8 Reasons To Quit Your Job And Start A Business

The thought has been there…

That day when your boss had a bad date the evening before and your supervisor yet again proved that they have no clue what they are doing. That nagging thought that you could do something for yourself. Something that’s what you want. How you want it.

Drop that incredible anxiety about how your 12.40/hr job is so convenient and safe. It’s probably also getting you nowhere all while driving you insane 40 hours a week. There’s better out there, you know it, you feel it. It’s time.

Get Off Your Ass and Do It

Planning is important. In fact, it is imperative. But the best laid plan is worth zip, zilch, nada without action. At some point, you have to sit down and talk to yourself and your family and tell them what you want to do. If your family says go for it. Then don’t wait. Just get off your ass and do it. They are probably going to be supportive when you tell them, because they have no idea how good your plans and thoughts really are. Try them, and watch them be amazed. Reality is that you are your own worst enemy until you do get off your ass.

  1. You’ll be dancing to your own tune

I hate it, most of the people I know hate it (and I suspect those that don’t claim to hate it are being nice about it.) You probably hate it too. The office politics of “that’s how we do it.” Even when you know it could be done better, cheaper and faster, no one is interested in hearing it. Well guess what, that insight and knowledge is yours to make what you can out of. You have the idea right there. It’s been slapping you in the face and you just haven’t been listening. Take it and make it yours, and you can forget about the backstabbing moron in the next cubicle.

  1. You’ll learn your own power

When you are pushing papers for others, there are always others to blame and others that will blame you. You also know that when you have a great idea, its harder to get anyone to listen to it than it is to actually get it done. Now is your chance to take those ideas to market and find out what you can do with them. And once you get through the first decision to actually DO what you have been talking about, will be the kickoff to understanding what you really can accomplish.

  1. You can stop being two people

Most people have a business person and a weekend person. The weekend person is who you really are, the business is the person that adapts to your companies preconceived notions about what you should be. Business-you is probably not as nice, not as much fun and definitely not as interesting. When you are your own boss, you can be who you are with your company, in fact, that will be one of your greatest strengths to distinguish yourself from the cookie-cutters out there.

  1. You’ll learn to stop talking and doing it instead

Once you take the step, you’ll see that it wasn’t so hard. And you’ll get better at getting things done instead of just talking about it in general. This will transition into your normal life as well. Don’t think that spending 5/7 of your life conforming to others and waiting for the boss hasn’t slowed you down on the weekend too. You’ll see that you will get much quicker to just get things done and enjoy the results as opposed to dreaming about doing it.

  1. Retirement? Why?

It is sad for me to hear people talking about how they are going to live their life after retirement. This is a surefire proof that they are spending most of their life doing what they don’t want to.

Starting your own business, will give you the opportunity to do what you love doing. How many authors, painters, musicians, or other passionate people do you think sit around and wait for the day when they can put the brush down and never paint again? You will determine when you retire, early or late. It’s not about waiting for HR to send you a crappy present and a termination notice anymore.

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff

You’ll finally learn what that means. In corporate structures, you are often forced to deal with small stuff all day. Your little part of the machine. (Which is no doubt important,) but it isn’t a real problem. You will finally get to deal with real problems, and learn through that what the small stuff really is. Once you learn what real problems are, you’ll also learn that they are pretty rare. You’ll be happier for it in the long run.

  1. You will finally find your purpose

When you take the step and become your own boss, you will quickly see what success and happiness really is. As a pack animal, you were measuring yourself by wether you got the 4 or 5 % annual raise. Now you will begin to measure yourself by what is really important. How your dreams and ideas translate into reality. And you will be put in charge of your own self-worth and happiness.

  1. YCDBSOYA

My father had a little tie clip that said this on it. Y ou C an’t D o B usiness Sitting On Your A ss. Well literally you can, internet made sure of that. But the thought remains the same. You have to get moving or nothing will ever happen.

Isn’t it time that you took that idea you’ve been milling for so long, and make it into what it was meant to be all along? YOU!

Online Promotions Will Not Kill Advertising

In “The Extinction of Dinosaur Marketers,” I discussed the problems of bringing the old school of hardcore sales and pushy advertising into the new online marketplace. We are starting to see a new trend blooming that is showing exactly this problem.

