Determining the value of a customer based on data such as your average sale is important information to know when you are measuring the return on your marketing investment. But, if you take the time to figure out what the life time value of that customer is, you have the power to make better, more informed decisions about your marketing budget and ways increase that LTV to dramatically impact your business. Check out this post from John Jantsch over at “Life time value, now there’s a number I love!

Wednesday, 26 September 2007 00:00

Business lessons from a two year old

Kids can give you a great opportunity for a change of perspective. The other day I was walking with my two year old daughter through the field near our house. It was dinner time and we were headed home. My focus was on getting from point A to point B in the shortest amount of time with all the evening’s to-do items running through my head…Dinner time, bath time, story time, bed time, adult time, … She, on the other hand, was simply heading in the general direction of home with frequent stops to lay in the grass, run in circles, look up at the sky, play with bugs or just stop and laugh for no reason. The more I tried to steer her and speed up our pace the more she wanted to play and explore. So, I stopped. I gave in and just did whatever she did. We picked up leaves, pretended to swim in the grass, and laughed just to laugh. I ended up having a lot of fun with my daughter, she taught me a lesson along the way and we still made it home for dinner.

The paths to our business goals are rarely straight lines and running a small business can feel a bit like shepherding a two year old. There are setbacks, roadblocks, tangents and challenges. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try to keep things pointed in the right direction they veer off course. If we embrace this process and understand that these perceived setbacks or seemingly unproductive activities often lead to great opportunities, we can use them to our business advantage. By their very nature, these events give us a different perspective.

When the unexpected happens or we move out of our comfort zone we’re forced to view things a bit differently. We are able to make connections and gain knowledge we normally wouldn’t have. The new sights, smells, tastes and thoughts prompt us to expand our minds. By keeping our eyes open during this process we can identify potential business opportunities where none seemed to exist. So, embrace the challenges and seek to make connections.

Stumble off in a new direction from time to time just for the experience. Do something unrelated to your business simply because you like doing it or because you have never done it. Mash-up seemingly unrelated ideas in a unique way just to see what happens. Change your physical perspective on something by looking at it from the roof. Build your product out of Lego® bricks. Along the way be watching for the untapped and unexpected connections that will open new opportunities. You may find a truer path to your goals and it will almost certainly make the journey more enjoyable.

Friday, 12 October 2007 00:00

Women, Boomers & Geezers, Cha-Ching!

Tom Peters gave the Keynote presentation at the annual meeting of the AICC (Association of Independent Corrugated Converters). If you have the chance, you should really check out his presentation slides. (Warning! You may need sunglasses.) I am sure you will get the message from the slides, even without hearing the presentation. He does a good job of grabbing and holding your attention and at the same time presenting some really compelling statistics. If your business doesn’t offer anything for women, boomers and geezers you may be are missing the boat. You can download Tom's presentation slides here. I particularly like this slide.