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Month: November 2011

The Most Important Word A Business Owner Can Learn

A few years ago, I heard a radio ad while driving down the road where the whole premise was “We Do That.” The ad went like this: you listen in to a phone conversation between a car owner and a front desk guy at the auto repair shop. The caller says “My brakes are squeaking and I think I need a brake inspection.” The front desk guy says “we do that.” The car owner goes on to explain that he’s also having some transmission trouble and the car makes a funny rattling sound when the car shifts gear. Our trusty front-desk guy assures him “we do that, too.” On and on it goes, until you get the point—they’re a one-stop shop for ALL your auto repair needs. For them, this is probably a great marketing campaign. (Save for the fact that I honestly can’t remember which company this ad was for)! However, something I’ve learned by running my own business is that small businesses really shouldn’t try this approach. While a nationwide auto repair chain can say “yes” all the time, (or as in the radio example, saying “we do that” to everything), what’s far more important for a small or micro-sized business is to learn how and when to say “no.” I think of all the concepts I’ve learned in business, learning to say no is one of...

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How To Take A Picture Of A Text Message On An iPhone

One of the coolest features on an iPhone is it’s ability to take pictures (screenshots) of the screen. I find myself wanting to do this frequently, especially with text messages.  If you want to take a picture of a text message on your iPhone, here’s all you have to do: Press and hold the “Home” button (the big round button on the front of the screen) Press the “Lock” button on the top right (the one that locks your phone and makes a “locking” sound when you press it) That’s it—you’re done! Your iPhone screen will flash and you’ll hear a shutter sound as the iPhone takes a picture of the screen. To find the photo you’ve just taken, go to your “Photos” app (the one with the Sunflower icon) and it will be saved as the most recent image under “Camera Roll.” Simple, eh? From there you can email it, text it to someone else or sync it with...

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Adding Windows Media to a Mac

So you’ve just bought a Mac and you’re really excited about all the fun new features that come built in… and then while you’re transferring old files from your Windows computer, you realize that all your old music is in WMA format from the Windows Media Player and won’t play in iTunes. Arrgh. What to do? Easy. Go to www.easywma.com and buy the Easy WMA software for $12.99. Download it, and add all your old Windows-formatted music to the queue and watch it quickly and easily convert everything into Mac-friendly music. It’s really the easiest way to do it. My recommendation is to change the settings in the program so that you convert everything to MP3 format to ensure that everything’s in a universal format and you never have to convert your music again. Give it a...

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Utterly Useless Marketing Terms

Marketing is a strange industry. It’s both an art and a science. When a marketing campaign is done right, it can be downright electrifying. And when it’s done wrong, it can be obnoxious, unappealing or just plain ridiculous. Instead of just taking great stuff to market, some companies exaggerate or lie to try to sell their products. Oftentimes, the biggest way they do this is by spouting out hyperbolic (and often groundless) claims, speaking of products in overblown and undeserving terms. I hate that. Customers hate that. Here’s a collection of a few marketing terms that you may hear tossed around in marketing campaigns for a product or service that really isn’t that great. I start rolling my eyes when I see or hear these buzzwords overused by a company describing their boring product. Do any of these sound familiar? Utterly Useless Marketing Terms Quality Solution(s) Cutting Edge Premium Premier Robust Outside the Box Customer Service Expert/Guru Deluxe Luxury Innovative New Award-Winning Groundbreaking Ultra Unique Amazing Full-service Instead of tossing out baseless terms to try to impress people, you know what I’d like to see? A company that speaks in plain English. I’d like to buy laundry detergent that “makes your clothes clean again.” I wouldn’t mind it if Honda told us that we should all drive Civics because “they just f**king work.” I’d take anything that actually makes...

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