This morning I read an article by Neal Levitt, who is discussing the shift from online advertising to online promotions; Coupons, Contests, Giveaways etc. and we can see clearly that fear and lack of understanding is the driving force behind this change.

In the article, Rob Enderle states the problem very clearly. “Promotions are typically tied to actual sales; advertising is vastly harder to measure. You may never know for sure whether an advertising program is truly successful, but a promotion’s success or failure tends to be rather obvious,”

Microwave Marketing

So we are back to what I was discussing in the Extinction Series. It’s not about the actual results, it’s about being able to squeeze the results in to an easy to understand and immediately available metric. Instant gratification rules the show still. It’s the microwave society thinking I’ve been warning about.

Problem is, you aren’t dealing with the same ballgame anymore, now that customers are forcing us to accept that they are individuals with which you need to create a functioning and lasting relationship. You can’t measure the single sale result as a measure of success. The easy to understand metric may be a comfortable and familiar feeling. But to rely on single sale as measure of success is suicide in the age of customer interaction.

Thought Exercise

Which would you mention as the top three websites right now?

Yahoo – Google – Youtube – Myspace – Facebook.. You should have had at least one or two of those In your top threes. Now, what do all of these have in common?

They are user driven – and – none of them are focused on you. Yahoo and Google, provides searches, where your customers can find you at their leisure. Youtube, Myspace, and Facebook are communities where your customers can talk about you when they want to. Although you can buy advertising on Google and Yahoo, your ad will only get seen or clicked on when that is what the customer did a search for.

Any and all attempts to circumvent this, and create an artificial ingress point into your customers interactions with eachother will be considered spam.

Experiment

Create a page with a great sales promotion. Something extremely good, and submit it to Digg or any other voter driven system. Then watch how fast you get slammed with negative feedback and your submission gets buried.

If you think this is irrelevant. Maybe you are thinking that this is a problem with the nature of Digg more than a problem with the approach. Think again. Guess who just got annoyed with you? It was a cross section of your customers. And they just let you know what they think about direct advertising and promotional pushes invading their space.

All these networks are nothing without the users. These users are showing you exactly what they think of the way you are trying to talk to them, and these users are your customers when they leave that particular site. So to think that this is not a great way to check your customers’ reaction to your particular approach is short-sighted at best.

Advertising or Promoting?

It’s funny how the old school thinkers are turning these against each other, when in the new marketplace, they are completely interdependent. They are doing this because the harder to measure metric of online advertising is branding. And branding just doesn’t translate well into an excel sheet.

You can, and SHOULD offer your customers great value, which can be done with measurable systems like giveaways, coupons etc. And you can use contextual online advertising to drive them to the place where they can see it. But you can’t do either without the other. Advertising without having a conversion in mind is fairly brainless. But to do a sales promotion without driving targeted traffic to it is even worse. Now, the reason advertising works for this is because advertising online (when done right) is contextual.

Lets go Viral – Nope… too late

What the thinking behind online promotions is, is that it hopes to drive a viral market. The promotion is intended to create a buzz on its own and make people talk about it. This is actually not a bad idea at all.. Have you started yet? Oops. You missed it!

Once this becomes the standard way of squeezing the square peg into the round hole, people will stop doing it. Once these promotions become the mainstay of every online venture, no one will want to hear a word about a promotion anymore.

Just by writing this post I’ve educated a couple of bloggers that may stop writing about promotions as a result. So you are either ready to go now, or you are probably too late.

The intermediary step is to try and fake it, With undisclosed pay per post articles for instance. But that time has passed too, the social networks have educated each other and undisclosed promotions are getting a lot of negative feedback now. If you at any point make the mistake of thinking that the customer can’t recognize a sales pitch a mile away, you missed out on the real opportunity. To build a relationship based on their expectations, not your need to make a quick buck.

Natural Recommendation Is the Only Lasting Approach

Your customers will talk about you, when you simply meet their needs and requirements, and do it with their end satisfaction in mind. Satisfaction will drive discussion and recommendations naturally. Honest opinions and reviews from trusted sources will never be out of date.

