Because Small Business is Big Business

Posts by David Catalan

Data Needed?

Data NeededWhere does a small business owner go to find the important statistics, information, and other data needed to make sound business decisions? Generally, free information and paid data are available. The good news is that volumes of reliable information exist just for the asking or for clicking on the Internet. Most organizations in the business of data collection, analysis, and publication in easy-to-read formats are eager to share with interested parties.

Resources where the information resides include:

  • National consumer reports
  • U.S. Census Bureau
  • Product catalogs
  • Trade shows
  • Magazines
  • Web sites
  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Library reference materials
  • Business journals
  • Testimonials
  • Direct user feedback and opinions

In today’s age of instant information, there is little shortage of facts, statistics, and revealing data, which can be put to use in the ultimate goal of market research: Know Your Customer. Want to learning more on market research?  Check out the “Small Business Guide to Marketing Basics

 

Brilliant Creative Design

National Geographic Magazine has been published for 121 years and hasn’t changed its cover design or format for as long as I can remember.  The magazine can be picked out at a distance at any bookstore, newsstand, or other venue where magazines are sold.  One of my friends has collected the magazine for the preceding 30 years—they are stacked uniformly in neat rows by date in his basement.  Brilliant creative design has sustained the publication through decades of the American and global experience. READ MORE »

 

Mortal Creativity

In our daily experiences, as we travel the path of personal and professional living, we are constantly called to action by visual and written advertising. Some we automatically file away in some part of the brain created for that purpose, some we take in through a more conscious part of the brain that processes the information, while some force us to stop and marvel at the creativity, which is being revealed before our senses. Advertising is creativity in action.

What is creativity? Is it a mysterious quality, like genius, that is present at the birth of each individual? Is it reserved only for the artist, such as a Rembrandt or a Mozart, and cannot flow into the essence of us, who are not blessed with an artistic flair? Why does the use of the adjective creative lift the thing being observed into a higher realm of existence? Why does the creativity label appear to be out of the reach of most mortals—an attitude that relegates us to a level of just being satisfied with what we assume to be our skills and talents?

Let me assure you that if you are informed, you are creative. Creativity, I believe, is a blossoming of information. The more you know about people and their environment, the greater becomes the understanding of their nature, or “what makes them tick.” With such essential acquired information, the better you can appreciate their attributes, and the more expressive you can be in recounting their strengths. On the flip side, the better you know their weaknesses and what to avoid.   Get your creative juices flowing by checking out the book Small Business Guide to Marketing Basics

 

Ad Man

Ad men live in a world of puns, quips, rhymes, jingles, and anecdotes— with a touch of poetry—a world of words and phrases, which grab the mind and stick. If you publish a magazine, it is copywriting writ large. It’s all stories. Stories that will not only entice your subscribers to renew their subscriptions but also will attract new advertisers—the lifeblood of radio, magazines, newspapers, and television. Copywriting writ small must accomplish the same end for your product or service. Whether it is William Shakespeare’s Hamlet or Ernest Hemmingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, both authors rode the power of the written word to success, albeit a different style, a different time, a different audience. Remember, the only reason a business exists is to make a profit. If you decide to write your own copy, I suggest that you take a walk, visit a business, and write in your mind copy for that business. 

Advertising made simple, check out the book Small Business Guide to Marketing Basics

 

Be Strategic

The Strategic Planning Cycle. The strategic plan provides a roadmap for the company to follow. The planning cycle is straight forward. Once a strategic plan is developed, it provides the guidebook for day-to-day operations of the company. In other words, execution of the plan is a continual (daily) process, which is monitored on a periodic basis (perhaps monthly or quarterly). Every so often, perhaps annually or biannually, the strategic plan itself is revised. This cycle is shown in the figure below.

Flow

Strategic Planning Cycle Note: Bradford and Duncan’s Simplified Strategic Planning.

Are you ready to strategize?  Check out the book “Small Business Guide to Marketing Basics