Tag Archives: monday ideas post

FMCG, RFID & Live Sales Reporting

August 29th, 2010

Sales through retail chains can often be a pain, especially when it comes to reporting, a lot of businesses rely on restock numbers to calculate sales.  Which are of course quite delayed (in terms of reporting) and not often accurate.

So what can you do to get live sales reporting?

Using RFID technology and a detector at the store front (which can be a small unit) you could tell when your stock left the store, hook that up to a 3G device and you can get live sales reporting.

Which would make things much more interesting.  Simple technology, someone please do it, or if it exists implement.

Squeeze your market

December 6th, 2009

You can be really really specific with your market.  In fact squeeze it.  Make it small enough that you can deliver insane value to this subset.

The intriguing thing? Once you get this market – because you’ve been so specific, delivered insane value, your customers help you grow the market.

By squeezing and focusing you can actually grow your original market.

Benchmarking Small Business Call Etiquette

November 29th, 2009

Unfortunately I fell ill last week and had to cancel some appointments.  Most were understanding (hey I don’t want to get you guys sick) some not so much.  One disgruntled person said could have given us more notice.  Hang on? It’s not like people plan on being sick….

It was then I wondered wouldn’t it be neat if there was a service that benchmarked small businesses call etiquette – the service rings up businesses and follows certain procedures to rank and score a business.  This is then shared online for all to see.  Then we can find out which are good to deal with and businesses can get a realistic view of their call staff.

Big businesses already do this (to a degree) but not in such an open format.

Imagine comparing a new hairdresser based on call manner.  As Drucker says “what gets measured gets managed”… I think we’d rapidly see an improvement.

Sharing the story is crucial in the 21st century

October 11th, 2009

Talking with other entrepreneurs looking at starting businesses (anything from a cafe to a saas provider) and how they tell their story there is one thing I have noticed…

That I cannot fathom the idea of a new business that isn’t story telling and engaging.

That is sharing their story and engaging the community to help grow their business.

What is your story? What can you share? How can you build a community?

Even a cafe with a blog or a Petrol Station with live tweets? A doctors blog sharing advice or heads up on common ailments.

No this wouldn’t be relevant to everyone but it would be relevant to those that matter – your community.

If you are looking at starting a business (or launching a new product), look at how you can strategically build a community, engage and build real relationships… even 6 months before you want to start it…

Run your own [un]conference

October 4th, 2009

The past weekend I attending my third unconference.

It was a real blast, instead of the normal conference where you are there to listen, at an unconference you are there to engage.

And it’s through the engagement that REAL learning can evolve, it’s that experience, discussion back and forth.  In contrast at a normal conference you go to listen then apply.

So what is an unconference? Simple there is no agenda, you turn up and the attendees just add their own topics.

A session is more a discussion than a speech, the topic is set, a discussion point is created and you go from there.

Hang on does it actually work? Yes.  Amazingly it does.  Topics are self selected, so by definition only something someone really wants to talk about and you get to pick which sessions you attend (versus sit through a boring session awaiting the next good one).

What I suggest is that you set up your own unconference, for your industry, company or network.  Invite internal/external people from right across the board and let them go.  The less agenda the better 😉

Build processes to avoid paralysis

September 27th, 2009

Paralysis kills business, procrastination is cited as one of the biggest regrets by owners of failed small business.

When you have a small team, procrastinating for a few hours can be a huge cost, as each person carries a larger impact on the bottom line.

What I suggest is develop some systems or processes to highlight when it is happening, then how to deal with it, much better to identify and deal with it now rather than tomorrow.

It doesn’t take long and is well worth your time investment….

Providing a filter

September 20th, 2009

I did a radio interview this morning and one of the questions was how does an idea become a chapter in the book.

Well it has actually gone through a few filters, as you may know from my Great but not great enough post that is the first big filter.

For every blog post that makes it about 3 don’t.  So for the 300 or odd so posts that are live, about 900 haven’t.

Then for those that made it live, the filter was based on popularity, my personal favourites and relevance.

By the time it has made it to the book, it has gone through three filters, at each step ideas have been refined, questioned, and put back together.

All I am doing is providing a series of filters, where at each step the most remarkable stuff makes it through and the rest drops off.

This is all that YouTube does, or that email newsletter, or the people you follow on twitter.  They provide a filtered view of the mass content.  By following and engaging you get access to the end result.

So what do you filter for your customers? Can you deliver filtered (and relevant) content do your audience as a way of engaging? For if you can, you’re customers will love you for it.

An idea alone isn't a business

September 13th, 2009

I just want to clarify (since I share ideas each and every day) an idea alone isn’t a business.

A business is a collection of ideas, executed in a fashion that generates profit.