The forced discussion started dying as soon as it became a marketing idea.

Whatever your thinking is for using promotional activities, interactive systems or contextual advertising online, you have to always step back and consider the value to the customer of not only the promotion, but the way you are advertising the promotion.

When you meet their needs, they will meet yours. If you do it well enough, they will come back to do it over and over again.

How To Leverage Social Media Networks

We know that social networks like Digg, Reddit, and Stumble are great for gross traffic, but often send quick stop visitors who don’t convert well to ad-clicks and sales.

But how are Social Network users at converting to other social networks? Will a Digger Stumble your post and vice versa? Many do use more than one network, so this would appear to be common at first glance. Guess again.

In fact, this is almost as uncommon as ad clicks. Apparently even though many use both Stumble and Digg, there is a definite lack of transition. It appears that the users are “stuck” on the network they arrive on. Even those that like and digg an article when they arrive from Digg, are unlikely to stumble it.

This is of course a shame for the site. But, more importantly it’s a missed opportunity for the Visitor.

Quick Profile Building

The smart Social Media Networker will use one network to build their profile on the others. Building a profile relies on participating in the network, which means submitting and voting for good articles. Finding good articles can be very time consuming, unless you use one to find for the other.

Once your profile becomes better, you will start attracting other people that are actually interested in your submissions. You will get quality followers organically and can stop adding friends in bulk on your lunch breaks.

Use The Resource You Already Have

A page or post that is currently doing well on one network can be a great submission resource for any visitor. If you can find an article that is seeing good feedback on stumble, and it hasn’t been dug yet. Chances are that your submission will translate well into Digg, which will get. Same goes for all the other networks.

Strong profiles gives you more power to influence traffic in the future. Spend 10-20 minutes a day on your social network and leverage one profile against the other. You’ll see both grow to powerful traffic drivers in very short time.

Powdered Baby Anyone? – Lost In Translation

Marketing professionals sometimes get it wrong. And sometimes get it VERY wrong. Here are some examples of what can happen when local talent isn’t used to verify the international meaning of words and images.

Gerber- Your Choice for Ground Baby

The Healthy looking Caucasian Baby on the Gerber Baby Formula packages didn’t do well in Africa. It had however nothing to do with being politically correct.

In Africa – since a large part of the population can’t read – it is standard practice to put a picture of the main Ingredient on the package.

Meet the Wankers

Mitsubishi – had a very successful vehicle in their Pajero, Which sold great all over the world. However, it is sold under the name Montero in South America, after having a big flop in their initial launch.

Guess no one told them that Pajero is slang for Wanker in for instance Argentina.

Wallhamn – a Swedish port and shipping company designed a logo that used their Capital W and an achor.. W-anchor. English speaking workers quickly made the connection. They are now using another logo.

That car Won’t go

Chevrolet had to rename their Nova in South America. Where it was sold as Chevrolet Chevy and later Malibu.

Guess the local market didn’t want to buy the “No va” – Which translates into the “no way” or “won’t go” car.

Are you Using a New Shampoo?

Clairol, had their curling iron named the “Mist Stick” backfire in Germany. Where “Mist” is the slang for manure. For some reason, the image of fertilizing your hair wasn’t appealing to most German women.

Tadpole Soda

The Coca-Cola name in China was read as “Ke-kou-ke-la”, meaning “Bite the wax tadpole” They have since changed the characters used to the more suitable “ko-kou-ko-le”, or “happiness in the mouth.”

When you are expanding overseas, it is tempting to just apply what has worked in the past. Be aware that what you think something means could backfire when you apply local culture to it.

It’s always best to verify with the local talent before committing to sell those 900 tons of powdered babies you just shipped.

Obama The Terrorists Wife Carrying Bushs Lovechild

So you want to know why your posts aren’t making Digg’s front page?

I’m guessing it’s because you wrote something original, it had quality, and you didn’t lie or put a number in the headline.

