Thursday, August 15, 2019

Is China Surpassing the U.S. in Intellectual Capital?

The U.S. is losing its intellectual advantages when measured against other emerging nations like fast growing China. Intellectual capacity fuels our economy with new products and services and when this declines economic positions change. China's intellectual capacity seems to be racing at breakneck speed to match U.S. superiority in PhD candidates, scientific publications and patents. To retain the nation's current economic position there must be renewed interest in the development of educational and Ph.D programs to push innovation to the forefront of scientific discovery. Patching holes in the brain drain seems more pressing when we compared to intellectual outputs in other nations.

We live in a complex society that insists on increasing amounts of technology and knowledge to manufacture new products.  According to the article Do We Need More Scientists? in National Affairs there was a serge of investment into science in the 1950's when the USSR launched Sputnik, (Teitelbaum, 2003).  In the 1970's and 80's research institutions warned of the consequences of not having enough scientific capacity. The Dot.Com boom of 1990's again saw shortages of U.S. scientific ability widen and we began to recruit heavily from overseas to narrow that gap.

The U.S. is in a difficult era where significant amounts of our manufacturing shifted to cheaper international locations. Compounding the problem further, our schools are wobbly and don't consistently produce the skill levels needed to foster adequate scientific development. Attracting investment in manufacturing and development rests in part on our ability to develop useful intellectual capacity.

To more clearly discern if we have enough intellectual capital we can look at a couple of markers that include the hiring of doctors from overseas, Ph.D. graduates, scientific publications and patents.

H-1B Visas

Intellectual capital and our ability to general new ideas has always been central to innovation. New ideas are build from study and research that converts into knowledge of the past and ideas on how to solve problems for the future. The U.S. imports intellectual capital through a visa program based business skill needs. H1-B visas, while not always Ph.D. levels, do provide an indication of need for further scientific and technology oriented skills.

According to the Pew Research Center, since 2009 the demand for H-1B Visas have skyrocketed and meet quotas within the first weeks of application dates (Ruiz, 2017). From 2000 to 2018 the U.S. saw business submit work visa applications increase from around 110,000 to 200,000 respectively. Approximately 90% of applications are from the STEM related fields such as computer, math, science, engineering, etc...  Of these applicants 5% are Ph.Ds and 4% are Master Degree holders.

Work visas are a strong indicator that we have such a high demand for certain types of skill and knowledge that we import it.  While many of these recruits have something of value to provide our country they should be used more as a cushion between increased demand and lack of supply. Chronic short-falls in talent should concern stakeholders of industry-education misalignment.

Ph.D. Graduates

OECD reports 68 thousand U.S. PhD (.03 % of population) candidates graduated in 2014 out of 214 million citizens (Gray, 2017; OECD, 2016).  In the same year, Germany had 29k Ph.D. graduates (.035% of population) divided by 81.2 million population.  In contrast, in 2014 China is way behind the long curve by graduating 53,853 new Ph.D graduates (.004% of population) out of 1.364 billion people (Mei, 2018).

When we compare Ph.D graduates of the two countries over a given time-frame we can gain a deeper insight into the nature of the problem. China has a large population of relatively uneducated low-skilled workers. They have increased their PhD. institutions. We can see this change in comparing graduated during a certain time frame. The U.S. graduated 47K Ph.D students in 1998 and 67k in 2014 (OECD, 2016)  China over the same time frame  graduated 7.5 K in 1998 and 53K in 2014 (Mei, 2018).
Scientific Publications

Another way to look at growing innovation is through the eyes of scientific publications. Doctors often publish much more than any other educational group and indicates the presence of scientific activity. Reviewing publications will tell you a lot about which countries are creating and developing some of the most thought provoking advancements. It is those advancements that make the biggest difference.

 The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development indicates that U.S. is growing in scientific publications but China is increasing its intellectual capacity at a much higher rate (OECD, 2016). Between 2003 and 2012 China went from 90K to 400K (+77.5%) highly cited papers. Comparatively the U.S. went from 390K to 590K (+51%) highly cited publications during the time period.

You can see from the chart that it is possible China may have surpassed the U.S in scientific publications. If not yet it wont be long! It is important consider that scientific publications lead to scientific discovery. It also provides some understanding of intellectual and innovative capacity. Much will depend on the quality of the publications for development. 


Patents help gauge improvement in the protection of intellectual discoveries and innovative products. They often include new products, additions, technologies, and discoveries. In 2014 The U.S. had 615,243 patent submissions and out of these 326,032 patents were granted as original (U.S. Patent and Trade Office, 2016). Comparatively, China in 2014 submitted a whopping 964,859 patent applications and was awarded 246,895 patent grants (WIPO, 2019).

