Is the government running your business?

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who thinks that government organized projects are efficient.

You’d be even harder pressed to find someone who would call most governments a well run organization.

Why then, do so many companies let themselves be run by the government?

They do so by building policy based on what’s bare minimum by law.

Any time you choose to follow what is written in an “employment standards act” or other bureaucratic tome, you are letting the government make business decisions for you.

After all, you have a choice.

You can instead choose your policies carefully… thoughtfully.

Of course, you can’t choose to do less than the minimum…

…but you CAN choose to do more. To be generous. And to expect generosity in return from your staff.

Because after all, if you give the bare minimum, you will get the bare minimum.

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Using the Firefox Reader View to Improve Your Landing Pages

The Firefox web browser just came out with some updates which include a new feature called “Reader View.”

It’s a new button that’s located on the right side of the address bar:

firefox-reader-view

The button essentially removes all distractions on a web page, and leaves only the text.

What Firefox probably didn’t intend, is that this is a great tool for evaluating website landing page copy.

By looking your landing pages as only text, you can evaluate the copy without the distractions of images or design.

Take a look at how the Firefox Reader View changed the look of one of our product pages:

This is the page as it is:

urban cultivator commercial page

Now take a look at how the same page appears in the Firefox Reader View:

commercial page - only text

As you read over the text on your landing page, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the copy still make sense?
  • Does the copy on this page flow well?
  • Does the copy answer questions that arise in your potential client’s mind?
  • Does the copy stand on it’s own?

The Firefox Reader View doesn’t work on all pages, but I found that it functions quite well with a number of the landing pages that we run, and it’s already allowed me to spot some opportunities for improvement in our copy.

Time to start improving!

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Salesforce tip: Getting an accurate lead source in your opportunities

Managing salespeople can kinda be like herding cats. The only way to get them to do what you want, is to change their environment and tools.

They have to WANT to do something, you can’t simply demand it.

How then, do you ensure that you get accurate data out of your Salesforce opportunities? Especially when it’s up to the sale rep to enter the lead source into the opportunity.

This is something that we struggled with when setting up our Salesforce installation. We were getting some sales reps simply enter a generic lead source because it was faster than taking the time to check the real lead source from the contact.

Yes, you can map the lead source from the lead to the contact objects, but this still won’t translate the data all the way to the opportunity.

Luckily, with a couple of formulas, you can get the lead source from the lead object to stay the same all the way to the opportunity.

Here’s how:

1. Create a new custom field on your contact that automatically picks up the lead source from the lead object

From the setup menu, under App Setup go to Customize -> Contacts -> Fields

contact fields

Create a new custom field

Choose formula as the field type

formula field

Choose Text as the field output type and name the field

field type

From the formula step, click the button Insert Field

Choose the Lead > object, and then the Lead Source field and click Insert

insert formula

That should insert Lead__r.LeadSource into the formula box

Now you need to convert the Lead Source field from a picklist type to a Text type. To do this, add the function Text()

Your formula should now look like this: Text(Lead__r.LeadSource)

Click Next, add the field to any layouts that you would like, and finalize the new field.

This step creates a new field on your Contacts that will always have the Lead Source that was assigned to the original Lead object.

2. Create a custom Opportunity field that links to the new Contact field

Repeat step #1 for your Opportunity field. When you get to the formula section, you can choose the field like this:

insert formula 2

Where “Campaign Name” is the the name of the custom field you created in step #1

3. Change your reports

All you have to do now is simply customize your sales reports in Salesforce to pull from the custom lead source field on your opportunities. This customization will ensure that you always see the most accurate lead source that came directly from either the Lead or the Contact objects.

I hope this helps! Keep on hacking.

~E

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Is this long term?

When starting or growing a business it’s common to come up against what feels like a wall.

You could be strapped for cash…

You could be struggling to find the right talent for growth…

You could be dealing with branding or perception issues…

No matter the wall, it’s important not to change your decision filters. That is to say, it’s important not to make decisions based on a short term problem.

