Don’t Let Causes Outweigh Your Data

Don’t Let Causes Outweigh Your Data

Evaluate, Featured
It’s great for your company to support a cause, but you shouldn’t let that determine your products. Your products need to be driven by customer demand, not causes.  Case in point: female empowerment. For many years women complained that there weren’t enough female action figures. They argued that the lack of female action figures was a slight to female fans. Toy companies countered by saying the sales data showed that their target audience was boys and they put out toys for their customers. As the issue of female empowerment became more of a hot button issue, Warner Brothers, DC Comics, Mattel, Marvel and Hasbro decided to put out entire lines aimed to support girls.  Backed by blockbuster movies and animated television shows Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Storm, Scarlet…
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The Problem With Surveys

The Problem With Surveys

Evaluate, Featured
Surveys are a valuable tool for getting feedback. There are some big drawbacks, however, for you to consider before acting on the results of a survey. Survey respondents may not be giving you the whole truth. This was illustrated recently when a survey and a data analysis were done to gauge the habits of millennials. In the survey, millennials overwhelming said they are looking for experiences and go out to eat frequently. The data showed something different. Looking at their actual purchases showed that millennials tend not to eat out. Instead, they order from restaurants and take it home. Why is this difference  important? One of the largest profit centers for restaurants is drinks. Take out orders generally do not have drinks, meaning the order is much less profitable than…
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Know Your Data Source

Know Your Data Source

Evaluate, Featured
There has been a lot of talk lately about data. Who is collecting it and how it is used have been discussed quite often. What hasn't been discussed is if the data is accurate. Beyond showing an ad for something you looked at, how accurate is the data you are basing your decisions on? Is it outdated?: It recently came to light that many pharmaceutical and medical companies were basing there work on MS on the number of patients. The report that was considered the industry standard was based on a study conducted in the mid 1970s. Is it still accurate? Not even close. More recent work has shown the number of patients grew immensely. Don't base your decisions on outdated information. Is it accurate?: While Facebook claims its data…
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Freelancers, Always Get Terms in Writing

Freelancers, Always Get Terms in Writing

Attitude and Mindset, Evaluate, Featured
More and more people working side hustles and moving into freelancing. It is expected that the number of people that identify themselves as self-employed will increase by 300% over the next two years. It is important for new freelancers to change their mindset from that of an employee to that of an employer. That means remembering to watch things like contracts, cash flow, and returns. One of the most stressful things about being self-employed is managing your cash flow. It’s especially difficult if clients don’t pay you on time. You can avoid most problems by putting a contract in place before you start an assignment. Don’t believe a handshake will suffice, even if you’re working with friends. Informal agreements are the source of almost every payment problem, so be sure…
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Manage Your Stress By Monitoring Your Body’s Reactions To It

Manage Your Stress By Monitoring Your Body’s Reactions To It

Attitude and Mindset, Evaluate, Featured
Stress is a part of life. It can hinder you or it can help you , depending on how you react to it. Stress affects your body in different ways and understanding that can help you understand how you are reacting and how stress affects you. Harvard Business Review recommends the following steps to monitor your stress: Take an Inventory. Once a day, pause what you’re doing, and turn your attention to yourself. Ask yourself: What’s on my mind? What do I feel? Is my body calm or agitated — what physical sensations do I notice? Label Your Thoughts and Feelings. Once a day, tune in closely to your thoughts or emotions. Detach a bit from having the thoughts or feelings, and label them. For example, if you’re thinking “things like…
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Ensure Your Data Source Is Relevant

Ensure Your Data Source Is Relevant

Evaluate, Featured
The most recent earnings report from Apple far exceeded analyst estimates. This isn't new. In fact it happens on a regular basis. Why are analysts surprised quarter after quarter? It's because they fail to look at the correct data. Apple has 100 million subscribers that each pay $10 a month for services such as iCloud storage, Apple Music, etc. The analysts are basing their estimates on what chip suppliers are saying about how many iPhone components they sold Apple. This gives analysts a partial idea of how many iPhones are sold, but it leaves out $1 billion in subscriptions (not to mention Mac sales, app sales, and several other lines of income). The reason for this is that they are still looking at Apple as a hardware company, which they…
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Some People Will Never Buy

Some People Will Never Buy

Customer, Evaluate, Featured
Recently online radio broadcast service Spotify went public. When it did, analysts discussed their business models. The service offers two services, ad-supported and paid. One analyst stated that Spotify could convert all of its ad supported users to paid users. While this is a nice thought for a company it is unrealistic. The truth is some people will never buy. Once you hook customers in with a free or ad supported product, history has shown that only a small percentage convert to a paid product. This was a problem that many newspapers faced when they debuted their online versions. They started as free access sites that relied on ads. When ad revenues failed to meet expectations, they tried to put news behind a paywall. They found that very few of…
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Forget Your Expectations

Forget Your Expectations

Evaluate, Featured
The movie industry is filled with remakes, sequels and adaptations. The most common complaint about them is that they're not like the original. However, when you separate yourself from the expectations of the original and look at the movie as something all its own, you may find you enjoy it much more. The same applies to business situations. When evaluating whether or not a project is a success, you must separate yourself from your expectations. What was the original goal of the project? Very often, project suffer from creep and items are added to them that detract from the original goal. Did you accomplish the original goal? It's also not to compare your success to other projects. Just because one project did better, doesn't mean both projects weren't successes. Judge your…
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What You Should Watch Out For In A Coach

What You Should Watch Out For In A Coach

Evaluate, Featured
Coaches and consultants are everywhere now. Despite the existence of some training programs, there is no real certification so anyone can use those terms. If you are looking for a coach or consultant, watch out for these signs. Are they really a coach or consultant?: Many network marketers call themselves coaches and consultants. If the person you are talking with expects you to sell their products, they are not a coach/consultant. How long have they been in business?: I recently came across two very nice business people who announced that they were starting workshops to pass on what they had learned in business. They were recent college graduates who had been running their business for nine months. They have not learned enough to teach others. What are they really teaching?:…
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The Problem With Partnerships

The Problem With Partnerships

Evaluate, Featured, Improvement
In this blog, and in the Businetiks system, we talk about focusing on your core competencies. To handle tasks outside our skill set, we rely on partners and suppliers. Choosing a partner goes beyond making sure they can do the job. Choosing the wrong partner can be fatal. An example of this is Borders Book Stores. At one time, Borders was the largest book store chain in the United States. In the late 1990s, they made a mistake. Looking at what was needed, they knew they had no expertise in online sales. They looked for a partner that could handle online fulfillment and the design and implementation of an online store. They chose Amazon as a partner. The rest is history. Amazon took Borders online business and the company never…
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