Wow, been really two weeks since I last blogged.
Been REALLY busy lately with a few new projects, so my blogging is behind. I’ve also changed how often I’ll blog my content and some of my blogging is moving in another direction. Having said that, here’s my latest post.
My wife is in real estate and her real estate office is moving toward digitizing their real estate paperwork and files. Some offices are still in the “paper world” and won’t use technology, or at least, may just have a fax as their main move toward technology. So until offices get on board with standardizing their digital processes, there’s this gap between the technology have and have nots.
Sending a fax to my wife’s office creates a fax and sends it by email as a PDF to her email Inbox. Because her office is digitizing the files, she gets any number of faxes and PDF files that have multiple documents in each PDF file that need to be split out for her to upload to their document server, i.e. separate out each document so you know if all of the required documents are there to process. It’s hard to determine this when the PDF is one long file.
While her office fax internal processes are better than most offices, it’s still a pain for her to “manually” separate each one. Until I found a simpler process, she use to have to reprint out each PDF document, scan each document separately into their system, then send each document so that each could be uploaded into their document server.
Not any more!
As one that is NOT a graphic artist I could learn about colors but it’s a matter of how much time do I have to learn that among all of the other stuff I have to learn. One of the “kewl tewls” that I have found that accelerates this process is Adobe’s Kuler tool, web site, and widget for the Mac. What this tool does is give you listings of five coordinated colors in a theme that so you can use these colors in your newsletter, web site, blog, or your charts in Pages or Numbers.
Check it out, great way of getting new ideas to color your documents and communications with your ideal customers.
If you want, add to their collection.
I just gave this morning a very short Keynote presentation to Creative Connections about how to differentiate your business from others. In fact, of what I’m about to tell you only three people had heard about what I had talked about:
A Document to Differentiate Your Business.
How this came about was I was in a discussion with a number of vendors such as graphic artists, editors, etc about my upcoming books about using Mac in business and we all kept going back over and over what both sides were trying to say and accomplish. Each of us, both me as the customer and them as the vendors has responsibilities as well as inputs and requirements to get whatever job was needed to be done. My frustration was in dealing with understanding what each vendor needed from me, what I would receive from them, and the results that I would get back.
So here’s the answer for you as an entrepreneur.
Create a document on how you work!
Here are the elements that you’ll need:
- Define your ideal customer – not the one that is anyone that comes to you, but specifically the type of customer that you want to work with.
- Define the process – here is where things can get muddy for creative types, the process nearly always does not change, the various inputs and outputs do. Define each step from the time the customer contacts you until you finally get paid.
- Define what the customer wants – here is where you’ll go back and forth over what the customer wants and may require multiple iterations to get the final idea down.
- Define what you need – what do you specifically need from your customer in order to get their job done
- Define the scope or time – here you need to set a time frame for each step as well as the complete project time needed to do the project. If your customer balks about the time, do a “FEDEX” on them saying it’ll cost more to get it done quicker to do a quality job. Keep in mind that it’s the value you bring to the hour, not necessarily the hours you put in.
There are more details, but you get the idea, so how can a Mac help out?
iLife and iWork ’09, using audio, video, and desktop publishing you can create any number of types of documents that will give your customer the education they’ll need of you and your business.
Watch for my up coming book that will go into more details on why this document can reduce your workload getting new customers and getting only those customers that you want to work with.
If you’d like to meet me I’ll be attend the Meetup group Creative Connections tomorrow at 9 AM and give a short talk about improving your marketing for entrepreneurs and start ups. As the marketing for this meeting says:
“The #1 priority for nearly all small businesses is getting new customers. But do you know that by changing the way you market and handle your customer you can make more money? We’ll be working as a group on creating a small marketing piece that will be sure to get better qualified and educated customers, create better communications with your customers about your business, reduce your workload to concentrate on what you do best, and to set the stage for more marketing results. So come prepared to walk out with an Action Plan of increasing your business going forward.”
I look forward to meeting you, we’ll have fun for sure.