Sep 16 2015

DAY 8 – 30 Days To The New Economy

Your Role in History as an Entrepreneur

To Infinity And Beyond

Adapted from the book 30 DAYS TO THE NEW ECONOMY written and published by Peggy Salvatore

 

INFINITY

Can you grasp the fact that we are living on the cusp of incredible opportunity? The amount of information available to us instantaneously is staggering, and we have come to take it for granted.

 

Let me contrast today’s mobile app world to just 20 years ago when I did health policy research. Before writing a white paper, I had to write physical letters or make a landline phone call to Washington DC to the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) to request government documents.

Then, guess what came next? Right. I would wait a week or two until some diligent librarian gathered the documents and sent me a bulky yellow envelope stuffed with the precious statistics I sought.

• Since I did a lot of government-related policy work at that time, most of my contact was with the U.S. GPO. The GPO was arguably one of the most responsive organizations I encountered. In those days, for data and studies not conducted by the U.S. government, gathering information was—believe it or not—actually more challenging.

• Non-government-generated research required me to spend time at local public or university libraries, getting to know the research librarians, hunting through dusty stacks and filling out paper request forms to be sent into the library system to look for information.

Imagine the limitations

Linear indexes. No embedded links. No Google. No social media. Books, studies and reports were listed in sets of thick, hard-backed tomes lining the research shelves of local libraries. Legal and medical research required similar effort.

That linear aspect of gathering information first required that you had some clue about what you were looking for. Nobody was pushing information to your inbox because you expressed an interest in a topic.

You were of course also limited in the ways that knowledge was built. You only knew the information that you specifically sought, so your research would have a defined trajectory from a specific point.

Today, global consulting firms like Deloitte and IBM make white papers available for download in my inbox literally every day. I can’t begin to consume all the information that is interesting to me. And guess what? I now know to look for knowledge that I could not have even imagined existed two decades ago.

My research now has multiple starting points and can take me in an almost limitless number of directions. Knowledge indeed has become exponential. After all, anyone can edit a Wikipedia entry, all 3 billion of us with an Internet connection.

In 1995 (yes, just 20 years ago!), less than 1% of the world’s population had an Internet connection. I had one, but connected to what? We hadn’t really begun to explore the potential of what would reside online.

[Accessed 6/3/2015 at www.internetworldstats.com]

This evolutionary process repeats itself for everything.

Not too long ago, if I wanted new shoes, I walked to the shoe store, looked at a limited selection of colors, styles and sizes and either settled for whatever was in my size or ordered something more to my liking through the retail store and waited for delivery.

Some online catalogs have delivered products directly to consumers since the early 1900s, but—with a few notable exceptions like LL Bean—catalog purchases were considered low quality and provided even more limited selection than the venerable old department stores.

You may think I am belaboring the obvious.

You may even be yawning…?

YAWNING BABY

Realize, though, that I describe life only 20 years ago, when today’s college graduates were teething. The speed of knowledge has grown exponentially, so much so that I saw a statistic yesterday that stated 90% of the data available today has been collected in the last two years (!). Phenomenal or what?

What are the gems hiding in that data? How much more will we know by next year? What other assumptions and paradigms will be smashed next year, next month . . . next week?

Your ability to collect and process information makes you part of this surge toward a future none of us can fully grasp, although some futurists have come very close. Raw data has no inherent value but the interpretation of that data is priceless.

Boiled down to its simplest essence: Economics is the trading of value among individuals, corporations and nations. We are accruing a mind-boggling amount of value in transactions involving information, goods and services occurring in milliseconds simultaneously among billions of interconnected humans today, right now . . . as we speak . . . as you read . . . as I write.

The New Economy is just breaking out.

To quote that great “Toy Story” character Buzz Lightyear, we are headed “To infinity and beyond.”

Are you ready? Are you on the way?

# # #

When you need some personal, one-on-one coaching beyond the Internet offerings, give us a call. (Direct line numbers on masthead above.) In the meantime, follow us HERE for FREE for the next 22 weekdays to see what others think, and discover some of the surprise findings we have in store for you—new and proven “mental apps” to apply to your own entrepreneurial and business development!

See you here tomorrow 9/18 for Day 9.

