Successful Business Ingredients

The ingredients of business are pretty basic. Most of the foundations of planning, operating and sustaining a successful business are as they’ve been for a realllllly long time.

Marketing is one of those basics.

Marketing is:

  • Communication
  • Dialogue
  • A many-wayed avenue
  • Dynamic
  • Exciting
  • Methodical
  • Necessary
  • Productive

Marketing isn’t:

  • Advertising
  • Sales
  • “Only” any one thing
  • Nothing – aka “cheap” (as in ‘talk is cheap’)
  • Something everyone can do successfully

When you want a firm foundation, you must look to those who are the experts in the areas in which you can reply upon. Every business owner and operator should interview candidates for services and goods – everything from insurance agents to concrete providers, from web pros to marketers.

You want the best you can afford, when you can afford it for what you are working on. As well you should.

Ask valued friends, colleagues and other qualified people for their referrals. DO NOT ask your neighbor who isn’t in the same realm, or your cousin who is still in school , or even a best friend who can’t wrap their head around what you’re after. Ask people who will have an informed suggestion backed up by credible information, whether it’s from their own experiences or directly from another they know.

Marketing is communication. Well thought out professional marketing strategy and tactics help business flourish. Poorly executed ‘plans’ spell disaster.

Here’s what some of our fine clients and partners have shared about working with us.  Follow up with recommendations – ultimately your decisions are your responsibilities.

A few go-to resources I’d recommend to look at the foundations of business include:

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“There is one word my favorite…”

My favorite word is Yes. Yes is limitless, positive, mind shattering, barrier breaking and fun.

A nod to Seth Godin today about the word ‘Yes’ – read this post.

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Beer Business Needs

With a nod to Seth Godin, I’d take a recent post of his and share an exploded view of how it applies to the professional beer community.

A hierarchy of business to business needs

Primary Needs:

Avoiding risk. Avoiding risk involves doing market research. What you don’t know can kill a business…and therefore your dreams, livelihood and create unnecessary future difficulties. Risk is calculated, chance is luck. Do you want to calculate for success or leave it to luck? Does your neighborhood really need another IPA or could a tasty session beer be the missing piece?

do your research

WEB can tell you that if you do proper market research with female consumers before launching your brand you’ll greatly reduce rate of failure and increase rate of success. It’s already a fact that American women determine 75 – 85% of all purchases. Be willing to get to know that information and embrace it.

Avoiding hassle. Hassle is such a negative word. Who wants a hassle? No one. So do your homework (see a pattern?) to make sure you reduce hassle before it happens. If you’re opening any kind of public space, even if it’s a hallway to get from point a to point b, bring in some honest female consumers who will share their opinions about it. Listen to them because they know what they’re talking about – they’re your customers.

Gaining praise. Ahhhhh…the glory part. The glory is sweeter when you make sure the above is taken care of first. Seth’s right. Only when you can get these concerns properly anticipated and mitigated can you have fun making a profit. Gaining praise is just that: a process and an earned award, not an assumption or foregone conclusion. And arrogance has no place here either. Humble pie serves businesses well.

Find out authentically how you can gain praise for the brands by talking to the potential market and existing market if you’re already operational.

Gaining power. Power is like growth – it’s a different definition for everybody. What kind of power do you want? Buying power? Marketing power? Quality power? Communication power? Repeat customer power? Higher turns and increased frequency participation power? Looking at your goals, mission and vision will help you determine these answers.

Have fun!

Having fun. Almost there. Having fun is very important, and fun doesn’t mean funny. They’re different things. Fun can be a sense of reward and gratification. It can be laugh out loud, chuckle to yourself or smiling inwardly. Whatever it is, you need fun.

Who ever tells you that they love their permanently high stress job that they dread going to every day?! No one. You have to have some aspect of fun to the purpose and exercise. My mantra here has always been “If you’re not having fun, get out!”

Making a profit. Hard work, removing hurdles, growing, gaining, discovering, having fun – all of it will lead to profitability. And making a profit is something people should be proud of. No matter your business status or technical category, we all need to make money to keep pursuing what we’re doing. If you make it and keep it – i.e. LLC, S Corp, etc. or if you make it and give is away – i.e. 501 (c) 3 you still need to make it to pay bills and push the cause forward.

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Wisdom from Paco Underhill

“We live in a world that is owned by men, designed by men and managed by men, and yet we expect women to participate.

But did you know …

1. Women dominate higher education. Most college and university campuses across North America are 60-40 female.
2. Approximately 70% of all American females work outside the home, and women make up nearly 50% of the total workforce.
3. During the recent recession, 82% of job losses befell men, and mothers are the major breadwinners in 40% of American families.
4. The earning power of women globally is expected to reach $18 trillion by 2014

If you’re a man running a business, and if the power and influence females wield hasn’t completely registered on your radar, well, then, what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.

If your store, restaurant, bank, hotel lobby, mall, or other public space or amenity doesn’t acknowledge the female factor; if it doesn’t invite women in and make them feel at home, at ease, safe, hygienic, respected and in control, if it doesn’t take into account what women want and expect (which is different from what men want and expect), well, then, it’s bad business.

Paco Underhill is the CEO of Envirosell and the author of Why We Buy and soon to be published What Women Want.”

Excerpt from What Matters Now. (Hint – women are one big thing that matters…)

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Here's a Lot Of What Matters Now

Hats off to Seth (again). Marti (Barletta), as usual, it’s a productive inspiration to read your thoughts. Thanks. Here’s Marti’s piece on Strengths.

“Forget about working on your weaknesses —> Focus on supporting your strengths.

I worked on my weaknesses for 40 years to little avail. Still “needs improvement,” as they say. Why? Easy. We hate doing things we’re not good at, so we avoid them. No practice makes perfect hard to attain.

But my strengths – ah, I love my strengths. I’ll work on them till the purple cows come home. When we love what we do, we do more and more, and pretty soon we’re pretty good at it.

The beautiful thing about being on a team is that, believe it or not, lots of people love doing the things you hate. And hate doing the things you love. So quit diligently developing your weaknesses. Instead, partner with someone very UNlike you, share the work and share the wealth and everyone’s happy.

Relatedly, women are rather UNlike men and often approach problems and opportunities with a different outlook. Yet books and coaches often encourage us to adopt male strengths and, lacking understanding, to relinquish our own. Thee irony is, studies show that more women in leadership translates unequivocally into better business results.

Wouldn’t it make more sense for both men and women to appreciate each other’s strengths so we all work on what comes naturally?

Marti Barletta, speaker, consultant and author of Marketing to Women and PrimeTime Women; is currently working on her next book, Attracting Women: Marketing Your Company to the 21st Century’s Best Candidates”

I highly recommend you download What Matters Now – it’s chock FULL of good stuff, things to act on and ponder. Then use to go out and change the world.

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This Is Why I Respect Seth

called on the carpet

called on the carpet

Here’s a perfect example, yet again, of why people in any business (and those engaged in life – Dolores are you reading today??) can benefit from reading Seth Godin’s musings.

He’s right. He’s direct. He’s calling us all on the carpet because he’s there already. It inspires, motivates, provokes thought and hopefully action.

I’m not here to put him on a pedestal – just pass this good stuff forward as my good friend Amy did for me. Thanks!

p.s. here’s another good post

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