Content is King Crap

To be big on Digg, you should forget quality, and write something that is either half true or just make a list about something. Anything, it doesn’t matter. You’ll get a lot more Diggs if you just put 5 ways to do something than you will by just describing how to do one thing really well and forget about the other 4 ways.  Actually make it 7 or 10, those are apparently better than lists of 6 or 11, Never mind that you’ll have to come up with something brainless to fill the last slots, it’s more important to get the number right.

Forget Content It’s all About the Headline Anyway

You have to write a huge audacious headline. Just like this one, and then somehow stretch the post to the breaking point until you can sort of almost tie it in to the message as a whole.

In this case, it has nothing to do with anything but to prove the absurdity of it. I’m betting that I’ll get someone to Digg this and if it hits the front page, I’ll go drown myself in a bottle of scotch. Then again, since I’m peeing all over Digg here, AND have the audacity to write an original piece, that’s about a snowballs chance in hell anyway.

For Gods sake, DON’T Stay on Topic!

The worst thing for a Digg hungry Blogger is to be on topic and stay there.

If you have a focus and work to stick to your topic you risk having the same people – Your loyal readers – Digg it. And when these same people Digg your site too often, people scream vote gaming, which gets you buried in a heartbeat.

So in other words, you can’t write on the same topic and appeal to a core audience if they happen to be diggers too. Then you are out of the game. Best to write about something completely unrelated. Change your focus everyday, it’s not like you have to know what you are talking about when you write Diggable posts.

WTF is Going on Here?

You want as many WTF comments as possible. WTF is the Nobel Prize of Digg. The Accolade of accolades.

Good writing practise be damned! Write something controversial, let’s make some hair brained claims and as many slippery slope arguments as possible. Don’t worry about accuracy, the less of that commodity you have the more WTF’s you get and the better off you are on Digg.

Re-Hash, Steal, Cheat and Borrow

There is one more thing that works, which is what we see all the time, Re-hashing news that fit the profile to some extent. Have one big news story hit, and you’ll see 200 versions of it in submissions. Now it just a matter of who did the best job of stealing it, and had the best person submitting it for them. Again, screw copyrights, never mind academic honesty. This is Digg! We don’t deal with what’s right, only what gets a couple more WTF’s.

This is by far the best way to get a front page hit, submit news that you just steal off CNN or NY Times with some half baked comment of your own attached to it.

Original content sucks anyway. On Digg it’s all about reading the same news over and over, learning something new or actually hearing an original thought is just too confusing. Canned spam is what you want if you want to be popular.

The Stupefying Algorithm

Now, if you want to have some integrity left in your posts. You need the support of power users to get anywhere on Digg. In other words, you need someone with a fan base that Diggs their stuff. So how did they get there? By promoting as much crap as possible until they earn the right to post good stuff.

The more popular posts they have had in the past, the more chance of getting one to the front page again. In other words, a system that claims to work against vote gaming has bastardized itself to where vote gaming is the only thing that works.

Unless you want to follow the system above, you have to either become a power digger yourself, which means submitting as many posts following the above criteria as possible.  Or get one that has done the same before and now has the power user status behind them.

So the system is set up to become the tabloid of the social media. Unless you are tied in with a power user, you have to submit the “Obama gives birth to own head” post.

Power Diggers Control the only quality submissions, and they are of course tied in together in many ways. So you end up with the biggest vote gamers being supported by the system. (That sentence alone should get this post buried so fast my laptop will explode)

The normal users without connections fight the link bait game where selling your soul for a Digg hit is just about the only way to get noticed.

Just be prepared – when you succumb to the Digg game, your readers will end up being those that think Obama really is Usama’s son and that there really is 7 foolproof ways to make a million in 9 seconds.

The only good thing i see coming out of this is the supermarket tabloids starting to look respectable.

I’m sorry i have to run and read the latest shout about how Google and Microsoft have secretly banded together to take over the world.

Are Niche Sites The Future Of Social Media

As much as I love the big sites like MySpace and Facebook for their incredible and innovative impact on the web and social marketing, I also hate them for being such a mess to get anything really useful out of.

If you look at these massive sites, they cater to pretty much everyone. Getting a piece of useful information out of them, you first have to become a wiz at using their filters to get rid of what you don’t want. Even then, you are more often than not presented with a large selection of mostly entertaining but useless information.

