What’s Your Four-Way Test?

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The Rotary Club has a four-part ethics guideline by which they measure their principles and actions. It is called the Four-Way Test and it was originally written to help a depression era business through some tough times. Herbert J. Taylor was asked to assume the presidency of Club Aluminum Company in Chicago in 1932 with the company owing $400,000 more than its assets. Not a pretty picture. He wrote the Four Way Test and with it in place, they raised their fortunes and not only survived, but … [Read more...]

How To Calculate Your Marketing Budget

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I get asked “how do I determine how much I should spend on marketing and advertising?” as much as any question, I suppose, and I admire it for two reasons: It shows strategic thought about marketing and advertising as a necessary, calculated expense. When budgeting long-term for marketing, you can save yourself a lot of money buy buying in bulk or buying in advance. In this way, media channels are no more or less a commodity than forms, coffee, or paper towels. Typically, we see most … [Read more...]

The Best Way To Avoid Missed Opportunity

Competition

It's the classic case of missed opportunity. My husband and I are relocating to a new community later this year. A couple of weeks ago, I hopped on twitter and subscribed to all the feeds I could find from this new community. So. Many. Great. Ones. Until I opened my twitter feed the next morning. Of the dozens of feeds I followed, the only one that posted was the local news station. And let me just say, the news was not good. And there were pictures. I’m a potential customer of every … [Read more...]

Don’t Overthink Customer Engagement

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The topic being discussed at the meeting was fairly complex yet the closing advice for determining our next steps was this: ‘Don’t Overthink It.’ Customer Engagement is an important topic for businesses and non-profits. Tim recently wrote about it as a strategy for growing your organization. While there are aspects to customer engagement that require thoughtful analysis, I’m going to encourage visiting the other end of the spectrum. Don’t overthink it. Two weeks ago, my husband and I … [Read more...]

We’ve had it!

Undisclosed Southwest Awesomeness

I'm not here today. In fact, I'm not even typing this. I'm calling in well. After two changes to our move from Missouri to Tennessee and delayed flights and canceled business trips, I'm going to the bullpen and calling in Spring. Goodbye, Winter. I'm pulling you early. I'll be sequestered with my beautiful wife in an undisclosed city in the southwestern United States. If anyone not named Miles needs me, tough. Now, where's my purple Speedo... … [Read more...]

I Heart My Job?

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She was having a bad night. The weather was deteriorating. The normally-bustling Friday night crowd was sparse. She wasn’t making money. My wife and I had tickets for a show, so we braved the sleet and ventured out on the town. The frosty forecast had already caused many restaurants to close early. But this particular eatery was still open. And the waitress in the next section was NOT happy. She complained to her co-workers about the weather, her customers, her meager tips, and the … [Read more...]

11 Lessons We Learned This Year

Home Slice Pizza Menu

Weather’s preventing Ryan, Dee, and me from being where we’re supposed to be today: Austin, Texas. Twice each year, we gather with our special-brand-of-crazy business partners to discuss what’s working, what isn’t, and why. Because we’re all paid on our clients’ growth as opposed to how much our clients spend with us, it’s important for us all to keep an eye and ear toward the future when it comes to what’s working. I’d made a list of things I was going to share with them. Even though our … [Read more...]