This Week In Business

This Week In Business: Great Idea Edition

Some weeks are more inspired than others, and this one certainly was filled with good ideas and productive conversations. Here’s some of what happened:

I had a great idea and decided I deserved to make money off of it.

I’ve been working with a web developer on a project when she showed me her pet website. I think she has a great product which would be perfect for one of my clients if she repackaged it and came up with a price. I told her about it over Gmail chat. She asked me to make the introduction.

The old, more passive Nicole would have just done so, wondering why my taking the time to help people out never paid off.

The new Nicole tried a new approach.

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This Week In Business: Bazillion Conference Calls Edition

I can’t tell you how many conference calls I’ve been in on in the last week. Sometimes it feels like I’m spending a lot more time checking on things than actually doing things. Conference calls are to small business owners, however, what meetings are to employees: necessary evils that are actually, if done right, more productive than participants think initially. Here’s what else happened this week:

I talked with a web design company about subcontracting, and they are going to go for it.
This week, there’s even more evidence that you should do a good job no matter where you work or what you do.

So I work at an inn part time. My internet savy (and much more detail-oriented) friends pointed out to me that the home page of the inn’s website said “Check out our spring packages!” in August. Gulp.

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This Week In Business: Tough Love

Ideally, we all want feedback. We just want it to be good most of the time.

Sometimes though, a business has to be able to listen to honest negative feedback and step back from what they are doing to improve. And that is what I learned, or perhaps more accurately re-learned, this week.

Anything worth doing worth doing well? I hope so... because my video still isn't ready!

I got honest feedback about my video, and I’ll have to reshoot portions of it. This is discouraging but good.

I pushed through and mostly finished the video for my site, or so I thought.

Something about it though didn’t seem quite right. So I emailed it to one of my most critical but kind friends. He called me half an hour later.

After some small talk, I asked, “So how was it?”

Pause. “You aren’t going to like this.” he warned, taking in a deep breath.

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This Week In Business: Streetcorner Market Research

As I continue to work on my business plan and video (and, you know, paying work), here is what happened in Breaking Even Communications this week:

I tried my streetcorner market research.

A couple weeks ago, I vowed to stand on a street corner ask people the market research questions I needed the answers to in order to get my business plan done. Here is a moment by moment account of what happened when I actually did this on Tuesday:

9:00 am- Check my Facebook and see via a friend’s status update that today is a ‘boat day’, meaning there is a cruise ship docked in Bar Harbor. More foot traffic is good for me!

10-11 am- Make my sandwich board with my almost out of ink printer and a spare piece of particle board I have from a previous Too Cute Tuesday project. I put on a cute but professional blue dress and walk into town.

11:45 am- I set up my sandwich board on the Village Green in Bar Harbor. ‘Want to get more out of your website?” is the only text that fits. The words ‘free consultation’ do not. Oh well, I can tell people when I talk to them. I tweet what I’m up to and call my lady Anne at SCORE to let her know I’m doing it!

11:55 am- Board blown down by wind. I whip out my duct tape and to the amazement/amusement of a few nearby tourists, I duct tape the sign to the granite sidewalk. I try to make conversation with them, saying that between my duct tape, water bottle, and sunscreen, I am ready for anything. The woman is not amused but her son is. She clearly thinks this ‘saleswoman’ is too friendly!

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This Week In Business: Slogging Through

I might not have gotten much done but I sure finished a bike ride I didn't know I could do!

There are times in your life where you are forced to say something to the effect of “Dear Diary, Nothing happened to me. I ate a piece of key lime pie and it was good. Goodnight.” (I had a daily diary in second grade, and a lot of it read sort of like that.)

This week in business was rather unproductive. I took a long weekend to go to my ten year high school reunion and do a 50 mile fundraising bike ride. The reunion was more fun than expected and our team raised over $500 for a really good cause. And while I did collapse in utter exhaustion on Sunday night at 8 pm, it is nice to know I can still do it all.

So this week, I’ll be catching up on my ongoing projects, including video editing, my business plan, and the work I actually get paid to do.

I guess I can’t be on top of it every week!

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This Week In Business: Market Research Intensified

This week felt for some reason like it was going in a million different directions. It could be that a lot of projects are taking off and in addition, I am trying to keep working on my two big projects for my business itself (the video and the business plan).

Here’s what happened:

I got two new clients to sign on the dotted line, and three I’m waiting on.
I think every business gets to the point where you are growing (finally!) but need to adjust to the growth (darn it!) I am happy to be finally tackling this issue.

I was counseled by SCORE and realized a fun way to get my marketing research done accurately.
As I’ve been writing my business plan, the market research portion has somewhat eluded me. Sure, I know about how many businesses are in the Downeast Area thanks to directories and can get some demographics from the US Census but what is actually useful to me? Anyone can throw a bunch of numbers into a report and look smart.

Thing is I’m not filling space on a ten page college paper here; I am going to use this document to make decisions, both now and down the road.

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