About Tracy Hazzard

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So far Tracy Hazzard has created 133 blog entries.

Designing Your Path to Profitable Success by Focusing On Impact

2017-07-06T03:48:17+00:00July 3rd, 2016|INC Articles|

How a simple shift of perspective can change the way you do things, and ultimately change your level of success. Finding, creating, and managing success isn't an easy feat by any set of standards. Life can be is full, busy, messy, and unpredictable- so flying by the seat of your pants to find success just doesn't make sense. There are too many factors, day-to-day, that will derail you if you aren't prepared for the next step in your journey. When I sat down to talk with Wendy Lipton-Dibner, global strategist and bestselling author of 'Focus On Impact', she had quite a bit to say about this... and even presented a 10-step road map! Sequence and Success Are BFF's - Sequence + Success According to Wendy, if we are destined to get anywhere fast, we should never 'go out of sequence' or we would most certainly end up lost, hitting roadblocks, or [...]

High Pressure Start-Ups Need Resourceful Front Line Leaders

2017-07-06T04:49:03+00:00June 27th, 2016|INC Articles|

How hiring veterans with bullet-tested leadership brings resourcefulness and real world experience to your company. As an innovative start-up charting new territory, you need strategy, structure, systems, quick deployment, inventiveness with meager resources, and a team that has your back. One day you are dressed up in full presentation mode and the next you are rolling up your sleeves and cleaning the office bathroom. Being in the midst of a start-up feels like a constant battle, but imagine if you had to do that with actual bullets flying. Imagine the powerful training you would have undergone and the skills, tactics, discipline and leadership characteristics you would have to guide you forward. Our discharged and retired military come home from deployment to a very different world. Veterans like Nick Ripplinger, author of the bestselling book, Front Line Leadership, received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (the third highest peace-time award) during active duty [...]

Growing an Iconic Brand Requires Perseverance

2017-07-07T00:38:45+00:00June 23rd, 2016|INC Articles|

How the Uggs Founder survived and pivoted his brand from conception to birth and into maturity. Just as in life, business must always grow in phases. You cannot possibly run before you walk, or hit your teen years before the terrible two's, and you most definitely cannot give birth to an adult. The founder of UGGS, Brian Smith, learned this lesson and plenty more along the way as he turned his idea of bringing sheepskin boots to the U.S. into something that has become a household name, a fashion staple, and an icon for business success. Conception to Birth Is Only the First Phase How many times in the process of growing your business have you seriously considered throwing in the towel? For Brian Smith, as he grew UGGS, that answer was four.  Four times he almost walked away from it all because he didn't realize in those moments that he was [...]

How to Power-Boost Your Confidence in 2 Minutes

2017-07-07T16:57:48+00:00June 23rd, 2016|INC Articles|

This is how you draw strength and power from your mind-body connection to deliver the perfect pitch. There is a long history of researchers discussing the mind-body connection. Body posture "speaks" and is part of the non-verbal way people communicate with each other. In the workplace, this means that you are constantly communicating, whether you are talking or not. For example, eyes cast down or shoulders slumped are usually associated with lower confidence or even sadness. It is important to understand that our body language speaks to others but our body language also communicates with us internally. Amy Cuddy, a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School studied the question of how does our body language affect us? She gave a great TED talk on the topic. She coined the termed "power posing" to study how a certain body posture might actually help increase confidence. This pose consists of standing tall with [...]

Tips to Make Your Overseas Business Trip Carefree

2017-07-06T03:57:03+00:00June 19th, 2016|INC Articles|

The best secrets about what to pack and how to stay connected while traveling abroad. There are so many ways travel can go wrong. Just as with any travel abroad, a lot of things change once you exit your native country and being prepared for those changes is one of the easiest ways you can ensure a stress-free and successful trip. Here are seasoned traveler secrets to help you minimize unnecessary stress and make your journey into Asia, Africa, Australia or wherever your business takes you, triumphant. Let's Begin With Packing Perfectly Packing just the right items to prepare for the unknown is something you learn how to do well when you travel often. Generous Layers of Clothes - the flight is always way too hot or way too cold so having plenty of clothing options is a no-brainer. Hand Sanitizer Wipes - Carrying extra liquids, or any liquids, can definitely slow you down with security [...]

