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Mary Schmidt Business Builder & Renovator


Idea Pool

Hitting a Moving Target.

Mary Schmidt

Jun 08, 2016

“The short road to ruin is to emulate the methods of your adversary.” - Winston Churchill.

Benchmarking.  Best Practices.  “Competitive Intelligence.”  (often an oxymoron anyway) “Competitive Analysis.”  All this will tell you where people have been and are - not where they’re going or what the next BIG thing is/will be.  Plus, “industry standard” may in fact be thoroughly mediocre, not a good thing to emulate.  Your customers can’t tell you the revolutionary BIG thing either - but they can (sometimes) tell you what they want - which may give you some ideas.

Of course, you can’t fly blind and you’ve got to make money now, not bank everything on some future cool idea.  However, beware of blithely thinking “follow the dream, the money will come.” (Your investors won’t write checks for this.)  Also avoid “analysis paralysis.”  Data is great - but you’ve got to get busy…while you’re thinking, your competitors (and customers) are out there doing..

It all comes back to truly knowing your (best) customers. And that takes a lot more than collecting data points.

In Marketing Troubleshooting


Start-Up Sanity Check for B2B Tech Ventures

Got a great idea? Are people telling you it’s crazy? Good! You’ve got to be a little insane to take that start-up leap – rather it’s out of your garage, the lab or a day job. I'll help you decide where and when to leap (and what to do when you land).

Investment: $500.00 (Why do I call it an investment? Two reasons: 1. If you’re willing to pay, that tells me you’re serious. 2. When you pay for advice, you’re more likely to value and use it.)

Drop me a line and we’ll see if we’re a good fit. If I can't help you, I’ll tell you (and if possible, tell you who can.)

Got funding? I work with one to three start-ups a year, on retainer (minimum of three months, maximum one year).

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Social Media Isn't Free, Easy or Magic.

If one of the self-anointed experts contacts you, pitching magical thinking, ask:

1. What results can I expect if I work with you? (Note: Twitter followers aren't necessarily customers.)

2. What kind of time will I have to invest? (Social media, properly done, is all about personal relationships. You with your customers...and a good relationship takes time.)

3. How do I integrate social media tools with my current operations? (Your salespeople need to know what you're saying on Facebook. Your customer service process and policies should be consistent across the board, from phone to Twitter.)

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