Showing posts from June, 2009

Why Isn't it Working Anymore?

Erica Marshall
You've been going with the flow but pretty much working off of your original business plan. It's been working for you! Then something, or a series of somethings have happened. What's going on? You lay awake wondering if it's you or the economy or both. Does it matter? I mean, it's not working now.

One option is to do nothing and hope it passes, kind of like a bad cold. But maybe things are not working as well because something big has changed, like you've moved or you lost your business partner or perhaps your office manager. You feel adrift and the money is just not coming in.

If you were to take stock of exactly where you are, that would be a good place to start. Then:
Look at how things were when they were last "working"What has changed within your business?What has changed in your particular industry?What has happened to your physical location is that's something that has been a benefit in the past.Sometimes we, a…

Thanks Everyone!

Art by Anglelia's Art

The contest is over and we have a lucky winner, Elizabeth in Austin, Texas. Yahoo!
So...if this whole contest thing has made you think more seriously about having a mentor, drop me an email and let's talk!

To Blog or Not to Blog

I have a copy of this magazine here, Wearables published by ASI (Advertising Specialty Institute). This particular publication focuses on sellers and buyers of "wearables" that are customizable with advertising or corporate logos.

A couple of months ago I was contacted for an interview about the value of blogging for business. The interview went well and eventually I was notified that it had gone to press. The fella who interviewed my found me through my business blog. Interesting.

As you can see, if you click on the above image and view it full size you can read the full interview. You might also notice that there is no mention of my blog address, nor anyone else who was interviewed.

I went to the online version of the magazine and found a feature called "Business Toolkit". If you click on the web subject, up pops a window with an image of the print page using a application called "Flash Paper", which in not unlike a PDF. There you can read this same arti…

Win a Session!!

This next week, Friday June 12- Friday June 19th 9PM PST.Make a comment on any post in this blog and I will randomly choose someone for a small business 50 minute consult, anywhere in the US by phone.
Comment now for your chance!

The fine print: This offer is for new clients only, I will call you on my dime and will only announce your winning if you choose. Your privacy is my concern.

Taking off

Painting by Angelia's Art
There are several metaphors that can used to describe the life-cycle of a business, but the two that come to mind involve "rebirth" as in a cat with nine lives, or reincarnation. But first, let's go through the stages that lead up to that rebirth:

A Sparkle in Someone's Eye
This is known as the "dream" state in which everything and nothing is possible. It's a thought. If you do something about it, you get to the next stage.

All your ideas are "gestating" and it's the start of your business. You have taken some first steps, like writing a business plan or talking to people or maybe even thinking about a name.

This is when you know WHEN your business will start but you have very little idea of how it will all get done. It's "hurry up and wait", it's reading all the "what to expect" books but knowing that it's going to all be a surprise when you really start doing busines…

Patterns of Success

I found Sarai thoughNeighborhood Notes and thought she'd be a great interview. Sure, this sort of thing is right up my alley, but I was particularly impressed with the quality of her product. How beautifully it's executed!

Sarai Mitnick is the founder of Colette Patterns, an independent sewing pattern company focused on beautiful and timeless styles for design-oriented sewers. Her background in User Experience and design has instilled a passion for simplicity, beauty, and ease of use that is reflected throughout her company and products. She resides in Portland, OR.

Q:What kind of market research did you do before starting your business? Was it just your experience as a consumer or something else?
I actually have a background in User Experience Research, which is something like a cousin to market research, so it was really important for me to understand my potential customers' needs and context. I spoke directly to a number of sewers, designed a small survey, and read th…