How Jamaica Became a Logistics Powerhouse

2017-07-06T03:52:07+00:00June 4th, 2016|INC Articles|

The Panama Canal expansion is turning Jamaica into the go-to place for sophisticated logistics. When conjuring up images of Jamaica the mind sees tropical beaches, mega resorts and friendly people saying 'Ya-Man'. The island has developed a clear brand in tourism as a friendly convenient place to vacation and relax. Behind the scenes where most tourists never visit you will find a sophisticated infrastructure that has been growing since the island's independence in 1962. Ambition and vision have been the key action statement driving the goal of becoming the business powerhouse of the Caribbean and helped it achieve an Inc. ranking of #7 as one of the Most Entrepreneurial Countries in the World. Advantages such as a highly educated labor pool, world-class infrastructure in telecommunications and a government that is expected to cut red tape for start-ups might make Jamaica your ideal business powerhouse location. Why Jamaica Should Be Your Next Business Location In [...]

How a Snail-Mail Business Gave Itself a Digital Makeover

2017-07-06T03:59:54+00:00May 28th, 2016|INC Articles|

Send Out Cards is weathering a huge corporate culture shift from a company that makes a physical product to a tech-based brand with a personal touch. It's no secret that our world has taken a tremendous turn towards all-digital-everything. So when Kody Bateman, founder of Send Out Cards, and author of Promptings: Your Inner Guide To Making A Difference, built a company by going physical in the midst of a digital world, it seemed market counter-intuitive. Yet, for a business based on the idea that people still like to receive cards in the mail, the company is thriving by embracing technology. According to Bateman, the concept for Send Out Cards was born out of a missed prompt in his own life he still wishes he acted upon. Understanding the importance of being able to connect with the significant people in our lives, Bateman wanted to offer a service that combined handwritten letters and cards. From [...]

Becoming an Innovation Tourism Hot Spot Through the Silicon Valley Model

2017-07-07T16:53:05+00:00May 27th, 2016|INC Articles|

How to win business leaders and entrepreneurs and influence business tourism to your city. For decades, the Silicon Valley has been more than just a place on a map. The Silicon Valley is an international symbol of innovation. Other regions around the globe look to imitate the model that the Silicon Valley has established, in hopes of becoming the next big global hub and hot spot for innovation. The key to turning your town into the next Silicon Valley is in understanding why and how the model succeeds. Why the Silicon Valley Model Succeeds Silicon Valley is the birthplace of numerous powerful startups that are now known worldwide. Companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, and Twitter are obvious examples of major billion dollar companies started in the Silicon Valley region, and are powered by their motivation to impact our world. Becoming the "go-to" place for innovation means being equipped with unlimited [...]

Creative Mind & Sleep: Does Innovation Thrive In The Night?

2017-07-07T16:49:25+00:00May 26th, 2016|INC Articles|

What personality and genetics have to do with why creatives seem destined to get less sleep. It always seems to be the artists, the creators, the inventors, and the designers who suffer from insomnia. Imagine: Einstein in his messy haired glory working away in his lab on the general theory of relativity. Is it a coincidence that this genius stereotype is pervasive? Or is there something more to this 'up-all-night' stereotype? I am a night owl and my husband and business partner is a morning lark. He can fall asleep talking to me at 9pm. Two members of my family gave me a copy of Arianna Huffington's book for my birthday. Obviously I have an issue sleeping, but always thought genetics played a role in whether you are late to bed or early to rise. So it doesn't seem a far stretch to consider personality types as a driving factor in our [...]

