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Case studies from design industry professionals, from the smallest of firms to large, global organizations. Click on image - order your copy today!

Prepare for First Client Meetings: 5 Important Pre-Meeting Sales Tactics

Relationships with every serious prospect starts out with them being complete strangers to us.  Or, perhaps they know us but not what we have to offer customers.  Once a prospect becomes aware of our company, products and services, they have move a step closer to becoming a real, paying customer. That is when it is time to prepare for first customer meetings. Take time to plan before taking an arbitrary shot at convincing a customer your products and services will best solve their problem.  Prepare for first client meetings ahead of time to achieve the best results.  It pays off big time to develop a Sales System Strategy focused on taking someone from that total stranger status to a wildly enthusiastic cheerleader with experience as [...]

By | May 16th, 2017|Customer Relationships, Sales|0 Comments

8 Important Management Factors That Affect Small Businesses

'Designing Strategies' newsletter March - April, 2017            Volume 14  -  Issue 76   There are eight important management factors identified by Neil C. Churchill and Virginia L. Lewis in the Harvard Business Review.  They apply equally to any small business start up.  Four of the factors apply to the business owner.  The other four apply to the small business itself.  Their research noted factors that affect both the small business owner and the business entity itself.  Those factors are as follows: Important Management Factors for the Business Owner Personal and Business Goals Without specific, clear cut goals, a small business owner is aligned with failure.  With nothing specific to aim for, strategies and tactics can be pointed in too many [...]

Your Company Needs a Blog. Blogging is a Great Marketing Tool

Of course, your company needs a blog.  In our opinion, the answer would be a definite Yes!  Any company needs a blog for a number of reasons.  There are so many benefits to having a company blog.  "What benefits?" you might ask. Glad you asked - here are just a few. Blogs let companies of all types and sizes  connect with potential clients and build relationships. That is what is known as lead generation.  Blogs provide a platform that allows small businesses to 'show their stuff'.  Customers look online for a company to solve their problems.  They can find valuable information about your firm's capabilities and knowledge base through blog content.  You can build and support your company brand too. That said, we'd like to [...]

By | April 17th, 2017|Marketing, Strategy|0 Comments

Content Marketing:  What It Is and What It Can Do For Your Small Business in 2017

The hot buzz word in online marketing for the past several years has been Content Marketing.  OK, technically it is two words.  Content marketing has grown right alongside social media.  “Fine,” you say.  “What the heck is Content Marketing and how does it affect me or my small business?" Fair enough.  Let’s start off with a definition of Content Marketing to clarify what it is and then move on to what it can do for you.  According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), this article defines content marketing and what it is all about: “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer [...]

By | February 6th, 2017|Market Planning, Marketing|2 Comments

Grow Your Small Business By Adding and Empowering Employees

'Designing Strategies' eNewsletter Volume 14                     Issue 75   If a typical day at your small business involves staff waiting for you to come into the office so they can get your approval of progress on a project, it's not a good thing. If employees are standing in line to get access to you to answer questions, that's not good either. Odds are your firm is in Stagnant Stalemate mode. Your firm is not growing. It is not expanding. Staff can't accomplish anything because you have a death grip on control over every little minute detail of operations. Give it up! You have become the bottleneck blocking our firm’s progress. It's time to give up some [...]

By | January 28th, 2017|Employees, Growth, Newsletter, Strategy|0 Comments

How to Get Greater Impact From LinkedIn for Your Small Business

Small businesses that operate in the B2B (business to business) arena should rely on LinkedIn more than other social media platforms.  Yes, there are other platforms on which you can promote your company, but none are as good as LinkedIn for businesses.   LinkedIn is by far the most business focused social media platform on the Internet today.  With its vast reach and professional focus, every small business should try to get greater impact from LinkedIn, don't you think? A DMR report on LinkedIn from October, 2016, indicated that LinkedIn has 467 million users worldwide.  That's over 100 million more people than the population of the United States.  LinkedIn users span more than 200 countries around the world.  For more information, you can order the entire [...]

By | December 27th, 2016|Marketing, Social Media|0 Comments

Trend Hunter’s Megatrends for 2017

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter November – December 2016                      Volume 13 – Issue 74   2016 is coming to its end and 2017 is emerging on the horizon just behind. Out with the old, in with whatever will be new. Baby New Year is trying on his sash for final alterations as Father Time shuffles to his finish line. I started off the day with an exclamation of “Egads, it’s almost December!” Thanksgiving is already behind us and a plethora of year end events and holidays are ahead. On the business side, we rush to get year-end expense reports turned in, collect – or delay – outstanding accounts receivables, put on holiday and year-end sales and get our financial books in order. In what [...]

By | November 28th, 2016|Newsletter, Strategy, Trends|0 Comments

Build Customer Loyalty to Grow Your Small Business

Acquiring new customers helps any small business grow.  Customers are known to come and go.  All customers that leave are not necessarily dissatisfied or disgruntled.  Customers may move out of your area for any number of reasons, or no longer need your products or services.  Worst case scenario would be that for some reason, you failed to build customer loyalty. To grow a small business,  former customers have to be replaced. Remember that current customers are the lifeblood of your business and keeping them satisfied should be your highest priority.  Their experience with your firm, your products or services and your staff needs to be exceptional.  For all of these reasons, it is imperative that you build customer loyalty. Statistics show that, on average, U.S. companies lose [...]

By | October 30th, 2016|Customer Experience, Customer Relationships|2 Comments

Calls-to-Action: Essential for Small Business Websites

Did anyone else see these unsettling statistics about small business websites on the SCORE website ?  They created a clear and concise infographic on small business websites you might find interesting.  The statistics revealed here (12/2014) are probably even higher today in terms of the impact of online sales from mobile device access. Only 51% of small businesses have websites.  If that isn’t bad enough, the following statistics cover other weaknesses of the sites that do exist: 70% have no call to action. 27% don't provide a telephone number. 68% don't have an email address on the home page. 82% don't have social media accounts. 50% of online sales are lost when visitors can't find content. It’s hard to believe that any small business is not yet aware [...]

By | October 27th, 2016|Customer Experience, Marketing|0 Comments

Create a Small Business Bucket List to Get What You Want

'Designing Strategies' Newsletter September - October 2016                      Volume 13 -- Issue 73 Have any of you written a personal bucket list? A bucket list is pretty simple, it is just a list of things you want to do and places you want to see during your lifetime. It’s a matter of putting down in written form those hopes and dreams you don’t want to miss out on. Writing them down improves the likelihood they will actually become a part of your reality. Wait! How about creating a Small Business Bucket List for your firm? Interesting concept, no? Back in 2007, 'The Bucket List' movie came out. Jack Nicholson's character, Edward Cole, was filthy rich, a [...]