What Makes Bizucate Unique?

We help spark your creativity. Whether it is through an energizing presentation, an engaging workshop or a consulting project it is our goal to help you build your business and your customer’s business too! We create customized seminars, provide in-depth coaching and richly informative training. We develop progressive and profitable business strategies and solutions all in an effort to help you differentiate yourself from your competition. An encounter with Bizucate will leave you inspired to learn more, driven to improve and to be well on your way to claiming your own distinct place at the forefront of your industry.

Bizucate In Action
Bizucate Log In
Search

 

 

 


Monday
Mar192012

6 Focus Areas of a Profitable Business

In May of 2008 I went to the Olympics of Graphic Communication trade shows in Dusseldorf Germany called drupa. The show comes only once every 4 years and it's 14 days long. Fourteen days of trade showing is A LOT of time on your feet, listening and sharing information! I needed a way to organize myself and in the back of my brain I developed a simple framework that has been getting stronger and stronger each day since then.

I began to hone a particular business mindset that frames much of what I see and do in business today. I believe it's worth sharing because I have found others have benefited from it and I'm looking to make it stronger and welcome input to any and all of it.

Below are six areas of business that can be used to organize yourself in your own business or you could even use it as a filter to look at your customer's business too!

6 Focus Areas of a Profitable Business

  1. Strategy: This is all about where you are and where you want to go. It's the high level look to help you work ON your business even though we typically send the day-to-day working IN the business.
    • Does the current direction align with where you want to be?
    • Does the current direction align with current customer needs?
    • Does the current direction align with new customer needs?
    • If so, how's it going, where are the roadblocks?
    • If not, how come? What will it take to move in that direction?
  2. Product/Service Offering: As an organization you DO something. This represents the products/services you offer to keep the customers you have and obtain new ones.
    • What one product/service do you sell the most of? Why? Is it profitable enough? Does it lead to more profitable business?
    • What is the most profitable product/service you offer? Least profitable? What are you doing to align your marketing and selling efforts to sell more of this?
    • If you could add any product or service not currently offered what would it be? Why? How does it align with current customer/new customer needs?
    • What are you doing to find out if what you deliver to your customer meets/exceeds their needs?
    • What else does your customer need (not know they need) that you could be offering?
  3. Marketing: Represents the processes by which you identify what people want and lets them know you have it for them.
    • Do you actively identify and continue to find out what customers and prospects want? 
    • Do you follow a process as you do it? Is it measurable? Is it repeatable? If you do, do you take the time to review and improve it?
    • How do people who don't know you/your organization hear about you?
    • What are the perceptions of what you do for your customer?
    • Have you considered using a marketing approach to review and help your customer with their business?
  4. Sales: Creating business transactions that gives people/organizations what they want or didn't know they could have.
    • Do you have a sales process? Why/why not?
    • Is it measurable? Is it repeatable? Do you take the time to review and improve it?
    • What is the most successful way you/your organization interacts with a customer for the first time?
    • What channel do you use (direct mail, web based, face to face, phone, etc.) and what do you say? How does it change as a suspect becomes a prospect and then a customer?
    • How do you get to what makes your organization more profitable/successful?
  5. Workflow: Represents the people, processes and technology working together to enable profitable work to happen. This is how you create, develop, build and improve what it is that you DO for your customers.
    • Do you have a process to identify the bottlenecks in your existing workflow? Why/why not? If you do, what do you do about it once you find them?
    • What holds you back from doing more in less time at less cost?
    • What could you spend (time and/or money) and be more efficient at the work you do?
    • How can you use this thinking to go after business from your customer? What if you made their workflow "better?" What would it take to make it happen?
  6. Finance: Represents the cost of doing business, the tracking of time, money and resources to make it happen as well as the ability to report on the profit/loss of the organization.
    • How do you track the costs of operation?
    • How do you set pricing?
    • How do you set/interact with the budgets for each area of the business?
    • Is there a documented process, is it measurable and repeatable?
    • What, if any, investment is made in the development of future success?

Think of each as a frame by which you can look into your business, or any business for that matter and identify what is working and what isn't. Although you may think like this, do all the employees think about all six of these even though they may only work in one of them?

If we used this type of business mindset think about the benefits of a more holistic look at what gets done, isn't getting done or isn't being done well. This could help justify the change each and every organization needs to do every day to be successful.

What do you think of this list? What would you add, take away, do better? I'd like to know, please tell me.

~Keep the learning going, pass it on!

Thursday
Feb172011

Where Can Content Come From?

Looking for ways to generate interesting, relevant, useful, valuable, searchable, remarkable content? Consider using the following to help get your content generation juices flowing:

  • You could describe your product/service
  • You can teach people how to use your product/service
  • You can inform customers about news and relevant information to their needs beyond your product/service
  • You can tell stories how others use your product/service
  • You can let your customers tell the stories and describe what’s most meaningful to them
  • You can help your customers help other customers use your products/services
  • You could just listen…what are they saying about you, your company, your products/services, your competitors, your industry and more
  • You could also do nothing at all

Sometimes generating content can be as easy as asking someone to have a conversation.