If you’re strapped for cash you can’t neglect your staff to save a few dollars… you’ll soon end up with disgruntled staff (or worse, none at all).

If you’re struggling to find the right talent you can’t just hire a warm body to fill the seat… you’ll end up with a poor product, a poor brand, a poor company.

If you’re dealing with a perception issue you can’t simply lie to cover it up… you will be found out, and that’s much much worse.

Instead, create a plan to work through the issues while staying true to your company’s core.

Thing long term and don’t panic. Sometimes the best way out is through.

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Your environment suits you

The people and things that surround you will shape who you are on a day to day basis.

If you want to change something about yourself, one of you first steps should be to change your environment.

Want to lose weight? Don’t keep ice cream in your freezer.

Want to run when you wake up? Leave runners and jogging pants by the bed before you go to sleep.

Have a big audacious goal? Find ways to remind yourself on a daily basis.

The same goes for your staff.

If you’d like them to start/stop/continue doing something. Make it easy. Adjust their environment so that the daily decisions they make align with what your company wants or needs.

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Weighing opportunity cost

Many entrepreneurs struggle with the concept of opportunity cost.

Most new business owners will try to do as many things themselves as they can, just to save some cash.

But what they don’t spend on other people, they waste on themselves.

What could you accomplish with an extra 2 hours per day?

Could you double your sales this quarter?

Could you build a road map for a better product next year?

Could you build a better company?

This concept also applies to your staff.

If you improve the tidiness of your office, how much time will each employee save per month.. per year?

If you rearrange your office by the audible volume of each group, how much less annoying would it be for the quiet groups (ex. accounting)?

If you add more water coolers, how many more ideas can your people come up with?

How much would it cost you to implement these changes? Is it less than the opportunity cost of losing production/stress/ideas?

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Good Leaders Don’t Get Angry

Or at least, they don’t show it.

Letting the people you lead know that you are angry or frustrated serves no purpose.

It causes those people to think it’s ok to get emotional. We learn by example.

It causes those people to get defensive. Crushing lines of communication and ruining workflow.

It causes those people to resent your role as their leader.

And probably the most damaging of all…

It causes those people to think that you don’t have control.

Because if you were really in control, you wouldn’t be frustrated.

~E

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Own it

Whatever it is you’re contemplating over the next weeks, months and years of your life:

Own it.

If you say you’re going to build that ground breaking app or website,

own it and get the damn thing launched.

If you say you’re going to finally take that vacation across Asia,

own it and book the damn tickets.

If you say you’re going to stand up to your boss and start to make real and amazing changes within your company,

own it and push through.

The world needs you to step up and own your ideas, passions and aspirations.

We need you to touch us and create connections that matter.

We need you to own it.

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What’s your million dollar idea?

If you haven’t started it by now, it’s probably time to forget about it.

You’ve most likely built it up so much in your head that it’s not an idea any more. It’s a dream.

And dreams no longer work in real life.

Instead, it may be time to start getting things done. To start smaller, easier projects. So that you can get used to the feeling of starting (and failing).

If you’ve created a dream, that’s fine for entertainment. But if you want to really change the world, it’s time to start.

Now.

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How Much is a Customer Worth?

By: J R

Your customer has missed an appointment. What do you do?

Do you charge them extra for their next appointment?

It’s easy to justify this practice by saying, “well, that’s what other businesses do. After all, this customer wasted our time!”

But is it worth potentially losing that customer over 50 bucks?

What if the customer has not missed an appointment in the last 5 years?

How many GOOD customers who had a bad day is your policy losing you?

More than you think.

It’s a much better policy to have no policy at all.

Instead, reward your good customers, and fire your bad ones.

You will create rabid fans out of your good customers, and you will lose the ones that drag you down. What you may lose in the short term, you will gain in loyalty in the long term.

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