While the U.S. is still producing the most patents in the world, the Chinese are trending up quickly. For example in 2008 the U.S had 185,224 patent approvals and in 2014 that number increased to 326,032 (U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, 2016). Comparatively, China in 2008 had 2,329 patent approvals and in 2014 earned a whopping 246,895 patent approvals (Wipo, 2019).
How can we Improve U.S. Intellectual Capital?

1. Rethink Education. Education is vital to today's success as an individual and as a nation. We are not graduating enough people with STEM skills and must rely on importing that talent from overseas. The need to use education to prepare Industrial Era factory talent has been replaced by Big Data Era demand for higher order thinking skills. Our schools will need to set the preparation work in the early stages of life and foster them throughout people's lives.

2. Cultural Adjustments. We should think of science as an essential aspect of our lives. Move scientific thinking from the periphery of learning to its center. Exposure brings awareness of the influence of science to the general public. When people are exposed to science in popular media, formal education and within their daily lives more critical ways of viewing the world occur.

3. Adjust the Labor Market and Incentives. Most students don't like math, logic, and all the different components that make their way into fields of science. While we may not be able to control how people feel we can better ensure that those with science degrees can find jobs. Companies that import new talent through the H1-B visa programs should first consider American talent before engaging in international recruitment.

Mei, Y. (2018). Transformation and trend of doctoral education in China and Poland (1980s-2010s) A comparative study. 21st Century Pedegogy, I (47-60).

OECD (2016). OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2016.  Retrieved June 27th, 2019 from

Ruiz, N. (April, 2017). Key facts about the U.S. H-1B visa program. Pew Research Center. Retrieved

Teitelbaum,, M. (Fall 2003). Do We Need More Scientists? National Affairs, Retrieved

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (2016). U.S. Patent Statistics Chart Calendar Years 1963 - 2015. Retrieved

WIPO (2019). China-Statistical Country Profiles. World Intellectual Property Organization. Retrieved July 1st, 2019

Permission to republish with proper attribution. Dr. Murad Abel

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Selecting Your Research Pantheon!

Research teams can be complex and best ensuring that a research product succeeds is by staffing it with the right people that have the knowledge complete the work. I'm working on conducting a research project and have put together a team of interested scientists and professors. Each brought with them certain skills and a diverse background to ensure that their contribution is meaningful.

I put together a few ideas on how to select your research team. They are generic enough to apply to most situations.

1. Define Your Research, Objectives and Plans: Before you start putting your team together you should have a pretty good idea of what you want to do. Make sure that you have everything defined before moving forward.

2. Select Your Team on Skills: Your team will determine your potential success. Ensuring that you bring on board the right skills is essential. You may want to think in terms of experts in the field, familiarity with research design, people who can help create practical outcomes, etc....

3. Create Timeline and Plan: Having milestones and timelines helps to keep people on track. It is helpful for people to know when deliverable are due. Just make sure you build in some spare time in case there is an unexpected delay.

4. Designate Tasks: To complete your timelines and time-frames you need to apply the skills specifically. Therefore, put people on the teams and tasks they can do well.

5. Regular Check-Ins and Follow Ups: It is helpful to have check-ins to ensure that you are meting your deadline. Allowing each person to go around and discuss what they are working on helps to keep everyone else informed.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Giving Back to Kids-Keeping Orphanages Supplied

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go down to the orphanages and bring some needed supplies. One of the things they need is cleaning stuff, toilet paper, and other items that are more mundane. Most people want to buy food or bring used clothing but in many cases they need other things such as cleaning supplies, new soccer shoes, and other items. At the present time I'm focused more on providing shoes for their soccer team as well as ensuring they have the basic supplies they need.

When you frequent these orphanages on a regular basis you come to realize that these kids have needs for love, affection, and a relationship. They begin to remember you and know your name. They grab your hands and walk with you to tell you something about their lives. They want to feel special!

That is one of the reasons why I want to spend some time working with them. They are pliable human beings that allow my activities to make a difference. One kind word, a few resources, and some encouragement and these kids can do some amazing things. We set them up for a better life their parents could not provide.

Of course my dog Chewy loved the attention as well. :)πŸ’“πŸΆπŸ•πŸΆ

If you want to contribute to basic supplies or items such as soccer shoes send me your donation and I can spend when I go down. We have jerseys but no shoes for the soccer this is on my mind.  PayPal  Venmo Murad Abel @muradabel

Please remember that my personal information is only for direct supplies, food, etc....

You may be more interested in donating to a sustained 401K that has been around for 26 years. They do a great job. If you would like to donate for the general need to sustain life through Corazon De Vida which is a U.S. based non-profit.