———-
For more information on Peggy Salvatore’s book: 30 Days to the New Economy [© Peggy Salvatore 2015. All Rights Reserved.] click on ENTREPRENEUR NEWS or visit ow.ly/RysnP for the E-book

# # #
Hal@Businessworks.US       Peggy@Businessworks.US

Open Minds Open Doors

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Aug 09 2011

Sell Global. Buy Local.

Do your part for the planet!

                      

Sell your local products 

                           

and services worldwide.

                         

~~~~~~        

Now we know for a fact (in spite of Mr. Gore’s ranting and raving), that there simply is no such thing as manmade global warming (which has clearly proven to be a figment of the man’s imagination), it’s probably time to turn up the planet’s heat with our businesses.
There’s no need to defend that global warming discrediting statement, by the way, just ask any credible scientist instead of the pseudo ones Mr. Gore carries in his pocket.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                            

There is no greater opportunity to market your goods and services outside the neighborhood, town, county, state, or region that you’ve been limiting yourself to . . . than now . . . with the Internet (Oh, and thank you again, Mr. Gore; where oh where would we ever be had you not invented it?).

Why “now”? Because, as my mother used to say, there’s no time like the present. How to do it? Like what are the steps?

Step number one is to cast aside the political creeps behind creeping Socialism (November 6, 2012). 

Step number two is to extract the small-mindedness from your brain that’s been locked in there, afraid to let you step outside your business comfort zone.

                                                 

With inexpensive –often free— media options to exercise (from emails and texting to Twitter, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn), you will gain by exploring (or expanding your mastery of, if you’re already dabbling) the market opportunities for what you sell. Now is the time to Action Plan your way into marketing your offerings worldwide.

Exactly where are those opportunities for you and your business? Odds are you know what they are and where they are, but you’ve simply not been willing or motivated enough to consider their pursuit. Be willing. Be motivated. Make that choice for yourself.

Stop thinking you need to be limiting local services and products you sell to the neighborhood or town that supports you.

If you truly care about your neighbors, help stimulate your local economy with global money!

                                                     

Illegal aliens have been doing it for years. They work in the U.S., typically tolerating inhumane living conditions in order to wire maximum amounts of American dollar wages earned to their desperate families in countries whose governments intentionally keep their people in poverty.

How about bringing other country’s money into your town? How about working to help change the opression of other countries’ governments to make them do a better job so that their people won’t want or need to come to the U.S. for their families to survive? Isn’t that a better, more permanent solution? 

Does it mean cracking down on illegal border entries and drug lords and war weapon distribution channels?

                                             

Absolutely, but isn’t that a smarter, better thing for our grandchildren than to continue with the Socialism share the wealth” mentality that strips away America’s freedom that small business job creation built, and that America’s servicemen and women have preserved?

I’m talking about the freedom that we have all earned and enjoyed, that strengthens core family values and that serves to undermine the terrorist acts, threats, and organizations that rise from the rubble of America’s economic weaknesses. 

It all comes back to the economy. And job creation. And America’s 30 million small businesses.

                                                                

With government support in the minus zone, there can be only ingenuity, innovation, self-reliance,  guts, and gumption. Are you up to it, or ready to go down without trying?

                                                   

There are no limits except

those in your mind.

And those limits are a choice.

                                             

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  Open Minds Open Doors 

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  Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Jul 16 2011

How’s Your Debt Ceiling?

When’s your statute 

                      

 of limitations run out 

                     

for non-financial debts?

 

 

Have you exceeded your limits? What are they? Have you exceeded your expectations? How much do you owe to whom? (Gratefulness, not money!) What’s preventing you from being grateful? Laziness? Ambivalence? Dumbness? Heart of stone?

Have you chosen for the passage of time to max out your ability to say, “thank you”? There are some immediate gratification lessons to be learned on Twitter. Just watch how fast people thank one another! 

Now, this next statement will send accountants and tax attorneys over the edge of the cliff (a good beginning you say?) because “appreciation”and “interest” have such different meanings:

Appreciation has no compound interest attached . . . except by the receiver.

It (“appreciation”) is just a way of expressing gratitude.

                                                   

I recently received an email from a former student of some 30+ years ago, who said she had tracked me down on Google, and had thought often during her career what an important influence I had been as her professor.

She told me she had been highly successfully specializing in the subjects she had originally studied with me. She knew, she said, a great many years had passed, but she just wanted to say “thank you!” and let me know how valuable my teaching had been.

Do you know what a million dollars feels like? For me, that was it! But only, mind you, because I’m still alive. Imagine if the email never…

Maybe the idea of a response time ceiling on non-financial debt is not in any one’s best interest. Maybe it’s a good idea to read that last sentence again?

