daily Diigo

Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

daily Diigo 03/08/2011

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2011 at 1:30 pm
  • tags: howTos loans

    • How will the SBA-backed loan-application process be different than it was three years ago?

      Reilly: You need to be prepared to have more skin in the game. You can’t put 5% or 10% down and get a loan. Those days are gone. If you want someone to lend you money, you need to share the risk, and in a painful way. Depending on the lender, you should expect to put up 20% to 25%.

    • You need financial statements or three years of tax returns, and a business plan that explains what happened over the past two years. You need to know what you want to do and what it takes to do it, then figure out what it’s going to cost. You have to have a good, realistic plan. Don’t ask for less than you need. But don’t over-leverage yourself.
    • They want to make sure your business cash flows. They want to make sure your plan is realistic and will cover your debt service and leave money left over for the entrepreneur to live on.
  • tags: salon customerSvce

    • Drybar, a Los Angeles start-up that sells $35 shampoo and blow-drys—blowouts, in the trade—and not much else.
    • If I read you a long list of spices—cinnamon, marjoram, turmeric, etc.—you would remember the ones at the beginning and at the end
    • The ones in the middle would be a blur. That’s how people remember customer service.
    • Hi. Welcome to Drybar. Have you been with us before? Can I get you something to drink? I love your earrings.
    • Off-site reservation agents now handle calls.
    • people who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest,” he said. “Everyone should be able to deal with someone who is depressed or with the no-nonsense businesswoman.”
    • Cool: I’d be happy to. Not cool: Sure
    • Walt Disney Company. “We always told the housekeepers, ‘You are not here to clean rooms. You are here to create a memorable experience for your customers,’
    • You want to start out with the two questions that really matter: Will you come back? and Will you refer your friends?
    • From his Nicole Miller days of sprinting after angry clients, Landau learned “the power of turning customers around.” Drybar’s co-founders and the experts agreed that resolving customer complaints is among the best ways to earn loyalty. In their book, Inghilleri and Solomon recommend lengthy apologies to give customers the chance to connect emotionally.
    • money is not always the best remedy. Particularly for customers who are not buying on price, he said, companies should consider a thoughtful present or service. He approved of Drybar’s restitution for an unusually long wait—which happens occasionally when the previous client turns up late or has vast quantities of hair. In that case, the client may receive a free scalp massage to help pass the time.
  • tags: seo

    • Search engines are a primary way people look for web sites, but they are not the only way.

      People also find sites through word-of-mouth, traditional advertising, the traditional media, newsgroup postings, web directories and links from other sites. Many times, these alternative forms are far more effective draws than are search engines. The audience you want may be visiting to a site that you can partner with, or reading a magazine that you’ve never informed of your site.

      Do the simple things to best make your site relevant to search engines, then concentrate on the other areas.

    • search engines shouldn’t be the sole source of how people gain traffic. I’ve written several times about search engines being fickle creatures that no one should build a business around.
    • Is your site accessible to search engines? Are you paying attention to your title tags? Are you thinking about the copy you write? And most of all — do you have good content?

      If you’re a start-up, do take Dixon’s advice not to expect that SEO will propel you to IPO heaven on a rush of traffic. Let’s face it — for a lot of start-ups, nothing is going to do that, because you’re pitching a new, unproven product that might not be the awesomesauce you believe.

  • tags: retail fashion

    • potential for high-fashion sales online
    • When shopping online, consumers respond best to items that feel “special,”
    • In order to transfer real life trunk shows online, Moda Operandi is capturing each runway piece in high resolution, with 360 degree bite-sized videos to boot. The site also boasts a membership-only structure intended to preserve an air of exclusivity.
    • Also vital for Of A Kind’s success thus far, its host: Tumblr. “You put up a picture and people re-blog it 200 times. You don’t have to do that much in terms of marketing,” Mazur says. “We’d been on Tumblr long enough to know … it’s a really beautiful, visual platform, and Tumblr is a breeding ground for early adopters.” Like Garmz and Fabricly, Of A Kind’s platform moonlights as a crowdsourcing tool. “Our blog section has been an incredible testing ground for us.
    • the biggest thing Of A Kind shoppers are asking for? “More social media integration … they want to be able to tweet about a purchase or add it to their Facebook page,” Mazur says. “They’ve asked to see how other people are wearing and styling our product.
  • tags: seo howTos infographics