These kids need a ton of supplies.

Monday, May 20, 2019

4 Tips on Marketing in the Wine Industry

Dr. Murad Abel
Marketing is an essential down to earth need of any successful business. Whether you actively marketing on social media or you provide great customer service for referrals you will inevitably need to keep people interested in your product. In the wine industry marketing takes a unique turn as businesses must blend image, atmosphere, service and quality to achieve their goals.

With a solid strategy and focused effort they can bring interest and excitement to their wine.

Spend some time in Baja or in Napa Valley and you will soon find luxurious wine mixed with beautiful environments. Wine enthusiasts from all over the world travel to the area to get their taste buds teased by the unique offerings of each winery.

Image: Each winery creates an image that makes statements about who they are, what they want to accomplish and what they hope to achieve. Successful images fit within the core wine demographic but still niche enough to attract high return customers.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere is what creates memories and returns. No one want to sit in a garage and drink wine out of a box. Providing the right atmosphere makes a big difference in the overall ability of people to get immersed in their environment to create the total experience.

Service: Service helps people to fell special. People don't spend money or buy things unless it is out of necessity or they will feel good about themselves. Service provides them with positive feelings and images of their worth within the business.

Quality: If you are going to spend your time traveling, vising wineries and savoring the flavors you do not want to be purchasing cheap dollar store wine. Make sure your offerings are some of the best.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

How Entrepreneurs Find the Value of their Products

94th Aero Squadron
New entrepreneurs have a great product and a great idea! They next great widget is going to hit the market by store. There is a problem! They have nooooo idea what that product is worth! This is particularly true with new product launches and unique products. The value is dependent on its market and to best improve your chances of launch success you would be best served by knowing how to find a value.

A product priced too high might fail just after launch and not be able to gain momentum with consumers. A price that is too low might generate a lot of sales but could end up damaging the long-term brand image of the company. Low quality and value is not something most companies want to be seen as.

Below are three methods you could use. They may be modified based on the individual circumstances and factors associated with the market.

Cost Method: The method of cost plus some safe margin. You should figure out what you need to break even and then what you need to make a reasonable return on investment. At this point you know what number is the bench line where above means you are doing better than expected and a little below means the product has ties up capital.

Perceived Value: Consumers may see different value based on their product. Typically they make some type of mental comparison and then determine what they would be willing to pay for that product. Sampling consumer price points can be helpful in determining what the wider market would be willing to pay.

Market Comparison: It is beneficial to compare your product and its features to similar products in the market to determine its competitive place. Depending on which strategy you plan on using, the market average becomes a type of benchmark. Know how your product's features line up against competitors.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The 4 Ps of B2B Marketing

The 4 P's of Marketing helps us view and review a company's offering to determine if it is within the most advantageous position. The P's are simple but helpful in gaining a greater understanding of what the market is willing to buy and at what prices. If you are a small business owner and you desire to skip over the 4P's you should beware. It is your money and your time to lose if you over invest in a product no one wants and no one is willing to pay for!

To lower risks and improve opportunities for success company usually conduct analysis before they jump all in on a product. They must know which product they are going to sell, the price they are going to sell, how they are going to promote it, and where their product fits into the market. We can say they are evaluating the "4 P's of Marketing".

The 4 P's apply to Business-to-Business sales as much as they do in retail. There are some differences in the volume, amounts, services, and competitors. With B2B relationships there is a longer commitment and contracts that ensure both parties are protected. Interactions are much more personalized as people develop individual relationships with businesses.

Product: Products are the center of the marketing approach. Some products are physical and some are intellectually based. Services are also products that can be sold traded and bartered. In B2B transactions the product warranties, stocking ease, just in time delivery, etc... are part of the product offering. They are purchased together to raise the value of the supplier.

Price: The price is found through evaluating the total product and its offerings against competitive products. If such products are not found the business will need to find a utility cost above and beyond the cost of manufacturing. When the perceived value of the product doesn't meet the company's profit potential the product is taken off of the market.

Promotion: If no one knows about your product you are unlikely to get many sales. Advertising gets your voice heard in a sea of competing messages. B2B sales are more focused and intense because there are greater amounts of money and longer-term established relationships. The way in which you find candidates will also vary from phone calls and cold calling.

Place: Place can be viewed as physical in nature, such as a place on a store shelf or a place of a store, but includes position within the market.  Where your product is located in comparison to its competitors is helpful in determining which type of clients offer the greatest prospects for marketing efforts.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Girls Soccer Club at Orphanage Needs Uniforms

The girls soccer team at the Ranchos De Ninos orphanage are in need of matching uniforms to replace their tattered t-shirts. Most of their competitors are well funded and have significant advantages not only in equipment but also in style. We would like to get them into presentable state by having matching jerseys. For a sense of pride the team can actually look like a formidable opponent. The price of obtaining these products in Mexico is much cheaper than other places (Give or take $160). 