How Swimming With Sharks Can Push Your Business to Profitability

2017-07-07T16:46:02+00:00May 22nd, 2016|INC Articles|

Three reasons to get a shark investor to activate your business and two reasons to avoid becoming bait. Kevin Harrington, one of the Original Sharks, wants to be your 'Shark' too. He wants you to put into practice a secret shared by generations of Japanese fishermen for bringing fish back to shore as fresh as when caught in the deep sea. They put a shark in their fish hold. The small shark keeps the fish moving, energetic and fresh. Of course there might be a few sacrificed and eaten, but selling the freshest sushi or launching the hottest product is worth the loss. Many investor sharks have the philosophy that they bet on the jockey and not the horse. In this metaphor, you would bet on the fisherman and not the fish. According to Kevin, his philosophy is contrary, "In the early days of Shark Tank, I gave money to [...]

Ways 3-D Printing Can Save the Planet, Shift a Company, and Run a Marathon

2017-07-07T16:41:37+00:00May 22nd, 2016|INC Articles|

Plus how going green by 3-D printing is a sustainable and profitable business model. In conjunction with the Boston Marathon and Patriot's Day, Massachusetts-based New Balance released 44 pairs of the world's first running shoes with 3D printed mid-soles for sale. For Owner and Chairman, Jim Davis, this was personal. He bought the company 44 years ago on Patriot's Day. New Balance joins many other companies, with one foot in the past and one foot in a very innovative and tech-based future. Interestingly enough, this shift from goods manufacturer to technology business is going to do more than make these companies competitive and sustainable in the market. In the near future, 3D printing might just help these companies save the planet too. Here's how. Zero Inventory Model Because 3D printing is manufacturing on-demand, the inventory implications alone are worth exploration by every type of business. 3D printing can yield immediate bottom-line savings on reduction [...]

Hazz Design at CEO Space 0516

2017-05-23T15:29:04+00:00May 19th, 2016|Blog Posts|

Thanks for coming to the Hazz Design at CEO Space 0516 workshops with Tracy Hazzard and Tom Hazzard! Please find below the links to our presentations and materials for your use. All rights reserved, so please do not distribute or copy without our express written permission. We are happy to come speak to your organizations on any of these subjects. Hazz Design at CEO Space 0516 Hope is Not a Launch Plan Launching a business, product or service is a high-risk game of chance when you have a runway shortened by time or money. Instead of hoping for success, you need the right sequence, tactics and resources to launch on-time, on-budget and on-target. Explore why what you don’t know that you don’t know is a riskier path Understand the critical runway sequence and review gates for a successful launch Learn tips to determine the right resources that can increase your success [...]

How to Develop Extreme, Championship-Level Focus

2017-07-07T16:38:12+00:00May 7th, 2016|INC Articles|

Dave Austin has helped top athletes in the NFL, MLB, and Olympics achieve a laser-like focus in high-stakes situations. Here's how. Wouldn't it be great if you could close out the world and the time pressure and calmly focus on only the next critical shot in front of you just like Villanova Wildcats forward Kris Jenkins? With a strong belief system, commitment to goal-focused mental performance and practiced daily intentions, you can. That's according to Extreme Focusmental performance coach Dave Austin, who says you can "be a beast" in your business by adopting daily habits that train you to "become a champion in anything." The reported statistics on retention from business lessons and a good business seminar hovers around 12-13%. Austin says Extreme Focus coaching achieves a 92% retention rate. The key is its use of a visualization concept involving animal models. "Animals add a useable and translatable trigger that increases retention of the mindset to adopt, allowing you to put it into play quickly and instinctively," says [...]