    • Find information that can be visually represented.
    • Focus on content that triggers an emotional response.
    • Ways to add humor
      • Tips for Working with Designer

        • Get them involved early. I send over an email after the first brainstorm. I want them to be a part of the team, not just a tool I leverage to produce the graphic. I want them excited about it and feel a sense of ownership over the project as well.
    • $500 to help seed, which lead to 10,000 paid views, but we ended receiving about twice as many SU views as that due to free stumbles.
    • Find most influenced accounts to see who most RTs X person’s content. Use tools like Klout, TweetStats, or the Twitter API.
    • Do you have a PR team? Do you maintain relationships with major bloggers / journalist that can publish your content? Did you start nurturing relations with niche bloggers prior to pitching? We do.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

daily Diigo 03/06/2011

In Uncategorized on March 6, 2011 at 8:30 am
  • tags: sports

    • For a lot of those family-owned businesses, every NFL game is like Christmas in terms of revenue, even though it’s only a small portion of the year.
    • Can businesses who rely so heavily upon fall Sundays come up with innovative business ideas to make up for that potential loss in business? In most cases, that’s nearly impossible.
    • So if as an agent, you get the maximum of 3% on a contract, you can get that only after the games are played. If games are not played, you’re going to have agents losing all of that money.
    • a wrench into many big businesses that spend heavily to be an NFL sponsor
  • tags: twitter

    • a simple, powerful, repeatable strategy: Tweet live during an episode’s first run. Tell your viewers about it with an on-air mention.
  • tags: MKTing

    • Apple tried to use evidence to persuade IT execs and big companies to adopt the Macs during the 80s. Ads and studies that proved the Mac was easier and cheaper to support. They failed. It was only the gentle persistence of storytelling and the elevation of evangelists that turned the tide.
    • peer pressure tries to repress these flip-flopping outliers
    • It wasn’t that the majority reviewed the facts and made a shift. It’s because people they respected sold them on a new faith, a new opinion.
  • tags: Groupon

    • one Portland, Ore., coffee-shop owner discovered, getting something for free can get very expensive
    • Not only did she underestimate the number of shoppers her Groupon promotion might attract, the discount offer itself was too generous.
    • business owners like Burke can pay a steep price for marketing experiments. While Posies’ foot traffic shot up by about a third after the promotion, the majority of her new customers did not spend above the value of the Groupon offer. Many of them used multiple Groupons at a time. They also neglected to tip staff members, attempted to use expired coupons and subsequently became irate with staff members when they were refused.

      “I consider it the single worst decision I’ve ever made as a business owner,” says Burke. “I could have done a lot more advertising for $10,000 with a lot less frustration.”

    • the importance of calculating the bottom-line business impact before experimenting with cutting-edge tactics
  • tags: CapitalOne credit loans

    • $50,000 loan from Capital One
    • Small Business Administration-guaranteed loan through Capital One in 2005 to buy printing equipment for his three-person fine art reproduction company in Davidson, N.C. He personally guaranteed the loan—as the SBA requires—and owes about $20,000 remaining. Although he has never missed a payment and his credit score, at 830, is nearly perfect
    • his FICO score could drop 25 to 75 points when the loan’s $20,000 balance gets reported, because the credit rating weighs total debt and the amount of available credit being used.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

daily Diigo 03/05/2011

In Uncategorized on March 5, 2011 at 11:30 am
  • tags: Groupon

    • one Portland, Ore., coffee-shop owner discovered, getting something for free can get very expensive
    • Not only did she underestimate the number of shoppers her Groupon promotion might attract, the discount offer itself was too generous.
    • business owners like Burke can pay a steep price for marketing experiments. While Posies’ foot traffic shot up by about a third after the promotion, the majority of her new customers did not spend above the value of the Groupon offer. Many of them used multiple Groupons at a time. They also neglected to tip staff members, attempted to use expired coupons and subsequently became irate with staff members when they were refused.

