Category Archives: Business Development

In search of the minimum viable audience.

by Seth Godin

Of course everyone wants to reach the maximum audience. To be seen by millions, to maximize return on investment, to have a huge impact.

And so we fall all over ourselves to dumb it down, average it out, pleasing everyone and anyone.

You can see the problem.

When you seek to engage with everyone, you rarely delight anyone. And if you’re not the irreplaceable, essential, one-of-a-kind changemaker, you never get a chance to engage with the market.

The solution is simple but counterintuitive: Stake out the smallest market you can imagine. The smallest market that can sustain you, the smallest market you can adequately serve. This goes against everything you learned in capitalism school, but in fact, it’s the simplest way to matter.

Continue reading on Seth’s Blog

How to make Facebook work for your business.

According to Facebook, there are more than 50 million active business Pages, and most likely you have one as well.

Here are six ways to maximize the bene ts of a Facebook business page and help to engage with, and possibly increase, your customer base:

1. Link your Facebook page to your website, or make Facebook your main online presence

No website yet? No problem. Many businesses use Facebook as their primary online presence. But remember, you want to build your brand, not the social media site’s brand. The solution: register a domain name (or web address) and redirect it to your Facebook page. Also known as web forwarding, you create a rule that all visitors to your domain name be directed to a web location of your choice (in this case your Facebook page). Redirecting gives you a memorable and permanent company web address to use for marketing and is becoming increasingly popular. From the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015, redirects to a Facebook page have increased by 21 percent.

If you already have a website, make sure to include social sharing buttons on prominent pages and content. That way people who nd something of interest on your site can easily like and share that content on their social media channels.  Continue reading

Sometimes, old school marketing really works.

Direct mail has faded dramatically as a way to reach out to new customers. That said, you can stand out in the recipient’s mail box if you keep things simple and do it right. Here’s an example of a postcard that might work for you, and it can be really cost effective.

Post card example

If you want to give it a try, go for a 5 1/2 inch by 8 1/2 inch format with a dramatic color on one side. You can use a photo to grab people’s attention but the right “grab line” will do a better job.


A little help from Ken Sethney, volunteer business mentor at Kitsap SCORE and former marketing coach for the CEOs of mid-size companies. 

The who, what, when and why of non-disclosure agreements.

businessman signing contractYou put a lot of time, energy and effort into your business. With so much invested, doesn’t it make sense to protect what you worked so hard to build?

Various ways exist to do that, such as choosing the right legal structure for your business, installing security software on your computer, getting business insurance, etc.

And don’t forget having an NDA!  Continue reading

How to Spy on Your Competitors’ Facebook Ads

by Nate Mendenhall

Ever wondered what kind of Facebook Ads competitors in your space are running? Do you sometimes feel like you hit a creative wall with your ads?

You’re in luck – I have a great way to spy on your competitors’ Facebook Ads and ways to get different ideas for future campaigns. This tactic was shown to me by an amazing colleague of mine and I just had to share.

First, navigate to your home News Feed and take a peek at the second post from the top of the feed – its most likely an ad. Click the down arrow on the upper right corner of the ad and select ‘Why am I seeing this?

The next screen provides an explanation as to why you’re seeing the ad, as well as some targeting parameters that the advertiser used to target you. If you see an ad from your competitor, definitely find out why you are seeing it.

Continue reading on Social Media Today.

Plan, plan and plan some more.

by Mary Marshall, CEO Coach

As 2016 winds down from fall to winter, it is the time most entrepreneurs and business leaders start thinking about next year. How did we do on the plan this year? What should we focus on next year? Do we have a Strategic Plan?

That last question is the one most asked. There are usually goals, and sometimes strategic direction, but for most small companies much more planning than this is rare. The problem, of course, is that if you don’t make it a priority, the direction you are going will be dictated by what is happening today. Or as I like to call it, “the whack-a-mole strategic plan.” We will take care of what comes up because we’re really good at fighting fires and taking care of problems. In other words, we react to circumstances vs. planning for the future.

So rather than just mole slaying, perhaps it’s time to do some quiet reflection and think about why you keep solving the same problem, why you never seem to make progress on your larger strategic goals, and why the team seems to be like arrows moving in different directions.  Continue reading

Ask SCORE: How can I build solid customer relationships?

Keep your customers happy with a personal touch.

You’ve seen people so absorbed with their smartphones that they appear oblivious to everything that’s going on around them. Of course, everyone is entitled to their personal privacy, and perhaps the message or video on their phone really is that important, but spending too much time in a “heads-down” position can be off-putting to others.

Many entrepreneurs, particularly those who work from home, operate their small businesses much the same way when they rely too heavily on email or texting to communicate with clients. Digital communication is convenient, particularly for work-related issues and updates, but numerous studies have come to the same conclusion—customers want to be treated like people.

When you take a technology-centric approach to communication, you’re missing an opportunity to foster a relationship with your customers, a quality that is becoming increasingly critical when deciding who we want to do business with.  Continue reading