But there is hope on the horizon.

The Opposite of Google

Relevance is the basic of why Google is so big. Its strength has always been to give you what you want, when you want it. They do the filtering for you, and you get relevant results immediately.

In a social network, they try to accomplish this by adding subgroups, filters, search functions and other means, but it is still user driven to the nth degree. This means that spammers have free roam of these networks; and will use the broadest possible definition of every keyword to get their information on your screen. As soon as you step outside the boundaries of your personal group of trusted friends you are presented with the exact opposite of Google. Vast amounts of non-relevant information.

The Future – Targeted Social Media Networks

This week we saw GLCzone.com go live. A niche social media site that targets bloggers primarily writing about health and personal growth. I’ve had a lot of contact with the owner of this site over the last few months and I’ve begun to see the genius of it all.

What this does is create not only a gathering place for likeminded bloggers, but a powerful resource for readers. For the reader, a niche site will remove a large amount of the non-relevant information by design. Creating a ‘best of both worlds” aggregate where you get a variety of blogs presented to you, but gathered around a topic that is relevant to your current needs.

Niche social media sites provide the missing link in social media evolution. They are the intermediary between Googles high relevance, and Diggs “whatever goes”.

Better for Publishers

Granted, a niche social site will not give you the Digg Effect with 100.000 readers crashing your web server. What it will get you are targeted readers, with a clear intent of looking for what you have to offer. It makes sense for publishers to be part of a targeted network rather than trying to scream over the noise of a major site.

Bloggers and site publishers who participate in niche sites are likely to get much higher rates of visitors converting to loyal readers. Niche sites do the work of filtering out the rest for you.

Although the Digg effect is missing, this is the only drawback, the rest of your metrics should see a significant improvement with niche site traffic. Less bounce, longer stays with more page-views and higher conversions.

Although sites like Digg are never going to go away, they do embody “Quantity over Quality”. For bloggers that are only interested in seeing their hit counters go up, that’s great. But it does little for those that are looking for people to actually become loyal readers and commenters or convert through sales or ad clicks.

SEO Opportunities

A Niche social media setting also does something very interesting for SEO. These aggregate sites will undoubtedly have a higher pagerank compared to the participating blogs. And since they are topic focused, they compete on many of the same keywords.

That translates into both an opportunity and a threat. The opportunity is that these sites will be Google front page material, causing more readers to land there after a search. Smaller blogs participating in niche sites will get a second chance to be in front of readers’ eyes.

Threats

For those that don’t participate, these niche sites will function as a very powerful “front page blockers” Hogging much of this attractive real estate.

So with SEO in mind, not participating is basically suicide until you can fight these sites on your own. In a sense this is the self-serving strength of the niche site. For small bloggers, not participating will slow any progress down, while participating makes them capable of competing and outperforming almost all of the larger blogs that are not part of these networks.

If you consider the tourism industry you will see how this is already in effect. When you search for a hotel by name or location, chances are you will find hotel review and travel sites before you find the actual hotel’s own webpage somewhere on page 4 of Google.

Better for Readers

The readers that come to a site like GLCzone.com are looking for exactly what it offers. Blogs and information about physical and mental health, when they get there, they will not be distracted by an information overload or be unable to find relevant information hidden behind the link bait titles.

This quickly translates to readers who are generally interested in certain topic areas will be more likely to visit these networks to find information. Since the aggregate sites will show up high in search terms, they are easy to find and will reduce the non relevant onslaught of sites like Digg. A niche social media site will be the needed step between an organic Google search and a wide open social network.

Social Media is about to take the leap towards relevancy.

Customer Relations Is Faith Based

Why Are You Trying The Impossible?

Since I always stress the importance of customer relations, I often come across a problem with the desire to measure the return on investments. Especially larger companies often try to simplify their customer contacts into the single transaction to see if the sale was worth the effort. Some try to track referrals, but since many referrals are unknown to the company. This effort is wasted.

Does this mean that customer relations are wasted too? Of course not!

You just have to have a little faith.