      “I consider it the single worst decision I’ve ever made as a business owner,” says Burke. “I could have done a lot more advertising for $10,000 with a lot less frustration.”

    • the importance of calculating the bottom-line business impact before experimenting with cutting-edge tactics
  • tags: CapitalOne credit loans

    • $50,000 loan from Capital One
    • Small Business Administration-guaranteed loan through Capital One in 2005 to buy printing equipment for his three-person fine art reproduction company in Davidson, N.C. He personally guaranteed the loan—as the SBA requires—and owes about $20,000 remaining. Although he has never missed a payment and his credit score, at 830, is nearly perfect
    • his FICO score could drop 25 to 75 points when the loan’s $20,000 balance gets reported, because the credit rating weighs total debt and the amount of available credit being used.
  • tags: restaurant

    • no to the 21st-century conviction that everything can be accessorized to the customer’s taste
    • “Instead of trying to make a menu that’s for everyone, let’s make a menu that works best for what we want to do.”
    • “You’re supposed to drink espresso fast,” said Caroline Bell, an owner of Café Grumpy, explaining that paper lets the heat dissipate too quickly.

      When some customers at the three outposts in Brooklyn and Manhattan became, well, grumpy over the lack of takeout espresso, Ms. Bell instituted a policy meant to be taken more with a wink than with the snarl of the cafe’s logo: Patrons can get an espresso to go, if they pay $12 to drink it from a porcelain cup they can keep. “People actually do that,” she said. “There’s a guy that comes in every day to Chelsea with that cup and gets espresso.”

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

daily Diigo 03/04/2011

In Uncategorized on March 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm
  • tags: socialmedia

    • Content that connects with an audience is the key to inspiring an audience to listen, to engage and to take action. Content is the foundation of conversation. Conversation is the fuel that will ignite your success in social media.

      To create compelling, relevant and valuable content the first step is to learn, understand and get to know your audience. Learn who they are. What they like. What makes them tick. Seek opportunities to zoom past your competition based upon weaknesses in engagement strategies, inspiring and connecting.

  • tags: twitter Google

    • even keeping links from the tweet active in the snippet
  • tags: twitter

    • SocialOomph, let you send an automated direct message thanking new followers.
  • tags: ROI socialmedia

    • So, for example, if you’re a lawn care company and you know that a typical customer spends $80 per month with you and that the average customer stays with your company for 3 years, then your Customer Lifetime Value would be $80 x 12 months x 3 years = $2,880.

      Once you know your CLV, you can decide how much you’d like to invest to acquire a customer. This is called your Allowable Cost Per Sale. Many people use 10% of their CLV as a starting point for their Allowable Cost Per Sale.

      • Here’s how the math works out:

        • Number of pieces sent: 200
        • Cost for printing and postage: $1.44
        • Total cost to send 200 pieces: $288
        • Response rate: 0.5%
        • Customers acquired: 200 pieces mailed x 0.5% response rate = 1 new customer

        See how that works? For every $288 spent, the lawn care company gets 1 new customer.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

daily Diigo 03/03/2011

In Uncategorized on March 3, 2011 at 8:30 am
  • tags: productivity

    • Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.—Richard Whately
    • 5. Wake up Thirty Minutes Earlier
      An extra thirty minutes in the morning is the difference between peaceful harmony and rapid-fire pandemonium. As long as you get to bed on time, waking up thirty minutes earlier should seem natural after just a few days. Use this time to think, stretch, shower, eat breakfast, and account for any unanticipated bumps in your morning routine.
    • 5. Wake up Thirty Minutes Earlier
      An extra thirty minutes in the morning is the difference between peaceful harmony and rapid-fire pandemonium. As long as you get to bed on time, waking up thirty minutes earlier should seem natural after just a few days. Use this time to think, stretch, shower, eat breakfast, and account for any unanticipated bumps in your morning routine.

      6. Drink a Glass of Water First Thing
      Water makes up 60 to 70 percent of our body composition, so it’s absolutely vital to stay properly hydrated. Even mild dehydration can cause your blood to thicken. This forces your heart to work double-time in order to push the necessary blood to your organs, which will result in noticeable mental fatigue. Also, a hydrated body is more efficient at dispersing energy-building nutrients to all its extremities. Since the average human body becomes slightly dehydrated over the course of a long sleep, you should drink a tall glass of water first thing when you wake up.

