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Mike Michalowicz

Mike Michalowicz (pronounced mi-KAL-o-wits) started his first business at the age of 24, moving his young family to the only safe place he could afford – a retirement building. With no experience, no contacts and no savings he systematically bootstrapped a multi-million dollar business. Then he did it again. And again. Now he is doing it for other entrepreneurs. Mike is the CEO of Provendus Group, a consulting firm that ignites explosive growth in companies that have plateaued; is a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal; is MSNBC’s business make-over expert; is a keynote speaker on entrepreneurship; and is the author of the cult classic book, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. His newest book, The Pumpkin Plan has already been called “the next E-myth!”

Mondays with Mike: Need for Speed! Practical Strategies to Get Your Employees to Work Faster

By August 22, 2016 No Comments

Even if you’ve assembled a crackerjack staff, you’ll always have an employee or two who is just…well…slow!  You assign them a job that should take half a day, and they manage to stretch it out for most of a week.  Especially if the employee is a great fit for your company culture and otherwise wonderful, you simply have to help your slow employees become more productive.  Lucky for you, there are simple strategies that work beautifully.

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Mondays with Mike: Fall in Love with your (Business) Partner All Over Again

By August 15, 2016 No Comments

My wife and I have never been to a marriage counselor, but we certainly make it a point to nurture our relationship.  Running a company can take a toll on a marriage, and it’s critical that entrepreneurs make time to spend time with their spouses.

But what about your business partner?  As it turns out, many of the things we do to nurture personal relationships are also relevant for business partnerships as well.  What could a marriage counselor tell you that will help you maintain a strong partnership?  Read on!

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Mondays with Mike: Financial Advice You Should Ignore

By August 8, 2016 No Comments

Advice is everywhere.  In most cases, you don’t even have to ask for it.  Whether it’s your brother in law, your grandmother, or your competition, you’re sure to get advice from all directions when you’re starting your business.  Here’s the thing, though:  some advice is terrible.  Some advice can actually make it harder to run a successful business.  The trick is learning to weed out the bad advice from the good.  Here are suggestions you should feel free to ignore:

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Mondays with Mike: Show and Tell – Examples of Great Sales Pitches

By August 1, 2016 No Comments

Unless you’re one of the fortunate few, part of your everyday business is reaching out to new potential clients – working to bring in revenue from untapped sources.  We all know the trouble though.  You’re almost never without competition for your prospects’ dollars.  How do you make your pitch stand out from the crowd?

Use these strategies.  And because it’s easier to understand the concept when you see it in action, I’ve included examples of how each strategy can work to bring you new business!

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Mondays with Mike: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Niche Specialization

By July 25, 2016 No Comments

Why does specialization affect profitability?  It’s pretty darn simple.  If you have a sore throat, then any general practitioner will do.  They’ll look at your throat, do a strep test, and prescribe an antibiotic if you need one.  Easy.  But if you – Heaven forbid – have throat cancer, you’re going to see an oncologist.  You’ll travel further and pay more because you need a specialist.  It’s a matter of life and death, literally.

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Mondays with Mike: Twice the Productivity in Half the Time…Really!!

By July 18, 2016 No Comments

If I had a nickel for every productivity app and article that’s out there, I’d retire today.  But I don’t.  What I do have – and I suspect you do, too – is a to-do list that never seems to get finished.  I have an endless list of tasks and a finite amount of time in each day.  Short of cloning myself, I had to find some way to manage my workload without simply giving up.

Here’s how I did it.

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Mondays with Mike: Marketing vs. Remarketing…and Which is Right for You

By July 11, 2016 No Comments

Ever wonder why – after you do a little research into a product online – you start seeing that product on nearly every page you visit?  It’s a tactic called remarketing.  You visit a site, and you leave with a bit of code on your computer; it’s called a cookie.  Subsequent sites you visit have blank ad spaces that display images of the very items – and their competitors – that you’ve been looking at. 

The first few times it happens, it can further whet your appetite for an item.  I was looking at some new outdoor furniture for the deck a few years ago, and after I did a little research, suddenly there were deck chairs and umbrellas on every single page I viewed.  It got to the point where I was tired of seeing the same stuff, and I never did end up buying more furniture that year.  I was oversaturated with images and pitches to sell me furniture.

That’s remarketing.  And when it’s done properly, it can be effective.  When it’s overdone, it can actually hurt sales.

How does remarketing work?  By creating multiple impressions.  It’s proven that we’re more comfortable with brands that are familiar, and remarketing uses that principle to generate additional sales.  It works for a while, and it’s great for certain products.  If you have a seasonal offering or a new, exciting line extension, remarketing may be exactly what you want to kick off additional sales.

But it’s when you look at a long-term strategy that remarketing becomes dangerous.  And that’s because remarketing isn’t really marketing at all.  It’s really more of a sales pitch.

True marketing is about brand building.  It’s the difference between a Coca Cola ad with an adorable polar bear and a hard sell ad that reiterates that a short-term price reduction is about to end and quantities are limited.  Marketing is about creating positive impressions that aren’t necessarily tied to an immediate sell.  It’s Nike’s “Just Do It.”  It’s “Got Milk?”  It’s McDonalds “I’m Lovin’ It.” 

Marketing wins fans.  Remarketing boosts short-term sales.

Both are important strategies, but it’s important to use them carefully and deliberately.  Before you implement a remarketing campaign, make sure you’re featuring a new product and you’re doing it for a limited time.  What you don’t want is to turn customers off.  If you have customers rolling their eyes at yet another outdoor umbrella, then your remarketing campaign has officially backfired.

Most companies benefit from a long-term marketing strategy that captures the spirit, culture, and ethos of the business…coupled with short-term, sales-oriented efforts.  And like many other business endeavors, if you have a product or offering you think is a great remarketing candidate, start with a trial rollout of the campaign and measure the results before you launch a full-on version.

While there’s something to be said for seizing the moment, when it comes to marketing – and remarketing – your best bet is to move a little more slowly.  Weigh your options, test on a small scale, and preserve the integrity of your brand.

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