New Beginnings

Happy new year!

This is more than just a new year for me. It is a new chapter in my professional life.

I begin 2011 working directly for someone else for the first time in nearly 10 years. The sale of Inspire Consulting to Opus Dynamic was finalized late last year, and is now official as of January 1.

Having completed the sale of a business I’ve run since 2002, I look forward to this year with a mixture of feelings. I’m proud of the work my small company has done. I’m excited by our acquisition by a larger company and by the opportunities to work on bigger projects and with larger teams.… Continue reading →

Tracking Your Campaigns with Google Analytics

The combination of Google Analytics and Google AdWords has done wonders for small business advertising.

By enabling small business owners and non-technical staff to set up search advertising campaigns with relative ease, and by providing them an effortless way to track the effectiveness of those campaigns, Google has transformed online advertising.

Click-through and conversion rates are readily accessible. With a little extra set up (tracking the value of individual sales), Analytics can even tell you your campaign’s ROI.

In fact, the standard set of Google Analytics reports can provide detailed analysis of a variety of traffic sources, including:

Email Etiquette

You’d think that people would have got the hang of email by now. I mean, hey, it’s only been an integral part of most people’s professional lives for at least 10 years, right?

Sadly, many people still have absolutely zero clue how to mind their Ps and Qs when sending an email. Here’s some tips for them, and (hopefully) some entertainment for you!

1. Don’t abuse “Reply To All”

The “reply to all” function serves a legitimate purpose. It allows discussions to take place via email where the participants can engage one another at the same time.

An email discussion might be seeking to finalize a design or decide a course of action.… Continue reading →

Last Year’s Predictions: How Accurate was I?

Last year, I made some predictions for this year. My predictions weren’t too bold, but it’s always a risky proposition to attempt to forecast the future. Let’s take a look and see how they turned out.

1. The Economy - Turmoil and a Golden Opportunity

Verdict: Mostly Correct

I predicted 3 things here. First, that the economy would get worse. Second, that many businesses would fold. And finally that this would present a huge opportunity to savvy business owners and afford them the opportunity to expand.

The first two were spot on. The economy was miserable throughout 2009 for most businesses despite massive (and frankly absurd) levels of government spending.… Continue reading →

7 Fundamentals of Business Social Media Strategy

Everyone seems to be jumping on the social media band wagon. If you’re like many small business owners, you might be wondering whether you should too.

Perhaps you haven’t explored it at all yet, or maybe you dipped a toe by setting up a Facebook page but aren’t getting much response. What do you do?

Here’s a quick primer on getting started. No, reading it won’t make you the next social media sensation overnight, but you can get a great start in just a few hours and maintain an effective presence with as little as 20 minutes per day.

Here’s how:

1.… Continue reading →