  • crash course for would-be entrepreneurs

    tags: startup

    • The winning team this weekend turns out to be the most practical. The three men conducted field research, visiting a park to ask young mothers if they would have rented maternity wear while they were pregnant, rather than buying it.

      They also created an online landing page to gauge interest. In 18 hours they had 37 Facebook “likes,” 80 visits to the site and 13 invitations requested. And Belliella.com was on its way, complete with the promise by a fashion industry insider serving as a judge that she would “open up my Rolodex” to help it make more connections.

    • In 54 hours, a business can be born. To participate, all they need is $50 to $99 (fees vary city to city) and a dream. Meals–seven of them, plus snacks–are even included.

      “It’s a crash course in startups

    • “We pry the ideas out of them and help them take the next step, which is not paying lawyers thousands of dollars. We teach them how to roll up their sleeves if they have a good idea.” (Not all teams stick together after the three days are over, but the experience teaches them the value of working together, and that does last beyond the weekend.)
    • The organization counts 800 startup ventures, of which 30 percent are still active three months later and 10 percent have gone into incubation or mentoring.
    • “There’s a lot of value in testing an idea,” Reiser says. “You get to talk about it with people and get feedback. You could find out it’s a terrible idea and move on.”
    • “If you’re building a prototype over a weekend, you go for tech,” Reiser says, because you don’t need an office, supplies or other tangibles, only digital assets.
  • tags: prospecting

    • in my acting days, I recall blowing auditions because I was trying to knock it out of the park. Instead of focusing on getting the callback, I was focusing on getting the part. What I should have done was focus on getting the callback. Then, once I had the callback, work on getting the second callback. Then, once I had the second callback, work to get the producer’s meeting. Once I had the producer’s meeting, work to get the screen test and so on. I want you to do the same thing with your direct outreach. Take it one step at a time and you’ll do fine, and it will feel more authentic to you.
    • When reaching out to others, you’ll go through multiple stages of relationship development. At each stage of the process you’ll hopefully build more trust and earn more credibility with your new friend. It’s important to remember, however, that no relationship will develop in the exact same way. There isn’t a secret formula that will guarantee everyone will love you and do exactly as you wish, but there is a way to know whom to contact when, how to make contact, and whether to do it again.
  • tags: emailMKTing

    • “But it is only effective if it’s written with your client in mind. You have to focus on the issues your clients have. If you do that, you are going to get responses.”
    • Not only will you get responses, but prospects will agree to meetings and proposals
  • tags: innovation

    • In 1970, Apollo 13 went on a lunar mission. The launch was successful, but a fault from inside the space module caused an explosion that turned the exploration into a test for survival for the crew. Carbon dioxide exhaled by the astronauts began to build up in the module. On the ground, an engineering team had to figure out a way to clean the air with only the equipment on board and very little time. It was the unbelievable constraints and the pressure of lives at risk that drove them to a totally unexpected solution. They figured out a way for the command module’s square air cleaners to be used in the lunar module’s round receivers. Who says a square peg can’t fit in a round hole?
    • Good improvisation also follows unspoken rules: You must accept all contributions, you must justify anything that’s introduced on stage, and everyone must participate. Yet by adhering to these boundaries, improvisers know they can be wildly creative in all other ways.
    • “Highly creative adults frequently grew up with hardship. Hardship by itself doesn’t lead to creativity, but it does force kids to become more flexible — and flexibility helps with creativity.”
    • The economic downturn has forced us to realize that business will never, ever be conducted in the same way. We have to be more innovative, leaner, faster and smarter. From this difficult time, companies have started collaborating with former competitors, created unforeseen relationships with their clients through social media and created products that are better, yet cheaper. They’ve discovered creative ways to address unexpected constraints.

      So the next time a situation just seems too hard, too locked down, and surrounded by boundaries, think like an improviser. This could be your best opportunity for a creative solution.

  • tags: mobileMKTing

    • great news… about mobile advertising. The phone companies and carriers already have the demographics down to the person. Name a phone model, and they’ll tell you which group is most likely to own it. The data is so much better than Nielsen TV ratings.

