February 26, 2011

What's in a Name?

How important is the name? There are many names we use in business;  business name, product name, event name, to list just a few

Take your time and think long and hard before making your final decision.

When choosing your business name, there are many factors to consider. Above all else; keep your target market in mind, your name must appeal to your ideal client.  

Think about who your clients are and how you will attract them, or how they will find you. Are you appealing to males of females? Which age group? All of these factors will help you be recognised and remembered.

It is important to check the availability of your domain name, Twitter address, Linked In, and Facebook pages, especially if your strategy is to use social media to drive traffic to your website.

The majority of businesses go for the straightforward or obvious names. What message does that send about your business? You will be far better placed to win repeat business if you are creative and select a more memorable, unusual name.

The better business names give you a clear picture of what they are about, what they do, or what they sell concisely in their name.  For example; Roses Only, Mortgage Choice. You know exactly what to expect.

Sometimes it is better to be different if you want your business to stand out.  Avoid the standard, ho-hum names, have some fun, be clever or creative and show your personality.

People are more likely to remember your business if your name is thoughtful, unique and catchy.

Image: What's in a Name  Photographer:  Jack Dorsey 

February 18, 2011

Walking the Talk ... Innovation & revolutionary thinking

Although it is rare for me to re-post some one else’s blog post, this is such a great example of practicing what you preach, I just had to share it. Seth Godin regularly talks about looking after the clients you already have, and in his blog post below he is doing just that. His thinking is quite revolutionary.

The Domino Project is the brain child of Seth Godin. “We are reinventing what it means to be a publisher”

Although the blog is about inviting his blog followers to subscribe to the newsletter for The Domino Project, there is no obligation to buy anything. This is an awesome example of thinking outside the box; doing something for your clients and creating a win-win.

What is even more impressive is the core principles that the project is founded upon. One of these principles is; Permission at the heart of the model. Ideas for our readers, not more readers for our ideas.”

I invite you to have a look…

Treating best customers better

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the way you treat your best customers is a fork in the road. You either treat them better or worse than everyone else.
To launch my first book with Amazon and the Domino Project, we're trying a neat experiment that rewards our biggest fans.

We're going to set the launch price of the Kindle edition (which is also readable on any computer or iPad) based on the number of people who subscribe to our free newsletter. It started at $9.99 and we've already lowered it two dollars.

For every 5,000 people who sign up for the newsletter this week, we're going to lower the price of the ebook a dollar, until (we hope) we reach a dollar. On the 21st of February, all our subscribers will get a link to the URL that lets them pre-order the Kindle edition at a reduced price until the official publication date.

You get it first and you get it for less.

Details are here... Thanks for being a best customer.

[It's sort of a twist on Kickstarter. In the case of that site, the creator says, "if enough people put in some money, I'll be able to make something." In this case, I'm saying, "If enough people put in some attention, I'll be able to bring you something on a regular basis." Once again, attention is truly valuable.]
Here is the link to the blog:

As you can see it’s all about the client, in this case the reader. Seth is focused on creating a product or a solution with his client at the forefront.

What can you do for your current clients?

February 2, 2011

Discounting.. Has the art of retailing been lost?

The other day I went to the shopping centre in the city to buy a book. I was amazed at the number of retailers offering rather large discounts, 30%, 50% and even 70% off. It seems like everyone these days is discounting.

This is all fantastic news for shoppers.... Not so good for retailers. The actual cost of the discount for the retailer is one thing. Selling old stock for a great price is one thing. The theory being that it is better to get something for it, rather than get nothing at all for it.

Luke Bayliss, co-founder of Sumo Salad, agrees. "We are preferably not discounting because that has a negative impact on the business as a whole. Particularly during the global financial crisis, people may respond well to those in the short term, but they cause long-term damage."

The long term damage for retailers is that shoppers now expect a discount when they shop. Through constant bombardment of advertising and sale signage, they have been educated by the retailer – not to buy unless it is on sale for at least 40% or 50% off.

There are other ways to move stock you just have to put a little thought into it.

Tom O’Toole from Beechworth Bakery says: “A smart way to get rid of excess stock is to bundle it with one of our best sellers at a special price, creating a great value for the customer. By doing this, we can get the full mark-up on one product and a smaller profit on the excess stock.

Even if that means we sell it at cost, at least we get rid of it. It’s a win/win for everyone, including the customer. And if we can get someone into our shop with a special deal, we have the chance to turn him or her into a lifelong customer who will buy products over and over again at full price.”

Some of you may be thinking; “sell at cost”; isn’t that the same as a discount? No, it is completely different. When you bundle, you are adding value. In this case you are turning say a $10.00 sale into a $14.00 sale; not making $4.00 only from an $8.00 item. The key point is that you are generating more revenue out of each customer.

As a business you have to find more creative ways to add value, and create a win / win:

* Get creative... work out the path of least resistance

* Ask you clients what they want

* Offer great value – not just a great price

* Create a culture of service

* Offer improved service, or priority delivery

* Work out the little things that matter

* Treat your clients with respect and do something a bit special for your clients occasionally.

The short term effect of discounting is decreased revenue, and the long term effect is that your clients will buy on price alone.