Where do you get great content from? I'd like to know.

~Keep the learning going, pass it on!

You could describe your product/service

You can teach people how to use your product/service

You can inform customers about news and relevant information to their needs beyond your product/service

You can tell stories how others use your product/service

You can let your customers tell the stories and describe what’s most meaningful to them

You can help your customers help other customers use your products/services

You could just listen…what are they saying about you, your company, your products/services, your competitors, your industry and more

You could also do nothing at all

Thursday
Feb102011

5 Social Media Lifestyes

The 5 Social Media Lifestyles can outline 5 tactical uses of social media you could employ in your business and for your customers. These aren’t in an order of progression that you have to go through, they are lifestyles. Ways you can choose to involve yourself and take part in interaction with these new tools…or not.

  1. Participate or not: You don’t have to use social media. No one is forcing you. You have the choice. Since our major focus on social media is for business purposes, ask one question, “Does my current customer use social media?” Ask one more question, “Will my future customer use social media?” The choice you make here will shape your future. You’ve committed to this presentation. As a result, you will know more than some about social media and how you could use it for your business. That won’t last forever and knowing is only half of it. Trying it is a whole different ride! Choose to participate and you’ll start to grow a new set of skills to make you more valuable.
  2. Look and Listen: This is the basic starting point of social media, also known as the “lurker.” There is nothing wrong with tuning in to a social media channel and seeing and hearing what’s going on. You could review the Facebook News Feed of Your Friends, you could follow a conversation about collections on a LinkedIn user group, you could even watch a YouTube video about digital printing and packaging. You chose to join and show up. You can learn a lot by observing, but what if you decided to participate?
  3. Engage and interact: Engaging and interacting are what make social media “social.” Two or more people sharing ideas, content, music, video. Growing our knowledge exponentially through people we are connected to. You decide to comment on a blog post and the author asks for your help on a project he’s working on. You send a direct message to someone you follow on Twitter. You decide to write your own blog and your first post is about making the move from lurking to participating. Now there’s no turning back. Watching your time and knowing what you want to get from engaging and interacting are important to reaching your business goals.
  4. Develop and Implement: Now you are making decisions to use social media to reach your goals. You decide to create a blog and link it to the website and optimize the tags so people find you in a search on “custom photo books + kindergarten.” This aligns with a new market you are targeting and a new product that will appeal to parents who are sending their children to school for the first time. You decide to write on the blog about how easy it is to use the web to build a scrapbook and appeal to parents, teachers and administrators. You produce a two pronged YouTube series on the How-To Create and the Business Value of Offering Scrapbooks to your students. Your Facebook page and Twitter feed align with these approaches and support a common message and theme of “capturing the first steps of lifelong learning.” You get the idea.
  5. Provide as a Service: It’s in this stage you make the decision to help others start the journey you’ve been making using social media as part of your marketing plan to grow your business. It’s a busy market out there. Marketing services have been around a long time. Social media provides new channels to reach goals. The channel alone doesn’t make a company successful. It’s the alignment of the goals and objectives to the needs of the customer and the use of channels appropriate to make it all happen.

 Which lifestyle is for you? Is there another lifestyle I haven't considered? Let me know.

~Keep the learning going, pass it on!

The 5 Social Media Lifestyles can outline 5 tactical uses of social media you could employ in your business and for your customers. These aren’t in an order of progression that you have to go through, they are lifestyles. Ways you can choose to involve yourself and take part in interaction with these new tools…or not.

1.Participate or not: You don’t have to use social media. No one is forcing you. You have the choice. Since our major focus on social media is for business purposes, ask one question, “Does my current customer use social media?” Ask one more question, “Will my future customer use social media?” The choice you make here will shape your future. You’ve committed to this presentation. As a result, you will know more than some about social media and how you could use it for your business. That won’t last forever and knowing is only half of it. Trying it is a whole different ride! Choose to participate and you’ll start to grow a new set of skills to make you more valuable.
2.Look and Listen: This is the basic starting point of social media, also known as the “lurker.” There is nothing wrong with tuning in to a social media channel and seeing and hearing what’s going on. You could review the Facebook News Feed of Your Friends, you could follow a conversation about collections on a LinkedIn user group, you could even watch a YouTube video about digital printing and packaging. You chose to join and show up. You can learn a lot by observing, but what if you decided to participate?
3.Engage and interact: Engaging and interacting are what make social media “social.” Two or more people sharing ideas, content, music, video. Growing our knowledge exponentially through people we are connected to. You decide to comment on a blog post and the author asks for your help on a project he’s working on. You send a direct message to someone you follow on Twitter. You decide to write your own blog and your first post is about making the move from lurking to participating. Now there’s no turning back. Watching your time and knowing what you want to get from engaging and interacting are important to reaching your business goals.
4.Develop and Implement: Now you are making decisions to use social media to reach your goals. You decide to create a blog and link it to the website and optimize the tags so people find you in a search on “custom photo books + kindergarten.” This aligns with a new market you are targeting and a new product that will appeal to parents who are sending their children to school for the first time. You decide to write on the blog about how easy it is to use the web to build a scrapbook and appeal to parents, teachers and administrators. You produce a two pronged YouTube series on the How-To Create and the Business Value of Offering Scrapbooks to your students. Your Facebook page and Twitter feed align with these approaches and support a common message and theme of “capturing the first steps of lifelong learning.” You get the idea.
5.Provide as a Service: It’s in this stage you make the decision to help others start the journey you’ve been making using social media as part of your marketing plan to grow your business. It’s a busy market out there. Marketing services have been around a long time. Social media provides new channels to reach goals. The channel alone doesn’t make a company successful. It’s the alignment of the goals and objectives to the needs of the customer and the use of channels appropriate to make it all happen.

