3 Questions That Will Make You a Guest Speaker Superhero

2017-07-06T03:19:42+00:00February 29th, 2016|INC Articles|

Here are some simple ways to bring clarity and focus to your pitch. Asking pointed questions is what I do all day long - I interview entrepreneurs and tech professionals for my podcast. I believe that asking the right questions has become my business superpower and a significant part of why people are able to binge-listen. I don't ask the same questions every week. I turn down potential guests who require prepared questions. But I do appreciate those rare guests who prepare a customized list of 3-5 questions I should ask. After talking with Tony Wilkins, host of the Small Business Forum Radio, I found that he trains speakers to be the ideal guests by "getting their brilliance out clearly and quickly" and by delving into the interviewer or audience needs through asking two power questions. In a media-driven business world where content and resources talk, speakers and interview subjects need to [...]

Stats and the facts to consider before you start a crowd-funding project

2017-07-06T02:44:52+00:00February 26th, 2016|INC Articles|

Stats and the facts to consider before you start a crowd-funding project. Even with all the posted statistics on demographics, failure rate and high cost of marketing for running a Kickstarter campaign, inventors believe that they will be one of the elite to overfund. Here are the top reasons inventors give me when I ask them why they want to Kickstart and some things to consider before crowd-funding: It's extremely difficult to find traditional or venture funding for product-based start-ups except on Kickstarter. While not completely unfounded, the Quandl report on Angel/VC funding for consumer product ventures shows that the statistics are low - less than 5% for VCs and 16% for Angel investors. Consider this, Kickstarter is market proof that someone will buy your product. Failing to fund like the 63% unsuccessful projects reported in 2015 will make it even more difficult to get investors. Making a small run on Amazon [...]

5 Simple Pricing Strategies Every Creative Company Needs to Master

2017-07-06T02:39:07+00:00February 26th, 2016|INC Articles|

Time management, job estimation or pricing make the difference between working hard to make ends meet or working smart to build a business into a successful business model. Dr. Minette Riordan, creative marketing expert expert and author of The Artful Marketer: A Fundamental Business Guide for Creative Entrepreneurs, recommends developing extreme focus and clarity on your time management and business profitability. She shares some of the same no fluff advice she gives her clients so that you can quickly boost both your productivity and profitability, while maintaining your creative integrity. 1. Take a Time Audit Finding ways to develop insight into "where to place your energy" considering Time Flow Out versus Cash Flow In can start with a simple time-tracking audit. Per Dr. Riordan's advice, write down exactly how your time is spent over the course of a week and review against your business goals. I spent over 60% of my time [...]

How Sugar 3D Printing Can Sweeten Main Street Profits One Cake at a Time

2017-07-06T02:31:22+00:00February 12th, 2016|INC Articles|

Foodies are as passionate as techies. Mix the two at CES 2016 and you get a revolutionary new business model recipe for creating profits through 3D Printing. The 3D Systems Culinary Lab, formerly known as Sugar Lab demonstrates ways 3D Printing brings Main Street restaurants and bakeries a more creative and profitable  business model. They are concocting a recipe for how 3D Printing can bring relevance back to Main Street businesses. As co-host of the WTFFF?! 3D Printing Podcast, I struggle with clear examples of why I am so bullish on 3D Printing being not just an industrial revolution, but a Main Street one. 3D Printed food is the perfect example thanks to the many food and bakery shows on TV today. The amount of decorating skill and effort put into a cake by Duff Goldman, or the Cake Boss Buddy Valastro, is worth its weight in flour. So, how can [...]

5 Creative (and Cheap) Ways to Test a Product Idea

2017-07-06T02:21:57+00:00February 8th, 2016|INC Articles|

Getting an early read on the market value for your product or services is an essential component of a successful launch. The earlier in the development process you can conduct market research, the better it will be to make critical design adjustments in your message, your target market or your product. Plus, finding effective ways to conduct market testing can provide valuable evidence of market proof to data-driven retailers or investors. What Makes Market Research Effective? According to Aaron Keller, founding partner of Capsule, a Minneapolis-based brand development and research firm, "good market research gives you an indication of value by demonstrating an emotional connection between a human and a product." This does not always come in the form of what price is willing to be paid. It might be making physical contact by picking it up and checking it out, sharing or talking about it with others, or even going [...]

Million-Dollar Companies Don’t Buy $5 Logos

2017-07-06T02:09:48+00:00February 6th, 2016|INC Articles|

Why "dress for success" applies to you and your brand. Making a good impression is not just critical for interviews, but for new brands too. Customers form an impression of your company in as little as .05 to 10 seconds, depending on whether the viewing context is online or in-person. When you're trying to build a million-dollar business, can you really afford to leave dressing your brand and logo for success to the bidding wars on graphic design websites like Fiverr or 99Designs? Spending only $5 on a logo might seem like the bootstrap budget way to go, but according to Ross Halleck, brand strategist for companies like Agilent and Sun Microsystems, these design services can be useful, but more often than not, you're likely to get a logo that's "ill-informed, purely aesthetic, and not driven by brand or market strategy." A consumer might spend up to 10 seconds perusing an entire product category [...]