Big Learnin’ In Texas


In Austin, Texas, for meetings with my partners. We get together twice a year to discuss what’s working, what isn’t, and why for the couple hundred owner-operated clients we have between us.

We’re all paid on our clients’ growth. If they don’t make more money, we don’t make more money, so I look forward to these meetings every time. Tomorrow, we’ll sit with seven small business owners and consult with them in a roundtable/laboratory setting. It’s an unusual but strikingly effective way to discuss and evaluate strategy.

Any questions for my partners? What’s on your mind? What’s working for you? What isn’t? Why?

(Oh, and it should be noted that I’m going to see Crazy Heart at the Drafthouse tomorrow night … seems to me that you oughta see a movie about a singer-songwriter in Austin, Texas, right?)

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As CEO and Head Custodian of Miles & Company, Tim Miles helps owner-operated companies do more with less. He's the author of Good Company: Making It, Keeping It & Being It.

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Good advice? Please share. Thanks!
  • Rob Long


    Welcome back to Austin — happy we could find the sun for you, if not the heater. Sounds like a fun get-together y’all are having on Wiz campus (I’m a local alum).

    Below, 1 question & 2 ‘what’s workings’ (edit: sorry for length).

    – Question: Are your 7 biz owners tracking initial lead source and last lead source? What I mean is: There’s a term in geeky mkt’ing circles. “Last click revenue” — e.g. many of your google leads began life as dead-tree (or radio, or WOM) leads. Always-on-network means when folks hear your message, they are more apt to 1) google 2) yelp 3) text-a-friend 4) or even social media before making the decision to visit and/or buy. Makes tracking revenue back to initial ad cost (or word of mouth spark) darn hard. I’ve solved some of this with dynamic 800#’s, but I’d sure be curious how you and your partners’ big brains approach this re: ROI calcs.

    – What’s working (1): Likely a couple of your 7 biz owners are generating leads via the web. Might have ‘em test live-chat. With rise of chat on Facebook (and other social/retail sites), web chat acceptance has ‘tipped’ (especially for % of prospects loathe to talk on telly). One client who sells via inbound calls, saw 35% bump by using chat invite (in a 40yr+ demographic). Bonus: reps are able to handle multiple chats vs. a single phone call. Example: & wait 10 seconds or so.

    – What’s working (2): Email segmentation. One client sees 5% clickthru rate on general monthly promo email blasts. Segmenting the email list and offering promos on products based on client click history, sales history or geography sees click rates of 20% or more. Basic, but I see very few business owners segmenting emails (even worse, many don’t email regularly at all).

    Anywho, a few rabbit holes. Enjoy ATX!