When we put off saying thank you, we lose credibility or we put ourselves in the category of being unworthy, or we’re simply forgotten about. Is that a place we want to be? Is that a place we want our businesses to be?

Does it –in the long run– cost us positive growth opportunities to be considered unworthy or not credible or unappreciative? By internalizing accumulated expressions of gratitude, instead of being timely, could it cost us some stress? Health? Hmmm. Thank you for your visit! 

                                   

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  Open minds open doors. 

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   Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Apr 10 2011

EXPERIENCE TRUMPS EXPERTISE

If you don’t know how to 

                                      

apply what you know,

                                 

you know nothing!

                                                                                 

 

I saw some guest blog post somewhere today that made me laugh out loud because it naively proclaims that “expertise trumps experience” and then proceeds to flex 20-something-years-old muscle with empty rants and raves about Internet skills, from blogging to SEO and beyond.

Not being one to let sleeping dogs lie, I submit the following for your consideration:

  • Younger generations have quite literally constellations worth of knowledge to offer to any given situation.

  • They are born of Google and Microsoft and American Idol and Harry Potter. They are filled with energy drinks that make a cup of coffee seem like Darvon.

  • We rickity old antique types watch high performance skateboarders, or teenage text message thumbs at work in astonishment — young people ooze skills that older people could never even have dreamed of possessing.

  • And I do once remember hearing, at age 32, that I was “older than dirt” from a 21-year-old who was quite serious at the time. 

Yet something tugs at my sleeve. Is it per chance that discarded old notion of respect for experience?

Perhaps the tugging is because experience is almost necessarily a product of quiet reflection while “expertise” practically requires a shout from the rooftops to get the attention of others. 

                                                             

Maybe I live in fantasyland, but it seems to me that –other than some phenom celebrity types: Justin and Hanna? Or the dudes who invented Twitter and Facebook– there’s really no one on that horizon of greatness that once ushered in Bill Gates and Steven Jobs.

Ah, but then this isn’t about comparing generations.

It’s about the fact that expertise means absolutely nothing if you don’t have the experience base to know how to use it productively.

                                                                 

No need to look much beyond the world of professional sports for a few hundred perfect examples.

The Internet? Well, aside from Al Gore’s claims to have once invented it, I believe that the expertise” involved is in fact not with any single age or experience group, and research –even that which is distorted by Internet industry research leaders– is aptly underpinned with total age diversity in the expertise of blogging to SEO and beyond.

Ah, but then this isn’t about the Internet either, really. It’s all about the fact that regardless of all the wonderful online skills in one’s possession, not having a way to get paid for exercising them –because of lack of experience– also means absolutely nothing.

And there’s no need to look much beyond the artificial unemployment figures being cast about by self-serving politicians, who trickle on down from the White House, to clearly see a few million examples.

_____________________

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Expertise (whatever that means, and from whatever sources declare themselves to possess it) is simply a specialized knowledge base of how things happen or function.

Experience is knowing how to put that knowledge base to work to get results.

It’s pretty silly to be trying to make a case for one at the expense of the other. 

                                                                           

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 302.933.0116      Hal@BusinessWorks.US

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Mar 14 2011

Forgive Yourself!

Seek healthier

                        

relationships?

                                 

Want to lower

                              

your stress, BP,

                                         

chronic pain, risk

                            

of addiction? Wishing

                       

you could grow your

                           

business now to where

                            

you want it to be?

                                                                                                                                             

Yes, my friend,”

you are told as you stand glassy-eyed in the vegetable aisle of the supermarket, leaning dumbfounded over your wire shopping cart, “you can have all this and more!” the man shouts.

You expect a crack of lightning and rumble of thunder to follow as he reaches toward the heavens and then steps down toward you from his platform and proceeds to sell you a 27-piece set of stainless knives for just $9.95!

                   

Well, who knows whether a set of knives can turn your life around. Nothing surprises me anymore. Oh, except for one thing: finding out that all the benefits above (and more!) really can be yours when you are able to bring yourself to forgive yourself.

In a whole series of studies conducted over the last 3-4 years at the Mayo Clinic, prayer is believed to facilitate forgiveness, and forgiveness (especially self-forgiveness) may hold the key to a healthier state of well-being, and longer, healthier, happier lives.

How come everyone doesn’t know this or do it? Ignorance may account for the majority of the world’s population not knowing or practicing this thinking. Of those who understand, not everyone accepts the values of prayer.

And even among those who do accept the ability of prayer to heal, not all of them believe that forgiving others –and especially themselves— could possibly enhance their own physical, spiritual and emotional well-being.

Don’t go getting

your entrepreneurship

in an uproar!

This is not a Bible study blog.

