One of the biggest challenges small businesses face is getting attention, in part because small businesses have no brand to leverage. Here are five ways to stand out from the crowd, get the attention you deserve, and build a follower base you're proud of.
In August, the Federal Reserve imposed a cap on the fees banks can charge retailers every time customers swipe their debit cards. Why is that important? In addition to banks, consumers may be the biggest losers.
It really comes down to the classic 80/20 rule: 20 percent of your clients will cause you 80 percent of the grief in your business. Smart small business owners know how to identify trouble clients right away, head off problems early on and, when necessary, cut their losses.
The euphoria of having a working partner to share the responsibilities, coupled with the cash to grow the business, evaporated in less than six months. By that time we were in court, the company had lost all its business and I was left with a nothing.
Week three of the class and our teams in our Stanford Lean LaunchPad class were hard at work using Customer Development to get out of the classroom and test the first key hypotheses of their business model: The Value Proposition.
The most interesting part of the class would happen outside the classroom when the teams spent 50-80 hours testing their business model hypotheses by talking to customers and partners and (in the case of web-based businesses) building their product.
I believe that marketing is what you do when your product or service sucks or when you make so much profit on every marginal customer that it would be crazy to not spend a bit of that profit acquiring more of them (coke, zynga, bud, viagra).
Think about it. Where did Google, eBay, and Facebook come from? They inched their way into public view before the first multi-million dollar funding rounds, and they have never had a big public launch.
Don't ask your customers for their "willingness to pay." Instead, do your homework and ask them about their value drivers. Then tell them what they should pay and why, and you'll be on a happy road to higher profitability.