Posts tagged ‘business owner’

If 200K People Retweet Your Promotion And Nobody Becomes A Customer, Is That A Success?

Are You Tracking ROI?

Are You Tracking ROI?

Too many times we see businesses haphazardly throw random campaigns at the wall to see what sticks.  One member of the marketing team is “trying out” a few Facebook ads while a colleague is independently “testing” a viral program on Twitter.  I continue seeing articles written about “Twitter done right” and “viral marketing success stories” and not once has there been any mention of ROI or CPA.  There are too many marketers patting themselves on the back for simply creating buzz.  When did it become acceptable to spend money to get people talking about your giveaway but not your unique selling proposition?

With  any marketing initiative you have to ask, “What are we trying to do?”  This sounds like a silly question but you’d be surprised how many times a “great idea” takes on a life of its own and everyone loses sight of the desired result.  It’s imperative to identify success metrics – they will drive your strategy.

Lisa Barone shared a story earlier this week about a contest giveaway run by a company called Moonfruit celebrating their 10th anniversary.  The numbers were quite high – more than 200,000 posts per week.  Adam Ostrow over at Mashable wrote, “Not surprisingly, this promotion is working. #moonfruit is Twitter’s top trending topic today, beating out the likes of Michael Jackson, #iranelection, and Wimbledon-related tweets.”

This promotion is working?  How are these people measuring success?  Can you imagine approaching your boss and saying, “I’d like to spend $10K+ and use countless company resources so we can be ‘bigger than Michael Jackson’ for a week” on Twitter.  When asked for your ROI estimate you smile wryly and say, “Zero, BUT, hundreds of thousands of people who will never become customers will be talking about the Macbooks we’re giving away”.

This is the equivalent of a restaurant spending $10k for a big neon sign that says, “restrooms open to the public”.


July 17, 2009 at 5:45 pm 3 comments

Can Coworking Be a Profitable Business?

Almost every article I read seems to convey that coworking, as a business, is a break even endeavor at best.  I would like to have a coworking resource near me, out here in the burbs, but all of the “local” coworking facilities are in larger cities.  Maybe that’s the problem.  They all seem to be located in prime real estate with expensive furnishings and equipment.  That just doesn’t seem like the right way to model a new business in this economy.

Then there’s the for profit versus not for profit debate.  If you’re in business to turn a profit and you’re only able to break even, wouldn’t it make more sense to be a “non profit” since you would then have access to federal grants?

Collaborating and Networking with Like-Minded Business Owners

Collaborating and Networking with Like-Minded Business Owners

I think sponsorships could be a creative way of subsidizing the operating costs associated with running a collaborative working facility.  I’m farily confident a local bank or business supply vendor would be interested in the naming rights of this new “business center”.

I’m testing the waters locally since there’s a substantial “free agent” population in my suburban community and I know I’m not the only one that would like to socialize and collaborate with like-minded people.  Once my preliminary research is done, I’m going to pick the brain of Alex Hillman who started down in Philly and is one of the few experts on the subject.

I’ll post updates as my efforts  progress and I welcome any feedback or suggestions you might have.

April 15, 2009 at 7:13 pm Leave a comment

Everyone’s A Freelancer

Have you recently received a call from a former co-worker or friend to let you know that, “I’m out on my own so let me know if you need a [insert specialty here] contractor”? Get Ahead of the Pack

Just five months ago there were plenty of freelance opportunities all over the country.  I was able to bounce around craigslist, from state to state, and find all kinds of lucrative opportunities.  Not anymore, Monty! [George Carlin]

Fewer opportunities and a glut of “experts” in the market have created great uncertainty for solo business owners who have typically been able to maintain a steady stream of clients through simple word-of-mouth referrals.  Now is the time to use your client  portfolio and references to differentiate yourself from the newbies.

So, don’t position yourself as a social marketing guru or Web 3.0 visionary.  Just tell stories of measurable impact you have had on the growth of your customers’ business.

January 25, 2009 at 3:07 am 2 comments