Archive for October, 2012
Alan Hall , Contributor
Ed is like you and me; constantly looking for more business. I am thrilled Mr. O’Brien walked away from my speech with a new growth strategy that will work for him. If anyone is interested in following and connecting with Bountiful Eatery, you can find the business on Facebook or on Twitter, at @bountifuleatery.
And now I am pleased to share with you my own list of the ten steps to building a strong future customer base. They are as follows:
- Start by knowing your current customers and everything about them. I suggest that you develop a precise profile of shoppers; age, education, gender, marital status, employment, hobbies, and the places they visit, on-line and off. Once this is complete, it will be very clear to you who your true clients are.
- Know their needs and wants. Take time to visit with them. Ask pertinent questions. Listen and learn.
- Know what they think about your solution and what they think about the competition. Look for problems and opportunities.
- Know what they watch, listen to and read.
- Recognize that your customers have friends who are like them.
- Ask your customers to invite their friends to engage with you. Entice them to connect with these friends via the internet on your behalf.
- Invite these prospective buyers to try your offerings.
- Provide a special introductory offer to them and likewise reward your current clients who helped.
- Ensure a splendid buying and user experience. Go out of your way to take care of these new shoppers.
- Ask your new customers to also make referrals. Don’t be shy. It’s how business grows.
Whether it’s a start-up like Airtime, a turnaround, an elected official, or your own pet project, there are 12 key questions that can help you decide whether it should be shut down or helped through the messy middle:
- Are the initial reasons for the effort still valid, with no consequential external changes?
- Do the needs for which this a solution remain unmet, or are competing solutions still unproven or inadequate?
- Would the situation get worse if this effort stopped?
- Is it more cost-effective to continue than to pay the costs of restarting?
- Is the vision attracting more adherents?
- Are leaders still enthusiastic, committed, and focused on the effort?
- Are resources available for continuing investment and adjustments?
- Is skepticism and resistance declining?
- Is the working team motivated to keep going?
- Have critical deadlines and key milestones been met?
- Are there signs of progress, in that some problems have been solved, new activities are underway, and trends are positive?
- Is there a concrete achievement — a successful demonstration, prototype, or proof of concept?
Serial entreprenuers, those individuals who have successfully started multiple companies, have mastered managing the unknown. To take control of the future, we have advocated that we follow their lead and take the same approach they do:
– Begin by taking a small (smart) step forward. It may not be the right direction, but we’ll never know unless we try. That’s why I want to be part of this new experiment in treating diabetes.
– Evaluate what you have learned from taking that step. This is one of the things I like about the study so far. They are actively seeking feedback.
– Build that learning into what you do next. They are. I suggested that it would be helpful to chart the changes to my day-to-day blood sugar readings to see if I could spot patterns and they did so.
– Take another small step and see what you learn. In my case, changes to my exercise patterns have much less impact on my sugar levels than how much I eat. What I eat seems to matter less than the amount.
–Build that learning into what you do next. This is where I am now. My next step is eat five small meals a day instead of three semi-big ones.
BY AMBER RAE
OCTOBER 16, 2012
Inspired by an article by MeiMei Fox about finding “the one” in love, and based on my own experiences and conversations with friends who are in love with how they work, live, and play, here are 8 signs you’ve found your life’s work:
1. It doesn’t feel like work.
Your life’s work is not a “job”–it’s a way of living. Your work enables you to create the lifestyle you want for yourself and your lifestyle includes your work. You frequently stop and think to yourself, “Wait, am I seriously working right now?” You can hardly distinguish between work, play, and life–as they are all intertwined. In everything you do, you are constantly pursuing your vision of optimal living.
2. You are aligned with your core values.
Your life’s work is an extension of your beliefs and worldview. You live in integrity because what you do is in accordance with who you are. This alignment will inspire you to move a small mountain if that’s what you have to do to realize your vision. Every day you work to manifest and actualize the world you imagine because by making it so, you’ll make the world more alive, beautiful and well.
3. You are willing to suffer.
Passion comes from the latin word ‘pati,’ which means ‘to suffer.’ Your life’s work is less about following a passion and more about your willingness to suffer along the way. The journey will be immensly challenging at times. You’ll be exposed to unexpected challenges and setbacks and you may endure hardship, rejection, and sacrifice. These roadblocks will motivate you. In fact, you see the short-term pain and discomfort as tremendous opportunities for learning, growth and depth; they’re critical to appreciating the beautiful and joyous moments.