      You’ll get still more data, Zsigo says, if customers are using your app.

      Mobile ad “clicks” are so much more valuable than a website click. When a mobile ad is clicked, the advertiser can capture the device make and model, the carrier, uniques (no cookies required), the referring site and whether the person is a repeat visitor. That’s a lot of valuable sales information.

      So yes, it’s a total pain figuring out the mobile audience. But it’s also where the money will be.

  • tags: Groupon pr

    • Compare that to competitor LivingSocial, which managed to surge traffic 80% with just one popular discount on Amazon.com.
  • tags: Google

    • getting your Google Places profile set up is an important step to claiming your presence online.
    • So how do you decide what categories to pick? Simply search for a term you want to be found for, and take a look at the Place Pages of the businesses listed.
    • make sure your info is consistent across all of the other business directory sites.

      Start with the two main ones that feed Google Places – Localeze and InfoUSA. If your information is incorrect in those databases, you could end up with that info re-appearing back in Google Places in addition to the beautiful profile you just created.

    • People rarely leave reviews for a good experience (but will always leave one for a bad experience) and the good ones are obviously more helpful. Send follow up emails to clients and ask for a review. If you have an email newsletter, ask in there. See a client using a smartphone? Ask if they have the Yelp app. Put the Yelp sticker in your window.
  • tags: tech

    • Mr. Weston, who has sold his company’s audio and visual-presentation software to more than 9,000 houses of worship. “It was straight through word of mouth that I got more and more customers.”

      Churches are increasingly embracing technology. Many now have websites and social-media profiles, and some rely on audio and video tools to aid congregants seated far from the pulpit.

    • Germantown United Methodist Church in Germantown, Tenn., uses the services of several small technology providers, says Donna Thurmond, communications director. These include a Web-hosting, information-technology, videography and software company. The church, founded in 1840, has YouTube, Facebook and Twitter profiles.
    • You can imagine if I do it one time for a church, and there are things I learn, I can apply that knowledge to the next church I work with
    • Who better to sell your product or service than the man or woman standing in front of [the congregation] on a weekly basis? It’s someone they have a relationship with, and more importantly, it’s someone they trust
    • And as much as referrals can help businesses, bad work can put their reputations at risk among the congregation.

      “Anything that provokes an emotional reaction because it’s done wrong can result in bad word of mouth, particularly when you have groups that value each other’s opinion,” says Ms. Kahn. “People tend to talk more about dissatisfaction than they do satisfaction.

  • tags: emailMKTing

    • The Girl & the Fig, which operates three restaurants and a catering business in Sonoma, California. The company publishes a monthly e-mail newsletter called Figbits, which typically includes recipes and information about upcoming events. The newsletter helped CEO Sondra Bernstein garner hundreds of preorders for her first cookbook as well as about 300 downloads of the company’s new iPhone app in two days.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

daily Diigo 03/02/2011

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2011 at 11:30 am
  • tags: Groupon pr

    • Compare that to competitor LivingSocial, which managed to surge traffic 80% with just one popular discount on Amazon.com.
    • getting your Google Places profile set up is an important step to claiming your presence online.
    • So how do you decide what categories to pick? Simply search for a term you want to be found for, and take a look at the Place Pages of the businesses listed.
    • make sure your info is consistent across all of the other business directory sites.

      Start with the two main ones that feed Google Places – Localeze and InfoUSA. If your information is incorrect in those databases, you could end up with that info re-appearing back in Google Places in addition to the beautiful profile you just created.

    • People rarely leave reviews for a good experience (but will always leave one for a bad experience) and the good ones are obviously more helpful. Send follow up emails to clients and ask for a review. If you have an email newsletter, ask in there. See a client using a smartphone? Ask if they have the Yelp app. Put the Yelp sticker in your window.
  • tags: tech

    • Mr. Weston, who has sold his company’s audio and visual-presentation software to more than 9,000 houses of worship. “It was straight through word of mouth that I got more and more customers.”

      Churches are increasingly embracing technology. Many now have websites and social-media profiles, and some rely on audio and video tools to aid congregants seated far from the pulpit.