If you are interested in helping this orphanage you can donate through the following sites. If you are in the San Diego area and want to personally get involved let me know and I'll connect you to the right people. 

Corazon de Vida: You can donate to the general fund of a supporting organization called Corazon de Vida. I have met with some of the senior staff and set up a fundraising page to draw more more interest in helping the kids

PayPal:You can send me money directly to my PayPal and I will give to the director. Please don't donate a lot of money to me directly (uniforms only). I can help you connect with the right person for that. I'm just helping with a small project here so it is charity oriented. You can find me on PayPal via 

I went down this past week to work with the kids and drop them some supplies for the holidays. Of course I brought my dog Chewy and the kids loved him! This orphanage has a few dogs and while they are very friendly they also are not trusting of outside dogs. Packs need to adjust and change to one another. The kids did a great job protecting him from overly curious potential pack mates! πŸ˜†

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Research Finds Two Reasons Why People Share Media Advertisements

Field of Flowers Carlsbad Photo
Entertainment and information are the primary two reasons why consumers click on certain online advertisements. As we use online media with a voracious appetite we will be bombarded with advertisements from every corner of our screen. Most we block out and skip over as we browse. Every once in a while something will catch the corner of our eye. Slowly but surely we switch our conscious focus from the topic of the day to the advertisement. We forced our brains to detach from its current thinking, switch modes and pay attention to something else. Only advertisements that are seen as worthwhile will have the ability to do that!

According to research on reference groups media sources that are both entertaining and informative are seen as having consumer value (Mahmud, Shareef, and Nripendra, 2017). Associative, Aspirational, and Market Generated reference groups were analyzed online to see what which were of highest value.

Associative reference group: A non-referral reference group that act as market mavens and opinion leadership.

Aspirational reference group: A reference group we would like to follow.

Market-generated group: A viral marketing campaign put in place by professionals.

The study was exploratory by nature and used the theoretical framework advertising value model. What the study does tell us is that people trust sources that are more organically driven and are not necessarily "pitches". When we engage them through with something entertaining we can also then provide them new information.

That is really cool! You engage consumers attention and then move into providing them important information that reaches a conclusion. Advertising success comes through well thought out marketing campaigns that are specifically focused on your target market. If you don't know what your target market likes and wants then you don't really have a pin point gauge of your marketing campaigns.

This is what we learn from such research:

1. Create entertaining ads that at least first focus on gathering consumer attention. This may be putting eye grabbing content in the beginning and then more information infused throughout the ad and toward the end.

2. There must be relevant information provided to the consumer that makes their continued interest worth their time.

3. In the online world the type of person who is spreading and sharing the content determines its perceived value. Thus, creating advertisement that is "cool" and interesting makes a difference in who spreads it and why they do so.

4. Consider infusing your informational content with your entertaining story (i.e. content and story line convergence).

Mahmud, A., Shareef, B. and Nripendra, P. (2017). Social media marketing: comparative effect of advertisement sources. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 46

The information was provided by Abel Business Consulting, LLC

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Supporting Kids As a Strategic Initiative

Supporting kids is important in society because those kids may someday be tomorrow's leaders. Some will make it to the top;others maybe not. Despite their challenging backgrounds most grow up to be successful and contribute to society in meaningful ways. It is a corporate responsibility for companies to get involved to protect youth and encourage them to develop Tomorrow's world is built on what we will do for these kids today!

I can't imagine the horror that some of these children have gone through. Abused, rejected, no family, no one to love them, and no one to take care of them! Financially strapped orphanages take in these lost kids and give them a chance.

It is through the good hearts of people like you they have a chance to fulfill their true destinies as doctors, lawyers, mothers, fathers and employees.  Evening with limited resources the orphanage leadership has done a great job. I have visited a few of the orphanages and they may look old...but they are clean. Nothing particularly new but everything had that bleach smell of hospitals and my grandparents home. No bacterial will survive there.

Their lives go on despite their abusive background.There are books and people to read to them. They play games and they deal with their issues with the help of psychologists. The orphanages help them learn how to use a computer and attend college when they are older.They are given the support they need. However, a single expensive dental bill can put pressure on everyone. There is a cost to supporting these kids and that is something that you can help with.

How big is the problem? There are somewhere around 400,000 homeless children in Mexico of which only around 30,000 receive help (1). This means that the vast majority of children receive no help, roam the streets and work as laborers. Many of those orphanages have little money, oversight, or help. Well run orphanages can make a big difference in the lives of people!