Increase Your Sales by Getting to ‘No’ Fast

2017-07-07T16:35:16+00:00May 1st, 2016|INC Articles|

Increase your sales velocity with these innovative selling tips to qualify leads quickly. Wouldn't it be surprising if at your next meeting the salesperson said, "Is it okay if I tell you no?" In a collaborative approach to sales, Top 10 Sales Guru, Bob Urichuck, CEO of Velocity Selling trains sales leaders around the world how to attract, engage and empower buyers to buy from you. Whether you are a start-up building a new sales force or an entrepreneur selling your own service or product, this results-oriented approach is geared to give you the skills needed to grow your bottom-line. Too quickly salespeople jump straight to selling points and solutions which is why you feel "sold to and icky" as Bob puts it. Buyers are in control in today's modern sales presentations - armed with information researched on-line, numerous ways to duck calls and emails, and able to get a lot of [...]

Top 5 Must-Attend Rapid Growth Entrepreneur Conferences This Spring

2017-07-07T16:29:36+00:00May 1st, 2016|INC Articles|

Discover tech savvy action-oriented events that can move your business forward now. Spring is packed with business conferences and while I was attending one, I kept seeing many colleagues posting from another event spanning the same days. Feeling like missing out and torn between deciding which ones are better, you might have to decide your own priorities in choosing which conference will yield a better return on investment for your money and your time. The criteria used here to select Spring 2016 picks for the Top 5 Must-Attend Rapid Growth Conferences is simply that conferences must have the following characteristics. Be packed with action-oriented workshops and seminars that are not sales pitches from the floor disguised as a workshop. They must be full of free content that is useful to building a strong business that can accelerate your growth quickly. Be run by great people with strong desires to serve [...]

How a Young Woman Designer Is Changing the Way the World Poops

2017-07-07T16:26:09+00:00April 30th, 2016|INC Articles|

Wish for Wash Founder Jasmine Burton shares her thoughts on innovation and social good. Believing that you have the power to make a difference might sound like the ideals of youth, but putting those ideals into action is what separates designers that just draw from innovators that build. Jasmine Burton, Founder of Wish for Wash a social impact organization that saves lives by bringing innovation to sanitation through culturally-specific research, design and education is an innovator and a doer. As a freshman at Georgia Tech, Jasmine was inspired to do something about the global sanitation crisis by a women's leadership conference by Susan Davis of Improve International. Nearly half of the world doesn't have access to a toilet; of those people, women and girls are disproportionately burdened and pubescent girls in the developing world frequently drop out of school as a result of the lack of toilets in their schools. Angered by this reality, [...]

Why Designers are Bullish on 3D Printing

2017-07-07T16:21:48+00:00April 30th, 2016|INC Articles|

Is the demise of Pinshape an indication that the 3D Printing bubble has burst or a reason to invest more? Just announced today, Pinshape, one of the most designer-friendly 3D Print communities, is closing their site with 75,000+ users on March 31, 2016. With a series of down-sizing and product line discontinuations throughout the 3D Printing industry, investors have cooled off considerably on the consumer sector of 3D Printing. Makerbot's 2015 revenues were down by 55% causing layoffs and the parent company, Stratasys took a large goodwill impairment charge for the acquisition. 3D Systems discontinued their consumer sub-$1000 printer, the Cube and closed their design community to focus on their core industrial business departing completely from the consumer marketplace. 3D Printing industry analysts are calling it a sign of a 3D Printing bubble burst, but as a 3D Print designer and co-host of the WTFFF?! 3D Printing podcast, I am hearing the exact opposite from the education, consumer and designer [...]

This Is How You Create a Brand That Gets Noticed

2017-07-07T16:17:04+00:00April 10th, 2016|INC Articles|

Aiming just for 'catchy' isn't enough. Here's what goes into creating a brand that people remember. Crafting your brand messages and tag lines to be impactful and memorable is not just important for those entering a Shark Tank-style pitch. It is a marketing requirement to create sound bites with all audiences, on-line and off-line. Best selling author and master publicity strategist, Jill Lublin helps small business owners and entrepreneurs to refine both company and personal brand messaging because very likely you are the brand and the story too. Her technique is to have you first reflect a problem in the marketplace today. Jill Lublin coaches her clients to capture attention and be concise, very concise identifying that "the problem today is..." Then you can move on to why you are or have the solution in an "interesting and relatable way and, of course, giving it a little ooh and ahh." The core message should never be [...]

