Marketing Eye

Small Business Marketing - Page 10

Today, I am reminded yet again why start-ups fail.

I met with a lovely couple a few weeks ago who wanted to open a retail store. They have a dream to work for themselves and the wife wanted to be in fashion.

They are new to the market and have never owned a fashion outlet, but they both have passion and are determined to do it.

I asked all the normal questions;

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Do you remember where you were sitting when you decided a particular drink was your favourite? I bet you do! Favourite drinks often are the biggest way venues can promote their wears because if you like a particular drink at a said club, bar, restaurant - chances are that you will talk about it for years to come.

Mine = Apple Martini @ FOG, Prahran, Melbourne, Australia.

What's yours?
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We think we have it all - a good business, people who follow us and even some who say they are inspired by us, yet have we really got it all sorted?

Entrepreneurs are unique. They have drive that comes from an inner place that very few people understand. Instead of laying in front of the television every night, entrepreneurs usually pick up their ipads or a good book and learn about how other entrepreneur became successful. Coffee on the go is essential and sitting still for too long usually means that there is something going wrong - or at least entrepreneurs think this is the case.
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When I was younger, things were so much easier. I started my first business, Insomnia, when I was just 25 years old. I didn't have a care in the world and I had way more confidence in my capabilities than what perhaps was a reality. I truly believed that I could do anything, go anywhere and achieve what others may think is unachievable.

As you ride the wave of being an entrepreneur, one thing sticks out. No matter how enthusiastic and positive you are, there is a wave of excitement that at times diminishes. That does not mean that you give up or even want to give up - but it does mean that life is not all a rosy 100% of the time.
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After chatting to one of the top Hedge Fund Managers in Australia last week about the state of the economy and where it is heading... I got thinking – is my business recession proof?

 The European market isn’t getting any better and in fact, it is expected to get a lot worse. Greece is battered by recession, debt and now a snow storm and the recession in the Eurozone is one of the deepest recessions on record.

 The US – well that’s another story. But debt levels are higher now than they were in the 1920’s recession. Much higher. No wonder people are stopping their shopping sprees and thinking twice before buying a new set of golf clubs or another pair of Jimmy Choos.

As small business owners, we have a lot to think about. If you are anything like me, I think about what I should do and often only get to do a few things off my list because there is always something else that pops up. Thinking about your business and how equipped it is to survive a further downturn is not only smart, but critical if you want to survive- yet while many of us think about these things, how many of us actually do something about it?

 While over-hyped valuations are still going crazy in the market similar to the dot com boom (Instagram!!), the property and the mining booms – we all know that what goes up must come down. But as small business owners we cannot afford to go down with the economy.

 Here are some things all small business owners should look at:

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Once I lost 1000 followers in a day. I quickly looked back at all my Twitter posts only to find that I didn't write anything that was particularly offensive or would warrant this type of dramatic reaction from my followers.

I genuinely thought someone had hacked my account but couldn't understand why. Who would waste that much time deleting followers.

But the culprit was someone I did not suspect. Someone I had a lot of trust in. It was...
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"You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere". Lee Iacocca

Many entrepreneurs are 'ideas people' or 'thinkers'. They sit down for breakfast and think about what they can do to change the world, improve their companies and inspire their people. Great ideas are good, but are nothing without being 'seen through'. There are many great entrepreneurs in history who had somewhat peculiar habits, but when it comes to strategy and the workings of how they made wealth and kept it, they each had something in common.

If you look at the life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., you would note that while he gave away his money as wisely as he accumulated it, he was incredibly focused. He retired at 35 after accumulating more wealth than anyone in history. He detested ostentation and raised his children as if he were not a wealthy man. He had an obsession with costs and is known for his saying "It's the figures that count". To that point, he recorded in a notebook every cent he ever made. This recording of his monetary status was something that many buddying entrepreneurs would note about Rockefeller, and it certainly gives backbone to what many entrepreneurs may think about doing when it comes to not only accounting for their financial growth but also, documenting their ideas and how they see it through.

Rockefeller once said to a friend while driving on a country road observing a happy boy whilstling and convorting on a beautiful day, "That young man will never be a success in life." When asked why, he replied, "Because he is not thinking of driving his horse, and that his is business."

Rockefeller was a practical man with an abundance of common sense, an activist and a doer, rather than a thinker.

Too many entrepreneurs are thinkers. Not doers. Are you one of them?
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"Be careful that the feet you stand on today, don't belong to the legs and arse you have to kiss tomorrow" : Quote from one very wise West Australian.

When I started out working, my friends were all in the same boat. They were starting out their careers too in journalism, advertising, television and marketing. Today, most of them are Directors of News, Television Presenters, Editors and Senior Managers. We all still keep in touch from time to time and support each other whenever and wherever possible.
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Opportunities don't come past your desk everyday. Sometimes you have to work so hard to find an opportunity that when one lands on your lap, you don't really know what to do with it or you forget what it actually looks like.

There are so many things we all can relate "Make hay while the sun shines" to. Here are some that I think you should consider;
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Have we all got it so wrong?

A few weeks ago, I had to cancel a trip to the US that was for both business and pleasure. Mainly business, but a few days pleasure that I was seriously looking forward to. There were real reasons, which I cannot disclose here, but nevertheless, business was somewhat involved.

Then my beautiful girlfriend married the man of her dreams in South Africa, and I had to cancel going there too. More than $1000 down the drain, because South African Airlines don't reimburse you for cancelled flights nor do they give you a credit. Yet again, work got in the way.

Then this weekend, it's Easter and my two nephews are looking forward to spending the special occasion with their Aunt Mellissah. I have work to do and I was about to book a flight to fly to Queensland on Friday and back Sunday until...
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It's a question that many entrepreneurs need to ask themselves but many don't. Why do we believe that an office means sitting in a room, on a chair, with a desk and computer screen in front of us, confined by 4 walls? If you are a one-man band, you tend to show more flexibility, but once entrepreneurs start employing people, down go the curtains, the door is shut and everyone is tied to their desks until they have completed a good days work.
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"Everybody has their shit," said Doreen, a wonderful, successful woman I met for the first time tonight.

As a table of 5 women sharing their stories and updating everyone on their lives, one thing became apparent. Everybody has their shit.

Not the most enticing word in the English Dictionary, I agree, but nevertheless, its meaning in this context makes it appropriate.

I enjoyed the company of 5 fabulous women tonight. Smart, beautiful, successful, emotionally intelligent and value adding, women that can converse on every topic imaginable.

They depict the women that I had in mind when I wrote "what men can do to make their women more successful."
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