Most people feel they simply can't afford to help out with their limited budgets. Something as small as $5 can make a difference. It may not pay all the bills but it could buy laundry detergent or toothpaste which frees up resources at other areas. I guarantee you that your morning coffee will not make you feel as good about yourself as helping one of these kids.

Abel Business Consulting, LLC helps support these children. It isn't all about money and profits! We live in a world and while we work on growing our business consulting experience we will support organizations like this. At present we are visiting the orphanages, help in fundraising, and teaching the kids fitness. In the future we would like to help them learn more about business and the lives they are destined to live!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Using Psycho Graphics to Sell to Your Customer's Deepest Needs

Businesses can explode or die a slow agonizing death over years of product misalignment! Success comes through having a deeper sense of what kind of products and services your customers demand. The very personality of your customers will determine whether they spend their hard earned money on your product or somewhere else. Delving into how customers view themselves and their lifestyle tells you something about the products they want.

Psycho-graphics is the study of personality based preferences in terms of lifestyles and product preferences. Knowing and understanding customer's mental "inner workings" helps companies offer products and services that appeal to customers on a deeper self-image level. If your going to engage in the process of getting to know your customers you will want to understand the benefits of psycho-graphics.

Sociology and Psychology are very much part of consumer analysis. Each of us has a personality that influences the way in which we see the world and the products and services we want. Our purchases say something about who we are and how we think. Studying how personality impacts choices and decisions helps us bundle, pair, and sell more products.

Psycho Relies on Big Data Collected from Everywhere

Psycho means mental activities while graphics means categories. Thus psycho-graphics studies mental differences that can be categorized for making broad conclusions about consumers. Studying such differences is a science in itself and relies on lots of big data to draw conclusion. To reach a level of scientific confidence the sample sizes generally need to be large and utilize multiple ways of drawing information from the massive amount of information. Such consumer information are drawn from browsers, purchase histories, companies, e-marketplaces, sold information, etc....

An Example of How Outdoor Jackets Influence Legislation

What a person buys may also indicate their lifestyle, beliefs and values. Consider that buying an outdoor jacket might also mean the person is likely to engage in camping trips or promote wildlife refuge legislation. In other words, those who are willing to spend the extra money on outdoor jackets may also find adventure trips exciting. With psycho-graphics its becomes possible to offer more value for customers at your business by catering to their mental lifestyle processes.

Psycho-Graphics Focuses on Differences in Attitudes and Interests

Let us consider differences in psycho-graphics between comparison and non-comparison shoppers. Comparison shoppers enjoy shopping more than non-comparison shoppers but were similar in achievement orientation, optimism, spirited living and happiness (Mittal, 2016).  We can see that people who comparison shop had differences in their behavioral patterns. Companies may consider the shopping experience to increase purchasing.

Psycho-Graphics and Multi-Faceted but Interrelated Interests

Psycho-Graphics considers the bleeding of interests around a focused theme. In other words, people of a certain lifestyle (theme) revert back to that self-image that theme projects to make decisions over products and services. For example, a study found that people interested in environmentally friendly wine also held interest in protecting the environment (Nelson, Pei-Jou, Bishop, et. al., 2012). There interest in environmentally friendly lifestyles impacted their political and product leanings.

Shopping Patterns and Styles

Psycho-Graphics can even tell you something about strategies and enjoyment from shopping. For example, comparison shoppers were on a tight budget and view themselves as more savvy shoppers when compared to other groups (Mittal, 2016). Both types of shoppers were similar in achievement orientation, optimism, spirited living and happiness.

How Does this Help Your Business?

Your business should consider the natural differences in personality and lifestyle of customers that will help offer additional products and services that will be more appealing to your customers. Not all businesses have just one type of customers but may have a couple of different kids of customers. That is ok! Once you know the psycho-graphics of your customer you can then bundle special deals, offer products in a similar area, create a brand, and even better know what advertising channels are likely to work the best. If you own a website you will want to include content and pictures that support that lifestyle. The same can be said with causes and activities.

Anderson, T..; Golden, L. (1984). Lifestyle and psychographics: A critical review and recommendation. Advances in Consumer Research. 11: 405–411.

Banwari, M. (2016). Psycho-graphic of comparison shoppers. The Journal of Consumer Marketing. Santa Barbara, 33 (1). 20-31

Barber, N., Kuo, P. Bishiop, M. et al. (2012). Measuring psychographics to assess purchase intention and willingness to pay. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 29 (4).