Thursday
Feb032011

Where Do You Find Your Inspiration?

To look at something differently, to recognize something you’ve never seen before, to feel for something in a different way, to realize something could be done that was never done before—all of these things can be the result of being inspired. Here are just a few ways people experience being inspired: a sound, a smell, an article, a picture, a lecture, a meal, a sculpture, a piece of wood, a stack of $100 bills, a child being given a glass of water, a cancer victim crossing a finish line, a smile on someone’s face after experiencing you or your business. Being inspired can lead to innovation and action.

When I’m inspired I can describe a problem in a new way, develop new material, create a new service or product, connect with a prospect I never could connect with before, reconnect with old customers to discuss something new. Finding inspiration helps me and those I work with to be fresh, interesting, motivating, engaging and worth other people’s time. Being inspired can be inspiring to others.

I find inspiration in blogs that I follow, websites I watch, people I keep up with in the industries that they influence. Inspiration comes from articles, programs, lectures, books, pictures and the world around me. There’s inspiration everywhere. When I stay focused on one project or task and I don’t take the time to look around in my business, in my customer’s business, in my industry or the industries of my customer’s customer then I find myself falling short on inspiration.

Here are just a few of the many places I turn to for inspiration: Wall Street Journal, www.wsj.com, Chris Brogan: www.chrisbrogan.com, Tech Crunch: www.techcrunch.com, AdWeek: www.adweek.com, American Marketing Association: www.marketingpower.com, Social Media Today: www.socialmediatoday.com, International Erosion Control Association: www.ieca.org, travel to new cities and countries, my local museum and parks, talking to my existing customers regularly and reaching out to new customers and learning about their business and industry.

Where do you find your inspiration? What have you done to inspire others? Two great questions you can explore as you grow your business and your customer’s business too!

Let me know where you find your inspiration and how you may have inspired others by posting a comment here.

~Keep the learning going...pass it on!

Thursday
Jan272011

Finding Your Breath in Business

How far can you swim? In 2010 I learned to distance swim (sure I could swim, but not very far) and completed two Sprint Triathlons, one Olympic Triathlon and one Half Iron Man Triathlon. Before you start thinking it’s no big deal for someone who does this all the time I want you to know I had never participated in a triathlon before. I had also never swum more than a couple of laps. I realized early on that the mechanics of the stroke are easy to observe and harder to practice but it’s the breathing that made all the difference for me. When I relaxed and focused on my breathing I found myself able to learn more, practice more and do more.

After a few months off I got into the pool today and was surprised that even after a shaky two laps at the start; much of what I had learned came back to me and I proceeded to have a great workout. The first few workouts I had in 2010, as I learned to distance swim, were not so smooth. Not being able to swim more than a few laps because of fatigue, swallowing water, hitting my head, water up my nose, rushed strokes and so many more struggles was frustrating to me. I remember back to other activities in my life that caused similar frustration: golf, snowboarding, public speaking and teaching just to name a few. As the year went on it wasn’t so new anymore and I worked on perfecting how I performed. Time and time again I came back to my breathing. The intake of energy and the exhale of waste whether in the pool, on the bike or pounding the pavement drove me, powered me, centered me and allowed me to do more than I ever thought I was capable of doing. No, I wasn’t first…or even in the top 25% of finishers in most of my races, but at least I was conditioned to do things most people only dream of doing.

2011 is off to a fast start and I find myself struggling to find my breath in my business. Calls and e-mails to return, blog posts to get done, social networking updates to be made, new services to develop and sell, marketing to research, billing…and oh taxes too! I know I’m not the only one; I’ve spoken to others and heard similar woes. Today I sat and reminded myself I know how to run my business. There are new things I want to do too and I can add them once I prioritize what needs to be done. I realized I need to take time to breathe and look at our strategy of where we are and where we want to go. Breathe and look at what it will take to get there. Breathe and engage the resources we have or bring in others to get it done. Breathe and measure the effort to show it’s worth the return. Breathe and consider my customers can use our help to do the same for their business.

What can you do to help your customers find their breath? What can you do to help your customer to be successful, sell more, win new customers and show the customers they have why they should keep doing business? You can help your customers grow their business and you can grow your business too. That’s what business development is all about. Finding your breath and helping others do the same.

Share your thoughts on finding your breath or helping others do the same by posting a comment.

~Keep the learning going...pass it on.