I am not an Evangelist.

It’s safe to keep reading.

                                                                                      

The bottom line on credibility, by the way, is to simply Bing or Google Mayo Clinic studies on forgiveness, and check out what you find. Suffice it to say that the conclusions drawn certainly seem to make sense to a great many successful business owners I’ve known.

Every human being carries burdens of having done something wrong and/or harmful –in error or intentionally. Such burdensome experiences bury themselves deep within us as we move on with the clock and the calendar and the rush of Earthly existence.

We may keep these upsets tucked away forever until some event triggers us enough to bring them back to the surface, or to implode in, for example, the form of a heart attack, or explode from within as hostility or aggressive behavior, or lie dormant to rise one day as suicide.

The situations and events we choose not to forgive can paralyze and erode parts of our brains and inhibit some of the freedom of our movements.

Many of us torture ourselves over and over, day after day, year after year . . . for perhaps one instant of bad judgement.

                                                                            

To choose to take some action about forgiveness of others and forgiveness of ourselves moves us a giant step closer to productive leadership, and raises the prospects of growing our businesses to where we want them to be, to where we believe they are capable of being.

If prayer leads us to forgiveness, and forgiveness leads us to healthier relationships, lower stress and blood pressure, less chronic pain and less risk of addiction, then we become better stronger leaders. Happy, healthy, positive business leaders who have chosen forgiveness of themselves and others as a path are those who succeed.

If your business is not where you believe it could or should be right now, consider yourself the catalyst for change by taking action now to strengthen your self. Have you tried prayer? (Seriously, or token tinkering?) Have you prayed for forgiveness for yourself and for others?

What’s have you got to lose by not trying? Your business? Your life? Eternity in hell? 

                                                                      
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302.933.0116     Hal@BusinessWorks.US

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Nov 21 2010

Search Engine Sidetracked

Oh, yes, just what we need:

                           

another pizza parlor in town

                                                

and another business acronym…

 

I really do need to stay away from search engines more. Every time I go to check something out, I end up sidetracked in 37 other directions. Hours pass, and by the time dinner’s ready or the dog needs to go out, I’ve forgotten what the reason was that started me off Binging and Googling in the first place. 

A recent such excursion was earlier this week when I –someone who prides himself on being totally on top of all the latest marketing twists and turns– went flying into Bing to check on a reference to “Synergy Levers” being billed as “THE latest marketing concept.” After all, thoughts are things.

 Well, not only did Bing bong, but it also clearly demonstrated that –if anything– I might be looking at some re-hash of a remarkably old marketing concept which had been re-packaged as “THE latest.” All of this means that “Synergy Levers” is simply none of the above. As the hot news flash went on to say, however, it (Synergy Levers) has something to do with SMEs. Whew! What a relief!

I was deleriously happy to discover that Synergy Levers didn’t turn out to be some kind of toilet flush handle brand!

So, okay, here I am, relieved to learn that we were not dealing with bathroom fixtures, but oh, are we ever so over-laden with acronyms, or what? 

                                                                               

I don’t mean to sound (ahem) overly sarcastic here, but this news came right on the heels of  the latest EPA reports on CFPA, CPSC, MDL, and FEC. Now, if I tell you that FEC is “Foreseeable Environmental Contamination,” you can probably deduct (deduce?) on your own that the other magnificent acronyms are not terribly critical to your day-to-day operations, unless you’re in a tree-hugging related business. . . or run a government agency (shudder) or corporate giant operation (double shudder!).

So –back to SMEs–who knew?– “Small and Medium-Size Enterprises.” Of course! What else could it possibly mean? Of one thing you can be fairly certain, SMEs are not the acronymical brainchild (You don’t particularly favor “acronymical”? Listen, if James Patterson can advertise his books as “unputdownable”) of someone who owns or manages a small or medium-size business.  

How did we arrive at this conclusion?

Because there’s not enough time in the day to be jerking around with some obviously governmental-birthed word-shortening letter grouping.

Yes, another one of those C-Span specials that means nothing, nada, zero, zip, 0! (Or maybe “z”? Hmmm.) 

Secondly, who (whom) do you know (besides the car rental agency) that refers to her or his business as an “enterprise”? Really.  

                                                                                                        

Alrighty then, the S in SME, which stands for “Small,” means (according to the bonged Bing: “fewer than 100 employees for “goods-producing businesses” and “fewer than 50 employees for service-based businesses.” The M in SME, for “Medium” according to “White Christmas” crooner Crosby’s namesake, means “fewer than 500 employees.” Oh, but all this “varies by country.” Well, la-de-dah!

Y’know what? It’s a whole lot more than I want to know. It’s also irritating. Who cares if they’re the owner of an SME anyway? The bottom line is –no matter the size or number of employees in your “enterprise”– are you surviving this terrible economy? Are you pushing out sales? Are you making your business work? Need a little help? Call me at TWW (TheWriterWorks)… SB (See Below)      

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

www.TheWriterWorks.com  

302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You,

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Aug 23 2010

“Reading” Your Target Market