Secrets to Pitch Your Idea from Bootstrapped to Funded

2017-07-07T03:07:49+00:00April 8th, 2016|INC Articles|

Crafting a successful investor pitch requires cracking the funding code with angels not sharks. The most critical secret to getting your pitch funded is one of the top reasons for start-up investment pitch failure - only 3% of start-up funding comes from venture capital. So you are probably in the wrong room - you want to pitch angels, not sharks. However, perfecting your pitch for the right investor with what business model will have traction and what needs to be in your pitch deck requires an inside track on how to crack a secret funding code. Most entrepreneurs, especially creative ones think that they can just wing it and figure it out on their own, but after listening to The Successful Pitch podcast hosted by Funding Strategist, John Livesay, it is clear that struggling to figure out this enigma alone is a big failure point. As John Livesay explains, you need "the right [...]

5 Design Tips Inspired by the Creators of the World’s Most Iconic Office Chair

2017-07-07T03:02:18+00:00April 4th, 2016|INC Articles|

Advice from Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick on how to create a legacy of best-selling designs. Ten years after his death, the anniversary of Bill Stumpf's birth date is still being celebrated by those who knew him and his incredible international design reach. Two years into my career as a designer, which, gasp, makes that two decades ago, I was lucky enough to visit his studio and work on a project with him. The Aeron chair was in final production and we were working on custom colors and materials for a special installation project. His studio was fascinating and conducive to his iterative design process and philosophy. He openly shared his work, his process and his thoughts on how good designers are meant to be servant leaders. Those values were reflective of the Herman Miller core values, the company we both served at the time. Herman Miller Bill Stumpf in his studio with [...]

3 Ways to Create Gender Harmony in Your Company & Products

2017-07-07T02:55:00+00:00March 29th, 2016|INC Articles|

Why a little battle for the sexes is good for innovative design and better selling products. Everything is personal nowadays, even business. Maybe a little too personal; especially when sex enters the workplace creating imbalance or counter-productivity. With women yielding the largest demographic for sales in any product or service category, can your company afford to avoid a battle of the sexes about what women and men want? Fear of being sexist removes healthy debate and collaborative conversations between men and women, negatively impacting product design. It goes against societal norms and professional self-preservation. According to relationship navigation specialist, Kimi Avary developer of the Beyond the Glass Ceiling Workplace Navigation System, "masculine and feminine modes of being are hard-wired, but it's when we get stuck in your own head that misunderstandings occur and productivity decreases." Here are 3 ways you can safely bring sex into your product development team and design [...]

5 Ways to Get Your Money’s Worth from Designers & 2 Don’ts That Cost

2017-07-07T02:59:27+00:00March 29th, 2016|INC Articles|

Hiring an in-house or freelance designer is a daunting task, but these essential 7 practices are the keys to actually getting your intended innovation and productive value from those designers. Clearly articulate your design criteria Failure in design is most often failure in communication. Miscommunication of company goals, brand promise and target market understanding. You are doing the hiring and you are ultimately responsible for the results. Through the development of your design criteria, you will not only be clear about the outcome you expect but also on the key skills required when hiring. Design is really a team sport Hiring a solo designer or freelancer is a dangerous practice. Designers need to feed their creative minds off each other. Design refinement and innovation happens with mind share. Additionally, you need a team who can work simultaneously on both advanced projects and responsive immediate demands. If your budget permits, hire [...]

What a South Carolina Libertarian Taught Me About Innovation

2017-07-07T02:56:26+00:00March 19th, 2016|INC Articles|

Exposure to an executive business training seminar called Freedom School leaves lasting lessons. Recruited fresh out of Rhode Island School of Design, I excitedly started my first real industry job working for textile giant Milliken & Co. in Abbeville, South Carolina. As if it wasn't shocking enough to go from New England to the exact spot where South Carolina seceded from the Union in 1860, the HR manager told me that I would have to spend nine weeks attending their Leadership Orientation Program in Spartanburg. My first introduction to executive business training was typical enough with a general overview of the company capabilities and factory visits. Evening classes in public speaking with a Dale Carnegie instructor was energizing. I still use many of those early techniques today to remember names and structure my talks. Surprisingly, my favorite part was the opportunity to learn statistical analysis, something I couldn't learn in [...]