Your Return on Investment is Unlimited

As customer relations become more of a focal point, the single customer can generate unlimited business. Every time a new customer perceives great value, referrals follow. As soon as a single referral has occurred that you are unaware of, your measurements are no longer accurate. The growth in business however is unmistakable.

Faith Based Business?

Yes, this is one of those times where you will have to employ faith in that doing what is right by the customer will pay off in the long run.

Since the chain of referrals is potentially unlimited, every customer you build a strong and positive relationship with has the potential to bring unlimited business. Every lost opportunity is potentially a loss of unlimited business as well.

Exponential Faith

If you every week can convert TWO percent of your new business to loyal customers, and at the same time keep your rate of new business, In one year, your business will be 280% of your starting point.

As soon as even one of them starts referring your business to others, the potential is unlimited.

You simply can’t afford not to have a little faith…

Should I Promote Or Hire

Are you looking for a supervisor or manager? Should you be promoting or hiring? The simple answer is; It depends on who is on staff right now.

If the best reason you can come up to promote someone is their long service or good performance in their current job. You are probably better off hiring from the outside.

Before you promote, you need to consider the impact. Promoting from within as a rule and used as a reward will eventually result in everyone reaching their Highest Level of Incompetence . Performance in a current position gives little indication of performance in another, and it says nothing about leadership abilities.

Plan Early For Success

  1. Identify Leadership Potential.

Constantly evaluate your employees to find the personality types who are natural leaders. Look at how they approach problems, how others view them. Are they “Go to” people for problem solving. Do they have their peers respect and liking? Are they helping others succeed already? Constantly keep an eye on the employees to see who is moving in that direction naturally.

  1. Project Management

Once you have found potential candidates for promotion. Give them projects to manage, start simple, and increase the length, scope, and complexity every time they are successful.

Give them plenty of support while doing it, you are a mentor to these people and they will need support. This will groom leadership qualities and you will end up with a promotable employee when the time comes.

If you throw someone into a leadership position without training, you will be paying for their lack of experience as they learn on the job. Or worse – when they fail and damage your company in the process.

Prepare for Hire

If you are unable to find a promotable employee, or maybe you are too small to even have one. Begin early to canvas your surroundings, look at your friends and their friends to find potential future employees able to take on supervisory positions early. You can save a lot of money in head hunters’ fees by starting early and identifying as many candidates as possible. Taking your time also allows you to identify the best person for the job. Not the one that is most fun at parties.

Having a clear policy of hiring the best person – whether that is from the outside or not – is also the best way to reduce agitation among your staff for not getting promoted. When your common policy is to promote from within without question, you automatically place an expectation of this being the norm.

Understand How Your Own Position is changing

  1. Hand Off

When you grow, and hire workers, supervisors, and managers to take over certain tasks, the most common problem for small business owners is the inability to delegate. It is extremely hard to hand off something that you’ve been doing yourself in the past. You must however be prepared to release the formal power that goes along with a position or you are hog-tying them from the start.

The result is that most will end up micromanaging the organization. This has rarely any benefits and more often causes bad relations with employees. Which inevitably translates to poor performance.

  1. Why Did You Hire to Begin With?

You are hiring or promoting because you are unable to do the work yourself. This means that if you maintain all the formal power, you are forcing the new managers to wait for you at every turn. Waiting for you to do the job you were too busy to do to being with will only slow down the process further.

Micromanagement of this kind is the most common reason that small business owners are overworked and quickly lose ground when they grow. You have to hire / promote and train the person to do the job. And then trust them to do it.

  1. Control and Correct

When there is a problem, be certain that you correct it, but do this with the mentality of a mentor, not a drill sergeant. If you have the skills, pass them along so that the problem will not repeat itself. Taking over and doing it yourself will not solve anything in the long run. No one knows everything about their new position, and they certainly do not know exactly how you want it done unless you teach them.

However, just because you’ve always done it one way, doesn’t make it the best way. If you hired or promoted a qualified person, chances are that they will come up with improvements over time. Don’t shut that process down.

Process improvement comes from those that work with the task, rarely their supervisors.

