Need Some Help?

retail display of men's dress shoes

"Do I look like I need 'help'?" When I first started in retail sales, one of my sales managers, Dennis, was quite clear in how we should approach customers. Dennis was a cowboy in at heart and at home, so there was a good mix of macho confidence and relaxing country. Friendly is what he called it. Literally. Our tagline was "Your Friendly Neighborhood Store". We were … [Read more...]

Your Business: Brand and Story

Man Whispering into Woman's Ear

Everyone loves a good story. Advertisements are only loved on Super Bowl Sunday - and they are part of the story. There's a big spotlight right now on 'Storytelling' as a business tool or marketing tactic. It's not so much a new thing, but always an important thing. Stories have always been part of the message that gets delivered about your business, but for ages it's … [Read more...]

Think Bigger (Thoughtography)

Motivational Poster with Tower Optical viewfinder

Sometimes, as small business owners we are so focused on what we've always done, we don't see what's possible. Look beyond perceived limitations of geography, platform, and choice. See beyond your borders. Think bigger. "Whatever you're thinking, think bigger."  - Tony Hsieh, co-Founder and CEO of Zappos, author of Delivering Happiness. Photo on Flickr by Joshua … [Read more...]

Working with Images in WordPress (Video Lessons)

Many business owners are learning how to compose and publish on their own web site. There are still plenty of small business sites not using images to their fullest advantage - sometimes not at all. If you are using WordPress on your site, here are some simple tutorials on how upload and edit a photo onto your site. In many cases, the tips here are probably similar to the … [Read more...]

You Should Start Your Own Business (Saturday Clips)

Maybe you're one of the many people who are just starting your own business or taking your business from a side gig to full-time work. You're not alone. Estimates show that 40% of U.S. workers will be freelancers by 2020. In the U.K. the number of solopreneurs has grown by over 80% from what it was in 2000. There are lots of questions about this continuing trend, many … [Read more...]

Your Business: Customers of Future Past

Vintage Bicycle for Three

It never was a good idea to think your customers wouldn't be using social media or mobile devices. The idea has less accuracy now than ever before. Part of the ever-changing climate of business is that your customers also go through change: Their likes and habits By attrition, whether physical or transience Lifestyle desires or demands It's possible there are core … [Read more...]

Nothing to Say or Share? (Friday Flutterings)

Gorilla Looking and Listening

Sometimes, there is nothing to say or write. So don't. ... Story tells, the great preacher Charles Spurgeon once approached the pulpit on a Sunday morning, took a deep breath and said, "The Spirit has given me nothing to say this day." He turned and walked away. ... Do we share article, posts, quotes and images on social networks because the piece is so worth sharing you … [Read more...]

Keeping a Patient Perspective

A Sign of Patience

A soft opening day, followed by a ribbon-cutting Grand Opening. The buzz of business is invigorating and ideally, will spread and last for a long season. Sometimes it doesn't. When your business experiences its first lull, you don't close the doors and call it quits. At least not right away. As you try new tools, a different process, an alternate practice - keep a … [Read more...]

Comments or Conversations? A Comments Evolved Project

Screenshot of Comments Evolved Plugin

Several weeks ago, I quietly closed the comments on the ConverStations site. I asked if Comments are Really Necessary. Plugins and other alternatives were researched and considered as I pondered the question - not just for this site, but also for the businesses I work with to help in building their business presence. The conversations can be larger and last longer if the … [Read more...]

Pulling the Thread Together

a common thread

If you're like a lot of small business owners, you wear many hats - and sometimes, all the hats. You might work with the front-end (with customers), the back-end (administrative), the public (marketing, networking), and the private (human resources, vendors) - all in the same day, maybe in the same hour. Maybe you're good at delegating or outsourcing, adept at balancing … [Read more...]