Thursday, September 09, 2010

What's Your Purpose?

I thought about this phrase when I asked myself the question: "What's the purpose of a company's website?"

You can also apply this question to just about every activity or task in your business and life.

Some people are WordPress fanatics, who know 57 different plug-ins for your WordPress site. Others are self-described Social Media "gurus" who have 87,593 connections/friends/fans, and want you to know they're really a big deal.

The questions that always run through my mind when people take or promote these actions are:

"What's the ultimate purpose of doing these things?"
"Are these the best uses of your time and resources?"
"Will they help me achieve my most important goals quicker than anything else I do today?"

Lately I've been more focused on selecting tasks, activities and events to attend that will help me meet my life goals. Doing this will save you a lot of time, money and regrets down the road. Consider the purpose of what you do today, for a better business and life tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

How to Test Market a Product or Service Wisely

Everyone's probably heard an entrepreneur say - or saw them start a business based on: "I've got a cool new product or service, check it out!"

And you've probably seen many of those same folks licking their business wounds several months or years later, because the potential customers weren't as gung-ho about the product (or service) as they were.

Remember, in business and marketing it's ultimately about what your customer wants - not necessarily if you think it's great. The best way to roll-out a new product or service is to test on a small scale before rolling it out on a big one.

Let's say you have a prospect or list of 2,500 people. Assume a response rate of 0.5 to 1% - in this case, we'll say 25. That's how many "widgets" or service bundles you make available to your list on this test basis.

Send out an e-mail or Social Media post to your list promoting this special offer. If you sell out (and especially if you sell out quickly), you've probably got a winner on your hands. Then ask for testimonials from these satisfied customers. This will tell you why customers bought your product, and help you better market it to future buyers.

If you don't sell this test offer out, ask folks on your list a few quick questions about why they didn't buy - and what would make it more appealing for them to buy this type of product (or service) in the future.

Send out a follow-up e-mail, or create a survey at - and offer free information or a discount to your business in exchange for their time and opinions.

This method of test marketing is easier, less expensive and more profitable for your business. I hope everyone had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend - make it a great week!