NSA Logo

One of my favorite parts of the original Men in Black movie is where agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) of the Men in Black agency is giving new agent J (Wil Smith) a tour of the  facility. J asks the question, “So…what branch of the government do we report to, anyway?” To which K replies, “None. They ask too many questions.”

One of the great things about owning your own business is that, to a large degree, you get to make the rules about who you do business with, when, how, where, etc. You basically get to make the rules, and you have control over many of your circumstances.

In fact, I’d be willing to bet that if you’re like most entrepreneurs I know, even on your worst day you’d say it’s better than working for somebody else.

Next time you find yourself getting even remotely discouraged in your entrepreneurial endeavors, remember that!

I would rather be first in a little Iberian village than second in Rome”. - Julius Caesar

 

Comments Off

Here’s a video from Caterpillar for their extra tough mobile phones. The commercial itself may be new, but its messaging strategy is one of the oldest, and most effective, there is when it comes to marketing storytelling: Dramatize the benefit!

This message and the way it’s shared deserve kudos because it showcases the benefit of the product in a way that is consistent with the identity of the CAT brand itself.

Bravo!

The most important decision you’ll make in your business is customer selection, or which customers you want as your target market. This should be true for any size enterprise, but it’s especially true if you own the business because 1) You have limited resources and you must invest those resources where they’ll produce the highest and best yield, and 2) Because it is YOUR business, and YOUR business should bring YOU happiness, not aggravation.

The second most important decision is arguably when you should FIRE a customer who doesn’t align with your strengths or simply doesn’t result in a value-for-value relationship any longer. Remember, it’s got to be win-win! A customer who is always causing you grief means you’re in a toxic, lose-win relationship where you lose.

When a customer becomes consistently unprofitable, too high maintenance, or otherwise doesn’t meet the definition you’ve set for yourself as the ideal target market, it’s time to get rid of ‘em. As politely as possible, of course.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that the first time you do this it will be EXTREMELY hard and you may have all kinds of second thoughts. Be prepared to redirect that energy into growing the relationships of your remaining, ideal customers, and toward going out and building new relationships with customers who are ideal for you.

If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.” – Unknown

 

 

Steve Jobs was known for passionately quoting Picasso’s “Good artists copy, great artists steal” line. At first read that may set off your ethical radar and cause the hair on the back of your neck to stand up. As it says in Ecclesiastes, there truly is nothing new under the sun, so “stealing” isn’t always “stealing.” At least that’s what one of the great marketing minds of our time, Seth Godin, said in his BLOG a while back.

I’ve shared it below along with a link to the original post just so you can read it (and so Seth will know I read the fourth paragraph!).

Steal, don’t invent

Steal your business model. We don’t have a shortage of business models, it’s okay if you pick one that’s already working for someone else.

Steal your web design. There will always be enough people brave enough to invent whole new ways of interacting online. But unless you’re an interaction designer or your business model depends on something new, do us all a favor and use something that already works.

Steal your tools. You probably don’t need to build a new email delivery engine, a new overnight shipping method or a new way to run payroll. Once someone has a reliable, cost-effective building block, feel free to use it.

When it comes down to the thing you will be known for, your uniqueness, your gift, your thing worth talking about–don’t steal that. Writers shouldn’t steal words from other writers, and chemists have no need to steal the research of other chemists. Sure, go ahead and invent.

For the rest, honor those that came before and use their work as a building block for yours.”

Source: http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b31569e2019b02530f99970d

A business model is nothing else than a representation of how an organization makes (or intends to make) money.” - Peter F. Drucker

 

 

 

Comments Off