Tips and Articles

Category: Internal Brand Published on Mar 09 2015

Do you even know what it means to have business clarity? At its very basic level, you have business clarity if you can clearly convey what your business does in 5 words or less.


I recently attended a networking event where I asked an entrepreneur named Sam what he does. Five minutes later, I was still trying to figure out what Sam does and who his ideal target market is. Unfortunately, I am unable to provide a valuable referral to Sam because I don’t know what it looks like. This is because Sam does not have business clarity.


Category: Internal Brand Published on Mar 02 2015

As far as business values go, integrity is not one of my favorites. In fact, I think that it is a terrible value. Wait, before you run off and call me a heathen, I ask you to read on.


Category: Internal Brand Published on Feb 24 2015

I’ve said this before and because it’s important I will repeat it now and probably again in the future:


Consistency is key to establishing your brand identity.


Category: Strategy Published on Feb 16 2015

Recently, I had a follow up phone call with a Strategic Plan-ting™ workshop attendee. Maggie (not her real name) and I spent 30 minutes reviewing her quarterly action plan and preparing a new plan for the next quarter.


Maggie started out the call by telling me she was a bad Strategic Plan-ter because she had not accomplished her goals for the quarter. I disagreed.


Category: Internal Brand Published on Feb 09 2015

At a National Speakers Association annual convention I saw Bruce Turkel speak on ‘How to Really Build a Compelling Brand…Really’. In his seven steps to a powerful brand, the first bullet point states: “It’s all about them.” Apparently the number one mistake that companies make when establishing their brand is to focus on themself. Specifically, they talk about who they are and what they offer.


A truly strong brand, however, is about the consumer.


What? Ok, this makes sense, but it conflicts with what I do.


Category: Internal Brand Published on Feb 02 2015

Contrary to popular belief, authentic brands are not designed by marketing people. Instead they are based on core business beliefs – the core values of the organization. What is it that your business stands for?


Category: External Brand Published on Jan 26 2015

Warning: Soapbox message ahead!


I just finished adding five more people to my customer relationship database. Two out of the five or 40%, used a generic email address (ie,, etc.) And this percentage is fairly consistent with my observations on many small business cards. Why is this?


Category: Strategy Published on Jan 19 2015

I was at a networking event talking to Bob. Bob went first and told me about all of the marketing services that he offered. He was comprehensive in his efforts and so his services included creating a marketing plan, designing campaigns, and more. Frankly, he mentioned so many services my head was spinning and most of it didn’t stick.


When it was my turn I gave my brief elevator speech and responded to his question for more information by explaining that I do strategic planning among other services. Bob’s response was: “Oh, we do the same thing!”


Mom raised me to be polite, so I just moved on at that time. However, I wanted to scream back at Bob: “NO! We don’t do the same thing at all!”


Category: Internal Brand Published on Jan 12 2015

The Vision Statement answers the question: Why do you do what you do?


Why did you start your business? Was it to create a better mouse trap? To eradicate the mouse population? Or to provide a humane way to remove unwanted visitors in our homes?


These are three different answers that each tell me something different about your company and why you are in business.


Category: Strategy Published on Jan 05 2015

As a kid I remember trying to start a fire using a magnifying glass and dry grass. I never was successful. Why? The short answer is that I lacked the focus. I was a kid with a cheap magnifying glass and no patience.


Many entrepreneurs exhibit that same lack of focus. What is it I need to do today? What do I feel like working on? Should I spend time on the marketing? Or client related issues? Or maybe I should check email again!