Category Archives: Uncategorized

“How” versus “What”

As a manager you have to detach yourself from the “how” and look at the “what”. If you don’t, your business will get stuck looking for better ways to do the wrong things.

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The Myth of the Web Store

Because we offer cost effective logos, we often attract one-man start-ups. A retired gentleman who is putting up his own “web store”.

Let’s get this straight: In the offline world, location matters. You make money because you are close and convenient. I’m not going to drive to the larger (cheaper) hardware store if your hardware store is just around the corner.

That does not work on the web. Your “web store” is no closer than Amazon.com. Besides, I know Amazon. I have bought from their store before. I trust them. They are fast too. Why would I change to “i-sell-cool-stuff-from-home.com”.

Why would I risk entering my credit card details there?
Why would I wait 2 weeks for you to ship the thing?
To buy a DVD that I could get cheaper at Amazon?

I won’t.

You will have to do better. Web stores that sell a collection of cool stuff don’t work.

What should you sell?

Something no-one else is selling. Sure the market is probably smaller, but this is the web. Every single one of the 7.5 billion people on this planet is around the corner from your web store. Specialize! Be #1 in something – anything – and you will have a viable start to your business.

Or try to beat Amazon. Your call.

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Surprise and Delight

It’s one of the most important concepts in business.

This past Christmas, instead of the normal Christmas stuff, I bought my wife a ring – just to say that I still love her as much as when I married her. She was almost in tears. For a week. It’s now one month later and I still can’t do anything wrong.

It worked because she was surprised and delighted. (I’m usually an unromantic old fart.)

The same applies in graphic design – and in business in general.

No matter how great your work is, if you only deliver what I expect to receive then you are only delivering. You are not making my day, only giving me what I paid for. Hurry up and hand it over. There are millions of people delivering every day. You are replaceable.

Make yourself irreplaceable by promising less and delivering more. Get a “wow” response.

It requires more effort, but that is exactly why it works.

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Think, Dammit.

On the Google discussion forum there are thousands of posts from people who lost their entire income after Google changed its ranking algorithm.

One retired guy pleads with Google to give him his traffic back before he loses his house.

Learn from these people. If you have only one web site, if that web site puts the food on the table and if you rely on Google for most of your traffic, then calling your position precarious is a gross understatement. You are in imminent danger of losing everything. Playing by Google’s rules isn’t enough. Many perfectly good sites are penalized every time Google rolls out a new ranking algorithm.

Relying on Google is fine, but having only one web site is not. At the time of writing I have 42 web sites, 9 of which produce an income. There are 3 more on the way. Of the 9 profitable sites I can lose any 6 and still survive. I’d have to let all my employees go, but there would be food on my table and a computer in the corner from where I can rebuild my empire.

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