz”, just [state action here]”
    4. Presentations: Don’t include everything in your presentation handouts. Refer to an item eg “the 10 rules of…”, and ask audience members to pass their business cards up to get a copy, and invite them to write a big “S” on the back if they speaker for a future date

  1. Feedback surveys: Don’t provide a ratings scale, ask questions like:
    • What basic message did you hear that you could use tomorrow? (Purpose)
    • How will you use what you heard today increase your profits and/or productivity? (Practical application)
    • Is there something else about my subject that you would like to know that I did not have time to touch on in this presentation? (New topics)
    • Do you know of others (businesses, associations, etc) that would benefit from the material presented today? Who are they? (Referrals)
    • What is your opinion of my presentation?  (Testimonials – make sure there is a permission check box so you can use the comments)
  2. Discounting: When a client tells you “cut your fee on this talk, and when we might use you in a series”, reply “this programme will cost full price, but I will be glad to add a clause stating ‘If a series contract is signed within one year of this date $xyz will be deducted from the series price’”
  3. Press Releases: Ask “would your viewers like to learn how to…?” or “would your listeners like to know the answer to…?”. Or ask these questions in the follow up phone call
  4. Self Publishing: “The self-publishing manual” by Dan Poynter
  5. Let the market lead: “Find a problem, then look for a solution. Don’t develop a solution, then spend your life searching for a problem for it. Pull through an idea from the market place, don’t push it through from inception towards some intangible market” – Jack Ryan