Promoting Practices That Can Kill You

  1. Promotion is Not A Natural Progression

Just because someone has the longest work history, does not translate to being the best suited to manage. This could mean that the person is actually happy in their current role. Be very careful before removing someone from a job they are good at and putting them in a spot that they are completely unsuited for. Some people are not leaders.

  1. Hiring Promises Are Part of the Problem

Companies often promise “rapid advancement” which is completely detrimental. This places an expectation of promotion on the table and you will have to live up to it or lose an employee.

  1. We Always Promote From Within

This is common and completely asinine at the same time. Think of top level executives in large corporations, they move from industry to industry with little problem. Why? Because leadership is not about the product or service, it’s about the people you manage.

A supervisor will with each step up take one step away from product specific problems. It’s better to hire a good supervisor from the outside, than to promote a bad one from the inside just because they know the product.

  1. You Might Lose Them if You Don’t Promote

Then let them go! The damage of losing a low level employee is merely an annoyance when compared to the disaster a bad supervisor can create. Instead of losing one persons productivity, you are stifling the entire team by promoting someone unsuited.

  1. He / She is the only one you like

If you have less than stellar relations with the rest of the employees, and you are about to promote the only one you like among them. You just lit the fuse to a potentially very big explosion. If you don’t “like” many of your employees, chances are they don’t like you either. We’ll get to that later, but for now, know that the person you do like is probably not well liked among his or her peers.

Be very careful in promoting a person that is poorly liked by his or her peers. A supervisor is not every ones friend, but promoting someone that is already an “enemy” is going to sour relations between employees and supervisor as well as towards the company. Remember that a supervisor is not only there to enforce your policy, they are there to get the best performance out of the team. Being poorly liked and seen as the “bosses pet” is not a good platform to stand on when your job is to lead and motivate.

  1. Kissing Your Rosy …. Is Not A Leadership Quality

You want a supervisor that is independently thinking about the best for the business. Not someone who will constantly nod and kiss your derriere. Supervisors have direct contact with areas that you no longer will. When something in their world changes, they have to be able to stand up and say so, even when it means disagreeing with you.

Avoid ipromoting yes people, it’s great for your ego, and a horrible business decision.

Preparation is Key

Like every other aspect of business, You need to consider growth early on and plan accordingly. Don’t make the mistake of letting your success run away from you, forcing you to grow faster than you can control, which in turn will inevitably make you promote the wrong person.

If you don’t plan for success early, the success won’t last long.

Firefox Is Monetizings Enemy #1-The Blogpreneur 8

Browser stats

If you are attempting to monetize your blog. This is one statistic that will tell you quicker than anything if you are getting “good” traffic to your site.

Quite frankly, Firefox users don’t click on ads.

Go check your statistics, Find a day with a lower click through rate than you normally have. I will bet you that your Firefox percentage was higher that day.

Firefox (depending on where you look) make up about 40% of the internet users. If your statistics are showing that you are getting more than that. You are seeing the “wrong” type of traffic for an advertisement funded blog.

Why is this?

1. It’s already well known that some traffic is pretty “useless” for ad conversions. Stumble, Digg, Propeller, and all the other social bookmarks don’t convert well into clickthrough. Google Organic searches and “surf traffic” do.

2. It’s also well known that bloggers, social bookmark users and other “net-savvy” visitors use Firefox to a much greater extent than the average 40%

Since the users that arrive from social bookmark sites are normally “bad clickers” and since they often use Firefox. You can tell that you are getting the wrong type of traffic by simply reviewing your Firefox percentage.

On days where I have a “normal” distribution of about 57% IE users, 40% Firefox users and 3% “other”. I get almost a five times higher click through rate than I do on days when I have a Stumble or Digg heavy traffic day which brings 90+% Firefox browsers.

IE Users Surf – Firefox Users Probe

An IE user is more likely to actually surf the web, In other words to follow the links from one page to the next. Going with the natural flow of the net, they are there for enjoyment and recreation as much as information gathering. When one of your ads looks interesting enough, they will follow it.

Firefox users on the other hand, do pokes; they start at their favorite place on the web. Digg, Propeller etc. and they will hit a link only to return to the hub when they are done. The “Back” button is a Firefox user’s greatest friend. He or she will poke and probe only so far, and return to the “safe” surrounding of peer reviewed and recommended reads. Ad clicks are not their game, and this is not going to change anytime soon.

