Archive for January, 2006

This is the way to blog AS business…

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

Boy, when some people decide to go for it, they do it up right.

In Northeast Ohio there’s a passionate and expansive blogging community. But some people have taken the phenomenon to new levels–really making their blogs into the business, rather than a promotional tool for another business.

To do that requires a huge commitment–it’s really almost like publishing a full-scale magazine. The publisher must be responsible for making the content provide extraordinary value in each issue. A local Northeast Ohio blogpreneur named Anita Campbell has been passionately applying all her previous online marketing experience (she’s a former CEO of a web-based division of Bell & Howell) to making her blog a smash hit in the Internet world. And lots of big guys are recognizing her for it. The Plain Dealer just reported that “Anita Campbell: CEO and publisher of Small Business Trends LLC has walked off with a couple of star industry awards for
2005: Forbes magazine’s Best of the Web for small-business blogs; honorable mention from MarketingSherpa as Best Small Business Marketing blog; and the No. 1 Most Practical Blog for Entrepreneurs from About.com.”

Anita has become a paragon of Internet expertise. She now operates the following websites: www.trendtracker.blogspot.com, www.smallbiztrends.com, www.smbtrendwire.com, www.small-biz-advisor.com, www.rfid-weblog.com, www.blogs.bnet.com/smallbusiness/

Congratulations on your well-deserved recognition, Anita. Aspiring blogpreneurs, watch and follow suit.

Successful economy breeds fat

Sunday, January 22nd, 2006

Less physical labor. Fewer places to walk to. Easier-to-get, faster-to-prepare, higher-fat food. Corn syrup in everything. Suburban sprawl. Expensive gym fees, combined with less leisure time. Even the shop-from-your-easy-chair Internet. It all adds up to a bunch of overweight Americans. But the growing numer of obesity-related industries are getting fat and happy, too. The facts are fascinating. Read ‘em and weep:

“For many corporations, and even for physicians, Americans’ obesity has also fattened the bottom line. William L. Weis, a management professor at Seattle University, says revenue from the ‘obesity industries’ will likely top $315 billion this year, and perhaps far more. That includes $133.7 billion for fast-food restaurants, $124.7 billion for medical treatments related to obesity, and $1.8 billion just for diet books — all told, nearly 3 percent of the overall U.S. economy.

Did you know…that we guzzled $37 billion in carbonated beverages in 2004? The same year, we spent $3.9 billion on cookies — $244 million of which were Oreo cookies sold by Kraft Foods for about $3.69 a package. In 2003, we splurged $57.2 billion on meals at restaurants such as Denny’s, Chili’s and Outback Steakhouse. Potato chip sales hit $6.2 billion in 2004.”

Yes, it’s true. We Americans are up against a lot of powerful influences that make it hard to control weight. And honestly, sometimes it seems even our public health officials put us on the wrong track–not every culture says you need 3 meals a day. Deepak Chopra wrote a book saying you really only need one.

Either way, it’s a fact that obesity is fattening the economy. The question is, how many other good things could we be doing with that money?

Know more: About business and the law

Monday, January 16th, 2006

Small Business Trends, a very popular blog about…well, exactly what it says, is hosting this week’s version of Blawg (law + blog) Review.

In addition to reviewing various legal bloggers’ comments on the Alita hearings, publisher Anita Campbell, herself trained as a lawyer and now transmogrified into a captain of the blog industry, points out some great links to business/law topics–including how to write better. Well, what do you know? The lawyers are at last coming around to the truth that jargon-y, pompous writing doesn’t do anybody any good. Hurray, indeed.

Check out Anita’s Blawg Review here.

On the radio–Is a blog right for your business?

Friday, January 13th, 2006

So sorry I have been remiss with my blogging this past week. Racing heavy deadlines for good clients and trying to manage the rest of the business and keep up with obligations to colleagues has meant my blogging lost out.

Sitting in a local Panera Bread store with wireless connection, slamming down a sandwich while responding to email and preparing for the next appointment (this time, it’s the dentist). I’m being interviewed on Small Business Trends VoiceAmerica radio next week. Publisher and host Anita Campbell is one of those colleagues to whom I have obligations–like I have to prepare for the interview with her on Tuesday!

Information about the show is online–check it out here right away.

Okay. I’m off–and I bet you’re going to have more fun than I am in the next couple of hours… ” )

Statistics, schmatistics

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

Do you have the right employees? How worried are you about sales/revenue levels? Are you growing your business as much as you want? Can a report that combines statistics for all kinds of businesses accurately reflect your real concerns?

One of the not-the-big-8-anymore, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, helped Entrepreneur.com run a survey of the top concerns for several hundred private-company CEOs this coming year. Nearly 1 out of 5 (18%) said finding and retaining good employees was their top concern. That was followed closely by a combination of answers–sales/revenue/demand in the marketplace (15%), and next by a slightly different but similar concern: growing the business (14%).

But when you get down to the next section of the report, Success Factors, you get a different picture. You see that executives’ concerns vary widely by the type of industry they’re in. For example, everyone except those in service businesses seemed more worried about things other than worker retention.

  • High-tech businesses–those hives of brilliant math and science minds–were more worried about putting that brain power to work to create new producs (47%), and secondly about forging new business alliances.
  • In the Products and Non-Tech sectors, their chief concern was increasing productivity (each 39%).
  • In the Service sector, retaining key employees was tops by far (77%), and was followed by expanding to new markets in the U.S. (40%).

Here’s the rest of the report. How do your concerns jibe with these stats?

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Sunday, January 1st, 2006
Happy New Year!
Photo compliments of HeartMath.org