An amazing idea helps a business spread, it forms the messages, builds the word of mouth but it is the collection of ideas and systems executed that make the business.  In essence an amazing idea provides a wave for the business to ride but that wave is short lived unless you have something behind it…

You need to take your amazing idea and mix it up with some others (usually standardised ideas) to turn it into a business.  Then you have something of amazing value.

Give your customers a gift

September 6th, 2009

wine-airplaneA gift to take home.

A token to show their friends.

A reminder of how much they enjoyed your product.

I enjoyed this wine on a recent flight, St Hallett – Poachers Blend.  It was really good, so I read the label.

On the back you can see is a little tab that you can pull of the label.  It has the name of the wine and more information on the back.

Very neat – now I know which wine to get!  I didn’t check but they could take it one step further and on the back have a coupon (so only those that have taken it off find it) – 10% off if you buy in Duty Free once you jump off the plane.  Just a thought but I think they are already doing enough.

So why not give your customers a gift?

bwagy Networking Theory

August 9th, 2009

I saw a tweet from a fellow business owner a few months back, they had stopped having coffees and networking as they weren’t building any immediate business out of it……. hmmm

Bit stupid to stop networking if you ask me.  Why? Well…

My theory basically is, no matter what you do, every person you meet at some stage in the next 5 years will either have a need for your service or will hold a conversation with someone who needs your service.  So no meeting is wasted! (as long as you impress them enough).

Yes this is a long term view – but successful business is built over the long term.  So don’t fret that every meeting has to turn over dollars; build relationships, think for the long term and it will pay off.

Don’t stop networking because money doesn’t come in straight away, keep at it, it pays off.

Just Ask (for what you want)

August 2nd, 2009

You never know you may just get it.

I am the eldest of five kids, so in our household it was very much first in first served, if you wanted something you had to ask for it.

The analogy draws true for business, you are one of many, first in first served, if you don’t ask someone else will.

You’d be surprised at what happens just by asking, hey can I buy you a coffee? I have some neat ideas I’d like to run past you? or blatant I’d like your business what can I do to get it? Worst case you get a ‘no’.  Best case you get what you want.

So remember sometimes all you have to do is ask.

Get it started!

July 26th, 2009

Like fridays post – it has been said before…. but if you have an idea sitting in the back of your mind, irritating you – get it started!

What are the next steps? Write them down and TAKE THEM

Why am I bringing this up today? Well this week marks another huge week for me:

  • Shipping my pre-orders of the The Best Ideas are Free.
  • Wrapping up videos for the book (huge undertaking).
  • Speaking on marketing (Topic: Why marketing just got small….real small) this friday (should have a video to share from it).
  • Getting someone onboard part time to assist with some of my marketing activities.

If I hadn’t chased ideas and put them into action none of this would be happening, now, today.

Have fun! Import products (and learn something new)

July 19th, 2009

A simple business hack if you are a bit bored this week.

1) Jump on Alibaba.com.  Find five products you are interested in importing.  Contact each of the suppliers and order a some samples of each.

2) Setup a cheap local adwords campaign for the products you have sourced.  Point them towards a quick page of info about the product (collect emails of interest).

3) Finally once the products arrive, test one of the samples, sell the other on Ebay (or your local equivalent). You should be able to easily sell it for more than the total cost of both units, often making a tidy profit.

(Note: You can stop here, the next step is if you want to build a small business out of it.)

4) Review your adwords / traffic of your test websites.  Which has gained the most interest? Use that data to sell to a local retailer or setup a niche online store selling them.

5) Begin systemising, once you have sold a few start building some systems to automate sales and distribution.  Often you can get dropshippping (manufacturer ships direct to consumer).

Give it a go, have a bit of fun, I have done this every now and again made some good dollars but at the very least you’ll learn something.

(Passionate about local products? Do the reverse help a local manufacturer get their details on Alibaba and help them sell to the world.)

Just see what happens

July 12th, 2009

Do not stress, the downside is not nearly as bad you think, just give it a go and see what happens.

Online Information Centres

July 5th, 2009

Having grown up in Queenstown, New Zealand I was exposed quite a bit to the tourism industry and how it works.

The cornerstone of it locally is the information centres.  There are a handful of them all vying for your attention.  As if they can get you in the door they can take 10% commission of all your bookings.

They are tremendous due to the competition they have realised the only way to compete is superior customer service, ensuring people will maximise their spending with you.

I’d like to see online information centres, you can browse in, talk (or chat) to a live help, then they redirect you to a service that will solve your problem.  If you end up doing business they take a commission.

This wouldn’t work mass market but certainly within certain high value niches.

Just a thought, there are millions struggling with one problem or another out there.

(Google is kind of doing this with search + adwords but there is room for the personal approach).

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