Tag Archives: webinar

Do You Trip on the Tools in Your Own Business?

Think of the quick comedy scene where a guy steps on a rake and bonks himself in the face with a handle.  rake accidentGot it? Now ask yourself whether or not you’re bonking yourself with the tech tools in your own business.

For example, do you switch your to-do list software instead of working the list? I do it too. Instead of solving our real problem, which is time management and prioritizing tasks, we get halfway there and change tools.

I’ve done it for decades now. I jump from browser to browser, then fuss with the add-ons. I change my email client software, and re-do the folder  instead of answering emails. I go from one blogging solution to another. I change the photo organization software instead of organizing my photos. I’ve even changed the word processing software I was using to fool myself into believing I’d get more done with the new one.

Do you do it? I see it all the time with other people. We’re lying to ourselves, playing with new toys instead of bearing down and making our own systems work. The real problem is discipline and consistency, and instead of solving that, we do just the opposite. We change the tools.

I woke up today with this on my mind because I’ve been preparing for this evening’s Dumb Ways Smart Entrepreneurs Fail in Using Technology, a free webinar for Ramon Ray and his Small Business Technology series.  You can register any time before it starts, 5 pm PDT, 8 pm EDT, later today.

(Image: bigstockphoto.com)

Develop Your Business, Not Just Your Business Plan

I’m still long-term frustrated with how many people lose the potential steering and management benefits of business planning because they focus on the plan as document instead of the planning as management. With that in mind, and in honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2009, I did a webinar Nov. 19 on the theme in the title of this post. Here is the recording:


If for any reason you don’t see the video here, you can also click here to go directly to the source, a playlist on YouTube.

There’s an important point I’m trying to make. Don’t dismiss business planning as part of your business life just because you don’t want (or have) to do a formal business plan document. Most of us running businesses don’t have to do a formal document. We do, however, want to do our business as well as we can.

It doesn’t have to be the big formal plan you avoid because it sounds hard. Keep it simple, just big enough to manage and steer your business. Write it down so you can track progress and make course corrections. But maybe you never print it; just leave it on your computer.

Here are five main components:

1. Define success

Be realistic. And recognize that success is different for different people. Is it about getting financed, growing big, becoming rich? Or is it doing what you like to do, while making enough to get by? Independence? Wealth? It’s not nearly as simple and uniform as sales growth, profits, and cash flow. Start with that.

2. Focus

You can’t do everything. You can’t please everybody. Focus on your keys to success, and your core competence. Focus on a well defined target market, and know who isn’t in your market, and why not. Strategy is a lot about what you’re not doing.

3. Understand the steps

Break it down into the steps you’ll need to take. What has to happen? How do you get to that success? What will it take. Define some key points, milestones.

4. Put it into specifics

Think about metrics and measurement so you can track progress. Lots of numbers and dates. Task assignments, responsibilities.

5. Follow up and manage

Track your plan. Set regular review points, look at plan vs. actual results, and make course corrections.

All-Caps Shouting FREE! Is So Last Millennium.

It’s not that I’m against free webinars. Just cool it with the shouting, all-caps, annoying FREE!. It’s not a differentiator. It’s not unusual. Lead with something else.

You’re not Oprah giving every member of your audience a new car. You’re not giving away free meals, or even free coffee. You’re doing a webinar. They’re almost all free. My email collects 5-10 webinar invitations every day, all of them free. Get over yourself.

I’ve got nothing against free webinars, I present free webinars too. I really like the technology. It’s a great medium. I just really don’t like marketing as if FREE! is something that matters in a webinar.

And, come to think of it, have we not come to an age in which free is so frequently assumed with so many content and expertise offerings that it’s become odd, a bit jarring, to make such a point of it? Free webinars, free blogs, free movies, free radio … all I get when you shout out FREE! is that you’re a bit out of touch.

And, wait a minute … maybe your webinar, or whatever, would be more successful if you gave it a value. Is it worth it?

(Photo credit: Viviamo/Shutterstock)

Webinar Next Wednesday: Just Start that Business

I like the title: "Just Start," as in start your business, shades of the now famous Nike "Just do it" campaign. Just start.

I’m pleased to be speaking along with John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing, Ken Yancey, CEO of SCORE, and Rich Sloan of StartupNation for this free webinar next wednesday. 

It’s a free webinar, but capacity is limited, so if you’re interested, please click here to register right now.