We've made it through another week, and another month! I've been reflecting today on the sheer volume of useful things I learn from you and your friends each week. I learn so much that I can hardly remember it all, so I reviewed my week to find some of the juiciest nuggets to share with you.
Since the information I collect each week is spread throughout my network, putting some of it in one place lets me keep track while simultaneously sharing with you. How's that for efficiency?! Here are this week's top 10 small business success tips and links.
- How to share links privately. Cheri Rychlee Tracy shared Trickly, a website that allows you to shorten and password protect links you only want to share with certain people. It does the same thing as Bitly, for example, only makes the link inaccessible to anyone who does not know the password. I haven't tried it, but I'm sure it will be useful down the road.
- How to deal with haters. Tim Ferris is a good blogger to keep up with. This week, he hit (another) home run with his post, Practical Tips For Dealing With Haters” I love the first one: “It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it. What matters is how many people do.” There's lots more. If you haven't encountered haters, serious haters, where your business is concerned, then you just haven't been in business long enough. Expect it. And make sure you read and digest Tim's advice.
- Get the word out. Andrea Meissner Robinson offers this tip to help spread the word about your business. “Make a list of forty people, five each from these categories: family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, spouse's friends, kids' friends' parents, acquaintances, and service providers. Then give them all a call or a flyer or an email about your business. Be sure to ask them to spread the word.
- Get in balance. Jill Gibbs recommends Om Freely, managed by Sonya Derian, who calls herself the “Chief Omer.” The home page says, “Acknowledge the vibration of your own life force by honing it, fine tuning and creating a life worth celebrating.” What Indie Business owner can't benefit from doing that? Jill says she enjoys it and finds it empowering.
- Leverage federal government resources. Bill O'Such says you can increase your export profitability at Export.Gov, a federal government resource that helps businesses export their products around the globe. They have helped Bill by making it easy to find distributors worldwide, including the various applicable import/export rules.
- Ease up on the Running Journals. A few people who took my 2010 Indie Business Reader Survey, suggested that I ease up on posting my Running Journals. This confirms the importance of asking your customers for feedback. If you haven't taken the survey, please do so. (You can request a free copy of my upcoming print magazine if you take the survey!) I highly recommend Survey Monkey's Pro Plan because you can ask unlimited questions and it makes collecting and analyzing data very easy. It's not cheap, but it's worth it.
- Find out what people are saying. Jill McKeever suggests we check out Social Mention to keep track of Internet chatter about you and your business. It's like Google Alerts, but specifically for social media. And if you happen to live in Kansas City, she says you can get free counseling for new businesses in their entrepreneurial department at the Kansas City Jewish Community Center. Just call and set up a meeting.
- How to influence people. The blog post, 11 Ways to Influence People Online and Make Them Take Action is a bit dated (November 2009), but it will never grow old. It's from one of my favorite bloggers of all time, Dosh Dosh. He's somewhat of a mystery and hasn't published a post since December 2009. But each and every one of his posts is worth reading over and over again. The one I'm sharing here is especially useful for small business owners.
- How to make a desk for your treadmill. Anne-Marie Faiola shares the details. Since business is about way more than making a profit, this post will inspire you to add a desk to your treadmill — or buy a treadmill and put a lunch tray on it!
- Find colorful inspiration. If you make health, beauty or lifestyle accessories, you might be able to use some of these beautiful glass containers, shared by JoAnn Hines. If you don't make such products, you'll enjoy looking at the colors anyway. I'm thinking about buying some just to put them in some sunny bathroom windows.
Question: Can you make use of any of this? If you have a success tip you'd like to share, leave it in the comments section below. You could also add it to the collection from this week's FaceBook Small Business Roll Call if you'd like.