  ~~~The TXTMSG

                         

Line in the Sand~~~

                                          

                                                          

Are you really sure you understand your target market?

Are you still selling what you’ve always sold the same ways you’ve always sold? Are you using the same best sets of words in the same tone of voice? Still giving the same premiums and discounts and “special” offers, the same warranties and reassurances? Still emphasizing the same benefits and features?

If your answer to any of these questions is leaning even just a little bit toward yes, odds are you have either gotten lazy, have not been keeping up with the times, have not been sizing up your target market the right way, or you’ve been spending too much time in Disneyland.

Let’s eliminate the first and last choices and assume you are being conscientious, but have maybe lost touch with some of what’s going on in your customer (buyer) and consumer (user) markets (which of course are sometimes one in the same and sometimes different). Consider this:

They seemingly cannot

                                       

function for more than

                                    

a  couple of minutes

                                 

without looking to see

                                  

if they are receiving a

                                      

text message.”

                       — Fred Hertrich, Professor of political science, Middlesex (NJ) County College,   describing one of the prevailing winds in today’s college student population – to underscore: 1) the frustration of many teachers trying to deal with rooms full of distracted people and 2) the necessity of today’s faculties to communicate with students electronically.  

(East Brunswick, NJ, Home News Tribune, 8/21/10)

 

Has the prospective customer or consumer you seek most to influence crossed the line of electronic literacy? “But,” you say. “I’m not selling electronics!” Perhaps, but you are selling to people who are either electronics-literate or not.

Computer savviness is no longer the guide (unless you’re selling to nursing home residents) because everyone knows something about computers. The place where the line is drawn in the sand is:

                                                    

THE TXTMSG LINE

                                                         

Most older-than-45 people can and do use cell phones, check websites, visit blogs, send emails, search Bing and Google, and purchase online. Most know how to use WORD and many use Twitter and Facebook. But very few of these folks text message because they grew up in a different world.

Older Americans learned that “correct” and “proper” communication depends on neat handwriting and that spelling, punctuation, and grammar are paramount ingredients. Lax email messaging is about as far as these folks will comfortably stray. Texting is to them like “Emails Gone Wild!” and too “teeny-bopper” cult-like to be able to relate to.

Well, that may not mean anything to you, unless you’re targeting 20-somethings or 60-somethings, who clearly will not respond positively to the same old kinds of messages delivered in the same old ways. It’s not a bad idea to periodically step back and reassess what you’re saying to whom, and how you’re saying it.

