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Archive for “Plan Your Business”

Guy Kawasaki on Enchantment, Marketing and Small Business

Guy Kawasaki is no stranger to entrepreneurship, having co-founded several businesses including Garage Technology Ventures, and Alltop.com, which is, as he describes, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web.  He’s written ten books including The Art of the Start, The Macintosh Way, and his latest, Enchantment, The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions, releasing March 8th, 2011, available on Amazon.com, and in bookstores everywhere.

I’ve read hundreds of business books, but never have I read a book like this.  In a nutshell, Enchantment is all about how to make people fall in love with you, and when people fall in love with you, you can accomplish anything.

This book is part inspiration, part motivation, and part practication (I just made up a new word).   With inspiring stories and practical steps, Kawasaki explains all the tactics you need to put together and launch your own enchantment campaign.  Kawasaki’s lessons are taken from his experience at Apple, but many of the stories are very personal stories from average, every day people.  (These stories happen to be some of my favorite parts of the book.)  Buy the book on Tuesday March 8th, or any day and you will be able to experience “enchantment” for yourself.

In honor of the release of Kawasaki’s new book, I asked him to give us his perspective on small business marketing today.  Here’s his insightful and unedited response.  Enjoy!

What do you see are the biggest challenges for a small business owner today?

Sales, sales, and sales. My saying is, “sales fixes everything” because as long as you have cash flow, you’re still in the game. As a friend once told me, the leading cause of failure of startups is death, and you die when you run out of money.

Is that different than what it was a few years ago?

It’s been like this since the recession hit. Every day, I wish for just one more bubble because this time I’ll know what to do!  But I believe that business is cyclical, so it’s not wise to panic. A rising tide floats all boats, but a receding tide makes the big, bloated boats hit rock bottom.

How have you seen business owners overcome these challenges?  (What’s working?)

More than anything else, these times are a test of will–how much are you willing to gut it out and grind it out. If you can survive these times, you’re pretty set to take on anything. I have great admiration for the companies that continue to put out great products and services with less money while maintaining high levels of customer enchantment. It’s much easier to write the book and make the speech than actually deliver results.

As far as marketing, what strategies do you use to market your business?

Right now, I’m mostly marketing my new book. To do this, I believe that “nobodies are the new somebodies.” That is, I don’t focus on only the so-called experts and powerful people. I like to work with as many people as possible because it’s impossible to know who will really make you tip.

Is there a strategy that doesn’t work?

I’ve never been one to throw money at a problem…for two reasons, I never had the money to throw and I hate wasting money in any case.

What advice do you have for business owners who are just starting out?

Prototype, prototype, prototype. Get to market. PowerPoint and Excel are secondary or even tertiary in importance. Get to market and get cash flowing.

Other than StartupNation, Entrepreneur Magazine, Alltop.com, what other resources do you recommend for startups?  Books? Websites, etc?

These are primarily information sources. Startups also need ways to reach and serve customers. For this, God provided Twitter and Facebook. These two sites are entrepreneur’s dreams because they are fast, free, and ubiquitous. The book that I recommend to startups is If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. This book provided the inspiration that changed my life. It’s not solely about writing–it’s about the human spirit. Every entrepreneur should read it.

Bonuses:

Online Quiz:  How GREAT Are You?

Online Photo Contest:  Submit your Most Enchanting Photo for a Chance to Win!

“Like” Enchantment on Facebook

Wendy Kenney is the best selling author of How to Build Buzz for Your Biz, Tap into the Power of Social Media, Publicity and Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business, available on Amazon.com.  She has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street JournalUSA Today, and Newsday. For more information go to http://23Kazoos.com.

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Guy Kawasaki is no stranger to entrepreneurship, having co-founded several businesses including Garage Technology Ventures, and Alltop.com, which is, as he describes, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web.  He’s written ten books including The Art of the Start, The Macintosh Way, and his latest, Enchantment, The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds [...]

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Weekend Read Will Change My Approach, Change My Year

I started my Saturday this past weekend with a midwest to westcoast flight. By the time I was over the Rockies, I was so excited to get to work on the new ideas filling my head that I couldn’t WAIT to get off that plane! I had just finished reading through Josh Linkner’s brand new book, [...]

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Is Your Site Missing from the Search Engines?

“My site is optimized for the search engines, and it’s not showing up online.” Yep. I hear this a lot. And unfortunately, I have to tell a lot of entrepreneurs that they just wasted their money. Maybe you can relate? Did you just spend a lot of time and money on a search-engine-optimization (SEO) service [...]

