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planning

Are You Working Your Assets Off?

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We don’t often think of all that hard marketing work we do as creating assets. But that’s most assuredly what we’re doing. Marketing assets include anything you use to promote your products, services and brand. Here’s a simple exercise that will make you feel good … Keep reading…

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Consistency Comes from Having a Process

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Late in the ’90s, after an intense SAP implementation with my employer at the time in Toronto, I spent the better part of a year working with all of the different business groups to document and improve on their process workflows. This meant travelling to … Keep reading…

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One Word for 2021

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When 2020 arrived, I had recently split with my husband of 17 years, sold our family home, and moved into a new apartment. The problem was that during the year of getting the house ready and sold, I turned away work. And I started the … Keep reading…

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Easy Solutions to Complex Problems?

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“For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” – Henry L. Mencken – Henry was not a small business owner. Instead, he was a journalist, essayist, satirist, cultural critic and scholar who penned that quote a hundred years ago. … Keep reading…

Avoid Marketing Emergencies by Planning Backwards

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I’ve joked to friends that no one ever needs to reach me in a hot rush because there are no marketing emergencies. In fact, there are some things that might constitute an “emergency” (Sheldon quotes), such as a website going down or an app not … Keep reading…

That was a Great Conversation But…

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Imagine you’ve just gotten off the phone from a lively conversation with a prospect that lasted an hour. Your purpose in having the call was to build a new business relationship or build on an established one. You both discovered you have much in common … Keep reading…

What First, How Second

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Buying or subscribing to a software application is never the solution to a problem. But it can certainly be part of the solution… or not. It’s all about the process. An app can help streamline a process. Likewise, it can overcomplicate a process. It’s all … Keep reading…

How Planning for Failure Can Help Ensure You Don’t Fail

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We all want things we’re working on to be successful. Nobody ever plans to fail… but wait, planning for failure can be a useful exercise. The term ‘premortem’ comes to us from the field of project management. According to the Harvard Business Review: “A premortem … Keep reading…

What Are Your Small Business Blogging Goals?

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If your answer to the title of this post is “increase sales”, you’ve got that part right. But you should also realize that there’s no direct path from one to the other. You don’t start a blog and immediately make more sales – although I … Keep reading…

What Are You NOT?

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Every small business owner struggles with their messaging from time to time and this is especially true when developing content for a new or refreshed website. I – and you – can sit and make a long list of words and phrases that describe the … Keep reading…

Email Newsletters – Develop Your Strategy First

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The process of starting an email newsletter for your small business involves focusing on these aspects: strategy, tactics and tools. It makes sense to approach them in a logical order from high-level thinking through to detailed work. Strategy First This is where you consider that your … Keep reading…

Who Are You Marketing To?

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You know those workshops you go to where the instructor puts you on the spot right at the start by asking you to describe your target market? I’m one of those instructors. And I do it because a discussion about target markets is a critical … Keep reading…

Long Term Planning for Your Small Business Blog

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While teaching a blogging class to small business folk recently, we were doing an exercise to get us thinking about our blogging strategies beyond the next post or the next month. We posted flip chart sheets around the walls and together filled in all the … Keep reading…

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Are You Ready to Start a Newsletter for Your Small Business?

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An email newsletter is a well-proven way to provide value to your customers and contacts. But the competition for space in people’s inboxes is fierce. If you’re going to invest time and money in email marketing, you’ll need to step out strong. Your first message … Keep reading…

Is Planning Becoming Passé?

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“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower Planning is a noble task, full of focus and good intention. It’s always been one of my favourite things to do. Now I hear about the newest trend: the ‘anti business plan’ entrepreneur. Here’s a … Keep reading…

7 Reasons you need a Content Strategy

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Wondering why you might need a content strategy? To stay current, sharp, and develop opinions To build your reputation by demonstrating your expertise To inform about your products and services To get found when people are looking for the services and products you provide To … Keep reading…

The Wrong eMail Marketing Advice

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Each of these questions about email marketing should never be answered, “It doesn’t matter.” When is the best time to send my newsletter? Do I need a sign-up form? Where do I put my sign-up form? How often should I send my newsletter? Should I … Keep reading…

The End Result

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We all have the same 24 hours daily to accomplish our tasks. They come in a myriad of forms: phone calls, emails, projects, operational and administrative work, appointments, meetings and more. Priorities conflict, distractions tempt us and it’s hard to keep our eyes on the … Keep reading…