Friday, March 1, 2019

Build Cushion into Your Research Projects To Maintain Creativity and Outcomes

Researchers sometimes feel pressure to return results and generate them quickly to satisfy interested parties. This pressure becomes ever so apparent in businesses, universities, and organizations that want and need results in a way that sometimes leads to sub-optimum research results.  Studies that rely on the "human element" of thinking abilities in the analytical and creative domains might need a cushion built into their resource and time projections.

In other words, "Don't promise the world!" Go for something a little less to make your stakeholders happen. It is a little like sales...if you offer customers three weeks to completion you should be able to do it reasonably in two. Promise lower than your capable of delivering!

Science and creativity thrive when you work at a pace that allows you to stop and ponder potential solutions. If you can go faster in some areas without impacting research quality there isn't a strong reason why a researcher can't create additional efficiency. The results suffer when time and resource pressures push researchers to cut corners and make mistakes. Set your deadline and work at a consistent pace but don't rush anything critical to the study's outcome and don't be afraid to take a break if you need to ensure that your creativity is recharged.

Often we start with lofty needs and desires and then find out that things get delayed, results take time, there are administrative road blocks, funding issues, and much more. We have the best intentions but the end of the day things are very different. A few missed deadlines and you turn into someone who is sinking fast by shortcoming your long-term results for short-term gains.

There are a few tips that may help you consider the truer time for time allocation purposes.

1. Overestimate the Time it Takes: Research takes time, lots of time, and more time than you think. Once you have a good idea of what it will take you add 20-30%. That way a delay in processing, activity, or late discovery don't disappoint the stakeholders.

2. Build a Cushion in Financing: One of the worst things that can happen while conducting research is to run out of money. To avoid this it makes sense to have some additional funds available you can tap if expenditures run over.

3. Build in off time and alternative activities: Creativity takes time and effort. You should consider that no human can run 100% all the time. Researchers know they can devote themselves to a research cause. This OCD nature of researchers also means they need to build in down town to maintain maximum creativity and productivity.

4. Understand the Human Element: The human being is complex so it is important to understand that creativity and performance are based on internal dynamics and understanding. Research should explore ideas through mental play called creativity. Understand how the brain solves problems keep the human element part of the process.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Develop Your Referral Network by Getting Involved in Your Community

Running a business off referrals is the gold standard of having an established name. You do such great work and have such a great product that people share you as a resource! This is when advertising for new customers takes less time and maintaining relationships takes a little more. Referrals is where you want to be in the long run.

When you can run your business on referrals everything becomes easier. People see you as a credible business and are actively passing your name. These referrals indicate that your business is working well within its social networks.

What is a social network? It is a system in which people act and interact on each other. They share information and resources. They defend each other and look out for each other's needs. In essence, they are system of people.

Getting in with the right people makes a difference in your business. If groups of people see you as credible and like what you have to offer they will naturally want to share that resource with others. For example, if you need estate planning then why not go to someone everyone knows?

Get involved in relationships building. That means get involved in your local business community. Join associations, do charity work, connect with people and be seen. The more you can put yourself in front of the right people with your card the better off you will be! Make sure you brush up on your elevator speech because you may only get once chance to sell. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Social Media Sites that Generate Leads

Marketing is about spending your time wisely and reaching those people who are most likely to need your product. We can waste a great amount of time marketing on the wrong channels and getting very little return. This is one of the reasons why it is beneficial to include ROI calculations for each channel.  When you are marketing wisely you will often find....

1. Lower amount of time spent attracting clients.

2. Higher return on investment of monies spent.

3. More motivated customers that are willing to make a purchase.

Not all sites are build the same. Social media is a growing method of reaching people. The Internet offers opportunities for people to connect and share information and knowledge. It is that sharing capacity that is currently driving marketing.

Consider a number of different social media sites....

Facebook-You can do a lot of stuff with Facebook that is easy to use and ready made.

Twitter-A lot of people watch twitter everyday. I get most of my hits from there.

Instagram-Put up a picture or flyer and people share it.

YouTube-Create a video that people want to watch and this can lead to influence.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Focus on Solving Customer Problems For More Sales

Your customer should be your #1 priority! Selling isn't so much about making a sale as it is about helping your clients achieve their goals. Your job is to fulfill those needs and entice them with solutions a way that motivates them to seek more information. If you focus on the customer's goals, needs, and problems you are going to improve your sales through providing greater value.

Customers Are Goal Directed

Customers don't often just walk into a store randomly. Most customers having something in mind when they are shopping. These ideas many not be fully formed such as "looking for a great deal" but could include "I want socks on sale but will consider other items as well".

Understanding what the customer is looking for helps in directing them to things they may want. Sometimes it is beneficial to just ask what they are looking for while at others times you should intuitively understand and help them form an opinion of what they want.

