Process improvement

How data can turn you into the big dog

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The problem with marketing and sales is that they are the functions inside companies most likely to be driven more by emotions and anecdotal "evidence" than they are by facts. The result is never as profitable as it could be.

If salespeople dominate decisions, without the benefit of qualitative customer research and buying process analysis, the atmosphere is always dominated by fear of losing the next sale, and activity is always frantic.

Budgeting your attention

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As you probably already know, the most important aspect of time management is deciding where you will spend your attention.

It's difficult to practice good attention allocation because anyone with a need can interrupt you at any time, using a variety of methods to access you and hijack your attention.

One of the most famous, and still-relevant self-management tools is Stephen Covey's four-quadrant matrix for importance and urgency ("important/not important, urgent/not urgent").

We all know we spend far too much time on the urgent/not important tasks; and, if we are totally honest with ourselves, we also spend too much time in the "not important/not urgent" category.

Managing your passion

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If you own or run a company, you're passionate. Certain things matter to you. Every day, in every interaction, your passion determines how you manage yourself and those who work for you - employees and vendors.

Your passion is a powerful force. If you manage it correctly, you will:


  • Make the right decisions about what is important and what is not



  • Allocate the right amount of energy to the important things



  • Convey the right messages to employees and vendors about what matters



  • Create and run a balanced company



Your company and your character: The high price of avoidance

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There are countless articles and books on what you should do as you attempt to grow your business. But very little advice focuses on the aspect of your daily business life that has the most effect on your company's success: your character.

For good or ill, your character affects everything you do every day. It affects every decision you make - or fail to make. It determines how your employees perceive your ability to lead the company - and their enthusiasm or discouragement. It affects how much your customers trust you and how much your competitors fear you - or not.

Common revenue stumbling blocks and how to avoid them

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Here are some of the most common barriers to revenue that we encounter as we help our clients. Are you making one of these mistakes?

Your company name doesn't tell them what you sell. We call our company Zhivago Marketing Partners for this very reason. It would have been just as easy to call it Zhivago & Company or something similar - but that would not have answered the first, most basic question: "What does this company sell?"

If you're just starting out, make sure your name clearly indicates the type of product you sell.


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