                                                                                 

Think of it as a

GR8 NU WAY 2 C HOW UR MAKIN UR PT.

 

www.TheWriterWorks.com or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.
 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 
Make today a GREAT day for someone!

5 responses so far

Aug 03 2010

What’s Your Business Story?

You have a business tale

                                                    

to tell, but no time to

                                         

  tell it?. . . or write it? 

                                                              

     So what’s your story, Boss?

     Is it long or short? Simple? Complicated? Fictional? Factual? Happy or sad? Burning hot? Icy cold? Based on true firsthand experience,  or imaginary, hand-me-down sagas? A story of family or of strangers? Neighborhoods or distant travels?

     Is it manufacturing or retail or distributorship based? B to B or B to C? A story of tourism or industry? A professional practice story? A legal or medical story? A growth or failure story? A partnership or separation story? What is it all about?

     You can and probably already do tell your story in chunks — in website pages, email messages, news releases, brochures, newsletters and interview answers. Or you can tell it (or major parts of it) all in one place that can then BE chunked up.

You can accomplish this with more complete, more comprehensive forays into the land of literature — a series of feature articles, ebooks, position (“white”) papers, booklets, specialty magazines, ongoing blog posts, and full-length books are some examples of what other successful business leaders are now doing.

     There are armies of talented organizations, groups, businesses and individuals standing in line, ready to pounce on filling any and all of the challenging opportunities for exposure — and enhancing credibility and reputation — that are noted above.

     They work on commission. They work on fees. They work on incentives. You can do it cheap or expensive, or somewhere in between.

     You will –as with most things in life — get what you pay for. If you’re happy with your neighbor’s 16 year-old being your webmaster and your new MBA assistant writing your sales and marketing pieces, you will no doubt take comfort in their efforts to represent what’s in your head!

Reminds me of the old Kawasaki Motorcycle helmet ad — “If your head is worth $29.95, buy a $29.95 helmet!”  

     Here are half a dozen thought-provokers:

1) Don’t give up on your business story idea, whatever it is. Instead, start to bullet-point it on index cards or a pocket pad or your laptop.

2) When you know what it is that you seek for your main message, start to scout around for someone with a track-record for the kind of writing you want.

3) Window shop. Check out Bing and Google. Do a little homework.

4) When you find the right person to represent your interests, that individual may also very well have ties to or a relationship with some print-on-demand book publisher-printer types, and be able to steer you in the most appropriate and economical directions. These days, you can print just a few (or even just one book!) copies and be able to order more with a phone call or email.

5) Specialized magazines are also readily available and can be produced as you wish, and individually and personally addressed as you wish.

6) Blog posts can be written in your “voice” so they sound like they’re coming from you (while you spend your time doing other things!) Regular blog posts, incidentally serve to activate your website which draws the attention of search engine spiders and lifts your search engine rankings.  

     Got an idea you’d just like to toss out to see if it could work? Give me a call. No consult fee for blog visitors.

  

www.TWWsells.com or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You. God Bless America and Our Troops.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Jul 24 2010

CONSULTANT TERMS & TARGETS

It’s not your consultant’s job

                                                          

to come up with your budget

                                                                                

unless that’s the assignment.

                                                                   

     Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean that the consultants you hire are going to work for you personally (unless you’re a celebrity or worse, a political candidate!). Their allegiance is to your company or the project you assign, but that doesn’t make them thumbtacks you can press into any passing piece of cork.

     In other words, the reason for going “outside” is to get an informed fresh perspective on whatever your focus is, down the road or at the moment . . . and consultants provide an objective sounding board; they are not part of your company “politics.”

                                                                      

YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES.

                                                                               

     Sure, there are “Yes Men” in the ranks. They are as proportionally present in the consulting field as in any other.

     Part of your job is to sort through them, and appreciate the differences in their backgrounds as well as the similarities of strategy they may use to attack your business problems. Once you’ve settled on compatibility and track-record issues, you may want to consider:

First and foremost in every consultant’s mind is the same concern that would be front and center in yours . . . 

How much will this assignment pay and on what basis?

     Consultants charge hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually . . . and project fees. Some allow flexible terms and may accept partial payment with a performance incentive. Others are very cut and dried, or unyielding and regimented about what and how they charge. Lawyers, as most of us know, charge for every hiccup.