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5 Benefits Of the Provisional Patent Application

As an inventor with a new product idea (or improvement to an existing product), it’s important to understand the various types of protection that are available to you.  Let’s assume that your idea provides benefit and usefulness (not just a visual design) ~ you might consider filing either a non-provisional patent (a “Utility Patent”) or [...]

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On Becoming a Mompreneur – All Access Tour

In October, 2010, I woke up and announced to my family that I was going to start a business.  It went something like this, “Good Morning!  Today, I am going to become a mompreneur.  Have a great day at school.”  I know it sounds a little flippant, but there really was no other way of [...]

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Just in Time… Financial Tips for Tax Season

  I recently spoke to Kimberly Palmer. She’s the senior editor and personal finance columnist for US News & World Report. And in addition to appearing on NBC’s Today show, CNBC, CNN, and local television and radio shows nationwide, she has also written for the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and the Asahi Shimbun/International [...]

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How to Become a Marketing Superstar

Wendy Kenney is the best selling author of How to Build Buzz for Your Biz, Tap into the Power of Social Media, Publicity and Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business, available on Amazon.com.  She has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Newsday. For more information go to http://23Kazoos.com.

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What is the biggest marketing challenge that you have in your business? According to a survey by Marketing Sherpa, 78% of businesses say that their biggest marketing challenge is generating high quality leads. In my work as a contract Marketing Director with small businesses I see this challenge on a daily basis. Interestingly enough many small businesses make the [...]

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What The Grammys Can Teach You About Business

Hi gang, How do you get your product noticed in our current sea of product noise? Obviously, the way to be noticed is to wrap yourself inside a giant egg and be carried somewhere by the entire cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, right? Yep, you’ll be noticed for sure.  Lady Gaga was certainly [...]

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White House unveils new initiative for small business owners, but something is missing

Yesterday President Obama unveiled a new initiative to encourage entrepreneurship in the United States. Dubbed “Startup America,” the goal of this new program is to encourage “high growth” entrepreneurship to increase the number of new jobs added to the economy. The program brings together people from both the private and public sectors. According to the [...]

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How to Come Up with Great Ideas

Even if you like working for someone else, you have probably had a business idea that you haven’t told to anybody. Chances are, in a few months or years someone will start the business you’ve been dreaming of. That’s when you’ll tell all of your friends, “I had the same idea years ago. I knew [...]

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26 Business Ideas – Take Your Pick!

I don’t know about you, but I grew up dreaming of running my own business. One of my sources of inspiration was Entrepreneur Magazine. I’d go over to the bookstore, flip through each monthly issue and get TOTALLY psyched about the possibilities ahead of me.   Rieva Lesonsky was Editor of that magazine at that time, and so, [...]

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Guess Who’s Knocking On Your Door?

So I just got off of a publicized teleseminar with one of the top gurus in the information marketing industry. But get this… there were only three people on the call! I couldn’t believe it! Here I had access to free information and answers that could make me money… so I asked question after question [...]

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Self-Discipline: How to Get Things Done

One of the most important skills an entrepreneur needs is self-discipline. After all, being your own boss means there’s no one telling you to do your job. Without self-discipline, you’ll never get anything done. Many people think of self-discipline as being strong enough to resist all temptations and just do all the work we need [...]

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Life Planning: What Should You Do With Your Life?

Once upon a time, people grew up, got married, had 2.3 kids, and worked at a somewhat fulfilling job with the same company for 40+ years, then retired comfortably with a gold watch and pension from the company they dedicated their working years to. Those days are long gone. The last number I heard, before [...]

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Exposed – The PR Myths!

How was your Halloween? Was it as scary as your current, publicity activities? Well, if you’ve had bad publicity experiences in the past and are afraid to move forward, don’t be! After hearing from many entrepreneurs who were “taken” by a big agency or just didn’t have the money to pursue PR activities, I decided [...]

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How to Get Publicity Now

Do you need publicity right away to build some buzz for your products and services? Well, here are three things you can do right now that will help you get the word out… fast: 1. Write to your local paper. Check your local paper to see if they have an “Opinions” or “Letters to the [...]

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What Happened When One Entrepreneur Had Cleavage Issues

If you have an idea for a new product based on your personal experiences, you should definitely look into creating it. Just look at today’s interview. After having a difficult time finding a piece of clothing that would give her the ability to “manage” her cleavage in comfort at work, Julie Crotty quit her job, conducted [...]

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Why you Need to Build a Startup Family

Over the last 7 years, I have been involved in more startups than most entrepreneurs will in their lifetime. That’s not to say that I’m an “expert” in entrepreneurship (or an expert in anything for that matter), but I certainly have had a pretty diverse set of entrepreneurial experiences for a 27 year-old. I have [...]

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