If you are a blogger, you probably started out on IE, and as you got more into social networking, you switched to Firefox because of its lower system requirements and better plug-ins. (like those that completely block ad networks.) You probably were a lot more prone to click ads before you got “wise” and switched to Firefox too. If you are a blogger that have been considering to switch to Firefox, I’m betting that you are fairly new to the game.

Links are Firefox Filters

Since Firefox users are less inclined to venture further out than one click from their preferred social media or bookmark site, getting links to your blog will effectively send much more IE users than Firefox users to your blog. IE users will follow links, Firefox users won’t to nearly the same extent. So getting inbound links to your site is imperative. You need them to get both an increased Page rank and since they will send mostly IE users.

This supports what I’ve been saying in the past articles of “The Blogpreneur.”You have to build a strong blog with great content, when you do that, you will get links, which in turn will give you both Google, and referrals from other sites. And those hits will probably be much more IE heavy and thereby more click friendly.

Check your browser stats, it will tell you a lot about whether the hits you are getting are likely to hit an ad or not. If your traffic is Firefox heavy, you are not getting what you are looking for.

Check Firefox Ratio Before You buy Ad Space

If you are going to advertise on a site to drive traffic to your site. Ask them what their Firefox percentage is. If its high, it’s probably better to pay per click than to pay a flat monthly rate based on their traffic.

Customer Satisfaction Sold Separately

Whenever I buy something that says “batteries sold separately.” I calmly dream that this will be the store redeeming my basic faith in a company’s ability to seize the most self-evident opportunity for customer service.

(I’m starting to think I am a hopeless idealist.)

1. If you are selling an item. TEST it before you let the customer walk out with it. Take out a pair of batteries. Put them in and make sure everything works.

It really doesn’t matter that the item is made by Widget Industries in Upper Mongolia. YOU sold it, and the customer will be angry with YOU when it doesn’t work.

2 . (This is where companies make fools of themselves) Turn off the object and put it back in the box before closing the sale. But LEAVE THE BATTERIES.

Yes, I said it! Save your key rings, forget about the complimentary Frisbee. Take the unusually smart step of actually making sure that the item will work when they get home without the customer needing to buy batteries.

In fact, if I come home with an object without batteries, but a complimentary branding Frisbee, I’m probably going to be even more fuming than if I didn’t get the Frisbee at all. At that second I am going to wonder what moron came up with that idea instead of just giving me a pair of bloody AA’s! Now I’m both angry that I have to go back out and get batteries, and convinced that your establishment is owned and operated by a cretin. Not the customer experience you should be shooting for.

Giving It Away Increase Sales

The amazing thing is that your sale of batteries has a great chance of increasing too. Why? Because if you don’t have a policy of testing each item, your sales clerks are going to forget to remind the customer they will need batteries x amount of times out of a hundred.

If clerks test everything as a policy, they won’t forget as often and that will improve sales of batteries as well. And here is the kicker, the customer probably has other things that need batteries, so even though you just gave them batteries for the item they purchased, they will often end up buying them for other items.

It All Goes In the Plus Column

If the item you are selling is $2.49 with a profit margin of 30 cents. This is admittedly not a great idea. But if you are holding a profit margin anywhere over $3 per item, you can’t really lose by doing this.

AA batteries are about 7 cents if you buy in bulk. You are paying more for those fancy brochures used to staple the receipt to in case the product doesn’t work. Now you will have to deal with less customer returns as well, which also saves you money and bad will. (See the math here?)

If you have a profit margin that is high, Say $70. You will have to convert 1 sale in every 250 to a returning customer or a referral for it to break even.

I guarantee you will be head and shoulders above the competition that are still standing there like misers, taking them back out of the gadget before asking you if you would like to buy batteries. To me, that is not just a missed opportunity of customer service. It’s downright counterproductive and borderline rude.

I can also promise you that the statement “I’m going to leave these in here, if you would like to buy extra batteries, this item takes Double A’s” will do more for your customer satisfaction than a Frisbee ever will.