Customers Have Needs and Wants

Customers also have needs and wants beyond their goals. Most of the time they may not even be aware of those needs. For example, a customer may want to fit in and be appreciated and therefore buys certain status symbols that help feel positive about their self-image.

Sometimes it isn't always apparent what those needs are. You sort of have to listen, watch, look at evaluate their clothing, see how they act, and get a "feel" for who they are. We often can pick up on these needs when we are more in tune with the subconscious signals they are giving.

Stay Focused on The Customer

Your here to serve your customers and not yourself! As soon as your customer gets a whiff your trying to sell to them then they are gone! Make sure you always relate to their needs and solve their problems. Focus on what they want and keep the conversation moving in the right direction.

Marketing help that will put your business on the next level!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Using Guerrilla Marketing to Get Results!

Mastering Guerrilla marketing can make all the difference in whether or not you gain a new client or you don't!. The term indicates some type of combat attack on clients occurs which doesn't really do the process any justice. It more accurately entails using multiple methods of reaching a client through uniqueness. You don't just introduce them once, you introduce them multiple ways with something that doesn't cost much and is personalized to them.

You can create a guerrilla marketing process that you can operate with potential customers. The type of business you run will determine precisely how you want to do this. Creating a plan on how you are going to guerrilla market to your customers can create the highest impact.

Here is a great generic process.....

1. Introduction and elevator speech.

2. Follow Up

3. Send them a personalized email

4. Offer them something unique to their business.

That is a process but you also need to do something unique that attracts them. So think about how each of these sections can be slightly adjusted to make it more memorable. For example, if you are sending them something unique, offering a special discount, or be willing to go above and beyond.

Make each point of interaction catered, fun and special. If you want business owners to take the time to look at what you are offering then you should keep them engaged through positive and fun interaction.

Friday, February 15, 2019

How to Keep in Contact With Customers?

If you are a small business you can't always afford those expensive customer relationship management systems (CRM) the big companies use. More than ever you need to stay in close contact with your customers as you know small business thrives on its relationships. Without some type of database system you are unlikely to remember all the details that allow you to maximize your sales. I like to use Excel to create a customer spreadsheet and then ensure I am maintaining my relationships.

1. Excel: Put in demographic columns for name, phone, email, etc... Make sure you put in a column or two that discusses contacts and conversations.

2. Keep it Maintained: If you are selling services or pricy products you will want to keep this sheet up-to-date with sales, conversations, likes/dislikes, etc...

3. Follow-Up After the Sale: Follow-up with sale and ensure the customer is still happy. An unhappy customers won't come back!

4. Reach Out from Time-to-Time: If you want to establish a relationship you will need to check in on customers from time to time.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Looking Glass Theory Shows us How Some Executives Hold Themselves Back

One of the biggest obstacles that hold executives back from success is themselves! You would think all executives are confident but that isn't necessarily true; they are human like the rest of us. When executives lack confidence they may have a difficult time pulling ahead and could even be inadvertently self-sabotaging their own successes. To truly unlock your potential you will want to review your true and false self through the Looking Glass Self Theory.

Executives often hold themselves back!

Started in 1902 by Charles Horton Cooley the theory states that how our identities are formed are through the eyes of other people (Lumen).  This means that we only understand ourselves when we interact with other people. It is this interaction that helps us form our first identities.

The very beginning of our lives is formed through our first contacts which include sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers and close relatives. If you have a positive first experience you will be healthier than if you were traumatized. Likewise, if your family worked in skilled labor much of your identity might be tied to this.

How we are viewed impacts how people interact with us and the feedback they give us. While many times this is accurate it is also possible that the information is not accurate or you have the wrong impression of yourself.

Lets look at an example. Tom is a creative and intelligence executive but views himself as not worthy of his successes. He may end up self-sabotaging by missing deadlines, making dumb mistakes, and cutting corners. As an executive he is slowly putting nails in his coffin.

The problem is that Tom has the skills but doesn't believe he has the skills. To free himself he must evaluate his beginnings and understand how he formed his primary identity. That identity was carried forward throughout his life and impacted almost everything else. The information presented to Tom may have been inaccurate and if he comes to understand that Tom could be very successful.

How to Look Through Your Own Glass?

1.) Understand that your early experiences often formulate your identity.

2.) Understand that certain life events impact how you view yourself.

3.) If you begin to take a more objective view of yourself you may have a different impression.

4.) The difference between those who are successful and those who are not is confidence.

5.) Find your core identity and skills. Relate to people on that level.

