Seth Godin has this post titled; How to make money with SEO on his blog. The post states that if you are hoping for plain vanilla organic results on search engines such as Google, good luck.

The answer: You probably won’t be. There are 14 million matches for Plumber, and no, you won’t be #1 or #2. You lost. In fact, in just about every keyword worth owning, your chances are winning are small.

He is exactly right in that. (note: SEO is Search Engine Optimization)

But!

For you managers in the small to medium business space lets do a little excercise!

I am in the Ottawa Canada area, do I want a plumber in Peoria? – ummm nope

So first – preface the word plumber with your city name.

Good. Now notice the number of returned hits has dropped exponentially.

Now try localizing more, with the region, bourough, or commonly known section of your city. Yup – probably dropped the number of hits a bit more.

Next. Have you added your business to Google Local?

If not, do it! first it makes you easier to find, second, it helps give your business a bump.

Now lastly, search engines like fresh – as in bread – was the last time you updated your web site 3 years ago? 

Make a resolution to get to that!

Even with just the first two steps – was the number of hits exponentially reduced?

The SMB Takeaway

There is the old joke about two guys walking in the woods when they come across an angry bear. The first chap yells “we can’t out run a bear!” to which the second chap yells back, “I don’t have to out run the bear! I just have to out run you!”

You don’t need to beat 14 million matches. You just need to beat the smaller number that are in your region, your market, or your niche.

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Photo Credit wallyg via flickr

Cristina Favreau has the following quote on her blog

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few. — Shunryu Suzuki

That is a good thing to remember. Too often we get closed into our area of expertise, and assume that there is no other way to view obstacles or opportunities.

It reminds me of a quote that I recall from many years ago – I think it was from the alternative hydrogen engineering firm Ballard Power Systems.  (if I am wrong forgive me)

The quote that I read was about hiring scientists that had no previous experience in automotive, batteries, and the related technologies thst Ballard was researching.

The reason given was pretty much the same, that experts know what won’t work.

And having scientists that were beginners, would lead to looking with different lenses at what the experts said could not be done.

The SMB Takeaway

If any one ever says that something cannot be done.

Borrow a line from the Toyota playbook.

Ask why.

And ask it four times after the first one.

I do add one caveat though.

If cannot is being used as a synonym for should not – that can be a different story!

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Meetings Without Actions

April 28, 2009

Are useless

If there has not been a discussion of deliverables met, and action items for the next meeting.

Then the meeting was a waste of time.

People must be responsible and accountable for certain actions.

Those actions must be tracked and followed over time.

UPDATE: The May 2009 Harvard Business Review has this quote attributed to Peter Drucker – It kinda fits Non?

Unless a decision has ‘degenerated into work,’ it is not a decision; it is at best a a good intention

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BlogCatalog

April 28, 2009

Business Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Don’t mind me – ‘sperimenting

The Bleeding Edge

April 28, 2009

The bleeding edge is a term for any technology so new that it is dripping wet – technology new birth.

You know that you are the one doing the beta testing. In other words – you get to fight through the issues and bugs.

Some organizations that have stretched existing technologies to their limits take great interest in these bleeding edge, new technology  tools. (Read Clayton Christensen)

If you are a tech savvy organization, and are pushing the envelope of technology, being first to use some bleeding edge tech can give a considerable first mover advantage.

But for the average SME that is not a technolgy driven business?

Would you recommend something or someone you don’t trust?

In your business, you want someting that will work the first time and without a fight.

In most cases, I avoid early adoption

‘Cause I gotta trust …

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From the servers holding your data and applications, the network switches that connect all of your machines, right to the router or firewall that connects you to the Internet. And yes, even your phone system if you use a PBX or Voice over IP (VoIP).

They all need power! 

Uninteruptable Power Supplies (battery backups) can protect your systems from brief power surges or or outages, but they cannot protect you from outages lasting hours, or worse, days.

Longer outages can happen from something as local as an accidentally cut power line, to regional wind or winter storms bringing down power lines or transformers.

That does not even mention what we call disasters from flood or fire!

When the power is out for more than a few minutes, the only way to keep IT infrastructure working in these longer outages is backup power  generation capability.

The SMB Takeaway

Look at your power situation when making any decision on your IT, from the decision to host your web server on your own premises to the type and size of UPS batteries for your servers and other devices. If your facility does not have power generation backup, you are at the mercy of the power grid. 

So it would not make sense to look strategically at some issue that would require high power availability.

 

Generators

Generators

Photo Credit Tim Dorr  via flickr

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Spent most of the day going over a suppliers invoices.

Now they are for services, not products which can always be more complex.

But services that are absolutely wrong

Services that are mis-named

Services with no reference

I could go on.

The SMB Takeaway

Don’t make that mistake.

Being easy to do business with includes your invoice.

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Photo Credit TravelingMango via flickr