3 Ways to Train Your Brain for Bigger and Better Ideas

2017-07-06T03:41:04+00:00March 18th, 2016|INC Articles|

For starters, you need to stop overthinking it. Organizations and entrepreneurs are looking for ways to encourage more innovative thinking. But, according to John Assaraf of The Secret and MyNeuroGym.com, thinking is the problem--the process of thinking actually "by definition cancels out the neural process of creativity," effectively killing innovation. Here he sheds light on the brain processing required for greater innovation as well as the secrets to encouraging and invoking innovation. "Creativity, imagination and innovation are a part of a neural process that occurs in some of the newest evolutionary structures of the brain," he says. "Creativity is a whole-brain phenomenon that takes a totally different level of complexity." Begin with the prefrontal cortex, which Assaraf calls the "Einstein Brain: the CEO; Executive Director; the GPS system--the part of the brain where you can think of all the possibilities and then activate the occipital part of the brain to imagine an outcome." This brain [...]

Hazz Design at CEO Space 0316

2017-05-23T15:29:04+00:00March 11th, 2016|Blog Posts|

Thanks for coming to the Hazz Design at CEO Space 0316 workshops with Tracy Hazzard and Tom Hazzard! Please find below the links to our presentations and materials for your use. All rights reserved, so please do not distribute or copy without our express written permission. We are happy to come speak to your organizations on any of these subjects. Hazz Design at CEO Space 0316 Tactics for Launching Without a Lot of Runway Launching a business, product or service is a high-risk game of chance when you have a runway shortened by time or money, unless you up your odds for success with the right sequence, tactics and resources to launch on-time, on-budget and on-target. Understand the critical runway and sequence review gates for a successful launch Uncover ways to identify and sidestep common launch landmines that explode costs and timelines Learn tips to determine the right resources that can [...]

Millennial Valentine’s Day Proposals – Put a Ring On It and a Camera In It

2017-07-06T03:31:01+00:00March 5th, 2016|INC Articles|

Time to put a ring on it (and a camera in it) to share the moment you pop-the-question. Love is in the air and popping-the-question videos are on my social media feed all the time. I expect that more now that Valentine's Day is approaching. I am truly amazed by all the effort and expense being put into the proposals, including making sure that there is a photographer or videographer stalking or standing by to capture a personal moment. Ring Cam Ring Box CREDIT: Ring Cam This is fresh in my mind because my daughter, Alexandra recently got engaged to her filmmaker boyfriend, Jonatan. He called me before the proposal frustrated with figuring out how to balance the private moment and still capture it on camera to share with the rest of us and preserve forever. We both sifted through many very expensive options until he came to the conclusion [...]

Attracting Clients to Dominate Your Market with Podcasting

2017-07-06T03:24:31+00:00March 4th, 2016|INC Articles|

Forget passive income use a podcast to attract clients and dominate your market instead. Podcasting is continuing to trend as one of the hottest marketing opportunities for entrepreneurs and experts. Anyone who's anyone wants to be interviewed on a podcast - even the President. But unless a high-powered guest propels your podcast to millions of monthly plays, can podcasting really make you money? As co-host of a fast-growing niche podcast - WTFFF?! 3D Printing Tips & Tools - I have personal experience with the podcasting trend. Conceived in April 2015, our podcast has grown to 25,000 plays per month in nine months. We are in the midst of taking on our first set of sponsors. More important than a little residual advertising income, podcasting has positioned our design firm to be the market's top agency creating 3d print consumer products. Is this success just a fluke of right place, right topic and [...]

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 [...]