     Some charge fees that are all-inclusive. Others may charge additional fees for “Rush” service, “Full” service, “Specialized” service, or “On-Call” service. Some fees may have a timeline attached, or a project benchmark or specific goal defined. All are legitimate. Only you can determine what will work best for your situation.

The worst thing you can ask of a prospective consultant — and it’s done relentlessly — is to come up with a budget before agreeing to any engagement of services.

BUDGETS ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, NOT THE CONSULTANT’S!

If you want to go window shopping, do it on Bing or Google. Don’t make prospects jump through hoops and expect a solid work relationship as a result.

     Most consultants in my experience are happy to do what they can within the framework of your budget, but to ask them to set your budget for you is neither realistic nor fair, and puts an anchor around the neck of your goal pursuits!   

     When you want exceptional input from a consultant, provide an exceptional compensation package. Consultants are not for Scotch-Tape and rubber-banding problems quicker and cheaper than you think your staff is capable of. Consultants are for problem-solving that you and your people cannot afford the time to address, or lack the experience or expertise to bring to the table.

     Consultants are for accelerating business progress at a quicker rate than you and your people are capable of doing on your own, given existing limitations of time, money and know-how. This is not to suggest handling consultants with loose reins. You need to give them — up front — a tight but reasonable timetable, and it behooves you to also itemize specific deliverables you seek.

     The period of engagement and renewable options need to be established and clearly defined, and a meaningful communication and reporting system needs to be in place from the outset. 

 www.TWWsells.com or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You. God Bless America and America’s Troops. “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]  Make today a GREAT Day!

6 responses so far

Apr 13 2010

Watch What You Post!

The Cyberspace

                                     

World Bank 

                                               

is saving our

                             

beat old posts

                                     

for just the

                                  

right occasion! 

                                                                

     Maybe it’s too late to count ourselves out of the award-running for the World Cup of Stupid Internet Comments, considering how dumb that snippy-snappy email or website post was that we angrily tossed off a couple of years back when we were more irate and quick trigger-fingered . . . but we don’t have to have it start an avalanche.

     Remember that comment we posted on some website way back when? You know the one. It went something like:  

“If you knew even the first thing about business, you dumb geek, you’d get out of that garage of yours and get a real job while you return to the college you dropped out of, and furthermore, Billy Gates, if you think I would ever consider hiring you to even sweep my floors you’re sadly mistaken. You’ll never succeed unless you can stop dreaming and finish your education!”

     Like an elephant, Cyberspace never forgets. The comments we make today on mover and shaker sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, BizBrag, Salesblogcast, iSALESMAN, Google, PoorIrishman, TBDConsulting and InterlakenInn are being watched and talked about. But so are the posts we put on downscale, disreputable sites like those commandeered by network media, incompetent government agencies, and porn purveyors — where what we have to say is given no more credibility than what’s said by the hosts.

     Almost all of what we have to say today that has any substance to it, carries with it the promise of coming back to haunt us (if not bite us in our respective butts) ten or twenty years down the road.

     Never before in history have we the people subjected our innermost thoughts and most volatile expressions to such states of accessible public permanence. Today’s passing thought will not land in a ribbon-tied bundle of letters socked away in a shoebox on some closet shelf or in some attic trunk waiting for discovery by distant generations.

     When we hit that email “Send” click, or website “Post” button, we are literally donating our private thoughts and feelings to eternal public scrutiny. It’s taking some time for this to sink in, but the reality of it is striking. Where else in history did people set themselves up to make scathing, heat-of-the-moment remarks only to have them be dissected and subjected to overkill, out-of-context evaluation 24 hours a day, every day for lifetimes beyond their own?

     The trick here is to:  

A) Think before we click  

B) Realize that anything we say, can and will be used against us in a court of public opinion (and having the right to an attorney won’t make a hill of beans difference!) 

C) Trash our computers and never look back! 

D) Overwhelm all of our friends and followers with a tsunami of upbeat messages that even our severest critics can’t help but cry tears of joy at our transformations. (“Kill ’em with kindness!” me mother usedta say.)

So, uh, before you comment below . . .                                                                             

Comment below or Hal@BusinessWorks.US Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT Day! 

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