    • Germantown United Methodist Church in Germantown, Tenn., uses the services of several small technology providers, says Donna Thurmond, communications director. These include a Web-hosting, information-technology, videography and software company. The church, founded in 1840, has YouTube, Facebook and Twitter profiles.
    • You can imagine if I do it one time for a church, and there are things I learn, I can apply that knowledge to the next church I work with
    • Who better to sell your product or service than the man or woman standing in front of [the congregation] on a weekly basis? It’s someone they have a relationship with, and more importantly, it’s someone they trust
    • And as much as referrals can help businesses, bad work can put their reputations at risk among the congregation.

      “Anything that provokes an emotional reaction because it’s done wrong can result in bad word of mouth, particularly when you have groups that value each other’s opinion,” says Ms. Kahn. “People tend to talk more about dissatisfaction than they do satisfaction.

  • tags: emailMKTing

    • The Girl & the Fig, which operates three restaurants and a catering business in Sonoma, California. The company publishes a monthly e-mail newsletter called Figbits, which typically includes recipes and information about upcoming events. The newsletter helped CEO Sondra Bernstein garner hundreds of preorders for her first cookbook as well as about 300 downloads of the company’s new iPhone app in two days.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

daily Diigo 03/01/2011

In Uncategorized on March 1, 2011 at 10:30 am
  • tags: ActionItem

    • limit your risk by adding innovation to a proven entity.
    • Look how the Japanese entered the auto industry, or how McDonalds imitated White Castle
    • Don’t assume imitation is reserved for children, animals, and dummies.
    • think about how you could do it better. Your innovation may be simply a better location, better service, or a better price, or it could be a technology innovation. At minimum, it can give you the money and experience to take your dream step later with less risk. In fact, your imitation with innovation may BE the “next big thing.”
  • tags: ActionPlans

    • he asked the landlord of his New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based office space to cut his rent in half for six months.
    • “I banked on the fact that they would rather take the cut than lose a good relationship.” It worked.
    • Uresin placed a greater focus on selling through Amazon.com to reach a broader customer base. In a fervent attempt to become a top seller for the online retail giant, Uresin gathered and tested pricing data three times daily for five months to determine how the frequency of price adjustments — and the timing of those changes — affected sales. For example, he learned that adjusting product prices at 6 p.m. drew in more orders than at, say, 2 p.m.
    • Lessons Learned

      It wasn’t until Uresin began to dissect every aspect of his business that the turnaround began. “When bad things happen, sit down and analyze. Don’t look for a magic bullet,”

  • tags: productivity

    • “If you let things come at you all the time, you can’t use additional information to make a creative leap or a wise judgment,” says Cantor. “You need to pull back from the constant influx and take a break.” That allows the brain to subconsciously integrate new information with existing knowledge and thereby make novel connections and see hidden patterns.
    • two ways an info-glut can impair the unconscious system of decision making.
    • the unconscious system works best when it ignores some information about a complex decision. But here’s the rub: in an info tsunami, our minds struggle to decide if we can ignore this piece … or that one … but how about that one?
    • How can you protect yourself from having your decisions warped by excess information? Experts advise dealing with emails and texts in batches
    • Some people are better than others at ignoring extra information.
    • If you think you’re a maximizer, the best prescription for you might be the “off” switch
  • tags: restaurant menu vegan

    • vegan Best Actress Natalie Portman had the option of vegetable paella with saffron, white wine, chilli and parsley.
  • Screenr, Overstream, Jing, GoView, Screencast-o-Matic

    tags: attention people product showing telling

  • What does Chipolte and Ian’s Pizza (Madison, WI) have in common?

    Both gave away food where the reporters were camped out!

    tags: restaurant ActionItem trends viral customerSvce socialmedia

  • tags: tools

    • Can free tools grow with you? If they cannot, they may cost you more in a business crisis. Free tools can often mean no support. When you need more extensive solutions and live customer service, is there a paid option that you can grow into?
  • tags: FaceBook

    • Now, anything “Liked” will plant itself onto users’ Facebook walls as embedded posts, thumbnail image and all. Previously, anything “liked” was shown as a part of Recent Activity – a small, nearly unnoticeable gray line of text.
    • this new retweet button

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.