6.) Never let anyone tell you who you are without evaluating whether they are accurate or have certain motivations they are struggling with.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Using Desktop for Instagram App to Market Your Business

Instagram is a great resources for marketing purposes. A single picture might create enough buzz to put a business on the "map". The social sharing site works well with cell phones because the community is focused on spreading thoughts and ideas (the very essence of a community). People who want to edit their marketing pictures before sending them may be at a loss. The Desktop for Instagram App makes it very easy to post these pictures from your computer.

There is a way to upload pictures to Instagram from your desktop without using this free software. I tried it and wasted about an hour and never got it to work. Perhaps there was a difference in the technologies being used.

Companies use Instagram for marketing purposes by uploading pictures and other content people may find useful. With a billion monthly users (Statista) it makes sense for companies to start using this platform.

One of the advantages is that most of the young people are already using this system and Instagram offers an excellent way to keep in touch. Even if you are a local business many young people may follow you anyway. When you have a sale or event to post go ahead and create a flyer and upload.

One of the reasons why the Desktop for Instagram App is handy is that you can edit your pictures before uploading. Cell phones don't often have this capacity and don't have the most powerful editing program. Your desktop makes it possible to post a picture from your hard drive.

What Can You Do to Market Your Business for Under $500?

Small businesses have lots of enthusiasm but lack the marketing budgets needed to get their business kick started. That creates a problem as 8 out of 10 new businesses fail within the first few years. Not all business owners have the time and knowledge needed to run their own marketing campaigns and soon find their enthusiasm drained by practical considerations.

Getting marketing help can be very expensive!  Certainly you can do these things on your own, and I can honestly say that most of the time this is best. Larger businesses can hire people with knowledge but small businesses will have to take on a "do it yourself" mentality. There are few places for small businesses with limited budgets can receive help.

It is beneficial if small businesses quickly start working with someone to develop a solid marketing plan and begin to earn revenue immediately! Once they have gained the knowledge and abilities needed run their own campaigns they can choose to market themselves. Those who want to focus on their core product without worrying about marketing can find a marketing company to help them.

Suggestion 1: Work with someone who has marketing knowledge.

Suggestion 2: Create a marketing strategy and implement accordingly.

What You Can Do for Under $500....

1.) Content Creation: Content is king in the new Google algorithms. Write an article and have it sent to 100's of directories to improve search rankings

2.) Marketing Displays: Have a jpeg and HTML displays created that you can use in your emails, Facebook, Instagram and other campaigns.

3.) Blog Marketing: Have your advertisements sent to qualified blogs in the same fields.

4.) Business Cards: Get business cards that sell your business.

5.) Develop a Plan: Develop a low cost plan that fits with your small business goals and needs.

Need a marketing plan for under $500?

Monday, February 11, 2019

Database Management Should Be Part of Marketing Student Learning

Graduating students have new responsibilities to deal with, manage, and manipulate data. With the advent of online marketing and increasing use of customer information it is important to store and understand data. Without the proper database management skills it will be difficult for marketers to reorganization data in a way that leads to more meaningful marketing results.

How Does That Skill Help While Working?

Lets say you are selling product "bubbles". As you source potential candidates you will come across those that are either interested in your product or have already made a purchase. That sourcing can come from any number of different sources ranging from content marketing to cold calls. Once you have talked to someone you should input the information into your database.

What does the Database do for Sales?

Tracking leads, understanding customer preferences, and following up on previous contacts makes a huge differences. Databases collect information that are likely to be useful for sales or customer service. As the database gets populated with information and opportunities it is possible to scan that database for resources as well as generate useful reports.

What Type of Information Should a Business Collect?

That depends on the type of business someone operates. One business may only need email, phone number, name, address, and purchase history. B2B sales may need lots of detailed notes that allow you to understand complex solutions and information.

How to Teach Students Database Management?

It is helpful for students to understand the broader reasons for database management that includes feedback loops, research, and customer impressions. Yet that isn't all of it. They also need very specific information on how to use those databases. It is wise to expose them to simple databases that can be created using basic software as well as industry specific databases.

"Get the Word Out" About Your Business.....and Relax!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Why Some Businesses Should Hire Marketing Consultants?

Companies are turning to marketing consultants to help them achieve marketing goals while staying within budget. It is said that marketing is 90% of business and without it you really don't have a business. Find an affordable marketing consultant that can help you achieve your sales goals while allowing you to focus on what you do best!

1. They Don't Have Internal Knowledge: Some businesses don't have sufficient marketing internal knowledge and should consider hiring a marketing consultant.

2. Focus on Core Business: Businesses should focus on what they do best so they can raise their income.

3. Sales Revenue is Declining: Misalignment of the marketing strategy or declining sales needs an improved strategy.