Spinning Plates

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For the past couple of years, it’s been my privilege to serve as the Chief Plate Spinner here at Miles & Company. With a varied menu of services, clients and harebrained schemes, there are many details to be managed for a remote-working, creative company like ours.  While that's totally a made up title, it pretty much reflects the day to day operations.   Today I’m sharing my Plate-spinner's Checklist of Awesome with you multi-taskers out there. Here’s how I do what I do each day: Use … [Read more...]

4 Secrets and 10 Tools for Working Remotely

Mobile Office.

Our team at Miles & Company is growing, and we are committed to growing while working remotely. We all live in different communities and, no matter how fun it sounds, we have no plans to move so we can all work in the same physical office space. (Which, by the way, would be a very cool open working space above a little rustic coffee shop called Grandpa Frank’s Basement.) Since we are not in the same office, and remote working is our jam, we did some research to make sure we are doing … [Read more...]

A Shockingly Accurate Way To Calculate Your Market Share

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  I'm guessing you don't know how much your competitors are doing each year? I bet you're wiser than you think. Want to calculate both your market potential (the total amount being spent in your category in your market) and your share of that potential? I know it’s shockingly accurate because I’ve been having clients do it this way for close to ten years, and I’ve been comparing their results to a proprietary method we use to calculate market potential. They’re always within … [Read more...]

Why Don’t We Share More Of Our Own Work With You?

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  We get asked that question a lot. So, in an unusual move for us, I’m going to share the front of three direct mail piece drafts we did for clients last week. I've blurred just a couple things out I'm unwilling to share. You Get That You Can't Copy Them, Right? So, why did I blur out a couple things? Why don’t we show you the backs of these and explain our strategies? Why won’t you find a “Case Studies” section on our website? Why don’t we share more of our own work more often? For a couple … [Read more...]

Location Matters

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  I snapped this photo two blocks from my son's hospital. Business 101: If you're going to open a cat clinic, don't put it next to a Chinese restaurant. If you're going to open a Chinese restaurant, don't put it next to a cat clinic. If you're in need of a cat doctor or Kung Pao chicken, would you think twice about visiting either of these businesses? The right location is one of your most powerful marketing tools. Choose wisely.   … [Read more...]

Could You Be A Top 5?

3rd Hole Looking Back, Championship Links, Royal County Down, Northern Ireland

My friend Steve Rae regularly writes in this space on this day. He's busy traveling Ireland with his friends playing some of the world's most beautiful golf courses. Yes, yes, I hate him, too. Yesterday, he played Royal County Down. What's that mean, exactly? Well, I'll let my favorite golf writer and contributing editor to Golf Digest, David Owen, tell you: If you could take just one golf trip, anywhere in the world—the golfer's version of the Three Wishes Problem—where would you go? You might … [Read more...]

Godin: What’s Your Job?

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I try not to quote or link to Seth Godin very often (not because he's not amazing, but because it's too easy), but: 1. I'm seeing him speak in person for the first time today, and 2. His short post yesterday is such a great exercise. In "What's Your Job," Seth wants to know your answer to the titular (not what you think it means, Ryan) question, but he opens the post with this crucial clarification: Not your job title, but your job. What do you do when you're doing your work? What's … [Read more...]

How To Motivate Support Staff with Incentives

photo credit: CarbonNYC via photopin cc

Struggling to keep your support staff motivated? They may feel as if they do a lot of the work at your business, but don’t get any extra compensation for it. Here’s what you do. At the beginning of the year, hand out 4 cheques* to each staff member who doesn’t work on commission. Unsigned. $250 for 5% over sales target $500 for 10% over sales target $750 for 15% over sales target $1000 for 20% over sales target You sign them when the team hits each target. Here’s what … [Read more...]

Growth, Business Models & Saying “No”

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We’re preparing to add three new divisions to our company. They were born on a napkin at Panera during an amazing company retreat last November. Growth’s exciting, but it can - ironically - also be devastating. If you climb too fast, you touch the sun, and you burn. Then you fall. Ask Icarus. We measure success quarterly using the Net Promoter Score system, and our last three quarters have yielded perfect 100s. We don’t want to jeopardize the client delight that helped us grow to where we … [Read more...]

21 Good, Fast, and Cheap Ways To Improve Your Company This Year

If you think you can or you think you can't, you're right. -Henry Ford quote

Whooosh. Suddenly, we're already in Q2 and last Christmas seems a lifetime ago. Before you know it, your company will scatter for summer stuff. Second quarter's when stuff gets done, yo. Like all bucket lists, the only thing that stands between you and checking stuff off them is execution. I hope you find them helpful! 1. Ask every employee for one suggestion on how you can make it easier for your customers and prospects to do business with you. 2. Reward those employees whose … [Read more...]